Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson and Strategic Giving Officer, spoke at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday. Cruz commented GLAAD's ongoing relevance in the lives of LGBT people and recognized the important work that still needs to be done.
"Why do we still need GLAAD? We haven't won yet. Yes, there are more of us on TV and in films than ever before, but we have a long way to go before the media landscape reveals our true colors and gender diversity, or tells the story of trans people accurately. We have a long way to go."
During his speech, Wilson Cruz also highlighted the critical role that straight allies play in the movement. He said, "It's not just about LGBT people. See, GLAAD is also shining the spotlight on straight allies, who are critical in our march to equality. No civil rights movement is ever alone."
Last week GLAAD launched a new public service announcement campaign, featuring some of Hollywood's strongest influencers, encouraging allies everywhere to speak out in support of the LGBT community.
Check out the video of Wilson's speech below:
Wilson also poignantly emphasized some of the chief issues that GLAAD works to keep at the forefront of the cultural conversation.
"GLAAD will continue to amplify our voices, so that we can marry whomever we love, without fear that our children will be bullied. So that LGBT immigrants can become citizens. So that trans kids can feel safe in school, and trans adults can be protected from job discrimination. So that young people of every color and gender identity can light up their screens, big or small, and appreciate themselves as they really are; complete, and whole, and wonderful."
Former President Bill Clinton received the Advocate for Change Award. Entertainment attorney Steve Warren received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Actress Drew Barrymore hosted the event. The capacity crowd enjoyed performances by Kelly Rowland and Glee's Darren Criss. Guests include: Leonardo DiCaprio (The GreatGatsby); Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman); Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games); Harvey Weinstein; Betty White (Hot in Cleveland); brothers Chris Evans (The Avengers) & Scott Evans (BehavingBadly); Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby); Alex Pettyfer (The Butler); Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa); Logan Lerman, Johnny Simmons, Mae Whitman, Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower); Beth Ditto (Gossip); Kirsten Dunst (On the Road); Naya Rivera, Alex Newell (Glee); Matt Bomer (White Collar); Sara Ramirez, Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy); Ryan Murphy (Glee, The New Normal, American Horror Story); Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Jayson Blair (The New Normal); Greg Garcia, Cloris Leachman, Shannon Woodward, Harvey Guillen (Raising Hope); Craig Zadan (Smash); Ted Danson (CSI) and Mary Steenburgen (30 Rock); Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time); Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart (G.B.F.); Ioan Guffudd and Alice Evans (The Vampire Diaries); Ali Larter (Legends) and Hayes MacArthur (Go On); Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles); Sara Gilbert (The Talk) and musician Linda Perry; Molly Shannon (Enlightened); Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries); Freddie Smith (Days of Our Lives); Trevor Donovan (90210); Perez Hilton; Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Peter Paige (The Fosters); Thomas Roberts (MSNBC); author and advocate Chaz Bono; Kaci Boccumini, Cory McGinn (The Real L Word); Avan Jogia (Twisted); Maria Menounos (Extra);Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (Husbands); Crystal Chappell, Joanna Johnson, Linsey Godfrey (The Bold and the Beautiful); Melody Thomas Scott (The Young and the Restless); Brad Goreski (It's a Brad, Brad World); Hal Sparks (Queer as Folk); Khristianne Uy (The Taste); LGBT advocates Zach Wahls, Jennifer Tyrrell,Shane Bitney Crone (Bridegroom); GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and more.
Additional awards were presented in New York on March 16. The final awards will be presented in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco - Union Square where Adam Lambert will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award and the San Francisco Giants will receive the Corporate Leader AwardFor a complete list of winners, click here.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in Los Angeles by Delta Air Lines.