Looking's Raul Castillo and Frankie Alvarez presented trans actress Candis Cayne and Executive Producer John Polson with the award for Outstanding Individual Episode at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on Saturday. Cayne starred as Ms. Hudson in the April 2013 episode "Snow Angels" of CBS' Sherlock drama Elementary and will be returning to the series soon.
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"Thank you so much for letting me be on this show, a transgender actress playing a transgender role. I know that we are few and far between, but it's getting better, like Laverne Cox for Orange is the New Black" -- amazing roles for transgender actors, juicy roles and parts that you can really sink your teeth into and actually play. I think it's an amazing thing that CBS allowed that to happen," Cayne said. She continued, "And I want to thank GLAAD for meeting with networks and CBS and urging them to add the trans characters into television."
Elementary Executive Producer John Polson added, "It really wasn't that much of a stretch when we were updating the Sherlock Holmes universe to make it inclusive. [...] On a personal note, I want to say I have a two-year-old daughter and a five-year-old daughter and this means a huge amount to me. I'm committed, as I know everybody in this room is, to a universe where my kids can grow up and be exactly who they want to be, who they are without any judgments and I'm very, very proud of Elementary and CBS creating an environment where we can create characters that send that signal to my kids and others."
Cayne's Ms. Hudson recently returned to the series when she guest starred in the episode "The Man with the Twisted Lip." The Elementary cast have previously participated in GLAAD's Spirit Day to take a stand against bullying and support LGBT youth, donning purple t-shirts for a cast and crew photo, including stars Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller, Aidan Quinn, and Jon Michael Hall.
Also at the event, GLAAD's President Sarah Kate Ellis received two standing ovations after being introduced by LGBT icon David Mixner. Sarah Kate shared her vision for GLAAD, underscoring how important it is to protect all that has been accomplished. The organizations new initiatives include Global Voices, Southern Stories and Help Engage Youth, these programs are designed to amplify the voice of equality around the world.
George Takei received the Vito Russo Award. Global superstar Kylie Minogue and Grammy Award-winner Kacey Musgraves performed for the capacity crowd. Comedian Fortune Feimster hosted the event. Special guests included: Naomi Watts (Birdman); Emmy Rossum (Shameless); Laverne Cox, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Samira Wiley, Dascha Polanco, Selenis Leyva, Yael Stone, Taryn Manning, Emma Myles, Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black); Robin Weigert, Stacie Passon (Concussion); Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly); Lee Tergesen (The Americans); pop star Boy George; Tamron Hall (Today's Take); country singer Chely Wright; out Grammy-winning country music songwriter Shane McAnally; New Orleans bounce performer Big Freedia; out NCAA basketball player Derrick Gordon; WWE Superstar Darren Young; Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup; MMA fighter Jessica Aguilar; transgender model Geena Rocero; GLAAD National Spokespersons Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis.
The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented nationally by Ketel One Vodka, Wells Fargo, and Hilton Worldwide. The New York City event is presented locally by Delta Airlines and Bud Light.