Out actress Ellen Page took the stage at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles to present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to advocate, actress, writer, and producer Laverne Cox. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Page mentioned Laverne Cox as one of the people who inspired her as she decided to come out as a lesbian.
Check out the video of Page and Cox below:
"I'm so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the 'T' is not silent in the LGBT community," Cox said. "For years, I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly that they didn't know what to do with me, and that I would not work."
Cox's portrayal of incarcerated trans woman Sophia Burset on the hit Netflix original series Orange is the New Black has won her critical acclaim. She is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted show and consistently uses her platform as a public figure to create dialogue, increase visibility and draw attention to critical issues facing the trans community. She came to mainstream attention in 2008 on the VH1 reality series I Want to Work for Diddy and went on to produce her own reality show TRANSform Me. Cox also serves as Executive Producer of the upcoming documentary Free CeCe about a young transgender woman who was brutally attacked in an act of anti-transgender violence and later incarcerated in a men's prison for defending herself.
Special guests included: Rita Moreno who presented the Vanguard Award to Jennifer Lopez. Ellen Page who presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Laverne Cox. Norman Lear received the Pioneer Award. Manny de Guerre, LGBT advocate from Russia, received the International Advocate for Change Award. Other guests included: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave); Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory); Naomi Campbell (The Face); Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black); Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey); Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart; Natasha Henstridge (The Secret Circle); James Frain (Intruders); Alex Newell (Glee); Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries); Ross Mathews (Hello Ross); Maria Menounos (Chasing Maria Menounos); Sherri Saum, Teri Polo, Peter Paige, Bradley Bredeweg (The Fosters); Lucas Neff (Raising Hope); Meghan McCain (Take Part Live); singer Debby Boone; Caitlin Stasey (Please Like Me); Luke Newberry (In the Flesh); author and transgender advocate Chaz Bono; Shane Bitney Crone, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Bridegroom); Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall, John "Longjones" Abdallah Wambere (Call Me Kuchu); Charlie Condou (Coronation Street); Sophie Ward (Jane Eyre); Pratibha Parmar (Nina's Heavenly Delights); Jill Soloway, Amy Landecker, Ian Harvie (Transparent); Kate Mansi, Guy Wilson (Days of Our Lives); trans advocates Calpernia Addams, Andrea James; Husbands creators Brad Bell, Jane Espenson; comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer; trans model Carmen Carrera; trans singer Our Lady J; GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. DJ Tracy Young was the guest DJ at the after-party.
Photos and videos are available here.
The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented nationally by Ketel One Vodka, Wells Fargo, and Hilton Worldwide. The Los Angeles event is presented locally by Delta Air Lines and Bud Light.