YouTube stars Tyler Oakley and Hannah Hart will present global technology leader Google and video-sharing innovator YouTube with GLAAD’s inaugural Ric Weiland Award at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers on September 13 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.
The Ric Weiland Award honors innovators who advance LGBT equality through tech and new media. The award is named after Ric Weiland, a computer software pioneer and philanthropist. Together with his surviving partner Mike Schaefer, he is known for his dedication to LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations.
Oakley and Hart are among YouTube’s most visible and outspoken LGBT personalities, with a combined following of more than 6.5 million subscribers. Both have been longtime advocates for LGBT equality.
For years, Google has been one of Silicon Valley's most vocal supporters of LGBT equality. In 2008, Google spoke out against California's Proposition 8, a statewide ban on marriage for same-sex couples, and donated significant contributions to efforts to remove the ban. In 2010, Google announced that it would cover extra health coverage-related costs incurred by gay and lesbian couples unable to legally wed. The following year, Google expanded its employee healthcare coverage to include transition-related care for its transgender employees. In 2012, the company launched 'Legalize Love,' an international effort to "promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books."
That same year, Google unveiled a YouTube video showcasing employees speaking out in support of marriage equality in four battleground states – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. In 2013, YouTube unveiled its first-ever pride campaign, #ProudToLove, and changed its logo to be pride-themed for the first time in the company's history.
Earlier this year, Google showed its support for LGBT Russians through a rainbow 'Google Doodle,' which debuted just hours before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And in June, YouTube unveiled its #ProudToPlay campaign – a celebration of LGBT equality in sports. The campaign was featured on the YouTube and Google homepages and marked the second consecutive year that YouTube changed its logo for a pride campaign.
GLAAD previously announced that Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, lead plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the landmark case that struck down California’s Proposition 8, will receive the Presidential Local Hero Award at the event.
GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers recognizes national and Bay Area leaders advancing LGBT equality through the media and also funds GLAAD's national advocacy work to rewrite the script for LGBT equality. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Taryn Manning will host the event, with a special performance by ‘Glee’ star Alex Newell, and special guests including Meghan McCain and Peter Paige.