GLAAD holds Rising Stars Luncheon; announces Outstanding Kids & Family Programming winner

GLAAD awarded three outstanding young LGBTQ students at the Rising Stars Luncheon with grants for projects that use media to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. The 2018 recipients of the Rising Stars Grants in Los Angeles included diverse, intersectional artists and activists Gio Bravo, Leah Juliett, and Shayna Maci Warner.


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The Luncheon was hosted by Tommy Dorfman of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, who was deeply moved by the emotional speeches each of the recipients gave.

Presenters inluded designer August Getty, Isabella Gomez of Netlifx's One Day at a Time, Jazz Jennings of I Am Jazz, Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp of Love, Simon, and Nafessa Williams of The CW's Black Lightning.

The presentation was concluded with an excellent performance by Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying of Superfruit.

GLAAD also announced that Disney Channel’s Andi Mack received the GLAAD Media Award in the inaugural Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category. The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category was introduced to the GLAAD Media Awards this year following a rise of LGBTQ images in Kids & Family television. Andi Mack was nominated alongside Danger & Eggs (Amazon), The Loud House (Nickelodeon), Steven Universe (Cartoon Network), and "The Emergency Plan" episode of Doc McStuffins (Disney Channel). The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

Accepting the award were Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Joshua Rush, Lilan Bowden, Lauren Tom, Stoney Westmoreland. During the acceptance speech, Lee shared an inspiring message: “Keep fighting. Keep loving. Keep being you. And, we’ll keep trying to tell the stories that matter.”


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GLAAD added the Kids & Family Programming category to the GLAAD Media Awards as part of the organization’s work to increase the quality and quantity of LGBTQ characters and stories in Kids & Family entertainment. Over the past year, GLAAD worked with the Disney Channel on an episode of “Doc McStuffins” featuring two moms as the heads of a household, and with “Andi Mack,” on the story of a young teenager, Cyrus, coming out. Additionally, GLAAD co-hosted the first ever LGBTQ panel during the Kidscreen Summit, which included GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis alongside an esteemed panel of writers, producers, and programming executives at PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Marvel Entertainment.

The 29th GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles will be help tomorrow evening at the Beverly Hilton, honoring Britney Spears and Jim Parsons and hosted by Wanda Sykes with special appearances by Ryan Murphy, Halle Berry, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lena Waithe, Wilson Cruz, Anthony Rapp, Rachel Bloom, Ben Feldman, and Adam Rippon.  The Rising Star grant recipients will be in attendance as well. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the issues that affect their lives.  They also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community that build support for equality and acceptance.