Jim Parsons Pays Tribute To Britney Spears and Gets a Surprise from Ryan Murphy and ‘Boys In The Band’ Cast Mates at the GLAAD Media Awards

April 13, 2018

Out actor Jim Parsons, best known for his role as Sheldon on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, took home one of the highest honors of the night at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is given to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. The award was presented to Parsons by friend and colleague, Ryan Murphy.

In his acceptance speech he gave a special tribute to fellow honoree Britney Spears and spoke about some of his inspirations including his mom, who was in attendance.

After Ryan Murphy spoke about Jim’s trailblazing work as an out actor, he told the audience that he had some friends who wanted to help celebrate Jim. Parsons was then surprised as the entire cast of the upcoming Broadway revival Boys in the Band, which Parsons stars in,  marched into the ballroom. Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Robin De Jesus, Brian Hutchinson, Charlie Carver, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkin, all gave Jim kudos as they walked onstage and spoke about working with him. The highly anticipated revival of the seminal LGBTQ play opens on Broadway next month.

The 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles will air exclusively on Logo on April 18, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT.

Boys In The Band is the latest collaborative project between Parsons and Murphy, in which Murphy is producing and Parsons is set to star. Their HBO television movie, The New Normal, received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2015.

Parsons also paid inspirational tribute to the GLAAD Vanguard Award winner of the night, pop icon Britney Spears. He recalled her chart-topping debut, “Baby One More Time”, and how it motivated him to audition for acting schools in NYC. “I remember watching her dance-walk down that school hallway, in that Catholic school uniform with those cute little pigtails,” he recollected to a chuckling audience. “And I remember having this sense of ‘oh yeah… just do it!’”

The Stephen F. Kolzak award is named after a legendary casting director, who devoted the last part of his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people as well as people living with HIV. Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Troye Sivan, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge, Alan Ball, Pedro Zamora, Martina Navratilova, Paris Barclay, Robert Greenblatt, and Sir Ian McKellen.

Parsons will star in the upcoming film A Kid Like Jake, in which he will play the father of a young boy exploring his gender identity.

“Jim Parsons’ talent, humor, and impressive body of work have made him one of the most visible and beloved out LGBTQ actors today,” GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Parsons not only proudly tells LGBTQ stories through his roles, but also works behind the camera with his husband Todd to tell LGBTQ stories that raise the bar for Hollywood and inspire acceptance.”

The 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, and Wells Fargo. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community and issues that build support for LGBTQ acceptance.