Tommy Dorfman to host 2018 Rising Stars Luncheon at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles

Superfruit to perform with presenters including stars of Love, Simon, One Day At a Time, Black Lightning, I Am Jazz, and Andi Mack
April 4, 2018

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

New York, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced the recipients, host, and special guests of the 2018 Rising Stars Luncheon at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The Rising Stars program empowers and invests in the next generation of LGBTQ change makers, whose advocacy is changing their local communities and the culture at large. Grants are awarded annually to LGBTQ youth and support initiatives that champion intersectional LGBTQ issues, including racial justice, immigration rights, transgender equality, and more.

All recipients will be recognized at the Rising Stars Luncheons taking place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on April 11, 2018.

The GLAAD Rising Stars program is presented by Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal | Telemundo, Delta Air Lines, Turner, and Wells Fargo.

Actor Tommy Dorfman will host in Los Angeles, with a performance by Superfruit, and appearances by the cast of Andi Mack, Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp from Love, Simon, One Day at a Time star Isabella Gomez, Black Lightning’s Nafessa Williams, and Jazz Jennings from I Am Jazz.

“With an administration relentlessly attacking the LGBTQ community and acceptance slipping nationwide, it’s crucial to provide support and resources to young LGBTQ changemakers,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “GLAAD’s Rising Stars Grants do just that by supporting empowering them to advance acceptance of LGBTQ people.”

The 2018 recipients of the Rising Stars Grants in Los Angeles are:

Gio Bravo, is a Mexican-American trans man, born and raised in Long Beach in Southern California. He is the first trans person in the Regional Mexican music genre, and also founder of ‘Insurgent Couture’ an LGBTQ based clothing brand. Gio will continue to strive for trans/LGBTQ visibility on mainstream media through his passion for music.

Leah Juliett, is an award-winning speaker, writer, and political changemaker from Connecticut. Leah is the Founder and Executive Director of the #MarchAgainstRevengePorn, an internationally-acclaimed cyber civil rights organization dedicated to combating revenge porn through a series of nationwide protest marches. Leah has discussed social issues on CNN, MTV, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen Magazine. Leah currently serves as an Intern for United States Senator Chris Murphy. Leah will next organize and host the National LGBTQ+ Youth Town Hall in New York City to connect legislators with young voters before the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Shayna Maci Warner, a queer artist and scholar graduating from UCLA this June with a major in World Arts and Cultures, and a minor in Film. She is the managing editor of OutWrite Newsmagazine, an Assistant Programmer for Outfest Los Angeles, and a documentary filmmaker whose first short doc will premiere this spring. Shayna is looking to expand her print and video interview series The First Time I Saw Myself, a collaboration with OutWrite Newsmagazine that chronicles individual reactions to LGBTQ story lines in an effort to show the tangible impacts made by missteps and triumphs in queer representation.

GLAAD will also be holding a Rising Stars Luncheon prior to the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York at the Hilton Midtown on May 4.

Recipients of GLAAD Rising Stars Grants will also attend the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City and Los Angeles, which honor media for fair and accurate representations of LGBTQ people and the issues that impact their lives.

“Delta has proudly served as the presenting sponsor of the GLAAD Media Awards for the past nine years and is thrilled to again support the next generation of LGBTQ change-makers at the Rising Stars Luncheon,” said Ranjan Goswami, V.P., Los Angeles and Sales — West for Delta Air Lines and a GLAAD board member. “Delta and GLAAD share a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we are honored to back GLAAD’s important efforts to advocate for the LGBTQ community to accelerate acceptance and impact real change within global society.”

GLAAD has previously announce that it would be honoring Britney Spears and Jim Parsons at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, 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.

GLAAD also announced that it would honor Samira Wiley at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, hosted by Ross Mathews with special appearances by Halsey, Laverne Cox, Wrabel, and Asia Kate Dillon.

In January, GLAAD announced 125 nominees in 21 English-language categories and 16 Spanish-language nominees in 4 categories. The nominees for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced during the Sundance Film Festival by actors Wilson Cruz (“13 Reasons Why,” “Star Trek: Discovery”) and Trace Lysette (“Transparent”). Nominees across entertainment and news media included This Is Us, Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, Battle of the Sexes, A Fantastic Woman, Billions, The Voice, Will & Grace, Andi Mack, Halsey, Kesha, Kehlani, Teen Vogue, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, HuffPost, and CNN en Español. GLAAD announced a Special Recognition Award for Jay-Z’s song and music video “Smile” featuring his mother Gloria Carter who used the song to come out as a lesbian as well as a Special Recognition Award to the animated short film In A Heartbeat. Nominees can be found here:

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.