Trailblazing journalist, author, director and producer Janet Mock and Grammy-winning music sensation Taylor Swift have been set as honorees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles which will take place at the Beverly Hilton on April 16.
Mock and Swift will be honored for their LGBTQ advocacy. Mock will be honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Named after the legendary casting director, Kolzak devoted his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people as well as people living with HIV. Swift will be honored with GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people.
Mock is known for her work on Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking, Emmy-winning series Pose on FX. She made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television. Mock is no stranger to the GLAAD Media Awards as she and the cast of Pose received the award for Outstanding Drama Series at last year’s ceremony in New York.
She made history again, by inking a three-year multimillion-dollar deal at Netflix, making her the first out trans storyteller in history to call the creative shots at a major content company. In addition, she made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list and released the best-selling book Redfining Realness in 2014 and followed it up with her second book Surpassing Certainty in 2017. She also produced the HBO documentary The Trans List.
Swift has used her platform to shed light on LGBTQ issues. Last year during Pride Month, she wrote a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, asking him to support the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing, and other public accommodations. Swift also created a Change.org petition encouraging her fans to support the Equality Act. She also supported the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), a Nashville-based group working to defeat six anti-LGBTQ bills and raised awareness around the anti-LGBTQ record of Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn during her reelection campaign. She released the single “You Need to Calm Down”, which was seen by many as an empowering LGBTQ anthem. The music video was a showcase of prominent LGBTQ figures in pop culture including Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, RuPaul, Adam Rippon, Hayley Kiyoko, the cast of Queer Eye and others.
Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Laverne Cox, Jim Parsons, Ellen DeGeneres Chaz Bono, Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge and Sir Ian McKellen. Past Vanguard winners include Beyoncé and JAY-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Cher and Janet Jackson.
GLAAD Media Award nominees for Los Angeles will be announced on January 8. Additional honorees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York will be announced at a later date.