South Africa’s Trevor Noah has been honoured with a GLAAD Media Award for helping to improve the visibility of LGBTQ people.
On Saturday, Noah and his The Daily Show won the award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode for his interview with transgender actress, businesswoman and activist Angelica Ross in April last year.
Noah and Ross accepted the award at the event in New York City and called for transgender equality. Speaking to the audience, Noah spoke about how to be an ally to marginalised communities.
“You just have to listen,” He said. “Whether it means listening to black people in America who are oppressed, black women who are at the bottom of the totem pole in America… Whether it means listening to the LGBTQ community… Just listen!”
It was an incredible weekend for Noah, who went on to win the best host gong at Sunday’s MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Also honoured by GLAAD on Saturday was Will & Grace star Debra Messing, who was presented with the Excellence in Media Award. It honours media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community.
In her speech, which received multiple standing ovations, Messing called on everyone to raise their voices and call the Congressional Switchboard in Washington, DC. She also spoke directly to the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump.
“It’s not enough to simply say that women’s issues are important to you. It’s time to do something,” she told Trump. “You can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering. Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take health care away from women who need it. Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin [Grimm] fight in court for their basic human dignity.”
Openly gay Broadway performer and singer Billy Porter won the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who’s made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.
“From slavery to emancipation, to the 13th Amendment, to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement, from Stonewall to AIDS, to Marriage Equality – remember whose shoulders we stand on,” Porter told the crowd in his acceptance speech. “Let’s use the historical strides we’ve made as a nation to empower us as warriors on this battlefield for equality.”
The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.