Nick Jonas presented Lovato with the Vanguard Award for her efforts to promote acceptance and equality for LGBT people through her music and acting roles.
“I grew up in Texas where it wasn’t very accepting of any sort of LGBT person,” said Lovato. “I grew up with friends that were gay and afraid to come out. But, I had a safe environment and family.”
The singer said her family raised her not to judge and not to think differently of other people.
“I knew if I ever made it as a singer I needed to use my voice for so much more than just singing,” said Lovato. “People have the right to love who they want to love.”
“Orange is the New Black” actress Ruby Rose was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award by Taylor Swift, who made a surprise appearance at the show.
“You can’t just Taylor Swift someone,” joked Rose. “It feels so amazing that I get to be honored by the people that make this happen, that everyday it’s their job to make sure we are seen and heard and that something that I am doing in my life must be right.”
Rose said when she was younger she felt as if she was the only gay person in the world and felt lonely. But, LGBT representation in television and the premiere of “The L Word” changed that.
“I want every young adult who questions if they’re worthy to know, yes, they are,” said Rose. “We, the media, set the bar of LGBT acceptance. It’s our responsibility to continue to drive the dialogue forward.”
Jenner and Jazz Jennings accepted the award for Outstanding Reality Programming for “I Am Cait” and “I Am Jazz,” Latifah accepted the Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series award on behalf of “Bessie,” and Lilly Wachowski, making her first public appearance since transitioning, accepted the Outstanding Drama Series award for “Sense8.”
“At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put myself out there completely,” said Jennings. But, after seeing all of the positive reactions and all of the change that was being made by the show, it was all worth it to see that I’m making a difference and it shows that I’m doing the right thing by sharing my story.”
On stage, Jenner told the “I am Jazz” star “you’re an example and your show gives young kids hope. I love what you guys do.”
Speaking of “I am Cait,” Jenner said while she has had a great time making the show, she is trying to make a difference.
“Only eight percent of the population knew someone that was trans,” said Jenner during her acceptance speech. “Well, we changed that.”
The night featured a powerful performance of “Stone Cold” by Lovato and several guest speakers, including Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.
Ellis said more conversations need to happen around the hundreds of anti-LGBT bills that are coming out across the country.
“We saw the power of Hollywood when we pulled together and came out against it in Georgia and Gov. Deal vetoed it [bill], said Ellis. “So, I think it’s really important that moving forward we’re having this conversation on a daily basis because these are popping up on a daily basis.”
More GLAAD awards will be presented at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on May 14.
The awards show will air on Logo April 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the full list of winners below.
- Vanguard Award: Demi Lovato
- Stephen F. Kolzak Award: Ruby Rose
- Outstanding Reality Program: TIE: I Am Cait (E!) and I Am Jazz (TLC)
- Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: Bessie (HBO)
- Outstanding Drama Series: Sense8 (Netflix)
- Outstanding Spanish-Language Television Interview: “Orientación sexual y acoso escolar” Realidades en Contexto (CNN en Español)
- Outstanding Film – Wide Release: Carol (The Weinstein Company)
- Outstanding Comedy Series: Transparent (Amazon Instant Video)
- Outstanding Documentary: Kumu Hina (PBS)
- Outstanding Daily Drama: The Bold and The Beautiful (CBS)
- Outstanding Music Artist: Troye Sivan, Blue Neighbourhood (Capitol Records)
- Outstanding Comic Book: Lumberjanes, written by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh (BOOM! Studios)
- Outstanding Talk Show Episode: “Janet Mock” Super Soul Sunday (OWN)
- Outstanding Novela: Rastros de mentiras (MundoMax)
- Outstanding Music Artist: Ricky Martin, A quien quiera escuchar (Sony Music Latin)
- Outstanding Local Television Interview: “La nueva transgeneración” Enfoque Los Ángeles (KVEA-Telemundo 52 [Los Ángeles])
- Outstanding Local TV Journalism: “Cada 29 horas” Noticias 19 (KUVS-Univision 19 [Sacramento])
- Outstanding Newspaper Article: “Padres transgénero – El único requisito para ser papá es el amor por los hijos” by Virginia Gaglianone (La Opinión)
- Outstanding Digital Journalism Article: “Perú: violaciones correctivas: El terrible método para ‘curar’ a las lesbianas” by Leire Ventas (BBCMundo.com)