The Ariadne Getty Ally Award is presented to an LGBTQ ally who uses their voice and public platform to accelerate and affect acceptance for the LGBTQ community. The award is named after philanthropist Ariadne Getty, a member of GLAAD’s board of directors who announced a $15 million gift to support GLAAD’s work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance at the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
In addition to work for #MeToo, Milano has raised awareness around ending HIV and AIDS, was a vocal supporter of marriage equality, and uses social media to amplify the voices of LGBTQ people. She joined GLAAD for a rally in Times Square protesting a proposed ban on transgender Americans in the military and used her website, PatriotNotPartisan, to share the stories of Laila Ireland, a transgender veteran.
“I’m so honored to receive this award,” Milano told Variety exclusively. “I have long admired the work that GLAAD does day in and day out to advance the interests of the LGBTQI community so receiving this award from them really means a lot to me.”
Milano was an outspoken supporter of passing marriage equality, appeared as a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and stood with LGBTQ youth and against bullying by participating in Spirit Day. She is a UNICEF National Ambassador and testified before Congress on behalf of an Equal Rights Amendment that would write anti-discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. Most recently, she released a video speaking out against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, citing threats to LGBTQ and women’s rights.
Veteran journalist Emil Wilbekin will receive the Ric Weiland Award for growing LGBTQ inclusion in tech. The award honors innovators who advance LGBTQ equality and acceptance through tech and new media. Wilbekin has long worked to change the way that black gay men are perceived and received in the media by bringing LGBTQ stories to the forefront through his work as editor-in-chief of Vibe and editor-at-large of Essence.
“I am grateful to GLAAD for honoring me with the Ric Weiland Award,” Wilbekin told Variety. “It is critical that LGBTQ people of color are involved, engaged, and empowered in tech. It’s an issue of equality. There must be diversity in creating technology and the platforms that amplify our narratives and process our data. We must have a seat at the table.”
The event, hosted by “Will & Grace” actor Leslie Jordan, will feature “Pose”‘s Mj Rodriguez, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage, tech journalist Ina Fried, and transgender pop star Kim Petras.
GLAAD Gala San Francisco, which will take place at Hyatt Regency San Francisco, celebrates and features storytellers and tech innovators who accelerate LGBTQ acceptance and helps fund GLAAD’s digital advocacy work to grow LGBTQ inclusion in digital and social media.
“While I am so pleased that this GLAAD award is being named in my honor, what I truly hope is that it inspires more people to become LGBTQ allies and work towards equality for the LGBTQ community,” said Ariadne Getty, president and executive director of the Ariadne Getty Foundation.