Swift will receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 16 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, while writer, director and producer Janet Mock (“Pose”) will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
The Vanguard Award celebrates Swift for using her platform to champion LGBTQ acceptance. Previous Vanguard Award recipients include Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Kerry Washington.
“From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture [and] to promote LGBTQ acceptance,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”
Swift’s 2019 pop song “You Need to Calm Down” was an LGBTQ anthem with the lyrics “shade never made anybody less gay” and “why are you mad when you could be GLAAD” that debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 100 in June.
Reaching beyond her music, Swift donated to the Tennessee Equality Project, an organization that rallied religious leaders to denounce anti-LGBTQ bills nicknamed the ‘Slate of Hate.’ She also wrote a letter to Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander on behalf of the LGBTQ community, seeking his support for the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment and housing. “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally,” she wrote to her fans on a Change.org petition created to promote the Equality Act.
Mock’s “Pose” script “Love is the Message” made history when she became the first trans woman of color to write and direct a television episode. In June 2019, Mock signed a landmark three-year multimillion-dollar pact at Netflix, making her the first out trans storyteller to land a deal of its kind at a major content company. As part of the agreement, Mock will serve as an executive producer, writer, and director on Netflix’s forthcoming series “Hollywood.”
“Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood,” said Ellis. “She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich. Her passion for inclusive storytelling, combined with her undeniable talents in writing, directing, and producing, will continue to create a Hollywood where voices and stories that have been left out of the conversation are placed front and center where they belong.”
Mock is also an author, and has published two books, “Redefining Realness” and “Surpassing Certainty.”