Royalty took the stand on Saturday night to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality.
“Being authentic and true to who I am has been something that I’ve championed in my own life, so to be able to get up there tonight and speak my journey is really important,” Rosheuvel told Variety before accepting her award. “That one person who’s struggling might hear it and be confident enough to step [up] in their own life.”
The “Bridgerton” star later went on to tell the crowd, “nobody should have to choose between being publicly out and being a successful actor.” Rosheuvel recently opened up to Marc Malkin on the “Just for Variety” podcast about how a lesbian director once advised her to stay in the closet.
A number of political speakers also took the stage to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York.
Schumer vowed to push the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“No LGBTQ or queer American should ever face discrimination because of who they are or who they love,” Schumer said during his speech. “As Senate Majority Leader, I’m going to put the bill on the floor and let’s see where everyone stands.”
The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act in February, but the bill now faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Schumer will need to gain the support of 10 Republican Senators in addition to all 50 Democrats in order to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.
Gov. Hochul criticized certain pieces of legislation backed by Republicans such as Florida’s controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill.
“I want new leadership in Florida that’ll change people’s attitudes and make them feel full of love and not hate,” Hochul said at the event.
The governor went on to ask, “what’s wrong with trans kids playing sports? Don’t you want them to grow up strong, healthy, competitive and take on life’s challenges? What are you afraid of? I’m asking these questions, but I’m in a position to do something about it because this is New York. New York always leads.”
Another trailblazing celebrity who showed up to support the movement included Nicole Maines, who played Dreamer on “Supergirl.” She appeared during the final two seasons of The CW series where she made history portraying the first transgender superhero in a live-action comic book adaptation. Maines will continue to build on the legacy of Dreamer as a co-writer on the upcoming “Superman: Son of Kal-El” series with DC Comics author Tom Taylor.
“Superheroes and comic books have always been a vehicle to talk about issues that matter in ways that are relatable and accessible for everybody,” Maines told Variety. “We’re starting to see this class of people who are saying, ‘oh, why are you politicizing superheroes?’ or ‘go woke, go broke!’ What people don’t understand is that superheroes have always been political.”
She continued, “[We’ve had] Wonder Woman fighting feminist issues, Superman fighting for just inclusion all along, Iron Man fighting during the Cold War and Captain America fighting Nazis! It’s always been woke, it’s just for the first time that fans are finding that they’re on the other side of the heat vision.”