In New York on Saturday, GLAAD set its phasers to stunning when the media advocacy organization presented TV icon and tireless LGBT advocate George Takei with the Vito Russo Award. Netflix’s hit series, Orange Is the New Black, took home the award for Outstanding Comedy Series and Philomena starring Dame Judi Dench won Outstanding Film in Wide Release.
Boy George introduced fellow pop diva Kylie Minogue, who spoke about her support of the LGBT community before surprising the crowd with a sing-along version of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”:
GLAAD also saw its first performance by a country singer when Grammy-winner Kacey Musgraves took the stage to belt out her LGBT empowerment anthem, "Follow Your Arrow":
Named after GLAAD’s co-founder, the Vito Russo Award is given each year to an out “media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.” While heralding the accomplishments GLAAD has made in its 25-plus year history, Takei was sure to emphasize the work still to be done:
“But as long as LGBT people can be fired from their job for simply being who they are, our work isn’t done yet. As long as young people are kicked out of their families just for being who they are, our work is not done yet. As long as people are be bullied into feeling that their lives are so hopeless that they are driven to self-destructive acts, our work is not done. Working in concert with GLAAD, with its history of achievement and the legacy of Vito Russo, we will make this a better world, a more equal society of all people…I accept the GLAAD Vito Russo Award with pride, and with humility and with resolve."
Watch Takei’s full speech below:
Last month, at the Los Angeles leg of the Media Awards, OITNB’s Laverne Cox was presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her work in promoting equality. Other winners at the LA ceremony included The Fosters for Outstanding Drama Series, Behind the Candelabra for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series and tying for Outstanding Documentary, Bridegroom and Call Me Kuchu.