Actress and former OUT cover star Samira Wiley accepted the Vito Russo Award during last night's GLAAD Media Awards in New York City. The award is named for one of GLAAD's founding members, and Wiley is the first queer woman of color to receive it.
A decade after Wiley came out to her parents, the Orange Is The New Black and Handmaid's Tale actress delivered a message of hope and empowerment for the next generation of queers: "Visibility is essential," she explained. "My wife Lauren and I consider our own visibility to be a great privilege. We are honored to give young people a loving, beautiful example of what their future might look like."
As we draw ever closer to Pride month, Wiley also had some joyful words for the gayest season of the year:
"Let us overwhelm the world with LGBTQ images of love and pride ... not only will we be here to see you, to love you, to validate you but I promise you that your pride will give someone else the courage to be themselves too. Together, let's welcome some people to our community."