GLAAD Media Awards honor best in queer art

The award show celebrated “Love, Simon,” Sean Hayes and Beyonce among others.

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The GLAAD Media Awards were March 28 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The annual ceremony celebrating the best in queer media representation also celebrated its 30th anniversary. TV personality Ross Mathews, of RuPaul’s Drag Race, hosted the event.

Drag queen and “A Star Is Born” actor Shangela paid tribute to Beyoncé with a medley of her most famous songs, with Beyoncé herself in the audience. The pop superstar was with her husband Jay-Z to accept the Vanguard Award, given each year to queer allies who have promoted sexual equality. In her acceptance speech, Beyoncé thanked a gay man who had made a huge impact in her life.

“I want to dedicate this award to my uncle Johnny,” Beyoncé said. “He lived his truth and he was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn’t as accepting. Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I ever lived.”

Starz’s “Vida” won Outstanding Comedy Series while teen romance “Love, Simon” took home Outstanding Film - Wide Release. Rapper and flautist Lizzo gave a spirited rendition of her hit song “Juice,” and the Fab Five from “Queer Eye” joyfully accepted Outstanding Reality Program.

Notably absent from the ceremony was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The Oscar-winning Queen biopic had been withdrawn from consideration after new allegations of sexual misconduct and assault were reported against director Bryan Singer. GLAAD explained its decision in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

"This week’s story in “The Atlantic”... brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded," GLAAD said. “The team that worked so hard on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as well as the legacy of Freddie Mercury deserve so much more than to be tainted in this way."

The Stephen F. Kolzak Award, given to an openly queer artist for their work toward eliminating homophobia, was awarded to Sean Hayes, star of NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

“I can only imagine what it would be like to go back in time and tell my teenage self…not only that I was gonna be alright being gay, but that 30 years from now I would stand on a stage being recognized for making contributions to gay people,” Hayes said. “My teenage self would probably say, ‘Wow it’s gonna take you that long?’”

This ceremony was the first of two. The second set of winners, including Outstanding Film – Limited Release, will be announced on May 4 in New York City.

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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