Debra Messing Calls on Ivanka Trump at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City: “It’s time to do something”

GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ advocacy organisation, honoured Debra Messing, Billy Porter and outstanding LGBTQ images in film and television at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City.

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Debra Messing

The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

Television host Ross Mathews hosted the event that included a smash performance by DNCE. Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Tyler Oakley, Zachary Quinto, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Angelica Ross, and Survivor’s Zeke Smith were among the special guests. The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Wells Fargo.

At the ceremony, Andrew Rannells presented Debra Messing with GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award, which is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community.

In her speech, which received multiple standing ovations, Messing called on everyone to raise their voices and call the Congressional Switchboard in Washington, D.C. She also spoke directly to Ivanka Trump:

“It’s not enough to simply say that women’s issues are important to you. It’s time to do something. You can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering. Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take health care away from women who need it. Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin [Grimm] fight in court for their basic human dignity.”

Also at the event, surprise guest Rosie O’Donnell presented Billy Porter with the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.

In his acceptance speech, Porter called attention to the Presidential administration’s attack on “all of us,” and urged all communities to resist: “From slavery to emancipation, to the 13th Amendment, to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement, from Stonewall to AIDS, to Marriage Equality – remember whose shoulders we stand on.” Porter added “Let’s use the historical strides we’ve made as a nation to empower us as warriors on this battlefield for equality.”

Zachary Quinto and Janet Mock presented the award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for its interview about transgender issues with Angelica Ross. Trevor Noah and Angelica Ross accepted the award on the show’s behalf and called for transgender equality.

Don Lemon presented the award for Outstanding Documentary to Investigation Discovery’s Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Elizabeth Ramirez accepted on the documentary’s behalf, joined onstage by Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and director Deborah Esquenazi and producer Sam Tabet.

Christian Slater and Carly Chaikin presented the award for Outstanding Reality Program to Oxygen’s Strut, which followed a group of transgender models Executive producer Whoopi Goldberg and Isis King accepted on the show’s behalf, and were joined onstage by cast members Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion, Laith De La Cruz, Dominique Jackson, Isis King, Ren Spriggs, and Arisce Wanzer.

GLAAD previously announced that it was acknowledging two web series, Her Story (HerStoryShow.com) and We’ve Been Around (WeveBeenAround.com), and music video “Sin Ir Más Lejos” by Gema Corredera, with Special Recognition Awards.

Additional special guests include: Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Beyond); Rosie O’Donnell (When We Rise); Carly Chaikin, Christian Slater (Mr. Robot); Whoopi Goldberg (The View, Strut); Trevor Noah (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah); CNN anchor Don Lemon; Janet Mock (The Trans List); Andrew Rannells (Girls); Nico Tortorella (Younger); Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek); AnnaSophia Robb (Mercy Street) Zeke Smith (Survivor); Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion, Laith De La Cruz, Isis King, Dominique Jackson, Ren Spriggs, Arisce Wanzer (Strut); YouTube personality Tyler Oakley; Angelica Ross (Claws, Her Story); Supreme Court plaintiff Gavin Grimm; and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Photo by GLAAD