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Watch Kerry Washington’s Powerful Speech at the GLAAD Media Awards

22 Mar

Kerry Washington received the Vanguard Award for supporting the LGBT community at the GLAAD Media Awards in LA last night with Ellen DeGeneres presenting her with this accolade; Washington was quick to note that she is part of the Scandal family through her wife Portia de Rossi. Wearing a purple and wine color-block Hellessy gown Washington was one of several Shondaland cast members who picked up an award with How to Get Away with Murder taking home Outstanding Drama.

Kerry Washington GLAADWashington gave a rousing acceptance speech – which you can watch below – showing how aware she is of her position starting off by saying “on Monday morning people are going to click a link* to hear what that woman from Scandal said at that award show and so I think some stuff needs to be said.” Kicking things off by getting to the heart of the matter with this idea that there are “limited seats at the table” for those categorized as ‘other’ and how they have been pitted against each other.

*waves* 

The power of storytelling and how “we need more LGBT representation in the media” with lots of different kinds of LGBT people being shown on screen. She also makes sure she mentions jobs both in front of and behind the camera. This last point gets a standing ovation and at just over halfway through her speech it isn’t the only time this happens.

Marriage equality is something Washington feels passionately about and I can’t imagine she would be receiving this award if this wasn’t the case. Linking this idea of not being able to marry the one you love with laws, which in the past prevented marriage pertaining to race she states “We must be allies and we must be allies in this business as to be represented is to be humanized.”

Rounding off this incredible and inspiring speech because she knows how powerful her position is, she spoke of the idea that in the real world ‘Other’ is the norm and “In the real world the only norm is uniqueness and our media must reflect that.” Cue another standing O.

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