Laverne Cox to Receive GLAAD Stephen F. Kolzak Award, Ellen Page to Present It, Everyone to Swoon

Yup. You read that right. Beacon of magnificence Laverne Cox will be honored at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, and beacon of magnificence Ellen Page will present it.

via GLAAD

via GLAAD

GLAAD made the announcement this morning, noting that the Stephen F. Kolzak award

is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. The award is named after a successful casting director, who devoted the last part of his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about the discrimination faced by LGBT and HIV-positive people.

GLAAD honors Cox for her portrayal of incarcerated trans woman Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black, and commitment to increasing visibility for trans issues, in particular those that impact trans women of color. As you probably know, Cox has had a huge year advocating for trans women in the media. She called out Katie Couric on her inappropriate and invasive questions, spoke on the revolutionary act of loving trans women at Creating Change, and is producing the upcoming documentary about incarcerated trans women of color, Free Cece! Cox was also just named to the second annual Trans 100 list.

When Page came out on Valentine’s Day and inspired this epic playlist and this epic essay, she named Cox as one of her inspirations. I am really excited to well up with tears when I hear Page present and Cox accept this award. They are both really good at speeches, guys.

Past winners of the Stephen F. Kolzak award include Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge and Ellen DeGeneres.

The GLAAD awards take place in Los Angeles on April 12, when this very website will also be up for the Outstanding Blog of the Year award. A lot of other amazing humans and internet/media entities are up for awards, too, so STAY TUNED.

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Maddie lives and writes in Philadelphia. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Women’s Studies and a strong friendship with the Geography department. Read her thoughts on border politics and trains, among other things, on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

Maddie has written 59 articles for us.

4 Comments

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    Laverne Cox is all around amazing and deserves all great things which come her way. However… it’s hard for me to not feel a little cynical about the timing of this, when GLAAD has just been roundly criticized for the way it soft pedaled the blatant transphobia on RuPaul’s Drag Race and now, a couple of days later, surprise, they’re announcing how they’re giving Laverne this award. Now that GLAAD has more trans people on its board (and finally a couple of trans employees) it’s time for this organization to show some bravery and actually call out ugly examples of ongoing transphobia and cis-centrism in the LGB community instead of “working behind the scenes” so as not to offend their gay male contributors. Either this organization really stands up for respectful media representations or it doesn’t, and being consistent in its efforts says a lot more than giving out awards at fundraising events.

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