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Winning Governors Award Is Personal For GLAAD, President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis Says In Emmy Speech

GLAAD received the Television Academy’s 2023 Governors Award on Monday at the 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media-advocacy organization was recognized for its work to secure fair, accurate and diverse representation of the LGBTQ community in the media and entertainment industries and to advocate for LGBTQ equality.

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“For all of us at GLAAD, this work is personal, for me, it’s about my wife and our kids, because what the world sees on TV directly influences how we treat each other and the decisions we make in our living rooms, schools, at work, and at the ballot box,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said tonight onstage to accept the honorary Emmy from presenters Hannah Waddingham and Colman Domingo.

“The world urgently needs culture-changing stories about transgender people. More people say they have seen a ghost than know a trans person. When you don’t know people, it’s easy to demonize them. Visibility creates understanding and opens doors, it’s life-saving. Our community has achieved so much and yet, we are still being victimized and villainized with cruel and harmful lies. Sharing stories is the antidote.

“And now is the time to take action – to support everyone in the LGBTQ community, because this story is still being told and we all can be the heroes,” added Ellis, who has been president and CEO of GLAAD since 2014.

First awarded in 1978, the Governors Award honors an individual, company or organization that has made a profound, transformational and long-lasting contribution to the arts and/or science of TV, per the Television Academy.

Last year, the honor went to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. in 2021, Debbie Allen won the award, while Tyler Perry and The Perry Foundation were recognized in 2020. Other previous recipients include Star Trek, American Idol, mtvU Campaign for Darfur, PBS, Masterpiece Theater, Hallmark Cards Inc. and Walter Cronkite.

Next up it’s GLAAD’s turn to hand out awards; its 35th annual GLAAD Media Awards that honor outstanding LGBTQ-inclusive news and entertainment projects are March 14 in Los Angeles and May 11 i New York.

Here’s Ellis and the team backstage after the speech.

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