​kerry washington gives rousing freedom speech at lgbt award ceremony

The Scandal actress picked up a prize at the GLAAD Awards and addressed human rights across the board.

by Stuart Brumfitt
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Mar 23 2015, 5:01pm

America's biggest LGBT Awards ceremony, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), became a platform for some clear-sighted freedom fighting from actress Kerry Washington in Los Angeles last night. Washington was picking up the Vanguard Award for being an ally to GLAAD and used the opportunity to call for greater understanding and collaboration between minority groups.

"I think some stuff needs to be said," she started, before telling the crowd, "You'd think we'd band together and fight the good fight, but history tells us that no, often we don't. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people. We have been pitted against each other, and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other'." It was the kind of speech that deserved a greater - ie an Oscars - platform.

Washington addressed the community's representation in the media, saying, "We need more LGBT representation in the media, more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation, and by that I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. And this is big: we need more employment of LGBT people in front of, and behind, the camera."

She summed up with some beautiful, broader ideas, telling the rapturous crowd, "To be represented is to be humanized," adding "in the real world, being an 'other' is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness and the media must reflect that."

Other big winners on the night included Transparent (Outstanding Comedy Series), The Normal Heart (Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series) and The Imitation Game (Outstanding Film - Wide Release). 

Check the full list of winners here.