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Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, LGBTQ+ People of Color Shine at 33rd GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles


Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Front) Andrew Garfield (Back) / Randy Shropshire (GLAAD)

The International Ballroom inside The Beverly Hilton Hotel, home to The Golden Globes, got even gayer on April 2 as the 33rd GLAAD Media Awards returned to its original in-person format after being forced to go virtual for the past two years.


Hosted by beloved drag queens Shangela, Eureka, and Bob the Drag Queen (“We’re Here,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race”), recipients in 16 out of 30 categories were crowned winners in the first of two awards ceremonies. A second ceremony will take place in New York City on May 6, where the remaining winners will be announced.


Grammy Award-winning country superstar Kacey Musgraves received the prestigious Vanguard Award. Tony Award-winner Ben Platt introduced Musgraves. In her speech, she recalled a moving exchange with a gay country fan.


“One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten in regards to my career is a gay country fan telling me they heard my music and finally felt invited to a party they’d never got invited to,” Musgrave said. “I will continue to have your backs and I so dearly appreciate you having mine.”

Shangela, Bob The Drag Queen and Eureka (Photo by Darian Aaron)

Golden Globe winner Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (“POSE,” “Tick, Tick, Boom”) was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award by Academy Award-nominee and co-star Andrew Garfield. With her mother seated at a table a few feet away from the stage, Rodriguez, while holding back tears, illustrated the impact of having supportive parents throughout her transition and rise to fame.


“Of course, I have to thank my mother and father for seeing and loving me," Rodriguez said. “When a child is loved, whether you’re LGBTQIA or not, it makes all the difference. When you tell your queer child that you love them, they think, I love me too. I thank all of the parents in Texas, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, and all around the world who are standing up to fear and ignorance and are grounding their LGBTQIA children in love and acceptance,” she said.


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