Taylor Swift and Janet Mock are being recognized for making strides towards equality for the LGBTQ community

By Darlene Aderoju
January 07, 2020 08:00 AM
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Taylor Swift and Janet Mock are being honored for their advocacy work within the LGBTQ community.

On Tuesday, GLAAD announced that Swift, 30, and Mock, 36, will be recognized with the Vanguard Award and Stephen F. Kolzak Award, respectively, at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 16 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

The Vanguard Award, which Swift is set to receive, is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Last year, the singer penned an open letter, which she shared on social media, to Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander. Swift urged the Republican senator to support the Equality Act in efforts to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Equality Act would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and other public accommodations. Swift also created a petition on Change.org, asking her fans to support the cause.

“Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic,” she wrote in the petition.

Janet Mock and Taylor Swift
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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“The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally,” Swift continued.

She released her hit song, “You Need to Calm Down,” in the same month. “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?” Swift included in the lyrics.

“From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tells PEOPLE in a statement. “In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”

Taylor Swift
Courtesy GLAAD Media Awards

RELATED: Beyoncé and JAY-Z to Be Honored as LGBTQ Allies at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance.

By producing an episode on the FX series Pose, Mock became the first transgender woman of color to write and direct a TV show episode. Last year, she and the cast of Pose received the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York.

“Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood,” Ellis said. “She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich.”

“Her passion for inclusive storytelling, combined with her undeniable talents in writing, directing, and producing, will continue to create a Hollywood where voices and stories that have been left out of the conversation are placed front and center where they belong,” Ellis added.

Janet Mock
Courtesy GLAAD Media Awards

In 2014, Mock released her first book, Redefining Realness. In the memoir, Mock details some of the hardships she faced throughout her experience growing up as an LGBTQ person in America.

Beyoncé and JAY-Z received the Vanguard award for their ongoing support of the LGBTQ community in 2019.

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