Karine Jean-Pierre Gets Standing Ovation at GLAAD Media Awards After Historic Press Secretary Appointment

Lil Nas X, Judith Light, and the cast of Pose were also honored at Friday's 33rd GLAAD Media Awards in New York City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Karine Jean-Pierre speaks onstage during the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Hilton Midtown on May 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty

Karine Jean-Pierre is stepping into her new position with the LGBTQ community behind her.

After her historic appointment as the first Black and openly gay White House press secretary this week, Jean-Pierre, 44, was met with a standing ovation as she took the stage at Friday's 33rd GLAAD Media Awards in New York City.

"Thank you, family. As a member of the LGBTQ community, family, I am excited to be here with all of you to show that visibility matters," she said in her speech. "Representation matters for all marginalized communities at every intersection."

"I am proud of the work that GLAAD and so many LGBTQ organizations have done to speak up on matters that move our country forward, like voting rights, reproductive rights, the Equality Act, and appointing the first Black female justice to the Supreme Court," Jean-Pierre added while introducing GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Jean-Pierre, who previously made history with her first White House press briefing last May, was announced as the next press secretary on Thursday, replacing Jen Psaki once she departs the role on May 13. President Joe Biden welcomed Jean-Pierre to the position in a statement.

Karine Jean-Pierre
Karine Jean-Pierre at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards. Monica Schipper/Getty

"Karine not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people," Biden, 79, said. "Jill and I have known and respected Karine a long time and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration."

Also present at Friday's GLAAD Media Awards was Ariana DeBose, who sang "Somewhere" from her Academy Award-winning performance in West Side Story before presenting Judith Light with the excellence in media award.

Light, 73, used her acceptance speech to take a stand against anti-LGBTQ legislation currently sweeping the country.

"Sadly, today, we are living through another cycle of violence and sorrow particularly for marginalized communities," she said. "There are deeply destructive bills in Florida, Alabama and Texas. No one of any race, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability should have to face discrimination from their own government."

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Additionally, Wilson Cruz received the Vito Russo award, Lil Nas X was honored as outstanding music artist, and Pose won outstanding drama series after its third and final season. The event, which was hosted by Peppermint, also featured performances from Dove Cameron and Michael R. Jackson.

The GLAAD Media Awards in N.Y.C. come after the organization's awards show last month in Los Angeles, where Kacey Musgraves and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez were among those honored.

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