Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to meet these lovely women on the red carpet of the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards here in San Francisco.
I was on the media side of the velvet rope, holding the microphone as Melissa Regan and I explained NoDumbQuestions.org (an online space to share stories of lgbtq and ally experiences) before asking each celeb to share a 2-minute version of their coming out story. Most followed with a scripted 'I'm (lgbtq/ally celebrity), tell your story at nodumbquestions.org.' Stay tuned.
Calpernia Addams and Laverne Cox (above) shared the honor of Outstanding Reality Show award for the shows Transamerican Love Story and I Want to Work for Ditty. They were both stunning in person and had great brief stories to tell. What is so impressive about these women is the work they have each done for transgender visibility, far beyond the reaches of Logo or VH-1.
Also on the red carpet was Wilson Cruz, who I'll always remember as Ricky from My So-Called Life. He was so sweet and I was flustered. Apparently, he was the first openly gay teenager on television. He's done a lot since then and soon a short version of his story will be on our site! Like, whoa.
As more attendees graced our presence, my excitement kept building. Meeting Chad Allen took me back to middle school. I couldn't help thinking of Saturday nights watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. This teen heart-throb turned gay activist shared a touching story about coming out to his parents.
Another huge highlight was meeting Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for writing Milk. His acceptance speech brought me to tears, so I was nearly speechless when he agreed to share a few minutes of his own story.
The common theme of all of these celebrities' sound bites was simple: the importance of living authentic lives, coming out about who you are in order to change hearts and minds. Some of them moved me in under 60 seconds. We can tell our own short stories
and broadcast ourselves, weaving together across the world wide web. Because we all have a story to tell. Technology is making it more possible to share these stories, so that Dustin Lance Black's acceptance speech can intermingle with Morgan Green's account of her father's transition. So we celebrate the power of media.