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The 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday doled out rhodium statuettes to actress Kerry Washington and director Roland Emmerich, as well as “The Imitation Game” and television shows “Transparent” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” for creating accurate depictions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Comedienne Tig Notaro hosted the event at the Beverly Hilton, which included guests and presenters Ellen DeGeneres, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Portia de Rossi, Shonda Rhimes, Patricia Arquette, and Viola Davis and raised over $350,000 for the organization. Said DeGeneres, “This is the largest gathering of gay people in one room since yesterday. Thank you all for attending our annual meeting. Let me just go over some notes from our last one. Bring back short shorts. Check. Recruit Chris Hemsworth. Still working on that.”

Things got more serious, as they usually do, when Washington took the stage. “There’s so much power in story telling. We need more LGBT representation in the media and we need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera. I might be preaching to the choir, but I’m going to because people are going to click on a link to see what that woman from ‘Scandal’ said at that awards show,” said Washington of using her fame to raise awareness. “I know part of why I’m getting this award is because I play characters that belong to a second society and have been pushed to the margins. As a woman of color I don’t always have a choice about that, but I made the choice to play members of the LGBT community. I don’t decide to play them as a political choice, yet the characters often become political statements, because having your story told as a person of color, as a lesbian, a trans-person or any member of a disenfranchised community sadly often is still a radical idea.”

Despite an increase in the number of transgender actors and models working today, GLAAD’s chief executive officer and president Sarah Kate Ellis noted, “acceptance can’t come fast enough.”

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