This week I talked with Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson President and CEO of GLAAD the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization. GLAAD works through entertainment, news and digital media industries to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate global acceptance. On Saturday May 6th the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City takes place at the New York Hilton Midtown. GLAAD will be honoring fierce LGBTQ ally Debra Messing with the Excellence in Media Award which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Robert De Niro, Russell Simmons, Kelly Ripa, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Diane Sawyer. Billy Porter the Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor and singer will be honored with the Vito Russo Award which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance. The Award is named for Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, George Takei, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, RuPaul, Tom Ford, Thomas Roberts, Suze Orman and Alan Cumming. Ross Mathews will host the event and Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah and Christian Slater are attending among others at this fabulous LGBTQ Awards Show. I talked to Sarah Kate about GLAAD’s agenda for the next year and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Ellis-Henderson stated:
You know we’re fighters; that has always been our lexi as a community and we’re going to get louder, more vocal, more visible as this administration continues to try and erase us. The other thing that is especially inspiring in these harder times is how the various communities and social movements are locking arms. I’m finding the power in working together. We actually launched a campaign right before the election which is called our “Together” campaign and the symbol is an ampersand because we know that no one is one identity and we will not get through this without helping each other and supporting each other and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson was named President and CEO of GLAAD in early 2014 after a successful career as a media executive. Since then she has commissioned GLAAD’s annual Accelerating Acceptance report providing a window into national sentiment towards the LGBTQ community. She also ensured that national and local media would be held accountable when reporting on Caitlyn Jenner, while GLAAD also provided resources to journalists and media organizations following Jenner’s prominent Diane Sawyer interview. Ellis-Henderson was included on Variety’s 2016 New Power of New York List, a collection of 50 movers and shakers who are upending the entertainment business in Manhattan and beyond. She was named one of OUT Magazine’s OUT100 and was also one of Family Circles’ 20 most influential moms, ranked 20th on the Guardian’s World Power Pride list and was named an Agent of Change by Washington D.C.’s largest LGBT publication, Metro Weekly. Sarah and her wife Kristen are also the proud mothers of two adorable children.