Actress Lena Waithe (best known for her role on Netflix’s Master of None) won a GLAAD Media Award on 12 April.
The 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards featured a kiss that social media went crazy for. But also, Waithe gave an empowering speech about the need for LGBTI unity during these trying times.
Waithe was honored with the award for Outstanding Individual Episode, in reference to the Master of None episode ‘Thanksgiving,’ which she wrote. In this episode, her character, Denise, comes out as gay to her family. This plot line was inspired by Waithe’s real life experience.
Upon accepting her award, which was presented by Halle Berry, Waithe urged the LGBTI community to be united during a time where LGBTI rights are under attack.
‘A lot of people ask me why I say I’m queer—I say that because I think it’s a big umbrella. I don’t want to separate myself from my trans family, my non-binary, bisexual [family],’ Waithe said.
‘I feel like sometimes we can be a little segregated, you know what I mean? You have the wealthy gays over here, the gays on a budget over there. You know, you got the asexual people and their group and that crew. We need to be united. Because Laverne Cox’s struggle may look different than mine, but the pain we feel is the same.’
‘Someone who may be asexual may have a different journey than mine, but we have a similar life. There’s things we have in common. And at the end of the day, we’re already othered. So why should we other ourselves more than we already are?’
‘We have to support each other, we have to talk to each other, we have to educate each other about our own individual journeys. Because at the end of the day, we’re all we got. So let’s hold onto that and let’s hold onto each other. We gotta be one big family.’
‘At the end of the day, we all got people trying to come against us. So when we stand together, there’s no weapon they can form that can harm us.’
Watch Waithe’s full speech below: