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George Takei honored at 2014 GLAAD Awards

George Takei honored at 2014 GLAAD Awards

Star Trek actor and social media personality George Takei has been honored at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards, taking home the Vito Russo Award given to an LGBT media professional for their contribution to promoting equality.

Vito Russo was an American LGBTI activist who is best remembered as the author of the book The Celluloid Closet, exploring sexuality in the American cinema, who died of AIDS in 1990 and the award is given each year in memorial to him.

Takei thanked GLAAD for its work in receiving the award, saying ‘I am so glad to be with all you GLAAD people to receive this important recognition.’

‘The Vito Russo Award is charged with meaning and potency. In the twenty-five years since its founding, GLAAD has dramatically changed American society for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. I know, because as a closeted kid growing up in Los Angeles … all I saw of gays and lesbians in movies and television or heard on radio were caricatures of people who were mocked and laughed at, or pitied, or hated.

‘The media stripped us of all humanity and made us into pathetic stereotypes. The media then was a soul-crushing monster. GLAAD took on this formidable beast with its media savvy, political acumen and the power of its advocacy and transformed the media into a powerful force for change. GLAAD inspired and galvanized others into action to join with in the great 21st century civil rights movement.

However Takei said the job of achieving full equality for LGBT people was far from over in America.

‘As long as LGBT people can be fired from their job for simply being who they are, our work isn’t done yet,’ Takei said.

‘As long as young people are kicked out of their families just for being who they are, our work is not done yet. As long as people are be bullied into feeling that their lives are so hopeless that they are driven to self-destructive acts, our work is not done. Working in concert with GLAAD, with its history of achievement and the legacy of Vito Russo, we will make this a better world, a more equal society of all people.

‘I accept the GLAAD Vito Russo Award with pride, and with humility and with resolve.’

Watch Takei’s acceptance speech below