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GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, announced Wednesday that it will honor drop-dead gorgeous Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The Awards will be held in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on March 21, 2015.

Washington will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone have all receiving this prestigious award in the past. .

Washington has graced film, television, and the stage and became the first African American woman to a headline a network TV drama since 1974 when she took on the role of Olivia Pope Scandal. The show, executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, has always been inclusive of the LGBT lifestyle, most notably with the White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene being an openly gay male, played by the excellent Jeff Perry.  Cyrus was even part of a married couple with an adopted baby until his husband was murdered (Yay Scandal for being pro-gay marriage!).

JEFF PERRY, DAN BUCATINSKY

Washington’s performance as Olivia on the hit ABC show has earned her numerous honors, including Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Best Actress nominations, as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

In addition to appearing in LGBT-inclusive projects like ScandalPeeplesShe Hate MeThe Dead Girl, and Life is Hot in Cracktown, Washington has tirelessly spoken out in support of full equality for LGBT people. She has participated in GLAAD’s annual anti-bullying campaign, Spirit Day, by wearing purple to show her support for LGBT youth and talked about the importance of stopping bullying on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Additionally, Kerry has spoken out against the repression of LGBT people in Russia and Africa, and advocated for marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The list of Washington’s accolades continues. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and in 2014 Washington was named to Time‘s 100 Most Influential list.

“Throughout her illustrious career, Kerry Washington has consistently brought life to characters that encourage acceptance of LGBT people,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Her outspoken support for equality, both here at home and abroad, has sent messages of hope and empowerment to fans all over the world, fostering dialogue that builds understanding and helps move hearts and minds.”

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.

GLAAD has also announced that Channing Tatum will present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to out director Roland Emmerich at the Los Angeles event. Emmerich has directed and produced dozens of films including Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, The Patriot, and White House Down, starring Tatum.

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In January, GLAAD announced 104 nominees in 21 English-language categories, and 40 Spanish-language nominees in 10 categories for this year’s awards. Nominees for the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards can be found here: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees.

Thank you Ms. Washington, not only for giving us a super kick-ass show to watch, but for all the good you do to promote equality for people of all orientations!

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