A few days ago, the annual GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Respect Awards were held in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Wilshire.
Among the winners was Trek’s own Zachary Quinto, who won the GLSEN Champion Award!
According to the website, the awards were introduced in 2004 and showcase the work of students, educators, individuals and corporations who serve as exemplary role models, and who have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people.
For those who didn’t know, Zach came out as gay in 2011, not long after the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer – a young bisexual man who took his life because of bullying.
Zach made this post on his website about the tragic incident and about why he came out:
“When I found out that Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself – I felt deeply troubled. But when I found out that Jamey Rodemeyer had made an It Gets Better video only months before taking his own life – I felt indescribable despair. I also made an It Gets Better video last year – in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. But in light of Jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”
If you’d like to read the rest of Zach’s post you can right here.
One of the things I love about Star Trek is it’s vision of an inclusive future where humanity has moved beyond things like racism, sexism, social class and, of course, homophobia.
It takes courage to come out, and it takes additional courage to then be an advocate for others, and Zachary has shown that time and time again since letting his homosexuality ‘leak’ in an interview he did a few years ago.
The universe of Star Trek is lucky to have such amazing role models in it, people who have stood up against racism and homophobia – Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Zachary Quinto and no doubt many others.
Here’s to a future, hopefully not too far away, where we all accept, love and honour each other because of our differences, not in spite of them.