This time though it was a safe space and she made it out unscathed (iykyk).
Coolidge made a surprise appearance Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and was received with cheers and a standing ovation. Then she was surprised when Jane Lynch, her “Best in Show” co-star, presented Coolidge with a Special Recognition Award.
“This wonderful woman here was pro-gay before it was cool to be pro-gay,” Lynch said of Coolidge. “She one of us, ladies and gentlemen. I have always said that the world has to catch up to Jennifer Coolidge and the world has caught up with Jennifer Coolidge.”
“What a … night, we’ve already had Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Lynch,” host and “Fire Island” star Margaret Cho said during her opening NSFW monologue. “And Trump was … indicted!”
GLAAD attendees and honorees basked in laughter and joy during a time when the LGBTQ community continues to be attacked with controversial laws including Tennessee’s new laws banning gender-affirming health care and drag shows in public.
Honorees of the night included Christina Aguilera (Advocate for Change Award), presented by Michael Anderson, a survivor of November’s Club Q shooting in Colorado; Bad Bunny (Vanguard Award), presented by Ricky Martin; and Jeremy Pope received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented by Gabrielle Union.
Here are more highlights from the GLAAD Media Awards:
Ricky Martin presents Bad Bunny with Vanguard Award
Martin praised “the most streamed artist in history” for “loudly standing with trans women and the entire community and telling every fan to let the LGBTQ people dance, sing, love and live lives authentically.”
He then introduced fellow puertorriqueño Bad Bunny to the stage to accept the Vanguard Award. After sheepishly asking the audience if he could give his speech in Spanish, Bad Bunny thanked the “whole LGBTQ community for embracing me, for loving me the way they do and for inspiring me too.”
“I don’t do anything expecting an award … I do everything because of how I feel and that’s all I have done,” he said. “I believe that when you have a good heart and you give love, that’s what you get back. That’s the only thing I’ve wanted to do this whole time with my music, with what I represent, with my shows, and with everything I do. That’s all I want, to give and receive love. That’s fundamental.”
His impact beyond the charts:How Bad Bunny’s gender fluidity is shaking up a genre, empowering the Latino LGBTQ community
Gabrielle Union, Jeremy Pope ‘Cuff It’ onstage
Before he could accept the Stephen F. Kolzak Award from his “The Inspection” co-star, Pope danced it out with Union onstage to Beyoncé’s “Cuff It.”
Pope thanked those in the industry that helped open doors for him and also “all of the Black men who have been influential in my life, who didn’t allow hypermasculinity … (to get) in the way of loving and supporting me.”
Of attacks on the LGBTQ community, Pope said to his “trans brothers and sisters”: “We know that we are targeted. … Our rights seem to be at stake and at times I find my heart wrestling with this idea of ‘How do I know that it’s going to be OK?’ But it’s rooms like this that remind me of the power of this community, the power of love, how we will rise time and time again for each other.”
Christina Aguilera receives Advocate for Change Award
Aguilera has been surrounded by the love and support of the LGBTQ community growing up.
“We’ve learned and taught each other everything about life, from business to relationships to music, family, partying – I don’t know (anyone) who does it better,” Aguilera said.
Aguilera also urged the audience to “raise our voices if we want to live in a world that’s free of discrimination, hate and violence.”
Stars condemn attacks on LGBTQ community
Singer-songwriter Fletcher had a message for all the “queer youth of this world and this country.”
“You belong in this world, you belong on these stages and you can win awards by simply just being yourself,” she said during her speech for the outstanding music artist award. “We live in a world right now that’s doing everything in its power to place rules, regulations and bans on our expression.”
‘Unfounded and pathetic’:Madonna slams Tennessee laws on drag shows, gender-affirming care
Actor Brian Michael Smith, who gave a speech on behalf of his “9-1-1 Lone Star” cast for winning outstanding drama series, reflected on the significance of the honor.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be here, for all odds stacked against me as a Black trans man,” he said. “So while I stand here, I want to stand in the gap for all the people who didn’t make it here. We have lost so many of my trans and nonbinary siblings to violence, to hate, to misinformation and the attacks seem to keep on happening at an accelerating rate. They’re coming for us in the schools, they’re coming for us in places of worship, they’re coming for us in the courthouses, they’re coming for us. But we are here. We are here.”
What you won’t see on TV
Before the live-taped award show kicked off, celebrities mingled with one another as they found their seats to the tune of Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola.”
Gabrielle Union made her way to her table, seated next to GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, and stepdaughter Zaya Wade – but not before stopping by to give Jeremy Pope a big warm hug. At another table; Lance Bass spotted Union and tried making his way over to say hi to her.
Diplo, seated next to musician Orville Peck, poured himself a glass of wine before former Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott stopped by to greet him.
Seemingly nervous ahead of his big honor, Bad Bunny sat at a table off to the side with his publicist. After giving his speech, he never returned to his seat and the rest of his team made their way out before the night was over.
The GLAAD Media Awards will stream April 12 on Hulu.