Olivia Wilde’s coming of age comedy Booksmart about two high school girls setting out to party on their last day of classes, won the Outstanding film award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Awards. The film beat out other Hollywood blockbusters including Bombshell, Downton Abbey, Judy and Rocketman for the top honours.

The global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in GLAAD hosting a virtual award ceremony that was streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

American rapper Lil Nas X was recognised as Outstanding Musical Artist. The other winners included Pose for Outstanding Drama Series, Schitt’s Creek for Outstanding Comedy Series, and the Netflix Series Special (Special Recognition). The Kenyan lesbian romance Rafiki, that was banned in its home country was awarded Outstanding Film (Limited Release).

The Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQI character) went to the Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings episode, Two Doors Down. The music legend accepted the award.

Comedians Fortune Feimster and Gina Yashere hosted the virtual award ceremony that featured performances from Chloe x Halle, Shea Diamond and Ben Platt.

 The cast of Pose acknowledged the award for the show that places Trans, Black and Latinx lives at its core. Pose stars Angelica Ross and Ryan Jamaal Swain said that the message was more important now “during the current climate where Black and Latinx communities continue to be disproportionately affected by a global pandemic and unjustly targeted and harmed by law enforcement.

American former professional basketball player Dwayne Wade and wife, actress Gabrielle Union, presented the awards for the drama series category and said they were appearing as allies to stand with the LGBTQI community as proud parents of their transgender child Zaya.

“We stand as allies with the LGBTQI community as proud parents of a transgender child. Our daughter Zaya is leading us in our journey, and we’re doing all we can to give every one of our kids the ability to live their truth. I didn’t always understand how to do that – but I thank Zaya for teaching me, and GLAAD for elevating the images and messages that accelerate acceptance in every family,” said Wade.

“That mission means even more to us now as we raise all of our black children. Black Lives Matter and black trans lives Matter. We are calling on all of our racial justice warriors out there to open your hearts and your minds to the LGBTQI community so that we can work together and empower each other and save lives,” added Union.

Earlier this year, GLAAD had released its annual Studio Responsibility Index and said that 2019 was one of the best years for queer representation in major Hollywood films. Of the 118 films that had a mainstream release, 22 (18.6%) had queer characters – up from 20 inclusive films out of 110 films in 2018. However,  there was a decrease in characters who were lesbian, bisexual or people of colour. And for the third year in a row there were no transgender or non-binary characters in mainstream releases.

For the complete list of GLAAD Awards 2020, visit the website.

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