Scandal star Kerry Washington received the Vanguard Award for her support as a powerful LGBT ally at last night's GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles and brought the audience to its feet with a rousing speech.
"There are people in this world who have the full rights of citizenship in our communities our countries and around the world, and then there are those of us, who to varying degrees, do not. We don't have equal access to education, to health care, and some other basic liberties - like marriage, a fair voting process, fair hiring practices. Now you would think that those of us who are kept from our full rights of citizenship would ban together and fight the good fight. But history tells us that, no, often we don't," she began. "Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people , we have been pitted against each other and made to feel that there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of other,"
She went on to call out the hypocrisy of marginalized communities turning on one another throughout her speech and encouraged those groups to support one another rather than rejecting "the other, other."
"So when black people today tell me that they don't believe in gay marriage... the first thing that I say is please don't let anybody try to get you to vote against your own best interests by feeding you messages of hate. And then I say, you know people used to say stuff like that about you and your love. And if we let the government start to legislate love in our lifetime, who do you think is next?" she said as the audience leapt to their feet with thunderous applause. "We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each others existence and the truth of each other's hearts. We must be allies. And we must be allies in this business because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone, anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable."
Watch the full fiery speech below.