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Jamie Lee Curtis Accepts Advocate of the Year Honor and Addresses Recent Controversy

Jamie Lee Curtis Advocate of Year Out 100
Image: Roland Massow for equalpride

Film icon and Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis talked about her history of advocacy, love for her daughters and raising our voices to fight the cacophony of hate.

Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis accepted the Advocate Magazine’sAdvocate of the Year award at the annual Out100 gala on Thursday. Out Magazine is TheAdvocate’s sibling publication. Curtis has been an unwavering champion of LGBTQ+ rights throughout her career, and most recently, offering unbridled encouragement for her daughter Ruby, 26, who came out as trans in 2021.

During her acceptance speech, Curtis talked about following the example of her altruistic late mother, film star Janet Leigh, and how she understands that her visible profile and life can lead to media exposure and attention to marginalized communities.

“Especially for people who have felt hidden their entire lives, and who have had the remarkable courage to state their truths. Like my beautiful daughter, Ruby. I honor her courage here tonight,” Curtis said. “As a woman in recovery, I know only too well that the truth will set you free. Freedom is the goal for all LGBTQ+IA human beings.”

Addressing recent backlash about comments she made about the war in the Middle East, Curtis extended an apology. “I am also human and therefore flawed and contradictory, and I make mistakes, and I try to own them in this time of great conflict around the world, where we are all trying to find our individual center of care and compassion and outreach so we can use our voices amidst the cacophony of hate that is surrounding us.”

“My entire adult life has been focused on the care of critically ill and injured children wherever they are, whoever they are, whatever country they're from, whatever their circumstances and religious affiliations,” explained Curtis. “I will continue to do that amidst all of the anger and division and cleaving of our shared coexistence...Tonight, I hope you join me as I pray for the safe release of hostages all over the world, especially the children and I pray for the cessation of violence perpetrated against all people, all over the world, especially the children.”

Regarding her own children, Curtis talked about how her love for her two daughters is absolute and never wavers. “As their mother, it is my job to help and protect them, and I hope to teach them that this is what you do when you're a parent, that you suit up and you show up with your heart open, your arms outstretched and your aim, true.”

Finally, she had a direct message for the extreme religious right which has attacked the LGBTQ+ community more prevalently as of late because of the rise of new House Speaker Mike Johnson. “I pray that the homophobia and transphobia that is being championed in the name of religion by the right is exposed and silenced as wrong by the love of humanity that is the center of our gay and out trans community.”

Lastly, she acknowledged The Advocate for advocating on behalf of so many for over 50 years. “We need you. We thank you,” she concluded.

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