With Pride Week in full swing, Logo TV will honor several key people who have broken new ground for LGBTQ civil rights with their one-hour "Trailblazers Awards" special, airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET. The event was taped earlier this week at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and celebrities including "Orange Is The New Black" stars Laverne Cox, Taryn Manning, Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, Lea DeLaria and Matt McGorry, as well as Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Levine, Demi Lovato, Lance Bass, Pete Wentz, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stripe, Brooklyn Net's center Jason Collins and more were in attendance.
We talked to Laverne Cox before the show to congratulate her on the show winning an award and she spoke excitedly about how much "Orange Is The New Black" has meant to the LGBTQ community. "Sophia gives transpeople an affirming pop-cultural reference for their identities and has been so empowering for them," she tells us. "On the show, we are dealing with LGBTQ identities and stories in a really complicated way, and womanhood in a really complicated way. Queer people feel like it's their show. It's a 'finally' kind of moment."
Matt McGorry, who plays John Bennett on the show, feels similarly. "It's been above and beyond anything I really could have imagined," he says. "To be a part of something that is inspiring change has just been absolutely wonderful. Laverne being on the cover of Time magazine is an enormous step in the right direction."
Two other big award recipients will be activist Edie Windsor and her attorney Roberta Kaplan. Together, they helped win the Defense of Marriage Act case in 2013 exactly one year ago this week. "I don't think any of us could have imagined this in our lifetimes," Kaplan tells us. "When we started the case, five states allowed gay couples to marry. Today 19 states do. Change is happening very rapidly. No group in American history has achieved that kind of progress toward equality that fast." Windsor too says there is much to toast to. "It's a lot of fun to all be together and celebrate. It's a wonderful party."
Daniel Radcliffe, who has been involved with The Trevor Project since 2009, will honor three young trailblazers, young adults who are working to further LGBTQ civil rights in their communities and online. Between commercial breaks, Radcliffe went over to their table and talked to them for as long as he could. Laverne Cox also couldn't resist running - in heels - over to the table to hug and congratulate them.
Performers include A Great Big World and Sia, who will perform with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. Held in the same church that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at preaching about racial equality, the "Trailblazers" event is another step toward equality for all.
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