Quotes from the winners of Wednesday night’s Rainbow Key Awards in West Hollywood.
“When we started this company, we really saw to create a space where queer experiences were not simply relegated to stereotypical side characters, but where the full community — and I mean the full community — had an actual space where representation could be full and authentic and unapologetic, and a place where the full breadth of the humanity of the community could be seen and shown and embraced. And I’m so proud of the work that we’ve been able to do.”
— ALIA DAVIS, who co-founded RevryTV, a global streaming network launched in 2016 that focuses on queer content and creators, with Damian Pelliccione, LaShawn McGhee and Chris Rodriguez
“When I think of the little girl who went to the movies in the 80s and saw a couple who maybe were in love because they were looking at each other, the certain way they almost kissed and I thought, maybe it was also subtle and between the lines and you had to still hide so much. That was ’80-something. I still took another 10 years I think to come out. Then I came to West Hollywood and could work in the movement and try to make things better and work at GLAAD and work in Spanish language media — that would not have been possible without the work that you’ve all done to make who we are not only OK, but fantastic. I mean, I look at the building where we are, in the city, the gay Camelot, right? That’s what they used to call it. It’s a dream but it takes continuing.
— MONICA TRANSANDES, Director of Spanish Language and Latinx Media & Representation at GLAAD
“Living in the intersections of black, queer and trans — it’s fierce, right? But it comes sometime with this challenges and I get to see little miracles every single day of my life in the work that I get to do with the agency. I’m so grateful for everything I’ve ever done — every TV show, every direct to produce or whatever book me because everything I’ve done in my life has let me to this moment and this moment right now is truly sweet, it’s truly remarkable.”
— JAZZMUN CRAYTON, Artist, Activist, Associate Director at APAIT
“I remember when I was at the LA Times as a young reporter and got assigned to cover Pride, the parade, and I was in the closet. I don’t know who I was fooling, but I was terrified to do that assignment. And what I had my next job, I remember I had already had some therapy and went into that job determined to be an out gay man and to also become an activist— to ask about coverage and to tell the editor of the paper, I don’t see myself or any and my people in this paper. And to their credit, they were mortified and gave me a carte blanche to bring the community in. So that’s how Out in Hollywood started 16 years ago this month. Three years later, Greg In Hollywood started. So really 16 years of my life have been dedicated to mostly writing about the LGBT community, our accomplishments, telling our stories. There’s no better way to be able to spend your life, to be able to be your authentic self in your work, to make a living that way and to get awards like this.”
— GREG HERNANDEZ , founder of “Greg in Hollywood” a blog covering LGBT Hollywood stories.
“I think that we’re hearing about so many losses that are in the world and especially in our country right now, but I want to re-anchor us in the winds. I want to re-anchor us in the commitments that California, and especially West Hollywood, has made to be a sanctuary. It is inevitable that particularly I think about young people, I think about young trans people. I think about the ways that other states are passing bills saying if trans children get gender-affirming care, then the adults who help them are engaging in child abuse, which is just a gross inversion of reality, right? We need to make the hands of trans youth of color in L.A. County and especially West Hollywood even better than it is now because they’re gonna come here. This is a sanctuary, right? So let’s really make it a sanctuary.”
— AMITA SWADHIN, Founding Co-Director of Mirror Memoirs, a national storytelling and organizing project uplifting the narratives, healing and leadership of LGBTQI+ Black, Indigenous and of color child sexual abuse survivors in the movement to end rape culture.