When Elizabeth Taylor passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, March 23, Hollywood isn't the only one left saddened by the news. The LGBT community also shares mutual feeling toward the lost of their loyal supporter considering that the actress who has been considered as gay icon wasn't afraid of being vocal about equal rights for all.
Back in 2000, the 79-year-old actress was honored with the Vanguard Award at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. During her acceptance speech, she openly addressed the issue of gay rights. In newly released video, she declares, "All of us should be treated the same, and GLAAD knows that. Why shouldn't gay people be allowed to marry?"
"Why shouldn't gay people be able to live as open and freely as everybody else? What it comes down to, ultimately, is love," she stresses further. "How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance. Thank God GLAAD works to fight this." In the end, Liz reminds others, "During my life I've seen many things, good and bad, but the bad things never came out of loving acts, loving gestures or loving relationships. That's why I'm here tonight - to celebrate you and your families. And to tell you to hang in there and to say, once and for all of us, long live love."
In the wake of the screen legend's passing, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios released a statement expressing sadness over losing the social activist. In the statement, he said, "Today, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community lost an extraordinary ally in the movement for full equality."
"At a time when so many living with HIV/AIDS were invisible, Dame Taylor fearlessly raised her voice to speak out against injustice," Jarrett added. "Dame Taylor was an icon not only in Hollywood, but in the LGBT community where she worked to ensure that everyone was treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve."
The Vanguard Award itself is presented annually by the gay rights organization to media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. This year's honor will be presented to Broadway-turned-TV star Kristin Chenoweth in a ceremony held in Los Angeles on April 10.