When Handmaid’s Tale star Samira Wiley received the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City Sunday night, she delivered a message to queer youth. Wiley recounted the story of her own coming out 10 years ago, and spoke about how her parents support made it possible to achieve her dreams. “Visibility is essential,” she said. “My wife Lauren and I consider our own visibility to be a great privilege. We are honored to give young people a loving, beautiful example of what their future might look like.” Per Deadline, Wiley is the first queer woman of color to receive the award, named for GLAAD founding member, advocate, and film historian Vito Russo.
Wiley finished with a message for Pride month: “Let us overwhelm the world with LGBTQ images of love and pride … not only will we be here to see you, to love you, to validate you but I promise you that your pride will give someone else the courage to be themselves too. Together, let’s welcome some people to our community.”