Thanks to Oprah Winfrey, HIV and AIDS took center stage March 14 at the 35th annual GLAAD Media Awards honoring LGBTQ representation in the media. A longtime queer ally, Winfrey received the Vanguard Award. During her acceptance speech, she became emotional while talking about her older brother, who was gay and died 35 years ago of an AIDS-related illness.

Winfrey also shared how she used The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired from 1986 to 2011, to teach audiences the medical facts about HIV and to highlight stories of folks living with the virus, including advocate Hydeia Broadbent, who first appeared on Winfrey’s talk show show in 1996 at age 11 (and on the cover of POZ in 1997 and 2017) and who died last month (read Broadbent’s POZ memorial here).

GLAAD Stephen F. Kolzack award honoree Niecy Nash Betts! The Stephen F. Kolzack Award is given to a LGBTQ media...

Posted by GLAAD on Thursday, March 14, 2024

You can watch Winfrey’s GLAAD speech at the top of this article and on YouTube; an excerpt is included below the list of the other GLAAD Award recipients. You can stream the Los Angeles GLAAD Awards ceremony on Hulu beginning Friday, March 29. Last week’s awards presentation honored 16 of this year’s 33 categories; GLAAD will hold a second presentation on May 11 in New York City.

“GLAAD is on the ground fighting back in Oklahoma, Florida, Texas…for LGBTQ youth and allies across the country who are facing book bans, Don’t Say Gay bills, drag bans.”

Posted by GLAAD on Friday, March 15, 2024

GLAAD lists its top moments from the ceremony here, and in a GLAAD press release, the organization lists the following awards from six categories presented onstage:

  • Michaela Jaé presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series to Fellow Travelers.

  • Alexandra Shipp and Sydney Sweeney presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy to Ted Lasso.

  • Scott Evans presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film—Limited Theatrical Release to Monica.

  • Meredith Marks and Heather Dubrow presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program to RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  • Chrishell Stause and G Flip presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series to Yellowjackets.

  • Billie Joe Armstrong presented the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist to Reneé Rapp.

GLAAD also announced the following winners in an offstage video reel:

  • Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist: David Archuleta (Archie Music)

  • Outstanding Film—Wide Theatrical Release: Bottoms (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

  • Outstanding Children’s Programming: Ada Twist: Scientist (Netflix)

  • Outstanding Kids & Family Programming or Film—Animated: Hailey’s On It! (Disney Channel)

  • Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage: Out

  • Outstanding Video Game: Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

  • Outstanding Comic Book: Stars Wars: Doctor Aphra (Marvel Comics)

  • Outstanding Original Graphic Novel/Anthology: Four Color Heroes (Fanbase Press)

  • Spanish Language—Outstanding Scripted Television Series: Las noches de Tefía (Atresplayer)

  • Spanish Language—Outstanding TV Journalism: “Adolescentes trans relatan su experiencia” Noticiero Telemundo (Telemundo)

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GLAAD previously announced Special Recognition awards for The Dads (Netflix), Love in Gravity (A ViiV Healthcare podcast), Relighting Candles (Hulu), Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé (AMC Theatres), The Tennessee Holler (a news site), Yes I Am: The Ric Weiland Story (Virgil Films), Drag Latina (Revry /LATV), Enamorándonos (UniMás), El sabor de la navidad (ViX) and Wendy, perdida pero famosa (ViX).

GLAAD also previously announced that +Life Media received the Barbara Gittings Award for Excellence in LGBTQ Media.

In receiving the Vanguard Award, Winfrey said:

“Many people don’t know this, but 35 years ago, my brother, Jeffrey Lee, passed away when he was just 29 years old from AIDS. Growing up at the time we did, in the community we did, we didn’t have the language to understand or speak about sexuality and gender in the way we do now. And at the time, I didn’t know how deeply my brother internalized the shame that he felt about being gay. I wish he could have lived to witness these liberated times and to be here with me tonight.…


“All the years of the Oprah show were, for me, about sharing stories that actually helped people be more of their authentic selves. And I know that is the truest form of what it means to be free.…


“What I’ve learned over the years of interviewing over 35,000 people one-on-one is that every single person wants the same thing, and that is the desire to feel seen and to know that what we say matters and to know that we matter….


“I wanted to create a safe space to bring the lives and the profound stories of the LGBTQ community front and center to our audience. Those like the incredible Miss Chilli Pepper, that most folks around the county would otherwise never have had the opportunity to meet. My intention at the time was to make it clear that every single person who comes to this planet deserves the right to love the person they want to love and be the person they most fully want to be.


“In 1996, we met and shared the story of the beautiful young AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent. When she was just 11 years old, she was on the show, and she recently passed away, having used her life empowering others, and she showed us that people living with HIV today when on effective treatment can lead healthy lives and do not transmit HIV.


“What I know for sure is that when we can see one another, when we are open to supporting the truth of a fellow human, it makes for a full, rich, vibrant life for us all. And that’s what I wish my brother Jeffrey could have experienced: a world that could see him for who he was and appreciate him for what he brought to this world. I am proud to receive this honor. Thank you, GLAAD.”