In a statement released today (January 7), Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO and President of GLAAD, announced that Swift will be this year's honoree. "From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance," Ellis said.
Swift's single "You Need to Calm Down" is just one example of how she's advocated for LGBTQ+ rights. In it, she calls for fans to sign her petition for Senate support of the Equality Act while calling out homophobes and shouting out GLAAD, specifically. "Why are you mad? / When you could be GLAAD?" she sings. Her support of the organization and the LGBTQ+ community certainly hasn't gone unnoticed.
"In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change," Ellis added. And since the Vanguard Award is given to "allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people," Swift is certainly deserving of this year's honor.
The "Lover" singer isn't the only one who will be receiving a special honor at the Awards ceremony this year. Janet Mock — a writer, director, and activist who became the first trans woman of color to write and direct a TV episode on Pose — will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak award, which is given out every year to an LGBTQ member of the media who has worked tirelessly to eliminate homophobia and promote acceptance.
"Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood," Ellis said. "She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich."
The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held in Los Angeles on April 16. The full list of nominees will be announced on Wednesday, January 8.