A whole lot gathered in Hollywood for the ninth annual Fact Awards, a star-studded purple carpet affair honoring the contributions and achievements of Black queer artists and leaders, in addition to trusted allies to the Black LGBTQIA+ group. Higher Brothers Los Angeles, a nonprofit group, and The D.I.V.A. Basis partnered to create this one-of-a-kind occasion. “We named it the Fact Awards to acknowledge the significance of individuals dwelling genuine and significant lives, and to extend our visibility as proud Black queer people,” says co-founder Vincent Holmes.
The ceremony happens throughout awards season in Los Angeles annually. It’s timing is intentional. It addresses the underrepresentation and erasure of queer Black artists and leaders whom different award reveals routinely overlook. Fact Awards are all the time introduced to Black influencers throughout a spread of industries, genders, and generations. Listed here are this 12 months’s honorees:
- Actress, Singer, and Songwriter Raven-Symoné – Icon Award
- Decide Greg Mathis and Mathis Household Issues (an NBC tv present) – Household Award
- Social Media Persona and Vegan Meals Influencer Tabitha Brown – Ally Award
- Inside Medication Doctor and HIV Skilled Dr. David Malebranche – Bayard Rustin Advocacy Award
- Distinctive Lady’s Coalition, a Transgender Management Group – Bayard Rustin Advocacy Award
- Hampton College Soccer Participant Byron Perkins – Braveness Award
- UCLA Provost and Professor Darnell Hunt – Excellence in Training Award
- The Upshaws (a Netflix sequence) – Cultural Affirmation Award
- STARZ #TakeTheLead – Company Management and Range Award
Tribute movies, presenters’ remarks, and honorees’ acceptance speeches had been as lovely and galvanizing this 12 months as they all the time are. And the vibe at Taglyan Cultural Advanced, a surprising venue situated within the coronary heart of Hollywood, was as electrifying and affirming as it’s yearly. However one factor was totally different this time. “Tickets had been offered out earlier than any honorees had been introduced,” reviews co-founder Scott Hamilton. “Lastly, of us perceive the significance of the Fact Awards and the necessity to encourage, affirm, and ensure for future generations of Black LGBTQIA+ folks that they’ll dwell their genuine lives and be nice.”
The occasion can also be a fundraiser for faculty college students. Emmy Award winner Sheryl Lee Ralph raised greater than $50,000 from the awards stage in beneath 5 minutes. Ralph, who’s founding director of The D.I.V.A. Basis and a 2019 Fact Awards honoree, then introduced that she’d be matching each greenback raised at this 12 months’s occasion.
Subsequent, the Abbott Elementary star stunned scholarship recipients with a video look from one other Black movie star. Actress and comic Tiffany Haddish doubled the quantity of every scholarship. This introduced Christopher Welch, a junior attending California Institute of the Arts, to tears. “Haddish’s surplus means a surplus of lessons, books, objectives, and desires completed,” he says. Like Welch, Holmes additionally says it was his spotlight of the night time. “It illustrates what occurs after we make ourselves seen: our allies present assist in ways in which advance the Higher Brothers Los Angeles mission of elevating the visibility of Black LGBTQIA+ folks,” Holmes notes.
Nissan, Gilead, Northrop Grumman, Walmart, Sony Photos, LeadersUp, and Netflix had been among the many occasion’s many sponsors. The present’s co-hosts had been tv and radio character Claudia Jordan, Emmy Award winner and information anchor Marcus Washington, and actor Jerrie Johnson who performs the lesbian character Tye on the Amazon Prime present Harlem. Entertainers from P-Valley, All American: Homecoming, Divorce Court docket and Justice with Decide Mablean, Hollywood Unlocked, and dozens of different reveals and flicks had been presenters.
In a 2021 YouTube Q&A session with followers, Coko, lead singer of the legendary R&B group SWV, talked about her youngest son Jaylon, who’s homosexual. “It was not exhausting to simply accept my son’s sexuality in any respect,” she asserted. “I’m his mom so I imply, I already knew what it was and I used to be simply ready for him to determine what it was… why on the planet would I not be okay along with his sexuality?” Coko and Jaylon carried out a duet at this 12 months’s Fact Awards. She isn’t the one Black movie star who’s confirmed up at this occasion alongside a queer youngster. Actress Gabrielle Union and her husband three-time NBA Champion Dwayne Wade had been Fact Award presenters in 2020. It was their 12-year-old transgender daughter Zaya’s first purple carpet occasion.
One week earlier than the 2023 Fact Awards, the NAACP introduced the President’s Award to Union and Wade at its 54th annual Picture Awards present in Los Angeles. The facility couple used their platform on the Fact Awards three years in the past to affirm the lives of trans and gender nonbinary youth, together with, however not restricted to Zaya. Union bolstered this message in her brave, inspiring remarks at this 12 months’s Picture Awards. She particularly known as consideration to the horrifyingly excessive charges of murder and violence in opposition to Black trans folks. “Will we struggle for some or will we struggle for all of our folks,” Union requested. She successfully challenged the just about solely Black NAACP viewers to be as outraged about deadly assaults on Black trans folks as they’re about different terroristic assaults on Black Individuals.
Union’s NAACP acceptance speech was actually essential, which is why it earned such super media consideration. The Fact Awards yearly creates a platform to amplify this similar pressing name to motion. The ‘In Memorium’ video tribute all the time contains dozens of Black trans and genderqueer folks, a lot of whom had been murdered due to their gender identities. It’s certainly one of many parts that makes the Fact Awards actually distinctive.