Los Angeles, CA, March 23, 2011 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, joins the LGBT community and its allies in mourning the loss of actress and advocate Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
“Today, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community lost an extraordinary ally in the movement for full equality,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “At a time when so many living with HIV/AIDS were invisible, Dame Taylor fearlessly raised her voice to speak out against injustice. 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.”
GLAAD honored Dame Taylor with the Vanguard Award at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2000 for her work to increase the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. For the past several years, she has also served as an underwriter for the GLAAD Media Awards Young Adult Program, where hundreds of young LGBT adults and allies attend the event.
“Why shouldn’t gay people be able to live as open and freely as everybody else?” Dame Taylor said in her acceptance speech at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. “What it comes down to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, issued the following statement on the news of the death of actress Elizabeth Taylor:
“We are deeply saddened by the death Elizabeth Taylor. Ms. Taylor was a true ally to the LGBT community. She was one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis while many others stayed silent in the 1980s and she helped raise millions of dollars to fight the disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and to all those whose lives have been positively impacted by the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor.”