Samira Wiley, who recently chatted with UPROXX about Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, gave a soaring speech at the GLAAD Media Awards this weekend. She took the stage upon receiving the Vito Russo Award, so named for the founding GLAAD member who committed himself to promoting quality for the LGBTQ community.
In doing so, Wiley acknowledged that May 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of her coming out, and she told the story of how she broke the news to her parents, who had traveled to see her perform in a Julliard play. Wiley recalled hearing herself say, “I like girls,” to which her father simply responded, “Cool.” He then “hugged me with all of the love and the safety that he had always given me,” and Wiley soon performed in her play, after which life continued without a moment of disruption, which she realizes is not always the case. Wiley then told struggling youth that even if they don’t have the benefit of supportive parents, they’re surrounded by a community’s embrace:
“Let me say it plainly right now: you are loved. You have a community that is here for you, that is dedicated to protecting you and accepts you for exactly who you are right [at] this moment.”
Wiley then stressed the importance of visibility in the LGBTQ community to show young people what the future can hold. As the camera flashed to Wiley’s wife, Lauren Morelli (an Orange Is The New Black writer), in the audience, the actress admitted that her own visibility is “a great privilege.” She hopes that, one day, that won’t necessarily be the case — if society will provide the same loving support that she received from her family.