National education organization GLSEN will honor non-binary Broadway performer Justin David Sullivan (& Juliet) with its Trailblazer Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards. The May 15 ceremony in New York City will also honor drag queen D.J. "Shangela" Pierce (We're Here, RuPaul's Drag Race) with the Changemaker Award and rising Stanford University freshman and activist Daniel Hadi with the Student Advocate of the Year Award.
Focused on creating safe and inclusive kindergarten through 12th grade schools for LGBTQ+ youth, GLSEN has created programs like Rise Up, Day of Silence, Solidarity Week, and Changing the Game. Along with its dedication to research, program development, educator training, student organizing, and legislative advocacy, the organization presents the GLSEN Respect Awards to recognize the people making change happen.
“As LGBTQ+ youth continue to face attacks from extremist legislators, GLSEN is excited to honor activists and leaders, including students and educators, who help make a difference in their communities every single day. We’re grateful to work alongside so many incredible leaders who rise up for LGBTQ+ youth, and together, we’re going to continue to fight back against hateful rhetoric and attempts to dismantle our rights,” said GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers in a statement.
Sullivan currently stars as May in the Broadway musical & Juliet, a role they originated for the current run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre for their Broadway debut.
Chasten Buttigieg, Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter, and Lena Waithe serve as honorary co-chairs, with Buttigieg, Jackson, and Waithe presenting at the annual awards ceremony. T-Mobile will sponsor the event, which will be produced by JJLA.