In accepting an award on Monday, Lena
Waithe offered a powerful message to LGBT youth.
The 34-year-old screenwriter, producer
and actor was honored with the The Trevor Project's Hero Award. The
Trevor Project runs the nation's only 24-hour suicide hotline for
Dear White People creator Justin
Simien presented Waithe with her award.
“Too often gay stories are steeped in
told the crowd. “Too often queer stories are told by people
that aren't even in the queer community. Our trials and tribulations
are often exploited by Hollywood just to make a buck.”
“I believe we must handle these
images with care, not in a way that makes all queer people seem
perfect, but it's our job to make sure all queer people are portrayed
as human. Our youth deserve to know that they weren't born to be
perfect. They were born to be whole.”
Waithe won a GLAAD Media Award for
writing and starring in an episode of Netflix's Master of None.
In the episode, Waithe's character is seen growing into her
sexuality over the course of twenty Thanksgiving celebrations.