While accepting an award honoring her
LGBT activism, actress Alyssa Milano took a swipe at President Donald
GLAAD on Saturday honored Milano with
its inaugural Ariadne Getty Ally Award at the group's 2018 GLAAD Gala
Milano's LGBT activism includes a late
80s appearance on The Phil Donahue Show with Ryan White, a
student ostracized by his classmates for having AIDS. During the
show, Milano kissed White to show that the disease could not be
contracted through casual contact.
In accepting her award, Milano recalled
her appearance with White.
“My parents instilled in me the
belief that it didn’t matter what someone else looked like, or whom
they loved; we are all the same on the inside and we all deserve
respect," said Milano. "I really became an activist in the
80s during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. When I joined my young
friend Ryan White, who was HIV positive, on The Phil Donahue show, I
kissed Ryan on the cheek. I wanted to show everyone that HIV could
not be transmitted through casual contact, and shift the narrative
away from the stigma that patients like Ryan and LGBTQ people across
the country were feeling during that time. I wanted to change the
story from fear to acceptance, just like GLAAD does on every media
Milano called on the crowd to join her
in “fighting the Trump administration … about pretty much
everything” and vote in the midterms.
"I want to remind you that voting
is not just about politics. Voting is how we protect each other: our
neighbors, our family members, our community members, our friends.
It’s how we protect people who don’t realize just how badly they
need protection. I won’t name names, but some of them wear red
MAGA hats. We are here for them, too. To me, that’s what being an
ally is all about: seeing people as individuals, and supporting their
experiences. Listening with an open heart as they share their
stories. That’s what leads to equality. That’s what creates
empathy and compassion. And that is what will lead America to
acceptance for all,” Milano said.
Saturday's event was hosted by Leslie
Jordan, who is best known for his appearances on Will & Grace
and Sordid Lives. GLAAD also honored RuPaul's Drag Race
judge Ross Mathews with its Davidson/Valenti Award and journalist
Emil Wilbekin with its Ric Weiland Award.