Many brave LGBTQ students took the stage at the GLSEN Respect Awards. Even some pretty major Hollywood celebrities were in attendance. In fact, Julia Roberts was there supporting an LGBTQ student’s rights, and for very good reasons.
16-year-old Miguel Johnson, a GLSEN student ambassador, spoke on stage about his experience in a world where Donald Trump is the president. In addition to explaining the importance of living your authentic self, Miguel also dove into the statistics behind increased hostility towards LBGTQ members. Hate crimes all over the metropolitan areas in the US have risen by 20 percent since the election. That is why Julia Roberts joined him on stage and spoke at the event.
The national atmosphere has shifted.
According to Miguel, things have gotten pretty bad at his local high school
Miguel Johnson also brings up the fact that hateful language is more openly used in everyday conversation to disparage LGBTQ student’s rights. People no longer fear the consequences of their actions. And that’s scary.
As an honorary co-chair of the event, Julia spoke about her experience with Miguel and what she hopes the organization accomplishes.
Together, Julia and Miguel hope that the students who now fear coming out, face that fear head on. While it is certainly harder, they should try to live their most authentic self. And Miguel represents a perfect example of this. Together Julia and Miguel make a great team that shines a light on an important cause.