At the New York edition of the 35th GLAAD Media Awards hosted by Ross Mathews, our favorite masked country superstar Orville Peck will be honored with GLAAD’s Vito Russo Award elevating LGBTQ visibility in country music, which has seen a renaissance since the genre has introduced numerous queer people and many people of color (thanks Beyoncé!).

After Oscar-winning actress and friend Jennifer Lawrence presented him with the award, Peck took the stage to accept the award with gratitude, sharing his obstacles and struggles. He also talked about maintaining hope and having a sense of belonging. “We as a community have always had the incredible power to take our hurt and our tragedies and turn them around into art, humor, and culture.”

He continued to spotlight the change in country music and championing artists and allies that helped and inspired him along the way including Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, TJ Osborne, Mickey Guyton, Tanya Tucker, Maren Morris, among others.

“I am so proud to work with GLAAD in making country music more diverse, and the world at large, more diverse and more of an understanding and loving place,” he said. “I would also like to thank my beautiful encouraging family friends and my incredible partner, Billy, thank you for encouraging me to be myself and which is a skill that I hope I can pass on to others.”

“Orville Peck has paved a new frontier for artists in a genre historically exclusionary of queer voices,” said Ellis.” “By boldly navigating country music as an out gay man and collaborating with legends like Willie Nelson and Lady Gaga, Peck has cemented himself in the industry and showed our community that they belong in all spaces.”

The Vito Russo Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance. The Award is named after Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated ACT UP activist, who pushed open the door for news and entertainment industries to include LGBTQ performers and stories. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Wilson Cruz, Billy Porter, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Andy Cohen, RuPaul, Cynthia Nixon, Samira Wiley, and George Takei, among others.



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