“Glee”‘s Dianna Agron hosts the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco

 
 

With Rita Moreno, one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

AE: You’ve been a longtime LGBT activist. How do you think things have changed since when you entered the industry?
RM: Oh my God, the door is suddenly open. Not completely, we still have to push it. But what a difference. When I did my first AIDS concert, and I think it was one of the first even before Elizabeth Taylor, and the press showed up and said why are you doing this? And I said why wouldn’t I. It was just people really living in a time warp. It’s changed enormously. Obviously it’s not enough. I think perseverance is called for. And nobody perseveres like the gay and lesbian community.


Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

AE: Do you think there’s been more progression on screen or behind the scenes?
RM: From what I’ve seen television. They go in there and more than got their feet wet. They are the ones who really advanced the cause. And now I’m doing a show about a gay man divorced from his wife, who lives with her, called Happily Divorced with Fran Drescher.

The show itself featured Agron as host, and a slew of celebrity presenters, community supporters and every day heroes. Agron opened the show talking about her love for the San Francisco Bay Area and the impact of Glee.

 

She went on to say she didn’t know too many gay people, which was weird growing up near San Francisco. But thanks to being on Glee and the progress made politically and socially over the years, those numbers have swelled.

“I love LGBT people, I do! I would say about 75 percent of my dearest friends are gay. I think of them as my friends, not just my gay friends. But we get along so well because they are no different than anyone else I surround myself with. They are fun-loving, vibrant, strong people who wear their heart on their seams. And they are bursting, literally bursting at the seams with love and compassion for everyone in the world.”

She also discussed her “gay timeline.” It started in her ballet class with a boy named George who didn’t like partnering with the girls. At the year-end show they invited professional ballerinas including male ballerinas. And after seeing them he lit up and changed.


Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

Then she flashed forward to high school when she snuck out as a junior to see the gay pride parade. There she said she saw people so happy and free and pride. The conversation on the ride home was about how wonderful it must feel to be out, to be true to yourself and to be brave.

Next, she said, her gay timeline continued when she was moving down to Los Angeles for the first time. She and a friend had driven all day and arrived tired and starving. They pulled off on Santa Monica Boulevard. Looking for a restaurant, and the waiter was “so hot” in tight black jeans and black shirt. And all the waiters were like that. And they walked out of the restaurant and saw all the gay flags. And said, “Oh, this must be LA’s Castro District.” And lives in that area still.


Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

Being cast on Glee, Agron said, made her gay knowledge “go through the roof.” And she “loved it.” It is because of them and our fans that I stand so proudly here today. She also addressed her now famous “Likes Girls” T-shirt she wore while on the Glee Tour last year during Pride Month.

“I wanted to show my admiration for the LGBT community. …. One night during our Lady Gaga number I decided to wear a “Likes Girls” shirt instead of my “Lucy Caboosey” shirt. … The next day I went on my Tumblr page and why I chose to wear that shirt and what it meant to me. … As you can tell I’m very passionate about this. But it’s because more than anything I hate seeing people be hurt. It is the one thing that kills me more than anything. And it seems so unnecessary.”

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