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Janelle Monáe to be honored at Outfest Legacy Awards as trailblazer

Outfest Legacy Awards Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe will receive the Trailblazer Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards this month. Photo: Jheyda Mcgarrell

Janelle Monáe will receive the Trailblazer Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards this month.

In honoring Monáe, 36, the Trailblazer Award will recognize her role “as an artist who has consistently shown their support for the LGBTQ+ community at large through music and acting,” according to a press release on the award.

“The Outfest Legacy Awards has become one of entertainment’s most respected and meaningful industry events that spotlight the artists, leadership and organizations that have significantly contributed to queer representation and advocacy across media, arts and entertainment,” Outfest’s executive director Damien S. Navarro said in a press release.

“We invite the world to join us in lifting up our awardees who have collectively inspired a new generation of creators, storytellers, and audiences – carving a path for tomorrow’s artists,” he said. 

In 2016, Monáe made her theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions. She starred in “Hidden Figures” as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson, and also starred in “Moonlight.”

“Hidden Figures” was a box office success.

“Moonlight” won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th annual ceremony

Monáe’s next film will be “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” with Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, and Leslie Odom Jr. It’s scheduled for release in December.

Musically, Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010.

Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018.

Two other awards will be given out at the Oct. 22 gala.

Glamazon — Amazon’s diversity & inclusion network for LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies — will receive the Guardian Award, which recognizes a company’s commitment and legacy to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Kerri Stoughton-Jackson will receive the Jonathan Howard Legacy Award, honoring her leadership efforts as Outfest’s deputy director and her nearly 20 years of service.

Past recipients at the Outfest Awards include Victoria Alonso, Bruce Cohen, Lisa Cholodenko, Laverne Cox, Lee Daniels, Tom Hanks, Sean Hayes, Judith Light, Rita Moreno, Elliot Page, Billy Porter, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Octavia Spencer, Hillary Swank, Tanya Saracho, Rain Valdez, and Craig Zadan & Neil Merdon.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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