Christine Zee Attends The GLAAD Media Awards

| May 23, 2016
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“As an actor I don’t judge the characters I play. As a person I don’t judge the characters I play with.”Robert De Niro.

Jennifer Finney Boylan with Christine.

Jennifer Finney Boylan with Christine.

In February I attended a presentation and book reading by Jennifer Finney Boylan at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. There were about 200 mostly college students in attendance, and as the evening wound down I had the good fortune along with friends Sophie and Sela, to be asked by Jenny to join her at dinner, along with 4 university administrators responsible for the event. Jenny later ‘friended me’ on Facebook.

About a month ago Jenny posted an invitation to join her at the 27th Annual GLAAD Media awards, taking place in NYC on Saturday May 14, at the Waldorf Astoria. Although expensive, it was an invitation I did not want to pass up. I was able to use my Hilton points for the hotel (I travel a Lot), the event ticket was 80% tax deductible, and I was expecting a much needed tax refund from Uncle Sam. I am so “glaad” I attended (shameless pun, you knew it was coming!).

The GLADD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for acceptance. All means of media are celebrated, film, journalism, literature, radio, television and new media. Approximately 1200 people attended from across the country and world.

The evening kicked off at 5:30 with a reception and silent auction. Kettle One sponsored the “refreshments.” Hilton and Delta donated some fantastic vacation packages that were auctioned live throughout the evening.

During the reception I got the opportunity to speak for quite some time to Nicole Maines, her twin brother Jonas, and father Wayne. Now 19, Nicole and family fought for her rights for years in her Maine school district, winning at the State Supreme Court level. Nicole and Jonas are eloquent and mature well beyond their years.

Dinner and Awards ran from 7-10 p.m. Jenny had 2 tables of 10 for her guests, relatively close to the stage. At my table seated next to me, was Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General for the State of Pennsylvania. Dr. Levine reiterated Pennsylvania’s full support for the President’s directive on transgender rights in all Pennsylvania schools.

(More below the slideshow.)

[slideshow_deploy id=’30661’]


As everyone was getting seated, Caitlyn Jenner made her entrance and way to her table with Diane Sawyer. They later received an award for “the Interview.”

The evening was filled with awards, with breaks for live auction and entertainment. Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) hosted the evening’s activities. Given the recent attention to bathroom rights, there was a lot of focus on transgender issues. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kay Ellis spoke passionately of all LGBT rights. Awards were presented to Mariah Carey and Robert De Niro for their support of the LGBT community through their work and their lives.

During one of the breaks I got the opportunity to sneak my way up front to get a photo and say a few words to both Caitlyn and Diane (we only spoke for a few seconds, Caitlyn was pulled in all directions during the evening). I thanked her for all she’s done. While we can debate her motivation and her politics, I think we can agree that she has contributed greatly to raising transgender issues to the levels of discussion we are having today.

The awards wound down just after 10. It was time for the “After Party” and it certainly did not disappoint — it was shoulder to shoulder on the dance floor. The party ended around 12:30 and many wandered down to the hotel lobby for further conversation and good byes. By 2 a..m, exhausted, it was time for bed. While a number of photos are shown in the slideshow, additional highlights can be found on the GLAAD Awards website.

GLAAD is a celebration, however it is also very emotional and humbling. So many in attendance are involved with politics or research, or health care, or in positions to influence and change, not just within the LGBT community, but the whole world. All beautiful, unique, and brilliant. I hope my new friendships endure.

Near night’s end, I was stopped by a woman who (not knowing who I ‘wasn’t’) thanked me for the television documentary/profile of my life. I smiled and said “you’re very welcome.” I’m still smiling.



Lord knows, dreams are hard to follow
But don’t let anyone tear them away
Hold on, there will be tomorrow
In time you’ll find the way

So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you.

“Hero” by Mariah Carey

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Category: Transgender Community News, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

Part of the Philadelphia area Transgender community living in Sewell NJ. A Penn State grad, working in TV and FM Radio Broadcast equipment sales. Full time (about time !) since Nov. 2015. My frequent travel schedule allows me to visit TG friendly locales and attend events around the US.

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