Before the Orange Is the New Black actress hit the stage at the Beverly Hilton to pick up her Stephen F. Kolzak award, Rose told InStyle the honor meant “everything” to her. “Growing up, I turned to movies, TV, magazines trying to find someone who was like me and I could never find anyone like that and I literally for a period of my life thought I was the only gay person in the world,” she continued. “I’ve been out since I was 12, so, that was a really lonely existence for me until I started to see myself represented in the media. To know that GLAAD [is] giving me an award and honoring me is really weird, and exciting and beautiful, because it makes me feel like I’m doing something right in my life.” The actress, who nailed it in a white Aquilano Rimondi jumpsuit and with her green hair coifed in a braided crown, later accepted the award during the show and got a huge shock when Taylor Swift popped up on stage to present it to her.
“The Stephen F. Kolzak award is given to an openly LGBT professional who has made significant contributions in the fight for equality and acceptance,” Swift said. “Tonight I’m here to honor someone who through her words and through her actions is a force of nature. She tells the world that no one can judge us and no one can stop us.”
As Rose took the stage with a laugh and hugged Swift, she said, “You don’t just Taylor Swift someone! I’m a really emotional person and I had to go through all the possible things that could happen that might trigger me to cry. I didn’t think Taylor Swift coming was one of them.”
Meanwhile, Lovato was moved to tears as she accepted the Vanguard award from her BFF Nick Jonas, who gushed over the way she helps him and others in her life “embrace [their] vulnerabilities.” He added, “Demi, I'm proud to call you my friend. I'm constantly inspired by you. I love you.”
The songstress, who brought down the house earlier in the night with a powerful performance of “Stone Cold,” hit the stage clad in a Sass and Bide black blazer and animal print pants, saying, “I didn’t expect to tear up or cry, but Nick your words were so beautiful.” She added: “I always knew if I made it as a singer that I needed to use my voice for so much more than just singing. This award means so much to me—more than any music award because this is the real stuff.”
Caitlyn Jenner, clad in a red wrap dress, also walked away a winner when I Am Cait tied with LGBTQ rights activist Jazz Jennings’ series I Am Jazz for Outstanding Reality Series. “I’m so honored to share this award with Jazz,” Jenner said. “With your example and your show, it gives these young people hope that they can survive those very difficult time as they grow up, trying to figure out who they are.”
Following the awards show, where nominees like Queen Latifah also won big, it was time for the after party. As guests like Lea Michele headed inside to hit the dance floor, grab cocktails and party the night away, Rose made a quick change and sauntered inside in a black blazer and black pants sprinkled with silver sequins. Two fabulous outfits in one night = our kind of girl.