It was a very special weekend for Kerry Washington. The Scandal star received GLAAD's Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality, at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.
And for the occasion the always impeccably dressed Washington did not disappoint. The Emmy-nominated actress wore a two-toned Hellessy gown in shades of berry, with a scarlet bodice and dark plum skirt. She topped it off with her hair in soft curls and a deep pink lip. In other words, it was perfection.
Washington was being recognized with the Vanguard Award for her work as an activist in the LGBT community (previous honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Taylor, and Drew Barrymore). In addition to her work in film and television projects with LGBT storylines such as Scandal, she has also been very outspoken on equal rights for the group. She has has participated in GLAAD's annual anti-bullying campaign by wearing purple to show her support for LGBT youth, and talked about the importance of stopping bullying on talk shows.
Though her outfit was stunning, it was her speech that got her a standing ovation at the awards show. The George Washington University graduate called for stronger representation of the LGBT community in Hollywood and also said all minority groups need to support each other, not turn against each other. "We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each others' existence and the truth of each other's hearts. We must be allies. And we must be allies in this business because to be represented is to be humanized," she said. "And as long as anyone, anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable." Watch the speech in its entirety below: