GLAAD Executive Director Joan Garry said the video "conveys a powerful message about
self-respect and empowerment."
"At a time when many in the music industry avoid lesbian and gay themes altogether,
or even worse, use defamatory images to appear edgy, Christina's decision
to feature gay and transgender people in her video is a strong statement of inclusion,
affirmation and acceptance," Garry said.
Aguilera performed an acappella version of Beautiful that brought the house down.
Photo by Rex Wockner.
"It is so important that in my music I do convey positive images, and this song
is definitely a universal message that everybody can, I think, relate to," she
said. "Anyone that's been discriminated against or unaccepted, unappreciated or
disrespected because of who you are -- your colour, your sexual preference, whatever
that may be. I wanted really ... to support the gay community. Still in 2003, we even
have to give awards because it is so unaccepted still today in society. So I wanted
to show my love and support to all of you."
In an exclusive interview, US Queer As Folk's Peter Paige, who plays Emmett Honeycutt,
talked about the programme's impact on gay America.
"And now it's straight men, all the time -- often
subtly, often under their breath, but I don't get on an airplane without a straight
guy saying to me, 'You know, my wife and I love the show.' And when asked why, they
all say the same thing, 'Oh, we just like the stories.'
If you had told me 20 years ago that I would
be a part of that, that I would be a part of the show that made straight people not even able to see the
division anymore, I'd have told you you were crazy."
Actor Eric McCormack thanked GLAAD for its support of Will & Grace over the years.
"Television by its very nature aims to please all the people all the time," he said.
"As a straight actor playing a gay role on a network sitcom, I faced the
very real possibility that I would please none of the people none of the time -- by
being too gay for straight America and not gay enough for gay America.
And I'd be trapped in some gay/straight limbo like Simon Cowell or Ryan Seacrest.
Fortunately I needn't have worried. The straight audience came around pretty
quickly but it was this community that was with us from the very beginning. In fact
it was GLAAD that during the shooting of the pilot sent a telegram
saying, 'We're behind you all the way' and, being GLAAD, I know they meant that literally."
McCormack's award was presented by Will & Grace's Sean Hayes, who plays Jack. Hayes
took the audience on a rollercoaster ride, coming this-close to coming out,
then not doing it. Many reporters and gay fans have been irritated by Hayes' refusal
to say if he's gay, straight or something in between.
"I feel good here," Hayes said. "I feel comfortable. I look around and I see kind,
accepting faces -- granted most of those faces don't move above the eyebrows, but
they seem to have kind and accepting potential. I've had three martinis with the
new low-carb vodka, I'm feeling the love, and I think I need to do something,
I think it's time to share something about myself, something that I've needed to
share with you for a while now but wasn't quite prepared to do so in the past. I
needed time, I needed to feel safe, I needed it to come from me and no one else.
I have to confess, I'm a little nervous about it, but I can't imagine a
better place to say this. So, ladies and gentleman, members of the media, colleagues
and friends: I'm being selfish again! I'm being selfish again! Tonight
is about Eric McCormack and his heterosexuality. I apologize."
Film-maker Todd Haynes said Far From Heaven changed his career.
"I've always considered myself someone working very much in the margins, very much
outside of the mainstream, free to really experiment with narrative,
with depictions of homosexuality and struggle and a lot of other themes as well," he
"And not always committed to positive representations necessarily, but
trying to get really down deep into the things that kind of unify all of us. Something
happened with Far From Heaven, I think, where the film entered a different arena for
me -- this has been kind of a dizzying year, an amazing year of my career.
"I feel very proud to be a part of the representation of gay struggle in film," Haynes
said. "It'll be something I'll continue to do and we'll just keep fighting."