The MTV Movie & TV Awards, which has a name that is still entirely too long, happened on Monday night and it was extremely not straight!
At several times throughout the telecast, award winners took time to highlight queer issues and shout out all the LGBTQ viewers watching at home.
Lena Waithe received the Trailblazer Award for her work on Master of None as well as her LGBTQ activism. Waithe, who was the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, gave a moving speech when accepting the award.
“According to the dictionary, [a trailblazer] means to be a pioneer or an innovator, and I’m extremely grateful that you guys see me in that light,” she said. “But, I believe that the only reason that I’m even allowed to stand here is because of a few other trailblazers that some of you might not be aware of.”
Waithe then shouted out the film Paris Is Burning, which chronicles the lives of the black and brown femmes of the kiki ball scene of 1980s New York City. She said the film helped her learn about the “lives of some of the greatest human beings to ever walk the face of this earth.”
“It introduced me to trailblazers such as Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Angie Xtravaganza, and Willi Ninja, just to name a few. Tonight, I want to share this award with them. I want to do what we, as a society, should’ve done a long time ago, and that’s to give them the glory and the shine they deserve,” she added.
Waithe said that anytime someone says “shade,” to “please look up to the sky and give thanks, because we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They strutted through a brick wall so we wouldn’t have to.”
Queer rom-com Love, Simon walked away with the golden popcorn statue in the best kiss category and during his acceptance speech for the award, actor Keiynan Lonsdale affirmed all youth regardless of gender expression.
“I just want to say to every kid, you can live your dreams and wear dresses,” Lonsdale said. “You can live your dreams and kiss the one that you love no matter what gender they are. You can live your dreams and you can believe in magic. You can live your dreams and you can be yourself.”
Unfortunately, Lonsdale did not get the chance to recreate his iconic kiss like others have, as Nick Robinson (the Simon of Love, Simon) was not present.
Millie Bobby Brown, who deleted her Twitter account last week because of a viral meme suggesting she was a violent homophobe, appeared in a pre-taped segment to accept her award for best performance in a show. During the pre-taped segment, the actress spoke out against bullying while both referencing and not referencing the harassment she endured as part of the meme.
“Since I know there are many young people watching this — and even for the adults, too — they could probably use the reminder that I was taught: if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it,” Brown said. “There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it, and neither should any of you.”
And of course we have to mention the queerest part of the night: queer icon Tiffany Haddish was finally given the hosting gig she deserves. Please, get her more checks and more time on our screens.