Them’s Now Awards honored 12 LGBTQIA+ across 12 categories and celebrated their journeys at a beautiful event at Public Hotel in New York City. The celebration was sponsored by Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s new streaming platform, and hosted by Them editor-in-chief Sarah Burke. The 2023 Now Awards also featured a cocktail reception followed by and during the award show.
Many of the speeches from the honorees accepting their awards of the night were impactful and inspiring, focusing on activism for LGBTQIA+ youth and adults amid recent legislation directly impacting their lives. One of these awards honored Kristen Lovell with the Visionary Award, presented in partnership with Human By Orientation, an LGBTQ+ initiative from Max. Lovell debuted her film The Stroll, which she co-directed with Zachary Drucker. The film won a special jury award for clarity of vision at Sundance Film Festival and is set to be released on HBO this month.
One of the inspiring speeches was from Andrea Jenkins, activist and president of the Minneapolis City Council. She is known for being the first Black openly transgender woman elected to public office in the United States and was honored with the Vanguard Award. Andrea spoke on the work she’s doing within the Minneapolis City Council to directly protect queer youth, especially trans youth. Thanks to her work in Minneapolis, conversion therapy has since been banned. She also created a full-time trans equity rights coordinator and has made Minneapolis a safe place for people seeking gender-affirming care.
One of the other stand-out speeches of the night was from model and trans rights activist Geena Rocero. She recently released her new memoir Horse Girl and was honored by Them with the NOW Award for Literature. She spoke about her experience trying to make it as a Filipino-American model, all while afraid of being outed as trans. Ultimately, Geena said this was a full circle moment for her and that trans youth “deserve the fullness in their place.”
Widely-known TikTok influencer and model, Dylan Mulvaney, was also honored with the 2023 Now Award for Internet Influence. Dylan is the subject of acclaim and criticism for being her true self. She spoke on her journey from starting her ‘365 Days of Girlhood” series on TikTok where she documented the first year of her transition journey. With her fast acclaim to fame through TikTok, she shared that the journey was not always easy with the criticism that came with being your full self on the Internet, but she embraced every part of the journey and continues to be inspiring for queer people around the world.
Overall, the 2023 Them NOW Awards was a beautiful celebration of inspiring activists trying to make a difference for the LGBTQIA+ community across the globe. The night featured thought-provoking speeches, a cocktail reception, and live performances by Luxx Noir, VINCINT, and Dee Diggs. We spoke with VINCINT before their performance. Check it out below!