Logo today announced that Academy Award-nominated actress Emma Stone will honor LGBT humanitarian and sports icon Billie Jean King at the annual “Trailblazer Honors,” airing on Logo and VH1, on Saturday, June 25 at 8pm ET/PT. From the 1969 Stonewall Riots to the passage of marriage equality nationwide just last year, the “Trailblazers Honors” spotlight the pioneers who bravely fought for equality. This year, the event will be dedicated to the people of Orlando and feature special tributes from those impacted by the tragic attack including actor and advocate Wilson Cruz (ABC’s “Mistresses”), whose family member Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was among the innocent lives lost.
During the special, Emma Stone will salute Billlie Jean King for her heroic work for LGBT visibility and equality. Stone will portray Billie Jean King in the upcoming film “Battle of the Sexes,” a movie based on the historic 1973 tennis match in which Billie Jean King famously defeated former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs, who will be played by Steve Carell.
Billie Jean King is not only one of the the first prominent professional athletes to be openly lesbian, but is renowned in the tennis world for being one of the greatest to ever play the game. King won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles and her work to open doors for women and LGBT people made and changed history. In 1972, she became the first woman to be named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2014, President Obama selected Billie Jean King to be a part of the official US Delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics and she used the platform to speak out against anti-LGBT laws in Russia and around the world. She has been a staunch supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and LPAC, an organization dedicated to increasing the political power of lesbian and queer women. She also founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative to inspire a new generation of leaders on issues including diversity and inclusion. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award that can be given to a civilian in the United States, for her work to advocate for equality for women and LGBT people.
The third annual “Trailblazer Honors” is part of Logo’s full themed day of ‘We Are Orlando’ programming on Saturday, June 25. The ‘We Are Orlando’ day of remembrance will include LGBT-themed films, documentaries and inspiring spots featuring ways to support Orlando. The “Trailblazer Honors” will then feature performances dedicated to the lives lost as well as messages from celebrities and dignitaries speaking out about how LGBT visibility and Pride are more important than ever.
Previously announced honorees for the 2016 “Trailblazer Honors” include:
- Stage and screen legend Harvey Fierstein, who changed the game for LGBT storylines and actors in Hollywood and on Broadway with his iconic works including “Torch Song Trilogy” and “La Cage aux Folles.” Fierstein is also a ubiquitous LGBT advocate whose leadership in calling for an end to HIV and AIDS has spanned decades.
- Gay Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas made history by becoming the first person ever to present eyewitness testimony to the United Nations regarding ISIS persecution of LGBT people. After being marked for an honor killing, Nahas fled Syria and now helps LGBT people in the Middle East earn refugee status. He will also serve as Grand Marshal of this year’s NYC Pride March.
- Seminal LGBT news outlet The Advocate, which is preparing to celebrate its 50th year, has been an unwavering platform of LGBT visibility – helping George Michael, Chaz Bono and Melissa Etheridge come out, while giving allies like President Obama a forum to speak out. Well before every LGBT equality victory was fought in the mainstream, it was featured – in depth – within the trailblazing pages ofThe Advocate.
During the event, Laverne Cox, Judith Light, Matthew Broderick, Bernadette Peters, Troye Sivan, Billy Porter, Cheyenne Jackson, Edie Falco, Joel Grey, Matthew Morrison, Tegan & Sara, and Jason Collins, among others, will appear in video tributes to this year’s honorees. Previous “Trailblazer” honorees include The Obama Administration, Edie Windsor, Laverne Cox and the cast of “Orange is the New Black.”
Additional honorees, performers and presenters will be announced at a later date.
Logo “Trailblazer Honors” is executive produced by Chris McCarthy, Amy Doyle, Ryan Kroft, and Chris Williams for Logo. Matt Flanders is co-executive producer. Joe Buoye and Leah Lane serve as Executives in Charge of Production for Logo. Wendy Plaut, Gina Esposito and Marcia Lansdown are Executives in Charge of Talent and Music for Logo.
Logo is a leading entertainment brand inspired by the LGBT community and reflects the creative class across television, digital and social platforms. Logo features one-of-a-kind personalities, shows, specials, and unique stories. Logo is part of Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group including VH1, MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central and Spike.