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Outfest Legacy Awards to honor “Pose,” “Dear White People” creator Justin Simien and Sony Pictures Classics

Exciting news to come out of Outfest this week.

The Outfest Legacy Awards, which have become quite a splashy event on the calendar in recent years, will be held on October 28 and once again at Vibiana in Downtown LA. This year’s honorees are the cast and producers of the groundbreaking FX series Pose, Dear White People creator Justin Simien and Sony Pictures Classics which has distributed such LGBTQ films as Call Me by Your Name, Capote, Kill Your Darlings, A Fantastic Woman, and Love Is Strange.

Outfest said it is Pose — which was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals — with its Trailblazer Award since it “has quickly become a historic piece of television. These are characters and stories that would have been unheard of on television until now, but Pose has radically changed the television paradigm and further advanced the diversity of storytelling in the culture.”

Simien, the 35-year-old gay creator of Dear White People, Netflix’s critically acclaimed series about race, gender, and sexuality at an elite school.

“In just a few short years, Simien, as a storyteller, has skillfully addressed issues relevant to people of color in and out of the LGBTQ community but always in the context of sharp, observed humor and empathetic characters in both the film and serialized versions of Dear White People,” Outfest stated.

Sony Pictures Classics and its cofounders, Tom Bernard and Michael Barker — will receive Outfest’s Corporate Trailblazer Award for its distribution of LGBTQ films.

In a statement, Christopher Racster, Outfest’s executive director, praised the production company for “elevating the stories of the LGBTQ community for decades, long before our community became a part of the everyday cultural discourse. Sony Pictures Classics continues to ensure that audiences around the world see our struggles, our victories and our everyday lives on an equal footing with any other human story,” he said.

Racster also said the voices of the Pose family and Simien are “so incredibly important” in an era when the rights of LGBTQ people and people of color are under attack.

“They demand attention and respect for LGBTQ communities of color — our trans, black and brown family members who are most often the focus of the intolerance and violence that our community faces. We honor them to show that we stand with them and that we are grateful for their work,” he said.

Past honorees of the Outfest Legacy Awards include Jill Soloway, Sean Hayes, Tom Hanks, Armistead Maupin, Hilary Swank, Lee Daniels, Bruce Cohen, and Paris Barclay.

The Outfest Legacy Awards are a fundraiser that supports the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project — the only program in the world dedicated to preserving LGBTQ moving images. Buy tickets at



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