Schitt’s Creek star addresses shocking number of murdered black trans women in powerful speech

Patrick Kelleher September 30, 2019
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Dan Levy GLAAD acceptance speech transgender murder

L-R: Dan Levy, Annie Murphy, Noah Reid and Emily Hampshire on stage at the 2019 GLAAD Gala (Kim White/Getty)

Schitt’s Creek actor and creator Dan Levy has addressed the shocking number of black trans women murdered in the United States in recent years in a powerful speech.

Levy – who was accepting a GLAAD award for promoting LGBT+ acceptance – started his speech by sending love to the trans community.

“There is an epidemic of murders of black trans women,” Levy said. “This is a crisis that needs to be seen and heard and acknowledged by the highest levels of power and influence in this country and around the world.”

Schitt’s Creek actor and creator Dan Levy once thought he would remain in the closet for the rest of his life.

Elsewhere in his eight-minute long acceptance speech, Levy spoke about his own experience of coming to terms with his sexuality. He reflected on his time in high school and said he fell in love with his best friend but remained silent as he “didn’t have the courage to act publicly” on his feelings.

“I think back to that time when I legitimately thought I’d have to live with this secret – my being gay – for the rest of my life because I didn’t have the security of seeing a lot of people like myself being celebrated in popular culture.

There is an epidemic of murders of black trans women. This is a crisis that needs to be seen and heard and acknowledged by the highest levels of power and influence in this country and around the world.

“I bring this up because, when I was told that I’d be receiving this honour, I immediately went back to that place and asked myself: ‘How did I get here, to this place, standing in front of all of you tonight, an out and proud gay Emmy loser?'” he said to laughs from the audience. Schitt’s Creek lost out on best comedy at this year’s Emmys to Fleabag.

Levy said that the only reason he had gotten out of that place was because he had support, encouragement and love, which he called “three relatively simple acts of kindness that can change the course of a person’s life”.

Levy wanted his show to offer ‘some support, encouragement and love’ LGBT+ people.

“And yet, for so many members of our beautiful community, those simple transformational acts of kindness aren’t just an arm’s length away,” Levy said.

“Almost three quarters of LGBT people say they are more honest about themselves online than in the real world. A national study found that 40 percent of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92 percent of those individuals said it happened before the age of 25.

“The statistics are staggering and seemingly endless, which is why when I found myself in a position to tell stories on a global scale I seized the opportunity to make a television show that might, in its own way, offer some support, encouragement and love to those who might not have it in their homes, in their schools, or in their day-to-day lives.”

Elsewhere in his speech, Levy thanked his co-stars for presenting him with the award. He gave a particular thanks to co-star Noah Reid who plays his on-screen love interest, Patrick.

“Thank you so much for the character of Patrick and bringing him to lie with such heart and skill and compassion,” Levy said.

More: Dan Levy, LGBT, murder, Schitt’s Creek, Transgender

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