EXCLUSIVE: Troye Sivan on Touching GLAAD Awards Acceptance Speech: 'I'm Still Shaking'
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Troye Sivan is grateful for the opportunity to "shine a light" on those who have worked tirelessly in the LGBTQ community.
ET's Denny Directo caught up with the "Youth" singer at the GLAAD Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, where he was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzack Award for using his platform to promote equality and acceptance -- and used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to those whose work often goes unrecognized.
"This award is so much larger than me," Sivan said in his acceptance speech, before thanking LGBTQ activists like Peter Staley, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Bayard Rustin and Gilbert Baker. "This moment is about visibility and about representation. What and who we see in the media defines our perception of the world around us, and so to see ourselves in this picture of what is ‘normal’ and what is acceptable and what is beautiful is absolutely vital. In saying that, so much of the work that has contributed to our progress as a community is far less glamorous than the work that I’m being honored for tonight."
"Though times and our needs may have changed, this ethos and spirit still persists in our community today," he continued.
"We're lucky to be alive now," Sivan told ET at the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon one day prior. "We've had years and years and years of brilliant LGBT activists before us who have made it possible to exist in the way we do today. And we just have to keep working to make sure we keep pushing the needle forward."
Backstage, Sivan told ET he was "still shaking" after his powerful speech.
"I'm still shaking. I literally just walked out, but I feel awesome. I feel great. I can't wait to give my mom a hug," he said. "[It's] so, so awesome [to be able to share this moment with my parents]. They came out from Melbourne for this and to be with them tonight, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just so proud of them and the journey they've had as parents of a queer kid. They just couldn't have done it better."
"I hope [this is a lesson for a lot of parents with LGBTQ children]," he added.
Sivan, 21, is the youngest recipent of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which has been presented to Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Melissa Etheridge and Sir Ian McKellen in years past.
"I feel so lucky and so privileged to have this moment. It's nice to get a little bit of glory sometimes. I'm just so proud of all of the work I've done in the LGBT+ space and this is such a drive to just keep going. I'm taking tonight as opportunity to shine a light on those who have done the work and haven't necessarily get this kind of spotlight," he told ET, adding that he sees his early success growing up in the spotlight as a positive.
"I didn't get some of the experiences that are normal for kids my age, but I get to do the most amazing things on the other hand," he shared. "I get to travel the world and live my dream, so no complaints whatsoever this way."
Sivan also opened up to ET about working on a new album, saying he's "so excited" for the "super personal" follow-up to his 2015 debut, Blue Neighborhood.
"I have a real clear vision in my head this time around," he gushed. "For me, honesty is the best policy when it comes to music."
The GLAAD Media Awards will air exclusively on Logo on Thursday at 10/9c.