Tom Hanks
< 1 min read

The 2015 Trailblazer Award was presented to two-time Academy Award–winning actor, director, and producer Tom Hanks for his groundbreaking, Oscar-winning performance in Philadelphia.

Actor Aaron Eckhart presented the award to Tom Hanks 22 years after Philadelphia which was the first major studio film to sympathetically portray characters with HIV/AIDS.

While receiving his award, Hanks gave a heart warming and entertaining speech poking fun at “how appropriate” it was that the event was held in a church, saying “I am now going to preach to the choir.”


Ron Nyswaner who wrote the screenplay for Philadelphia as well as Freeheld was also awarded recently at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards.

“We must take care to protect our history and our culture. We must be careful as we become ‘mainstream’ that we don’t forget that we are the descendants of outlaws and rebels,” explained Nyswaner during his speech.

“We must resist the tendency to be ‘de-gayed.’ ”

“We must remember and insist that others honour our history and our very specific gay culture. We are the inheritors of a culture that is created from pain and difficulty from being different. And from that difference, we created a powerful community that changed the world.”

“We must recognize that power, the power of being different. We don’t have to be normalized to have all of our rights. And we don’t have to be normalized to be the main characters of film and television shows. We can still be fags and dykes.”

Ron Nyswaner
Ron Nyswaner speaking at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards.

Philadelphia was released on the 22nd of December 1993, making an estimated $206.7 million at the Box Office. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, with Hanks and Washington receiving wide praise for their performances and has an average rating of 6.6/10 on movie critic site Rotten Tomatoes.

Last Updated on Nov 11, 2015

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