Sean Hayes To Receive Trailblazer Award at LA’s Outfest Legacy Awards

Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, announced Oct. 5th that it will honor Emmy Award-winning actor and producer Sean Hayes (“Will and Grace”) in addition to previously announced honorees Jill Soloway and Freeform at the 2016 Legacy Awards.

Hayes is receiving the Trailblazer Award in recognition of his exemplary career as a stage, film, television, and recording artist and for his longtime, passionate support of the LGBT community.

As one of this generation’s most visible and beloved LGBT performers, he has played a key role in the community’s progress and empowerment. Sean was the first actor to win an Emmy for playing a gay character on a television series, “Will & Grace”.

“Sean Hayes portrayal of Jack on NBC’s ‘Will & Grace’ took the stereotypical gay sissy and made him human, loveable, flawed, and real. ‘Will & Grace’ first went on the air in 1998 long before it was ‘cool’ or politically correct to have a show that placed LGBT characters front and center and treated them with respect. Jack lived in a land where it was ok to simply be Jack – open, honest, funny, and real. We have Sean to thank for the doors that opened,” said Christopher Racster, Outfest’s Executive Director.

As previously announced, Soloway will be honored with the Visionary Award, which recognizes artistic and creative contributions to the LGBT media visibility for a body of work that includes “Transparent.” Freeform is receiving the Corporate Trailblazer Award in recognition of its groundbreaking programming for young adults, people in high school, college and the decade that follows which includes such LGBT-friendly programs including “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Fosters” and “Shadowhunters.”

The 2016 Legacy Awards will take place on Sunday, October 23rd at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser (Redbird). Merrill Lynch will return as the Presenting Sponsor.

The Legacy Awards serves as a fundraiser to support the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this year. Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered in 2005 to create the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to saving and preserving LGBT moving images. The Legacy Project is aimed at the crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image archiving. Many of the landmark LGBT films produced over the last 40-plus years are already in danger of fading away; their original exhibition prints are in tatters and their negatives are in woeful storage conditions, or even lost. For the last 11 years, the Legacy Project is proud to have collected more than 36,000 moving image items and to have restored 24 historically important film and video projects.

Previous Legacy Award winners include Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), Lee Daniels (Empire), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago) Adam Shankman (Hairspray), Roland Emmerich (Stonewall), Alan Poul (“The Newsroom”), Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook), and Paris Barclay (“Glee”).

The Legacy Awards are also sponsored by Brown-Forman, Delta Air Lines, Total Wine & More, and Variety. Tickets are on sale now at Tables and tribute ads are on sale now. For information about tables, contact 213-480-7011 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For sponsorship and tribute journal ads, please contact Amy Flower at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 213-480-7095.

To buy tickets, please visit:

About Outfest
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected over 36,000 LGBT films and videos. The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to protecting LGBT films for future generations.

About UCLA Film & Television Archive
UCLA Film & Television Archive is renowned globally for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media—and is dedicated to ensuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come.

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