“Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I was called all types of names just for being creative,” Justin Timberlake confessed as he and wife Jessica Biel accepted an Inspiration Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards. Naturally, he had to throw in something for a laugh as well. “Thank you for allowing mommy and daddy to have a rare date night out together with other adults. Honey, look around. This is what adults look like. They do exist. And they don’t smell like poopy diapers. Well, some of you do—you know who you are.” There were scads of famous faces celebrating in the Beverly Wilshire’s gilded ballroom (Julia Roberts, JJ Abrams, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Parsons), but it was Timberlake and Biel who created serious buzz wherever they went.
Earlier in the evening, Zachary Quinto accepted the group’s Champion Award. His speech drove the evening home. “My decision to come out publicly unfolded in the midst of a rash of teenage suicides plaguing the LGBT community across this country in 2011 as a direct result of bullying. It is particularly meaningful to be honored tonight by an organization whose sole purpose is to eradicate such insidious and destructive behavior, not through punishment or shame but through education and empowerment and unity.”
It was Biel, however, who got the last poignant word. “We would like to leave you with a quote from one of our favorite poets and playwrights: Oscar Wilde. A man who had no problem being his true self even at a time when there was zero acceptance. ‘Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much.’”