Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award
The Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics (HCHAA), alongside the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, proudly presents the 16th Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. This award, established in 2007 and presented in Harvard’s Memorial Church chapel, recognizes individuals whose contributions to popular culture and society exemplify the values of humanism.
In the spotlight this year is Trixie Mattel, a cultural force known for her groundbreaking work in drag, music, writing, and comedy. Born Brian Michael Firkus, Trixie grew up in Wisconsin and studied theater at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before rising to fame on the seventh season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" in 2015. Trixie's Barbie-inspired aesthetic, marked by elaborate makeup and towering wigs, quickly captured the attention and hearts of fans. Her return and subsequent victory on "RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars," in addition to her several successful business ventures and comedy series, has only solidified her status as a bona-fide drag icon.
Aside from slaying the drag runway, Trixie is a talented musician with a country-folk flair and four studio albums under her belt. A proud LGBTQ+ advocate, her songs often center around themes of self-empowerment, authenticity, and rural life. This unique blend of wisdom, humor, and musical talent has established her as a multifaceted force in drag culture and beyond — her most recent book, "Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood," landing on the New York Times Best Sellers list and in the shelves of fans across the globe.
Openly atheist, Trixie is deeply passionate about securing others the freedom and safety to be themselves and live their best lives now, and the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics is honored to present to her this year's Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism.
Past recipients of this award include novelist Sir Salman Rushdie, musician and biologist Greg Graffin, writer and director Joss Whedon, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of the TV show “Mythbusters”, writer and actor Stephen Fry, writer Mary Roach, comedian Eddie Izzard, former Congressman Barney Frank, former Executive Director of the Wikimedia foundation Sue Gardner, and actress and writer Carrie Fisher.