Adam Lambert, the cast of Glee, Johnny Weir, Sofia Vergara, Eric Dane, Chaz Bono, George Takei, Constance McMillen, Candis Cayne, Wilson Cruz, RuPaul and Super Bowl-winning NFL linebacker Scott Fujita were among the celebrities who joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honored Drew Barrymore, Wanda Sykes and the best in film, television and journalism over the weekend at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.
At the ceremony, Iron Chef America’s Cat Cora presented the Vanguard Award to actress Drew Barrymore, who has spoken out in favor of full marriage equality. The Vanguard Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.
Barrymore said in her acceptance speech, “The thing that means the most to me about an evening like this, and why I want to fight and be outspoken, is because there are so many people who are in desperate need of family. So whatever governments we have to overcome, whatever adversity people have to overcome to create these families and have the legal things be out of the way so that love can exist and people can take care of one another, that’s the most important thing in the world. That we take care of each other.”
Also at the event, Mississippi teen Constance McMillen, whose high school cancelled her prom rather than allow McMillen to attend with her girlfriend, presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Wanda Sykes, who has shown a strong commitment to educating the public about the lives of LGBT people. Sykes attended the event with her wife Alex, making their first press appearance as a couple. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community in the media.
“I am very humbled, thank you GLAAD,” Sykes said accepting her award. “Thank you for the work you’re doing and being the watchdog. Because you really create the environment that allows me to be comfortable being me. [It's great] to be out and open and free and be able to say thank to my wife. It’s love and being honest that wins hearts and minds.” Sykes continued jokingly, “This means the world to me and I promise that I will continue to be a voice, and hopefully a positive image, but I’ve got to tell you – you might have to put up with a stint in rehab, I’m sorry.”
A Single Man received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release. Richard Buckley accepted on behalf of director Tom Ford, his partner of 23 years, who was unable to attend due to flight cancellations in Europe. Show creator Ryan Murphy, along with Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron, Jessalyn Gilsig, Kevin McHale, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, and Jenna Ushkowitz, accepted the award for Outstanding Comedy Series for Glee. RuPaul accepted the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Program for RuPaul’s Drag Race. The Telemundo program Noticiero Telemundo received the award for Outstanding Spanish Language TV Journalism segment for “Polémicas Adopciones.” Ramon Escobar, executive vice-president of news for Telemundo, accepted the award with producer Elisa Ross, and reporter Carlos Botifoll.
Actor Wilson Cruz and actress Candis Cayne hosted the show. Rob Halford, openly gay lead singer for Judas Priest, introduced Adam Lambert, GLAAD nominee for Outstanding Music Artist, who closed the show with performances of “Music Again” and “Fever” for the capacity audience at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
Other guests and presenters at the event included: Bryan Batt (Mad Men), Benjamin Bratt (La Mission); Dustin Lance Black (Milk); Jason Lewis (Sex and the City); Scott Evans (One Life to Live); Eduardo Xol (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition); Rebecca Gayheart; Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds); Holly Robinson-Peete (Celebrity Apprentice); Brad Goreski (The Rachel Zoe Project); Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie); California Assembly Speaker John Perez; Jaila Simms (Making His Band); Michael Sucsy (Grey Gardens); Santino Rice, Merle Ginsberg (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Countess LuAnn de Lesseps (The Real Housewives of New York); Rose Garcia, Mikey Koffman, Tracy Ryerson (The Real L Word); Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey (World of Wonder Productions); former President of Entertainment at MTV Networks, Brian Graden; and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.
Support from corporate partners allowed GLAAD to offer free tickets to the event to over 1000 youth and young adults from the Southern California area. Popular celebrity blogger B. Scott hosted the event.
Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in Los Angeles. Additional awards will be presented in San Francisco on June 5. Previous awards were presented in New York at the Marriot Marquis on March 13. For a complete list of nominees and award recipients, visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards.
- Vanguard Award: Drew Barrymore (presented by openly lesbian star of Iron Chef America Cat Cora)
- Stephen F. Kolzak Award: Wanda Sykes (presented by Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teenager whose high school cancelled prom because she asked to attend with her girlfriend)
- Outstanding Film – Wide Release: A Single Man (The Weinstein Company) [Accepted by: Richard Buckley on behalf of his partner, Tom Ford]
- Outstanding Comedy Series: Glee (Fox) [Accepted by: Ryan Murphy, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron, Jessalyn Gilsig, Kevin McHale, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, and Jenna Ushkowitz]
- Outstanding Reality Program: RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo/VH1) [Accepted by: RuPaul]
- Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism Segment: “Polémicas Adopciones” Noticiero Telemundo (Telemundo) [Accepted by: Ramon Escobar, executive vice-president of news for Telemundo; reporter Carlos Botifoll and producer, Elisa Ross]
GLAAD also announced that Lydia by Octavio Solis received the award in the Outstanding Los Angeles Theater category.
For more information, please visit www.glaad.org. Images: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.