Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GLAAD All Over

Aint no doubt about it, it must be love
One little kiss from you and I feel
Glad all over, oh mercy,
I think that it’s silly but I’m glad all over

- - - “Glad All Over’ by Jeff Beck

The 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, the first of three national awards ceremonies for the organization, took place in New York City on Saturday, March 28. Comedian Kate Clinton was the host.

Members of the GLBT community and their straight allies supporting equal rights for all, many sporting the white knot symbolizing marriage equality, turned out for the festivities, which took place at the Marriott Marquis.

If you missed this evening, you have not missed the celebration. Keep reading and find out how you have two more chances to show your support while you show off your latest designer wear.

- Tyra Banks, GLAAD President Neil Giuliano and Clay Aiken (all photos and videos (c) GLAAD)

Honorees in New York included Tyra Banks, who was presented with the Excellence in Media Award by singer and actor Clay Aiken. This was the first GLBT event for Aiken, who came out following the birth of his son last year.

Watch video of the presentation:

-T.R. Knight and Suze Orman

Actor T.R. Knight of “Grey’s Anatomy” presented the Vito Russo Award to financial expert Suze Orman.

Here is video of the presentation:

Phil Donahue was also on hand, honored for his continuing commitment to supporting equal rights for the GLBT community as a straight ally and friend. (NEW: read more about the Ally and Friend PSA campaign HERE.)

- Phil Donahue

Other honorees included Keith Olbermann, who received the Outstanding TV Journalism Segment Award for his commentary on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

A full list of honorees can be found at the GLAAD Blog.

If you missed the New York event, here’s your chance to get GLAAD all over. GLAAD Media Awards celebrations will take place on Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, April 18th, with the final event taking place in San Francisco on May 9th.

20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Los Angeles
Saturday, April 18, 2009.
5:00 PM tp 11:59 PM
Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

Honorees will include the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, who will be presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Bishop Robinson,invested as the Ninth Bishop of New Hampshire in 2004, has dedicated his ministry to advancing the Church’s curriculum and clergy wellness programs. He is also the co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults and has done HIV/AIDS work in the United States and in Africa. He is the first openly gay bishop of the Church and is a vocal advocate for full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The L Word, which has aired for six seasons on Showtime, will receive an award of Special Recognition for breaking new ground for LGBT visibility on television. For six seasons, the show has entertained audiences and pushed boundaries, all the while taking on serious issues facing the LGBT community, including marriage, adoption, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," employment non-discrimination, and transgender issues.

20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - San Francisco
Saturaday, May 9, 2009.
From 5:00 PM to 11:59 PM
Hilton San Francisco

Chad Allen, actor, producer and activist, will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award. Chad Allen began his professional acting career at the age of five-years-old starring as Tommy Westfall, a child with autism, in the television series, St. Elsewhere and went on to play Mathew Cooper on the long time hit CBS series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Allen has earned critical acclaim through his work on television and in the theatre.

Through his acclaimed independent film company Mythgarden, he has brought gay and lesbian storytelling to the forefront. Additionally, he has produced and starred in the film Save Me which offered audiences a look into the world of so-called "ex gay" ministries. Save Me is nominated for Outstanding Film – Limited Release at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards and was selected for the Sundance Film Festival and as the opening night feature for Outfest 2007. Allen raising more than eleven million dollars to end AIDS through his participation in the annual AIDS/LIFECYCLE, works with Soulforce to fight religious intolerance, and ia an Honorary Board of the Matthew Shepard foundation.

Read more about honorees and participants at all three events HERE.

A personal note:

The vast majority of the time, I have tremendous respect and admiration for the individuals and organizations GLAAD chooses to honor or invite to participate in its events, including all of the people I've included in this blog. I encourage everyone to find out more about the organization and to support its programs.

There are a rare few times, however, when I believe a participant, through their work or public expressions, treats members of the GLBT community with all the respect accorded the depiction of an African American in a minstrel show. It may matter to no one but me, but their names won’t show up in my blog.

I'll still send my donations to GLAAD, for the vitally important work they do in helping extend respect, dignity and equal treatment to all.