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Gay rights celebrated at 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards
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Gay rights celebrated at 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

On March 13, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a media watchdog group promoting fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of LGBT individuals and issues in all media, held their 21st Annual Media Awards in New York City.

Cynthia Nixon, openly Lesbian actress from Sex and the City and a Tony Award winner, was honored with the Vito Russo Award for making strides in eliminating homophobia for her recent work with Fight Back New York, a group focused on marriage equality for Gays and Lesbians. Nixon joins past Vito Russo Award winners like RuPaul, Rosie O'Donnell, and Tom Ford. Only openly LGBT entertainers are eligible for consideration.

Joy Behar, outspoken co-host of The View since 1997, was presented with an Excellence in Media Award for her work to increase understanding and visibility of the LGBT community. ABC's Brothers and Sisters took home Outstanding Drama Series, while the Parks and Recreation episode "Pawnee Zoo," in which Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) officiated the town's first Gay marriage between two male penguins, won for Outstanding Individual Episode.

Oprah Winfrey beat out Ellen DeGeneres for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. Still, the award could be considered a win for both women, as Oprah was recognized for her interview with DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi.

Little Ashes, an indie film starring Twilight star Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dali, won for Outstanding Film, limited release.

Gavin Creel, the star of the Broadway musical revival Hair, accepted a special recognition for the show.

Each year, the annual GLAAD awards are presented at two events; 24 of 32 awards were announced on March 13, and the remaining winners will be announced April 17 in L.A. and June 5 in San Francisco.

For a complete list of nominees, winners (in Spanish-language and English) go online at www.glaad.org/mediaawards.

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