STAGE TUBE: Cher, Max Adler and More Present GLAAD Awards to Chaz Bono, Josh Hutcherson et al.
Betty White, Ellen Degeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Joshua Jackson, Kim Wayans, Sara Gilbert and Jason Mraz joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honored advocate and author Chaz Bono, actor Josh Hutcherson and the best in television and film last night at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and locally by Delta Air Lines.
Cher and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Chaz Bono, and Benicio Del Toro presented the Vanguard Award to Josh Hutcherson. Glee stars Max Adler and Grant Gustin presented the Rodemeyer family. Jamey Rodemeyer died by suicide at age 14 last year. Watch videos of the three award presentations below!
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.
Also at the event, Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother from Ohio who was ousted last week as a scout leader from the Boy Scouts of America, spoke onstage with her partner, Alicia, and their four children. Celebrities and special guests signed Tyrrell's Change.org petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on LGBT scouts and scout leaders. In only five days, the petition has received over 110,000 signatures.
Cher surprised her son, Chaz Bono, by joining Bono's stepmother, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, in presenting him with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
In her remarks, Cher praised her son, "I'm here because Chaz has the most courage of almost anyone I know. The other day I was having a big meltdown (like you do) and Chaz said, 'Are you going to come to the [GLAAD event],' and I went 'Chaz, you know, I'm not doing well right now' and...he texted me and said 'I turned into a very understanding, smart man and you can call on me.' And it made me feel so good, like I could lean on someone. It touched my heart." Addressing Bono directly, Cher said, "You are the most courageous person I know and you really deserve this award, so come up and get this award!"
In his acceptance speech, Bono discussed the role GLAAD has played in his life. "This truly means so much to me, because not only did I work at GLAAD, I think I learned everything that I value and that I do now as an activist from the time I spent at GLAAD. I learned here to use the greatest activist tool that we have at our disposal, and that is the media." Bono continued, "For my personal journey since I transitioned, GLAAD has been there for me every step of the way. From when it first came out that I was transitioning, GLAAD was right there, out front in the media. And really everything that I've done since then, they have been a partner for me to be able to go to when Million Moms is coming out against me or Keith Ablow is telling people that me being on Dancing with the Stars is somehow going to be damaging to children. They have really been a partner for me all the way."
Also at the event, actor and director Benicio del Toro presented the Vanguard Award to actor Josh Hutcherson. Del Toro directed Hutcherson in the short film 7 Days in Havana. The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Accepting his award, Hutcherson thanked his friends from the Straight But Not Narrow campaign with which Hutcherson is actively involved, "I want to thank my best friends Avan Jogia, Andre Pochon and Heather Wilk for starting Straight but not Narrow. It's an amazing organization. We wanted to create a place where straight people felt safe coming out and saying 'It's okay to be gay.' And I didn't know one, so we decided we were going to make one and we have. It's gaining momentum and it means the world to me." Hutcherson continued, "I want to thank GLAAD and everybody tonight who shared their story with us, and really showed us that the work that we're doing makes a difference. That's why I'm up here. I'll make hopefully a million more movies but this is what I want to do with my life, just changing the world and hopefully changing what people think. So, this is to everybody who's ever had a struggle in life being yourself. I think that the most beautiful thing a human being can do is just be who you are inside. So please, everybody, just be yourselves and encourage everyone else to do the same. Thank you."
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