L.A. GLAAD Awards 2012
Having already had a look at the New York event last month, we now turn to last weekends LA show, opened by none other than Ellen Degeneres herself. She was not the only star on view by any means, the award show was attended by a rainbow of who’s who including everyone from Ali Larter to Betty White. There was a performance by Jason Mraz and some worthy winners and advocates took to the stage for some well deserved applause.
If the night belonged to anyone it was Chaz Bono. What a year he has had, not only has he been on every talk show going, had a documentary and a book release but he was also the first trans person to take to the dance floor on the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. For all of this and so much more Chaz was the worthy recipient of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, given to an out person who has worked towards eliminating homophobia. To Chaz’s surprise his mother Cher was there to hand him the gong.
Chaz was also on stage to pick up the award for outstanding documentary along with directors Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, for the wonderful Becoming Chaz.
The nights other big winner was 19 year old Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson. His heavy involvement in the wonderful initiative Straight But Not Narrow, was more than enough to warrant Josh being picked as the winner of the Vanguard Award, which is given to someone in the entertainment industry who was strived to encourage equal rights.
Modern Family‘s award for comedy series was picked up by out actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the award was shared with Glee. There was more sharing going on as the cast members of Hot in Cleveland were on hand to pick up the award for individual TV episode, an award they shared with Drop Dead Diva. Another big winner on the night was the wonderful movie Beginners for wide release film.
Of course it wouldn’t be GLAAD if the celebrities were the only ones honoured. Jennifer Tyrrell who was kicked out of her voluntary position as her son’s den leader with the Boy Scouts of America, for being gay, took to the stage with her partner Alicia Burns and their four children. Tyrrell was at the event to get signatures for her petition to end the exclusion of gay scouts and parents from the organisation, you can sign it here.
The third and final instalment of GLAAD’s annual awards will be held in San Fransisco on June 2nd and will be hosted by none other than Glee‘s Diana Argon. During the night Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes will receive the Golden Gate award, which is presented annually to someone in the entertainment industry who has increased visibility for the LGBT community.
These events are not just vital fundraisers, they are a way for the community to thank those people, gay, straight, trans, whomever, that have worked within their own industry to better the lives of LGBTs everywhere. After all, we live in a world where many people’s views are largely shaped by the media and those GLAAD have awarded have tried to shape those opinions in an open and inclusive manner.