Anderson Cooper will receive the GLAAD award for openly gay media professionals at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC on March 16. The organization announced today that Madonna will present the award to him.
The 54-year-old Material Girl and the CNN host are longtime friends and have both used their careers to raise support for the LGBT community worldwide.
“Madonna has been a passionate spokesperson and longtime supporter of gay rights. She has embraced LGBT people around the world on many occasions,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “From speaking out against bullying to raising support for marriage equality, Madonna has always been one of our community’s strongest allies. We are honored to have her stand with GLAAD and Anderson Cooper.”
While it doesn’t seem to be a major deal anymore when celebrities reveal that they’re gay, last July Cooper gave Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan permission to publish a lengthy email in which he said, “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.” The CNN anchor had previously declined to discuss his sexual orientation publicly.
“By sharing his own experiences as a gay man, Anderson has reminded millions of Americans that LGBT people are part of their everyday lives and an integral part of our cultural fabric,” says Graddick. “He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I’m proud to call him a friend.”
Cooper will receive the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality, the organization says. The award gets its name from the GLAAD founder, who chronicled early images of the LGBT community in his film and book, “The Celluloid Closet.” Ricky Martin, Rosie O’Donnell,Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Elton John, and Tom Ford are a few of the past honored recipients.
The awards will be held at the New York Marriot Marquis on Saturday, March 16.
Nominees for the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced in January and are available online. Cooper is also nominated for a segment he did on “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Controversial Pastor Preaches Against Gays.”