Today, GLAAD announced the honorees and special guests scheduled to appear at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented in San Francisco by Southwest Airlines on June 5.
Actress, producer and author Cybill Shepherd will receive the Golden Gate Award from her daughters Clementine Ford and Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim. The Golden Gate Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. Shepherd has been an advocate for marriage equality and same-sex parental rights for decades, marching and speaking at the 1993 March on Washington and appearing on the cover of The Advocate to discuss her reaction to the march. Shepherd's daughter Clementine Ford is an openly gay actress who currently portrays Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Browning on The Young & the Restless. Shepherd and Ford also appeared on the GLAAD Media Award-winning Showtime series The L Word. In the final three seasons of the show, Shepherd starred as Phyllis Kroll, a married woman who comes out as a lesbian, divorces her husband, and falls in love with her divorce attorney (played by Jane Lynch).
Filmmaker Lee Daniels (Precious) will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community. This year, Daniels became the first openly gay African American person to be nominated for an Academy Award ® in the Achievement in Directing category. Precious was also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film -Wide Release category for its inclusion of the character "Ms. Rain," an out lesbian teacher.
It was previously announced that Robert Hanson, president of Levi Strauss Americas, will receive the San Francisco Local Hero Award. As a strong advocate for social justice, LGBT rights and marriage equality, Hanson championed the company's involvement as a leader in the Business Council for the "No on Prop 8" campaign. Hanson also supported the company's decision to sign on to the amicus brief to the California Supreme Court in support of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
GLAAD also announced that openly gay recording artists Sam Sparro and Chely Wright will perform at the ceremony. Wright made headlines earlier this month after she became the first-ever country music star to come out as a lesbian.
Writer and comedian Bruce Vilanch will host the June 5 Awards with special appearances by Wilson Cruz, Jai Rodriguez and Jan Wahl.
The San Francisco event will culminate the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Award series. Earlier this year, GLAAD honored media for fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT representation in New York and Los Angeles.
The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.