Ricky Martin, Kristin Chenoweth to be Honored at the GLAAD Media Awards

By GLAAD |
February 9, 2011

Pop sensation Ricky Martin will receive the Vito Russo Award at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York

Ricky Martin and Kristin Chenoweth will receive special recognition this year at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented by ROKK Vodka. Ricky Martin will be presented with the Vito Russo Award on March 19 in New York City at the Marriott Marquis presented locally by American Airlines and Prudential. Kristin Chenoweth will receive the Vanguard Award on April 10 in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure. The final event will be held on May 14 in San Francisco at the Marriott Marquis presented locally by Southwest.

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Andy Cohen, Bravo’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming and host of "Watch What Happens: Live," will host the New York event.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. Check out all of the nominees here!

The Vito Russo Award, which is named after one of GLAAD’s founders, is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for our community. After coming out on his official website in March 2010, Ricky Martin has spoken out for LGBT equality in English and Spanish-language media. His 2010 appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has been nominated this year for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode, and he was also featured in Spanish-Language media nominees for Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine, Outstanding Newspaper Article and two for Outstanding Magazine Article. Martin’s autobiography, Me, emphasizes the positive effects of coming out and encourages acceptance of all people. The video for his new song, “The Best Thing About Me is You,” sends a message of equality and compassion for others. Martin’s humanitarian work extends beyond LGBT issues, having founded the Ricky Martin Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that advocates children's rights.

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"Ricky coming out was a game changer for many gay and transgender Latino children, who for too long, did not have many out gay people to look up to," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.  "Through his music, videos and interviews, Ricky has sent an important message that our community wants the same things all people do: an equal chance to raise our families and take care of our loved ones."

Past recipients of the Vito Russo Award include Cynthia Nixon, Suze Orman, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Elton John, Liz Smith, k.d. lang, David LaChapelle, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.

Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth will receive the Vanguard Award at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles

The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. Kristin Chenoweth was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Glee, which was named Outstanding Comedy Series at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, and co-starred in Running With Scissors, nominated for Outstanding Film – Wide Release at the 18th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. When Newsweek published a controversial article that incorrectly asserted that gay actors ‘cannot play straight roles,’ Chenoweth wrote a response defending gay actors, including Sean Hayes, her co-star in Promises, Promises, and called on Newsweek to “embrace stories which promote acceptance, love and unity.”  Chenoweth has demonstrated her devotion to LGBT equality by participating in the National Equality March in October 2009, speaking at the LGBT Community Center of New York as well as supporting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and GLSEN. She has also been honored with the Point Courage Award by the Point Foundation.

"When allies like Kristin take such powerful stands against anti-gay sentiments in the media, it sends an important message of equality," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "It is a privilege to honor such a talented and conscientious advocate for fairness towards the LGBT community."

Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron, Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, Eric McCormack, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Kathy Griffin and Whoopi Goldberg.

Check back soon for more Special Honorees and Special Guests for the GLAAD Media Awards - celebrating 25 years of GLAAD!