The odds were ever in 19-year-old Josh Hutcherson’s favor last night as the equality advocate, actor, and star of The Hunger Games became the youngest person ever to receive the prestigious Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. Josh follows suit of other Vanguard Award recipients like Liza Minnelli, Cher, Shirley MacLaine, Whoopi Goldberg, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Watch Josh’s speech below:
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."
While at the event, Josh also showed support for Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell’s Change.org petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America to allow LGBT scouts and scout leaders. Tyrrell was booted from her post as scout leader earlier this month because she's gay. So far, over 110,000 people have joined Tyrrell's action.
Other attendees included Cher, Jason Mraz, Max Adler, Chaz Bono, Mary Bono Mack, Tabatha Coffey, Benicio Del Toro, Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Deklin, Trevor Donovan, Reza Farahan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sara Gilbert, Kat Graham, Grant Gustin, Madison Hildebrand, Perez Hilton, Joshua Jackson, Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, Gilles Marini, Kyle Richards, Molly Shannon, Miriam Shor, Lisa Vanderpump, Kim Wayans, Betty White, Marissa Jaret Winokur and dozens of others.
On June 3 Glee’s Dianna Agron will voice her support for equality by hosting the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco. Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere will offer a special performance at the event, where Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal) will receive the Golden Gate Award, and Facebook will also be honored. For ticket information, click here.
The 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in Los Angeles by Delta Air Lines. Southwest Airlines is the local presenting partner of San Francisco.