April 30, 2009, Los Angeles, CA – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced today that Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, will receive a Special Recognition Award at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by IBM in San Francisco. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives, and will be held in San Francisco on May 9, 2009 at the Hilton San Francisco.
GLAAD previously announced that actor Chad Allen will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award, and Chelsea Handler will host the event. The Davidson/Valentini Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community. In 2008, Allen appeared as openly gay detective Donald Strachey in here! Networks' The Donald Strachey Mystery Series and served as a producer on the film Save Me, which offered audiences a look into the world of so-called "ex gay ministries." The Donald Strachey Mystery Series is nominated for Outstanding Television Movie at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards and Save Me is a nominee for Outstanding Film – Limited Release.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will present Geoff Callan and Mike Shaw with the San Francisco Local Hero Award. Their film, Pursuit of Equality, is an emotionally charged documentary that provides viewers with an inside look at Mayor Newsom's decision to allow the first same-sex couple to exchange their vows. This past year, Callan and Shaw brought the film across California to fight the anti-gay Proposition 8.
GLAAD Media Awards will also be presented in the Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Reality Program categories.
Guests and presenters scheduled to attend the event include: Mayor Gavin Newsom; Suze Orman; Jason Lewis (Sex & The City, Brothers & Sisters); Gabrielle Christian, Mandy Musgrave (South of Nowhere); Dan Jinks, Cleve Jones (Milk); Robert Gant (Save Me); Eduardo Xol (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition); Michelle Clunie (Queer As Folk);
Wilson Cruz (He's Just Not That Into You); Calpernia Addams (Transamerican Love Story); Laverne Cox (I Want to Work for Diddy); Megan Cavanagh (Exes and Ohs); Judge David Young; and GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. More names to be announced.
Musical performances will include violinist Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, as well as openly gay singer Matt Alber.
In January, GLAAD announced 125 nominees in 26 English-language categories, and 60 Spanish-language nominees in 15 categories. A complete list of this year's 185 nominees is available at www.glaad.org/mediaawards. This year, more than 5,000 people will attend the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, raising more than $3.5 million for the organization's work.
More than 100 corporate sponsors are showing their support, including National Presenting Partner IBM and Local Presenting Partners ABSOLUT® VODKA and Prudential. GLAAD is also grateful to the event's Platinum Underwriters Comcast, TimeWarner and University of Phoenix. AT&T, Allstate Insurance Company, American Airlines, Barefoot Wine, Disney/ABC Television Group, HMS Media, Herb Ritts Foundation, New York City Marriott & Renaissance Hotels, Renaissance New York Hotel, MillerCoors, NBC Universal, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Southwest Airlines, The Terry Watanabe Charitable Trust and Wyndham Hotel Group support the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards as Underwriter Partners.
Tickets for the San Francisco event range from $100 to $400. For a full list of corporate sponsors or information on how to become a corporate sponsor, purchase tickets or a tribute journal ad, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards or contact Stamp Event Management at (877) 519-7904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.