Thomas Roberts accepts the Vito Russo Award from Lynda Carter at #glaadawards NYC

At Saturday night's 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City, out Emmy-nominated journalist Thomas Roberts accepted the Vito Russo Award from Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter. The Vito Russo Award, named after a founding member of GLAAD and the author of The Celluloid Closet, is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community.

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"That is why 'coming out' is so empowering," said Roberts. "For those of us with the privilege to work in media our viewers or listeners deserve to know who we really are, because there is nothing to be ashamed of when this is your truth."

Roberts has tirelessly advocated for LGBT equality and acceptance by highlighting LGBT issues and often shining a spotlight on stories that mainstream news outlets frequently overlook. On his show MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts he has highlighted stories about LGBT communities in the South, LGBT athletes, marriage equality, bullying and discrimination, and amplified stories from the trans community. Roberts has been a strong supporter of GLAAD's annual anti-bullying #spiritday campaign and even hosted a Twitter chat with GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis where he gave advice to LGBT youth and facilitated discussion. Roberts also made history with OUT@NBCUniversal, an LGBT and ally employee group that became the first organization to march under an LGBT banner in New York's St Patrick's Day Parade.

Carter, most known for playing Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series of the same name, has been an outspoken ally to the LGBT community. She was also Grand Marshall of the New York Pride Parade in 2011, held over the weekend that marriage equality passed in the state.

Previous Vito Russo Award honorees include George Takei, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Alan Cumming, Tom Ford, and Cynthia Nixon.

Anderson Cooper presented the Excellence in Media Award to Kelly Ripa. Lynda Carter presented the Vito Russo Award to journalist Thomas Roberts. Comedian Ross Mathews hosted the event. Out country singer Ty Herndon performed with Antigone Rising's Kristen Henderson and guitarist Anita Cochran. Other guests included: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Trace Lysette (Transparent); Rupert Friend (Homeland) and fiancé Aimee Mullins; Jonathan Groff (Looking); Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, Jackie Cruz (Orange Is the New Black); Janet Mock (So Popular!); Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Mark Consuelos (Alpha House); Rachael Harris (Suits) and her fiancé Christian Hebel; Karla Mosley, Scott T. Schofield, Crystal Chappell (The Bold and the Beautiful); out NBA player Jason Collins; out football player Michael Sam and fiancé Vito Cammisano; Craig Melvin (MSNBC Live) and wife Lindsay Czarniak (SportsCenter); Alicia Menendez (Alicia Menendez Tonight); models Andreja Pejić, Carmen Carrera, Rain Dove, Josephine Skriver, Cory Wade; Monifah Carter and her wife Terez Thorpe (R&B Divas: Atlanta); recording artist Maya Vik; Terry Artis, Jonathan Bodrick, Brandon Hood, JJ Langan, Devin Stokes, Kristen Brown (B.O.R.N. to Style); Josh Canfield, Reed Kelly (Survivor); Louise Sorel (Days of Our Lives); Sam Champion (The Weather Channel); out WWE wrestler Darren Young; designer Mitchell Gold; John Gidding, Theodore Leaf, Rob Younkers (Secret Guide to Fabulous); and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

The Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards were held on March 21 at the Beverly Hilton. For video, photos, and more, visit: http://glaad.org/mediaawards/recap. The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, and Wells Fargo; and Official Presenting Partners Amazon and Bud Light.

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