Cher Presents Award to Chaz Bono, Benicio Del Toro Presents to Josh Hutcherson at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by Ketel One and Wells Fargo

April 22, 2012

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

Kelly Striewski, BWR

Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell speaks out; Celebrities voice support after Boy Scouts of America ousts her for being gay

Modern Family, Hot in Cleveland, Drop Dead Diva, Beginners, and Becoming Chaz receive awards at Los Angeles event

Los Angeles, Sunday, April 22, 2012 – Betty White, Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Joshua Jackson, Kim Wayans, Sara Gilbert and Jason Mraz joined the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as it honored advocate and author Chaz Bono, actor Josh Hutcherson and the best in television and film last night at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and locally by Delta Air Lines.

Cher and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) presented the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Chaz Bono, and Benicio Del Toro presented the Vanguard Award to Josh Hutcherson.

Video of Cher presenting the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Chaz Bono can be seen at  Additional video to be posted.  For more information and photographs from the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles visit and

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.  The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

Also at the event, Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother from Ohio who was ousted last week as a scout leader from the Boy Scouts of America, spoke onstage with her partner, Alicia, and their four children.  Celebrities and special guests signed Tyrrell's petition calling on the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on LGBT scouts and scout leaders. In only five days, the petition has received over 110,000 signatures.

Cher surprised her son, Chaz Bono, by joining Bono's stepmother, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, in presenting him with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.  The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.

In her remarks, Cher praised her son, "I'm here because Chaz has the most courage of almost anyone I know.  The other day I was having a big meltdown (like you do) and Chaz said, 'Are you going to come to the [GLAAD event],' and I went 'Chaz, you know, I'm not doing well right now' and…he texted me and said 'I turned into a very understanding, smart man and you can call on me.'  And it made me feel so good, like I could lean on someone.  It touched my heart."  Addressing Bono directly, Cher said, "You are the most courageous person I know and you really deserve this award, so come up and get this award!"

In his acceptance speech, Bono discussed the role GLAAD has played in his life.  "This truly means so much to me, because not only did I work at GLAAD, I think I learned everything that I value and that I do now as an activist from the time I spent at GLAAD.  I learned here to use the greatest activist tool that we have at our disposal, and that is the media."  Bono continued, "For my personal journey since I transitioned, GLAAD has been there for me every step of the way.  From when it first came out that I was transitioning, GLAAD was right there, out front in the media.  And really everything that I've done since then, they have been a partner for me to be able to go to when Million Moms is coming out against me or Keith Ablow is telling people that me being on Dancing with the Stars is somehow going to be damaging to children.  They have really been a partner for me all the way."

Also at the event, actor and director Benicio del Toro presented the Vanguard Award to actor Josh Hutcherson.  Del Toro directed Hutcherson in the short film 7 Days in Havana.  The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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."

Tim and Tracy Rodemeyer, along with their daughter Alyssa, spoke onstage to the over 400 young adults in attendance, in memory of their 14-year-old son Jamey who died by suicide in the fall of 2011 after posting an It Gets Better video on YouTube.

Other special guests include:  Betty White, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland); Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show); Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family); Max Adler, Grant Gustin (Glee); Joshua Jackson (Fringe); Mark Deklin, Miriam Shor (GCB); Sara Gilbert (The Talk) and musician Linda Perry; Kim Wayans (Pariah); Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries); singer Jason Mraz; Molly Shannon (Casa de mi Padre); Trevor Donovan (90210); LGBT advocate and writer Perez Hilton; Brooke Elliott, Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva); Gilles Marini (Switched at Birth); Guillermo Diaz (Scandal); Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter (Resident Evil); Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills); Marissa Jaret Winokur (Retired at 35); Tabatha Coffey (Tabatha Takes Over); Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace); Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance); Peter Marc Jacobson (Happily Divorced); writer LZ Granderson; Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato (Becoming Chaz, Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys); Freddie Smith (Days of Our Lives); Michelle Paradise, Angela Featherstone (Exes & Ohs); Lady Bunny, Raven (RuPaul’s Drag U); Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset); Jamie Clayton (Hung); Madison Hildebrand (Million Dollar Listing); Washington State Rep. Maureen Walsh; decorated Air Force veteran Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach; and GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in Los Angeles.

  • Stephen F. Kolzak Award:  Chaz Bono (presented by Cher and Rep. Mary Bono Mack)
  • Vanguard Award:  Josh Hutcherson (presented by Benicio Del Toro)
  • Outstanding Film - Wide Release:  Beginners (Focus Features)
  • Outstanding Documentary:  Becoming Chaz (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network) [accepted by: directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and Chaz Bono]
  • Outstanding Comedy Series:  Modern Family (ABC) [accepted by: Jesse Tyler Ferguson]
  • Outstanding Individual Episode:  TIE: "Prom" Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime) [accepted by: producer Josh Berman and Brooke Elliott] and "Beards" Hot in Cleveland (TV Land) [accepted by: Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, Betty White and episode guest stars Gilles Marini and Laura San Giacomo]

This year, over 500 youth from Southern California were able to attend the event at no cost through GLAAD's Young Adults @ the GLAAD Media Awards initiative.  Young Adults @ the GLAAD Media Awards was presented in Los Angeles by Edison International. Additional support from corporate partners including Bridgestone Americas, Cirque du Soleil, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Tom Ford & Richard Buckley, Billie Jean King, Madison Square Garden–The Rockettes Company, Major League Baseball, Bishop Gene Robinson, Southern California Gas

Company - A Sempra Energy utility, and Steve Tisch allowed GLAAD to make this program possible. Students affiliated with Cleveland, Downey and Compton High Schools, the LifeWorks program, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and Cal State Fullerton, among others, enjoyed the show, as well as a pre-reception, advocacy fair and a private after-party.

Additional awards were presented in New York on March 24, and the final awards will be presented in San Francisco on June 2 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.  Glee's Dianna Agron will host the June event, and it will feature a special performance by Mystère by Cirque du Soleil from Treasure Island Las Vegas.  A complete list of award recipients announced at the New York event may be found here:

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One and Wells Fargo, New York Presenting partners Delta Air Lines and Prudential, Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines.  GLAAD is also grateful to the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partners: Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Comcast/NBC Universal, Disney-ABCTelevision Group/ESPN, IBM, Sheppard Mullin and Time Warner, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, David Yurman, Food Network/Cooking Channel, The Los Angeles Lakers, New York City Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, VPI Pet Insurance and Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.

For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, or to become a table host, purchase tickets or place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit or call (212) 219-0111.