Don Lemon to be Honored by Van Jones at GLAAD Gala for Amplifying Marginalized Voices and Stories

September 8, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

Julia Michaels to perform at San Francisco Gala with Presenters including Katherine Langford and Tommy Dorfman of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’

Queer Black Muslim Activist Blair Imani and Transgender Military Veteran Laila Ireland to Speak Out


San Francisco, CA, Thursday, September 08, 2017 –GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced that it will honor CNN anchor and correspondent Don Lemon with the Davidson/Valentini Award at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco at City View at Metreon on September 9, 2017. The GLAAD Gala celebrates and features storytellers who accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community.

GLAAD also announced a special performance by Julia Michaels during the event. The evening will be hosted by Ross Mathews and presenters include Katherine Langford and Tommy Dorfman, stars of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why.’ GLAAD previously announced that Sam Altman, an out investor and president of Y Combinator, will receive the Ric Weiland Award. For more information visit

CNN commentator and President of Dream Corps, Van Jones, will present the Davidson/Valentini Award to Lemon.

GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. Don Lemon anchors CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and serves as a correspondent across CNN U.S. programming. He most recently gained attention and praise for his personal response and intrepid reporting following the recent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, VA. He has been a staunch advocate on-air for holding public officials accountable to facts and highlighting underrepresented LGBTQ issues. He has reported and anchored on-the-scene for CNN on many breaking news stories including the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Lemon came out as gay in a 2011 autobiography. He has won an Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow award and currently appears on OUT Magazine’s ‘Power 50’ list.

“Don Lemon’s honest reporting has been a beacon of clarity in the increasingly muddled world of today’s news media,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “He is never afraid to expose the truth and speaks his mind in a way that not only raises the bar for other news anchors, but showcases his heart and his passion for all Americans.”

The award is named after Craig Davidson, GLAAD's first executive director, and his partner Michael Valentini. Previous award recipients Lee Daniels, Adam Lambert, Hannah Hart, Sandra Bernhard, Alec Mapa, Tyler Oakley, B.D. Wong, and Ilene Chaiken, among others.

The GLAAD Gala in San Francisco will also include featured storytellers. Blair Imani, a black queer Muslim activist at, will speak about intersectionality, her work with #BlackLivesMatter, and creating an online community for other young queer Muslims. Laila Ireland, a transgender woman who served in the army for 13 years, will speak onstage about the situation regarding President Trump’s proposed ban for transgender people in the military and attending the 2017 MTV VMAs with GLAAD. She is also featured in the soon to be released feature documentary, TransMilitary.

To receive the latest updates on GLAAD Gala San Francisco, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #thisismystory