NEW YORK — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced that Madonna will present CNN’s Anderson Cooper with an award for openly gay media professionals.
GLAAD told The Associated Press on Saturday that the singer has been chosen to give Cooper the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards inNew York City on March 16.
The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
The Award is named for Vito Russo, a founder of GLAAD and celebrated activist with ACT UP, who chronicled the early images of LGBT people in film and in his book The Celluloid Closet. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Ricky Martin, Rosie O’Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, k.d. lang, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick says Madonna and Cooper are longtime friends who have both used their careers to support lesbian, gay and transgender people.
Cooper declined to speak publicly about his sexuality for years. But last July he gave blogger Andrew Sullivan permission to publish an email in whichCooper said he was gay and “couldn’t be more happy.”“By sharing his own experiences as a gay man, Anderson has reminded millions of Americans that LGBT people are part of their everyday lives and an integral part of our cultural fabric,” said Graddick. “He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I’m proud to call him a friend.”