Big news for the LGBT community: It has been announced that Anderson Cooper will be honored by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) later this month. The outspoken CNN journalist will be receiving the Vito Russo Award at the organization’s 24thAnnual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City.
The Vito Russo Award is given to an openly gay, lesbian, or transgender figure in the media who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of equality. Past recipients come from all over the media-scape, including singers like Ricky Martin, designers like Tom Ford, actresses like Cherry Jones, and the one and only RuPaul.
Cooper himself came out publicly last summer in an interview with journalist Andrew Sullivan. After being asked to discuss the idea of LGBT public figures that announce their sexuality in a “restrained and matter-of-fact way,” Cooper gave a response that included his now-famous statement ”The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud.”
On the subject of his decision to come out in such a public forum, Cooper had this to say: “I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”
It seems you couldn’t ask for a better candidate for the Vito Russo Award. In the words of GLAAD president Herndon Graddick, “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.”
Longtime LGBT supporter Madonna will be presenting the award to Anderson Cooper on March 16.