Kelly Ripa, Thomas Roberts Honored at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
By Jessica Roy
The stars turned out to celebrate Saturday night at the GLAAD Media Awards!
GLAAD held its 26th annual awards ceremony in New York City. The purpose of the awards is to "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 were hosted by comedian Ross Mathews, who Instagrammed a photo of himself on the red carpet:
"If the world is a cafeteria, we're the closest we've ever been to sitting at the cool kids' table — screw that, we are the cool kids' table!" he said at the beginning of the night.
Kelly Ripa was the big honoree of the night. She received the overall Excellence in Media Award, which was presented to her by Anderson Cooper.
Ripa produces the Logo series Secret Guide to Fabulous in addition to hosting Live! With Kelly and Michael. She thanked the organization for the award before noting that she felt strange being celebrated for "treating people like people." She added, "Quite frankly, I should be giving this award to all of you."
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts was given the Vito Russo Award, presented to him by Lynda Carter. The award is named after the co-founder of GLAAD and is presented annually to an openly LGBT member of the media. Past recipients have included George Takei, Ricky Martin, Nathan Lane, and RuPaul. Roberts came out as gay in 2006.
In his acceptance speech, he recounted how he considered taking his own life when he was 15 and struggling with knowing he was different.
"People like me were considered immoral at best, a joke," he told the crowd. "I tried to keep my sexuality a secret to everyone and to myself, and when I got older, especially if I wanted to work in TV news, being out meant being an outcast."
Sports Illustrated won for Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage. Managing editor Chris Stone came up to accept his award with Michael Sam and Jason Collins, two openly gay athletes.
On stage, Stone said the award really belong to Sam and Collins, for "their courage, eloquence and willingness to be voices and faces for issues the sports world is only beginning to face, and not always well."
Other honorees included Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for Outstanding Talk Show Episode, Time magazine for Outstanding Magazine Article, R&B Divas Atlanta for Outstanding Reality Program, and the movie Lilting for Outstanding Film, Limited Release.
Openly gay country star Ty Herndon performed a rendition of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," and Empire's Jussie Smollett, who came out earlier this year, made a surprise guest appearance.
Attendees included Laverne Cox, Jeffrey Tambor, Trace Lysette, Dascha Polanco, Janet Mock, Tituss Burgess, Omar Sharif, Hr., and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Watch 2013 GLAAD Award winner Adam Lambert discuss how he feels paving the way for other gay artists: