Kim Cattrall, author and technology expert Kara Swisher, AT&T and the best in film, documentaries and music were honored recently at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco, hosted by Glee’s Naya Rivera.
Sara Ramirez, Mario Lopez, Louis Van Amstel, Nelsan Ellis and Dustin Lance Black were among the celebrities who joined the evening’s festivities, presented by ROKK Vodka at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
At the ceremony, Dr. Michael Bader presented the Golden Gate Award to Kim Cattrall, who has been outspoken in her support of full equality for the LGBT community. The Golden Gate Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Cattrall began her acceptance speech by saying, “My name is Kim Cattrall, and you may be asking yourself why I have been chosen to be the honoree at the GLAAD Media Awards? Well, as many of you know, I played a gay man on a very popular television show for six wonderful years!”
Cattrall continued, “And more importantly, gays and lesbians have been my friends and supporters since the beginning of my career, and it has been an honor to stand up and give them my fullest support, both on-screen and off. And it is great to see Naya Rivera and many of the new generation of young performers doing the same. It is so meaningful to be here accepting this tribute from an organization that does such important work.”
Also at the event, technology journalist Walt Mossberg presented the Local Hero Award to former Wall Street Journal columnist and co-executive editor of the All Things Digital Web site, Kara Swisher, who has also written about her life as a lesbian and her marriage to Google executive Megan Smith.
GLAAD also presented the Corporate Leader Award to AT&T, which was accepted by Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California. GLAAD recognized AT&T’s LGBT-inclusive policies, including protection against discrimination, providing enhanced healthcare benefits access for legally recognized partners and transgender employees, providing enhanced retirement plans to allow legally recognized partners to qualify as survivors, and family and medical leave for gay and lesbian employees.
Writer and director Lisa Cholodenko accepted the award for the wonderful film The Kids Are All Right, which received the nod for Outstanding Film Wide Release.
Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black was on hand to accept the award for Outstanding Documentary on behalf of 8: The Mormon Proposition, which he narrated.
The award for Outstanding Spanish-Language Music Artist was accepted by openly gay Mexican pop star Christian Chavez, for his first solo album Almas transparentes.
“The media has a huge role in growing acceptance and understanding of gay and transgender people,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “When Americans see images and stories like those presented by this year’s award recipients, more and more people side with equality for all.”
Naya Rivera, who plays Santana on Fox’s Glee, hosted the evening, and Cirque du Soleil performed an act from their show Zumanity for the capacity crowd.
Other guests and presenters at the event included John Gidding (Designed to Sell); Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right); Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy); Nelsan Ellis (True Blood); Dustin Lance Black (8: The Mormon Proposition); Louis Van Amstel (Dancing with the Stars); Mario Lopez (Extra); Gbenga Akinnagbe (Nurse Jackie); Tabatha Coffey (Tabatha Takes Over); Yigit Pura (Top Chef: Just Desserts); international rugby star Ben Cohen; openly gay Mexican pop star Christian Chavez; Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns; and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.
This year, GLAAD expanded its Young Adults Program to San Francisco. Support from corporate partners like Bridgestone Americas and Cirque du Soleil, and GLAAD supporters Glenn Close, Alan Cumming, Tom Ford & Richard Buckley, Suze Orman, Bishop Gene Robinson, Barbara Walters, and the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor allowed GLAAD to offer free tickets to the event to over 80 young people from the greater San Francisco area. Students affiliated with GSA Network, COLAGE, and LYRIC enjoyed the show and a private pre-reception.
In addition to providing the means for a celebratory evening, ROKK encouraged presenters and award winners to incorporate “ROKK” into their speeches as part of the “I Wanna ROKK” campaign. For every “ROKK” said during the show, ROKK donated $100 to GLAAD. Bringing the fun into fundraising, they raised $7500!