Anderson Cooper will be awarded a prestigious honor by GLADD for his work as an openly gay journalist. Madonna has been confirmed to present the honor at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards this month.
GLADD, a gay advocacy organization, announced today that Anderson Cooper will be this year’s recipient of its Vito Russo Award. The honor is presented to “openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality.”
The award is named after Vito Russo, a legendary HIV/AIDS activist. He authored a book about gay individuals in cinema called The Celluloid Closet and was instrumental to the founding of the GLADD organization.
Herndon Graddick, president of the GLADD organization, spoke about Cooper’s contribution to the gay community in a statement:
“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.”
“He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I’m proud to call him a friend.”
GLAAD felt that Madonna, who is friends with Anderson Cooper, would be the ideal person to present the honor. The singer is well known for gay rights and marriage equality, often speaking out against bullying toward members of the LGBT community.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Cooper, who is now openly gay, did not confirm his sexual orientation until last year. After much speculation by media, the journalist allowed an online blogger to publish portions of a personal email in which Cooper stated the following:
“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.”
Madonna will present Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award in a GLAAD ceremony set to take place on March 16.