Chaz Bono to receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by Ketel One & Wells Fargo
On Tuesday, April 10, 2012 GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced it will honor LGBT equality advocate, author and speaker Chaz Bono at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo. Bono will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the Los Angeles Ceremony on April 21, 2012 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, presented locally by Delta Air Lines.
Ellen DeGeneres will open the show and guests will enjoy a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer and LGBT equality advocate, Jason Mraz. Other special guests include: Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland); Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games); Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family); Joshua Jackson (Fringe); Kate Beckinsale (Underworld: Awakening); Kim Wayans (Pariah); Molly Shannon (Casa de mi Padre); Trevor Donovan (90210); Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced); Brooke Elliott, Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva); Gilles Marini (Switched at Birth); Ali Larter (The Asset); Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato (Becoming Chaz); Mike Mills (Beginners); and decorated Air Force veteran Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach. Additional honorees and guests for the April 21 Los Angeles event to be announced.
Chaz Bono will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
Chaz Bono has consistently advocated for LGBT equality. In 2009, Bono revealed that he is transgender, and in 2011 he shared his life in the documentary Becoming Chaz, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and three Emmy Awards. Also in 2011, Bono competed on the thirteenth season of ABC’s hit show, Dancing With The Stars. Bono has written three books including Transition, which is his groundbreaking account of his transition from female to male. In 1996, Bono became the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day spokesperson, and later served as GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Director where he tackled several high-profile campaigns around LGBT issues in Hollywood. He has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and has spoken at dozens of universities and LGBT events. He continues to promote change by creating awareness and discussions about fairness and equality for the LGBT community. Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Condon, Todd Haynes, Alan Ball, Ellen DeGeneres, Sir Ian McKellen and NBC Chairman of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.
“Chaz has opened the door for countless others, reshaping the way Americans think about transgender people today,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD. “His bold leadership in sharing his story as a transgender man, as well as his tireless work to secure equality for every American, embodies the values of GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award.”
Nominees for the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced in January and are available here: http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 21, 2012 at the Westin Bonaventure; and in San Francisco on June 2 at San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Glee‘s Dianna Agron will host the show in San Francisco, with a special performance by Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère. Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal) will receive the Golden Gate Award. Facebook and Wells Fargo will receive special awards at the event.
The GLAAD Media Awards fund GLAAD’s work to bring stories of LGBT people and issues to Americans. Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bring together more than 5,000 advocates and allies to raise nearly $3.5 million for the organization’s work.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD at www.glaad.org/connect.
2011 Photos credit to: Rodrigo Vaz and Daniela Hubbard for Diversity News Magazine.