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Anderson Cooper Accepts Vito Russo Honor at GLAAD Awards: VIDEO


Anderson Cooper thanked not only presenter Madonna and sponsor GLAAD but also the many known and unknown LGBT activists who have come before him as he accepted the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards last night.

The award, named for the groundbreaking gay author behind The Celluloid Closet, is given to someone whose work and life are dedicated to breaking barriers and making life easier for the rest of the LGBT communities. Cooper, of course, knows he couldn't have done it alone. Nor is our job done: the fight continues to make sure these people's stories are told.

Watch video of Cooper's comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

Here, an excerpt from the ever-humble journalist's speech, in which he again says that being gay is his greatest blessing.

As a gay person, it's important for me to remember that all of us come from a community whose stories have for too long been forgotten and ignored, a community whose lives have for too long been ridiculed or misrepresented, a community that in spite of all that has found ways to love and to laugh and to care about one another, a community that has found ways to stand tall and stand up and make ourselves visible.

I know that I'm only able to be on this stage because of generations of gay people who have come before and some of their names are known, but so many have lived and died in silence… There lives never even acknowledged, their love hidden in the shadows, hands furtively held in the dark…

I've had many blessings in my life and being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings. It has allowed me to love and be loved; it has allowed me to open my head and open my heart in ways that I never could have predicted. The ability to love one another, The ability to love another person is one of God's greatest gifts and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with people in my life, with my family, my friends, and my partner Benjamin.

Watch video of Cooper's comments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. So good to see him acknowledge Ben. It can be said that without another man in your life being gay is largely just a theory.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Mar 17, 2013 10:35:58 AM

  2. i must have missed something. i like anderson cooper, i watch 360 every night, and i applaud him for coming out recently, but i don't remember him doing anything extraordinary to "break barriers" or "make life easier for the rest of the LGBT communities."

    Posted by: jed | Mar 17, 2013 10:42:41 AM

  3. He has done a ton and half of gay stories of late, especialy about bullying and LGBT teen suicides as a result of bullying.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 17, 2013 10:53:50 AM

  4. Yay!!! He mentioned Ben!!!

    Posted by: Geoff | Mar 17, 2013 10:57:13 AM

  5. geoff beat me to it. i am not alone in relishing the fact that he made the relationship official. sealed the deal so to speak.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Mar 17, 2013 11:00:07 AM

  6. did we ever find out who anderson's partner was kissing in those pictures last year? that story went away faster than mariah carey's weight loss regime.

    Posted by: igor | Mar 17, 2013 11:15:05 AM

  7. Mr. Belonsky, get your damned facts straight.

    Vito Russo was an historian, author and a brave, bold activist for the LGBT community, not a "groundbreaking filmmaker".

    I don't mind your usual rash of errors with your news items, but this one is egregious.

    Research first, then post.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 17, 2013 11:41:17 AM

  8. Was this a modern digital camera image subjected to an instagram setting that made it look like a 1950s orthicon tube television camera, or a real screen capture from a 1950s orthicon tube television camera?

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Mar 17, 2013 1:13:59 PM

  9. i don't begrudge anderson his award. i say good for him. i'm just puzzled with glaad's choice. isn't there someone else more deserving?

    the award is meant to be for someone whose work and life appear to be dedicated to promoting or advancing gay rights through the media. yes, anderson presented a good documentary on bullying recently and has covered gay interest stories more frequently since he publicly came out 7 months ago. all good work. but his coverage of ENDA, DADT, DOMA, marriage equality, immigration discrimination and other gay issues of national interest is just like the coverage from any other reputable journalist. it doesn't appear, to me at least, as a life's worth of dedication to gay rights promotion in the media.

    anyway, it's just my two cents. congratulations anderson.

    Posted by: jed | Mar 17, 2013 1:38:14 PM

  10. he did a lot more before he "officially" came out than many folks accomplish in their entire Out lives. and by making it "official" he's removed and any all doubts. Out, Proud and known the world over.

    you had betta WERK!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 17, 2013 1:45:08 PM

  11. Gays are parroting Hollywood's "mutual admiration" society.

    Posted by: Jim | Mar 17, 2013 2:05:29 PM

  12. i am with Jed, i don't understand why he is getting this award, he is NOT a civil rights activist nor does he fight for gay rights, he is simply a news anchor who covers gay issues sometimes in his show. Has Maddow gotten this award? she is more deserving that him.

    Posted by: johnosahon | Mar 17, 2013 2:25:13 PM

  13. @ jamal49

    YEP, A NEW LOW FOR tr.

    Something's wrong with the forgetfulness and the ignorance prevalent in the community!

    No wonder how the whole gay commnuity shifted to the (far) right! Only because it forgets how the gay lib started in the first place! Milk worked intensively with the Labor, now the most prominent gay sup in SF is doing his best to squeeze the working class out of the city!!!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 17, 2013 2:33:52 PM

  14. As much as I admire Mr. Cooper for his recent accomplishments as he increased our visibility but what exactly has he done to be Vito worthy?

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Mar 17, 2013 2:45:08 PM

  15. Beautiful acceptance speech by a beautiful man. Congrats, Anderson!

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Mar 17, 2013 2:48:56 PM

  16. With the ED, my hope for GLAAD was kinda revived but reading these comments makes me realize that it's still basically ... same old same old! A "silly" glitz fest is what it is!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 17, 2013 2:52:10 PM

  17. With the ED, my hope for GLAAD was kinda revived but reading these comments makes me realize that it's still basically ... the same old same old! A "silly" glitz fest is what it is!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 17, 2013 2:52:24 PM

  18. With the ED, my hope for GLAAD was kinda revived but reading these comments makes me realize that it's still basically ... the same old same old! A "silly" glitz fest is what it is!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 17, 2013 2:52:27 PM

  19. Beautiful speech and he mentioned his bf Benjamin at long last. AC recognizes that some don't think he's worthy of that award (I think he is) and he said it himself, but he also said if receiving it helps spread the word about who Vito Russo was and how important he was to the LGBT community. I saw some of the previous celebrity recipients of this award and don't see why AC is less deserving than any of them.

    Posted by: Perry | Mar 17, 2013 2:57:54 PM

  20. @igor, no one knows but the guy sort of looked a bit like Josh Wood, a promoter Ben's friends with, but I'm probably quite wrong indeed. Anyhow, those pics had no effect on AC and Ben's relationship as they seem to be very much in love and closer than ever.

    Posted by: Zee | Mar 17, 2013 3:05:55 PM

  21. I agree that Rachel Maddow and even presenter Madonna have done much more, all while being more open about who they are, but hey, glad to finally have him on the side of openness at long last. Maybe this was mean as an encouragement for others in Hollywood to come out... Hey look, "it gets better" and hey, you get an award, too!

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Mar 17, 2013 4:07:39 PM

  22. While our beloved Vito Russo would find humor in being called a "groundbreaking filmmaker," he would be more honored to be identified for what he was, a film historian, visionary and LGBT and HIV/AIDS activist. He literally gave his life for his people. When writing about the person for whom an award is named, it can't be that difficult to get the identification correct.

    Posted by: elangay | Mar 17, 2013 5:15:56 PM

  23. I like Coop and even before coming out he was good about covering gay issues in more depth than we usually get on cable news. But this is typical of GLAAD to award the already famous mainstream media figures and ignore people doing important and very dangerous work reporting on gay issues in places where it's potentially dangerous to talk about gay issues at all. I don't blame Anderson Cooper for this. I think he's a good guy and a decent journalist in an era when stenography passes for reporting, but like so many gay organizations it wastes a lot of money to allow a small group of A-list gays to pat themselves on the back. We deserve better.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Mar 17, 2013 7:00:41 PM

  24. Although it has taken Anderson Cooper a long time to come out, he is finally out and proud, paving the way for future generations. Awesome!

    Posted by: | Mar 17, 2013 7:28:13 PM

  25. LAME! Why is GLAAD even giving him an award, he's riding on the shoulders of Rupert, Ellen, Don Lemon, and even Matt Bomer. He could've done so much more for the community. He could've said in his speech what he plans to do for the gay community, yet he just gloated about kissing Madonna and his career. So disappointing.

    Posted by: Anastasia | Mar 17, 2013 8:17:55 PM

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