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...