GLAAD handed out its annual media awards in New York City over the weekend. Tyra Banks received the Excellence in Media Award, Suze Orman received the Vito Russo Award, and Phil Donahue received a Special Recognition award.
Said Banks: "You embraced me and now I embrace you in front of millions to show how beautiful you are, how absolutely amazing you are, how giving you are. And I will continue to do that as long as I have a platform. I will continue to get the message out about gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people."
Said Orman: "I want every single one of you in this room to take note of what corporations put their time and money behind gays, behind lesbians -- behind you. Do you want to continue to give your money to people in corporations that oppress us, that keep us down? Or do you want to give your money to the corporations who can help us rise and change what needs to be changed in the United States of America today."
Said Donahue: "The majority of the people in the nation agree with us. Our job now is to summon these people to stand up and say so out loud. To tell them to join us."
GLAAD also unveiled a new statuette for its winners. If you want specifics, it's 12 inches high, weighs 7 pounds, and is die-cast zinc, hand finished with a satin texture and plated with a custom nickel and rhodium finish for a dark luster, and comes on a black-stained ash base.
Fashion designer Jack Mackenroth filed a personal report on his blog, applauding GLAAD's choices of Suze Orman and Phil Donahue, though he had some critical thoughts about some of the other choices:
"I just really don’t understand why Tyra Banks was being honored. Because she has gay people on her show? Big deal. It’s about fashion and modeling. We are a dime a dozen in those industries. I may enjoy watching Mr. and Ms. Jay prance around the set of Top Model but I don’t think they do anything to advance the LGBT cause. If anything they perpetuate the idea that gay men are all over-the-top borderline drag queens. Nothing against them personally. I just think GLAAD should dig a little deeper. I also found it a bit offensive that Clay Aiken was making an appearance. He is another one who has been sending the message to America that being gay is not OK. He does not represent me. There are so many talented, out, GLBT people that could have been chosen. I was truly disappointed. Now I know that we need to align with our straight allies. I just think GLAAD needs to rethink some of their choices."
GLAAD's L.A. ceremony is coming up on April 18th and honors Kathy Griffin, Bishop Gene Robinson and The L Word. Others who will be appearing there are Jessica Alba, Dustin Lance Black; Balthazar Getty; Megan Mullally; Alan Cumming; Gus Van Sant; George Takei; Bruno Tonioli; Robert Gant, Peter Paige, Thea Gill, Michelle Clunie; Wilson Cruz; and Chad Allen.
Finally, they'll arrive in San Francisco on May 9th to hand out another round.