Hard-hitting journalist Anderson Cooper will receive a GLAAD award, which recognizes openly gay media professionals, from a very special guest — Madonna. The singer will present Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Marriot Marquis on March 16.
The pair are longtime friends and both known for their international support of the LGBT community. “From speaking out against bullying to raising support for marriage equality, Madonna has always been one of our community’s strongest allies,” GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said in a statement. “We are honored to have her stand with GLAAD and Anderson Cooper.”
The award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Vito Russo honorees include Ricky Martin, Rosie O’Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, Brian Graden and Tom Ford.
Despite years of speculation, Cooper had remained mum about his sexuality until last July when he gave a journalist permission to publish an e-mail in which he said he was gay. “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,” Graddick revealed. “He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I’m proud to call him a friend.”