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GLAAD to honor Barrymore, Sykes

LOS ANGELES – Drew Barrymore and Wanda Sykes will be honored in April by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Barrymore will be given the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards. The actress, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, played a lesbian in the 2009 film, “Everybody’s Fine,” starring opposite Robert De Niro and Kate Beckinsale. The award is for increasing the visibility and understanding of LGBT people.

Sykes, who is legally married in California to her wife, Alex, will be bestowed with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Sykes’ wife gave birth last year to twins, Lucas Claude and Olivia Lou. The award is given to openly gay people who promote equality.

The 21st annual awards show is split among New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Tony Award winner Alan Cumming will host the New York ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis.

Actor Wilson Cruz will co-host the Los Angeles ceremony on April 17 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

Emmy Award-winning comedian and writer Bruce Vilanch will host the San Francisco ceremony on June 5 at The Westin St. Francis.

By recognizing and honoring media for outstanding images of the LGBT community, the GLAAD Media Awards serve as a benchmark for the media industry and complement GLAAD’s work to bring LGBT images and stories to Americans.

Among the nominees: Tom Ford's Golden Globe-nominated film “A Single Man”; Lee Daniel's Golden Globe-nominated film “Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire”; Ang Lee's latest film “Taking Woodstock”; “Little Ashes,” starring Robert Pattinson; AMC's acclaimed drama “Mad Men”; Fox's hit show “Glee”; ABC’s new hit comedy “Modern Family.”

Also, “Be Like Others,” a documentary about transgender people in Iran; Logo's reality show “RuPaul's Drag Race”; daytime drama “One Life to Live”; HLN talk show “The Joy Behar Show”; bisexual singer Lady Gaga; and gay singer Adam Lambert.

What the awards mean
"Words and images matter," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said. "With these awards, we seek to recognize news coverage and entertainment programming that go beyond stock stereotypes with LGBT storylines that more fully reflect the challenges gay and transgender people face and the aspirations we hold for ourselves and our families.

“The GLAAD Media Awards honor media professionals who are doing an exceptional job at bringing our stories into the living rooms of America – and set a 'fairness benchmark' for the news and entertainment industries. The awards also complement and fund GLAAD's other programmatic work to share the stories of allies, religious leaders, gay and transgender people of color, local couples and families with Americans," he said.

Cynthia Nixon to be honored
GLAAD also announced that Cynthia Nixon will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the New York ceremony. The award is named after a founding member of GLAAD and is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community.

"Cynthia Nixon has been a vocal and visible advocate who has transformed cultural attitudes about our community," Barrios said. "She is a perfect example of how sharing your personal story and speaking out for marriage equality can inspire change among fair-minded Americans. It is our privilege to honor her."

GLAAD said the Broadway cast of “Hair” would receive Special Recognition for their commitment to raising visibility for marriage equality.

The 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards will be the official launch of GLAAD's new visual identity, created by Lippincott. The new brand identity fully represents the evolving GLAAD mission and symbolizes the work GLAAD does to amplify the stories of LGBT people, transforming cultural attitudes and demonstrating why it is that words and images matter.

Full list of nominees
GLAAD announced 116 nominees in 24 English-language categories, and 36 Spanish-language nominees in 8 categories. In the competitive categories, cable networks earned 23 nominations, while broadcast networks garnered 17 nominations.

A complete list of English-language nominees are available at:
www.glaad.org/mediaawards/21/nominees.

A complete list of Spanish-language nominees are available at:
www.glaad.org/mediaawards/21/spanishnominees.

Additional facts and figures about this year's 152 nominees are available at: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/21/factsandfigures.

About GLAAD
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, visit www.glaad.org.