LOS ANGELES -- GLAAD today announced it will honor LGBT equality advocate, author and speaker Chaz Bono at the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards in LA.
Bono will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the Los Angeles ceremony on Saturday, April 21, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.
Ellen DeGeneres will open the show and guests will enjoy a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer and LGBT equality advocate, Jason Mraz.
Other special guests will include Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves ("Hot In Cleveland"); Josh Hutcherson ("The Hunger Games"); Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family"); Joshua Jackson ("Fringe"); Kate Beckinsale ("Underworld: Awakening"); Kim Wayans ("Pariah"); Molly Shannon ("Casa de mi Padre"); Trevor Donovan ("90210"); Fran Drescher ("Happily Divorced"); Brooke Elliott, Josh Berman ("Drop Dead Diva"); Gilles Marini ("Switched At Birth"); Ali Larter ("The Asset"); Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato ("Becoming Chaz"); Mike Mills ("Beginners"); and decorated Air Force veteran Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach.
The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
Bono has consistently advocated for LGBT equality. In 2009, Bono revealed that he is transgender, and in 2011 he shared his life in the documentary "Becoming Chaz," which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and three Emmy Awards. Also in 2011, Bono competed on the 13th season of ABC’s hit show, "Dancing With The Stars."
Bono has written three books including "Transition," which is his groundbreaking account of his transition from female to male. In 1996, Bono became the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day spokesperson, and later served as GLAAD’s Entertainment Media Director where he tackled several high-profile campaigns around LGBT issues in Hollywood. He has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and has spoken at dozens of universities and LGBT events. He continues to promote change by creating awareness and discussions about fairness and equality for the LGBT community.
Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Condon, Todd Haynes, Alan Ball, Ellen DeGeneres, Sir Ian McKellen and NBC Chairman of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.
“Chaz has opened the door for countless others, reshaping the way Americans think about transgender people today," said Mike Thompson, acting president of GLAAD. "His bold leadership in sharing his story as a transgender man, as well as his tireless work to secure equality for every American, embodies the values of GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award.”
Nominees for the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced in January and are available HERE. The awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 21, 2012 at the Westin Bonaventure; and in San Francisco on June 2 at San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Dianna Agron of "Glee" will host the show in San Francisco, with a special performance by Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère. Shonda Rhimes ("Grey’s Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Scandal") will receive the Golden Gate Award. Facebook and Wells Fargo will receive special awards at the event.
To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.
The GLAAD Media Awards fund GLAAD's work to bring stories of LGBT people and issues to Americans. Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bring together more than 5,000 advocates and allies to raise nearly $3.5 million for the organization's work.
More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One and Wells Fargo, New York Presenting partners Delta Air Lines and Prudential, Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines. GLAAD is also grateful to the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partners: Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Comcast/NBC Universal, Disney-ABC Television Group/ESPN, IBM, Sheppard Mullin and Time Warner, as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, David Yurman, Food Network/Cooking Channel, New York City Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, VPI Pet Insurance and Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.
For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner or a table host, purchase tickets and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit HERE or call (212) 219-0111.