GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced it will honor LGBT equality advocate, author and speaker Chaz Bono at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo. Bono will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the Los Angeles Ceremony on April 21, 2012 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, presented locally by Delta Air Lines.
Ellen Degeneres will open the show. Other special guests 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. Additional honorees and guests for the April 21 Los Angeles event to be announced.
Chaz Bono will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
Chaz 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 thirteenth 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.”