Video: Madonna presents the Vito Russo Award to Anderson Cooper
New York City -
Madonna took the stage at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday in New York City to present the Vito Russo Award to advocate, award-winning journalist, author and talk show host Anderson Cooper.
The 45-year-old Cooper said that "being gay is certainly one of the greatest blessings" of his life, adding that "it opened my head and heart in ways that I never could have predicted."
Madonna was dressed in a Boy Scouts outfit as part of GLAAD's year-long campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay scouts and leaders.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself," she said.
Winners on Saturday included NBC's Smash, which was named outstanding television drama, How to Survive a Plague, the Oscar-nominated film about AIDS activists, which took home the outstanding documentary prize, CBS' The Amazing Race, which was named outstanding reality program, and "Being Transgender in America" Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC) for Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine.
GLAAD also presented the Ally Award to film director Brett Ratner and premiered a public service announcement (PSA) campaign helmed by Ratner. The GLAAD "Coming Out for Equality" PSA series features a diverse group of straight celebrities and athletes "coming out of The Closet" as supporters of equality and calling for other Americans to speak out.
"The transgender community really stood out at the award show," noted GoPride.com transgender channel editor Kinley Preston. "This year there was a great line up of nominees."
The transgender community was represented in nominees like Glee (Fox), Degrassi (TeenNick), Musical Chairs (Paladin), Hit & Miss (DirecTV), Vito (HBO), Small Town Security (AMC), "The Husband Who is Now a Woman and the Daughter Who is Now a Son" The Jeff Probst Show (syndicated), "Being Transgender in America" Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC), "Golden Star" Rock Center with Brian Williams (NBC), "Generation Halsted" (series) (Windy City Times), "Netherland" by Rachel Aviv (The New Yorker), "The Transgender Athlete" by Pablo S. Torre and David Epstein (Sports Illustrated), "Why Aren't We Fighting for Cece McDonald?" by Marc Lamont Hill (Ebony.com), "The Beautiful Daughter: How My Korean Mother Gave Me the Courage to Transition" by Andy Marra (HuffingtonPost.com), "Eight Months in Solitary" by Andrew Harmon (Advocate.com), "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': Transgender Officers on Secretly Serving in the U.S. Military" by Marc Lamont Hill (Huffington Post Live), and Bring It On: The Musical.
"GLAAD is working to get more transgender people out in the media in a positive light," said Preston, who attended the award ceremony in New York.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. GLAAD Media Award nominees were published, released or broadcast between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.
GLAAD Media Award recipients were announced in 16 of this year's 33 media categories.
Madonna presents the Vito Russo Award to Anderson Cooper