The stars came out in San Francisco on Saturday, June 5, for the 21st annual GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards.

Bruce Vilanch, Nikki Blonsky, Wilson Cruz, Jai Rodriguez, Thea Gill, Michelle Clunie, New Zealand’s Topp Twins, Jan Wahl and Liam Mayclem were among the celebrities who joined GLAAD as it honored Cybill Shepherd, Lee Daniels, Robert Hanson and the best in documentaries and journalism last night at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented in San Francisco by Southwest Airlines
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The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

At the ceremony, Clementine Ford and Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim presented the Golden Gate Award to their mother Cybill Shepherd, who has been outspoken in her support for full equality for LGBT people. The Golden Gate Award is presented to individuals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community in the media.

“We stand on the shoulders of our elders and I want to thank everyone who’s worked so hard to make this possible,” Shepherd said in her acceptance speech. “I’m very humbled and I don’t know that I could be more dedicated to this cause, but I could never thank you enough, GLAAD, for your education of me.”

Also at the event, actor Jensen Atwood presented the Davidson/Valentini Award to director Lee Daniels, who received an Academy Award nomination for his 2009 film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. The Davidson/Valentini Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community in the media.

“I come from a world where I was beaten daily by my dad because of my gayness. I had bullies and I wanted to kill myself,” Daniels recounted while accepting the Award, noting how these experiences had strengthened his determination to succeed.

Robert Hanson, president of Levi Strauss Americas, received the San Francisco Local Hero Award for championing the company’s involvement in supporting full LGBT equality. Hanson was out of the country on business and unable to accept his award in person. Jeff Harlowe, Senior Vice President for Levi’s Latin America Commercial Operations, accepted the award on his behalf.

Writer and comedian Bruce Vilanch hosted the show. Country music artist Chely Wright performed with Rodney Crowell and Jeremy Lister, and pop artist Sam Sparro closed the show for the capacity audience at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Other attendees included: Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Linda Perry; Derrick Martin, a Georgia teenager who was thrown out of his home by his parents when he took his boyfriend to the prom; and Thomas Krever, executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

Following is a complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients announced Saturday in San Francisco. Previous awards were presented in New York on March 13 and in Los Angeles on April 17. For a complete list of nominees and award recipients, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards.

  • Golden Gate Award: Cybill Shepherd (presented by her daughters, Clementine Ford and Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim)
  • Davidson/Valentini Award: Lee Daniels (presented by actor Jensen Atwood)
  • Outstanding Documentary: Ask Not (PBS) [Accepted by: director Johnny Symons]
  • Outstanding Digital Journalism – Multimedia: “The Stonewall Riots: 40 Years Later” (AARP.org) [Accepted by: producer Dave Singleton]
  • San Francisco Local Hero Award: Robert Hanson (President of Levi Strauss Americas) [Accepted on his behalf by: Jeff Harlowe, Senior Vice President for Levi’s Latin America Commercial Operations]

GLAAD also announced that Lady Gaga received the award for Outstanding Music Artist for her album, The Fame Monster (Interscope). The GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) music artist who has increased visibility of the LGBT community and spoken out for equality via their music or media appearances. Lady Gaga has identified as bisexual in a number of interviews, spoke at last year’s National Equality March in Washington, D.C. and included LGBT images in her music videos.

GLAAD live tweeted from the GLAAD Media Awards red carpet and during the show. GLAAD’s tweets can be seen at http://twitter.com/glaad.

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