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INTERVIEWS: 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC

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The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation–or GLAAD–held its 23rd Annual Media Awards in New York City on Saturday, March 24th.

The star-studded event was hosted by ‘Glee’ stars Naya Rivera, who plays lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez, and Cory Monteith.

OutQ News was on the red carpet to talk to honorees and LGBT allies about the status of gay media and their respective roles in the process.

Renowned Broadway and film producers Neil Meron (left) and Craig Zadan (right) said they were honored to receive the Vito Russo Award. The two spoke about the importance of including LGBT characters in new projects, their longtime association with GLAAD, and the success of their hit TV show ‘Smash.’

Lesbian teen activist Katy Butler received a Special Recognition Award for her ongoing crusade against the Motion Picture Association of America–or MPAA–to change the ‘R’ rating of the upcoming documentary ‘Bully.’ Katy reflected on the past few months and talked about the widespread support she’s received from celebrities and politicians alike. She also mentioned her personal struggles with anti-gay bullying at school, before commenting on the status of her petition.

Trans activist and editor Janet Mock was nominated for her ‘coming out’ story as featured in Marie Claire magazine. Mock talked about the importance of including transgender people in the national dialogue, as well as the responses she received for her widely-publicized article and the projects she’s now working on.

Actor Cheyenne Jackson stopped to talk about life as a newlywed (even showing off his ring) and what he’s got coming up.

Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts spoke about his status as one of the few ‘out’ on-air TV newspeople and how he uses his platform to address LGBT issues, which he believes are becoming more mainstream.

Self-proclaimed OutQ News fan Carson Kressley spoke to us shortly before accepting the Outstanding Reality Program award for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ The former Queer Eye star talked about his stint on the ABC show, what he thinks it does for the LGBT community, and his thoughts on new ‘out’ contestant Martina Navratilova.

Zach Wahls is the young man whose testimony before Iowa lawmakers in support of gay marriage and his two mothers became a viral sensation. He spoke about his speech and how it affected his family’s life.

Before running off to grab a gin and tonic, ‘Chopped’ host Ted Allen described the hit Food Network show in his own words, talked about the possibility of participating, and created a hypothetical menu for a GLAAD Media Awards party.

OutQ News also spoke with GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson, who commented on the changes his organization made in light of last year’s controversial turnover, the gay media watchdog’s Commentator Accountability Project and CNN’s Roland Martin.

And Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder Productions talked about their three nominations, Logo’s recent push to include non-LGBT-specific programming, and what they’ve got in the works.


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