By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com April 14 2001 12:00 AM ET
Columnist Liz Smith will receive the Vito Russo Award at Mondays 12th annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards, according to the New York Post. The award, named for the author of The Celluloid Closet, who was also a founding member of GLAAD, is presented to an openly lesbian or gay entertainment or media figure for outstanding contributions in combating homophobia. Smith was one of the first to address the AIDS crisis in the gay community with compassion, and she has always reported on same-sex relationships in her column in the same style in which she reports on the more conventional variety. Last years recipient of this award was Elton John. Vanessa Redgrave will also be honored,with the Excellence in Media Award, given to a media professional who has furthered the visibility and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Redgrave has turned in many notable performances as a lesbian or transgendered character in projects such as The Bostonians, Second Serve, Vita and Virginia, and If These Walls Could Talk 2.