By Jeremy Kinser
Originally published on Advocate.com April 10 2012 8:00 AM ET
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation named Chaz Bono today as the first-ever transgender recipient of its Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
“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.”
Bono's visibility as a transgender man has been unparalleled since he came out in 2009. Besides his memoir Transition: The Story of How I became A Man, Bono was the subject of two documentaries that were broadcast on OWN last year and a cover profile in The Advocate. Bono also made a huge impact as a popular contestant on ABC's competition series Dancing With the Stars.
Bono will be honored at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles April 21. Ellen DeGeneres is scheduled to open the show, with other honorees expected to be announced soon. Other guests at the event include The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson, who has become an outspoken advocate for equality with his work alongside the Straight But Not Narrow campaign, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Happily Divorced's Fran Drescher, and the cast of Hot in Cleveland, including Betty White.
For more information go to GLAAD.org.