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announced for 17th annual GLAAD Media Awards

announced for 17th annual GLAAD Media Awards

Charlize Theron, Melissa Etheridge, and David LaChapelle are among those recognized for promoting LGBT equality.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced Wednesday the principal honorees for the 17th annual GLAAD Media Awards: photographer David LaChapelle, actress Charlize Theron, musician Melissa Etheridge, and People en Espanol editor Richard Perez-Feria.

The awards will be handed out in four ceremonies: New York City on March 27, Los Angeles on April 8, Miami on May 25, and San Francisco on June 10.

At the New York ceremony, photographer and director David LaChapelle will receive the Vito Russo Award, presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has helped promote queer rights. According to a statement from GLAAD, LaChapelle is being recognized for donating his works to raise money for LGBT organizations and AIDS research.

In Los Angeles, actress Charlize Theron will receive the Vanguard Award for "increasing the visibility and understanding of the [LGBT] community." Besides being singled out for her Academy Award-winning portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster, Theron apparently became a shoo-in for the award after telling Extra that she and partner Stuart Townsend would not get married until gays and lesbians had equal marriage rights.

Also in Los Angeles, Grammy-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge, who credited partner Tammy Lynn Michaels for helping her overcome breast cancer, will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Named after a successful casting director who fought against homophobia in Hollywood, the award is "presented to an openly [LGBT] media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community."

And in New York, People en Espanol editor Richard Perez-Feria will receive the Visibilidad Award for his work as an openly gay Spanish-language media professional. GLAAD noted his "positive coverage of LGBT issues in the Latino community," including the addition of gay celebrities in the magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" issue.

"In their work, in their visibility, and in their unrelenting commitment to fairness, Charlize, Melissa, David, and Richard have made a powerful impact on our culture's understanding and acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lives," said GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano in the statement. Additional honorees for New York, Miami, and San Francisco have yet to be announced.

The GLAAD Media Awards will be televised April 15 on Logo and April 16 on VH1. For a complete list of nominees, visit (

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