The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson, 19, will be presented with Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Vanguard Award, making the longtime equality advocate the youngest recipient of that award in the organization's history.
GLAAD's Vanguard Award is annually presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. Hutcherson, who stars as Peeta Mellark in the box office smash, has also appeared as the son of two lesbian mothers in the acclaimed dramedy The Kids Are All Right and is, along with close friend, actor Avan Jogia, a cofounder of the Straight But Not Narrow campaign. "We just launched [SBNN], and it's a very exciting time for us and it hits close to home for me," Hutcherson said in an earlier interview with SamaritanMag.com. "I have a lot of gay friends in Los Angeles. My roommate's gay and I lost two uncles when I was young to AIDS, so it's an important cause in my family." Hutcherson appeared in one of the first PSAs for the campaign. (Watch it below.)
"As the youngest person to ever receive the Vanguard Award, Josh Hutcherson represents a new generation of equality advocates who know that no one should be denied vital legal protections or face discrimination because of who they are," GLAAD's Mike Thompson said in a statement. "Through his work in trailblazing films like The Kids Are All Right, as well as his leadership in projects like the Straight But Not Narrow campaign, Josh is helping countless Americans understand the importance of equality."
The ceremony for the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held in Los Angeles April 21. Chaz Bono has previously been announced as the first transgender recipient of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Ellen DeGeneres is scheduled to open the show, and singer Jason Mraz, another longtime equality advocate, will perform a musical set. Other guests at the event include Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Happily Divorced's Fran Drescher, Scandal's Guillermo Diaz, Fringe's Joshua Jackson, Pariah's Kim Wayans, and the cast of Hot in Cleveland, including Betty White.