Actress Drew Barrymore and comedian Wanda Sykes will be honored this year at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awards in Los Angeles.
Barrymore will receive the Vanguard Award, which is presented to media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. In 2009, Barrymore took on the role of the lesbian daughter of a widower played by Robert De Niro in Everybody's Fine, which has been nominated nominated for Outstanding Film - Wide Release. Barrymore also hit the streets when the California supreme court upheld Proposition 8 last May.
"I was born, bred, and raised among diversity; it has defined me and made me the person I am today," Barrymore said in a statement issued on Wednesday to The Advocate. "I'm honored and humbled to be receiving this award."
Sykes, who came out publicly in 2008 at a rally in Las Vegas, will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional. In addition to her numerous stand-up specials and appearances on television hits like The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sykes hosts an eponymous talk show on Fox. In 2009 she became the first African-American woman and first openly gay person to be the featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
"I greatly appreciate the work that GLAAD continues to do, promoting equality, fair representation, and tolerance for our LGBT community," she added in a statement. "I just pray that I don't ruin what GLAAD has achieved with all of my shenanigans."
Candis Cayne and Wilson Cruz will host the event April 17 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Awards scheduled to be presented onstage that evening include Outstanding Film - Wide Release, Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Reality Program, among others. The GLAAD Awards in New York are scheduled for March 13; actress Cynthia Nixon will receive the Vito Russo Award there. The San Francisco Awards are scheduled for June 5.