The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives and will be held in New York on March 28, 2009 at the Marriott Marquis.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced that "Dreamgirls" star, Jennifer Holiday will be closing the gala evening in song with a performance, it was reported earlier this month that Clay Aiken will present the Excellence in Media Award to Tyra Banks at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by IBM and New York presenting partner Prudential.
T.R. Knight will also present the Vito Russo Award to Suze Orman. Special Recognition awards will be presented to Phil Donahue and The Laramie Project, 10 Years Later - The Lasting Legacy of Matthew Shepard, a two-hour documentary broadcast on Sirius XM Radio.
Comedian Kate Clinton will host the New York event. Other guests and presenters scheduled to attend the New York event include: Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan (Top Design), Clay Aiken(American Idol), former NBA player John Amaechi, Jensen Atwood and Patrik-Ian Polk (Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom), Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk), Tim Gunn (Project Runway), Van Hansis and Jake Silberman (As the World Turns), Cherry Jones (24), T.R. Knight (Grey's Anatomy), Jay Manuel (America's Next Top Model), S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order), Jasika Nicole (Fringe), Chris Noth (Sex & the City), Keith Olbermann (MSNBC), Ana Ortiz, Michael Urieand Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Jenny Shimizu (Make Me a Supermodel), Hannah Storm(ESPN), Jane Velez-Mitchell (CNN) and GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. Junior Vasquez will be the guest DJ at the after-party.
Awards will be presented onstage in the following categories: Outstanding Film - Limited Release, Outstanding Documentary, Outstanding TV Journalism Segment, Outstanding Digital Journalism Article, and Outstanding Spanish-Language Magazine Overall Coverage.
Actor and singer Clay Aiken will present the Excellence in Media Award to Tyra Banks. The Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community. As a long-time ally of the LGBT community, Banks has shown a strong commitment to educating the public about the lives of gay and transgender people. She has consistently featured LGBT people on The Tyra BanksShow and continues to increase the visibility of the community through the diversity of her co-hosts and contestants on America's Next Top Model, including her inclusion of Isis King, the show's first transgender contestant, on the most recently completed cycle. Past recipients include Billy Crystal, Julianne Moore, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Redgrave, and Phil Donahue.