The 21st Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards ceremony took place last night in New York, and the stars were out in force. The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, and understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. Cynthia Nixon and Joy Behar were the night's honored guests, but awards were presented to countless other individuals for their contributions in promoting acceptance and tolerance of the LGBT community.

Sex and the City's Nixon was presented with the Vito Russo Award. The award is named after GLAAD founding member and The Celluloid Closet author Russo, and is presented to an openly lesbian or gay member of the entertainment or media community for outstanding contributions toward eliminating homophobia. Behar, meanwhile, received the Excellence in Media Award for her continued efforts in educating the public about the lives of gay and transgendered people through her HLN talk show.

The film community was well-represented at the event, with Paul Morrison's Little Ashes winning in the Outstanding Film: Limited Release Category. An impressive win, particularly since the film features Twilight's Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dali. That's a bold casting choice to say the least.

Sigourney Weaver was on hand to accept the award for Prayers for Bobby, which won in the Outstanding TV Movie or Miniseries category. The film was directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a true story about a gay rights crusader (Weaver) whose son commits suicide over her religious intolerance.

[After the jump: what about Kirby Dick's film, Outrage?]

One thing that wasn't addressed at the ceremony was the perceived snubbing of Kirby Dick's film Outrage. The title was an examination of closeted politicians in Hollywood who work for anti-gay legislation and certainly seemed like a film worthy of GLAAD consideration. However, to the anger of many, the organization snubbed the film when the nominees were announced earlier this year. You can read GLAAD's justification for this omission over at Blogactive, but you'll have to forgive me for being cynical and assuming this had more to do with presenting a media-friendly image than it did with being concerned about outing folks who weren't ready to reveal their sexual orientation. If there's any organization that should be pointing out the hypocrisy of gay politicians actively hurting LGBT causes, shouldn't it be someone like GLAAD?

Controversies aside, this year's show was hosted by Alan Cumming and featured guests and presenters including Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, actress Sarah Paulson, Rosie Perez (appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS), actor Bryan Batt, Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, and more. The next wave of GLAAD Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on April 17th and San Francisco on June 5th.
CATEGORIES Awards, Cinematical