It was a night filled with love and support for the LGBT community at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
The ceremony, held on Saturday at the JW Marriot in Los Angeles, celebrated media that portrays fair and accurate images of LGBT people as well as individuals who have shown strong advocacy for that community. One of GLAAD’s biggest supporters, who was honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award during the event, is entertainment lawyer Steve Warren.
“I was scared," Warren admitted to The Hollywood Reporter of learning he was receiving the award. "I haven’t been in the front of the limelight before so I thought, ‘I’m going to have to do this and be in front of all these people and talk.’ But then I started to think, ‘Wow, this is really an honor.'"
During the event, Warren’s clients Charlize Theron and Leonardo DiCaprio presented him with the honors. Explaining how important it was to have notable figures and celebrities gathered for the event, Warren told THR: "A night like this that illustrates president Bill Clinton, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore -- this is a night where people want to say ‘We’re almost there. Let’s make it happen.'"
“I feel like we’re making so much progress, especially now," added the attorney, who's been involved with the organization for many years. "I feel like GLAAD has made a difference."
Chaz Bono, last year’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award recipient, echoed the importance of GLAAD to THR, "I think for a lot of people, having contact with a LGBT individual is through the media so the work that GLAAD continues to do with the media is still vitally important."
Saturday night’s event was especially memorable with the 42nd President’s attendance. Presented by Harvey Weinstein and Jennifer Lawrence, Clinton was honored with the Advocate for Change Award.
"It's really a historic moment for us as a LGBT community to have a former president, who signed DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act], to talk about the fact that it needs to be overturned," GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz told THR.
Cruz, who received an award for My So-Called Life in 1995 as the first openly gay teenager on primetime television, hopes to see more more diverse images of the LGBT community in the media.
"In obvious ways, there are definitely more images of LGBT people in the media. What I want is to see a more diverse collection of those images. Even though we have more LGBT people on TV, most of those gay white men," he said. "I want to see Asian lesbian women, black trans women, Muslim gay men. I want to see that. I think that’s a reflection of who we truly are."
The evening concluded in Clinton’s honor where he told the GLAAD audience, "I want to keep working on this until not only is DOMA no longer the law of the land, but until all people - no matter where they live - can marry the people they love."