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Along with recent Smash guest star Bernadette Peters, Stamos presented Zadan and Neil (Hairspray, Chicago) with the Vito Russo Award, which is named after one of GLAAD’s founders and is offered to an openly LGBT media professional who has made significant contributions to promoting LGBT equality. Together, the duo has earned six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Tony Awards and one Grammy Award.
“I’m a better person because of the wonderfully artistic, smart, imaginative, vibrant and expressive people I’ve worked with from this community, like my friends Neil and Craig,” Stamos said. “As an actor, they have cast me in some very provocative and challenging roles.”
After mentioning parts in The Reagans and Raisin in the Sun, the actor added, “They also cast me in my very first gay role — Uncle Jessie from Full House.”
Stamos went on to recall his first real gay role in 2006’s Wedding Wars, opposite Eric Dane. “They were really ahead of the curve with that one,” he said. “Before playing the role I was an active supporter of rights and I guess not truly understanding the rights from an emotional core. When you find yourself living in a character everyday in a world of bigotry and mindlessness, even in a movie, you get how important it is and how fundamentally vital it is for gay men and lesbians to have the freedom to share the commitment of marriage.”
Watch the full video below, in which Stamos opens his speech with a quick crack at Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron, who recently made headlines for makig anti-gay remarks during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN.
“I was on General Hospital and strange men repeatedly told me how they wished I were gay,” he said. “But enough about Kirk Cameron…”
The 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards hosted by Glee stars Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera in New York City. For more on the March 24 awards show and a complete list of winners, click here.
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