PHOTOS: It was a night for stargazing at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on Saturday, when celebrities, activists and allies came together to support the LGBT watchdog group.
While Anderson Cooper was there to receive the prestigious Vito Russo award, it was his presenter, Madonna, who had everyone buzzing. Other notables included Milla Jovovich, Jersey Shore‘s Snooki and J-Wow, Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens (looking insanely fine), stage legend Bernadette Peters, Smash producers Craig Zadan and Neal Meron and co-star Christian Borle, singer Jake Shears, Wilson Cruz, athlete allies Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo, AIDS activist Peter Staley, How to Survive a Plague director David France, trans advocate Lauren Foster, Honey Boo Boo mom June Shannon, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, director Brett Ratner, who used his acceptance speech to apologize for using an anti-gay slur during a 2011 interview. Good Morning America hosts Sam Champion, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer emceed the night’s proceedings.
The event was momentous, and not just because the Material Girl was on hand: It was an unofficial announcement of sorts, that GLAAD would no longer simply be a media watchdog—that fight has largely been won—it would shine the media’s lens on issues like marriage equality, trans youth and the Boy Scouts ban.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick revealed that, moving forward, group’s name would no longer be an acronym for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation—because its mission extends to supporting bisexuals, transgenders and straight allies.
Though not household names, we were also privileged to meet Coy Mathis and Jazz, young trans girls are fighting discrimination in their schools, as well as Jenn Tyrell, kicked out of her post as a Boy Scouts den mother because she is a lesbian.
Photos: Wilsonmodels; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for GLAAD
Anderson Cooper and Madonna
Smash Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriquez and Welsey Taylor
MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts (right) and husband Patrick Abner
Trans advocate Lauren Foster (right) and friend
John Leguizamo and wife Justine Maurer
Baby Daddy, Josh Woods and Jake Shears
The Fabulous Beekman Boys
“Mama” June Shannon
GMA’s Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and Sam Champion
Peter Staley with Anderson Cooper and partner Benjamin Maisani
Jwoww and Snooki
Nigel Barker and wife Cristen Chen