Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson will be honoured for his work supporting the LGBT community at the upcoming 23rd annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards.
Hutcherson will receive the Vanguard Award, which is presented to “media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”
The nineteen-year-old American actor is one of the founders of the LGBT ally organisation Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) and has been outspoken about equality for LGBT people.
In an interview with SamaritanMag.com, Hutcherson said, “We just launched [SBNN], and it’s a very exciting time for us and it hits close to home for me. I have a lot of gay friends in Los Angeles. My roommate’s gay and I lost two uncles when I was young to AIDS, so it’s an important cause in my family.”
In 2010, he featured as the son of a lesbian couple in the critically acclaimed film The Kids Are All Right. Hutcherson currently stars as Peeta Mellark in the blockbuster film The Hunger Games.
Earlier this year, Hutcherson and fellow SBNN co-founder, actor Avan Jogia, met with Gay-Straight Alliance leaders at the GSA Network to film a video discussing the importance of GSA clubs in schools.
In March, Hutcherson also made a surprise appearance at a high school in Los Angeles where he spoke to GSA members about the importance of being an ally for LGBT young people.
“Emerging as a leader in a new generation of equality advocates, Josh Hutcherson has consistently used his platform to help young people understand that no one should face discrimination simply because of who they are,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
“Josh’s commitment to achieving equality for every American is a message he carries in his work both on screen and off, earning him the honour of being GLAAD’s youngest-ever Vanguard Award recipient.”
Hutcherson will receive his award in Los Angeles on 21 April at the second of three GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies this year.