Cher and Chaz Bono at Saturday’s GLAAD Awards
Pop legend Cher made a surprise appearance to present her transgender son Chaz Bono with an award at the 23rd Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday
The star, wearing a huge Afro-style wig, joined Bono’s stepmother, Mary Bono Mack, in presenting him with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. The award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality.
In her remarks, Cher praised her son. “I’m here because Chaz has the most courage of almost anyone I know,” she said.
“The other day I was having a big meltdown (like you do) and Chaz said, ‘Are you going to come to the [GLAAD event],’ and I went ‘Chaz, you know, I’m not doing well right now’ and…he texted me and said ‘I turned into a very understanding, smart man and you can call on me.’ And it made me feel so good, like I could lean on someone. It touched my heart.”
Addressing Bono directly, Cher said, “You are the most courageous person I know and you really deserve this award, so come up and get this award!”
In his acceptance speech, Bono discussed the role GLAAD has played in his life.
“For my personal journey since I transitioned, GLAAD has been there for me every step of the way. From when it first came out that I was transitioning, GLAAD was right there, out front in the media. And really everything that I’ve done since then, they have been a partner for me to be able to go to when Million Moms is coming out against me or Keith Ablow is telling people that me being on Dancing with the Stars is somehow going to be damaging to children.”
Also at the event, actor and director Benicio del Toro presented the Vanguard Award to The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, who was one of the co-founders of the Straight But Not Narrow campaign.
The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community.
Accepting his award, Hutcherson said: “I’ll make hopefully a million more movies but this is what I want to do with my life, just changing the world and hopefully changing what people think. So, this is to everybody who’s ever had a struggle in life being yourself. I think that the most beautiful thing a human being can do is just be who you are inside. So please, everybody, just be yourselves and encourage everyone else to do the same.”
Other awards presented on the night included Outstanding Film – Wide Release which went to Beginners, Outstanding Documentary which went to Becoming Chaz and Outstanding Comedy Series which went to Modern Family.
Also at the event, Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother from Ohio who was ousted last week as a scout leader from the Boy Scouts of America for being a lesbian, spoke onstage with her partner, Alicia, and their four children.
Other guests at the ceremony included Betty White, Ellen DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Joshua Jackson (Fringe), musician Linda Perry; singer Jason Mraz; Trevor Donovan (90210); and Perez Hilton.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.