Emmy and Tony award-winner Kristin Chenoweth has used her beautiful singing voice not only in her acting career as Glinda in the musical Wicked and as a guest star on Glee, but also to speak out on behalf of gay and lesbian rights.
As such the actress is set to receive the Vanguard Award from GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The award is presented to media professionals who have increased visibility and understanding of LGBT issues.
The award stems from an incident in May of 2010, when a controversial Newsweek article incorrectly stated that gay actors cannot successfully play straight roles. In response, Chenoweth wrote a letter to the site, stating that the article was “horrendously homophobic.” Subsequently that letter went viral, and caused the issue of discrimination against gay actors to be brought into the spotlight. In addition, the 42-year old has flown a rainbow flag at the National Equality March in October 2009, as well as supported Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and GLSEN.
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios explained, “When allies like Kristin take such powerful stands against anti-gay sentiments in the media, it sends an important message of equality.” He then added, “It is a privilege to honor such a talented and conscientious advocate for fairness towards the LGBT community.”
Chenoweth will receive the award on April 10 in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure. Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award have included Kathy Griffin, Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron, Antonio Banderas, and Eric McCormack.