25 March 2012 7:31 AM, PDT | Huffington Post | See recent Huffington Post news »

On Saturday March 23 the 2012 GLAAD Media Awards kicked off in New York City with a gala event hosted by "Glee" stars Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith.

The first of three events -- the other two will take place in Los Angeles on April 21 and San Francisco on June 2 -- included a who's who of the Lgbt community and its allies like actress Dakota Fanning, hip-hop icon Russell Simmons, "Top Chef" star Padma Lakshmi, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, the Food Network's Ted Allen, Wendy Williams, Jay Manuel and Isis King from "America's Next Top Model" and more.

GLAAD's Acting President Mike Thompson noted in a blog he penned for HuffPost Gay Voices:

"The events, which help fund GLAAD's storytelling and media advocacy work, not only celebrate and recognize the best of the best in Lgbt-inclusive journalism, film, music, television, and more; they also serve as a benchmark for the media industry, »

- Noah Michelson

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