The 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards was held in New York on March 20, 2011. The GLAAD Media Awards recognizes and honors media celebrities that portray the LGBT communities in a fair and accurate manner. Ricky Martin and Russell Simmons were honored at the event because of the tremendous effect they have had on the gay community.

In addition, to the actors and actresses, this star-studded event was attended by celebrity chefs and food critics. Food and wine connoisseur for Bravo’s Emmy-winning television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Ted Allen comments on the increasing presence of the gay community in media. “It wasn’t long ago at all that there was no gay visibility on TV period. If it ever happened, it was somebody saying something nasty about us. Now, there are so many gay characters on television, that there is actually competition to win these awards”, said Allen.

Television cook and author, Sandra Lee, popularly known to the audiences for her program Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee on Food Network that aired in 2003, commented on the social responsibility of media to promote marriage and equality for all.  Gail Simmons, the judge for the television show Top Chef featured on Bravo, stresses on the important role that media plays in shaping public opinion especially for the gay community.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a non-profit organization that strengthens the voice of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. GLAAD defends and empowers the LGBT community while promoting and advocating equality for all.