22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards Including Ricky Martin’s Speech, Plus Partially Clothed Vikings

All photos credit: Getty Images

30 Rock, True Blood, Russell
and Ricky Martin were just a few of the honorees at
the 22nd annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on Saturday. (Note: this is the
first of GLAAD’s three annual events. The second will be held in Los Angeles in April, and the third in San Francisco in May.)

weekend’s NYC shindig was presented by ROKK Vodka, which also sponsored a
private reception and an after party. Plus, no doubt the next morning’s

The Excellence in Media Award was
presented to hip hop artist Russell Simmons for his activism in repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and for his strong support of marriage equality.

Ricky Martin received the Vito Russo
and gave this acceptance speech:

True Blood was honored for
outstanding drama series. Actor Denis
accepted on behalf of the show. Meanwhile, Tina Fey accepted 30 Rock’s
award for outstanding
individual episode in a series without a regular LGBT character.

Anderson Cooper 360 was recognized for outstanding
TV journalism for its reporting on gay teen suicides.

On the
pages that follow we’ve got photos of the star studded affair. If you are wondering why so many celebrities
are posing with beefy, half-clothed Norsemen: those guys are the sponsor’s
mascot, The Rokk Vodka Vikings.

Chris March and the ROKK Vodka Vikings

Denis O’Hare

AfterElton: I have to ask, I know your
lips are probably sealed, but can you give us any spoilers about True
’s next season? You’re in the concrete, but you’re alive …

Denis O’Hare: I am alive!

AE:  So any chance we’ll see you
in Season 4?

DO: Let’s put it this way: they
probably finish shooting in June … and it’s only March. So … you
never know.

AE:  Cryptic! Now, how did you
feel playing a character like Russell, who was this big bad vampire
uber-villain, but he also had such a soft spot, a tender side, for
his husband Talbot. Even though he’s the villain, you felt for him
when Talbot died.

DO: I know! I love that.

AE:  Was it difficult to find
that balance?

DO: No, the writing is so good on
True Blood, in that they always give you more than one thing – you
never play just one thing. And the character are complex enough that
everyone’s ambiguous. You know? How do you really feel about Bill?
How do you feel about Sookie? Or Tara? Everyone’s got good and bad
points, everyone behaves irrationally and emotionally. So I love that
with this vampire and with his boyfriend Talbot we get a different
flavor. We saw a domestic life, we saw a real relationship, a real
gay relationship, a gay marriage, which I thought was fantastic.

AE:  You just closed a play on
Broadway. Any theatrical project in your future?

DO: I’m gonna do a play next spring,
called An Iliad, at the New York theater workshop. It’s a play that
I’ve co-written with Lisa Peterson, and it’s about an hour and a
half, kind of our version of The Iliad.


Tina Fey

Phillip Bloch and the ROKK Vodka Vikings

Mike Ruiz (L) and agent Martin Berusch

AE: Can you give us any
spoilers about Season 2 of the A-list?

Mike Ruiz: There’s going to be a lot of
fistfighting and brawling and crying. [laughs] No, honestly, we
haven’t started taping yet, so I don’t know how the storyline is
gonna play out.

AE: Why do you think you were
such a popular cast member?

MR: I did the A-list for a very specific
reason. I tried to do something responsible. Because with reality TV,
very few people set out to do something responsible. They do it in
hindsight. I thought this was a really rare opportunity to represent,
or to try to – that’s pretty much how I conduct my life. I try to
live honestly and authentically, try not to step on people, and I’m
just hoping it was evident on the show.

Gail Simmons

Andy Cohen

Russell Simmons

Tina Fey and Andy Cohen

Al Sharpton

Ricky Martin

Manilla Luzon and Sahara Davenport

Tina Fey and Pauley Perrette

Emperor XIX Jack (L) and Empress XXIV Farrah Moans

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge

AE: Josh, I hear a rumor that your
first memoir may be going to series. Care to elaborate?

Joshua Kilmer-Purcell: I Am Not Myself These Days
has been optioned by Darren Star and Bravo. I don’t know what’s
happening with that right now.
Brent Ridge: Andy Cohen’s here, so you have
to ask him about it.

AE: How are things on the farm?
BR: It’s great, it’s spring time
right now, so that means it’s birthing season. So we have a bout a
hundred baby goats. So the gays can raise kids. The kids are all

AE: Any new memoirs?
JKP: Bucolic Plague comes out
in paperback on Tuesday, and I actually updated the book to take into
account everything that’s happened since the show started. You need
to have a memoir about a reality show!

Nathan Williams (L) and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios

Chef Zac Young

Wilson Cruz and GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios

AE: Now, you were the first gay
teen on TV —

Wilson Cruz: Prime time TV. Ryan Phillipe
beat me by a year on daytime.

AE: How
do you feel about being such a trailblazer in that regard? The
landscape has changed so much, with Kurt on Glee, and Marshall on
United States of Tara

WC: Obviously I’m very proud of the
fact that I got to be that character. It’s a huge part of my life.
I’m a little sad that it took this long – fifteen years – for us
to see more openly gay teen characters on television. I mean, there
were a few in between, but now we’re seeing some really serious
portrayals. And I think how Chris Colfer is handling his role on Glee
is just beautiful, and that relationship with his father is just
great, and I say more kissing. [laughs] And I’m very proud of all of
them. And I feel like they’re my younger brothers.

AE: You were a big influence on
gay teens in the 90s, when there were practically no visible gay
characters and kids needs icons to look up to. Who were some of the
gay people you looked up to when you were a teenager?

WC: We didn’t have many [role models]. I
looked to Harvey Fierstein, I looked to Ian McKellen. Those were
people who let me know I just needed to take a leap, take a chance,
and maybe pave my own road, and they have been incredibly supportive
of me.

AE: Can we hope for anything
more from Noah’s Arc?
WC: I have no idea! Even if there
is another season, I don’t know if I’ll be a part of it. I mean, I
was just the hot doctor that kind of showed up. [laughs] So I don’t
know, I hope so! I’m very proud of that. That was another
trailblazing experience, to have all of those openly gay
African-American men, in love with other men of color was pretty
incredible to see.

Gail Simmons

Manilla Luzon and Sahara Davenport

Ricky Martin

Al Sharpton and Andy Cohen

Patrick Wilson and Gail Simmons

Brian Farrell

Bianca “Nikki” Peet



Chris March

Zac Young

AE: Hi, I’m Tim from AfterElton. My
editor Michael Jensen says hello!

Zac Young: Yay! We love you guys!

AE: We love you guys! Are you
still in touch with Yigit?

ZY: I am! We’re still best friends. We
talk every day. I saw him three weeks ago when I was out in San Francisco
visiting my sister. We went through something that was kind of akin
to boot camp [on Top Chef: Just Desserts], so I kind of feel like he’s my old army buddy. Even
now, a year after we filmed it, we still sit and talk about it. I
feel like we might have gone through Nam together.

AE: Do you ever have

ZY: Occasionally! Yeah, at work, when
something has to get accomplished quickly. ]laughs] Top Chef mode
kicks into gear.

AE: So what are you up to now?
ZY: I have two restaurants in the
city, both called Flex Mussels. And the owners of the restaurant and
myself are opening up a donut shop very soon