First on TVNewser: GLAAD to Honor MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts

By Mark Joyella 

FIRST ON TVNEWSER: GLAAD will announce this morning that the group has chosen MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts for the group’s Vito Russo Award, given to an “out LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community. The award is to be handed out in New York on May 9.

“Thomas Roberts isn’t afraid to put a spotlight on injustices faced by LGBT people that all too often go unreported,” said GLAAD president & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “As a journalist and anchor who reaches millions of viewers, he bring stories to national attention, leading the conversation and accelerating acceptance of the LGBT community.”

Roberts has spoken out publicly against anti-LGBT laws in Russia, and this year walked with fellow NBC employees as the first LGBT group admitted to walk in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point and these are stories we see more commonly discussed and covered,” Roberts told TVNewser. “However, it all starts at home. It begins when LGBTI people speak up for their authentic selves. The ignition switch has been flipped and we will keep seeing honest conversation about how LGBTI people are woven importantly into the world fabric.”

The Vito Russo Award, named for a co-founder of GLAAD, has previously gone to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and celebrities including George Takei, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Ford, Ricky Martin and Cynthia Nixon.

If all those folks were gathered at one cocktail party, we asked Roberts, who would he talk to first? “I would talk to Anderson first because I’ve known him the longest both personally and professionally. And then I’d say can you introduce me to Ricky.”