Nineteen-year-old actor and equality advocate Josh Hutcherson will receive the Vanguard Award at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 21, it was announced today.
Josh Hutcherson leads the next generation in the movement for LGBT equality. In 2010, Hutcherson starred as the son of a lesbian couple in the critically acclaimed film The Kids Are All Right, which received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release, two Golden Globe Awards, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Hutcherson currently stars as Peeta Mellark in the blockbuster film The Hunger Games.
Hutcherson is one of the founders of the LGBT ally organization Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN), and has remained outspoken about why equality for LGBT people is important. In an interview with SamaritanMag.com, Hutcherson said, “We just launched [SBNN], and it’s a very exciting time for us and it hits close to home for me. I have a lot of gay friends in Los Angeles. My roommate’s gay and I lost two uncles when I was young to AIDS, so it’s an important cause in my family.”
Earlier this year, Hutcherson and fellow SBNN co-founder, actor Avan Jogia, met with Gay-Straight Alliance leaders at the GSA Network to film a video discussing the importance of GSA clubs in schools. In March, Hutcherson made a surprise appearance at a high school in Los Angeles where he spoke to GSA members about about the importance of being an ally for LGBT young people.
“Emerging as a leader in a new generation of equality advocates, Josh Hutcherson has consistently used his platform to help young people understand that no one should face discrimination simply because of who they are,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Josh’s commitment to achieving equality for every American is a message he carries in his work both on screen and off, earning him the honor of being GLAAD’s youngest-ever Vanguard Award recipient.”