Each Week Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity's charity work. This week, we have part two of a two part series featuring the human rights organization GLAAD.
The below interviews with Christian Borle, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Carrino, John Colaneri, Avan Jogia and Andy Mientus were conducted on the red carpet at The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16, 2013.
GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) amplifies the voice of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.
Christian Borle is a Tony Award-winning actor who has starred in several Broadway productions. He plays the character Tom Levitt on the NBC musical-drama series "Smash."
Q: Why are you here supporting the GLAAD Awards?
Christian: Because I’m enormously proud of the show and the work that were all doing and they have done us the great honor of nominating us and I’m just thrilled to be here.
Q: Why is an organization like GLAAD important?
Christian: In terms of the world being a better place and everyone being empathetic towards everyone else and being tolerant. I think it’s been enormously influential.
Bernadette Peters is an actress, singer and children's book author. Over the years she has starred in musical theatre, films and television, as well as performed in solo concerts.
Q: Why are you here tonight and how did you get involved?
Bernadette: Well, GLAAD is so important for the community for the strides that have been made, like marriage. I have always been behind that. I always thought it was important for young people to feel ok about themselves. That they could grow up and have a normal life, have children and not hide. I think hiding is a terrible thing for anybody. I’m very happy about that.
Q: What do you hope for the future of the gay community?
Bernadette: To be just like us! (Laughs)
Anthony Carrino & John Colaneri
Anthony Carrino & John Colaneri are Jersey City contractors that star in the HGTV shows 'Kitchen Cousins" and "Cousins On Call."
Q: Why is it important for you to be at this event tonight?
Anthony & John: Look, whether it’s gay and lesbian rights or any cause for that matter, people are people and everybody deserves to have the same rights. This organization certainly promotes awareness. We’ve been a big fan of Anderson Copper for a long time and I think he does an excellent job.
Q: What do you hope for the future of this organization?
Anthony & John: We're on HGTV [and] HGTV has always been a huge sponsor of the gay and lesbian community. We are proud to support and we want to do as much as we can. [We] stand behind an organization like this [because GLAAD is] always trying to progress and move forward and show the rest of the world [that] everyone [should] have these common rights. We’re very happy to be apart of it!
Avan Jogia is a Canaian actor best known for playing Beck Oliver on "Victorious" and Danny Desai in "Twisted."
Q: Tell me about the organization that you founded?
Avan: I founded this organization called Straight But Not Narrow. It is a straight alliance. It is straight people talking to other straight people about their gay friends and supporting their gay friends. More importantly, we’re trying to get rid of apathy. if there’s a gay kid getting bullied in your high school and you’re just sitting there, you’re a part of the problem. You have no excuse.
Q: What made you want to start this organization?
Avan: I went to high school for a while before I dropped out and it’s kinda sh*t there. I used to go to gay pride in Vancouver and there were these shirts that said "straight but not narrow." I thought that was really cool. I do this show and I was sick and tired of talking about apple sauce in interviews and these kids reading it. I wanted them to listen to something that matters. I started SBNN to support my friends.
Andy Mientusis a New York musical-theatre actor whose credits include Off-Broadway's "Carrie" and the national tour of "Spring Awakening." He currently stars as Kyle Bishop in the NBC series "Smash."
Q: Why is it important to support GLAAD?
Andy: Oh my gosh, well we are a show about theater and what would a show about theater be without realistic and sensitive gay characters. I’m so happy to be joining the show this year as a gay character. I’m so happy that we’re here, in a world that celebrates these gay characters on a network show. It’s really amazing. I’m so glad that GLAAD exists to promote that and keep it going.
Q: Are you planning on staying involved with the organization in the future?
Andy: Absolutely! Tell them to give me a call.