March 18, 2008 / 5:22 AM / in 10 years

Barbara Walters, Israeli film get gay media awards

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Television journalist Barbara Walters was honored by the gay media watchdog group GLAAD on Monday for her reporting on transgender children and she said the award was among the most important she had even received.

Journalist Barbara Walters thanks the audience after winning an award during the 19th annual GLAAD Media awards in New York March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“You can forget all the Emmys,” Walters said in accepting the award for television newsmagazine journalism at the 19th annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards. “This means more to me.”

The veteran television personality won for the story “My Secret Self: A Story of Transgender Children,” which aired on ABC’s “20/20” and examined the lives and struggles of young children who experienced conflicted gender identity, feeling their true sex was the opposite of their physical one.

The award for outstanding film in limited release went to the Hebrew- and Arabic-language film “The Bubble,” distributed by Strand Releasing, about a love affair between and Israeli soldier and a Palestinian man. First Run Features’ “For the Bible Tells Me So” was named outstanding documentary.

Honorary awards went to Judy Shepard, the mother of slain gay college student Matthew Shepard, who became an activist for gay and lesbian rights after her son’s brutal murder a decade ago, and to MTV executive Brian Graden, who won the Vito Russo Award, named for the late gay activist and film historian.

BET J, an offshoot of Black Entertainment Television, was also honored, while “60 Minutes” shared the TV newsmagazine award with Walters for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” about the U.S. military’s policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers.

The awards were hosted by British talk show host Graham Norton, with guest presenters including Mariska Hargitay, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson award-winning actor Alan Cumming.

Other honorees for coverage of gay and lesbian issues included The New York Times, magazine GQ, and the TV show “Boston Legal.”

GLAAD was founded more than 20 years ago to foster positive images of the lives of gay people in the wake of sensational media reporting on AIDS and other topics. Awards will also be presented in south Florida in Los Angeles.

Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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