GLAAD Vanguard Award recipient

Kathy Griffin has been hanging out with gay guys since she was 7 years old. Her first high school “boyfriend,” Tom Murphy, was gay. “He wasn’t out at the time,” Griffin recalls. “We kind of talked about it a little bit in a not-very-mature teenage way. Come to think of it, I might have turned him gay. He didn’t have a choice in the matter once he kissed me.” Today, Tom is dating David. And Tom and Kathy remain best friends.

For D-lister Griffin, the gay-man/straight-woman relationship works because it’s a pretty stripped-down thing. No game-playing. No agendas. And no sex.

“I think that’s why I have so many gay friends,” Griffin adds. “There’s not a lot of that baggage.”

The gay community is a role model for the comedienne. “As a woman, I think they are a great example of how an oppressed minority gets together. I wish women did a better job at it.”

The strength of gays is their ability to mobilize — to write legislation — and to simply get things done, she says. Griffin calls them “the Gay Army.” “They have dealt with discrimination their whole lives. They know when not to take life too seriously. And when something serious happens, they put down the fake eyelashes and start marching.”

Griffin receives the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.

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