By Tara Kyle
MIDTOWN — Ricky Martin is this year's hero in the fight against homophobia.
The singer won the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Vito Russo award at a ceremony honoring contributions in media in Times Square's Marriott Marquis Saturday.
The star, who came out as a "fortunate homosexual man" on his website last March, gained the award for contributions to the fight against homophobia by an openly gay or lesbian celebrity.
"To have someone of his stature come out, and to come out as a family man, set such a good example for the gay community," nominee and "Top Chef" veteran Zac Young said to DNAinfo before the show. "There are so many celebrities who just won't."
The team behind "True Blood" won the award for best drama series, while "30 Rock" was honored for its "Klaus & Greta" episode, in which Tina Fey's character accidentally outs a cousin.
New York-based site Joe My God won the first-ever award for outstanding blog, while Essence magazine was honored for its multimedia portrait of a lesbian wedding. Scissor Sisters won honors for outstanding music artist, and producer Russell Simons took the excellence in media award.
On the red carpet, celebrities praised the increasingly multi-dimensional portraits of gays and lesbians seen in the media.
"In the scripts that I've seen, there's less of a tendency for them to be overtly queen-y," actor Wilson Cruz, who got his start on the 1990s classic "My So-Called Life," told DNAinfo. "But I'd like to see a bigger diversity. Most of them are still played by white males."
"Real Housewives" star and Upper East Sider Sonja Morgan said that she saw "a lot of positive changes" and was particularly pleased to see blogger Perez Hilton's anti-bullying coverage.
Nathan Williams, star of the Sundance Channel's "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys," cited the happily married gay couple in ABC's "Modern Family" as an unprecedented step in the right direction.
But for all the progress made, many also acknowledged that their battle is far from over.
"This is going to be a difficult year, it's an election year," said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios. "We need to make sure that we have a tolerant press, and that the stories we are telling are elevating."
GLAAD will hand out additional awards at its galas in Los Angeles and San Francisco.