Now that he’s officially an out and proud homosexual, Anderson Cooper will be honored at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on March 16. The organization is awarding their prestigious Vito Russo Award to the 45-year-old journalist. Named after one of it’s founding members, the Vito Russo Award goes to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community. Recent winners include Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (2012), Ricky Martin (2011) and Cynthia Nixon (2010).

On hand to present Anderson with the honor is none other than Madonna herself. GLAAD President Herndon Graddick says Madonna and Cooper are longtime friends who have both used their careers to support lesbian, gay and transgender people.

“From speaking out against bullying to raising support for marriage equality, Madonna has always been one of our community’s strongest allies. We are honored to have her stand with GLAAD and Anderson Cooper,” said Graddick.”

As you recall, Cooper declined for many years to speak publicly about his sexuality. Last July, he gave permission to publish an email to blogger Andrew Sullivan. In the correspondence, the CNN reporter declared he was gay and “couldn’t be more happy.” A few months later, Anderson discussed his “coming out” on his daytime talk show.