Hit television series Glee won the award for best comedy at the annual GLAAD awards in California on Saturday.

The show, which has been commended for being gay-friendly, won the top TV honour at the awards, with creator Ryan Muphy and stars Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer among those accepting the gong.

Murphy promised that crowd that Colfer’s character, Kurt Hummel, would “never be the victim”.

Fashion designer Tom Ford won best wide release film for A Single Man, which stars Colin Firth and tells the story of a bereaved gay college professor.

However, Ford was unable to get the ceremony to receive his trophy as dust from Iceland’s volcanic eruption meant he was stranded in London.

Comedian Wanda Sykes won the Stephen F Kolzak award, which is given annually to a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person. She was presented with the honour by Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teenager whose high school cancelled prom because she asked to attend with her girlfriend.

Sykes said: “[It’s great] to be out and open and free and be able to say thank to my wife. It’s love and being honest that wins hearts and minds. This means the world to me and I promise that I will continue to be a voice, and hopefully a positive image, but I’ve got to tell you – you might have to put up with a stint in rehab, I’m sorry.”

Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore won the Vanguard award for her work promoting marriage equality. She said: “The thing that means the most to me about an evening like this, and why I want to fight and be outspoken, is because there are so many people who are in desperate need of family.

“So whatever governments we have to overcome, whatever adversity people have to overcome to create these families and have the legal things be out of the way so that love can exist and people can take care of one another, that’s the most important thing in the world. That we take care of each other.”

Ru Paul’s Drag Race won the award for best reality TV programme, while Adam Lambert performed at the event.

Among the celebrity guests was Chaz Bono, who attended with his girlfriend Jennifer Elia.

Bono, 41, recently completed his transformation from male to female. He has legally changed his name and will appeal to a judge in Los Angeles next month to be formally recognised as male.