Ricky Martin is to be honoured by GLAAD for raising the profile of gay rights.

The star will received the Vito Russo Award at the organisation’s annual awards next month.

The honour, named after a GLAAD founder, recognises public figures who have made a “significant difference” to equal rights.

Martin has sent messages of support to LGBT young people and has spoken extensively about his experiences. He came out last summer.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said: “Ricky coming out was a game changer for many gay and transgender Latino children, who for too long, did not have many out gay people to look up to.

“Through his music, videos and interviews, Ricky has sent an important message that our community wants the same things all people do: an equal chance to raise our families and take care of our loved ones.”

Glee star Kristin Chenoweth will receive the Vanguard Award for increasing understanding of LGBT people.

Last year, she criticised a Newsweek article by gay writer Ramin Setoodeh, who argued that gay actors cannot play straight roles.

Chenoweth, who plays April Rhodes in Glee, called the article “horrendously homophobic”.

GLAAD described her as a “talented and conscientious advocate for fairness towards the LGBT community”.