Glamour magazine's Women of the Year are...

2015-10-31 12:00

New York - Caitlyn Jenner, Reese Witherspoon, Misty Copeland and five women touched by the South Carolina church massacre and lauded in the aftermath as "The Peacemakers of Charleston" are among this year's honorees as Glamour magazine's Women of the Year.

Victoria Beckham, billionaire entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, Planned Parenthoood's Cecile Richards and the women's FIFA soccer Team USA round out the Class of 2015, announced on Thursday. They will be honored at a gala on 9 November at Carnegie Hall.

Witherspoon was selected for the magazine's December cover, to hit newsstands on 10 November, while Jenner, Copeland and Holmes will be pictured on foldout covers.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the awards celebrating the achievements of diverse women in entertainment, fashion, politics and business. Amy Schumer will open the ceremony that draws a star-studded crowd each year. Former honorees Madeleine Albright, Serena Williams and Billie Jean King will be among the guests to help mark the awards' quarter-century. Jennifer Hudson and Ellie Goulding will perform.

The honorees announcement came just a few days after word of Jenner's inclusion leaked, prompting a backlash on social media with criticism of her inclusion as a transgender woman of wealth and privilege. Some apparently thought Jenner was THE woman of the year, as opposed to one of many.

"Where there is hateful chatter on Twitter, there is just as much, if not more, love and support. We prefer to focus on the positive," Jenner said through a spokesperson ahead of the announcement.

Cindi Leive, Glamour's editor-in-chief, said in an interview that criticism of Jenner's inclusion "certainly gives you an appreciation for the hostility to the trans community that still exists out there." The awards, she said, are intended to honor diversity among women leaders and trailblazers who are as "diverse as the population of women in this world."

"We're proud of that and we're proud of what Caitlyn Jenner has done to illuminate what so many in the trans community go through," Leive added.

Actress Laverne Cox, also a trans woman, was among last year's honorees.

To mark the 25th anniversary, the Empire State Building will be lit in Glamour's signature pink the night of the awards, and Mayor Bill de Blasio will proclaim 9 November the Women of the Year Day, the magazine said.

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