The winners of the GLAAD Media Awards 2009 were announced on March 28. The GLAAD Media Awards recognizes film, television, music, newspapers and online providers who do work that reflect or positively represent people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Most award shows are innately gay, but this is the only one where same sex couples can actually kiss on stage and usually do.
In terms of television, CBS' As the World Turns won the award for Outstanding Drama series. For the past couple of years, the writers and producers of that show have focused a lot of time on the characters of Luke and Noah, daytime TV's first gay male couple. There have been gay characters in daytime before, but never to a regular extent as this.
In the movie category, there was a tie in the votes. The two winners ended up being Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom, the gay black man's answer to "Sex and the City," and, Shelter, the so-called gay surfing film that's so much more. Both broke a lot of stereotypes and both presented stories that mainstream films would never touch, at least in a way that takes it seriously or treats homosexuality respectfully. Both are now available on DVD.
What I particularly like about the GLAAD Media Awards are those honors to journalism. As a journalist myself, I take particular attention.
MSNBC got the most nominations in Outstanding TV Journalism. Keith Olbermann won top honors in that category. Rachel Maddow who recently joined the ranks of TV commentators didn't win but got a nod as well.
When it comes to newspapers and magazines, the leaders of the pack are the employees at the The New York Times and Newsweek. It didn't win but one nominated article I think deserves a read is LA Times Staff Writer Richard Fausset's "Morehouse College Faces its Own Bias," which talks about the legacy of homophobia at the historically black school.
I had hoped that columnist Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald would win and he did. The award for Outstanding Newspaper Columnist went to Pitts. His columns aren't as gay-centered as Deb Price's at The Detroit News, but his piece on Nov. 12, 2008, called "Some Blacks Forget the Sting of Discrimination," was quite good. The article commented on the African-American reaction to California's Prop 8.
In the music category, my vote would have gone to Hercules & Love Affair, a rock electronic group led by gay DJ Andy Butler whose album last year made it to my best of 2008 list. The lovely KD Lang ended up taking the prize of Outstanding Music Artist for her album Watershed.
For a list of all the nominees and winners, go to http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/index.php.