GLAAD nominates Billy Porter to the 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for Ghetto Superstar, his tour de force one-man show. Also, Oprah was nominated for an outstanding talk show episode for When I Knew Was Gay—where Billy's journey to self-discovery was just one of many compelling stories. Both the one-man show and appearance on Oprah were phenomenal.
Several lgbt-poc artists and producers were recognized by the awards in the Broadway/off-Broadway category. In addition to Billy, Staceyann Chin was recognized for Border/Clash: A Litany of Desire and Marsha Norman was given the nod for her book of The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker's novel.
Some displeasure has been expressed at GLAAD's decision to award Logo, here! and Q Television Network the Barbara Gittings Award for pioneering achievement. Without running the risk of detracting from Billy's recognition, from the perspective of a broadcast professional who has voted in awards programs—also, admittedly, one whose career has been in mainstream media—this was a sound decision.
The three lgbt media networks were brand new and did not/do not offer full schedules or programming. Most importantly, they do not have market penetration; the vast majority of Americans cannot view the programming. Then, there's the quality issue; Will & Grace may not be our version of gay life, but, it's a flawlessly-written and seamless production. It's going to take some time before the new lgbt 'nets offer comparable programming. Noah's Arc wasn't recognized, but neither was The Closet. in their freshman year, recognizing each lgbt 'net with the same distinction levels the playing field.
The bottom line: We just have to try harder to create, develop and produce more of our own images. Recognition from ones peers is always nice; but as Mets and Cubs fans say, there's always next year.