Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today released its list of nominees for its 16th Annual Media Awards.

Insert *sigh* here.

Here are a few things that I'm only going to mention in passing:

1. Monster, one of GLAAD's film nominees, was released in 2003, not 2004. Hey, GLAAD, why didn't you just nominate The Boys in the Band?

2. Alexander? Is that the best you can do?

Okay, I'm done with that. No, this particular screed happens to be about the types of things GLAAD honors.

GLAAD honors movies and television shows and newspaper articles and advertising. GLAAD honors theater and musical performers and comic books. GLAAD honors digital journalism and soap operas and reality programming.

GLAAD honors everything except books.

Yes, there is already a GLBT book award (and, yes, I'm nominated, so there!) But this isn't about me; if I won a GLAAD Media Award, I'd be very embarrassed for GLAAD. I'd keep the award, of course, but I'd still feel embarrassed for them.

This is about books.

There are all sorts of LGBT/GLBT/whatever awards for all sorts of things, and GLAAD has no problem doubling-up on some of these. For instance, there are gay music awards, gay journalism awards, and gay film awards. I wouldn't be especially surprised if there were even gay comic book awards given out somewhere. In these categories, GLAAD boldly goes where everyone has gone before.

But apparently if you put a book in front of them, their heads explode. The lack of a GLAAD award for literature is an egregious oversight.

Regrettably, this sort of thing is common in gay media, too. Try to find any real attention devoted to books in the Blade or Advocate. Try to find something deeper than warmed-over jacket copy at And good luck to you.

It's too bad that GLAAD buys into this dumbing-down of gay and lesbian culture, where the silliness of Will & Grace and Survivor is more worthy of self-affirming praise than long evenings spent with Alan Hollinghurst or Christopher Bram. But I suppose we get what we deserve.