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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
That Time of Year Again
GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, hasreleased their list of nominees for their annual awards, and surprisingly, for once, it isn't the usual celebrity worship list GLAAD usually trots out. I have...a problem with GLAAD as an organization. They always seem more preoccupied with getting publicity by going after easy targets and kissing up to famous people to get them to appear in photo ops than in actually working to improve the image of gay and lesbian people in the mass media. But this year they seem to have actually gone out of their way to nominate those who don't have a high media profile. Let's take a look, shall we?
OUTSTANDING FILM - WIDE RELEASE
Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features) Capote (Sony Pictures Classics) The Family Stone (20th Century Fox) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros.) Rent (Sony Pictures)
OUTSTANDING FILM - LIMITED RELEASE
Beautiful Boxer (Regent Releasing/here! Films) Mysterious Skin (TLA Releasing) Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics) Transamerica (The Weinstein Company) Walk On Water (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Granted, Brokeback Mountain and Rent are almost painfully obvious choices, but there are still some films on that list that could actually be considered "by gay people for gay people," rather than the "movies for straight people that happen to have gay people in them" that GLAAD usually recognizes.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Commander in Chief (ABC) The L Word (Showtime) Queer as Folk (Showtime) Six Feet Under (HBO) South of Nowhere (The N)
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Out of Practice (CBS) Shameless (BBC America) Will & Grace (NBC)
I pretty much don't watch much TV anymore, so I don't have much to say about these choices, other than to reiterate my impressions that The L Word is more about titillating straight men than anything else and that we should all be very, very ashamed of ourselves for allowing the gay version of Amos and Andy, Will & Grace, to last as long as it has.
OUTSTANDING MUSIC ARTIST
Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now Melissa Etheridge, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled Girlyman, Little Star Sharon Isbin, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Ponce: Guitar Concertos Amy Ray, Prom
This is truly remarkable. Only one token gay pop celebrity on the list!
OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK
Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker (DC Comics) Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio) Top Ten: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore (ABC Comics/Wildstorm) Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (Vertigo/DC Comics) Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)
I'm glad that Heinberg finally stopped playing coy in Young Avengers. I'm still baffled as to how anyone can think of Strangers in Paradise as a positive portrayal of lesbian relationships. And, while I enjoy Rucka's work, and Brubaker's (non-Marvel) work, and Gotham Central itself, I do have to say that my reaction to the outing of Renee Montoya is still "Gosh! The tough female cop with a drinking problem turns out to be a lesbian! How unexpected and original!" At least they've successfully avoided making her mannish.
Of course, I still have plenty of fault to find with GLAAD, despite the good choices for the awards this year. For example, applauding Gene Shalit's "I'm sorry if you were offended by my statements, but how dare you criticize me" "apology" for his homophobic misrepresentation of Brokeback Mountain is the kind of "don't piss off the famous people" nonsense I really hate seeing a prominent gay group engage in.
While I'm on my Queer Soapbox, guess what the United States, Iran, Egypt, Zimbabwe, China and Cameroon have in common: