Unlike awards presentations like the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys or even the Tonys, the GLAAD Media Awards are not a heated, competitive battle to see who’ll take home the prize. In many ways, without sounding too hokey, everyone is a winner because being recognized in this group is a sign that your show or film is presenting LGBT stories and people in a positive, often educative, light.
As we get closer to the LA Awards (April 2nd) and NYC Awards (May 14), I'll be regularly breaking down the categories not so much to predict a winner but to show why this show is on the list in the first place. First up, the Outstanding Comedy nominations:
“Brooklyn 99“: If a sitcom is unsure how to handle their gay character, look to the Fox comedy that features Andre Braugher as Captain Holt. The character is anything but a stereotype and has never had a problem discussing his sexuality or his marriage. That said, the show has referenced the fact that Holt wasn’t made a captain sooner because of his being open about his sexuality during a time very different than today.
“Looking“: If you know me, you know I am not even close to being done waving my pride flag for the canceled HBO dramedy. Starring Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Frankie J. Alvarez, Russell Tovey, Lauren Weednman, Raul Castillo and Daniel Franzese, the movie finale is coming this Spring but I’ll always champion this show for being that gay show I always wanted. (Sorry “Queer As Folk,” you weren’t it for me.)
“Transparent“: Even after two seasons, this is still the show to beat since it’s truly like no other out there. Maura (Emmy/Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor) is a wonder as we join her on her journey of truth but creator Jill Soloway regularly makes sure to give everyone in Maura’s family interesting obstacles to overcome and, in the process, proves over and over that we’re more alike than we realize. “Transparent” also balances comedy and drama beautifully. Watch the first season on XFINITY ON DEMAND.
“Modern Family“: Most shows show signs of age by the time they get to season 7 but the ABC comedy isn’t showing any signs of running out of laughs and a touching moment or two. And, front and center with everyone else, continue to be Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet)
“Faking It”: While it’s not what I would call a fully LGBT-centric series, this MTV comedy is about as close as it comes with Amy (Rita Volk), who may be in love with her best friend (Katie Stevens) but is still not ready to label herself bi or gay and Shane (Michael Willett) who is proud of his gayness. And, not to leave out the T in LGBT, in the new season kicking off next month, we’ll meet a transgender character played by a transgender actor! To its credit, “Faking It” is never preachy and instead makes us laugh while making points about how sexuality doesn’t necessarily define us.
“Vicious“: Having two British acting pros like Sir Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi star as a bitchy (now-married) gay couple is genius in the casting itself but also adding moments of heart mixed in with uproarious laughter and you have this series, which airs in the U.S. on PBS and will be back for a third season later this year.
“Orange Is The New Black“: The hour dramedy isn’t the first women-in-prison series we’ve seen but it’s definitely the most popular. The sexuality spectrum is a big part of the series but Laverne Cox’s trans character, Sophia, is groundbreaking in that she holds herself proud and strong even as we know her journey has not been an easy one. The first two seasons of the series are available on XFINITY ON DEMAND or for sale.
Other titles in the category are “Grace & Frankie,” “Please Like Me” and “Master Of None.”
For more on GLAAD and the Media Awards, visit the website.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.