So I’m not a fan of the GLAAD media awards.
I went on about this a few years back, but essentially GLAAD is the “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defimation” and every year they hand out awards for positive portrayal of queers in the media. Films, TV Series, News Programmes, whatever. Comic Books too, actually, and it’s the comic book section that really pisses me off. Why? GLAAD’s mandate pushes ‘mainstream’ or ‘visible’Â material over quality material. So if something is really great and really queer, but say published by Oni Press, wheras something is mediocre on every level (including queer representation) but is published by DC Comics? DC gets the award. For Example:
2006: Young Avengers, Marvel Comics
2005: Luba, Fantagraphics
2004: Catwoman, DC Comics
2003: Green Lantern, DC Comics
2002: Green Lantern, DC Comics
2001: Supergirl, DC Comics
2000: Supergirl, DC Comics
Yeah, congrats to Gilbert Hernandez and Luba, but that’s pretty odd and uninspiring company Gilbert finds himself in.
This year’sÂ nominees for Best Comics are:
OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK
52 by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid (DC Comics)
American Virgin by Steven T. Seagle (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
Manhunter by Marc Andreyko (DC Comics)
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Which… With two queer authors and an actual book about queer issues, fills me with a hope that will almost certainly be dashed against the rocks when Y: The Last Man wins, but something like 52 even being nominated makes me more than a little queesy. I even like Greg Rucka and the Montoya character, but that series is neither of their finest hours.
But to get to the point of this post? It looks like the gay media is sick of supporting these awards, when the gay media are completely unlikely to get anything out of them. From the Queerty blog:
“Gay cable network here! isn’t having GLAAD‘s straight-washing of their Media Awards. Despite describing itself as dedicated to “promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of [LGBT] people and events in the media”, the watchdog group refuses to include gay programming in their nominations. To protest this queer contradiction, here! has yanked their support of the annual event.”
There are a lot of apologists for GLAAD’s mission statement and the awards themselves, but honestly? I’m glad a gay organisation finally stood up and against the awards as they stand. They’re effectively celebrating portrayals of gay people as either stereotypes or cartoons, and their celebrity worship at theÂ expense of shining a spotlight onto smaller, more deserving works ranks pretty high on my own social injustice meter. In this specific instance, shutting out queer programming by queers in favour of truly dreadful crap like, oh, Brothers & Sisters is just… blaaaaaaaaaah.
I think a connected, political, entertainment-oriented organisation for Queers is important, and even telling Kevin Smith that he’s being a jack-ass at the risk of looking out-of-touch doesn’t bother me. But (to mangle a metaphor) they’ve got a huge voice and a big pulpit, and instead ofÂ Proselytizing to the masses they’re preaching to the choir.
P.S.: No manga? What the hell?
P.P.S.: Thanks to Dorian for the tip.