OUT June July 2016
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Updated: LGBT Bloggers Respond to GLAAD Canceling Their Award Category

glad media awards 2016
Image via GLAAD Media Awards Homepage

The 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards are coming up, and the nominees have been announced, but there was a missing category: Outstanding Blog.

For five years, this category has been the only way independent LGBT bloggers have been able to receive recognition at the awards ceremony. The removal of this category means that this specific group of LGBT activists now has to compete with bigger mainstream media sources, such as The New York Times and MSNBC.

In response to the GLAAD’s decision, LGBT bloggers and activists wrote and signed an open letter to the award committee. Read it below:

"An Open Letter to GLAAD Regarding the 2016 Media Awards

We, the undersigned, respectfully but strongly disagree with your decision to remove the category of ‘Outstanding Blog’ from the GLAAD Awards and with your rationalization behind this decision. 

LGBT blogs and independent media play a crucial role in relaying information, providing new and diverse voices, and bringing attention to LGBT issues that have been overlooked and omitted by the mainstream media. Bloggers are the last truly independent voices of lived LGBT experience, and those who undertake this task typically do so without pay or recognition. They don’t grace the cover of magazines. They don’t get book deals. They don’t win Oscars. What they accomplish through their sacrifice of time and energy is the proper dissemination of information which serves to make our community stronger and better educated. 

The ‘Outstanding Blog’ award bestowed by GLAAD was one of the few ways LGBT bloggers has been given their due. The idea that these voices will now have to compete with larger and more powerful news entities such as The New York Times, MSNBC and Buzzfeed is unfair and, frankly, humiliating. The elimination of the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category implies that unless one is a celebrity or affiliated with a publication with a high profile and finances to match, you are held without regard in the LGBT media landscape, or at least as GLAAD sees it. 

It is sadly ironic that GLAAD, an organization which prides itself on lifting up positive LGBT portrayals, has rendered grassroots LGBT voices invisible and unworthy of recognition. While an initial statement from GLAAD explained that bloggers are still welcome to compete with national outlets in other journalism categories, a simple fact speaks for itself: among the 2016 award nominees, there is not a single blog (or community-based LGBT outlet, for that matter) to be found anywhere on the list. The crucial voice of first-person LGBT voices has simply disappeared from the GLAAD Awards. This is a troubling message to send to the general public, to up-and-coming LGBT writers, and to the LGBT community itself. 

In the spirit of a community in which every voice is an asset in our march to full equality, we ask that the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category be fully reinstated immediately. Please conduct a nomination process at once so that this critical error might be rectified before your 2016 awards dinner.  Also, announcing the winner of this category from the stage, unlike in year’s past, would also be a nice touch."

Sincerely,

Diane Anderson-Minshall
CEO of Retrograde Communications & Editor in Chief of Plus Magazine
Hivplusmag.com
 
Bil Browning
Founder of The Bilerico Project
Bilerico.com
2011, 2012 GLAAD Award Nominee
 
JD Davids
Managing Editor, TheBody.com
 
Zack Ford
LGBT Editor, ThinkProgress.org
 
Michael Hamar
Michael in Norfolk - Coming Out in Mid-Life
Michael-In-Norfolk.blogspot.com
 
Rebecca Juro
Columnist, South Florida Gay News
 
Mark S. King
MyFabulousDisease.com
2015 GLAAD Award Nominee
 
Will Kohler
Back2Stonewall.com
 
Alvin McEwen
Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com
2014, 2015 GLAAD Award Nominee
 
Noah Michelson
HuffPost Queer Voices
Huffingtonpost.com/queer-voices
 
Michael Rogers
Netroots Connect
lgbtnetrootsconnect.org
 
Dana Rudolph
Mombian.com
2012 GLAAD Media Award Winner
 
Michelangelo Signorile
Sirius XM PROGRESS
Signorile.com
 
Pam Spaulding
Pam’s House Blend
PamSpaulding.net
 
Joe Sudbay
Longtime Blogger
 
Berlin Sylvestre
Editor, OUT FRONT Magazine
 
Brynn Tannehill
Independent Writer
 
Daniel Villarreal
Editor in Chief, Unicorn Booty
UnicornBooty.com
 
Ashton P. Woods
Strength in Numbers
ashtonpwoods.strengthinnumbershouston.com

Sarah Toce
Founder/Publisher, The Seattle Lesbian
theseattlelesbian.com

Dana Beyer
Weekly Columnist
HuffPost Queer Voices

Jim Burroway
Box Turtle Bulletin
2012, 2015 GLAAD Award Nominee

Sue Kerr
Founding Editor, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
pghlesbian.com

Andre Duque
Blogger, Blabbeando
Blabbeando.blogspot.com
2011 GLAAD Award Nominee

It's unclear whether changes will be made to recognize the efforts of grassroots LGBT voices in time for the GLAAD Media Awards dinner, to be held on April 2. This list will be updated as names are added.

 

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