GLAAD Celebrates Trans Nominees in the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

The GLAAD Media Awards in LA took place on March 28th and the New York Awards are coming soon on May 4th! This year’s crop of nominees and winners features some incredible trans talent in a multitude of categories. From the groundbreaking FX show Pose, which featured a mostly transgender cast, to a number of newspaper and magazine articles focusing on trans and issues, this year has been significant in the fight for trans rights and the nominees reflect that. Categories that highlight trans people at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards include Outstanding Film - Limited Release, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Reality Program, Outstanding Music Artist, and more! 

In the realm of film, Damon Cardasis’ Saturday Church featured a number of trans actors and a story in which its young protagonist Ulysses meets some members of the local LGBTQ community in the city and gains their support as they introduce Saturday Church, a program run to support LGBTQ youth. Like Pose, Saturday Church also highlights the ballroom scene and encourages trans representation on screen. Saturday Church is nominated for Outstanding Film - Limited Release at the GLAAD Media Awards. Trans representation was also highlighted in some of the Outstanding Documentary Nominees, such as Call Her Ganda and My House. GLAAD is also giving the special recognition award to the film TransMilitary which was the first feature length project to receive completion funding from the GLAAD Media Institute and focuses on trans service members. 


On television, Ryan Murphy’s Pose on FX was critically acclaimed this year and picked up quite a few nominations and trophies beyond its GLAAD Media Award nomination, significantly a nomination for a Golden Globe. Featuring a cast led by amazing trans talent including, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, and more, Pose highlighted the African-American and Latinx ball culture world like never before. Elsewhere on TV, Showtime’s Billions made history with its depiction of TV’s first non-binary sex scene, and Fox’s Star continued to tell the story of Cotton Brown, played by trans actress Amiyah Scott. ABC’s long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy also featured a storyline last year that highlighted a new trans male character. The CW’s Supergirl also welcomed its first trans actress this year, with Nicole Maines joining the cast as Dreamer and becoming TV’s first transgender superhero. Pose, Billions, Star, Grey’s Anatomy and Supergirl are all nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the GLAAD Media Awards this year.

There was even more trans representation on television and streaming services this year on Netflix. The Norman Lear sitcom One Day at a Time continued its important portrayal of a non-binary character in a relationship with one of the show’s protagonists, and Sense8’s conclusion featured a happy ending for trans protagonist Nomi (played by trans actress Jamie Clayton) and her wife Amanita. One Day at a Time was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Sense8 is nominated for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Trans representation was also present in singular episodes nominated for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character) which include “Service” from NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and “She” on NBC’s The Good Doctor. TLC’s I am Jazz also received a nomination for Outstanding Reality Program for its showcasing of the life of transgender girl Jazz Jennings. 

In the music world, GLAAD nominated three trans artists for Outstanding Music Artist: Shea Diamond, Kim Petras, and SOPHIE. Each of the three artists have been vocal about their identities and are making huge waves in terms of representation in the music industry. A comprehensive post about the three nominees and their achievements can be found here

In the once very straight, white, male, and cisgender dominated worlds of comic books and video games, trans representation is slowly but surely becoming a key feature of various projects. In the comics industry, BOOM! Studios’ “Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass” featured a trans girl as one of the main characters in this highly successful comic book, and in Black Mask Comics’ “Oh S#!t! It’s Kim & Kim,” trans women are put front and center. In the video game, “The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset,” a canonically trans character was also featured. “Lumberjanes” and “It’s Kim & Kim” were both nominated for Outstanding Comic Book and “Elder Scrolls” is took home the award for Outstanding Video Game at the GLAAD Media Awards in LA. 

In the journalism categories at the GLAAD Awards, trans rights were featured heavily in many of the nominees, from segments on Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, each nominated for Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode, to articles such as “Gender - The Space Between” and “Transgender students asked Betsy DeVos for help. Here’s what happened” nominated for Outstanding TV Journalism - Newsmagazine and Outstanding Newspaper Article, respectively. Pieces such as “Can a Transgender Woman Get Justice in Texas?,” “Deadnamed,” and “Trans Model Aaron Philip is Making Space for Disabilities on the Runway” also highlighted trans representation in the categories, Outstanding Magazine Article, Outstanding Digital Journalism, and Outstanding Digital Journalism - Multimedia respectively. The blog Transgriot was also nominated for Outstanding Blog for its unwavering posts about transgender issues. 

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and the issues that affect their lives.

The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will continue in New York City on Saturday, May 4th at the New York Hilton Midtown where Madonna will honored with the Advocate for Change Award. Sarah Jessica Parker will also present the Vito Russo Award to Andy Cohen at the New York ceremony. Other special guests include Don Lemon, the Cast of FX’s Pose, and Samantha Bee. 

The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are supported by Presenting Partners Delta Air Lines, Gilead, Hyundai, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, and Wells Fargo. GLAAD is also grateful to: Official Partners Bud Light and Google; Titanium Partner AT&T and WEN; Platinum Partners Comcast NBCUniversal-Telemundo, Creative Artists Agency, Disney ABC Television Group, Facebook/Instagram, HBO, Hulu, Kaiser Permanente, MetLife, NBA & WNBA, Netflix, Omnicom Group, PRG, Sheppard Mullin, Turner; Gold Partners CBS/Showtime, Nielsen, PWC, UM, Univision, and VER; and Silver Partners Allstate, Coca-Cola, Morgan Stanley, and Warner Bros. 

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