#glaadawards nominees highlight powerful stories of LGBTQ people of color

Nominees for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced this week, and stories featuring LGBTQ people of color shone across all categories.

In entertainment, the South African film The Wound (Outstanding Film – Limited Release) tells the story of a secret relationship between two men during a Xhosa initiation ritual. Kiki, a documentary about LGBTQ youth of color in the kiki and ball scenes, is nominated in Outstanding Documentary. BBC America’s Queers and ABC’s When We Rise both received nominations in Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series, and highlighted black queer stories.

Outstanding Comedy Series nominees The Bold Type (Freeform), FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Survivor’s Remorse (Starz) all feature black queer characters. Additionally, The Bold Type includes Adena, a “proud Muslim lesbian,” who is dating Kat. In the Outstanding Drama Series category, the since-cancelled CBS drama Doubt and FOX’s Star both feature black trans women played by trans women (Laverne Cox as lawyer Cameron Worth and Amiyah Scott as Cotton, respectively). The dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale includes lesbian character Moira (out actress Samira Wiley), Ron Cephas Jones played Randall’s father William – who is bisexual – on NBC’s buzzy This Is Us, and Sense8’s final season included multiple black queer characters. Master of None’s “Thanksgiving” episode told the story of Denise’s coming out to her family and growing comfortable to bringing a girlfriend home to her family, the episode was co-written by actor Lena Waithe who made history as the first black woman to win the Emmy in Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode.

Disney’s Doc McStuffins included an episode this summer following a lesbian couple and their children, with the moms voiced by out actresses Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi. The episode is nominated in the brand new Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category, alongside Nickelodeon’s The Loud House which also includes a black gay character. Kelela, Honey Dijon, Kehlani, and Halsey are all nominated in Outstanding Music Artist. Marvel’s limited series Black Panther: World of Wakanda, nominated in Outstanding Comic Book, is centered on the relationship between Dora Milaje members Ayo and Aneka. Jay-Z’s “Smile,” featuring his mother Gloria Carter, will receive a Special Recognition award.

Netflix’s One Day at a Time – returning January 26 for season two – follows a Cuban-American family, including teenage daughter Elena who came out as a lesbian in season one. Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s winter finale included Rosa Diaz (out bi actress Stephanie Beatriz) coming out as bisexual, check out GLAAD’s Facebook Live chat with her about the story. Netflix’s Sense8 and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery also feature gay Latino characters.

The documentary Chavela follows the fascinating life and career of Chavela Vargas, one of the most iconic singers in Latin American history. In addition to her music being extremely influential in 20th century Mexico, Chavela tells an intimate portrait of the singer's personal life, including coming out as a lesbian at the age of 81, and her relationship with different women in different periods of her life including Frida Kahlo. Marvel’s America is nominated in Outstanding Comic Book, the series follows America Chavez who is the company’s first Latina lesbian superhero.

 The Chilean film Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman) tells the story of Marina, a transgender woman and lounge singer whose life is turned upside down when someone close to her unexpectedly passes away. In the face of discrimination from individuals and institutions, Marina’s strength and resilience shines through the entire film.

NBC’s Superstore (nominated in Outstanding Comedy Series) looks at the immigrant experience through Nico, a gay man who was born and raised in the Philippines. Shadowhunters, which is nominated in Outstanding Drama Series and last year received the award in this category, continues to explore the life of Brooklyn’s High Warlock, Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.). Daily drama Days of Our Lives, ABC’s When We Rise, and NBC’s The Voice all included Asian queer and trans characters in 2017.

Moving over to news and journalism, the Good Morning America segment “DJ Zeke Thomas Goes Public” shone a spotlight on sexual assault. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s series “The Silent Epidemic: Black Gay Men and HIV” and “America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic” (The New York Times Magazine) examine the statistics, experiences and share stories from men living at the intersections of being black, gay, and HIV-positive. Respected trans advocate Monica Roberts received her third nomination in Outstanding Blog for her work on Transgriot, which focuses on issues pertaining to transgender women of color. Fusion’s “China Queer” edition of The Naked Truth looks at the daily experiences of a group of LGBTQ activists in China. Three separate pieces are nominated that cover the specific impact of the Pulse shooting on the Latinx LGBTQ community in Orlando; Anderson Cooper 360, Orlando Sentinel, and Huffpost Queer Voices.

For a complete list of nominees, click here

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 GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community and issues that build support for equality and acceptance.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 12, 2018 at The Beverly Hilton and in New York on May 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Find out how you can buy tickets or host a table here.

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.