LGBTQ-inclusive content takes center stage at Saturday's NAACP Image Awards

The 48th NAACP Image Awards air live on Saturday night, and the acclaimed independent film Moonlight is up for awards in several categories, while a number of LGBTQ-inclusive television shows are also nominated, including Transparent and Orange is the New Black.

The coming of age story of a black inner city Miami youth as told through three stages in his life, Moonlight is nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.  Its creator Barry Jenkins is in the runing two more times for Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Film).  Additionally, two featured players are nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture:  Mahershala Ali (Juan) and Trevante Rhodes as the older Chiron.

Celebrating outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors, the NAACP Image Awards honors content and individuals across media categories, from television and film to literature and news.

Loving, the story of the U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down the ban on interracial marriages, becoming the foundational argument for winning marriage equality, is also nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.  Actress Ruth Negga (Mildred Loving) is nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, joined by Alano Miller (Raymond) in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture category.  The film also garndered director Jeff Nichols a nod for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.

Viola DavisIn addition to being nominated in the marquee category of Entertainer of the Year, Viola Davis is also up for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of bisexual lawyer and professor Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder

Our Lady J at GLAAD AwardsMeanwhile, transgender classical pianist and songwriter Our Lady J is nominated in the  Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series category for her work on Transparent.

Out director, showrunner and President of the Directors Guild of America, Paris Barclay is nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for the pilot episode of FOX’ Pitch.  In the Comedy Series category, Marta Cunningham receives recognition with an Outstanding Directing nomination for the “Exciting and New” episode of Amazon’s Transparent.

Several LGBTQ-inclusive television favorites are also honored by the NAACP with nominations.  Atlanta (FX) is up for Outstanding Comedy Series.  Award-winning actress and trans advocate Laverne Cox is nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sophia in Netflix’ Orange is the New Black.  Joining Laverne is her co-star Uzo Aduba (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren), with a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.

Nominated for Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special, is FX’s The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story , which featured out actress Sarah Paulson as prosecuting attorney Marcia Clark.  Receiving a nom for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special, Audra McDonald is recognized for her tour de force performance as the openly bisexual jazz vocalist and song stylist of the 1930’s, Billie Holiday, in HBO’s Lady Day in Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Tituss Burgess is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his breakout performance as Titus Andromedon on Netflix’ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Finishing up his third season on the hit FOX series Empire, out actor Jussie Smollett is also recognized in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category.  

In the Outstanding Drama Series category are FOX’s Empire and OWN’s Queen Sugar, and Kerry Washington is nominated in the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Washington was the recipient of GLAAD's 2015 GLAAD Vanguard Award, which goes to an LGBTQ ally whose impact has been substantial and far-reaching.

Taking place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, this year’s NAACP Image Awards will air live on TV ONE on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9 pm ET.