Looking back at 27 years of accelerating acceptance with #glaadawards

This week, GLAAD announced the nominees for the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. In celebration of 30 years at the forefront of cultural change and accelerating acceptance for the LGBT community, we take a moment to look back at highlights from the past three decades and reflect on how far we have come as a community within popular media.

Phil Donahue receives Vito Russo AwardFIRST ANNUAL MEDIA AWARDS (April 29, 1990) The inaugural GLAAD Media Awards are held in New York City atop the Time & Life Building.  Phil Donahue was honored with the Media Person of the Year Award for his continued coverage of the LGBT community, and was joined onstage by GLAAD co-founder Vito Russo.  Also honored:  As the World Turns (Daytime Drama), L.A. Law (Drama Series) and Common Threads:  Stories from the Quilt (TV Documentary).

Whoopi Goldberg Glaad AwardTENTH ANNUAL MEDIA AWARDS (March 28 and April 17, 1999) A record of nearly 4,000 people attended the New York and Washington, DC ceremonies with over 150 media outlets covering the events.  Special awards were given to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, talk show host Larry King, Whoopi Goldberg and Melissa Etheridge, with RuPaul receiving the Vito Russo Award.  Gods and Monsters (Film), The View (TV Talk Show) and Lesbigay Radio were also honored.  For Outstanding TV Journalism-Newsmagazine, ABC’s 20/20 was recognized for “Night of Terror:  Matthew Shephard”.

Liza Minnelli at GLAAD Awards16th ANNUAL MEDIA AWARDS (March 28, April 30 and June 11, 2005) Honoring those “who through their work have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community”, Billy Crystal received the Excellence in Media Award.  Liza Minnelli was honored with the Vanguard Award, presented to a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for LGBT people.  Alan Cumming and Alec Mapa were also honored, as were:  Bad Education (La Mala Educación) for Outstanding Film, Will & Grace (Comedy Series) and 60 Minutes (TV Journalism).

Bill Clinton24th ANNUAL MEDIA AWARDS (March 16 and May 11, 2013) Betty White and Alex Pettyfer came out as allies for equality during the Los Angeles ceremony and auctioned off kisses to support GLAAD’s important work.  Former President Bill Clinton (Advocate for Change Award), Anderson Cooper (Vito Russo Award) and Adam Lambert (Davidson/Valentini Award) were also honored this year, as were Frank Ocean (Music Artist), The New Normal (Comedy Series) and Aquí y ahora (Spanish Language TV Journalism-Newsmagazine).

For a complete list of this year’s nominees, click here

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 2, 2016 at The Beverly Hilton and in New York on May 14 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. 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.