TV shows featuring transgender and non-binary people topped media award nominations released Wednesday by LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.
Every year since 1990, GLAAD has recognized films, television shows, musicians, journalists and other media personalities for their fair, accurate and inclusive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
Of the 30 TV shows nominated in three categories — Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding New TV Series — 18 feature transgender and/or non-binary characters, including “Pose,” “9-1-1: Lone Star,” ‘Good Trouble’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘The L Word: Generation Q’, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’.
This year’s list includes 246 nominees in 30 categories, up from 198 nominees in 28 categories last year. This year, GLAAD has added two categories: Outstanding New TV Series and Outstanding Original Graphic Novel/Anthology.
“Media can create positive change, and this year’s nominees represent powerful projects, stories and creators who have positively changed culture and enlightened audiences with impactful new LGBTQ stories,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, in a statement. “There are more nominees this year than ever before, highlighting a growing landscape of LGBTQ visibility and a reminder of the vital role that film, television, music, journalism and other forms of media can play in the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in the face of ongoing attacks on our community.
Many nominees in other categories also featured trans characters or told the stories of trans people “in a timely, nuanced and empowering way,” GLAAD said, in the deadliest year on record for trans people. Also in the past year, dozens of states have considered legislation to ban trans girls from women’s school sports teams and block trans youth’s access to gender-affirming health care.
Other nominated shows and movies featuring trans and non-binary people include “West Side Story”, “Changing the Game”, “Legendary”, “Queer Eye”, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “We’re Here “, “Port Authority” and “The Loud House.”
Of the 10 nominees for Outstanding Video Game, six feature trans and non-binary characters, including “Boyfriend Dungeon,” “Far Cry 6,” “The Gardener and the Wild Vines,” and “Life is Strange: True Colors.”
Transgender and non-binary characters appear in five of the nominated comics and graphic novels, including the two anthologies: “DC Pride” and “Marvel’s Voices: Pride.”
GLAAD noted that many journalism nominations also featured trans people or highlighted issues affecting the trans community.
NBC News, MSNBC and NBC’s “TODAY” show garnered seven nominations combined, with NBC News Digital receiving nominations for “TransAmerica” for Outstanding TV Journalism, Long Form and “As Anti-Trans Violence Rises , Advocates Demand Political Reform” for his outstanding online journalism piece.
Although many GLAAD nominees have focused on trans stories, GLAAD’s latest “Where We Are on TV” report released last year revealed a year-over-year decrease in the number of transgender characters at television. The group attributed the decline to the pandemic and the fact that several shows with prominent trans characters weren’t set to return.
However, transgender actress Angelica Ross, who starred in Ryan Murphy’s “Pose,” told NBC News last year that she believes the drop in representation was due to a lack of effort in Hollywood.
“As you might expect, a good percentage of the diversity movement was performative and predictable,” Ross said. “A lot of my trans colleagues who are creators saw this coming long before it happened. That’s why people like me, Rain Valdez, Janet Mock, Shakina Nayfack and others use our space in the industry to create more roles and create more space for truly diverse storytelling.
While GLAAD’s report found that overall LGBTQ representation was down — as well as trans representation — it also found that LGBTQ people of color on TV outnumbered their white counterparts for the first time in 25 years that GLAAD follows.
Likewise, a significant number of this year’s nominees feature the stories of LGBTQ people of color, according to GLAAD. These film and television nominees include “Tick, Tick…Boom!”, “Breaking Fast”, “Gossamer Folds”, “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson”, “Plan B”, and “Missing You”.
Many LGBTQ artists of color have also been nominated for Outstanding Musical Artist or Outstanding Breakthrough Musical Artist, including Lil Nas X, Halsey, Kaytranada, Demi Lovato, Arlo Parks, and Japanese Breakfast.
Winners will be announced at two live ceremonies: in Los Angeles in April and New York in May. The full list of nominees is available on the GLAAD website.
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