On January 19, GLAAD announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, and many of this year’s nominees center diverse and compelling stories about transgender and nonbinary people.
In the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category, the new West Side Story makes Anybodys, played by trans nonbinary actor Iris Menas, a more clearly defined transgender character. In the Outstanding Film – Limited Release category, Gossamer Folds stars Alexandra Grey as a trans woman living in a small town who forms an unexpected friendship with the child next door. And Port Authority stars Leyna Bloom as a trans woman deeply involved in her queer community who starts a relationship with a man who is new to the city. Actress and model Jari Jones was a consultant and associate producer on Port Authority, and she also plays a role in the film.
This year, GLAAD created a new category, Outstanding New TV Series, to recognize series that premiere during the eligibility period. Half of the new series receiving a nomination included trans and nonbinary characters, including Sort Of (HBO Max), which was co-created by Bilal Baig, a nonbinary trans person. Baig plays Sabi Mehboob, a first generation Pakistani-Canadian figuring out how to balance life as a bartender and caretaker. Also receiving a nomination are With Love (Prime Video) starring Isis King, Y: The Last Man (FX on Hulu) starring Elliot Fletcher, 4400 (The CW) starring TL Thompson and Theo Germaine, and The Sex Lives of College Girls (HBO Max) which includes Vico Ortiz in a recurring role.
In Outstanding Comedy Series, the trans-inclusive nominees include the previously nominated Work in Progress (Showtime), Saved by the Bell (Peacock), and Sex Education (Netflix), alongside first-time nominees Shrill (Hulu), and Gentefied (Netflix).
In Outstanding Drama Series, the trans-inclusive nominees include the previously nominated Pose (FX), 9-1-1: Lone Star (FOX), Supergirl (The CW), Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) and The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime), alongside first-time nominees The Chi (Showtime) and Good Trouble (Freeform).
The New Zealand series Rūrangi (Hulu) received a nomination in the Outstanding Limited Series or Anthology category. Co-created and written by Cole Meyers, who is trans, the series is about a Maori trans man returning to his small hometown and confronting his past. (Check out GLAAD’s interview with Meyers and series lead Elz Carrad here.) In the Outstanding TV Movie category, Nash Bridges (USA), a film which revists the popular 1990s franchise, includes trans actress Alexia Garcia as a computer expert who helps Nash and Joe solve the case.
The Outstanding Documentary nominees include several films made with trans people behind the camera as well as in front of it. Changing the Game (Hulu) takes viewers into the lives of three trans high school athletes and delivers a powerful and uplifting story about being yourself in spite of mounting backlash. Filmed over five years, Pier Kids (PBS) focuses on homeless youth living in New York City, including Crystal LaBeija, a young trans girl. Co-producer and co-director Zackary Drucker brings a much-needed trans perspective to the compelling life of trans entrepreneur and con artist Liz Carmichael in the documentary series The Lady and The Dale (HBO). In No Ordinary Man (Oscilloscope Laboratories), Chase Joynt, Amos Mac, and Aisling Chin-Yee tell the eye-opening story of trans jazz musician Billy Tipton, while also putting a spotlight on the lives of trans men living today and exploring their personal relationship to Tipton’s legacy. The documentary series Pride (FX) looks at LGBTQ history, including the lives of many trans people. Yance Ford, who is trans, directs episode five on the culture wars of the 1990s.
In the Outstanding Reality Program category several shows featured transgender and nonbinary people, including: I Am Jazz (TLC), Legendary (HBO Max), MTV’s Following: Bretman Rock (MTV), Queer Eye (Netflix), RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1), The Voice (NBC), and We’re Here (HBO).
In Outstanding Kids & Family Programming, “Manlee Men” Danger Force (Nickelodeon) received a nomination for its storyline about a young trans journalist helping Schwoz and the team solve a case. This episode was directed and co-written by Michael D. Cohen, a man of trans experience, who also plays Schwoz in the show. The young trans journalist is played by Sasha A. Cohen, who was discovered through Nickelodeon’s Trans Youth Acting Challenge. In Outstanding Children’s Programming, Ridley Jones (Netflix), City of Ghosts (Netflix), and the episode “Whatever Floats Your Float” Madagascar: A Little Wild (Hulu/Peacock) all include nonbinary characters.
Six of the 10 games nominated for Outstanding Video Game also feature trans and/or nonbinary characters: Boyfriend Dungeon, Far Cry 6, The Gardener and the Wild Vines, Life is Strange: True Colors, Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.
In the Outstanding Comic Book category, The Dreaming: Waking Hours (DC Comics) features Heather After, a trans sorceress who has dangerous adventures with the Faerie, all the while supported by her boyfriend Todd. In the new Outstanding Graphic Novel/Anthology category, Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms (Oni Press) by trans writer Crystal Frasier, is about Annie “a smart, antisocial lesbian” and her friend (maybe more?) Bebe, a trans girl on the cheerleading squad. Girl Haven (Oni Press), by trans writer Lilah Sturges, is about Ash, who everyone thinks is a boy but Ash knows that she’s a girl. The two nominated anthologies, DC Pride (DC Comics) and Marvel’s Voices: Pride (Marvel Comics), both include short stories featuring trans and nonbinary characters – many of them superheroes – by trans and nonbinary writers.
In Outstanding Music Artist, performer Mykki Blanco is nominated for the album Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep (Transgressive Records).
Many nominees in the Spanish-language categories also include transgender and/or nonbinary people, including the Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series Todo lo otro (Dafne and the Rest) (HBO Max) and Pequeñas Victorias (Because Victoria) (Prime Video). Created by trans writer, Abril Zamora, Todo lo otro is a comedy from Spain about a millennial trans woman and her friends. Zamora also stars in the show. Pequeñas Victorias is about four women who are co-parenting a little girl named Victoria, and one of the women is a trans mom played by Mariana Genesio Peña, a trans actress. Click here to learn more about all of the nominees in the Spanish-language categories.
Among those receiving a GLAAD Special Recognition Award are:
- Jeopardy! Champion Amy Schneider, who made history by becoming one of the show’s all-time top contestants and the first woman to surpass the $1 million mark in total earnings. Schneider used her history-making appearances and new platform to raise awareness of transgender issues, while also sharing her personal story with millions of people across the country.
- The Laverne Cox Show, the Shondaland Audio/iHeartMedia podcast hosted by actress and activist Laverne Cox, which features intimate and timely conversations about culture, gender, relationships, race, mental health, and more. In its first season, Cox hosted LGBTQ guests including Ts Madison, Billy Porter, Jen Richards, Alok Vaid-Menon, Tracey ‘Africa’ Norman, Chase Strangio, and others for in-depth discussions about anti-trans violence and legislation, dating within the trans community, the importance of trans visibility and empowerment, HIV awareness, and more.
Many talk show and journalism nominees feature trans people and/or highlighted issues affecting the trans community. Included among the nominees:
- “Culture War! Diverse Pilots and Trans Rights” The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
- “Elliot Page” The Oprah Conversation (Apple TV+),
- “Mj Rodriguez on Historic Emmy Nomination and Hopes for Trans Community’s Future” The View (ABC)
- “Danica Roem to LGBTQ Americans: You Have to Care About Politics” State of the Union (CNN)
- “Mama Gloria” AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exhange (PBS)
- “Pride of The White House” (MSNBC)
- “Trans in Texas” United Shades of America (CNN)
- “Trans in Trumpland” (Topic)
- “TransAmerica” (NBC News NOW)
- “The Week in Pride” (MSNBC)
- “Elliot Page is Ready for This Moment” by Katy Steinmetz (TIME)
- “The Hearts of Venezuela” by Taylor Hirschberg (Out)
- “Keeping Trans Kids From Medicine Doesn’t Make Them Disappear” by Jennifer Finney Boylan (The New York Times)
- “Lawmakers can’t cite local examples of trans girls in sports” by David Crary & Lindsay Whitehurst (The Associated Press)
- “Across the South, a Trans Housing Movement Grows” by Raquel Willis (VOGUE.com)
- “As Anti-Trans Violence Surges, Advocates Demand Policy Reform” by Jo Yurcaba (NBCNews.com)
- “‘No Time For Intolerance:’ Dr. Rachel Levine Has A Job To Do” by Dawn Ennis (Forbes.com)
- “The Word Missing From the Vast Majority of Anti-Trans Legislation? Transgender” by Orion Rummler & Kate Sosin (19thnews.org)
- “Caretakers” [series] (PBS)
- “For Ruth Ellis Center Staff, Helping LGBTQ Homeless Youth is Personal” (LGBTQ Nation)
- “Legendary” [series] (NowThis/Discovery+)
- “Meet the Logo Legends: Brooklyn Trans Liberation” (Logo)
- “The Power of Layshia Clarendon” (ESPN.com)
- “Transnational” [series] (VICE News)
- “Tyra Banks Interview: SI Swimsuit Cover Model Leyna Bloom” (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit)
The 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards nominees were published, released, or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2021. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies, which fund GLAAD’s work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance, are currently scheduled be held in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, April 2, 2022 and in New York at the Hilton Midtown on Friday, May 6, 2022. You can keep up with the latest developments by following GLAAD on Twitter and Instagram.