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 our lives. They also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories from the LGBTQ community that build support for LGBTQ acceptance. The GLAAD Media Awards have been held every year since 1990.
GLAAD monitors the media in order to identify nominees in 21 English-language categories, and 6 Spanish-language categories.
In addition to year-round media monitoring, GLAAD issues a Call for Entries, encouraging media outlets to submit outstanding work for consideration. GLAAD may nominate a mainstream media project even if it is not submitted as part of the Call for Entries. However, media outlets created by and for an LGBTQ audience must submit in order to be considered for nomination. GLAAD does not monitor media created by and for the LGBTQ community for defamation – therefore we do not generate a pool of potential nominees for review.
GLAAD may select up to five nominees in each category (with the exception of the Outstanding Film – Limited Release, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Comic Book, and Outstanding Music Artist, in which GLAAD may select up to ten nominees.) If no projects are deemed worthy of nomination in a particular category, GLAAD may choose to not award that category.
All media projects with LGBTQ images are evaluated using four criteria:
1) Fair, Accurate, and Inclusive Representations – Rather than portraying the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community using broad stereotypes, the project deals with the characters or themes in a fair, accurate, and multi-dimensional manner. Inclusive speaks to the importance of having the diversity of the LGBTQ community represented in our nominees.
2) Boldness and Originality – The project breaks new ground by exploring LGBTQ subject matter in non-traditional ways, and handles the LGBTQ content in a fresh and original manner.
3) Impact – The media project dramatically increases the cultural dialogue about LGBTQ issues, or reaches an audience that is not regularly exposed to LGBTQ images and issues. The project has significant cultural impact.
4) Overall Quality – A project of extremely high quality adds significance to the images and issues portrayed and draws more viewers or readers to the material. Fair, accurate, and inclusive images may be weakened when they are part of a poor-quality project.
Selection of Award Recipients
Hundreds of GLAAD Media Awards voters contribute to the selection of award recipients in each category via online balloting. Voters are comprised of three groups: GLAAD staff and board, GLAAD members and volunteers, media industry experts (which includes previous Special Honorees, media industry leaders who are LGBTQ or allies, and Event Production teams).
Award recipients are announced at the GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies.