Record Number Of Transgender Nominees For 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

by Nick Adams

Today, GLAAD announced the nominees for its 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, and for the first time over half of the nominees include transgender people or characters – 75 of the 147 nominees are trans-inclusive, (53 nominees in English, and 22 nominees in Spanish.)

In the Outstanding Film – Limited Release category, four of the five nominees are about transgender people: 52 Tuesdays (Kino Lorber), Boy Meets Girl (Wolfe Video), Drunktown’s Finest (Nehst Studios), and Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures).

In the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category The Danish Girl (Focus Features) and Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics) were also nominated. Grandma includes Laverne Cox in a cameo role as a tattoo artist.

In the Outstanding Comedy Series category, Netflix picked up its third nomination for Orange Is the New Black, while Amazon’s Transparent received another nod for its second season.

In the Outstanding Drama Series category, Sense8, the new Netflix series by the Wachowskis (which includes out trans director Lana Wachowski) and J. Michael Straczynski, received a nomination for its first season which included a trans computer hacker and a closeted Mexican TV star as lead characters. The Fosters (ABC Family), How to Get Away with Murder (ABC), and Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) also had storylines about trans characters this year.

USA Network’s Royal Pains aired an episode called “The Prince of Nucleotides” which starred out trans teenager Nicole Maines as a trans camp counselor and choreographer.

The new NBC series The Carmichael Show chose to include a trans youth in the episode “Gender” during its initial six-episode run. The show will return in 2016. And on Logo, the British limited series Banana and Cucumber both included a trans character played by out trans actress Bethany Black.

Two of the nominees for Outstanding Documentary are about trans people of color. Kumu Hina (PBS) is about Hina Wong-Kalu, a transgender native Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon for Hawaii’s mahu (those who embody both a male and female spirit), while Mala Mala (Strand Releasing) is about trans people and drag performers living in Puerto Rico.

All of the nominees in the Outstanding Reality Program are trans-inclusive. I Am Cait (E!), I Am Jazz (TLC), New Girls on the Block (Discovery Life), and Transcendent (Fuse) are all centered around transgender people, while The Prancing Elites Project (Oxygen) includes a trans woman as part of the otherwise all-male dance troupe.

The only daily drama to receive a GLAAD Media Award nomination this year is CBS’ The Bold and The Beautiful. This year, viewers learned that Maya, an established character on the show since 2013, was a transgender woman. Maya later disclosed her transgender history to her boyfriend Rick Forrester, at the exact same time that a tabloid outed her as trans to the entire world. After she was outed publicly against her will, Maya reconnected with her estranged parents. Maya’s mother Vivienne came to accept Maya, but Julius, Maya’s conservative father, still struggles to accept his trans child. Finally Rick proposed to Maya during a fashion show featuring trans models Carmen Carrera and Isis King, and in August they were wed by Maya’s friend Nick, a trans man played by out trans actor Scott Turner Schofield. Toward the end of the year, Rick and Maya decided to start a family by using a surrogate to carry their child.

In the Outstanding Comic Book category, three of the nominees include transgender characters, Angela: Queen of Hel (Marvel Comics), Lumberjanes (BOOM! Studios), and The Wicked + Divine, (Image Comics). Lumberjanes is an all-ages comic which revealed this year that Jo, one of the lead characters in the book, is a transgender teenager.

Both projects receiving Special Recognition this year are created by trans people: Beautiful as I Want to Be is a Logo web series hosted by out trans model Geena Rocero, while This is Me is the Emmy-nominated series of short films created by Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker to accompany Amazon’s Transparent.

Journalism’s interest in transgender issues has been steadily increasing over the past few years, but Caitlyn Jenner’s decision to share her story in an interview with Diane Sawyer in April created even more opportunities for trans people to make their voices heard in local and national media. The groundbreaking 20/20 interview received a nomination for Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver earned a second consecutive nomination in the Outstanding Talk Show Episode category for his segment “Transgender Rights” which skewered the media’s often sensationalistic coverage of trans issues. Other nominees in that category include The Ellen DeGeneres Show for its interview with trans man Aydian Dowling; Oprah Winfrey and OWN for the Super Soul Sunday interview with Janet Mock; and The Meredith Vieira Show for her interview with Jazz Jennings. MTV received an Outstanding TV Journalism nomination for True Life: I’m Genderqueer, which profiled two young people who identify outside the “male/female” gender binary.

Other trans-inclusive journalism nominees include:

Pushing for Equality for Transgender People” Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC)

Gay and Transgender Catholics Urge Pope Francis to Take a Stand” by Laurie Goodstein (The New York Times)

Meet Dr. Levine, The State’s Top Doc” by Michael A. Fuoco (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Transgender Today” [series] (The New York Times)

Behind Brazil’s Gay Pride Parades, a Struggle with Homophobic Violence” by Oscar Lopez (Newsweek)

The First Black Trans Model Had Her Face on a Box of Clairol” Jada Yuan and Aaron Wong (New York)

“Just Your Average (Transgender) Teen” by Andrea Stanley (Seventeen)

“Pride & Prejudice” by Linda Villarosa (Essence Magazine)

The Faces of Transgender Teen America” by David Yi (

How the Killing of a Trans Filipina Woman Ignited an International Incident” by Meredith Talusan (

The Ky Peterson Saga” [series] by Mitch Kellaway and Sunnivie Brydum (

This Tiny Clinic is Fighting for Trans Patients Illegally Denied Medical Care” by Jennifer Swann (

Freed Trans Woman Ashley Diamond On Life Behind Bars In Men’s PrisonHuffPost Live (

Holler if You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church” by Clay Cane (

Queerness On The Front Lines Of #BlackLivesMatter” MSNBC Originals (

Stopping HIV? The Truvada Revolution” Vice Reports (

Transgender, at War and in Love” by Fiona Dawson (

For a complete list of 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.

Originally published by GLAAD Photo via IMDb