Last night I attended the New York GLAAD awards in Times Square. It’s a lesser celeb-studded event than the LA version but the attendance was still impressive. I went to the event with my new friend Brad Boles who is a reoccurring character on the Real Housewives of New York. Even he admits that show is a bit of a train wreck. I had a good time, got to see some friends and meet some new ones. I just have to air a little grievance I have with GLAAD. It just seems to me that they often honor and celebrate the wrong people. The evening was honoring Tyra Banks, Phil Donahue and Suze Orman. I totally get Suze Orman. She is an out lesbian and she is amazing. I actually spoke to her briefly and told her that her books and show changed my life. I said, ” I’m so sorry to bother you but I just want to tell you that 7 years ago I was $25,000.00 in credit card debt and I read you books and did everything you said and now I am debt free and own my apartment in New York.” She responded in typical Suze style, “That’s fabulous! I love to hear those stories.” I worship her.  Anyway I get why she should be honored. And I basically get Donahue. He has been a champion of all things liberal for quite a while now including LGBT rights. However, he is straight and I would have preferred honoring out lesbian Rachel Maddow who basically covers the same type of topics. I just really don’t understand why Tyra Banks was being honored. Because she has gay people on her show? Big deal. It’s about fashion and modeling. We are a dime a dozen in those industries. I may enjoy watching Mr. and Ms. Jay prance around the set of Top Model but I don’t think they do anything to advance the LGBT cause. If anything they perpetuate the idea that gay men are all over-the-top borderline drag queens. By the way I adore drag queens. Nothing against the Jays personally. I just think GLAAD should dig a little deeper.

I also found it a bit offensive that Clay Aiken was making an appearance. He is another one who has been sending the message to America that being gay is not OK. He does not represent me. There are so many talented, out, LGBT people that could have been chosen. I was truly disappointed.

Now I know that we need to align with our straight allies. I just think GLAAD needs to rethink some of their choices.

Anyway–that’s just my opinion. I don’t know anything about the inner workings of GLAAD but from my perspective that’s what I garnered.

Generally, I had fun. Although we left early because we were seated in the very back table and I couldn’t hear most of what was going on on stage. The definite highlights were talking to Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan and my brush with Suze Orman. Good times.






6 Responses to “GLAAD Awards NYC”

  1. Hey Jack… those are some great pics…

  2. I would have to agree with some of your sentiments about who GLAAD chooses to honor. It sometimes appears as though their selection criteria is “what’s the best name we can actually get” rather than “who actually deserves an award for their work with the LGBT community”.

  3. Hey Jack- I agree with you wholeheartedly re: Tyra Banks, etc. Dig deeper indeed! But overall, what a great event[s]. And yes, Suze ROCKS!!!

  4. The Tyra award made sense because she does more than show gay people on ANTM–she showcases them on her talk show, which reaches an audience that GLAAD doesn’t have much ability to target.

    The bigger thing she did this year though was have Isis on ANTM. I think Isis was a really good thing for the transgender community because she had a very nice personality and seemed secure in who she was.

    I agree with your comments about Clay Aiken though. The best I can say is that its better to give him positive attention for coming out than to bash him for being in the closet so long.

  5. Jack,

    I agree with you – the few times I’ve watched Tyra dealing with gays I’ve felt like she was driving the tour bus through the gay zoo. Didn’t feel supported and appreciated but felt like an object of curiosity, like the animals in the zoo.

    Atlanta, GA

  6. Tyra Bank’s productions have massive influence amongst the younger demographics of people, and these people are the future. In order to enact change in attitudes towards the LGBT community, it’s important to start young, and exposing the younger audiences to people like Isis and the Jays helps people to understand these characters, to accept them for the wonderful and normal people they are. I think Tyra’s efforts are well worth the recognition, because I see the effects that they have on the people around me. Those who follow Tyra’s shows seek to understand the same issues that are important to her, because she is a role model and a leader by example. Perhaps that might justify the award.

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