By Yolanda Lenge, Contributor GLAAD.org | March 1, 2022
In the midst of a long overdue social movement against racial and ethnic discrimination, and as calls for growing diversity in Hollywood continue, many powerful stories about Black LGBTQ people and issues have emerged. Here are some of the nominees within GLAAD’s entertainment categories (film, television, theater, and music) that elevate and call attention to Black LGBTQ stories.
In the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category, Marvel’s The Eternals power team includes Phastos, the first openly gay Black superhero, played by Brian Tyler Henry. In the Outstanding Film – Limited Release category, a few films highlighting Black trans voices were nominated. Gossamer Folds stars Alexandra Grey as Gossamer, a Black trans woman living in a small town with her father and unveils the story of the most unexpected friendship with the child next door. Port Authority stars Leyna Bloom as Wye, a strong Black trans woman deeply involved in her queer community who starts a relationship with a man who is not only fixated on her inner beauty but new to the city.
The Outstanding Documentary category includes several nominees highlighting impactful Black LGBTQ stories. Changing the Game takes viewers into the lives of three trans high school athletes, including track star Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller and the importance of protection for Black trans youth. The PBS documentary Cured shares the impactful stories of Black liberation and the LGBTQ activists who fought back when homosexality was deemed a mental illness to be “cured.” No Ordinary Man highlights the eye-opening story of trans jazz musician Billy Tipton, while also putting a spotlight on the lives of trans men today like Marquise Vilson and their personal relationship to Tipton’s legacy. The HBO Max original documentary The Legend of the Underground details the experience of a group of Black gay youth challenging ideals of gender, conformity, and civil rights in Nigeria. Pier Kids follows homeless Black LGTBQ youth and their safe space at Christopher Street Pier, as they navigate through hardships and injustices while living in New York City. PRIDE, a docuseries on FX Networks, elevates Black LGBTQ voices and recounts the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights in America from 1950 through the 2000s.
In Outstanding Comedy Series, several nominees feature Black LGBTQ stories, including Work in Progress, Saved by the Bell, Twenties, Sex Education, and Shrill.
In Outstanding Drama Series, Black LGBTQ stories appear in various nominated projects including Pose, 9-1-1: Lone Star, Supergirl, Star Trek: Discovery, and The L Word: Generation Q, alongside first-time nominees Good Trouble and The Chi, an inclusive coming of age story from Emmy Award Winner, Lena Waithe.
In the Outstanding New TV Series category, Black LGBTQ stories dominated the category, featured in eight out of ten nominees. The 4400 on the CW tells the story of marginalized people who vanish and return sixteen years later without any recollection of past events. The diverse cast features Ireson Roach as Keisha, and her growing relationship with Jessica, played by Wilder Yari. Queer horror fiction classic Chucky airs as a series on SyFy and tells the origin story of the notorious doll but also includes the young love story between Devon Evans, played by Björgvin Arnarson, and Jake Wheeler, played by Zackary Arthur. Harlem tells the story about four ambitious Black best girl friends including Tye, played by Jerrie Johnson, a successful Black lesbian woman who faces various issues within the healthcare system. Yellowjackets follows the past and present story of a high school girl soccer team who become survivors of a plane crash deep in the Canadian wilderness. The series features power lesbian couple Tawny Cypress, played by Taissa and Simone played by Rukiya Bernard. With Love, the Amazon series, stars Isis King as Sol Perez, a Black trans nonbinary oncology graduate looking for love. Other nominees spotlighting Black LGBTQ stories include Sex Lives of College Girls and Hacks.
In the Outstanding Reality Program category several shows featured Black LGBTQ people, including: 12 Dates of Christmas, I Am Jazz, Legendary, Queer Eye, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and We’re Here.
The Kids and Family programming category includes Doogie Kamealoha, MD, an inclusive dramedy featuring Charles Zeller, played Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, an openly gay doctor living his dream life while fulfilling his residency on the island of Oahu.
In the Outstanding Music Artist category, five of the hottest Black LGBTQ acts of the year were nominated, including performer Mykki Blanco, Kaytranada, Halsey, BROCKHAMPTON and Lil Nas X. The Breakthrough Artist category also includes several Black LGBTQ nominees, including Arlo Parks, Asiahn, Joy Oladokun and VINCINT.
The Broadway Production category included impactful stories about Black LGBTQ lives in a triumphant return to the stage. Nominees include Thoughts Of A Colored Man and Chicken & Biscuits, both of which feature out Black leads. Thoughts of a Colored Man examines the lives of seven Black men in Brooklyn, including asuccessful gay Black man played by Bryan Terrell Clark. Chicken & Biscuits follows a Black family coming together to celebrate the life of their late father. The play highlights the romantic relationship between businessman and Jenkins son, Kenny, played by Devere Rogers, and his boyfriend Logan, played by Michael Urie.
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, will 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. To purchase tickets for the ceremonies, click here. You can keep up with the latest developments by following GLAAD on Twitter and Instagram.