The 2019 GLAAD Media Awards


Anderson Cooper introducing Madonna*

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation celebrated its 30th anniversary last Saturday in a star-studded event at the New York Midtown Hilton. Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Andy Cohen, and Don Lemon were present to receive and present awards at this year's gala, and INFEMNITY Productions was on the Red Carpet to interview the celebrities for The Noshing with Nina Show.

Madonna

Nominees were recognized in 25 categories including Outstanding Film, Drama Series, Comedy Series, Individual Episode, and TV Movie or Limited Series. There were additional nominees for Outstanding Documentary, Family Programming, Reality Program, Music Artist, Variety or Talk Show Episode, TV Journalism - Newsmagazine, Newspaper and Magazine Article, etc. There were also 5 Spanish-Language nominees.

Trans women were in abundance both on the Red Carpet and on the stage; but unfortunately, there was not one African-American cisgender woman presented on stage or on the Red Carpet at this year's event. (Janelle Monáe won the award for Outstanding Music Artist, but she was not present.) I guess one could ask how many awards can they give to Wanda Sykes. But I hope that an organization like GLAAD will seek out more women of color to recognize and nominate in the future. Black women endure struggles on a daily basis that these wealthy white men can't even imagine. To my knowledge, INFEMNITY Productions was the only minority/women-owned production company/media outlet on the Red Carpet, and we had to fight to get there.

Rosie O'Donnell
Among the celebrity arrivals, Rosie O'Donnell and Don Lemon gave us delightful interviews, but Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and Madonna didn't even bother to walk the full length of the Red Carpet. If they had any idea of how much the smaller media outlets struggle to be there, to secure staff and equipment, to put on our Sunday best and melt under the hot lights, they could at least be courteous enough to stop and give an interview to those of us who really need the scoop. Madonna gave a moving acceptance speech about her circle of gay male friends, many of whom quickly succumbed to "The Epidemic" in the beginning of her career. But she had nothing to say about being a woman in a male-owned and operated field. Rosie O'Donnell did, however!

Nina Kennedy on the Red Carpet. Photo: Afua Kafi-Akua
The speech given by a very pregnant Chelsea Clinton was uplifting and inspiring. I couldn't help thinking that she looks more and more like her mother.

Andy Cohen was praised as a hero of the LGBTQ community, and I was prepared to ask him about how he would respond to critics who accuse him of making millions off of further exploitation of women via his "Real Housewives" series. (Sonja Morgan, one of the NY Housewives, even walked the Red Carpet.) Though these women are glammed-up for the shows' reunions, for the most part, they are shown in their worst light. Discord and conflict are encouraged, cat-fights abound. In some cases, the cameras are in their faces during some of the worst moments in their lives. Are we really supposed to believe that there isn't a market for a show about women who praise and support each other?

Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to ask Andy Cohen the question on the Red Carpet.


Millions of dollars were raised that night during the auction and new membership drive, to say nothing of the millions of dollars' worth of corporate sponsorship. (Both Madonna and Andy Cohen made $5000-contributions on the spot.) Ketel One vodka kept the cocktails flowing throughout the pre-awards reception, the awards show and dinner, and the after-party in the Trianon Ballroom where Mila Jam gave an exciting performance.

We fully intend to be on the Red Carpet as nominees in the near future, hopefully in the Outstanding Documentary category. My soon-to-be-released memoir could also possibly be nominated. We'll keep our fingers crossed. Stay tuned...


Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton. Photo: INFEMNITY Productions

Enjoy this clip of our interview with Don Lemon on the Red Carpet:







*Photo credit: Getty Images

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