The 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards


It was indeed a pleasure walking the red carpet again for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City last weekend. This year, in addition to promoting my two books of memoirs, my credentials included being named as one of Crain's New York Business' Notable LGBTQIA+ Leaders.

Karine Jean-Pierre
Last year on the red carpet I mentioned to White House Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that my first book of memoirs was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and included much history about the Fisk Jubilee Singers and Fisk University where my parents were on the music faculty. This year, when I reminded her of our conversation, she said, "Oh yes, I remember you telling me about it." I told her that I would love for her to have a copy, and was able to present one to her.

Symone Sanders-Townsend
MSNBC News Anchor Symone Simon-Townsend was also on the red carpet, and I shared with her some of the history that was included in the book. When I mentioned to her that I found it shocking how so many young black kids have never heard of Fisk University or the Jubilee Singers, she said, "I'm not surprised." The book bans in Florida and other states have been frequent subjects on her news program Symone. She also asked for a copy of my book, and spoke of the possibility of the book being featured on her show.

Sarah Kate Ellis
Though Sarah Kate Ellis is the president and CEO of GLAAD, again I was disappointed at the small number of lesbian nominees and winners. GLAAD stands for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, but from the looks of the nominees one would think it was an organization for gay men, trans women, and drag queens. Granted, the GLAAD Media Awards is their major fundraiser for the year, and the majority of the people who can afford the tickets are men. GLAAD must do more to make sure that lesbian representation is adequate and fair. The infestation of gay male money and power at GLAAD is out in the open for the world to see. If GLAAD actively put its energy into helping women secure more financing for film and television projects, that would be a big improvement.

Courtnee Carter
Actress Courtnee Carter was another guest on the red carpet as one of the participants in the nominated film Anything's Possible  directed by Billy Porter, which won in the Outstanding Film – Streaming/TV category, tying with Fire Island.

Erik Bottcher
It was fun running into New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher on the red carpet.

All in all it was an exhausting day, but I did manage to cut a rug at the after party after a couple espresso martinis.


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