Last week, GLAAD announced the nominees for its 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. In a diverse cast of nominees, many portray the stories of LGBTQ individuals living in the U.S. South or in rural areas.
The Southern and rural LGBTQ community faces unique experiences, struggles, triumphs when striving for full accepatance, and may live in communities with fewer LGBTQ-specific resources available. The nominees who tell their stories voice their nuanced experiences, which often go overlooked by mainstream media narratives.
Amazon's One Mississippi, a semi-autobiographical series by lesbian comedian Tig Notaro, tells the story of her character Tig Bavaro as she rediscovers and stays in her home of Bay St. Lucille, Mississippi following a visit to her dying mother. The Starz series Survivor's Remorse amplifies the experiences of Black queer individuals in the south through the character of M-Chuck (Erica Ash), who moves with her family to Atlanta after brother Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher) signs a professional basketball contract in Atlanta.
Country musician Ty Herndon's first release since he came out to the public as gay in late 2014, "House on Fire," explores growing up religious and queer in the South.
Many nominees have also amplified the stories of real people in the LGBTQ community in the South, and the events and policies that affect them. In the documentary film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, Investigation Discovery documents the conviction, incarceration, and release of four Texan Latina lesbians falsely accused of child abuse and assault in the mid-'90s.
NBC News clip "LGBT Community Worries What Will Happen for Them in Trump Presidency" shares the fears of LGBTQ individuals across the country and in the South facing a Trump administration. The segment "North Carolina and Georgia Anti-LGBTQ Laws" on Late Night with Seth Meyers puts a spotlight on anti-LGBTQ discrimination bills and their consequences in Southern states. Elizabeth Leland's article "Permission to Hate," published in the Charlotte Observer, documents the fear felt by the queer community in North Carolina following HB2. "After the Orlando Shooting, the Changed Lives of Gay Latinos," a New Yorker piece by Daniel Wenger, details the impact of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on the queer Latinx community in Orlando, FL.
Through a diverse range of media, GLAAD's nominees shine a light on the lives and experiences of rural and Southern LGBTQ individuals, raising awareness of the challenges, victories, and day to day experience they live.
Southern- and rural-inclusive GLAAD Media Award nominees:
One Mississippi (Amazon)
Survivor's Remorse (Starz)
Hap and Leonard (SundanceTV)
Wynonna Earp (Syfy)
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Investigation Discovery)
The Prancing Elites Project (Oxygen)
Brandy Clark, Big Day in a Small Town (Warner Bros. Records)
Ty Herndon, House on Fire (BFD)
"North Carolina and Georgia Anti-LGBTQ Laws" Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC). "Church and States" VICE News Tonight (HBO)
"Gavin Grimm's Fight" VICE News Tonight (HBO)
"Interview with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
"Many in LGBT Community Fear Changes under Trump" NBC Nightly News (NBC)
"Mid-South Couples Celebrate First Year of Marriage Equality, But Challenges Remain for LGBT Community" by Katie Fretland, Ron Maxey (The Commercial Appeal [Memphis, Tenn.])
"Nowhere to Go: LGBT Youth on the Move" by Arielle Dreher (Jackson Free Press [Jackson, Miss.])
"Permission to Hate" by Elizabeth Leland (The Charlotte Observer)
"Worthy of Survival" by Kathleen McGrory (Tampa Bay Times)
"HIV Mystery: Solved?" by Tim Murphy (The Nation)
"After the Orlando Shooting, the Changed Lives of Gay Latinos" by Daniel Wenger (NewYorker.com)
"New Deep South: Kayla" (TheFront.com)
"No Access: Young, Black & Positive" (Tonic.Vice.com)