Typically, the GLAAD Media Awards nominees that receive the most attention come from the worlds of film and television -- and with the spotlight shining on flicks like Milk and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, as well as the TV shows Brothers & Sisters and The L Word, this year is no exception. But the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which will dole out trophies for the 20th time during ceremonies in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco this March, April and May, also recognizes excellence in print journalism, and this year, two Colorado publications received nods. The Denver Post is one of five finalists in the "Outstanding Newspaper, Overall Coverage" category, while 5280 is in the running for "Best Magazine Article."
The 5280 entry is "Second Nature," published in the mag's March 2008 issue, which tells the tale of a young boy whose identification with female characteristics convinced his parents to raise him as a girl. Its author, executive editor Maximillian Potter, also wrote "Conduct Unbecoming," a profile of former Air Force Academy cadet Douglas Meester, who was accused of rape in the wake of the scandal provoked in part by the 2003 Westword article "The War Within." Meester is the older brother of Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester, as was noted in a blog published yesterday.
And the Denver Post? The reasons it made the final five in the outstanding-newspaper contest aren't explained in the press release -- but Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's director of publicity, offers details via e-mail.
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"Throughout 2008, the newspaper showed a commitment to inclusive coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and issues," Ferraro writes. "Not only did the paper extensively cover the brutal murder of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender Greeley woman, but the Denver Post's Monte Whaley dug deeper into Angie's life and story - showing readers what it's like to grow up transgender in Colorado. The Denver Post editorialized, several times on issues important to the LGBT community, including hate-crimes legislation and relationship recognition laws. Throughout the year, the Denver Post showed a commitment to fair, accurate and inclusive coverage of our community, and that's why we're proud to have it on the list of nominees for the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards."
There is some potentially bad news, though. "GLAAD will finalize which awards are given onstage -- and in which city -- during the week of February 16th," Ferraro notes, adding, "Even with three award shows, there is not enough time to present all of the awards to winners onstage. For the categories that are not given out onstage, we will announce the winners in a press release on March 28, 2009, the night of the New York show."
In other words, Potter and Whaley may not need to rent a tux. But they've already received some impressive recognition for their work.