Yesterday, GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios called me to make his regularly scheduled confession. When it became obvious that he had committed no particularly savory sins, I turned the conversation to the business of these annual awards, asking him about the process for selecting the nominees. He told me that GLAAD enjoys the help of a team of industry professionals who devise the list as volunteers.
It seems to me that making these kinds of awards is more of an art than a science, but Jarrett told me that there are four basic criteria governing the selection process.
"The first is fair, accurate and inclusive representations. That means rather than portraying the LGBT community in broad stereotypes, the project deals with the characters or themes in a fair, accurate, and multi-dimensional manner. Second, we look for boldness and originality and that means that the project should break new ground by exploring LGBT subject matter in non-traditional ways and handling the LGBT content in a fresh and original manner. Third is impact. The project should have significant cultural impact and it should dramatically increase the cultural dialogue about LGBT issues, or reach an audience that is not regularly exposed to LGBT images and issues. Fourth and finally, we look at overall quality. A project of extremely high quality adds significance to the images and issues portrayed and draws more viewers or readers to the material. OK?"
"Yup," I said, "That's pretty much what I figured, but I am not seeing Bilerico anywhere in the nominations so I guess that leads me to a question about how GLAAD views the ascendency of electronic media."
"Electronic media is getting more and more attention from GLAAD." Jarrett answered. "Look for an increase in our focus on electronic media in 2010 and some really significant GLAAD focus on it in 2011. GLAAD has provided significant training in electronic messaging on the local level in states like Iowa."
"OK, well if Bilerico isn't going to get honored this year, can you at least fix it so that Adam Lambert and the cast of Glee are winners because if I'm going to cover the awards ceremonies, those are the people I want to meet."