“She wanted to help move the world forward to a time and future where every trans kid could live their full potential,” said Patricia Arquette upon accepting the Vanguard Award at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards. She was paying tribute to her late sister, transgender actress and activist Alexis Arquette, who died in 2016 from heart disease resulting from HIV. “She wanted to help move the world forward to a time when they could be seen as complete, whole and equal human beings.”
The GLAAD Awards honor positive representations of the LGBTQ community in media (see the complete list of winners here), so it was no surprise that the award for Best Wide Release Film went to “Moonlight” over “Star Trek Beyond.” “Moonlight” tells the story of a young gay man growing up poor in Miami, and it recently upset “La La Land” to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
In the race for Best Limited Release Film, the indie drama “Other People” prevailed. Written and directed by Chris Kelly, it stars Jesse Plemons as a gay comedy writer who comes back home to care for his cancer-stricken mother (Molly Shannon). It defeated the acclaimed Korean film “The Handmaiden” as well as “Naz & Maalik,” “Spa Night” and “Those People.”
On the TV side, “Transparent” was awarded Best Comedy Series over a field of nine other programs that included “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Modern Family,” “One Mississippi” and “The Real O’Neals.” The Amazon dramedy stars two-time Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender parent as she and her adult children continue to adjust to her transition.
Best Drama Series went to the Freeform fantasy “Shadowhunters” over high profile programs like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Orphan Black” and “Shameless.” Based on the “Mortal Instruments” novels, it tells the story of humans born with angelic blood who fight against demons. The series features a prominent romance between 400-year-old warlock Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) and Shadowhunter Alec (Matthew Daddario).
“Black Mirror” claimed the award for Best Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character) for “San Junipero,” which tells a love story between Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The Best TV Movie/Limited Series was “Eyewitness” about teenage boys whose secret relationship may be revealed after they witness a murder.
“The Bold and the Beautiful” was the winner for Best Daily Drama, and it was the only nominee. It features the only series regular transgender character in daytime TV, Maya Avant (Karla Mosley). And Best Comic Book went to “The Woods” by James Tunion IV about 513 students and faculty from Bay Point Preparatory High School who find themselves transported to a wilderness light years away.
These winners were presented in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, April 1. There will be additional awards handed out on May 6 at New York City’s Hilton Midtown.