A few months ago I blogged on this space to criticize the fact that GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, did not allow the gay media to compete for its famous GLAAD Media Awards.
The subject came to light thanks to a letter circulated by here!TV's Stephen Macias, who was pissed that the nationally distributed gay TV networks were not allowed to submit their shows for awards.
Macias obviously wasn't alone. Gay columnists like Christopher Rice, Michelangelo Signorile, Rex Wockner and many others were quick to point out that GLAAD, a group dedicated to opposing anti-gay defamation, was in effect discriminating against the media outlets most important to its own constituents.
So I'm happy to report that GLAAD was listening, and has made a welcome change.
In a statement released this morning, GLAAD announced that it will now accept submissions for GLAAD awards from all gay media, including LGBT newspapers, magazines and the TV networks here!TV and Logo.
Equally important, GLAAD's president Neil Giuliano told me his group will accept these submissions in the existing categories, inviting the gay media to compete head-on with the mainstream media rather than in some 'gays-only' category.
That's as it should be. The LGBT media have come of age. When it comes to covering the wide spectrum of gay life, gay outlets can, and do, compete with the mainstream media in the breadth of their coverage and programming. They also struggle, and often succeed, in competing with the mainstream media in terms of excellence, despite having a lot less money.
By making this welcome change, GLAAD is sending a strong message that it values the contributions of the gay media, that it listens to its core constituents, and that it's eager to change with the times.
And we should all be glad about that.