GLAAD Awards NYC 2013: Madonna, Degrassi Lesbians, and Trans* Representation

Are you tired now? We were so tired after the red carpet, and the show hadn’t even begun! I’m not going to recap the whole show for you because honestly it reminded me of a giant Bar Mitzvah and also because I’m shocked if you’re still reading this epic review, but I will tell you that three awards were announced (the rest will be announced at the upcoming shows in LA and San Francisco) and Smash won Outstanding Drama Series, How to Survive a Plague won Outstanding Documentary and The Amazing Race won Outstanding Reality Program. Madonna presented The Vito Russo Award to Anderson Cooper; the award is presented annually and honors an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant different promoting equality for the LGBT community.

madge via the hollywood reporter

madge via the hollywood reporter

The audience flipped out when Madonna got on stage (in a Boy Scout uniform, no less!) but she basically told everyone to cool their jets and asked the audience to be seated, telling us we weren’t at a concert and she had some stuff to say. She delivered a pretty rad speech, expressing dismay over the homophobia and transphobia still rife in this country, imploring the audience: “I don’t know about you but I can’t take this shit anymore. It’s 2013 people, we live in America, land of the free and home of the brave? That’s a question, not a statement.” She called Anderson Cooper “a freedom fighter [and] a badass motherfucker,” and then added, “you’re intelligent, you’re gorgeous, and you look great in a suit.”

At this point Lizz and I were both an insane combo of exhausted and slightly-tipsy-possibly-drunk, so we did our best to mingle with other media types, accept praise when people told us Autostraddle is sassy and hilarious and eventually make our way to the after party. We headed back to Brooklyn at around 3am, which is way past my bedtime, and we bought Pirate’s Booty and Nutella and woke my girlfriend up and forced her to listen to us talk about everything included in this post and then some. I know, I felt bad for her too. We just had so much fun and really want to tell everyone all about it!

Finally, here are some more awards and (sort of) juicy tidbits from the evening:

+ Melissa Harris Perry won for Outstanding TV Journalism for “Being Transgender In America

+ The New York Post was denied a press pass to the event because of their transphobic coverage.

+ Sabrina Rubin Erdely‘s “School Of Hate: One Town’s War On Gay Teens(Rolling Stone) won for Outstanding Magazine Article

+ We took a photobooth picture with Cristine and Annie, aka the Degrassi lesbians — thanks Queerty for the cool photobooth attraction at the after party!

+ I spotted trans* author and activist Jenny Boylan, got the courage to go up to her and let her know how much I loved her first book (She’s Not There: A Life In Two Genders), and then she gifted me a copy of her latest book, Stuck In The Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders! She was so, so nice and looked gorgeous in a long red dress.

+ Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins gave Lizz personal advice about how to best restore her old sewing machine. They actually offered to visit her home and do the project themselves, but I think they were kidding… which is a shame, because that would make a great DIY post here on Autostraddle, right?!

+ There were a LOT of dudes at the event and a decided lack of lesbians, and a GLAAD staff member told us that the organization had actively tried to get more high-profile lesbians to walk the red carpet this year but hadn’t been able to get anyone to commit — so this is a call to all the Bette-Porter-Power-Dykes out there, please attend the GLAAD awards next year — we are sorely lacking representation!

Let’s finish this with a bunch of extra photos, because why the heck not? This weekend Lizz taught me the phrase “fresh to death” and I’d like to go on record saying every single human at the event was indeed looking fresh to death, with the exception of a few select members of The Patriarchy who shall remain nameless. Overall I’d give the New York City 2013 GLAAD Awards five outta five stars. Next up: California!

krysta rodriguez of smash and lizz copyright vanessa friedman

krysta rodriguez of smash and lizz
copyright vanessa friedman

had to show you the entire outfit

had to show you the entire outfit

lizz and carmen carrera of rupaul's drag race

lizz and carmen carrera of rupaul’s drag race

jersey shore's snooki and vanessa copyright lizz rubin

jersey shore’s snooki and vanessa
copyright lizz rubin

jwoww is super fucking hot in person copyright vanessa friedman

jwoww is super fucking hot in person
copyright vanessa friedman

nigel barker and his wife Cristen Barker who is a total "smokeshow" according to the reporter from cherry grrrl who was actually also super hot, just fyi copyright vanessa friedman

nigel barker and his wife Cristen Barker
copyright vanessa friedman


i had to throw in another shot of them, how adorable are they waiting to hear lizz’s intense interview question?! also gorgeous.
copyright vanessa friedman

this is the best i could do capturing the silver fox -- don't be mad, i tried so hard for you guys copyright vanessa friedman

this is the best i could do capturing the silver fox — don’t be mad, i tried so hard for you guys
copyright vanessa friedman

Thank you and goodnight!

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


    • i mean would you judge me if i told you we were only allowed to ask snooki & jwoww ONE question on the red carpet and i chose to ask snooki about her hair? because that may have happened. fyi she dyes it every two weeks and relies on extensions so i’m not sure i’d be able to maintain a fully pink ‘do that looks as luscious and perfect as hers does. but i will be dying my tips pink before a-camp!

      also “jewish snooki” = best compliment ever. i can’t explain my weird adoration for the woman, but i really really love her.

      • I’m so happy that was the question you chose to ask her!!! I not so secretly love Snooki and think Jwoww is a babe :D

      • JWoww is very LGBT positive and has talked about having sex with women in the past. I probably would have asked her about that but that would have been inappropriate for the occasion.

        I’m so jealous you guys also got to talk to Milla Jovovich who is still looking very hot these days. I don’t get why people fawn all over Michelle Rodriguez when there is Milla kicking just as much ass on screen AND she actually likes us.

  1. Smash winning for Outstanding Drama series makes me wonder if it was the only show up for that award because Smash winning for anything other than Outstanding Piece of Shit is absolutely preposterous. And this is coming from a huge Megan Hilty fan. If the show didn’t work so hard to convince me Katherine Mcphee should be Broadway royalty and have one-half of it’s gay couple completely disappear I might be a bit easier on them.

  2. great article! i am so proud of you and what a great event you experienced! BSA definitely has to make some policy changes immediately!

    • thank you, joanie! fyi everyone this is my girlfriend’s mom, which makes this the cutest/best comment i have ever received in my life.

    i think you should both quit your day jobs / med school situations and become full-time red carpet flowers.

  4. Fiona and Imogen are probably one of the cutest couples on TV right now and are totally the reason I still watch Degrassi (well, them and the trans character Adam, who is totally rad!)

    Also, Snooki is adorable

    • Yes, please please please do whatever you can to get an in-depth “Fimogen” interview! I don’t like Degrassi much anymore but my obsession with these two (actresses and/or characters) is unhealthy.

  5. Perhaps The Post should’ve been allowed to attend. I don’t know the extent of their homophobic content, but had they had a chance to cover a positive LGBTQ-minded event, maybe their outlook would change?

    • I thought about this a lot over the course of the night. My concern would be that The Post might ask really offensive questions or make disparaging remarks to the very same people that GLAAD is trying to honor.

    • Tarzan, the Post has had access to tons of ‘gay’ events over the years and has continued to publish transphobic bile. They always send over one of the gay page 3 guys who kiss-kiss-lick-lick at the event but any chance the paper gets to continue ridiculing and misgendering trans women they will do with bells on. I don’t like everything GLAAD does by a long shot (although I think they might be improving on trans issues now that Barrios is no longer leading them) but I’m “glaad” they finally put their foot down.

  6. Maybe there would be more lesbians attending the event if glaad didn’t have such a track record of supporting misogynistic things: glee, anyone? ;) Also, why the hell do they keep inviting jersey shore vinny to these things? They literally have full episodes of him on a quest to try to turn over lesbians and get them in his bed. These are the little things that make me lose respect for their organization, regardless of what other shit they’re doing.

  7. aww… Jazz is soooooo adorable!!

    also kudos to GLAAD for showing NYT the door out, awesome!

  8. Degrassi is probably my biggest guilty pleasure. I’ve been watching it since its first season, and Fiona is my favourite out of the current main cast, and probably in my top 5 (if not my number one) from the franchise’s entire cast. I think she’s one of the show’s best-developed characters, which is awesome, since Degrassi’s gay characters are often reduced to nothing but their sexuality (Marco, Riley, Alex for the most part), and their plot lines tend to revolve around either a) problems with accepting their sexuality (whether self-acceptance, acceptance by friends, or acceptance from family) or b) their love lives.

    But Fiona’s stories have also involved her problems with alcohol, the loss of her family’s wealth, as well as her anxieties about being alone. She’s more than just the token lesbian. Also, I knew she was going to be gay from day 1. As soon as she made the comment to Peter about having no plans to date him in her first episode, I actually said out loud, “she’s totally gay”. Just sayin’.

    It’s too bad that Imogen hasn’t been developed as well as Fiona has, but she’s still cute as a button, and a loving, sweet girlfriend.

    Anyway, I would die of happiness if AS did interviews with Christine and Annie. Make it happen, please!

  9. I am so obsessed with Anderson Cooper. My friends make fun of me big time for it but if he were interested in a sexless marriage, I would be his gal! I have no idea why I love him so much but he’s basically my favorite person in the entire world.

  10. This looks and sounds like it was so much fun! Gotta be honest – I’m totally jealous that you met Honey Boo Boo’s mom. I’m a little obsessed with Honey Boo Boo.

  11. Never knew of Jazz before, very inspiring to see such confidence and self-awareness and wonderful to see her parents being so supportive, that itself is inspiring.

    On a side note, I can’t abide Madonna for no rational reason it seems,although possibly my distaste of just about all of her music! tis most strange!

    • How about not abiding Madonna for her browbeating of Sinead O’Conner? (Particularly in reference to a political stunt that O’Conner pulled on SNL.) It was offensive to every woman, not just Sinead!

  12. It’s a wee bit embarrassing, but I watch Degrassi ALL THE TIme only because I have the BIGGEST crush on Annie Clark, but c’mon, can you blame me?

  13. This recap was amazeboobs! I want Jwoww’s dress so badly. But like in a bow tie/vest combo, you know?

  14. This sounds like so much fun!! Awesome recap :) Can’t wait for the other two shows.

    Also, huge props to GLAAD for banning NYP. I’m pleased that GLAAD is taking more interest in supporting the trans* community.

  15. “+ There were a LOT of dudes at the event and a decided lack of lesbians, and a GLAAD staff member told us that the organization had actively tried to get more high-profile lesbians to walk the red carpet this year but hadn’t been able to get anyone to commit — so this is a call to all the Bette-Porter-Power-Dykes out there, please attend the GLAAD awards next year — we are sorely lacking representation!”

    tell glaad they can call me anytime.

    this was adorable! jealous you got lizz time. i want lizz time. lizzzzzzzz.

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