San Francisco 2011 GLAAD Media Awards

As the 23rd Annual 2012 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against 
Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards takes place with host 
Dianna Agron tonight, we remember the 2011 GLAAD Media 
Awards with host Naya Rivera. The Bakla Show won tickets, 
suited up and represented. Below is Bakla Show writer 
E.B. Romero's experience from the night.


On Saturday night, I had the privilege of accompanying Bakla Show producer Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan to the GLAAD Awards in San Francisco. I’ve followed the GLAAD Awards for almost a decade and find it comforting to know there’s a watchdog group that not only monitors representations of LGBT folks in the media, but rewards those that do a damn good job of it. From newspaper coverage of civil rights struggles, to the “Homer’s Phobia” episode of The Simpsons, the GLAAD Awards have served as a great barometer for LGBT folks wondering, “Where are the people who are telling our story?”

Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan and E.B. Romero

For all my worry about the meaning of “black-tie optional” and being able to charm people whilst rubbing elbows, the GLAAD Awards in San Francisco were truly inspirational, and a lot of fun.

Here are some highlights:

  • Hostess Naya Rivera (Santana from Glee) literally raising thousands of dollars by auctioning off “sweet lady kisses” to two members of the audience – one man, and one woman.

Naya Rivera

  • The San Francisco Giants donating a baseball signed by Brian Wilson for silent auction. Sadly, I didn’t win the item, but I’m happy to have heated up the bidding for other people. Hot bidding = more money for GLAAD.

Silent Auction. Hovering over the ball signed by Giants’ pitcher Brian Wilson

  • Event sponsors ROKK Vodka donating $100 to GLAAD any time someone onstage said the word “ROKK” or “rock.”
  • Hearing the story of Janice Langbehn, a lesbian mother of three, whose partner Lisa Pond died after being admitted to the hospital on vacation. The hospital refused to allow anyone in the family into the Pond’s room because they were not a “traditional” family. Pond died alone without saying goodbye to her family. GLAAD trained Langbehn in media relations, and she had her story covered in an article by the New York Times. This article persuaded President Barack Obama to order the Department of Health and Human Services to implement a new rule allowing same-sex partners hospital visitation rights.
  • ROKK Vodka
  • Straight ally and rugby star Ben Cohen looking incredibly sexy…and incredibly unable to read the teleprompter.

Presenter Ben Cohen

  • Seeing Kim Cattrall being so accessible to her fans. I was never a Sex and the City fan, but if I had the guts, I would have asked her what it was like to kiss Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China.

Golden Gate Award Recipient Kim Cattrall

  • Having Shannon point out Tabatha Coffey. Good thing Shannon told me who it was, or else I would have run up to her and screamed, “OH MY GOD! I LOVE YOUR MUSIC, ANNIE LENNOX!”
  • Acrobatics, courtesy of Zumanity. Rocked my libido.
  • ROKK Vodka
  • Getting a business card from the director of distribution at Frameline. EEP!
  • A best documentary nomination for “Out: the Glenn Burke Story,” a film produced by Comcast Sports Bay Area about a gay baseball player shunned from the MLB after being outed. It didn’t win, but I was happy they played the clip that essentially gave the finger to raging homophobe Tommy Lasorda.

Presenter Sara Ramirez

Presenter Mario Lopez

Some lowlights:

  • A joke about how anyone who doesn’t watch Glee should kill themselves. Seriously? Who wrote that?
  • Where are the queer people of color? Things have been getting better in the last few years, between Latina lesbian Santana on Glee, and Lafayette from True Blood. But where are the Asians? Well, just goes to show how important the Bakla Show is. You can’t always depend on other people to tell your story for you. If you’re unhappy with the representations of yourself in the media (or lack thereof), go out and create that representation yourself.

Hopefully one day, we’ll bring Baklas to GLAAD. Until then – ROCK ON! (ROKK Vodka)

Mr. Gay USA 2011!

– E.B. Romero


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