GLAAD Shuts N.Y. Post Out of Media Awards Gala
Gay advocacy group GLAAD will host its star-studded Media Awards in New York City on Saturday. Madonna will be there. So will Anderson Cooper, and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears.
The city’s chronicler of gossip, however, the New York Post, will not be. That’s because the Post has been specifically left off the list of media invited to attend the gala. On its organization’s website, GLAAD flatly stated that it has "denied a request for a press pass to the GLAAD Media Awards from the New York Post."
The reason the gay media advocacy group gave for pulling up the red carpet to one of the city’s two tabloids is its history of having "refused to discuss its history of anti-transgender coverage."
GLAAD, in fact, came into existence in 1985 to challenge what activists saw as the Post’s blatantly anti-gay coverage of the AIDS crisis. "More than 27 years later," according to GLAAD’s statement, "the paper continues to defame the LGBT community with its sensational framing of transgender stories and its disgraceful practice of referring to transgender people with vulgar slurs."
GLAAD cites questionable headlines like "Bravest gets off easy on she-male beat," "Beat-down tranny testifies in court," and "Page Six: War of H’wood she-man. The organization also called the Post’s coverage of an assault case that involved a transgender woman and her hunky firefighter ex-boyfriend, "repugnant."
GLAAD works with newspapers around the country "to address its problematic coverage of transgender people." The organization stated the hope that the Post would "follow in the Times’ footsteps" in terms of fair coverage of LGBT issues. GLAAD also wants the Post to issue an apology.
"The Post has been digging its feet in the ground for too long on this issue," GLAAD President Herndon Graddick, said in a statement. "Transgender people, particularly those who are victims of crime, deserve more than the vile slurs and underhanded ’jokes’ with which the Post describes them. Until this paper changes its ways and apologizes for the damage done, GLAAD has no interest in supporting their work."
Officials from the Post have yet to comment on the snub. It remains to be seen how the newspaper’s notoriously snarky gossip section, Page Six, will cover the show, which promises to be the most star-studded event in Manhattan this weekend. The star wattage of Madonna, who will present CNN’s Anderson Cooper with an award for openly gay media professionals, guaranteed that the Marriott Marquis Hotel, the site of the event, will be swarming with photographers.
The Post’s calling Elton John’s partner his "wife" in a 2010 headline is typical of the paper’s coverage. In 2007, the paper referred to a gay TV news personalty as a "toe-tapper," a reference to then-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s airport restroom incident.
Page Six cartoonist Sean Delonas has been a particular thorn in the gay community’s side. One cartoon showed a gay man with a sheep at a marriage-license bureau. Another cartoon showed a prancing former N.J. Gov. Jim McGreevey consoling a crying fellow outed politician U.S. Rep. Mark Foley. Yet another showed a Gay Pride committee as a group of cross-dressers.