From Oprah to the Oscars

A look at the last 12 months of LGBT news

GLAAD’s topper looks back over the past 12 months at media events affecting the LGBT community.

Prexy debate
For the first time, leading presidential candidates participated in a forum broadcast on Logo, where they spoke to issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Daytime talk
Oprah broadcast a set of unique portraits of gay, transgender and intersex people. Episodes like “Born in the Wrong Body,” “Gay Around the World” and “Growing Up Intersex” provided a landmark step forward in LGBT visibility on daytime TV.

Male romance
One of the most influential stories of daytime television was the romantic relationship and kiss between Luke and Noah on CBS’ “As the World Turns.” As the relationship of “Nuke” continues to unfold, the producers’ reluctance to further depict authentic displays of affection between them has raised disappointment within the community.

Hate crimes
Ten years after Matthew Shepard’s murder, media coverage of the violent deaths of Sean Kennedy, Simmie Williams and Lawrence King, among others this past year, focused on the need for both education and stronger hate-crime laws to help end the violence.

Transgender firsts
Last year, primetime series “Ugly Betty” and “Dirty Sexy Money” plus daytime drama “All My Children” introduced transgender characters. Logo’s new dating show “Transamerican Love Story” just concluded its premiere season.

Anti-gay tirade
Oklahoma community leaders were visible in the media for their condemnation of Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s anti-gay rhetoric.

Employment debate
Congress debated whether to include and protect, or not, transgender Americans from being unjustly fired in federal employment nondiscrimination legislation. Amid that discussion, the story of transgender Los Angeles Times sports columnist Christine Daniels captured national media attention.

Open forum
Audiences of “Ellen” got to hear LGBT stories not common on the talkshow circuit, ranging from discussions of the murder of Lawrence King to Neil Patrick Harris’ walk on the red carpet with his partner.

An Oscar win
“Freeheld” won the 2008 Oscar for documentary short subject, bringing new attention to the story of Stacie Andree and Laurel Hester, who fought to take care of each other as Hester lay dying of cancer.

From the podium
At the 2007 Tonys, “Curtains” star David Hyde Pierce thanked his partner, Brian Hargrove, from the stage of Radio City Music Hall when he won the award for lead actor in a musical. And at the 2008 Academy Awards, Scott Rudin thanked his partner, John Barlow, when he won the top Oscar for producing “No Country For Old Men,” saying, “Without you, honey, this would be hardware.”

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