Announcing the 2008 AfterElton.com Visibility Awards

Last year, the staff of AfterElton.com got together to choose the people and
media images that we thought best represented gay and bisexual men. Which
individuals or newsmakers gave the world the most positive impression of what
it means to be gay or bi? What movies, books, and TV shows most accurately, and
most enjoyably, dealt with the realities of our lives?


We were all set to do the same thing this year, when it occurred to us: why
should we do the choosing?
AfterElton.com is, more than anything else, a community, so why not let our readers decide who and what should be
honored in the third annual AfterElton.com Visibility Awards?

I know. It’s all so very “new media” of us, right?

Anyway, we opened the floor for nominations. When they were in, we compiled
the top five in each category, and the voting for the winners began.

Thousands of you voted, and the results are now tabulated. So without
further ado, we present the winners of the 2008 AfterElton.com Visibility
Awards!

On an election night that seemed to mark a break from the ugly, divisive
politics of the last eight years, many GLBT folks were understandably
demoralized by the upset win of California’s Proposition 8, which took away gay
Californian’s right to marry and reinforced our second-class status and, worse,
may have invalidated many of the marriages of our friends and neighbors already
recorded at City Hall. But in the aftermath of that defeat, something wonderful
happened: spontaneous protests of GLBT people and our many straight allies in
streets and open spaces all across the country — even in many towns that had
never before seen any public GLBT activism. And despite the anger many of us
felt, these protests were, by almost all accounts, positive and peaceful.


Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The bitterness of Proposition 8 lingers, but it’s now impossible to deny
that its passage has marked an important new moment in the struggle for GLBT
equality — a cathartic, coalescing event perhaps as important as Stonewall,
when our personal disagreements were forgotten and we seemed to collectively
decide that we were never going backward, that we’ll do whatever it takes to
achieve full equality. AfterElton.com readers intuitively sensed the importance
of these events by nominating and voting for these protestors as our Persons of
the Year. The editors of AfterElton.com wholeheartedly agree.

Often
when it comes to year-end polls, many people vote for whatever’s freshest in
their minds and whatever’s most easily accessible. Not so with your Favorite TV
Drama, Torchwood; this sci-fi show
hasn’t been on the air since March, and is primarily a British show. But
AfterElton.com readers voted for the show en masse anyway — in this and many
other categories. This groundbreaking show has done so many things so well, but
one of the most significant is that it has finally put to rest the outrageous
lie that Star Trek and other TV
franchises have told for decades: that GLBT people have no place in genre or
science fiction.

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