Drag Race stars announce 2023 GLAAD nominees with powerful message against LGBTQ+ hate

A screenshot from the GLAAD Award nominees presentation showing drag queens Salina Estitties wearing a white feather dress and Sasha Colby in a light blue dress against a jungle background

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 stars Sasha Colby and Salina Estitties announced the nominations for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards with a powerful message against LGBTQ+ hate.

Announcing the nominations in a satirical version of Drag Story Hour on GLAAD’s YouTube channel, the two queens wasted no time addressing the recent attacks drag queens have received across the US.

After joking that their audience is made up of toys such as Ken, Barbie and Tinky Winky, Salina quipped: “Look at us, beautiful queens sharing wonderful stories celebrating everybody. Tens across the board!”

Sasha then added: “But performers like us are being threatened with anti-LGBTQ bills, nasty protests and even violence.”

“You know what’s scary?” Salina continued, “people with guns not queens with books. We’re not going to let hate or disinformation poison our lives or silence our voices.”

Drag artists have faced a wave of intense hate over the past year, with regular and violent protests outside Story Hour events. In 2022, GLAAD found over 140 incidents of anti-LGBTQ protests and threats targeting drag events.

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GLAAD is a media advocacy nonprofit group working to tackle the biggest issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and with that comes their annual media awards.

The awards span the categories TV, film, journalism, music, comics books and more with a view to giving a comprehensive overview of the best queer-inclusive media content over the past year.

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This year’s GLAAD Media Awards include 295 nominees across 33 categories, including two new categories: outstanding podcast and outstanding live TV journalism.

Among the nominations are standout TV shows and films such as the record-breaking Bros, the queer reimagining of A League of their Own, Disney’s Strange World, Harry Styles’ My Policeman and the viral nautical comedy Our Flags Mean Death.

The nominations also include fan favourites such as Netflix’s The Sandman and Do Revenge, HBO’s The White Lotus and A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies.

Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane walking down a road with rainbow flags hanging behind them
Bros (Universal)

The prominent LGBTQ+ artists recognised in the music category include Dove Cameron, Omar Apollo, Demi Lovato, Hayley Kiyoko and Kim Petras.

The list of nominations highlighted the volume of positive trans representation in 2022, from the animation Wendell and Wild to the trans character in Tom Hank’s new film A Man Called Otto.

Of course, nominees and fans have flocked to social media to share their thoughts on the final list.

“I’m so honoured to be nominated for Outstanding Music Artist at the GLAAD Awards!! Thank you so much GLAAD and thank you for everyone that’s listened to Panorama! Means so much to me!” Hayley Kiyoko wrote.

Willow‘s John Bickerstaff wrote: “I’m so proud of everyone involved in this show and the commitment we had to creating Kit and Jade with care. And Ruby [Cruz] and Erin [Kellyman] who brought them to life so beautifully.

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Journalist Jay Valle was also nominated for his work on reporting on the case of Julio Ramirez, a 25-year-old queer man who died after leaving a New York gay bar.

“I want this to be an affirmation to Julio Ramirez’s family and friends that he isn’t just some ‘John Doe’, he is a member of a relentless and strong community, an extended family that won’t stop until there’s Justice for Julio,” he wrote.

GLAAD award winners will be announced during two live ceremonies: in Los Angeles on March 30, and in New York City on May 13. You can view the full list of nominations here.

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