Remember a while back when I said that I was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award? Well, I won a GLAAD Media Award for my Splinter piece “Why Bisexual Men Are Still Fighting to Convince Us They Exist.” I can’t believe it!
The award was hugely validating, and affirming, and also heavy: I left it with a family member in California because it weighed too much to comfortably pack in my carry-on bag, and I’ll have to retrieve it at a later date. I’m enormously grateful to GLAAD for the honor, and to all the people who made the piece possible: my Fusion/ Splinter editors Danielle Friedman and Nona Willis Aronowitz, illustrator Elena Scotti, Indiana University professor Brian Dodge, Dr. H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, Ron Suresha, and the dozens of bisexual men who bravely shared their experiences with me.
And it was also an honor to be nominated alongside such good company. Among others, my dear friend and INTO writer Nico Lang was nominated for his excellent piece “Meet the Transgender High School Student Who Fought Discrimination at His Maryland High School (and Won).” Nico edited me when I was writing for The Daily Dot and has kindly collaborated with me thrice at Rolling Stone. Nico essentially made it possible for me to begin writing for a living and I owe so much of what I know to him. We “fought” over the award after the fact, but in reality we love each other so much that we shared one tiny, uncomfortable chair for the entire awards ceremony. The subject of Nico’s story, James Van Kuilenberg, and his mom Nicola were both in attendance, too, they were delightful company.
Other GLAAD Award highlights for a lowly little writer like myself: I nervously told Brooklyn 99 star Stephanie Beatriz that I thought Rosa’s coming out arc was one of the best things to happen on TV this year, and she told me that she had read my article and introduced me to Melissa Fumero! And on my way out, I got to say a quick hello to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom, whose memory I jogged by stuttering out, “I interviewed you once. You ate a pizza.” The good that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has done for bisexual media representation can’t be overstated, so it was extra special to get a high-five from her.
In the days since the ceremony, I’ve been pinching myself, but apparently, this all actually happened! But rather than letting this get to my head, I’m going to try to take the award less as a sign of a job well done, and more as a reminder to continue trying to shine a spotlight on bisexual issues, which is something the media generally struggles to do. There’s so much more to be done to ensure that bisexual people feel seen—and it’ll be an honor to continue working toward that goal, awards or no awards.