The 2021 GLAAD Media Awards (GMAs) were held on Thursday night via live stream. The annual awards show honors television shows and movies that are telling the stories of LGBTQ+ folks in respectful and revealing ways. The GMAs put the spotlight on shows and films that are increasing LGBTQ+ representation, which are often left out of typical awards shows.
‘Discovery’ was Nominated for a GMA
In January, GLAAD announced that Star Trek: Discovery was nominated for their Outstanding Drama Series category. Season three of the Star Trek franchise’s flagship show introduced a non-binary character on the main cast, Adira, as well as two trans actors — Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander. Season three also introduced the first trans relationship in the Star Trek universe — Adira’s relationship with their partner Gray, played by Alexander.
One of the season’s major storylines focused on Adira and Gray’s relationship with Discovery’s resident gay couple Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber, played by veteran queer actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz. Though Star Trek has always explored the concept of found family — the family people choose rather than the ones they’re born into — Discovery’s third season explored how especially important found family is to the queer community.
Discovery’s portrayal of queer characters, all of whom were portrayed by queer actors, secured it a big win at this year’s GMAs.
‘Discovery’ Wins Outstanding Drama Series
The award for the Outstanding Drama Series was presented by Nyle DiMarco, former America’s Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars contestant and producer of the reality series Deaf U. The intro and announcement of the winner were both pre-taped by DiMarco, as was the acceptance speech given by the Discovery cast members.
Rapp, Wilson, Alexander and del Barrio accepted the award on behalf of Discovery. Their pre-recorded video acceptance was shot on the set of season four, where they’re all currently filming. Wilson kicked off the acceptance speech by thanking the staff of GLAAD for recognizing the show. He also thanked the Discovery team for creating such an authentic story about a queer “found family in space.” Rapp then took over, praising the Discovery showrunners and writers for including such bold and inclusive storylines in season three.
He passed the metaphorical mic to del Barrio, who shared that being cast as a non-binary character while they were figuring out their own gender identity was “a gift from the universe.” They emphasized how important it is to them to play a non-binary character in a future where “being trans and non-binary is completely accepted.”
They thanked their “space dads” Wilson and Rapp, then passed the mic to Alexander. They spoke about how important “being seen” is to the queer community. Alexander emphasized that Discovery is portraying queer folks “the way we want to be, the way we finally deserve to be, as our most authentic selves.”
Wilson and Rapp ended the acceptance speech by telling fans that season four will be even better than season three. They promised more inclusive storylines like those seen in the previous season. The crew signed off by saying they’ll see fans soon when Discovery’s fourth season premieres.