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Gay Bloggies Are Not For All

Let’s get honest about our intentions

by j. brotherlove

The Gay Bloggies launched recently, sponsored by porn blog QueerClick (NSFW). Inspired by the often-criticised Bloggies: Weblog Awards, this award is labeled “specifically for the Gay community”. Except, that it isn’t. Out of the 23 categories, nearly all of the nominees are white, male, young and often naked. Given the sponsor, that’s not surprising. But why claim the awards are for the whole of the gay community when they’re specifically for such a small sub-community?

Sure there are categories for Best Australian/New Zealand Blog, Best African/Middle Eastern Blog and Best Diva. But no provisions for African-Americans, Latin-Americans or Women? The absence of “special” categories, makes it nearly impossible to be recognized by these awards if you’re not white. I sense and understand Ernie’s muted enthusiasm at being nominated for Best Asian Blog; why not Best Personality, Most Humorous Blog or Best Smile?

I can’t help to think how awards like the Gay Bloggies further the disconnect between select white, gay members and the rest of the community. This isn’t a big shock, mind you; minorities (racial, gender, physical, etc.) are overlooked all the time by awards supposedly open for everyone. And yet, larger society still wonders why there is a need for Black Prides and Black Weblog Awards.

I caution the black, gay community against falling into the same trap because, it’s pretty easy to do. For example, Pulse Magazine is off to a great start. But I question their use of the tagline “the heartbeat of black gay America” when the publication clearly excludes lesbians and has a definite New York bias.

The Clik Honors went further and put bias in plain view by adding subjective labels to their list of (mostly male) finalists. Clik Magazine publisher Dwight Powell is even nominated for an award his magazine is sponsoring. I’d hate to be a nominee up against him.

Proponents of these sorts of things are quick to mention it’s “not that serious” and all in “the spirit of fun”. But what’s fun about being ignored? All I’m asking is that we think before claiming to represent whole communities when our considerations for inclusion are much more narrow. That way, we can have a category like Best Integrity for a change.

pub: 11/09/2006 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 19 | subscribe

My first reaction to this is probably going to be the most succinct - “Trash.”

Still, as I thumbed through gay magazines MetroSource and HX earlier today, flipping page after page in search of the first occurrence of any person of color, it just made our responsibility for creating our own media images (and supporting the pre-existing images that we believe in) that much more apparent. I don’t know one mainstream gay publication that gets it right.

You would think that both the availability of the Internet and the incredible access to publishing that it affords would result in more diversity online, or at the very least, more diversity in the philosophies found online, but no. Also, white people in the technology sector are used to being alone in those classrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums and Apple Stores full of geeks. They don’t see a lack of diversity. The concept of ‘lack’ requires the understanding of a need and clearly many white people don’t see the need for people of color to be represented.

I don’t think any of that is going to change drastically anytime soon, regardless how ‘blue’ we become as a nation.

I don’t see us getting much more blue; but maybe my shoes are too tight.

The kids at Lone Star Verve do a much better job with their GLBT Verve Weblog Awards; not perfect, mind you (because really, there isn’t such a thing). But better.

3. a native american voice

well ok that is great fine
but WTF
these “awards” were done by nomination
not by any other means
yeah they are slanted towards the white middle class
but why be a victim about it
why cry foul after the fact
had i known about your blog i would have nominated you however by linking from MOC’s blog article did i even know you existed

“a native american voice”, perhaps you should re-read my post. Nowhere, do I mention personal remorse for being passed over by a Gay Bloggies nomination.

I point to the lack of diversity in the categories/nominees and the misleading claim that the awards are “specifically for the Gay community”. I consider people of color and women a part of the gay community.

To paraphrase Donald’s comment, many people don’t see the need for women or people of color to be represented until we bring it up. That’s one of the things I do here.

I’m fairly sure the limited categories were set before initial nomination. But if you suggest that out of the (presumably) thousands of submissions this final list is what readers of QueerClick consider the “community”, then clearly, it speaks to a larger problem and further illustrates my point.

5. a native american voice

ummmmmmmmm yeah it is a GAY MALE P*RN SITE

No flies on you.

I need to think on this one for a while — I can tell you that from running the Black Weblog Awards that total inclusion is often a hard thing to strive for when it comes to an awards contest. No matter how far out you cast the net, eventually, some fish will be left out. I echo your sentiments though J. Does that mean we’ll be at the Clik Awards cheering on the winners? ;)

What I don’t understand is why people refuse to publicly acknowledge how messy certain folks in our community are without fear of being called haters. It’s almost like there’s no integrity, no cajones. How come no one stands up (other than yourself) and points out when those of us that are in positions of influence do stupid, shady things? It’s very frustrating and makes us look like a bunch of clones.

thank you so much j for citing the sexism and other questionable choices demonstrated by clik honors. the clik honors are a reflection of the magazine itself. the lack of lesbians and transgendered folk speaks for itself.

for years, i struggled with writing for clik because i thought it was an effective way of reaching a mass of black lgbt folk. but i have withheld from submitting work because its values are not congruent with mine and often toxic.

we need Black media that reflects the majority of us who come in different shapes sizes and gender presentations. one that is intentional about upholding transformative norms. that aint clik.

*sigh* I can’t say that i’m surprised.

As an update, Keith posted the list of Clik’s “Elite Winners”. Everyone nominated deserved recognition. It’s just a shame so many others were not because they don’t drink the right Kool-Aid.

Or, as Angela writes:

The name of the awards was apropos, Clik as in Clique awards. A few friends of the same clique got together to honor each other. Nothing more, nothing less and I can’t blame them, albeit, very unfortunate.

As I predicted, E Lynn Harris won an award (being a “literary genius” and all). And surprisingly (or not) so did award organizer and sponsor Dwight Powell. Maybe my shoes are too tight but how can you justify giving yourself an award?

Wow, but not surprising. I can recall maybe one issue of Clik that focused on or had some intentional inclusion of Women. I could be wrong.

I wonder if “the community” will demand that Clik admit that it is sexist in the same vein that “the community” demanded that Atlanta Pride admit it is racist when confronted by Clik over a denied sponsorship offer.

I seriously doubt it.

this reminds me of the time a certain president was elected and the nation was up and arms…what funny to me was that most of the people bitching didn’t vote…

i think you know where this is going…with that, i digress.

Actually, Jonathan, I think I do know where you’re going. And to that I say…

I’ve spoken to at least 15 different people active in the black, gay community and none of them knew anything about the Clik awards until the finalist were posted and a press release went out.

In addition, it was never made clear - even at the awards ceremony - how the winners were chosen. Are we to guess they are the ones who got the most nominations? Who really knows.

From Angela’s post, I’ve learned an email went out to certain people regarding nominations. How were these people chosen to receive that notification? Why wasn’t the nomination process more publicized? When Dwight was upset over Atlanta Pride snubbing him, everybody got that email.


It’s one thing to have a nationally publicized and reoccouring voting process that is well understood (for the most part) - and have people not partake in the process.

Its a different beast to hold an awards ceremony celebrating ALL Black Lesbian and Gays and have a large number of the target population, even in the city where the event was being held, that either didn’t know about it or didn’t know about it until it was too late to vote.

This is not a condemnation of the purpose of the event, only the process. As a community, we should strive for excellence, and this means sometimes having to call a spade a spade, not out of spite, but out of hope that the same mistakes will not be repeated in the future.

The event is new. To think that it was a flawless execution that could not stand some refinement and growth is unrealistic. Ignoring what could have been done better would do the event and its planners a disservice.

Hello Angela and gays and lesbians everywhere. I thank you for your post and am in agreement with almost all that was written. I truly understand how you feel.

You might know that Clik Magazine is a predominantly male publication. It has been for some time now. Our audience is 95% male, and our content is almost 100% male oriented and focused. It’s a market that I know and have been working with since 1998.

Initially when I started work on the Clik Honors, it was to be a reflection of the entire SGL community. I reached out to almost every lesbian opinion leaders in our community for support. You noted that you were one that I contacted. The only person that responded was Jasmyne Cannick. I do understand the hesitation, since our magazine is male focused, but the invitation was extended. Since then, our focus became more male oriented due to the fact that that’s where the interest was coming from. As the event got closer… say late September, early October, ladies started calling the magazine to get involved. For the most part the nomination process was almost over, but we made it known that nominations for all sexes can be made on line.

It’s is a bit unfortunate however, that I and my magazine are being mishandled by some in the media because of the lack of support from the lesbian community. Our intent was to make this an event that all could be a part of and enjoy…. But we did not get your support in time. We are extremely excited and 2007 and the possibilities it holds for this and future events. We will make another, but even stronger attempt to create a much more balanced show. There are many, many women as you’ve noted that are deserving of recognition.

I do look forward to working with you in 2007 should you be able to find the time.

Finally a few things:
(1) Clik is a magazine for men - that’s our market - If you can’t see that by now…. well.

(2) This event was well advertised months prior on many Blogs and other magazines (including Clik)while the nomination process was going on. and Rod2.0 and two of the many sites we advertsied on. They represent more than 70% of Black gay visitors to blog sites - You saw the ads - you just weren’t interested enough to “click”

(3) It was posted on our website since April of this year (J, this I’m sure you knew) - Did you post it on your site to inform your readers. Probably not - you weren’t concern then - but now you are. Funny.

(4) to those on this site that question the fact that I received an award, I would like for you to ask youself this question and reply with an answer to this site and my email address - The question is, name one person, Black and gay (besides Alan Bell, who received the Clik ICON award), that has been doing what I do for as long as I’ve been doing it, and who has the national support that I have. Find me another person that has brought together, the list of names that attended the Clik Honors - all together, all in one space - all at the same time. You tell me why I don’t deserve the recognition! Magazines come and go… Clik is still here. We’re the first to be sold nationally in Borders, B&N and other chains.

(5) We need to learn to support one another more. If you are going to stand on the sideline and watch the boys play ball. You only have yourself to blame when the game doesn’t end your way. Make your mark, stand for something Do more than just talk and BLOG. You fail when you fail to try. AGAIN MAKE YOUR MARK!

Dwight, thank you for reposting your letter to Angela and addressing some other things. First of all, I can’t help but note how your reaction to the exclusion of lesbians and others compare to how Atlanta Pride “snubbed” Clik earlier this year. Interesting parallels there.

Onto your points…

(1) Clik is a magazine for men - that’s our market - If you can’t see that by now…. well.

Until a couple of days ago, you promoted Clik as a magazine for the entire LGBT community, not as a magazine for men. It is not the community’s fault if we are confused about Clik’s intended audience. Be more clear about your focus.

(2) This event was well advertised months prior on many Blogs and other magazines…

Your assumption is about me ignoring your awards is incorrect. You could be right about these ads but honestly, I did not see any. My bad. I read Keith and Rod’s site for content, not for ads. I don’t recall any blogs I read posting about the actual nomination process, either. And I read a lot of blogs.

(3) It was posted on our website since April of this year (J, this I’m sure you knew) - Did you post it on your site to inform your readers. Probably not - you weren’t concern then - but now you are. Funny.

What’s funny is how you make assumptions, Dwight. I did not know of the Clik awards until the press release went out announcing the event. Contrary to what you may think, I don’t read your magazine or visit the website much.

(4) to those on this site that question the fact that I received an award…

This one is easily my pet peeve, Dwight. You do deserve recognition for your incredible work. But you shouldn’t give yourself an award in a show you have produced. That’s tacky and it puts in question your integrity.

For all we know, you handpicked all the nominees and winners because you felt they “deserve recognition” (which would be fine if you stated that upfront). I understand how frustrating it is to work very hard and get very little accolades. But this was a bad move on your part. It is up to the community, or some outside organization, to recognize you in this manner. If you are truly doing the work, it will come.

(5) We need to learn to support one another more. If you are going to stand on the sideline and watch the boys play ball. You only have yourself to blame when the game doesn’t end your way. Make your mark, stand for something Do more than just talk and BLOG. You fail when you fail to try.AGAIN MAKE YOUR MARK!

Dwight, if you read posts I have on this site other than the ones mentioning your magazine, you will know that I am a huge supporter of my brother’s and sister’s endeavors. So spew that stick together bullshit somewhere else.

I have been active in the fight against homophobia, HIV/AIDS, and intolerance since my early twenties (and have the scars to prove it). I have started and participated in LGBT organizations, marches, publications and campaigns in two major cities. I’ve never received an award for these things and honestly, don’t ever expect to. That’s not why I do it. Many of us contribute the commonwealth of our community and are never recognized. But just because we don’t write or advertise with Clik doesn’t make us invisible.

I urge you to reach outside your circle of yes-men and embrace other organizations, individuals and professionals to make your next events more inclusive and polished. It’s obvious you have the talent to do great things. But some checks and balances couldn’t hurt.


I think that what is most interesting to me, as Prime and J point out, is that many of us stood up for Clik when Atlanta Pride pulled the same kind of Righteous-Ignorance dismissal of Black Gay Community (By not accepting Dwights sponsorship offer)and now Clik has pulled the same kind of thing with many within our community by excluding women.

Congrats on your awards Dwight I heard the event was fabulous.

Regarding your market: Maybe instead of dismissing the women in our community because you “don’t know the market” you could hire a women’s editor and designate editorial space for women in your magazine. Just a thought.

… another thought Kevin would be for those that have a strong desire to represent the lesbian community to do just that. As for me excluding women, many you should re-read my reply above and Angela’s reply to me on . Even after she acknowledged that I reached out to her and many other lesbians, you have the nerve to suggest that that wasn’t enough. To make a comparison between this event and the Atlanta Pride incident is a bit stunning…. especially from you. To this day, not one single lesbian has reached out to me since the awards to work with us in 2007. How would you suggest we move forward?