social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Congratulations to GLAAD Award Recipients
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 04/21/13
Last updated on: 04/22/13
Bookmark and Share

Bill Clinton expresses appreciation for his award.

On April 20, 2013, the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented in Los Angeles. The evening's most controversial moment came when the new Agent for Change Award was presented to former President Bill Clinton. Other recipients of awards included the independent film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the NBC comedy series The New Normal, and the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. In addition, attorney Steve Warren received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which honors an openly glbtq member of the entertainment or media community for his or her work toward eliminating homophobia.

The event, which was hosted by actress Drew Barrymore, included many celebrities. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron presented the Kolzak Award to entertainment lawyer Steve Warren, while Harvey Weinstein and Jennifer Lawrence presented the Agent for Change Award to former President Clinton.

A complete list of GLAAD Media Award recipients may be found here. Photos and videos of the event may be found here.

The choice of former President Clinton to receive the first Agent for Change Award was a controversial one and the former president seemed aware that not everyone in the audience approved of his being named an "agent for change."

As President, Clinton's relations with the glbtq community were decidedly mixed. Despite the appointment of openly gay and lesbian officials, the issuance of anti-discrimination executive orders, increased funding for AIDS, the increased prominence of gay men and lesbians in the Democratic Party coalition, and his support for gay-positive legislation, he is also remembered for having signed into law two pernicious pieces of legislation. One established the military policy that banned openly gay and lesbian servicemembers, Don't Ask, Don't Tell; the other, the Defense of Marriage Act, barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Defenders of Clinton point out that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law was intended as an improvement over the previous policy that banned gay people from service altogether and that the law was also supposed to preclude the witch hunts and capricious enforcement that came to characterize it. Still, Don't Ask, Don't Tell caused great damage to gay and lesbian servicemembers and proved very difficult to change.

DOMA is an even more problematic part of Clinton's legacy, since it is clear that he signed it in 1996 for crass political reasons. It is currently under consideration by the Supreme Court of the United States.

In an editorial in the Washington Post on March 8, 2013, the former President repudiated the law and urged the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. While gay advocates welcomed his recognition of the discriminatory nature of the law, many also pushed back against his attempt to revise history, as detailed here.

David Mixner, for example, observed that "Clinton took the wrong action in 1996 and he did it for purely political reasons. That is the truth of the matter." He pointed out that "While [Clinton] talked about his pain in signing the legislation, his campaign team immediately created radio ads and started running them throughout the South. In those ads, they proclaimed and celebrated Clinton signing the legislation."

Given Clinton's failure of leadership, many activists criticized GLAAD's choice of him as the first recipient of the Agent for Change award.

Clinton seemed aware of the criticism as he accepted the award. Indeed, he could hardly have not been aware since at one point, when he was discussing DOMA at about 5:35 in the video below, a heckler yelled out, "You signed it!"

Clinton began by saying that GLAAD and its supporters deserved the award. He also told the audience "you are the true agents of change . . . I believe you will win the DOMA fight, and I think that you will win the constitutional right to marry. If not tomorrow, then the next day or the next day."

He added, "I supported and tried to pass ENDA [Employment NonDiscrimination Act] without success. We still need to pass that. We still need to fight bullying and we need the right kind of immigration reform that doesn't discriminate against anybody."

He also praised his daughter Chelsea and attributed to her "a profound impact in many ways on the way I see the world," including "how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us."

Uncharacteristically subdued, the former President concluded his speech by acknowledging that he may not deserve the soubriquet "agent of change": "You are the agents of change. I'm getting this award tonight because I was the object of your affections--or not, as the case may be."

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.