The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced the nominees for its 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at a press conference at the Queer Lounge in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival on Monday.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour mainstream media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.

Among the nominees: critically acclaimed films Brokeback Mountain, Transamerica, and Capote, the new hit sitcom Out of Practice and new drama Commander in Chief, The Amazing Race 7, Nightline, USA Today, two episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Spanish-language nominees Hoy, TV Notas, Sin Fronteras, and Noticiero Univision.

In addition to 113 nominees in 25 categories and 45 Spanish-language nominees in 15 categories, GLAAD also announced that it will present a Special Recognition award to Bright Eyes and John Cameron Mitchell for including gay and lesbian couples in the music video for the hit single First Day of My Life from the album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning.

For the second consecutive year, the GLAAD Media Awards will be televised in the USA on Logo, MTV Networks’ cable channel for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender viewers and their allies.

GLAAD also announced that this year’s Barbara Gittings Award will be presented to the three new LGBT cable networks, Logo, here!, and Q Television Network. In 2001, GLAAD established the Barbara Gittings Award as a way to honour pioneering individuals, groups, and community media outlets that have made a significant contribution to the development of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media.

“Fair, accurate and inclusive media images have incredible cultural power,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. “Last year audiences learned about historical figures like Alfred Kinsey and Truman Capote. They were introduced to transgender lives in Transamerica and on Oprah… This year’s GLAAD Media Awards nominees are changing the world, and it’s our privilege to honour them.”

More than 100 corporate sponsors are showing their support for the awards, including ABSOLUT VODKA, IBM, and Motorola. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 27, 2006; in Los Angeles on April 8; in Miami on May 25; and in San Francisco on June 10.

Founded in 1985, GLAAD is the United State’s premiere lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media advocacy organisation. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

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