7 Times the Dorian Awards Gave LGBT Trailblazers Their Due

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Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

GALECA recognized this actress’s trailblazing status with a “We’re Wilde About You” Rising Star Award in 2013 in recognition of her role as fan favorite Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. Cox landed her first Emmy nomination the following year, becoming the first openly transgender Primetime Emmy nominee.

American Gods Season 1 2017
Jan Thijs/Starz

American Gods

This Starz drama, hailed for a groundbreaking sex scene between two Muslim men, earned the Dorian Award for Unsung TV Show of the Year in 2017. The show, an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman novel, has so far only earned Emmys in technical categories.

FOX via Getty Images

Chris Colfer

For his affecting performance as scene-stealer Kurt Hummel in FOX’s Glee, Colfer won the Dorian Award for TV Comedy Performance of the Year in 2010 — tying for the honor, coincidentally, with costar Jane Lynch. It wasn’t until the following year that he won a Golden Globe for the part.

Billy Porter as Pray Tell in Pose
JoJo Whilden/FX

Billy Porter

This Broadway alum won a Tony for his work in the musical Kinky Boots but has so far been denied Golden Globes and Emmys for his poignant performance as grieving emcee Pray Tell in FX’s Pose. The Dorian Awards have help right those wrongs this year, though, awarding Porter both the TV Performance of the Year, Actor honor and — alongside MJ Rodriguez and Our Lady J — the award for TV Musical Performance of the Year.

Bruce Birmelin/ABC via Getty Images

Happy Endings

This canceled-too-soon ABC comedy, which starred The Mindy Project’s Adam Pally as a stereotype-thwarting gay man, earned a total of seven Dorian nominations and won for Unsung TV Show of the Year in 2013, the same year it was canceled. Despite landing on multiple critics’ year-end “best of” lists, the show never got a nod from the Golden Globes or the Emmys.

MSNBC - Election Coverage - Season 2016
Heidi Gutman/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Rachel Maddow

Maddow is a three-time Dorian Award winner for her self-titled MSNBC show, which is now in its second decade. Her first Dorian Award came in 2009 when GALECA named her the Wilde Wit of the Year. Only two years later did she start winning Emmys.


Schitt’s Creek

This underrated Pop comedy, created by father-and-son duo Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy and co-starring Catherine O’Hara, features the younger Levy playing an all-too-rare pansexual character. The show has been snubbed by the major award shows thus far but earned both the TV Comedy of the Year and Unsung TV Show of the Year honors in this year’s Dorian Awards.

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Considering the demographics of the voting bodies behind Hollywood’s major awards, it’s no surprise the same white, straight, cisgender celebrities take home the trophies again and again. Luckily, alternative honors are out there, spotlighting the diverse talent those big shows neglect.

Each year, for instance, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics doles out the Dorian Awards, celebrating its picks for the best in film and TV of the year. (Full disclosure: This writer is a member!)

Click through the gallery above for seven Dorian Award winners that were only later honored at the Emmys and Golden Globes, if at all.