2007 Visibility Awards


WINNER: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

The power couple is everywhere these days, from the Oscars
to the Daytime Emmy Awards to the
Trevor Project’s annual fundraiser
. Ellen increasingly mentions Portia on
her talk show, Portia references Ellen in her interviews, and you can see small
glimpses of their home life in some of Ellen’s video blogs. They’re quietly
out, but not out of control, and this lack of sensationalism helps to desensitize
America to lesbian relationships.


WINNER: Melissa Etheridge

Melissa has finally learned to stop
hiding behind her hair
, and it shows. This year, the 46-year-old rock star
released her ninth album, The Awakening; collected an Oscar for her
song from the documentary An Inconvenient Truth; asked hard questions
of our Democratic presidential candidates at the Logo/HRC
Presidential Forum
; and rocked for the environment at Live Earth. "I
think that because I’ve had cancer, I’m willing to be the crazy one," she
told us in September. "It’s like, fine, if I have to lay down on the barbed
wire, I will, because it’s that important to me and it’s that simple to me."


WINNER: Tina Fey

As the creator and head writer of the brilliant comedy 30 Rock, Tina
Fey somehow manages to get a gay reference of some sort into almost every episode.
From hilarious throwaway lines like "You can’t be gay for just one person,
unless you’re a lady and you meet Ellen," to more serious comments about gay
marriage, to referencing gay partners in her Emmy acceptance speech this year,
she has consistently proven to be a good friend to the queer people. And mentioning on The Late Show With Conan O’Brien had absolutely nothing
to do with her winning this category.

RUNNER-UP: Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

As we recently highlighted in our article on Jon
Stewart’s Greatest Lesbian Moments
, the host of Comedy Central’s nightly
(fake) news show regularly includes LGBT issues in a humorous and subversive way, whether
it’s taking on Bill O’Reilly’s claim that Rosie O’Donnell
should have stayed in the closet, pointing out the absurdity of opposing gay
marriage, or chatting easily with guests like Ellen DeGeneres
and Lily Tomlin. And when he called Cynthia
"a boy band for ladies" two years before she came out, he
also proved he has good gaydar. Now that’s our kind of straight man!

That’s it for this year’s Visibility Awards. Now let us know what shows, movies and people made your best and worst lists for 2007!

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