It's great that our culture has finally gotten to a point where LGBTs can celebrate the artistry of the community without fear of persecution. What's less great is when queers reward straights for bare-minimum interest in the wellbeing of sexual minorities. Unfortunately, that seems to be precisely what is happening with the British LGBT awards, in which few of the artists nominated in the music category are actually LGBT people.
Many gays are finding themselves objecting to the roundup of celebrated individuals, spawning the hashtag #BoycottLGBTAwards. Specifically, the best musical artist category nominations were: Adele, Jess Glynne, Halsey, Little Mix, Zayn Malik, Frank Ocean, Sam Smith, Years & Years. But why were straight artists included in this category at all?
Even more dubious is the inclusion of categories like "Best Straight Ally" and "Best Corporate Ally" in the mix. Why exactly straight people need to be celebrated at all at an event ceremony meant for not-straights is unclear.
Sure, LGBT media must always court straight audiences to maintain the attention of enough people to keep it going. The unfortunate consequence of this is that the actual marginalized voices of LGBT people become lost against the loudness of heterosexuals, much to the detriment of the queers who the media was originally intended for and created by.
The official website for the awards added the following statement to clarify their position on the issue: "As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, The British LGBT Awards accepted public nominations in this category, regardless of the nominee’s sexuality, gender, ethnicity, disability, age, education, race and religion."
The reaction to the addendum on social media has not been enthusiastic. Here's a few samples from Twitter:
Perhaps this is besides the point, but it feels necessary to add that Sam Smith is a horribly bland artist and probably shouldn't be nominated for anything ever anyway.
You can check out the full list of nominees over here.