Drama TV Shows You Didn’t Know Won GLAAD Awards

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GLAAD—the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation—has been recognizing excellence in media since 1989. Over the years, they’ve honored some incredible television, ranging from hour-long dramas to comedies and reality television. If you haven’t heard of all the series that have won GLAAD awards, you’re missing out. Here are some of the best drama TV shows you probably didn’t know won GLAAD Awards.

Queer as Folk

Queer as Folk was the first American TV series to have a majority LGBT main cast. Based on the British series of the same name, it’s set in Pittsburgh and focuses on the lives of five gay men—Michael Novotny, Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, Ted Schmidt, and Emmett Honeycutt. Airing for five seasons from 2000 to 2005, the show was frank and often boundary-pushing—from its depiction of sex to relationships to activism in the LGBT community. It was a critical and audience favorite, becoming one of the first heavily gay-themed series to reach mainstream success. It won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2003 and 2004.

Ugly Betty

Long before Orange Is the New Black and Schitt’s Creek, there was Ugly Betty. An American comedy-drama series that aired on ABC from 2006 to 2010, it followed the life of Betty Suarez, a young Latina woman living in New York City. While she’s often ridiculed for her appearance, she is supported by her loving family and friends. The show explored a wide variety of issues, including sexuality, racism, immigration, and empowerment. In 2007, it won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series—the first telenovela adapted show to do so.


Airing for four seasons from 2007 to 2011, Greek was a sitcom about the student body at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University. Unlike most shows about college life, however, it depicted a diverse set of characters from various backgrounds. The characters often discussed topics such as racism, violence, homophobia, sexism, and more. It was praised for its believable storylines and its ability to realistically portray college fraternities and sororities. Greek won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2011, the same year it ended.

The Fosters

The Fosters is a family drama about a lesbian interracial couple, Stef and Lena Foster, who are raising children of their own, both biological and adopted. They juggle being parents and dealing with the struggles of their own personal lives. Airing from 2013 to 2018, the show also dealt with a range of topics such as homelessness, addiction, immigration, homosexuality, and gender identity. In 2017, it won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series—the first primetime show to feature a lesbian couple as its lead characters.


Eastsiders is a web series that aired from 2012 to 2017. It follows Cal (Kit Williamson) and Thom (Van Hansis), a couple living in an apartment in East Los Angeles. It shows the struggles and triumphs of their relationship in a very honest and raw way. It doesn’t shy away from topics like coming out, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, and more. It was praised for its realistic depiction of LGBT relationships and for its unique web series format. Eastsiders won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Digital Drama Series in 2017.

The L Word

The L Word, which aired from 2004 to 2009, was revolutionary in its depiction of a group of lesbians living in Los Angeles. It explored their loves, friendships, and intersecting lives in a frank and often humorous way. The show was praised for its portrayal of lesbians of color, bisexual women, and transgender characters. It was also praised for its prescient discussions of gay marriage, same-sex parenting, religion, and more. It won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006, the same year it ended.

These are just some of the drama TV shows you probably didn’t know won GLAAD Awards. But there are many more—from Will & Grace to Grey’s Anatomy to The Good Fight. What’s great about these shows is that they’re all diverse and inclusive, and that’s something we should all celebrate. GLAAD’s awards recognize stories that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and represent the experiences of LGBTQ+ people, and we’re lucky to have them.

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