The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA.org), comprised of over 180 professional film and TV journalists across the United States, Canada and the U.K., Thursday announced its seven-member Board of Directors for 2017 to 2019. The all-volunteer Board, elected by the general membership last Sunday, will be entrusted to advance GALECA’s many bold missions. The fast-growing group’s chief endeavor is its annual Dorian Awards, which honor film and television across categories both mainstream (Film of the Year, Rising Star, etc.) and niche (LBGTQ TV Show, Campy Flick).
Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editorial Director of The Advocate as well as Editor-in-Chief of Plus magazine, was named GALECA’s President. “In an era where LGBTQ lives are threatened from America to Russia, I’m proud to be part of an organization that knows how much the world values our community’s eye for quality film and television – mediums with tremendous power to enlighten minds,” said Anderson-Minshall. “And, with mergers, layoffs and listicles all the rage, GALECA is here to remind Hollywood and media moguls that professional ’showbiz’ journalists are key to a healthy industry.” Anderson-Minshall, author of five books, is the recipient of over two dozen journalism and activism awards – and is an ardent fan of Groundhog Day and (Dorian Award winner) Samantha Bee.
Also helping advance GALECA will be new Vice President John Esther, longtime Film Editor for Lesbian News. Esther originated the association’s position of Community Outreach Director, helping develop relationships and partnerships with like-minded nonprofits and TV/film-related outfits. In addition, he has overseen Dorian Award eligibility guidelines, category requirements and membership voting rules. Esther will continue to help ensure the integrity of the awards as well as the group’s “Ten Best” lists (he has already steer such lists as GALECA’s Ten Best Actresses of All Time).
GALECA members also voted-in Sarah Toce, award-winning publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Seattle Lesbian, who was anointed GALECA’s new Director of Women’s Outreach. Toce’s position helps underscore the journalism association’s ongoing effort to increase its diversity and reflect a rich array of screen tastes.
Veteran entertainment reporter, celebrity interviewer and video journalist Mike Cidoni Lennox of the Associated Press is GALECA’s new Secretary. Austin-based film critic Don Simpson of the edgy cineastes sites Smells Like Screen Spirit and Hammer to Nail is Treasurer. Steve Pride, producer and correspondent for the nationally syndicated “This Way Out Radio” show and past board member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), will serve as Membership Director, a position he has previously held with the organization. Dan Allen, a long-established freelancer for outlets including NBC News online and the Los Angeles Blade, holds the (adjusted) title of Outreach Director. Allen will be overseeing industry partnerships as well as community and charity collaborations.
GALECA’s outgoing president, John Griffiths (former longtime Us Weekly TV critic and current Emmy magazine contributor), will remain Executive Director. “GALECA has a great and eager new team, which is exciting. But we wouldn’t have so much momentum were it not for the gangbusters enthusiasm our previous Board members brought to the organization. I want to personally thank former Vice President Chris Carpenter, Director of Women’s Outreach Trish Bendix, Membership Director Jeremy Kinser, and Secretary Brantley Bardin for their years of pivotal service and look forward to their continued input.”
GALECA, a 501 C-6 nonprofit founded in 2009, aims to generate camaraderie in an unsettling media environment, champion constructive film and TV criticism and elevate entertainment journalism. Via panels, screenings, events and its occasional “Ten Best” lists, GALECA also strives to remind the world, and our at-risk youth, that LGBTQs have a rich history of putting great movies and TV on the pop culture radar. After all, how would the world fare without knowing what’s campy?