Last Saturday's Clik Awards in Atlanta was an event that I don't think I will ever forget. There were hundreds of Black gay and lesbian people in one room who gathered to honor their own, it was truly a monumental event to say the least. There was no drama, no shade, and no ulterior motives other than to celebrate the achievements of 25 SGL pioneers.
However the drama has started online with many angry lesbian bloggers who feel that the lack of female presence(Jasmyne Cannick and Lisa C. Moore being the exception) at the event was done intentionally.
How I wish that everyone in our community could be on the same page for once. I think we're all aware that there's hundreds of hardworking gay and lesbian people who are active in the community who did not receive an award last weekend. There were over 150 people nominated and only 25 people received awards, it would have been impossible to recognize all of these individuals in one night.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm in no way suggesting that their feelings aren't valid, however I believe that the show was a wonderful example of unity and the slander that has occured following the event against the Clik publication from people within our own community is a shame.
Dwight Powell, Editor of Clik Magazine has released the following statement addressing the concerned bloggers:
Hello Angela and gays and lesbians everywhere. I thank you for your post and am in agreement with almost all that was written. I truly understand how you feel.
You might know that Clik Magazine is a predominantly male publication. It has been for some time now. Our audience is 95% male, and our content is almost 100% male oriented and focused. It's a market that I know and have been working with since 1998.
Initially when I started work on the Clik Honors, it was to be a reflection of the entire SGL community. I reached out to almost every lesbian opinion leaders in our community. You noted that you were one that I contacted. The only person that responded was Jasmyne Cannick. I do understand the hesitation, since our magazine is male focused, but the invitation was extended. Since then, our focus became more male oriented due to the fact that that's where the interest was coming from. As the event got closer... say late September, early October, ladies started calling the magazine to get involved. For the most part the nomination process was almost over, but we made it known that nominations for all sexes can be made on line.
It’s is a bit unfortunate however, that I and my magazine are being mishandled by some in the media because of the lack of support from the lesbian community. Our intent was to make this an event that all could be a part of and enjoy…. But we did not get your support in time. We are extremely excited and 2007 and the possibilities it holds for this and future events. We will make another, but even stronger attempt to create a much more balanced show. There are many, many women as you’ve noted that are deserving of recognition.
I do look forward to working with you in 2007 should you be able to find the time.