GLO TV Network, the world's only television network catering to the Urban LGBT community
and it's allies, premiered
in September. It was founded in 2010, and it's the brainchild of actor/screenwriter/director Maurice Jamal, the award-winning director of "Ski Trip" and "Dirty Laundry" who partnered with several key people in the entertainment and business world to create a network with wide ranging impacts.
"This really is the People's Network," Jamal said. "All across the country, I would meet people who wanted to see their experiences reflected on TV. The community asked for a place where they could see their loves, lives, challenges and success stories, and we took up that challenge."
Its an interesting time to launch such a network because the number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV has risen slightly this season to 23 out of a total of nearly 600 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). That's up from 3 percent in the 2009-10 season. The increase in 2008-09 was 2.6 percent. And, only six of the 23 gay and lesbian characters this season are nonwhite, GLAAD found.
"Their are so many of our stories that need to be told. I can't tune in any place to hear the perspective of my community and it's frustrating. Seriously, where is our gay point of view? Does it exist? Absolutely!"
Jamal says the name GLO just kept coming up and he realized it's a name that makes you smile and gives you a feeling of joy. So, they decided to stick with it. To kick-off the launch, GLO TV hosted several events during Black Gay Pride in Atlanta, Ga. and across the country, culminating in a sneak preview of the network's biggest shows including: The Debut of Maurice Jamal's "Friends & Lovers," "Dating Dwight," "Christopher Street," "Gayest Sh-t Ever," "Sex:2010," "Living Life," and "Being Legendary" among more than 12 programs that debuted over the Labor Day weekend.
"It is a long time coming, and something that the Urban LGBT community has wanted and deserves," said Jamal. "The premiere of this network is a labor of love rooted in the notion of providing a wide array of programming that shows 'us' in all our vibrant colors."
The network will be available through the web, cable and on-demand. It will debut first in the online space. GLO will have articles, national correspondents, news, and anything our community would be interested in seeing or knowing about. They truly want to be the one stop shop for the Urban LGBT community.
"GLO TV is for everyone, so it was vital that anyone can turn us on, anywhere, anytime. The web allows us to deliver the first true TV network, to the whole nation, that is affordable, accessible and relevant."
In effort of full disclosure, I am apart of the GLO TV Network team because I firmly believe that this network is needed and deserved in the community. The idea alone is unprecedented, and it's something that I had to be apart of.
"I think we deserve alot and we got so little in the past," Jamal said. "That will now change. And, I feel honored to have that pressure."
Checkout some of the photos from GLO's Launch party in Atlanta.
*Photos Courtesy of Garrett Pearson
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