By Patricia Reaney
NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) - British singer Sam Smith, historical thriller "The Imitation Game" and the hit TV series "Transparent," "Game of Thrones" and "Orange is the New Black" were among the nominees announced on Wednesday for 26th annual GLAAD Awards.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization said the equality and visibility of how the LGBT community is portrayed in the media has improved.
"It has been a good year for LGBT media representation, particularly on television and for the transgender community," said Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of communications and special projects.
GLAAD announced 144 nominees in 31 English and Spanish language categories for the awards that will be presented at ceremonies in Los Angeles on March 21 and New York on May 9.
Best picture Oscar nominee "The Imitation Game" will vie with the gay marriage film "Love is Strange," the British comedy-drama "Pride," "The Skeleton Twins" about reunited siblings and the Melissa McCarthy comedy "Tammy" for the best wide-release film award.
Smith is up against singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, folk singer Mary Gauthier, rapper Angel Haze and punk rock band Against Me! in the outstanding artist category.
To reflect the increasing diversity of LGBT storylines, GLAAD expanded the comedy and drama series categories from five to 10 nominees this year.
"Modern Family," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," MTV's "Faking It," "Glee" and HBO's "Looking" received nods in the comedy category along with Netflix's "Orange is The New Black," cable channel Pivot's "Please Like Me," "Sirens," Amazon's Golden Globe winner "Transparent" and "Vicious"
Best drama series nominees include Showtime's "Shameless" ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away with Murder," ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Fosters" and HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Showtime's "Masters of Sex," BBC's "Orphan Black," "Last Tango in Halifax" and "Degrassi" from digital cable and satellite television channel TeenNick will also be competing for best drama.
HBO's "The Normal Heart" was the only nominee for TV movie or mini-series.
In the documentary category "The Case Against 8," about the landmark Supreme Case that overturned California's ban on same sex marriage, was nominated along with "True Trans with Laura Jan Grace," and "To Russia With Love," about the Sochi Olympic Games and the Russian LGBT community.
"Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," which follows the lives of seven transgender youths and Showtime's "L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin," about gay women living in the southern United States also got nods for outstanding documentary.
(Editing by Andrew Hay)