Wonder what we're up to at GLAAD? Be sure to check out GLAAD's Blog each week for updates about our latest work to build support for LGBT equality through news, entertainment and online media.
With GLAAD’s help, Symantec recently made a significant change to its web filtering software by eliminating the “sexual orientation” category. Symantec’s web content database is one of the largest of its kind, and maps the web across more than 100 categories and in dozens of languages. This update, which is in the process of being implemented at the product level, will mean that LGBT-related web content will be evaluated, categorized, and treated the same as other news, political and entertainment content. Read more here.
GLAAD helped organize a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with model Andreja Pejic, who recently came out as transgender. Redditors asked Andreja a variety of questions about coming out as her authentic self, her career, crowdfunding the new documentary Andrej(a), and more. By speaking candidly with the public about her story, Andreja is breaking down myths and misinformation about the trans community, increasing trans visibility in the media, and bringing the trans community's needs closer to the forefront of the national conversation. The AMA made it to the number five spot on Reddit's homepage. Read more here.
PepsiCo announced its support of Spirit Day, GLAAD's annual anti-bullying campaign. PepsiCo's campaign, called "Purple On!" encourages its employees to wear purple, to share anti-bullying resources with their families, and invite their communities to do the same. Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth. Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag. Take the pledge to go purple now: http://glaad.org/spiritday and read more here.
In addition to teaching him the best ways to share his work with the media, GLAAD interviewed TJ Montoya, a Christian YouTube blogger whose video takes on his identity as a gay Christian and goes directly into the Bible, clearing up misconceptions about what the Bible has to say about LGBT people. The video is a personal testament to his faith. GLAAD asked him about why he made the video and what he hopes to come from it. Read more here.
GLAAD is calling on supporters to add their names to a petition, calling on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to let Dutee Chand, an Indian national champion sprinter, compete. Dutee was disqualified from the Commonwealth Games for having androgen (testosterone) levels deemed "too high" to compete as a woman. Read more here.
GLAAD's Director of Spanish Language & Latino Media, Monica Trasandes, recently flew to Guatemala to meet with LGBT leaders, helping them learn to effectively share the LGBT community's stories
and needs with the media. The trip was made possible by support from the U.S. Department of State. While there, Monica gave the keynote speech at the 5th Congress on LGBT Human Rights. During her trip, she visited with organizations and leaders working to advance LGBT equality. She also taught best media practices to over 40 advocates and met with officials from the government's two human rights agencies. Guatemala, like Honduras, has a very high rate of anti-LGBT violence. Guatemalan advocates are working under a tough climate and Trasandes was impressed by the courage and commitment advocates showed in the face of these obstacles. The U.S. embassy in Guatemala and the Norwegian embassy were key supporters of the conference itself.
GLAAD provided support and background for To The Point's program about LGBT homeless youth. The conversation included Alex Morris, author of the Rolling Stone article also about LGBT homeless youth; Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center; Wendy Montgomery, an LGBT-affirming Mormon parent; and Dr. Caitlin Ryan, director of San Francisco State University's Family Acceptance Project. GLAAD is helping the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, which is being led by the Ali Forney Center and the National Coalition for the Homeless, develop media strategy. Read more here.
As a part of GLAAD's ongoing Transgender Education Media Program, we worked with trans advocate and athlete Chris Mosier as he prepares to speak to high schools across the country about his experience as an athlete and a coach. GLAAD reviewed ways for Chris to most effectively share his story with the public.
GLAAD's Monica Trasandes was a guest on the "Fernando Espuelas Show" on Univision America radio on Sept. 9 to discuss how a lack of immigration reform impacts LGBT people. That same day dozens of LGBT advocates held a press conference in front of the White House and called a day of action to urge executive and legislative action on immigration reform. President Obama recently announced he would not yet sign an executive order on immigration reform, after promising to do so. Advocates were hoping the president would extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the family members of the undocumented young people the program gave some relief to in 2012. Advocates not only called out the administration, but Congress for the continued inaction on the issue. There are approximately 267,000 undocumented immigrants in the U.S., struggling under the current system. Fear of deportation, detention, and many barriers to well-being impact not only the undocumented LGBT person but also one's family and community. For many LGBT immigrants deportation can be a "death sentence" because they face persecution and violence if they are returned back to their countries.