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Posted on Jul 11, 2014

GLAAD and over 25 organizations: FIFA must take action on homophobia in soccer

At the close of the 2014 World Cup, GLAAD was joined by over 25 U.S. and international LGBT and human rights organizations today in a letter to FIFA requesting concrete action to address homophobia in the game and anti-gay chants yelled in the stands. In advance of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, GLAAD also announced a continued campaign to educate FIFA and corporate sponsors about the standing anti-LGBT laws in both of those countries.

"At a time when more of the world than ever loves the sport of soccer, its biggest tournament, the World Cup, is starting to be known as an anti-gay event and this narrative will only grow in advance of the next games in Russia and Qatar, two countries with disastrous records when it comes to LGBT people," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. "Networks, fans and sponsors do not want to be associated with stadiums chanting anti-gay slurs nor do they want a situation like the Sochi Olympics, which was overshadowed by the discussion of Russia's anti-LGBT environment. GLAAD will be reaching out to FIFA and corporate partners worldwide to bring change."

To see the letter visit: LGBT, Latino, faith and sports organizations that signed on to the letter to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter include: GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), The Task Force, National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), The Trevor Project, Family Equality Council, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Women's Sports Foundation, GO! Athletes, Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Inc., Br{ache the Silence, Federation of Gay Games,, Outsports, Latino Equality Alliance, CODISE A.C. (Mexico), Federación Argentina de Lesbianas Gays Bisexuales y Trans (Argentina), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, AM Comunicación e Información (Mexico), Metropolitan Community Churches, DignityUSA, More Light Presbyterians, New Ways Ministry, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Seventh Day Adventist Kinship International, Campus Pride, RUSA LGBT, and Nehirim.

During the 2014 World Cup soccer games in Brazil, fans in the stadiums and at home could hear groups chanting anti-gay slurs at members of the opposing team. Before the start of World Cup, GLAAD asked FIFA to speak out about all forms of discrimination including that directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Out soccer player Robbie Rogers supported GLAAD's #StopTheSlurs campaign.

After investigating a complaint filed by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) FIFA said the use of the anti-gay slur 'puto' was not offensive in the context of a soccer game, which sparked debate among LGBT fans and allies. In many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, 'puto' means 'faggot.' In countries where it is not specifically an anti-gay epithet, it is a very offensive pejorative, which expresses misogynistic attitudes. Conapred, Mexico's anti-discrimination agency, has come out strongly stating that the word is offensive and hurtful. 

After FIFA decided to allow slurs in the game, Univision read a statement on air before and during the half time of the recent Mexico v. Netherlands match that warned viewers that offensive language would be heard during the match and reaffirmed the network's commitment to supporting a World Cup that is safe for all. ESPN also spoke about the controversy around the slurs on-air.

The 2018 World Cup is planned to be held in Sochi, Russia, which has come under heavy criticism since the Olympics since Russia passed an "anti-propaganda" law that is silencing LGBT citizens and promoting violence against them. Additionally, the 2022 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar, where being gay is illegal and LGBT people can be imprisoned. When FIFA President Sepp Blatter was asked about Qatar's anti-LGBT laws, his response was to laugh and state that LGBT fans who plan to attend should “refrain from sexual activity.” He later apologized for his flippant comments.

"Sports and international sporting events are a way to unite people around the world. Allowing hate and hate speech to be part of the games flies in the face of what tournaments like World Cup stand for," Ellis said. "LGBT people, and our family members and friends want to attend events like World Cup, but won't be joining when the celebration doesn't welcome us."

To learn more about GLAAD's World Cup campaign or to see our Global Voices 2014 World Cup Playbook in English and Spanish at

July 11, 2014
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Posted on Jul 10, 2014

GLAAD meets with Newsweek to discuss transgender coverage

Members of GLAAD's News Team met with Newsweek Managing Editor Kira Bindrim and a team of reporters, editors, and social media specialists to talk about transgender news coverage, LGBT story ideas, and information on issues facing transgender people. 

Ross Murray, Director of News, Tiq Milan, Senior Strategist, and Dani Heffernan, Strategist, discussed Newsweek's previous coverage, including the story they recently broke about Meggan Sommerville's lawsuit against the craft store chain, Hobby Lobby. According to the lawsuit, Hobby Lobby refused access to the women's restroom following Sommerville's transition. Newsweek was the first publication to break the story, which touches on employment discrimination against transgender people, public accommodations, and "religious freedom." 

During the meeting, GLAAD discussed relevant campaigns that could be good stories for Newsweek, including #JusticeForJane, employment discrimination against the LGBT community, and national efforts to reduce homelessness among LGBT youth. GLAAD also shared its encouragement to move beyond some of the clichés often seen in even the best coverage, like "before and after" pictures of transgender people, and questions about medical procedures.

Research shows that around 90% of Americans personally know someone who is gay, lesbian or bisexual, but only 8% personally know someone who is transgender. This makes fair and accurate journalism even more important, so that people can come to fully know and understand transgender people.

Feedback from the meetings was positive. GLAAD looks forward to working with Newsweek in the future to ensure continued fair and accurate coverage of transgender people. 

July 10, 2014
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Posted on Jul 9, 2014

GLAAD’s Tiq Milan included in Ebony’s 10 Black LGBT trailblazers

Ebony has released a list of 10 rising stars in the Black LGBT community, and GLAAD followers will recognize several names on the list. GLAAD's own Senior Strategist, Tiq Milan was included on this year's list for his advocacy for transgender people, people of color, and youth.

Milan has been a part of many important social awareness campaigns such as Live Out Loud’s Homecoming Project, LGBT Funders Men and Boys of Color Initiative and GLAAD’S Spirit Day. Alongside Laverne Cox, Milan recently appeared on The Katie Show to discuss issues that the transgender community faces. The transgender advocate and journalist is currently the Senior Media Strategist for National News at GLAAD.

Also included on the list:

Laverne Cox, who was honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles in May


Wade Davis, former NFL player and Executive Director of You Can Play


Big Freedia, "Queen of Bounce," who earned a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Program


Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, the creator of TransH*ck and the GLAAD Media Award nominated and Black Weblog Award-winning blog, blac(k) ademic


Tona Brown, violinist and vocalist who has perfomed for President Obama and more recently at Carnegie Hall


WNBA star Brittney Griner


Writer, commentator, and advocate Janet Mock


Out NFL draft pick, Michael Sam, defensive end for the St. Louis Rams


Openly gay hip-hop star Siya


Congratulations to Tiq and all the Black LGBT trailblazers! Check out the bios on each at

July 9, 2014
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