Learning about the amazing LGBT media advocacy work local activists in Cincinnati, Ohio, have been accomplishing this week made me prouder than ever of my home town!
That point was driven home again after I heard that two students at the University of Cincinnati-where my younger brother will attend school next year-were victims of an anti-gay assault.
Local activists wrote at the Bilerico Project, about their work uncovering news of the assault:
Sadly, our information about the attack and the condition of the victims is limited because both the UC Police Department and the local mainstream media have seemed reluctant to inform the public about this crime...
Both the UCPD and the local mainstream media have seemed reluctant to inform the public about this crime until they were virtually forced to action.
Though information about the attack was not disseminated until 12 days after the crime occurred, local community members did not let that hinder their activism. Cincinnati activists got to work quickly, organizing a protest against anti-gay attacks, and securing media coverage at local and national blogs, the local ABC affiliate, and the city's largest paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and good old-fashioned e-mail, local activists created momentum for their protest rally yesterday in just one day, garnering 250 participants along with print, online, and broadcast media coverage. Check out local blogger Barry Floore's photos from the rally: http://tinyurl.com/c9q8dm
GLAAD's Media Field Strategy team works with local individuals and organizations across the country every day to provide media relations assistance. We have reached out to folks in Cincinnati to offer support, and to congratulate them on the amazing work.
As we learned in the poll GLAAD comissioned from Harris Interactive at the end of last year, seeing stories of real LGBT people in their communities in the news is one of the leading factors Americans cite in why their perceptions of LGBT folks have gotten more favorable.
If you're working on a local LGBT issue, don't hesitate to reach out to GLAAD for support! Media Field Strategy contacts: Eastern U.S.: firstname.lastname@example.org Western U.S.: email@example.com