Be the Change you want to see in the World...

Be the Change you want to see in the World...

- Mahatma Gandhi

At the end of 2009, GLAAD launched two new Leadership Councils in both Boston and Washington, D.C., adding to the existing five Councils located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, South Florida, and San Francisco. Leadership Councils play an important role in their respective communities, relaying the stories of local LGBT people and allies that build support for our equality to GLAAD which, in turn, are amplified and brought to millions of Americans by our Programs staff.

Boston, the birthplace of this country and a place where the local spirit of progress is almost universal, is considered by many to be one of the most fair and progressive cities in the country. Although Massachusetts was the first state to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples, equality has yet to be fully realized in the daily lives of its residents.

It was a natural choice, according to Boston Leadership Council Co-Chair Rich Gardner, “Boston has always had a rich tapestry of LGBT organizations focused on issues ranging from healthcare to marriage equality. But there was a void when it came to the media. We needed help to tell stories in the right kind of way. These stories help to open many more doors for our community.”

Rich’s decision to take a leadership role in making sure that GLAAD is present in the local Boston community, is a decision based on his personal experiences. When Rich first “came out” to his mother, her first and overriding reaction was worry. She feared others wouldn’t understand and would verbally or even physically harm her son. Her reaction made it clear to Rich that stigmas and misunderstandings were alive and well within his community. “I was particularly interested in seeing advancements made on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” and adoption front so I decided to connect to an organization that would move the wheels of progress in the right direction on these and all measures of full equality.”

Are you interested in being part of the CHANGE you want to see in your world? Dedicate just a few hours of your time each month and become a member of your local Leadership Council. If you would like more information on an existing Council or want to know where the next Leadership Council will be forming, or about other ways you can get involved, please contact GLAAD Senior Director, Juan Barajas at barajas@glaad.org.