Over the weekend, GLAAD staff members joined thousands of LGBT individuals and allies from across the world for the 25th Annual Creating Change Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Leading number of workshops, meetings as well as media trainings, GLAAD was right in the mix helping organizations raise their digital-media presence, build effective relationships with English and Spanish-language media professionals and participating in Creating Change's first-ever Latino Institute.
GLAAD's Spanish-language media team also led two media trainings: Telling Your Story in Spanish-language Media and Moving Forward Together: Immigration & LGBT Messaging That Works as part of the Latino Institute. Notably, CNN en Español covered the Latino Institute and the segment--which featured Los Angeles-based mom and ally Rosa Manríquez--aired on Nuestro Mundo. In addition, Daniel Hernandez, the openly gay Latino who helped save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life in January 2011, made an appearance at the Institute and remarked on the importance of having a space for LGBT Latinos. Hernandez has a book coming out soon titled They Call Me a Hero: A Memoir of My Youth.
During the conference, Bishop Gene Robinson accepted the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement and highlighted the importance of President Obama’s inaugural address, in which he mentioned Stonewall. “When Obama tied Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, he showed that the intersections of oppressions are so important.” Robinson also was humbled by the award, by saying “I’m so proud to be part of this journey. I want to hold your hand, stand on your shoulders and have you stand on mine."
GLAAD’s Vice President of Programs and Campaigns Allison Palmer hosted Ryan Davis, from Blue State Digital, during the New Media Training Institute (NMTI). Now in its third year, the institute provided best practices for Facebook, Twitter & Google+, as well as blogging, audio-visual tools. Also as part of the institute, GLAAD led panel discussions with nationally recognized LGBT bloggers:Jesse Begenyi of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and I AM: Trans People Speak; Jeremy Hooper of Good As You, Sean Carlson of Family Equality Council, Ngoc Loan Tran of tranqualizer.tumblr.com and Zack Ford of ThinkProgress LGBT, as well as LGBT advocates Michael Crawford from Freedom to Marry and Vincent Paolo Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE); Joe Mirabella of All Out; Phoenix Schneider of The Trevor Project, Sarah Kennedy of Civitas Public Affairs Group LLC; Reina Gossett, thespiritwas.bumblr.com and Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Jenn Sturm of Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
In keeping with our work to help organizations and individuals change the media landscape, GLAAD also led the Turning Media Moments Into Winnable Campaigns, which highlighted how sharing our stories and leveraging the media can help individuals and organizations educate communites about LGBT people and the everyday challenges we face in our communities.
To close out the weekend, singer Frenchie Davis turned out the house with a stellar performance of her debut single Love's Got a Hold on Me.
GLAAD would like to thank the Task Force for planning this conference, which not only helps us build our skill sets and learn how to be more effective advocates, but also helps us strengthen our sense of community and support for one another.