For two weeks later this month, GLAAD will be working with entertainment media professionals and LGBTQ advocates on the ground in Australia through is Global Voices initiative. Ray Bradford, Director of Entertainment Media, and Ross Murray, Director of Programs, Global and US South, will be participating in public forums, on-stage panels, roundtable discussions, and one-on-one meetings in Melbourne and Sydney to share GLAAD’s best practices in media monitoring, creating annual industry reports, guides and stylebooks, strategies for challenging defamatory images and biased storylines, engaging with the news media, conducting media training, and strategies for accelerating acceptance for LGBTQ people.
In Melbourne, GLAAD will lead a workshop on advocacy and communications across LGBTQ issues in partnership with The Equality Project. We will also participate on a panel sponsored by The Channel to “explore challenges and opportunities, now and in the future for LGBTQIA+ Australians.” We will spend time with entertainment creators of the GLAAD-nominated Please Like Me, and the organizers of the Midsumma Festival, "Victoria's premier queer arts and cultural Festival, for and by LGBTQIA+ communities."
While in Sydney, GLAAD will be heavily involved with events at the Mardi Gras Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Ray and Ross will headline a public forum, In Conversation with GLAAD: Accelerating LGBTIQ Acceptance Through the Media , at the Mardi Gras Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, hosted by Screen NSW and ACON. Author and journalist, Benjamin Law, and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, will join Ray and Ross in a public discussion on the power of news and entertainment media to shape attitudes and change cultures. We will meet with the organizers of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance to talk about the creation and promotion of LGBTQ media. We will also be working closely with the Australian LGBTI Media Centre, a new organization based on GLAAD’s work in the US. GLAAD will share best practices on tracking journalism on LGBTQ people, as well as provide newsrooms with resources on covering LGBTI people and issues while also calling out problematic and defamatory coverage.
It is a critical time for the LGBTQ movement in Australia, and the general state of the LGBTQ community in Australia mirrors that of the U.S. in many ways. Basic nondiscrimination protections are in place, but the fight continues for marriage equality. Australia also has a formidable anti-LGBTQ industry and media empire, which shapes public opinion and challenges acceptance for LGBTQ people. While there were previously a few established organizations addressing marriage equality and legal assistance, there are now a bourgeoning variety of LGBTQ organizations addressing politics, cultural acceptance and media.
We are excited to link arms with our Australian partners on the work of LGBTQ acceptance through the media. We expect our work in Australia will further the acceptance of LGBTQ people in that country and have a continued impact around the world. Follow along on GLAAD’s social media channels to stay connected to our work in Australia.