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Snapshots: Miss Universe in Russia, TransAdvocate, Illinois, Universal Studios, and more

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Wonder what we’re up to at GLAAD?
Be sure to check out GLAAD's Blog each week for updates about our latest work to build support for LGBT equality through news, entertainment and online media.

GLAAD interviewed Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Shane Bitney Crone and worked with OWN to get the word out about the television premiere of Bridegroom. The film recounts the love story of Shane Bitney Crone and his partner Tom Bridegroom and, through video footage and interviews, puts a spotlight on the discrimination faced by Shane in the wake of Tom's tragic death due to the lack of marriage protections for same-sex couples. GLAAD has been working with Shane since the release of his viral video "It Could Happen to You" to help him share his story with millions around the world. Read more here.

NBCUniversal and GLAAD worked hand-in-hand this week when Universal Studios Hollywood's "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" made headlines for the show's anti-LGBT content. The show featured a character, Superman, who "turned gay" after being sprinkled with "fairy dust," embodied many stereotypes about gay men, and experienced physical and verbal abuse from other characters for comic effect. As a result of working with GLAAD to address the widely criticized show's content, Universal Studios decided to discontinue its production, which had been running during the park's "Halloween Horror Nights." This week's action is one aspect of GLAAD's long standing relationship with NBCUniversal , which participated as a partner in this year's Spirit Day, and we will continue working with them to ensure accurate and dignified programming in the future. Read more here.

GLAAD and Google+ hosted a Hangout this week to discuss the recent win for marriage equality in New Jersey and what it means for the LGBT movement. The Hangout was moderated by Chris Geidner, the Legal Editor at BuzzFeed, and included an impressive panel that combines experts in the field, as well as people who are personally affected by the recognition of marriage equality, including GLAAD's Director of News, Ross Murray. Read more here.

Thomas Roberts, an openly gay news anchor on MSNBC, spoke with the Advocate about his role hosting the Miss Universe Pageant in Russia. He cited his outreach to GLAAD, as well as Russian LGBT advocates as influences on his decision. "I was told that this is too big of an opportunity and that voices like theirs need representation. So what they want is, while they don't feel safe, they want influential people to come in and speak out. Not only can I speak out ahead of time, before going, but I also have a great capacity to cover and storytell." Read more here.

Last week, supporters of marriage equality in Illinois held the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. Thousands gathered in Springfield to call on lawmakers to pass marriage equality. GLAAD encouraged those in Illinois to attend the march and highlighted some of the singers and musicians attending. We posted the rally video for those outside Illinois to watch, and we recapped the march with photos of the day. You can see photos by clicking here.

GLAAD is supporting a new campaign by the Ultimate Fighting Championship to support testing and prevention of HIV/AIDS. The campaign, "Protect yourself at all times," is in response to high rates of HIV-infection among those under 30. One of the spokespeople for the campaign is openly gay fighter Liz Carmouche, who GLAAD has featured in the past. Read more here.

GLAAD is elevating the truth about a Colorado teenager who is the target of a malicious campaign by the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). PJI fabricated a story that the student was harassing girls in the bathroom, and the story has been taking off across anti-LGBT media. The TransAdvocate has done an exceptional job at debunking the entire story, and GLAAD is elevating the TransAdvocate's work. It's important for the media to get this story right, not only for the protection of the student in Colorado, but for the future of laws that protect transgender students, like AB1266 in California. Read more here.

GLAAD interviewed Ari South and worked with Lifetime to get the word out about the new season of Project Runway: All Stars. South is the first transgender designer on Project Runway. In the interview, she talked about her work, her transition since viewers last saw her on season eight of the show and reconciling her gender identity with her faith. Read more here.

GLAAD's Spanish-language and Latino/a Media department connected Salvador Duran from Univision, L.A. affiliate Channel 34 with advocate and SLM media training graduate Bamby Salcedo to discuss the recent developments in Vivian Diego's case.  Vivian was attacked by four men in May 2013 after returning home from her job at Besos, Eva Longoria's restaurant in Hollywood; she survived but suffered many injuries.  A second suspect was arrested this week.  The first suspect is awaiting trial and has entered a self-defense plea.

To get the latest updates and take part in GLAAD’s work to build support for LGBT equality, be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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Featured Story

GLAAD has released its second annual 'Studio Responsibility Index,' a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios during the 2013 calendar year.