Snapshots: Sarah Kate Ellis on MSNBC, CeCe McDonald, sharing a Russian artist's story, and more

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.

MSNBC's Morning Joe talked to GLAAD's new CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis about her new role and the work GLAAD will take on in coming months. In addition to talking about her background in the media and why the work of GLAAD is so personal to her, Sarah Kate also talked about GLAAD's work to highlight the struggles facing LGBT Russians, who live under oppressive laws and face brutal anti-LGBT violence. Read more here.

GLAAD brought trans advocate CeCe McDonald to New York City this week to share her harrowing story with leading news outlets. CeCe had an on-screen appearance with Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox on Democracy Now, a radio interview on SiriusXM radio's The Gist with Michael Signorile, a sit-down with BuzzFeed LGBT, and she also spoke with Gay City News. Between her busy media tour, she took time to speak directly with young transgender people at the Hetrick Martin Institute as well as Ali Forney Center. GLAAD also prepped CeCe for interviews, equipping her with critical techniques for tackling tough interviews.

GLAAD's Jeremy Hooper has written excellent commentary about the spate of "license to discriminate" bills that have risen up around the country. He asks those who push such bills challenging questions: How "gay," exactly, does an occasion have to be in order to be turned away? Weddings get all the attention, but what about anniversary parties?  Or Mothers' or Fathers' days where the apostrophes are where I placed them?  Or cupcakes for a California school's Harvey Milk Day celebration?  What, exactly, trips the wire so that the shunning of a customer goes from being an unfair business practice to being an expression of Christ's love? Read more here.

GLAAD connected New York-based gay Russian artist Alexander Kargaltsev with platforms from which to tell his story, including PolicyMic and HuffPost Live. The artist, who achieved notoriety for his photography that challenges racism and homophobia, has increased his profile lately. He has been an outspoken critic of Putin and the anti-LGBT culture in Russia.system.

Director of Spanish-Language Media Monica Trasandes co-presented a workshop with Max Gouttebroze, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Strategist, and Megan Townsend, GLAAD's Entertainment and Operations Coordinator, during the Level Ground Film Festival  on the organization's work with the media and the coverage of faith and the LGBT community.  Level Ground is an arts festival in its second year organized around the themes of gender, faith and sexuality.  The workshop was part of the festival's full schedule of films, exhibitions and discussions geared to spark conversations in Southern California about these topics.  GLAAD's Wilson Cruz and Matt Kane will host a screening on Monday as part of the festival.  You can read a post about GLAAD's work with the festival here.  You can visit the festival website here.

The Olympics are over but the struggle for LGBT equality around the world is far from it. Join us in keeping the flame for equality lit. GLAAD is joining 17 other organizations asking people in cities and countries around the world to light a torch or candle in public places and at homes, on social media through pictures and virtual flames. GLAAD invites you light up your own torch to signify that the fire will continue to burn until we achieve LGBT equality everywhere. Read more here.

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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.