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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 met with the editorial team of the TED conference, an international event that brings together fascinating thinkers to talk about innovative ideas and theories, to discuss best practices when covering transgender people and issues in the media. TED took the pro-active step of consulting with GLAAD prior to the event in order to ensure that their coverage will be respectful, well-rounded and inclusive. GLAAD provided them with terminology to use and ones to stay away from, discussed interview questions that worked and ones that were offensive, the nuances of sex and gender and how to handle hateful comments in community forums.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the "License to Discriminate" bill after public outcry from major corporations and everyday people. CNN did a particularly good job of taking down the false arguments of anti-LGBT activists Bill Donohue, Kellie Fiedorek, and Rep. Al Melvin. GLAAD spoke out against the bill on cable news, but also spoke about the fact that the bill is still on the table in several other states. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's CEO and President, appeared on MSNBC on Thusrday to cover these topics, following the veto. We continue to watch the "religious freedom" argument as it shows up in legislation, as well as in talking points from anti-LGBT activists.
GLAAD worked with Inter/Act, a support group for intersex youth, to publish an open letter to Fox News, calling out the jokes newscasters made about intersex people. Later, Fox & Friends co-cost, Clayton Morris, called his jokes idiotic, noting that intersex describes a real medical condition in which people's physical development does not fall neatly into "male" or "female" categories.
Last July, GLAAD was invited by the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to participate in a panel discussion about transgender representations in journalism. This past week, SPJ held another panel to discuss the recent Grantland.com story "Dr. V and her Magical Putter," a story widely criticized for outing a transgender woman, who killed herself a few months before the story appeared. Nick Adams, GLAAD's Associate Director of Communications and one of GLAAD's transgender staffers, was joined by Cyd Zeigler from Outsports.com to review the reporter's process step-by-step and analyze how it went so very wrong. Over 40 people attended the event, including several reporters from the Los Angeles Times. The panel allowed journalists to reflect on the ethics involved in reporting on a transgender person who does not want their transgender status revealed - particularly when that fact is irrelevant to the story the reporter is writing.
As Arizonans fought to keep SB 1062 from becoming a law in their state, GLAAD worked with advocates and with Spanish-language media towards the same goal. Many LGBT Latinos were vocal in the anti-SB 1062 protests and we worked with several to prepare them for interviews. GLAAD's Director of Spanish-language Media Monica Trasandes was also interviewed by BBC Mundo, Sin Limites on CNN Latino and on the nightly news Noticiero Telemundo to talk about the damage that Arizona's SB 1062 and bills like it do to LGBT people. GLAAD also worked with Univision to find spokespeople for a segment from Washington, D.C.
GLAAD's Spanish-language media team had a first this week—media training a couple who may soon be the focus of a reality show in South America. Juan Pablo Fuentealba and his partner Julio Cezar Dantas are advocates and both involved in Fundación Todo Mejorará which calls attention to the increasing rate of youth suicide especially among LGBT youth with videos inspired by the U.S. It Gets Better campaign. Fuentealba was part of a recent delegation of international advocates brought to the U.S. by the State Department that met with GLAAD last month. We can see why this hard-working and personable couple was cast and hope the show gets a green light so they can reach thousands of Chileans with their story. Recently re-elected president Michelle Bachelet supports relationship recognition, which is being debated in Chile's legislature.
GLAAD kept the media informed and updated on the Russian Open Games, an LGBT-inclusive sports festival that kicked off right after the closing of the Olympic Games in Sochi. American diver Greg Louganis attended, but the events, including the opening, were marred by bomb threats, smoke bombs, and the refusal of venues to honor their contracts. GLAAD will continue to work to educate and inform the media, and the American public on the anti-LGBT crackdown happening in Russia.