Letter From GLAAD President Jarrett T. Barrios
In 2010, we celebrated some tremendous achievements: marriage equality arrived in our nation's capital; President Barack Obama mandated that hospitals must treat LGBT families with respect and dignity; a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional; and the United States Senate acted to repeal the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members.
Tragically, however, we also lost several young people to suicide, anti-gay activists are working overtime to ban marriage equality in states across the nation, and LGBT Americans can still be fired in dozens of states simply for being who they are. It's obstacles like these that serve to remind us how very important it is to cast powerful and positive images of LGBT people in our media.
GLAAD is working to do just that.
In October, GLAAD launched the "Spirit Day" campaign, encouraging millions of people across the nation to wear purple in support of LGBT youth. GLAAD also led a digital component to Spirit Day that helped over 100,000 Facebook and Twitter users 'go purple' and speak out against anti-LGBT bullying. From the Today Show to the Tonight Show, America was covered in purple, sending a clear message to LGBT young people that it's okay to be who you are.
As GLAAD celebrates 25 years of amplifying LGBT voices, it's no coincidence that there are more LGBT characters on TV than ever before, more stories about LGBT people in the news than ever before and more support for marriage equality, military equality and employment equality than ever before.
From television shows to news reports, GLAAD is working in the court of public opinion to shape a more equal tomorrow.
Jarrett T. Barrios