For three years, GLAAD has been working with the ACLU of Florida’s LGBT Advocacy Project to build support among Floridians and bring light to the harm caused to children by prohibiting loving parents from adopting. GLAAD has also helped gay and lesbian parents in Gainesville, Miami, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Naples and Orlando share their stories and speak out in their local communities, encouraging them to speak out not only in the media, but also in PTA meetings, on Facebook and in their local communities. Finally, in late September a Florida state judge ruled as unconstitutional a 33-year-old ban preventing gay and lesbian parents from providing loving and permanent homes to children.
In the midst of the media coverage of the suicide deaths by young LGBT or LGBT-perceived students, Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns testified about his experiences as a gay youth. A video of Burns’ speech quickly became a viral sensation, garnering over 2.4 million viewers. GLAAD recognized the importance of sharing Joel Burns’ story with LGBT people and their families and provided media training for Joel and then secured interviews with him on programs such as The Today Show, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, 20/20, CNN Newsroom and MSNBC.
In October,Essence.com, the online version of Essence Magazine, featured its first same-sex couple in its Bridal Bliss section. Aisha and Danielle Moodie-Mills were introduced to Essence’s editors by GLAAD’s Communities of African Descent staff who worked with the magazine to share Aisha and Danielle’s story and beautiful ceremony. The article garnered significant attention, and thousands of people shared the piece on Facebook and Twitter.
Teen Nick reached out to GLAAD earlier this year to ensure fair and accurate portrayal of a new recurring character on its hit series Degrassi, a scripted teen drama. In season 10, viewers are introduced to ‘Adam,’ the first regular transgender teen character in a scripted series. GLAAD provided Teen Nick with notes for two episodes during which Adam comes out to his schoolmates. The episodes aired in August, and GLAAD also worked with Teen Nick to produce a PSA about transgender issues.
During the September 17 episode of E!’s Daily Ten, guest host and Los Angeles radio personality Mike Catherwood made an anti-gay joke about recording artist Adam Lambert. GLAAD received hundreds of incident reports and contacted E! to express our concerns. E! issued an on-air apology and assured GLAAD that similar incidents would not occur in the future.
In early October, GLAAD was alerted to an anti-gay joke in the trailer for the upcoming Universal film The Dilemma. GLAAD reached out to Universal to explain the offensive nature of the joke, and Universal quickly removed the joke from the trailer – and GLAAD was out in the media to speak to parents, educators and the public about why some jokes referring to LGBT people are offensive and should not be included.
Later that month, MTV’s hit show The Jersey Shore featured disturbing images and comments about transgender people. GLAAD reached out the network, which has a strong record of fair and accurate representation, and expressed our concerns about this particular incident. MTV issued an apology and removed the clip from future reruns of the episode.
In September the Evangelical Lutheran Church welcomed back three respected lesbian clergy in Minnesota. GLAAD worked for three years with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries until the church became fully inclusive, and GLAAD staff was present in Minnesota to bring this message of inclusion in the faith community to Americans through local and national media stories.
Former NFL Player and current co-host of Pro Football Weekly TV Dan Hampton made a comment during a weekly show insulting the Dallas Cowboys by comparing them to gay people. Following calls from GLAAD, Dan Hampton issued an on-air apology, saying the comments "not only embarrassed myself, but the fine people here at Pro Football Weekly."
During a recent discussion on CNN's American Morning, psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere made alarming comments about parents with LGBT children, saying it is the "worst nightmare" for parents "to have to fathom that their child might be gay." Dr. Gardere later issued an apology to GLAAD and also offered clarification on American Morning's blog.
To help Americans get to know transgender people, GLAAD booked transgender actress/producer Laverne Cox and Diego Sanchez, Senior Legislative Advisor to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) for a special 'Transgender in America' segment on the Joy Behar Show. In that segment, guests discussed the use of appropriate pronouns, the struggles faced by transgender people and the difficulty to find acceptance from family members and society.
Following the suicide deaths of several teens, a Facebook page was created in their memory. As the page grew to over 1 million members, it became a forum where anti-gay comments were posted. GLAAD worked with Facebook to remove the comments and later announced a new partnership with the website that aims to combat anti-LGBTcyberbullying.
GLAAD filed a formal complaint with Apple after the company allowed an iPhone application called “PeekaBoo Tra**y” to be sold on its iTunes Store. The offensive app allowed users to take a picture and insert a transgender person in the background. Apple contacted GLAAD and promptly removed the app.
Several Latino celebrities and media personalities worked with GLAAD to support LGBT youth on Spirit Day, including Ricky Martin, Paulina Rubio and Maria Celeste Arrarás. Several Spanish-language media outlets such as People en Español and Primer Impacto on Univision participated as well.
Ricky Martin recently conducted his first televised interview since coming out, on the Oprah Winfrey Show. GLAAD assisted Oprah producers in locating people who had been inspired by Ricky’s coming out to talk about their experience on the show. GLAAD placed Chicago constituent Ricardo Torres and his mother Antonia Torres on the show and prepared them to share their personal story in ways that would inspire acceptance among viewers in their own families. They discussed with Oprah how their relationship has actually improved since Ricardo came out.