Talking About Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The Talking About series was co-authored by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), in partnership with a board of contributing editors from the Human Rights Campaign, Lake Research Partners, PFLAG's Straight for Equality project, Arizona Together, researcher Margaret Conway, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN, on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell section).

This series is grounded in a basic truth: that understanding our audience -- and meeting them where they're at with the language and descriptions we use -- is essential to connecting with those undecided Americans who can move from ambivalent to supportive when we reach out in terms they understand.

Often in conversations about issues like marriage, employment protections, inclusive hate crimes laws, adoption, and ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, it can be easy to fall back on technical, abstract or highly charged language. This kind of language, while it may feel familiar
and comfortable to us, can derail discussions with those who are not familiar with the issues, are conflicted or not yet supportive, or are simply not aware of how their actions -- or their inaction -- can hurt everyday Americans.

These issues are really about basic human values and needs – our ability to earn a living, be safe in our communities, serve our country, and take care of the ones we love. And when we move away from abstract, technical language and toward discussions that connect people to our common ground and common values, true understanding can take root.

The Talking About series is not about how we as a community discuss issues among ourselves or with our allies and others who are already supportive. It is geared toward helping those who are conflicted or undecided better understand the issues, and toward helping them recognize the importance of and need for their support.

We hope you will find the Talking About series useful in advancing your discussions about the harms and injustices we face, the essential legal protections we need, and the common values we share.

If you have any questions, please email talkingaboutseries@glaad.org.

Read "Talking About Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

more publications

HIV & AIDS in the news: A guide for reporting in a new era of prevention & treatment

The reality of HIV and AIDS has evolved in the United States since it was first brought to public consciousness in the 1980s. While we have seen significant progress on prevention and treatment, public understanding lags and the unwarranted negative stigma associated with the disease continues to be an obstacle to eradication.

Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans

Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans is an introduction to the many issues facing transgender Americans.

GLAAD: Accelerating Acceptance

In late 2014, GLAAD commissioned Harris Poll to measure attitudes toward LGBT Americans.

Download the Executive Summary.

GLAAD's Where We Are on TV Report 2014

The Where We Are on TV report analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and looks at the number of LGBT characters on cable networks for the upcoming 2014-2015 TV season.

Download the full report

GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index 2014

The Network Responsibility Index rates LGBT content on 15 networks during the 2013-2014 TV season that wrapped earlier this year.

Download the full report

Pages