In light of the upcoming 10th year anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, GLAAD encourages the media to underscore the diversity of people and communities affected by the attacks, including those in the LGBT community. Many lives were lost, and many survivors and loved ones continue to cope with the losses suffered on this day.
LGBT people, like their fellow Americans, suffered immensely as a result of these attacks. Keith Bradkowski lost his partner of 11 years, Jeff Collman. Jeff was a flight attendant on Flight 11. Because Keith and Jeff’s domestic partnership was not recognized by the federal government, Keith struggled to receive benefits from the federal fund that provided compensation to spouses. Mark Bingham, an openly gay rugby player, joined fellow passengers on Flight 93 in a revolt against the plane’s hijackers. Mark’s heroic actions saved countless lives that day.
On the 10th anniversary of September 11, considerable media attention will be given to New Yorkers, and Americans in general, who were affected by the attacks. Like those of all people who experienced this deeply tragic moment in American history, the stories of LGBT people impacted by this tragedy need to be heard.