October 30, 2009, Los Angeles, CA – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the media advocacy and anti-defamation organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, will be honoring Lucía Méndez with a GLAAD Media Award for her work to raise visibility of LGBT youth suicide in Spanish-language media. This marks the first time GLAAD bestows an honor outside of the United States.
The reception will take place November 12, 2009 at 6PM at La Valentina Restuarnt, Diamond Sponsor of this event, 393 Presidente Masaryk, Miguel Hidalgo, DF 11560, México City, Mexico.
In 2008, Mexican actress and singer Lucía Méndez participated in a multi-city tour, “Reina de Reinas,” in conjunction with Granda Entertainment, Club Papi, Light Concepts PR, Alberto Gomez and Joe Granda president of Granda Entertainment. The tour helped educate people about high suicide rates among LGBT youth. “Gay adolescents are killing themselves because their parents can’t understand that they’re gay,” Méndez explained on the popular nighttime talk show El Show de Cristina. “They’re afraid to speak with their parents, they can’t say, ‘Look, Dad I like boys’ or ‘I like girls.… I can’t imagine how parents can reject their kids. These kids are hanging themselves, punishing themselves for being gay.”
Méndez discussed LGBT youth suicide and the importance of educating the public with tour audiences and on high-rated shows like Ventaneando América, Escandalo TV, El Gordo y la Flaca and Al Rojo Vivo.
“Allies like Lucía help raise the visibility of issues that impact our lives and they help grow support for our community,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “As more and more people get to know gay and transgender people, they are coming to understand and respect our community.”
Studies have shown that LGBT youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids.
“Often, these kids see no solution but suicide because of anti-gay bullying and name-calling they face in schools and playgrounds. We count on media and high-profile allies like Lucía Méndez to help us educate the public about the power of anti-gay slurs and the need for support of LGBT people from family and friends,” Barrios said.
Before becoming president of GLAAD, Barrios served as the first Latino and the first openly gay state senator of Massachusetts where he advocated for marriage equality in the state. He also founded the Massachusetts He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and with honors from Georgetown University Law Center.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor English and Spanish-language news and entertainment media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect the lives of LGBT people.
GLAAD’s Spanish-Language Media team works to increase the number and quality of LGBT Latina/o images in Spanish-language news and entertainment media. GLAAD works with community leaders and journalists to help elevate the voices and stories of Spanish-speaking gay and transgender people in a culturally competent way.