You know that you have a story to tell. Now, how do you do it?
You don’t need to appear on the front page of the newspaper to make a difference – there are countless media outlets that we read on a daily basis, and countless ways to include stories about our lives and the issues that affect us.
And we know that these kinds of everyday stories can change hearts and minds about LGBT issues.
The most obvious ways to get involved are through op-eds, letters to the editor or announcements for weddings, civil unions, births or adoptions.
But we can all do more. Talk about your orientation, your gender identity and your relationships on your MySpace or Facebook pages, as well as personal blogs and online journals. Think about suggesting your story to be included in your employee, church, or union newsletter.
You can get started right now by visiting our downloads page and adding a banner to your blogs or online profiles, downloading a buddy icon for your instant messenger program, becoming a fan on MySpace or Facebook, or adding our Facebook application.
Choose your outlet:
- Think about who the audience is for the outlet – how can you reach the people who will be reading about you?
- How can you make your story accessible and compelling to audiences who may be new to the issues?
- What are the personal details that might help persuade your audience to think differently about LGBT issues?
Do your homework:
- Look up the publications submission guidelines.
- Call the editor to double check.
- Check out examples online to get you started.
Write it down:
- Make your story resonate by adding personal details and anecdotes.
- Help your audience relate by finding common ground.
- Careful not to get caught up in abstract claims or long lists of statistics.
Test it out:
- Run your story by a friend, colleague or family member who may not be familiar with the issues you’re talking about and gauge their reaction.
- Listen to their response – has your story helped them think differently about the issues? If not, think about how you can clarify them in terms your audience will understand.
Send it in:
- Make sure you always follow submission guidelines.
- Always make sure to meet publication deadlines.
- Show the published version to friends, family, coworkers, and encourage them to do the same. And let us know by sharing your success with others on our site – just email us a link and we’ll post it here!
Want to learn more? GLAAD’s Media Field Strategy team works with LGBT people and allies across the country to share their stories. Contact us for more information. Or, check out our inclusive newspapers list and resources if you’re interested in submitting a wedding and/or commitment ceremony announcement.