The Amplifier

The Amplifier

GLAAD Amplifies Voices of LGBT Soldiers, Celebrates Repeal of DADT

Our Spanish-Language Media team recently helped prepare Solomon Romano, a former U.S. Navy reservist of six years, to tell his story after the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” We prepared Romano for a press conference at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and also worked with reporters covering the story. Romano, born in San Francisco, is a first generation American born to Chinese and Mexican immigrant parents. His family decided to move to Mexico at a young age, but he returned to the US as a young adult to serve his county. He reached millions with his story through appearances on Univisión, Noticiero 62, Noticiero Telemundo, and KABC. GLAAD’s Director of Spanish-Language Media Monica Trasandes was interviewed in the Primer Impacto story.

Noticiero 62 also interviewed Jorge Vargas, who was also GLAAD media trained and who lost his military career as a result of an investigation into his sexual orientation. In numerous polls conducted over the last few years, Latinos have been among the top proponents of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Read more about the LGBT-inclusive coverage of the repeal.

GLAAD Defends Chaz Bono; Celebrates First Transgender Competitor on DWTS

Chaz Bono, son of music and film legends Cher and Sonny Bono, made headlines when he was announced to be the first transgender competitor on ABC hit show Dancing with the Stars. The announcement was not met with open arms by all, and GLAAD stood firm and defended Bono from relentless transphobic attacks from many fronts. Additionally, Fox News Contributor Keith Ablow penned a virulently transphobic article in the Boston Globe where he made defamatory and inaccurate statements. Ablow called Bono’s appearance on this show “toxic and unnecessary,” and “very nearly insane” while implying that all transgender people have an “abnormal psychology” and live life in "a very dark place." GLAAD was there to speak out against such inaccurate remarks and educated Americans in outlets including the Associated Press and the Today Show’s homepage.

However, many have come to Chaz’s defense and participated in GLAAD’s ‘ProBono’ campaign to show support for Chaz. His mother, Cher loosed pointed tweets and mobilized her fan-base to encourage Chaz as he faced opposition.

Additionally, GLAAD has used this moment of visibility to get other voices of transgender people in the media and educate Americans about what it means to be transgender. Popular entertainment news program The Insider brought the stories of Janet Mock, Laverne Cox and other transgender people into the homes of Americans.” Read more.

GLAAD Amplifier Awards Pushes for LGBT-Inclusion in Advertising

Google, American Airlines, Allstate and Wells Fargo were among the companies honored at the 2011 GLAAD Amplifier Awards, Tuesday night.

The Awards garnered significant attention in the press and allowed GLAAD to shine the spotlight on the advertising industry’s lack of LGBT-inclusive images as well as highlight companies that are leading the way.

Google’s TV commercial for Chrome, “The Web is What You Make It: It Gets Better Project,” earned the company a GLAAD nod this year, while American Airlines’ “Beach Towel” campaign garnered the airline its second Award for LGBT-inclusive advertising.

Special honors were given to Bob Witeck and Wesley Combs of Witeck-Combs Communications in recognition of their work to advocate for LGBT inclusion in advertising, and Allstate will receive the Corporate Responsibility Award for its long-standing and public commitment to the LGBT community. Read more.

GLAAD and MAP Publish Ally’s Guide to Terminology: Talking about LGBT People and Equality

Allies in the movement for equality want to amplify their voices in support of their LGBT family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and loved ones. These supportive voices are a critically important part of each and every victory for equality. However, some might not be familiar with the most appropriate terminology and language to use to speak about LGBT people in ways that resonate with others. GLAAD and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) have co-authored An Ally’s Guide to Terminology: Talking About LGBT People & Equality, which offers essential and accurate vocabulary, terms to use, and terms to avoid when speaking about the LGBT community.

The guide also offers approaches for talking about several key LGBT issues such as marriage and relationship recognition, non-discrimination laws, open military service, and parenting and adoption. It was introduced and will be used by dozens of national and local LGBT organizations.

For more information on any of these issues related to LGBT equality, see the Talking About series available at and

Message from
Acting President


Many of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can remember a time when we felt the sting of homophobia or transphobia – perhaps it was back in high school when a bully teased us or more recently in the workplace when a co-worker made a joke about LGBT people. For me, it was growing up as a gay teenager in Oklahoma and wishing there was a teacher or friend in whom I could confide.

For 25 years, GLAAD’s staff has reached LGBT people – young and old – across the country with inspiring stories. And we’ve worked to reach all Americans with stories that highlight the common ground we all share.

These are the words and images responsible for the growing majority of Americans who accept our community and support full equality.

Still, anti-LGBT bullying persists and too many young people today need to know that they are accepted for who they are.

That’s why this month, as part of National Bullying Prevention Month, GLAAD is working overtime to let LGBT youth as well as teachers, friends, and parents of LGBT youth know that support is out there and that millions of Americans will not tolerate a world where LGBT young adults feel there is nowhere to turn.

I hope you’ll join us – along with partner organizations including GLSEN and the Trevor Project - by pledging to wear purple on October 20 for Spirit Day to stand up against anti-LGBT bullying and as a sign of support for LGBT youth. Last year this simple act resulted in millions of Americans showing their spirit – from celebrities like Ricky Martin and Ryan Seacrest to news hosts on The Today Show to students and teachers at the Louisiana School for Math, Science & the Arts.

GLAAD received amazing letters from students who learned they had an ally in their teacher and from parents of LGBT teens who saw their co-workers or favorite news anchor speak out. All from the simple act of wearing purple. It can be the subtlest of images that make the biggest difference. My hope is on October 20, 2011 LGBT youth from the smallest of towns in Oklahoma to the largest cities in the country and every place in between find the support they need in the classroom, in the hallway, on the bus, on the subway, on television and in their homes – they need it today more than ever.

Please join me in taking the pledge today at and keep track of the participating schools, Churches, media outlets and corporations at, and

Because words and images matter,

Mike Thompson


Upcoming GLAAD Events

GLAAD invites you to join us at one of our upcoming Major Donor cocktail receptions-- An evening of canapés, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and an update on GLAAD’s vital work from our senior staff:

New York Major Donor Cocktail Reception – 10/15/2011

Chicago Leadership Council Cocktail Reception – 10/20/2011

Atlanta Major Donor Cocktail Reception – 11/3/2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011