GLAAD Global Voices: Charlie Condou is a gay parent who advocates for LGBT youth

In conjunction with the inaugural International Advocate for Change Award to be presented at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, GLAAD is highlighting international advocates working through the media to advance equality across the globe. Earlier this year GLAAD launched the GLAAD Global Voices program, which aims to build support for LGBT equality across the globe by sharing culture-changing stories of LGBT people and families in national and international media.

British actor and writer, Charlie Condou is known for playing the role of Marcus Dent in the British soap opera "Coronation Street." He is deeply involved in several organizations which promote equal opportunity for all.

Charlie Condou serves as a patron for several LGBT oriented organizations such as the Diversity Role Models as well as the Albert Kennedy Trust. Both organizations do tremendous work in supporting the LGBT youth in United Kingdom. Diversity Role Models is an organization which aims to aid schools with eliminating LGBT related bullying as well as provide a healthy setting for the LGBT students. The Albert Kennedy Trust offers a support for homeless LGBT youth. Condou is also involved in other organizations such as Stonewall and Manchester Pride.

Due to his involvement in the LGBT movement, Charlie Condou has been recognized as one of the most influential gay men in the United Kingdom. In 2011, he was chosen 8th in the Independent on Sunday's 'Pink Power List' of the most influential gay men and lesbians. In the same year, he was chosen as the 42nd in the Pride Power List. The following year, he moved up to number 15 on the World Pride Power list of 2012. In October of the same year, he was chosen as "Man of the Year" by a British Gay Publication. Finally in 2013, Condou got listed number 11 in the World Pride Power List 2013.

Condou has been an advocate for LGBT parents. 

“For a lot of gay people we do have that sense of ‘well things are alright but they are still not great’”, the actor tells “Of course [homophobic bullying] is something we worry about with the kids: are they going to get picked on for having gay parents? Luckily we have been fine so far, but kids get bullied for all sorts of things: for being overweight, wearing glasses, for being ginger, you know whatever it is, and I think you just have to address that stuff if and when it comes up.

“I don’t think it’s a reason not to have children. I think being gay can be difficult and being a gay parent can be difficult too, but to be honest I don’t have time to worry about what people think about my family. I just don’t have the time. I’m too busy trying to bring up well-rounded, responsible good people. I am more concerned about getting it right myself rather than what other people think of what I am doing.”

He also shared firsthand about being a gay parent himself. He writes here for The Guardian:

I always wanted to be a dad. Always. My thrice-married mother loved my sister and me ferociously and taught us that, whatever else life threw at you, whatever changes you went through, the love of a parent for a child was life's one constant. Having kids was not so much a goal, as an assumption.

After I came out, that changed. I could no longer assume that it was something that would eventually just happen when the right person (or even the wrong person and a faulty condom) came along. There was no path to a family that I could follow: surrogacy was in its infancy, even for infertile straight couples; some lesbian couples were using gay male friends and turkey basters, but I never wanted to be a sperm donor; gay men were still considered too deviant to adopt.

I talked to my sister, who told me: "When something is this important to you, you'll find a way." She had absolute faith that I would one day be a father and, I realised, so did I. She was right, this was too important to me not to happen. I was 18, far too young to start a family, but I tucked that certainty into a corner of my mind and got on with my life.

Through his work and involvement with the media and the LGBT community, Condou has demonstrated a great dedication to advancing the equality movement around the world.

GLAAD is proud to recognize individuals such as Charlie Condou who through their work help promote the international conversation about the inclusion of the LGBT community.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 12, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton and in New York on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.