GLAAD releases guide for covering South Carolina's LGBT community

Today, GLAAD released Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBT People in South Carolina, a resource for journalists and media organizations in South Carolina reporting on the LGBT community.

"In South Carolina, acceptance of the LGBT community is making sure and steady progress, but the work is far from done," said South Carolina native and GLAAD Vice President of Programs Zeke Stokes. "This guide will serve as a useful tool for the media as it works effectively to share stories from LGBT people so that all South Carolinians can live the lives they love."


This media guide, which you can view and download here, comes after GLAAD's Accelerating Acceptance report showed that 61% of American southerners show discomfort towards the LGBT community. The resourced released today contains both triumphant and tragic story leads, a glossary of terms and definitions frequently used in reporting, offensive terms to avoid, and common pitfalls. It also includes a timeline outlining South Carolina's history on LGBT issues from 1982 to today.

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling, there is still much work to be done to achieve full LGBT equality and acceptance in the Palmetto State. Many counties in South Carolina do not have laws protecting members of the LGBT community from employment discrimination. Furthermore, transgender people living in South Carolina are not guaranteed necessary medical care, while people living with HIV or AIDS in the state can face up to 10 years in prison for nondisclosure of their status, which has had unforeseen consequences for the South Carolinian HIV-positive community.

You can learn more about GLAAD's work to accelerate acceptance in the US South at

Over the summer, GLAAD visited Columbia and Charleston in the Palmetto State as part of the Southern Stories Summer Tour, met with leading regional and statewide advocates for LGBT equality, and shared the stories of SC-based LGBT folks accelerating acceptance in their state. GLAAD documented some of the trip's highlights and shared them online:

The new guide, which was informed by GLAAD's on-the-ground involvement with the state's LGBT community, is part of GLAAD's U.S. South initiative. "Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBT People in South Carolina" aims to positively showcase the lives of, and build acceptance for, the LGBT community in southern states. This is done through sharing the stories of people from a wide array of backgrounds, including faith-based organizations, sports teams, military personnel, and more. GLAAD will continue to work with the South Carolinian media to ensure positive portrayal of the LGBT community in the Palmetto State.

Check out GLAAD's original mini-documentary, "GLAAD Presents: State of Change - South Carolina" here: