GLAAD @ Work: Kristene Chapa, transgender Latino community, and more

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GLAAD encourages celebrities to voice support for marriage equality in Ireland

Following outreach from GLAAD, a number of celebrities posted messages on social media, encouraging Ireland to vote "yes" on marriage equality later this month. Ian McKellen, Evanna Lynch, Jarlath Regan, Eoin Macken, and Colin O'Donoghue all urged a yes vote when Ireland holds the world's first nation-wide referendum on marriage equality on May 22, 2015. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis also participated in Ireland's #VoteWithUs campaign by creating her own video. GLAAD's work with Ireland's #VoteWithUs campaign is part of GLAAD's Global Voices Program, which works to accelerate LGBT acceptance across the globe. Read more here.

Sarah Kate Ellis responds to Smith College's headline-making transgender inclusion
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded to the decision by Smith College, a Seven Sisters school, to instate a policy allowing transgender women to attend. Media sources turned to GLAAD for a response, quoting Sarah Kate Ellis saying, "By opening its doors to transgender women, Smith College has joined a growing number of educational institutions that respect and afford equal opportunity to all women." GLAAD's work to end the school's ban on trans applicants was reported on by the Huffington Post, CNN, PBS, ABC NewsNBC, MSNBC, AP, USA Today, Buzzfeed, AOL, LGBT Weekly, Click On Detroit, Jezebel, Fox13, The Guardian, LGBTQ Nation, Boston Globe, Fusion, Madame Noire, International Business Times, Al Jazeera America, 90.9 WBUR,, WGHB News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, and My FOX Boston. Read more here.

Global Voices Program highlights international LGBT issues
Led by GLAAD's Director of Programs Ross Murray, GLAAD is participating in the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) by producing content on each of the 17 days leading up to May 17 as part of GLAAD's Global Voices Program, which works to accelerate LGBT acceptance across the globe. With IDAHOTB approaching on May 17, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News cited GLAAD's Global Voices Program as a participant in IDAHOTB and a strong force for accelerating LGBT acceptance throughout the world. Created in 2004 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify being gay as a mental disorder, IDAHOTB has become the single most important date for LGBT communities worldwide. It is celebrated in more than 120 countries - including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal - with over 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014. It is estimated that as much as 17% of all annual discussions on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are generated around this day. GLAAD invites you to create and share your own, via the hashtag #May17Because, and amplify your voice for LGBT acceptance. Read more here.

GLAAD works with Spanish-speaking LGBT advocates in Florida
GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language & Latino Media Monica Trasandes was in Florida last week where she met with ten key advocates, who are called upon to do interviews in Spanish with the media, to help them prepare to talk to the media in a way that accurately portrays the Latino LGBT community. Trasandes and Strategist Janet Quezada also worked with Miami advocate Susanna Taddei to prepare her for an interview on the local Maria Elvira Salazar show on the subject of so-called conversion therapies.

GLAAD's Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen increases visibility of transgender Latino community
GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language & Latino Media Monica Trasandes worked with producers of the popular morning show Un Nuevo Día on Telemundo and with producers of Realidades en Contexto on CNN en Español on profiles of GLAAD's Donor Services Coordinator Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen. Last week in Miami, Trasandes worked with Heng-Lehtinen as he taped a long interview expected to air this week and a live interview for Realidades. Between both shows, his story will reach millions of viewers both in the United States and Latin America. Heng-Lehtinen was also interviewed by the local NBC English-language station in Miami about the recognition he received from the organization SAVE for his years of great advocacy work.

Kelly Ripa, Thomas Roberts, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Sports Illustrated among #glaadawards recipients in New York
GLAAD Media Award recipients were announced in 15 of this year's 31 media categories at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on May 9 at the legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel. At the ceremony, Anderson Cooper presented Kelly Ripa with GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award, and Lynda Carter presented MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts with the Vito Russo Award. A highlight included when Jussie Smollett from FOX's Empire presented the award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode to HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for an episode featuring Ugandan transgender advocate Pepe Julian Onziema. Onziema accepted the award on behalf of the show. Hundreds of media outlets reported about GLAAD's work to accelerate acceptance at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, including the Associated PressReutersThe Huffington Post, ABC News, Variety, Entertainment Tonight, E! Online, TV Guide, New York Daily News, Hollywood Reporter, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo NewsGlamour, Xfinity, Access Hollywood, Just Jared, Gay Star News, MSN, Zimbio, Miami Herald, Los Angeles TimesTimePeopleVariety, and many more. GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language & Latino Media Monica Trasandes and Strategist Janet Quezada also made sure that all news releases related to the GLAAD Media Awards in New York were translated into Spanish and given to Spanish-Language media and the winners in its 10 Spanish-language categories. 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. Read more here.

Shooting survivor Kristene Chapa gets standing ovation at #glaadawards
Kristene Chapa shared her story of her horrific 2012 attack and her long road to recovery with the crowd onstage at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. Chapa spoke from the heart about the unconditional love and support from her mother, missing her girlfriend Mollie who lost her life in the 2012 attack, support from GLAAD and the LGBT community, and more. She continues working tirelessly on her recovery, including regaining function in her left arm. She has set up a medical fund to help with her recovery where anyone can donate. She is also working with a writer on a book to tell her story. Chapa was met with multiple standing ovations from the audience. She garnered attention from celebrities, journalists, and advocates, alike. Chapa did an interview with BuzzFeed, and her speech was also written about by various outlets, including AfterEllen, Out, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, and many more. Read more here.

Stars talk on the red carpet at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York
GLAAD's Video & News Strategist Claire Pires interviewed stars on the red carpet at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Hotel for GLAAD's video series GLAAD: All Access. Attendees including Kelly Ripa, Thomas Roberts, Anderson Cooper, Ross Mathews, Lynda Carter, Laverne Cox, Tituss Burgess, Kristene Chapa, Latta, S.C. Police Chief Crystal Moore, and more told Pires why they are allies to the LGBT community. Attendees also shared their personal stories of times in their lives when people had their back as a way of participating in GLAAD's #GotYourBack campaign, which provides a space for LGBT people and allies to voice their support for the LGBT community. Watch the interviews here.

GLAAD talks with Bethany Black about making history as first trans actor playing trans character in UK
Transgender actress and comedian Bethany Black spoke with GLAAD last week about transgender stories and making history as the first transgender actor playing a transgender character on UK television as Helen on Banana. The series is now airing in the U.S. on Logo and last week's episode focused on Helen as she turns to her family for support after a jealous ex-boyfriend posts sexual videos of her on social media for revenge when he learns that she is moving on and dating new men. Black talked openly about the importance of transgender characters in media, the impact of sharing your personal story, and seeing your life reflected in what you watch. Read more here.

GLAAD talks with actress Maria Bello about faith, identity, and living the life you love
GLAAD's Video & News Strategist Claire Pires interviewed actress Maria Bello for GLAAD's video series GLAAD: All Access. Bello told Pires about her new book Whatever…Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, and opened up about telling her son that she's in a relationship with a woman. Bello also spoke candidly about her commitment to the LGBT community, women's rights, and her faith. The interview was picked up by Gay Star News, SheWired, Queerty, and AfterEllen. Bello also tweeted about the video. Watch the interview here.

GLAAD participates in Our Tomorrow campaign to engage the LGBT community about its future
GLAAD is among more than 100 LGBT organizations participating in the Our Tomorrow campaign that launched earlier this month. Our Tomorrow is a grassroots and digital initiative to engage the LGBT community in a conversation about its future. Our Tomorrow is working to close that gap between what has been achieved and the work we still have to do, in line with GLAAD's dedication to accelerating acceptance. GLAAD is continuously bringing attention to the Our Tomorrow campaign and encouraging contributions to the campaign's Story Wall. Read more here.

Claire Pires speaks at event about being a gay child of two moms
GLAAD's Video & News Strategist Claire Pires was on a panel hosted by the Family Equality Council, a national American advocacy organization committed to securing family equality for LGBT and queer parents, guardians, and allies. Pires spoke as a member of the Family Equality Council's "Outspoken Generation" program, which amplifies the voices of children of LGBT parents. Pires, along with two other young women with LGBT parents and an LGBT adult couple, spoke openly about what it was like to be a part of an LGBT family. Pires, who was contacted to be a part of the program after writing a personal piece for BuzzFeed about her family, also spoke candidly about coming out as a lesbian to her two moms. Several members of the audience, most of whom belonged to the Rutgers Presbyterian Church where the panel took place, had questions about being raised by LGBT parents and spent the night learning about LGBT families.

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