GLAAD @ Work: President Obama advocates at #SOTU, GLAAD Media Awards nominees announced, and more

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President Obama says "we condemn persecution of LGBT people" at #SOTU

On Tuesday night, President Obama made history by speaking about lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people for the first time in a State of the Union address. GLAAD Director of Programs, Ross Murray, wrote a piece in which he walked readers through a chronology of what happened in the speech that related to LGBT issues, from the LGBT attendees to the moments that will shape history. "I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home," President Obama said. Murray's article preserved all of the significant moments of the president's speech in which he specifically talked about the LGBT community so that readers can look back on this historical speech that sets an agenda to create more LGBT history and equality. Read more here.

Virginia inaccurately covers murder of Black transgender woman
GLAAD Senior Strategist, Dani Heffernan, reached out to several news outlets in Norfolk, Virginia, to correct the inaccurate and offensive coverage of a black transgender woman who was murdered. Lamia Beard was mis-gendered by mainstream media outlets in Norfolk, and while some outlets have updated their coverage, others are continuing to use the wrong name and pronouns to refer to her. Heffernan is continuing outreach to Norfolk media about their coverage of Lamia. 

The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards nominees are announced
GLAAD announced the nominees for its 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. 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. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on March 21, 2015 at The Beverly Hilton and in New York on May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.  The 144 nominees in 31 English and Spanish-language categories reflect the diversity of our community with many of the nominated projects telling the stories of transgender and bisexual people, as well as people of color, people living in the south, and people living with HIV. Visit to see a complete list of nominees, and join us in New York and Los Angeles as we celebrate another year of changing the culture through the power of the media. 

Sarah Kate Ellis featured on cover of Metro Weekly
Last week, GLAAD's CEO and President, Sarah Kate Ellis, was featured on the cover of Metro Weekly, a Washington, D.C.-based LGBT magazine. In the accompanying interview by Justin Snow, titled "Agent of Change," Ellis discussed her decision to join GLAAD, her viewpoint on how religion and LGBT issues intersect, LGBT voices in mainstream media, and the future of GLAAD's work. "Why we come to work every day is to make sure there are positive images out there. So not only the kids who are LGBT who are struggling with coming out are able to see that — because to be it, you need to see it — but also to change the hearts and minds of Americans around LGBT people," Ellis said. Ellis' visibility on the cover of such a prominent magazine in Washington, D.C. and her honesty about various LGBT issues provide a clear understanding for readers of what has been done to help the LGBT community and what steps still need to take place. Read more here.

Elvis Duran talks coming out on air
GLAAD's Video & News Strategist, Claire Pires, interviewed Elvis Duran, openly gay host of the weekday morning radio program, Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, about coming out on air. The interview was for GLAAD's video series, GLAAD: All Access, which features interviews with newsmakers, hit-makers, and people making a difference. Duran talked openly about his decision to come out on air, listeners' responses, and why he decided to be openly gay. "I want to make being gay as normal as possible," Duran said. Duran and his staff have gone purple for Spirit Day for the past two years to support anti-bullying for LGBT youth. In 2013, he created a video with a message from him and his co-hosting team about the importance of putting an end to bullying. The interview was picked up by z100, and it allowed Duran to take the interviewee seat for a change and honestly express how he feels to be openly gay on a radio show that receives over eight million listeners a day. Watch the interview here.

Florida shines light on new marriage equality law
GLAAD's Spanish-Language Media team, Monica Trasandes and Janet Quezada, booked lawyer George Ketelhohn on the CNN en Español show Cala to discuss the specific changes in the law now that marriage equality has come to Florida. Ketelhohn explained the chaos that families faced when their marriages were recognized federally but not in their home state. The segment also included an immigrant gay couple from Venezuela who talked about struggling to raise their triplets when marriage equality was illegal in Florida. The team's efforts to book Ketelhohn successfully educated Spanish-speaking audiences on the legal benefits of marriage equality in Florida for LGBT couples. Watch the interview here.

Gay Christian singer shares her brave story
GLAAD met with and interviewed Christian music singer and religion commentator, Vicky Beeching. Beeching came out this past August, ending her career with the Christian music industry. She also famously debated anti-LGBT activist Scott Lively the same day she came out…and won. GLAAD discussed ways in which GLAAD can collaborate with Beeching to reach more LGBT and allied people of faith. Be looking for an All Access video with Vicky coming soon!

Tiq Milan highlights importance of allies alongside compelling panel
GLAAD's Tiq Milan spoke on a panel hosted by LGBTs in the News and the Los Angeles Press Club to discuss allies in the movement for LGBT equality. Milan joined a prodigious panel for the event, entitled "Allies: We Couldn't Do it Without You," including Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor-at-large of the  Advocate and editor-in-chief of HIV Plus Magazine and Jason Stuart, openly gay star of the acclaimed 2014 film Love is Strange. Milan's appearance provides a personal reflection of how allies have helped him, which further instills a need for more people to join together in the movement. Read more here.

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