GLAAD @ Work: #SouthernStories, Christina Canales Gorczynski, Empire, and more

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GLAAD works in Georgia for Southern Stories program

GLAAD worked with LGBT advocates and leaders in Georgia last week as part of GLAAD's Southern Stories program. While there, GLAAD's Director of Programs Ross Murray, Senior Strategist Dani Heffernan, and Video & News Strategist Claire Pires met with LGBT leaders in corporate, nonprofit, and religious fields. The team worked with various leaders including Eris Lovell, the first transgender teen to be on a homecoming court in Georgia, as well as at organizations including Lost-n-Found Youth and Georgia Equality while they organize opposition to Georgia's "license to discriminate" law.

National outlet names Texas LGBT advocate an 'Inspiring Latina'
GLAAD's Director of Spanish-Language Media Monica Trasandes and Strategist Janet Quezada worked with the editors of Latina Magazine and pitched lesbian advocate Christina Canales Gorczynski's story for the magazine's 'Inspiring Latina' series. The Houston area powerhouse recently became one of the faces of the marriage equality battle for her home state. She specifically has been working on updating Texas laws to include protections for LGBT people against discrimination. As a result of the team's efforts, Latina Magazine included Gorczynski in their series. Latina Magazine has a reach of 2.5 million readers and its site has 482,000 followers on Facebook. Read more here.

GLAAD comments on the impact of Empire
GLAAD's Director of Entertainment Media Matt Kane was quoted in the New York Daily News about the increasing number of gay, black men appearing in the media. Kane stressed that while the increasing number of such characters is a promising sign, it's also important that depictions are unique and authentic. Read more here.

#GotYourBack campaign gains political and buzzworthy supporters
As GLAAD's #GotYourBack campaign continues, more and more people are beginning to lend their voice of support to the LGBT community. Recent participants include House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Buzzfeed BFF, actresses Agnes Bruckner and Crystal Chappell, UFC fighter Jessica Aguilar, The Trevor Project and more. Read more here.

Personal op-ed urges support for HIV and AIDS
GLAAD's Verneda White penned an op-ed for The Huffington Post, titled "Accepting Our Boys, Uplifting Our Men: Loving Unconditionally to End the Spread of HIV/AIDS." The article describes her family's personal experiences with HIV & AIDS, and urging readers to exercise compassion and support in order to break down lingering stigma around being a gay or bisexual man. Read more here.

Frank Mugisha on living as openly gay in Uganda
GLAAD's Video & News Strategist Claire Pires interviewed Ugandan LGBT advocate Frank Mugisha for GLAAD's video series, GLAAD: All Access. Mugisha talked openly about what it's like to identify as LGBT in Uganda right now, how his family reacted when he came out, and who he feels can change the public perception of LGBT people in Uganda. Stay tuned for the video!

Kerry Washington to receive Vanguard Award at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
E! News recently broke the news that Kerry Washington will receive GLAAD's Vanguard Award at the upcoming 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Washington's tireless advocacy for equality and acceptance includes participating in #SpiritDay, GLAAD's anti-bullying campaign, a spot on the President's Committee of the Arts and Humanities, and countless other incidents in which she spoke out for equality. Several outlets including Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Wrap, and Instyle praised Kerry Washington for her award. Ellen DeGeneres will present Washington with the award at the GLAAD Media Awards, which will take place on March 21, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Read more here.

GLAAD partners with Lean In to engage men as advocates for gender equality through #LeanInTogether
GLAAD has partnered with Lean In, the nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve their ambitions, to engage men as vocal, active advocates for gender equality through #LeanInTogether. The campaign offers practical tips and strategies for men to use at home or at work (including as supervisors) to make gender equality a reality. Celebrities, individuals, and groups are already participating in the new campaign by posting pictures and using the hashtag, #LeanInTogether. Thus far, GLAAD is the only LGBT-specific organization serving as an official partner to Lean In. Read more here.

Former GLAAD intern shares her story with Refinery29
GLAAD's Senior Strategist Dani Heffernan worked with outlet Refinery29 on its series, "Trans America," by connecting writers with Amira Gray, who discusses her time as a transgender issues intern at GLAAD and her experience as a participant in GLAAD's LGBT Pride advertisement campaign with American Apparel. Gray told Refinery29, "Those experiences — working at GLAAD and doing the ad campaign — definitely helped me be even more comfortable with who I am." Read more here.

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