Snapshots: Michael Sam, why immigration matters, LGBT Russians, and more

Wonder what we’re up to at GLAAD?

Be sure to check out GLAAD's Blog each week for updates about our latest work to build support for LGBT equality through news, entertainment, and online media.

GLAAD worked alongside The You Can Play Project to share the historic story of NFL prospect Michael Sam, who came out as gay this past weekend. GLAAD helped connect You Can Play Executive Director Wade Davis with over 40 media outlets for interviews about equality in sports, and GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis discussed the cultural impact of Sam's coming out. She appeared on on Huffington Post Live and MSNBC Live, and was also featured in USA Today, Fortune, and NY Daily News, being quoted on athletes and the LGBT community.

GLAAD worked with author and transgender advocate Janet Mock to educate Piers Morgan about reporting on transgender people's lives. Just one day after a problematic first interview and a Twitter firestorm, Janet Mock returned to Piers Morgan Live to clear the air and speak in depth about how misguided reporting, however benign in its intent, is hurtful and harmful. 

Throughout Black History Month, GLAAD is honoring a black LGBT icon every day. Starting last week, a new graphic containing a quote and the image of an icon is released every day with an accompanying description of that icon's legacy. The sharable graphics celebrate a range of figures, from contemporary advocates like Janet Mock and Kylar Broadus, to intellectual inspirations like Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, to relatable entertainers like Wanda Sykes. Read more and view the graphics here.

Omar Sharif, Jr., GLAAD's National Spokesperson, spoke with CBC News online over the weekend. He discussed US Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that the Department of Justice will expand the federal legal protections available to LGBT couples. Omar explained how this advancement will make for stronger families and, ultimately, a stronger America. You can watch it here.

While the Olympics Games are being held in Sochi, GLAAD is awarding the GLAAD Gold to media outlets, newsmakers, LGBT advocates, and those who raise awareness of LGBT people in Russia and around the world. GLAAD will also be pushing stories of LGBT Russians to media and speaking out against outlets that keep LGBT issues invisible. For pre-Olympic coverage, Bob Costas and his guest Vladimir Pozner, a Russian-American journalist, receive the first GLAAD Gold for describing the anti-LGBT backdrop of the Olympic Games. Read more here.

GLAAD's Spanish-Language Media Strategist Janet Arelis Quezada submitted an op-ed on immigration called "Why Immigration Still Matters" that was placed in The Advocate's website on Monday, February 10. The op-ed is about why the immigration reform should still be on the LGBT agenda even after the overturn of DOMA making it clear that there are many LGBT migrants negatively impacted by the current system.  The op-ed is part of GLAAD's continued focus on immigration that began with its participation in the LGBT Immigrant Rights Coalition last year.  Read the op-ed here.

GLAAD's Spanish Language Media Team worked with the organizers of the Latino Institute, Union=Fuerza during the Natiional Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change conference in Houston.  As a result an in-depth, multi-media article by senior reporter Alvaro Ortiz appeared in La Voz, the Houston Chronicle's Spanish-language paper.  Presswire writes that La Voz is the most read Spanish-language paper in Houston.  Another article about the Institute also appeared in Rumbo by Gustavo Rangel. Rumbo has editions in San Antonio, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley. Read the articles here and here.

GLAAD interviewed Jason Cohen, the Oscar-nominated director of Facing Fear, a documentary that provides an intimate look at the journies of Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal. Though Boger, at the time a teenager on his own after his family rejected him, was once brutally attacked by Zaal for being gay, the two now work together to teach others about the dangers of bigotry and embracing forgiveness. Facing Fear is currently screening around the country. Read the interview here.

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