In the Spotlight: GLAAD Media Alumni in the News

The GLAAD Media Institute has trained nearly 6500 advocates and activists around the globe to equip them with GLAAD’s tried-and-true tools to accelerate acceptance through the media. As the GLAAD Media Institute has traveled far and wide to work with advocates on the ground, alumni have been able to find success in sharing their stories in a variety of field. Ranging from immigration to sports, from family to playwriting, GLAAD Media Institute alumni have been able to become leading voices for acceptance in their work. Here are just a few GLAAD Media Institute alumni who are moving the needle on acceptance.


Sara Cunningham


Sara Cunningham, attended a GLAAD Media Institute course in Oklahoma in 2018, with her gay son by her side. Sara is the founder of the organization “Free Mom Hugs,” a group of parents that, as the name suggests, provides hugs, love, and support for LGBTQ youth, as well as helping parents and churches become more accepting of their LGBTQ children. She had also written an autobiography, How We Sleep At Night: A Mother's Memoir, which tells her own story of learning to accept her gay son and encouraging other Christian parents to do the same. In addition to this work, Sara has gone viral by offering to be a “stand-in mom” at same-sex weddings for couples who may not have accepting parents. After learning of this story, actress and advocate Jamie Lee Curtis met with Sara and ended up buying the rights to Sara’s memoir, planning to make a movie based on her story. Her advocacy work continues to attract national attention, and on Thursday 1/24, she appeared on the Today Show.


Edafe Okporo

Edafe Okporo by Steven Laxton

[Photo: Steven Laxton]

Edafe Okporo, who attended a GLAAD Media Institute course in NYC in 2018, is an LGBTQ refugee from Nigeria, currently living in New York City. While in Nigeria, he had advocated for LGBTQ people with HIV in the countryside, but due to the entrenched homophobia in Nigerian society, Edafe fled the country and sought asylum in the USA. After adapting to life in the USA, Edafe has continued his LGBTQ advocacy, and is the director of the RDJ Refugee Center for homeless refugees in NYC. He is the host of The Pont Podcast, which discusses diversity, immigration, and other vulnerable peoples in US society. Edafe wrote an autobiography, Bed 26, which details his experience in Nigeria, as well as discussing his experience in a detention center in the USA when seeking asylum. Edafe has recently adapted Bed 26 into a play, which will be performed at the Strawberry Theatre Festival in New York City. These performances will take place on March 19, 2019 and March 24th, 2019. For more details on tickets and the Strawberry Theatre Festival, click here.


Rich Kiamco

Rich Kiamco
[Photo: Central Penn Business Journal]

Rich Kiamco took part in a GLAAD Media Institute course in New York City in 2018. He is a gay Filipino-American comedian and host of the podcast We There Yet?. He is also a part of The ManKind Project, which seeks to counter toxic masculinity by providing a space for men to express their emotions in a healthy manner. Rich has recently been read in USA Today, with op-eds about the controversy surrounding Kevin Hart and his refusal to apologize for his past homophobic remarks. You can read Rich’s op-ed about Kevin Hart here.


Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock at GLAAD
[Photo: GLAAD]

Reggie Bullock, an NBA player for the Detroit Pistons, became a staunch ally and advocate for LGBTQ people after his transgender sister Mia Henderson was murdered. Using his platform as part of the NBA, Reggie continues to accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ people in society by drawing attention to the violence that the community faces, and helping to uplift LGBTQ youth. The GLAAD Media Institute has helped Reggie to tell his story, including at the 29th GLAAD Media Awards in May of 2018. Recently, Reggie appeared in a documentary on Vice Sports where he again shares his story of his sister and his advocacy work for LGBTQ community.


These four amazing advocates are just a few of our trainees.The GLAAD Media Institute has trained nearly 6500 advocates and activists across the globe, and we are only moving forward from here. If you are interested in learning tried-and-true skills from the GLAAD Media Institute, you can learn more about our courses and register here.