Mary Emily O'Hara, Rapid Response Manager


Mary Emily O’Hara (they/them) is GLAAD’s Rapid Response Manager. Before joining GLAAD in January 2021, Mary was an award-winning journalist for over 15 years in newspapers, magazines, digital media, and cable news. In addition to extensive freelance work, Mary held staff positions at NBC News and MSNBC, Adweek, VICE, Them, INTO, and the Daily Dot. Their main beat has always been LGBTQ news and politics, but Mary has also specialized in covering drug policy, sexuality and the sex industry, arts and culture, and even the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion (as a segment producer.) 

Mary believes that accurate journalism with a conscience has the power to change the world. Some of their proudest accomplishments as a journalist include 2020 reporting that helped lead the Washington NFL team to change its name from a slur that was offensive to Native Americans, breaking the 2016 story of the first person in the U.S. to legally change their gender to nonbinary, and a series written a million years ago for a local Portland paper that led to the shutdown of a neo-Nazi music festival. As Rapid Response Manager at GLAAD, Mary’s job is helping the journalism industry at large run accurate and culturally competent coverage of LGBTQ issues.

A working-class Oregon resident, Mary graduated from Reed College as a first-generation scholarship recipient and proud community college transfer. They do not have a journalism degree, and started their career before acquiring a GED. Their hobbies include movement arts and ceramics, cooking elaborate vegetarian meals, babying their excessive houseplants, and generally being a nonbinary weirdo.