Amid nationwide rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation on the state level, GLAAD and Equality Florida release guide for reporting on LGBTQ issues in Florida

January 10, 2018

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028
mgoodman@glaad.org

New York, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBTQ People in Florida in English and Spanish. This media guide will serve as a resource for journalists and media organizations both in Florida and nationally when reporting on the LGBTQ community.

The guide contains story leads, a glossary of terms and definitions frequently used in reporting, terms to avoid, and common pitfalls – useful for the convening of the Florida State Legislature on January 9. It also includes a timeline outlining Florida’s history on LGBTQ issues from 1972 to today.

"How the media covers, or fails to cover, LGBTQ lives defines how people understand who we are, the triumphs we achieve, and the struggles we face," said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. "Accurate and inclusive reporting from the media of our diverse community has the ability to educate the nation, elected officials, and community leaders on a wide array of issues that affect not just the LGBTQ community but all marginalized communities. That's why Equality Florida and GLAAD continue to invest in media education and provide go-to resources such as this Florida guidebook."

“As we enter an important year that will impact LGBTQ Floridians, this guide will ensure fair and accurate coverage of our community in the Sunshine State,” said Alexandra Bolles, Associate Director of Campaigns at GLAAD. “This marks the latest co-venture between Equality Florida and GLAAD – a longstanding relationship that will continue into 2018 and beyond.”

Currently, 60% of Florida’s residents are covered by over 40 local nondiscrimination protections that have been passed steadily over the past 20 years. But as the 2018 Florida Legislative Session begins, updating the state’s civil rights law to include LGBTQ people and ending the current patchwork of protections is a top priority for Equality Florida.

Florida is where the Pulse Nightclub shooting of 2016 took place – one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, and the largest targeting LGBTQ people. The acts of violence that occurred in this safe space for queer Latinx people shook the nation and highlighted the importance of telling LGBTQ stories authentically and accurately in the state.

The new guide is part of GLAAD's U.S. South Initiative, which aims to positively showcase the lives of, and build acceptance for, the LGBTQ community in southern states. This is done through sharing the stories of people from a wide array of backgrounds, including faith-based organizations, sports teams, military personnel, and more. GLAAD will continue to work with the Floridian media to ensure positive portrayal of the LGBTQ community in the Sunshine State.

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