Bisexuals Celebrate GLAAD's Commitment to Inclusion
Written by Denise Penn April 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM
GLAAD recently announced that the organization has formally dropped the words 'Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation' from its name and will be known going forward as simply GLAAD, the LGBT media advocacy organization.
Accompanying the change is a renewed commitment to incorporate bisexual and transgender people as well as allies from diverse backgrounds in GLAAD's work to shape the media narrative and build public support for LGBT people.
Members and supporters of the American Institute of Bisexuality celebrated the renewed commitment to bisexual and transgender people and attended the GLAAD Media Awards, hosted by actress Drew Barrymore on April 20, 2013 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.
"It is a natural progression that reflects the work GLAAD's staff is already leading," said GLAAD's spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "We respect and honor the full name that the organization was founded with, but GLAAD's work has expanded beyond fighting defamation to changing the culture. Our commitment to marriage equality, employment nondiscrimination, and other LGBT issues is stronger than ever. The enemies of the LGBT community have gotten louder and more desperate," said Cruz. "As we move into a media cycle that will include decisions around marriage equality from the Supreme Court and on inclusion from the Boy Scouts of America, our community needs GLAAD to work overtime on fair and accurate media coverage."
GLAAD will continue a broad range of important media work, from holding the media accountable for coverage of LGBT issues, to elevating the important LGBT stories that become primetime news, headlines and ultimately change the conversations at dinner tables, in boardrooms, and schools. GLAAD also reaffirmed its commitment to combatting the misinformation and hateful rhetoric that anti-LGBT activists like the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins put forth through the media.
With the change, GLAAD's formal name now more accurately reflects the work that has been the organization's focus for many years. Whether out in front of an issue or incident, or working behind the scenes to inform and empower media and communitiy members, GLAAD's "alliance" is now a much bigger tent than it was in 1985.
Denise Penn is an advocacy journalist and editor who has been covering political and social issues for alternative and LGBT press since the early nineties. She is the Associate Producer and host of The Gay & Lesbian News Magazine, a weekly live cable television show in Long Beach, News Editor for The Lesbian News, and a frequent contributor to the Orange County and Long Beach BLADE, IN Los Angeles Magazine, and others. She also works behind the scenes as a Communications Consultant, and has presented workshops on Bisexuality at many conferences. She grew up in Orange County, earning degrees in English and Social Science from CSUF and UCI and completed an MSW at San Diego State University.