GLAAD to be in Dallas

NEW CHAPTER | GLAAD president Jarrett T. Barrios, third from left, and GLAAD Senior Director of Community Engagement Juan Barajas, second from left, were in Dallas on Wednesday, April 27, for a reception for the new Dallas chapter at Fin at ilume. The local chapter will do fundraising and monitor local media. Pictured is the Dallas leadership council, from left: Sean Franklin, Barajas, Barrios, Kerry Buell, Deke Mooney, Chet Whisenant and Eric Tschetter. Buell co-chairs with Lindsay Romig who was not in town for the event. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

—  John Wright

Flour Bluff High School GSA to hold inaugural meeting on Day of Silence

Bianca “Nikki” Peet accepts her GLAAD Special Recognition Award from actress Kirsten Dunst on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Great news on the eve of the Day of Silence.

Nearly two months after the Flour Bluff Independent School District made national news by refusing to allow a chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance, the GSA will meet on Friday for the first time, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports tonight.

After the district denied 17-year-old student Bianca “Nikki” Peet’s application to start the GSA, the American Civil Liberties Union threatened legal action and hundreds of LGBT advocates rallied outside Flour Bluff High School.

The district revised its policies to allow the GSA, but then the group’s faculty sponsor reportedly backed out due to the controversy. Under the new policies, Flour Bluff Principal James Crenshaw will monitor the group’s meetings. The ACLU of Texas says it will also continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the GSA receives equal access.

Peet, 17, was honored by GLAAD for her efforts to start the GSA on Sunday in Los Angeles. She was also was named one of The Advocate magazine’s Forty Under 40. Below is video of Peet accepting her GLAAD Special Recognition Award from actress Kirsten Dunst.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Lady Gaga at the AAC; GLAAD says gays can’t say ‘fag’; Dallas mayor’s race

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. We’ll have much more on Lady Gaga’s show at the American Airlines Center in Dallas last night — and the afterparties at local gay clubs — later on today after those who were in attendance drag themselves out of bed. But for now, above is some early video of Gaga performing “Telephone” after calling a little monster in the audience.

2. In response to criticism from GLAAD, Vanity Fair has apologized for an openly gay writer’s use of the word “fags” in an article about characters on Glee. Apparently, gay writers are no longer allowed to use the word “fag” in print, according to GLAAD. Needless to say, Instant Tea never received this memo.

3. Another reason why we need more openly LGBT people to run for public office: The Dallas mayor’s race looks like a real snoozer because it features three candidates who lack much flair.

—  John Wright

Ricky Martin becomes a hero for Latino gays

SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS | Associated Press

NEW YORK — It’s been almost a year since Ricky Martin announced to the world he was gay, but among many gay Latinos, a community that has lived in obscurity for fear of harassment or rejection, his message is still making an impact.

“Today I ACCEPT MY HOMOSEXUALITY as a gift that gives me life,” Martin wrote last March in an open letter to his fans, after refusing to speak about his sexual orientation for years. “I feel blessed to be who I am!”

“By hiding, he validated millions of closeted gays’ that homosexuality is not honorable,” Daniel Shoer Roth, a Venezuelan columnist of the Miami Herald who is gay, told The Associated Press recently.

“In the gay community we have always known that Ricky Martin is one of us,” he added. “Because he is an idol, Ricky has paved the way so these gays now say, ‘If he could do it, so can I.”’

The revelation of the Puerto Rican singer and activist, whose album Music+Soul+Sex came out last week, has had positive effects for the Latino gay community and the society in general, according to advocates for the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

“The example of Ricky Martin as citizen of the world, humanitarian, father, intelligent person, is a good example for those who have obvious stereotypes and also for those who don’t have prejudice but have ideas that may act as barriers in the lives of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT),” said Jarrett Barrios, president of GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). “Ideas like ‘a gay man is good to water my flowers at home but not for business’ limit the opportunities for the LGBT community.”

Pedro Julio Serrano, communications manager of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, says that “when Ricky made the announcement the tectonic plates moved, it was almost like an earthquake.”

“It was one of the most important news in the fight for equality that the Latino LGBT community leads. It touches the hearts and opens the minds of many people,” said Serrano, who became a friend of the artist after his announcement.

Ricardo Torres, a Mexican man who was raised in Texas and lives in Chicago, was in the audience when Oprah Winfrey interviewed Martin last year. He thanked Martin, saying that his revelation was good for his own relationship with his mother.

“For the first time my mother asked me personal questions. For almost 20 years she has known that I am gay but she never asked anything … she told me not to tell anyone else in my family. It was a secret … a big taboo,” Torres, 38, told the AP.

“Everything changed after Ricky came out of the closet,” he added. “Like someone in our family came out and by doing so gave us the right to live more openly.”

And the audience in general seems to support Martin.

Me, which came out Nov. 2, was a New York Times best-seller and its Spanish edition, Yo, reached No. 1 biography in the United States. His single “Lo mejor de mi vida eres tu,” released the same week of the book, was at the top of Billboard’s Latin Pop Songs chart (English version “The Best Thing About Me Is You” debuted on Oprah and was officially released on Feb. 1.)

“If in Puerto Rico people used to love him, now they love him even more,” said Serrano, who recounted that during Martin’s first public appearance post-announcement, in April at the Latin Billboard Awards, the singer not only received a standing ovation in the theater but a multitudinous cheer from the people on the streets.

“That says a lot about the welcoming and I think demonstrates the reality of our society,” he said. “Even though we still have to fight a lot of homophobia, there is much more acceptance today.”

According to statistics published online by The Trevor Project, a help-line for LGBT teenagers who may be contemplating suicide, LGBT youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers; more than one third have attempted taking their own lives and those in highly rejecting families are more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide than LGBT peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.

Torres considers that “one of the biggest positive effects (of Ricky’s coming out) is that Latino teenagers that are struggling with their sexuality have an example to follow.”

“Ricky gives hope to thousands of teens that are recognizing their sexual orientation or their gender identity and this tells them that even when there is homophobia and lack of acceptance, they can get to be whatever they want to be,” Serrano concluded. “I believe that with his story he is saving lives, and for me that is crucial, it is wonderful.”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: GLAAD slams SNL commercial; UT study on gay cheating; civil unions in Illinois

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. GLAAD is outraged over a Saturday Night Live spoof commercial for “Estro-Maxxx,” which the organization says mocked the lives of transgender people. If the commercial were the least bit funny, we’d accuse GLAAD of not having a sense of humor. GLAAD is demanding that the commercial be pulled from Hulu and all future airings of the show. At the same time, the controversy ensures that thousands of smart people who don’t watch SNL because it’s not funny will see the commercial, which is above.

2. Half of men would forgive their female partner for cheating with another woman, while only 21 percent of women would forgive their male partner for cheating with another man, according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. This could mean  straight guys are more forgiving and tolerant of homosexuality than straight women, or it could mean they’re just pigs who see a lesbian affair as an opportunity for a three-way.

3. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign a civil unions bill today, in a ceremony that’s expected to draw a capacity crowd of about 900 gays. Meanwhile, a Wyoming House committee voted down a civil unions bill on Friday.

—  John Wright

Did anyone really think these gay Doritos ads were gonna air during the Super Bowl?

We know Plano-based Frito-Lay is uber-gay-friendly and all, but seriously, this is the freakin’ Super Bowl. And it’s only Super Bowl XLV, not Super Bowl LXV.

The two gay Doritos ads below began making the rounds in the blogosphere yesterday, with some suggesting one of them might air during the big game.

Well, GLAAD did what many bloggers failed to — they actually contacted Frito-Lay. (Do most bloggers even have phones?) Here’s GLAAD’s explanation:

There has been tremendous confusion however, about what these ads actually are. Some say they could run during the Super Bowl – others say the ads were created by fans of Doritos, and will never air anywhere. So we reached out to Frito-Lay to find out what the truth is.

According to Frito-Lay Director of Public Relations Chris Kuechenmeister, the latter is true. He said the pair of ads in question were two out of 5,600 that were submitted to the company for its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. Furthermore, the YouTube page on which the ads appear is a fan-made page, and not the official page for the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Kuechenmeister said the ads in question were not among the finalists chosen by a panel of judges, and have no chance of airing during the Super Bowl or otherwise.

—  John Wright

GLAAD Nominates Atlanta Journal-Constitution For ‘Outstanding’ Use Of ‘Transvestite,’ Ignoring Pride

We've already noted that all it takes to get a GLAAD Media Award nomination is to spit out some piece of gay-related content of middling quality, which explains why GLAAD gave Burlesque the only award nomination it'll receive — not counting its bribe-y Golden Globe nomination — besides its Razzie. But how does that explain GLAAD's "Outstanding Newspaper Overall Coverage" selection of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a newspaper that has both ignored Atlanta's LGBT Pride celebrations (among the largest in the state and country) as well as the community at large, notes GA Voice. Oh, and then there's AJC's use of the word "transvestite" in an article, a practice GLAAD expressly forbids in its style guide. But hey, this is the same Gay Inc. organization that ignored Kirby Dick's Outrage! documentary exposing anti-gay closeted politicians, so really, the nominating standards are already suspect. If you're a glass half-full type, then find solace in GLAAD at least having the good sense not to nominate the Washington Post.


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22nd GLAAD Media Award Noms

RICKY MARTIN 20100603 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Kids Are All Right, Oprah’s interview with Ricky Martin, and The Advocate are among the nominees for the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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GLAAD Announces 2011 Media Awards Noms, JMG Up For Outstanding Blog

GLAAD has announced the nominations for its 2011 Media Awards, which honor excellence in a broad range of LGBT-related media, including movies, television, theater, newspapers, magazines, and digital journalism. A first-time category this year is Outstanding Blog, for which this here website thingy is nominated! My co-nominees are Bilerico Project, Blabbeando, Pam’s House Blend, and Rod 2.0. All pals of mine! Below is GLAAD’s highlight reel for this year’s nominees in television and film. Click over for the complete listing of nominees in all categories.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

GLAAD Has A Problem With CNN’s On-Air Guest List

CNN, the Time Warner cable news network that regularly grants airtime for hate leaders and certified quacks to legitimize their positions (and also grants airtime for its critics to attack it), has received a nasty little note from GLAAD.


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