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Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)  
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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), founded in 1985 by activists and writers Arnie Kantrowitz, Darrell Yates Rist, and Vito Russo, is a watchdog group dedicated to promoting accurate media representations of the community.

GLAAD works closely with media professionals to educate them about the diversity of the glbtq community and to provide them accurate information. It also trains community activists to work effectively with the media. Perhaps most importantly, it monitors incidents of defamation in the media and works to redress biased representations.

Sponsor Message.

Over the past two decades, the organization has met with numerous successes in its struggle to ensure that America's movies, television programs, newspapers, and radio broadcasts provide inclusive, fair, and honest portrayals of glbtq people.


GLAAD was formed in New York to protest the sensationalized and defamatory New York Post coverage of the emerging AIDS epidemic. The Post problem underlined the general lack of queer representation in the media--and the stereotypes illustrated on the rare occasions when gays were made visible.

Shortly after commencing its initial efforts on the East Coast, GLAAD began working in Los Angeles to educate the entertainment industry about depicting gays and lesbians in films and television.

The organization went on to establish chapters in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. before becoming a national organization in 1995. Currently GLAAD's offices operate in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Early Successes

GLAAD broke major ground during the first few years of its existence. In 1986, it launched a weekly Los Angeles-based radio broadcast, Naming Names, which became available to 600 public radio stations throughout the United States.

The following year, after negotiations with GLAAD, the New York Times changed its editorial policy to mandate using the term "gay" rather than "homosexual" in its pages.

In June of 1989, 20 years after the Stonewall rebellion, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Stonewall cancellation at the request of GLAAD.

In 1992, Entertainment Weekly named GLAAD one of "Hollywood's 100 Most Powerful Entities."

Coalition Building

GLAAD has been involved with numerous coalitions, such as local and national groups committed to lifting the ban on gay and lesbian military service members, the National Freedom to Marry coalition, and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

In addition, the organization has actively supported hate-crime legislation, and brought attention to the hate-motivated murders of Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Arthur Warren, and others.

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Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, Debra Messing, and Eric McCormack onstage at the Seventeenth Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2006.
Photo Credit: John Shearer/

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