Formed in New York in 1985 to protest the New York Post’s grossly defamatory and sensationalized AIDS coverage, GLAAD’s work quickly spread to Los Angeles, where we began to educate Hollywood’s entertainment industry on the importance of more accurate and realistic portrayals on the screen. As GLAAD’s work grew and evolved over time, the organization moved from a chapter-based to a national organization, with offices in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. To serve regional and local media interests, GLAAD’s Regional Media Program has grown to serve local communities and media outlets across the country via directed monitor and mobilize campaigns, calls to action, media trainings and on-the-ground community and media support.
Not only have GLAAD staff and volunteers changed the way lesbians and gay men are portrayed on the screen and in the news, we’ve also become a major source of resources and information for entertainment and news media decision makers. Entertainment Weekly has named GLAAD as one of Hollywood’s most powerful entities, and the Los Angeles Times described GLAAD as “possibly the most successful organizations lobbying the media for inclusion.”
Because of GLAAD’s work, gay and lesbian stories and issues are covered in national and local news publications, in film and on television. Negative and imbalanced portrayals of the community have decreased while lesbians and gay men have been increasingly incorporated in nearly every type of media platform – from soap operas to cartoon strips. But there’s a lot of work yet to do. Transgender and bisexual representations, representations of the full spectrum of diversity of our community, and accurate representations of our relationships are but a few areas where GLAAD continues to focus resources and attention.
In step with today’s always-changing media landscape, GLAAD continues to provide journalists and media professionals with timely, inclusive and authoritative resources, expanding the representation of our community one story at a time through an effective, forceful mix of advocacy, education and visibility.