GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s Bisexual Health Awareness Month, brought to you by the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC). This year’s theme, “Bi the Way, Our Health Matters Too!”, addresses disparities in physical and mental health facing the bisexual community.
If you’ve seen the movie The Butler, Precious, Shadowboxer, Monster’s Ball, or any other of the award winning director and producer’s critically acclaimed work, then you know Lee Daniels doesn’t hold back when portraying trying experiences—particularly, when confronting, head on, matters of race and sex. He has used his cinematic work to bring attention to important yet often ignored issues, like AIDS in the black community. Not only is Lee talented and successful, and his work gripping, but he is also barrier breaking; he is the first black person to be nominated by the Director’s Guild of American and the second to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar. Lee is also the first African-American to be the lone producer of an Academy Award nominated film.
Kye Allums is a young trailblazer who has channeled his status as the first openly trans college athlete in the history of NCAA Division I to advocate for cultural change. While he no longer plays basketball with George Washington University, Kye keeps busy by speaking on panels and to large groups, mentoring and taking stands for LGBT youth, and promoting visibility in the media. His honesty mixed with his inviting nature make Kye an effective and relatable inspiration.
Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson was a Greenwich Village artists from the 1960s to 1990s. Her legacy is grounded in her compassion for the trans community and her dedication to LGBT visibility and equality. Marsha worked alongside Sylvia Rivera, co-founding the organization Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and the STAR House to provide resources to and advocate for disadvantaged young trans women and drag queens. Marsha was one of numerous trans advocates involved in the Stonewall riots of 1969. Despite such contribution to the historic events, many gay groups of the era excluded the trans community from their efforts, which left Marsha both frustrated with the state of the movement and further determined to work on behalf of her trans peers.
2013 seemed like the Year of Laverne Cox and, so far, 2014 appears to be heading in the same awesome direction. The actress, producer, reality star, and writer has been on the scene for a number of years, but skyrocketed to new heights of fame last summer when the world fell in love with Orange is the New Black and her trans character on the series, Sophia. Just as her role broadened dialogue about trans women of color’s experiences, Laverne is dedicated to rendering cultural change by uniquely uniting her mainstream visibility with hard-hitting social insights. Among the many contributions to trans equality she’s made, the most recent include standing closely by CeCe McDonald. Laverne brought attention to CeCe’s story, joined her this week for an hour-long conversation with Democracy Now, and is co-producing the documentary “FREE CECE.” Laverne is as emotionally stirring and thought provoking on screen as she is in her advocacy.
Robin Roberts has been a part of viewers’ lives since joining Sportscenter in 1990 and Good Morning America in 1995—eventually rising to co-anchor and lead the show to some of its best ratings. She’s often entertained, inspired, and informed, such as when she reported from the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. Robin had the world rooting for her in a new way when she fought against breast cancer and, a couple of years later, a bone marrow disease. Having courageously battled against these hardships, Robin expressed her joy and gratitude in December 2013 for her health and support network, which included her girlfriend of ten years.