Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a non-profit organization of LGBT activism that is "dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation"''.

GLAAD was founded in 1985 in New York City in direct response to allegedly inaccurate, defamatory and sensationalized coverage of the AIDS epidemic by the New York Post. GLAAD's influence soon spread to Los Angeles where organizers began working with the entertainment industry to change the way gay men and lesbians were portrayed on screen.

GLAAD continues to encourage positive portrayals of LGBT people in media, helping journalists, writers and other creators with using preferred terminology and portraying the LGBT community in a unbiased and inclusive way. The organization uses action alerts to combat defamation in the media. Since the formation of GLAAD 20 years ago, outright defamation in the mainstream press has decreased substantially. GLAAD continues to monitor regional, national and internet media to help improve coverage of the LGBT community. The organization has recently started departments to work with faith communities, press for people of color and sports writing, where homophobia still tends to be prevalent. GLAAD also pitches stories to media outlets that involve members of the LGBT community that may otherwise be overlooked. The organization has been criticized by LGBT activists for being overly cozy with the entertainment industry and focusing on glitzy celebrity parties rather than grassroots level work.

One of GLAAD's more visible programs is the annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor individuals and projects in the mainstream media and entertainment industries for their fair, accurate, inclusive and favorable representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The event is held in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. The current president is Neil Giuliano.


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