LGBT denotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender. The Interest group GLAAD seeks to, “promote understanding,
increase acceptance, and advance equality as their motto states.” GLAAD (Gay
& Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) used to be their acronym, but
changed because the group wanted to include bisexual and transgender issues,
and this changed March 24,2013. GLAAD’s fundamental purpose is to certify that
the portrayal of LGBTQ individuals is exemplified adequately by the media of
all sorts. Issues that GLAAD tends to focus on are how the media portrayed the
gay marriage movement, people advocating anti-gay ideals, hate crimes, and
anything produced by the media such as ads, television series, movies, and
music that could be labeled as hate towards the gay community. GLAAD was founded
in New York City in 1985 by Vito Russo, Jewelle Gomez, and Gregory Kolovakos in
retribution to the New York Post’s extremely slanderous HIV and AIDS coverage. When
the group was first formed it consisted of a few journalists and writers, and
shortly after their first meeting on November 14, 1985 approximately 1,000
people joined to protest outside of where the New York Post’s building was. In
1992, GLAAD was labeled as one of the 100 most powerful groups in Hollywood, according
to Entertainment Weekly. This is significant because the committee at the time
had not even been in place for less than 10 years.

In February GLAAD’s media
committee coordinated a meeting with the New York Times, and persuaded the New
York Times to start using the word “gay.” Another situation that caused an
outcry within the gay community and GLAAD was the 1988 television series
Midnight Caller. There was an episode called “After it Happened”, and on the
episode a bisexual man was portrayed to be a carrier of AIDS who intentionally
infects straight women. The way the episode was supposed to be released, the bisexual
man was then gunned down by one of the women he infected and the medical team
takes his body away wearing hazmat suits, but in
the broadcasted version, the victim is stopped before she can kill the bisexual
man. The episode that was proposed was intensely criticized as biphobic and inaccurate
scientifically. After the criticism, protests were put into motion by GLAAD, BiNet
USA, and BiPAC. In result, the episode was toned down quite a bit so everyone
would be happy, and there was a magnified awareness for everyone of all
identities to practice safe sex. An important turning point in the gay rights movement
was known as the Stonewall riots or uprising which contributed to the formation
of many gay rights organizations including GLAAD. The Stonewall riots were a
series of violent acts against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan,
New York. Stonewall Inn was owned by the mafia and was known to be popular among
people who aren’t accepted in the gay community such as drag queens, male
prostitutes, lesbians, and transgenders. In 1960, police seemed to frequently
raid the gay bars, but when it came to stone wall in the police officers couldn’t
seem to control the situation. People of the village broke out into activist
groups to centralize ideas on finding places where the gay community feels they
can be open about their orientation without the anxiety of being arrested.
After the riots, there were three newspapers advocating for equal and fair
treatment of lesbians and gays, along with the formation of two gay activist organizations
that spent their time aggressively arguing for gay rights within the community.
After a couple years passed, gay rights organizations were developing across
the United States and the world. Finally, on June 28, 1970, there were gay
pride marches for the first time in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago
to memorialize the Stonewall riots that had occurred in New York. 

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