New York, NY, September 16, 2011- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) , the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today joined numerous advocacy groups including GetEqual and the Transgender Law Center in voicing support for Chaz Bono and urging community members and allies to watch ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' and vote for their favorite contestant.
In an effort to educate Americans about the transgender community, GLAAD will profile a different person in the transgender community each week at www.glaad.org/probono and will be sending weekly reminders to watch Dancing with the Stars to participants in the 'Pro-Bono' campaign.
Supporters are also encouraged to post messages of support on Facebook and Twitter using #ProBono and report anti-transgender media stories or comments about Chaz's appearances to GLAAD.
Earlier this week, GLAAD released resources to media reporting on the story. Enclosed in this release is a list of additional transgender leaders available for media interviews.
"Americans expect to see the diversity of our country represented on TV and that includes transgender people," said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. "As people hear his story, it will be apparent that Chaz deserves the same chance to participate and that transgender people deserve the same opportunities as all Americans off the dance floor as well.
"When it is still legal in 35 states to fire a transgender person solely because they transgender, visibility and education is key to growing understanding and acceptance," Graddick continued.
For stories on what Chaz Bono's visibility means to the transgender community and the state of transgender people in America, GLAAD can happily arrange interviews with the following transgender leaders, among others;
Autumn Sandeen is a San Diego-based transgender advocate and writer for the award-winning blog Pam's House Blend. She served in the U.S. Navy from 1980 to 2000 and transitioned after her retirement as a Fire Controlman First Class Officer. She is a past secretary of the Transgender American Veteran's Association. Autumn can speak about the effects of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on transgender people.
Janet Mock, a journalist and editor at People.com, came out as transsexual in a June interview with Marie Claire. She is writing about her experience as a trans woman of color in her upcoming literary debut "Fish Food." She is passionate about the struggles of transgender youth, including coming out, gender non-conformity at school, and bullying. Janet lives in New York City.
Rev. Malcolm Himschoot
Reverend Himschoot is a minister who transitioned while still attending Iliff Theological Seminary. In March, he was installed as a full-time pastor at the Parker United Church of Christ in Denver. He is the subject of the documentary "Call Me Malcolm" and can speak to his unique experience of reconciling his identity with his faith and finding support in his religious community.
Jamison Green is an educator, author, and the president-elect of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Jamison's book Becoming a Visible Man chronicles his transition during the 1980s. He currently works at the University of California-San Francisco to develop primary care protocols for physicians treating transgender patients, and can speak as an expert on transgender health.
Isis King is an American fashion model and designer. She was the first transgender contestant on "America's Next Top Model," and has returned to the show this season as part of the "All Star" cycle. She was homeless when she first participated in a photo shoot for ANTM, prior to her audition. She is one of the most visible transgender people on television today.
Bamby Salcedo is a Latina immigrant from Mexico. She is a national advocate in the Latino/a and transgender communities, serving on organizations including Coaliciďż˝"n Trans-Latina and the national LGBT civil rights organization [email protected] She currently runs a program for transgender youth at a children's hospital in Los Angeles, and can speak to both English and Spanish-language media.
GLAAD joins many other individuals and organizations including HRC, advocate Robin Tyler, GetEqual and the Transgender Law Center in heralding ABC's decision to cast Chaz Bono. Tyler, GetEqual and Transgender Law Center have organized viewing parties in major cities. More information here: www.glaad.org/probono.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( 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 . For the latest updates on our work, visit www.twitter.com/glaad and www.facebook.com/glaad.