New York, NY, October 27, 2011- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today issued resources for media reporting on Chaz's exit from Dancing with the Stars to improve public awareness of America's transgender community.
When he was initially cast, GLAAD released resources to media reporting on the story. Enclosed in this release is a list of additional transgender leaders who would be able to speak to the enormous importance of Chaz's primetime appearances and are 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. "When it is still legal in 35 states to fire a transgender person solely because they are transgender, visibility and education are key to growing understanding and acceptance," Graddick continued.
When Chaz was cast, media such as The Insider used the opportunity to discuss what it is like to be transgender in America today. Even though Chaz has now been voted off Dancing with the Stars, we hope to keep that conversation going.
For a broader understanding of transgender issues, read more about the following leaders.
Laverne Cox made television history as the first African American transgender woman to appear on an American reality show when she was a finalist on VH1's "I Want to Work for Diddy." She is a singer, actress, and advocate for the transgender community, who later co-created, co-produced, and starred in her own show called "Transform Me."
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, Ph.D.
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 he can speak as an expert on transgender health.
Gunner Scott is a founding member and current executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC). He has been involved with the transgender equality movement since 1998. He is a nationally recognized advocate, educator and community organizer on LGBT health issues, LGBT partner abuse and addressing access issues for the transgender community.
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 Coaliciï¿½"n Trans-Latina and the national LGBT advocacy organization Unid@s. 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.