Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Herndon Graddick talks of a new GLAAD
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-11-14

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Not long after Herndon Graddick took the helm of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), at a time of deep uncertainty for the organization, the former TV producer did something that many LGBTs had been waiting years for. Graddick chastised news outlets for allowing vehemently anti-gay activists onto the air without contextualizing who they were or why their comments were relevant to an issue.

For many, Graddick has come to represent a new era for GLAAD, which found itself embroiled in controversy in June 2011 after news broke that the organization endorsed an AT&T/ T-Mobile merger after accepting money from AT&T. But staff turnover, including that of the president, has signaled change at GLAAD.

Graddick recently passed through Chicago and took a few moments to talk with Windy City Times about what LGBTs can expect from the organization in the coming months.

Windy City Times: How are the folks at GLAAD holding up in the wake of the hurricane?

Herndon Graddick: The office is closed. People are working from home. I think New York without power is pretty shocking, but it seems as if everyone is holding up.

WCT: So, what brings you to Chicago?

Herndon Graddick: It's part of a bigger plan of really reconnecting the supporters of GLAAD who over the years have really funded our work and social and cultural change. I think that as the new president of GLAAD, part of my job is really effectively creating the work we do to the people who support us because in many ways, the work that we do is behind the scenes.

Part of what I'm doing is introducing myself, introducing a new vision of what GLAAD is. GLAAD has been around for about 25 years, and when it came into existence it was very needed around the outright defamation of what was largely gay men dying of AIDS. Over the course of time, of course, our mission has evolved.

WCT: What are some of the media trends you're watching this election season?

Herndon Graddick: Well, we launched this Commentator Accountability Project in February. You know, I come from a news position. People say that journalists are lazy, and you know, that is the furthest thing from the truth. It's about deadlines and dramatically reduced budgets and resources really being dwindled down. So particularly in organizations like Cable News, the opportunity to do real in-depth research on every guest, particularly some of these anti-gay activists, it's not practical.

What our aim was to do was provide a resource. Here's all the things that they've said. We're not putting any sort of lens on it so they can use it without fear of bias and hold people's feet to the fire.

WCT: You've also really come out swinging on some these commentators. Are we seeing a strategy change or a culture shift with how GLAAD is going to handle these issues?

Herndon Graddick: Yeah, there is. I think that we should not pussyfoot around certain issues. I think there are certain issues where we have to really have backbone about. There should be no watered-down version of who these people are. If these people were making the same analogies towards any other group of people, they would be pariahs. But they're not. Well, I mean, they weren't. I would say the past year they have become pariahs.

WCT: Do you think this is the last election where it will socially acceptable to be really anti-gay?

Herndon Graddick: I have heard it said before that this is going to be the last election where LGBT people are used as a wedge issue, and we see it again and again. I believe it will be a longtime project to maintain the social and cultural viewpoints that are necessary for LGBT equality to really hold and remain.

WCT: Roseanne [Barr] sent a lot of anti-trans tweets [last] week. Is GLAAD responding to that?

Herndon Graddick: In the end, what we have to do is be aware of what our voice is and the amplitude of voice and make decisions about what to do from a public standpoint with that in mind. So to that point, a sort of GLAAD-versus-Roseanne public feud would likely bring more attention to what I think are dangerous points of view put forth about trans women. I think there is a value in not engaging publicly in a tit-for-tat.

WCT: So I am taking that to mean that you are engaging with Roseanne privately?

Herndon Graddick: You know, our goal in a lot of these things is to give people the emotional space and frankly ego space to come around on something without it appearing that their coming around to it was the result of a public chastisement from GLAAD. So the Roseanne thing is something that we're monitoring and figuring out the best way to have a conversation.

WCT: Is there anything at GLAAD that Chicago folks should be apprised of?

Herndon Graddick: Well, one thing I'll just tease for you is that, GLAAD's name from when I started there, I really viewed in many ways. It's got a lot of strength in that it's probably the most highly recognized brands … but there are weaknesses in that it's exclusionary. It's GL [gay and lesbian]. And then the other thing is that its focus is really exclusively negative. The language of that carried with it baggage from the '70s that might be able to be improved upon. So I think that over the next weeks and perhaps months, we're going to make some changes that will keep the brand's strength and recognition but incorporate the things that are missing and de-emphasize the weaknesses that I've talked about.

See www.glaad.org .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Julianne Moore joins Lambda's "I Do" campaign for equality 2015-05-27
UK YouTube sensation Pop 'N' Olly launch LGBT videos for children 2015-05-22
DIVERSIONS Chicago's Andersonville: A shopper's paradise 2015-05-19
Fifth Third helps grocery center 2015-05-19
26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honorees named 2015-05-10
Spring brunch gets in 'Vogue' 2015-05-04
Chicago Red Dress Party readdresses HIV/AIDS awareness 2015-04-21
Robin Roberts on cover of AARP Magazine 2015-04-14
Monthly 'Positive Thoughts' HIV/AIDS column launched 2015-04-14
'GLAAD Hatters' gather to raise glasses, awareness 2015-04-10
Upcoming events: Protest, nonprofits and social 2015-04-07
Nationally known comics to celebrate progressive comedians 2015-04-07
LGBT inclusive audio storytelling project launches in Chicago 2015-04-02
VIEWS Paying tribute to Andrew Patner 2015-04-01
Emanuel among those attending Center's gala 2015-03-30
Windy City Times' writer nominated for Lisagor award 2015-03-27
LGBTQ media confab looks ahead to post-marriage reporting 2015-03-25
Havana in Chicago to benefit people of Cuba with medical supplies, services 2015-03-23
Children's Place plans fundraiser to help vulnerable kids 2015-03-21
Crossroads Fund holds annual gala 2015-03-17
GL Chamber of Commerce hires new E.D. 2015-03-16
DIFFA/Chicago Auxiliary Board hosts Dance For A DIFFArence Winter Ball 2015-03-12
NAQPIA's new leader discusses his vision, background 2015-03-11
Employee-resource group holds social 2015-03-03
LGBTQ Creating Change 2016 in Chicago 2015-03-03
Facebook adds free-form field for gender identity 2015-02-26
GLAAD Hatter brunch April 4 will support the work of GLAAD 2015-02-26
Milwaukee LGBT center names new executive director 2015-02-25
CFW panel talks race, feminism 2015-02-17
National news: '.LGBT' domain; 2015-02-17
Equality Illinois holds Valentine's Day gala 2015-02-15
Ford and IWMF host women's digital media summit 2015-02-01
Of interest: Or Chadash; Her HRC; State of AIDS; teen web series 2015-01-28
National: N. Dak. marriage; Mary Cheney; Anderson Cooper 2015-01-27
Entertainment: Zarley's new CD; Dan Savage project; Kylie Minogue 2015-01-27
Center on Halsted's 2015 Human First Gala to convene as Kinfolk 2015-01-26
Upcoming: Mr. Chicago Leather; Cornel West; Her HRC event 2015-01-21
HRC suspends Saks' Corporate Equality Index score 2015-01-09
Comedians present cancer show at Sketchfest 2015-01-07
Report: Foundation funding for LGBTQ issues at record high in 2013 2014-12-28
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.