Beverly Hills, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/1/16 – “A GLAAD party is always a party with a purpose!” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation at the Third Annual GLAAD Summit that took place on Friday, September 30th, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel located at 9876 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The summit was held on the eighth floor of the Hilton from 2 to 4:30 p.m. followed by a cocktail reception.
It’s been a busy year for LGBTQ acceptance, and GLAAD has been there every step of the way. The goals of the summit were to reflect upon 2016 and take a sneak peek at what was in store for 2017.
Corporate partnerships and the world famous GLAAD Media Awards were spotlighted in this discussion kicked off by Tamara Stewart, GLAAD’s Executive Vice President of Development. Ariadne Getty of the Ariadne Getty Foundation spoke movingly about her involvement with GLAAD.
Other GLAAD speakers included Ricky Carter, Associate Producer of Events; Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs; and Seth Adam, Vice President of Communications. Sarah Kate Ellis closed the summit with a short Q & A session. She made herself available for further discussion at the cocktail reception along with these speakers and many other GLAAD staffers.
Accelerating Acceptance has become crucial in these times when the LGBTQ community faces backlash from marriage equality legislation in the United States and other significant gains. LGBTQ individuals are now the #1 targeted minority for hate crimes according to the FBI.
“You can’t legislate acceptance,” observed Ms. Ellis. The cultural work of LGBTQ is more important now than ever before. There is a widespread shift in focus from who you want to love to who you want to be!
GLAAD began in 1985 and works closely with Hollywood on the entertainment track. Ideas associated with the future stress CONNECTION and INCLUSION.
Changing Minds In the South and Building Global Acceptance remain big challenges for GLAAD. Sarah Kate has traveled abroad to Italy and elsewhere, and GLAAD has likewise saturated the Spanish-speaking media. Standing Up for LGBTQ Youth is also a necessity.
GLAAD expects over 100 anti-LGBTQ bills to be introduced in 2017. So their work is far from done! Sarah Kate Ellis traveled to Orlando this summer in the wake of the LGBTQ shootings.
The GLAAD Media Awards regularly feature A-list celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Robert De Niro, Queen Latifah, and Taylor Swift. The 2016 shows took place on April 2nd at the Beverly Hilton and on May 14th at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
GLAAD can advise on media controversies such as the one now erupting around “Finding Prince Charming,” the first gay reality dating show hosted on Logo by Lance Bass. The current Prince Charming, Robert Sepulveda of Puerto Rico, turned out to have a past that included time as a paid escort. This significant fact somehow slipped through Logo’s vetting process and has the LGBTQ community in an uproar over defamation of its image.
“The rules are changing, and we need to be ahead of them at GLAAD!” said Sarah Kate Ellis. This reporter will see her on the forefront of change!