Wednesday, 5 March 2014

GLAAD President: Gay Identity Involves "Inviting People to Understand"

GLAAD stands for Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and is a US non-government organisation founded in 1985 which helps to promote the image of LGBT people in the media. They have stated their mission as to give voice to the LGBT community, with the empowering use of real stories and holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grass-roots organisations communicate effectively. Their motto is "To promote understanding, increase acceptance, and advance equality."

The president of GLAAD 2011, Jarrett Barrios, talks in this video about his own life, about his sexuality as well as his ethnic background. He identifies himself as a Cuban-American, and talks at great length about the struggles he found when coming out to his family and being accepted as a minority-minority, someone who is not just a member of a minority ethnic group but also being gay. He talks about his work ethic, and acknowledges that you have to word extremely hard for equality, not just for the LGBT community, but for everyone in every aspect of society. He explicitly says that "you can't take justice for granted, but you have to work for it." This is shown in his life as he was the first member of his high school to get into Harvard.

The main issue with sexual identity which appeared in this video is how hard it is to not only be ethnic, but to also be gay. Barrios talks about how ethnicity is easy to spot, by last names and having an accent, or even looking a certain way. He says that sexuality is much more different, as it isn't shown in your last name or accent, and can only be identified by telling people. He recognises that yes, people can be discriminated against because they can be perceived to be gay, but that this is not the point. He says that it is different because you have to announce your inequality, and that the crux of the argument is that you have to "invite people to understand". This is paramount, as because sexuality isn't obvious, you need to be able to say it, and identify yourself as not a member of the majority before others can see your inequality. The main issue is the ability to freely be able to say what your sexuality is without the fear of prejudice and discrimination, and that it is not easy to be associated as gay as ethnicity is, because sexuality is inside of you often with no recognisable visual  traits.


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