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'Conservative Southern Baptist' Mom Talks About Her Family's Campaign For Trans Acceptance: VIDEO

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Debi Jackson, a self-described “conservative southern Baptist” from Alabama and mother of a transgender child, has spoken to GLAAD about her campaign to encourage others to accept trans children.

Last year, Jackson spoke publicly about her daughter as well as the parental intolerance and ignorant questions raised by others who blame Debi for her daughter’s transition.

Jackson and her husband became activists when their desire to support their child evolved into a wider goal to spread understanding and awareness of trans issues throughout society, regardless of religious or political affiliation.

Watch the interview with GLAAD - published as part of the #GotYourBack campaign - AFTER THE JUMP...

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EEOC Finds Walmart Discriminated Against Lesbian Employee Who Sought to Add Sick Wife To Health Plan

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her sick wife and has now ordered a resolution for violating her civil rights reports ABC News. In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, the agency stated Wal-Mart employee Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Mass. “was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Cote attempted to enroll her wife Diana Smithson, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, in Wal-Mart’s health plan in 2008 however, her coverage was denied and the company didn’t provide it until 2014. Randy Hargrove, a spokesman with Wal-Mart, said the company is willing to meet with the couple to resolve the issue at hand.

Said Hargrove: 

"While we disagree with the finding of reasonable cause, we have notified the EEOC of our willingness to meet with them and Miss Cote to discuss resolving the matter."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.26.23 AMSmithson, who married Cote in Massachusetts in May 2004, attempted to enroll her wife online starting in 2008 but found that the system denied her from proceeding when she denoted that her spouse is a woman. Cote sought an explanation and was told that same-sex spouses are not covered. Cote attempted to enroll every year since then, including 2012 when Smithson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Cote approached Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in 2013, which filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC the following year. 

The couple has $100,000 in medical bills and paid out of pocket for said expenses in 2012 when Smithson lost private health coverage.  The couple’s attorney, GLAD attorney Allison Wright, is seeking a settlement negotiation with the retail giant to cover Smithson’s costly treatments.

Cote, 52, and Smithson, 63, met while working in a Wal-Mart store in Augusta, Maine. For Cote, the lawsuit is more than just recouping damages. "I'm not only doing this for me, I'm doing this for other gay and lesbian couples that have been discriminated against as well," said Cote. 

Wal-Mart expanded its policy in January 2014 to cover same sex spouses and domestic partners.


26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Nominees Announced: VIDEO

ImitationThe nominations for GLAAD's 26th Annual Media Awards have been revealed. The awards honor and recognize fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community: "Rather than portraying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in broad stereotypes, [a nominated project] deals with the characters or themes in a fair, accurate, and multi-dimensional manner." Nominees are also chosen based on their "boldness and originality," breaking "new ground by exploring LGBT subject matter in non-traditional ways." 

There are 141 nominees this year across 31 categories. The awards are held in Los Angeles on March 21st and in New York City on May 9th.

See who got a nod, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Husband From 'My Husband's Not Gay' Compares Being Gay To 'Craving Donuts' - VIDEO

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One of the husbands from TLC's My Husband's Not Gay explained to ABC News that his attraction to men is like the equivalent of eating "Too many donuts." He elaborated that he doesn't think of having sex with a man when he's having sex with his wife, but used the analogy (sic) that he may "love donuts," but then he wouldn't be able to "fit in his pants every day." He ended his statement saying that he would "love to eat donuts every day," but says he "desires to live a healthy lifestyle," and that he's not miserable or denying himself because he truly loves his wife and believes that his relationship with her is "healthy."

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.26.49 PMThe show follows four gay men, with some of them married to women, in Salt Lake City, Utah and is already garnering criticism from critics and activists saying the show delivers a negative message to LGBT people regarding their identities, especially youth. Josh Sanders, a devout gay Christian and LGBT advocate, spearheaded a Change.org petition to cancel My Husband's Not Gay, receiving 100,000 signatures; the petition ultimately failed to persuade TLC to take the show off the air. Sanders recently appeared on The Meredith Veira Show and spoke with Veira about surviving reparative therapy and how he thinks TLC is being reckless and exploitative with LGBT identities and issues for the sake of entertainment. Watch ABC News' interview with the "donut" craving man and his wife, and Sanders' interview with Veira about the TLC show, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Naomi Campbell On Support For The LGBT Community: 'If It Wasn't For Gay Men I Wouldn't Exist' - VIDEO

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell recently spoke with GLAAD about her upcoming role on the show Empire, which prominently features a gay storyline, and, more broadly, about why she supports the LGBT community. Referring to her recent appearance at GLAAD's media awards and questions she received on the red carpet as to why she was there, Campbell responded, "Why shouldn't I be here? I was...if it wasn't for gay men I wouldn't exist. Hair, make-up, designer, photographer, stylist, manicure, hair-dresser, I mean, I just wouldn't exist. I owe my life to gay men. And it's just what I've grown up with. It's my family."

Speaking about the character Jamal on Empire, who is gay, Campbell commented, "I think Jamal's character is so important. And it will hopefully bring a lot of people out."

Watch Campbell's interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Campbell will make her first appearance on Empire on January 21st. 

Continue reading "Naomi Campbell On Support For The LGBT Community: 'If It Wasn't For Gay Men I Wouldn't Exist' - VIDEO" »


LeAnn Rimes Speaks Out For Gay Country Singers Ty Herndon And Billy Gilman - VIDEO

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Singer LeAnn Rimes has spoken out on the thorny issue of LGBT country singers.

Speaking to GLAAD, Rimes voiced her support for fellow country stars Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman, both of whom came out as gay in November.

She said that she was aware that Herndon was going to come out before it happened, adding “people should be able to love who they love - it's as simple as that."

Listen to “Hard Candy Christmas” from LeAnn’s EP One Christmas and watch the interview with GLAAD, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "LeAnn Rimes Speaks Out For Gay Country Singers Ty Herndon And Billy Gilman - VIDEO" »


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