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PepsiCo Announces New Campaign Supporting GLAAD Anti-Bullying Spirit Day Campaign - VIDEO

GLAAD spirit day 2014

Last Friday, PepsiCo announced “Purple On!” campaign to support GLAAD’s October 16th annual Spirit Day, which inspires millions of Americans to wear purple to take a united stand against bullying and show support for LGBT youth, reports LGBT Weekly.

NooyiPepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi [pictured right] said:

“PepsiCo is deeply committed to building a workplace environment where all of our associates can bring their whole selves to work and are empowered to reach their full potential. That’s why we are pleased to partner with GLAAD in support of Spirit Day, which fosters a spirit of inclusion in our communities."

As part of the campaign, PepsiCo is encouraging employees to wear purple on October 16th and to share GLAAD’s anti-bullying messages and resources

Spirit Day coincides with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) “Ally Week." According to GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, 63.5 percent of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school and 81.9 percent reported verbal harassment because of their sexual orientation. 

Watch JJ Totah - Michael on Back in the Game - going purple for Spirit Day 2013, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Student Fired From University Job Last Year After Coming Out Says Things Have Changed: 'Life Is Absolutely Fantastic'

StephenlovegroveLast year, Stephen Lovegrove was fired from his position as a resident assistant at Charleston Southern University after coming out. He had been inspired by Macklemore's performance of "Same Love" at the 2013 VMA's to spread a message of acceptance as someone both gay and Christian; when the school found out about a series of videos he had created about the subject, he was subject to immediate discrimination. 

One year later and Stephen's quality of life is on the mend. 

GLAAD reports:

Earlier this week, Stephen sent GLAAD a one-year update, noting how much his life has changed for the better after leaving Charleston Southern University. He writes:

One year later, I am happy to report that my life is in a very different place. I am at a new university that is truly diverse, and absolutely loving it. Actually, I’m the director of Safe Zones, a program we have to create a more inclusive school for LGBTQ students. I also host a YouTube talk show and have spoken with lots of different guests about issues of sexuality and spirituality. Best of all, I get to volunteer with Human Rights Campaign in a program with a youth center helping homeless LGBTQ youth in my city. And I’m in talks for a new independent reality show portraying characters who are young queer individuals grappling with love and spirituality in their college years.

Life is absolutely fantastic. :D I am still speaking out about employment discrimination and other issues faced by the queer community. My story always gets people attention and helps them understand all the work that still needs to be done. We are all in this movement together.

MTV also did a follow-up interview with Stephen about his life now, the initiatives he feels passionately about, and his initial inspiration, "Same Love."

That song helped me believe that I could love another human being, that my love was good and real and equal to every other human being.

Here's to a bright future!


Keith Olbermann Destroys Tony Dungy For Homophobic Michael Sam Comment: VIDEO

Dungy_olbermann

Former NFL coach-turned-NBC analyst Tony Dungy said this week that he would not have taken the NFL’s first openly gay player Michael Sam onto a team, “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

WorstReferring to Sam’s homosexuality, Dungy added, “It’s not going to be totally smooth… things will happen.”

Soon after, commentator Keith Olbermann took Dungy to task by mentioning that in 2007 Dungy supported an Indiana same-sex marriage ban, and in 2009 Dungy also argued for the re-admission of dog-fighter Michael Vick into the NFL.

Considering his stance on Vick, The Orlando Sentinel’s George Diaz points out Dugger’s hypocrisy:

Vick’s crime was dog-fighting. Those who didn’t make the cut were shot, beaten and electrocuted. Three dogs were hanged, according to a report by the USDA inspector general, “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 x 4 that was nailed to two trees.” Three more dogs drowned after Vick’s crew put their heads in a 5 gallon bucket of water…

But Dungy has a serious problem on his hands trying to explain why a gay player is a bigger distraction as a guy who killed dogs. Since, you know, that wasn't a big story. #sarcasm…

Sam’s crime? He kissed a guy. On National TV, the day he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams…

“I believe in second chances for people who admit their mistakes and are committed to changing,” Dungy said…

But apparently Tony Dungy is not a big believer in first chances for someone who has made no mistakes, and all he is asking for is an opportunity.

In an e-mail statement responding to Dungy’s comments, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, “Talent is not a distraction. Michael Sam is first and foremost an excellent football player. That Tony Dungy can only see Michael Sam for his sexual orientation reflects how far out of touch Dungy has fallen with the NFL, which values a player because of his skill, not because of who he loves.”

Watch Olbermann's takedown of Dungy AFTER THE JUMP...

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Advertisers Actively Courting Gay Consumers: VIDEO

Ads aimed at LGBT community

The last 12 months has seen an increase in gay representation in mainstream advertising, according to NPR.

Ads such as a recent spot for Chevrolet which includes both same-sex and single parent families with the voice-over "while what it means to be family hasn't changed, what a family looks like has,” are representative of this shift.

According to Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications at GLAAD, “within the last year we've seen advertising come out of the closet, and now use LGBT families or LGBT individuals in campaigns that reach mainstream audiences.”

Speaking to NPR, Robert Klara, a staff writer for Adweek, said that the increase in advertising aimed at the LGBT community is representative of how competitive the marketplace is now:

"If you're not appealing to every minority community, be that racial or in terms of sexual orientation, you're missing out on market share."

Read NPR's report and watch the Chevrolet ad and a banned 1995 Guinness ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBT Athletes Rally With #ProudToPlay Campaign: VIDEO

Proudtoplay

Yesterday YouTube launched its follow-up to last year's #ProudToLove campaign with #ProudToPlay, which honors LGBT athletes like Jason Collins, Brittney Griner, Robbie Rogers, and Darren Young, their supporters, and everyone who stands up for diversity in sports.

RogersGLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, You Can Play, Laureus, Athlete Ally, and the LGBT Sports Coalition are supporting the campaign.

Said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis,

As athletes from across nations and leagues come out, sports fans throughout the world are embracing LGBT players and ejecting bias from the game. GLAAD is thrilled to support Google and YouTube in this landmark initiative to help tackle stereotypes and build understanding.

You can watch the campaign video, which is presently sitting at the top of YouTube's home page, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Meghan McCain, Three Others Join GLAAD Board of Directors

Republican pundit and Senator's daughter Meghan McCain joined the Board of Directors at GLAAD, the organization announced today.

MccainAlso joining its board: Executive Vice President, Commercial Services at Hilton Worldwide Jeff Diskin; Harvard Law School professor and venture capitalist with August Capital, David Hornik; and Managing Director at Opportunities for Women, Linda Riley.

Said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis: "Equality is no longer a partisan issue. For years, Meghan McCain has lent her voice and platform to spreading messages of acceptance across party lines. Now, as the American south and our heartland move closer to LGBT equality, it's critical that we continue to build the bridges that unite us in our common ground - whether you're republican or democrat, gay or straight."


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