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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...

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The Inmates Of Litchfield Prison (AKA 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast) Want You To Celebrate Spirit Day: VIDEO

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Who better to tout GLAAD's annual LGBT Spirit Day than the most sexually and racially diverse cast on television? A couple of the ladies from Netflix's Orange is the New Black made a video to inform those outside the Litchfield Prison walls about the event, taking place on Thursday, October 16th. 

Selenis Leyva (above left), who plays Gloria Mendoza on the show, gets right to the point: "Did you know that half of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students say they feel unsafe at school?" The solution, according to Yael Stone (AKA Lorna Morello, above right)? "Wear a whole lot of purple." That's right, GLAAD wants you to stand in solidarity with bullied LGBT youth by wearing purple from head to toe (or, you know, somewhere) and communicating your support. And if the cast of "OITNB" is doing it, why on earth wouldn't you?!

Check out the Spirit Day website here.

And watch the promotional video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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GLAAD: Representations of LGB Characters Are On The Rise

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GLAAD’s annual Where We Are On TV report detailing the depictions of queer characters on network and cable television has just been published and its findings generally positive. The report is broken down by whether a show is a network or cable broadcast in addition to a character’s status as either a recurring role or series regular.

Overall the number of LGBT-identified characters on television is up slightly at 3.9% over 3.3% last season. That figure is down from an all-time high of 4.4% in 2012, and while television as a whole is becoming more diverse in terms of queer representation, cable programming is outpacing its network counterparts.

HBO programs like Looking, True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Girls made the network a standout compared to its competitors. Overall cable’s number of LGB series regulars has jumped from 42 last year to 64 this year, and those characters much more broadly reflect the racial diversity within the actual LGB population. While the overall number of racially diverse LGBT characters of color is steadily improving, the details of the landscape are not without their complications.

“It is heartening to see an uptick in Black representations on primetime television, but it is key that we remain vigilant about improving the quality of those portrayals,” commented Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorofChange. “Too often media outlets rely on one-dimensional, stereotypical images of Black people, instead of the dynamic, complex portrays hit shows like Scandal suggest viewers actually want to see.”

Read GLAAD's full Where We Are On TV report AFTER THE JUMP...

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

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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

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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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