Twenty-two entertainers and athletes have taken part in a series of 25 public service announcements produced by GLAAD to be unveiled every two weeks over the coming year. The series, entitled “Be an Ally & a Friend” encourages viewers to combat homophobia and asks straight people to be “allies” of the gay community.
The PSAs feature former professional basketball player John Amaechi, Jamie Bamber, performer Lance Bass, Alexandra Billings, Wilson Cruz, Rachel Griffiths, T.R. Knight, Rex Lee, Jason Lewis, Eric Mabius, Alec Mapa, Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, tennis legend Martina Navratilova, Becki Newton, Jerry O’Connell, Ana Ortiz, Sara Ramirez, Shaun Robinson, Rebecca Romijn, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, Michael Urie, and Kate Walsh.
Says GLAAD President Neil Giuliano in an announcement to be released midday today:”The ‘Be an Ally & a Friend’ campaign empowers each and every one of us to make a difference in the lives of loved ones by listening to and supporting those who come out. The straight allies and community members who gave their time and energy to this campaign deserve our deepest thanks for participating in this effort to reach a critical audience. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices in the struggle for equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Not only can allies offer vital support to people in the coming out process, they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, tolerance and mutual respect.”
According to GLAAD, “The PSAs will also be available through broadcast collaborations with Access Hollywood, national cable networks such as GSN, IFC, Lifetime, The N, SCI FI Channel and Sundance Channel; local cable systems and network affiliates; online at LiveVideo, YouTube, AOL Video and MySpace; and others to be announced.”