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Critics hit GLAAD as it searches for new leader

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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has officially launched a nationwide search to find its next executive director – and both critics and boosters of the organization are putting their two cents in on where it should go.

Neil Giuliano

Neil Giuliano

GLAAD President Neil Giuliano plans to step down from his position this Summer, after nearly four years at the group’s helm. Under Giuliano’s watch, the nonprofit’s annual budget increased from 7 and a half to 11 million dollars. The nonprofit credits Giuliano with orchestrating key projects including outreach to gay youths and faith communities.

But Giuliano’s term has also been marked by criticism – notably over GLAAD’s handling of the Isaiah Washington “Faggot” incident, and it’s unexplained NON-handling of Fox News ridiculing transgender man Thomas Beatie. According to former GLAAD Communications Director Cathy Renna, now head of Renna Communications, many critics say GLAAD has turned its attention away from the grass roots.

Renna: “It’s that outside edge, that willingness to push the envelope, and that willingness to create campaigns that engage the community in a big way, is where I think people are saying GLAAD has lost its edge.”

Renna says there are candidates who can drive the fundraising and management aspects of the group, and bring back some of its activist spirit.

Renna: “There are individuals out there who have the experience do to the operational work, but also have the passion and the leadership to bring GLAAD back to the edge, back to the forefront as a voice for the LGBT community.”

According to the Bay Area Reporter, GLAAD’s board of directors plans to meet in early June, when Giuliano says he expects his successor to be announced.

— Aaron McQuade


Written by OutQ News staff

April 3, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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