Monday, September 26, 2011

KISS 108 makes up for anti-trans comments with pro-trans bill PSA

This post comes at the risk of further confusing folks who are already confused about the difference between GLAD and our friends at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, also known as GLAAD (or "Double-A GLAAD" to our "Single-A GLAD"). For the record, GLAD is a legal organization. GLAAD works to promote positive and accurate representations of LGBT people in the media.

With that out of the way, GLAAD did some great work with KISS 108 after some anti-trans on-air comments were made in response to the announcement of Chaz Bono's Dancing with the Stars gig. Justin Ward, GLAAD's media field strategist, reached out KISS 108 and the result was that the station agreed to air a free public service announcement (PSA) in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which would add protections for transgender people to our state's non-discrimination and hate crimes laws. GLAAD and members of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Coalition -- including GLAD -- worked up a script that gets at the heart of why the Transgender Equal Rights Bill needs to be passed during this legislative session.

I've posted the first half of a post on this effort from GLAAD's blog. Read on for more details about this good news and follow the link at the bottom to hear the PSA.

Transgender visibility is on the rise nationwide, thanks in large part to Chaz Bono becoming the first openly transgender contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Yet, even with recent breakthroughs in transgender visibility, his presence on the hit show was met with both positive and negative reactions in the media. In particular, GLAAD learned of disparaging comments made on Boston’s KISS 108 radio morning show, which boasts an average of almost 670,000 listeners weekly. Taking KISS 108’s top-rated listenership and community influence into consideration, GLAAD reached out to the Clear Channel station in the wake of the comments made.

Jim Clerkin, the producer of ‘Matty in the Morning,’ and Mary Menna, President & Marketing Manager for Clear Channel, were the first to hear from GLAAD on the issue. Through a series of correspondence, GLAAD, in conjunction with Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Coalition (MassEquality, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders - GLAD, and more), was offered a series of free 15-second public service announcements by KISS 108, Boston’s #1 rated radio station. Through swift and effective outreach GLAAD successfully brought about tangible results in the form of public education about transgender people, the discrimination they face, and the need for protections. The PSA campaign, which will air at various times throughout the day on the station, comes at a pivotal time for Massachusetts transgender equality.
Read the rest of this post and listen to the PSA here.

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