The Board of Directors
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
150 West 26th Street, Suite 503
New York, NY 10001
Dear GLAAD Board Members:
As lesbian and gay people of color, bisexual, and transgender leaders and organizations, we are deeply concerned about the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's commitment to representing the interests and concerns of our communities. These concerns stem from the fact that there is currently only one person of color who is active on the board and that five people of color have been fired or have left the organization under the current administration, three of them senior staffers who left under less than amicable circumstances. Frankly, we are also shocked that GLAAD has developed a long term strategic plan , which was devised without adequate input from our communities' activists and leaders.
We do not question GLAAD's right to make its own management decisions. However, GLAAD receives funding and donor support based on the assumption that it adheres to its own mission of serving the community in its diversity. It also uses past work done in our communities in fundraising and promotional materials. We insist that GLAAD be held accountable for these funds -- funds to which our own organizations have limited access. We reserve the right to challenge GLAAD's right to receive them, should the organization fail to address our needs.
This accountability must begin with the leadership of GLAAD, While GLAAD has publicly stated that it intends to make its resources available to our communities, it has not announced any plans for increasing the number of people of color, bisexuals, or transgender activists at the board level. As a result, the people of color, bisexual, and transgender communities GLAAD claims to serve currently have little voice in how these resources are allocated. It also means that activists who might be hired by GLAAD would not have the support of their community at the board level, making it difficult for them to serve that community effectively. Any "empowerment" strategy requires that we be leaders and not merely employees or clients of the organization.
We are committed to a pro-active agenda that would have our communities take our rightful place in this movement by developing and supporting our own institutions. We want and need the support of all organizations in achieving this goal. However, we are disheartened by early indications that the new GLAAD does not share this vision, including GLAAD's offensive November 7, 1995 press release comparing media coverage of the March of a Million Men versus the March on Washington. We are deeply concerned that other national organizations will waver in their already limited support of our communities if GLAAD's current practices remain unchallenged. We ask you to inform us in writing if and how GLAAD intends to address our concerns and that you do this as soon as possible.
The Lesbian and Gay People of Color Steering Committee
African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change
American Indian Community House HIV/AIDS Project
Asian Lesbians of the East Coast
Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS
Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Haitians
Bisexual Womyn of Colour
Black Leather In Color Magazine
Bronx Lesbians United In Sisterhood
Brothers In Leather
Carribean-Identified Lesbian and Gay Alliance
COLORLife! Lesbian, Gay, Two Spirit and Bisexual People of Color Magazine
Equal Access Council, Inc.
The Gay African Americans of Westchester
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York
Gay Men of African Descent
Gay Men of the Bronx
Immigrants Fighting AIDS/Immigrants with HIV Project of GMHC
International Lesbian and Gay People of Color Human Rights Task Force
Kambal Sa Lusog: Filipinas Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals for Progress
Las Buenas Amigas: Lesbianas Latinas En Nueva York
Latino Gay Men of New York
Latinos and Latinas De Ambiente/NY
Lavender Light: The Black And People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Gospel Choir
Lavender Soul Productions, Producers of The Pulse
Men of All Colors Together/NY
MOCA: Men of Color AIDS Prevention Unit of the NYC Dept. of Health
The Minority Task Force on AIDS
Other Countries: Black Gay Expressions
People of Color In Crisis, Inc.
South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association (SALGA-NYC)
Unity Fellowship Church of Christ
We Wah and Bar Chee Ampe -- Native Two Spirits in New York City
Women of Color Group of Brooklyn Martial Arts
Last updated: 08 January 1996 by Chuck Tarver