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Presidents (aka Executive Director)
GLAAD/NY ED (1985-1994)
GLAAD/LA ED (pre-1994)
- William Waybourn (as national managing director; 1995 – 1997)
- Joan M. Garry (1997 – June 2005)
- Neil Giuliano (September 2005 – June 2009)
- J. Michael Durnil (interim; June – September 2009)
- Jarrett Barrios (September 2009 – June 2011)
- Mike Thompson (acting) (June 2011 – present)
GLAAD promotes positive portrayals of LGBT people in media by encouraging journalists, writers and other creators to use its preferred terminology, and to portray the LGBT community in what it sees as an unbiased and inclusive way. GLAAD also pitches stories to media outlets that involve members of the LGBT community that may otherwise be overlooked. The organization often uses action alerts, and has raised awareness of anti-LGBT defamation and the need for LGBT-inclusive laws by publicizing the hate-motivated murders of Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Angie Zapata, and others. It has also called attention to anti-gay song lyrics, the anti-gay advocacy of certain commentators, and to ads promoting conversion to heterosexuality.
Media Field Program
GLAAD's Media Field Program serves local communities and organizations in places where LGBT rights are not secure by training people to speak at community meetings, in local media and online via blogs and social media. The organization has recently started departments to work with sports writing and press for people of color, as well as with faith communities to highlight growing support for LGBT people from Lutherans, Catholics, Episcopalians, and the Jewish community.
GLAAD's Announcing Equality  project has resulted in more than 1,000 newspapers including gay and lesbian announcements alongside other wedding listings.
Spirit Day is a civil awareness day that, in part, encourages people to wear purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 20 to show support for the efforts to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
- "GLAAD - Spirit Day website". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Retrieved October 19, 2011.