May 26, 2010 at 11:44 am EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Welcome to Washington, GLAAD

Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams was the site for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s D.C. Leadership Council kickoff party. GLAAD is becoming active in the District.

GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance and advances equality.

GLAAD is making the effort to bring its work to various cities across the nation and now it’s our turn in D.C. The co-chairs of the D.C. Leadership Council are Chad Johnson and Jessica Katz. Chad is well known in the LGBT community, but Jessica Katz is new to many. I am proud to know her as a friend. Jessica is a straight, married woman who is committed to making sure that all people have the right to live their life with full civil and human rights. She got active in the same-sex marriage fight in D.C. and now has turned her considerable abilities to working with GLAAD. Jessica worked hard to prepare for and plan the event and I think she did an amazing job. We in the LBGT community are lucky to have her working for and with us.

There were about 100 people at the cocktail reception, which featured a short program. I saw many faces I knew and many of the usual crowd who are always working hard for our community. Robert Safro of Logomotion, marketer extraordinaire Colleen Dermody, and Lynne Brown, the Blade’s publisher, were in the crowd. I also got the chance to talk to politicos Phil Attey and Lane Hudson, and saw an old friend, Phil Piga.

The program included hearing from Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard, the guys who just won second place in the Crate & Barrel wedding contest. I think they should have won. Two young guys from Service Members United joined Gregory and Jonathan to credit GLAAD with helping them bring their stories to the larger community.

D.C. Leadership Council members hope that some of the people who were there — and others in the community — will begin to volunteer with the group.

  • Peter,

    Thanks for the shout out about my presence at the GLAAD event last night. I feel fortunate to live in a community where so many give their time and professional expertise as volunteers in the struggle for equal rights – a cause for which, I notice, you are always working Peter! And kudos to Robert Safro and Lynne Brown – it would be hard to find two people more committed to our community.


  • While serving on GLAAD’s Board of Director a few years ago, I voted against closing the then GLAAD office we had here in DC. Happy to see a great organization return to the nation’s capital.
    John Klenert

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