Trump Presidential Campaign Changes GLAAD's Priorities
Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs, GLAAD-Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, shares how the 2016 presidential election changed the organization’s day to day priorities, and their need to push back on the anti-LGBTQ narrative coming out of the Trump administration.
"We welcome Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs at GLAAD, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Good to you see you Zeke. Good to be here. Thank you for having me. I say Trump, you say? Erasure. What? We've seen this President, this administration, since day one, begin to erase our community. The first thing we saw was the appointment of an incredibly anti-LGBTQ cabinet, to positions like Commerce, Education, positions that the previous administration had placed very pro-LGBTQ equality and acceptance leaders in those positions. We've been erased from those agencies. We saw the census dump the LGBTQ identifying question for the 2020 election. The President didn't do that alone, did he? Is he driving all this? He did actually do that alone. He... Executive order? He... it was not an executive order. He can do that through some simple regulation... regulatory process. Absolutely. But we've also seen... we've also seen the LGBTQ websites deleted from all the agencies across the administration, starting with their web... What's their thinking? Well... What's their thinking? I think they're trying to appeal to a base that they believe doesn't support our community. But the truth of the matter is that Americans, by and large, support equality and acceptance for their friends and neighbors and family members. And we are those friends, and family, and neighbors, and aunts and uncles, and... Hmm. ...doctors, and lawyers, and we're in every community across this country. So while the American community has been increasingly accepting equality for all people in the LGBTQ community, we're seeing this President actually take us backwards. Top issues for GLAAD would be? Well, we're very... Top three? The top three? Well, we're very focused on storytelling, that's what we do. We've been around for 30 years. And we really specialize in telling stories through the media, leveraging news, entertainment, film, television, gaming, comics, movies, music, to tell stories. We know that when you know someone personally who's LGBTQ, it's the most common denominator when it comes to accepting our community. Hmm. But the second best thing is seeing them in the media. And that's why things like Will & Grace, back in the 90's, Ellen coming out, Rosie O'Donnell, and so many others who have told their stories in very big broad ways in the media have made such a difference for our community over the last 30 years. Now we're really focused, especially in light of this administration, on making sure that we don't turn the clock backward. We were living pretty large last year when this election took us by surprise, quite frankly. The Obama administration was incredibly supportive. We had repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We had overturned the so-called..."