The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Digital Queers (DQ) Jan. 6 announced the integration of DQ into GLAAD's programs. The San Francisco-based program will known as the DQ Initiative at GLAAD. Founded in October 1992, DQ has assisted the lesbian and gay community in utilizing computer and communications technology into their lives and work. GLAAD is the nation's lesbian and gay media advocacy group.
GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry said, "With an award-winning website; the compilation of online compendiums which serve as a vital resource to journalists and community members; and its groundbreaking report on filtering software, GLAAD has already illustrated its understanding of the power of the Net. We've further demonstrated our commitment to empowering organizers across the country by providing our highly-regarded trainings." Garry continued, "GLAAD is now redoubling its efforts in these areas, moving forward with a new media initiative under the DQ umbrella. Through the DQ Initiative, GLAAD will engage a whole new set of activists and media professionals in the 21st century."
Since 1985, GLAAD has worked to promote fair, accurate and inclusive representations of individuals and events in all media. While GLAAD's website was launched in 1995, the organization's new media efforts came to national prominence in 1997, with the release of the groundbreaking Access Denied, a comprehensive report on the impact of Internet content regulation and filtering software on the lesbian and gay community. GLAAD's online work has also included extensive mobilization in responding to media representations and national events.
DQ has been providing technological support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations and individuals, and has been heralded for its mission of spearheading efforts to educate and equip the lesbian and gay community with computers and on-line communications.
DQ co-founder Tom Rielly said, "The nature of the Internet has changed dramatically since DQ's founding: what began as a technological tool used for productivity and information-gathering has evolved into one of the most powerful and popular mediums for communications. We recognized that with the Net's evolution came a need for DQ to evolve as well. We turned to GLAAD because through their work as a media advocate they have demonstrated that they recognize the power of the Net and even early on, extended their reach to that medium."
The DQ Initiative at GLAAD will train community activists in better use of online technologies, and GLAAD has announced that it will soon be hiring an Internet Evangelist, whose primary duties will be to develop and maintain lasting relationships with online activists and industry professionals. In addition, GLAAD will soon be launching its Intranet, which will give community members and volunteers access to important archival, historical and programmatic information via the Internet.