Willgrace_wings_lgBelow is the official statment of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation regarding Noah’s Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk’s article.

I initially approached them for a comment for an article I am working on regarding this controversy and this is what I was sent. More to come on this later.

Official GLAAD Statement:

Since its inception in 2003, GLAAD’s People of Color Media Program  has successfully worked to expand the presence and prominence of  diverse voices and stories in the media.  We’ve done so through a  commitment to community collaboration and partnership.

In the past year, since Katina Parker joined GLAAD as our Media  Manager for Communities of African Descent, we have made considerable  inroads.  Katina has done extensive work with the National Black  Justice Coalition, including collaborating with them to secure media  coverage for NBJC’s Black Church Summit Against Homophobia in such  outlets as the New York Times, the Associated Press, Harlem World,  CNN, Just Living Atlanta and Clik magazine.

Another area of focus for GLAAD has been LGBT visibility and  inclusion in the black press. This year, Katina and Jonathan Adams,  GLAAD’s Communities of African Descent Media Fellow, have conducted  meetings with editors at Essence, Vibe.com, AOL Black Voices and the  New York Beacon to increase the quantity and quality of inclusive  stories.  Also, Katina held an editorial board meeting at the LA Wave and has conducted meetings with the Oakland Post and reporters at the  San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press.  Those meetings led  to the publication of an April 19 GLAAD media analysis of how the  Black press cover LGBT issues — a report that will help shape future  outreach and collaboration with Black press outlets.

In addition, GLAAD’s People of Color and Regional Media Teams have  media-trained hundreds of Black LGBT and allied activists throughout  the country, delivering the necessary tools for them to become  effective spokespeople at the local level.  And Katina worked with  openly gay filmmaker Maurice Jamal to place an op-ed at Vibe.com  regarding the cultural impact of Kanye West’s denunciation of  homophobia.

As the only national LGBT organization with a People of Color Media  Program, the reality is that GLAAD’s commitment to communities of  color is seen throughout our media programs.  For example, our People  of Color Media staff teamed with our National News Director to work  with the AP to pitch and provide resources for a feature article on  the growing political and cultural influence of the Black gay  community in. Also our Regional Media Team, in consultation  with the Communities of African Descent Media Team, has actively  pitched dozens of stories and op-eds focusing on people of color in  outlets across the country.

Finally, it feels important that we clarify some misconceptions that  were published last week regarding the GLAAD Media Awards.

Prominently featuring the cast of Noah’s Arc at the Los Angeles Media  Awards and on the TV show was a GLAAD priority from the early  planning stages of the event.  In fact, the Noah’s Arc cast were  among the first presenters we approached and booked for the LA show.

When they were not on the red carpet or in Logo’s backstage celebrity  lounge, the cast of Noah’s Arc was seated on the ground floor with  Logo executives and other talent from the network.

It’s also important to recognize that GLAAD is a non-profit  organization that is much smaller in terms of budget than our  opponents, such as Focus on the Family.  The GLAAD Media Awards  telecast is produced and paid for by Logo.

There also seems to be some confusion about the timing of a request  we made to honor Patrik-Ian Polk for his achievements in media  (including Noah’s Arc and his GLAAD Media Award-nominated film  "Punks") at this year’s event in San Francisco. We approached Mr.  Polk about accepting this honor on Feb. 2 — at the same time as we  were approaching other special honorees for this year’s events.  He declined to accept the award on Feb. 7 — two weeks after the Jan. 23 Sundance event that unveiled the nominees in competitive categories.  The special honorees were first announced on March 1.  Had he agreed  to be honored prior to our March 1 announcement, Mr. Polk would have  been mentioned as one of this year’s honorees in that media release.  We regret that Mr. Polk’s schedule prevented him from accepting this honor this year.