February 26, 2016
GLAD now stands for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
Why are you making this change? We want to fully represent all of the communities and individuals whose rights we fight for every day.
Why now? We’ve been having this discussion as an organization for some time, and this is simply the point at which we reached a conclusion, and came up with the right name.
How exactly do you say it? Saying only the letters in the acronym GLBTQ, you would say “GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders” – or of course, you can simply say GLAD.
Why keep GLAD? We are proud of our name and our history, and many people identify strongly with “GLAD”. We wanted to keep that sense of continuity while embracing the entire community that we fight for.
What does GLBTQ stand for? The letters stand for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer.
Isn’t “queer” offensive to some people? For some people, the word will always be an epithet. For others, it is the only way they describe themselves. We want to reflect those in our community, for example, many young people, who identify as “queer” rather than as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. It’s important to describe people as they describe themselves, so they know we are there for them.
We have added Q, T, and B, without taking away G or L, so that everyone can find themselves in our name. No matter how you describe yourself, GLAD is there for you.
Why not any of the other letters? Despite our inclusive intentions, there may still be people in our community who don’t see themselves reflected in our name. It was a practical necessity to limit the letters used in our name, but that doesn’t limit the work we have always done and will always do on behalf of those discriminated against because of their actual or perceived gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or HIV status.
Is GLAD changing its mission? Our mission remains to work in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status and sexual orientation.
What does this mean about GLAD’s trans work? GLAD will continue doing the critical cutting edge transgender legal work we’ve done for decades. We hope the new name will enable us to communicate about that work even more effectively. At the same time, we’ll continue working across the board for LGBTQ rights, including HIV law, family law, comprehensive non-discrimination protections, youth work, and more.
Will GLAD stop doing anything it’s been doing before? No.
Will GLAD be doing anything new? GLAD is always looking to the horizon, and to new ways to transform the law, so we are always doing something new, no matter what our name.