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Actor Wilson Cruz Joins GLAAD as Strategic Giving Officer

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Sep 6, 2012

In a Tuesday statement, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced on Tuesday that Wilson Cruz, known for his roles on "My So-Called Life" and "Noah's Arc," will be joining the media-watch's staff as strategic giving officer.

The president of the LGBT media advocate organization, Herndon Graddick, said in the statement that Cruz will become part of GLAAD's development team and help fund the group's work by "amplifying stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality."

"For more than two decades GLAAD has combatted anti-LGBT images in the media and changed the national conversation about LGBT people," said Cruz. "Today, GLAAD is also using its media expertise to create a culture that is accepting and safe for all young people. From Spanish-language media to sports, Hollywood to the newsroom, GLAAD shares the stories and sparks the discussions that make the world a better place for LGBT people everywhere. I am proud and excited to grow this culture-changing work. "

Graddick also said that Cruz has "been a strong advocate for LGBT Americans and this his work in the entertainment industry "exemplifies GLAAD’s mission to move LGBT equality forward."

Cruz has a long history with the organization as he won a GLAAD Media Award in 1995 because of his work on the drama "My So-Called Life," where he played a gay high school student named Rickie Vasquez. In 1997, Cruz became one of GLAAD’s board of directors and in 2008, GLAAD honored Cruz with its Visibilidad Award, an award given to LGBT media professionals who have "made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community."

Cruz also hosted the GLAAD Media Awards and has been on a panel of celebrity experts to finalize the award recipients.

Cruz has worked with other gay organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network where he co-chaired the last two annual Respect Awards, an event that raises money for the group. He also worked for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force as a field organizer and advocated for the expansion of human rights ordinances to include sexual orientation in cities around the U.S.

Besides film and television, Cruz has also been on Broadway (portraying Angel in "Rent") and plans on continuing his acting career, GLAAD’s statement points out. Besides, "My So Called Life," Cruz has been in "Party of Five," and "Noah’s Arc," a show about four gay men of color.


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