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06/27/2009

While we were away: GLAAD got head

by Jeremy Hooper

While serving in the Massachusetts State Senate, Jarrett Barrios fought back attempts to roll back marriage equality. Now he's heading to the top slot at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, where he'll fight back the clichéd claims that his organization does little more than throw lavish awards ceremonies. This from GLAAD:

At 40 years of age, Barrios will become the youngest leader of GLAAD and, as a Cuban-American, he will be the first head of a national LGBT organization fluent in English and Spanish. He was the first openly gay person and the first Latino elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, where he represented a largely white, Catholic, working-class district. He is an accomplished fundraiser and manager who broke fundraising records in his election campaigns and managed a multi-million dollar budget at the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts. He is married to Doug Hattaway, his partner of 16 years, and they are raising two teenage sons.

"In this historical battle for freedom for LGBT citizens, we need not only good leaders but great leaders," said LGBT advocate and author David Mixner. "The selection by GLAAD of Jarrett Barrios to lead them in their invaluable work is simply brilliant. As a father, husband, former legislator and son of immigrants from Cuba, no one understands more than Jarrett what is at stake in this powerful moment in our history. What incredibly good news for the LGBT community to have him in a position of national leadership."
Board of Directors Names Jarrett Barrios as President of GLAAD [GLAAD}

Yea, yea, yea -- he's got the skills. But now to what really matters: That we'll have a much easier time remembering how to spell his relatively simple name than we did with outgoing head Neil Giuliano (Giulianno? Guiliano?). Because ya know, it really is all about us and our lack of a need to Google our leader's names. And since we still sometimes have to take time out to remember that Solmonese isn't spelled like a creamy white fish-based spread, we'd hate for a new surname to come along and take away any more of our precious drinking gambling procrastinating work time.

So yea: We wish you all the best, Garet Bareose. Oh sh*t.

**SEE ALSO: Watch J.B. in action:

CNN Interviews GLAAD President About LGBT Rights & Obama [YT]

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