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In the summer of 2011, Professor Amy Schalet of the University of Massachusetts Amherst came to us seeking to gain media visibility for her then-upcoming book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex. Not Under My Roof powerfully made a case that few public figures at the time were making: that rather than adopting a blanket “not under my roof” policy for teen sexuality, parents should actively guide their children to make responsible sexual choices.Drawing largely from a comparison of American and Dutch family views on teen sexuality, the book boldly challenged many common assumptions, including the notion that adolescent sex is always divorced from love, and the gender norms by which teen boys are often seen as incapable of being romantic.
In July 2010, OutServe – the first organization composed of active-duty gay, lesbian and bisexual service members in the U.S. military – was ready to step into the public eye with an announcement into the media about themselves and their growing membership. The timing was perfect, as the battle in Congress over the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), the longtime policy which banned openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces was closing in on a possible, even likely, resolution.
For many years, it was common for the media to frame issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues as “gay issues” – meaning that they only pertained to those with same-sex sexual attractions. Notions of gender conformity and nonconformity were largely left out of the discussion, along with those who were most directly impacted by gender issues – transgender Americans.
Today, thanks to years of hard work by LGBT activists, it is far more common for the media to use the inclusive acronym “LGBT.” Yet the T is all too the most neglected letter. That’s why, over our five years in business, Renna Communications has taken the lead in ensuring that that T is a capital T. We recognize that these issues are not only issues of LGBT rights; they are issues of human rights, which impact all of us.
The Williams Institute is the nation’s leading think tank producing research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Renna Communications played a critical role in making the Institute a national thought leader through one of our longest-running partnerships.
Founded in 1978, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) works toward improving the lives of GLBT senior citizens, who are far more likely than non-gay seniors to live alone, to be disconnected from their families, and to face discrimination from conventional senior facilities. In its first three decades, SAGE had many accomplishments to its name, including creating the nation’s first GLBT senior drop-in center and the first support group for GLBT seniors living with HIV. However, the organization – and their constituency – suffered from a near-total lack of visibility in the media.
SAGE came to Renna Comunications to “put GLBT older adults on the map” and that is exactly what we have done.
The Point Foundation first came to Cathy Renna in 2004 as a little-known organization providing scholarships to LGBT youth who had experienced financial hardship as a result of their sexual orientation. Through a strategic buildup of media coverage, Renna elevated the Point Foundation’s visibility to the national level, including an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show and a 2005 TIME magazine cover. This prominence not only enabled Point to vastly expand both its fundraising and the size of its applicant pool, but also spread the stories of Point scholars and the message of hope they offered to LGBT youth.
Twenty-seven people were arrested at ACT UP’s 20th Anniversary Action demanding single-payer national health insurance in the United States.