May 28, 2018
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GLAAD Announces Panelists for Homophobia & Virtual Communities Panel



Richard Ferraro
Director of Public Relations
(646) 871-8011

GLAAD Announces Panelists for Homophobia & Virtual Communities Panel


Leading Tech Companies to Discuss Issues, Policies, Solutions on Electronic Arts Campus

New York, NY, – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced panelists and topics to be covered in a panel on Homophobia & Virtual Communities on July 18, 2009 on the Electronic Arts campus in Redwood City, California.

The first of its kind panel discussion will spotlight the issue of homophobia in virtual communities and include the perspectives of both gaming companies and LGBT gamers. Discussion will revolve around the state of the problem in these communities, policy solutions that have been developed to address homophobia – some that are working and those that are not - as well as looking forward to challenges and opportunities in various sectors of the industry including production, policy and enforcement, financial, customer service and the end user experience.

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Flynn DeMarco (Alias: Fruite Brute), Founder of
  • Dan Hewitt, Senior Director of Communications & Industry Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
  • Caryl Shaw, Senior Producer in the Maxis Studio (Electronic Arts, Inc.)
  • Cyn Skyberg, VP of Customer Relations at Linden Lab
  • Stephen Toulouse (Gamertag: stepto), Program Manager for Policy and Enforcement on Microsoft's XBox LIVE
  • Moderator: Justin Cole, Director of Digital & Online Media, GLAAD

“The panel will provide an important forum to discuss a problem many LGBT people face in virtual communities and will help set the groundwork for better and more LGBT inclusive policies,” said Jarrett Barrios, incoming President of GLAAD. “These companies have voiced a commitment to all their customers - ensuring a safe environment for LGBT people is a critical part of that.”

To RSVP, please email or visit

Other key information:

Title: Homophobia in Virtual Communities - Highlighting the Problem and Working Towards Sustainable Solutions
Date: Saturday, July 18th, 2009
Time: 11am-1pm PST
Place: Redwood City, CA (specific location information and directions will be given to those who RSVP)
Format: 1 moderator, 5 panelists - Introductions, three major questions each followed by discussion, audience Q&A 

Facebook Event Page:

The panel is part of GLAAD’s previously announced advocacy and anti-defamation project that will focus on a range of virtual communities including networked PC games, social networks, online gaming and virtual worlds. The project will also address policies related to commenting features on blogs, Web sites and message boards.

GLAAD will work to ensure such communities remain committed to:

  • Providing safe spaces for LGBT people to connect
  • Enact the best policies to prevent anti-LGBT defamation
  • Educate users of these communities about the effects of homophobia.


The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit

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