Contributor Rebecca Juro commented on my post, "GLAAD Chief Resigns Over AT&T FCC Flap":
I don't know a lot about Barrios, but everything I did know seemed to indicate to me that he just wasn't the right guy to lead this org. He seemed far too much a part of the elite gay crowd and not nearly enough of a serious activist. Then again, I've felt for quite some time now that GLAAD should spend a lot less time throwing galas and mingling with stars and a lot more on the real down and dirty work of media advocacy. I hope they put a real hands-on grassroots activist in that position. GLAAD desperately needs to start getting its hands dirty and advocating more effectively for LGBT representation in the media, even when, and in fact especially when, it pisses off the big-money elites.
I disagree. While GLAAD had become solely known for their fundraisers and galas, I think that the group regained a sentence of purpose under Barrios' leadership and had started moving the ball forward. Change moves slow at a multi-million dollar not-for-profit though.
If you look at all of the instances of bad media reporting, transphobic sitcoms, and general anti-LGBT entertainment the group has deftly handled over the past bit, I think they've quickly grown and matured quite a bit. I'd like to see more of that - and while the staff that's there now implemented and actually worked to bring that change to the embattled org, Barrios set the agenda. I completely disagree with how he handled this AT&T/FCC situation, but that doesn't mean everything he touched went to hell.
There are a lot of good people at GLAAD doing thankless work and we need to recognize that. Most of them, I believe, would also love to see a leader willing to get their hands dirty too. They had one, but he failed in another area. It's sad, really.
So what do you think, gang? Did GLAAD up their game recently under Barrios' leadership or are they still the galas group? Do you think his resignation will help or hurt the organization?