Cathy Renna

Cathy Renna

At a Glance:

Cathy Renna has been a Project Contributor since November 2007, has written 66 entries and currently lives in Shelter Island, NY.


Cathy is nationally recognized as a media relations expert and as a leader within the LGBT community.

As a major force behind the success and growth of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), where she worked for 14 years, Cathy served as a primary spokesperson for GLAAD, as well as its first National News Media Director. She contributed to the strategic, crisis communications and community relations components of the organization’s most visible campaigns. When she served as Training Services Manager, Cathy developed the materials and curriculum for GLAAD’s highly sought after “MediaEssentials” training series. She also developed “Train the Trainer” materials for the organization, as GLAAD’s staff expanded and media training services became an integral part of the work of its Regional Media department. In her role as Community Relations Director at GLAAD, Cathy conducted hundreds of media trainings and presentations across the country to a diverse array of progressive groups of all sizes.

Most notably in terms of crisis and strategic communications, Cathy played a central role while at GLAAD in shaping media coverage of both the beating death of Matthew Shepard in 1998, a tragedy that became a cultural marker for a shift in the level of media visibility of LGBT issues, and the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, during which her efforts contributed to thwarting Church officials’ attempts to link the dynamic of abuse to sexual orientation.

Since leaving GLAAD, Cathy has worked to increase the visibility of clients such as 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Point Foundation, Family Pride and the Williams Institute. In her 17 years working in media relations, Cathy has garnered placements in every major newspaper and television outlet in the country, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Newsweek and a cover story of Time magazine.

In addition to her work as a communications consultant, Cathy continues to be highly sought after by the media as a spokesperson on LGBT issues and has appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America and numerous local affiliate shows throughout the country.

Cathy Renna: Recently Filed


'Two Spirits' Wins PBS Audience Award

Filed by Cathy Renna | July 06, 2011 | 3:00 PM | comments

PBS-Independent Lens announced yesterday that Two Sprits has received the Audience Award as the highest-rated film of the 2010-11 season by online voting and other measures of audience support.Read More


History at the Stonewall Inn

Filed by Cathy Renna | June 25, 2011 | 8:00 AM | comments

There was a huge celebration in front of the Stonewall Inn on Friday night. The crowd grew. And grew. And grew. I knew I was standing in the right place at a moment when history was about to be made.Read More


Two Spirits: The Last Thing Fred Saw

Filed by Cathy Renna | June 12, 2011 | 3:00 PM | comments

It is hard to believe that a decade has passed since the brutal murder of Fred Martinez. Seeing the spot where he was killed was a gut-wrenching sight, even with experience dealing with the hallmark of hate crimes called "overkill."Read More

NYC Subway: Family Guy Does It Again

Filed by Cathy Renna | April 25, 2011 | 5:00 PM | comments

I am not sure if this is also in other cities - I am guessing so. After all the controversy around their transgender story lines this seems especially insensitive (to say the least). When I posted this on my Facebook...Read More

How Many LGBT Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?

Filed by Cathy Renna | April 07, 2011 | 4:00 PM | comments

Full disclosure: The Williams Institute is a client of Renna Communications but the opinions expressed by me are mine and mine alone. Any agreement on the part of anyone is purely coincidental. Even my wife's. Trust me. New analysis coming...Read More