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GLAAD's Director of Local News Darian Aaron Amplifies Black Queer Media & Stories at "GLAAD Down South" Event

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Darian Aaron GLAAD Down South
GLAAD Director of Local News: US South Darian Aaron | Photo: Sydney A. Foster

On May 17th, GLAAD's Director of Local News for the US South, Darian Aaron, spearheaded a groundbreaking event titled "GLAAD Down South" at MODEx Studio in Atlanta. This invite-only gathering marked a significant milestone in the amplification of Black queer voices in media, organized with the aim to celebrate and uplift underrepresented narratives.

The event, hosted by Dewayne Queen, introduced Darian Aaron and celebrated his considerable impact with original content development across the South as part of GLAAD’s communications team in the past year.

In his introductory video, narrated by Anna DeShawn, according to findings from GLAAD’s 2021 Local Media Accountability Index, U.S. South—“…at least one outlet in every Southern state studied did not produce an LGBTQ-related story.

In just 15 months, Aaron has placed over 50 stories in 20 local, regional, and national outlets, across every available media platform.

Dewayne Queen | Photo Credit: Sydney A. Foster (@sydney.a.foster)

Photo Credit: Sydney A. Foster (@sydney.a.foster)

GLAAD Down South also brought together media professionals, community leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers and esteemed figures in Black queer journalism, including Gaye Magazine's Editor in Chief and Founder K. Keith who was invited to speak on the Black Queer Journalism Panel alongside Mashaun Simon, LaPorsche Thomas, Anare V. Holmes (Moderator).

Reflecting on the occasion, K. Keith expressed, "This was my first panel discussion, and it was truly inspiring to witness Darian Aaron being recognized for his leadership and impactful work."

"The energy in the room was palpable, and it was clear that everyone felt the importance of the moment. I am proud to be part of Darian's movement which is making strides in ensuring our stories are told authentically. This event reaffirmed my commitment to uplifting Black queer voices through my work at Gaye Magazine."

Mashaun Simon, LaPorsche Thomas, K. Keith, Anare V. Holmes (Moderator).

The event also featured insightful panels on TikTok, Instagram, and media literacy, as well as a discussion on Black Queer representation in media, underscoring the importance of diverse storytelling.

The highlight of the evening was a heartfelt conversation between Darian Aaron and Dominique Morgan, a prominent Black trans activist and Program Director of Fund for Trans Generations at Borealis Philanthropy. Gaye previously reported on Morgan in 2023 when she became the first living transgender woman to be honored with a street name.

Darian Aaorn & Dominique Morgan | Photo Credit: Sydney A. Foster

Morgan and Aaron discussed the recent media attention surrounding the historic renaming of the street in Morgan's hometown, Omaha, NE, emphasizing Aaron's instrumental role in spotlighting this milestone. Morgan acknowledged Aaron's efforts, stating, "I am very clear that your efforts to even respond to the press release—the way you pushed it. I’m so thankful for you."

In his remarks at the event, Darian Aaron affirmed GLAAD's commitment to amplifying Southern LGBTQ voices, stating, “LGBTQ folks in the South have something to say, and GLAAD is invested in amplifying their voices.”


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