The former lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons and songwriter-turned-LGBT activist Justin Tranter has joined the board of GLAAD, the LGBT media charity.
His credits include hit songs Sorry by Justin Bieber, Hands to Myself by Selena Gomez and numerous tracks on Britney Spears’s latest album Glory.
“Music is a big part of media and culture, so I thought I could really lend my voice and expertise,” he explained to Billboard.
“I feel like there is a lot of homophobia and misogyny in the music business, and I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I’ve broken down a lot of those doors.
“I’ve had the experience of going through homophobia in my work and I can share my experiences so future generations don’t have to deal with what I’ve dealt with.”
Tranter, who is gender non-conformist, has been a leading figure in LGBT activism in the music industry: while attending the Chicago Academy for the Performing Arts he held an annual AIDs benefit; he also founded the Musicians With a Mission scholarship for LGBT youth education while at Berklee.
Following the Orlando shootings in 2016, he co-ordinated the release of Hands, a charity single which raised funds for Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, GLAAD, and the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.
GLAAD is an LGBT media charity, founded by a group of journalists in 1985 in response to sensationalised HIV coverage in New York newspapers. Recent work has included ensuring the media portrayed Caitlyn Jenner’s transition accurately and with respect.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, said: “Justin Tranter’s impact on the music industry is far reaching and dynamic.
“Justin’s work on Hands helped a nation cope with tragedy and we are honored to add his vision and voice to the GLAAD National Board of Directors.”
Tranter is joined by leading fashion editor Ariel Foxman of InStyle and StyleWatch.
Words Liam Taft