Monday, October 20, 2014

Diane Anderson-Minshall’s remarkable year

by Chuck Colbert

By any number of measures, Diane Anderson-Minshall has had a remarkable year.

An award-winning journalist, author and public speaker, she serves as editor-at-large of The Advocate magazine and editor in chief of HIV Plus magazine. At HIV Plus, Anderson-Minshall oversees all of the brand’s print, digital and mobile platforms. At The Advocate, she has a regular monthly print column and also provides occasional web content.
Diane Anderson-Minshall

Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications and anthologies. She previously served as longtime editor in chief of Curve magazine. Anderson-Minshall also co-founded the lesbian magazines Girlfriends and Alice.

Here at a glance is what she has been up to in 2014:

•  In March, Anderson-Minshall addressed the United Nations’ 58th Commission on the Status of Women. The title of her speech was “Women and HIV: A Virus Knows No Gender," which discussed how violence against women is the number one contributor to the rising HIV rates for women around the world.

•  In April, Anderson-Minshall was the keynote speaker in Dallas at the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce’s 9th Annual Dinner, “A Celebration of Excellence,” which recognizes the work that business community leaders have done for the local community.

•  In May, she received the inaugural Western Publishing Association’s Maggie Award for Leadership for her work at HIV Plus in developing the publication’s Treatment Guide Mobile App.

•  Also in May, Anderson-Minshall served on several panels at the Saints and Sinners LGBT Literary Festival in New Orleans, speaking about LGBT memoir and HIV in literature.

•  In June, Anderson-Minshall attended the first-ever national “HIV is Not a Crime” conference in Grinnell, Iowa. The gathering brought together 200 activists, policy makers, politicians and people living with HIV to talk about how to best fight outdated HIV criminalization laws.

•  Also in June, from the Los Angeles Press Club, she won the prestigious 56th SoCal Journalism Awards Best Online Feature Article for “Remembering the Worst Mass Killing of LGBT People in U.S. History.” Two months later, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA)-Los Angeles board of directors also honored Anderson-Minshall for the same article, awarding her Best Overall Entry for excellence in journalism.

•  In July, Anderson-Minshall was a featured speaker on a panel titled “The LGBT Geek Year in Review” at the San Diego Comic-Con International’s annual convention.

•  In August, as co-chair of LGBT Media Summit for NLGJA’s annual convention, Anderson-Minshall’s service was integral to programming, for example, in reintroducing HIV as a topic and ensuring trans people were front and center.

•  In September, Anderson-Minshall was among a group of people who participated an event called “Keeping Communities Healthy,” which explored preventing HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men using dating sites and apps. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation and federal and local public health departments sponsored the event. 

 • In October, she participated in the 18th Annual United States Conference on AIDS, where HIV Plus is a corporate media sponsor. In addition to covering the conference and hosting an exhibitor booth, Anderson-Minshall met with numerous HIV/AIDS stakeholders, sharing her new HIV Style Guide on how to report on issues related to HIV/AIDS.

And for all her awards and speaking engagements this year, Anderson-Minshall is co-author (with her husband) of the 2014 memoir “Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders.” It tells the story of how her 23-year-plus relationship with Jacob Anderson-Minshall survived his gender reassignment and the transition from lesbian couple to man and wife.

One reviewer, Jackson Nash in Lambda Literary, wrote, “‘Queerly Beloved’ will have particular appeal for trans men and their partners, as well as those who are fans of the authors’ previous work, or writers interested in creative non-fiction. It is a lively story, often brutally honest, told with humor and integrity.”

Another reviewer, Terri Schlichenmeyer, wrote in Chicago’s Windy City Times, “You'll find a deeply personal look at transitioning from the aspect of both the transitioner and the person who's loved him for most of their lives.”

Jacob Anderson-Minshall offered his perspective. “Our relationship has always been a mix of romance, politics and business and we’ve conspired on numerous projects together, including our memoir, the three ‘Blind Eye Detectives’ mystery novels, and co-founding Girlfriends magazine,” he told Press Pass Q. “Yes, she is my wife, but she is so much more.”

Asked about a highlight of the year, Diane Anderson-Minshall pointed to the Maggie Award for Leadership “because it was a mainstream award and it was for HIV Plus and for a platform — mobile — that a year earlier I hadn't even really worked with. When you're at an awards program with all these mainstream magazines and get to get up and talk about HIV, it has to have an impact on them.”

Indeed. In presenting Anderson-Minshall the Maggie Award, Western Publishing Association president Ron Epstein said, “Our Leadership Award honors an individual whose vision and innovation in the past year demonstrated real-world execution of a new platform, concept or segment of the business that improved or altered the media landscape in which it operates, or expanded or created a new business opportunity. Diane’s work in helping develop the HIV Plus Treatment Guide Mobile App, and her continued devotion to the industry, is an inspiration. She is the epitome of what this award is all about.”


In all, “It’s been a fantastic year professionally and personally,” Diane Anderson-Minshall said. “The awards are great, but often what they represent is even better.”

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