Tuesday, September 25, 2018


What's happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at editor@presspassq.com

GAYMOVIEDB.COM, the Gay Movie Database, has been launched by Florida-based ORLANDO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC. The site bills itself as the most comprehensive and easily navigable online database of over 1,000 titles of interest to the LGBTQ community. It is a joint venture between Managing Director BROCK CORNELIUS and Creative Director BRANDON TAYLOR.

THE LOS ANGELES BLADE has been nominated for a WEST HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Creative Business Award in the category of Creative Communications. Awards will be handed out at a November 15, 2018, ceremony.
Lucas Grindley

LUCAS GRINDLEY, the former editor in chief of THE ADVOCATE, was named the new executive director of Philadelphia-based NEXT CITY, an urban-affairs journalism organization that looks to impact social, economic and environmental change one city at a time.

OPTIONS MAGAZINE, based in Providence, R.I., hosted the second annual Gay 5K Run/Walk for Rhode Island’s LGBTQ Community on September 23, 2018. All proceeds benefit the volunteer-run publication.

QNOTES, based in Charlotte, N.C., unveiled its redesigned print edition with its August 10-23, 2018, issue. 

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., and its publisher NORM KENT will be presented with the EQUALITY FLORIDA INSTITUTE’s Florida Media for Equality Award at the organization’s 16th Annual Equality Florida Broward Gala on November 11, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE hosted eight activists who are participating in the U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT’s International Visitor Leadership Program at the newspaper’s offices last month. The activists were from Argentina, Cambodia, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand.

THE WILTON MANORS GAZETTE, published by SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, has launched a Facebook group to keep readers up to date with the latest happenings and news in the city as well as to distinguish itself from its parent company.

Volume 20
Issue 6

Publishers relieved tariffs on newsprint lifted

by Joe Siegel

Last month, the United States International Trade Commission overturned a Trump Administration decision to impose tariffs on Canadian newsprint, saying that American paper producers are not harmed by newsprint imports.

According to the New York Times: “The unanimous decision by the five-member body eliminates tariffs that have been in effect since January, handing a win to small and medium-size newspapers, which have struggled to absorb the cost of higher newsprint and have made cuts, including layoffs, as a result.”

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed tariffs as high as 20 percent on newsprint from Canada after the North Pacific Paper Company, a paper mill in Washington State, filed a complaint alleging that subsidies that the Canadian government provides to its manufacturers put American paper companies at a disadvantage.

The commission, which is an American government agency that reviews unfair trade practices, said in a statement that it “determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada.”

Details of the commission’s findings will be published by Oct. 8, the statement said.

Small and medium-sized newspapers in the U.S., including many LGBT media outlets, had been worried about a price increase on newsprint. But since the tariffs have been lifted, Lynne Brown, publisher of the Washington Blade, e-mailed several LGBT editors, urging them not to let their printers “bully” them into a price increase.

LGBT editors and publishers weighed in on the tariffs and the impact on their publications.

“Just before [the tariffs] were put in place, we switched printers and locked in our prices so the tariffs wouldn't increase our price,” said Rick Claggett, owner, publisher and editor of Orlando-based Watermark Media. “If printers are still charging higher prices even though the tariffs were reversed, well I think they should reevaluate their business practices. I certainly would not use a printer that did that.”

“We have had two increases in the last eight months totalling 13 percent,” added Tim Boyd, editor of Georgia Voice.

“We are certainly happy that the recent pricing increase related to the tariffs should be coming down soon, and hope that these manufactured trade wars will soon end,” said Tracy Baim, editor of Chicago’s Windy City Times.

Jim Yarbrough, publisher of Charlotte, N.C.-based QNotes, wrote in his newspaper’s August 10 issue that he had planned to “switch away from the old, gray newsprint to a brighter, whiter, heavier-stock paper.” However, Trump’s tariffs “stopped us from moving forward” with this change. But “we hope to revisit” the planned switch.

Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, wrote an editorial last month called, “Tariffs hurt journalism.”

“I thought Trump stated that he wanted to bring jobs to this country. There are only five plants in the U.S. that make this form of paper, and they cannot print enough for all newspapers,” wrote Segal. “Rather than create jobs, this tariff will take away jobs. There are many newspapers in this nation that are already on a financial thin line, cannot absorb that additional cost and will go under. What about those jobs, Mr. President? And let’s not forget that stamping out the media is censorship.”

Todd Evans, CEO of Rivendell Media as well as publisher of Press Pass Q, said he hopes this issue “does not suppress print circulation for it seems to me the demand from the LGBT community is strong with a print presence being a part of the communities’ visibility. Print circulation was again up this year and I can think of no other niche media where this is true, so I would hate to see it forced down at a time when we need the news - by and for our community - more than ever.”

Volume 20
Issue 6

Far-right men’s group threatens San Francisco paper with legal action

by Fred Kuhr

The far-right men’s group the Proud Boys call themselves “Western chauvinists” who long for the days when, as Archie Bunker once put it, “girls were girls and men were men.” But if you call them “white supremacists” and “fascists,” you may be threatened with legal action.

That’s what happened when San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.) ran a column headlined, “Proud Boys not welcome in Oakland," by writer Christina A. DiEdoardo. The column covered a July 23 protest that occurred after the Bay Area chapter of the Proud Boys allegedly announced on social media a few days earlier that it would meet at a bar in Oakland.

B.A.R. writer Christina A. DiEdoardo
Proud Boys representative Jason Van Dyke, an attorney in Texas, emailed a cease and desist letter to the B.A.R. August 10, a day after the column was published. In it, he denied that the group of men who met at the bar were Proud Boys, according to a report in the B.A.R.

"We determined that the rumor of a Proud Boy meet-up [in Oakland] was an internet hoax that originated on Twitter and 4Chan," Van Dyke wrote in the letter, as quoted in the B.A.R. "No meet-up of our Bay Area chapter was ever planned at that establishment or at that time.”

In the letter, Van Dyke asked for a retraction of the words "white supremacists" and “fascists,” which were used to describe the group in the column.

Van Dyke also took issue with the column for insinuating that the Proud Boys intended to meet for the purpose of protesting a vigil for Nia Wilson - an African-American woman who was allegedly killed by a white man on July 22. But the alleged Proud Boys meeting was reportedly planned before the Wilson vigil was announced.

According to the column, six white men did attempt to enter the bar on the night of the protest. While it is unclear if they were Proud Boys, they reportedly did not refute the allegation that they were aligned with the group.

"When the five or six jokers tried to run our lines, the crowd called them out as Proud Boys and they didn't deny it, claim they were somebody else, etc. They just grinned and tried to force their way through," DiEdoardo wrote in an email to the B.A.R.

As part of its reporting, the B.A.R. interviewed Van Dyke, during which he said the Proud Boys are not white supremacists. “We certainly respect the right of a publication like the Bay Area Reporter to disagree with some of the views of the Proud Boys, but in the story it's a statement of fact that we are white supremacists and that's completely untruthful," Van Dyke said.

In threatening legal action against the B.A.R., Van Dyke wrote in the email that "failure to respond to this letter in a timely fashion may result in referral of this matter to our attorneys in California for legal action against you."

Van Dyke has reportedly sent over 150 similar letters to media outlets.

In response, DiEdoardo, who is also an attorney, told the B.A.R., "While it's cute they think they're being intimidating, their best efforts will never be sufficient to stop trans and queer columnists and activists like me from doing our job in these times, any more than police harassment deterred our foremothers during the Compton's Cafeteria and Stonewall uprisings."

In the B.A.R.’s story, publisher Michael Yamashita said the column was clearly labeled commentary and that the words are DiEdoardo's opinion.

"It smacks of press intimidation without any real knowledge of how the press operates in relation to news articles, commentaries, columnists, and reporters," Yamashita said in the B.A.R. "They each have different parameters and guidelines that they have to abide. If anything, this is a misunderstanding on [Van Dyke's] part about what constitutes libel and what was actually said in the column.”

B.A.R. did not retract anything in the column, and the newspaper has not heard from the Proud Boys since.

Volume 20
Issue 6

NLGJA convention largest in a decade

by Joe Siegel

More than 450 journalists and media professionals attended this year’s convention for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, held September 6-9 in Palm Springs, Calif.

“This was the largest national convention for NLGJA in over a decade,” beamed Adam K. Pawlus, the group’s executive director.

Panelists this year including New York Times Assistant Managing Editor Carolyn Ryan, Vox Senior Editor of Race and Identities Michelle Garcia, USA Today Network Vice President of Community News Randy Lovely, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Karen Pensiero, CBS News Correspondent David Begnaud, Rebellious Magazine “Rebelle-in-Chief” Karen Hawkins, and Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of murdered gay college student Matthew Shepard.

NLGJA's Adam K. Pawlus
“Our convention committee works hard every year to bring fresh programming and this year the more than 30 breakout sessions covered a variety of topics including 'dead naming,’ increasing your ‘it factor,’ and navigating social media changes,” Pawlus noted. “We had 10 student participants in the CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project.” The work produced by the students can be found at news.nlgjaconnect.org. Some of the students also had their work published in The Advocate and the digital magazine INTO. 

This year’s Career & Community Expo showcased over 20 media organizations and exhibitors. There was also a Diversity Reception, a Travel Writers Reception, a Lifetime Members Reception, and a Women's Networking Dinner. 

NLGJA also announced its 2018-2019 national board of directors. Sharif Durhams of CNN was confirmed as president and Jen Christensen of CNN was confirmed as vice president of broadcast. Durhams and Christensen join Treasurer Ken Miguel of San Francisco’s KGO-TV and Secretary Rick Stuckey of NBC Chicago on the executive board.

Joining the board of directors is Chris Martin of Bloomberg. Kristina Torres of the University System of Georgia and Sarah Blazucki of the U.S. Department of Justice have been elected as at-large directors. Torres was previously appointed to a one-year term and Blazucki previously served as vice president of print and online. Eric Hegedus of The New York Post was reelected as an at-large director. They join directors April Hunt of Emory University, freelancer Senta Scarborough, Jeff Truesdell of People Magazine, and Eric Walter of KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia.

Next year, NLGJA’s national convention will be held August 29 - September 1, 2019 in New Orleans. This will be the first time that NLGJA has hosted a convention in the city.

“I am thrilled that we’ll be heading to New Orleans for NLGJA’s 2019 national convention,” said Pawlus. “Amazing jazz, delicious beignets and the best LGBTQ journalists all in one city? What’s not to love?”

For more information and to register for the 2019 NLGJA Convention, visit www.nlgja.org/2019

Volume 20
Issue 6

Controversial former Bay Area Reporter editor Paul Lorch dies

by Cynthia Laird
(Cynthia Laird is the news editor of the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco. This article appeared in the August 8, 2018, issue of the newspaper. It is reprinted here with permission.)

Paul Lorch, a gay man who, as editor of the Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.) in the early 1980s, opposed closing gay bathhouses to stem the spread of AIDS and published a list of gays he said were "enemies" of the community, died July 21. He was 86.

He died peacefully at his home in Guerneville, Calif., of natural causes, said his former roommate and longtime friend, Rod Hoglan.

Mr. Lorch published an "enemies list" of 15 gay men and one lesbian who supported bathhouse closure in an infamous April 5, 1984, signed editorial titled "Killing the Movement." He was adamant that outlawing gay spaces would be akin to "killing the movement.”

"This group would have empowered government forces to enter our private precincts and rule over and regulate our sex lives," he wrote.

Paul Lorch (Photo courtesy BAR/Rod Hoglan)
The fight over bathhouse closure divided the gay community in the 1980s. At the time, public health officials and many community leaders saw the move as a way to curb transmission of HIV, while those who wanted to keep them open argued that they provided an ideal setting for safer sex education.

Others, like Lorch, were vociferously opposed to any closure and saw it as an assault on gay sexual freedom and a slippery slope to government intervention in one's private life.

There were also divisions in the business community. The baths were lucrative for their owners, as were gay bars and other gathering places. Papers like the B.A.R. benefitted from advertising dollars from bathhouse owners, said current B.A.R owner and publisher Michael Yamashita, who was not with the paper during Lorch's tenure.

Ultimately, in October 1984, the bathhouses in San Francisco were closed. The ban did not target bathing facilities per se, but rather private rooms with closed doors that could not be monitored.

Many of the people on Lorch's list have since died. The editorial has been mentioned in several publications over the years, including the late gay reporter Randy Shilts' book "And the Band Played On.”

But some are still living, including the sole lesbian, former state senator Carole Migden, who said she was sorry to hear of Lorch's passing.

"He was very vehement and vigorous," Migden wrote in an email. "We differed on 'bathhouse closure.’ “Yet with AIDS infections growing exponentially and countless gay men dying in a matter of months, I and others believed that the closure of bathhouses would help stem the spread of this relentless disease. It did help, thankfully.”

Tim Wolfred was another name on Lorch's list. A gay man who at the time was on the City College board, Wolfred said in an interview that being named "didn't have much impact on me.”

"I was up for reelection to the college board and the B.A.R. endorsed me," he said, adding that he won his race. "The next year I became executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.”

Wolfred said that he and Lorch "always remained friendly.” Wolfred said that Lorch went on to work at City College of San Francisco.

Hoglan said that before his retirement, Lorch served as the liberal arts dean at City College.

"He was very erudite in many ways," Wolfred said.

Wolfred explained that the 1980s were "a very heated time" as AIDS began decimating the gay community and the bathhouse issue came to the fore.
But he didn't think Lorch's list had a lasting effect on the careers of people on it.

"It kind of came and went quickly," he said, adding that he and Lorch never spoke about the list.

Others were less generous.

Ron Huberman, a retired investigator for the San Francisco District Attorney's office, said Mr. Lorch's list still bothered him.

"It's still very sad to say, but most of the gay men listed as 'enemies' died of AIDS during the years after that was published," Huberman wrote in a Facebook message, "including my best friend, Bill Kraus. Somehow I survived, but I will never forget Paul's role in creating that list.”

Longtime dermatologist Marcus Conant, who was one of the first physicians to diagnose and treat AIDS patients in 1981, was also on Lorch's list.

Conant, who's 82 and still runs his practice, told the B.A.R. in a phone interview that while he thought Lorch "was fighting for a cause that was a just cause," the media had a responsibility to provide factual information. "It's extremely important for people in positions of responsibility to convey facts," Conant said, adding that in the 1980s "there was no internet, no Google.”

"Even the mainstream press like the New York Times and TV viewed AIDS as something affecting a marginal group," he said. "So the B.A.R. was where the gay community was going for information.

"In 1984, Paul was so desperate to maintain what had been achieved for the gay community," Conant added. "Unfortunately, in so doing, he deprived gay people of the information they needed.”

During his tenure at the B.A.R., Lorch was a part owner of the paper. Publisher Bob Ross, the majority owner, terminated Lorch as editor two months after the editorial, in June 1984. Hoglan declined to provide the reason for Lorch's firing and Paul Melbostad, the paper's attorney, said he could not remember.

Lorch later sued Ross for wrongful termination. The suit was settled by Ross buying back Lorch's shares in the corporation that owned the B.A.R. by mutual agreement, Melbostad said. Ross died in 2003.

Lorch was born on May 10, 1932, in Bronx County, N.Y. He attended Regis High, the number one Catholic High School in the country. Hoglan said that he attended and graduated the University of Toronto.

He served in the Army. Hoglan said he believed Lorch started living full-time in San Francisco in the early 1960s.

"Prior to that, he was teaching at a college in the Sacramento area," Hoglan wrote in an email.

Lorch's partner, Thomas Pierson, died about 25 years ago, Hoglan said.

B.A.R. publisher emeritus Thomas E. Horn said when he met Ross in 1981, Lorch was the paper's editor. "The three of us went to lunch in the Castro, but Lorch was running the show, and Bob was happy as a clam," Horn wrote in an email. "Bob felt Lorch was responsible for taking the B.A.R. to a new level at one point. He clearly played an important role in establishing the B.A.R. as the leading gay publication in San Francisco.”

Hoglan said while Lorch lived in Guerneville, men would come up and thank him. "He was a good man," Hoglan said. "He was a generous man."

To read the April 5, 1984 issue of the Bay Area Reporter, go to https://archive.org/details/BAR_19840405

Volume 20
Issue 6

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Q Magazine and Project Q Atlanta

Interview with Editor and Publisher Mike Fleming
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Atlanta

Year founded: 2008
Staff size and breakdown: Six including Editor and Publisher Mike Fleming, Publisher and Development Director Matt Hennie, Publisher and General Manager Richard Cherskov, and one full-time staffer each in advertising sales, art direction and online editing. Freelance writers, photographers and designers are also active on a part-time basis.

Physical dimensions of publication: 8.5” x 11”

Average page count: 40 pages

Print run: 4,000

Website: theQatl.com


PPQ: What feature or features of Q have been the most popular with readers?

Editor and Publisher Mike Fleming: Our regular print features Q Voices opinion columns, Q Shots photo pages, the Queer Agenda calendar of events and The Q advice column remain our most popular destination cornerstones. Multi-page photo essays on local Atlanta community members and groups are a staple that get a lot of attention.

PPQ: Who came up with the name and what is the inspiration for it?

Fleming: We introduced queer Atlanta to the next generation of LGBTQ media when we launched Project Q Atlanta in 2008. … In 2017, the website name inspired us to put our Q on local queer media in a new way with the introduction of Q Magazine.

PPQ: What differentiates Q from other gay publications in metro Atlanta?

Fleming: Quality and experience. The co-publishers each have decades of LGBTQ and mainstream media under our belts in editorial, advertising and business management. Our reporting, sales and design staffers also have decades of experience in their fields.

PPQ: What challenge has your publication had to overcome since its inception?

Fleming: Overcoming outdated notions of what queer media can be was the first hurdle. Nationwide, the focus has been too narrow on the white gay male nightlife experience or a white gay political understanding. While we embrace that part of our audience, Q serves a broader readership and advertiser base that is noticeable every time a reader picks us up or visits our site. By far, our most frequent feedback is about our commitment to diversity.

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is Q facing now?

Fleming: Ad sales across both our online and print products continue to grow consistently, and like any publishers, we’d love that growth to be faster. Other than that, we enjoy challenging ourselves to outdo what we’ve already accomplished, not rest on our laurels, and just keep up the weekly pace.

PPQ: How has the magazine changed since it was first launched?

Fleming: As Project Q celebrates its 10th anniversary this month and Q Magazine rapidly approaches its first, we’re really pleased with the current trajectory. While the battles for LGBTQ rights and queer culture itself are always morphing, our core mission and dedication to covering them remains as solid and unflinching as ever.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Fleming: More pages and more staff.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories Q has covered?

Fleming: The biggest news in 2018 has to be the closure of a gay bar in Atlanta over its owner’s racist online rants. Since our inception online 10 years ago, a police raid on a gay bar that affected change in the Atlanta Police Department comes to mind, as well as the move of Atlanta Pride to October, a megachurch leader’s gay sex scandal, one “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner’s Atlanta roots, and another’s racism disgrace playing out on our turf, to name just a very few.

PPQ: On the Kinsey Scale of 0-6 [exclusively straight to totally gay], how gay is your publication?

Fleming: 11. Our Q is for queer, obviously, so we are beyond Kinsey’s gay 6, sitting happily with all gender-orientation expressions at full-tilt LGBTQIA.

PPQ: Do you see yourself as an “activist journalist”? If so, in what way?

Fleming: I’ve often said that the most activist thing any queer can do is come out and live out loud. In that way, every time we present a story from a celebratory, matter-of-fact perspective, we are taking action and changing hearts and minds. 

PPQ: There have been a number of publications that have either downsized their staffs or ceased operations completely. Is print media in danger?

Fleming: It’s all about adaptation. When we started Project Q Atlanta in 2008, less than 10 percent of our traffic was on mobile devices. Today, two-thirds of it is from mobile devices. It was groundbreaking at the time to focus online exclusively while so many print publications were just posting their print product online. Now we are supplementing our main online product with print, not the other way around. One thing that remains the same is that readers want information, and LGBTQ audiences need and appreciate content specifically curated for them. While we don’t know what the next change will be, the one sure thing is that it’s coming, and all of us in the industry have to be ready.

PPQ: What advice would you give to anyone who may want to launch their own GLBT publication?

Fleming: Do it for the personal satisfaction, and do it because it’s in your whole heart to do, because the work is intense, the hours are long, and the rewards are rarely material.

Volume 20
Issue 6