Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

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

BOSTON SPIRIT will be sponsoring its first-ever 5Gay, its version of a 5K fun run, in November in Provincetown, Mass.

Lou Chibbaro Jr.
LOU CHIBBARO JR., senior news reporter at the WASHINGTON BLADE, has been named an “icon” by the EQUALITY FORUM, an advocacy group that promotes awareness of LGBTQ history. Chibbaro will be among those the group honors during LGBT History Month in October.

GAY CITY NEWS, based in New York City, unveiled its new logo in June 2019. The new logo combines both the paper’s full name as well as the initials GCN in lower case. The new logo was designed by MICHAEL SHIREY, the newspaper’s former creative director.

GAY SAN DIEGO is up for sale. Publisher DAVID MANNIS sold the five other community newspapers he used to own in April 2019 to his ex-wife, but he retained control Gay San Diego. But he announced last month that he is ready to retire altogether. Interested parties can contact Mannis at david@sdcnn.com or 858-750-5631.

Dubbs Weinblatt
GOGUIDE MAGAZINE, based in Iowa City, Iowa, enters its fourth year of publication with its September 2019 issue.

DALE GODFREY, a contributing photographer for San Francisco’s BAY AREA REPORTER, died June 30, 2019, after suffering a heart attack. He was 72.

YARIEL VALDÉS GONZALEZ, the WASHINGTON BLADE contributor from Cuba seeking asylum in the United States, appeared before an immigration judge in Louisiana late last month. A second hearing is scheduled for September 6, 2019.

WATERMARK, based in Orlando, Fla., moved to new office space in Baldwin East on July 12, 2019.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE will celebrated its 50th anniversary at a gala on October 18, 2019,  at the Intercontinental Hotel in D.C. Tickets available at blade50th.com.

DUBBS WEINBLATT, a trans genderqueer improv performer, is the host of GAY CITY NEWS’ new podcast called THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT. It’s available through the Apple podcast app.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 21
Issue 5

Journalists to convene in New Orleans, honor Washington Blade

by Joe Siegel

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is going to New Orleans for its annual convention from August 29 through September 1. The event will be held at the InterContinental New Orleans. More than 450 journalists, news executives, communications professionals and educators are expected to attend.

Notably for an LGBTQ media outlet, the Washington Blade will be honored by the group with its inaugural NLGJA Legacy Award.

The NLGJA Legacy Award was created this year to recognize an outlet, publication or news organization that has exhibited innovative, high-quality and sustained news coverage of the LGBTQ community over an extended period of time, according to the group. The NLGJA Legacy Award is the association’s only award that is presented to an outlet, publication or news organization to recognize the work of its entire staff, rather than an individual.

"Thank you to NLGJA for this honor,” said Naff. “The Blade team works hard each day to hold this administration accountable, to cover hate crimes targeting our community and to shine a light on the plight of LGBTQ people around the world. We have helped write the first draft of LGBTQ history for 50 years and while much progress has been made, we look forward to the advances of the next 50 years."

Hall of Fame inductee Lilli Vincenz
Representatives from the Washington Blade will be on hand to accept the NLGJA Legacy Award at the convention in New Orleans.

“We're very excited to be headed to New Orleans for our 2019 National Convention,” said NLGJA Executive Director Adam Pawlus. “We're excited to build on the momentum from last year's convention, which was the largest in a decade. Our co-chairs have worked tirelessly to program the convention. There is truly something for everybody, and I'm confident that every attendee will leave having learned more about our community and developed new skills."

Convention speakers include financial guru Suze Orman, Senior Vice President for MSNBC & NBC News Yvette Miley, Associated Press Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, and CBS News National Correspondent David Begnaud.

There are more than 30 breakout sessions and five plenary sessions on the agenda this year. Also, more than 25 organizations and companies will be exhibiting at the Career & Community Expo. Work that is produced by the students in the CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project will be found at news.nlgjaconnect.org.

A conversation between correspondent Mo Rocca and CBS Sunday Morning Executive Producer Rand Morrison will be the focus of a Friday morning session. Morrison and Rocca will focus on ways of keeping broadcast news appealing to audiences amid heavy competition from cable news outlets.
Hall of Fame inductee Steve Rothaus

Other plenaries include “Straight Money Talk with Suze Orman,” “Fact Checking in a Trumpian World,” “Driving the Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Women,” “Perfect Podcasting: Finding Your Voice,” “How I Survived as a Freelance Writer,” “Reporting on Bi+ Identities,” and “Stonewall 50.”

There will also be a New Ways: Reporting HIV & AIDS Today workshop, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control Act Against AIDS program. NLGJA has a partnership with the CDC's Partnering & Communicating Together (PACT) for the Act Against AIDS program.

Opening and closing receptions will “feature local musicians celebrating NOLA's rich music tradition,” said Dillon Lewis, NLGJA’s communications and marketing manager.

Ahead of its convention, NLGJA named three new people to its LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame. They include Steve Rothaus, who worked at the Miami Herald for over 30 years covering LGBTQ issues; Kara Swisher, an award-winning business journalist who co-founded and is editor at large of the website Recode; and Lilli Vincenz, who co-founded The Gay Blade, a precursor to the present-day Washington Blade. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the convention on Aug. 31.

The group has also announced that its 2020 convention will be held in Chicago September 10-13, 2020.
For a complete convention schedule, visit www.nlgja.org.

TOP STORY
Volume 21
Issue 5

Gay Star News shutters due to Brexit, economic woes

by Joe Siegel

Popular U.K.-based website Gay Star News has ceased operations.

“We entered 2019 with every reason to be confident we were going to have a strong year,” wrote Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn, who founded the publication in 2011. “But as the year progressed, decisions have been delayed and projects people had committed to do with us have fallen flat.”

Tris Reid Smith (left) and Scott Nunn
Readers and supporters of the publication have reportedly expressed their dismay to the founders. “As we said, the news broke before we could tell it. But since then we have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of positivity and love for Gay Star News and the people who have created it,” said Reid-Smith and Nunn. “People who have every reason to be angry or disappointed have responded with love and compassion. There have been a lot of hugs and a lot of tears.”

Political upheaval in the United Kingdom was one of the contributing factors to the publication’s financial difficulties. “There are a number of reasons, of course. But the biggest change was the level of confidence brands and businesses in the U.K. have, due to the uncertainty over Brexit. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that many media organizations are struggling with the same problem.”

Reid-Smith and Nunn went on to express their dismay with how some businesses recognize LGBTQ Pride. “Brands which are wishing to ‘do’ LGBTI work are increasingly doing so in a tokenistic way. Rather than working with us to engage and serve LGBTI people year round, many have chosen to ‘rainbow wash.’ They have turned their logo rainbow colored for Pride week or month and – at best – made a small donation to an LGBTI good cause. Worst still, we have learned that some brands have done this while at the same time funding anti-LGBTI politicians to the tune of millions of dollars. Tokenism has reached a new low.”

Given the bad news, Reid-Smith and Nunn do not want readers to believe Gay Star News is shutting down due to lack of readership. “To avoid any doubt, our problem has been entirely financial. By all the statistics, Gay Star News is now more widely read, watched and loved by the international LGBTI audience than ever. It is a sad paradox that our popularity has not transferred into our survival. We are convinced we are closing at a time when more people want and need what we offer than ever before.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 21
Issue 5

Longtime gay journalist and activist honored by Smithsonian

by Fred Kuhr

Bil Browning, managing editor of news website LGBTQ Nation and founder of since-shuttered bilerico.com, is officially part of LGBTQ history.

Browning and his husband, Jerame Davis, donated dozens of items that are now part of “Illegal To Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall,” an exhibition unveiled in June at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Bil Browning
As outlined in LGBTQ Nation, the donated items include a small paper gift box taken from their wedding, a bullhorn from Davis’ activists days back in Indiana, and two buttons — one that reads “TELL” with a camouflage background (a nod to the political fight in the ‘90s over the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly LGBTQ troops) and another that says “Trans Rights Now.”

The exhibit also contains personal items from Browning’s Indiana childhood — a toy bus that brought him “peace and empowerment as a bullied child.” Browning explained that because of a broken latch the bus’ hood could detach from its base, he used to imagine the bus as an alligator’s head.

“In my daydreams, the bus would swallow my tormentors, gobbling down the pain they cased and spitting it back out, now neutralized, through its broken alligator jaws,” he recalled. “I’d unknowingly learned another lesson from the bus-inspired fantasies of vanquishing my bullies. If you want to succeed, if you want to move forward, you first have to open your mouth.”

According to curator Katherine Ott, the items showcase LGBTQ history, activism and the “everyday experience of being queer.”

Other items on display include knives used to lobotomized gay men in the 1970s, a figure skating costume worn by gay Olympian Brian Boitano, shoes worn by trans tennis player Renée Richards and cosmetics used by film director and provocateur John Waters.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 21
Issue 5

GUEST COMMENTARY: The past and future of 35 years in print

by Leo Cusimano
(Leo Cusimano is publisher and president of Dallas Voice and OUT North Texas. This commentary originally appeared in the May 10, 2019, issue of Dallas Voice.)

As we here at Dallas Voice celebrate our 35th anniversary, we are reflecting on our history and investing in the future of our community. One of the things I love the most about Dallas is that our community values the importance of preserving our history, honoring those who paved the way for us and learning from our past as we shape our future.

When Dallas Voice was founded 35 years ago, our community needed to be seen and heard. We needed
Leo Cusimano of Dallas Voice
a vehicle to put our words in print. We demanded to be counted, and we needed to be not just acknowledged as a community but to be treated fairly. For me, LGBT rights are all about one thing: Equality. Dallas Voice has played a vital role in telling the stories of our community, shaping our history and helping us create change as we fought for equality. And still today, as we continue fighting to be recognized as a community in Texas, Dallas Voice remains strong, committed and a vital part of this fight.

I remember when I moved here in 1991 as a young activist and picked up my first issue of Dallas Voice. I read every word, consuming the news of my community. The stories reflected a time when, as a community, we fought to keep our government from ignoring HIV/AIDS and ignoring our struggles for equality. I remember crying over the number of obits in the paper, but at the same time, turning the pages of the paper felt good in my hands. I remember seeing the organizational directory for the first time; seeing a full page of groups to join and meetings to attend was so exciting.

When my husband Tony and I moved to Dallas, we found a thriving, welcoming LGBT community. We come from families with strong traditions, so we looked for the history and traditions of our new community. We were impressed with the cohesive mix of men and women throughout the community, something that we had not experienced in other cities. Now, as fathers of two boys, it is important to us to establish stability through traditions, setting a foundation to help our family grow. At Dallas Voice, our tradition of telling your stories, providing in-depth, comprehensive news and entertaining features helped shape this community and created stability and pride. Recording our history helps define us as community.

Today the fight for equality continues, even in the LGBT press. I think about the many corporations that our community supports and holds in high regard, companies like Apple and Starbucks and Amazon that all have 100 percent scores in the HRC Corporate Equality Index. But they do not invest in LGBT media. In a time when accurate, informative news media is perhaps more important than ever before, it is vital that those supporting our community support our community media.

Dallas Voice is proud of the way we have evolved over the past 35 years — going from a weekly newspaper to an integrated media company. We continue to invest in our products, from print to social media to video. In January, we increased our circulation to address growing demands in surrounding areas. This elevates our readership in print to more than 28,000 every Friday, and our online readership continues to flourish. Our social media footprint has also grown to more than 34,000 friends, followers and fans. With the launch of our newly-designed website last year, we are seeing more readers turning to our website for comprehensive, in-depth local LGBT coverage.

We also take this time to honor the dedication and foresight of our founders, Robert Moore and Don Ritz, who were brave enough and dedicated enough to invest in our community 35 years ago. They established the core values and traditions that continue to guide us at Dallas Voice today. We also honor all the staff members who make this publication possible every week and those who have been a part of the Dallas Voice family over the years.

As our dedicated and passionate staff write the next chapter in the story of our community, I hope you, too, continue the tradition of picking up Dallas Voice every Friday and that you support the companies that DO invest in us as a community; continue reading the stories and seeing and hearing our voices. Thankfully, we do have fewer obituaries today, but the organizational directory is still an important part of our publication and a place for you to connect with our community.

Thank you for supporting Dallas Voice and valuing the importance of having a voice for our beloved LGBT community and … keep reading.

GUEST COMMENTARY
Volume 21
Issue 5