National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA)
is a non-profit professional group for GLBT journalists.
It is also, by
and large, single-handedly responsible for the direction of
my career as well as bringing me in contact with several of
my best friends.
At age 19, I rustled
up the courage to attend my first NLGJA event in South Florida,
where I was an intern at the Sun-Sentinel in 1992. Folks like
Herald columnist Steve Rothaus and his partner, Miami public
relations guru Ric Katz, became two of the most encouraging
men in my early career and in my relationship with Jim.
Among the significant
career breakthroughs owed to the NLGJA:
I won't be able to attend the 2001
convention in Dallas because I am in China, but go to www.nlgja.org
to find out about it and more about a fantastic organization whose
work has changed the way the media covers gay and lesbian issues.
- The 1995 event in Washington DC started my
freelance career with assignments with The
Advocate that would lead to a contributing writer's post.
- A posting on an NLGJA jobs
message board in 1996 by fellow member Shaun McKinnon drew
my attention to an opening at the Las
Vegas Review-Journal. Shaun's now one of my closest friends,
- At the 1996 convention in
Miami, I interviewed with Kathleen Pellegrino from the South
Florida Sun-Sentinel. That led eventually to my job there
- In 1997, the members elected
me to the national board of NLGJA. Two months later, at my
request, the board selected Las Vegas for the site of its
seventh convention and named me host committee chairman.
Vegas convention proved an astounding success, in large
part thanks to the generosity of the Las Vegas gay community
and the efforts of programming co-chairs Michael
Wilke and Rose Arce.
- I was re-elected for another
2-year term in 1999, but resigned at the end of 2000 to move
- In 2001, the Tribune
Co. decided to extend domestic-partnership benefits to
its gay and lesbian employees. This occurred largely through
the efforts of NLGJA members, including myself as the sole
board member employed by Tribune Co. at the Sun-Sentinel prior
to the Tribune Co merger with Times-Mirror. Our calls, letters
and chats with editors, human resources officials and corporate
board members proved the potency of the NLGJA and its role
in significantly enhancing the workplace environment for all