John R Selig

Writer. Photographer. Podcaster. Outspoken.

Gay and Lesbian Newspapers — The Heartbeat of Our Community

Originally Heard on the John Selig Outspoken Podcast

John Selig Outspoken – Episode 5

Our community revolves around the gay media, especially the local gay and lesbian newspapers that serve our city and others that we visit. We rely on them for news and information about the latest goings on whether it is news about civil rights advances or setbacks, the community calendar, and information about organizations, as well as gay friendly businesses.

It has only been a recent phenomenon for mainstream media to cover gays in a positive light. GLAAD and other organizations have fought vigilantly over the years to get media attention focused away from the pride parades and onto the issues impacting our community. Still coverage has tended to focus on broad issues.

It is hard to believe that the Advocate Magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Think about how far we have come in those 40 years from gays being arrested in bars for dancing together or just looking at each other to the Democratic Presidential candidates holding a debate soliciting our support being broadcasted by Logo, the GLBT cable channel.

And yet, when we want information about what’s happening in our community we turn to our local gay and lesbian newspaper. What cultural activities are going on this weekend? Which clubs have special shows? We enjoy the opinion columns and letters to the editor as well as the advice columns and, yes, even the gossip tidbits.

Let’s face it, take away the local gay and lesbian newspaper and most of us would be lost. Sure, there is the Internet. But when you are about town, it is awfully nice to have the paper to thumb through while enjoying a cup of coffee and a conversation with friends.

Our modern world evolves so quickly that it is easy to forget that use of the Internet has skyrocketed over an extremely short period. Ten years ago most of us hadn’t even heard much about the Internet no less used it. As technology has changed so has the gay media with publications offering online editions that they constantly update and improve.

We owe a huge debt to the Robert Moore’s and Tammy Nash’s across the nation. You don’t hear their names mentioned as often as those of activists and community leaders. But without a Robert Moore and a Tammye Nash, you would have a hard time hearing anybody’s name. The staff of the community GLBT media works long and hard, often with limited budgets and nowhere near enough pay. I for one want to thank Robert and Tammye and your staff at the Dallas Voice and the publishers, editors, reporters, ad sales representatives, delivery folks and everybody else across the nation that make our local gay and lesbian newspapers (as well as the national publications) possible. Although the camera and interviewer’s pen are rarely pointed in your direction, you are the heartbeat of our community. Thank you!

© 2007 John R. Selig. All rights reserved.