NLGJA

Wearing my ‘négligée’ on my sleeve

Since today I’m traveling to Washington for the 2008 annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, I thought this might be a good time to explain what the group is and why I’m a dedicated member.

NLGJA (or “négligée,” as some waggish members call it) was founded in 1990 by the late executive editor of the Oakland Tribune, Leroy Aarons. It provides a home for the thousands of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender journalists, students, publicists and other media professionals in this country. In addition to the annual national convention, chapters across the U.S. hold meetings, mixers, panel discussions, screenings, parties and other events that help members make new friends in the industry, and advance their careers through networking and skills-building.

I’ve belonged to NLGJA since about 1994. Most of my gay friends in the media business I met through NLGJA–including some valuable and close relationships. Personally, my membership has never led to any new jobs–though I know many people for whom it has. But about a third of the freelance reporters (“stringers”) I use on OutQ News, as well as the substitute anchor I’m training right now, are people I met through the organization. All in all, it’s been the most fruitful group membership I’ve ever had.

5 years worth of busy

I haven’t forgotten my responsibilities here. It’s just that last week was a total bear as we tried to push a special commemorating Sirius OutQ’s Fifth Anniversary out the door. The special, “Sirius OutQ News: Five Years in Review” debuts today, Monday, from 5-7pm EDT.

As the title suggests, it’s a 2 hour review of the biggest stories in LGBT News since Sirius OutQ went on the air on April 14, 2003: Same-sex marriage, gays in the military, gays in schools, the courts, Congress, state legislatures, religion and HIV/AIDS. It features the first-ever long-form reports by our correspondents around the U.S. and around the world (Many of whom are NLGJA members, by the way). Those keen to hear it but who don’t have a Sirius receiver can get a 3-day trial subscription at SiriusOutQ.com. Just look for the “Get a Free Online Trial” link at the right side of the page.

The special will repeat in the future, though the dates have not yet been set.

Gay journalists, cough cough

I would have posted about my great time at the NLGJA convention sooner, but I’ve been sick for ten days (more on that in a moment.) Now that I’m feeling a bit better, it’s time to catch up.

Loews Miami BeachNoel and I spent a few days in Miami Beach earlier this month at the 2006 National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association national convention. The programming at the convention was about like usual, but we had a great time because the Loews Miami Beach is such a spectacular venue for a convention. In addition to beautiful lobbies, rooms, restaurants, and fabulous service, the Loews also has a big, beautiful one-of-kind pool. And did I mention it’s right on the beach? It’s also walking distance to a couple of South Beach’s remaining gay clubs, which I’m sorry to say, have gone a bit tatty.

Still, the convention was, as always, a reinvigorating experience and a fun way to reunite with many of my gay friends and colleagues in journalism. Next year’s is in San Diego, which should be fun — and a little less humid, too.

Less than a week after returning from Miami, I came down with flu-like symptoms… and they just kicked my ass. I was off work for four days, then when I went back for one it just brought on a complete relapse, and I was home flat on my back for another couple of days, until I finally saw my doctor. The doc prescribed a simple antibiotic, and *pow*, within a day I’m better. I’m going back to the office again tomorrow, and this time I don’t think I’ll have any trouble.

Except now, Noel is out sick. But he thinks what he has is viral. We’ll see.