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NLGJA: Keep Black History Month Black PT. 1

Wherein, I, Faith Cheltenham, ask NLGJA to "Keep Black History Month Black" PT. 1

(the email that went out to National Association of Gay and Lesbian Journalists subscribers today featuring some amazing Black LGBTQ writers and white Buzzfeed LGBTQ writer Dominic Holden...)

NLGJA Continues to Honor Black History Month 
To honor Black History Month, NLGJA is highlighting the work of our members who have contributed to broader understanding of LGBTQ issues in the black community. Each year NLGJA honors journalists who write on a wide array of issues related to the LGBTQ community reaching different audiences across many platforms. This week we recognize Tre’vell Anderson, Dominic Holden and The Advocate magazine, all of whom have received recognition in our Excellence in Journalism Award program for their positive impact on the representation of the black LGBTQ community and diversity in the media. 
Tre’vell Anderson’s L.A. Times article on the decline of black gay clubs in Los Angeles was runner-up for NLGJA’s Excellence in Feature Writing (Non-daily) Award. Anderson shows the importance of black-owned gay clubs at a time when racial discrimination was a major issue all over the country. “There was no space where black gays could enjoy themselves in one another's company,” writes Anderson, “escaping what they saw as the racial discrimination of West Hollywood and the homophobia of the African American community.” As a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Internet dating and other changes in the LGBTQ community, black gay bars have been going through financial hardship, resulting in the closure of the historic Catch disco in L.A. Now many in the black LGBTQ opt to spend their nights in West Hollywood, which shunned them only 40 years ago.
The Advocate magazine received the Excellence in Profile Writing Award for its “40 Under 40: Intersectional Voices” spotlight. The Advocate featured many prominent, diverse members of the LGBTQ community including Alicia Garcia and Patrisse Cullors, two co-founders of Black Lives Matter, and Michelle Garcia, an NLGJA member and Race & Identities Senior Editor at Vox. The article underscores the important contributions of diverse, young individuals who have made significant contributions to the black LGBTQ community, as well as other minority communities.


Writing about the high rates of violence against black trans women in Detroit for BuzzFeed, Dominic Holden was runner-up for NLGJA’s Excellence in News Writing (Non-daily) Award. In the story Holden pushes back against the stereotype that violence against black trans women results from their involvement as sex workers. “The circumstances of each killing are different, and by no means is sex work a common thread among all transgender women or among those who were killed,” writes Holden. “Still, in several cases in recent years, cops have treated transgender women as sex workers regardless - sometimes making arrests and then releasing the women - even though there was no evidence of sex work.” Holden’s article challenges stereotypes based on assumptions about race and gender identity, and promotes better understanding of an often marginalized community.
The deadline to nominate someone for one of NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards is approaching fast, so remember to submit your nominations soon! More information can be found on NLGJA’s website.


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