NLGJA mourns the loss of our friend and leader, NLGJA President Michael Triplett, who passed away January 17, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer.
While Michael only served as president for a few short months, he has been a member of our leadership team for several years, first as a Washington, D.C. chapter board member and president and then as a national board member and vice president for print. His quiet demeanor masked a steely resolve and an uncanny ability to push our organization forward. Michael quickly became someone who could be relied on both to provide sage advice as well as the time and energy to help us accomplish our goals.
Michael was the assistant managing editor at Bloomberg-BNA, where he used his legal background to develop and lead reports on tax and labor policy, as well as grooming journalists around the world. NLGJA members often called on Michael to provide a legal perspective to policy issues and governance, and he frequently sat on panels covering legal issues at NLGJA conventions.
Michael played an enormous role in our joining UNITY: Journalists for Diversity in 2011 and was one of our first representatives to the UNITY board. There, he worked with members of our partner groups to fully incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity into UNITY’s mission.
He also helped our organization connect with members as a principle contributor to the NLGJA RE:ACT blog.
Michael was truly a joy for all of us to work with, and his loss will be felt among our organization for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner, Jack and his family in Alabama.
The NLGJA board will meet in the coming days to elect an interim president, as well as to determine the best way to honor Michael’s memory. But for now, we pause to remember our friend and an enormous contributor to our recent growth and success.
Michael Triplett, president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) dies at 48
News release from J-FLAG:
Dane Lewis, the executive director of J-FLAG, Jamaica’s foremost gay rights advocacy organisation, is headlining a new a human rights video campaign featuring straight, gay and lesbian Jamaicans.
The campaign, which is called We Are Jamaicans was launched today to raise awareness among Jamaicans about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity and community, human rights, stigma and discrimination. We Are Jamaicans is a participatory video campaign hosted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/EqualityJA. It features prominent Jamaicans such as Susan and Alexis Goffe and Javed Jaghai.
According to Lewis, “the campaign was developed following recommendations from consultations with LGBT persons, activists and allies to show the experiences of Jamaica’s LGBT community in a more diverse way.”
There is an urgent need to interrupt prevailing discourse on LGBT realities in Jamaica. Opportunities must be created for Jamaicans to see and hear about the experiences of LGBT people so they can understand what it means to be LGBT.
“Regrettably, the diversity and the complexity of Jamaica’s LGBT community is masked by media and advocacy narratives that too often focus on sex, victimhood, crime and HIV. These themes are not identity-affirming and they sometimes further entrench the marginal position of LGBT people in the society,” Lewis said.
Javed Jaghai, an openly gay Jamaican, says that ignorance helps to fuel homophobia and the campaign will be critical for increasing understanding among the Jamaican public about gender and sexuality variance. “By diversifying the stories told about LGBT lives, the complexity of LGBT identities will be made apparent and it will be easier to evoke empathy and secure general support for tolerance,” he highlighted.
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) through its Global Fund Vulnerablised Project funds the campaign. It is expected to lead to greater understanding and help change minds and hearts about Jamaica’s LGBT community. Gay, lesbian and straight Jamaicans are encouraged to use creative ways of sharing their experiences with LGBT issues and join the campaign whether they wish to show their face or not.
Posted today by Cyd Zeigler Jr. on Outsports.com:
Is Manti Te’o gay? Girlfriend hoax has many people asking.
Manti Te’o. The questions are in response to Deadspin’s article on Wednesday revealing that the story of the deceased girlfriend of Te’o was a complete hoax, and that Te’o (allegedly) lied about 1) knowing the woman, 2) that the woman existed and 3) having a girlfriend at all.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
A gay-affirming, Cuban-born Episcopal pastor has been chosen to give the benediction on Jan. 21 at President Barack Obama's second inaugural.
The inaugural committee apologized for choosing Giglio, saying it didn't know of his stands on gay issues: "We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural."
On Wednesday, the inaugural committee formally announced Giglio's replacement, a clergyman who came from Cuba to Miami as a boy in the 1960s during Operation Pedro Pan.
Leon, who presides over John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., a gay -affirming congregation attended by the Obama family, is the second Cuban-American on the inaugural program.
Last week, Miami-raised Richard Blanco was chosen to read the inaugural poem at the ceremony, becoming the first Hispanic and first LGBT person to do so.
Here's a short profile of Leon that appears in Thursday's Miami Herald, written by Daniel Shoer Roth and Luisa Yanez:
In 1961, Luis Leon fled his native Cuba for Miami. He was only 11 and traveling alone.
He carried only a change of clothes a toothbrush and $3 in his pocket.
In exile, Leon would choose a life in the clergy and eventually head the historic church near the White House known as "Church of the Presidents" — John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
At Monday’s inauguration, the young boy who was among the 14,048 Cuban children spirited away from Fidel Castro’s Communist indoctrination during the famed Operation Pedro Pan will take center stage as he gives the benediction at President Barrack Obama’s second swearing in.
The Episcopalian pastor embodies the spirit of the country’s diversity. On Election Day, Obama cemented his victory with strong support from Latinos.
“It’s an honor to be a part of such a milestone in American history, as all inaugurations are. And it’s a special honor because as an immigrant, this is the only country where something like this could happen to me,” Leon, 63, told The Miami Herald in a telephone interview on Wednesday from his church.
"I feel that in some way I am representing the U.S. Hispanic community. And we’re an important part of this country," said Leon, who is married to his wife, Lu, and has two grown daughters.
Leon is not the only Cuban-American with Miami ties taking part in the inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the National Mall starting at 11:30 a.m.
Obama also personally chose Miami-raised poet Richard Blanco, who was born in Spain to Cuban parents, to read an inauguration poem. Blanco is the first Hispanic and also the youngest poet to ever participate in a swearing in.
Leon is no stranger to presidential ceremonies. As minister of St. John's since 1995, he has counseled from the pulpit three presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama.
It’s also not the first time for Leon giving the benediction. In 2005, he became the first Hispanic to deliver the inaugural benediction to President Bush.
During his three allotted minutes on Monday where he will hopefully have the attention of millions of American watching, Leon said he will speak of reconciliation.
"My concern is that we are not speaking to each other," Leon said. "I think when God blesses us, God is calling for the best in us in our relationships with each other.’’