Queer bloggers of color take on ‘new gay press’


Wow. Everyone seems to be having a field day with this topic of print media vs. online media. Last week, the gay media world and blogosphere discussed the issue in-depth. That conversation continued into this week. On Monday, Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff responded to Michael Lavers’ original Village Voice piece, which caused all the uproar beginning last Tuesday. On Tuesday, Adam Bink was able to round up opinions from new media folks like John Aravosis, Bil Browning and others (including me). And, on Tuesday as well, ColorLinesKai Wright brought together three queer bloggers of color to discuss the future of LGBT media, Obama’s politics and the future of the community in general.

Wright, a former Washington Blade writer, spoke with Rod McCullom of Rod 2.0; Miriam Zoila Pérez, an editor at Feministing and the founder of Radical Doula; and Pam Spaulding of PamsHouseBlend.com.

From ColorLines:

KAI: One of my first, best jobs was working as a reporter for the Washington Blade, D.C.’s gay newspaper. I love queer media, but there’s not much left in print. Are blogs the new gay press? I think so. Are we better or worse for it?

MIRIAM: I’d say we’re better when it comes to diversity of content. While I read the gay print magazines and newspapers before I was really involved in reading/writing blogs, they didn’t exactly have a lot of content about the things I’m interested in. Let’s be real, most of them are directed toward the target advertising audience: gay folks with money.

ROD: That’s good and bad, but there are some differences: Most bloggers aren’t full-time and don’t have the resources to fully report issues. But–and this is a major but–the gay and progressive blogosphere is often the tail wagging the dog. The LGBT blogs took the lead in calling attention to the proposed draconian anti-LGBT legislation in Uganda. And many of us were delivering continuous fresh content on stories such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Proposition 8.

And speaking of Prop 8, a number of online people of color bloggers and activists (myself included) were among the first to question CNN’s much-hyped exit polls that declared blacks overwhelmingly supported Prop 8 and the presence of Obama on the ticket helped the anti-gay referendum. That was later proven completely inaccurate.

And, Spaulding on what draws the most conversation on her blog:

By far it has been the saga of Proposition 8, from the involvement of the Mormon Church and other anti-gay organizations, to the debacle of its passage, and now to the federal Prop 8 trial, as we await a ruling. It’s a political and social drama of epic proportions, something greater than the battle over marriage equality itself. It has exposed fault lines of race, class, religion and the ability of our own forces to organize.

On a lighter note, on the blog I find the most popular posts have to do with the unending list of conservative sexual hypocrites like George “I need my luggage lifted” Rekers, who are not only virulently anti-gay, but provide the professional homophobes with junk science that they spout with authority in the mainstream media. To see a man like this squirming to explain why he had a male traveling companion giving him erotic massages is just a motherlode of blogging material.

Oh… I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this interesting little factoid: ColorLines, published for 12 years by New York City’s Applied Research Center announced just this April that it would stop its print edition and become “an entirely digital and interactive publication.” Read editor Kai Wright’s thoughts here, and a letter to print subscribers from ARC president and executive director/ColorLines publisher Rinku Sen.


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