William Glaberson wrote an article for The New York Times titled, “Gay Journalists Leading a Revolution.” In the article, he draws on the perception of nonbinary journalists treating gay subjects with more sophistication. Such subjects “range from accounts about national issues, like whether homosexual recruits should be in the military, to those dealing with everyday concerns, like how a lesbian couple copes with the stresses of a high school reunion.”
That was 1993; glad that the nonbinary journalists, William referred to, weren’t silent and now over the last 28 years, what the community has achieved is phenomenal. While this article may talk to you about a few nonbinary journalists we admire, please feel free to use this reading as a trigger to discover thousands of nonbinary journalists living around the world, working for grassroots to global impact, and yet managing to stay away from all the limelight they deserve.
Note: Personal pronouns to be considered an exception sourced based on Internet attribution.
Ashok Row Kavi
Ashok Row Kavi is the founder and chairperson of the Humsafar Trust. Known for his groundbreaking journalism, Ashok is a famous advocate of the nonbinary. Ashok is counted among the first few people to discuss homosexuality and gay rights in India. Ashok left a monastery after a senior monk advised him to embrace and express his homosexuality. After that, he decided to pursue journalism at the International School of Journalism in Berlin. Following his debut in Savvy Magazine in 1986, his “coming-out” interview gained attention. In 1990, he launched Bombay Dost, India’s first LGBT magazine. To date, his organization continues to advocate for the legalization of homosexuality in India.
Linda Villarosa is a New York Times Magazine contributing writer focusing on racism, inequality, and health. She worked as an editor for The New York Times’ health section for several years, contributing to Science Times and the newspaper’s overall health coverage. Also, the chief editor of Essence Magazine, Linda’s article in the NYTimes, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” earned her a nomination for a National Magazine Award. She was also honored with an NLGJA award from the Association of LGBTQ Journalists for Excellence in Journalism. Linda has mentored journalists from all across the globe to cover the HIV/AIDS crisis efficiently.
The founder of Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), Mark Allan Segal, is a proud gay activist. After drawing his inspiration from Frank Kameny, he started PGN in 1976. Since then, Mark has been the publisher of PGN. However, his journey of standing against gay discrimination started in 1972. Mark was elected as the president of the National Gay Newspaper Guild numerous times. Mark is most gratified to be still referred to as a “gay activist” after receiving countless accolades and accomplishments over more than 40 years. With a weekly distribution of around 50,000, PGN is one of the oldest U.S. weekly magazines for the nonbinary and the biggest on the East Coast.
Ina Fried is a prominent tech writer in the United States, now writing for Recode. She continues to report and comment on technology news on CNBC, NPR, and a variety of other broadcasts, online, and print outlets. Her work has taken her to different regions. She interviewed Steve Jobs when covering the iPhone location tracking scandal. She covered many of the biggest headlines, such as the Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger, Bill Gates’ move from software pioneer to philanthropist. Apart from receiving several journalism awards, in 2014, Ina was nominated on the Advocate’s list of the nation’s top 50 most influential nonbinary people in media.
An award-winning writer, critic, and social commentator, Hilton Als, has won the Pulitzer Prize. His contribution to homosexuality has been praised by some of the country’s most prestigious literary and cultural organizations. Currently, he is a staff writer at The New Yorker and also a theatre critic. His book, “White Girls,” won Lambda Literary Award in 2014 and was the finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has contributed to projects and shows at the Metropolitan Opera, La MaMa, and the VeneKlasen/Werner gallery in Berlin. Presently, Hilton is an associate professor of writing at the School of the Arts at Columbia University.
Steve Rothaus spent more than thirty years with Miami Herald, covering LGBTQ matters for twenty years. During his tenure, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. Steven was also honored by GLAAD, Equality Florida, PRSA, SAVE LGBTQ, the National LGBTQ Task Force. Steven was elected into the Miami Dade College’s Hall of Fame, among several other distinctions, over his illustrious career. Rothaus had launched the NLGJA Newsroom Outreach Project. He toured and talked about LGBTQ news reporting with print media, television stations, and universities.
In the 1960s, Journalist Lilli Vincenz pioneered the nonbinary rights movement. In 1962, she was one of the founders of the Mattachine Society of Washington, where she edited the monthly publication, The Homosexual Citizen. Lilli contributed to various community magazines and published a bi-weekly section for the New York-based GAY magazine. In 1966, Lilli was the first woman to feature on The Ladder, a publication of the Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian organization established in San Francisco in 1955. Lilli also co-founded The Gay Blade, an independent gay newspaper in Washington, D.C., in 1969. It was eventually renamed The Washington Blade.