I marked my ninth year at the Blade in 2011 and can’t recall a busier time in the LGBT rights movement. From President Obama’s decision not to defend DOMA to the death of Frank Kameny, to the advent of marriage equality in New York and Barney Frank’s retirement from Congress, there has never been more news to cover. And thanks to the Blade’s growing online and social media presence, we’ve never had more readers to satisfy.
The year to come promises even bigger news, as cases on DOMA and marriage work their way through the courts, Maryland attempts to pass gender identity non-discrimination and marriage equality bills, and, of course, the 2012 elections approach. We’re not just electing a president in 2012, but the nation could see its first openly gay senator as Rep. Tammy Baldwin attempts to make history in Wisconsin.
We will work hard to cover all the LGBT angles to those stories and more, starting immediately in the New Year as we dispatch political reporter Chris Johnson to Iowa and New Hampshire to report on the caucuses and primary. Photographer Michael Key and reporter Lou Chibbaro, Jr. will also be hitting the road early in 2012 (stay tuned for details) as we commit more resources to our core work of quality journalism.
As we close out another year, a word of thanks to our readers, advertisers, staff and other supporters who make working here such a pleasure. When my business partners Lynne Brown, Brian Pitts and I re-launched the Blade nearly two years ago, we decided that community service and giving back to those who have supported us would be a key element of our corporate culture. We made good on that pledge in 2011 in myriad ways, from many event sponsorships to news coverage that highlights those in need in our community. Last week, we highlighted a group of local LGBT nonprofits that need monetary donations, office products and other basic supplies in 2012. I hope our readers will respond and help. In 2011, the Blade supported a wide array of community organizations with cash contributions and advertising. We will continue that commitment in 2012, starting with sponsorship of the Washington Literacy Council’s Love Letters for Literacy event on Feb. 15. Be sure to check out their good work at washingtonliteracycouncil.org.
We’ll be announcing many new sponsorships and plans early in the year. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@washingtonblade), Facebook and washingtonblade.com for all the latest. Thanks for reading the Blade and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012.