January 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST | by Kevin Naff
The Blade’s memorable 2014
Kevin Naff, Michael K. Lavers, Chris Johnson, Lou Chibbaro, Washington Blade, gay news, White House Correspondent's Dinner

Blade staff attended the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in May. (Washington Blade photo)

Before we charge headlong into 2015, let’s pause and remember the year that was.

Everyone at the Blade works hard each week to bring our readers and advertisers the news and information important to the LGBT community. It’s not easy — we’re a lean team often working long hours in a thankless profession in an industry buffeted by change. And the Blade is changing right along with the times. A few reflections on 2014.

First, a big thank you to all of our readers and advertisers. To our readers: We value your input and support, so keep the comments, Facebook shares, re-Tweets, and yes, even the letters to the editor, coming. To our advertisers: You’re in this with us, helping to fund the important and award-winning journalism that our community needs and expects. We don’t take any of you for granted. A sincere thank you.

Second, a hat-tip to the Blade team. Our editorial staff is the most tenacious and hard working in the movement and I’m proud to work with each of you — Joey, Lou, Chris, Michael, Michael and Mariah. Our freelancers, op-ed writers and other contributors keep the content fresh, smart and edgy. A special thanks to Peter Rosenstein for your ongoing counsel; Rick Rosendall for returning to our team; Patrick Folliard for another year of top-notch weekly theater reviews; Damien Salas for your keen eye; and Kevin Majoros for taking our sports coverage to new heights last year.

Our sales team — Stephen, Brian, Jeryl, Sheila, Erin, Phil and everyone at Rivendell — keeps delivering results both in print and increasingly in digital revenue. Thank you for your dedication, innovation and patience. To Jim and Rick of our production team, which brought home another design award in 2014, thanks for putting up with all the divas on staff and for always getting it done and making it gorgeous. To my business partners, Lynne and Brian, working with you is a privilege — here’s to scaling greater heights in 2015.

We accomplished a lot in 2014. Apart from feeding the 24/7 web and social media beast, we published 52 print editions, launched a redesigned website, won multiple journalism and design awards, celebrated the Blade’s 45th anniversary and launched a non-profit foundation. We published several special issues including Best Of, Sports, Pride and others; built a kick-ass Pride float; were honored by the D.C. Historical Society; and sponsored a wide array of community groups and events throughout the year, including the D.C. Gay Flag Football League, the Point Foundation, Capital Pride and too many others to name.

In May, the Blade was welcomed to the White House Correspondents Association Dinner and received shout-outs from the podium from the association president as well as from President Obama himself, a development that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

Also in May, I ventured behind prison walls to interview an openly gay man sentenced to 15 years for killing another gay man in a drunk driving accident. It brought to light many troubling issues for our community, including the plague of addiction and the unjust laws and harsh treatment faced by gay inmates in our nation’s prisons.

And we traveled last year. To Peru, Mexico, across the country covering the myriad court rulings related to marriage, to Cleveland for the Gay Games and throughout the Deep South for special coverage related to our 2014 commitment to exploring poverty in the LGBT community. More exciting trips are planned for 2015 so stay tuned.

On a personal note, I was involved in a serious car crash in August that sidelined me for several weeks after surgery. Thanks to the entire staff for covering for me while I was out of commission. After the surgery, I finally married my partner of nearly 17 years, bringing into sharp personal focus the importance of the institution we’ve covered so closely for so many years.

The year ahead promises many more headlines, dramas and thrills — from the kickoff of the 2016 presidential race to the 40th anniversary of Capital Pride. And we’re working on several big projects at the Blade, the details of which we’ll share soon. Until then, thanks for reading and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

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