The Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBTQ newspaper, today announced the presentation of awards to two honorees at its 50thanniversary gala. The evening will celebrate the pioneering publication, which was founded in the aftermath of the Stonewall rebellion in 1969. The event will be held Friday, Oct. 18 at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Wharf in Washington, D.C. Beginning with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and program at 7 p.m. Among those honored will be philanthropist Ariadne Getty and pioneering journalist Lou Chibbaro, who has covered the LGBT community for over 3 decades at the Washington Blade. Tickets are on sale now at blade50th.com.
Proceeds from the gala will benefit The Blade Foundation, which works to support, train and encourage diversity in the next generation of LGBTQ journalists by investing in students and enterprise journalism projects focused on LGBTQ and other underrepresented communities around the world.
“We are thrilled to honor these individuals for their diverse contributions to the LGBT community as we celebrate our 50thbirthday,” said Kevin Naff, editor. “From journalism to philanthropy, they exemplify everything we strive for at the Blade – to give back in some way to the larger LGBTQ community,” concluded Naff.
“I am humbled to be receiving The Washington Blade Lifetime Achievement Award as we recognize and celebrate 50 years of Blade’s pioneering, dedicated, accurate and insightful LGBTQ coverage. It is the go-to for readers who seek to be informed on all LGBTQ matters,” said Ariadne Getty, President and Executive Director of the Ariadne Getty Foundation.
Lou Chibbaro: “It is truly an honor to be named a local Hero. As a news reporter who has covered local news for many years, my being in the news in a small way like this is new to me. But the work I’ve been able to do in covering the news for the Washington Blade for many years has been possible because of the diverse and vibrant LGBT community that’s been the subject of our local and national stories. Thus I share this honor with all of you who are part of that community.”
Since 1969, the Washington Blade has covered the LGBTQ community of the metro D.C. area, nationally and internationally. Initially a local publication that covered and was a resource to the growing LGBTQ community in Washington, DC, one of several epicenters of the early gay rights movement, it has expanded over the past 5 decades to include coverage of political news and is currently the only LGBTQ source in the White House press pool and is the only LGBTQ outlet in the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Confirmed speakers include Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the senior openly gay member of the U.S. House of Representatives; and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Broadway star Frenchie Davis will perform, as well Potomac Fever, part of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.
The evening will include an entertaining and informative history of LGBTQ rights in D.C. and America as told through the Blade’s one-of-a-kind 50-year archive with remarks from Blade publisher Lynne Brown and editor Kevin Naff.
“We look forward to celebrating the Blade’s pioneering work and raising a glass to 50 years of progress,” said Blade publisher Lynne Brown. “So many Washingtonians played a part in the Blade’s growth, it’s time we paid tribute to all of them.”
“At a time when media, especially LGBTQ media, is challenged by the dizzying array of multiple platforms and ways to access information, The Blade is not only surviving, but thriving, as a respected and reliable source of the news the LGBTQ community is looking for,” said Kevin Naff, editor. “The Blade is a go-to publication and site for news, investigative journalism, current and accurate stories for LGBTQ the community, by the LGBTQ community and we are thrilled to celebrate 50 years of service in this historic year,” concluded Naff.