The LGBTQ community and its long-term allies know from decades of experience that community journalism plays an existential, lifesaving role in a pandemic. What we are facing today is not new to our community as reporter, Chris Johnson, chronicles HERE on March 18, 2020.
In the earliest days of the AIDS crisis when mainstream journalism paid little attention to the emerging pandemic, the gay press became a lifeline to its community, a place not only to inform but also to advocate and memorialize, share frustrations, our joy, our hopes, our aspirations and express our creative selves. The Washington Blade was that resource starting in October 1969. Our own, Lou Chibbaro, has spent the past 40 years reporting on issues that directly impact our community.
It was because of LGBT newspapers in our most impacted cities that our communities were so well informed and motivated. Our role was critical then and remains so today. Especially today when our community feels so under attack by the current administration and is fighting back to maintain the equality we have gained while also continuing to fight for the equality we have yet to receive. In LA where they are seeing increased confirmed cases, a dedicated Coronavirus Page has been created as a go to source for those that seek reliable and up to date information for the LGBTQ community to access.
The Washington Blade in partnership with its sister paper, the Los Angeles Blade and the Blade Foundation, offer a unique perspective on issues specifically related to, and impacting, the LGBTQ community across the U.S. and now internationally. Our community cannot afford to lose a media brand that has been so instrumental in its survival and the forward gains we have made. We are the nation’s only alternative media outlets that are members of the White House Press Corps. The LGBT media’s involvement at that level is now absolutely critical.
Our national and international reporting by Chris Johnson and Michael Lavers leads in content used by the National LGBT Media Association, a group of the nation’s major market LGBT newspapers from around the United States. Our reporting supports that of so many others. We could not foresee what is happening today, but what we do know is that our impact is profound.
From youth homelessness to senior living, it’s the unique connections of our media family to report everything from politics and policy, to healthcare and advocacy, and to the arts and entertainment for the LGBTQ community. This is what makes the publications so essential and incredibly personal. And, while we have always been resilient in the face of change and have weathered financial recessions and cutbacks, this event is taking an exceptional toll that we must get in front of and take control of in order to maintain our voice and reporting for the LGBTQ community now and in the future.
We need your help, and that of others, to ensure that is the case this time. If you can spare any amount right now, we ask that you consider supporting our mission to report from the LGBTQ perspective for the next 50 years as we have for the past 50.