The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association announces the 2011 inductees into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.
William Dorr Lambert Legg (1904—July 26, 1994), was trained as a landscape architect at the University of Michigan, then was a landscape architecture professor at what is now Oregon State University by 1935. In the 1940s, he moved back to Michigan to care for his father and the Legg family business. In 1949, he moved to Los Angeles with his partner, Merton Bird. In 1950, the couple founded Knights of the Clock, a support group for interracial gay couples, and became active members of the national Mattachine Society. But Legg later split with Mattachine to co-found ONE, Inc. As publisher of ONE’s journal, Legg was forced to sue what was then the United States Post Office Department to defend the gay journal’s right to be sent through U.S. mails. Legg eventually won the case, One, Inc. v. Olesen (355 U.S. 371) at the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1950s, Legg also traveled to Germany to recover what was left of the archives of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft. Legg died in Los Angeles on July 26, 1994.
In 1976, Don Michaels was in Buffalo, where he was Mattachine Society president and a self-described “full-time gay activist” managing a gay community center and editing a small gay newsletter, when he and his partner, John Yanson, decided to move to Washington, D.C. In 1977, Michaels started working for The Blade, then a monthly, volunteer-produced newsletter founded in 1969. Michaels became the Blade’s first paid employee, at $314 per month, and was named managing editor in January 1978. Increased advertising meant increased staff, and the Washington Blade became biweekly in 1979 and then weekly in 1983. In November 1981, Michaels was named publisher, a post he held for more than 20 years. Starting in 1997, the firm also published the New York Blade, which folded in 2009. Michaels has said of his journalistic philosophy, “It was a goal of mine to record what was going on in the community and concerning the community. To be a newspaper of record was the main thing I was interested in.” Thus, his Washington Blade strived for nonpartisanship and objectivity, did not publish editorials or advertorials, and resisted advertiser and activist influence on content. It covered all GLBT news it could on Capitol Hill, elsewhere in Washington, and much of Virginia and Maryland; its political and government news eventually matched and then exceeded The Advocate’s. Michaels himself kept a low profile, intentionally avoiding the spotlight, while managing an increasingly professional newspaper, that he and two others sold to Window Media LLC.
Michelangelo Signorile hosts his eponymous radio show on Sirius XM Radio’s OutQ channel (SiriusXM 108) weekdays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. On satellite radio, streamed on the Internet and to Android, BlackBerry and iOS handheld devices, his show is available to 20+ million Sirius XM subscribers. Since earning his journalism degree at Syracuse University, Signorile has been an editor-at-large and columnist for The Advocate; co-founder and features editor at OutWeek magazine; a columnist for OUT and New York NightLife magazines and Gay.com; host of internet radio GAYBC.com; a free-lance writer for The New York Times, USA Today and The Los Angeles Times; and a guest on “Larry King Live,” “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.” In 1988, Signorile became a gay rights activist with New York’s ACT UP, organizing publicity for many of its events, and went on to co-found Queer Nation. At OutWeek, Signorile became known for reporting the homosexuality or bisexuality of celebrities (David Geffen, Liz Smith, Malcolm Forbes and Pete Williams, among others), a practice that had strong supporters and opponents among journalists, gay activists, media scholars, and average citizens nationwide and beyond. In 1993, Signorile published his groundbreaking book, “Queer in America,” explicating the negative effects of the GLBT closet and rigorously arguing for so-called “outing” (a term Signorile rejects). He has since published three other books. Along the way, for his work in gay activism and journalism, Signorile himself has been extensively covered by news media, documentaries and other media.
Founded in 1990, NLGJA is the leading professional organization for LGBT journalists with 18 chapters nationwide, as well as members around the globe. Inductees will be honored at an awards ceremony in Philadelphia, August 27, 2011, at the 2011 National Convention and 8th Annual LGBT Media Summit.
More information on the 2011 National Convention & 8th Annual LGBT Media Summit in Philadelphia is available at: http://www.nlgja.org/convention/2011/