Three Cheers

Awards for two Metro Weekly editors fill me with pride for the magazine and dedicated staff who make it all possible

By Sean Bugg
Published on March 29, 2012, 6:40am | Comments

One philosophy that I'm lucky enough to share with all my co-workers at Metro Weekly is the idea that the work we do is more important than any compliments that may result. All of us were drawn to our work here because we share the same desire to tell the story of our community, whether through words, photos, video or graphics. It's the sort of work that, if you do it to earn recognition for yourself, then you're not focusing on the story.

That said, it's still awfully nice when someone says, ''Good job!'' So I'd like to call out two of Metro Weekly's staff who have recently earned particularly high kudos from our community.

First, D.C.'s Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) recently announced its 2012 Distinguished Service Award winners. Included among a stellar group is our managing editor, Will O'Bryan, who over the past seven years has played a crucial role in the growth and expansion of the magazine. While Will is certainly well-known in the community — a community he knows well in return, having interviewed and written about so many who make a difference in all of our lives — he's not the type to seek the spotlight.

But I'm thrilled to see him honored because I've seen the level of commitment and drive he puts into guaranteeing that when we talk about ''LGBT,'' we actually mean lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered. He makes sure our personal beliefs in diversity are reflected in our public pages. And he does it all with the driest, sharpest wit I've ever encountered. I'm looking forward to the April 26 GLAA 41st Anniversary Reception — it will be an honor for me to see him recognized publicly.

Second, as some people may have noticed from a Twitter and Facebook explosion over this past weekend, senior political editor Chris Geidner won the 2012 GLAAD Media Award for ''Outstanding Magazine Article'' for his Metro Weekly series on the history of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had its ignominious 15th anniversary last year. (The category was a tie, with Carolyn M. Brown also winning for her Black Enterprise feature, ''Black & Gay in Corporate America.'')

A little over two years ago, when I first talked with Chris about the possibility of doing some political writing for us, I had an instinctive feeling that he could be an integral part in what I saw as the next evolutionary step for Metro Weekly. Not to toot my own horn while praising others, but my instinct was right. Chris and I share some important perspectives on what LGBT journalism should be — unbiased and fair to our subjects; willing to report the good and the bad without sensationalism; not reliant on the Washington culture of anonymous sources — and that's made this an exciting time for me as an editor and publisher.

While I stand by my belief that we do this work because we believe in its inherent importance — whether we're covering politics, arts or nightlife — I'm also not going to put up a front of false modesty. I am beyond proud, not just of the accolades being placed on Chris and Will, but of everyone who works to make Metro Weekly the best LGBT publication and website you will find anywhere.

My own childhood dream of becoming a journalist wasn't fulfilled by going to journalism school. It wasn't fulfilled running around the halls of Capitol Hill. In the end, it was fulfilled by working with a group of talented and creative people who shared my passion for both journalism and community. So when any individual at Metro Weekly is honored, it's an honor for everyone. My hat is off to them all.

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