An invasion is headed for the nation’s capital. Is it aliens? In an immigration sense, a few, perhaps. Commie infiltrators? Don Wildmon of the American Family Association might tell you that’s a fairly close guess. The real answer, of course, is GLBT journalists. Hundreds of them.
There is, however, no need to lock the doors and bolt the windows — unless you have the inside scoop on vice presidential running mates. After all, these media professionals of all stripes are remarkably similar to their heterosexual counterparts. They walk among us, but they’ve got nothing to hide. As a matter of fact, one might say they’re downright brazen in their attempts call attention to themselves since the founding of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in 1990. Bringing the organization’s national convention back to D.C. for the first time since 1995 certainly won’t make it easy for them to hide. Then again, sources say they’ve been plotting this invasion for quite some time.
”We’ve been working since the beginning of the year — before then, maybe,” says David Barre, executive director of the D.C.-based NLGJA, marking the end of his first year in the post. ”I would say it’s been a very challenging year in many ways, rewarding in many ways. We’re doing a lot of great new things, but we’re working in a very difficult economy, especially for nonprofits.”
Despite the economy and Washington’s notoriously muggy August weather, Barre says he’s counting on a wave of roughly 400 members setting up base Aug. 21 to 24 in the heart of the free world.
Michael Triplett, president of the local NLGJA chapter says there is plenty of reason for them to come.
”I honestly believe this is a great town to be a journalist in — a great town to be a gay journalist, too,” says Triplett. ”My goal is that we really show that off to people coming from all over the country.”
To help him in his mission, Triplett says he’s recruited a small army of volunteers, roughly 25 at last count, charged with all manner of duties. From staffing the registration desk to stuffing the ”goodie bags,” these minions will surely be keeping themselves busy.
For a better grip on just who these invaders are, several NLGJA leaders have been profiled on the following pages. And for unique insight, Triplett was interrogated, allowing readers a peak at one of the directives he’s offering these media-mad visitors:
”Obviously, you need to check out the Newseum. It’s great. Expensive, but it’s great.”
For a full listing events during the convention, carrying the theme ”NLGJA Goes to Washington,” visit www.nlgja.org.