LGBT Journalist Hall of Fame

All of us in journalism have our heroes in this profession: Somebody who inspired us to get into this business by setting an example of telling the truth — whatever the cost and whatever the difficulties.

Some of us remember Edward R. Murrow for those famous World War II broadcasts from the London rooftops and his courageous denunciation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Or all of the brave reporters — print and broadcast — who came to my native South to cover the civil rights revolution. Younger journalists may think of Woodward and Bernstein and the Watergate story. Or Seymour Hersh and his dogged reporting from My Lai through Abu Ghraib. Or Christiane Amanpour and her stories from so many hot spots around the globe.

We in the LGBT community have our own heroes: LGBT journalists who have shown courage and resolve by telling the truth, including their own personal truths, whatever the cost and whatever the difficulties.

Established in 2005 as part of NLGJA’s 15th anniversary celebration, the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame was launched to make sure that their stories are told and preserved — not just for us, but for all journalists and for our readers and viewers.

The journalists honored here are true heroes. All of us hope that these stories will inspire you as they inspire us.

 

NLGJA Will Honor New Candidates in 2015

Building on this legacy, NLGJA inducts a new slate of individuals  into the Journalists Hall of Fame each year.

Identify worthy candidates with us before February 15, 2016.

Submit Candidates

2015 HALL OF FAME

Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin is the treasured author of nine best-selling novels, including six Tales of the City which were originally collected from the daily serials he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle beginning in 1976. A young man of the South and a Vietnam veteran,...

Charles Kaiser

An award-winning author and journalist, as well as an NLGJA founding board member and the second president of the New York Chapter of the NLGJA, Charles Kaiser has been practicing his craft since 1971, when he began writing for The New York Times while still an...

Lou Chibbaro, Jr.

A prize-winning reporter for the nation’s oldest LGBT news publication, The Washington Blade, Lou Chibbaro, Jr. first took up his pen in 1976 under the pseudonym Lou Romano. Fast forward four decades, Chibbaro has covered almost everything for the Blade, including the...

Alan Bell

Alan Bell has been an indelible, vibrant presence within LGBT journalism for almost 40 years. Beginning in 1977 when he founded Gaysweek, New York City’s first mainstream lesbian and gay newspaper, and continuing with BLK and Blackfire, Bell has been a pioneer of LGBT...

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel, the creator of the Bechdel Test for gender bias in works of fiction, has been writing for and about the LGBT community since 1983 when she began producing and self-syndicating Dykes to Watch Out For, a comic chronicling the lives, romances, and...

Randy Alfred

Randy Alfred may be best known for his detailed 1980 probe of the biased and unfair portrayal of San Francisco’s gay community inCBS Reports’ “Gay Power, Gay Politics,” an investigation that ultimately resulted in CBS making a rare public apology for its failed...

2014 HALL OF FAME

Donna Cartwright

Donna Cartwright, born in 1947, served as a highly respected copy editor for The New York Times for three decades, and was a member and officer of The Newspaper Guild before retiring from the Times in 2006. She also has been a longtime transgender, LGBT and labor...

Lisa Keen

Lisa Keen has been reporting news for LGBT audiences for over 35 years and is frequently considered the dean of gay political reporting in America. She served as the top editor of one of the nation’s most respected gay publications, The Washington Blade, for 18 years....

Tracy Baim

Tracy Baim, born in 1963, began her career at Gay Life newspaper in 1984, a month after graduating from Drake University. She cofounded Windy City Times in 1985 and Outlines newspaper in 1987. Lambda Publications, the parent company of Outlines, bought Windy City...

2013 HALL OF FAME

Mark Segal

Mark Allan Segal, born in 1953, founded Philadelphia Gay News as a monthly in 1976, after being inspired by Frank Kameny when they met in 1970. Segal has been publisher of the now-weekly newspaper ever since. Today, PGN, as it’s often known, is one of the two oldest...

Bob Ross

Bob Ross (1934-2003), along with Paul Bentley, founded San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter on April 1, 1971. Bentley sold his interest in 1975. Ross set the highest professional standards for the newspaper and, by 1979, Mayor Dianne Feinstein was asking Ross and San...

2012 HALL OF FAME

Randy Wicker

Randy Wicker 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Charles Gervin Hayden Jr., who in 1967 legally changed his name to his then-pseudonym Randolfe Hayden Wicker, was born February 3, 1938, in Plainfield, New Jersey. He discovered the homophile movement as a University of Texas at...

Jill Johnston

Jill Johnston 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Jill Johnston was born in London, England on May 17, 1929, and was raised in Little Neck, New York. She attended college in Massachusetts and Minnesota, then earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina. In 1958, she...

2011 HALL OF FAME

Michelangelo Signorile

Michelangelo Signorile NLGJA member 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...

Don Michaels

Don Michaels 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...

William Dorr Lambert Legg

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...

2010 HALL OF FAME

Richard Rouilard

Richard Rouilard Richard Rouilard, one year out of law school, co-founded in 1979 the National Gay Rights Advocates of San Francisco, which was the first public interest law firm for lesbians and gay men in the United States. In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles, and...

Hank Plante

Hank Plante NLGJA member Hank Plante began his journalism career as a copyboy for the Washington Post. Plante developed a love for journalism there, worked on the city desk, and became managing editor at Sentinel Newspapers. He then moved to television, in which he...

"Lisa Ben"

Lisa Ben, pseudonym for the editor of the first lesbian publication. From June 1947 to February 1948, a lesbian who used the pseudonym “Lisa Ben” wrote a small newsletter in Los Angeles called Vice Versa. She relied on a laborious process at her office at the RKO...

2009 HALL OF FAME

Deb Price

Deb Price Deb Price's debut column for The Detroit News invited readers to help her come up with a less awkward way of introducing her boss to the woman who, at the time, had shared her life for six years: “Surely, a little ingenuity will solve this problem. So...

Ronald Gold

Ronald Gold Ronald Gold opened a brief biography by stating that he “was born in Brooklyn in 1930, entered Brooklyn College at fifteen, and took twelve years to get a degree. By that time he had been a junkie in San Francisco and had his head shrunk in Topeka, KS.” A...

Garrett Glaser

Garrett Glaser Garrett Glaser was the first television journalist to come out of the closet to the radio and television news industry. During a 1992 speech before a large group of TV and radio executives at RTNDA's annual convention Glaser began his remarks by...

2008 HALL OF FAME

Gail Shister

Gail Shister NLGJA member Gail Shister is widely regarded as the first “out” reporter in mainstream news media in the United States. The groundbreaking journalist earned the distinction of being, at three separate newspapers, the news organization’s first female...

Richard Goldstein

2008 NLGJA Hall of Fame Inductee Richard Goldstein has been writing about the intersection of politics and pop culture for more than four decades, starting by covering the 1960s rock scene for New York’s Village Voice. He became a regular contributor and, eventually,...

2007 HALL OF FAME

Jack Nichols

Jack Nichols Washington, D.C. native Jack Nichols helped found a Mattachine Society chapter in the city in 1961. In 1965, the same year he founded the Society’s Florida chapter and organized the first gay rights protest at the White House, Nichols and his partner Lige...

Barbara Gittings & Kay Tobin Lahusen

At the time of Barbara Gittings’ death, she and Kay Tobin Lahusen had been together 46 years. Best known for their revolutionary work with the Daughter of Bilitis’s publication, The Ladder, the two were true pioneers of the LGBT movement. Gittings became The Ladder’s...

Jim Kepner

Jim Kepner Jim Kepner began writing extensively for ONE Magazine under his own name and a variety of pseudonyms in April 1954. With assistance from others nationwide, he documented the 1950s witch hunts, exposing the police and liquor control tactics that targeted gay...

2006 HALL OF FAME

Marlon Riggs

Marlon Riggs In 1992, Marlon Riggs wrote about the questions the approaching 21st century raised. The challenges to the “cozy myths by which America has been ritually defined…In the next century, can we even continue to speak (could we ever?) of a collective...

Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin

Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin founded The Ladder, a legendary publication that, according to historian John D'Emilio, “offered American lesbians, for the first time in history, the opportunity to speak with their own voices.” The two...

2005 HALL OF FAME

Don Slater

Don Slater 2005 NLGJA Hall of Fame Inductee Don Slater was a leader among the gay men who, in 1953, founded ONE magazine. Slater saw that act as essential to the effort to secure rights for gay men and lesbians. A social movement has to have a voice beyond its own...

Randy Shilts

The name Randy Shilts is inextricably linked with the modern AIDS epidemic. As a reporter for The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle and as the author of the 1987 book “And the Band Played On,” Randy spent the bulk of his career covering the disease that, sadly,...

Sarah Pettit

Sarah Pettit‘s life was cut short in 2003 by lymphoma, but her work as a senior editor at Newsweek and a pioneer in gay media had a lasting impact. Pettit’s emergence as a groundbreaking journalist began in 1989, when she became the arts editor for the...

Thomas Morgan III

Thomas Morgan III 2005 NLGJA Hall of Fame Inductee The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was not particularly welcoming to its lesbian and gay members before Thomas Morgan III was elected as the association's president in 1989. Many doubted that...

Leroy F. Aarons

By the time a 56-year-old Leroy Aarons outed himself in an emotional address at the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) conference in 1990, he’d already had a remarkable journalism career as a longtime Washington Post scribe, co-founder of the Maynard...