IN THE BEGINNING… ASNE (The American Society of Newspaper Editors) announces the results of its first-ever survey of gay and lesbian journalists at American newspapers. The survey’s coordinator, then-Oakland Tribune executive editor Roy Aarons, reveals he is gay. The study, “Alternatives: Gays and Lesbians in the Newsroom,” indicates newsrooms harbor “palpable undercurrent of bias.” In 1990, only one newspaper, the Village Voice, offers domestic partners benefits.
Spurred by the ASNE survey, lesbian and gay journalists begin to organize. Aarons gathers five other journalists in his Piedmont, California home to found the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. With Aarons as president, the first board includes Elaine Herscher, Shannon Hickey, David Tuller, Victor Zonana and Kathleen Buckley.