Journalists, public relations professionals and others who advocate for fair, inclusive media coverage will cover what journalists and other media professionals should know about the bisexual community and how to accurately represent them. Panelists will talk about what it means to be bisexual, positive and problematic media coverage of the bisexual community, health disparities and other issues that affect bisexual people, and upcoming opportunities to cover the bisexual community. A Q&A will follow so that attendees can ask panelists about bisexuality and covering the bisexual community.
Speakers: Zamná Ávila, Denise Penn, Mike Szymanski
ZAMNÁ ÁVILA is the former assistant editor at for Random Lengths News, a community paper in San Pedro, California. He has been a board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists-Los Angeles and the California Chican@ News Media Association, as well as past co-president for the NLGJA Los Angeles Chapter. In 2012, he earned a master’s degree from Quinnipiac University. Prior to RLN, he freelanced for several publications and briefly was the premiere editor for Clout Magazine, a niche product of the Long Beach Press Telegram. He also was a mobile (multimedia) journalist for the Reno Gazette-Journal, a Gannett newspaper. He is fluent in verbal and written English and Spanish, and has a broad cultural awareness of diverse groups. He considers his sexual identity as fluid.
DENISE PENN is a Southern California-based journalist who has covered issues for the LGBT and HIV-affected community for over two decades. Her experience included 10 years as editor in chief of Bi Magazine. With her training as a clinical social worker, she focused on mental health issues in the LGBT community. She has contributed to the Blade Newsmagazine, In Los Angeles Magazine, EDGE, Sex Vibe and many others. She was the news editor for the Lesbian News for 10 years. She also produced and hosted an award-winning LGBT community television program in Long Beach for 12 years. She is a past president of BiNetUSA.
MIKE SZYMANSKI came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including “Ricki Lake,” “Phil Donahue Show” and “20/20.” Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” He has written about bisexual issues since 1998 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner, and he also served as assistant editor of Bi Magazine.