Saturday, August 31, 2019    
3:45 pm - 4:45 pm


Pelican II
444 St Charles Ave, New Orleans
Map Unavailable

Whenever LGBTQ journalists write about the queer community, we face a thorny question: Where do our loyalties lie? Many of us like reporting complex stories and making nuanced arguments. But what happens when that complexity or nuance has the potential to make our community look “bad,” or at least look messier, in the eyes of outsiders? Are we willing to upset the GLAADs of the world when our reporting, analysis or opinion work falls outside of “official guidelines” and standard movement narratives, or should we always follow their lead in service of the cause? Whether we think of ourselves as journalists, activists, or both, this panel will help us navigate the tricky business of writing about the LGBTQ community with honesty and depth, while also wanting the best for it.

Panelists: Fiona Dawson, Michelle Garcia, Bryan Lowder, Daniel Villareal

FIONA DAWSON is an award-winning director, producer, writer and IFP documentary lab fellow. She directed the Emmy-nominated “Transgender, at War and in Love” commissioned by The New York Times, co-directed the award-winning feature documentary, “TransMilitary” and directed the bisexual themed short film, “More Than He Knows,” which is currently making festival rounds. Dawson is in production for her online hosted show sharing positive stories of people working to end stigma and discrimination, “NOW with Fiona” for Tagg Communications. In 2015, Dawson was honored by The White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. She was voted Houston’s Female Grand Marshal for the 2009 LGBT Pride Parade, has served on the board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign and the board of directors of NLGJA. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is director of Free Lion Productions.

MICHELLE GARCIA is the deputy editor for Vice.com’s News & Issues desk. Garcia has covered major social movements across the U.S., including the fight for marriage equality, #MeToo, and the Movement for Black Lives, to name a few. She was named to Folio’s list of 20 in their 20s, won a GLAAD Media Award with her staff about the advancement of the HIV treatment drug Truvada, taught at CUNY Graduate School Journalism and has coached several writers along the way. Previously, Michelle was an editor at Out, Vox, Mic and The Advocate.

BRYAN LOWDER is an associate editor at Slate, where he edits the magazine’s award-winning LGBTQ section, Outward, as well as human interest coverage. He also co-hosts the “Outward” podcast. His forthcoming book, “The Point of Pride,” an examination and defense of queer values, will be published by FSG.

DANIEL VILLARREAL has written for Vox, Slate, Advocate.com, Towleroad, Out.com, Metro Weekly, The Stranger, The Dallas Voice and The Austin Chronicle; has served as an editor or manager for Here Media, Hornet, Queerty, LGBTQ Nation and Outsports. He has taught writing classes at Austin College and workshops at Netroots Nation and Creating Change, and recently spoke about emerging topics in queer media at South by Southwest 2019. He is a co-founder and coordinator of both QueerBomb Dallas, the city’s annual alternative queer pride celebration, and CinéWilde at the Texas Theatre, the nation’s longest-running monthly LGBTQ film event. He lives in Portland, Oregon.