The Advocate has published the final column by NLGJA member Kerry Eleveld, their former Washington, DC, correspondent. She is now editor of EqualityMatters.org.
Here’s an excerpt:
As a mainstream reporter who began working a gay beat five years ago, I have struggled with whether to say the movement or our movement, should I write they or we — was I covering this cause or was I part of it? I had always considered myself a journalist, but over the course of reporting many stories, I undoubtedly became an activist. In my book, journalists have always been activists who advocate for truth and fairness, but in this case, my measure of truth and fairness was rooted in the fact that I was reporting for a constituency in search of justice. This measure did not obligate me to give equal time in my stories to antigay forces; it only called me to use every tool at my disposal to give readers my best estimation of what I thought was really happening.
When I went back home for the holidays in 2009 and reassessed the year, I was struck by how very little progress had been made on LGBT issues by this president and the 111th Congress despite all the advantages they had and the promises they made. With the midterms already looming, it seemed as though I was watching the opportunity of lifetime — one that those before me had literally given their lives for — being squandered. At that point, I decided that I would no longer attempt to walk a line of objectivity in my weekly columns, that it was incumbent upon me to say exactly what I believed to be true given my unique vantage point to the inner workings of Washington. I didn’t want to walk away from this job wondering what if I had been more candid, what if I had let more people know what I was seeing and how I interpreted that input.
Kerry, good luck in your new endeavors!