To the leadership of the Star Tribune,

I am writing you today on behalf the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. We are nonprofit organization made up of journalists, media professionals and supporters. Our mission is to ensure fair and accurate coverage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. I am reaching out to you because of the attention you’ve received over an ad you recently ran in your paper, and we’d like to help you.

NLGJA typically doesn’t weigh in on ads, and we don’t dispute that people are entitled to their personal opinions. Newspapers should be a forum to stimulate social debate, by providing readers with facts. Words and editorial choices can, however, have unintended consequences on people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Research has shown that LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of all suicide attempts. Depression and drug use among LGBT people have both been shown to increase significantly after new laws that discriminate against gay people are passed. Bullying of LGBT youth has been shown to be a contributing factor in many suicides, even if not all of the attacks have been specifically aimed at someone based on sexuality or gender bias. Transgender people are twice as likely to be unemployed — and four times as likely if they’re a trans woman of color. Lesbians and gays outnumber trans people six to one, yet transgender people are 50 percent more likely to be murdered.

NLGJA is happy to be a professional resource for you. We offer a style guide on common word choice and tipsheets on issues that affect our communities. You can find both on our website at NLGJA also has funding available for professional development with our Newsroom Outreach Program. The project was designed to help newsrooms better understand the needs and complexities of covering our diverse communities, while remaining unbiased. Please feel free to contact me if we can be of assistance. We have members in local, national and international newsrooms who are experienced covering these types of issues.

Thank you for your time and attention.



Sarah Blazucki
Vice President, Print and Online
National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association

Ken Miguel
Vice President, Broadcast
National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association