FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
PRESS CONTACT: Dillon Lewis or 202-588-9888

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced the recipients of its 2019 Excellence in Journalism Awards and recognized exemplary work produced in 2018. The highest individual awards, NLGJA Journalist of the Year and Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year, have been awarded to Robert W. Fieseler and Lucas Grindley, respectively.

“Our judges say they had a hard time choosing winners – an encouraging indicator of the great work journalists are producing about our communities,” NLGJA President Sharif Durhams said. “NLGJA is proud to recognize the work of so many outstanding journalists.”

NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ community. In recent years, the program was expanded to more than 30 categories. The awards will be presented throughout the NLGJA National Convention, to be held August 29 – September 1 in New Orleans.

With support from the Gannett Foundation, the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism is presented to Pete Madden, Brian Epstein, Cindy Galli and Alex Hosenball for “Prejudice and Pride” on ABC News.=

The 2019 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards are presented to:

Special Recognition Awards:

Journalist of the Year Award
Robert W. Fieseler

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year Award
Lucas Grindley

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award
Pete Madden, Brian Epstein, Cindy Galli and Alex Hosenball for “Prejudice and Pride,” ABC News


Print/Online Awards:

Excellence in Book Writing Award
Robert W. Fieseler for “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation,” Liveright Publishing

Excellence in Feature Writing Award
Courtney Mabeus for “No Turning Back: The Story of a Transgender Man’s Experience as a Navy Sailor,” The Virginian-Pilot

Excellence in Feature Writing, Non-Daily Award
Eva Berlin Sylvestre for “The Thief of Self,” Georgia Voice

Excellence in Food Writing Award
Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick for “Queer Food Is Hiding In Plain Sight,” Eater

Excellence in Long Form Journalism Award
Emily Starbuck Gerson for “How Four Latinx Lesbians Restarted Their Lives After Being Wrongfully Imprisoned,” INTO (

Excellence in Newswriting Award
Susan Miller for “Three Years After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Protections for LGBT Families Undermined,” USA TODAY

Excellence in Newswriting, Non-Daily Award
Adriana Fraser for “Philly’s First Out Trans Police Officer Buried as a Man,” Philadelphia Gay News

Excellence in Photojournalism Award
Mengwen Cao for “Wigstock, ‘An Iconic Piece of Drag History,’ Lets Its Roots Show At 2018 Revival,” NPR

Excellence in Profile Writing Award
Liam Stack for “Christine Hallquist Would Like to Talk About the Power Grid,” The New York Times

Excellence in Sports Writing Award
Stefanie Loh for “Meet Seattle Sports’ Newest Power Couple: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe,” The Seattle Times

Excellence in Student Journalism Award
Abbey White for “The Real Story Of The YMCA That Inspired The Village People’s Gay Anthem,” Gothamist

Excellence in Travel Writing Award
Mark Chesnut for “The Best of Gay Bogota,” Passport Magazine


Digital Awards:

Excellence in Blogging Award
Melanie Nathan for “LGBT Refugee Peaceful Protest Turns Violent at UNHCR Compound in Kenya,”

Excellence in Digital Video Award
Zach Stafford, Pelin Keskin, McGraw Wolfman, Nyle Emerson, James Barry, Mike Horan, Daniel Geneen, Clifford Endo Gulibert and Maureen Giannone Fitzgerald for “Gentrification Takes Its Toll on Nightlife in America’s Oldest Gay Neighborhood,”

Excellence in Multimedia Award
Desmond Meagley, Paulina Ortega, Peter Disney, Jen Tribbet, Shanya Williams, Asha Richardson, Radamés Ajna, Teresa Chin, Elena Botkin-Levy, Lissa Soep, Ellin O’Leary, Asha Richardson, Teresa Chin and Desmond Meagley for “In Their Own Words: Beyond The Binary,” YR Media

Excellence in Online Journalism Award
Mitchell Kuga for “Some Libraries Are Facing Backlash Against LGBT Programs — And Holding Their Ground,” BuzzFeed News


Editorial Awards:

Excellence in Column Writing Award
Spencer Kornhaber for “The Shadow Over ‘Call Me by Your Name’,” The Atlantic

Excellence in Opinion/Editorial Writing Award
Mark S. King for “The Truth About the 7,000,” POZ


Broadcast Awards:

Excellence in Documentary Award
Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson and Jamie Coughlin for “TransMilitary,” Logo TV

Excellence in Local Television Award
Michael Scotto for “Ballroom,” Spectrum News NY1

Excellence in Network Television Award
Sharon Matthews for “We The Fans – Dallas,” ESPN Features – ESPN

Excellence in Podcasts Award
Anna Almendrala, Simon Ganz, Nicholas Offenberg and Sara Patterson for “IVFML Becoming Family: We’re Both Going To Be Moms,” HuffPost

Excellence in Radio Award
Keya Roy for “How One Transgender Dancer Challenges the Bollywood Binary,” KUOW 94.9


Coverage Awards:

Excellence in Business Coverage Award
Julia Carpenter for “When Work Puts You Back in the Closet,” CNN Business

Excellence in Education Coverage Award
Caitlin Emma for “Transgender Students Under Trump,” POLITICO

Excellence in Health or Fitness Coverage Award
Emily Zak for “Out in the Woods,” Sierra Magazine

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
Jesse McQuarters and Edward Livingston, MD for “Working on the Precipice: On the Frontlines of the AIDS Epidemic at the CDC,” JAMA Network

Excellence in International Coverage Award
Oscar Lopez for “‘I Don’t Go Out During the Day’: Inside Senegal’s LGBT Crackdown,” The Daily Beast

Excellence in Legal Coverage Award
Lauren McGaughy and Tommy Noel for “Homosexual Conduct’ Was Illegal 15 Years Ago. How Far Have LGBTQ Rights in Texas Come Since?,”The Dallas Morning News

Excellence in Political Coverage Award
Jeremy C. Fox for “‘Gays for Trump’: The President’s Small, Vocal — and Unlikely — Fan Club,” The Boston Globe

Excellence in QPOC Coverage Award
Galilee Abdullah for “Black Comic Books: Black Representation in Japanese Manga and Anime,”

Excellence in Religion Coverage Award
Doug Moore for “Faced With Deportation, Man from Central America Takes Refuge in a Maplewood Church,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Excellence in Transgender Coverage Award
Tara Bahrampour for “Crossing the Divide,” The Washington Post

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About NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists
NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members. For more information, visit