I've been mulling over this post for quite a few weeks. I say mulling when I really mean typing, grumbling, deleting and wailing my lack of inspiration. I kept asking myself how relevant local LGBTQ blogging was, especially from a woman's point of view.
Then Ledcat said “why did you start blogging?” Voila! Let's take a look at my very first blog post (aside from a picture of the dearly departed Miss Mona).
The First Step is the Hardest
A little over a year ago, I received the coveted title of “Unofficial Lesbian Correspondent” for a local liberal talk radio program. While it mostly entailed double entendres and Santorum bashing, it did give me a heady sense of unearned power and unabashed self-promotion. And I parlayed it into a one-time gig judging a costume contest for a local AIDS fundraiser.
So it wasn't a huge leap to starting a blog.
So here we are …. two lesbians, high speed internet connections and puh-lenty of opinions on just about every conceivable topic.
But we are sooo much more than smart mouthed lesbian correspondents. We've got a full array of supporting cast members (including the requisite homophobes), an overwhelming amount of magazine subscriptions and a shared compulsion to read the local paper cover to cover on a daily basis.
This is an interesting time to be a Pittsburgh queer. The most important election of our lives is right around the corner (Santorum v Casey), our city is on the brink of financial collapse and we have yet to have a prominent community member identify themselves as openly gay.
But the birth of our first niece is imminent and we've got our own blog. 2006 may turn out to be a pretty good year for grrrls.
Bring it on …
I was sort of delighted to read this. Casey won, as you know. However, we've lost the Specter seat to Pat Toomey, so it appears we head into year number six with pretty much the same cast of characters. The City is in no better shape and our Administration has been ineffective <cough> at leading us out of disarray. Or leading, period.
And we have the lovely City Councilor, Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh's first openly gay elected official who is up for reelection in 2011. That race will shine a light on Pittsburgh's dirty homophobic underside. It will be the election of the year for Pittsburgh's LGBTQ community. The lesbians support Bruce and not because he's gay.
But let's save that for 2011.
Back to my original question. How relevant is local LGBTQ blogging, especially when driven by a lesbian? Well, it would be cumbersome to recount every major issue we've covered or brought to light, but we have provided coverage where the MSM feared to go and the coverage generated talk, sometimes on the radio and sometimes on other blogs. So word got out, albeit indirectly. I think consistently highlighting and demanding attention to LGBTQ issues has impacted the local MSM … we are on several Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blogrolls and I get more than a few media calls to offer perspective.
Yes, I fill a LGBTQ media void and that has created opportunities for me to bring LGBTQ issues and a lesbian perspective on all sorts of issues into the public square. I also communicate with national bloggers which gives me a chance to put Pittsburgh in the national spotlight. However, it also gives me a chance to inform local folks what's going on the queer community around the nation. The repeal of DADT was high profile, but you may not have known about the election of the first lesbian of color in a state thousands of miles away and what that means for Pittsburgh.
I have my detractors, but I think that's a sign I'm doing the job I set out to do — shining a light on our community for good and for bad.
I don't profess to be the voice of queer Pittsburgh, but I certainly claim my right to be heard.
So keep bringing it on …