My latest column for The Pittsburgh Current is out today. I decided to explore how the lack of mainstream media coverage of this blog winning a national media award reflects the larger issue of queer erasure in media in this market.
Colleagues working in local media markets told me that the story was ignored because newsroom’s resources are limited, staff are overextended (and underpaid) and that more than a few local journalists back away from LGBTQ stories because of the complicated nuances of our language.
I do not dispute these facts, but I think it is important to put another phrase in play—queer erasure (alternatively LGBT erasure or gay erasure, but I prefer queer.) Queer erasure is when queer people are erased from the cultural narrative. Examples include casting queer stories and television shows with cisgender, heterosexual actors. Another example is not including the experiences of bisexual folks in conversations around LGBTQ topics. Queer erasure is sending a reporter out to cover a pickle chip eating contest but not alloting a single resource to cover a local lesbian blog winning a prestigious national award for the first time in the 30 year history of said awards.
Click over to The Pgh Current to read more. I also list the outlets that did cover the story which makes clear the outlets that did not. We should have more conversations about queer erasure in the local media.
And in a bit of interesting timing, my actual award arrived today. It is a trophy! A real trophy with a certificate of authenticity and its own cleaning cloth.
I do want to acknowledge the first outlet to assign resources to this story – the Northside Chronicle followed by Queer Pgh and then the Pittsburgh Current. The former ETRT curation newsletter picked up the story as did The Incline via their e-newsletter. The very first outlets to cover the story were local blogs 2 Political Junkies and Melissa Firman.
So now it is official, official.
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