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On Saturday, I attended a panel on alternative queer media hoping to pick up some pointers on how to better broadcast my voice with the LGBT media spectrum. However, it soon became clear that instead of the panel enlightening us on how to better LGBT media it showcased how segregated we really are. The panel consisted of bloggers from various well-known sites (the two that stick out to me are The New Gay and Autostraddle) both blogs I’m quite familiar with – the rest of the panel consisted of a Latino blogger and a trans woman. For myself personally, I couldn’t quite figure out what made these bloggers (or their sites) alternative being that since calling oneself LGBT would be seen as alternative in the mainstream not sure how these particular sites differ from other mainstream LGBT blogs.
From what I gleaned from the panel, I’m not sure they knew either. I understand that with LGBT media now being seen as a more valid view of LGBT life and media – it is clear that most (even those that dwell within it) are clueless. Although, I wouldn’t say it is all their fault – they are part of the media machine – I just found it frustrating trying to tap the minds of those that weren’t sure how they got to their positions in the first place.
Even with comments coming from the audience about what is coming next, the panel really didn’t have any answers. Good stories, they had plenty of but concrete answers – not really. My interest was vested in expanding the media circuit to include more POC’s (particularly women) in LGBT media, when a question was posed surrounding that topic – it pretty much fell on deaf ears. The only time things started to get a little “in your face” was when a man (white, of course) stood up claiming he worked for a mainstream LGBT media outlet (HRC or GLAAD probably) and basically stated that they report what their audience dictates. In other words, they report news catered towards white, gay men. To back up his reasoning, he stated that only gay white men attended the dinner parties and seemed to interested in politics.
Even though, I wasn’t entirely surprised – it really does annoy me that LGBT media is emulating the mainstream “straight” media to the T. Everyone screams diversity but it isn’t really – the top blogs and organizations are pretty much all white owned and operated. It works for the mainstream, so why wouldn’t it work for LGBT media.
Well, at least I exchanged some pretty good ideas over Twitter.