This panel offers a rare look at the defining moments of the gay rights movement as seen through the eyes of journalists, historians, and media advocates. Panelists discuss these pivotal events; the role the media played in generating visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; and what the media accounts got right and wrong.
David Carter is the author of Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, the basis for a forthcoming film for the PBS series American Experience. Before writing Stonewall, David was hired by Allen Ginsburg to edit his interviews which were published under the title Spontaneous Mind.
Joan M. Garry is recognized as one of the most vocal, passionate and effective civil rights leaders in America.
Joan began her career as part of the management team that launched MTV in 1981 and it is that experience that shaped her view that the media profoundly influence the attitudes and opinions of people on nearly every issue.
After fourteen years in cable television, holding a variety of executive positions in strategic planning and new business development, Joan set her sights on the nonprofit sector. With her 1997 appointment as executive director of GLAAD, on of the nation's largest gay rights organizations, Joan realized she had connected her professional experience with her powerful voice. Before she knew it, she was debating Jerry Falwell and Bill O'Reilly on issues that mean something to her family and to families across America.
Joan plays a critical role as a visible media spokesperson and critic. In 1999, Entertainment Weekly featured her on its list of the 100 Most Influential People In Entertainment. Garry's articulate advocacy has been featured across all national news networks, with notable media appearances including NBC's Today; ABC's World News Tonight; PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer; CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown; CNBC's Dennis Miller Live; numerous appearances on CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC (including Hardball with Chris Matthews) and Fox News Channel (including The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes).
Andy Humm has been the host or co-host of Gay USA (or its predecessor on the Gay Cable Network, Pride and Progress) since 1985. Since 1996, he has hosted the show with veteran journalist and activist Ann Northrop. Since September 2001, the show has appeared on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a weekly review of local, national, and international news and entertainment stories of concern to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities. Gay USA also thoroughly covers news about the AIDS pandemic and other LGBT health news each week. Since 2003, the program is seen nationally through Free Speech TVs feed to satellite services such as the Dish Network.
As a reporter for Gay USA, Andy has covered virtually every major gay and AIDS news story in the last 18 years. He co-anchored GCNs nightly coverage of the Democratic and Republican National conventions in 1988 and also did floor coverage of the 1992 Democratic convention and the 2000 Republican convention.
Rochelle Lefkowitz is the founder and president of Pro-Media Communications, a bi-coastal communications firm dedicated to social change based in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eric Marcus is the author of Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times best-selling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. He is also the author of several other books, including Is It a Choice?, Why Suicide?, and Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian & Gay Equal Rights.
Eric graduated from Vassar College in 1980, where he majored in urban studies. In 1984 he received a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In October 2003 he received a master's degree in real estate development from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Eric is a former associate producer for ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS Morning News. He lives with his partner in New York City.
Kai Wright is a writer and editor in Brooklyn, NY, whose work explores the politics of sex, race, and health. Kai is senior writer for TheRoot.com and contributes to several publications, ranging from The Nation to ColorLines magazine. He is author of Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two books of African-American history. Kai also writes and edits a series of monographs exploring the AIDS epidemic among African Americans; they are published by the Black AIDS Institute.
Gay USA co-host Andy Humm criticizes the press for being afraid to report the sexual orientation of gay people. "Gayness is still pretty much the worst thing you can say about anybody in a newspaper," he says. Writer Kai Wright counters that outing someone in print is libel.