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The 6th Annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening is scheduled for March 13-15 in Philadelphia. It’s not the first time that the city has hosted the event. LGBT journalists and bloggers gathered there for the conference in 2013.

Sponsored by the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr., Fund and organized by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the event requires an invitation but it also strives to gather a diverse group of LGBT media professionals.

This year’s host committee includes Sarah Blazucki of NLGJA, Trish Bendix of AfterEllen, Mark King of My Fabulous Disease, Erin Rook of Source Weekly, Faith Cheltenham of BiNet, and Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project.

In an email with SFGN, Browning reflected on the significance and goals of the Convening: “For journalists focused on the LGBT beat, an invitation has become quite the status symbol for being recognized as a valuable community reporter. We specifically aim to bring in not only the LGBT state/local newspapers and large audience bloggers, but we also search for up-and-coming voices and try to lift up the voices of people of color, trans folk, and women.”

Browning elaborated on the importance of diversity: “Many of the larger outlets are still run by cisgender white men so we try to also reflect the diversity that is our community — especially in online journalism. Often these journalists are the only ones reporting in any depth on issues like race, class, and gender. The intersectionality of our community and how we can translate LGBT-specific needs into broader issues is the focus of this year’s Convening.”

In 2015, presenters and attendees will explore issues related to the topic “So Now What?”

As Browning noted, these are “issues that have been relegated to the back burner during the marriage battles” and the Convening will offer “sessions on religious liberty bills, intersectionality, self-determination, the role of government in promoting diversity, bisexuality, race and gender-specific topics, as well as how to better report on HIV/AIDS stories.”

Over 70 attendees and presenters from outlets in 23 states are scheduled to participate in this year’s event. The keynote address will be delivered by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP and one of the leaders of the Moral Mondays protests in North Carolina.
LGBT journalists who are not attending the event as well as anyone interested in LGBT media can follow the Convening at #LGBTMedia15 on Twitter.

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