March 7, 2017

10 Most Influential Gay Male Journalists And Role Models

10 Most Influential Gay Male Journalists Pictured: Richard Quest, Don Lemon, Thomas Roberts, Pete Williams, Anderson Cooper, Frank Bruni, Steve Kornacki, Shepard Smith, Glenn Greenwald, and Jonathan Capehart.

by Roy Steele

It’s hard for me to believe, but I’m here to tell you that the gay community and the trans community, are under attack. Opponents of LGBT civil rights are determined to terrorize us and take away the few small gains we’ve made in the last few years.

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that challenges extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refused to hear an appeal related to transgender bathroom rights filed by a trans high school student. SCOTUS remanded the case back to the lower court, which invalidates the Obama era education guidelines to be sensitive to the needs of transgender students in public schools.

In addition to the threats to our hard fought LGBT civil rights, it seems as if our government and political institutions are being threatened too.

Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, we’ve seen nothing but chaos, lies, misdeeds, and misinformation, coming from the White House. The news has been grim.

Amid the sea of bad news and negativity there’s always a bright light somewhere. With the media under constant attack, I think it’s important to recognize the gay journalists who are good at their jobs, and report the news in a civil and straightforward way. They serve the public interest with integrity. They’re honest and factual and tell the truth, and they’re outstanding representatives of the LGBT community.

I started thinking about coming up with this list amid the “dangerous faggot” scandal that took down Breitbart’s house homosexual, Milo Yiannopoulos. We haven’t heard from the second rate provocateur and gay British ‘Breitbart’ bad boy, since he quit his day job as senior tech editor for the alt-right propaganda arm of the Steve Bannon White House. Trolls don’t have tact or manners which is why his comments about pedophilia shouldn't be shocking or a surprise.

The alt-right movement was a tolerant bunch when Milo supported their sexist and misogynistic, racist, anti-gay, and anti-immigrant policy pronouncements and political views --- as long as he kept gay sex out of it.

Milo stepped over the line when he publicly condoned sexual relationships between predatory adults and children. The alt-right rejection of their one-time gay darling was immediate and swift. [It looks like the anti-gay Mark Levin is poised to take Milo’s place atop the fact-free heap of right-wing hate.]

Milo Yiannopoulos can best be characterized as a clueless minor figure in the alt-right movement. When you fail to recognize the arc of history, unaware that most people have rejected racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia, you’re downright stupid and deserve whatever punishment that your bigotry begets.

During Milo Yiannopoulos’ farewell press conference he thanked his ‘millions of fans.’ That’s an ‘alternative fact.’ If Milo was smart (he’s not), instead of lying he would look to these accomplished gay journalists for inspiration. These hard working reporters DO have millions of fans.

This is my subjective list of the top ten most influential gay male journalists and role models, working in the media today (in alphabetical order).
  1. Frank Bruni The New York Times
  2. Jonathan Capehart The Washington Post
  3. Anderson Cooper CNN
  4. Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
  5. Steve Kornacki MSNBC
  6. Don Lemon CNN
  7. Richard Quest CNN
  8. Thomas Roberts MSNBC
  9. Shepard Smith Fox Snooze
  10. Pete Williams NBC News
Do you have a favorite among our top ten? You can cast your vote for them by clicking on the ‘Click To Tweet’ link. We will keep track of the votes and post the winner at a later date!
  1. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Frank Bruni
  2. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Jonathan Capehart
  3. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Anderson Cooper
  4. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Glenn Greenwald
  5. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Steve Kornacki
  6. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Don Lemon
  7. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Richard Quest
  8. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Thomas Roberts
  9. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Shepard Smith
  10. Click To Tweet Your Vote For Pete Williams
When I started writing and compiling this, I scoured the web for a definitive list of prominent credible gay male journalists with a national profile. The only decent list I could find was made by The Advocate in a 2014 article “The 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media.” The editors noted:
Who is the most influential LGBT person working in mainstream media? We asked around and argued over it until we came up with a ranking of the top 50 names.
My list is shorter, and I excluded women, and no slight or disrespect is intended toward anyone not included in this list. The women are worthy of their own list which I will compile at a later date.

Pete Williams of NBC News
Pete Williams of NBC News.
Anderson Cooper, Richard Quest, Don Lemon, Thomas Roberts, Steve Kornacki, Shepard Smith and Pete Williams, are excellent television broadcast news journalists and ambassadors representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Each of them has worked hard to get where they are today, and the consistent commitment to excellence is integral to their success. Each of them is widely respected because they’ve earned the trust of both the viewers at home and their colleagues.

Glenn Greenwald is a genius and an outstanding and passionate investigative journalist in a league of his own. I have great admiration for Glenn and feel that he’s nothing short of brilliant.

Jonathan Capehart and Frank Bruni are opinion writers. Their columns appear in the Op-Ed section of their respective newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times. They’re both intelligent, engaging, articulate, accessible, award-winning, and highly respected journalists. They can offer their opinion about anything and they often do in print and on TV. They hold a special place in my heart because they consistently drive Donald Trump nuts.

These ten gay reporters are outstanding and play an important role in their newsrooms, in the mainstream media landscape, and in the gay community. They’re in the Major League and the best of the best. They deserve our recognition and support, especially now when the media is unfairly tarred and feathered on a daily basis.

People like Breitbart’s gay bad boy, Milo Yiannopoulos, can’t hold a candle to any one of the journalists in our list. He's a rookie and may never be called up to Triple-A or the Majors, because there's no shortcut to success. To achieve any measure of success, you have to get an education, work hard with integrity, tell the truth and treat people with respect. Milo did none of those things.

Most importantly, Milo Yiannopoulos was doomed to fail because his disdain for gay people engendered disdain for himself.

Since he didn’t like himself – why on earth would we?

If someone asked YOU to name the most prominent and influential gay male journalists, who would be on your list? Let me know in the comments section below.


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