August 26, 2009

What's It Like to be the Face of LGBT Journalism?

From Metro Weekly:

It should come as no surprise that one chapter of Kerry Eleveld's life contains a stint as an amateur stand-up comic. Her keen wit, sharp voice and knowing smile make her seem like she could have easily dropped in from a classic screwball comedy, one where the wise-cracking gal proves herself a competent player in the newsroom.

Which, of course, she's done -- but without the comedy.

After covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Advocate, during which she scored the rarest of grails for the GLBT press -- an actual interview with Barack Obama -- she's now taken up residence in the Washington press corps and become the daily face of GLBT media in the White House press room. Her constant stream of reports for The Advocate's Web site are must-reads for those tracking the progress -- or lack thereof -- on GLBT issues under the Obama administration and Democratic Congress.

It's a necessary job, as she sees it, even as gay issues more often appear on front pages and newscasts across the country.

''The mainstream media is very primed right now to cover our issues but they don't really have the resources to do it,'' she says. And even when they do, the need for a GLBT-specific approach remains. ''Everyone will throw in a gay question every now and again in an interview, but what mainstream organization would ever do an interview with a politician and ask four or five gay questions in a row? That doesn't happen.''

Eleveld's own profile has risen higher in recent weeks with daytime appearances on MSNBC where her journalistic sensibilities are turned to a range of current political events, both GLBT-related and beyond.

''It's an interesting opportunity. I'd never seen an LGBT outlet's reporter weighing in on [non-LGBT] issues,'' she says, stressing her pleasure at being part of the ''greater American discussion.''

And with Eleveld as part of that discussion, the GLBT community enjoys a distinctive voice, indeed.

Click here to read Metro Weekly's Q&A where Kerry Eleveld answers the questions instead of asks them for a change.

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