Late last month, another bit of LGBT history was made, albeit on a more modest level than the overturning of DOMA and Prop. 8 as the San Diego Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists presented their first-ever LGBT media event. I invited and moderated a panel of four experts and activists to speak about LGBT civil rights and LGBT media issues.
The panel was composed of Monica Trasandes, director of Spanish-language media at GLAAD in Los Angeles; Stampp Corbin, a former Obama campaign official and publisher of LGBT Weekly; civil rights activist Will Walters; and San Diego LGBT Community Center official and transgender rights activist Connor Maddocks.
The intent of the panel was to educate San Diego area journalists about the ins and outs of covering news about lesbians, gays and bisexual and transgender individuals and the LGBT community, moreover.
Panelists discussed issues such as "reparative (or conversion) therapy," which claims to "cure" homosexuality and is banned in California and New Jersey because, as the American Psychiatric Association and even the recently shuttered leading purveyor of the practice now both warn, can cause severe psychological damage and even lead to suicide.
The conclusion of the panel was that journalists should always include the phrase "so-called" before mentioning the terms "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" in news reports about the practice -- and also consider adding quote marks around those terms.