On the Beast beat

From my 5/18/18 posting “What have you done with your life? The LGBT department”:

It began a little while back with a request from the Daily Beast for an interview in a series about “unsung (or, at least undersung) LGBT heroes” — people of significance in both a professional field and the LGBT world. A daunting request, to which I’ve responded in three postings on this blog:

on 5/9, “The way I write now”: about my eccentric genre of flânerie

on 5/10,  “What have you done with your life?”: about my contributions to linguistics, via a huge list of things I’ve worked on in my academic career, plus two lists of characteristic terminology I’ve used, some of which has become associated with me personally

and now this one, about my contributions to the lgbt community.

That was then, and at this point my exchanges with Samantha Allen at the Daily Beast came to an end (though people keep asking me what happened to the project). There are three explanations for this development, of which the most likely is that Samantha was simply overwhelmed by events. So after a bit more about me I’ll write about her.

Ok. Being the sort of person that I am, possibility 1 is the one that came to me immediately, on a tidal wave of self-doubt: I am not worthy. Either as a linguist or as a representative of the lgbt community, probably both. And Samantha figured that out.

But having written those three postings, I’ll concede that this is unlikely.

So I veer to possibility 2: I’m not an unsung hero, I’m an oversung hero, richly rewarded and valued in both the linguistic and the lgbt communities.

But then I looked at what Samantha’s been writing about for the Daily Beast, and I  immediately saw an explanation that had nothing to do with me at all (so hard to fully appreciate that the world doesn’t revolve around you): we live in challenging times, and a reporter on the lgbt beat pretty much has her hands full of stories of great currency, about things happening now. Stories about unsung heroes are feature stories, and they can pretty much be used any time; in quiet times, a story about Mary Ann Horton, (transgender Usenet pioneer and creator of the email attachment), Brian Dodge (Indiana University professor and bisexuality researcher), and Abigail Brady (transgender technie who helped develop the Nuke Compositing system in film-making) could be researched and easily folded into the Daily Beast site. But now there are hot stories almost every day, and there likely will be for a long time to come.

Samantha’s stories in the past two weeks:

on 6/30/18, “Martin Duberman: Why LGBT Activism Needs to Return to Its Radical Roots” (about his new book)

on 7/2/18, “2018 Is Shaping Up to Be Another Terrible Year for Trans Murders”

on 7/3/18, “Inside the Fight to Save LGBT Rights at an All-New Supreme Court”

on 7/5/18, “Scarlett Johansson Reveals Hollywood’s Big Transgender Problem”

on 7/7/18, “These Five Court Cases Could Change the Future of LGBT Rights”

on 7/10/18, “How ‘Parental Permission’ Could Destroy Transgender Kids’ Privacy”

on 7/10/18, “Yelp Finally Removes Anti-Transgender Slur From Search Feature”

Samantha’s blurb at the Daily Beast site:

Samantha Allen is a senior reporter for The Daily Beast. She holds a Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University. In 2013, she received the John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology from the Kinsey Institute. Previously, she was a Sex + Life reporter for Fusion.

Send her tips:

samantha.allen@thedailybeast.com or tips@thedailybeast.com.

She’s the author of Love & Estrogen (The Real Thing), 2018, a relationship memoir “about meeting my wife in the elevator of the @kinseyinstitute during my gender transition”; and of Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States (in press).

One Response to “On the Beast beat”

  1. [BLOG] Some Monday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky points out the achievements of Samantha Allen, a journalist writing for The Daily […]

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