Main | Thursday, January 17, 2013

NLGJA President Dies At 48

Michael Triplett, president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, has died of cancer at the age of 48.  The NLGJA writes:
Michael was the assistant managing editor at Bloomberg-BNA, where he used his legal background to develop and lead reports on tax and labor policy, as well as grooming journalists around the world. NLGJA members often called on Michael to provide a legal perspective to policy issues and governance, and he frequently sat on panels covering legal issues at NLGJA conventions.  Michael played an enormous role in our joining UNITY: Journalists for Diversity in 2011 and was one of our first representatives to the UNITY board. There, he worked with members of our partner groups to fully incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity into UNITY’s mission. He also helped our organization connect with members as a principle contributor to the NLGJA RE:ACT blog. Michael was truly a joy for all of us to work with, and his loss will be felt among our organization for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner, Jack and his family in Alabama.
Such horrible news. I first met Michael in 2008 when he invited me to DC to sit on the NLGJA's panel discussion on ENDA, where I tangled with then-Log Cabin president Patrick Sammon who ended up calling me a "Stalinist." Michael, well aware of my opinion of homocons, had wisely seated us at opposite ends of the dais.

Last April, Michael wrote movingly about his battle with HPV-related oral cancer.
In the past year, I’ve had: three surgeries, 42 days of traditional radiation treatment, five rounds of chemotherapy, and five days of advanced radiation treatment. My medical bills have surpassed the $600,000 mark—thank God for my employer’s great insurance plan. I’ve lost over 50 pounds and all my facial hair, had almost half of my tongue removed, undergone two high-tech robotic procedures, used up over 70 percent of my accumulated sick leave, and had my 76-year old mother living with me for about 12 weeks to assist in my care. From this birthday forward, my gifts better be pretty damn spectacular.
In particular, and rather selfishly, I'll miss Michael's keen eye on the evolution of gay journalism and what it means today to be a news blogger in the ever-shrinking world of print media.  I've quoted his words on that subject regularly over the years and you can read some of those posts here.

Read Michael Triplett's full 2012 essay, The Anniversary Of My Cancer.

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