MARK MY WORDS: Historic honors

Mark Segal

Before I get to the meat of what this column is about, I'd like to offer an opportunity to anyone who'd like to go to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this July. But it comes with strings, a lot of fun and a little work. Oh, and you have to change your name - and do it in the next 90 days.

Fun fact of the day: It seems when voters went into their voting machines in one Pennsylvanian Congressional district to vote for their delegates to the DNC, they discovered among the list "Removed by Court Order." Well "Removed by Court Order" won a delegate spot. So, if you live in the First Congressional District, change your name and claim that that victory is yours. It's likely there's no one else in the entire world named "Removed by Court Order"

Now to what for me is the real news of the week and a very prideful moment.

Last week, this newspaper was informed that, for the third year in a row, we have won a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. This time it was for our staff's coverage of last year's Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. The award is given for deadline reporting of a major story: how the staff covered the issue, how that coverage affected readers = essentially, that the publication gets the basic of reporting and does so well, and on a deadline.

For the third year running, PGN will head to The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in June to pick up the award. The first was an investigative award for Tim Cwiek's almost-14-year odyssey to find the truth behind the homicide of Nizah Morris, a category we shared with the Wall Street Journal. Last year was for a sports photo by Scott Drake - yes, an LGBT newspaper won best sports photo from a mainstream journalist association. This latest award for Scott, Jen Colletta and Sean Dorn makes clear that, even on deadline, the staff at PGN will get the news to you fast and accurately. Like many of you, on June 26, the day the SCOTUS ruling came down, we were in a haze of joy, but we also had a responsibility to you, our readers, to work now and celebrate later.

This award comes as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and look at PGN's place in history, how we help to change the world just a little. Forty years ago, our very name was controversial; putting "gay" on the front page was unheard of. Other publications around the country were titled The Advocate, The Blade, B.A.R., but we proudly put who we were right there on that front page.

On a personal note, I'm the luckiest man alive since I get to work with the most committed professionals in the news business every day.

Mark Segal is the nation's most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His memoir "And Then I Danced, Traveling The Road to LGBT Equality," is available on, Barnes & Noble or your favorite bookseller.  You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

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