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Plus and Advocate Editor Honored with NLGJA Award, Helps Moderate CDC-Funded Reporting on HIV Workshop

Plus and Advocate Editor Honored with NLGJA Award, Helps Moderate CDC-Funded Reporting on HIV Workshop


She recieves the award at the June 23rd LA Exclusive benefit at the LA LGBT Center, following a training for journalists on how to report on HIV and the people living with it.

Photo by Bradford Rogne

At an event this Thursday evening, NLGJA — the National Association of LGBT Journalists — will present Plus magazine's editor in chef and The Advocate magazine's editor at large, Diane Anderson-Minshall, with the 2016 Lisa Ben Award for Achievement in Features Coverage.  The award acknowledges the significant contribution that Anderson-Minshall has made to LGBT coverage in media over the course her 30-year career.

According to the NLGJA, this award was established “to honor a journalist whose body of work is distinguished by insight and impact through engaging features on LGBT individuals, the LGBT community or LGBT issues.” Anderson-Minshall has edited or written for dozens of mainstream and LGBT media outlets including national magazines Esquire Russia, Curve, The Advocate, Ladies Home Journal, Out, On Our Backs, Us Weekly, and Passport; regional publications including New York TimesThe Crescent City Star, Bay Area Reporter, Southern Voice, Washington Blade, Vanguard, San Francisco Chronicle, and Lesbian News; and online at OutTraveler, SheWired, Pride, TheAdvocate,, and many others. She's appeared on numerous television series and was executive producer of this year's The T With Dr. D on HereTV.

In addition to her work with Plus and The Advocate magazine, Anderson-Minshall is the co-founder and CEO of Retrograde Communications, an editorial service and content curation firm that works with A&E, LGBT, HIV, and other health clients on including Here Media's, Kaiser Family Foundation's Greater Than AIDS, and Walgreens' #GetTested campaign.

Anderson-Minshall says she is thrilled to be receiving this honor and is particularly moved to receive an award named for Lisa Ben, the pen name used by Edith Eyde, who created (and hand delivered) the first known lesbian publication in America.

“I wouldn’t be here without the legacy of Lisa Ben,” Anderson-Minshall explains. “When I co-founded Girlfriends, the lesbian culture magazine, in 1994, I did a lot of research into lesbian publishing history and became an instant fan of Lisa Ben. I feel a kinship for the woman, so earning an award named for her is apropos.”

Long before LGBT content became readily available in mainstream publications, Anderson-Minshall broke new ground covering queer issues for outlets like Bitch, Bust, Esquire, Radar, Us Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Femme Fatale, and others. But she has always chosen to focus her efforts writing and editing niche LGBT publications, rather than pursuing a career with mainstream press.

“As someone who is fiercely supportive of, and has worked so much in, LGBT media, getting this award is extra special, because I know out journalists who work in LGBT media dismissed and marginalized more than those who choose to only work in mainstream publishing,” said Anderson-Minshall. “The diversity of our lives, our stories, are still not being told comprehensively in the mainstream — Orlando is a reminder of this — and many queer and trans journalists still feel like they’ll be discriminated against, pigeonholed, or find their careers back-burnered if their editors, publishers, or readers find out they are LGBT. Coming out doesn't mean you can't be objective or can't cover other stories fairly; it just means you're living truthfully as a journalist — and truth telling is the cornerstone of our industry."

Join Plus magazine in honoring our editor in chief at the Los Angeles LGBT Center's Ed Gould Plaza at the NLGJA's Los Angeles Exclusive event Thursday June 23 where she will be presented the award. For more information and to buy tickets for the annual fundraising event (free apps and cocktails!), go here.

Earlier in that day, Plus and its staff is also collaborating with the NLGJA to produce a special FREE health journalism workshop with dozens of experts, focused on improving coverage of HIV and related stories.  Speakers and workshops will enable mainstream and LGBT journalists to develop skills and strategies that will not only deepen their coverage of HIV but also increase their competency in covering other public health stories.

The Reporting on HIV Today workshop, features experts and influential sources including Mario J. Perez, Director, Division of HIV and STD Programs, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health; Bamby Salcedo, founder of TransLatina Coalition; and Black AIDS Institute Program Coordinator, Gerald Garth. 

Interactive panels offer attendees a wide range of topics to learn more including the 10 stories about HIV testing you missed last year (just in time for June 27, National HIV/AIDS Testing Awareness Day); intersectionality of race and poverty with health issues like HIV; ground-breaking new prevention options; the missing link between transgender people and HIV treatment; and how to find stories in public health databases and reports.

To learn more and register for the special, no-cost, training on HIV, click here

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