There are times in journalism when you pause and wonder if anyone is reading your words. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a sports column, an editorial, a film or theater review or the follow-up to a murder; sometimes you feel like you might have just an audience of one — yourself.
In writing this particular column, I have the distinctive problem of trying to fairly cover every month almost 20 different sports with over a dozen organizational contacts that change at least yearly. Some reach out directly, some respond to queries, some apparently don’t require or want coverage.
On the flip side, when Greg Louganis, Billie Jean King, Michael Sam and others come to Philadelphia, there’s a great interview to be had. That can occasionally obscure what’s going on in local LGBTQ tournaments, boot camps, fundraising bar crawls and banquets. But if I have the information, I get it all in.
It’s no different online or on social media than in print, really. Bloggers and Youtubers and Twitternitwits get followers, true, but who knows if anyone truly reads the things we hold most important? With millions of bloggers and website writers, there must in turn be millions who write, post, tweet and scribe because of their desire to entertain, advise or improve someone’s life.
Then out of almost nowhere, the Pennsylvania News Media Keystone Press Awards are announced and you find you’ve taken first place for sports writing in the weekly print category as well as second place for sports photos. And yet here again I type thinking, Will anyone read this column and even know what happened?
But then I think that maybe, just maybe, the person judging submissions got some exposure to the LGBTQ community in a way that hadn’t been introduced to them. The organization is based in a more rural area than this one. Maybe this little column didn’t get a lot of play in the Philadelphia sports leagues, but maybe it did impact one person’s idea of what LGBT people do and are.
The funny part is, I can’t recall which column(s) was/were submitted for the competition! I can go back and read the celebrity athletes’ interviews and the Memorial Day weekend tournament bonanza and check out some of the championship game images, but they kind of blur in my mind. (I can’t even grasp that I’ve been writing the column now for almost six years.)
So I ask: Would you mind posting a word on the epgn.com website or emailing a note? While being recognized professionally is nice, knowing that there is an audience who cares that sports are being covered is pretty great too.
And while you’re at it, tell me what your favorite sport is. I dig that Stonewall Sports and CBLSL have the bulk of the participants, but give a shout-out to one of the other leagues too. You can find a list of them on the website bulletin board.
In the meantime, get out and play!
- In early March, the site selection committee for the 2022 Gay Games XI trimmed the list of cities on track for eligibility to Guadalajara, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. Those organizers will make final presentations at the annual general assembly in Paris in October.
- Philadelphia Falcons Soccer outdoor spring league kicks off April 7 at Sacks Playground, Fourth Street and Washington Avenue. Play is from 7:30-10 p.m. through May.
- Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association is holding its next social and round robin play 7-10 p.m. at RiverWinds Golf Club, 270 Eagle Point Road, West Depford.
- City of Brotherly Love Softball League celebrates opening day April 23 at Dairy Fields. Gay Days at the Phillies organizer Larry Felzer is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and local ACLU executive director Reggie Shuford will receive the Community Service Award. Ceremonies are scheduled for 11:45 a.m.-noon.
Scott Drake has been on the PGN staff since February 2008, starting as a graphic and layout designer. He is now the newspaper’s photographer and art director, in charge of the publication's overall appearance. Scott has won more than 20 photography awards in the past eight years, including an NLGJA Outstanding Achievement in Photojournalism Award, and more than a dozen others for graphics and writing. He is the recipient of two Sigma Delta Chi Awards.
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