Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter will celebrate its 15th anniversary in style.
The Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter will mark the milestone with the unveiling of the 2014 New Miss Public Access TV, who will be crowned at 11:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at There Ultra Lounge, 931 Liberty Ave. in Pittsburgh. The event will be broadcast on local Channel 21.
Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter was founded in 1999 by the late Max Van Sickle. The newsletter serves as a media outlet for the LGBT community in Southwestern and Central Pennsylvania.
Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter currently has about 500,000 monthly subscribers. The newsletter’s current president, John DeBartola, took over in 2002.
He said the opportunity to reach a broad audience has had a tremendous impact on his own life.
“I suffered from vocal paralysis and was a mute for three years. In 2002, I had a vocal restoration and got my voice back,” he said. “So I stand tall, forward, knowing that I must do this; it is part of my spiritual journey.”
The newsletter started out with a staff of five but has grown to have more than 100 columnists and writers. DeBartola said the newsletter strives to provide coverage on topics that aren’t just LGBT-centric but affect the community, such as holistic health and environmental issues.
Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter also has chapters in Maryland, Idaho and Washington.
DeBartola said he seeks to bridge gaps and address unmet needs with the organization.
“How can we represent the larger segment and even some of the fringe elements within the gay community itself and bring it into a positive light? How can we bring it in such a way that it would also make those within our community realize that we must work together?” he questioned. “We have strived and moved forward in our 15 years to be more inclusive, to take ourselves to another level to see a larger representation to our community and to see a larger element of our community coming together. We have been successful at that, I believe.”
The group has received congratulatory remarks on its anniversary from local legislators including state Sen. John Wozniak (D-35th Dist.), who commended their work “celebrating diversity and helping society to become more inclusive and embracing everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.”
DeBartola said he looks forward to increasing membership and readership.
“It will be an opportunity for more new backers to come on board with diverse viewpoints so we may reach a larger segment of the population, giving us the opportunity to know and to understand how we can be successful and work together to have a healthy planet, a healthy mind and healthy relationships,” he said.
For more information on the Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter, visit www.gaylifenewsletter.com.
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