The last few weeks here at PGN have been somewhat bittersweet.
Two weeks ago found many of our staff on stage during the last plenary session of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s “Creating Change” conference, as we received the prestigious and inaugural LGBTQ Media Award for Elevating Voices of LGBTQ People.
One of those staffers up on stage as part of our family was Greg Dennis, our advertising manager. Greg has been with PGN for more than nine years. Aside from his usual duties, he often helps out at Pride and other events; that might be shocking since Greg is one of those strange creatures they call heterosexual. Yes, heterosexuals can work side by side with the LGBT community — and even in a leadership capacity.
Back to Creating Change and that stage. Greg was as proud as any of us when we won that award, but it would be the last time he’d be out at an event with us as a member of the PGN staff: After nine years, Greg is moving on (we’ll send him off with a staff party!).
While we’re sad to lose Greg, we’re also upbeat by the change it brings, which tells another story of PGN — inclusion, which is especially relevant considering what’s happening in Trump’s America. Taking on the responsibilities of advertising manager is Prab Sandhu. Prab is an out member of the LGBT community and came to PGN seven years ago as a documented immigrant. During his time at PGN, he has studied and is now a U.S. citizen (a development we also celebrated with a staff party!).
It seems that in all our lives, the issues of immigration, inclusion and diversity are playing out on a daily basis, or in real time. Rather than fight that reality, which creates hate, embrace it to create a more sustainable and healthier way of life for all of us.
Mark Segal is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His recently published memoir, “And Then I Danced,” is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or at your favorite bookseller.