Mark My Words

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

When I was young, about 11, Jewish kids didn’t acknowledge Christmas as anything other than just another day, but we appreciated that it meant something important to our Christian neighbors. The reality was, since our neighbors were Christian, it was a boring day for us kids as our friends were with their families enjoying a day that in American culture is one for family, and we felt excluded.

I asked my Facebook friends to suggest topics for this week’s column. They came up with subjects such as bullying, LGBT history, the White House holiday press party and the latter’s snubbing of LGBT and black journalists.


I am an openly gay man, so you might say you hate the sinner part of me but love me as a person. You also might tell me my civil rights are special rights that infringe on your beliefs. But most importantly, you’d say the LGBT community is immoral.


There’s an old saying that when we’re young our parents watch over us, and we return the favor as adults when our parents are aging. In many families, this causes confusion, disagreements among the family, stress and overall anxiety.

Ah, Thanksgiving — the start of what we call the holiday season, but if you’ve seen any TV, looked at a newspaper or been on a website recently, you’ve likely noticed that the season seems to have already started. Many people call this the “joyous season.” But for many LGBT people, this is not a joyous season, especially the most disenfranchised in our community — youth who were forced out of their homes or, worse, forced into “conversation-therapy” camps; trans people who were disowned by family and friends; and seniors, most of whom came out in a time when there were no rights and little tolerance, especially from family.

Is it not obvious by now who is controlling President Donald Trump and his anti-LGBT crusade? Vice President Mike Pence, who made a national name for himself as governor of Indiana by pushing “religious-liberty” laws to allow citizens to ignore LGBT rights for religious reasons. That’s not to mention anti-trans legislation he supported, and his backing of conversion therapy — all of which Pence sees as his contribution to the moral fiber of America, and his legacy. 

I’m going to take a liberty and break one of my major rules about LGBT publishing that dictates that all coverage must be about or for the LGBT community.

I’ve been traveling out of the country for the last couple of weeks, and with what seems to be so much disagreement in our community on a range of issues, and the ongoing doubts about where our struggle is leading, I thought I’d share with you a few snapshots from my trip — which should give you a different view of our community and our accomplishments.

Donald Trump and his fake excuse and misdirected attack on the NFL players who are kneeling for social justice have some people saying it’s a sign of a leader cracking down on the First Amendment, which leads to an authoritarian state. Think that’s an overreach? Take a look at a similar issue in another country with an already-authoritarian state. 

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