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LGBT Journalists Honored for Pioneering Work

LGBT Journalists Honored for Pioneering Work


Three journalistic pioneers will be honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association this September with induction into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame at the organization's annual convention in San Francisco.

Edythe Eyde, who used the pen name Lisa Ben, was the editor of the first known magazines explicitly for lesbians. Published between June 1947 to February 1948, Vice Versa was created by Eyde in her office at RKO Movie Studios. She typed one original with four carbon copies and repeated the process until she had 10 copies. Having been told it was illegal to send materials about sexuality through the U.S. Postal Service, she delivered each copy by hand.

Richard Rouillard cofounded National Gay Rights Advocates of San Francisco, the country's first public interest law firm for lesbians and gay men, in 1979. Two years later he moved to Los Angeles to become the editor in chief of The Advocate, where the circulation nearly tripled during his tenure. He also worked as society and style editor for the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and as a senior editorial consultant and contributor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Rouillard also was a founder of NLGJA. He died in 1996.

Hank Plante began his journalism career as a copy boy for The Washington Post, where he developed a love for journalism, and worked on the city desk. He became managing editor at Sentinel Newspapers before transitioning to broadcast news, working at KHJ-TV (Los Angeles), KRIV-TV (Houston), KMSP-TV (Minneapolis), WVEC-TV (Norfolk, Va.), and, in Washington, D.C., as assignment editor at WTTG-TV and news editor at WRC Radio. In the mid 1980s, Plante moved to San Francisco, where at CBS affiliate KPIX-TV, he covered the AIDS epidemic, work for which he earned a Peabody Award and local Emmy awards. During 25 years at WPIX, Plante -- one of the country's first openly gay TV journalists -- worked as a reporter, anchor, and political editor. At age 60, Plante was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, and in March 2010 he retired from WPIX.

The national convention will take place September 2-5, celebrating NLGJA's 20th anniversary as an organization.

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