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Queer and getting into journalism? Networking could be a lifeline
Journalist Like Me

Queer and getting into journalism? Networking could be a lifeline


I was 20 when I first realised I was in love with a girl.

I’d say that it was the moment I realised I was queer, but at that point, the word was barely in my vocabulary. It had never occurred to me that I could be anything other than 100% heterosexual.

Cue months of questioning, soul-searching and googling. I even re-watched The Bold Type, in which the “totally hetero” Kat is shocked to find herself falling for another woman.

But none of it could eradicate the imposter syndrome. I was afraid to enter queer spaces, even online ones because I felt like I didn’t belong.

It’s strangely fitting, though, that The Bold Type - a show about journalists - made such an impression because networking with other queer journalists was a huge help to me.

It was like having a cosy jacket to wear: not overbearing, but enough to feel safe and grounded as I took my first cautious steps into the LGBTQ+ community.

First, there was a journalists’ Zoom meeting, which turned into the cheekily named ‘GAYS R US’ group chat.

Later I found out about the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network and didn’t need much persuading to join.

The stand-out moment, though, was a 2021 Zoom talk called ‘Being an LGBTQ+ Journalist’, led by non-binary journalist Lowie Trevena.

Near the end, sick with nerves, I sent in a question about my experiences. I can’t remember Lowie’s answer word-for-word, but it was something like:

‘Yes, you can still write about queer issues. No, it doesn’t matter that you’re still questioning. No, you’re not a fraud - and yes, you are absolutely “queer enough”.’

I wish I could say this made all my doubts magically disappear, never to be seen again.

In truth, I still needed several more months of research and experimenting, plus a chat with the LGBT Foundation’s helpline. Even now, the insecurities haven’t gone away completely.

Regardless, I feel a lot more comfortable (and proud) openly identifying as a queer woman these days.

And networking with other queer journalists - in spaces where I could ‘talk shop’, yet still be myself - was a vital part of that process.

So if you’re facing similar worries, watch The Bold Type. Secondly, try this feature by Vice’s Rachel Miller, which was eye-opening for me.

Most importantly, remember that who you are - even if you’re still figuring that out - is valid and ok.

Yes, there are some judgemental idiots out there. But there’s also a fabulous community of fellow LGBTQIA+ journalists who can and will support you.

As part of our commitment to the sector, QueerAF has partnered with the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network to run this 'Journalist Like Me' content series and help develop a thriving network of queer media professionals.

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