HuffPost Gay Voices on Being Out as Journalists

HuffPost Gay Voices is conducting a series of “Voice to Voice” conversations between LGBT authors. They did a few of them for Black History Month. Among them was a conversation between Clay Cane and Janet Mock.

Cane is the entertainment editor for BET.com and the host of Clay Cane Live on WWRL 1600AM in New York City. He’s also contributed to publications such as The Root, theGrio and The Advocate.

Mock is a staff editor at People.com. She earned a GLAAD Award nomination for writing about growing up transgender. This year she was named one of theGrio’s 100 most influential leaders making history today.

In the article, Cane and Mock explore being black and LGBT, homophobia and transphobia. They also discuss their experience with being out as journalists:

Clay Cane: Being out made me a better writer. You can’t sit down with a stranger and get the truth out of them when you’re paranoid about somebody finding out your truth. The truth is, being who I am has never stopped me from getting a job. I wouldn’t have gotten my radio show on WWRL if I had been closeted. What about your coming out as a journalist?

Janet Mock: While making the decision to tell my story, I definitely took on other people’s thoughts about me, internalizing other people’s transphobia. So when I came out publicly, I was armed for people to say awful things about me. Instead, I was overwhelmingly embraced. I wasn’t expecting the love and light that actually came my way, and the opportunities that arose as well because I chose to be open about my journey.

We have come a long way since NLGJA was founded. It’s heartwarming to be reassured that being out as journalists is becoming easier for many of us, although that is still not universally true.

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