Editors' Note: Guest blogger Greg Hernandez is the former Daily News Out in Hollywood blogger who was laid off immediately after working the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Greg has started his own blog covering LGBT celebrities and Hollywood gossip at Greg in Hollywood.
I lost my job last week. But I didn't lose my desire to continue my work as a blogger writing about all things pop culture from a gay man's point of view.
For seven-and-a-half years, I had been a staff writer for the Los Angeles Daily News. In the summer of 2006, I proposed launching a gay-themed entertainment blog called Out In Hollywood and was given a thumbs by the then-powers that be to proceed.
I did with gusto. I covered the Outfest Film Festival, began blogging about television shows and movies with gay characters, covered LGBT issues and followed the careers of any performer who was openly gay.
What had been important to me when I came to work at the Daily News was that I be an openly gay man from day one. I had been a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times for 11 years and stayed closeted for most of that time. It was really eating me up inside and did have an impact on my career. So I left The Times to find myself personally and professionally and it turned out that the ugly newsroom in Woodland Hills with no windows - the longtime home for the Daily News until last fall - was a new start for me.
I loved the creative freedom from the start. Once I became a blogger, I continued as a prolific celebrity columnist and features writer for the print product but the blog was my main love. It made the Daily News one of the few mainstream news organization in the entire country to have such a consistent gay presence. I covered everything from Ellen, Rosie and Neil Patrick Harris, to the campaign against Proposition 8 and many other harder news topics. I also pushed for more coverage of gay issues in the paper itself which drove many our older more conservative readers crazy! I was honored by the Los Angeles City Council in June 2008 for my progress in this area and it was one of the proudest days of my life.
Tough economic times put an end to my efforts when I, the only remaining openly gay member of the editorial staff, was a casualty of the most recent round of layoffs. I received my walking papers the day after covering the Academy Awards for the paper.
So while the Daily News lost its only remaining gay voice, I have not lost mine. On Monday, a week after I was officially laid off, I began a new blog: Greg In Hollywood. Now a free agent, I plan to have the site even more provocative and edgy than before but with the same steady mix of pop culture coverage with a little bit of politics mixed in.
I was only able to launch Greg In Hollywood in such a short because of a group of tech-savvy and very talented straight allies, friends who believe in me and what I am doing and were willing to offer their time and expertise. It is a new beginning and proof that tough economic times do not have to prevent us from doing what it is we love. We have to continue to find a way.