Phil Reese

My Whirlwind Evolution from Teacher to LGBT Journalist

Filed By Phil Reese | July 08, 2011 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Phil Reese, Washington Blade, Washington D.C.

Phil_Reese_1_(c)Michael_Key_of_the_Washington_Blade.JPGMy, Projectors, its been a while. How have you been?

Well I've been peachy. In May I received my Master's Degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also was named one of the Windy City Times' '30 Under 30' LGBT voices.

Oh yeah, and I moved to Washington D.C. and got a job at the Washington Blade.

Now I'm not only generating content for our Facebook and our Twitter, as well as honing our new iTunes and Android App, I'm writing articles for the oldest LGBT print publication in America, and the widest read and cited local LGBT newspaper in the country. I'm surrounded by the history of our community every day when I go to work: forty years of photographs, stories and lives.

Yet another Midwesterner has been pulled into the beltway. I can't believe how much my life has changed in the last four and a half years.

In 2007, I was finishing my Bachelor's degree in secondary education at Central Michigan University, three hours away from where I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. The sun was setting on my days as an LGBT advocate and leader in the mid-Michigan region, and I was preparing to start a quiet life as a teacher in Illinois.

Life, however, doesn't always follow a plan, does it?

While I was teaching I shifted from being an LGBT organizer on the ground, to a netroots figure, first with my own newsclips blog and Twitter, the now defunct Ameriqueer, then by joining the team at the Lundon Calling podcast, next becoming a contributor here at Bilerico and finally by launching the SameSexSunday podcast with Joe Mirabella.

As I began to dip my toe deeper and deeper into the LGBT netroots, I realized I wasn't really in the right place. I loved teaching but I knew that there was so much of me that was languishing where I was. I had the opportunity to leave teaching to earn my Master's Degree in a two year program at the number one Information Science program in the nation, which just happened to be a mile away from my house. I jumped.

But just five months ago I had no clue what would happen to me after graduation. I was looking for a job, and really wanted to continue to be part of the LGBT web 2.0 world. Then all of the stars aligned at once.

Thanks to Jerame and Bil, who put me in touch with the Blade, I took over all-things nerdy here at the Washington Blade, here in the city I fell in love with when I was a little boy.


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I'm very proud of how far you've progressed since we first met via Twitter, Phil. We may have introduced you to the Blade job, but you earned it completely on your own with your qualifications and winning personality. No one who meets you can resist liking you immediately. :)

Phil Reese, you're teh awesome and I adore you. I'm so glad we live in the same city now (though I feel like I see you less!) and that you have an awesome job with a phenomenal news organization. You have done some amazing work and totally earned that position with the Blade - I'm just glad we could make the introduction so you could seal the deal. (P.S. Let's get together soon, I miss hanging out!)

Congratulations Phil and I am truly glad to see your smiling face and incisive mind back among us. The Blade. Down here, we call that "High Cotton". Thanks for all that you do for all of us.

Joani

Go phil!
We can only have so much insight at each stage in life and make the best guesses we can about what will make us happy. As we go through life and find new experiences that make us happy, we just need to evolve those guesses and make new decisions and take risks.
Sounds like you are doing great. Congrats on the new role!