I haven't been able to write too much for the site this week - only one post other than the daily You Gotta See This videos and Quote of the Day features. Thankfully, our other contributors helped out with solid content so y'all weren't without your regular Bilerico fix.
I've been working on the preparations for my yearly convening of LGBT media journalists. Funded by the Haas Jr Fund and sponsored by the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association, this year's convening will be even bigger and better than ever. I'll be hosting 66 newspaper, online, radio, television and freelance journalists in Philadelphia this year; as comparison, last year we had 37 attendees.
I'm also proud to say that this year's group will be much more diverse than any of the previous years. Each year we tailor the sessions towards a particular topic; this year we're focused on "Coalition Building" with other social movements. That's a conversation that particularly excites me. In previous years we've focused on immigration, LGBT teen suicides, and the 2012 election cycle.
Preparing for the convening has become one of the highlights of my year. I actually enjoy all of the logistics and planning that goes into the event. Keeping costs down while still making each year better is challenging, but Philadelphia has really pulled out the stops to make sure we have everything we could possibly want or need. Comcast is hosting an opening night reception and dinner, while the city's tourism bureau is sponsoring a Saturday night meetup for local fans and a Sunday goodbye brunch.
Since the gathering is two weeks away, my work level on this project has taken over most of my days. I've made over 80 train and plane reservations plus the same amount of hotel reservations and then I handled all of the changes attendees wanted to make to everything already finished. I've planned a formal dinner (Who sits where? What do you serve to accommodate folks' dietary requirements? When do speeches start? What about the decorations!?), finished making arrangements for speakers and presenters, kept brunch plans on track, picked a bar to host the meetup, and wrote all the attendees with their confirmation numbers and a basic FAQ of what to expect.
At night, I've been doing something to help keep my sanity - closing the laptop (and, therefore, "leaving work for the day") and spending time with Jerame and other friends for "movie night," "game night," or "television night." Last Saturday I set up the site early to autopublish and didn't open that laptop all darn day; I can't remember the last time that happened since I started Bilerico Project. Hell, the last thing I did at home before leaving to have heart surgery was to check in on the site one last time.
It's been fun. It's been unusual and a nice change of pace. I'm sorry I haven't been able to post as much here on the site, but now you know why I've been AWOL. So what've you been up to this week?
(Journalists graphic via Bigstock)