People of the Year 2023: Staff Edition

A year in PGN covers.

Five years after I vacated my full-time job at Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), Publisher Mark Segal and outgoing Editor Jason Villemez asked me to return — this time as editor. There was much trepidation with returning as I faced myself with several questions. Would I be able to handle this work again? Do I still have the journalistic skills to do this job? Will the new staff welcome me in?

As someone who has had issues with anxiety, none of these insecurities were new to me. However, the difference between the me from five years ago and the me from that time in May 2023 — when I was offered the editor role — was that I had the tools to manage some of those feelings (thank you to the therapists I have seen over the years as well as the many years of wisdom I gained from getting older). This gave me a little more confidence to step into this role.

And after six months, I can now say that everything is going great.

I can handle this work.

I am good at this work.

And all of that is thanks to the staff who continue to empower me every day. As 2023 comes to a close, I’d like to thank all the PGN staff and contributors who have kept the publication going this year: 

Martin Alfaro; Victoria A. Brownworth; Kelly Burkhardt; Inez Carvalho; Jen Colletta; Tim Cwiek; Gary L. Day; Sean Dorn; Katie Finkle; Jeremy Gussick; Cameron Kelsall; Gary M. Kramer; Emily Leopard-Davis; Sonia Leounes; Suzi Nash; Don Pignolet; Rick Rosendall; Lauren Rowello; Dana Rudolph; Prab Sandhu; Gregg Shapiro; Mark Segal; Gwendolyn Smith; Jason Villemez; and Michele Zipkin.

Whether you contributed stories, graphics, ads, or general support to help guide me through rough patches, all of you have had a role in making my job easier, and making my time here special. I can confidently say I am lucky to have all of you as teammates.

I must also thank some of the partners we worked with, such as AARP, Bay Area Reporter, Comcast, Dallas Voice, Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute, Local Media Association, News Is Out, Out South Florida, TML Communications, Tagg Magazine, Washington Blade and Windy City Times. Your camaraderie and support helps us contribute better journalism to our community.

As we enter into 2024, there will be new challenges as we try to navigate the shifting media landscape and the outright attacks on our community from politicians, groups like Moms for Liberty, and other bigoted figures. However, knowing that I have this team by my side reminds me that we are in this together.

I look forward to taking on the new year with all of you.