Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010 - Wayves magazine article

Well, i am sure that some of you out there may be familiar with a Halifax-based publication known as Wayves Magazine. Well, back in September, i was approached by one of their journalists to give an interview for an article about the apparent tension and conflict among the St John's LGBT community.

Well, after initially stating it would publish in November, and then postpone publishing until January, i see Wayves has published an article today. Sadly, i must bring to the attention of all everyone that some of the content is outright misleading and false. I am quite disappointed that a draft was not shared with me in advance for the purpose of factual editing.

First of all, the article misleads readers to believe that i have never been involved with pride entities in this city in the past, prior to the incorporation of St. John's Pride Inc. this is clearly false. Secondly, the article erroneously refers to me as the 'chairperson' of St. John's Pride Inc. Thirdly, the article erroneously states that all requests by St. John's Pride Inc. to meet with an entity that the article refers to as the 'former pride' , were unanswered.

For the record, and i think it is common knowledge, i have played a major role in the planning and delivery of pride events in this city, including a leadership role in a panel discussion on LGBT health matters, that occurred in 2009, and a day-long community stakeholder engagement session, that occurred in 2010. Yes, it is true that the self-proclaimed leaders of the 'former pride' organization, failed to recognize me as a contributor, but you can't change history. fact is, i was involved, many people feel that i did a great job, my work was documented in the media, and many people feel it was wrong for me to be excluded from recognition as being part of the entity referred to as the 'former pride' organization.

Secondly, i am one of three people who incorporated St. John's Pride Inc., and i am one of the Board of Directors of said company, but i am not, and have never been, a chairperson.

Thirdly, to state that all meeting requests were ignored is not entirely true. St. John's Pride Inc., has not formally requested to meet with any unofficial pride entity. I as an individual have attempted to arrange meetings with other individuals who have been associated with this perceived 'former' entity, and yes, most of those meeting requests were ignored (which is really unfortunate), but there was one meeting request that was accepted, so i will give them that.

Anyway, why does all this matter? well, i hate to see my reputation as an individual inappropriately tarnished, and likewise, i hate to see St. John's Pride Inc., inappropriately tarnished. and you know what? i hate to see the reputation of anyone inappropriately tarnished! nobody deserves to be inappropriately tarnished. newspapers are supposed to report the facts and attempt to limit bias. well, this particular newspaper seems to have been very selective with regards to which facts they published, which ones they elected to omit, and which facts weren't even correct.

Oh well, what the article did do well was highlight the fact that there is indeed a great deal of conflict and divide here in this city, among would-be leaders of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, and perhaps somewhat deservedly so, the article seems to make all of us look bad. But you know, i will say this. Conflict doesn't happen without passion and dedication, and better to have this than indifference. Sadly, i think the biggest enemy that all would-be pride organizations in this city face, is indifference and indecisiveness from the majority of this city's LGBT population.

While i was initially hopeful that doing an interview with Wayves would help combat the indifference and indecisive, and help bridge the divide among community leaders, i now fear that this article will not prove helpful in any of these aspects.

anyway, one final note, the article points readers to stjohnspride.org for 'more information'. As you can clearly see, this website is not functional yet. i was mislead to believe that this Wayves article would not publish until January. In fact, this article was to be the first formal broadcast of the existence of this site. I feel badly that the site is not ready yet, but my team is working away and should have something up there very soon.

Jenn

1 comment:

Daniel MacKay said...

Jennifer:

Daniel MacKay, publisher of Wayves Magazine here. Thank you very much for your corrections and clarifications.

I would like to run your letter as a response and correction to our article, in the April issue.

If you don't want to run all of the letter, I can give you a link where you can edit it before publication - just for the next couple of days; we go to press soon.

If you want to do this, send us a note at

submissions@wayves.ca