by Fred Kuhr
Given that the coronavirus pandemic is an ever-present news story, but not one with an obvious LGBTQ angle, community newspapers are coming up with different ways of covering the virus.
The April 9 issue of San Francisco Bay Times ran a front-page headline “Remembering LGBTQ Lives Lost to COVID-19” along with a full page of photos highlighting the famous as well as those on the front lines of the pandemic.
They included Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, transgender advocate Lorena Borjas, New York Mt. Sinai Hospital nurse Kious Jordan Kelly, and Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shannon Bennett.
Many newspapers and magazines have “scene” pages, full of pictures at bars and events around town. But with bars shuttered and events cancelled, Dallas Voice used its May 8 issue to highlight frontline workers on its scene pages with the headline, “Thanks to the first responders and front line/essential workers.”
What followed was photos of workers — including nurses, retail and grocery store clerks, flight attendants, pharmacists, delivery workers — mostly masks. Some of the masks were surgical masks, but others showed some fashion and flare.
In Atlanta, Georgia Voice’s entire April 10 issue was devoted to the pandemic under the banner “Community Strong: COVID-19 Impacts LGBTQ Atlanta.”
Articles examined the pandemic’s effects on the local healthcare industry, local small businesses, city workers, and coping with social isolation. There was even a good-news story about how the lockdown has boosted local electric bike sales at Atlanta’s ElectroBike at the Atlanta Bicycle Barn.
According to owner Eric Hunger, “The business has been growing every month over the years, and since the coronavirus hit, our business has gone up exponentially. People are staying at home and want to get out and exercise; it’s a natural thing to do.”
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