I want to write a special acknowledgment for Henry Fuhrmann who died in September 2022. He had a huge impact in even the smallest interactions. I met him as an ACES Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellow. Henry took the time to encourage me, give advice, and connect me to others during the nascent stages of planning the LGBTQ+ Editors Association.
One thing he said that stands out clearest in my memory is that it’s important to listen to the “quietest voices in the room” and to not be afraid of making mistakes. We’ll all make them; we just need to listen when we do. (I’m not saying this nearly as eloquently as he did, but you get the idea.) It's easy to get stymied by self-doubt, and as someone who lives with chronic illness and disability, I had a lot of doubt about whether I was the right person to try to start a new organization. But Henry made you feel that what others might perceive to be weakness may actually be a strength.
He was beloved by many and was awarded the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian American Journalists Association. He was not part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but he was a leader in advocating for conscious language, including updating trans-specific usage and terminology at the Los Angeles Times. You can read more about his life and accomplishments here and here. Henry was a brilliant editor and a giant in our profession, but he was also someone who quietly empowered others and led the way for a more inclusive, kinder world.
A big thanks also to my dear friend Kara Mshinda who gave extensively of her time for our initial survey that assessed demographics, interest in, and priorities for the organization. She’s a queer Black abstract artist and visual anthropologist who is highly experienced in survey methodology. She’s not an editor, but she wanted to help out. You can support her art at karamshinda.com.
Many thanks also to the following for sharing their knowledge or providing early feedback: Denice Bain, Wendy Barron, Nikki Busch, Amanda Finnell, Kim Lawyer, Cheryl Murphy, and Kat Tanaka Okopnik—and especially to Tanya Gold and Karen Yin. The LGBTQ+ Editors Association is indebted to you for your insight.
The LGBTQ+ Editors Association also acknowledges and expresses gratitude to our LGBTQIA+ ancestors—and in the United States, most especially our Black LGBTQIA+ ancestors—who paved the way for organizations like ours to even begin to dream up existence.
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