This weekend the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association inducted Michelangelo Signorile, Don Michaels, and William Dorr Lambert Legg into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame. But considering Signorile’s work with ACT UP, his long history of outing anti-gay public figures, and his numerous columns about sexual politics, it’s kinda surprising that Signorile wasn’t already in their hall of fame. Let’s take a quick stroll through some of his finer moments:
– He outed Hollywood producer David Geffen, and then Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Pete Williams and publishing tycoon Malcolm Forbes and later revealed HIV+ safe-sex advocate Andrew Sullivan was engaging in barebacking.
– As more of his friends grew sick and died, Signorile joined the AIDS activist group ACT UP in 1988. During his time with the group, he interrupted a speech by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (a.k.a. The current Pope) to protest the Catholic Church’s stance against condoms and homosexuality. Signorile jumped on a marble platform at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, pointed at Ratzinger and shouted, “He is no man of God!He is no man of God—he is the devil!” (The police quickly carted Signorile away.) He eventually became ACT UP’s media committee chair, ensuring that their dramatic protests got news coverage. What an attention whore (in a good way).
– While working for Out magazine, Signorile had a disagreement with editor James Collard. Signorile claims that Collard had an “ex-gay” sensibility and wanted Signorile to stop writing such inflammatory, activist pieces. “We had a heated discussion and he insulted my sensibilities and it made me so angry I threw water in his face,” said Signorile, who then quit. Girl knows how to make an exit!
– He has released a 14-step book telling people how to come out of the closet, was nominated for the New York Public Library Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for his best-selling book Life Outside: The Signorile Report on Gay Men: Sex, Drugs, Muscles and the Passages of Life, and once wrote a controversial column in which he discussed his “lapse” into unsafe sex despite his work as an AIDS activist. That column later appeared in The New York Times and inspired a 60 Minutes piece on the same topic.
– He now hosts a daily talk show on SiriusXM’s OutQ channel called The Michael Signorile Show. Most recently, he excoriated ex-GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios for refusing to talk about GLAAD’s endorsement of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Barrios refused to appear on the show without a board member at his side. Signorile’s blog posted nearly daily updates about the AT&T/GLAAD scandal up through Barrios’ eventual resignation.
Congratulations to Signorile for continuing his unapologetic brand of queer journalism. May his inclusion in the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame embolden other writers to illuminate our lives with as much honesty and conviction as he has.