KUTZTOWN, Pa., Sept. 30 — In honor of LGBT History Month, the nation’s most awarded LGBT journalist Mark Segal will speak at Kutztown University on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium in the McFarland Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.
Respected by his peers for pioneering the idea of local LGBT newspapers, Segal is one of the founders and former president of both The National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. He is known as the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His memoir, “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality” was released in October and has become a best seller.
In June 1969 Segal was one of the four members of the action group that organized demonstrations for three nights after the infamous Stonewall riots. He joined forces with others to create the Gay Liberation Front, which signified the new radicalization of the gay community in New York.
Wanting to take the community out of isolation, Segal created the Gay Raiders and took the fight national. The Raiders’ campaign against the television networks changed America and the gay Rights struggle.
Segal was America's first gay television star when he disrupted the CBS “Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” an event covered in newspapers across the country and viewed by 60 percent of American households, many seeing or hearing about homosexual rights for the first time.
Segal founded the Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) in 1975. He has served on dozens of boards and commissions, including the Philadelphia International Airport Board. In 1974, he created the historic Governor's Council for Sexual Minorities. This was the first governmental body in the world to specifically look at the problems faced by the LGBT community. That was followed by the first executive order banning discrimination in state government.
Aside from publishing PGN, Segal has also reported on gay life from far-reaching places as Lebanon, Cuba and East Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall. He represented the gay press and lectured in Moscow and St. Petersburg at Russia's first openly gay conference, referred to as Russia's Stonewall.
Segal currently coordinates a network of local gay publications nationally to celebrate October as gay history month, with a combined print run reaching over a half-million readers.
Segal was recently inducted into the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association's Hall of Fame, appointed a member of the Comcast/NBC Universal Joint Diversity Board where he advises the entertainment giant on LGBT issues.