Welcome to BLSJ!
The German Association of Lesbian and Gay Journalists – named BLSJ (Bund Lesbischer und Schwuler JournalistInnen) – was founded in 1997 in Berlin. Now the organization has 200 members throughout Germany. There are regional chapters in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich. The chapters invite guest speakers and organize social meetings as well as advanced training courses for it’s members. If you want to join us, just visit your nearest chapter or send an e-mail to our board.
Our Goals are
- to increase coverage of lesbian and gay issues both in quality and quantity
- to document discrimination at the work-place
- to act as a watchdog against homophobic media coverage
- to further contacts amongst lesbian and gay journalists
- to encourage coming-out at the work-place
Achievements so far
In 1997 BLSJ filed two complaints at the Press Council, a self controlling body of the German media. In July the tabloid press magazine “Coupe” was publicly reprimanded by the Press Council for a homophobic column about gay hairdressers. The columnist had accused and generalized that gay hairdressers molest their customers. A second complaint was filed against a report on the Gianni Versace murder published in the tabloid magazine “Bunte”. On the assumed murderer Andrew Cunanan the magazine wrote, he was “an angel of death who could only come from the decadent and perverted world of luxurious homosexuality; a living nightmare, reflecting Versace’s own abyss.” The magazine also spoke of Versace’s “dark sexual urges”. The Press Council criticized the report, but did not reprimand it.
Support for colleagues
BLSJ has offered support to a lesbian colleague who was fired after her boss saw her with her girlfriend at a public event she was reporting on. As she was not given any explanation for being fired, she assumes she was fired because of her sexual orientation.
Contacts to media organizations
In early 1998 the BLSJ board has had talks with the German Press Council and the two German Journalist organizations, trade union “IG Medien” (today “ver.di”) and the “German Journalists Association” (DJV), to inform them about the goals of our organization. Both organizations assured us that they will support lesbian and gay colleagues who are discriminated against due to their sexual orientation. The chairman of IG Medien, Detlef Hensche, declared he would support our initiative for an Anti-discrimination Clause.
Our goal is to establish an anti-discrimination clause, and should also include other minorities. The Anti-discrimination Clause will be a commitment of employers to provide a safe environment on the job. Anti-discrimination training should be available.
BLSJ maintains contacts to the US-based National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).