Hello citizens of the Internet! I’m back (I know I promised in the last post that I was back, but now I’m really, really back!) and better than ever.
Along with the movies I’ve watched, the new music I’ve consumed (St. Vincent, Stromae, Run The Jewels, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend — I KNOW, I’M BEHIND. I’M WORKING ON IT), the late nights laughing ’til my sides ached, I’ve done a couple big things.
In March I traveled to Jamaica to cover an immigration hearing for the Belize documentary. There I met Maurice Tomlinson, an absolutely outstanding Jamaican LGBT rights activist who explained the situation on the ground. Maurice lives in Canada — where he fled after he was outed without consent by a Jamaican newspaper — but returned to Jamaica to fight against immigration restrictions on homosexuals in Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. While there we explored Kingston, sat through the hearings and shot an interview that will help round out our film and put it into context with LGBT rights in the rest of the Caribbean, while simultaneously showing the plight of other activists.
Post-Jamaica (like immediately after, less than a week) I began interviewing for jobs in New York City. The job I wanted the most was the most prestigious. The interview spanned two days, and the second day was a grueling journalistic competition, to say the least. I was pitted against one international reporter, one University of Albany student and 10 (yes, 10) Columbia University School of Journalism graduate students. I felt like my odds were slim to none when I realized I was the only undergrad from a school no one had ever heard of. But the experience I accrued during my time working for Naples Daily News proved to be invaluable. I could speak to records requests, content creation and creative thinking, which was on par with my competitors. Although, apparently, none of us knew how to spell (which I still say is a dead skill at this point).
In April I was offered a position with this major international newspaper based in the UK. I’m going to refrain for saying which paper until I’m a little more established, but all I can say is I’m. So. Freaking. Excited. I’ll be living for approximately six months split between London and a soon-to-be-revealed city in England, working with a local bureau. Then I’ll return to London for a month before going to work in their Manhattan office. I guess dreams really do come true.
The day I found out I got the job in London, I found out I was nominated for four Sunshine State Awards. I’ve been applying to the Sunshine State Awards for the last three years and I’ve pretty much set up a nice, little home in third place every time I apply. I’m nominated for College Journalist of the Year, Best Profile, Best Coverage of LGBT Issues and Best Coverage of Race/Minority Issues. I’ve always dreamed of winning College Journo of the Year, but the good news is the two other student nominees are not only phenomenally talented and beyond worthy, they’re also Will Write For Food alumni. It just goes to show how far a student journo can go if you trap them and their peers in a homeless shelter for 36 hours. If that sounds like something you’re interested in (and want to see a picture of me! — and read my contributions) click here. This year is an alumni year (crying forever because I will be in the UK and unable to attend), so new applicants won’t receive a spot. However, you can learn how to apply for 2016. Do it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next College Journo of the Year.
In May I graduated college. Anyone who knows me knows I have felt like college was a chain around my ankle, keeping me stuck in one place. A place I didn’t want to be. Well the chain is off, and I’m getting ready to spread my wings (oh, god. The cliches. I’m sorry.) and explore the world.
Before I move, I’m spending two weeks exploring Europe with my best friend. We’ll start in Berlin, head to Paris for a few days, then Amsterdam, and then I have to figure out a final city. I’m debating where I want to go, but let’s just say I have a few choices in mind.
For now, I’m just wrapping up my time at Naples Daily News, and trying to remember what relaxing is. Am I doing it yet? And, in all sincerity, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a while. And it’s a really nice feeling and a great place to be. I haven’t felt this way in many, many months. But I’m here now, and while I know the tide ebbs and flows, I’m enjoying this moment.
Now we’re all caught up! As these next adventures unfold, be prepared to hear a lot more from me. Until then, safe travels.