Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

St. Louis gay journalist doesn’t need a weekly happy hour

Doug Moore, president of the Missouri Chapter of National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association

“In a city like New York, they have happy hour every week,” joked Doug Moore, the Missouri Chapter President of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. With only ten members in the Missouri branch of NLGJA, which includes journalists from as far away as Nebraska and Iowa, Moore explained that weekly gatherings of gay and lesbian journalists in St. Louis for cocktails would be virtually impossible.

Moore, 48, was born in Neosho, Mo., a town of 10,000 in southwest Missouri, and raised Southern Baptist. “Every Sunday we were told these people are sinners and are going to hell,” Moore recalled. “You always romanticize your childhood. But my life was threatened and I was called ‘fag.’” Moore didn’t come out until his mid-30s.

Moore currently serves as diversity and demographics reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He came out in a big way in 2004, by helping found the Missouri chapter of NLGJA to prevent newsrooms from “bungling gay coverage.” Having served as president for the past four years, Moore believes that every newsroom needs an advocate for LGBT issues.

He gave us the example of a reporter covering a woman horse trainer at Rainbow Ranch. The reporter didn’t know and didn’t ask about the woman’s partner, even with the “rainbow flag flying above the sign for Rainbow Ranch,” Moore recalled with a chuckle. For instances like these, Moore feels a responsibility to educate fellow journalists.

“There is a hesitancy. They don’t want to make that person [being interviewed] uncomfortable,” and they don’t want to be uncomfortable themselves.

Moore is thankful that his paper is supportive of him. He strongly encourages other gay journalists to come out. “If you just have straight white guys running the newsrooms, you would have very narrow coverage. I think I’ve added a lot more stories that wouldn’t have been in the paper.”


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One thought on “St. Louis gay journalist doesn’t need a weekly happy hour

  1. steve wenderlich on said:

    Hi I’m the Deputy Superintendent for Security at the Elmira Prison you visited. How did you like the tour? What was surprising to you? and Do you want further information?