Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Moving On

It is with a combination of sadness and optimism that I announce my departure from Just Out after 8 1/2 years with the Pacific Northwest’s largest queer newsmagazine. It has truly been a pleasure to work with all of you through the years, and I hope our paths cross again as I move on to the next phase of my writing career. Please take note of my updated contact information below.

Upon my arrival at Just Out as news editor in 2000, I was a frustrated journalist who was considering a career change after working at publications that were filled with content didn’t seem to connect with their readers. Fresh out of the closet, I was timid at the thought of suddenly becoming a “professional homosexual” but soon was reaping the rewards of this unique position:

• I had a front-row seat for the downfall of the state’s anti-gay leader when Lon Mabon was arrested in 2002 for refusing to participate in a court case brought by former Just Out photographer Catherine Stauffer. My favorite memory: asking his wife, Bonnie, amid a throng of straight journalists, “How does it feel to be brought down by a lesbian?”

• Five years ago this month, I had the pleasure of witnessing the brave actions of the “Wonder Women” of Multnomah County who risked their careers by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Love was in the air for weeks, and Portland was on the map as a welcoming place for queers.

• The second half of my tenure at Just Out was in the arts and culture realm, which allowed me to interview local luminaries (Gus Van Sant, Thomas Lauderdale) as well as visiting celebs (Lily Tomlin, Melissa Etheridge) while sharing stories about chasing my personal dreams (buying a house, losing weight).

As someone who has been devoted to journalism for more than 21 years — ever since I joined the student newspaper staff in my sophomore year at North Salem High School — I hope to find another challenging position in this ever-changing field or in the local arts and culture scene. I would welcome any job leads and would be delighted just to hear your thoughts about where I should channel my energy.

For now, let’s get together to celebrate. Please join me for happy hour 5 p.m. Friday, March 20 at Boxxes, 1035 S.W. Stark St. (For the budget-minded imbiber, well drinks are 75 cents until 7.)

Peace and love,

Jimmy Radosta

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