Let’s hope Trump honors LGBT professionals as Obama did

Ina Fried at the White House (with Eleanor Roosevelt)

In the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential elections, I’ve been thinking about our good friend Ina Turpen Fried, winner of multiple prestigious journalism awards, including the 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media. “Prior to June 2003, Fried signed articles ‘Ian Fried,'” as Wikipedia notes. “At that point, she transitioned from male to female and began using the byline ‘Ina Fried.'”

I was Editor at CNET and Ina’s manager/colleague during this transition. I was proud to support this in all aspects (from discussions with Ina’s sources, including none other than Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to the introduction of a transgender bathroom at CNET). It was an honor. Ina was one of the most talented journalists on our staff, and a warm and enthusiastic person with a wonderful sense of humor. We have reunited at Tahoe since, with our son and Ina’s family. Now Ina is at Recode, whose cofounders are Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, longtime journalists with the The Wall Street Journal.

I hope the new White House administration, including Vice President elect Mike Pence, will embrace Ina and other LGBT professionals, as President Obama has. Ina has been to the White House twice during the Obama administration. Details here.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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24 Responses to Let’s hope Trump honors LGBT professionals as Obama did

  1. John Stoos says:

    Jeff, I suspect that both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence will consider the professionalism and skills of those consider for position, continuing or new. in the administration: Unlike the Clinton’s who fired all the travel office so their friends could have jobs.

  2. Chip Wilder says:

    I suspect Pence will be running the gay police in the administration. How could you suspect anything else. We know his position, he has nothing but contempt for the gay community. As governor of Indiana he and his legislature made laws— laws against gay marriage. If that ain’t enough go look at the GOP platform again. It spells it out. I’ll give Pence about a year to start the repeal of Roe/Wade.

  3. nelsonminar says:

    What is the purpose of this post? The GOP platform is very clearly anti-LGBT. Pence is a true believer who has made a career out of demonizing LGBT people. There’s no chance of the administration “embracing” LGBT professionals, particularly journalists. Are you naïve enough to think otherwise? Or maybe this post is some sort of strategic thing? Does Ina know you put her name out like this?

    Sorry if I sound touchy, but as a gay man I’m really frustrated by folks who don’t understand how threatening this administration is. And I’ve got it easy compared to my Muslim and Hispanic friends.

  4. jeffpelline says:

    Nelson,
    The post is meant to show Trump supporters — and all the rest of us, for that matter — about all the talented LGBT professionals out there. We all know the Pence platform; we also know that education can be an antidote and bring about compassion and compromise. Trump is a pragmatic businessman, not just an ideologue; his position can soften. Yes, Ina knows. She “liked” the post, along with 126 others on Facebook — including, gay, straight and her former editors at The Wall Street Journal. All expressed gratitude. BTW, Ina is a tech journalist, not a political journalist. Cheers!

  5. jeffpelline says:

    BTW, here’s more background on Ina, including her NLGJA board seat and introduction into the LGBTQ journalists hall of fame in 2016: http://www.nlgja.org/outnewswire/2016/07/27/nlgja-announces-2016-inductees-to-lgbtq-journalists-hall-of-fame/
    “Ina Fried is one of the nation’s top tech journalists, currently writing for Recode, while frequently covering and commenting on technology news on CNBC, National Public Radio, and a host of broadcast, online and print media. Her current beat focuses on, as she puts it, “wireless issues and devices, including tablets, smartphones and even some phones of average intelligence.” Before her current role, she spent a decade at CNET. Her reporting has spanned several continents, two genders and covering some of the top stories in her field including the Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger, Bill Gates’ transition from software pioneer to philanthropist and interviewing Steve Jobs while covering the iPhone location tracking controversy. She has served on the NLGJA board of directors including her leadership role as Vice President of Print. As a recipient of numerous journalism awards, in 2014 Fried also was named to the Advocate’s list of the nation’s top 50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media.”

  6. jeffpelline says:

    And here’s a note that Ina posted on her Facebook page later this morning: “Thank you so much for the lovely note Jeff Pelline and your years of friendship and support. I’m deeply grateful to all those who have supported me over the years and less worries about me personally than I am for those with even less support and resources. If you support me, please do what you can to make sure that all those whose freedoms and voices could be threatened in the coming years have your visible and tangible support.”

    • nelsonminar says:

      I’m glad Ina’s OK with your post. I appreciate your well meaning optimism. It’s not something I’m feeling myself.

      • jeffpelline says:

        Nelson,
        I don’t know you, but you have my support in this regard. Compared with the Coast, the foothills exhibits more social intolerance, that’s for sure. I have appreciated your comments on this blog in the past — on internet issues, vaccinations, newspapering, etc. We all know where Mike Pence is coming from (as I posted his comments the other day), but I’m going to try to remain optimistic about the Trump administration as a whole. There are politically pragmatic reasons to soften a stand like this, even for hardliners on the right. After all, the popular vote went the other way.

  7. Karla Arens says:

    Nice sentiments, Jeff, but it’s unlikely that the Trump administration will be tolerant. You do know Pence’s history on LGBT rights. Even if Trump himself is neutral on the subject, which he might very well be, he’s beholden to those who are not.

  8. Chris Bishop says:

    Lets hope President Trump honors alot of people. Unlike many Conservatives that “hoped Obama fails”, I hope Trump serves well. A Trump failure is unimaginable.

  9. Steve Willer says:

    Trump’s speeches have shown he is clearly at odds with his VP pick when it comes to LGBT issues. He is at odds with Paul Ryan on Social Security and Medicare. The question is what will Trump do to deal with his hard right fringe of a party. The wingnuts who have been waiting to jump into action to push their agenda of gutting social safety nets and regulations to protect the environment and consumers. Trump is not a policy guy, he could easily get railroaded into signing bills he doesn’t like so he can get legislation he does like. With having watched what happened after the 1994 midterm and 2000 elections, I don’t have ANY optimism about this year’s election results and what might happen in DC. We have seen what happens when Republicans get in power. Only Republicans can act like sore winners and go on a legislative tear to legislate the wishes of right wing think tanks and industry lobbyists like its god’s will to make poor people’s life harder than it already is and destroy the environment for quarterly profits.
    Again, I sure hope I’m wrong.

    • jon smith says:

      “The question is what will Trump do to deal with his hard right fringe of a party.” Trump didn’t have a choice with Ryan but he did choose Pence for VP and Myron Ebdell to head up the EPA. You can’t much more hard right fringe than this.

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