The Corpus Christi Caller Times celebrated the city’s Pride Month with a review of newspaper’s history of covering the LGBT community.
The earliest coverage was in 1975 with articles like “Comments provoke gay community” and a profile of a man named Lee Eiliff labeled a “gay leader.” By comparison, the Dallas Morning News referred to gays as “homosexuals” well into the 1990s.
When marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004, the newspaper featured a front page story, “Gay couples exchange first legal vows in U.S.”
Illustrated with more than 50 pictures and articles, the newspaper’s coverage includes the controversy over Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi, the AIDS crisis, pictures of locally-displayed quilt panels from the NAMES Project, marriage equality and more. Also included are several pictures of drag queens who entertained in Corpus Christi bars in the 1970s and an interior shot of the Jolly Jack Lounge from 1975. Would the larger papers in the state even have a picture of the interior of a gay bar from the ’70s other than during a police raid?
For the newspaper’s coverage of the Obergefell marriage equality decision, one picture of the celebration filled the front page above the fold. Above a picture of the 50 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the paper wrote, “Honoring fallen Americans.”
In other words, the Caller Times in its coverage of the LGBT community was one of Texas’ boldest papers, with some of the fairest coverage for the past 45 years. They got it. From the beginning of their coverage. See the Caller Times story here.
— David Taffet