How to Find LGBTQ+ Voices for Any Story

Food may be her beat, but NBC News digital producer Tiara Chiaramonte makes sure the people in her stories are also diverse. This means including underrepresented voices from different regional and ethnic backgrounds, as well as those from the LGBTQ+ community.  

In the video above, and an edited summary of her remarks below, Chiaramonte — who works on the programs “Family Style with Al Roker,” “How to Eat Plants” with Samah Dada and “Head of the Table” with Elena Besser — gives tips for findings sources from the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.  

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Use social media to find LGBTQ+ sources

Instead of just searching for a specific name or topic and going with the first few results, follow LGBTQ+ people on social media, or look for threads on particular topics and reach out to those who are commenting. You can also visit LGBTQ+ organizations’ social media accounts and follow people who are interacting there.   

Build trust with your sources

After you identify a source, take the time to get to know them. Explore their social media to get a better sense of who they are. Conduct multiple pre-interviews to let them know you are committed to the story and keep in contact with them. Be respectful in how you talk to them by using their preferred pronouns – he, she, they. 

Use LGBTQ+ organizations as a resource

If it’s not your beat and you are assigned a story or want to report on a particular story in the LGBTQ+ space, start by doing the research. Reach out to organizations like the Trevor Project, the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD or NLGJA for help. They can help you frame your story, phrase questions and provide clarity on pronoun and language usage. As the understanding of gender and sexuality evolves, how it is reported needs to as well. 

You dont have to be LGBTQ+ to tell LGBTQ+ stories

If journalists don’t cover LGBTQ+ issues or people because they aren’t in the community, their stories may not be told at all. It’s important for all journalists to be students of the space. There are many resources available to help you cover LGBTQ+ communities with respect.  

📚 Resources for Journalists
The Trevor Project
GLAAD Organization Media Guide
Human Rights Campaign’s Glossary of Terms
National Center for Transgender Equality’s Tips for Journalists 
NLGJA Stylebook
Trans Journalists Association’s Style Guide 

🍽️ Stories Produced by Tiara Chiaramonte
Bastrop Cattle Co. Ranching Provides a Fresh Take on Texas Beef Production
Samah Dada Explores the World of Vegan Egg Replacements 
Samah Dada Explores the World of Vegan Cheese 
Samah Dada Tastes Decadent and Delicious Vegan Comfort Foods Across the Country 

Gallery: Behind ‘TODAY All Day’ with Tiara Chiaramonte