Here’s How Television News Is Covering Pride Month

By A.J. Katz 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated in the U.S. each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.

TV news networks are recognizing this important month by delivering an extraordinary amount of digital and linear content throughout the month that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in America.

Here are their coverage plans:

ABC:

ABC News will be covering Pride Month across all of its programs and platforms throughout June with a wide range of LGBTQ+ guests and stories. Here are some of the programming highlights.

  • ABC News kicked off Pride Month with the launch of its first LGBTQ+ issue-focused podcast, Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson. ABC News Contributor LZ Granderson draws from his own lived experience as a gay, Black father to host inspiring, provocative and often hilarious conversations to help preserve the history of the LGBTQ+ community.
    • This podcast delves into the policies, cultural touchstones and historical events that have shaped the collective experience of this often underrepresented and misunderstood group. Guests shed light on the past by sharing their own stories and look to the future by describing their vision for how living ‘life out loud’ should look.
    • New episodes of the ten-episode season post on Thursdays and guests include Pose co-creator and co-executive producer Steven Canals; Pose star Mj Rodriguez; musician Rufus Wainwright; Dr. Anthony Fauci on his response to the AIDS crisis; Sherry Cola, comedian and actress on Freeform’s Good Trouble; history-making politicians including Senator Tammy Baldwin; Super Bowl Winner Keyshawn Johnson; and Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and husband Tom Daley, Olympic medal winner.
    • Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson is available for free on major listening platforms.
  • ABC News’ streaming service ABC News Live will premiere two streaming specials on June 11 and June 18 on understanding the trans community and what’s next for the LGBTQ+ community and movement, respectively.
  • Daytime program ABC News Live Update will include Pride: What You Should Know bumpers highlighting events and people in LGBTQ+ history that viewers should know and feature LGBTQ+ people in its new weekly franchise Feel Good Friday.
  • Afternoon program The Breakdown aired a story this week on LGBTQ+ veterans who, 10 years after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, are still not receiving benefits because they were discharged (not honorably) simply because they were gay. ABC News Live Prime kicked off its daily coverage with an interview with Dr. Rachel Levine, the highest-ranking openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate.
  • GMA3 will welcome guests including pastor and author Dr. Paula Stone Williams, who discusses transitioning, finding self-acceptance and the gender inequity she has faced during her journey, and Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-D), the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress.
  • The View is celebrating Pride Month throughout June by highlighting significant moments in Pride history and saluting members of the LGBTQ+ community who are making a difference both on the show and online. This week’s spotlight includes Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate, Richard Grenell, the first openly gay member of the US Cabinet, Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Cabinet Secretary, Mauree Turner, America’s first non-binary state legislator and Gov. Kate Brown, the first openly LGBT governor elected in the US.

CBS:

CBS News and Stations will offer original reporting across all platforms for Pride Month with original reporting on a range of issues that impact the LGBTQ community, including:

  • CBSN, the 24/7 streaming news network, is marking PRIDE 2021with special coverage the entire month of June. CBSN is doing four weeks of coverage focused on four main themes: the Politics of Pride, Diversity & Representation, Families and Education and Health. CBSN will also have a special focus on trans issues throughout the entire month.
  • The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell will report on the battle over transgender laws.
  • CBS This Morning with Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil will be presenting several stories exploring the LGBTQ experience throughout the month. On Friday, the 40th anniversary of the first documented cases of HIV, Olympic diver and author Greg Louganis will be a guest.  Louganis has lived with HIV for over thirty years and has been an advocate for treatment and rights for those infected with the virus.
  • CBS Sunday Morning this month will feature Imtiaz Tyab’s interview with Russell T. Davies, creator and writer of the HBO Max drama It’s a Sin, which revolves around a group of friends living in London at the start of the AIDS crisis. The story will also feature two of the actors in the series, Neil Patrick Harris and Lydia West.
  • 48 Hours on June 26 will present an encore of  Christy Martin – The Fight of Her Life, featuring correspondent David Begnaud’s report on boxer Christy Martin, who, while dominant in the ring, fought a battle of domestic abuse at home that nearly led to her death. Martin was a worldwide sensation in the boxing ring and was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Away from the ring, however, Martin says she faced a different fight because her husband Jim Martin was abusive and controlling. Jim Martin tried to blackmail Christy Martin for being a lesbian. The Martins’ marriage came to a head on Nov. 23, 2010, when Christy says she told her husband she wanted to end the marriage. Jim Martin, she says, beat and stabbed her before pulling a gun. Moments later, he fired one shot into her chest, missing her heart by just inches. Christy Martin survived the attack. Jim Martin would then go on trial and was convicted of attempted murder. Christy Martin was now free to live her own life and love who she wanted to love.
  • CBS News Radio featured a story this week by Steve Dorsey about asexual Americans; advocates say more people are coming out as asexual, commonly defined as not experiencing any sexual attraction.
  • Plus, Allison Keyes will feature Pride stories in the Kaleidescope segment for the CBS News Weekend Roundup beginning next week, including coverage of continued killings in the LGBTQ community and the 40-year mark of the AIDS epidemic.

CBS-owned stations’ coverage will include:

  • KCBS/Los Angeles
    • Reporter Chris Holmstrom tells the history of gay pride in Southern California. Amy Johnson looks at Juneteeth, profiling two southern California families with deep roots to the creation of the event.
  • KYW/Philly
    • Reporter Alexandria Hoff explains COVID-19’s impact on last year’s Pride celebrations and fundraisers.   The surrounding community lost the psychological support and connection, and also took a hit on fundraising. But now, local leaders are planning nearly 300 events to bring people back together. KYW will also focus the Open for Business franchise and Chat With.. segment around Pride month.
  • KTVT/Dallas
    • The Dallas Police Department created a new position in their Community Affairs Bureau dedicated to covering the LGBTQ+ community.  Officer Megan Thomas is the new LGBTQ+ Liaison Officer @DPDLGBTQ.  KTVT asks her about her new role and the impetus for creating it. For Juneteenth Unity Weekend, Dallas Southern Pride pays tribute to the area’s Black LGBTQ+ population by celebrating diversity and ensuring that all voices are heard.
  • KPIX/San Francisco
    • KPIX5 is a sponsor of San Francisco Pride and this year will team up to support Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park. The two night festival will include the premieres of In the Heights by the creator of Hamilton and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the film adaptation of the award-winning hit musical from London’s West End. KPIX5 will also air a series of special reports throughout the month to highlight the city’s rich history of commitment to diversity.
  •  WBZ/Boston
    • All month long CBSN Boston will be covering Pride events and interviewing members of the LGBTQ community on inclusion, policy, & politics.
  • KCNC/Denver
    • Denver has long been home to big celebrations for both Pride and Juneteenth. And this year the two celebrations are joining forces for Black Pride. CBS4’s Tori Mason has the story of a gay, black man who says in the past he didn’t feel welcome at either festival, but now he’s excited at the renewed push for change and inclusivity.

CNBC:

  • CNBC Business Day programming will dive deep into LGBTQ representation on company boards, break down the economics of Pride celebrations throughout the United States, and examine some of the top personal finance issues in the LGBTQ community from estate and retirement planning to the costly process of starting a family through adoption and surrogacy.
  • The News with Shepard Smith will explore stories that are directly impacting people who identify as LGBTQ with reports including Pride & The Pandemic: Small Business. The program will also highlight inspiring stories from the community such as Landmarking the First Gay Wedding and a cyclist that went on a transcontinental bike ride in an effort to raise money for The Trevor Project, a national suicide hotline that helps LGBTQ youth, after two of his close friends took their own lives.
  • Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. will partner with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce for the LGBTQ Small Business Owner Financial Health Survey. The national survey will take the financial pulse of LGBTQ entrepreneurs to learn more about how they manage their finances and the specific obstacles they face based on their sexual and gender identity and address topics from emergency savings to business succession plans to post-COVID small business confidence. Editorial content based off of the survey findings will publish throughout June on cnbc.com/invest-in-you. Additionally, Invest in You will host a LinkedIn Live event, Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow., on Thursday, June 17th at 1pm ET moderated by CNBC Small Business Reporter Kate Rogers featuring personal finance expert and bestselling author Suze Orman to discuss the most pressing issues currently facing LGBTQ small business owners and answer their questions about how to best manage their personal and business finances.
  • CNBC Make It will profile LGBTQ leaders making history in politics as well as feature interviews with Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD CEO; Kayla Gore, a Memphis activist who is building tiny homes for trans women of color who experience housing discrimination and homelessness; and the founders of gender-inclusive fashion brand Urbody.
  • Additionally, CNBC Make It will publish stories that speak to the experiences of LGBTQ people in the workplace throughout the month.
  • CNBC.com will offer stories focused on inclusion efforts around the LGBTQ community such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in shaping LGBTQ rights, the growing trend of gender fluid clothing, and marketers making a big push for more diversity in their ads. The site will also report on how Pride organizers are preparing for 2021 celebrations and what it means to local economies across the country. Additionally, CNBC.com will feature written profiles on U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Francesca’s CEO Andrew Clarke as well as produce a video interview with Arlan Hamilton, the only black, queer woman to build a VC firm from the ground up that invests in start-ups led by underrepresented founders including women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals.
  • CNBC’s Listing Impossible season one is available for binge-viewing across all of CNBC’s digital platforms, including CNBC On Demand, CNBC.com, the CNBC App and the NBCU One App.

CNN:

Graphics/interactives

Opinion & Essays

Original Video content

CNN Audio

  • Season 2 of Silence is Not an Option with Don Lemon, which premieres June 10, will feature an episode on the late gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin

CNN Business

Fox News:

  • Kicking off on Friday, June 4, Fox & Friends, the America Together: Celebrating Diversity segment special will feature a number of stories celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals across the country.
  • Led by Fox News national correspondent Bryan Llenas along with svp Michael Tammero, the aforementioned series will present interviews with several high profile members of the LGBTQ+ community including country music star Ty Herndon, Grammy winning choral director Craig Hella Johnson, Georgia State Senator Kim Jackson (D), and Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D).
  • These packages will air on FNC, FBN and Fox News Audio’s platforms each Friday of June.  Additionally, Llenas and Tammero’s interviews will be available in their entirety on Fox News Digital’s America Together: Celebrating Diversity platform. The site will also highlight major figures in LGBTQ+ history via feature profiles on groundbreaking members of the community, such as American gay liberation activist Marsha P. Johnson, gay-rights activist Edith Windsor, liberation and transgender rights activist Sylvia Rivera, civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, Major League Baseball’s Billy Beane, among others.

MSNBC:

  • Anchor Jonathan Capehart will highlight Pride every Sunday in June, with interviews with LGBTQ newsmakers from the White House and beyond.
  • Anchor Lindsey Reiser will speak with transgender Bishop Megan Rohrer inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in San Francisco about Rohrer’s decision to never walk away from faith despite being expelled from a church youth group as a teen after coming out as a lesbian.
  • On the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, anchor Kendis Gibson will speak with the owner of the nightclub who has made it her mission to make sure people don’t forget the tragic events on June 12, 2016. Gibson will also speak to survivors of the tragedy and get their reaction to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signing a bill that bans cities and towns from adopting stricter gun regulations.
  • Anchor Yasmin Vossoughian will also dive into the impact new legislative bills are having on transgender children across the country.

NBC News/NBC News Digital/Peacock:

  • Morning News Now co-host Joe Fryer will host Transamerica, a one-hour special on the streaming service NBC News Now examining issues facing the transgender community. Airs on June 17.  Previews of the special will air on Today and Nightly News with Lester Holt.
  • On Today, Fryer will take a deep-dive look at Pride celebrations taking place this year and will explore how LGBTQ bars across the country are approaching reopening. Plus, marking 40 years since the first reported case of HIV/AIDS, Fryer will report on the historical, scientific, and cultural impact of the virus as well as advances in prevention and treatment.
  • Throughout the month, Today will highlight a variety of inspiring stories and perspectives of the LGBTQ experience including: the first gay married couple in the U.S. fifty years ago, Jack Baker and Michael McDonnel, discuss the story that inspired the book Two Grooms on a Cake; SNL’s Bowen Yang reflects on coming out and how the process has changed;  actresses Indya Moore and Angelic Ross of FX’s Pose reflect on the pioneering nature of the series and its final close this summer; and more.
  • On NBC Nightly News, Sunday anchor Kate Snow will report on families with transgender children forced to relocate to new cities as more and more states enact restrictive transgender laws.
  • Meet the Press with Chuck Todd will explore the evolution of public and political support for the LGBTQ community and how it has continued to change over the past two decades — from legislation to court cases to major societal shifts.
  • Today Digital will spotlight LGBTQ trailblazers who paved the way for future generations along with the vanguards of today who continue to carry that legacy. Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, actor Wilson Cruz, musician Lance Bass and drag performer Lady Bunny lead the trailblazers list while model Leyna Bloom, musician Hayley Kiyoko, actor Alex Newell and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 13 contestant Gottmik join the group of up-and-coming influential leaders redefining the LGBTQ community with their visibility. Others profiled in the series include comedian Margaret Cho, soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement, and actress Candis Cayne among others.
  • Today All Day, the 24/7 streaming channel from Today, will air a 30 minute special featuring stories of the LGBTQ community, including the Tenacious Unicorn Ranch, a safe haven for transgender people to co-exist with one another in Custer County, Colo.
  • NBC Out – the only LGBTQ section at any broadcast or cable network’s digital operations – is out with its annual “Pride 30” list, recognizing LGBTQ Americans making a difference in their communities and industries. The list profiles 30 individuals in politics, entertainment, fashion, sports and more including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, comedian Punkie Johnson, Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, actor Elliot Page, former Super Bowl LIV Assistant Coach Katie Sowers, Congressman Ritchie Torres and more. See the entire list and follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Pride30.
  • Peacock Original daily news shows The Mehdi Hasan Show and Zerlina. will feature segments on Peacock’s new, news commentary channel, The Choice, including a focus on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riot on June 28.
  • News documentaries including NBC News Features’ No Longer a Death Sentence: How Living with HIV Has Changed 40 Years Later, Nightly Film’s Stonewall 50: The Rebellion!, and MSNBC’s Rebellion! Stonewall will be available to stream on Peacock throughout the month of June.

Telemundo:

  • Telemundo is celebrating PRIDE Month with Celebrando el Mes del Orgullo (Celebrating Pride Month), a campaign to support the LGBTQ+ Latino community, celebrate their journeys, and raise awareness of the challenges that remain for their progress.
  • The campaign will feature stories of inspiring community members making a difference and kick off June 1 for PRIDE Month with a PSA introducing these individuals and the loved ones who supported them along the way.
  • The PSA will be showcased for the entire month of June with spots on-air across the network and stations, as well as all digital properties and platforms. Their stories will be supported with special programming and profiles in daytime and evening news shows with additional segments on topics ranging from the exploration of the intersection of the transgender and Hispanic experience, a panel with experts related to the LGBTQ+ community, and stories on pride with special guests.
  • To further demonstrate Telemundo’s support of the LGBTQ+ community with employees, the network will celebrate with month-long pride activations with educational resources, digital promotions of the campaign, HR diversity spotlights and internal panel discussions.

Profiles:

  • Arianna Lint – She is passionate trans educator and advocate originally from Peru where she graduated Law School, and has worked for the Florida Health Department in the field of HIV and AIDS since 2006. She is currently the founder of Arianna’s Center, head of South Florida Chapter of the Translatin@ Coalition, and seeking her Master’s in Social Work. Ariannascenter.org
  • Eduardo Placer – Cuban-American story doula, international public speaking coach and LGBTQIA activist who leads workshops for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, UN Diplomats, social activists and more. He was previously a professional actor for 15 years, before focusing all his energy on his company, Fearless Communicators. He currently serves on the board of THE OUT FOUNDATION. Eduardoplacer.com
  • Charlie Ruiz Vasquez – Mexican-American writer and activist for both the undocumented and LGBTQIA community, working with organizations such as the Latino Equality Alliance and Legacy L.A, and currently serving as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Cedars-Sinai. She is an expert in LGBTQ+ cultural education and sensitivity, and dreams of helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth by opening a new kind of shelter experience for the LGBTQ+ homeless community. @charlieruizv
  • Yameeliz Fret –  As a Latinx, LGBTQ+ woman, Yameeliz is passionate about supporting and uplifting marginalized communities through a holistic and intersectional approach. She is the South Florida Safe and Healthy Schools Coordinator with Equality Florida, where she works directly with school districts, families, community organizations and other stakeholders to implement professional development trainings, best practices and programs that create safe and inclusive learning environments for all students, especially LGBTQ+ youth.
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