I thought I was going to be the next Cyd Ziegler. I wasn’t good enough. Nor, hot enough.
Who is Cyd Ziegler? He is a LGBT sportswriter and publisher of the website, Outsports.
Recently, the NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists – named Ziegler to their LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame in 2020. An amazing feat for someone who helped brought sports journalism to that organization.
Both he, and fellow LGBTQ Journalist Hall of Famers Jim Buzinski and LZ Granderson broke through by showing us that, yes, we can work in the sports space.
I mention this because of a quandary I had ten years ago.
Before this website became Victory & Reseda, I was trying to blog about everything. Not just automobiles. I tried to write about what interested me. What engaged my curiosity. What tripped my intellect. You get the idea.
This website had already reflected on the sports side of my life. A life that had taken a second fiddle to the automobile. A life that came from my mother.
Barbara Jean (Bloom) Stern was a baseball fan. I do not recall how she became one. All I know was her stories of when my grandfather Bloom ran a textile mill in Cincinnati not far from Crossley Field. After school, she would show up to the Cincinnati Reds games, only to be paged by the public address announcer to meet her dad at the game to take her home to their residence in the North Avondale neighborhood.
That was the mid-to-late 1930s.
(PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Today would have been my mother's 92nd birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!)
Jump to the 1970s and over two thousand miles away to Reseda. By that time, my father left us and decided to be a rollin’ stone (think of the meaning of the 1972 song by The Undisputed Truth and The Temptations – yep, that’s him!). That left my mother with both Matthew and I, a house note, and hopes that the alimony payment showed up sooner than later.
It took us a few years to get back on our feet. When we did, my mother decided to take us to Dodger Stadium. Not just once. Probably six or seven games a season.
Mostly we sat in the lower deck – the Field Box seats – close to foul pole. By that time, Tommy Lasorda took over as the manager of Dem Bums…well, they weren’t "bums" by 1977. They had a few World Series championships under their belt. The Dodgers last won the National League in 1974, only to dispatched by Charlie Finley's Oakland A's.
From there, baseball – and all professional team sports – were a part of my life. So much, I was compelled to write about it.
But, what about automobiles? I’ll get to that soon enough. Bear with me…
Another 1,900 miles later, I'm here in the Twin Cities. Trying to figure who I wanted to be in this iteration of my life. Somehow, two chapbooks of poetry turned into a blogsite. In turn, spawned another blogsite.
In the late 2000s, The Heirloom was blossoming on Major League Baseball's blogging platform. I talked about everything and everybody. Mainly I tried to be the gay Twins fan as much as possible. Though I had a few allies and comrades, I still felt like Daffyd of "Little Britain" – "the only gay in the village."
Though Daffyd celebrated his societal status with attitude and pride (probably, Matt Lucas was having too much fun with the character), I didn’t. I had trouble trying to attract the right readers to that blog. I also found myself as the only LGBT MLBlogger on that platform.
Outsports came out about that time. I do not remember trying to connect with Ziegler or anyone involved with sports journalism. Maybe one person, but I have forgotten parts of that life pre-V&R. No, seriously…
Then, something happened. It was in 2011. I will get into the automotive side of that chasm in another article.
Meanwhile, I tried my best to maintain both websites. I finally gave it up in 2014. A few months, Chevrolet invited a few of the area’s automotive media to the MLB All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis. That would be it – well, so I thought.
What baseball – and sports – writing taught me is to balance the expertise in the subject with the storytelling. It does not have to be split down the middle, but some sort of balance to engage both readers who are interested in the subject or not.
I mention all of this because I ended up joining the NLGJA. Because I attended their National Virtual Conference under the AARP’s Fellowship program, I was offered a year’s membership under the same fellowship.
How will this benefit me. Considering how Ziegler, Buzinski, and Granderson brought sports journalism into this organization, maybe I have a chance to represent the automotive media corps and perhaps see about including us among the future membership of NLGJA.
I never met any of these gentlemen mentioned. However, I know I hell of a lot more LGBT automotive media members and industry people because of the work that had been established over this past decade.
That story is coming soon…
All photos by Randy Stern