Distinguished Service Award to Lou Chibbaro
Presented by GLAA President Mitch WoodGLAA 39th Anniversary Reception
Washington Plaza Hotel
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Lou Chibbaro is the standard bearer for gay-focused journalism in the District of Columbia. For more than three decades, most of it with the Washington Blade and for a time under the pseudonym “Lou Romano,” he has been working his extensive Rolodex and sticking his old cassette tape recorder in newsmakers’ faces, chasing down leads to get to the bottom of all manner of stories related to the LGBT community.
As an indication of Lou’s standing, last year he was given a front-row seat at a presidential news conference on health care policy. Twenty-six boxes of his notes and files comprise the Washington Blade Lou Chibbaro Senior Reporter Files at George Washington University's Gelman Library. He was one of the Rainbow History Project's 2009 Community Pioneers. Several decades ago, he did a stint as GLAA secretary.
Last October, during observances of the Blade’s 40th anniversary—and just a few weeks before the Blade shut down—Lou was interviewed on National Public Radio and profiled by the Washington Post. The Post noted that Lou “has covered it all -- the political campaigns, the historic marches, the scandals, the rise of AIDS, the hate crimes and more than a few salacious murders.... He retains, he said, a novice's enthusiasm for the nuts and bolts of reportage — the phone calls, the questions, the typing up of the stories, an average of four a week, year-round.”
When Lou’s interviewing you and you think you’re done, you can count on him to say, “Oh, by the way....” That’s when he asks you his most important question. Be on your guard for this ruse. Remember, once you’ve blurted something out, it’s too late to take it off the record. But notwithstanding his tough journalistic instincts, there isn’t a more pleasant fellow to share a nosh and a drink with.
Few of us can remember Washington without Lou Chibbaro reporting in it. We hope that continues for a long time. It is my privilege to present GLAA’s Distinguished Service Award to Lou Chibbaro.