The 5 Questions Interview – Tris Reid-Smith, Journalist and co-founder of Gay Star News

9 months ago — 3 min read — No Comments
By Blued

"I worry so many LGBTI people struggle with self-confidence and self-worth. It’s not easy, but you can do it."

Can you tell us about yourself and what you are collaborating on with Blued?

My name is Tris and I’m a journalist. I live with my partner in Elephant and Castle, London, and together we founded Gay Star News and Digital Pride.

We started GSN about five years ago to provide a global, 24-7 news and entertainment service for LGBTI people.

That inspired us to create Digital Pride – a Pride everyone around the world can take part in because it’s completely online.

Digital Pride is only in year two but is well on its way to being one of the biggest LGBTI events of the year. Millions of people will enjoy the mix of music, movies, discussions, dance, protest, performance and more.

Digital Pride this year is being supported by Blued (thank you!) and you’ll be able to take part through the app from 24 to 30 April.

I also write a regular news blog for Blued, published on Fridays.

Can you tell us about your coming out?

I got involved in media and activism while I was a student. And one day, I got a call from my heavily pregnant sister (who I’d already come out to).

She said: ‘I’ve just seen you quoted on the front page of the Daily Mail as a leading gay activist and I almost had the baby on the train. You’ve got to tell our parents.’

Luckily my parents didn’t read the Mail, so they heard it from me. It took a little time for everyone to adjust but it worked out.

If you had not worked in journalism, what would you have liked to do?

I always wanted to be the captain of a big ship.

Have you ever felt judged/discriminated against by your peers within the gay community?

Probably. But no more than anyone is judged by society. Generally, I’ve found the LGBTI community pretty welcoming, often wonderfully so. But I know that’s not everyone’s experience so we have to keep working on how well we include people.

Finally, tell us something you have never told anyone else.

When I first did a work placement at a newspaper, aged 15, the editor told me I may not fit in to journalism because I was shy and introverted and journalists are usually extroverted.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, but I really wanted to do this job. So I worked hard at it.

I’m still shy among new people. But I’ve learnt to feel comfortable going on TV or radio or making a speech in front of hundreds of people.

I worry so many LGBTI people struggle with self-confidence and self-worth. It’s not easy, but you can do it.

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