Wednesday, March 7, 2007

MAKING THE STORY: s/he said, s/he said

-Lisa Brunner (Radio Expeditions)-

Greetings from the thrilling world of amateur radio journalism, where travel is uncompensated, release waivers non-existent, and batteries die mercilessly! Luckily, the first three interviewees (unsuspecting victims?) for my story on gender-neutral pronouns (also known as epicene pronouns) were incredibly generous and patient.

Between elevator dings and equipment difficulties in a Baltimore hotel lobby, DeAnn DeLuna – owner of at least one life-sized paper mache camel – started things off, discussing the affectionately dubbed “Hopkins hu” in her upcoming Political Imagination in History: Essays Concerning J.G.A. Pocock. DeLuna graciously humored me as I relentlessly rephrased awkward questions in search of that that magical, concise “ah-ha sound clip moment” (as several veteran reporters have put it) leading me to wonder: just why am I in radio journalism again? (Oh, right – because print newspapers outsource their employees now!)

I was a bit more confident over the phone with the beloved transgender warrior Leslie Feinberg hirself; unfortunately, hir articulate points were a bit muffled by a poor phone connection, and I, surprisingly star struck, nervously ended the interview too soon. Yet Richmond led me to the kind & wonderfully self-described “transsexual sadomasochistic anarchistic dyke artist and pornographer” Kate Bornstein. Despite waiting in a hotel lobby for twenty minutes before realizing I should call Kate’s room to announce my arrival, the subsequent interview went swimmingly and I now feel more comfortable with the old Marantz PMD660 than ever.

There’s still a long way to go to a polished piece, but with the help of my equally generous/fun mentor Neda Ulaby I just might (whew!) make it.

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