Michael J. O’Loughlin, host of “Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church,” a groundbreaking podcast series from America Media, won an award for reporting excellence from The Association of LGBTQ Journalists in the Excellence in Religion Coverage category. The winners were announced by the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists today, June, 24, 2020.
Reported by America magazine national correspondent Michael O’Loughlin, who has covered the Catholic Church and LGBT issues for more than a decade, “Plague” explores how the Catholic Church responded to the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s. The six-episode series premiered on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2019. “Plague” captures the stories of ordinary people responding to suffering in an extraordinary fashion. O’Loughlin talks with those who worked on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis, people whose lives were upended by it and those who believe there are still lessons from that time going unheeded.
“Plague” seeks to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about LGBT issues as they relate to the Catholic Church by highlighting historical stories about the intersection of faith and LGBT communities. It gives voice to LGBT people of faith, activists who protested against the church in the early days, Catholics who ministered in various ways to people with AIDS, and a number of people who are still living long-term with HIV.
“I remain inspired by the many people who shared their experiences from this challenging time in our history, calling attention to the ongoing marginalization of LGBT people in communities of faith, by recounting stories of courage and compassion during the height of the HIV and AIDS crisis in the United States,” said Michael O’Loughlin. “I am grateful to the NLGJA for recognizing the value in these stories, to my talented colleagues who helped make ‘Plague’ a reality, and to America Media for the time and space to amplify these voices.”
“Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church” is available at americamagazine.org/plague, and on Apple Podcasts, on Google Play and Spotify, and other podcast apps.
The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ community in addition to highlighting the exemplary achievements of LGBTQ journalists.
“Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church” was made possible by the generosity of
Mark A. McDermott and Yuval David and is sponsored by the Catholic Health Association.