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Journalists Remember Late Gay Reporter Armando Montano

AMontanoAs news broke of gay AP intern Armando Montano's death, his fellow journalist friends put digital pen to paper to remember the 22-year old journalist.

Via Metro Weekly comes this memory from Aaron Edwards, an intern at The New York Times:

About one year ago, when Armando Montano and I went to the Chips Quinn Scholars Program, a journalism training program geared to young journalists of minority backgrounds, he started beaming when he found out that because we were Chips Quinn Scholars we would get free access to the Newseum, an interactive journalism museum in Washington, D.C.

But his excitement stemmed from more than the fact that he could now go and geek out over historic front pages and archival photographs from The New York Times and The Washington Post whenever he wanted. Armando, or “Mando” as many called him for short, was excited because he was adamant and steadfast in the idea that he would marry the love of his life there.

“I’m going to get married in the Newseum, Aaron. I'm going to get married at the freakin' Newseum.” he would tell me.

Mando was sure that he would stand on the balcony of that building one day and say “I Do” to a man who loved him enough to understand and cherish a guy whose quirky soul led him to want to get married atop a national journalism museum.   

Marissa Evans, an intern at the Washington Post, also memorialized Montano. The late writer's enthusiasm for his craft — and indeed life — was so contagious that Evans and he formed a deep friendship based solely on online correspondence.

Evans writes, "Looking through my Gmail chats with him, I had only started talking to him on August 1, 2011. Our friendship is built upon 72 hilarious chat sessions plus countless Facebook comments/likes and Twitter mentions and retweets."

"As journalists, we harp so much about using social media to be an extension of our brand but it furrows my brow to think about how we sometimes forget to use it to truly connect with the people we friend and follow."

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Comments

  1. I'm sorry about Mr. Montano's death. Please someone, explain to me how exactly he is a 'minority' aside from the fact he was:

    1) Gay

    2) Male [males are the minority gender]

    Even I am more of 'minority' than Mr. Montano was because in addition to being gay and a male, I also have green eyes, while the vast majority of the world's population and America's have brown. Yet most 'progressives' wouldn't consider me a 'minority' like Mr. Montano because I look northern European 'white bread' and my name isn't 'ethnic' or 'Latino/Hispanic'.

    Mr. Montano appears to have been of white European descent, so by 'progressive' standards he was not a 'minority'. Did the fact he had a 'Latino' name make him a 'minority'? Mr. Montano looks to me like he was a Mexican/Latin American of white European descent [Spanish] or a white European [Spanish]. Yet he received a scholarship and some form of affirmative action because of his 'race' and 'minority' status. I'm assuming Mr. Montano wasn't considered a minority just because he was gay, which I highly doubt. In the progressive way of thinking, race always trumps sexual orientation. Nothing is more important to them than skin color and the appearance of diversity.

    When is the BS going to end?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 2, 2012 11:41:10 AM


  2. Very said, RIP, Armando. Just highlights simply how dangerous it is to travel to Mexico if you're an American and/or journalist. Too many innocent lives taken away just like this.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 2, 2012 11:41:31 AM


  3. I actually agree with you Ratbastard, they do need to distinguish among minorities, therefore, I would rather the phrase "ethnic minority"

    and yes, he could have very well received scholarships and internships because of his "sexual minority" status so I don't know what type of racist garbage you're talking about with all of these trump cards and things.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 2, 2012 12:55:50 PM


  4. @RatBastard: Why don't you apply for a Wackadoo Fellowship? Or an Excellence in Schizophrenia Grant?

    Posted by: Ben E. Factor | Jul 2, 2012 1:21:18 PM


  5. @Chitown Kev,

    What exactly is an 'ethnic minority'? In America there is no 'ethnic majority' because the country is has such a diverse population and mix of people from every part of Europe, Asia, Africa. Most Americans are in fact mongrels, mixed 'ethnicity'. I am just as much an 'ethnic minority' as Mr. Montano was.

    Add to all this Kev, Mr. Montano [I read a bio of him online] came from a very comfortable and well connected family and background. Part of the reason he was able to get into the 'business' was he had family connections and nepotism. He didn't need any kind of affirmative action which he obviously got in scholarships and probably jobs. They should be reserved for people really in need or really come from a genuinely deprived background, but who show promise. This is a good example of why many people question affirmative action and diversity race/ethnic based preferences. If he was a black American from a genuinely socioeconomically deprived background who showed promise and need a helping hand and a foot in the door, I wouldn't have a problem with that. Ditto similar people of other 'races' and 'ethnicities'. I have a problem with the abuse of The System, which is rampant and blatant.

    @Ben E Factor,

    What's your problem? What did I post that was unreasonable or irrational? What? UN-P.C.? Yes. Unreasonable and irrational? No.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 2, 2012 1:57:17 PM


  6. Dear Ratbastard, as someone who has known Mando from childhood, all of your assertions about Mando's family are utterly unfounded. If you must use paranoia and bad information to fuel your self-pity and grievance, please refrain from doing so on the fresh grave of someone whose talent, commitment, and willingness to work would have outshone you in every way possible.

    Posted by: Lo | Jul 2, 2012 2:49:03 PM


  7. Lo,

    I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend. My condolences to Mr Montano's friends and family.

    Please ignore ratbastard. He's a bitter prick who is not happy unless he's disparaging someone.

    Posted by: Laura | Jul 2, 2012 3:32:00 PM


  8. @LO,

    And you have no idea what my work ethic is since you don't know me.

    I read a bio of Mr. Montano and he came from a solid middle class background, parents in academia. He was obviously also of 'white' European descent. Yet he was receiving 'minority' status resulting in scholarships and what-not. I don't think he was considered a 'minority' because he was gay, but because he was 'Latino'. And yes, I have a problem with that.

    And I didn't personally disparage Mr. Montano. Neither am I a 'bitter pr*ck'.

    Grow up, LO.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 2, 2012 4:33:55 PM


  9. And likewise Laura. Everything I posted above to LO applies to you, too.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 2, 2012 4:35:04 PM


  10. Because talking about why someone is unworthy of a scholarship after they were murdered is a respectful thing? Or are you saying that minorities can't be educated middle class people? Or are you saying that they don't count as a minority because they can pass for white, pass for straight, pass on you?

    Posted by: Armando | Jul 2, 2012 9:20:14 PM


  11. In the United States, we don't distinguish "european hispanis" from I assume what you see as the contrary, an indigenous "Hispanic".... So long an he is not "White non-hispanic", he's a minority. That is standard for the US. I am Mexican-american and I define myself as White- Hispanic. I am a minority. I am gay, educated, and have a good paying job. I am a minority because I am not of the majority, the White- non-hispanic no matter how much money I have in the bank... or how much daddy made.

    Posted by: sal | Jul 2, 2012 9:38:54 PM


  12. Rats deserve nothing but poison as it is obvious they know nothing about someone when they spill out their bs.

    I was reading a salon article Mando wrote, and I see he's from Texas. His father is latino and actually dark-skinned (as if that mattered since we latinos come in all colors). His mother is "Anglo" as they say in Texas. This young man was as latino as any other with parents who succeeded in their profession.

    Check out article:
    http://www.salon.com/2012/03/17/the_unexpected_lessons_of_mexican_food/singleton/

    Some quotes:
    "We pulled into the Best Western for refuge, the only hotel for almost a hundred miles. The Anglo man gawked at my dark-skinned father and his freckled child, and answered our unasked question: “We’re out of rooms.” He shuffled his papers to avoid eye contact. As my father dragged me closer to the counter, he strengthened his grip on my tiny hand and asked why the parking lot was empty if they were out of rooms.

    “Conference,” the man said, glaring at my father and me without blinking."

    “I hate white people,” I muttered as we approached the sign welcoming us to my dad’s hometown, Eagle Pass. He jerked the car off the road and pounded the brake. He sighed, wiped the sweat from his forehead and glasses, and demanded that I never utter those words again. “How would your mother feel if she heard you say that?” he said.

    Now THAT is American diversity for sure!

    May Mando rest in peace. Prayers for healing for his family and friends.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jul 2, 2012 11:13:56 PM


  13. “it furrows my brow . .” !?!
    File under P for pompous purple prose
    She actually wrote that? No excuses
    Except maybe that she’s some 22 year old twerp who
    Has the hubris to call herself a journalist –

    Re: ratbastard’s points on AA
    He’s right – AA needs to be completely decoupled from race
    It should be family income based –
    And/or Reserve it for first in the family to go to college etc
    Since racial minorities are disproportionally poor and graduate college at lower rates
    By making it income based you’d end up serving lots of blacks and Latinos – by and large
    BUT, you’d eliminate the absurd cases of giving AA to the children of latino doctors or lawyers
    Before you jerk your knees, ask yourself, When she applies to college, do you think BO’s eldest daughter, a child of black Harvard educated lawyers, should get preferential treatment over a poor white kid whose parents work minimum wage jobs? Who needs a leg up?

    Posted by: jw | Jul 2, 2012 11:51:25 PM


  14. @ratbastard

    Well, some ethnic minorities were simply more historically discriminated against than others.

    And still are in fact.

    Now in the high school that I went too, I saw much of the same thing that you talk about here; I know and went to school with middle and upper middle class blacks...now I don't think that race should be decoupled from AA in all case, but I do think that class is a far more useful criterion for AA

    Posted by: Chitown kev | Jul 3, 2012 11:43:49 AM


  15. @Ratbastard: yeah it takes a real solid work ethic to be an internet troll. Mando was a wonderful person, and you should be ashamed of yourself, using a memorial page to air your petty, misguided grievances.

    Posted by: Sarita | Jul 4, 2012 4:59:06 PM


  16. "RATBASTARD" (2 JULY; 11:41:10 AM),

    "RATBASTARD," I LIKE YOUR MONIKER; IT IS "COOL." THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE REPLIED TO ONE OF YOUR COMMENTS.

    NOW, "RATBASTARD," BECAUSE OF YOUR GREEN EYES AND SCANDINAVIAN BACKGROUND, YOU CAN HAVE PEOPLE OF COLOR TRIPPING OVER THEMSELVES TRYING TO KISS YOUR ASS. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU MERELY HAVE TO GLANCE AT, Armando Montano, TO KNOW THERE IS NO NEED TO BE SO KIND.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jul 4, 2012 6:07:44 PM


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