Queer News Tonight – The Journey
Three years ago last week, a new show was born on January 6th, 2020. It started with a small set at the World AIDS Museum in the heart of Wilton Manors. Initially, the show was called “Q News Tonight” to reference the Queer community, without using a word that some felt might be offensive.
The shows began with only 3 anchors. Lead anchor Al Ferguson, actor and geek culture personality NapoleonPlays, and political activist Aaron Darr. Two weeks later, on January 23rd, Queer News Tonight became one of the first LGBTQ+ media outlets to report on a new virus that had appeared in Wuhan, China, that the WHO issued a warning about.
On March 19th, 2020 we presented our first special edition episode called our ‘Q Q&A On Coronavirus'. It featured Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis, Dr. Beau Sharma from CAN Community Health, and infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen A. Renae. It focused on how this new pandemic would affect the LGBTQ+ community.
Starting April 1st, Aaron Darr would be replaced by Misty Eyez and Q News Tonight would report on the diagnosis of It's Happening Out hosts Chef Josie and Ron Brenesky with Covid 19, and Ron's eventual death from the disease.
In June 2020, the rise of the online hate group Q-Anon would cause social media algorithms to flag Q News Tonight as part of their network, leading to the relaunch of the show as Queer News Tonight. The show has continued to document historical events around the world, and specifically how and why they matter to the LGBTQ+ community since then.
A special Queer News Tonight episode where conversation flowed free as water:
On the special Queer News Tonight episode dedicated to celebrating the three-year-long journey of the show, the lead host Al Ferguson shared his journey and memories of QNT with the cohosts CJ Walden, Scott Galvin, Jasmine Pryce Lords, and Edward Summers while talking about the early days of the show where the anchors used to read the news without teleprompters. An experiment like this was never done before by anyone.
Al also talked about the launch of Queer News Tonight at the same time COVID-19 spread in the US. Even during the pandemic and the lockdown, Queer News Tonight never stopped broadcasting. The show was on every single night. During the same period, one of the participant anchors of Queer News Tonight Chef Josie, who is also the owner of Bubbles and Pearls became one of the first people in South Florida to get diagnosed with COVID-19. She was positive for 46 days; another anchor Ron bronensky tested positive two days later, went into emergency, and never came out. The team lost an incredible friend, person, and team member that day.
The show reported about 2200 LGBTQ+ stories in 2022. Every day the team was ready with all its might to share important happenings around the world and kept the show at the forefront of people's minds.
The readers must understand the gravity of this huge success and dedication of the team. Queer News Tonight is broadcasted by Happening Out Television Network. It is America's leader in LGBTQ+ media as a non-profit (501c3) organization to support our community through LGBTQ+ news, information, entertainment, education, and fundraising.
Queer News Tonight is proud to have over 200 diverse voices across the community at the table.
Al mentioned that the show is celebrating its 3rd anniversary by inviting diverse topics from different cities in Florida, where Scott will be talking about the impact of the Don't Say Gay law in Tallahassee. The show will also be broadcast to all high school students. One of them will be a senior studying at Fort Lauderdale High School. They will be interviewing the gay mayor of the city of Fort Lauderdale. This will be a triumphant moment for the show and the community.
What started as an experiment has now become a reputed show on Apple television and Roku. This is a huge milestone for a show that started at the World AIDS Museum on Walton Drive.
One of the importance of shows like this is that young people get to see themselves on television. One of the anchors of the show, Edward Summers said that growing up as a young kid in the 80s he did not see people like him and now all of a sudden here is a platform where he can see people like him and he and others do not have to hide anymore.
Concluding the anniversary special episode, Al Ferguson said,
“we're not going anywhere.”
The LGBTQ+ news channel is vital for the community.
Most loved and lead host of Queer News Tonight:
Talking about Al Ferguson and his journey with Queer News Tonight, we cannot stop ourselves from sharing Al's journey with Queer News Tonight, his invaluable contribution to the success of the show, and more.
Al Ferguson has been a pioneer in innovative business for years. He has created and successfully implemented concepts like DragStars At Sea, that brought the Queer community together in ways never done before. He has vast travel experience having traveled to more than 140 countries worldwide. He has hosted and coordinated with RuPaul's Drag Race for many seasons including managing Drag Race travel events all over the world. Al has also broadcast major Pride Parades and events to the worldwide LGBTQ+ audience on ROKU and Apple Television.
Four years ago he moved to South Florida for the launch of the Happening Out Television Network and the first LIVE LGBTQ+ talk show in the world, IT'S HAPPENING OUT. He now focuses his attention on bringing our Queer community together through talk and information. He is a co-creator of It's Happening Out, with Darren Loli, which is the Longest Running Gay Television Talk show. Al is also the creative innovator behind Queer News tonight, the World's First and Only LGBTQ+ Television News Show. He currently serves as Head of Content and Co-Executive Producer in the Happening Out Television Network Division of Hotspots | Happening Out Television Network.
Queer News Tonight has just begun its journey and it promises to keep representing the diverse queer culture and serve the LGBTQ+ community from across the world.
The show tells the most important television stories in the world of the local, national and international LGBTQ+ community.