Today, I Rise Up
This is my final Substack newsletter post. Find out why, and read one last roundup of news, tonight's swansong edition of bedtime stories. And of course, Star Trek news!
It’s the final hours of Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023… or as many Star Trek fans have been calling it, “Seven of Nine Day!’ Get it? The 7th day of the 9th month? Jeri Ryan’s character on Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Picard? No? Oh well…
On This Day:
(FOR THOSE WHO REALIZE IT’S ALREADY SEPT. 8, SCROLL TO THE END!)
2023: Dawn Ennis is hired as a television news producer in Hartford, Conn.
Here Now the News… About Me
THE FIRST RULE OF JOURNALISM IS THAT YOU, AS A JOURNALIST, ARE NOT THE STORY! But for the purpose of this newsletter, I’m making an exception. Today, it became official: TEGNA-owned WTIC-TV, known locally as Fox61, Connecticut’s News Station, hired me as a newscast producer.
WHY IS THIS NEWS? Well, the last time I worked in mainstream television news was in June 2014, and I only left because ABC News and I agreed to part ways. It was an ignominious end to a fabulous 30-year career that won me Emmy Awards and other accolades, and just a year and a month after I became the first journalist in American television network news to come out as transgender. Hey, I even made Cosmo!
Unfortunately, I also made the front page of the New York Post. Never a good thing, as I wrote in a prior newsletter.
The New York Daily News reported on my downfall with typical tabloid aplomb, calling me “gender-flipping” and writing that the network handed me “a pink slip to go with [my] pink slip!” Ha.
Only New York Magazine came close to telling the real story.
Yes, my first year after I came out sucked, mostly because I was totally unprepared for the paparazzi and white hot media spotlight — quite a lesson for someone used to being on the other side! It was all too much. I lost my way.
But what happened next is the story the haters don’t tell: I bounced back! I found my way forward after a mental health crisis that included delusions, detransition and two suicide attempts. With professional help and using my skills as a journalist, I found my way back to living my authentic life, and found work as an online contributor and video editor, and started my own public relations and media company, EnniBuddy. I eventually landed a job as the news editor at The Advocate and wrote the biggest story of my career: The Supreme Court decision enshrining marriage equality.
That was my last full-time job, which I quit seven and a half years ago, following the death of my wife from cancer. The job was in L.A., the kids were in Connecticut, and this was before COVID showed us all we could work remotely. Although I continued as a freelancer, my last story as a full-time staffer was an exclusive one on one interview with Caitlyn Jenner in her Malibu home. After that, I returned home to raise our three children and support us with a hodgepodge of freelance writing gigs, a customer service job at a local Massage Envy, and teaching part-time at the local university.
Six years ago, I made my on-camera television debut as the host of the public access talk show that shares a name with this newsletter, and that led me to be an on-air contributor and even the host of an LGBTQ+ news magazine on the New Haven ABC-TV affiliate, CT Voice OutLoud!
And all this time, I kept telling friends who still worked in the TV news biz, “I only miss newsrooms on days ending in ‘Y.’” It’s true; I miss the adrenaline of breaking news, the joy of a well-written tease, the ability to line up the news of the day in a memorable way that informs and serves the community.
That’s what led me to apply for a job that, admittedly, I haven’t done in a dozen years. I will spend my first days re-learning that job, from people more than half my age, including former students whom I taught at the university! That’s ok; First off, I love to learn, and I think it’s important to recognize that while I have four decades of TV news experience, I have a lot to learn from these talented folks.
So that’s all the news about me. I start next week, and I’m very excited. This not only provides me with an opportunity to get back in the saddle, but to provide for my family with full-time benefits and a significant income, which we haven’t enjoyed for seven years. Plus, I’ll continue to work part-time at the University of Hartford and pursue my Master’s degree, which I hope to receive next May.
And the company and people I will be working for are very LGBTQ+ friendly, and I won’t be the only member of the community on staff. That means a lot. Especially now that being an out trans journalist is no longer a novelty. We’re still rare! But it’s not like it was a decade ago. And that makes me happy.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU, THE READERS OF THIS NEWSLETTER? I’ve stopped all charges, so if you’re a paid subscriber, Substack says it will not charge your card on file ever again. Let me know if that happens! If you’re a free subscriber, you won’t be getting any more newsletters delivered to your inbox, and won’t see new editions posted online, either.
That’s because as a mainstream TV news journalist, my work for Fox61 will come first, and that’s where I’ll be putting all my energy and talents. Not here.
For that reason, I’ve also resigned my leadership roles in our community, as the co-chair of West Hartford Human Rights Commission, as the co-chair of the LGBTQ Caucus of the Connecticut Democratic Party, as a member of the board of directors at West Hartford Pride and the Triangle Community Center. And today I recorded my very last episode of the RiseUP With Dawn Ennis talk show, set to premiere on WHCI and YouTube next week.
It goes without saying you won’t see me on Fox61’s Connecticut rival, either.
And after the freelance stories that are “in the can” get published, you soon will no longer be seeing my byline in LGBTQ+ media, or YouTube videos featuring conversations with Star Trek stars. Well, there might be one more of those this weekend, but after that, it’s done. Scroll down to Star Trek Corner for that part of the news.
Hopefully, you’ll continue to read my sports reports for the Los Angeles Blade. And the current plan is for me to cover the Summer Olympic Games next July and August — in Paris — for both the L.A. edition and the Washington Blade! Fingers crossed… Stay tuned for that!
I’ll still volunteer at Pride events and at my synagogue, of course, and if you’re in the Hartford/New Haven TV market, I hope you’ll watch Fox61. I’m working behind the scenes, so you won’t see me, but you’ll certainly hear the words I write and see the stories I tell.
Speaking of Stories… Here’s That News I Promised
GEORGIA PROSECUTOR SCHOOLS GOP REP. JIM JORDAN: The Hill
D.A. WILLIS WANTS JURORS’ PRIVACY PROTECTED: National Public Radio
FORMER TRUMP ADVISER CONVICTED OF CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS: CNN
SEE HOW A CONVICTED MURDERER ESCAPED PENNSYLVANIA PRISON:
EIGHT DAYS LATER AND HE IS STILL ON THE LOOSE: The Independent
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT LETS TEXAS KEEP BARBED-WIRE RIVER BUOYS FOR NOW: NBC News
HURRICANE LEE IS ALREADY A CATEGORY 5 STORM: CBS News
GOV. RON DeSANTIS BERATES AUDIENCE MEMBER WHO BLAMES HIM FOR JACKSONVILLE SHOOTING: Politico
DeSANTIS NAMES “MOMS FOR LIBERTY” CO-FOUNDER TO ETHICS PANEL: Politico
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CANCELING OIL AND GAS LEASES IN ALASKA ORDERED BY TRUMP: Reuters
ACTOR DANNY MASTERSON SENTENCED TO 30+ YEARS FOR RAPE: The New York Times
COCO GAUFF OVERPOWERS KAROLINA MUCHOVA TO ADVANCE TO 1ST U.S. OPEN TENNIS FINAL: ESPN
THE RICHEST MAN IN THE NFL: JOE BURROW — ESPN
ICYMI: BREANNA STEWART SETS SINGLE-SEASON SCORING RECORD: ESPN
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL BOARD OK’S “OUTING” POLICY: Los Angeles Blade
COMPLACENCY WILL KILL US: My BFF Melody Maia Monet writes in her latest “Trans of Thought” column for Watermark: “What we need right now from everyone, and especially from those with the most direct ability to effect change at the legislative level, is to push back and push back hard.”
STUDY SHOWS HORMONE THERAPY IS GOOD FOR TRANS PEOPLE (DUH): Forbes
SARAH McBRIDE IS NOT RUNNING TO BE “THE TRANS REPRESENTATIVE” IN CONGRESS: Washington Blade
CONNECTICUT’S “PROUD ACADEMY” NEEDS FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO OPEN: NBC Connecticut
Star Trek Corner
STAR TREK PICARD ACTRESS AND SAG/AFTRA LEADER MICHELLE HURD EXPLAINS WHY THE “UNITED WE TREK” PICKETS MATTER: DailyTrek News
TOMORROW (meaning Friday)! Join me and GEORGE TAKEI, JERI RYAN, WIL WHEATON, LeVAR BURTON, WILSON CRUZ, JONATHAN DEL ARCO, MICHELLE HURD, JOHN BILLINGSLEY, ETHAN PECK, MELISSA NAVIA, CELIA ROSE GOODING and more stars, producers and writers from STAR TREK in the two STAR TREK DAY PICKETS, one in LOS ANGELES and the other in NEW YORK CITY: Again, I’ll be at the one in Times Square! Find out more about both at TrekMovie and the All Access Star Trek TrekMovie Podcast
THE NEW STAR TREK LOWER DECKS SEASON IS HERE! Paramount+ is streaming TWO new episodes, and TrekMovie has a review of the first and second episodes! My review, having seen the first eight episodes: IT’S THE BEST LOWER DECKS SEASON EVER!
HOW TO VIEW EVERY SEASON OF EVERY STAR TREK SERIES: Click here to subscribe to Paramount+
On This Day, Sept. 8th Edition:
That’s all there is! Thank you again for your loyal readership. It was fun and hopefully you enjoyed it, too! I encourage you to follow me on most social media platforms at @lifeafterdawn
Until we meet again… Good night and good luck, and may your news be good news!
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