Denver David Robinson, 2016 Award Winner
Denver David Robinson is a writer whose work explores how homophobia and poverty affect LGBTQ people worldwide. Robinson’s work stood out for his courageous reporting ― in particular, his memorable profiles of brave LGBTQ activists in Uganda, a country where same-sex relations are criminalized and activists are targeted by authorities.
When Robinson’s work for The Advocate in 2013 was plagiarized wholesale and reprinted in a Ugandan tabloid in 2014, placing his subjects at risk and libeling him, he moved to file suit in the East African country for copyright infringement. “I have learned from my Ugandan colleagues that to achieve any lasting change, we must be willing to step forward — often, alone,” Robinson wrote of this decision in a New York Times op-ed piece.
At the time he received the Margolis Award, Robinson was working on an ambitious project focused on the experiences of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers living in American, Canadian and European cities. His principal objective in this work is to understand how being gay, transgender, or gender nonconforming (and in many cases, a person of color) exacerbates the challenges faced by displaced individuals in the West. “I want to better convey the varied humanity of these individuals. Too often this is obscured by labels like refugee, asylum seeker, and victim,” he says.
Robinson’s feature stories, essays, poems and photography also have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, VICE, and elsewhere. His recognitions include GLAAD’s Outstanding Digital Journalism-Multimedia Award, The National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association’s Excellence in Photojournalism Award, and an Oregon Literary Fellowship for nonfiction.
"It is a great honor to receive the Richard J. Margolis Award, particularly now, when the rights of refugees, immigrants and LGBTQ individuals may be challenged in new and familiar ways," Robinson said at the time.