David Rosenberg, Longtime BTL Distributor, Retires

BY JASON A. MICHAEL

David Rosenberg's involvement with Between The Lines dates back to 1993 when there was no LGBT newspaper in circulation in Michigan. There had been LGBT publications in the area before, most notably 10 Percent, which was later renamed the Michigan Tribune before it had stopped publishing almost 25 years ago.

After two years, Rosenberg, a Long Island, New York native, had called it quits at the University of Michigan Medical School and was working as a certified massage therapist.

"I needed a newspaper to advertise in because back in those days that was the only way people found out about you," Rosenberg recalled. "There was no internet."

Rosenberg was friends with Mark Weinstein, a writer just back from an extended tour of Europe who needed to find a job.

"He was very good and he was a great thinker and an excellent writer," said Rosenberg of his friend. "His politics were progressive. So in terms of writing and editorial he was a natural fit for a newspaper. My skills were that I was able to use PageMaker software and that's what we used to make the newspaper. We were able to go to the University of Michigan computer center, which at that time you didn't need any ID to get into. So I helped him use the PageMaker software and we crafted the paper together."

The first edition came out in April 1993, and the two commenced a monthly publishing schedule.

"I helped out until Mark got his footings on using the software and then he really is the one who made the paper what it was," said Rosenberg. "I also helped provide some seed money to help print the first edition and helped him secure some advertising. Then he published the paper for about 11 months."

By this time, Weinstein was looking to move to a radical faerie community, so he sought out someone to take over his publishing responsibilities.

"I didn't want to do it," said Rosenberg. "So Shannon Rose came in and later Julie Enser and the two of them were owners of the paper for about year. I helped Shannon some but ultimately we parted ways. Then there was a switch around in 1995 and Jan Stevenson, who had been the executive director of Affirmations, took over the paper with her partner Susan Horowitz, who had recently moved to Michigan from New York."

Still, Rosenberg continued to be affiliated with the paper. By the fall of 1995 he had begun distributing it.

"I covered the bars in the city of Detroit as well as the Ypsilanti community," Rosenberg said. "And I made sure that Eastern Michigan University got distribution."

Rosenberg continued distributing BTL for the next 22 years, until stepping down from his post this month.

So why retire now?

"I've been investing money using my earnings and I feel good about where I am right now," said Rosenberg. "So I can start working less and spending more time doing other things that are helpful for me. I'll continue to work as a massage therapist and a yoga teacher as well."

Looking back on his journey with BTL, Rosenberg said he is proud of what he helped build and what the paper has become today.

"I think Between The Lines is definitely a chronicler of record for the gay community," he said.

"I also think that the editor can help nurture future gay writers like Jay Kaplan who wrote an excellent opinion piece about the significance of circuit court decisions for the community. Jay Kaplan is not writing for Metro Times. He's not writing for the Free Press. But he's a good writer and that's where the gay newspaper fills a void, by finding excellent thinkers in the gay community who can write well and bring their voices out to the public."

Between The Lines wishes to thank Rosenberg for his many years of service and extend well wishes for a happy retirement.


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