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One-Line Bio

"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world." — Socrates


I launched this blog after almost a decade editing gay and lesbian publications for five U.S. cities: the Washington Blade; Southern Voice and David Magazine in Atlanta; the New York Blade; Express Gay News and 411 Magazine in Fort Lauderdale; and the Houston Voice. I am extremely proud of the journalism record we set during that time, and I value more than I can say the dedicated colleagues I worked with at each of these publications. Leaving, as I've written, was very bittersweet.

In a previous incarnation, I was a lawyer, litigating mega-sized lawsuits between mega-sized corporations for two mega-sized law firms: Covington & Burling in Washington and Alston & Bird in Atlanta.

Before that, I was a Southern boy, growing up in Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis, Tenn., attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville and then Harvard Law School in Boston. Like everyone else in my family, I was for many years a conservative Christian, unfailingly loyal to the GOP.

Coming out and returning to journalism shook all those old loyalties, and I have for some time considered myself independent and free-thinking in all things, as hokey as that might sound. If you’re interested, I wrote recently about how the curves in life’s path have taken their toll on pretty much all the pre-conceived notions I had about things.

Starting now, in the fall 2006, I’ve gone solo again, but not really. I am in the process of moving from Washington to Rio De Janeiro to be with my partner after two years very long distance. His unconditional love and support has changed my life, and so I am happy to change more of it to be with him. Since he is Brazilian, we have not been able to obtain a visa to bring him to the U.S., and my country does not allow gay citizens to sponsor foreign same-sex partners for citizenship here. His country does. So for the time being, we’ll (finally) be together in Brazil, a place I have loved from the first time I stepped foot there.

“Citizen Crain” was a nickname I picked up from friends in college, after my ambitious campaign to be editor of the student magazine immediately after finishing up a year as editor of the student newspaper. It was, of course, a not-so-complimentary take-off on “Citizen Kane” that followed me in recent years, what with the multiple publications owned by Window Media, the company I co-founded.

These days, the idea of “citizenship” has intruded into my life in unwelcome ways, as I’ve described. Even still, I believe in the concept of a “good citizen,” whether it knows national boundaries or not.

I also like the sound of it because it captures how I view my role: as one citizen in a community with others, doing what I can to make the world a better place. That may sound corny, but 15 years immersed in politics, law and journalism — and even a decade in Washington, D.C. — haven’t robbed me of that idealism. I hope you haven’t lost it, either.

Those who are familiar with the publications I edited know not to expect this to be a “rah-rah” blog with an ideologically-driven “Amen corner” of any stripe. I seek out those who make me question my own views, and I try to be similarly provocative to others. If you’re looking for validation and reassurance about any particular world view, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you believe we can all gain from an honest, direct, no-holds-barred dialogue, then welcome, and please contribute your thoughts.

And finally, after a decade writing about gay-gay-gay and serious-serious-serious, I’m looking forward to branching out a bit, looking at other areas of life and lightening things up a bit. I hope you’ll help me out there as well.

I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!