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Renee Raketty takes over as SGN editor, Benny Loy steps down

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Renee Raketty (l), Benny Loy — Photos by Nate Gowdy
Renee Raketty (l), Benny Loy — Photos by Nate Gowdy

As of Feb. 5, former SGN managing editor Renee Raketty is the paper's new editor, replacing acting editor Benny Loy.

"[During Loy's editorship], she has filled critical functions, particularly during the SGN's ownership transition," said publisher Mike Schultz in a message to the staff. "We're grateful for the many hats Benny has had to wear, always with a smile and positive support, and we're very happy she will stay with us as a contributor."

Benny Loy — Photo by Nate Gowdy  

Benny Loy
Loy has been with the SGN since 2022, when she encountered the paper's booth at that year's Pride in the Park event and was encouraged by then-editor A.V. Eichenbaum to join the team.

"For one thing, I wanted to write, but for another, I really like doing things that I think are going to benefit my community," Loy said. "So, I saw the SGN as an opportunity to do so."

She began as a contributing writer and then transitioned to acting editor a few months before the paper's transfer from former publisher Angela Cragin to Schultz in late 2023.

In terms of her writing for the paper, so far Loy is most proud of the story she wrote about her trip to the Washington Coast in collaboration with her wife Lauren Vasatka. Her proudest achievement during her time as an editor was keeping the SGN alive to its 50th year.

"My primary goal was to keep it going, at least until we hit our 50th, because it would be the biggest shame if we fell apart at our 49th," Loy said. "Also, [I wanted to] try to keep the amazing team we had together."

Now that Loy is stepping down and becoming a contributor, she hopes to spend more time with her wife and many dogs.

Renee Raketty — Photo by Nate Gowdy  

Renee Raketty
Raketty has been in the journalism field since she wrote for the student paper at Newport High School in Bellevue. It was also around that time that she came out to her family and felt empowered to get involved with Seattle's LGBTQ+ community.

Raketty originally joined the SGN in October of 2001 as a writer, becoming managing editor in August of 2005. She has also written for Seattle Gay Standard, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Tacoma Weekly, Unite Seattle Magazine, and various other publications.

On top of being the SGN's newest editor, she is also a field producer for Malcontent News and a member of the Trans Journalists Association, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In terms of Raketty's accomplishments within the field, she was integral in the evolution of SGN's production process from a physical cut-and-paste method to utilizing digital technology in the early 2000s, and has also interviewed Rosa Parks and other notable figures. Outside journalism, she recently was part of successful lawsuit against the Seattle Police Department, and has contributed to the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ people.

"Mike asked me [to be an editor] because of my previous experience working as a managing editor and my knowledge of the paper," Raketty said. "I think that this is an important year for someone with [such] historical knowledge, especially because it's our 50th anniversary. I'm someone who is deeply [familiar with] the people who came before us who really put their blood, sweat, and tears into this paper."

As editor, she will strive to maintain the SGN's position as a voice for the Queer community and diligent watchdog regarding important issues.

"It's really great to be back at the paper," Raketty said, "especially as someone who is Transgender, in a position where I can ensure that the community stands together as the Transgender community faces the same vitriol and onslaught that we faced in the '90s and 2000s. I think it will be helpful to have someone who has that perspective providing editorial oversight."

Thank you to Benny and Renee!