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Michael Rogers (born November 12, 1963)[1] is an American fundraiser, blogger and gay rights activist. He is a partner, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Raw Story Media, Inc.,[2] co-owner of Alternet Media,[3] and founder and Director of Netroots Connect. He is also known for his work in reporting on closeted gay politicians who are anti-gay.[4] He was the subject of the 2009 film Outrage.

Michael Rogers
Rogers in March, 2012.
Rogers in March, 2012.
Born (1963-11-12) November 12, 1963 (age 55)
Suffern, New York, U.S.A.
OccupationJournalist, fundraiser, activist, blogger
ResidenceWashington, D.C.


Early years and educationEdit

Rogers was born to a Jewish family, raised in suburban New York City in Rockland County, NY, and attended public schools. Rogers was graduated from Ramapo Senior High School in Spring Valley, NY. He attended Adelphi University (1982) and the University of Buffalo (also known as the State, University Center at New York University Center at Buffalo) (1983-1986), where he majored in political science.

Fundraising careerEdit

Rogers was a fundraiser in Buffalo, New York City and Washington, DC. His career began at the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association, operators of National Public Radio Affiliates WNED-FM, and WNED, and Public Broadcasting System affiliate WNED-TV, where he was involved in raising funds for the construction of a new broadcasting facility. In 1989 Rogers relocated to New York and became Development Coordinator/Program Manager of the Hetrick Martin Institute and Harvey Milk High School.

Rogers has served as the Director of Donor Development of the Funding Exchange, a consortium of community foundations and grantmaking program. In Washington, DC, Rogers was the Director of Development for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He worked as Director of Donor Development at the Funding Exchange, Director of Development of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Senior Manager of Major Gifts at the environmental organization Greenpeace.


In the mid 1980s Rogers was President of the LGBT Student Association (then GLOBE: Gays, Lesbians or Bisexuals for Equality) of the University of Buffalo. In 1985 he became the first board member representing youth clients on the Board of Directors of Gay and Lesbian Youth of Buffalo (Now Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York). From 1986 to 1989, Rogers served on the Board of the Buffalo and Niagara chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.[citation needed]

After moving to New York City In 1989, Rogers joined the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP!). He, along with fellow Hetrick-Martin employee Ann Northrop, was arrested for participating in ACT-UP!'s Stop The Church protest at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1989.[5]

In 1993, Rogers founded a national network of fundraisers at LGBT organizations.[citation needed]

In 2003, Rogers founded FixTheBricks, a website created to encourage local business to take responsibility for the public spaces around their establishments.[citation needed]

Since February 2013, he has been a member of the WikiQueer Global Advisory Board.[6]

In 2002, Rogers founded Stop The Box, his first internet activism effort. "The 'Box'," referred to a 20 ft. wide, 10 ft. height and 8 ft depth unattended structure that housed a prototype automatic convenience store. The Box was owned by Tik Tok Easy Shop company. Rogers created a website and organized resistance among residents living near the store. He coordinated protests and education campaigns against it. Rogers also discovered that the internet domain registration and the company were wholly owned by the McDonald's Corporation.[7][8][9][10] Rogers had a letter published in The New York Times relating to the machine.[11] The machine was removed within months of its installation.[citation needed]

In 2008, citizens of California approved Proposition 8, a voter initiative to repeal the state's marriage equality law. Under the law before the passage of Proposition 8, same sex couples were allowed to marry in the state. Because the initiative passed, marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in the state was repealed. Following the election, Rogers learned that a Subway Franchisee in Merced, California had donated $2,500 to the Yes on 8 campaign. Under threat of a boycott, Rogers made the following demands of Subway:

  • Repudiate the gift
  • Add sexual orientation and gender identity to the corporation's non-discrimination policy.
  • Give an equal gift to the opposing side.

Subway agreed to the first two[12][13] and Rogers dropped his demand for the equal gift when the original gift was rescinded. Subway's headquarters wrote to all locations (as of January 21, 2013: 38,623)[14] explaining how the gift was in violation of franchisee policies. The company also explained that the company's non-discrimination policies will now include sexual orientation and gender identity.[15]


On July 7, 2004, Rogers launched BlogActive, a personal blog.[16] The blog has been a focal point for outing closeted gay politicians who actively oppose gay rights. His work has been profiled twice by The Washington Post, including a 2007 profile which asked if Rogers was The Most Feared Man On the Hill.[17]

On August 19, 2004, Rogers first major report was on US Rep. Edward L. Schrock (R-VA).[18] Rogers published a set of recordings of Schrock[19][20] using the MegaMates/Mega Phone Line, a service for men to meet other men for the purposes of meeting for sexual encounters.[21] On August 30, 2004, during the Republican National Convention, Schrock ended his reelection campaign.[22]

One year prior to the publishing of emails from US Rep. Mark Foley to a 16-year-old seeking sexual encounters,[23] Rogers reported on Foley on March 4, 2005.[24]

On October 17, 2006, Rogers reported on sexual liaisons between US Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and unnamed individuals in Washington, DC's Union Station.[25] Rogers uncovered a news story from 1982 that tied Craig to a sex and drug scandal in the US Congress. Rogers reported on more recent activity in various places throughout the nation. Rogers's report prompted Craig to issue a denial.[26] Nine months later, on June 11, 2007, Craig was arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for lewd conduct.[27]


Rogers is the subject of the Magnolia Pictures/HBO film Outrage, a documentary by director Kirby Dick. The film focuses on closeted politicians and senior political staff who work against the LGBT community. Rogers's activities are followed and a number of his cases, including US Rep. Ed Schrock and US Senator Larry Craig are central themes to the film. Rogers also served as a consultant to the filmmakers.


Rogers has been a guest on cable television news channels and his appearances include programs on CNN,[28] MSNBC,[29] Fox News Channel, and Current TV.[citation needed]

In 2004 Rogers appeared on the O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly. During his appearance Rogers challenged the talk show host because O'Reilly outed a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, while attacking Rogers's work. The exchange was reported in the Chicago Tribune.[30]

Rogers has been profiled by GQ Magazine,[31] named one of Out Magazine's Out 100 and was selected as one of Genre Magazine's Men We Love. He has been profiled twice by The Washington Post, both times by writer Jose Antonio Vargas.[32][33]

Rogers is a guest-host of the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Radio,[34] and The Ed Schultz Show on SiriusXM and national terrestrial radio.[35][36]


  1. ^ Rogers, Michael (2009-11-11). "8,400 days of 'out'". BlogActive. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  2. ^ "Raw Story Masthead". The Raw Story. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Raw Story Partners Announce Acquisition Of And The New Civil Rights Movement". PR Newswire. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  4. ^ Rogers, Michael (2014-06-26). "Why I Outed Gay Republicans". Politico. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ Miller, Andrew (24 December 1989). "Politics, Professions and the Pokey" (PDF). Outweek. p. 16. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ "WikiQueer:Global Advisory Board". WikiQueer. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Hutchinson, Brian (14 September 2002). "Shopping outside 'the box': new 'monster' vending machine off to a rocky start in Washington". National Post of Canada. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  8. ^ Tierney, John (August 28, 2002). "Shop Till Eggs, Diapers, Toothpaste Drop". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  9. ^ Schulte, Bret and Oldenberg, Don (August 30, 2002). "Convenience and Controversy in Adams Morgan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  10. ^ Hutchinson, Brian (September 14, 2002). "Shopping Outside 'TheBox'". National Post. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  11. ^ Rogers, Michael (September 4, 2012). "Vendor Without a Face". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  12. ^ Subway Sandwich Corporation. "Our People, Our Communities: Diversity".
  13. ^ Flandez, Raymund (November 18, 2008). "Subway Franchisee Forced to Recall Prop. 8 Donation". The Wall Street Journal.
  14. ^ "Explore Our World". Subway.
  15. ^ "International food chain responds to blogger's demands, franchisee retracts gift, job protections added". PageOneQ. November 18, 2008.
  16. ^ Rogers, Michael. "You Asked...We Deliver".
  17. ^ Vargas, Jose Antonio (4 September 2007). "The Most Feared Man on the Hill?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Michael Rogers blog entry dated August 19, 2004". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Michael Rogers blog entry dated August 30, 2004". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  20. ^ "MP3 Recording on Edward Schrock using MegaMates phone service".
  21. ^ Byrne, John (18 August 2004). "Rep. Schrock resigns after 'gay phone sex call' surfaces on web". The Raw Story. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  22. ^ Shear, Michael; et al. (31 August 20014). "Va. Legislator Ends Bid for 3d term". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 January 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ Hudson, Lane. "Emails from Congressman Foley to 16 Year Old Page!!!!". Stop Sex Predators.
  24. ^ "Michael Rogers blog entry dated March 4, 2005".
  25. ^ "Michael Rogers blog entry dated October 17, 2006".
  26. ^ Kuraitis, Jill (October 17, 2006). "Idaho Sen. Larry Craig Denies Allegations of Same-Sex Affairs". NewWest Boise. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008.
  27. ^ Karsnia, Dave. "Arrest Report: Lewd Conduct by Senator Larry Craig". The Smoking Gun.
  28. ^ "CNN Newsnight with Aaron Brown". CNN. August 2004.
  29. ^ "Speakers: Michael Rogers, MSNBC's The Practical Futurist". LAI. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  30. ^ Cook, John. "O'Reilly scolds guest who outed gays, then calls judge a lesbian". Chicago Tribune.
  31. ^ Tapper, Jake (April 2005). "Hot for Gay Republicans". GQ Magazine.
  32. ^ Vargas, Jose Antonio (September 4, 2007). "The Most Feared Man on the Hill?". The Washington Post.
  33. ^ Dana, Rebecca & Varga, Jose Antonio (2004-07-14). "Capitol Hill Insiders Irked By Campaign To 'Out' Them". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ Rogers, Michael. "Guest hosting on Signorile's Sirius/XM Show". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  35. ^ Carpenter, Megan. "Listen live at noon ET: Raw Story Managing Director Mike Rogers hosts 'The Ed Schultz Show'". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  36. ^ Steiger, Kay. "Listen: Raw Story co-founder Mike Rogers hosts Ed Schulz show on marriage equality". Retrieved 23 March 2014.

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