CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Author Steven Petrow is not your average guy. In fact, he’s probably the leading authority on how to conduct oneself in all manners, so to speak, whether during a wedding or anywhere else for the LGBT community.

He’s the go-to person at The New York Times when it comes to boomer-age gay and straight readers. And, he recently addressed a reader’s query when asked how to decline an invitation to a wedding. It seems that the inquirer lives in North Carolina with his partner and does not feel it right to attend anyone else’s wedding until he could attend his own. Petrow says no, further explaining that “family trumps politics.” He even suggested that the reader write to the niece and explain the situation and “persuade her to become yet another straight ally.” And, to expand on this more, he should make a contribution to a worthy same-sex marriage initiative in the niece’s name.

Petrow has a long list of books about etiquette and more. The list includes: “Steve Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Life;” “The Essential Book of Gay Manners & Etiquette;” and “The New Gay Wedding: A Practical Primer for Brides and Grooms, Their Families and Guests.”

His work has taken him from media appearances on CNN, NPR, PBS and SiriusXM Radio to positions at The Wall Street Journal, Time Inc., Life magazine, HotWired and Everyday Health. He has also penned pieces for The Advocate, Salon and others, as well as being a syndicated writer for Yahoo! Shine, Logo/MTVN, The Huffington Post, and the “Q” Syndicate.

He’s also made a name for himself as a digital pioneer, founding and being the editorial and creative mind behind, South Beach Diet Online,,, Everyday Health, and others his biography states. Yahoo says, “Petrow not only gets the brave new world of today, he also lives it — his advice is up‐to‐the‐nano‐second.”

His passions have led him to sit as a board member on the Orange County Literacy Council, in addition to co-founding the Petrow-Freeman Documentary Award at Duke University for aspiring documentarians. And, he has been a former president of the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association.

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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...