I believe it's new as of sometime yesterday and Gawker's culling makes it very obvious, but now threads involving those you're following show as black under "pending". If they're approved their comments are under /all, but those who are not are now bold among the grey.
As of right now, I don't know if it's just the threads in which someone you're following comments or if they could star or recommend it into view. This would take a little coordination to test, but considering that there are so many people who aren't likely to be followed by Gawker any time soon, especially among those of us who frequent Crosstalk and a few other group Kinjas, it is nice to at least have our followings do something.
It'd also might be nice if they could get bumped-up toward the top of pending like the approved threads, but that may be difficult and scanning for black works.
Sidenote: I have no word on when or if Crosstalk will switch to having pending comments. It's been said that it will be laid across the whole system and that makes sense, but I keep checking posts which would have "pending" in case the option is not there when there wouldn't be any additional comments and thus far, nothing's changed.
Update: By all appearances this was the case this morning, but this afternoon I'm not sure. Maybe one of the updates overwrote it, maybe the issue of when someone was followed which affects blogs is also coming into play. I don't know, but it looked like this had been the case this morning and I liked it, for whatever it's worth.
Update: A couple of days later and clearly I was wrong. Though I still think it a good idea.