Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rhode Island's Options no longer mailed in secret

by Joe Siegel

Options, Rhode Island's oldest LGBT publication, has announced it will no longer be mailed to subscribers in its signature white envelopes.

The April issue released on March 30 will be mailed to subscribers without the use of an envelope. This change comes after many conversations amongst Options staff, volunteers and most importantly readers, explained Kyle McKendall, publisher of Options.

McKendall explained that doing away with the envelopes would be a cost savings measure for Options. 

But also, McKendall noted the advances in LGBT civil rights, especially in Rhode Island, where same-sex marriage became legal in 2013. LGBT readers are more open about their sexuality as a result.

“The need for an envelope isn't the same as in the 1980s,” McKendall said. “I'm very optimistic and positive about the decision that we made.”

Options offers free subscriptions and is distributed for free to over 100 locations in the area. 

While younger readers welcomed the change, McKendall said, the publication's older readers were “more hesitant” to do away with the mailing envelopes. 

However, McKendall said anyone who wishes to continue receiving Options in the white envelopes can do so.

Since 1982, the all-volunteer Options has chronicled the struggle in securing equal rights for LGBTQ people in Rhode Island. “People still speak emotionally of the paper’s first 15 years when it was a lone media voice, an oasis for people who felt alone, disconnected, disempowered, afraid or confused. Today, its importance as a unique and important voice, continually building and supporting our community, is as strong as ever,” McKendall said in a statement.

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