Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leader of Toronto’s Pink Triangle Press steps down

by Fred Kuhr

Pink Triangle Press (PTP), Canada’s largest publisher of LGBT content, has announced a search for a new executive director.  Ken Popert, who has led the organization since 1986, will step down in early 2017. PTP’s Board of Directors is leading the search for a new ED.

Popert’s involvement with PTP goes back to 1973, when he began contributing to The Body Politic, a self-styled gay liberation journal. He was a member of the collective that ran the magazine until 1986, when he was appointed interim publisher. He has remained at the helm of PTP ever since.

But Popert, now 69, says that the time has come to move on. “We’ve been engaged in this strategic process for the last couple of years and I think it’s going to renew the organization,” Popert said in a statement. “It’s been on my mind for some time how much longer I will work here, so it seems like an opportunity to leave on a high note.”

During his time with the organization, PTP has undergone several transformations. It all began when The Body Politic, a radical gay and lesbian magazine with an international readership, was born in Toronto in 1971. It folded in 1987, but PTP lived on through Xtra, a community newspaper that it began to publish in 1984.

Ken Popert, outgoing executive director
of Pink Triangle Press
Xtra expanded into Vancouver and Ottawa in the 1990s. Its growth was underwritten by Cruiseline, a gay telephone personals service owned and operated by PTP.

In 1998 PTP launched Squirt, an international online dating and hook-up service for gay and bisexual men. Cruiseline was sold in 2011 and in 2015, PTP ended print distribution of Xtra in its three markets, becoming an online journalism enterprise.

“What I’m very pleased about is our ability to keep changing and growing,” Popert said. “Although it started as a group of very impractical idealists, our organization has shown quite an unusual ability to stop doing things that aren’t useful anymore and start doing something new.”

For the future, Popert hopes that PTP will continue its commitment to sexual liberation.

“There has to be someone who speaks with a logical and clear voice about sexual issues,” he said. “So there’s still a very big piece of work there. … It can’t be just us alone, but I would hope that PTP would continue to be a voice for a logical discussion of sexuality.”

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Volume 18
Issue 5

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