by Fred Kuhr
As Out & About Nashville Publisher Jerry Jones puts it, when his publication launched 15 years ago last month, Nashville was a very different place.
Nashville “wasn’t one of the 15 largest cities in the country, Pride wasn’t one of the summer’s must-attend citywide events, and our leaders weren’t dependably LGBT allies.”
That was then, but this is now, according to the newspaper’s staff — who marked the magazine’s milestone in the pages of its October 2017 issue.
“I started this publication 15 years ago with just an idea and a dream,” wrote Jones. “I felt like Nashville needed a professional publication that would report on the LGBT community and serve as a hub to many spokes in our community.”
In those 15 years, the publication has grown from a “small paper mailed out, to a newsprint monthly, to the magazine it is today.”
When Mike Moore, in charge of design layout and production, first moved to Nashville 10 years ago, he was in the closet. “I was terrified to be seen picking [Out & About Nashville] up.” But three years ago, he applied for the layout position. “I knew working for an LGBT publication would be so much fun. It was very exciting for me, personally, to see this publication transition from a newspaper to a magazine.”
Advertising Designer Donna Huff started with the magazine back in its “humble beginnings with an all-volunteer staff of editors, writers, photographers and designers. We spent many an evening at Jerry [Jones’] home gathered in a circle brainstorming the next month’s articles and feverishly hand-stuffing envelopes and separating them for bulk mail to deliver to the post office for our subscription service.”
Managing Print Editor James Grady took the opportunity to reach out to readers. “I won’t lie, the job can be frustrating,” he wrote. “But I stick with it because there are still too many people I need to meet and too many stories that need to be told. If I haven’t met you yet, introduce yourself — please. It’s never going to get easier for this introvert, but I’d love to hear your story.”
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