Thursday, June 21, 2018


What's happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at

BALTIMORE OUTLOUD celebrated its 16th anniversary in its May 11, 2018, issue.

Henry Goldblatt of
Entertainment Weekly
DALLAS VOICE entered its 35th year of publication with its May 11, 2018, issue.

FOCUS MIDDLE TENNESSEE, based in Memphis, celebrated its first anniversary in its May/June 2018 issue.

HENRY GOLDBLATT, editor in chief of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, received the LISA BEN Award for Achievement in Features Coverage from NLGLA (The Association of LGBTQ Journalists) at its annual L.A. Exclusive benefit on June 1, 2018.

LAVENDER MAGAZINE, based in Edina, Minn., published its 600th issue on May 24, 2018.

METRO WEEKLY, based in Washington, D.C., entered its 25th year of publication with its May 17, 2018, issue.

Blake Chambers of the
Washington Blade
CARL MITCHELL, author of three memoirs addressing gay life in the 1940s through the ‘60s, died May 14, 2018, after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 86. His books include “Marching To An Angry Drum,” about his romances with men while in the military; “The Home,” about his time in an orphanage while a teen; and “Plum Street,” which recounts his time living in his native Detroit’s hippie neighborhood in the 1960s. He is survived by ROBERT STANLEY, his partner of 47 years.

OUTWORD, based Sacramento, Calif., published its 600th issue on May 10, 2018.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE FOUNDATION announced the launch of a new journalism fellowship focused on LGBT issues in Delaware. The fellowship is named in honor of STEVE ELKINS, a journalist and co-founder of the CAMP Rehoboth LGBT community center. He also served as editor of LETTERS FROM CAMP REHOBOTH for many years as well as executive director of the center. BLAKE CHAMBERS, a Dover resident and 2017 graduate of the University of Delaware who is pursuing a career in journalism, is the inaugural recipient of the fellowship.

Volume 20
Issue 3

Wisconsin’s Our Lives office vandalized

by Fred Kuhr

Patrick Farabaugh, the publisher of Our Lives Magazine, reported that on May 18 the door of its offices in Madison, Wisc., was smashed in with a rock, an act he said was done “out of intimidation and hate.”

“Someone took the time to find our office and throw a rock squarely through the logo on our door,” Farabaugh wrote in a message to readers, noting that he has never published the address to the magazine’s office in the magazine or on its website. Both have always listed the magazine’s downtown post office box.

“This has been very intentional because we are too small a business — a full-time staff of two — to be able to fully feel safe doing work inside a community that’s often targeted with weaponized rhetoric by one the major political parties in this country,” said Farabaugh. He noted, however, that the street address did appear briefly on its Facebook page because the social network required an address for some features.
As a result of the attack, Farabaugh has started conversations with his building’s maintenance staff about installing security cameras and reviewing other security measures.

This is not the first time Our Lives has been the target of vandalism. Usually, however, incidents are limited to damage to downtown sidewalk distribution boxes. He called this latest incident “an escalation.”

“It would take premeditated action to commit this kind of vandalism. Someone had to leave where they were and travel with the intent of causing harm to the magazine,” said Farabaugh. “This … is the first time that targeting involved a form of real violence where we physically work. That had me pretty shaken up.”

Farabaugh went on to thank readers for their continued support for Our Lives.

“Our free publication is 100 percent advertising-funded. One of the best ways you can help us remain sustainable and strong is to be intentional in your support of the advertisers that choose to be publicly visible in our pages,” according to Farabaugh. “… Our strength is in how strong of a network you help us build, together.”

Volume 20
Issue 3

Leather Journal looks to new tool for fundraising

by Fred Kuhr

The Leather Journal, a national publication based in Hollywood, Calif., is trying a novel way to raise much-needed funds to keep the publication going.

Publisher and editor Dave Rhodes has announced that the publication has joined forces with the Seattle-based Leather List, a new fundraising organization aimed at assisting leather community organizations. According to Rhodes, Robert O’Dell of the Leather List has invited The Leather Journal to be one of the beneficiaries to be listed.

“While The Leather Journal is not an official nonprofit organization, it has been in need since 2009,” Rhodes wrote in a letter to readers. “While the vast majority of our revenue comes from display advertising, we have been falling short in all but about 10 issues in that span.”

Given that financial situation, Rhodes said he often hears from readers who want the Journal to continue, “especially the print version,” and have expressed an interest in contributing monetarily.

Enter the Leather List, which Rhodes describes as a United Way for leather community organizations. “In a way, [it’s] a shopping center for Leather organizations that need support,” said Rhodes. “… Now, when I am at events and hear Leatherfolk indicate how they see our need and wish to contribute, they can, on the spot. They can do it right on their phone. How many times have I heard from Leatherfolk … how they want to support us while they are at an event that inspires them, only to have them cool off after they get home. This is a normal pattern, not ill will. Now people can do it immediately. Hopefully this changes the game.”

According to Rhodes, anyone can contribute by going to, searching through the charities, and clicking on the ones you want to support. Funds are transferred through PayPal. Leather List does not take a cut.

Volume 20
Issue 3

FunMaps founder is back with FunTravel Guides

by Joe Siegel

Alan Beck, the creator and publisher of FunMaps, the ubiquitous city-specific guides that showcased the best LGBT travel destinations, is back with FunTravel Guides and its accompanying website,

FunTravel Guides feature a comprehensive look at popular cities including Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, New York and Toronto. The best hotels, resorts, bars, clubs, attractions, shopping, and annual events for each city are highlighted.

The site will soon expand to cover Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Providence, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Provincetown, Philadelphia, Washington (D.C.) and Vancouver.

Beck created FunMaps with a simple purpose. “My intention was to build a business which would serve the gay and lesbian audience,” Beck explained.

In 2015, Beck sold the 25-year-old travel and leisure publishing company to Multimedia Platforms, the gay-owned parent company of Florida Agenda and Guy magazine. The company was out of business less than 18 months later.

Losing FunMaps was devastating to Beck, but he was determined to provide an improved product to serve LGBT travellers.

Beck reports visitors to the new site have been very responsive, but there will also be printed copies of the travel guides in the future, Beck said. They will be distributed all across the United States and Canada at bars, hotels, clubs and shopping venues.

Beck, citing his advancing years, believes the time will come for him to step down from the business. But for now, he vows his work will continue for many years ahead. “I’ll be leaving this to others, to carry on the torch,” Beck added.

The LGBT tourism industry is a lucrative one. It represents a reported annual $65 billion on gay travel in the United States alone. The gay tourism market in Europe has been estimated at €50 billion (almost $58 billion US) annually by the Gay European Tourism Association.

Volume 20
Issue 3

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


What's happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at

JOSH BAEZ has been named the HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN’s new vice president of marketing. He previously worked for Viacom Velocity as vice president of marketing operations and strategy. He is the coauthor of “The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life.”

BETWEEN THE LINES, based in Livonia, Mich., celebrated its 25th anniversary with its March 8, 2018, issue.

ANDY GARCIA is the new director of Creating Change for the NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE. He will oversee its annual conference as well as the entire Creating Change Department, including its leadership development programming.

Todd Heywood
KATHY GRIFFIN, the comedian who is in the middle of a comeback, attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 28, 2018, as a guest of THE WASHINGTON BLADE and THE LOS ANGELES BLADE. Previous Blade guests have included actress LAVERNE COX, professor and commentator MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, and TV star NENE LEAKES.

TODD HEYWOOD, reporter for Livonia, Mich.-based BETWEEN THE LINES, was honored with The Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez Committee 8th Annual Humanitarian Award at a dinner over Easter weekend. The group chose to honor Heywood because of his history of research and his national recognition related to hate groups and hate violence.

Chris Johnson
CHRIS JOHNSON, White House reporter for THE WASHINGTON BLADE, won honorable mention for the Merriman Smith Award for print, which honours presidential news coverage under deadline pressure, from the White House Correspondents’ Association last month. He won, in part, for being first to report that the current administration fired all members of its AIDS advisory committee a few days after Christmas last year.

METROWEEKLY, based in Washington, D.C., celebrated its 24th anniversary with its May 3, 2018, issue.

MONTROSE STAR, based in Houston, entered its ninth year of publication with its April 4, 2018, issue.

OUTFRONT, based in Denver, entered its 42nd year of publication with its April 4, 2018, issue.

OUTSMART, based in Houston, celebrated its 25th anniversary with its April 2018 issue.

MICHAEL PETTY, husband of PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS longtime office manager DON PIGNOLET, died April 26, 2018 from complications due to open-heart surgery. He was 73. The couple first met on Halloween 1975 and legally on Dec. 29, 2013.

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS won seven Keystone Press Awards, sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. The awards will be given out at June 2, 2018, ceremony. The newspaper won top honors for weekly publications with over 10,000 circulation in the categories of editorial, column, news photo and photo essay. Works by MARK SEGAL, JEREMY RODRIGUEZ, JEN COLLETTA and SCOTT DRAKE were singled out for honors.

QNOTES, based in Charlotte, N.C., entered its 33rd year of publication with its May 4, 2018, issue.

Volume 20
Issue 2

Activist and PGN founder Mark Segal’s history now part of Smithsonian

by Fred Kuhr

Mark Segal, the founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), has spent decades making history as part of the LGBT civil rights movement. But now it’s official.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a donation from Segal, documenting his almost 50-year career in LGBT activism.

During a ceremony held May 17, 2018, at the museum, Segal donated personal papers — approximately 16 cubic feet of important and rare journals, flyers, posters, letters and materials that chronicle political developments that cover the 1970s to the present.
Some of the items Mark Segal donated to
the Smithsonian's National Museum of
American History

In addition to his papers, Segal donated artifacts from his personal collection, including the first state-issued Gay Pride Proclamation (1975), buttons and t-shirts. Segal also gave a donation collection can that he used during the 1970 Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day march (recognized as America’s first gay pride celebration) and a flyer for the march, as well as his personal marshal’s badge.

“Few people have been as fearless, creative and relentless in their activism for LGBTQ rights as Mark Segal,” said Katherine Ott, curator at the museum. “The materials he is donating are an insider’s guide to most of the big issues of the past 50 years.”

“We fought for pride, for equal rights, our place in the military and our right to marry the person we love,” Segal said. “I am humbled and honored to know the National Museum of American History will preserve and tell our struggle for generations to come.”

In June 1969, a teenaged Segal travelled from his home in Philadelphia to New York City, and within weeks found himself in the middle of the Stonewall raid and uprising. Following that experience, he helped organize the first New York Pride March in 1970. He helped found or participated in a number of emerging activist groups, including the Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Liberation Front, Action Group, Gay Youth and the Gay Raiders. Segal realized the power of media, and to protest the lack of LGBT television coverage, he interrupted numerous live broadcasts, including leaping in front of Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News with a sign that said “Gays Protest CBS Prejudice.” Later, he and Cronkite became friends.

After starting PGN in 1976, he was elected president of the National Gay Media Association. In 2004, he was chosen to be president of the National Gay Newspaper Guild. He was appointed to the Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Board as a member at large in 2011. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association’s (NLGJA) Hall of Fame. His 2015 memoir “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality” took top prize for “excellence in book writing” at the 2016 NLGJA awards.

“During my book tour over the last three years, when I was introduced, many would call me historic, something that seemed to me a little out of place, so when the Smithsonian called, it began a process of me attempting to understand what I had accomplished and the barriers that were placed in the way,” Segal wrote in a PGN editorial. “… Writing my memoir … gave me a sense of the history I witnessed or created. But when three individuals from the Smithsonian showed up at my front door and explained that America’s history museum wanted my papers, I realized that we fought for pride, for equal rights, for our place in the military and our right to marry the person we love.” (Segal’s full piece is reprinted below at

Materials from the National Museum of American History’s LGBT collections date back to the 19th century. The archival collections include ephemera, oral histories, photographs, posters and entertainment publicity materials. The museum has mounted a number of LGBT history displays over the years, including two marking the 25th and 40th anniversaries of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City and a showcase exhibit on the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily (except Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Volume 20
Issue 2

LA’s The Fight launches San Francisco edition

by Joe Siegel

The Fight magazine, based in Los Angeles, launched a San Francisco edition in April. Editor Stanford Altamirano said the expansion to one of the most competitive media markets in the country seemed natural.

“The Fight sponsors the Folsom Street Fair. We produce the official guide for the event. Working with that market last year, we realized there is room for a glossy monthly publication focusing on culture, lifestyle and politics,” Altamirano said.

Readers can access both publications on The Fight’s web site, However, the magazines have different content. The San Francisco edition’s editorial staff are all based in the city, according to Altamirano.

The April issue featured Bay Area Reporter columnist and leather titleholder Race Bannon discussing “the evolution of kink, the golden age of gay sexual liberation, and San Francisco as the beacon of light in the LGBT world.”

The May issue features mayoral candidate Mark Leno. Leno is the first gay man elected to the California senate and would be the first openly LGBT mayor in the city’s history.

Volume 20
Issue 2

Rhode Island’s Options returns

by Joe Siegel

Options, Rhode Island’s all-volunteer LGBT newsmagazine, has returned nearly one year after ceasing publication. 

“Options will be monthly and will be published 10 months a year,” said board chair TC Rogers. “Much of the content will remain the same as we want to continue to focus on representing our local community and Rhode Island LGBTQ+ non-profits and events. Though there will be some changes, including a youth section, which is included in our re-launch issue.”

Options will continue to print 5,000 copies, including 3,000 to households and 2,000 to local businesses, though subscriptions to households are increasing, Rogers noted. “We have an updated website which will eventually become a hub for LGBTQ+ news and includes a digital version of the magazine.”

Rogers said Options has been entirely volunteer-driven by the 11 board members for the past 10 months, until the recent hire of a part-time editor. Jen Stevens has returned in that capacity.

Options began publishing in 1982 and shut down June 2017. Kyle McKendall, the magazine’s executive director at the time, said the move was made due to a lack of funds and volunteers.

“Despite the growth we’ve seen in readers and revenue over the past three years, we continue to struggle with maintaining the resources needed to operate at a level that is expected by readers and advertisers,” McKendall wrote in a letter to subscribers at the time.

But Rogers said money was never a problem. “Funding already existed from previous savings. Also, Options production is well funded by businesses seeking advertisements each month and donations from readers,” Rogers said.

Taking the break from publication was the right decision, McKendall believes.

“I think it’s exactly what everybody needed in order to regroup,” McKendall noted. “Printing a monthly magazine puts an immense amount of pressure and stress on the volunteer staff.”

McKendall has worked with Rogers and the board to ensure a “smooth transition.”

McKendall would like to see Options continue to evolve and explore more diverse topics in the future. “We talked a lot about the growth of Options from a newsletter into a magazine,” McKendall said. “I hope that growth continues.”

Rogers believes the future is bright for Options. “There has been an extremely positive response to the return of Options,” Rogers said. “Donations have been flowing in, as well as e-mails, written letters, Facebook messages and people stopping me on the street or in the grocery store asking for, wanting and thrilled that Options is back in print.”

Volume 20
Issue 2

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Camp magazine of Kansas City

Interview with Publisher and Editorial Director John Long
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Greater Kansas City and select cities in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois

Staff size and breakdown: (writers, editors, designers, etc.) 
Independent contractors for the positions of editor, graphic designer and distribution, plus 12-14 volunteer writers



PPQ: Who came up with the name and what was the inspiration for it? 

Publisher and Editorial Director John Long: My former founding partner, Jim Gabel, and I came up with the name.  At first, we actually had thought about opening a gay bar by that name, which by the way has happened in St. Paul. But we decided that with my background in publishing and his background in graphic design, we’d be much better at publishing than owning a bar. When establishing our trademark, I was actually surprised that no one else had an LGBTQ magazine by this name. In fact, we took a national trademark on the name, thinking that at one point we might have regional editions of Camp in other cities. We came up with the name “Camp” to define what the dictionary refers to as “a community of people with similar ideals” — such as the Hillary Clinton Camp, the Michael Jackson Camp — and also the theatrical or outrageous definition of camp, which is so well known in the LGBTQ community. 

PPQ: What challenge has your publication had to overcome since its inception? 

Long: As with any independently owned publication, financing has been a constant challenge. We have no outside investors and are totally supported by advertising revenue.

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is Camp facing now?

Long: We are looking to change from a newsprint format to a glossy magazine paper format. And we have more to do with a digital edition and improved website.

PPQ: How has the magazine changed since it was first launched? 

Long: Physically it was originally a large tabloid. We changed to a smaller magazine trim size, originally only for the June 2012 Pride issue. However, the smaller size was immediately so popular in comments we received from our readers and distribution sites that we just stayed with the smaller format from that point forward. We also relied more on syndicated material originally and that was changed to feature more local writers.  

PPQ: What one change would you like to make? 

Long: Printing on glossy magazine stock, and that will happen.  

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories Camp has covered?

Long: We featured our then female mayor, Kay Barnes, on the Gay Pride issue cover. Our creative team dressed her up as a 1950s styled housewife holding a rainbow cake. It was very Campy! The headline was “Serving the Community with Pride.” We got all kinds of mainstream press from that. Other news stories have been our annual AIDS Walk issue with poignant stories about people living with HIV/AIDS or people working in community organizations that serve the community. Most recently, we rallied on our press deadline weekend to do a cover story on the “March For Our Lives” march in Kansas City. 

PPQ: Do you see yourself as an “activist journalist”? If so, in what way? 

Long: I think so. I first got involved with some activism when living in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic back in the 1980s. I would also ride my bicycle in their local AIDS rides. After moving to Kansas City in 1998, my partner and I formed a fundraising bicycle ride called PrideRide modelled after those 20-mile bike rides and we raised money for groups supporting the LGBTQ community. We did that for five years before starting Camp. 

PPQ: What's the most surprising feedback you've received from a reader? 

Long: A few years after we began, I received an irate letter from a reader who thought we had too many drag queens on our covers and that “maybe it was because my boyfriend was a drag queen.” Well that was not true for one because my partner never did drag. And secondly, this person was mistaking gender-bending actors in a local theater group called “Late Night Theater” for drag queens. I wrote to him and told him the actual number of covers with drag queens and we were quite proud to feature them. Another surprise I have received over the years is when I received letters from incarcerated gay people asking if I could mail Camp to their prisons. 

PPQ: What advice would you give to anyone who may want to launch their own GLBT publication?

Long: Run! No, in actuality, do it because you love your community, but also make sure you have a solid business knowledge of publishing. Camp is the longest-running LGBTQ magazine in Kansas City. We have outlasted all others who rarely survive more than three or four years. I credit that to having a background in publishing. My mantra for success is to do what the community wants and needs, not what I want and need. Publishing is not ego driven.

Volume 20
Issue 2

GUEST COMMENTARY: It’s official. I’m history.

by Mark Segal
(Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His memoir "And Then I Danced, Traveling The Road to LGBT Equality” has been number one on Amazon's LGBT memoir/biography bestsellers list.)

Just saying that I am humbled is not enough. It is an honor of a lifetime.

By the title of this column, I’m not talking about my age, but something that I’m still processing. There have been many honors over the last few years, but this is something that happens to few Americans, and I never expected it to happen to me. My personal papers of the last 50 years will soon be alongside people like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, LGBT pioneer Frank Kameny and even Judy Garland's ruby-red slippers. It seems strange to say, but I’ve been asked by the Smithsonian for my papers and memorabilia, and they are now part of our American history at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Mark Segal
As you read this, my family and some friends will be in the Presidential Reception Suite in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American in Washington, D.C., doing what is called a signing ceremony. That’s when I officially sign over my personal papers and personal memories of the last 50 years, including items from Stonewall, that first Gay Pride March, the Gay Liberation Front, LGBT media, gay youth, senior-housing materials and more. This project has been going on for almost two years now, and my friends at the Smithsonian tell me that they now have 16 square-cubic feet of my life how strange to put one’s life into square-cubic feet. 

During my book tour over the last three years, when I was introduced, many would call me historic, something that seemed to me a little out of place, so when the Smithsonian called, it began a process of me attempting to understand what I had accomplished and the barriers that were placed in the way. 

First came the search around the office and home to see what I actually had for the collection. That uncovered pictures, papers and items long-forgotten. Each time the curators at the Smithsonian would smile, and try over and over to explain my place in history, something that I still have trouble contemplating. At one point while I was contemplating this out loud, one of them actually said something like, “You are history and we’re the experts on American history."

Why the collection was so valuable to LGBT history, I didn’t understand. Most people associate me as a leader in LGBT media and a writer. But that is only a small part of the collection. It also made me realize what the Smithsonian had already understood: While most of my contemporaries had one or two points of our struggle, my involvement in so many of the issues we’ve faced over the last 50 years makes it one of the most complete LGBT history collections. It follows my path from Stonewall to working with Obama’s White House to current battles. And hopefully this collection will give our young leaders the opportunity not only to witness the history, but more importantly, to witness how we took a community that wasn’t a community, built it and struggled to obtain what we have today. A bail receipt from my first arrest in 1970 is a part of the collection, as are three items from the very first Gay Pride March. (We weren’t a parade at that time.) 

Writing my memoir, “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality,” gave me a sense of the history I witnessed or created. But when three individuals from the Smithsonian showed up at my front door and explained that America’s history museum wanted my papers, I realized that we fought for pride, for equal rights, for our place in the military and our right to marry the person we love. I am humbled and honored to know the Smithsonian National Museum of American History will preserve and tell our struggle for generations to come.

Volume 20
Issue 2

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


What's happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at

COMPETE, the sports magazine based in Scottsdale, Ariz., entered its 12th year of publication with its January 2018 issue.

FENUXE, based in Atlanta, debuted a new advice column called Ask Daddy, where “anonymous Daddy supreme” explains how to handle kink.

GED MAGAZINE, based in Long Beach, Calif., published its inaugural “Bound & Back” issue in March 2018, a review of the leather scene on the West Coast over the past year.

GEORGIA VOICE, based in Atlanta, entered its ninth year of publication with its March 2, 2018, issue.

GOGUIDE, based in Iowa City, Iowa, was placed on hiatus on March 1. The publication will resume under GOGUIDE MEDIA on September 1 with its campus issue.

ROB KOHN, a reader of the WASHINGTON BLADE, won a contest sponsored by the newspaper to serve as guest ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus. The circus stopped in D.C. on March 17 and that evening’s performance was branded as “Blade Night.”

METRA, based in Madison Heights, Mich., celebrated its 39th anniversary with its March 28, 2018, issue.

OUT & ABOUT NASHVILLE entered its 17th year of publication with its January 2018 issue.

PRESS PASS Q, the only trade publication for those working in LGBT media, entered its 20th year of publication with its April 2018 issue.

UNITE SEATTLE published its premiere issue, dated March/April 2018. It is to be published bimonthly.

WORLDNOMADS.COM has released a “map of (in)tolerance,” revealing which countries are potentially danders for LGBT travellers because of legal status and societal attitudes. The color-coded map is designed to help LGBT travelers make informed decisions about where to go. You can see the full map at

Volume 20
Issue 1

Elder issues on the radar of some LGBT media

by Joe Siegel

A recently released survey by AARP shows older LGBT adults worry most about three things: having adequate family and other social support to rely on as they age, discrimination in long-term care (LTC) facilities, and access to LGBT-sensitive services for seniors.

The survey, “Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans,” found that both gay men and lesbians have similar concerns about whether they will have enough family or other social support. However, gay men are more likely than lesbians to be single, live alone, and have smaller support systems, which may put them at higher risk for isolation as they age.

Many LGBT publications have made sure they are serving older LGBT readers by featuring issues of concern to them.

Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), for example, is the only LGBT newspaper with a regularly scheduled senior supplement, according to editor Mark Segal. In addition to the twice-yearly supplement, Segal says PGN has a regular column geared to the senior community.

The “number one issue” for LGBT seniors is housing, affordable living, and “being able to live in a safe neighborhood,” Segal said. 

Chicago’s Windy City Times has featured many columns about the issue. For one, Serena Worthington, the director of national field initiatives at SAGE, wrote, “LGBT older people are twice as likely to live alone, twice as likely to be single, and three to four times less likely to have children — and many are estranged from their families.”

Editor Tracy Baim founded a group called Pride Action Tank, which hosted a major LGBT seniors summit last summer. Windy City Times also features interviews with aging LGBT activists, including a recent cover story about Gary Chichester. Chichester co-founded the Chicago Gay Alliance (CGA) in 1971 and served as its first president until 1973. CGA later opened the first LGBT community center in the city, started a newspaper, created an LGBT library, started a helpline and was instrumental in getting the first Pride parade off the ground.

Boston Spirit magazine runs a monthly column called Senior Spirit, which is aimed at readers 55 and up.

“The column has been running for about a year and a half and is very well received,” said publisher David Zimmerman. “We work very closely with many of the organizations in the area on the content for this column. One such organization is the LGBT Aging Project, which is part of [community health center] Fenway Health. As an example, the current Senior Spirit article details a recent study on the role that stress plays in the lives of older LGBT people.”

New York-based Gay City News has also ran many stories about the obstacles LGBT seniors face, including discrimination in housing. Editor Paul Schindler wrote a February 2015 column titled, “Our Seniors Need Housing and Community.” The newspaper has also featured several “first-person” narratives about the lives of LGBT seniors.

PGN’s Segal said older LGBTs are also suffering from what he refers to as “battle fatigue.”

“Many of us, as seniors, are still dealing with how we [handled] the AIDS epidemic” in the 1980s and ‘90s, Segal said. “We were the frontlines, we saw what it was like. We watched as 600,000 people in our community died. Each and every one of us lost scores of friends, if not the ones we loved. We are still scarred by that.”

Segal noted that these are issues that much of LGBT media does not want to address. “There’s a huge amount of information out there, but unfortunately we seem to be an ageist community, so we shy away from those issues.”

Volume 20
Issue 1

Lesbian mag Curve reinvented as a quarterly

by Joe Siegel

Popular national lesbian magazine Curve has reinvented itself in a time of changing trends in readership. Most notably, the magazine will now be published on a quarterly basis instead of monthly.

Editor Merryn Johns said the move is a result of the busy lives of readers.
“They were giving us feedback that they didn’t have time” to read the magazine, Johns said.

Merryn Johns of Curve
Johns cited the increased use of social media as a factor in the decision. “What we discovered from surveys of our readers is they would enjoy a more luxurious print product,” Johns said, noting Curve has undergone a complete redesign and rebranding.

The magazine has even changed its tagline from “America’s Best Selling Lesbian Magazine” to “Living True,” which calls for readers to embrace their own sexual identities.

Curve continues its own digital presence, although that too has posed its share of problems. “We found that as a publication, we’re competing with ourselves,” Johns said.

The slower publishing schedule will also impact the editorial content, paving the way for more in-depth stories, according to Johns. “You can’t really be as deadline-driven anymore. What that means for us is [to feature] more iconic celebrity interviews, more lifestyle pieces that might be about seasonal offerings such as interior design or travel or fashion and food. And if we do any topical pieces that are politically oriented, they’re really well-researched think pieces.”

The latest cover features actress Cate Blanchette, who Johns considers an “iconic” figure in the lesbian community. There are also features on genderqueer fashion and singer Nona Hendryx. “We thought [Hendryx] was very emblematic of longevity and intersectionality,” Johns said.

So far, readers have embraced all the changes in the magazine. “We’ve had more response [to this relaunch] than we’ve ever had,” Johns said. “The e-mails, the letters, the word of mouth has been very positive for us. We’re really hoping it’s a turning point for Curve.” 

Volume 20
Issue 1

Kansas and Delaware lose LGBT media pioneers

by Fred Kuhr
The LGBT media community lost two longtime activists and LGBT media pioneers this month — Kristi Parker of Wichita, Kan.-based Liberty Press and Steve Elkins of Rehoboth Beach, Del.-based Letters From CAMP Rehoboth.

Parker, who founded Liberty Press in 1994 and continued as its editor and publisher, died March 10, after suffering a stroke two days earlier. She was 49.
Kristi Parker of
Liberty Press

Sharon “Vinnie” Reed, Parker’s former business partner and ex-wife, told the Wichita Eagle that Liberty Press will cease publication in light of Parker’s death.

“She was very knowledgeable and skilled as an accountant. And she was filled with this passion for helping and being part of the gay and lesbian community,” Reed told the Eagle. “She had this ability to be the editor, write and finance and keep the business afloat.”

Parker got into LGBT publishing after becoming co-chair of Wichita’s Pride Committee in early 1994 and was put in charge of the Pride Guide. After that success, she began publishing Liberty Press. The first issue in August of that year was 12 pages and only had five advertisers. The paper grew to average 60 pages with a print run of 5,000.

The publication’s tagline was, “We were gay before it was cool.”

Steve Elkins of Letters From
CAMP Rehoboth
Elkins, editor and publisher of Letters From CAMP Rehoboth, died on March 15 after a year-long battle with lymphoma. He was also co-founder and executive director of CAMP Rehoboth, the LGBT community center that produced the publication. He was 67.

Elkins announced in his column last month that he would be taking a medical leave of absence and that his husband and partner of 40 years, Murray Archibald, would be serving as the organization’s interim leader. That column, sadly, would be his last for the publication.

CAMP Rehoboth is an acronym meaning Creating A More Positive Rehoboth. The nonprofit, which was launched in 1991, began as a newsletter before it grew into a full-service community center by led Elkins and Archibald.

“The CAMP Rehoboth family is heartbroken at the passing of our executive director and co-founder, Steve Elkins,” the organization stated on its Facebook page. “As he did throughout his life, fighting for the rights of so many in this state, he fought lymphoma with courage and dignity until the very end."

Volume 20
Issue 1