Wednesday, January 17, 2018


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

GOGUIDE MAGAZINE, based in Iowa City, Iowa, announced it will be interviewing all interested candidates for elected office leading up to the June 25th Iowa primary. Issue dates are February 15, April 1 and June 1. The Forum will also appear online at beginning February 15 and remain available until the November general election. Several candidates have expressed interest in this series. Interested candidates include those running for Iowa Senate, Secretary of State, Governor and U.S. Congress. No endorsements by GoGuide Magazine will be made prior to the June 25th Iowa primary.

DOUGLAS BRAWN HOPKINS, co-founder of QCINEMA, Fort Worth’s Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, passed away on October 7, 2017, at the age of 47. He is survived by his partner of 24 years, TODD CAMP.

HOTSPOTS, based in Oakland Park, Fla., has launched HOTSPOTS LIVE, a weekly show dedicated to the arts and culture scene in South Florida. It is available at HOTSPOTS.LGBT.

LAVENDER MAGAZINE, based in Minneapolis, recently won Excellence Awards from the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association. HUBERT BONNET and MIKE HNIDA won a silver and a gold award for design, layout, and photography. Assistant Managing Editor SHANE LUECK also won a gold for his writing.

LIVING OUT, based in Woodbury, N.Y., on Long Island, entered its sixth year of publication with its December 2017/January 2018 issue.

KATE MILLETT, feminist, bisexual pioneer, and author of 1970’s “Sexual Politics,” died of a heart attack in Paris on September 6, 2017, at the age of 82. She was with her partner of 39 years, SOPHIE KIER. A memorial service attended by hundreds was held in New York on November 9, 2017.

NLGJA, THE ASSOCIATION OF LGBTQ JOURNALISTS, is now accepting online applications for its 2018 Excellence in Journalism Awards. The Excellence in Journalism Awards are open to anyone, including NLGJA non-members and journalists who do not identify as LGBTQ. This year’s Excellence in Journalism Awards program has been expanded to include three new categories: Excellence in Food Writing, Excellence in Long Form Journalism and Excellence in Queer People of Color (QPOC) Coverage. Work originally broadcast or published in 2017 may be submitted through March 12. Additional information on submission requirements and applications for Excellence in Journalism Awards are available online at

OUT IN JERSEY, based in Trenton, N.J., entered its 23rd year of publication with its December 2017/January 2018 issue.

OUTCLIQUE, based in Miami, entered its 2nd year of publication with its December 2017 issue.

PALETTE MAGAZINE, based in Miami and published by the MIAMI HERALD, has ceased publication after three years. Its December 2017 issue was its last one.

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., won five prizes from the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Contest. The winning info-graphic for the Illustration category was made by BRENDON LIES, SFGN’s art director, for the newspaper’s special issue on the transgender community last spring. The graphic showed the journey of a trans person in a chutes and ladders type of style. SFGN also took second and third place for the same trans issue mentioned above, and its special issue covering the aftermath of Pulse, the nightclub shooting in Orlando that claimed 49 lives. Freelancer CHRISTIANA LILLY took second place for Minority Reporting and freelancer DORI ZINN took third place for Community News writing.

Volume 19
Issue 10

LGBTQ tourism and hospitality survey results revealed

by Joe Siegel

The results from the 22nd annual LGBTQ Tourism and Hospitality Survey — conducted by San Francisco-based Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) — have been released. And the findings are surprising.

On average, LGBTQ participants took 3.2 vacation or leisure trips and 1.4 business trips in the past 12 months. In addition, LGBTQs took an average of 2.3 trips primarily to visit family or friends in the past year.

Twelve percent of married participants indicated marriage within the past year, slightly down from the year before (15%). CMI would expect the number of newly-wed LGBTQ couples to stabilize year-to-year as long-term same-sex couples have tied the knot in the past decade.

The most popular LGBTQ honeymoon destinations are Europe and beach destinations.

The survey was conducted last October by CMI. This report focuses on United States data for 3,703 self-identified members of the LGBTQ community.  Eighty-eight percent of participants came from a random sample of the CMI LGBTQ research panel. The panel was built over a 25-year period through partnerships with over 300 LGBTQ media, organizations and events. Twelve percent of the participants came from email/social media distribution from the following national LGBTQ media: Curve Magazine, GayCities, ManAboutWorld and Passport Magazine.

“One thing the data points to is that the LGBTQ community cares more about the LGBTQ-welcoming reputation of a destination, over having specific LGBTQ activities in the destination, like nightlife or neighborhoods,” said David Paisley, senior research director for CMI. “This means that any destination with more progressive policies and residents can develop its LGBTQ tourism.”

Other findings include:

American LGBTs are active international travellers — 77% of participants reported having a valid passport (compared to 36% of the general U.S. population). Among these passport holders, 53% used their passport in the past year to travel to another country.

Six percent of all respondents had a negative travel experience because of LGBT reasons. This number is significantly higher among gender expansive community members (16%). “Workers in the tourism and hospitality industry should not only be informed about LGB and same-sex couple concerns, but need diversity training on issues important to gender expansive travelers,” noted the report.

Interesting and unique tourist attractions, historic attractions and interesting neighborhoods are the top destination activities that LGBT travellers look for. Outdoor activities are important for women (46%), while men (44%) are seeking out LGBT-specific activities. Of interest is that “LGBT-friendly reputation” was the number 2 attribute for destination selection, but among activities, LGBT-specific dropped to the #5 rank on this question.

CMI has been conducting LGBT consumer research for over 25 years. Their practice includes online surveys, in-depth interviews, intercepts, focus groups (on-site and online), and advisory boards. Industry leaders around the world use CMI’s research and analysis as a basis for feasibility evaluations, positioning, economic impact, creative testing, informed forecasting, measurable marketing planning and assessment of return on investment. The survey was sponsored by Tourism Toronto and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Volume 19
Issue 10

CMI seeking partners for largest LGBT survey of its kind

by Fred Kuhr

Community Marketing & Insights, based in San Francisco, is currently seeking LGBT media, organizations and events to partner with for its 12th Annual LGBT Community Survey.

According to CMI, this survey is the largest LGBT survey of its kind, and has previously yielded up to 45,000 participants from 150 countries.

Through partnerships, CMI expands the participation and diversity of its studies, and partners gain valuable insights into their readers or members, as well as the overall community, according to Lu Xun, CMI’s director of quantitative research. Partners can then use survey findings in advertising and sponsorship promotions.

What is the partnership? “We like to keep things simple,” said Xun. “You’ll send the survey link to your member/reader lists — by social media, internet, mobile, or print as available — and after the study ends, we send a copy of the full report. And if you generate a minimum of 200 completed surveys from your lists, we’ll send a data frequency report of your own members or readers. Many partners find these results useful in advertising and sponsorship promotions, content creation and much more.”

A complete short registration form is available at

Volume 19
Issue 10

San Fran’s Bay Area Reporter has new owner

by Joe Siegel

San Francisco-based Bay Area Reporter (BAR) has a new owner, Michael Yamashita.

Yamashita has been the publisher of the paper since 2013. He also served as the paper’s general manager. He purchased the paper after acquiring shares from two former investors. 

The announcement was made on December 18. Yamashita is now the first gay Asian-American publisher and owner of an LGBT newspaper.

Yamashita will take over BAR Media Inc., which was formed four years ago in a restructuring of the
Michael Yamashita
paper's ownership. At the time, the Bob Ross Foundation had a 20 percent stake, Yamashita had 31 percent, and Todd Vogt and Patrick Brown had 49 percent collectively. Vogt and Brown were previously with San Francisco Media Co., publishers of the San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly, and the shuttered San Francisco Bay Guardian.

“It seemed like a natural transition,” Yamashita said. “I started as an assistant editor in 1989, became the general manager in 1995, and became the third publisher when we restructured the corporation in 2013.” 

BAR News Editor Cynthia Laird said that she is “incredibly glad that Mike was able to purchase the paper. The Bay Area Reporter remains LGBT-owned – and locally owned – and in this time of upheaval in the media industry, that is a good thing.”

Laird does not anticipate any changes to content or staffing. “We will continue to focus on our original content,” Laird said. “We are looking forward to a busy year, with an unexpected mayor’s race in San Francisco in June, and we will continue to provide a vital source of news, arts, and nightlife coverage for our readers.”

Added Yamashita: “Readers and contributors are relieved that the paper will remain LGBT and locally owned, and reassured that the BAR will remain a community resource. Other LGBT publishers are relieved as well, and gave me much advice and encouragement during the process. It confirms we are stronger when we’re connected to our communities rather than run by investors or faceless, remote corporations.”

Volume 19
Issue 10

Rochester’s Empty Closet opens door to changes

by Fred Kuhr

The Empty Closet — the LGBT newspaper serving Rochester, N.Y., and published by community organization The Out Alliance — is setting the stage for a “new look and fresh content” next month while it says goodbye to its editor of the last 28 years.

Susan Jordan is being hailed as a feminist, activist and social justice advocate as she retires from a position she has held since 1989.

Susan Jordan
Over her tenure, the Empty Closet grew to become a professionally-staffed newspaper published 11 times a year, with a circulation of 5,000. (The publication actually launched in 1971 as a four-page ditto and went to mimeograph in 1973.)

“Over the past 28 years, Susan Jordan has never missed putting out an issue. That is more than something to be proud of, it is a monumental accomplishment and an unparalleled commitment to keep the Rochester LGBTQ community informed,” according to Evelyn Bailey, chair of the Out Alliance. “The Empty Closet, under Susan’s leadership, generates a sense of pride in the contributions the Rochester LGBTQ community has made to the economic, social and political life of Rochester, New York State and the nation.”

A new editor has yet to be announced. In the meantime, the newspaper announced “exciting changes” coming in February.

“The Empty Closet will make the leap from newspaper to magazine format,” announced Rowan Collins and Jeff Myers, communications manager and managing director, respectively, of the Out Alliance. “This is an exciting opportunity for our publication that will enable larger scope, enhanced graphics, and a more reader-friendly presentation.”

They noted that the publication will continue to be free. “As The Empty Closet sees a new look and structure in the years to come, we will continue our tradition,” they noted. “No member of our community will go without access to all The Empty Closet provides.”

The publication is also available online at

Volume 19
Issue 10

PRESSING QUESTIONS: The Wisconsin Gazette of Milwaukee

Interview with Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Louis Weisberg
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Milwaukee metro area, southeastern Wisconsin, and downtown Madison

Year founded: 2009

Staff size and breakdown: CEO; publisher; four editors, three of whom also serve as staff writers; two part-time designers; business manager; circulation manager; four sales reps; nine part-time delivery personnel; seven regular contributors.

Physical dimensions of publication: 9.5" x 10.7”

Average page count: 40

Key demographics: political progressives; environmentalists; LGBT; social justice and immigration activists; supporters of racial and gender equality; supporters of pay equity and reproductive freedom; animal rights activists; according to surveys, readers skew older, wealthier and significantly better educated than the population here as a whole; readership is 58 percent male

Print run: 30,000

Web site:


PPQ: What feature or features of The Wisconsin Gazette have been the most popular with readers?

Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Louis Weisberg: We're best known for our local political coverage and commentary. We also have a popular pet section, and our coverage of the local music scene is appreciated.

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

Weisberg: Honestly, I can't remember. We like "Gazette" because it suggests a publication that adheres to old-school professional journalistic values.  

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

Weisberg: SALES!!

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is The Wisconsin Gazette facing now?

Weisberg: Monetizing our robust social media presence and coming up with new channels to connect our advertisers with our readers.

PPQ: How has The Wisconsin Gazette changed since it was first launched? 

Weisberg: We've changed dramatically. We began in 2009 as an LGBT paper with a print run of 10,000. Since then we've expanded our coverage and distribution.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make? 

Weisberg: We'd like to go glossy and develop a robust subscription base.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories The Wisconsin Gazette has covered? 

Weisberg: The achievement of marriage equality. The massive demonstrations in Madison against Act 10 [the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill, which led to massive labor protests]. Hate crimes. Police shootings and subsequent riots. The continual elimination of environmental protections. Creeping crony capitalism and corruption in state government.

PPQ: On the Kinsey Scale of 0-6 [exclusively straight to totally gay], how gay is your publication?

Weisberg: 3.

PPQ: Do you see yourself as an “activist journalist”? 

Weisberg: Absolutely. Our mission is to promote progressive values. You can see that in the types of stories that we cover and the ways in which we cover them.

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

Weisberg: A reader wrote me to say that he'd read the book "Dark Money," which was mentioned in an editorial, and it opened his eyes to the transfer of wealth that's occurred in the U.S. over the past four decades — and how that's been achieved through a carefully strategized and effective program of propaganda.

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

Weisberg: Don't do it unless you have enough money or backing to sustain it and enough fire in your belly to work insanely hard for no money, but rather for the satisfaction of possibly helping to move our society and our culture forward.

Volume 19
Issue 10