Monday, February 25, 2019

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

(What's happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at editor@presspassq.com)

BAY AREA REPORTER, based in San Francisco, entered its 49th year of publication with its January 3, 2019, issue.
PGN's Denise Fuhs (left) with
partner Shelly Allbright

BETWEEN THE LINES, based in Livonia, Mich., entered its 27th year of publication with its December 27, 2018, issue.

#BOOM MAGAZINE, based in St. Louis, Mo., celebrated its fifth anniversary on February 1, 2019.

DENISE FUHS is the new editor of PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS. The announcement was made in a full-length article in PGN (http://www.epgn.com/news/local/14191-pgn-announces-new-editor-denise-fuhs).

GAY CITY NEWS, based in New York City, entered its 18th year of publication with its January 3, 2019, issue.

The Washington Blade's
Michael K. Lavers
GAY SAN DIEGO entered its 10th year of publication with its January 4, 2019, issue.

GET OUT, based in New York City, published its 400th issue on January 9, 2019.

GLOSS, based in San Francisco, entered its 17th year of publication with its December 28, 2018, issue.

MICHAEL K. LAVERS, international news editor for THE WASHINGTON BLADE, returned to the Southwest U.S., Mexico and Central America to continue reporting on the impact that the Trump administration’s policies are having on LGBTQ migrants and asylum seekers.

THE LOS ANGELES BLADE entered its third year of publication with its January 4, 2019, issue.

MIRROR, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., entered its eighth year of publication with its January 2019 issue.

GRAB Magazine co-owner
Mark Nagel
MARK NAGEL, co-owner of Chicago-based GRAB MAGAZINE, passed away suddenly on February 4, 2019. A veteran of Chicago’s LGBTQ press, he co-founded GRAB with STACY BRIDGES in 2009, after working since 1993 at the weekly GAY CHICAGO MAGAZINE. He was 57. 

OUT & ABOUT NASHVILLE, based in Nashville, Tenn., entered its 19th year of publication with its January 2019 issue.

OUTPOST, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., entered its 27th year of publication with its January 2019 issue.

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS entered its 43rd year of publication with its January 4, 2019, issue.

Q MAGAZINE, based in Key West, Fla., entered its 14th year of publication with its January 2019 issue.

THE RAINBOW TIMES, based in Boston, entered its 12th year of publication with its January 10, 2019, issue.

SEATTLE GAY NEWS entered its 47th year of publication with its January 4, 2019, issue.

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., entered its 10th year of publication with its January 2, 2019, issue.

TAGG, based in Washington, D.C., entered its eighth year of publication with its January/February 2019 issue.

GREG WILLENBORG, who founded the independent production company WILLENBORG PRODUCTIONS, died January 24, 2019, at this home in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 60.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE entered its 50th year of publication with its January 4, 2019, issue.

WATERMARK, based in Orlando, Fla., entered its 26th year of publication with its January 10, 2019, issue.

WIREMAG, based in Miami, Fla., entered its 31st year of publication with its January 3, 2019, issue.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 20
Issue 11

LGBTQ media offer insights into growing field of Democratic presidential candidates

by Joe Siegel
(This is the second in a planned series of interviews with local media professionals who have covered candidates as they announce their presidential candidacy.)

The 2020 presidential campaign has an ever-expanding group of contenders vying for the Democratic nomination. United States Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California have launched their candidacies, along with former San Antonio, Tex., Mayor Julian Castro. Other candidates include former United States Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and the first openly gay presidential candidate.

Which one will best serve the queer community as president?

Buttigieg, 37, is a graduate of Harvard University, a Rhodes scholar, and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan.

The Washington Blade put full-page photo of Buttigieg on its February 1, 2019, cover along with the
headline, “A Gay President?” The newspaper notes: “LGBT priorities for Buttigieg, who said he’d run a campaign based on the themes of freedom, democracy and security, include passage of the Equality Act and greater visibility for transgender people. Distinguishing himself from other 2020 hopefuls, Buttigieg said he supports transgender people having access to transition-related care, even when they’re in prison.”

Buttigieg calls the Trump administration’s positions on trans rights and its trans military ban “extremely disturbing.”

“When I was in the military, the people I served with could not have cared less whether I was going home to a girlfriend or boyfriend. They just wanted to know that I was going to be someone they could trust with their lives and vice versa,” Buttigieg told the Blade in a new interview.

On the other end of the spectrum, Gabbard, 37, has drawn criticism for her anti-LGBTQ positions in the past.

“As a state representative in the early 2000s, Gabbard advocated and legislated against the ‘homosexual extremists’ trying to ‘promote their agenda to our vulnerable youth,’” Out Magazine’s Harron Walker wrote. “Before entering the Hawaii state legislature in 2002, she worked for the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, an anti-marriage equality organization run by her dad.”

Gabbard now says her views have “changed significantly” since then. Walker noted: “Since her election to the House of Representatives in 2012, Gabbard has opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, spoke out against the President’s proposed trans military ban, and supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The Representative is also a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, Politico notes, and her voting record on LGBTQ+ rights has a score of 100 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign.”

Booker, 49, is the first African-American senator from New Jersey and served as the mayor of Newark for eight years. Booker advocated for marriage rights for same-sex couples. 

“Cory Booker has been extremely supportive of the LGBT community both as the mayor of Newark and throughout New Jersey since his run for the U.S. Senate,” said Peter Frycki, publisher of Out in Jersey magazine, based in the state capital of Trenton.

“He was one of the early supporters of same-sex marriage in New Jersey politics before the U.S. Supreme Court decision,” Frycki noted. “And he has always found a way to say the right thing when LGBT issues came to light in New Jersey politics.”

Earlier this month, GoGuide Magazine, based in Iowa City, published a one-on-one interview with businessman and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, 44. Although his poll numbers are, as GoGuide put it, “meager,” the magazine notes that Yang has attended or hosted almost 150 events in Iowa to date.

When asked, “Why should the LGBTQ community support you?” Yang responded, “Many folks in the LGBTQ community tell me I’m running on the most pro-LGBTQ presidential platform they’ve ever seen. My Iowa Campaign Coordinator dropped out of law school to work for me in part because he knows personally how transformative Universal Basic Income would be for the LGBTQ community. As he put it, the promise of “It Gets Better” is hollow without the promise of financial security in the case your family or community rejects you for who you are.” (The full interview is available at https://goguidemagazine.com/)

Another candidate with low name recognition, John Delaney, 55, was Maryland’s congressional representative for the sixth district for three terms. Delaney has supported same-sex marriage and voted for enforcement against anti-gay discrimination in public schools. 

Delaney has received the score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his support of equality-related legislation. He has been a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus since 2017.

However, Delaney has been attacked by some members of the LGBTQ media.

In an August 2017 editorial titled “We don’t need another rich businessman for president,” the Washington Blade criticized his candidacy: “There is nothing original on Delaney’s website. A few overused platitudes and then you get to read what turns out to be the principles of the 2016 Democratic Party platform. Statements like, ‘Our government is hamstrung by excessive partisanship. We are letting critical opportunities to improve the country pass us by. And we are not even talking about the most important thing: the future.’

“One reason our politics is a mess is candidates like Delaney who think it’s a game and you can buy a seat at the table or a nomination. He has been in the Congress a little over four years with no real accomplishments and is clearly bored,” the editorial noted.

Much of a candidate’s past can be mined from LGBTQ media coverage in their home state or city, much as Chicago’s Windy City Times made national headlines in 2009 when the newspaper reported out the complete answers then-state senate candidate Obama gave in 1996 to a questionnaire from Outlines newspaper (which merged with Windy City Times in 2000). That survey showed that Obama supported marriage equality, even though he supported only civil unions for same-sex couples in 2009. For more of our coverage of this year’s candidates, go to https://presspassq.blogspot.com/2019/01/presidential-candidates-have-record.html
(Editor Fred Kuhr contributed to this report.)

TOP STORY
Volume 20
Issue 11

Black History Month marked by LGBTQ media

by Fred Kuhr and Joe Siegel

As February is Black History Month, some LGBTQ publications marked the occasion within their own pages or on their websites.

The Washington Blade, for one, used their 50th anniversary feature, “Looking Back: 50 Years of the Blade,” to make how Black History Month was marked in 1979. The newspaper reprinted its story that centered on three pivotal federal judges - Thurgood Marshall, William Rehnquist and Spottswood Robinson III. The 1979 article notes that while the three were spilt on issues of school segregation in the 1950s, they were again split on issues of gay rights. The Blade article notes that Marshall - who along with Rehnquist went on to serve on the United States Supreme Court - was a reliable LGBTQ ally.

Last month, the Blade looked back at an exclusive interview it did with civil rights icon Bayard Rustin from Feb. 7, 1986, a year before he died. The interview has been making news again since Rustin’s partner, Walter Naegle, discovered the original audio from that interview. NPR’s “All Things Considered” aired a story about it, and it was then played on the podcast “Making Gay History.”

A number of LGBTQ publications, such as Trenton, N.J.-based Out In Jersey, ran syndicated columnist Rev. Irene Monroe’s column marking Black History Month. This year’s column is entitled “How to stop the GOP’s disenfranchisement of Black or Trans voters.” The column also pays tribute to Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress.

Since Out In Jersey is published every other month, most of its Black History Month coverage will be online, according to publisher Peter Frycki.

Other coverage included Out Magazine’s commentary "Black History Month Includes Black Queer History, Too,” written by Tre’vell Anderson (https://www.out.com/news-opinion/2019/2/01/black-history-month-includes-black-queer-history-too) and pride.com's “8 Inspiring Queer Black Icons You Should Know About” (https://www.pride.com/activism/2019/2/01/8-inspiring-queer-black-icons-you-should-know-about). Those icons include Bayard Rustin, the openly gay organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and writer and feminist Audre Lorde.

For publications like The Unleashed Voice, which caters to the African-American LGBTQ community, Black History Month is not as big a deal, for obvious reasons. “We are doing weekly features on our radio show. The magazine did not particularly dedicate space because we are Black History everyday.”

For those publications unsure how to cover Black History Month, media advocacy group GLAAD offers an online resources at https://www.glaad.org/publications/blackhistorymonthkit and https://www.glaad.org/tags/black-history-month

Among its recommendations: “Cover positive stories of inclusion in black churches. Many churches are inclusive of black LGBT people. The Unity Fellowship Church, for example, is a very prominent coalition of churches reaching out to LGBT communities of color. The Fellowship is another movement of affirming churches of color. The Metropolitan Community Church, Arc of Refuge and Glide Church are other churches inclusive of LGBT people of color.”

Also: “Explore some of the sociocultural factors that contribute to many black LGBT people not identifying with standard terms dealing with gender identity or sexual orientation.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 20
Issue 11

Michigan publishers awarded for their activism

by Fred Kuhr

Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz, wives and co-publishers of Detroit area publication Between The Lines, were awarded last month for their decades of activism in Michigan and nationally.

They were presented with the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement on January 25, 2019, at the Creating Change Conference in Detroit. The award and conference are presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force, based in Washington, D.C.

The award is named for Sue Hyde, the former director of the Creating Change Conference. Hyde was on hand to present the couple with the award.

“As I talked with Susan and Jan about their well-lived lives, we reveled in their very long and complicated herstories of work in this community and in this movement," Hyde said from the podium, as reported in Between The Lines. “I reminded them both that participation in oral history projects and written memoirs would yet be another wonderful gift to all of us and we laughingly renamed the award to be ‘the too stubborn to quit award.’ So thank you … for blessing us with the assurance that whoever we are, and no matter how forsaken we may feel, that we all have a place in the family of LGBTQ people.”
Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz (l-r)

Stevenson took the podium first, welcoming Creating Change attendees to Detroit, expressing her gratitude for the recognition and emphasizing what the Task Force has meant to her in both her life and career.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award from the Task Force, an organization that I have served and loved for decades and that the award is named after one of my personal heroine’s Sue Hyde,” Stevenson said, as reported by Between The Lines. “The theme of this conference … resonates so strongly because that’s what the Task Force is to me. As a board member and volunteer, I learned about organizing, working in diverse groups, struggling with complex issues and learning to accept that the good is not the enemy of the perfect. The Task Force, and especially Sue Hyde, have embodied to me that in organizing kindness, empathy and compassion are as important as being right; that empowering others raises us all.”

Horowitz then spoke on the progress the movement has made since she first came out.

“Next month marks 47 years ago at the age of 19 that I came out in 1972,” said Horowitz. “That world defined me as a criminal and mentally ill — not great for a job hunt. It was disturbing and shame-based language that too often succeeded in isolating and killing too many of us. I was lucky and I soon found a radically different message on a button with just three words … ‘Gay is good. … It filled my heart with hope. I knew then and I believe today … that who has the power to define us in life is an essential key to our liberation. It’s why I was attracted to printing presses, why I started a film festival and why I am committed to our community newspaper here in Michigan, Between The Lines.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 20
Issue 11

GUEST COMMENTARY: Advice for 2019 and beyond

by Norm Kent 
(Norm Kent is the founder and publisher of South Florida Gay News, based in Wilton Manors, Fla. This editorial originally appeared in the newspaper’s January 2, 2019, issue.)

Here it is, 2019, and I know you are all waiting for my annual, humble, modest inspirational message. 

First, as usual, I continue to remain very shy and soft spoken. With this issue, SFGN is as fortunate to begin our 10th year as I am to begin my 70th. Alas, I have been “cardiologically” altered, with pacemakers, defibrillators implanted.

As for the chemotherapy and knee therapies, that was so last year. So I have no idea how the hell I am still here, but I was told I should not be celebrating New Year’s Eve with shots of Crown. It’s OK. My medical marijuana card will do fine.

Norm Kent
The successful journey of SFGN for a decade now is a tribute to the support of our strong and passionate LGBT community. Our lives matter and our voices count. People want to read, see and hear about them.

Each week, our mission remains the same. Our purpose is to illuminate and showcase our lives with credible and conscientious journalism.

Not since the days of Alexander Hamilton has a free press been under such attack in America. It is an assault led by a president who is a con artist and crook on one hand, and someone who does not understand the U.S. constitution on the other.

We may have been closeted and silenced years ago. No more. Whatever was thrown at us we have beaten back. We have a place at the table, and we will never lose the seat.

Gay Americans were wrongly and unjustly ostracized as outcasts, disgraced as deviants, and repressed as “queers.” But we are no longer "boys in the band.” We are adults who can drive the bus and push back.

Homosexuality was once called the love that “dare not speak its name." It was wrong then and intolerable now. Come at us with toxic presidents, judicial idiots, or impotent congresses, we are not going anywhere. Our love will find a way. It always has and always will.

Because of where we were once, we should empathize and empower those groups so cast aside today. Whether the indecencies occur at our nation’s southern border or in countries far away, we must speak up. Our voices must be heard in solidarity with the oppressed and repressed. We were so positioned not so long ago.

No matter your station or status, whether you are 18 or 80, life presents challenges and adversity. With core principles molding your soul, you can meet them personally and professionally. They are sources of opportunity. There is always harmony to be found within the chaos life delivers daily.

Keep a smile in your heart and a song on your lips. The things you find intimately most personal are universally most common. Being human is a privilege, not an excuse. If you can laugh at yourself, you will never cease to be amused.

We are no longer kids. We grew up, many of us on our own and against our will. It should not matter. Outside of unconditional love and an allowance, there are only two things your parents can really give you anyway, one is roots, the other wings.

If your parents or friends don’t like you being gay, that is their problem, not yours. Keep your faith, not theirs. Be true to yourself. It is your head on the pillow alone at night.

If you are lucky enough to find a lover, partner or companion, greet that person as enthusiastically as the way your dog greets you when you get home from work. (This explains why my ex still licks me on the cheek every time I see him.)

The things you think are intimately most personal are in fact the very matters that are universally most common. Sooner or later, everyone goes for a colonoscopy. Still, don’t share the password on your ATM card.

Don’t do anything at night you will regret in the daytime. And don’t do anything in the daytime that will prevent you from sleeping in your own bed at night. Crime, like Lotto, does not pay.

Risk taking has its rewards, but don’t speed in school zones or join the Bill Cosby School of Dating. Avoid using Super Glue as a lubricant or cooking bacon naked. Be the kind of person your pet thinks you are. I know. You have him fooled.

If you do screw up, professionally or personally, be glad you live here. America is a land of second chances. Make the most of them. If you want to change the outcome, make better choices first. A stone cast in the water cannot be recalled.

It’s the 21st century, but there are no rules against meeting people like it was the 20th. Five years from now, we are all going to find out Grindr causes mononucleosis.

It’s great to go jogging in a park, but try wearing more than a raincoat when you do. Reach out to old friends, but not for a loan. If you want an investment that lasts, don’t look just to the stock market. Invest in yourself.

Believe in reconciliation rather than revenge. When you hate, it’s like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  Still, lock your doors just in case.

You are only limited by the boundaries of your imagination and innovation, but if you are sky diving wear a parachute. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, but brush your teeth in case someone is. Don’t tell others how to live their lives. Yours is enough of an undertaking.

If you can’t go 10 minutes without your cell phone, check into an iPhone Rehab Center by noon tomorrow. Call Alexa, she will find one for you.

A walk through the valley of most souls, will barely get your feet wet. But walk anyway. Friends are worth it. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but don’t go barefoot. There are always stones along the road, but there is no bridge too steep for you to conquer.

America gives you a fundamental right to free choice. Whether you want to put a penis, pipe or pizza into your body is your call. It’s your life. But meth is not a necessity.

I have a lot more to say, but less is more. Besides, it will all be in my autobiography, titled, “Why Am I Here When There is a Baseball Game on TV?”

I don’t know who I am to give you this advice. I am just a kid who grew up playing stickball on the streets of Brooklyn. How I wound up being a radio talk show host for a decade or the publisher of a weekly gay publication is still beyond me.

Somewhere inside me there is this little voice that keeps on saying to me that mom is at home making meatloaf for dinner and I must get there before dark. Dad should be at home from work anytime soon.

Damn, I was so much older then. I am so much younger now. If it is really 2019, someone pinch me, wake me up, and tell me where did 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009 go.

GUEST COMMENTARY
Volume 20
Issue 11

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Peach Atlanta of Atlanta, Ga.

Interview with: Editorial Director Mikkel Hyldebrandt
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Metro Atlanta

Year founded: 2017 (previously, Peach published under the name David Magazine)

Staff size and breakdown: Editor, managing partner, graphic designer, advertising director, and two sales representatives as well as about 10 writers who are regular contributors

Physical dimensions: 6” x 9”, 56-102 pages

Web site: peachatl.com

*****

PPQ: What feature or features of Peach Atlanta have been the most popular with readers?

Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Editorial Director Mikkel Hyldebrandt: We have excellent response with our different columns – we have some wonderful opinion pieces and column writers – but one of the most popular pages is our Peach of the Week, which is a profile of an attractive guy living in Atlanta.

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

Hyldebrandt: If you visit Atlanta, the name Peach is right there! Numerous streets are called something with peach, and the symbol is everywhere because we are indeed the Peach State. And for a gay publication, there is a double meaning to the peach as well.

PPQ: What challenge has Peach Atlanta had to overcome since its inception?

Hyldebrandt: Creating our footing in this competitive market and carving out our niche in it. I think we have done a great job at creating a platform for the LGBTQ community where we can be the best guide to gay Atlanta while being a great support and a positive influence as well.

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is Peach Atlanta facing now?

Hyldebrandt: As a print publication, we constantly have to battle the wrongful notion that print is dying – it is not! And putting editorial or an advertisement in the magazine is an effective way to target your audience or telling a story in a way that people will listen and see you.

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

Hyldebrandt: We have cemented the fact that we do and write everything with a positive mindset. We have found unique and effective ways to immerse ourselves even better in the community, and we have expanded our network, so we are a valid and trustworthy voice in and for the community.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Hyldebrandt: I would to make Peach “all-inclusive” and capture all the subgroups within our vibrant community.

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

Hyldebrandt: When we got the exclusive Cher interview for Pride in 2017, we really couldn’t believe it. We knew we had a scoop, and we knew that this would propel the magazine onto a new level. We paired the interview with a competition to win Cher concert tickets. 

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

Hyldebrandt: Take a look at our covers, and you'll agree that we’re a 5-6 on the scale. Atlanta’s LGBTQ community has a lot going on, so we cover that exclusively. 

PPQ: Do you see yourselves as “activist journalists"? If so, in what way?

Hyldebrandt: We are, but since we are not news media, we approach activism from a softer standpoint, if that makes sense. We try to be very sensitive to movements and sentiments in the community, and we try to cover all aspects. When it comes to our columnists and opinion pieces, they have free reign, and we’ve had some pretty provocative writings there.

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

Hyldebrandt: It’s more inspiring feedback than anything, actually. It’s just lovely to hear when people actually read and respond to what you put out in the world. One guy said he was always excited to read our advice column “What Happened Was…” because he was amazed at what people got themselves into.

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

Hyldebrandt: Immerse yourself in the community and seek out every nook and cranny. We have so many facets, and they all need to be recognized and explored. The worst thing you can do is to make one mold and stick to it – that’s not who we are!

PRESSING QUESTIONS
Volume 20
Issue 11