Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gay Star News shutters due to Brexit, economic woes

by Joe Siegel

Popular U.K.-based website Gay Star News has ceased operations.

“We entered 2019 with every reason to be confident we were going to have a strong year,” wrote Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn, who founded the publication in 2011. “But as the year progressed, decisions have been delayed and projects people had committed to do with us have fallen flat.”

Tris Reid Smith (left) and Scott Nunn
Readers and supporters of the publication have reportedly expressed their dismay to the founders. “As we said, the news broke before we could tell it. But since then we have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of positivity and love for Gay Star News and the people who have created it,” said Reid-Smith and Nunn. “People who have every reason to be angry or disappointed have responded with love and compassion. There have been a lot of hugs and a lot of tears.”

Political upheaval in the United Kingdom was one of the contributing factors to the publication’s financial difficulties. “There are a number of reasons, of course. But the biggest change was the level of confidence brands and businesses in the U.K. have, due to the uncertainty over Brexit. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that many media organizations are struggling with the same problem.”

Reid-Smith and Nunn went on to express their dismay with how some businesses recognize LGBTQ Pride. “Brands which are wishing to ‘do’ LGBTI work are increasingly doing so in a tokenistic way. Rather than working with us to engage and serve LGBTI people year round, many have chosen to ‘rainbow wash.’ They have turned their logo rainbow colored for Pride week or month and – at best – made a small donation to an LGBTI good cause. Worst still, we have learned that some brands have done this while at the same time funding anti-LGBTI politicians to the tune of millions of dollars. Tokenism has reached a new low.”

Given the bad news, Reid-Smith and Nunn do not want readers to believe Gay Star News is shutting down due to lack of readership. “To avoid any doubt, our problem has been entirely financial. By all the statistics, Gay Star News is now more widely read, watched and loved by the international LGBTI audience than ever. It is a sad paradox that our popularity has not transferred into our survival. We are convinced we are closing at a time when more people want and need what we offer than ever before.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 21
Issue 5

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