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#GayMediaSoWhite

When I started San Diego LGBT Weekly there were many in the community that offered their sage advice. One of those phrases of wisdom was “if you put anything other than a young white man on the cover, the number of people picking up your magazine will decrease.” I was horrified that people thought they should express this reality. I am an African American gay man who was the former national co-chair of the 2008 Obama Campaign LGBT Leadership Council and owner of LGBT Weekly. Yet, these well intentioned people thought they were helping me by telling me to avoid putting people who looked like me on the cover.

Over the last week there has been a controversy about the lack of people of color on the covers of national LGBT magazines creating the hashtag #GayMediaSoWhite. In particular, OUT and Advocate. The nation has caught up with what LGBT Weekly has known all along, the representation of our community on magazine covers and Web sites is still exclusively the purview of young white males. I am proud to say that LGBT Weekly broke the mold in San Diego.

From June 2011 through May 2016, 15 percent of OUT’s covers have featured people of color (POC) and 10 percent LGBT POC. The Advocate fared better with 23 percent POC on the cover but it should be noted that a cover with four POC was counted four times. Essentially, the analysis counted every person on a cover.

LGBT Weekly has featured 32 POC on its cover for an overall percentage of 23 percent. Of course, we eliminated any covers that were composites of the community with POC in the mix. We only looked at the single imagery that is LGBT Weekly’s brand. If LGBT Weekly counted in the same way as the analysis of the Advocate, our representation of POC on our covers would be significantly higher.

What’s the point? LGBT Weekly is the most honored LGBT publication in San Diego’s history. LGBT Weekly is also the publication which has featured the most POC and trans people on the cover. People read LGBT Weekly because of its content. While the cover is our “lobby,” all types of people come through our lobby each year. Each one of these customers is as important as the other.

That’s why we featured the first transgender woman in San Diego history on our cover. Transgender – not a drag queen. And while transgender issues are trending in the news media right now, LGBT Weekly is the only LGBT publication that had from its launch in 2010 and continues to have a trans column in every issue.

We also cater to the senior LGBT community in every issue, which few if any other LGBT publications do, recognizing the need to provide content “For [LGBT] seniors and those who will be.”

Yes, I am celebrating LGBT Weekly’s commitment to representing the entire community; young, old, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Native American, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, rich and poor. At LGBT Weekly we don’t discriminate. How about the other publications and Web sites you read?



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=69718

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016. Filed under Around the Nation, Editorial, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Comments for “#GayMediaSoWhite”

  1. what a load of crap this article is. Ever since the 70s. There have been his Spanish blocks like trannies on the covers of Frontier The Advocate and other media. The gay community is its worst nightmare as far as prejudice. I’m actually embarrassed many times to be a gay man. Because of the amount of heat within our community on each other. Stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for ourselves

  2. I always thought quality content was the goal of any publication.
    The injection of race into every aspect of our lives only drives a wedge into race relations. Perhaps I was mistaken; the marketplace of ideas apparently has no place for the highest quality of talent but must become a pool of mediocrity instead of a wellspring of fresh ideas and quality journalism.

    Maybe I set my expectations too high

    Liz

  3. Both of you are wrong. There should be acknowledgement of the simple fact that the light community is not some bland homogeneous mix and like it or not, race is included in all we do and say. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. And personally as a black gay male, I feel that the author is on point. There are a myriad of activists and leaders in our community who get ignored because they are of color rather than white.

  4. Liz,

    The “quality” of content in a publication should not be affected by the inclusion of “diversity” in its content. Why are you making this assumption? Additionally, as a man of color I should expect to see representation of POC in media. Why should I not?

    • Diversity at the expense of quality is always wrong.
      With that said I’m not making any assumptions; in the marketplace of ideas, and entertainment race doesn’t matter, the good ideas, the good content always make it to the spotlight.

      Maybe someone should call for more conservative straight content in LGBT publications, after all I am led to believe it’s all about diversity, isn’t it?

      Liz

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