Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

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

DALLAS VOICE celebrated its 33rd anniversary with a special anniversary edition on May 12, 2017.

DBQ MAGAZINE (DAVID BRIDGEFORTH QUARTERLY), based in New York, N.Y., entered its seventh year of publication with its Spring 2017 issue.

COMPETE, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., published its 11th annual swimsuit issue in April 2017.

MICHAEL KIMMEL, a columnist with GAY SAN DIEGO, is scheduled to release his first published book, “The Gay Man’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage,” on June 8, 2017. He has written the newspaper’s “Life Beyond Therapy” column since November 2010.

MARC MALKIN, longtime E! News reporter, is the recipient of the 2017 LISA BEN Award for Achievement in Features Coverage from NLGJA - The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He will accept the award at NLGJA’s annual L.A. Exclusive benefit event in Los Angeles on June 20. The award for is presented each year to a journalist whose body of work is distinguished by insight and impact through engaging features on LGBTQ individuals, the LGBTQ community or LGBTQ issues. The award is named for the pseudonym EDITH EYDE used for her pioneering publication, VICE VERSA. Eyde was the inaugural recipient of the award, and past winners have included ADVOCATE Editorial Director DIANE ANDERSON-MINSHALL and OUTSPORTS.COM Co-Founder CYD ZEIGLER. Malkin launched his celebrity journalism career more than 20 years ago at PREMIERE magazine, but began his career at Boston-based BAY WINDOWS.

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS has received seven Keystone SPJ awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. They include Best Overall Newspaper, Editorial (first place, JEN COLLETTA); Commentary (third place, MARK SEGAL); Spot News Story (first place, JEN COLLETTA, PAIGE COOPERSTEIN, LARRY NICHOLS, SCOTT A. DRAKE, MARK SEGAL); Spot News Story (second place, JEN COLLETTA, PAIGE COOPERSTEIN), Tabloid Page Design (first place, SEAN DORN, SCOTT A. DRAKE); and Online Breaking News (first place).
SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., launched its first of what it plans to be monthly social and networking mixers on April 20, 2017, at the Bull Market Bar in Fort Lauderdale.

MELVIN WILSON, a longtime LGBT activist in Chicago and suburban Oak Park as well as a one-time writer for WINDY CITY TIMES in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, died  on May 20, 2017, after a long battle with severe pulmonary disease. He was 74.

WINDY CITY TIMES, based in Chicago, has published a 124-page visitor’s guide to the city, called “The 2017 OUT! Chicago and Illinois LGBTQ Visitor’s Guide.” The guide is distributed throughout Illinois, and is available as a free download on the Windy City Times website: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/TravelGuideFrontpage/current.pdf . U.S. visitors can also request a free copy to be mailed to them, on a limited basis, by emailing editor@windycitymediagroup.com with the full name and mailing address for the copy to be mailed.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 19
Issue 2

South Florida website launches print publication

by Joe Siegel

OutClique, a glossy monthly LGBT publication based in Miami, began life as a website three years ago.

Steven Evans, the CEO and editor in chief, along with Darren Loll, chief information officer, came up with the concept for the magazine.
Evans said there wasn’t a publication which was covering the large variety of LGBT events in South Florida.

“There were so many things to do but they were scattered all over the Internet,” Evans explained. “We started the website to get all the gay and gay-friendly events in one place.”

OutClique was designed to allow readers to network with each other at the events, Evans noted.

In fact, while the publication has gone into print, the magazine is holding onto its online platforms and features. “The magazine will complement our current suite of digital resources,” Evans wrote in the premiere issue, dated December 2016. “Our website (www.OutClique.org) currently lists all the gay and gay-friendly events and businesses. You can also chat with other users, comment on articles, and view photos of past events. The OutClique mobile app for iPhone and Android functions much like the website, but for your phone on the go.”

The first issue also included a welcome message from Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick.

Although South Florida has several LGBT publications, Evans said all the other magazines were weekly, so there was an opening for a monthly magazine in the marketplace.

Evans had never worked in publishing before. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration with an emphasis on medical education.

As for the process of coming up with a name for the publication, Evans said that was a challenge.

“We spent three months trying to find something that was unique,” Evans said. “We’re putting a new spin on the word ‘clique’ — it’s a group of people who like to do things together. We do a lot of photography so a ‘click’ is the sound a camera makes and it’s also the sound a ‘mouse’ makes so it’s a triple entendre.”

OutClique features stories on health and fitness, travel, and celebrity interviews. “All of our content is original,” Evans said. “It’s a good blend of lifestyle and entertainment.”

As far as the plethora of other LGBT publications in the region, Evans said OutClique has a good relationship with the other publications. “We see ourselves as complimentary and not competitive.”

TOP STORY
Volume 19
Issue 2

Rhode Island’s Options Celebrates 35 Years

by Joe Siegel

Options, Rhode Island’s longest running LGBT publication, is marking its 35th anniversary. To celebrate, the publication put on a gala celebration in downtown Providence on May 20, 2017.

The publication has undergone many changes through the years, starting as a newsletter produced in conjunction with AIDS Care Ocean State and evolving into a glossy monthly magazine. “The dedication of our volunteers is the only reason Options has survived,” Kyle McKendall, the publication’s executive director, said while mingling with writers, readers and other supporters.

McKendall said that Options has been a reflection of the LGBT community’s evolution, beginning in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic, the battle for civil rights in the 1990s, and the fight for marriage equality in the early 21st century.

He noted, however, that it remains a challenge for Options to meet the needs of readers and advertisers when the staff is all volunteers. He said the volunteers who write, proofread, and distribute Options all over the state are the magazine’s “lifeline.”

Lee McDaniel, a longtime LGBT activist, said Options is special because the community it serves is small and tight-knit. “It’s a family publication,” McDaniel said. “We see pictures and stories that document our lives.”

McDaniel said Options kept him in touch with Rhode Island’s LGBT community when he returned to his home state of Missouri after graduating from Brown University, located in Providence.

Options also provides a comprehensive listing of every social and religious group for LGBTs in the state, McDaniel added.

Joan Prendergast, who was on Options’ first board of directors, acknowledged the challenges of keeping the publication going and said it serves a purpose. “It’s important for young people to have a voice,” Prendergast said

Options is “more relevant to what’s going in the community and the country,” said Marc Gauthier, noting its coverage of national news stories.
Gauthier also noted Options is “more welcoming” to the straight community. The magazine can be picked up in coffee shops, cafes, and libraries in addition to gay bars.

And most importantly, Options readers believe it provides a mirror of LGBT life. “It lets us know we’re here,” Gauthier added.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 19
Issue 2

PRESSING QUESTIONS: The Rainbow Times of Boston

Interview with: Publisher Gricel M. Ocasio and Editor in Chief Nicole C. Lashomb, the publication’s co-founders
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: New England

Year founded: 2006, but the first print issue was published in February 2007

Staff size and breakdown (writers, editors, designers, etc.): The team is composed of an assistant editor, nine writers, four photographers, an advertising manager, and a website manager

Physical dimensions of publication: 10.75” x 12.125”

Average page count: 24
Key demographics: 35.9 percent are ages 18-24; 39.9 percent are 35-54; 24.2 percent are 55-plus. Sixty percent of our readers are male and 40 percent female. 77.3% are white/non-hispanic and 23.7% are people of color. 

Print run: 25,000

Website: www.therainbowtimesmass.com

*****

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

Publisher Gricel M. Ocasio: The feature stories that have been the most popular with our readers are those that pertain and expose social justice issues, particularly dealing with the intersectionality of our identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and so on. An example of a popular piece is the solitary confinement story in relation to how members of the LGBTQ community are treated while imprisoned. Another series that was well received was our "Beauty Beyond the Binary" two-part series, which explored transgender and non-binary identities and the courageous contention that beauty cannot be limited to binary identities and traditional, cisgender, heteronormative standards.

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

Editor in Chief Nicole C. Lashomb: Part of the mission of The Rainbow Times is to bridge the gaps of understanding and acceptance between the mainstream and LGBTQ community. The concept behind The Rainbow Times was to combine something traditional (the word "Times") with something obviously representative of the LGBTQ community. Another angle we, Gricel and I, considered the idea of integrating the current times reflecting the LGBTQ community. We drafted the mission statement on a napkin at a local coffee shop in Amherst, Mass., in October 2006.

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

Lashomb:The publication's first issue launched in February 2007. From its inception, we started to receive physical threats against us and our staff for publishing The Rainbow Times. That has continued throughout the last decade, unfortunately. However, those events did not and do not censor or deter us from the work we do.

Ocasio: Unfortunately, homophobia and vandalism of our property that led to the explosives placed in one of our newspaper boxes was one of the main challenges we faced lately. That wasn't just a TRT challenge, but a community-wide challenge. All of it led to a positive outpouring of support and solidarity. (See http://presspassq.blogspot.ca/2016/09/new-england-newspaper-box-destroyed-by.html).

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is The Rainbow Times facing now?

Ocasio: With journalism being an ever-evolving field, we are continually seeking graduates of journalism programs to write for the publication. That is not to say that there are no journalists out there, but that we are looking for LGBTQ and allied journalists who are willing to work for a gay publication. We have found people interested to write for us, but who are concerned about how writing for an LGBTQ publication could affect them professionally in the future.

PPQ: How has The Rainbow Times changed since it was first launched?

Lashomb: We changed our original traditional monthly newspaper layout to more of a tabloid newsmagazine feel. In addition, we first launched the publication in western Massachusetts and had intended it to stay there. However, in 2009 we expanded to Boston and eastern New England. By 2012, our headquarters were in Boston.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Ocasio: I'd like to expand the Spanish-language section since the LatinX LGBTQ community is grossly underserved.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories The Rainbow Times has covered?

Lashomb: It would be the halting of the Boston Pride parade in 2015 by the #WickedPissed activists. The story went viral and we hit 11K social media shares in less than two days. It literally crashed our server. (See http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/wickedpissed-activists-disrupt-boston-pride-parade-to-bring-awareness-to-trans-women-of-color-and-lgbtq-communities-of-color/).

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

Ocasio: Yes, I do. As the publisher of The Rainbow Times, I oversee all of the coverage, including the angles of each story. As an objective publication, we pride ourselves on exposing the political, exclusive and discriminatory actions from those in power, while exalting the work of others who have made our community safer, more inclusive and who fight the good fight everyday.

Lashomb: Yes, I do. When I have the opportunity to write for The Rainbow Times, my stories are rarely focused on hard news. Instead, my passion is to give a voice to those who are often silenced. This includes covering controversial topics such as the LGBTQ immigrant community, Black Lives Matter, voter suppression, gender inequity and more.

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

Ocasio: Someone came to me at one of the Pride parade celebrations and said that The Rainbow Times had saved her life. She told me the story of how she took the newspaper to her therapist's office and how she discussed the transgender stories found within. She said that at a moment when there was practically nothing out there for her where she lived, she had The Rainbow Times and that it brought her sanity.

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

Lashomb: Never forget the community that you serve. This includes all of the sub-cultures that exist within the LGBTQ community.

Ocasio: A degree in journalism and gaining experience working in the field, while you establish a deeper knowledge of all aspects of the business, are crucial to being able to run an operation of this type and to knowing how each one of one of the pieces fit together.

PRESSING QUESTIONS
Volume 19
Issue 2