PRESS PASS Q
A Newsletter and Trade Publication for the LGBT Media Professional

FEBRUARY 2012 [Vol. 13, No. 11)
A Publication of Rivendell Media

Celebrating 12 years of serving our community of journalists

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Top Story: Primary reporting: Covering the GOP presidential race offers challenges and insights for LGBT media
In The News: Another LGBT paper, this time in Oregon, falls victim to the economy; 35-year-old Out Front Colorado sold; Chicago’s Windy City Times now on the digital Newsstand
Guest Commentary: Tips for LGBT media survival in a new media world
Pressing Questions: will return next month
Letters to the Editor: Marriage equality vs. same-sex marriage
Transitions and Milestones
Bulletin Board
Staff
Contributors to This Issue
Contact Us

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TOP STORY: Primary reporting: Covering the GOP presidential race offers challenges and insights for LGBT media
by Chuck Colbert

Following the story of the Republican presidential primary race this year has meant LGBT media sending reporters to early contest states like Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida. And the reporters that went came away with a better understanding of what is happening on the ground.

First off, “the gay community is much more ideologically diverse than some people would like to admit,” said Kevin Naff, editor of the Washington Blade, based in the nation’s capital.

Even with unprecedented gains in LGBT rights at the federal level, “There are working-class gay and lesbian people who are voting Republican in this election, and they have their reasons,” he said. “It’s just as important to cover those viewpoints as it is to cover the other side.”

In a first for the Blade, the publication dispatched reporter Chris Johnson not only to Iowa for that state’s January 3 caucuses, but also to New Hampshire for the first- in-the-nation primary, held January 10. Photographer Michael Key also traveled to the Granite State. And veteran journalist and senior news reporter Lou Chibbaro Jr. traveled to Florida, where he reported lopsided support at an informal “cocktail caucus” among Log Cabin Republicans for Mitt Romney.

“Gay Republicans, you don't get that reporting from mainstream media," said Bob Witeck, chief executive officer of Witeck Communications, Inc., when asked about LGBT media's contribution to coverage of the 2012 presidential contest.

Gay media also reported on Romney’s income tax returns, which showed substantial contributions to anti-gay groups and the Mormon Church, a fierce opponent of marriage equality.

And LGBT bloggers captured in videos and photos the “glitter bombing” of GOP candidates and face-to-face confrontations of presidential contenders about gay rights and their opposition to marriage equality.

“It’s important to get out of the bubble of Washington and urban areas where gays are pretty well accepted,” said Naff, referring to the media outlet’s commitment of resources for an on-the-ground presence in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida.

“We forget what life is like for LGBT people who do not live in places where there are protective laws and supportive politicians,” he said. “We thought it would be a good use of our resources to hear stories from people in those places.”

Naff said journalists can’t truly cover the race while staying in Washington. "You have to get out from behind the desk and travel to places like rural Iowa and New Hampshire to talk to people in person, asking them why they are supporting Republicans and what issues are important to them."

Accordingly, reporters Chibbaro and Johnson were tasked with reporting hard news, as well as telling stories about gay residents to give otherwise “dry political [coverage]” a “local flavor,” said Naff.

The Blade was not alone in having reporters on the ground. EDGE Media Network sent national news editor Michael K. Lavers, a Manchester, N.H., native to the Granite State. The Advocate’s Washington correspondent and news director Andrew Harmon also reported from New Hampshire. And Keen News Service provided extensive reporting of the GOP presidential debates.

LGBT voters, it seems, are not at all unlike others.

“The takeaway issue is that gay voters are concerned about many of the same pocketbook issues that are on the minds of most Americans, jobs and the economy, or getting out of the war in Afghanistan,” said Lavers. “Marriage and equality also come up.” [Lavers is also a contributing writer for Press Pass Q.)

Editor Naff agrees economic concerns are paramount. “The theme that we see is the economy,” he said. “It impacts LGBT people in unique and disproportionate ways, and those concerns are at the forefront of the minds of voters we have been talking to.”

“What was striking was the similarities, the theme of looking past LGBT issues to focus on broader economic issues. It was a recurring theme in talking to people who were themselves unemployed or looking to the Republicans to find solutions,” Naff added.

With this bad-economy-trumps-gay-rights theme, some voters voiced willingness to defer self-interest in equality for economics. One Iowa gay man, Bryan Pulda, went so far as to tell reporter Johnson, “I would find it almost selfish for me to go and say, ‘I vote for this person simply because they want same-sex marriage.’ There are so many more problems in this country affecting more people than just me.”

His quote prompted a rebuke on the Blade’s website. “As far as Bryan Pulda’s ‘selfish’ comment: I would like to know his thoughts on women’s suffrage or the civil rights movement,” a reader asked, adding, “Was Martin Luther King ‘selfish’ for demanding equal treatment of blacks when there were ‘so many more problems affecting so many more people?’”

Dismay over the economy notwithstanding, gay voters express overall satisfaction with the way President Obama has handled LGBT issues, said Naff.

“They say he has done a good job supporting gay-rights issues and delivering on his campaign promises,” he said, referring to repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," passage of hate-crimes legislation, and the president's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in legal proceedings.

And yet for all the focus on the economy and jobs, same-sex marriage was at play in New Hampshire. Lavers, who spent four days there following former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, said he was “surprised to see how the issue played with gay voters” and “how it made its way into the national media.”

At town hall forums and during presidential debates, Santorum was pressed by media and voters repeatedly about his strong opposition to equal marriage rights.

Over the years, Santorum has equated gay couples’ desire to marry to adultery, incest, and polygamy.

Same-sex marriage is not an abstraction in the Granite State, where it has been legal for two years. A unanimous state Supreme Court decision in Iowa legalized marriage for gays there in 2009.

After a contentious debate at Saint Anselm College, Lavers asked Santorum why he thinks voters continue to challenge him on marriage.

“Without skipping a beat,” Lavers recalled, Santorum told him, “Obviously, folks disagree.” But Santorum went on to say, “Folks are having an honest and respectful discussion about the issue.”

The discussion of same-sex marriage in New Hampshire also played out against a backdrop of the state Legislature, where Republican lawmakers have proposed repealing marriage equality, although the governor has said he would veto any repeal measure.

Interestingly, Lavers said, “I found increasingly that Santorum’s supporters were trying to deflect attention away from some of the horrible things he has said previously.”

“There has been quite a shift in tone,” said Lavers. “Santorum does not support gay marriage, but now says he respects gay people, thinks they should have dignity, and shouldn’t suffer discrimination.”

What might a change in tone mean? One explanation: “Anti-gay politics is not a winning message for this election cycle,” Lavers said.

What’s more, with Romney’s early wins, said Lisa Keen of Keen News Service, “It appears Republican voters might be more willing to accept a candidate who states emphatically that he is against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but they are not ready to consider marriage equality.”

Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal agrees, going even further. “The handwriting is on the wall, and Republicans see the inevitable. Americans are tired of them trashing the gay community,” he wrote in a recent column.

“The frontrunner has drawn a new line in the sand: We believe in nondiscrimination up to the issue of marriage,” continued Segal, referring to Mitt Romney’s comments during a New Hampshire debate, when the former Massachusetts governor said in effect the only difference he has with the gay community is over the definition of marriage as solely the union of a man and a woman.

“So enjoy the next few months and watch the dying gasps of the anti-equality Republican rhetoric, since this is the last presidential race you’ll hear it,” Segal concluded. “They won’t go quietly, but Romney’s statements, if he’s nominated, make that change inevitable.”

Segal also had choice words for Santorum, who he said in another column is “like George Wallace, the last proud racist to run for president. For Santorum, he’ll be the last proud homophobe to run for president.”

Still, the Blade’s Naff remains unconvinced of a kinder gentler GOP presidential nominee. “The main thing to keep in mind,” he said, “is their top candidates [Newt Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum] have signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage [NOM), the most draconian thing, supporting a federal constitutional amendment restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.”

“They also support establishing a [presidential] commission on religious liberty,” said Naff, which would investigate reports of harassment or threats against citizens in exercising their civil rights by advocating state ballot measures to ban marriage for same-sex couples.

NOM’s pledge “is much more than an amendment. It’s as bad as it gets,” Naff said. “The candidates’ language may have changed, but you have to look at what they’ve promised to do and signed their names to.”



IN THE NEWS: Another LGBT paper, this time in Oregon, falls victim to the economy

Portland, Oregon-based Just Out is the latest in a long line of LGBT publications to have folded due to the poor economic climate.

The publication has served Portland's LGBT community since 1983. The notice posted on Just Out's website December 28 stated simply, “Three years of recession have taken their toll."

Publisher Marty Davis confirmed the closure in an email to The Oregonian: "Just Out has closed its doors and shut down its computers." She said in a follow-up email that there are no plans to continue online.

The publication was free and published twice a month. Its editorial board famously called for the resignation of openly gay Portland Mayor Sam Adams in 2009 after the mayor lied about a relationship with legislative intern Beau Breedlove.

Writer Daniel Borgen posted his thoughts about Just Out's demise: “The outpouring of support from readers has been pretty overwhelming and, for the most part, incredibly positive. Major news outlets have managed to sum up Just Out in a handful of words, but, as usual, the readers who relied on and loved the paper have said much more – in emails, Facebook messages, phone calls. Lifelines.”

“Right now, the end of Just Out feels like a divorce, or even a death – there’s a big gaping chasm, a void that’s going to be incredibly tough to fill. The people who came together to make this paper week in and week out worked hard. Every two weeks, all of this effort turned into the creation of something – a tangible thing that came from nothing, put out there for all the world to see,” Borgen added.

Readers expressed their condolences in response to Borgen's post on the newspaper’s website.

One reader, using the name Frantasm, wrote: “I may not have always loved Just Out but I always was grateful it was here. Just Out gave me my first chance to publish an article and for that I’ll always be grateful. Just Out helped me meet a girl or two back when folks actually read the personals in the paper. Just Out gave me a place to keep up with the goings on in our queer community, and that service was invaluable. May Portland’s LGBTQ voice continue to speak and may the staff of Just Out continue to be fabulous!”

A Just Out founder, Renee LaChance, wrote: “Jay Brown and I started Just Out in 1983 to get the word out that queers were people too, and that it was okay to be gay. We felt to come out was the most radical act a queer person could take, and it was the only way the mainstream would begin to accept us and fulfill our rights as human beings. Jay always said when the Oregonian started printing queer news that Just Out wouldn’t be needed anymore. At the time we laughed because it seemed so unlikely – yet, here we are. I think Jay would admit he was wrong. We still need to tell our stories our way.”

— Joe Siegel

35-year-old Out Front Colorado sold

Out Front Colorado [OFC), the second oldest continuously running, independently owned and operated LGBT publication in the nation, has been sold. The new owner is Transformation Communication Group [TCG).

News of the publication’s sale came on Jan. 18 in a posting on the publication’s website after weeks of rumors about OFC’s future. The Denver Post reported the news the next day. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

“We are beyond thrilled about this acquisition,” said Jerry Cunningham, president and chief executive officer of TCG, on the publication’s website. “Our commitment is to continue the operation with the same integrity, local focus, and quality expressed in the credo that appeared in very first edition of OFC.”

New ownership of the Denver-based OFC resulted from former owners Greg Montoya and Jay Klein selling OFC’s parent company, Q Publishing, to TCG, which is owned by Denver native Cunningham and JC McDonald, his partner in life and business.

“We have had such an amazing run with OFC and developed such a profound responsibility to the GLBT community over the past few decades,” said Montoya, according to a Jan. 18 OFC website posting.

Even with the sale, Q Publishing is still in business and maintains its existing relationships and contracts with its partners.

A new leadership team took over on Jan. 23, with Cunningham serving as owner/publisher and McDonald as vice president/director of distribution.

Nic Garcia, formerly OFC’s senior managing editor, is now associate publisher. And former managing editor Holly Hatch now serves as executive editor.

Jeff Swain has been named creative director/editor in chief, with Sara Decker named deputy art director, along with Ryan Cross as senior marketing executive and Matthew Pizzuti as junior editor. Montoya and Klein are listed as executive advisers.

The first print edition of the new OFC hit newsstands on Feb. 1, with a cover story about the future outlook of the publication.

The Frequently Asked Questions section on OFC’s website provides additional information about what to expect under new ownership:

“Out Front Colorado will continue to be a source of news and commentary from and for Colorado’s LGBT community – most of Out Front Colorado’s most popular features, resources and writers are still here.

“Additionally, Out Front Colorado plans to widen its pool of contributors to bring in new intelligent and diverse voices, and expand its platform to become a full multi-media organization and central voice for Colorado’s LGBT community.

“Look to Out Front Colorado for emerging opportunities to partner with, learn from, and engage with the community in the coming months.”

Last spring, OFC celebrated its 35th anniversary. The biweeklky’s15,000-copy print run is distributed free of charge statewide and throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Under new ownership, the publication will maintain “a similar distribution pattern,” including “local community centers, retail locations and bars.” OFC’s website will also provide fresh content and a digital edition of the printed publication.

In other developments, the new OFC will contribute 10 percent of net revenues to nonprofit organizations that serve and support the local community.

And OFC says it will not be “selling ads.” Rather, the publication “will be enrolling brands in the power and value of our LGBT community.”

In looking forward, publisher Cunningham said in the Feb. 1 issue, “The next 35 years will see changes in our culture and world none of us can imagine, and our commitment is to be fully present and provide a powerful multi-channel communications platform for the LGBT community and to share, connect, grow and act.”

For her part, executive editor Hatch said, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to work under Cunningham’s umbrella. The staff and I are astounded at the inspiration and zest we suddenly have for our jobs. It is as if a much- needed fresh breath has entered the legacy of OFC and into the employees who will continue to give it all we’ve got. We believe that OFC holds a historical legacy to create change, protest and mark our stories of struggle and victory through our published pages and online media platforms.”

— Chuck Colbert

Chicago’s Windy City Times now on the digital Newsstand

The publisher and executive editor of Chicago’s only weekly LGBT publication had her eye on Apple Newsstand since its October 2011 launch.

“When [Apple] announced it last fall, I was ecstatic because that leveled the playing field for traditional print media,” said Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times.

“We already had a general news app for iPhone and iPad for about a year and half,” she explained. But with Newsstand, “it’s no longer an application locked in the universe. Now you could actually be with other publications in an environment already done for books, but this was for newspapers and magazines,” Baim said.

Voilà. In a January 11 press statement, Windy City Times announced it would offer the publication through the Apple iPad Newsstand. Users can download the app for Windy City Times News, and it will automatically show up in their Newsstand.

The newspaper is a free subscription, which includes a full print version of the weekly paper, as well as daily headlines and category sorting, available through the innovative new Apple system.

Newsstand serves as a hub for subscription-based digital publications, with more than 1,400 publications participating so far. Newsstand provides a portal enabling users to pick which publications' apps they want to read daily. The apps are automatically downloaded in the background to users' tablets and smartphones. Some are paid; some are free.

The addition of the Newsstand product parallels Windy City Media Group’s [WCMG) redesign of its company website, http://www.windycitymediagroup.com, to further enhance the daily breaking news and features that complement the weekly publication, biweekly Nightspots bar magazine, and weekly Windy City Queercast, a podcast produced by WCMG.

“This redesign was done by our amazing long-term web developer, Martie Marro of LoveYourWebsite.com,” said Baim. “For the last several years, Marro has been moving our design in a daily news direction, integrating our weekly print visibility needs with the daily needs of our readers and advertisers. This new design, with a focus on categories of news and entertainment, will make it easy for people to find the information they need.”

“The redesigned web page was meant to give it a more category, daily-based feel,” Baim said. “Not that we weren’t putting breaking news items up every day, but this way readers can sort and look for content by categories,” such as local news, entertainment and obituaries.

Sorting by category is possible through both the iPad Newsstand or the website.

“It feels like the weekly print publication and has a life of its own online in a different way," she said.

Baim said it took Marro, who designed the last app, about six weeks to get the new app up and ready to go. “We already do a PDF of our paper every week online,” she said. “So it was an easy way for the program to pull the new one every Wednesday morning.”

WCMG, which has been an Apple-product based company going back to 1987, is also among the first LGBT media using the Apple Newsstand technology.

Stateside, Instinct and Lavender magazines are available on Newsstand. Across the pond, Gay Times of England and Out Magazine of London are also available.

For all media companies, innovation is key to better serving a sophisticated audience of web-smart early adopters, Baim said, adding that representatives of other publications have contacted her expressing interest in Newsstand.

With Newsstand, Baim said, “gay papers are just as much on a level playing field as any other publications that are on there. I think it is important for us to be there, too.”

— Chuck Colbert



GUEST COMMENTARY: Tips for LGBT media survival in a new media world
by Tracy Baim

[Tracy Baim is co-founder and publisher of Chicago-based Windy City Times. The following essay originally appeared on Huffington Post.)

For all media companies, innovation is key to better serving a sophisticated audience of web-smart early adopters. Alternative or "niche" media, including LGBT newspapers, are not immune to the dual tsunamis of a down economy and changing media landscape.

When I was 10 years old, in 1973, the first newsletters I produced were for family and friends, and they were handwritten. I soon graduated to my mom's IBM Selectric typewriter, and when I was at Lane Tech High School, I used the Linotype hot-lead-based mega-machines, and have the burn scars to prove it. We even learned handset type techniques, which helped me discover fonts truly hands-on, enough to satisfy any typesetting geek.

While I was in school, the age of phototypesetting machines dawned, including the Mergenthaler and Compugraphic models. I also went with my mom to the plant that printed the Chicago Daily Defender newspaper, and helped paste up the layouts.

I have been lucky to have seen pretty much every aspect of the process of making newspapers over the decades. While I always wanted to be a journalist, I found the process of producing the newspapers just as interesting as the writing, photographing and editing. And this helped me cobble together an early professional career both as a typesetter and a journalist, because I knew how to operate these complicated phototypesetting machines. I worked typesetting late at night to help pay for college, and my first jobs after graduation combined writing and typesetting.

Having multiple skill sets and learning new technology as it develops – these are still the keys to staying ahead of the curve in the changing media landscape. This is true whether you are the mega-giant New York Times, or niche media serving the LGBT communities.

The niche media we serve at Windy City Times is LGBT. We started in 1985 in the time of phototypesetting. When I left in 1987 to start Outlines newspaper, we made the leap to the new Macintosh 512K by Apple. We were among the first in the country to use these machines to produce a weekly newspaper – because we were a new company, it made sense to adopt new technology. We also were among the first papers ever to use QuarkXPress, because they, too, were founded in 1987.

By 2000, when I purchased Windy City Times and merged the publications, we were already five years into our use of the "World Wide Web." We went online with all our content because, as a free print publication, we were never threatened by the free nature of the Internet. In fact, I found it a great enhancement, allowing us to have additional content online, quicker and more comprehensive than print space allowed. And it was searchable for research.

Fast forward to 2012, and many niche and mainstream media are struggling. LGBT print media is not immune, even though we serve a traditionally solid demographic group. So I feel fortunate to be able to still do what I love, and I am excited about the changing ways we reach our readers. Most recently, we launched as one of the first few LGBT print media on the Apple iPad Newsstand [see story above).

There are no easy steps to keep a niche media company thriving, and every situation is different. And for sure we have made a lot of mistakes along the way. But here are a few examples of changes and innovations we have made to keep serving our community's media needs:

  1. Cut Overhead. In 2008, we went to a virtual office, allowing our employees to work on the road, or from home, with appropriate technology support. You need a strong team, but for a newspaper company, this is an obvious cost savings.
  2. Free is Good. There is a trend to try and put content behind paywalls. This may work for massive companies, or ones with a niche no one else can reach. But for most alternative media, a paywall will only separate you from your readers.
  3. Get Out There. We do community events to help supplement income and stay in touch with the community, but we do only a few key events a year. Some are free for marketing purposes, others are geared to raise funds. But they have to be natural add-ons to our mission, and be low risk. We also donate a large amount of advertising to non-profits, because it is the right thing to do, not because it is profitable.
  4. Technology Is Your Friend. The benefit of being a niche media company is that we don't need focus groups or a year of planning to adopt and adapt to changes. We can launch a new design or new product in weeks.
  5. Reach Out For Help. Use great outside consultants for technology, legal and accounting. We outsource in key areas, for example to Love Your Website for web development, to keep our focus on our core employee skills. This also gives us consistency because turnover in those areas can cause big problems.
  6. Teamwork Works. Some of your competitors are out to kill you, while others actually may share your mission and can work with you in your market. We frequently co-sponsor events with other LGBT media, print and online, and sometimes meet to discuss long-term community issues, partnerships and concerns. Not everyone wants this collaboration – and you have to be careful who you partner with – but we have seen a nice synergy with some other media, including ChicagoPride.com and Grab. And we are hoping to work with newer media as well – but only if they play well in the sandbox.
  7. Know It All. Don't be a know-it-all, but know every aspect of the business. This may seem obvious, but it's actually not easy to really understand every part of doing a newspaper without doing it. I have done delivery routes, taken photos at midnight at a leather bar, designed pages, written and edited, done sales, worked the door at our events, traveled to conferences, and whatever else I would expect anyone else to do. Especially by doing delivery, in the snow or rain, at all hours, I can appreciate the hard work of our team.
  8. Re-Purpose. We have more than 26 years of content we can use in many ways, not just in print and online, but in collaboration with researchers, students, filmmakers, artists, authors and more. We do ancillary products such as books to enhance our brand. These usually are not money- makers, but they can cement the bond with readers, and show your advertisers you know your niche.
  9. Be There. As publisher, I post very frequently on Facebook, both personally and through our WCMG Facebook page and Twitter. This creates a high expectation of inter- activity with readers, but it does pay off. We can track how many people enter our website through social media, and it's a very significant number. I can also learn a lot about what stories are of most interest.
  10. Creative Concepts. While our main core business is supported by advertising, we also seek grant funding for special editorial projects. In 2010, we received a Chicago Community Trust Community News Matters Local Reporting Award to supplement a 10-month AIDS @ 30 reporting project. It helped fund writers for the almost 200 advertising-free pages of stories we published in this series.
  11. Publish Elsewhere. In 2010, I realized that even though I had written thousands of articles over almost three decades, most were in my own publications. I also saw a dearth of women's voices in mainstream media, and attended a wonderful seminar by the innovative women behind The OpEd Project. They really motivated me to pitch stories to other outlets, and I soon began to blog on Firedoglake and Huffington Post. I don't post all the time, since I do have my own paper to produce, but I find it rewarding to expand the audience for my stories and essays. And it adds to our visibility online.
  12. Share. A lot of media are upset at sites that aggregate. That horse left the barn a long time ago. I only fight back against those who steal whole stories and images. Sites like Huffington Post link back to our site after using a small amount of our material. This is a good thing. We seek it out.
Finally, even though I sometimes feel disconnected from the mainstream while working in my niche media batcave in Chicago, I read every day about the publishing and journalism worlds. I am a member of journalism and publishing groups. I feel connected to my journalism colleagues in the mainstream, too, even though their battles are different. I also feel so lucky to control my own destiny, being both a publisher and a journalist. It means dealing with news and business, payroll and delivery, print deadlines and online breaking news. But being Chief Juggler has never felt better.

And I owe most of that to the literal and figurative scars from those hot-lead Linotypes and the wicked chemicals of the Mergenthaler phototypesetters. They helped me pay the bills, and pay my dues.



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Marriage equality vs. same-sex marriage

Thanks to Chuck Colbert for his look at this topic in last month’s Press Pass Q [“Gay marriage” or “marriage equality”?: New polling shows semantics make a difference, but LGBT media not in agreement over best phrase,” http://www.presspassq.com/detail.cfm? id=124#feature).

I would like to point out that "gay marriage" is entirely inaccurate for a great many GLBTIQ folks, and not just lesbians, who may reject the term. The term is also inappropriate for many bisexual men and women, like myself, and bi activist Robyn, who also may or may not identify as "gay." And what about transfolk and intersex folks who want to marry? It seems quite inappropriate to use "gay marriage" to describe their union.

However, using the expression "same-sex" to refer to anything GLBTIQ is problematic in that it automatically suggests comparison with its opposite, "opposite-sex marriage," which just sounds plain stupid.

I suggest that, whatever terms GLBTIQ journalists choose to describe the matter and other similar terms, they try to use the most GBLTIQ-inclusive expression possible – not because it is PC or gender-neutral, but because it is most accurately reflects the diversity of our community. Until someone comes up with something better, I'd say that "marriage equality" is probably as good as we get.

Ron Suresha
New Milford, CT

I live in Australia, where marriage is currently defined as being between a man and a woman. This means intersex people, who are not necessarily either male or female, are not allowed to legally get married. Neither term “gay marriage” nor "same-sex marriage" is applicable to intersex people as they may not be gay and may not be in a same-sex relationship. However, the term "marriage equality" is applicable for them, and everyone else.

I notionally identify as a gay man, as much as I despise labels, and so for me any of the above terms are personally fine. However, in the interests of inclusion and fairness, I don't believe it's best to use the terms "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" when doing so excludes intersex people.

Please remember, as least for many of us in Australia, the term "marriage equality" is fine.

Michael Barnett.
Melbourne, Australia

[What’s your opinion? We’d like to know. Send your letters to editor@PressPassQ.com. Letters should be kept to a maximum of 250 words and may be edited for length and clarity.)



TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

[Editor’s note: Are there important changes going on at your publication? E-mail the information to editor@PressPassQ.com.)

CHICAGOPRIDE.COM has added several respected and influential new columnists and editors. They include SUKIE DE LA CROIX, an internationally published journalist, columnist, fiction author, playwright, and photographer; RICK KARLIN, one of the leading feature writers in Chicago’s LGBT community; and GREGG SHAPIRO, both a literary figure and a music and literary critic.

PATRICK FARABAUGH, publisher of Madison, Wisc.-based OUR LIVES MAGAZINE, spoke about marketing to the LGBT community at a meeting of the American Advertising Federation’s Madison chapter.

PAUL HARRIS, editor of the world’s largest LGBT publications guide – once known as the QUEER PRESS GUIDE, later known as the HARRIS GUIDE – has died. Harris was also a freelance journalist and a one-time columnist for the now-defunct EXPRESS GAY NEWS in South Florida. Although he grew up in England, he split his time between Florida and New York. He was 53.

HIVSTER.COM, an online magazine for the HIV/AIDS community, celebrated its 1st anniversary with a complete redesign and an updated focus in September 2011.

LOU MALETTA, considered a TV pioneer for founding the Woodstock, N.Y.-based GAY CABLE NETWORK back in 1981, died of liver cancer on November 2, 2011. He was 74.

NIGHTSPOTS, based in Chicago, celebrated its 21st anniversary with its November 9, 2011, issue.

QUEERTY.COM announced that it surpassed one million unique monthly visitors in both December and January.

SHE MAGAZINE, based in Davie, Fla., celebrated its 13th anniversary with its February 2012 issue.

WISCONSIN GAZETTE, based in Milwaukee, entered its third year of publication with its November 17, 2011, issue.



THE BULLETIN BOARD

ON THE WEB At the Press Pass Q website - www.PressPassQ.com - you'll find back issues and subscription information. Also, at the Q Syndicate website - www.qsyndicate.com - you'll find up-to-date information on the 12 columns and features we distribute to gay and lesbian media: A Couple of Guys, Bitter Girl, Book Marks, Deep Inside Hollywood, Editorial Cartoons, Now Playing, Out of Town, The OutField, Political IQ, Q Puzzle, Q Scopes and Sex Talk. For information about subscribing to Q Syndicate content, write to qsyndicate@pridesource.com or call toll-free 888-615- 7003.

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THE STAFF

Publisher: Todd Evans, todd@PressPassQ.com
Editor: Fred Kuhr, editor@PressPassQ.com
Associate Editor: Dave Brousseau, dave@QSyndicate.com
Contributing Writers: Duane Booth, Derrik Chinn, Chuck Colbert, Tanya Gulliver, Liz Highleyman, Michael K. Lavers, Matthew Pilecki, Joe Siegel, David Webb



CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

CHUCK COLBERT is a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Mass. He is a longtime contributor to the National Catholic Reporter and covered the crisis of clerical sex-abuse in the Boston archdiocese. Previously a senior reporter and columnist for the former In Newsweekly, he is a contributor to Keen News Service, Boston Spirit Magazine and Northampton, Mass.-based The Rainbow Times. Also, he has written for major mainstream daily newspapers and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post. He can be reached at crciiiund@aol.com.

FRED KUHR is an editor, reporter, performer and personal trainer based in Toronto. He has written for the Advocate, AdWeek, Toronto-based Xtra, and Boston Spirit Magazine. He has also served as editor of now-defunct publications In Newsweekly [based in Boston) and Out in the Mountains [based in Vermont). He has served as a news analyst on the Fox News Channel and CBC Radio, as well as other media outlets. Fred, a self-described social media whore, has been rated one of the top Twitterers of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

JOE SIEGEL is a freelance journalist based in Rhode Island. He has written for several New England-based LGBT publications, including In Newsweekly, EDGE Providence, Options and The Rainbow Times. In addition, he has been a reporter for the Attleboro, Mass.-based Sun Chronicle newspaper for the past 8 years. He can he reached at joesiegel@cox.net.



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