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Boulton Butches It Up

nealboultongenre1-2-1.jpgboultonnew.jpg
Tired of looking like a glammed up kd lang in his editorial head shot, Genre chief Neal Boulton decided to butch it up a bit with a new “post-gay” picture. Post-gay apparently resembles post-apocalyptic – but, quite frankly, we prefer the new shot. We have a sinking feeling, however, that it won’t be ink-grabbing Boulton’s last touch-up.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Oct 23, 2007
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 8 Comments
    • SexintheCity
      SexintheCity

      I Like KD! What does the new Genre look like? Is it out? Advocate arrived last week.

      Oct 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BostonBoy
      BostonBoy

      I just read an article here in Boston about Boulton:

      Genre Editor Sparks ’Post-Gay’ Debate
      by Ambrose Aban
      EDGE Boston Contributor
      Monday Oct 22, 2007

      Post-gay? Or just not gay enough?
      Are we living in a “post-gay” world? This peculiar term first popped up back in the late 1990s, when then-Out magazine editor, James Collard, used it on a panel in New York. Collard, a British national, left the magazine soon after–due in no small part to the uproar (and ridicule) over his comments. Collard steadfastly maintained, once back in England, that we Americans were behind the times.

      Despite that dust-up, this question is now being pondered, asked and debated once again. And once again, the instigator is a national gay glossy magazine editor–in this case, the new editor-in-chief, Neal Boulton, of Genre.

      Boulton, in his first editor’s letter, which was subsequently picked up by popular gay blog, Queerty, invited gay readers to “mark their calendars” and join him in ringing in a post gay America via his inaugural issue. Boulton’s proclamation came three months after Aaron Hicklin, his counterpart at Out, lamented the gentrification of formerly gay ghettos like Fire Island Pines. “It would be a horrible irony if the communities and beach resorts that once subverted society’s mores and pieties ended up feeling as privileged and alienating as the culture they were reacting against,” he wrote.

      Boulton’s proclamation may have come a bit later, but the idea remains the same: American gays have entered a new era. Hoi polloi–the magazine’s readers and the public at large–seemed to have very different opinions on the era’s zeitgeist.

      “Boulton has indeed turned the gay magazine into a magazine ’for every man’ in his editorial for the revamped glossy,” says a loyal reader of Genre. But readers are not ready to accept changes Boulton is bringing to the magazine.

      One angry subscriber complained that “Boulton is turning Genre into a bi magazine because he is now a bi man who is married to a woman and have kids.” In fact, Boulton is married to a woman and a father–and he has remained married since beginning his stint at Genre. (He reportedly had an affair with the Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone–and himself a formerly married father who left his family for a former male model.)

      “It is not Men’s Fitness,” the reader writes in a reference to Boulton’s previous gig as editor of that general men’s magazine–adamantly not gay, despite page after page of eye candy. “We all get it,” the reader continues. “Gay and non-gay cultures and interests collide almost seamlessly nowadays but we still want our magazine to be totally gay as we still want our Cherry Grove and Pines to be 100 percent gay yet straight-friendly.”

      The controversy over Collard’s comments was fanned by a story written by David Colman in the New York Times. Collard declined an invitation to a Bastille Day blowout for the designer Michael Kors, according to Colman, preferring instead a quiet evening with friends in more neutral locations.

      ’’They don’t have to be flying the rainbow flag,’’ Collard was quoted as saying. Collard’s reason: one does not guaranteed a good time every time one goes to a gay bar. “I don’t mind straight as long as I’m not getting a bottle thrown at me,’’ Collard had said.

      While that may have been true for some of us, in Collard’s ’’post gay’’ philosophy, homosexual identity is not defined by sexuality. It champions the idea that gay culture and mainstream culture cross-pollinate.

      Boulton told Queerty’s Andrew Bolinsky, “Labels aside, like any American, I like what Americans like. I like a hot car, I want to have a hot body, and I want a walk-in closet full of hot clothes. And sex. Can anyone really ever get enough? Sorta sounds like everyone else on the planet, doesn’t it?”

      Boulton goes on to chide unnamed men’s magazines that cater to gays, but refuse to acknowledge their queer readers. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Details ran a feature “Gay or Straight?” that showed the affinity between young men of both persuasions–including clutching a copy of a “non-specific xxx men’s magazine” –which just happened to be Details.

      Boultton concludes that these ultra gay-friendly magazines just need to come out. Until then he says, “there is Genre, the new magazines for every man–proud of being gay–the magazine for the American who isn’t ashamed of anything: G, L, B, or T.” He added, “I knew when I relaunched Genre that sparks would fly because I have been married to a women, and have kids.”

      But the question is: Can gay men live comfortably in a “post-gay” world.?

      Joey Ortel, a regular reader of Genre personally says he doesn’t see a problem with people “changing their minds,” or wanting to experiment–“as long as they’re honest and not hypocrites.”

      Ivan Kadman, however, believed that a self-identified bisexual and “a married man who had an affair with a guy is a good representation” of gay life.

      But Boulton apparently intends to take Genre in a broader direction, making it more of a magazine for every gay guy, rather than just the racier version or just the “highbrow version”. Genre is now focusing on consumerism: clothes, health, sex, booze and cars.

      “Genre or Out may be the first post-gay-liberation magazines: there’s no didacticism, no special pleading, no ’problem,” says one gay CEO in New York City. ” Boulton or Hicklin weren’t trying to show that homosexuals are just average Joes any more than they’re saying this is the truth of homosexual life,”

      ’Post-gay means taking a critical look at gay life and no longer thinking solely in terms of struggle.’
      Even activists like Mark Milano, who definitely doesn’t agree with the “post-gay” outlook, admitted gay-straight relationships have changed markedly in the past decade. Almost all straight men were uncomfortable around gay men and some even violent; but now, there are a number of straight men who seem to enjoy the attention they get from gay men.

      These “stag hags really seem to have no desire to do anything sexually with another man, but who like to hang out with gay men and who enjoy having their ego stroked when gay men compliment their looks,” he noted. “One straight guy pumped his fist in the air and went ’Whoo! when I told him that my friend thought he was the hotter of our two straight friends at the gym.. What a change!”

      One thing’s for sure: We’ve been discovered by Madison Avenue as a demographic with plenty of expendable income. Boulton’s editorial bent is selling a lifestyle. But not all gay men and bi men go against Genre’s new direction.

      Tom Geller, a writer in San Francisco, agrees with Boulton and sees his appointment is another sign that gay culture is successfully moving out of the ghetto. “Integration goes both ways as we move into ’straight’ culture, with corporate positions of authority and so forth, we’d be hypocrites not to open our culture as well,” Geller said.

      Geller remembers a woman friend who had worked for a local Jewish organization. An openly gay employment agency announced that a similar position had opened up at a gay magazine, and she applied for it. But because she was straight, the agency refused to submit her application.

      “I don’t believe the same discrimination would happen today. Our work has been successful, not only in law but also in our own culture,” Geller said. “Mr. Boulton is part of the proof.”

      Gay blogger “Adam Blast” finds “all this post-gay stuff little more than self-serving crap, typically from the NYC/WeHo guys who’ve barely felt any discrimination in their lives due to extreme privilege. If you think the fight is over, you probably weren’t helping us much to begin with.”

      He accused Out and Genre of being “nothing but shopping rags,” to which Boulton argued back that gay publishing has at times had to sit at the back of the advertising bus. “Thanks to Out and Advocate, the needle was moved,” he wrote. “I just wanted to finally put gay guys up front .

      Well, some of us live in one of those gay havens and others don’t. But we all have loving gay friends and families and an incredible network of support from a wide variety of magazines and websites. “There’s enough mainstream media to take care of the needs of straight men and women in this country,” says Robbie Tillman, a gay financial analyst.

      “Editors like Boulton and Hicklin and the other local, national (and international) gay magazines are the only people can” detail the struggles gay men and lesbians still encounter in the world, according to San Francisco writer Thang Nyugen. That, he says, is their reason for existence–or should be.

      Editors need to keep their eyes on the prize, as they used to say in the Civil Rights Era. And the way to do that is to serve only gay readers, according to Tillman. “In the long arms of the law, LGBT is still unequal, “he said. “While there are good straight people, the straight community at large still didn’t know the importance of our existence and their ignorance and hatred toward gay people, is clearly and graphically communicated.”

      One commenter on Queerty believed that if we do live in a post-gay world, we don’t need to “irrelevant rags like Out and Genre.”

      Even so, Walter Andrews, a gay visual artist in San Francisco, believes, “we appreciate the fact that a magazine can be pure entertainment. Not every gay magazine has to be politically resonant. That said, if we want to look at clothes and pop culture, we are going to read GQ or Esquire instead because there’s more stuff in them.”

      Some of us remember when Out was first on the newsstand back in the early 90’s. We were thrilled to see a magazine geared toward us. We were thrilled because it reinforced the idea that we were not alone, that there was a way of living gay without living underground. While these magazines do have heavy advertising and gear more toward the wealthy and affluent they still serve the purpose of exposure. Many readers now look at Genre as a disaster because it looks more and more like the mainstream men’s fitness magazines where Boulton cut his teeth.

      Perhaps Boulton needs to examine what it means to be gay today, rather than relinquishing the gay mantle with the “post-gay” rhetoric, said Gianni Carbonelli, a bartender and avid reader. “Being gay is a bit more fundamental than the ambiguity of some celebrity cover-figure of the moment and more durable than the tenure of a magazine editor who wants to demonstrate his or her new direction.”

      “Post-gay isn’t ’ungay,”’ explained Collard a few years ago. “It’s about taking a critical look at gay life and no longer thinking solely in terms of struggle. It’s going to a gay bar and wishing there were girls there to talk to.”

      He went on cite writers like Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal, who did not write about gay subject matter; or rather, they subsumed it in the guise of the larger world. “People aren’t in the closet, they’re frank about their sexuality, but they don’t feel limited to gay subject matter. They feel they can write about anything,” Collard said.

      Whether we are living in a post-gay world or not, ultimately it all comes back to the question of what being gay is all about. Do we want acceptance for our differences, or to be assimilated into the mainstream and have those differences smoothed out?

      Oct 23, 2007 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FingerLicking
      FingerLicking

      That is one long article. Who is Neal? I have never read Genre. Is it in bookstores? Is it porn?

      Oct 23, 2007 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DrColumbia
      DrColumbia

      No it is not porn you fool. It is a gay lifestyle magazine that tailors to the adult gay male who has $$$ to spend. It is not really a teen book, such as Instinct – the guys who read Genre are looking for something more. They are dreaming of bodies they will never have, and very often, products that they cannot afford. It is really just Men’s Fitness in drag. As is the Editor.

      Oct 23, 2007 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Jett
      Jack Jett

      Handsome.

      I’d spit fuck him in a New York minute.

      jack jett

      Oct 23, 2007 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndyKay
      AndyKay

      What is spit fuck?

      Oct 23, 2007 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawster
      Dawster

      was that just a post from the long-absent Jackie??

      JACKIE!!! You have so been missed!

      spit-fuck: (1)to use spit as lubrication for fucking, (2) a girl who is getting it in more than one hole at a time, (3) fucking someone while their vomiting…

      (yes, only two of those are real)

      Oct 23, 2007 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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