Today Peter Ian Cummings, founder of the late gay-boy rag XY, launches a new publication, B magazine. Billed as “the gay magazine of the future,” B includes reader-submitted photos and letters, travelogues, photo essays and articles about “gay culture, sex, fashion, media, love, lust and more.”
So it’s not exactly worlds apart from XY, which folded in 2007.
It also sees much of XY‘s editorial staff, including Nathan Smorynski and Eriq Chang, back in the bullpen—as well as Savas Abadsidis, former editor in chief of Abercrombie + Fitch’s erstwhile glossy, A+ F Quarterly.
Noticeably absent from the B masthead, though, is Mike Glatze, the XY editor who became a Bible-thumping ex-gay. (Actually, we’re so baffled by these types we kinda want to read something by him.)
At any rate, as gay-media veterans ourselves, we’ve got some suggestions for Cummings and Abadsidis in their new endeavor:
Find yourself another Colton Haynes. The biggest push XY ever got happened after it folded: In 2011, Teen Wolf star Colton Hayes (right), or at least lawyers claiming to represent him, sent threatening letters to various bloggers insisting they remove “private, obscene, lewd and pornographic photographs” of Haynes that originally appeared in a 2006 issue of XY. The photos were no more pornographic than your average Armani ad and, since they were shot for a magazine, could hardly be called “private”—but it was great publicity.
Don’t bitch about your problems. Toward the end of XY‘s existence, Cummings would loudly and frequently bemoan its lack of advertisers. While we’re sure some companies were leery of investing bucks in a mag aimed at young gays, it was a time when print media was starting to come to its downward trend. Not to mention that complaining to readers about advertisers is like a waiter complaining to customers about what as ass the chef is. We don’t want to hear it and it makes us question the whole operation.
Stay on top of the finances. When XY folded, creditors figured they could make some money with the magazine’s mailing list. But since some subscribers were underage and/or closeted, publishers had to destroy the database rather than see it fall into unscrupulous hands. We hope history doesn’t repeat here.
Keep it classy(ish). Cummings is clearly aiming to brand the publication to a young demographic. (He touts B Magazine‘s Facebook page as having fans whose average age is 24, “at least 20 years younger than the median age of all the other national gay press.”) But there was always always a perception that XY, with its Terry Richardson-style spreads of jailbait or barely-legal boys, was really aimed at and bought by
trolls older gay men who um, embraced, the twink culture. That was years ago, before so many LGBT kids started feeling comfortable coming out, so perhaps B will be different.