Welp! Jon Barrett, who took over as editor of The Advocate in 2008, is officially out the door and en route to Entertainment Weekly, replaced by executive editor Matthew Breen. (Maybe he’ll have the good sense to stop publishing material from bigots?) His exit letter appears in this month’s issue, which should be viewed less as a goodbye and more as somebody screaming “Abandon ship! Run for the exits!”
Used to be I was offended if someone suggested that I lived in a bubble. But after nearly three years as editor in chief of The Advocate, I realize there’s a lot to be said about spending your time surrounded by people who spend all day focused on LGBT rights and equality. It makes you hyper-aware of our successes — whether it’s President Obama’s repudiation of the Defense of Marriage Act (page 10) or Wyoming legislators’ rebuke of yet another antigay measure. And, at the same time, it makes you exceptionally sensitive to our defeats, even though I’ll be the first to admit that’s not always a good thing. When you live in a bubble, it’s hard to believe that a majority of voters would ever rule against your happiness — until you’re slapped in the face by actual election returns.
As I step down as editor in chief I know it’s likely I’ll never again experience the same joy I felt watching the first same-sex couple legally wed in California — or the same despair that clouded my heart when Proposition 8 passed. But the camaraderie I’ve shared with my colleagues here at The Advocate — a compassion that’s been passed down to generations of journalists since the magazine started in 1967 — will stay with me forever.
The Advocate is a work in progress — it always will be — and there are certain to be advances to come. Whether or not you agree with these changes (and I know from feedback I’ve received over the years that you don’t always), I assure you that the people behind them are working for you. That’s because you are us, and we’re all fighting for the same thing: equality. In this bubble, that’s all we think about.
[photo: Barrett on right, with Here Media/Regent Entertainment something Paul Colichman]