This story apparently broke a few months ago, but is only now making it’s way into the mainstream media. It seems Venus Magazine publisher Charlene Cothran has found Jesus and realized the error of her formerly lesbianic ways. It all started back in 2004, when Cothran joined her queer comrades at Chicago’s gay pride event, when she realized that she “doesn’t belong” with the gays. Thus, last October, she released a statement, effectively rescinding years of lesbianism:
…I must come out of the closet again. I have recently experienced the power of change that came over me once I completely surrendered to the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a believe of the word of God, I fully accept and have always known that same-sex relationships are not what God intended for us…
With her change, Cothran said that her 13-year old magazine – one of the few for lesbians of color – will take a new, less homo-centric direction…
Amy Wooten from Windy City Times reports that Cothran’s new message will “encourage, educate and assist those who desire to leave a life of homosexuality.” She went on to insist that she’s not looking to represent the ex-gay movement, but hopes to be a mouthpiece for the ultimate publisher: Jesus Christ.
Though the magazine will take on a new voice, Cothran insists there hasn’t been any drop in circulation, nor does she think it necessary:
My target audience is the same. Why would I change that? And so for me to abandon the name and have somebody else pick it up and go on? That would be against my mission… The responsibility that I now have is that those people that are connected to it receive a different message. I will not change the name. I have not changed the distribution points. I have not changed the subscribers who have paid for it in the past but are still getting it. We built this business over 13 years to target Black, gay households and communities and outlets. That is still where we are going, but with a new message.
Cothran maintains the magazine will not condemn homosexuality. Rather, it’ll issue subtle religiously-minded messages until readers realize they’re total fucking sinners or simply cancel their subscriptions. Which ever comes first.
It’s also worth noting that the Venus Magazine website no longer archives the pub’s gay history. It’s kind of like a journalistic rapture.
(We lifted that cover from our new friend Jasmyne Cannick’s website. She’s been on top of this shit since October. She’s one industrious lesbian, that one.)