Imagine an LGBT magazine that is edited by frequent Vanity Fair contributor Kevin Sessums (pictured), includes articles from the likes of novelist Salman Rushdie, and features new poems from National Book Award winner Mark Doty. That’s just part of the lineup for a new magazine called 429, which bills itself as “a style bible for the LGBT community.” The inaugural issue, with a theme of friendship, is slated to launch in October.
Twenty years ago, that assembly of talent would have made 429 a formidable contender in the marketplace. But with the tide shifting from print to digital, 429 will have to swim against the current. The granddaddy of LGBT publications, The Advocate largely disappeared from newsstands for two years and after its latest shakeup is focused more on digital. Out magazine, which shares an owner with The Advocate, essentially outsourced its entire staff. 429 is seeking funding on Kickstarter to launch and is already more than half way to its $10,000 goal.
In his letter announcing the magazine, publisher Richard Klein obliquely acknowledges the challenges. “At times when starting a new magazine we can all feel like conjurers rather than editors and photographers — or even a publisher,” he writes. “But conjuring is invigorating. You’ll see.”
Let’s hope that they can pull a rabbit out of the appropriately stylish hat.