In Quotes

As Mainstream Advertising Goes Gay, Traditional Gay Publications Struggle To Keep Up

And, you know, no magazine is doing stunningly well, but certainly Out faces its own specific challenges as being a gay media company in an age where that’s just a very difficult sort of place to align yourself in this market, because you have a generation of gay people who don’t necessarily want to be known as specifically gay or gay first. They’re happy to be out and proud, but they claim that that’s not who they are. It’s just a part of them.”

Advertising Age‘s Thomas Pardee tells NPR of the difficulties traditional gay publications face now that mainstream advertising has gone gay

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  • Alex

    I agree and I adhere to this idea. I am an uncle a friend a movie maker a podcaster a activist I just happen to like men. It is no more who you are then your eye color. I certainly don’t center my life around my eye color but I won’t be ashamed of it or let someone oppress me because of it. But it is far from the most important thing about me.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    And it’s because of people like you that queer Americans have made very little movement forward in equality. If everyone is the same, why should we get “special” rights?

  • Kevin

    Giving up what is unique about you in order to more easily assimilate into straight society is not a good thing. Sadly many gay people are choosing to give up the fight right as we have almost won it. What a shame.

    Imagine if the veterans of the rights movement had thought like this.

  • Timmeeeyyy!!!

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:
    It’s because of people like Tony Perkins, Rick Santorum and possible president Romney that queer Americans haven’t achieved full equality (I would disagree that we have made very little movement forward in equality). Those people who create the laws and who affect the politicians who create the laws are the enemy, not people like Alex.

    Not everyone is fighting for cultural separatist, non-assimilationist queer politics. Many of us are fighting for the right to assimilate, to be queer, or to live in the manner WE choose with the political, gender and social identity WE choose as individuals without interference from the community or the law. I get to choose my identity, not you.

    “Gay” is not core to my self-identity, but that doesn’t stop me from fighting for freedom. I’ve worked very hard in New York to help pass SONDA, GENDA (we’ll get there), safe school laws and marriage equality. I’m cisgendered, but I still fight for gender expression rights, I’m non-black, but I’ve still been a member of the NAACP since college, and I’m a male, but I still fight for women’s equality.

    Welcome to a world where people are able to define their core identities by something other than their sexual orientation, and where people can be out of the closet without buying into one of the fetishized gay cultural groups. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about LGBT rights and don’t recognize the history of gay equality. If fact, we recognize that our identities are only possible because we have become integrated and accepted in our communities. And that’s what I’m fighting for.

  • DF

    I don’t subscribe to OUT or ADVOCATE any longer as they just got kind of boring and sometimes too slanted. Both magazines carried the same articles, so I was paying twice to read the same thing. They frequently did not tell the “WHOLE” story, just the slanted parts to fit their views. I do not feel that we are giving up, I think we are getting older and a little more tired, and the younger people don’t seem to be as militant, they seem much more passive/apathetic to the real issues around them, usually hoping that someone else will do something about it. I have been an activist for 30 years, traveling from event to event, when I have time. Going to 3 and now 4 different pride parades/fests in one month to show solidarity for my state/community, 3 of them being more than 2 hours from my home. I have spent a lot of my own money for gas, hotels, t-shirts, etc. to support our causes, but I don’t see people doing that these days. And that is what we need, when I was younger almost everyone was militant and had a lot more to risk by being at an event where the community, employers, families could all see them and judge, now younger people are clamoring to get on TV or go Viral on the internet.

  • The Gay 90's


    I would have to agree with you. In the 1990’s the movement was definitely to state that you are gay and come out LOUD and PROUD!! And I did.. but what coming out does not do is provides a blueprint of what type of life and quality to have. The true struggle is to find a way
    to make like work for you where you are. Self identifying as LGBT(LMNOP) is great as
    far as affirming your sexual and or gender identity or lack thereof, but it often
    can run the risk of being something that people place too much attention towards,
    haters tend to over indulge in others gender or sexual identity or lack off and
    we within the LGBTQ(?) community are hard press to take ownership of similar
    voyeuristic predatory tactics into others personal and intimate lives. So for
    folks who are at the place where they are fully aware and on board with living within
    a sexual minority group, but choose not to shout it from the roof top.. so be it

  • Mike

    The mainstream media is run by liberals and gays so that is not saying much, Chic-Filet-A showed that the perception the mainstream media projects is not the reality..also look at all the UN and other reports that anti-gay crimes have risen world wide(including the USA)…

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    Many of us are fighting for the right to assimilate, to be queer, or to live in the manner WE choose with the political, gender and social identity WE choose as individuals without interference from the community or the law.

    You will not be able to choose how you live your life; the group you assimilate into will decide that, as evidenced by the huge set backs LGBTQ Americans have faced. As long as you act like the straight majority wants you to act, you’re fine. But get out of line, and they will slap you down.

    I’d suggest you put the homo back into homogenous, otherwise all the advances made by your predecessors will be wiped out.

  • Timmmeeeyyy

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:
    What are “the huge set backs LGBTQ Americans have faced”?

    Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen tremendous progress in LGBT rights, protections, and even acceptance.

  • Zane

    I subscribe to Out and The Advocate because they push against heteronormativity and they’re pretty good reads. I’m tired of this whole, “I’m not a gay man, I’m a man” thing because it just comes off like a sort of closet-chic or worse, an upholding of patriarchy. I understand that there are some very “straight-acting” gay men who don’t understand the “queen” paradigm, but whatever news you get from the broader culture is going to be filtered through patriarchy for patriarchy. This is why we need publications like Out, The Advocate, and Queerty, even if there coverage is skewed some times.

    And may I just say, I think I’ve only ever met one of these supposed “straight-acting” homosexuals who wasn’t a total mary. (And I don’t mean that as an insult because I love marys. Just own it guys).

  • willybilly

    Theres a new social networking website that is promoting the LGBT movement and creating an LGBT and straight alliance. Check out, they seem to get the notion. @Timmmeeeyyy:

  • Daniel

    Well De-Nile a’int just a river in Egypt. I’m so sick of gay guys who say that I just happen to be gay. It’s not a big part of my “indentity.”

    What exactly do you mean by indentity?

    Look I get you have other hobbies besides men, but here’s the deal. People still treat you differently because you’re gay.

    For example, everyone in my office knows I’m gay. They don’t hate on me. But the girls share more about the boys they are dating and tend to feel safer with me since they know I’m not out to get in their pants. The other gay guys and I share more because we have something in common. The lesbians and I have a bond I don’t full understand but I feel empathy for them. I could go on with these psycholigical nuances but the point is that people’s behaviors are – on some levels – framed by their take on your sexuality.

    People have psychologies.

    Also, major issues in my life and your life- how to find another gay guy to love – or just to f**K – whether you can get married to another guy in your state – coming with a creative way to have kids with your partner – well they are all shaped by being gay.

    Being gay is not a big deal but it sill shapes your life…

    The niche for Out and the Advocate is to look at what it means to be young and gay today. I like the Advocate and reading it has helped me work through some of the unique challenges and choices gay people face that straight people don’t.

    Gay people are equal to straights. But that doesn’t mean our lives look the same. And it’s important to talk about the differences.

  • Heather

    I can’t speak for everyone else but I’d be perfectly happy to read more of this supposed gay AND lesbian magazine if it had, like, any significant lesbian representation at all and wasn’t just a bunch of half naked men.

  • ed

    well, I think it’s all a hetero plot to just absorb gays & lesbians in a comfy blanket of equality whilst slowly draining away any differences from the main herd with the mantra “your not different, just gay”.

    Outdoor cruising was the first to go, then the bookstores, now the bars and the magazines. What do we getting instead? marriage, military, church and children …

  • Alan down in Florida

    The problem with magazines like Out and The Advocate is that they are targeting a very specific kind of reader. Unfortunately that target market is so small and so non-representative of the average gay man (I can’t speak for lesbians) that it is a difficult niche sale to advertisers who are looking for more bang for their bucks.

    It’s sort of like when I came out and was looking for a gay Jewish boyfriend – a minority of 2% of 5-8% of men. Turned out that wasn’t a big enough sample to choose from once I left New York City. Hence no Jewish boyfriend yet.

  • mc

    I understand the whole wanting to blend into society idea & Gay just being one of your many traits. Keep in mind though, that there’s a reason for magazines like Out & Advocate which is their non judgment of LGBT issues.

    A simple example is the story that came out this week about Anderson Cooper that went to a lot of the mainstream gossip sites. Amidst a lot of the stories you’ll find people commenting ‘ew men kissing’, why do we have to see that, think of the children. In fact, one news man was doing a survey on Twitter, because he got complaints about running the picture of Ben & this other guy kissing on his show. It wasn’t the majority of the comments but you could see it caused some of the gossips to do a little self censorship & running their stories with no pictures or just providing links.

    It’s something to keep in mind as you’re wishing for the elimination of Gay magazines. How much will you miss uncensored news of interest to LGBT.

  • mc

    Another example I’ll give is how the mainstream media handled the Chick Fil A storyline with almost none of them mentioning the hate groups that were sponsored, their donations & the true reasons why people were upset with them & treating the story like it was all about free speech. It’s only the Gay media that kept reporting on this to get to a point where a few mainstream sites started picking up on it.

  • Charles

    There’s a bit of a dilemma here. One the one hand, we have the out loud and in your face side versus the I am gay but being gay does not define my whole self. Then the problem. The groups that are against the LGBT community. These groups don’t really care much about those that are merely gay. Instead these target specifically the segment that is out loud and in your face. These are the ones that they use for their primary fuel for their fire against all gay people. They take these and further amplify their cause utilizing all the common myths, lies and misconceptions about all gays. Now how do we try to solve this problem.

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