If You Had to Find One Thing Wrong With Gay Media, What Would It Be?


Who is Queerty to criticize others in gay media, when — according to our own readers — we do plenty of shit wrong ourselves? We focus too much on youth and beauty! We’re Barack Obama haters! We spell things incorrectly and our grammar is atrocious! We race-bait! (Our response: Sometimes; rightly so; often; talking about race is not race-bating.) But hey, we’re not the only ones who find faults in the gay words of the gay rags all you gays are reading!

Leave it to a former arts reporter at the Washington Blade, who was fired in a round of layoffs, to find something negative to say about the paper. Zack Rosen was bounced from his job at the Window Media newser and, together with Ben Carver and Michael Eichler, started something called, a D.C.-based fag rag taglined “For everyone over the rainbow” that’s fighting the man!

(By which we mean, the trio’s mission statement reads, “We all agree that the mainstream definition of ‘gay’ isn’t just a sexual orientation, it’s a white male culture defined by consumerism, superficiality and anti-intellectualism. We don’t fit into this narrow matrix. We don’t want to. We choose to unplug. We choose the red pill.” Ha!)

So what does this anti-mainstream-gay site’s co-founder think ails the Blade? Drum roll … its culture coverage! (Surprising, coming from a former staffer on that beat, eh?)

When it comes to actual news- national and local politics, important happenings, the gay bashings and weddings, the successes and violences that push our movement forward- The Blade is unparalleled. There is no other publication in this country that does such a thorough job of covering gay news. Writers like Lou Chibbarro and Amy Cavanaugh are among the best in the city, and these elements of the paper deserve every single journalism award they have won in the past years.

Where The Blade fails is its coverage of… drum roll… culture. Perhaps the most used word in TNG’s entire canon, culture is the thing that every queer person must come out into and either be disappointed by or seamlessly assimilated within. It’s the collection of arts, music and movies, clubs and bars, and influential community figures that define the outward elements of a person’s life. Successful media should have one of two relationships to culture: It should either act as a mirror, reflecting a given culture, or act as a sculptor, helping mold a new culture when the existing one is not satisfactory. The Blade does neither of these things.

Instead, the Washington Blade is like the light from a distant star. Filtering through 30 year-old notions of what comprises a queer person, it’s source no longer exists by the time it reaches our eyes. In any given weekend in Washington DC, a Blade reader might go to an art opening by a queer artist. They might go see a queer national band like The Blow or a local one like The Mirror Script. They might attend a book reading at Lambda Rising or go to a museum. (And this doesn’t even take into account the wealth of non-gay-specific social outlets here in the District.) Maybe if they’re broke they just sit in Meridian Hill Park and listen to the drummers. This is the way that 99% of gay people I know live their lives.

But to read The Blade, you would think that gay people were only men who moved in one single-minded hive from an expensive, champagne-serving brunch to an afternoon of shopping at Universal Gear to a night spent out at one of our four local clubs the paper seems to give any attention to. Who lives like this any more?

[…] Can you imagine if The Forward, an esteemed Jewish newspaper, only reported on money-lending and rhinoplasty? If Sassy magazine had contented itself to only cover makeup tips and the country’s hottest secretarial academies?

Wait. Not every gay media consumer is a materialistic, top-shelf-only-cocktail-swigging, club-hopping, abs-obsessed sun-kissed adonis? This is, quite frankly, the last thing advertisers want to hear! Make it stop, make it stop.

Meanwhile, for a web magazine so intent on breaking the stereotypes of gays, check out this lede stereotyping straights: “One of the things I’ve noticed about straight people is that they’re usually pretty oblivious to the fact that there are different types of lesbians.”

Mission statement accomplished!

In the meantime, check out the Blade‘s excellent update on the status of equality legislation, something even Rosen concedes the newspaper admirably covers well.

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  • Sceth

    W T F ?
    So Rozen is displeased that the Washington Blade was … Journalism? His complaint flies over my head.

  • EgOiStE

    I think it’s rather silly for anyone with a “post-gay” sensibility to even consider creating/writing for another Newspaper or Website that is dedicated to gay issues/culture/etc.
    In a post-gay world, such things are irrelevant.

  • myrios123

    I believe that most gay blogs/papers are becoming more and more like reading a transcript of the View. We even have our own Elizabeth Hasselbecks who sneak in and prove that puritanism is alive and well.

  • Landon Bryce


    Not just gay blogs, life is becoming more and more like a transcript from The View. Endless petty discussion of mostly meaningless shit. I guess, actually, life has always been a transciprt from The View.

  • InExile

    Hey guys make sure you click on the link in the last sentence of this story regarding the status of equality legislation. after reading this article I was outraged by the “dragging their feet” time line of the various legislation! OUTRAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Our politicians seem to think we are in no hurry for equality. Our politicians are NOT taking us seriously at all. WTF?????????

  • Chris

    Talking about race in and of itself is not race baiting. It’s the WAY you talk about it on this blog that people find offensive. Most of the time you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, in which case you shouldn’t say anything at all.

    It’s like Elisabeth Hasselbeck trying to explain the history of the gay rights movement.

  • blah

    Hey QUEERTY:

    Congratulations on finally admitting that you are Obama-haters.
    (That was pretty obvious to anyone who reads this blog regularly, but now you admit that in print.)
    Your tagline should now read:
    “Free of an agenda. Except the gay one AND the anti-Obama one”.

  • Mark.of.Antares

    *shakes head*

    Queerty has really lost it these last few months. I don’t know what happened, but *something* happened. Whatever they ripped out, I think you need a hug.

  • Chris

    @Mark.of.Antares: I actually agree. I continued reading this blog even though I found a lot of what’s posted here offensive, bitchy, and mean-spirited, but it doesn’t even seem like there’s enough awesome content here to outweigh the bad at this point.

  • Qjersey

    The Blade and others have rarely, if ever, achieved the quality of your average college newspaper.

  • Chris

    @Qjersey: LMAO.

  • DM73

    You’re absolutely right. It’s a true shame.

  • greg

    Agree that the gay media needs a major shake up. TNG seems to be on the right track.

  • Dabq

    Yep, you do race bait, you don’t “talk” about it, and, few of your readers are mature enough to discuss it without spewing hate, so, for once along with your virulent hate of Obama, you are right, and honest for a change about what this blog stands for, keep it up!!

  • edgyguy1426

    I’m glad Queerty is keeping its word as to its allegiance – us. It’s not a Dem mouthpiece or apologist for Obama, it’s not a Log Cabin-esque apologist for the center-right, only gay issues matter and if Obama doesn’t fall on our side of the issue, I think he’s definitely fair game. I hope that always will be the case.
    Thanks Queerty (but please do something about the proof-reading- it’s starting to make my eyes hurt)

  • Chris

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with criticizing Obama, or any other politician, but there’s a way to have a nuanced discussion of issues as opposed to basically bashing someone over the head with a bowling ball–which doesn’t accomplish anything and doesn’t accurately portray the issues at hand. Trying to turn every little tiny thing into OMG OBAMA HATES THE GAYS WHY DID WE VOTE FOR THIS NEGRO!!!!111 is not useful.

  • Cam

    The Blade also was purchased by a national publishing company and most of their stories now aren’t even local. Nobody I know botheres to read it anymore because Metro Weekly covers the DC area better. Additionally the Blade has some really horrible billing practices and they have managed to piss off gay businesses or individuals that try to advertise with them.

  • Wisconsin Gay

    I voted for Pres. Obama twice (once in the primary and once in the general). I campaigned for him. I bugged family and friends to vote for him. I have not found Queerty’s take on his administration as unjustly negative. He’s failed to even touch gay issues since being in office, save appointing some gay people (which, if Outrage is right, is apparently hard to do). Sure, he signed the Shepard Act, but he didn’t lobby for it. DADT and DOMA stand. He deserves criticism on this front.

  • Chris

    @Wisconsin Gay: He’s also been in office for less than a year.

  • Anthony in Nashville

    If Queerty’s staff has been replaced/fired, why are their names still appearing on the front page?

  • Charles

    I think it’s totally cynical-you ‘race-bait’ and bash Obama not because you actually care or believe in what you’re saying, but because you know that that will cause people to flood in and leave comments and increase page views and make you seem viable to advertisers in this economy. It all seems so calculated and vacuous.

  • Jeff

    I would not call “Davey Wavey” youth and beauty. Eyebags and pastey perhaps.

  • Anonymous

    I do not find your content shocking nor surprising. As a matter of fact I was delighted you finally admitted in so many words just how shallow gay media actually is.

  • Marlena

    David Hauslaib is a racist. I thought that was pretty common knowledge at this point. And this is coming from a white person.

  • Doug

    Gay Media had a real champion in David Unger. He put more of his own money into gay media than any other media professional. You do he math, the economy when to Shit and now the entire industry is suffering. David Unger should be given and OUT 100 award because he is the best thing to Gay media ever and he is the real crown jewel that tried to save the gay world.

  • DCGroove

    If Kevin Naff got off his butt and sold some ads and did not parade around like a big shot, then the Washington Blade would still be going strong. The Editor’s have taken no responsibility for any of the financial pieces of the puzzle. Editorial brought down the Washington Blade.

  • Editor

    Editorial does not have to make ad sales. Just because the management has unrealistic expectations of the staff does not mean that the editorial team is responsible for funding local newspapers. This is a dumb assertion….

  • Chuck

    Obama is a champion of the gay world. We need to celebrate him. It is through massaging such relationships that we get things done. The Washington Blade got its credentials from the Obama group immediately that shows that they are recognized as an important player. Although the owners of the Washington Blades are often called selfish pricks that only think of themselves and the bottom line and profits and trips and food and the stuff that makes their life easier, it is not necessarily so as they are keeping the important Washington Blade open with their own money that they are putting into the publications to subsidize the inadequate sales team that has been hired to save the company. Lynne Brown is an integral part of the turn around is a player in the Lesbian community.

  • TwoBuckChuck

    You go Chuck!

  • sparkle obama

    queerty editor, thanks for being honest.
    this blog literally “hates” obama.
    unfortunately, that approach works for a lot of angry, spoiled, foolish and ignorant gays.
    those of us who were raised right & who can see past our hideous beige, porn-filled gay “homes” ,lost polyamorous palm springs weekends and giant, bourgeois, status minivans (!) …
    we who are able to see the bigger picture cannot change your hearts or make you act correctly.
    only your parents & teachers and teen correctional officers, early on could have taught you that, and apparently they failed.
    i can’t change you
    but in my quixotic way i can & will “shame” you.
    neurotic, shrill, monomaniacal, narcissistic, ayn rand-reading, privileged, abused, frightened, trashy, profoundly hypocritical and obliviously r*cist, color-conscious, xenophobic homos,
    i rebuke you!
    begone, you have no power here!
    get the f*ck out before someone drops a house on you!

  • edgyguy1426

    Champion? Celebrate?!?!?! It’s way too early for that. Because the same thing happened to Clinton and look where THAT got us!

  • TwoBuckChuck

    EXACTLY! There is too much hate in the world. Too many Aholes running business and we don’t need them spreading their venom into the gay world.

  • AnalWarts

    If You Had to Find One Thing Wrong With Gay Media, What Would It Be?
    Answer: David Unger

  • Prof. O. G. Whataschonzell

    @sparkle obama: I have been hearing/reading that and similar assesments on other blogs these last few months. I agree with the majority and have YET to totally disagree with any, including yours.

    I was out way before many of you are born (1974 was my come out year). I am old enough to remember the days when friends meant something and the way society has accepted or become more tolerant (than then) of our lifestyles. I, a gay middle-aged man, find myself disgusted at muscle marys who walk around feeling as though the word hello is a sign of “let’s have sex”.

    I see a bunch of lonely little boys in the body of a grown man whose mentalities have been set by many gay publications such as Hx, Next and others that cater to this mentality (International Male). Every page features some muscle mary showing us his glutius maximus with a hint of “it will cost you” look.

    I mean really, it was a situation of overkill waiting to happen. Is it possible that people have become turned off to it all now and are basically lost as to what direction to go and the gay media is paying the price? Publications I thought were suppose to set the trend or tell the trend of a community. If this is what ours is saying then I am frightened.

    Or is it that because of the strong tilt toward sex many mainstream deep pocket advertisers were turned off by that and backed away. In other words I am questioning if the publications cut their own throats. It seems highly possible. I personally got tired of seeing some young 20th’s ass (race be damned) with 6 pac abs on every other page.

    In california AIDS and healthcare funding are being deeply cut but the queens march on for gay marriage. I ask you what happened to commons sense. Ok you don’t have HIV, but what if you found yourself without a job one day and needed health care?

  • Sigh

    Oh, again? Would it be possible to have a mature conversation about LGBT culture, and the various media that cover it, without this alternating Queerty and Blade bashing? Comparing the two is apples to oranges — and that isn’t to denigrate either.

    The New Gay is an interesting site, but the Blade’s art coverage is much broader than its founder portrays, as he well knows. And no, the editor of the Washington Blade — and any other newspaper — should not be selling ads. Maintaining the divide between editorial and advertising is crucial. Could we trust an editor who is trying to sell ads not to tilt coverage in favor of his potential clients?

    I love that every time Window Media is mentioned, we get the same poster who tells us basically how David Unger is god come to save us all. Tone it down if you want to be taken even somewhat seriously.

    Meanwhile, I know I don’t read Queerty every day, but what happened to Japhy?

  • hardmannyc

    I’m so sick of reading these critiques of “mainstream” gay press catering to mimosa-sipping, brunch-eating wealthy gay men, blahblahblah. Every gay publication I read bends over backwards to include edgy, progressive and non-mainstream arts.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  • Marlena

    @hardmannyc: And you sound like another privileged gay white male.

  • Brian Miller

    @sparkle obama: those of us who were raised right & who can see past our hideous beige, porn-filled gay “homes” ,lost polyamorous palm springs weekends and giant, bourgeois, status minivans (!) …
    we who are able to see the bigger picture cannot change your hearts or make you act correctly.

    Yeah, because every gay person who doesn’t swallow Obama’s bullshit is a drug-addled hedonist.

    The opposite of the porn-filled bourgeois hedonistic lifestyle is… a standard married gay family, right?

    And which presently-serving president of the USA is resolutely and unshakably opposed to gay marriage equality — to the point where he states in his own book that he’s willing to be on the wrong side of history if need be over the issue?

    Yeah, that one.


    you sound like another privileged gay white male

    Oh Ms. Thang!

  • Marlena

    @Brian Miller: I’m assuming the Miss Thang comment was supposed to be some sort of coded racist statement because you assumed that I was black after I called you on your white male privilege.

    Unfortunately for you, I’m white.

    Try again.

  • Brian Miller

    @Prof. O. G. Whataschonzell: In california AIDS and healthcare funding are being deeply cut but the queens march on for gay marriage. I ask you what happened to commons sense. Ok you don’t have HIV, but what if you found yourself without a job one day and needed health care?

    I’d understand that being part of a stable, monogamous married family unit would provide me with a large degree of economic stability (not to mention maintain my health).

    AIDS funding and government health care have been available for years. They suck, and it’s been documented over and over.

    Married people are more financially stable and healthier. That’s also been documented over and over.

    Hmmmm… wanting economic stability and better health… what should I lobby for, another failed expensive government program that doesn’t address the root causes of HIV infection (promiscuity), or the successful (and constitutionally mandated) goal of equal marriage — which also provides immediate health and economic benefits?

    Wow, that’s a hard decision!

  • Brian Miller

    @Marlena: I’m assuming

    Yes. You are indeed ASSuming. :)

  • Brian Miller

    @Marlena: I’m white

    Who cares?

  • Marlena

    @Brian Miller: Then I’m not sure what Ms. Thang is even supposed to mean in response to my comment. It’s not a response at all, actually.

  • Brian Miller

    @Marlena: It’s a textual eye-roll at your silliness, dear.

  • Marlena

    Pointing out privilege is never silly, darling.

    And I’ve never heard someone say “Ms. Thang” while rolling their eyes at someone. You fail at internet humor.

  • Brian Miller

    Oh, I so love being lectured on “humor” by the humorless.

  • Marlena

    Yep, those who don’t see what exactly is funny about calling a woman “miss thang” when she has an opposing viewpoint–humorless. That’s what you call them.

  • Brian Miller

    Sorry, I’m just exercising my humorist privilege.

  • davidAnger

    I am white and Jewish and although I do not like women I do support the gay because I am in the business of selling the gays crap

  • troy

    Does Queerty hate Obama or do you hate Queerty for not fabricating lies which make Obama look good. Also, there seems to be this racism that says because Obama is black it is off limits to have anything but glowing things to say about him. Its not just here. I saw Jessie Ventura on the view and when he criticized Obama’s handling of the torture incident, saying that he was not seeing that the culprits who perpetrated this were prosecuted because that basically as a politician he was in the middle of it like all the rest Whoopie sat there and said nothing. I am don’t give a shit if someone tells me I am racist for holding him up to the light. Its there shit if they think that, not mine, I know what I am and thats a truth seeker and the truth is color blind.

  • Catskill

    Why can’t everyone get along. The Washington Blade represents love, and community and synergy between the LGBT community. David Unger purchased all the publications not to drive them into the toilet and ruin so many of his editors live’s through cutting their jobs over those that have easy sales jobs like he ultimately did, Unger pulled these various entities together to create a solid, sellable message. Avalon Equity before it went into receivership with the government and was destroyed once stood for pulling people together. Let’s stay together and support Obama and Queerty. And lets lighten up on Unger who his also a victim of the economy.

  • Solutioner

    How about we put a quarter into a kitty every time someone says something bad about David Unger and then the money goes to the editors who have not been paid for months? It will teach people to be nice and cost those that cannot.

  • Prof. O. G. Whataschonzell

    @Brian Miller: If you tried reading and understanding what you read as often as you try out your tired ass drag stage performance quips online bitch you would be dangerous. Your ignorance leaps off the screen.

    I said the funding is being cut, you stupid bitch. I never said programs were not available. What little there is now is on the chopping block, especially in calif. It was posted on this site, or did you bother to read that? I doubt it. There was nothing to show in that article but compassion for the poor, race be damn.

    You care so little for you brethren who weren’t offered the priviledges in life you and I (education, employment and HIV-neg sex partners) were fortunate enough to have that you would walk right past them on the street as they die and not call 911. Your response would/is they will/should have to wait(ed) in line longer, tough luck. I’m getting married so the entrie world can see for the next year (at best) I am a respectable queen and am now a pillar of west hollywood society.

    I won’t go into what if you and honeybunch both lost your jobs (yes, ms. know-it-all, it has happened to even strait couples at the same time too) what would you do because you would only answer with something even stupid. But feel free. You have already shown us your ass so go ahead and show the rest of ALL you know and feel.

    I do thank you for confirming what I did say in my post about how selfish and spoiled rotten gay children of the priviledged are. But don’t worry. Since the majority of gay men and women are no different than the rest of the population as far as common sense goes your kind have nothing to worry about.
    Just sit or stand in your best twinky pose with your newly minted bi-ceps and tight pants to show off your buns via dominance of the squat rack in the gym and the queens will just fall in love with the fantasy and open their wallets to you and fuck their sickly counterparts.

    I just ask you be kind and pick a cliff not to high to march them over so at least one or two can look back in anguish later on in life at their ignorance and their equally ignorant, ivy league educated (and no doubt divorced) leaders who marched them over it.

  • FelineMOM

    I resent the animal abuse. Why use a put anything into a cat to rescues a newspaper. I am sure that Lynne Brown the publisher of the Washington Blade would not want to have her kitties used in such a manner. Why can’t we simply use a jar?

  • galefan2004

    The truth is…

    THERE IS NO GAY CULTURE! Just like not only one thing makes up a gay person, not only one culture makes up a gay person. I would much rather go to a tractor/truck pull than a gay bar. I would much rather swig bear with my straight friends than go for mixed drinks with my gay ones. The problem is that being gay is about who we like not what we like. That means all that “culture” is just trash. Its pointless drivel. Just because some queer dude likes to dress in drag doesn’t mean its part of our culture, just because half naked men like to parade down the street doesn’t mean its part of our culture, just because some gay dude could paint it doesn’t mean its part of our culture, and just because some singer that happened to be gay could make your ear drums rupture (I’m talking about you Adam) it doesn’t make it part of our culture. The only constants in our culture is we like the same sex and we deserve equal rights. Past that, “gay culture” does not even exist.

  • Dennis

    If there’s no gay culture, no there’s no culture of any kind, at all…No, GLBT people are not all ‘lock step’ in agreement with all aspects of their interests, but the term “culture” to applies to generalities, commonalities, frequently shared experiences/beliefs, and/or having some common history.

    Is there a jewish culture? A black culture? A latino culture in our country? I would say yes, even though not all jews, or AAs, or latinos like the same things, nor behave in the same ways, nor vote for the same candidates all the time.

    And BTW, your tractor pull-lovin’ buddies are most likely participating in “redneck” or blue-collar culture.

  • yeson8won

    Surely the correct name is the GBLT media – not just the gay media?

    After all, homosexuals have thrown in their lot with bisexuals and guys who think they are women.

    Representing such a motley collection of oddballs and weirdos is it any wonder nobody takes the ‘gay’ media seriously – apart from GBLT’s??

  • M Shane

    Prior to the assimilationist craze there was a lot to be aired about gay Culture: now that the cool thing is to believegays are just like the breeders , there is nothing relative to our kind.
    Queerty, like a lot of gay media, is so anti-intelectual that there is no discussion of issues. Particularly, of late there is the hairbrained notion going that gay marriage and gay military are the only issues.or in the case of the former, even a legitimate issue. In fact, of course, there is a huge gulf of opinion that marriage is the ethical way to pursue relationships. The politics are narrow and single(or simple) minded.

  • Cam

    @M Shane: you said ..

    Queerty, like a lot of gay media, is so anti-intelectual that there is no discussion of issues. In fact, of course, there is a huge gulf of opinion that marriage is the ethical way to pursue relationships. The politics are narrow and single(or simple) minded.


    No, your take on the issue is. This is the same type of comment that we’ve been hearing from the burned out old St. Marks Bath’s crew for over a decade now, when you aren’t waxing nostalgic about the good old days of drug induced hazes and getting gang banged in a dark room that is. You have every right to decide that marriage isn’t something you want to do, however the larger issue is that we should not be told we cannot participate in an instituation merely because of who we are. What you said would be the same thing as if a woman said “Well I don’t really want to go out and vote so it’s silly to have women be allowed to vote at all.”

    Try not to mix up your own personal views with overall civil rights.

  • Prof. O. G. Whataschonzell

    @M Shane: Lately I have wondered if this is an online version of those free AM papers for commuters in major cities. I have read comments that far outstrip the research that went into the article.

    I see this blog the same way I do regular news media. Cutbacks and overworked staff have lead me to accept what I get and if for some reason I feel I can do better no one is stopping me.

    Believe it or not, queerty, I honestly do love this blog. I just see things differently (as do others) and appreciate you allowing me to share my views with others.

Comments are closed.