Queerty Query: Tray Butler

Queerty recently interviewed the good humored and charming Tray Butler, Editor of the New York Blade.

Tray Butler

What is your educational and editorial background?

I graduated with honors from the University of Georgia’s journalism school. My degree was in magazines, but I kept getting roped into newspaper jobs: first at a daily, then at a monthly, and finally as a reporter for an alt-weekly. Two years ago I took the plunge into the gay press. I also write a monthly dating column for Genre, review movies for Men’s Edge and write an advice column that runs in a handful of weeklies. Oh, and I do illustration work as well, but that’s still sort of secret.

How do you describe the New York Blade’s present editorial mission?

The New York Blade is your one-stop source for gay news in the city. We’re like your personal gay RSS reader, from politics to pop culture to nightlife.

What is your vision for the future of the New York Blade?

I think the Blade – and the gay press at large – has reached an interesting point in its evolution. Ten years ago, the mainstream press wouldn’t touch the kind of stories that the gay press routinely covered. These days that’s no longer true. For the Blade to remain viable, we have to evolve. We’ve got to find new and meaningful ways to attract readers and keep them connected. I see a lot of that energy happening online, through our Blade Blog and new Blade Wire. Look for some envelope-pushing in the print edition over the next few months as well.

In a recent editorial, you mentioned that some conservative Christians have misappropriated March of the Penguins, considering it as this year’s Passion of the Christ and using it to promote the philosophy of “intelligent design” as well as anti-gay bigotry. Are such people bird brains, and do you think that an evangelical tourist is going to visit the Central Park Zoo and see the Virgin Mary in a penguin’s face?

No, but I will say this: The last time I went to the Central Park Zoo, I’d had a couple of Bloody Marys – and they weren’t virgin!

Do you accept queries from free-lance writers, and if so, for which type of stories do you have the greatest need?

Absolutely. I’m looking for intelligent, relevant and opinionated writers to contribute columns to our op-ed pages, as well as culture stories for the arts section. Basically, just shoot me an e-mail. (tbutler@nyblade.com) All ideas are welcome.

Who are your favorite gay-interest writers?

Gay writers usually bore me. I enjoy Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris, but I’d argue they both aim for a much wider audience. I adore Chuck Palahniuk, though nobody ever really talks about him being gay. Truman Capote remains an all-time favorite.

Please describe what is typically involved in getting out a week’s issue of the New York Blade.
Jesus, that’s a loaded question. Let’s just say it’s usually a precarious amalgamation of blood, sweat and queers. Trust me, you don’t want to know more. LOL