'Out' and 'Genre' Take Different Paths

The New Issue: Two Gay Monthlies…

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A recent issue of gay monthly Out pondered whether or not we live in a post-gay world. In that issue, which featured sexually ambiguous Mika on the cover, editor Aaron Hicklin lamented the gentrification of formerly gay ghettos like Fire Island’s pines:

It would be a horrible irony if the communities and beach resorts that once subverted society’s mores and pieties ended up feeling as privileged and alienating as the culture they were reacting against.

From there, the issue as a whole examined the relevance of sexuality in a fairly gay friendly popular culture. Do we need to be here and queer? The answered seemed to be no. In our discussion of that issue, we wrote, “Gay may not be the war cry it once was; in fact, there may be no war cry.” Sexuality in America seems to be more malleable, hence a post-gay world.

New Genre EIC Neal Boulton unabashedly borrows Hicklin’s idea in his editorial for the revamped glossy.

Labels aside, like any American, I like what Americans like. I like a hot car…I want to have a hot body… and I want a walk-in closet full of hot clothes… And sex. Can anyone really ever get enough? Sorta sounds like everyone else on the planet, doesn’t it?

Boulton goes on to chide unnamed men’s magazines that cater to gays, but refuse to acknowledge their queer readers. He concludes:

…A lot of these magazines just need to come out. Until then there is Genre, the new magazines for every man – proud of being gay. The magazine for the American – who isn’t ashamed of anything – G, L, B, or T.

Gentlemen mark your calendars and join me in ringing in a post gay America.

Boulton’s proclamation may come three months after Hicklin’s, but the idea remains the same: American gays have entered a new era. The men and their magazines, however, have very different opinions on that era’s landscape.

As part of this, The New Issue, we thought we’d have a sit down with Boulton to discuss his plans for Genre. And he certainly didn’t shy away from sharing them. Enthusiastic and confident to the point of arrogance, Boulton explained that he wants to make Genre more of a “men’s” magazine:

I want to take it in a broader direction. It’ll be more of a men’s magazine for every gay guy, rather than just the racier version or just the highbrow version.

Boulton went on to explain that under his direction, Genre will focus on some essentials: clothes, health, sex, booze and cars. Cars? Sure, we think cars are great and we’re glad they exist, but it’s not necessarily something we associate with a gay mentality. (But you do need car editorial for car advertisers.)

Boulton, however, says otherwise. He and his staff conducted an “independent” survey to gauge the state of the gay nation. And, according to their findings, gay men and straight men have virtually the same interests. The only difference can be seen in expenditure:

We did a really great study before relaunching this, a really in-depth independent study of the interest of gay men and it’s virtually parallel… Gay men will absolutely spend, for instance, they may not work on their cars and be obsessed with their engines, but they’re absolutely spend more money on cars, the price of their car will be much more than, say, a straight man.

Gays aren’t subjective individuals, we’re a massive marketing demographic! And a rich one!