The New ‘Out’: Think Gay ‘New Yorker’

Out mag

Why yes, as one commenter pointed out, a good portion of Queerty’s Morning Goods photo spreads feature heteros that cater to the homo eye. Those are there for your masturbatory enjoyment. But when it comes to a magazine like Out – which we showed you the first cover from new editor Aaron Hicklin yesterday – the cover is more than a photo spread: It’s a statement.

Learning where Hicklin is taking the title, however, means we’ll let his Footballer’s Wives go by with a shrug.

While Hicklin won’t be altering Out’s sexual identity, he does plan to make it, like his own, a bit harder to pin down. “My buzzword has been, ‘Let’s be [David] Bowie gay rather than Cher gay,'” he said this week, at the end of his first month on the job.

Just as Bowie recorded concept albums, Out, said Hicklin, will publish more themed issues in hopes of stimulating the creativity of its writers and photographers. Hicklin’s first full issue as editor, September, will have a back-to-school motif, complete with a fashion shoot inspired by “Lord of the Flies.” “The fashion is where you can get all the pictures of cute, sexy boys you want, but shot in a way that’s radical and thoughtful,” he said.

But alongside the beefcake will be a beefed-up supply of serious reportage, with the goal to produce journalism that could just as easily be found in The New Yorker or Vanity Fair, said Hicklin. “The question I ask myself is, ‘What would those magazines do if they were gay?'” he said. “I’d rather have mainstream magazines with an aesthetic I admire as the competition” than other gay titles, he added. “For an editor, you create the magazine you want to read. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.”

And while we’d love to read 12,000 words on the love life of some 1920s glamour girl a la Vanity Fair, we’re sure Aaron will find a way to tie energy security in with choosing the best Wednesday night leather bar.

Memo Pad: Out Editor’s Straight Talk [WWD]