Billy Glover on GLBT Media of Today
I am not "replying" as the email is way too long-since it has the 3 or 4 previous emails. But I want to give my view of not just Mark but the glbt media of today. It is good. It is great that the editors/publishers make money. They are serving a purpose, communication, entertainment. I had worried that they would disappear as have our bookstores and general newspapers. And now it is great to have such resources as yours, and Bilerico Project, and even (thought I don't see it) the lgbt part of The Huffington Report. And what is really good is seeing the links each day on Daily Queer News.
I view this from the years of working at ONE/HIC. I at first was only a Dorr Legg person, but I did mail the magazine and distribute it (later also the Mattachiine Review and The Ladder) locally and eventually started helping with the magazine, proof reading etc. So it was NOT inevitable that I would go with Don Slater when they separated. So my thinking is that I would like the newspapers/magazines better only if they gave us more of the readers' response. That is based on ONE/Tangents. Our most read part was letters to the editor. Then the "Tangents" section, then articles and editorials. We had few ads of course, and no pictures really. Later we did cover most issues of homosexuality-we did Fire Island, Belle Epoch, glbt movies, and certainly the issue of the military/draft, and religion. We obviously had two very interesting articles on marriage and the readers responded.
We never made a profit, but for all those years we kept going, and it was ONE alone that existed for a few years. I think it was inevitable that the magazine would eventually die as there never was that much support/interest for a serious magazine once the readers-men mainly- could get Grecian Guild, Physique Pictorial and then Drum, Advocate, etc. I don't see many people reading The Gay & Lesbian Review. They sure didn't read Mattachine Review or The ladder. And while we sold some books, our reviews of them didn't increase sales. I wonder how many are reading them now in Queer Studies classes, or if libraries even still have the bound volumes reprinted.
But my main thought is that you can not make people read your publication now-we had a monopoly for the early years. Mark may want to give a lot of movement coverage, but do his readers want that. I see most of them have lots of entertainment coverage-what plays are in town, interviews with actors, etc. I too would like them to at least once a year give the readers knowledge that, even with all online stuff, the Gayellow Pages is a great resource (and is online) and is important to let members of the community know that organizations or publications or businesses exist that they need. (It also must irritate the bigots to see those thousands of listings.)
Also many papers do list local groups, at least once a year. But I am not sure people know, even with all the coverage given it, that PFLAG exists., much less COLAGE. Do they know what legal groups exist in the community? Do young people know of The Point Foundation? The Gill Foundation? How about coverage of our archives/libraries?
Our movement/community needs all these types of publications. As far as I know all these publications are free. And there are those who find the advertisements worthwhile, especially visitors to an area. And anyone seeking a different publication can always start one, or start a new organization. And today many general media resources give us all the lgbt news NO ONE would give us in the 1950's and 10-60s. Coming out is discussed again on The Real World/San Diego. It reaches a large segment of young people which we can not. And we have such people as Karen Ocamb having both a blog and writing for the major Los Angeles newspaper (Frontiers LA).
I think we can celebrate our movement's success. And I sure am glad any money being made on our community is going to US, not to LOGO and others who exploit us. It is good to finally have journalists making a living wage, but not many do yet. How great it would have been for Jim Kepner to have had a good income to do what he did. And any money Mark makes now-or Frank did,-would still not make up for what they had to go through to get where they are. And that obviously is true of jck nichols, et al.