Yesterday marked the beginning of a new era for all of us here at G Philly—the publication of our Spring 2013 issue, and with it a new editorial direction for the publication.
Some of what you’ll see is cosmetic—we have an amazing new design team in B&G Design Studios, which has freshened up the look of the magazine, altered the typography, updated the color palette, and brought in some gorgeous new photography that has injected a new level of sophistication into the magazine’s aesthetic.
We’ve also launched some new regular features in the book: “Guy at the End of the Bar,” where every issue a bachelor on the market lets us know a bit more about him through a breezy Q&A; “Accessorized,” which will feature must-haves of the moment; “Eating Out,” our rebranded dining column, which each issue will feature a themed roundup of three great spots for good grub; “Long Weekend,” our peek into a great weekend getaway destination with a gay bent; “Hey, Chirl!,” our sassy new love and sex advice column; and “Simply Fabulous,” which each issue will offer a mouth-watering peek into the domiciles of gays with very good taste. On our back page, we now offer “Stripped,” a carousel of handsome men who are not only confident enough to answer our G Philly questionnaire, but to also pose shirtless as they do it.
Our features, which this month include stories on spring fashion, antiquing, and the surprising new way gay men are using Grindr, will offer a wide, eclectic range of topics to explore and discover.
So let me hit the first question you’re no doubt having head-on: Where are the lesbians in all of this? The bisexuals? The transgendered? Why are you doing a magazine that seems to only target gay men?
It’s an excellent question, and here’s the answer: Yes, in the print version of G Philly we are narrowing the focus a bit, to mainly target the lives and interests of gay men. But no, we are not excluding our other brothers and sisters in the LGBT community from the G Philly universe. Not at all.
Quarterly magazines are difficult prospects; in an era where breaking news is reported every five seconds on the Internet, as news vessels they are anachronistic. It just doesn’t make sense to do news in a quarterly, and in the LGBT community, there is breaking news almost daily that is of vital interest to all of us.
Which is why this, our daily G Philly portal on the Web, is now your daily news digest for everything LGBT in news and popular culture. Our daily blogger, the amazing Josh Middleton, brings you a daily feed covering what you need to know when you need to know it, on issues ranging from gay marriage to the effect of the sequester on LGBT services to new HIV drug trials to the queer female poet honored as the best in the world. We do a roundup of what to do each weekend on Fridays, and we do a weekly roundup of the weekend’s news on Mondays. And we supplement all of this with some lively fun and games, from Q&As with local movers and shakers to previews of some of our community’s most interesting events to Alexander Kacala’s hilarious recaps of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The print component is a now exclusively focused on lifestyle content. And we felt that to serve this venue best, it made sense to sharpen its editorial focus a bit, instead of trying to be all things to all people and giving short shrift to everyone in the process. Much of the content of the “new” print G Philly will, I hope, be of value to everyone in the LGBT community, whether that’s great gadgets for your iPhone or a terrific weekend getaway or where to dine out. But yes, we have also added some eye candy to the print product, and I don’t apologize for that. The simplest way to think about it is this way: G Philly the web blog is the local version of The Advocate; G Philly the print quarterly is the local version of Out or Instinct. Just as the national gay media targets to better serve its constituencies (Curve for lesbians, for example, or Dragazine for drag queens), we are taking a page and doing the same here, to deliver, in sum, a 360-degree view of gay life in Philly.
Of course, no relaunch is perfect, and ours is not, either. One criticism I fully accept is that ours is a diverse community, and there needs to be solid representation of men of color within the G Philly magazine. In our defense, we did book an African-American model for our fashion shoot, but he cancelled when he found out the publication was gay, saying he didn’t feel comfortable with the content, and we had to scramble a bit to find a replacement. That said, I pledge to do better going forward in representing all of the colors of our rainbow in future issues.
These changes will not be embraced by everybody, and in fact will upset some people, and I regret that even as I understand it. Any creative enterprise that changes anything leaves itself open for criticism. But media properties that don’t change atrophy.
I am proud of G Philly, and proud that I work for an established media company in Philadelphia that thought serving the gay community was so important, and such a no-brainer, that they have invested significant time and resources into both print and digital outlets, as well as sponsored events, to do it. I hope you will offer your thoughts to us, that you will try and be constructive in your dialogue when you do, and that you will help us make G Philly the best it can be, online and firstname.lastname@example.org.