G Philly Drops LBT Coverage From Printed Publication

G Philly announced Wednesday, March 13, that they will be changing the focus of their quarterly printed publication to exclusively target gay men. The subsidiary publication of Philadelphia Magazine states that the online blog component of G Philly will continue to post content inclusive to lesbian, bisexual, and transgender readers.

Launched in 1908, the Philadelphia Magazine empire has no secret of the fact that they primarily target an upper-class, Main Line demographic.

An editorial published Thursday by G Philly editor, Michael Callahan, justified the decision, saying, “The print component is 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.”

G Philly was launched two years ago, in March of 2011. In a January 2013 editorial published on Philly.com, former editor of G Philly, Natalie Hope McDonald, described the publication as a “GQ-style magazine exclusively for the LGBT community. It makes way for a new era of LGBT publishing – one that acknowledges that gay people may like to read as much about investigative journalism as maybe fashion and entertainment.”

The reboot of G Philly is to feature regular segments on eligible gay single men, sex and love advice, a fashion accessory column, a dining column, gay friendly vacation spots, and an interior decorating section which will provide, “a mouth-watering peek into the domiciles of gays with very good taste.”

Reader comments left on the editorial announcing the publication’s relaunch were negative. A commenter named Jen D wrote,

This new direction you’re headed in is unfortunately narrowly focused and (quite frankly) offensive. There isn’t another queer magazine for people specifically in Philadelphia and now you’re going to just focus on the gay men…

Another comment left by Nikki Lopez, a young leader in the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, wrote,

This is disappointing, upsetting and completely utterly disrespectful to the beautiful mosaic that is the lgbtq community in Philadelphia. It’s a blatant move of exclusivity showcasing that gay, white men are deemed ‘worthy’ to print…

Philadelphia Magazine was recently criticized in an editorial of the Philadelphia Gay News, after the magazine ran a profile feature entitled “Your Guide to Philadelphia’s A-Gays.” All twenty eight individuals featured were men, and twenty-seven of them were white. G Philly Editor, Michael Callahan, acknowledged the need for more racial diversity within the relaunched G Philly publication, stating,

“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.”

At the KSV, we are left speechless that in a city where over 60% of the population are people of color, and where the Human Rights Campaign gives their highest rating for LGBT-friendliness, G Philly could not identify a non-caucasian man willing to model.

Additionally, Philadelphia Magazine’s cover story this March is on race relations entitled, “Being White in Philly,” which was heavily criticized by both outside news sources and other writers of the publication as being irresponsible. With an all-white editorial board, Philadelphia Magazine explored racial tensions only between white and black Philadelphians – solely through the lens of white people. ABC 6’s Tamala Edwards took on Philadelphia Magazine’s editor Tom McGrath on March 10th’s “Inside Story.” She challenged Philadelphia Magazine’s approach to covering race relations in a city predominantly people of color.

Tamala Edwards: You’re talking about race. Shouldn’t you be talking about class? That it’s not about black people in Philly, but poor people who happen to be black?…[Well, for] the two-thirds of African-Americans who are above the poverty line, why not talk to them? But he talks to no blacks in this piece.

Those same lines could be said in response to G Philly’s severance of the LBT people from their publication.

Will we see a coordinated response from the LGBTQ community of Philadelphia, or mainstream journalism community – or will this decision go unchallenged? Maybe Tamala Edwards could take some time to also educate G Philly on diversity. Only time will tell.

One thought on “G Philly Drops LBT Coverage From Printed Publication

  1. You would think that if they were at least going to only focus on Philadelphia gay men, they would at least use gay men of Philadelphia as their models. Then one wouldn’t have to worry about a model worrying about being seen in a gay publication. There are plenty of handsome gay men of color. Why not at least try to actually support the one faction of the LGBT Philadelphia that you claim to be supporting.

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