Out has the highest circulation of any gay, nationwide, monthly publication (is there any other gay, nationwide, monthy publication, other than maybe Details?), due in large part to the celebrities on Out’s covers over the past two years. Here they all are:
(Note: February 2010 had an unknown swimsuit model on the cover, January 2010 was part of the December 2009 “Best Of” double issue featuring Cyndi Lauper and Adam Lambert, and the most recent December/January issue was also a “Best Of” issue and featured Julianne Moore on a horse; I left those covers out.)
Twelve issues, starting in March of 2010 with Ewan McGregor and ending with Adele’s May/June issue directly above. Nine of the twelve–or, 75% of the issues–have straight men and women on the cover; just three (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, and Tom Ford, who I see is kissing his boyfriend on the cheek, not the lips) have openly gay men. Sorry, no lesbians, bisexuals, or trans. I’m told that the current July issue, featuring an openly straight and openly shirtless football player on the cover, has started a Serious Conversation (as serious as conversations prompted by shirtless football players can be) about homophobia in sports among straight people on, uh, ESPN.com message boards. Fine. Explain to me how Out is a gay magazine that celebrates gay people.
ADDED: In response to some of the comments:
The “bitter attempt” I’m making (that’s what someone called it in the comments below) is not to create controversy (if I wanted to create controversy, talking about Out would hardly be the way to do it), but rather to point out that the most recognizable gay print publication in the country is not interested in showing a national, mainstream audience who gay people really are. And that’s fine. Out can be whatever kind of magazine it wants to be. And the argument that straight people lending their voices to the gay community helps gay people become more accepted may be true, in a horrifically sad sort of way. Is that why/how you want to be accepted–because of a celebrity who otherwise homophobic people think they can relate to? Is that what it’s come to, gaining validation via a celebrity rather than who you are and what you have to offer? Do you have anything to offer? Are you okay with eventually being tolerated only because of Harry Potter?
Also: Openly and delightedly sexually objectifying straight, shirtless athletes on the cover of a gay magazine and then crying and complaining and demanding an apology when some other straight athlete uses the word “faggot”? Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.