Alex Blaze

There goes Planetout, etc.

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 20, 2007 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Planetout, publications, Queerty

Remember back in the day when Planetout was the LGBTQ site on the internets to go to? Way back before they became a huge conglomerate of gaystream media with The Advocate, Out, Gay.com, Out Traveller, and a few other publications, I remember them as being a little edgy. It had this one gay male columnist whose whole thing it was to tell gay men to marry women and keep men on the side to lead an upright life (I forget his name), those personal that now seem obsolete with so many other networking sites online, and all the great gay news that you could read... several days late.

Yeah, well, they haven't been doing too well recently. Queerty has the goods on their SEC filing. They're losing profits fast, and while I can't help but smile, I do hope that it's for the right reasons.

It's true that I have criticized their conglomeration a bit in the past. I don't like the idea of all the biggest gaystream publications working together, running the same articles, all from the same perspective. Moreover, the articles that they run tend to be average to poorly written, and all with that "gay community" mentality. You know the one, I'm sure, that assumes that all people who don't identify as straight are gay, white, coastal-urban, and middle- to upper-class. In fact, it seems one way to defend them is to embrace that mentality. But it's simply untrue.

Racial division is the most obvious way that LGBTQ people are already divided; another obvious to us Hoosiers is that coastal-urban queers forget about those of us who live in fly-over country when they disparage the red states. It's a great goal to be all-inclusive, but ignoring a problem by saying that we already are isn't going to help.

All of this is what I think about whenever I see a publication that comes from Planetout, Inc. I think that a lot of queer people have an inherent distrust of anything that tries to centralize and normalize itself (and a lot of others have an inherent love of being centralized and normalized through various institutions, but that's another post for another day). Gay-stream media is great to have if it approaches issues from the mentality that there is no "LGBT community", but rather LGBT communities. I may love the same sex like Mary Cheney, David Geffin, or Elton John do, but let's be real enough to acknowledge that I don't travel in the same crowd as they do.

So if Planetout and its related publications go down, I hope that it's because queer people are just tired of that sort of false inclusion and fluff. That way another publication can take its place that's a bit more conscious of reality.


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*sigh* I remember when PlanetOut launched. It was the 1st gay website. Wasn't it owned by AOL back then? Then they split it off and it started devouring everything it could? Personally, OUT can go away, but I'd like to see The Advocate continue just for it's history. It was the first gay magazine I laid my hands on - back in the day when they still had sex lines and gigolo ads in the back of the publication.

The only gay magazine that I've purchased in Tetu, the french gay mag. There was anumber to sign up for gay text messages for 4 euro, and I kept on getting inappropriate messages in French after that on my cell. talk about a learning tool!

I'm just kinda tired of planetout. 365gay tends to have better written stories and they show up faster.

Yeah, I never visit PlanetOut anymore either - I go to 365gay.com for better written stories too. I've bought plenty of gay mags though - in the days before the internet it was all we really had to get national news. Out, Genre, and The Advocate were the three biggies in the day - although POZ was up there too for a while... Most of the others were smaller subscription bases, but still fascinating reading from our brethren.