Tom Brown

Daytona's gay magazine drops the "G" word

Filed By Tom Brown | May 31, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Daytona Beach, Gordon Phillips, Greater Daytona Beach Business Guild, straight washing

GayDaytona, the monthly magazine of the Greater Daytona Beach Business Guild, has reinvented itself as HalifaxBiz, deliberately taking the word "gay" off its front cover.

Gordon Phillips, who edited the local magazine under its old name for more than 10 years, said the Guild's board of directors voted for the makeover to satisfy some of its advertisers. He said some business owners felt the GayDaytona name was costing them business.


Phillips discussed the change at a May 23 meeting of OneDaytona, a gay-lesbian advocacy group.

"This just affects the cover," he said. "When you open up the magazine, you'll see we're just as gay as we've always been."

"Personally, I'm 100 percent opposed to this philosophy, but I understand where these business owners are coming from," he said. "The Daytona gay community is still mostly closeted, and the owners need straight business to survive."

The new look was introduced in the magazine's June issue, which was presented online May 28.

The new cover identifies the magazine only as "Daytona Beach Guild," but inside pages label it Halifaxbiz Magazine. A promotional poster on the cover advertises an upcoming show by Suzanne Westerhoefer and Andre Kelley, but doesn't identify them as gay comedians. However, the cover does tell the reader that inside pages include an article about a "GLBT teen center" and a tourism piece titled "Traveling in our Fabulous Gay World."

The Guild will continue to maintain its web site in order to help out-of-town people find out about the gay aspects of Daytona Beach, Phillips said.

Other changes in the 16-page print magazine include a larger 8-by-11-inch format and the introduction of color printing. Greg Neely, owner of the NewAge Touch massage clinic, has replaced Phillips as editor. Phillips said he stepped down because of other business demands on his time, not because of the name change.

The magazine, given away free at several bars, hotels and other businesses, is written and produced by volunteers. After the Orlando-based Watermark newspaper stopped distributing to the Daytona area last year, it became the only local GLBT print publication available in the Daytona area.

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If that what it takes to keep the publication going, so be it. We can't afford to lose any more gay media. Plus, gay is so 90s.

...actually, I luv Jillian and her work.

However, I see this as really DADT expanding in to the civilian spaces. The phillosophy of 'dont ask, DON'T TELL' where Gay and Lesbians have to hide who they are to do bussiness really pisses me off. I see and hear it at work every week.

Is it a 'Gay Media' if 'Gay' isn't identified? When will it become politic to drop the GLBT teen center story because an advitiser thinks its enticing teens to become GLBT? Notice I said 'when' and not 'if'?

How long after dropping those important lables will it become just another scrap of paper with no meaning to the GLBT community?

Trading security for your identity merely means you can say you have a job. If you want 'just a job that pays bills' then go find one of those in a more secure enviroment. Lets face it, I have good freinds in print media. Print media is dying. You have a job for today. Sadly, realization will come too late. It always does.

Soon enough someone will start up a new print magazine and website that DOES proudly proclaim itself as a GLBT publication. It won't get rich, but it will be a visible part of the community.

Lots of lgbt media don't use "gay" in the title. Off the top of my head:

The Advocate
DC Agenda
Just Out
Frontiers in LA
Bay Area Reporter
Windy City Times
Chicago Free Press (now defunct)
NY Blade
Washington Blade
Southern Voice
EDGE Boston
Bay Windows
The Word
Michigan Messenger
Q-Notes (although that's close)
Dallas Voice

Those are ll that I can think of off the top of my head. With gay or something in it I can think of a few blogs, but that's about it.

Looks like they just fell in line with the industry, although there were ways to finesse this without appearing to go back into the closet, which is what this is.

Like Gina pointed out, DADT is all over the country and it's expanding. Too bad no one wants to fight that one.

Rick Sours | June 2, 2010 7:13 PM

I appreciate the idea that this is probably simply a business move. My question or concern is since
one function of these publications is to provide information to the LBGT community, will LBGT
individuals be able to locate these publications within a direct term like LGBT or Gay in the title?

Tom Brown | June 6, 2010 7:54 AM

The good news is that the magazine, whatever its title, is still continuing and remains free. There was a possibility it might be shut down completely but the Daytona Guild will continue to subsidize it. The less than good news is that its distribution is limited to a handful of local gay businesses and organizations. We rely on the out-n-proud web site to compensate for the limited distribution of HalifaxBiz.

Joe Wolfarth | May 20, 2011 4:47 PM

I have been reading this magazine for years... Daytona Beach is my hometown (my family has lived in the area for over 125 years), and my local Unitarian Universalist church has benefitted from the magazine's willingness to provide free listings for churches, service agencies and other non-profits businesses in the local area who serve the GLBT community without prejudice... In our town, many gay people live closeted lives for years, decades or until death. Not all of them are comfortable even with the words, "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" or even the awkward moniker, GLBT (now often "GLBTQ" - it just seems to get longer and longer!) I understand that advertising helps provide sustenance for a publication like this one. I understand that it's hard to find a label that doesn't offend or provoke anyone. I have given a great deal of thought to this subject since coming out over 20 years ago, and I have decided I dislike GLBT or GLBTQ because they are un-pronounceable acronyms, even though they were intended to promote a sense of Inclusion. I personally use another word: "Unstraight" (as in, "Straight folks and Unstraight folks alike enjoyed the event.") However, just because this term satisfies ME doesn't mean I hear Other people use it. I will continue to use it myself because I find it inoffensive, as it isn't an old term loaded with the kind of emotional baggage that gets attached to words like "queer," "homosexual," etc. - and yes, even "gay" - that becomes divisive and all too often provides material for bullies to use in schools and elsewhere when they taunt and harm innocent children. Believe me, if you were a High School student right now in America, you would know that "gay" does NOT equal "cool." Can I blame this magazine for dropping the "G-Word" when I mainly no longer use it myself? Hardly. I am just glad the magazine is still there. We need all the positive energy we can get in a town like mine; many people still carry tremendous hang-ups about human sexuality in small and medium-sized towns across our nation; progress at changing societal attitudes is slow.
-Joe Wolfarth, Daytona Beach, Florida