Longtime readers and friends, we’ve come a great distance together. But after nearly 18 years scouring the web for LGBTQ news and bringing it to you on a daily basis, this has been my last week at Towleroad.
It’s been a thrilling experience, and a lot of hard, rewarding work. Towleroad is one of the few independently published LGBTQ news sites left. We’ve survived in a very tough environment by running a tight ship and sticking to our voice and our mission, which has been to bring you a variety of different types of news, both serious and completely silly, with a commitment to truth and honesty. I hope that it has informed you over the years, helped create some positive change in the world, and maybe given someone a laugh or a smile and inspired them to be themselves.
In 2003, after a gig as the editor-in-chief of the late gay magazine Genre I created Towleroad. Though it started as a personal exploration, the weblog format allowed for the first time the delivery of news to a niche audience in a rapid manner, with interaction between readers and writers that had not existed before, and I realized I could take what I had been doing at Genre to the internet.
Michael Goff joined Towleroad in 2005 as my business partner. Together we grew the site, created a gay ad network of related sites, and also published Ptown Hacks, a travel guide to Provincetown. He’ll continue running Towleroad. There will be new writers, there may be a new voice, there could be a new direction. But I hope you’ll continue to give Towleroad your support, for which we are so grateful. I’m so personally grateful for Michael’s inspiration, dedication, and friendship through it all.
Back in those very early days there were a few independent gay voices doing blogs (notably Andrew Sullivan) but no online clearing houses for LGBTQ information, and it was thrilling to be able to interact with an audience in an exciting and fresh format and I’m grateful to have been in the right place at the right time to do so.
It was a collaborative time in “new media” and I soon found myself among a sea of exciting voices which shared links, inspiration, common cause, and creative ideas, like Pam Spaulding’s ‘Pam’s House Blend’, Joe Jervis’s JoeMyGod, Michael K’s Dlisted, OMGblog, Bil Browning’s The Bilerico Project, Michelangelo Signorile’s The Signorile Report, Keith Boykin, Jeremy Hooper’s Good As You, Rex Wockner, John Aravosis’ AmericaBlog, Chris Johnson and Michael Lavers at the Washington Blade, Jim Burroway and Timothy Kincaid’s Box Turtle Bulletin, Paul Schindler at Gay City News, Rod 2.0, Shakesville, The New Civil Rights Movement, Andres Duques’ Blabbeando, Trent Vanegas’s Pink is the New Blog, Just Jared, Mike Rogers’ BlogActive, Kenneth Walsh’s Kenneth in the 212, Matt Rettenmund’s Boy Culture, Queerty, Alvin McEwen’s ‘Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters’, Greg Hernandez’s Greg in Hollywood, Wayne Besen’s Truth Wins Out, Dan Savage’s Slog, the late Monica Roberts’ TransGriot, Juliano Corbetta’s Made In Brazil, Back2Stonewall, Perez Hilton, Socialite Life, NewNowNext, AfterEllen, AfterElton, Autostraddle and many others. I apologize if I’ve forgotten anyone. By virtue of our formats and audiences, at many times we were able to manifestly affect justice together in so many ways. I would like to thank them all for their support and kindness over the years.
I’ve been gratified to see the tide of public opinion and acceptance of LGBTQ people shift in vast ways. When I launched this experiment George W. Bush was president, and nobody knew what a “blog” was. There were no hate crime protections for LGBTQ people, the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was still in place, and gay and lesbian people couldn’t get married anywhere in the United States. There was no YouTube, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, and no iPhone!
There’s no one reason I’ve decided it’s time for a change. When you do something for nearly two decades you start to wonder if there’s anything else for you out there. And when there’s a global pandemic and you’re stuck in isolation for a year obsessively absorbing the actions of a fascist in charge of the country you start pondering those ‘life’ questions even more.
So what do I plan to do? I don’t know right now, but I do have a few ideas. I want to get back to creating things. I want to see what else is out there for me. I want to take a deep breath and finally maybe have a weekend off.
You can also continue to follow me on Facebook, my main Instagram account, and Twitter. Not on TikTok yet (not sure if I’ll ever be), but who knows what the days will bring but stay connected and we’ll see what happens. I’m excited about what the future holds.
In addition to Michael Goff, I’d like to thank Towleroad’s sales chief John Finco for sustaining our business through thick and thin in what continues to be an ever-more challenging world for independent publishers.
So many readers and commenters have offered their words of support over the years and I’m grateful for your lasting readership, and also the criticism. I have tried to learn from it.
I’d also like to thank the many writers and contributors I’ve worked with closely, including Bobby Hankinson, Sean Mandell, Kyler Geoffrey, David Mixner, Corey Johnson, Ari Ezra Waldman, Naveen Kumar, Randy Rainbow, Nathaniel Rogers, Kevin Sessums, Craig Karpel, Ari Karpel, Adam Rhodes, Andrew Belonsky, Lisa Keen, Ed Salvato, Billy Kolber, Anthony Costello, Brandon Thorp and Penn Bullock, Jon Barrett, Josh Helmin, Josh Koll, Brian Sloan, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, Daniel Villareal, Susie Bright, Jon Bailiff, Garth Greenwell, Jake Folsom, John Wright, Josh Trujillo, Julian Ward, Kenneth Walsh, Lewis Payton, Luis Damian Veron, Leo Herrera, Matthew Rettenmund, Muri Assuncao, Nathan Manske, Occupy the Disco’s Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum and Tadeu Maghales, RJ Aguiar, Sam Greisman, Savas Abadsidis, and Steve Pepdjonovic. Again, apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone.
Keep in touch.