Thursday, February 1


Dear Ragan,

I'm not going to waste any time talking about how I'm a big fan of your show -- a simple trip to the podcast archives will find a v.m. message I left, somewhere back in the first 12 episodes or so... something about chicken'n'waffles. Nor will I spend any time praising your strong, clear stand in defense of gay/lesbian, women's and human rights - anyone who is smart enough to listen to your show is also smart enough to know the manner in which you normally champion these issues.

No, I'll just cut right to the chase: a few months back, I found a digital preview of a new magazine in my email inbox. I've working in the publishing industry before, so I know how hard it is to find feedback untainted by the evils of marketing. So, I read the darn thing (as much as one can, in this format) and submitted my feedback. Overall, the magazine offered very little in the way of new ideas. They seemed hell-bent on marketing themselves as the thinking tweakers' version of XY magazine... which pretty much says it all. But that wasn't the worst of it. No, what really left my designer briefs in a bunch was the lack of diversity in this magazine. Nearly every image was of skinny, white men. And the image most upsetting? YOURS.

Now, don't get me wrong, Ragan: I love ya. I would F- You in the -A, and give you a BJ anytime. We even get our hair did at the same place, which in some odd, faggy way makes me like you even more. (Although I've never had the crazy Russian lady. I always wait around for the big, daddy bear, but that's a story for another time.)

No, what upset me was the image of my modern-day hero, my champion of diversity, selling out to a white-washed magazine. I won't use the word, "disappointed" -- that's a heavy, nasty word, and I'm not angry enough to lash out like that... I just, I dunno... hoped, well... let's just say that after I found your podcast I had more hope for the future, found greater faith in my fellow man/woman, and felt a little less alone knowing someone out there thought/acted/spoke the way you did.

I don't know what I expect to come of this. I know this may be an unfair burden to place on you. I just though, will all your personal attempts at honesty and clarity, I owed this to you.

A Fan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this letter. I totally understand what you're getting at, and respect your point of view. Truth be told, I was shocked when they asked me to write the column. I am, after all, in my 30s. I'm also not a fan of white washing images of gay men.

I'm friends with the editor and we've had conversations about the magazine's content. We haven't discussed race, but we have talked about the type of information covered in the magazine. I briefly pushed for more political and educated content.

When I submitted my article, I had absolutely no idea what the first issue would look like. Well, I knew the models would probably be young and that the format would look something like XY. But that's all I knew. Because the first issue has yet to make it to print, I'm not too concerned with my involvement.

If the first issue makes it to print and they want me to continue to write the column, I'll definitely address your concerns--primarily because I agree with you.

I hope this answers whatever questions you have.