The Blaring Issue With Gay Magazine Covers That Nobody Talks About

March 31st 2016

Laura Donovan

A new hashtag is blowing up on social media and claiming that gay magazine covers need to include more racial diversity.

#GayMediaSoWhite, which is a spin on the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, gained traction on Twitter earlier this week after queer rapper Mykki Blanco retweeted songwriter Jesse Saint John's tweet arguing that gay media is not as progressive as it may seem.

Blanco proceeded to go on a tweetstorm about the issue and highlight the shortage of diversity on covers of Attitude magazine, a British gay lifestyle publication:

Out magazine, which is also a gay publication, jumped into the mix by tweeting and then deleting this message at Blanco: "Surely you haven't forgotten that you've been profiled in the Out 100 (we wanted 2 again last but u could not make shoot)."

Blanco went on to retweet tweets using the hashtag #GayMediaSoWhite as well as a photo of Out magazine covers featuring lots of white men.

After Blanco's tweets on the subject went viral, others started tweeting #GayMediaSoWhite.

One user even called it unfair of some gay publications to put straight men on the covers.

There's a larger issue of the lack of diversity in magazine covers.

As ATTN: has noted before, mainstream magazines are criticized for failing to consistently feature people of color on covers. Last summer, trans writer and former People magazine staff editor Janet Mock drew attention to this by tweeting out a photo of four women of color on the covers of fashion magazines for September 2015, saying it's "beyond anything [she has] seen as a journalist."

In a piece for Fusion last year, Marjon Carlos pointed out that six women of color graced magazine covers in March 2015. While this was a sign of progress in media, Carlos implied that there's still a lot of work to be done to achieve magazine cover diversity, as less than 15 percent of big fashion magazine covers included women of color in 2014.

"[T]he reason we’re so excited about these magazine covers is because they are rare," she wrote. "A woman of color on the cover of a major mainstream fashion magazine makes waves, since we see WOC so infrequently."

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