Just who are the real influencers in the LGBTQ market? I always say the most influential people are the publishers and editors of LGBTQ media. The publishers have their readers and, of course, their social media channels to amplify their voices. Some have a host of other outlets too. Let me introduce you to some of them and show just how powerful their voices are.
Meet Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News (PGN). Mark is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is he the publisher of PGN, but he is also a veteran of the Stonewall Riots and the dawn of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. He was just a lad back then, but his voice now is as loud as ever. Whenever I see the clip of Mark the “gay activist” who stormed Walter Cronkite and CBS while live on air back in 1973, I have to laugh. You can hear him loud and clear, but you only get to see his sign and part of his very long hair in the clip. Still, he made a difference then, and he continues to do so today. Last year during Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, it was hard not to see Mark on mainstream TV amidst the commemorations. Mark also writes a regular column in PGN called Mark My Words, does a live Facebook webcast every week, and his multiple social media numbers are staggering.
Meet Norm Kent, publisher of South Florida Gay News (SFGN). Norm has a long history in the LGBTQ press. In fact, SFGN is the second LGBTQ newspaper he founded. He is also a lawyer working with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to legalize cannabis in the United States. Additionally, Norm hosts his own radio program called The Norm Kent Show, and his past experience as a stand-up comic comes in quite handy. He often talks on-air about companies helping the LGBTQ community.
Meet Tracy Baim, owner of Chicago’s Windy City Times, who I have known for years. At one time Tracy owned five LGBTQ titles, and I can tell you she never missed a detail. She is now also publisher of the Chicago Reader, that city’s leading alternative weekly. Her expertise in publishing is unmatched, even in the non-LGBTQ world.
Meet Betty Sullivan, publisher of the San Francisco Bay Times and Betty’s List. Betty not only publishes one of the three major Bay Area LGBTQ publications, but she also hosts the Castro Street webcam and publishes Betty’s List, one of the leading lesbian email newsletters in the world.
Truthfully, I wish I could introduce you to everyone in LGBTQ publishing. They all work to help our communities each and every day. They all know who advertises in their publications and digital extensions. They know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. They then take that information and disseminate it to their local sphere of influence, and their messages get carried around the world. They help their communities by getting the word out about who supports “us” and our markets with a strong vibrant voice. That is the power they wield. 
Advertisers take note. You too can help simply by advertising in LGBTQ media, which is funded completely by advertising support. Community media needs that support and, in return, they have many ways to amplify the voice of your brand.
The key statistics of the LGBTQ market show just how influential these people are. Most LGBTQ people say that the number one way they know if a company is LGBTQ friendly is seeing an advertisement in their own media, according to the 14th Annual LGBTQ Community Survey (see guest column below). This alone is important because LGBTQ media only reaches a portion of the community, but it is the most important part of the community — the part that is looking for information, looking for the details. They then take those messages and carry them forward to their own circles of influence. They want to help you, too, by publicizing the advertisers that support LGBTQ media.

About the Author

Todd Evans is President and CEO of Rivendell Media-America’s leading LGBTQ media placement firm- a unique media company that was founded in 1979 and represents 95% of all LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS media in the United States and Canada. Rivendell Media serves as the national advertising representative for over 200 gay, lesbian and HIV/AIDS newspapers, magazines and entertainment guides their websites and standalone digital properties. After working for the company and then taking over in 1994, he has worked on almost every major LGBT media campaign as well as every DTC campaign in the HIV/AIDS market since the FDA allowed them. That experience along with his knowledge of the media provide unique qualifications on what has worked and what is necessary to reach and speak to these audiences. Todd Evans is also a silent partner of Q Syndicate, the leading content provider for gay media and is also publisher of Press Pass Q, the industry newsletter for the gay and lesbian press professional. Todd Evans graduated from Villanova University with a bachelor in Political Science. He currently resides in Mountainside, New Jersey. He can be reached at todd@rivendellmedia.com or 908-232-2021 ext 210.

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