October 14 – 30th Anniversary!
We celebrate 30 years of Gay Times with our anniversary issues naming 30 gay icons. But, why did we choose the ones we did? GT editor Darren Scott explains all…
Thirty years is a landmark in any relationship. And while we’re not the type to blow our own trumpet, we don’t think we’re looking too bad for 30 years in print. Well, we’re actually 40 because we started life as HIM
Magazine in 1974, before we became Gay Times in 1984. But doesn’t every gay person have a different age on their profile at some point in life…
I can’t even begin to consider what those first writers and editors - who had no idea they were at the beginnings of the worlds longest-running gay magazine – would have imagined life would be like in 2014.
All those changes, those fights, those battles, those laws. Did they ever think that equality might mean no-one would want a gay mag anymore?
But look at us now – still not entirely equal – but Gay Times has increased circulation over the past five years alone, as well as going on to become a number one selling digital magazine.
Cut back to those offices in 1984: “One day, people will read it on small slabs of metal and glass! No, honestly...”
But no-one cares about magazines blowing their own trumpets! It’s not about us.
So this isn’t an issue full of articles all about how brilliant we’ve been over the decades – how boring would that be!
In all of the above, those fights, those WARS, were, and still are, our soldiers. Those people who shouted for our rights, who made us visible, who supported us, who helped to make bigoted, old-fashioned opinions change.
We’ve heard the term bandied around a lot over the last three decades. Many people seem to think they’re one, or that the latest ‘star offering’ is.
But those stripes have to be earned, and this special issue of GT is our homage to but a mere fraction of those people, those characters and those programmes that have helped shape our lives.
But so many!
How do you narrow that down? By and large, we’ve focused on those in the biggest platform for reaching people around the globe – people in the entertainment industry. We could, and will, fill hundreds more issues with
those like you and I that have also helped play their part.
Which meant we picked 30 icons from the last 30 years. And of course it’s by no means a list that ‘ranks’ such people. Those are – what’s the word young gay people favour at the moment? – reductive. They mean nothing, with the latest favoured thing being given precedent.
Here it is not meant that one is better than another, or that the person you hold dearest who is absent hasn’t played their part – we had a list of hundreds of people we could have spoken to, that is, after all, what we’ve been doing for the last 30 years. And isn’t that a great place to be at, in 2014, that we have too many gay icons to fit in one issue of a magazine? Way back when, you’d struggle to find a fraction of that.
We salute them all, and we salute you – all fighting the fight in your own way and making the world that little bit more accepting one day at a time. I’m honoured to have played a tiny, tiny part in that over the last five years at GT, and also to have met and worked with many, many others who have helped me play that part. Who knows where we’ll be in 30 years from now, but for now, thank you for your support, your feedback and your goddamn fabulousness. We’re all icons in our own way.