Gay people exist year-round—Once a year, media in New Mexico notice the gay and lesbian population. It happens as the pride parade draws near—if it happens at all.
That's why Ryan Carbón, publisher of New Mexico Voice, founded his biweekly paper. The name is significant. It's a voice, he says, something that fills a void and makes it so gay people “don't have to wait around until June to read about their community.”
Carbón moved to Albuquerque from St. Louis, Mo., in 2003 and observed a huge, vibrant gay community, but found it wasn't often reported on. When the Journal, a fairly conservative paper, opts to take on gay issues, it states the facts without an awareness of the politics, he says. When local TV news programs cover the parade, they flash their standard “small-town” images of the event and its protesters, he says.
Teresa Ewers, editor of Pride and Equality Magazine, based in New Mexico, started her publication after noticing a similar gap in the world of national magazines. Coverage was rarely in-depth, she says, adding that the popular rags usually focused more on selling products or commenting on the latest trends. The Advocate seems like People for the gay community, she says. “Out has so much fluff it's ridiculous. We wanted to take the fluff and the glam out of there.” Pride and Equality, which began in January 2004, focuses on publishing real stories about the gay community written by the people affected most.
Ewers, who is straight, says recruiting gay and lesbian writers has been a goal of hers and adds that she would really like to see more writers from New Mexico. She allows writers to cover almost any topic, as long as the facts are correct and the language appealing.
The Voice, which will be celebrating its second anniversary in June, publishes articles on politics, entertainment, fundraisers, and gay and gay-friendly performers, along with international news. “People in New Mexico live in a bubble,” Carbón says, and it's especially important for the gay community to know about what's going on in the world, which countries are moving forward or backward.
On a positive note, Carbón says Albuquerque radio stations do a good job of reaching out to gays and lesbians, though the jury is still out on whether it's always intentional. KUNM 89.9 has “This Way Out” on the air from 8:30 to 9 a.m. on Fridays. Another station, we won't say which, Carbón calls the “gayest radio station in the world” because of its music selection. See if you can guess which one it is. I'll give you a hint: early Madonna.
Pick up Pride and Equality at Newsland, Hastings or Page One. Local gay clubs also usually have a few free copies on hand. The Voice can be found at more than 300 locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Call Teresa Ewers if you're interested in writing for Pride and Equality at (505) 299-0713 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.