Welcome to the sixth edition of Pride, the Tucson Weekly's regular LGBT special section.
Since our first Pride issue in October 2009, we've brought you incredible stories examining various aspects of Tucson's LGBT community. In each issue, we've also included comprehensive listings sections featuring events, support groups and other information. (To see what we've done in the past, go to TucsonWeekly.com/Pride.)
We launched the Pride section because we felt there was a need for such a thing in Tucson. Frankly, the LGBT media presence in Tucson—a metro area of 1 million souls—is weak. We have no strong LGBT-focused publication here. (I appreciate the efforts of the Tucson Observer, but let's face it: You'll never find a quality piece like this week's feature on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the Observer.) As a member of the gay community, I decided that we should try to fix that.
The good news: Reader reaction to these Pride sections has been fantastic. I've received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. Thank you for that.
The bad news: On the business side, the reaction has been not so fantastic. And seeing as these issues take a lot of time and a fair amount of money to produce, this is a problem.
When we launched Pride, we committed to four issues in 2010, with a goal of having enough success to make Pride a bimonthly or even a monthly special section in 2011. However, due to a fairly tepid response from advertisers, we actually went in the opposite direction: We were able to commit to only three Pride sections this year. If the business side doesn't improve, we may have to cut back the number of Pride sections in 2012—if not eliminate them entirely.
Make no mistake: Whether or not we do these special Pride sections, the Weekly is committed to covering and supporting Tucson's LGBT community, as we have throughout our 27-year history. Having said that, I really want these special sections to succeed. It's valuable, on a regular basis, to have a good journalism publication focusing specifically on the LGBT community (and its numerous allies). You know, something that's ours.
Please, tell Tucson's LGBT-friendly businesses to consider supporting these sections. It's a win-win: If the Weekly gets the support of these businesses, we can continue doing Pride on a regular basis; and if these businesses support Pride, they'll reach all sorts of people in the LGBT community who will make sure that investment is rewarded.
The next Tucson Weekly Pride section will hit the streets on June 16. I hope you look forward to it as much as I do.