Dear Out Magazine,
I have been a subscriber to Out magazine for fifteen years since it first began. Over the years, I have had good and bad times with Out, but my patience is wearing thin. For the first time, I am considering letting my subscription lapse, and the August issue is just the latest in a long line of monthly aggravations that have led me to this point.
With your "Endless Summer" and "Tighty Whiteys" pictorials, you continue your glorification of the youth and beauty culture that endlessly racks up casualties in our community. If you don't see the connection between the objectification you consistently portray and such devastating problems as drug and steroid use, anorexia and other eating disorders, and indications that safer sex practices are a thing of the past, you are part of the problem. I am no longer willing to turn a blind eye to this travesty as it is paraded on your pages month after month.
Perhaps the proverbial straw was yet another heterosexual entertainer disgracing the cover of Out. Jamie Bamber is a fine actor, but he does not represent our community in any way. The article "Rocket Man" admits that his television series Battlestar Galactica has not one queer character. Even more appalling is the way the article glosses over John Barrowman, an out gay actor playing a pansexual character [Captain Jack Harkness] on a program that has characters of mixed sexual orientations and genders [Doctor Who]. Barrowman is infinitely more qualified to appear on Out's cover than Bamber by the mere virtue of the fact that he's gay and Bamber is not. Is it really that difficult a concept to grasp?
A few years ago, when Out ran a feature pictorial of beefy rugby players who were not teenagers or pretty boys, I was impressed. It was a welcome change from the clones so prevalent in your magazine, and as a gay man who appreciates beauty at any age and of many body types, I longed for more and thought it was finally coming to fruition. I was sadly mistaken. And straight people appearing on your cover has been an ongoing problem that seemed solved not too long ago. Apparently, I was wrong about that as well.
If I see no changes in Out for the better by the time my subscription expires, I will not renew, nor will I purchase an issue in the future. I fear this is an empty threat, as I doubt sincerely things will change anytime soon at Out. It's funny to me now, thinking of the magazine's title. You're Out all right: you're Out of time and I'm Out of patience. By the looks of things, soon you'll be Out of my life. Peace, Out...©2006, Robert A. Geise - May not be reprinted without express permission. Hot-linking welcome.