Persecuting by personal ad

See more » My Life is an Open Blog

In my earlier note about regional gay history slipping off into oblivion I did what people do best and most readily: bitch. Not that I've done anything to recover any portion of the American queer past.

I've missed a good chunk of it. Thanks to my interludes of heterosexuality and asexuality it as if I went to bed with The Advocate a fat tabloid financed by thousands of personal ads and woke up to find it a think slick magazine funded by HIV medication and cigarettes (not dying already: can we enroll you in our starter program).

The Advocate that I encountered looked like a down-market edition of your neighborhood shopper. At least in design, there were more pages of personals than there are in the current magazine total.

The writing was amateurish but the tabloid was required reading for the Homo 101 class that my life had become. I don't remember much of it. There was a column written by a bodybuilder who went by the improbably name of Rod. One reader wrote in to complain that many muscular men wore loose fitting clothes in the bars instead of snug t-shirts. Rod civilly explained that the men were more interested in being comfortable than drooled over.

The first time I bought a copy of The Advocate the newsstand man called me "Honey." I'm fairly sure he was straight and just trying to be nice. It gave me the willies. Really I doubt that I bought more than a half-dozen issues. In Midtown Atlanta boys were everywhere and easily had: who needed to read?

Several years later in another city I helped a friend use The Advocate to get revenge. Never, ever be rude to store clerks. At least if you've paid with your credit card.

A reptile with a charge card had thought to abuse my friend when making a purchase. My friend reached into the trash, took the card's carbon copy home with him. Mr. Reptile's phone number was easily discovered.

Into The Advocate went a personal ad that read something like this:

Rich sugar daddy seeks all kind of guys for almost anything. I'll even fly you out to [glamorous city] for fun and pay you royally.

The ad ended with Mr. Reptile's telephone number and was paid for with his card.

Unsurprisingly his number remained busy until disconnected.

That was the last time I looked at The Advocate until I opened the boring magazine on the newsstands today. I might buy the homespun, slightly shabby periodical of years ago. Can't imagine why anyone would now.

I think I started with the intent to say something edifying. You'll have to settle for my little story.


I remember the old Advo with its pink section and sometimes interesting articles. It’s now the gay Newsweek.

There are now so many other mags that have personal ads that it’s redundant to have them in The Advocate. Pick up any regional paper (in So Cal, try Frontiers) and you’ll be overrun with personals.

Yeah, The Advocate has morphed, and I’m glad it did. What I don’t like (and why I eventually cancelled my subscription) is the way it frequently seemed the editors had to really stretch to fill an issue.

The regional gay newspapers do a better job of handling the news as well. Not that a monthly really can be expected to do that. They could do more in depth background articles.

I’ve skimmed through several issues of the slick incarnation of The Advocate and - to echo you - there is surprisingly little content. Their page count may be limited by a lack of advertising. Most the magazine’s articles seem thin, boring. Hard to imagine anyone paying for The Advocate for any other reason than they are too lazy to cancel their subscription.

Minority magazines that don’t focus on issues of depth face real limitations. Ebony and Essence testified to that. At least given the racial economic equality you could understand Ebony’s focus on black Americans who were famous or at least successful.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Persecuting by personal ad.

More of My Blogs


Other Entries

Bookmark Pansexual Sodomite

  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • StumbleUpon

Pansexual Sodomite
My Life is an Open Blog
Persecuting by personal ad
Top of page