Philly Mag tries to do LGBT
by Mark Segal
Jan 17, 2013 | 3395 views | 10 10 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I have heard it suggested by some that Philadelphia Magazine is racist and sexist but I never believed that — but now I’m actually beginning to think it might be so. And maybe we might add homophobic. You be the judge.

Have you seen the January issue? By the lack of advertising, I’m guessing their readership is way down and you, like many others, may not have seen it. But there’s an article about the gay community called, “Your Guide to Philadelphia’s A-Gays,” as well as what we in the business call a sidebar — but what in this case seems like a separate article — called “Rainbow Coalition: Who’s Who in the City’s A-Gay Universe.”

Notice I write gay community, not LGBT community. Why? If you look at the article(s), they make it appear that the entire community, or in this case “universe,” is made up of only white men. Yep, you read that right. The article could have come out of a magazine from Alabama in 1960. The article, which has 28 pictures of those profiled in some sort of way, has not one woman. And only one African-American, out of 28 people. And let’s not even mention the trans word. We’ll frighten the poor non-gay people at Philadelphia Magazine.

Philly Mag says there are no women of power in Philly’s LGBT community. How out of touch are they? There are major lesbians (learn the word, Philly Mag) running city government, as executive directors of health and youth organizations and so much more. Same with African-Americans in our community. Plus the amazing grace and skills of organizations such as COLOURS, SisterSpace and GALAEI.

Gee, and what about the lesbians and people of color who are running for public office from this community? The other article is all about the boys’ club at the Union League ... Guess there are no lesbians there either. Pitiful.

In the past, Philadelphia Magazine has stereotyped this community, attempted to re-create old stories as new, mislead leaders of the community and attempt to exploit us. They lack any sensibility or knowledge of our community, and our community knows it. Our community hasn’t forgotten their blatant homophobia. Hasn’t forgotten that their president has been involved with the Boy Scouts.

And if you are LGBT and work for these people and had anything to do with these articles, ask yourself something: Is it that I have a lack of knowledge and respect for my own community? Or are they using me as a tool?

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
David PA
January 22, 2013
I personally also think it may be partially a personal bias based on the articles they have written about the editor of the pgn and a certain other gay leader. Philadelphia magazine's audience is suburban though primarily i feel. They write for their audience. Also, it's not 1960, 1970 or even 1990. LGBT's are in newspapers now that papers such as the PGN are read less. Just an opinion.
Dr. Itsas
January 20, 2013
You had a point about it lacking a more diverse representation. But it's a least an article featuring gays in a positive light (but you totally ignored that). And while there was a good point buried in this claptrap, you blew it.

To call this article homophobic to the point that you liken it to the 1960s is not only immensely over-the-top and ignorant; it's really disrespectful. You are no different than a tea-party person holding an "Obama is Hitler" sign—no different.

But you wrote it because it gets a rise out of readers and that, sadly, is the state of the media today. You are just doing what Fox News does so well: trade fact for the fantastical.

I hate even commenting on this because it only justifies your false sense of relevance. But any click is a good click, right?

Chalk it up to how the media works in 2012... sigh. We are all doomed...
Jeff from Philly
January 19, 2013
While I was not a fan of Philly Mag's article I must say that this is just another piece of trash from Mark Segal. Segal is just pissed that another media group is focusing on the LGBT community. Segal is one of the most divisive members of Philadelphia's LGBT community, which is a shame considering all the money his had made off the community over the years.
Stephen Facenda
January 19, 2013
This article is on point. The Philly (rag)Mag article makes the gay community look like a bunch of arrogant white men assholes. I was insulted. The term A- list is repulsive. We need to support each other not classify each other. For the record I am a white male 45 that lives in Wayne. I could easily afford membership to the Union League. That type of organization is definately not my style. Thank you Mark for being the voice of reason for ALL of us. L G B T
Victor FIorillo
January 19, 2013
Yet, oddly, I'd say that the many LGBT people I know read Philly Mag more than they do PGN. As one just said to me, "You could seriously put a PGN and Science Christian Monitor from the 50's in front of me and I would think they were the same."
January 19, 2013
Victor, you should let people know that you work for Philly Mag, and being in media you should know it's the "Christian Science Monitor", not what you incorrectly wrote. And we at PGN thank you for the comparison. CSM is considered a good, fair and unbiased publication/site, not something I'd say about Philly Mag at this time. But I do have hope that you can learn from your mistakes.

Mark Segal
January 19, 2013
i wouldn't say "homophobic" as much as ignorant or lazy. A homophobic company wouldn't have invested a cent into developing a magazine/web-presence targeting the LGBT community. I just think it was a lazy article...
January 18, 2013
Much ado about nothing, I feel. A gentleman's club that does not have women?! ALERT THE gay MEDIA. You'll find any reason to stir up a controversy, Mark.
January 18, 2013
This attitude should come as no surprise. Philadelphia Magazine caters to a specific audience within the LGBT predominately white, Male and financially secure. I doubt if there are too many unemployed LGB and specially trans people who are either purchasers or subscribers.
Benjamin K
January 21, 2013
I read this article. Nothing in the article was offensive or shocking to me. Having moved from SF a few years ago, I see that not much is different here. Much of LGBT (or Queer) communities (PLURAL) that reside in and near Philadelphia are very diverse, and each of the communities offer a lot to LGBT people in the area= support, advocacy, role models, etc. Media IS dominated by people who hold and wish to maintain power in this country. That is a fact. Time to move on, find ways to find common ground in the queer communities, and create media that represents all of us.