Not everyone's idea of gay liberation is a magazine modishly modeled on Vogue or GQ, albeit with same-sex couples parading fashions and lesbians fantasizing about their ideal spa. But those willing to set aside political correctness for gossipy profiles, moody travel pieces and smart reviews of gay-tinged pop culture -- along with pieces about abortion, aids and activism -- can now look forward to the quarterly publication of Out.
Gay publications used to be strident political journals, amateurish local newspapers or skin magazines. But AIDS and the conservative backlash seem to have matured the community, ripening the Advocate into a newsmagazine and evoking such other debuts as QW and Genre. Of these, the glossy, full-color Out is the most professional looking, drawing contributors from the Los Angeles Times, the late Connoisseur and Ms., as well as mainstream advertising from Benetton, Absolut vodka, Geffen records and Viking Penguin press. Says editor Michael Goff: "We're called Out because coming out is the one thing all gays and lesbians have in common." The problem: it may be the only thing they have in common. Out must span the chasm of gender, traditionally even wider in gay media than straight, if it is to survive.