First impressions matter when announcing a new product. Here are the four opening statements in 429's promo video, verbatim and unedited.
Publisher: "429 magazine, what I'm excited about, what that is, is that we're not just focused on one community."
Editor-in-Chief: "I'm looking on this as a magazine that happens to be LGBT, and not an LGBT magazine."
Creative advisor: "You know we all have, um, other aspects of our lives, too, that we really want to celebrate and focus and feel empowered about. And so that's why we set about to do this."
EIC: "Our identity is LGBT but that's only one facet of who we are as people, and I think that will only be one facet of who and what the magazine itself is."
Did a marketing consultant force them to this? It's confusing but I sympathize. I spend a lot of time thinking about gay culture and I have no idea what a post-gay magazine in 2013 should be. Their Kickstarter page says: 429 is "a new kind of LGBT* print magazine - one that just happens to be LGBT. Covering the latest news and innovations in technology, entertainment, design, media and politics, 429 magazine showcases how LGBT people are living in the context of the larger world. From stimulating conversations to inspiring stories, from the sumptuous work of our photographers to the singular voices of our columnists, from the influential to the cutting-edge, from fashion to fiction to humor to travel to entertainment to design, 429 magazine will continue and expand the partnership dot429 has already so carefully cultivated with its members and subscribers. The magazine stands alone as a new kind of style bible for thought leaders and trend-setters in any industry. Lively. Gorgeous. Brilliant. Timely."
The editor-in-chief is former Vanity Fair editor and Mississippi Sissy author Kevin Sessums, who posted on Facebook (his ellipses), "our cover price is $12.99 .. we are a luxury niche brand ... oversized format ... amazing photography and great paper stock ... kind of a V or W for LGBT folks with Salman Rushdie and Mark Doty et al thrown into the editorial mix ..."
The Rushdie piece is "The Half-Woman God" about the hijra of India, which appears to be his old article reprinted from the 2008 anthology AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India.
After exorbitant paper, printing, and postage costs at a time of declining ad buys, subscribers, and print readers, 429's biggest challenge might be defining itself and its audience. Be honest, have you had harder things come out of your mouth than not lgbt luxury niche brand but luxury niche brand that happens to be lgbt? Is the magazine going to be a dickless air kiss, a style eunuch for aging A-list gays in the Hamptons, Hollywood, Marin, and Miami? They talk about profiling thought leaders but the comparisons are V and W and their funding page has only two sample photos, like this. Sleek, chic, but would you pay $13 for more of those? Then again, Mark Doty's work is priceless. I hope he and other writers bring some of the resurgent Hell Yeah All Gay All the Time energy of BGSQD bookstore and the free, NSFW site Homo-Online, which pairs fine porn with reprints of incredibly smart blog posts from the likes of, well, Band of Thebes twice in the past week but that's not why...
The name 429 is closet code from 2003, with the 4-2-9 corresponding on your keypad to G-A-Y. The first issue arrives in October. I'll buy it just for the huge type.