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[whitespace] mag cover A telling study of the covers of a few gay publications

By David Boyer

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER? Well, it might not tell the whole story, but it certainly tells part of it. Mainly, what editor/publishers think will entice readers enough to reach for their magazine/newspaper. We took a peek at one year of SF Frontiers covers and three years of both the Advocate and Out Magazine. And here's what we found:

SF Frontiers

Nearly half of the covers of Frontiers--44 percent to be exact--include a bare or partially nude male. The most commonly exposed body parts were the pectorals. Meanwhile, only one in five covers included females. That's right, out of the last 25 covers, five included women. Of those five, two featured a transgender woman (male to female), one showed a young woman as part of a group youth shot, another highlighted a lesbian couple (their photo in a broken picture frame to illustrate a story about failed gay marriages), and the final cover a year-in-review montage which included the aforementioned covers.

The Advocate and Out Magazine

In the past three years, more than half of the covers of the nation's two largest gay magazines featured heterosexuals--51 percent of Out Magazine's covers and 52 percent of The Advocate's, to be exact.

And why were these heterosexuals spotlighted? Most were celebrities who either "play gay" in a major motion picture (Jason Alexander, Wesley Snipes, Robin Williams, Catherine Deneuve, Nathan Lane, Tom Selleck, Glenn Close), disparage gays incessantly (Newt, David Duke, Howard Stern), befriend them (Roseanne, Sharon Stone, Judith Light) or are rumored to be gay themselves (Keanu Reeves, Jodie Foster, John Travolta, Dennis Rodman, Kenneth Branagh).

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From the June 1-14, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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