2020 has been a year of disruptions and disasters for Nashville, from tornadoes and other, lesser known weather havoc, to COVID-19. Pride festivals around the country, including Nashville Pride, have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. But at the end of the day June is still Pride month, and our community still has a lot to be proud of, so we at O&AN are here to celebrate with you next month.
From a look back at least year's Pride to looking forward to what future Prides will look like, this issue will highlight how members of our community will celebrate and show their Pride in this time of social distancing.
"We are asking members of our community to email [email protected] [subject: PRIDE 2020] with Pride photos to publish, along with what they're doing to celebrate Pride this year, for this special issue," James Grady, managing editor of O&AN explained. "We are also requesting that those who are interested share favorite or impactful Pride memories from years past, and their thoughts on what Pride means to them." Deadline for print submissions will be May 15, 2020, but submissions for online publication will be accepted through June.
"June of every year has traditionally been set aside as a time to celebrate for the LGBTQ community," said O&AN publisher Jerry Jones, "to celebrate our wins, to celebrate our sense of community, and to celebrate what makes each individual the great person they are."
"For 18 years we've published a June issue celebrating Pride. This year," Jones added, "even though Nashville Pride has postponed the June festival, we are going to continue the publishing and printing of our annual Pride issue to celebrate you, and our community."
Out & About Nashville is a business, like any other, however, and these times have taken their toll on the longest-running LGBTQ publication in Tennessee. "We lost 60% of our revenue in April and 70% in May," Jones explained. "Despite that, we've continued to publish both our print and our digital news. We've kept our staff on with no decrease in their pay. That has not been easy nor is it sustainable—though we have applied for all available COVID-19 financial support, we, like many small businesses, received no support."
Pride month is a bit like the Black Friday of LGBTQ publishing: the revenue generated supports these small publications through the rest of the year. This year, as Prides cancel and sponsorships dry up, things look bleak. Therefore, Jones is also appealing to the community for support, for a show of Pride.
Working to finalize the June issue, Jones added, "We need your help. Our entire business model is focused around advertiser support. We've always provided the community news, features and entertainment information for free. All thanks to the fantastic support from our advertisers. If you are a business or organization, or even an individual, and wish to support us with your marketing dollars, we will work with you on any budget that you may have. Please email or call Cody Stallings at [email protected] for a customized package that we can build for you."
Next month, during June, O&AN readers will also have the opportunity to provide direct support for the magazine, but more on that to come!
COVER PHOTO: Markus Spiske via Pexels