MEDIA BRANDS: The Out Traveler ventures to present a world of new possibilities for the gay community

Some travel publications worry about how far you can get on $5 a day. Others are concerned with the thread counts in the linens in a destination's hotels.

Some travel publications worry about how far you can get on $5 a day. Others are concerned with the thread counts in the linens in a destination's hotels.

A new publication set to launch in October is concerned with a locale's gay friendliness. The Out Traveler, the newest offering from LPI Media, the publisher of Out and The Advocate, brings to gay and lesbian travelers the glossy look of a travel publication that could have come from Conde Nast, with no-frills verdicts on what to expect from a destination's culture and laws. "You tell the truth, they make educated decisions, when they travel they're a bit safer," says LPI Media editorial director Judy Wieder. "There is nothing wrong with information. It gives you power, and maybe the opportunity to have a good, safe time." Iceland, to take a subject from the prospective issue, gets high marks for overall gay-friendliness, anti-discrimination laws, and HIV+ information. It rates poorly for gay-marriage and adoption laws. The stark grades are laid out on a two-page mountain vista photo spread - a marriage of the pragmatic and the escapist. The Out Traveler is designed to help gay travelers escape the bounds of gay resorts that are well-known safe havens, such as Palm Springs, CA and Provincetown, MA. But the idea is to expand the horizons of the straight world, as well as The Out Traveler's readers. To reinforce this, Wieder frequently uses Mark Twain's quote, "Travel is fatal to prejudice." "If there's any political message or agenda in any of this," Wieder says, "it's get out there. If you go to places where it's fine and great and everyone loves you, that's preaching to the converted in a way." There's also an economic function to the new title. The quarterly's launch will expand the well-known gay media brand into the $54.1 billion gay tourism market, according to figures from market research firm Community Planning. "This is something the travel market is looking for," says Joe Landry, publisher of The Out Traveler. "Travel is down across the board, but the gay and lesbian community continues to travel." As a result, he says, ad sales are "coming along at a nice clip." The Out Traveler will be polybagged with the October issue of Out, reaching more than 165,000 readers. The magazine will feature consumer-oriented columns, travel tips, a domestic travel feature, and news briefs. But what's sure to turn heads is the ratings of resorts, tour companies, and hotels. While some topics may get all bad ratings, Wieder says the editorial tone will be anything but negative. The idea, she says, is to build tolerance. "We're not out to bash anything," Wieder adds. "Why cover anything uninteresting and unfriendly? Maybe you don't want to go down the street holding your partner's hand, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go down that street."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in