May Feature: Happy 15th Anniversary!

Jim Koury, Editor/Publisher

Welcome to the May issue of Diversity Rules Magazine. This issue is particularly special and very meaningful for me since it marks the 15th anniversary of Diversity Rules Magazine.

Diversity Rules Magazine was conceived in 2006 because there was no gay voice in the Central New York area at the time. I wanted to create a publication that offered some sort of reassurance to closeted gay, bi, and transgender individuals that there were others like them and that they did not have to feel alone and abandoned in a somewhat conservative part of upstate New York.

Since its inception in 2006, it has undergone many changes and iterations. It began as a bi-monthly publication serving what was once known as the Central Leatherstocking Region of New York, now coined “Central New York.” It was initially distributed to locations within Broome, Chenango, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties, as well as Delaware County. Its original mission was to focus on issues of sexual identity, gender, race relations, diversity, and equality.

Diversity Rules Magazine eventually grew and was distributed to locations beyond the counties mentioned above and eventually was being read throughout New York State and available at over 150 locations. It was the largest gay publication serving the state. A position I did not take lightly.

Due to personal and economic circumstances, the magazine went into hiatus for a bit in 2009. It re-emerged as a subscription only print and digital publication in 2013. There were some other bumpy patches which has resulted in its current form in the digital realm.

With this beginning of Diversity Rules Magazine’s 16th year, I am again mulling over some changes. The magazine’s format and focus may undergo a redesign, along with a renewed focus to get Diversity Rules Magazine back in print as a subscription-based publication once again.

Much has changed since that very first issue back in 2006. Our nation has seen exponential changes in how queer Americans are perceived and treated. Marriage equality is now the law of the land due to a historic decision by the Supreme Court, with job protections also guaranteed in yet another landmark ruling of the court. However, since the advent of the despicable Trump Administration, the court now has been transformed into a majority conservative court. Future landmark decisions coming from it seem rather hard to imagine now. The change will need to come by electing politicians who support equality for all, and change state and federal laws to protect our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. While we have much to celebrate with Trump’s defeat, there is yet a lot of work to do to correct the transgressions against our community wrought by such a reprehensible man and his GOP minions.

Our movement, sadly, has also become rather stale, in my humble opinion. We no longer seem to have the fervor of the Harvey Milk Era of queer liberation. Our pride celebrations, and the advocacy of Harvey Milk, and our movement generally, seem to have become lost in corporate messaging and assimilating our uniqueness into the larger society so as not to offend anyone. We also seem to have become mired in academic wrangling over letters, stripes, pronouns, and the like. Worthy discussions for sure, and, I am not minimizing them at all. However, such academic exercises as our main focus and a goal of assimilation are all well and good, we inherently are different, and that difference should continue to be celebrated, while at the same time including all who support us in our large rainbow tent. I, therefore, envision Diversity Rules going in a bit of a different direction and become more focused on individual empowerment, and the achievements of those in our community who have blazed a trail for others to follow, and much less on the academic, ivory-tower debates we seem to be languishing in as a movement.

In celebration of Diversity Rules Magazine’s 15th anniversary, there will be FREE ACCESS to the I-Folds Digital version for the month of May! Simply use the following username and password and you will have full access to the May issue as well as to all past issues through the 31st. Thank you for your many years of support! Enjoy your free trial subscription.

Username: drfreemay
Password: freetrial

In addition to the FREE month in May, there will be advertiser discounts and promotions as well. Any ad placed during the month of May will receive a 15% discount off regular rates.

So enjoy this month’s issue, as it has a lot of great information in it. Why not tell your friends to log in to the I-Folds site for full access to the May issue as well as to all past issues to get a feel for the magazine and what it is all about. Some exciting times are ahead. Watch for the changes as they will be instituted incrementally!

See you in June!