Metro Weekly

Towleroad founder Andy Towle retires after 18 years

Towle said he had watched "public opinion and acceptance of LGBTQ people shift in vast ways" during his 18 years with the site

Andy Towle, Towleroad
Andy Towle — Photo: Instagram

Andy Towle has announced that he is stepping down from the trailblazing LGBTQ blog he founded, Towleroad.

In a post for the site, Towle said that “after nearly 18 years…this has been my last week at Towleroad.”

Towle started the site in 2003 to focus on LGBTQ news and entertainment, and had remained “one of the few independently published LGBTQ news sites left.”

“It’s been a thrilling experience, and a lot of hard, rewarding work,” Towle wrote, noting that Towleroad had “survived in a very tough environment by running a tight ship and sticking to our voice and our mission, which has been to bring you a variety of different types of news, both serious and completely silly, with a commitment to truth and honesty.

“I hope that it has informed you over the years, helped create some positive change in the world, and maybe given someone a laugh or a smile and inspired them to be themselves.”

Towle started the website after serving as editor in chief of gay magazine, Genre, calling it a “personal exploration” of a format that “allowed for the first time the delivery of news to a niche audience in a rapid manner, with interaction between readers and writers that had not existed before.”

“I’ve been gratified to see the tide of public opinion and acceptance of LGBTQ people shift in vast ways,” he added. “When I launched this experiment George W. Bush was president, and nobody knew what a ‘blog’ was.

“There were no hate crime protections for LGBTQ people, the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy was still in place, and gay and lesbian people couldn’t get married anywhere in the United States. There was no YouTube, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, and no iPhone!”

Towle said he was finally stepping down from Towleroad after spending almost a year during the COVID-19 pandemic “stuck in isolation” and “pondering those ‘life’ questions even more.”

While the website will remain under the control of Towle’s business partner Michael Goff, Towle said he would be exploring his interest in the visual arts, as well as getting “back to creating things.”

“So many readers and commenters have offered their words of support over the years and I’m grateful for your lasting readership, and also the criticism,” he wrote. “I have tried to learn from it…. Keep in touch.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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