Earlier this week, while reminding art director Todd Franson to change the volume number on this week’s anniversary issue, something revelatory occurred to me. In retrospect, it seems like it should have been an obvious thought, something that would have been at the forefront of my mind over this indescribably challenging year. But there it was, clear as a bell, out of the blue.
Volume 27 of Metro Weekly has not one single printed edition. Not one.
In fact, we have accomplished what I never would have remotely considered a few years ago: an entire year of digital issues, delivered en masse on phones, tablets, and computers, and enjoyed by tens of thousands of readers. It’s been a year of experimentation and discovery — both of which continue as we explore this realm that is both thrilling and terrifying, familiar and foreign. And while it has sometimes been an emotional struggle, given these politicized pandemic times, it has never been anything less than gratifying as any other year creating Metro Weekly. We have maintained our quality. We have maintained our mission. We have maintained.
Plus, as I now like to say, not a single tree was harmed in the process.
We would have never made it through the year if it weren’t for the dedication of the aforementioned Todd, who has been associated with the magazine since 1995 and its art director since 2007, senior editor John Riley, online editor Rhuaridh Marr, prolific, longtime contributors Doug Rule, André Hereford, and Sean Maunier, new contributor Craig Bowman, and our friendly neighborhood webmaster David Uy.
We would have also never made it through the year without the generous support of our readers, who donated to our journalistic cause by purchasing memberships, helping ensure that our unique voice would continue to be a strong, vital force in the LGBTQ community, both in the DMV area and around the world. (This, of course, is where I do a quick membership drive plug: find out more about supporting us at metroweekly.com/members, and please, if you value what we offer, sign up. Every little bit helps.)
There are certain elements of the magazine we still miss. I remain bereft over the loss of Out On the Town, Community Calendar, and Nightlife, but all three will return in a refreshed format soon. And it’s been well over a year since our beloved Scene photographer Ward Morrison has ventured into the community with his camera. That’s a year of LGBTQ history and culture — a year of smiles — forever lost.
Still, RetroScene has been a fun discovery. We have boxes upon boxes of photos from 1994 to 2003 that have not been seen since their original issue dates, and we’re working hard to get them scanned and online. We’ll soon be announcing an exciting photo initiative at our Instagram and Twitter accounts, so be sure to follow @metroweekly on both.
As for this 27th Anniversary Issue, I decided that, after last year’s 178-page tribute to Todd’s portraiture, we’d take a breather from the past and look toward the future. There is perhaps no better expression of this sentiment than in our cover interview with Pose star Billy Porter, who says, in his insightful, inimitable way, “The world only spins forward…. We can’t sit back on our heels and wait.”
Well, we’re not waiting. We’re looking forward, forging ahead, and we welcome you with open arms on the journey, whatever path it takes. If we are able to, we aim to get back into print before we hit Volume 29. If not, then Volume 28 might be 100 percent digital as well.
I can almost hear the trees thanking me now.
Editor & Publisher
P.S. Sign up for our free daily newsletter at metroweekly.com/join. You won’t be disappointed.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!