OutSFL Celebrates One Year | Opinion

  • A big thanks to the South Florida LGBTQ community

OutSFL file photo.

One year. Fifty-two issues.

Justin Wyse and I launched Out South Florida after we had to shut down South Florida Gay News when SFGN owner and co-founder Norm Kent died. We did not realize that we would mourn both Norm and SFGN in 2023.

We had no idea if OutSFL would survive beyond the first month, much less celebrate one year.

But here we are – stronger. Both of us are so proud of what we’ve built. We wanted more than just a newspaper – we wanted a company that would build up our community.

To that end, we’ve become more than just a newspaper – we have a website, a magazine, a business directory. In May, we launched the Mz OutSFL Pageant in order to uplift our drag community. Our special projects like the Out & Proud 50, our special Valentine’s Day issue, and the Reader’s Choice Awards celebrate all of us. Another new project, OutFAU, looked to amplify the voices of students who are on the frontlines of the battle for LGBTQ rights these days.

The most important aspect of OutSFL has been our readers. Thank you.  Without you, there would be no us.

Like the old saying goes, it takes a village, and it certainly took a village to build up OutSFL. From the first issue, we received an outpouring of support from the community.

We didn’t accomplish our first year alone. We have a team of freelancers and part-time staffers who deserve so much credit.

Our design team Julie Palmer, Kyle Willis, Craig Tuggle and Brendon Lies have turned our print publications into works of art. Then there are our regular photographers like JR Davis and Carina Mask, and our sometimes photographers like Michael Cushman and Stephen Lang. Their photos populate our pages – giving visuals to the stories we write – recording so many moments that make up this community.

Thank you.

Our sales associates Edwin Neimann and Silvo Carvana keep us up and running – selling the ads that keep us in business. We are so grateful that our advertisers believe in us and trust us. We are so thankful for their dollars and support.

Thank you.

And of course our editorial staff. Without them, we would not have a business. John Hayden, our community editor, covers just about every news happening there is – from the good and bad to the ugly. There’s Rick Karlin, our Arts and Culture editor, who has been eating his way through South Florida and giving us his insights for many years.

There are many regular contributors like John McDonald, Sean Conklin, Deon Jefferson, Aurora Dominguez, Denise Brown, Terry Schlichenmeyer, Gregg Shapiro, Kennedy McKinney, Larry Printz, David Nahmod, and Michael Cook. Our sometimes contributors like Nicole Stodard, Michael Anguille, Robert DeDominic, Aaron Kinchen, Tessa Becker, Christopher Flores and Joey Amato. I am sure there are more. So let me apologize in advance to those I’ve missed.

There’s Steve Rothaus, who worked for the Miami Herald for 30 years – a South Florida journalism legend. We are thankful he’s decided to continue writing, here and there, for us in his retirement.

There’s Mary Rasura, our student editor of OutFAU, who may be new to the craft of journalism, but is talented and whom we hope will go far in her career. OutFAU has built up its own list of contributors including Kenny Ruff, Ximena DiPietro, Kayla Barnes, Lewis De Berry, Andrew Zerrato and more.

Let’s not forget our columnists, either. They add a variety of voices to our publication like Jesse Monteagudo, Brian McNaught, Sabrina Haake, John Porter and Kelly Ghweinem.

Thank you.

We have new staff too like our social media director Andres Echavarria, and Kiko Pollock, a graphic designer.

It truly takes a village to run a publication. There’s Kim Swan – our webmaster, assistant to the editor and newsletter director. There’s our distribution team of Richie Wilson, Jonathan Rey and Tyler Brayton. There’s Chris Grobels, our bookkeeper. There’s Russell Cormican, who has offered us legal advice when needed. There’s FlockFest who we have partnered with as our fiscal agent.

Thank you.

There’s Pier Angelo, the co-founder of the now defunct SFGN, who has come on board with OutSFL as a columnist and consultant to offer us his many years of experience. His support and experience are much appreciated.

There are also some that have left us, like Christiana Lilly – the new editor of Boca Raton Magazine; our former A&E editor J.W. Arnold and our former sales associate Andrew LaRochelle. We wish them luck!

A big thanks to my business partner Justin Wyse, and to all of our contributors, big and small. Without all of you – there would be none of us.

To help us stay in business, considering donating here. Everything counts, even $1. Thank you for your support. 

OutSFL

Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM
Editorial@OutSFL.com
Sales@OutSFL.com

Calendar@outsfl.com

Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

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Hello from OutSFL! We hope you'll consider donating to us. Starting a business can be a scary prospect, but with your support so far, we've had tremendous success. Thank you!

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