In the nearly 60 years since its founding, Los Angeles Magazine has striven to cover the greater LA Metroplex in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and dynamic way on subjects ranging from Arts & Entertainment to the communities that make up the Southland.
This has been its mission and primary focus according to the magazine’s new editor, Maer Roshan, who has been at the helm for just the past 6 months.
Now, for the first time in a special issue, LA Magazine has taken an in-depth look at LGBTQ Pride and the ‘influencers’ and significant personages within LA’s LGBTQ community.
The Los Angeles Blade spoke with Roshan, who immigrated to New York several decades ago from Iran, and along the way was founder with Los Angeles Blade publisher Troy Masters,of America’s first gay glossy weekly magazine, QW, the weekly magazine for LGBT New York City, all the way back in 1992. He later of joined forces with Tina Brown to create Talk Magazine and is noted as former editor of Interview Magazine and editor in chief for New York Magazine. That’s to name a few.
Maer told the Los Angeles Blade that he was shocked that the magazine had never done a Pride themed issue previously.
“When you consider the large population of LGBTQ people, not only of course the obvious concentration in West Hollywood, but all over the Los Angeles area- in every profession, walk of life, and all of the communities that is LA, it was a surprise.”
Maer took pleasure in noting in 2001, he and his staff at New York Magazine produced that publication’s first ever Pride issue.
In producing this premiere LGBTQ themed issue for Los Angeles, Maer told the Los Angeles Blade that “because LA Mag should be a reflection of the communities that comprise LA- and the LGBTQ community is very much a part of LA, it was time to tell those stories.”
The magazine profiled 100 LGBTQ Angelenos who it noted are transforming the city.
Maer pointed out that the magazine to the best of his knowledge is the oldest “city centric” magazine in the United States. With that much history he told the Los Angeles Blade, “it was important to take up the challenge of the city- especially its history and diverse culture.”
The magazine covered in another section the fact that long before the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York’s West Greenwich Village fifty years ago this month, LA played a pioneering role in the then nascent ‘Gay Rights’ movement;
“Stonewall is so synonymous with gay pride that it obscures the fact that the movement for gay rights in the United States was born in Los Angeles. The city derided as a sun-drenched Land of the Lotus-Eaters, not serious or cerebral enough for the cognoscenti of the Bay Area or the East Coast, has been the driving force of gay culture in America since the dawn of the Hollywood movie colony at the turn of the 20th century.”
“I think it is also important to say that the diversity of the LGBTQ community itself requires us (journalists/editors) to reflect that in our coverage,” he said. “The most important thing I think is also to have respect for our readers- don’t assume what they are wanting, instead find out.” he added.
Maer stressed that under his editorial leadership he hoped to take up the challenge of being faithful to that respect for the magazine’s readership.
“”It’s important to take up the challenges of the city and to make sure that from Santa Barbara to Orange County and East- but especially our many communities here in LA we remain faithful to our readers as well representing all the stories that need to be told,” he said.