by Fred Kuhr
Amidst all the U.S. publications that target gay men, there are only two — count ‘em, two — that target queer women. That’s why it’s such a big deal that one of those publications — Tagg Magazine — has reached its milestone 10th anniversary.
Tagg, based in Washington, D.C., is also one of the few Black-owned magazines in the LGBTQ sphere.
“It’s statistically known that Black women-owned businesses get significantly less support, venture capital investments, things like that,” said owner and editor Eboné Bell, in an interview with the Washington Blade. “I saw similar outlets such as Tagg with white people making $100,000 a month.” As a result, Tagg has had to work “10 times harder” to survive, she added.
“Tagg is a form of resistance,” Bell told the Blade. “I always say the best form of activism is visibility and we’re out there authentically us.”
Bell told the Blade that the magazine was initially created to focus on lifestyle, but political issues affecting LGBTQ people pushed it to go further with political coverage in a way that would specifically showcase how issues would affect “queer femme individuals.”
“We know the majority of our readers are queer women,” Bell told the Blade. “[So] we always ask ourselves, ‘How does this affect our community?’ We are intentional and deliberate about it.”
Tagg contributing writer Rebecca Damante struck a similar tone with the Blade. “The movement can sometimes err toward gay white men and it’s good that we get to represent other groups,” said Damante. “I feel really lucky that a magazine like Tagg exists because it’s given me the chance to polish my writing skills and talk about queer representation in media and politics.”
The magazine also has a relatively young readership, with most readers between the ages of 25 and 30. “[The magazine] honestly just took on a life of its own,” Bell told the Blade. “It’s like they came to us [and] it makes perfect sense.”
According to its website, Tagg was created to serve “everything lesbian, queer and under the rainbow. … Tagg’s mission is to spotlight lesbian, queer, transgender, and bisexual individuals, as well as bring our community together.”
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