Tagg Magazine’s new editor/owner takes reigns from founder

by Omari Foote
(The following piece was originally published in the Washington Blade’s February 14, 2024, issue and appears here with permission.)

Sondra Rose Marie was chatting with friends after attending Portland’s LGBTQ Film Festival when her friend suggested that she take some of her ideas from the table to the media.

Sondra Rose Marie, new owner and editor of Tagg

Since then, she has written for Tagg Magazine (now based in San Diego and Washington, D.C.) and in December was named editor in chief and new owner.

Marie has a background in creative writing, so she had to learn the fundamentals of journalism as she went along.

“‘Ask to record, ask pronouns, ask names,’ that was all stuff that I was learning as I was going,” she said.

Founder and former editor Eboné Bell was a big help teaching her everything she needed to know about the profession, Marie said.

After two years as a freelance writer, she moved up to senior content writer and spent nearly five years in that role before she became editor in chief of Tagg.

“I noticed right away with Tagg that they were speaking to everyone in the community, and so I really wanted to be a part of that,” said Marie.

When Bell approached Marie about the position, she said she was shocked and didn’t see it coming.

“I thought about it for a while and I decided it was an awesome opportunity,” she said. “I love Tagg, I know I am willing to work hard for Tagg, and I know it’s got a lot of potential.”

Late last year, Tagg stopped printing its magazine and went fully digital. Marie said that in her new position, she hopes Tagg can continue to spread its wings and reach more rural audiences.

“Just because it isn’t as out and loud as New York, L.A., or Atlanta, doesn’t mean that people don’t want it or have a need for it,” she said. “If anything it makes connections online even more important.”

As Marie looks to the future, she said she wants to continue to build on Bell’s legacy — one that includes everyone in the queer community.

“As a Black lesbian woman, I know how hard it is when you’re shouting and no one’s willing to listen,” she said. “Tagg’s the place where women, non-binary and trans folks can go to be heard, that’s really the point.”

Volume 25
Issue 12

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