Sometimes in the process of news gathering or carrying out coverage, a defining moment happens to a news agency or blog. Welcome to our new Beyond Bylines series: Five questions about the big stories you’re covering.
That’s what you see when you visit them. for the first time — that and a bunch of beautiful faces.
Condé Nast launched them. — a next-generation community platform — in Oct. 2017. The site chronicles and celebrates the stories, people, and voices, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community. Topics range from pop culture and style to politics and news.
“There is a cultural revolution happening that is — as always — spearheaded by young people who believe in fighting for equality, and we want to create a space that’s reflective of this moment,” said Phillip Picardi, digital editorial director of Teen Vogue and Allure and chief content officer of them. “We’re excited to showcase the voices and perspectives of people in the community, and prove through our storytelling that, by celebrating them, we’re really celebrating all of us.”
them. is the first project from Condé Nast’s new incubator, which was created to develop new brands and businesses for the company’s consumer audience and advertising partners alike.
We spoke with Meredith Talusan, executive editor of them. Here’s what she had to say about the new platform.
Tell us about them. What is your mission and vision?
With them., we wanted to build a next-gen platform created by and for the queer community.
Our mission is to celebrate and showcase emerging voices and new perspectives, and to grow a venue that allows them to share their powerful stories.
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"This book is a celebration of queer love but also an exploration of what goes on beneath the surface in relationships and for men in the gay community at large. Eight months ago, I found myself feeling frustrated about the lack of reciprocity I was receiving in finding romance, despite my decided efforts. This led me to want to explore how other gay millennial men were falling into relationships, especially after learning that 80% of men today meet their partners through online dating." A lovely #oneofthem submission from @theleochang, a photographer who's been working on a project documenting gay millennials in love.
Since the launch in October, how’s it going? What impact are you seeing?
We’ve been overwhelmed at the response to the project. We love seeing people getting involved and sharing their stories, and the outpouring of support has been incredible.
Who is your target audience? Is it mostly LGBTQ+, or are you seeking broader influence?
them. is created by and for the queer community, with a diverse audience in mind. Being inclusive and speaking to a broader community is at the very core of our mission. Our goal is to prove that by celebrating them., we are really celebrating all of us.
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"I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community." Happy birthday, @janetmock. You inspire us daily. 📷: @marianovivanco
How do you decide what to cover?
We chronicle the stories, people and voices that are inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from politics and news to pop culture, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ+ community. We have a team of brilliant journalists, writers, editors and video producers, as well as columnists with diverse perspectives and compelling stories to tell. Beyond that, we look to our audience for submissions and ideas. We accept personal essays, poetry, photography, and more. We love discovering great new talent, nurturing this incredible community, and hearing what people think is a fit for them.
If you had to choose one story that truly represents the concept of them, which story would you pick?
So hard to choose just one! This gorgeous essay by Brandon Taylor, though, speaks to many of the complexities and intersections we explore at them.: https://www.them.us/story/on-being-queer-and-happily-single
Does your newsroom or blog have a great story to tell? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why we should ask you five questions next.
Christine Cube is a senior audience relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. Follow her at @cpcube.