Hello Mr.

Essays   LETTER | MEMBERSHIP   Jun 15, 2017

Letter from the Editor

Ryan Fitzgibbon

The most common question I receive about Hello Mr. regards the process of choosing our cover misters. The unofficial criteria is that they represent the mood of the stories within while serving as ambassadors of our community values. That’s really it. And every single one of them has exceeded these duties, but the reign of our latest, Javi Muñoz, had to stretch a little further.

After the devastating loss at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, it took every ounce of my energy to get Javi’s issue out the door. And shortly after it circulated to newsstands and mailboxes around the world, time stopped again, on November 9th. Like many of you, the grief was now layered with post-election anger and my optimism as an entrepreneur grew so dark I couldn’t find my way forward. The excitement I once felt turned into a responsibility greater than I could shoulder. To lead my team and you, our readers, into action.

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Javi set an example through the hardships he has overcome in his life. While working on Hamilton, Javi, who has been HIV positive since 2002, was diagnosed with cancer. In the worst of his remission, he explained that what pulled him through was the motivation to get back on stage – not only for the audience but for the story.

“It was worth fighting whatever I had to fight,” he said. 

That determination to make your voice heard, especially in today’s political climate is what gets us out of bed. It’s what keeps us awake at night. It is how we will persevere.

I started Hello Mr. in 2012, just as the Industry was lowering print media into the ground. The sleep my team (the most tenacious in the indie game) has sacrificed over the last five years, proving them wrong while fighting off injustices, makes the nature of this business deeply personal. The essays, photography, interviews, fashion, poetry, and lyrics have surmounted to eight beautiful issues that have sought to reflect the queer experience, and what it means to be gay from hundreds of different interpretations and perspectives.

As a result, Hello Mr. has become not just a magazine, an Instagram account, or a reason to come together on the dance floor. We have created an inclusive collective within the LGBT community—allowing readers to connect with artists, and give them a forum to find friends and passions inspired by others’ work.

 

I recently curated an exhibition of Hello Mr. for Queen’s University in Belfast. Perhaps a bit premature to call it a retrospective, but it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of our next.

Today, I am proud to reveal Hello Mr. memberships, a new model that offers different levels of readership with corresponding benefits and exclusive access to the Hello Mr. community. Readers can now choose to become a Pixel, Print, Premium, or Patron member. This new model puts our audience back at the center, giving them a space to connect with one another in more meaningful ways online. It also enables us to continue paying the writers and artists whose contributions make Hello Mr. the beautifully insightful platform that it is. Our re-launched site will become a new home for this community to connect and access the archive of past issues, along with new content every week.

In an effort to further give back, a portion of all memberships will be donated to charity. Members will get to choose between The Point Foundation, ACRIA, Planned Parenthood, Ali Forney Center, GLAAD, and the Russia LGBT Network (for now).

This new online and charitable venture has been years in the making and a direct outcome from your continual support. This is not just an ordinary letter from the editor, but a thank you note of sorts. Thank you for allowing us to tell your stories, and for letting us share them with the world. Issue 09 is on track for a September release, and as a Hello Mr. Print, Premium, or Patron Member, you’ll be the first to receive it.

Like Javi, we’re getting back on stage after a short break to tell our next story. So listen up, because this one’s for you.

 
 



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