Welcome to Outward

People wave a huge rainbow flag during the 35th Gay Pride Parade in downtown Caracas on June 30, 2013.

People wave a huge rainbow flag during the 35th Gay Pride Parade in downtown Caracas on June 30, 2013.

Photo by Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images

Welcome to Outward, Slate’s new LGBTQ section.

In recent years, against an increasingly lively backdrop of progress and pushback around LGBTQ people’s place in society, Slate has been publishing more and more stories about gay life and culture, including widely discussed series on gay bars, camp, and the first gay wedding on a military base. We’re proud of the unique, provocative contributions our gay and straight writers have made to the “LGBTQ conversation” thus far, but now—as DOMA is dismantled, gender reimagined in the DSM, and the fate of “gay culture” worried over in an age of increasing equality—we feel compelled to say more.

Our mouthpiece will be Outward. In this space, we’ll be covering the LGBTQ beat with even more dedication, with daily updates on news and culture. But this won’t be just another one-note, mainstream “gay news” blog. Being made of the same ornery stuff as the rest of Slate, Outward will be a haven for passionate expressions of underrepresented and controversial points of view that we hope will make you think, make you cry, and even make you mad, all in the service of expanding the limits of this big queer conversation.

If it’s not clear already, that conversation includes anyone who wants in, even if they don’t have a gay bone in their body. Though many (but by no means all) of us working on Outward are queer, it’s important to us that it speaks to—if not always for—everyone. In fact, we especially want to hear from straight readers who have questions about LGBTQ life and culture. Gaysplaining isn’t a bad word as far as we’re concerned, so, if there’s something you’d like to Ask a Gay Person, send your questions to slateoutward@gmail.com, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

All that said, launching a new section is always a step into the unknown. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be experimenting with features and formats, and we’d love to hear from you on email, Facebook, or Twitter about what’s working, what’s missing, and what’s fabulous. In the meantime, thanks for reading, for reacting, and for helping us to push the possibilities of gay journalism onward and, well, outward.