This has been on my mind for a few weeks so I decided to see what others thought.
For as long as I can remember, I've thought that GCN was an important part of our community that will always be around. But then I just thought one day, is it really needed?
Most people coming out now don't seem to turn to GCN for their first step into the community; they use forums like Gaire, QueerID or the various ones around the country. The forums give you more direct contact with actual gay people and, because they're online, can be updated much more instantly with gay news and events.
Before the internet, GCN really was the only source of information and outreach for a young gay person. But now, it seems to have lost its relevance.
So I don't think you can argue that it works for outreach purposes much anymore. What about purely as a magazine. Well I never read it. I asked a few of my friends and they all said the same thing. They pick it up in Flounge or Panti, flick through it and leave it there. Do you read it? Cover to cover? An important question is, would you buy it if it wasn't free? I certainly wouldn't and I don't think many would.
Before anyone starts, I'm not saying that GCN isn't a good organisation. I think they did great work in the past and was really needed then. But that is the past. Maybe it's time to move on? Think of all the funding that has been raised by GCN Forever and the donations they continue to get. Imagine if that funding was given to outreach organisations that seem to be more effective (like Gaire, for instance!) or to charities that help the community in other, vital ways like GMHP.
Maybe it's time to move on and put the resources that GCN have into something that would be more relevent.