Just Seventeen

Issue 69

Originally appeared in issue 69 of BCN

After seventeen years of publishing, many dogged by stories of impending doom, the Pink Paper finally printed its last edition at the start of October.

The UK’s only nationwide queer weekly, the Pink Paper started up in 1987 and was distributed free to bars and clubs all around the UK. At the time of the last General Election, rumours abounded that it was only being kept afloat long enough to get the pink vote out.

A relaunch as a paid-for magazine rather than a free tabloid newspaper flopped badly – revealing that while readers were happy to pick it up as a freesheet, they didn’t see the Pink Paper in the same light as Diva or Gay Times.

The Pink never explicitly changed from being “lesbian and gay” to being LGB, but over the years the paper mellowed. Where ten years ago it was the subject of bisexual fury for the regular occurence of the phrase “no bisexuals” in the personal ads pages, in the dying years of the magazine there were separate bi personals added to the section. Last year’s London BiCon even made the front cover and centre-spread.

A change of publisher this year sounded the death-knell, as the previous publishers had wanted to keep the Pink Paper as a relatively upmarket sister publication to the determinedly downmarket gay listings and entertainment title Boyz. The loss of advertising revenue due to the expansion of internet dating and the loss of a unique target audience thanks to competition from regional queer magazines like “ShOUT!” and “Out In The North West” meant that at last it really was all over.