Friends We Follow: BlackOUT Magazine
We were first introduced to Saj Golde when she appeared on Showtime series, The Real L Word. But we really got to know the LGBT-activist-turned-reality-star when she sat down for an exclusive ELIXHER interview in Los Angeles. Since our first sitdown, Saj has been an adamant supporter of ELIXHER. That’s why we’re proud to support her newest endeavor, BlackOUT, a magazine geared towards Black LGBT men and women. Here’s what Saj had to share about the publication. (Stay on the lookout for future ELIXHER and BlackOUT collaborations.)
ELIXHER: Why did you create BlackOUT magazine?
SAJ: When I first came out a few years ago, I had no clue what it meant to be a Black lesbian. There were plenty of images of white lesbian relationships, Ellen and Portia, The L Word, then The Real L Word ladies and their partners — but no one who looked like me, or whose experiences represented my experiences. I really struggled to figure out what my life meant relative to my sexuality and I had very little guidance along my journey. After being a part of The Real L Word, I learned of many other young LGBTQ people of color who were also in need of LGBTQ role models, a role I certainly couldn’t take on alone. So I wanted to create BlackOUT as a space were LGBTQ individuals can see themselves, people like them, experiences like theirs. I wanted to connect those who know to those who are seeking answers. I wanted a space where our beautiful, Black queerness took center stage! I wanted us to have a space all of our own! I truly hope to do my community justice.
ELIXHER: Who is the BlackOUT reader?
SAJ: The BlackOUT reader is any and everyone who is interested in the Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer experiences and everything in between.
ELIXHER: What can BlackOUT readers expect from the first issue?
SAJ: The first issue is a soft introduction to BlackOUT. It [came] out in the middle of February, when we celebrate Black History Month and Valentine’s Day (for some) and I thought what better a time to celebrate Black Queer Love! So for this issue, I reached out to some friends who have relationships that I truly admire. I hope that in this issue readers are able to witness how the couples featured have built healthy relationships on foundations of love and support for one another.
ELIXHER: What differentiates BlackOUT from other Black LGBT publications?
SAJ: My vision for BlackOUT is for it to be more than a magazine — but to be an actual resource for our Black LGBT family. Growing up, I learned the value of financial health from Black Enterprise magazine and purchased my first home after receiving instructions from Essence magazine’s year-long campaign titled, The Road to Homeownership. My vision is for BlackOUT to be a beneficial presence to the Black LGBT community in a similar manner. I want our pages to promote love for ourselves and our people, to teach and to inspire! My heart’s racing! [Laughs.] More than anything, I want my Black LGBT brothers, sisters and nonconformists, to know that BlackOUT belongs to them. That our pages will reflect only what they want to see and our single intention is to reflect our experience.
ELIXHER: How can we support BlackOUT magazine?
SAJ: Subscribe, of course. Subscriptions are $20/year and the magazine will be available for download on mobile devices and tablets monthly. Then tell someone else to subscribe!
Contribute. This is our magazine! If there is something you want to see in our pages — put it there. We support writings, images and even video. Whatever you do, however you live your life out and proud, we want to know about it. If BlackOUT isn’t a reflection of your experience, then we aren’t doing our job. So there are definitely positions available for contributors and we welcome and appreciate all feedback.
BlackOUT magazine is now available in the Amazon Store! It will soon be available in the Apple App Store. Visit boutmag.com for more information.