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OutSmart magazine was launched by publisher Greg Jeu and his staff in February 1994 with gay-affirmative couple Rod and Bob Jackson-Paris on the cover. The couple of the year didn't last, but OutSmart has.
Before OutSmart, community periodicals consisted mostly of bar entertainment guides. While they served a need, many felt they did not adequately represent the community's true authentic diversity. OutSmart was created to highlight that diversity and to inspire individuals to take an active role in creating a healthier and safer community. OutSmart features the faces of the community, its allies, celebrities, and local hometown heroes. News coverage includes LGBTQ-related politics, religion, health, sports, and more.
OutSmart has received
numerous awards for its journalistic excellence, including being voted
the nation's Best Local Gay and Lesbian Magazine by the Vice Versa Awards
(1998, 1999), Best Local Magazine by The Houston Press (2006-2009),
and multiple Lone Star Awards by the Houston Press
The premiere issue of OutSmart was supported by a handful of well-intentioned advertisers. Things changed after OutSmart discovered that many gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses desired to be visible and a part of the community, but did not want to be associated with sexually explicit advertising common with other publications of the time.
As our community grew, it began to use its political clout with the power of gay dollars to change the course of gay media. Today, OutSmart works with over 250 marketing partners each month that acknowledge their support of the community. OutSmart considers these businesses to be the pioneers that made it possible for quality journalism by a LGBT media source to flourish alongside the mainstream media.
to be a free publication and is distributed to over