The Austin Chronicle

The Gay Place: It's Aliiive!

By Kate X Messer, January 20, 2016, 9:30am, Qmmunity

Aw shucks! You really like Gay Place! Yes, this is quite awkward, but we're back. Well, it's back. Had I any idea that my betters at The Austin Chronicle intended to continue my column after my leaving, I never would have written my outro the way I had

And I certainly would not have allowed all those lovely eulogies on Facebook to go unanswered, flapping in the breeze.

As it turns out, golly gee willikers, the Gay Place is not dead after all. In tomorrow's issue of The Austin Chronicle, the Gay Place shall rise again.

Back when I was plotting my retirement, I was moments, mere steps away from asking Sarah Marloff to take the reins of Gay Place. I never had the chance. My managing editor and the paper's calendar poobah each conveyed to me exactly what I reported in last week's column:

"Now that the Gay Place shall fold into the general calendar listings, please send all your event notifications directly to the Calendar Department. Send details of your event…" blah blah blah.

Then, on my way, pretty much out the door, the mg'ed says (and I paraphrase), "Oh, BTW, I'm gonna need for you to train Sarah. She's taking over Gay Place. You're OK with that, right?"

Of course I was OK with that. And to her credit, managing ed (the first name of that god forsaken title, is, after all, "managing") testified to being a bit blindsided by the news herself.

So, how did it happen? I do not know. And I do not care to know. (Was there a pro-Gay Place faction? An anti-Gay Place faction? Did they arm wrestle?) Who knows? I am too exhausted to follow the worm down the wormhole to learn how decisions get made or unmade at the paper. I am, in fact, retired.

Bottomline: You still have a place to put your LGBTQIA events and concerns. We – editorially speaking (aka "we" as in "Sarah") – will care for your babies and post them in the paper and occasionally, as time permits, wax on at greater length online via the Gay Place blog (which may include special guests). Please DO SEND your listings in to: [email protected].

This, of course, is very good news. It would have been a waste to allow the years of community developed around GP to dissolve due to attrition. Plus, an eager and more-than-capable champion/columnist waits in the wings to make it take flight. Any snark or disappointment you may perceive here, you see, is just my big baby pout about one detail: I did not get to unfurl great fanfare for rightful-and-chosen Gay Place heir, Sarah Marloff. (It would have been so cool to put all this in my final column.)

Sarah knows how I feel about her and her dedication to this place. She recounts the start of her career with us in tomorrow's column, but here's a bit more detail: I met the quite brilliant Christina Cauterucci at the 2013 AAN Convention in Miami. Sarah was her compatriot at Where the Girls Go, a Washington D.C. queer blog and event promo gang. Christina told me that her friend Sarah was moving to Austin, and could I find anything for her to do? Could I find anything for her to do?!

Sarah became the right hoof of Gay Place. She worked the better part of her first year for little to no pay, a faithful friend to Austin LGBTQ, a community she was barely beginning to know. Sarah Marloff reported for duty every weekday as if it were a salaried job and worked her ass off as an unpaid intern. She's never acted like an entitled twit, yet always pipes up with great ideas and finds assertive and autonomous ways around my… ahem… big personality. She's always her own cat. And smarter than the average bear (and if you hang out at Iron Bear, you know bears are pretty smart). I dig that about her. She's one of a kind.

Honestly, I didn't deserve her. Gay Place didn't deserve her. And the paper really doesn't deserve her now. And if any of this sounds churlish or bitter, I assure you, that's not the case. Those of you who've followed our antics here at Gay Place for the better part of the last decade know how proud I am to have enjoyed the Chronicle's seal of approval to do this column. Nothing like it exists with its duration in the AAN world. Moreso, I am truly grateful that the GP gets to carry on with noble Sarah at the helm. She deserves the best. Chronicle: You better treat her right. And you, too, LGBTQ Austin. Get your goddamn listings in and get them in on time. Email: [email protected] right meow. Tell her the unicorn sent you.

Oh, and P.S.: Yes, this (my retirement party) will still happen sometime soon, but now, we will also have to find time to celebrate Sarah's epic rise to power! Hmmm, actually, let's make that two parties. Stay tuned!

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