Outlines Toledo magazine to debut at Pride eventWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever since she started Outlines Toledo, a local online publication focusing on LGBTQA issues, Kelly Heuss has been asked if she is planning to publish a print version.
Those requests will be granted this year at Toledo Pride when Heuss will debut a preview issue of the free Outlines Toledo magazine she plans to produce monthly, starting in October.
The preview copy will be about eight pages long and printed on glossy magazine stock to form a 5.5-inch-by-8.5-inch booklet, Heuss said.
“I don’t want people to think that’s all there’s going to be to it, but it should be enough to give people a taste of what’s coming,” said Heuss, who said the magazine will likely be available at gay bars and community support organizations.
Among topics covered in the preview issue will be the Glass City Rollers roller derby team — whose logo was designed by Heuss — and information about AIDS Resource Center Ohio programs, Heuss said.
Heuss is now looking for contributing writers or others who might want to help.
“I’ve gotten some people expressing some interest helping out, which is awesome,” Heuss said.
Toledo’s local LGBTQA community is active but not visible, according to Outline Toledo’s website, which reads: “We are working to change this. We want to ensure that no member of the gay community feels lost or alone. And in being more visible, the community-at-large will realize that we’re not so much different than they are.”
Heuss, a graduate of Perrysburg High School and a former Toledo Free Press page designer, started the online news site about a year and a half ago, after moving back to Ohio from Orlando, Fla.
“I was used to having a really large, strong LGBTQA community. There was a bi-weekly newspaper down there and there was always really visible stuff going on,” Heuss said. “After I moved home, we just didn’t have any of that and I just kind of got annoyed with not knowing what was going on, so I decided to just find out myself and start something. I think that’s something most major cities have that Toledo was just sort of lacking.”
Her goal was to create a place where the local LGBTQA community could go to find news and events.
“I post on there several items a day — local, regional, national news, things going on,” Heuss said. “I want to be very Northwest Ohio focused.”
The idea for the site was sparked when talking with a friend in Columbus about her job search.
“He asked if Toledo had a gay newspaper I could work for and I said ‘No we don’t have anything like that,’” Heuss said. “So he said, ‘Well, why don’t you start one?’”
Although at first she brushed off the suggestion, Heuss soon became convinced such a publication was just what Toledo needed.
“It was very hard in Toledo to find anything and I’m hoping other people looking for more of a sense of community can find that,” Heuss said. “I thought bringing it all together into one place and making it public would be helpful for more people besides me.”
Although she got requests almost immediately, Heuss said she never intended to add a print edition. But when the requests kept coming, she reconsidered.
“I figured if it was something people were asking for it was probably something people would read and people would respond well to,” Heuss said. “So because people were asking, we’re going to see how it goes.”
Reaction to the news has been overwhelmingly positive, Heuss said.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and support from people in town, which has been really nice,” Heuss said.
One of those who is excited is Emily Hickey, sponsorship coordinator and marketing and communications co-coordinator of Toledo Pride, who contributes a column to Toledo Free Press Star.
“It’s like the gay CNN,” Hickey said of the Outlines Toledo website, which she said she reads regularly.
Despite her initial reluctance, Heuss said she is excited about the new venture.
“I don’t think I have that thing in my head that tells me ‘You can’t do that,’” Heuss said. “I just assume I can do everything unless proven otherwise. So why not start a magazine?”
For more information, visit the website www.outlinestoledo.com.