About a year ago, I joined the FLURT community and was so excited to have found a place to share my writing and read other opinions I could relate to. At first, the best part about FLURT was the articles, but reading and writing soon evolved into something bigger: FLURT became a community to me. As the Managing Editor, I spend my time reading articles very closely, so I have gotten to know many writers based on their writing styles and the topics they’re most passionate about.
I love the home that FLURT provides for editors, readers and writers, but as time passed, I began to notice that FLURT was evolving quickly into a larger project than what was originally intended. When Amanda founded FLURT, this magazine was aimed to replace women’s magazines with a socially conscious alternative – and this goal still rings true, but it has since progressed.
At FLURT we believe that being socially conscious means being accepting. FLURT strives to provide a safe space for all different people – that means we feature people as they are, with no photoshop. We value diversity, because we want to hear all different opinions on issues that impact young people today. Because we believe in all people having a voice, we realized we were becoming a magazine for all young people – not just women.
During the creation of each quarterly issue of FLURT, Editor-in-Chief Amanda, Head Designer Elizabeth and myself work very closely to produce a magazine we can be proud of. As we worked on the Fall 2015 issue, I noticed something small with the wording we were using, which could have easily been overlooked. But, for some reason, one part of a line in the issue kept nagging at me.
The line I’m referring to addressed women, trans women, trans men and non-binary folks. I was bothered by the separation of ‘trans women’ from ‘women’ and the inclusion of ‘trans men,’ but the exclusion of ‘men.’ To separate people in this way, to me, seemed to imply a division between trans and cis folks. I know, of course, that the writer of that line actually wanted to make it clear that the LGBTQ community is welcome here at FLURT. But something about the language being used prompted me to approach Amanda and Elizabeth.
It’s important to note at this point that I didn’t approach Amanda and Elizabeth with the goal of criticizing anyone’s language or doubting their intentions. I saw that nagging feeling I had when reading that line as an opportunity to collectively consider the responsibilities that come along with publishing content for the public to read.
The three of us began talking about the big picture: What’s the goal of FLURT? Is our primary focus to be a women’s magazine or a socially conscious magazine, and at what point do those two goals not totally line up? With the belief that being socially conscious means being inclusive, how can a publication call itself socially conscious but exclude people?
These are hard questions, and I know that the three of us spent a lot of time pondering them together and separately. Ultimately, with the support of our amazing team, we made the decision to move away from being a women’s magazine so that we can instead create an inclusive, socially conscious magazine (and community) for all people.
So, what does this mean moving forward? For one, we will be referring to our wonderful community as ‘flurts,’ not ‘gurls,’ so that all people of all identities may feel included and welcome.
Second, we’ll be accepting submissions from male-identified writers and vloggers, as well as content that may focus on men who identify within the LGBTQ community or who are feminists. As always, our goal is to publish content that reflects who we are: Young, socially conscious individuals who are coming together as a community to rewrite the media.
We believe in equality – so please know that no one’s opinion will ever be overshadowed by another based on gender. We’re determined to keep FLURT a safe space, but it was time to acknowledge that exclusion didn’t fit into our mission.
With much love,