Gay Times Editor Sacked and Articles Removed in Response to Offensive Tweets

Credit: Gay Times

 

 

Josh Rivers (pictured above) had been editor of the Gay Times magazine since last month before being removed from his position over offensive tweets he had made in the past that have now come to light.

Many of the tweets, which have now been deleted, have been described as transphobic, homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic. Rivers himself said that “The tweets are horrible. They are abhorrent. They are ugly. They are so hateful.” in his public apology.

An example of the tweets in question included comments like the one below.

Josh Rivers

In a statement released by Gay Times Magazine they said that they, “do not tolerate such views and will continue to strive to honour and focus on inclusivity.”. The publication also added that they will launch the new look magazine on November 30th which will be it’s largest overhaul in 33 years and will focus primarily on fantastic contributions made my wider members of the LGBT community.

Their response to these historic tweets made by Josh Rivers has been largely supported by consumers of the magazine online. One twitter user praised the move by saying:

Others however took this as an opportunity to criticise Gay Times Magazine and the way they’ve handled this ordeal.

We caught up with Leeze Lawrence, editor of popular LGBT news site pinksixty.com who made the above comment. She further explained to us that to her “The following outcome had not come as a surprise though, as the publication is supported by advertising then I knew that Josh would be dismissed as GT didn’t want the added pressure of advertisers dropping away from the publication or worse a public campaign for advertisers to drop the brand would have killed GT off.

what I didn’t expect was that the publication to sweep it under the carpet and not turn a negative into an opportunity to face an issue where what you see on the front of the magazine isn’t perfect, under the polished muscular bodies of men on their front pages and centre spreads is the lives and attitudes of the real men on that very front cover,  Josh is symbolic of this as he was involved with the marketing of the magazine prior to his editorial position so represented those very men or at least the words representing them.
 I feel that when negativity happens within our community publications or news tend to demonise the subject of the story and then erase any connection of that negativity without actually drawing focus with the problem the social responsibility doesn’t lie with the publication, but with the person and that I feel should change. The social attitude to not open up about our issues is that, hidden. I feel that this was a missed opportunity from the publication to make an instant impact and owning that yes he ‘was’ an editor of GT, so let’s look at the issues generally, they don’t have to involve him but certainly look into those problems he admits he faced as a wider issue.”

We also spoke to popular author and previous contributing editor of Attitude magazine, Patrick Cash, who writes about a number of LGBT issues about the current situation with Rivers’ and it’s implications within the community.

He said “I think Josh Rivers’ tweets were offensive, ignorant and downright nasty. However, I do think they also show a collective tendency of some within the LGBT community to lash out at one another and attempt to put others’, and other minorities, down.” Cash then went further to say “I think a lot of this behaviour may come from low self-worth and emotional trauma from ‘hiding ourselves away’ when growing up LGBT in a heteronormative society. This does not excuse Rivers’ statements, we must all take personal responsibility for our actions, but it could be a starting point to widely explore, in outlets like Gay Times, the potential tolls still taken on some gay men’s mental health.”

Additionally A Stonewall spokesperson said: ‘It’s a sad fact that misogyny, discrimination and abuse against minority groups happens within the LGBT community. When it happens, this abuse must be called out and those responsible must be held to account for it. We have to, as a community, work together to create a world where everyone is accepted without exception.’

Despite the severe implications these actions have clearly had for Rivers’ his actions have definitely opened up a discussion within the LGBT community about how people treat each other and how they handle their own emotions and health.

 

Henry Calvert

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