When Patrick Linehan, a senior studying newspaper and online journalism, heard that the campus LGBTQIA+ magazine, The OutCrowd, was in danger of folding in the fall of 2018, his initial response was sorrow.
Melissa Chessher, chair of the magazine, news and digital journalism department, had invited Linehan to speak to first-year students about his Newhouse experience, and mentioned that unless someone re-registered The OutCrowd with the Office of Student Activities, that was going to be it for the only campus magazine serving SU’s LGBTQIA+ community.
Linehan, who had an honors thesis idea due within the next couple of days, was struck with inspiration. “I was like, ‘Here we go. This is falling into my lap,’” he says.
Linehan personally connected with the magazine, which combined his passion for journalism with his personal identity.
“A lot of my college experience was a coming to terms with who I am and stopping fighting against my own interests and my own personality,” he says.
The first step was recruitment. Linehan sent out invitations to work on the magazine through several listservs and gathered about 50 students who showed interest.
“The second stage was, ‘What is this magazine going to be?’” says Linehan. “I didn’t want to rush into producing a magazine, so I decided to wait until the spring to publish.”
Linehan wanted The OutCrowd to be primarily about community.
“It’s interconnecting. It’s a community of LGBTQIA+ and ally creators who are trying to share art for people on campus who exist outside of a heteronormative world.”
Linehan and his team talked to professors in LGBTQ studies, members of Pride Union and people who worked on the magazine years ago to get an idea of how to define the content in ways that would best serve that community.
Once they got their ideas together and went over several drafts, the first revived issue of The OutCrowd, Queer in Quarantine, was published in March.
“It’s really great that we have so many young people involved in the magazine,” says Linehan. One of the first-year students from Chessher’s class is now the managing editor of the magazine.
“I hope that it continues to grow as another space for queer people to hang out,” says Linehan. “One thing I discovered as we were going through this is that there are spaces that exist, but there’s always room for more. I think [there are] a lot of queer people in Newhouse.”
Now that Linehan is graduating, he hopes students will continue to take risks and join publications that may not be as well established.
“I’m super inspired by people who are willing to take a risk and try to forge something new,” says Linehan. “I thank them and hope they can continue that sense of entrepreneurship and willingness to do something because you really love it.”
The OutCrowd is open to everyone regardless of their identity. Those interested in joining can apply online.
Adrianne Morales is a senior in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.