Andy Towle, the founder of the LGBTQ blog Towleroad, has announced his retirement from the site. The outlet will continue publication without him.
Towleroad was one of the original queer content providers online in the early 2000s. It started around the same time as Pam’s House Blend, Bilerico Project, Queerty, and Joe.My.God.
“Longtime readers and friends, we’ve come a great distance together,” Towle wrote in his goodbye post. “But after nearly 18 years scouring the web for LGBTQ news and bringing it to you on a daily basis, this has been my last week at Towleroad.”
The internet has changed dramatically since the original handful of queer sites launched. Pam’s House Blend shut down when founder Pam Spaulding retired. Bilerico Project was sold to to Queerty‘s parent company, Q.Digital and co-founders Bil Browning and Alex Bollinger now run LGBTQ Nation. Joe Jervis, the founder of Joe.My.God., started writing on a different platform before migrating to actual blogging software and remains the only one of the original bloggers to still maintain his own site.
“In 2003, after a gig as the editor-in-chief of the late gay magazine Genre I created Towleroad. Though it started as a personal exploration, the weblog format allowed for the first time the delivery of news to a niche audience in a rapid manner, with interaction between readers and writers that had not existed before, and I realized I could take what I had been doing at Genre to the internet.”
“When I launched this experiment George W. Bush was president, and nobody knew what a ‘blog’ was. There were no hate crime protections for LGBTQ people, the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy was still in place, and gay and lesbian people couldn’t get married anywhere in the United States. There was no YouTube, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, and no iPhone!”
The site will continue with Towle’s business partner, Michael Goff, in charge. Other writers will replace Towle, he says.
“So many readers and commenters have offered their words of support over the years and I’m grateful for your lasting readership, and also the criticism,” Towle said. “I have tried to learn from it.”
“Keep in touch.”