The creators of Seattle’s first lesbian news site believe the city is long overdue for such a publication.
Last week, Kate West and Sarah Toce launched The Seattle Lesbian. Though Seattle already has more than one gay news outlet (Seattle Gay News and Seattlegayscene.com), West and Toce saw demand for a site aimed just at women.
Toce, The Seattle Lesbian’s editor-in-chief, already wrote for national lesbian publications when she and West started talking about a local site. When Toce contacted publicists about stories, they often asked her why there were no media outlets in Seattle to pitch to.
Toce and West’s lesbian friends, in turn, complained about local gay news sites not devoting enough ink to the lesbian community.
“There was definitely a void,” said West, who acts as executive editor for The Seattle Lesbian.
With The Seattle Lesbian, West and Toce plan to cover Seattle news, politics, celebrity gossip, and local lesbians of note. Toce, who already regularly writes about Hollywood’s gay stars, will continue to cover the beat for The Seattle Lesbian. West wants to feature local gay performers, singers, and writers.
“There’s no press being done on them,” West said.
The pair will also write about politics. This week, for instance, they’re attending rallies and news conferences for Patty Murray. They’ll cover issues and pen columns on topics important to lesbians.
“We want to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” Toce said.
Whether The Seattle Lesbian will become financially viable remains to be seen. Right now, West is keeping her other full-time job as a claims analyst for an insurance company. Toce, on the other hand, is devoting her attention entirely to the site. In addition to their own work, they are relying on Toce’s partner for the site’s photography and several local writers for regular columns. They’d like to be able to pay freelancers, but they aren’t there yet.
The two are just beginning to build their advertising base. Since they’ve launched the site last week, several organizations and companies interested in ad spots have contacted them, Toce said. They believe political organizations, such as Equal Rights Washington, and gay-friendly or gay-owned local businesses would be prime candidates for advertisers.
Toce and West say they are also receiving a steady stream of emails from local lesbians who welcome the site’s arrival.
“We’re getting quite a little fan base,” Toce said.