By Adam Levin, Chairman of the Board, Pride Media
Recently, Women’s Wear Daily, a publication I deeply respect, published a piece about me, my business and political beliefs that wasn’t just hurtful, but could lead the reader to form the wrong opinion. It is my hope those same editors provide me the opportunity to defend against the false impressions this story may have left in the minds of readers we no doubt share.
When I decided to lead the purchase of the largest collection of LGBTQ publications, I knew I would be signing up not just for one of the most important movements of this era, but for battles against forces of hate and anger who work to suppress the rights of members in the communities we serve.
I could have invested in a lot less risky businesses without the same risk to my investors and to my personal security. But I thought long and hard about it and realized, I had a tremendous opportunity to help the very touchstones of LGBTQ culture thrive through these properties. As a person of Jewish descent, I am intimately familiar with hatred and stereotypes, which is why I understand and fight for equality for others, including the LGBTQ community. It’s why I’ve empowered my staff at Pride Media, and why in the past I’ve dropped everything to help run a political campaign for a Democrat seeking a seat in Congress.
The article makes the connection that my support of a few Republican politicians somehow means I am against the community we serve and have invested heavily in. It fails to mention my support of extremely progressive Democrats, or my involvement in any left-leaning events or organizations, for that matter. I’ve made donations to the AIDS Project Los Angeles, Los Angeles LGBT Center and recently made a commitment to Gay Men’s Health Crisis. In addition, I’ve donated to the campaigns of many pro-LGBT candidates who have included Adam Schiff, Gavin Newson, Jon Chiang and was Campaign Manager for Dan Adler’s bid to win the California’s 36th Congressional District seat, all of which was left out of WWD’s coverage.
As an advocate and businessman, I have engaged politicians on both side of the political aisle in an attempt to bridge the divide, and to drive dialogue and cooperation where we can, especially during this time of great polarization. But as someone invested in movements, I also think much more gets done in the center — where people can come together to agree and enact change. We do this with our LGBTQ publications and platforms, and I’ve done the same with regard to my pro-Israel and pro-Cannabis stances.
It’s also true that Pride Media has had its share of struggles as an organization since its inception, many of which are not unusual for a business in any industry. We’ve faced everything from growing pains and logistical issues, all the way down the line to harassment and outright boycotts. Even in the face of this, we march on in our fight for equality, acceptance and happiness for all people.
Pride Media is today the largest and strongest voice supporting the LGBTQ community — both through our many publications catering to nearly every aspect of the LGBTQ identity, and through the events and award shows we produce celebrating the far-reaching LGBTQ population. I will continue to invest in Pride Media, because I believe it is a critical voice for good and aligns with who I am personally, despite what others may suggest.