Sean Bugg, co-publisher of MetroWeekly, is leaving his position to pursue his work with the the Next Generation Leadership Foundation, an organization devoted to inspiring and mentoring LGBT youth. Bugg has been with MetroWeekly for the past 13 years. It’s been more nearly 20 years since he helped launch the magazine’s first issue.
Bugg will remain as a columnist. His column, the untitled lead editorial, lets him address the issues of the day. (His previous column, “The Back Him,” allowed him to write a column on why it’s better to be a bottom, among other topics.)
“This is what people call and amicable transition — I’ve been talking to my long-time friend and co-publisher Randy Shulman about this for months and he has been incredibly supportive,” he told FishbowlDC.
Bugg isn’t meek about his pride…“I’m not ashamed to say that I tend to burst with pride at what we’ve been able to accomplish at Metro Weekly, taking the magazine from a small, local entertainment magazine to one of the nation’s most read and recognized LGBT news sources,” he said. “And I’m also not shy about bragging on all of the Metro Weekly staff members I’ve worked with over the years — they are the best in the business.”
Bugg is pleased to stay on in a limited capacity. “I’m not completely leaving — I will still be writing my column, doing some car and video game reviews (because those are the best rackets in journalism),” he said.
He also doesn’t have to have his arm twisted hard to mention his 2011 353-page book (hint, hint, see it pictured at right).
The Next Gen Foundation will host their Leadership Camp in June 2014, bringing a group of recently graduated LGBT high school students to D.C. to meet with LGBT leaders in politics, business, community service, arts, sports and more. “This is just a next step for me in trying to create positive and lasting things for the LGBT community,” he said.
To mark his job tranistion, we posed one goofball question and one serious one.
Q: Your name is for real, right? It’s not a stage name? A: It’s my real name and I come from a long line of proud, Scots-Irish Buggs. Actually, growing up in western Kentucky, having my name spelled “S-E-A-N” was much weirder for people. I was always being called “Seen,” “See-ann” or, presciently, “Sin.”
Q: Our serious question: This has been a big year for the LGBT community in terms of gay marriage. Did it feel that way to you or do you still see a long ways to go? What specifically do you think changes next? A: You really can’t overstate how important the DOMA decision was. I’m still sometimes shocked by how fast it happened in the grand scheme of things, given that came of age in the Reagan and AIDS era. As cliched as it is, I never thought I’d live to see it, but now Cavin and I have to run get legally married because someday our Social Security benefits are going to be determined by the date we married. It’s wild and fabulous. There is still a long way to go, but much of what’s left is cultural rather than political. I don’t mean to downplay what’s left in terms of equal treatment under law, especially around employment. But as the elements of legal equality click into place, it becomes about how we are accepted in everyday life. You can’t legislate that and everyone knows it. Sure, 60 percent of people may say they support “gay marriage”; that leaves 40 percent who don’t and a lot of those latter people are going to have LGBT kids. And some places in this country are slow to change. Like Kentucky! I love my home state but, damn, I’d never live there. That’s why I decided to work on the Next Gen Foundation. I don’t want to do the direct work for political change — we have plenty of groups and people doing wonderful work on that. What I want to do is help LGBT young people discover how much they can actually do in life, no matter where they come from, no matter how many people have told them that being gay or lesbian or bi or trans is terrible. And we can’t forget transgender people. That seems to be the final frontier for the gay and lesbian community, which has some serious anti-trans bigotry problems of its own, so you can only imagine what trans people face every day in the broader culture. As we win more political battles for gay people, I believe we have to put some more capital into fighting for trans people.