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40 Years of Gay Times: How the Publisher Continues to Grow

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The year was 1984. Musicians like Queen and ’80s fashion were all about being free and embracing individuality, but those in LGBTQ+ communities faced scrutiny when wanting to live their truth.

One might say starting an LGBTQ+ publication like Gay Times in that atmosphere was risky and maybe even dangerous, but founder Chris Graham-Bell knew that having a space for gay and bisexual men in London at the time was necessary and needed. Although Graham-Bell was turned down for a business loan because he was gay, he still found a way to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ voices.

Graham-Bell went on to prosper with businesses like Zipperstore in Camden and magazines Him, Zipper and Vulcan. In 1994, Diva magazine was founded, and a merger in 1999 created Millivres Prowler Group—the largest gay-owned multimedia publishing business in Europe. In 2013, Graham-Bell retired as chairman after a management buyout. Due to trading pressures, various businesses including Gay Times Magazine moved to new ownership.

Fast forward to 2024: Gay Times reaches more than 72.9 million people globally, with plans for continued growth in North America and beyond. The publication doesn’t just appeal to LGBTQ+ readers: According to WPP Beyond the Rainbow, 85% of non-LGBTQ+ 18-24-year-olds actively seek out queer media, proving its universal appeal.

For any company to survive as long as Gay Times has, it must continue to evolve. What has helped Gay Times reach its readership is having team members in the countries it covers who are able to give an even deeper perspective than those in its London home base. Nowadays, people prefer to support businesses and companies that give back and stand for something as well.

One example of how Gay Times goes beyond its pages is the GT Amplifund, a partnership between Gay Times and GiveOut that supports the global movement to advance LGBTQ+ rights by providing vital resources and support. Outside of financial help, GT Amplifund has forged strategic partnerships with many of the participating organizations offering structural support, ensuring the voice and resources Gay Times has as a business can still be effective in locations where the company doesn’t operate.

a collage of LGBTQ+ people
FaGay Times reaches more than 72.9 million people globally.Gay Times

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