He started an LGBTQ magazine during the pandemic. Here’s what he learned.

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01/31/2022

Ten years have passed since the germ of the idea for a Florida-based LGBTQ publication first came to journalist John Sotomayor. And in 10 years, much has changed. To start an LGBTQ magazine based in Ocala, one of the last remaining pockets of old Florida, surrounded by unvarnished nature and nicknamed the “horse capital of the world,” was already an ambitious idea. But to start one at the beginning of a global pandemic? That was on an entirely different level. Of course, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. As with the best-laid plans, Sotomayor’s Embrace Magazine was set to launch in January 2020. Delays pushed that back to April 2020, which might have been fine in any other year. But it wasn’t any other year. Sotomayor watched as the pandemic hit and advertisers started expressing concern. He knew he could push the magazine’s start off even longer, but that meant slowing an issue he felt was ready to come out. So he forged on, telling the advertisers to pay him later or even never. Embrace Magazine would publish its inaugural issue in May 2020 — ready or not.

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