Forty Under 40
BY Advocate Contributors
April 24 2012 1:56 AM ET
Mike Halterman • 26
Founder, Out on the Town magazine
Little did Mike Halterman know that Arkansas school board member Clint McCance’s 2010 Facebook rant about a “purple fag day” would help further his dreams. Spurred by a vacuum of LGBT responses in the Deep South, readers flocked to Halterman’s then month-old magazine, Out on the Town, for a response to McCance. Today, Halterman distributes 10,000 copies everywhere from Pensacola, Fla., to Shreveport, La.
“People [here] never had a voice of their own in their own media before this,” he says. “It was always, ‘Here, read this magazine from Atlanta, Dallas, etc., that doesn’t cater to you at all and doesn’t have anything relevant to how you live your life over here.’ A lot of us live rural lives and…things are a little slower here. The communities are more tight-knit.”
Leaving the South was never an option, he says. “So many…like Ellen DeGeneres, Cat Cora, Lance Bass…have left the South and made an impact nationally, but my goal was to always make a difference at home.”