Like a lot of bloggers, Kevin Clay ran out of steam after a few years. He wrote about attending events around town, and that started to get boring. But unlike the rest of us, who would have just let the blog go fallow, Clay took a new and better-focused direction, launching GayRVA.com in March 2009.
"It's not about activism or advocacy," says Clay, a Richmond native and VCU mass-communications grad who serves as editor/publisher. "It's bringing a voice to the table."
Richmond didn't really have a site catering to its LGBT population (while remaining straight-friendly), Clay says, a clearinghouse for news, as well as nightlife and entertainment listings.
When Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told state-supported colleges to rescind policies banning discrimination against gays, VCU had a student protest, and GayRVA had its highest-traffic day. Clay invited two people — one pro-Cuccinelli, one against — to write a column on the site. The AG supporter declined, but the offer still stood.
GayRVA, which is bolstered by a group of advisers from Richmond's gay and business communities, has some changes on the horizon, including a third version of the site set to debut at the beginning of May and a gay-friendly business guide in partnership with the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Clay's also building a sales team, and he hopes to make working on the site a full-time job by the end of the year.
As older gay-focused media (notably the defunct Washington Blade in D.C.) fall by the wayside, GayRVA's prosperity is encouraging. And, hey, Clay's considering print possibilities, which makes all of us dinosaurs feel a bit better.