Loss of Xtra Newspaper Boxes From Streets Understandable but Shitty
Loss of Xtra Newspaper Boxes From Streets Understandable but Shitty
When I was 17, each day I walked past a bright pink Xtra news box on the street corner across from my school. Everywhere I went I seemed to see the boxes—they were peppered all over the city, even north of the downtown core, in the more conservative part of Toronto I come from.

As a young, out woman, the boxes, which contained Canada’s self-proclaimed gay and lesbian newspaper, always caught my eye. It felt like my own special paper— an ally for people like me, claiming space in a city dominated by straight media.

In January 2015, Xtra’s publisher, Pink Triangle Press, announced the paper would cease publication of its print edition, moving to a more affordable online-only model. (Full disclosure: I worked for the paper curating letters and as an occasional freelance writer from 2012 until its closure.) Soon, those pink boxes would begin to disappear from Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa and their surrounding neighbourhoods. About a year earlier, PTP also ceased the publication of its other free gay magazine, fab. (Xtra served as Canada’s source for LGBTQ news. Fab was an arts and culture magazine targeted specifically at gay men.)

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