Exit, South Africa’s longest running LGBT newspaper, will be publishing its 250th issue in August. The publication has been in print under the current name for 26 years.

“It’s a major milestone. It’s no mean feat for a LGBT publication in South Africa,” said Editor Gavin Hayward.

He noted that “there was a time when there was nothing else in gay life in the country but Exit. You used Exit to find a man and to find a bar”.

The newspaper, which provides news on the LGBT community, regular columns, men’s personals, classifieds and community listings, has become an institution and is the first gay publication many LGBT South Africans ever purchased.

Hayward said that despite the rise of the Internet, the newspaper continues to thrive.

“I guess we’ve adapted and survived and we still perform some kind of function. We don’t live in a fully-developed First World country so not everyone has access to the Internet.

“Plus, Many people want to read something in print. They want to sit on the toilet and have a good read,” he added with a laugh.

Exit has its roots in the early 1980’s as the newsletter of GASA – the Gay Association of South Africa. This proved popular, and soon the newsletter was replaced by a tabloid size newspaper called Link/Skakel, and in 1985 this changed its name to Exit.

Why the name Exit? At the time, publishing a gay newspaper, and therefore having people buy and read it, was part of coming out of the closet.

Exit was initially edited by the David Moolman, then by Henk Botha and Gerry Davidson and appeared periodically. In 1995, with issue 70, Hayward bought the publication and turned it into a regular monthly.

It is available for purchase at CNAs, Exclusive Books and by subscription and can be found free of charge at most gay and lesbian venues, bars and nightclubs across the country.

Mambaonline.com and Mambagirl.com congratulate Exit on its 250th issue and look forward to the next 250.

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