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Launched in 1991 as a quarterly, Genre originally billed itself as a LGBT lifestyle magazine with a focus on gay men with primary coverage on entertainment, travel and an occasional acknowledgement of political issues. As the magazine evolved, increasing to bi-monthly in 1992, and monthly as of 1993, it focused more on entertainment and less on politics.
Facing increasing competition from Out, Details magazine and The Advocate for advertiser dollars in 2000, publisher Richard Settles changed editorial and art direction to became more of an urban magazine with a focus on New York's post gay movement fostered by an aging Generation X and former club kids, as well as those who outgrew the popular circuit party lifestyle of the 1990s. As such the publication began winning over mainstream companies such as Ford Motors, thereby proving that alternative lifestyles were a viable consumer market of society, dispelling notions of risk by association.
In yet another makeover, Genre changed editorial directions again in 2002, at the direction of co-owner and Associate Publisher, Doug Shingleton, with editorial content given larger breadth and scope. In addition to fashion, travel and entertainment as reported by most gay national glossy publications, Genre delved into personal growth of its male readership, including spirituality issues, home design & healthful lifestyle issues facing the community. This redesign resulted in significant circulation and advertising growth, prompting the first successful sale of a national gay publication in the United States. The redesign and editorial were executed by editor in chief, Andy Towle of Towleroad.com, creative director Randy Dunbar and Michael Davis.
In July 2003, Avalon Equity Partners announced its intentions to buy Genre and fold the publication into its growing LGBT media holdings under the Window Media umbrella.
In March 2004, Window Media relaunched Genre with a new logo and a new format continuing to feature fashion, travel and lifestyle articles targeting affluent gay men with monthly profiles of men from across the United States, an idea that drew upon its parent company's national resources. Genre currently focuses on regional activities in cities where the sister companies' local newspapers are located.