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Remembering HX Magazine (1991 - 2009)

 

Hx_logo

 

HX was a weekly gay entertainment guide for New York that began publishing in 1991.  It was briefly called Homo Xtra, and its slogan was: "The totally biased, politically incorrect party paper".  (I still have an HX t-shirt with this tagline on the back.)  It continued publishing until the issue dated July 10, 2009, when it was purchased by the company that published rival Next Magazine (which would stop publishing in the summer of 2016).

 

Next began publishing a few years after HX, and both co-existed for many years despite having similar content.  (Because of their similarities I sometimes had a hard time distinguishing between the two.)  Both were freebies distributed mostly in the West Village and Chelsea, and in the Pines and Cherry Grove during the summer.  Like so much content on the internet, both publications were able to be distributed free because of advertising support from clubs/bars, restaurants, escorts and masseurs/body workers.  When it first began publishing, HX had an unwieldy fold-out format, similar to a map.  The covers during the first few years were sexy shots of bare chested guys.  These early covers were quite striking because they were B/W on sturdy newsprint, calling to mind the works of Robert Mapplethorpe.  Once the magazine became a 4-color glossy, the covers became a mix of pretty  boys, studs, drag queens and celebrities. 

 

HomoXtra

 

Here's a sample of some striking covers from the early, "black & white" years:

 

Hx4

 

Hx5

 

Hx

        

And here are some standout covers from the glossy, "living color" era, with themes such as Sex; the Black Party; Swimwear/Summer; the White Party in South Beach; and Christmas time:

 

 

Hx_sex_issue

 

Hx_slave

 

Hx_redhead

 Hx1

 

Hx_snow

 

And, now, some favorite ads: 1) The model in the Thanksgiving ad also did a nude cover for the May 2002 issue of GQ.  (For a brief time we worked together at ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding, where he was an assistant account executive.)  2) Ads for the annual "Black Party" are always outrageous, but the one shown was even more so because of the inclusion of a cherubic little boy.  3) Splash Bar could always be counted on for hot ads.  It opened at about the same time as HX - and outlived it by four years (closing in August 2013).

 

 

Thanksgiving_hx_toddriegler

 

Black_party_littleboy

  Blackparty_pigs

 

Splash_harness    

 

 

 

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Comments

Mike

Hi Rob, I've just had the enormous pleasure of having a look at your site. What a gem!!! I'm a 41-year-old British guy who frequented NYC several times a year between 1996 and 2002, returning there last year for the first time in a while. After reading just two posts on your site - reflecting on HX magazine and gay life depicted in postcards, I became full of memories of my times around the City at long-gone venues such as Champs, Splash, etc. and memories of A Different Light and various other defunct bars, clubs etc.

There's a real wealth of gay heritage that I look forward to spending more time reading about on your site over the holidays. Again, thank you for taking the time to collaborate such a wealth of history, to which I am looking forward to further trips down memory lane.

Patrick

Yes ! This HX magazine was an absolute take-home anytime I went to New York's Greenwich village ! It was everywhere and always free ! I still can not believe it has been out of print since 2009.....where did 8 years go ? The rival was NEXT, and that also is now no longer available. HX was glossy, informative and funny ! It had the best and satirical cover shots...wish I had saved a few copies from the late 1990's !

Phillip

Hi! My name is Phillip and I was on the cover of HX in the early 2000's featuring a story on gaycolloegeparty.com and the boys of the group. I've lost my copy and do not want to lose the memories. The cover said "18 to Party!" ... can you please help me get a copy or obtain an image? Thank you!!!!

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