Another year, another look back at Options' top articles of the year.
As we say farewell to 2022, we look back at a year that was a busy one for Options Magazine. The magazine published 61 pieces, poems, articles, and interviews. Our print edition returned this year with a 40-page 40th-anniversary edition that debuted at a launch party on June 1st to kick off the Pride season. The magazine hosted its first annual Options Awards which had tremendous support from the community as it received over 2,500 votes and over 200 people showed up in October to the awards show.
This work came from 21 writers, poets, and reporters, an eight-member volunteer board – four of which started in 2022 – a web developer, a social media, resources, and calendar manager, two designers, a development and advertising director, and the outpouring of support from dozens of sponsors and advertisers, hundreds of donors, and the thousands of people that open our emails, vote in our awards, and read our work.
In the end, it is you the reader that makes Options possible, and why we highlight the top ten most-read articles of the year. Our list of the top ten articles isn’t an exact science since the view totals can go up when your web browser refreshers or when this writer re-reads a piece on Options’ website ten times after it has been published to ensure he didn’t miss any glaring typos. Yet, it does give us a rough idea of which articles are the most-read pieces of the year.
Here are Options’ top ten articles and columns for 2022.
By Bradford Greer and Greg Wright
Bradford Greer and Greg Wright start us off with a stroll through Rhode Island’s LGBTQ bar scene. The duo did a similar piece in 2014 and updated it for the 40th Anniversary Edition. From a look back at Mirabar starting off 76 years ago in Woonsocket to a look at all the wonderful establishments that have come and gone The Long Queer History Of Rhode Island’s Nightlife is a wonderful look at the vibrant night scene that makes Providence and Rhode Island such a special place for the Queer and Trans communities.
By Jackie Goldman
Coming in at number nine focuses on the Nazis attack on the Leftist library Red Ink. As a founding board member of Red Ink and as a Jew, Jackie Goldman takes us through their personal journey on what this meant for them and how political violence has become all too common in Rhode Island. Worst still, they point out how the false bothsidesism narrative is used in these situations by both media and elected officials. Nazis Attacking Red Ink Is A Reminder That Violence Is The New Normal is an important piece that should be a wake up call for Rhode Island and America.
By Alex Morash
The 40th Anniversary Edition’s feature interview of actor Graham Stokes and movie review of the film Disorienting Dick that Stokes stared in was bound to get attention. What was surprising was how much interest the piece garnered around town. When this writer distributed the magazine at Stable, people would come up and compliment the piece. The piece was so popular that Stokes told Options he signed copies of the edition for over 100 people.
The article is a look at Stokes' life, how this writer first came upon him over a decade ago and where he was then to now and the wild ride that is Disorienting Dick. A Very Disorienting Conversation With Graham Stokes was fun to write and you the readers seemed to find it fun to read too. If you haven’t read it yet, give it a chance, and be sure to stream the film on Plex.
By Kwana Adams
Kwana Adams is one of Options’ strongest writers and appears frequently on the top ten list year after year. The first piece published from her this last year is also the first to appear on this list. Adams interviewed Rev. Darrell Goodwin after he took the helm of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ as executive conference minister. In the piece Adams dives into the many interconnecting parts of his identity and what it means for his ministry and faith. How Faith, Adversity, And Acceptance Shaped New Head Of Southern New England’s United Church is a wonderful profile of a thoughtful faith leader told by an amazing writer.
By Alex Morash
As this writer gets older, I find fewer things that can get under my skin and drive me to write a passionate response. This, of course, can make writing the column, Chattering Classes, which is dedicated to such retorts difficult. Yet, perhaps no other subject this last year angered this writer more than when a bipartisan trio of Rhode Island lawmakers proposed anti-Trans legislation focused on school sports. The title When We Talk About Trans Sports We Are Not Talking About Trans Murders says it all. Talk of school sports from the right is nothing more than a diversion to cloud the public’s eyes from the harm inflicted on the Trans community and we all have a responsibility to call it out.
It lifts my heart to see the piece did so well as to be the sixth most viewed piece of the year and I was proud to see that after the publication of this column, the Democratic lawmaker who cosponsored the legislation removed his name. Was this piece the reason? Options doesn’t know, but either way, it is good to see a politician turn away from such repugnant legislation and tactics.
By Kwana Adams
What happens when you put Options’ top contributor in the same room as Rhode Island’s most popular out State Senator? You get a top-five hit, that’s what.
Alt-Right Haters Meltdown Can’t Stop The Unapologetic Tiara Mack is an important piece about the hateful tactics the far-right is using to harass Trans and Queer communities and how Mack won’t back down. If you haven’t read this impactful interview, you are missing an important look at what is happening to our community and the people in it.
By Alex Morash
“The Rent Is Too Damn High” carried Jimmy McMillan into internet fame and has been a discussion for years. Yet, it wasn’t until 2022 did sky-high rent hikes become the talk of not just activists, but was written about in the news, talked about in coffee shops, and even a part of wage and raise negotiations in the workplace. So when the Providence mayoral campaigns weighed in, naturally it was going to be a popular subject for Options to write about.
In fourth place is the second Chattering Classes column on the top ten list with Nothing To Smile About When Providence Politicians Dismiss Out Of Control Rent. Its success is a reminder that if rent prices are not brought under control in Rhode Island soon, we may not have much of a Queen and Trans community in Providence.
By Alex Morash
In third place is also the third and final Chattering Classes column on the top ten list. While this writer found it to be the least important piece from the column this year, it was the one everyone wanted to talk about.
Salvatore Wraps Himself In Rainbows and Nostalgia To Oust Out Senator was about a straight term-limited city councilor’s campaign to challenge an openly LGBTQ state senator and campaigned as if he was some sort of hero to the Queer and Trans community. It was such an open-and-shut case it only took this writer two hours from outlining to publishing. What this writer thought was just an odd nothing of a subject became one of the most read pieces of the year and the piece people wanted to talk to me about around town all summer.
Considering the councilor lost overwhelmingly, and his opponent even received almost 80 percent in most parts of Federal Hill, it was clear his tactics were not viewed kindly by area voters, and given the placement on this list, Options readers didn’t find it amusing too.
By Kwana Adams
Adams is an Options superstar writer and reporter. It is no surprise one of her pieces holds the second-place position. When accusations that Rhode Island candidates were telling voters on the doors not to vote for their opponents because they are Queer, the Options team knew we had to cover the story and Adams took this story on. When she took on researching and writing this piece she reached out to everyone. While some might shy away from reaching out to the accused campaigns, Adams reached out and wasn’t afraid to get them to respond.
RI’s Latest Campaign Trend: Don’t Vote For My Opponent – They’re Queer! is an important story that shows why we need independent LGBTQ local news outlets her and across the country.
First place isn’t first place because of its writing quality. It isn’t first place because of the writer in any way. First place is a simple announcement: Voting Is Open For The Options Awards! What made this the top piece of the year – and the second most read piece of all time – was that the Options Awards was one of the first times since the pandemic our community was able to come together and recognize our friends, families, sheros, and leaders for all the wonderful ways they contribute to Providence and Rhode Island’s Queer and Trans communities.
The Options Awards vote was number one because you the reader wanted to make something of the Options Awards and you did!
These are just ten of the many wonderful pieces published by Options Magazine over the last year. To see all our pieces, check out Options’ articles page and catch up on the last year. You can also view articles from the annual print edition on our website too. To learn more about what went into writing and editing some of these top ten pieces listen to the Options’ podcast, Providence Vibes, year-end episode.