When the first issue of Chill dropped earlier this year, a lot of people didn’t know what to make of it — its design aesthetic and unique blend of content echoed earlyFader and Complex magazines sans macho posturing bravado tone that’s endemic to many men’s magazines, and that’s because Chill, provides a unique point of view that is a welcoming respite for people looking to see themselves represented.
The cover of the fourth issue of Chill featuring Charlamagne Tha God; on newsstands now.
Chill obviously resonated as circulation exploded and it nabbed two awards: One for best editorial team, and two: for best new magazine launch in the consumer category at the prestigious Folio Awards this year (they’re like Oscars for magazines).
Editor-in-chief Gerald Garth smiles and nods in agreement, “Chill invites men into spaces they might not normally go,” he says. “So, to explore the intersections of race, sexuality, interests, and socio-economic status — all those — is important to me. And with that, we celebrate all the parts of who we are as men.”
Chill bills itself as the premier print, digital, and social brand designed for millennial men of color with editorial focused on health, fitness, grooming, streetwear, sneakers, entertainment, pop culture, sex, relationships, technology and travel. But Garth says, “Chill is really about building a community. Chill highlights, entertains, and empowers urban men. I say urban on purpose, being that urban is not specific to any one group; urban is a lifestyle.”
Chill’s ambitious mission also seeks to redefine the parameters around modern notions of masculinity — and if need be tear them down. The brand is also upfront about addressing issues around health and wellness among men of color, particularly mental health and HIV education and prevention without being fussy or strident in its message — an almost impossibly precarious tightrope to navigate, you have to be sufficiently engaging to deliver the messaging without frightening the young men they are trying to reach.
Garth replies, “Many men of color, particularly Black and Latino men, are inundated with messaging and media that reiterates how negatively impacted we are by all sorts of inequities across the board. I myself know personally how much those types of messages weighs on a person.”
“However,” he continues “I’m a big believer in looking at how impacting issues fit into a person’s real life. I led health and wellness programs for years and a concept we would often use was called “whole person care”—that is looking at issues as they relate to the whole person and prioritizing individual’s needs. For example, it’s hard to prioritize HIV care if you’re hungry, so addressing the immediate concerns while knowing these are part of a bigger picture of wellness. I’ve brought the same concept to Chill. Sure, HIV is a concern; sure, mental health is a concern, but how do these fit into the grand scheme of one’s life.”
At the end of the day — Garth counts it an honor to help people build a narrative for their lives and to engage in dialogue that helps heal the facets of their identity. “Human beings are natural storytellers—and those stories foster agency and agency leads to action and action fosters self-care and self-respect. At Chill, our team is mindful of that and looks at interests, strengths, and innovative approaches to engage readers to find, create, and sometimes recreate that narrative that will look at our readers as whole and further wholeness.”
Editorial director and cofounder Diane Anderson-Minshall adds, “Chill celebrates the experiences of men of color…men who are not limited to labels, boxes or scales. I don’t think we’ve frequently seen that before. And it is important that the team behind the magazine consists largely of people of color, too, so it’s not just a bunch of white folks creating what they think men of color want to read.”
The Chill team recognizes all that comes with something original but embraces its role. Garth continues, “Inserting a new brand in the market is always a concern, but Chill has made some major strides. What’s great about Chill is the brand uniquely speaks to audiences that, for a long time, have not had a voice — or rather, has had a very limited voice. Being able to showcase and bring to life the experiences of the millennial man of color is a value that Chill brings like none other. And we’re just getting started.”
Check out Chill here.
Photos courtesy of the author.
Gerald Garth is the editor in chief of Chill magazine and Chill.us as well as a contributing editor to Plus magazine. He’s previously served as editor of Black AIDS Weekly and The Rouge Collection, the black-owned digital urban media outlet in the South. He’s also a former columnist for Heart & Soul and Griot and was the West Coast correspondent for Sheen. Based on Los Angeles, Garth is also a long-time advocate HIV prevention and treatment for LGBTQ people of color.
Got Writer’s Block?
We are a participatory media company. Join us.
Participate with the rest of the world, with the things you write and the things you say, and help co-create the world you want to live in.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.