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Did you know that many “mainstream” newspapers keep an eye on alternative publications like this one to inform their coverage of LGBTQ and  BIPOC happenings and issues?

Did you know that when a website compiles a large collection of related information, like an ever-growing calendar, everything in that collection gains a visibility boost in the algorithms that control what we do and don’t see digitally?

Did you know that an article about or by a local performer, business, or leader — even an article in a scrappy little publication like this one — can help boost their attractiveness as a job applicant, college applicant, or potential guest speaker at a conference?

These are just three of the “hidden but not really hidden” benefits of supporting The Real Mainstream — and other alternative publications too, but this one in particular!

Here are five more benefits that may not be obvious:

• You help the careers of local artists and performers, especially those with marginalized identities, when you spread word about TRM. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of what we publish is about local performers and artists. You help more people across two states know more about more performers and artists.


• You become part of real-life, real-time, flesh-and-blood intersectionality. Check out, or keep an eye on the pages you’ll receive in the mail. You’ll see an everyday, endless, ever-improving effort to present an intersectional perspective of the world and marginalized communities. You become part of that when you read this publication, send in a letter or photo collection, or take out an ad.

• You help offset the real and under-reported struggles of rural, isolated Iowans and Illinoisans.  Our “Bigger Picture” explores this further: depression and anxiety are life-threatening challenges in many rural communities. Helping to keep this publication strong, and its  devotion to reaching those who are isolated, is one way to help offset those challenges.

• You support advocacy journalism, a way to conduct the much-maligned profession of journalism with compassion, understanding, empathy and greater authenticity. You help us share “the facts”  — and then empower us to advocate for the universal principles of fairness and intersectionality that drive this publication.  We — and you, if you’re part of TRM — go the extra mile to serve the factual AND emotional experiences of marginalized identities.

• Finally, you help marginalized communities make that ever-important transition out of “surviving” and into “thriving,” where transparency, openness, accountability and building institutions that last are things to be embraced rather than feared.

You act selflessly and generously when you support or even read this publication. It’s perhaps one of the simplest ways to make a huge difference. Let’s do it.