Editorial standards and policies

Founded in Toronto in 1984 by Pink Triangle Press, an independent, queer-run media company, Xtra is an award-winning non-profit digital magazine and community platform covering politics, culture, sex, relationships and health with an LGBTQ2S+ lens. Through features, essays, explainers, op-eds, video documentaries and podcasts, we engage and inspire our audiences to create a more just, free and inclusive world. 

Mission statement

See Our principles section.

Newsroom ethics and guidelines: honesty, accuracy, integrity, trust
Diversity statement and report
Fact checking standards
Corrections and requests to unpublish stories
Ownership structure and funding model
Editorial independence
Audience and community feedback

Newsroom ethics and guidelines


  • Be accurate, truthful and fair. Do not distort or fabricate facts, imagery, sound or data.
  • Clearly label posed or re-enacted photos or videos.
  • Ensure that sources are reliable and credible. Make clear who and what your sources are and what motivations and interests they may have.
  • Don’t plagiarize or violate copyrights. 
  • Correct errors quickly, completely and transparently. 
  • If a report includes criticism of a person or group, offer them the opportunity to respond.
  • Slugs and tags should be used to distinguish news from opinion in all content.
  • Articles and reports should state the method of interviewing (in person, by phone, email, etc.) 
  • Attribute all sources by name and, if possible, by a link to the original source.
  • When using substantial material from our archives or from an author’s previous work, note that the material has been published before.


  • All statements presented in quotes must be verbatim and correctly attributed. We clean up pauses, and utterances such as “um” or “you know,” unless doing so materially alters the meaning.
  • All paraphrased statements should accurately represent the speaker’s position, be placed in fair and accurate context, and be correctly attributed.
  • We reflect the way sources speak, including obscenities, vulgarities or slurs.
  • Prior to publication, contributors, writers, editors and producers must confirm factual details, such as names, titles, dates, spelling of proper nouns, accuracy of quotes and that original and secondary sources are credible. Stories that are particularly sensitive or complex undergo a more thorough fact checking and evaluation process and, in some cases, will be reviewed by a lawyer.   


  • Xtra strives to avoid any real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest that might undermine our ability to tell fairly. 
  • Given that many of Xtra’s contributors/staff are deeply involved in the queer culture they cover as journalists, it’s not uncommon for them to have a connection to organizations or movements they are covering. Conflicts of interests arise, however, when real or perceived personal benefit comes from decisions made as a journalist. 
  • Journalists and editors must disclose to senior managers any such conflicts, and any other factors that may affect judgment or the perception of judgment. 
  • Senior management, ultimately, are responsible for ensuring that real or perceived conflicts of interest are avoided where possible or clearly noted when they cannot be fully resolved.
  • Xtra does not pay for interviews in print, video or audio, in order to avoid tainting the truth or influencing the source or subject. We only pay people whose commentary, input and insight is extensive enough for them to be considered a contributor to or author of a piece—this may include the source for an as-told-to story or the host of a video piece. 
  • However, there are cases in which offering a gift in exchange for an interview might be expected as part of a cultural tradition or protocol, such as offering tobacco to an Indigenous elder as a sign of respect before speaking with them. The staff person or contributor should consult with their editor or manager in such situations.
  • Similarly, staff and contributors cannot accept gifts from subjects or sources. In cases where refusing a gift would be considered insensitive or disrespectful, the staff person or contributor should consult with their editor or manager.
  • It is understood that Xtra staff and contributors will post on personal social media accounts, be published in other outlets, appear as speakers at events not organized by Xtra, and so on. On those occasions, staff and contributors should make it clear that their views are theirs alone and do not reflect or represent those of Xtra.  


  • As of Sept. 20, 2023, Xtra is a member of The Trust Project, an international consortium of news outlets committed to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness. Xtra is the first queer publication to earn The Trust Project’s Trust Mark (the little T logo now appearing on our stories and website). That means readers can verify for themselves that our journalism is accurate, accountable and ethically produced by using the Trust Project indicators.
  • We believe in covering not only the most powerful voices on an issue, but also those who are not normally heard. We ensure that our coverage is reflective of the breadth of the communities we cover. Staff and contributors should always seek out and speak to a range of sources and subjects diverse in race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, ability, class, faith, age and so on. 
  • Xtra refrains from presenting multiple points of view if one perspective on an issue has been credibly established and settled as fact. We avoid “false balance” and we never debate or question the humanity of any person or identifiable group. 

Unnamed sources

  • We use confidential sources sparingly to provide important information that cannot be obtained through on-the-record sources. Reporters should disclose the identity of unnamed sources to their editor or manager.
  • When we use unnamed sources, we disclose the reasons for granting confidentiality, such as fear for the source’s safety or job.

Diversity statement and report


Diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of good journalism, and they are at the heart of Xtra’s mission. Sexual orientation, gender, race, ability, class and age are critical factors influencing a writer’s—and a story’s—point of view. Thereby, for a news organization to adequately serve its audience, the people telling stories must represent a microcosm of the audience at large. Anything short of that level of inclusivity runs the risk of eliminating important perspectives from conversations and falls short of the high bar Xtra, along with its parent company Pink Triangle Press, has set for its content.


Diversity in newsrooms is as critical as diversity in storytelling. To be effective, news organizations must reflect the communities they serve. Xtra continuously recruits writers and editors from BIPOC queer and trans communities. And we routinely conduct internal analysis and surveys to monitor diversity among our core team. We also commit to expanding those surveys in the future to include our large freelance contributor base.

According to our latest diversity survey (from January 2023), Xtra’s newsroom—a core team of 12 members—is overwhelmingly queer, with lesbian, gay, bi and pansexual as some of the sexual identities represented. On gender, half of our newsroom identify as cis women, with a substantial proportion, around a third, identifying as trans or non-binary. Almost half identify as people of colour or multiracial; races and ethnicities represented include South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and Black. Around a quarter of the newsroom identify as disabled. More than half are 25 to 34 years of age. Xtra is based in Toronto where most of us live, but our newsroom also has members living in Montreal, Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay area. (For reasons of privacy, given the small sample size, we decided not to include exact numbers or proportions among our survey results.)

Xtra’s publisher, Pink Triangle Press, is committed to employment equity, inclusion and diversity. PTP asks its full-time employees to voluntarily answer a demographic data survey to help guide the organization’s equity and inclusion efforts. To protect individual privacy, PTP does not publicly disclose the results of this survey.

Fact checking standards

Prior to publication, contributors, writers, editors and producers confirm factual details, such as names, titles, dates, spelling of proper nouns, accuracy of quotes and that original and secondary sources are credible. Stories that are particularly sensitive or complex undergo a more thorough fact checking process and, in some cases, will be reviewed by a lawyer. The editorial team has adopted extensive internal guidelines dedicated to ensuring that articles are properly sourced and reported. We are also committed sharing our processes with our audience when stories are complex and in-depth.

Corrections and requests to unpublish stories 

Xtra is committed to the highest journalistic principles of accuracy, accountability and transparency, as outlined in our Newsroom Ethics and Guidelines. We aim to ensure our work is accurate and precise upon its publication. If a factual error has occurred, we will correct or update the story and inform our audience with a note on the story that includes the correct information, what was originally published that was incorrect and the date the change was made. If you spot an error in one of our stories, please click on the “Suggest a Correction” link located at the bottom of the story and send us the details. 

For a running tally of corrections, clarifications and updates, please go here.

Xtra is equally committed to its fundamental duty to maintain the public record, and does not unpublish, alter or remove content or details from a story or its archives, unless there is a compelling legal reason to do so. A committee will review requests to unpublish content and they will consult legal counsel as needed. 

Please note that this process applies only to content on xtramagazine.com. We do not have control of our content that appears on other websites, including in search engine results pages. In the case where an article is corrected or removed from our site, it may take some time for the site to be re-indexed by search engines.

Ownership structure and funding model

Xtra, first published 1984 in Toronto, Canada, is operated by Pink Triangle Press. Founded in 1971 with its flagship publication, The Body Politic, Pink Triangle Press is one of the world’s oldest, independent LGBTQ2S+ media groups.

Pink Triangle Press is a mission-guided organization with no owners or shareholders, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by its membership. Operating surpluses are reinvested in the organization to support its mission: Daring together to set love free.

Pink Triangle Press operates an online paid membership dating division and sells advertising on its various platforms to fund operations. These units are run by business teams specifically focused on revenue-generating activities. At no time do our business teams influence or interfere with the integrity of the journalism teams or the content they create. 

As part of its advertising business, Pink Triangle Press occasionally produces paid content through promotional or sponsorship relationships. That content is produced according to our “Advertising Policies” and clearly indicates who paid for it. This promotional content is completely separate from our journalism content and created by dedicated teams. Editorial staff are not involved in its conceptualization or production.

The dating and journalism divisions operate under separate management, but use shared services for human resources, technology, finance and administration.

Editorial independence

Our journalism is independent of commercial interests. We do not accept gifts, including subsidized travel, in exchange for coverage to avoid any conflict-of-interest or appearance thereof. The structure of our newsroom and its operational processes are shielded by a firewall that insulates it from influence from all other parts of our organization.

Audience and community feedback

The team at Xtra loves to hear from our audiences and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community on our work and on the issues covered on our site. If you have questions or comments, you can reach us here. You can also connect with us on TikTok, X, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn. To send story ideas or pitches, please find contacts for the editorial team here.

Xtra updates our audiences on new developments and offers a behind-the-scenes look into our newsroom in the Inside Xtra column and through our Friday newsletter Xtra Weekly. We also regularly survey our audiences to learn more about the stories and issues that matter to them.

Xtra dedicates staff time and resources to moderating comments on our site and on our social media platforms to ensure the conversations are productive and respectful.

What else are you looking for?

Here is where you can find…

  • Our masthead;
  • About us: a short essay on Xtra’s history and an explanation of our logo design;
  • Our principles (also known as our mission statement): Xtra informs, engages and inspires;
  • Inside Xtra: periodically, we publish stories about our staff and the work we do;
  • Privacy policy: this outlines how we use personal data collected on our site. In all instances, we strive to be transparent about what information is being collected, why and how it will be used. You always have the right to limit the amount if personal data you share. What you do decide to share, won’t be used in a way that can identify you as an individual but it may be used in aggregate.
  • Terms of use: this explains in detail what you are agreeing to by using our site, including, but not limited to, our right to royalty-free republishing of anything you share.

And here is our contact info: meet the team, how to contribute, how to advertise and sponsorship.