#GayNrd inc. was founded in 2018 by best friends Savas Abadsidis and Timmy Rheault (Timmy.com).
Left to right: DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Abadsidis, and DC CEO & Publisher Jim Lee in 2011
Abadsidis is a creative who develops compelling, innovative, content, and offers creative solutions for the multi-media, multi-platform social media driven world.
He serves as editor and publisher on the site. Rheault is President and Creative Director of Rhetroactive.
Abadsidis’ unique approach was responsible for the first mainstream brand to combine playful, irreverent, intellectual content with sex and youth in a beautiful, high-art magazine format, a formula that created the most successful branded content vehicle in the history of fashion retail: The Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly.
While attending Hobart College, Abadsidis interned for producer Joel Silver at Warner Bros. He further honed his entertainment industry experience under producers Dan Petrie Jr. and Peter Hume.
After gaining advertising experience with Paper Magazine he became executive assistant to legendary fashion creative director Sam Shahid. It was in that position that his talents were recognized by Shahid’s biggest client, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries.
Above: Abadsidis on the Hobart quad fall 1996
He was 21 years-old.
From Contently: “From 1997 to 2003, Abercrombie & Fitch printed A&F Quarterly as its cultural manifesto—at once a magazine and a catalog. The idea is familiar to us now, with publications like Net-a- Porter’s Porter and Casper’s Van Winkle’s. But surprisingly, Abercrombie & Fitch showed up early to the content marketing party, a decade ahead of its time. In 2014, Savas Abadsidis, the Quarterly‘s [founding] and former editor-in-chief, told Racked that he worked closely with CEO Mike Jeffries to “pioneer the most dramatic retail theater in the business.”
His success at A&F caught the attention of fashion designer Marc Ecko who recruited Abadsidis to develop Complex magazine and serve as its first Executive Editor.
As Complex Media grew, his role evolved and he was made brand manager of the legendary skate wear company Zoo York.
Having his finger on the pulse of culture, Savas foresaw how mainstream entertainment was about to be dominated by superhero franchises and became West Coast Editor for Wizard Publications, an iconic brand in the comic industry. At Wizard he took the initiative to bring Hollywood executives and publicists to the table while also innovating the Wizard World convention business.
Soon after, Abadsidis was again tapped by Abercrombie to oversee the launch of a special limited edition of the A&F Quarterly timed to the opening of the U.S. retail chain’s first international outpost on Saville Road in London.
Above: Abadsidis and Hayden Christensen, Comic-Con International, San Diego 2004
He then served as Executive Editor for Antenna Magazine before teaming up with British fashion photographer Phil Knott to produce and serve as Editor-In-Chief of Tally Ho! magazine.
In the 2011 he and Peter Ian Cummings, the former editor of XY Magazine teamed up to launch B Magazine for young gay men.
In 2014, Savas used his voice to advocate for the world-wide LGBTQ community by producing and strategically marketing the PSA “Russia Declares Discrimination Newest Olympic Sport” which protested Russia’s draconian anti-LGBT laws in anticipation of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi for The Fair Games Project.
The PSA resonated and rocketed to over a million views in 48 hours.
This lead to Abadsidis being named Chief Media Strategist for Connected Health Solutions Inc., a progressive new-media public health company that produces social marketing campaigns for the LGBT community, at- risk and minority teens, and other vulnerable populations.
Specializing in addressing systems that informed marginalized communities, HIV incidence, trans discrimination, HIV med-adherence, cyber-bullying, and many more social and public health strategies: they worked to amplify and disseminate the PSAs to the largest audience possible. It was while he was there that he worked in tandem with both CHS and Public Health Solutions writing, producing, and executing the media strategy for a series of PSAs for Gilead Pharmaceuticals drug Truvada.
The resulting 2015 campaign was a highly successful and helped rocket awareness for the then largely unknown HIV prophylactic drug Truvada aka PrEP.
Above: Abadsidis in Tel Aviv, Israel 2019
Towleroad reported on the PSA: “When straight guys have a lot of sex, they’re called studs; but when gay guys do, they’re called sluts,” says gay adult performer JD Phoenix, in a new campaign from Public Health Solutions to educate people about PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). “I like to party…and I like to be safe,” adds Phoenix in the spot, which shows him picking up a man at a club, cruising on Grindr, and taking the PrEP pill at home. Abadsidis told Towleroad: “J.D. is the embodiment of perceived young gay male sexual autonomy. He represents his generation’s unexpected, and for some vexing, response to the epidemic. And whether we like it not, there are plenty of young gay men using drugs and having barrier free sex, not at all unlike their heterosexual counterparts. But debasing gays for being human while in a higher risk group seemed at best like a double standard and at worst a highly unethical and ineffective means for keeping them healthy. J.D., a man who has and seemingly enjoys sex.”
Beginning in 2016 Abadsidis was hired by Pride Media as senior editor of their print suite of magazines including legacy LGBT news journal The Advocate, HIV Plus Magazine, Out Traveler, and Chill magazines. During his tenure he oversaw production of the 50th anniversary issue of The Advocate for which he also penned two cover stories: one on Neil Patrick Harris and the other on Bill T. Jones. He also served as Digital Director for HIVPlusMag.com.
While Digital Director the site was recognized as one of the top HIV blogs by Healthline in 2018 — a first in the publication’s 20 year history.
Among the many cover stories he wrote at Plus, they included pro-basketball player DeMarco Majors coming out HIV+ and Olympian Gus Kenworthy’s AIDS Ride. He also broke the story of the CDC’s tacit endorsement of Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U), which remains among the highest read stories in the history of the company.
While at Pride Media, Abadsidis spearheaded and managed the team that developed, conceived, and launched Chill, both as a quarterly magazine and website, aimed at reaching same gender loving men of color.
Chill was recognized as the best new launch in its category at the 2018 Folio Awards.
Working at Pride he had the opportunity to manage a creative and nimble staff that had to switch gears and pivot quickly as part of his responsibilities was to both turn out four print publications — while also maintaining compelling content on their sites.
In 2017, Abadsidis was tapped by Israeli entrepreneur Daniel Joseph to consult and help perfect the UX interface of his intended Grindr killing dating app Hookd.
That fall he was asked to be the key note speaker at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Hobart & William Smith College’s new LGBTQ+ Resource Center, where as an undergraduate he made profound contributions to the community. It’s opening coincided with the 15th anniversary of Hobart and William Smith’s LGBT Studies program, the first of its kind in the country.
Above: Abadsidis with his mother Regina, Athens, Greece 1977
Abadsidis left Pride Media in 2019, after being made an offer to run Towleroad News by founder Andy Towle. As Managing Editor of the news site, it put him at the helm of a platform that reaches more unique viewers, more affluent, and engaged male consumers than any other LGBT site. A little over a year later, Abadsidis struck out on his own and launched the popular LGBT news and entertainment site #GayNrd aimed at 18-34 year-old gay men.
Abadsidis’ impetus for creating #GayNrd was two fold: he found much of the rhetoric in the LGBT movement had become adversarial — enmeshed in a cultural war being waged from within, where identity politics and notions of inclusion were ironically sowing division and acrimony.
He also recognized that despite the extraordinary gains made for gay rights — there was no media outlet whose raison d’être was a resource for younger men.
Above: Toni Morrison and her sons Slade and Ford.
Inspired by novelist Toni Morrison’s collaborations with her sons to create art and literature for Black youth that was liberated from negative stereotypes or insidious remnants of institutionalized racism, he thought that should be of paramount concern for young gay men too.
#GayNrd would when possible show positive images, smiling young couples, and celebrate being young and gay. It would be sex positive and a resource for queer sexual education. As a news outlet it wouldn’t shy from covering serious or difficult subject matter but it would overall leave readers with a feeling of belonging, pride, and confidence.
“Savas,” says Howard Z. Rosenman, producer of Call Me By Your Name, “is not only a precocious and legendary editor who is adored by his staff and collaborators. But also able to understand the message’s real world ramifications as well as able to conceive and execute creative visions. He is also exceptionally charming and understands intrinsically the matchmaking and the coddling of egos that it takes to run a large enterprise.”
2021 saw the launch of #GayNrd Creative Solutions a boutique agency providing corporate strategies to navigate existing and emerging media platforms, comprehensive services include: concepts, content, education, publicity, production & words — flawlessly executed.
Abadsidis can be contacted by email at GayNrd@gmail.com or telephone: +1-718-809-4892. He received his A.B. from Hobart College and his M.A. from Bard College.
Abadsidis is represented by Thomas H. Andrykovitz.