UC Irvine Alum Chris Gayomali On His Path To Becoming An Editor At GQ Magazine

Photograph by Stephanie Diani

What’s your role at GQ?

I’ve had a few roles here over the years. My new role as of last month is Articles Editor, which means I focus on features and stories for the print magazine. It’s interesting being at a men’s publication in 2020; dudes need more help than ever.

Tell us about your experience at UC Irvine.

I was an English major, but I was pretty aimless. I was a crunchy dirtbag. (Laughs) I wore beanies and Rainbow flip-flops, skateboarded to class or ditched with friends to go smoke weed at South Coast Plaza. I got Cs and Ds. It’s amazing looking back at that because I’m a totally different person now. I met my wife in the dorms, and we were just friends for years. But being with someone who has known you through all your awful phases is an incredible thing.

How did you get into journalism?

I moved to New York with no real plan but ended up in an editorial assistant job at UNICEF. I was surrounded by wildly intelligent people who spoke three languages. And then there’s me, still a little crunchy. I had a blog, and I decided to go to grad school at NYU to really pursue journalism. I became a tech journalist for publications like Fast Company and eventually landed at GQ in 2015.

What excites you about your work?

I love electric writing that has passion behind it and surprises you. I’m interested in a bunch of worlds—and an expert in zero of them—but I get a kick out of matching a writer I love with a subject I love. And our editor is very cognizant of having us maintain a work-life balance. He wants us to see our families. We adopted an English bulldog named Hank—he’s so cool. I still surf here (in New York). It’s an hour subway ride to the nearest beach, but it’s basically Bolsa Chica. Really!

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