What an amazing year it’s been. We’ve seen so much happen in this past year in terms of rights and laws changing for the better of this rainbow community, on both state and federal levels. We’re moving onward…from talking oh-so-much about politics to taking a breath of fresh air and looking around at the community, seeing who is here and what we’re doing now that the dust has settled. As it turns out, we’re doing a lot. Just as we were before all of the politics came to the forefront a few years ago, people in this community are living, working, enjoying arts and recreation, coupling up, having kids, and struggling…just as the rest of the larger society is. That is how this Pride Edition differs from the previous few that I’ve done in that this is when we’ve shifted back to showing what there is to celebrate about this community on a day-to-day basis, not with a heavy hand toward the politics, but with a lighter heart toward the community as a whole.
Looking through the issue, you see each section that I said we’d be covering on a quarterly basis starting this year. So many interests are special to this community, because this community is special, and I committed us to covering them more completely. We have historically covered topics of arts, politics, homes, weddings, food & dining, seniors, travel, bars, pets, vehicles, religion, relationships, and regular columns. Fitness, health, children & family, sports, and style were added to our usual editorial calendar to be highlighted four times a year, in addition to the Pride Edition in which we include it all and represent everyone in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied community. Look at the top of each page and I’ve hit the point home repeatedly that the topics are for our community, for anyone who reads Lavender: “Our Arts & Culture;” “Our Weddings;” “Our Children & Family;” “Our Health & Wellness.”
All. Everyone. Ours.
This is what the future looks like, because it’s what the now looks like. It’s only a matter of this community becoming more visible as the rights and protections expand. What if this is what our usual issues looked like, rather than a special Pride Edition? They would be large and full of content that hits interests that are relevant in multiple ways to each reader on a regular, biweekly basis. We have a growing number of larger issues each year with the bounceback of the economy and the increased confidence that our community is worthy of targeting for advertising and that Lavender is the appropriate platform for reaching this community. Lavender, as a free publication, is committed to staying accessible to the members of the community it represents, whether an out and proud “veteran” of the community or someone still in the closet in a rural town. As such, our pages increase as our advertising dollars do; they stay in lockstep with each other so we stay in business. But what if there were this sense of community Pride all year long rather than just in June? What if what’s in your hands right now could be the usual Lavender, with new and different people, places, and things highlighted that are specific to this community? Our community?
What you are holding in your hands is our future. These pages, these people. Our issues, our lives.
“What if” is happening.
With you, with thanks, and with Pride,