The Year End Auto Issue. As often happens with vehicles, they can seem as though they’re more like gift ideas than utilitarian tools for life. What we want versus what makes sense. I’ve been happy to find vehicles that are both fun to drive and make sense, but there’s still a part of me that says, “This one. Put a big bow on it and leave it in my driveway, please.” But this issue is even more intentional in its gift flavor in that it not only features a luxury sports car, but it also gives us a great idea for a gift of driving somebody else’s luxury sports cars for a while…as well as a way we can give back to help others with their vehicles.
How can we give back to help others with their vehicles? I was already familiar with donating cars for tax credit so they can be refurbished and sold, but The Lift Garage is a completely new concept to me. It’s the surprise inside this issue. We have clinics with sliding-scale fees, we have food shelves, we have places for affordable clothing, but what do we have for vehicle repairs? I can’t emphasize enough what an intriguing business model and organization The Lift Garage is: it reminds us all that something that might be fun and helps us get through our days is also what can make or break someone’s ability to make a living, stay employed, and keep a home. It’s humbling and it’s something more people need to know about.
As for the rest of the issue, I can tell we’re getting close to the end of the year when I’m stuffing in content to make sure we fit it all into 2016. This community is an active one, so this issue has a whole lot of Lavender Lenses in it showing off photos of people at events that celebrate and honor each other and what everyone’s doing. They’re both an archive for what this community cares about as well as a reminder to keep recognizing each other and what you work to achieve.
What we’ve got coming up for the rest of the year is some pretty fun stuff. The Holiday Gift Guide is both fluffy and resourceful, whether you’re looking for something for yourself or someone on your gift list. I get a lot of guff for going shopping and coming home with things for myself because that’s when things are on sale. Are you kidding me? Get it. The Guide is also when we get to highlight some local makers, items that are of specific interest to this community, and vouch for particular products that would make any consumer satisfied.
Then, after the Holiday Gift Guide, we’ll have the issue that ends the year with best-of recaps and the Lavender Community Awards. It’s a feel-good issue full of recognition and respect. We’ve had some great nominations rolling in but the nominations will be closed by the time you’re reading this. If you don’t want to miss any future opportunities to nominate people for awards or submit things for the publication when I ask for them (like for weddings or pet photos or things like that), be sure to follow us on Facebook (search “Lavender Magazine”) and check in on our website as you’re making your internet rounds. That’s where we have the flexibility to inform you of more things and publish exclusive content that can’t be found in the print issue.
Another way we can remind you of our fresh website content and events is through our e-newsletter, Lavender Link. Want to find out what’s in print and online on a weekly basis? We don’t spam you or do anything obnoxious in your inbox, we just tell you what’s going on, what you can win in our contests, where you can find our events, and what new stuff has appeared on our website recently. Go to www.lavendermagazine.com/lavenderlink to sign up and stay informed.
To piggyback off the topic of where you can find us digitally, did you know that our circulation every two weeks is over 33,500? It is. Between the print copies you can find at the distribution sites, the iPad installations, and the iPhone installations, we reach quite a few people and places. And all for free. So, find us in Newsstand or the App Store and install Lavender Magazine to get it delivered directly to you when each new issue comes out. It’s all to make sure this community gets access to content about itself, without barriers or cost.
Also online and on your devices is Big Gay News. If you’ve been following us through the years, you know that we’ve had a daily presence in posting, tweeting, and podcasting news for this community from around the world. Linda Raines and Shane Lueck find the news, Shane and I record the daily podcasts. So, if you want to keep up with just a smattering of stories a day (or if you want to hear my rather thick Minnesota accent…at times, not all the time), follow us on Twitter at @biggaynews for the daily headlines and find us on iTunes to get the daily podcasts.
Lastly, our events year is winding down. We’ve had two events a month — First Thursday for the happy hour crowd and Score Thursday for the sports crowd — and we’ve held them at various places, from hotels to furnishings stores to bars to the only gay sports bar and restaurant in town (that’s going gangbusters!). Check your calendars and clear the nights because the next Score Thursday is going to be at Betty Danger’s Country Club in Northeast Minneapolis followed by the next First Thursday at The Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown St. Paul. We get around.
And I do hope to see you around. As the days get shorter and colder, let’s be sure to find each other and celebrate this community whenever we can.
With you and with thanks,