This is a celebratory issue. Pop the cork on the champagne and let’s celebrate what 2015 has brought us as a community and as a publication. This issue gives us a chance to shine John Townsend’s Spotlight on his performing arts favorites, salivate over Bradley Traynor’s top five from Eat the Menu, and get revved up for Randy Stern’s best Ride Reviews. Lavender Media looks back on a year of great developments, such as starting a new event called SCORE Thursdays for the sports-oriented as well as being proud of our softball team, the Big Gay Moose, for being the TCGSL Division 2 champions. As a publication, we were again one of the top five magazines in the state of Minnesota and we’re pleased to have won a number of Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association Excellence Awards. 2015 was a good year and we’re happily raising a glass of bubbly to a bounty of shared successes.
Congratulations to the 2015 Lavender Community Award Winners. You were nominated. You were assessed. You were chosen to represent the community with this award. You illustrate how many different areas of life we can find work that needs to be done, people that need to be helped, organizations that need to be assisted in funding, word, or deed. You show us how many different ways we can be role models and fight the good fight. One of you, in particular, encouraged me to renew my Feminist Card for life and to continue fighting for the small potatoes. I am grateful for all of this. Every person in these pages has made a big difference in this community and we thank you for what you’ve done and continue to do. You are in these pages to remind us of how diverse this community is and to inspire us to emulate each other at our best and strive to understand each other when differences arise. And special thanks go to those who nominated you, so that we could shine the light on you and your work.
I’d like to personally raise a glass to Justin Jones, author of “Through These Eyes,” who has written for nearly every issue of Lavender since just before I joined the company in 2011. This is his last issue writing for us as his life has led him to new adventures. He introduced me to countless people and industry talents. He started Lav.fash with Brandon McCray, and they brought both Kyle Lieberman and John Mark on board, all in a voluntary capacity and for the betterment of the magazine and our fashion reach. He has boundless ideas, empathy, introspection, and charm all wrapped into a wonderful man with shining eyes and a soft southern accent. I’ll miss you Justin Jones. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I wish you all the best.
And I wish you the best as well. Have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. Our last issue of 2015 is the Lavender Yellow Pages, so the next time I write will be in 2016. I look forward to seeing you on the flipside.
With love and thanks,