Life is crazy. One day, you’re working as a humble newspaper journalist, and the next day, you’re writing a From The Editor essay for the biggest issue of the year for Minnesota’s largest GLBT publication. Somebody pinch me.
Ever since moving to Minneapolis over eight years ago, Pride quickly became my favorite time of the year. I don’t use this term often, but there’s something unequivocally magical about seeing so many people—of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and types—embracing each other as one tribe, as one community, as one people. It’s a feeling I wish will become the norm all year long, not just among the rainbow community, but with everyone.
But until that happens, we’ll keep on fighting, we’ll keep on representing, and we’ll keep on having pride in our community. And we shall celebrate our community. It is my absolute privilege to introduce our 2018 Pride Issue.
What do we have in this issue? This year, our cup runneth over, as we’re just brimming with amazing features to celebrate Pride Month. We have a massive variety of pieces from contributors both familiar and new, ranging from a trip to the idyllic locales of Punta Cana and a visit to one of Minneapolis’ top pole dancing fitness gyms, to retrospectives on local GLBT institutions such as the Town House Bar and Patrick’s Cabaret.
On top of that, we take a look at a number of local gay-owned or gay-headed restaurants; we interview former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis ahead of a groundbreaking GLBT sports summit on June 21; we learn about gay-oriented local sports including gay rodeo and flag football; we get spiritual with the creator of a Queer Tarot Deck; and we get to know about a trans woman who made volunteer work her life’s mission. Oh, and we talk to our effervescent Pride Edition cover star, Zaylore Stout!
Suffice to say, we’ve got one hell of a Pride issue for you. I take plenty of pride in this issue, for a number of reasons. First and most obvious, this is my first-ever Pride issue. It was an absolute joy getting to read all of these amazing stories, and being able to share them with you.
But on a far more personal note, the timing of this issue is somewhat bittersweet for me. On June 19 of last year, Christiaan Lievestro—my paternal great-uncle and the man I was named after—passed away. Uncle Chris was a great many things: a world traveler, a Harvard doctorate recipient, a professor emeritus at California’s Santa Clara University, a civil rights activist. But he was also a proud gay man, having lived and persevered in the Civil Rights Era, when it was not particularly easy to be anybody other than a straight white male.
Uncle Chris was a college friend of the iconic Harvey Milk. He marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He dedicated his life to educating and inspiring others in his capacity as a professor of English. And, like his great nephew, he was fiercely opinionated and passionate about the rights of the oppressed and marginalized. Despite Chris and I living half a country away from each other, we shared a tremendous bond, and I’m sure that if he were alive today, he’d be proud of where I am.
So this Pride issue is for you, Uncle Chris. This Pride issue is for you, our amazing readers. This Pride issue is for you, our utterly fabulous rainbow community. I am proud of being a part of the Lavender family, and we are all proud of representing you. Because there’s no better ride than having Pride.