“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”– Mahatma Gandhi
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible summer.”– Albert Camus
“Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”– Gandalf the Grey
A year ago, while writing my From The Editor column for our 2019 Pride Edition, I could never imagine that my column for the 2020 edition would have such a serious shadow cast over it; one where it feels as though our entire planet has ground to a halt. One where our lives and livelihoods are at risk from an unprecedented danger that we never imagined would creep into our lives.
But here we are. A pandemic has upended our daily routines, our communities, and our very way of life, and even though we don’t have a crystal ball to see where this goes from here, this is going to be our new normal, at least for a while.
This also means that in Minnesota and beyond, our Pride celebrations have been greatly curtailed, as least as far as we usually know them. To maintain the integrity of our public health to stem the tide of COVID-19, we won’t unable to enjoy the festivals, parades, and parties that make our Pride season one of the best in the world.
But while this may seem like a serious spanner’s been thrown in the works, this is still Pride Month, a time where we recognize and celebrate our beautiful LGBTQ community and its history. We celebrate the pioneers who came before us, we celebrate those who continue the fight for equality today, and we celebrate those who will carry that rainbow flag into the future.
And celebrate we will! 25 years ago this month, the Twin Cities welcomed the inaugural issue of Lavender Magazine, and ever since, we have been spotlighting the best and brightest of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied community. It is an absolute honor for us to commemorate our silver anniversary, and while we can’t celebrate like we usually do this time around, our 2020 Pride Edition will still take this opportunity to honor Minnesota’s LGBTQ community.
We profile amazing queer artists such as playwright Shannon TL Kearns; we shine a light on the gay-friendly Bethel Lutheran Church and the 50th anniversary of Bridge For Youth; we catch up with the inspirational community pillar Tom DeGree several months after his horrific car accident; and we profile some terrific LGBTQ first responders and health professionals fighting on the front lines of COVID-19 with our Heroes At Home feature.
These just scratch the surface of the LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly individuals and businesses that make our community great; in fact, these stories will continue with our 2020 Pride Weekend Edition in our June 18 issue. Even if there are no public festivals or parties to attend this year, the fact remains that our Pride will never falter, will never shake, and will never go away.
Reader, I hope you are staying safe and keeping healthy. This health crisis has been physically, emotionally, and financially taxing, to say the very least. But so long as we hold the line, so long as we stay determined, and so long as we look out for the needs of the many rather than the needs of a few, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.
From all of us here at Lavender, we wish you a healthy and happy Pride Month. We love you 3,000. And we look forward to celebrating this awesome community for another 25 years.