Marriage equality has come to Minnesota. Hallelujah. Congratulations.
As the activity was happening at the State Capitol in May, it was apparent more marriage activity would be happening at the time our Senior Living Issue would be produced at the beginning of August. Instead of wondering how I was going to work the two topics into the same issue, I thought, “What tremendous timing.” I couldn’t have asked for a better juxtaposition.
Being a magazine, Lavender is both somewhat rigid and somewhat flexible in our content. We have the scheduled Editorial Calendar and some wiggle room for current events; this one would pair up the older GLBT community with the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota, a pairing that could not have been more appropriate.
Lavender has at least two audiences on the macro level, one that is comprised of those who identify as part of the community represented by Lavender and one that is comprised of those who do not. This issue particularly serves a purpose to both audiences.
For the people who don’t identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or as allies but walk past Lavender every day on the stands, see it in coffee shops and businesses, or simply encounter Lavender materials being shared online, it’s a reminder that this community didn’t just up and start demanding rights in recent years. It’s not a new club. Senior citizens not only exist in the GLBT community, but they love each other and want to be married to each other. I mentioned last year how it seems to surprise people who are just learning about the GLBT community that there are older people in it. It’s not a new concept. It’s not a fad or a trend. Fighting for the rights of a group that has actually been around for all of humanity is not radical or unreasonable. Looking at the cover of this magazine, I hope they don’t just walk past Lavender, but that they notice the faces of same-sex marriage could be the faces of anyone in Minnesota, the United States, the world.
For those of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or as allies, it is an appropriate nod to just how far this community has come. When Pam Colby told me the name of her piece (page 32) in which she profiles three couples who will be marrying after years of partnership and love, I got chills: “I Never Thought I’d See the Day.” People who have been in this community–whether formally or informally–for years and years saw fast progress these past two years in both defeating the anti-marriage amendment as well as legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota (not to mention the Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act). Not only have these couples seen the day, but so have their loved ones. This issue is a small tribute to their journey.
As July 31st turned into August 1st and same-sex marriage became legal, I went from function to function and saw so many joyous people. The Minneapolis City Hall was full of families and friends and couples and press and spectators and clergy and security and musicians and all sorts of people who wanted to share the occasion with each other. It ran smoothly and there were smiles everywhere. Multiple generations and relations, so much good will. I would live those hours again and again if I could. We were witnesses to history.
Honestly, I don’t know when we will see another day like August 1, 2013.
I am so grateful we saw it together.
Please Make Your Nominations for the Lavender Community Awards (LCAs).
The Lavender Community Awards (LCAs) will be the updated version of the Lavender 100, last year’s tribute to our favorite places to go, things to do, foods to eat, places to be seen. We presented lists of finalists and winners as well as started a practice of giving attention to movers and shakers in the GLBT community, which was what I call a “keeper” of an issue; one to hang on to. Instead of asking the community to vote for favorites this year, we’re going to focus on the people and ask for nominations as to who you think deserves recognition as members of the Lavender (GLBT and Allies) Community. We’ll have lovely photos of the winners, short biographies to let you know who they are and what they do, and all-around lovely representation of why this community is so unique and deserving of celebration.
Please go to lavendermagazi.wpengine.com/LCAnominations and nominate your picks for the Lavender Community Awards. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, August 23.
Then, look for the new issue featuring the winners of the Lavender Community Awards on October 3.