We made it, folks.
It’s been a memorable, eventful, and sometimes crazy twelve months, but we are still here, we are still strong, and we are ready to celebrate.
And celebrate we shall! For three specific reasons, my lovelies: first off, it’s PRIDE, the most fabulous time of the year. Secondly, this tome you hold in your hands is Lavender‘s 20th Pride Edition, a monumental achievement that we couldn’t be more proud of. And last but definitely not least, June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Stonewall Riots, which kicked the modern day GLBT rights movement into full swing.
We simply cannot overlook the enormity of the progress the rainbow community has made since those fateful two nights in New York City. From the growing visibility of queer folk in politics and media to the legalization of same-sex marriage, to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the leaps and bounds made in combatting HIV/AIDS, the GLBT community made good on its promise to bring about a revolution.
Within the pages of this 20th Pride Edition, we celebrate our Twin Cities rainbow community with a variety of amazing stories. We profile local queer artists who make magic in the world of theater, music, burlesque, comedy, and fine art. We interview legendary comedian Sandra Bernhard, who’s en route to Minneapolis to bring us the acerbic joy only she can provide.
We’ll be getting historical perspectives from the queer community, including Steve Lenius’ remembrances of the 25th anniversary of Stonewall, to Lavender co-founder George Holdgrafer’s history lesson on a Minneapolis gay rights movement that preceded Stonewall, to a look at the evolution of HIV in the community and how much progress we’ve made in stemming the tide.
We get to know about the efforts of the Minnesota National Guard to foster a sense of inclusivity and acceptance with gay troops, we learn about a local gay professional wrestler who avid Lavender readers may recognize right away, and we shine a spotlight on the local asexual community.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! This issue also features Part Two of Lavender‘s three-part retrospective on Stonewall and the American GLBT rights movement, and, lest we forget, we say hi to our sunny Pride Cover Model, Beth Mejia!
How we managed to fit all this amazeballs content into one handsome edition, I have no idea. Somehow, we found a way. And it’s all for you, our wonderful, fierce, fabulous rainbow community.
But it’s also important to take note that there’s still a lot of work to be done. Despite all of the positive changes made in the last five decades, many of our queer brothers, sisters and siblings are still struggling. They’re still facing incredible hardship. It’s incumbent on us as a community to do all we can support those still suffering from discrimination, bullying, violence and ostracism. So as you read the many triumphant and affirming stories within, remember to never stop advocating and fighting for those who still sit on the fringes. We are all one community, one family, one people.
So, with that said: Never stop fighting. Never stop being your authentic self. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer: you will always be a magnificent thread in this tapestry we call life. This celebration is for you, our beautiful rainbow readers. This celebration is for those who came before us and are no longer here. And this celebration is for ensuring a prosperous and beautiful future.