From The Editor – My Friend Steve
Welcome to 2023! And, welcome to our annual Health and Wellness issue!
With the Holidays behind us, we can look forward to a new year full of evolution – and revolution. We are a transformative community and change is what makes us human.
There is one change that I want to address regarding this magazine.
For over 28 years, Steve Lenius has been synonymous with Lavender Magazine. He was one of the few columnists to cover the Leather/BDSM community in the LGBTQ media as of last year.
My first job in the LGBTQ media 23 years ago was through a small Bear/Leather website based out of Chicago. I was their Managing Editor. It was through this position that I became aware of Lenius’ work.
He gave us a view of the Leather/BDSM community that went beyond the aesthetic. We got to know these great organizations and venues as charitable and supportive of the LGBTQ community at large. That was the angle Lenius brought to the magazine and his regular column.
After my move to the Twin Cities in 2004, I began to pick up Lavender. Sure enough, there was the “Leather Life” column. However, it was when I became a contributing writer to this magazine in 2011 when I finally met Lenius. My first impression continues today – he is a total sweetheart! Lenius and his partner were present at all of the right places and times.
Then, I became this magazine’s Managing Editor last February. Lenius’ column continued going from strength to strength. He did switch things up in the end, when he talked about attending Chaska Pride last year and how much it meant for him in his hometown.
When I got the call from Lenius informing me that he had to go to the hospital to treat his Leukemia, I was heartbroken. I began to think that I was about to lose one of my finest columnists – and a good friend.
Luckily for us, Lenius made it through the chemotherapy and his post-care. He told me how much he was up against the odds. As a result, Lenius told me that his Leather Life column will be retired.
I knew this was coming, but I also knew that how much he went through to get to this point.
His final column appears in this issue.
Please join me in celebrating Steve Lenius and his countless contributions to this magazine, the Leather/BDSM community, and our own LGBTQ community. As sad as we are that we will not see his byline ever again, we also know that he continues to be a part of our lives through his legacy and presence.
Thank you, Steve. Thank you for bringing us Leather Life to these pages!
In an additional note, I would like you to join me in remembering the life of Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, whom we lost on December 9, 2022 at the age of 76.
Inside the vaults of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is a collection of our history that Tretter had amassed for generations to research and reflect how far we have come as a community. We have used the Tretter Collection to build historical articles that you have enjoyed over the years. Lavender Magazine is truly indebted to Tretter and his staff for giving us a gift of our history that speaks to how we have evolved over the past many decades.
In Tretter’s name, let’s keep telling our history. Let’s all be there to pass it along.