From the Editor: The Promise of Minnesota

Photo by Randy Stern
Photo by Randy Stern

On August 31, 2004, I arrived at the former Amtrak Station in St. Paul to become a Minnesotan. This, after years of being a native Californian, a Northern Virginian, and a Wisconsinite. 

Since then, I fell in love with this state. I was happy to switch everything over to a Minnesota driver’s license, a new bank, and a new mobile phone service…to name a few changes. I even found employment within a week of my arrival. 

The latter part was the primary reason for moving to this state. In 2004, the economy in this state offered steady employment and a decent wage at a decent cost of living. In Minnesota, I was able to reset my career and, eventually, become part of this state’s media corps. 

In my 18 years of living here, I began to not only thrive, but create opportunities to truly enjoy what this state has to offer. Not just within the I-494/I-694 loop – but, beyond it. 

I found a state worth discovering every chance I get to. 

So, yes, we get some interesting climate and weather patterns that would make anyone shirk and complain about. It’s too cold in the winter. It’s too hot in the summer. You trade snow for mosquitoes and road construction. 

But I’m not complaining. Not a bit. In fact, I truly love it here!

Why? If you lived in the places where I roamed from childhood, then you get a sense of every environment you experienced. The Twin Cities itself reminds me of parts of both Southern and Northern California, the DC Metro Area, and Madison. That sense of compilated familiarity helped to ease my transition here early on. 

With every place, Minnesota is not perfect. There are places where I had to turn around and walk (or drive) away from. There are places that do not welcome us, even if we do not wear any LGBTQ affirming items on us – or, on our vehicle. 

That is not going to ruin our Summer in Minnesota, right?

This issue focuses on life in our great state. We have a few things to do for you to explore. 

We are featuring the Minnesota Ice Swim Club on our cover in this issue. If you love swimming – really competitive swimming – this is something to check out. 

How about doing more than just looking at the plants and flowers at the Minnesota Arboretum in Chanhassen? You can bicycle through the property, then stop and smell the flowers along the way.

The art festivals are back at Loring Park and Powderhorn Park! They’re always a great time taking in our creative outputs outdoors!

Add some new music to your playlists, as we feature LGBTQ artists Nina Luna and Shod Santiago. 

One final note, Lavender Magazine participates in PFund’s Scholar Program by offering our Scholarship Award for Illustration. This year’s recipient is Barrett Weems, a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is pursuing in an Illustration Degree with a supplementary interest in Comic Art. 

We will be doing a profile on Weems later this year. For now, congratulations on receiving our scholarship from PFund! 

That, in itself, is the promise of Minnesota!

Lavender Magazine

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436 • 612.436.4660

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