From the Editor: Beyond The Fall Getaway

Photo by Randy Stern
Photo by Randy Stern

There are two ways to do a fall getaway. 

One, is to simply go away. You, your spouse or partner, your family, your friends…just getting away from it all. Simply unplugging from work, from life…and enjoying the time of your life. 

Let me call out something here. You’re not exactly unplugged. Not if you post your getaway photos on social media. Not that it’s a bad thing, right?

My type of getaway has a work component to it. Not exactly a business trip, but one where you are considered part of the journey. 

For the past several years, I embarked on these journeys with our community in mind. These trips have mostly been a collaborative effort with an automotive manufacturer, their localized agency, and a few ideas thrown around towards what you’re about to read later on in this magazine (or online on our website or via social media). 

These road trips that I have written for in Lavender were influenced by a book I read some decades ago. Neil Miller’s In Search of Gay America: Women and Men in a Time of Change gave us a glimpse of how a Boston-based LGBTQ journalist found himself on a road trip across the Upper Midwest – and other parts of the country – to find people like us at a time where our visibility was not exactly where it is today. This book was a chronicle in discovering our communities in late 1980s – right in the middle of the AIDS Crisis. I suggest you find a copy and read it to understand where this is all coming from.

Now, consider how we have evolved since the days when Miller’s book was written. Think about how many LGBTQ Pride celebrations we already had – and still have on the calendar. After the publication of our Small Town and Community Pride issue, we received information on more than a half-dozen additional events across Minnesota and beyond our state lines.
 
Think about how many smaller communities now have LGBTQ resources that did not exist until even before the COVID-19 Pandemic. I’d bet that Miller never thought this would happen when he traversed across Minnesota and the Dakotas some 30-plus years ago. 
 
With that said, this issue has some journeys for you to take. We celebrate Duluth-Superior Pride with some suggestions of what to do and where to go, while you’re in the Twin Ports. Then, we show you a section of the Mississippi River often forgotten by many travelers and what we found along the way. Add some extra stops along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, and Florida’s fabulous Palm Beach. Plus, we add to your Fall Getaways soundtrack the music of LGBTQ Country artist Brandon Stansell, who is performing in Minneapolis this coming weekend!
 
With Miller’s book as inspiration, I use another guiding principle in crafting these travel stories: To find intelligent LGBTQ life in other places. So far, I have been successful.
 
These communities are worth the drive – or, flight. They deserve a visit, even if there is not a Pride celebration to attend. 

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