Op-Ed: A Mimosa for Stonewall Pride

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‘Blowing your own horn’ has always been considered a rather vain human trait. Despite the unseemly conduct of the White House primary resident, it remains so.

Nevertheless, as a competitive sports enthusiast, I was always taught to win with humility, lose with grace. Don’t flaunt it. Success is its own reward.

When you get to be my age, you look back, for sure. But you never stop looking forward. Today, I am very proud of the South Florida Gay News, a quality newspaper printed and circulated every week in a digital age. Give me a moment to blow our own horn.

We are now midway through our ninth year, and next month we will reach our 450th issue. We just finished an amazing week, where we released all three of our publications at once. I should buy my staff a drink this weekend- maybe a mimosa, some champagne and orange juice. It’s a celebratory cocktail, isn’t it?

First, this month’s copy of the Mirror features local businessmen and entrepreneurs, just a small and representative sampling of personalities who have enhanced our community.

We have two covers for this issue, one featuring the popular Wilton Manors based insurance agent, Joe Pallant, and a second with Christina Wan, whose delightful restaurant in Victoria Park bears her name. Oh, and their Mongolian Beef is so good! This month’s magazine illuminates many other local people and their contributions to our community. Make sure you pick up a copy.

This month, the Mirror’s content is culinary, driven by food. It is going to make you want to go out to eat. Try Marco’s signature Lasagna at Café Vico, or hit the new kid in town on Wilton Drive, the Grille, featuring a chop steak the size of a mountain lion. We have lots of choices for you.

Please support and patronize the good people and kind advertisers who support our products. Let me remind you that the Mirror Magazine, along with all our past issues, is available online at TheMirrorMag.com.

Second, this month we released our small, pocket-sized magazine, ‘The Guide,’ and at 144 pages, it is our largest ever. When I started this annual magazine, I was just trying to create a promotion for the Stonewall festival in Wilton Manors. I called it ‘A Guide to the Drive.’

Rather than just distribute balloons or buttons, my goal was to publish a small, handy, and convenient guide for tourists and residents to keep in their bedrooms or glove compartments, showcasing for them the many businesses catering to the LGBT community.

‘The Guide’ became a major editorial undertaking this year. Your support and the work of our graphic designer, Brendon Lies, made it go off the charts. Thank you. We printed 35,000 copies, and will start our distribution this week at Stonewall.

The growth of The Guide can be attributed to the hard work of our sales manager, Justin Wyse, and his team, including Clark Rogers and Eddie Niemann. Give them a call at 954-530-4970 if you would like to place an ad with us. But it is also testimony to how exponentially gay life has grown within our borders.

Third, you are holding in your hands our 2018 Pride issue of SFGN. This week, we are paying tribute to the lives of those that were lost two years ago at Pulse in Orlando. SFGN has a duty to remember its history. Whether it has been overcoming discrimination or fighting AIDS, LGBT life is not just parades and parties. We are passionate participants in shaping the character of our communities.

Those who have stood up for us and fight for us still are soldiers in a war whose enemy is Hatred. We can never forget the Harvey Milks, Matthew Shepherds and so many others who paved the way.

As SFGN moves steadily to our tenth year, our mission is to continue to illuminate the lives and stories of those who have brought stature to the LGBT universe. It’s SFGN’s commitment to you today. That’s who we are; that’s what we do.

No matter what we say, we are your voice too. Speak out. Express yourself. No view is restricted and no voices are censored. We entertain diversity. We cheer it, not jeer it. We look forward to your letters and your commentary online at www.sfgn.com or in our print publication distributed every Wednesday to over 350 locations in South Florida.

In the space of 7 days a new Mirror, the annual Guide, and the Pride issue of SFGN has hit the streets. I can be difficult as an employer. I can find a little bad in the best of things. Hell, some of my friends say I am only happy when I am unhappy. Today, though, I have to thank our staff for a hard week’s work well done.

As you walk through the Gayborhood in this year’s Stonewall Festival, keep in mind that we have all won many more battles than we have lost. Each of us, no matter our station, will face challenges, encounter adversity, and find days that test us.

Life is not always what we want it to be, but there are many blessings and much beauty to absorb in this world, from family to friends, and work to leisure. Fight to keep alive in your breast that celestial spark of fire called ‘conscience.’

By all means, this weekend, at Stonewall, celebrate your lives, your loves, and your future. Acknowledge your past. Remember friends lost. But cherish what you have, and know that as long as you are alive to breathe and see, fight and stand, there is good you can do, beauty you can achieve, love you can find.

There are mimosas on the horizon. Find one for yourself.


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