The past few years have been a rainbow of progress for the LGBT community. We truly live in historic times.

SFGN has been fortunate to emerge as a credible and conscientious voice, celebrating our achievements while acknowledging the many good people who have given vitality and vision to our cause.

As our paper has matured and progressed, so have our hometowns. South Florida is becoming the epicenter of gay life in America, from young communities in Lake Worth to nightclubs on South Beach.

This paper started on a business gamble- and a leap of faith by my friend, and CEO, Piero Guidugli.  But it also started with an idea that our community was growing with solid businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs, and dedicated citizens. It began with a vision that our future was so strong, so bright, a committed and dedicated newspaper, with legitimate journalists, could plant itself in our soil and grow like a flower in the sun.

We first focused on South Florida, then on the state, then on the nation, and now on the world. We started with the premise of “South Florida” Gay News, and a double entendre, Straight Facts, Gay News. We have now grown to Local Name, Global Coverage. But there is something else I realized one morning after a meeting with Rivendell Media, our national marketing representative. SFGN “reaches people who care.”

This week, as we celebrate a third anniversary, we inaugurate a new design, a new face, and a new look. Norm’s old football logo is on the way out, and a sleeker modern version, created by a young Art Institute hot shot, Mark Pauciullo, gets a play. That is the way of the world. Retire the old. Reach for the new. Still, forget not the past, because it helps predict our future.

Thanks for being here with us, and finding partnerships within our pages. You are here because you care, and that matters to us. We will give you, as I said moments ago, a new foundation with a local name, but global coverage. Our look will be more modern, our stories still upbeat, our design progressive.

We won’t forget the days cops called us faggots, and we will be there when LGBT cops wind up with domestic benefits. We were there when the FBI made us out to be deviant, and we will be there when an FBI chief is openly gay. We were there when Pedro Zamora died of AIDS and we will be there when we celebrate a cure, and not condemn a curse. We were there when James Dale got booted out of the Boy Scouts, but by the end of this year, I suspect we will be there when some gay Eagle scout gets sworn in to a local troop.

We are here, and we’re not going anywhere. We are expanding our print coverage, and launching simultaneously a striking new website which will be as compelling as the mainstream media likes to think they are. As a matter of fact, South Florida Gay News is now consistently larger than the alternative weeklies already published by some of our media partners.

This is the future. This is our future. We have a niche to honor, a cause to protect. Celebrate it with us, and stay informed of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. It is great to be part of this family, and enriching that so many of you have helped make our vision become your reality.

Thank you so much.