In 2010, SFGN was born. This is the beginning of our 11th year, but it’s the 20th anniversary of a free gay press in Broward County.
On January 10, 2000, I founded the Express Gay News. Unfortunately, after I sold it in 2005, the new owners rebranded the paper, stupidly changed its name, and then ran it into the ground.
Despite a brief interruption, our community has fortunately had a legitimate weekly gay newspaper for 20 years. Those pages have showcased the LGBT community with our shirts and ties on.
Twenty years later, while a host of bar guides have come and gone, nobody did it like Peter Clark, and we salute his journey. SFGN has become the anchor of all news LGBT in South Florida — local news, global coverage.
Above all else, we are still a local community newspaper, letting you know about the best pizza in town, or worst con artist. It’s wherever the news takes you. We report what comes our way. But we illuminate as well as investigate. We bring light to our lives.
Beginning this year, the news will be taking us more and more to the emerging gay life of Oakland Park. We will be rebranding WMG and the Wilton Manors Gazette to simply, “The Gazette,” featuring more news about our neighbors to the north.
During this pandemic, the print edition of SFGN may be smaller, but our online presence is greater. I am told we are one of the top 50,000 news websites in the world. Could be. What we don’t publish in the print edition is always online, 24/7.
Still, SFGN is your neighborhood paper, local enough to showcase your local friends and neighbors. The only place SFGN is going is into more of your homes.
During the pandemic, against all odds, we have steadfastly published our paper. If you missed these issues, read them online or stop by the office and pick one up.
If your business is now open, and we can advertise you, let us. Our paper may be free, but our overhead is anything but. We rely on your ad revenues. It’s what pays for you to get the news for free.
If you’re reader, who does not own a business, but want to support our mission you can do so at SFGN.com/donate.
If you are looking for a news box near you, we have a dozen new ones in our warehouse, ready to be delivered to your neighborhood. Call me. I will carry it there myself if I have to.
This year, SFGN may not celebrate our anniversary with 500 people at a huge party in the showroom of Grieco Ford, but we are not here to show off. We share news, not novelties.
But wait, I must confess.
Against my bookkeeper’s advice, I ordered little desk calendars to give out to friends and advertisers. I don’t want to waste them.
If you would like one, stop by the office. They are free. Like the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s first-come, first-serve. What a disgrace that is, right?
The challenges of 2021 remind me of a 1980’s AIDS poster still hanging in my office. It reads “Say a prayer for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”
As Joni Mitchell once wrote, life is "a circle game.” What was true yesterday has come to pass again today.
We find ourselves looking for a new vaccine for a newer virus, but still pedaling on bikes to raise funds to find a cure for the last one.
The distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in Florida so far has been more warped than warp speed. This is not the way the 21st century should be. We put men on the moon 50 years ago, and we can’t get vaccines in our arms today. Shameful.
The sky remains full of thunder, but the day will soon come again when we can gather together in fun, rather than fear. Eventually, every storm runs out of rain.
Let’s hope 2021 enables us to celebrate our lives, instead of the loss of them. Thank you for allowing SFGN to be part of your journey.
I understand our paper can’t be all things to all people, but we do our part to be right by you.
In one of our daily moral struggles with my former partner last week, he admonished me that “what is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.”
And he is right.
The duty of the free press and its staff is not to be popular, but it is to do what is right. It is to be conscientious, consistent, and credible; to be reliable and responsible.
This, I promise you, SFGN will always be.