Op-Ed: Count Your Blessings While You Can

Photo Via SFGN

When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember your purpose was to drain the swamp.

When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember your purpose was to drain the swamp.

I have to be honest. On the night we were celebrating our 10th anniversary last week at an amazing ceremony at Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdale, when I was greeting hundreds of well-wishers, I was worrying about making payroll the next day.

There is no denying that publishing a print newspaper in a digital age, while giving it away for free, is a challenging task.

We have been blessed by a community that has supported us, and continues to do so.

There are a group of legacy advertisers that have to be thanked, saluted, and praised. You have an independent LGBT press in this town because of them.

These individuals and businesses have literally been side by side with SFGN since we published our first edition ten years ago. Many of the good people backing our cause have moved to different careers and new venues. We move on, but I have not forgotten them.

It is impossible to thank everyone, but it would have been impossible to have this paper standing today without you. SFGN has published over five hundred issues and thousands of articles illuminating countless lives, loves, and losses. That is because of you.

Today, we celebrate an anniversary, but we plan an issue. We lay out another MIRROR. We explore another lead, initiate a new story, showcase a new business, or review another restaurant.

As soon as we finish one story, yes, we start another. We may not get to everything as quickly as we ourselves want, but the journey continues in good faith. There is no finish line, just goals we aspire to.

We are a small paper in a big world. There are so many communities throughout this country that are losing their voices. In the past weeks, we have learned that another mega-national corporation may acquire the Sun Sentinel. They are trying to buy out their seasoned employees.

Week by week, digital forces and the internet age threaten independent print journalism. Still, we publish and distribute our paper to over 300 locations; to three counties weekly.  We are online too-bigly. Now there is a word that was not in anyone’s dictionary a few years ago. :-)

SFGN encourages you to read our online edition at www.SFGN.com, and receive our news blasts, emails, and headlines.  It’s a great place to advertise too, if I may offer you a shameless plug. We get thousands of hits a day, and the news is up to the minute.

Finally, the past four months, exhausting though they have been, have been ever so special to me. Returning to the airwaves every afternoon, from 3 to 5 p.m., I have been able to provide LGBT voices an opportunity to share their lives and careers on the airwaves.

Here is what I have learned.

We come from all corners of the world, but walk together. We share similar stories from different places. What we have in common is our own uniqueness.

Our community, our friends, our brothers and sisters have been tested. Those of us who have lived long enough have experienced indignities because of who we were, but we have proven that we are invincible nevertheless.

This paper, SFGN, has been an advocate for your rights that should never have been denied.

This paper has been a force for equal rights, fighting against injustices we never should have experienced.

The LGBT community, like Job in the Bible, has been tested, but we have endured.

Today, we have reason to be proud. Called to question, we have provided authentic answers. We have shown that adversity is a bump in the road — a minor obstacle we can pave and smooth over.

Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King taught us, we have overcome. We had a dream to be part of a community, not apart from it.  We still carry it with us every day. It is a simple one, really.  It is that we forge a community of friends, working together, seeking a newer world, and building a better tomorrow.

Don’t let God know what your plans are though. She will laugh. Just continue to give the unforgiving minute sixty-seconds worth of distance run. It goes quickly.

Do your job. Be kind to your friends. Love your pets and parents, though not intimately. Enjoy the ride. Life is a rocket ship. It soars, but one day it comes back to Earth, and we never know when.

Make every moment count.

  

A THANK YOU TO LEGACY ADVERTISERS....

  • AIDS HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION
  • AQUAFEST CRUISES 
  • OAKLAND PARK DENTAL, DR HOWARD CUNNINGHAM
  • ROBIN BODIFORD, ATTORNEY AT LAW
  • LAW OFFICES OF GEORGE CASTRATARO
  • LAW OFFICES OF GREG KABEL
  • LAW OFFICES OF SHAWN C. NEWMAN 
  • JOE PALLANT INSURANCE 
  • AMERICAN TAX AND INSURANCE
  • LORIA MEDICAL
  • BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
  • THE GRAND RESORT AND SPA
  • THE CLUB FORT LAUDERDALE
  • BROWARD HOUSE

 


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