Once again, the Mirror reflects our lives.
From profiling an HIV advocacy group to the founder of POZ magazine, our writers touch base with timely and telling stories in this finely tuned issue of the Mirror.
Now I love the coffee table books, and the visual displays of homoeroticism. They lend a little spice and kick to each issue. In addition, they remind me always of the way I used to look.
Ok, ok, let me rephrase that. They remind me of the way I used to think I looked. As you reach the sunset, the daylight always seemed finer than it may have been. Anyway, our Mirror is more than a visual display. It is a conscientious and content driven magazine.
Once again, on these pages you will find a source message. In this issue, if there is a theme, it goes to individualism within a community that already prizes individuality. It asserts a willingness to stand naked against the cannon.
It’s one thing to be gay in San Francisco or Wilton Manors. It’s a little bit tougher to be gay on Red Square in Moscow, or apparently in Phoenix, Arizona. But Gay Days are headed their way. We write about it.
This issue also profiles gay rights group in conservative venues and gay Mormons, who apparently this year have their own award winning musical, which had a successful South Florida run.
America’s LGBT community is winning our rights from coast to coast, but they have not been set in stone. We are still kind of punching our way barefoot up a muddy mountain. We know we will get there, but our feet are going to get dirty and wet. Hey, some of you might like that anyway.
It’s ok. We are in it for the ride, good or bad. There is no turning back the clock, no matter what Arizona, Kansas or an occasional jerk off politician wants to do. We will just do them in, or more likely, bring them out. Most importantly, let’s just win them over.
Celebrate gay pride in South Florida along Wilton Drive in the Manors or by A1A in Miami Beach and you can lose sight of what it is like to be an advocate where homophobia poisons a county. Take part this summer in the gay games in Cleveland, which SFGN sponsors, and you forget how much homophobia impacts the NFL.
Be thankful for the little steps and the Michael Sams of the world.
Celebrate how far we have come nationally and you can forget how far we have to go still internationally. Our journey is unfulfilled. Our mission is still unaccomplished. Our sails must still be set.
In May, America will release a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp. In parts of Africa, like Uganda, the Harvey Milks of this world are still being murdered. In the past few months, we have heard of gays being tortured in Kenya, Nigeria, and Cameroon.
It may be a different world here, but please don’t get too comfortable anywhere. Don’t celebrate too much on North Halstead Street in Chicago while gays are still being castrated in Cameroon.
The tides of injustice ripple still in parts unknown and places unpleasant. From Muslim practices in Iran to monstrous regulations in Moscow, we have to remember we are not alone. We have brothers and sisters suffering from continent to continent, simply because of whom they love. They are us, and we are them. We must be willing to endure any burden, overcome every hardship, and challenge each horror to secure freedom for gays everywhere.
So too is the world of HIV markedly different in communities outside the U.S. We are no longer fighting people with AIDS. We are fighting AIDS, with doctors, treatment plans, community agencies and pharmacies. Once, that was not so.
There are still places in this world though where an HIV diagnosis is a death sentence for lack of treatment centers. There are venues where HIV is still a vehicle for discrimination and disgrace. That is universally unacceptable, and members of the LGBT community must stand up and speak out against it, as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has done so well for us worldwide.
Welcome then to the Mirror, where on these pages our lives are reflected with cool tattoos, fine wines, fast cars, great books, and entrepreneurial financiers.
Welcome, too, to the Mirror where on these pages you will find places where pain still trumps promise, where evil spirits still drown out beach parties, and where wrong still corrupts right.
Welcome to your life, which still has causes to be fought, battles to be won, and roads to walk before you sleep.