Maya Angelou once wrote that “there is no storm that does not run out of rain.”

Great speaker and inspirational soul that she was, she never met COVID-19, the coronavirus. 

 The truth is we just don’t know yet how bad it can be. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Stressed out though you may be, we are still early in the game. Brace yourself. This is not a Hollywood movie, and John Wayne won’t be rescuing us in 90 minutes. Marshall Dillon is not going to save the town.

No one found a cure for polio in four months because a president dictated he wanted people in churches by Easter, either. This is a microscopic and lethal pathogen not governed by boundaries or bullies. It marches to its own drummer.

This is not a virus that just happened “over there.” You can’t ignore it because it started in China, wound up in Italy or is killing people in Iran.   It’s in over 150 countries, and it is reshaping the destiny of our planet. So, don’t worry too much if the car dealership did not buff and wax your car properly.

 There is always a message in the madness; always a learning moment in a tragedy. Materialistic fools that we are, maybe we were running too fast and caring too little. Maybe we were building too many B1 carpet bombers when we should have been building hospitals. That doesn’t matter, right now. 

We can’t look back at what is past. We can only learn from it for the future. We can try to be better tomorrow. We can live and love and laugh today, making each moment count. That destiny we can control.

 Each day, on my radio show, on WWNN, I bring to life the heartbeat of our community facing up to COVID-19. My show is airing those amongst us who are reaching out — offering healing to hurting hearts. 

At SFGN we have a mission. Every week, we illuminate the lives of those whose story is worth telling and whose cause is worth publicizing. That is the job of journalism. 

In the face of this adversity, SFGN is facing the challenges so many other businesses are. This calamity hit South Florida during the heart and soul of our tourist season, when our paper would be the biggest, our income the greatest.

We are taking hits that are right crosses to the jaw. With so many of our advertisers shuttered, their own losses great, our income and distribution is diminishing daily. And our paper was free to begin with.

The South Florida Gay News represents a gay free press in a disturbed straight world. Someone must tell the story of a police chief who says a deputy that died from COVID-19 endured that fate because he was a gay man. 

A free press does not publish fake news. It exposes the fakes, the frauds, the phonies. Gay men and women never should have been criminals. It was criminal to treat us so. But as you can see, even today, having accomplished so much, we are still called upon to remind the world of our authenticity.

As long as SFGN has a breath, you have a voice. We will not allow anyone to tread upon you. We are your ally and advocate, but we can’t do it without your help. 

Our advertisers are the local businesses, theaters, restaurants, bars and festivals shut down by this virus. They are our realtors, waiters, bartenders and massage therapists. They have nothing to advertise. Their businesses are not operating. 

Ironically, a free gay newspaper is the only vehicle that can tell their story, share their pain, and still articulate their aspirations for tomorrow. But we are in the same boat, trying to stay afloat with diminished revenues and less advertisers.

Even more biting is the fact that there are more stories to tell now than ever before, but with less resources to do so. Still, our furloughed staff is volunteering to tell your story. They do it because they believe in a better tomorrow and a free press today. 

Ben Kweller’s song comes to mind: “You gotta fight, you gotta fight to your last dying breath, every day.”  

At SFGN, I intend to do just that. Our paper may be smaller, but our voice is just as loud. Less is sometimes more. Bigger is not always better.

You can support SFGN with donations online  at Beggars can’t be greedy. We will take what you give us. So will our printers. We are all in this together.

You can continue to take out advertisements in our paper as we distribute thousands still to the greater Fort Lauderdale area.

Be the champion of the truth. Support a gay free press. 

Just when you find yourself already digging deep, dig deeper. The story you help save in this newspaper today might be one about you tomorrow.