Let’s face it – gay people really know how to throw a party. Pride festivals start in March in South Florida and end around November in Australia. Two weeks ago, Orlando. Last week, Key West or Pittsburgh, take your choice.  Next week, I am going to San Francisco’s. We just know how to celebrate.

The truth is there is a lot to be proud about. If you are walking up and down Wilton Drive, you are living in a gay mecca and in a city that protects domestic partnerships- much better than the Neanderthals who govern our state. We even have a gay mayor. Most of all, we have a proud community of gay professionals.

Our inaugural magazine features profiles on just a few of the people who have helped shaped our community professionally and personally. You could not possibly hope to capture everything about everyone in a single issue. There are so many more stories that have not been told.

SFGN, our newspaper, is online Tuesdays, and in print on Wednesdays. Distributed to over 425 locations in four counties, it is based in Wilton Manors, emerging as a center of gay life in South Florida. This month, we will be celebrating 18 months of publishing, and reach our 75th issue. We have published 3,000 pages of articles and over 5,000 stories; all accessible on our website.

We are recording the LGBT history of South Florida. We are doing it with content and substance, having become members of the Florida Press Association, the Associated Press, and the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association. We print the news, with our accomplishments and achievements, our warts and wounds. Expect no less from our magazine.

Our debut magazine celebrates persons of stature, places of interest, and articles we hope entertain you, from divine dishes on the Drive to Oprah’s gayest moments. It’s very rewarding to get it off the ground, and I think you can expect it quarterly. If it reaches the level of success I anticipate, maybe monthly.

When I founded and started Express Gay News 11 years ago, I could not have dreamed we would be publishing 72 page weekly editions and that I would sell the company to a national media entity for a million dollars. But our lives on this planet are only limited by the boundaries of our imagination.

The corporation I sold the paper to was supposed to carry it on, but they blew it, and went broke, big time, leaving millions of dollars in debts. From their ashes in 2009, SFGN.com was born in 2010. In our 18 months, over 100 businesses have invested their vision and money in the paper we deliver every week. Let me use this time to thank them for their faith.

Starting a magazine or running a newspaper is no easy task in this digital age. Consequently, we are expanding our digital and online presence, soon launching iPad, iPhone and Android apps so you can access our content expeditiously, anywhere and everywhere.

We have goals and dreams for our paper but they can only be shared in partnership with you. Let us in to your lives. Allow us to illuminate your profession or business, cause or charity. Share with us your story and together let’s become partners in sending a message that yes, gays know how to party, but we are also persons of substance and people of consequence.

Many of us grew up as outcasts because of who we were and the way we lived. As we emerge from the shadows, we are learning we were okay all along. We see ourselves operating businesses, teaching schools, conducting orchestras, and running city governments. Let’s always remind others that what we do in the daytime with our clothes on matters a lot more than who we do in the nighttime with our clothes off.

Gays realize we always had a lot more in common with mainstream America than we did apart. Now we have proved it on battlefields and in ball yards, in courtrooms and throughout our community. So march proudly. Hold your heads, banners and heels high. We all have much to be proud about.