The mission of the South Florida Gay News.com is to create a paper you can call your own. When it comes to the news, we have no agenda. Gay news, straight facts; journalism, not advocacy. We are news, not gloss. We share the wins and the winds, the warriors and our warts.
Within our gay community, interests and viewpoints are as diverse as the straight community. On these editorial pages, all those voices will find a forum and venue. There will be calls to your conscience, and commentary cutting to your soul. We will celebrate our achievements and own up to our failures.
When it comes to these pages, we will deliver strong and bold opinions on behalf of our rights as a community. We are still a minority fighting for our rights. Many of us are active. More are apathetic, just along for the ride. Our paper is for those who care. But our passengers will enjoy the fruits of our labors. Justice and History are on our side.
The intransigence of those who oppose gay civil rights binds us together and forges our spirit with an iron will. We are warriors engaged in a revolution. And it is better to be on the side of a just cause that will inevitably succeed than to be on the wrong side of a cause doomed to failure.
Ten years after the beginning of the new Millennium, our rights have moved forward but our goals have not been met. Let’s look back to see where we were. It tells us how much we still have to accomplish.
Ten years ago, the very first issue of the Express talked about the passing of a local icon, Dana Manchester, from AIDS related pneumonia. There is a room named after her in Georgie’s Alibi. We are still fighting to end AIDS today; still honoring all the Dana Manchesters of the world, by walking, bicycling, and running for a cure.
Ten years ago, Issue 2 of the Express revealed an anti gay movement centered in Fort Lauderdale. Today, the Rainbow Heroes Foundation headed by Scott Hall reveals hate crimes against gays recur still, even in our hometowns. It has been less than a year since one of our own was brutally beaten to death outside a local diner, only weeks since gay Miamians were attacked.
Ten years ago, Issue 3 of the Express revealed the collapse of David Magazine and the scandal of its owner absconding with funds. Today, we launch a new paper in the face of the bankruptcy and outstanding debts of Window Media, who spent globally, and ignored us locally, stiffing a lot of neighbors in their wake.
Ten years ago, Issue 4 of the Express revealed the plight of Nathan Julien, a young Fort Lauderdale coast guardsman discharged from the military because he was gay. Today, qualified gay men and women are still so discharged by the anachronistic policies of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ No more closets for gay soldiers, and we are proud to have in our very first issue of SFGN an op-ed by Congressman Alcee Hastings calling for an end to the unjust discrimination. A decade later, the fight, you see, lingers.
Ten years ago, Issue 5 of the Express revealed that a gay photographer for a local TV station was killed in a copter crash, and his domestic partner was abruptly and summarily thrown out of their home by the deceased’s family. Today, in the past year, similar domestic rights were denied to lesbians in a Miami hospital.
Ten years ago, Issue 6 of the Express reported on the beginning of the fight for gay marriage. Many gays pled not to push the envelope. Today, the seal is broken. We wait with baited breath to see the outcome of the trial in California on Proposition 8.
Ten years ago, Issue 7 of the Express reported on a Monroe county couple denied adoptive rights to children they fostered because they themselves were homosexuals. Today, we wait each Wednesday to see when the appellate courts will rule on the constitutionality of a Florida law still denying gays the right to adopt. Ten years later.
The causes we have fought for, and those we have lost in the fighting, are still there to be engaged. Some of us have been there for decades, but newer and younger voices everyday emerge, as candidates, bloggers, and political activists.
If we stand our ground and there abide, the world will come round to us. We cannot lose our ground, slip, and let those who would deny us our rights prevail, for if they do, they will take not a hand, but an arm and a leg.
There is no room for failure, and South Florida now has a voice- this publication. Ten years ago, there was a rallying cry, ‘We are here. We are queer. We are everywhere.’
Let’s change that for today: ‘We are here. We are very normal. We are not going anywhere. As a matter of fact, we have moved in next door.’