Frankly, this is an amazing issue of the Mirror.
We have arguably created on these pages the best LGBT magazine in the United States of America. As I review the copy going to press, I realize there is an underlying theme we never intended. Test your limits. Be bold. Be brash. Challenge comfort. Create Change. Seize the day, and don’t let nobody hold you down.
You can’t get a better author than Lisa Keen and her profile of the prominent LGBT leaders who populate the Obama Administration. It reflects how far this president has gone in selecting administrators who are judged on the content of their character. From AIDS policy activists, to federal judges, President Obama has allowed for gay Americans to find a place at the table, transparent and open, in the forefront of public policy. It took guts to defy the public tide, but he rode a moral truth instead.
Straight allies who support gay athletes is another example of courage and commitment in the face of popular disapproval. Professional sports have always been a bastion of masculinity and machismo. If you spoke up and wanted of gay athletes, you would become the ‘fag.’ You became the target. But it’s a new day, and we have friends to help us pave the way. Whether it is Hudson Taylor or Chris Kluwe, you will take pause at Caity Kauffman’s feature article.
The Adam Lambert interview by Jason Parsley shows that the one time American Idol contestant has become an international star, emerging to embrace his sexuality openly, performing internationally at higher levels than anyone could have ever imagined. ‘Forever Kylie,’ a great interview by Chris Azzopardi with Kylie Minogue, discusses her quarter century in the spotlight. It may shed some light on what Adam Lambert faces. Even making millions of dollars, entertainers have to conquer their own demons.
As a worldwide celebrity, you are measured at every moment. It is not just ‘Glamberts’ that want a piece of Adam. He has to face critics like me, who want him to do more for the gay community. I realize he is doing that now, just by showcasing himself as a role model while trying to create compelling concerts across the globe. He faces pressures everyday some of us will never know, but practices his craft to reach newer heights of professionalism. A lot of kids his age are still getting stoned in dorm rooms.
The erotica of the coffee book features, now a tradition of the Mirror, reflects the openness of a gay magazine, exhibiting health and fitness sensuously. It is who we are, and we should appreciate that we can appreciate the human body. We celebrate health and harmony of the mind, and we applaud the eros of beautiful youth. But lots of hours are spent in gyms, or on tracks, and swimming pools to carve out the sculpted bodies you are looking at.
The featured models chose a regimen of discipline and dedication to get to the level they are at, facing challenges along the way. Bodies are built by hard work, the same way beautiful cars are crafted and molded by great designers. So this issue of the Mirror has a bit of both, the beauty of cold metal and warm physiques; hedonism at its best. But who does not like a hot car and the cool ride it gives you?
In another article, Ryan Dixon captures the life Justin Hernandez, a man whose blog has gone viral and story is universal. Yes, he is remarkably fit, but it took a road of abuse, addiction and prostitution to in the Bronx to get there. Life is all about finding melody in the chaos. Adversity that does not kill you makes you stronger. The profile on Hernandez illuminates that truth. He beat back the forces beating him down.
Speaking about getting knocked down, and rising like a phoenix from the ashes, who better to write about than the former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey? Here is a guy, who had to resign because he lived a double life, lying to his family and his constituency because of his sexuality. It has almost been a decade since that memorable moment, scenarios we won’t ever have to see played out again anymore, because gay people just don’t have to hide in a closet anymore. It’s your life. Claim it. Use it while you can. Be who you are. McGreevey is now a minister but it would not matter if he were a cabinetmaker. He has come back. America gives you second chances.
The LGBT community knows about stress, and rising above it. You can learn much from the lessons of transgender activists, yet another feature which makes its way into this Mirror. Andrea Dulanto’s piece on five civil rights activists gives you a snapshot into the lives of individuals who have faced discrimination but met it with determination and resolve. They have emerged to lead national organizations and being a minority was just one more bar they had to vault. But they did, and so can you.
The theme of this magazine is that your life is only limited by the boundaries of your imagination. We all travel, but have you traveled down under? Wonder what the gay life is in Australia, kind of a mirror image of America on the other side of the world? Want to surf in Sydney with the sharks, or take part in the world’s largest gay pride events. Are you anxious to find out about LGBT dating rituals in Brisbane or Melbourne?
Test your limits. Plan a vacation on another continent. Plan your life on a higher plateau. You are gay. You can do it. You have faced everything the world gave you and you are still here.