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Once again, this issue of the Mirror is smaller than it has been in the past. There is no denying the reality that we are pandemically challenged and Covidically compromised.  

When you publish a free magazine, you have to rely on advertisers to sustain it. Normally, our early year issues would highlight our arts and entertainment, theater openings, museum exhibitions, and charitable gatherings. Once again, we are without them this year.

Because of our magazine’s commitment to content and credibility, less is sometimes more. This month’s issue of the MIRROR gives life to some of the best articles that have appeared over the last year in the MIRROR, features you may have missed while locked down in the past year.

I believe America will come out of this pandemic stronger. We rise to adversity. We are learning to adapt, discovering new methods of doing things, stripping away waste, and finding efficiency.

Thanks to telehealth, no more one hour’s waits in doctor’s offices. Thanks to Zoom, online meetings offset unnecessary travel.

If you are a lawyer, crowded dockets don’t frustrate you as much as if you are waiting in your living room by a computer.

For realtors, insurers, and stock investors, Docusign has become a blessing. Not everything works that way, of course. To clean your teeth, you still need a dentist. Colonoscopies can’t be done online either.

SFGN has had its online presence expand exponentially in the past year too, with more original content online. While both our print editions are down in size, the commitment to the community is still here.

The LGBT community is unique. Our lives and the professionals who sustain them have a choice to make. The MIRROR offers you a magazine you can place in your office waiting room, bring to your home and actually read. 

You are able to see and share our stories, friends who illuminate our lives, educators who enhance it, artists who embolden it, legislators who lead it. Sometimes, crooks who disgrace it, too. But it is us, in all our colors, with all our diversity, wounds as well as warts.

The MIRROR is not an advertising guide you flip through and trash in 60 seconds. It is not a showcase for self-gratification, discarded by most, read by none. We have a shelf life that gives life to our community; to who we are. Which do you want to be a part of?

Across this country, however, newspapers are closing, bookstores are shutting down. And the largest gay paper in Chicago for half a century, the Windy City Times closed during the Pandemic. Heck, even MAD magazine is not publishing any more.

Quality journalism is facing challenges everywhere. The MIRROR, only a year ago twice the size of the Advocate and Out Magazine, is smaller.

As I said, you can’t have an Arts and Entertainment issue if there are no theaters open to write about and advertise. But there are still a host of causes and LGBT lives worth illuminating.

We remain one of the leading LGBT magazines in the nation, just passing our eleventh year of publication. What marks our success is not only our content, but our commitment to you.

We need you, however, to commit to us as well. We know you have limited advertising dollars you have to use wisely.

Investing in us not only gives you bang for your buck, but it also illuminates and showcases our lives and our achievements, our loves and our losses. It pays for LGBT features on you, your friends, and your lives.

So, you decide. A real magazine with real articles, honest distribution, and local features with worldwide coverage. Or another magazine showing gay men without their shirts on holding up mimosas in a gay bar?

What do you want to invest in, as we take our place in city commissions, in political discussions, and planning our communities?

The MIRROR, I respectfully suggest, is a healthy and hearty reflection of our lives. Help sustain it today so we can continue to share it with you tomorrow.

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