This issue comes out the day before Thanksgiving, timed to hit before the arguably biggest shopping days of the year. It’s a time when we’re programmed to give thanks. Each year, we see on TV or in our dining rooms people going around a table and telling each other about the things they’re particularly grateful for this year. So, in this issue that tends to be a little bit of fluff full of gift ideas and frivolous notions, I’d like to highlight why I’m thankful for it.
The Holiday Gift Guide is something that is developed both for people in this community and by people in this community. It is not necessarily a rainbow on every page, but at its core is the notion that not only does this community have buying power, but it also demands freedom of expression in that buying power. Whether it’s something as neutral as a hoodie or as overt as a “Queer AF” mug or somewhere in-between with a neon unicorn, the choices are careful and the choices matter. I’m pleased that contributors came forward with health and wellness ideas, too, because being able to find peace in our minds and bodies is crucial to our well-being, particularly as a community that is still so marginalized. This issue is a reminder of what we have and can give, and I am grateful for it.
I am grateful for the tribute Steve Lenius wrote about his mother. Steve is one of our two writers who’s been with us since the very beginning of Lavender, writing about this community as a whole, with a focus on the leather and kink community. In his piece, he informs us how his mother helped this community by writing books about her experience as Steve came out; she assisted so many others in sorting through their thoughts and feelings. I daresay that the books he included in the tribute also represent a gift guide of sorts; I encourage people to buy them for yourself and anyone else who could benefit from them. I am thankful for Mary Borhek.
While John Townsend offers up a fun gift guide of holiday-themed shows and performances to see this season, he also gives us a look into how the Children’s Theatre Company is focusing on transgender issues and breaking the binary that binds us. When reading his piece, I encourage you to step back and remember that we’re not talking about college-level courses or continuing ed training sessions where people are talking on an advanced level, we’re talking about kids and young adults. What a tremendous time for the Children’s Theatre to put emphasis on changing how they present scripts and works as well as the language that is used, not just in materials and presentations, but even between themselves as employees. I am grateful for this work and the collaboration with the community; this initiative serves as an example for others and makes our society better.
Finally, I am thankful for the recognition of the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association for our 11 Excellence Awards and the coveted Magazine of the Year title. I am thankful for our contributors and employees through the years who have made this happen. I give thanks for the readers and advertisers without whom it would not be possible.
With you and with thanks,