Monday, June 15, 2020

These are challenging times, but it’s not our first rodeo

Guest Commentary
by Leo Cusimano
(Leo Cusimano is publisher of the Dallas Voice. This editorial originally appeared in the newspaper’s May 8, 2020, issue. It is reprinted here with permission.)

The LGBTQ community knows how to survive a pandemic, and the Dallas Voice will be there to keep you informed as we make our way through this one.

Leo Cusimano
I want to speak to you today straight from my heart. Every morning, I wake up in awe of the work first responders and essential personnel continue to do to support our community in this pandemic. We are all in this together, and I am doing my best to stay positive during this phase of our survival.

And we will survive. This is not our first rodeo. Our community is strong and resilient, with a long history of survival. We’ve battled HIV/AIDS and realized that, as a community, that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger if we work together. The key is to help each other stay safe during this dangerous time.

What is our new normal? I can’t think of another time in my life where I simply couldn’t believe what has happened. COVID-19 has created a paradigm shift in how we think about our survival and our work, how we connect with our family, friends and strangers.

So many things have changed — simple things like going out to eat, taking in a movie, getting a haircut, even walking in the park. I find myself sad and worried about many things. Yet, I remain optimistic that we will survive and, in some way, become stronger as a result of this crisis.

It has been a challenging month, as we all have been navigating our survival, staying safe and adopting a new normal. And in the middle of it all, Dallas Voice is marking the beginning of our 37th year as the voice of the North Texas LGBTQ community.

As an essential media business, Dallas Voice has continued working on the frontlines over the past few months, keeping our community informed by getting out critical updates and vital information. And now we celebrate our 36th anniversary.

We have seen so much over the past 36 years, but this pandemic hits us hard. For many free publications, advertising revenue pays for everything from the printing costs to salaries to distribution. LGBTQ media companies across the country are struggling; Dallas Voice is no exception.

We are proud of the fact that we have not missed a single issue over the past 36 years. You may have noticed that our page count is smaller these days, as many businesses in our community remain closed. Yet we continue to publish and distribute to more than 400 locations across five counties in North Texas. We will get through this, but we recognize that this experience will have lasting changes.

We are evolving, along with the media industry. As our cities begin to reopen, we are here to keep you connected and informed. We have multiple platforms to deliver the news to you. Everything in this printed newspaper is also available on our website and in our weekly eBlast. In addition, everything is posted on our social media platforms, with more than 36,000 friends, followers and fans. We also offer a subscription service for home delivery.

We are here for you, our readers, throughout this difficult time and appreciate your continued support for us and for the advertisers that help us continue to publish. On behalf of everyone at Dallas Voice and OUT North Texas, we are honored to be your voice in the community, and we will work hard to remain your most trusted media source. We promise to deliver the most in-depth, comprehensive news and analysis we can on a daily basis.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

GUEST COMMENTARY
Volume 22
Issue 3

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