Wednesday, May 22, 2019

GUEST COMMENTARY: 300 and counting

by Michael Aaron
(Michael Aaron is the publisher and editor of QSaltLake Magazine based in Salt Lake City, Utah. A version of this editorial appeared in the magazine’s March 21, 2019, issue.)

We will put issue 300 out in May — the Guide to Utah Pride. Seems fitting that such a monumental achievement — 300 issues — is our most monumental issue of the year.

Our 15th birthday was at the end of April as well. Our first issue hit the streets April 29, 2004. I don’t even have to look that up to remember the date. It was a big day for me, for us, and I’d like to say the community.

On that day we rented two Kimpton Hotel Monaco presidential suites for a party that included the mayor, legislators, almost all of the 2News on-air team, leaders of almost every LGBT organization in the state, and a lot of wine drinkers as guests.

That day I was on NPR affiliate KCPW’s pledge drive for three hours with now-editor of The Salt Lake Tribune Jennifer Napier Pierce. I did a five-minute segment with Mary Nickles on KUTV News. I was on Fox 13 News, News 4 Utah, and KSL News. Yes, KSL. We had stories in The Tribune, Deseret News, the Provo Herald, and Ogden Standard-Examiner.

Michael Aaron
The past 15 years have had many highs and lows. To me, though, the lows were actually as good as the highs, like when we feared we were going down in 2012 when the economy, and many of our advertisers, hit hard times. Our community responded to our plea for help and helped keep us afloat as we retooled to become leaner and meaner.

As I’m not one very good at asking for help, it was a humbling and a heart-warming, experience as my friends, family and fellow community members showed me that they thought our work was important to them.

So, here we are 15 years later. While we aren’t dripping with cash, we are still here providing stories our community would not otherwise see.

We are asked often whether we think we are still necessary, since it seems to some that the movement for LGBT equality is done.

What? Were you asleep during this legislative session? Have you not heard of movements across the country and the globe trying to push back time? National organizations who support the “ex-gay” movement and conversion therapy flew to Salt Lake to testify against our community’s efforts to end the barbaric practice. And they won.

Anti-transgender feminists, known as TERF, around the world have a presence here in our state. Hell, a local anti-LGBT representative from Grantsville tried to make one’s gender immutable, thereby sending the trans movement back to the ‘50s.

But we are about more than just reporting the news of the equality movement. We are also a lifestyle magazine which brings entertainment, health, culture, and other items of interest specific to our community.

Like Ebony, La Galeria Magazine, Senior Times, Seventeen, Woman’s Day, and AARP Magazine that provide information and entertainment to their demographics, we are a peculiar people wanting our peculiar voice.

To another 15 years. Cher help me.

GUEST COMMENTARY
Volume 21
Issue 2

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