When I launched in June of 2015, we were experiencing a beautiful time in the LGBTQ community.  What began in June of 1969 in New York City at the Stonewall Inn, seemed to come to fruition in June 2015.  What started as a rebellion, became a revolution, and from that we witnessed Marriage Equality receive blessings from the highest court in the United States of America.  We have indeed come a long way, but yes, we still have far to go.  The suicide rate within the LGBTQ community is still quite high and so are the level of hate crimes, especially regarding our Transgender citizens.  North Carolina continues to find ways to humiliate people within the Transgender community and folks are boycotting Target stores for taking a stand on our behalf.  I do however remain hopeful; although I admit, there are moments when my faith is tested.

I am proud to be a member of the LGBTQ community, but that is not the only “minority” community I am a part of.  In addition to being a woman (minority) I am also African-American.  It would appear that being born Black in America also means that you are born with a target on your back.  I will not pretend that hate crimes against the African-American community are new, but it does appear that we are in the midst of hunting season and it is legal and encouraged to kill us.  I do not believe that every African-American that has been killed by a police officer is a victim, as some have been killed while committing a criminal act…but this is not the case for all, and this is where my concern remains.   I have grown weary of seeing hashtags with the names of a Black man or woman to the right of it.  I have grown weary of people saying that we are so concerned with police officers killing us when there is so much Black on Black crime.  Yes, Black on Black crime is a major concern, but we are not using our tax money to pay other Blacks to protect us, unless of course that Black person is wearing a badge.  We have members within our community who are calling the police for help, and end up being victimized by the one who was suppose to protect.  This is a major concern and it appears to be growing.

When I started the magazine, I started it to give voice to members within the LGBTQ community and our straight allies, and I have tried to keep the content uplifting and lighthearted.  I now feel compelled to take the magazine in a new direction and tackle issues concerning other minorities.  We will continue to provide a voice to the LGBTQ community as we always have, and will welcome the same type of writings that we have since we launched; however, we will also take the magazine in a new direction by dealing with issues pertaining to inequality within the minority community at large.  It may not always be inspiring and uplifting, but it will always be raw and real.  While I celebrate the advancements we have seen within the LGBTQ community, I am saddened by the war against those of us born with beautiful brown skin.

I am always aware of where I come from.  I can never forget the protest of my mother and father, the mistreatment of my grandparents, or the slavery of my great-grandparents.  I am always aware of the cruelty that my ancestors were exposed to, simply because they existed in a world where it was customary to do so.  I am aware of the fear that so many of us still live with and the anxiety we feel whenever we encounter someone wearing a uniform and a badge.  I am concerned with the upcoming election and the platform of hate that Donald Trump has created and the “legalization” of hate crimes against our community.  We have come far, but it appears that we have so much further to go.  Just as the world has changed for us, so will  I will take the magazine in a new direction that will allow us to be yet another voice within the minority community, and when the day comes where we see light at the end of this dark tunnel, we will adjust accordingly.