11.3.16 Editor’s Desk

11.3.16 Editor’s Desk
Billy Manes
Billy Manes

“Someone found a letter you wrote me, on the radio. And they told the world just how you felt. It must have fallen out of a hole in your old brown overcoat. They never said your name but I knew just who they meant.”

Those were the words that flew from Donna Summer’s gorgeous mouth in 1979, back when I was five, a latchkey derivative, a mess and a superhero all rolled into one. Those words resonate with me still today, and any time Blue Star – one of our cover stars – plays them to me (she does), I cry into the wood paneling, I wish for a lit up dance floor, I break a heel, but I never fall down.

There is so much going on in Florida right now that we need to keep our heads together as our feet roller-skate toward our collective future: Hillary and equality. Nothing ever goes quite as planned, and the fact that we’re celebrating Come Out With Pride on a make-up date Nov. 12 – and pushing forward to a general election just four days before on Nov. 8 – conjures thoughts of hurricanes and distress. Both, it should be known, we mostly avoided. I’m smiling and I hope you are as well. We’ve got this.

For a long time, we’ve been hoping to highlight some of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers who play their lives out on the airwaves, whether by dial or by mouse click. It’s no easy task, any one of them will tell you, but it’s an important one. In Florida, the jockeys of the discs had a rude awakening over the summer with the Pulse massacre. Having to play cheerleader in that period was no cakewalk, but all of them showed up, showed loud and showed proud. In fact, they made me feel more pride than I’ve ever felt in this community, some 20 years in.

You see, it isn’t just the grand gestures that make a terror more reasonable; it’s the subtle, musical ones that sometimes lift us to our feet and bring us back to life. That’s why we thought it was important to bring Blue Star, Sondra Rae, Miguel Fuller and Sabrina Ambra to the forefront. Many of us have been coping as cope can, but having familiar voices in the background can make that journey so much more bearable. They are soundtracking our recovery. We need them.

All sentimentality aside, we need you as well. We need your voices, your dances, your sparkles, your shouts and your joy to get us through, things we know we’ll see on Nov. 12 in downtown Orlando at the Pride festival. We also need you to vote by Nov. 8, as there are some around us who would like to see our rights stripped in every possible manner. EVERY POSSIBLE MANNER. If you think Mike Pence is a joke, then you are the punch line. If you think Donald Trump is funny, then you might just be the next person he bullies out of one of his rallies. If you think we are kidding about the future of this country, we are not. Be proud. Be strong.

Ah, but we’re getting too serious here for the space this page provides. This issue also includes a wonderful piece on President Barack Obama’s visit to the University of Central Florida, some new insights (and studies) of PrEP, some controversy from the Tampa Bay area regarding Planned Parenthood and all the other things that make you bite your nails and more politics. Tegan and Sara are here in fantastic clothes and fantastic flurries of mind; Stephen Schwartz, he of Wicked fame, pops in for a visit. Looks like we’ve got you covered.

Even if you’re not covered in some over-objectified manner of metaphoria, just get out of the house. Vote. Go to Come Out With Pride. Experience things you’ve yet to in your lives. Love. Listen. Live proud and live strong. We have a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time. And it won’t get done by itself.

Also, dance a little. It’s good for the heart.

“If you think that love isn’t found on the radio. Well tune right in you made find the love you lost,” you might sing. “‘Cause now I’m sitting here with the man I sent away long ago. It sounded really loud, they said it really loud on the radio.”

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