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Publisher’s Letter: June 2009

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Pride, Our Prideby Greg Jeu

GregJeuI have to be honest. This issue is very special to me, as it is to all of us here at OutSmart . We’ve always had a unique connection to Pride, as most members of the LGBT community, but this year is something special. To be entrusted as the Official Pride Guide of Houston by the Pride Committee of Houston is quite an honor for us.

Looking over the various Pride events, fundraisers, and celebrations, it’s undeniably a very exciting time—an entire month devoted to parties and festivities. But there is something more substantial, more important than just colorful rainbow flags and the sparkling mirror ball suspended over the corner of Montrose and Westheimer.

Pride means that no longer are we forced to meet only in dark bars, where every drink comes with an invisible shot of fear—fear that the police could swoop down and raid the place, throw us into the paddy wagon, and take us all to jail.

Pride means that out LGBT people can be serious contenders for elected offices in the fourth largest city in the country, and that the first thing most people talk about is their stellar qualifications, not the fact that he or she is gay.

Pride means that transgendered men and women, while probably still the most disenfranchised members of our family, have made tremendous inroads into acceptance and understanding in our community, and the nation as a whole.

I’m not saying that we don’t have a long way to go. We do. As California’s recent verdict against gay marriage attests, we still have a fight ahead of us.

Houston Pride 2009’s theme, Out 4 Justice, with its superhero feel, couldn’t be more appropriate. Full equality requires superhero-level courage, and not just the courage demonstrated by the grand marshals, role models, and straight allies found in these pages. It comes with the strength of every individual who is out and proud, not only on Westheimer on the last Saturday of June, but the next day, and the next, and the next, in our homes, our schools, our workplaces, our places of worship, and our voting booths.

I am exceptionally proud that already in the first decade of the 21st century, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders are safer, freer, and more liberated than we’ve ever been. And that makes every Pride activity resonate a little deeper. I hope you feel that as well.

Happy Pride Month.

Greg Jeu and the staff of OutSmart

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Greg Jeu

Greg Jeu is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of OutSmart Magazine.

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