I’ve been told by the publisher and other senior staff members of the magazine that once you get through your first Pride issue, things could get easier.
It’s been a while since I looked at my notes in my notebook.
Perhaps it is because of my hectic workflow with Lavender Magazine as its Managing Editor. After all, you are given this immense responsibility with many stakeholders to answer to.
About the time I was writing this, a deep sigh of relief came out. After all, I did my initial sign-off of a 212-page issue that is the signature for the magazine. That issue will be published on June 2 to kick off LGBTQ Pride month. That issue of the 23rd such issue to be published to celebrate the community, as well to honor the 50 years of this metropolitan area’s biggest event, Twin Cities Pride.
I’ve been told by the publisher and other senior staff members of the magazine that once you get through your first Pride issue, things could get easier. I most certainly hope so. After all, it’s been one heck of a three-month journey since I took on this new role.
It seems funny that I still call this column a “Reporter’s Notebook.” I’m a Managing Editor at my “day job,” and a publisher of this website. Yet, I still have to remind my colleagues and industry contacts that I am still an automotive journalist and content creator. It’s just that Lavender continues to benefit from this experience – more so nowadays.
I have not let the added extra responsibilities leave me behind of my duties. I am getting better at time management. Yet, the insanity towards delivering the magazine’s biggest issue of the year did threw up some red flags health-wise. That, along with the impending move to a new home.
Needless to say, I had a lot going on lately.
To catch you all up on things, let me give you a glimpse at some of my (and V&R’s) highlights since the last time I did one of these columns…
Right after I took on the Managing Editor role at Lavender, I was approached by a long-time contact in the automotive industry who was reaching out to me for an opportunity to drive the 2023 Nissan Z in Las Vegas. After retiring from her OEM communications position, she began working with a multicultural PR agency supporting Nissan. On a further conversation, she let me know that I was there representing the magazine and its demographics rather than my tenured life as an automotive media person.
It turned out that I was the “only gay in the village.” It was sort of awkward at the time, but I came through in the end.
Nonetheless, I had a productive time in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Driving the 2023 Nissan Z was indeed the highlight of the overnight stay.
After the embargo lifted on the Nissan Z, I had an online conversation regarding the importance of representation in such media events. I began by stating that my representing the magazine was “the main reason why I was there for the Z.” A colleague of mine, Out Motorsports’ Jake Thiewes, commented that he was “[s}o glad an LGBTQ publication was brought in to get a first drive of the Z! Hopefully that circle will be expanded for future events.”
I thought about that and replied that the magazine was indeed “honored to be represented in this program from the multicultural lifestyle aspect, rather than purely an automotive content creator point-of-view.” I recalled it was the reason why Dodge (er, Stellantis) brought me in for the Dodge Dart drive program in Austin, Texas back in 2012.
Further, I explained to Thiewes that “[i]nvitations to Multicultural Lifestyle waves on drive programs are good for [the LGBTQ media and our audiences], therefore representation matters – including our own.”
“Why not us? Why not, indeed!”
It has never been a clear road getting to this point. If you have been reading V&R from the beginning, you probably know that. Combined with Lavender, the opportunities to tell new stories have opened up even further than, say, three months ago.
In order to keep these opportunities coming, you still have to put in the work. Even if that work means taking detours from the primary subject matter I love working in. That has been something of a journey at Lavender. If you asked me to write stories about home improvement, the arts, music, healthcare, LGBTQ employee issues outside of the automotive industry, and interview people who represent the present and future of the community – I would have shirked those responsibilities.
Instead, I rose to the challenge. And, delivered. That's 21 years in the making to get there.
In life and work, sometimes you have to face a challenge that will either make or break you. If you accept that challenge, you will have to deliver on the promise that you make to complete those tasks.
That is how I see the videos George Torline and I create for V&R – challenges to get out of the usual zone of the written word to deliver something visual. So far, we delivered on a quality product for you to watch on our YouTube channel – and here on the website.
What’s ahead for me this summer? Well, I’m moving into a new home here in the Twin Cities. I also got a couple of big story projects with the magazine. That’s all I can say right now.
Stay tuned for more adventures here and elsewhere in the media world…
Cover photo by Richard Herod III