Back to our future

Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

For the first time in over a year, this past weekend I had a barbeque for some of my family members, went to the salon to get my nails and hair done, shopped at the grocery store instead of having my food delivered and saw a doctor in the flesh, and it felt like I am going back to my future.

It has been so long since most of us have been doing the things that were our everyday “chores,” but it’s funny because these “chores” don’t feel like “chores” anymore. Now they feel more like gifts. Is that the lesson in all of this? Are we learning to appreciate the little things?

It could be, but I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that all these “chores” are gifts because going to the post office still feels like I’m going to the post office. And I’m not too excited to go to the pharmacy, but I can say I am excited about all the Pride events that have been popping up! And there have been many.

Small town Prides seem to be on the rise, such as in Toms River, Morris County, and Sussex County. To find out more, read Lana Leonard’s New Jersey Prides update in this issue, where you will find lots of information about events happening this summer. As usual, some Pride events will be held outdoors, but some are still virtual. Why not attend all of them?

The cover of the Out In Jersey magazine June/July 2021 LGBTQ Pride issue
The cover of the Out In Jersey magazine June/July 2021 LGBTQ Pride issue

With restrictions being lifted, we now have so much to look forward to. By the time you read this, we will have our outdoor gatherings limit increased. Indoor catered events and dance floors can be reopened, and restaurants can open with bar seating and buffets. Yay!!! Because who doesn’t love being served? And it’s been way too long, like Leon Calafiore says in this issue’s Out of the Broomcloset, “What a difference a year makes.”

The outdoor gatherings limit will be lifted as long as groups can remain six feet apart. I think we have proved that we can do this. Unless you are my lover and living in my house, keep your distance unless I invite you in. Then, by all means, hurry. Come closer.

Percentage-based capacity limits will be lifted for indoor and outdoor businesses and activities, as well as houses of worship. You are now free to go to your favorite place of worship, your vaccinated lovers’ house, your church, or your mutually vaccinated person’s dungeon. Remember, while you are masking up and social distancing, to stay safe, sane, and consensual!

I would love to hear how you are celebrating Pride. Please drop me a note.

Happy Pride!

Sam Martino
Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.