Can we stick together enough to make a difference?

Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

Every day the LGBTQ community is under attack. Recently, 66-year-old ally Laura Ann Carleton in California was shot in the head for flying a rainbow flag outside her store. The rainbow flag is being ripped down by angry haters all over the country.

Children are committing suicide for being outed. Children who haven’t even had a chance at life! As unfortunate as it is to say, and more so to publish, in the current print issue of Out In Jersey magazine we have stories about children killing themselves.

The LGBTQ community and our allies must stick together. That goes for friendships, lovers, marriages, and especially political parties.

This November we have elections coming up. AGAIN! It’s imperative that we all stick together. We all must vote out the people who are trying to put us back in the closet, who want to make us disappear. We didn’t come this far to be canceled.

In the current print issue of Out In Jersey magazine issue we feature Hasbrouck Heights mayoral candidate Christopher Hillmann, who is running as an out gay man. Hillmann hopes to create a space where he says everyone can voice their concerns and questions. He also intends to make more services accessible, improve the infrastructure of the town by accessing funding from the state and federal government, and continue to foster a community that is welcoming to all. Hillmann encourages those who can vote for him on Nov. 7 to support the campaign.

Not sticking together as a community has led us to having no lesbian bars locally. There is not one lesbian bar in Philadelphia or New Jersey. There was a time when we could just go to the local queer bar and make new friends or meet up with old ones. That is not true anymore for us women. The community has parties like Marianne’s Mixers (Women on Women) WOW parties, and other lesbian events that somewhat make up for the lack of bars for us women. The men are slightly better off but there aren’t nearly as many places as there were.

All communities are always stronger when they stick together. Human Rights Campaign says, “Stronger than our enemies. Enemies of equality have been trying to roll back the hard-earned progress of the LGBTQ+ community. They cannot continue to lie about our community, spread fear, and destroy our progress to score points with the most extreme elements of their fanatical base.”

HRC is absolutely right: enemies of equality are working to roll back our progress and we can’t ever let them win.

Get out there.