PRIDE is a time to celebrate

Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

Pride season is here, and I am here for the party, all of it. If you are an LGBTQ person, you know how important Pride season is to us all. Pride is a time to show our faces and celebrate our uniqueness, diversity, and fabulousness.

We are a creative community with so much to give to the world. We are doctors, lawyers, artists, computer nerds, writers, editors, and the list goes on and on. Our community makes everything beautiful. WE have reason to celebrate how amazing we are.

This year, for just this month, I choose to disregard the haters and the homophobic laws trying to be pushed upon us. But if you want to read about them, there is plenty to choose from in this issue. I choose to disregard anyone, no matter who they are, that wants to burst my bubble, dim my shine, or harsh my mellow. Instead, I choose to celebrate because we didn’t get this far without a hard fight. And fight we did and still do.

In this issue we have an article about Diane Marini and her now deceased partner Marilyn. This piece of history is the feature titled, “How a lesbian kitchen designer helped fight for the rights of widows in New Jersey.” Diane and Marilyn are one of the seven couples who fought for marriage equality in New Jersey. Without them, who knows where we would be?

Unfortunately, Diane and Marilyn never got to marry because Marilyn passed away before New Jersey gained marriage equality. These are the sheroes and heroes of our community.

By the time you read this, the New Jersey festivities will be starting. Please check our calendar of events to see all the Jersey community has going on.

The very first gay pride took place in Manhattan in 1970 to commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall. But it wasn’t until 1999, 30 years later, that Pride month would be made official. Thank you, President Clinton. And of course, thank you President Obama for finalizing what all the other presidents didn’t dare to do.

We have waited so long for marriage equality and so many other civil rights that all our straight friends and family have always had. I know for me, I didn’t take marriage lightly, and I would never have married my wife had it not been forever.

When one of us is under attack, all of us are under attack. Please show your support for all of us, especially the trans community.

How will you celebrate LGBTQ 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.