The paper you are holding in your hands right now (well … if you were holding the actual printed copy, that is) is a milestone issue for us. Not only was it six years ago on April 29, 2004 that the first copies rolled off the press and onto the streets of Salt Lake, but it’s also our 153rd issue we have produced. No other gay publication in the history of the state of Utah has put out 153 issues. Uncork the Andre.
This issue, we also passed the one million mark. We have published one million copies of QSaltLake since day one.
We’ve produced 8,112 pages, and are approaching 10 million words of copy (9,734,443 … well, not including the article I’m writing now).
The number that gives us a great amount of satisfaction is that we have donated $425,012 worth of free and discounted ads to nonprofit organizations in the state. We must be quite generous. Maybe that’s why we have to drink Andre.
While we are not dripping in cash in this venture, we feel rich in many other ways. I am back driving my old Jeep Wrangler with the QSaltLake logo emblazoned on the sides, and I revel in the number of people who give a friendly tap on the horn and wave, or flashing me the latest copy of the paper sitting on the passenger seat.
One of our goals was to help build Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community and we feel we have done our part in doing that, and will continue to do so as long as you’ll have us.We went so far this year as to actually put a mission statement onto paper … well, onto our wall. In 12-inch-high letters, stretching 25 feet long, it reads:
Our mission: to inform, educate and entertain our community with integrity, accuracy and gaiety.
It’s not exactly Robert Frost, but I think it says what we are striving to do within these walls.
This issue is also our annual readers choice awards — the Fabby Awards. Once called Utah’s Best, for which we were threatened a lawsuit, then called Utah’s Most Fabulous, it’s now been shortened to the Fabbys. It has a certain ring to it. Last year, Hope Woodside ran through the Fox 13 offices yelling, “We won a Fabby, we won a Fabby!” She loved the sound of it. She was a genuine joy at the awards ceremony last year. Let’s see if Mark Koelbel is so gracious this year. I hope he wears a low-cut red dress and heels like Hope did. She was stunning! I’m sure he would be, too.
I always learn new places to try when we do this issue. Places I’ve never even heard of will win and award, making me feel out of touch. so off I go. I hope you’ll do the same.
Most, though, will be familiar haunts to many of us. I think our community finds a place where we feel comfortable and we just settle in. It just feels like home when you look across the room and see someone you know, or someone you know is gay.
I hope you enjoy the issue. Our “big one” is coming your way in four weeks — the annual Guide to Pride. I know it’s hard to believe that Pride is just around the corner, as we look out the window at snow and sleet. Let’s pray for a warm, sunny and dry weekend this year.
There, 9,734,988 words. Where’s my mimosa?