Mark, everything you said in your thank-you letter about the newspaper awards and your achievements is true. You did guide us through a plague and taught us how not to get it. You reported everything and anything that connected people as we mobilized to care for some, educate and console others and more. You also kept us informed about current events and politics in the gay community beyond the local area. You chronicled gay life week by week for all these years and now we have a history. You are a man with a mission who continually succeeds and continually outdoes himself. Readers may see it a different way.
You are a beacon of legitimacy in a life that doesn’t always give us integrity to grab onto as each of us comes out. Every word you print is an opportunity to inspire readers to do anything they thought was needed to make this a better community. So many people have done so many things to bring us to the place we’re at today. I remember when we were scoffed at by most; now we have politicians on our side and the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledging us as equal. You have always given us a sense that we are part of something bigger and that we weren’t alone in this. You give us an opportunity to connect every talent our great community has with like minds and those who appreciate each and every talent our community members present. You validate us by including opportunities for community members to connect commercially and personally to explore and define our sexual personality and interests. You make us stronger by building a bridge between gay consumers and the gay and heterosexual business community. And you give us visibility, distributing the PGN in places that not just rainbow people frequent.
Since 1986, I have facilitated the weekly Gay Men’s Coming Out Group that now meets at the Pride Center of New Jersey. Every time we welcome a newcomer, it gives me great pride to present them with a recent copy of the PGN. Within it, they will find things to do, meet friends, find love, find a therapist and more; even if they keep it under their mattress just for now.
Most importantly, you continue to bring us something that we don’t have to translate from heterosexual to gay (GLBTIQQAA). It’s all about us and I am proud to show the PGN to straight people in my world. You give us legitimacy. Don’t be surprised that you’re winning awards. You’ve earned them. You’re our conduit. I’m sure many who read this will agree. Thank you. — Gary Pfeffer Highland Park, N.J.