When I get writer’s block, I often go to my friends on Facebook to ask them what I should write about. Here are just a handful of their thoughts, and my responses.
Jason S. would like to see as a topic, everything the Trump Administration did since Jan. 1 that detrimentally affects our lives.
Mark: The list is too long for one column, and this was the No. 1 topic requested by readers.
Kathy H. suggests maybe mentioning new attacks against gays in Chechnya, and our State Department saying nothing.
Mark: Kathy, a great idea since many in our country aren’t aware of how difficult it is in other areas of the world to simply be LGBT. In parts of Africa and the Middle East, you could be killed or imprisoned. And, in Eastern Europe, many countries have stopped Gay Pride.
Michael O. asks, how about a column on the use of the word queer. Not all of us embrace it.
Mark: I’ve done several columns on the words we’ve used in our community to describe ourselves. I believe each of us must decide how we personally wish to be “labeled” or not, and others need to respect those personal choices. The word “queer” seems to be generational, and I must admit it amuses me when I see an older person using it … most times uncomfortably.
Thomas F. asks, what are we losing as gay bars are supplanted by pick up/dating apps?
Mark: The world changes and good business owners change with the times. But, there will always be people who wish to meet in places that represent community, so those bars will be around for a long time.
Melissa J. says she just read we have already experienced the first trans murder of 2019. Maybe, a piece on ongoing violence against trans people?
Mark: In 2018, there was no way to avoid discussing this issue, and in 2019 we need to redouble our efforts to achieve some form of safety for our trans sisters and brothers.
Barbara C. requests something joyful — start the new year on a positive vibe.
Mark: Ah, easy, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. So prepare yourself and be proud. Say it loud, “I’m Out and I’m Proud!”
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at https://twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.