FROM THE EDITOR
This is history
CONNECT WITH MATTHEW Reach junior editor Matthew Pizzuti by email at matt@outfront online.com, phone (303) 477.4000 ext. 712
As I am writing this, in mere days Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign a bill for civil unions granting same-sex couples the state-level benefits of marriage. With our semi-monthly print schedule at Out Front, it’s hard to keep you up-to-date on all the news happening in Colorado right now. We’re thankful we can publish it instantly online. (Don’t be disappointed we couldn’t say much about it in this issue – you’ll get to see an exciting update in print in Out Front very soon.) When the law takes effect May 1, it will culminate a story that began on Valentine’s Day more than two years ago, February 2011, when Sen. Pat Steadman, only the third openly gay state legislator in Colorado history (now one of eight currently serving), first introduced his civil unions bill. The story would weave through surprises and tragedies, and if it were ever to be told around a single person, that would be Steadman – and Dave. But the story is also about House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, who during this process became Colorado’s first openly gay Speaker and shepherded the bill through tests that had proved insurmountable the first two years. It’s about the 2012 elections, and six additional out LGBT state legislators, four of them new in 2013. It’s about the efforts of dedicated organizations, passionate straight allies, hundreds of activists, thousands of same-sex couples and nationwide political change. It’s a chapter in a longer story that neither begins, nor ends, this year – but which, I believe, is moving at its fastest pace yet. The 1960s and early 1970s stand out as an iconic time in history – no doubt lots of images and events come to mind for you, as they do for us, defining an era of dramatic upheaval. 1969 began what we call our modern LGBT community, through Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement. Of course a whole lot more was happening. But, was it clear in 1969 to all the millions of living Americans which details of their complex lives would rise up as one of the headlining chapters of the 20th Century narrative? Only a minority were actually cultural revolutionaries or activists, and they, though born before the 60s and many still alive today, are much less recognized in association with other decades in which they lived
MARCH 20, 2013 | OUTFRONTONLINE.COM
Publisher’s Wild Card Pick
– think of the 1980s, or the 2000s – decades that in themselves aren’t thought of as sentimentally as the 60s. Though we may not be fully conscious of it, the time we’re living in now is a lot like 1969. The 2008 election was groundbreaking, and 2012 shifted the ground itself; people of color formed the highest proportion of the electorate in American history, and helped re-elect a pro–marriage-equality president. We’re moving from a nation that only slowly cracks its door to let select “outsiders” trickle in through generations of struggle – to one in which outsiders outnumber, and revoke the “insiders’” power to define America in the first place. And like many other periods of dramatic change, this one is marked by economic hardship, in which one form of resistance to progress – economic stagnation and a political process that moves too slow to meet the need – transfers energy to cultural and social shifts. This cover story takes a look at today’s gay counterculture, much of which came of age in the midst of recession, leaps in technology, and everything else that’s happening right now. For the roughly 7 billion human beings on Earth, there are seven billion perspectives on which details define today in the arc of history. But when history is put into words, it’s not so much an account of the way things were or gradually evolved, but a series of times when they changed suddenly and clearly. Wars. Rebellions. Epidemics. Inventions. Movements. Elections. Bills. Even when we talk about our own lives, you’ll find it’s not our daily routines or casual acquaintances – which make up the vast majority of our time – that make the story. We fixate instead on events that threw our routines off course. Births. Deaths. New relationships and breakups. Traumatic experiences. The moment we realized we’re gay. When we came out. Finding true love. And at this place in history, the amazing thing is, events that changed a nation and the things that shook up our personal worlds – the recession, the first presidential endorsement of same-sex marriage, marriage equality in nine states and counting, the beginning of civil unions in Colorado – right now, are one in the same. This is history, and the moments we’re living now, right here, will be part of what defines our whole lives. ]
Matthew Pizzuti Junior Editor
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The other weekend, my partner JC and I braved the not-sotreacherous winter blizzard to go see OZ the Great and Powerful. I’ve gotta say I started out skeptical. After all, Dorothy is an icon to the sisterhood, and even though we had to forgo the ruby slippers, we did get a glimpse of a cowardly lion, the makings of a scarecrow, and I’m sure there will be heated debate about the man of tin, frozen rock solid. My hat is off to Disney and I say, what a job well done – it was wickedly entertaining! I will leave you with this thought: Defiance seems to be a common theme among green witches, just saying. – Jerry Cunningham, publisher
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR: Josh Olsen is a Denver photographer who explores the gay subculture of the unconventional men that he interacts with. Olsen continues to redefine the idea of masculinity through the creative approach of documentary-style photography. His primary subject is the male form and his technique incorporates light, mood and environment into his photography. Olsen records people in his day-to-day life: a gang of undisputed exhibitionists. Follow Josh Olsen’s work on his website, Otterj.com. See Olsen’s photos on the cover of this issue and inside on pages 16-19.
COVER STORY: Young, Gay and Broke: gay men who live outside the margins of traditional society.