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Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter


Advocate Editor in Chief Jon Barrett gives a tour of the latest issue.

Spring has always been my favorite season. That's not to say that it doesn't have plenty of competition: Summer, when I'm lucky, means time with friends on Fire Island; in autumn I get to drag my favorite sweaters out of storage; and winter always brings with it Christmas and birthday presents.

But so far, none of that can compare to spring's promise of renewal . Still, I've always tried to keep my enthusiasm for the season under wraps because anything I'd want to say -- "OMG, the tulips on Michigan Avenue are to die for!" -- just seemed too saccharin.

Something's different this year, though -- as shown by the fact that I could type the words spring's promise of renewal without holding my nose. I was on the telephone several times with Michael Joseph Gross while he was in Washington, D.C., to report this month's cover story (" Great Expectations "), and each conversation left me more excited than the last. After hanging up, I found that my exchanges with other friends were filled with talking points that just months earlier I would have dismissed as trite platitudes: Change really is upon us! It's the dawn of a new day! I really do think this president has our best interests in mind! I'll admit that I think in trite platitudes from time to time, but now I'm not afraid to share them.

I was similarly filled with optimism in February when I flew to Wyoming to visit my friend Judy Shepard. Almost immediately after landing in Casper, I heard that the state house of representatives -- after hours of emotional testimony -- had just killed a bill that would have amended the state constitution to ban marriage equality. State representative Pat Childers, a Republican from Cody, summed up what I imagined was the prevailing sentiment on the floor that day. "Folks, till my dying breath there isn't anybody in this country who could say that [my lesbian daughter] is a terrible person, or someone that needs to have their rights restricted." Later that night it became clear that Judy had a touch of spring fever too. "You can't understand how big this is," she said about the house vote as we shared fried mushrooms and beer at Outback Steakhouse. "I mean, this is Wyoming!"

So as the cherry blossoms bloom in Washington and the snow melts in Wyoming, my heart and head are more hopeful than ever. Because, if the news out of D.C. and Cheyenne are the gay rights groundhogs that I hope they are, we're in for one doozy of a spring.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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