Newspapers, both big and small, continue to struggle with dwindling readership and advertising sales. We are lucky at GA Voice. As a local niche publication, we are in a better position than most to weather hard times and to secure the sales we need to pay for newsprint, computers and salaries.
We have much to celebrate this anniversary. GA Voice is growing by the day and recognized frequently for our talent and our product. See the awards sidebar here. Our website visits and views have doubled since last year. Our Facebook page is frequently visited and people engage in conversations there every day.
The LGBT community as a whole has also taken some blows this year. We lost Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse and Poster Hut (yes, some people care about that), bars have closed and funding for organizations has been hard to come by. The economy is still rocky and has taken a toll on a lot of people. As I look back on the past year I am again most impressed by the simple fact that we, like couples celebrating their anniversary, have survived.
Maybe being grateful for something as basic as “survival” is grasping at straws. I don’t think so. One of the definitions of survival is “to continue to function or prosper in spite of…” Well, we have had a slew of “in spite ofs” in the past year and here we are — functioning and prospering. Examples of this can be seen everywhere.
Brushstrokes, Mixx and Charis Books & More will carry on Outwrite’s legacy and bring LGBT authors to town. Faltering organizations like YouthPride will likely be improved or replaced with a new organization thanks to people who care about our young people. It looks like Gilbert’s might take over the old Outwrite space and, hopefully, 10th & Piedmont will once again be a gathering place. And, who knows, maybe someone is planning a new and improved version of Poster Hut right this minute.
What I have found to be true is that adversity always leads to something new, something better than what came before. The process is painful but the result, if I simply survive it, far outweighs the momentary agony. Ultimately, it is the result that I remember. Like childbirth, the pain of a new birth is soon forgotten as you hold that baby in your arms.
At GA Voice, we are in the planning stages of several new births which we will present to you very soon. As we celebrate another year with each other, we salute our community for its resilience and its passion. Let’s continue to find our strength in each other and keep ourselves open to what is new and what is possible. Stay tuned.