The response to Palette’s debut issue has been overwhelming and shows that a publication of this kind has been long overdue in South Florida.
While we are making strides with the Supreme Court’s pending verdict on marriage rights, we must acknowledge that there are still many battles ahead. Even if equal marriage rights are at last achieved, as a community we still endure hostile school and workplace environments, discrimination for adoptions and in parenting, a lack of gender-neutral public facilities and alarming rates of youth homelessness and suicide. The fight is by no means over.
This is why it’s important that we celebrate our victories. And celebrate we have, at a number of recent events, including Champions of Equality and the Diversity Honors gala this past May. Champions of Equality recognized the efforts of local activists, including Arianna Lint, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen and
Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg at FIU. The Diversity Honors gala — a collaboration between The Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center — honored individuals leading the charge to promote inclusion and acceptance. Among the honorees were Elaine Lancaster, Judy and Dennis Shepard and, the remarkable local profile subject for this issue, Jazz Jennings.
In case you haven’t been paying attention this past year, Jazz is a 14-year-old transgender girl, a creative, an activist and the star of the upcoming TLC docuseries “I Am Jazz.”
Spend 10 minutes listening to her speak, and you almost forget that she is not only trying to get through the difficult teen years, but also going through her own transition. She is one of the reasons I am so in awe of our younger generation. It is admirable to see young kids being out, open and vocal about who they are, especially in a country where childhood bullying has traditionally been accepted as a rite of passage. And because of technology and social media, the torment can now be ubiquitous and unrelenting.
But technology has also been a powerful ally in our struggle. The topic of transgender rights has been trending prominently in social media, thanks in large part to Laverne Cox’s historic Emmy nomination for “Orange is the New Black,” the many awards earned by the Amazon television series “Transparent” and Caitlyn Jenner’s long-overdue introduction to the world.
So own that power. Send your tweets to @palettelgbt or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well. This is your magazine. Use the power for good.