I think the thing I’ll miss the most about the printed version of Xtra is the masthead. Seeing my name included alongside so many talented writers and artists in the community made me aware of myself as part of a continuum of queer tradition that began decades ago and will extend well beyond my own life. These individuals had come together to tell a story about our experiences in this moment, much like the groups that had preceded us and the groups that will follow. And there, in print, our names stood beside each other as a testament to a declared identity.
This is our community, and these are our stories.
I fully intend to continue to contribute work to Daily Xtra.com, and I recognize that online content is the future of journalism. Still, I can’t help but feel like we’ll have to work that much harder to maintain a sense of community and tradition in an online vacuum — where stories are isolated and impermanent, where the competition for attention is greater, and where locality matters less. What was once a clearly defined body politic is now something ephemeral and indistinct, existing within a much larger organism. And that organism is indifferent to our existence, and so we must fight to remain relevant.
I am confident that the desire to share our community’s stories will continue, even as the platforms we use to tell those stories change. And I sincerely hope that we will continue to nurture and celebrate our unique voices in the face of a future where social and economic pressures will encourage uniformity.
Acceptance will not mean invisibility.