From the Editor

Photo by REACH-A-Child

It’s our first Community and Culture issue, which is the theme that best represents the essence of Madison Essentials. It’s about who we are and where we live.

Diversity of population has been a hot topic this year, and I suspect will continue to be for some time. It surprises me because it seems that the greatness of any community is the result of all those who make it up. I’m fascinated by our differences and relish in the opportunity to learn about and from them. I believe it also helps me to be a better person for myself and everyone around me.

I’ve lived in the Greater Madison area all my life, and I think it’s the best. I used to regularly travel throughout the United States and noticed that, upon each return, I felt like I was home. I used to think I’d live in different cities, but while I enjoyed my travel adventures, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Madison is where I’m meant to be.

While there’s always a legitimate argument as to exactly how diverse any community is and in what way, I’ve always been fortunate to find myself in positions where I can be exposed to it. And those I interact with, be they Madison residents or visitors, express their appreciation for it as well. This is why I’m shocked when I learn of actions of intolerants. How can it happen here?

One example of negative action relates to another local publication which we have always felt a connection with—Our Lives Magazine. When I talk with the publisher, we appreciate our similar business philosophies. We share in the idea that by doing business in a conscientious manner for all involved (clients, subjects, and readers) it will lead to our businesses being successful. That doing good business creates good business.

It brings me great sadness when I learn of incidents where people show disrespect to a publication simply because it represents the LGBT and Allied community. There has been ongoing vandalism at distribution points, and someone threw a rock through the front office door window. Their office isn’t readily apparent, so someone had to make a concerted effort to express this violence. And it is violence.

Actions that are made simply because of people’s differences are disturbing and inexplicable. Perhaps I’ve been fortunate not to have had similar experiences or I’ve just been oblivious to them. Whatever it has been, this is now. And I hope that in this and all issues of Madison Essentials we not only learn about our differences, but we celebrate them. It’s who we are and where we live.

On an additional community note, we would be remiss if we didn’t continue to send our thoughts and support to all in Sun Prairie. #SunPrairieStrong

Amy Johnson