From the desk of the Editor
All those stories
Published Thursday, 19-Feb-2009 in issue 1104
“The thing about remembering is that you don’t forget. You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present … That’s the real obsession. All those stories … And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are.
Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”
– Tim O’Brien
I am optimistic and I am grateful. I’ve started and stopped writing this 100 times, using anecdotes and silly stories and sarcasm to illustrate this larger point.
It all seemed such a roundabout way of making a simple, declarative statement: I am optimistic and I am grateful. I hunted for a way to convey this without it seeming like a monumental cliché.
The trouble is, optimism (and moreover, hope) have become so generic, thanks to campaign rhetoric. My outlook seems recycled, or, at the very least, a product of November’s historic election.
I am genuinely optimistic, though; particularly now as I embark on a new journey.
I am no longer the editor of this publication. Where I’m headed next – and what I’ll be doing, for that matter – has yet to be determined; though, I’m thrilled by the possibilities.
Friends of mine know I’ve always had my sights set east on New York City.
In November, I booked a last-minute, red-eye flight to Manhattan to see a friend.
En route from John F. Kennedy airport to Park Slope, Brooklyn, optimism suddenly stirred inside me; the energy was palpable and it was everywhere.
I spent four days in Manhattan wandering the streets; once, I sat in a park outside New York University and listened to a saxophonist wail away nearby. I felt calm.
I was anxious about my flight back to San Diego, unsure how I’d readjust after it had been confirmed that I want nothing more in life than to live and write in New York City.
This team has accomplished a number of things it can be proud of. … I was simply fortunate enough to lead a loyal base of writers, who astounded me with their work ethic from week to week.
When I returned home, though, the anxiety was absent; the impatience that had plagued me suddenly gave way to a quiet reassurance. I felt – and I feel – patient, comfortable, sure of myself and of my path.
Leaving the Gay & Lesbian Times now, I feel a resurgence of that confidence; though it will be a bit sad to leave the magazine.
I’m grateful for my experience; in particular, the opportunity to work with a skilled staff, both full-time and freelance.
The writers who contribute to this publication are one of the magazine’s most tremendous assets. I’ve been blessed with an immensely talented, patient and supportive roster of freelance writers, staffers and interns, some of whom I’m lucky enough now to call friends.
This team has accomplished a number of things it can be proud of. I don’t take credit for any of it, I was simply fortunate enough to lead a loyal base of writers, who astounded me with their work ethic from week to week.
Moving forward, I’ll be lucky if I have an opportunity again to work with a staff as dedicated and selfless as ours has been.
I’m parting ways with this publication, not entirely sure what the next step will be for me, knowing with some confidence, though, that there is an exciting opportunity waiting.
I may err east. I may stay firmly planted here. I stand at the intersection of past and present, as Mr. O’Brien writes; I’ve been blessed to write hundreds of stories, for this magazine and for other publications. And, with luck, I’ll write hundreds more.
I will take this time to redefine myself, and focus all my effort on writing – and storytelling.
After all, Mr. O’Brien says, that’s the real obsession. All those stories.
Joseph Peña
Former Editor
Joseph Peña was Editor of the Gay & Lesbian Times from August 2007 through February 2009.

Send the story “From the desk of the Editor”

Recipient's e-mail: 
Your e-mail: 
Additional note: 
E-mail Story     Print Print Story     Share Bookmark & Share Story
Classifieds Place a Classified Ad Business Directory Real Estate
Contact Advertise About GLT