Forty-one years ago Phil Price and his friends, collectively the kickers and screamers of the Denver queer community, started a powerful movement.
At that time, OUT FRONT was born. Our modest protest pamphlet, now the second oldest LGBTQ publication in the world, began, “Welcome to OUT FRONT! We hope this first issue will mark the beginning of a new era in quality journalism for all gay people of the Rocky Mountain Region.”
Indeed, it did. For the first time, queers in Denver had access to local and regional gay news. A small listing of local gay, and affirming, organizations graced the pages next to bath house advertisements. Shortly thereafter, and over subsequent decades, the tides began turning for LGBTQ people across the country and here at home.
In the following decades, dozens more tabloids and newspapers arose in their communities. The Phil Price’s of America galvanized the voices of our little community from coast to coast. What we have discovered is that self-expression, and access to it, creates powerful change in our communities.
Of course, these days we take such access for granted. After three years here, I sometimes forget our archives as I walk to the microwave — every issue we’ve ever printed gets lost in the glacial creep of daily tasks and duties to be done. Phone calls to be made. Emails to send. And yet, in the minutiae, I remember that we are making history with every keystroke. But more than that, we are serving our community as we have for so many decades.
Late last year we began to question how we might innovate that spirit of service to serve the next generation of LGBTQ influencers. Where is the next Phil Price lurking? Are they trapped in high school, desperately waiting for graduation day? Have they been discriminated against because their skin was the wrong color or because they couldn’t afford tuition at the best school? Certainly that isn’t justice. If it is true that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, then our job must be to help it along as best we can.
To serve that mission and empower the queers of tomorrow, the OUT FRONT Foundation was born.
This year, we’re launching a new fundraiser — Aurora Pride. The first event will fund our future programming and scholarship program for kids in diverse and marginalized communities. And where better a place to start than the City of Aurora? In Aurora, more than 135 languages are spoken in classrooms. It is one of the most diverse cities in the country.
Just as in 1976, we continue to break down the barriers to access in the hope that tomorrow’s children will create an even better world for their children, and so on.
We hope you will consider attending our first annual Aurora Pride event. If not for yourself, then for the bright young minds who may one day innovate their own equality in ways we have never considered.