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mattjokeLaughter is important in our culture — blending seamlessly and inseparably into everything we do. From campy drag shows to our characteristic raunchy jokes and the lightheartedness and ease with which we talk about sex, LGBT culture is one that steps out in front of the world and asks: why so serious?

I think that humor is one of the ways we sort out the cognitive dissonance we live with. We’re often at odds with the religious, cultural and sexual mores and expectations of gender that we grew up in — and we still encounter those societal expectations and sometimes we still believe in them to some extent. Because we are LGBT we have no choice but to defy those expectations, so our humor has a defiant streak as well. And because ideals of “purity,” be they religious, sexual or otherwise, are what’s most commonly used to oppress LGBT people, we don’t have much use for “purity” in our own culture. Our humor is our way of acknowledging and accepting our shared experience: as LGBT people, we are all deviants in the eyes of the old (and changing) world.

Out Front’s archives show that every few years, the editorial staff has been bold enough to come out with a comedy issue — an entire issue as a parody of what you’d typically see in Out Front. I love the audacity, the joy and the humility of being able to poke fun of ourselves that way, along with the opportunity to get out of the routine and have a little fun. When our production coordinator Rob Barger came up with the idea and started pushing for us to do a parody issue again this year (without even realizing, at the time, that it had been done before), it didn’t take much convincing. We scheduled it for the second March issue since this issue will be on the stands on April Fools’ Day. I think it will turn out to be one of the most memorable issues we’ve done.

I’ll mention that our entire Focus section of news features and opinion, as well as our entire events calendar in the Social section, are not parodies — we wanted to make the most of this issue’s novelty without leaving our readers missing on things that they rely on Out Front for. And, yes, our cover story entails actual interviews with three real funny people in the local LGBT community.

But as for everything else, enjoy! We hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we had putting it together.