By Liz Massey, April 9, 2015.

If you’ve read my column in this magazine for any length of time, you probably know that I enjoy writing about change. Technological change, social change, political change, personal change ... I love to cover it all because a) it’s usually fascinating and b) I always am assured of having something to write about, since change is ever-present in our world.

It’s estimated that the world will experience the equivalent of 20,000 years worth of change during the 21st century at today’s rate of change. That stupendous pace is generally good for LGBT folks, who are seeing societal attitudes about our rights and dignity evolve at light speed. However, this dizzying rapidity can also be difficult to bear, as certainty can dissolve in an instant and the path forward through change can often seem difficult to discern.

When I think about change, I often focus on what is called by some the inflection point – that moment when the change actually begins. The media often reduces the change process to a series of “before and after” photos, skipping over the story of transformation with all its complexity and messiness. That makes change sound easier than it really is, and renders it far less interesting, too.

When I think about my personal inflection points – which include coming out, becoming involved with my spouse (after a period of chasing after unavailable women), telling off a domineering ex and deciding to take better care of my body about nine years ago – what I see is that in each case, I chose what I needed in the moment over the status quo. To me, that is the key to what kicks off successful change: the willingness to allow something radically different to happen.

With this issue, Echo Magazine stands at an inflection point. Going forward, some aspects of this publication will be very different.

Just as it was when I was managing editor in the early 2000s, Echo will still be relentlessly local, and still relentlessly focused on LGBT trends and issues; but as the needs and interests of the Valley’s queer community have progressed, so too must the publication that covers them.

Technology has influenced this moment in a significant way.

Fifteen years ago, I could tell that Echo’s web presence would eventually be a driving force in how it interacted with readers. Now the magazine is much more than a printed piece – you touch base with us through phoenix.outvoices.us, on our social media channels and via email. Today, Echo isn’t just something that people read – it’s the focal point of an entire network of LGBT people and their straight allies, who together are redefining what it means to be gay in this part of Arizona. It’s not just the staff and freelance contributors talking to you ... it’s all of us talking together and co-creating the future.

And what will that future look like? Well, you have a huge impact upon Echo’s ultimate trajectory. Every advertiser you support, every post you retweet, and every event of ours you attend tells us what kind of community you want to be a part of, and what you need from Echo to support that tribe.

Computer pioneer Alan Kay said that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” It’s impossible to know exactly what lies ahead for Echo as we make these changes, but because of the 25 years of support we’ve received from you, our readers, we know that together we’ll invent an enterprise that delivers the LGBT “news, views, community and culture” you need to thrive.

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Photo courtesy of The Dinah

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Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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Gilles Toucas

Michael Feinstein will commemorate Judy Garland’s life on March 20 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.


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