February is LGBT history month (yes, I know – I only just found out too) and my heart is filled with joy because for the first time ever I’m actually clued up. I also feel more a part of the queer community than I’ve ever felt before. I can’t really explain why, but it is what it is and I’m glad, because being part of this community is such a gift.

It might not seem like it, certainly not when it feels like the whole world is against you, or when there’s this invisible wall between your loved ones and yourself, which somehow seems to scramble all communications. It feels like more of a burden when strangers think they have the liberty to tell you how to live, or when in the eyes of the law you are a second-class citizen.

Still, as I’m sat in my office typing up this editorial (so meta), all I can feel is pride – which I guess is appropriate. I feel proud of being part of a community of such beautiful, kind, strong people. I feel proud of how many of you responded to our call for contributions, how many of you opened up, shared your experiences, the good and the bad; how many of you put yourselves out there and whispered “I’m here. We’re all here. For each other.”

Though I am concerned that many readers might pick this up and just ‘not get it’, I also don’t really care. Because as long as somebody out there gets to see it and for a moment doesn’t feel alone, it was worth it, even if all 2000 copies end up in the trash.

No matter how you feel about this issue though, just have an open mind. There’s some really beautiful, raw content here this week. It could help you understand your friends, your family, and even yourself. And when you’re done, go give someone you love a hug.