Would it surprise you to know that the summer issue of Butter Mag launching on the first day of Pride was a total coincidence? I simply decided that I wanted my first issue to launch March 1st 2022 (which I also did not realize was the start of women’s history month) and with a quarterly release schedule that meant the summer issue would come out on June 1st. As Bob Ross would say, a happy little accident.

Coming into Pride month this year, I’m reflecting a lot more on how important Butter Mag really is. Yes I know I’m the one who started the whole dang thing, but it’s possible to do something good without knowing the depths of its repercussions.

Typically I try to keep things positive both here and on Butter Mag’s socials, but I’m going to be blunt: it’s been a rough couple of years for the queer community. Particularly for our trans friends. Not that it’s ever necessarily been easy to be trans, but with politicians around the world treating the topic as a hot button issue, it’s thrown the community right into the public eye.

In some ways it’s good, normalizing the existence of trans folks within the public consciousness is a great step forward. Other times, we get companies using trans folks to market to the queer audience, showing half-hearted support, and in the end throwing them under the bus (I’m looking at you Bud Lite).

I said before that I was reflecting on why I think Butter Mag is important. My initial goal was to create mirrors for athletes underrepresented in outdoor sports to see themselves in. But what I missed that is perhaps equally important is the power of stories to humanize. To allow people to connect to those who may be a little different from themselves.

It’s funny that in a world where we are so easily able to connect with others in an instant that we have fallen into a habit of anger instead of empathy. And it’s easier to be pissed at someone when you don’t see them as a person.

I’m rambling now, but what I hope with this issue, previous issues, and all issues of future Butter Mag, is to provide a chance for trans athletes, queer athletes, plus-sized athletes, bipoc athletes, adaptive athletes, and even women still (shout out Harrison Butker) to be humanized in the eyes of an other.

Should be easy, right?

Thank you again to all of the wonderful people who supported me in making this issue of Butter Mag possible. To all the athletes who took the time to share their stories. To my Patreon supporters who keep the lights on and my Adobe subscription running! And to Emma, who both edited AND made sure I got my header photos on our hike together. You’re the best.

Thanks for reading and as always, take care and have fun out there.

<3 Alex.


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