I have been baking all day. You need a pretty big cake to celebrate 1000 issues.

My love affair with Sydney Star Observer started even before I started to write for them. To have a gay and lesbian paper, free for all, helped me identify myself in the community. When I felt alone in a world that was more comfortable with themselves than I was, I would dive into the paper and become OK. Pictures of drag queens and semi-naked boys and girls would leap out, giving me comfort.

I would leaf through the pages, secretly hoping someone would ask what I was reading, but being in a gay café, they were all reading the same thing. To this day, I find myself buried in a paper from time to time, at the very same café — the difference is, now I’m in it.

I have written for the Star for almost five years and have enjoyed every minute of my experience. I remember my first day clearly, it was the day after Mardi Gras or Sleaze Ball…… Well, it was a party of sorts and I had been asked many times if I was up for the challenge of submitting my article the day after. The trouper I am, it was a big “Count me in”.

As my PC had died the week before, I trotted into the office, through the haze of the previous night’s party and was met by then journalist Stacy Farrar (who later became the editor). I punched at the keys for what felt like an eternity. I finally produced half a story. Seeing I was struggling, Stacy soon had a coffee for me and we chatted till I would collect my thoughts and off I was again.

From that day onwards I knew the Star wasn’t just a newspaper, but a family. When you enter the office, you are met with hellos from every room, whether it’s a booming “YOUNG LADY” from Gary’s office or a more ladylike “Hello darling” from wherever Jo would be perched.

And if I take my puppy up, that’s an official stop work sign, and he is stunned by the attention he receives, soon trotting around the offices like he owns the place.

Such a monumental feat, 1000 issues. So many topics, so many controversies, so many pictures, so many escorts in the back. I’m proud to be part of the Sydney Star Observer family.

Whether you love us or hate us, you can be assured we will be there. Happy 1000th issue, SSO.

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