Friends, this is my last issue as editor of qnotes, a position I’ve had the honor and humble privilege to hold now for nearly four-and-a-half years. As you read, my time with the paper has already come to an end. On Jan. 3, we announced my resignation and planned transition to a new position at another organization, an announcement you can read here. My last official day on the job was Jan. 20.

Transitions are always difficult — at least for me. I’m a creature of habit and routine. Uncertainty and the unknown of the future make me uncomfortable. But, looking back over these past years of service to this publication and to this community, my nerves are calmed. We’ve come a long way and I with it.

In the summer of 2007, I received word from a dear friend that my predecessor, David Moore, was stepping down from his role here. My friend encouraged me to apply, though I had my doubts. Never in a million years did I think I’d become your editor.

“I’ll get to meet the publisher,” I told myself. “Perhaps, I’ll get a regular opinion column out of it.”

Weeks later, I sat in qnotes’ office with our publisher, Jim Yarbrough, and associate editor, David Stout. After a bit of conversation and questioning, Jim and David left the room. It felt like an eternity, though I know it was just minutes.

The two came back into the conference room.

“We’d like to offer you the job,” Jim said.

With that, my life changed forever.

I’ve made a multitude of new friends and acquaintances over the past four years. I’ve come to know a great many of our community’s wonderful, tireless and selfless leaders, volunteers and activists. I’ve enjoyed each and every day of my work, its privileges and challenges equally rewarding. Above all, I’ve cherished meeting and conversing with this publication’s loyal readers and supporters. Your stories, thoughts, opinions and experiences have helped to shape this publication’s vision, direction and future and they have added immeasurable value and lessons to my own life.

Together, we have accomplished great things, despite the fate handed down to us. As I began my work here, the print news industry began facing some of its most daunting challenges. LGBT print media, too, were facing perplexing questions. The economic collapse — later dubbed the “Great Recession,” though historians will, no doubt, have the final word on nomenclature — wrought a great deal of damage to our profession. As other mainstream and alternative news publications folded or became mired in the complexities of our new media and economic landscape, qnotes remained steady. We’ve had our struggles, but, through sacrifice and risk-taking change, we have had so many more triumphs.

As I prepare to leave, there are a number of items upon which I hope posterity will take favor. I hope qnotes continues to forge ahead into the future and grow its online presence and readership, now the largest local LGBT news source in the Carolinas. I hope qnotes continues to build on its 25-year legacy as a strong voice for progressive and LGBT news and thought. Finally, I hope the paper comes fully into its own and successfully traverses the still-rocky road that is 21st century newsmaking.

Each of our successes is a testament to this newspaper’s dedicated staff and team of contributing writers and to our community and our readers. I cannot be more grateful and appreciative of my staff’s hard work and of your loyalty.

I leave the paper in more than capable hands and am very much excited to witness the future growth of this publication under new leadership.

But, I will miss you and I will miss the daily work to which I’ve grown accustomed over these past years. The life and times of qnotes have been part-and-parcel of my own life in nearly inextricable ways. Here, I have grown both personally and professionally. Here, I hope I have left a mark and a legacy.

There’s never any easy or comfortable way to say, “Goodbye.” That’s why I refuse to say it. This isn’t a goodbye; to the contrary, it is merely the beginning of a new chapter in this paper’s history and in my life as well.

Here’s to the past. Here’s to the future. It’s been a wild and phenomenal ride. And, I look forward to seeing what tomorrow has to hold for you, for me, for this publication and for our beloved community.

P.S. — I welcome the opportunity to work with each of you in the future in new and exciting ways. I hope you’ll follow me in my new endeavors. You can follow my personal commentary and other writings at my blog, or contact me via email at and by phone at 704-625-6449. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

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