People We Love 2019: Merryn Johns

Written by | People We Love

Curve Editor Merryn Johns

Photo by Jasmine Hirst

Why do you need to know Curve Editor Merryn Johns?

Merryn Johns Has Come a Long Way, Baby

She’s overseen publications from Australia to North America. Currently, the award-winning journalist is Editor-in-Chief of top lesbian publication Curve Magazine. But you’re also likely to run into her speaking at LGBTQ conventions all over the world. She has a passion for promoting lesbian culture, visibility and equal rights. And in our years of concurrently running in queer circles, we have found Johns to be an engaging storyteller, an insightful surveyor of the media landscape and a truly fabulous human being.

For Merryn Johns, the LGBTQ Community is Work and Home

“I was fairly sure I was gay at seven, growing up in a small bush suburb in Australia. When I came out to my mom, it did not go well, so the LGBTQ community is my home as well as a workplace and a sense of reflected self. The younger generations also feel like my kids, and I take a mentoring role whenever I can,” Johns told Metrosource.

The Work Really Matters to Merryn

And she admits that – in moments of self doubt – it has often been her readers who affirm her dedication to her work. “I meet young women who tell me Curve is the mothership and was their Bible growing up and coming out! And not only women. I was in a hotel lobby recently and a young black cisgender male security guard came up to me and thanked me for putting hip-hop artist Young MA on the cover!”

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Merryn Exists at the Intersection of Identities

Yet she is also aware that as a woman, a journalist and a member of the LGBTQ community, the current political climate threatens her on all fronts. “America is very lucky to have the First Amendment, which of course protects freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and peaceful protest. Without a free press and the right to protest, persecution of minorities becomes easier,” Johns says. “It’s really important to be vigilant and to know our rights. It’s important to stay energized, to find allies, to listen to them, and learn something about them you didn’t know. Our subjective identities are our greatest strength but if they are siloed to the point that we have nothing in common and no united cause, then our community is indeed endangered.”

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Last modified: December 16, 2019