Baltimore Gay Life February 2013
This month, we present our first annual Gay Life BProud Awards, recognizing our readers' favorite places to live, work, and play in Baltimore. Also included is a cover story on artist Jeffrey Kent, details on the One Billion Rising celebration, and interviews with Flashdance's Jakob Karr and Strand Theater Company's Artistic Director Rain Pryor.
February 2013 BaltimoreGayLife.com GAYLIFE Read it. Live it. Love it. ONE BILLION RISING Preach! New Exhibit by Local Artist Jeffrey Kent Critiques Anti-Marriage Equality Sentiment AN INTERVIEW WITH FLASHDANCE 'S JAKOB KARR GREAT SAGE VEGAN DINING THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS CELEBRATION JOINS VAGINA MONOLOGUES ON FEB.14 ALSO INSIDE... BProud Awards 2013 Winners PAGE 2 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE IN THIS GAY LIFE FEBRUARY 2013 LOCAL LIFE 7 Local Artist Preaches By Querin Brown 8 V-Day: One Billion Rising By Anne Kotleba 9 Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality HIGH LIFE 10 Vegan Dining at Great Sage By John Cullen with Marty Shayt 11 Bubbly Black Girl By Frankie Kujawa BProud Awards Gallery Winner Metro Gallery Photo by Josh Novel 12 Jakob Karr Returns in Flashdance By Frankie Kujawa 14 FIRST ANNUAL LGBT COMMUNITY AWARDS Dozens of local establishments and organizations were nominated to determine what we’re most Proud of in Baltimore. Check out our first annual batch of winners and runners-up in 29 categories. Gay Life BProud Awards 2013 My Big Fat Gay Wedding By Frankie Kujawa REAL LIFE 18 National & International News By Rachel Roth BETTER LIFE 17 Outstanding Lives 20 Queer Health: Anal Papilloma By Jill Crank In another first, Gay Life’s new monthly feature spotlights outstanding local figures who not only make us Proud, but also improve our community year-round. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on January 1, 2013 Photo by Mark Dennis SOCIAL LIFE 21 BSCENE: Westboro Baptist Counter-Protest Photos by Bill Hughes 22 Datebook By Rachel Roth BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 5 EDITOR’S LIFE Recognition February is Black History Month, a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African-Americans. This recognition is especially important in Baltimore, which is not only a city whose history was shaped by the black community, but also one that continues to improve as a result of black individuals today. This issue highlights African-American individuals who are continuing to make Baltimore a better place. You can also find some great events spotlighted in this month’s calendar (p. 22). This month also brings us Valentine’s Day, and more importantly V-Day, the global movement to end violence against girls and women. Learn about how this Feb. 14 will mark the largest day of action through the global event, One Billion Rising, which recognizes that one billion women and girls will face violence during their lives (p. 8). This month Gay Life is introducing two new efforts to recognize what makes us proud in Baltimore. This issue holds the results of our first annual BProud Awards (p. 14), where readers and supporters tell us what places, services, and groups make them BProud. We heard from hundreds of you who gave your voice to these awards. We also got feedback about how to improve and expand the Awards next year. We look forward to thanking all of our nominees, and especially our winners, for making Baltimore something to be proud of, and making our everyday lives that much better. We’re also introducing a new monthly feature— Outstanding Lives (p. 17). Here we will regularly spotlight the individuals who are making Baltimore a better place for the LGBTQ community and beyond. We want to hear from you! Send us suggestions at editor@ baltimoregaylife.com. MAGGIE BEETZ Editor ON THE COVER Local artist Jeffrey Kent will present his upcoming exhibition, Preach! New Works by Jeffrey Kent, at the Bearman Community Art Gallery at the Frederick Douglass–Isaac Myers Maritime Park. Photo by RaRah. FACEBOOK.COM/GLCCB • TWITTER.COM/GLCCB • YOUTUBE.COM/ THEGLCCB Maggie Beetz, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org M. Cory Burgess, Art Director email@example.com Sabre Chase, Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org National Advertising Rep. Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863 Marty Shayt, Senior Volunteer Contributors Querin Brown, Jill Crank, John Cullen, Photographers Bill Hughes, Jay W. Magazine Committee Sharon Brackett, John Cullen, Daniel McEvily, Doug Rose, Emily Salinas, Marty Shayt, Gary Wolnitzek Anne Kotleba, Frankie Kujawa, Rachel Roth, Marty Shayt GAYLIFE Read it. Live it. Love it. 241 W. Chase Street Baltimore, MD 21201 410.777.8145 Phone 410.777.8135 Fax email@example.com www.baltimoregaylife.com Gay Life is a publication of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB). Gay Life is published monthly in Baltimore, Md., with distribution throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Gay Life is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Gay Life or its publisher. PAGE 6 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE LOCAL LIFE ART Local Artist's New Series Critiques Anti-Marriage Equality Sentiment BY QUERIN BROWN People come from far and wide to visit the historic Lexington Market, but they might not know the unsuspecting treasure that is quietly tucked just a block away. A careful stroll across the Light Rail tracks and a brief descent to the sub-basement of a stylish Howard Street building, and you will find 13 years of expressive, eclectic creations, created by veteran artist, Jeffrey Kent. A knock on the door, a kind handshake, an espresso, and our interview leads to a tour of the studio and a sneak peek of Kent’s upcoming exhibition, Preach! New Works by Jeffrey Kent. A Boston native, Kent left his job as a car salesman some 13 years ago and has never looked back. Named the “Best Visual Artist” (2008, Baltimore City Paper), Kent is the founder of the Sub-Basement Artist Studios, a 12,000 square foot underground artist studio where he gives back by mentoring and allowing new and mid-career artists to use the space. He was also a contributing artist to an exhibition titled Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe: The Contemporary Response, a Walters Museum and Myrtis Galerie collaboration, on display last month. The vision for Jeffrey’s most recent series, Preach!, was sparked shortly after the 2008 presidential election. Kent was inspired by stories of the African-American voting statistics for California’s Proposition 8, a measure that banned gay marriage in the Golden State. A controversial dialogue within the African-American community ensued, with many arguing that proponents of the measure were contributing to blocking the same types of rights that their ancestors have spent centuries fighting for. Kent addresses some of these conversations with thought-provoking pieces that illustrate parallels between the civil rights movement and the ongoing debate over marriage equality in the United States. Reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeffrey Kent uses brash colors, gravity defying drips (they flow up the painting) and inverted and backwards messages to “grasp the observers’ attention, persuading them to slow down and think,” he explained. The reversed messages are also expressive of some of Kent’s personal frustrations growing up with dyslexia. With titles such as “Justice, Peace, and Genuine Respect for All People,” this color popping assemblage of art expresses Kent’s belief that “people are people first, not gay or black and that all people should have the same rights,” he told Gay Life. “I have grown past some of my own judgments while studying people who are in judgment of others.” He defines “creativity as nourishment and art as a blend of ideas for others to experience.” And with this collection, Kent exemplifies Baltimore’s best in creativity, art, and contemporary artistry. Sponsored by the Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Preach! will be exhibited at the Frederick Douglass– Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in the Herbert Bearman Art Gallery. PREACH! NEW WORKS BY JEFFREY KENT February 7–March 31 Frederick Douglass–Isaac Myers Maritime Park, Bearman Gallery 1417 Thames St. T JeffreyKentArt.com T MICA.edu BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM Photos by RaRah. FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 7 LOCAL LIFE Evan Garofalo (Baltimore NOW One Billion Rising Task Force Co-Chair) and Mahnoor Ahmed (MICA’s Assistant Director of Diversity and Intercultural Relations) Baltimore Joins Global Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls BY ANNE KOTLEBA, BALTIMORE NOW ONE BILLION RISING TASK FORCE CO-CHAIR On Feb. 14, Baltimore will join activists around the world for One Billion Rising, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Artist and activist Eve Ensler began One Billion Rising based on the staggering statistic that one out of every three women is beaten or raped during her lifetime. On a global scale, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls who face violence in their lifetimes. Baltimore will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world to express outrage, demand change, strike, dance, rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, and demand an end at last to violence against women. The One Billion Rising Baltimore Task Force believes that through dance, art action, and spoken word, individuals can join together to build a stronger community and Baltimore will RISE together! For the local event, Baltimore NOW (National Organization for Women) is working in collaboration with V-Day at Maryland Institute College of Art. MICA will host performances of The Vagina Monologues Feb. 14-16. Mahnoor Ahmed, MICA’s Assistant Director of Diversity and Intercultural Rela- tions, is excited to add a One Billion Rising event following the first performance. “After the performance, everyone will be able to continue a One Billion Rising celebration at MICA’s Brown Center,” said Ahmed. “We will have an open mic where the cast will share personal monologues they’ve written and we hope others will get up and share as well.” An art exhibition of student, staff, and faculty work will be showcased throughout the first floor of the Brown Center. All proceeds from MICA V-Day events benefit Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland. Student Director Rebecca Tishman is encouraging the cast and everyone involved to vocalize why they are rising. “I am rising because I don’t want to be called worthless anymore,” said Tishman. Another cast member stated that she is rising “because I want to feel safe.” Additionally, an art action is taking place on Feb. 14 courtesy of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. This Baltimore-based team of art activists gained much attention during FORCE’s Pink Loves Consent campaign in which they spoofed Victoria’s Secret panty line and created their own messages of consent. Across the internet, underwear with ‘Ask First’ and ‘NO means NO’ challenged current Victoria’s Secret panty messages like ‘Sure Thing.’ On Valentine’s Day, FORCE will unveil its latest action. They will create a public memorial for survivors and victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape. The words “I can’t forget what happened but no one else remembers” will be floated on the reflecting pool of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “The statement, written by a survivor, reflects the isolating and traumatic experience of living with sexual violence,” said Hannah Brancato, who organized the event with Rebecca Nagle. FORCE explained that the temporary testament is a public call to create a permanent national monument to honor survivors. Brancato added, “Memorials create a platform for individuals and communities to grieve trauma. When our country undergoes a traumatic event, like a natural disaster or a war, memorials serve as a focal point for people to understand violent and alienating experiences.” According to FORCE, “Our country has no public space for survivors to heal. There is no public process for survivors to rebuild a connection to their community that has been devastated by the violence and violation of rape.” Calls to action like FORCE and V-Day can further much needed conversations to demand an end to violence against women everywhere. On Feb. 14, Baltimore will rise. We will rise for our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. And we will rise for ourselves. We won’t stop because every single person has the right to live without fear. THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES & ONE BILLION RISING CELEBRATION February 14 Performance at 8pm • $5-10 Celebration at 10:15 pm MICA’s Brown Center 1301 West Mount Royal Ave. W 443.552.1659 T MICA.edu E firstname.lastname@example.org Join the cast and crew of MICA’s The Vagina Monologues as well as community members and partners for a night of dancing, rising, and striking. There will be performances, guest speakers, an art opening, an open mic, and more. All are welcome! T BaltimoreRising.tumblr.com T Facebook: Baltimore NOW T Twitter: @BaltNOW E BaltNOW99@gmail.com ONE BILLION RISING T UpsettingRapeCulture.com T Facebook: UpsettingRapeCulture E email@example.com FORCE: UPSETTING RAPE CULTURE PAGE 8 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE LOCAL LIFE Organizations Come Together to Pursue Trans Equality in Maryland Seventeen local, state, and national organizations have joined with individual activists to form the Maryland Coalition for Trans* Equality (MTCE), in the most broadly based effort the state has ever seen for trans*rights. The formation of the coalition represents the fruition of a year of intensive outreach, organizing, listening, and discussion. MCTE’s mission is to advance equal rights for transgender, transsexual, and gender nonconforming (trans*) people in Maryland through shared leadership, collaborative decision making processes, and resources. Over the spring and summer of 2012, MCTE held several listening sessions across the state. Through these sessions MCTE asked community members to share their vision of progress. Attendees articulated clear demand for a broader coalition to do this work. Acting on that directive MCTE has brought together numerous organizations working for equality and justice in Maryland. “Equality Maryland embraces doing this vital work in a coalition that has trans individuals at the center of decision making. We witnessed the power of coalition winning and preserving marriage equality and we are confident this model will succeed for trans equality,” commented Equality Maryland’s Executive Director, Carrie Evans. “For too long trans people of color, who disproportionately experience discrimination and harassment, have been on the sidelines of the trans equality movement. With our inclusion in MCTE the needs of trans people of color will be recognized, heard, and addressed,” commented Vann Micheal Millhouse, community board of directors, MD/DC State representative, BlackTransmen, Inc. Linda Mahoney, president of Maryland NOW affirmed, “The National Organization for Women is committed to fighting discrimination in all of its forms. This includes discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Our alliance with MCTE is one way we will continue to work to ensure transgender people in Maryland can live their lives with dignity and security.” Donna Cartwright, secretary of the Baltimore Washington Chapter of Pride At Work said, “Pride At Work has worked for many years in Maryland to achieve transequality and we are happy to work with all of these organizations to achieve legal equality for trans Marylanders.” T MDTransEquality.org MD COALITION FOR TRANS* EQUALITY BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 9 HIGH LIFE DINING OUT Great Sage: Vegan Dining for Everyone BY JOHN CULLEN WITH MARTY SHAYT We started the new year with a visit to the vegan Great Sage restaurant in Clarksville, and we were wowed by a gourmet vegan dining experience unlike anything we’ve encountered. While some other vegan dining options we tried have had a very casual collegiate feel (One World Café, Golden West Café) or a 1960s counter-culture feel (Land of Kush, Yabba Pot), Great Sage’s upscale dining room immediately impressed us with its sophisticated colors, lighting, and eye-catching art surrounding 20 polished butcher block-topped tables. Great Sage’s menu quickly raised our consciousness about what gourmet plantbased dining options can be. Two homemade soup options ($4.50) immediately got Marty’s attention. A half dozen starters with items like black bean and roasted corn quesadilla and makizushi (raw carrot, red cabbage, cucumber, ginger with spicy peanut sauce wrapped in squash) got John and our guest Rita’s attention. We found a half dozen salads ($9-12) and eight main courses ($15-18) including hearts of palm, faux crab cakes, seitan au poivre, and roasted butternut squash, eggplant, and spinach in a robust herbed red wine tomato sauce tossed with rigatoni and topped with cashew cheese. Plus at lunch, there are a half dozen sandwiches and wraps ($10-13). All of this made deciding what to order delightfully difficult! Marty started with pea and garlic soup while John and Rita shared a hummus platter. For his main course, Marty had the green lentil and pumpkin burger. John ordered the autumn chili (though he was sorely tempted by a vegan ruben with marinated, baked spiced tempeh and faux parmesan cheese) while Rita went for the apples and baby spinach salad. Marty’s soup had a rich, creamy texture, which he liked, and he used some pieces of French bread to mop up his bowl. The hummus platter surpassed our expectations with a large container of delicious toasty brown garlic hummus, awesomely PAGE 10 FEBRUARY 2013 good olive tapenade, a pile of toasted naan bread, lightly sautéed artichokes and red onion along with cucumber, carrot, and celery sticks. This generous serving could have functioned as an entrée or as an appetizer easily shared by four. Marty’s pumpkin seed crusted vegetable burger with green lentils, pumpkin, quinoa, green cabbage, caramelized onion, and grated carrots topped with mustard greens and garlic aioli on a Kaiser roll and accompanied by homemade sweet potato chips easily won his “Thumbs Up!” Rita’s salad with roasted apples and butternut squash on baby spinach with a smoky maple vinaigrette and topped by a mound of crispy fried onions tasted (and looked!) wonderful and earned another “Thumbs Up.” John’s chili—with roasted sweet potato and garlic, black and red beans, onions, tomatoes, and peppers—was served with toasted quinoa and a big hunk of delicious cornbread. It was both satisfying and tasty and earned yet another “Thumbs Up!” (FYI, don’t bother asking for butter for the cornbread in a vegan restaurant! <Wink>) Service was attentive; water glasses were refilled without asking and requests were filled quickly. A dessert menu (most $7) offered choices that we found hard to resist. After considerable pondering, John and Marty decided to share an apple brown betty while Rita had to try the grilled pumpkin pie. The brown betty arrived in an earthenware crock with cinnamon scented pieces of apple under a walnut and oats crust and topped with a scoop of coconut faux ice cream. Mmmmmm! The pumpkin pie—with a cinnamon cookie crust and finished with dribbles of salted caramel sauce—looked and tasted so much better than its supermarket equivalent. John managed to get a small taste and that one spoonful was enough to explain the blissful look that emerged on Rita’s face. Great Sage’s vegan desserts wildly exceeded our expectations and earned yet more “Thumbs Up!” kudos from us. Contrary to some of our initial fears about trying another vegan restaurant, Great Sage proved that vegan dining can provide friendly, attentive service in a visually interesting, upscale space, with plantbased cuisine that is totally satisfying. Worth the drive? Definitely! And while you’re there be sure to walk over to the wonderful organic supermarket, Roots. 5809 Clarksville Square Dr. (Clarksville) W 443.535.9400 T GreatSage.com Full Bar • Vegan • Free Parking Lunch & dinner Tues–Sat, 11:30am–10pm Live music Thurs evenings Sunday Brunch 10am–3pm Email DiningOut@BaltimoreGayLife.com and find all prior reviews at BaltimoreGayLife-DiningOut.info. GREAT SAGE GAY LIFE MAGAZINE HIGH LIFE ON STAGE RAIN PRYOR TALKS TO GL ABOUT THE STRAND THEATRE’S LATEST WOMEN-CENTRIC SHOW BY FRANKIE KUJAWA While February is usually the month we devote to love, this month turn that love around and shower it on yourself, baby! This is one of the many messages that can be found in The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, playing Feb. 7-23 at The Strand Theater. The acclaimed musical, written by Kirsten Childs in 1995, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a young girl struggling to embrace her color while trying to make it to stardom in the dance world. The story also delves into how AfricanAmerican women have been defined by the events and social revolutions that took place during the latter half of the twentieth century. This is all done through the cheerful eyes of Viveca, the show’s protagonist and heroine. “It is kind of hard to describe the ‘meaning’ of the show,” said Bubbly Director Ryan Haase. “I think audience members will leave the theater each night with a wide array of different messages or lessons. Bubbly Black Girl Explores Identity & Community Strand Theater Company's Artistic Director Rain Pryor Photo by Peter Zimmerman In a broad sense, I guess the show is about finding yourself. Some people do this at a very young age; however most people are like Viveca and spend a good chunk of their life searching for themselves.” Haase, who is also the current artistic director of the StillPointe Theatre Initiative, promises an entertaining performance. “We have an amazing production team and an awesome musical director, Stacey Antoine, and a fierce orchestra pit. Aesthetically, the show will excite a lot of audience members,” said Hasse. “The concept is witty, nostalgic, and playful. People will not regret seeing this slice of musical theater genius. Kirsten Childs, the writer, was far ahead of her time when this show was originally conceived. The show is beyond relatable, and as a homosexual, I too know and understand that ‘the quest for fate’ is sometimes bumpy. I hope this show inspires people to take the next step in their life.” Strand Theater Company Artistic “I had to search for my own self during a time the world said I wasn’t enough black or white,” said Pryor. “As I grew up, I found out who I was, and then I wrote my own show about it.” BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM Director Rain Pryor also hopes audiences walk away with “a feeling that the demographic likeness is being reflected on stage. Bubbly is about self analysis and accepting who you are; Baltimore is all about finding itself in terms of identity and community.” As self-identity is one of the major themes of this performance, many in the LGBT community can connect to the feeling of being torn between two worlds. When asked if she thought it was possible to equally balance two separate worlds into one, Pryor said, “This is a short answer for me. When we can see each other as humans and not divided by race, religion, and gender, then we can be one.” Hasse added, “We are still a very young country and a lot of the amazing movements that we have been privy to, occurred not very long ago. We, as an American culture, are still learning acceptance. This show teaches how to accept yourself and how to accept others. [It’s] theme is universal.” Pryor, who has made her indelible mark on the Baltimore theater scene, marks her first year anniversary as the Strand’s artistic director this month. “Many have very high expectations of me, and I have been like ‘this is going to take time,’” she said. “We are building a new direction, and there will be hits and misses. We are continuing to build recognition for the Strand to keep bringing interesting old and new works and even workshops. We need to expand our minds and the community.” Like Bubby’s Viveca, Pryor also had to seek out her own identity between two different worlds. “I had to search for my own self during a time the world said I wasn’t enough black or white,” said Pryor. “As I grew up, I found out who I was, and then I wrote my own show about it.” She will also premiere her own rhythmic play, Colorism, at the Strand in mid-April. The performance will examine the struggle of African-American women of varying skin hues. Pryor believes this is still a prevalent issue for women of color within the African-American community. “We haven’t [yet] uncovered the truth about our racial issues within the community,” she said. “There’s a history we really don’t want to discuss. Colorism is about going straight to the point and showing you, ‘Look I know how you think, now let’s heal this.’” Pryor added, “I’m also looking to tour it in schools through the nonprofit I founded, Baltimore Theatreworks.” Overall, both Pryor and Haase reaffirm that Baltimore audiences, in particular, will enjoy the messages The Bubbly Black Girl has to offer. “Baltimore is a city of many identities,” Haase explains, “and this show is about Viveca finding her identity. Baltimore is a transitional city, in my opinion. People, artists specifically, flock here to launch careers, find inspiration, and live happily. I hope Viveca’s story will inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and move on to that next amazing step in their lives.” A Baltimore Premiere February 7-23 Strand Theater Company 1823 North Charles St. W 443.874.4917 T Strand-Theater.org THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 11 HIGH LIFE ON STAGE Jakob Karr Soars Back to Maryland in Flashdance BY FRANKIE KUJAWA Leg warmers and dancing dreams provide, oh, what a feeling this February as the national touring company of Flashdance The Musical begins its local engagement at the Hippodrome Theatre. Based on the 1983 blockbuster of the same name, Flashdance, is currently making its U.S. production tour debut, which launched in Pittsburgh, Pa., in early January, and will dance its way toward Broadway later this year. The musical follows Pittsburgh-native Alex Owens, a steel welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night. Upon her journey to attend the esteemed Shipley Dance Academy, she encounters a budding romance with her boss, Nick Hurley. Their romance, teamed with her passion for dancing, pushes Alex to achieve her goals no matter the cost. Along with a remarkable cast, the dance MUSICAL MIXES HARD WORK, ROMANCE, AND #1 HIT SONGS ensemble includes So You Think You Can Dance season six runner-up Jakob Karr. “This production is amazing,” Karr explained to Gay Life. “It has crazy set pieces mixed with such beautiful backgrounds. There’s never a dull moment in the show. There’s so much to see, that the performance keeps the audience hooked!” Karr, a native of Orlando, Fla., has multiple roles throughout the high-spirited musical. “As part of the ensemble, I come out as a break-dancer in one scene, in the next a leotard. Each time I come on stage I’m a different character. I go from hip-hop dancer to classical ballet dancer. It keeps things quite interesting.” As a proud member of the LGBT community, Karr credits his incredible parents and friends for helping him during his coming-out process. “When I came out, I had no one fooled,” Karr laughed. “Even in school I had great support. I was very lucky.” Karr credits his friends as his inspiration to become a dancer. “Growing up, I was a dancing competition kid. I grew up with all these amazing dancers and watched them grow.” Karr also shares that his initial fascination with dance came during the boy band era. “I wanted to be the next Justin Timberlake.” One of the overall themes of the show— overcoming challenges with hard work and determination—is something which Karr can certainly relate to. “Like the character Alex, I started dance late in life,” he said. “You learn quickly what is involved in becoming a dancer. There is a lot of mental and physical preparation that goes into it.” Karr’s talent was evident as he competed on So You Think You Can Dance at the age of 18. He quickly won the admiration of many of the judges. “[The show] introduced me to a lot of wonderful people. It helped me with exposure and allowed me to get to know the people in the industry.” But while Karr was able to make a name for himself early, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. “I’m a working dancer, and I auditioned for everything I’ve been part of, even this Flashdance performance. The working process is the thing that excites me!” Karr also described how excited he was to return to Baltimore for the Flashdance performance. He lived here for a number of months while he was part of the Bad Boys of Dance troupe, based out of Linthicum, Md. Reflecting upon his career, he offers advice to the young dancers of today. “Take care of your body, early on. At 22, I even feel different from when I performed on So You Think You Can Dance. At times, I feel a little less flexible. You must pace yourself. In this business it’s all about longevity.” Based on Karr’s talent, drive, and devotion to his craft it is clear that—like Alex—we have only begun to see the astounding heights that this dancer can soar. February 12-17 Hippodrome Theatre 12. N/ Eutaw St. W 410.837.7400 T France-MerrickPAC.com FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL Matt Alber Joins GMCW for My Big Fat Gay Wedding BY FRANKIE KUJAWA Wedding bells will be ringing for two lucky men this February as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. (GMCW), presents My Big Fat Gay Wedding. In celebration of both Valentine’s Day and the recent marriage equality wins at the polls, two lucky Maryland grooms, GMCW Board Member J.T. Hatfield-Charles and his partner Dixon Child, will be married on stage during the performance. The one-night only performance will conclude with party favors and cake in the lobby. Singersongwriter Matt Alber will join the chorus in serenading the duo. Alber, a West Coast singer whose incredible voice and passionate acoustics have garnered him admiration from fans throughout the country, shared his excitement about the upcoming performance with Gay Life. How did you become involved with My Big Fat Gay Wedding? Do you have a connection to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington? My good friend Ryan, who sings with the gents, asked me about a year ago if I’d ever be interested in singing with the GMCW. I replied with something like, “Uh, in a heartbeat!” As an openly gay artist, how does it feel to be part of a performance that champions gay marriage and love? I spend most of the year singing to people all by my lonesome. However, when I get to sing with 200 of my brothers all at once, it’s an indescribable feeling of elation. I can’t wait! Your song “End of the World,” off your 2008 album Hide Nothing, is a wonderfully written piece about falling in love. What was your motivation behind the song? When I wrote that song, my heart was kind of breaking. Things were falling apart with a beautiful man that I was in love with. It was kind of a Hail Mary pass, I guess. Also included in the show is your soulful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” What about the original song inspired your version? Whitney saved my life about a thousand times, I think. Growing up gay in St. Louis was very hard, even tormenting at times. I had been drawn into a fundamentalist church youth group and spent most of my waking hours (and dreaming ones, too) feeling guilty to the core. When I put my headphones on, however, and heard Whitney’s sheer joy beaming through that song, it tapped into my own deep, deep desire to dance with somebody. I released my version in 2010, and decided that half of the proceeds would go to the Larkin Street Youth Services, an organization who cares for LGBT youth in San Francisco. What can audience members expect from this performance? Well, one lucky fella is going to catch that bouquet. Unless, of course, I snag it for myself! MY BIG FAT GAY WEDDING The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. Saturday, February 16 • 8 pm Lisner Auditorium 730 21st St., N.W. W202.293.1548 Photo by T GMCW.org Adrian Lourie PAGE 12 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE Building Community Since 1977 The GLCCB is proud to offer a wide range of free and low-cost programs, events, and services to the community. . Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at the GLCCB located at 241 W. Chase Street, Baltimore MD. For more information please visit www.GLCCB.org or call 410-777-8145. WOMEN’S PROGRAMS BALTIMORE FEMINIST READING GROUP Discussion and reading group open to women, trans*, and genderqueer identified people. TRANSGENDER PROGRAMS AKANNI A support group for all transmen that are conforming & non-conforming at any stage in their transition process. Akanni is a safe, respectful, confidential environment where transmen can share their story and their journey. Presented by Black Transmen, Inc. Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6pm in room 202 For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or BlackTransmen.org Meets EVERY Thursday at 7:00pm in the First Floor For info contact email@example.com or bmorereadinggroup.wordpress.com NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN—BALTIMORE CHAPTER NOW's goal is to take action to bring about equality for ALL women. Meets 2nd Wednesday at 6:30 on the First Floor For info contact BaltNOW99@gmail.com or facebook.com/BaltimoreNOW BALTIMORE TRANS-MASCULINE ALLIANCE A support group for trans* men (FTM). Meets 3rd Thursday at 6:30pm in room 202 For info contact BTMA@glccb.org WOMEN OF COLOR A collective group committed to providing a safe, confidential, and supportive space for LBTQ women of all colors. Meets second, fourth, and fifth Thursdays at 7:30pm in room 202 For info contact WOC@glccb.org or meetup.com/Baltimore-Lesbians-Of-Color SISTAS OF THE “T” A network of transgender women who believe that self-empowerment is the key to our solutions. We believe that through developing sisterhoods and positive reinforcement, we as transgender women can best help other transgender women achieve personal success! Meets EVERY Tuesday at 4pm in Room 202. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or monicafly.vpweb.com WOMEN OUT AND ABOUT A social group for LBTQ women who want to meet new people while enjoying fun activities. Meets off-site, dates and times vary For info contact BWOAEvents@yahoo.com or groups.yahoo.com/group/BWOAEvents TRAN*QUILITY A support group for trans* women (MTF), but anyone who varies from traditional gender expression are welcome. Meets 2nd and 4th Saturday at 8:00pm in room 201 For info contact Tranquility@glccb.org MEN’S PROGRAMS POZ MEN A free, weekly, peer-led support group for HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Meets EVERY Wednesday from 7:00-8:00 pm in room 202 For info contact POZMen@glccb.org RECOVERY PROGRAMS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS LGBTQ centered AA recovery groups, welcoming to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Meets EVERY Monday at 8:30pm, Thursday at 8:30pm, and Saturday at 6:30pm in room 201 YOUTH & YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS EXPRESS YOURSELF! —(NEW DAY AND TIME) Develop your artistic and expressive skills, learn about queer artists & apply methods from art history into your artwork. We explore a variety of mediums and techniques such as printmaking, photography, wearable art, guerrilla art, book arts & drawing. Ages 13-19. Meets EVERY Tuesday from 4:00-6:30 pm on the First Floor For info contact email@example.com AA—POSITIVELY SOBER An open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, which provides a safe place for those with HIV or other health related issues. All are welcome. Meets EVERY Sunday at 6:15pm in room 201 For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org RAINBOW YOUTH ALLIANCE BALTIMORE CITY In partnership with PFLAG Baltimore County - the Rainbow Youth Alliance is a support, social, and discussion group for LGBTQ teens and their allies ages 13-19. Meets on the first, third, and fifth Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm on the First Floor For info contact RYABaltimore@gmail.com or facebook.com/groups/RYABaltimore A supportive service-learning group for young adults up to 24 years of age which features discussion sessions, special events, guest speakers, and service opportunities . Meets EVERY Saturday at 12:30pm in room 201 For info contact SAIM@glccb.org NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Men’s Rap group for men in recovery. Meets EVERY Sunday at 11:30am in Room 201 SUFFICIENT AS I AM (SAIM) COMMUNITY PROGRAMS BOOK CLUB A welcoming book club for LGBTQ individuals meeting once per month to discuss a selected reading. Meets 3rd Monday at 7:00pm in room 202 For more info visit facebook.com/groups/139583666184199 HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAMS BEGINNERS’ YOGA Gentle beginners’ yoga with instructor Tim Hurley, RYT. Drop-ins WELCOME! $9.00 per person, per class EVERY Sunday at 3:30pm in room 201 The GLCCB is the publisher of The GLCCB is the producer of HIV & SYPHILIS TESTING FREE and confidential testing provided by the Baltimore City Health Dept. EVERY Wednesday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on 3rd Floor BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 13 GAYLIFE AWARDS •2 0 1 3 • In Gay Life’s first-ever BProud Awards, readers of Gay Life and friends of The GLCCB cast their votes online to name their favorite places to live, work, and play. Preferred LGBT-friendly organizations and businesses were selected in 29 categories. We congratulate this year’s winners and runners-up. CELEBRATING WHAT MAKES US PROUD YOUTH GROUP COLLEGE LGBTQ GROUP BALTIMORE AND MARYLAND PROUD TOIN LIVE BALTIMORE CITY NEIGHBORHOOD SALON Express Yourself! at The GLCCB Mount Vernon Home to some of the city’s best culture, Mount Vernon has been the center of LGBT life and celebration in Baltimore for decades. Runner-up: Hampden A workshop designed for LGBTQ teens to develop their artistic and expressive skills every week at The GLCCB. Runner-up: Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore County Queer Student Union of Towson University Flaunt HIGH SCHOOL GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE Since its creation in the 1980s, Towson University's Queer Student Union helps LGBTQI and allied students become strong, developed, and empowered persons. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 6pm in the University Union. Runner-up: Maryland Institute Queer Alliance of MICA A boutique-style salon nestled in the runner-up for Baltimore City Neighborhood—Hampden, Flaunt offers a wide range of services for both men and women. Runner-up: Neal’s in Mt. Vernon BARBERSHOP REAL ESTATE AGENT Ron Zimmerman Baltimore Polytechnic Institute PET SHOP Beatnik Barber Ron Zimmerman Realtors Independent Broker with over 30 years in the industry. Runner-up: Dick Roszel— Long & Foster Lake Roland Gay-straight alliances are student-led organizations that provide a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ students and their straight allies. Runner-up: Dulaney High School Howl Where cool never goes out of style. Runner-up: Baltimore Barber Lounge Opened by Robin McDonald in 2003, Howl helps thousands of Baltimore's dogs and cats live healthier lives with natural, high-quality pet products. Runner-up: Pet-Valu FINANCIAL ADVISOR PNC Runner-up: New York Life The GLCCB in the heart of Mount Vernon Express Yourself! at The GLCCB Flaunt Salon in Hampden PAGE 14 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE LEGAL SERVICES BANK FITNESS CLUB/GYM ACLU of Maryland The Maryland ACLU works to ensure that all people in the state can lead their lives free from discrimination and unwarranted government intrusion. Runner-up: Free State Legal Project Bank of America This nationwide bank scores 100 in HRC's 2013 Corporate Equality Index. Runner-up: PNC Merritt Athletic Club CAR RENTAL Including Downtown Athletic Club and other locations, MAC is the best in group fitness, personal training, aquatics, family and kids fitness programs, and more! Runner-up: Mt. Vernon Fitness SUPERMARKET/GROCERY Zipcar Wegman’s Runner-up: Enterprise MUSEUM Runner-up: Trader Joe’s TELECOM American Visionary Arts Museum Chase Brexton Health Services CEO Richard Larison and Board President Kim Price Photo by terra hiltner HEALTH CARE PROVIDER Verizon Chase Brexton Health Services Runner-up: AT&T America’s official national museum and education center for intuitive, selftaught artistry. Runner-up: The Walters Art Museum Insured. Uninsured. Chase Brexton provides LGBT-centered, expert medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare for all because everyone’s health matters. Runner-up: Johns Hopkins Community Physicians BUSINESS TRAVEL Southwest/AirTran Runner-up: Amtrak GALLERY Metro Gallery BUSINESS ACCOMMODATIONS MENTAL HEALTH Hyatt Hotels Hearts & Ears Runner-up: Wyndham Hotels Metro Gallery is a multi-use arts space in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District featuring contemporary art, live music, film, and a bar. Runner-up: Station North Arts Café Gallery Bank of America Volunteers at Baltimore Pride 2012 Photo by Anthony Moll In a new location and under new management, Hearts & Ears is a peer support wellness and recovery center that assists members of the LGBTQI community who struggle with mental health issues. Runner-up: Women’s Growth Center PROUD TO PLAY MUSIC/DANCE RESTAURANT City Café Club Hippo PROUD TO WORK EMPLOYER Thanks to everyone who voted Club Hippo as the music and dance spot in Baltimore that brings them the most Pride! Every Wednesday, Gay Bingo at the Hippo benefits The GLCCB. Runner-up: Grand Central Everything from coffee in the cafe to drinks and American fare in the dining room. Runner-up: Gertrude’s at the BMA Verizon Volunteers at Baltimore Pride 2012 Photo by Anthony Moll ADULT SHOP Sugar Target This nationwide retailer scores 100 in HRC's 2013 Corporate Equality Index. Runner-up: Whole Foods BAR/PUB Leon’s/Triple L PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION Triple L (Leon's Leather Lounge), is attached to Leon's, Maryland’s oldest gay bar. Runner-up: Baltimore Eagle A lesbian-owned, women- and trans-operated sex shop that helps people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion. Runner-up: Chained Desires FESTIVAL Metro Gallery Photo by Josh Novel Baltimore GLBTQ Social and Professional Group THEATER Baltimore Pride Festival Baltimore Pride has celebrated the diversity of our community for more than 35 years. Events include the Parade, Block Party, Festival, and much more. Runner-up: Baltimore Book Festival A diverse group of GLBTQ folks and their straight friends who meetup regularly for non-bar events that include dinners, hiking, trips, etc. Runners-up: Maryland Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association tied with Starbucks Pride Alliance Partner Network Centerstage An artistically driven institution committed to engaging, educating, and expanding the horizons of diverse audiences through challenging and thought-provoking theater. Runner-up: France-Merrick PAC (Hippodrome) Baltimore Pride Festival 2012 BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 15 GAYLIFE AWARDS •2 0 1 3 • CELEBRATING WHAT MAKES US PROUD BPROUD AWARDS COMPETITORS IN 2013 TELECOM SERVICES OTHER This list includes both official IN BALTIMORE AND LEGAL MARYLAND SERVICES nominees and write-in votes: ACLU of Maryland; Lynda Dee, Esq.; Free State Legal Service; BALTIMORE CITY Ed Keating, Esq.; Randy Knepper, NEIGHBORHOOD Atty.; McCabe Russell, P.A.; Pessin Belvedere; Bolton Hill; Canton; Katz Law, P.A.; Ward Pratz and Catonsville; Charles Village; Associates Downtown; Federal Hill; Fells Point; Greektown; Hamilton/Lauraville; SUPERMARKET/ Hampden; Harbor East; Lakeland; GROCERY Mount Vernon; Mount Washington; Bi-Rite; Eddie’s Market; Giant's; Oliver; Overlea; Pigtown/Morrell Graul’s Market; The Green Onion; Park; Reservoir Hill; Roland Park; Harris Teeter; Highlandtown Towson; Washington Hill; Waverly; Market; Trader Joe’s; Wegman’s; Woodberry Whole Foods AT&T; Comcast/Xfinity; CREDO; Qualcomm; Sprint Nextel; TMobile; Verizon BUSINESS TRAVEL American Airlines; Amtrak; British Airways; JetBlue; MARC; Southwest/AirTran; United Airlines; Virgin BUSINESS ACCOMMODATIONS REAL ESTATE AGENT David Ark; Wayne Curtis; Christina Dudley; Andrea Griffin; Tim Karnes; Steve Kimmey; Timothy Klempa; Lisa Markiewitz; Megan Richardson; Dick Roszel; Ricki Rutley; Leitner Winstead; Lisa Yacono; Ron Zimmerman HEALTH CARE PROVIDER Clarion Hotels; Hilton; Hyatt Hotels; Kimpton Hotels; Mariott; Radisson Hotels; Tremont Suites Hotel; Wyndham Hotels YOUTH GROUP Express Yourself! at The GLCCB; M-Group at Star Track; Rainbow Youth Alliance—Baltimore County; Rainbow Youth Alliance—Harford County; Rainbow Youth & Allies Howard County; Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League; Sufficient as I Am; Youth of the Rainbow Adolescent and Young Adult Center at UMB; Chase Brexton Health Services; Gwen Dubois, M.D.; Johns Hopkins Community Physicians; Kaiser Permanente; Maryland Natural Health Center; MedStar Health; Mercy Medical Center; People’s Community Health Center; Lawrence Silverberg, D.O.; Towson Medical Associates; VA Maryland Health Care System; Sam Westrick, MD MUSIC/DANCE Club Bunns; Club Hippo; The Get Down; Golden West Café; Grand Central; Metro Gallery; The Ottobar; Sappho's BAR/PUB MENTAL HEALTH The Baltimore Eagle; Club Hippo; The Dizz; The Drinkery; Grand Central Pub; Jay's on Read; Joe Squared; Leon’s/ Triple L; The Knotty Pine; Maisy's; Mixer’s; The Quest; Ropewalk Tavern; The Rowan Tree HS GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE Baltimore City College; Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; Baltimore School for the Arts; Dulaney High School; George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology; Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts; Western High School Chase Brexton Health Services; Nancy Funk, Ph.D.; David W. Goodman, M.D.; Hearts and Ears; Laura June, Ph.D.; Jeffery A. Klug, LCPC; Jewish Community Services; Philip Pecoraro, LCSW-C, DCSW; Robin Richardson, LCSWC; Ruth A. Richter, M.D.; Kate Thomas, Ph.D.; Patricia Winchild, LCSW-C; Women’s Growth Center; Douglas B. Woodruff, M.D. THEATER Baltimore Theatre Project; Centerstage; Creative Alliance; Everyman Theatre; Fells Point Corner Theatre; France-Merrick PAC (Hippodrome); Iron Crow Theatre; Lyric Opera House; Single Carrot; Spotlighters Theatre; The Strand FITNESS CLUB/GYM COLLEGE LGBTQ GRP. EMPLOYER Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians, and Allies for Diversity (BGLAD) of Goucher College; Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance (DSAGA) of Johns Hopkins University; Freedom Alliance of University of Maryland Baltimore County; Maryland Institute Queer Alliance (MIQA) of Maryland Institute College of Art; Queer Student Union of Towson University; Rainbow Club of Community College of Baltimore County; Towson Secular Student Alliance BCDSS; CCBC; Chase Brexton; Ernst & Young; Harris Teeter; Home Depot; Hyatt Regency Baltimore; IBM; Lockheed Martin Corp.; Long & Foster Realtors; Macy’s; Maryland Institute College of Art; Nordstrom; Northrop Grumman; Prudential PenFed; Social Security Administration; Southwest Airlines; State of Maryland; Target; Tiresias Technologies; UMBC; Whole Foods; Zipcar Brick Bodies; Evolutions; Federal Fill Fitness; Gold’s Planet Fitness; LA Fitness; Merritt Athletic Club; Mt. Vernon Fitness; Planet Fitness; YMCA MUSEUM American Visionary Arts Museum; Baltimore Museum of Art; Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute; Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum; Reginald F. Lewis Museum; The Walters Art Museum PROFESSIONAL ORG. GALLERY PET SHOP Camp Bow Wow; City Pet Center; Dogma; City Pet Center; Howl; Pet-Valu; Scrub-a-dub Dog SALON Balance: The Salon; Bubbles; The Chop Shop; Cobella; Flaunt; Just Your Style; Laboratorie; Masone's; Neal’s; Sprout; Studio L Salon; Zena’s BARBERSHOP Baltimore Area Lesbian Social Group; Baltimore GLBTQ Social and Professional Group; Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors; LGBTQ Advisory Council of Social Security Administration; Maryland Corporate Council; Maryland Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association; Mount Vernon Belvedere Association; National Organization of Scientific and Technical Professionals—Chesapeake Region; Starbucks Pride Alliance Partner Network Cakewalk Gallery; Fleckenstein Gallery; Gallery 788; Metro Gallery; Open Space; Station North Arts Café Gallery; Sub Basement Studio RESTAURANT Baltimore Barber Lounge; Beatnik Barber; Hand Talk; Masone's; Quintessential Gentleman; Royal Razor BANK Birroteca; City Café; The Dizz; Gertrude’s at the BMA; Honey Bee Diner; Howard’s of Mt. Vernon; Joe Squared Station North; Pazo; Maisy's; Marie Louise; Mt. Vernon Stables; One World; Pazo; Rocket to Venus; Stang of Siam; Teavolve; Terra Café; Waterstone Bar & Grille; Woodberry Kitchen FINANCIAL ADVISOR Ameriprise Financial Services; Community Pride Financial Advisors; Glass Jacobson Wealth Management; Merrill Lynch; Met Life; New York Life; Partnership Wealth Management; PNC; Stonebridge Financial; Wells Fargo Investments 1st Mariner Bank; Bank of America; BB&T; The Columbi Bank; Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union; M&T Bank; PNC Bank; SECU; SunTrust; Susquehanna Bank; USAA; Wells Fargo ADULT SHOP Bush River Books; Chained Desires; Fire Fly Exotic Wear; Greenmount Books Adult Outlet; Love Craft; Love Zone Lingerie; Sugar CAR RENTAL FESTIVAL Avis; Budget; Dollar; Enterprise; Hertz; Zipcar Artscape; Baltimore Book Festival; Baltimore Pride Festival; Hon Fest; Maryland Film Festival; Renaissance Festival; Transmodern Performance Festival PAGE 16 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE OUTSTANDING LIVES Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens Each month, Gay Life will feature outstanding individuals who have made Baltimore a better, more inclusive, and enlightened place to be proud. Brendon Ayanbadejo As a pro-football player with an international platform, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been promoting LGBT equality for several years, including working with Equality Maryland. Ayanbadejo gained national recognition last September after Maryland State Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., voiced opposition to Ayanbadejo’s outspoken support in a letter to Ravens leadership, which went public. Ayanbadejo responded to Burns, Jr. by thanking the representative “for bringing national attention to the issue,” according to USA Today. “It’s something I’ve been passionate about a long time,” Ayanbadejo told the Associated Press shortly after Maryland voters approved gay marriage on Election Day. “Even though it doesn’t affect me directly, it affects a lot of my friends. It affects my family. It affects Ravens fans. It affects Marylanders. I’ve worked very hard on it; I’m especially proud of the Marylanders who went out and voted and made a difference.” Baltimore County PFLAG President Mark Patro Photo by Bill Hughes Mark Patro President of the Baltimore County chapter of PFLAG, Mark Patro has been a long time LGBT advocate. In June 2012, Patro formed Light Brigade Maryland, an innovative project which delivers simple messages of equality and social justice through the use of lit panels of individual letters and displayed in highly visible, public spaces. Patro and his volunteers organized more than two dozen events throughout Baltimore and the surrounding areas in the lead-up to the November election. “I have heard from many people that they think Light Brigade Maryland has had a positive impact. I tend to think the Light Brigade Maryland project worked to get people excited and keep them engaged,” he told the Washington Blade after the election. The Light Brigade has continued its mission of illuminating issues of social inequality and injustice, including a December event in front of the Ugandan embassy protesting the country’s “Kill the Gays” bill. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Baltimore Mayor Stephanie RawlingsBlake was not only a constant supporter of marriage equality—even going so far as to wed several same sex couples shortly after midnight on Jan. 1—but she also voiced support for the transgender community by recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance. “The Transgender Day of Remembrance gives us the opportunity to raise public awareness of crimes against transgender people and to honor the lives of those who are too often forgotten,” the Mayor said in a statement before the 13th annual event. “Transgender people in Baltimore and throughout the region are sons, daughters, parents, and friends—and deserve our love and kindness.” To nominate an outstanding individual for our monthly feature, email email@example.com. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with a couple who were wed at City Hall on January 1, 2013 Photo by Mark Dennis BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 17 REAL LIFE NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS BY RACHEL ROTH WASHINGTON, D.C. FRANCE NORTH CAROLINA CALIFORNIA ALABAMA TURKEY PFLAG Founder Dies CALIFORNIA Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the mother of the straight ally movement, died on Jan. 8 at the age of 92. Manford, a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement, became active in 1972 after her son, Morty, was beaten during a gay rights demonstration. Shocked and disgusted that the police failed to intervene, Manford wrote a letter to the New York Post expressing her outrage. Her proclamation, “I have a homosexual son and I love him,” sparked national attention to violence against gays and was the beginning of a movement. PFLAG unofficially began in June of 1972 when she marched alongside her son at the New York City Gay Pride Parade carrying a sign that read, “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children.” ible faith organizations within the Episcopal Church, which became the largest U.S. denomination to sanction marriage equality. In July 2012, the church approved a blessing service for same-sex unions at its national convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Ala. Lawmaker Seeks to Repeal Anti-Gay Curriculum ALABAMA Alabama state representative Patricia Todd—the first openly gay legislator in the state—introduced a bill that would limit the state legislature’s role in sex education as well as repeal the inclusion of anti-gay curriculum. Todd introduced a similar bill last year, but it did not pass out of committee. The curriculum is presently set by the state government, and teachers are required to teach that homosexuality is an unacceptable, criminal lifestyle. If the legislation passes, sex education programs will be decided by the Department of Education. the APA Board of Trustees approved a revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which will diagnose transgender people with gender dysphoria. This new diagnosis communicates the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced [or] expressed gender and assigned gender.” Earlier this year, the APA also released new health guidelines for transgender patients, as well as a position statement affirming transgender care and civil rights. er was attacked last month in the Beyoğlu Taksim district of Istanbul. Barbaros Şansal took pictures of his battered body immediately following the attack and shared them on Twitter. Along with the pictures, he posted the following message: “I was threatened and attacked due to political reasons at 04:50 a.m. in Taksim Ayaspaşa. Dark brains, you will pay a heavy price for this. They told me that I will pay for my writings and statements with my life. I am only a soul but what will millions say?” Marine Corps Tells Clubs to Admit Same-Sex Spouses NORTH CAROLINA Last month, Gay Life reported that a female Marine Corps’ wife was denied admission to a club specifically for spouses of marines. It was largely suspected that she was denied admission to the club located at Fort Bragg in North Carolina because she is a lesbian. On Jan. 10, the Marine Corps issued a memo advising its legal staff that spouses clubs operating on its installations must admit same-sex spouses if they wish to remain on the bases. French Rally Against Marriage Equality FRANCE Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Paris last month to protest plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children. Civil unions for lesbian and gay couples are already allowed in France, but President Francois Hollande made a pledge to extend their rights as part of his presidential campaign. The BBC reported that the demonstration was backed by the Catholic Church and right-wing opposition and led by comedian Frigide Barjot. Despite the large number of people who gathered on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower, polls are showing that the majority is in favor of changing the law to allow lesbians and gays the right to marry and adopt. GAY LIFE MAGAZINE Bells Will Ring for Same-Sex Marriages WASHINGTON, D.C. In another win for marriage equality, the Washington National Cathedral announced it will begin performing lesbian and gay weddings. The church is one of the most visPAGE 18 FEBRUARY 2013 APA Revises Transgender “Diagnosis” WASHINGTON, D.C. Transgender and gender non-conforming people are no longer considered mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In a milestone for both communities, Turkish Activist Beaten TURKEY A Turkish gay activist and renowned design- FINANCE BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 19 BETTER LIFE QUEER HEALTH Anal Papilloma: Do We Have to Go There? BY JILL CRANK, CRNP, CHASE BREXTON HEALTH SERVICES Most of us don’t talk about this part of our body often. Of course, there aren’t many opportunities to talk about it. Even with our medical providers. But just like any other part of our bodies, the anal canal is important to your health. And anal papilloma is one health risk you should know about. So don’t be shy—read all about anal papilloma and then talk with your provider about your risks. ARE THERE SYMPTOMS? Usually symptoms are only present in advanced stages of anal cancer, but sometimes patients can experience itching, rectal bleeding, discharge, irritation, or problems with bowel movements. WHO IS TESTED? WHAT IS ANAL PAPILLOMA? Anal papilloma is a medical term for the infection of the anal canal with the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are more than 40 different strains of HPV that can infect the genital areas (vagina, anus, buttocks, scrotum, and penis). It is passed through the skin during sexual activity. You can be infected with HPV and infect sexual partners even when you do not have any obvious symptoms. Currently, there are no formal guidelines for anal cancer screening. However, most HIV specialists are screening HIV infected men and women because of their established higher risk. The screening test (called an anal Pap smear) consists of inserting a moistened swab into the anal canal and sending the collected cells to the lab for testing. TREATMENT WHAT CAN IT CAUSE? HPV is often cleared by our immune systems within two years of infection. Some strains do not cause any visible or lasting harm. Other strains cause genital warts, while some cause cellular changes that may progress to cancer (but warts are not precancerous). These changes in the anus are called anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), and can vary from low to high grade. High grade AIN is more likely to progress to anal cancer, but it can be treated if identified early. Anal warts can be treated with topical applications or procedures using lasers, electric currents, or surgery. If an anal Pap smear comes back with persistent atypical cells, or low or high grade AIN, the patient is referred for high resolution anoscopy (HRA). HRA allows the clinician to visualize the anal tissue closely and take a biopsy of suspicious spots. If the lesions are confirmed to be abnormal, the patient may be a candidate for treatment with topical applications or infrared coagulation (radiation that destroys the tissue). PREVENTION WHO HAS IT? Studies show that over half of sexually active men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, will be infected with HPV at some point. HPV and anal cancer are more common in people with HIV because it is harder for their body to clear the virus. It is also more common in men who have sex with men (MSM), as research indicates there is a greater likelihood of high-risk sexual behavior in this population. PAGE 20 Unfortunately condoms do not protect 100 percent against anal papilloma, but they do reduce the chances of infection. Limiting the number of partners can help. The HPV vaccine (which targets four different strains of HPV) has been shown to significantly decrease AIN occurrence in MSM who have had less than 5 lifetime partners. The eligible age range is 9-26 years old for both males and females. Lastly, early detection by a health care provider can reduce negative consequences in high-risk patients. It is important to maintain a regular checkup schedule and speak openly with your doctor about any concerns you may have. FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE SOCIAL LIFE BSCENE Westboro Baptist Church Marriage Equality CounterProtest Jan. 2 in Towson PHOTOS BY BILL HUGHES BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 21 Here are just a few events that are of special interest during Black History Month. SPOTLIGHT Black History Month SOCIAL LIFE DATEBOOK BY RACHEL ROTH Black History Month FRIDAY, FEB. 1 CAMP Rehoboth Chorus Performance Annual winter concert. $20 • Epworth Methodist Church Holland Glade Rd. • Rehoboth Beach, De. CampRehoboth.com SUNDAY, FEB. 3 ASGRA Monthly Trail Ride Ride with Gay Rodeo studs. $25-30 • 11am Piscataway Stables 10775 Piscataway Rd. ASGRA.org Oral Traditions: African-American Folktales Saturday Feb. 9 • Noon Reginald F. Lewis Museum (Ages 6-10) Enjoy African-American folktale with storyteller “Janice the Griot” in an interactive, music-filled workshop about popular animal folktales taught in the African-American community that incorporated culture values. Superbowl Watch Parties Show your Purple Pride! No cover • 4pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. ClubHippo.com Grand Central • 1001 N. Charles St. CentralStationPub.com James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire Literary Performance and Book Signing MONDAY, FEB. 4 Cine Salon: Love Love comes in mysterious ways. $5 • 7pm Creative Alliance at The Patterson 3134 Eastern Ave. CreativeAlliance.org Reading: The City of Devi by Manil Suri Saturday, Feb 16 • 2pm Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch • Poe Room New York actor and editor Charles Reese brings this American writer and civil rights activist to life. Gay, UMBC mathematics professor reads his new book. FREE • 7pm The Ivy Bookshop • 6080 Falls Rd. TheIvyBookshop.com Artworks by Jeramie Bellmay Sunday, Feb. 17 • 2pm Reginald F. Lewis Museum (Museum admission $6-8 • 56 min) A look back at the fifty years in African-American art, this film offer a truthful look at artists and their progeny who are often ignored. Colored Frames Film Screening Local artist’s work on display thru Mar. 7. FREE entrance into restaurant Mr. Rain’s Funhouse • AVAM 800 Key Hwy. MrRainsFunHouse.com PerceptionAlter.com TUESDAY, FEB. 5 Showtune Video Madness Sing out songs from the best Broadway and Hollywood musicals. FREE • Tuesdays • 7:45pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. ClubHippo.com Hip Hop Night Get your dance on with DJ Rosie! Reduced cover before 11pm. Every Thursday. Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. ClubHippo.com FRIDAY, FEB. 8 Terribly Two: A Hollaback Birthday Bash Games, magic, drink specials, a Charm City cake, music by DJ Pope and more. 9pm The Windup Space • 12 W. North Ave. Facebook.com/HollabackBMore Chicks on the Run: August: Osage County Saturday, Feb 23 • 2pm Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch • Wheeler Auditorium Hear the gripping personal stories of Baltimore area senior citizens as they reminisce about their involvement in the struggle for civil rights. For All the World to Hear: Stories from the Struggle for Civil Rights Local group for chicks of all ages to see the Pulitzer Prize winning play. $52-57 • 7pm Everyman Theatre • 315 W. Fayette St. ChicksOnTheRun-md.com The GalHaus Revue’s Big Show Celebrating costume, performance, and glamour. $5 • 8pm • Thru Feb. 2 MICA • The Gateway: BBOX 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave MICA.edu WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6 Gay BINGO! Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Drink specials, appetizers, and raffles. Every Wednesday 8:30pm Benefits The GLCCB Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0018 • ClubHippo.com Night OUT at the Wizards Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets. $20 • 7pm • Verizon Center 601 F Street NW • Washington, D.C. TeamDC.org African-Americans & the Railroads Miss Gay Baltimore 2013 An official preliminary to Miss Gay Maryland America. $7-8 • 10 pm Club Hippo • 1 W.Eager St. ClubHippo.com Feb. 1-28 Mon.-Sat. 10am-4pm • Sun. 11am-4pm B&O Railroad Museum Learn about African-American men and women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad’s line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading. For information on Black History Month in Baltimore, visit Baltimore.org/ multicultural/black-history. SATURDAY, FEB. 2 Fierce Chicks Rock: Karaoke Smackdown Full contact karaoke, to benefit Moveable Feast. Donate to sing • 8pm Liam Flynn’s Ale House 22 W. North Ave. on.fb.me/XAhtuo THURSDAY, FEB. 7 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day BlackAIDSDay.org SATURDAY, FEB. 9 Deep Sugar’s “Valentine” House, dance, and underground culture. $10 • 11pm Paradox Entertainment • 1310 Russell St. TheDox.com PAGE 22 FEBRUARY 2013 GAY LIFE MAGAZINE TUESDAY, FEB. 12 Fat Tuesday Party Celebrate Mardi Gras. Grand Central • 1001/1003 N. Charles St. CentralStationPub.com FRIDAY, FEB. 15 2013 Rehoboth Roundup A weekend of recovery. Thru Feb. 17. The Atlantic Sands Hotel and Conf. Ctr. Rehoboth Beach, De. RehobothRoundup.org MONDAY, FEB. 18 Charm U: Charm City Roller Girls’ Tryout Boot Camp Got what it takes to derby? 6:45-10:15pm Skateland North Point, 1111 North Point Rd., Dundalk CharmCityRollerGirls.com SATURDAY, FEB. 23 Baltimore Ballet at the BMA Annual winter performance. $12-35 • 7:30-9pm Baltimore Museum of Art 10 Art Museum Dr. BaltimoreBallet.com WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13 On Paper Drawings from the Cohen Collection. FREE • Noon-5pm • Thru 8/25 Baltimore Museum of Art 10 Art Museum Dr. ArtBMA.org Dark Odyssey’s Winter Fire Explore your sexuality. Thru Feb. 17 • Washington, D.C. DarkOdyssey.com Purim Unmasked! SATURDAY, FEB. 16 CCK Club: Essential Eating Out Guide for Dykes Live ‘cooking’ show. $8-13 • 8pm Creative Alliance at The Patterson 3134 Eastern Ave. CreativeAlliance.org With gay, Jewish hip-hop artist Y-Love. $5-10 • 7pm Beth Am Synagogue • 2501 Eutaw Pl. JQBaltimore.org WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27 Suzanne Vega Iconic folk singer performs. $50 • 21+ • 8pm Rams Head On Stage 33 West St. • Annapolis RamsHeadOnStage.com Gay BINGO! WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20 POZ DC Happy Hour Mixer For guys who are HIV+, those without hang ups on dating someone who is HIV+, and for those with poz friends. 7pm • Green Lantern 1335 Green Ct. NW • Washington, D.C. HopeDC.org Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Drink specials, appetizers, and raffles. Every Wednesday 8:30pm Benefits The GLCCB Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0018 • ClubHippo.com THURSDAY, FEB. 28 Sandra Bernhard Live! $10-32 • 7:30pm • Thru Mar. 1 Frostburg State University 101 Braddock Rd. • Frostburg Ces.Frostburg.edu/bernhard THURSDAY, FEB. 14 Valentine’s Day An Evening of Love and Music To Benefit AIRS City Steps. $75 • 7pm An Die Musik • 409 N. Charles St. AnDieMusiklive.com We Dance to the Beat Featuring all female indie/pop artists. 9pm • The Ottobar • 2549 N. Howard St. TheOttobar.com Gay BINGO! SUNDAY, FEB. 17 Glitter Thighs: Queer Dance Party at Last! The launch of a (hopefully) monthly institution of homo dance and performance fusion. $8 • Doors 8pm • Show 9pm Metro Gallery 1700 N. Charles St. bit.ly/glitterthighs Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Drink specials, appetizers, and raffles. Every Wednesday 8:30pm Benefits The GLCCB Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0018 • ClubHippo.com Deadline to donate to Express Yourself! Youth Arts Program bit.ly/ZciaQd The Vagina Monologues Real women’s stories of sexual self-discovery. $5-10 • 8pm • Thru 2/16 The Gateway: BBOX 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave. MICA.edu CALENDAR@ BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding the event. Subject to available space. Have an event perfect for our readers? Send us all the details! RECURRING & ONGOING EVENTS Charm City Volleyball: Competitive Play Every Sunday 10am-1pm • $7 Volleyball House 5635 Furnace Ave. • Elkridge VolleyBaltimore.org PFLAG Howard County Parent Forum Third Monday 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia PFLAGMD.org Open Doors (for teens) Second Tuesday 6pm Owings Mills JCC • 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. JoinTeens.org GEM: Gender Empowerment MD Every other Wednesday 7pm Equality Maryland • 1201 S. Sharp St. Owen@EqualityMaryland.org Trans Parents Forum, Baltimore Co. Third Monday 7-9:30pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd. PFLAGBaltimore.org Howard County PFLAG General Mtg. Second Tuesday 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia PFLAGMD.org HIV Support: Substance Abuse & HIV Meditation Group PFLAG Baltimore Co. General Mtg. Fourth Tuesday 7pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd. PFLAGBaltimore.org Every Thursday 2-3pm Institute of Human Virology 725 W. Lombard St. IHV.org League of Women Bowlers Every Sunday 4:30pm AMF Marlow Heights Lanes 4717 St Barnabas Rd • Temple Hill LeagueOfWomenBowlers2@verizon.net Every Tuesday 6:15-7:45pm First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 1 W. Hamilton St. FirstUnitarian.net HIV Support: Just Between US Every Friday 11am-Noon Institute of Human Virology 725 W. Lombard St. IHV.org Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore City Parents of Transgender Kids Westminster PFLAG Monthly Mtg. Third Sunday 7pm St. Paul’s United Church of Christ 17 Bond St. • Westminster PFLAGWCC.org 1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesdays 7-9pm The GLCCB • 241 W. Chase St. RYABaltimore@gmail.com facebook.com/groups/RYABaltimore Fourth Tuesday 7:30-9pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia firstname.lastname@example.org • PFLAGBaltimore.org Baltimore Frontrunners Every Saturday 8:45am • Brunch 10am Panera Bread • 3600 Boston St. BaltimoreFrontrunners.org Living Well with HIV Support Group Men’s Naked Yoga Rainbow Youth Alliance of Howard Co. Every Monday 6:30-7:30pm • $18 Vitruvian Gallery, LLC 734 7th St., SE, 2nd fl. • Wash., D.C. VitruvianGallery.com 2nd & 4th Tuesdays 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia 410.280.9047 • email@example.com Every Wednesday 10:30am Inst. of Human Virology • 725 W. Lombard Jacques.umaryland.edu/support.html In the Company of Women Charm City Volleyball: Social Play First Saturday 10am-noon First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 1 W. Hamilton St. FirstUnitarian.net Interfaith Fairness Coalition Mtg. Second Monday 3-4:30pm First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 1 W. Hamilton St. IFCMD.info Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore County Every Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm • $3-30 Mt. Royal Rec. Center • 137 McMechen St. VolleyBaltimore.org HOPE DC Monthly Brunch 2nd & 4th Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd. RYABaltimoreCounty@gmail.com Spiritual Development with Rev. Sam Offer Every Wednesday 7pm • FREE Unity Fellowship Church • 4007 Old York UFCB.org First Saturday 11am • $20 (cash) Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro DC 1801 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. RSVP by emailing HopeDCSocialsfirstname.lastname@example.org Find more community events at GLCCB.org FEBRUARY 2013 PAGE 23 BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM