Fall 2013 Vol. 2 Issue 3
Gays! Mark Goldman: Gay Cantor
From sports to CEOs out and proud gays are everywhere
The Williams Institute Positive Young People
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis:
On the frontlines of the Meningitis scare
Hall of Famers
Dylan Rosser’s Full Frontal Ulrich Oehmen’s Dynamite
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Fall 2013 | Vol 2 | Issue 3
Publisher’s Message | 3 Gelato Anyone? | 34 My Fabulous Disease | 36
The Williams Institute | 4 Top 10 Foundations Giving to LGBT Causes | 6 Couple Makes History With Green Card | 10 The Most Important LGBT Court Cases | 12 Should LGBT Include Asexuals? | 14 Sports Hall of Fame For Gays | 16 Positive Young People | 18
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Fall 2013 Vol. 2 Issue 3
Gays! From sports to CEOs out and proud gays are everywhere
Mark Goldman: Gay Cantor
The Williams Institute Positive Young People
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis:
Hall of Famers
On the frontlines of the Meningitis scare
Dylan Rosser’s Full Frontal Ulrich Oehmen’s Dynamite
Jillian Michaels Gets Tough With The Mirror | 20 Well-Strung: More Than Just an Erotic Name | 22 Colton Ford’s ‘The Way I Am’ | 24
Special Feature: Amazing Gays 5 Amazing Gay CEOs | 26 5 Amazing Lesbian Athletes | 30 5 Amazing Gay HIV-Postive Men | 32
First Gay Pres. of U.S. Conference of Cantors | 38 Dark Shadows Inspires Young Gay Filmmaker | 40 Dr. Demetre Daskalakis’ One Man Battle | 42 The Man Behind Andrew Christian’s Sexy Men’s Wear | 44
Coffee Table Ulrich Oehmen’s Dynamite | 48 Dylan Rosser’s Full Frontal | 52
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ACCOUNTING SERVICES CG Bookkeeping The Mirror is published quarterly. The opinions expressed in columns, stories, and letters to the editor are those of the writers. They do not represent the opinions of The Mirror or the Publisher. You should not presume the sexual orientation of individuals based on their names or pictorial representations in The Mirror. Furthermore the word “gay” in The Mirror should be interpreted to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. All of the material that appears in The Mirror, both online at www. themirrormag.com, and in our print edition, including articles used in conjunction with the Associated Press and our columnists, is protected under federal copyright and intellectual property laws, and is jealously guarded by the newspaper. Nothing published may be reprinted in whole or part without getting written consent from the Publisher of The Mirror, Norm Kent, at Norm@NormKent.com. The Mirror is published by the South Florida Gay News. It’s a private corporation, and reserves the right to enforce its own standards regarding the suitability of advertising copy, illustrations and photographs. Copyright©2012 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.
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We are What we are
he year is 2013, and the diversity and breadth of this magazine is reflective of LGBT life in America today. As the cast sung in La Cage, we are who we are, and our lives need no explaining. No more apologies, no more excuses, no more hiding in the shadows. We are a community that spent centuries living in a closet, and now we are publishing magazines listing the five most prominent LGBT CEO’s, top gay athletes, or renowned and open community leaders. The fact that we can publish and find advertisers for a magazine promoting transparently gay lives is testimony to the fact that gays have indeed found a place at the table in our body politic, as well as in our expanding modern families. It’s not just a TV show. It’s American life today. In the next election cycle in South Florida, more than a dozen openly LGBT candidates will be running for city commission, county commission, or in judicial races. Our nation has elected an out lesbian to the United States Senate, and openly gay men and women are mayors in many cities. The Acting Secretary of the Air Force is a gay man, and so is the head of one of the most successful corporations in America, Apple. We are no longer a novelty, and we are going to be measured by the quality of our work, not the quantity of our numbers. We will be gauged by our performance with our clothes on in the daytime, not who we do in the nighttime. It is a different world today than it was yesterday. Ask fitness guru Jillian Michaels, featured on these pages, or Cantor Mark Goldman, leading a congregation in prayer and faith. Talk to Brad Sears or Lee Badgett at the Williams Institute, representatives of a think tank at the University of California. The LGBT community is being measured by social contributions and university degrees. Yet the piece on Andrew Christian by author Ryan Dixon teaches us you can combine homoeroticism with professionalism. Ask Greg Louganis, silver-haired but living positively with HIV, now publicly marrying his partner. Decades ago, he was the victim of social and self-inflicted pain. Today, he can talk with Anderson Cooper on CNN about the wrongs being visited upon gay athletes as they go to compete in Sochi, Russia for the International Olympics. Times change slowly, but the barriers are coming down one by one, aren’t they? It is a safer world for gays today, though bullying still takes a terrible toll. The difference is that the bullies are jailed, not humored, exposed by journalists like Don Lemon or Jane Velez Mitchell. We are out there defending ourselves, whether it comes from a local voice like Ken Keechl at the Broward County
Commission or an activist attorney like George Castrataro fighting for a client. Discrimination based on gender still exists, but we are a nation more cognizant of the learning curve we must still ascend. AIDS is no longer a ‘gay’ disease, but we are a community still aware that gay men must take greater cautions to do their share in bringing an end to the pandemic. If you want to join the military, you are only gauged by how straight you can shoot. Jim Naugle and his wife living together in their house as a couple in Fort Lauderdale is no different than Al Cicotte and Kevin Palombo living in their home as a couple in the same city. They want their garbage picked up on time, and their streets to be safe. Doctor Howard Cunningham and his partner Steven Vianest have as much a right to raise their adopted child, as does a straight couple. Gay or straight, we all want a world of peace and harmony, not grief and disaster. But life often brings us chaos and calamity. Even if you do not swim from Cuba to the Keys, there will always be jellyfish in your path. Sooner or later, we will be stung, even if we are living in a world where it has become easier and safer to be openly gay. It wasn’t always this way. It wasn’t so long ago that gay life was secret, and every Rock Hudson was a stone in a dark closet. October is LGBT history month, and it salutes out gay men and women who have made a difference in our lives as a community. That is what I think the Mirror does in this issue. It celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of people in the headlines and those on the sidelines. We all play a unique role. It is our individuality that we have in common. The day of Gay America has come, like the dawn of a new morning. It shines upon us with opportunity, invites us to a higher calling, and challenges us to reach a plateau of dignity and grace. Now that
we have broken down so many barriers, let us, with our own lives, show America what it has been missing.
The Williams Institute
The LGBT Nerds Who Could & Can & Will How research and information made — and make — the Williams Institute an invaluable asset to the LGBT movement
ne part of bringing on change like the defeat of DOMA and Prop 8 is incessant activism and a constant barrage of journalist and politician, issues voter and party constituent. Another part is much less sexy: It involves sifting through reports, conducting research, answering hard questions, and reading — a lot. But someone’s gotta do it. Enter the Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles. Its experts have written dozens of policy studies and law review articles, they’ve filed amicus briefs for cases like Prop 8, they’ve testified to political bodies like Congress, and they’ve gotten cited all over the board by newspapers and magazines (like this one). The twelve-year-old group was founded in the 2001-2002 school year by its current executive director Brad z. The vastly accomplished UCLA professor – along with the rest of the staff at the institute — has dedicated a major part of himself to the dryer, nerdier, and penultimate role of figuring out the science and truth behind the LGBT topics that you read about almost every single day. Sears is a Yale University alum and a Harvard Law School alum. He founded the HIV Legal Checkup Project, a legal services program dedicated to empowering people living with HIV, and served as the discrimination & confidentiality attorney for the HIV/AIDS Legal Services Alliance of Los Angeles (HALSA). In 2009, Advocate Magazine put him on its “40 under 40” list. Williams launched in 2001-2002, and was “the creation of the philanthropy of Chuck Williams,” as Sears puts it. With an accepted critical need for LGBT-focused research, it was clear that a think group was necessary to fill an important void. Williams gave the group $2.5 million to kick things off, and another $13 million since then. And why invest so much in a research firm? “The debate would turn to claims that could be proven or disproven with research,” Sears told the Mirror about the more modern LGBT movement and its opponents. From cost to business to political capital, the discussion landed in a valley, which the institute felt it could flood with the legitimate research.
And the institute’s growth reflects its work. When it was born in 2001, Sears was the only staff member and the institute had a budget of $100,000, and an endowment of $2.5 million. Today, the institute employs 16 faculty and staff members, a budget of over $1.8 million, and an endowment of more than $17 million. “In issue after issue, we’ve been able to input data and expertise in arenas that have been largely dominated by prejudice,” Sears said. That’s not to say prejudice doesn’t continue to play a stubborn and frustrating role in the national LGBT debate, even if hard research is put on the table and its truths can’t be argued. There’s that Kinsey Report, for example, claiming that one in ten people in the country is LGBT, which the Williams Institute has rebuked with its own research, showing that just under 4 percent of American adults identify themselves as LGBT — a far cry from the Kinsey claim. “It’s not unique to public debate considerations of LGBT rights that research is just one piece. A lot of these beliefs are deeply held and held for a while. The information is relatively new. All we can do is keep improving the data we have,” Sears said. “In the absence of information, myths about LGBT people developed on both sides. The LGBT community has free reign in making up mythologies.” But if you want to talk mythology, you have to talk to Lee Badgett, the institute’s Williams Distinguished Scholar. She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics there. In 2008, Curve Magazine named Badgett one of the twenty most powerful lesbians in academia. The Advocate magazine named her one of “Our Best and Brightest Activists” in 1999 for founding the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (it merged with the Williams Institute in 2006). Badgett received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1990, and has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago. She studied race and sex discrimination as a grad student. A few years after her dissertation, she read an article about the LGBT “dream market” in
Brad Sears is the founding director and current Executive Director of the Williams Institute, and an Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law.
the Wall Street Journal, which she felt wasn’t very true — discrimination, according to her past research, led more to poverty rather than affluence. That got her interested in the topic. After all, it couldn’t be that the popular notion about gay people was true, the one that said they were mostly white, mostly old, mostly rich, mostly willing to spend lots of cash — could it? No, it’s not true. In 2009, Badgett co-authored a report that was titled (and focused on) Poverty in the LGBT community: Some of its findings: “After adjusting for a range of family characteristics that help explain poverty, gay and lesbian couple families are significantly more likely to be poor than are heterosexual married couple families. Notably, lesbian couples and their families are much more likely to be poor than heterosexual couples and their families.” Badget co-authored an update to this report in June. “Discrimination is really the economic challenge that the LGBT community faces, not how to spend their money,” Badgett told the Mirror. But pundits argued otherwise, and used the false information for their advantage. So where did that myth come from? “I think it was mainly about visibility. The most visible LGBT people are artists, actors, journalists,
Lee Badgett is a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics.
writers. Even if they aren’t particularly well off, they’re at least well educated.” But the really striking bit of truth that Badgett shared is how both sides of the coin were quick to grab this idea of LGBT wealth and run with it. On the one hand, she said, the conservative movement seized the opportunity to show that LGBT people were a “privileged elite” rather than an in-need minority. But on the second side were marketers and advertisers promising to tap into what Badgett said was termed a “profitable community.”
“It’s always better to get people not to think in stereotypes, which have never helped LGBT people. This one may look good, but it really has this bad effect. If you got rid of it, I don’t know that things would magically improve, but it would make it easier for people to understand the legal needs and economic challenges that LGBT people face — maybe leading to the eradication of inequality,” Badgett said. “We’re also learning that when people hear information that conflicts with their beliefs, it’s hard to get them to change their mind about it — there’s no magic formula to get around it.” There are many other myths in and about the LGBT community, like the one causing many law enforcement officers to think every trans person they stop is a sex worker, about which the Williams Institute published research in 2012. “The myth that all trans people are sex workers can really impact their daily lives,” Jody Herman told the Mirror. She’s the institute’s Peter J. Cooper public policy fellow and manager of transgender research. When she moved to Washington, D.C. to attend the George Washington University, she got involved with Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), which specialized in harm reduction for the trans workers of the city. Harm reduction is meeting people where they are in life and, instead of telling them what to do, it instructs them how to lead healthier lives given their circumstances, Herman said. “I was surprised the vast majority of sex workers were transgender women,” she said. “I made some wonderful trans friends. And
so that sparked my interest in public policy issues that impact the trans community.” She applied for the fellowship at the institute in 2010 and got it, humbly telling the Mirror that the “timing was right.” Most recently, Herman published research showing that trans people are serving in the military at a higher rate than the general population, so there should be an interest in making sure they can serve openly and have the support that they need. That, in a glimpse, is the Williams Institute and what it looks into, the information it provides, and the research it spends its money on. “We’re really preparing for the future,” Brad Sears said. He expects the institute to grow significantly in three ways in the next decade: First, a lot of work will go into informing legislative debates. LGBT people live everywhere — they’re not flocking to a small set of cities, and so everyone will have to deal with legislation affecting them. Second, the institute will focus on research that looks at the legacy of harassment and inequality, even after that equality is achieved. There will be continuous issues and disparities in and for the LGBT community (from bullying to mental health issues). The final frontier is more international work. Research and scholarship, the mainstay of the institute domestically, will be reflected in conferences and work across the globe (it’s already hit the Caribbean and India). To learn more about the Williams Institute, go to williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu.
Meet the Top 10 Foundations Giving to LGBT Causes Get to know the groups that raise and fund millions of dollars in LGBT issue advocacy and research
ome organizations have been throwing tens of millions of dollars at the LGBT community — least we can do is learn a little about them. In 2010, $72.6 million in global philanthropy reached the doorsteps of LGBT people, figuratively speaking. That’s out of a total $1.2 billion of worldwide philanthropy, as reported by a new study from the Foundation Center. The Center was established in 1956 and claims to “maintain the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grant makers and their grants.” It partnered with The International Human Rights Funders Group
(IHRFG) — a global network of donors and grant makers — for the June study, “the first research report of its kind.” So over $70 million went to the LGBT population, but how does that break down? Well, looking at the LGBT-focused segment of the report yields some interesting data, like the fact that the top contributor in 2010 is the Arcus Foundation, which, on top of dedicating itself to LGBT issue, its second and equal priority is “to conserve and protect the great apes.” Arcus gave $14.6 million. Second place goes to the Gill Foundation, which came out at an even $10 million. Sixth place goes to the Ford Foundation, which in late July hired openly
gay Darren Walker as its new president — it gave $4 million. “The landscape of human rights funding is exceedingly complex, but initiatives like this bring into sharp relief just how vibrant and diverse the field is,” said Michael Hirschhorn, executive director of IHRFG, in a statement. “The lasting value of this research — the thing that will take us beyond ‘painting landscapes’ to propelling greater engagement — comes when grant makers are moved to contribute data, provide feedback, share findings with peers, and use this information in support of their work.” So without further adieu, meet your top ten 2010 funders...
million in grants toward its initiatives, more than $8 million of which went toward programs involving social justice. Learn more at http://bit.ly/19tqM82.
“The tremendous advancements in equality for LGBT people in the last few years are the result of many years of smart, collaborative funding by foundations and a network of committed individual donors, as well outstanding strategy by the organizations they have supported,” Clark told the Mirror. “To take advantage of our momentum and capitalize on the opportunities ahead, we’re going to need to continue building our base of financial support.” Learn more at http://bit.ly/1bMIe8e.
Arcus Foundation, $14.6 million Been Around Since: 2000 Founded By: Jon Stryker
Arcus focuses on LGBT issues and conserving and protecting the great apes. It’s got offices from Kalamazoo, Mich. to Cambridge in the UK. You can see Annette Lanjouw, Arcus’s vice president of strategic initiatives and great ape programs, talk about the group’s focus, at http://bit.ly/1c17RQW. “Arcus tops this list because of the extraordinary generosity and commitment of Jon Stryker, our founder and board president,” Kevin Jennings, Arcus’s executive director, told the Mirror. “Jon, the entire staff and I take very seriously the responsibility that puts on us to approach our mission with humility, to be focused and strategic in our grantmaking, to support and encourage other donors, and to listen closely to our grantees and partners on the front lines.” In 2012 alone, Arcus gave out over $18
Gill Foundation, $10 million Been Around Since: 1994 Founded By: Tim Gill
Tim Gill is the guy who changed the way magazines and newspaper design their pages when he designed Quark, the software that would evolve into the newsrooms and publishing houses of almost all publications around the country (and world). Since its inception, the foundation has given more the $220 million to LGBT groups and toward LGBT issues (an estimated 80 percent goes straight to the hands of nonprofits). The Mirror asked VP of marketing and communications at Gill Foundation Bobby Clark if it was a big deal to be on this list (of course it is) and why.
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, $6.1 million Been Around Since: 1997 Founded By: The Vanguard Group, Inc.
This one’s a doozy. Over $4 billion in grants since its inception (and it’s still got just under $3 billion in its coffers). It’s a charitable arm of an investment firm and ranks in the top 25
foundations in the country — it also claims to give money in every state and “almost” every country. People contribute into accounts they they start with the foundation, and those people can invest money from those accounts into charities of their choice. They made claim to this list without even focusing on LGBT, their grants going to programs focused on anything from religion to environmental issues. The Mirror spoke with Nicole Acker, Vanguard’s marketing operations team leader, who’s been there for seven years. She said that in 2012, the majority of the issues donated to were human services, education and religion, which is nothing new. “When [people] make that contribution, they technically lose control of the funds. Then they advise us where to grant them. We generally don’t turn down grants,” Acker told the Mirror. “We’re cause-neutral. Our donors can basically grant into any area they like.” A lot of the time, people set up accounts for their families, creating a path toward what Acker calls “generational giving. Everybody uses our fund differently ‚ it’s customizable.” Learn more at http://bit.ly/19E9ZCN.
Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, $5.9 million Been Around Since: 1953 Founded By: Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr.
One of the oldest groups on the list. The California foundation’s given more than $440 million since it was born. While LGBT issues are a mainstay issue for the foundation, it shares priority with immigrant rights and education equity issues. The foundation recognizes that marriage isn’t the only measure where equality is needed for LGBT people, and lists its other points of focus on the page linked below. The Mirror got in touch with Matt Foreman, the director of the gay & lesbian and immigrant rights programs at the Fund to find out what it’s like to make this list. “I’m incredibly proud to work at a foundation that has invested more in LGBT equality over the last 12 years – over $65 million - than any other non-gay foundation in the nation. We were the first foundation – straight or gay – to embrace the cause of marriage equality and through many ups and downs, our trustees have never wavered in that commitment,” Foreman said. “Why this commitment? Because our trustees believe in a just and caring society where all people
– including gay and lesbian people – are able to live, work and raise their families with dignity. Without the freedom to marry, gay families are denied that dignity. As in many other areas, such as immigrant rights, they saw injustice being inflicted on a minority and they wanted to do something about it. Learn more at http://bit.ly/JaIPQ9.
through 10 regional offices around the world, supports programs in more than 50 countries. It is the second largest private foundation in the U.S. with an endowment of $10 billion. It’s also not entirely focused on LGBT issues, lending itself to dozens of different issues across the world. Learn more at http://bit.ly/VEvVFL.
Open Society Foundations, $4.2 million Been Around Since: 1979 Founded By: George Soros
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, $3.6 million Been Around Since: 1977 Founded By: “A small group of multiracial, multi-class women”
“Open society is based on the recognition that our understanding of the world is inherently imperfect,” George Soros said at some point, according to the Open Society Foundations website. “What is imperfect can be improved.” His first priority was setting up scholarships for black students abroad. Out of more than $10 billion that OSF has plugged into issue advocacy, $626 million has gone toward health issues (including HIV) and $2.4 has gone toward human rights, including LGBT issues. “The Open Society Foundations is proud to be a leading supporter of pioneering LGBT rights work around the world,” an Open Society spokesperson told the Mirror. “Our efforts focus primarily on supporting LGBT rights in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. In many countries—such as Mozambique, Nepal, Jamaica, and Russia— LGBT rights organizations face extremely challenging political and social climates and funding for their work is scarce.” Learn more at http://osf.to/W283wQ.
Claiming to be “the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe,” Astraea focuses on lesbian- and trans-led initiative and programs, but readily advances rights across the board. In 2012 alone, Astraea gave over $1.3 million to 113 groups and 16 individuals across the world. Learn more at http://bit.ly/NIMcov.
Proteus Fund, $3.4 million Been Around Since: 1995 Founded By: Meg Gage
Ford Foundation, $4 million Been Around Since: 1936 Founded By: Edsel Ford (Henry Ford’s son)
Headquartered in New York City, the Ford Foundation makes grants in all 50 states and,
The Protesus project, started in 2004, attempts to win over state by state by giving out $2 million annually to initiatives in “public education, research, polling, message development, alliance building, outreach and advocacy in support of marriage equality.” With its Civil Marriage Collaborative, Proteus has given out around $1.62 million in 2013 alone (as of press time). President and Executive Director Meg Gage said she’s very headstrong about getting straight donors to give for an LGBT cause. She feels that allied funders need to get on board with LGBT causes, just like they do with women’s rights, black rights, immigrant rights, etc.
“We have a huge opportunity to advance a fairness agenda, a whole new approach to LGBT people,” she said. “The conversation is really out there now, be it about marriage, taxes, military. Philanthropy can only be effective when the time is right.” Learn more at http://bit.ly/1702KkG.
meeting place for readers, writers and activists.” From grantmaking to consulting to advocacy, Tides does much more than fund change, it is change. Learn more at http://bit.ly/13zxaLJ.
Legend Arcus Foundation, $14.6 million Gill Foundation, $10 million Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, $6.1 million Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, $5.9 million
American Jewish World Service– Donor Advised Fund, $1.9 million Been Around Since: 1985 Founded By: Larry Phillips and Larry Simon
Tides Foundation, $2.1 million Been Around Since: 1976 Founded By: Drummond Pike
This one’s got some poetry behind its name. “Tides are a clean, efficient and sustainable source of energy. Tides connect us around the world. And tides are constantly changing the landscape around us. The “Tides” name comes from a Bay Area independent bookstore that once served as a
“Pursuing justice is a Jewish obligation,” according to president Ruth Messinger. Interestingly, the groups high fives people who support LGBT issues, like the unlikely rabbis who do. From advocacy to educating to sending people to help in other countries, AJWS claims it’s given almost 90 percent of its grants to programs and just above six percent to administration. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1dmsevu.
A closer look at who gave how much
Open Society Foundations, $4.2 million Ford Foundation, $4 million Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, $3.6 million Proteus Fund, $3.4 million Tides Foundation, $2.1 million American Jewish World Service– Donor Advised Fund, $1.9 million Total amount: $72.6 million
*numbers represent millions
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Marsh and popov
A Green Card for Love South Florida couple makes national news & history after green card application is approved
ulian Marsh and Traian Popov say it was fate that brought them together, but it took awhile to give into one another. Popov laughs when he says he found his husband on an online dating site in early 2011, but was ignored. Then the two ran into each other at two consecutive parties hosted by mutual friends. When they got to talking, the two found that they fell in sync very quickly and instantly felt comfortable with each other. Fast forward a little more than a year and the couple made their relationship official when they married in October 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. Now, two years after it all started, they’re swept up in a whirlwind of history-making and their names splashed in newspapers around the world. The gay bi-national couple was the first to have their petition for a green card approved without ever first being denied – as has been the case for couples across the country. Just two days after the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, a clerk somewhere signed off on their application and changed their lives. Sometime in early 2014, Marsh – an American citizen – and Popov – a Bulgarian citizen on a student visa – hope to get that green card to keep Popov in the country, just like any other straight couple could. The day the two received word that their petition was approved, the press started calling their lawyer from the DOMA Project. “It was unbelievable, I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track,” Marsh said. “It was overwhelming and for four solid days it was nonstop. It was hard to contemplate what was going on.” The DOMA Project (DOMAProject.org) is a nonprofit organization headed up by an immigration law firm in New York City, Masliah & Soloway, working to keep binational gay couples from being separated. With their marriages only being recognized by some states, many green card applications were being denied right off the bat. However, with optimism that the Supreme Court would overturn DOMA, many were applying for green cards just to get the process started and then appeal any denied applications. Marsh and Popov were taken on as clients pro bono and just paid for processing fees. “They were the ones that guided us, we didn’t know what to do,” Popov said. Through even more serendipity, Equality
Julian Marsh and Traian Popov’s petition for a green card was approved two days after the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
Florida, a statewide advocacy group, had just launched its Get Engaged campaign the week before the DOMA ruling. With the news of Popov and Marsh spreading, the couple and the group teamed up to further the cause. “It just so happened that out of all the binational couples throughout the country that it was Julian and Tray, who live right here in South Florida,” said Sharon Kersten, public relations consultant with Equality Florida and long-time volunteer. “It’s like everything aligned to bring us together.” The couple filmed a short video for Get Engaged, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes as they told the story of how they met and what marriage means to them. The campaign encourages other LGBT couples to do the same to spread the word about marriage equality. “The best way to win marriage equality is through changing hearts and minds, and that’s really the purpose of the Get Engaged campaign,” Kersten said. For Marsh and Popov, the decision to get married was not only the next logical step in their relationship, but also to keep Popov in the country when his studies at Nova Southeastern University were completed. After an emotional ceremony at a New York City courthouse – the two ironically lived in the Big Apple at the same time and never met,
another sign to them that it was just meant to be – the couple ran to the DOMA Project office to turn in a copy of their marriage license to start the green card application. Sadly, when they returned home to Broward County, their license was just a piece of paper and the two had to apply to be recognized as a domestic partnership -- and it would only be valid in the county. However, that day in June that no LGBT couple will ever forget, the Supreme Court struck down the section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, stating that it was unconstitutional, and dismissed the challenge to the decision that overturned California’s Proposition 8. “This is obviously a very important day for all of us, a day we have worked for many years,” Lavi Soloway, Popov and Marsh’s attorney, said in a video response to the DOMA ruling. “Same-sex couples who are married can file green card petitions and expect them to be approved and those gay and lesbian Americans whose partners are overseas and file fiancé visa petitions can expect to be bringing their fiancés to the United States in a process that will work for them in the same way it works for opposite sex couples on a daily basis. “It means that the first tangible and palpable result of the Supreme Court decision will
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be reuniting American families, bringing gay and lesbian people from abroad who have been in exile living outside of the United States with their partners, the couples who are separated.” Two days after the hearing, someone somewhere pulled Popov and Marsh’s petition for a green card and approved it. Not only has the press been eager to hear what the couple has to say, but couples locally have been reaching out to them, showing how widespread the strife of bi-national couples is. “Now they recognize us and they come, let’s say in the gym, and people come and they ask us about their own immigration troubles,” Popov said. “When they come and talk to you, that’s when it hits you. You see these people so many times.” The couple wanted to take advantage of their unexpected fame and use it for good, thus the partnership with Equality Florida. Not only are they a gay couple fighting for their marriage to be recognized nationwide, but they also represent a growing number
of bi-national couples struggling to stay together. “They really serve as models for the fight for marriage equality. There are many issues and we know there is over 1,100 legal protections that are afforded to heterosexual couples that gay couples don’t have, and one of the most visible ones here in Florida is with bi-national couples,” Kersten said. Florida’s own Sen. Marco Rubio said he would not support his own immigration bill if homosexual couples were included. “He was killing the whole legislation affecting 11 million people just to victimize 30,000 people,” Popov said. If DOMA weren’t overturned, the couple would have been forced to move to Toronto, where their marriage is recognized and where Marsh originally hails from. However, for both of them that would have meant leaving behind decades of memories and stability. “That’s 23 years of my life I’m going to walk away from because I’m gay? Come on,” Marsh said.
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Before Prop 8 and DOMA, The Top 5 LGBT Court Cases
he two high-profile opinion cases in June from the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t quite end up as being as historic as the Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down laws against marriage for interracial couples in 1967. They weren’t quite as dramatic as Roe v. Wade, which struck down most restrictions against abortion in 1973. But even so, they received more attention than the decisions on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action. But let’s be clear. the outcomes of both cases, in U.S. v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding California’s Proposition 8), were historic and dramatic. And both of them will easily be included in any Top Ten LGBT Cases list, and more likely among the Top Five. Here are the cases that would make most LGBT legal activists’ Top Five LGBT Supreme Court opinions list today
Lawrence v. Texas
Vote: 6 to 3
Ruling: A Texas law making it a crime for two adults of the same sex to have consensual sexual relations in private violates the Due Process Clause. Impact: The ruling not only struck down the Texas law but those in eight other states. It also put a stop to the use of various other entities – employers, the military, family courts, and others—from using the existence of the laws to justify various other forms of discrimination against LGBT people. Many believe it is the decision that most paved the way for the success of much later litigation, including on marriage, to assert equal protection rights for LGBT people.
Bowers v. Hardwick
Vote: 5 to 4
Ruling: A Georgia law making it a crime for two adults of the same sex to have consensual sexual relations in private was constitutionally permissible. Impact: Politically and legally, Hardwick lashed out against an LGBT community that was growing dramatically, in part due to legal gains and in part due to a need to address the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It was cited by hundreds of later decisions in courts across the nation to justify all various restrictions on the rights of LGBT people.
One v. Olesen
Vote: Per Curiam
Ruling: Without comment, the court overturned a Ninth Circuit decision that allowed the public mail service to refuse delivery of a gay and lesbian newsletter, which a Los Angeles postmaster had deemed pornographic. Impact: This marked the first time the high court protected the rights of LGBT people specifically, and it did so in the context of harassment that began during the McCarthy Era of witch hunts against communists and homosexuals. By upholding the rights of gays and lesbians to express themselves politically and poetically, and to share those expressions among themselves through the mail, the court left open the important means of communication that the LGBT political and cultural movements needed to exist and grow.
Romer v. Evans
Vote: 6 to 3
Ruling: The voter-approved Amendment 2 to the Colorado constitution seeking to block any state or local jurisdictions from prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Impact: It overturned Colorado’s hostile law and put the brakes on a devastating trend of other states passing or attempting to pass similar initiatives. It also put governments on notice that they could not pass laws that disfavored LGBT people simply because a majority of voters dislike LGBT people.
Hurley v. GLIB
1995 Vote: 9 to 0
Ruling: The First Amendment right to freedom of association trumped a state law prohibiting discrimination on account of sexual orientation in places of public accommodation. Impact: This ruling not only weakened the ability of states to prohibit discrimination, it was the beginning of a trend in which people who did not like gays argued that the First Amendment gave them a right to express their disapproval in public contexts. In short order, numerous cases emerged, including Boy Scouts v. Dale (in 2000). Even today, the argument is raised, most recently in Christian Legal v. Martinez, testing the right of school officials to require student campus groups to treat all students equally.
Is Marriage a Fundamental Right? 1. Maynard v. Hill, (1888):
Marriage is “the most important relation in life” and “the foundation of the family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”
2. Griswold v. Connecticut, (1965):
“We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights—older than our political parties, older than our school system. Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of
being sacred. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions.”
4. Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, (1942):
3. Meyer v. Nebraska, (1923):
“[W]hen the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, this Court must examine carefully the importance of the governmental interests advanced
The right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” is a central part of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.
Marriage is “one of the basic civil rights of man,” & “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.”
5. Moore v. City of East Cleveland, (1977) (plurality):
and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation.”
6. Loving v. Virginia, (1967):
“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
7. Boddie v. Connecticut, (1971): “[M]arriage involves interests of basic importance to our society” and is “a fundamental human relationship.”
there were these cases... The Top Marriage Court Cases
his year’s ruling on DOMA is historic and significant but it follows a string of cases that came before declaring marriage a fundamental right. Below are some of the most important and significant marriage cases that the Supreme Court has ruled on.
Loving v. Virginia
1967 Vote: Unanimous
Mildred and Richard Loving
Ruling: A Virginia law that made interracial marriage a crime violates both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Impact: This landmark civil rights ruling invalidated all laws across the U.S. prohibiting interracial marriage. Sixteen states at the time still banned interracial marriage. The day of the decision, June 12, has become known as Loving Day and has been the subject of two movies. In 2000 Alabama became the last state to adapt its laws to the Supreme Court decision removing a provision prohibiting mixed-race marriage from its state constitution through
a ballot initiative. Even so only 60 percent of voters voted for the removal of the antimiscegenation rule, with 40 percent against. Loving v. Virginia was cited in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which overturned California’s Proposition 8 (which restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples). Judge Vaughn R. Walker concludeed that “the [constitutional] right to marry protects an individual’s choice of marital partner regardless of gender.”
McLaughlin v. Florida
Ruling: A Florida law that prohibited interracial cohabitation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Impact: This ruling only dealt with two people of opposite races living together and not marriage. In fact it kept Florida’s related statute banning interracial marriage in place. The Florida law read: “Any negro man and white woman, or any white man and negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.
Pace v. Alabama
1883 Vote: Unanimous
Ruling: An Alabama law that prohibited interracial marriage did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
Impact: This ruling stayed in place for 81 years until it was weakened by McLaughlin v. Florida and then overturned by Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court ruled that because whites were prohibited from marrying blacks and blacks were equally prohibited from marrying whites the law did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, especially since the punishments for both races were equal as well.
Perez v. Sharp
Ruling: This California law that prohibited interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Impact: This is the only case on this list that didn’t come from the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead it came from California Supreme Court. The case was later cited in the Loving v. Virginia decision. This was the first time a court held that a state anti-miscegenation law violates the federal constitution. Even so it still took another 19 years before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all antimiscegenation laws. Besides the four cases above other notable marriage cases include Maynard v. Hill (1888) which is the first case to declare that marriage is a fundamental right; Williams v. North Carolina which upheld a couple’s right to divorce in another sate and once a divorce is effective in one State, it must be given full faith and credit in every other State; and Turner v. Safley which even upheld a prisoner’s constitutional right to marry.
The Supreme Court Seems to Think So 8. Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, (1974):
“This Court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
9. Carey v. Population Services International, (1977):
“[I]t is clear that among the decisions that an individual may make without unjustified
government interference are personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education.”
10. Zablocki v. Redhail, (1978):
“[T]he right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals.”
11. Turner v. Safley, (1987):
“[T]he decision to marry is a fundamental right” and an
“expression... of emotional support and public commitment.”
12. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, (1992):
“These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own
concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
13. M.L.B. v. S.L.J., (1996):
“Choices about marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children are among associational rights this Court has ranked as ‘of basic importance in our society,’ rights sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.”
’‘We Are Interlopers’ Asexuality is an ugly stepsister that’s getting older and more popular — one you should get to know. You may be surprised by what you learn.
When Julie Decker was 17, Google couldn’t help her figure out what to call her asexuality. It couldn’t get her in touch with groups of other asexuals, definitions, forums, support groups, videos, smiling faces, etc. So she did what most 17-year-olds do. She told her partner, but almost no one else. Decker — who’s been going by the nickname and handle swankivy since she was 15 years old — speaks confidently and matter-offactly. She doesn’t say that her partner was full of support, nor does she say she was oppressed. Speaking about coming to terms with her (non) sexuality, she doesn’t mention emotion too often, which confirms her strong self-described character. Without search results to guide her elsewhere, Decker termed herself “non-sexual.” “For the most part, asexual people are realizing they’re asexual when other people are realizing who they’re attracted to,” Decker told the Mirror. Some people pretend to have crushes on others, or let themselves be put into situations where their attraction isn’t real. People have reported, Decker said, that they’ve gone so far as to get into sexual activities with people they weren’t attracted to for fear of being left out (not an uncommon occurrence in the LGBT community). “Some people deal with that by listening to the buzz around them, which is telling them there’s something wrong with them if sex isn’t something they want,” the now-35-yearold told SFGN. “I dated a couple of people in high school because of peer pressure. If asexual people listen to everyone, cave in, and try to fake it, their peers won’t believe them and keep moving the bar up — and keep changing what you have to try to do to make it work.” So at first you have to date to be normal. Then it becomes fooling around. Then first base determines normalcy. Then second and third and this and that, ad nauseum. People don’t want to believe asexuality is a thing — that it’s an actual experience of sexuality. It sounds inexplicable and false when someone claims to live contently within the vacuum that’s left without sexual desire (Decker’s peers and others like them wouldn’t be the first to have a hard time believing in the absence of what they consider an innate existence). “I don’t have to answer to anyone about my
Julie Decker, who goes by the handle and nickname swankivy, tells us what asexuality is all about, and why it’s so hard for some people to get it.
sexual feelings,” Decker said, adding that she didn’t have a hard time maintaining her own truth about the matters of sex, in lieu of the attempts of persuasion invading her daily life. “I was used to defining my own reality.” Adults told her she’d like someone of another gender when she’d get older — the heteronormative expectation had been bestowed. “You might be confused, or you might think you’re gay — though there are many other options except for gay or straight.” Dating failed and she categorized it as unsatisfying — she wasn’t seeing the same results between her and her dates and those between her friends and their dates. She figured she must be a late boomer. “I totally expected to develop some kind of sexual attraction in some sense,” she said. But it never came. In 1998, the precocious (both in spirit, mind and technology) Decker took to the web and wrote about her asexuality. You can read what Decker said is a “slightly edited” copy of that essay at bit.ly/xmvAh2 (Decker has her own site at swankivy.com). She soon got emails from people claiming they were happy to know they weren’t alone. To this day, Decker is an outspoken activist in the asexual world, all starting with those first few emails in response, reaching out into what was for the first time no longer a dark room. “I was never a person who needed communal support, so it didn’t really change
anything for me,” Decker said about getting those emails and for the first time finding community. “But what disturbed me about it was how many of them had been so disturbed by it.” Many people had gotten married and had kids, been sexually abused, barraged for not prioritizing sex, just for “basically not wanting what people had decided was a basic human experience.” These days things are different, with sites like Asexuality.org , home to the Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN) and movies like (A)Sexual, in which AVEN’s founder David Jay is heavily profiled. But they’re not too different. Decker was part of the Huffington Post’s six-part series of stories that overviewed asexuality. She told the Post for a June story that “Sexual harassment and violence, including so-called ‘corrective’ rape, is disturbingly common in the asexual community,” and that she’d received “death threats and has been told by several online commenters that she just needs a ‘good raping.’” And her experience isn’t limited. In a 2012 column for Psychology Today, Brock University professor Gordon Hodson, who specializes in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, wrote about the prejudice that asexuals face. From the piece: “Relative to heterosexuals, and even relative to homosexuals and bisexuals, heterosexuals:
(a) expressed more negative attitudes toward asexuals (i.e., prejudice); (b) desired less contact with asexuals; and (c) were less willing to rent an apartment to (or hire) an asexual applicant (i.e., discrimination). Moreover, of all the sexual minority groups studied, asexuals were the most dehumanized (i.e., represented as ‘less human’).” “In the broadest sense, ‘queer’ is a term people use to describe someone whose sexuality isn’t normative, and we definitely fall into that,” Decker said, adding that LGBT people aren’t always the most sympathetic or inviting to asexuals. Likewise, many asexuals don’t want to be part of the LGBT community. “We are never seen as dealing with the same kind of levels of prejudice, and I don’t believe we’re an institutionally oppressed group.” While not oppressed as a group, it’s not uncommon for people to push for sexual contact when rejected by the admission of asexuality. And when that happens, it’s not because the person is asexual, but because the pusher (man, woman, gay, straight, transgender, etc.) is mistaking that person for someone with a normative sexual attraction — whatever that means. “We are interlopers. We’re invisible,” Decker said. “It’s really hard to have something bad happen to us because of our sexuality because most offenses are misrepresentations — it’s pretty complicated.” But it’s also very simple: Aexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, Decker explained. But there are other, subtly different definitions, like the one describing an asexual person as someone who doesn’t desire or is not interested in sex, but may still be sexually attracted to a person. Confused? Decker said sex is just a behavior. It’s not defining and its scope is limited. So can an asexual person be in love? Yes, Decker replied, and what kind of love! “A lot of people will say that physical sex will change a relationship from a friendship into a romance,” she said. “But it’s all about intimacy. That intimacy doesn’t have to be physical or sexual. I really, really hope that most people who are in romantic relationships don’t think sex is the most important part of the relationship.” Do you?
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Inductees So Far
Bio’s compiled from GayAndLesbianSports.com
LZ Granderson A journalist and commentator for CNN and ESPN. Contributor to ESPN’s Sports Center, Outside the Lines and ESPN First Take and commentates for ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament and also hosted the web-based ESPN360 talk show Game Night. He sits on the advisory board for the You Can Play Project.
Billie Jean King As a former world number one professional tennis player. King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles throughout her career. Including 12 singles, 16 doubles and 11 mixed doubles titles. King is also known as the first prominent professional female athlete known to be lesbian.
Jason Collins NBA center for the Washington Wizards. In April 2013, he publicly came out as gay, also becoming the second active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so. He wears jersey number 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, the victim of a gay hate crime in 1998.
hall of fame: LGBT athletes now have
his nonprofit is unique — and that’s quite a claim in 2013. Bill Gubrud, the founder and now executive director of the brand spanking new Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, was floored when he heard people — in 2012 — wonder why no mainstream sports figures had come out. Of course they have! He didn’t scream, though. He acted. “It’s short-term memory. If it hasn’t happened in the last few years, it hasn’t happened,” Gubrud told the Mirror. “I think people really need to know the history of the athletes and what they’ve gone through.” What the hell is Gubrud talking about, you may be thinking. Jason Collins (an inductee of the hall) was the first major professional sports figure to come out, right? Wrong. The first inductee that the
board of directors at the hall of fame discussed was Glenn Burke, who played Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics from — wait for it — 1976 to 1979. That’s over three decades ago. According to the hall of fame, Burke was the first and only MLB player that came out to his teammates and team owners during his career. Not after, not when it was safe, not when he retired, but during. Along with fellow ballplayer, Dusty Baker, the two are also credited with inventing the high-five, according to Gubrud. “This all started long before Jason Collins came out,” Gubrud said. Gubrud grew up in a family of six. His oldest brother, and his little sister, were gay — “three out of six, that’s half” Gubrud muses — and the family was supportive. “I was one of the lucky ones,” he told the Mirror. But coming out in 1998
An English activist and former England rugby union international player. Cohen was awarded Gay Times’ sports personality of the year in 2008. He founded the StandUp Foundation that raises awareness of the damaging effects of bullying and help those that work to stop it.
A boxer from Puerto Rico and was the first boxer to come out as gay. He has a number of wins of under his belt. He works to promote being a hero for children and teenagers.
Dr. Tom Wadell
The first American male team-sport professional athlete to be openly gay during his playing career. He had been a professional lacrosse goaltender for the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse. He now goes to schools to speak to stop the use of homophobic language in sports.
The founder of the Gay Games in 1982 in San Francisco in the form of a sports competition and arts festival. In June, 1976, he and landscape designer Charles Deaton were featured on the over of People magazine and the first gay couple to appear on the cover of a major, national magazine.
gay Sports Edition a place to call home meant he lost many friends along the way. Having always been a huge Cubs fan and moving to Chicago to work for the Chicago Free Press, he was beside himself when the team he loved took out ads at the paper he worked for a gay newspaper. That made the Cubs the first professional sports team to advertise in a gay newspaper. With 2,000 tickets during its first ever Gay Day (in 2001), the Cubs were a natural fit for an inductee to the hall of fame. Gubrud said the hall of fame has three main objectives: •To preserve history of LGBT people in the sporting world - sadly something no one else does, he said. •To educate school districts around the country. •To honor amateur athletes (or professional). On top of the website that runs the hall of fame, an educational program is in the works. The
idea is for the people running it to travel the country, showcase inductees (who may even show up), and present the LGBT history of sports. “We want to make sure there’s a right attitude. PreJackie Robinson, if you were an African-American youth, you had no one to look up to that was African-American in mainstream sports,” Gubrud said. “Likewise, if you’re LGBT today, you want someone to identify with.” To see a full list of the inductees thusfar,gotoGayAndLesbianSports. com/#inductees. “It doesn’t matter what sport it is, whether it’s considered macho or femme — the bigotry is there,” Gubrud said. “A lot of people I’ve talked to don’t even know who Greg Louganis was. It’s so important to me that people know the historical aspect of it.” For more information, go to GayAndLesbianSports.com.
Greg Louganis Openly gay and an American Olympic diver who won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games for both the springboard and platform. He is the only male and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. Louganis has shared his story on coming out and testing positive for HIV through his best-selling autobiography Breaking the Surface. The book spent five weeks at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Jerry Pritikin Known as the “Bleacher Preacher,” became famous during his days as a regular in the Wrigley Field bleachers during the 1980s. He is largely the subject of the Lonny Wheeler book Bleachers.
Renee Richards An American ophthalmologist, author and former professional tennis player. In 1975, Richards underwent sex reassignment surgery. She was denied entry into the 1976 US Open by the United States Tennis Association. She disputed the ban, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1977. This was a landmark decision in favor of transsexual rights.
Known as the Godfather of gay softball. He was a founding member of the Big Apple Softball League in New York City and is one of the earliest to promote the sport among gay men in the U.S. He retired to Ft. Lauderdale where he became an intrumental figure in founding and promoting gay softball leagues for the South Florida community.
ESPN editor and writer, cofounder of the Baseball Prospectus. She publicly come out as a transsexual sportswriter in 2003. Also, is a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Kahrl is an activist on civil rights issues for the transgender community in her hometown of Chicago and a Board Director of Equality.
A tennis legend; she has won 59 Grand Slam crowns and a record 9 Wimbledon singles champions. Martina was one of the first to come out in 1981 and is currently an advocate for equal rights and a strong supporter of many charities for the LGBT community.
Major League Baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics from 1976 to 1979. Burke was the first and only Major League Baseball player known to have been out to his teammates and team owners during his professional career. Burke, along with teammate Dusty Baker, were credited with inventing the high five. He died from AIDS-related causes in 1995.
A Buddy system for hiv? Group launches new programs, takes HIV mentorship to new level, and everyone’s raving about it
he Positive Young People Foundation hopes to change the way HIV-positive youth is dealing with its issues. In an August statement, the group announced its intention to launch Buddy+, which is exactly what it sounds like — youth can sign up and get a year’s worth of one-on-one “emotional support from mentors trained by HIV professionals, all provided free of charge,” the announcement reads. This comes with a toll-free hotline, too. “Being told you have HIV is frightening. Having a buddy, someone who understands, someone who cares, someone you can reach out to when you feel too overwhelmed, makes it not only bearable, but manageable,” said Pam Stevens, PYP’s Boca Raton ambassador. The whole idea comes from Irwin Drucker, PYP’s executive director. “We’d never done anything on the line of direct services. I just felt it was time to take it to the next level,” Drucker told SFGN. “Our whole focus as an organization is on young people, so it was a no-brainer.” But why a buddy system? “We felt that one thing that people really need — there’s a lot of information on what meds to take, safe practices, etc. — a resource on, you know, how to tell your mother you’re positive,” Drucker said. “We felt this would complete the circle — to have emotional support.” And Chance Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce had this to say: “When one-fourth of new cases of HIV in the U.S. are high school and college-age kids, there is no better time to introduce a personalized system like Buddy+ for mentoring, safety, and prevention. Community is the best change maker.” The system even got endorsed by Florida’s Patrick Murphy, the nation’s youngest Congressman. “In this age of reduced Federal spending for many assistance programs, young people living with HIV+AIDS will need to rely more on the private sector for programs that offer free services to those in need,” Murphy said. “PYP’s new Buddy+ program ... is an excellent example of just such a program, offering critical emotional support to young men and women in the early stages of infection.” PYP came about in 2009 when Logan Vox, then-18 years old, wanted to find a way to give back to the community that had propped him up after his younger years — which were laced with drug use, poverty, neglect and friends coming down with HIV. Intentionally, the group focuses on 18- to
From left to right: Logan Voxx, Deborah Cox, and Irwin Drucker of Positive Young People.
30-year-olds and the conversation about HIV and AIDS they should be having — specific attention is given to rural areas, like that in which Vox grew up. PYP’s second most important figure must be Irwin Drucker, who joined the group in 2012 as executive director. But before coming to PYP, Drucker led an extremely influential life outside of it, jumpstarting what would become the modern, thriving partnership between the American LGBT community and American business. Drucker graduated from NYU with his MBA and was immediately offered a job with IBM to negotiate contracts between IBM and the many fledgling software companies out there (like Microsoft and its negotiator, then-lessimportant Bill Gates). “It blows my mind when I think that someone who went to become the wealthiest man in the world was someone I talked to on a daily basis,” Drucker said about Gates. After 15 years doing that, he decided it was time to do something different and was ready to leave the company (Drucker readily admits that 15 years is about the length of time it takes him to feel accomplished with one goal and ready to accept a new challenge). With promises of higher compensation and a new responsibility, Drucker was convinced to stay. Less than a month after that, IBM made a push to diversify itself for colored people and women, initiating programs to include these communities more so in dealings with companies. Asking about LGBT people and their relevance in the idea, Drucker got his new position: Director of gay and lesbian supplier diversity in 1999 — this was the first time ever, in the history of EVER, that a corporation looked at LGBT business owners as a group that needed financial and business assistance.
“This was the last diversity segment added to the sack. IBM was the first to do it and I was the first to run it,” Drucker said. His question — which he calls “naive” — brought the company prematurely into the new millennium. “It was literally that fast. I just had a sense that we were leaving something on the table. I knew of LGBT people who owned businesses and weren’t getting an opportunity to compete because corporate America wasn’t ready to cross that bridge.” IBM, before known as a “bastion of conservatism,” was ready to mend its ways. Now, more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies have similar programs, aimed at lending a hand to emerging LGBT businesses. Four years later in 2003, IBM became the first corporate sponsor of the NGLCC. Another 15 years went by though, and he knew he wanted something new (the clock had run out). “Now it was time to do something that affected people more personally,” Drucker said. And youth was the answer. The important segment, the irresponsible segment, the one that’s still finding ways to fit in, ways to fit out. And especially ways to deal with the stigmas that they inherited. “It’s great that companies have come up with medications that make HIV more easy to live with, but people think they don’t have to worry about it now because the only consequence is taking a pill.” Add to that the fact that 37 states don’t protect companies who’ll readily fire positive people, and you’ve get a custom-made issue for Drucker to get to work on. “By the time they get it, it’s too late — there’s no going back.” Today, that’s his focus with PYP, and he’s still got 14 years to go until the next venture. Visit PYPF.org for more information.
Tough. Smart. Fit. A candid talk with Jillian Michaels
uthor. Fitness guru. Television star. Entrepreneur. Those are just some of the epithets given to Jillian Michaels. The more important question would be: What hasn’t this chick done? Most know her from as the no holds barred fitness coach on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. From that show she was able to turn herself into a brand. Over the summer she discussed with SFGN being a mother, publicly coming out, obesity in America, and how big government affects your waistline. Michaels has been a fitness expert and wellness coach for more than 20 years. In addition, she owned and operated a sports medicine facility. Her passion though for fitness training originates from 17 years of martial arts practice. She holds a black belt by the way. She’s the author of numerous books including Master Your Metabolism, Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life and Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets To Simple, Fast, And Lasting Weight Loss. She’s released a slew of DVDs with her newest title being, Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno. And then there’s her weight loss systems including Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, a comprehensive 90-day weight loss system, and Jillian Michaels Bodyshred, an intense group fitness class. Her website JillianMichaels.com, hosts a comprehensive online wellness program. She records a weekly podcast, The Jillian Michaels Show, which is available for free download on iTunes. Jillian also has an iPhone app, Jillian Michaels Slim-Down Solution. In 2012, she was named as one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. Most recently she wrapped up her first ever live speaking tour, “Maximize Your Life,” which traveled to 34 cities across North America. Michaels lives with her family in Los Angeles. Michaels is candid, honest and doesn’t beat around the bush. Check out the interview below. There are three words that are at the core of your message: Imagine, believe and achieve. Can you explain them? So many people are out of alignment with their true calling, what their passion is in life. We take these jobs that we hate and we put one foot in front of the other responsibly, or what society tells us to do, or what we think we should do, but we’re miserable doing it.
So the first part is about taking a look at where you have fallen out of alignment, what you’re doing in your life that makes you unhappy and feel unfulfilled, and then connecting again with your passion, and your truth, and the things that make you genuinely happy. The second part of the equation is learning how to redefine your self image and enhance your self worth, and your belief in your ability to achieve those goals and dreams. It’s really about rooting out self destructive patterns and finding their origin and then subsequently turning those things around. The third part is about action, because obviously if you don’t bring action to an intention nothing is going to change or happen. But if you bring misinformation to your actions then that’s when you see things like bankruptcy and health issues and the list goes on and on. So it’s about giving people the proper information skill set and tools so that they can bring those actions to their intentions so their chances for success are significantly greater. Obviously you’re a fitness guru. But I just noticed that you didn’t focus on food and fitness in your previous answers. Instead you focused on a state of mind. Absolutely because when you look at people that are unhealthy it always goes hand in hand with being unhappy. Ninety-five percent of the people that lose a large amount of weight put it back on. And the Biggest Loser runs at a 60 percent success rate, which is considerable and unheard of, but it’s not very hard to teach you how to be healthy. I bet everybody already knows. Don’t eat so much and eat better quality foods and move your ass as often as you can, as intensely as possible. Conversation over. We really don’t need to say much more about this. So the question you need to ask is if the information literally to lose weight or be healthy is that simple and it is: “how come so many are unhealthy and unhappy and that’s what you got to look deeper?” What’s one thing you would tell anybody trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Gosh I would tell them that they’re absolutely capable and absolutely deserving. We are all equally deserving. We’re all equally deserving and equally capable, and that is the truth, however they have to put in the work, and they have to educate themselves on the task at hand in order to be successful. The first thing is to find their why. Having
anything or achieving anything is going to require some sacrifice. But if you have that why, and the work is worth it, then anything is possible. So really work on that imagine part, and establishing your goal, and your vision, and your why. Then educate yourself on the necessary actions that need to be taken so that you will increase your chances of success over failure. Obviously obesity rates are out of control in America. What’s the biggest contributor or biggest obstacle to living healthy? I think the people are functioning in a nearly comatose way to get through their day. I think that they don’t really have perspective, they’re strapped for cash and they’re stressed out. They’re pulled in a million different directions and they’re thinking OK I need cheap options because, financially, you know we’re hurting, and it’s convenient. When in reality there’s nothing cheap about heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and the list goes on. To have the perspective you have to be significantly conscious that a lot of people switch off because of their stress level and then they think that food has become a coping mechanism for so many because again it’s convenient, it’s cheap, it’s accessible — it becomes the treat that they look forward to, the thing that they do for themselves, and it’s about teaching them how to nurture and affirm themselves in ways that are positive versus self destructive. It’s so cheap to eat really unhealthy. It’s so inexpensive. Any thoughts? A big part is because our government and big food has structured our tax subsidies so that you got billions of tax dollars going to support genetically modified corn and soy, which is what crappy food predominately consists of. So with that said, yes it’s cheap and in comparison to healthy meat and healthy vegetables and healthy grains it’s night and day, but again you can’t really expect for someone to come along to save you. Big business isn’t going to change. Big government isn’t going to change. If we have the proper information and know where to prioritize our food dollars we’ll know how to do our shopping in a cost effective fashion, and make a difference on our own. Exercising doesn’t have to cost you money. You can make this difference even though the odds might be stacked against you. People do everyday and so can you.
At what moment did you decide you want to help other people and change lives? Or was there one moment? You know I fell into fitness trainings when I was 17 because I had graduated high school early and I was training for my black belt. People would come up to me at the gym and ask me if I was a fitness trainer. I needed to make money at the time and I was like how much does this gig pay so I kind of fell into it and then when I got a little bit older I took a desk job in my 20s for about 3 years and couldn’t have been more miserable. Later I fell back into training and worked as a physical therapy aide at a sports medicine facility and then I graduated those patients into fitness training clients. When I was 27 or 28 I got a call from a client who was in tears telling me that she felt her hip bone for the first time in 8 years, and I realized in that moment that I was happy that this was my “calling” and I’d always loved doing it and always had been good at it and that was sort of my aha moment, like “wake up idiot But I guess you just think ‘Well, this can’t be a real job, you know this isn’t real work.’ I got to find a career and that’s the huge misconception.
We saw the first openly out and proud gay contestant, Jackson Carter, last season year. The sad thing is we’ve had many gay contestants, so that’s saying a lot. You had some children last year. How’s motherhood? We had a little boy and a little girl — it’s been great. There’s nothing that’s going to bring more meaning in your life than kids. It adds a depth and a richness to your life that nothing else can possibly even compare to, but you know I’m not going to pretend like it’s easy, it’s challenging, it’s confrontational, it’s exhausting, but again something worth having is going to come with sacrifice. And it’s worth having. Your sexuality has always been very low key. There have been hints over the years. But no one’s made a big deal about it until you had your children. Was that just a decision on your part? Or just the way it happened. You know it was just never part of the conversation, but I did say several years ago I’ve been with women and I’ve loved women. But it was just kind of like no one really cared to be honest. I was very forthcoming about
it, but it just wasn’t a thing and then the kids came along all of a sudden it was like just oh my God, and it was really odd what the media picks up on and what makes them pay attention to things. That was kind of like your “coming out.” I was always out. I was never really in. I have dated men, but I chose Heidi as my life partner, or however the heck we want to call it. She has always been private so it wasn’t like she wanted to make a big statement. But there are pictures of us at the farmer’s market holding hands. It just wasn’t a thing, until the kids came along, and then everybody was like “oh.” Which is fine as well, it doesn’t matter to me one way or another. To me it’s like I am who I am – we are all people. I don’t really define myself with a label, but you know we’re a family that has a black daughter and a Latin son and we’re two moms so to me I really try to look at people as people without putting us in subcultures. I think that might be it as well, I never identified as an ethnicity or a sexual orientation. For more on Jillian Michaels visit www. jillianmichaels.com.
Where does your no holds barred fitness style come from? You know it’s not always like that, but it is in particular on the Biggest Loser simply because the Biggest Loser is an intervention, so it’s an extremely different animal for that reason. The tour is more about information and inspiration. With that said, I do feel that sympathy is a form of compliance, it’s like saying “oh you poor thing, you are so weak, you are so fragile, just take the stairs, just try to make one small change,” and you know something you’re basically telling people that they’re incapable and they’re weak. I think empathy is important. I get that it is hard. Absolutely. I completely understand. But I know that they can do it, and I push people to realize what they are truly capable of. Speaking of Biggest Loser. Why did you return? To be totally honest with you, we had completely different producers on board that happen to be friends of mine that I trusted one hundred percent with the direction of the show. We tackled childhood obesity, which is something very important to me and very close to my heart. And it went down to one season a year, which is far more manageable for me because beforehand we were shooting 11 months out of the year and there was no time for a family, and no time for any other aspect of my business. So now I shoot four to five months out of the year. I can bring my kids to set. I’ve got seven to eight months to do things like this tour, like books, and on and on. It has just been really great in the restructuring of the schedule and honchos. Will you be back for next season? Yeah I’ll be back for 15.
Well-Strung JAson parsley
This classically trained hunky foursome will have you wanting more
hat do you get when you mix Mozart with Kelly Clarkson? Well-Strung. Yes it’s an obvious play on words. And a catchy one at that. It’s a good thing the musical quartet has some talent to back up the name, otherwise it’d be just a gimmick. But it’s their unique performances that turn listeners into fans and keeps them coming back. From Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga to Keisha and Adele, these singing string players are blending classical musical with modern day pop attracting audiences of both genres. “I thought it would be cool to mash up classical selections, and juxtapose top 40 stuff and [highlight] the similarities and differences and blur the lines between classical and Top 40,” said the group’s founder Chris Marchant, 29. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re “hunky” as Out Magazine and Huffington Post have called them in the past. Examples of their music can be found on their website. One of their videos “Mozart Meets Kelly Clarkson” infuses a classical string arrangement with Clarkson’s megahit “Since U Been Gone.” Marchant (second violinist) came up with the idea for the group while he was performing in Provincetown in 2010. It’s there that he met a director, and as they started to collaborate, the idea took shape. It wasn’t until later though, while in Australia for a photo shoot, that Marchant came up with the name Well-Strung, or rather took it for his own. “The name for the group came from a photo shoot I did for DNA magazine in Australia,” he explained. “It was the music issue and they titled my photo shoot well-strung … and so I thought that would be a good name for the group.” And that’s how Well-Strung was born. During that time Marchant was actively looking for other string players that could also sing, which was no small feat. Daniel Shevlin (cellist), 30, was Marchant’s first find. “Finding string players that sing is not the easiest task,” Shevlin said. Together, Marchant and Shevlin held auditions where they found Edmund Bagnell (first violinist), 27, who happened to be their first audition, and Trevor Wadleigh (violist), 26, who happened to be their last audition. But the all-gay boy band wasn’t looking to be all gay, things just turned out that way. “Before we found Trevor, we had originally
hired another guy, but he injured his wrist. He was straight,” Marchant said. Officially the group formed in the winter of 2012. And if their upcoming show locations are any indication of success they’re doing quite well. They have performances scheduled in London, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta. “I think we’ve always had a super positive reception. Not everyone that comes to our concert or hears our music knows what to expect. But we’ve only heard really, really great things,” said Trevor Wadleigh. “I think everybody walks away at least a little bit of a fan. And they always come in greater understanding of classical music or never having been to a string quartet performance.” In that way the four guys agree that their performances are educational, introducing classical music lovers to pop music and vice versa. Their individual backgrounds are similar. All of them picked up their instruments early
on and fell in love with them. Each of them have some background in musical theater. And music helped all of them cope with normal high school pressures as well as growing up gay. None of them really fit in throughout their grade school years, but they found a musical community that embraced them. “I wasn’t a popular kid, and music helped me cope with that, helped me with whatever was going on in life,” Marchant said. While Wadleigh added: “music was something of a nice escape for me. It was different. Something that I had felt proud of doing and joining the youth symphony, a group of like minded people that I really liked, really enjoyed being around was my salvation from school where I didn’t fit in so much.” As for their future Marchant hopes that one day they’ll have a sit down run. “That would afford us the opportunity to really put in practice hours and develop new material and make the show as good as possible,” he said.
Get to Know the guys: 3 Chris Marchant Instrument: Violin Age: 29 Originally From: Ohio Partnered
Marchant (second violinist) is grew up singing and playing violin, but was not involved with theatre until he graduated Malone University in Canton, OH. Since then, he has been involved in a number of productions using his talents as a vocalist, actor, and musician. Favorite productions include Tobias (Sweeney Todd, nat’l tour), violinist (Spring Awakening nat’l tour), Dennis (Sanders Family Christmas), and Provincetown’s Naked Boys Singing. Daniel Shevlin Instrument: Cello Age: 30 Originally From: New Jersey Single
Shevlin has had a very varied and geographically spread-out theatrical career. He has appeared off-Broadway in The Sandbox written and directed by Edward Albee, had toured the U.S. and Asia in productions of Rent and Cabaret (Studio 54 version), and has worked regionally as both an actor and cellist in many theaters including the Arvada Center (CO), The Maltz-Jupiter Theatre (FL), Riverside Theatre (FL), and Mason Street Warehouse (MI) to name a few. A New Jersey native, Daniel recently moved back
east to NYC after having a much needed and wonderful detour to Denver for almost two years. Edmond Bagnell Instrument: Violin Age: 27 Originally From: South Carolina Partnered
Bagnell (first violinist) played Tobias in the first national tour of Sweeney Todd directed by John Doyle. Recent credits include Toby in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium starring Varla Jean Merman (The Art House in Provincetown), Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Summer Theater of New Canaan), Charlie in The Big Holiday Broadcast of 1959 written by Joanna Gleason (Fairfield Theater Company), and Oramel Howland in The Great Unknown written by Jim Wann (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and Bill Hauptman (Big River) as a part of NYMF. Tevor Wadleigh Instrument: Viola Age: 26 Originally From: Seattle Single
Wadleigh is from Seattle and currently a member of The String Collective of New York. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, taught viola at the University of Puget Sound Community Music Community and is also a co-founder of the Puget Sound Animal Rescue.
Gary M. Kramer
From Porn Star to MUsic Star Colton Ford’s new album “The Way I Am”
istening to Colton Ford’s latest CD, The Way I Am, (his third full-length album), there is no doubt the ex-porn star can sing. Ford displays his range and diverse musical stylings on this enjoyable and eclectic album, which is now available on iTunes. “I’m totally a crooner,” the singer said in an interview earlier this year about his new CD, adding, “[ The Way I Am ] encompasses all of my musical styles. I’m rooted in R&B, funk, house, electronica, a little jazz, and some pop— all of the genres that speak to me. This album is a culmination of the 30 years I’ve been in the music business.” The singer hits and holds some high notes starting with the opening track “First in Line (Shadow of the Night).” He closes his album by exposing his soulful side on “All My Love” and “Alone” (both co-written with his childhood friend Ron Schrader). These two jazz-y compositions sound like adult contemporary R&B songs, and may even prompt listeners to close their eyes and fantasize about Ford. In between, the singer focuses on his strong suit--dance and electronica--tracks that will likely prompt folks to head to the dance floor. The singer observes, ”I think that the two ballads, ‘Alone’ and ‘All My Love,’ give additional dimension to the record, making it broader musically.” He paused and admitted, “This album was supposed to be out a year ago, but if this album came out then, I wouldn’t have the track ‘Alone.’” The best tunes on The Way I Am are the ear candy ones. Listeners will feel the energy and enjoyment Ford projects in his upbeat songs. When he asks the musical question, “Can You Feel It,” it is hard not to answer a resounding Yes! And “Realize,” arguably the best
song on the CD, is an infectious tune-“Pop, but with a California vibe,” Ford enthuses--that features a catchy “yeah, yeah, yeah” in the background and an especially throbbing backbeat. The single “Let Me Live Again” and the track “Look My Way” are terrific dance anthems that should get extended play at the next White Party. “Look My Way” in particular, features a driving drum-and-bass and layered lyrics. Ford’s voice just soars when he sings, “Because there’s nowhere to run/You’ll be falling in love/With just one look/I can give you everything that you desire.” It’s irresistibly seductive. Not surprisingly, several tracks seem engineered specifically for the dance floor. Ford invites listeners to groove along to “Get To You,” (featuring Ultra Naté), which he admits, “Is a Gap Band/ Dazz Band inspired track,” as well as “Change (You’re Gonna Have To)” and “The Music Always Gets You Back.” These songs show Ford has rhythm (as if there was any doubt), and he matches his phrasing to the syncopated beats to juice the words and give them extra emphasis. Ford claims to listen to a diverse group of musicians himself, ranging from Rufus and Chaka Khan, to Al Green, Luther Vandross and Olivia Newton-John. “Yes, I am a gay man!” he declares with gusto. What comes across most on The Way I Am is that Ford likes to play with his instrument that is his voice. He shifts his register in songs like “Let Me Live Again,” and “Look My Way,” among other tracks, but he may be best when he sings in deeper tones. Both “The Music Always Gets You Back,” and “Alone”-- the album’s longest song--benefit from Ford maintaining a consistent vocal range, even when the dance tune changes up its melody. Ford justifies his musical choices
when he says, “I think the theme underneath this whole album is you’re getting something you’re not expecting. That’s not to say that those people who have been following my music wouldn’t expect this, but part of the impact of my past and putting out this music is unexpected, and more serious.” He continued, “I try and go into writing sessions open, and let the track and moment guide me. Usually I start tapping into a melody and lyrics pop through, but sometimes I’ll go in with an idea of what I want to say, and let it develop from there. Lyrically, some songs reflect my experiences; others are just my observations or reflect my perspective or view of things—putting myself in someone else’s shoes. Others come from my imagination. The styles range accordingly.” Curiously, two songs that switch things up are perhaps the weakest tracks on the album. The aforementioned ballad “All My Love” and his title track, “Just the Way I Am” suggest that Ford is trying too hard, and struggling to find his groove. “All My Love” sounds cheesy when it bridges, and “Just the Way I Am” mixes a disco beat with something like an accordion? Both songs sound too busy and overproduced. But these misfires fail to detract much from an otherwise worthwhile album. The Way I Am is Ford putting himself out there in every track. His intent may be to show (or perhaps prove?) his musical chops and ability to mix musical genres. The diversity is welcome, and there is much to admire on this CD. And while Ford manages his versatility well, his strategy suggests he is trying to please all his fans. As a result, this may have the unintended effect of listeners testing the whole album and purchasing just the tracks they desire.
Colton Fordâ€™s album Released June 14, 2013. $9.49 on Amazon.com. Includes 11 songs.
5 Amazing LGBT CEOs Taking care of business, the gay way
ou don’t have to be a straight shooter to run a company. While only recently have LGBT people been wholly celebrated for coming out in their workplaces, it wasn’t the case for many years while today’s LGBT CEOs were climbing the ranks. Irwin Drucker, for example, took over as executive director at Positive Young People in 2012 (read more about him on page 18). But before coming to PYP, Drucker led an extremely influential life outside of it, jumpstarting what would become the modern, thriving partnership between the American LGBT community and American business.
Drucker graduated from NYU with his MBA and was immediately offered a job with IBM to negotiate contracts between IBM and the many fledgling software companies out there (like Microsoft and its negotiator, then-lessimportant Bill Gates). “It blows my mind when I think that someone who went to become the wealthiest man in the world was someone I talked to on a daily basis,” Drucker said about Gates. After 15 years doing that, he decided it was time to do something different and was ready to leave the company. Less than a month after that, IBM made a push to diversify itself for colored people and women, initiating programs to include these communities more so in dealings with companies.
Asking about LGBT people and their relevance in the idea, Drucker got his new position: Director of gay and lesbian supplier diversity in 1999 — this was the first time ever, in the history of EVER, that a corporation looked at LGBT business owners as a group that needed financial and business assistance. “This was the last diversity segment added to the sack. IBM was the first to do it and I was the first to run it,” Drucker said. While Drucker paved the way for business to hold hands with the LGBT community, other men and women paved the way to let LGBT community climb the ranks of these companies by doing it themselves. Here are the short-version stories of some of these heroes & CEOs.
Tim Cook — CEO, Apple Two months before the celebrated Steve Jobs passed away in Oct. 2011, then-Apple Chief Operating Officer took the helm as CEO. He was “responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries,”
according to Apple. He had previously worked for IBM for a dozen years and spent a six-month stint with Compaq. In 2012, TIME called Cook one of the world’s most influential people. “It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple,” former presidential candidate Al Gore wrote in the TIME article. “Yet
Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn’t missed a single beat.” Tim earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.
Nick Denton — Founder, Gawker Media Of course you know Gawker.com, the blog whose tagline is “today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.” The British journalist started the blog in 2002 and ran it for many years from an apartment in SoHo. In a New Yorker article called “Search and Destroy: Nick Denton’s blog empire,” Ben McGrath wrote “Gawker Media was a deliberately fly-by-night operation: incorporated
in Budapest, where a small team of programmers still works, and relying on elegantly jaded bloggers who considered themselves outsiders with nothing to lose. Early contributors tell stories about bounced checks, and receiving payments straight from the A.T.M. The arrangement, many assumed, was a convenient hedge against potential libel claims. (Scarcely a week passes without
one or more of Denton’s nine sites receiving a cease-and-desist letter.)” Fly-by-night or in the full light of sun, Denton now brings in between $15 to $20 million a year from his various websites (some of which he started in the nineties and had since died out). Denton attended the University College School and then, Oxford, where he studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.
Kathy Wolfe — CEO, Wolfe Video It’s a video company. Seriously. In 1970, Wolfe and Bill Plate founded Arrow Graphics, a graphic company. Wolfe was its VP and co-owner. She built the company into thirteen offices sprawled across five states. She started Wolfe Video in 1985 as a small mail order outlet, but “recognized a largely untapped audience of lesbians and gay men eager for films that spoke to their
own lives,” according to the company website. “Wolfe Video now enjoys a strong presence in the marketplace as the most successful distributor of independent, studio-produced and “self-authored” gay and lesbian themed video and DVD products.” According to the Huffington Post, Wolfe Video is “the oldest and largest exclusive distributor of LGBT films in the world.”
In 2012, she announced WolfeonDemand.com in a Post article. “Our goal all along has been to provide LGBT audiences with access to films that reflect their lives, but in reality, that’s not as simple as it sounds,” she wrote. “LGBT film fans will be rewarded for their online enthusiasm, and our filmmakers will be able to create more films for us to enjoy.”
Judy Dlugacz — CEO, Olivia According to the Advocate, Olivia was founded in 1973 by Dlugacz and nine other women as an independent record label aimed at producing and promoting the work of female musicians. But that wasn’t the best business model, and Dlugacz became the sole owner in 1984. In 1990, the company diversified and began offering vacation cruises geared
toward lesbians. Throughout the decade, Olivia grew to become the largest promoter of lesbian travel and services in the world, chartering ships, resorts, and tours ranging from small vacation groups to vessels accommodating more than 2,000 women. In 2006, Ernst & Young called Dlugacz Entrepreneur of the Year. “For more than 30 years we have been evolving Olivia the company
for the benefit of our extraordinary clients,” said Judy Dlugacz, founder and president of Olivia. “Whether it is an Olivia cruise or part of our expanding lifestyle brand, Olivia is always looking for ways to empower, engage, embrace, unite and enrich the lives of lesbians and women of all ages and diverse backgrounds.” Olivia’s annuals sales top out at around $30 million.
Bob Page — CEO, Replacements Limited When North Carolina was getting ready to vote marriage in 2012, most companies stayed out of the discussion. But one company did: Replacements Limited, which sells silver, china and glassware, and is based in Greensboro. “Its founder and chairman, Bob Page, is gay,” reads a New York Times article about that summer. “The company lobbied legislators, contributed money to causes supporting gay marriage, rented a billboard along the interstate near its headquarters,
and sold T-shirts at its showroom. Its experience may explain why no other for-profit company followed its example. Hostile letters and e-mails poured into the company from customers canceling their business and demanding to be removed from its e-mail list.” Page’s china empire now does about $85 million in sales annually. And it all started in the 80s when Page made a decision. He would go to flea markets and procure china and other
goodies for friends at cheap prices. When he took this gig full-time in 1981, he never thought that by 1984, he’d take in $4 million. “Today, the company’s 415,800 square feet houses thousands of pieces of china, silverware and other dinnerware,” reads North Carolina’s Business Journal. “Its customers — most of whom are over the phone or go online — include collectors or just those needing to replace a broken piece of their grandmother’s china set.”
5 Amazing Lesbian Athletes These women brought some spunk into their respective sports
emember when Jason Collins came out in May? Then NBA center wrote in a Sports Illustrated cover story: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” Well, everyone cheered then, but some forgot there have been LGBT athletes throughout the past several
decades who deserve just as much respect and cheer — and not all of them were men. And when it comes famous lesbian athletes the first two that come to mind are tennis superstars Prague-born Martina Navratilova, who came out as bisexual in 1981, and Billie Jean King, who was outed in 1981 by a former female lover. King lost most of commercial
endorsements as a result, but regardless, she continued to enjoy much success and in 2000 became the first open lesbian to coach an Olympic team. But while Navratilova and King may have been two of the first, they led the way for future women to also come out of the closet. Here are just a few of them...
Natasha Kai Soccer According to the New York Times, Kai “draws attention nearly everywhere she goes in New Jersey. Maybe it is because she rolls around in a large pick-up truck, has a strong Hawaiian accent and is covered with body art. Her unique style and extraordinary flair attracts eyes on and off the field.” Maybe we’ll never know why, but the famed forward player has quite the positive rap sheet. She became the first-ever player from Hawaii to play for the WNT and to make a FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, according to her U.S. Soccer profile, and would make it to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008. Known for her tattoos and hard attitude, though, Kai does have a softer side. She studied sociology in college and likes to surf (she did grow up in Hawaii, after all). She’s got three brothers and two sisters — she’s the oldest, and more than 25 tattoos. Her favorite food? A big mac. Favorite color? Pink.
Amelie Mauresmo Tennis This professional French tennis superstar retired in 2009, but started playing the game when she was just 4 years old. Mauresmo was ranked number one in the world, won 25 singles titles including two major championships (the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon Championships), and won a Silver Medal at the Olympics. Mauresmo came out during one of her most intense tennis tournaments, and the story hit headlines across the sports world, hampering her down and even bringing her to regret coming out the way she did. “It was tough,” she told the Guardian in 2006. “It was hard. I have never regretted the fact that I came out, but I do regret how I said it. It was too brutal. I could have done it in a much easier way. [Being gay] was no big deal for me. But I didn’t realise what a huge story it was going to be.” She tennis she “enjoys downhill skiing, go-karts, horse-back riding and listening to music by Dido.”
Patty Sheehan Golf Sheehan came out to the world in 1998, through a column she wrote for Golf World magazine. “I didn’t really know how well others would deal with the idea of Bryce having two moms, but I’ve decided if they have a problem with it, it’s their problem, not mine,” she wrote. “We have the means to provide Bryce with a comfortable upbringing and, more importantly, we have the desire to be loving and devoted mothers.... Bryce knows that she’s loved and wanted now.” By then, the 18-year veteran of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame in 1993, won the Nabisco Dinah Shore title in 1996, and had twice won the U.S. Women’s Open, and has more than 35 total career titles to date. When Patty Sheehan won the U.S. Women’s Open and the Women’s British Open in 1992, she became the first golfer to win both in the same year.
Sarah Vaillancourt Hockey Vaillancourt retired this year, ESPN reported, after making quite a mark on the sport. “The 27-year-old forward won gold with the team in 2006 and 2010,” the announcement reads. “Vaillancourt had 45 goals and 53 assists in 107 career games with Canada. She played in six world championships and won gold in 2007.” But her coming out story was even more inspiring. Joe Pelletier’s blog Greatest Hockey Legends called her career “promising” and recapped the way she told the world she was a lesbian. “Vaillancourt was an amazing story in her college career at Harvard University. As a freshman she openly admitted that she was a lesbian, and that she would leave if anyone had a problem with that,” the story reads. “Fortunately none of her coaches or teammates did, because she went on to become one of the top players in the Ivy League school’s history.”
Vicky Galindo Softball Galindo came out to the Advocate magazine before hitting up China for the 2008 Olympics. “It had been a tough year: [Galindo] had recently broken up with her longtime girlfriend, a lot was weighing on her, and opening up about her sexuality was something she felt had to be done. ‘I needed to be comfortable with who I was,’ she says now,” a follow up to her coming-out from the Advocate reads. “It was also her way of coming out to her parents. ‘I was like, Hey, Mom, by the way, there’s an article I did that you might be hearing about.’ Galindo returned from China with a silver medal and the admiration of her teammates, including one who said Galindo’s openness gave her the courage to come out herself.” The accomplished 29-yearold ball player has a lot to be proud of. Some of her accolades: Gold medalist at Pan American Games (2007), Two-time World Cup Champion (2006 & 2007), World Champion (2006), Olympic Silver medalist (2008).
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5 Amazing HIV-Positive Gay Men Staying on the positive side isn’t always negative
IV isn’t always the end of the road. The Mirror’s very own Ryan Dixon, former porn star turned writer, is just such an example. He keeps a diary of
his goings on and it’s plain to see that his road of obstacles and challenges is vast and long and very far from ending. Likewise, the world’s been privy to many HIV-positive men who used their bad fortune to better themselves and those around them,
people who rose to success and shone as examples that when that plus sign is part of your bio, it doesn’t mean a minus sign must follow it. Here are five of our favorite positively positive men.
Peter Staley This guy is the real thing. Pure bred activist through and through. In 1992, Staley (and other alums from ACT UP) founded the Treatment Action Group (TAG), and he became its founding director. TAG’s first action and “art project” involved covering Senator Jesse Helms’ home with a giant condom. Yeah. In May of 2013 he opened a panel discussion on AIDS survivors (covered by national media) by
saying, among other things: “I’m sure a lot of the discussion will be about our challenges and grievances. I know I’ve got some to share. As I said at Spencer’s memorial, many of us in some way have unprocessed grief, or guilt, or an overwhelming sense of abandonment from a gay community that turned its back on us and increasingly stigmatizes us, all in an attempt to pretend that AIDS isn’t its problem anymore. Many of us see our national gay rights groups
and our gay foundations and big gay money focused entirely on the feelgood battle for marriage equality.” In 1994, Clinton appointed him to run the AIDS drug development section of the National Task Force. In 2000, Staley started AIDSmeds.com, offering information to HIV-positive people (the easy-to-understand variety, specifically). Seen the movie “How to Survive a Plague”? It’s mostly about him. And it’s free and streaming on Netflix.
Jack MAckenroth Mackenroth moved to New York in 1991 to attend the Parsons School of design where he studied Fashion Design. When he was done, Mackenroth opened a menswear store in the nowhipster West Village called Jack. And in 1997, he went to work for Tommy Hilfiger. And then of course he appeared on season 4 of Project Runway.
But Mackenroth isn’t just about work. He also swims. Really well. He’s got three All-American titles to his name and set a national record in the summer of 2006 in the breaststroke leg of the 4-50 meter medley relay. The same summer he finished 12th in the 50 meter breaststroke at the Masters World Championships in
Stanford California. Jack Mackenroth is originally from Seattle, Washington. For more, check out our profile at http:// bit.ly/13n4xwx. Mackenroth also appeared on the Winter 2013 cover of the Mirror. More recently he launched a dating site, Volttage.com, for HIV plus men.
and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. Jones won a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed (and half his creation) FELA!. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 offBroadway run.
Whew. Deep breath: He’s received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College and the State University of New York at Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award, where he began his dance training with studies in classical ballet and modern dance.
Bill T. Jones Jones began his dance training at Binghamton University, where he studied classical ballet and modern dance. This dancer and choreographerextraordinaire received major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009
Greg Louganis He’s a four-time Olympic champion and is widely considered the greatest diver in history The only male to sweep both the 3m and 10m diving events in consecutive Olympic Games (1984 and 1988), Louganis has five Olympic medals,
five World Championship titles and 47 national titles (more than anyone in U.S. history). In 1984, Greg received the Amateur Athletic Union’s James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding achievements. In 1985, he was inducted into the
U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1987, he won the Jesse Owens Award. In 1993, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was presented with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Robert J. Kane Award.
the wishes of both the grass-roots and leadership of this community. They almost all called for a vote, no matter what. Instead, Harris chose to give cover to his political colleagues rather than follow through on his own onthe-record promise to call for a vote.” He’s been serving since 2006 and — take a breath, it’s a long one — here are some of his awards: He received the 2010 Illinois School Counselor Association Legislator of the Year Award, several Friend of Agriculture
Awards (he’s the first person to receive Gay Chicago Magazine’s Person of the Year honor). He has also received an award from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless for his leadership on issues surrounding youth homelessness. Harris got the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Champion for the Cure Award, the Chicago House Public Service Award, and was also honored with the Friend for Life Award by the Howard Brown Health Center.
Greg Harris Can’t end this list without at least one politician. That’s right, Harris is the openly gay state representative in Illinois. And politicians have enemies. “Harris should step down now as chief sponsor of this legislation,” wrote publisher Tracy Baim in Windy City Times, an LGBT weekly publication, in a stinging editorial in June when Harris didn’t call a vote for marriage equality because he felt he’d lose and cause more damage that way. “He has proven he is tone deaf to
THE LUXURY YOU DESERVE fall 2013
GELATO ANYONE? Pier Angelo
s a child growing up in Italy the arrival of summer meant gelato. If we behaved our parents would treat us, after dinner, to a gelato in the piazza. We would sit under the shadow of the bell tower and slowly savor the soft creamy coolness of Nocciola and Cioccolato scoops topped with the fluffiest and lightest handmade whipped cream I can remember. We loved summers for all the gelato we got to eat. It wasn’t until I came to this country that I realized I could have it every day of the year no matter what the season was. Supermarkets were stocked with banks of my favorite dessert. Alas, it was not the gelato I remembered but its American cousin. Fortunately in the last several years the Italian high-class alternative to ice cream is beginning to take off in the U.S. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word “gelātus.” (meaning frozen). Gelato is defined in English as a soft ice cream containing little or no air. The history of gelato dates back to frozen desserts in Sicily, ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountain tops and preserved below ground. Later, frozen desserts appeared during banquets at the Medici court in Renaissance Florence. In 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. The popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population, however, only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed. Italy is the only country where the market share of handmade gelato versus industrial is over 55 percent. What is Gelato and how does it differ from Ice Cream? Gelato is churned at a slower speed and uses more milk than cream. It should be dense and rich and have an elastic texture. Air content of ice cream (referred to as overrun) is usually much higher than that of good artisan gelato, which is around 20 percent. Less air equals more intense flavor. Generally fat content of ice cream is much higher than artisan gelato. This is usually due to the much higher cream content. By statute, gelato in Italy must have at least 3.5 percent butterfat, with no upper limit established. Premium ice cream contains butterfat far exceeding the minimums set forth in Italy. Gelato includes dairy flavors, with around seven to eight percent fat content, as well as non-dairy flavors (generally referred to as sorbets), with zero fat content. Texture of good artisan gelato will always be much
Alice’s Ice Cream Emporium located at 3000 E. Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale
softer and smoother than traditional ice cream. The serving temperature of gelato is generally around -15°C or +5°F whereas the serving temperature of traditional ice cream is generally around -20°C or -4°F. Currently, over 5,000 Italian gelaterie, or gelato shops, all over the world occupy more than 15,000 gelatai, or gelato makers. I have been searching for the ‘Gelato Holy Grail’ for years. It has been a fun ride albeit elusive. Nobody has really mastered the art as of yet. Many have come close but the real thing is still a chimera. So I am settling for the next best thing. I am glad to say that after going all over South Florida I found my favorite gelato/ ice cream hybrid smacked in the middle of my own neighborhood. Alice’s Ice Cream Emporium, located at 3000 E. Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale is a whimsical Parlor and Café, decorated with flair and a sense of fun, gay friendly, with lively mix-and-match colors and funky furniture where ice cream/gelato is made fresh daily, on site, by Wendy and Mike Spector. My partner and I go to Alice’s in the evening, after dinner, to stroke our taste buds. Each time it is a different experience since the flavors change daily. It is a cornucopia extravaganza of original creations. An incestuous mix of ice cream and gelato. The Pineapple Chili Lime explodes in your mouth first with sweetness followed by the tangy lime and finally the kick of the chili. A masterpiece. The “Strawberry Basil” might sound odd but when it hits the palate the sweetness of the strawberry is followed by the coolness of the basil and if you close your eyes the texture will carry you to St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
If you like toffee try the English Toffee Caramel and pretend to be a kid all over again. Be extravagant and try the Chocolate Cabernet, or the Berry Merlot, if you prefer white wines then the Strawberry Chardonnay is the one for you. I love the Peach Bellini, followed by the Chocolate Raspberry Chili. There is also a wide selection of sorbets. For a perfect modern summer flavor binge on the Mango or try the Avocado Sorbet. Be adventurous. And of course there are all the more traditional flavors for those who are scared of trying new things. Go for them. They are delightful. Trust me. I will continue my quest for the real gelato vs. ice cream but for the time being I am happy to just enjoy the two indiscriminately wherever I can find them. I will keep you posted. Ciao for now.
For more information Check Out fall 2013
Mark S. King
A love story
id I ever tell you about the night that Emil died?” my brother Richard asked me. It was 1992, and AIDS had taken Richard’s lover a full three years earlier. The death ended a love affair that had lasted more than a decade. I cocked my head. “Well, I was there, Richard, so I mean – ” “You were there after,” he said, and downed his drink. “Don’t you wonder what it was like just before?” He asked the question nervously, a perfect match for the cigarette he held in one hand — a long broken habit, suddenly resumed — and the cocktail in the other, which had been requested shortly upon his arrival to my apartment. “It’s not like I was trying to keep it from you, Mark,” he said, and he offered the glass for replacement. It was an odd thing for him to say. I walked to the kitchen and unscrewed the vodka bottle, beginning to feel nervous myself. Richard talked as I cracked an ice tray. “Emil had one of those lines that went way in inside him…” He was beginning a story I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear. “A hickman,” I said. “Yeah,” he answered, and he reached for the drink while the ice was still twirling. “But something was wrong with it the night before. It was swelling. So we took it out.” I returned to the couch. Richard paced. “The next morning the nurse came and Emil was being stubborn. He didn’t want the new Hickman.” He gulped his drink and took a breath. “I got an inkling what he was up to when the nurse said ‘Emil, starving yourself is not a pretty way to go.’ But Emil kept saying, ‘no, no, I won’t do this!’ and I remember he looked so weary, Mark. Just exhausted.” This isn’t the visit I planned, I thought to myself. I meant for my brother to see the new ceiling fan I had installed. But my handiwork couldn’t compete with the story that was now rumbling out of him. “I walked the nurse out and went back to Emil. He reached up for my hand, and he said, ‘you knew that today would be the day, didn’t you?’” Richard looked at me but didn’t “
acknowledge what must have been a growing expression of shock on my face. “I knew Emil wanted me to say yes, so I did. But inside I was screaming ‘NO! NO!’ ” Richard stopped, and I found the silence torturous. “Well,” I said, “it sounds like he was, uh, in charge of himself.” “Oh, he was in control all right,” he responded. “He told me to go get the book. The one about how to kill yourself.” Richard’s next few remarks would be lost on me. I couldn’t get past The Book. “So I’m reading him the chapter we had picked out,” Richard was saying, “and it suggests washing down the pills with
alcohol. We had some Seconal and I found some Scotch.” I knew about assisted suicide but had never heard of the mechanics of it firsthand, or considered the logistics a caring lover would undertake — or had witnessed the haunted result like the one that now sat chain smoking across my living room. “I made some toast for him just like the book said,” he continued, “and while we waited for him to digest the toast I opened the capsules and put the stuff into a glass.” I imagined my brother sprinkling powder into a glass while Emil looked on.
I wondered what kind of small talk that activity encouraged. “I poured the scotch, a couple of good-sized shots, and he wanted it right away.” His voice trailed to a whisper. “I wanted him to wait, to wait, to wait… I wanted to hug him. I wanted to do it right, you know? But he kept reaching for the glass, and I would say, ‘no, Emil, wait, please wait, I want to say I love you again…’” Tears were filling Richard’s eyes. His hand shook, knocking his glass loudly on the coffee table as he set it down and brought his hands to his face. And even so, he went on. “Emil downed the glass in one gulp and made a face, and then he just laid back on the pillow. It took about twenty minutes.” Richard looked up at me and managed a sad grimace. “Emil always said that when you go, you go alone. I hated that for him. I wanted him to feel me there, you know? So I held his hand real tight…” I stared at my brother. Tears now streamed from his face. His eyes conducted a dazed search around the room as they tried to focus on something, anything that would bring some comfort or clarity. I couldn’t tell what I was feeling about this. Was it pity? Was it shock? How many kinds of pain can we distinguish within our soul? “The book said to wait twenty minutes after his heart stopped, you know, before calling the doctor. I kept leaning over him and trying… trying to hear his heart. But I couldn’t because my own blood was pounding
in my ears! And those next twenty minutes…” “What were you doing…” I asked, startled by the sound of my own voice, “during those twenty minutes?” “Screaming,” he said simply. Silence engulfed my apartment, surrounding the word. I put my arm around him and he continued to weep. Please be all right, I thought. Please be happy again, Richard. My brother. My brother. He received my embrace but his heart had taken distant refuge. It had long been numbed by the effects of the spent cocktail glass, sitting impassively on the coffee table, occasionally clinking with the sound of shifting, melting ice.
Mark NOTE: This post is adapted from A Place Like This, my chronicle of life in Los Angeles during the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. Suicide was a common feature of life for gay men in the 1980’s. But rather than it being a result of bullying or despair, with which it is often associated today, it was very often a gesture of empowerment for embattled AIDS patients wanting to die on their own terms, sometimes with the assistance of those who loved them most. Our elderly have always shared these mortal intimacies. Assisted suicide has even been institutionalized with the common use of a morphine drip in hospitals and hospices,
Mark King’s brother Richard and his partner Emil
which calms the patient and, when increased to certain levels, hastens death by shutting down the body. As for Richard, he has recovered from his loss 25 years ago and lives happily today in our home town. “I often think of that night, and consider my feelings about it,” he told me recently. “I can honestly say I don’t feel even a twinge of guilt. I have plenty of regrets, but not about that.” Mark S. King produces the award winning video blog MyFabulousDisease. com about life as an HIV positive addict in recovery. He can be reached at Mark@ marksking.com.
American Conference of Cantors Elects First Gay President South Florida’s Mark Goldman makes history
or 19 years, the congregants of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, Fla. have heard the tenor of their cantor’s voice carry over the sanctuary, singing Hebrew blessings and ushering in Shabbat after a week of work. Mark Goldman, the cantor of the reform Jewish temple, not only has led services week after week but now will play a role on the national level as the president of the American Conference of Cantors -- and its first openly gay one at that. “I certainly feel very, very proud to be openly gay and for the organization to have elected me and for that never to have been an issue or anything that was even spoken about,” he said. Cantors play an important role in the Jewish faith. As ordained Jewish clergy members, they’re known for leading the service’s music but also are involved in other facets, such as counseling, preparing children for their bar/ bat mitzvah, teaching, spiritual guidance, planning programming, events, fundraisers, and more. Many LGBT people find difficulty maintaining their faith, many of which don’t condone homosexuality, while staying true to their sexual identity. Goldman experienced the same struggle growing up in London, England as a part of the Orthodox Jewish community, one of the strictest sects of the faith. Coming from a long line of cantors, Goldman remembers going to the synagogue every Saturday morning with his father and being enamored by the music at the services. The cantor took him under his wing and involved him in the music and the services, and Goldman knew it was something he wanted to do when he grew up. He took vocal lessons in high school and later went on to the London School of Jewish Studies for a degree in Jewish Studies and a cantorial diploma. However, it was at the age of 11 or 12 that he experienced confusion with his identity and religion. “I attended an Orthodox Jewish school and I clearly remember hearing from the rabbis, when somehow the subject of homosexuality came up, that this was something that was strictly against Judaism and was abhorrent to Judaism, and I clearly remember thinking, oh my goodness, am I the person that they’re talking about?” he said. “I can certainly say that my adolescent years and even as far into my early 20s were very difficult years for me.” In fact, he didn’t come out to his parents until he was 27 years old. After attending
school in London, he moved to the United States and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY when he accepted a calling to serve as cantor at a conservative synagogue -- a more liberal sect of the Jewish faith. When his rabbi at the orthodox temple in London found out he was going to be at a conservative temple, he refused to attend Goldman’s last service. When Goldman confided in some cantors about being gay, they were supportive but encouraged him to move into a more liberal community to practice Judaism. “I never confided in any member of the Orthodox Jewish community about my sexual identity because by that time I’d already left the Orthodox Jewish community and I never really felt it would be safe to tell anybody because I knew as soon as I told anybody, I would immediately be ostracized,” he said. In 1995, he joined the congregation of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El (TKAE), a reform Jewish synagogue. Two years later, he met his life partner Aaron Taber, an interior designer. There, it was a completely different experience as staff and congregants were nonchalant about his sexual orientation. Rather, they’ve only been impressed and proud of his talents and achievements. Taber is never left out of any bios on Goldman in temple fliers, programs and handouts. “This is sort of the hallmark of Reform Judaism, just as a generation ago we were the first to accept interfaith families into our communities, we’ve now been the first to accept the LGBT community,” said TKAE’s Rabbi Howard Needleman, who recently joined the congregation. “It’s really a wonderful thing for us at Kol Ami and for the reform community in South Florida to have one of the leaders, a national leader of Reform Judaism in our midst. Whether he’s gay or straight or whatever, it’s really an honor to be able to have a national figure representing our congregation, Kol Ami, and South Florida.” “I’ve only ever received support and encouragement in everything that I’ve done and certainly my sexuality has never been questioned. It’s never been an issue from any perspective. Both myself and my partner have always been welcomed into the congregation and he’s treated as my spouse,” Goldman said. Goldman was a part of a group of North American cantors to perform at the Vatican
in 2010, possibly the first time Jewish songs were performed there. “Right now people are more cognizant of the gay community, especially with gay marriage being passed in various states and so I think it’s important that when a major organization within the largest movement of Judaism in the United States elects and installs someone who is openly gay, I think it’s an important statement to make so the rest of the Jewish community can see it,” said Rachel Roth, the managing director of the American Conference of Cantors. “[Goldman is] very passionate about what he does and his passion really comes through in all of the work that he does as a volunteer for the organization.” Goldman encourages others who are religious and LGBT to seek out family and friends who support them, and that it’s possible to find an accepting denomination. “I feel that I was able to deal with a situation that initially seemed like it was impossible to deal with because of the conflict of being gay but also wanting to be a cantor, which at the time and place that I grew up would have been completely impossible,” Goldman said. “I was able to find a direction that worked and was able to combine the parts of who I am.” Visit www.tkae.org to learn more about Mark Goldman.
Doctor Mabuse David-Elijah Nahmod
Wunderkind filmmaker Ansel Faraj inspired by Dark Shadows “
ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows” is the mantra of millions of baby boomers who came of age during the 1960s and 70s. Dark Shadows was a daytime serial like no other: The show told traditional soap opera tales of love lost and found in a most non-traditional way. It’s characters were a menagerie of vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts. For kids in those pre-TIVO days, Dark Shadows was mandatory viewing, as were the monster movies, which aired on Creature Features every Saturday night. It was the “monster kid” era, as it was called by the late Forrest J. Ackerman, longtime editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine. The monster kids grew up, and had kids of their own. Many of them passed their love of the genre onto the next generation. Ansel Faraj, 21, discovered Dark Shadows when his mom, a longtime fan, purchased the series on VHS. (The show has since been issued on DVD and can also be viewed at Hulu.) The young man was mesmerized by what he saw, and now counts the series as one of his film-making influences. Growing up in Hollywood, Faraj was surrounded by the city’s rich cinema history, which further fed his fertile imagination. “I was born in Los Angeles. In LA, movies are part of the city. They are present in the traffic, the smog, the beach and the mountains. I grew up on the old Universal monster movies, Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films with Vincent Price, so those have a strong influence on my work,” Faraj told The Mirror. “I have a holy trinity of directors that I always look to: Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Federico Fellini. My patron saints are Robert Altman, Chris Nolan, Michael Powell, Martin Scorsese, Ken Russell, Peter Jackson. Fritz Lang is in there too, I loved Lang’s Metropolis when I saw it when I was eight, and I still do. It’s an amazing film from all aspects: The story, the effects, the design, absolutely amazing for 1927. These filmmakers are masters of the medium, they take film and cinema and just do amazing things with it. They make you want to live in the worlds they create.” Fall 2013 will see the release of Doctor Mabuse, Faraj’s no budget film noir supernatural thriller. A wholly original work, Doctor Mabuse is inspired by the same named character created by Norbert Jacques in 1921. Mabuse was the subject of several novels
by Jacques and a few highly regarded Fritz Lang films. “Don’t let him into your mind,” warns the poster art for Faraj’s film. Mabuse is a super-villain who can control people, and objects, with his mind. Many of Faraj’s influences found their way into Doctor Mabuse. The time and place is never specified. It could be anywhere from the 1920s through the 1950s. It might be the USA, or it might be Europe. The only thing Faraj will say is that his tale is set in the same “universe” as the Universal Studios Monster movies (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc). The director filmed his screenplay in a garage, his cast performing before a blue screen. He added the expressionistic backdrops later, via computer. The effect is hypnotic and dreamlike. “I’m a comic book geek,” Faraj said. “To me, the Mabuse character is the first truly great super-villain. He’s a master of disguise, a master of hypnosis, a super-genius, an illusionist. Those ideas intrigued me. He wanted to destroy everything, he wanted to
‘rule the ashes.’ What kind of villain wants to do that? That’s very strange, and that’s what attracted me. Why does he want that? And the answer is chilling. It’s because he can do it. That’s very disturbing to me.” Faraj scored quite a coup when he was casting Doctor Mabuse. Three original cast members from Dark Shadows signed on for major roles. Jerry Lacy, who played Shadows’ fanatical witch hunter Reverend Trask, agreed to play Doctor Mabuse himself. Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker, who sparred as rivals on the TV series, now play a pair of mysterious sisters who may or may not be helping Doctor Mabuse. These seasoned character actors, who’ve played dozens of roles on TV and in film, had nothing but praise for their youthful director. “After seeing the finished project, I am deeply impressed by Ansel’s abilities,” Lacy said. “Not only as a writer and director, but also as an editor. I cannot even imagine the number of hours that he must have put into editing the final version of his movie. But I am
Film Director, Ansel Faraj (middle)
most impressed by his vision.” Lacy, who has walked in some very tall grass, should know. The actor received much acclaim for his portrayal of Humphrey Bogart in the stage and screen versions of Woody Allen’s Play It Again Sam. Faraj spoke of having to separate himself from being a fan and viewing his stars as colleagues. “But you do,” he said. “You get over it, and you get on with the job. When the first day rolled around, it’s not ‘oh my gosh, oh my gosh,’ it’s ‘Jerry, you’re going to walk over there and say the line, and when you say it, you give him the dirtiest look you can.’ You do the work, you be a director, and later on you can be a fan, because they’re there to act and to be directed. But they were really, really great. Everyone pitched in and became this ensemble cast.” It’s without question a mutual admiration society. Actress Lara Parker, who played the Satanic, lovesick witch Angelique on Dark Shadows, and who appeared in films with actors like Jack Lemmon and Peter Fonda, summed it up nicely. “I want to be able to say, someday, that I was in Ansel Faraj’s first big movie,” she said to The Mirror. “I want to brag about that someday. This kid is going places.” Look for Doctor Mabuse on DVD in midlate Fall, 2013. Exact date TBA. More info: doctormabuse-themovie.com
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis
Armed With a Syringe One NYC doctor took to the streets to battle the meningitis outbreak and vaccinated thousands of gays in the city
hen meningitis claimed the lives of seven gay men in New York City, a soldier in the battle against the disease took to the Big Apple’s sex clubs. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, a young gay doctor specializing in infectious diseases, was armed with syringes full of a life-saving vaccine and is credited with vaccinating thousands of men against the outbreak. “In my life I don’t wear a white coat. I look like any 39-year-old gay man who walks around New York. When I went out to do vaccines I just looked like myself,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of controlling the outbreak... it was a very oddly familiar scenario of young men dying and people didn’t understand what was really going on, although in this case we did know what was going on and we knew how to prevent it.”
New York City’s health department was alarmed when 22 men in two years were infected with bacterial meningitis, a potentially lethal disease. Seven men died and 12 of those who contracted it were HIV-positive. With no reason that any specific population should be more prone to the disease, the city amped up its recommendations that all men who have sex with men should get the vaccine, which was soon offered for free. Bacterial meningitis is spread through saliva and causes inflammation of the spinal cord and brain, leading to severe headaches, fever, stiff neck and more severe neurological symptoms. Since the early symptoms are similar to a bad cold or flu, many victims were found dead in their beds as they attempted to sleep it off. At the time, Daskalakis was working at NYU School of Medicine at Belleview -- he recently became the medical director of HIV services at Mt. Sinai Hospital. The doctor was already a fixture in seven sex clubs in the city where he offered HIV tests to patrons, as well as at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He proposed that they use the same locations to reach out to gay men to get the meningitis vaccine. The “powers that be,” including the city health department jumped on board. “To me, it says a lot about the health department, about the fact that they really have an idea about the community. There were barriers at the beginning of doing this
and then they really were a dream come true from the perspective of providing assistance and making it happen,” he said.
Where it began
Daskalakis’s endeavors into medicine started long ago. As a toddler armed with a Fisher Price doctor’s kit, he would check guests’ lungs and heart using his plastic stethoscope. “If they wouldn’t do it I would throw them out of the house,” he laughed. “So yes, I was persnickety and wanted to be a doctor [for as long as] I can remember.” As he grew older, he heard about the HIV/ AIDS epidemic plaguing gay men in New York City, but as a youngster in Virginia he was removed from it. “I remember my mom and I would watch ‘Dynasty’ and I remember when Rock Hudson was diagnosed. It was such a big deal and sort of all the controversy on him,” he said. At 17, Daskalakis moved to New York and attended Columbia University, where he was part of a group that organized a display of the famous AIDS Memorial Quilt in the mid-’90s. He was exposed to those battling the illness and others mourning the death of a loved one taken by the disease. That experience coupled with his interest in gay community health lead him to pursue a fellowship in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Partners Healthcare Program.
Shots at the club
After a typical doctor’s 24-hour day, Daskalakis took to sex clubs a few nights a week to vaccinate patrons, gifting them with a lollipop. The owners of the clubs were notified ahead of time and advertised the free vaccinations and made announcements throughout the night to remind guests that they could protect themselves. Rather than herding the guests who wanted a shot into another room, Daskalakis gave the vaccine out in the open. Some nights, his husband came along to help keep the process organized and calm. “The goal is not to be threatening and so I just went out as a gay doctor who had access to the vaccine. I had lines of people who were getting vaccines in the field and we saw lines of people getting vaccines at GMHC. I mean it’s crazy; people really want this vaccine and I think providing it in a community friendly way has been the key.”
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, a young gay doctor specializing in infectious diseases
One evening, Daskalakis managed to vaccinate 70 people in two hours; the club had 150 people in it. Overall, he vaccinated up to 600 people at clubs and 1,400 at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
With cases waning, Daskalakis has spent less time in the field, especially with repeat clientele who have already been vaccinating visiting the venues. These days, he’s spending more time at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Plus, the word has gotten around in the community of where people can get their free vaccination. Those who require two doses, such as HIV patients, are being followed up on. As for the city, health department officials are constantly keeping track of the meningitis cases and updating its recommendations for the vaccine. Eventually, it will go back to its normal guidelines of just college students or others who live in group facilities. In his role as the medical director for HIV services at Mt. Sinai, Daskalakis hasn’t stopped his community outreach -- a big vaccination event is planned for Fire Island. “Their goal was to stop this outbreak and frankly I think it’s almost over,” he told the Mirror in July. “We haven’t had a case in New York since February and I think part of that has to do with the amazing work that we were able to do with GMHC and through the hospital.”
Smart and Sexy? Or Just Smut? Famed fashion designer pushes the boundaries in promoting his brand with homoeroticism
n a world of high fashion and skinny models on the runway, men’s wear designer Andrew Christian is pushing the limits of fashion, sexiness and what could be considered borderline smut. With a Tumblr page full of naked models and fans, and viral videos that go from his website to YouTube, Christian is either the most ingenious business owner ever for tapping into a new breed of fashionistas or he’s using what we all know sells: Sex. But not just any sex. Christian’s main audience are gay males and so in turn many of his videos and images are laced with blatant homoeroticism. Christian had a humble beginning but was soon thrust into the limelight thanks to his designs and a little help from reality television. Starting with mostly sportswear, Christian’s interest in fashion started at a young age. “I’ve been designing since I was a teenager,” Christian told The Mirror. “In high school I would sell some stuff I made. I eventually went to fashion school.” The formal training from fashion school would lead Andrew to create a successful business where he creates attractive designs at affordable prices. “I use great materials and I like to keep my clothes at a mid range so everyone can afford them,” he said. “What’s the point of creating clothes when no one can afford to wear them?” After his appearance on Bravo’s The Fashion Show, Christian became a household name. Christian showed his taste and superior talent with his winning designs and what some call his “movie star good looks.” The Fashion Show was just his first taste of television fame. After his stint with Bravo, Christian would appear on seasons three and four of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. That’s when his signature designs started to take off. “I had just started my underwear line when I was working with Janice’s show,”
Christian said. “She’s been really great and supportive to me.” That exposure and support has led to one of the most sophisticated and popular lines of men’s underwear from any designer. His best sellers for the last seven years are his line of “technically advanced” custom woven men’s underwear. With street, sport, fashion and basic-themed designs, Christian has produced low-cut, super low-cut and boxer brief underwear designs. Each style is intricately designed using specialized dye treatments, printed graphics and innovative materials such as bamboo fiber, sports mesh, and patented moisture wicking cotton blends. In fact, his Almost Naked design is made with 93 percent bamboo fiber. The comfort and unique designs have garnered the young designer fans worldwide. His new use of social media has enabled him to tap into the hearts of a young generation that is attached to its phones, computers and fashion. Atlanta resident, Matthew Clark, who works at a property tax lawyer’s office and can remember the first time he saw an Andrew Christian video. The video he saw was, in fact, the first one the designer ever released. “I remember watching this car wash video when I was working for South Florida Gay News,” the 25-year-old said. “It was a car wash, if I’m not mistaken. It was definitely eye catching, and let’s just say hot.” But do the videos show off a designer and his brand or just half-naked porn stars? Christian said using porn stars, and hot models in general, has allowed his clothing line to reach a new audience. “I use the porn models because, well let’s face it, they look good in the underwear,” Christian said with a laugh. “I’ve been able to tap into the fan base that almost all porn stars have. It’s brought my product into the homes of new potential consumers.” The use of a singular and particular Continued on page 46
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model might leave people feeling alienated or not worthy of wearing the underwear. Clark agrees with this statement. “I like the fact that all his clothes just look good. You know he uses good material, but the fit isn’t always right for every body type,” Clark said. “Just because it comes in small and x-large doesn’t mean they’ll fit small and x-large men.” In the last year, Christian has started to pull away from conventional print advertising to embrace the digital age. His daily email blasts to customers and Facebook fans keeps people in the loop on his designs, sales and videos. He created a Tumblr page to show off the photos of his models that would get him banned from Facebook. The gratuitous nudity isn’t just of his models though. Christian encourages his fans to send in their best pictures in the designer’s garments, soft or erect. “I started getting so many submissions from fans that I thought this would be a great medium to show off people in my stuff,” Christian said. “Facebook is so censored that we can’t post a lot there.”
Fashion Designer, Andrew Christian
Showing off models and fans has to be perfect for business, right? Who doesn’t like seeing half naked men with rippling abs and a hard cock? Elizabeth Duffield, a 19-year-old foreign affairs student at the University of Virginia, can appreciate what she called the “shock value” of the videos and Tumblr, but feels the main thing is missing – the fashion. “Using this idea of self image is so typical of fashion in America,” Duffield said. “It’s just another example of why our society needs to be refreshed.” America should be used to seeing what advertisers think is the perfect body type for their clothes. Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries recently made comments that only “cool and beautiful” people are supposed to be wearing his clothes. The social backlash has A&F announcing plummeting sales and their leader back peddling to try and save face for himself and his company. “There’s a shift now in fashion, if you ask me,” Duffield said. “Now men are led to believe that they have to look a certain
way. Seeing things like [those videos and pictures] is just hitting on the peril of creating an expectation that the only acceptable man is one with a six pack.” Christian likes that he’s going to get his clothes and his name out there. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. “To reach the most people, Tumblr and the videos are the platform for that,” he said. “We don’t shoot sex. The videos are purely for entertainment. Sex sells.” Christian’s intentions going forward are to continue using the videos and the other forms of social media interaction that have, so far, proven successful and profitable. He plans on expanding his clothing line, including his underwear, new sportswear and accessories. As far as his models go, he believes they offer a bit of encouragement for people. “It’s really great when I meet people and they tell me how underwear has changed their lives,” Christian said. “It makes them more confident. They strive to look like the models. It’s awesome when clothes can promote a better life for people.”
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FULL Frontal Dylan Rosser’s
ylan Rosser is one of the most renowned photographers of erotic male images. His works touch us because of the sensibility of his view and the clearness of his compositions. In Full Frontal, Bruno Gmunder showcases Rosser’s best work in recent years. What inspires your photography? Well, the male form I guess is the best answer to that. I love a well-proportioned male physique and to be able to capture that in a beautiful, timeless way is what inspires me. Why did you become a photographer? To be honest I suppose it was because I wanted to get to see hot men naked :-) At least that is at the very core of it but it is a lot more than that. Being quite a shy person, it was something that forced me to get to meet guys and I have made many friends doing what I do. It has introduced me to the world of the “popular” guys that I was never a part of at school.
Can you tell me about your latest book, Full Frontal? First let me make it clear that this is not new work. I do not want to con people into buying the book if they already have my other books. But while I work on my next project, the publisher wanted to make sure there was something out there for my fans and they have created a great collection of my favorite images from the last 3 books (x-posed, Red, and Naked). It is bigger and more affordable and so it is a great buy for those that do not have my books already. As for the images, they are hot guys with minimal props, simple backgrounds and zero clothing. Lots of different types of guys and lots of penis’s, soft and hard :-) It’s in a way the end of a chapter for me as I am trying to move towards shooting more landscape and outdoors nudes so at least for a while I want to stay away from studio shots which most of these images are. Continued on page 50
Author: Dylan Rosser Format: Hardcover with dust jaket Publisher: Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh (July, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 3867875987 ISBN-13: 978-3867875981 Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches Pages: 160 Color: Full color Size: 8.5 x 11.25 inch Price: List price, $52.99 (Amazon, $38.62; Barnes & Noble: $38.62)
feature Continued from page 48
Favorite photo(s) from the book and why? Ha, that’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. Impossible to say. There are so many pics in the book and many favorites all for different reasons. What other books have you published? What’s next for you? I have 3 books before this one from Bruno Gmunder, x-posed, Red, and Naked. I also self published a book called 100 (blurb.com/b/1222993-100). Anything else you’d like to add? I’m currently working on a very special limited edition book that I photographed in NYC last year. There will be only 100 copies ever printed so it will be a collector’s item. I hope to have it ready in a couple of months.
Visit DylanRosserPhotography.com to see more of his work.
Muscle Gods Ulrich Oehmen
Ulrich Oehmen’s Dynamite
lrich Oehmen is one of the leading photographers in the industry, owning the largest photo studio in Miami. About his latest book, Dynamite, he said: “It has always been my ambition to take muscle photography to a new level. I also thought that body building photography should be more than capturing an athlete in the gym or during a competition. I wanted to capture the beauty of the male physique in beautiful locations around the world and in the best possible light in my own studio.” Oehmen started photographing male fitness models and bodybuilders in 1996 and has been published in numerous bodybuilding and fitness magazines. He’s traveled the world, 45 countries to be exact, always searching for the next muscle star. This book is a collection of the biggest, baddest and most beautiful muscle gods he’s found. Continued on page 54
Continued from page 52
From the book
Sheer Body Cult Fascinating steeled bodies! Men with extraordinary muscle mass! This anthology by Ulrich Oehmen impressively gives us an up-close look at bodybuilders and their perfect, delectable bodies. Author: Ulrich Oehmen Format: Hardcover with dust jacket Publisher: Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh (May 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 3867874964 ISBN-13: 978-3867874960h Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches Pages: 112 pages Color: Full Color Weight: 2.3 pounds Price: List price, $69.99 (Amazon , $48.88; Barnes & Noble, $62.99)
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