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One (Gay) Day with Anne Hathaway

Hate Crime, or Iowa’s Bullying Hate-ful Crime? Laws Fall Short Commentary by Arthur Breur On August 19, 2011, a local Waterloo tragedy occurred that brought Iowa’s statewide LGBT community together in shows of sympathy and compassion—but also outrage. 19-yearold Marcellus Richard Andrews was assaulted—and later died of his injuries—and the antagonists shouted anti-gay slurs as they attacked him.

TTMARCELLUS continued page 3

Bullying in Iowa’s school districts has been drastically under-reported, according to a Journal report. While national averages show 30 percent of students have been bullied and 50 percent have witnessed bullying, Iowa’s school districts have reported only 2 percent of students claim to have been bullied. Because of this discrepency, the Iowa Department of Education will be implementing a more stringent policy. The new policy will include more specific categorization of the type of bullying incidents that are reported, as well as more teacher training and more consistent rules regarding how districts are to submit their reports. The new policy will be rolled out statewide by the 20122013 school year. For more information:

Actress talks gay ‘pod,’ Catwoman role, and N.Y. marriage stories. (Photo : Giles Keyte) TTStory on page 20

What’s Inside:

Section 1: News & Politics

Advertising rates 3 From the Editor 3 Iowa News 4 IWMF 4 US News 5 World News 6 Remarkables: “Sticking to the Facts” by Jonathan Wilson 7 “Building Bridges With the NAACP” by Jonathan Wilson 7 Creep of the Week 8 Minor Details: “Does Your Politician Pass the Religious Test” 9 “Is America Only A Dream Anymore?” by Tony E. Hansen 9

I want to thank the Gay and Lesbian community for your prayers in during this time my family is going through. It means a lot to me. I do not know if my nephew was gay or not. But a lot of people in the black and gay community cared about him, and he cared about each and every person he spoke to. Please keep Marcellus R. Andrews and his family in your prayers. — Valerie J. Andrews

Section 2: Fun Guide

Iowa Women’s Music Festival:

Hang out with us on Friday, September 9 to start the weekend! Prairie Voices Productions is working with The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City to bring you a performance by Sharon Bousquet and Beaucoup Shakti at The Haunted Bookshop’s 7th Anniversary Party and Grand Reopening. The Haunted Bookshop has been a mainstay in the Iowa City area. It’s independent, grassroots, hip and a longtime supporter of the festival. Come on out for refreshments, a program, good friends, and music by Sharon Bousquet, who is a past performer of IWMF. Hang out with lovers of books and women in music! What could be better?

Friday, September 9, 5-10 p.m.

The Haunted Bookshop’s Grand Reopening & Seven Year Anniversary Party, 203 N. Linn St., Iowa City. Refreshments and a program with sharing, friendship and live music. No charge. featuring Sharon Bousquet &

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Beaucoup Shakti. Facebook link to RSVP:

Saturday, Sept. 10, Noon til 5:30pm, Day Stage in Upper City Park, Iowa City: 12:00pm Angie Pierce Jennings (IOWA FOLK) 12:35pm Camille Bloom (ATL FOLK/ROCK) 1:30pm Lindsay Mac and the Boom Booms (ALT FOLK/POP) 2:30pm Jami Sieber w/ special guest Natalie Brown (NEW AGE) 3:30pm Pieta Brown w/ Bo Ramsey (AMERICANA/BLUES) 4:30 p.m. Dawn Drake and ZapOte (WORLD MUSIC)

Night Show. Englert Theatre, Sept. 10: 8pm Natalia Zukerman w/ Garrison Starr Followed by JANIS IAN

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Entertainment Picks for September 11 Deep Inside Hollywood 11 The Outfield 13 Cocktail Chatter 14 Recurring Events, Statewide 15 Hear Me Out (Music Reviews) 15 WiredThatWay:“A Reader’s Guide to Google+” by Rachel Eliason 17 The Gay Wedding Planner 18 “One (Gay) Day with Anne Hathaway” Interview 20 Partying Hard:“Fierce Fall Fashion Frenzy” by Joshua Dagon 23 “Halfway Gay” by Chris Azzopardi 24 Out of Town: New Orleans 25 Book Worm Sez: Nina Here nor There 26 Comics and Crossword Puzzle 26

Section 3: Community

Council Bluffs Community Alliance Calendar 29 “Counciltucky” by Mike Yowell 29 First Friday Breakfast Club: Remarks of Suku Radia 29 Inside Out: “Relearning Old Lessons” by Ellen Krug 31 Twenty Questions, a 10-part transgender series 33 “Gaycation Packing” by Robert Hoffmann 34 Business Directory 35-36 “NPR’s Foxification of Ex-Gay Rhetoric” by Rev. Irene Monroe 37

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ACCESSline Page 2

Section 1: News & Politics


Section 1: News & Politics


ACCESSline Page 3

From the Editors

PUBLICATION INFORMATION Copyright © 2011, All rights reserved. ACCESSline P.O. Box 2666 Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2666 (319) 550-0957

ACCESSline is a monthly publication by Breur Media Corporation. The paper was founded in 1986 by the non-profit organization ACCESS (A Concerned Community for Education, Safer-sex and Support) in Northeast Iowa.

Arthur Breur, Editor in Chief Angela Geno-Stumme, Managing Editor

Q Syndicate Rex Wockner News Service Contributors: Bruce Carr; Rachel Eliason; Dr. Michael Fenster; Beau Fodor; Robert Hoffman; Ellen Krug; Bob Minor; Rev. Irene Monroe Jonathan Wilson; Mike Yowell Publication of the name, photograph or likeness of any person, business or organization in ACCESSline is not to be construed as any indication of sexual orientation. Opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ACCESSline or the LGBT+ community. Letters to the editor may be published. We cannot be responsible for errors in advertising copy. We welcome the submission of original materials, including line drawings and cartoons, news stories, poems, essays. They should be clearly labeled with author/artist name, address, and phone number. We reserve the right to edit letters and other material for reasons of profanity, space, or clarity. Materials will not be returned. A writer’s guide is available for those wishing to submit original work. Advertising rates and deadlines are available at All ads must be approved by ACCESSline’s editorial board.

And why is it that I need to respect Rick Santorum? by Angela Geno-Stumme

On Top Magazine reported on an interview with Rick Santorum by Fox News’s Megan Kelly. In this interview Santorum stated many of his beliefs about gay marriage, respect and his view of marriage in politics. Actually, he talked about how he deserved respect from the LGBT community for ALL of his beliefs, and then went on to describe these beliefs as policy. Let’s start with Santorum’s desire to “not hate somebody or feel ill will toward anybody” when it comes to ‘proper’ marriage laws and what he considers the ‘best interest of society’: “As I’ve said many times, I have friends who are gay, you know, I accept them as they are, but I disagree with them vehemently about what is in the best interest of society with respect to our marriage laws and what we are going to teach our children in schools; what the impact of those marriage laws will be on our faith communities and their ability

SScontinued from page 1

MARCELLUS Even with the obvious presence of anti-gay hatred, however, the police are not calling this a hate crime because there was apparently some existing animosity between the attackers and Andrews, having nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Of course, there has been no verifiable evidence that Andrews identified as being gay—but it doesn’t matter if he was gay or not: A wonderful and promising young man is lost to us. Regardless of his personal

to able to proclaim the truth as God has laid it out in the Bible.” I have to say; when did ‘I’ as a person and citizen of the United States, not to mention the rest of my LGBT US Citizens, get kicked off the island and booted from society? I didn’t receive that memo, did you? And speaking of respect, I can’t even comprehend how removing me from society is a ‘respectful’ action. Hey, I pay my taxes and vote and follow the rules of the law, why don’t I count as a member of society? But Santorum doesn’t stop there, he continues to drive that nail in the coffin about respect: “But also you have to respect me for feeling very differently about trying to take that [sexual] orientation and then to try to project an agenda on to the American public that is consistent with that.” Equating a US citizen’s struggle for equal civil rights to a nefarious ‘agenda’ is not respectful. It’s a scare tactic. And that is all Santorum is trying to do, scare the rest of society into believing that there’s an ‘us’ and a ‘them’. With Santorum and his respectful kind as the ‘us’, fighting a Godly battle with

identity, this is a heartbreaking loss within Waterloo’s African-American community, and is a call to unity for Iowa’s wide-ranging LGBT community. The fact that many in the LGBT community have felt empathy with this terrible event, hate crime or not, is both obvious and understandable. The particular words that were used in his assault tell us the hate was in the hearts of the attackers—and that hate was specifically anti-gay. The attack might not have been caused by hatred for his real or perceived orientation. However, this attack was—at the very

Managing Editor Angela Geno-Stumme the hateful ‘them’. I have no agenda, besides wanting the exact same rights as all the others of my kind--which is United States citizens, if you were wondering. And whether or not he respects it, and at this point I am doubting his understanding of the definition, he still has to acknowledge me as a citizen of his beloved United States and the society within it.

least—made far more violent and vehement by the hate expressed during the attack. If, as the police say, the attack was not motivated by hatred, it certainly included hatred. Which leads me to ask: Might Marcellus Richard Andrews still be alive today if that hate had not intensified the attack? We can only guess at the answers to that question, but we can also do everything we can to try and remove hatred from the world in order to prevent such pointless loss in the future—and, in the present, to give our full support and condolences to those left behind.

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ACCESSline Page 4

Anti-gay slurs accompany fatal assault of 19-year-old in Waterloo

Section 1: News & Politics to further his education,” Wright told the Courier. Check back often. More questions or need more info? Call the Iowa Pride Network office at 515-471-8062 or email

The Iowa City Human Rights Commission Awards Breakfast honors people, businesses and organizations in Johnson County who contribute selflessly to Human Rights in their community and abroad. Currently the Commission is seeking nominations for the Breakfast for the six following Awards: Kenneth Cmiel Award, Rick Graf Award, Individual in a Service Organization Award, Community/Business Award. International Award and the Isabel Turner Award. Nominations will be accepted through October 3rd. Reverend Orlando Dial pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the scheduled keynote speaker.   Nomination forms as well as Award descriptions and past honorees are available at  The Awards will be presented Thursday, October 20th at 7:30 a.m. at the Sheraton in downtown Iowa City, 210 S. Dubuque Street, (Amos Dean Banquet Room).

Despite the anti-gay slurs that accompanied the homicide, investigators have stated that there is not enough evidence that the crime was initially motivated by anti-gay hatred, and thus would not qualify as a hate crime. Detectives have pointed to what appears to be an argument between the assailants and Marcellus Andrews that pre-dated the attack.

A scholarship fund in the memory of Marcellus Andrews has been set up at Veridian Credit Union by members of the Crusaders Drill Team. According to Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Crusaders member Alexis Wright said that money from the fund will be used for several causes, including book stipends for incoming freshman at Hawkeye Community College and assistance with the cost for school uniforms and shoes for students at local schools. “In spite of all the tragedy in his death, he left with the message to continue on and to strive to do better… The main reason with the book stipend is because he was trying

Registration Deadline: Monday, September 26th. This year’s theme, “Visibility & Invisibility” will explore how our visible and invisible identities shape our lives and how we can use these experiences to further our leadership abilities. Other potential topics include: • Homelessness • Political efficacy & political allies – politicians “coming out” as supportive vs. staying silent • “Passing”/invisibility vs. visibility of identity (bi, pan, trans, non-binary, etc.) • Underrepresented groups within the LGBTQ community (in queer spaces, media representations, etc.) – people of color, with disabilities, of lower socioeconomic class, of certain religions, older people, etc. • Gaps in nondiscrimination & other legislation leaving out less visible groups • Stereotypes/misconceptions & how they affect visibility efforts • Sexual assault & intimate partner violence/abuse The summit will also explore best practices for sustaining GSA and college LGBT groups and networking them together, emerging issues within our movement and provide time for attendees to network and collaborate. Check-in will begin at 9:00 AM and the summit will start promptly at 10:00 AM and last until 4:00 PM. This event is FREE and is sure to be a tremendous networking and communitybuilding opportunity. Don’t miss it! Further details regarding the summit and registration materials will be updated to the Iowa Pride Network website:

The 18th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival, produced by Prairie Voices Productions, is set to showcase another great mix of women in music on September 10, 2011 in Iowa City, Iowa. Fans of Janis Ian, who were disappointed by her late cancellation to play at the 2010 IWMF due to longer-than-expected recovery from hand surgery, will be thrilled to see that Ian has rebooked the IWMF in her tour schedule for 2011. Janis Ian will be joined by an eclectic group of amazing women musicians from across the country, traversing a wide range of musical genres, generations and attitudes. IWMF attendees will go on a rollercoaster of a musical ride with Angie Pierce Jennings, Camille Bloom, Lindsay Mac and the Boom Booms, Jami Sieber with Natalie Brown, Pieta Brown with Bo Ramsey, and Dawn Drake and ZapOte under the beautiful City Park trees, and then move to The Englert Theatre for up-and-coming folk guitarist Natalia Zukerman, before ending the evening on a blissful note with the iconic troubadour

Janis Ian. The outdoor portion of the IWMF, the Day Stage in Iowa City’s Upper City Park, opens at noon on September 10 and continues until approximately 5:30 p.m. The show is free to attend (no tickets are required), everyone is welcome, and families are encouraged to attend. A kids’ area will be available, food and merchandise vendors will line the festival, and Iowa Shares will host a silent auction. Attendees should bring blankets or chairs for grass seating. The park is wheelchair accessible, and pets on leashes are welcome. Tickets for the 8 p.m. Englert Theatre performance by Janis Ian and Natalia Zukerman are available for $25 at the Englert box office, by phone at 319-688-2653, or on-line

For more information about the events of the 2011 Iowa Women’s Music Festival, or to apply to be a vendor, go to, call 319-335-1486, or e-mail The festival is also seeking volunteers, who may call Laurie at 319-3351486 to sign up. The 2011 Iowa Women’s Music Festival will open with an Eastern Iowa festival favorite, Angie Pierce Jennings. Pierce Jennings is recognizable not only for her great folk music and appearances at area festivals such as New Bohemia, but also for her strong support of 2008 flood recovery efforts and her part in the creation and marketing of the fundraising CD “We’re Coming Back,” produced by the Flood Them With Love organization. Pierce Jennings is a natural storyteller

with a collection of songs that express what she’s seen of the rural Iowa landscape, its wildlife, its people, and its history. She writes and sings about experiences such as scaring up pheasants while walking through a pasture, riding her horse bareback, sensing a cougar cat’s shadow, and hearing a wild canary’s song at her window. With a voice like an eagle’s flight, listeners can close their eyes, feel the imagery and travel to calming, beautiful places. Learn more at A newcomer to Iowa City but not to Iowa, Seattle’s Camille Bloom brings her dynamic voice and edgy acoustic rock to the IWMF stage. Bloom, described as “Ani DiFranco dipped in maple syrup” (Spokane Inlander), has played premier venues in eight different countries including Canada, The U.S., Germany, The Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland. Bloom combines percussive guitar and a voice that can “purr and wail” (Victory Review), and then sells them big with her deal-sealing

Marcellus Richard Andrews. Facebook photo. Early on Friday, August 19, 2011, Marcellus Richard Andrews was attacked and beaten in Waterloo, Iowa. Andrews died that weekend at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City after being taken off life support. According to witnesses, the attackers referred to Andrews as “Mercedes,” a feminization of his name, and called him “faggot.” Andrews danced in the Union Missionary Baptist Church drill team, “The Crusaders.” A cosmetology school graduate, he intended to go on to study interior design at Hawkeye Community College.

Hate-Crime classification in question, no arrests

As of the publication of this issue, no arrests had been made in the case.


Statewide Vigils

On Thursday, August 25th, vigils were held across the state in Cedar Falls, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and other locations. Iowans who could not make it to the vigils were encouraged to leave their porch lights that night from 9pm until dawn. Most of the events were organized by members of Iowa’s LGBT community. However, the largest vigil was held in North Waterloo, starting at Union Missionary Baptist and proceeding on foot to the 200 block of Cottage Street. Hundreds of people—most of them members of Waterloo’s African American community— gathered around the patch of lawn where Marcellus Andrews was assaulted before he died. Carrying candles, they grieved together with prayers, speeches, and songs of hope. It was noted by Kyle Munson of the Des Moines Register, however, that the vigil on Cottage Street included no reference to antigay slurs, and “No message of tolerance for alternative lifestyles.” “Even in sharing horror-stricken grief, we as Iowans and Americans seem to be a society compartmentalized into our separate socioeconomic, racial and politically dogmatic enclaves,” Munson noted in his article about the vigil.

Scholarship Created

Iowa Pride Network Leadership Summit, 10/1/2011 28th Annual City of On Saturday, October 1, 2011 Iowa Iowa City Human Rights Pride Network, in partnership with Grinnell College, will host the 5th Annual Leadership Commission Award Summit! Breakfast, 10/20/11 This is a free event and lunch is provided.

Pride Bowling League enter’s its second season

Pride Bowling League’s second season—Fall 2011—begins at 7pm on Wednesday September 7, 2011. Registration begins at 5pm. Don’t miss your spot! Voting for the new season’s board will take place around 6:30pm! The league needs a president, vice president, secretary/treasurer (dual position this season), and a marketing position. Pride Bowling is open to all bowlers regardless of gender, and meets at Air Lanes Bowling at 4200 Fleur Drive in Des Moines.

18th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival, 9/10/11 Pierce Jennings is a natural storyteller . . . such as scaring up pheasants while walking through a pasture, riding her horse bareback, sensing a cougar cat’s shadow, and hearing a wild canary’s song at her window

TTIWMF continued page 38


Section 1: News & Politics

ACCESSline Page 5

US NEWS news analysis by Rex Wockner Groups launch campaign to stop anti-gay Calif. referendum

The Courage Campaign announced Aug. 1 that it has teamed up with Equality California and other organizations in an attempt to stop a ballot referendum on the new California law that requires schools to teach LGBT people’s history. Courage said it will run a “decline-tosign” campaign with EQCA, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Nurses Association, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and the University of California Academic Student Employees Union. The goal is to prevent anti-gay forces from collecting 504,760 signatures from registered California voters by Oct. 12, which would qualify the proposed repeal referendum for next June’s statewide ballot. “First our opponents wanted to ban love, so they invented Prop 8,” said Courage Chair Rick Jacobs. “Now, they want to use the same fear tactics to prevent California high school students from learning history. They want to gloss over the fact that important people in history like Walt Whitman, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Bayard Rustin, Billie Jean King, Leonard Bernstein, James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Harvey Milk and even J. Edgar Hoover were gay.”

Rick Jacobs. Photo: Rex Wockner Jacobs said that as during the Prop 8 campaign, opponents will use “fear and prejudice to scare the voters.” “If the folks who oppose (the teaching law) have their way, they’ll put a referendum on the ballot to overturn allowing real history to be told,” he said. The new law, which also is known as Senate Bill 48, takes effect in January. Current California law requires schools to teach about the history of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans and members of other ethnic and cultural groups. SB 48 added LGBT people and people with disabilities to the list. On Aug. 5, Equality California announced it has launched an SB 48 hotline and created “truth squads” to interrupt signature-gathering -- both on the LGBT referendum and other, unnamed anti-”progressive” campaigns. “We need your eyes and ears on the ground today,” said EQCA Executive Director Roland Palencia. “If you spot anti-LGBT, antiprogressive signature gatherers, report them immediately by calling the toll-free ‘Decline to Sign Hotline’ at 1-877-440-9585. We’ll immediately dispatch a trained ‘truth squad’ to make sure potential petition signers know the truth about these initiatives including the referendum on the FAIR Education Act.” Meanwhile, Lambda Legal’s legal direc-

tor, Jon Davidson, said Aug. 1 that if the repeal referendum passes, it might be found unconstitutional.

more no votes than yes on the referendum would do when it comes to having a fair and inclusive curriculum. Moreover, there no doubt would be significant evidence of antiLGBT sentiment motivating those behind the referendum, which would bolster any challenge to it.”

Prop 8

Jon Davidson. Photo by Rex Wockner That’s because in 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws cannot single out gay people for disfavored treatment. (See tinyurl. com/romer-v.) “If the referendum qualifies for the ballot, and were it to receive more ‘no’ than ‘yes’ votes, not only would SB 48 not become law, but no measure that is essentially the same as it could be adopted in the future,” Davidson said. “In this way, the referendum could be characterized as quite similar to the measure that the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional in Romer v. Evans. That measure repealed existing sexual orientation anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals and prevented their passage in the future for that group and that group alone, which is what

Prop 8, passed by California voters in 2008, amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which had been legal in California for 4 1/2 months. The amendment was later struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge but has remained in effect during an ongoing, multifront appeals process. On Sept. 6, the California Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the question of whether the people who appealed the strikedown had a legal right to appeal. The California Supreme Court was invited to offer an opinion on the matter by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to help the 9th Circuit decide the question. The appeal was filed by the people who had put Prop 8 on the ballot. They appealed after California’s governor, attorney general and other officials refused to defend Prop 8. If ballot-measure proponents are found by the 9th Circuit to have no right to appeal when their initiatives are struck down, then the lower court’s ruling that Prop 8 is

They want to gloss over the fact that important people … like Walt Whitman, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Bayard Rustin, Billie Jean King, Leonard Bernstein … were gay.”

unconstitutional will take effect, and samesex couples will be able to marry again in California. If the appeal is allowed, the 9th Circuit will proceed to consider whether the federal District Court strikedown was correct. In that scenario, regardless of the outcome, the case likely would advance to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could uphold Prop 8, strike it down in a way that applies only to California, or strike it down in a way that legalizes samesex marriage nationwide. Meanwhile, California LGBT leaders are mulling over the possibility of collecting signatures to force California voters to reconsider Prop 8 in the 2012 general election. No consensus has emerged and no decision has been made on whether to ask voters to repeal the amendment. A side issue also remains unresolved in the court case. The Prop 8 proponents have sought to have the ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional thrown out because the federal judge who issued it is gay and in a same-sex relationship. In the proponents’ view, now-retired Judge Vaughn Walker could have had a conflict of interest if, when he issued the ruling, he also had a desire to marry his same-sex partner. Walker’s successor as chief judge at the federal District Court in San Francisco, James Ware, rejected that notion on June 14, and the Prop 8 proponents have appealed his decision to the 9th Circuit.

California governor signs parents bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Act on Aug. 5. The measure will allow courts to determine who a child’s parents are when there is both a nonbiological parent and a man who signed a voluntary declaration of paternity. “California courts must be able to take into consideration the established relationship between a parent and child when determining legal parentage,” said Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia. “(This law) ensures that families are not broken up, by preserving children’s established family relationships, including those of LGBT families.”

Roland Palencia. Photo by Rex Wockner According to EQCA: “This bill fixes a problem caused by a recent case that said that courts cannot recognize a nonbiological parent who has raised the child if another man signed a voluntary paternity declaration, even if the man who signed the declaration had no relationship with the child and no intention of raising the child. Because of this case, children with nonbiological parents (were) vulnerable to losing the parent they have always known.”

ACCESSline Page 6

Section 1: News & Politics


World News news analysis by Rex Wockner Ugandan LBTI group’s membership list stolen

The LBTI group Freedom & Roam Uganda reported Aug. 1 that its offices were burglarized and sensitive information was stolen. Taken were computers, printers, a server, telephones, a microwave oven and documents—including the database of the group’s members. No members were in the building during the weekend break-in. “The mood is very low; members are filled with trauma and worries,” the group said in a statement. Police found fingerprints at the scene and told FARUG there is a good chance of tracking the perpetrators because a rare kind of acid was used during the break-in, apparently to damage locks. FARUG said it wonders if the robbery was random or targeted. The group said that four days earlier, the offices of the LGBT organization Sexual Minorities Uganda also were broken into. FARUG said it needs help “financially, technically and emotionally.” A spokesperson said the group needs to hire a security guard, install security cameras with battery backup, replace equipment, and reinstall the Internet. “The struggle continues,” the group said. “These kinds of things are just one way of distracting us. We shall not give in to them.”

Defense personnel enter boat in Amsterdam pride canal parade

For the first time, around 80 defense personnel—military and civilian—took part in Amsterdam’s gay pride canal parade with their own boat Aug. 6. Joining them was U.S. gays-in-themilitary activist Dan Choi. Defense personnel participated in the previous two years’ parades, in uniform, but onboard other groups’ boats. This year’s contingent was organized by the Dutch Foundation for Homosexuality and the Armed Forces. It also included a

British Royal Navy lieutenant commander and Dutch generals. “After years of trying to realize our aim of participating, we are extremely pleased, because visibility, particularly in the case of LGBT defense personnel, is so important,” said Peter Kees Hamstra, chairman of the foundation that organized the contingent. “By increasing this visibility, we aim to be an example to other defense organizations,” he said. “Although social acceptance has improved in the Netherlands too, there is still a great deal of work that must be done to strengthen the position of LGBT defense personnel.”

Dan Choi. Photo: Rex Wockner On Facebook, Choi commented: “Honored to ride with Dutch generals and admirals and MoD (Ministry of Defense) officials. ... We must see the gay rights movement from afar to realize how dismal it is at home, how manipulative the party politics can be. Our effort to bring international shame upon the disingenuous ramblings of career politicians makes clear the enormity of second-class citizenship to our officials and ourselves.”

‘Last’ gay victim of Nazis dies

Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Federation reported that the last living gay victim of

the Nazis, Rudolf Brazda, died at age 98 on Aug. 3 in Bantzenheim, France. Along with up to 15,000 other homosexuals, Brazda was sent to a concentration camp—Buchenwald in his case, in 1942. He was freed by U.S. forces three years later. Most homosexual inmates did not survive. Brazda had said he remained alive thanks to a guard who moved him to less perilous jobs in the camp and another guard who hid him from a death-march roundup. Brazda came out as a gay survivor of the camps in 2008 after hearing on television that no gay survivors were left. France later appointed him a knight of the Legion of Honor.

Czech president: Prague should not support gay parade

Czech President Václav Klaus said Aug. 4 that Prague city officials should not be supporting the gay pride parade. “I do not feel pride in this event,” he wrote on his website. “Tolerating is one thing, giving public support on behalf of major institutions is something completely different. ... We may respect homosexuality, but not homosexualism.” Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda said Klaus’ feelings will not affect the city’s patronage of the Aug. 13 parade, which also has support from numerous foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.

Anti-gay bill introduced in Ukraine An anti-gay bill has been introduced in Ukraine’s parliament, according to the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. The measure “regarding protection of children’s rights in the safe information sphere” would amend the Criminal Code—as well as laws concerning public morality, print media, television and radio, and publishing—to make “propaganda of homosexualism” a criminal offense. “(The measure) is absolutely discriminatory,” said the Ukrainian organization Insight. “The bill strengthens censorship, restricts freedom of speech, which is the basis of mass media, and legalizes violence against homosexual people.”

Slovenia sees first same-sex second-parent adoption

Slovenia’s first same-sex secondparent adoption has been approved by the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs, according to Ljubljana’s SKUC-LL, the Students’ Cultural Center Lesbian Section. A new Family Code adopted in June allows a same-sex partner to adopt a partner’s biological child. The ministry stepped in, SKUC-LL said, after the adoption was denied by the Center for Social Work.


Section 1: News & Politics

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Remarkables by Jonathan Wilson Sticking to the Facts Jack Webb, the fictional detective, was famous for saying to a witness prone to volunteering opinions, “The facts ma’am, just the facts.” That admonition came to mind after the California Legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed, a statute requiring that the California public schools tweak the curriculum to include information about gay people. This will be an improvement, and there’s plenty of room for improvement. Doubtless there are those who will view this development as advancing the “gay agenda.” I agree that it will—those afraid of the “gay agenda” and I simply don’t agree on what the “gay agenda” is. Our detractors would have folks believe that the “gay agenda” is one of advocating a culture of decadence and debauchery, prime examples of both of which, paradoxically, can be seen in videos taken at Mardi Gras or spring break resorts (predominantly heterosexual venues). By contrast, my “agenda” as an out gay man is to teach the difference between sexual orientation and behavior. Gay people are capable of their share of decadence and debauchery, but so are straight people and, given the numbers, most such behavior is committed by straight people. Simply put, gay people exist. All of God’s children aren’t straight, and same-gender intimacy

between the gay ones is not, as First Century thinkers would have folks believe, just straight people misbehaving. My “agenda” is to educate others that only what is truly behavior carries implications for morality. There are right and wrong behaviors (even though even that demarcation is not static over time); no behavior that I know of is unique to gay people; and sexual orientation is irrelevant and can be found on both sides of that line. Behavior is something consciously chosen, like deciding to be a Catholic; a Baptist; a Republican; a bigot; or an enlightened, tolerant person. Like being a glutton, a liar, a cheater, or a thief. Chosen behavior can be virtuous and some can be not-so-flattering. The latter can be unwise, impolite, immoral, or even criminal. What is not-so-flattering, and the degree of approbation that should be assigned to it, are subjects of fair debate in every generation. As James Russell Lowell famously said, “New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good [behavior] uncouth, they must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.” So, for example, Jesus could challenge supposed truth enunciated in the Old Testament, and we have a New Testament as a partial result. There are those who could, citing the Bible, advocate reducing the age of consent and polygamous marriage. I,

for one, am comfortable with a New Testament that doesn’t condemn homosexuality. Despite what the Bible teaches, I’m also comfortable with the current age of consent, and I’m comfortable restricting state-sanctioned marriage to two consenting, unrelated adults. The history curriculum in public schools can identify countless gay people already otherwise well-known to most students, and recognize their meaningful, positive contributions. Those contributions are made the more impressive given the societal context in which they were made, a context that, until recently, included criminalization of same-gender intimacy and the erroneous attitude that homosexuality is a mental illness. The art curriculum can beneficially identify countless artists in every medium who were/are gay. The literature curriculum will be better understood by a better understanding of the authors. Can anyone seriously doubt that the writings of George Eliot are better appreciated by knowing that the name was actually that of the female author, Mary Anne Evans? And in the curriculum about politics, where it is so important to a democracy for students to understand about hypocrisy, identifying positive and negative closet-case contributions is an imperative. There’s no need for opinions to be expressed in the public school curriculum. There’s no need to include any opinion other than neutrality. The facts will speak for themselves. Many of us have been driven into or kept in the closet by falsehoods about

gay citizens. Many have engaged in selfdestructive behaviors borne of pervasive teaching of lies about us. Our oppression has been fostered, too often even by our own hands, by false stereotypes. As the Bible says, it’s the truth that will set us free. John 8:32 “The facts ma’am, just the facts.” Get the truth out there and the rest will take care of itself.

It was recently reported by Register columnist, Rekha Basu, that several openly gay individuals attended a meeting of the local chapter of the NAACP, and joined. All were Caucasian and all happened to be members of First Friday Breakfast Club. They attended for the expressed purpose of supporting the mission of the NAACP and, by showing that level of support, building bridges between the GLBT community and black community that dominates the NAACP. I was among those who joined. The initiative to join the local NAACP was not a grandstanding exercise even though, in addition to the value of contemplated, worthwhile collaboration, it offers a terrific opportunity for interaction, dialogue, education, and greater tolerance toward the GLBT community. That process will inevitably take some time, energy, and cultivation of trust. Over time, who knows—there may be an NAACP contingent in a Pride parade or an NAACP booth at a Pride event!! Turn about is not just “fair play”—it’s an almost inevitable result of shared appreciation for the circumstances of others. The initiative is that of the individuals involved and NOT an initiative of or sponsored by FFBC. In a well-written and otherwise positive article about the meeting, however, Rekha Basu inexplicably included a closing shot at the FFBC, wondering, rhetorically, how long it would be before FFBC opened its membership so that any member of the NAACP could

likewise freely join the FFBC. FFBC remains an association of gay and bisexual men, regardless of race; it has declined membership to women and straight men, despite repeated requests from both over the years. FFBC provides a unique and valuable venue for gay and bi men to network and feel completely comfortable with the coming out process (an exercise that remains a substantial challenge for lots of men). The FFBC would simply not be the same, welcoming environment if it were merely gay supportive among men and women or among gay and supportive straight men. It is healthy for someone first exploring the “out” world to be able to go into a place where it’s assumed they are gay and to see what that feels like— without having to go to a “gay bar.” I am personally comfortably out and comfortable with a male/female/gay-supportive breakfast club. Such an organization would require LOTS of work on the part of LOTS of dedicated folks sharing that vision. It would require effort even more than cultivating the FFBC “as is” because, in my opinion, a co-ed experience is the “advanced course” in the GLBT community. Anyone who has a passion for a co-ed, gay-supportive breakfast club, Rekha Basu

included, is welcome to establish one. There’s nothing I know of to prevent such a group from forming. It’s no mystery how it’s done; it’s a lot of hard work for anyone who wants to make it a priority—the Little Red Hen variety of hard work. I would happily join a co-ed, gay-supportive group and pay my dues to participate so long as its meetings were not in conflict with FFBC. FFBC is a purely private organization and can be readily replicated by anyone, Rekha Basu included, who wants to do the work and define membership in some different way. Alternatively, she could establish an organization of female journalists of color, of merely female journalists, of journalists, of folks who like reading the printed newspaper, or of folks who just like to read. She is welcome to adopt any parameter she might wish and market test it to see if there are others who share that vision/mission/affinity. If there are, there’d be another breakfast club in town. Who knows, if she were to do that and achieve FFBC-caliber success, she’d have people who are merely interested in media, journalistic or otherwise, wanting to join. At that point, so much for focus and—what?—to heck with the wishes of those who shared the original, focused vision. FFBC gives scholarships to students

regardless of gender or gender orientation or gender identity. It could confine the scholarships to gay students (as the Matthew Shepard program does), or to gay male students. Lutherans can confine a scholarship program to Lutheran students; they can restrict those who operate the program to Lutheran Church members; and they can set requirements for church membership. They can, for example, say that just believing in God is not enough to be a Lutheran—if they want to. While tremendous progress has been made in support of the GLBT community, we are a long way from where we need to be—evidence the unapologetic anti-gay rhetoric being used currently to garner money and votes in the political arena. That rhetoric continues to stigmatize gay citizens and reinforce their own self-destructive homophobia. It keeps folks in the closet. FFBC provides a unique avenue out. Cheap shots aside, I was encouraged by the welcome at the local NAACP meeting. I could not gauge the depth or genuineness of the welcome or whether it was as much a function of “Iowa nice.” Time will tell. In the meantime, I don’t plan to spend too much more energy revisiting the membership requirements of the FFBC until I hear of a complaint from Reverend Ratliff, president of the statewide NAACP and a vocal anti-gay spokesman, wanting to join in order to show his support for GLBT equality.

Gay people are capable of their share of decadence and debauchery, but so are straight people and, given the numbers, most such behavior is committed by straight people.

Jonathan Wilson is an attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, and chairs the First Friday Breakfast Club (, an educational, non-profit corporation for gay men in Iowa who gather on the first Friday of every month to provide mutual support, to be educated on community affairs, and to further educate community opinion leaders with more positive images of gay men. It is the largest breakfast club in the state of Iowa. He can be contacted at JonathanWilson@ or 515-288-2500.

Building Bridges With the NAACP by Jonathan Wilson

Over time, who knows— there may be an NAACP contingent in a Pride parade or an NAACP booth at a Pride event!!

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Section 1: News & Politics


Creep of the Week by D’Anne Witkowski Bryan Fischer

them role models. But he shouldn’t. Just ask the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man who never seems to tire of railing against LGBT people in a way that your great uncle Larry only does when he’s off his medication. Fischer is no fan of the new California law. On July 24, Fischer addressed the issue on the AFA’s Focal Point radio show. “A controversial law in California was enacted last week that’s going to require that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender role models be taught, starting in kindergarten, in California schools,” he said. “Ladies and gentleman, by definition, somebody who engages in sexually aberrant behavior is not and cannot be a role model, period, end of story.” You got that? F*ck off Bayard Rustin. Stuff your poems up your *ss, Walt Whitman. Go jump off a hot tin roof Like many gay and lesbian Americans Tennessee Williams. I’ve been proudly watching videos and Look, I don’t know who put Fischer in news stories about same-sex couples charge of defining the term “role model,” getting to—finally!—legally wed in New but he has spoken. The role model buck York. has officially stopped. I got especially Of course, Fischer According to Oklahoma is under choked up reading the misguided about the first couple State Rep. Sally Kern, the most impression that teachin the state to marry, hateful thing you can say to a ing students about the Phyllis Siegal and of gay gay person is that they’re okay contributions Connie Kopelov, who people is the same are 77 and 85 years the way they are. thing as teaching o l d re s p e c t ive ly. them how to be gay. They’ve been together 23 years. That’s not really how it works. Everybody “I am breathless. I almost couldn’t knows that most people become gay after breathe,” Siegel told a reporter. “It’s mind- being asked to take a personality test by boggling. The fact that’s it’s happening to a well-dressed stranger and then sitting us—that we are finally legal and can do through an educational film. Wait, that’s this like everyone else.” Scientology. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could In any case, if Fischer thinks that look at a photo of these two women and learning about gay people in school makes not feel something akin to joy. I am so you gay, then does he also believe that happy for them. learning about straight people makes I can’t help but wonder what it must you straight? be like for young LGBT people witnessNo doubt Fischer is the kind of guy ing this. When I was in high school, two who watches Phyllis Siegal and Connie women marrying each other was incon- Kopelov exchange marriage vows and ceivable. I figured I was sentenced to live feels sick. Where so many see two people in the closet forever. in love, he sees two old lady sex perverts. There wasn’t a lot of information out Sucks to be him. there when I was a kid. I devoured everything I could find about gay people and I can’t help but think that it would have been really good for me to learn about people like Bayard Rustin in history class. Or how about Adrienne Rich? She was in every poetry anthology I encountered but no one ever mentioned that she was a lesbian. Homosexuality just wasn’t talked about when I was in school. We didn’t learn that there were LGBT people who mattered. And though a lot has changed, homosexuality still isn’t talked about much, which is why California passed a measure mandating the inclusion of LGBT figures in public schools. Historically, LGBT people have been kept in the closet. This measure seeks to rectify that. And boy are people pissed. God forbid an LGBT high school freshman learn in school that gay people have made and are making important contributions to Haters gon’ hate, am I right? history. They might inspire him. He might And according to Oklahoma State Rep. look up to them. He might even consider Sally Kern, the most hateful thing you can

Sally Kern

say to a gay person is that they’re okay example of her persecution, she offers the the way they are. Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund distributing In a July 27 radio interview with her anti-gay rant, a rant, she says, that the American Family Association’s Tim was only three minutes of a much longer Wildmon, the two spun a rather perverse talk. As if the rest of the talk would have picture of the “compassion” they feel for somehow put “gays are worse than terrorhomosexuals. ists” in a more kindhearted context. “As you just said, nobody hates the As if a public figure has any expecindividual homosexual,” Wildmon says. tation of privacy when she gives public “We want to see them come to repentance talks in which she says bat-shit crazy and know the Lord and have their lives things, Wildmon goes out of his way to changed, that’s what we want to see. So we make clear that the Victory Fund “secretly have compassion for people like that.” taped” Kern’s talk. “People like that,” eh Wildmon? Nice. Chill out Tim. She was giving a speech, Sounds super compassionate. not taking a dump. Well, not a literal one, Kern responds, “To me what is hateful anyway. is when those people who say ‘you’re born this way, there’s no hope in change, you’re stuck in this, deal with it.’ That is hate. There’s no hope in that.” There’s just no arguing with Kern’s response. Definitely more compassionate to lie to gays, telling them that they’re broken and can be “fixed” if only they love the Lord enough. Mind you, this is the same woman who told a group of her supporters, “I honestly think (homosexuality is) the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorist and Islam.” Then she claimed that gays want to get “our children” (“two-year-olds!” she shrieked). She again evoked the specter of the homosexual menace in her interview with Wildmon. “(I)n my opinion the homosexual movement is the tip of the spear,” she says. “They’re the ones who right now are I have to admit, Rick Santorum has beating down the door, have their foot in good reason not to like gay people. I the door, trying to tear down the moral mean, with the help of Dan Savage, one fiber of America. We have to stand up to of the leaders of the Homosexual Cabal, that. The reason it’s the tip of the spear gays changed the definition of “Santorum” you don’t see ‘Adulterers Victory Fund’ out from a politician who is full of shit to {ITAL there trying to promote adultery. God’s actual shit}. More specifically, “The frothy people got to stand up to this.” mix of lube and fecal matter that is some“A d u l t e r e r s times the byproduct of Victory Fund” is her In Santorum’s worldview, anal sex.” swipe at the Gay Yuck. I wouldn’t gays are just folks who screw like gay & Lesbian Victory people either if Fund, a group she’s each other, not human beings that was the first result not an especially big capable of loving, long term that popped up when fan of ever since they Googled my relationships worthy of legal people exposed her “gays are name and gays were worse than terrorism” recognition. to blame. comments. The problem is, She and Wildmon address that little Santorum’s dislike of gay people didn’t incident while discussing the title of start with the besmirching of his name. Kern’s new book, “The Stoning of Sally He had problems with gays way before Kern: The Liberal Attack on Christian that. Which means the name thing doesn’t Conservatism And Why We Must Take work as an excuse. a Stand.” When I say that Santorum “dislikes” “I didn’t choose that title, the publish- gays, what I mean is that Santorum, from ing company did. I had ‘No Apology and his former position of power as a Senator No Regrets’ and they felt that was a little and his current position of notoriety as a too bland. And so I came up with ‘Holy- GOP presidential contender and Googlephobe’ because I was so sick and tired of search oddity, is an outspoken critic of being called a homophobe. I don’t hate LGBT rights. He doesn’t see LGBT people or fear homosexuals, they’re sinners that as equal, which means he doesn’t really need to be saved by grace, just like I’m a see LGBT people as {ITAL people}. This sinner. The only one I want to fear is the is, of course, something he already made Lord,” she said. “They kind of played it off very clear with his infamous “man on man of the stoning of Steven in scripture. He = man on dog” sex analogy. was literally stoned and I was figuratively Santorum reiterated his stance on stoned.” LGBT equality during an Aug. 5 interview Figuratively stoned? Really? Sounds with Tony Perkins of the Family Research like someone has a persecution Council, another anti-gay crusader. complex. During the interview, Perkins When Wildmon asks her to provide an TTCREEPS continued page 10

Rick Santorum


Section 1: News & Politics

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Minor Details: Does Your Politician Pass the Religious Test? There might actually be politicians be named Advertising Age’s marketer of who are sincerely religious—think Jimmy the year for 2008. Carter—but I wouldn’t trust the words of And a candidate’s religion is a part of any of them when it comes to describing the focus-group-tested advertising mix. their religious faith and what it has to do Remember John McCain, who identified with their stand on national issues. for a long-time as an Episcopalian, claimThey’re so successfully coached. If ing in 2007, though un-baptized, to be a they’re really good at it, they know what Baptist so that the right-wing religious religious language, metaphors, and allu- base could lose their doubts about his sions work. religious credentials? And they know that Though the getting elected requires By asserting the origins of Constitution’s only the making of a brand, to relisomething in the Divine, one reference embodying an image gion is to forbid a they can appear to live doesn’t have to face the reality religious test for in order to sell them- that it might be just a stupid government office, selves. It means treatthough when a idea someone holds onto that and ing everything they do person becomes a really ought to be given up. politician we realize as advertising. It’s the public relathat their statements tions industry at work. It’s the selling of about their religion are overly-nuanced, a product. professionally-orchestrated, publicAnd it’s as believable as most adver- relations-tested, and carefully staged, tising that describes itself in terms of Americans still seem to want their leaders what the consultants tell them will move to convince them that they’re sincerely people to buy. In this climate politicians religious. realize this, including current and previThe previous president, no matter ous presidential publicity teams. how little he personally knew about his Selling himself as a brand with a own faith, the Bible, or anything religious, Pepsi-like logo and a short, catchy slogan, had so convinced the right-wing he was Obama’s ads actually won the best adver- one of them that they hung on to him tising awards for any marketing of the desperately, hoping he would validate election year. His garnered the vote of their belief. No matter how he’d let them hundreds of marketers, agency heads, down, they desperately needed to believe and marketing-services vendors gathered he was one of their chosen, fundamentalin 2008 at the Association of National ist, pushers of their religion. Advertisers’ annual conference, edging Religion is highly useful for politiout runners-up Apple and to cians and others.  It can be manipulated

positively or negatively. It’s most often used to support whatever it is—an idea, a position, an institution—that someone wants to promote by sanctifying it. That can be by finding Bible verses that seem to support what is a prejudice, choosing out of all of history the things to be considered “traditional values” while ignoring all else, or hiding behind a religious belief to save oneself from examining what it claims to promote. By asserting the origins of something in the Divine, one doesn’t have to face the reality that it might be just a stupid idea someone holds onto that really ought to be given up. Don’t hold me in any way responsible when I use it to push a political agenda. It’s not my self-rewarding prejudice. It’s God’s idea. In a newly released poll conducted in mid-July by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, 56 percent of Americans surveyed said it’s important for a presidential candidate to have “strong religious beliefs.” They claimed this was true whether or not those beliefs differed from their own. Those who most agreed were white evangelicals at 73 percent and ethnic minority Christians at 74 percent. I assume these people can trust that their political choices are believable when they discuss their faiths. The President’s religious stance, of course, has been part of a sustained attack

From the 1940s to the 1970s, our country prospered upon the willingness of Americans to work together to achieve great tasks and to overcome huge obstacles. From meeting harsh production goals and fighting fierce enemies to expanding human rights and soaring to the moon, we achieved remarkable successes when we worked together. People must have thought that going to the moon was all we needed to do to show what we could do. Since then, in the face of rhetoric and growing scorn, social cohesion and compromise has been slipping from the fabric of our lives and into divided, irresponsible, self-centered and hostile attitudes (especially with rise of the so-called TEA party movement). That narrowness and shortsightedness is infecting our politics and our society today with the poisonous contentment of reminiscing of glory days rather than looking forward to great potential works (e.g. going beyond the moon, health care reform, superior clean energy generation, high-speed mass transit systems, and modern education). We have heard the continuous arguments against these types of projects as costly and better developed in the private sector, but ironically, it is these public projects that

point and direction for growth rather than empty promises and hollow reminiscing. Jobs and deficit issues will be mitigated when we think beyond self-centered prospects, and instead, we look towards how we can grow together. The entire Congress should be fired for their inability to get a good deficit reduction plan passed. I have long argued that we should reign in government debts, and I was really hopeful when there were proposals made to help reign in the cost of government. Yet, there is a conspiracy afoot that claims low taxes creates jobs and spurs innovation. Given the fact we have the lowest tax rate structure in over a century coupled with high unemployment, and conversely, when taxes were higher for high-income earners, there was economic activity, that claim is truly misguided. Innovation spurs jobs while jobs produce tax revenue, but people have to have a sense of direction in order to innovate and everyone has to take part in that effort. Currently, we have jumbles of poor legal code and poor public direction being set. Policies should be made for efficient use of public funds and protection of public interests, and we need a true vision of where America can go. Obama provided America with a sense of hope in 2008, but the feeling is long gone in the midst of the turmoil and bickering that engulfs our public discourse,

Robert N. Minor, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, is author of When Religion Is an Addiction; Scared Straight: Why It’s So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It’s So Hard to Be Human and Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society. Contact him at by the right-wing including the religious right-wing. The poll indicated only one in three Americans identify Obama as a Christian, while 18 percent still think he’s a Muslim. This is due to ignorance, of course. Just one in four Americans, including 44 percent of white evangelicals and 21 percent of ethnic minority Christians, could correctly identify Mitt Romney as a Mormon.

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Is America only a Dream Anymore? by Tony E. Hansen help to generate jobs and innovation in the private sector as part of coordinated effort to achieve goals. We achieved in those years because we worked together and we had goals. The private sector saw substantial increases in research and development due to public efforts, but we could go further if we work together. Additionally, we can look at how China has had remarkable successes in the last two decades to become a major world power by revitalizing their infrastructure and economy. While we stagnated and reminisced, they achieved this success by working together and having a sense of national pride, which has been surely lost in America. They learned, and continue to learn, from Americans, especially since we offshore our manufacturing and research development to Asia. They continue to learn from us by observing our mistakes and successes. Meanwhile, our focus has become solely upon the bottom line and upon individualistic goals at the expense of the social growth. We forget that doing things alone often leaves us without the growth and opportunities that come with mutual struggles. What America needs is a rally

The entire Congress should be fired for their inability to get a good deficit reduction plan passed.

which also erodes any sense of direction he sought to fulfill. None of the current crop of candidates is showing that real leadership and vision for America as a leader in energy development, transportation or space technology. They are all focused upon tired rhetoric instead of real ideas and solutions. Obama has shown some promise in this realm, but he has not gone far enough and he has been drowned out by the hostile right. The United States does not have to believe in global warming, but innovation can show us how to use our resources more efficiently or to develop new ways of gener-

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to live their lives? Oh, yeah. Santorum doesn’t think gays and lesbians are people. They’re remarked that gays “will not rest (until foot soldiers in a great big Homo Army they) force every state in the nation to working feverishly to annihilate the very change their laws to recognize same-sex idea of family and God so that one day we marriage.” can all live in a country where the only Fair enough. I mean, Perkins has boxes to check on the census form next to certainly accused gays of worse things. “How is this person related to Person 1?” “Yeah. They want to force their world- are “Current f*ck buddy” and “Future f*ck view on us and they’re using this idea of buddy” and all Sam’s Clubs are converted ‘equality,’ which is absurd,” Santorum into giant bathhouses. responded. Seriously, is this the kind of gaypocaAh, I get it. When gays and lesbians lyptic hellscape Santorum envisions when want their marriages legally recognized he thinks about two people of the same by the state, that’s forcing the gay world- sex getting married? view on everyone. “The left is very But when Santorum enthusiastic about Santorum doesn’t think this agenda because demands that gays and lesbians continue gays and lesbians are people. it is an opportunity to be discriminated They’re foot soldiers in a great to get after the things against because that’s they see standing big Homo Army working fever- that how he interprets the in the way of them Bible, that’s just doing ishly to annihilate the very taking control, more God’s work or some idea of family and God. . . control of your lives, shit. which is the family And the concept and the church,” he of “equality” is “absurd” when applied to told Perkins. “And so what better to do gays and lesbians, how? that than by destroying the institution This is how, according to Santorum: of marriage and by saying anybody who “This has nothing to do with how two opposes them is a bigot and therefore, and people want to live their lives. It has that includes people in the clergy.” everything to do with an agenda that is “More control of your lives,” eh? That’s ultimately going to destroy the family, what gays want? Does Santorum not see weaken the family and weaken our reli- the irony in that claim? Probably not, since gious liberties in this country.” this is coming from a man who has said, Now, wait just a minute. How does “I have no problem with homosexuality. I denying two men or two women from have a problem with homosexual acts” and marrying each other not have anything who supports sodomy laws because they to do with how those two people want protect “the basic tenets of our society


and the family.” In other words, in Santorum’s worldview, gays are just folks who screw each other, not human beings capable of loving, long term relationships worthy of legal recognition.

Phillip Hinkle

If I close my eyes and try really hard, I can almost transport myself back to a time when gay sex scandals involving anti-gay Republicans were shocking. Well, “shocking” is maybe too strong. How about “surprising” or even “unexpected.” You know, it’s getting to a point that in order to prove their heterosexuality Republicans are going to have to go all out with the pro-gay thing. The opposite strategy is obviously not working. And so it is that Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle, a supporter of an anti-gay marriage amendment to Indiana’s constitution, finds himself embroiled in a pot calling the kettle gay story. I know, I know. “Yawn,” right? We’ve heard this tale before. It’s been done. And yet there’s something about blatant, naked (literally, in this case) hypocrisy that never gets old. Hinkle, 64, allegedly found an ad in the men seeking men section on Craigslist by 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson that declared, “I need a sugga daddy.” Apparently thinking himself such a daddy, Hinkle answered the ad and offered Gibson $80, adding, “for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?” Um, no. That does not sound good. Not only does that not “sound good” for Hinkle’s career, but it also falls way short of sugar daddy levels. Granted, I am not myself a sugar daddy nor have I ever sought one, but I think we can all agree that a maximum pay out of $140 does not

SEPTEMBER 2011 a sugar daddy make. Also, 50 or 60 bucks? Would a “sugga daddy” really quibble over ten dollars? In any case, this is presumably how Gibson and Hinkle ended up in a hotel room together. One thing led to another and Hinkle ended up wearing nothing but a towel and Gibson ended up retreating to the bathroom to call his sister, Megan, to get him out of there and how Megan ended up cursing Hinkle out and threatening to call the media and how Hinkle ended up offering up his “iPad, a BlackBerry and $100 in cash,” according to the Indianapolis Star. Okay, wait. This kid and his sister are threatening to expose you so you give them your cell phone? Your personal cell phone your wife calls you on and is now being answered by someone who is super pissed at you and who tells your wife you’re a homo? Smooth move, Hinkle. Hinkle has not denied anything at this point, though he has called the whole thing “a shakedown.” His fellow Republicans are all, “Dude, resign.” Indiana Stonewall Democrats President Aaron Schaler told the Star, “This is almost a textbook example of what happens when someone is not allowed, by either community attitudes or by personal conflicts, to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Perhaps. Though maybe folks like Hinkle don’t actually want any of that openness and acceptance stuff. All of those votes against LGBT rights, all of that co-sponsored anti-gay marriage legislation, all of those claims that gays are nothing but sex perverts with too much political power—maybe it isn’t “hypocrisy” after all. Maybe it’s just an accurate representation of their sad, pathetic lives. Think about it. If your only experience as a gay man was spent steeped in lies and disgust and contempt, why wouldn’t your public policy reflect your private shame? Why wouldn’t you use your political power to shape the world into the vision of the very anti-gay hell you see as your life? It’s no excuse, mind you. But considering the pandemic of anti-gay closet cases in the Republican Party and the party’s decidedly anti-gay platform, I think it’s fair to say that the entire GOP has a big internalized homophobia problem. And judging from the GOP presidential hopefuls that are parading around, it’s only going to get worse.

ACCESSline’s fun guide

Our Picks for September 9/2 Under the Town Clock, Dubuque: DUBUQUE...AND ALL THAT JAZZ PRESENTS CYNTHIA LAYNE - 9/3-9/5 Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Des Moines: DES MOINES RENAISSANCE FAIRE - 9/7-9/25 Slosburg Hall, Omaha, NE: Jersey Boys - 9/6-9/9 Gallagher Bluedorn, Cedar Falls: THE BLUE MAN GROUP (Rescheduled) - 9/9-9/17 Waterloo Community Playhouse, Waterloo: THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB - (see ad page 37) 9/10 The Englert, Iowa City: THE IOWA WOMEN’S MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTS JANIS IAN - 9/10 Lawn at Brucemore, Cedar Rapids: ORCHESTRA IOWA - BRUCEMORCHESTRA IV: Crown Imperial - 9/10-9-11 Adler Theatre, Davenport: THE BLUE MAN GROUP - 9/10-9/11 Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Des Moines: DES MOINES RENAISSANCE FAIRE - 9/14 8 pm The Englert, Iowa City: AN EVENING WITH JUDY COLLINS - 9/17-9/18 Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Des Moines: DES MOINES RENAISSANCE FAIRE - 9/22 Sioux City Orpheum: WYNONNA JUDD - 9/24 Sioux City Orpheum: Sioux City Symphony Opening Night featuring Lynn Harrell, cello - 9/30 7:30pm Sinclair Auditorium, Cedar Rapids: ORCHESTRA IOWA - Orchestral Showcase: Beethoven 5 - 9/23 8 pm The Englert, Iowa City : JOE RAIOLA -

...and October

10/1 West High School, Iowa City: ORCHESTRA IOWA - Orchestral Showcase: Beethoven 5 - 10/7-10/9 Downtown Des Moines’ East Village:

WORLD FOOD FESTIVAL 10/30 7 pm Adler Theatre, Davenport: MY FAIR LADY -

Deep Inside Hollywood by Romeo San Vicente Darren Criss succeeds in Business and with Bridesmaids

Kristen Wiig. Photo : Universal Pictures It’s good to be Darren Criss right now. Gleeks already know the news that the New Directions collective fantasy of starring in a Broadway show will soon be realized by…a Warbler (yes, Lea Michele and occasional guest Jonathan Groff are already Spring Awakening stage vets, but just go with it). Criss will be the one getting his shot in January 2012, as the Glee-propelled overnight sensation takes over for Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying when the Harry Potter star finishes his stint in December. Meanwhile, Kristen Wiig’s follow-up to her hit summer surprise Bridesmaids, titled Imogene, has cast Criss as her younger love interest. Wiig will play a woman who has to go back to New Jersey to live with her tacky mother (Annette Bening) and winds up falling for twentysomething Criss. File this one under: Snowballing Careers. Remember to take your vitamins, Darren Criss. And stay away from anyone named Lohan.

Kate Moennig going to Gone

Kate Moenning, The L Word vet whose lesbian fan base remains as strong as ever, was last seen in a small, pivotal role in the Matthew McConaughey legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer. But she has another project coming up titled Gone that should help boost her recognition on the big screen. She stars alongside Amanda Seyfried in the Heitor Dhalia-directed thriller about a woman who arrives home one night to find that her sister is missing, kidnapped by the same man who tried to kidnap and murder Seyfried’s character two years earlier. With no assistance from police, Seyfried must find and confront the killer. No word on which character Moennig will play (The kidnapped sister? The killer? A cop? The clue-giving woman at Dunkin Donuts?), but it sounds just like the kind of popcorn thriller audiences eat right up. Well played, Shane.

Cynthia Nixon conquers world without end

It’s apparently a boom time for fantasy on television, and we’re not just

talking about Real Housewives who think people can’t tell that they’ve had plastic surgery. Game of Thrones was a big hit for HBO, and Starz’s The Pillars of the Earth miniseries did well enough to spawn a sequel, World Without End. Tea Party types may be thrilled to know that World, set 200 years after Pillars, deals with ordinary people rebelling against the high taxes from the King and the Church of England (not to mention a little thing called the Black Plague), but those same conservatives may be less excited about the fact that proud lesbian and vocal gay-marriage advocate Cynthia Nixon has been cast in a lead role. The impressive ensemble also includes Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin and Peter Firth, under the direction of Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy), and will be premiering on Starz in 2012.

Reality bites Logo

All current signs point to Logo straying the tiniest bit away from its LGBT roots with an eye to snagging more single— and presumably heterosexual—female viewers, who have apparently been drawn in by shows like Drag U and 1 girl 5 gays. The channel’s upcoming slate of reality shows seems to bear that out, with titles like Big Loud Lisa (a reality show about newlywed stand-up comic Lisa Lampanelli going on the road with her husband) and Design My Dog, which will pair up four dog owners with fashion designers to create canine couture. Also on deck is Ballet Beach, about a dance troupe in Miami Beach stretching their physical and emotional limits, along with the Carol Leifer sitcom Out in the Burbs. Leifer’s not the only TV vet (she was a Seinfeld writer and co-producer) behind these new shows: Lisa comes from Chelsea Handler’s production company, Dog has the backing of America’s Next Top Model mogul Ken Mok, and Ballet will be co-produced by former NBC president Ben Silverman. But frankly, if any of these beat The A-List: Dallas, The A-List: Los Angeles and The A-List: Freeport, Maine to the air, then a grave injustice will have been done to television.

T.R. Knight heads back To TV

It’s been about two years since Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight quit that show amidst conflict with fellow actor Isaiah Washington. And he’s kept busy in the theater world in the meantime, including taking a starring role in the 2010 Broadway show A Life In The Theatre opposite Patrick Stewart. But Hollywood called again, so now he’s coming back to work in front of the cameras on an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU. The episode in question—currently in production— finds Knight playing a suspected serial rapist, so that’s an interesting out-of-the-

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the fun guide



the fun guide

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The Outfield by Dan Woog

Justice Calo Reign reigns There’s more to Justice Calo Reign’s uniqueness than his name. He’s an African-American gay man who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy. He’s one of only 2 percent of the Cadet population to receive the Commandant’s Award coming out of basic training, and one of fewer than 2 percent to hold positions of squadron commander and team captain during the same academic year. Reign has been both a football conference champion and a school record holder in track. A commissioned Kentucky Colonel— bestowed by the governor—for his work with youth character development, Reign went on to become CEO of a private foundation. He has worked with business people and elected officials in Nigeria, the Philippines, Canada, Thailand and Cambodia. “I have enjoyed success at every phase of my life,” Reign says. “But I also know what it’s like to enter a real zone of defeat due to internal issues of my life that distracted me from using all of my strengths to make this world the best world I can make it.” Which is one reason he is now a coach— in every sense of the world. His Reign Group seeks to create “champions” in a wide range of fields, from philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to sports. “We at The Reign Group are on a mission to change the world,” his website reads. “We are not interested in individuals who are satisfied with mediocrity or the status quo. We are interested in individuals who are willing to train their hearts and minds to connect fully with their strengths, (and) become Champions in their endeavors.” Reign’s athletic resume is impressive. As sprints and hurdle coach at the Air Force Academy, he coached five conference champions, nine NCAA championship qualifiers and three Olympic trials qualifiers. At the University of Louisville, the program reached the NCAA Top 25 for the first time ever. He recruited eight national champions in two years, and coached athletes to 16 school records. Currently, he’s working with one of the top female boxers in the country. But, he says, life has not always been a straight run to success. He lost his job at Louisville when he was outed, he says. “I was told that because (being gay) would show poorly on the program, I should have let them know ahead of time.” He was the target, he

says, of “horrific” voicemail messages and email comments. “I had just taken freshmen to the NCAAs. We were training for the world championships,” he recalls. “The whole program I built crumbled. It was very disheartening.” Earlier, a Louisville athlete had come out to Reign. Between that experience and his own, he says, “I really see how homophobia is used as a weapon in sports.” However, he does not point to bigotry as the cause. “I think it’s about control—a way to control people,” he says. “It’s used as a recruitment weapon.” In the acceptance of homosexuality, he says, coaches lag far behind athletes. “If you’re teammates with someone who’s gay, so long as you do your job, they don’t care.” He points to his own example. “For a while, I lied,” he says. “I told my athletes I wasn’t gay. But when I finally came out, they said, ‘So what?’ The holdup is in the older regime’s thoughts about masculinity and femininity. It’s antiquated. Coaches and administrators, they need to understand the student-athlete’s mind, and get it.” Through his life experiences, Reign helps the men and women he coaches “manage their emotional energy.” He had a rough childhood—there was more going on in his Christian, military, conservative environment than questions of sexuality—but, he says, “I focused on my strengths. If you have the right mindset, you can deal with any negative influences.” That’s true, he says, whether you’re training for an upcoming race, a bout in the boxing ring, or asking for money to fund a project. Gay youth are important to Reign. “They feel like they’re in a war zone,” the Air Force Academy graduate says. He equates war and sports. Both, he says, are far tougher mentally than physically. Much of Reign’s training centers not on running harder or throwing better combinations of punches, but on “how to use your strengths to overcome adversity, how to interact with teammates, how to be a positive person.” Not all of Reign’s athletic work is with LGBT clients. But, he says, “I do see a certain type of urgency in them, something that’s not there in others.” For LGBT athletes, he says, “sports performance is almost a way of validating who they are. They’re very harsh on themselves.” So Reign focuses on “saying what’s right with them, not what’s wrong.” It’s a formula, he says, for “exponential growth and change.” He’s doing his part to make sure that, for gay athletes, peak performance will come— and justice will reign.

Austin Snyder’s long run

There are three keys to documentary filmmaking: a good subject, a good story line and good luck. Scott Bloom found all three. His goal in making Out for the Long Run—a movie about gay high school athletes—was to go beyond “the regular coming out stories.” Bloom, a former closeted wrestler who had been terrified of being outed, ostracized or beaten up, knew there were “extraordinary individuals” out there. He wanted to highlight their accomplishments, and provide hope to LGBT people of all ages, everywhere.

The first problem was finding those young athletes. The second was convincing them—and their parents—to be filmed for a documentary. He asked organizations like GLSEN and PFLAG for help. But although he’d produced one film on Metropolitan Community Church founder Rev. Troy Perry, and another on the “oldest gay organization in the world” (a motorcycle club), he admits he was “an unknown quantity.” The project stalled. Then Bloom saw a Facebook page for gay athletes. With permission from creator Lucas Goodman, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology rower, Bloom asked for volunteers. He got a dozen or two responses. But some of their parents objected. Blurring faces or filming in shadows would undercut the idea of openness. Plus, Bloom hoped to include the parents’ stories too. In the end he settled on four athletes, with a cross-section of experiences. When he began shooting, some of Bloom’s old fears resurfaced. “I worried all over again about being ‘thrown out of the locker room,’” he says. “But everyone was very gentle to me.” He learned that today’s gay youth “have fewer hang-ups than my generation did. They define sexuality more fluidly. That’s refreshing. It gives me hope. I was definitely not as self-aware at that age.” Bloom’s lucky break came when he found Austin Snyder. The track star was entering his senior year at California’s Berkeley High School. (The other three athletes were already in college.) He had a great, supportive family. He was smart, popular and embraced by his teammates. Snyder’s story would provide a counterpoint to Brenner Green, a Connecticut College runner whose father had a hard time accepting his son’s sexuality, and who stopped being invited to team dinners after coming out in high school; Goodman, who had difficulty coming out to teammates; and Liz Davenport, a soccer player from Maine whose love for sports was undermined by the bullying she endured. (She ended up “probably the most heroic,” Bloom says, “after struggling and maturing the most.”) Snyder, a very articulate teenager, lives through what is in many ways a typical high school year. He desperately hopes to get into Brown University—but an injury causes both physical and emotional stress. The usually

self-confident runner wonders if he is being punished for his sexuality. It’s not easy being a senior—especially when you’re gay. “I’m a big romantic,” Snyder says. “High school is all about the guys getting the girls. Running helps take away the hurt of not having someone.” Then Snyder gets the news: He’s into Brown. He goes from “the lowest low to the highest high.” In a scene repeated in homes across the country, he is giddy with excitement. But as graduation approaches, Snyder says, “All my friends are happy and dating. I want that!” He creates a Facebook group for cross country and track athletes heading to Brown. He joins another group for all admitted students where, he says, “all the gay men have found each other.” Suddenly, Snyder finds someone special: a swimmer from North Carolina. Online they flirt, then talk seriously for weeks. Then, in a plot twist that would sound unbelievable in a real movie—except it’s true—Snyder qualifies for a national race. In North Carolina. Bloom films their meeting. It’s a truly sweet scene. Later, his new boyfriend gives him a tender pre-race kiss. The final scene also seems right out of a teen flick. Snyder delivers a graduation speech at Berkeley High. He talks about diversity and change, and urges his classmates: “Use your open-minded spirit.” Snyder’s coach says, “Austin’s story gives hope for what can be.” His father adds simply, “I’m extremely proud of Austin.” Out for the Long Run is a powerful film. “I never expected a sports film to make people cry,” Bloom says. “But people tell me it makes them remember the fears and emotions they buried years earlier.” And, echoing Snyder’s coach, it generates hope in unlikely places. Five rural school districts in Louisiana have bought copies for each middle and high school. The counseling director will use it as a teaching tool. Which means its lessons will be remembered by students—gay and straight—for a long, long run. Dan Woog is a journalist, educator, soccer coach, gay activist, and author of the Jocks series of books on gay male athletes. Visit his website at He can be reached care of this publication or at OutField@

the fun guide

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Cocktail Chatter by Ed Sikov No Sun Up in the Sky: Dark and Stormy

“Old Storrrr-my! Old Storrrr-my!” Craig was insufferable. But he was so perfectly Santana that I laughed despite myself. “Shut up!” I begged, but that only spurred him on. All was not well. Last Sunday afternoon, Sammy blurted out something horrifically specific about my having shtupped Jack Fogg after the four of us—Jack, Sammy, Dan, and me—had spent a perfectly delightful French-sex-farce weekend together during which everyone but Dan knew about mon petit bout a derriere avec Jacques le Brouillard. Well, I suppose it wasn’t so delightful for Dan, who was humiliated. He packed up and left while I was still at the beach and drove home alone. (I respect his rage, and I’m totally at fault and all that, but couldn’t he at least have driven me back to the city?) “I’m making the cocktails tonight,” Craig said after crowing the final syllable of the wretched “Stormy.” “It’s all the rage. Wanna know what it’s called?” This was obviously a set-up. “What?” I spat. “The Dark and Storrrr-my. Old Storrrmy!” “Piss off,” I snarled and headed upstairs,

inwardly marveling at his talent. I’d actually had my first Dark and Stormy during the week at Bar Henry, a wonderful place on Houston Street in the Village. Jon, the hunky bartender (blond, cute, middleweight wrestler’s body, frat-boy-turnedMBA-turned-chic-bar-investor, tragically straight), talked me into trying one. Made of dark rum and ginger beer, it wasn’t the sort of drink I usually order, but Jon swore by it, and since I was dazzled by the thick tuft of light blond hair poking out of his open collar, I tried one. It was perfect for a night of guilt, shame and solitude—spicy-sweet and refreshing, the ginger beer’s fizz cutting through the dark rum’s thickness. I returned from my pout before dinner and made my own Dark and Stormy. Or two. Actually, four. I was plastered from the rum and bursting at the seams from all the ginger beer when Dan stomped in. “It’s my house, too,” he said without glancing in my direction and headed for the unoccupied guestroom off the kitchen. We call it the ABD—short for the Ann B. Davis Suite, in honor of Alice from The Brady Bunch, who lived in a similar place. (Question: If the man named Brady was an architect, why did all six kids have to share one bathroom?) He threw his briefcase and backpack on the ABD’s single bed and slammed the door. Craig made dinner that night—fettucine

It was perfect for a night of guilt, shame and solitude.

Alfredo, two loaves of garlic bread, no vegetables and a giant-size bag of Oreos. Paolo and Chipper both gasped at the carbs-‘n’-fat menu but ate their share anyway. Dan was so theatrically wrathful that nobody dared talk. Just as Craig ripped open the Oreos, the sky opened too, and we were pounded by a frighteningly intense shoreline thunderstorm. You know you’re in big trouble when nature itself turns against you in a rage.

The Dark and Stormy

• Dark rum • Ginger beer • Lime wedge for garnish (optional) 1. Pour as much chilled ginger beer as you like into a glass with some ice cubes in it, then float the dark rum on top, or 2. if you’re on the outs with your boyfriend, pour a large quantity of dark rum over ice and add a splash of ginger beer to the top.

From the Mailbag: ‘The Escondido Surprise’

I never hear from readers—the folks Norma Desmond describes in Sunset Boulevard as “those wonderful people out there in the dark.” So I was glad to get a message from “Joey from Denver.” Here’s his note, quoted with his permission:

cretins,” but anyway… I just moved my parents out of their trailer. Neither of them is in good health anymore, and my older sister, Julie, found them a “retirement apartment,” which is to say a one-stop-shopping residence that will see them through daily check-ins by nurses’ aides to hospice care. The Escondido Surprise is the concoction I mixed after shipping my parents along with 12 boxes of clothes, horrible tchotchkes (note: Yiddish for “worthless crap”) and diabetes supplies to Seattle in Julie’s SUV. It sounds dire, but it’s actually a huge relief to know they’ll have emergency pull-cords in every room. In the back of a cabinet was a bottle of Beefeater with enough left for one drink. I found a yellow lime on the ground on the side of the trailer, and as I picked it up, I heard Phyl, the newly lonely next-door neighbor, bark, “Take ‘em all, I don’t care!” I grabbed three more and squeezed the juice into a glass with the gin. The stone-like sugar at the bottom of an ancient box wouldn’t kill me, so I smashed it on the counter with my shoe (hygienically wrapped in an unused trash bag) and randomly poured some in the glass. I pried some brownish ice chips off bottom of the freezer and gave it all a couple rounds with my index finger. Surprise! It was delicious—the perfect cocktail with which to say good riddance to Escondido and hello to the next phase of my family’s life. I don’t know if this is funny or pathetic, but you can use it in your column if you want. —Your faithful reader, Joey

I’m not writing to scold but rather to share a recipe. I call it ‘the Escondido Surprise.’ It’s basically a gimlet with emotional problems.

Dear Ed: I love your column, even though I think you’re a crud for cheating on Dan. How can you risk throwing away a good man for an a--hole (literally!)? Anyway, I’m not writing to scold but rather to share a recipe. I call it ‘the Escondido Surprise.’ It’s basically a gimlet with emotional problems. I’m an IT guy for a financial company in Denver, where I grew up. Fifteen or so years ago, my parents retired to Escondido, California. Escondido’s website describes the place as follows: “Settled in a valley in the coastal mountains of Southern California, Escondido—which means hidden in Spanish—lies 18 miles inland and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. Surrounded by avocado and citrus groves, Escondido is a vibrant community with just the right mix of small town friendliness and big-city buzz.’ I describe it as ‘hell on earth, with a stinking mix of deadly heat and Reagan-worshipping

Well, Joey, New York supermarket limes are green, our icemaker produces clear ice, and our sugar isn’t clumped, but otherwise I duplicated your recipe, and it was terrific. Here’s to you and your folks, Joey. Having gone through this myself, I can tell you: it isn’t pathetic. It’s an act of love.

The Escondido Surprise

• Beefeater gin • Fresh or bottled lime juice, to taste • Sugar to taste • Ice, any color 1. Pour gin over possibly funky ice, 2. add lime juice and sugar, 3. stir with your index finger and 4. drink while pondering your own journey to the grave.

I would say that although my music may be or may have been part of the cultural background fabric of the gay community, I consider myself an outsider who belongs everywhere and nowhere... Being a human being is what truly counts. That’s where you’ll find me. ~Annie Lennox

the fun guide


ACCESSline’s STATEWIDE Recurring Events List

The following list is provided by—and corrected by—ACCESSline readers like you. If you would like to add an event, or if you notice a mistake in this list, please email editor@

Interest Group Abbreviations: L: Lesbian G: Gay +: HIV-related D: Drag W: General Women’s Interest

Sunday Every Sunday, GLBT AA, 5-6 PM, at First Baptist Church at 500 N. Clinton St., Iowa City. For more info about Intergroup and Alcoholics Anonymous call the 24-Hour Answering Service at 319-338-9111 or visit the AA-IC website: [ L G B T M W A ] Every Sunday, L WORD LIVES: L NIGHT, 7PM, at the Firewater Saloon, 347 South Gilbert St., Iowa City, 319-321-5895. The night will start with Season 1, Episode 1 of the L Word... because a good thing should never die. FoLLowing the L Word wiLL be a Drag King show at 9:30 p.m. No cover. Tel, 319-321-5895. [LBTWD] Every Sunday, THE QUIRE: EASTERN IOWA’S GLBT CHORUS REHEARSALS, 6-8:30 PM, at Zion Lutheran Church, 310 N. Johnson St., Iowa City. Membership is open to all GLBT folks, as well as allies who support the community. There are no auditions; you only need to be willing to attend rehearsals regularly and learn your music. The Quire prepares two full concerts each year in the winter and spring, and occasionally performs shorter programs at events in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. The Quire is a member of Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA), and has developed a reputation for excellence and variety in its concert programs. For more info, visit http:// [ L G B T M W A ] Every Sunday, QUEER GUERRILLA BRUNCH, Locations around Iowa City to be announced each week. LGBTQIs & Allies gather for Sunday brunch to celebrate community and create visibility. Sign up for future brunches on Facebook at group.php?gid=120517046371 [ L G B T M WA] Every Sunday, RAINBOW AND ALLIED YOUTH, 8:00pm-11:00pm, The Center, 1300 Locust, Des Moines, IA 50309. Social group for Queer youth 25 years and under [ L G B T ] First Sunday, GAY MEN’S MEDITATION GROUP, 2 pm, Iowa City/Corridor Area, 319-354-2285 for more information. [ G B TM] Second Sunday, LGBT MOVIE NIGHT, 2 p.m., Johnson County Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St., room 202 , Iowa City, IA 52240. A series of narrative and documentary movies focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues with informal discussions afterward. An encore screening and discussion of each movie will be offered on the following evenings to accommodate more participants. The selections will share with the audience some of the traumas and successes experienced by the LGBT community throughout history, as well as center around gay love stories and the universal search for meaningful relationships. For more information, or to request a favorite title, contact the series organizer, Elsie Gauley Vega, at 319-337-4487 or jgvega@hotmail. com. [ L G B T ]


1st 2nd Monday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG NORTH IOWA CHAPTER MEETING, 7 PM, at First Presbyterian Church, 100 S. Pierce St., Mason City. Meetings are held the First and Second Monday (alternating) of the month. For more info, call 641-583-2848. [ L GBTMWAK] 1st Monday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG QUAD CITIES CHAPTER MEETING, 6:30 PM, at Eldridge United Methodist Church, 604 S. 2nd St., Eldridge. For more info, call 563-285-

Hear Me Out by Chris Azzopardi Kelly Rowland, Here I Am

B: Bisexual T: Transgender A: General Interest K: Kids and Family M: General Men’s Interest

4173. [ L G B T M W A K ] 4th Monday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG WAUKON/NORTHEAST CHAPTER MEETING, 7 PM, First Lutheran Church, 604 West Broadway Street , Decorah, IA 52101. in the Fellowship Hall at First Lutheran Church, Decorah. 604 West Broadway Street. (563) 382-2638 [ LGBTMWA] Every Monday, DES MOINES GAY MEN’S CHORUS REHEARSALS, 7pm-9:30pm, Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA . For more information about singing with the Chorus, contact Rebecca Gruber at 515-865-9557. The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. [ G M A ] Every Monday Wednesday Thursday Saturday, GLBT ONLY AA MEETINGS IN DES MOINES, 6 PM - SAT 5 PM, at 945 19th St. (east side of building, south door). [ L G B TMWA] Monday, DIVERSITY CHORUS REHEARSALS, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310. Des Moines Diversity Chorus welcomes new singers, begins 02/07/2011. No audition required. Singing with meaning since 1997! Call Julie Murphy at 515-255-3576 for more information. No cost to members. Rehearsals continue on Monday evenings through 5/2/11. [LGBTMWAD]


2nd Tuesday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG AMES CHAPTER MEETING, 7 PM, Youth and Shelter Services Offices, 420 Kellogg Ave., 1st Floor, Ames, IA 50010. Meets in the Paul Room of Youth and Shelter Services at 420 Kellogg Avenue, Ames. For more info, call 515-2913607. [ L G B T M W A K ] 2nd Tuesday of the Month, CEDAR RAPIDS UNITY BOARD MEETING, 6:30-8 PM, Cedar Rapids, IA . at 6300 Rockwell Dr, Cedar Rapids. Meetings are open to the general public. For more info, call 319-3662055 or visit: [ L G B TMWA] 2nd Tuesday of the Month, SPIRITUAL SEEKERS, 7-8:30 PM, Iowa City, IA . at Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 E. College St, Iowa City. Spiritual Seekers is a group for people of all faiths, or of little faith, who wish to make deeper connections between their sexual identities and the spiritual dimension in their lives. Meetings include discussion of specialized topics, telling of pieces of our faith journeys, and occasional prayer and meditation. (On the 4th Tuesday of each month, the group gathers at a local restaurant for food and fellowship.) For more info, contact Tom Stevenson: or 319.354.1784. [ L G BTMWA] Every Tuesday, OUT (OUR UNITED TRUTH): A GLBT SUPPORT GROUP, 7-8:30 PM, Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, 600 3rd Avenue Southeast, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. For more info, call 563-359-0816. [ L GBTMWA] Every Tuesday, ACE INCLUSIVE BALLROOM, 7-8:30 PM, Old Brick, 26 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245. All skill levels are welcome. American social dance, Latin, a mix of dance from the last 100 years. For more info, contact Mark McCusker at iowadancefest@, 319-621-8530 or Nora Garda at 319-400-4695, or visit http://iowadancefest. [ L G B T M W A ]

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It’s never a good sign when an album’s street date gets pushed back—especially by a year. But for Kelly Rowland, whose junior LP was originally due last September, it could be just the thing the project needed. It’s the best and most cohesive of the three, stuck on selling the former Destiny’s Child as a sex-obsessed Janet Jackson who wants a lover to “last more rounds” to “make mama proud,” as she sexually coos on the especially horned-up “Motivation.” Still confusing her with the other Destiny’s Child chicks? Just remember: Rowland’s the new Ms. Nasty. So much of this CD, which includes 10 tracks, is like sonic smut—but it’s also more interesting than Rowland’s been since she launched her solo career, and that’s probably not saying much. She’s swaggering on the opening club cut, “I’m Dat Chick,” and then she simulates more sex than a night at the bathhouse with “Lay it on Me” (it sounds like a hit, and like everything else on radio), “All of the Night” (a mid-tempo about “bumpin’” in the bedroom) and “Down for Whatever” (about doing it on the dance floor). Backing her is a bevy of music heavyweights like Rodney Jerkins and RedOne with beats du jour that lean toward Euro-pop. And for “Commander,” she grabs David Guetta, who helped her score a hit single with “When Love Takes Over.” Their new collabo pales in comparison, which is the problem with a lot of Here I Am—the songs aren’t bad for what they are, but none of them really say: Yes, she’s here. Grade: B-

Kasey Chambers, Little Bird

Considering the kind of country gals we have in the down-home department, Kasey Chambers deserves to be right up there with the Taylors and Carries. And she is in her

native Australia, where she’s a big deal—her 2002 album, the seven-times platinum Barricades & Brickwalls, sold more copies than any artist but Kylie Minogue. Four albums later, she delivers Little Bird, a solid CD that maintains a pop-country appeal while also preserving the genre through some rustic flavor and old-school sounds. She does traditional terrifically with the rollicking “Georgia Brown” and the sweeping “Love Like a Hurricane.” “Bring Back My Heart,” though, is a keen heartbreaker with Patsy Cline’s name stamped all over its classic swing sound. Chambers is just as convincing going the contemporary route: “Someone Like Me” is an adorable ditty that would be suitable for Swift, but Chambers gives it more than the sweetness it needs—there’s a strong yearning, almost verging on begging, as she beautifully draws out the chorus with her achy vocals. “This Story” could easily be a hit. Twisting the typical Swift genre of relationships-with-fairytale-endings into one that wasn’t, she sings, “Tell me a story, change it for me, take her out and put me back in.” Because Chambers is so good, this doesn’t just seem like a song for a lover—it could also be a justifiable cry for your attention. And you should give it to her. Grade: B+

Also Out

Roxette, Greatest Hits Their songs are instantly recognizable, but the band name attached to them never seems to stick (and no, they’re not The Ones Who Sing That Pretty Woman Song). Now, however, you won’t have a choice but to remember, as the Swedish ’80s duo hype their first all-new album in over 10 years with, well, it’s pretty obvious—their greatest hits. Besides, obviously, killer power ballads like “Listen to Your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love,” there are 10 other take-you-back tracks. Among them: “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)” and the charming “Church of Your Heart.” Nothing ultra fans don’t have, but a nice intro to Rox…oh, what’s their name? Hercules & Love Affair, Blue Songs The New York clan’s eponymous 2008 debut featured some of the best house revivalist music in years, but the same can’t be said of its follow-up—there’s just not much to latch onto here. Even when their lyrics intrigue with an incessant repetitiveness, like on the story-song “Step Up” (with guest vocalist Kele Okereke of Bloc Party), the music hangs in the backdrop like plain white walls, especially on the plodding closer “It’s Alright.” And it’s not necessarily because of all the band member swaps, or that they’re not doing the all-out disco thing. But Blue Songs could’ve been so much more. This love affair’s on hold, Hercules. Reach Chris Azzopardi by email at

…a solid CD that maintains a pop-country appeal while also preserving the genre through some rustic flavor and old-school sounds.

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HOLLYWOOD box step for the actor, a role worlds away from the nice-guy character he portrayed on Grey’s. Maybe he can parlay it into meaty villain roles and become the next Joan Collins. There’s no airdate for the SVU episode just yet, so keep a close watch on your DVR.

Glee’s Jonathan Groff and True Blood’s Rutina Wesley join The Submission

When a gay white male playwright poses as an African-American female in order to pen a story about an alcoholic black mother, only to be discovered in that lie, the consequences aren’t going to be the stuff of fluffy musical theater. So when the non-musical drama The Submission opens Off Broadway this fall, audiences can expect to see a side of Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening/Glee) they might not have experienced before. The Tony nominee will be joined by True Blood star Rutina Wesley (as a woman who becomes involved in Groff’s hoax) as well as by Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie) as Groff’s boyfriend, with directing duties handled by Tony winner Walter Bobbie (Venus In Fur/Chicago). So if you’re planning a New York theater trip this fall, put it at the top of your to-see list; serious drama—especially serious drama about touchy issues like race—never

the fun guide sticks around as long as the ones with catchy songs and cat costumes.

Elton John’s ditches gnomes for trolls

Elton John

Photo: Andrew Macpherson/Miramax.

Elton John’s movie producing arm, Rocket Pictures, scored a solid hit with this spring’s Gnomeo & Juliet, an animated reworking of Romeo and Juliet featuring talking, singing garden gnomes. Filled to the brim with John’s classic hit singles, the film made almost $200 million worldwide. And because it’s a short leap from gnomes to trolls, that’s where Rocket’s going next. Will Gallows and the SnakeBellied Troll, a live-action/CGI-animated feature based on the first in a series of kid-aimed books by author Derek Keilty, is already in production with Gnomeo’s writer/director Kelly Asbury. The story combines elements of Wild West cowboy adventure and, well, trolls from a fantasy universe. There’s no voice cast set up just yet, but it’s safe to expect that John will contribute in some way to the film’s score. No gay troll jokes please.

Coming soon: a Weekend of Toast Pity the gay-themed indie film. Usually relegated to a limited release for an equally limited audience in the urban arthouse movie market, it can be tough to find a box-office foothold when Hollywood stuffs multiplexes with 3,000 prints of the new Adam Sandler movie. But two autumn releases might have more life up their sleeve than the usual suspects. September sees the release of the critically acclaimed U.K. film Weekend, from director Andrew Haigh. It’s been winning film festival awards all year and gathering praise from both audiences and critics, a rarity for low-budget romantic dramas with gay subject matter. And another

SEPTEMBER 2011 Brit import, Toast, already aired on BBC1 but getting an October theatrical release stateside, is a nostalgic dramedy about the boyhood of best-selling gay food writer Nigel Slater. Starring Freddie Highmore ( Neverland) and Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech) and penned by Billy Elliot screenwriter Lee Hall, Toast has Elliot-style crowd-pleaser written all over it and the credentials to score with Oscar voters, too. Now all it has to do is leave a good taste in audiences’ mouths. Romeo San Vicente believes in the health benefits of buttered toast with Nutella, no matter what anyone else at the gym has to say about it. He can be reached care of this publication or at


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Wired That Way: A reader’s guide to google+ by Rachel Eliason Look out Facebook, there’s a new social It’s not about how many people you know, it’s had their profiles booted for one reason or media on the block. Internet giant Google about who you know. Your circles are on the another. The second reason is that it’s Google. is getting into the social media game with left hand side of the home screen. Click on any Serious infractions can jeopardize other Google the launch of Google+. As of this writing an circle and your stream will change to reflect accounts. Between gmail, google docs, Picasa estimated 10 million people have already only those people. Click on family and you will photo site and blogger, that can cover a lot of created accounts. Not bad for a site that isn’t only see posts from family members. Click on ground. If you are heavily immersed in the even officially open to the public. The internet friends and see only posts from your friends. To Google world you might want to think twice moves at a rate several times faster than print get the most of your google+ account, set up before violating the terms of service. media, so by the time you are reading this those circles based on your interests. I have a circle for What’s it like? In a word, slick. Google has numbers will be much higher. Which is good writers I know, one for tech/computer people a well deserved reputation for it’s development because in the world of social media 10 million and of course one for LGBT activists I know. team. The terms intuitive and easy to use come is small potatoes. Facebook has an estimated Sparks: Another addition to this whole up again and again when discussing Google+. 750 million users. Twitter has some 200 million concept is sparks. Sparks are areas of interest. Uploading pictures is a breeze. Posting is easy, accounts (though not all Unlike Facebook, areas of and as we have already seen sorting through are active) and Myspace When asked why he climbed interest isn’t just a box in your incoming stream is quick and painless has some estimated 125 profile. Like circles, with circles. Mount Everest, George your million users. sparks are immediately If you are already in the Google family (in As a geek and an Mallory replied, “because reflected in your stream. the interest of full disclosure, I am) it syncs early adopter, I begged it’s there.” Ask a hipster why I added a spark for Yoga, wonderfully. Google+ mobile runs like a dream my geek friends for an with a click I get on my android smart phone and syncs my they are on Google+ and the and invite so I could be on the posts about Yoga in my photos effortlessly. I can take a picture on my beta release site. Why? answer will be; “Because it’s stream. I have another phone and in the time it takes to flip through So I could tell you about new.” for transgender and one three screens to where my Google+ app is, it, of course. When asked for technology. the picture is online and ready to be posted. why he climbed Mount Everest, George Mallory Of course the Google team has a reputation If you use Chrome (Google’s web browser) or replied, “because it’s there.” Ask a hipster for cutting edge technology and they do there gmail (their email service) the Google+ button why they are on Google+ and the answer will best not to disappoint. Hangouts are video will automatically appear in the upper right be; “Because it’s new.” But should you be on chat rooms. Up to ten people can simultane- corner when you log on. How well it will run Google+? ously “hangout” in the video chat room. You can on another companies platform (like an iphone The answer to that questions is, it create a private hangout for a specific circle or or ipad) is probably a better test of the service. depends. As its developers are quick to point allow drop ins. The only warning is that there All I can say is that so far I haven’t heard any out, Google+ is not a Facebook clone. A quick is no way to remove someone once they are complaints. look at some of it’s central features will quickly allowed in. What is the downside to Google+? Google+ prove the point, and give you a better idea if you Huddle is a feature created for mobile doesn’t allow you to customize your home should be jumping on the Google bandwagon, devices. You can add up to fifty people to a page the way Myspace does. (Of course neither or sticking with another site. huddle and any message you send to the huddle does Facebook.) If you spend much time on Circles: “Facebook friend” has entered the will be sent as a text message and/or notifica- Facebook games be forewarned, Google+ is slang of our generation as someone you know tion to everyone in the huddle. You can even almost completely barren of games, quizzes, online but aren’t really friends with. It has the designate a special ring tone for the huddle. or any of those Facebook apps. There are no connotation of being someone you wouldn’t be Who might use Huddle? A family on vacation badges to earn or gifts to give. While it has a friends with in real life. But Facebook isn’t real or a group on a trip. good technical set up for sharing photos, videos life. Facebook was developed for a college aged Of course all the standard features are and music files, musicians and artists have not crowd, but it has a large element of high school there as well. You can comment on posts. You yet embraced Google+. in it. For many people number of friends equals can +1 them (which is like liking them.) Google In the world of social media features popularity. Many users randomly “friend” chat has come over as well. take a back seat to a simpler, yet more elusive everyone they can to inflate their numbers. Privacy on Google: If Facebook privacy phenomena, numbers. You have to have the (You know who you are.) (as I wrote just a couple of months ago) is right number of the right people providing the Google+ does away with friends altogether. byzantine, a constantly shifting policy filled right kind of content. Instead you have circles. Circles of people who with loopholes, Google’s Facebook overtook you interact with. Your profile has four circles privacy policy is down- Of course the Google team has Myspace as the number by default; friends, family, acquaintances and right Machiavellian. Your a reputation for cutting edge one social media somefollowing. You can make as many new circles Google profile will show time in 2008. According as you wish. How do you connect with people? up on Google’s search technology and they do there the graphs showing the Add them to a circle. It’s that simple. There is engine unless you specify best not to disappoint. number of unique visits no need to friend them. How do people follow otherwise, and they will and statistics about you? They add you to one of their circles. share information with their “third party number of profiles it was a slow steady process. Does that mean anyone can follow you sources” whether you like it or not. As someone who was on both sites at the time and see your stuff? Yes and no. Anyone can That said their privacy settings are intui- I can tell you it felt far more dramatic than that. follow your public posts, just like in Twitter. tive and easy to use. As mentioned before all Activity on Myspace dropped to almost nothing However posts can be sent as public, or can posts will ask whether you want share the post on my account in a matter of days. Suddenly be designated to a certain circle or circles. publicly or within a circle. If you are working everyone was on Facebook. Like most Google products its easy and intui- within a particular circle, such in your stream, Why did everyone change sites? Its hard tive to use. Say you are at a bar seeing a band. then it will show that circle by default. So for to say. It certainly wasn’t some new feature that You take a couple of pictures of the band and example if you are viewing only your friends Facebook had and Myspace didn’t. If anything upload them to your google+ account. You post and you post something, it will show your Facebook had fewer features, especially in the them by hitting the “public” button. You take a friend’s circle. You can add other circles if you early days. (Counter-intuitively it might have couple of more pictures of your friends sitting wish. been the lack of features, specifically the lack around the table and post them by clicking on Policy on Content: for the most part of customization that fueled the move. Just “circles” and selecting “friends”. Now anyone Google’s policy for online content on their site because you can customize your Myspace page can see the pictures of the band, but only those are pretty standard. No nudity, no pornography, doesn’t mean you should, and it’s often hard to people you have designated as friends can see no hate speech, no bullying, etc. Fake profiles find the content on a Myspace page due to too the pictures of your friends. are also not allowed. No making up a pseud- many background graphics and distractions.) The Stream: Anything posted by anyone onym or posing as a celebrity. Beware, unlike The reason most people migrated to Faceyou follow shows up on your stream. (Think Facebook, Google’s policies have some real book was simply that everyone else was doing of your wall in Facebook.) The idea of circles, teeth. Why? two simple reasons. The first is it. The most important aspect of social media is and how it differs from “friends” becomes even that they aren’t afraid to use them. Numerous the social part. If you want to connect, you need more evident here. Who should you follow? people and groups, ranging from the hacker to go where the people are and Facebook now People who make your stream interesting. group Anonymous to William Shatner have has 750 million people to connect with.

It’s not entirely a numbers games. Several groups did not make the great migration to Facebook, at least not in 2008. Most notable were ethnic and racial minorities. Myspace became a favored hang out for African Americans and Hispanics. Once again it’s hard to hang this on any feature. Minorities as a group have only been online in large numbers recently. While the middle class white community was going gaga for Facebook, minorities were still finding their friends and family by and large on Myspace. The point is that it’s not just how many people you have on your site but which people you have. Finally there’s the issue of content. Millions of users don’t mean much if they don’t have anything interesting to share. I joined the migration to Facebook for two reasons. Most of my family were on Facebook. They were sharing pictures of family outings, posting news and I was missing out. Secondly many politically active members of LGBT community were posting news and other items of interest on their wall. Can Google+ capture this elusive formula? That remains to be seen. Right now Google+ is heavy with the hipster community (trendy, middle class geeks who love everything new.) My stream right now is filled with a lot of self righteous backslapping. “Hangouts are so cool, man” “You’ve got to try this huddle thing!” One thing is certain, Google has provided an excellent platform. If the right set of people start adopting it in large enough numbers Facebook may end up going the way of Friendster or Myspace. Which brings us back to the initial question, should you be on Google+? There’s not a straight forward answer. If your into Facebook games, probably not. If you are annoyed at constantly having posts about “so and so just got earned a new level in Mafia Wars” maybe Google+ is for you. But in the end it’s community, where your friends are and what they’re sharing that dictates. If you get an invite it is certainly worth checking out. It’s not like you can’t be on both sites after all.


Myspace users: http://answers.reference. com/Digital/Web/how_many_people_have_a_ myspace Twitter users: Facebook users: press/info.php?statistics

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The Gay Wedding Planner: Outdoor Engagement Gala by Beau Fodor to let people know that the wedding will be small so no feelings will be hurt when guests aren’t invited to the wedding. If you are worried that your friends will think you want to have a big bash solely to garner gifts, include a nice note in the invitation that requests no presents.

3. Consider what will make the in-laws most comfortable

Since the engagement party custom was actually designed to help you start building bridges between the families, consider their style. The purpose of an engagement gala— usually scheduled no later than three months after the big announcement— can be threefold: to share the news of the couples’ imminent union with future wedding guests, to introduce the families to each other, and to celebrate the impending, well, celebration. Tradition has it that the parents host the initial gathering, but the couple can then throw their own party, or both sides can come together to host the fete. As you decide, here are five things the hosts should keep in mind.

1. Give the Couple Time to Breathe

An impromptu family gathering the weekend after the proposal is the perfect opportunity to break out the vintage champagne, but don’t schedule an all-out opulent affair during the engagement’s first month. The couple needs some time to revel in just being engaged.

Plan to host an engagement party two to four months after they popped the question. That gives the couple a chance to envision their eventual wedding-a crucial element to consider when deciding on the type of event you will throw.

2. Find Out the Size of the Wedding

Everyone who is invited to the engagement party should ultimately be invited to the wedding. Otherwise, guests might wonder what they did at the engagement party to insult you! That said, if the couple decides to host their own wedding and keep the list small and you want to throw an extravagant engagement party, go for it. Just be sure

Settle nerves by including as many people from their side as you can reasonably accommodate.

4. Suggest That the Couple Register Beforehand

While traditionally guests have not brought presents to this function, increasing numbers do today, and it’s only fair to provide guidance. Remind the couple to register for gifts in the low to middle range-a five-hundred-dollar cappuccino maker is not your typical engagement present. If some guests arrive bearing gifts, just be sure the couple unwraps them after the party or away from the crowd so people who came empty-handed won’t feel uncomfortable.

5. Remind Yourself That There is Still a Wedding to Throw If they are a very formal family, an impromptu picnic in the park might not be the most appropriate setting for getting to know one another. Likewise, a fivecourse sit-down dinner attended by all your friends might be a bit intimidating for them.

Every host wants to plan an unforgettable affair, but you never want to upstage the main event. Try to create a different mood for the engagement party while maintaining your own style. You won’t want to force a casual cookout if you (and your guests) favor formal parties, and vice versa. But if your

Beau Fodor is an Iowa wedding planner who focuses specifically on weddings for the LGBT community. He is also the host of the new docu-reality show “BRIDES & GROOMS”, which is co-produced by Pilgrim Films and Coolfire Media, and will be premiering this winter on cable television. Beau can be reached through or guests are up to it, set apart a black-tie affair with a sit-on-the-floor, buffet-style engagement bash; preview a semiformal daytime wedding with a swanky cocktail party, ties optional; or balance a destination wedding with a home-cooked dinner party.

The hallway of every man’s life is paced with pictures; pictures gay and pictures gloomy, all useful, for if we be wise, we can learn from them a richer and braver way to live. —Sean O’Casey


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One (Gay) Day with Anne Hathaway interview by Chris Azzopardi Actress talks gay ‘pod,’ Catwoman role and N.Y. marriage stories

Gays adore Anne Hathaway for more than her sweetheart sensibility and frumpyto-fashionable underdog role in The Devil Wears Prada. She’s practically an honorary member of the community, contributing to the “It Gets Better” project, receiving an award from the Human Rights Campaign and quitting Catholicism for her gay brother. And then consider the super gay trajectory of her career: Brokeback Mountain and, as reported, an upcoming role as Judy Garland in the gay icon’s biopic and a stint on Glee, as Kurt’s lesbian aunt. Hathaway is cast as Emma Morley in her latest movie, the lovely screen adaptation of David Nicholls’ bestselling novel One Day, which chronicles her relationship with Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess of Across the Universe) on the same day every year for two decades. The day after the premiere in New York City, the actress cheerfully breezes into a suite at the Waldorf Astoria, appearing so tiny you could put her in your pocket. And lesbians everywhere just might want to after seeing her sexily vacuum-sealed in a vinyl cat suit for The Dark Knight Rises, which she’s currently filming. When Hathaway sits down, she’s her usual bubbly self, discussing the most significant day in her life, her upcoming role as Catwoman (as much as she can, anyway) and

the enduring power of love for all people. Even though this is a story about a straight couple, how do you think it can resonate with a gay audience? Love is universal. Anybody who has a heart can relate to what it is to have it broken again and again and again, and like I said, that’s universal—gay, straight, questioning, whatever you are. Do you know a gay couple that has that type of enduring relationship like Emma and Dexter? Oh my god, yes—I went to Vassar! I have like a pod now, and we’ve all been in each other’s lives for 10 years—and they don’t admit it, but I have gay friends that I think are secretly in love with each other. And now, gay relationships are finally recognized in this state. Yes, yes! Round of applause for New York! I was so happy. I couldn’t believe it. All the pictures of the couples who have been together for so many years—some people for over 60 years, like those two ladies that got married first—adorable! And that wonderful couple who had a profile done on them—one gentleman is in his 80s and the other is in his 70s and they’ve been together for over 65 years or something like that and they met at Juilliard—it’s just beautiful. Long overdue but so welcome. Now the rest of America, get on it! Enough with your nonsense and foolishness. What can people take away from One Day? It’s up there with the classic love stories.

Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway star as Dexter and Emma in the romance ‘One Day’, a Focus Features release directed by Lone Scherfig. Photo : Giles Keyte It requires you to open your heart and feel, and a lot of movies don’t mind if you feel. I personally think there are few things more satisfying in life than crying in a dark room with strangers. That sounds a little funny, but go to see One Day at 4 o’ clock on a Wednesday and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Emma’s arc follows her through many years, from college to potential motherhood. What about her did you cling to throughout all those years? The book! I clung to the book—tightly. (Laughs) The thing that I clung to about Emma was that she’s a survivor. She is somebody

who gets up when you knock her down, she is somebody who wants to grow, she’s somebody who wants to be her best self, she’s somebody who, contrary to what she might profess, believes that things are going to turn out OK. How did you bring Emma to life? The accent was key. It informs so much about Emma and Dexter’s relationship that we don’t necessarily talk about in the movie. To understand her education, one of the things I did was I tried to read as many

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HATHAWAY books that David mentions by name in the novel—but I’m a really, really good reader and they were a little arduous. (Laughs) I much preferred Dexter’s (reading material), like The Face magazine. And then I just went to England as early as I could and went up to every single person that I could meet from Yorkshire and asked them as many questions as I could. Were you familiar with the book before you got the part? I was sent the script first and then, as soon as I read the script, I was deeply in love with it, and then I read the book and I fell even more deeply in love with the whole idea. Do you think if Emma and Dexter had hooked up in the early days their relationship would have lasted as long? No, not at all. Definitely not. It’s one of the bittersweet parts of the story—they couldn’t have gotten together a day before they do. Emma and Dexter change from year to year, but there’s still something about them that stays the same. What about you do you see changing most from year to year? And what is something that always stays the same? I’m happier. I get happier every year. I find that as I get older, I take in life more and I think that’s making me a better person. As I get older I, funny enough, become more trusting, but I trust fewer people. The people that I do trust, it’s gone much deeper. What stays the same? I’m a really curious person. I believe that imagination is not something you grow out of, and I find that stays the same. Oh,

the fun guide and I love books! How quickly did you and Jim click? It’s very hard not to get along with Jim. If you don’t get along with Jim, there’s something seriously wrong with you. We have a lot of friends in common, and you know when there are those people that when their name is mentioned everything stops, people grab you by the shoulder, they peer deep, deep, deep into your eyes and they think they’re talking to your soul but really they’re just looking kind of bugged out and they just shake you a little bit and describe their love for this person? That happened to me when I told people I was working with Jim, so I knew I was going to be meeting someone pretty awesome. And he did not disappoint. Now I’m one of those “bugged out, I’m gonna take you and tell you to like Jim Sturgess!” people. Talk about the costuming in the movie. In the Persian scenes, everything I wore was vintage or recreated from vintage and the look was informed by the book. You know, we didn’t have a very large budget on this movie, especially considering all the change that had to happen—you would expect over 20 years to have a huge budget but we had geniuses working. I don’t know how they did it. They literally spun gold from pennies.

Who are your favorite designers? My favorite designers are Valentino, of course, and Isabel Marant, Vivienne Westwood—gosh there’s so many—and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Thank you so much for giving us Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. It’s been a highlight of this new decade! You really had to convince director Lone Scherfig to cast you in this film. What was the casting process like for The Dark Knight Rises, and how would you describe your interpretation of your character in it, Selina Kyle? I can’t talk about the interpretation, because that is just a hermetically sealed secret—I mean, if you want to take on (director) Chris Nolan, you’re more than welcome to, but I’m intimidated. But the process for getting Dark Knight Rises was: Chris met with a bunch of girls and then he called the list down to do screen tests, so everyone with an XX chromosome in Hollywood was just literally sitting on pins and needles for three-and-ahalf months, and then I understood he screen tested a few of us. I felt bad because we tested, I think, on Thursday and the Golden Globes was that Sunday—and I didn’t mean to, but wherever I went that whole weekend I just kept bumping into Chris and I’m like, “I swear I’m not stalking you!”

Round of applause for New York! I was so happy. I couldn’t believe it. All the pictures of the couples who have been together for so many years—some people for over 60 years, like those two ladies that got married first—adorable!

ACCESSline Page 21 A few days later I was back in Brooklyn, and my manager called me and I answered the phone and she goes, “Meow.” And I was like, “Haha! Oh no, wait! Really?!” And she said, “Yes!” One of the best days in my life. And I really should know that date. January… something. (Laughs) Do you believe in a soul mate? Of course I do. What a drab life you would have if you didn’t. I don’t know that I necessarily believe that traditional romantic view that there’s one person out there for everyone. I think that we have many soul mates. But I think there is probably one soul out there that lights up your soul more than any other one, and I think that’s just what a soul mate is—someone who lights you up and who you light up in return. But traditionally, it’s said that we only have one soul mate and if you don’t meet them, we’ll never be satisfied. That’s like the most saddest thing ever! So, no! The idea of having a soul mate is truthful, but to limit it to one is a mistake. And by the way, my friends are my soul mates. My dog is my f*cking soul mate! Do you have a date that’s as significant as the one in the book? Aug. 3, 2001. That’s when Princess Diaries came out, and that date changed my life. Every Aug. 3 for the past 10 years, I just give thanks to the universe—a big, big openhearted thank you—because that was the day that my dreams came true for me. There’s a lot of aspects to my life that are very real, but there are a lot of aspects to my life that are very fairytale, and that was the day when my fairytale started. How embarrassing would it be if it were actually Aug. 5? (Laughs)

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Partying Hard: Fierce Fall Fashion Frenzy by Joshua Dagon During my late teens, I spent about a year on the east coast. Being in New York and Connecticut in autumn was an astounding experience, a time when I learned that there really were actual seasons. You see, for those of us who grew up in Southern California, autumn was merely a ritual observation. We only had two distinguishing times in the year; there was summer, which lasted approximately eleven and a half months, and winter, which was a two week span in December when we had to wear some long sweatpants over our bathing suits. Of course, now I’m back here toward the west coast where we really have very little in the way of seasonal change. Usually, the first time I notice that the seasons are shifting is when I glance at the covers of men’s fashion magazines. First, they flat out tell me it’s fall and, second, despite the fact that I may be sweating in one hundred and ten degree heat, the cover model is wearing a fur-lined, suede overcoat [Topman] and he’s not having a stroke. Even though the fall equinox isn’t until later in the month, Labor Day—which is observed on the first Monday in September— usually signals the end of winter and the beginning of autumn, if only symbolically. Labor Day has been an official US holiday since the end of the nineteenth century. It came about as a result of radical change in federal policy concerning the labor movement. Today, though, we honor the revolutionary men and women of those burgeoning unions by gathering with hot guys around the pool, consuming copious cocktails, showing off

our summer-acquired muscles, and getting second degree sunburns. Certainly, you haven’t really had a Labor Day party unless a good third of your guests are arrested for driving under the influence and/or develop melanoma. This Labor Day, I’ll be going to a barbeque at a friend’s house. He has a beautiful pool and a large backyard covered with grass, which is convenient when falling down and/or throwing up. In order to show of the physique for which I’ve worked so hard this summer, I’ll be wearing a swimsuit [Marc Jacobs] and a t-shirt [Tommy Hilfiger] rather than the shearling jacket [Calvin Klein] and blue canvas pants [Lacoste L!VE] suggested by Out Magazine. Also, I doubt very seriously that I’ll be using their must-have, fall-trend of the decade, fringe tote/man-bag [H&M], as I prefer not to be beaten up. As I understand it, though, fall is a very exciting time for the fashion industry because, as I noted above, the weather actually changes on the east coast. In New York City, for example, guys might purchase a new, fashionable bomber jacket [Emporio Armani] because it helps keep them comfortable in the brisk outdoors. Whereas here in Las Vegas, I might purchase a stylish wool jacket [Hugo Boss] so I can look chic while I go from my car into the club where I’ll spend five dollars so that the coat check girl will hang it up. Yes, fall is the time for new fashions, as anyone who has ever tried to carry the September issue of Vogue will tell you. (Remember to lift with your legs.) I’ve noticed, too, that, at this time of year, all of the men’s magazines

want me to purchase business suits, such as the beautiful blue coral suit [Bottega Veneta] featured in Details Magazine, or something from Out Magazine’s, uh… interesting mod collection [Simon Spur]. However, I personally don’t need to wear suits or ties because I get to work at home. So, my fall fashion attire is the same as my winter, spring, and summer attire: boxer briefs [Hanes], a t-shirt [Fruit of the Loom], and a pair of sox [clean]. For a lot of people, including me, autumn means going back to school. Attending a university, though, calls for a different wardrobe than when I was in grade school and my mother simply tried to find pants that didn’t show grass stains and boogers. It’s even more difficult for me since I took so much time off from college. Now, I try very hard to dress in an age-appropriate way but without looking like Mr. Rogers. It’s not that easy. I just can’t get away with some orange corduroy pants [Bottega Veneta] and a yellow sweater [Diesel] complimented by a spiky, faux-hawk haircut [purple]. Plus, the expensive jeans [Dsquared] that kids are wearing these days would look silly on me. Instead, I opt for traditional jeans [Levi], a polo-style shirt [whatever’s on sale], and a conservative hair style [Supercuts]. When I was back east, I also observed that fall colors match the hues taken on by the dying leaves, which is really clever. It would seem that even the trees in Connecticut have a fall fashion frenzy. Out here our leaves are immortal, since we only grow trees that are made out of nylon. “What’s that?” I asked the first time I saw a rake.

Novelist Joshua Dagon is the author of Into the Mouth of the Wolf, The Fallen, and Demon Tears. For more information, please go to To contact Mr. Dagon, please e-mail him at

The autumn certainly is a dynamic and beautiful time of year, even if the seasonal changes only happen in department stores. I really do like the turtleneck sweaters [Hermes] and tan blazers [Salvatore Ferragamo] that I see on all the hot, sweaty mannequins. Maybe I’ll break down and purchase a charcoal overcoat [Nicolas Ghesquiēre] to hang in my closet so that I can stare at it.

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Halfway Gay by Chris Azzopardi What’s so gay about dude comedy “30 Minutes or Less”? More than you think. It felt like a major coup—a gay journalist invited out to New York City to interview the cast of 30 Minutes or Less, a comedy that appeared to be made for men. Straight brotalking, burp-expelling men. But after the recent gay marriage ruling in N.Y., progress is just sweeping the nation. I mean, how else do you explain my presence among all this mainstream press covering a movie that, I was told, wasn’t the least bit gay? So just minutes into the film, about a pizza-delivery guy forced to rob a bank, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing— gayness, everywhere. Maybe I’m just trained to see gay—you know, like a sixth sense or something—because 30 Minutes or Less was full of it: gay-adjacent relationships where having sex with your dude-friend’s sister means you had sex with him too, humping Jason Voorhees via a movie screen (weird? or gay? or both?) and talk of a girl getting some OTPF (Over The Pants Fingering) from a gay guy. And that’s not all—there’s Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson, the foursome who comprise the budding bromances. When the all-guy cast casually assembles in their street clothes at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park for a press conference that’s nearly as funny as the film itself, my question is, naturally, the gayest: When does a bromance go full-on gay? “There is an alternate ending we shot where we all fuck each other,” says a straightfaced Ansari, best known for his role opposite Amy Poehler on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. “But when we watched that, we’re like, ‘This is turning into a gay thing.’” Even without the scene, sometimes 30 Minutes or Less, like so many halfway-gay buddy films where the guys have a complicated and unusually strong tenderness for each other (for instance, I Love You, Man, Superbad and Pineapple Express), seems kind of like a gay thing—just not gay-gay, clarifies director Ruben Fleischer. “I call it a double-buddy comedy,” he says. “This is really two pairs of friends, and to me the friendship never strays too gay. It’s just a true affection and support and love for a friend.” Because in the film, the well-off Chet (Ansari) throws his life on the line to help rob a bank so that his not-all-together chum, Nick (Eisenberg), doesn’t explode into smithereens when two small-town twits, Dwayne and Travis (McBride and Swardson, respectively), strap a bomb to his chest and give him an ultimatum: get them the money, or die. What ensues is ridiculously, and probably surprisingly, hilarious, as they exert their masculinity by making homemade flamethrowers in the garage and blowing the hell out of watermelons—and yet Dwayne and Travis still come off, at times, like two big fruits themselves. And therein lies the setup of an endless barrage of gay jokes. That’s not it, though: Gender and ethnicity, you’re not getting off that easy. “I kind of have this Lenny Bruce

approach,” Fleischer explains. “If you insult everybody, it’s like you’re not singling anyone out.” Says Swardson: “For me and Danny, we made a lot of off-color jokes and we did have to be in the mindset of those characters, because they are these kind of small-town—I mean, they’re just jerks. It was really in the vein of those guys.” And so it makes sense that these dummies would talk and act like fifth graders who get a kick out of finding bad words in the Spanish dictionary. One scene has Dwayne calling out Travis on “being gay for this dude,” referring to his softheartedness toward Nick. “If wanting a lot of money is gay,” he responds, “then yeah, I’m fucking Elton John.” For as much gay talk as there is, and with the so-close-they’re-almost-gay bonds between the guys, it wouldn’t have been terribly shocking had one of them come out by the time the movie reached its big finish. But since they don’t, we’ll just have to call it a bromance. “Can everyone stop saying bromance?” Ansari insists, admitting his distaste for the genre. And still, it’s hard not to see 30 Minutes or Less as exactly that. Fleischer even compares the two duos to Edward and Jacob of Twilight (and that’s pretty gay), and Swardson, well, he has his own way of putting it: “The cool thing about the movie is that it does show the relationships of guys and just how close guys can be without chowing each other’s cocks,” he says. “It just shows that guys are…awesome.” “It’s so great,” Ansari adds, “because you guys are like the bad guys in the movie and you have such a sweet relationship, and it really pays off.” In his most mockish tone, Swardson looks lovingly at Ansari: “It’s very bromantic, right?”

Real-life bromance

Nick Swardson is like that guy you’ve seen at the bar but can’t quite place how or why he looks familiar. Even as he stood in front of me on an elevator in the Ritz, casually dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, it took me a good few minutes before it hit me. That’s because Swardson, a longtime comic actor who’s gone gay in Grandma’s Boy and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, has a tendency to get lost in his characters. You might remember him as, and he puts it best, “a raging gay prostitute on roller skates” named Terry on Comedy Central’s cop farce Reno 911! “I really wanted to do the exact opposite of what I did in Reno 911!” says Swardson, who jokes that he used audio loops from gay pornos to get him pumped for the action sequences in 30 Minutes or Less. The movie’s also a vehicle for the two sides of Jesse Eisenberg, who not only does his nerdy, average-guy thing, as seen in Zombieland, but morphs into a fake-guntotting badass. After The Social Network, and last year’s lesser-known Holy Rollers, what’s up with all these shady characters? Eisenberg looks concerned when asked, and then deadpans his response: “Thanks, Mom.”

“No, I mean, all of these characters have, like, a real inner life,” he continues. “They’re going through something real, experiencing it in a realistic way. This one is very heightened, because he’s experiencing this mortal fear at every moment, but it’s all the same to me.” Even somewhat relatable, as his role as a pizza boy paralleled with a past reallife gig in musical theater. “I started doing musical theater when I was 10 years old, and I did a lot of musical theater,” he says, “so maybe cumulatively that’s a terrible job—but individually they were fun!” The rest of the cast didn’t fare much better. Fleischer cleaned up the Scantron bubbles while working at a standardized testing company. Ansari jokes that he’s currently managing a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and McBride worked at an amusement park’s candy store a half-hour from his house. “I used to pray on the way to work, ‘God, please help get me in a car accident,’” McBride recalls. “‘One where I don’t get hurt but where I don’t have to go to work today.’” Says Eisenberg: “It’s tough to find that middle ground in a car accident.” Swardson had lots of sucky stints. “Before I started doing comedy and acting, I


Photo : Sony Pictures was a busboy at Planet Hollywood,” he says. “It was kind of bizarre, but I also prayed for car accidents.” Who can say they have that in common? Oh, these two fellas, who don’t just have that onscreen camaraderie, or bromance (sorry, Aziz), but a real-life relationship. “Making a movie is long hours,” McBride says. “Whenever you get to work with people that you dig, who you think are really funny and cool, it’s always good. With this project, all these guys were awesome to work with. I’d want to do it again in a heartbeat with any of them.” Should a sequel happen, and Fleischer doesn’t expect it to, Ansari already has the concept worked out: “It’s, like, a couple day later and Jesse’s character comes back, knocks on my door, has another bomb and he goes, ‘Here we go again!’ That’s how the second film will start.” But the real question, Aziz, is: How does it end?


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Out of Town: New Orleans by Andrew Collins New Orleans has long ranked among the top destinations in the United States for gay travelers—it’s been the case for decades, and even following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, LGBT tourists were among the first to return to the Big Easy in significant numbers. The city is especially popular with gay visitors during a handful of festivals and events throughout the year, including Southern Decadence, sometimes nicknamed “Gay Mardi Gras,” which is coming up soon—it takes place over Labor Day weekend. Other key events for gay visitors are Halloween weekend at the end of October, New Orleans Gay Pride in late June, and—of course—the city’s true Mardi Gras season, which takes place at varying times in late winter (in 2012, the date of Mardi Gras “Fat” Tuesday is February 21. Additionally, Christmas season - throughout December and right into New Year—is a wonderful time to visit, in part because of the mild weather but also because it’s a season of very lively parties and special dinners held by numerous restaurants (called reveillon dinners). Whenever you happen to make your way to this festive city, which has staged a remarkable renaissance since Katrina, you’ll find no shortage of fascinating neighborhoods. First, a word about navigation: the layout of New Orleans is tricky for newcomers. Locals don’t use such directional cues as “east,” “west,” “south,” and “north,” so leave your compass at home. The city is sandwiched between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, which snakes around the parts of the city with the bulk of the key neighborhoods—hence the nickname, the “Crescent City.” So listen instead for directional references to the lake, the river, or a particular neighborhood. If you’re interesting in finding names of the many cool gay bars, desirable restaurants, and intriguing shops in New Orleans, consider such resources as the city tourism office’s official LGBT visitor website (, and commercial sites like and are also very handy. Some of the nation’s finest examples of late-18th- and 19th-century residential architecture line the streets of the French Quarter, which fringes the river. The Quarter may be the only major entertainment district in America that’s frequented just about equally by gays and straights, locals and tourists. Virtually every notable restaurant in the French Quarter (a.k.a. Vieux Carre, which residents pronounce voo-cair-ay) has at least something of a gay following, and you’ll find a mixed gay-straight crowd at many bars and hangouts, and the epicenter of the city’s gay nightlife scene at the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann streets (home to venerable bars like Bourbon Pub and Oz). The neighborhood also abounds with hotels and inns with a strong gay following. Bourbon Street is the Quarter’s most famous address, but Decatur Street is a better walking thoroughfare—it’s less chaotic and commercial and more diverse, home to good, cheap eateries and offbeat shops. Off Decatur is the entrance to Jackson Square, the historic center of the French Quarter. Behind the gloriously landscaped square is the stunning late-18th-century St. Louis Cathedral. William Faulkner once resided at

624 Pirate’s Alley, which is one of two alleys (Pere Antoine is the other) that cut beside the cathedral between Chartres (pronounced “Charters”) and Royal streets. At 632 St. Peter Street is the house (now private) in which Tennessee Williams lived when he penned A Streetcar Named Desire. Many antiques shops and galleries are along Chartres and Royal streets, as well as in the wonderfully atmospheric French Market, where you can buy everything from local crafts to regional culinary specialties— hot sauces, bits of alligator jerky, gumbo mixes, and so on. Across from the entrance to Jackson Square are steps leading to the Mississippi River and Woldenberg Riverfront Park, which is a relaxing place to explore day or night. The park leads to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, a state-of-the-art facility where marine life swim in dozens of exhibits. The neighborhood just downriver from the Quarter—across tree-shaded Esplanade Avenue—is Faubourg Marigny, sometimes lovingly dubbed “Fagburg” Marigny for its sizable GLBT presence. Nearer the Quarter, from about Elysian Fields Avenue to Esplanade, more rainbow flags fly than anywhere else in the city. The next neighborhood downriver, Bywater, has been significantly gentrified in recent years by a newer wave of settlers, many of them gay, who have restored dozens of grand old homes. The more modern side of New Orleans falls within the Central Business District (CBD), which borders the Canal Street side of the Quarter. There are some prime examples of early 20th-century commercial architecture in and around where Perdido Street intersects with Loyola Avenue, but this district looks like a typical American downtown business section. Toward the river, however, particularly along Julia Street, you’ll find the increasingly interesting Warehouse District, which abounds with galleries, restaurants, and some notable museums, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the National World War II Museum. From Canal Street, you can take the streetcar along St. Charles Avenue for several miles clear out to Carrollton Avenue. This trip takes in the city’s vibrant Uptown and Carrollton neighborhoods and reveals dozens of historic homes (some open as museums), churches, and trendy dining and shopping districts. Such attractions as Audubon Park and Zoo, Loyola and Tulane universities, and the courtly Garden District round out this part of town. To see the homes and gardens that give the Garden District its name and allure, alight at the Washington Avenue stop and walk a block down Washington to Prytania Street. Much of the best shopping and dining Uptown is along Magazine Street, which parallels St. Charles a few blocks closer to the river and is especially known for its antiques stores and galleries. A walk along this engaging street reveals a side of city that’s far less touristy than the French Quarter.

Where to Stay in New Orleans

Although the usual chain properties are well-represented all over the city, and some of these make excellent lodging options,

Jackson Square lies at the heart of New Orleans’ vibrant French Quarter. Photo : Andrew Collins New Orleans also has an exceptionally high number of guesthouses and inns set inside vintage mansions as well as larger historic hotels. In terms of history and atmosphere, the Hotel Monteleone (hotelmonteleone. com)—once a favorite overnight address of Truman Capote, Tennesee Williams, and many other literary greats—is a stand-out. More than 125 years old, the 600-room high rise is in the heart of the French Quarter, has a great spa and a fabulous bar, the Carousel Piano Lounge. Of larger properties, other great choices are the swanky Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (, which fringes the Quarter and occupies a historic former department store; Harrah’s New Orleans (, which is centrally located, is home to several excellent restaurants, and has beautiful rooms—the casino is in a completely separate building, making it ideal whether or not you’re into gaming. Also check out the New Orleans Marriott (, which draws a mix of business and leisure travelers, borders the Quarter, and offers a GLBT-oriented “Rainbow NOLA Getaway” package. If you’re more interested in a smaller property, be sure to check out the website of Bed and Breakfast Inns of New Orleans (, which lists nearly 50 reliable properties throughout the city—you can

search for them on the site by checking a number of criteria, including “gay-friendly.” Some favorites include La Maison Marigny B&B (, which is right on Bourbon Street (the quiet end), just a few blocks from numerous bars, and has smartly furnished, eco-friendly rooms; and 1896 O’Malley House (, a gorgeous Colonial Revival home in the MidCity neighborhood (an easy streetcar ride from the Quarter), with lavishly furnished rooms and spectacular breakfasts. B&W Courtyards (bandwcourtyards. com), in Faubourg Marigny just a short walk from Frenchmen Street’s dining and nightlife, is another terrific inn, with intimate and elegant rooms and knowledgeable hosts who know a ton about the neighborhood. And if you’re seeking a distinctive accommodation Uptown, near the Garden District, consider the Chimes B&B (, whose five guest rooms are posh but understated, some with original fireplaces, slate floor or heart-of-pine floors, and pitched ceilings. It’s one of the most romantic places to stay in New Orleans. Andrew Collins covers gay travel for the New York Times-owned website GayTravel. and is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA. He can be reached care of this publication or at OutofTown@

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Book Worm Sez by Terri Schlichenmeyer Nina Here nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger, ©2011, Beacon Press $15.00 / $17.00 Canada 202 pages You’ve always hated your nose. It sticks out too much. Or it’s too small. Or… wait, your ears make you look like you’re part elephant. Or your lips are too pouty, your thighs are too big, your arms are too fat, you hate your butt. And you can change all of the above, and then some. But would you have the courage to alter

Across 1 With 69-Across, one side of an alleged feud 5 Fruit that hangs out at a vinyard 10 Hit boxers 14 Carpet layer’s calculation 15 Dent in an orange 16 Duchamp’s staircase descender 17 Robin Williams TV role of old 18 Cheri once of SNL 19 ___ Three Lives 20 Top targets in Tottenham 21 With 56-Across, act that is the subject of the feud 23 Some forensic evidence 24 Turner of channels 25 Range of the Rockies 26 Will Truman’s Grace 28 Snatches 32 Blemish, slangily 33 Your, to Proust 35 Columbus coll. 36 Four-posters for foreplay, for some 37 The other side of the feud 40 Guy under Hoover 42 The Crimson Tide’s st. 43 Sinking ship’s call 44 Common Mkt. 45 Initial gay bar activity 47 Apres-ski treat at Aspen 51 Alcohol for Lucy’s pal? 53 George Michael’s john 55 Pirate’s potable 56 See 21-Across 60 La Dolce ___ 61 Dutch painter Frans 62 Band members blow them 63 Hacker’s cry 64 Part of, as a plot 65 Say “nothin’,” say 66 Split

the very things that define you to the rest of society? In the new book “Nina Here nor There” by Nick Krieger, you’ll see why one young man did. When writer-blogger Nina Krieger landed in San Francisco’s Castro district, she felt welcomed. Her lesbian friends, the “A-gays,” folded her into their circle with parties. Old pals were glad to see Krieger, and she was glad to find an apartment with roommates she could tolerate. She even found a job that allowed her to continue writing. But Kreiger wasn’t happy. For years, she’d struggled with gender identity: she was not a lesbian, not exactly a woman but yet—she was. Being in The Castro gave her hope, though, and

unwittingly, she had surrounded herself with people who could give her guidance. Greg, with his newly-flat chest and eagerness for life, was willing to share his experiences with surgery and testosterone shots. Jess, one of Kreiger’s roommates, was transitioning and taught Kreiger about “packing” and binding. Zippy, a long-time close friend, gave optimistic support. “Before moving to the Castro, I’d thought becoming a man was as realistic as growing wings,” said Kreiger. But living “with her community” gave Kreiger the courage to try. Deciding that breasts were the worst part of who she was, Kreiger bought minimizers and purchased the other body parts that she lacked. Little by

Q-PUZZLE: “Family Feud”

67 Mostel of The Producers 68 Traffic cop’s tool 69 See 1-Across

Down 1 L, as in family? 2 Noel Coward’s ___ the World in Eighty Days

little, she allowed her family careful peeks into the person she knew herself to be. She “convinced” herself that she belonged, yet she was uneasy. What exists between girl and boy? “… I didn’t fully relate to either anymore,” Kreiger said. Despite a fear of needles, unfazed by a list of realities, and heartbroken by a paternal lack of understanding, Kreiger knew she had to find out... “Nina Here nor There” is a bit of a conundrum. On one side, author Nick Kreiger takes his readers by the hand, allowing us to see what he sees. As Kreiger explores the gender spectrum, we do, too. At the same time he’s seeing the blurred lines of woman and notwoman, we see it as well. The journey is a good one, shared. By the time I got to the latter third of the book, though, I was well good and ready for Nina to make up her mind. By then—just before the culmination of the story—“Nina Here nor There” becomes a struggle, both in content and story. And it’s with great relief that you’ll find what happens. Overall, this is a book worth a look, especially if you’re examining the fluidity of gender yourself. For you, “Nina Here nor There” is a nice change of pace. 3 For skin 4 Chatters on and on 5 Fairy story figure 6 Like Finding Nemo 7 State with certainty 8 Hair curler 9 A Streetcar Named Desire director Kazan 10 Rudely sarcastic 11 Edward Albee’s Seascape prize 12 Deep throat tissue 13 Colony inhabitants 22 “___ De-Lovely” 24 Moderate pace 27 ___ Cowgirls Get the Blues 29 Caesar or Antony 30 “Just ___ thought” 31 Baby bloomers 34 Corset part 36 Kiss from Kahlo 37 James Buchanan, notably 38 Giant quarterback Manning 39 Nuts 40 “Wow!” 41 Marsh gas 45 Allen-wrench shape 46 Baum’s good witch 48 Ukraine peninsula 49 Orientation revelation 50 Bearse of Married ... with Children_ 52 Simple kind of question 54 Brian of figure skating 57 She played gay in Silkwood 58 “Hi” to Lorca 59 Wanting water 60 St. named for Queen Elizabeth I



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EVENTS Every Tuesday, ARGENTINE TANGO, 7:30-9:30 PM, Iowacity/Johnson Co Senior Center, 28 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Practice and open dance. A donation of $1-2 per person is requested for use of the Senior Center. For more info, contact Karen Jackson at 319-447-1445 or e-mail [ L G B T M W A ] Every Tuesday, KARAOKE IDOL, 9 PM, Studio 13, 13 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Drink specials and great competition! Visit [ L G B T M W A ] Every Tuesday, ACE HAS FACE THE MUSIC & DANCE, 7-9pm, 26 E Market St, Iowa City, IA 52245. All skill levels are welcome. Tango, Waltz, Disco, Country, American social dance, Latin, a mix from the last 100 years. Join on Facebook at group.php?gid=372454708295. For more info, contact ACE experiment at 319-853-8223. [ L GBTMWA] First and Third Tuesday, YOUTH FOR EQUALITY, 4-6pm, The CENTER, 1300 W Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309. A service and action group for youth who identify as LGBTQI and their allies. Open to all students in grades 5 through 12. [ L G B T M W A ] Second Tuesday of the  Month, PITCH HIV+ PEER-TO-PEER SUPPORT GROUP, 6-8pm, The CENTER, 1300 Locust St, Des Moines, IA . Contact John at 515.284.3358 with questions. [ + ]


1st Wednesday of the Month, CEDAR RAPIDS CHARTER CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN BUSINESS WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION, For more info, visit charter-chapter.tripod. com. [ L W ] 1st Wednesday of the Month, WOMEN’S SACRED CIRCLE, 6:30-8 PM, Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, 120 E. Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233. This group is for women who are interested in gathering for spiritual growth. The direction and activities of the group are determined by participants. $5 per session. For more info, visit www. [ L W ] 1st Wednesday of the Month, CONNECTIONS’ RAINBOW READING GROUP, 7 PM, Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room B, 123 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. For more info, contact Todd at: faunides@yahoo. com. [ L G B T M W A ] 2nd Wednesday of the Month, STONEWALL DEMOCRATS, THE GLBT CAUCUS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, 6:30-8 PM, For more info, contact Harvey Ross at or call 319-389-0093. [ L G BTMWA] 2nd Wednesday of the Month, WOMEN FOR PEACE KNITTERS, 7-9 PM, Hiawatha, IA . at Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha.

Knitting, crocheting, and discussion. For more info, call 319-377-3252 or go to www. All ages and levels of needlework skills welcome. Come knit for charities. [ L W ] 2nd Wednesday, OUT NETWORKING, 5:30, Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309. A social, business, and philanthropic networking organization for anyone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning or supportive. The group presents year-round events focused on business, culture, community, and philanthropic subjects. [ L G B T A ] Every Wednesday, HOT MESS EXPRESS, 8:00pm, Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust St., Des Moines, IA . The hottest most messiest citizens of Des Moines providing a comedic look at the hottest most messiest current events around the world. Featuring: Paul Selberg, Rachel C. Johnson, Kelley Robinson & Tyler Reedy [ L G B T A ] Every Wednesday, U OF I GAY LESBIAN BISEXUAL TRANSGENDER AND ALLIES UNION MEETINGS, 7-9 PM, Iowa City, IA . at the Penn State Room #337 of the Iowa Memorial Union, U. of Iowa campus, Iowa City. For more info, visit or e-mail These meetings are open to the public. [ L G B T M W A ] Every Wednesday, PRIDE BOWLING LEAGUE FOR GLBT & SUPPORTERS, 7 PM, Des Moines, IA at Air Lanes Bowling Center 4200 Fleur Drive. For more info, email or call 515-6501725. [L G B T M W A] Every Wednesday, Lez Talk!, 8:30 p.m., Des Moines, IA. Capital City Talk Show hosted by lezzies and made for All people. [L G B T M W A] First and Third Wednesday of the Month, PITCH HIV+ PEER-TO-PEER SUPPORT GROUP, Friends and Children’s Council, 500 E 4th St, Ste 414, Waterloo, IA . RSVP to tamih@ (requested but not required). (First meeting will be January 19, 2011 from 5:30-7:30pm at the CASS office, 2101 Kimball Ave, Ste 401, Waterloo.) [ + ]


1st 3rd Thursday, EVENINGS FOR SPIRIT, 6:30-8:30 PM, West Branch, IA . at SpiritHill Retreat, 604 Cedar Valley Road, West Branch. First, third, and fifth Thursdays of each month. Women gather at SpiritHill (or other locations) to share our spiritual experiences, visions and longings. The evenings include time for sharing and time for silence. Laughter, tears and singing are often shared as well. No specific spiritual practice is followed. This event is always open to newcomers. For more info, call 319-643-2613, or e-mail Calling in advance is highly recommended to confirm the location for the specific month of interest. [ L W ] 2nd Thursday of the Month, OPEN MIC WITH MARY MCADAMS, 7-9 PM, Des Moines, IA . at Ritual Café, on 13th St. between Locust

and Grand, downtown Des Moines. Visit www. For more info, e-mail mary@ [ L G B T M W A ] 2nd Thursday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG OMAHA/COUNCIL BLUFFS CHAPTER MEETING, 7 PM (6:30 PM social time), Omaha, IA . at Mead Hall, First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass St., Omaha. For more info, call 402-291-6781. [ L G B T M W A K ] 3rd Thursday of the Month, OPEN MIC HOSTED BY KIMBERLI, 7-10 PM, Cedar Rapids, IA . at the Blue Strawberry Coffee Company (now open after the flood), 118 2nd St. SE, Downtown Cedar Rapids. Signup at 6:30 p.m. or by e-mailing flyingmonkeyscr@ the week prior to the open mic. [ L GBTMWA] 3rd Thursday of the Month, LGBTQI YOUTH MOVIE NIGHT AT THE CENTER, 6:30-10pm, The CENTER, 1300 Locust, Des Moines, IA . This is part of the LGBTQI youth program, anyone 24 years old and younger is welcome. Come down spend the evening with your friends and make some new ones. 515-243-0313 [ L G B T + ] 3rd Thursday of the Month, IOWA PFLAG DUBUQUE/TRI-STATE CHAPTER MEETING, 7 PM, Dubuque, IA . at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1276 White St., Dubuque. For more info, call 563-582-9388. [ L G B T M W A K ] 3rd Thursday of the Month, CONNECTIONS GAME NIGHT, 7-9 PM, Iowa City, IA . at Donnelly’s Pub, 110 E. College St., in downtown Iowa City. [ L G B T M W A ] 4th Thursday of the Month, PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S NETWORK (PWN), For more info, visit, e-mail pwn@, or call Shelley Woods at 319-9819887. [ L W ] Every Thursday and Friday, SHANNON JANSSEN, 6-10 PM, Cedar Rapids, IA . Dawn’s Hide and Bead Away, 220 E. Washington St., Iowa City. Shannon performs a variety of music including original songs on the Grand Piano in the hotel’s beautiful atrium. No reservations required. [ L G B T M W A ] Last Thursday of the Month, DRAG KING SHOW, 9:00pm-2pm, Studio 13, 13 S. Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52240. The show starts EARLY at 9pm, so all you fans under 21 (meaning 19 & 20) can come for a jam packed hour of show! Your kings will also have another photo signing with awesome king swag! Plus, a SECOND mini show after the signing!!! $3 Bomb shots, $2 Calls and Domestics, and $1 Wells and shots! Cover is only $3! [ L G B T D ]


1st Friday of the Month, FAIRFIELD ART WALK, For more info, visit FairfieldArtWalk. com. [ L G B T M W A ] 1st Friday of the Month, GUERRILLA QUEER BAR MEETUP!, Tired of the same old bars? Crave the idea of bringing your queer and straight friends together in a fun, new environment? We’re descending upon an unsuspecting straight bar and turning it into a gay bar for the night. To join in: join our Facebook group, Google group or Twitter feed. You’ll receive an email the morning of each event with the name of a classically hetero bar and the meeting time. Call your friends, have them call their friends, show up at the bar and watch as it becomes the new “it” gay bar for one night only. Visit com/group/iowa-city-guerrilla-queer-bar. [ LGBTMWA] 1st Friday of the Month, FIRST FRIDAY BREAKFAST CLUB, Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA 95030. The First Friday Breakfast Club (FFBC) is an educational, non-profit corporation for gay men who gather on the first Friday of every month to provide mutual support, to be educated on community affairs, and to further educate community opinion leaders with more positive images of gay men. It is the largest breakfast club in the state of Iowa. Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA 95030. Contact Jonathan Wilson at (515) 288-2500 or email: [ G B ] 1st Friday of the Month, DAWN’S COFFEE HOUSE, 5-8 PM, Iowa City, IA . Dawn’s Hide and Bead Away, 220 E. Washington St., Iowa City. First Friday of every month between February 6 and December 4. Music and light snacks are

SEPTEMBER 2011 provided. Proceeds from the door are split between the non-profit of the month and the store (to cover the cost of snacks). Any other donations received go 100% to the non-profit. $3 cover. For more info, phone 319-338-1566. [LGBTMWA] 2nd and 4th Friday, DRUMMING CIRCLE, 7 PM, Cedar Rapids, IA . Unity Center of Cedar Rapids, 3791 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids. Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the each month. For more info, call 319-431-7550. [ GM] 3rd Friday of the Month, OLD-TIME DANCE FOR ALL, 8 PM, Iowa City, IA . A Barn Dance 12 miles east of Iowa City at Scattergood Friends School. A Barn Dance 12 miles east of Iowa City at Scattergood Friends School. Admission is $5.00 per person. Singles and couples, beginners and veterans welcome. The music is live, and all dances are taught and called (that is, prompted while the music is playing). Note: (1) same-sex couples are common at these dances, (2) they’re no-alcohol, no-smoking events, (3) every dance is taught, so beginners are welcome, and (4) people can attend alone or with a partner. People of a variety of ages show up, and the atmosphere is friendly and inclusive. For more info, phone 319-643-7600 or e-mail [ L G B T M W A ]


4th Saturday of the Month, LESBIAN BOOK CLUB, 7 PM, Davenport, IA . is reading books by or about lesbians. Non-lesbians are welcome to attend. All meetings are held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3707 Eastern Ave., Davenport. For more info, call 563-359-0816. [ L ] 4th Saturday of the Month, TANGOVIA, 7:30 PM, Iowa City, IA . join area tango dancers at the Wesley Center, 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Enjoy a candlelit evening of dance, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. Cost is $5. Partner not necessary. Beginners welcome to come at 7 p.m. for an introductory lesson. For more info, call Gail at 319-325-9630, e-mail irelandg@gmail. com, or visit [ L G B T MWAD] Every Saturday, WOMEN FOR PEACE IOWA, Noon to 1PM, Collins Rd NE & 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. hosting Weekly Street Corner Vigils for peace, rain or shine. Meet at the corner of 1st Ave. and Collins Rd. SE (in front of Granite City Brewery), Cedar Rapids. Show your support for our troops by calling for their return from Iraq. For more info, e-mail [ L G B T M WAKD] Every Saturday, BAILE LATINO: SALSA, CHA-CHA, MERENGUE AND BACHATA LESSONS, 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM, Cedar Rapids, IA . taught by Gloria Zmolek, at CSPS, 1103 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids. No experience or partner necessary. All ages welcome. No sign-up required. $5 per person requested. For more info, contact Gloria at 319-365-9611 or visit [ L G B T M W A K D ]

ACCESSline Page 29 Section 3: Community Council Bluffs Community Alliance First Friday Breakfast Club Calendar for September Remarks of Suku Radia Intro by Bruce Carr SEPTEMBER 2011

Council Bluffs Community Alliance will promote the city of Council Bluffs as a developing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family community, and to assure the equality of all Council Bluffs’ residents GOglbt Network Meeting : When : Thu, September 1, 5pm – 7pm Where : Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative @ UNMC’s College of Public Health Board Meeting : When : Tue, September 6, 6pm – 7pm Where : Barley’s, 114 West Broadway, CB, IA 51503 CBCA Annual Picnic : When : Sunday, Sep 18, 2011 Where : Bayliss Park

Counciltucky By Mike Yowell, President, Council Bluffs Community Alliance Counciltucky is a term that is often used to describe Council Bluffs. It is usually thrown around by people from Omaha who, for some reason, feel that Omaha is far superior to Council Bluffs. But, I have also heard that term used by people from around Iowa. And, so, I would like to dispel the myth that Council Bluffs is a backward, conservative, cow town. I recently read that the Des Moines was considering adding gender identity to its city code to match state code. And that struck me as unusual. Des Moines has always had the reputation of being such a forward thinking city. Council Bluffs is not often thought of by the rest of the state as progressive, but, Council Bluffs added gender identity to its city code back in March of 2008. That is more than three years before Des Moines will do it. Additionally, the Council Bluffs city council is currently made up of four women and one man. That, in and of itself, is astounding. Not only that, but four of the five Council Bluffs city council members marched with the float the Council Bluffs Community Alliance entered in the Heartland Pride gay pride parade this year in

Omaha. And the only reason we didn’t have all five city council members was because one of the women was a bride’s maid at a wedding that morning or she would have marched in the pride parade with us as well. In addition to the city council, we had county supervisors and school board members march in the parade as well. They were among our many straight allies in the parade. And most of them were republicans. In 2009, the mayor of Council Bluffs nominated two openly gay men to city commissions. Hersh Rodasky, my husband, was nominated to the Council Bluffs Civil Rights Commission and the other man was nominated to the Parks and Recreation Commission. Both of these men were the first openly gay men to be nominated to their respective commissions. And both were unanimously approved by the City Council. So, the next time you hear someone refer to Council Bluffs as being behind the times, remember what you read here. Most of Iowa is very progressive. And that also includes the city of Council Bluffs.

I believe very firmly that gay people of every stripe and age should be role models for all children, and that means interacting with them. ~Armistead Maupin

Our speaker on August 5, 2011, was Mr. Suku Radia, President and CEO of Bankers Trust and a long-time friend and supporter of our community. Radia treated us to some highly eloquent remarks—“from the heart,” as he said—in defense of Marriage Equality as a basic expression of American freedom. We are honored to re-print the heart of that speech here, with his permission.

I feel especially honored today to address the First Friday Breakfast Club because, like all of you, I subscribe to the notion that we live in the freest country in the world. Some of my remarks are fashioned after a speech delivered by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in May 2011 at The Cooper Union. Freedom can never be frozen in time. In matters of freedom and equality, history has never remembered obstructionists kindly. Our past teaches us that when we as a nation have struggled with women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, racial justice, and other core issues, it took us time to do honor to our principles—often too much time— but good sense and compassion ultimately prevailed. In a recent column, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “Did I mention that I’ve signed a pledge—just like those Republican congressmen who have signed written promises to different

Suku Radia political enforcers not to raise taxes or permit same-sex marriage? My pledge is to never vote for anyone stupid enough to sign the pledge—thereby abdicating their governing responsibilities in a period of incredibly rapid change and financial stress.” Friedman continued, “It is this kind of idiocy by elected officials that sends you into a hair-pulling rage and leaves you wishing we had more options today than our two-party system is putting forward—for instance, a party that would have offered a grand bargain on the deficit two years ago, not on the eve

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Inside Out: Relearning Old Lessons by Ellen Krug “I love you,” she said, as I handed her a sweater from my middle drawer dresser. “No, don’t tell me that, not now,” I answered, as I crossed my arms. “Not when I’m kicking you out.” My girlfriend, Liz, sighed. Five minutes later, I walked her downstairs to her car and said goodbye. I thought for good. This is how my latest relationship has gone, a series of ups and downs, ins and outs, goods and bads, all as we weave our way through life as some kind of a couple. Liz and I eventually reconciled, but it hasn’t been easy. I’m largely the reason for all of this confusion and crap. We’ve been together for a few months. She’s just coming out as a lesbian, which means turning a good part of her life upside down. She’s almost 50 (she doesn’t look it—I probably need to say that) and she’s got children, including one in middle school. She’s lived a very straight life until recently and some of her relatives are still trying to figure out exactly what the word “lesbian” means. And she has a girlfriend (that would be me) who, sadly, has forgotten that coming out is a process, a journey, rather than a destination. The grief I’ve put my sweet Liz through is inexcusable. Twice in our relationship I’ve told her that we were done, all because she wasn’t moving fast enough for me. She needed to bring me into her life more quickly; she had to make sure everyone knew her new status as an L; and she should to go to more LGBT events. In my opinion, she needed to do more now. I’ve been impatient, demanding and unbending. And, as she likes to say, I’ve been a “bully.” She’s right. But throughout it all, Liz has never told me to go to hell. She’s certainly been furious with me, and she’s let me know that she will do things in her own way, at her own speed. Still, Liz hasn’t walked away from us, even when I told her that I was done. Instead, she’s hung in until I bounced back, showing me love and a steadfast strength that I never had when I was coming out. Yes, she’s progressed in her coming out journey, but she’s done it her way.

Sometimes I forget that it took me three attempts before I finally left my wife to start a new life in 2004. It wasn’t until two years ago that I actually transitioned to womanhood. My confusion and indecision put people I love through unimaginable hell. You’d think I’d learn something after all of that. Before meeting Liz, I thought I knew everything there is to coming out as an LGBT person. I believed that if you’re LGBT, you need to face up to it and change your life. Just like that. Regardless of whom it hurts. I still may be right to some degree, but Liz has reminded me about a couple of important words that I sometimes forget. Like the word compassion. Or how about patience? After all, for those of us finally striving to be genuine to ourselves, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t hit the people we love with a hammer announcing a sudden shift in life course and give them a take it or leave it ultimatum, while demanding their love in return. Rather, in order to get love, we need to give love. Sometimes that means pacing yourself, and allowing others a chance to catch their emotional breaths. Sometimes, that means months or years. This is different than simply hiding and never coming out as LGBT. There’s no question about Liz coming out as a lesbian. She’s told her kids and close family members. She’s even gone one step further and told family and friends that she’s dating another woman who is transgender. Now that’s a hell of a lot for someone non-LGBT to absorb. Even I, dumb Ellen, understands that much. I’ve met some of the people in Liz’s life, but not all of them. I’m sure that eventually, I’ll get a chance to prove that I’m a decent, caring person to everyone she cares about. In the meantime, Liz has

shown that grace can be far more nuanced, and a much more delicate balancing act than what I had thought. I figured I was teaching Liz about living a genuine life. Instead, she’s taught me. I respect and love her for this. On a larger scale, Liz reminds me of just how difficult it can be to change your life. It’s messy and expensive in many ways--emotions, money, and time. It requires fortitude and vision and staying the course. Most of all, it requires guts. A life change involves disappointing and hurting other people. Then there’s the nagging doubt of whether actually changing your life will be for the good. What if I make my life worse? What if it means I’ll be alone? What if people will suffer because of me? Of course, not all life changes involve coming out as LGBT. Some people hate their careers. Others know that they need to move to a different location, like a larger city—with more possibilities and options for a richer life. Some want to change religions. And then there’s divorce. Regardless of what is driving the need for change, actually making a change is damn difficult.

Before meeting Liz, I thought I knew everything there is to coming out as an LGBT person. I believed that if you’re LGBT, you need to face up to it and change your life. Just like that. Regardless of whom it hurts.

Ellen Krug is a writer, lawyer, human. She was a trial attorney for 28 years before realizing there is more to life. She is now on sabbatical to write a book, and if that does not work out, to wait tables. She is parent to two adult children and hoping for the best, despite the odds. She can be reached at Some people never get there and simply wallow in self pity or depression. I think it is for that reason that others gravitate toward those who have changed their lives. “You’re so brave,” is something that I hear quite a bit. Why is it “brave” to do something that’s needed to improve your life? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m still learning. Sometimes, I’m relearning the same old lesson. Regardless, I’m thinking that Liz is a real keeper. If only I can remember that.

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FFBC of a Treasury default.” I came to this country almost 40 years ago to attend college. Though my ancestry is Indian, I am originally from Uganda, East Africa. I was born to wealth as a member of my family’s fourth generation in that country, and thus consider myself to be an African. While I was in the States, my family was evicted from Uganda by Idi Amin. Unlike several of their friends who were not so fortunate, my parents managed to escape with their lives, but they lost nearly everything else. So here I was in the United States attending college, a man without a country, but a man who knew he was living in a nation that had been guided for years by the same principles that had shaped the life he knew in his homeland—freedom, liberty, and equality. There is no denying that African-Americans once were held in bondage, Catholics could not hold office in New York, those without property could not vote, women could not vote or hold office, and homo-sexuality was, in some places, a crime punishable by death. There also is no denying that, one by one, the legal prohibitions to freedom and equality have been overcome. Every generation in this country has successfully removed barriers so people can more fully participate in the American dream. When the Supreme Court of Iowa unanimously ruled that gay marriage was permissible, I was absolutely delighted and extremely proud. When Iowans then found a way to throw out three of the judges for that

Section 3: Community same landmark decision, I was appalled. Earlier this year, I spoke before the Iowa General Assembly in passionate defense of tolerance. Afterwards, I was hurrying out of the chambers to attend another engagement when a gentleman with whom I was barely acquainted joined me on my brisk walk to my car. At first, I did not realize that his was a so-called faith-based agenda, and had we understood each other sooner, he could have saved himself some thankless exertion. I cannot understand the kind of faith that argues the right of one group in society to cause another group to live in fear—of harassment, of humiliation, of discrimination, of physical violence— simply because it can. Terry Branstad called on me when he was running for office last September. He handed me an envelope hoping I would give him a check for $1,000 in support of his campaign. In the course of our conversation, the now-Governor unequivocally stated he believed marriage should exist only as a union between a man and a woman. I quickly responded that I would never deny his right to hold that belief; however, the discussion we were having was not about his religious beliefs or my own. We were having a political discussion, a discussion about power and who should hold it over what and for what reasons. He did not agree with my distinction, and he chose to continue the conversation no further. He was well aware that my

checkbook was still in my pocket, and I take some pride in believing he also was well aware that I was not going to hang back and be silent on the issue. Many of you know Michael Gartner and have heard him speak. Michael used to be the managing editor of the Des Moines Register and is the current owner of the Iowa Cubs. If you know him at all, you know why his sharp tongue is universally feared. A while ago, I had the honor of being interviewed by him in front of some 150 influential people from Central Iowa. He previously had sent me an email expressing his support of the position I had taken on the gay marriage issue. Knowing we were in agreement made my preparation much easier. I occasionally might be judged as foolhardy, but I’m prudent enough to want to avoid learning in a public forum whether I’m intellectually capable of holding my own in an argument with Michael Gartner. Michael asked me a question along the lines of, “You took a position on the gay marriage issue. You are in the business community. Are you concerned about the fact that Bankers Trust may lose some business as a result of your stance?” My response was that I had received 102 communications, 20 of them from CEOs. Of those 102 communications, 101 were supportive. It was a result that made me proud of Iowa’s business community

I say this to you now: If legislation is introduced to challenge the state’s current position on gay marriage, I vow to call upon my CEO friends to stand against it. We will be loud and we will prevail.

SEPTEMBER 2011 and affirmed my confidence in the essential fairness of Bankers Trust customers. I was not so proud that a number of CEOs who sent supportive messages failed to stand behind their written words by appearing before the Iowa General Assembly. I say this to you now: If legislation is introduced to challenge the state’s current position on gay marriage, I vow to call upon my CEO friends to stand against it. We will be loud and we will prevail. When I met with Michael Gronstal last week, I greeted him with an embrace and thanked him for being such a courageous leader. No Iowan has stood firmer for human rights—including the right to marry—in this state. As you know, there will be an effort to unseat him in the next election. I am optimistic that he will not only win another term, he will continue taking the lead in making gay marriage a non-issue in Iowa politics. A new generation is about to add impetus to attitudinal change. Study after study shows that the majority of young people recognize the right to marry as a CIVIL right; it is not exclusionary. I hope our legislators have the foresight and courage to listen to their own children. Unfortunately, not everyone is listening to them. Three weeks ago, two Republican candidates for president signed the “Marriage Vow” pledge issued by Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Be assured many leaders are standing firm against such nonsense. Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico and presidential candidate, stated, “Government should not be involved in the bedroom of consenting adults. As a Republican, I am

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Twenty Questions interview by Amber Dunham In 2010, high school student Amber Dunham participated in a class assignment to ask someone 20 questions for an LGBT essay. The person Amber chose to ask was Alexis, a transgendered woman from the Iowa City area. Amber’s questions covered Alexis’s definition of transgender, details of Alexis’s life and emotions prior to accepting her desire to be a girl, reactions from family and friends, psychological and medical requirements prior to sexual reassignment surgery, details of sexual reassignment surgery, federal and state document changes after Alexis’s surgery, advice Alexis would give to others, effects of Alexis’s change, and her religious views. Any questions or comments for Alexis can be sent care of this publication to

(Continued from August Issue) 15) Since you work for a Government contractor, how did your manager, supervisor and co-workers relate to you? I had already transitioned and had been living as a female for almost a year before I applied for the job where I work now, so the company knew what they were hiring. I had been referred to this company by someone who knew me prior to my transition and she referred me, for the simple reason, that discrimination based on gender identity was not allowed on this government contract. She was confident that I would get a fair shot at gaining employment, which was not something I felt I had gotten when I applied elsewhere. I am certain that I was thoroughly discussed before the job offer was even extended to me, which I can understand. I was most likely their first transgender employee. When I began working there I was not welcomed with open arms, though I was accepted. Initially there were few people who would even talk with me, preferring instead to watch and see how I presented myself. I understand, because I was new…I was different. You know, it was almost 6 months before I would eat lunch in the lunchroom with the other employees, preferring instead to go to my vehicle and eat there. And there were some individuals who tried to make issues out of my usage of the female restrooms—but the management and human resources department held firm to their discrimination policy. As time went on I became increasingly more accepted as who I am, and I have to say that my past has never been a problem for me in any way. By the time I was ready to undergo the sex reassignment surgery (SRS), I had a lot of support from other employees there. It has grown…and

interestingly enough, some of the people who originally raised the restroom issue became much more receptive to me once I had the SRS surgery…I think a lot of the initial reactions were simply due to the novelty of my situation. I am well aware that for most people, I am the first transgender individual they have any experience with. And it is for that reason, that I have made the conscious effort to try and present a positive image. So that others like myself, in the future, will find their transitioning process easier. The impressions people form of me will make a difference in the future—for others. In retrospect, I would have to say that my managers and supervisors at work have stood by me, supported me, and allowed me the opportunity to grow and develop into who I am today. Over the last six and a half years I have been working there, I think it would be really hard for me to have chosen a better employer. Actually, I really would have had a hard time finding a more accepting place in which to transition. The combination of the workplace environment and the community itself has given me the opportunity to grow and develop within a comfortable and accepting atmosphere. In my public ventures I do not have much fear for my safety or well-being. At work, I have been able to move up through the ranks over the years based on merit itself, and I now hold the position of Supervisor and I oversee a team of approximately 20 individuals. These days there is little discussion or

She was confident that I would get a fair shot at gaining employment, which was not something I felt I had gotten when I applied elsewhere.

concern over the fact that I am transsexual/transgender. I have become a fixture and I don’t draw the attention that I did in the beginning. I attribute a lot of my success there, and in my new life, to the simple fact that I have been open and honest about my past and how I got where I am. This level of openness surprises a lot of people. However, I am telling you nothing that I wouldn’t tell anyone who wanted to take the effort, and spend the time, talking with me about my life. 16) Did you come out and let your work place know that you were transgender? I didn’t need to say anything…people figured it out. There are some people who transition that are so much like a girl— that they never have to say anything. I’m not one of those people. When I went through the sex reassignment surgery, I had the finances for the basic surgery. I did not have the money for the cosmetic surgery that can make acceptance easier. I couldn’t afford the facial reconstruction, the throat surgery, or even the rib-cage surgeries. No one has ever come out and asked me directly whether I was a transgender or transsexual person. And very few questions about the subject have come up. But I know the keen observer will always look twice. However, I feel that my confidence with my female role will generally overcome that. I am very conscious of the fact that I am the first transsexual most people have ever come in contact with, and that people will form opinions of transsexuals based on how I act in the workplace. I rarely bring the topic up either, but from time to time I will—when talking with accepting individuals. And interestingly enough, I have had many people tell me that they simply cannot picture me as a guy. My attitude and demeanor go very well with my new life as Alexis. I have

been so amazed with how smoothly this transition has gone. I had watched other girls for years, and read the magazines, and looked at the ads in an attempt to learn as much as I could. But I never imagined it would be this easy. I guess maybe I studied the right things. That isn’t to say that some situations haven’t arisen that didn’t pose challenges. Occasionally, for example, there are people who deliberately or accidentally refer to me as ‘he’. When that happens I have to make a quick decision whether to bite my tongue or say something. It’s like any other minority—you have to pick your battles. Confront too much, and you are seen in one light, yet if you don’t challenge occasionally; you are perceived as weak and wimpy. I remember a couple instances from work; the first one was when I was relatively new, and taking telephone calls. When we didn’t know what to tell the person on the phone, we called the “help que” which consisted of our senior representatives, and asked them for guidance. One of them continually referred to me as “he” even though we had never met—she knew better. Finally I grew tired of it and one day went to my supervisor to explain the situation…and it never happened again. Another time, several years later, I attended a sexual harassment training with someone here from another site conducting it. The training itself was excellent and was presented very well. However, at the end, a joke was made about guys in dresses—which I am sure many people thought was cute. I didn’t. I went back to my desk and fumed for a few minutes, and then I went to the Human Resources department and explained my frustrations. The next morning I was asked to go to HR, and there was the guest from the other site, who wanted to apologize for his comment. I was totally amazed, and it just went to show the commitment of the company to their diversity policies. But on the other hand, there are times when you just need to let a comment go for the moment, and hope for better times in the future. Most people are basically good, and mean no harm, and they can and will change in time.

Occasionally, for example, there are people who deliberately or accidentally refer to me as ‘he’. When that happens I have to make a quick decision whether to bite my tongue or say something.

In retrospect, I would have to say that my managers and supervisors at work have stood by me, supported me, and allowed me the opportunity to grow and develop into who I am today.

I don’t judge people by their sexual orientation or the color of their skin, so I find it really hard to identify someone by saying that they’re a gay person or a black person or a Jewish person. ~Diana Ross

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Section 3: Community

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HANSEN ating and delivering energy, IF we believe in a public goal. Innovation will remove our dependence upon foreign sources of energy WHEN we set a direction to change our dependency. We should return to the moon (or go to Mars) as a coordinated government effort because private interests are not inspiring and captivating the attention of our youth, (e.g. encouraging science and math development), like Apollo and the space shuttle programs have. While I enjoy athletic competition, we need to change our focus away from supporting athletics and the latest American Idol series to supporting these public endeavors that will do more for our daily lives than television or athletics ever does. Low taxes have only made the rich get richer while the rest of the country stagnates and reminisces in the myth. Low taxes and

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FFBC an advocate of liberty and the elimination of unnecessary government intervention in our lives. This pledge is offensive to those principles and as far as I am concerned, it is un-Republican and un-American.” We have made tremendous progress in our constitutional system, and every generation moves closer to living the words of the Preamble. Remember, I came from a

prioritizing the military has gutted the government’s ability, as well as the public confidence, to coordinate bold new directions and goals. People need to get beyond the blinds of rhetoric and realize the best years of the United States were when we worked together to win a world war, to go to the moon, and recognized everyone’s rights. Ever since, we have eroded national consensus and social empowerment into selfish individuality. We need to stop reminiscing about the past golden age and start working on a new golden age together. We need to stop thinking of China as insignificant and start pushing ourselves to achieve again because Americans work better and smarter when there is real competition. We need to believe we can and will work together to achieve. We need to get beyond selfish, unyielding rhetoric. When we do that, the world will remember why the United States is great. country where there was a coup when Idi Amin seized power. Here, we have no king or queen to overthrow. We only have our ideals to live up to. Nothing I’ve said here this morning is earth-shattering, but I speak from the heart. In closing, I ask us to remember that we are a nation of many peoples and beliefs. The only way to respect all citizens is to allow them to make personal decisions for themselves.


Gaycation Packing by Robert Hoffman OMG! I’ve got to get twenty-one outfits, fourteen pairs of shoes, seven bathing suits, creams, lotions, moisturizers, suntan lotion, sunblock, a gross of condoms, enough lube to grease the Amtrak line from Penn Station to D.C., and a leather harness into this miniscule overnight bag? How am I ever gonna’ do that? Been there before? Who hasn’t? When it’s time to gaycation (you know, spend a week looking your best among the throngs of hot boys in thongs at some popular gay destination—see, Key West, P-Town, Rehoboth, RSVP cruise, et al.— you’ve been there. So, what’s a fashionista to do? You need the seven swim suits. You’d die if anyone saw you in the same one twice, no? And the leather harness is essential if there happens to be a leather bar or leather-themed party on your week’s gayca. So, by all means, pack ‘em, but don’t expect them to fit into your tiny suitcase. First off, boys, bite the bullet and spend the extra $25 for a checked bag. But make sure you get a bag that will match the bags that will appear under your eyes at the end of the week. For as any experienced gay traveler will tell you, after a week of late nights, too many drinks, too little sleep, and having used all those condoms, those bags are gonna’ be there for awhile, no matter how much you moisturize. Next, lose one-third of the outfits. If you’re going to play for a week and you simply must have three “costume” changes a day, count the bathing suits as one of your three. Those seven skimpy little Speedos can be balled up inside one of your shoes with

room to spare! Then, line up your fourteen pairs of shoes and take a good, hard look. Execute ten pair. Take one pair of sandals/flip-flops for daytime, one pair of sports shoes (for hiking or tennis or ballet), and two pair for evening activities. You don’t need fourteen pair. Four will do just fine. If you think someone is not going to sleep with you because you’ve worn the same pair of shoes twice, well, then, you’ve probably just been rejected by Imelda Marcos. Or me. You can’t leave out the creams, lotions or moisturizers. But make sure you pack the supersized anti-wrinkle cream that you use under and around your eyes and mouth, and…down “there”…in your checked bag. Otherwise, it will get confiscated by airport security before you even board the plane. And you can’t afford to have that happen. God knows, you need those creams. Just take a look in the mirror. Still not enough room in your bag? Leave the sunblock and suntan lotion at home. When you need it, ask the hottie next to you to borrow his. Then make him rub it all over your back and anywhere you can’t reach. That will give you a chance to use up all of those condoms and the lube before you get home, thereby making some room in your luggage for that sarong you just bought. Robert Hofmann is the author of three books, “Surrounded by Insanity”, “An Ordinary Madness”, and his latest, “One Brain Cell Away from Retarded”. He resides in Wilton Manors, FL, with his partner of 16 years and welcomes email from his readers at

SEPTEMBER 2011 DIRECTORY NOTICE The ACCESSline community directory is updated each issue. LISTINGS ARE FREE but are limited by space. Free online listings are available at Information about new listings must contain a phone number for publication and a contact (e-mail address, land address, or website) for our records. For more information or to provide corrections, please contact or call (319) 550-0957.

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Please see the list of resources below about HIV, mental health, sexual orientation, and where you may seek help if you’re in crisis.

Section 3: Community Iowa PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gay) State Council PO Box 18, Indianola, IA 50125 aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2 515-537-3126 or 641-583-2024 Iowa Pride Network 777 Third Street, Suite 312, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 Executive Director: 515-471-8062 Outreach Coordinator: 515-471-8063 LGBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force PO Box 1997, Des Moines, 50306 515-243-1221 One Iowa 500 East Locust St, Ste 300 Des Moines, IA 50309 515-288-4019 Fax: 515-244-5846

HIV and STD Testing Sites near You, including places where you can get tested for free:

Stonewall Democrats of Iowa 5 Creekside Ct Mason City, IA 50401 Contact: Harvey Ross 319-362-3099

Crisis or Suicide National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Default.aspx or call 1-800-273-TALK

The Quire Eastern Iowa’s GLBT chorus

Information on Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness:


Counseling, Information and Resources about Sexual Orientation GLBT National Help Center: or 1-888-8434564

First United Methodist Church 516 Kellogg Ave, Ames, IA 50010 Contemporary worship Sat. 5:30; Sun at 8:30 and 11:00am. 515-232-2750

Information on Mental Health for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Find_Support/Multicultural_Support/Resources/ GLBT_Resources.htm

Living with HIV Program 126 S. Kellogg, Suite 1 Ask for Janelle (Coordinator) 515-956-3312 ext 106 or I -800-890-8230

Information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health

ISU LGBTA Alliance GLBT Support, Activism, Social Events, Newsletter L East Student Office Space 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014-7163 515-344-4478

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005 202-VICTORY [842-8679] Human Rights Campaign National political organization, lobbies congress for lesbian & gay issues, political training state and local 1-800-777-HRCF[4723] Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund I I E. Adams, Suite 1008, Chicago, IL 60603 312-663-4413 Fax: 312-663-4307 Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 600, Washington, DC, 20005 / National Organization for Women (NOW) 733 15th ST NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20005 202-628-8669 PFLAG National Offices 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005 - 202-467-8180 The Trevor Lifeline The Trevor Project operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Each year, our lifeline fields more than 30,000 calls from LGBTQ youth as well as their families, friends and educators. (866) 4-U-TREVOR - (866) 488-7386 Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year All calls are toll-free and confidential

STATE ORGANIZATIONS Equality Iowa P.O. Box 18, Indianola, IA 50125 515-537-3126 Faithful Voices Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s marriage equality project. Imperial Court of Iowa Non-profit fundraising & social, statewide organization with members from across the State of Iowa. PO Box 1491, Des Moines, IA 50306-1491 Iowa Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Janis Bowden, President, IA NOW PO Box 41114, Des Moines, IA 503111 Iowa Gay Rodeo Association (IAGRA) 921 Diagonal Rd, Malcom, IA 50157 641-990-1411

Lord of Life Lutheran 2126 Gable Lane, Ames 50014 Services Sundays at 9:00a.m.; Wed. 7:00pm. 515-233-2350 PFLAG Ames Youth and Shelter Services Offices 2328 Bristol Drive, Ames, IA 5001 2nd Tuesday, 7pm 515-291-3607 Romantics Pleasure Palace 117 Kellogg Street, Ames, IA 50010-3315 515-232-7717 United Church of Christ-Congregational 6th & Kellogg, Ames, 50010 Sunday Continental Breakfast, 9:00am; Sunday School, 9:30am; Worship 10:45am. 515-232-9323 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames 1015 Hyland Ave. Services: 9:30 am and 11:30 am, Sunday 515-292-5960 Unity Church of Ames 226 9th St. Sunday service and Sunday school 10:30am. Wednesday mediation 6:30pm, . www.websyt/unity/ames Daily dial-a-blessing 515-233-1613

Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Spencer, Spirit Lake The Royal Wedding Chapel 504 Church Street, Royal, IA 51357 712-933-2223 Wilson Resource Center An Iowa Great Lakes area gay-owned nonprofit community based organization. PO Box 486, 597 W. Okoboji Rd., Arnolds Park IA 51331-0486 712-332-5043

BURLINGTON Arrowhead Motel 2520 Mount Pleasant St Burlington, IA 52601-2118 319-752-6353 HIV/AIDS Screening @ Des Moines County Health Department in Burlington 522 N 3rd By appointment between 8:00am to 4:30 319-753-8217 Confidential RISQUES IV (adult store) 421 Dry Creek Ave, West Burlington, IA 52601 (319) 753-5455 Sun - Wed 8am-Midnight Thurs - Sat Open 24 Hours

Steve’s Place 852 Washington St, Burlington 319-754-5868 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Services start at 10:30 am 625 N 6th St, Burlington, IA 52601-5032 (319) 753-1895 -

Cedar Falls - Waterloo Adult Cinema 315 E 4th St Waterloo, IA 50703-4703 (319) 234-7459 Black Hawk Co. Health Department Free HIV testing (donations accepted); MW, 1:00pm to 3:00pm; Thurs, 1:00pm to 4:45pm 1407 Independence Ave. (5th fl) Waterloo 50703 319-291 -2413 Cedar AIDS Support System (CASS) Service, support groups & trained volunteers for persons with HIV/AIDS in Waterloo/CF call Elizabeth or Karla, 319-272-AIDS(2437). Cedar Valley Counseling Services Promoting personal growth and development in a strengths-based environment Joan E. Farstad, MA, Director. 319-240-4615 Cedar Valley Episcopal Campus Ministry. In Lutheran Center 2616 College St, Cedar Falls, IA 319-415-5747 Community AIDS Assistance Project (CAAP) Funding for special personal needs, community projects, and small grants that are AIDS related. PO Box 36, Waterloo, IA 50704 LGBTA Support Group at Hawkeye Community College Call Carol at 319-296-4014 for time & location of meeting Iowa Legal Aid Free civil legal service available to low income persons who qualify under income/asset guidelines. 607 Sycamore, #206, Waterloo, IA 50703 1-800-772-0039 or 319-235-7008 Kings & Queens Tap 304 W. 4th St, Waterloo, IA www.// 319-232-3001 Romantix Waterloo (Adult Emporium) 1507 La Porte Rd, Waterloo, IA 50702 319-234-9340 Stellas Guesthouse 324 Summit Ave, Waterloo, IA Private B&B, Overnight accommodations for adults only. 319-232-2122 St. Lukes Episcopal Church 2410 Melrose Dr, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 Services: Sunday 8:00 & 10:15, Thurs 11:30 319-277-8520 St. Timothys United Methodist Church 3220 Terrace Drive, Cedar Falls, 50613, 319-266-0464, info@sttims-umc-org, Contact Rev. Linda Butler “...welcome of all persons, including those of all sexual orientations and gender identities.” Together For Youth 233 Vold Dr, Waterloo, IA 50703 319-274-6768 UNI-LGBTA Alliance-Student Organization 244A Bartlet Hall, University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls 50613 319-222-0003 United Church of Christ Cedar Falls 9204 University Avenue, Cedar Falls 319-366-9686 Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County 3912 Cedar Heights Dr, Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-5640

Cedar Rapids/marion Adult Shop 630 66th Ave SW, 319-362-4939 Adult Shop North 5539 Crane Lane, 319-294-5360 Cedar Rapids Unity (Formerly GLRC of Cedar Rapids) Support, social activities., or write to PO Box 1643 Cedar Rapids 52406-1643 Call and leave a message—all calls will be returned. 319-366-2055

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Christ Episcopal Church “We have a place for you.” 220 40th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 319-363-2029

Citizens For Equal Protection 1105 Howard St, Suite #2, Omaha, NE 68102 - 402-398-3027

Club Basix Open 5pm to 2am M-F, Sat & Sun 3pm-2am 3916 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids 319-363-3194

Council Bluffs NOW Write PO Box 3325, Omaha, NE 68103-0325

Coe Alliance Education, activism & fun for GLBTQ and straight students, staff and people from the community. Coe College 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 For information contact: or Erica Geers, faculty advisor at 319-861-6025 Community Health Free Clinic 947 14th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 319-363-0416 Free Medical Services provided for the uninsured and underserved patients of Cedar Rapids, Marion and the surrounding areas in Eastern Iowa. CSPS Legion Arts Contemporary Arts Center 1103 3rd St. SE 319-364-1580 Eden United Church of Christ 351 8th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404 (319) 362-7805 Sunday School 9am - Worship 10:15am Faith UMC 1000 30th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, 52402 Sunday services at 11:00am. 319-363-8454 Foundation 2 Crisis Counseling 24-hour telephone crisis counseling. or 1540 2nd Ave. SE Cedar Rapids, IA 319-362-2174 or 800-332-4224 Linn County Public Health 501 13th NW Free confidential HIV testing, 319-892-6000 Linn County Stonewall Democrats 2nd Wednesday of every month, 6:30-8 p.m. The LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party, meets at March 9 we will be at the Kirkwood Hotel Lobby Cafe.After that we may go back to Blue Strawberry downtown, but we need time to check our options. For more info, contact linnstonewall@ Rapid AIDS Grant Wood Area Red Cross 3600 Rockwell Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, 52410 319-393-9579. People’s Church Unitarian Universalist A welcoming congregation. 600 Third Avenue SE 11am Sunday. 319-362-9827 PFLAG CR, Linn Co and Beyond Meets at Coffee Talk Cafe 37 Kirkwood Court SW Cedar Rapids, IowaContact Person: Diane Peterson Phone: 319-362-9827 6:30pm on the 4th Thursdays except months like November. (Email for alternate dates.) Stonewall Democrats of Linn County Contact Roy Porterfield, meet 2nd Wednesday of the Month, 6:30-8pm, For the February 9 meeting we will be at Coffee Talk Cafe on 37 Kirkwood Court Southwest, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. That’s next to Kirkwood Blvd just south of Hwy 30 on the left., 319-362-5281 Toxic Nightclub 616 Second Ave SE, Cedar Rapids Tri-ess, Iota Kappa Phi Chapter P.O. Box 8605, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52408 We are a transgendered organization supporting crossdressers, their families, and friends., 319-390-6376 E-mail: Georgia E-mail: Judy Unity Center of Cedar Rapids “A center of positive, practical Christianity.” 4980 Gordon NE, Cedar Rapids - (319) 393-5422

CLINTON Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clinton 309 30th Avenue North, Clinton, IA 52732 (563) 242-4972 - Sunday services at 10:30 (year-round) Where YOUR spiritual and ethical journey is welcome! Rev. Ruby Nancy, minister

Council Bluffs, Omaha (Ne)

DC’s Saloon 610 S. 14th St., Omaha, NE Open everyday 2pm-1am, western/levi/leather. 402-344-3103 Front Runners/Front Walkers Walking/jogging club. P.O. Box 4583, Omaha, NE 68104 402-496-3658. GLBT Rainbow Outreach Omaha Serving GLBT community in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Excellent message and info. Also office for Imperial court of Nebraska. 1719 Leavenworth St, Omaha, NE - 402-341-0330 Heartland Gay Rodeo Association (HGRA) (Midwest Division of the International Gay Rodeo Association) PO Box 3354, Omaha, NE 68103 - 402-203-4680 HGRA serves both Iowa and Nebraska Imperial Court of Nebraska P.O. Box 3772, Omaha, NE 68103 402-556-9907 Inclusive Life “Religious and Non religious care, services and ceremonies for all!”, 105 S. 49 Street, Suite E, Omaha, NE 68132, (402) 575-7006, http:// The Max 1417 Jackson at 15th, Omaha, NE 68102 6 bars in 1 - 402-346-4110 MCC Omaha 819 South 22nd, Omaha, NE 68103 Sun 9 & 11 am Wednesday “ReCharge” Worship, Wed 7pm 402-345-2563 PFLAG Omaha Mead Hall, First United Methodist Church 7020 Cass St. (Omaha) 2nd Thursday, 7, 6:30 Social time 402-291-6781 River City Mixed Chorus Gay/lesbian chorus PO Box 3267 Omaha, NE 68103 Call Stan Brown, marketing 402-341-7464. Romantix Council Bluffs (North) (Adult Emporium) 3216 1st Ave, Council Bluffs, IA  51501-3353 515-955-9756 Tri-ess Chapter, Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter Omaha, NE 68107 We are a transgendered organization supporting crossdressers, their families, and friends., 402-960-9696 E-mail: Judy Romantix Council Bluffs (South) (Romantix After Dark) 50662 189th St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503 712-366-1764 Youth Support Group for GLBT Youth 13-21, meets twice monthly. Omaha, NE - 402-291- 6781

Decorah Decorah Human Rights Commission Contact: City Clerk 400 Clairborne Dr, Decorah 563-382-3651 Meetings: First Tuesdays, 5:30pm Luther College Student Congregation Contact Office for College Ministry 700 College Dr, Decorah, IA 52101 563-387-1040. PFLAG Northeast IA (Waukon/Decorah) Beginning May 23rd: meeting at Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center, 119 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA (lower level), corner of Winnebago and Main Street Meetings: 4th Mondays, 7pm-9pm Call Jean @ 563-535-7680 PRIDE Luther College Diversity Center, 700 College Dr, Decorah, IA 52101 Contact Chris at 563-387-2145 or Melanie at 563-387-1273 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Meets alternating Sundays at 10:30am, Decorah Senior Center 806 River St Call Bill at 563-382-3458.

Des Moines

AIDS Interfaith Network 100 N. 62nd, Omaha, NE Call Br. Wm. Woeger 402-558-3100

AIDS Project of Central Iowa Free HIV testing, prevention supplies, care services, food pantry, information. 711 E. 2nd, Des Moines, IA 50309 515-284-0245

Broadway Joe’s 3400 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712-256-2243

Blazing Saddle 416 E 5th St, Des Moines, IA - 515-246-1299

ACCESSline Page 36 Buddies Corral 418 E 5th St, Des Moines, IA - 515-244-7140 The CENTER 1300 Locust The new LGBT and progressive place to be. Facebook: The CENTER & Equality Iowa 515-243-0313 Church of the Holy Spirit-MCC Pastor Pat Esperanza Sunday service 10:30am at the 1st Christian Church 2500 University, Des Moines 515-287-9787 Des Moines Diversity Chorus [A gay-friendly mixed chorus] Rehearsals on Mondays at 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Beaver Ave. at Franklin St., Des Moines. All are welcome, no auditions. PO Box 65312, West Des moines, IA 50265 Julie Murphy, Artistic Director, 515-255-3576, Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus 515-953-1540 4126 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines Family Practice Center Safe, supportive LGBT health care. 200 Army Post Road, Ste 26 515-953-7560 First Friday Breakfast Club Educational breakfast club for gay/bisexual men. Meets first Friday of each month. Contact Jonathan Wilson for meeting topic and place. 515-288-2500

Section 3: Community Raccoon River Resort Accommodations for men, women, or mixed in campgrounds, lodge, Teepees or Treehouses. Reservations: 515-996-2829 or 515-279-7312 Ritual Café On 13th between Grand and Locust. Gay owned great music, awesome food and coffee. 515-288-4872 - Romantix North Des Moines Iowa (Bachelor’s Library) 2020 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317 515-266-7992 Spouses of Lesbians & Gays Support group for spouses of gays and lesbians. 515-277-7754 St. John’s Lutheran Church 600 6th Ave “A Church for All People.” Services Sat 5pm, Sun 7:45, 8:45 & 11am. See web page for other services. 515-243-7691 - TransformationsIOWA Monthly meetings for the female to male, male to female, transgender community, cross dressers, gender queer, questioning, and their significant others. For location and info, email at or call 515-979-6959 Trinity United Methodist Church 1548 Eighth Street - 515-288-4056 Services Sundays at 10am,

First Unitarian Church 1800 Bell Avenue Services Sundays at 9:30 & 11am 515-244-8603,

Urbandale UCC An open & affirming congregation. 3530 70th St., Urbandale, IA 50322 515-276-0625,

The Gallery (adult store) 1000 Cherry St Des Moines, IA 50309-4227 (515) 244-2916 Open 24 Hours

Walnut Hills UMC Join us at 8:30 or 10:45am for Sunday worship. Sunday classes and group studies are at 9:30am. 515-270-9226 12321 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50323

The Garden 112 SE 4th Des Moines, IA 515-243-3965 Wed-Sun. 8pm-2am Gay & Lesbian AA & AI-Anonymous Mon. 7 pm; Tues. - Thurs. 6 pm; Sat. 5:30 pm at Drake Ministries in Ed. Bldg. 28th & University Gay and Lesbian Issues Committee 4211 Grand Avenue, Level-3 Des Moines, IA 50312 515-277-1117 Java Joe’s Gay friendly 214 4th St. , 515-288-5282, Lavender Victory Fund Financial assistance for women in need for medical emergencies. Le Boi Bar 508 Indianola Rd, Des Moines, IA Liberty Gifts 333 E. Grand Ave., Loft 105, Des Moines, IA Gay owned specialty clothing, jewelry, home decor. 515-508-0825 MINX Show Palace 1510 NE Broadway, Des Moines, IA 50313 Open m-th noon-2 a.m., f noon-3 am., sat 3 p.m.-e a.m. 515-266-2744 North Star Gay Rodeo Association of IGRA, Iowa Division of North Star or 612-82-RODEO Rainbow Union, Drake University Ray Perry Law Firm 515-279-2244 Free Initial Consultation PFLAG Des Moines 515-243-0313, 1300 Locust , Des Moines, IA 50312 Plymouth Congregational UCC Church and the Plymouth GLBT Community 4126 Ingersoll Ave. 515-255-3149 Services at 9am & I lam Sunday. Polk County Health Department Free STD, HIV, and Hepatitis B & C testing. HIV. Rapid testing also offered. 1907 Carpenter, Des Moines, IA 515-286-3798. Pride Alliance, AIB College of Business Gay and straight students celebrating diversity Contact: Mike Smith, Advisor Pride Bowling League for GLBT & Supporters Every Wednesday, 7 PM, Air Lanes Bowling Center 4200 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 503212389. Email or 515-447-2977.

Grinnell Saints Ephrem & Macrina Orthodox Mission. Welcoming worship in the Eastern Christian liturgical tradition. Sunday services at 10am. (Affiliated with the OrthodoxCatholic Church of America.) Divine Liturgy is served Sundays during the College academic year 1:30 p.m., Herrick Chapel, Grinnell College Campus 1226 Broad Street, Grinnell, IA 641-236-0936 Stonewall Resource Center Open 4:30pm to 11:30pm, Sun through Thurs and by Appointment. Grinnell College 1210 Park Street PO Box B-1, Grinnell, IA, 50112 641-269-3327

INDIANOLA Crossroads United Church of Christ (UCC) An Open & affirming congregation. Services: Sunday 10:30am, Summer worship: June, July, Aug, @ 9:30 am, worshiping in the Lounge at Smith Chapel, Simpson College, corner of Buxton and Clinton. Mailing address: P.O. Box 811, Indianola, IA 50125 515-961-9370.

Iowa City AA (GLBT) 319-338-9111 Meetings Sundays 5 - 6pm at First Baptist Church, 500 North Clinton Street. For more info, call IC Intergroup Answering Service, Congregational Church UCC An Open and Affirming Congregation Sunday Worship 10:15 a.m. 30 N. Clinton St. (across from Ul Pentacrest) 319-337-4301 - Counseling Clinic 319-354-6238 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sensitive and supportive counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups. Sliding Fee. 505 E Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52240 Counseling and Health Center 319-337-1679 Client-centered therapy. Les-Bi-Gay-Trans always welcome. 616 Bloomington St, Iowa City, IA

Westminster Presbyterian Church 4114 Allison Ave - Sunday services 8:45 and 11am. Of note is their GAY-LESBIAN-STRAIGHT AFFIRMATION GROUP, GLSA 515-274-1534

Crisis Center 319-351-0140 1121 Gilbert Court, Iowa City, 52240

Women’s Culture Collective (WCC) A lesbian social group. Des Moines, IA -

Faith United Church of Christ 1609 De Forest Street, Iowa City, IA Services Sundays at 9:30am 319-338-5238

Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure Open daily. Gay-friendly 2723 Ingersoll, Des Moines, IA 515-244-7694

Dubuque Adult Warehouse 975 Jackson St., Dubuque, IA 563-588-9184. Dubuque Friends Worship Group (Quakers) Join us at an unprogrammed worship service on Sunday at 10am. Welcoming and Affirming St. Mark’s Community Center 1201 White Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 563-582-9388 PFLAG Dubuque/Tri-State Carnegie Stout Library 3rd Floor Conference Room 360 W. 11th St. 3rd Tuesday, 7pm 563-581-4606 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque 1699 Iowa St., Dubuque, IA “The uncommon denomination.” general services at 10am. 563-583-9910

ELKADER Bethany Church (ELCA) 307 3rd St NE, Elkader IA 52043 Pastor Jim Klosterboer 563-245-1856 Inclusive. Welcoming. Discover the Difference. Bethany is a Reconciling in Christ congregation of LC/NA Schera’s Restaurant and Bar 107 S Main St, Elkader, IA 52043 563-245-1992 E-mail: Fine dining featuring Algerian & American Cuisine. Voted Best Mediterranean Restaurant in Eastern Iowa on KCRG TV-9’s A*List.

Fort Dodge Romantix Fort Dodge (Mini Cinema) Sun-Thu 10am-12am, Fri & Sat 10am-2am 515-955-9756 15 N. 5th St, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-3801

Emma Goldman Clinic 227 N. Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52245 319-337-2111or 1-800-848-7684.

GLBTAU-U of lA Student support system and resource center, info, activism, events, and other community involvements. 203 IMU, University of IA Iowa City, IA 52242-1317 319-335-3251 (voice mail) Hope United Methodist Church Worship Service at 9:30am. 2929 E. Court St., Iowa City, IA Contact Rev. Sherry Lohman. 319-338-9865 Human Rights Commission (City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission) 319-356-5022; 391-356-5015; 319-356-5014 Fax 319-887-6213 ICARE (Iowa Center for AIDS Resources & Education) Practical & emotional support, youth programs, information, referrals and support groups. 3211 E 1st Iowa City, IA 52240-4703 319-338-2135 Iowa City Free Medical Clinic Free & strictly confidential HIV Testing. 2440 Towncrest Dr Iowa City, Call for appointment 319-337-4459 Iowa City NOW PO Box 2944, Iowa City, IA 52244 for information & meeting times/places Iowa Women’s Music Festival P.O. Box 3411, Iowa City, IA 52244 319-335-1486 Men Supporting Men 319-356-6038, Ext 2 HIV prevention program exploring issues that gay/bisexual men deal with on a daily basis. Discussion Groups, Educational Series, Safer Sex Workshops, Book Club. Contact Andy Weigel, email: New Song Episcopal Church 912 20th Ave, Coralville, IA Sunday services at 10am. Rev. Elizabeth Coulter, Pastor Rev. John Harper, Associate. 319-351-3577 Pride Committee WRAC 130 N. Madison, Iowa City, IA 52242 Bridget Malone - 319-338-0512 Charles Howes - 319-335-1486. Romantix Iowa City (Pleasure Palace I) 315 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240-4722 319-351-9444


Studio 13 13 S. Linn St. (in the Alley) Iowa City, IA Open 7pm ‘til 2am, daily 319-338-7145

MCC Quad Cities - Svcs Sun 11am, Bible study Wed 7pm 563-324-8281 3019 N Harrison, Davenport, IA 52803

U of I Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Staff & Faculty Association c/o WRAC, 130 N Madison, Iowa City, IA 52242, 19-335-1486

Men’s Coming Out/Being Out Group Meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 7pm. 309-786-2580

Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City Inclusive and free religious community nurturing intellectual and spiritual growth and fostering ethical and social responsibility. 10 S. Gilbert, Iowa City, IA Sunday services: 9:30am & 11:15am. 319-337-3443

PFLAG Quad Cities 563-285-4173 Eldridge United Methodist Church 604 S.2nd St., Eldridge 1st Monday, 6:30 pm

United Action for Youth (UAY) A GLBTQA youth group providing support and counseling for teenagers and young adults processing sexual identity issues. Meets Mondays 7-9pm at UAY 410 Iowa Ave. Iowa City, IA 319-338-7518 or Teen Line, 319-338-0559. The Ursine Group Bear Events in the Midwest. PO Box 1143, Iowa City, IA 52244-1143 319-338-5810 Vortex Gifts 211 E. Washington, downtown Iowa City 319-337-3434 Women’s Resource Action Center (WRAC) Leads & collaborates on projects that serve U of l and the greater community, offers social & support services, including LGBT Coming Out Group. University of Iowa 130 N Madison, Iowa City, IA 52242 319-335-1486

Marshalltown Adult Odyssey (Adult Video Store) 907 Iowa Ave E - 641-752-6550 Domestic Violence Alternatives/ Sexual Assault Center, Inc., 132 W Main St. 24 hour Crisis Line: 641-753-3513 or (instate only) 800-779-3512

MASON CITY Cerro Gordo County Dept. of Public Health 22 N. Georgia Ave, Ste 300 Mason City, IA 50401. Free confidential AIDS testing. 641-421-9321 PFLAG North Iowa Chapter 641-583-2848,, Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe @ 7 p.m. Wed.

Mount Vernon Alliance Cornell College 810 Commons Cir # 2035

Pella Common Ground (Central College) Support group for GLBT students and allies. Contact: Brandyn Woodard, Director of Intercultural Life 641-628-5134

Quad Cities AIDS Project Quad Cities Info, education & support. Davenport, IA 52804, 319-762-LIFE Augie’s Tap 313 20th St, Rock Island (IL) Noon - 3am daily. 309-788-7389 Black Hawk College Unity Alliance Serving GLBT community at Black Hawk College. 6600 34th Ave, Rock Island, IL 309-716-0542. Connections Nightclub 563-322-1121 822 W 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52802 DeLaCerda House 309-786-7386 Provides housing & supportive services, advocacy and referrals for people living with HIV/ AIDS. P.O. Box 4551, Rock Island, Il. 61201 Good Samaritan Free Clinic 602 35th Avenue Moline, IL 309-797-4688 - Provides free primary medical care to patients age 16-64 who are working but have no medical insurance. Patients are seen by volunteer physicians, nurss practicioners, and physician assistants. The Hole-In-The-Wall 309-289-2375 A Private Membership Men’s Club Located 3 miles east of Galesburg, IL just north of I-74 at Exit 51 Holy Spirit Catholic Faith Community Meets one Sunday per month for Mass at 6:30pm at MCC-QC 3019 N. Harrison St, Davenport, IA Mailing: PO Box 192 East Moline, IL 61244 For more info, call 309-278-3359 Mary’s On 2nd 563-884-8014 832 W. 2nd St. Davenport, IA

Prism (Augustana College) 309-794-7406 Augustana Gay-Straight Alliance Augustana Library 639 38th St, Rock Island, IL Contact Tom Bengston Quad Citians Affirming Diversity (QCAD) Social & support groups for lesbian, bi, and gay teens, adults, friends & families; newsletter. 309-786-2580 - Community Center located at 1608 2nd Ave, Rock Island. Quad Cities Pride Chorus At the MCC Church in D’port, 7pm Wed. Call Don at 563-324-0215 Rainbow Gifts 309-764-0559 T.R. Video Adult books & video 3727 Hickory Grove Rd, Davenport, IA 563-386-7914 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities, Rev Jay Wolin Sunday Service 11am 3707 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807 563-359-0816 Venus News (Adult) 902 W 3rd St, Davenport, IA 563-322-7576

Red Oak First Congregational United Church of Christ 608 E Reed St, Red Oak, IA 51566 (712) 623-2794 Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, Pastor Open and affirming.

SHENANDOAH PFLAG Shenandoah 712-899-2743

Sioux City Am. Business & Professional Guild. Gay Businessmen. Meets last Sat. of the month; ABPG P. O. BOX 72, Sioux City, 51102 Grace United Methodist Church 1735 Morningside Avenue 712-276-3452. Jones Street Station (Bar) 712-258-6922 412 Jones St. Nightly 6:00pm to 2:00am. Mayflower Congregational Church. 1407 West 18th Street Call 712-258-8278. Morningside College Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Alliance 712-274-5208 Contact Professor Gail Dooley, Advisor Morningside College GSA 1501 Morningside Ave. Sioux City, IA 51106-1717 PFLAG Siouxland PO Box 1311, Sioux City, IA 51102 Romantix Sioux City 712-277-8566 (Adult Emporium) 511 Pearl St, Sioux City, IA 51101-1217 St. Thomas Episcopal Church Service Sun 10:30am 406 12th St, Waverly, IA Rev Mary Christopher 712-258-0141 Western Iowa Tech. GSA for info. Zaner’s Bar 712-277-9575 3103 N Hwy 75, Sioux City, IA 51105 Monthly drag shows & events; hometown bar for Imperial Court of Iowa’s Western Chapter


Cedar Valley Episcopal Campus Ministry. 717 W. Bremer, (St. Andrew’s Episcopal) Waverly, IA 319-415-5747 Gay, Lesbian Bisexual Student Alliance Wartburg College, Waverly, IA 50677 Contact Susan Vallem 319-352-8250 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 717 W. Bremer We welcome all to worship with us on Sunday at 10:30am. Bible discussion Wed. 6:45pm Rev. Maureen Doherty, Pastor 319-352-1489


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NPR’s Foxification of Ex-Gay Rhetoric by Rev. Irene Monroe If it were Fox News I wouldn’t have flinched. But it was National Public Radio. To my surprise, I didn’t know—especially in 2011—my sexual orientation was still up for debate. But on Aug. 1 on the “Morning Edition” of National Public Radio (NPR), it was. And the topic on the show that morning was “Can Therapy Help Change Sexual Orientation?”  “Today in Your Health, a controversy that is both political and personal. Conversion therapy is psychotherapy which aims to help gay men and women become straight. It’s hardly new, but it’s in the news again because the mental health clinic run by the husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann reportedly provides such therapy,” Renee Montagne, host of “Morning Edition” stated. My head spins at the thought of how Christian counseling services, like Dr. Marcus Bachmann’s, still get so much air time, especially, in spite of the voluminous information disputing the pseudo-science of “ex-gay” conversion therapies.  Just three years ago, the American Psychological Association put out an official position paper stating, “The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.”  The negative health outcomes, both emotional and psychological, these “conversion” programs exact are untold and include depression, anxiety, self-destructive behav-

ior, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of intimacy, loss of faith and spirituality, and the reinforcement of internalized homophobia and self-hatred, to name a few. “It took really hard work to get my brain back and to recover from the emotional and psychological damage that I had experienced under that care,” Peterson Toscano, a theatrical performance activist, stated on NPR. Toscano spent 17 years in conversion therapies and faith-based ex-gay programs. Today he’s the co-founder of “Beyond Ex-Gay,” (, an online community to help ex-gay survivors. However, there are still groups, usually motivated by religion-based homophobic therapies and ministries like Bachman’s, who are hell-bent on the idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans can and should be made straight.  These groups proselytize ex-gay rhetoric as both their Christian and patriotic duty.  For example, “Pray the Gay Away?,” an episode of the television series “Our America with Lisa Ling,” that aired on “OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network “on March 8 of this year, Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, an ex-gay organization, spoke about his sure-fire remedy for us LGBTQ “prodigal” children, and how his organization can help us reconcile our faith, mend our sinful lives ,and finally walk away from our supposedly wrong-headed “lifestyle” choice. There are hordes of supposedly ex-gay

“converts” who’ll be poster children for these conversion therapies. But truth be told, their conversions from being “homosexual” to “heterosexual” don’t “cure” their homosexual predilections, but rather these therapies attempt to put LGBTQ people on the road to outwardly live a straight life. “It meant probably walking away from my religion, not having the wife and children of my future that I would expect, lots of shame and conflict with family and others. It was just devastating to contemplate,” Rich Wyler, who grew up in a Christian conservative family, stated on NPR. But, the truth is that these “ex-gay” reparative therapies have a failure rate of 90 percent, and several “ex-gay” groups over the years have had to shut down when their leaders finally dealt with the reality of their own homosexuality. Case in point: John Paulk, “ex-gay” poster boy, who appeared in HRC’s 2000 photo album with a one-word caption: “Gotcha!” Wayne Besen, then the associate director of communications of the Human Rights Campaign, captured that Kodak moment as he snapped a picture of the then-37-year-old Paulk in a Washington D.C. gay bar. In the moment, pandemonium broke out in the bar, as the series of flashes from Besen’s camera were assumed by some to be those of a homophobe harassing a patron. But as Paulk hunched down trying to conceal his face, he learned that he could neither run nor hide. Paulk says he went into the bar just to use the bathroom—an unlikely story, as 40

Rev Irene Monroe minutes after entering the bar, he was still there, keeping company with both a drink and a fellow patron. Paulk, a former drag queen known as Candi and a one-time first runner-up in the Miss Ingenue pageant, is presently married to a self-proclaimed former lesbian who also underwent counseling in an “ex-gay” ministry run by Exodus International. Today, they both don the drag of being heterosexually married. They prominently graced the cover of Newsweek in August 1998, appeared on “60 Minutes” and Oprah, and wrote the book that gave Focus on the Family its name for its “ex-gay” conferences:  Love Won Out, a

TTNPR continued page 38

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MINOR DETAILS In fact, white evangelicals are the group most likely to say that they don’t know what Michele Bachmann’s beliefs are even though she attends a Baptist church. 51 percent did not know and only 35 percent said she had beliefs similar to them. In not identifying the President as a Christian, there’s another element. It’s soothing to those in the religious and political right-wing—who just don’t like Obama for a variety of other reasons—to cling to the view that he’s not really a Christian, even if they don’t believe he’s a Muslim. To believe that his more compassionate approach to the poor and needy comes out of sayings of Jesus that the President actually quotes—“As you do to the least of these, you do to me.”—is to have to confront the idea that right-wing Republican let-them-eat-cake, destroy-the-safetynet-for-the-most-vulnerable policies could possibly be non-Christian. That would be threatening. So, use religion to remove the threat. Justify your stand by refusing to believe Obama could be a Christian. But then believe that those who are in agreement with your political stands must be very religious—that is, very religious in a right-wing Christian way. Republicans (70 percent) are more likely than Democrats (51 percent) to say strong religious beliefs are important, with those who identify with the Tea Party more likely to say it is “very” important. And put your faith in what politicians tell you about the strength of their religious beliefs—as if they aren’t salesmen selling a product—because you have to do so. There would be no easy comfort in having to do the research into the candidates, their funders, and backgrounds, and thereby be high-information voters. Better to believe God approves of these politicians, and that’s enough for me. Amen. And that’s the way religion most often gets used in politics: to sell its products.

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NPR memoir depicting the Paulks’ flight from gayhood. “Conversion” therapies are a tool used by right-wing religious organizations to raise money and advocate against LGBTQ civil rights. And with this money these organizations are able to produce politically and religiously Biased Agenda-Driven (aptly abbreviated as “B.A.D.”) science like “reparative therapies,” attempting to justify them by presenting LGBTQ people as genetically flawed—a charge eerily reminiscent of the scientific racism and sexism that once undergirded treatment of blacks and women morally inferior due to supposed genetic flaws. Fox News is no friend to the LGBTQ community. But now I’m wondering about NPR.

Section 3: Community SScontinued from page 4

IWMF stage presence. Bloom has been featured in Performing Songwriter Magazine, has had songs licensed for use in 21 shows on major TV networks, MTV, E! and Oxygen, completed over 30 national/international tours and has been added to the playlists of over 40 major and college radio stations throughout the U.S. and Western Europe. Listen to Bloom’s high-energy music at Prairie Voices Productions was lucky to snag the unique talents of Lindsay Mac and the Boom Booms for the 2011 IWMF. Mac plays the cello like no other musician out there, and she hangs her hat on her one-of-a-kind sound. Poppy and quirky, Mac’s music is experimental and unconventional, but firsttime listeners will find it unquestionably accessible, memorable and simply delightful.   And Mac has Iowa ties. Her bio boasts that she “was born in Iowa to bohemian, party-hungry parents who likely fed her pork tenderloin and Midwest microbrews for breakfast.” Although Iowa is still in her blood, she’s traveled far and wide over her formative years to create a style all her own with influences too varied to put a finger on.   Mac was classically trained starting at the age of six in church choir and had formal training in piano and cello.  After attending Interlochen Center for the Arts, Mac enrolled in Dartmouth College to study medicine. She “studied abroad” in London at the Royal College of Music and then briefly left Dartmouth to study at The San Francisco Conservatory. After graduating from Dartmouth, Mac started experimenting with her music and enrolled in Berklee College of Music. Shortly thereafter, she began touring full-time, bringing her to the IWMF. Experience Lindsay Mac at   If one cellist is not enough, IWMF features yet another, albeit a musician of a completely different stripe. Jami Sieber, an electric cellist, vocalist and composer, creates music that is contemporary, timeless, lush, and powerfully evocative. Her style of performance has been recognized internationally as an innovative journey from classical to multi-dimensional new age. Sieber employs electronics and looping techniques to create sounds never before associated with the cello. Her lifelong commitment to the environment, social justice, and the healing arts is at the heart of her music, reflecting a deep dedication to the arts as a medium of exploration and awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings. In the 28 years since she began performing professionally, Sieber has traveled a musical path from classical to folk, to rock and pop, being equally adept at performing a soaring solo show, backing up iconic folk artists such as Ferron, or playing popular rock in a band. With her band “Rumors of the Big Wave”, she garnered the coveted Northwest Area Music Association (NAMA) Award for Best Rock Instrumentalist. Since launching her solo career, Sieber has entered into dynamic collaborations with an extraordinary spectrum of dancers, actors, poets, visual artists, improvisers, vocalists, and instrumentalists that span the globe. Her compositions have been used for film (Queen of the Sun, Climb Against the Odds, Jews and Buddhism, Hope is the Thing with Feathers), theatre (Orpheus, TS Crossing) and a popular video game (Braid). This

sometimes ethereal, sometimes hard-edged musician has earned rave reviews throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, having been an invited guest artist in China, Russia, the Balkans, Italy, France, and Thailand. Sieber will be joined during her set by Iowa violinist Natalie Brown, a beloved musician in her own right. Explore Audiences in Iowa and a growing fan base across the nation are no strangers to the music and artistry of Iowa City’s own Pieta Brown. Having followed Brown for years, local audiences may want to take another, closer look to see what she’s becoming on the national scene, which is nothing short of being called “one of the best modern songwriters” (Sonic Boomers) and “a genuine talent” (iTunes). After releasing the critically acclaimed album Remember the Sun (2007), Brown caught the attention of legendary producer Don Was (Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt) and teamed up with him to make Shimmer (2009), an EP of stripped-down, just-formed original songs, hailed as “particularly poignant” (Boston Globe) that charted on Americana and Folk radio. Brown quickly followed Shimmer with the full-length album, One and All (2010), delivering hypnotic melodies and raw, soul-tinged grooves, with her signature vocals and an electrifying band, led by right-hand man Bo Ramsey. Upon the release of One and All, Brown got the call to join Mark Knopfler’s North American tour, following that with a string of dates with John Prine, a full orchestral show with Brandi Carlile, and her own headlining tour of Australia. As one of Brown’s own songwriting heroes, Iris Dement, put it, Brown is “one of the best poets I’ve heard in a long damn time.”   Even her own father, beloved folk icon, Greg Brown, recorded one of her songs for his 2011 album release. To see what all the buzz is about, go to   The final act of the outdoor portion of the 2011 IWMF is not a time to “settle in,” not with the rhythms and sounds of world-beat NYC band ZapOte, led by multi-instrumentalist Dawn Drake, the Slovenian-American percussionist/bassist/singer/songwriter/ composer who manages to wear several hats while setting the scene with her own brand of cool. Taking its name from a luscious fruit in Cuba, “ZapOte” plays a diverse fusion of original funk, house, Latin, Afro-beat, samba, Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz. Dawn Drake’s poetic lyrics spread messages of universal consciousness, delivered with heartfelt vocals, and are joined with the irresistible grooves of Latin percussion, funky bass, swinging horn lines and virtuosic improvisation from a full six-member band.   Drake studied and played congas and batá in Cuba, and samba percussion in Brazil, where she played in Rio de Janiero’s Carnaval. She has shared the stage with Me’shell N’degeocello, Cyro Baptista, Trey Anastasio, Mo’Guajiro, Los Jovenes del Barrio, Kokolo, Jorge Alabê and members of Antibalas. She has appeared on The CBS Early Show, and Telemundo TV, PBS, WBAI, and played stages such as Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room, Radio City Music Hall, The Walker Art Center, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Formed in 2005, ZapOte has played in prestigious venues in and around New York City, and the band currently holds a residency at L’Orange Bleue and BOOM, both

SEPTEMBER 2011 in Soho, NYC. Find more on Dawn Drake and ZapOte on the Web at Following Dawn Drake’s performance, the festival takes a short dinner break and later continues starting at 8 p.m. indoors at The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., in downtown Iowa City, for the much-anticipated headline performance by the legendary Janis Ian with opening act Natalia Zukerman.  With diverse influences that include folk, jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, country and even classical, Natalia Zukerman has been described by public radio as “an example of the finest Americana.” She combines her unique slide guitar playing style with seductive vocals, a painter’s observing eye, unapologetic writing, and sharp wit. Zukerman’s music is as riddled with urban restlessness as it is grounded in rootsy warmth – a welcome contradiction for the discerning music lovers of today. Get a taste of Zukerman at   Ask any student of songwriting, and Janis Ian, the closing act of the 2011 IWMF, will be counted among the greatest songwriters in the world. Ian has penned “Jesse,” a song recorded by so many others that few remember Ian wrote it; “Stars,” possibly the best song ever written about the life of a performer, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher; and the seminal “At Seventeen”, a song that brought her five Grammy nominations (the most any solo female artist had ever garnered) in 1975, and which is now reaching its third generation of listeners. Ian is a formidable talent, a force of nature. Ella Fitzgerald once called her “The best young singer in America.” Get reacquainted with this great at   To support the ongoing work of the IWMF in 2011, Janis Ian and her record company Rude Girl Records have donated merchandise to Prairie Voices Productions for discounted sale to fans who wish to get a preview of her music before September 10. Also part of the donation are various autographed CDs and memorabilia that will be auctioned off at the festival on Saturday, September 10 in Upper City Park. All proceeds from Ian’s donation will go to support the work of Prairie Voices Productions and help fund future years of the Iowa Women’s Music Festival. To purchase Janis Ian CDs in advance, call Laurie at 319-335-1486. The Iowa Women’s Music Festival is one of the longest continuously running festivals featuring women performers in the country. Prairie Voices Productions has worked to bring some exceptional music to Iowa City over the years, including Joan Baez, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Laura Love, Ruthie Foster, Michelle Shocked, Carolyn Wonderland, and last year’s headliner, The Refugees.   The mission of Prairie Voices Productions (PVP), the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that produces the IWMF, is to support and promote the work of women artists and musicians through accessible events for the community. PVP also strives to provide women diverse volunteer skill-building experiences in planning, organizing, producing, and implementing major public events such as the music festival. The festival is supported by Toyota/ Scion of Iowa City, Rockwell Collins, Rude Girl Records, Iowa Shares, the Women’s Resource and Action Center of the University of Iowa, and many other generous community businesses and individuals, and it is held in production partnership with The Englert Theatre. To become a sponsor, please call Laurie at 319-335-1486.


Section 3: Community

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ACCESSline, Iowa's LGBT+ Newspaper, September 2011 Issue, Volume 25 No 9  
ACCESSline, Iowa's LGBT+ Newspaper, September 2011 Issue, Volume 25 No 9  

ACCESSlineIOWA - Iowa’s LGBT+ Newspaper. John Waters Interview! Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and HIV+ news for Des Moines, Cedar Rapids,...