Let them (not) eat cake The ACCESSline endorses…by Arthur Breur It was my sincere wish, as editor-in-chief of The ACCESSline, that the paper would be able to endorse someone as Republican presidential candidate prior to our state’s caucus in early January. However, every major Republican candidate who has been at the top of the polls (and at this point, that has been just about every one of them) has intentionally thrown the LGBT community under the bus, pandering to America’s and Iowa’s far-right fundamentalist GOP base. In Iowa, this base is far to the right of the general electorate. This has caused some to question the
TTENDORSEMENT continued page 25
A couple preparing for their 2012 wedding contacted Victoria Childress in Des Moines. However, when the couple arrived for the cake tasting, the baker discovered that the happy couple were both women. Her comment to them then was, “I’ll tell you I’m a Christian, and I do have convictions. I’m sorry to tell you, but I’m not going to be able to do your cake.” She later spoke to KCCI and claimed she was not discriminating: “I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it’s not to discriminate against them. It’s not so much to do with them, it’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for.” The baker has become the latest example by anti-equality groups of supposed attacks on religious freedom. The Family
TTCAKE continued page 25
Being an Out Gay Man in Steve King Country by Michael Thompson
My husband, Allen, answered the phone. The caller said they wanted me to be the keynote speaker for the 25th anniversary of the Clarinda Foundation. I was annoyed. “Damn it,” I grumbled, “I left that town in 2003. They can get someone who still lives there for their program!” Yes, I had been a founding member and Foundation president for 16 years, but I had since moved on and they could too.
What was behind my negative feelings? Clarinda was the Southwest Iowa town in which I had lived for 24 years as a family man, bank executive, and community leader. “Closeted gay man” was not on my resume. People in small towns can be gossipy and ultra conservative. Keep in mind this is Steve King country. How would I, a gay man, married to a man, be received? Probably there would an “Iowa nice” welcome for us at best. Most of the people who would attend probably had not ever known that they knew a gay person, let alone a same-sex married couple. We had symphony tickets the same night as the Clarinda event, so I was able to give my regrets, which were politely accepted. I had dodged the bullet. “You really should have agreed to keynote this event,” Allen admonished. “The people there sincerely care for you.” “Yeah, right,” I said. A few days later the Foundation’s executive director phoned again. “We want Michael Thompson for our keynote speaker and we’re willing to move the event to a time that works for you,” he implored. I reluctantly agreed to speak, knowing this was way out of my comfort zone, but it was the right thing to do. I had relocated from Southwest Iowa to Des Moines eight years ago with the corporate staff of Bank Iowa. The move made it possible for me to meet other gay men. My first experience of being out in a safe environment was at a First Friday Breakfast Club meeting, and it proved to be a real confidence builder. Allen and I met at Plymouth Church just a month after I arrived in Des Moines. Our first date became the proverbial one night stand that went bad. We bought a home together in 2004 and life transitioned from being pretty good to being pretty fantastic, once I could align my lifestyle with my gay inner core. I was out to my family and new friends in Des Moines, but
TTM THOMPSON continued page 5
TTInterview on page 11
Cyndi Shines What’s Inside: Section 1: News & Politics
Advertising rates Letter to the Editor Iowa News Possible Tax Deduction by Jason Dinesen The New Des Moines Pride Center Let No One Put Asunder by Warren J. Blumenfeld Queer Politics for the Birds by Rev. Irene Monroe Minor Details:Yes “We” Can by Bob Minor Should vs. Did by Jonathan Wilson Creep of the Week
Section 2: Fun Guide
Entertainment Picks for December Cyndi Shines By Chris Azzopardi The Outfield Deep Inside Hollywood Cocktail Chatter Recurring Events, Statewide Hear Me Out (Music Reviews) Wired That Way by Rachel Eliason The Gay Wedding Planner Out of Town Partying Hard: Bah Humbug by Joshua Dagon Book Worm Sez: “The Lost Women of Lost Lake” Comics and Crossword Puzzle
Section 3: Community
3 3 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 8
11 11 13 13 14 15 15 16 18 23 25 26 26-27
First Friday Breakfast Club: Jeff Angelo by Bruce Carr 29 Greater Omaha GLBT Network 29 One Iowa Public Forums 29 One Iowa Protects Our Rights 29 Remarkables by Jonathan Wilson 30 “Glee is so Gay” by Heidi Cullinan 30 Inside Out: Overkill by Ellen Krug 31 Twenty Questions, a 10-part transgender series 32 Holiday Interests of a Different Kind by Tony E. Hansen 33 Business Directory 35-36 Holiday Cookie Swap by Arthur Breur 37
ACCESSline Page 2
Section 1: News & Politics
Section 1: News & Politics
Letter to the Editor
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Lily Tomlin & Iowa Phone Companies
Dear Editor, I just picked up your November 2011 issue (Volume 25 No. 11) at the UNI library. While I enjoyed the article about Lily Tomlin, a couple of the details about the phone company were inaccurate. There were (and still are) many small phone companies not connected to AT&T. Here is a list of those still just in Iowa: www.yourclosestconnection.com/ itc_list.asp The comparison between AT&T before 1984 (when the government broke it into six regional companies and put long distance separate, etc.) and the problems with Wall Street today are not fair. AT&T was highly regulated. For example, dividends were not allowed higher than 10% and Western Electric, a division of AT&T, was not allowed to get patents on inventions (the reason electronics took off so fast after they invented transistors). Absence of patents did not stop the inventions from coming, contrary to what today’s conservatives (Cons for short) would like to have us believe if entrepreneurs didn’t make tremendous profits from their work! (Thomas Jefferson invented a better plow too, but declined to patent it so more people could benefit from it sooner.) Many don’t understand that the so-called Baby Bells remained regulated more than the competition after the breakup of AT&T. They are required to hold public input meetings before rate changes and are required to publish the rates ahead of time (even when rates are
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lowered) giving the competition an unfair advantage. (The competition can undercut a penny without notice.) I’ve never met anyone who didn’t enjoy Lily Tomlin’s poking fun at operators, however, including the telephone operators I’ve worked with! Sincerely, Ruth Walker Cedar Falls, IA
PFLAG National Convention Recently my husband and I attended the PFLAG national convention. PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a grassroots organization whose mission includes education, advocacy and support. PFLAG’s mission extends to all GLBTq (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and questioning). We have two sons who we love well and deeply. One is straight and one is gay. Many families aren’t prepared for the words; “I’m gay,” from any loved one who comes out. Today we may not be prepared to find out indirectly, whether from a social networking site, a school counselor, or a neighbor, that their family member may be GLBTq. Your first reaction may have been, “How will I handle this?” For others, the reaction may sound more like, “Now that I know, what I can do to support my loved one?” Whatever your reaction, PFLAG is here to provide the information you need to understand your reaction to this news, to understand your child’s or family
member’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and to respond in a way that is supportive with unconditional love. Now that you know (or even think) your loved one is GLBTq there are three things to remember: Every reaction is different and valid; This is a process; You are not alone. If you are LGBT know that you are loved by PFLAG and not alone. Our next support meeting is Thursday December 1, 7pm, at Coffee Talk Café. In 2012 we resume our normal meeting date of the 4th Thursday.
Diane & Andy Peterson PFLAG Cedar Rapids
Moving Equality Forward in Linn County and Beyond
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Iowa democrats retain senate majority With the November 8, 2011 victory of democrat Liz Mathis over republican Cindy Golding in Iowa’s Senate District 18, Iowa democrats will retain control of the Iowa senate. The District 18 race was an opportunity for Iowa republicans to erase their 24-to26-seat minority in the senate and thus to control both houses of legislature as well as the position of governor. The seat became open when Governor Terry Branstad offered Senator Swati Dandeka a position on the Iowa Utilities Board. The move was described by some as a “power grab” by Branstad The race was also seen by some as a referendum on marriage equality in Iowa. The out-of-state anti-gay “National Organization for Marriage” joined Iowa’s own anti-gay “FAMiLY Leader” and spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads and flyers attacking Mathis and giving threatening messages about the future should Golding not be elected. One mailer included a wildly tilting scale and the dramatic text, “The Future of Iowa Hangs in the Balance; The Future of Marriage Hangs in the Balance; The Future of Iowa Families in the Balance [sic].” Of the flyers, Todd Dorman of The Cedar Rapids Gazette’s “24 hour dorman” blog said: “…if you’re NOM and Vander Plaats, sitting on a mountain of cash and righteous indignation, you might as well inflict some of it on Senate District 18, the only game around.”
FAMiLY Leader hosts “Family” forum
Six republican presidential candidates— Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum—took part in the “Thanksgiving Family Forum” on Saturday November 19, 2011. The event was organized and sponsored by Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage, and Iowa’s FAMiLY Leader. The latter two organizations exist primarily to oppose marriage equality for same-sex couples. Of the forum, Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal” blog wrote: “Despite—or more likely, because of—the radicals behind the forum, six GOP presidential hopefuls showed up to pander to the religious right voters, each vowing to be more pious than their rivals. The only two candidates who weren’t there were Mitt
Section 1: News & Politics Romney, who declined an invitation, and Jon Huntsman, who wasn’t invited at all.” During the event, Michelle Bachmann stated that churches should keep their tax-exempt status, even if they involve themselves in political campaigns. “I think probably the greatest amount of censorship in our country today is in the pulpits of our churches because we have a law that limits pastors on what they can say about politics in the pulpit,” she said. “That’s not the American way.” In response to a question about the US Supreme Court overruling the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act Herman Cain stated that he would “lead the charge to overturn the Supreme Court if they overturned DOMA.” [To overturn the US Supreme Court legally would require passing a new constitutional amendment—a process which requires approval by two-thirds majorities in both the US House and Senate, and then approval by 38 states (three-quarters of the 50 US States).] Ron Paul was the only candidate at the forum to state that he was against the Federal Marriage Amendment, though he expressed his support for the Defense of Marriage Act. Probably the most notable quote of the night was not on the subject of same-sex marriage, but Occupy Wall Street, when Newt Gingrich told Occupy protesters they should “Go get a job, right after you take a bath.”
bit.ly/slS9Lb) that marriage equality for same-sex couples would lead to people marrying objects, such as the Eiffel Tower. She was an outspoken advocate for the ouster of three of Iowa’s Supreme Court Justices in the 2010 election, due to the justices’ participation in the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous 2009 decision that marriage equality was required by the promise of Equal Protection in Iowa’s constitution. Her speech on August 1, 2010 included the following quote: “This is not simply a party issue. It’s a Biblical issue. Now I expect somebody like SNL will come along and make fun. We’ll see the Church Lady revived. That’s okay. I’d rather have man mad at me than be a stench in the nostrils of the God almighty.”
commingling among attracteds” (i.e., from showering with homosexuals). The “marriage vow” also includes the phrase “Respect for the marital bonds of others,” though this clause obviously does not apply to respecting the marriages of same-sex couples. Governor Perry’s poll numbers have dropped to around 10% from his 30% high in September 2011.
Teenager takes on Nebraska’s discriminatory marriage amendment
Perry signs FAMiLY Leader “marriage vow”
Chris Dyer of Lincoln, NE. Photo: ToucheMag.com
Michelle Bachmann’s appoints anti-gay Iowa Co-Chair
Texas Governor Rick Perry. Photo: Gage Skidmore
Tamara Scott, the director of the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America, was named as Michelle Bachmann’s Iowa campaign co-chair. Scott has claimed in a June 2011 interview with Bob Vander Plaats (bit.ly/upemcb,
On November 21, Iowa’s anti-gay FAMiLY Leader announced they had received an unmodified signed copy of their “Marriage Vow” (bit.ly/sI2NHD) from Texas Governor Rick Perry. The “Marriage Vow” includes demands that the signers be against marriage equality for same-sex couples, against prostitution, against pornography (which has been ruled by the United States Supreme Court as protected by the 1st Amendment), against “Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control” (the irony of this statement being lost on the FAMiLY Leader), and in support of protecting U.S. troops “from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate
Lincoln, NE – Eighteen-year-old Chris Dyer is leading the effort to collect signatures in order to repeal Nebraska’s clearly discriminatory marriage amendment. In an interview with ToucheMag.com (bit.ly/w59vtw), Dyer discussed his motivations for this initiative, and said, “Once this petition takes off—win or lose—[it] will start a chain reaction. It will continue to push for social reform in our conservative state.”
Section 29 of the Nebraska state constitution was added by a state ballot initiative in 2000, and reads:
Marriage; Same-Sex Relationships Not Valid or Recognized “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska.” The new initiative needs nearly 113,000 signatures in order to be added to the 2012 ballot. For those who would like to assist, contact Chris Dyer at Facebook.com/Chrisdyer02, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (402) 570-7631. Help is needed finding financial supporters and signers, but also volunteers to be circulators who can travel or have extra time.
DECEMBER 2011 SScontinued from page 1
M THOMPSON not to my coworkers and not to most folks in Clarinda. In 2009 our marriage brought an end to any semblance of a closeted life. A photo of me hugging a recently married guy while waiting in line to get our own marriage license appeared on the front page of the Des Moines Register. Des Moines television stations also interviewed Allen and me for the 6 o’clock news. I know there was conversation buzzing in Clarinda that day. We drove to the event in Clarinda on a sunny Saturday afternoon, somewhat apprehensive, but more curious about how the evening would unfold. As we entered the Clarinda Country Club parking lot, I was surprised by how full it was. We stepped into a raucous, congested room where the pre-dinner cocktail hour was in progress and where I would greet many old friends and acquaintances. I don’t remember much about the dinner, but when it was my turn to speak, I was hoping I would remember my Toastmasters techniques and also to smile a lot. I began with a brief personal history of my past eight years: what my sons who had grown up there were doing now, my divorce from Kathryn in 2002 (and that we were friends), that I had re-married in 2009, and that my spouse, Allen, was here with me tonight. I reviewed a few accomplishments during my tenure as president which included raising $2 million for a new city library and $2 million for a community recreation facility. The latter project allowed me my 15 minutes of fame when former Tonight Show host Johnny
Section 1: News & Politics Carson personally phoned me and offered his contribution of $150,000 to complete our fund drive. For me the evening was magic! I felt once again a part of the community that I had mentally obscured for 8 years. At the conclusion, many came up to me and Allen, thanking me for coming back and for my honesty about my life. Gov. Branstad’s new Economic Development Authority chair and long time director of the Clarinda Foundation warmly greeted me as a friend. Even folks from the anti-gay Missouri Synod church welcomed me with open arms. Local Bank Iowa officers stayed to talk with me at length. I realized (and should have known) that these people liked me before they knew I am gay and they remain friends today. I know not everyone welcomed me that night. I can hope that some were forced to re-examine the veracity of their anti-gay beliefs. Others may be stuck in their past ideology. If so, I can’t help them to accept me. But the majority of those who welcomed us perhaps took away a new understanding of what a gay man and his same sex spouse are like—much like they are, only gay. The others got to witness the support we were being shown. The evening exemplifies comments by recent FFBC speaker, former state senator Jeff DeAngelo, when he said that the big difference in acceptance comes with people knowing gay people. For eight years I had resisted going back to Clarinda, assuming I would be unwelcome. But that night in Clarinda, daring to move out of my comfort zone showed me I was wrong. I can go back to my former home as an out gay man—even in Steve King country.
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Possible tax deduction for sexchange surgery by Jason Dinesen Sex-change surgery may be tax deductible thanks to rulings by the U.S. Tax Court and the Internal Revenue Service. The rulings involved a person named Rhiannon O’Donnabhain who had been a man but underwent surgery in 2001 to become a woman. She deducted the surgery expenses on her 2001 tax return. The IRS denied the deduction and the case eventually made its way to the U.S. Tax Court, where the Court sided with O’Donnabhain in early 2010. In early November of 2011, the IRS “acquiesced” (meaning, they agree with) the Court’s decision. This means the IRS will allow a medical deduction for sex-change surgery for taxpayers in the future. But there is one big disclaimer to this discussion: sex-change surgery is NOT automatically tax deductible. To be deductible, a taxpayer has to prove that they have an underlying disorder that necessitates the surgery. In O’Donnabhain’s case, she was diagnosed with “gendar identity disorder.” The sex-change surgery was done to treat the disorder and therefore the cost was deductible as a medical expense. Sex-change surgery done for reasons other than medical purposes will not be tax deductible. This is the same test that applies when determining if plastic surgery is tax deductible. When someone gets a nose job just because they want their nose to look
Jason Dinesen is a nationally licensed tax practitioner based in Indianola, Iowa. He is one of the few accountants in the nation who specializes in the tax issues related to gay marriage. You can find out more at his website, www.dinesentax.com. better, it’s not deductible. But if there’s a legitimate medical need for the plastic surgery, then it is deductible. NOTE: The above article does not constitute tax advice. Because each taxpayer’s situation is unique, you should seek the counsel of a tax advisor of your choosing before making any tax or financial decisions.
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Section 1: News & Politics
Let No One Put Asunder by Warren J. Blumenfeld Picture this: The scene is Des Moines, Iowa, 2011. A joyous and excited engaged couple, in preparation for their upcoming nuptials, entered Victoria Childress’s home bake shop for a taste testing appointment for their wedding cake. The tradition of the wedding cake dates back centuries. It symbolizes the anticipation of a sweet life together. The couple cut the confectionary delight handin-hand representing their first of many combined and cooperative undertakings in marriage. They feed each other a piece to show their joint commitment. When the couple entered Victoria Childress’s shop, she inquired who was getting married? A member of the couple, Janelle Sievers, told the baker that they were, she and her partner Tina Vodraska. Upon hearing this, Childress informed the couple, according to published accounts: “I’ll tell you I’m a Christian, and I do have convictions. I’m sorry to tell you, but I’m not going to be able to do your cake.” Later, according to Janelle, “I don’t think either one of us knew what to say. We were just shocked.” Interviewed by a reporter for local TV station KCCI, Childress gave her reasons: “I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner…[I]t’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer [to] him for.” The Iowa State Supreme Court in 2009 voted unanimously to uphold a lower court ruling legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, preceded by the Iowa Legislature, which amended Iowa’s Civil Rights Act in 2007 to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the areas of employment, housing, education,
and public accommodations. Janelle and Tina have yet to decide whether they will file a civil law suit. Now picture this: The scene is the small Virginia town of Central Point in Caroline County in 1958, when childhood friends fall in love and marry across the Potomac River in Washington, DC. Virtually the entire town attends the reception festivities in the Central Point home of one of the partners, whose family invited the young couple to live with them until they could afford a home of their own. Soon afterwards, as the couple sleeps peacefully embracing in their bed, local police officers crack the silence by abruptly storming the room, guns poised, flash light beams temporarily blinding the couple who suddenly find themselves shacked in handcuffs as they march terrified to the town jail. “Richard,” asked Mildred, “what did we do wrong?” Richard could only shake his head in bewildered astonishment, though they both know why they had been brought there. Richard Loving, a man of European descent, and Mildred Jetter Loving, a woman of African descent, married in a state that passed and retained its anti-miscegenation statute, the so-called “Racial Integrity Act” of 1924, making it unlawful for a White person and a Person of Color to engage in sexual relations. At the trial, the judge, Leon Bazile, convicted and sentenced them both to one-year imprisonment with a suspended sentence on the condition that the couple leaves the state of Virginia for a period of 25 years. Staring at Richard and Mildred during the sentencing, Bazile invoked Biblical justifications to convict the couple:
“Almighty God created the races—white, black, yellow, Malay and red—and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.” Mildred and Richard filed a number of law suits taking their case all the way to the highest court in the land. In the case of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), the Supreme Court of the United States declared the state of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883), and ending all race-based legal restrictions on adult consensual sexual activity and marriage throughout the U.S. I mention these two cases in an attempt to distinguish two vital concepts. The first is the issue of morality, which I see based on our values and our set of beliefs derived by some from religious faith traditions, and by others from secular humanist principles. We live in a country that protects all of our moral belief systems, which no one has the right to take from us. Our beliefs are our own to cherish and to live by as long as we deem fitting. Some people may refer “morality” as the “Golden Rule,” whereby we treat others how we want to be treated. A closely aligned but also somewhat distinct notion is the concept of ethics. For me, this applies to what some refer to as the “Platinum Rule,” whereby we treat others how they want to be treated. We consider their needs, their best interests, their values and beliefs, even if these do not necessarily connect or bond with our own.
Homophobia runs deep! So deep that it also impinges on the animal world. Toronto’s zoo is splitting up a pair of same-gender penguins. These Happy Feet males, Pedro and Buddy—jokingly referred to as “Brokeback Iceberg”—have been nesting with each other for a year. The reason for the boys’ split-up, a zoo official says, is because African penguins are an endangered species. The pair has what’s known as a “social bond,” but it’s not necessarily a “sexual bond,” Tom Mason, the zoo’s curator of birds and invertebrates told the Associated Press. “Penguins are so social they need that… company. And the group they came from was a bachelor group waiting for a chance to be paired up with females,” Mason stated. “They had paired up there, they came to us already paired, and it’s our job to be matchmakers to get them to go with some females.” But Buddy, I opine, may have been involuntarily “on the down low” for breeding purposes until he was able to express his true penguin passion with Pedro. According to the zoo’s curator, Buddy, who’s 21, had a female partner for 10 years and produced offspring, but his female partner died. Pedro, on the other hand, who’s 10, has yet to produce offspring. While we can banter and bicker about
the heterosexist actions of a zookeeper, our actions on animal homophobia aren’t any better. For example, who would have thought that the politics of same-sex coupling of birds would a debatable topic in the marriage equality state of Massachusetts? But during the summer of 2005, more than a year after same-sex marriage became legal in the state, Boston’s beloved pair of swans in the Public Garden—named Romeo and Juliet—had been having a love affair that dares not speak its name. And as Bay Staters bantered and bickered over whether the two should be allowed to stay together or be separated, these swans were being subjected to the same queries that have plagued same-sex couples in heterosexist societies for centuries. Assuming that the swans were heterosexual until one of the couple’s eggs went unfertilized, Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department decided to conduct a “detailed gender test” by examining the swans’ reproductive organs. The findings disclosed that Romeo and Juliet were really more like Juliet and Juliet. The city disclosed its findings, but very reluctantly, “for fear of destroying the image of a Shakespearean love story unfolding,” as reported in The Boston Globe. But some people thought like Laura
Elsheimer of Hudson, Mass., who told the Globe that the city “should have a Romeo.” And spokeswoman Mary Hines of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department told the Globe, “Each year when the swans go in, the kids immediately come to us and say, ’Which one’s Romeo and which one’s Juliet?’” Where the public might think a male is needed to make them a complete or authentic couple, neither of the girls seems to be lamenting, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Why? Because on any given day at the Public Garden you saw them swimming happily together in the lagoon. Moreover, the swans have been cohabiting for two years. Animal scientists have observed the monogamous nature of swans whether they are in opposite-sex or samesex coupling—they stay with their mates until death, which can occur between 20 to 30 years. While there was also debate whether Romeo should be renamed to reflect the swan’s gender, I can imagine Juliet saying about all this much ado, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Same-sex coupling is not a new phenomenon in the animal world. However, its disclosure and acceptance of it comes in a homophobic society that will attempt to
Queer Politics for the Birds by Rev. Irene Monroe
Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa specializing in Multicultural and International Curriculum Studies; & Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies. He is Co-Editor of Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States; Co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice; Editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price; Co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life; Co-editor of Butler Matters: Judith Butlers Impact on Feminist and Queer Studies; Author of AIDS and Your Religious Community; & Co-Researcher & Co-Author: 2010 State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People. As a university professor of preservice teacher education students, I raise the distinction between moral convictions and professional ethics when we discuss issues of controversy within the field of education. For example, I discuss how as teachers, they may find their moral teachings in opposition to the lives or beliefs of their students. For example, their students may “come out” to them as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or they may live
TTBLUMENFELD continued page 38
pathologize it. But in fact, scientists at Oregon Health & Science and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station are discovering that all sexualities may be biologically driven. In a recent study on rams, researchers at OHS found that 8 percent are gay, but with such a low percentage finding, the Christian Right can still hold to its premise that homosexuality is an aberrant behavior and found only in those lost few. More controversial studies on animal homosexuality, being denounced
TTREV MONROE continued page 38
Section 1: News & Politics
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Minor Details: Yes “We” Can by Bob Minor November’s election results renewed hope in progressives that their work still pays off at the polls. What was important was that this was the result of the strength and unity of working people without much support from the corporate-funded Democratic leadership in Washington. Those fighting the good fight without help from the talk-of-change crowd in D.C. deserve full credit, and they deserve to find hope in what happened on November eighth against powerful, moneyed interests. How many were surprised at how Mississippi rejected by more than 55% the right-wing’s model personhood amendment? Supporters were poised to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling by provoking a lawsuit that would end up in what they believe to be a US Supreme Court on their side. But the amendment failed in what a 2011 Gallop poll ranked as the most conservative state in the union. The same night, voters in Ohio defeated Issue 2 by 63%. Working people humbled Koch brothers’ buddy, Governor Kasich (who became a Republican poster boy for conservative overreach) by rejecting Senate Bill 5, his new collective bargaining law that would prevent public sector strikes, limit bargaining rights for 360,000 public employees, and scrap binding arbitration of management-labor disputes. By 60% Maine voters turned back another textbook right-wing, Kochbrothers-funded tactic: in the name of unproven voter fraud, limiting access of historically Democratic voters to the polls. Maine voted to repeal a new law requir-
ing residents to enroll at least two days Massachusetts to become the nation’s before an election, restoring a four-decade youngest mayor. Chris Seelbach became policy of allowing registrations as late as the first openly gay city council member Election Day. elected in Cincinnati while Zach Adamson In North Carolina voters repudi- became the first openly gay City Council ated the Tea Party agenda backed by the member in Indianapolis, Caitlin Copple state’s notorious political boss, Art Pope, the first openly gay council member in a billionaire and staunch ally of the Kochs. Missoula, Montana, and Adam Ebbin the Voters in Raleigh dealt Boss Pope, a major first openly gay state senator elected to embarrassment in his hometown. In the Virginia’s state senate. run-off for the controlling seat on the Voters ousted some Republican poster Wake County School Board, progressive boys around the country. In Arizona, Democrat Kevin Hill defeated Pope’s Tea voters recalled Republican legislator Party Republican candiRussell Pearce, author date, Heather Losurdo. Voters ousted some of Arizona’s tough Hill stalwartly opposed law, Republican poster boys around anti-immigration the Pope-orchestrated which was seen as a re-segregation of Wake the country. model for other states, County Schools, while while, by the way, they Losurdo supported the return to “neigh- seated Democratic mayors in Phoenix and borhood schools,” code for the end of Tucson. cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity. In Michigan they recalled RepubliIn Greensboro, voters ousted the can state Rep. Paul Scott of Grand Blanc, hand-picked, Pope-funded ticket of “fiscal southeast of Flint, the first state lawmaker conservatives.” And the popular Demo- recalled in that state since 1983. Scott cratic mayor of Charlotte, Anthony Foxx, chaired the House Education Committee easily won re-election with a smashing and took anti-union, anti-teacher stands two-to-one victory. Democrats, in fact, typical of right-wing extremist legislators, swept all eight contested seats for Char- destroying tenure and slashing school lotte City Council as well as in other local budgets while supporting further tax elections in the state’s largest county, breaks for already profitable corporaMecklenburg. tions. One of the winners in Charlotte was Up in Traverse City, voters supported its first openly gay candidate, LaWana by a nearly two-to-one margin an ordiMayfield, while openly gay Chapel Hill nance that prohibits discrimination based Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt won his reelec- on sexual orientation. A loud group of tion bid with 78% of the vote. right-wing opponents had collected signaTo name just a few others, openly tures to force the referendum, arguing gay, 22-year-old Alex Morse beat 67-year- that it singles out one group for “special old incumbent Mary Pluta in Holyoke, treatment.”
Should vs. Did by Jonathan Wilson How to Implode a Presidential Campaign
In response to allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, this is what Cain should have said: “I acknowledge that there were two formal complaints made against me while I was serving as CEO of the American Restaurant Association. That’s a fact. These complaints were made, as far as I’m concerned, in good faith based on the perception of those who made them. I did not believe that I did anything to warrant the complaints. By the same token, I was not born with a well-developed sense of interactions that were inappropriate and those that were meant as innocent compliments or in good fun. For all of us, that sense has to be learned. I have learned that reality is largely in the mind of the beholder, and I’ve learned that it is best to err on the side of caution in order
to enhance a professional work environment. for modest payments because the complaints My wonderful spouse has been one of those were baseless. who has done much to educate me that innoAs I recall, there were severance “agreecent comments can be misconstrued. Other, ments” and not settlements, and amounts paid strong women in my various workplaces, that were nothing more than customary severance I highly respect, have also been instrumental payments for people who had performance in educating me. While I do not intend to deficiencies, in the range of three month’s discuss the details of the interactions that gave salary [turns out, they were equivalent to a rise to the complaints, women, and men who year’s salary each]. respect women, deserve to If there were or be assured that I respect are future allegations I don’t recall any from others, they are women, I intend to be president of all of the people, settlements that may have false, fabricated lies, as president I intend to taken place and I sure hope just like the original involve in my administrathey were for modest payments complaints. tion competent people I will not agree regardless of gender, and because the complaints were that the complainants I will not tolerate inappro- baseless. should be permitted to priate behaviors toward speak publicly about women who are among those serving in my the incidents. administration. “ People should ignore the fact and This is what he actually said, successively substance of the complaints in favor of focus(paraphrased), ing on my detractors who leaked the truth to I don’t recall any complaints. the media. I don’t recall any underlying particulars Then, ignoring the axiom that when of any complaints that I now do recall. you’re in a hole you should stop digging, he I clearly recall that nothing happened to said, “There is not an ounce of truth to all support the complaints that were filed. They these allegations.” With that, there’s no going were complete and utter fabrications [Read: back for him. He’s committed to calling all of those complaining women are all money- the female accusers – without any allegation grubbing liars]. of collaboration among them – bald-faced There were no settlements. liars. I don’t recall any settlements that may Is it any wonder that the story has just have taken place and I sure hope they were not gone away, as Cain would prefer, so that
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 www.FairnessProject.org. In Iowa, Democrats maintained their advantage in the State Senate by 26-24, which meant that marriage equality remains safe from legislation. In conservative Kentucky, the popular Democratic governor, Steven Beshear, cruised into a second term. In the meantime, the Occupy movement around the country is forcing a change in national priorities. Demeaned, if not ignored, by mainstream media, beaten and bullied by police doing the
TTMINOR DETAILS cont’d page 38
Jonathan Wilson is an attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, and chairs the First Friday Breakfast Club (ffbciowa.org), 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@ DavisBrownLaw.com or 515-288-2500. he can get back on message? Arrogance of the guilty is almost always their comeuppance. But most importantly, the fact that he just
TTSHOULD VS DID continued page 38
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Section 1: News & Politics
Creep of the Week by D’Anne Witkowski Linda Harvey
not?” Harvey asks, knowing that any sane and loving parent would rather take their chances at home with some pliers and duct tape than subject their child to a lesbianismflaunting nurse. Harvey continues, “If you want your children to admire people who proclaim a homosexual lifestyle, they’re involvement with your child during a hospital stay is sure to be an influence.” That’s right, parents. One day you’re telling little Billy how dangerous and sinister homosexuals are and the next day he’s in traction and a nice lesbian is bringing him Popsicles and a gay doctor is responsible for the fact that he’ll walk again. That’s just not fair to Billy. Better that he never know kind, helpful, professional gay people exist Your son just fell off the monkey bars, at all. shattering a kneecap and busting out some Not that Harvey is trying to denigrate teeth. Your kid is screaming in pain, blood gay and lesbian health professionals. “Let all over his face, and you’re trying to calm me be clear that folks involved in these them down on the ambulance ride to the behaviors can be certainly competent hospital saying, “It’s okay, you’re going to workers,” she says, “but they are tacking be okay,” while trying to keep terror out of onto their workplace identity one that is your voice. When you get to the hospital highly offensive to many people and can your son is whisked away on a stretcher to be erroneously influential to children who be seen by an ER doctor. won’t, or shouldn’t, see the whole picture of Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? how this behavior really manifests itself.” No, not the your-child-getting-seriouslyGot it? If the lesbian nurse could just, injured thing. I mean, say, show the child a come on, accidents Harvey’s advice to parents? video of herself having happen and in this “You may want to consider lesbian sex and going to fictitious scenario he’s hell then children would going to be sore and writing a letter that you file get the full perspective. on crutches for a little with your pediatrician that But Harvey would object while and looking like should your child ever be to that, too. a Jack-o-lantern until Harvey’s advice to his front adult teeth hospitalized, you do not want parents? “You may want come in, but fine. No, your child to be treated or cared to consider writing a the nightmare is the for by (gay employees). letter that you file with fact that the paramedyour pediatrician that ics, x-ray technicians, nurses, and doctors should your child ever be hospitalized, you who cared for your son could be “known do not want your child to be treated or cared homosexuals.” for by (gay employees) except in the case of A terrifying thought. an emergency situation,” she says. Granted, a health care provider’s sexual If Harvey were really serious she’d drop orientation probably isn’t the first thing on the “emergency situation” exception. But a parent’s mind when their child is sick or then again, no decent parent could stand to injured. Thankfully, Linda Harvey of Mission watch a child suffer or let a child die in the America reminds us what’s important when name of shielding him or her from nefarious it comes to child health and welfare. homosexual influence. And no decent doctor On her Oct. 18 radio show Harvey or nurse of any sexual orientation is going warned parents about the dangers of gay to let a child suffer or die just because he or and lesbian care takers. “How do you feel she has anti-gay nuts for parents. about open homosexuals tending to your child in a health care setting? Do you think these folks provide good role modeling at a time when your child is very vulnerable?” she asks, adding that her concern stems from the gay and lesbian employee group at Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Harvey was stunned to learn that the group had done some scandalous things. According to Harvey, “they participated in last June’s gay pride parade (and) in a health expo on adolescent health this summer and that they’re concerned about same-sex partner benefits. They’re also planning to be identified with rainbow lapel pins.” That’s right: rainbow lapel pins, which means “open homosexuals.” “Let’s say your eleven year-old has broken her leg rather badly and needs to be in the hospital a few days, which would you prefer: a nurse who’s proud of her Once upon a time there was a lesbian lesbianism, who has rainbow identifiers gym teacher (shocking, I know). More on her work clothing, or a nurse who does specifically, that time was the early 1970s
and that gym teacher was Linda Wall, who Marriage Amendment to the Virginia is now an Independent candidate running Constitution. “For two years, I worked with for state office in Virginia. groups in the state to help pass the Marriage Mind you, Wall’s not gay any more. Amendment to the Constitution of Virginia She’s traded in her lesbianism for Jesus and defining marriage as a union between she is out and proud about it. one man and one woman,” she writes “I “I’ve never tried to hide that I was in will defend that amendment and oppose homosexuality. If anybody Googles me, they any legislation that attempts to create or would find that out there,” Wall said. recognize any other union, partnership, or “When I went away to Longwood legal status to which is assigned the rights College, I allowed liberal professors to or benefits of marriage.” destroy my Judeo-Christian upbringing,” “For two years, I worked with groups in she writes on her campaign website. “I the state to help pass the Marriage Amendguess one could say I became the ‘prodigal ment to the Constitution of Virginia defining daughter.’ But when my rebellious years marriage as a union between one man and came to a close, I knew it was the Lord that one woman,” she writes. “I will defend that I needed.” amendment and oppose any legislation that Ah, yes. The old “liberal professors attempts to create or recognize any other made me gay” line. partnership, or Got that? While in college union, College is tricky like legal status to which is the liberal professors made assigned the rights or that. Mind you, Wall’s her gay. And right out of benefits of marriage.” “rebellious years” didn’t Ain’t no homo come to a close at grad- college marijuana made her couple gonna get uation, if by “rebellious” stay that way treated with any respect she means “gay.” Apparin these parts. And if ently she sowed her wild oats with one of there’s one thing Wall’s an expert in it’s in her students in a whirlwind scandalous gym healthy, normal relationships based on love teacher/gym student romance. and trust and mutual respect and Jesus. So Oh, and did I mention she taught junior don’t worry anti-gay marriage foes. Linda high? Meaning this was one of her junior “ex-gay statutory rapist” Wall has got your high students. Meaning no, no, no, bad. back. Y’all have the best friends. It’s the kind of revelation that would jettison most candidates’ prospects of ever being elected, and could, indeed, turn out to be the end of her candidacy. And yet she seems remarkably nonchalant about the whole thing. “Forty years ago, I was a different person,” Wall told the Associated Press. “I was a heavy pot smoker with…impaired judgment and made some bad choices. You do that out of college sometimes. Some people do, some people don’t.” Got that? While in college the liberal professors made her gay. And right out of college marijuana made her stay that way, or at least it “impaired” her judgment allowing her to continue to choose being a lesbian child predator. Look, I would just like to make clear here that the kind of “bad choices” people make while smoking pot include eating an Everyone knows that bullying is wrong. entire bag of Cool Ranch Doritos in one It is awful to be bullied and a person who is a sitting, or watching the Home Shopping bully isn’t exactly a poster-child for a happy Network for hours straight and cracking and healthy well-adjusted individual. There up every time there’s a close up of a pair has to be something wrong with you to have of disembodied hands with manicured such callous disdain for other people. nails caressing the merchandise. Seeking That is, unless your disdain is born out a little girl to statutorily rape is kind of out of “a sincerely held religious belief or worse than a “bad choice.” It’s, like, one of moral conviction.” Then it’s totally okay. the worst ones. Bully away. The Republicans in the Michigan But look, Wall doesn’t want to live in Senate have your back, or at least the 26 the past—and not just because there’s no Republicans who voted in favor of Michigan statute of limitations on felonies in Virginia. Senate Bill 137 do, which requires school Wall wants to look foward—and win!— the districts to implement anti-bullying policies future. And that means pushing hard against but goes out of its way to protect the people the gay past with an anti-gay present. doing the bullying, not the people getting On Wall’s campaign website she touts bullied. Only 11 senators voted against it. her anti-gay political history. She brags They were all Democrats. that she testified at House of Delegates The anti-bullying law that has been committee hearings “in favor of family bouncing around the Michigan legislature friendly legislation and opposed legislation for years is often called Matt’s Safe School detrimental to traditional values.” Granted, Law, named after Matthew Epling, an East that’s not especially specific, but the terms Lansing freshman who was driven to suicide “family-friendly” and “traditional values” by bullying in 2002. Matt’s father, who has are code for “anti-gay.” been advocating for this bill since its incepWall also spent years on an anti-gay TTCREEPS continued page 10
Michigan’s Republican State Senators
Section 1: News & Politics
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It’s the things that the bill’s ambiguous tion, is none too pleased about the Senate- language certainly covers. I mean, after all, added bully protection clause. couldn’t Fred Phelps argue that “God hates “They kind of snuck in this extra fags” is a “statement of a sincerely held reliparagraph, really kind of setting apart kids gious belief or moral conviction”? Wouldn’t that feel their religious beliefs, their moral this bill protect a bully telling a suspected convictions, basically, can allow them to gay classmate that homosexuals should bully,” Kevin Epling be stoned to death? Or Couldn’t Fred Phelps telling a lesbian to rot told ABC News. “That one paragraph, though, argue that “God hates fags” in Hell? Or taunting a negates most of the student by calling is a “statement of a sincerely gay things that we tried to him a child molester? held religious belief or moral And don’t these stateput in.” That “extra para- conviction”? ments create the kind graph” states that the of climate that so many bill “does not abridge the rights under the LGBT students have found intolerable to First Amendment…of a school employee, the point of suicide? school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil’s parent Even consider the fact that Michigan’s or guardian” and that it “does not prohibit a Republican-controlled legislature has statement of a sincerely held religious belief been no friend to the state’s LGBT citizens, or moral conviction of a school employee, it’s alarming that all of the Senate’s GOP school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil’s parent members were willing to reach into this big or guardian.” shit pile of a bill and get their hands dirty. It’s kind of hard to imagine why a legisThe good news is the Michigan House lative body would want to yank the fangs out isn’t going for it and even House Republicans of a measure initially designed to protect are in favor of nixing the religious exemption children. That is, until you consider that language. Whether they’ll actually pass the Michigan is one of the few states that doesn’t bill afterwards remains to be seen. have an anti-bullying law due, in large part, to anti-gay advocates who have fought against such a measure for years fearing that it would violate the religious freedom of anti-gay students, as if any religion has fag-bashing as an officially sanctioned tenet that schools are obligated to protect. According to state Sen. Rick Jones, the bill’s sponsor, people kicking up a fuss about the bill have it all wrong. “There were some caucus members who worried that if a child stood up in sex education class or speech class and made a statement: ‘In my religion, I don’t believe in gay marriage,’ or something, they didn’t want the child to be evicted from school for just making a statement,” he told ABC News. “Nothing in the bill is intended Newsflash: homosexuality and pedothat the child could confront another child philia are not the same things. Equating the and abuse them in any way.” two makes as much sense as equating adoptI agree that a kid shouldn’t be kicked out ing a pet kitty from a shelter with, luring a of school for declaring he doesn’t “believe in” stray into your yard so you can torture and gay marriage, even though that’s as nonsen- kill him. Surely anyone who thought the two sical as saying, “I don’t believe in oranges.” were the same would be insane. We’re not talking about Santa Claus, people. Though they still might be invited to Gay marriage and oranges are real, whether talk on Public Radio International, specifiyou like them or not. cally the To the Point program, when the Of course, the real problem isn’t over a topics are the Penn State child abuse scandal hypothetical argument over gay marriage. and same-sex couples adopting kids. Nice
juxtaposition there, guys. Mind you, Sandusky is a married-toSpecial guest on the program was Jerry a-woman man, which means his family Cox of the Arkansas Family Council, a group structure meets these criteria. What Cox that tried like the dickens to prevent gays means by balanced, I don’t know. Perhaps and lesbians from being foster parents in he’s worried two moms will teach a boy to Arkansas to no avail. pee sitting down or two dads might teach Cox seemed to equate gays wanting to a girl to pee standing up. foster or adopt children with Penn State When To the Point hosts suggested child-rapist Jerry Sandusky (who fostered that children would perhaps be better off kids in the past). Not in a house with samethat this comparison Cox seemed to equate gays sex parents rather makes sense, but that’s languishing in the wanting to foster or adopt than not Cox’s job. His job is to foster care system, Cox spew anti-gay invective children with Penn State rejected the notion. whenever a microphone child-rapist Jerry Sandusky “Sometimes we gets near his face. sound as if those are (who fostered kids in the the only two choices,” “I find it interesting that we talk about the past). Cox said. “It’s like, child Penn State situation, be institutionalized or and then when we talk about other situa- be in a same-sex home or cohabiting home, tions where certain categories of people say or whatever. And I’d like to challenge this it’s our right to adopt, it’s our right to be a a little bit, to raise our sights a little bit, foster parent, in both of those situations the and say, you know, the state surely can do rights of children seem to be put in second better than that.” place,” Cox said. Yeah, stupid state. Being stuck in an Let’s crack the code. “Certain categories orphanage on one hand, living in a houseof people” most certainly means gays. And hold with two stable and loving foster when he says “in both of these situations” parents who happen to be gay on the other. Cox is clearly equating letting a known It’s like Sophie’s choice! child-rapist foster children with allowing Of course, says Cox, those aren’t the gay people to foster children. In only one of only options. these “situations” are the rights and needs “With all the millions of stable homes of a child “in second place.” Hint: it’s the that are out there, surely the state of Calichild being fostered by the child rapist and fornia the state of Pennsylvania, the state of second place is far too high of a finish. Last Arkansas, wherever we are, surely we can place is more like it. find stable homes with a married mom and For Cox, the most important things to dad for these children,” he said. look for in a foster family are one penis and Got that? There are millions of homes one vagina. with stable one-penis-one-vagina struc“If you have a same-sex couple with tures oh so perfect for foster children. The an adopted child, what you’re in effect problem is they’re apparently very well saying is that moms don’t matter or dads hidden. We’re just not looking hard enough. don’t matter,” he said. “Little girls grow up, So come out, come out wherever you are. little boys grow up and they need both of Cox has a pick-up truck full of kids with those role models to grow up in a balanced your (heterosexual only, please) names way.” all over it.
ACCESSline’s fun guide
Our Picks for December Cyndi Shines By Chris Azzopardi 12/2-11, ACTORS, Ames,
A TUNA CHRISTMAS, www.actorsinc.org
12/3, Cedar Rapids, 28TH ANNUAL FIRE AND ICE FESTIVAL, www.cedar-rapids.com 12/3, Dubuque, HOLIDAY POPS FAMILY CONCERT, www.traveldubuque.com 12/2-4, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, THE NUTCRACKER, www.englert.org
12/7/11-1/3/12, Civic Center, Des Moines, CAUCUS! THE MUSICAL, www.robertjohnford.com 12/7-11, Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, www.dmplayhouse.com 12/10, Cedar Falls, A BAROQUE HOLIDAY, www.cedarfallstourism.org 12/13, Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, Fairfield, IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD WITH THE GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA, www.travelfairfieldiowa.com 12/16 & 17, Village of East Davenport, Davenport, CANDYLAND, www.visitquadcities.com 12/16 & 17, 7:30 PM, First Christian Church, Des
WINTER SOLSTICE CONCERT, See Ad on page 20 Moines, DMGMC
12/16 & 17, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines, TONIC SOL-FA, www.hoytsherman.org 12/13, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, BOB SEGER AND THE SILVER BULLET BAND, www.iowaeventscenter.com 12/21, 7:30 PM, Adler Theatre, Davenport, THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC OF MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER BY CHIP DAVIS, www.adlertheatre.com 12/21, NIACC Performing Arts, Mason City, THE BLENDERS’ HOLIDAY SOUL TOUR, niacc.edu
1/15, 2 & 7:30 PM, Gallgher-Bluedorn, Cedar Falls, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, See Ad Page 40 1/19&20, 7:30 PM, Gallagher-Bluedorn, Cedar Falls, ROCK OF AGES, See Ad Page 40 1/28, NIACC Performing Arts, Mason City, RICHARD MARX, www.niacc.edu 1/29, Iowa State Center, Ames, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY MOSCOW FESTIVAL BALLET, www.center.iastate.edu
Cyndi Lauper. Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth
After all these years, singer/ activist isn’t so unusual— she’s just human
Twenty-fiveyearsago, CyndiLauper’s“True Colors” shined through—on the radio, and in the hearts of so many. It was in the midst of the horrifying AIDS epidemic when she lost her dear gay friend, came across the song, and made it into a hit that comforted millions. “I was very much in mourning,” the 58-yearold icon recalls of the chart-topper, the title track from her 1986 album, in our recent chat. “I was sad and I wanted to be able to do something. He wanted me to sing a song for him, and I had written one (“Boy Blue”). That didn’t work out too good, because I wrote about my feelings— which were big.” But “True Colors,” originally written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly for Anne Murray, spoke to her. Years later, it’s not just a song; it’s an anthem for everything that Lauper—a selfless, admirable activist for the community—stands
for. As part of her True Colors Fund, she launched a project last year, the Give a Damn Campaign, to create awareness of LGBT discrimination with the help of high-profile celebrities, many of them heterosexual. “In any civil rights movement, you need everybody,” Lauper says with heartfelt indignation. “That’s how you win. You need your straight allies.” She had them on the tour, also named after the song, which ran for two years and featured Debbie Harry, Margaret Cho, The B-52s and Erasure. Now, Lauper’s showing her support with a shelter, recently opened in Central Harlem, to offer supportive housing for LGBT youth without any place to go, who may have been thrown out of their own homes. A mother herself, Lauper can’t fathom a parent disowning their child. “Parental love should be unconditional,” she says. “Love your kid for who they are or who they aren’t. The parent/child bond should never be broken.” But if it is, they have a place that loves them: the True Colors Residence. Lauper’s quick not to take all the credit, though; she names off a list of important key players who made this—a six-story, 30-bed facility, the first permanent establishment of its kind in New York—happen. Her manager, Lisa Barbaris, is one of them, along with the West End Intergenerational Residence, a non-profit focused on providing housing for homeless families and the elderly.
TTLAUPER continued page 20
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The Outfield by Dan Woog Galen Dodd blocks, hits, comes out
At 6 - fe e t - 4 - i n c h e s — a n d s t i l l three months away from his 16th birthday—Galen Dodd might have been expected to play basketball. There’s pressure to do so on every tall boy. But Galen prefers volleyball. He appreciates the mental aspect of the game, along with its physical challenges. “I like to use my mind,” the Southern California native says. “I like being mentally fit, not just physically in shape.” Galen is as intelligent and articulate as he is a powerful middle blocker and opposite hitter on his high school and club teams. He’s also courageous. In August he came out publicly—to the world. Two months later he told his story on Outsports. He is believed to be the youngest athlete ever to do so on that website. But this is 2011, not 1951 (or even 2006). Galen’s teammates, coaches— even opponents—have been, he says, “100 percent supportive.” In some cases, his openness has helped solidify friendships between Galen and straight teammates. That’s impressive—even more so when you learn that a number of his club teammates attend an all-boys Catholic school. “The younger generation is a lot more accepting than their parents,” Galen says simply. In fact, after coming out Galen has met “a lot” of openly gay volleyball players, both male and female. One is Travis Turner. He is the director of Balboa Bay Volleyball Club in Newport Beach—one of the top club teams in the nation—and while Galen was on a plane to Minneapolis in July for the Junior Nationals tournament, he heard members of Travis’s team talking and joking about Travis’s sexuality “in a good way.” Later, in Arizona for the USA Volleyball High Performance Training Camp and Championships, Galen met Travis. They talked only about volleyball, but back home in California Galen emailed him. He asked the coach about the advantages and drawbacks of coming out. A long phone conversation followed in which Travis said, “If a coach wants you and you can contribute to the team, nothing else matters.” A couple of days later, Galen decided to come out publicly. (His family and some friends already knew.) Galen did it the 2011 way: on Facebook. Suddenly he was engulfed in a tsunami of positive responses. Some came from players he barely knew. “They just wanted to say
congratulations,” Galen explains. After three days, he had 82 likes and 47 comments. And, Galen says, “no one deleted me.” The Outsports story was next. It had been a source of support for Galen for months, he says, “and I just wanted to give back some of what I’d gotten.” That story circulated quickly throughout the volleyball world. “Everyone at my club (Southern California Volleyball) saw it,” he says. “My team loved it.” He was a bit worried about the response from his coach at Palisades Charter High School. But he too was “totally supportive,” Galen says. A former member of the Southern California Volleyball Club sent the story—proudly—to every coach he knew. A Los Angeles teacher asked Galen to speak to the entire school. And, Galen says, he heard from several college coaches. They told him that when he’s ready to look at schools, he should know that the environment on their campuses is welcoming and accepting. Still, Galen’s ride to out volleyball poster child was not always smooth. Last season—when many of his club teammates were from that Catholic school—he was closeted. “Every practice I would hear some sort of comment about something or someone being ‘gay’ or a ‘fag,’” he wrote on Outsports. “Each time I cringed thinking of how I would never be able to be who I truly am with them.” “Even though those terms are not meant to be harmful, and don’t even seem relevant to what the speaker is trying to express, it has become common language among teenagers and young adults.” But that’s all in the past. Galen’s current club team is one of the best in the country. His teammates, he says, are “11 other guys that have my back.” His two coaches are “nothing but fantastic.” So what’s ahead for Galen Dodd? His answer is as clear as you’d expect from any high-level competitive volleyball player, gay or straight: “I am really excited about the new season. I have three more years of high school, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.” And, he adds, “Our club volleyball team is going to Junior Nationals in Dallas. We lost in the bronze medal round last year. This time, we’re looking to win it.” 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 www.danwoog.com. He can be reached care of this publication or at OutField@qsyndicate.com.
“Each time I cringed thinking of how I would never be able to be who I truly am with them.”
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Deep Inside Hollywood by Romeo San Vicente Will Leo make it Turing’s turn?
writer-director Lisa Cholodenko. Sounds great, but will somebody make sure to woo Annette Bening to reprise her role as the Joni Mitchell-crooning matriarch?
Will Lee Daniels teach America to ‘Vogue’ again? Annette Bening and Julianne Moore from “The Kids Are All Right. Photo by Focus Features. A big-screen biopic of World War II computer pioneer Alan Turing is in the works at Warner Bros and word is that Leonardo DiCaprio—clearly bucking for another Academy Award nomination—is interested in playing him. The working title is The Imitation Game and the script by Graham Moore is based on Andrew Hodge’s biography Alan Turing: The Enigma. During WW2, British military officer Turing was a key figure in breaking Nazi codes—he developed the Turing Bombe, a device that deciphered the Third Reich’s enigma codes—and he is considered a pioneer of modern computer technology. But Turing was also gay and, after the war, was punished by the very government he heroically served. The story will explore both Turing’s efforts during the war and also his post-war prosecution for being homosexual, his conviction for “gross indecency,” forced hormone therapy and his subsequent tragic suicide. Now, if they can just figure out a way to release this worthy but extremely depressing tale during Oscar season but not on Christmas Day
Lee Daniels must not need as much sleep as normal human beings. The Precious director just signed on to direct a Valley of The Dolls update for NBC, he’s got a handful of other projects in various stages of development, and now he wants to turn Paris is Burning into a TV show. He’s currently attached to direct an untitled Showtime pilot that, while not specifically aligned with Jennie Livingston’s acclaimed an influential 1990 drag ball documentary, will explore the same subculture of drag “houses”—which inspired Madonna’s single “Vogue”— and the young Latino and African-American men who participate in the competitions surrounding them. Temple Grandin writer W. Merritt Johnson is working on the script, but no other details, including cast or title, are yet known. It’s a great idea, since the documentary has found a new audience among hip, urban, twentysomething gay men; that means the audience for a highquality exploration of this world is already primed for more “realness.” You better work, Lee Daniels.
But Turing was also gay and, after the war, was punished by the very government he heroically served.
Queen Latifah needs to talk to you about…
HBO welcomes Liberace and Kids
Remember that Liberace biopic that’s been such a longtime coming? Remember how it was going to be a big-screen event directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas as the legendary and legendarily closeted entertainer? Well, it’s still happening. But the screen’s going to be a little smaller. HBO has taken the film and will give it the audience-grabbing premiere it will surely deserve. And why is this good? Consider Todd Haynes’s Emmy-winning Mildred Pierce. Debuting on HBO meant more people saw it than watched all of Haynes’s other theatrically released movies combined. And it was always going to be a tough sell getting audiences into theaters for a movie about the death of Liberace, so this way it’ll be as easy to see as programming a DVR. Meanwhile HBO is betting you loved the family from The Kids Are All Right enough to watch them every week. They’ve commissioned a pilot script for a one-hour drama from Kids
Back in 1999, Queen Latifah was still transitioning from a hip-hop career, where she was known primarily as a rapper, to a film and singing career. And around that time she got her own talk
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the fun guide
Cocktail Chatter by Ed Sikov What to Do with Cheap Champagne, Part II Dan and I got home from our onenight honeymoon at the beach to find five silver or gold bags waiting for us in the mailroom. More champagne—of sorts. Only one bottle met our snobby standards: a Taittinger Prestige Rose. The others were destined for more Kir Royales—either that or re-gifting. “Mmmmmm! Champ-AGG-nee!” I squealed in the voice of Curly from The Three Stooges each time Dan opened a package. (Note to youth: see http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thethreestooges .) I do a pretty good Curly, but by the fourth time it was wearing very thin. “Stop doing that,” Dan said. “I can’t help it,” I replied. “It’s Pavlovian.” “That’s bullshit,” he said. “You’re just trying to irritate me.” (I silently admitted that he was correct.) “And I’m sick of Kir Royales,” he continued edgily, “so don’t make any more. I’m hungry, I’m tired, and I don’t know why we don’t have more sophisticated friends.” He stomped toward the bedroom. “Then I’ll make Queer Royales,” I declared, having no idea what the drink would contain.
“OK, I’ll bite,” he said. “What’s in a Queer Royale?” Sudden inspiration: “Creme de Violette!” “I love you,” Dan said as he marched back into the living room to kiss me. “Put a bottle of this…this…‘cava’ in the freezer while we unpack.” “Cava is dead to us,” I announced for at least the 75th time. “There’s a clause in our pre-nup that says that if you say ‘cava is dead to us’ one more time you get nothing in the divorce settlement,” he said as he stripped off his shirt. It was a sight I’ve seen daily for 10 years, and it still produced a rush. I couldn’t wait to curl up next to him in bed and grope him. I dialed Chen’s Sichuan and placed our usual order: seafood dumplings and Chicken with Peanuts for Dan, who doesn’t like heat, and the spicy tripe appetizer and the Fiery Shredded Pork for me. By the time Dan came out of the shower and dressed, the food had already arrived, the biking delivery boy leaving a trail of petrified pedestrians and drivers alike from his race to our building. I put two new, tall Waterford champagne flutes on the table (getting married is a blast!), each with a few drops of Creme de Violette
“Cava is dead to us,” I announced for at least the 75th time.
already poured. I popped the cork (just like Fyedka; see above) and poured. The resulting color was strange; gold and violet don’t blend well. But the taste was superb. We polished off the doctored cava during dinner. “I love our cheap friends,” said a tipsy, happy Dan as I poked the last piece of blistering-hot pork in my mouth. “Let’s go to bed,” I said, still chewing. “Now.” “Brush your teeth for the full two minutes and I’ll consider it,” said Dan as he reached into my boxers from the bottom. So this is what they mean by “second honeymoon.”
thinking): “It’s 5 o’clock in Greenland.” [Life Lesson #26: swigging straight from the bottle never affirms one’s selfimage. I held a magnum of Jack Daniels high and started gulping.] Kyle (from his core): “Oh God, YES!” This was more than a man should be asked to hear unless he’s also in the cast. I stomped out of the house and around the deck, but as I passed under the guest bathroom windows I heard running water, lewd noises, and giggles. Was there no sanctuary? A straggly patch of mint inspired me to make myself a vast mint julep to get me through this ordeal. The traditional mint julep consists of a small handful of mint leaves and a little sugar or syrup, which somebody (see below) bruises with crushed ice and a fork to release the mint oil before adding bourbon. This is just plain dumb—another Southern discomfort masquerading as antebellum swank. Traditional mint juleps are easy to make if you own slaves. Bruising mint leaves with a fork to make six separate drinks? Hello, carpal tunnel syndrome. And it’s a dental comedy, since everybody ends up with bits of green leaves stuck to their teeth. My version is cleaner, easier and tastes just as good; you get the mint flavor without the interdental leaves or the arm brace. I drank them to the rank, arousing sounds of puppy love coming from above. They came down for dinner at some point, but by then I was shut tight in my bedroom with headphones on, the iPod bringing Jay Brannan’s beautiful voice directly into my brain. “F--- this, this can’t be my life…”
Until they showed up groping each other I had no idea that they’d changed the middle word in BFFs
The Queer Royale
• 1 bottle of cava, prosecco, or other champagne variant • A few drops of Creme de Violette Put a few drops of the crème de violette in as many champagne flutes as you have guests, then carefully pour in the ersatz champagne so that the flute doesn’t overflow. Keep as much fizz as possible.
Drinking Alone with Friends: The Yankee Mint Julep Oh, Lord—give me the strength to change that which I cannot accept. Like closing the beach house while my hottest housemates frolicked their brains out upstairs. Dan was in St. Bart’s on a junket, bought by a big pharma behemoth and paid for by you and me. I couldn’t go because I found it morally objectionable, I had to close the beach house, and I wasn’t invited. So while Dan sunned at some gorgeous resort, I washed out bottles of chutneys from the refrigerator and felt sorry for myself. Then the “Porn’s Greatest Hits” playlist started blasting on the audio system. Kyle and Robbie spent the weekend with me, in a manner of speaking. Until they showed up groping each other I had no idea that they’d changed the middle word in BFFs. It was excruciating. And hot, in a tragic, out-in-the-cold kind of way. They were trying out new material while I emptied out the refrigerator. Me (in the kitchen, thinking): “Nam pla sauce—out.” Robbie (in an upstairs bedroom, shouting): “Yeah, man, there!” Me (heading for the liquor cabinet,
The Yankee Mint Julep
1. Put fresh, washed mint leaves into a shaker with ice. 2. Add a few drops of simple syrup, then dump in as much bourbon or Jack Daniels as possible. 3. If anybody complains that Jack is sour mash, not bourbon, tell him to shove his snob traditions where the sun don’t shine, then shake, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve (or throw it in his face) Ed Sikov has written seven books about films and filmmakers and is a columnist for LitReactor.com.
Lesbians and gays... they still have to fight, even inside. It’s not that simple, even if they seem to be accepted. ~Catherine Deneuve
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@ ACCESSlineIOWA.com.
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: http://aa-ic.org/. [ 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. [ L B T W D ] 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:// www.thequire.org/. [ 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 http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=120517046371 [ L G B T M W A ] 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 ] Every Sunday, OMAHA FRONTRUNNERS/ WALLKERS, 10 AM. For more information call 402-804-8720. [ L G B T M W A ] Second Sunday, GAY MEN’S MEDITATION GROUP, 2 pm, Iowa City/Corridor Area, 319-354-3285 for more information. [ G B T M] 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 email@example.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 G B T M WAK] 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 563-285-4173.
Hear Me Out by Chris Azzopardi Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
B: Bisexual T: Transgender A: General Interest K: Kids and Family M: General Men’s Interest
[LGBTMWAK] 3rd Monday of the Month, SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASK (HASTINGS) PFLAG, 7 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 2810 W. 7th, Hastings, [ L G B T M W A] 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 [ L G BTMWA] 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 T M W A ] 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]
1st Tuesday of Every Month, OUT, 6:307:30 PM, Monarch Therapy Services, Waterloo Office 3356 Kimball Ave Ste. 5, Free Support Group for the LGBTQ Community in the Cedar Valley! [L G B T D A W M ] 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 515-291-3607. [LGBTMWAK] 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 319-415-1511 or visit: http:// www.cedarrapidsunity.com [ L G B T M W A ] 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: tbstevenson@mchsi. com or 319.354.1784. [ L G B T M W A ] 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
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If Kelly Clarkson wasn’t making music, you have to wonder: Where would she take out her wronged-woman rage? It’s a scary thought, considering how much the reigning “American Idol”— it’s been nearly 10 years since she was crowned as the inaugural winner—uses power-pop beats as a punching bag for her vehement venting. Miss Independent meets “Mr. Know It All” on the first single, a scorching kiss-off that has her spewing lines like “you don’t know a thing ‘bout me” in glorious fury. It’s the kind of no-BS cut we’ve come to know from Clarkson, an expert at turning doneme-wrongs into club anthems. Look no further than the second song, and single, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” just about the danciest, balls-to-the-wall song she’s recorded; “I Forgive You,” a could-be sequel to “Since U Been Gone,” follows similarly with wonky synths. Vocally, she rocks “The War is Over” and “Honestly,” her breathy tones building to a full belt; it’s a voice that can make even lowest-common-denominator lyrics, like on “Einstein,” rise about the material. But Clarkson’s music on her fifth album, though much less hooky than her last, All I Ever Wanted, has an advantage: It’s easy to feel her pain. She hurts, she gets angry, and she can’t please everyone. “You Can’t Win,” for all the outcasts, is how she addresses that problem, with a line that we can all relate to: “If you’re straight, why aren’t you married yet? If you’re gay, why aren’t you waving a flag?” It’s a win-win for everyone. Grade: B
Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
Usually the one to set things ablaze, Miranda Lambert’s on fire this time ’round. Her best album, and easily atop the year’s finest, is everything the country outlaw’s done so extraordinarily well on the three before it—just better. Having already told the gender-rigid conservativeness of the country genre to shove it with her girl-power, whiskeyguzzling ways, she doesn’t waste time to do so again with a pro-everyone anthem that’s wonderfully endearing: “All Kinds of Kinds,” unfolding like a storybook, with a character that’s a cross-dressing congressman and a moral often unheard in country. “Some point the finger, let ignorance linger,” she sings, reminding people to look at themselves before passing judgment. If only for standing out among her play-it-safe contemporaries, being different is obviously something Lambert understands. Her vocals are smeared into fuzzed-out obscurity on country-blues “Fine Tune,” by far her most radical, and possibly sexiest, move. What might seem traditional, “Mama’s Broken Heart” turns out to be anything but—it’s an aggressive you-don’t-knowmy-pain song, playing to her bad-girl persona. Lambert, though, has vengeance and vulnerability: she understands the narrator’s frustration of being unsure of herself on Gillian Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio,” another great cover of hers; the simplistic pain in “Over You” means more coming out of Lambert’s mouth; and the ethereal “Oklahoma Sky” mesmerizes. Vocal nuances, broken boundaries and supreme songwriting: there are all kinds of kinds, but only one Miranda Lambert. Grade: A
Washington, I Believe You Liar Megan Washington toys around with lots of sounds on her respectable debut, from the ’60s girl-group sounds of “Cement” to the Sara Bareilles bounce of “The Hardest Part.” The Australian hipster, who rocks the specs like a hot librarian, balances her jaunty, offbeat pop for people who don’t like pop (come on, hipster, check out “1997”; it’s all cryptic) with old-school reheats and ballads that try for a Tori feel (see: title track). Washington’s not reinventing the wheel, or even turning it very much, but how many people can say they’ve made their own funeral arrangements in a song? Vince Gill, Guitar Slinger A line about fingering isn’t one you’d expect from a Vince Gill album—of course, he’s talking about sliding his digit up and down that…guitar! The country legend knows exactly what he’s doing with that instrument on his latest, and very personal, album. His writing is sly, poignant and even risqué—you know, for the hubby of a contemporary Christian singer, Amy Grant (who sings with him on “True Love”). Best bets: “The Old Lucky Diamond Motel,” a visual snapshot of an
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the fun guide
Wired That Way: Your Christmas Gadget Guide by Rachel Eliason Another year is rolling towards a close and you are probably frantically trying to prepare for the holiday seasons as you read this. As a long time veteran procrastinator myself I am glad to help you out with my very own gadget gift buying guide. What is the absolute must have gadget for the geek on your list? In the past there has been one long-awaited new release (like the Wii in 2006) or one device that captured the hearts and mind of most geeks (like the ipad in 2010). This year the answer isn’t so clear cut. There is a positive glut of new technology on the market and so much of it so similar that it’s hard for any product to stand out. Besides the economy has been down all year and the tiny signs of improvement aren’t likely to lead to a sudden consumer rush on any one product, particularly not a gadget that might be more of a luxury than a necessity. Still there are plenty of things out there to recommend.
The smart phone market continues to grow despite the downturn elsewhere. They are rapidly replacing dumb-old cellphones and kids today barely even know what a land line is. It’s not hard to see why either. A few months of smart
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HOLLYWOOD show, The Queen Latifah Show. It didn’t last long, but that was before Oprah left the field wide open for a successor and the last 11 years saw Latifah’s career skyrocket to the A-list (even though her sexual orientation remains the subject of public speculation, prompts discussions of “glass closets,” and, to this moment, isn’t quite 100-percent confirmed). So now a new show is in the works, produced by Latifah’s Hollywood pals Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and their business plan is a shrewd one: it’s not hitting airwaves until the fall of 2013, which ought to give the current crop—Anderson Cooper, Bethenny Frankel, Steve Harvey, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst—time to thin their own ranks via cancellations.
A Very Gaga Thanksgiving
phone ownership have made my droid an personal data is not accessible without a indispensable part of my life. If you have password. a geek on your list who does not own a The biggest complaint with the smart phone or is due for an upgrade, iphone4s seems to be that it was not there are a couple of great options to the long awaited iphone5. The problem choose from. with having apples reputation for cutting The iphone4s is out and receiving edge technology is that they get dinged great reviews in the tech world. Its top for producing a great phone, but not a selling point so far seems to be its lovable revolutionary one. voice assistant, Siri. Siri is a voice activated Android has a new operating system app that can search the Internet, send out as well, Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice messages, make calls Cream Sandwich is and do an incredible What is the absolute must also getting very good array of other tasks in the tech have gadget for the geek on reviews without the user world. Its appearhaving to so much as your list? ance and functionality pick up the phone. She seems to be a step away (the voice is by default female, though from the iphone, and towards the windows it can be changed) has a number of fun smartphone. That’s not a surprising move. quirks that only the biggest geek company For one thing Android has already broken would have installed. Ask Siri what she’s iphones dominance on the smart phone wearing and she’ll say “Aluminosilicate market and windows is the new guy on glass and stainless steel. Nice huh?” the block. Besides while window’s smartThe downside to Siri is that it turns phone lacks the cool factor, it’s gotten out she will talk to strangers. Anyone can high ratings in customer satisfaction and activate Siri and get her to do some tasks, reliability. Another big plus for Android even if the phone is password protected this years is that the Android Market now and locked down. Apple, the kings of “we has as many apps as the iphone. meant to do that” say this is intentional. The newest droid on the block suffers The user can perform many basic tasks, from the same basic problem that the like sending text messages, completely newest iphone has. It’s better, but not hands free while doing other things, revolutionary. We’ve grown accustomed like driving. They assure customers that to being wowed by the latest tech and typical when it comes to holiday specials. Instead of joining the Christmas onslaught and risking getting lost in the shuffle of one-off TV events, Gaga’s A Very Gaga Thanksgiving will not only allow her to get the jump on every other entry but put her in the more rarefied atmosphere occupied by very few other Thanksgiving-themed holiday specials. In other words, she’s chosen the esteemed company of Charlie Brown over Kathie Lee Gifford. The ABC special will feature Gaga performing her new single “Marry The Night” as well as her recent duet with Tony Bennett, “The Lady Is A Tramp.” She’ll be interviewed by Katie Couric, perform her version of “White Christmas” (it never hurts to hedge your bets) and help chef Art Smith make deep-fried turkey with waffles—presumably, while dressed as a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup. Set your DVR for Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving night.
The ABC special will feature Gaga performing her new single “Marry The Night” as well as her recent duet with Tony Bennett, “The Lady Is A Tramp.”
Kelly McGillis, Innkeeper from hell
Lady Gaga. Photo by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com. Leave it to Lady Gaga to avoid the
West is back on the festival circuit with his latest, The Innkeepers, another horror romp inspired by the spooky hotel House of the Devil’s crew stayed in during that film’s shoot. It stars Kelly McGillis and Shark Night’s Sara Paxton and this time the haunted house is a New England bed and breakfast of terror. It can reasonably be assumed that McGillis’s lesbian fan base are just as likely to enjoy a good scare as the horror nerd contingent, so there’s no reason why this shouldn’t do at least Claire of the Moonlevel box office.
Ti West’s new movie is coming soon! OK, sure, now maybe you’re asking “What is a Ti West?” And if you are then you didn’t see the coolest horror movie of the past couple years that didn’t have the words “paranormal” or “activity” in the title. What would be West’s critically acclaimed indie The House of the Devil , which generated a lot of positive buzz for its impeccable homage to 1980s “satanic panic.” And now
Cheyenne Jackson and Nathan Lane, playing it straight?
What kind of sitcom would you expect to see from two gay actors like Nathan Lane and Cheyenne Jackson? How about one where there’s no mention of any overly gay plot? No? Well here goes: USA has greenlit an untitled comedy pilot from Oscar nominee Douglas McGrath (Bullets Over Broadway) that will star Lane, Jackson and Scrubs vet Ken Jenkins. Centered on an unlucky actor (Lane) whose fledgling Broadway career is derailed when his elderly father becomes ill, he’ll return fish-out-of-water-style to his Texas hometown, befriending his father’s doctor (Jackson) in the process. Obviously, one or both of the characters could turn out to be gay, but right now that’s not information anyone’s been given. Frankly, it would be an interesting
this year’s new phones aren’t doing that. There’s also some talk of fragmentation. Android is open source and fragmentation is also an issue for open source software. Google makes the software, which they then license to others who make the actual phones and provide the services. Not all providers update their phones regularly, and not all phones will support every feature. So after only a few years on the market there are already a half dozen different versions of Android out there
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development if neither character were written gay. Jackson already plays a heterosexual character on 30 Rock, and it would provide further proof that openly gay actors can take on any role they’re asked. Neil Patrick Harris and Zachary Quinto can’t be expected to carry that burden alone, right?
Watch out, the Original Dragon Tattoo Girl is coming back
Rooney Mara may be the woman American audiences eventually recognize most in the role of Lisbeth Salander after the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hits theaters in December, but it was Noomi Rapace, the star of the original trilogy of Swedish films, who carried those movies to this side of the world in the first place. As the hard-bitten, crime-busting lesbian computer genius, Rapace shocked audiences with her character’s capacity for violence and her charismatic chilly presence left an indelible mark on every minute of the series. Now Rapace is re-teaming with Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev for an English language film co-starring Colin Farrell. In Dead Man Down, she’ll play a woman who seduces a gangster just so she can blackmail him afterward. The film starts shooting in early 2012, with a probable 2013 release date to follow. Sounds like another role that calls for a strong woman, and Rapace is more than capable of it. Just don’t call it typecasting; think of it as building a brand. Romeo San Vicente has role-played convincingly in a variety of scenes. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.
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WIRED THAT WAY on different phones. This is more of a problem for developers then for users, but some users are being turned off by the fact they can’t get the latest version on their old phone.
Tablets continue to be the rage, outselling laptops for the first time in the third quarter of this year. There near cousin, the e-reader are also selling well and proving that the ebook revolution is here to stay. While the death of print media is still a long way off, publishers are struggling to shift their industry towards this new way of reading. Here are my top tablet picks. Each new tablet is touted as the “ipad killer” but the ipad2 is still the best selling tablet out there. It’s the most solidly reliable tablet out there and consistently gets the top reviews from tech people and users alike. The ipad2 fixed a lot of the issues that users had with the original ipad, but like most of the tech this year, failed to revolutionize the tablet market. It’s still cool and a great gift idea. The Blackberry playbook was touted as the ipad killer. It sold so dismally in its first few months that Blackberry announced they were scrapping it. They dropped the price from 499 to 299 just to
the fun guide get rid of the ones they had. Sales bounced up so fast at the new price that Blackberry decided not to scrap it after all, just run with the lower price. They have even been toying around with a buy two get one free idea that makes it a great idea for tech oriented family. Amazon meanwhile is losing money on its latest gadget, the Kindle Fire and loving every second of it. Why would a company be delighted to see it’s profit’s plummet? Amazon hopes that by selling the Kindle Fire at a loss they will more than recoup in both ebook sales and sales of their Amazon Premium service. They probably will too. The fire is more than a book reader but still somewhat less than a tablet computer. Call it a media device. It will stream video, read kindle books, search the Internet and have its own app store. While based on google’s android operating system, the fire has its own signature web browser, Silk. Using cloud technology for “accelerated browsing” Silk offers much faster downloads and browsing. The premium service includes over a hundred thousand movies and TV shows and of course the millions of books available at amazon.com for the kindle. At $199 the kindle fire might be the must have tech of this year. If anyone has me on their list, I would be delighted with one, just so you know. The other advantage of the kindle fire is that Amazon has dropped the price on the entire rest of the kindle line as well. For those strapped for
cash the basic kindle can now be had for as little as $79. If even $79 is over your limit, or you are looking for a stocking stuffer, this year has plenty of cheap tech accessories. Isotoner has new “smart gloves” out. Touch screens and gloved hands do not mix, until now. Smart gloves have conductive wires woven into the finger tips so you can operate your phone or tablet without taking off your gloves. Or for the mobile gaming junky on your list why not get
ACCESSline Page 17 them Angry Birds plushies? They are as lovable as they are angry. For a wide assortment of geek friendly items in a range of prices check out Thinkgeek.com. From tactical bacon (for the zombie apocalypse) to dark-side coffee thinkgeek has long been the website of choice for quirky humorous gifts. They even sell a remote control helicopter that spells out the word f *ck, so you can finally convince the smart aleck on your list that you really do give a flying F.
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The Gay Wedding Planner: Buddhist Wedding by Beau Fodor
Deborah Scott, Joan Sophie, and Beau share a moment after signing all the legal paperwork. All photos courtesy of Paula Maxhiem Photography, Des Moines, Iowa. I’ll be taking a short hiatus after the holidays, as I begin my final wedding season, to prepare to study and learn a new language, for a possible trip abroad and then becoming an “International” Gay Wedding and event planner. I still have no clear picture of what direction the TV show will take, but as we’ve continued to film this fall, well, it has been a fabulous roller-coaster ride and I have no regrets about any of it! Hopefully by Spring I’ll have a clearer picture of what lies ahead and can fill you in on what’s next. This month I’d like to share my “Buddhist Brides” wedding pictures and nuptials. Deborah Scott and Joan Sophie exchanged vows in one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever been a part of. The couple are professionals from the Chicago area and spent two years planning for their Buddhist ceremony in Des Moines and made several trips to plan their dream wedding. In their hand-written “thank you” letter I received last month, they expressed their true joy and gratitude to our great
state of Iowa, and said the ceremony was so personal and unique that they were forever grateful for the week-long experience and true sense of “community” that they felt. The ceremony was officiated by Reverend Eido Bruce Espe at the Des Art Center’s Rose Garden. Rev. Eido Bruce Espe is the resident priest at the Des Moines Zen Center. He is also Ino at Ryumonji Zen Monastery in Dorchester, Iowa. The Reverend was born and raised in a small town in central Iowa. He discovered Zen after serving in the Army and a tour of duty in Vietnam. Married with two grown children and two grandchildren, he resides in Des Moines with his wife Judy, a pediatric intensive care physician. Retired from a career as a hospice nurse, he now devotes his time to his practice as a priest. (And he’s one of the coolest men I’ve ever met…just sayin’…) Eido is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Dainin Kagagiri Roshi. In 1997, Eido received ordination. In 2010, he received Dharma transmission from his teacher Shoken Winecoff and completed zuise at Eiheiji Monastery and Sojiji Monastery in Japan. The Schedule at the ZEN Center in Des Moines is as follows: On the second Sunday morning of each month, meditation will begin at 8am followed by a ten minute service. From 8:50am to 10am, there will be a dharma talk delivered by Eido Espe or a guest speaker. On all other Sunday mornings there are two sittings at 7:10am and 8am. Each period is 40 minutes long with ten minutes of walking meditation in between. Additionally, there is a tenminute service after the second sitting.
Reverend Bruce “Eido” Espe officiates the Buddhist wedding ceremony. All photos courtesy of Paula Maxhiem Photography, Des Moines, Iowa.
Ryumonji Zen Monastery, Buddha Hall Entrance. Courtesy of Ryumonji Zen Monastery. It is perfectly all right to miss the first sitting period and join only for the second. On the first Wednesday evening of each month, participants sit from 6pm to 6:30pm, have a vegetarian potluck until 7pm, then hold a discussion or training period until 8pm. On all other Wednesday evenings, we sit from 6pm to 6:40pm. Des Moines Zen Center, 4116 Oak
Beau Fodor is an Iowa wedding planner who focuses specifically on weddings for the LGBT community. He is working with Pilgrim Films on a new Iowabased reality show. Beau can be reached through iowasgayweddingplanner.com or gayweddingswithpanache.com. Forest Drive, Des Moines, IA 50312 Eido Espe, Head Priest, (515) 279-2270, firstname.lastname@example.org Vicki Goldsmith, Education Liaison, (515) 255-5282, iowatoy2005@yahoo. com
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LAUPER “I was the famous person there, but a lot of people did a lot of work,” she says of the shelter’s official opening in September. “I was just the one who cut the ribbon. It’s an interesting project because it’s a low-income housing project, which makes it work on so many other levels. It’s kind of fabulous.” Same could be said for Lauper’s career, officially launching in the early ’80s—during an out-of-control house party that had the singer persuading her parents to whoop it up, all for a little single called “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” off her 1983 debut She’s So Unusual—as the New Yorker shot to superstardom instantly with funky-punky sunburst hair (one of many colors we’d see throughout the decade) and her outrageous fashion sense.She, like Madonna, was Gaga before Gaga existed. Lauper had the eccentricity, and she certainly had the hits. There was the sweet charm of got-yourback ballad “Time After Time,” a song still in heavy rotation nearly 30 years later. “A magical time,” she calls it now. “She Bop” blasted myths of masturbation, promoting it as something just as routine as brushing your teeth. The video— and “all my friends and family that showed up in the video with me”—is what she remembers most. There was also “We Are the World,” the all-star charity single—a monster one, at that— featuring Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Lauper. Her fondest memory: “That I walked in with almost the same jacket that Michael had on, and I changed it really quick. But I was upset anyway because I had the flakes in my hair, because I was doing that performance-art
the fun guide piece for the American Music Awards and didn’t have time to clean up. I was having a moment.” In the next three decades, Lauper would have many more moments. She would win Grammys. Have a son. Sing to a disgruntled group of flyers at an airline terminal.Flubthe“Star-Spangled Banner,” and gracefully recover from it, as she did recently before the US Open just this past September. Looking back, what would she have told her younger, more “unusual” self? “I know I said all the wrong things to the right people,” she laughs, “but probably not listen all the time to everything everybody told me. That there was a bigger world out there.” A world she’s still happy to be a part of. “I’ve been told, ‘No, it’ll never work.’ It’s always the same. But I’m still working.” Something she was told she could never do1by Sony, her label at the time—was the blues. She sure showed them. “To Memphis, With Love” is Lauper’s latest release, a live CD/DVD combo that captures one night of her most recent, and one of the more extensive, tours in her career. The songs performed are off last year’s “Memphis Blues,” her baby she’d been working toward her whole career. Her 11th studio album, the project scored the top spot of the Billboard Blues Chart for 14 consecutive weeks. “It’s the spirit of the blues that propels you
Cyndi Lauper. Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth into an otherworldly state,” she says. “Basically, that’s what you would hope for from music.” While editing the docu-style DVD, filmed at The Warehouse in Memphis and featuring special guests Jonny Lang and Tracy Nelson, Lauper had to do the unthinkable for anyone who can’t stand mirrors: look at herself for hours on end. “Once you get over the fact that you thought you looked different but this is what you really look like, it’s fine,” Lauper laughs. “It’s always that way. You can’t ever take yourself seriously.” Next up for Lauper? New original music, which she’s currently working on; writing for the Broadway show “Kinky Boots”; and a memoir
that’s still in the early stages. A reality show, set to air early next year, is also in the works. Lauper’s also determined to get the True Colors Tour, on hold because of the economy, back off the ground. “It’s going to take a minute to figure out how to do it right but I’ll get it back,” she says. “I always wanted it to be a little party, a real festival in one place—different stages, food and music. But I don’t know really how to do that. I’m not a businessperson; I’m an artist that wanted an inclusive tour with straight people and gay people and transgender people—everybody mixed together. That was my big dream.” And her true colors, shining through.
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Out of Town : Texas Coast by Andrew Collins Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island
Although America’s Gulf Coast doesn’t have any major gay beach resorts, the Texas barrier island of Galveston has steadily become a popular destination with GLBT travelers. About 220 miles south, the coast’s largest city, Corpus Christi, contains a number of notable attractions as well as the coast’s only gay bar south of Galveston. And at the southern tip of the Texas coast, scenic South Padre Island has developed increased cachet as a getaway, thanks in part to biannual Splash South Padre Island gay parties. Here’s a look at these three classic coastal getaways in Texas.
The historic and charming city of Galveston (galveston.com) is a haven of sandy beaches, opulent Victorian houses, and touristy but engaging seafood restaurants and souvenir shops. Gays and lesbians—many from Houston, 50 miles inland—regularly visit here. With colorful architecture, a small but discernible arts scene, and a laid-back demeanor reminiscent of Key West and New Orleans, this city of 48,000 is a bit more open-minded and offbeat than any other on the Texas Gulf Coast. Galveston occupies a narrow, 32-milelong, windswept coastal island. Several historic neighborhoods abound with stately old mansions and cheerful clapboard cottages, and the main drag along the shoreline, Seawall Boulevard, bustles with seafood restaurants, chain hotels, and shops selling postcards, seashells, swimsuits, and sunglasses. If you’re a beach lover, you’ll want to hang out around the shorefront neighborhoods, but the city’s vibrant and quirky personality reveals itself most strongly a couple of miles north, in the downtown Strand Historic District, which overlooks Galveston Bay. This warren of palm-shaded cobblestone lanes is punctuated by a few tall buildings. There are numerous attractions to keep you busy around Galveston, the most famous being the Moody Gardens, a dazzling natureoriented complex consisting of three huge pyramidal buildings housing a vast tropical rain forest, an aquarium, and a science museum. Other points of interest include downtown’s Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum, in which you can explore an actual retired oil rig; the dramatic 1894 Grand Opera House, which now presents theater and music events; and the Texas Seaport Museum, which is home to 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. If you start to feel a little peckish, downtown’s festive Yaga’s Cafe (yagaspresents.com) is a longtime favorite for casual Caribbean-inspired fare. For extremely tasty Latin American and Mexican fare, including delicious Gulf snapper ceviche, head to Rudy & Paco (rudyandpaco.com). A spacious, elegant restaurant overlooking Galveston Bay, Willie G’s (williegs.com) serves huge and rich portions of seafood, including lump
crab au gratin and snapper Kathleen (blackened with shrimp, crab, mushrooms, and lemon butter). Gay-popular Mosquito Cafe (mosquitocafe.com), despite its pesty name, might just serve the most sophisticated and polished contemporary cuisine in town. This charming space with tall windows exudes understated elegance. Gay-friendly MOD Coffeehouse (modcoffeehouse.com) is one of the best places in town for espresso and tea drinks, plus decadent desserts. The city has a few gay bars. The friendly and festive 3rd Coast Bar (3rdcoastdowntown.com) overlooks the Gulf and has a small deck outside. Robert’s Lafitte is another neighborhood bar with an easy-going personality. A relative newcomer that’s quickly become popular, Stars Beach Club (starsbeachclub.com) is a great spot for dancing. And the Pink Dolphin (pinkdolphingalveston.com) is a low-key neighborhood gay bar that’s a favorite with locals. The dapper Bacchus Wine Bar (bacchus-wine-bar.com) serves a nice range of wines (and beers) by the glass—this mixed hangout is a fun place for drinks before or after dinner along the Strand. Galveston claims a pair of Texas’s most renowned historic hotels, and both of them are quite gay-friendly. Anchoring the heart of downtown’s Strand Historic District, the Tremont House (wyndham.com) captures the elegance and warmth of a European boutique hotel. The hotel’s 119 rooms have marble baths and fluffy pillow-top bedding. A 10-minute drive south, the imposing Hotel Galvez (wyndham.com) offers a more peaceful setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Although rooms have every amenity, the period decor thoroughly recalls the city’s gilded era. You can sip cocktails at the pool’s swim-up bar or relax to piano music over the Sunday champagne brunch. Among mainstream B&Bs, the gay-friendly Avenue O B&B (avenueo.com) is a romantic, imaginatively decorated inn set in the city’s historic Silk Stocking District. The 1923 Mediterranean Revival house overlooks beautifully landscaped grounds.
With a population of just over 300,000, Corpus Christi (visitcorpuschristitx.org) is the largest community along the Texas coast—it’s about a 4.5-hour drive south of Galveston, and it’s just a 2.5-hour drive down I-37 from San Antonio. The city enjoys a sheltered setting on Corpus Christi Bay, which separates it from Padre Island. From downtown Corpus Christi, it’s an easy drive to the island, which is home to popular seaside attractions like Mustang Island State Park and the scenic town of Port Aransas. A fairly conservative city with a strong military presence, Corpus Christi has a limited gay scene but is home to several noteworthy attractions. At the north end of downtown, the outstanding Art Museum of South Texas and Museum of Science & History anchor a waterfront cultural district that also includes the first-rate Harbor Playhouse Theatre as well as a complex of restored historic houses known collectively as Heritage Park. Just a bit north, the Harbor Bridge leads to the North Beach neighborhood, which
Downtown Galveston’s historic Strand District. Photo by Andrew Collins is home to the world’s oldest surviving aircraft carrier, the World War II-era USS Lexington, which is now an impressive floating museum. Next door, you can tour the excellent Texas State Aquarium, home to sea turtles, river otters, piranhas, and three graceful bottlenose dolphins. D ow n tow n’ s upscale Omni Corpus Christi Hotel Bayfront Tower (omnihotels.com) as well as the stylish and more intimate V Boutique Hotel (vhotelcc.com) are reliable, gayfriendly lodging options close to local attractions—they’re both a short walk from Water Street Market (waterstreetmarketcc.com), a lively hub of restaurants, shops, bars, and a cool little museum dedicated to Texas surf culture. Here you’ll find an excellent coffeehouse, Agua Java, as well as the Water Street Seafood Co. and Oyster Bar and the Executive Surf Club—all good places for drinking and dining. The main gay club in town, the Hidden Door (thehiddenadoorcc.com), is on the south side of downtown and has good drink specials, a cheery patio, and a side bar called the Loft with piano cabaret. If you’d rather stay outside of the bustle of downtown and near the beach, Anthony’s by the Sea (anthonysbythesea.com) is a terrific, lesbian-owned B&B in Rockport, just 30 miles up the coast from Corpus Christi. This comfy six-room property is just a few blocks from Aransas Bay, and rates include a hearty breakfast, which you can enjoy on the shaded patio.
South Padre Island
The southernmost Gulf Coast town in the United States, bustling South Padre Island (sopadre.com/island) has long been famous as a family vacation spot, more recently as a Spring Break destination flooded with college students, and in just the past few years as the site of two raucous and fun gay circuit parties, known as Splash South Padre Island (splashsouthpadre.com)—it’s held twice a year, once in late April and then again in the fall (usually late October or early November). Check the website for dates, as they’re usually announced a few months in advance of these parties. A word about the geography of the area, which can be confusing for outsiders. Padre Island is the world’s longest barrier island and the second-largest island in the Lower 48 (after Long Island). It extends for some 130 miles from just east of Corpus Christi, where it’s generally called North
Padre Island, all the way down to the tip. Because the central section of the island is preserved wilderness, you can’t drive from the northern to southern parts. The town of South Padre Island is the only substantially developed part of the island, and from Corpus Christi you get here by taking U.S. 77 south to Highway 100 east—it’s about a 3.5-hour drive. Splash South Padre Island is a fun time to visit, drawing revelers from throughout the South and increasingly from all over the country. With a mild climate, a couple of miles of beautiful beachfront, and a restaurant scene that’s become steadily more sophisticated, this narrow island community is a terrific destination yearround, especially from fall to spring, when the weather is mild (it can be a little toasty in summer, although Gulf breezes moderate the temperatures). The preferred activity in these parts is relaxing: you can laze on the beach, ride horseback at Padre Island National Seashore, and enjoy the usual sorts of recreational activities you’d find at the seashore: fishing, boating, kite-boarding, surfing, snorkeling, and even dolphinwatching cruises. Fans of nature should check out the fascinating South Padre Island Birding Center, which comprises both a nature center and a network of boardwalks that lead out along the bayfront (and from which you can spot everything from alligators to least sandpipers). Just across the Queen Isabella Causeway on the mainland, the historic village of Port Isabel contains shops, restaurants, a marina (with boat tours), a historic lighthouse, and other amusements. Seafood is a highlight in the area, with the Dirty Al’s/Daddy’s (dirtyals-daddys.com) restaurant group among the top contenders—they have locations both on the island and across the bay in Port Isabel, and fried shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and blackened fish are all outstanding. The low-frills Manuel’s in Port Isabel is a good bet for outstanding Tex-Mex fare, including enormous breakfasts. More upscale, urbane options include stylish Cafe Kranzler (cafekranzler.com), where specialties include lobster omelets at breakfast and marinated sesame-crusted ahi at dinner; and Zeste, a gourmet market and restaurant known for creatively prepared tapas, salads, sandwiches, and other healthy fare. There are no gay bars on South Padre
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HEAR ME OUT old hangout that puts you dead-center in the joint, and bittersweet tearjerker “Threaten Me with Heaven.” Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do For a while there, the ladies—Adele, Amy, Duffy—were just about the only ones doing old-school soul: then came Cee-Lo, and now Mayer Hawthorne. The singer, with his pillow-talk falsetto, is so straight-up Motown that songs like optimistic groove “A Long Time,” an ode to native Detroit, and the adorably infectious “You Called Me” sound like they’re right out of the ’60s. The only clue that they’re not: cussing out a hot but difficult woman on “The Walk” and, as Snoop sings on “Can’t Stop,” hitting it from behind. Tempting, but not the Temptations.
Florence + The Machine, Ceremonials
The dog days are over for Florence Welch, so it’s onto a different animal: this behemoth of supersized songs that sound big enough to swallow the world whole. Eternal happiness is still her resting-place—how fitting, then, that she so memorably provided the music to Julia Robert’s eating, praying and loving—but to get there she’s fending off devils (“Shake It Out,” an anthemic single strong enough to rid evil spirits) and falling into darkness (“Only If For a Night”). More than on Lungs, her debut that established quite literally that she had one hell of a set, Welch and producer Paul Epworth push her theatrical dramatics—often built with a swirl of chamber sounds and choirs designed for Welch’s fire-hose wail— into a mystical wonderland of ancient eeriness that’s riff with satanic imagery, childhood urban legends and real-life crazies. You know it’s only a matter of time before there’s a musical. “Never Let Me Go,” easily a career-best ballad, is like the very water she sings of: piano, or the calm before the storm, busts into a crashing chorus that’s overwhelmingly breathtaking. “Spectrum” spectacularly follows Annie Lennox’s lead, and “No Light, No Light” gets bigger even when you don’t think it can. Ceremonials is that rare sophomore album that exceeds its debut, both on a song-by-song basis but also in its intriguing concept of angels and demons, imagery that she imparts with overwhelming effect. When the ethereal optimism of Enya-on-steroids
“All This & Heaven Too” comes sweeping in at the album’s end, there’s no denying the power of this Machine. Grade: A
Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
Intentionally or not, Coldplay sums up their love/hate relationship with humankind on their latest album’s “Us Against the World,” something that never seemed truer than with this polarizing project. Before this, their fifth album and a follow-up to one of their best, 2008’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, the foursome was all about soft-rock odes to lost love and the color yellow. Things are brighter than ever on their nonsensically named Mylo Xyloto, one big hug that’s all-out pop with synth, Auto-Tune and Rihanna. They ride in on a rainbow with the first full tune “Hurts Like Heaven,” a shimmering, speed-sung song that’s a high even opium couldn’t give you. They keep that idealistic mood running through much of the rest: Life’s-what-you-make-it mantra “Paradise” takes on a synth crunch that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kanye West album, “Charlie Brown” is about living it up (and stealing cars), and it’s easy to appreciate the message in even the cheesiest of songs: “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” essentially tells you to turn that frown upside down. Whereas, for the most part, piano was Coldplay’s go-to instrument in their bummed-out days, they’re busting out the big guns— lots of guitars—for a glossy sound that further aligns them with the pimps of pop (though not even West himself could do much to help the Rihanna co-teamed “Princess of China”). Their biggest fault? Hallmark corniness like “Life goes on, it gets so heavy,” lyrics that frontman Chris Martin has recently admitted to be a “bit shit.” Good thing the rest of the album isn’t. Grade: B-
Lauren Alaina, Wildflower The Season 10 American Idol runner-up’s debut sounds like something from a singer still in high school. She kisses off boys on “I’m Not One of Them,” does a song for mom (“Like My Mother Does,” the first single) and drops a Dixie Chicks reference (we feel so old!). Ditties, written by some of Nashville’s best and produced by ladies’ favorite Byron Gallimore, are perfectly fit for this 17-year-old, a cross between Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. But Alaina transcends her teen age with
an emotional interpretation of one of the album’s primo songs, “The Locket,” a heartbreaker that’s The Notebook set to song. Class Actress, Rapprocher Fans of Elizabeth Harper, a Brooklyn singer-songwriter known by the moniker Class Actress, probably didn’t see this coming: a chic set of cosmopolitan ’80s funk-pop. And why? Because Harper was a folk singer. She doesn’t let her self-proclaimed “playboy pop”—a sophisticated sound that’s synth driven—override her inviting voice, one that always seems to be telling you a secret. It’s that charm and humanity extending over the 11 tracks that help it along, even after it starts to drag halfway through. The best comes early with “Keep You” and its airy falsetto on the chorus; “Bienvenue” drops glam for some lo-fi indie, and it’s a welcome reprieve. Not bad for a folkie.
Michael Bublé, Christmas
The crooner’s sex appeal isn’t just surface hotness, though no one’s going to fault his boyish features. It’s all over “Santa Baby,” taking the typically-forchicks tune and adding some machismo to it—baby becomes “bubby.” And instead of a sable, he wants a manly watch. With his deep drawl, and his tongue firmly placed in his cheek (don’t get any ideas about getting your bells jingled), the time-traveling troubadour pulls off the Eartha Kitt classic most charmingly. Then again, he does justice to most of the classics—14 of them, and a new one called “Cold December Night”—on his first fulllength Christmas album, a project the Frank Sinatra-meets-Dean Martin singer was made for. It’s why songs like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” both beautifully orchestrated by schmaltz master David Foster, fit his classic-sounding voice like hand and glove. To play up his old-soul appeal, he invites the Puppini Sisters for a very merry ’60s-styled swing on “Jingle Bells.” He stretches his chords on a divine “Ave Maria,” has a “White Christmas” with Shania Twain and does a lovely, for-the-fireside version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Most surprising is his poignant change-up of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” pulling back on the pep and zeroing in on the lonely lyrics of desperation for a lover who’s away during the holidays. But not Bublé. He sounds right at home for Christmas. Grade: B+
Glee: The Christmas Album, Volume 2
Not to be a Grinch, but is more Glee music really at the top of anyone’s Christmas list? But here you have it anyway: 12 tracks from a TV show so in love with itself that every few months we must be reminded of how awesome they think they are. The McKinley High kids are best when they’re not being themselves—you know, gleeful. A standout on the second disc of Christmas songs from the glee club is, predictably, Rachel’s (aka Lea Michele) appropriately gloomy reading of Joni Mitchell’s “River,” just her peerless voice and a piano. Moments of minimalism trump all else: “Let It Snow” is a charming duet between Chris Colfer’s Kurt and Darren Criss’ Blaine, with ad-libs, finger snaps and a similar whimsy to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from the first set. But the strongest of all the songs doesn’t even belong to a New Directions gleek. Instead, that honor goes to Glee Project runners-up Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell, who sing “Do You Hear What I Hear?” like they’re trying to win their way in (this stirring tour de force should do it). The rest? As tacky as those Christmas sweaters grandma knits. “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” isn’t extra ordinary; it’s Christmas-through-Katy Perry trash. Same goes for “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” originally a 1984 charity song that just sounds hokier in their hands, and the ’80s romp “Christmas Wrapping” is completely lacking in melody. And they wonder why Sue Sylvester hates them. Grade: C
Dave Koz, Ultimate Christmas ‘Tis the season for the saxophone. Dave Koz’s fourth Christmas album is essentially a cash-grab compilation gleaning tracks from his three previous holiday albums—December Makes Me Feel This Way, A Smooth Jazz Christmas and Memories of a Winter’s Nigh—that tacks on two newbies: an intro and an outro (woopty doo!). Definitely not for people who get enough of this on the elevator, this smooth-jazz collection still offers some nice twists in composition, taking “Please Come Home For Christmas” into a bluesy direction with Idol finalist Kimberly Locke’s singing. But it’s a package that, despite tradition, needs some shaking up. She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas
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Partying Hard: Bah Humbug by Joshua Dagon Christmas Shopping for Folks Who Just Don’t Care
The Christmas season is once again upon us. Whoo hoo. Really, I sincerely hope that most of you have more enthusiasm for this time of year than I. Frankly, I would rather just stay at home and order all of my gifts over the Internet. And, you never know, I may even give a portion of them to other people. For example, I have a friend who I believe would benefit from a very informative book appropriately titled Personal Hygiene: It’s For Everyone! Another chum might benefit from a guide to organizing his wardrobe. Seriously, how does one venture out of the house in torn jeans and tattered tennis shoes when there are options such as Burberry Prorsum coats and John Varvatos shirts and tanks? These are excellent gift ideas by the way for acquaintances who may believe that cargo pants are fitting attire for Christmas mass. I understand that some of us are working with limited budgets, and so just giving away a Balmain blazer might be less cost effective than we would like. But that’s why God invented shoplifting! Or, if that makes you nervous, another idea is just to go to Burlington Coat Factory, pick up something that doesn’t appear as though it’s been previously worn by any schizophrenic meth dealers, and you’re set! Your friends will never know the difference. If you’re really desperate for gift ideas, there’s always the complete set of Jersey Shore on DVD. That ought to make
you friends. Also, Vampire Diaries works wonders as a potent sedative. If you get really stumped, there’s the Telescoping Fog Free Shower Mirror, only $99.00 at Sharper Image. Although, the product doesn’t look all that flexible, so, if you purchase this item, you should be contented merely to shave your face. One irritation at shopping centers during the Christmas season is the amount of children roaming around. Not that I don’t like children, it’s just that, in those numbers, I have trouble fighting to urge to sideswipe one or two of them. Now before you think of me as a monster, I wouldn’t push the kids hard enough to cause major injury. I would just give them a little nudge to let them know that they’re effectively between me and certain sale items, such as a Flowbee Hair Cut System, which would be perfect for those acquaintances of mine who don’t seem to own hair brushes. For the more libidinous consociates in our lives one might consider gifts that could be sincerely appreciated, such as Aneros MGX prostate massager, or perhaps a Titan Training Tool #1. Really, one should begin with the Titan Training Tool before moving on the more heavy duty apparatuses, such as a Plow Belt Doggie Style Harness or a Slave Mask complete with blind and gag attachments. Of course, who could go wrong with a 20-inch Thong Whip? That’s just a gift that keeps on giving. Whatever your gift-giving plans for this holiday, my suggestion would be to start shopping early in case you haven’t already. My problem is that I hate crowds. Hate
Yes, parents all over the country wait for exorbitant amounts of time so that they can get a picture of their child sitting in the lap of some stranger who’s dressed as the jolly old fat dude from the North Pole.
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ENDORSEMENT relevance of Iowa as an early bellwether for electing a president. In a November 25th opinion piece in the Boston Herald, Dan K. Thomasson pointed out that the makeup of Iowa’s Republican Party does not reflect its greater national appearance, and that the successful 1976 strategy for Jimmy Carter worked to get him elected president, but that the same strategy failed in the most recent presidential caucuses: “[Iowa] lacks the philosophical and ethnic diversity of the national electorate that ultimately will decide the winner a year from now. As far as Republicans are concerned, its ideological base is heavily oriented toward social conservatism. Electability is less of a concern, it seems. “As a rural candidate, Jimmy Carter understood this and stole the march on his opponents here in 1976, convincing Democrats he was a born-again Christian who had the right slant on social issues. By the time his more liberal opponents caught on, he was too far ahead to stop. Former Arkansas governor and preacher Mike Huckabee won these caucuses four years ago with much of the same support. Huckabee, however, failed to win the
nomination from voters less concerned about evangelism.” So the choice comes down to either A) one of the six presidential candidates who sat down at the Thanksgiving dinner table for a friendly chat sponsored by Iowa’s anti-gay “FAMiLY Leader” and the larger National Organization for Marriage—five of whom insisted that a the country needs a federal marriage amendment, or B) Mitt Romney. Of course, the entire election seems to be based on this choice, mainly because so many Christians believe that the Mormon religion is a cult and want to elect anyone other than Mitt Romney— even if that choice leaves them with just Newt Gingrich, whose history of infidelity and divorce make him a surprising choice for a voting bloc concerned about the “sanctity of marriage” in America. But Mitt Romney has reversed his position on so many issues—even beyond his own opposition to the rights and commitments of same-sex couples during his entire political career—that we do not feel he deserves the paper’s endorsement. So we remain, like everyone else at this point, scratching our heads as to who will be the eventual nominee. And, also like everyone else, we do not really care for any of the available options.
‘em. Normally, I find a hand-held Taser to be very useful during the Christmas frenzy. It’s just a question of utilizing the weapon surreptitiously. There’s nothing so effective when struggling for an item with another shopper—one who displays a belligerence that clearly calls for militant action—and (subtly mind you) causing them to pee their pants via electric stimulation. Works every time. “Looks like you’ve urinated yourself there, pal,” I always observe. “Better go handle that while I rush to the counter and pay for this 26-inch electric riding crop.” Even before your adventure in Christmas shopping begins, though, one must invest in a traditional Christmas tree. The Christmas tree custom actually didn’t become popular until the eighteenth century when Queen Victoria tried to plant a garden inside her office. “It’s just too cold outside,” the monarch would complain. “Just water the damn thing and, when it starts to look like shite, toss some ornamental crap on it. Maybe some shiny string type things, too. Get the peasants to do it. They love that sort of thing.” Queen Victoria was kind of a bitch. You might be interested to learn that the largest Christmas tree in the world is erected each year in Lantana, Florida. It’s decorated with life-size nativity scenes complete with live actors and animals. Unfortunately, as the season progresses, the live actors tend to get hungry and eat the animals. I hear it’s not pretty. And what Christmas season would be complete without Santa Claus. Yes, parents all over the country wait for exorbitant amounts of time so that they can get a picture of their child sitting in the lap of some stranger’s who’s dressed as the jolly old fat dude from the North Pole. Yes, the children are normally crying their lungs out, but who can blame them? I sure wouldn’t
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CAKE Research Council (listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) made Childress the victim and had the following to say regarding the Iowa couple’s statement that they felt degraded by the experience: “It was degrading,” they told KCCI. But apparently, calling Victoria a bigot is not? Obviously, the only form of discrimination that’s acceptable in this country is directed at men and women of faith. Whether this couple likes it or not, religious freedom is for everyone—including Christian business owners. Just because Victoria runs a bakery doesn’t mean she has to check her conscience at the kitchen door. Childress is well within her rights to decline an order that would force her to join in the assault on marriage. The couple (whose names we have left out of this story out of respect for their recent requests for privacy) is not planning legal action, nor is there any indication of any other legal complaint. However, experts in Iowa statutes (including Iowa’s Assistant Attorney General) have agreed that Childress did, in fact, break Iowa law. Scott Rose of Pam’s House Blend pointed out in a November 20 post that Iowa code includes the following: Section 216.7(1): Unfair practices – accommodations or services.
Novelist Joshua Dagon is the author of Into the Mouth of the Wolf, The Fallen, and Demon Tears. For more information, please go to www.joshuadagon.com. To contact Mr. Dagon, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
want to sit in some jolly old fat dude’s lap after he’s very likely wet himself after having no breaks and continuously sipping tequila from his eggnog thermos. In all seriousness, though, I really do enjoy the Christmas season. For one thing, several of my friends throw fantastic parties at which there is—most importantly—free booze. Sometimes, after enough free booze, we even gather around the piano and sing such Christmas favorites as “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” or “Daddy Shot Santa in the Head for Trespassing,” or who can forget that timeless Christmas anthem, “Thank God This Shite is Almost Over, Let’s All Become Jewish Together.”
It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice for any owner, lessee, sublessee, proprietor, manager or superintendent of any public accommodation or any agent or employee thereof: a. To refuse or deny to any person because of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion or disability the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services, or privileges thereof, or otherwise to discriminate against any person because of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability in the furnishing of such accommodations, advantages, facilities, services, or privileges. b. To directly or indirectly advertise or in any other manner indicate or publicize that the patronage of persons of any particular race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability is unwelcome. Arthur Breur, editor-in-chief for The ACCESSline, believes that there is definitely a double-standard being applied. “Just put any group’s name in place of ‘homosexual’ and you will understand why this declaration of following one’s faith in refusing services is a ruse. ‘I just can’t serve you, because it is against my deeply held religious convictions to serve Italians / Jews / Muslims / Blacks / Christians…’ Simply turn the table around and the bigotry becomes obvious for what it actually is.”
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Book Worm Sez by Terri Schlichenmeyer “The Lost Women of Lost Lake” by Ellen Hart c.2011, Minotaur $25.99 / $29.99 Canada 320 pages Admit it—you’ve done some dumb things in your life. And now that you’ve admitted it, you can blame it on youth. It’s okay. You were a dumb kid. From the curfews broken, hearts broken, laws broken, and the bones broken, you did a lot of things you can look back upon now that you’re grown, and laugh. Laugh, with a little cringing. It’s a wonder you didn’t get yourself killed. But getting killed was what happened
Across 1 Lake, of Hairspray 6 “Beat it!” 10 What fruits do in orchards 14 Hawke of Hamlet 15 Jelly not for bread 16 Tomato variety 17 Start of a quote from Paula Ettlebrick 20 They perform without payment 21 Spain and Portugal 22 Barely beat 23 Cannon of Hollywood 24 Excites a bit 28 Rent 32 Leave the sack 33 What Shakespeare might be in, with “the” 34 Darth, as a boy 35 More of the quote 39 Sweetie pie 40 Russian gymnast Korbut 41 Tried to go down on? 42 One who doesn’t come immediately 45 Rico 46 “Hi” to Lorca 47 Gone to Fla., maybe 48 Escargot 51 Piece of my heart and more? 56 End of the quote 58 Aspirin unit 59 “Uh-oh!” to Lord Byron 60 Priest role in Superstar 61 They don’t hang out in gay bars 62 Word after Bush 63 Rock-bottom Down 1 “Queen of Country” McEntire
when the past came looking for two women, and in the new novel, “The Lost Women of Lost Lake” by Ellen Hart, shed blood flows like water. Cordelia Thorn figured she would just lend a quick hand. Tessa Cornell, Cornelia’s old friend in northern Minnesota, had taken a tumble and hurt her leg. Because Tessa was directing the community play, somebody needed to finish the job while she was healing, so Cornelia volunteered and invited her best friend, Jane Lawless, along. Jane, a restaurateur and part-time PI, was still mourning the death of her long-time partner, and a trip north would do her good. But though Tessa was happy to
have help with the play, she didn’t need any company—particularly not some PI-wannabe. Not long before she fell, Tessa got a call from Lyndie LaVassar, and it wasn’t good news: a secret was about to be loose in Lost Lake. The past, it seemed, had caught up with the two women and was about to destroy their lives as well as the reputations of several people in town. Jonah Ivorsen had enough of St. Louis. He’d hated to move anyhow, so when he decided to hitchhike to Lost Lake, he was sure his aunt Jill and Jill’s wife, Tessa, would let him stay with them. Jonah was excited to be home and to reconnect with friends, especially his girl, Emily, who said she’d
Q-PUZZLE: “Remembering Paula Ettlebrick”
2 Bit from Ted Casablanca 3 “Pet” plant 4 Philosopher Immanuel
5 Suckers, perhaps 6 Sucking sound
love him forever. But then a body was discovered and another one followed it fast. Emily was hiding something, the authorities were zeroing in on a mysterious fire, and Tessa was obviously lying to everybody. Could Jane Lawless sort things out before someone else died? Oh, how I love books with Jane Lawless in them! Jane is an unlikely heroine and somewhat reluctant private investigator who doesn’t seem to want her hobby to turn into work, yet there’s a will-she-makeit-permanent story thread in this book that’s satisfactorily solved. There’s also a possible romance angle here that teases readers nicely. But much as I love author Ellen Hart’s main character, the supporting cast in “The Lost Women of Lost Lake” almost all needed to take a dive. I had to work to keep my eyes from rolling, not only because of the clichéd peripheral characters but also for the clichéd things they said. Triteness definitely taints this otherwise fine mystery, alas. Fans of this series should be able to overlook these faults but if you’re not a fan yet, start with another book. For you, “The Lost Women of Lost Lake” will not be looked upon swimmingly. 7 Sticks around a bar? 8 Follower of Jim Buchanan 9 Dish from the land of the Samurai 10 Gay novelist Harlan 11 Pride expression 12 Potent head? 13 “Papa Rolling Stone” 18 One-liner, e.g. 19 New corp. hires 23 Word for skin 24 Hiking trails 25 Flamboyant Flynn 26 Elton John’s instrument 27 IRS info 28 Inevitable online claim 29 Shoot-’em-up 30 Remove a condom? 31 Link with 33 Kevin Isom’s It Only Hurts When I 36 Jester’s headwear 37 Like seamen 38 Long distance letters 43 Pirouettes like a ballet dancer 44 sci 45 “But,” in Barcelona 47 Ballet follower 48 Bay Area bulls (abbr.) 49 Drag queen’s leg need 50 With skill 51 Many miles away 52 Movie theater 53 Glinda portrayer in The Wiz 54 HHH, to Sappho 55 Pt. of DOS 57 Bullring shout
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IOWA NATIVE WILDFLOWERS
WINE & GIFT BASKETS
“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. “ --Benjamin Disraeli
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EVENTS 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@ gmail.com, 319-621-8530 or Nora Garda at 319-400-4695, or visit http://iowadancefest. blogspot.com/. [ L G B T M W A ] Every Tuesday, ARGENTINE TANGO, 7:309:30 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 319-4471445 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. [ L G BTMWA] Every Tuesday, KARAOKE IDOL, 9 PM, Studio 13, 13 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Drink specials and great competition! Visit www.sthirteen.com. [ 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 http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=372454708295. For more info, contact ACE experiment at 319-853-8223. [ L G B T MWA] 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. [+] Fourth Tuesday, LINCOLN NEBRASKA PFLAG, 7 PM, Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, [LGBTMWA]
1st Wednesday of the Month, CEDAR RAPIDS CHARTER CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN BUSINESS WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION, For more info, visit charter-chapter.tripod.com. [ LW] 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.prairiewoods. org. [ 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: email@example.com. [ L GBTMWA] 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 linnstonewall@gmail. com or call 319-389-0093. [ L G B T M W A ] 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. womenforpeace-iowa.org. 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 BTA] 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 http://www.uiowa.edu/~glbtau/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or call 515-650-1725. [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] Every Wednesday, OMAHA FRONTRUNNERS/WALLKERS, 6:30 PM. For more information call 402-804-8720. [ 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@pitchiowa. org (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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling in advance is highly recommended to confirm the location for the specific month of interest. [LW] 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. ritualcafe.com. For more info, e-mail mary@ marymcadams.com. [ 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 email@example.com the week prior to the open mic. [ L G B T M W A ] 3rd Thursday of the Month, LGBTQI YOUTH MOVIE NIGHT AT THE CENTER, 6:3010pm, 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 GBT+] 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 www.pwn.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Shelley Woods at 319-981-9887. [ 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 groups. google.com/group/iowa-city-guerrilla-queerbar. [ L G B T M W A ] 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,
DECEMBER 2011 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: email@example.com [ 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 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. [ G M ] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. [LGBTMWA]
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 email@example.com, or visit www.tangovia.com. [ L G B T M W A D ] 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 khall479@aol. com. [ L G B T M W A K D ] 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 www.crsalsa. org. [ L G B T M W A K D ]
Section 3: Community
First Friday Breakfast Club: Jeff Angelo by Bruce Carr Developing Dialogue with Our Detractors
Former Iowa state senator, Jeff Angelo. Photo: Gary Moore The breakfast club speaker in November was former Iowa state senator Jeff Angelo, a Republican, and founder of Republicans for Freedom. The name of that initiate should not come across as an oxymoron, but it is, given the fact that he is seeking through it to open conversations among Republicans in support of same-gender marriage equality. The current, polarized, political environment largely precludes such conversations on any
substantive basis. Senator Angelo has Republican bona fides that give him access to fellow Republicans in venues normally inaccessible to vocal supporters of civil equality for gay children of God. His mere presence, after having been identified with this initiative, has tended to moderate our detractors there and given our “closeted” supporters permission to express their support. --Showing the bravery of David entering the proverbial lions’ den, Senator Angelo reported some progress. He also acknowledged, however, that the issue remains highly controversial, politically charged, and still capable of motivating voters and raising money for the Republican Party and its candidates. He attempted to reassure us that context is everything in public discourse. Words from a union member will be prounion. Words from a corporate type will be pro-corporation and pro-business. Words from a politician—any politician, whether Republican or Democrat—will be intended to achieve a perceived political advantage. The Republicans for Freedom initiative is intended to change the perception that gay-bashing provides, on balance, any political advantage. He is hopeful that the historic association of the Republican Party with matters of individual liberty and freedom from government intrusion will continue to move those in that party toward greater tolerance for equal treatment.
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OneIowa Public Forums
It’s been six months since the Iowa Supreme Court issued their unanimous decision to allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry in the state of Iowa. But the struggle to protect marriage equality has only just begun. As we’ve seen in California and Maine, these freedoms are never as secure as we hope. The Iowa legislative session is set to begin in January, and a roster of anti-gay gubernatorial candidates is pledging to take away the freedoms we’ve worked so hard to achieve. One candidate even flaunts the idea of defying the Iowa Supreme Court ruling with an executive order, barring the door to committed couples who want to marry. At this critical juncture, One Iowa will host a series of public forums to continue our statewide conversation about marriage equality. These panel discussions around the state will represent various local perspectives: same-sex couples, parents of gays and lesbians, faith and community leaders, the legal community and local businesses. • Thursday, December 3rd, 6:30PM - 8:30PM. Waterloo Public Library, 415 Commercial St, Waterloo, IA • Monday, December 7th, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Grinnell Campus, Grinnell, IA • Tuesday, December 8th, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Campus of Northern Iowa Community College, Calmar, Iowa • Wednesday, December 9th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM, Central Middle School, 901 Cedar St, Muscatine, IA • Thursday, December 10th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM, All Cultures Equal Center, 1440 E 2nd St, Webster City, IA • Thursday, December 10th, 5:30PM - 7:30PM, Newton Public Library, 100 N 3rd Ave W, Newton, IA • Thursday, December 10th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM, West Burlington Community High School Auditorium, 408 W Van Weiss Blvd, West Burlington, IA • Monday, December 14th, 6:00PM - 8:00PM,Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA • Thursday, December 17th, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Scott Community College. Student Life Center Auditorium, Bettendorf, IA • Tuesday, January 5th, 6:30PM - 8:30PM, Mindframe Theater, 555 JFK Rd, Dubuque, IA
One Iowa Protects Our Rights Dear ACCESSline, We hear a lot about equality from One Iowa. Equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, marriage equality, equality for all Iowa families. But what does it mean? Tom and I have been together for 13 years. We are happily married and are both hard working Iowans. To us, equality means security. Security in knowing that our family will always be protected. It means that every day I can wake up with my husband and know that our rights are protected and that our commitment to one another is recognized by the state we are proud to call home. One Iowa is the only organization that is working in Iowa to ensure our family’s security and that is why we are giving the gift of equality this season. In 2011, One Iowa: Stopped several shameful and hurtful
pieces of legislation from proceeding in the Iowa Legislature. Launched a One Iowa on Campus program to engage with students across the state. And, continued to fight against Bob Vander Plaats and the National Organization for Marriage to make sure the pro-equality voice is heard. Tom and I are proud of the work that One Iowa is doing to protect equality in the state. That is why we are giving each other the gift of equality. Will you join us in sharing the holiday spirit with YOUR loved ones? We know that this is the gift that will keep on giving. Happy Holidays, Tom and John P.S. Any donations made to the One Iowa Education Fund will be tax deductible. It’s a great way to get a little help when Uncle Sam comes calling, while ensuring that One Iowa can have a strong start to the New Year.
Greater Omaha GLBT Network Calender
The mission of GOglbt is to advance growth and equality for its members, businesses and allies by providing educational, networking and community-building opportunities. We typically meet the first Thursday every month at a traveling location to see the community and be seen. For more information or to be included on the e-newsletter list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Sunday, December 4, 11, 18, 25, 2011 - 11:30am - 1:30pm The Wimmins Show Music for, by, and about women, including new and upcoming lesbian singer-songwriters. On radio station KZUM, 89.3 in Lincoln NE. Outside of Lincoln, listen online at www.kzum. org Thursday, December 08, 2011, 06:30pm - 09:00pm PFLAG Meeting Location : First United Methodist Church, 7700 Cass St., Omaha NE Contact Carrie Spencer email@example.comT if you want to know the speaker / topic for this month’s meeting Every Other Friday, December 9 & 23, 2011, 05:00pm Council Bluffs Community Alliance (CBCA) Biweekly Meeting Location : 3400 W Broadway; Council Bluffs, IA Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org Council Bluffs Community Alliance (CBCA) promotes 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. CBCA also meets at Broadway Joes (3400 W Broadway) every other Friday at 5:00 PM -- next meeting September 3rd. Come unwind with them after a long week of work!
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Section 3: Community
Remarkables by Jonathan Wilson Paying It Back By Paying It Forward
Who among us who are unapologetically “out” and justifiably proud did it all by ourselves and without help directly from others, particularly others who came out before us? You? I’d bet not. I’d venture to guess that almost no one to this day has managed to come out without the direct encouragement, support, and guidance of one or more others who have traveled that scary road before us. Stop reading for a moment and think about those who lent you a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. As society’s attitudes have changed, coming out has doubtless gotten easier and it, on average, happens at a younger and younger age. But the undeniable fact that it has gotten easier is irrefutable proof that everyone has benefitted from those who have gone before. In short, every person who is “out” has benefitted directly or indirectly from those who have gone before. Often those who have gone before did it with no high minded purpose and, rather, just to survive. But just by surviving in a much more hostile world, those who have gone before ran interference for us. We owe them. We are indebted to them, immeasurably. Those historically, who have been martyred for the cause, are owed perhaps the most. We know the names of some of those martyrs who lived, suffered, and died, and who did not know our names. When I was still in the coming out process, I attended a play in San Francisco
called, as I recall, Harvey Milk. Don’t hold me to that title, but it was a one man production about the iconic Harvey Milk. It had to have been in the late 80s or early 90s. In it, at one point, Harvey Milk is responding to a question about why he was working so tirelessly and selflessly for the cause of GLBT civil equality. He said—get this—“I’m doing it so that someday some guy in Des Moines, Iowa, can feel safe to come out of the closet and live an authentic life,” or words to that effect. But he said, “…some guy in Des Moines, Iowa.” Needless to say, it touched me. I won’t forget it as long as I live. There’s no way that I can thank Harvey Milk directly. He’s long dead, shot by an assassin. But let me share another story. I served for many years on the Des Moines School Board. In January 1995, the school district, thanks to the impending Iowa Republican caucuses, became embroiled in controversy over a proposal to implement a long-standing policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. There was a special school board meeting on January 24, 1995; televised state-wide; on the topic of homosexuality and the public schools. That night, at 10:24 p.m., I came out publically as a gay man. The next day, and for several days to follow, two secretaries and I spent nearly all of our time fielding supportive calls from all over the state. One call I took was from a woman in out-state Iowa. She said, “Mr. Wilson, you don’t know me, but my husband and I have a gay son. Last night we watched the school board meeting on television together and, because of what you said and did, my husband and I don’t think our son is going to kill himself. I just
had to call and thank you for keeping my precious boy alive.” Thank you Harvey Milk. After being defeated in a bid for re-election to the Des Moines School Board, I helped found the First Friday Breakfast Club, an association of gay and bisexual men and the largest independent breakfast club in the state of Iowa. We meet on the first Friday of every month—thus the name. We have fascinating speakers who educate us on a wide range of topics, and we educate them with more positive images of gay men. Some come for that interaction. Some come for the breakfast (and from them I get occasional feedback if the menu changes or the coffee’s cold). Some come for the opportunity to network or to make and nurture friendships—or even to find a husband, which has happened. At virtually every meeting there will be one or more who are still in the coming out process. They are there to discover what it’s like to walk into a room full of men in broad daylight and with no alcohol around and have folks assume that they’re gay. The regulars who are there, whether they realize it or not, are bit players in the life of each such novice. Simply by warming a seat and greeting strangers warmly, they are fulfilling a mission. They are paying back those who have gone before by paying it forward. We require little from those who choose to participate in the breakfast club. They needn’t lift a finger other than to turn off the alarm and, once a month, roll their butts out of bed and show up for a good breakfast and a great speaker. In the process, they serve a higher purpose, perhaps without even knowing it—until they read this article. There aren’t a lot of ways to thank those who have gone before
One minute I was waiting for my daughter to come back to the kitchen to start her salt dough project for school, and the next thing I know I find her crying in my husband’s office. As it always goes with our child, something that had been bothering her all day stewed in the back of her mind long enough that it overflowed, but I admit I wasn’t prepared for what it was this time. She’d worn her Glee shirt to school, and a group of students said to her in a sneering voice, “Glee is so gay.” And as my daughter said, “They meant gay in that bad way.” Putting aside my sad, sick feelings that this was happening in fourth grade, I got in a quick but to my mind important clarification. “There’s only one meaning of gay, and it’s not bad. When someone uses the word ‘gay’ like that, it’s very mean and very rude. It would be like someone saying something you are or like is very stupid.” Because I know there is a boy in her class with lesbian parents, I pointed out how he would have felt had he heard this—likely not very good—and that it would be like her hearing someone say, “Pharmacists are so stupid,” which would be like calling her dad stupid. My husband, bless him, focused on
asking her how it made her feel. “Bad,” she said, tearing up again. She loves Glee. We watch it every week together, and this is a ritual important to our child and to me too for the conversations it starts. Kurt’s being bullied upset her, and Quinn’s parents kicking her out for being pregnant had her eyes as wide as teacups. But part of the reason she likes the show is that yes, it is a bit gay, and in the good way: it features gay characters and portrays them in a positive light. In our house gay is a great thing. The parents of an aforementioned student are very good friends, as are their four children, and we clapped and sobbed with joy at their wedding last year. I write LGBT-themed novels. We all volunteer for One Iowa and do what we can for LGBTQ rights and helping advance acceptance of same-sex marriage. Gay is a big deal in the Cullinan house. And suddenly someone had turned the word around on my daughter. It confused the hell out of her, and hurt her in ways she couldn’t seem to articulate. They’d
mocked her for her choice of shows, but they’d also mocked her friends and one of her family’s core beliefs. And she had no idea what to do with this. To be honest, neither did her parents. We kept making eye contact across the room as we tried to console her, each looking for wisdom in the other. I forget who asked her, but one of us finally said, “What is it you want to do?” She decided she wanted to talk to both her classroom teacher and her principal, and because it was a right-now fix, she sent them emails. She wrote them herself, and she did a bang-up job. She told the story of what happened, explained how it made her feel, and on her own added that there is a boy in her class with two moms who, if he’d heard that, probably felt bad too. She asked for advice on what she should do. The principal, God bless his soul, responded back within mere minutes, validating her and promising to talk to the people who made her feel bad. To us (I’d emailed him as well, letting
Those historically, who have been martyred for the cause, are owed perhaps the most.
“Glee is so Gay” by Heidi Cullinan
Jonathan Wilson is an attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, and chairs the First Friday Breakfast Club (ffbciowa.org), 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@ DavisBrownLaw.com or 515-288-2500. us; the First Friday Breakfast Club offers one of them. Oh, and that woman who called me from out-state Iowa; the woman who, on that day, was willing to settle for just keeping her precious boy alive—what do you suppose she is going to do down the road when someone trashes her gay son, or trashes gay people, or speaks out in support of anti-gay initiatives like a constitutional amendment or whatever? Three things can be said: politicians beware, mother bears are notorious, and Katie bar the door. And it gets easier still. Mark my words, we win.
They’d mocked her for her choice of shows, but they’d also mocked her friends and one of her family’s core beliefs.
him know what we were thinking and that we trusted him to handle this) he thanked us for empowering our daughter and promised to use this as a teachable moment. I have to say, at the end of this— wow. On all the levels of the word. Wow that my kid got mocked for liking a “gay show”—in fourth grade. Wow that having a show positively portraying gay characters gets that kind of reaction—in fourth
TTCULLINAN continued page 38
Section 3: Community
ACCESSline Page 31
Inside Out: Overkill by Ellen Krug Warning: some of what follows is pretty graphic. I previously wrote about the January, 2011 murder of Krissy Bates, this year’s first homicide victim in Minneapolis. She was transgender, and her boyfriend of a whole ten days—Arnold Waukazo—had allegedly strangled Krissy to unconsciousness, only to follow up by stabbing her with a folding knife five times, to ensure that she was dead. Homicide detectives call this “overkill,” something that’s often found with LGBT murder victims. Ironically, because there were no boxes for “transgender” on their forms, the police and coroner’s reports listed Krissy’s name as “Christopher Bates.” The police investigation also revealed that Krissy worked as a prostitute. The alleged killer, Mr. Waukazo, was something more than a john; Krissy had told a friend that “he’s the one” she’d been looking for to start a long term relationship. I got involved with Krissy Bates’ murder again because an attorney-LGBT advocate friend asked for a favor recently. He emailed, “Would you sit in on the jury selection for this case?” I have some experience in selecting juries where LGBT issues have been involved and he wanted my perspective. “Sure,” I answered.
courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. As I waited in the courtroom, I spoke with the County Attorney victim’s rights representative. I heard how Krissy lived as a man in Kentucky most of her life. Eventually, she got brave and started living as her true self, much to the dismay of family members. An apparent pivotal event was a family gathering— involving nieces and nephews—where she arrived as Krissy instead of as Christopher. Her siblings threw her out of the house, apparently shutting her off from the family—another form of overkill, if you ask me. After that, she made her way to Minneapolis, where she lived for two months before being murdered. As I talked to the victim’s rights representative, she kept referring to Krissy as “him.” By the fourth or fifth missed pronoun, I had to say something. “With great respect and kindness, you should be referring to Krissy with a female pronoun,” I said. “It’s important.” I could tell that I embarrassed the victim rights advocate. She explained that she had been having a problem with pronouns because Krissy’s family in Kentucky always referred to her as “him.” Eventually, the defendant, Mr. Waukazo, was led into the courtroom. I took a good look at the alleged killer-of-a-transgender. He was dark and solid, and not particularly
Homicide detectives call this “overkill,” something that’s often found with LGBT murder victims.
On a sunny Monday morning—the kind that makes you feel alive—I walked to the
patient with the proceedings. He had no prior record—barely a speeding ticket—and until the murder, he worked in a factory. “You’d never know,” the advocate confided, suggesting that we’d never be able to spot the interior darkness of one’s soul that makes them over-killers. I wondered about the amount of hatred— that is, self-hatred—it takes to make someone strangle and then stab to death another human being. Then I thought about the powerful forces that would cause a transgender like Krissy Bates to get involved with a questionable stranger in the first place—to the point where she trusted him with her life. All of us crave love and touch and simple acceptance. But in transitioning, many transgenders quickly lose this support. A recent survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 57% of transitioning transgenders “experienced significant family rejection.” It doesn’t take a psychologist to understand that with a state like this, transgenders are likely to latch onto anyone who comes along, including creepers and beaters. I learned that Krissy’s siblings were “grieving” Krissy’s death. Still, the family had chosen not to travel to Minneapolis for the trial. Their grief may have been heightened by the incredible fact that Krissy’s cremated remains were delivered to Kentucky in a plain brown box—no urn or decorative container accompanied the remains. Imagine both the irony and tragedy here: the last time family members saw Krissy alive, they rejected her for being true to herself, only to then have their next interaction come in the form of her returning as a special delivery ash-filled box. They’ll never get the chance to double-back and say, “I’m sorry,” or “I love you for just being you.” And then there’s the lingering question of whether Krissy maybe wouldn’t have felt the need to uproot from Kentucky to Minneapolis, had her family accepted her. Maybe she’d still be alive. In the courtroom, I saw two women, one older accompanied by one younger; I presumed a mother and adult daughter. “That’s Arnie’s mother,” the victim rights advocated advised, referring to the alleged killer as if they were on a first name basis. Shortly after that, I watched as the mother started to break down; in this tragedy grief plainly
Ellen Krug, writer, lawyer, human, is presently completing her memoir, “Getting to Ellen: Crossing the Great Gender Divide,” which will be published in 2012. She lives in Minneapolis and works as the executive director of a nonprofit serving the underrepresented. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com. takes no sides. Just as a Kentucky family lost someone on that cold January night, so too, did a family in Minneapolis. Assuming he’s convicted, Mr. Waukazo will serve a sentence of life in prison. As it turned out, my jury selection experience wasn’t needed. Mr. Waukazo decided to waive his right to a jury trial, and instead, he would let a judge decide his guilt or innocence with a trial on another day. I walked back to my condo, again taking in the sunny day, and the vibrancy of being alive, where I have the chance to live as myself. I couldn’t stop thinking about Krissy, and counted myself extremely lucky. Even in my darkest days, much of my family stuck with me, as did my best friend of forty years. My brother even called me “Sis,” long before I started to transition. I never faced the kinds of choices that Krissy Bates faced—desperate choices that no one should ever have to make. I thought too, of the last images Krissy saw before she died—images of utter violence being inflicted simply because of who she was. Overkill. What a word.
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Section 3: Community
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 Editor@ACCESSlineIOWA.com.
(Continued from November Issue) 21) Anything you would like to say about this interview or add anything else? Let me take this opportunity to address one aspect of my transition that you did not ask about. That would discuss the progression of my eventual decision to have the SRS surgery. This matter was somewhat addressed in Question 1 at the beginning of the interview when you asked “When did you consider yourself being a transgender?” As I said then, I was not even aware of the word “transgender” when I first realized there was something different about me. I was not aware of any such thing as the Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Beginning at that age of 4 or 5, I did think that I wanted to be a girl. My earliest memories are from that time period. I used to take every chance that I had to dress as a girl. I was fortunate in the fact that I had a sister about 3 years younger than me, so there were clothes available. We also lived with my grandmother for several years, and she had an old coal bin in her basement with hand-me-down clothes from female cousins of mine. I sometimes would take the pretty clothes from the bin and walk down the railroad tracks behind the house to a place called Parkhurst Woods and dress there for a while until I became afraid of getting caught. As I became a little older, and when the family had moved into our own house, I would beg to stay home when the others left to visit relatives. Then I could dress as a girl and have the whole house to myself. This was a good temporary fix for my desires, and I would usually end my dressing sessions with masturbation, which provided a quick fix for my frustrations, but never really satisfied me. This sort of activity actually kept on for many years, yet as time went by, even the masturbation aspect wasn’t satisfying. I eventually reached a point where I detested the act of masturbation because I was developing a major aversion for my male anatomy. Simply relieving myself felt so gross, and didn’t really solve my frustrations. I did not want to just relieve myself and go back to being a “stupid boy”…I wanted to be a girl—period! I felt that there was something wrong with me…I tried hard to be a “normal boy” and bury these ideas. Despite what I tried, however, nothing worked….. I kept returning to the idea that I wanted to be a girl. I continued to keep my thoughts to myself. I went away to college and hoped that maybe I would be able to overcome these feelings. However, that is where I made the biggest error of my life, I met a really nice girl and we decided to get married. By that time, I knew enough about myself to tell her about what I still considered a serious cross dressing problem. I hoped that this would finally take care of my funny notions…but it didn’t work. As I alluded to earlier, we were
really nothing more than good roommates. Sex was minimal, and usually involved masturbation. We even tried having foster children live with us, and that in itself was a wonderful and very educational experience. Yet it became obvious that things were not going to work, so after 7 years we sat down, worked out an amicable parting, and we got divorced. I spent the next years living alone, and becoming very involved in work, oftentimes working two fulltime jobs—I hoped that by keeping myself occupied I would not have the time to dwell on my feelings. But all the extra work didn’t help much, even though the extra money came in handy—as it is very difficult to keep two wardrobes current. Yet there were always times when I came home and I would have time to dwell on my feelings. I began to drink heavily. The torment between my “birth” self and my “desired” self was becoming much worse. When I was not working I became a recluse, cutting myself off from family and friends, preferring instead to enjoy my “Alexis time” by myself. Gradually my desires became the dominant subject in my mind. That’s all I thought about all the time, whether I was at work or at home. By then I was becoming very depressed, and thoughts of self castration and suicide became common. I tried to find professional mental health counseling locally, but it didn’t seem there were many resources available, and the few psychiatrists I did find wanted to focus more on my drinking than on my gender identity. I tried to tell them my drinking was mainly due to the gender identity issue, but that fell on deaf ears, and I quit seeing them. Since I had become a loner, I had no one to talk with about this, and I spent a lot of time talking on the telephone to Crisis Line in Iowa City, and similar ones in other nearby cities. Most of my calls were not rewarding, but I was very fortunate over the years to find two different women at the Crisis Center in Iowa City who would spend a lot of time with me, usually just listening and empathizing. It didn’t solve things for me, but simply talking was so helpful. I would still love to be able to talk with the last counselor who helped me (Elizabeth was her name) and just thank her for all she did, and let her know how much happier I am now. Around then I began to have a little luck, which was so wonderful because I was really needing to talk to someone…anyone. Two new people began working with me. The first was brought in to watch the office while I would take care of the maintenance on the apartments where I worked. When I had time, I spent a lot of time with her, and
I did not want to just relieve myself and go back to being a “stupid boy”…I wanted to be a girl—period!
eventually began to open up to her. She was accepting of what I talked about, and she encouraged me to talk with one or two of her friends, who also accepted what I was saying, and didn’t reject me. I needed that confidence. She eventually left that job, though we still remain friends, and I went back to the office duties and the owner brought in someone else to do the maintenance work. We would spend time talking about so many varied and different things, and we eventually got around to the subject of my identity challenges. I have to say that he was also very supportive in so many varied and unique ways, and it was with the support and encouragement of those people that I finally, and eventually, found the courage to write my letter; pass it out, and start down the road on my new journey. I will always be forever grateful to both of them. When I did find the strength and willpower to transition, I actually found that my biggest challenge and obstacle to success was myself. When I began living full time as Alexis, I really had no experience in the outside world, as Alexis had basically lived indoors and alone her entire life. This was a whole new world, and I was very self conscious at first. I felt like people were looking at me, which made me more nervous. I actually thought about giving this new identity up and just admitting defeat, but I didn’t for two basic reasons. First, I knew from experience that my feelings would not go away. Second, I simply was not going to show everyone that I thought I was wrong for feeling like I did. So I forged ahead, finally figuring out that if anyone was really looking at me, it was likely that it was because I was not acting like a girl—and that I was acting like a boy dressed as a girl. I learned how important confidence is when you transition. As the months went forward and I had more and more experiences under my belt, so to speak; I became increasingly more comfortable in restrooms, in fitting rooms, and simply being in public. I gained much needed confidence. I was enjoying my new life, and once I had this confidence, I no longer felt that people were staring at me so often. I know some still do at times simply because I was not able to afford some of the “extras” when it came to the surgeries—like the facial reconstruction, throat shaping, and so on. I only had the money for the basic improvements. But unless I find more money, I will simply have to be content with what is here now, which is quite satisfactory at present. One question that the counselors at the Crisis Line, and my few confidents would ask is “Are you sure this is what you want?”
I would love to be able to talk with the last counselor who helped me…and just thank her for all she did, and let her know how much happier I am now.
I had no way to know if the role transitioning process would be a success, or an utter failure. My only answer to them was “I don’t know” but that I had been thinking about wanting to be a girl for many, many years, and that this was no spur of the moment decision. I felt in my own mind that I needed to become Alexis on a full-time basis. But I also knew that the one and only way that I was going to know if I could make the transition successfully was to simply go through with it, and let time give me the answer. Yet, since I had very little actual experience in public, I also knew it would be a major adjustment…and it was. Fortunately I am capable of adjusting to change and challenges fairly quickly, and that helped me so much in making this a successful transition. I learned very quickly that there was so much I was unprepared for. I mean, genuine girls have grown up and had the opportunity to learn hair care, makeup techniques, and wardrobe details, and so on from their mothers, older sisters and friends. I had spent a lot of time looking through magazines like Glamour, Seventeen, and Vogue, so I was somewhat knowledgeable on these topics, but not nearly enough. Within a couple months of my transitioning I took a series of makeup lessons from Jen at one of the local beauty salons…she was very helpful, and she also met me at a Wal-Mart one weekend to walk me through the different products in the cosmetics department. I continue to pay close attention to commercials and advertisements for new trends in makeup and fashion. But most of all, I continue to observe other girls, for there is really no better way to learn. I watch not only the clothes, the makeup and the hair, but mannerisms and speech patterns I still do all of these, simply because trends come and go and I want to try and stay current. I firmly believe that being a female is a neverending learning process…I am continually fascinated with the lifestyle. I hope that the answers and information I have given you will be a benefit to those who read it. I realize that most people have had very little exposure to individuals such as myself, and I hope that I have been able to provide a certain insight into my own personal thoughts, feelings and experiences throughout my life. I enjoy the opportunity to talk with people about my life in the hopes it will alleviate any misconceptions that may be out there. What I have provided is from my perspective only, and I certainly do not attempt to speak for all transgender and transsexual people out here, for we each are unique. There is, however, some very well written and informative information available on the internet, and I would encourage you to research the topic further. Some of it has been written by psychologists and psychiatrists, but so much of it has also been written by people with
I firmly believe that being a female is a never-ending learning process.
TTTWENTY continued page 38
Section 3: Community
ACCESSline Page 33
Holiday Interests of a Different Kind by Tony E. Hansen This time of year brings us indoors and brings us to many festivities. We greet each other with familiar sayings and Yuletides. There is a measure of compassion and happiness that is found in this time of year that is absent from other times. At the same time, many different cultures are enjoying a holiday, but what happens when we change paths? I grew up Catholic, but as I grew as an adult and with the influence of martial arts, I explored the realms of Eastern philosophies (specifically Buddhism and Taoism). As I look towards another holiday season that is definitively rooted in Christian tradition, that of Christmas, I find myself thinking what is there in this holiday for me. While I have not gone as far as “unbelieving” in the Christian faith or Jesus, I have found myself enjoying the holidays for many more reasons than a birthday and that the holiday season (as well as life) is much more than narcissistic gratification. Again, to be honest, I have not totally abandoned the Christian faith, but at some point, I found myself questioning the manner at which the faith was being implemented. Similar to how one learns about a revolutionary or great theory or idea, but the actual implementation
is far from the idealistic projection (e.g. communism). The doctrine espoused by Jesus Christ seemed far from the pulpits and rituals being offered at the various churches that I attended or the voices of those proclaiming to be saved (especially from those of the Christian right). The doctrine would seem to dissolve at the church doors as those who would profess the awe of Christ and confess “sins” would ultimately return to sins. What I found in Buddhist and Taoist mediation and readings was a completely different understanding of the world than what the Western world proposes. I cannot say that these ideas are better than the Christian doctrines, but they present a different perspective of our environment. Without knowing the full of rituals, hierarchies and the traditions of these religions, I began to find a refuge and a way to express my thoughts and to learn about life’s little intricacies that I had never found in Christian teachings. As I learned and evolved over the years, I have found myself less and less inclined to the Church and more towards the pursuit of the four Noble Truths and the precepts of engaged Buddhism. Yet, the discipline for this pursuit is much
The holiday season (as well as life) is much more than narcissistic gratification.
the same as for Christian doctrine as both need practice and patience. There is much similarity between mediation and prayer, but Buddhists attempt to un-attach and letting a solution reveal itself where prayers tend to be more of asking for help to resolve issues. Each of these is a different approach to solving issues, but both are looking for a state free from suffering. In order for problems to resolve and for solutions to be found, we have to look within before we look for changes in others. Faith to most Christians involves a fervent hope that there is Jesus helping us along the way and that there is a path to gracious afterlife. This is kind of ironic because true faith seems to more about letting go and letting life just be. In either case, we, as individuals, need to be kind, compassionate and loving towards people. Otherwise, we find hatred and anger to control our lives and blind us from what can be. Otherwise, we find that we are constantly looking for happiness in new material things or new relationships without realizing what we already have is very precious. When we realize that life and breath is precious, you can live every moment with joy on your lips and you will see the result in every deed. This is because you will take care of yourself and your relationships because what is impor-
tant has been revealed in them. As we get ready for yet another annual run of festivities and holidays, we should pause for a moment and meditate on our lives. Remember in your holiday gift giving to consider how precious your relationship is with the other person and how joyous your life is because of that relationship. Remember that new material things might bring a moment of joy, but compassion, a good heart and a good smile are mutual gifts that can be cherished for eternity. Peace be with you this holiday season and always, and Namaste.
ACCESSline Page 34
Section 3: Community
Section 3: Community
DECEMBER 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 www.ACCESSlineIOWA.com. 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 Editor@ACCESSlineIOWA.com 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. Breur Media Corporation : Website Consultation, Design, Programming, and Hosting. HIV and STD Testing Sites near You, including places where you can get tested for free: http://www.hivtest.org/ Crisis or Suicide National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Default.aspx or call 1-800-273-TALK Information on Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/ Counseling, Information and Resources about Sexual Orientation GLBT National Help Center: http://www. glnh.org/index2.html or 1-888-843-4564 Information on Mental Health for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ Find_Support/Multicultural_Support/Resources/ GLBT_Resources.htm Information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/index.htm Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005 www.victoryfund.org. 202-VICTORY [842-8679] Human Rights Campaign National political organization, lobbies congress for lesbian & gay issues, political training state and local www.hrc.org 1-800-777-HRCF Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund I I E. Adams, Suite 1008, Chicago, IL 60603 www.lambdalegal.org 312-663-4413 Fax: 312-663-4307
Iowa Gay Rodeo Association (IAGRA) 921 Diagonal Rd, Malcom, IA 50157 firstname.lastname@example.org 641-990-1411 Iowa PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gay) State Council PO Box 18, Indianola, IA 50125 http://community.pflag.org/Page. aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2 515-537-3126 or 641-583-2024 Iowa Pride Network 777 Third Street, Suite 312, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 Iowapridenetwork.org 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 www.OneIowa.org The Quire Eastern Iowa’s GLBT chorus www.thequire.org
First United Methodist Church 516 Kellogg Ave, Ames, IA 50010 Contemporary worship Sat. 5:30; Sun at 8:30 and 11:00am. www.acswebnetworks.com/firstunitedmcames/ 515-232-2750 Living with HIV Program 126 S. Kellogg, Suite 1 Ask for Janelle (Coordinator) 515-956-3312 ext 106 or I -800-890-8230 ISU LGBTAAlliance GLBT Support, Activism, Social Events, Newsletter L East Student Office Space, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014-7163 email@example.com alliance.stuorg.iastate.edu 515-344-4478 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 www.pflagames.org 515-291-3607 Romantics Pleasure Palace 117 Kellogg Street, Ames, IA 50010-3315 romantixonline.com 515-232-7717
MortgageLoan.com Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples, http://www.mortgageloan.com/lgbt/
United Church of Christ-Congregational 6th & Kellogg, Ames, 50010 Sunday Continental Breakfast, 9:00am; Sunday School, 9:30am; Worship 10:45am. firstname.lastname@example.org 515-232-9323
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 600, Washington, DC, 20005 www.ngltf.org / taskforce.org
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames 1015 Hyland Ave. Services: 9:30 am and 11:30 am, Sunday uufames.org email@example.com 515-292-5960
National Organization for Women (NOW) 733 15th ST NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20005 www.now.org 202-628-8669
Unity Church of Ames 226 9th St, Ames, IA 50010-6210 Sunday service and Sunday school 10:30am. Wednesday mediation 6:30pm unityofames.com Daily dial-a-blessing 515-233-1613
PFLAG National Offices 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.pflag.org 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 http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ RealManToys.com : Discreet home delivery of adult products.
STATE ORGANIZATIONS Equality Iowa P.O. Box 18, Indianola, IA 50125 www.equalityiowa.org 515-537-3126 Faithful Voices Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s marriage equality project. www.faithfulvoices.org 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 www.imperialcourtofiowa.org Iowa Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Janis Bowden, President, IA NOW email@example.com PO Box 41114, Des Moines, IA 503111
Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Spencer, Spirit Lake The Royal Wedding Chapel 504 Church Street, Royal, IA 51357 712-933-2223 TheRoyalWeddingChapel.com 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 F.JosephWilson@aol.com. wilsonresource.org 712-332-5043
BURLINGTON Arrowhead Motel 2520 Mount Pleasant St Burlington, IA 52601-2118 319-752-6353 www.arrowheadia.com Faith Lutheran Church E L C A 3109 Sunnyside Ave Burlington, IA 52601-2341 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 www.LoversPlayground.com 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 - www.uuburlington.org
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). firstname.lastname@example.org Cedar Valley Counseling Services Promoting personal growth and development in a strengths-based environment Joan E. Farstad, MA, Director. 319-240-4615 www.cvcounseling.com email@example.com. Cedar Valley Episcopal Campus Ministry. In Lutheran Center 2616 College St, Cedar Falls, IA 319-415-5747 firstname.lastname@example.org episcopalcampus.org 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 email@example.com 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 myspace.com/kingsandqueensspace 319-232-3001 Romantix Waterloo (Adult Emporium) 1507 La Porte Rd, Waterloo, IA 50702 319-234-9340 romantixonline.com 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 www.st-lukes-episcopal.org Services: Sunday 8:00 & 10:15, Thurs 11:30 319-277-8520 St. Timothys United Methodist Church 3220 Terrace Drive, Cedar Falls, 50613 sttims-umc.org, 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 TogetherForYouth.net 319-274-6768 UNI-LGBTA Alliance-Student Organization 244A Bartlet Hall, University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls 50613 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.com, cedarrapidsunity.org or write to PO Box 1643 Cedar Rapids 52406-1643 Call and leave a message—all calls will be returned. 319-415-1511 cedarrapidsunity.com Christ Episcopal Church “We have a place for you.” 220 40th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 319-363-2029 ChristEpiscopal.org Club Basix Open 5pm to 2am M-F, Sat & Sun 3pm-2am 3916 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids 319-363-3194
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or Erica Geers, faculty advisor at 319-861-6025 Community Health Free Clinic 947 14th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 319-363-0416 www.communityhfc.org 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 email@example.com 319-364-1580
ACCESSline Page 35 Heartland Gay Rodeo Association (HGRA) (Midwest Division of the International Gay Rodeo Association) PO Box 3354, Omaha, NE 68103 www.hgra.net - 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://inclusifelife.org The Max 1417 Jackson at 15th, Omaha, NE 68102 6 bars in 1 - 402-346-4110
Eden United Church of Christ 351 8th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404 (319) 362-7805 Sunday School 9am - Worship 10:15am
MCC Omaha 819 South 22nd, Omaha, NE 68103 Sun 9 & 11 am Wednesday “ReCharge” Worship, Wed 7pm 402-345-2563
Faith UMC 1000 30th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, 52402 Sunday services at 11:00am. crfaithumc.org 319-363-8454
PFLAG Omaha Mead Hall, First United Methodist Church 7020 Cass St. (Omaha) 2nd Thursday, 7, 6:30 Social time 402-291-6781
Foundation 2 Crisis Counseling 24-hour telephone crisis counseling. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.f2online.org 1540 2nd Ave. SE Cedar Rapids, IA 319-362-2174 or 800-332-4224
River City Gender Alliance Peer support, friendship, and understanding for crossdressers, transgenderists, and transsexuals. PO Box 4083 Omaha, NE 68104, 402-291-6781, email@example.com - www.rcga.us
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@ gmail.com People’s Church Unitarian Universalist A welcoming congregation. 4980 Gordon Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 11am Sunday. 319-362-9827 PFLAG CR, Linn Co and Beyond Support Group meets on the 4th Thursday at 7pm except for Nov Dec - call for details. 319-431-0673, firstname.lastname@example.org The Linn County Stonewall Democrats Meet 2nd Wednesdays, Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St SE in Cedar Rapids, IA. Contact Harvey S. Ross, HRoss007@aol.com. 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. www.yahoo.com/group/Tri-essIotaKappaPhi www.tri-ess.org, 319-390-6376 E-mail: Georgia email@example.com E-mail: Judy firstname.lastname@example.org Unity Center of Cedar Rapids “A center of positive, practical Christianity.” 4980 Gordon NE, Cedar Rapids www.unitycr.org - (319) 393-5422
CLINTON Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clinton 309 30th Avenue North, Clinton, IA 52732 (563) 242-4972 - uuclinton.org Sunday services at 10:30 (year-round) Where YOUR spiritual and ethical journey is welcome! Rev. Ruby Nancy, minister
Council Bluffs, Omaha (Ne) AIDS Interfaith Network 100 N. 62nd, Omaha, NE Call Br. Wm. Woeger 402-558-3100 Broadway Joe’s 3400 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712-256-2243 Citizens For Equal Protection 1105 Howard St, Suite #2, Omaha, NE 68102 www.cfep-ne.org - email@example.com 402-398-3027 Council Bluffs NOW Write PO Box 3325, Omaha, NE 68103-0325 DC’s Saloon The Midwest’s hottest GLBT Country & Dance Bar! 610 S. 14th St., Omaha, NE Open everyday 2pm-1am, western/levi/leather 402-344-3103
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 romantixonline.com 515-955-9756 Tri-ess Chapter, Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter Omaha, NE 68107 We are a transgendered organization supporting crossdressers, their families, and friends. tri-ess.org, 402-960-9696 E-mail: Judy firstname.lastname@example.org Romantix Council Bluffs (South) (Romantix After Dark) 50662 189th St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503 http://www.romantixonline.com 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 563387-1273 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Meets alternating Sundays at 10:30am, Decorah Senior Center 806 River St Call Bill at 563-382-3458.
Des Moines AIDS Project of Central Iowa Free HIV testing, prevention supplies, care services, food pantry, information. 711 E. 2nd, Des Moines, IA 50309 515-284-0245 Blazing Saddle 416 E 5th St, Des Moines, IA - 515-246-1299 theblazingsaddle.com Buddies Corral 418 E 5th St, Des Moines, IA - 515-244-7140
Front Runners/Front Walkers Walking/jogging club. P.O. Box 4583, Omaha, NE 68104 402-804-8720
The CENTER 1300 Locust The new LGBT and progressive place to be. email@example.com Facebook: The CENTER & Equality Iowa www.equalityiowa.org 515-243-0313
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 www.rocc.org - 402-341-0330
Church of the Holy Spirit-MCC Pastor Pat Esperanza Sunday service 10:30am at the 1st Christian Church 2500 University, Des Moines firstname.lastname@example.org 515-287-9787
ACCESSline Page 36 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 email@example.com, 515-255-3576, desmoinesdiversitychorus.org Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus 515-953-1540 4126 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines firstname.lastname@example.org Family Practice Center Safe, supportive LGBT health care. 200 Army Post Road, Ste 26 www.ppgi.org 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 email@example.com www.ffbciowa.org First Unitarian Church 1800 Bell Avenue Services Sundays at 9:30 & 11am 515-244-8603, www.ucdsm.org The Gallery (adult store) 1000 Cherry St Des Moines, IA 50309-4227 (515) 244-2916 Open 24 Hours www.LoversPlayground.com The Garden 112 SE 4th Des Moines, IA 515-243-3965 Wed-Sun. 8pm-2am www.grdn.com
Section 3: Community 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 - www.StJohnsDSM.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-979-6959 Trinity United Methodist Church 1548 Eighth Street - 515-288-4056 Services Sundays at 10am, www.trinityumcdm.org Urbandale UCC An open & affirming congregation. 3530 70th St., Urbandale, IA 50322 515-276-0625, www.urbucc.org 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 www.whumc.org Westminster Presbyterian Church 4114 Allison Ave - www.WestPres.org Sunday services 8:45 and 11am. Of note is their GAY-LESBIAN-STRAIGHT AFFIRMATION GROUP, GLSA 515-274-1534 Women’s Culture Collective (WCC) A lesbian social group. Des Moines, IA - www.iowawcc.org
Gay & Lesbian AA & AI-Anonymous Mon. 7 pm; Tues. - Thurs. 6 pm; Sat. 5:30 pm at Drake Ministries in Ed. Bldg. 28th & University
Word of God Ministries, Sunday service: 3:00pm, at 3120 E 24th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50317, Gay, lesbian & straight affirmation 515-707-5947.
Gay and Lesbian Issues Committee 4211 Grand Avenue, Level-3 Des Moines, IA 50312 515-277-1117
Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure Open daily. Gay-friendly 2723 Ingersoll, Des Moines, IA 515-244-7694
Java Joe’s Gay friendly 214 4th St. , 515-288-5282, www.javajoescoffeehouse.com Lavender Victory Fund Financial assistance for women in need for medical emergencies. email@example.com 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 NSGRA@NSGRA.org or 612-82-RODEO Rainbow Union, Drake University firstname.lastname@example.org 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. www.PlymouthGLBT.com 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 PrideAlliance@aib.edu www.aib.edu/pride Pride Bowling League for GLBT & Supporters Every Wednesday, 7 PM, Air Lanes Bowling Center 4200 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321-2389. Email email@example.com or 515-447-2977. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org - ritualcafe.com Romantix North Des Moines Iowa (Bachelor’s Library) 2020 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317 www.romantixonline.com 515-266-7992 Spouses of Lesbians & Gays Support group for spouses of gays and lesbians. 515-277-7754
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. www.crossroadsucc.org
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 - uiccic.org 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 Crisis Center 319-351-0140 1121 Gilbert Court, Iowa City, 52240 Emma Goldman Clinic 227 N. Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52245 319-337-2111or 1-800-848-7684. Faith United Church of Christ 1609 De Forest Street, Iowa City, IA Services Sundays at 9:30am 319-338-5238 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 email@example.com 319-335-3251 (voice mail)
Adult Warehouse 975 Jackson St., Dubuque, IA 563-588-9184.
Hope United Methodist Church Worship Service at 9:30am. 2929 E. Court St., Iowa City, IA Contact Rev. Sherry Lohman. 319-338-9865
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
Human Rights Commission (City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission) 319-356-5022; 391-356-5015; 319-356-5014 Fax 319-887-6213 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. www.uuf-dbq.org 563-583-9910
ELKADER Bethany Church (ELCA) 307 3rd St NE, Elkader IA 52043 Pastor Jim Klosterboer 563-245-1856 www.alpinecom.net/~bethanychurch email@example.com 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 Scheras.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 515955-9756 15 N. 5th St, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-3801 RomantixOnline.com
Grinnell Broadviewwildflowerseed.com, Broad View Wildflower Seed, 428 Hamilton Ave., Grinnell, Iowa 50112, Manager/Owner: John C., email@example.com Saints Ephrem & Macrina Orthodox Mission. Welcoming worship in the Eastern Christian liturgical tradition. Sunday services at 10am. (Affiliated with the Orthodox-Catholic 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 641-269-3327
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: aweigel@ co.johnson.ia.us 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 www.romantixonline.com 319-351-9444 Studio 13 13 S. Linn St. (in the Alley) Iowa City, IA Open 7pm ‘til 2am, daily 319-338-7145 U of I Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Staff & Faculty Association c/o WRAC, 130 N Madison, Iowa City, IA 52242, 19-335-1486 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. uusic.org 319-337-3443 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, email@example.com, Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe @ 7 p.m. Wed.
Mount Vernon Alliance Cornell College 810 Commons Cir # 2035 firstname.lastname@example.org orgs.cornellcollege.edu/alliance/
Pella Common Ground (Central College) Support group for GLBT students and allies. Contact: Brandyn Woodard, Director of Intercultural Life email@example.com 641-628-5134
Quad Cities AIDS Project Quad Cities Info, education & support. Davenport, IA 52804, www. apqc4life.org 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 gsfc@ mchsi.com - 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. www.GoodSamaritanFreeClinic.org 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 www.HoleInTheWallMensClub.org 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 MCC Quad Cities - Svcs Sun 11am, Bible study Wed 7pm 563-324-8281 3019 N Harrison, Davenport, IA 52803 Men’s Coming Out/Being Out Group Meets 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 7pm. QCAD.OutForGood@GMail.com 309-786-2580 PFLAG Quad Cities 563-285-4173 Eldridge United Methodist Church 604 S.2nd St., Eldridge 1st Monday, 6:30 pm 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. firstname.lastname@example.org Call Don at 563-324-0215
DECEMBER 2011 Rainbow Gifts www.rainbowgifts.net 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 uccwebsites.net/firstcongredoakia.html email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com PFLAG Siouxland PO Box 1311, Sioux City, IA 51102 siouxlandPFLAG@aol.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
Sioux falls, south dakota Toppers, 1213 N Cliff Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57103, (605) 339-7686, Su-Tu 7:00pm - Close : We-Sa 3:00pm - 2:00am, http://www.sdtoppers.com/ Center for Equality, 406 S Second Avenue in Sioux Falls, 605-331-1153, http://centersforequalitysd.org/
Waverly Cedar Valley Episcopal Campus Ministry. 717 W. Bremer, (St. Andrew’s Episcopal) Waverly, IA www.episcoplcampus.org 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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Holiday Cookie Swap by Arthur Breur I’ve been enjoying my copy of Iowa Happy Cookbook that I bought during my most recent visit to an Iowa Gift Store. I have a small but growing collection of Iowa cookbooks and find that they include “local” recipes that just are not available from other sources. The family recipes that have been handed down for years—the kinds of delicious food you’ll often only find at a family event or church potluck—have made their way into these cookbooks and can always provide a treat that makes you feel like you’re back at home, whether you’re living in Iowa or have transplanted out of state. Some of the more interesting recipes in these are for cookies. Iowans have always been an inventive bunch, and Iowa’s cookie recipes go from the very standard (like snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies) to the very creative (like Christmas cherries and cracker toffee). I hope you enjoy these cookie recipes, taken from the Iowa Happy Cookbook and my copy of the Bohemie Alps New Millennium Cookbook (which I fear may no longer be available to purchase). All recipes from the Iowa Happy Cookbook
Snickerdoodles • 2 sticks butter • 1 cup sugar • 1 egg • 1 ½ tsp vanilla • 2 cups flour • ½ tsp baking soda • Cinnamon and sugar (appx. 2 tbsp each) 1. Combine sugar and butter; add egg and vanilla. Beat until blended. 2. Add dry ingredients. 3. Chill. 4. Make dough in small balls and roll in mixture of cinnamon and sugar. 5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Christmas Cherries • 2 cups powdered sugar • 2 sticks margarine, softened • 1 tsp. cherry or mint flavoring • Maraschino cherries, cut in half • DIP: • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips • Shavings of paraffin 1. Mix well and add flavoring. 2. Roll mixture around cherries. Place
A tall glass of milk goes nicely with holiday cookies like snickerdoodles. Photo : Arthur Breur. on wax paper. 3. Refrigerate about 1 hour before dipping. 4. DIP: 5. Melt the chips and paraffin shavings (use double boiler pan). 6. Dip cherries into dip with toothpicks.
Cracker Toffee • Soda crackers • 2 sticks butter • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 (One) 12-oz package chocolate chips • Nuts, finely chopped, optional 1. Line 10x15” cookie sheet with foil, then with soda crackers evenly to the sides. 2. Combine the butter and brown sugar and bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes. Pour this over the crackers and spread evenly. 3. Bake in 400° oven for 5 to 6 minutes. 4. Take out of oven and let cool for about 2 minutes. 5. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top and
The family recipes that have been handed down for years—the kinds of delicious food you’ll often only find at a family event or church potluck—have made their way into these cookbooks. ~Arthur Breur “Holiday Cookie Swap”
spread as they melt. Sprinkle chopped nuts over top of chocolate layer. Put in refrigerator to cool. 6. Break into pieces and store in a covered container in a cool place.
“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Chip Cookies • 2 ¼ cup flour • 1/3 cup cocoa • 1 tsp. baking soda • ½ tsp. salt • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter • ¾ cup granulated sugar • ¾ cup brown sugar (packed) • 1 tsp. vanilla • 2 eggs
• 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 1. Heat oven to 375 2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 3. In large bowl, beat margarine, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until creamy. 4. Add eggs, beat well. 5. Gradually add flour mixture beating well. 6. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if desired). 7. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. 8. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen.
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OUT OF TOWN
with same-sex parents or guardians. Or some of their students’ parent(s) or care givers may be undocumented workers. Or students may be followers of faith traditions they may not understand or approve. As teachers, however, they have ethical obligations to serve all their students with the highest degree of professionalism, and to treat them equitably. With this backdrop, then, I ask us, how would Janelle and Tina, and Mildred and Richard wish to be treated, and what would be in their best interests? You be the judge.
bidding of corporate America, scaring politicians, and minimalized by many even in the Democratic Party, the movement for the 99% against those who’ve bought Congress, the White House, and the Courts, keeps bringing democracy back into political expectations. All of this reminds us of the “We” in the “yes we can.” We’ve learned after the last twelve years that we are all we can count on, no matter which least bad presidential candidate we must vote for. Both political parties have plenty of excuses for not challenging the status quo. But “we” know that their funders are whispering in their ears. They’ll allow for tinkering, but no return to the successes of the New Deal. While the President has shifted into a campaign mode, sounding again as if he intends to make a populist difference, will we remember how he lined his appointments with business leaders from the top 1% when it came to governing and, no matter what else he claimed he wanted to do, ensured the protection of the rich, the warriors, and his corporate funders? Sorry, he’s not the “we.” Then we watch Republicans scramble to find a candidate that can pull their fractured party together—someone, anyone, who can gain the support of the moneyed Republican corporate machine while energizing their evangelical and Tea Party ground troops with promises they can’t keep. The parade of candidates in endless debates and meaningless polls promote international embarrassment. But none of them will be the “we” either, no matter how duped the non-rich Tea Partiers are. We now understand, I hope, that we are the “we.” “We” did it on November 8, and “we” can do it again, and again, and again. 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 www.FairnessProject.org.
Island, but establishments like Mooncussers (mooncusserspi.com) and Louie’s Backyard (lbyspi.com) are always welcoming and often host GLBT parties during Splash weekend. And inland, you’ll find gay bars in some of the border cities, like Studio 69 in Brownsville (30 miles southwest) and PBD’s in McAllen (75 miles west). South Padre is lined with beach resorts and condos, many of them facing the Gulf and others set along the bay (it’s just a few blocks from one side to the other). Most properties are moderately priced, with one of the nicest being a relatively new Hilton Garden Inn (hiltongardeninn. com) across from the Birding and Nature Center. A small, friendly spot on the beach with spacious, nicely updated suites, Palms Resort (palmsresortcafe.com) is one of the best values on the island—rooms have kitchenettes and nice-size sitting areas, and the on-site cafe overlooking the water serves tasty, casual food. There are also a few value-priced properties that offer special rates during Splash and are always very gay-welcoming: Comfort Suites, La Copa Inn, and Suites at Sunchase. Andrew Collins covers gay travel for the New York Times-owned website GayTravel.About.com and is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA. He can be reached care of this publication or at OutofTown@qsyndicate.com.
grade. Wow that my child’s principal is so amazing. Mostly, however, I am wowed by my daughter. I love how she wanted to handle this. I love that she trusts her principal so much and sees him as an ally. I love that she thought of her friend and his feelings. I love that she is tender-hearted and awesome enough to be passionate about the rights of others, that LGBT rights isn’t just a habit she picked up from mom and dad but something she believes in as much as we do. I admit there are days I dread middle and high school more than a little. But since my incredibly awesome and wonderful daughter will be along with me, I’m pretty sure we’ll all make it through okay. Heidi has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When she isn’t writing, Heidi enjoys knitting, reading, movies, TV shows on DVD, and all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Find Heidi on the Web at www. heidicullinan.com
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Carole King, A Holiday Carole The legend shows her age on her first studio album in 10 years, disappointedly without a single new tune from the songwriting prodigy. Even her voice, ironed flat throughout, is a let down. “My Favorite Things” tries to recapture King’s piano-pop work but comes off as a noteflubbed hack job. The over-enunciated ding-dongs on “Carol of the Bells” do it a disservice, though the choir helps conceal King’s weathered voice. Laughably awful, “Sleigh Ride” sounds more suited for an episode of Mister Rogers. Not until the coda, “New Year’s Day,” is there a truly memorable song that isn’t upset by a completely off-key vocal. A Holiday Carole, unfortunately, is the coal of Christmas. Reach Chris Azzopardi at chris@ pridesource.com
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REV MONROE by Christian conservatives, are Bruce Bagemihl’s Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, and the findings of Deric Bownds, a University of Wisconsin-Madison zoology professor. In fact, Bagemihl’s book was cited by the American Psychiatric Association in a “friend of the court” brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in theLawrence v. Texas case that lead to state anti-sodomy laws being found unconstitutional. According to Bagemihl, homosexual activity occurs in more than 450 species of animals both in the wild and in captivity, and same-sex couplings in animals can be as enduring and life-long as they are in humans. For the religious fundamentalists, however, these findings are discarded on the premise that man can fight such instincts whereas animals cannot because God has given us the capacity to reason. “Yes, animals can be forced to perform homosexual acts, by depriving them from the possibility to perform their reproductive function in the natural way,” Shams Ali wrote in Homosexuality Among Animals and Humans. “All this means is that animals are not free—they are driven by their instincts… but the difference between a man and an animal is that Man has reason, which he uses to control his instincts and urges.” Let’s not forget how we have seen many religious fundamentalists express their disdain for same-sex coupling in us humans with the well-known vitriolic protest placard: Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. As for the fate of Happy Feet males Pedro and Buddy, being allowed to stay together is swimming in a homophobic tide. But for us humans, the lesson here is that a heterosexual-only view of love not only constrains and constricts our human capacity to love one another, but it also limits our capacity to tell the whole story about the birds and the bees.
SHOULD VS DID doesn’t get it is the surest sign that he can be trusted to do it again. He’s clearly not yet ready for prime time.
We’ve learned after the last twelve years that we are all we can count on, no matter which least bad presidential candidate we must vote for. ~ Robert N Minor, “Minor Details”
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HEAR ME OUT She & Him make this Christmas their own with carols that aren’t cookie-cutter, taking gentler approaches to the sameold. Part of why it works without sounding monotonous is Zooey Deschanel’s darling, no-frills voice, a force that pulls you in with just the first few notes of “The Christmas Waltz,” tiptoeing in softly with guitar and a beautiful lilt that’s delicately matched. More standard fare is just as solid: the intimacy on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” captures the song’s nostalgia and “Silver Bells” is performed prettily just with a ukulele. A Very She & Him Christmas is a very nice surprise—even for the hipsters who hate Christmas music.
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TWENTY experience…people who have gone through the transition and or surgery. Those who survive this challenge actually develop a lot of insight on many issues. And while I talk about my male to female transition, there is also a fair level of information available not only on other m-f successes, but also on the female to male process and the surgery itself. Another area that is getting increasing attention is transsexual teens and pre-teens, for they face some unique challenges of their own. I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some of my thoughts, Amber. I am very happy to have taken the time to answer your questions, as well as pleased that you have chosen me for this interview. You really ask some very good questions, some actually quite pointed, and I thank you for that. In this era of political correctness I do not often have much opportunity to express my inner feelings and thoughts. I feel that transsexuals such as myself, are extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to live on “both sides of the street” during our lifetimes. That is something very few people ever have the opportunity to do. It provides, in my mind anyway, a much more unique and broader picture of life and reality than can ever be experienced by the average person. While I did indeed go through so many years of inner turmoil, soul searching, and despair, I am not sure if I would have wanted to have my life be any different. By having to struggle for so many years with my gender and sexual identity, I am certain the end result has made me so much more appreciative of who I am now. Is there more I could share—I’m sure there is, but that can all wait until another time.
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