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Happy Anniversary Kate & Trish Varnum— Janeane Garofalo by Arthur Breur ”Proud Yet Humble” Interview by Arthur Breur 4th Anniversary of Varnum V. Brien Ruling

Four years ago this month, Iowa’s supreme court unanimously ruled that denying same-gender couples the right to marry was, in fact, denying them the equal protection guaranteed by Iowa’s constitution. On that day, many Iowans, myself included, for the first time felt what it was like to not be a second-class citizen with different rights applied to them than to other Iowans. Iowa became the country’s third state to recognize civil

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Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community

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Heartland News

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in DOMA Challenge

by Angela Geno-Stumme Sexual assault is never an easy topic to discuss, and yet it’s an important one. Sexual assault can happen to anyone and happens in any community, including the LGBT community. In order to learn more about sexual assault I spoke with Attorney Jonathan Wilson, Health Education Manager Ejay Jack, and Tammy Gilmore with Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services. The legal definition of sexual assault or abuse varies for each state, however Iowa law defines sexual abuse in Chapter 709.1 as a sex act “done by force or against someone’s will, or if consent is given under threats of violence or violence, or if the act is done when a person is asleep because of drugs or otherwise unconscious.” The Iowa definition for sexual assault is very broad and Attorney Jonathan Wilson clarified how same-sex sexual assault is handled within Iowa law: “Theoretically, it is handled the same as opposite-gender sexual assault. Assault is assault, sexual or otherwise and regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or victim. In applica-


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Kate and Trish Varnum spoke with us about the 4th Anniversary of the Varnum vs. Brien ruling in Iowa. The Varnums discuss their place in history, what’s changed in the last 4 years, and the future of marriage equality. The Varnum vs. Brien ruling established same-sex marriage in Iowa with a unanimous decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, April 3rd 2009. How do you feel about your place in history when it comes to marriage equality? Kate: We feel proud, yet humble about our involvement in this movement. We did not do this alone, and we are just one couple out of six involved in the Iowa case, not to mention the incredible legal staff and supporters. “Varnum” is just a name. It belongs to all of us. Have you experienced a “celebrity status”, and if so how has the experience been?

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March 27th, The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, the case challenging Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA affects more than 1,000 federal laws and regulations ranging from tax policy, federal employee benefits, rights under private pension plans and conflictof-interest rules. Windsor is one of multiple recent cases where federal courts have found Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. Those cases include Lambda Legal’s Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management in the Ninth Circuit and GLAD’s Gill et. al. v. Office of Personnel Management in the First Circuit and Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management in the Second Circuit. U.S. v. Windsor is also out of the Second Circuit and was brought by the ACLU. In addition to the Lambda Legal/GLAD brief, dozens of other friend-of-the-court briefs were filed urging the Supreme Court to affirm the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Windsor, including one joined by 278 businesses and municipalities.

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Interview by Arthur Breur

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What’s Inside:

Section 1: News & Politics

Letter to the Editor: QC Pride Inc. 3 Advertising rates 3 Judy & Dennis Shepard to be Keynote Speakers 5 From the Heartland by Donna Red Wing 5 Remarkables by Jonathan Wilson 6 Intersectionality by Warren J. Blumenfeld 6 Shrink Rap by Loren A Olson MD 7 A Leather It Gets Better by Mark Turnage 7 HIV/AIDS Impact by Paul Whannel 8 Was Millian killed because he was black or gay? by Rev. Irene Monroe 8 Minor Details by Robert Minor 9 Rippled: A Celebration of Progress by Ryan K. Sallans 9 Creep of the Week by D’Anne Witkowski 10

Section 2: Fun Guide

Entertainment Picks for the Month 11 Janeane Garofalo interview by Arthur Breur 11 Inside Out: Girlfriends by Ellen Krug 12 Wired This Way by Rachel Eliason 13 Healthy Lunch Ideas by Davey Wavey 13 Brittany Brooks Holds Every Stage Dear by Angela GenoStumme 14 Iowa Wedding Awaits Ad 15 Del Shores film: Southern Baptist Sissies by Geno-Stumme 16 National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Ad 18 Baby Dee: Sordidness & Sanctity by Angela Geno-Stumme 21 NKOB Inspire 80’s Awesomeness 21 The Bookworm Sez by Terri Schlichenmeyer 22 Comics and Crossword Puzzle 22-23

Section 3: Community

FFBC: Upward & Onward with Primary Health Care by Bruce Carr 25 Prime Timers of Central Iowa 25 PITCH Calendar 2013 25 University of Iowa LGBT S&F Association Iowa City, Iowa 25 From the Pastor’s Pen by Rev. Jonathan Page 27 Ask Lambda Legal by Iván Espinoza-Madrigal 27 Business Directory 28-29 CHAIN Celebrates a Successful Day on the Hill 31 University of Iowa LGBT S&F Association Meeting 32 Diversity Focus Hosts the LGBT Community Council 32 Day of Silence Ad 33 I.C. Kings Upcoming Action 34 The Project of the Quad Cities Calendar 34

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APRIL 2013

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Section 1: News & Politics

ACCESSline Page 3

Letter to the Editor

QC Pride Inc.

What a weekend! I am writing this because I just cannot keep still. I am about to explode with Pride!  I want to take an opportunity to tell each of you how grateful I am to have this wonderful experience of being part of QC Pride! Last night, we held our Prides of March Masquarade Ball.  As I mingled through the crowd, I took a moment to take it all in.  I looked around at the incredibly decorated ballroom, the events transpiring around the circumference of the room, listening to the music, etc. and I felt such an awesome feeling come over me.  I thought , “We are good!  We are talented!  This is exactly where we are supposed to be!”  I had just come off an interview with WHBF-TV news about the event.  I hope you get a chance to view that coverage at their website, but I really wished you could have heard the entire interview between myself and the reporter.  He later told me that he could not believe how wonderful this organization is!  He knew very little about us but when I told him what our focus was, he was taken back. I let him know that our main focus as a group was to promote the idea of dignity and self-worth of all people in this community.  I told him our group strives to deliver a message to others that we are not much different from them. We play, we dance, we shop, we listen, we think, we work, we love, and we party.  I told him that we just want everyone to be okay with who they are and to feel good about being who they were meant to be.  Events like this ball allow people to come as they are, to be around safe and affirming people, to have fun, to eat and to be themself.  That is what the Ball was about!  And to me, the ball was perfect.  Yes, like many of you, I wished there had been a greater attendance, but the event itself was perfect.  It was better organized than

QC Pride Inc.’s float. Courtesy of QC Pride Inc. any event I have attended in a long time. I of us braved the cold and gave up our early came from a background where I participated morning to again show the QC what we are in the finest of hospitality events and that ball made of. It was less than 20 years ago that an was better put together than most I had ever Irish gay group in Boston was denied an entry been part of.  So we succeeded in providing the into the Boston St Patty’s Day parade.  We have atmosphere I described to the reporter.  And I been a part of the parade here for the past 3 thank the organizers for their hard work.  And years and I gotta tell ya, the community has keep it up and next time, they will come.  Those come to expect us there and if their cheers who did come are sure to tell folks that they are any indication, they LOVE having us in the missed one spectacular night! parade.  Each year, I hear less jeers and more I told the reporter we had hoped to cheers.  And today we thanked them. make a little funding for our event coming Jeff and I held the QCPRIDE sign and in June.  When he asked about the festival, the thrill we experienced at each new point I described it like I want you all to begin was exhilarating.  We got to see people look describing Pride Fest.  It is a festival the at our banner and say, “YES!  It’s QC Pride! LGBTQ community throws for the Quad- “  and “I love these people . . Pride!”  And I Cities.  It is put on by us, and we invite the kid you not, those comments are followed entire community to our party we have with an intense roar of glee in the crowd for them.  It is not a festival FOR the lgbt as they looked at our knobby knees and community but it is one hosted BY the lgbt saw rainbow beads flying in the air and a community.  To come meet us, to play with us, witch and a lion and a flying monkey dog. to learn just how much like “them” that Then they looked up and saw big equality flags we are and vice versa.  That message will waving in front of a rocking Emerald city with make the world a better place.  (Please a witch, tin man, lion, munchkin mayor, wizard, begin to focus on that approach to the fest!) scarecrow, Dorothy and of course a beautiful And that is what we did on Saturday.  Many TTQC PRIDE INC cont’d page 34

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ACCESSline Page 4 SScontinued from page 1

SEXUAL ASSAULT tion, however, there are inevitable disparities because of prejudice and, frankly, ignorance among members of law enforcement agencies and county prosecutors.” In order to get a better idea of what the LGBT community goes through in regards to prejudice and ignorance in regards to sexual assault, I spoke with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Health Education Manager Ejay Jack. Could you give a general overview about sexual assault in the LGBT community? The CDC has just released data on interpersonal and sexual violence by gender and sexual orientation, reporting that bisexual women reported higher prevalence of rape, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner at 61%, where as lesbians reported at about 44%, and heterosexual women at 35%. We know there are higher rates in bisexual women, but we don’t know much about the transgender community—because of reporting issues with people and self disclosure. The CDC states that nearly half of bisexual men, four in ten gay men, and one in five heterosexual men—so, it’s about 40% of gay men, 20% of heterosexual men, have experienced sexual violence other then rape in their lifetime. In some situations sexual violence has been aimed at the LGBT population, to try to keep people in line with socially sanctioned sexual orientation and identity. When someone deviates from sexuality and gender norms they can be targeted. There’s a research report done in 2009 I believe. You have an anecdotal piece where a transgender individual was sexually assaulted, a male to female individual, and she was assaulted by a couple of males. And they said, “If you want to be a girl, well this is how a girl is treated” and then proceeded to rape her. That’s the sort of situation that LGBT people may face. The reporting issue is also interesting because you think of the LGBT community and the historical distrust and oppression that LGBT people have faced, socially and in the medical setting. So, you are saying that sexual assault is being under reported in the LGBT community? Absolutely, I would suspect that’s the case, because the historical distrust of medical providers and the fear of outing one-self. Because if you have a gay man who’s not out or

Section 1: News & Politics a man who sleeps with other men and they’re not out, and then for whatever the situation is—he is sexually assaulted, raped, what have you, by another man—to report that would mean to report his identity. It’s a whole context that is very complicated. What holds LGBT individuals back from reporting sexual assault? I think it’s that support services in this field assume heterosexuality, and so that makes it more uncomfortable for an individual identifying as LGBT to then try to educate the service provider while trying to get service for a really traumatic incident that happened to them. I think our culture will tell gay men, “Well, you shouldn’t have been at the bar. You should have expected that. Two men cannot victimize each other sexually.” It’s that heterosexual thinking that it’s penis, vagina, and that’s assault. Which is not the case. That is why we need that broadening of the definition of sexual assault. And how does the CDC define sexual assault? This is what the CDC put out, based on the National Intimate Sexual Partner Sexual Violence Survey, it says: sexual violence with any perpetrator. It talks about sexual questions in relation to rape (completed forced penetration, attempted penetration, and alcohol or drug facilitated completed penetration). Being forced to penetrate another person, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences. So, that non-contact would be like verbal rape or like a “quid pro quo” that happens at a work place possibly. It’s still very broad, and I think the key is attempted penetration and not just penetration, which could be anal or oral. The laws are just now starting to be inclusive, we’re just now becoming really aware and we need awareness first, then gain knowledge, and then we can build our skills on how do we then work with the LGBT people that have had experience with sexual assault.


In order to get a better idea of what a sexual assault victim would go through I spoke with SART Coordinator Tammy Gilmore with Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services. What is SART? Mid Iowa Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a collaboration among many area organizations, such as all the different law enforcement jurisdictions—I think there is upwards of 20. There’s the advocacy program

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ANNIVERSARY marriage equality. That same day, as the Iowa Supreme Court announced they would be releasing their ruling on the case of Varnum v. Brien, I was helping to distribute the first copies of The ACCESSline which I had produced as the paper’s new editor-in-chief. Just four short years later, there are now nine states and the District of Colombia supporting equal protection for same-gender couples, and the US Supreme Court is considering two different cases against the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (or “DOMA”). Court after court has ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional, and the president himself has declared that under his administration the law will not be defended. Where the US Supreme Court will go with these two cases are the subject of much debate, but more and more people are convinced that equal legal protection for same-gender couples is both appropriate and inevitable. Even Time Magazine has an issue featuring just that topic, with the cover headline “Gay Marriage Already Won.” Generationally, culturally, and socially, differences in sexual orientation are no longer considered the fearful, shameful things that they were in past decades. Poll after poll shows that the entire US population is rapidly shifting its thinking on the issue, and that the younger generations are vastly more pro-equality than their elders.

APRIL 2013 Of course, if you think about it, there are people getting their drivers licenses this year who have never known a world in which Ellen DeGeneres was not living openly and proud and respected. Times change, as do social expectations. Women used to not be able to vote, after all, and it was a fight to get past that social hurdle. Of course, there is a particular set of social conservatives to whom cultural shifts seem like the end of the world. To these limited minds, treating LGBT people fairly goes against their own particular religious beliefs—and, sadly, these people believe that the whole world (or at least the entire USA) should be forced to live by their religious beliefs alone. A small number of Iowa’s Republican legislators clearly fall into this category. This past month—four years after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously declared treating people unfairly to be, well, unfair—Republicans in Iowa’s legislature submitted bills trying yet again to take away the civil marriage rights from Iowa’s same-gender couples. Further, in a move that seems just mean spirited, Iowa Republicans submitted an impotent bill to try to take funding away from an Iowa college for supporting the Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth. Clearly, the ACCESSline will continue to have plenty to write about for years to come. Hopefully, though, by our next anniversary, the US Supreme Court will have decided that denying equal protection to same-gender couples… is denying equal protection to same gender couples.

Section 1: News & Politics

APRIL 2013

ACCESSline Page 5

Judy & Dennis Shepard to be Keynote Speakers at Matthew Shepard Scholarship Awards

of Matthew Shepard, will keynote the 2013

Matthew Shepard Scholarship Awards Dinner on Friday, June 7, 2013. Dennis’ speech at the Awards Dinner is the first time he has spoken publicly in Iowa. Tickets are available online at or by calling 515-262-0000. Matthew Shepard is the 21-year-old college student who was kidnapped, savagely beaten and left to die in 1998, because he was gay. His death invigorated people around the world to protest anti-gay rhetoric, violence and bigotry. The Shepards recently completed a five-country, two-week Eastern European outreach trip with the US State Department sharing their story and working to expand LGBT rights and protections. Executive Director Michael Bowser said, “We are honored to have the support of Dennis and Judy Shepard at our fourteenth annual scholarship presentation and excited to have them recognizing Iowa’s LGBTQ

towards understandings and accords that range from full acceptance and the performance of wedding ceremonies to religiously faithful and compassionate disagreements. The latest polling numbers reflect the changing times. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a majority of Americans, at 58 percent, believe that it should be legal for same-gender couples to marry. Only 36 percent oppose marriage equality. Ten years ago the numbers were virtually reversed with 37 percent in favor, and 55 percent opposed. At this writing, Iowa is still the only non-coastal state where it is legal for same-gender couples to marry (Marriage states are Iowa, Washington State, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire and New York as well as the District of Columbia.). On April 3rd we celebrate Iowa’s landmark Varnum ruling on its fourth anniversary. Since that historic day, more than six thousand same-gender couples have legally married in Iowa. And, according to a UCLA study on the financial impact of that ruling, the state gains approximately $5.3 million each year. Since the ruling thousands of people have been able to marry the person they love. Some have started families. Most live and work and worship in Iowa. They pay their taxes, they are our neighbors and co-workers and colleagues. The sky has not fallen. Heterosexual couples have not seen their marriages or families impacted. Iowa has not gone to hell in a hand basket. And still, with all of the momentum on our side, and even as powerful national and statewide conservatives move towards equality, the GOP leadership in Iowa continues to rail against the freedom to marry. In Iowa, two House bills and one Senate bill against us received only tepid support. Yet, they were filed. And a conversation about a constituency that is somehow ‘less than’

or ‘other than’ was heard. GOP leader A.J. Spiker wrote to his supporters: “Lets not forget, so-called same sex marriage is an irreconcilable difference with the Republican Party’s largest constituency... Committed Christians.” The FAMiLY Leader still believes that our families are simply “untested social experiments with children” and Bob Vander Plaats continues to use marriage in his litmus test for acceptable presidential caucus hopefuls. I’d like to suggest that we celebrate this fourth anniversary with great love and appreciation for the brave plaintiffs in the Varnum case: Katherine Varnum, Patricia Hyde, Dawn Barbouroske, Jennifer Barbouroske, Jason Morgan, Charles Swaggerty, David Twombley, Lawrence Hoch, William Musser, Otter Dreaming, Ingrid Olson and Reva Evans. I suggest that we applaud the integrity of the Iowa Supreme Court and their unanimous ruling. And that we celebrate Polk County Judge Robert Hanson whose decision that the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional brought the case to the Iowa Supreme Court. We would not have marriage equality if it were not for the work of Lambda Legal and Camilla Taylor, and Iowa attorneys Dennis Johnson and Sharon Malheiro and others. And we would not have marriage if it were not for all of the extraordinary women and men who over the years had the courage to live their lives fully and openly, who changed hearts and minds by putting a face and a voice and a story to what people knew when they thought of LGBT people. So, let us applaud and appreciate and remember all of the things that came together for us, here in Iowa. Lets celebrate by reaching out to our friends and neighbors who are not quite there; lets meet them where they are and help move them forward. Lets be optimistic and know that there will be a time when equality is neither a red nor a blue issue, it is simply how we live. And, what do we do about our oppo-

Judy and Dennis Shepard. Courtesy of Matthew Shepard Scholarship. Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents

youth.” Iowa’s Matthew Shepard Scholarship is a program of the Eychaner Foundation in Des Moines. The program invests in distinguished Iowa high school students who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The scholarship is valued at up to $40,000 over four years. The Eychaner Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. The Eychaner Foundation is dedicated to anti-bullying, sponsors and has been instrumental in the creation of the Iowa Pride Network and Iowa Safe Schools. The foundation invests in distinguished minority students through Iowa’s Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program and the Howard and Mildred Eychaner Minority Scholarship in De Kalb, Illinois. For more information go to

From the Heartland by Donna Red Wing, Executive Director One Iowa “The Times, They Are A-Changing”

In a ten-page report last month the American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in on the marriage equality narrative. After four years of research the Academy now publicly supports the freedom to marry, saying in its report, Promoting the WellBeing of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian; “Because marriage strengthens families and, in so doing, benefits children’s development, children should not be deprived of the opportunity for their parents to be married. Paths to parenthood that include assisted reproductive techniques, adoption, and foster parenting should focus on competency of the parents rather than their sexual orientation.” And then Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman from Ohio publically shared his support for the freedom to marry, saying, “I believe all of our sons and daughters ought to have the same opportunity to experience the joy and stability of marriage.” The ranks of conservatives who support marriage equality now includes former first lady Laura Bush, U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Margaret Hoover, former Vice President Cheney, Meg Whitman, and so many more. Here in Iowa, Iowan Republicans for Freedom recently hosted Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee Chairman and the architect of President Bush’s 2004 campaign, who held quiet conversations with Iowa Republicans as well as a public event where he was joined by Mitt Romney’s Iowa strategist, David Kochel, and former State Senator Jeff Angelo, who both joined him in expressing their support for marriage. Faith communities continue to grapple with the issues of marriage equality, moving

Lets be optimistic and know that there will be a time when equality is neither a red nor a blue issue, it is simply how we live.

Donna Red Wing is the Executive Director of One Iowa. She served as Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership, as Chief of Staff at Interfaith Alliance, she was a member of the Obama’s kitchen cabinet on LGBT concerns, and was Howard Dean’s outreach liaison to the LGBT communities. Red Wing was the first recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Faith & Freedom. Red Wing serves on the national board of the Velvet Foundation, which is building the national LGBT museum in Washington, DC. Contact Donna at or nents, those people and organizations that rail against us at every turn? We know that we are on the right side of history; that the arc of justice only bends forward. We know that our opponents may be left in the dust of their own prejudices and misinformation. I suggest that we remain vigilant, that we continue, even in our celebration, to protect ourselves, and our community. But, I also think that it is time, perhaps, to begin those quiet conversations with our opponents whether it is a clergy member, a politician, a journalist, a family member or a neighbor. Lets find them where they are and agree to have, if they will, civil dialogue about points of interest, patches of common ground. We are winning this battle. We can be, if we choose, gracious in our victory. I pledge to have three conversations in April; three difficult conversations with people who I might label my opponents in the struggle for equality. Will you join me?

ACCESSline Page 6

Section 1: News & Politics

APRIL 2013

Remarkables by Jonathan Wilson Limits on the Right to Be Stupid

Dateline Germany, February 26, 2013: During his first trip abroad Secretary of State John Kerry said that Americans have the right to be stupid; some abuse it; but it’s tolerated. Too true. As if on cue, ten Republican members of the Iowa House of Representative stepped up to prove just how sadly true it is. The ten of them co-sponsored House File 444 that seeks two things: it seeks to prohibit County Recorders from issuing same-gender couples marriage licenses to which they are entitled thanks to the Iowa Supreme Court decision in Varnum; and it seeks to remove from the Iowa Supreme Court any power to decide whether the denial of those licenses violates the Iowa Constitution. You know—the constitution that says all citizens are to be treated equally by their government. Introducing the bill was tacit acknowledgment that, if challenged before the Iowa Supreme Court, the Court would almost certainly strike down the bill as unconstitutional. In essence, the admittedly unconstitutional bill seeks to remove access to an independent judiciary to obtain rights guaranteed by the constitution. In the balancing of governmental powers, incidentally, the US and state Supreme Courts have held the keys to our constitutional rights since at least Marbury v. Madison in

1803, half a century before Iowa even had a constitution. I’ve always believed that, if circumstances are equally consistent given either malevolence or stupidity, one should assume stupidity. These circumstances put that benevolent philosophy to the test. To avoid the conclusion that these legislators are utterly malevolent, you have to assume that their stupidity is so stupendous as to surpass all credulity. [I’m using big words here so that, if they read this, they’ll be less likely to know what I’m saying.] Here’s why HF 444 is so thoroughly stupid. First, it doesn’t reach Iowa’s recognition of gay marriages performed in the eight other jurisdictions where it’s perfectly legal. Second, it ignores the access that gay couples have to legally recognized common law marriages; in short, no one, gay or straight, needs a license to get legally married in Iowa. Third, it purports to remove appellate jurisdiction of the Iowa Supreme Court while leaving untouched the power of the district courts to strike down the statute or order the County Recorders to issue licenses

under penalty of going to jail if they refuse. Fourth, without appellate jurisdiction available, the multitude of district courts could reach differing conclusions and, there being no requirement that license applicants be residents of the county where their application is made, marriage licenses could continue to issue if just one single district court so ordered. Fifth, the bill isn’t going anywhere, given the Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate. Sixth, and most disturbing, it betrays among the ten legislators a fundamental ignorance of our very form of government that should be understood by every Iowa fifth grader—or they should be held back. These legislators simply can’t, in my judgment, be that stupid. That leaves me then with malevolence. I would have preferred stupidity. Each of the legislators, in order to qualify for office, swore to uphold the Constitution of the State of Iowa. No legislator can be held to have violated the oath of office because of a mere stupid error—by mistakenly supporting legislation that is ultimately determined to be unconstitutional. A malevolent—i.e., intentional—violation, on the other hand,

the middle years), U.S. born, English as first language speakers, and so on, while subordinating and denying these privilege to other groups, for example, women, girls, and intersex people, racially minoritized peoples, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people, those who do not hold to Christian beliefs and traditions, working class and poor people, people with disabilities, young and old people, non-U.S. born, non-English as first language speakers, and others. These systemic inequities are pervasive throughout the society. They are encoded into the individual’s consciousness and woven into the very fabric of our social institutions, resulting in a deeply stratified social order. In my life, early on I focused exclusively on my subordinated identities, on my pain and the pain of others within my marginalized identity categories. When I was very young, I sat upon my maternal grandfather Simon Mahler’s knee. Looking down urgently, but with deep affection, he said to me, “Varn,” (through his distinctive Polish accent, he always pronounced my name “Varn”), “you are named after my father, Wolf, who was murdered along with my mother and most of my 13 brothers and sisters by people called Nazis.” When I asked why these people killed them, he responded, “Because they were Jews.” Those words have reverberated in my mind, haunting me ever since.

In this country, my father told me how he suffered the effects of anti-Jewish prejudice. One of only a handful of Jews in his schools in Los Angeles in the 1920s and ‘30s, many afternoons he returned home injured from a fight. To get a decent job, his father, Abraham Blumenfeld, felt forced to Anglicize his name, changing it unofficially to “Eddy Fields.” My parents did what they could to protect my sister and myself from the effects of anti-Jewish prejudice, but still I grew up with a constant and gnawing feeling that I somehow did not belong in this country as a Jew, and then later as a gay boy and man. The time was the early 1950s, the so-called “McCarthy Era”—a conservative time, a time when difference of any sort was held suspect. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, a brash young Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, sternly warned that “Communists [often thought of as Jews in the public imagination] corrupt the minds and homosexuals corrupt the bodies of good upstanding Americans,” and he proceeded to officially purge “accused” Communists and homosexuals from government service. During this era, police departments frequently raided LGBT bars, which were usually Mafia owned; the U.S. Postal Service raided organizations and even published the names from their mailing lists in local newspapers, and people lost their jobs. LGBT people were often involuntarily

These legislators simply can’t, in my judgment, be that stupid. That leaves me then with malevolence. I would have preferred stupidity.

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Intersectionality by Warren J. Blumenfeld Challenging Though Essential for Liberation

We all hold concurrent “social identities” (consciously or unconsciously) based on socially constructed categories: for example, on our personal and physical characteristics, on our moral beliefs and values, on our ages, abilities, interests, professions, socioeconomic class backgrounds, and on our cultural, racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, sex, gender, sexual and affectional, and religious identifications, and more. Sometimes others ascribe these identities to us (often at or even before our birth), sometimes we choose our own selfdescriptors, and some of these identities we achieve throughout our lives. Society simultaneously grants unearned privileges and benefits, and also imposes enormous limitations and restrictions centering solely on these identities. Based on Peggy McIntosh’s pioneering investigations of white and male privilege, we can understand dominant group privilege as constituting a seemingly invisible, unearned, and largely unacknowledged array of benefits accorded to members of dominant groups, with which they often unconsciously walk through life as if effortlessly carrying a knapsack tossed over their shoulders. This system of benefits confers dominance on specific social identity groups, for example in a U.S. context, men and boys, white people, heterosexuals, those who conform to established gender roles, Christians, upper socioeconomic classes, temporarily able bodied people, people of a certain age range (young adults through

Names like “queer,” “little girl,” and “fag” targeted me like the big red dodge ball my classmates furiously hurled at one another on the schoolyard.

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

Warren J. Blumenfeld is associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense). committed to mental institutions and underwent electro-shock therapy; some were lobotomized. When I was quite young, long before I learned what were considered the “proper” rules of conduct in terms of socially constructed gender roles, I naively enacted gender in ways I found integral to my temperament. I quickly discovered, however, that family members and peers despised my gender expression. Children called me names with an incredible vehemence and malice that I did not understand. Not knowing what else to do at this time with what they considered to be my gender non-conformity, my parents sent me to a child psychologist at the age of four until my 13th birthday because they

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Shrink Rap by Loren A Olson MD Sexual Pleasure

Dear Dr. Olson, As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I have more difficulty reaching orgasm and also helping my partner to reach one. (Sometimes I even get bored while I’m trying to make it happen.) I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t just give up on sex. Gene. Gene, There’s no reason to give up on sex, but some changes may be necessary. I really hate it when people say to me, “Loren, You look good... for your age.” To me it sounds like they are saying, “You don’t sweat much… for a fat person.” We all get older but how we deal with it makes all the difference. In a previous issue I wrote about age being more than a number. Our “real age” is a combination of our chronological age, physical age, sexual age and psychological age. Through the years of practicing medicine, I have been impressed by these incongruities in age in my patients. For a number of reasons, I felt much older at sixty than I do now turning seventy this month. I recently took Dr. Oz’s “Real Age Test”. My results told me that my “real age” is 66, and it also gave me suggestions of what I can do to make myself even “younger.” Although sexual drive, erectile tension

and ejaculatory volume decline as we get older, sexual satisfaction does not necessarily decline. When men have their first difficulties with sexual dysfunction (and admit it, we all do), it can make us feel old, but it is important to remember that about 50% of sexual dysfunction is psychological, not physical. Social expectations for men are that we get it up, keep it up, get it off and get our partners off as well, ideally at the same time. Not only has the bar been set very high, perhaps it’s the wrong bar altogether. This standard of sexual functioning is Olympic and based on perfect sexual performance to the exclusion of sexual pleasure. Imagine watching figure skating without the music. In almost every case where sexual dysfunction is of psychological origin, the explanation is that the man has sensed a loss in his performance capabilities. Then he begins to focus on those changes in performance and forgetting about sexual pleasure. Those men for whom sexual satisfaction is maintained have recognized that sex is much more than a stiff penis followed by

ejaculating. Make love in slow time. Big pecs and tight buns are not essential elements of satisfying love-making. Sexual satisfaction, particularly as we mature, should become much more about the connection between sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy. It should be about the pleasure of the entire experience from the moment the thought of sex enters the mind through to the warmth and closeness that comes when cuddling your partner afterwards. Viagra and Cialis do not resolve psychological issues causing sexual dysfunction; learning to value sensual pleasure over performance is often a better solution. Some things about growing older are rewarding: One of them is learning to value what is really important and what is not. We cannot change our climbing chronological age, but we can alter its impact. What’s your “real age?” Take Dr. Oz’s test and find out. Then start working on those things that will make you feel physically, emotionally and sexually as young as you possibly can.

A good friend of mine who had moved to Atlanta got in touch with me recently and asked me about how my title year was going. I hadn’t seen him for over a year and we were getting caught up with each other’s lives. “It’s so weird. When we were hanging out I couldn’t get you to go out and you hated going to the Saddle. Now you’re like a local celebrity there. I don’t know how I feel about this,” he said with a laugh. Sometimes, it’s wild for me to think about too. On March 30, I was at Capital Square during the Simply 60 Benefit. I was there to celebrate the birthdays of Lucy Jackson and Jessica Tyler and support the Eychaner Foundation and Matthew Shepherd Scholarship, having a cigarette

with two women who asked me about my leathers and my title sash. Our conversation drifted from the hanky code to the concept of negotiating a scene, and ultimately being honest and unashamed about telling someone you trust about what turns you on. One year can bring so many changes. Yet before that point, there was a lot in my life that had stayed the same. A little over a year ago, as my friend pointed out, I wouldn’t have gone to a large public benefit. I wouldn’t have gone out, met people, and had that conversation. I wouldn’t have run for Mr. Iowa Leather, and I wouldn’t have gone out to the Saddle because at the time I believed an inner lie that told me putting yourself out there,

“being out,” was more trouble than it was worth. My solution was to stay at home. I told myself being gay and finding happiness was meant for a certain type of guy, and I wasn’t it. Shy, awkward nerd was so far apart from the handsome, beefy man’s man I was attracted to and felt I needed to become. It was a standard that proved impossible to live up to and fostered a narrow-minded view of what gay men found attractive. In time, it was the leather community that showed me being comfortable and confident in the body you have helps you let go of the fear of not fitting in. We’re all misfits, in one way or another. Own it, and own it with pride. Considering that this year alone has found me auctioning and wearing jockstraps at the Saddle, I’d say I’m making progress. In December, I went to my alma mater to support UNI Proud with their first “NOH8 At My School” campaign, coupled with the opportunity to make an “It Gets Better” Video. Visiting my alma mater, as fun as it can be, brings mixed feelings whenever I walk the same campus where I had some of the highest and lowest points of my life. I chose not to “come out” at the start of college because I believed my faith and my sexuality were mutually exclusive. I dreaded sermons on homosexuality and was all too familiar with specific passages of Leviticus. Surrounded by men I wanted yet couldn’t have (or even think about), I isolated myself from opportunities that could have helped me: LGBTAQ, One Iowa rallies, even Christians who disagreed that being gay was sinful. I knew something better must be out there, but I felt placeless and alone. I needed to get away and process this for myself. It wasn’t until I went to Colo-

Social expectations for men are that we get it up, keep it up, get it off and get our partners off as well, ideally at the same time.

Loren A. Olson MD is a board certified psychiatrist in the clinical practice of psychiatry for over 35 years. Dr. Olson has conducted research on mature gay and bisexual men for his book, Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, a Psychiatrist’s Own Story. He has presented on this subject at conferences across the United States and Internationally. His blog, MagneticFire. com, has a strong following among mature gay and bisexual men. He established Prime Timers of Central Iowa, a social organization for mature gay/bisexual men. For more information go to or contact him on

A Leather It Gets Better by Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 I told myself being gay and finding happiness was meant for a certain type of guy, and I wasn’t it.

Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 Mark Turnage. rado as part of a Bible study camp halfway through my senior year that I realized that in order to move forward and reclaim a positive self-image, I needed to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. I outed myself to my sister first and explained my intentions. She was surprised and concerned, but supportive. Writing became a weapon against doubt and depression. I took a journal and went into the woods each day, writing down whatever fears, insights, and victories I had made. By the end of the summer, I had filled it end to end and outed myself to my family in a Super 8 somewhere in Kansas on the road back home. They had their concerns—HIV, safe sex. But they accepted me for who I was, and so had I. During that trip, I bought a leather

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HIV/AIDS Impact by Paul Whannel, Executive Director Midwestern AIDS Project Babies, Bee Venom, and the “Functional Cure”

March was an exciting month in HIV news! We’ve had three huge stories break: A toddler “cured” of HIV infection, and the discovery that bee venom can bypass HIV’s defenses and directly kill the virus, and a “functional cure” for 14 individuals in France. So why aren’t HIV advocates packing up their desks? Let’s take a quick look at the details of these discoveries and the immediate impact they’ll have.

Stopping HIV Infections at Birth

The toddler in question, a baby born in Mississippi, was treated under unique circumstances. Today, mothers who are HIV-positive and on treatment only give birth to HIV-positive children 2% of the time. This girl was one of those 2%. Furthermore, before the child was even tested for HIV, they began aggressive antiretroviral treatment (ART)—something rarely done for a 36-hour old baby. ART is often difficult for an adult body to cope with, and it remains to be seen what effects it has on newborn children. Although some researchers have said this will be the end of HIV-infected newborns, Carlos del Rio, co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, noted, “This outcome is the exception, rather than the rule.”

As they continue to find RNA fragments of HIV in the child, we wait, optimistically, to see if she is in permanent remission, known as a “functional cure.” That’s different from a true “cure,” despite the overuse of the term in the media. We don’t yet know if the virus will return and begin reinfection of her body, or if it will indeed disappear entirely. We should all celebrate this case, because it could mean great outcomes for children of people living with HIV/ AIDS. But don’t anticipate a “cure” for the average person to come out of this. Del Rio pointed out this case shouldn’t lead patients—or parents—into thinking they can stop medication.

And we know it can effectively kill other types of viruses. Keep in mind, these effects are demonstrated on microscope slides, not in human subjects. After this news broke, many people assume researchers are whipping up an injection full of bee venom that will eradicate HIV from one’s bloodstream. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The initial application of this discovery will be the development of an experimental vaginal gel (lube) to be used during sex to prevent HIV transmission. If the lube in development works and can clear FDA hurdles, it’ll likely be available for women long before it’s available for gay and bi men, the people who represent about half of new HIV infections. In short: If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, DO get a test conducted by a professional. Do NOT go sticking your hands in bee hives.

If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, DO get a test conducted by a professional. Do NOT go sticking your hands in bee hives.

Bee Stings are No Substitute for Testing and Treatment

When the Washington University School of Medicine announced last month that nanoparticles containing melittin— a toxin contained in bee venom—can destroy HIV particles without damaging surrounding cells, our office immediately began receiving questions about it. It’s no surprise that this toxin may be effective at killing HIV. For years, cancer researchers have studied the applications of venom on tumors, with varying results.

14 People Cured?

Lastly, March saw an amazing announcement: The Institut Pasteur in Paris reports 14 patients are “functionally cured” of HIV. What’s so special about them? These individuals were diagnosed and started medications incredibly quickly— within two months of the infection. The vast majority of people don’t know they’re

Paul Whannel is the executive director and co-founder of the Midwestern AIDS Project, a non-profit working to replace Iowa’s lost HIV prevention programs and improve quality of life for Iowans living with HIV/AIDS. infected that soon. It underscores the benefits for early testing and treatment, but we don’t yet know how to apply these findings to average at-risk individuals.

The Bottom Line

These discoveries are certainly cause for celebration. But to leave you with a realistic understanding of today’s landscape, I’ll repeat something I’ve said to many people: I truly believe we will see a cure for HIV within the next 5 years. But if you asked an HIV expert in 1985, they would have said the exact same thing. If you’re HIV-negative, your best bet is to stay that way. Don’t assume you’ll be offered a “cure” until we have one.

Was Millian killed because he was black or gay? by Rev. Irene Monroe Marco McMillian was a trailblazer, and the pride of the Mississippi Delta. Just in his twenties Ebony magazine in 2004 hailed him as one of the nation’s 30 leaders under the age of 30. And in his thirties the Mississippi Business Journal hailed him as one of the “Top 40 Leaders under 40.” But at age 34 McMillian’s life was mysteriously cut short. As an openly gay African American candidate running for the mayoral seat in Clarkdale, Mississippi, McMillian was quietly signaling that neither his race nor his sexual orientation would abort his aspirations. On McMillian’s campaign Facebook page is a photo of him posing with President Obama. His campaign motto: “Moving Clarksdale forward.” If there were anyplace to challenge the intolerant conventions of Mississippi, Clarksdale, the Delta’s gem—known as “a place where openness and hospitality transcend all barriers and visitors are embraced as family” and the birthplace of the blues—would be that place. Police discovered McMillian’s body near a levee just a 15-minute drive outside of Clarksdale. Mississippi’s unforgettable sordid history of lynching immediately rose up when his family reported that Marco’s body was beaten, dragged and “set afire.” And the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till came roaring back, reminding me of Mississippi’s native son William Faulkner who wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Till was a 14-year of African American child from Chicago who was visiting relatives down in the Mississippi Delta. He was brutally murdered and tortured for allegedly flirting with a white woman. When his body was discovered it was reported that Till was severely beaten, nude, shot in the right ear, had an eye gouged out from its socket, and a cotton gin fan tied around his neck with a barbed wire before his body was dumped into Tallahatchie River. While thoughts of racial hatred first erupted as the probable motive for McMillian’s murder, they were quickly erased when McMillian’s assailant, Lawrence Reed, 22, an African American male was found and apprehended in McMillian’s wrecked SUV. Did Reed murder McMillian or did he just steal his car? Or might there be another tale here, one of a “down low” tryst gone awry? Being openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) is no easy feat for African Americans, even in 2013 with a LGBTQ-friendly president like Obama having your back. Being from the South just complicates the matter. For McMillian, his family might also be one of the complications in ascertaining the truth

behind his death. Case in point—it is unfathomable to McMillian’s family to think that the motive for his murder was his sexual orientation. His mother, Patricia McMillian, told CNN that only family and friends knew of her son’s sexual orientation. “He did not announce in public that he was gay,” she said, adding, “I don’t think he was attacked because he was gay.” McMillian’s sexual orientation, however, was an open secret. According to state investigators, little is known about Reed or how, if at all, he knew McMillian. To the McMillian family Reed is an enigma. McMillian’s mother stated she never knew him, and McMillian’s stepfather, Amos Unger, speaking for the family, told CNN that “We never heard of him.” Although the family states that the cause of McMillian’s death was because he was “beaten, dragged and burned” the Coahoma County Medical Examiner Scotty Meredith stated otherwise. But just as McMillian’s family might be one of the complications in ascertaining the truth behind his death so too might be the state that’s investigating the case. In Mississippi LGBTQ couples cannot marry and they cannot jointly adopt. There

Being openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) is no easy feat for African Americans, even in 2013 with a LGBTQ-friendly president like Obama having your back.

Rev. Irene Monroe is a graduate from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and she has served as a pastor at an AfricanAmerican church before coming to Harvard Divinity School for her doctorate as Ford Fellow. She is a syndicated queer religion columnist who tries to inform the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Her website is is no hate crime bill protecting a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The state does not address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words, an assault on a LGBTQ

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Minor Details by Robert Minor Make Up Research and Pray Hard

The right-wing, especially the religious right-wing, knows that it’s on the run. It’s scared because it lacks faith in its higher power. Thus, the overwhelming accumulation of examples of downright lying among them. Then, sadly, add denial that they could be lying from those whom the lies hurt continues. Their fear makes right-wingers doubt and desperate to do anything to promote their righteous cause and gods no matter how deceitful it might be. Saving souls or their pocketbooks from hell is all the excuse they need to deceive. Enter their academics who are so convinced of the rightness of their cause that questionable studies are commonplace. And right-wing journals salivate over publishing anything that comes from anyone who supports the ideology they push. In March, The American Independent obtained documents exposing “The New Family Structures Study” published in June 2012 by Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas – Austin. It’s just one recent example of the right-wing use of flawed research. The study was funded with a $695,000 grant from the Witherspoon Institute — founded by Princeton professor Robert P.

George, founding chairman of the notoriously anti-gay National Organization for Marriage—and another $90,000 grant from the extreme right-wing Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee. The Witherspoon Institute recruited Regnerus to conduct the widely cited research critical of gay relationships and their impact on the children of gay parents, and then choreographed its release in time to influence “major decisions of the Supreme Court.” Anti-gay activists have cited it in court cases since. Scholars have attacked the study for lack of academic integrity, flawed methodology, and its controlling funding sources. In fact, Regnerus’ professional organization, the American Sociological Association, recently filed an amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry (which seeks to overturn California’s Proposition 8), contradicting his study for providing “no support for the conclusions that same-sex parents are inferior parents or that the children of samesex parents experience worse outcomes.” This tactic is nothing new. Right-wing foundations create studies that get passed around by people who want to defend whatever the studies are built to conclude. And the religious are especially gullible because it’s what they want to hear. It gives them some “science” to quote in their arguments so they don’t have to fall back on arguing merely on the basis of their religious

Right-wing foundations create studies that get passed around by people who want to defend whatever the studies are built to conclude.

Rippled: A Celebration of Progress by Ryan K. Sallans,

National Speaker, Trainer and Author Being a part of a community that is oftentimes beat down, either by societal stigma or pure ignorance, it is important to have hope. What hope looks like can be very individual or something shared by the masses. Marriage Equality is one of those topics that has impact on all individuals, even those that say they don’t care about marriage, have no desire to marry, or feel having marriage equality doesn’t have any impact. When Iowa first began offering marriage equality in 2009, a current of hope rippled across the Midwest. Living in Omaha, we were the closest to the west, but others throughout this state and those that surround Iowa saw that it was possible to have equality—even in a region of the United States that is oftentimes the last to adopt anything that can be seen as progressive. In October of 2012, an Omaha WorldHerald journalist, Erin Grace reported that support for marriage equality was growing in Nebraska. In fact, in 2009, the same year that Iowa legalized same-sex marriage, a poll showed that more Nebraskans were in favor of civil unions vs. full marriage. Then, in 2012, just three years later, a new World-Herald poll found that more Nebraskan voters favored marriage equality over

civil unions. What does this tell me as a Nebraskan activist and observer? It says to me that on the fourth year anniversary of Iowa’s passage, we are still feeling that ripple. We are continuing to be instilled with hope that our politicians will see supporting marriage equality will not harm their careers, but will improve the economy, overall health of our citizens, and reinforce our sense of pride for continuing to live and work in our small Midwest communities. Happy Anniversary, Iowa. Ryan K. Sallans, MA is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, and author specializing in health care and workplace issues surrounding the LGBTQIA community. He also works with organizations and Universities on LGBTQ social issues, and media literacy related to eating disorders and body image. Since 2005, Ryan has traveled the nation sharing his story about transitioning from female to male with diverse audiences. His story is told with an intermixing of humor and intricate clinical details surrounding the transition process. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology, Masters of Art in English, and a Masters of Art in Educational Psychology. For more information go to

prejudice. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Proposition 8 case, arguing that, “A mother and father each bring something unique and irreplaceable to child-rearing that the other cannot.” Their brief cited Regnerus’ study to falsely parrot “that children raised by married biological parents fared better in a range of significant outcomes than children raised in same-sex households.” How long did it take the right-wing to begin to get over the faked “statistics” of rabid anti-gay psychologist Paul Cameron even after the American Psychological Association expelled him in 1983 for not cooperating with an ethics investigation and the American Sociological Association and Canadian Psychological Association accused him of misrepresenting social science research? His quackery, after all, was useful to the religiously prejudiced so they could claim science, not their prejudices, proclaimed gay people were disgusting. In the field of history, there are beloved pseudo-historians like David Barton, evangelical Christian minister and co-chair of the Texas Republican Party. He founded a Texas-based organization, WallBuilders, to promote through historical writing the view that the separation of church and state is a “myth.” Barton’s 2012 book The Jefferson Lies was voted “the least credible history book in print” by the users of the History News Network website. A group of ten conservative Christian professors reviewed the work and concluded that Barton has misstated facts about Jefferson. In August 2012, its Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson withdrew it from publication, explaining that they had “lost confidence in the book’s details” and “learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported.” The New York Times wrote: “many professional historians dismiss Mr. Barton, whose academic degree is in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University, as a biased amateur who cherry-picks quotes from history and the Bible.” Yet because he says what they want to hear, the right-wing continues to quote his historical quackery to argue that America was meant to be their brand of Christian nation. That’s why Barton regularly appears on right-wing television and radio with the likes of Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck (who praised Barton as “the Library of Congress in shoes”). Two movements have put pressure upon the academic community to go soft on

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MONROE Mississippian might very well be ignored as a personal matter. Meredith told CNN the following about his findings: “There were signs of an altercation but that didn’t kill him...Beating is not the cause of death. He was beaten, but not badly. This was not a targeted attack. This was more of a personal dispute.” According to the Associated Press, The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute, which supports gay and lesbian

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 right-wing research claims that amount to little more than propaganda. Yet, the more that the academic community fights for integrity, the more the right-wing claims it’s just liberal bias. The first is the public de-funding of education along with the greater corporatizing of educational value. The more the government portion of the cost of students’ educations declines, coupled with the increased valuing of an institution by the amount of private dollars it brings in, the more academics must rely on mostly conservative sources for research funding. Grant-getting in many major universities is now rewarded as much as production of sound academic scholarship. And further grants are more likely for those scholars who please grant-givers. The second is the continual rightwing attack on colleges and universities as bastions of liberalism. The reality is closer to the fact that they are warehouses for liberals in the humanities and social sciences who are most rewarded for producing research for each other in the jargon of their discipline. Only conservative professional fields are rewarded for consulting. So, in order to show right-wing politicians that they aren’t liberal, the pressure is on to move to the right. This seldom means faking the data, but it certainly skews what’s studied. And if someone is too scared that their gods can’t prove them right, the resulting scholarship is just what the right-wing ordered.

candidates for political office, tweeted, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in Mississippi.” And according to Denis Dison, VP of Communications of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, in a HuffPo Live interview there are “approximately 600 openly LGBTQ elected officials at every level of U.S. government, with about 80 openly elected officials in the entire South.” Had McMillian won his mayoral challenge he would have been Mississippi’s first—the pride not only of the Mississippi Delta, but also of the entire state.

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Creep of the Week

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Matt Barber

HF 444 Attempts to Restrict the Freedom to Marry in Iowa

by D’Anne Witkowski If any of my readers have daddy issues and get off on being told “you’re a bad bad boy,” you’ll love Matt Barber’s new open letter to the gays. Published on Feb. 25 on the WND (WingNut Daily) website, Barber’s “An Open Letter to ‘Gay’ Teens” is a sexy romp through love-thesinner-hate-the-sin land. That is, if you define “sexy” as demoralizing and belittling. Barber wastes no time “sticking it” to the gays. In the piece’s very title he puts “gay” in quotation marks because he doesn’t believe in gay. “I’ve had many people ask me what I’d say to my children if one of them came to me and declared: ‘Dad, I’m gay,’” he writes. “I’d tell them exactly what I’m about to tell you. I love you. I neither judge you nor condemn you. I accept you and I would die for you. But you are not ‘gay.’” Got that? You aren’t gay. You’re, well, I’ll let Barber explain it: “You are a wonderful, beautiful, precious human being created in the image and likeness of the one righteous and Holy God of the universe.” Aww, isn’t that sweet? Especially how he considers “wonderful, beautiful, and precious” and “gay” as mutually exclusive categories. The problem, Barber says, is not that you’re gay, it’s that you’re doing gay stuff. Knock that off and everything will be fine. “Yes, you may be physically attracted to people of the same sex, but how you act on those attractions is entirely your choice,” Barber explains. “Who you are—your identity—is not defined by your sexual feelings, temptations or behaviors. The difference between who you are and what you feel or do is as the [sic] difference between night and day.” Which leads to the question: If who you are = good and what you do = bad, then in this scenario would night = good and day = bad? Damn it, I wish I’d paid more attention to the story problems in grade school. Is it because “gay” rhymes with “day”? Or does it have to do with the moon and the sun? Wouldn’t that be getting into

some kind of pagan sh*t? I am so confused. Bottom line, says Barber, “you’re a sinner.” Don’t worry, he admits that he’s a sinner, too. But you’re probably a worse one because “Homosexual behavior is always wrong—demonstrably and absolutely wrong. Period.” And you know a statement is true when even the punctuation is pronounced. So if “homosexual behavior” is wrong without exception, if you’re a teenager doing or thinking about doing gay stuff and you’re feeling kind of stressed out about the whole thing, it’s totally your fault. “If you feel such despair, know this: it is not ‘homophobia’ causing it, as adult enablers might tell you, but, rather, it is the sin itself that causes it,” Barber advises gay teens. “You are being used. Adult homosexual activists with a political agenda are using you as a pawn to achieve selfish goals in a dangerous political game.” Yes, a dangerous political game called equality. Wanting our families treated with respect. Wanting to be treated like full citizens under the law. Boo! Barber warns, “If you continue down this wide, empty path, make no mistake: it will not ‘get better.’ It gets much, much worse.” Is it just me, or is this wildly callous thing to say to a group of young people particularly vulnerable to suicide? According to the Trevor Project, “LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.” Not that Barber would ever entertain the idea that this has anything to do with “loving” people like him. A “dangerous political game,” indeed.

“You are being used. Adult homosexual activists with a political agenda are using you as a pawn to achieve selfish goals in a dangerous political game.”


March 6th, 10 Iowa House Republicans introduced House File 444 that would restrict the county registrar from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples until a constitutional amendment banning marriage for gay and lesbian couples is placed on the ballot. The bill received only ten cosponsors and is unlikely to pass.

North Dakota passes anti-abortion bills

March 15th, the North Dakota State

APRIL 2013 Senate passed two anti-abortion bills that would ban most abortions in the state. One prevents women from having abortions as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected and the other bans abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. They would be the first laws of their kind in the United States.

Robert Cramer nominated by Governor Branstad

March 19th, Democrats from the Iowa senate suggested one of Governor Branstad’s picks for the board that governs the state universities might be too controversial after a Senate Education Committee meeting. Robert Cramer is a construction company executive and chairman of the board for The Family Leader.

On the basis of this comprehensive review of the literature regarding the development and adjustment of children whose parents are the same gender, as well as the existing evidence for the legal, social, and health benefits of marriage to children, the AAP concludes that it is in the best interests of children that they be able to partake in the security of permanent nurturing and care that comes with the civil marriage of their parents,without regard to their parents’ gender or sexual orientation. Marriage equality can help reduce social stigma faced by lesbian and gay parents and their children, thereby enhancing social stability, acceptance, and support. Children who are raised by married parents benefit from the social and legal status that civil marriage conveys to their parents. ~Conclusion of report by The American Academy of Pediatrics


Our Picks for April 3/22-4/14, Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines, Iowa, 9 to 5 The Musical, 4/5, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, Iowa, Tig Notaro & Janeane Garofalo, 4/7, The Garden Nightclub, Des Moines, Iowa, Miss Cosmopolitan Iowa USofA, 4/9, Des Moines Performing Arts, Des Moines, Iowa, Momix: Botanica, 4/11, Mason City Community Theatre, Mason City, Iowa, Arsenic & Old Lace, 4/11-4/21, Mason City Community Theatre, Mason City, Iowa, Arsenic & Old Lace, 4/12, Sokol Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska, Defy Gravity’s: Cirque du Grav, 4/12, Club CO2, Cedar Rapids, Iowa,

fun guide Janeane Garofalo interview by Arthur Breur

New Kings on the Block: April 80’s Awesomeness,

4/13, McElroy Auditorium, Waterloo, Iowa, CVDD Roller Derby Bout, 4/14, Studio 13, Iowa City, Iowa, Miss Pickle 2013, 4/14, The Blazing Saddle, Des Moines, Iowa,

The Music of Little Shop of Horrors Show,

4/17, Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Baby Dee + Little Annie, 4/20, The Garden Nightclub, Des Moines, Iowa,

Miss Gay Iowa USofA At-Large 2013, 4/21, Wooly’s, Des Moines, Iowa,

Mr Gay Iowa USofA 2013, 4/25, Studio 13, Iowa City, Iowa, I.C. Kings: Gender Benders, 4/26-5/5, Stagewest, Des Moines, Iowa, Distracted, 4/26-5/18, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Wizard of Oz,

...and May

5/4, Belle’s Basix, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cuatro de Mayo Show,

Janeane Garofalo Before interviewing Janeane Garofalo, everybody I mentioned her name to said, “Oh, I love her!” Most, as I did, recalled her parts in movies, such as Mystery Men, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, or Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Which presents a problem, because while she is known for playing deadpan, cynical characters, Janeane Garofalo is quite a different (and far deeper) person than those she has played—read that “been cast as”—in movies. In advance of her Mission Creek Festival comedy performance with Tig Notaro at The Englert Theatre on April 5, I had the pleasure of chatting with her about what she has done, what she would like to do… and beading. You are performing with Tig Notaro this coming April 5th at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. Tell us about that show and how it came about. I love Tig, and I’ve been friends with her for a long time, and it was just a matter of them asking if I wanted to—and I said yes, and I was thrilled. I think she’s great. It’s her show, and I’m proud to open for her, or be anywhere she wants to put me on the show. You started in stand-up comedy back in 1985, you’ve been in dozens and dozens of movies and television shows, you’ve

done voiceover acting and talk radio. Do you have a favorite of those? I would say it’s case by case. Stand-up is my primary passion—I didn’t start acting until I was twenty-seven, and I started doing standup when I was nineteen—so that’s my primary passion and also what I do most consistently. And also I have control over it, whereas with acting I’m at the mercy of whoever has hired me, although I do enjoy it. Last year I did a play here Off Broadway that was a really great experience with the New Group Theatre, and I hope to do that more. I really enjoyed working at Air America, when it was there. But I’d say the thing I’m most comfortable doing would be stand up, because I have the most control: I write it, I can wear what I want, look how I want. Not to say I’m uncomfortable doing those other things, but I don’t control as much of the content in the other things. You’re known for being “outspoken”… Outspoken has always been a strange thing for me, because I don’t know what that means compared to everyone else who speaks as well. And when I do speak publicly about things, outside the context of stand-up, I don’t do it because people need to listen to me—even though, obviously, that’s part of the

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Inside Out: Girlfriends by Ellen Krug Let’s start off with two different conversations I was present for one recent Saturday afternoon. The first conversation, at noon, went like this: David asked Mike, “What are the three biggest problems in a marriage?” “Oh, I don’t know. Tell me,” Mike answered. David looked at me and then at Mike. “Sex, money, and sex.” I rolled my eyes. The second conversation was over late afternoon drinks with my friends Margaret and Jean. “I’ve started seeing a really nice guy with a big heart,” I said. Then I added, “But he doesn’t make me laugh. I don’t think I can get into a long term relationship with someone who I can’t giggle with.” Jean, a brunette whom I’ve often thought of dating, smiled and crooked her mouth. “Don’t you know that’s what girlfriends are for—laughing!” With that, the three of us giggled. Now for an analysis, courtesy of Ellen Krug turned anthropologist. First off, the “sex, money, sex” comment: it’s all about how testosterone controls men. When I lived as a guy, nearly everything I did—from playing sports, to the clothes I wore and the sex I lusted for—was influenced by testosterone. On many days, obtaining a sexual release was on the top of my list, far ahead of any need to bond with another human, man or woman. It was like a daily thirst that never quite went away, regardless of my efforts to quench it. Women, as we all know, have far less testosterone and way more estrogen. As I’ve found firsthand since transitioning genders, estrogen produces a tremendous sense of serenity that I never knew was possible. And as for that sexual thirst? It’s been replaced by another kind of thirst—a desire to look good, to wear nice clothes, and to have make-up done right. I’m not kidding. It may be for this reason that only girlfriends can fill certain voids in a woman’s life. Even though I had many women friends when I lived as a man, I didn’t really understand the special bond that exists woman to woman. I always thought the book club meetings my ex-wife hosted—where the subject book of

the month was hardly ever discussed—were simply gossip sessions. Now I understand those meetings were bonding experiences, times when friends could make up for what they lacked in their marriages or male relationships. I’ve also found that many times, there are no limits to how far women will go for the women in their lives. Margaret, one of the two women I had drinks with on that Saturday described above, made this point for me. She’s in a relationship with Jerry and confided, “If Jerry ever got really sick, he’d marry me so that I could be in the hospital room to talk to his doctors. On the other hand, if I got sick like that, I’d marry you, Jean, since you’re levelheaded and not afraid to make decisions. No way would I trust Jerry to make difficult medical decisions for me.” To my dear gentle women readers, think about it: in a clutch who are you going to trust more? A man or a woman? In the four years since I transitioned from male to female, I’ve formed many close relationships with women. I’ve heard things—extremely personal details—that no woman would ever say to a man. It is, indeed, a special club, and an extreme honor. Like other aspects of my life now, this level of intimacy is something I hadn’t understood would ripple from my decision to transition. Simply put, having girlfriends is quite wonderful. Why do women bond this way? What is it about being female that lends to this degree of closeness? My guess is that early on, girls learn they’re in a man’s world, one that’s controlled by aggressive boys and a society that continues to place greater value on toughness than on empathy and compassion. Girls are relegated to the back area of the playground, where they have no one else but themselves. Even consider how girls play with dolls—young girls bring dolls to pretend tea parties (something which my young daughters seemed to play naturally) doing what?

Talking. Communicating. Engaging in a common experience where even dolls “bond.” Boys, on the other hand, are often aggressive and play in ways that cultivate quick reflexes and snap judgments (have you seen many of the video games these days?), things that lend to what many view as leadership skills. Of course, underlying this is testosterone, something which I continue to believe influences just about everything in the world. Do you really think North Korea would be as bellicose if a woman ran that country? Name one contemporary dictatorship where a woman’s in charge. On the other hand, it’s not that men aren’t important to women. Many men provide emotional support, and of course, they often are great partners in creating stable households and lives. And, too, I love that my boyfriend seems to adore me, and for sure, the sex is nice. Still, when I think about invites for a dinner party, women are always at the top of my list. I know that with women, the dinner talk will be more varied, and certainly deeper. Even better, the dinner discussion won’t be focused on “sex, money, and sex,” although those topics will certainly come up. (For sure, women enjoy talking about sex—but

It is, indeed, a special club, and an extreme honor. Like other aspects of my life now, this level of intimacy is something I hadn’t understood would ripple from my decision to transition.

Ellie Krug is a columnist and the author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change. She resides in Minneapolis and welcomes your comments at Visit her blog at not anywhere to the degree that men do.) Instead, we’ll cover everything—politics, identity, retirement (or the lack of it), and most of all, how connected we are to each other. If you had told me it would be this way with women when I lived as a man, I wouldn’t have thought it all that important. Now, I’m so thankful for my girlfriends and I look forward to growing older with them. Chalk it up as yet one more benefit to flipping genders. Authenticity has its advantages.

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Wired This Way by Rachel Eliason

Transgender Video Game Characters

When I was a younger, male-bodied individual I loved playing video games. (Okay I have to admit it; I still love playing video games.) Video games provided an escape from an unaccepting world. They provided a sense of power and mastery at a time when I mostly felt helpless. But at the core of the video game experience for me was the secret joy of playing female characters. Long before I was able to live my life as the woman I was on the inside I was able to live out this fantasy in the virtual world. I could live it out in ways I will never get to experience in reality. I got to be the sexy and powerful Laura Croft. I got to grow up as a teenage girl thanks to the Sims. I got be a sword wielding princess (with magic to boot) thank to the epic Final Fantasy games. As I transitioned I discovered that many other Trans people identified themselves as nerds, geeks, and video game lovers. Like me they gravitated towards characters that fit their internal genders and allowed them to play out those roles in ways they couldn’t in life. But what about actual transgender characters? Are there any role models for transgender people in video games? When I started this research I thought about using the somewhat cliché tag line; the good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately when it comes to the treatment of gender in video games its very little good, some bad and a

whole lot of ugly. Trans characters have been hanging around the fringes of the video game world for many years. Like the early Trans pioneers, women like Alecia Brevard, the earliest Trans characters flew under the radar. In 1987 Nintendo released a game called Doki Doki. One of the characters was pink dinosaur-like creature named Birdo, complete with diamond ring and bow in their hair. Birdo later made their way into numerous future releases for Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros games. Few outside of Japan realized that Birdo’s name is male. The original game manual explains the male name simply, “Birdo is a male who believes he is female and would rather be called Birdetta.” He is a female? Yes, I am afraid so. Misgendering Trans characters in video games seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Birdo’s gender and identity has been a source of much confusion and change over the years. Some game releases have listed Birdo as a male who wishes to be female, others have called Birdo ambiguous and many have ignored the gender of this character all together. Around 1989 Capcom was making waves with its Street Fighter game. The uproar concerned two of the villains, Poison and Roxie. These two voluptuous female fighters appear only briefly in the game. Given the long history of violence against women, beating up two female characters, even briefly sparked a considerable amount

of controversy. Capcom’s bizarre response to this controversy was to inform the American audience that it was okay since Poison and Roxie weren’t really women. They were transvestites. In the original Japanese manual for the game Poison and Roxie are listed as “newhalf”, a Japanese term for transgender. Roxie disappeared after the first game but Poison has remained an important character in the Street Fighter series. She has been a villain several times, artwork of her has been featured in several releases and at least once she was a playable character. Her gender identity remains a source of controversy for fans and Capcom continues to make relatively bizarre statements about her. One developer said that she is a post-op transsexual in North America but in Japan she “just tucks her business”. Another Capcom official stated that she is “supposed to be ambiguous.” Leaving aside the whole issue of violence against Trans women, Poison is frequently subjected to the usual assortment of misgendering (being referred to as a “he”), transphobia and double entendres. Many of these occur within the context of game play. One female character in the most recent street fighter release tells her “you are not very lady-like. I felt I like I was fighting a guy.” Poison is set to be part of the next game in the Street Fighter line. A twenty minute documentary about her history and gender identity can be seen on youtube or joystiq. com. Fans of Japanese manga and anime are probably not surprised that both of these games are of Japanese origin. The Japanese manga subculture has always loved playing with gender. Ranging from light hearted sex-swap fantasy like Futaba-Kun to serious treatments of Trans characters like Hourou

you eat. I have a few tips for you to try. Start with healthy bread. When picking out a loaf, read the ingredients carefully. Just because a bread is labeled as “multigrain” or “wheat” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bread is made from whole grains. The ingredients must list the word “whole” before any of the grains. “Wheat” isn’t the same as “whole wheat” so don’t be fooled. Load up the veggies. Pile your sandwich up with a generous portion of veggies. Vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrients – so this is a great opportunity to truly indulge without adding to your waistline. Cut up peppers, thick slices of tomatoes, red onions and so on. I like to top my sandwiches with lettuce, sprouts and a spread of avocado. Opt for lean meat or other protein sources. Though you mentioned that deli meats are unhealthy,

the truth is that not all sliced meat products are created equal. Meats like bologna are terribly unhealthy. But fresh sliced turkey or chicken can be a smart choice. Fresh deli meats will have less sodium and some consumers like to avoid nitrates (though the research on nitrates is still somewhat inconclusive). Pick clean sides. The devil can be in the details. A delicious and nourishing sandwich should be accompanied by equally healthy sides like carrots sticks, hummus, mixed unsalted nuts with raisins, apple slices and real peanut butter, a bowl of fresh fruit, quinoa, brown rice, berries or even my healthy three ingredient cookies. If you’re craving a crunch, try making some homemade whole wheat pita chips. A side salad is also a great choice. Speaking of salads… Spice up your salad! My grandmother said that only boring people get bored. I’d like to extend that to only boring people make boring salads. The salad can even be the main course if you top it with some sliced chicken or other type of protein. I like to mix my salad with sprouts, microgreens, kale, homemade whole wheat croutons (so

One of the characters was pink dinosaur-like creature named Birdo, complete with diamond ring and bow in their hair…Few outside of Japan realized that Birdo’s name is male.

Rachel Eliason is a forty two year old Transsexual woman. She was given her first computer, a Commodore Vic-20 when she was twelve and she has been fascinated by technology ever since. In the thirty years since that first computer she has watched in awe as the Internet has transformed the LGBT community. In addition to her column, Rachel has published a collection of short stories, Tales the Wind Told Me and is currently working on her debut novel, Run, Clarissa, Run. Rachel can be found all over the web, including on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads. Musuko manga comics have often tackled the issues of gender and sexuality. Manga has inspired anime for years. Anime in turn has inspired many video game titles. With this drift in mind it should surprise no one that almost all of the Trans characters and Trans references in video games are from Japanese inspired stories. Persona 4 has a FTM character, Naoto Shirogane. Overall he’s well treated in the game except for the fact that after he’s outed as transgender he’s thereafter referred to as

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Healthy Lunch Ideas by Davey Wavey, AFPA certified personal trainer Hey Davey, I work in construction so I’m pretty much forced to bring a bagged lunch to work. There are no microwaves to heat up stuff so its pretty much sandwiches. I usually eat sandwiches but I’ve heard that deli meat isn’t good for you. I sometimes eat yogurt and an apple and sometimes salads, but salads get old quick. What can I bring to work that is healthy? From, David Hey David, Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to eat healthy with bagged lunches than going out to restaurants and delis. You have complete control over your menu – and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into the food

My grandmother said that only boring people get bored. I’d like to extend that to only boring people make boring salads.

Davey Wavey is an AFPA certified personal trainer shares his passion for and knowledge of fitness, exercise, health and nutrition with the world. For more information go to easy to make!), peppers, onions, seeds, tomatoes, cranberries or other dried fruits, olives, strawberries, tofu or so many other delicious ingredients. There are a zillion different salad combinations – and literally hundreds of heart-healthy dressing options. I hope this helps to upgrade your bagged lunches. Love, Davey

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Brittany Brooks Holds Every Stage Dear by Angela Geno-Stumme Brittany Brooks has performed and competed all over the Midwest, and this year she’s setting her cap at Miss Gay USofA Classic in Dallas, Texas. Brittany spoke to us about what got her started, her role models, past performances, and how she juggles it all while performing and managing shows at Toppers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. What inspired your interest in female impersonation? Well, I was hanging out with a few drag queen friends, and I got painted up one night on a whim. I wore a black knit skirt and leopard print top with dark hair. Everyone thought if I changed to blonde hair, I could do Joan Rivers, so that peeked my interest—since I was always a Joan fan. I kind of wanted to try it after watching a show, and I was hooked every since. I doubt I was as hot looking as I thought, and I must admit…I went thru one day a few years ago and destroyed all of my “booger” pictures from my youth, and even a few from my current years. I know we have all started somewhere, and we have all grown and improved. Who were your first role models? I would have to say Barbara Love (Andrew) and Kartier Kolby (Frank). Andrew had great stage presence and Frank was always the classic glamorous one. Throughout my many years of performing, I have learned from everyone. Every performer

brings something different to the stage. It’s all about picking up tips from each and every performance. You have taken others under your wing as a mentor, how does it feel to go from a mentee to a mentor? I was never officially mentored, I must admit, back then some of the other performers were a tad b*tchy and not very helpful. I watched and learned, and still do to this day. Once you stop learning, you stop growing and trying to do better. When that happens, the crowd will get bored with you, since you have nothing new to bring to the stage. I offer advice to others when asked and sometimes when not. Even with my vast knowledge, some of them might use it, but some others choose to do what they think or want anyway. I want the girls to do the best they can, so I do what I can to help everyone. Tell me about Brittany’s Boutique and some of the more unique costumes you have. My wardrobe has a vast collection, yet I always feel like I don’t have anything. I’m not sure what would be considered unique, as to me it would seem normal! I think one of my most unique items would be a Las Vegas showgirl costume. I purchased it from Kenny Kerr, a well known Las Vegas enter-

Everyone thought if I changed to blonde hair, I could do Joan Rivers, so that peeked my interest— since I was always a Joan fan.

Brittany Brooks performing at Toppers in Sioux Falls, SD. Photos courtesy of Dee Vagh.

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Del Shores film: Southern Baptist Sissies interview by Angela Geno-Stumme “How do you stop the hate that is spewed in the name of the Lord?”

Del Shores talks about his play Southern Baptist Sissies and its transition from stage to screen. Starring Leslie Jordan, Dale Dickey, Ann Walker, Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, Bobbie Eakes, Joe Patrick Ward, Emerson Collins, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Luke Stratte-McClure and Willam Belli. It is the story of four gay boys who grew up in the Southern Baptist church and the different journey each one takes in coming to terms with their own homosexuality versus what they were taught by the church. The film is shot with four live performances and full audiences to capture the audience’s responses and interaction. Having received rave reviews and multiple awards, Del Shores hopes the impact of the story transitions to the screen and continues to help LGBT individuals. Southern Baptist Sissies follows the lives of four gay boys and shows how they grow up with the influence of the Southern Baptist church. How do you feel these characters represent common reactions to the influence of the church for LGBT people? They are all based on myself and others that grew up in the church. The damage that religion has done to the gay community is intense. Each boy struggles. Each has a different reaction to the hate that is spewed

in the name of the Lord. Each personality, home life and intelligence plays a factor in how they react and are influenced. You grew up the son of a Southern Baptist preacher, how much of the story comes from your personal history? All of it! Each boy is a part of me. It was hard to write this one, to scratch those scabs and address the pain again. After all these years, what was your motivation to write this play? I wrote this play in 2000 after Matthew Shepard’s murder. I started revisiting the damage the church had inflicted on me because I saw a picture of Jesus on the wall in a picture of one of Matthew’s murderer’s home. I started wondering – did this boy justify his actions in the name of the Lord? Was he taught to hate from a pulpit – and the play started flowing. In your personal opinion, what unique difficulties do Southern Baptists have when coming out? It’s not just Southern Baptists. It’s anybody who was made to feel “less than” because of religion and the Bible. As “Mark” says in my play while looking around the church, “This is where we learned to hate ourselves.” It’s a sad journey, but when you come out of that boxed pew and realize the Bible got this wrong too (just like slavery and many other things) and people are justifying their own homophobia by holding on to that archaic book, then you start to see the light. What motivated you to take Southern Baptist Sissies to the screen? I wanted to share the message on a

broader level, given the bullying and suicides we have been seeing in the gay community. What do you want the audience to take away from seeing the movie or be motivated to do? Everybody has their own journey. I’d love to expose, enlighten and hopefully the message will continue to heal those with wounded hearts – and find strength, knowing they are not alone! Do you hope to save lives with this movie? Yes! The play did. I hope the movie follows in the play’s footsteps. The movie is being filmed over four live performances of the onstage play. What have been some of the difficulties in making this movie? There were none. It was a flawless experience with an amazing team, crew and actors! It was a dream shoot. We also shot eight days without an audience. What changes are there compared to the original play? Just updated some of the haters and celebrities mentioned. Nothing else. You have a long history and commitment to activism within the LGBT community; tell me why and how that has come to be so important to you. And what issues are closest to your heart? Our youth are the closest to my heart. I was that damaged gay boy growing up in Texas, feeling so alone. I want to show the gay community – the gay kids – they are not alone. And Del Shores has their back! Tell me about the “I’m a Recover-

ing Southern Baptist Sissy” YouTube campaign. We welcome anybody to send us a video about their experience growing up in the church to at They are aired on Also, please check out our online Ebay store. All proceeds go to fund the movie! This entire film has been fan financed through indiegogo and ebay! Southern Baptist Sissies stars Leslie Jordan, Dale Dickey, Ann Walker, Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, Bobbie Eakes, Joe Patrick Ward, Emerson Collins, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Luke StratteMcClure and Willam Belli. It tells the story of four gay boys growing up in a Southern Baptist church. Mark becomes a writer, questioning everything. Benny embraces who he is and becomes a drag queen entertainer. T.J. attempts to live as the church tells him to and tries to be straight. Andrew, the most troubled sissy of all, believes the message that there is something truly wrong with who he is and he takes his own life. The play received rave reviews in Los Angeles during its original run in 2000 and became the most awarded play of the year, winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding LA Theater Production, as well as multiple LA Weekly Theater Awards, Los Angeles Critics’ Awards, Ovation Awards, Backstage West Garland Awards and Robby Awards.

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Baby Dee: Sordidness and Sanctity interview by Angela Geno-Stumme Transgendered musician Baby Dee has teamed up with Postpunk pioneer Little Annie, performing at Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa April 17th. These two have been dubbed ultimate divas with their recent album, State of Grace. Baby Dee took the time to speak with us about how this collaboration came to be, showing her fine wit and humor. How did this collaboration come about? One night when Annie was a little girl she knelt down beside her bed and prayed, “Please Jesus, send me sexy and good looking and abundantly talented hermaphrodite with which to collaborate on a really extraordinary album.” You are scheduled to perform at CSPS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 17th, what can we expect from a Baby Dee/Little Annie performance? Holy cards from hell. Baby Dee you are a classically trained harpist and Little Annie is known for her atonal punk music, this seems like a unique combination—how would you describe your sound? I don’t know about our “sound” but I can talk about what we hold in common that maybe makes it possible for us to have a sound. Annie and I intersect at a place that’s kind of hard to find in the deep background of who we are—who each of us is. We are alike in a way that’s not so obvious. We both inhabit the extremes of sordidness and sanctity. We both come from scruffy arisings, hers in Yonkers, mine in Cleveland. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

And she’s the only person I know who spent a lot of time in the South Bronx. When I first read the line “So meet me on the Bronx side of the Willis Avenue Bridge...” I knew I’d found my musical other half. Who are your mentors? I’m never really sure exactly what that word means, but I suppose my mentors would be the people who’ve produced records for me. Matt Sweeney, Will Oldham, Maxim Moston, Andrew WK, and David Tibet—these are really important people for me because they did things that I couldn’t have done for myself and took my music to places I couldn’t have taken it. These are the people who’ve helped in a big way. Is that what a mentor is? Somebody who helps you in a big way? How does being transgendered influence your work? It increases my fabulousness. What are you most excited about for your U.S. tour? Apart from the highlight of playing Cedar Rapids, you mean? Will Oldham is joining us in Louisville. That’ll be special. Share with us an amusing or particularly memorable experience from your longrunning collaboration. One night Annie and I did a show in Dessau in Germany and we had come back to the hotel and she was really sad about something and we’d been boozing it up quite a bit and Annie just flopped into her bed and cried herself to sleep. The thing is, she had been wearing so much eye make-up that when she awoke in the morning her face was stuck

Baby Dee and Little Annie. Photos courtesy of Legion Arts. to the pillow and she was blind in one eye. Arts, CSPS Hall, 1103 Third Street SE, Cedar I thought that was hilarious. But not so Rapids, Iowa. Tickets are $14 in advance and funny as the way she looked on stage the $17 at the door, go to for more next day with the eye patch she’d made for information. herself out of duct tape For more information on Baby Dee go to Baby Dee and Little Annie will be perform- and to learn more about Little ing Wednesday, April 17th at 7 p.m. at Legion Annie go to

NKOB Inspire 80’s Awesomeness The New Kings on the Block performed March 8 and March 17 at Club CO2 located at 616 2nd Ave SE Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The New Kings had an entry in the Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s Day parade (SaPaDaPaSo) that featured a full size castle and members of the CRPrideFest walked along with the New Kings to help hand out candy to the crowds that were brave enough to bear the colder temperatures. Holden Cider, Hustin Cider and Tatem Trick performed at a special after the parade show at Club CO2 that also featured Tajma Hall, Alexandria Markstone, and Starina St. James. Friday, April 12, 2013 will be your next chance to catch the New Kings on the Block perform at Club CO2 with their show April 80’s Awesomeness. Cover is $5, and the show will start at 10pm. This show will feature prizes for the best 1980’s inspired outfit, best 1980’s inspired couple, and best 1980’s

inspired big hair. A special performance by MC’s Jazmine and Chelsea will take place in the second half of the show. The Tool Box from Iowa City will be the featured business at the merchandise table located up the stairs overlooking the stage. Recent Performers of the New Kings on the Block: Jayden Knight, Star E. Knight, Landin Laydeez, MaryJane Hennessey, Ivanna Dik, Maxwell Muffdyver, Justin Cider, Holden Cider, Charlie Diamond, Good N. Plenty, Tatem Trick, Rachel Stickley, and MC’s Jazmine and Chelsea. Other members of the New Kings on the Block include: JD Lesbiani, Jacques Straap, Claybourne Supremazhe, Wolf Donnadick, Tucker Wang, and Brock Harding. New members are always welcome, contact the New Kings on Facebook at for more information.

NKOB and CRPrideFest at the Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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The Bookworm Sez by Terri Schlichenmeyer “Where You Are” J.H. Trumble

c.2013, Kensington $15.00 / $16.95 Canada 336 pages “You can’t do that!” The last person who uttered those words in your presence was in for a big awakening. He didn’t know that those four words are like the proverbial bulland-red-cape for you. They’re a challenge, a dare, an ultimatum to your senses. They are a guaranteed way to make you do exactly what you are told is forbidden. So you never listen to anybody when it comes to the “C” word—but what if your actions would cost you everything? In the new book, “Where You Are” by J.H. Trumble, a young teacher weighs that, and listens to his heart. Andrew McNelis knew that his star pupil was struggling at home. Robert Westfall’s father was dying, and though the high school senior was keeping up at school, McNelis could tell that it was difficult for the boy. He wished he could comfort Robert—he was beautiful, with his blond hair and easy confidence—but that kind of contact could get McNelis into a heap of trouble. McNelis was gay, and he kept that under wraps. Just a few years older than his students, the last thing he needed was for them to know about his private life. Robert had always had a crush on Mr. McNelis. He liked the way his teacher smiled, and McNelis’ old-fashioned way of talking.

Though Robert had a boyfriend, he’d never actually been kissed. He wondered what it would be like to kiss Mr. McNelis. It started out as a lunchtime friendship. Then McNelis gave Robert his phone number. Robert asked McNelis to chaperone the band dance and check out colleges with him. Teacher and student grew closer, began to share secrets, and the inevitable happened. There were just four months until graduation. Four months, until it wouldn’t matter that Robert and his teacher were falling in love. But in the meantime, there were two big problems: Robert was underage. And Mr. McNelis was flirting with a felony. My first response, when this book crossed my desk, was a sneer. The news is filled with adults preying on kids, and I wasn’t interested. But then, I became intrigued. With so many possible outcomes and ways to treat a topic like this, exactly how would author J.H. Trumble deal with such a controversial, hotbutton topic? The answer is: carefully, but I was

still a little uncomfortable. The story here is one of forbidden love that’s only bound by temporary rules and, in a long-lens sort of way, it’s very well-done (albeit, a bit overlylong). The problem, however, takes me to the root of why I was a little repelled by this book: the adult main character here is just that. An adult in a leadership role who forgets that his “paramour” is a 17-year-old. Yes, I know this is a work of fiction, but it’s a squirmy thing to read—not just because of the tension and will-they-get-caught suspense, but because the wrong is wrongly lacking in the story. For that, “Where You Are” is a book I can’t recommend.

70 Strip in the locker room 71 Maude producer Norman

3 Hits the brakes 4 Amelie Mauresmo’s game 5 Game played astride the well-hung 6 Similar in nature 7 La Douce role of Shirley 8 Steven Greenberg, for one 9 Diagram

The story here is one of forbidden love that’s only bound by temporary rules...


1 Les Miz list 5 Two of a kind 9 Jane of the cloth 14 Desert of the Heart novelist Jane 15 Craig Claiborne’s gumbo pod 16 Weather conditions 17 Thames college 18 Life partner 19 Does damage to 20 Brit period drama created by Julian Fellowes 23 Clark of fashion 24 Shakespeare’s verse 28 Try to avoid a tag-out 32 Moliere’s motive 33 The Crimson Tide’s st. 36 Handles roughly 38 Liquid that’s shot off 39 Actor who portrays 57-Across 43 Rubik of cube fame 44 It tops a queen 45 Dr. of the rap world 46 Places for fans 49 Make changes to 51 Top angels 53 What a Greek sleeper catches? 57 Deliciously evil under butler of 20-Across 61 Reagon of the Big Lovely band 64 Dog in The Thin Man 65 Spongy earth 66 Out in front 67 Offend the nose 68 Court doings 69 Black pussy cats, e.g.

Q-PUZZLE: The Butler Did It!


1 Belief summary for Troy Perry 2 They’re driven

10 Broadway circular 11 Earhart’s milieu 12 “I’m thinking ...” 13 Hi-___ graphics 21 Tony Orlando backup singer Hopkins 22 Stonewall Inn, for one 25 “Let me repeat ...” 26 Not the first recording 27 Catch in a trap 29 “___ Spartacus!” 30 Threesome minus one 31 Commercial bovine 33 Geometry calculations 34 Peter on the screen 35 Mammy Yokum’s lad 37 Bait and switch, for one 40 Coming Out author Katz 41 Vein filler 42 The Great Caruso star Mario 47 Sap suckers 48 The L Word network 50 For skin 52 On the ball 54 Brief moment 55 Primary blood carrier 56 Say four-letter words 58 Where to find Moby Dick 59 From A to B, to Debussy 60 Overdo it at South Beach 61 Eastern universal 62 Bit of resistance on the circuit 63 Get a load of


APRIL 2013

The Fun Guide

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Under Construction : ACCESSline’s Heartland Recurring Events List

ACCESSline’s Recurring Events List is and has been provided by ACCESSline readers. With the added communities of ACCESSline’s Heartland Newspaper, the list is need of a large overhaul. We need readers to continue to help and update the list. Please submit recurring

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she. The game Nier has a character who is described as a hermaphrodite. (The correct term is intersex and hermaphrodite is considered rude.) The Guilty Gear series of games features Bridget, a feminine man who likes to wear a nun’s habit. Finally Tekken 6 has one character with no identified gender at all, Leo. Leo is never identified as genderqueer but their gender resentation clearly supports this idea. Across the Pacific in the west transgender characters haven’t fared as well. (Which isn’t saying much.) Transgender or cross-dressing characters have popped up only rarely and then only as villains. Resident Evil: Code Veronica pits players against evil twins Alfred and Alexia, who turn out to be the same person. Grand Theft Auto also plays the Norman Bates card with a cross-dressing psycho killer. Sigh. There are hundreds of video game titles out with many new ones released every year. Video games have become a powerful media that pushes the envelope in storytelling. It’s sad that games haven’t pushed the LGBT envelope more. As more games are released and independent game developers become a bigger force we will hopefully see trans-inclusive titles with strong, well developed transgender and genderqueer characters.

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BROOKS tainer whom had his own drag show revue for many years. I remember when it arrived, 4 large boxes, it took me a few moments to figure out how it was to go together. I remember when I turned 30, I found a metal bra and thong outfit in Minneapolis at a stripper shop. It was HOT at the time, but now days, you can score one on line. I also bought a very heavy metal chest plate and handle bars with working tail lights and a headlight. It would remind you of a motorcycle. I have gowns which have special meaning to me also. You perform and manage shows at Toppers in Sioux Falls, SD, how do you juggle it all? Well, after being show director at Club 332 and Touchez, I have it down rather quickly anymore. I usually have a show cast set up a month or so in advance. The hardest thing to juggle sometimes is making all the performers happy, when it comes to musical selections. I’m good about first call gets to perform it. I’m sure the out of town performers love to come here, we treat all the performers well, and try to make sure they make the most money possible. What shows at Topper stand out in your memory? Who was involved, what did they wear or what music was used? I have done so many shows—each and every one stands out in my memory. I could tell you what numbers and what the other performers have worn. I do enjoy performing with all the local performers. When it comes to music, everybody has their own niche. For me, not just one thing stands out, as I just think about my entire career and of everyone which has shared the stage with me. What are some of the obstacles you face performing in South Dakota? The number of gay venues. In larger cities, the queens can perform 4-5 nights a week. I’m able to perform at straight bars in the area now and then, as well as at Toppers. However, it would be great to be able to perform more than just a few times a month.

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BROOKS Tell me about some of the most memorable venues you have performed at? I have been lucky enough to travel throughout the Midwest, at some amazing clubs with some good times. You have The Max & DC’s in Omaha, NE. Sioux City has Jones Street Station. And I made my start at Club 332, and enjoyed the fun and family aspect of Touchez here in Sioux Falls, SD—they were before the Toppers days started. Every place I have performed has some sort of meaning, whether it is good or bad. I hold every stage dear, as they helped me to become the entertainer I am today. I can honestly say, I have left my mark behind me, and I hope people will remember me when all is said and done. Talk to me about your desire to compete and what drives you? I think my desire is to be accepted and recognized by my peers. It would be a nice feeling knowing all my hard work, dedication, and years of sweat and tears were worth it. I might never get a national title, but I do enjoy the thought of what could be. Talk to me about your placing in past competitions and the details of your upcoming competition for Miss Gay USofA Classic. The pageant will be held May 19th & 20th in Dallas, Texas. It’s going to be a record year so far for Classic contestants. The reigning Miss Gay Classic USofA Layla LaRue has done a wonderful job of expanding the system, while traveling across the country to promote it. I will be competing against 32 other performers from throughout the states. It’s just like your standard pageant, we have interview, evening gown, and talent

The Fun Guide categories. I competed in 1996 as 1st runner up to Miss Gay MN USofA—it was a learning experience, if I remember correctly, I placed 44th out of 77 that year. I didn’t feel that was too bad for my 1st year. My goal is to make the top 10 this year at Miss Gay USofA Classic, and that will make me work even harder to make the top 5 and then some. There is a benefit for your national competition at Toppers, April 12th, what can people expect to see? I’m so Thankful and yet overwhelmed at times. I have a very supportive group of friends, a wonderful community, and a bar which wants to support the cause. This show will be off the hook, I know 13 performers have signed up for the cause. It will be jacked packed with some performers coming out of semi-retirement, several local performers, as well as close friends from Sioux City, Iowa. They will all be pulling out great numbers, as this will be one of the biggest shows of the year, other than our Pride Show on August 17th. Also, raffles will be done all night for some great prizes! I’m sure a lot of the queens will be donating their tips also. I do honestly believe that I have done a lot for the gay community, and always willing to lend a helping hand or do whatever I could for the causes. It’s a nice feeling knowing they want to help me with my cause. Doing pageants isn’t cheap by any means. Anybody who knows me, can confirm I spend way more than I will ever make. If anybody is in the neighborhood, Friday, April 12th @ 8pm “Brittany Does Dallas” Benefit Show will be held at Toppers in Sioux Falls, SD. It’s a 21+ event, and Cover Charge for this special event will be $8.00. You can contact Brittany on Facebook at For more information go to

APRIL 2013

Brittany Brooks performing at Toppers in Sioux Falls, SD. Photos courtesy of Dee Vagh.

APRIL 2013

Section 3: Community

FFBC: Upward and Onward with Primary Health Care by Bruce Carr

Our FFBC guest speaker on Friday, March 1, was Greg Gross, Prevention Services Manager for The Project of Primary Health Care. At the beginning of this year The Project (formerly AIDS Project of Central Iowa) formally joined with Primary Health Care, Inc. (PHC, a nonprofit, federally qualified community health center) to form a single organization which provides a seamless continuum of HIV services from diagnosis to treatment and support. In fact, The Project and PHC have been partnering for over 20 years from their two locations (on E 2nd and SE 14th); as a combined organization they expect to be operating very soon out of a new location on Des Moines’ near-north side. Greg outlined for us some of the theoretical support for this practical merger, developed from over 30 years of experience in developing an AIDS strategy that encompasses research, community education, and care in the widest sense. The goal, he urged, is to construct a system that considers the complete person—physically, psychologically, and socially—in its progress toward reducing viral loads to indetectability. Mere “prevention” is a helpless concept without dealing simultaneously with the parallel issues of legal status, employment and housing, substance abuse, and the shame and fear (both individual and community) that have for so long surrounded HIV/AIDS. A patient who cannot achieve stability or find support in all these areas will never be able

to follow a treatment regimen, however carefully designed. Born and raised in Scott County, Iowa, Greg credits his tight-knit family, firmly grounded in the social-justice precepts of the Roman Catholic faith, for guiding him toward personal and professional activism. Greg graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from Drake University in 2003. Before joining The Project in 2010, he worked, in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, with marginalized communities, including children with mental health disorders and Spanishspeaking clients. In May 2012, he finished his M.S.W. degree through the University of Iowa with a thesis on the impact of norms, attitudes, and control factors on HIV risk reduction strategies among Iowa gay and bi men. As part of a CDC-funded initiative, Greg coordinated the creation of Project HIM – Healthy Iowa Men—that aims to stop HIV in its tracks through innovative programming grounded in evidence-based interventions. He is a committee chair for Iowa Department of Public Health’s HIV community planning group. Additionally, Greg is an adjunct instructor for the University of Iowa’s bachelor’s level social work program. Outside of work he treasures the time he spends with the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus as a singer and board member. He can be contacted at or 515-284-0245.

University of Iowa LGBT S&F Association Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Staff & Faculty Association (the “Association”) was organized in 1990 to support the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campus community. The Association is open to any University employee—merit staff, professional/scientific staff, graduate assistant, faculty, administrator or community member. Meetings are held monthly and feature guest presentations as well as discussions of current topics recommended by members. In addition, the Association sponsors other public activities throughout the year ranging from lectures to cultural performances and social events. The Association is governed by the membership-at-large. Business responsibilities are supervised by a volunteer executive board. The Association’s services and activities are open to everyone. 2012-2013 Executive Board Meeting Schedule IMU River Room #1 2nd Thursday of the month, 12:30-1:30 p.m. (all are welcome to attend!) Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 Thursday, May 9, 2013 For more information go to their website at

I honestly think the players of the NFL have been ready for an openly gay player for quite some time now. Trust me, the coming out of a player would create much bigger waves outside the locker room than inside. ~Scott Fujita on coming out in the NFL.

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Prime Timers of Central Iowa

Interest in Prime Timers of Iowa continues to grow, with eight new members joining at our last regular meeting. Inquiries continue to come in from all corners of Iowa. We are having some discussions about having a regional gathering in southeastern Iowa with other chapters. We are also considering the possibility of having some events in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. Chapters of Prime Timers World Wide are being formed throughout the world, the

most recent being in Nigeria. The international gathering will be held in Columbus, Ohio, this fall. The western regional gathering is in Las Vegas in May. More information about Prime Timers World Wide is available on their website The Central Iowa Prime Timers website should be available soon. For more information and a copy of our latest newsletter, send an email to

PITCH Calendar 2013

Positive Iowans Taking Charge (PITCH) is a volunteer-run non-profit organization, founded in 2007, their goal is to provide social networking and support to Iowans living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS. Their mission is to create an atmosphere where HIV+ people can unite, advocate, and assist other HIV+ people for better health and wellness. More information can be found at or call Tami Haught at 641-715-4182.


10, 17, & 24: Des Moines Open Support Group 5pm-6pm (Wednesdays) 11, 18, & 25: Thursday Group 2pm-3pm (Thursdays) 11 & 25: Waterloo PITCH Support Group 6pm-8pm (Every other week) 10 & 24: Wednesday Evening Group 5:30pm-6:30pm (Every other week)

Support Group Meeting Conference Call

Positive Iowans Taking Charge will be having a Conference Call Support Group meeting, April 24th at 7 PM. This Support Group Meeting is open to those outside of Iowa. The meeting is to provide emotional, social, and educational opportunities for Iowans across the state. The Agenda is as

follows: welcome and introduction from 7-7:30 PM, topic discussion from 7:30-8 PM, non-topic time for everyone to share how they are doing from 8-8:30 PM. Times are adjusted depending on the needs of the people on the call. The number to call is 949-812-4500 and the Pin number is 684713 that everyone will use the same code. For more information go to or find them on facebook.

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GAROFALO human condition, wanting to be heard—but it’s bizarre to me when there’s backlash, or when people take issue when you discuss things like racism or gender issues or issues in the LGBT community as being “provocative” or “outspoken” because to me it just feels like it’s life. And when you point out injustices or bullying—because I can’t stand bullies—I don’t know why people get angry about that. But as refers to acting jobs, yes, other people tend to write that, and I’m just doing a part in someone else’s thing. Which is fine, but sometimes there are line choices that sometimes I wouldn’t make or things that I’m not always as comfortable saying. So what characters that you’ve played have you most closely related to? I don’t know, because a lot of people actually think they know who I am or what I am. And unfortunately one can get pigeonholed. The first acting job I had was on the Larry Sanders show, playing the part of Paula, and I was asked to behave in a certain way as that character—who was based on a real person. And then from there I kept getting cast as that type of person, and it actually isn’t how I am or how I act, and as you can tell, I’m quite chatty and it’s hard for me to get to the point, directly. [Laughs]. At times, obviously, everyone can be surly, or contrarian, but I don’t think that defines me. It just happens to be parts I’ve played, and then also because I’m not classically “attractive” or was never an ingénue, and I’ve always had dark hair and a deep voice, that must mean I’m cynical. Or the “friend of” who is jealous because I can’t get a date or has ambiguous sexuality. Something like

Section 3: Community that. You know what I mean? Kind of in main stream entertainment there is a very narrow frame, a lot of times, put on people. People who’ve seen your stand-up know that the characters you play are generally “characterizations” and that your personality is much more optimistic and lighthearted than the characters you play, especially in things like Mystery Men and The Truth About Cats and Dogs. So what have you not done that you want to do? Oh, so much! There are so many roles I would have liked to have done and there are so many people I would like to work with one day—not that it will ever happen. I would like to do more theatre here in New York. Also a dream is to work with Albert Brooks, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Catherine O’Hara— who I have gotten to work with before, that was a thrill. I always have wanted to work with Carol Burnett, Samantha Morton. I would like to work on the BBC more. I was on a show on BBC3, called “Ideal” which was shot in Manchester, England, and was a wonderful experience. I would love to work with Steve Coogan, who is a great British actor and comic. So much stuff. I could go on and on and on. I wouldn’t mind doing more radio. Stuff like that. You’ve been in so many things, how do you decide what you’ll work on? Well, it’s not like people are banging down my door. In the 1990s I had a run of good luck, but that’s certainly not the case in the new millennium—and I’m not saying that in some “poor me” way, it’s just not like I can pick and choose. But there are definitely some scripts that I’ll get that are just offensive, or

terribly not funny, or just trite or maudlin, and I won’t do them. Then there are sometimes things you think are going to be better than they are, and you do them, and then you wish you hadn’t. But if there’s something interesting or the script is good or I like the director, I always want to do it and hope that they want to cast me. For the most part I just audition for stuff and hope for the best! You are a voice in Disney’s Ratatouille… Yes, I was Colette, the female chef. How was that experience? That was wonderful. Brad Bird and Brad Lewis at Pixar, that was fantastic, and plus they do great work. I think Ratatouille is wonderful fun, and that was a thrill to do that, and I hope to work with them one day again, too, because it was so enjoyable. How much have you been in the Midwest? Over the years, doing stand-up, on and off. I’ve been to Chicago a lot, a lot, because my cousins live there and my aunt and uncle. I’m from New Jersey, I live in New York now, I did live in Houston on and off, and then I lived in LA briefly, and other than that I’ve been on the east or west coasts. Do you have any plans for while you’re in Iowa City? I have a bunch of road dates in a row, so I think I’m only going to be there for a couple of days. I have stand-up before and after that. So I guess I’m going to have to cram some stuff in. Mostly I think I’m going to watch comedy. I’d like to see Amber Tamblyn perform, she’s going to do some of her poetry at the same festival. What I like to do when I go to cities is to walk around and look for bead stores. I

APRIL 2013 make jewelry. There’s a bead store in downtown Iowa City, right across from the Englert Theatre where you’re performing. Beadology. Oh, my god, it’s across the street from the theatre! Oh, my god. Well, then, I will be there. I enjoy taking my trays, and putting beads in them, and looking for good waxed chord. So the only thing I can guarantee you is if I can get to that bead store, I will be there. That is the one given in any city, is I will find your bead stores. “Beadology”—I’m writing it down. Iowa City has a beautiful walking district. I’m a walker! That’s another thing I can guarantee you I’ll be doing, is wandering. I’m a bit of a wanderer. And also, when I go to different cities, I like to have no plan—to get up in the morning and just walk, with no destination, and see what I find. So I’m sure I’ll be doing that. I will have my boots on, I will be walking through the lovely pedestrian zone, and standing in Beadology. Who would you consider role models for your performing? Gosh, I don’t know… In the early days I was a huge fan of the late George Carlin and Paula Poundstone. George Carlin for his social critique mixed with being very funny in his use of words. And Paula Poundstone, who I would go watch all the time, just how organic everything was all the time, how ever-changing it was on a nightly basis. They’re both masters of two totally different forms of comedy. Both equally as enjoyable, but George Carlin was meticulous in his choice of words, whereas Paula Poundstone let it breathe. I don’t know if they were influential on me, so much as I aspired to be, someday, as good as them.

APRIL 2013

Section 3: Community

ACCESSline Page 27

From the Pastor’s Pen by Rev. Jonathan Page In 2008 the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus, Harvard’s alumni gay group, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a weekend of workshops and lectures. My responsibility was to put together a brief memorial service to remember those who had died in the AIDS epidemic. During the service, Kevin Jennings, Harvard Class of ’85 and founder of GLSEN, shared a story about his college roommate. The year after graduation, while Jennings was teaching at Moses Brown in Rhode Island, he received a phone call from his good friend. “Kevin, you will never believe what just happened!” Before Jennings could get a word in, his roommate carried on with the story. “So last night, I went home with this guy and he took me to his place in the South End.” The Sound End is the gay neighborhood of Boston and in 1986 a pretty rough area of town. “We are walking down this narrow hallway, with doors on either side. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Where the hell are we?’ Anyway, we go into his room, and it’s this sparse cubicle. It seems a bit odd, but whatever, I was up for some fun. In the morning, this guy starts shaking me, ‘You’ve got to get up. You have to leave NOW!’ Needless to say, I’m a little startled by his reaction. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Great, this guy’s wife is about to come home.’ So I grab my neon shirt and leather coat and stumble into the hallway. And, would you believe it, I forgot which door I had come in. So I picked a door and opened it. You will never guess where I was!” At this point, Kevin’s roommate paused for dramatic effect. “What?” Kevin asked. “Where were you?”

“So I was standing on the high altar of Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End. In front of me the Archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, was celebrating mass.” “Oh my God! What did you do?” “Are you kidding me? I did what any self-respecting fairy would do. I threw my leather coat over my shoulder and sashayed my way over the altar and right down the center aisle. If they’re not going to marry me there, I thought I should have my own recessional!” Jennings never described what happened to that poor priest after Cardinal Law finished mass. Something tells me that he did not stay a priest for long. But the story does illustrate something about the Catholic Church as it chooses a new leader. Their reluctance to come to grips with gays in the church will keep distracting them from the work they should be doing. What frustrates me is that the Church could have gone in a different direction. In 1975 Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical acknowledging that some people are gay by nature and therefore should be treated with dignity and compassion, a bold notion for its time. During the 1980s, St. Mary’s seminary in Baltimore was the place to pick up gay men in the area, and other seminaries encouraged open and honest

talk about sexuality. Priests marched in gay pride parades in the 80s, and scholars like John Boswell and Mark Jordan wrote exceptional accounts of the nuanced history of gays in the Christian tradition. Indeed, because Roman Catholic theology relies on insights in the natural world for theological reflection, many Catholics argued vehemently that being gay was a gift from God and should be treated as such. I remember as an undergraduate the Roman Catholic student center had a vibrant gay group. We all know what happened next. On January 6, 2002 the Boston Globe released the first in a series of articles that exposed the Roman Catholic Church’s history of child abuse and cover ups. In response to the scandal, the Church decided to scapegoat the gays, rather than look elsewhere for their own culpability. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI barred gay men from the priesthood, even those who accepted the church’s call to celibacy, thus demonizing thousands of gay priests honorably serving the church at the time. Priests could no longer be honest about their sexuality for fear of repercussions. This tragic course of events has real pastoral implications. Not long ago, I spoke with a gay man who grew up in rural America. In high school, he taught CCD,

Q: Why are LGBT groups working on immigration issues and what does the recent debate about Comprehensive Immigration Reform have to do with the rights of LGBT individuals and families? We often hear that our immigration system is broken. But too few people understand how this terribly broken system disproportionately harms many hardworking LGBT people and people living with HIV. As immigration reform comes to the forefront, proposals and plans aimed at repairing and overhauling the immigration system must include critically important protections needed by millions of hardworking Americans, including LGBT and HIV-affected people. For instance, reinforcing family unity has long been a fundamental tenet of sound immigration policy: Family unity and the support networks it engenders contribute to a stable community and healthy society. Accordingly, immigration law has long recognized that a U.S. citizen’s foreignborn spouse should be granted immigration protection and relief.  Without such immigration relief, families can be ruthlessly torn apart. Far too many people in the LGBT community are enduring this nightmare because bi-national same-sex couples currently are denied these family unity protections.  Truly comprehensive immigration reform must promote and

protect family unity and equality by recognizing the rights of bi-national same-sex couples. Also, immigration reform should also be informed by the experiences of LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants, who are especially vulnerable. Many transgender, gender-nonconforming and HIV-affected people flee to the U.S. to escape various forms of persecution. Many of these victims depend on our asylum and immigration laws for protection and relief. Immigration reform must create a path to legalization and U.S. citizenship. There are approximately 418,000 undocumented lesbian, gay and bisexual immigrants in the US today. Without this path, LGBT immigrants will remain trapped in a double closet—afraid of disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity, and afraid of disclosing their immigration status. The threat of deportation creates significant public safety risks, because immigrants are more likely to be targeted for acts of violence. Undocumented victims of hate crimes and discrimination are often without redress because they are reluctant

to seek justice out of fear of arrest and deportation. Undocumented witnesses are also hesitant to come forward to help investigate and resolve crimes. Fear and hiding pose serious public safety risks for entire communities. The threat of deportation also creates public health risks. For example, immigration status can present a significant barrier to HIV testing, medical care and treatment because undocumented people often are afraid of accessing hospitals. By creating a path to legalization, we can make it safer for people to get tested for HIV, and to access lifesaving HIV treatment. Because HIV testing and treatment are important steps to helping curb the HIV epidemic, immigration reform can help protect public health. In this way too, bringing people out of the shadows by creating a path to legalization benefits every American regardless of sexual orientation, immigration or HIV status. If you feel you have been discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status please contact our Legal Help Desk

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI barred gay men from the priesthood, even those who accepted the church’s call to celibacy, thus demonizing thousands of gay priests honorably serving the church at the time.

Ask Lambda Legal: Immigration Reform is an LGBT Issue By Iván Espinoza-Madrigal Many transgender, gender-nonconforming and HIV-affected people flee to the U.S. to escape various forms of persecution.

FFBC member Jonathan Page is senior pastor of the Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th Street, Ames, Iowa. Sunday service at 10:45. He can be reached at Catholic Christian education, to younger students and participated in a Catholic summer camp as a leader and counselor. As a senior in high school, he was asked to share some of his struggles and how God had helped him. Bravely, he drafted a speech that revealed he was gay. But before he could deliver the speech to the younger students, he was expelled from the leadership of the camp and told he could no longer teach CCD. Abandoned by the church for his honesty and courage at a time of deep distress, he left the church and embraced a militant atheism. Until the Church comes to grips with homosexuality, it will be caught in the same hypocritical, self-defeating, and antiChristian place where it finds itself now. The issue is not clergy celibacy. Plenty of men live healthy celibate lives. The issue is a fear of sexuality and a denial of human nature and God’s role within it. The Church’s condemnation of homosexuality allows it to avoid confronting the reality of the clergy abuse scandals and distracts it from important social justice work. Perhaps one day when the new pope says his prayers, these words might cause him to think anew, “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid…”

I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married...One way to look at it is that gay couples’ desire to marry doesn’t amount to a threat but rather a tribute to marriage, and a potential source of renewed strength for the institution. ~Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s commentary on marriage.


The ACCESSline community directory is updated each issue. LISTINGS ARE FREE but are limited by space. Free online listings are available at Information about new listings must contain a phone number for publication and a contact (e-mail address, land address, or website) for our records. For more information or to provide corrections, please contact or call (712) 560-1807.

The ACCESSline is expanding our resource directory to include heartland resources outside of Iowa. Please bear with us as we continue improving our resource directory. NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

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: Crisis or Suicide National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Information on Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness: Counseling, Information and Resources about Sexual Orientation GLBT National Help Center: or 1-888-843-4564 Information on Mental Health for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005, 202-VICTORY [842-8679] Human Rights Campaign, National political organization, lobbies congress for lesbian & gay issues, political training state and local,, 1-800-777HRCF[4723] Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund I I E. Adams, Suite 1008, Chicago, IL 60603, 312-663-4413 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) - - 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 600, Washington, DC, 20005 National Organization for Women (NOW) 733 15th ST NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20005, 202-628-8669 PFLAG National Offices 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005, -, 202467-8180 The Trevor Lifeline |Crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. (866) 4-U-TREVOR - (866) 488-7386 Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All calls are toll-free and confidential -


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

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


Citizens For Equal Protection-402-398-3027 1105 Howard St, Suite #2, Omaha, NE 68102. - The Imperial Court of Nebraska Meets the third Monday of Every month at the Rainbow Outreach Resource Center at 17th and Leavenworth in Omaha, NE. Meetings start at 6pm and are open to the public. PO Box 3772, Omaha, NE 68103 Nebraska AIDS Project Omaha Office (Home Office) 250 South 77th Street Suite A Omaha, NE 68114 (402) 552-9260 - Email us: (also serving Southwest Iowa)


First United Methodist Church 516 Kellogg Ave, Ames, IA 50010, Contemporary worship Sat 5:30; Sun 8:30 & 11am 515-232-2750 ISU LGBTA Alliance GLBT Support, Activism, Social Events, Newsletter - 515-344-4478 L East Student Office Space,2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014-7163, alliance@iastate. edu - Living with HIV Program 226 SE 16th Street, Ames, IA 50010, Ask for Janelle (Coordinator), 515-956-3312 ext 106 or 800-890-8230 Lord of Life Lutheran - 515-233-2350 2126 Gable Lane, Ames 50014, Services Sundays at 9:00a.m.; Wed. 7:00pm. PFLAG Ames Youth and Shelter Services Offices, 2328 Bristol Drive, Ames, IA 5001, 2nd Tuesday, 7pm - 515-291-3607 Romantics Pleasure Palace 117 Kellogg Street, Ames, IA 50010-3315 515-232-7717 United Church of Christ-Congregational 217 6th Street, Ames, Iowa, 50010, Sunday Continental Breakfast, 9:00am; Sunday School, 9:30am; Worship 10:45am. office@ 515-232-9323 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames 1015 Hyland Ave. Services: 9:30 am and 11:30 am, Sunday, uufa@aol. com 515-292-5960 Unity Church of Ames - 226 9th St, Ames, IA 50010-6210, Sunday service and Sunday school 10:30am. Wednesday mediation 6:30pm Daily dial-a-blessing 515-233-1613


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


Arrowhead Motel - 2520 Mount Pleasant St, Burlington, IA 52601-2118 - 319-752-6353 Faith Lutheran Church E L C A 3109 Sunnyside Ave, Burlington, IA 52601 HIV/AIDS Screening @ Des Moines County Health Department in Burlington, 522 N 3rd By appointment between 8:00am to 4:30 319-753-8217 Confidential RISQUES IV (adult store) 421 Dry Creek Ave, West Burlington, IA 52601 (319) 753-5455, Sun - Wed 8am-Midnight Thurs - Sat Open 24 Hours,

Steve’s Place 852 Washington St, Burlington, 319-7545868 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Services start at 10:30 am, 625 N 6th St, Burlington, IA 52601-5032, (319) 753-1895


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


Adult Shop 630 66th Ave SW, 319-362-4939 Adult Shop North 5539 Crane Lane, 319-294-5360 CRPrideFest (formerly Cedar Rapids Unity) Social activities, non-profit Pride festival organization. PO Box 1643 Cedar Rapids 52406-1643 - Christ Episcopal Church “We have a place for you.” 220 40th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, 319-363-2029 Belle’s Basix - 319-363-3194 Open 5pm to 2am M-F, Sat & Sun 3pm-2am 3916 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids Club CO2, A GLBTQA Nightclub, 616 2nd Ave SE, 319-365-0225, Open 7 days a week 4PM-2AM, Happy hour from 4-8 pm, Coe Alliance GLBTQ and straight students, staff and people from the community. Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. or Erica Geers, faculty advisor at 319-8616025

Community Health Free Clinic 947 14th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 - 319-363-0416 - Free Medical Services provided for the uninsured and underserved patients of Cedar Rapids, Marion and the surrounding areas in Eastern Iowa. CSPS Legion Arts Contemporary Arts Center - 319-364-1580 1103 3rd St. SE, Diversity Focus, 222 2nd Street SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401, 319-363-3707,, Lead in the promotion of diversity, cultural awareness, and inclusion in the Corridor community. Eden United Church of Christ 351 8th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404 (319) 362-7805 Sunday School 9am - Worship 10:15am Foundation 2 Crisis Counseling 24-hour telephone crisis counseling. or 1540 2nd Ave. SE Cedar Rapids, IA 319-362-2174 or 800-332-4224 Linn County Public Health 501 13th NW, Free confidential HIV testing, 319-892-6000 Linn County Stonewall Democrats For more info, contact linnstonewall@ gmail. com People’s Church Unitarian Universalist A welcoming congregation. 4980 Gordon Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, IA, 11am Sunday. 319362-9827 - 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, The Linn County Stonewall Democrats Meet 2nd Wednesdays, Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St SE in Cedar Rapids, IA. Contact Harvey S. Ross, Tri-ess, Iota Kappa Phi Chapter P.O. Box 8605, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52408 We are a transgendered organization supporting crossdressers, their families, and friends. -, 319-390-6376, georgia523@ - Unity Center of Cedar Rapids “A center of positive, practical Christianity.” 4980 Gordon NE, Cedar Rapids - (319) 393-5422


18 and Beyond (aka ABC Books), 135 5th Ave South, 563-242-7687 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clinton 309 30th Avenue North, Clinton, IA 52732 (563) 242-4972 -, Sunday services at 10:30 (year-round), Where YOUR spiritual and ethical journey is welcome! Rev. Ruby Nancy, minister


Council Bluffs Community Alliance “…will promote the city of Council Bluffs as a developing gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender family community, & to assure the equality of all Council Bluffs’ residents.” Council Bluffs NOW PO Box 3325, Omaha, NE 68103-0325 Romantix Council Bluffs (North) (Adult Emporium) 3216 1st Ave, Council Bluffs, IA  51501-3353-romantixonline.com515-955-9756 Romantix Council Bluffs (South) (Romantix After Dark) 50662 189th St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503, 712-366-1764


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, 563-3871040. Luther College PRIDE-Diversity Center, 700 College Dr, Decorah, IA 52101 Contact Charles 563-210-6570 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 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Meets alternating Sundays at 10:30am, Decorah Senior Center, 806 River St, Call Bill at 563-382-3458.


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 Buddies Corral 418 E 5th St, Des Moines, IA - 515-244-7140 Church of the Holy Spirit-MCC, Interim Pastor Peter Trabaris - Sunday service 11am at the 1st Christian Church, 2500 University (2nd floor chapel), Des Moines, IA, Facebook. com/CHSMCC,, 515-287-9787 Des Moines Diversity Chorus [A gay-friendly mixed chorus] Rehearsals on Mondays at 7 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Beaver Ave. at Franklin St., Des Moines. All are welcome, no auditions. PO Box 65312, West Des Moines, IA 50265, Julie Murphy, Artistic Director, 515-255-3576, Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus 515-953-1540, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines - Des Moines Pride Center @ One Iowa (temporary location) 419 SW, 8th St., Des Moines, IA 50309 Family Practice Center - 515-953-7560 Safe, supportive LGBT health care. 200 Army Post Road, Ste 26, 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 First Unitarian Church 1800 Bell Avenue, Services Sundays at 9:30 & 11am - 515-244-8603, Franklin Family Practice Dr. Joe Freund, MD 4908 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310 515-280-4930,, The Gallery (adult store) 1000 Cherry St, Des Moines, IA 50309-4227 - (515) 244-2916 Open 24 Hrs, The Garden 112 SE 4th Des Moines, IA, 515-243-3965 Wed-Sun. 8pm-2am Gay & Lesbian AA & AI-Anonymous Mon 7pm; Tue-Thu 6pm; Sat. 5:30pm, at Drake Ministries in Ed. Bldg. 28th & University Gay and Lesbian Issues Committee 4211 Grand Avenue, Level-3, Des Moines, IA 50312 - 515-277-1117 Lavender Victory Fund Financial assistance for women in need for medical emergencies. Le Boi Bar 508 Indianola Rd, Des Moines, IA Liberty Gifts 333 E. Grand Ave, Loft 105, Des Moines, IA Gay owned specialty clothing, jewelry, home decor. 515-508-0825 MINX Show Palace - 515-266-2744 1510 NE Broadway, Des Moines, IA 50313 North Star Gay Rodeo Association of IGRA, Iowa Division of North Star, NSGRA@ or 612-82-RODEO Primary Health Care Inc., David Yurdin, 2353 SE 14th St., Des Moines, 503020, Works with GLBT ages 16 to geriatric, 25 years of experience. 515-248-1427 Rainbow Union, Drake University PFLAG Des Moines - 515-243-0313 1300 Locust , Des Moines, IA 50312 Plymouth Congregational UCC Church and the Plymouth GLBT Community 4126 Ingersoll Ave. 515-255-3149 Services at 9am & I lam Sunday. Polk County Health Department Free STD, HIV, and Hepatitis B & C testing. HIV. Rapid testing also offered. 1907 Carpenter, Des Moines, IA, 515-286-3798. Pride Alliance, AIB College of Business Gay and straight students celebrating diversity. Contact: Mike Smith, Advisor, - Pride Bowling League for GLBT & Supporters - Every Wednesday, 7 PM, Air Lanes Bowling Center 4200 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321-2389. Email pridebowlingleague@ 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

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Ritual Café - On 13th between Grand and Locust. Gay owned, great music, awesome food & coffee. 515-288-4872 Romantix North Des Moines Iowa (Bachelor’s Library) 2020 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317, 515266-7992 Spouses of Lesbians & Gays Support group for spouses of gays and lesbians. 515-277-7754 St. John’s Lutheran Church 600 6th Ave “A Church for All People.” Services Sat 5pm, Sun 7:45, 8:45 & 11am. See web page for other services. 515-243-7691 - TransformationsIOWA Monthly meetings for the female to male, male to female, transgender community, cross dressers, gender queer, questioning, and their significant others. For location and info, email at or call 515-979-6959 Trinity United Methodist Church 1548 Eighth Street - 515-288-4056 Services Sundays 10am, Urbandale UCC - An open & affirming congregation. 3530 70th St., Urbandale, IA 50322, 515-276-0625, Walnut Hills UMC Join us at 8:30 or 10:45am for Sunday worship. Sunday classes & group studies at 9:30am. 515-270-9226, 12321 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50323, Westminster Presbyterian Church 4114 Allison Ave - Sunday services 8:45 and 11am. Of note is their GAY-LESBIAN-STRAIGHT AFFIRMATION GROUP, GLSA 515-274-1534 Women’s Culture Collective (WCC) A lesbian social group. Des Moines, IA Word of God Ministries, Sunday service: 3:00pm, at 3120 E 24th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50317, Gay, lesbian & straight affirmation 515-707-5947. Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure Open daily. Gay-friendly, 515-244-7694 2723 Ingersoll, Des Moines, IA


Adult Warehouse - 563-588-9184 975 Jackson St, Dubuque, IA Dubuque Friends Worship Group (Quakers) Join us at an unprogrammed worship service on Sunday at 10am. Welcoming and Affirming, 563-582-9388 St. Mark’s Community Center, 1201 White Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 Rainbow Pride support and socialization group. For members of the LGBT+ community who want to expand their social circle, get support for LGBT specific issues, & help with advocacy. Meets Mondays at 1pm Hillcrest Wellness Center 225 W 6th St., Dubuque, IA 563-690-1239 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 - “The uncommon denomination.” general services at 10am. 1699 Iowa St, Dubuque, IA 563-583-9910


Bethany Church (ELCA) - 563-245-1856 307 3rd St NE, Elkader IA 52043 Pastor Jim Klosterboer. Inclusive. Welcoming. A “Reconciling in Christ” congregation of LC/ NA., Schera’s Restaurant & Bar 107 S Main St, Elkader, IA 52043,, E-mail: Fine dining featuring Algerian & American Cuisine. 563-245-1992


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

GRINNELL, IOWA, Broad View Wildflower Seed, 428 Hamilton Ave., Grinnell, Iowa 50112, Manager/Owner: John C.,

Section 3: Community Saints Ephrem & Macrina 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, srcenter@ 641-269-3327 United Church of Christ-Congregational, ‘An open and affirming church.’ 902 Broad St, 641-236-3111


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.


AA (GLBT) 319-338-9111 Meetings Sundays 5 - 6pm at First Baptist Church, 500 North Clinton Street. For more info, call IC Intergroup Answering Service, Congregational Church UCC An Open and Affirming Congregation, Sunday Worship 10:15 a.m. 30 N Clinton St (across from Ul Pentacrest) 319-337-4301 - Counseling Clinic 319-354-6238 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sensitive and supportive counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups. Sliding Fee. 505 E Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52240 Counseling and Health Center Client-centered therapy. Les-Bi-Gay-Trans always welcome. 616 Bloomington St, Iowa City, IA - 319-337-1679 Crisis Center 319-351-0140 1121 Gilbert Ct, 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 An open and affirming congregation. 1609 Deforest Street, Iowa City, 52240 Sunday Worship 9:30 AM 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 - 319-335-3251 (voice mail) Hope United Methodist Church Worship Service at 9:30am. 2929 E. Court St., Iowa City, IA - Contact Rev. Sherry Lohman. 319-338-9865 Human Rights Commission (City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission) 319-356-5022; 391-356-5015; 319-356-5014 Fax 319-887-6213 ICARE (Iowa Center for AIDS Resources & Education) Practical & emotional support, youth programs, information, referrals and support groups. 319-338-2135 3211 E 1st Iowa City, IA 52240-4703 Iowa City Free Medical Clinic - 319-337-4459 Free & strictly confidential HIV Testing. 2440 Towncrest Dr Iowa City, Call for appointment Iowa City NOW PO Box 2944, Iowa City, IA 52244 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. Discussion Groups, Educational Series, Safer Sex Workshops, Book Club. Andy Weigel, email: aweigel@ New Song Episcopal Church 912 20th Ave, Coralville, IA. Sunday services at 10am. Jennifer Masada, Jane Stewart, and John Greve. 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 - 319-351-9444 (Pleasure Palace I) 315 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240-4722 - 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, 319-335-1486

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


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


Cerro Gordo County Dept. of Public Health 22 N. Georgia Ave, Ste 300 Mason City, IA 50401. Free confidential AIDS testing. 641421-9321 PFLAG North Iowa Chapter 641-583-2848,, Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe @ 7 p.m. Wed.


Alliance Cornell College 810 Commons Cir # 2035 - -


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


AIDS Project Quad Cities Info, education & support. Davenport, IA 52804, 319-762-LIFE 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 309-797-4688 Provides free primary medical care to patients age 16-64 who are working but have no medical insurance. 602 35th Ave, Moline, IL The Hole-In-The-Wall 309-289-2375 A Private Membership Men’s Club, Located 3 miles east of Galesburg, IL. just north of I-74 at Exit 51. Holy Spirit Catholic Faith Community Meets one Sunday per month for Mass at 6:30pm at MCC-QC, 3019 N. Harrison St, Davenport, IA Mailing: PO Box 192 East Moline, IL 61244 For more info, call 309-278-3359 Lucky Shamrock 313 20th St, Rock Island, IL - 309-788-7426 An Irish Pub open to all types. 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. 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 (Call Don at 563324-0215) At the MCC Church in D’port, 7pm Wed.

Rainbow Gifts - 309-764-0559 T.R. Video Adult books & video, 3727 Hickory Grove Rd, Davenport, IA. 563-386-7914 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities, Rev Jay Wolin, Sunday Service 11am - 563-359-0816 3707 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, IA 52807 Venus News (Adult) 902 W 3rd St, Davenport, IA. 563-322-7576


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


PFLAG Shenandoah 1002 South Elm Street - 712-246-2824


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


Toppers, 1213 N Cliff Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57103, (605) 339-7686, Su-Tu 7:00pm - Close : We-Sa 3:00pm - 2:00am, Center for Equality, 406 S Second Avenue in Sioux Falls, 605-331-1153,


Cedar Valley Episcopal Campus Ministry. 717 W. Bremer, (St. Andrew’s Episcopal) - 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 319-352-1489 Rev. Maureen Doherty, Pastor


PFLAG Hastings -


Club Q Lincoln - 402-475-2269 226 South 9th St, Lincoln, NE 68508 Indigo Bridge Books The Creamery Building, 701 P St, Ste 102, Lincoln, NE 68508 - 402-477 7770 “Indigo Bridge Books strives to provide a solid, relevant Gender Studies section with a focus on LGBT titles. Nebraska AIDS Project (Lincoln Office) 1921 South 17th Street, Lincoln, NE 68502 (402) 476-7000 - OUTLinc - Bringing Lincoln’s LGBT Community Together Panic - 402-435-8764 200 S 18th St, Lincoln, NE 68508 PFLAG Cornhusker Chapter PO Box 82034, Lincoln, NE 68501 Meetings 4th Tuesday, Unitarian Church of Lincoln, 6300 A St, 7-9pm PFLAG Helpline: 402-434-9880 - Confidential Support & Information - We’re Here For You ! Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, Transgender Care - (402) 441-3302 2246 O St, Lincoln, NE 68510

ACCESSline Page 29 The Rainbow Clinic in the UNL Psychological Consultation Center “…a specialty outreach service to the GLBTQ community. Psychological services, including individual, couples & family therapy, are provided within the UNL Psychological Consultation Center by regular PCC staff…open year round; day & evening appointments available. $10 for intake & $25 for therapy sessions. Application can be made for reduced fees based on federal poverty guidelines. 325 Burnett Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588 402-472-2351 Star City Pride - The Unitarian Church of Lincoln 6300 A Street, Lincoln, NE 68510-5097 (402) 483-2213 - Sunday from 10am to 11am


AIDS Interfaith Network 100 N. 62nd, Omaha, NE Call Br. Wm. Woeger, 402-558-3100 Citizens For Equal Protection-402-398-3027 1105 Howard St, Suite #2, Omaha, NE 68102. - DC’s Saloon - (western/levi/leather) The Midwest’s hottest GLBT Country & Dance Bar! 610 S 14th St, Omaha, NE, Open everyday 2pm-1am Front Runners/Front Walkers Walking/jogging club. P.O. Box 4583, Omaha, NE 68104, 402-804-8720, GLBT Rainbow Outreach Omaha Serving GLBT community in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Also office for Imperial court of Nebraska. 1719 Leavenworth St, Omaha, NE, - 402-341-0330 Greater Omaha GLBT Network - “…to advance growth & equality for its members, businesses & allies by providing educational, networking & community-building opportunities. Meetings 1st Thursday every month locations at a traveling location to see the community and be seen. For more info or to be included on the e-newsletter list, please email us at Heartland Gay Rodeo Association (HGRA) (Midwest Division of the International Gay Rodeo Association) PO Box 3354, Omaha, NE 68103, - 402-203-4680, Serves Iowa and Nebraska Heartland Pride ”…to develop a high impact and relevant cultural festival & events annually that promotes equality & unity for the LGBTQ & Allies Communities of Western Iowa and Greater Nebraska. Imperial Court of Nebraska 402-556-9907 P.O. Box 3772, Omaha, NE 68103 Inclusive Life - “Religious and Non religious care, services and ceremonies for all!”, 105 S. 49 Street, Suite E, Omaha, NE 68132, (402) 575-7006, The Max 1417 Jackson at 15th, Omaha, NE 68102 6 bars in 1 - 402-346-4110 McLovin 1010 South 10 Street, Omaha, NE, 68108, 402-915-4002, A store for men. MCC Omaha 819 South 22nd, Omaha, NE 68103, Sun 9:30AM & 11:15 AM. Wednesday “ReCharge” Worship, Wed 7pm - 402-345-2563 PFLAG Omaha Mead Hall, First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass St. (Omaha), 2nd Thursday, 7, 6:30 Social, 402-291-6781 River City Gender Alliance Peer support, friendship, and understanding for crossdressers, transgenderists, and transsexuals. PO Box 4083 Omaha, NE 68104, 402-291-6781, - River City Mixed Chorus Gay/lesbian chorus, PO Box 3267, Omaha, NE 68103, Call Stan Brown, 402-341-7464 Tri-ess Chapter, Kappa Phi Lambda Chapter, Omaha, NE 68107, Transgendered organization supporting crossdressers, their families, and friends., 402-960-9696, Judy Youth Support Group for GLBT Youth 13-21, meets twice monthly. Omaha, NE - 402-291- 6781

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TURNAGE racing jacket—black with beige stripes. I liked how I looked in it, sure, but more importantly, I liked how I felt stronger whenever I wore it. It was a step towards reclaiming how I felt about myself. It was there when I came out as a gay man, and it was there when I came out as a kinky gay man. And in between the awkward first dates, the proud moments when I took my first steps into the Des Moines gay community as an unknown, it was a reminder of where I was and the steps I took to get here. I still own this leather jacket today. I lost friends when I came back from Colorado, owning my sexuality for the first time. There was no open hatred for my sexuality. It was more the mentality of “you’re ill, but you’ll get better.” Needless to say, I distanced myself from these former friends. I knew that refusing to deny or hide my sexuality had made a positive impact on my mental health, and these individuals did not support my decision. In time, I met gay friends who encouraged me that there was no point to being “out” if you weren’t “out.” It was not a question of personal privacy, it was a statement that emphasized the need for positive gay friends in my life. And despite the setbacks and abrasive personalities that can often be encountered in “the world of Gay,” the moments when you have the right conversation with someone you’d never expect, or the happiness of feeling welcome and included, or the sense of accomplishment after you’ve helped with

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SEXUAL ASSAULT for victims of sexual assault, there’s our contracted sexual assault nurse examiners, and our prosecutors offices here in Polk and Warren County. What services does SART provide? Our services involve trying to take care of the victims right up front. They show up, they indicate they’ve been sexually assaulted, the hospital’s protocol is to call us and we dispatch the team. They call the advocacy program and we dispatch the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). We also will contact the law enforcement to come and offer their services. Although the victim definitely has the right not to report—and sometimes doesn’t. We’re there to cover all the bases right there at that one stop, or their first stop. Not to say that they don’t have to follow up or anything, but certainly we try and take care of all, or most of their needs right there. Could you give me a general overview of what someone could expect? Because that sounds a little overwhelming. It is a little bit overwhelming. If you’re sexually assaulted, the last thing you want to do is go and talk about it to other people. Now everything is optional for the patient, they’re the victim and they do not have to utilize our services at all if they don’t want to. Once the SANE gets there and the advocate, we offer choices where you can have an exam and the nurse can collect kits to give to law enforcement. They don’t have to make a police report, but if the nurse collected a kit then law enforcement will have to store that. Exam, no exam, medications can be offered. We have working relationships with HIV specialists

Section 3: Community a charity event, no matter what role you played—far outweigh any hiding you ever could have done. But I wouldn’t have taken those first steps without Lee Cutler, who convinced me the Blazing Saddle is infinitely more fun with friends, instead of really terrible dates; and Jeremy Morris, who introduced me to the Midwest leather community and showed me what Leather can be. I will always remember the moment when I tried on a full patrol and looked in the mirror for the first time. There was a tingly rush, a disassociation between the man in the mirror and me, or, the “me” I was and the “me” I always wanted to become. I felt strong. Sexy. Powerful. Feelings that until that moment had been somewhat disjointed for me. Leather changed my life by enabling me to find the inner self-image I had always sought for myself, but didn’t always grasp onto. To me, Leather—and to a greater extent, Kink—is the freedom to find that image for yourself. That moment in the mirror eventually led me to Touche, in Chicago, a bar that had been there since the start of the gay leather movement in that city. I came with friends to see my first sash competition: Mr. Chicago Leather 2012. I remember walking into the darkened bar for the first time, in a slightly-too-loose borrowed harness and Levi’s, feeling a little like the skinny kid who wears a T-shirt to the swim-

ming pool. And yeah, there was fear there, too. The doubt that comes from too much dissonant comparison of what you aren’t and not enough of owning who you are. Until Ron Kautz, Mr. 501 Eagle 2012, gave me the best advice I had all night: “Relax. Have fun. You’re welcome here.” It wasn’t until I took that advice and believed it that I could feel the kid-in-acandy-store grin, the one that comes from a rush of sensory expansion: sweaty skin, wet rubber and rough leather, men you may or may not know and may or may not ever know again. But the memory always stays. And every day a different world is possible. As former Mr. Michigan Leather Woody Woodruff put it during his speech at International Mr. Leather 34, “Find your voice.” A simple imperative, but the one that convinced me to run for Mr. Iowa Leather. I ran for Mr. Iowa Leather for the person who comes to the gay bar alone, unsure and uncertain, because I remem-

I’m a geek. I’m a nerd. I’m a Batman fanatic. I’m not always socially graceful. I’m awkward sometimes. But I am also a leatherman.

in town as well. Once all that stuff happens we finish up the exam and the victim is free to go, and an advocate can follow you even after you leave. There are follow-up instructions for their medical care and they have the information for contacting their advocate. How do you deal with fears from LGBT individuals about being treated differently? We continue to get training. In fact, I think there is a training coming up that our advocates are going for work with the LGBTQ youth. But mostly, our staff, our advocates, our SANEs are trained to leave any judgments at the door. To meet the victim where they’re at with what is presented to us. We’re not going to question, unless medically we would need to for some reason. We will respect everybody that presents themselves for services. We want to be standard across the board. You come to us to receive services, and we want you to leave feeling better then you did when you came in. And hopefully we’re doing that. Where is SART located? We have multiple locations, in total I believe there are nine, but some of the locations are in the same hospital. For instance, our Methodist hospital and the Blank Children’s hospital are located in the same location, but they are divided—the same with Mercy’s. Then we have Broadlawns Hospital, the Veterans Administration, the Lutheran Hospital, the Rosenfield Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Center, and you can go to any of the Emergency Departments. Basically, any hospital you go to in the Des Moines area. For more information you can contact Planned Parenthood of the Heartland or Tammy Gilmore at Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services.

APRIL 2013 ber very clearly what it was like to be that person. There are times those memories catch up to me even now, and I need to clear my head for a moment and remind myself that it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. There will always be people who tell you what you can and cannot be, who will try and define what you are instead of letting you speak for yourself. This is the time to speak up. Relax and be yourself. Your friends are there to guide and help you along the way, but no one will fight harder for you and your dreams than you. I’m a geek. I’m a nerd. I’m a Batman fanatic. I’m not always socially graceful. I’m awkward sometimes. But I am also a leatherman. And to me, that means being true to myself. Understanding the history I learn from. And being respectful to those I play with. And for those who aren’t--if I can’t teach you, I *will* call you out on it. Special thanks to Liam Boyd (Pup Tyr) and Alexandra St. James Gray. For being you, and being there whenever I need you. Get out there. Take risks. Strive to be happy. It gets better.

Stop twisting the Bible and stop using our tax dollars to do it. [...] We’re here today to warn parents and to warn lawmakers and other who are responsible for protecting those children, and to urge them to protect appropriate action to protect those children, such as not letting them go to this conference next week, such as considering home and private education if their schools are teaching the things this conference is advocating — that Iowa school districts teach — and above all, teaching our children the truth about the Bible, sexuality, and bullying. ~Chuck Hurley, FAMiLY Leader, on the 8th Annual Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth, March 29, 2013

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REMARKABLES does rise to that level. The telltale sign of that intentional violation is the attempt to remove appellate access to the Supreme Court. The legislators knew the bill is unconstitutional and thought that would prevent a successful constitutional test. You should have the names of these legislators and know the counties whose gay, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens they want to service in the Iowa Legislature. They are: Dwayne Alons (Sioux County), Greg Heartsill (Jasper, Lucas, and Marion Counties), Jason Schultz (Crawford, Harrison, and Shelby Counties), Larry Sheets (Appannoose, Mahaska, Monroe, and Wapello Counties), Cecil Dolecheck (Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, and Taylor Counties), Joel Fry (Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, and Wayne Counties), Ted Gassman (Emmet, Kossuth, and Winnebago Counties), Sandy Salmon (Blackhawk and Bremer Counties), Kevin Koester (Polk County), and John Landon (Polk County). By sponsoring HF 444, these legislators have gone past stupid to malevolence. Secretary of State Kerry is right that we tolerate stupidity in this country. Malevolence— intentional acts contrary to our constitutional law—should not be tolerated. These legislators have implicitly calculated that the majority of their constituents are either too stupid to recognize the significance of HF 444, or too malevolently bigoted to care. I hope they’re wrong on either assessment.

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BLUMENFELD feared that I might be gay (or to use the terminology of the day, “homosexual”). For most of my years in school, my peers, boys and girls alike, continually beat and attacked me since they perceived me as “different.” Names like “queer,” “little girl,” and “fag” targeted me like the big red dodge ball my classmates furiously hurled at one another on the schoolyard. I would not – and could not—conform to the gender roles that my family and peers so clearly expected of me, and I regularly paid the price. I have worked many years attempting to develop a positive Jewish and gay/queer identity, which included my social activism and scholarship in LGBT/Queer and Holocaust/Religious Oppression studies. Through my work, though, I discovered the profound and poignant intersections in the forms of oppression (not only between anti-Jewish oppression and heterosexism, but in all the many forms of oppression). I thus began my journey discovering the ways that I am not only marginalized, but I also came to consciousness, at first reluctantly with guilt and anger initially surfacing then later subsiding, of my many privileged status identities. I now understand that my oppression does not and cannot trump of cancel my privileged social identities. The relative invisibility of privilege to members of dominant social identities helps to keep this system of oppression firmly in place. I often use the analogy of dominant group privilege as the water in an aquarium in that the fish do not see or even feel the water because it is so pervasive and “normal.” For us as individuals, as

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CHAIN Celebrates a Successful Day on the Hill Iowa Code 709C Undermines Public Health Goals and thereby contributes to the HIV Epidemic

On Feb. 7, 2013 over 43 Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network (CHAIN) members from across the state came to Des Moines to attend CHAIN’s 8th annual Day on the Hill. This year advocates talked with over 80 Representatives and Senators and 2 of the Governor’s staff. Advocates were there talking to their legislators for themselves, with over 490 individuals and organizations that signed the petition and signed letters. CHAIN gathered at educational forums and events across the state, each of the red and yellow chain links represents those people. CHAIN members were advocating improving an ineffective statute that is fueling the HIV epidemic by passing the Intentional Transmission of Contagious Disease Act. Iowa Code 709C undermines public health goals and thereby contributes to the HIV epidemic. New research shows that statues like 709C are contributing to, not stopping the HIV epidemic. 709C drives people away from public health and treatment programs. Iowa has one of the highest rates of “late testers” in the nation (47%); too many people

entire identity categories, and as a larger society to move forward, however, we need to be conscious of the water of dominance that saturates our environment. I understand now, to add another metaphors, oppression operates like a wheel with many spokes. If we work to dismantle only one or a few specific spokes (those spokes that represent our own marginalized identities, those spokes that represent specifically our pain and the pain of members of our groups), then the oppression wheel will continue unencumbered to roll over people. For us to reach the goal of true and lasting liberation, we must work to dismantle all the many spokes in conquering all the many forms of oppression in all their many forms. We can revel in our past victories, for we have fought tirelessly for them. But let us not dwell there because we have further to go to ensure a truly just and equitable society and world. In the final analysis, whenever anyone is diminished, we are all demeaned, when anyone or any group remains institutionally and socially marginalized, excluded, or disenfranchised from primary rights and benefits, the possibility for authentic community cannot be realized unless and until we become involved, to challenge, to question, and to act in truly transformational ways. If we focus only on our own pain, if we focus only on the ways we as individuals and members of subordinated groups are systematically oppressed, if we perceive instead the spokes as representing a vertical hierarchy with the forms of oppression aligned with our oppression on top and all others placed far below if at all rather than understanding the image of the wheel, and if we cannot come to consciousness of our socially privileged identities, we sabotage

find out they are positive in an emergency room because they had not been tested. Studies show that a majority of new infections occur when someone is unaware of the status. Advocates also explained that the new statute drafted promotes use of effective means to prevent transmission, like adhering to medical treatment programs that nearly eliminate the possibility of transmission, and use of barriers to transmission of diseases to others. The current law does not promote these proven methods of preventing transmission. These changes in the Iowa Code would help Iowa reach its public health goal to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. CHAIN gained the support of over 450 individuals, 15 Iowa organizations: AIDS Project of Central Iowa, ACLU of Iowa, Ames Unitarian Universalist, HIV Community Coalition, Iowa HIV Community Planning Group, Iowa Primary Care Association, Midwestern AIDS Project, National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter, One Iowa, Positive Iowans Taking Charge, Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel, Siouxland Community Health Center, and University of Iowa Student National Pharmaceutical Association. CHAIN would like to thank all of the wonderful supporters and allies that provided funding, donations, office space, and their valuable time and expertise to make this Day on the Hill a success: Mark Kassis and Terry Lowman, John Swaner, The SERO

ourselves and the goal of liberation. As a university professor, many of my students become initially irritated when I tell them that I do not subscribe to “The Golden Rule” (treating others as one would treat oneself ), until I state that I, instead, follow “The Platinum Rule” (treating others as they would treat themselves). I believe, therefore, that we must look within as well as beyond ourselves and base a community and a movement not simply on shared social identities, but also on shared ideals and values among individuals from disparate social positionalities, with like minds, political philosophies, and strategies for achieving, dare I say?, social justice. We must end the “my oppression is worse than your oppression” divide and conquer dance (a tango I too have danced) because it only serves the interests of maintaining the systemic nature of oppression by distancing people into separate and exclusive identity politics. Whenever, for example, white gay men openly declare or imply that racism is not their issue and their only goal is to marry another man and assimilate into the “mainstream,” then the wheel of oppression gains traction and momentum. Whenever Ashkenazi (European heritage) Jews proclaim that the German Holocaust was exclusively a Jewish tragedy while refusing to acknowledge or even entertain the notion that the Nazi also targeted homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses, some Catholic clergy, Communists, Socialists, and others, and when Jews fail to understand the connections between their oppression throughout the millennia with the oppression of peoples of color, then the wheel of oppression gains traction

Representative AKO Abdul Samad discusses with Greg Gross how Iowa Code 709C undermines public health goals and thereby contributes to the HIV epidemic. Project, Advocacy Strategies, Inc., One Iowa, ACLU Iowa, Buddy’s Corral, Gary Moore, The Saddle, The Garden, Calvary Chapel, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Lambda Legal, Scott Schoettes, Positive Justice Project, Igor Hadzisulejmanovic, and the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. CHAIN would also like to thank everyone who organized and educational forum around the state PFLAG of NE Iowa, Mark Kassis in Ames, Sexual Health Alliance of Linn and Johnson County, and Douglas Apperle at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, and Debbie McDowell for writing all the names on the CHAIN links.

and momentum. Whenever people of color characterize heterosexism and cissexism (oppression toward trans people) as inconsequential or irrelevant, and when they fail to understand certain parallels between the German Holocaust and the enslavement of Africans in the Americas and in Europe, then the wheel of oppression gains traction and momentum. In short, whenever any of us rank the forms of oppression, the wheel of oppression gains traction and momentum. In the inimical words of poet, essayist, and activist, Audre Lorde, “There is no hierarchy of oppression.” In addition, we must not expect others to convince us of their pain, to convince us of the validity, saliency, and impact of forms of oppression that may not appear to affect us personally and directly. We must commit to walking the journey of educating ourselves, for it is not your responsibility to educate me and convince me of your pain, as it is not my job to convince you of mine. Reverend Martin Niemoeller places the intersectionalities into perspective: “In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me — and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

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Section 3: Community

Trish: I don’t think “celebrity” is the right word, but we are recognized by some. It is still very strange to hear it referred to as “the Varnum case”. What has changed for your family in the last four years? Kate: The biggest change in our family is the birth and adoption of our son, Alex. He brings us so much joy and inspires us to work harder to protect our family. Two years ago, I lost my job. As devastating as that was, I believe everything happens for a reason. When we learned about Alex, I decided to return to school and get my bachelor’s degree. Because we are married, I am able to be on Trish’s health insurance, which is a relief for us both. What has surprised you most about the entire experience? Kate: For the most part, our experience has been very positive. Nothing negative was ever directed at us personally. I like to think that it says a lot about Iowans, that we want the best for each other. How do you feel about the continuing push in Iowa to make same-sex marriage illegal? Trish: It is incredibly frustrating and disheartening to think that there are

people who are devoting their lives to hate and want to dismantle our families. What difficulties have you had with same-sex marriage not being Federally recognized? Trish: I think the biggest and most visible reminder happens every year at this time, our tax returns. Preparing three tax returns, one for each of us to file and then a “mock” joint return for state purposes, is time consuming and expensive. What do you think the future will be for marriage equality? Kate: My hope is that by the time Alex is able to get married, he will not see any of these issues. I dream of a day when there is no asterisk next to the statement “we’re married.” Do you have suggestions for other marriage equality advocates and samesex couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage? Kate: The biggest piece of advice is to tell your story. My mother is a great advocate for equal marriage. She will talk to anyone about marriage, from the nurse at the doctor’s office to the guy cleaning her windows. The more you tell your story, the more people who learn about the inequalities we face when our relationships are not recognized.

The University of Iowa Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Staff & Faculty Association (the “Association”) was organized in 1990 to support the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campus community. The Association is open to any University employee—merit staff, professional/ scientific staff, graduate assistant, faculty, administrator or community member. Meetings are held monthly and feature guest presentations as well as discussions of current topics recommended by members. In addition, the Association sponsors other public activities throughout the year ranging from lectures to cultural performances and social events.

The Association is governed by the membership-at-large. Business responsibilities are supervised by a volunteer executive board. The Association’s services and activities are open to everyone. 2012-2013 Executive Board Meeting Schedule IMU River Room #1 2nd Thursday of the month, 12:301:30 p.m. (all are welcome to attend!) Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 Thursday, May 9, 2013 For more information go to their website at http://www.uiowa. edu/~lgbsfa/

The purpose of the LGBT Community Council is to bring together both individuals and organizations with vested interests in building and sustaining a happy, healthy, and more prosperous LGBT Community in the Creative Corridor. We will identify areas of opportunity, needs, and interest for our community.

findings and goals. While continuing work from our 2012 findings. We will link the Community with one another, to better increase awareness of organizations, resources, and activities available to us. Thursday April 11th 6pm Diversity Focus Office 222 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


University of Iowa LGBT S&F Association Meeting Schedule

Diversity Focus Hosts the LGBT Community Council Cedar Rapids, IA

We will develop a framework to achieve our

If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much...The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. ~Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, on gay-marriage support.

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I.C. Kings Upcoming Action I.C. Kings will be performing on Thursday, April 25th at Studio 13 in Iowa City! Come see your favorite gender benders at 9PM! Cover is $5 and this is a 19+ event. I.C. Kings and Les Dames du Burlesque will be teaming up again for “An Evening of SINema!” Be ready for a plethora of cinematic scores and sultry soundtrack

favorites. This event will be on Wednesday, May 1st at The Mill in Iowa City. Showtime is 8pm. All ages are welcome at this early show. Bring some bills for cover. It’ll be worth your while with these va-va-voom ladies and muscle-clad dudes! Check out for upcoming details!

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QC PRIDE INC Glenda! All of them dancing to an incredible CD of “our” music!  The crowd went wild and I must confess—I cried a little bit.  With pride building up for where we’ve come to and from the work it took to get here.  It was a spectacular float!  It was a spectacular group of people who organized it, created it, and who pulled it off!  Again, perfection!  Again, we made a difference!  So much so that, wait a minute, here it comes…we won First Place in our category for the entire parade.  Yes, from No gays in St Patty’s Day parades to FIRST PLACE!  What a ride this has been! I say all this because sometimes we forget our purpose.  We say “we cannot” when obviously “we can”.  When these things happen, whether we see results right away or not, we must remember that today, we may have encouraged a young person to live another day or to know it is ok to come out to be who they

APRIL 2013 are.Last night, we may have provided someone a safe place to come and share and meet people and to experience excellence in an event for the first time in their life. Through all this, we may have taught someone that hate and bigotry is not only wrong, but it is outdated and not necessary! And whether we make money or not or whether we win a trophy or not, we must know that we made a difference to someone, somewhere. I hope you all take this message with you and share it, and especially take it and lets push forward in these next couple of months and make good on my promise I made to that reporter last night.  Ooops, I forgot to tell you…I told him this: The Quad cities needs to wait and see what we have in store for them in June.  We will rock this town by presenting to them the most incredible festival that the QCA has ever witnessed!  Why did I say that?  Cause we can do it!    We are that good! Jeff Simpson, President of QC Pride

The Project of the Quad Cities Calendar

Franky D Lover and Hugh Jindapants of the I.C. Kings at the Coe College Annual Drag Show. Photo Courtesy of Juan Carlos Herrera at

J.T. Amore of the I.C. Kings at Miss Kitty’s Drag Race at Studio 13 in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo Courtesy of Juan Carlos Herrera at

I don’t ever want to explain to my daughters that some ‘versions’ of love are viewed as ‘less than’ others. I’m not prepared to answer that kind of question. ~Scott Fujita on marriage equality.

Joey D. Drag King of the I.C. Kings at Miss Kitty’s Drag Race at Studio 13 in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo Courtesy of Juan Carlos Herrera at

Founded in 1986, The Project of the Quad Cities is a non-profit HIV/STI/AIDS Service Organization that provides support to persons living with HIV/STI/AIDS as well as their families and friends in Iowa and Illinois. Symptom Management Group—Every Wednesday from 1-2:30 pm Life Skills Group—Every other Wednesday from 10-11:30 am Coffee Hour—10-11:30 am on Wednesdays when the Life Skills Group does not meet; A relaxed and casual atmosphere Groups meet at our Moline office. We also offer free HIV testing Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm. For more information call Susie or Mollie at 309-762-5433

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ACCESSline, The Heartland's LGBT+ Newspaper, April 2013 Issue, Volume 27 No 4  

Janeane Garofalo, Varnum v. Brien, Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community, Baby Dee, Judy & Dennis Shepard, Brittany Brooks, Davey Wavey, Elle...

ACCESSline, The Heartland's LGBT+ Newspaper, April 2013 Issue, Volume 27 No 4  

Janeane Garofalo, Varnum v. Brien, Sexual Assault in the LGBT Community, Baby Dee, Judy & Dennis Shepard, Brittany Brooks, Davey Wavey, Elle...