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March 2013

GAYLIFE Read it. Live it.

Love it.


SANDRA SIMPLY MARVELOUS Comedian, actress, singer and activist Sandra Bernhard brings her one-woman cabaret extravaganza to Frostburg, Md. and Washington, D.C.

PLUS...  Stefanie Powers in Looped  Moveable Feast is Uncorked!  Xanadu in Washington  GLCCB's New Board President


Our LGBT Seniors Feature


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MARCH 2013

7 ERA Ratification

By Denise Duarte

Outstanding Lives

By Daniel McEvily

8 GLCCB President

Fairness for All Marylanders

9 Two Novellas from Jen Michalski By Danielle Ariano


10 Uncorking for Moveable Feast By Ted Blankenship

Hippodrome Gets Looped By Daniel McEvily

11 Gay Men's Xanadu By Frankie Kujawa 12 Chiapparelli's

By John Cullen with Marty Shayt



Simply Sandra, Simply Marvelous

Sandra Bernhard spends 15 minutes with Gay Life to discuss her performance, politics, and upcoming projects. By Daniel McEvily


LGBT Seniors

Get to know the Prime Timers, a senior social group offering more than just antiques and outings. Learn how to adapt your home so you can stay there much longer. Read the story of one world-traveling "bachelor" who settled in Maryland. And hear about the steps being taken to address the problem of underserved and understudied LGBT seniors. By Anthony Moll, Brian G. Minnich, John Cullen, Colleen Bennett, and Amanda Peeples


22 National & International News

By Rachel Roth


24 Local Lesbian Rabbi

By Paige Hunter


26 Queer Health: LGBT Aging

By Alicia Gabriel

27 Retirement Prep

By Yoshiko Hayakawa


29 BSCENE: Fierce Chicks Rock

Photos by Bill Hughes

Miss Gay Maryland

Photos by Jay W.

30 Datebook

By Rachel Roth

MARCH 2013



Celebrating Diversity Beyond LGBT Gay Life may be a "niche" magazine, but there are few niches as diverse as the LGBT community. As your community center's publication, we strive to make each issue of Gay Life valuable, entertaining, and relevant to your everyday lives. Not only do we cater to the L, G, B and T population, but we aim to equally represent the racial diversity of our audience, the spectrum of religious affiliations, and topics of interest to our affluent and most vulnerable readers alike. This goal can be a difficult undertaking in just a few dozen pages, but it's an important and meaningful—and even fun—challenge. The interests of our diverse readership are always at the forefront of our decision making, and we take opportunities throughout the year to give some issues a specific focus.

In this issue, we feature stories for our senior population: find out what the Prime Timers are doing these days (p. 16); learn interior design tips that prioritize safety in your home (p. 17); meet one dashing and talented “bachelor” (p. 18); and learn about present and future health studies (p. 26, 19). Also in this issue, and in honor of Women's History Month, we spotlight a few amazing local women from politicians and activists (opposite page) to an author (p. 9) and a rabbi (p. 24).




Comedian, actress, singer, and activist Sandra Bernhard. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia. FACEBOOK.COM/GLCCB • TWITTER.COM/GLCCB • YOUTUBE.COM/THEGLCCB Maggie Beetz, Editor M. Cory Burgess, Art Director Sabre Chase, Advertising

GAYLIFE Read it. Live it.

Love it.

241 W. Chase Street Baltimore, MD 21201 410.777.8145 Phone 410.777.8135 Fax

National Advertising Rep. Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863 Marty Shayt, Senior Volunteer Contributors Danielle Ariano, Colleen Bennett,

Ted Blankenship, John Cullen, Denise Duarte, Alicia Gabriel, Tracey Gersh, Yoshiko Hayakawa, Paige Hunter, Frankie Kujawa, Daniel McEvily, Brian G. Minnich, Anthony Moll, Amanda Peeples, Doug Rose, Rachel Roth, Marty Shayt

Photographers Bill Hughes, Jay W. Magazine Committee Sharon Brackett, John Cullen, Daniel

McEvily, Doug Rose, Emily Salinas, Marty Shayt, Gary Wolnitzek

Gay Life is a publication of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB). Gay Life is published monthly in Baltimore, Md., with distribution throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Gay Life is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Gay Life or its publisher.


MARCH 2013



OUTSTANDING LIVES Each month, Gay Life features outstanding individuals who have made Baltimore a better, more inclusive, and enlightened place to be proud.

Denise Duarte

Baltimore NOW Urges ERA Ratification

ELIMINATING TIME LIMIT MEANS SUPPORT FROM ONLY THREE MORE STATES IS NEEDED BY DENISE R. DUARTE The Baltimore NOW chapter, in conjuncintroducing them in the Senate. However, tion with United for Equality and more the House still needs a champion to introthan 50 other organizations, is actively duce its bill now that Baldwin is a senator. working to secure the elimination of the “Although Maryland ratified the ERA, deadline placed on the 1972 Equal Rights Maryland must provide support to assure Amendment (ERA). that Congress will eliminate the time limit, The ERA failed to secure the ratification making way for three more states to ratify of the required 35 states by the 1982 deadthe ERA,” explained Baltimore NOW line. Out of the 27 ratified ERA Task Force Chair MarConstitutional Amendments, lene Adrian. Adrian urged only four had time limits Marylanders to thank Senator imposed, with the most recent Cardin for his sponsorship amendment taking 203 years and Senator Barbara Mikulbefore becoming law. ski plus House Representative “‘Equality and Justice for Elijah Cummings for their All’ hangs above our Supreme previous co-sponsorship. She Court and yet it does not perasked that all constituents tain to any woman under the passionate about passing U.S. Constitution—queer or these pieces of legislation straight; that is, until the Equal call their representatives in United 4 Equality Rights Amendment is ratified Congress and request support CRO & Founder in the final three states needed,” Carolyn Cook for the three state strategy. explained Carolyn Cook of The states that still have United 4 Equality. “The ERA yet to ratify are: Alabama, will establish lesbians [and Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, all women] as full citizens Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, of the United States whose Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, civil rights can no longer be N. Carolina, Oklahoma, S. breached by state or federal Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. legislatures. With regard to fe“The LGBTQ community male salaries, safety, and service uniquely understands the in the 112th Congress alone, harmful effects of gender bias,” the Paycheck Fairness Act was said Cook. “To ignore, underBaltimore NOW defeated [and] the Violence estimate, or retreat from this ERA Task Force Against Women Act had not amendment to permanently Chair Marlene Adrian been re-authorized.” protect all persons against ERA proponents plan for discrimination on the basis of two bills to be introduced in Washington, one’s sex is to squander progress, prosperity, D.C., in March to eliminate the time limit and global peace.” retroactively, which would allow three more The text of the original ERA states, states to ratify to secure equal rights in the “Equality of rights under the law shall not constitution for women. be denied or abridged by the United States In 2012, then Congresswoman Tammy or by any state on account of sex.” Baldwin of Wisconsin introduced her bill “All the recent attacks by legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives with Congressmen, and corporations on women’s Ben Cardin, D-Md., introducing his in the reproductive and other rights would not Senate. These bills must be re-introduced in have a legal standing if we passed the ERA,” 2013. At the time of writing, Cardin will be said Adrian. BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

Since arriving in Baltimore from Las Vegas in 2011, artist/sculptor Denise Duarte has made countless significant and impactful contributions to the Charm City’s LGBT community. In 2012, Duarte co-organized the GLCCB History Project, a multipart video series, which featured more than a dozen stories from LGBT Baltimoreans spanning five decades. Duarte also recently helped reinstate the local Baltimore chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which had been dormant for years. As a leader in capturing Baltimore’s LGBT history, Duarte is heading up the Gay Life archive project, inventorying and preserving every issue of Gay Life’s almost 35 year run. Duarte is presently working on a portable “Garden of Diversity” sculpture, the significance of which is to “reframe the dialogue regarding the true nature of sexuality and identity utilizing the botanical world as a metaphor.” As she explains: [I]n nature, reproduction and gender are varied and often fluid... An exploration of nature’s diversity will highlight the benefits of a poly-cultural existence for humanity.” Explore and participate at

Maggie McIntosh

As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 1992, Del. Maggie McIntosh has long been one of the loudest, strongest voices in Baltimore’s LGBT community. In 2012, Del. McIntosh, the first openly gay person in the Maryland General Assembly, played a critical role in Maryland becoming the first state in the U.S. to vote for recognizing same-sex marriage by popular vote through her tireless work advocating, campaigning and educating both fellow lawmakers and constituents on the Civil Marriage Protection Act. As Diane Stollenwerk noted in her nomination of Del. McIntosh for the Baltimore Sun’s “Marylander of the Year,” (for which she was a finalist), McIntosh serves as “the consummate ‘woman of the people’ who respects all and works tirelessly to ensure that such respect is woven into life for everyone living in Maryland.” 

Mary Washington

2012 proved to be another year in which Del. Mary Washington endlessly advocated for the rights of her LGBT constituents in the state Capitol. Washington, one of eight LGBT members of the Maryland General Assembly, worked tirelessly on the passage of the Civil Marriage Protection Act. Earlier in the year, she was awarded the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship at the Kenny School in Boston. Not one to rest on the laurels of November’s marriage equality victory, Washington was the only elected official present at the vigil held in reaction to the attack and beating of Kenny Shaw, a gay man from East Baltimore, in late December. In her address to the crowd, she stated, “I am your delegate. When you knock us down we multiply.” Washington represents the 43rd district in the Maryland House of Delegates and is one of only two African-American lesbians to serve in a state legislature in the U.S.

MARCH 2013



GLCCB Elects New Board President At its Feb. 11 board meeting, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) elected Mike McCarthy as its new board president. McCarthy has served on the board for more than a year, most recently as its vice president. “In the past year, we have made significant progress toward setting the center on a new course that is consistent with the needs of the community,” said McCarthy. “My intention is to provide continuity of leadership and work with the rest of the board to continue the progress we’ve begun.” McCarthy said the board is looking for additional board members, especially lesbians, to help meet this goal. “I feel that it is important that we put more focus on outreach to the les-

bian community, as there is a misnomer [sic] that the GLCCB does not provide them with opportunities and programming,” he explained. “[W]e have both lesbian focused and general interest programming that would be of interest [to the lesbian community], and I believe there is simply an issue of effectively communicating that to the larger community. I greatly hope to find some lesbians who would be willing to lend their talents to the organization as members of the board, as I believe they would be the most able to effectively bridge this connectivity gap.” Community members interested in joining the board are encouraged to contact McCarthy at

Trans Protections Move Forward with Fairness for All Marylanders Act The Maryland State Senate introduced SB 449, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in Maryland with regard to housing, employment, credit and places of public accommodations.  The bill was introduced by Senator Rich Madaleno (D-18) and Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20) and 23 co-sponsors on Jan. 29. “We applaud the bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass this far-overdue piece of legislation and we are committed to assisting in the efforts for its passage,” said GLCCB Board Member and PFLAG Howard County President Matt Thorn. “Just as the transgender comPAGE 8

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munity has stood by the gay and lesbian people in the fight for marriage equality, it is crucial that the LGB and straight ally community now stand unwavering with our transgender and gender nonconforming loved ones and friends in the fight against discrimination, including the passage of comprehensive non-discrimination laws.” More information about the bill is located at and Supporters may sign a community petition ( FFAMA2013) to support protecting all Marylanders from discrimination and contact their elected officials in Annapolis ( and ask them to support the bill. GAY LIFE MAGAZINE



Local Author Takes on Taboos BY DANIELLE ARIANO Appearances can be deceptive. Jen Michalski’s new book, Could You Be With Her Now looks light and airy, but what’s inside is anything but. The book contains two novellas. The first, “I Can Make It to California Before It’s Time for Dinner,” tells the story of Jimmy, a mentally challenged 14-yearold boy who, echoing Steinbeck’s Lennie Small, accidentally kills a neighborhood girl. The story, told from Jimmy’s firstperson perspective, unfolds with a razor sharp tension created by the reader’s fuller grasp of a reality that Jimmy cannot process. When Jimmy winds up hitching a ride with an untrustworthy and questionable trucker, the reader is brought face-to-face with incomprehensible acts that occur every day, underlining our inability to protect innocents from danger. In “May-September,” the book’s second novella, a young writer named Alice is hired by the much-older Sandra to blog her memoirs for the benefit of her grandchildren. The two women quickly develop a fondness and love for one another. Despite the rapidity with which the bond between the women is developed, it never feels forced or contrived, as an unusual love story unfolds. The narration of “May-September”

Jen Michalski


shifts seamlessly between Alice and Sandra and the past and the present, which gives the reader a fuller picture of the two women’s lives and the circumstances that have brought them together. In one scene, Michalski manages, with sparse prose, to give the reader a glimpse into Sandra’s life as Alice looks at a collection of photos to be put up on the blog: “The photos were black and white, color bright, and faded. Torn edges, pin holes in corners, cigarette smelling, coffee splattered. Children in jumpers clutching dolls. A man with horn-rimmed glasses reading a book. The same man and Sandra standing in front of a jaguar convertible in a driveway, his fingers curling around her waist…Grade school, Sandra’s teeth as large as her eyes. Her high school graduation in 1958. Her marriage in 1960. Andrea’s birth in 1963. Sandra at the piano, various years, her hair long, blond, then bobbed, then cropped close to her skull.” As different as they are, each novella shows Michalski’s distinctive ability to explore difficult situations with a realistic and heartfelt sentiment. Gay Life had a chance to catch up with the author as her newest book was released: How did the structure of the book—two novellas contained in one book—come about? It wasn’t really intentional. They were both written at different times. The first one was written in 2008. May-September was 2010. I had a dream that was pretty much the novella and I woke up and I really wanted to write about it, but I didn’t think it would have an audience or interest. But as a writer, you don’t really get to choose what you write, it just sort of happens. After I had these two novellas and I thought, well, that was a great experiment but I didn’t really know what to do with them. I pitched Dzanc [the eventual publisher] with the idea of putting the two novellas together, inspired by the writer Josh Weil’s The New Valley. The novellas are really different but

they seem to play off of each other in different ways. People who have read the book find different things in common with the two novellas, things that they like that I hadn’t even really thought about. Both novellas contain topics that are a bit taboo in our culture, particularly the first story. Did you give much consideration to how your audience would react to the somewhat difficult material? It’s funny that you ask because I’ve always written a lot of, as my family would say, ‘disturbing’ things, but I’ve always had the shield of the small press or just independent journals or places where people don’t really see the work a lot. There may be an avenue for a critical acclaim, but you don’t have to worry about seeing your book on Amazon. So now that this book has a good distributor and it is going to be in places I do worry about it more now because I wonder how people are going to react to this, but I was really sincere with what I wanted to do with each story, so I just hope that people can see that sincerity in the writing. I was always really touched and moved by Flowers for Algernon. It was one of my favorite stories growing up. The first time I read it I didn’t understand it at all. I didn’t understand what was happening to Charlie. I guess that really stuck with me and I really wanted to experiment and have a Faulkner-esque sort of reality where the reader can figure out what’s going on but the character can’t because of their limitations or compromised reality.

I read that you do a lot of writing in your head. Did you live in the space of the main character, Jimmy, when you were writing the first novella? The story is told from his perspective, why did you make this narration decision? I was really intrigued by having these parameters of language where I could only use certain words and have a certain understanding of the world. I guess I lived in Jimmy’s reality that way, but I always knew that at some point I could never really be Jimmy, there was a buffer, a safety, a knowledge. When I first wrote it, it was a short story and I thought I was done with it, but then it just kept bothering me. Sometimes the characters will tell me that they need to be explored more and I guess in that way, I wasn’t Jimmy, but I felt like Jimmy was still in me somehow saying, ‘You really need to tell my story because I really don’t feel like you’ve given me my due.’ Jen Michalski’s new book, Could You Be With Her Now, by Dzank Books. Find info on how to purchase at MARCH 2013




Moveable Feast Gets Uncorked! BY TED BLANKENSHIP On March 18, don’t miss one of the most unique and fun events of the year—Uncorked! The annual event is held by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) and will benefit both their foundation and Moveable Feast, a local nonprofit that delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with AIDS or cancer.

This year’s theme is “Baltimore Rocks” and guests will enjoy visiting 11 distinct Baltimore neighborhoods, all without leaving the beautiful Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park. The most talented interior designers will design and create each neighborhood, representing the best of Baltimore. As they visit each one, attendants will enjoy paired food and beverages that are meant to compliment and highlight that area of the city. What makes Uncorked such a fun evening is that it is the only fundraiser that combines education, design, and food and wine pairings. The goal is to provide extraordinary food and beverage pairings along with creative designs in an exciting and enticing program. The evening will include a design competition scored by celebrity judges who will award and celebrate each neighborhood’s creativity. While guests visit each respective neighborhood, they can also bid in a silent auction for great packages for travel, entertainment, art, dining, and more. The evening will end with a “block themed” after party, where there will be dessert, enPAGE 10

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tertainment (including burlesque dancers!), and the announcement of award winners. This will be the first year that NACE has partnered with Moveable Feast for this fundraising event. The two organizations will work together for the next three years to grow the Uncorked event and support each other’s work. “I am excited to work with such a professional group of creative and talented caterers and event planners as NACE, and I’m grateful for their commitment to and support of Moveable Feast,” said Moveable Feast Executive Director Tom Bonderenko. “The most appealing part of the night is that you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable time, with delicious food and fun-loving people, all the while raising money to do good. Moveable Feast provides home-delivered nutritious foods to some of the most vulnerable folks in our communities. This is an event where everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the good of their community!”            Uncorked is an exciting, unique evening that you won’t want to miss.


March 18 • 5:30-11pm • $150 Baltimore Country Club 4712 Club Rd. T



The Spirit of Bankhead Stumbles into Baltimore in Looped BY DANIEL MCEVILY “And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me.” Those fourteen words, and the circumstances surrounding their utterance in a sound studio almost five decades ago, would be woven into a notorious, classic Hollywood tale and later come to serve as the inspiration for Looped, which comes to the Hippodrome March 5-17. Written by Matthew Lombardo, the play centers around Tallulah Bankhead, a storied (and oft-quoted) actress from the golden age of Hollywood famous for her unfiltered tongue, quick wit, and wild antics, who is summoned to a sound studio to redub, or loop, a single line of garbled dialogue from her last film, 1965’s British thriller Die, Die My Darling. The simple, routine task ultimately takes eight excruciating hours as the intoxicated Bankhead is unable to loop the line properly, much to the chagrin of her no-nonsense sound editor Danny Miller. Hilarity ensues and a marathon of wills commences, as Bankhead holds the editor captive in a bourbon-soaked, cigarette plume of chaos as she regales in tangents of gossip and scandals that have followed her career for decades, including tales of bedding both Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford and her disastrous turn in A Streetcar Named Desire. Looped stars Golden Globe and Emmy award nominated actress Stefanie Powers, perhaps best known to fans of ‘80s television as the female half of the glamorous crime-solving power couple in Hart to Hart. Powers’ role in Looped serves as a fun twist and perfect full-circle moment, as one of the actress’ first roles was starring alongside Bankhead in the very film that Looped is based upon. Joining Powers in the national tour, which launched earlier this year in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., are Brian Hutchinson, who plays sound editor Danny Miller and Matthew Montelongo as Steve.

Stefanie Powers

Looped originally premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2008, followed by stops in West Palm Beach, Fla., Washington, D.C., and finally, Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in 2010, where it closed after 25 performances and 27 previews. Emmy Award winner Valerie Harper starred in each production as Bankhead, and was slated to reprise her role in this year’s tour, but was forced to take medical leave after recently being hospitalized during rehearsals for Looped’s latest run. Harper, who received a Tony nomination for the role, praised the choice of Powers for the role saying in a statement to the press, “Stefanie is the perfect choice to take over this role. She is extraordinarily talented and will make one terrific Tallulah! I have called to give her my blessing and I urge everyone to go out and see this hysterically funny play and support Stefanie’s participation.” How will it end, and what gets Ms. Bankhead to finally nail her line? You’ll have to be held captive at the Hippodrome this March to find out.


March 5-17 Hippodrome Theatre 12. N. Eutaw St. W410.837.7400 T




Gay Men Sing Xanadu! BY FRANKIE KUJAWA With scintillating musical numbers and exhilarating choreography, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s production of Xanadu will have audiences lacing up their roller skates this month in search of their own handsome muse. The GMCW’s 32nd season brings us the campy tale of Kira, the Greek muse who is sent to Venice, Calif. on a mission to inspire men. As a result of this inspiration, an artist falls in love and creates his ‘masterpiece,’ the world’s first roller disco. “The stage musical unapologetically parodies the movie and the music—it’s a really clever, hilarious script,” said Cory Claussen, who plays the role of Greek muse Clio/ Kira, in a recent interview with Gay Life. “Because of this, I need to capture elements of Olivia Newton John or the jokes don’t


work as well, even though I’m playing Kira as a man. The character is definitely a mash up. Consider if Fat Amy (from Pitch Perfect) and Hugh Jackman had a love child that took fashion cues from Colin Farrell’s Alexander but was raised by Norma Desmond and Keanu Reeves.” Claussen, whose highlighted roles with the GMCW include Danny in Grease, Brad in Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as Sam for the GMCW-commissioned Alexander’s House, has been a member of GALA choruses since 2001. He is looking forward to the exuding optimism that comes with this role. “Clio/Kira is this youthful, notably blonde leader of nine immortal muses who come to Venice Beach to inspire an artist to achieve “perhaps the greatest art of time”—opening a roller disco. Not at all over the top.”

Cory Claussen

Ryan Williams

Joining Clio/Kira on this journey is muse Melpomene, Clio’s deviously sassy sister played with delicious flair by Ryan Williams. “There are two things I love best about playing Melpomene,” said Williams. “First, she was not a lead character in the motion picture and she’s pissed about that! Second, she’s not afraid to throw some serious shade over her sister’s sweet and sincere plans. You know the gays love a good diva and she’s giving it!” Williams, who has performed with GMCW over the last nine seasons, has played The Madame in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz and Baltimore’s drag empress, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. With plenty of campy musical numbers to draw upon, audiences can expect incredible performances filled with bravado. “The

final number, ‘Xanadu,’ is just total fun and will definitely leave the audience smiling.” Claussen added, “But, I think my duets with the two lead guys are my favorite—the classic sappy light pop rock ballad ‘Suddenly’ that I sing with the artist, Sonny, and an old school, big band number ‘Whenever You’re Away From Me’ with the real-estate developer Danny and his tap dancing younger self.” Along with the entertaining performances, audiences will also consider the philosophic ponderings weaved throughout the performance. As Claussen explained, “Besides the obvious, I’d say [the message is] to follow your heart. But that’s probably over-thinking it—it’s a pretty accessible show. So maybe the message is that sometimes theater is just about having fun.” Based on the hilarious ‘muse-ical’ numbers, roller-skating artistry, and compelling vocals, I think we have to agree with our muse.


Friday, March 15 • 8pm Saturday, March 16 • 8pm Sunday, March 17 • 3pm (ASL) $25-55 Lisner Auditorium at the George Washington University 730 21 St., NW • Washington DC W 202.293.1548 T

MARCH 2013




Chiapparelli's: Revisiting an Old Italian Favorite BY JOHN CULLEN WITH MARTY SHAYT Founded in the early 1940’s, Chiapparelli’s in the Little Italy neighborhood is still owned and operated by the family that bears the restaurant’s name. Marty was a fan of the Italian food and the iconic “Chip’s” salad back in the 1970s, and John became a fan in the mid-1980s. But downtown traffic and parking frustrations deterred us enough that we’ve only returned once in the past 15 years, about three years ago. Discovering a Restaurant Week $20 special for dinner, we were curious to compare our memories of “the Chip’s” from days of yore with the 2013 fare. Once inside, we were struck by how much it looks the same. Thirty years ago, the interior décor with exposed brick walls and contemporary art felt avant garde compared to other Little Italy restaurants. In 2013, the same style is now commonly echoed in renovated row houses all over Baltimore. We browsed the regular menu, in addition to the Restaurant Week menu while we munched on a hunk of white bread, which arrived with olive oil and butter. We found lots of old favorites on the regular menu including a dozen appetizers ($6-12) and two dozen entrees ($17-29, which include a salad). The regular menu’s prices made us, and our friends JT and Jerry, especially appreciate the Restaurant Week special. We started with a round of appetizers. Marty’s calamari fritti—lightly battered, not greasy and served with marinara sauce—was quite good. John’s sausage and


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peppers—slices of sausage and sautéed green pepper served with a small piece of garlic bread—made for a tasty starter. By contrast, JT was underwhelmed by his clams casino with clams so small that he had trouble identifying pieces of clam in the small hills of bread crumbs and bacon. Jerry’s arancine—fried rice balls stuffed fontina cheese and served with marinara— seemed dry and left him unenthusiastic. The Chip’s salad (once the talk of Baltimore and a motivation for dining at Chip’s) was served as a separate course. Large bowls heaping with iceberg lettuce, raw onion and a couple of cherry tomatoes smothered in the special Chip’s house dressing (which includes lots of grated parmesan cheese, finely diced egg, and garlic) proved delicious but difficult to finish. An interesting contrast to the more current style of salads with lightly dressed darker greens and a wider array of veggies, Chip’s salad is still a great dining experience and won an easy “Thumbs Up!” from both of us. While Marty had been eagerly anticipating the veal parmigiana, the reality was that Chip’s take on this classic wasn’t as outstanding as he recalled and not as good as he’s had elsewhere in the past year. John’s first impression of his seafood ravioli was that he had been accidentally served a large plate of creamy orange sauce! But buried in sauce, the ravioli and their seafood filling proved satisfying and tasty (though a tad too salty). Jerry judged his lasagna overall as tasty, but he wasn’t a fan of the unusually thick pasta. JT’s said the sauce on his chicken marsala had an unexpectedly sweet undercurrent that detracted from the tasty chicken. For dessert, our Restaurant Week special included a mini cannoli and plain cheesecake; we enjoyed both. How does Chiapperelli’s in 2013 compare with our past recollections? With the restaurant only half filled, inexplicably mixed service detracted from meal. We had to share one copy of the Restau-

rant Week menu when the server never brought us extra copies we requested, our food didn’t arrive hot, and the wine that we ordered only showed up when the entrées were almost finished even after twice reminding the server. While the salad remains a special experience, the rest of our meal didn’t seem as “Thumbs Up!” worthy as we remembered compared to our experience just three years ago. All of these reservations combined with driving through congested narrow Little Italy streets and paying $10 for valet parking when we couldn’t find on-street parking,

suggested an answer to why we’ve only eaten here twice in the past 20 years.


237 S. High St W410.783.7985 T Full Bar • Open Tues-Sun 11:30am-9pm $10 valet parking Email and find all prior reviews at


Your REALTOR® serving Baltimore and all surrounding counties. If you’re buying, selling, or just need friendly advice, call 443-310-8384. John L. Neubauer, Realtor® Long & Foster Real Estate Lake Roland Sales 410-377-2270 Office 443-310-8384 Mobile


MARCH 2013






ith over three decades in the entertainment game, comedian, actress, singer, activist and all around Renaissance woman Sandra Bernhard has built a career on challenging social mores with her thoughtful insights and sardonic tongue. Bernhard will be bringing her one-woman cabaret extravaganza to Frostburg, Md. and Washington, D.C. Feb. 28 - March 2 and recently spoke to Gay Life about her upcoming shows, the state of the union, and her love of Venus and Serena Williams.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia PAGE 14

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We’re excited to have you back in the Mid-Atlantic. What can fans expect from your upcoming shows in Frostburg, Md. and D.C.? The shows in Frostburg will be a little more stripped down. I’m coming in with my musical director Mitch Kaplan, so it will just


be me and the piano. It’ll be a little more intimate, but primarily the same show in terms of material and content. In D.C., I’ll have my full band, the Flawless Zircons and my musical director and guitar and drums. My shows are always comprised of material that’s curated from my life, my personal experiences, and the way the world affects me and my reflection back of the world to the audience, mixed in with groovy songs and big moments and thoughtful, whimsical moments. It’s like my own version of a Broadway mini-show, all by myself. In terms of material and your process, how do you keep it fresh not only for the audience, but for yourself? I constantly add in things that are happening in my life. Between my travels, the different things I do in my career, and the fact that I have a 14½ year-old daughter, my girlfriend, and our dog George, there’s always something going on that keeps it fresh. This D.C. show will be an interesting juxtaposition from your last show in D.C. in 2008, as we’ve been through two general election cycles. I know, it’s amazing, right? What are your thoughts about our president’s performance during his first four years in office? I think he’s been amazing. Despite the tremendous odds that have battled against him—the dark forces that have tried to pull him down, he has risen above it. Does he always pull it off? Is it always perfect? How the hell could it be? But considering everything, I’m delighted and support him fully. There have been those within the LGBT community who say that the president hasn’t done enough for the community. What would you say to those naysayers? I’d say, “Yeah I’m thrilled you feel that way. Imagine four years with John McCain or the next four years with Mitt Romney.” Not only would there be no forward movement, there would be backward movement. This is a process. We’ve gone from people who are vehemently anti-gay and homophobic to bringing over 60 percent of the American public on board with the idea and support of gay marriage. The shell has been cracked, the egg is out and it’s being tended to, but it has to be done incrementally or it will fall apart. I hate to get too far of ourselves here, but what do you think of the rumblings of Hilary in 2016? I think it’s fabulous. I think she’s the perfect woman to be the first female president. She is overqualified. She is passionate. She’s taken her lumps and she’s come out better than ever. I think her four years as secretary of state were phenomenal. She’s


a brilliant person and she’d be the perfect person to hand over the mantle to after eight years of Obama. Since Maryland becoming the first state to recognize marriage equality by popular vote will make your upcoming shows extra special. You attended a couple of fundraisers last fall for Maryland Marriage Equality. Yes I did. I met the governor and his wife, who I really enjoyed talking to. They’re very cool. Switching gears, I wanted to ask you as a pop culture and celebrity savant, who are you currently fascinated by? Well, it’s always a lot of different people. I love Serena and Venus Williams. I love tennis, but I specifically love them and they got me into watching tennis, besides John McEnroe, who I find a fascinating ongoing character in the sports world. I’m a football fan, so I followed all of the different teams this year. I found the whole gay locker room debate actually a positive thing. I think it’s opened up a lot of conversation in the sports world, as people were sort of being naïve about it who are now saying, “Well, I guess now we have face that reality.” In terms of things on television I love Modern Family and Downton Abbey. I’m also a big fan of Connie Britton, the actress who was on Friday Night Lights and Nashville. I’ve seen some amazing films this year, Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Argo were all amazing. Everyone in those projects were very inspiring to me this year. What upcoming projects can fans catch you in? There’s one big project for a scripted television show that I’m at the ground level of that I’m hoping comes together. I’m guest starring on The Neighbors on ABC in the next few weeks, and will be shooting an independent film in the fall, as well as continuing to go on the road and do my shows. It’s always a mix of TV and film stuff, and continuing to be a creative person and an actress for hire. 

LIVE! At StarScape Presents Sandra Bernhard Thursday, Feb. 28, 7:30pm & Friday, March 1  8pm  $32 Frostburg State University 101 Braddock Rd.  Frostburg Saturday, March 2, 8pm  $35-40 The Howard Theatre 620 T St., NW  Washington, DC

MARCH 2013



Prime Timers Welcome Gay Seniors “I felt alone when I first moved to Baltimore,” explains Lee Fischer, the 75-yearold outgoing president of the local chapter Prime Timers, a social group for older gay and bisexual men. “It was like when I was growing up and I thought I was the only one.” Speaking with Fischer, one gets an immediate sense of how important community is to him. Fischer speaks softly and affectionately about the importance of groups like Prime Timers of Baltimore. The group is one of 75 chapters of the Prime Timers Worldwide organization, whose mission is to enrich the lives of older gay and bisexual men, and the younger men who admire them. At around 70 members, the Baltimore chapter presents several social events a month for its members and acts as an organizing entity through which gay and bisexual men throughout the region can keep in touch. As one might expect, the group has a broad range of interests. In addition to the monthly meetings, brunches, bingo nights, and dining-out events, the Prime Timers of Baltimore connect over shared interests in a number of smaller groups who meet to share hobbies from antiques to films, video games to nudism. “We share a lot of common interests— opera and many other non-sporting events,” Lee jokes. Yet when the group assembled recently for their February members’ meeting, a week after the Raven’s Super Bowl victory, several of the men were proud to sport their black and purple. At the national and international level, the parent organization offers a chance to connect with members of other Prime Timers groups during travel. Through this connection, Lee recently had a chance to meet and spend time with older gay men during travels to Minneapolis and Portland. PAGE 16

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Of course, there is a lot more to Prime Timers of Baltimore than antiques and outings. Being organized also allows the men to get the attention of businesses. When marriage equality was passed in Maryland in 2012, the group was contacted by a Marriott Hotels representative interested in offering spaces for weddings and receptions. Additionally, the group has brought in representatives for their speaker series from organizations like AARP and senior-living communities to discuss issues unique to aging same-sex-loving men. “We’ve also had a lot going on medically with people of age,” Fischer points out. His group has supported its members by helping them stay in touch with those in the hospital, organizing calls and visits. The group has even arranged transportation when needed for medical appointments. In addition to all the other issues facing aging men, same-sex-loving men must cope both with the fact that they are still the population most heavily affected by HIV infection, and that despite advances in hospital visitation rights over the last couple years, sexual and gender minorities still face regular roadblocks when interacting with hospitals and nursing homes. Fischer is quick to point out the importance of groups like his in cities like Baltimore, which lacks a local chapter of the national group for GLBT seniors, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). The connection between many of the men is tight. During meetings, the men poke jokes at each other, yet they are proud to celebrate each other’s milestones. Fischer prepares a monthly newsletter that promotes upcoming events, keeps members abreast of each other’s lives and, of course, honors the birthdays of Baltimore Prime Timers. The newsletter is not only printed online, but also mailed to mem-

bers for the sake of those less comfortable with internet use. Fischer is in his final stretch as the president of the local chapter; on March 1, he will step down to make way for the incoming president Ralph Welsh, who was voted in during the group’s annual election at the February members’ meeting. Welsh said at the meeting that his goal is to expand the visibility and availability of the organization in the coming year. “My journey to find Prime Timers was considerable,” said Welsh. “There are more men out there like me and I want to ease their struggle to find us.” Welsh already has begun to expand the group’s speaker series, and while the group has already been present at Baltimore’s Pride Festival, Welsh hopes to see Prime Timers march-


ing in the parade in 2013. Fischer won’t be stepping away completely; during that same election he was voted to the position of secretary, where he will handle much of the group’s communication. During his final moments at the helm, Fischer handed out certificates thanking many of the members who were present for the work they had done over the last year. In return for this, and for a year of service to the club, the members offered him a standing ovation before he closed the meeting.  PRIME TIMERS OF BALTIMORE P. O. Box 22122 Baltimore, MD 21203

Prime Timers of Baltimore Incoming President Ralph Welsh & Outgoing President Lee Fischer



St. Joseph's Manor

Stella Maris



Aging In Place Whether you are caring for elder parents or considering your own future living environment as you grow older, the goal is often to live at home for as long as possible. The key to achieving this goal is in planning ahead and adapting the standards used in the design of assisted living facilities to your living spaces. With some minor—and some major—alterations, every home can be safer and more comfortable for aging in place. A number of design standards from assisted living facilities that can be adapted for the home include the following:


Falling is the number one cause for older individuals to be hospitalized and eventually moved to a rehabilitation center or assisted living residence. Carpet with a tight, firm weave and thinner carpet pads reduce the possibility of falling. Never, under any circumstances, use throw rugs. For large area rugs, remove any side fringe. The less floor surface changes, the less chance of a fall.


All living spaces should be on one floor including laundry room, bathroom, and bedroom. Climbing and descending steps

Villa Assumpta

is difficult for strength, balance, and depth perception. If steps are required, whether the number of steps is two or ten, install handrails on both sides of the stairwell.


Door thresholds should be flat. Raised thresholds are a tripping hazard and an obstacle for walkers and canes. A raised threshold also makes every room inaccessible for wheelchairs.


For general storage, remove all high shelves and keep items at eye-level or lower. This includes pantries, linen closets, and cabinets. Keep in mind, reaching also causes falling.


For “graspability” purposes, change all door, cabinet, and faucet hardware from knobs to levers. This will give the individual a better grip when trying to turn on or off the faucets or open and close the doors.


Many falls occur in the bathroom and for that reason it is one of the most dangerous rooms in a home. By installing


BY BRIAN G. MINNICH handrails by the bathtub, toilet, and sink the risk of accidents are greatly reduced. Towel racks, if grabbed for support, will come loose or detach from the wall, so it is advised that they be removed. Use the handrails instead. The largest hazard is the tub, as most individuals fall forward getting into it. While most homes feature some sort of tub, maybe even an oversized soaking tub, consider installing a stand up shower instead—and remember to include a seat in the shower. If a shower is not possible, secure the tub with a sufficient number of handrails.


If the stove controls are behind the range, replace with a model where the controls are to the front and need to be pushed in to turn. Place the microwave on a counter, not up on a shelf. Again, reaching causes falls, and removing hot plates or bowls from an elevated position could cause hazardous spills and potential burns as well.


Windows—particularly those where reaching is required—can be difficult to push up and pull down. Casement windows, or those with a crank, are

easier to open and close because of the “graspability.”


A must for older individuals: a phone in every room of the house. Or ensure the individual has a mobile phone on them at all times. Phones are a lifeline for help and a phone in each room—or on their person—reduces the chance of falling when rushing to pick up. Programmable thermostats also add to the comfort of the home. For those who like to change the temperature frequently, find a program that is easily understood or one that you can adjust remotely. In addition, ceiling fans should have long chains or be turned on and off with a wall-mounted control.


Furniture can make a big difference in the comfort of a home—it can also be potentially unsafe. Make sure chairs have arms, and that those arms are hardsurfaced or have foam padding for ease in getting in and out. Skip a tie-on chair pad, which can slip and cause a fall. Also, consider getting rid of the coffee table and ottoman—which turn into obstacles —in favor of smaller end tables. 

Brian G. Minnich, AIA, LEED AP, is a Project Manager and Architect, Rubeling & Associates, of one of the mid-Atlantic’s leading architecture and interior design firms. With over 30 years in business, Rubeling & Associates specializes in assisted living and healthcare as well as education, religious, corporate office, campus spatial master planning, and local government projects. For more information, or to contact the author, please visit or email BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

MARCH 2013



"Confirmed Bachelor" Lands in Baltimore


Seeing how he transformed the plain yard of his Maryland home since he bought it 15 years ago, Paul Gregory’s neighbors can see that the 87-year-old “bachelor” is an avid gardener with a darn good eye for landscape design. Raised in Norwalk, Conn., Gregory demonstrated a love of drawing and art early on. During high school, his parents arranged for him to take lessons with Harry Townsend, an artist famous for his battlefield illustrations of World War I. But Gregory’s father cautioned him that most artists couldn’t make enough to support themselves. As soon as he turned 18, Paul enlisted in the Navy. Three years later, with World War II over, he took advantage of the GI bill and graduated from Yale in 1950. Eager to explore the world, he soon moved to New York City and began working in advertising. It was there hanging out in saloons like the famous P.J. Clarke’s where he met another young man who helped him with coming out. A few years later and still filled with wanderlust, the two of them were off to the West Coast and ended up in San Francisco, Calif. around 1954. There keeping a low profile in the style of the times, Gregory started referring to himself as a “bachelor,” a euphemism for being a gay man—usually accompanied by a wink and gleam in his eyes. As things will happen, both he and his first friend got involved with other men. Gregory met a handsome guy who lived down the coast near Carmel, Calif. In Carmel, he went back to school for a year to get accredited as a teacher and taught school for nearly the next decade before his wanderlust overtook him and his partner and they went off to Europe. With a shared desire to see the world, they managed to finesse a PAGE 18

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Paul Gregory in 1954

long stay first in England and later in Spain’s Costa del Sol. But when fate intervened, Gregory returned to the US to become a caregiver for his ill mother at their family home for the next ten years. Later retired and living in coastal Connecticut in the 1980s, his interest in the arts resurfaced and he took courses in painting at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and became a docent at the Florence Griswold Museum, which is renowned for its American impressionist art. Ready for a change from New England, Gregory found himself captivated with Maryland and moved to Baltimore around in the mid-1990’s. He took advantage of the Prime Timers, a local social club for senior gay and bisexual men, to make a few new friends. He also started attending St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, an early leader in the “Reconciling in Christ” movement, which makes a point of welcoming gay and lesbian parishioners. These days, in addition to his gardening, Gregory actively paints with his easel carefully positioned in front of a north-facing window. In fact, there are about a 100 wonderful oil portraits and landscapes scattered around the house, which only a very few friends have ever seen. No longer driving, Gregory has a friend who helps him with the house, takes him grocery shopping and to doctor appointments as well as weekend “eat outs” and drives in the countryside. Amazingly, he has also just in the past three years learned how to use a PC and takes advantage of the internet to stay in touch with the world. Seeing him flirt with a waiter or eye someone across the room, it’s clear though that being 87 years old hasn’t gotten in the way of appreciating a good looking man!  GAY LIFE MAGAZINE

Local Senior Health Study Underway


Older LGBT adults are a population who are under-served by the medical community and whose needs are understudied by social scientists. With the number of lesbian and gay individuals age 65 and over in the U.S. currently estimated to be between 1.4 and 3.8 million (and expected to double by 2030) research on this population is crucial. As LGBT persons age and become frail, they may need increasing care in residential care settings, such as assisted living and nursing homes. There has been remarkably little research on the health, social support, and care needs of mature LGBT adults with regard to residential care settings and on the suitability of these settings to attend to their needs. This is important given the enduring biases against LGBT persons in both society and health care. Despite increasing openness about LGBT issues in society, heavy stigmatization still exists. In senior housing and in other health care settings for older adults, LGBT persons may be ignored, dismissed, and openly discriminated against, causing many to feel isolated, socially rejected, and at risk for unmet health care needs. This makes the research on the best arrangements for residential care all the more pressing. Also important is the increasing longevity of those with HIV infections, an issue rarely considered in senior housing. This is a particular gap with respect to the African-American population, which experiences disproportionately greater HIV and AIDS rates and lesser access to health care. As research has shown, interpersonal relations in assisted living and nursing homes are based on traditional concepts of heterosexual marriage and the biological (nuclear) family. We have found that assisted living and nursing home settings rarely consider alternative, non-standard BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

social forms such as partnerships, samegender marriage, and families of choice. Previous research indicates that families are critical in making key decisions about housing options for their aging relatives, and play a significant role in the adjustment of those residents as they move into residential care settings. The Center for Aging Studies has expanded its research focus to include the unique challenges faced by older LGBT adults. Housed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UMBC, it is the administrative and intellectual home for funded research projects totaling more than $21 million. Topics of interest at the Center include quality of life and care, social relations within residential settings, autonomy, suffering, the culture of food, and diabetes in the urban community. The Center is currently developing two research projects in the BaltimoreWashington area focusing on LGBT older adults. One study proposes to examine the health and care needs of older LGBT adults residing in assisted living and explore how these needs are being met. The goal of the second proposed study is to understand how communitydwelling lesbian and gay adults, age 65 and older, perceive assisted living and nursing homes as residences and as places to provide their social, care, and health needs. We intend to also explore how “family” is defined and used in everyday life. These studies and others like them will not only increase knowledge of current and future needs of LGBT older adults but most importantly will have a positive impact on their lives through changes in policy and provision of care. Both studies are expected to last approximately four years once funding is secured. Look for updates and additional information in a future issue of Gay Life.  MARCH 2013


Beginner Yoga As LGBT individuals, our experience in the cyber-speed world around us becomes more integrated and fluid when we regularly create time to center, focus, and enjoy therapeutic activities that “re-boot,� strengthen, and support us. Join Registered Yoga Therapist Tim Hurley (Yoga Alliance Certified E-RYT-500) weekly for Gentle Hatha Yoga at a slower, more human pace and re-encounter your own natural state of integrity and harmony. Sundays at 3:30pm (please arrive a few minutes early) Room 201 at The GLCCB 241 W. Chase St. Cost is $9 or call 410.837.5445. A portion of the cost is donated back to The GLCCB


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TN Bill Would Out LGBT Students TENNESSEE In its latest iteration, the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill—now called the “Classroom Protection Act”—prohibits “classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction” in grades kindergarten through eight in Tennessee. The bill specifically excludes “answering in good faith” questions students ask. Instead, the student will have to see the school counselor and the conversation will then be reported to the student’s parent or guardian. The Tennessee Equality Project questions the “chilling” effect on counseling when a student has personal questions of identity that need to be explored with care and discretion. They argue that, because counselors will be required to notify parents or guardians after counseling takes place, students will be left without any confidential resource in a place where they might be enduring bullying or other issues related to their sexuality, gender, or other factors.

Phelps’ Family Members Leave Westboro KANSAS The Westboro Baptist Church, known for its PAGE 22

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inflammatory anti-LGBT demonstrations, has lost two high-profile members. Granddaughters the church’s founder and pastor, Fred Phelps Sr., announced their defection in an online statement. Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister, Grace, expressed regret for their past actions, but also admitted that it was difficult to leave the only life they had ever known behind.”We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people,” they wrote. “Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.” According to the statement, the girls and their family are no longer speaking. “We know that we dearly love our family,” they said. “They now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they are well-intentioned. We will never not love them.” After the announcement, Steve Drain, a spokesman for the Westboro group, told the Kansas City Star that if Megan and Grace don’t return to the church, they will “go to hell.”

Pentagon to Extend Some Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses WASHINGTON, D.C. The Pentagon announced that it will extend new benefits to the spouses of gay personnel. According to the Associated Press, it is likely that the benefit will include housing privileges, access to base recreational facilities, and joint duty assignments for uniformed

couples. However, the AP also reported that the Pentagon is unlikely to find a way to offer health-care coverage and more than 100 other spousal benefits while the Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman — remains in effect. In related news, President Obama is considering issuing an Executive Order offering protections to gays and lesbians who work for government contractors if Congress doesn’t pass broader legislation for protection of gays and lesbians in the workplace. A letter signed by 37 senators was sent to Obama urging him to do just that.

Facebook Users Save “Gay” Dog TENNESSEE A Tennessee man left his dog at a Jackson, Tenn. animal shelter because he believed the dog to be gay. The healthy American Bulldog mix was scheduled to be put down when a woman put a post on Facebook about the dog. “His owner threw him away bc [sic] he refuses to have a ‘gay’ dog!” she wrote. “Don’t let this gorgeous dog die [because] his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior!” Word spread quickly via the social media network and was eventually picked up by the blog, Gawker. The Tennessean reported that, as a result of the story, the shelter was inundated by calls from people wanting to save the dog and he was quickly adopted by the canine rescue group, WOOF Connections.

Paternity Suit Ends in Birth Certificate Listing Three Parents FLORIDA A Miami-Dade circuit judge approved a private adoption allowing three people—a gay man and a married lesbian couple—to be listed on the birth certificate of their 23-month-old daughter. This decision is the result of a two-year legal battle for paternity in which a lesbian couple did not want to share parental rights with their friend who donated his sperm. According to the Miami Herald, Massimiliano “Massimo” Gerina, only did so because he was under the assumption that he would be able to participate in the child’s life. Before the case was set to go to trial, the attorneys for all parties settled. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin approved the settlement and the court adoption clerk submitted paperwork for the child’s new birth certificate.

Former First-Round Draft Pick Arrested for Assaulting Ex CALIFORNIA Former San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Raiders offensive lineman Kwame Harris was publicly outed after being arrested for assaulting his ex-boyfriend. GAY LIFE MAGAZINE

According to the San Mateo County Times, Harris broke bones around Dimitri Geier’s eye socket resulting in a metal plate being installed in his face to repair the physical damage from the beating. Harris was subsequently arrested.

Happy Valentine’s from Ill. Senate ILLINOIS Illinois is one step closer to becoming the 10th state to grant gays and lesbians the right to marry. On Valentine’s Day, the state Senate approved legalizing gay marriage in a vote one backer described as “one for the history books.” The Chicago Sun Times reported that the legislation, which was authored by state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), passed 34-21 will now be sent to the House.

‘Third Gender’ IDs to be Issued in Nepal NEPAL The government of Nepal will soon begin issuing third gender IDs for Nepali citizens who do not identify as male or female. According to the Associated Press, Nepal’s Supreme Court voted in favor of third gender citizen certificates in 2007, but it has taken over five years to implement the decision. In late January, Nepal Home Ministry official Bhola Siwakot said that the order to issue third gender citizen certificates was sent to all district administration offices and that the ID will be available free of charge for anyone who wants it.

French Lawmakers Move Marriage, Adoption Rights Forward

Britain Steps Closer to Marriage Equality


GREAT BRITAIN The House of Commons voted 400-175 in favor of allowing same-sex couples to wed in the U.K. According to the BBC, a slight majority of conservatives (136) voted to kill the legislation; 127 were in favor of the bill, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favor and against. The bill is, however, strongly backed Prime Minister David Cameron. The measure must be approved by the House of Lords before it can become a law.

Sochi Olympics Will Test Gay Rights RUSSIA The 2014 Winter Olympics is set to take place in Sochi, Russia, where some of the most draconian LGBT legislation is working its way through parliament. A number of openly LGBT athletes say they worry they’ll be forced to go back into the closet to avoid running afoul of the law. The US’s openly gay figure skater Johnny Weir, who spends a lot time in Russia, offered some advice for his fellow athletes: “Watch what you do when you leave the [Olympic] Village, don’t be aggressive, don’t wear a big rainbow flag fur coat.” As Gay Life has previously reported, the bill, which is expected to pass, would outlaw “homosexual propaganda” making public events that promote gay rights and public displays of affection by same-sex couples illegal. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws.

Canadian Gov. to Review Funding of Anti-Gay Evangelicals



The controversial bill that would grant French gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry and adopt passed its first major hurdle last month. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the most important article of the new law, redefining marriage as an agreement between two people of opposite or same sex. France 24 reported that deputies met for a rare weekend session at the French parliament after it was decided that 14 consecutive days would be dedicated to working on the bill. Despite a large protest against the bill in January, statistics show a growing majority support it with 63 percent in favor of marriage equality.

The Canadian government announced plans to review its funding of an anti-gay evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a “perversion.” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has denounced homophobia in Uganda and the country’s plans for an anti-gay law—which includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”—however, the Crossroads Christian Communications (CCC) has received $544,813 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The minister responsible for CIDA, Julian Fantino, was made aware of the situation and asked the organization to be put under review.

Find more LGBT news online at BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM


MARCH 2013




Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Welcomes All BY PAIGE HUNTER Sunday morning, and the Reisterstown area is full of fog. But there are many cars in the parking lot of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and a steady stream of people walking into the building for religious education and Hebrew classes—adults, families, children who don’t seem to mind being up early on a weekend morning. It’s after Shabbat, but people are still taking the time out to be here. Personally skittish, thanks to previous visits to religious institutions, I look for signs of unwelcome. But as I enter, there aren’t any. An elderly woman holds open the door for me. There are sheaves of newsletters and notices of new programs. There are already lively Torah lessons, arguments about letters and words, going on around me. Differences of opinion are welcome—and I am welcome. I get into a conversation with a lady in the lobby, who talks about her autistic daughter. The synagogue of Baltimore Hebrew is welcoming, she says: autism or otherwise, it does not matter. Anyone can come and be counted here. I am glad for it—there are plenty of people with disabilities, LGBT or otherwise. And I am glad for the friendly atmosphere, that even a stranger could come and strike up a conversation. The rabbis of old who commented on the Torah assumed welcome: they are now revered as sages and wise men who helped teach generations upon generations after them. Maybe they were on to something. Maybe we lost something, that sense of welcome, having been berated by religious communities and clergy members for years. I go to meet the rabbi I am here to see.

Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen


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Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen is a petite woman, and friendly—her office is filled with books, but with plenty of open space. It too, is welcoming—as is she. A native of Virginia, she went into the rabbinate a little later than others might. During her rabbinical studies, she also came out as lesbian—and when it was time to look for a rabbinical post, she was told by rabbis of the time that her sexual orientation was no problem. “They said… ‘you’re the inheritor of the struggle we fought—it wouldn’t be a problem’, and I found out that wasn’t entirely true… some of the difficulty that process entailed was because the congregations hadn’t thought [of welcoming or not welcoming lesbian and gay clergy], and being new to my own gay reality it wasn’t so easy to make people feel at ease with me as a lesbian rabbi. I hadn’t had much time in that identity to say that they didn’t have to worry, that I wasn’t going to be a force that causes discord in their congregations.” But in Jewish tradition, what matters is your actions. And after she spoke during High Holy Day services at her first congregational placement, she received a note from a member who had been uncomfortable about bringing her on as a rabbi there. “It was a very Jewish thing for him to do,” she detailed as I brought up the timing of it. “I had only been there for several months.” The ten-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are traditional days of reflection and asking forgiveness: the member had taken this time to reflect and ask her forgiveness that he had been concerned over having an out rabbi. Nowadays, she said, she can definitely say she is not a force of discord. With Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, the fight for convincing the congregation was already over, and if anything congregants sometimes forgot the differences between her marriage to her partner and their own marriages. “Taxes will come up… and I have to file separately. So they forget that there are still some important differences, too.” In today’s climate of LGBT rights clashing with some religious groups, of tolerance being preached as well as hatred and panic, Rabbi Sachs-Cohen and the atmosphere at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation is a hidden jewel. All are welcome.


7401 Park Heights Ave. W410.764.1587



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Health, Aging, and LGBT Individuals BY ALICIA GABRIEL, CHASE BREXTON HEALTH SERVICES WITH TRACEY GERSH, PHD, CHASE BREXTON HEALTH SERVICES We see it happening to other people. And, we know it will happen to us, too. But we think it won’t happen to us for a long, long time. But, dare we say it, we are growing older. We and our primary care providers know the typical effects of aging—the tests everyone needs, the struggles we all deal with in one way or another. But, as members of LGBT communities, we may not realize there are specific age-related issues that are more prevalent in our communities. In 2011, the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging backed the first federally funded study specifically on LGBT seniors’ health called The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults. Here are a few of the findings.


The majority of older (50 and up in this study) LGBT adults in the project are sexually active and most engage in moderate exercise, wellness activities, and participate in health screenings.


Excessive drinking, drug use, smoking, and HIV-risk behaviors are especially prominent for older LGBT individuals between the ages of 50 and 64. Significantly higher than for those aged 65 and older.


More than 20 percent of us don’t tell our primary care provider our sexual orientation or gender identity. We may be closeted for a reason: 1 in 10 of us have been denied health care or been treated inadequately because of our sexual orientation or gender identity. This writer cannot say this enough: who you are is vital to your health. Your provider can only help you if you’re honest with them. If you’re not comfortable with your provider, you are important enough to find a new one! PAGE 26

MARCH 2013


No exclamation point on that one.  One-third of us are depressed.  Worse, 48 percent of older transgender adults report depression.  39 percent of us have considered (quite seriously) suicide. The numbers of adult LGBT suicides have yet to be quantified.

WE MAY FEEL LONELY— BUT WE’RE NOT ALONE IN THAT!  59 percent of us report lacking companionship;  53 percent of us feel lonely;  53 percent of us feel isolated. Do you feel lonely, isolated, and left out? Check out the GLCCB for different ways to get out and meet others, and join Senior Pride at Chase Brexton Health Services— two very unique discussion groups for LGBT individuals 55 and over.

WE NEED ACCESS TO CARE! Cost, insurance, and fears keep us away. But here are some upsetting numbers:

 22 percent of older transgender adults do not access care because of cost;  About 15 percent of older LGBT adults fear accessing care outside the LGBT community;  1 in 5 older LGBT adults do not get routine physical exams (cost, insurance, and fears as the main reasons) Community health centers, like Chase Brexton and Whitman-Walker, are accessible for all regardless of insurance, and have a specific focus on LGBT populations. So, as we grow older, we don’t have to fear care in places like these. Want to learn more? Visit the Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) website at GAY LIFE MAGAZINE



10 Questions to Ask Yourself Now to Start Your Retirement Planning BY YOSHIKO HAYAKAWA

We all have a vision of a happy retirement. For some, it will include relaxation and travel, while others may choose to continue working. However, with more and more retirees living longer than ever before, two things are clear—you have to be prepared and you are never too young to start. First, we have to focus on the financial side of the equation. Without the financial foundation it will be very difficult to live any kind of satisfying retirement. Second, you have to give careful thought to your vision of happy retirement, which includes all the non-financial aspects as well. Here are 10 important questions you need to answer to start your retirement planning:

mal retirement age and sometime they just have to. If you do, try to set up a second career before leaving your full time job.

Do you know how much money you will need to support your lifestyle in retirement?

How will you deal with physical limitations in later years?


It is actually very important to identify what is important to you in a retirement location. Then research your retirement location candidates.


Do you have enough interests and hobbies to avoid driving your partner or spouse crazy?

This is actually a very serious question, and you may have to reevaluate your current lifestyle as well.


How much money you are spending for your current life style? That will give you a good idea how much money you will need to support your lifestyle in retirement. Honestly look at where your money is going. Look for the waste. Your estimate may be a little smaller which may help you identify the way to cut down current expenses.

2 3

How much do you need to save?

Do you have a strategy for building your retirement assets?


Does your retirement plan include distribution and retirement cash flow strategy?

It is often too late to come up with your distribution strategy by the time you have reached your retirement age. Market volatility may have eaten away at some of the assets you were counting on. You have to BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

Will you retire in your current location or move?

9 have a distribution strategy while you are still accumulating retirement assets.


What are your 401(k) rollover options?

For most of us, 401(k) saving is one of our largest retirement assets. However, many people forget to decide what to do with them after they switch employers. Knowing all your options can make the difference between having a comfortable retirement and not having one at all.


Would you like to continue working in some capacity?

Sometime people want to work after nor-

Since many retirees are expected to live beyond 80, long term care needs are a serious possibility. You must have some plan.


Did you find a financial professional with whom you can start the discussion about retirement planning? Yes, there are so many things you need to think about. It may be much easier to do it with someone who knows a lot about retirement planning. It is never too early to start conversation with trusted financial professionals. Visit for the extended version of this article.

This educational third-party article is being provided by Yoshiko Hayakawa PhD., MBA, Financial Adviser offering investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser, Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC), A Licensed Insurance Agency (1954 Greenspring Dr, Suite 700, Timonium, MD, 21093) and an Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Yoshiko at for greater Baltimore area and contact Daniel at for greater Annapolis area. These services are strictly intended for individuals residing in MD. * Products available through one or more carriers not affiliated with New York Life Insurance Company; dependent on carrier authorization and product availability in your state or locality.

MARCH 2013



MARCH 2013




Fierce Chicks Rock Karaoke Smackdown Feb. 2 at Liam Flynn's Ale House PHOTOS BY BILL HUGHES

Miss Gay Baltimore 2013 Pageant Hosted by Josie Foster Feb. 8 at Club Hippo PHOTOS BY JAY W.


MARCH 2013







AWARDS •2 0 1 3 •


The Apple Don’t Fall

A new play by Brent Englar. $12-15 • Thru 3/23 Mobtown Theater 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Ste 114

Proudest. Happy Hour. Ever. You nominated. You voted. You showed your pride. And on Wednesday, March 13, you are invited to join The GLCCB, Gay Life, and the LGBT community's favorites, families, and friends for the first annual BProud Awards Happy Hour (aka The Proudest Happy Hour EVER!). In December and January, hundreds of community voters provided feedback to Gay Life about the people, places, organizations, and institutions that make LGBT people and their allies proud to live, work, and play in the Baltimore area. This BProud Awards Happy Hour is our chance to cheer in person for the BProud Award winners, runners-up, and nominees. Don’t wait for June to celebrate LGBT Pride! Gather with us at the BProud Award-winning Club Hippo for drink specials, food from Bohème Café, and a special BProud Awards presentation ceremony. You’ll get to mix and mingle with some of your favorite folks—plus YOU could also be a winner if you stay on with us for Gay BINGO at the Hippo, too! The complete list of BProud award honorees was published in the February issue of Gay Life. If you missed the print edition, check out the digital edition here:


Saturday, March 13 • 6-8 pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. T T


MARCH 2013

Looped at the Hippodrome

(See article p. 10)

THURSDAY, MARCH 7 Baltimore NOW Happy Hour

Social event for empowered women 6-8pm • Howard’s of Mount Vernon 900 Cathedral St

Hip Hop Night at Club Hippo

Get your dance on every Thursday. Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.


Sandra Bernhard (PHOTO)

(See article p. 14)

SATURDAY, MARCH 2 Moveable Feets! Get Funky!

Dance party fundraiser for Moveable Feast. $12-20 suggested donation • 8pm Metro Gallery • 1700 N. Charles St.

$45-65 • 8pm • Thru 3/9 The Lyric • 140 W. Mt Royal Ave.

SATURDAY, MARCH 9 Intersections: Sexuality, Gender, Race and Ethnicity

Quest for Talent: Preliminaries

Symposium includes author Keith Boykin and Prof. Kelly Brown Douglas 9am-5pm • Morgan State University 1700 E. Cold Spring Ln. University Student Center 2nd Floor


Women share secret hopes and fears. $12-17 • 8pm • Thru 4/7 Fells Point Corner Theatre • 251 South Ann

Cash and other prizes for each round. The Quest Bar • 3607 Fleet St.

ASGRA Monthly Trail Ride

$25-30 • 11am Piscataway Stables 10775 Piscataway Rd. • Clinton RSVP to 202-352-2356 •

Burlesque 101 — Bethesda Part 1

Get your PHd—Pretty Hot Degree. $110 • 2-3pm Chic Physiqe Fitness • Bethesda Studio 4931 St. Elmo Ave. • Bethesda

MONDAY, MARCH 4 Karaoke with Nikki Cox at Grand Central

Les Belles Soeurs (The Sisters-in-Law)

SHE Productions Presents REHAB

$5 • 21+ • 2nd Saturdays 9pm Grand Central Disco and Sapphos 1001 N. Charles St.

Gay Life BProud Awards 2013 Happy Hour

Celebrate the establishments and organizations that make us proud. 6pm • Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St.

God of Carnage

2009 Tony Award Winner for Best Play. $32-38 • 7:30pm • Thru 4/7 Everyman Theatre • 315 W. Fayette St.

Mud Blue Sky

World premiere by Marisa Wegrzyn. $50 opening night ($20-46 after) • 8pm Centerstage • 700 N. Calvert St.

THURSDAY, MARCH 14 Broke Wide Open

Emotionally gripping, spiritually giving. $5-25 • 8pm • Thru 3/30 Strand Theater Company 1823 N. Charles St.


LGBT country fans go wild west! $5 • 18+ • 8pm Overlea Event Center • 6809 Belair Rd.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Recognize the impact of the HIV epidemic on women and girls. U.S. Positive Women’s Network

Spire Series: Gary Vikan

Sing your heart out every Monday and Tuesday night. Grand Central Nightclub 1001/1003 N. Charles St.



Lord of the Dance



Retiring Walters’ Director lectures on Shroud of Turin $5-15 • 2pm First and Franklin St Presbyterian 210 West Madison St.

From creator Michael Flatley. $45-65 • 8pm The Lyric • 140 W. Mt Royal Ave.

Free State Legal’s Will Power Party

For low-income LGBT individuals and families. FREE • 6:30-8pm The GLCCB 241 W. Chase St.

Rihanna: Diamonds World Tour

See the epic performer live. $35-125 • 7:30pm 1st Mariner Area • 201 W. Baltimore St.

GMCW: Xanadu

(See article p 11)

CLAP IV: Meet and Greet

Chesapeake Leather Awareness and Pride 9pm-2am • Triple L • 227 W. Chase St.



SATURDAY, MARCH 16 Women’s Expo

150 exhibitors from women-based businesses. $5 • 10am–5pm • Thru 3/17 CCBC Catonsville Gym (L Building) 800 S. Rolling Rd. 443.615.7311 •

2012 Mid-Atlantic LeatherSIR/Leatherboy Contest

Leather Women and Bootblacks compete, too! See website for contestant and victory celebrations info. $20 • 1pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.

Return to Oz

Save the date, my pretties. $8 • 10pm-2am Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.

“We Dance to the Beat”

All female indie/pop artists. 9pm • The Ottobar • 2549 N. Howard St.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17 Saint Patrick’s Day

Drink Responsibly

Cinema Sundays: On the Road

Kerouac-based film, plus coffee, bagels, and Q&A. 9:30am The Charles Theater • 1711 N Charles St.


SUNDAYS Metropolitan Community Church

Every Sunday 9am and 11am MCC Baltimore • 401 W. Monument St

Peter Pan

Starring Cathy Rigby. $59-80 • 8pm The Lyric • 140 W. Mt Royal Ave.

MONDAY, MARCH 25 Men’s Naked Yoga

Every Monday 6:30-7:30pm • $18 Vitruvian Gallery, LLC 734 7th St. SE, 2nd Floor • Wash., D.C.


Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Drink specials, appetizers, and raffles. Benefits The GLCCB. Every Wednesday 8:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0018 •

FRIDAY, MARCH 29 Tin Pan Lady

Celebrating the women from Tin Pan Alley. $15 cover • $20 food/drink min. • 7:30pm Germano’s Trattoria • 300 S. High St.

Bears, Bikers & Mayhem

A weekend of parties and events. $139-165 • Thru 3/31 Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center 2634 Emmitsburg Rd • Gettysburg, PA


(See article p. 10)


Sharon Van Etten and Nick Cave


Spencer Horsman

The Caretaker

One part Rat Pack, one part Rosie Clooney, Suede is the “Diva la Difference” $28.50 • 8pm • Rams Head On Stage 33 West St. • Annapolis

Comedy magician and escape artist. $12 • 9pm Illusions Magic Bar & Lounge 1025 S. Charles St.

Two working class brothers invite in a homeless man. $15-22 • 8pm • Thru 4/21 Performance Workshop Theatre 5426 Harford Rd.


Westminster PFLAG Monthly Mtg. Third Sundays 7pm St. Paul’s United Church of Christ 17 Bond St. * Westminster

Rise Up— Honoring Women’s Spirituality

Fourth Sundays 12:45-2:15pm First Unitarian Church • 1 W. Hamilton

MONDAYS Senior Pride: Discussion Group for Women 55+

Every Monday evening Chase Brexton Health Services 410-837-2050 ext. 2428 •

Interfaith Fairness Coalition Mtg.

Second Mondays 3-4:30pm First Unitarian Church • 1 W. Hamilton

PFLAG Howard County Parent Forum


SUNDAY, MARCH 31 Easter / International Transgender Day of Visibility

2nd & 4th Tuesdays 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia 410.280.9047 •

Trans Parents Forum, Baltimore Co. Third Tuesdays 7-9:30pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd.

PFLAG Baltimore Co. General Mtg.

Fourth Tuesdays 7pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd.

Parents of Transgender Kids

Fourth Tuesdays 7:30-9pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia •

WEDNESDAYS Living Well with HIV Support Group

Every Wednesday 10:30am Inst. of Human Virology • 725 W. Lombard

Charm City Volleyball: Social Play

Every Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm • $3-30 Mt. Royal Rec. Center • 137 McMechen St.

Spiritual Development with Rev. Sam Offer

Every Wednesday 7pm Unity Fellowship Church • 4007 Old York

Third Mondays 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia

GEM: Gender Empowerment MD


Senior Pride: Disc. Group (Men 55+)

Karate-Dō (LGBT friendly classes)

Every Tuesday 5:30-7:30pm Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus Contact Bob Remington •

Meditation Group

Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore City

A love story for our time. $10-15 • 8pm • Thru 4/7 Iron Crow Theatre at Baltimore Theatre Project • 45 W Preston St.


Every Sunday 4:30pm AMF Marlow Heights Lanes 4717 St. Barnabas Rd. • Temple Hill

Every Tuesday 6:15-7:45pm First Unitarian Church • 1 W. Hamilton

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20 In town for one night only. $55-75 • 8pm Music Center at Strathmore 10701 Rockville Pike • North Bethesda

League of Women Bowlers

Rainbow Youth Alliance of Howard County

1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesdays 7-9pm The GLCCB • 241 W. Chase St.

Every other Wednesday 7pm Equality Maryland • 1201 S. Sharp St. Every Wednesday evening Chase Brexton Health Services 410-837-2050 ext. 2428 •

THURSDAYS HIV Support: Substance Abuse & HIV Every Thursday 2-3pm Inst. of Human Virology • 725 W. Lombard

Karate-Dō (LGBT friendly classes)

Every Thursday 5:30-7:30pm Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus Contact Bob Remington •


Teen Program at JCC

HIV Support: Just Between US

Howard County PFLAG Monthly Mtg.


Second Tuesdays 6pm Owings Mills JCC • 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. Second Tuesdays 7:30pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center 7246 Cradlerock Way • Columbia

Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore County

2nd & 4th Tuesdays 7-9pm Towson Unitarian Universalist Church 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd.

Every Friday 11am-Noon Inst. of Human Virology • 725 W. Lombard

Baltimore Frontrunners

Every Saturday 8:45am • Brunch 10am Panera Bread • 3600 Boston St.

HOPE DC Monthly Brunch

First Saturdays 11am Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro DC 1801 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

MARCH 2013


Baltimore Gay Life March 2013  

Actress, comedian, singer and activist Sandra Bernhard is set to perform in Maryland and Washington. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington pres...

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