Baltimore Gay Life November 2013

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November 2013

Read it. Live it.

Love it.

Trangender Author and Activist


Discusses the Transitioning Body



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Author and Activist Discusses the Transitioning Body Transgender author Ryan Sallans discusses his memoir, Second Son: Transitioning Toward my Destiny, Love and Life. By Jennifer Vance

11 Transcending Hate

Two events commemorate the 14th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. By Kelly Neel



I Am My Own Wife

By Frankie Kujawa


Ani DiFranco

By Kelly Neel


Tavern on the Hill

By John Cullen with Marty Shayt


16 News


By Rachel Roth

Lesbian, Bi Women and Transmen Unite By Jill Weaverling





Same-sex Divorce By Marc B. Noren, Esq.


20 Datebook 22 BSCENE OUR LIFE

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By Jennifer Vance

Dr. Robert Z. Berry DVM

1620 Sulgrave Ave Baltimore, Maryland 21209 410-367-8111 NOVEMBER 2013






Remember... Hello again everyone! November is upon us, and brings with it all its glorious fall foliage and crisp autumn air. For many of us, November is also the beginning of the six-week holiday season that extends to the end of the year; Family, friends, and festivities are paired with ample amounts of memories. We gather with our loved ones and create new memories while we also take pause to reflect on the past. This month’s Gay Life features one commemoration that takes place in November that many readers may be unfamiliar with— Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), on November 20. TDoR is a day when we give pause to recognize and honor transgender victims of violence over the past year. It’s a day to memorialize those we have lost– and also to raise awareness of the work we still must do together as a community to combat violence, and give a voice to those who are oftentimes stunted into silence. This

year, the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore has organized two events around TDoR—a memorial service on Nov. 20, as well as a “Transgender Day of Community” the following Saturday. Please come out and show your solidarity. We also have some great arts features this month, including a fantastic interview with the amazing Ani DiFranco (p. 8) and a preview of the Tony-Award winning play I Am My Own Wife, which comes to Rep Stage this month. And as always— be sure to check out our online edition of Gay Life, which features expanded interviews and exclusive material. Until next month, have a safe and positive November!



Activist and author Ryan Sallans.

FACEBOOK.COM/GLCCB • TWITTER.COM/GLCCB • YOUTUBE.COM/THEGLCCB Dan McEvily, Editor M. Cory Burgess, Art Director Sabre Chase, Advertising

GAYLIFE Read it. Live it.

Love it.

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Matt Favre, Advertising National Advertising Rep. Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863 Marty Shayt, Senior Volunteer Contributors John Cullen, Frankie Kujawa, Kelly Neel, Marc B. Noren, Esq, Rachel Roth, Marty Shayt, Justin B. Terry-Smith, Jennifer Vance

Photographers John Kardys, Richelle Taylor, Samatra Johnson Magazine Committee Maggie Beetz, John Cullen, Doug Rose, Marty Shayt, Matt Thorn, Richelle Taylor

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.






Rep Stage to Perform I Am My Own Wife PLAY OPENS OCTOBER 30

Photo by Clinton Brandhagen

BY FRANKIE KUJAWA This month, the Tony-award winning play I Am My Own Wife, will be performed at Rep Stage, the regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College. I Am My Own Wife tells the true story Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who survived both the Nazi and repressive East German Communist regimes. The one-man play features actor Michael Stebbins as Charlotte, as well as 40 other characters that represent the men and women in Charlottes’ life in Germany from the 1930s to 1990. Gay Life recently spoke to Stebbins, the production’s director Tony Tsendeas, and dramaturge Dr. Lisa Wilde to discuss the research that went into putting together such a historically important production. “Research is a crucial aspect of dramaturgy and one that I greatly enjoy,” explains Dr. Wilde. “The research for I Am My Own Wife has been particularly rich because the play follows such an expanse of German history – the rise of Nazism, World War II, the establishment of the GDR, [as well as] the construction and then the taking down of the Berlin Wall.” Wilde further explains, “Charlotte was herself an archivist and curator, preserving aspects of German culture that would otherwise have been eradicated as degenerate during the Nazi era.” The real life Charlotte von Mahlsdorf was born Lothar Berfelde in 1928 in Berlin. At a very young age, she assimilated to the feminine aspect of her nature. Having survived Nazi-oppressed Germany in World War II, she went on to create the Grunderzeit Museum, which was a museum for everyday items, in Berlin-Mahlsdorf. Eventually, she moved to Sweden where she opened a second museum dedicated to items from the 19th century. Von Mahlsdorf died in 2002 from heart failure at age 74. “It’s really an honor to play her,” Stebbins explains. “To put on the clothes, so to speak, of someone who actually walked PAGE 6



the walk and talked the talk.” “There is much to admire about Charlotte, but she was also the first person to suggest that when you talk about something—in her case, it was furniture—you must talk about the nicks and cuts and all—talk about them ‘as is.’ I think that I Am My Own Wife does a wonderful job of laying out a unique individual in a nonjudgmental way,” Stebbins notes. Director Tony Tsenedeas explains the importance that research was to the creation of the performance. “I researched the Grunderzeit Museum, and ended up doing some more specific research into things ranging from the Stasi [the East German secret police], to Edison Gramophones,” he said. “But it is mostly about trying to create a synthesis of actor’s art, the text, the work of the designers and my choices as director. I am fortunate to have such a wonderful actor in Michael, as well as a stellar design team and of course a wonderful script.” Tsenedeas has much praise for actor Michael Stebbins in transforming into Charlotte. “I think that audiences will see a top notch script performed by a top notch actor. They will see the actor’s art and craft laid bare as a single performer creates over 40 roles, switching from one character to the next with a flick of the imagination. I think they will be touched by the very theatrical depiction of a life lived.” Stebbins was quick to return his director’s praise. “I have worked with Tony on three shows now. As an actor I feel very safe in his hands and under his guidance.” The concept of tolerance is a major theme and is intricately woven throughout the performance. “Audiences will meet a very charming person who had the courage to live their life on their own terms under incredibly repressive social structures,” said Tsendeas. “I do believe that the arc of history is toward tolerance, justice and liberty. It is a long arc, however. I do think transgender rights have defi-

nitely improved in America and Europe, as well as parts of South America. Much depends on location. For instance, in Russia we are witnessing a new intolerance that is of course quite troubling.” Dr. Wilde will be hosting a free preshow lecture on Nov. 16 at 12:30pm with Howard Community College history professor Fred Campbell. Campbell will take audiences “on a tour of German history and attitudes and laws towards the LGBT community during Charlotte’s lifetime.” In the end, Tsenedeas contends that the story imbedded in this play is still as ambiguous as the person it’s based on. “The story presents the struggle of an individual attempting to remain true to itself and the very real social pressures that demand conformity and capitulation. Beyond that, I hope the audience will experience the ineffable, in a way that only theater allows one to experience. They will experience the unknowable nature of people. All of the facts of a life never add up to the complete life itself, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. In the end we know much about Charlotte, but she still remains a mystery.”


Oct. 30–Nov. 17, 2013 Rep Stage at Howard Community College 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD W443.518.1500 T Written by Doug Wright Directed by Tony Tsendeas







ANI DIFRANCO Photo by Shervin Lainez

Which Side Are You On? Ani DiFranco Talks Politics and Tour BY KELLY NEEL

When it comes to folksinger Ani Difranco, nothing can stand in her way. She has been carving her own path from the day she stepped foot into the vast world of the music industry. Since founding her own successful record label in 1990, the aptly named Righteous Babe Records, she has been able to release her own albums on her own terms. She is a woman who touts feminism and proves every day that women are just as capable in reaching their goals. Through her politically charged and honest songwriting, Ani displays both intelligence and strength, as well as a vulnerability that anyone can relate to. Her sincere lyrical convictions paired with bright bouncing guitars on her latest album Which Side Are You On? work together like a well-oiled machine. Making her way to D.C.’s 9:30 Club this month, Gay Life recently spoke with Ani to discuss her career, motherhood, and life on the road. You are currently touring to promote your latest album, correct? Well, not really. I’m just touring ‘cause that’s what I do, that’s the way I look at it. [Laughs] I think a lot of people just automatically think of the new world of music that way, in a sort of industry perspective. You make a record, and you go out and sell and promote it. For me, I just I think of myself as a working musician; if the album is two minutes old, or two years old, or not out yet, then I’m just still out there doing my thing! Your most recent album seems to come from a more carefree, happy place. Do you think that’s a direct reflection of where you are and the happy events taking place in your life? Oh wow! Well, sure. There is definitely PAGE 8


a more carefree, happy me in the world thanks to my [husband], and now our family; it’s very grounding for me. It’s mostly thanks to him that I can feel the change in my body, let alone my songs and my life. Like my jaw doesn’t hurt anymore, my immune system functions. It’s amazing what a little inner peace can do for ones health, and for one’s songwriting, I guess. There’s a lot of really political stuff on my last record and also a lot of personal stuff, as is my ‘thing’. I’m always sort of juxtaposing the two, but now on the personal level I’m just a lot more grounded. Do you think motherhood has had an influence on your songwriting? Certainly! It pretty much prevents it on most days! [Laughs] Which, if you’re me, is not the worst thing because if I’m guilty of anything in this life, it’s spewing too much, too quickly, in an un-edited way, into the world—so motherhood really slows me down. What I’ve learned with having two kids now, is that it’s a very creative act: to be pregnant, to give birth, to raise, especially in the first years, and to create a human being, is an intensely creative act. So to have any creative juices leftover for making songs is above and beyond. But again, for me to be slowed down is actually kind of useful. The fact that it takes me a few years to put out a record now, when I used to do it in a few minutes, has actually been an evolution for me because my records are better for it. I’m taking my time and I’m getting things right before release date and I’m not sure that’s something I would have had the patience to do otherwise. You have been in the music industry since you were about 18, now with both life experiences and industry experiences under

your belt, what advice would you give to the younger you about surviving it all? I think in terms of negotiating the music industry I wouldn’t change a thing. I think I did that really well; in other words, I avoided it—completely. I created my own world, I populated it full of the most awesome people I could find, and I’m currently living happily ever after! In terms of my art, I would have done a lot differently if I had it to re-do. It’s hard to say because there’s a part of me that in retrospect wishes I had stuck closer to my essence along the way. There were many experiments of identity, and of sound, and of collaborators, and all sorts of things along the way. Looking back at it all now, I can see what were sidetracks and what was the through line. I guess I would love it if I had stuck with what was working the whole time. Except that, to deny an artist their experimentation, is probably to stagnate their art. And you always hate those artists that just stick with what works, so I don’t know what I’m saying! I have an awareness of the totality of my output and that, in retrospect, I might change in order to be cooler and more solid for prosperity with these recordings and stuff that don’t go away, but maybe I shouldn’t. Along the lines of wanting people to find their own voices, do you think that, that idea played a part in you coming out as bisexual? Yeah, I mean I don’t think I would have even bothered to use the term or speak about it as such if I didn’t understand the political marginalization of anything other than the hetero, apple-pie, marriage between man and a woman. I think that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in society to accept and empower other kinds of relationships. And so the fact that

I’ve had love and affection with women in my life, writing about it I was aware was a political act and I did so consciously. So what’s in store for the future? Do you have plans to start work on another album? Yep. I’ve started work on it and I’ll to do some more recording in January. I don’t really have a deadline, but I’ve got a pile of new songs so I’m just going to pursue them in an organic way. To read more of Ani’s interview with Gay Life and enter to win a chance to see her in D.C., visit


with Melissa Ferrick and Buddy Wakefield Tuesday, Nov. 5 • 7pm • $40 9:30 Club • 815 V St. NW Washington, D.C. T (ticket sales) T

ANI DIFRANCO TICKET GIVEAWAY! For a chance to win a pair of tickets to Ani DiFranco’s 7pm show on Nov. 5, please e-mail with your full name and e-mail address in the body of the e-mail. Please make sure to note “Ani DiFranco Tickets” in the subject line. Deadline to enter is 5PM on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Winners will be notified soon after the drawing.



Fall is Fabulous


Tavern on the Hill opened this past July and operates seven days a week, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Taking over the former Howard’s Deli, the pleasant casual interior (with a bar) is a convenient walk from many of the Mt. Vernon bars and theaters. To get there—walk up Charles Street from Center Street to the Washington Monument—you’ll figure out what the name refers to! The big windows facing Cathedral Street offer people watching opportunities, and on warmer days you can eat under the sky on the large patio. In addition to serving breakfast all day long (a full menu page with most orders ranging from $4-6), there are reasonably priced tavern food options, including starters ($5-9), entrée salads ($7-10), a half dozen specialty hot dogs ($7), burgers ($8-11), sandwiches ($9-11), as well as a dozen entrees ($10-$16). We’ve eaten here with friends several times and been pleased with the food. We found out that the “too hot” wings starter may not be really too hot, but they left our tongues tingling! John particularly likes the ‘Tavern’ salad (a standard chef salad) and the taco salad (both $9). Marty likes the burgers and is a big fan of the ‘made here’ fries (though some of our friends prefer fast food-type fries). Marty likes having breakfast food options in the evening. His veggie omelet ($6) really was packed with fresh veggies (a little watery as a result, but still good) and it came with toast and fries. Our newly married buddies Jim and Rich gave a “Thumbs Up!” to the thick burgers (which come served with hand-cut fries). Other friends enjoyed the “Three’s Company” special sandwich with its combination of turkey, corned beef and roast beef, topped with Thousand Island dressing and served with fries. Our friend Fred liked his Reuben sandwich, while his partner Bernie enjoyed the open face hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes—though he wished there was more gravy! The fish BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

A legendary mansion. Spectacular gardens. And you are invited.

n’ chips platter earned compliments from our pal Bernie who was pleased that it was tasty without being greasy. When it comes to dessert, Marty’s a fan of the almond cake, while John opts for the Vesuvius cake with a mix of—Oh heavenly days!—cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate fudge. Both were $5 and our only complaint was that we wished the portions were twice as big! Tavern on the Hill has matured quickly in the few months it has been open and has a lot going for it. It reminds us of how the City Café used to be before it got so upscale and pricey. There are a lot of reasonably priced, good food options to pick from. The owners always seem to be there and are actively involved in making sure customers are happy (and after just two visits greet us with “Welcome back” and warm smiles). The staff is attentive and friendly. Tavern on the Hill promises “good eats, good times,” and it delivers on both counts!

Special Exhibition Now on view Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post


900 Cathedral St. W410-230-5400 Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner 7 days a week Full Bar • On-street parking Vegetarian Options • Gay Friendly “Dining Out for Life” participant

Where Fabulous Lives

Email and find all prior reviews at

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10/18/13 PAGE 5:58 PM9 NOVEMBER 2013

Publication: BALTIMORE GAY LIFE Insertion date: NOV 1, 2013 Size: 4.75” x 11.25” 4C NP



Author and Activist Discusses the Transitioning Body

By Jennifer Vance

As a kid growing up in Nebraska, Ryan Sallans always felt different. Now in his 30s, Sallans has grown up to become a proclaimed writer, public speaker, and out-and-proud transman. Last year, Sallans published his memoir, Second Son: Transitioning Toward my Destiny, Love and Life, in which he discusses his early struggles (and eventual triumphs) with a debilitating eating disorder and gender identity, while also giving a unique insight into the day-to-day life of a transman. His memoir has taken him across the country on a motivational speaking tour talking to college students. Sallans will be at Towson University on Nov. 20, a date that coincides with the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration. Sallans spoke with Gay Life recently about his memoir, the importance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, and what the LGBT community should be doing to be more inclusive of trans* identities.

Can you tell us a bit about your book? The book is about my transitions in life. Not just my transition from female to male, but also my transition in relationships, my body, and my health. You go into depth about your transition in the book. What misconceptions have you encountered about transitioning? Well, it depends on who we are talking about. The general public, who are not very aware of transgender issues, seem to think that trans* people are crazy, are mutilating their bodies, or need therapy to fix them. Those are all huge misconceptions of being transgender. The book focuses on your struggles with an eating disorder. How do you deal with now that you are post-op? The hardest section of the book to write was the eating disorder section, because it was such a painful time in my life. It was even more painful than the rejection experienced when I first transitioned. It was hard for me to go back to that space and be in those moments. It was and is definitely a struggle for me. Second Son has a photo of you do-



ing a hormone injection. Why did you decide to include that in the book, but no other medical photos? Because I didn’t think anyone wanted to see bits and stuff. [Laughs] I do have photos from the surgery on my website and YouTube. However, for the book, I wanted to keep it artistic. That [hormone injection photo] series that the photographer took was so strong and shows what people have to do every ten days—it is part of my manhood. Hormones are so powerful for transitioning individuals, it’s a cornerstone for transitioning individual, and it is the one thing that I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I found it was a great read. I went in thinking there would be lot of medical terminology and jargon, but there really wasn’t. I really appreciated that part of it. I try to keep it accessible to everyone That is one of the reasons when I do my speaking and training people respond well to what I do is because I don’t go over people heads. What do you think the LGB community could do to be more inclusive of trans* identified persons? The

one thing is to not marginalize—don’t use slang or make jokes about the transgender community like calling people trannies. For people in the trans* community, they experience discrimination and misunderstanding simply for being trans*. Not for anything else, just like people with sexual orientation. We are fighting the same battle as far as trying to have equality and having respect in society. When we fight against each other, we are losing energy and power that we could have if we stayed together [as a community]. Transgender Day of Remembrance is this month. As a trans-identified person what does the day mean to you? I hear a lot of people complain about Transgender Day of Remembrance. They will say, “why are we having a day that is so sad to honor trans* people instead of a celebration?” But I think it’s important. It reminds us that there is a lot of violence against the trans* community. Every week I see a new story about a transwoman of color being murdered for simply being trans*. We need to have this day to remember that there is violence out there and we need safety and protection.

But, it’d also be nice to have a trans* pride celebration for people who are living, and living well. Do you have any advice for young trans* folk struggling with their gender identity? First thing I always say is it is okay to be scared, but don’t let fear keep you from being you. That fear can include the fear of unknown, the fear of a family rejection, or the fear of a partner’s rejection. Don’t let other people’s perceptions or judgments hold you back from being you. One of the biggest mistakes is choosing not to be you and trying to make other people happy. One, because you’re not honoring your authentic identity. Two, you will never be able to make those people happy because you’re not being you. It creates a struggle in all those relationships. A Trans*Man in Hiding: An Eating Disorder Tale Wednesday, Nov. 20 6:00pm • Free Towson University — West Village Commons Ballrooms


TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE Gender Identity Groups of Maryland at the GLCCB

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil in 2012

Transcending Hate By Kelly Neel

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who lived openly and honestly until her life was tragically cut short on Nov. 28, 1998 in Allston, Mass. Although the case remains unsolved, it is widely believed to be the result of anti-trans violence and hate. Following her death, outraged members of the Allston community rallied together to hold a candlelight vigil and a march in memory of their beloved friend. This outpouring of support and unity unknowingly sparked the movement known today as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). In 1999, one year after Hester’s murder, activists in San Francisco gathered to commemorate her and take a stand against violence among the transgender community, marking the first TDoR event. Since then, TDoR has become a day to reflect on all those we have lost tragically to the hands of hate. It is a day for members of the community, transgender persons and allies alike, to come together and take a stand against hatred. Vann Millhouse, a local advocate, activist, and facilitator of the trans support group Akanni, says that TDoR is a time to rejoice and reflect on what those who came before have brought to us, “to not forget that they had the guts to walk in their truth and allow people to know exactly who they are and that they are not mistakes.” The goal, in Millhouse’s eyes, is to one day not need a day of remembrance because someone was murdered, but for the positive legacies left behind by those who passed in a natural way, not by the hands of violence. He also looks at this day as an opportunity to step into the community and make a positive, lasting difference. Every year, the trans community falls victim to countless acts of violence that are vastly underreported and frequently swept out of the media. Many, if not most, trans-

gender murder cases go unsolved, leaving the victims and their families without closure and without due justice. By commemorating those on TDoR who have lost their lives simply for being themselves, we help raise awareness of the injustices that are taking place in our communities and around the world. It is more than a vigil, more than a memorial service; it is a global cry to end discrimination and violence out of ignorance and intolerance. “Transgender people deserve love and respect,” says Baltimore City Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Each year on November 20th, I take time to think about and honor the victims of violence rooted in hate.” This year, Baltimore will commemorate TDoR with an interfaith memorial service, a reading of names, and a candle lighting ceremony. The city will also host a day of community “healing and empowerment through self-expression” event to be held on Saturday, Nov. 23. This day of workshops and community building will be open to all members of the community. Additionally, a town hall meeting discussing homelessness and transgender communities will be held. Transgender Day of Remembrance Interfaith Memorial Service Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 • 6–8pm First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 12 W. Franklin Street

Akanni — Black Transmen Inc. presents Akanni, a support group for all transgender men that are conforming and non-conforming at any stage in their transition process. Meets the 2nd Tuesdays, 6pm, room 202. Contact or Baltimore Trans-Masculine Alliance — Support group and social network for transmen of all sorts and stripes, providing a safe space to share explorations or concerns relating to health, identity, and personal experience. Meets the 3rd Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, first floor. Contact Tran*Quility — A support group for MTF’s, but anyone who varies from traditional gender expression are welcome. Meets 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 8pm, room 201. Contact Tranqulity@ . Join the group at Group/GIGinMD. The GLCCB 241 W. Chase St., 410-777-8145,

Other Resources AIDS Action Baltimore’s Tea Time (Transpeople Empowerment in Action) — Individual & group support services for transgender women and men, HIV prevention, referral for HIV-positive persons, information, and referral. 10 E Eager Street, 410-837-573 3rd and last Wednesdays Bois of Baltimore — Creates a safe spaces for alternative masculinity. Host events in and around Baltimore including monthly brunch, community service, networking opportunities, and social events for masculine queer persons of color. The Greater Baltimore City Area, Chase Brexton Health Services Inc. — Primary health care; case management; hormone prescriptions and management; mental health and substance abuse services; HIV care. Online transition services information at ChaseBrexton. org/wellness/lgbt/transitions.

1001 Cathedral Street (Also locations in Randallstown, Columbia, and Easton) 410-837-2050, Hearts and Ears, Inc. — Support groups for LGBT people; referrals to LGBT-friendly health care, mental health care, and other service professionals; life skills development; drop in center; information and referral to emergency services. 11 W. Chase St., 410-532-1694, Power Inside — Group counseling, re-entry and aftercare, open rap group, literacy tutoring for women re-entering the community after incarceration. 325 E. 25th St., 410-889-8333, Project Plase — Transitional and permanent housing programs, social networking, life skills training, HIV outreach. 1814 Maryland Ave., 410-837-1400, Trans Baltimore Outreach Society — Grassroots outreach social group for everyone that falls within the Trans spectrum. 10 E. Madison Street, 443-909-6414 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7pm. Turnaround,Inc. — Counseling, emergency shelter, client advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Provides transgenderspecific services. Locations in Baltimore City, Rosedale, and Towson 410-377-8111, University of Maryland Star Track Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic — Serves ages 12-24; primary health care; HIV/STD testing and treatment; counseling for youth and families; teen support group; referrals and much more. 737 W Lombard Street, 410-328-TEEN Women Accepting Responsibility (WAR) — Beautiful Me Sorority offers young transgender women of color peer support; HIV counseling, testing, and referral; linkages to care; and group interventions. All of WAR’s services are delivered in a women-centered, safe, and supportive environment. 2300 Garrison Blvd.,Stes 150/170 410-878-0357

Transgender Day of Community Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 • 11am–6:30pm First Unitarian Church of Baltimore Enoch Pratt Parish Hall 514 N. Charles Street For more information on Transgender Day of Remembrance in Baltimore, please visit

Gay Life is pleased to announce that Courtney Bedell will soon write a transgender advice column, starting with our January 2014 issue! Have a question? Trying to solve a problem? Want some feedback? Let Courtney know about it by emailing























NJ judge legalizes gay marriage NEW JERSEY

A N.J. judge has ordered the state to begin issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted an emergency request by six gay couples and ordered state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on Oct. 21. reported that Judge Jacobson cited the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as the primary reason behind her ruling. She argued that failure to do so would “violate rights that were affirmed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.” “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution,” she wrote in her 53-page opinion. Not all are on board with the ruling. The state’s attorney general has initiated an appeal of the case and Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes gay marriage, vowed to appeal it all the way to the state Supreme Court. According to, the case could take months to reach New Jersey’s highest court. As for press time, the governor’s office has not announced whether it would seek to freeze Jacobson’s order while the appeal is pending.

USPS to honor Harvey Milk


The Harvey Milk Foundation announced on its Facebook page that the United States Postal Service (USPS) would begin issuing a stamp commemorating LGBT icon Harvey Milk sometime next year. PAGE 16


Milk, who made history as California’s first openly LGBT elected official after being elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, will be the first openly LGBT official to appear on a U.S. stamp.

Texas gubernatorial candidate advocates LGBT workplace protections TEXAS

Wendy Davis, a Texas state legislator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate is making her support for the LGBT community known. Days after officially announcing her candidacy, Davis lauded a nondiscrimination ordinance passed in San Antonio that offers protection in the workplace for LGBT employees. According to the Texas Tribune, Davis—who made headlines for filibustering an anti-abortion bill—said that she hopes such ordinances “become commonplace” throughout the state. That stance provided a stark contrast with Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican many expect to be her opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Abbott had threatened to file a federal lawsuit over the ordinance and said it could lead to discrimination against people who publicly oppose gay marriage. His office later cited a change in the language of the ordinance as the reason for not going forward with a lawsuit.

Calif. trans student protection law faces GOP opposition


The California GOP is backing an effort to repeal the state’s new transgender student

protection law. At a convention in Anaheim in early October, state legislators voted in favor of endorsing candidates who have pledged to oppose the School Success and Opportunity Act, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law, which guarantees students the right to use facilities consistent with their gender identity, in August. Openly gay Republican Vice Chairman Greg Gandrud reportedly warned against trying to repeal the law.

Pasta boycotted over anti-LGBT comments


The popular pasta brand, Barilla, is in hot water after homophobic remarks from the company’s CEO. Guido Barilla sparked outrage among activists, consumers and some politicians when he said he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta because gay families don’t represent traditional families. “For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company,” he told Italian radio. According to The Guardian, Barilla said that homosexuals “have the right to do what they want without bothering others,” and that he supports marriage equality, but not adoption rights. He also told those who didn’t agree with his beliefs to “eat another [brand],” which many are doing. A petition on calling for a world-wide boycott garnered more than 10,000 signatures in the first 24 hours. In response to the backlash, Barilla released a video, apologizing “for offending many people around the world.” He also promised

to meet with LGBT activists.

Kuwait developing “gay detector” KUWAIT

Heath officials in Kuwait are preparing to test the country’s first attempt at a “gaydar.” Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, told Al Rai that he wants to use a “gay detector test” to keep LGBT expatriates out of Kuwait. Visitors already have to pass a health exam before gaining access to the country, but according to Gulf News, Mindkar wants “stricter measures” in place to keeps gays and lesbians from entering Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). It is unclear what the “clinical test” is, nor is it clear how the health ministry plans to measure homosexuality.

Church dumps rebel priest


Melbourne newspaper The Age reported that Greg Reynolds, who is a founder of the group Inclusive Catholics, stirred up controversy after supporting LGBT equality and the right for women to be ordained as clergy. In a magazine interview Father Reynolds reportedly said that he could not pass judgment on an LGBT individual solely because of their sexual preference or gender identity. The directive to defrock and excommunicate Archbishop Reynolds came from the Vatican meaning it was sanctioned by Pope Francis, who made headlines last month when he called on the Catholic Church to “accept gays with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” GAY LIFE MAGAZINE



Lesbian, Bi Women and Transmen Unite BY JILL WEAVERLING, COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR FOR CHASE BREXTON HEALTH CARE — REVIEWED BY JULIE EASTIN, PhD, AND BRUCE GNESHIN, MD, OB/GYN. What do we want? Quality, affirming, respectful OB/GYN care! When do we want it? Now! As much as the feminist, LGB, and trans movements are working to defy heterosexism and the common male/female masculine/feminine binary systems, gender based discrimination and heteronormativity* still exist in our culture. In fact, many of us stay far, far away from the health care system and OB/GYN care specifically because of bad past experiences, or fear of future ones. You may worry about being misunderstood, mistreated, discriminated against, or seen as being weird for being a man at the gyno’s. These worries are enough to make anyone scared or a Debbie (Doug) Downer, but we need to remember that there are health care providers and practices centered on providing us with the best and most appropriate care possible. Chase Brexton is one of them. And when it comes down to it (no pun intended), if a female reproductive system (no matter how much you may dislike or not relate to it) is part of your body, you need to make sure you are getting the preventative care you need to lead a healthy life. So how can you learn more and find a provider you can trust and feel comfortable with? Here are a few resources: ¡¡ The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association ¡¡ The Mautner Project ¡¡ Office of Women’s Health ¡¡ Center of Excellence for Transgender Health ¡¡ HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index ¡¡ American College of Nurse Midwives BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

During your next visit, be sure to follow this checklist of things to discuss with your healthcare provider: ¡¡ Your sexual activity and history; ¡¡ Your primary care history, including hormone use; ¡¡ Your need or lack thereof for contraception; ¡¡ How to prevent STI transmission between you and your partner(s); ¡¡ Your possible interest in having children someday— egg banking for transmen; ¡¡ Your risk for developing breast, ovarian, and/or cervical cancer; ¡¡ Anything troubling you in your intimate relationships such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. And hopefully this won’t happen, but if you ever feel like you have been violated or discriminated against, there are organizations out there that can help you. Here are a few: ¡¡ Free State Legal ¡¡ Lambda Legal ¡¡ American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project ¡¡ National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Last, but certainly not least: know that you are fine just the way you are, and deserve equal, affirmative, quality care. There is no reason to settle for less. * Heteronormativity is based on the idea that heterosexuality is the norm in our society. An example of this happening in OB/GYN care is when a provider automatically assumes their patient is straight and/or having sex with men, or that birth control/reproduction are the main thing she is interested in discussing. NOVEMBER 2013







Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Same-Sex Divorce BY MARC B. NOREN, ESQUIRE Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage legalized by the states, and Maryland’s recognition of same sex marriage survived a referendum. Consequently, we now have same-sex marriage in Maryland and federal benefits from agencies will be extended to same-sex couples in legal marriages. Some of these same-sex marriages will end in divorce and Maryland’s divorce laws will now be applied to same-sex couples. This raises a host of issues and leaves some problems that will need to be addressed either by the legislature or courts. One of the most significant issues concerns assets and property. Under Maryland divorce law, courts can only make disposition of property or assets that were acquired during the marriage. Couples who have been together for many years but have just gotten married recently and decide to divorce next year, will only be able to have the court address the property which was acquired since they were married. Property could mean anything of value such as a business, real estate, retirement accounts or bank accounts. Maryland’s “no fault” grounds for divorce requires couples to be separated for 12 months, which many call a waiting period, before either party may file for divorce. However, a divorce case filed on grounds of adultery does not require a waiting period. The traditional definition of adultery in Maryland comes from the criminal law and requires vaginal penetration. While Maryland has granted some same-sex divorces, as far as anyone knows, no one has tested the adultery law as it would apply to samesex couples. Couples who get married in Maryland and relocate to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage may run into legal BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

impediments. For example, that state may not recognize or authorize divorce. The solution may not be as simple as moving back to Maryland or the state where they were originally wed, because many states have minimum residency requirements before allowing couples to file for divorce. Maryland’s residency requirement provides that if the grounds for divorce occurred outside of the state, a party cannot apply for divorce unless one of the parties has resided in Maryland for at least one year before the application for divorce was filed. To prevent future complications, same-sex couples getting married should take the following steps: ¡¡ Get a prenuptial agreement. That advice actually applies to any couple no matter the gender or sexual preference, but it is particularly applicable to samesex couples because of the uncertainty in the legal arena. ¡¡ If you have children and want a relationship to continue between the children and both parties after a divorce, be sure that appropriate adoption papers are filed and granted so that you are both recognized as the legal parents of those children. ¡¡ Learn how divorce might affect disposition of your property and your assets. ¡¡ Make sure that any lawyer you consult for divorce is familiar with the implications of the change in DOMA restrictions, as well as all of the additional legal angles and complexities in play in Maryland. Marc B. Noren, a member of Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC, focuses his practice on family law. He previously chaired the MSBA Family and Juvenile Law Section Council and directed its legislative efforts. For more information, call 410-539-5195 or visit NOVEMBER 2013







Party at the Patterson Cirque Victoriana • $7-15 • 8pm The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave.

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

dance of the holy ghosts A play on memory. $10-59 • Thru Nov. 17 CENTERSTAGE • 700 N. Calvert St. Puccini’s Tosca Love, lust, and revenge. $95-165 • 7:30pm • Thru Nov. 3 Lyric • 140 W. Mt. Royal Ave.


The New Black

Hippo Karaoke Star Monthly karaoke competition. $2 • 10pm-2am Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. Matt Nathanson Feat. Joshua Radin • $29.50 • 8pm Rams Head Live • 20 Market Place

The Creative Alliance will screen The New Black, a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community in Maryland has grappled with gay rights in light of the recent marriage equality movement. The film documents activists, families, and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar­­­—the black church—and reveals the Christian right’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. The documentary’s filmmaker, Yoruba Richen, will be on hand at the screening introduce the film and speak with the audience.

Fridays After Five Every Friday • $12 • 5pm National Aquarium • 501 E. Pratt St.



Thursday, Nov. 14 $12 • 7:30pm Creative Alliance 3134 Eastern Ave. T events/2013/new-black



Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate! Celebrate all your favorite holidays! $15–60 • 7:30pm • Thru Nov. 3 Baltimore Arena • 201 W Baltimore St. First Fridays Feat. Baltimore Circus & Baltimore Hoop Love • FREE • 6:30pm Eastern & East Ave. Wine Tasting FREE • 5-8pm • Fridays Spirits of Mt Vernon Wine Shop 900 N. Charles St. Shorts in a Bundle 10-minute plays • $15 • Thru Nov. 3 • 8pm Fells Point Corner Theater • 251 S Ann St. Chocolate Happy Hour Weekly chocolate-fest • 6:30pm Ma Petite Shoe • 832 W. 36th St.

elektroschock First Sat. of every month • 21+ • 9pm Grand Central • 1001-03 N. Charles St. The Beatles: 50 Years on Air A tribute to the Fab 4 • $12-17 • 7 & 9:30pm The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave.

Spotlight Mondays Drink specials & drag shows! • 9pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. Men’s Naked Yoga Every Monday 6:30-7:30pm • $18 Vitruvian Gallery, LLC 734 7th St., SE, 2nd fl. • Wash. D.C.

TUESDAY, NOV. 5 Ani DiFranco With Melissa Ferrick • $40 • 7pm 9:30 Club • 815 V St. N.W. • Washington, DC Showtune Video Madness Every Tuesday 7:45pm • FREE Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St. Showdown Trivia Competition Hosted by John Woods • 9:30pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6 Gotta Dance Benefits BSA • $50 • 6:30pm Baltimore School for the Arts 712 Cathedral St. Gay BINGO! Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Drink specials, appetizers, and raffles. Every Wednesday 8:30pm Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.

THURSDAY, NOV. 7 Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition 13th Annual Awards Dinner Honors leaders in the fight for consumer rights • $50 • 6pm The Gathering Place 6120 Day Long Lane • Clarksville Baltimore Loves Joni! Celebrate Joni Mitchell on her 70th birthday • $10-15 •7pm The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave. Gustav Holst’s The Planets Feat. women’s chorus from the Baltimore Choral Arts Society • $29-84 •Thru Nov. 9 Meyerhoff • 1212 Cathedral St.

Frat Boy & Sorority Girl Thursdays Every Thursday 9pm-2am Grand Central • 1001 N. Charles St. Hip Hop Night at Club Hippo Get your dance on every Thursday. Reduced cover before 11pm. Club Hippo • 1 W. Eager St.

FRIDAY, NOV. 8 John Oliver Daily Show star • $39.75 • 7:30 & 10pm Warner Theater 513 13th Street NW. • Washington DC Ninth Annual Flamenco Festival Feat. artists from Spain and the US. $20-60 • Thru Nov. 17 GALA Theater 3333 14th Street, NW • Washington, DC Gotta Dance! Friends and alumni “teach” dance classes. $50 • 6:30pm Baltimore School for the Arts 712 Cathedral St.

SATURDAY, NOV. 9 Margaret Cho One day only • $26.50-53 • 8pm Warner Theater 513 13th Street NW. • Washington DC BSO Music Box Series for Children Arctic Animals • $10 • 10am Meyerhoff • 1212 Cathedral St. NPC Jay Cutler P28 Baltimore Classic Bodybuilding/fitness competition. $35-75 • 11am Hippodrome Theatre • 12 N Eutaw St. SHE Productions Presents REHAB 2nd Saturday of Every Month 9pm • $5 • 21+ Grand Central Disco and Sapphos 1001 N. Charles St.

SUNDAY, NOV. 10 Plain White Ts With Parachute • $25 • 6pm. Rams Head Live • 20 Market Pl. Prime Timers of Baltimore: General Mtg. “Baltimore Gay Community, The Early Years” FREE. 6:30pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church St. Paul & 20th. Streets




BSFA Chamber Chorus & String Orchestra Feat. different works • FREE • 7pm First & Franklin Presbyterian Church 210 W. Madison St.

Garth Clark: I Hate Ceramics The Mind Mud of Ai Weiwei. FREE • 7pm MICA • Brown Center: Falvey Hall 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Death and the Maiden Closes $15-20 • 8pm Spotlighters Theatre • 817 Saint Paul St.

POZ DC Happy Hour Mixer For HIV+ men • 7pm Green Lantern 1335 Green Court NW • Washington, DC

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13 Cyndi Lauper She’s So Unusual tour • $47-73 • 8pm Warner Theater 513 13th Street NW. • Washington DC Jersey Boys Opens The hit musical about Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons • $82-117 • Thru Nov. 24 Hippodrome Theatre • 12 N Eutaw St.

FRIDAY, NOV. 15 Paula Poundstone Shows at 6:30 & 9:30pm • $38.50 • +21 Rams Head on Stage 33 West St. • Annapolis The Streets of Baltimore: Songs of Our City Feat. songs about Charm City. $12-17 • 7:30pm The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave. Creative

SATURDAY, NOV. 16 “We Dance to the Beat” Female indie/pop artists • 9pm The Ottobar • 2549 N. Howard St.

MONDAY, NOV. 18 Giant Monster Monday Movies & drink specials • 8pm-Midnight The Wind Up Space • 12 W. North Ave.

TUESDAY, NOV. 19 Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Dining Hosted by Capitol Grille • $79-99 • 6:30pm National Aquarium • 501 East Pratt St.

THURSDAY, NOV. 21 The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Second Quest Presented by the BSO • $33-103 • 8pm Meyerhoff • 1212 Cathedral St.

FRIDAY, NOV. 22 Elf The Musical Opens The hilarious tale of Buddy the Elf. $49-69 +fees • 7:30pm • Thru Nov. 24 Lyric • 140 W. Mt Royal Ave. Into the Woods Opens Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale. 8pm • Thru Dec. 22 Spotlighters Theatre • 817 Saint Paul St.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27 First night of Hanukkah

THURSDAY, NOV. 28 Thanksgiving

FRIDAY, NOV. 29 Post-Turkey Tango Lesson & Show • $10-15 • 8pm The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore Bike Party The biggest party on two wheels! FREE • 7pm St. Mary’s • Seton Hill

Reach the local gay market. Advertise in


Trans Programs AKANNI

A safe, respectful, confidential environment where all transmen can share their story and their journey. 2nd Tuesdays 6pm • Rm 202


A support group for trans* men (FTM). 3rd Thursdays 6:30pm • 1st Floor


A support group for trans* women (MTF), but anyone who varies from traditional gender expression is welcome. 2nd & 4th Saturdays 8pm • Rm 201


LGBTQ centered AA recovery groups, welcoming to all. Mondays 7:15pm Thursdays 8:30pm Saturdays 6:30pm Rm 201

An open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, which provides a safe place for those with HIV or other health related issues. All are welcome. Sundays 6:15pm • Rm 201 NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Men’s Rap group for men in recovery. Sundays, 11:30am • Rm 201

Love it.

Email Sales@ to place your ad today!

Lesbians) is a spiritual community of women who love women desiring to discover, embrace and live as their spiritual-authentic self. 1st and 3rd Tuesdays 7pm • Rm 201


Bringing about equality for all women. 2nd Wednesdays 6:30pm • Rm 201


A safe, confidential, and supportive space for LBTQ women of all colors. 2nd, 4th, & 5th Thursdays 7:30pm 1st Floor


A social group for LBTQ women who want to meet new people while enjoying fun activities. Meets off-site, dates and times vary

Men’s Programs POZ MEN

A free, weekly, peer-led support group for HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Wednesdays 7-8pm • Rm 202



A support, social, and discussion group for LGBTQ teens and allies ages 13-19, in partnership with PFLAG Baltimore. Every Tuesday 7-9pm • 1st Floor


Community Programs

Health & Wellness Gentle beginners’ yoga with instructor Tim Hurley, RYT. $9 Sundays 3:30pm• Rm 201

FREE and confidential testing from the Baltimore City Health Dept. Wednesdays 5-8pm • 3rd Floor


LGBT-inclusive non-denominational Sunday worship service with Pastor Shannon Gresham. 1st and 3rd Sundays 8-10am • Rm 201




The GLCCB is the publisher of Gay Life and the producer of Baltimore Pride

Discussion and reading group for women, trans*, and genderqueer people. Thursdays 7pm • Rm 202

SILhouette (Spiritually In-tuned continued in next column u

A welcoming book club for LGBTQ individuals to discuss a selected reading. 3rd Mondays 7pm • Rm 202

GAYLIFE Read it. Live it.



241 W. Chase St. • Baltimore, MD 21201 • 410.777.8145 •

Women’s Programs

Read it. Live it.


Serving the LGBT Community of Maryland for 35 years


Night OUT: A Civil War Christmas A night at the theater for the LGBTA community • $19-35 • 8pm CENTERSTAGE • 700 N. Calvert St.

Have a calendar listing? Send it to

GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland

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Baltimore Black Pride ICONS We Love Gala






World AIDS Day Generation Now and Then BY JUSTIN B. TERRY

Ryan White, Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, Allison Gertz, Max Robinson, Freddie Mercury, Amanda Blake, Isaac Asimov, Michael Jeter, Keith Haring, Perry Ellis. These are some of the names of people who have passed away from HIV/AIDS complications that I think about on World AIDS Day. Movies like Philadelphia, Longtime Companion, Gia, And the Band Played On, The Ryan White Story, 3 Needles, Angels in America, RENT, and Love! Valour! Compassion! are just some of the films that I watch around World AIDS Day. Watching these movies and thinking of these people makes me realize that we have come far, but still have a long way to go in fighting HIV/AIDS. People in the gay community in the early 1980s were dying every day from something scientists named “GRID” (Gay Related Immune Disease). Now, the name GRID (which was eventually renamed AIDS in 1982) certainly helped perpetuate the myth that HIV/AIDS was a “gay” disease. But, conversely, the gay community has been affected by the disease since the start of the epidemic thirty plus years ago. The result is that those affected by HIV/AIDS in the LGBTQ community are more willing to

speak openly about their status than their straight counterparts. In those early days, a whole generation of the gay community was almost eliminated, and the generations that followed in their footsteps will never truly experience the devastating effects that HIV/AIDS had the older generations of the LGBTQ community. On my blog Justin’s HIV Journal, I received an e-mail that stated, “You, Justin will never know what it was like back in the ‘80s and ‘90s when all my friends were dying.” He was right—I will never know how that feels. However, I have lost friends my age or younger to complications from AIDS. We should not blame generations that came after the onset of the epidemic—it is not their fault. Blaming an younger generation only isolates and desensitizes them to being educated about the virus. Are we doing all we can? No. HIV rates in Baltimore are at an all-time high. Why aren’t people getting the message that to prevent the transmission of HIV a person has to use condoms or other prophylaxis? The answer might be that people have become complacent about HIV/AIDS. A lot of people don’t really think about the repercussions of having HIV/AIDS. There are even

some in our community people that are even trying to get and give HIV on purpose—the so-called “bugchasers” and “giftgivers.” I wonder if they know what having HIV has cost me, our community, and the world. Countless numbers of people have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS complications. There have been billions of dollars put into awareness, education and preventative measures. Some in our community also falsely believe that if they are infected, they can simply just take a few pills every day and everything will be okay, which is not true. Did you know there is a drug resistant strain

ize in front of him. He later learned that his mother also had the ability to see and communicate with ghosts as well. Eight years ago, his ability to communicate with the other side began to develop and he began to take his gift in earnest. In his work, Gutro has found that people unfamiliar with the supernatural often confuse the idea of what is a ghost and a spirit. “There is energy that runs through our bodies. After we pass [away], that energy has to go somewhere,” said Gutro. “The physical energy combines with our soul and personality, which either becomes a ghost, which stays earthbound; or a spirit, which crosses over

into the light.” Earthbound ghosts can stay here by their own choosing, Gutro claims. They stay because they can’t pass on, or may have unfinished business. The earthbound ghost can’t communicate and it is oftentimes angry. Spirits, on the other hand, are positive and have the ability to communicate with mediums and their loved ones though small acts. With Halloween quickly approaching, many assume the paranormal world is only accessible, or more available, during All Hallows Eve. “The paranormal world has no set month. Ghosts are here for a reason,” countered Gutro. Surprisingly, the world of paranormal enthusiasts is incredibly accepting to the LGBT community. Gutro considers his local paranormal investigative group, Inspired Ghost Tracking, his second family who has accepted him with open arms. However, be-

of HIV? Meaning you could be dead in only one year after infection, because there is no medication that can help when infected with the drug resistant strain of HIV. I believe the “in your face” message from the ‘80s and ‘90s has gotten lost upon the generations that have come after the discovery of AIDS. Presently, we don’t see our friends dying every day. In fact, some studies have shown that an individual infected with HIV in their 20s who stays medically compliant can live until their 70s. Is it that people are not caring about getting infected with HIV, or is it deeper? The issue may be that people are infected with an even worse virus—low self-esteem. Not caring about yourself has often been the cause of self-destruction. We must all love ourselves and each other. Justin B. Terry-Smith is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of ‘Justin’s HIV Journal,” a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, He resides in Laurel, Md. with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith and their son Londyn. Photographer: Don Harris. Don Harris Photographics, LLC, © 2011 All Rights Reserved.


Ghost Life

LOCAL GAY GHOST HUNTER SHARES TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE BY JEN VANCE Interested in the paranormal? Well so was Gay Life. Our curiosity brought us to author, medium, and paranormal investigator, Rob Gutro. Gutro, an out-and-proud Bostonnative who has lived in Baltimore for 20 years, considers himself an average guy who just happens to be able to hear, feel, sense and communicate with Earth-bound ghosts and spirits who have passed on. Gutro first got into ghost hunting as a hobby, his full time job being a meteorologist. He had his first experience with a ghost when he was just 14 years old, when he saw his recently-deceased grandfather materialBALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

ing a paranormal investigator who is openly gay has not invited gay ghosts to communicate with him. “I don’t think there is a difference,” Gutro mused. Gutro furthers that oftentimes, gay men tend to be more emotionally in-tune than their heterosexual counterparts, which allows them to connect more to an emotional supernatural message. When he’s not investigation, Gutro is quite the prolific writer, having penned two books, Ghosts and Spirits: Insights from a Medium and Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead, which detail his experiences as a medium and the lessons he has learned from his ability. The biggest lesson Gutro has learned, he says, is that humanity needs to fostering forgiveness and making peace with the world. To learn more about Gutro’s work, his books, or where you can hear him speak in the upcoming months, please visit: NOVEMBER 2013