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PAGE 2 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012




letter editor’s

QUIZ! Correctly answer for a chance to win the powerful documentary


BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM Actor Vincent De Paul did NOT appear in which of the following films? a. The Artist b. Hairspray c. The Iron Lady Which local university is showcasing two fashion shows this month?

My dad has often said that there is nothing worse than car problems—apart, of course, from health problems. This quip is often heard in the context of checkengine lights, breakdowns, mechanic’s estimates, and upon the overall realization of one’s ultimate helplessness when totally dependent on a car. I’ve thought of this as I’ve become increasingly dependent on my computer for everything from doing my job to paying bills. So now when my computer crashes I think: There is nothing worse than computer problems—apart, of course, from health problems. I’ve come to measure life’s obstacles and frustrations in the shadow of something much bigger, because when my health or the health of my family and friends is in question everything else fades. We can’t choose our health problems— present or potential. But we can educate ourselves. Not only can we learn how best to handle our afflictions, but also our risk levels for other illnesses. Many local health centers and resources are available to help. See what some experts advise in our three-part health feature (p. 14). Because when it comes down to it, nothing is more important than our health.

a. Towson University b. University of Maryland c. MICA April is National Poetry Month. When is “Poem in Your Pocket” day? a. April 1 b. April 26 c. June 16


Maggie Beetz



NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt





Transgender discrimination impacts the Miss Universe Canada pageant.


Free legal help from FSLP; New NOW Baltimore chapter; Show off your pets!

By Gwendolyn Ann Smith


5 great things to look out for this April.


Christine Ebersole speaks to GL, visits Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

By Daniel McEvily

By Britany Chong



Ruth’s Chris earns a thumbs-down. By John Cullen with Marty Shayt



AVAM hosts Chase Brexton Gala. By Rachel Roth


Hippo hosts weekend-long Miss Gay Maryland pageant.

Calendar of Events

By Rachel Roth

By Rose D’Longcroi


Q&A at the Hippo with Frank & Beans.


By Charlie Mumford



Photos by GLCCB

Jew-ish/Gay-ish Passover Seder.




By Alicia Gabriel

Breast cancer’s effect on lesbians, trans-men & -women.


LGBTQ communities celebrate Bayard Rustin’s 100th birthday anniversary. By Rev. Irene Monroe

Mental health care from Hearts & Ears. By Terri Solomon

HIV: Testing Makes Us Stronger campaign inspires Baltimore.





We’re confident of victory.

By Michael Quander, Jr.

By Josh Levin

241 W. Chase Street • Baltimore, MD 21201 Phone 410.837.7748 • Fax 410.837.8889 Email

Maggie Beetz, Editor

Gay Life is a publication of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB). Gay Life is published every other Friday in Baltimore, Md., with distribution throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Copyright 2011. 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.

Sabre Chase, Advertising

M. Cory Burgess, Art Director


Britany Chong, John Cullen, Rose D’Longcroi, Daniel McEvily, Alicia Gabriel, Josh Levin, Charlie Mumford, Michael Quander, Jr., Rachel Roth, Marty Shayt, Terri Solomon 410.837.7748


National Advertising Rep.

Newspaper Committee

Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863

Marty Shayt

terra hiltner, GLCCB Trevor Ankeny, Kelly D. McClain, Charlie Mumford, Terri Solomon

Senior Volunteer


outfront COMMUNITY

Free State Legal Project to host Will Power Party: Small Estate Planning for the LGBT Community Come talk with a pro bono attorney and financial experts about your estate plans and financial wellness. Get your will, power of attorney, and advance directive drafted and executed so that you and your family are protected. If you don’t have your documents in order, you don’t have the power—the State does. Don’t let the government have the last word. The Will Power Party is free. Food and prizes will be offered. ■

THE WILL POWER PARTY: SMALL ESTATE PLANNING FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY Tuesday, April 17 • 6-8:30pm GLCCB • 241 W. Chase St. 410.625.5428 •

Meeting to Reinstate Baltimore Chapter of NOW Join Denise Duarte and Marlene Adrian for a meeting to discuss reactivating the Baltimore Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The group is seeking nominations for officers and will be preparing for the election of officers at this meeting. Speakers will include Maryland NOW President Linda Mahoney and Carolyn Cook from United 4 Equality who will speak about the status of Senator Ben Cardin’s bill to eliminate the time limit imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment, which would allow ratification of only three more states for it to become law. “Current events and issues have propelled us into action, not just to defend the rights of women, but to actively pursue full equality for all women,” said Duarte. “This is a historical moment…when women refuse to have their rights taken away and once again take a stand for equality. Now is not the time for complacency. Now is the time for action.”  The Baltimore Chapter of NOW will provide voice and action in active pursuit of equality. All feminist and equality minded people are encouraged to come attend and join in this effort.

“We will be planning and strategizing on the E.R.A. and other important issues on a local front as well as preparing for the National NOW Convention this June,” said Duarte. ■


Wednesday, April 18 • 6:30pm GLCCB • 241 W. Chase St. 410.837.5445 • MARYLAND NOW ANNUAL STATE CONFERENCE Moving Forward into the Future April 28 • 10am-4pm Frederick Community College, Frederick Workshops; Film showing; Opportunities to help determine the course of NOW in Maryland for the next year; Featuring National NOW President Terry O’Neill and Senator Ben Cardin.

NATIONAL NOW ANNUAL CONFERENCE June 29-July 1 Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport 1739 W. Nursery Rd., Linthicum Heights Featuring Keynote Speaker Eve Ensler.

Do you love your pet? PET PHOTOS: Send us a picture (and the name) of your dog, cat, or whatever is crawling around your home for a chance to see your pet in the April 27 issue of Gay Life! And don’t hesitate to include yourself in the pic, too. SHARE YOUR STORY: Tell us how your animal friend has improved your life, or what you think your pet would say about you. Then check out our next issue for our healthy pet feature story. Email by Friday, April 20 with the subject line “Pet.” WWW.BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM


outfront BENEFIT

Going Fishing with Christine Ebersole BY BRITANY CHONG Thespians everywhere adore the amazingly talented Christine Ebersole. She is a force to be reckoned with, mainly because it seems that there is little that she cannot do: Ebersole has won countless awards, including two Tonys. She is most known for her nuanced work on the stage (especially her work as both Big and Little Edie in Grey Gardens), but she also has a fantastic career on the screen. She even sings. It is easy to assume that someone with so much talent and so many accolades could very easily lose touch with the real world, but (when not in character) Ebersole is refreshingly grounded and insightful. Fans of Ebersole can enjoy her comedic insights at Night of the Stars, a Baltimore Hebrew Congregation event honoring community leaders Martha and Stan Weiman, and that will benefit religious school scholarships and youth programs. Fans can also read on to catch a glimpse of the Ebersole’s wit: 

What projects are you working on now? Well, I’m leaving for LA on the 18th of April. I got a TV series called Sullivan and Son. It just got picked up. We shot the pilot in November. It’s going to be airing in July. It takes place at a bar in Pittsburgh; I’m a cougar that works at the DMV. I’m just playing myself.

So you’re a cougar who works at the DMV? Not quite. [Ebersole chuckles]

I know you must be busy. How do you juggle your time? It’s always really hard when you have kids. It’s hard to create a balance, that’s what I

PAGE 6 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012


Saturday, April 28 • $75-150 6-7:30pm reception • 8pm show Baltimore Hebrew Congregation 7401 Park Heights Ave. 443.524.0284 •

try to do. I think when you’re on the stage it’s really hard. You’re never there at night; you don’t get to see your family as much. You have off one day a week. That’s really hard. This part that is coming up will be hard. The show shoots in LA, and I live in New Jersey. I’m going to be flying back and forth, which will be hard.

Do you have any advice for people who, like you, struggle with a busy schedule? Creating balance is about being present so that when you’re with your kids you’re really with them. Whatever time that you have, you are present and engaged.

Why do you think Grey Gardens is so popular with the gay community? Little Edie has always been sort of an iconic figure that is revered in the gay community because she represented a staunch character that really stood for her beliefs. She was marginalized and made fun of. She was an outsider in that way, but it didn’t really stop her from expressing herself. I think that’s how people feel in general, but particularly people in the gay community (a marginalized community that is fighting to have recognition in humanity).

What role are you dying to play?

Edie Beale.

I can’t say right off hand, but I know that there is some fantastic role that will bring me back to Broadway.

Tell me about Grey Gardens! What was it like to be Big and Little Edie?

Tell me about your awards. How does it feel to receive so many?

What is your favorite role so far?

Big Edie was more out of my imagination. Little Edie was more from studying the documentary because that was on film. There was nothing about them, except for photographs, about what it was like during their heyday.

I think that it’s about balance because I appreciate all the awards I received, but at the same time that’s not why we pursue a career in the theater. We do it because we



Ruth’s Chris Steak House is Not Worth the Price BY JOHN CULLEN WITH MARTY SHAYT

We wanted to treat a friend to a birthday dinner, and she selected the Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Pikesville. Though situated in a modern business office complex, the five dining rooms have a posh traditional feel with lots of dark wood, muted colors and tables decked out in heavy white linens spaced nicely part. While we’re used to upscale restaurants, Ruth’s Chris’ menu prices raised our eyebrows. With most entrées priced $35 to $50 (and vegetables at $8 or more not included), the menu induced acute sticker shock. (There are no prices on their online menu nor does the actual menu provide the weight for the pricey steaks.) Starter soups and side salads ranged from $8 to $11 and a handful of appetizers ranged from $13 to $18. Marty and our friend split a Caesar salad while John had a spinach salad. Our friend ordered the petite filet ($36), John opted for the New York strip steak ($42), and Marty decided on a special, mahi mahi with shrimp ($37). We decided to share an order of asparagus with hollandaise ($9) and garlic mashed potatoes ($8). The salads were good with large portions allowing for sharing; Marty liked the anchovies on the side that he had requested. Oddly, the staff started placing the entrees and veggies on the table without first clearing off the salad plates. The entrées arrived on unusually small, un-garnished plates with no room for our vegetables. Our friend was pleased with her filet, but John was less than pleased that his steak arrived closer to medium well than the medium rare he requested (he’s also bought $10 supermarket steaks that were tenderer and were better than his $42 Ruth’s Chris steak). Marty’s special was visually attractive with a comparatively large portion of fish and shrimp and it proved as good as it looked. A dozen stalks of asparagus were cooked nicely al dente but came with very small container of hollandaise (for $9, why skimp?). The mashed potatoes were at best average; neither arrived with serving spoons. An empty bread basket was never refilled.


Curiously for such an upscale place, our waiter slipped the contents into boxes in front of us and left them awkwardly un-bagged on the table. After we turned down the offer for $5-per-person French press coffee service, the waiter brought a complimentary piece of chocolate cake for our friend’s birthday (though he never asked her preference, and she never eats chocolate cake). The waiter also never asked us whether we wanted dessert and instead just brought us the bill. Despite appreciating the casually el-

With most entrées priced $35 to $50 (and vegetables at $8 or more not included), the menu induced acute sticker shock. (There are no prices on their online menu nor does the actual menu provide the weight for the pricey steaks.) egant dining rooms, ultra high prices for a meal (which seemed more average than outstanding) and the dubious service left us wondering why Ruth’s Chris seems so popular. Afterwards, we concluded there are other restaurants with better food and service—and that offer better value for the dollar. ■


1777 Reisterstown Rd. • Pikesville 410.837.0033 • Open 7 days for dinner Full bar • Very few vegetarian options Email and find past reviews at


outfront DRAG

Club Hippo Hosts Miss Gay Maryland Pageant

Chi Chi Ray Colby

BY ROSE D’LONGCROI Whether they are aiming for statewide attraction or national recognition, Club Hippo is the hearth and home for Maryland’s drag beauty queens. And this month, the reigning Miss Gay America, Kirby Kolby, will assist Miss Gay Maryland, Chi Chi Ray Colby, in passing the torch of Miss Gay Maryland to a new star. For the last 25 years, Club Hippo has hosted the three-day competition of glitter, satin, leather, and lace for ten contestants who have excelled in the five preliminary contests held from May to February. Once crowned, Miss Gay Maryland 2012 will be tossed into a smorgasbord of interviews and LGBT events representing the wildly varied, scandalously witty world of the drag queen, in addition to participating in the Baltimore Pride Parade in June. So save up your singles for the tipping frenzy this April 21 through 23 as Kolby and Colby pair up with sizzling emcees Kofi, the current Miss Black America Plus, and Catia Lee Love for 72 hours of nailbiting tension with celebrity judge Alexis Mateo of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. On the 21st, after the contestants sit though orientation, they will be putting their best face forward for an out-ofmakeup interview, ensuring they have the gestalt needed to secure the dignity of this title. After the grilling, the contestants will exit stage right into the karaoke bar for In Review, a sequined-studded retrospective of Miss Gay Marylands’ star-studded reigns. Previous crown holders will grace the stage.  After the slow immersion with the meetand-greet, the pressure begins. As the sun sets on April 22, Club Hippo’s doors will open to fire-safe capacity as the solo talPAGE 8 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012

Photo by Steve Weiner

ent, ball gown, and enhanced talent performance portion of the competition begins. Seats for this event are selling fast and may not be available at the door. Emcees Kolby and Colby and the luscious Ms. Mateo will liberally sprinkle this event with their own palate-cleansing performances. On Monday as the scores are tallied to determine the top five who will be announced that evening. Sunlight hours will pass in a flurry as the hopefuls amp up for a second ball gown and enhanced talent portion partnered with the infamous question and answer segment, which will be a last barrier between the crown and a year of service and adoration.   So plan the third weekend of April around one of Mount Vernon’s treasures and be a part of Miss Gay America’s history. ■


Saturday, April 21 • 10pm Drag performances by former Miss Gay Maryland queens Special guests Alexis Mateo and Kirby Kolby


Sunday, April 22 • 6pm Ten contestants vying for Miss Gay Maryland Special guests Alexis Mateo, Kirby Kolby, and Chi Chi Ray Colby


Monday, April 23 • 7pm Top 5, Gowns, Talents, Winner Crowned! Special guests Alexis Mateo and Kirby Kolby


1 W. Eager St. Each event $12 BALTIMORE’S GAY LIFE NEWSPAPER


Do you support medical marijuana in Maryland? Why or why not?  AI-LING

“I would say yes...but if it’s going to be in print...”


Beginner Yoga

“Yes, because I believe if someone has a prescription, they should be able to smoke it.”

With Yoga Therapist Tim Hurley

Sundays at 3:30pm


“I do support it, just because any means for somebody to get better—that should be supported.”

(please arrive a few minutes early) Room 201 at The GLCCB 241 W. Chase St. Cost is $9 410.837.5445 A portion of the cost is donated back to The GLCCB


“I do. I think that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and, if you’re in pain, you should be able to medicate how you want to... as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.”

Bingo Talk takes place Wednesdays 8:30pm at Club Hippo’s Gay Bingo hosted by Roger Dimick. Why Frank & Beans? With Roger around you’re not likely to escape without a nickname either.


8:30 pm wednesdays

by Roger Dimick with Prizes and Progressive Jackpot. Proceeds Benefit Club Hippo 1 W. Eager St.









A School Lifts Ban on Pro-LGBT T-Shirt When 16-year-old Maverick Couch of southwest Ohio wore a T-shirt to school that said “Jesus is Not a Homophobe,” his principal asked him to turn it inside-out. One year later, the Waynesville High School student has been given permission to wear the shirt for one day. While he can wear the shirt on April 20, the national Day of Silence, a movement to raise awareness about the bullying of gay teenagers, the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Couch has decided to sue. “A student’s First Amendment rights are not restricted to one day of the year,” Christopher Clark, Couch’s lawyer, told the Enquirer. “We will continue to fight until Maverick is allowed to express who he is on any day he chooses.” According to the Enquirer, school officials told Couch the shirt violated rules against clothing that is “indecent or sexual in nature.” A meeting is scheduled between Couch’s lawyer and the attorneys representing the Warren County school officials is scheduled for May 2.

Change to US Customs Policy B Proposed Benefits LGBT Families The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is proposing to expand the definition of a family on Customs Declaration Forms to include “two adult individuals in a committed relationship…and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.” The current rule requires same-sex couples to go through customs separately, making them legal strangers. Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization in Florida dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, applauds the proposed change as a significant step forward for LGBT couples and their children. “This is a huge step forward, one that will avoid putting U.S. citizens through the indignity of denying their families in order to return to their own country,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. “We should never have to explain to our child why the person at the desk says we’re not a family.”

Could Join Southern Neighbors C NC in Marriage Ban North Carolina, the only Southern state without a same-sex marriage ban on the books, may be joining its neighbors. On May 8, voters will have the chance to voice their opinion on adding an amendment to the state’s constitution that would limit marriage to heterosexual couples. According to an article on, part of the reason North Carolina has remained the “vale of humility” for so long is largely due to Democratic control of the state’s legislator. In 2010, for the first time in nearly 140 years, Republicans took control.

HUD Awards $33 Million to HIV/AIDS Housing Programs The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that more than 1,200 extremely low-income people living with HIV/AIDS will continue to receive permanent housing as a result of nearly $33 million in grants. The funding is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of 18 local programs in 17 states. According to HUD, the majority of the money will be distributed using a formula that determines which cities have the most need based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PAGE 10 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012

EU to Potential Members: A Improve LGBT Protections The European Parliament has a message for potential members: amend protections for LGBT people. Turkey, Serbia, and Montenegro are official candidates to join the European Union, and Kosovo is currently considered a potential candidate. All four countries currently have discriminatory laws on the books. According to an article on, the Parliament asked that homophobia and transphobia be included in the Turkish hate crime law, that Turkish Armed Forces cease to classify homosexuality as a ‘psychosexual illness,’ and to condemn prosecutions against LGBT people. In Serbia, the Parliament “strongly condemns” inflammatory and discriminatory remarks on the topic by some politicians and members of the orthodox clergy. The resolution expresses concerned for “the lack of political will... to ensure the safety of the participants of the Pride Parade” in 2011, which was cancelled by police. reports that the resolution on Montenegro “highlights positive developments” in the country, and “welcomes the recent adoption of the Law Against Discrimination, which explicitly mentions sexual orientation and gender identity.”

B Slovenians Reject Gay & Lesbian Adoption A national referendum in Slovenia that would allow lesbian and gay couples to adopt the biological children of their partners has been rejected. According to the Associated Press, nearly 55 percent of those who took part in the referendum rejected the law, while about 45 percent supported it. The results are surprising as Slovenia is known for being more tolerant of LGBT people than its Balkan neighbors. In 2006, the country allowed for official registration of same-sex relationships. Much of the efforts to defeat the referendum was backed by conservative groups with close ties to the Catholic Church. Roman Catholic, Serbian Orthodox, and Muslim communities in Slovenia also jointly signed a petition before the referendum, asking Slovenes to reject the law in the name of “[protecting] the values of marriage and family as a community of a husband and a wife, and children.” Due to procedural rules, proponents of the law will have to wait a year before they can formally propose the law again.

C Hungarian Officials Ban Pride Event Police in Budapest canceled a LGBT pride event citing traffic concerns. Amnesty International is now calling on the Hungarian government to lift the ban and allow LGBT people to “exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression without discrimination.” According to Amnesty International, the Rainbow Mission Foundation—the organization in charge of the July 7 event—had proposed using a parade route that is often used for other events, marches, and demonstrations. As a result, Amnesty International alleges that the rejection of this particular event is about limiting the rights of LGBT people.




QUEER HEALTH: BREAST CANCER By Alicia Gabriel, Chase Brexton Health Services with Jill Crank, CRNP, Chase Brexton Health Services

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) have developed the top ten health issues lesbian and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men, and transgender people need to discuss with their providers. Among those issues is a high occurrence of and concern about breast cancer.

In the US, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, the most common cancer for African American women, and the leading cause of cancer death for Hispanic women (Source: CDC).


Breast cancer is the number one health concern for lesbian and bisexual women. According to the National LGBT Cancer Network, the risks of breast cancer are increased because of lifestyle and access to care. Research has shown that the lesbian/ bisexual community tends to smoke more, uses higher rates of alcohol, and is more likely to have a body mass index (BMI) over 25 (25 and over is considered overweight to obese). These lifestyle issues are shown to increase a person’s risk for breast cancer. In addition, lesbians who choose to have children tend to have them later in life. Pregnancy before the age of 30 has been shown to reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Moreover, barriers to care for lesbians and bisexual women still exist. Many companies and health insurance policies do not offer same-sex partner benefits, leaving many women uninsured. As it is for anyone who is uninsured, health care becomes an added (and huge) expense saved only for emergencies, limiting women’s access to preventive care and critical screenings,

PAGE 12 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012

such as mammograms. And not all lesbian and bisexual women are being honest with their providers about their sexual orientation. Some fear discrimination. Some have had negative experiences when they’ve “come out” to their provider. What results is a tenuous relationship with the provider, a hesitancy to see a provider, or a decision to forgo health care altogether.


As is the case for cisgender women, transgender men’s risk for breast cancer increases with age, race, family history, and lifestyle risks. Transgender men who don’t have their reproductive organs removed are also at risk for cancer of those organs. Many transgender men find the idea of routine screenings, like clinical breast exams, at the very least uncomfortable, but because these screenings can save your life, finding a safe, affirming provider is crucial. The data to show the incidence of breast cancer in transgender men is not extensive. Often, a person’s gender identity is not tracked by health care professionals, or the patient doesn’t disclose their gender identity, making research and appropriate care difficult. The importance of disclosure cannot be understated: if your provider does not know your sexual orientation and/or gender identity, your provider won’t screen you appropriately. Some link between hormones and an increased risk of breast cancer is also suggested as the body turns excess testosterone into estrogen (Source: Mautner Project); estrogen can increase the risks for some types of breast cancer. Testosterone levels should be monitored by a primary care provider. For transgender men who have gone

through breast reduction or removal surgery (top surgery), generally the breast tissue is not completely removed during this surgery so screening for breast cancer is still suggested.


Transgender women’s risk of breast cancer is unclear; there is very little research on the subject. The risk for natal males is low—about 1 percent (Source: CDC). The Center for Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California, San Francisco, suggests transgender women who have past or current use of hormones begin screening at 50 years of age if their weight is greater than 35 BMI and/or they’ve used estrogen/progestin for five or more years. For both transgender women and transgender men, the risk becomes more complex because of delay of seeking treatment because of past discrimination, the difficulty in finding and accessing care, and (horrifically) denial of treatment by a provider because of the patient’s gender identity.


While there are no proven methods of preventing breast cancer, you can reduce your risks and it is a detectable cancer.  Keep the conversation about health care inequalities in the public realm.  Breasts come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Don’t be afraid—get to know yours. Any changes should not be ignored.  Find a trustworthy, affirming provider. Both GLMA and the Human Rights Campaign list LGBT “friendly” providers. Some providers are able to provide

care to those who are uninsured—community health centers in particular. Ask about case management services—these are services designed to help patients get access to care and treatment.  See your provider regularly, not just when you’re sick. Regular visits are preventive visits.  Learn your family’s history and talk with your provider about your risks. Oh, and let’s end this with just a little nagging: quit the smokes, eat your greens, drink alcohol responsibly, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. ■

FREE STD TESTING Free and confidential HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and/or gonorrhea testing by the Baltimore City Health Department is offered weekly at the GLCCB. No appointment necessary.


241 W. Chase St. 3rd floor 410.837.5445 BALTIMORE’S GAY LIFE NEWSPAPER


vides opportunities for socialization as well as support groups for men, women, and transgender individuals, as well as creative writing and art groups, smoking cessation and WRAP, to name a few. “WRAP (Wellness & Recovery Action Plan) is an individualized plan for persons who have mental illnesses identifying triggers and developing support systems and a plan for mitigating future crisis situations” said Springham. Special training is required to facilitate this group. Why is WRAP so important? “People don’t think of recovery when “It gets people to understand the illthey think of mental illness,” said Kathe ness in their lives, and get feedback from Horton, Hearts & Ears member and board those who know them treasurer. “Here we so they can get interhave peer support. You “It’s important to be in a vention before they are don’t feel alone and can space where I can be very sick,” said Horton, talk to someone who openly gay and openly who knows firsthand has been through it.” mentally ill...I can be the value of a support Russ Springham is an honest about who I am.” system for her depresadult service manager —Kathe Horton sion and anxiety. She at Baltimore Mental first became seriously Health Systems, which ill in her twenties, and was hospitalized for funds various contracts for wellness and many months. recovery centers in the city. Springham “I got out, slowly worked my way back compares the model used at Hearts & to a normal life and discovered in the proEars as “similar to substance abuse process that I was a lesbian. But forty years grams where peer support is used extenlater, everything crashed around me,” said sively in recovery.” Horton. “When I heard about WRAP, I “There is a double stigma for the indirealized that was everything I had been doviduals who are also consumers of mental ing, but I lost my support system and my health services because they are a double doctor, because I didn’t realize they were minority,” said Jessica Blum, newly apnecessary. So now I’m listening.” pointed program director for Hearts & Hearts & Ears will be located at 11 W. Ears. Blum has been working diligently to Chase Street, and will be open at least 30 prepare office space and attract new memhours a week. Services are available for bers; once the new site opens its doors, anyone who identifies as a member of the Blum will reinstitute its weekly support LGBT community and suffers from mengroups and operate the drop-in center. tal illness. ■ Staff and volunteers facilitate a variety of groups at the center. These cover HEARTS & EARS a wide range of educational forums, out410.523.1694 reach sessions, and activities for physical and mental health. Hearts & Ears proHearts & Ears, a wellness and recovery center for the LGBT community in Baltimore, closed its doors on Pennsylvania Avenue in February and will reopen in May at a new Mt. Vernon location. The organization has been serving LGBT mental health consumers since Paula Lafferty founded it in 1998. Tony Wright, executive director of On Our Own of Baltimore, has been acting as temporary executive director for Hearts & Ears since December.





Ronald, 23, is an African-American gay man from Baltimore. When he walks outside of his east Baltimore apartment building every day, he comes face to face with discrimination, rejection, and stigma. While he says these are tough “elements to his life,” the toughest one yet is coming face to face with the reality that HIV adversely affects his community, his friends, and himself.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) feels just as strongly as he does. With the launch of a national multi-million dollar campaign, the CDC is focusing on reducing the spread of HIV among AfricanAmerican men who have sex with men. It has debuted in five major cities across the

nation, and a month ago, the project made its stop in the city of charm. “I’ve been waiting for something like this to come to Baltimore… this is for me,” said Ronald. It is called Testing Makes Us Stronger, and no matter what you are doing—riding the bus, browsing the internet, visiting your favorite hangout, or reading your favorite publication—you cannot help being drawn in by the campaign’s captivating photography and bold message. According to the CDC, Testing Makes Us Stronger is part of Act Against AIDS—a five-year, comprehensive national communication campaign to refocus national attention on the importance of HIV pre-

RASHAD BURGESS vention and testing. Previous campaigns have included a general awareness campaign, an awareness and testing campaign targeted toward African American women, and a pilot of Testing Makes Us Stronger called Know Where You Stand.

The official local campaign launch of Testing Makes Us Stronger took place March 8 at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center—just blocks away from Baltimore’s gayborhood. The event included remarks from the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, and an overview of the local epidemic in Maryland by Heather Hauck, Director of the Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration. Baltimore continues to rank in the top percentile of new cases of HIV, and national data collected in 2008 shows that 29 percent of black men who have sex with men (MSM) were infected—doubling the level of infection among white MSM—and of those, 59 percent did not know they were infected. Those were the figures that Rashad Burgess, Chief of Capacity Building Branch for the CDC, reflected on when he spoke to audience members. Burgess is one of the driving forces behind the campaign and says, “The campaign’s messages emphasize that HIV testing is a source of strength, not a reason for fear. Knowing your HIV status is a powerful tool—whether you test positive or negative, you can use that

AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT In celebration of their mission to the gay and lesbian community, The First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church is hosting a section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The 54-ton, handmade tapestry honoring more than 90,000 individuals lost to AIDS will be exhibited in Reid Memorial Chapel. The Quilt began with a single 3 x 6 foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, it is composed of more than 47,000 individual 3 x 6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. TO VIEW THE QUILT Sunday, April 15  12-2pm Opening Reception in the Reid Memorial Chapel Tuesday, April 17  7-9pm An evening of reflection and sharing.

Wednesday, April 18  7-9pm An evening of quiet. Thursday, April 19  7-9pm Open for viewing. Sunday, April 22  12-2pm Open for viewing.


The AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Washington, D.C. this summer for two major programs. During the XIX International AIDS Conference, the Quilt will “blanket” the national capital region, with sections displayed on part of the National Mall, in 40+ additional venues throughout Washington area, and during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival via “Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt.” The NAMES Project Foundation is looking for volunteers and sponsors for a wide variety of event support this summer for The Quilt. To register, please visit To donate, please visit To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please call Julie Rhoad at 404.688.5500.

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knowledge to take better care of yourself and your loved ones.” Aside from his extensive educational and professional background, Burgess is the recipient of the Bayard Rustin Award from the Greater Chicago Committee, and was recently named one of the “generation’s next mavericks, pioneers and agitators [who] will make this the last decade of AIDS” by POZ Magazine. It comes as no surprise that he is responsible for over $50 million dollars in programmatic funds and the Testing Makes Us Stronger campaign. Burgess has had input in the design of this project and its launches across the country. This campaign is designed to meet people where they are and “reach black gay and bisexual men in their everyday lives,” he said. That is an important factor for guys like Ronald, because he and his friends do not typically talk about HIV or the importance of getting testing. Ronald said, “I just don’t, but this ad is just right in my face. The pictures just draw me in and make me want to find out more about these guys and stuff.” That is exactly what the CDC is hoping to deliver to the targeted population. With diverse images—including couples and groups of friends—the goal is to show the diversity and uniqueness of this community. They chose to use images that are reflective and offer affirming messages to the community. Burgess says the message is “one that reminds them that HIV testing makes us safer, wiser, and stronger.” We want black gay and bisexual men from all walks of life to see themselves in these ads. The images reflect the diverse range of strong men in the community, including black gay men and couples in loving and supportive relationships. The goal is to deliver an affirming message to these men—one that reminds them that HIV testing makes us safer, wiser, and stronger. This campaign comes just one year after the launch of the HIV Stops With Me campaign, which focused on promoting a message of care and treatment to men who have sex with men and are living with HIV. The campaign featured four spokespersons that shared their stories and encouraged their peers to keep themselves and their partners healthy. Baltimore residents Ben and Mayo showed their support for this new campaign at the launch last month by sharing a few words. They were elated about the new project and shared a message of optimism. “This is serious. I hope this campaign


will encourage everyone to go out and get tested,” said Mayo. The HIV Stops With Me campaign was launched through the University of Maryland, under a program that focuses on the health and wellness of sexual minority youth. Jamal Hailey, Manager of HIV Prevention, Education, and Testing Services and Sexual Minority Programs at the University of Maryland, orchestrated the local adaptation of the campaign and believes that Testing Makes Us Stronger is the perfect follow-up to HIV Stops With Me. Hailey explained, “HIV Stops With Me focused more on positive individuals, and now Baltimore has a campaign that focuses on the rest of the community. This is something that’s needed and will hopefully encourage people to get educated, take the test, and be aware of their status.” Thanks to the Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimore Black Pride, Inc., Testing Makes Us Stronger is the message that everyone is seeing and talking about. There seems to be no one in Baltimore that opposes the presence of Testing Makes Us Stronger in Baltimore. Carlton Smith, Co-Founder of Baltimore Black Pride, was the last to speak at the celebratory launch event last month. Smith is recognized for the preliminary work he did to assist in bringing this campaign to the city of Baltimore, and while many viewed his speech to be poignant, Smith says that he supports this campaign because “young people are dying.” In a statement that silenced the room, Carlton Smith allowed reality to set in and captivated the hearts of many. Burgess said that Baltimore can expect this campaign to be around throughout the year. “As we approach the summer, when materials and testing information will be available at Black Pride events across the nation—providing even greater visibility among the campaign phases’ target audience,” he said. Although this campaign will not be around forever, organizers hope that the effects of its message will last forever. ■ The campaign’s dedicated website (HIVTest. org/stronger) provides visitors basic facts about HIV/AIDS, an overview of the campaign and local events, campaign graphics and resources that individuals and organizations can download and use in their own communities, and a tool that allows visitors to find HIV testing sites near them.


firstperson SPEAKING OUT

Bayard Rustin: One of the Tallest Trees in our Forest BY REV. IRENE MONROE This spring around the country, LGBTQ communities are celebrating Bayard Rustin’s 100th birthday anniversary. But to date, he’s still largely an unknown because of the heterosexism that has canonized the history of last century’s black civil rights movement. Bayard Rustin was born March 17, 1912 in the Quaker-settled area of West Chester Pennsylvania, one of the stops on the Underground Railroad. The handsome six-footer who possessed both athletic and academic prowess is most noted as the strategist and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington that catapulted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King onto a world stage. Rustin also played a key role in helping King develop the strategy of nonviolence in the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956), which successfully dismantled the long-standing Jim Crow ordinance of segregated seating on public

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conveyances in Alabama. One of my favorite quotes by Rustin is this: “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” For LGBTQ African Americans, Rustin is the only open gay hero we have, and for many of us his work and words give us courage to fight homophobia in ourselves and in our communities.  In a letter to a friend explaining his predilection toward gay sex, Rustin wrote: “I must pray, trust, experience, dream, hope, and all else possible until I know clearly in my own mind and spirit that I have failed to become heterosexual, if I must fail, not because of a faint heart, or for lack of confidence in my true self, or for pride, or for emotional instability, or for moral lethargy, or any other character fault, but rather, because I come to see after the

most complete searching that the best for me lies elsewhere.” During the Civil Rights movement, Bayard Rustin was always the man behind the scene, and a large part of that had to do with the fact that he was gay. As Albert Shanker, then president of the American Federation of Teachers and friend of Rustin stated in a review on Jervis Anderson’s biography Bayard Rustin: The Troubles I’ve Seen, Rustin “...was the quintessential outsider—a black man, a Quaker, a one-time pacifist, a political, social dissident, and a homosexual.”  African American ministers involved in the Civil Right movement would have nothing to do with Rustin, and they rumored throughout the movement that King was gay because of his close friendship with Rustin.  In a spring 1987 interview with Rustin in Open Hands, a resource for ministries affirming the diversity of human sexuality, Rustin recalled that difficult period quite vividly. Rustin stated, “Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality. Martin set up a committee to discover what he should do. They said that, despite the fact that I had contributed tremendously to the organization… they thought I should separate myself from Dr. King. This was the time when [Rev. Adam Clayton] Powell threatened to expose my so-called homosexual relationship with Dr. King.”  When Rustin pushed him on the issue to speak up on his behalf, King did not. In his book Lost Prophet: The Life and times of Bayard Rustin, John D’Emilo wrote the following on the matter:  “Rustin offered to resign in the hope that his would force the issue. Much to his chagrin, King did not reject the offer. At the time, King was also involved in a major challenge to the conservative leadership of the National Baptist convention, and one of his ministerial lieutenants in the fight was also gay.  ‘Basically King said I can’t take on two queers at one time,’ one of Rustin’s associated recollected later.”  When Rustin was asked about MLK’s views on gays in a March 1987 interview with Redvers Jeanmarie he stated, “It is difficult for me to know what Dr. King felt

about gayness…” As a March on Washington volunteer in 1963, Bayard Rustin was Eleanor Holmes Norton’s boss. The renowned Congresswoman of D.C. recalls the kerfuffle concerning Rustin’s sexuality.  “I was sure the attacks would come because I knew what they could attack Bayard for,” Norton stated to Steve Hendrix in a 2011 interview. “It flared up and then flared right back down,” Norton stated. “Thank God, because there was no substitute for Bayard.”  The association of Rustin to the March was inseparable to those who worked closely with him. “The 53-year-old known at the time as “Mr. March-on-Washington” was a lanky, cane-swinging, poetry-quoting black Quaker intellectual who wore his hair in a graying pompadour,” Hendrix wrote in Bayard Rustin: Organizer of the March on Washington.  “When the anniversary comes around, frankly I think of Bayard as much as I think of King,” stated Norton. “King could hardly have given the speech if the march had not been so well attended and so well organized. If there had been any kind of disturbance, that would have been the story.”  Rustin was a complex man and often times seemingly a contrarian. To the surprise of many, Rustin was an opponent to “identity politics,” and most likely would not have been waving a rainbow flag or approve of queer studies departments at colleges and universities. To many conservative African Americans, Rustin wasn’t only “queer” in the literal sense, but was perceived also as one who didn’t have any of the approved and appropriate black sensibilities.  “Rustin’s steadfast opposition to identity politics also came under criticism by exponents of the developing Black Power movement. His critical stance toward affirmative action programs and black studies departments in American universities was not a popular viewpoint among many of his fellow Afro-Americans, and as at various other times of his life Rustin found himself to a certain extent isolated,” Buzz Haughton wrote in his article “Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Leader,” in the Fall 1999 issue of Quaker Studies.  As we comb through the annals of history, more of us are learning that Rustin was also one of the tallest trees in our forest. ■



We’re Confident of Victory BY JOSH LEVIN

Last month Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law. Under his tireless leadership—and that of key legislators and the large coalition of gay and straight organizations—committed gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry on January 1, 2013—if all goes well this fall.   Right now opponents of marriage equality are collecting signatures to make sure the issue gets on the November ballot. Due to Maryland’s very low threshold for petitioning bills to the bal-

lot, all sides believe that opponents will reach—and well exceed—the requisite 56,000 signatures needed to put marriage up for a vote. Translation: This will be on the ballot in the fall. And we’re confident of victory. Any campaign would be thrilled to have the momentum we’ve built coming off the legislative win earlier this year. Folks are fired up, and polling is good. Hart Research shows that a majority of Maryland voters support upholding the state’s new marriage equality law in a referendum. In addition, the likelihood that President Obama will run strongly in Maryland (he garnered 63 percent of the vote in 2008) bodes extremely well for passage of marriage equality. For example, nearly 70 percent of Obama voters and 30 percent of Romney voters support marriage equality.  Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the expanded coalition which came together to successfully pass marriage equality in Maryland, will be working hard over the coming weeks and months to encourage you to do three key things:



The most important thing we can do to defend Maryland’s marriage equality law is to have conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors about what marriage equality is really all about—two people, who love each other, building a stable family, and having that family recognized under the law, period. This is what moves people— no matter political affiliation, faith, or background. Not everyone “gets-it” the first time, so keep the dialogue going.


This campaign will cost millions and the most important donations are the $10, $20, $50 donations that people make online at /DonateNow. Those small dollar contributions, added to the larger high-dollar contributions are what drive any winning campaign.


“Support” doesn’t win elections. Votes do. The campaign is working on gathering pledges from anyone and everyone who supports marriage equality on our website. Go online now at to pledge to vote FOR the bill this November. Together, we can turn our success of passing the marriage equality bill into a permanent victory this November. ■ Josh Levin is the new campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.For information on how to get involved with the campaign, contact



Universal Discrimination BY GWENDOLYN ANN SMITH A transgender woman, Jenna Talackova, ended up as a finalist in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, likely the first known transgender finalist in Miss Universe—or at least the first I’d ever heard of. For a brief period of time, a transgender woman was part of one of the world’s biggest pageants dedicated to feminine beauty. Then something happened: Talackova was removed from the event. We don’t know why she was removed, behind a statement from the pageant stating, “She did not meet the requirements to compete despite having stated otherwise on her entry form.” Unfortunately, I could not find a copy of the form in question: all their website for the pageant provides is a simple web form, asking for name, contact information, date of birth, and things such as headshots and swimsuit pictures. They list their basic

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requirements as follows: “To qualify for the 2012 competition, you must be a Canadian Citizen and at least 18 years of age and under 27 years of age by February 1st, 2012.” Note it does not mention anything about actually being female, let alone not being transgender. Heck, it doesn’t even require you to not have had any cosmetic surgery. We can easily guess what the pageant has decided, however: surgically created vaginas do not a woman make. Even though she was deemed pretty enough to compete prior to hitting the finals, the very fact that she was not born with certain sexual characteristics was enough for her to be kicked out. Meanwhile, the pageant couches their decision in a statement that makes it sound like Talackova was being dishonest, stating that she met the requirements when she supposedly did not. For me, personally, I don’t see much value in a beauty pageant. Perhaps it’s merely a case of sour grapes, but I don’t see why we have contests based simply on who can look the prettiest prancing about on a stage. It feels just a step above the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, and not what we should be rewarding. Nevertheless, many people opt to participate, and it’s a part of our culture on one

level or another. With that in mind, it was great that a transgender woman was participating—and all that more upsetting that she was removed. This points to a bigger issue that I think most transgender people face: no matter Talackova’s feelings, no matter the therapists who treated her, no matter the sexual characteristics she gained by surgery and hormone treatments, and no matter how much of a woman she is—inside and out— her gender can be swept aside in a heartbeat when someone decides she isn’t one based on her own personal history. This is why non-transgender people might ask a transgender person what their “real” name is, referring to the name they were given at birth. Or why people feel they can ask questions about the genitals of a transgender person that they’d never dream of asking their non-transgender brethren. It’s at the heart of most anti-transgender discrimination: not only the assumption that we are always what we are at birth, but the assumption that if we don’t share our history, we are being deceptive. Painting transgender people as deceptive, too, is




5 Things to Look Out For in April BY DANIEL MCEVILY

In the world of entertainment, April is a relatively quiet period before the onslaught of TV’s May Sweeps and massive summer music and film blockbusters. However, there are still plenty of offerings out there to satisfy your guilty pleasures and occupy your eyes and ears. Let’s gander at some of the television, music, and film offerings in store for us in April to tide you over before Hollywood inundates you in May.


Logo TV • Season Finale April 23 • Reunion April 30

RuPaul’s Drag Race crosses the finish line on April 23 with the crowning of one of the remaining three drag starlets as Ru’s heir-apparent and the title of The Next Drag Superstar. Fans should also tune into Logo on April 30, when Mother Ru and her bevy of drag daughters reunite for a look back on the season. Laughs, tears, and secrets will be revealed, including why exactly disqualified fan favorite Willam got booted from the show. For those mourning the end of Drag Race’s fourth installment, fear not: Two spin off shows, the popular summer makeover show RuPaul’s Drag


U and an RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, are slated for the remainder of 2012 to keep your fix alive.

2 THE THREE STOOGES In theatres April 13

LGBT funny folk Sean Hayes and Jane Lynch lend their talent in this remake of the iconic slapstick comedy. The film follows Moe, Larry, and Curly as they try to save their childhood orphanage and inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV. Whacky hijinks are sure to ensue, but the jury is still out on whether this redux of an American classic will sink or swim.

3 RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: OUT OF THE GAME Album available April 23

Singer-songwriter Wainwright comes out with his highlyanticipated seventh studio album on April 23. Produced with Mark Ronson of Amy Winehouse fame, Wainwright has cited his influences for this album include the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, and Queen and promises the disc to be his poppiest and most danceable album to date.


WB • Season Finale April 17

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar were overjoyed last fall with her return to network television with her starring role in the soapy, over-the-top tale of the lies, intrigue, and mystery surrounding a pair of twins. Will Bridget discover that her evil twin sister is alive and playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with her? All will be revealed during the series’ season finale on April 17.


The Howard Theater • Washington, D.C. • April 13-15 Tickets available through Ticketmaster

If you’re up sauntering down to our Nation’s Capitol, note that funny woman and LGBT activist Wanda Sykes is set to perform at the Howard Theater in DC for three nights beginning on April 13. ■ Each issue, we will reach our hand in the pop-culture hat and draw out a whacky topic and recount five things that amuse, horrify, befuddle and amaze us and present it for your reading pleasure.


PAGE 20 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012



Wonderland: Marquee Ball: Head down the rabbit hole and dance the night away on one of the best dance floors in Baltimore. $35-1,650. 6pm-Midnight. The Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Earth Day Vaudeville: The Twisted Knickers presents an evening of comedy and debauchery in honor of our planet. $10. 7pm. Frederick Cultural Arts Center, 15 W. Patrick St., Frederick, The Ting Tings: Pop sensations perform tracks from their latest album, including hits “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go.” $25. 8pm. Rams Head Live, 20 Market Pl.,

Sunday, April 15 Baltimore Green Week: Weeklong series of educational workshops, lectures, and events offer the public an opportunity to voice concerns, get updated, and take action. For list of events, visit: AIDS Memorial Quilt Viewing: A section of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt a 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 90,000 individuals lost to AIDS. FREE. Noon-2pm. First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Madison St.,



State of the Art Care: Chase Brexton’s 2012 Gala Since 1978, Chase Brexton has been providing collaborative, culturally relevant heath care to those who need it most. On Saturday April 21, you have the opportunity to give back to the organization that has given so much to the entire Baltimore community. Originally founded as a volunteer-run gay health clinic, the clinic provides comprehensive, compassionate services to patients of all ages, races, genders, gender identities, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses. Dine, dance, and drink for a good cause. You can also participate in a silent auction and enter to win a 32GB iPad 3.


Saturday, April 21 • 6-11pm • $150-1,350 American Visionary Art Museum • 800 Key Hwy. 410.837.2050 •

DATEBOOK Friday, April 13 NOH8 Campaign: The campaign sets up the mobile studio at Club Hippo. You don’t need to make reservations; it’s first come, first served. The lines moves quickly, so everyone in line by 8pm will be photographed by Celebrity Photographer & NOH8 Co-Founder Adam Bouska. $25-40. 5-8pm. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St., Transcend Fashion Show: The show that asks designers to “explore the outward manifestation of the unconscious mind.” $15-20. 9pm. Thru 4/14. MICA, Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., Hello Dolly!: Opening night of the beloved, ebullient and irresistible musical about the joy of living.$16-20. 8pm. Thru 5/20. Spotlighters, 817 St. Paul St.,

Saturday, April 14 Baltimore Frontrunners: Running/walking club for LGBT individuals and friends. Assemble 8:45am, run 9am. Reassemble for brunch 10am. Panera Bread, 3600 Boston St., CityLit Festival: Largest free literary event in Baltimore City presents readings from poets Edward Hirsch and Thomas Lux. 10am-5pm. Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., Family Dynamics: Support group and education session for members of the LGBT community dealing with issues of memory loss and dementia. FREE. 10-11:30am. 1850 York Rd., Suite D, Timonium, WWW.BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

PFLAG Transgender Awareness Meeting: Interactive presentation, screening of “Faces and Facets of Transgender Experience,” followed by a Q&A and panel discussion. FREE. 5-6:30pm. Fellowship Hall, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Bond & Green Sts. Westminster, Almost Elton John & The Rocket Band: Considered to be the best Elton John tribute artist in the market today. $45. 8pm. Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis,

Tuesday, April 17 Will Power Party: Free State Legal Project hosts community workshop and pro bono assistance event. Those in need of simple wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives will be matched with attorneys and receive assistance drafting estate documents. FREE. 6-8:30pm. GLCCB, 241 W. Chase St., AIDS Memorial Quilt Viewing: An evening of reflection and sharing. Listen to and share memories of loved ones who died of AIDS. FREE. 7-9pm. First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Madison St.,

Saturday, April 21 Harford Rainbow Society Breakfast: Harford County’s LGBT Social group hosts a breakfast. 9:30am. The Venetian Palace in Edgewood. 1901 Treetop Dr., Spring Art & Crafts Show: Artists Kyndl Walston, Sandi Love, Sera Matteo, and Leslie Coleman present an intimate event featuring handmade wares. FREE. 11am-5pm. Mackwire Studios, 315 W. 31 St., Miss Gay Maryland America, Puttin On The Ritz: (See article 9). Thru 4/23. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St., School 33 Art Center’s Lotta Art Benefit: This annual event raises funds for School 33, the renowned Baltimore arts institution that has championed the arts for nearly 30 years through exhibitions, studio space, and education. $50-150. 6-9pm. Silo Point, 1200 Steuart St., Play for the Feast: The Shirley Temples cycling team hosts casino-style fundraiser for the team’s Ride for the Feast 2012. $15. 7:30pm. Silo Point, Game Room 1200 Steuart St., Family Dynamics: A support group and education session for members of the LGBT community dealing with issues of memory loss and dementia. FREE. 10-11:30am. 1850 York Rd., Suite D, Timonium, Spring Gala with Dionne Warwick: Drinks, dancing and decadent desserts follow Warwick’s performance at the after party with Big Ray and the Kool Kats. $35-1,000. 5:30pm. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Ln. North Bethesda, Synergy Fashion: A night of fashion, art and music featuring the hottest designers from the Metro area. $30-75. 5-11pm. National Aquarium Baltimore, 501 E. Pratt St., Milquetoast: Experimental Fashion: Features work from artists and designers from the Fiber Department’s Multi Media Event class. $5-10. 6 & 9pm. 2640 (St. John’s Church), 2640 Saint Paul St., The Fever: A beautiful and challenging monologue man striving to come to terms with living as a privileged member of an oppressive society. $20-50. 7:30pm. LOF/t ,120 W. North Ave.,

Wednesday, April 18

Charm City Fashion Show: An eclectic night of Fashion, Visual Art & Music. This dress-to-impress soiree will feature original clothing designers, boutiques, live music and visual artists. $20-25. 9pm. 8x10, 10 E. Cross St.

Baltimore NOW: Meeting to reactivate the Baltimore chapter of the National Organization for Women. Election of officers and speakers. GLCCB, 241 W. Chase St. 410.837.5445,

State of the Art Care: Chase Brexton’s 2012 Gala: See Spotlight

BINGO! Come for happy hour, stay for Bingo. Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Enjoy drink specials, appetizers, and raffles all night. Hosted by Roger Dimick. Proceeds benefit GLCCB. 8:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0069, Transgender Issues Working Group: Meets every other Wednesday. Registration required. FREE. 7pm. Equality Maryland, 1201 S. Sharp St., Contact AIDS Memorial Quilt Viewing: An evening of quiet. Come view the quilt and take a moment to write a poem, create a simple square for a small ribbon of remembrance, or just sit quietly. FREE. 7-9pm. First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Madison St., Yappy Hour: Every 3rd Wednesday, Camp Bow Wow transforms the lobby into the place to be. Wine & cheese are provided at this great way to see the Camp, meet the staff, and mingle. FREE. 5pm. Camp Bow Wow, 7165 Oakland Mills Rd. Columbia,

Thursday, April 19 Ron White: Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White brings his stand-up show “Moral Compass.” Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Amalie Rothschild, “Quite Feminist”: Dr. Nancy G. Heller discusses how the pioneering art therapist managed to fulfill her numerous, seemingly contradictory roles as a full-time wife and mother in mid-20th-century Baltimore. FREE. 6:30pm. Center for the Arts, Lecture Hall, Room 2032, Towson University,

Friday, April 20 Marx in Soho: In an afterlife for intellectuals, artists, and radicals, Marx is permitted to return to Soho London to have his say, but winds up in SOHO in New York. $20-50. 7:30pm. LOF/t, 120 W. North Ave.,

Tuesday, April 24 Rainbow Youth Alliance of Howard County: A support group for LGBT youth and allies. RYA is a safe place to ask questions, find mutual support, and learn information pertinent to their lives. Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, 410.280.9047,, Rainbow Youth Alliance of Baltimore County: A support group for LGBT youth and allies. RYA is a safe place to ask questions, find mutual support, and learn information pertinent to their lives. FREE. 7:30-9:30pm. Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Rd. Lutherville,, PFLAG Baltimore County General Meeting: Support group Q&A for parents of LGBT children. FREE. 7-8:30pm. Towson Unitarian Universalist Church,1710 Dulaney Valley Rd. Lutherville, Parents of Transgender Kids Support Group: Support Group and Q&A for parents of Transgender kids. Meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month. FREE. 7:30-9pm. Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia,,

Wednesday, April 25 BINGO! Come for happy hour, stay for Bingo. Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Enjoy drink specials, appetizers, and raffles all night. Hosted by Roger Dimick. Proceeds benefit GLCCB. 8:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St. 410.547.0069,

Friday, April 27 Charm City Charm City Invitational 27: The annual NAGVA sanctioned LGBT Volleyball Tournament. For a list of times, events, and registration info, visit: or contact Kent Hansen, Tournament Director at Volleyball House, 5635 Furnace Ave. Elkridge VOLUME 34, NUMBER 7 • PAGE 21




outfront BENEFIT love it and we feel we have something to offer (I can’t speak for everybody). It’s also a challenge to not put so much stock in it, because it’s too much pressure. Art, by its nature, is not competitive. That’s kind of an odd thing when you start to compete for a prize in an artistic endeavor. It doesn’t match up. It’s always thrilling to receive one of those awards, but you have to keep it in perspective.

Do you have any advice for actors and actresses who are currently struggling to get roles in New York? Of course you have to be passionate about your art, and passionate about your work. It’s really about the journey. The journey in life and in art is about knowing and accepting yourself—the good the bad and the ugly. It’s sort of the art of living, isn’t it? That when you receive rejection like that it doesn’t stop you. There is a lot of rejection, but there is a lot of rejection in the world. It’s kind of designed to reject you. If you pursue your passion, eventually the universe supports you in your endeavor. It really never comes the way you expect it. That’s the great thing about it, it’s full of surprises. PAGE 22 • APRIL 13 – APRIL 26, 2012


Have you had any surprises that you would like to share with readers? It’s all kind of a surprise to me. I’m going out to LA to do a TV show. I did a major motion picture last year that is opening in October (The Big Wedding). I wrote a song for the movie end credits. I don’t know if it will end up in the movie, but it was a surprise for me. There are always surprises that are right around the corner. You just get a call from somebody. I know that there are wonderful things in store up ahead, but nothing that I know about right now.

You have an impressive theatrical career, but you have also appeared on the screen. Which do you prefer? I think probably the hardest work is on the stage and yet it is the most fulfilling. I think television and film are a lot of fun, but they are more like going fishing.

How so? It’s not so arduous. It’s not nearly as arduous as writing a cabaret show or participating in a Broadway musical; even plays are easier than musicals. Nothing is harder than that, really. But at the same time, nothing is more

satisfying or more fulfilling, I think.

What was your most difficult role? I think that doing Grey Gardens was really difficult; it just demanded everything of me. At the same time when the night was over I had a deep sense of fulfillment; the well was full. What I gave of myself and what was given to the audience, what I got back was more than what I gave. There was this sort of sense of communion; it was a spiritual experience. When its working, that’s what art really is. It’s an offer of spiritual transformation. The audience and performers can [undergo] a spiritual or emotional experience, not just an intellectual endeavor, but something that involves your heart.

Is there anything else that gives you the same satisfaction? My greatest satisfaction, on a personal level, is loving my children. It makes show business easy.

How does it make show business easy? That’s just your career. You attempt to make relationships with your children that

are enduring so that you can grow with them. As you teach them they teach you. There’s always this striving to find ways to communicate through the chaos of just growing up in this world and culture. Finding ways to connect is enduring. It’s kind of learning a language of love, really. And what is that? But I think that’s really the greatest journey in my life, personally—my family, my children and husband.

What should people expect at Night of the Stars? Have a good time. It’ll be a fun show. It’s the show that I did at the [Café] Carlyle in February. The title of the show is “The End of the World as We Know It Cabaret.”

What is it about? It’s about our perceptions. It’s examining our perceptions about the end of the world.

How does the cabaret compare to other things you have worked on? It’s very intense in creating it. It’s a very concentrated intense sort of creative time, and that’s why doing the TV series is going fishing. ■ BALTIMORE’S GAY LIFE NEWSPAPER

firstperson CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18

TRANSMISSIONS what ends up being used by foes of transgender anti-discrimination ordinances. It’s what lies at the heart of any antitransgender murder where the killer claims “transgender panic,” that one freaks out and cannot control one’s self when it is discovered that the person he or she was intimate with was a transgender person. It may even fall at the heart of the socalled “cotton ceiling” controversy, about lesbians who may well support transgender causes—but would never dream or actually being sexually active with a transgender person. While this issue broke around lesbians sleeping with transgender women, I am sure the issue is much broader, touching all forms of gender identity and all forms of gender identity in partners. Once again, though, we see people who might understand that a transgender man is a man, and a transgender woman is a woman—yet, at some core level, are unable to accept that one is such. More so, those who argued against this so-called “cotton ceiling” used it to claim that transgender women were simply making such an argument in perpetuate rape culture and even to force non-transgender women to have sex with them against their will. Again, the issue of deception coupled hand-in-hand with our very nature and being. The decision by the Miss Universe pag-

eant to disqualify Talackova, and the subsequent claim that she was being removed because she was somehow dishonest in her application is ridiculous. While discrimination against transgender people is not explicit in Canadian law, it is likely. Talackova has seemingly done all she can to present herself as a woman in spite of her history. Yet the pageant decided that her being a transgender woman was enough to disqualify her, and that she was somehow being deceptive even while being “out” about being a transgender woman. This story does, however, have a happy ending: the Miss Universe Pageant has reinstated Talackova, “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.” It remains unclear exactly what other international competitions they may be referring to, and it’s unclear at this time if Jenna Talackova will choose to rejoin the competition. Yet even if she does not choose to compete, she has already won: the competition will be working towards full inclusion for future contestants in 2013 and beyond. ■ Gwen Smith never even placed at the Westminster Kennel Club. You can find her on the web at





Volume 34, Number 7  

Our Health Issue covers topics such as breast cancer, mental health and HIV/STD testing. Plus, read an interview with actress Christine Eber...

Volume 34, Number 7  

Our Health Issue covers topics such as breast cancer, mental health and HIV/STD testing. Plus, read an interview with actress Christine Eber...