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n Full Pride Line-Up and Sneak Peak at Performers n Take Pride in Your Body during Men’s Health Month n Md. Gay Radio Hosts Pride Show

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Photo by Mike Ruiz

letter editor’s


am bursting with Pride: I’m proud to be a devoted ally to wonderful community; I am proud to work at the GLCCB; I am proud of our small but determined staff, our team of writers and photographers, and I am even proud of myself and how far I’ve come as Gay Life’s editor these last six months. I’m proud of our efforts, the results we’ve achieved, and I’m most proud to be a part of the LGBT community in Baltimore and work every day to share the stories, events, and opinions that matter to you. We each do our part throughout the year to fight for equality, raise awareness of ongoing issues that disproportionally affect our community like HIV and breast cancer, and work to break down the barriers based on sexual orientation, gender, class, and race. But Pride is the time of year we can celebrate the fruits of those efforts and reflect on how far the LGBT community has really come since the first Baltimore Pride 35 years ago. I am very sorry to say that I will not be attending Pride this year. While I’m truly disappointed to miss this longrunning, epically attended, wonderful and colorful event, I have been planning a trip to Ireland for even longer than I’ve been with Gay Life. While I’m sad to miss the revelry, and the chance to meet many of you, I leave you in good hands. This issue not only delves into serious topics such as bullying and men’s health; it also highlights much of the great fun you’ll find at the weekend-long Pride festivities. Enjoy the festival, and be sure to check out a plethora of Pride photos in our June 24 issue.  

Maggie Beetz, Editor

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10 Out Front PAGE 5 COMMUNITY: Maryland Gay Radio hosts Pride show. By Maggie Beetz PAGE 6 HEALTH: Get yourself serviced during Men’s Health Month. By David Allen PAGE 7 FOOD: Waterstone Grille is a gem. By John Cullen and Marty Shayt

Headline News PAGE 8 NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS: By Rex Wockner with Bill Kelley

First Person PAGE 14 TRANSMISSIONS: Give it a rest: Reflections on Chrissy Lee Polis and transgender protections. By Gwendolyn Ann Smith PAGE 15 SPEAKING OUT: In “Hot-lanta” you stay “in the closet” like CNN’s Don Lemon. By Rev. Irene Monroe

Out Going

DATEBOOK: Calendar of Events. By Scott FitzPatrick

After Hours PAGE 18 BSCENE: DC Pride, Sunset on the Patio HUNTER ON THE PROWL!: Drag Shows, Happy Hours and Contests Oh My! By Mark Hunter


Baltimore Pride Festival: Behind The Performers Twilight on the Terrace returns to Gertrude’s. By Maggie Beetz Deborah Cox Headlines Baltimore Pride Festival Full Pride Festival Line-Up Sixteen-year-old songwriter kicks off Pride Parade. By Rose D’Longcroi


PAGE 17 SPOTLIGHT: Tony Awards Party Benefits Broadway Cares. By Ren Ryland

Deborah Cox. Photo by Mike Ruiz


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 and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore. Gay Life is published every other Friday in Baltimore, Maryland, 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.

Scott FitzPatrick, Advertising 410-837-7748 National Advertising Rep. Rivendell Media, 212-242-6863

Michael Nguyen, Art Director

Marty Shayt Volunteer

Contributors David Allen, John Cullen, Scott FitzPatrick, Mark Hunter, Rose D’Longcroi, Bill Kelley, Rev. Irene Monroe, Marty Shayt, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, Rex Wockner Photographers: Paulette Simone, Darleen Newspaper Committee: Trevor Ankeny, Bud Beecher, Kelly D. McClain, Terri Solomon


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outfront BOOKS

Pride Show Featured on Maryland Gay Radio BY MAGGIE BEETZ

Maryland Gay Radio will feature a special Pride show June 15 at 3:00 p.m. Guests include Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center of Baltimore & Central Maryland (GLCCB) Board President Trevor Ankeny and Director of Programs and Operations Gary Wolnitzek. Listeners will learn what they can look forward to at this year’s Pride Festival (June 17-19) and also about the GLCCB and the many ways it serves the community. “Pride is always an exciting time of year; it’s also a great opportunity for all sides our diverse community to come together and celebrate,” said Wolnitzek. “Throughout the rest of the year, the Center focuses on ways to help our city’s LGBT community, and Pride is the celebration of that effort.” The show also offers listeners a chance to call in and ask questions. “Not only are we hoping to engage the public, but we’re also eager to share information about the services the Center already provides, like free HIV and syphilis testing, transgender support groups, and other groups for women, men, and youth,” explained Ankeny. Maryland Gay Radio is hosted by Ted Hart, founder of the RGroup, Maryland’s largest gay and lesbian social group. Hart started the online radio program in March 2011 as a

way to reach a larger audience and draw attention to issues affecting LGBT Marylanders. “We need to know each other better, we need to know the issues,” explained Hart. “Maryland Gay Radio is a way to illuminate the issues, bring people together, and give a voice to leaders and members of our community.” Previous Maryland Gay Radio guests include Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, Equality Maryland Interim Executive Director Lynne Bowman, and Del. Mary Washington among others. The 30 minute show runs every other Tuesday. The focus of the season’s final show of the season is Supporting Gay Youth, which will feature Mark Patro of PFLAG Baltimore County and Molly McGrath Tierney, director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, on June 29. The show will break for July and August and will return in September. Individuals interested in proposing future discussion topics or guests are encouraged to contact the RGroup. Podcasts of previous shows are available by visiting and clicking Radio, or at BlogTalkRadio. com/MarylandGayRadio. n DETAILS: Maryland Gay Radio’s Pride Show, LIVE. June 15, 3pm. Call in at 818.532.9777.

Jeffery A. Klug, LCPC Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor 2 Village Square, Suite 211, Baltimore, MD 21210 410 241 4215


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MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2011 VOLUME 33, NUMBER 9

outfront HEALTH

Tune-Up Your Body during Men’s Health Month BY DAVID ALLEN

Summer road trips usually mean getting the car serviced to ensure a smooth ride. But when were you last serviced? June is Men’s Health Month and this would be a great time to get yourself checked. It is very important that you have a doctor, or provider, you can speak with openly and honestly. If you need to find one or make a change, start by asking your friends for a recommendation, or contact a referral service in your area. The Gay Lesbian Medical Association ( features an online search tool of their members. Test!? What test? In addition to a routine physical that includes reviewing weight, blood pressure, and lab results, there are some additional areas men need to consider. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, and that your individual health status, history, and situation will determine what is right for you. AGE 18 AND UP: n Testicular self-exam. Some providers suggest doing this exam every month from puberty on. n Skin exam. A review of your skin is recommended each month and during physical exams. PAGE 6 • JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2011

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AGE 40 AND UP: n Prostate screening. A discussion with your provider about your history usually begins around age 40. If you are not a high risk, your provider may suggest waiting to have an actual screening until closer to age 50. n Colorectal screening. Your provider will likely begin this conversation around age 50, unless there is a history that indicates doing so sooner. For more information on these exams and screenings, visit the American Cancer Society website at How do you feel? Certainly it is important to take care of all your organs, but what about your emotional body? For many men the idea of emotions and feelings takes a very distant backseat to all other considerations. But there are established correlations between your physical and psychological wellbeing, and there are the commonly recognized modalities available for this work. Some people looking to bring body and mind together benefit from yoga. Others turn to breathwork. Breathwork offers an opportunity for those wanting to begin an empowering and healing practice that combines mind and body. No matter how you choose to do it, take good care of yourself this month, and all year round. Do you have a topic you would like to see covered here? Write to me at n David Allen is a certified Breathwork practitioner. Learn more: BALTIMORE’S GAY LIFE NEWSPAPER

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DINING OUT Photo courtesy Waterstone Bar & Grille

Waterstone Bar & Grille is “A Gem!” BY JOHN CULLEN & MARTY SHAYT

At the start of 2010, Waterstone Bar & Grille replaced Coconuts, a popular lesbian bar. The location, three blocks west of the Washington Monument and at the back of Maryland General Hospital, isn’t the most photogenic (but free on-street parking is welcome these days!). Entering the door near the handsome bar, the casual yet stylish and upscale feel of the interior blew us away. We felt more like we had entered a Mediterranean taverna than a former corner bar on the edge of Mt. Vernon. The friendly staff made us feel genuinely welcomed and sat us at a polished stone top table in a pleasant dining space with exposed brick walls, contemporary pendant lighting, large windows, a gurgling water fountain, and flickering candles in wall niches. The menu has Greek/Mediterranean aspects; there are a dozen starters ($412 including falafel, saganaki, and dolmades), six sandwiches ($10-13), personal pizzas ($8-9), and ten entrees ($10-19). There are also a surprising number of interesting vegetarian options. Marty decided to start with a beet salad while John opted for saganaki. The salad arrived on a large plate full of diced beets, cucumbers, and onion with a sweet, spicy dressing which Marty enjoyed. The saganaki, in an oval chafing dish with a creamy feta baked with sautéed onions, slices of tomato, and wedges of pita, was a hit with John. Our friends, Paul and Tom, easily shared the “Mediterranean Dipping Duo” ($12) with dolmades, falafel, hummus, olives, feta, roasted red pepper, tzatziki, and pita. They gave WWW.BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

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it an enthusiastic thumbs-up! (It could make a great entrée by itself or a shared appetizer for three or four people!) Marty and Paul both decided on the “rancher wrap” ($11) which arrived with chipotle-infused steak nestled with chopped lettuce, tomato, cheddar, with a cilantro sauce; they both anted up $1 extra for sweet potato fries and were glad they did! Another thumbsup! John’s “lamb sliders” ($12) arrived with three sliders (unexpectedly but nicely served on pita!) with plain fries. Ground lamb patties were topped with feta, grilled onion, and tzatziki sauce and earned another thumbs-up (Are you sensing a pattern here?). Tom’s “spring chicken” sandwich ($10) with pesto, feta, mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes was such a mouthful that he had to resort to using knife and fork to eat it, and it proved another winning choice.

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Our waitress’s praise of chocolate mousse, tiramisu, and peanut butter pie (all $6) was mighty tempting, but between the generous portion of starters and main courses, we decided to save dessert for our next visit. Waterstone’s combination of good food, friendly servers, and a wonderfully pleasant space prompted our friend Paul to exclaim: “This place is a gem!” We can’t agree more. n DETAILS: Waterstone Bar & Grille, 311 W. Madison St. Full bar, vegetarian options, free on-street parking. Open Tues-Sun, 5pm–10pm. 410.225.7475. Find more Dining Out on Feedback:

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500 West University Parkway l Baltimore, MD 21210 l Phone: 410-467-9890 VOLUME 33, NUMBER 11 PAGE 7

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headlinenews INTERNATIONAL Photo by Ali Özbas/Kaos GL





Bloomberg Gives Rousing Speech for Same-Sex Marriage Official photo by Edward Reed

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, gave an enthusiastic—and seemingly heartfelt—speech May 26 urging the state Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage in the current session.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave what The New York Times called “an uncharacteristically forceful” speech May 26 urging the state Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage in the current session.

“The next great barrier standing before our generation is the prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples,” Bloomberg said. “The question is: Why now? And why New York? I believe both answers start at the Stonewall Inn. When the Village erupted in protest 42 years ago next month, New York—and every other state in the nation, save one—still had laws on the books that same-sex relationships were a crime. ...

“(Since then,) thousands of courageous individuals risked everything to come out and speak out. And because they did—because they organized and protested, because they poured their hearts out to friends and families and neighbors, (because) they stood up for their rights and marched for equality and ran for office—laws banning same-sex relationships have been struck down by the Supreme Court. More than 20 states have adopted laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. And beginning this year, patriotic men and women will be able to enlist in the U.S. military without having to hide their identity. We owe all of these pioneers a deep debt of gratitude. And although the work is far from over, there is no doubt that we have passed the tipping point. ... It is not a matter of if, but when. “And the question for every New York state lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? Remember, on matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly. Not on abolition. Not on abortion. Not on women’s suffrage. Not on workers’ rights. Not on civil rights. And it will be no different on marriage rights.” To read the full speech as prepared, see To watch the speech, see bloomwatch.


Tenn. Governor Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill May 23 that prohibits cities and counties from having anti-discrimination laws or policies that go beyond the protections offered by state law. The statute targets a Nashville law that prohibited “Metropolitan Government contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity through their employment practices.” The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and several corporations initially supported the bill but, following complaints from LGBT activists, backed away from it, to a greater or lesser degree. PAGE 8 • JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2011

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LGBT people marched in Ankara, Turkey, May 22 at the conclusion of the 6th International Meeting Against Homophobia.


LGBTs March in Turkey

LGBT people marched in Ankara, Turkey, May 22 at the conclusion of the 6th International Meeting Against Homophobia. A group of Iranian LGBT refugees joined the procession, proclaiming: “Ahmadinejad! We exist! We are here!” At a 2007 appearance in New York City, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by journalists as saying there are no gay people in Iran. His actual words were: “We in Iran don’t have homo-play (hamjensbaz) like you have in your country. In our country ... absolutely such a thing does not exist as a phenomenon. I don’t know who told you otherwise.”


32 Arrests at Moscow Pride, City Flouts Euro Court Ruling

Undeterred by the April ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that banning Moscow Pride is illegal in multiple ways, the city banned the May 28 gay pride parade for the sixth year in a row. Activists responded by trying to rally near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and City Hall. They were violently arrested. Among those taken into custody were U.S. activist Dan Choi, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia President Louis-Georges Tin, Chicago activist Andy Thayer and 15 Russian LGBT activists. Fourteen antigay protesters also were arrested. Choi live-tweeted

his arrest from the moment he was placed into a police wagon until his release several hours later. Once out of custody, he wrote: “Released. No charge, no fine. ... Few bruises on left leg, scratches and swelling right ear. Punched in the face 5 times. Still alive. Overall best pride march yet. (U.S. Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton still needs to say something about the Russian ban on this freedom of expression. We were absolutely non-violent. My twitter feed ( has some pics from the jail, and other details from the event. Love is worth it.”


Russian LGBT Film Festival Visits Siberia

St. Petersburg, Russia’s Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival went on the road to Siberia in May. Films were shown in Novosibirsk May 19-22 and in Kemerovo May 20-22. The screenings went off without incident. Last year in Kemerovo, officials tried to stop the festival by pressuring host venues, organizers said. Danish documentary filmmaker Iben Haar Andersen attended this year’s events and discussed her film “Hello, My Name Is Lesbian.” NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS PROVIDED BY REX WOCKNER WITH BILL KELLEY

Find complete news stories at


Nevada Passes Trans Bills

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, signed a bill May 24 that bans employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression.


Sandoval said he also will sign other transgender-protection bills that are en route from the Legislature. Those measures cover housing and public accommodations. Nevada becomes the 14th state (plus D.C.) to protect transgender people under state law.



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LaPlaca Cohen 212-675-4106

Summer is Fabulous

Photos from the 2010 Twilight on the Terrace


Gay Life Insertion date: JUNE 10, 2011 4.75 X 11.25 4C

“Twilight on the Terrace” Returns to the Sculpture Garden Pride fundraiser offers cocktails, silent auction, and music BY MAGGIE BEETZ

The sixth annual Twilight on the Terrace benefit cocktail party will be held at Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Friday, June 17. This event, which is a fundraiser for Baltimore Pride, kicks off the Pride Festival weekend (June 18-19). Guests can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, DJ, and dancing. This year’s silent auction offers a chance to bid on tickets to the Baltimore Grand Prix, as well as a night and dinner at the new Hotel Monaco. All guests will receive gift bags with free goodies. “Twilight on the Terrance is not only a good time, but it’s also an excellent networking opportunity— LGBT community members and supporters are always in attendance, as well as many local professionals,” said GLCCB Board Secretary Kelly McClain. Guests can mingle both inside Gertrude’s restaurant and outside in the sculpture garden. “Twilight is an enjoyable occasion WWW.BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

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for everyone,” said GLCCB Board President Trevor Ankeny, “It is a great way to start off the Pride Festival weekend, and it appeals to a segment of the population that may not be able to come out to the Block Party and Festival on Saturday and Sunday.” But while Twilight lets guests relax and eat amidst both art and nature, the sunset and the music often encourage dancing as the evening progresses. “My favorite part of the evening is the conversion of a summer day to a summer night,” said Ankeny. “As the sun sets and the candles are lit, the event inevitably transforms from a cocktail party to nighttime party.”

Don’t Miss The Dina Merrill Film Series presents Divas Outdoors: Classic Films Under the Stars Friday, June 10, 6:30-10:30pm (film starts at 8:30pm) Desk Set (1957) Film legends Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy engage in their legendary love and war, with Dina Merrill as a charming co-worker in this romantic comedy.

Tickets can be purchased through For more information visit or the GLCCB Facebook page. n DETAILS: Twilight on the Terrace, $85. Friday, June 17, 7-11pm. Gertrude’s at the BMA, 10 Art Museum Dr.,

Saturday, June 18, 6:30-10:30pm (film starts at 8:30pm) Operation Petticoat (1959) Cary Grant and Tony Curtis star opposite Dina Merrill in this World War II comedy about a submarine commander who finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine. For both films bring your best picnic spread for the picnic competition. Winners receive copies of the film, signed by Dina Merrill. Presented in partnership with One in Ten.

Where Fabulous Lives

For more information call 202.686.5807 or visit 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington DC Free parking HIL-0002_GayLife_4.75x11.25_Jun10_v2.indd 1

VOLUME 33, NUMBER 11 PAGE 9 6/3/11 10:38 AM 6/8/11 6:23 PM











cox H E A D L I N E S P R I D E F E S T I VA L


y age 12, R&B/pop singer-songwriter Deborah Cox was already performing professionally. Having won a local TV talent contest, she started singing jingles for commercials, then hooked up with local live bands. With her high school friend, Lascelles Stephens, she began writing songs and making demos, and eventually landed a position as a backup singer to Celine Dion. Then Clive Davis spotted her for his Arista label, and her education shifted into a higher gear. Her first album, “Debra Cox,” was released in 1995, and achieved platinum status, yielding R&B/pop hits like “Who Do U Love?,” “Sentimental,” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” In 1997 she scored her first big dance hit with “Things Just Ain’t the Same” from the “Money Talks” soundtrack. That first dance hit has lead Deborah to becoming one of the most popular dance artists in the world, and she has scored an impressive nine No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.  Her second Arista release, “One Wish,” (1998) also achieved platinum sales, garnering the two smash hits, “We Can’t Be Friends” and “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here,” which holds the record for being the longest running No. 1 R&B single for 14 consecutive weeks. “The Morning After” was released in 2002, followed by an album compiling all of her best dance remixes entitled “Deborah Cox: Remixed.” As an actress, Deborah played the role of a singer in the film “Love Come Down,” and was later featured in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as well as an episode of the popular television program “Nash Bridges.”  Deborah is also no stranger to live theater. After touring with David Talbert’s “Love on Layaway,” she made her Broadway debut in Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” in 2004, earning rave reviews. Behind Photo by Mike Ruiz

PAGE 10 • JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2011

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the scenes, Deborah has recorded singles for several film soundtracks including “Akeelah and the Bee,” “Hotel Rwanda,” and most recently Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns.” In 2007, she paid effusive tribute to a childhood idol of hers, the beloved Dinah Washington, with her Decca album, “Destination Moon,” which catapulted her into the ranks of the leading jazz singers of our time. Writing another chapter in her already diverse career, the album garnered Deborah a Grammy Award




nomination in 2008. Deborah Cox returned to the world of R&B music with her album, “The Promise.” “The R&B fans were the first to embrace me and help me get to where I am today,” said Deborah. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to explore other genres of music, but I really missed doing R&B and thought it was time to return to it.” n DETAILS: Deborah Cox in Concert. FREE. Saturday, June 18, 9:30pm. N. Charles & W. Eager St.




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altimore’s Pride Weekend

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BALTIMORE PRIDE 2011 SPECIAL COVERAGE Anti-Bullying Song Kicks Off Pride Parade 16-year old performer confronts vital topic BY ROSE D’LONGCROI

In September 2010, Americans turned their attention to a series of teen suicides that were a direct result of homophobia and bullying. These losses were used as a catalyst for awareness of a bullying epidemic and led to campaigns such as the “It Gets Better” video campaign among others.

have occupied American headlines in the past 18 months. Funneling her fury into her creative outlet, Alyssa felt writing the song only whetted her appetite for activism in the LGBT community. With her trusty guitar and web cam, Alyssa posted her thoughtprovoking ballad on You Tube.

Around the same time, Alyssa Ford of Berlin, NJ, learned that her own uncle had spent ages 12 to 15 hiding his sexuality from his family for fear of losing them. When her mother and grandmother encouraged Alyssa, then 15, to imagine the paralyzing fear that gripped her uncle for those years before he came out, she and her cousin, Tiffany, 13, stormed up to her room and in just a few hours wrote “Believe.”

“I love music,” said Ford. “I love listening to music, I love writing it, and I love playing and singing it, and I will be playing and singing for the rest of my life, even if I don’t have an audience.”

“I started playing guitar about two years ago, and a few months after that I started writing my own songs,” said Ford. “Believe” rallies against the hatemotivated bullying and suicides that

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But Alyssa already has an audience; her video was spotlighted on Ocean Up, a website dedicated to youth trends, giving it an impressive 5,000 views. This song has also touched the hearts New Jersey and Baltimore Pride coordinators. “I don’t care about making money off it or getting famous, I just want people to hear it,” she said. “I want the LGBT community to know that someone out

there cares about them, that they are absolutely beautiful and perfect just the way they are.” The fear Alyssa’s uncle endured is one of the smaller impacts bullying has had on the LGBT community. Nine out of ten gay teens have been victims of bullying, according to the National Youth Association.

Alyssa is one of many in the younger generation fighting for the LGBT community, and we look forward to her excelling in both her music and activism careers. n DETAILS: “Believe” Performance by Alyssa Ford, Baltimore Pride Parade, 3:45pm, Saturday, June 18. Main stage, N. Charles & W. Eager St.


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Bal imore welcomes your family wi h pride. There are so many surprises for families in Baltimore, even the most energetic kids have a hard time keeping up. You can take them to the dolphin show and the new jellyfish exhibit at the National Aquarium. Then explore dinosaurs at the Maryland Science Center. If they’re not too tuckered out, they can meet the polar bears at the Maryland Zoo, climb a three-story tree house at Port Discovery Children’s Museum, get up close and personal with pop culture icons at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum or ride the rails at the B&O Railroad Museum. To learn more about all of the unexpected things to do, call 1-877-Bal imore or visit Bal .

Celebra e Bal imore Pride, June 17-19, 2011 • Learn more a Bal . WWW.BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

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hrissy Lee Polis, a 22-yearold, post-operative transsexual, was at a Baltimore County McDonald’s recently. While there, she opted to use the bathroom. Two other women—18-year-old Teonna Monae Brown and a 14-year-old whose name has not been released— were also there. A now-former employee of the fast food restaurant recorded what followed. Ms. Polis was beaten and kicked by the pair, eventually dragged by her hair and even suffered a head blow that appeared to trigger a seizure. She’s been afraid to be seen in public since the attack. She’s further concerned that the video—which has since “gone

“LOGIC NEED NOT APPLY IN ARGUMENTS BASED PURELY ON EMOTIONAL REACTIONS.” viral” on the internet—would affect her chances for employment, or be the root of further violence against her. While the attack itself is appalling, and the actions of Ms. Brown and her 14-year-old friend are reprehensible, it’s also worth noting the reaction of McDonald’s co-workers. Some are seen on the video, standing idly by, watching the melee. The employee who filmed the assault did not do it to provide it to the police, mind you. He shared it on YouTube, adding from his Twitter page, “That Was A Man....He Was Dressed Lik A Woman...And He Was In The

Females Bathroom Knowing He Was A Man...And When Told To Get Out Tha ladies Bathroom He Got Smart With Everybody So Tha Two Girls Beat Him Up.” (sic). The misgendering of Polis is presented as it was written. The aforementioned employee with the camera has been terminated, and other actions are being taken at the restaurant in question. McDonald’s itself has released a corporate statement on the incident, stating, “there’s no room for violence under the golden arches.” Both her attackers will face their day in front of a judge, and she may eventually see justice. It wasn’t very long at all that House Bill 235—a transgender rights bill—was killed in Baltimore. The bill was widely criticized in transgender circles for its removal of public accommodation language. Even with the removal of such language—presumably to help in its passage—the bill was tossed back to committee, essentially ending it for the year. This language would have, of course, included the ability for transgender people to use the restroom of choice in, say, a fast food restaurant. It would not, of course, have stopped this attack from happening—but it would have provided a lot more leverage for Ms Polis’ case against the restaurant in question and, perhaps, may serve to make for a safer environment for transgender people in Maryland overall. I’ve talked about the “bathroom bill” a lot lately. It is a fabrication of many so-called “family” groups, professing that allowing transwomen will allow mustache-twirling villains access to women’s rooms, where they’ll be free under the law to assault your wife and children. Never mind that any such people would still be committing a crime by assaulting another human being, and they would still not be allowed in opposite gender restrooms. Logic need not apply in arguments based purely on emotional reactions. Of course, such opposition may well be a thinly veiled way of saying “we don’t like their kind,” as we saw with Maryland Senate President Mike MillContinued on page 16

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CNN’s Don Lemon Faces Religion, Race, and Culture by Coming Out BY REV. IRENE MONROE


NN’s Don Lemon has penned a memoir titled “Transparent” that will come out in September. In writing his book, Lemon said “the decision to come out happened organically.”  One of the motivating reasons for Lemon, 45, now revealing his sexual orientation is because of the suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. Clementi, if you remember, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after finding out that his college roommate and another classmate used a webcam to secretly broadcast his sexual encounters with another male, highlighting the dangers of “cyberbullying”—teasing, harassing, or intimidating with pictures or words distributed online or via text message. Clementi’s suicide along with the other eight lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and young adults went viral in September 2010 and they saturated the media.  In this era of acceptance of LGBTQ people in news broadcasting like Lemon’s colleague Anderson Cooper, ABC’s Good Morning America weather anchor Sam Champion, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and her colleague Thomas Roberts, to name a few, one would wonder about the source of the media brouhaha with Lemon’s disclosure, especially since it was not secret at work about his sexual orientation. 


“I was born gay, just as I was born black,” Lemon told Behar. But black GBTQ sexualities within African American culture are perceived to further threaten not only black male heterosexuality, but also the ontology of blackness itself. With certain aspects of hip-hop culture displaying a hyper-masculinity, this male-dominated genre is aesthetically built on the most misogynistic and homophobic strains of Black Nationalism and afrocentricism. Lemon courageously goes on to explain to Behar another reason why it took him so long to come out.

“It’s quite different for an AfricanAmerican male,” Lemon told Joy Behar on her HLN show. “It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.”

“Our community is steeped in religion, with the church preaching against homosexuality. I prayed a lot growing up that I would change, that I would be straight,” he said. “But no matter how good I was, how much I prayed and denied what I was, it [being gay] was always there.”

And Lemon is right. With homophobia running as rampant in historically black colleges and universities as it is in black communities, there are no safe places for GBTQ brothers of African descent to safely acknowledge their sexuality or to openly engage the subject of black GBTQ sexualities.

According to the PEW Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, 87 percent of African Americans identify with a religious group and 79 percent say that religion is very important in their lives. The Pew report also showed that since 2008, African-American Protestants

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TRANSMISSIONS from page 14

er, on Maryland Public Television’s State Circle program, “I have senators that are not going to hire... people with male sexual organs who wear a dress to serve as receptionists, okay? Umm, and so if they’re not going to do it, so if the senators and house members themselves wouldn’t hire someone in that category, how can we say to constituents that you’ve got to do this?” Miller’s focused on the genitals present under one’s dress, and expects that his constituents are as well. Even if, like Polis, those genitals have been surgically reconstructed to best resemble those of other women—not, of course, that one needs reconstruction to be a woman or a man in the first place. For this, HB 235 was defeated. Meanwhile the fight over transgender rights is heating up in Connecticut over yet another bill smeared as a “bathroom bill” by the right, claiming that it will somehow allow predators access to our families. The same tired arguments seem to apply. In Maine, a fight is brewing over LD 1046, which would remove the state’s already-existing transgender public accommodation rights—again citing bathroom use. The bill would limit access to sex-segregated public facilities

MONROE from page 15

based solely on “biological sex.” For Polis, the assault was not at the hand of some male assailant somehow emboldened by transgender people being given the right to use gender presentation appropriate facilities, but was from those amongst her own gender. While she was attacked, those whose job it was to provide a safe, friendly place to consume Big Macs and FiletO-Fish sandwiches stood back and let it happen, or trained their camera phone on the action while tweeting illinformed, transphobic slurs. If the opposition to so-called “bathroom bills” is truly focused on protecting people from assaults, then there is no example better than Chrissy Lee Polis to point out why transgender people also need to be protected from assaults and other discrimination while using a restroom or other public accommodations. If you are looking for people to protect, you need not look any farther than her. People like Ms Polis and myself simply want a safe place to go to the bathroom. It really should not be that difficult to understand. n Gwen Smith deserves a break today. You can find her on the web at

are less likely than other Protestant groups to believe that LGBTQ people should have equal rights. And since hot-button issues like gay adoption and marriage equality have become more prominent, support for LGBTQ rights among African-American Protestants has dipped as low as 40 percent.

the Black Church plays in creating a “down-low” (DL) culture—not only among its worshippers but also among its “down low” ministers who espouse damning messages about homosexuality —that both Bishop Eddie Long and Pastor Donnie McClurkin can tell their truths.

A groundbreaking study in July 2010 came out titled “Black Lesbians Matter” examining the unique experiences, perspectives, and priorities of the Black lesbian, bisexual, and trans community. One of the key findings of the survey revealed that there is a pattern of higher suicide rates among black LBTs. Scholars have primarily associated these higher suicide rates with one’s inability to deal with “coming out” and the Black Church’s stance on homosexuality.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin, the poster boy for African American ex-gay ministries “testi-lies” that his homosexuality is from being raped; thus confusing same-gender sexual violence with homosexuality. Bishop Eddie Long, one of the Black Church’s prominent pastors of “prosperity gospel” and “bling-bling” theology “testi-lies” that the pubescent boys he nurtured were “spiritual sons” rather than what many of us perceived as one of his many lies stashed in his stained-glass closet.

With the “No Hope Baptist Church of God and Christ” and the “Apostolic Church of Hell” standing front and center in our black communities espousing religion-based bigotry as the word of God, these places of worship are the reasons why Lemon—and we as an African American community—can’t tell the truth about our sexuality.

Lemon resides in Atlanta, and it’s not the old Atlanta of MLK days. It’s the new black Mecca and the new “Black Hollywood” that it’s fondly called “Hot-lanta.” And African-American stars flocks to this entertainment Mecca-in-training as do black urban professionals (Buppies). But if you’re LGBTQ in “Hot-lanta” you stay in the closet, as Lemon once did. n

It’s because African Americans don’t address the homophobic role

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400 east pratt street baltimore md 21202 weekdays 7 - 3 PAGE 16 • JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2011

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6/8/11 6:24 PM


Sade: Sade will perform songs from her collection of timeless hits including songs from her critically acclaimed album, Soldier of Love, during her first North American tour in 10 years. 7:30pm. $80-350. 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. 410.347.2020 EMAIL YOUR EVENT INFO TO CALENDAR@BALTIMOREGAYLIFE.COM

The Seven Deadly Seas: At Rope’s End: Cabaret Red Light presents the latest show in their series, a music, burlesque, and pirate theater spectacular. $20. Thru 6/19. Aboard the Tall Ship Gazela at Fell’s Point, S. Broadway and Thames St.


Tony Awards Party Benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS


This year’s Tony Awards will be broadcast Sunday June 12 at a special Tony Award Party—the only in the country that will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Event Info Tony Awards Party & Benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Sunday, June 12, Doors 5:30pm Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St. Suggested donations $5-8,

BC/EFA is a theater-based charity organization, created 23 years ago, to help theater community members dealing with HIV and AIDS. Over the years, they have raised more than $195 million, which they have distributed to over 400 service providers across the country, including about 10 in the Baltimore/ Washington area. Join Club Hippo for the fourth annual fundraising event, which will include a buffet, cash bar, silent auction, a theater flea market, door prizes, show tune videos, and live performances. Call 410.488.5180 for advanced reservations or visit for more information.

DATEBOOK Friday June 10 Iron Crow’s “Love and Human Remains”: Thru 6/18, Swirnow Theatre, Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus, 33rd & Charles St. “America, Bright & Gay”: Presented by Harrisburg Men’s Chorus. Explore the many cultures and traditions that make America a vast melting pot. 8pm. $15. Theatre Harrisburg/Krevsky Production, 513 Hurlock St., Harrisburg, Pa. Catie Curtis in Concert: The vivid songwriting of Catie Curtis combines insightful lyrics with addictive melodies and energy. 8pm. $20. Charis Center for the Arts, 13010 8th St., Bowie. Deep Vision Dance Company: An evening of visual, auditory, and physical stimulation challenging and awakening the greater self. 8pm. $10-20. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. Eclipse! at Club Orpheus: Dance to a mesmerizing light show with video projectors, lasers and strobes. 9pm every Friday. 18+. Club Orpheus, 1003 E. Pratt St. Verdi’s Requiem: A work of such imposing power, that no music can dare to match its scope and glory. 8pm. $28-62. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St.

Reefer Madness: An original musical based on the cult-classic film. Thru 6/26. $10-20. Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. 410.752.8558

Pittsburgh’s Pride in the Street: Performance by R&B legend Patti LaBelle at the biggest street party in town. 6pm-1:30am. Liberty Ave., between 9th & 10th Sts. Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sunday June 12 DC Capital Pride Street Festival: The annual celebration of the LGBT community in the Nation’s capital. 11am–6pm. Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Philadelphia Pride: Parade and performaces headlined by Aisha Tyler 12-6pm. $10. Great Plaza, Philadelphia, PA Tony Awards Party/ Broadway Cares Benefit: (See article above) Doors 5:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W. Eager St.

Monday June 13 Howard County PFLAG Monthly Meeting: Presentation of Annual Scholarship by Sen. Allan H. Kittleman and a new version of “Gay Jeopardy” by the Rainbow Youth Alliance and Allies. 7:30pm. Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia The Decemberists: Indie folk band on tour for sixth album, The King Is Dead. Doors 6pm. $30-40. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia

Tuesday June 14

Lush: Ladies night at Baltimore’s sexiest upscale megaclub. 21+ Doors 9pm. $5-10. Mist, 124 Market Pl.

Friday June 17 Twilight on the Terrace Benefit Party: (See article page 9). 7pm. $85. Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr., Xanadu: The Musical: Premiere party hosted by Showtunes Video Madness for the campy, hilarious Broadway hit. Desserts and cash bar. Doors 7pm. Show 8pm. $5. Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5625 O’Donnell St. 410.649.1660

Saturday June 18 Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party: See Pride Guide insert for details. FREE. Mt Vernon, N. Charles & W. Eager St. Deborah Cox: (See article p. 10) FREE 9:30pm. FREE. Mt. Vernon, N. Charles & W. Eager St. Baltimore Frontrunners: Running/walking club for LGBT individuals and friends. Assemble 8:45am, run 9am. Reassemble for brunch 10am. Panera Bread, 3600 Boston St., 510 Reading Series: Dedicated fiction reading series. 5pm. FREE. Minás Gallery, 815 W. 36th St., Hampden Junkyard Dolls vs. Mobtown Mods/CCRG All Stars vs. Bay Area Derby Girls: Baltimore’s only all girls roller derby league. 5:30pm. $625. DuBurns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave. The Swingin’ Swamis: An eclectic set of jazz, funk, world rhythms & everything in between. 8pm. Meli Restaurant, Minoan Room, 1636 Thames St. 410.534-MELI

Sunday June 19 FATHER’S DAY Baltimore Pride Festival: See Pride Guide insert for details. 11am6pm. $3 suggested donation. Druid Hill Park Straight Eights Cruise-In: Meet & greet the Baltimore/DC chapter of America’s largest organization for LGBT car enthusiasts, Lambda Car Club International (LCCI). 2-8pm. PW’s Sports Bar and Grill, 9855 N. Washington Blvd., Laurel

Monday June 20 PFLAG Howard County Parent Forum: Support group Q&A for parents of LGBT children. 7:30-9pm. Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD

Saturday June 11


Tuesday June 21

Sex. Art. Rock N Roll: Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. Performances by The Degenerettes, War on Women, The Shondes, Gilded Lily Burlesque, and Sticky Buns Burlesque. VIP Reception: 6pm ($40), Main event: 9pm ($10). Food, drink, give-aways. Area 405, 405 Oliver St.

Equality Maryland Listening Stop: Provide your assessment of this past legislative session and give input on how Maryland moves forward for 2012. 6:30pm-8pm. Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, 7400 Temple Hill Rd, Temple Hills


B-More’s Pre Pride Gay Skayte Kickoff: Get your skayte on and earn cash prizes. 9pm-1am. $10 (skate rental inc.). Shake and Bake, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. Baltimore Frontrunners: Running/walking club for LGBT individuals and friends. Assemble 8:45am, run 9am. Reassemble for brunch 10am. Panera Bread, 3600 Boston St., HonFest: Annual Hampden festival celebrates Bawlmer hons, beehive hairdos, bright-blue eye shadow, spandex pants and anything leopard print. Plus music, food, and entertainment. 11am-10pm, (June 12, 126pm). FREE. Hampden. 410.243.1230 Fashion Show Galactica: Eight regional designers roll out their spring/summer lines on a full runway. With DJ Taven. Happy hour 5pm, show 7pm. $25-45. Proceeds benefit St. Jude’s Hospital. The Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. 443-416-8214 Rehab at Sappho’s: Come party at Sappho’s exclusive ladies lounge. 9pm. $5. Grand Central, 1001 N. Charles St.


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Wednesday June 22

Katy Perry: Grammy Award winner for her ubiquitous No. 1 single, “I Kissed a Girl,” singer Katy Perry comes to town. Doors 6pm. $3548. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia

ROOTS Fest 2011: Many Communities, One Voice: 35th anniversary for national arts festival bringing together nationallyrenowned performers and the best local artists from across America. Thru 6/26. Along Route 40 in West Baltimore and other locations.

A LIST Tuesday, Official Pride Kickoff: Hip Hop, House & daBeats, DJ David Robinson and Trebra on the Mic. 10pm. $8-10. Club Bunns, 608 W. Lexington St.

BINGO!: Hosted by Roger Dimick. Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Proceeds benefit GLCCB. 8:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W.Eager St.

Wednesday June 15

Friday June 24

BINGO!: Hosted by Roger Dimick. Cash prizes and progressive jackpot. Proceeds benefit GLCCB. 8:30pm. Club Hippo, 1 W.Eager St.

Eclipse! at Club Orpheus: Dance to a mesmerizing light show with video projectors, lasers and strobes. 9pm every Friday. 18+. Club Orpheus, 1003 E. Pratt St.

Thursday June 16 Annual Pride Interfaith Service: This year’s Annual Interfaith Pride Service presented by the Interfaith Fairness Coalition of Maryland. Come celebrate the theme of Hope, and enjoy a buffet. All are welcome. Free off-street parking. 7pm. Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore, 401 W. Monument St. (at Eutaw)

A Little Night Music: A Tony Award winning Mainstage Production that sweeps the audience into places of desire and thought, all inciting, and all forbidden. Thru 6/26. $16-20. Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St. For additional details and more events, please visit the NEW Gay Life calendar online at


6/8/11 6:24 PM

afterhours BSCENE


DC Pride Luminous Ladies 500 Watt Party, at the Pasha Lounge

Drag Shows, Happy Hours, and Contests– Oh My!



Sorry I’ve been away but I am back and here we go on a ride of entertainment! A new venue opened up in April: The Backdoor Lounge at the Gold Club, 5801 Pulaski Hwy, Baltimore’s only gay male revue! Plenty of parking, food, drink specials, and giveaways. Open Thursdays. Enjoy yourselves boys! May 7, UMBC presented their annual Drag Show. There were many entertainers including Misty Barfly, Miss Coco L. Blackwell, Onyx D. Pearl, and many students. The more seasoned queens did an amazing job and the students were off the charts with some being their first time performing in drag. Great job everyone! Sunday May 15, Mixer’s had their Miss Mixer’s contest. There were five contestants and, with a very strange night, Miss Kelly Koxx was crowned Miss Mixer’s 2011. Congratulations!

Sunset on the Patio, a Baltimore Pride Fundraiser at the Baltimore Eagle PHOTOS BY THE GLCCB

May 19, I was honored to receive a pair of tickets to go to Center Stage to see Ken Roberson. He put on a one man cabaret show with amazing music along with his vocals and stories. Jose A. Gomez and I enjoyed the show immensely! Saturday May 21, Leon’s Leather Lounge presented their Miss Leon’s contest. The contest also was a benefit for the “Lady Lisa Drag Stage” to be held June 19. Miss Gracie Freebush was crowned Miss Leon’s 2011 and Miss Anita Minett 1st Alternate. May 27, the GLCCB had a happy hour on the patio of the Baltimore Eagle with snacks, friends, and information on Pride. Ada Buffet, Timothy Phillips, Jose A. Gomez, and I attended along with others. May 28, The Rowan Tree held their Ms, Miss & Mr. Rowan Tree 2011. Congrats to Ms Rowan Tree Sandra Dee, Miss Rowan Tree Shawnna Alexander with 1st Alternate: Miss D’Marje, and Mr. Rowan Tree Jay Cruz with 1st Alternate E.J. Bohrer Jr. The Rowan Tree also was selling jello-shooters with proceeds benefiting the “Lady Lisa Drag Stage.” Thank

PAGE 18 • JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2011

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you Rowan Tree for your support! On a personal note, I would like to thank Ada Buffet and Rik Newton-Treadway, for taking the responsibility and time to make sure “The Lady Lisa Drag Stage” becomes a reality! THANK YOU! And if you are interested in raising money for “Lady Lisa Drag Stage” 2012, contact Ada Buffett (ada. buffet@gmail). Until next time boys & girls when Hunter is on the Prowl! BALTIMORE’S GAY LIFE NEWSPAPER

6/8/11 6:24 PM


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Volume 33, Number 11  

• R&B SINGER Deborah Cox at the Baltimore Pride Festival 2011 • Full Pride Line-Up and Sneak Peak at Performers• Take Pride in Your Bodydur...

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