Let Us Introduce You … Our annual profiles on some notable locals you may not know but should
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Heroin to Hero Local bad boy morphs into Cirque du Soleil star
Judy Garland, Anthony Perkins, and Liberace They all drank at Trafton’s, one of Boston’s most notorious afterhours clubs
Melissa Etheridge Rocks!
Long before it was hip, this Berklee College grad sang equality’s song
Not So Dirty Dancing
Same-sex ballroom dancing champions hail from Massachusetts
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CAN BOTH OF OUR MOTHERS WALK US DOWN THE AISLE? Traditions are what you make them. From rings to proposals, Longâ€™s is here to help. Helping You Get It Right.com
From The Publisher Pride. It’s such a powerful word. There is nothing quite like the feeling of pride. Chest out, chin up, standing tall. For me, I am most proud of my family, my friends, and my work … this magazine. People often ask me how I, a straight guy, came to publish a magazine for the LGBT community. For those interested, I will now answer that question. It all starts with my aunt, Helaine Zimmerman. Since the early sixties she has been a proud, out lesbian. Some of my favorite times growing up were spent with her hearing stories of what it was like in the Village in the sixties (including the time she was in a bar that got raided and ate her license — this was prior to licenses being laminated — so that she would not get in trouble), and hanging out with all of her friends, mostly gay men and lesbians. She introduced me to theater and the arts, city life, the music of people like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Nina Simone, and so much more. NEVER shy to give her opinion, she also made clear which political path I should follow. Because of her the LGBT community has been a part of my life since I was a small child. So when I had the idea for Boston Spirit magazine (having worked at several other publications previously), the first person I discussed it with was Helaine. She loved the idea and was convinced it would be a success. Shortly thereafter she gathered up a few of her friends for a brainstorming session. Everyone seemed to feel as though the concept could work, so off we went. I convinced my wife to take the risk of starting a business and, armed with an equity line of credit, we published the first issue of the magazine in April 2005. So there you go. It’s not a riveting story and I don’t think anyone is clamoring to write the screenplay, but if nothing else it gave me the opportunity to tell you about my amazing aunt. If you like Boston Spirit there are a lot of people you can thank for it, but I think it would be best to start with Helaine. My aunt passed away recently at the much too young age of 75. The influence she has had on me throughout my life is immeasurable. I am so thankful to have had her in my life and so incredibly proud of the person she was. This pride season I will be thinking of my aunt Helaine, chest out, chin up, and standing tall.
David Zimmerman Publisher
2 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Boston Spirit Magazine supporters 5 Star Travel Services Accent Limousine Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Audio Concept Bavarian Chocolate Haus Bay Windows Bo Concept Boston Ballet Boston Center for Adult Education Boston Harbor Cruises Boston Lyric Stage Company Boston Pride Boston Symphony Orchestra Burns & Levinson, LLP Carpe Diem Circle Furniture Designer Bath Destination Salem DJ Mocha Dover Rug Eastern Bank Fenway Health Greater Boston CVB Harbor Hotel Provincetown Harvard Pilgrim Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Jasper White’s Summer Shack Konditor Meister Lombardo’s Long’s Jewelers Lucia Lighting Macy’s Marriott Copley Place Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Melrose Medspa Mintz Levin Mohawk Valley CVB North Shore Pride Ocean Spray Oraquick Partners Healthcare Peabody Essex Musem Pernod Ricard (Absolut) Portside Family Dental Rockland Trust Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston Sandcastle on the Beach Sculler’s Jazz Club Seashore Point Seasons Four Smirnoff The Boston Foundation The TJX Companies Inc. UBS Financial Services, Inc. US Trust
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As We Go To Press …
Each year for our May/June Pride issue, we take the time and space to introduce you to several people in our community that we think you should know. As we go to press for this year’s edition, the heartbreaking events at this year’s Boston Marathon are a developing story. As phone calls and text messages have been pouring in from all over the country and world to check on those of us in Boston, the idea about the people we ‘should’ know takes on a different resonance. Everyone is our neighbor. Yes, the people we have profiled this year are engaged in some pretty amazing and wonderful activities — Catherine D’Amato ensuring that those without food get fed, Eileen Duff giving voice to LGBT concerns in the state judicial system, Jennifer Levi working feverishly for transgender rights, Omar Thomas creating beautiful music — but horrible events like what happened on Monday, April 15 remind us that every person is a precious part of our collective community. Everyone is worthy of being known. We’d like to introduce you to everyone. Well, that would be quite a feat in a 100-page publication. And, quite frankly after the first hundred portraits or so, eyes would start to glaze over. Rather than thinking of each individual in the following pages of this issue as someone that you should specifically know, it may be more helpful to use those we have
Celebrating Another Marriage Victory!
4 | BOSTON SPIRIT
chosen as inspiration for creating your own list. We are entering pride season. Typically, at this time of year, we head out more and mingle more. As we do, as we march, party, and head to the beach, let’s take a little closer look at those around us. Say hello to a stranger at the parade — someone you don’t necessarily find physically attractive! Boston Spirit can only introduce you to so many people in our pages. In fact, it’s always a challenge to winnow down all the worthy individuals to a short list. Invariably, great people are left out. Rather than passively letting Boston Spirit or some other media outlet do your introductions, make your own introductions. We don’t have to wait until another tragedy strikes to better acquaint ourselves with the beautiful people already populating our community. This Pride season, don’t just let us introduce you, introduce yourself! Happy Pride!
James A. Lopata Editor in Chief
You can now get your dose of Boston Spirit on New England’s online leader, Boston.com. Visit Boston.com/lgbt where Boston Spirit brings you all things LGBT-related, including breaking local and national news, party and event updates, and lots more! Visit Boston.com/lgbt today.
DIVERSITY. IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK. AT MACY’S, IT’S PART OF EVERYTHING WE DO.
PRIDE+JOY CELEBRATE FAMILY + FRIENDS LOVE + LIFE EQUALITY + RESPECT MACY’S IS PROUD TO JOIN THE PARADE ACROSS AMERICA IN HONOR OF
NATIONAL LGBTQ PRIDE MONTH. WE THINK IT’S REALLY SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE. FOR DETAILS, GO TO MACYS.COM/CELEBRATE
Contents May|Jun 2013 | volume 9 | Issue 3
Let Us Introduce You LGBT leaders you need to know, right now.
Spotlight Correction8 Spring In Your Step 10 Go Figure 10 Hit List 12 Pillow Talk 14 For the Love of Samurai 16 Sweet Celebration 17 Local Flavor 18 Word Is Out 20
10 Spring In Your Step
Feature Judy Garland, Anthony Perkins and Liberace Walk Into a Bar …
Acrobat, Author ... Addict
Charles Trafton’s (illegal) afterhours club in Boston attracted some of the most famous and interesting clientele
Local boy kicks heroin, launches career as a Cirque du Soleil star and writes about it all in a new memoir, ‘Accrobadiction’
Seasonal Let Us Introduce You
LGBT leaders you need to know, right now.
Premier drag king troupe performs in Provincetown May 24-26
Divine, Almodóvar Films Unspool in P-town Fest
Straight Duo Karmin Sings Out at Boston Pride
6 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Provincetown International Film Festival keeps getting bigger and better
Hot music act and LGBT allies from Berklee headline this year’s celebrations in the Hub
I Am A Dancer
Alvin Ailey cast reflects youth, experience and tradition
Scene Boston Spirit 2013 Executive Networking Night 2013 78 Keshet Cabaret 82 The Men’s Event 83 The Women’s Dinner Party 84 MassEquality Icon Awards 85 ClimACTS86 A Taste of the South End 86
Calendar General Calendar Boston Pride Calendar Pride Beyond Boston Calendar Provincetown Calendar
88 90 90 91
Coda Dancing With the Same Sex
Melissa Etheridge Rocks!
This mega-music star and Berklee College grad has been singing the equality song long before it was hip
GLAAD Award winning comedian Marga Gomez is in a new long distance relationship … with Boston.
While Massachusetts is home to one of ballroom dancing’s most lauded same-sex partner dance couples, the Bay State has yet to host a competition; that changes this fall
Culture All The King’s Men Bend and Blend With Style
Comedian Marga Gomez’s Steamy Confessions
O n th e C o v e r Heroin Habit to Hero of Cirque du Soleil
the river May|Jun 2013 | volume 9 | Issue 3 Publisher
David Zimmerman Editor in Chief
James A. Lopata Art Director
Director of Advertising
Jennifer Cullen Dettmann
Chris George, Michael Poulin Contributing Lifestyle Editor
Contributing Arts Editor
We’re excited to announce the addition of our
Riverside Terrace Boston’s newest outdoor venue with the Charles River and Boston skyline as the backdrop for your next event! This exclusive riverside location is the ideal place for your next social event with spectacular city and waterfront views, gentle breezes and, of course, delectable dining options from our Executive Chef, Brian Dandro.
Tony Giampetruzzi, Scott Kearnan, Mark Krone, Alan Tran
Emil Cohen, Dave Dietz
TALK TO USSend comments, questions and encomia to email@example.com Editorial Contact
bostonspiritmagazine.com 781-223-8538 Mailing address398 Columbus Avenue, #395, Boston, MA 02116
Boston Spirit magazine. A Division of Jake Publishing, LLC Published by Jake Publishing, LLC. Copyright 2004 by Jake Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the written permission of Boston Spirit magazine. Neither the publishers nor the advertisers will be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. The publishers accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers. Publication of the name or photograph of any person, organization or business in this magazine does not reflect upon one’s sexual orientation in any way.
On the web
To learn more about the Riverside Terrace, contact our catering team at
Correction 40 Edwin Land Boulevard, Cambridge, MA 02142.
In our Maine marriage coverage in March/April 2013, the bottom right photo on page 41 and the right-hand photo on page 42 should have been credited to Hilarye Schoyt of Fotographa. And the photo on the upper left of page 42 and the upper right of page 43 should have been credited to Anne Sweeney Photography. We apologize for the error.
Pride in Action. Our law firm’s commitment to the gay community goes back to the days before out was in. In 1986 – the year the US Supreme Court ruled on Bowers v. Hardwick – we elected an openly gay attorney to partnership status for the first time. In 1993, we became one of the first law firms in the nation to extend benefits to same-sex partners. And since 1995, our law firm has served as pro bono counsel to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBT Americans. Today we’re proud to continue to do what’s right – subsidizing the tax penalties gay employees pay for domestic partner benefits, providing transgender health care, and offering a family leave policy that lets LGBT colleagues stay home to welcome new babies or adopted children into their families.
Isn’t it time your law firm focused on what matters to you?
Information contained herein may be considered attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 2453
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spotlight Fashion story Scott Kearnan
Spring In Your Step The flowers? In bloom. The annual P’town vacation? Booked. The wardrobe? Ripe for spring cleaning — and refreshing. This season, add cheery color to your closet by slipping into bright shoes that accent any ensemble. It’s usually easier for women to find such options. Men’s departments often balk at bold colors. So we focussed on finding a selection of shoes — in each color of the rainbow — that should fit every guy’s style and budget. Go ahead. Put your best, and brightest, foot forward. [x] RED Tretorn “Otto Canvas” (in “ketchup”), $69 at Uniform. ORANGE Prada Uomo driving shoe, $550 at Nordstrom Natick Mall. YELLOW Tod’s “New Laccetto Gommini Driver” (in “marigold”), $445 at Saks Fifth Avenue. GREEN Cole Haan “LunarGrand Wingtips,” $248 at Nordstrom Natick Mall. Green Gucci “Damo Suede Horsebit Driver,” $430 at Neiman Marcus. BLUE [left] Maison Martin Margiela “Replica Metallic Lace-Up Sneakers,” $530 at The Tannery. BLUE [right] Prada “Perforated Low Sneaker,” $450 at Neiman Marcus. INDIGO Ted Baker London “Drilll2 Laced Espadrille,” $110 at Ted Baker London. VIOLET 1901 “Wingman Longwing Derby,” $99 at Nordstrom Natick Mall.
WHERE TO SHOP Neiman Marcus
100 Copley Place, Boston, 617-536-3660, neimanmarcus.com Nordstrom Natick Mall
290 Speen Street, Natick, 508-318-2600, nordstrom.com
Saks Fifth Avenue
800 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-937-5210, saksfifthavenue.com
711 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-267-5500, thetannery.com Ted Baker London
201 Newbury Street, Boston, 617-450-8339, tedbaker-london.com Uniform
511 Tremont Street, Boston, 617-247-2360, uniformboston.com
spotlight Numbers compiled Alan Tran
Percentage of Americans who believe same-sex married couples should receive the same federal benefits as opposite-sex married couples; 28% opposed. [Reuters-Ipsos, March 2013]
The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation is Greater Boston’s permanent endowment created to advance the equitable treatment of LGBTQ people and their families. It was launched last year and will make its first grants to LGBTQ causes and nonprofit organizations this year, guided by an advisory committee that knows and represents our community. The Boston Foundation has made grants to organizations that serve the LGBTQ
Percentage of Americans who support legal marriage for same-sex couples; 36% opposed. [ABC News/ Washington Post, March 2013]
community for many decades. Now, it has also pledged a quarter of a million dollars as a two-to-one challenge to build this unique fund. Will you help us meet this challenge?
Percentage of Americans who support marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. [Reuters-Ipsos, March 2013]
60% Percentage of registered Rhode Island voters who support legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Rhode Island. [Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, February 2013]
Percentage of violent hate crime victims who did not report the crime from 2007 to 2011. 24% reported not doing so because they believed the police could not or would not help.
Percentage of Americans who think homosexuality is a choice, compared with 62% who do not.
Percentage of lesbians not receiving routine screening for cervical cancer, putting lesbian and bisexual women at greater risk of late diagnosis. [“Policy
[Bureau of Justice Statistics, March 2013]
[ABC News/Washington Post, March 2013]
Focus: Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening Among Lesbians and Bisexual Women” – Fenway Health, 2013, utilizing American Association for Cancer Research Study 2012]
spotlight Trends story Scott Kearnan
News, notes, and to-dos for every gay agenda
Relaxinside the new, second
location of skoah. Husbands Jay Judas and Pete Dziedzic, former chair of MassEquality’s board of directors, first brought the Canadian skincare line to Boston through their South End spa. Opening in May at 35 Newbury Street, the 1,000 squarefoot new spot (designed like a chic cabin) will offer skoah’s signature guy-friendly facials — plus a “chiiki munki brow bar” for taming eye-adjacent jungles.
battle, features fictitious Judge Joe Lyons — whose personal passions threaten to unleash political scandal. Fire up your Kindle, or grab it at Provincetown Bookstore or Boston’s Calamus Bookstore.
Head on downto the Love
Shack — or better, Boston’s Bank of America Pavilion. On June 23, The B-52s play the campy classics — “Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho,” “Roam” — that made them gay favorites. (That Cindy Wilson is now the quartet’s only straight member doesn’t hurt.) Joining them: the surf-rock gals of The GoGo’s. Tickets: livenation.com.
Bookyour tickets for a 2014 vacation with Olivia Travel. The lesbian cruise company’s just-announced slate includes an eight-day South American excursion with out personal finance guru Suze Orman. Trimming vacation budgets
a bottle, and expand your horizons, with acclaimed lesbian sommelier Caitlin Stansbury’s new book Wineocology. In time for spring dinner party season, Stansbury outlines a simple, sensorydriven approach to wine tasting that prioritizes personal preferences — not price tags. Frugal oenophiles, cheers to that!
Unlocksome summer read-
ing: Lyons at the Gate, the latest from local author Dermot Meagher. In 1989, Meagher became Massachusetts’ first openly gay judge. This onehanded page-turner, set amid the state’s same-sex marriage
is apparently not on her task list. Fine by us. Visit: oliviatravel.com.
gressman Barney Frank, who was honored in Boston on April 26 with Ford Hall Forum’s First Amendment
12 | BOSTON SPIRIT
B-52s JUNE 23 Award (FAA) for promoting thoughtful freedom of expression. The Forum, the nation’s oldest continuously operating free public lecture series, gave its first FAA in 1981 to Norman Lear. Let’s hear it for Frank, the liberal world’s answer to Archie Bunker.
Give a standing o
to Fresh Fruit. Boston’s comedycabaret drag quartet, known for un-PC riffs on pop culture and politics, staged its final show (Fresh Fruit Has SexA-Peel) at Club Café in late April. “We believe you should quit while you’re ahead,” said Rodney Vanderwarker, who co-founded Fresh Fruit 13 years ago. “Besides, now that Ryan Landry sold out and started working with the Huntington, I guess fringe theater is dead in Boston. Why stay too long at the fair?” Longtime member
Michael Gaucher added that the group will always be grateful for its loyal “fruit fly” fans: “As Eve Harrington said, ‘If nothing else, there’s applause — like waves of love pouring over JUN 6,7,9 the footlights.’”
for the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, who raise the curtain on their Pride concert, Divas Unleashed, at John Hancock Hall on June 6, 7, and 9. Expect to hear renditions of Barbra and Britney, the ladies Gaga and Garland — and special tributes to late legends Whitney and Donna. Can’t wait? Support the BGMC on Saturday, May 11 at Crescendo, its annual fundraising gala anchored by a famously fabulous silent auction spread. Tickets for Crescendo and Divas are at bgmc.org. [x]
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spotlight Travel story Scott Kearnan
Pillow Talk Legendary dance festival has gay roots In the dance world, Jacob’s Pillow Festival is legendary. And even casual culture vultures might be familiar with some of its claims to fame: situated on a 220-acre National Historic Landmark (once a stop on the Underground Railroad) that is uniquely nestled in the rolling green Berkshires, it is America’s longest running dance festival. Every year, thousands flock from across the globe to take a seat at “The Pillow.” But slightly less famous is its historic connection to the LGBT community. Jacob’s Pillow was founded in 1931 by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn. He created the rural dance center as an enclave where male dancers could train and perform, and he hoped to legitimize dance in the public eye as an acceptable male art form. Shawn, married but estranged from his wife, started his company by recruiting eight male dancers; his leading dancer, Barton Mumaw, became his creative muse and longtime lover. In tribute to his special place in Shawn’s life, Mumaw is now immortalized as the figure in the weathervane atop the Ted Shawn Theatre, a rustic barn that serves as the heart of the countryside dance campus. Romantic, right? The Festival features 52 performing companies from June 15August 25. Find the full schedule at jacobspillow.org, but here are a few highlights worth discovering:
Connor Gnam of Ballet BC; photo Michael Siobodian, courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance
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Dance Theater of Harlem (June 19-23) Though Jacob’s Pillow attracts performers from around the world, it also highlights great talent born in the USA. This classical and contemporary dance company made its first professional appearances at the Pillow over 40 years ago. Now led by founding member Virginia Johnson, Harlem will perform works by legends like Alvin Ailey and George Balanchine, whose Agon was first performed by Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell in a then-controversial interracial pas de deux.
Compagnie Kafig; photo Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance
Compagnie Käfig (June 26-30)
Wendy Whelan/Restless Creature (August 14-18)
Martha Graham Dance Company (August 21-25)
Shawn’s original all-men dance company would be happy to see how far male performers have come in the art. The all-male cast of Compagnie, made up of self-taught Brazilian hip hop dancers, was a six-show sellout at last year’s Festival. They’ve returned for an encore, pairing sophisticated forms like ballet with the streetwise edge of influences like martial arts. The show is set to a vibrant soundtrack of samba, bossa nova and electronic music.
Jacob’s Pillow was founded as an opportunity to celebrate male dancers — but in this piece, all eyes are on New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan, a 25-year veteran whose muscular performances have made her a modern legend. Restless Creature, co-commissioned by the Pillow, will pair Whelan with four vastly different male dancers. Each combination offers Whelan a way to show a different face and spotlight her body’s unique skills.
What belongs at America’s longest running dance festival? The country’s oldest dance company, of course. Its eponymous founder is the mother of modern dance, inspiration to every fleet-footed star that hit the stage in her wake. The Company will close the festival with Graham’s interpretation of The Rite of Spring, honoring the 100th anniversary of a work so avant-garde that it infamously caused angry riots at its premiere performance. [x]
Our stars shine with
PRIDE Happy pride Boston!
495 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02118 800-FLY-1999 | 617-536-1999 | 5Star-Travel.com
spotlight Armory story James Lopata
For the Love of Samurai “One should always carry rouge and powder with one,” wrote the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo in the early 18th century. “After rising in the morning, or after soaring up we sometimes find that we do not look very good. In such a case we should take out the rouge and put it on.” The importance of aesthetics is pronounced in the bushido, which is known as the famous way of the warrior in medieval Japan — akin to the code of chivalry among medieval European knights — and one of the highest ways of being aspired to by the Japanese. The MFA’s new Samurai exhibition beautifully captures the marriage of beauty and war among Japan’s famous warrior class.
Armor of the nimaitachido¯ type (nimaitachido¯ to¯sei gusoku) photo Brad Flowers. © The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas; courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Visit a European armory exhibition and you’re likely to see row upon row of cookiecutter military regalia. Not so with the samurai. Every helmet of each samurai, for instance, was custom made, each with a personal flair. The flame
helmet, representing a jewel on fire, and another helmet sporting three tall feathers, are among the most eye-catching of those on display. The samurai held considerable power over the islands of Japan from the 12th- through 19th centuries, in an era when sexual relations between men was considered no more or less unusual than sexual relations between men and women. (There is not much known about sexual relations between women). In fact, sometimes romantic relations among men — a practice called “shudo” — were more highly prized. Tsunetomo suggests that same-sex relations are just one step short of the highest ideals of the warrior.
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16 | BOSTON SPIRIT
“What is really important is to practise the martial arts,” Tsunetomo writes, as quoted in a book called The Love of Samurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Homosexuality, by Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun’inich Iwata. “It is only in this way that the shudo becomes bushido.” Questions of sexual orientation are beyond the scope of the MFA show. But contemplating a society where same-sex sexual relations were considered unexceptional — even among the military elite — brings new perspective to viewing these sometimes ferociously beautiful samurai armaments. Consider too that among the armory on display is a samurai outfit fitted for a woman; when male samurai were away, their wives took on the warroir duties at home, protecting local villages and homes. The MFA’s samurai exhibition provides us with a uniquely alternative way of thinking about historical and cultural approaches to gender and sexual orientation roles. And some of the works are just plain beautiful. Hai! [x] Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Through August 4 www.mfa.org
Sweet Celebration Wedding planning isn’t easy, and trimming a guest list might be the hardest part. So newly engaged couple Robbie Samuels and Jess Faulk had a solution: a potluck pre-wedding party with the whole community. It’s a unique approach, but makes sense when you consider the couple. After all, Samuels is a familiar face within the LGBT community, through his work with GLAD and his own community building organization, Socializing For Justice (SoJust). Faulk met Samuels through SoJust events and they became best friends — until mutual pals pointed out their unique connection. The twosome realized a romance had developed. “Once we finally faced the truth, we both knew we were ‘all in’ and completely head over heels,” said the couple. Next up: an “unofficial” proposal from Faulk who paid down Samuels’ school debt as a birthday gift, turned the paperwork into an origami ring, and presented it on a romantic beach
Jess Faulk and Robbie Samuels photo Maureen Cotton date. Then Samuels turned the tables, splurging on a gorgeous sapphire ring to propose on the two-month anniversary of Faulk’s first pass. “We love our love story,” says the couple. “It’s slow, it’s untraditional, and it’s a little When Harry Met Sally — without the arguing!” The lovebirds are crowd-sourcing funds to bring a favorite band to their potluck party on September 15. Want to join the celebration? Help out, and get the details, at gofundme.com/ jessandrobbie. [x]
PRIDE in you!
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spotlight Food story Scott Kearnan
10 oz. Bone in Tenderloin Boston Chops inhabits a historic South End building that used to be the Penny Savings Bank. Though the interior design is luxurious — think sumptuous leather seats, dark woods and burgundy tones, and a 2,000-bottle glass encased wine room — the aim is to offer entrees that are affordable by fine steakhouse standards. At $39 with sides, the bone-in tenderloin has a modest price tag compared to similar spots.
To illustrate, we asked the team to slice up its menu and offer insight to some standout plates.
Crispy Oxtail Croquettes Prime rib and filet mignon are delicious, but de rigueur. Boston Chops’ menu focuses on more underutilized cuts of meat, like tongue, cheek, and oxtail. The last is most commonly slow-cooked for stews, but Coombs decided to get even more creative, using it for croquettes with red pepper mostarda.
Braised Short Ribs
Third time is a charm. Though in the case of gay restaurateur Brian Piccini, the first and second times were pretty spectacular too. Piccini opened dbar in Dorchester in 2005. It quickly became a buzzing hive for the neighborhood’s LGBT community — not to mention, an oasis of great food and well-mixed martinis in an area littered largely with pub grub from dive bars. In 2010 he opened Deuxave in the Back Bay, offering an upscale neighborhood restaurant that marries modern French cuisine with American influences. (It remains a blissful union.) And this year he served up his longawaited steakhouse Boston Chops in the South End, a neighborhood regarded as a major hub of the Hub’s gay and fining dining scenes. With those ingredients, what could go wrong? Well, nothing. Piccini is again paired with executive chef and co-owner Chris Coombs, his partner on all three restaurants, and Boston Chops is yet another impressive culinary collaboration. The idea? To bring a strong, chef-driven concept to the local steakhouse scene, which tends to be dominated by personality-free chains. The execution? Well done.
18 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Coombs chose this dish because it’s the finest braising muscle from the cow. And because it reminds him of his own favorite family meal: relaxing “Sunday Suppers” at the Coombs home, where short ribs are a staple. Coombs shared his recipe with Boston Spirit readers so our own aspiring gourmands can give it a go with our nearest, dearest, and queerest. [x]
Poutine Style Twice Baked “Loaded” Potato Every steakhouse offers baked potato. Snooze. This massive, sharable side puts a Quebecois twist on a tater, loading it with brown gravy and curd cheese. In Canada, poutine is considered a fast food; at Boston Chops, it’s elevated to an art form. Carbo-load us up.
Boston Chops House Sauce Coombs takes special pride in his tangy in-house creation, an authentic steak sauce in a world full of Heinz and A1. (Our runner-up: the chimichurri butter. It makes us melt.)
Braised Short Ribs Recipe 6-7 short ribs 12C of beef stock 5 large carrots 1C of fresh horseradish, cut into large chunks 10 Crimini mushrooms, quartered 10 cloves of garlic 2 onions 5 green onions
2 red jalapeños 2T black pepper 1/4C of fresh ginger, cut in chunks 6oz of soy sauce 3T sesame oil 3oz of sugar 3oz of honey 3oz of corn syrup Salt and pepper
Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper, then sear in pan until dark brown on all sides. Strain excess fat from pan, add 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 sprig of thyme and baste short ribs for one minute. Strain fat and aromatics out, then deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of red wine. Heat all liquid ingredients in pot to a simmer. Place short ribs in a braising pan and cover with a layer of cheesecloth (to help remove the vegetables after cooking). Pour all aromatics, vegetables and stock over short ribs in braising pan. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for 3-4 hours until fork tender. Strain liquid, then pour over short ribs and let sit until cold; the short ribs will absorb the liquid. Reheat and serve. Boston Chops
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spotlight News compiled Alan Tran
Word Is Out On March 15, the Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill requiring out-of-state companies to expand health care coverage to include same-sex couples by a vote of 139-to-5 — after less than 15 minutes of debate. The bill now goes to the Vermont Senate. If it passes, it will take effect beginning July 1.
Wolcott High School in Connecticut said, as of February 14, that it will allow student Seth Groody to wear a T-shirt reading “Excessive Speech Day” with a picture of a rainbow with a slash mark drawn through it, after receiving pressure from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to stop enforcing the school’s T-shirt ban. Groody first wore the T-shirt, that many perceived as anti-gay, on April 20, 2012, that year’s National Day of Silence, a day that seeks to draw attention to the bullying of LGBT students and allies.
On April 2, the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held hearings on whether or not Massachusetts convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek should receive sex-reassignment surgery, with the Dept. of Correction arguing that Kosilek would be at greater risk of sexual assault if completing the procedure and Kosilek’s lawyer arguing that the operation is a medical necessity and Constitutional right. The appeals court panel is expected to rule within three months.
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Gay Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino (D-Medford) has announced he will run for the U.S. House of Representatives if Representative Edward Markey (D) is able to win Secretary of State John Kerry’s recently vacated US Senate seat. Sciortino was a co-author of the 2011 Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
A Rhode Island Senate committee hearing lasted from 4 p.m. March 21 to 4 a.m. March 22, as hundreds of people testified for and against the legalization of same-sex marriage in the only New England state still without it. The bill has already passed the House and is awaiting a vote by the Senate. In February, the Massachusetts Dept. of Education issued guidelines stating that transgender students should be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms or play on the sports teams as the gender they identify as. The directives are intended to help schools comply with the 2011 Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
FREEPORT [NO. 006]: NICK CAVE
IMPRESSIONISTS ON THE WATER
THROUGH MAY 27, 2013
JUNE 22–SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
NOVEMBER 9, 2013–FEBRUARY 17, 2014
Soundsuit, 2013, Nick Cave. Courtesy of Nick Cave and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg, 1912. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo by Katherine Wetzel. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sailboats on the Seine (detail), 1874, Claude Monet. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Gift of Bruno and Sadie Adriani. 1962.23. Koji Tatsuno, Autumn/Winter 1993. Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute. Gift of Mr. Koji Tatsuno. Photo by Taishi Hirokawa.
Rainbow support for Boston College’s Lambda Law Students Association Following the vandalism of The Lambda Law Students Association’s office, an LGBT student organization at Boston College Law School, student groups, faculty, staff and administrators came together in a show of solidarity with the LGBT organization, creating a YouTube video and a Solidarity Photo as a sign of the school’s inclusive spirit. [x]
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feature History story Mark Krone
Judy Garland, Anthony Perkins and Liberace Walk Into a Bar … Charles Trafton’s (illegal) afterhours club in Boston attracted some of the most famous and interesting clientele Here’s one: Judy Garland, Anthony Perkins and Liberace walk into a bar… The bar was Charles Trafton’s place on St. Botolph Street, one of the most colorful and storied after-hours places in Boston. Through the years, it attracted sailors and stars, including Judy Garland, Liberace, Anthony Perkins, and a slew of bartenders and theater people who just did not want to go home. For sheer stamina, Trafton was without peer. Alone, he ran the illegal operation from his kitchen seven nights a week from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. The Boston police, to whom he made payments, raided him regularly, but perfunctorily. Charles Edward Trafton was born in New Hampshire around 1913 and moved to New York City in the 1930s to become
22 | BOSTON SPIRIT
a dancer and chorus member. At a little over five feet tall and reed-thin, Trafton resembled a sprite with wavy blond hair and large blues eyes. He soon found steady work performing in operettas and dance productions along the Eastern seaboard. He met and briefly roomed with actor Gene Barry, when they performed in Rosalinda and The Merry Widow. The night of January 24, 1944, must have glowed for Trafton as he and Barry opened in Rosalinda, produced by Max Reinhardt, at the Schubert Theatre in Boston. The History Project, Boston’s LGBT archive, has a rave review of that night’s performance in its archives. What led Trafton to retire from dancing in the mid-1940s to open an after- hours bar is unknown. As an ex-dancer, he may
photo Courtesy The History Project
not have had other marketable skills. An after-hours operation allowed him time and money to attend opera productions and plays in Boston and to earn a steady income while socializing with fellow gay people. By all reports, Trafton was a unique character who created a world that adjusted to him and not the other way around. Not everyone liked Trafton. He was opinionated and grandiose. Bill Conrad, who worked at many local gay bars in the 1970s, recently recalled their falling out. “I don’t even remember what it was over. It was kind of too bad because we had a lot of interests in common.” Jeffrey Miller, who worked at the 1270, a now-closed Boston gay bar, and runs the “1270 Boston” Facebook page, saw a kind side. He recalls Trafton taking gay men into his rooming house and lending them money. “He took in lost souls and looked after people.” During World War II, Trafton acquired a townhouse of single rooms at 124 St. Botolph Street where he rented only to gay men, according to his friend, Stephen Nichols. His bar patrons sat at a long oak table in the kitchen, listening to opera and Broadway show tunes (Trafton strictly controlled the music). The entrance was in the back alley where a row of trash cans was lined up near the door (to some, Trafton was known as “Charley Trashcan,” much to his disapproval). Early on, patrons were mostly sailors and theatre people. Later, when new gay bars sprang up in the 1970s, Trafton’s clientele was
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mostly staff from The 1270, Sporters, and Buddies. In a recent phone conversation, Nichols recalled meeting Trafton for the first time. “I was a doorman at Sporters [another now-closed Boston gay bar] and Trafton came in one night with Jimmy Boynton and Michael Buckley. Buckley talked like Tallulah [Bankhead], a real flamboyant queen. He says to me, ‘Stephen dahling, I want you to meet Charles Trafton.’ There was this diminutive man, in his 60s with wavy white hair and those thyroid eyes that looked like they would pop out of his head. He had this flowery shirt, open to the navel. He extended his hand to be kissed, saying ‘charmed to meet you.’ I was 26 at the time and I thought, this is a hoot.” According to Nichols, Trafton ran a tight ship. “Your hands had to be on the table. If you came in with a date, you couldn’t hold hands or put your arm on his shoulder. And no kissing. Charles would always say, “Don’t fool around. We don’t do things like that here.” Not everyone obeyed, however. When Liberace (Lee to his friends) came to Boston to perform about once a year, he would arrive at Trafton’s with a “pretty boy.” “Charles would tell Lee not to grope his friend and keep his hands above the table, but he never listened. One time Lee got so sloshed, Charles had to put him to bed. He let Lee sleep it off until 8 a.m. and then put him in a cab back to his hotel. Charles said after a performance, Judy Garland would go to the Napoleon Club and then to his place. Tony Perkins liked to dance at a gay club and then went to Trafton’s. They all got sloshed.” When Trafton first told Nichols about his famous patrons, Nichols made the mistake of expressing skepticism. Out came a photo album with
pictures of the stars sitting at the very same table where Nichols sat. “Do you recognize the sink, do you recognize the table, [pointing to Garland] do you recognize her,” asked Trafton. One night there was a knock at the door. “Charles always knew it was the cops because they knocked instead of using the door bell. All of the drinks were put away. He opened the door, in walks a young cop. Obviously, they knew each other and the cop says, ‘Oh, come on Charley,’ as if to say where are you hiding the drinks? So, Charles said to us, ‘I’ll get my coat. Hold down the fort, I’ll be back.’ He was sashaying back into the kitchen within 90 minutes and said, ‘I’ll have to raise my drink prices for a month’ [to make up for the payment he had made].” For all his individuality, perhaps Trafton was not much different from other gay men of his era. He kept a low profile in the straight world but let loose within the safety of his bar. “Charles loved the spotlight incognito. In his kitchen, he was the center of attention, but on the street he wanted anonymity,” says Jeffrey Miller. By the late 1980s, Stephen Nichols had quit drinking and hadn’t been to Trafton’s place in several years. They bumped into each other at the old Star Market in the Prudential Center in the early 1990s. “He (Trafton) was looking fragile. I told him the only reason I had not been in to see him was because I stopped drinking and went to bed early. He told me to come on over anyway, just call ahead. The man was one of a kind. He was up and serving right up to his final illness. We won’t see anyone like him again.” [x]
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feature Portrait story Tony Giampetruzzi
Acrobat, Author ... Addict Local boy kicks heroin, launches career as a Cirque du Soleil star and writes about it all in a new memoir, ‘Accrobadiction’ “I was training to become a contortionist and detoxing from heroin at the same time — I don’t recommend that to anyone. Ever. At all.” That pretty much sums the dogged, nononsense and humorous spirit of 36-year old gymnast/performer/model and now author, Joe Putignano. Heroin? Contortionist? Model? It’s a dichotomy that’s only likely to play itself out in the most outrageous Lifetime movie specials. So, to hear Putignano’s story — a promising pre-teen gymnast from Raynham, Massachusetts, who went on to endure nearly 15 years of extreme drug use and endless bouts of rehab, only to finally take the stage for a late-career comeback in his 30s as a Cirque du Soleil performer — is quite inspiring if not fantastical.
26 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Putignano recently took a hiatus from the stage and, although six years clean, was forced to face his demons again: in March, he was in Atlanta recuperating from surgery to correct a superior labral tear in his shoulder which, among various other localized injuries, was caused by more than five years and nearly 1,000 performances in Cirque’s Totem. The surgery was successful, but, for someone with Putignano’s relapse rap sheet, rehab would need to be narc-free, a must for someone who has used as much as him. “[The recovery] has been different. The surgery can be extremely painful, so I was really freaked out by what I read,” he explained to Boston Spirit. “But I go to a lot of meetings, and I did a lot of
photo Thomas Synnamon
acupuncture. And just the support from other people has been remarkable.” Managing pain is a cornerstone of Putignano’s story; a lack of support, early on, from those closest to him, also figures into his current editing project, Accrobadiction, a memoir slated for a September release and a subsequent book tour before a yet-to-be arranged return to Cirque. “It’s about addiction and athletics. They both deal in obsession, and both are very compulsive, and, in my case, intertwined,” says Putignano. “Gymnastics allowed me to be a better drug addict because I could endure the pain and torture of insane detoxes. I know it sounds strange, but I was a successful, functional addict because I endured so much pain from endless training.” Emotional pain came early for Putignano who was eight when he realized that he wanted to be a world-class gymnast while watching the 1984 Olympics. “I was hooked,” he says. “Like when a musician
hears classical piano for the first time. I immediately took the cushions off the couch to jump around and do what I saw on TV.” But by the time he started high school and after years of training, he knew that, while very good, he didn’t have what it takes for the brass ring, a shot at the Olympics. It didn’t help, he says, that he lacked the support of friends and family, the former suffering from substance abuse issues themselves. The rejection contributed to a fast and furious segue into a culture of super highs and plunging lows. During his teens, a typical night out in Boston consisted of being “completely immersed in drugs” with his then-girlfriend usually at an all-ages night at Axis or traveling to one of the ubiquitous raves that dotted New England in the early ‘90s. All the while, he dabbled in gymnastics and managed to eke out a training routine for a future he couldn’t quite articulate but desperately wanted to achieve. He briefly attempted to re-enter the world of athletics when he enrolled in Springfield College.
“ I had this idea: what if I just go back to gymnastics without being competitive, because I feel like I’m on fire when I’m flipping. ” Joe Putignano “I was fighting both sides. When you do something with all that discipline, it doesn’t leave you even if you don’t want it to. To be honest, I really WANTED to lose the desire to perform because, when you hold onto something like that, it eats at you and causes a lot of depression and anxiety,” he recalls. “Ironically, the drugs suppressed all that and made me feel OK that I didn’t get to the Olympics, or OK that I wasn’t the best. “In college, I did try to make it work, but there was that one moment when I made the decision to choose drug addiction over gymnastics. It was really sad. Like a musician smashing an instrument.” He says that in college he also came out. But the event occurred with little fanfare. “I think
I just ended up bringing someone home with me and that was it.” By 1999, New York City beckoned, and it wasn’t long before Putignano spiraled deeper into addiction and dysfunction: while working on editorial projects as a staffer at The New York Times, he was simultaneously dating a heroin addict with whom he developed a penchant for his partner’s drug of choice. Looking back, he says heroin ironically saved his life at a time when many gay substance abusers were adopting a differently potent powder. “I did crystal at one rave and never understood why people took it. It boggled my mind. I never did crystal. I never did the club scene. I never did Manhunt … I never knew it existed,” he laughs. “Heroin is a very lonely drug. It’s not a social thing, and it really protected me from the unsafe sex. Face it; no man can do what heroin can do. So, what’s the point? Yeah, it kinda saved my life.” Mostly. Overdoses caused at least two death pronouncements and a litany of rehabilitations during the years after ‘99. By the mid-2000s, Putignano had hit rock bottom. He had convinced himself
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that he would never do gymnastics again, he hadn’t trained in years, and he was a stereotypical junkie: emaciated, visible tracks, and a body covered in piercings. He couldn’t bear to see gymnasts on TV. In fact, things were reaching a point of no return when, at one particular rehab, he was assigned to “an incredible counselor who said stuff that would bypass my brain and go straight into my heart.” “I had this idea: what if I just go back to gymnastics without being competitive, because I feel like I’m on fire when I’m flipping,” he says. A regimen of power push-ups and some coaxing from his roommates in rehab led to a failed audition for a Broadway show. “For an addict to get rejection that early in sobriety really sucks,” he recalls. “But, I realized that I wasn’t that far away even though I was skinny, I had every part of my body pierced, and the guys I was competing against were the most disciplined, healthy-looking New York City dancers you can imagine.” Putignano’s luck had seemingly turned. Around the clock exercising and a new boyfriend, a dancer in Cirque’s Zumanity,
rekindled his desire to get clean and to get back on the stage. Still at the Times, rather than spending his lunch breaks cooking and shooting powder, he’d stack boxes full of Xerox paper and stretch out the copy room. As with many addicts, relapses did occur, but they were brief compared to earlier falls from the wagon. In fact, he at one point added to his regimen an experimental drug that blocked the effects of opiates. “I was fucking pissed when I shot $100 into my arm and nothing happened,” he remembers. He credits the success of the drug to a lasting rehabilitation that led to “getting his head back on straight,” stints on the stage, and the start of a side-career in modeling. However, the real break came when he was selected by choreographer Twyla Tharp to perform in her Broadway show The Times They Are A Changin,’. “That’s what finally gave me enough self esteem to say, ‘OK, give this a chance. I know you’re in pain, I know sobriety is uncomfortable, but give this a chance,” says Putignano, who remained clean for the two year run of the show. During this time, he connected with Robert Lepage, a
creator of Cirque, who encouraged Putignano to break into Cirque. He eventually made it and, for the next few years, Putignano would become known as the “The Crystal Man” donning a costume made of eight pounds of Swarovski crystal for Cirque’s “Totem.” Among other feats, he’d make like a crystal ball, iconicly spinning and contorting bathed in a spotlight some 40 feet from the ground. While he wrapped the run earlier this year, he’s been working on his book for the past three. He says that writing has also been a passion for as long as he can remember, but that he originally had no intention of doing a memoir. “I really didn’t think that the world needed another memoir, but I realized that I have something to say about the similarities between addiction and athletics. I basically put the same energy into training that I put into the addiction: morning, noon and night I was stretching and doing handstands with a determination that was addictive,” says Putignano, who remains six years clean. “It is the same with the drugs. I had a mission, and I couldn’t stop.” [x]
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seasonal Profiles story Scott Kearnan photography Emil Cohen
30 | BOSTON SPIRIT
President & CEO, Greater Boston Food Bank Catharine D’Amato has a long history in social justice work. Amid the height of Harvey Milk era activism she was studying and working in San Francisco, where she was an original incorporator of the Horizons Foundation, an LGBT grant-making organization. It’s also where she began her hunger work — from organizing church food pantries to launching the San Francisco Food Bank. She’s since turned the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) into a nearly $60 million charity serving over half a million annually. But LGBT philanthropy remains a deep-rooted passion. She now co-chairs the Equality Fund, founded in 2012 as an LGBT-focused initiative of The Boston Foundation, which is readying to announce the recipients of its first grants.
How did 1970’s San Francisco encourage your social justice passion?
The social justice chip has always been in me, whether it was around feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, or fighting for civil rights. But something that has emerged that didn’t exist then is that all these various sectors are aligning; whereas, say, at one point civil rights and LGBT rights were in different camps.
Do you remember where you were when Harvey was assassinated?
I was driving across the city in my boss’s car. I was heading out to the Ocean District and heard it on the news. I had to work my way around Market Street because everyone was out in the streets. … And then there were the White Night riots. Many people I know were arrested that
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Interim Director, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition What were you doing at age 24? Probably not leading one of the LGBT community’s most vital advocacy organizations. Begenyi started working with MTPC in 2009 while still a photography and filmmaking student at Emerson College, lending shutterbug services for important events. And when longtime executive director Gunner Scott announced his departure at the start of the year, it was clear which young leader was ready to take the reins. Begenyi will head MTPC through August, but there’s a bright future and big plans ahead for this A-plus activist.
What sparked your passion for trans rights?
I do identify as trans. When I was in high school, my gender was always very fluid. I didn’t identify as being trans, but I always let myself play with gender. It was part of me, and so I was always near to trans issues. … When I moved to Boston and began identifying, I realized I wanted to work within the trans community. I started seeing the obstacles and barriers.
Has the LGBT community allowed trans rights to fall behind?
The transgender community has been around for as long as anything else; people have been identifying as trans as far back as you can find. When we started fighting for gay rights and people starting coming out in a public way, trans people were included in that movement. But they had their voices shut down, which is
MAy|Jun 2013 | 33
34 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Salem’s Letourneau channels his creativity in many directions. He produces cultural commentary-laden live theatrical events: like Scary Mary, an October ode to ’80s horror flicks and hair bands. He’s a marketing guru with the tourism organization Destination Salem. And he founded Salem Out Loud, a series of social and networking events for the city’s gay community. Since combining with a similar Lynn-based group, it has become Go Out Loud, an LGBT-focused communitybuilding initiative that encompasses the North Shore. We’re under his spell.
Why did you start Go Out Loud?
I became a campaign manager for a candidate for city council, Derrick Barcikowksi, an openly gay business owner. We had a Pride event in July 2011 and there were more than 100 people. People were surprised by how big the community is, and how many opportunities to meet new people they were missing. I took it from there. It kept growing. How quickly it took off is a reflection that there was a really big need going unfulfilled.
What’s your goal for it?
LETOURNEAU President, Go Out Loud
In my career I’m really interested in: how do you tell a story? The events are more than get-togethers, they’re part of a bigger narrative telling the story of the gay community on the North Shore. Add the momentum of the first North Shore Pride in 2012 and Obama endorsing same-sex marriage, and we’re creating this general narrative saying: gay people are everywhere. We’re giving people an opportunity to reclaim their backyards, and giving the heterosexual community more opportunities to realize how normal the gay community is.
Does Go Out Loud attract straight crowds?
It’s about 25 percent straight. I want to create opportunities where people embrace and define themselves by what they do versus who
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night. There was huge destruction to the face of city hall. People were just so angry.
What is the greatest difference between the state of LGBT rights then and now?
Now we are everywhere. I remember the first gay pride in San Francisco. I think about the risks taken, the lives that have been lost. I remember being chased myself in San Francisco; thank God the bus came at the right time. I remember the whistle campaign in the Castro. You carried a whistle to blow if there was violence so people would come out of their houses. I think about being able to live and work as an openly gay person, not fearing that you’re going to lose your job.
What’s next for the Food Bank?
Moving forward on our commitment of trying to reach one meal a day for anyone who needs it. Whether they are young or old, no matter what their ethnicity. Hunger does not discriminate.
There are certain health and poverty disparities within the LGBT community.
Yes, and something we also need is directed service for elders, which will be important as our community matures. … The oldest person I ever knew come out was in her early 80s. It was someone I worked with in Western Massachusetts. She called me and said, “I want you know that I’m a lesbian. All this time, you’re the first person I wanted to call.” She’s 80-something. Coming out is possible at any age.
How does your work with Horizons Foundation inform the Equality Fund?
I think of them as bookends. We had a lot of startup work this year, to establish ground rules and guidelines. We advanced a number of ideas for funding to the next level, and the committee will make decisions on the recipients in June. We’ve committed half a million dollars to give away for the next five years. We’re pleased that we’ve had the corporate and individual support so that we can give away the first of this money in just a couple months. But this is a permanent fund to raise endowment. The long-term goal is to get [the Fund] into significant numbers so it will be in perpetuity for whatever the LGBT community needs going forward. [x]
36 | BOSTON SPIRIT
a problem. Take Stonewall, which we think of as a pinnacle event in gay rights. There were transgender women at that bar. They weren’t just drag queens; some didn’t identify as trans, but many did. We forget that part of our history.
Why is that?
It comes down to the fact that gay and lesbian people have an agenda. It’s an important one that I support. Equal marriage is important. But in pushing for these rights the transgender community was thrown under the bus. If you’re fighting for equal rights for all LGBT people, there is an amount of discrimination and backlash that you’re going to get that you won’t get if fighting for just gay and lesbian people. Trans people are more stigmatized.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from Gunner?
That we have to prioritize working with those who need the most, then work up from there. We need to start with low-income folks: the homeless, those without anything to eat, those worrying about basic needs. That economic justice framework is one of the biggest things I’m going to take away from working with Gunner.
What do you want to do differently?
It’s more that I have different skills. I went to school for documentary filmmaking, so I have an approach to sitting with people and talking with them, understanding where they’re coming from. My approach is more about directing the needs of community leaders to help them make change. While I don’t have experience in the state house talking to legislators, I can do more when it comes to the education and media components.
Where do you want to take your work after MTPC?
I want to continue to work with trans people. They’re so incredibly resilient and powerful. I’m going to school for social work and I want to be a clinician or therapist. I don’t know if that means working at a nonprofit or having a private practice. Doing something around sexual violence is important. There are a lot of trans-identified folks in sex work. Some organizations are interested in serving trans people, but they don’t necessarily understand the ways in which trans people move through the world. [x]
they are. I’m a horror movie fan, a comic book nerd, and a marketing professional. I’m all of these things, and happen to be gay. I think once society embraces homosexuality as one trait in someone’s personality, we can start focusing on what people do with their lives for the greater good.
There’s a range of ages, too. Why do younger crowds go?
There aren’t many opportunities to meet other young gay people without it being a hypersexual experience. People come to our events because they’d like to meet others without preconceived notions. It’s also a chance to see what being in a gay couple looks like. If you’re a younger person whose only experience with other gay people is at the bar, you’re probably not meeting a lot of older married couples.
You co-founded Creative Salem to unite the city’s innovation and entrepreneurial sector. Is there an especially creative vibe to Salem?
Salem definitely attracts a lot of selfmotivated people, creative people with curious minds, people hungry for something different. They perceive themselves as being different and love being surrounded by others like them. Independent people are drawn to that atmosphere and to being set among the beautiful cobblestone town, one of the oldest cities in the country! It’s a unique place, there’s an air of positive mystery about it.
Does that add to Salem’s gay appeal?
I think the gay community is attracted to Salem for a lot of the creative pursuits. It’s a place for people who want to seek new opportunities and be active in the community, whether by engaging with the city, taking part in theater and event production, or working on writing, poetry, marketing, design. A lot of people here define themselves by what they like to do — their career or craft. I think the gay community is attracted to that self-expression. [x]
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Owner & President, Maggie Inc.
The modeling industry isn’t all bright lights and cocktail clinking. It took twelve years of incredibly hard work (and a few anxiety attacks) to propel Casey to the top of Boston’s top modeling agency. He started at Maggie Inc. while still a college student, playing right-hand man to its eponymous founder and shifting his courses to nights so he could learn the ropes of the business full-time. When Maggie became sick with cancer, Casey took the helm, maintaining a status quo illusion while running the showand pulling the purse strings. Maggie recovered but retired, selling her company to a star who has definitely paid his dues. You better work, indeed.
What’s been the biggest key to your success?
I don’t think you have to understand a lot about fashion to be a great agent here. The
38 | BOSTON SPIRIT
most important thing I did was develop my skills in relating to a wide range of people. That was a challenge, starting out a lot younger than many people in this industry — and as a gay boy needing to relate to butch straight men, which is the look in Boston. The client base here is very masculine, very butch.
Why is that?
At its core, the business is about clients selling product. Models that work a lot here wouldn’t work in Miami, and vice versa. The client base here happens to be made up of a more butch clientele: LL Bean and Aramark. Alpha males. Some models who have made a killing working for these clients were gay men who happened to be sort of bearish and had butch looks. It’s about having a look that markets well.
And can straight models do gay? Being a good model is similar to acting. A gay actor can play straight roles if he’s a good actor, and a good straight actor can play gay roles. Tons of straight male models work for gay clientele. When gay marriage became legal we had clients who wanted hot gay couples for diversity. We had straight men pull it off wonderfully.
Maggie: gay icon?
She’s such a diva. She kind of looks like Judy Garland! She’d throw off these words of wisdom that stick with you forever. She always taught me that business comes down to two things: money and how you treat people. We’re a successful firm because we encourage a family environment. We’re close with one another. But what defines our relationships is business, first and foremost. You can
be best friends with someone, but the minute you screw with their money the relationship falls apart.
You’ve represented Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo. At the Miss USA pageant, her question was: would it be fair for a transgender woman to win? She answered yes. How did you feel watching that?
Most pageant girls train their whole lives. She entered as a fluke. I said to her, “You’re probably going to win because you’re not the typical pageant girl!” I didn’t know her well enough to know that would be her answer. It was a really proud moment to see her handle it with elegance and grace. And there is a correct answer and a wrong answer on that question. She gave the correct one.
What’s next for Maggie Inc.?
Maggie always used the agency as a platform, a bully pulpit to influence things in the city. She was early involved in AIDS fundraising here. We are a hub for every other industry. Every corporation uses models. The reach goes deep and gives us a place to say something meaningful. I hope to take advantage of that. [x]
40 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Even on a crowded stage, all eyes land on Lam. His star started rising at age four when Lam, whose parents were Vietnamese refugees, discovered the inner-city dance program Performing Stars of Marin. Then came Canada’s National Ballet School, international competitions — and eventually Boston Ballet, where his acclaimed work has made him a leading man on and off-stage. He and his husband, real-estate lawyer John Ruggieri, are fixtures on the social scene. Their 2011 Vermont wedding was profiled in the Boston Globe. This year, their family grows. They’re currently expecting their first child through a surrogate.
Was it difficult to be a boy in ballet?
When I was four years old, I was enthralled with girls. I’d want to be wearing things they would wear or playing things they would play. I was very comfortable with that. … I remember going into a costume shop and seeing a purple leotard, thinking, “Why can’t I wear one of those?” But when we went to ballet class that first day and it was all girls, twenty girls and me, I freaked myself out. I left the class. I was very upset about it. I wanted to quit.
What changed your mind?
I agreed to go to a performance. It was a ballet. I don’t remember which one. But I remember the music. I remember the beautiful things happening on stage. I was mesmerized. I decided I was going to go back and continue to dance. If it weren’t for that organization, I never would have been introduced at all to the art of dance.
Any favorite memories from those childhood performances?
Soloist, Boston Ballet
I remember we did a school production of Cinderella. I was maybe six, and I played a page. I would bring fruit to give to the prince and
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There are victims, and there are survivors. In the ‘80s, the silence around issues of domestic violence was deafening. But extracting herself from an abusive situation only strengthened Leventhal’s commitment to ending the epidemic of partner abuse in the LGBT community, where unique stigmas are many and support systems are few. Since founding The Network/La Red, Leventhal has turned it into a vital organization that empowers through education (a documentary film on partner abuse is in progress) and service.
What inspired you to found the organization?
I was working with a domestic violence program when I realized I was being battered in my own relationship. It hadn’t occurred to me that’s what it was. After all, this was another woman, and a woman who identified as a feminist. The idea came from that and the support group I was facilitating. Too many lesbians and bisexual people were being refused services at mainstream domestic violence programs. I remember one woman was kicked out of a shelter with her three kids because of another resident’s homophobia.
Executive Director, The Network/La Red
What helped you recognize the abuse in your own relationship?
1986’s Naming the Violence was the first big book about lesbian battering. Before then I knew my girlfriend could get mean and do things that scared me. I knew she was violent. I’m Jewish, and she told me she understood why the Nazis tried to exterminate the Jews. I was appalled. But she had built this framework, as an abuser does, where there is no possibility of questioning. I thought it was all my fault.
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Founder, LesbianNightlife.com Gay nightlife options might be shrinking, but my, how McGurr has grown. She started her first lesbian night in the basement of a Chinese restaurant. Now she’s the entrepreneur behind massive (and massively beloved) annual events like Boston Pride’s ESME Block Party, a Memorial Day Weekend takeover in Provincetown, and August’s Fusion Pool Party at the Randolph Country Club. In September she launches Stargaze, a Burning Man-inspired women’s festival that will fill a New Hampshire campground, with music, art, and plenty of parties. Rave on.
Did the club world play a part in your coming-out?
I remember the first time I went out to ManRay, back in the day. I was with my first girlfriend and it was so exciting: “Oh my God, there are other gay people! There are so many lesbians! We’re not the only ones!” Being gay wasn’t talked about. You didn’t see gay people on TV all the time. I imagine kids still get a little bit of that feeling, but overall they’re already more exposed to it.
How has gay nightlife changed?
I remember when I was a teenager with my first girlfriend, we thought we couldn’t tell anyone. Not even that gay cousin who we knew was gay! It was this big secret. And with nightlife, we had these seedy little options. We were in the background, down alleys. Now venues are open to having more gay nights, nicer venues in nicer places. The girls feel more welcomed. Gay people in general feel more welcomed everywhere.
Has the mainstreaming of gay culture made it harder for gay nightlife to survive?
It has made it more difficult for the weekly events. That’s why people look forward to the annuals now. It’s exciting. You know there’s
queen and then walk off. I was so stunned by the prince! I remember that young being attracted to men. I didn’t know what gay was, but I loved this prince. I was young and freespirited. Nothing held me down in that way.
Was starting a family always important to you?
On my first date with John, my first question was, “Are you close to your family?” Family ties and bonds are very important to me. He comes from a tight-knit Italian family, which is very similar to Vietnamese culture. I also asked him, “Did you ever want to have kids?” I’m an old soul stuck in a young man’s body. Usually when you’re young you’re going on dates, having fun, drinking, partying — and that’s great, that’s fun, I have friends that do that. But I never fit in that category.
You’re documenting the pregnancy on a website, johnlovesjohn.com. Why?
I’ve noticed there aren’t a lot of resources here for gay families that need support. Take breastfeeding, a lot of people want to do it naturally. How does it work for gay males? Do they go to a milk bank? Are they allowed? There are all these different scenarios. It’s still a straight world. I’m a 28-year old gay man, part of a generation that can imagine being married and having kids. But at the same time there aren’t the resources or support.
How will you balance performing and parenthood?
You assume the ballet will be supportive, and they have been. But this is their first situation with a gay guy having a child. People don’t realize how in a workplace situation, gay people bringing a family into the world have less rights than a female who is physically carrying a child. The ballet has been supportive, but what really matters is when the baby actually arrives. [x]
46 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Why the especial silence around LGBT partner abuse?
going to be an overload of women you haven’t seen in a while. It’s more acceptable to go out anywhere, but now you don’t know who’s gay and who’s not. So if you’re a single looking to meet someone, it has its advantages and disadvantages!
You’re engaged in work surrounding other social justice movements, like Occupy. Why?
is that from May through September there are huge monthly events. That’s as good as, if not better than, a lot of cities. People think New York is so great. Then you go, and it’s the same deal, a handful of great parties that stand out.
The silence around partner abuse within our communities has to do with a lack of awareness that this is an issue for us. It’s difficult to recognize domestic violence because what we know of partner abuse has been about straight It also seems like lesbians have folks. It’s difficult for those in our community fewer options for nightlife, no? to see themselves in the pamphlets, the postThat’s exactly why I started LesbianNightlife. ers, the billboards. com. When I started doing events I was out with flyers every day. There was no Facebook, Has there also been pressure and all the publications were geared toward to prove our relationships men. You had to be out in the street telling are ‘normal’? people, collecting e-mail addresses, using Absolutely. People felt pressure to not word-of-mouth. I would travel to New York, talk about it. We’ve had to deal with being LA or Chicago and I didn’t know where to go. told we’re sick, unhealthy, dangerous, and There was nothing for lesbians, or it was all shouldn’t be around children. There’s a fear of airing dirty laundry that says: no, we’re not outdated. perfect but we still deserve rights. You don’t How does Boston nightlife have to be perfect to not get beaten. Brian compare to elsewhere? Camenker of MassResistance once put some- No matter where you go, everyone thinks thing on his website: “Look! They say they’re other cities are better than theirs. The grass healthy, but look at this [anti-violence] DPH is always greener! Honestly, the scene here is funding that goes into their relationships! We among the best in the country. The big events told you they’re sick!” and annuals we have are so popular. The fact
The values and tactics behind partner abuse are the same as those behind institutional oppression. If we’re ever going to end partner abuse, the whole paradigm by which we define power has to change. We define power as ‘power over.’ There are other ways: ‘Power with.' ‘Power to.' ‘Power for.’ And so on. We have to change the paradigm of power being control and look at institutional oppression in which groups of people maintain control over another group in order to exploit them.
What does the future hold?
We provide direct services of great quality, but the point of our organization is to end battering. We want to raise awareness and change the question from ‘Does this exist?’ to ‘What do I about it? Whether or not I experience it personally, how do I recognize it?’ We should be the last resort. People should be able to turn to friends. We provide information that helps people understand what it looks like, feels like, and how to address friends who are abusive and hold them accountable. [x]
What are your proudest moments in planning events?
It happens when I’m up on stage at Pride. Or last year at the Fusion Pool Party over Memorial Weekend, when it rained but we still had almost a thousand people. It was awesome. I like to stand up on the stage, over in the corner or off to the side, and look out at the crowd. I think, “All of that thinking, planning, running around — it all paid off.” [x]
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At Eastern Bank, our mission is to move you and your life forward. That’s why we do more than just invest in new technologies and better services. We also invest in forwarding social causes. We’re proud to support LGBT initiatives throughout the communities we serve. Which is another reason why here, you’re first.
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Most profound change you’ve made as a result of your law practice> I cam partner there in 1989. I’ve be n open about my orientation al my care r. Le worked with, both in my practice and in the community at large. I have com to sup ort anti-gay discrimination when someone they know is hurt by it. Scott H. Moskol
Lisa M. Cukier
Donald E. Vaughan
Laura R. Studen
Peter F. Zupcofska
Scott H. Moskol Lisa M. Cukier Donald E. Vaughangroup Laura R. Studen burns & levinson’s lgbt Name>> Scott H. Moskol burns & levinson’s lgbt group
Timothy J. Famulare
Peter F. Zupcofska
Timothy J. Famulare
Ellen J. Zucker
Ellen J. Zucker
Occupation>> Partner and Vice Chair of the Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions Group at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Scott H. Moskol Areas of Practice>> Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions, Bankruptcy and Corporate Occupation>> Partner and Vice Chair of the Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions Group at Burns & Levinson LLP What is your best advice for your LGBT clients who are interested in starting their own business?>> Regardless if someone identifies as LGBT, Areas of Practice>> Financial Restructuring & business Distressedneeds Transactions, andofCorporate anyone who is contemplating starting their own to get anBankruptcy accurate idea start-up costs, including any costs associated withWhat financing thebest operation. budget is clients essential toare create, and the owner should do whatRegardless they can to follow it. identifies If it doesasnot is your advice forAyour LGBT who interested in business starting their own business?>> if someone LGBT, appear that one the necessary financial resources keep the business for a period of start-up time – say 6 months to aany year, assuming anyone whohas is contemplating starting their own to business needs to getafloat an accurate idea of costs, including costs associated verywith conservative estimates then one should re-examine whether this is the rightshould time todo make such ancan investment. financingbusiness the operation. A –budget is essential to create, and the business owner what they to follow it. If it does not appear that one has the necessary financial resources to keep the business afloat for a period of time – say 6 months to a year, assuming very Lisa conservative business estimates – then one should re-examine whether this is the right time to make such an investment. Name>> M. Cukier Occupation>> Partner and member of Burns & Levinson’s Executive Committee Name>> Lisa M. Cukier Areas of Practice>> Family Law, Estate and Trust Litigation, Guardianship and Conservatorship Occupation>> Partner and member of Burns & Levinson’s Executive Committee What do you enjoy about representation of lesbian or gay male couples in divorce and custody matters?>> The Goodridge decision, in Areastoofholding Practice>> Law,inEstate and Trust Litigation, and Conservatorship addition thatFamily all people Massachusetts may enter Guardianship into civil marriages, also requires the Commonwealth to view all statutes, whether not related marriage, with gender neutrality. Thismale givescouples me theinoption to and be highly creative and strategic in using various Whatordo you enjoytoabout representation of lesbian or gay divorce custody matters?>> The Goodridge decision, in lawsaddition to the advantage myall clients in in divorce, non-marital custody and parentage matters. My use of this to gender to holdingofthat people Massachusetts mayseparations, enter into civil marriages, also requires the Commonwealth view neutral all statutes, effectwhether can alterorlegal presumptions and can change the neutrality. outcome ofThis a case in terms ofoption which to adult is considered to a child, who has not related to marriage, with gender gives me the be highly creativea parent and strategic in using various rights to make and religious upbringing decisions for children, who canparentage visit and spend time in whose laws to theeducational, advantage medical of my clients in divorce, non-marital separations, custody and matters. Mywith use children, of this gender neutral homeeffect the children and howand to structure division of assets allocate income towards support and support the who less has can alter will legalreside, presumptions can change the outcome of aand case in terms of which adultchild is considered a parent to a of child, financially stable spouse/partner. rights to make educational, medical and religious upbringing decisions for children, who can visit and spend time with children, in whose home the children will reside, and how to structure division of assets and allocate income towards child support and support of the less financially stable spouse/partner. Name>> Donald E. Vaughan
Occupation>> Partner and Chair of Real Estate Group and member of Burns & Levinson’s Executive Committee Name>> Donald E. Vaughan Areas of Practice>> Real Estate and Estate Planning Occupation>> Partner and Chair of Real Estate Group and member of Burns & Levinson’s Executive Committee Most profound change you’ve made as a result of your law practice>> I came out as a summer associate at my first firm, in 1982, and became a Areas of Practice>> Real Estate Estate partner there in 1989. I’ve been openand about my Planning orientation all my career. Less so today than earlier on, I think that made a difference to those I worked with, both in my practice and in the at law large. I have come to see in associate the sayingatthat is much harder people Most profound change you’ve made as acommunity result of your practice>> I came outthe as wisdom a summer my it first firm, in 1982,for and became a to support know is all hurt it. partneranti-gay there indiscrimination 1989. I’ve beenwhen opensomeone about mythey orientation mybycareer. Less so today than earlier on, I think that made a difference to those I worked with, both in my practice and in the community at large. I have come to see the wisdom in the saying that it is much harder for people to support anti-gay discrimination when someone they know is hurt by it.
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me out as a summer as ociate at my first firm, in 1982, and became a es so today than earlier on, I think that made a dif erence to those I me to se the wisdom in the saying that it is much harder for people Name>> Laura R. Studen
Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Laura R. Studen Areas of Practice>> Business Litigation, Employment Law and Family Law Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP What is your favorite thing to do in the summer in Boston/New England?>> There are a few favorite things I like to do in the summer: ofswim, Practice>> Business Litigation, Employment Lawfriends and Family Law wines, go to movies, read good books, garden, use my bike,Areas kayak, beach, hike, dine outdoors, socialize with over great tractor to repair stone walls, cook with fresh vegetables, listen to music, golf andThere fly fishing. Those are athings few ofI the I enjoy doing What is your favorite thing to do in the summer in Boston/New England?>> are a few favorite likethings to do in the summer: withbike, old friends and making new friends. In my spare time, I enjoy my work. kayak, swim, beach, hike, dine outdoors, socialize with friends over great wines, go to movies, read good books, garden, use my tractor to repair stone walls, cook with fresh vegetables, listen to music, golf and fly fishing. Those are a few of the things I enjoy doing with old friends and making new friends. In my spare time, I enjoy my work.
Name>> Peter F. Zupcofska
Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Peter F. Zupcofska Areas of Practice>> Family Law and Probate Litigation (MA & NY) Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP What are some of your viewpoints on current issues facing the LGBT — and broader — community?>> It is amazing to observe the Areas of of gays Practice>> Family in Law Litigation (MAof&2013, NY) and that a concept as traditional as marriage is serving as the evolution and lesbians theand U.S.Probate from the perspective tipping point for providing full rights and privileges to our community. a time to those whoItchampioned freedoms What are some of your viewpoints on current issues facing the LGBT —This andisbroader — thank community?>> is amazing toour observe the overevolution many years through struggles, including GLAD and Attorney Mary of gays andmany lesbians in the U.S. from the perspective of 2013, and Bonauto! that a concept as traditional as marriage is serving as the tipping point for providing full rights and privileges to our community. This is a time to thank those who championed our freedoms over many years through many struggles, including GLAD and Attorney Mary Bonauto! Name>> Timothy J. Famulare
Occupation>> Associate at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Timothy J. Famulare Areas of Practice>> Real Estate, Design & Construction Occupation>> Associate at Burns & Levinson LLP Are you involved with any local LGBT organizations outside the office?>> I am proud to be a member of the Board of Visitors of the Fenway Areas of Health Practice>> Realwhose Estate,mission Design & Community Center, is Construction to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in its neighborhoods and beyond through accessoutside to the highest qualityI health care,toeducation, research advocacy. It is of a pioneer Are you involved with any local LGBT organizations the office?>> am proud be a member of theand Board of Visitors the Fenway in HIV/STD counseling testing andmission in outreach the LGBT community. is the home and of The Fenway Institute, which Community Health and Center, whose is to to enhance the wellbeing of In theaddition, lesbian, it gay, bisexual transgender community and all operates theinnation’s first community-based research program and has been conducting long-term epidemiological people its neighborhoods and beyond HIV through access to the highest quality health care, groundbreaking, education, research and advocacy. It is a pioneer research since 1985. in HIV/STD counseling and testing and in outreach to the LGBT community. In addition, it is the home of The Fenway Institute, which operates the nation’s first community-based HIV research program and has been conducting groundbreaking, long-term epidemiological research since 1985. Name>> Deb Peckham Occupation>> Partner and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Deb Peckham Areas of Practice>> Intellectual Property Occupation>> Partner and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Burns & Levinson LLP What are some of your viewpoints on current political issues facing the LGBT community?>> It’s time for Proposition 8 and DOMA to be part Areas of Practice>> Intellectual Property of our history and I believe the Court will get it right, even if they do so for narrow reasons. Regardless, the tide has turned in just a few yearsWhat and it is thrilling to be witness it.current political issues facing the LGBT community?>> It’s time for Proposition 8 and DOMA to be part are some of your viewpointstoon of our history and I believe the Court will get it right, even if they do so for narrow reasons. Regardless, the tide has turned in just a few years and it is thrilling to be witness to it. Name>> Ellen J. Zucker Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP Name>> Ellen J. Zucker Areas of Practice>> Employment Law, Business Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense Occupation>> Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP What is your favorite thing to do in the summer in Boston/New England?>> Summer is supposed to be a time when trial schedules slow, Areas of Practice>> Law, itBusiness andthat White Collar Defense and problems for clientsEmployment are fewer. While doesn’t Litigation always work way, everyCriminal year I manage to get away and, even if the dining room tableWhat is spilling over with work do summer the thinginI love to do most in the summer: I spend time in Truro along theschedules beach andslow, is your favorite thing papers, to do in Ithe Boston/New England?>> Summer is supposed to be awalking time when trial hanging with my and out problems forson. clients are fewer. While it doesn’t always work that way, every year I manage to get away and, even if the dining room table is spilling over with work papers, I do the thing I love to do most in the summer: I spend time in Truro walking along the beach and hanging out with my son.
core practice areas Burns & Levinson is a Boston-based law firm with over 125 attorneys and offices in Providence and New York, as well as in the Merrimack Valley / North Shore, Metro WestBurns and South Shore areas of Massachusetts. & Levinson is a Boston-based law We firmwork withwith overentrepreneurs, 125 attorneys emerging and offices in businesses, private public and individuals inValley sophisticated Providence andand New York, companies as well as in the Merrimack / North business Shore, Metro transactions, and private client servicesWe – work family law, trusts & estates, West andlitigation South Shore areas of Massachusetts. with entrepreneurs, emerging marriage and divorce law. businesses, private and public companies and individuals in sophisticated business transactions, litigation and private client services – family law, trusts & estates, marriage and divorce law.
Business Law Business Litigation core Property practice areas Intellectual Business Private Client Law Business Litigation Estate Planning Intellectual Property Estate Litigation Private-Client Marriage MA, NY Estate Planning Partnership Agreements - MA, NY, RI Estate Litigation Real Estate Marriage - MA, NY Partnership Agreements - MA, NY, RI Real Estate
Chef-owner, Sweet Cheeks Q As runner-up on the first season of Top Chef, Faison earned a reputation as a fiercely combative competitor. But she’s a friendly face here in Boston, where the wry wisecracker takes her food seriously — but not herself. After commanding the kitchen at the South End gay favorite Rocca, Faison opened her own Fenway restaurant, Sweet Cheeks Q, where she puts a chef-driven sheen on Texas-style barbecue. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s back on the small screen: this year she launched a “Tiffani’s Taste” segment on NECN’s The Morning Show. Smell that? It’s success. (Also, hot sauce.)
What was your comingout experience like?
I grew up in an army family. We moved around a lot of different places. It was kind of a nurturing environment in a lot of ways, because we lived all over with so many different kinds of people: black, white, and Hispanic. And when you were with other Americans there was a kind of tight-knit group, like family. … Still, I came out after high school. My mom and I are really close. It took a while but she wasn’t upset by it. She believed you don’t raise your kids to be anything but good people.
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Did you hesitate about being out on Top Chef?
No, I’ve never filtered it in that way. As a kid I went through a period of time of not being able to put words to it [sexuality]. But once you put it all out there in the open, no one has anything on you. I’m kind of an open book. It’s a core belief of mine to live an open, transparent life.
Did being out earn you a backlash from fans of the show?
There were some things about my general personality that did. (Laughs) The most interesting thing was homophobia that came from the gay community. Top
Chef listed me as bisexual. I was dating a boy for half a minute and I told them. They decided to say I was bisexual. That never came out of my mouth, but I had a lot of negative feedback from members of the gay community. It was strange, being someone who had been out for a long time, now labeled as something I didn’t identify as. I looked at it from arm’s length. This is what bisexual people have to deal with.
Is the culinary world open to out chefs?
I don’t think the restaurant industry will ever get a reputation for being straitlaced! It’s a notoriously open-minded
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environment. Plus more and more, I’ve genuinely come to believe that for the most part people will treat you with the same attitude with which you treat yourself. If you leave room for people to have an opinion, they’ll do it.
You married your wife Kelly last year. How’d you meet?
It was at an after-party for Spinazzola Gala. We had both been going for years and it was odd that I had never seen her before, because I always had a radar for cute butch girls! (Laughs) I was living in New Orleans at the time. She was here. We kept in touch a
photo Mike Diskin
year before things started heating up. … Anyone who says long distant relationships can’t work is wrong. In true lesbian fashion, we became inseparable.
How is married life?
It’s bliss. But it’s not bliss without work. I loved Ben Affleck’s speech at the Oscars. It was so honest. It totally takes work. We go to great lengths to know how to talk and communicate. I don’t know how you can make a marriage work if you don’t take that time. But everything about it is incredible. [x]
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Director, Transgender Rights Project at GLAD It’s hard to overstate Levi’s contributions to furthering equal legal rights for transgender people. She has served as counsel in precedent-setting cases, successfully challenging limitations on transgender access to health care and opportunities for gender expression. But she’s always identifying new ways to contribute. GLAD was instrumental in advocating for comprehensive guidelines, issued in February, designed to ensure that Massachusetts public schools comply with the new transgender non-discrimination law. And she co-edited the recent book Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book specifically addressing family law issues facing transgender people.
Have you always been passionate about social justice?
One of the most formative experiences was when I was living in Miami and Anita Bryant was spearheading the Save Our Children campaign. I was very aware of the public discussions, and my parents were very involved in trying to preserve the first local gay rights ordinances. I remember the campaign, losing the ordinances, going to vigils and being impacted by the weight of the backlash well before I had any self-awareness of my sexual identity.
How did that self-awareness change?
I was aware from an early age that my gender expression was inconsistent with ideas of how girls should look and act. It was a very common experience for me to be read as a boy, and though my family was progressive on a range of issues it was uncomfortable for them to have what they knew to be a daughter read as a boy. I had consciousness of my experience, but I didn’t have the words or language for it. I didn’t know there was a political or cultural community for my experience until late in my college years.
Like many gay guys, Gerace spends a lot of time online. But in his case, it’s for work — not play. Gerace is the serial entrepreneur behind some of the Internet’s most innovative companies. He founded Be Free, an early leader in online advertising, and Gather.com, a content-sharing social network site. His latest success story is Skyword, a Boston-based firm that hires writers to create original, search engine-optimized content for client websites. A staunch LGBT advocate, he’s on the Board of Visitors for Fenway Health, and a director of The Open Gate Foundation, a gay and lesbian charitable foundation at his alma mater Harvard University. His stats: smart, handsome, philanthropic — oh, and newly engaged. See? Being online pays off.
Did being gay intersect with your interest in the Internet?
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It’s funny how it contributed to my interest in technology. In the pre-web Internet era you had the earliest versions of chat rooms, newsgroups on Usenet. Connecting with people was something that motivated me to understand those. It snowballed. Harvard Business School hired me to write one of their first case studies on the Internet. From there I launched my first company. My career as an entrepreneur has roots in my use of technology to understand myself as a gay person and access the world around me.
The online world was definitely instrumental in fostering gay culture.
GERACE Founder & CEO, Skyword
It’s fascinating to think about that pre-internet time. There was no source of information that there were other gay people in the universe, that this was a normal way to be, and that you could have happy, healthy relationships with other people like you. I knew I was attracted to men, but until college I didn’t identify as gay, because the only exposure I had to gay identity were a handful of photos of the New York Pride parade and a couple stories in the Times about AIDS.
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As an educator, Thomas is responsible for shaping the next generation of music talent. But as an artist, he has reverence for the past. He is influenced by the musicians of classic jazz and the vocalists of ‘90s R&B. (To fine effect, it seems. His own debut album, I Am, hit #1 on the iTunes jazz charts in January.) And he pays tribute to our community’s brave pioneers with his new piece “We Will Know,” an LGBT civil rights anthem. In June, it will be performed by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as part of a Harvey Milk tribute concert. Catch him locally at Somerville’s Davis Square Theater on Memorial Day Weekend.
What is it about jazz music that resonates with you?
Jazz music tends to be more daring in its music elements. It goes places that popular music, which needs to appeal to the widest audience possible, can’t go. But mine is a very well balanced diet. I don’t eat foie gras and pate every night! I need to have balance. But this music chose me, I didn’t choose it.
Who are your biggest jazz inspirations?
Musician/composer and Assistant Professor, Berklee College of Music
Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. I admire the style and grace with which they faced life. They were black men in segregated America. Billy Strayhorn was further segregated because he was gay. But he went out of his way to live a “Lush Life,” to quote his song. He was opulent and unapologetic. I imagine that whole underground of LGBT musicians back then who had these salons. It must have been a very exciting time. But it was a subculture. The main side of jazz was very straight — a lot of braggadocio and machismo.
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I’ve heard it said the transgender equal rights movement is ten years behind the gay rights movement. Is that so?
In some ways, on the legal and political side of things, it’s thirty years behind. But there are ways in which the transgender movement is ahead. The gay equality movement always had to deal with whether gay identity is a choice or something deep-seated and unchangeable. There has been a lot of division because of the focus on that question. I don’t think there’s the same question of whether a person’s gender identity is established and unchangeable from an early age. It’s getting people whose identity is consistent with their assigned sex to understand that sometimes people don’t have that experience.
Why did you start the book project?
Because transgender people are the most vulnerable in family law contexts. There’s so much bias and misunderstanding. People find it impossible to imagine themselves in the shoes of a transgender person. It’s important to humanize the experience. There’s an amazing book, The Last Time I Wore a Dress, by Daphne, now Dylan, Scholinski. It puts forth: imagine you weren’t a girl but you were forced to be treated like one.
What areas do we need to increasingly focus on?
Health care access. As health care becomes an even greater focus in national discussions, I’m always concerned about the understanding of the legitimacy of the transgender identity.
Are the courts becoming safer for trans rights?
I’m heartened and optimistic about court understandings, but also the public understanding of the needs, concerns and realities of transgender people. We see a number of youth who get support for their transgender identify from themselves and their parents. The advocacy community has really broadened behind individual adults who have to advocate for themselves. It includes families and loved ones. [x]
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Have you considered starting an LGBT-focused company?
Who knows what my next company could be! It would be fun to work in the LGBT space, and I think in many ways because of the need to connect and the fact that our community is spread out and moves around significantly, there’s something generally interesting about filling a need for the LGBT community. Maybe I’ll address it at some point, but I didn’t get far enough along with a business plan I liked to start down that path.
Is the tech culture open to out entrepreneurs?
Startup culture is very accepting of LGBT people. In The Rise of the Creative Class, there’s a basic idea that startup companies do best when there’s diversity: in experience, in knowledge base, in the team. Not only do we encourage people to apply from different backgrounds, we develop a culture — independent, risk-taking, with freedom of expression — that really allows gay people to be themselves. Understanding what it takes to have a creative, adaptive young company aligns well with being happy and out in the workplace.
What’s next for Skyword?
Skyword is growing like crazy. In our first quarter this year we tripled the number of clients we started with. In June we’re launching Skyword for Retail, helping retailers provide lifestyle content that fits their shopping experience and can be discovered through search. We’re growing international business in Australia and the UK. We’re live in Latin America. We’re considering setting up an office abroad. And we’re continuing to add language capabilities. It’s keeping me busy for the foreseeable future. I’m so excited about the company.
Tell me about “We Will Know.”
It’s an LGBT civil rights piece in four movements for a jazz ensemble. The first movement is a hymn I wrote for the LGBT community. I realized we didn’t have a rallying song that had universality and was appropriate for certain situations. We have “Born This Way,” which is fantastic and has reached many people, but it’s for a specific place, the club floor. We don’t have something to sing when we need to celebrate and protest and say, “I shall overcome.”
What inspired you to write it?
I really wanted to understand where we come from as a people. I watched The Times of Harvey Milk. I read Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir. I wanted to digest what it was like to be my age 25 years ago — when the topic of conversation at parties was who was no longer with us. We were more of a community back then. We had to be: to be gay was to be brave. It was to be who you are and fight to validate your existence. It was suffering from a horrible disease while the government turned its back. We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Many young people don’t know our community’s history.
They don’t see the connections. I see it in music too. Students think that the music they love is created in a vacuum, a bubble, when there’s a clear lineage to, say, Bach or multiple sources: to this, to there. It’s important to know the lineage to pay tribute. And it’s important to know why we can get married in over ten states and have a president mention our community in his inauguration speech to thunderous applause. It’s because people have fought to make that possible.
A jazz LGBT anthem sounds like an attention-grabber.
It’s not until looking back I realized, wow, this is interesting, there’s inherent controversy in this. Who doesn’t love a little of that? Jazz How’d you meet your fiancé? has certain roots in misogyny and homophoI met a wonderful guy in Pittsburgh, my hometown, the Thanksgiving before last. I bia and is traditionally aligned with the was visiting my mother. She goes to bed pretty black community. People can be proprietary early, so I went online and we started chatabout their pain and experiences. There are ting. I decided to meet him for a glass of wine disparate elements here that shouldn’t gel, but and we just really connected. We started long the music comes through to create a unifying distance and he moved up here to get his MD/ human experience. That’s the main thing. [x] MBA joint degree. He asked me to marry him three days ago! [x]
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Councilor, Massachusetts Governor’s Council Peabody’s Eileen Duff is the state’s highest ranking LGBT elected official. And guess what? She knows that you probably have no idea what she does. “I joke that it’s the most important thing no one has heard of,” laughs Duff of the Governor’s Council, an eight-member body created by the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780. Among its responsibilities, the council is entrusted with reviewing and approving judges and other officials nominated by the governor. In her role, Duff brings an LGBT perspective to decision-making processes that define the state climate. Now that you know, we bet you’ll never forget.
Why is it important to have an LGBT presence on the Council?
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It’s a problem if you have someone appointed to a juvenile court who doesn’t understand LGBT issues or doesn’t think they’re real, someone who doesn’t understand that kids are on the street because they don’t feel safe in foster homes. These judges make decisions about where these kids will go. Will it be a foster home? A psychiatric hospital? And what happens to gay and lesbian parents going through a divorce? It’s part of my responsibility to ask judges questions that no one may have asked them before.
Have you faced discrimination by the system yourself?
In the late ‘80s I was in a vehicle that was attacked. I was with a friend who outwardly looked lesbian, and we were stopped at a stoplight. A car of teenagers pulled up and started screaming, “Dyke!” They kicked the windows in, spit at her. We drove directly to the police station. The police said, “This doesn’t make sense. What did you girls do?” We had the license plate
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number. No charges were pressed. They basically told us there was nothing to do.
Was being out an issue in your campaign?
I was severely attacked online. The cyber-bullying became bad, really vicious. We finally got it stopped. I’m a grown, adult woman, and it was very psychologically disturbing, the amount of hatred and sickness out there. All I could think of was, thank God my 85-year old mother doesn’t have the Internet. This would literally break her heart, to read these things about her daughter. It made me think: if this happens to me, how do we expect a young LGBT person to be strong enough to put up with it?
Did the reaction surprise you?
I was ready for some of the stuff that might happen. But what was amazing were the people from my hometown and people I went to school with, people who are really conservative Republicans, they came to my defense. That was the bigger lesson: everyone knows someone who is LGBT.
Any other unexpected support?
One person that ran against me in the primary election is a gay man. We fought hard against each other, but became close friends. The morning of the election we called each other to say best of luck. I said, “David, I think we’re making history. I think this is the first time an open lesbian and gay man have run against each other for a constitutional office.” After the primary he was the first one to stand beside me, put a sticker on and be supportive.
What did your family think of your campaign?
My partner Jan was my biggest asset and supporter. She was a little stunned by the whole thing on one level. She has a different view of the world because of her background. I’m 53 and she’s in her sixties. Her older circle of friends — it was heartwarming how much support they gave. It meant so much to me. I wasn’t just running for me, but for anyone who has ever felt discriminated against. [x]
62 | BOSTON SPIRIT
YOUNGER Attorney, Cushing & Dolan, P.C. Know any self-serving lawyer jokes? Save them. If the local LGBT community can give testimony to anything about Younger, it’s his altruistic motivations. By day he’s a tax lawyer focused on trusts and estates, but he spends countless (non-billable) hours working for vital advocacy organizations. The breadth of his volunteer experience constitutes an impressive resume, from high school days on the BAGLY steering committee and serving as an AIDS Action Committee hotline counselor, to law school years working on the Boston Pride Committee and as commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. He never stops finding ways to give back — he’s a currently co-chair of Fenway Health’s Young Leaders Council — and the verdict is clear: Younger exhibits amazing advocacy.
What was your comingout experience like?
I actually had a good time with it. My mom came out as a lesbian when I was about 11, so I had a really welcoming environment. And I was very proud to have later married my mom to a wonderful woman.
How did BAGLY become your entry point to the local LGBT community and set the stage for your volunteerism?
While I had an experience that was warm and welcoming, it was important to be able to find out that you’re not alone: that there are people like you who are young and coming to terms with their sexuality. I always have to be doing something. When I started at BAGLY, I almost immediately ran for a position. I was on the steering committee and the special events chair, in charge of organizing the BAGLY prom. Since then I’ve been on steering committees, I’ve held chairs, been a commissioner … Every time I did anything I wanted to be on the organizing committee. I wanted to be someone who was really making things happen.
What’s a proud moment related to your Fenway work?
I absolutely love the work that Fenway has done. The work Fenway Health does is unmatched elsewhere in the world, and I can’t imagine not doing all that I can to support it. One of my proudest moments was riding Harbor to the Bay, all 126 miles of it. That was the year I quit smoking because my primary care physician at Fenway convinced me. I raised twice as much as the initial goal I had for myself.
Are there skills from your volunteer work that you take with you to the office?
Absolutely. I don’t like when everyone agrees. If everyone agrees, people aren’t sharing their opinions. So it all goes back to the need to compromise and hammer things out before you take something out there to be perceived by the public. That’s something I carry with me all the time, when I go into client meetings, or into court before judges, the fundamentals of negotiating and hearing the other side.
What local leaders inspire you?
I was at a fundraiser for Steve Grossman and he was talking about Marc Solomon, about the environment that they were faced with when marriage equality was coming to Massachusetts, not even ten years ago. They were deliberating in such hostile environments. It was hard to find allies. The allies we thought we had weren’t so strongly in our favor, and the enemy was staunchly against us. I started thinking about the importance of candidates like Steve Grossman and Carl Sciortino, who is running to go national. This is something we need to keep working on. When it comes to politics people have a tendency to sit back in their seats these days and say, “Phew, it’s done.” That’s far from the truth. There is so much more to do to reach equality nationwide. It seems like an incredible thing to take on. But there are so many ways to help.
Will we ever find you in politics?
Oh God. That would be fun, don’t you think? [x]
May|Jun 2013 | 63
culture Performance story Loren King
All The King’s Men Bend and Blend With Style
All The King’s Men photo Lisa Colandrea Photography
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec them. We all switch through all areas,”
Premier drag king troupe performs in Provincetown May 24-26 Perhaps one of the reasons that ensemble All the King’s Men has thrived — any theatrical troupe that’s been able to work steadily for 11 years in the volatile world of live performance deserves kudos — is because it has never stopped evolving. Although justly famous for its drag king roles, the six women in the company perform all sorts of characters, from elderly women to femme fatales to male superheroes who happen to be strippers (check it out on YouTube). As it enters its second decade of performing live shows around the world, ATKM has established itself as a creative ensemble that skewers gender and smashes stereotypes with style and panache. “Our entire evolution has happened organically,” says Leighsa Burgin, one of the founding members of ATKM. (She’s the bombshell in the green gown on one side, and the greasy guy in the leather jacket on the other, in ATKM’s appropriately dual publicity shot.) She recalls
the first show in 2002 at one of Kristen Porter’s popular drag king slams at the Midway in Jamaica Plain. Burgin and original members Maria Kogan and Karin Webb headlined a show. “We were like, ‘are we a group? I guess we’re doing this,’” she says. ATKM returns to Provincetown for its eighth season, May 24-26, for three shows at the Crown and Anchor. ATKM has long been a favorite on the Cape tip, performing over the years during Memorial Day weekend and over Women’s Week. The group is also in demand for Pride events around the country. It has headlined Toronto Pride, the largest pride celebration in North America. Besides taking part in Boston Pride in June, ATKM returns to the A.R.T.’s nightclub/theater space Oberon in Harvard Square on June 9. Drag may be the company’s trademark but the concept has expanded over the years. “We do boy drag, girl drag — for some members, female [attire] is drag to
says Burgin. “In the troupe, no one is just one thing. As the cast has changed over the years, we’ve become more experimental. Some wanted to do spoken word pieces or dance or more political content — not exactly gender bending but gender blending. We have our own say in what goes into our shows, so we said yes to everything. Everyone is much happier and we’re still creative and prolific.” Not that audiences won’t get to see ATKM signature pieces in its upcoming shows. Burgin, a Peabody native who is the partner of ATKM cast member Julee Antonellis, says the group’s version of N’Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” remains a huge crowd favorite. The Provincetown shows will be notable for the return of “Petey” Gibson, a member of ATKM since 2005 who went to Los Angeles last summer and has returned. Petey joins Burgin and the other performers: Katie Allen, Antonellis, Maria Kogan and Karin Webb, who collectively play between 30 and 50 roles in each performance, offering a fast-paced, vaudevillestyle show. The skits routinely send-up
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culture Music story Tony Giampetruzzi
Melissa Etheridge Rocks!
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 ThisJan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec mega-music star and Berklee College grad has been singing the equality song long before it was hip Believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago — say, 13 years — when gay marriage was only a glint in the eyes of activists; when less than half of the states in the country had basic equal protections for gay and lesbian folks; and when it was still considered taboo for most celebrities to be out of the closet. But in 2000, hundreds of thousands of gays and lesbians descended on Washington, D.C. for the Millennium March pride event, and the really big out stars who took the stage on the Mall and at the Equality Rocks concert later that day were mostly women. The biggest star of all, and the unofficial master of ceremonies, was rocker Melissa Etheridge. For Etheridge, performing at the mega event wasn’t exactly new — she had been out since President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 and had played plenty of stadium shows. However, the largess of the event, growing political momentum, and a sea change in philosophy made it a strong indicator of where we might be in the not so far future. “I was raised in the ‘60s and ‘70s, so I was there when we were first getting political. Then, we were like, ‘no, we don’t want to get married, that’s their institution,’” she recalls. “But, as time went on we were sorta like, ‘wait a minute, they get all these rights and we don’t? This really is about inequality.’ That’s what the past 20 years has been, achieving marriage equality. I think it’s great.”
Melissa Etheridge photo James Minchin III courtesy Island Records To be sure, Etheridge has had star and staying power that bests most others in her many categories. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, she started playing the guitar at the age of eight and began playing in local bands by the time she was in her teens. After high school, she was accepted at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year at the beckon of Los Angeles. Her raspy vocal style and electric stage presence produced a loyal following from the very beginning. Her first, self-titled album (1988) started a wave of momentum that eventually crested with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993) and the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window.” By the time the 2000s rolled around, Etheridge was also becoming something of a poster child for the GLBT equal rights movement, notably aligned with HRC, and playing out in the public eye a personal life that included a couple of high profile relationships: with Julie Cypher and Tammi Lynn Michaels, from each of whom two children were born.
To say it was the heyday of gay pop culture is an understatement. “It was actually very scary, and it wasn’t easy. A lot of people actually crashed and burned while trying to do their best out there,” recalls Etheridge of the coming out process and the subsequent responsibility she felt to the GLBT community. “But they were also exciting times. I loved being part of that, I loved being part of the history and I’m proud of every choice I’ve made – well, (laughs) but most of them.” And Etheridge concedes that, while she was able to leverage her celebrity status for the good of the movement, the attention was an obvious distraction from her prime motivator, her music. Fast forward through two break-ups, a bout with cancer, a stint on Broadway, and an Academy Award for Best Song in a Motion Picture, and what you have is a 51-year-old woman with a new outlook, a new partner, an impending tour which will hit a number of cities in New England in June, and a new album, 4th Street
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culture Film story Loren King
Divine photo Lynn Davis
Divine, Almodóvar Films 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 2 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Unspool in P-town Fest Provincetown International Film Festival keeps getting bigger and better A documentary about Divine, director John Waters’ muse and star, is just one of many LGBT-themed films that will grace the 15th annual Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF), running June 19-23. From its first year, when Waters himself was honored as the festival’s “Filmmaker on the Edge,” PIFF has championed LGBT films and filmmakers. For this milestone year the festival will do it again — but even bigger.
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As the PIFF has grown in reputation and popularity, its organizers have been savvy about attracting not just A-list talent more than happy to spend a few days in P-town but the funding to put on a destination event. This year, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded grants to PIFF for its 15th annual fest. It will be used to bring back several “Filmmaker on the Edge” awardees from the past 15 years.
Besides Waters, directors Mary Harron and Gregg Araki and producer Christine Vachon are among past guests slated to return. PIFF will screen seminal films from each of these filmmakers, who all have strong LGBT ties. These include Waters’ legendary Pink Flamingos; Vachon’s Kids; Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol; and Araki’s Mysterious Skin, the 2004 drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and based on gay writer Scott Heim’s novel. Other past honorees Jim Jarmusch, Todd Haynes and Quentin Tarantino have been asked to invite a rising director they admire to attend. PIFF artistic director Connie White says this underscores and continues the festival’s mission to
recognize independent filmmakers “on the edge.” White is particularly thrilled that this year’s PIFF will get the East Coast premiere of I’m So Excited, the new film from Pedro Almodóvar. “It’s very gay,” says White. “Many of the characters are gay including three flight attendants in business class who break into song and have sex with the pilot, but Divine photo Clay Geerdes it’s not crass; it’s hysterical.” Almodóvar favorites Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Nervous Breakdown. “Only now he’s even a Roth, Carmen Machi, and Javier Cámara better filmmaker,” she says. star; even Antonio Banderas and Penelope Director Jeffrey Schwarz’s I Am Divine Cruz appear in smaller roles. is a biographical portrait of Harris Glenn White compares I’m So Excited to Milstead, a.k.a. Divine, who met Waters Almodóvar’s signature campy, farcical in high school in Baltimore and became comedies like Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! his friend, collaborator and cult superstar. and his breakout Women on the Verge of a Schwarz directed the 2011 documentary
Vito, about The Celluloid Closet author and activist Vito Russo (it played the PIFF and aired on HBO in 2012). His new film weaves movie clips, rare home movies and photos, television appearances and live performance footage of Divine with fresh interviews with John Waters, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Tab Hunter, Holly Woodlawn, Michael Musto, Bruce Vilanch and his mother, Frances Milstead, who provided her final interview just months before she passed away. [x] Provincetown Film Fest
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May|Jun 2013 | 69
culture Music story Scott Kearnan
Straight Duo Karmin Sings Out at Boston Pride [Boston Spirit]You’ve played a few Prides
headline this year’s celebrations in the Hub 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 around the country. How has the energy Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Hot music act and LGBT allies from Berklee been? Is it different than at other shows?
Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan have plenty of pride in Boston. It’s in the Hub where the 27-year-olds met as Berklee College of Music students, started a real-life romance (they’re now engaged) and formed into pop duo Karmin. It was from a studio apartment here that they uploaded to YouTube their creative cover versions of Top 40 pop and hip-hop songs. And it was that idea that turned them into a social media success story; about 200 million views later, they had scored a real record deal (which resulted in last summer’s breakout hit “Brokenhearted”), performed on
70 | BOSTON SPIRIT
The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Saturday Night Live, and graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. They’re one of the hottest commodities to come out of the Boston music scene in a while — singers, multiinstrumentalists and, in Amy’s case, one motor-mouthed rapper. Now Karmin is back to headline the Boston Pride Festival on Saturday, June 8. They represent a generation of young allies to whom supporting the gay community isn’t a controversial statement – it’s a given. Boston Spirit chatted with the lovebirds about coming home to the place that birthed their career – and equal marriage.
[NICK] We’ve been terrorized. It has been very negative energy. They throw things at us. It’s very hostile. (Bursts out laughing.) It’s awesome, dude! It’s totally one of the best experiences in the world. I think the best word for it is “free.” You feel like you’re performing in front of friends. Everything feels so encouraging. [AMY] We feel so appreciated. I’m glad you asked, because it really is a different type of energy. I always try to adorn myself in every color of the rainbow. [BS] Any Karmin-dressed drag queens in the audience? [AMY] There are! I haven’t gotten to see any myself, but our publicist always send me pictures afterward. It’s very flattering! Although, they usually look better than I do.
[BS]Does playing at Boston Pride
feel particularly special to you? [NICK] Absolutely. It’s where we met. It’s where Karmin started. It’s always exciting to be playing in Boston, but to be doing the Pride festival really feels like taking it back to where we started. One of our first audiences was the gay audience, so it makes a lot of sense to me. [AMY] A lot of people say they first saw us because of “Look at Me Now.” (The Chris Brown cover song they posted to YouTube.) But actually there was this guy Brad, he teaches at Yale, and he got in contact with us after it, and sent us money to make ourselves a website so that we could promote our band. I mean, he was attracted to Nick. That’s how he became obsessed with us in the first place. (Laughs) But we’ve since become friends with him and his partner. [BS]Do you think there’s something about your music that the gay community really responds to? [NICK] I would like to think there’s definitely a musical component — but it’s also a stylistic thing, a performance thing. Take someone like Freddie Mercury. There was something about how he didn’t care what other people thought; he was going to do what he was going to do.
“ I think the best word for it is ‘free.’ You feel like you’re performing in front of friends. Everything feels so encouraging. ”
I think we take a lot of inspiration from that. In any genre of music, that’s always what makes someone successful, whether Freddie Mercury or Lady Gaga. We draw a lot of inspiration from that, and I think it also resonates with the gay community. [BS] Amy, you rap – and a lot of your music straddles pop and hip-hop. With Frank Ocean’s coming-out and the surge of support that followed, do you think there’s a sea change in hip-hop when it comes to supporting gay rights? [AMY] There’s definitely a sea change. Look at what has been happening in the Supreme Court; to see the wave of support all over social media was amazing. It was so cool to see someone as powerful as Beyonce taking a stand, regardless of what her fan base might think. You know, she might be the one to help sway someone’s thoughts. [NICK] There’s a lot of similarity with the way people’s attitudes toward hip-hop has changed. Hip-hop used to have a negative connotation for some people for a long time. There’s something similar with the gay community. Once you really know that world and lifestyle, you see it’s very positive in so many ways.
Nick, on playing for gay audiences
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May|Jun 2013 | 71
s eas o n s ponsor
Culture Comedy story Jennifer Cullen-Dettman Marga Gomez performs at Club Café in Boston on June 13 [lower-left] Marga Gomez with Abe Rybeck
Comedian Marga Gomez’s Steamy Confessions [BS] From comedy clubs and
blockbuster movies to the beloved GLAAD Award winning comedian Marga Celluloid Closet, you’ve been Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec on every size stage and screen. Gomez is in a new long distance What has been your most gratifying and/or proudest work so far? relationship … with Boston [MG] I lived in Hollywood for a
during the Boston Women in Comedy Festival. It was standing room only and the audience was mostly straight, like they had just come a Red Sox game. I was scared, but charged up. Go big or go home, I told myself. Well they roared from beginning to end, and it showed me a lot about the hearts of your people and how humor can cut through all our differences. It certainly wasn’t the biggest room I ever played, but I’m still high from it. My lifetime greatest moment was doing five minutes of comedy on the pitcher’s mound of Yankee Stadium during the Gay Games way back in, I think, 1994 — just before Cyndi Lauper. [BS] Why fly out from San Francisco for just one night? [MG] I feel in any new relationship it’s best to start slow. I mean my Club Café show will be fast paced — like Grindr meets Dial-A-Joke. But if I played here more than one night, Boston might take me for granted. You see, I want Boston to want me. This isn’t just a one night stand. I’m
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 2 Her comedy has been featured on LOGO, HBO and Comedy Central. She has been called “astounding” by Armistead Maupin. In Premiere magazine Robin Williams hailed her as “amazing”
and described her as “a lesbian Lenny Bruce.” On Thursday June 13 Gomez plays Club Café one night only in a show called Marga Gomez, Funny Lesbian.
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couple years. Had the manager, the agent, the hair. Auditioned for crap with a bunch of hos. Hated it. I do like the residual checks. My passion is live performance. I’m not just kissing up here, but the most gratifying moment in 2013 was in Boston at the lounge of the Charles Street Playhouse
The “ New York also made me gay. The lesbian bars when I came out were always shadowy. You had to descend the stairs into them like you were going to hell. Sexy right? ”
playing for keeps. Boston and I will have more dates in the future. But on June 13, we’re going to keep it light, have some laughs and drinks and build the connection. I could see myself moving in someday. If it was legal, I would literally gay-marry Boston, not any one person, but the entire city. [BS] But San Francisco wants you. Didn’t you win Best Comedian three years in a row from the San Francisco Bay Guardian? [MG] You’ve been Googling I see. Yes. I began my gay comedy career in San Francisco twenty five years ago and I have many fans there. It’s beautiful. Great baseball. Awesome burritos. But I’m falling in love with another city, your city. [BS] Bostonians love NYC, do you care to mention your longtime affair with her, but lack of desire to fully commit? (laughs) [MG] No way. I was born and raised there. New York is my mom. I can’t have an affair with my mom! I’m Catholic.
What was it like growing up there? [MG] I went to Catholic School in Manhattan in an Irish Puerto Rican neighborhood which was confusing. I still jig to Sals. New York also made me gay. The lesbian bars when I came out were always shadowy. You had to descend the stairs into them like you were going to hell. Sexy right? Now that I’m a famous lesbian comedian, I’ll play Gotham Comedy Club, Dixon Place or Joe’s Pub every year. I made the list of GONYC Magazine’s “Women We Love” twice and have had the tremendous honor of performing my theater pieces at The Public Theater. Through it all, I kept my eye on the hot city next door, Boston. [BS] This sounds like a new romance, but I know that your first Boston shows were almost twenty years ago for The Theater Offensive at the Boston Center For the Arts. [MG] I wasn’t ready for love twenty years ago. I could only like Boston. Good things have happened for me here. The Theater Offensive produced three of my shows. I got to
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Marga Gomez photo KentTaylor
play the Comedy Connection before it closed. I even performed at Boston Pride on a bill with Taylor Dayne in 2009. But it wasn’t until March of this year when I spent a week in the South End that Boston knocked me off my feet. I was bestowed with Theater Offensive’s “2013 Out on The Edge” award at their ClimACTS, gal. I also taught a comedy workshop to LGBT and ally students and was featured in the 2013 Boston Women in Comedy Festival. I met more local people than ever and they were all so nice — nicer than anywhere I’ve been. For example, I dropped some change on the floor at the T station, and two school kids fell over each other to bring me back my nickels and dimes. Then I experienced Boston’s Restaurant Week 2013, which apparently lasts for two weeks. I like how you play fast and loose with the calendar here. I had three meals in a row at B&G Oysters. Best oysters I ever had, It was after one of these feasts that I saw my foodie crush and Bravo’s Top Chef winner Kristen Kish in her chef coat on the corner. She let me take a picture with her. Don’t you love a woman in uniform? [BS] Who have you been kissing lately? [MG] Please tell Boston I am a good kisser and I am single.
[BS] Who’s the hottest gay
couple in The Bizzness?
[MG] Hands down, Lily
Tomlin and Jayne Wagner is couple number one for me. Classy, funny with decades of staying power! I got to meet them when I lived in LA. They attended some of my shows, which was mindblowing because they are my greatest comic influence. I’ll tell your readers a scandalous secret: I was invited to their house for Cuban food and Lily Tomlin herself pulled up to my place in her old Rolls Royce to give me a ride. It was just me and Lily driving along Santa Monica Boulevard, and I had the hugest urge to put my hand on her knee but controlled myself because that would be inappropriate, and she would have kicked me to the curb before I got my dinner. [BS] Well, Boston loves Lily, but that’s not very scandalous. [MG] I know. My real scandalous secret involves a fling with a playboy playmate who giggled when she came. But it’s too raw for print. I’ll tell it at the show. [x] Marga Gomez
Club Café June 13 8pm. Doors open 7:30. $12 Advance/$15 at the door margagomezfunnylesbian.eventbrite.com margagomez.com
[Karmin From 71] [BS]Nick, how does it feel to be in the
James Franco Club of “straight guys that gay guys think are hot”? [NICK] Are you officially inviting me? Is that a formal invitation to the club? I really expect a formal invitation in the mail. (Laughs) Are you kidding? It’s really flattering. Because girls never hit on me. [BS]Amy, how do you feel about Nick being in the James Franco Club of “straight guys that gay guys think are hot”? [AMY] I feel great about it. I get to have more gay friends. (Laughs) [BS]Nick, you’re from Maine – and Amy, you’re from Nebraska. What was the climate like toward gay people where you grew up? And have you noticed it changing? [NICK] I’m from such a rural area that it seems like a different country at times. It’s a great place, and there are a lot of openminded people, but there just wasn’t a lot of diversity around: no black kids, no gay kids, or if you were gay when we were in high school — in the early 2000s — it still wasn’t a thing you could necessarily talk about. The world has definitely changed. [AMY] It’s come a long way, and I’m especially grateful because I’m from the “Bible Belt” and from a religious [ATKM From 64]
gender roles and tackle queer identity on stage, but always in clever, entertaining and unexpected ways. Burgin says ATKM rehearse regularly in a studio and give each other notes and feedback. “We’re a collective. If it doesn’t work well, we rework it. If it’s one of our older pieces, we’ll freshen it up.” Burgin, who majored in theater and women’s studies at Salem State College, says topical and political pieces are her favorite of the ATKM repertoire. But she enjoys “doing characters that are the opposite of who I am.” Audiences have grown too, over the years, from core LGBT fans to hipsters to Oberon’s arty audience that, Burgin says, tends to be at least 50 percent straight. But the one constant is that the audience responds to each ATKM performance. “We love our audiences. We can’t do anything without them,” says Burgin. “Boston has been so good to us. We still see people at our shows today who were there that first time at the Midway.” [x] All The King’s Men
family. I had a family member that came out a couple years ago, and it was tough being their only support system. I was in Boston at the time and was always trying to get him to come and see me. I’m so happy with how far we’ve come. There were really strange times where I didn’t understand why there was so much adversity facing him. But I think his immediate family has come around, and more extended family members are coming to understand it better. Nick and I went to his wedding last year. [BS]As a straight engaged couple, what do you think about the issue of equal marriage? [NICK] The fact that Obama talked about it in the last election showed how much things have changed. Being gay isn’t a new thing, but what’s new is that people are willing to talk about it the way they have been. As a straight couple, we don’t see any difference. It’s a civil rights issue. The option should be there on a national level, from a legal standpoint, for any couple to be able to be recognized.
[Etheridge From 66]
Feeling which debuted at number 18 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart last fall. “My world experience is different than it was in my 20s, 30s and 40s. (On my former albums) I was looking out at time. They were very intimate, about my relationships and longings and drives … just crazy stuff,” she says, adding that while her former albums were about time, her most recent focuses on place. “Now I think there is more reminiscence in my music, there’s a spirit in it that I’ve obtained through just living and experiencing. And, there’s a depth of musicality that just wasn’t there before. I’m a better musician. I’ve learned a few things over the years.” As for her personal life, well, she keeps it relatively personal now: “Yes, I’ve learned a few things! (Laughs). One is I’m no good for anyone else unless I’m taking care of myself and loving myself and getting what I need and finding my joy,” she says. “And, once I started doing all that, big changes came. I truly fell in love with a partner who is smart, wise, beautiful, supportive,
[BS]And what about you two? Any movement on
the wedding? Will there be a reality show about it?
[NICK] Yeah, just like Kim Kardashian
on E! (Laughs) Honestly, we’ve been in the studio every day. We’re still talking about it, and at this point it’s probably going to be around Christmas. [BS]How’s the next album coming? Can we expect new music at Pride? [AMY] It’s sounding awesome. We’re going down a new road. There will be things that remind people of “Brokenhearted” but there’s also a new sound emerging from Karmin: a lot of acoustic instruments, something very organic. There will still be a lot of rapping of course. And yes, we’ll perform a couple new songs for you guys! [BS] Since you’re famous for your cover versions, I have to ask if you were to cover any gay anthem, what would it be? [AMY] Ooh. Probably “I Am What I Am.” Or maybe “I’m Coming Out,” because that’s a classic. And it has a really great horn part. Nick could be on a trombone and rock that out. [NICK] Yeah! I just have to learn how to play the horn first. [x]
who has her own joys and loves and accomplishments. Who has her own life!” A cancer survivor who, she says, is in better health now than at any time in her life, she credits her own physical well-being with achieving a place of calm mentally. After years of activities devoted to giving many women hope, Etheridge now says that the fundamentals of wellness are the keys to beating the odds. “After all the research and all the studies, I believe that the cure is inside of us. It’s about how we keep our bodies and our minds healthy, and that’s what I’m doing every day,” she says. “Wellness is the food I eat and the thoughts I think and the emotions that I am or am not allowing in my body. And, it’s realizing that they are all connected, that stress can kill me as easily as cigarettes can. If I don’t have that frame of mind, then I don’t have anything.” [x] Melissa Etheridge in Concert
June 21 Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass. bso.org
May|Jun 2013 | 75
culture Dance sotry Loren King
I Am A Dancer
Alvin Ailey cast reflects youth, experience and tradition 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec perform in Ailey-choregraphed classics
When Boston’s own Kirven James Boyd joined the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2004, Renee Robinson had already been a celebrated member of the company for 22 years. The two dancers, who’ll share the stage May 16-19 at the Citi Wang Center when Boston’s Celebrity Series brings the Alvin Ailey troupe back for its 43rd performance in Boston, represent the continuity of experience, energy and tradition that has long characterized the renowned company. Boston audiences can count ourselves lucky to see Robinson at all. She officially retired in December 2012 after 30 years with Ailey, making her the longest tenured female dancer in the company’s history. She’s now the only member to have performed with all three artistic directors — Ailey, Judith Jamison and Robert
76 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Battle, who was named artistic director in 2011. “People are teasing me that it’s the retirement tour, the long goodbye,” laughs Robinson over the telephone from the Alvin Ailey offices in New York. Although she’s a Washington, DC native, Robinson says Boston is her favorite city with deep connections to her professional life. “I love, love, love Boston. I’ve come to Boston for years not just to dance but also for outreach through the Celebrity Series. They have a deep respect for the company; Celebrity Series took good care of us for a week at a time when we’d come to Boston over the past five years to do lectures and demonstrations for young people in the community,” she says. Each performance at the Wang will offer different dances in repertory. The May 17 show is a tribute to Robinson who will
from 1971-1988: Cry, Love Songs, For ‘Bird’ With Love, and Revelations, Ailey’s iconic 1960 work. “The woman with the umbrella” in “Revelations” has become Robinson’s signature role, just as it was for Jamison when she was the principal dancer and star of the company, and later personally tapped by Ailey to be his successor as artistic director in 1989. “It’s quite an honor and a compliment to be associated with a particular dance,” says Robinson. “When I began this journey, I never thought that one day I’d have a signature dance and be part of such an important work for audiences all over the world.” When not dancing at select venues, Robinson continues to work with young Ailey dancers, many of whom knew neither Ailey nor Jamison. Robinson says that as a veteran dancer, she’s able to counsel dancers on how to stay focused mentally, physically and emotionally for
the long haul. “They’re curious about my career; how the body works, how to take care of it. There’s so much travel that mentoring [younger dancers] on the road became a natural part of who I was in the company.” Much of Robinson’s advice, she says, offers practical ways to increase stamina and longevity: how do you get through a tour? What did you do? How do you keep going? Constantly evolving and challenging herself, Robinson, who was recently honored with the prestigious Dance Magazine Award, just completed a rigorous program at Hollings University to earn her MFA in dance — a little like a Pulitzer Prize-winner taking a creative writing class. Among the younger dancers who’ve benefited from the influence of veterans in the company is Kirven Boyd, a Dorchester native who’ll dance “Revelations” and “Night Creature” with Robinson. He began his formal dance training at the Boston Arts Academy and joined Boston Youth Moves in 1999. He also trained on scholarship at the Boston Conservatory and as a scholarship student at the Ailey School. “I took my first dance class
when I was five but stopped at nine. It wasn’t until high school that I took it up again,” says Boyd, who in Boston will also perform Battle’s 1998 dance “Strange Humors” with Samuel Lee Roberts and the solo “In/Side.” It’s a treat for a local boy to have “all my family and friends come to the performances,” he says. Boyd had danced with Battleworks Dance Company, so it was a special thrill, he says, when Jamison personally selected its founder, Robert Battle, after she’d served as artistic director for 21 years, to succeed her. It made Battle only the third person to head the company since Ailey founded it in 1958 (he died in December 1989). For a young dancer, “Miss Jamison,” as he calls her, was a formidable presence. “I learned a great deal about so many aspects of myself and dance artistry,” Boyd says. “At the same time, you always knew you could do better. She was direct; we had good times because we all love what we do so we enjoy it, but when she was in the room, you paid attention.” Besides his trips to, among other cities, Athens, Paris and Copenhagen (“I never
in a million years thought I’d see these places,” he says), one of Boyd’s memorable accomplishments was performing at the White House tribute to Jamison in 2010. Robinson also danced at that tribute. “Like all who performed that night, I knew her level of excellence. We knew the care and love she had for Alvin and her dedication to continuing his work and pushing it to the next plane,” she says. “That has to be there to continue his vision of bringing dance to the people but at a high level where they feel it belongs to them” Both dancers say that’s the commitment and vision Battle, a frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, now instills in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. “There is a wonderful quiet focus about him,” says Robinson. “But he’s very clear. He loved and believed in Alvin’s work and [Battle’s] choreography reflects that. He continues Alvin’s voice, but it will grow and evolve. It will be kept a living legacy.” [x] Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Karen Y. Director, Learning, Development & Inclusion
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scene Business photos David Dietz
Boston Spirit 2013 Executive Networking Night 2013
Boston Marriott Copley Place | Boston | March 20
Another successful assembly of local LGBT business people and their companies. Maura Healey from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office rallied the crowd about the Supreme Court marriage equality cases.
   
Speaker — Maura Healey The Speakers Izzy Rivera, Eddie Anderson, John Gatto, Junior Walter (JRI Health/GLASS) Alisa Kreger, Melissa Spangler, Mark Paluzzi, Roger Soares, Matt Johnson, Eileen Rooney, Holly Harben-Swan (US Trust) Sharon Tamberino, Allison Fraske, Raymond Papagno, Cathy Cronin, Karen Lincoln, Craig Rottenberg (Longs Jewelers) Linda Pepe, Douglas Hauer, Kim V. Marrkand, Kate Eisenberg, Kim Parr (Mintz Levin) Lorraine Perera, Clifford Cohen, Tiffany Howard, Peter Zupcofska, Beth Waterfall (Burns & Levinson LLP) John Postil (Fidelity), Brent Swift, Carl Sciortino (MA State Representative), John Affuso Arthur St. Germain, Mary Bures, Shaune Barry, Oz Mondejar, Joe Castellano, Beth Tortolani (Spaulding & Partners At Home)
78 | BOSTON SPIRIT
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May|Jun 2013 | 79
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scene Benefit photos Courtesy of Keshet, Meri Bond Photography
Keshet Cabaret Westin Copley Place | Boston | March 2
Over 500 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews and allies attended the 6th annual Keshet Cabaret at the Westin Copley Place, raising over $170,000 to support Keshet’s work for a fully inclusive Jewish community. Former Congressman Barney Frank was honored with the Hacham Lev Award and attended the event with his husband, Jim Ready. Also honored at the event with the Hachamat Lev Awards were the seven mothers who founded Keshet’s Parent & Family Connection, a peer support, mentoring, and leadership program for parents of LGBT Jews: Judy Elkin, Ann Falchuk, Sabina Feczko, Jayne Guberman, Debbie Heller, Nancy Smith, and Melinda Strauss.
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The Men’s Event Marriott Copley | Boston | March 9
Fenway Health’s annual black tie fundraiser gathered more than 1,300 and honored marriage equality advocate Marc Solomon.
scene Benefit photos Meri Bond
The Women’s Dinner Party Marriott Copley | Boston | April 6
Fenway Health’s annual black tie fundraiser, hosted by Kate Clinton, raised nearly half a million dollars and honored Dr. Ursula Matulonis for her contributions to women’s health.
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scene Benefit photos courtesy MassEquality
MassEquality Icon Awards Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel | Boston | February 28
MassEquality raised approximately $140,000 at its second annual Icon Awards. Governor Deval Patrick, the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, and Esmond Harmsworth were honored at the event, which took place in the Oval Room of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. David Brown, Chief Advancement Officer for the Forsyth Institute, emceed the event.
LGBT Youth Commissioner Chair Julian Cyr, Mass. Gov. Patrick and Patrick’s niece, Biana Sigh
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scene Benefit photos courtesy MassEquality
ClimACTS Rumor | Boston | March 20
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Jonathan Soroff, Friend, TTO’s Kink Girls The Legendary Sherry Vine TTO Managing Director Adrian Budhu, Lindsay Weiland, Ken Mayers, and Christopher LaChapelle BosGuy [center] and The Maverick Men Michael Kelley, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Friend Corey Yarbrough, Kevin Hepner, and Amir Dixon OUT on The Edge Award Recipient Marga Gomez and Cazwell Executive Artistic Director Abe Rybeck and Auctioneer Kathy Kingston
scene Benefit photos courtesy AIDS Action Committee
A Taste of the South End Cyclorama | Boston | March 5
Attendees to AIDS Action Committee’s annual fundraiser enjoyed small plate culinary creations from about 40 of the South End’s most vibrant restaurants and raised $128,000.
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Calendar General Calendar | Page 89 Boston Pride Calendar | Page 91 Pride Beyond Boston Calendar | Page 91 Provincetown Calendar | Page 91
Spring Showcase 2013
Dance Spring Program
Sat Jun 1
Boston | Boston Ballet
Ongoing thru Sun May 12
Boston | Boston Ballet
Wayne McGregor's Chroma is book-ended by George Balanchine's Serenade and Symphony in C. Boston Ballet | bostonballet.org Editor's Pick
Alvin Ailey American Dance
Boston Ballet student showcase demonstrating progression of training. 3 p.m. Boston Ballet | bostonballet.org
Sat May 11
BOSTON| Back Bay Events Center
Thu May 16 - Sun May 19
Boston | Citi Wang Theatre
They are among the greatest dancers in the world. The Ailey company's Spring visits to Boston are must-see events. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
The annual gala celebration and auction benefiting the Boston Gay Men's Chorus. Featuring music and comedy legends Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen. $95. Editor's Pick
Sip the Rainbow
Fri May 17
Boston | Boston Ballet
Cocktail reception with creations in every rainbow color, and opening of photo exhibition The Bear Sessions: Portraiture, featuring images of 80+ men. 6 p.m. $20 donation includes three drinks and supports BCAE. 617-267-4430
Thu May 16 - Sun May 26 A light hearted comedy for the whole family! Boston Ballet | bostonballet.org
Boston | BCAE
88 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Rob McLean and Matt Kahler perform in American Repertory Theater’s Pirates of Penzance May 10 – June 2 in Cambridge, Mass. at the Loeb Drama Center, visit www. americanrepertorytheater.org photo Matthew Gregory Hollis Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events: BostonSpiritMagazine.com Editor's Pick
MFA Summer Party: 10th Anniversary
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Museum of Fine Arts/Boston
Celebrate summer in the city with artistic flair at the 10th Summer Party. Black-tie fundraiser with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing. Music by DJ Deja and juried silent art auction. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org
Music Coro Allegro
Sun Jun 2
Boston | Coro Allegro
LGBT chorus performs new works and reprises Schubert's Mass in G, from the first concert under director David Hodgkins. Hodgkins will be honored with Pinkham Award for 20 years with the chorus. Coro Allegro | www.coroallegro.org
Harry Connick Jr. in Concert
Fri Jun 21 - Sun Jun 23
Boston | Symphony Hall
The Grammy and Emmy winner performs with his band to support his new album, "Every Man Should Know," a collection of songs about life and love. Broadway In Boston | www. broadwayinboston.com
Performance Terry Gross: All I Did Was Ask
Fri May 10
Cambridge, MA | Sanders Theatre
Host Fresh Air, NPR's popular weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Tappin' Thru Life: An Evening With Maurice Hines
Thu Jun 6 - Sun Jun 9
Tue May 14 - Sun May 19
Boston Gay Men's Chorus performs music from Barbra, Cher and Judy is a given – plus Britney, Lady Gaga and Adele with tributes to Whitney and Donna.
Maurice Hines taps us through 40 years in show biz, paying tribute to brother Gregory singers like Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne. Featuring next gen tappers the Manzari Brothers. ArtsEmerson | artsemerson.org
Boston | John Hancock Hall
Boston | Cutler Majestic Theatre
Cultural Survival Bazaar
Sat Jun 15
Ongoing thru Sun May 12
Indigenous artists from around the world sell crafts, art, jewelry, and other accessories. Plus cultural performances, music, demos, and other live events in Boston's Copley Square. bazaar.culturalsurvival.org
She's the strongest girl in the world, has a pot of gold in her cupboard and a monkey for a best friend. Who couldn't relate? balletrox.org/urbannutcracker/
Socializing Out Night at Vic's
Fri May 31
Salem, MA | Victoria's Station
Sponsored by LGBT North Shore group, Go Out Loud. Come for dinner, stay for drinks, meet new friends on the ocean-side dance floor. 8 p.m. Go Out Loud | gooutloud.com
Theater Editor’s Pick
Ongoing thru Sun May 19
Newton, MA | New Repertory Theatre
Peter Schaffer’s contemporary masterpiece examines the relationship between genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, a muchless talented and jealous rival. New Repertory Theatre | newrep.org
Ongoing thru Mon Oct 21
Providence | Trinity Repertory Theater
The aging King Lear decides to divide England among his three daughters. Driven by flattery, foolishness, ambition and greed, one generation betrays another. Trinity Repertory Theater | www.trinityrep.com
In the Heights
Fri May 10 - Thu Jun 6
Boston | Boston Center for the Arts
Winner of 2008's Tony for Best Musical, the show spices up traditional Broadway fare with hip hop, salsa, and rap in this story of a close knit Latin community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. SpeakEasy Stage Company | www. SpeakEasyStage.com
On the Town
Fri May 10 - Sun Jun 8
Boston | Lyric Stage
Three sailors have only one day in NYC and they plan on seeing the sights, meeting a girl, and having the time of their lives. Leonard Bernstein's legendary score combines with Comden and Green's sharp and witty book and lyrics. 617-585-5678, | lyricstage.com Editor's Pick
Pirates of Penzance
Cambridge, MA | Loeb Drama Center
140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston
Fri May 10 - Sun Jun 2
An exotic excursion featuring bathing beauties, philosophizing pirates, and grown men in remarkably short shorts! Expect beach balls, sunshine (the artificial kind), and tons of fun music. American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
Group/senior/student/parking discounts available.
House & Garden
Thu May 16 - Sun Jun 30
Providence | Trinity Repertory Theater
The theatrical event of the season: two plays taking place simultaneously in different theaters by the same
actors. Audience members stay put, seeing each production one at a time. Expect wacky characters, gin-soaked truths, and high-speed topsy turvey stories. Trinity Repertory Theater | www.trinityrep.com
Giver of Light
Thu May 23 - Fri May 31
Boston | Boston Conservatory; Main Building
Sip the Rainbow, Friday, May 17 at the Boston Center for Adult Education on Arlington Street in Boston. Enjoy a cocktail reception with creations in every rainbow color, and opening of photography exhibition; The Bear Sessions: Portraiture, featuring images of 80+ men by Joel Benjamin. 6:00 p.m. $20 donation includes three drinks and supports BCAE. photo Joel benjamin
Guerilla Opera's exploration of what love is and who it can be between, set in midwestern America. Based on the life of the poet Rumi. bazaar.culturalsurvival.org
Rapture, Blister, Burn
Fri May 24 - Sat Jun 22
Boston | Boston Center for the Arts
This new play brings together college friends decades after graduation in a comedy about family, career, romance, and the decisions that define life. Huntington Theatre Company | www. huntingtontheatre.org/
Thu Jun 6, Sun Jun 9
A new musical by exploring the struggles of homeless women. Inspired by true stories. The Boston Conservatory | bostonconservatory.edu
MAy|Jun 2013 | 89
Springtime, Sex & Baseball
Jeffrey Gibson: Love Song
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Boston University Theatre - Mainstage
Ongoing thru Sun Jul 14
Tony, Emmy, and Academy Award nominated cast members perform powerful, surprising, romantic, and funny stories by comic master Dorothy Parker, baseball writer W.P. Kinsella, and quirky contemporary humorists Aimee Bender and N.M. Kelby. Huntington Theatre Company | www. huntingtontheatre.org/
Visual Arts Holland on Paper:
Boston | Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Gibson’s paintings and sculptures combine geometric abstract painting with traditional craft materials of his Native American heritage. His recent paintings are composed on stretched animal hides, and mixed media sculptures combine drum heads, army blankets and flag poles. Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston | www.icaboston.org Editor's Pick
Ongoing thru Mon May 27
In Conversation: Modern African American Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Sat Jun 1 - Mon Sep 2
Salem, MA | Peabody Essex Museum
Meditations on art, identity, and the rights of the individual are presented in this collection of 43 prominent African American artists. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org
Legacy of Change: Native American Art
Wed Jun 19 - Tue Jun 25
Salem, MA | Peabody Essex Museum
Pride 2011 photo Marilyn Humphries An installation conveying the dynamism and vitality of Salem, MA | Peabody Native artists. Selected from Essex Museum Ongoing thru PEM's Native American art Exhibition of fashion Sun Jul 7 collection, among the world's designer/dancer Nick Cave's Boston | Museum of oldest of its kind, the works renowned Soundsuits, equal Fine Arts/Boston parts sculpture, costume and include paintings, sculpture, Pride Day at Faneuil Early drawings by well-known performance. This installation ceramics, jewelry and textile Hall artists such as Mondrian and includes an immersive video created over the last 200 Sat Jun 1 Bart van der Leck as well as years. projection. Boston | Boston Pride many fascinating artists little Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org known outside of Holland. Live music and performances from The Urban Ballet, South Museum of Fine Arts/Boston Ridley Howard: End Show Stopperz Dance | www.mfa.org Fields and Stripes Team, Crystal Foxx, Rolla Sat May 11, Sun Oct 27 and more. Hosted by Raquel Boston | Museum of Blake. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fine Arts/Boston Boston Pride | bostonpride.org Howard explores intense emoRoyal Pageant tion in his paintings, paring Mon Jun 3 down color and geometry into Boston | Machine delicately composed portraits, landscapes, and abstractions Lake Mondale and Raquel that recall the cool psycholBlake crown the king and Visit our online ogy of paintings by Edward queen of Boston Pride. 7 p.m. Hopper. calendar for the latest Boston Pride | bostonpride.org Museum of Fine Arts/Boston events and submit listings Boston Pride | www.mfa.org for upcoming events: BostonSpiritMagazine.com Festival Sat Jun 8
The Age of Art Nouveau
Boston | Boston Pride
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on City Hall Plaza, with vendors and live entertainment — including Boston-based headliner Karmin. (See interview this issue.) Boston Pride | bostonpride.org
Boston Pride Parade
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Boston Pride
Parade starts at 12 p.m., with celebrity marshal Denise Crosby (Star Trek) Boston Pride | bostonpride.org
ESME Women's Block Party
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Boston Pride
DJ Linda Lowell spins the annual women's favorite. 2 p.m. in the alley at 1 Boylston Place. Boston Pride | bostonpride.org
Pride Block Party: Back Bay Edition
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Boston Pride
12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. James Ave in the Back Bay. Boston Pride | bostonpride.org
Pride Block Party: JP Edition
Sat Jun 8
Boston | Boston Pride
12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Perkins Street in Jamaica Plain. Boston Pride | bostonpride.org
Pride Beyond Boston North Shore Pride
Fri Jun 14 - Sat Jun 15
The second annual North Shore Pride Parade and Festival in Salem, MA. Parade through downtown, entertainment festival in Salem Common from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and after-party at Hawthorne Hotel. North Shore Pride| www. northshorepride.org
New England's second largest Pride celebration takes over Providence. The illuminated parade and waterfront festival. www.prideri.com/
Out Night at Vic’s, Friday, May 31 at Victoria’s Station in Salem, Mass. Sponsored by LGBT North Shore group, Go Out Loud. Come for dinner, stay for drinks, meet new friends on the ocean-side dance floor. gooutloud.com
90 | BOSTON SPIRIT
RI Pride Weekend
Sat Jun 29
All Proceeds to benefit
Comedian Kate Clinton: Sis-Boom-Bah Tour at the Criown and Anchor in Provincetown, May 25 - May 26 photo Marilyn Humphries
P'Town Community Provincetown Restaurant Week
Fri May 17, Wed May 22 Fabulous prix fixe meals at local restaurants, and an evening of art offered by Provincetown galleries.
Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events: BostonSpiritMagazine.com
Festival Single Women's Weekend
Fri May 17 - Sun May 19 The only national weekend gathering designed for single lesbians to meet. Speed dating, mixers, entertainment, dance parties and more.
Women of Color Weekend
Thu May 30 - Sun Jun 2 An annual gathering with pool parties, comedy shows, open mic nights and more.
Bear Week Provincetown
Sat Jul 13 - Sun Jul 21
Where the bears are. With pool parties, clam bakes, sunset cruises and more.
Provincetown International Film Festival
Wed Jun 19 - Sun Jun 23 Celebrating its 15th year showcasing new achievements in independent film and honoring the work of acclaimed and emerging directors, producers and actors.
Performance All the King's Men
Fri May 24 - Sun May 26
Crown and Anchor
The wildly popular, award-winning, comedic gender-bending performance troupe.
Kate Clinton: SisBoom-Bah Tour
Sat May 25 - Sun May 26
Crown and Anchor
Comedian Clinton shakes her pompoms, pumps up the crowd, and leads the cheers. Sis for the sisters and others. Boom for the boomers and babes. Bah to anyone who doesn’t have team spirit. Crown and Anchor | onlyatthecrown.com
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Pann Home Services
Family-Owned & Operated for Over 55 Years
Remodeling, carpentry, handyman, plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical & more. Residential & commercial. Serving Greater Boston & beyond. 617-864-2625 PannHomeServices.com Paula@PannHomeServices.com
S+H Construction, Inc.
S+H Construction - a multi-award winning firm - specializes in residential and historic renovations, custom home building, renewable energy, landscaping and site work. Their work is consistently seen in both regional and national home and design publications. Recently honored by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) with the 2010 Silver Award in the category of Whole House Renovation, S+H Construction was also named Best of Boston Home 2011 in the ‘Best Transitional Contractor’ category. Visit us at www. facebook.com/shconstruction
Wellspring is the premier weight loss lifestyle program on the globe. – Dr. Phil, 2012
For over 38 years, we have offered the best selection of quality outdoor furnishings and garden accessories in New England. 1265 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 781-861-1200 www.seasons-four.com
Yale Appliance & Lighting Turn it On!!
Over 3500 lights, 800 appliances and 200 plumbing products on display. We service what we sell. 296 Freeport St Dorchester, MA 1-866-849-7838 www.yaleappliance.com
Professional | Services Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Frank Addonizio, CFP®, CRPC®
A unique and collaborative approach to financial planning. In Boston and Danvers. 877-524-5522 x202 http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/frank.x.addonizio
Burns & Levinson, LLP
Leading Boston-based, mid-size law firm, works with businesses and individuals in sophisticated matters in both MA and RI. 617-345-3000 www.burnslev.com
Eliomar Nascimento – Music lessons
Music | Teacher | Voice and Piano
10 plus years experience teaching children and adults of all ages and levels in the Metro West area. 857-540-6385 www.enascimento.com
Strategic Employee Benefit Services Kevin O'Connor — Employee Benefit Specialist
Health, dental, disability and life insurance programs to suit your company’s needs. 781-431-4719 email@example.com
Financial planning for same sex couples Similar goals. Different challenges. Financial planning for Same sex couples face unique challenges when it comes to financial planning. We will help you develop a plan that’s Financial planning for successful professionals appropriate to your needs—one that takes into account not only where you want go, but also how you want to get there. same sexto couples Similar goals.
Different challenges. Advice you can trust starts with a conversation. Same sex couples and the LGBT Similar goals. Different challenges. community share similar goals with other Same sex couples face unique challenges when it comes to successful professionals, yet we may financial planning. will help you develop a plancontact that’s For information, For We information, face unique challenges when it comes contact ® ® ® Peter Hamilton Nee, AIFnot , CRPC appropriate to your into account only Peterneeds—one Hamilton that Nee,takes CRPC ® to financial planning.toWego, willbut helpalso youhow you Robert S. Edmunds, , CRPC® where you wantVice want to get CFP there. President–Investments develop a plan that’s appropriate to your William Street, 3rd Floor needs—one that takes into account not 3rda55 Advice you can starts with conversation. 55trust William Street, Floor Wellesley, MA 02481 only where you want to go, butMA also 02481 how 781-446-8918 | 800-828-0717 Wellesley, 781-446-8918 800-828-0717 you want to get there. ubs.com/fa/peternee firstname.lastname@example.org ubs.com/fa/robertedmunds Advice you For can trust starts contact information, with a conversation. Peter Hamilton Nee, CRPC®
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Konditor Meister — Voted #1 Wedding Cakes in Boston
Extraordinarily Beautiful & Elaborate Wedding Cakes & fine European pastries. Delicious Custom Holiday & Party Cakes for all occasions.
Your financial needs are unique.
32 Wood Road (Just South of Boston) Braintree, MA 781-849-1970 KonditorMeister.com
Call me today at (877) 524.5522
Frank X Addonizio CFP®, CRPC®, CLTC Financial Advisor
20 Park Plaza Suite 465 Boston, MA 02116 877.524.5522 x 202
Catering | Events
Awarded 2013 FIVE STAR Wealth Manager SM Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA
UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Let us handle all the details so you can relax and enjoy your Outer Cape wedding, event or party. Official Caterer of Boston Spirit Magazine. 508-487-6450 Ptownparties.com
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Caring for yourself, your family, your community. It might not be possible without a plan. Wellesley, MA 781-446-8918 or 800-828-0717 ubs.com/team/neeedmunds
Travel | Adventure
Since 1982, 5 Star has been providing optimal travel services to our Community, and is one of the most respected and prestigious gay travel companies in the country. www.5star-travel.com
Wedding | Events Accent Limousine
LGBT Owned & Operated Accent Limousine & Car Service
You can rest assured that our team of professionals will deliver exceptional service each and every time. Satisfaction guaranteed. www.accentlimo.com/spirit
Blanchard’s Wines and Spirits
Call us for all your special event needs, and experience our Vintage Room tastings! 418 Lagrange Street West Roxbury, MA 617-327-1400 www.blanchardsliquor.com
Affordable great music for your party!
Serving the community since 1998. DJ Mocha provides a multigenerational mix of music. Requests welcomed to customize your playlist. 617-784-1663 MochaDJ.com
Peace of mind. Now that’s a wedding vow.
This is a day when only perfection will do. GourmetCaterers’ attention to detail means peace of mind, so you can enjoy your wedding along with your guests. Whether your dream wedding is a large event or intimate affair, Gourmet’s team of innovative planners, chefs, stylists and servers will be by your side to ensure that everything is perfectly, uniquely, your own. GourmetCaterers.com 94 | BOSTON SPIRIT
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5 Star Travel Services
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World-Class Luxury Guesthouse and Spa
Your Source for Equalityminded People, Places, Services and Adventures in New England and beyond. For information on including your business, e-mail Jenn@BostonSpiritMagazine.com
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coda Dance story James Lopata
Kalin Mitov and Michael Winward
Dancing With the Same Sex While Massachusetts is home to one of ballroom dancing’s most lauded same-sex partner dance couples, the Bay State has yet to host a competition; that changes this fall You may have seen them last summer, gliding, turning, stepping, snapping around the streets of Provincetown. Kalin Mitov and Michael Winward are North American Same-sex Partner Dance Association champions. They have danced to critical acclaim in competitions across the country and all over
the world. And now Mitov thinks it is time to bring a sanctioned competition to the dance partners’ home state of Massachusetts.
For more information, including some videos of past glamorous events, check out www.bostonopendancesport.com.
96 | BOSTON SPIRIT
On Saturday, September 21, at the Hynes Convention Center, New Englanders will be able to witness some of the most beautiful ballroom dancing on the planet. Mitov hails originally from Bulgaria where he first became attracted to ballroom dancing when he saw his older sister dancing in pretty dresses with feathers. “I wanna do that,” he says he remembers saying to himself. While America hosts only a couple of same-sex partner
dance competitions each year, in Europe, according to Mitov, they happen just about every month. “It’s a big popular sport, like basketball is here,” he says. Bostonians can expect to be treated to performances by about forty to sixty couples — male-male and female-female. And it won’t just be couples, there will be team dances as well. Mitov promises fun for everyone. [x]
There is also a new documentary in production about same-sex ballroom dancing featuring Mitov and Winward. Called Hot to Trot, the film’s web site — www.hottotrotfilm.com — features fun footage.
North American Same-sex Partner Dance Association