If his polling lead holds, Mike Michaud could become the nationâ€™s first out politician elected governor
18-year-old queer foster kids forced to the streets
Signs of Love
Valentine getaways to match your zodiac
Our fave former mayorâ€™s faves
The state of LGBT corporate diversity training By the numbers: Queers in the workplace Job opportunities
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JAN| FEB 2014
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From The Publisher Happy 2014!!!! We are thrilled to be bringing you our very first issue of 2014. Hopefully you had a very fun, happy and healthy holiday season. We, at Boston Spirit, are so excited for 2014. We’ve got so many great things planned for you. Where to start … As some of you might have seen, our new website is up and running and, based on early feedback, it’s a hit. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, stop on by. The site has daily updated content and brings you the biggest stories from the LGBT world all in one place. We are planning a full calendar of events this year too. In addition to our annual LGBT Executive Networking Night (big announcement coming soon!) and our Summer Sunset Cruise, we are also adding several new events. In April we will be holding our first ever executive breakfast. The breakfast will cover the topic of Diversity Staffing. Among our Keynote Speakers for the breakfast are several members of the Red Sox Executive Management Team who will discuss “Using the strength of diversity to help build a championship winning team.” Due to the overwhelming success of our recent ‘PostDOMA financial summit’ we have added another ‘expert panel’ style discussion event. This one will cover the topic of LGBT Eldercare. And we also have several fun events that we will be announcing soon … stay tuned. It is going to be a great year with lots to do and lots of great feature articles in the pages of the magazine. As always, we thank you for your loyalty and support and we look forward to seeing you all soon at these great events.
David Zimmerman Publisher
2 | BOSTON SPIRIT
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As We Go To Press … We recently went through an office exercise asking ourselves who is the most powerful out LGBT person in New England now that Barney Frank is out of office. Two years ago we put Frank on our cover. It was just after the 2010 election and our lead story speculated on whether he might be in last term as a US Representative. He naturally hedged on it when asked. But it turned out we were right. So this year, we thought we would try to identify his heir. Many of the usual suspects arose—David Cicilline, Mary Bonauto, Maura Healey, Carl Sciortino, Rachel Maddow. Then, Michael Michaud came out! Who is Michael Michaud? Michaud is currently the seventh openly gay US Representative in the House. He represents the second district in upper Maine. Of course, we already have Cicilline as an out Rep from New England. But Michaud also has the distinction of running for governor of Maine, where he is currently favored to win. If that happens, he would become the first out gay person ever to be elected to head a state government. (Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey was not out when he was elected.) That
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would make Michaud a pretty important executive. A couple of things that make Michaud particularly unique and interesting: First, he does not come from an urban center—the usual stronghold for openly gay candidates; second, even when publicly closeted he supported LGBT rights. He has integrity. Further, even those opposed to gay concerns support him. My favorite quote from the story about him in this issue is from Maine voter Dick Waceken who said, “I think I am antigay. I think women should be with men and men should be with women, but I am still going to vote for Mike.” Go Mike! Honestly, though, when it comes to powerful LGBT people, perhaps the most powerful queer person in New England is us. The impact we all make together from our little corner of the world is tremendous. Think about the fact—as noted in our employment story in this issue—that many of the largest international corporations—like Massachusetts-based EMC— have active LGBT employees in New England who are setting policies and procedures that demand people in offices all around the world respect queer people, even in places like India,
Celebrating Another Marriage Victory!
4 | BOSTON SPIRIT
where the Supreme Court recently reinstated a law that is used to criminalize homosexual behavior. As homosexuality becomes normalized in our great corner of the globe, just simply being an out queer person in any and all situations causes big ripples. As Daniel Heller of The Welcoming Committee (a.k.a. Guerrilla Queer Bar) notes in his New Year’s resolution notes featured in this issue, just having a crowd of LGBT people at Symphony Hall can make a difference to some audience members who still may not have contact with an out gay person—yes, even in this day, age and in Boston! TWC, EMC, and all of us are making huge waves in helping make all queer people just a regular presence in the lives of everyone everywhere. That’s pretty powerful. Hooray for us! Hooray for 2014! Let’s keep being who we are: Out, loud, and proud. Oh, and, if you’re in Maine, vote for Mike Michaud!
James Lopata Editor
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.
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Sleeping Under The Stars
JAN|FEB 2014 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 1
Ricardo Recommends Menino Recommends
London to Venice on the Orient Express
Spotlight Hit List You Better Work Barry’s Bootcamp Hits Boston The Glitter Gourmet Mayor Menino Recommends Fifty Shades of Gay
Culture 8 10 11 12 14 16
Disproportionately affecting hundreds of LGBTs, out-of-date government policies are placing young adults out on the streets when they turn legal
The Maine Gay Guy
If Mike Michaud hangs on to his lead in the polls, he could become the nation’s first openly gay person to be elected to a governorship, making him arguably the most powerful out politician in the U.S.
Rowdy Women Make History The longest continuously operating women’s center in the nation began with the rowdy takeover of a Harvard building in 1971
50 Shades of Gay
Corporations based in and around New England are making huge strides for LGBT diversity with their employees around the world
LGBT Employment by the Numbers
Seasonal You Say You Want A Resolution 36 From hospitality to politics, we talked to prominent LGBT leaders from different spheres to tell us the goals they accomplished in 2013—and their big plans for the year ahead
Sleeping Under The Stars This Valentine’s Day, choose a gay-friendly getaway that’s destined to be heavenly
ON THE COVER Mike Michaud 22 6 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Myth and Reality
Gone, Baby, Gone
Two Guys and a Dream
New book tackles 21 myths about LGBT life and people Gay film ‘He Is Gone’ will be shot in Boston this summer
To Venice, on the Orient Express 68
Special Businesses Spread Equality
John Mitzel’s LGBT bookstore lives on under the direction of longtime assistant manager Brian Gale
Gay couple’s musical journey Witness Uganda premieres at the American Repertory Theater
Feature Happy 18th Birthday! You’re Now Homeless!
Etiquetteer, out nationally syndicated etiquette columnist from Boston, takes the trip of a lifetime—you should too!
The Sweetest Sound
Pas de Deux Becomes a Trio
‘Forty and Fierce’ celebrates the ageless Sweet Honey in the Rock Boston Ballet soloist John Lam builds a family and a home with his husband, real estate lawyer John Ruggieri
Scene Eastern Bank Social Justice Awards Hispanic Black Gay Coalition 4th Annual Gala Annual Fundraising Gala at PAAM GLAD Spirit of Justice Dinner Demonstration Against India’s Reinstatement of Penal Code Section 377 Pie in the Sky
84 85 85 86 87 87
Coda Local Hero
19-year-old transgender activist receives national recognition with TeenNick HALO Award
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D E V E L O P E D B Y N AT I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T
SPOTLIGHT Trends STORY Scott Kearnan
NEWS, NOTES, AND TO-DOS FOR EVERY GAY AGENDA
on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Municipal Equality Index, its second annual report rating American cities based on the LGBT-inclusiveness of their laws, policies and services. 25 of the 291 cities surveyed received perfect “100-point” scores, including Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut. Other well-rated New England cities include Hartford, Connecticut (99); Portland, Maine (89); Providence, Rhode Island (81); and Northampton (80) and Provincetown (76), Massachusetts. To view the good, bad and ugly in the full report, visit hrc.org/mei.
the honorees recognized by POZ magazine, the publication for people living with HIV/AIDS, in its “POZ 100” list of “unsung heroes” doing important work in the fight against the epidemic. Nine individuals from New England were included, several with connections to the LGBT community: like Boston’s Alfredo Hernandez Chavez, who works to improve cultural competency in the Health and Human Development Division of the Education Development Center; and Robert Knight, a Lewiston, Maine LGBTQ youth prevention educator and board member of The Maine Gathering, an annual retreat for people living with HIV/AIDS. For the full list, searchable by state, visit poz. com.
FXX’s “Chozen” 8 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Girls Will Be Boys
the clothing available from Girls Will Be Boys, a lesbian-founded line of active apparel designed for the “modern tomboy.” Inspired by colorful street wear but cut for a woman’s body, the newly launched brand first rolled out its signature boxer briefs and “booty briefs,” designed for gals who want the comfort of boxers but with a female fit—and sense of sass. The company has since expanded to snapback hats, sports bras and tank tops, with more items on the way. Give them a glance, because it’s never too early to start packing for Girl Splash. To see more and shop, visit gwbbclothing.com.
to the FXX network for Chozen, premiering January 13. Move over, Macklemore: this animated show, the first original series for the FX network’s new sibling, focuses on its titular character, a raunchy gay white rapper (voiced by Saturday Night Live player Bobby Moynihan) struggling to spread anti-misogyny lyrics and launch his career after
work to support the troops— and offer visibility of gay military parents.
GET A GLIMPSEof life as a
rent boy in Money’s On the Dresser: Escorting, Porn and Promiscuity in Las Vegas. The just-released collection of short stories comes from gay adult film actor Christopher Daniels (Mr. International Escort of the Year 2013), and details his diverse and surprising experiences as a man-for-hire in Sin City. Sounds like appropriately saucy bedtime reading.
JAN|FEB 2014 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER
David Zimmerman EDITOR IN CHIEF
James A. Lopata ART DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING
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Chris George, Michael Poulin
CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE EDITOR
CONTRIBUTING ARTS EDITOR
Tony Giampetruzzi, Mark Krone, Fred Kuhr, Ricardo Rodriguez
Michael Winward and Brad Dillman
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. Boston Spirit Magazine 398 Columbus Ave #395 Boston, MA 02116
Joel Benjamin, Matt Teuton
COVER IMAGECourtesy Michaud for
GIVE A (JAZZ) HANDto
Michael Winward, manager and training director of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Plymouth, and a major proponent of same-sex ballroom dancing. He was one of several professional dancers paired with military veterans and supporters at Dancing With Our Heroes, a Hartford benefit for The Friends of Fisher House Connecticut, which builds long-term residential facilities near military hospitals. Winward represented the same-sex ballroom dancing world by pairing with Brad Dillman, the gay dad of a staff sergeant currently deployed in Afghanistan. We salute their
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BostonSpiritMagazine.com TALK TO USSend comments, questions and encomia to firstname.lastname@example.org
BID ADIEUto some drag
legends, old and new. In November Karlotta Houston announced her retirement from drag in a special birthday performance at Jacques Cabaret. Houston has been a decades-spanning performer whose “All That Glitters Is Not Girls” had been dubbed the East Coast’s longest running female impersonation show. Long before RuPaul’s Drag Race made the art of drag palatable for mainstream audiences, Houston was a trailblazer! And December saw the final performance of Perestroika, an edgy seven year-running show at Jacques that was started by queen Katya Zamolodchikova and shone a spotlight on boundarypushing next-generation queens. Hats off to all. [x]
being released from prison. Wu Tang Clan rapper Method Mad voices Phantasm, his music industry arch-nemesis. Think a musical cartoon version of Orange is the New Black, a dose of Family Guystyle animated humor, and a cross-pollination of bear and hip hop cultures. We dig it, yo. For more, visit fxnetworks.com/ chozen.
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Kathy Griffin Boston
‘It’s a dream audience: people who are smart and get your references,’ says gay fave comedienne of Bostonians
Happy 30th Club Café!
Our multiplex community center shows no signs of aging
Mayor Races Then and Now
The last open Boston campaign— 1983—was first time gays wooed
November 18, 2003
ARTS ARTS ARTS ARTS PREVIEW PREVIEW PREVIEW The day that changed the gay rights movement forever
SPOTLIGHT Fitness STORY Scott Kearnan
You Better Work
Revitalive. Boyd recommends a juice cleanse to “reboot the system” before launching your new, healthier diet for 2014. Revitalive offers beginnerthrough-advanced cleanse systems of cold-pressed juices in tasty flavors—from Probiotic Punch to Minty Melon—handmade from organic New England produce and available at its café or for home delivery. (Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water Street, Newburyport; revitalive.com; $180-$199)
MUST-HAVE ACCESSORIES FOR THE HOME FITNESS FREAK Health guru and Miss Fit Club owner Katie Boyd has spent a career training Miss America contestants (and regular gals too) at her famous women-only gym—full of hot pink equipment, naturally—in Hudson, New Hampshire. And as the brassy, straight-shooting diva of her former Style Network show, Wicked Fit, she earned a loyal gay following too. (Hence her occasional “Tues-gays” sessions, when the studio gets opened to boys—who like boys.) With the weather freezing and gym trips requiring an extra trudge through the snow, we asked Boyd to choose for us a few “must-have” items for winter workouts to help us keep our New Year’s resolutions.
All in Yoga App from iTunes. Boyd recommends this app for experienced and burgeoning yogis alike. It features 250 poses with video guidance, 25 pre-loaded programs plus the option to create your own, and even stopwatch and progress tracking capabilities. The least expensive year of yoga you could buy. ($4.99) Virtual Training from Miss Fit Club. Boyd makes house
calls with monthly videos featuring fresh workouts, with personal Skype, text and phone consults to help along the way—and Boyd’s charm is big encouragement. Add a customized nutrition plan to stay trim and fuel your fitness, and you’ve officially joined the Fit Club via cyberspace. (kbmfc.com; $59.99/ month) PHOTO Rania Matar
Vinyasa Scarf from Lululemon. Fashionable and
practical for cutting the chill on a winter bike ride or while running to the gym, this stretchy scarf is made of thick, ultra-soft fabric that wicks sweat from skin. Snaps on either end let you wear it a million and one ways. (337 Newbury Street, Boston; lululemon.com; $48)
TRX from TRXtraining.com. You’ve seen the gear at the gym: those black and yellow kits of rubber cords and pulleys used for curls, pull-ups, chest presses and more. But Boyd says it’s the one at-home equipment worth the investment, allowing myriad setups to work all body parts and lightweight for travel. ($199.95) 10 | BOSTON SPIRIT
SPOTLIGHT Fitness STORY Scott Kearnan
Barry’s Bootcamp Hits Boston Sneakers from New Balance. No one will see your new summer six-pack if it’s still covered by winter’s extra padding. Prioritize cardio, and safety for your knees and ankles: throw out last year’s worn out sneakers and buy a new, properly fitted pair that will go easy on your joints. (NewBalance.com; or South End Athletic Company, 652 Tremont Street, Boston.)
Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls from The Shop at Equinox. With the right exercises,
these 2.5-inch rubber balls grip at skin and layers of muscle to rub out muscle tension, which can be worse in cold weather, and soothe everything from tight hamstrings to stiff necks. (131 Dartmouth Street, Boston; $14)
Baptiste Live in Africa DVD from Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. This 90-minute practice is “epic,” says Boyd. It shows founder Baron Baptiste practicing with native Kenyans on the first Africa Yoga Project teacher training, and includes a meditation session filmed at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. (2000 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge; baronbaptiste.com; $40)
CLUB PARTY MEETS CIRCUIT TRAINING AT GAY-FOUNDED FRANCHISE If you’ve ever slogged your way through a strenuous “boot camp” style exercise class—and then enjoyed the newly toned muscles that result—you know that sometimes, tough love does a body good. And no one knows that better than Barry Jay, founder of Barry’s Bootcamp, the gay favorite brand of fitness studios that recently opened its first location in Boston. Jay wound up entering the industry as a way to turn his life around; at age 20 he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a songwriter, but fell prey to the hard partying and hard drugs that defined the ‘90s circuit scene. “At first I wanted people to like me. Then, I liked the drugs,” recalls Jay. One morning he awoke from a rock bottom bender, and looked in the mirror. “I didn’t know myself anymore,” says Jay. His decision: tough love, for himself. He quit drugs cold turkey, and replaced it with an addiction to healthy living through exercise and clean eating. (He laughs looking back on his first experience chugging raw eggs a la Rocky Balboa.) Today Jay, who led his first fitness class as an impromptu sub when his own instructor didn’t show, still teaches classes at the West Hollywood location of Barry’s Bootcamp. But the entrepreneur is now mainly concerned with developing a curriculum
for the 12-location franchise he’s created, and overseeing its success with an all-star corporate team (including hunky gay COO Joey Gonzalez). If you haven’t yet enlisted in Barry’s Bootcamp, here’s the drill: expect intense hour-long classes (like “Arms & Abs” and “Butt & Legs”) with alternating periods of treadmill-based cardio and weight training, nightclub-style red lighting, and thumping dance music and Top 40 remixes pumping overhead. Basically it’s a gym class cum circuit party. But the 5,100 square foot Boston facility also boasts the upscale environs—from its smoothie-serving Fuel Bar to spa-like locker rooms—that befit Barry’s reputation as “boutique group fitness.” Hence the brand’s celebrity clients like Katie Holmes and Kim Kardashian. Thanks to Jay’s obvious imprint, Barry’s has also become hugely popular with gay crowds. “It’s a mixed bag of people,” says Jay. “But as far as the gay guys go, there’s a lot of shirtless people working out. It gets hot. It gets sweaty. And everyone is welcome.” Oh, Barry. Thank you. [x] Barry's Bootcamp Boston
30 Chauncy Street, Boston
JAN|FEB 2014 | 11
SPOTLIGHT Television STORY Scott Kearnan
SIDE DISHES Who are Jujubee’s dream dinner party guests? “Margaret Cho, because I love her. RuPaul, of course. Marilyn Monroe, because I want to know what really happened. And Abraham Lincoln so I could kiss him on the face.”
The Glitter Gourmet
Jujubee is engaged to longtime boyfriend Chris. What three Drag Race alums would she trust to plan the wedding? “Definitely Raven. Latrice Royale, because she’s ordained and could perform the ceremony. I think we’d need to have a competition to choose the third person. Maybe that’s the next show!”
BOSTON’S JUJUBEE COOKS THINGS UP ON DRAG MY DINNER PARTY Ten years ago, Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy featured five fairy godfathers of fashion and culture as they descended on a hetero subject in need of a makeover—and exposed mainstream America to a quintet of queer friends in the process. Now the Cooking Channel is poised to do something similar with Drag My Dinner Party, in which three alums of RuPaul’s Drag Race—Manila Luzon, Raven, and Boston’s own Jujubee— swoop in and pull together all the ingredients for an overthe-top special occasion. “Playing this kind of role is the type of thing I always envisioned doing as a child,” Jujubee told Boston Spirit about shooting the recently aired pilot episode of Drag My Dinner Party. At press time the queens were waiting to find out if the network will pick it up for a full series. But Jujubee, a two-time Drag Race finalist, certainly hopes that will be the case. Airline Inthyrath, as Jujubee is known when the makeup and sequins come off, grew up cooking traditional Laotian food with his father and is still a superbly adept home chef
today. “I cook every chance I get. It’s so calming, and I think that food is really something that brings people together.” Drag My Dinner Party has the same potential. Though drag-related shows have been successful on LGBTfocused networks like Logo, a mainstream network like the Cooking Channel can expose the art form to a broader audience. “It’s an opportunity to put it in front of an audience that may have very specific opinions about people who do drag,” says Jujubee. “A show like this explains that it’s both a character and a real human being, an extension of who we are. But fancier!” It’s also a chance for one of the country’s most famous queens to continue building star power. “When I was a kid I always said to myself, ‘you’re going to be a star somehow,’” says Jujubee. “In my own little way I’ve managed that. RuPaul’s Drag Race opened a door, and it hasn’t closed yet.” Drag My Dinner Party may have opened another: right into the kitchen. [x]
12 | BOSTON SPIRIT
DRAG YOUR DINNER PARTY Prepping a soiree? Jujubee shared with us three of his favorite recipes—including one for a killer cocktail—that will have your guests impressed.
COCONUT SWEET POTATO SOUP 1 can (15 oz.) light coconut milk 1 large sweet potato 1 cup of chicken broth
1 tbsp minced garlic Salt and pepper to taste Scallions and cilantro to finish Clean and cut the sweet potato into 1-inch segments. In a pot, boil in water for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Combine coconut milk, chicken broth, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. When sweet potatoes are ready, strain and mash with a fork or masher. Add sweet potato to the simmering ingredients and stir gently. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish soup with scallions and cilantro and serve.
SOY HERBED MARINATED CHICKEN 4 boneless chicken breasts 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp ground ginger Pinch of thyme, dried Salt and pepper Vegetable oil
Remove fat from chicken breasts. With a sharp knife, butterfly the breasts so cooking is evenly distributed. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine soy sauce with minced garlic, ginger thyme. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then marinade in mixture for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Lightly coat the bottom of a large saucepan with vegetable oil. Turn stove top to medium-high heat. Remove marinated chicken from refrigerator and gently place into the heated saucepan. Cook for 12 minutes, flipping after 6 minutes. When fully cooked, serve with your favorite side dishes. (Juju recommends steamed carrots and jasmine rice.)
THE RED SERPENT 1 oz pomegranate juice 2 1/2 oz silver or amber rum Squeeze of 1/2 oz fresh agave syrup lemon juice Soda water 1/2 oz fresh lime juice Combine rum, lemon, lime, pomegranate, and agave into a shaker with ice. Shake well. In desired glass, add new ice and pour in mixed ingredients. Top with soda water. Garnish with a lime wedge.
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SPOTLIGHT Politics STORY Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Recommends Mayor Menino Recommends RICARDO RODRIGUEZ GETS THE SCOOP ON BOSTON’S FAVORITE FORMER MAYOR’S FAVORITES — BOOK, BREAKFAST PLACE, UNDERWEAR(!), AND MORE! Mayor Menino is not only the longest sitting mayor in the history of Boston but undoubtedly the most appreciated and beloved. He has made sure that during his tenure everyone from every walk of life was represented, respected and welcomed. As we all know, the time has come for him to move along in his life journey. I find myself (along with my husband Michael) very fortunate to count him and Angela as friends. And I know that most people in the city feel the same way. Strike up a conversation with
anyone at a coffee shop, cocktail party or park and it becomes clear that there are not many people that he hasn’t met, helped, shook hands with or had a conversation with. Despite how much we already know about his extremely high profile public life we still want more juicy details. Just a little bit more. And this is where I come in… I have taken the liberty of putting the Mayor in the hot seat (okay, not so hot, maybe warm) and asked him some questions, some personal and some too personal. I wanted this to be a chance for all of us to get to know a little bit more about the man. So, thank you Mister Mayor for your candor and for a job incredibly well done!
Ricardo Rodriguez Is a celebrated and award-winning real estate and lifestyle expert based in Boston. He regularly appears in local and national TV shows, contributes to various publications in the areas of real estate, home, living and fashion, and is a tireless advocate and supporter of many and various charitable causes. 14 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla What’s your favorite breakfast spot? Sorella’s in Jamaica Plain What’s your favorite dish? Veal or chicken cutlet with a good pasta What’s your favorite season of the year? Summer What’s your fondest family memory? I have so many. Spending Thanksgiving Day with my wife and our family. It’s a time that I have my children and my grandchildren all together to celebrate. What are you most proud of? Standing up for people’s rights and making sure this city works for all its people, not just some of its people. Boston is a much different city today than it was 20 years ago. We’re a more open city. Boxers or briefs? Boxers
“ [I’m proud of ] Standing up for people’s rights and making sure this city works for all its people, not just some of its people. Boston is a much different city today than it was 20 years ago. We’re a more open city. ” What’s your favorite song? My Way, Frank Sinatra What’s your favorite book? Anything by John Grisham, I’ve read them all What’s your favorite part of being Mayor? The people What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas What’s your favorite quote? “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Mark Twain What’s your favorite dessert? Ricotta pie
What’s your favorite place to buy clothes? Brooks Brothers now. It used to be Filene’s Basement.
Who’s your hero? My parents are my heroes. My mother was the Mother Theresa of Hyde Park. She took care of all the families that came over from Italy. My father was a guy who was so well-respected in the community, because he worked very hard, and all he cared about was his family. Cats or dogs? Fish
What’s your favorite day/ weekend getaway spot? Saratoga
What’s your greatest wish for the future of the city of Boston? That our City continues to overcome inequality
What’s your favorite tourist/historical destination in the city? USS Constitution
What’s the best decision you ever made? Marrying Angela Faletra
What’s your favorite place to go with Angela for dinner? At home in Hyde Park
What’s something most people don’t know about you that you would like them to know? Sometimes, I have a pretty good sense of humor [x]
What’s the hidden restaurant that you love but nobody knows about? Mangia Mangia Is there anyone you haven’t met who you would like to meet? Pope Francis
Ricardo would like to also thank Dot Joyce and Emilee Ellison
JAN|FEB 2014 | 15
Jade Shade (Hemlock)
SPOTLIGHT Design STORY Lucy Dearborn, Lucia Lighting & Design
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Fifty Shades of Gay Light equals happiness. What better way to celebrate the New Year than paying tribute to the power of light in its myriad forms, shapes and color? We took a few pages from Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2104 to illuminate fun ways to paint your life happy with light.
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16 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Contempo Colors (Radiant Orchid) Mouth blown Murano glass with a contemporary twist. $2,950
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Laser-cut brushed stainless steel sconce pops with pale blue silk charmeuse poppies. $550
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Handmade Shade (Magenta Purple) This pretty pendant features vino glass mouth-blown in Murano, Italy. $455
Pantone Official Color fo the Year for 2014: Radiant Orchid
The hand-carved, blown-glass cylinder Bali pendant shimmers in smoke. $490
Amazing Haze (Purple Haze)
The Fez pendant in amethyst is mouth-blown in Murano, Italy. $1,100
JAN|FEB 2014 | 17
FEATURE Young Adults STORY James Lopata
Happy 18th Birthday! You’re Now Homeless! Disproportionately affecting hundreds of LGBTs, out-of-date government policies are placing young adults out on the streets when they turn legal When Jeremy turned 18, his foster parents had to kick him out. They didn’t want to. But the government assistance that the foster family relied on to provide for him ceased to arrive. There was a mortgage to pay. And, much as Jeremy wanted to pay rent, he could only cover so much. So Jeremy found himself “couch-surfing”—the colloquial term for young adults who have no permanent roofs over their heads. Jeremy is not alone. There are an estimated 700 children who “age out” of the system in Massachusetts each year—not to mention approximately 40 who age out nationally every day. It’s a disturbing national trend that is getting worse. Job opportunities for young adults are disappearing and young
18 | BOSTON SPIRIT
people who grow up in traditional homes are having to remain under their parents’ roofs for many years past the formerly ubiquitous maturation age of 21. Consider that the average age that children stay in their childhood homes is estimated to be anywhere between 22 and 30 years old. In official parlance, it’s known as “aging out.” The word “out” in the label, aptly describes a problem that includes an estimated 20 to 40 percent who identify as LGBT, compared to just 6 to 8 percent estimated LGBT youth in the mainstream population.
Jeremy Jeremy, who preferred to keep his last name off the record, was put into the care of the Massachusetts Department of
Children and Family (D.C.F.) when he was three, due to his mother’s drug use and her inability to care for him. At age five, he was moved to his grandmother’s to be raised—only to be kicked out at 15 when his devoutly Christian grandma took issue with his newly declared homosexual orientation. Jeremy bounced from foster home to foster home during his High School years, until he turned 18, when he was forced to find his own home. Foster parents are considered employees of The Home For Little Wanderers. They are paid through special funding to care for children like Jeremy until they are 18. When the child turns that legal age, the foster parents are no longer employed unless they take on a new child.
“ [‘Group home’ is a] nice way of saying orphanage. It changed my life. Some of my saddest, loneliest nights were spent in the group home. ”
Ashley Many foster parents are working poor. They rely on the income to pay mortgages in addition to assisting the young people they care for. Without that money, many of these foster parents are unable to help. Young adults end up without housing. It’s heartbreaking to all parties. Jeremy eventually found footing with section 8 housing. But that’s a rare solution for young people, says Rene Yourk, who works on housing issues for the Home for Little Wanderers (HFLW). There is a waiting list of eight years for this kind of government assisted housing. The state reserves just 18 vouchers for young people state-wide. What about the over 600 other children in the Bay State? One of them is Jeremy’s friend Ashley. The two met at the Young Adult Resource Network, or YARN, a drop-in facility for 18-to-22 year-olds in Dorchester. Opened a couple of years ago, YARN offers activities, meals, life coaches and counselors to a select number of individuals.
Ashley Ashley, who also declined to have her last name on the record, was referred to YARN after she was asked to leave Simmons College and had nowhere else to turn.
Jeremy bounced from foster home to foster home during his High School years, until he turned 18, when he was forced to find his own home.
Gwen is fortunate enough to be one of a handful of young people allowed into the inaugural class of the experimental housing program called Roxbury Village.
Ashley’s story is similar to Jeremy’s in that she made her way into the care of the state at a young age when her mother acquired a drug habit. Ashley too bounced around from her grandmother’s place to a foster family. She also spent time in a residential treatment facility when she was being treated for severe depression. Ashley moved into independent living with an older Christian lady. “When I told her I was gay, it freaked her out,” Ashley said. One morning, the lady came after her with a knife. When the police arrived, the woman told them that “If she didn’t move so much I would have killed the bitch.” Ashley also ended up in a group home, which she said is a “nice way of saying orphanage. It changed my life,” she said. “Some of my saddest, loneliest nights were spent in the group home.” Throughout it all, she says she never missed a day of school. “School was my safe place to feel welcome and wanted,” she said. Ashley’s efforts in high school attracted the attention of Simmons College, which saw potential in her. But, says Ashley, “I wasn’t prepared academically for Simmons.” After a year-and-a-half of struggling, she eventually was asked to leave the prestigious women’s school. So Ashley
considered checking back with her foster family for assistance. But she and her former foster mother had left on bad terms. After Ashley had come out as a lesbian, her foster mother made it clear that she did not approve of gay sexual orientations. Ashley says that her foster mother made attempts to reconcile, but that trust was never fully restored. “I need to feel comfortable in a place I’m living. It’s not like I chose to be gay,” Ashley said. Ashley began couch-surfing and finding whatever living situations she could. It’s only recently that she’s found a relatively stable apartment with her long-term girlfriend in Brighton. Ashley graduated from Roxbury Community College with honors. And this fall, she’s taking four classes at UMass Boston. Her tuition is covered by the state. To cover additional costs, she is working weekends at City Sports, babysitting four days a week and teaching basketball to children with special needs. “Rent is not cheap,” she said. At 23, Ashley exudes confidence and a hope for her future. But it is a battle-worn self-esteem. To get to her 8 a.m. class on time each day, she needs to leave home at 6 a.m. Studying psychology, she says she is able to get a lot of homework reading done on the bus. She and her girlfriend used
JAN|FEB 2014 | 19
How You Can Help Here’s a list of ways to assist Home For Little Wanderers, both with its underage and aging out populations: Foster Care, Adoption, Mentoring
or volunteer your time and talents. www.thehome.org/volunteer
Become a Foster Parent. The Home’s Intensive Foster Care (IFC) program is committed to providing loving and stable homes to children currently in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) who are residing in hospitals, residential programs, temporary foster care homes, or with their birth parents who are unable to care for them. www.thehome.org/ fostercare Adopt a Child. The Home is a full-service adoption program placing infants, children identified internationally, and waiting children from foster care. www.thehome.org/ adoption Become a Mentor. Our greatest volunteer need continues to be adult mentors for adolescents and teens. A mentor is an interested and committed adult who spends 2-4 hours of quality time per week with a mentee over the course of a year of more. www.thehome.org/volunteer Show your support of Waltham House. Waltham House is the first residential group home designed specifically for GLBTQ youth in New England, and one of only three of its kind in the nation. Each year, a group of dedicated group of volunteers plans a fundraiser for the program. Become a sponsor, attend the event,
20 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Make a tribute gift. Ask your family members or friends to make a donation to The Home for Little Wanderers in lieu of or in addition to their gift for you. Host a fundraiser. Turn your next party into a way to help your favorite cause. Ask guests to bring a pledged wish list item through our Big Wishes Gift Drive website or bring a gift card or cash donation instead of a traditional hostess gift. More details at: www.thehome.org/ holiday
Shop or Donate Shop, Donate, or Volunteer. The Thrift Shop of Boston is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the children and families served by The Home for Little Wanderers. One of the oldest of its kind in the city, the Thrift Shop has been in business for over 80 years. The Thrift Shop of Boston is a great place to find furniture, artwork, books, vintage designer clothing, jewelry, dishes, and more. www.thehome.org/thriftshop Donate to New Start: Furnishings from the Heart. Contact is now Renee Yourk, email@example.com or 888-HOME-321.
HFLW’s New Start to help furnish her apartment. New Start provides young adults like Ashley with a place to get free, “gently used” furniture donated from well-off people who are redesigning their living spaces. Young people have their pick of some pretty gorgeous stuff! Through YARN Ashley was also able to find employment and assistance with budgeting. She also has been assigned a life coach, who, she says, has been invaluable in getting her to focus on the important things. Thank goodness for YARN, she said, it “opened a ton of doors.” YARN is one of the ways that HFLW is seeking to address the needs of the aging out population, but it can’t help with the biggest problem of all: housing. For that, the HFLW is piloting a new solution. Jeremy and Ashley are also friends with Gwen, who was fortunate to be one of the first participant residents at what is called Roxbury Village.
Gwen Gwen was raised during her teenage years in a residential living facility called Roxbury House. Gwen ended up in the House, in part, because of issues that her family and foster providers had with her sexual orientation. When Gwen turned 18, she was forced to leave Roxbury House. Many children who are aged out of the House find themselves on the street without proper assistance. Roxbury House staff frequently find themselves in a very uncomfortable position. Children who have left frequently return because they have nowhere else to turn when they have unmet needs. “The kids come back to Roxbury House for toiletries and dinners and such, just like most kids would return home to get basics and assistance,” said HFLW CEO Joan Wallace-Benjamin. “But the House staff are forbidden to let the young adults in. It’s a violation of HIPPA laws.” Yes, there are shelters, like Pine Street Inn, but the needs of adult shelter dwellers differ vastly from the needs of young adults, said WallaceBenjamin. The two populations do not mingle well. And shelter staff are not equipped to deal with the issues that arise. Gwen, who also preferred to keep her last name off the record, was fortunate enough to be let into the inaugural class of the experimental housing program Roxbury Village. The Home for Little Wanderers created Roxbury Village with special assistant from an altruistic real estate developer, who donated much of his own time and resources. It’s not as easy as it sounds to create this special housing, even when the resources are available.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA), and other policies meant to help many underserved populations has made creating special housing for these young adults difficult. The FHA makes it illegal to deny anyone housing based on age. But HFLW and other experts understand that it is important to keep these young adults together, to help service their different needs. Many of the issues have not been fully resolved, but Roxbury Village is the start of something that may have legs. Roxbury Village houses many young adults who have aged out of Roxbury House. But HFLW cannot merely act as a landlord. These young adults need the continuing assistance that most lateteenagers and 20-somethings would get from their biological or adoptive parents. They need life coaches and counselors and mentors. So the Home has worked through various channels, through the state and city and with other providers, to piece together as much of the needs through existing channels. Even with all the resources, Roxbury Village barely makes a dent in the problem.
“Policy has not kept pace with reality,” said Wallace-Benjamin. She and her team are no strangers to pioneering social policy and solutions. HFLW traces its roots back to the creation of the nation’s oldest welfare agency, founded in 1799, the Boston Female Asylum (Abigail Adams was a founding contributor), which, through a series of mergers grew into what is now known as the Home For Little Wanderers. In addition to YARN and Roxbury Village, HFLW is innovating in other areas in an attempt to assist these young people. HFLW is in the initial phases of working to find a way to connect older adults with young adults who have aged out. One of the issues to be solved is how to match the two parties. It’s not as easy as with a foster parent system, which has a prescribed method. One of the young adult matching ideas proposed is a variant of the speed dating process, so that each party gets a chance to see if there is an appropriate fit. HFLW is also helping aging out kids who do find a home to help get furniture, through the New Start: Furnishings from the Heart program where Ashley got her home equipment. The program enlists
some of Boston’s most prestigious designers. Whenever the designer re-designs one of their high-end clients’ homes, they need someplace to dump the high-end furnishings from the last design. Young adults have their pick of some of the best “gently used” home decor items around. According to Wallace-Benjamin some of the youth have incredible taste, with little flats that look like they could be featured in Architectural Digest. But adult mentoring, youth drop facilities like YARN, and small-scale housing like Roxbury Village are not a long-term solution. For substantive change, policies need to change. For that purpose, HFLW has joined with other agencies to create a special task force addressing the issues of aging out. They have the support of numerous politicians, including Gov.Deval Patrick, who emphasized the issue in his 2012 state of the state address when he called on citizens “to work to end homelessness for good.” And that would be good for a whole lot of LGBT young adults like Jeremy, Ashley, and Gwen. [x]
GRE T STORIES
Just 15 miles north of Boston, 30 minutes by train from Boston’s North Station. @DestSalem
Learn more about Salem, Massachusetts at Salem.org
JAN|FEB 2014 | 21
FEATURE Politics STORY Tony Giampetruzzi PHOTOS Michele Stapleton
The Maine Gay Guy
If Mike Michaud hangs on to his lead in the polls, he could become the nation’s first openly gay person to be elected to a governorship, making him arguably the most powerful out politician in the U.S. Will Maine be the first state in the nation to elect an openly gay governor? It certainly could be if Congressman Mike Michaud (D-Maine) holds his (slim) lead in very early polls against other declared candidates, sitting Republican Governor Paul LePage and Independent businessman Eliot Cutler. Michaud, 58, who announced his bid for the Blaine House last summer, put rumors to rest in November when he announced that he is gay in an op-ed that ran in Maine’s largest newspapers. Few people were shocked, something Michaud as much as predicted in his announcement. “ … I wasn’t surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay,” he wrote. “Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: ‘Yes I am. But why should it matter?’”
22 | BOSTON SPIRIT
The outcome was anything but dramatic. Just as states that legalize gay marriage no longer grab above-the-fold headlines, Michaud’s statement did little more than make him the eighth openly gay member of Congress and confirm what many people already seemed to know. There was little awe, even from the voters in his district, which rates as the largest east of the Mississippi, and one of the more conservative in New England. “For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker or a lifelong Mainer,” Michaud wrote. “One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.” Mainers agreed en masse. Polls immediately following Michaud’s op-ed showed no statistical shift in his support, and the media was hard pressed to find anyone who would turn against Michaud, even among those who have a bone to pick with homosexuals. In the Bangor Daily News article—“Spectrum of reactions
to Michaud coming out: shock, surprise, ‘we all knew it’”—published a couple days after the oped, a comment from a 70-yearold retiree from a Millinocket paper mill may have been the most telling. Dick Waceken said that “Michaud’s homosexuality, while known—‘if somebody’s gay, it gets around fast’—never mattered much.” “We all knew Mike was gay,” Waceken told the Bangor Daily. “They still voted for him because he is from the area. And he’s an honest man. I think I am anti-gay. I think women should be with men and men should be with women, but I am still going to vote for Mike.” For voters in his district, Michaud commands respect: like his father, and his grandfather before him, Michaud was a mill worker in northern Maine for 30 years before his election to Congress in 2002. During that time, he was elected seven times to the Maine Legislature, adjusting his shifts at the mill to accommodate an erratic schedule in Augusta. In Congress, Michaud was staunchly pro-LGBT out of the gate, even going on record as opposed to previous versions of ENDA because it didn’t go far enough on trans inclusion. With plenty of time for the political winds to shift in a state where a majority
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of voters identify as Independent, the gubernatorial race is just now starting to take form. All indicators suggest that it will be close and contentious: LePage maintains support from his own party despite a series of high profile gaffes, while Cutler appeals to Independent and Democratic voters who point to his fiscal experience in the private sector as enticing. Now, with the gay question behind him and no loss of momentum, he tells Boston Spirit that he’s looking forward to the race, that he enjoys being a role model for those seeking to “come out,” and that, when he needs to blow off a little steam, pulling out the chainsaw and doing some backwoods work is the best stress-reliever. [SPIRIT] For many people, uttering those words “I’m gay” publicly can be emancipating: how did you feel when, suddenly, it was no longer a secret? [MICHAUD] Actually, people have been very
supportive, After I came out and it made the news, support from family, friends and colleagues—from around the country and even some people from overseas who were originally from Maine—has been overwhelming. As I told one reporter, I’m the same Mike that I was last month or last year. I haven’t changed, but what has changed is that several people have come to me since I came out and they have told me that I provided them with the impetus to come out.
[BS] That must be a good feeling. [MM] Yes, it is. And I was surprised how many people actually did that that first week. It was heartwarming. I’d say that if my coming out makes it easier for others to come out, then it’s really great. [BS] Was there a “phew!” moment? [MM] It really hasn’t been a focus in my life. I’m pretty busy. I guess it’s a relief, but I honestly haven’t had a lot of time to sit back and think about it. I will say I had a busy week scheduled, so when the op-ed appeared on that Monday, well, that was the day I had marked off to go grab my chainsaw and work in the woods. I didn’t get much time to do that with all the calls I had to take.
[BS] So, for you, it was “OK, I said it and
now I want to go cut down trees!”
[MM] Well, I think it highlights the fact that I really wanted to be in Maine when I made the announcement so the press had access to me, number one. And even though it was a difficult decision to make, I’m not ashamed of it, so we’re moving forward. [BS] As a Congressman, you’ve supported
the LGBT community on a whole range of issues for years. In fact, you came out in opposition to ENDA (the Employee NonDiscrimination Act) because it didn’t go far enough to support transgender people. What’s been the most exhilarating win for you?
[MM] [The repeal of] Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
I’ve been serving on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee since I started in Congress, and I’ve talked to a lot of soldiers and a lot of veterans who have told me their stories. So, it’s probably been the most rewarding issue for me to work on. There are a lot of Americans who wanted to serve on the front lines, and they couldn’t do that and be openly gay, so I was very pleased
“ I think I am antigay. I think women should be with men and men should be with women, but I am still going to vote for Mike. ” Dick Waceken Maine voter
to see that go through. But I’m also proud of the work that’s been done in Maine. It was the first state to pass gay marriage by referendum. And I was very honored to come back and work on that issue. Even though I represent the more conservative of the two Maine Congressional districts, I never backed away from that issue. I remember there was some controversy because a lot of members of the legislature in Maine thought bringing the issue back could hurt them. I was among those who said, “If not now, when?” And, everything turned out fine. [BS] What do you think will be your greatest
challenge in a three way gubernatorial race?
[MM] Well, the other two candidates were both on the ballot last time, and I’m the new kid on the block. [For that reason] I’m feeling really good because I have a lot of experience working in the legislature, I know the state budget, I know how to work across the aisle, I know how to bring resources to Maine so the state can grow and prosper. It’s great to have a lot of good ideas, but if you can’t work with anyone, you can’t get anything done. I think I’m the only candidate who has that proven track record. [BS] What is your vision for the state? [MM] My vision is to foster a positive outlook for the people of Maine, and the people who love it here, to get Maine back on the right track. [BS] What word comes to mind when you consider
the fact that you could become the first openly gay person elected governor in the U.S.?
[MM] Well, it’s humbling to think I might be the first gay governor to be elected in the country, but I think it’s very reflective of how far we’ve come. [x]
FEATURE Politics STORY Mark Krone PHOTOS Courtesy 888 Memorial Drive Women’s History Project
Rowdy Women Make History Harvard Police Keep Watch on Building Takeover
The longest continuously operating women’s center in the nation began with the rowdy takeover of a Harvard building in 1971 Some decades linger. The calendar read 1971, but Boston and Cambridge were still in the thick of the 1960s. Protest marches regularly snaked through the streets and rallies were held under a purple haze on Boston Common. On Saturday, March 6, 1971, International Women’s Day, when Beacon Hill residents heard the amplified voices of another rally on Boston Common, it seemed business as usual. But it wasn’t. The rally and subsequent march ended in a takeover by women of a Harvard-owned building at 888 Memorial Drive in Cambridge. The women remained in the drafty building for 10 days under threat of arrest and forcible eviction by police. The action led to the establishment of the Women’s Center in Cambridge, which exists to this
day and is the oldest continuously operating community women’s center in the United States. Local women’s groups had discussed issues and possible actions for several months leading up to March 6. One group, Bread and Roses, discussed taking over a building and turning it into a women’s center. The discussions led to a list of demands: safe spaces for women, reproductive rights, equal pay, an end to incarceration of non-violent offenders, universal, free, community-controlled childcare, universal, free medical care, and ending corporate exploitation of women’s bodies. In 1971, abortion was illegal, newspaper employment ads were separated by gender, divorced women lost access to credit,
and there was no place for a woman to go to escape her batterer. Lesbians were all but invisible and trans-people and bisexuals had yet to be included in the gay and lesbian movement. The morning of March 6, began chilly, in the low 40s, but the uniform of the day, lumberjack shirts and jeans under parkas and overcoats kept many of the women warm. Still, most were not prepared for a long stay in a cold building. When the speakers had concluded, they marched past the Playboy Club, booing and chanting. As they approached the bridge to Cambridge, they shouted words of solidarity to the women prisoners at the Charles Street Jail, who responded in kind. When they arrived in Cambridge, Judy Smith, a participant, recalled in a recent blog post, hearing an “electrifying announcement … whoever wanted to, could join in a sit-in at a Harvard-owned building to demand that the University support a citywide Cambridge women’s
JAN|FEB 2014 | 25
center.” The marchers were buzzing about the takeover as they continued down Massachusetts Avenue. But then to the surprise of the police who attempted to corral them, the marchers took a left on Pearl Street, and marched into history. A small group of women had snuck into 888 Memorial Drive that morning to prepare for the arrival of the marchers. The building was used by Harvard’s graduate design school. When they came upon a male graduate student, they told him it was time for him to leave and he did. It seems likely that the evicted graduate student was the first person to inform Harvard officialdom about the takeover. Before long, Mary Bunting, president of Radcliffe College, and Harvard Crisis Manager, Archibald Cox, (later of Watergate fame) became involved. Harvard had just come through a tumultuous period of demonstrations and the administration wanted to avoid violence and the media coverage that accompanied it. Cox was in sympathy with some of the goals, if not the methods, of the protestors. Although counts are never easily verified, about 150 women entered the building. As they gazed around the large, open space they felt exhilarated. Laura Whitehorn, one of the women occupying the building, later recalled in a blog post that the first hours were exciting but tense. “We expected to be arrested by police just hours after claiming the building …” At one point, the police approached the front door. The women fell silent and to their surprise the police departed. As the hours went by, the women organized working groups for planning, cleaning, skills-building, and so forth. According to Libby Bovier, a member of the 888 Memorial Drive Women’s History Project, the Harvard police may been reluctant to use force as Radcliffe students may have been inside. They also may have deferred to the Cambridge police, waiting for them to act. But the Cambridge police were loathe to get involved in a Harvard-owned property dispute. In general, everyone was looking for a way to avoid a confrontation. This was after all, a building full of women and neither police force wanted to be on the news bashing through the front door. Harvard was not making it easy for the occupiers, however. Archibald Cox reminded them via bullhorn that they were trespassing and that they risked
26 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Negotiating Outside 888 Memorial Drive
888 Memorial Drive, March, 1971 arrest. The electricity was turned off. Friends brought space heaters and food. Harvard-associated women, such as Susan Story Lyman, visited the building, seeking common ground. The University sought and was given an injunction ordering the women to leave but they refused. Inside the building, an alliance between a local housing rights group was forged and a party for local children brought the women closer to the surrounding community. Decisions were reached by consensus, which took time but spread power to more than the loudest participants. For the first time in their lives, lesbian women expressed affection openly. After 10 days of attempted negotiation, freezing temperatures and exhilarating solidarity, the women left the building. A donation, anonymous at the time, by Susan Storey Lyman, was offered to the
women for a down payment on a house for a women’s center Cambridge. Added to the money the women already had raised, they were soon able to open the Center, which is on Pleasant Street in Cambridge. A documentary film of the action, Left On Pearl, is being produced and several early versions were shown at venues in the Boston area and elsewhere. A recent successful, online fundraising effort will allow the producers to raise the production to PBS standards, where they would like it shown. Clips of the film are on the website, leftonpearl.org. In looking back, Rochelle Ruthchild, a participant, is not looking for icon status for the women in the building in 1971. “We want people to know that they can do it too. This was part of a long struggle and the struggle continues.” [x]
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JAN|FEB 2014 | 27
SPECIAL LGBT Employment STORY Fred Kuhr
Businesses Spread Equality
100 New England-based companies that earned a perfect 100 percent rating on the latest Corporate Equality Index: Aetna Inc. of Hartford, Conn. Bain & Co./Bridgespan Group of Boston Bingham McCutchen LLC of Boston Biogen Idec Inc. of Weston, Mass. Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp. of Ridgefield, Conn. Boston Consulting Group Brown Rudnick LLP of Boston Choate Hall & Stewart LLP of Boston CIGNA Corp. of Bloomfield, Conn. Diageo North America of Norwalk, Conn. Digitas Inc. of Boston Eastern Bank Corp. of Boston Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP of Boston EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass.
Corporations based in and around New England are making huge strides for LGBT diversity with their employees around the world As Eric Santamaria tells it, he has a “day job” and a “gay job,” both based out of General Electric Healthcare’s Marlborough, Mass., office. By day, he is a leader in GE Healthcare’s Lean Six Sigma quality and efficiency department. By “gay,” he is co-leader of the GLBTA Alliance employee group for GE Healthcare and co-leader of GLBTA education for General Electric worldwide. In his “gay job,” he has a queer-eye view of the company’s pro-LGBT policies, especially when homophobia rears its ugly head, which is bound to happen in such a large organization. After all, General Electric employs 125,000 people in the United States alone and over 320,000 worldwide,
and not every location is as progressive as Massachusetts or Connecticut (the company’s international headquarters are in Fairfield). For example, said Santamaria, “We have a manufacturing facility in the Midwest, and out of 700 people working there, only one person is out. People do make comments and jokes.” In response, the GLBTA Alliance worked with the facility’s leaders to host anti-harassment training for every employee at the plant, spanning all forms of diversity. During the in-person training, an employee made a homophobic statement in front of dozens of coworkers and managers. The company’s human resources department responded swiftly, Santamaria recalled. “HR said, ‘This stops right here. The comment is inappropriate, not true, and outside GE’s code of conduct.’” “Yes, these kinds of comments are stupid and jarring,” Santamaria said, “But in a way, it’s a good thing. It gives us a chance to respond and to educate.”
Fish & Richardson PC of Boston Foley Hoag LLP of Boston General Electric of Fairfield, Conn. Goodwin Proctor LLP of Boston The Hartford Financial Services Group Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. of Wellesley, Mass. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Springfield, Mass. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC of Boston Nixon Peabody LLP of Boston Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass. Ropes & Gray LLP of Boston Staples Inc. of Framingham, Mass. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide of Stamford, Conn. Sun Life Financial Inc. of Wellesley Hills, Mass. UBS AG of Stamford, Conn. United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn. Xerox Corp. of Norwalk, Conn.
“ There’s a war for talent. There are a lot of great employees out there. If we are more inclusive, then LGBT people are more likely to seek out GE as an employer of choice.” Eric Santamaria In fact, an internal poster campaign featured the faces of local GE officers launched in 2012, stating their support as allies of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees and the community. “Seeing the face of one of the company’s officers is a strong visual indicator that these are issues that GE takes seriously,” said Santamaria. General Electric may be bringing progay policies and diversity to life, but it is far from the only company taking such issues seriously. In fact, the trend in corporate America in general, and corporate New England specifically, is to ensure that
Co-leader of the GLBTA Alliance employee group for GE Healthcare and co‑leader of GLBTA education for General Electric worldwide
LGBT employees not only feel safe and welcome, but that the news of such inclusion gets out to potential employees and to consumers.
Rating Corporations On Equality One of the most reliable indicators of the trend is the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), published annually by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF).
To calculate its scores, HRCF takes data from the largest companies in the nation examining policies such as LGBTinclusive benefits and non-discrimination protections. In the first CEI 12 years ago, 13 businesses earned a perfect 100 percent. Today, 304 companies earn a top score. “Corporate America has long recognized the imperative of LGBT inclusion by implementing their own LGBT-friendly policies ahead of lawmakers,” said Deena Fidas, HRCF’s Workplace Equality
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“ During construction of our new building in Boston, we ensured the comfort and safety of our transgender employees by including private changing areas. ” Hannah Grove State Street’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer
Program director. “We are at the forefront of a new era in which major businesses are not only meeting ever-higher new bars for workplace fairness, they are exceeding them by becoming social and public policy change agents in the process. They recognize equality is not just the right thing to do, it is sound business practice.” Currently, over 30 New England-based companies have earned a 100 percent rating on the CEI. GE earned its 100 percent once it added transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, which went into effect at the start of 2014. “General Electric exemplifies the principles and goals of LGBT diversity and inclusion,” said HRCF’s Fidas. “GE stands out to me. I use it as shorthand to mean, ‘This is where the titans of America have gone.’”
EMC High Profile Support For Transgender Employee GE’s progress notwithstanding, no company has received more attention for its transgender-inclusive policies than Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based data storage company EMC Corp. The Associated Press distributed a news report in October detailing the story of EMC employee Koset Surakomol, who transitioned from male to female with the full support of her employer. The story ran in newspapers such as The Washington Post under the headline, “Fortune 500 companies cover sex change operations, other procedures for transgender workers.” According to the story, the company paid “tens of thousands of dollars for
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[Surakomol] to undergo hormone therapy, breast augmentation and facial contouring. It also will foot the bill ... when Surakomol has the operation that will complete her transformation—a benefit EMC began offering in 2007.” “I got no bad reactions, no cold shoulders,” the information technology engineer told the AP. “All I heard was, ‘This is wonderful.’” Jackie Glenn, EMC’s global chief diversity officer and senior director of human resources, told Boston Spirit that she sees transgender-inclusive benefits as not only “best practice,” but “next practice.” “The term ‘best practice’ is so overused,” she said. “I see this as the ‘next practice,’ as the next frontier.” Glenn said that EMC has taken seven employees through the transition since the benefit began. But this also means taking those employees’ co-workers through a transition as well. This has included publishing an internal handbook on how to handle a transitioned employee once he or she comes back to work as a different gender. “As I am speaking with you, we are in Kentucky, where one of our ‘sales guys’ is going through the change,” said Glenn. “We are talking with our managers there with a focus on matriculating the employee back into the workplace. “Our division in Kentucky is a sales office. But EMC is based in Hopkinton, that’s our mothership. So whatever policy is adopted, all of our employees have to understand where EMC stands on these issues. ... EMC is all about respecting differences. You don’t have to agree with it, but you do have to respect it.”
But how do co-workers at EMC react to transgender employees coming back to work after transitioning? For Surakomol, said Glenn, “Her coworkers took her for a girls night out. Amazing.”
State Street Institutes ‘Next Practices’ Other companies are also adding transgender-inclusive benefits, with an eye on increasing their Corporate Equality Index score. Financial services holding company State Street currently has a 90 percent CEI rating, but that may be changing. “Gender identity is an important part of our equal opportunity policy, and in 2014, we’ll be supporting the transgender community by adding coverage for gender reassignment surgery,” Hannah Grove, State Street’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told Boston Spirit. “We also have equal opportunity policies that specifically address sexual orientation and gender identity and hope to add gender expression to those policies as well. Also, during construction of our new building in Boston, we ensured the comfort and safety of our transgender employees by including private changing areas.” Marriage and its associated benefits is another “next practice” for many companies looking to beef up their LGBT diversity policies. State Street, for example, was one of the first financial institutions to sign the amicus brief challenging the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which
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“ If you can’t be yourself, you’re not going to be focused on your work. ” John Hose Senior business consultant at EMC and EMC’s LGBT employee group
the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional last year. Grove called that “a particular point of pride for me personally, ... when we helped pave the way for our industry.” At EMC, “Prior to the overturn of DOMA, EMC grossed up all same-sex domestic partners’ and same-sex married couples’ salaries to account for the imputed income on federal benefits,” said Lauri Tenney, EMC’s director of benefits. “Now, the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages for federal tax purposes. We are working with our benefits administrator on the state by state level. In addition, EMC has modified our adoption policy to allow benefits for expenses to cover the children of same-sex relationships.” Additionally, because of postDOMA ambiguity regarding
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the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and how it applies to same-sex couples and their families, “EMC will treat same-sex spouses as a qualified family member for FMLA purposes so long as the marriage is legally performed in a state that recognizes it, regardless of where the employee currently lives.” After the fall of DOMA, GE changed its policy as well. “If a same-sex couple is married in a state where it is legally recognized, GE will recognize the marriage even if the couple does not live in a marriageequality state,” said GE’s Santamaria. “That’s pretty electrifying.” GE also made news last September when it voiced its support for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that has been hanging around
As a company with 60,000 employees worldwide, EMC has workers in countries where homosexuality is not only frowned upon, but criminal. Congress for over 20 years and is aimed at making anti-gay bias illegal in the workplace. GE joined a list of over 100 companies that are working with the Human Rights Campaign to get the bill passed by Congress. This is all the more impressive when you consider that if the bill were to become law, employers would be at increased risk of lawsuits. So why are companies such as these so supportive of LGBT rights for their employees?
The War For Talent “There’s a war for talent,” said Santamaria. “There are a lot of great employees out there. If we are more inclusive, then LGBT people are more likely to seek out GE as an employer of choice.” Added State Street’s Grove, “We value unique talents and backgrounds that bring greater perspectives into the organization because we know that diversity is what truly inspires innovation. By embracing diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives in our workforce, we can sustain a competitive advantage and remain an employer of choice.” But another reason is more personal. “I’m a walking Pride parade, and I want a workplace where people are comfortable to come out if they choose. If someone is closeted and they feel they have to hide at work, then they are less productive,” said Santamaria. “If you can’t be yourself, you’re not going to be focused on your work,” added John Hose, a senior business
consultant at EMC as well as president of that company’s LGBT employee group. “Happy employees are productive employees.” Sometimes, however, working for a progressive, prodiversity company is not a matter of productivity, but of life and death. As a company with 60,000 employees worldwide, EMC has workers in countries where homosexuality is not only frowned upon, but criminal. Hose tells a story of an employee who contacted him because the worker had nowhere else to turn. “The employee is from a foreign country where being gay is illegal,” said Hose, who didn’t even want to name the country out of fear for the worker’s safety. “The employee was looking for a transfer to another part of the company in another country.” While Hose is not aware of the outcome, because once human resources became involved it became a private personnel matter, he noted, “The corporate side understood what was at stake.” In this and other instances, “EMC becomes an oasis.” Even beyond such extreme examples, Hose said that EMC executives understand why paying attention to such issues is so important. “I have heard our executives speak,” said Hose. “They don’t want to be a company of small-minded bigots, for lack of a better way of putting it. This is the company they want to be, forward thinking and global.” [x]
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ALMOST ALL (96%) FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES THAT PROHIBIT SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY DISCRIMINATION SAY DIVERSITY IS GOOD FOR THEIR BOTTOM LINE.” Williams Institute
LGBT Employment by the Numbers WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORKPLACE, LGBT EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN MAKING STRIDES, BUT THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE
67% OF LGBT INVESTORS ARE BULLISH ON THEIR ECONOMIC PROSPECTS,
Here’s some of the stats on where LGBT rights stack up in the private sector and in law and other interesting tidbits.
compared to just
57% OF ALL INVESTORS
GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN EARN 10% TO 32% LESS than HETEROSEXUAL MEN.
UBS research, as reported by San Francisco Business Times
59 PERCENT OF LGBT
investors said they were extremely or very confident of reaching their financial goals COMPARED TO 52 PERCENT of other investors. UBS research, as reported by San Francisco Business Times
$1.00 $0.90 $0.68
252 COMPANIES have
achieved HRC CEI’s top rating of 100 percent
FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES
88% have a Sexual
Orientation EEO policy 57% have a Gender Identity EEO policy 62% provide Domestic Partnership Benefits for Health 25% provide Transgender Health Benefits
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar discrimination for LGBT citizens at the U.S. federal level, was passed by the U.S. Senate for the first time. The House of Representatives has refused to take up the legislation. Here’s how the Senate votes broke down by party:
64+Q+36 10+2Q324 52+ ENDA
YES  NO  REPUBLICAN REP. DID NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT INDEPENDENT
ALL 10 NEW ENGLAND SENATORS VOTED IN FAVOR OF ENDA
Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
37% OF LGBT POPULATION
48% OF LGBT POPULATION
52% OF LGBT POPULATION
lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
lives in states that do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Movement Advancement Project
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SEASONAL Resolutions STORY Scott Kearnan
You Say You Want A Resolution From hospitality to politics, we talked to prominent LGBT leaders from different spheres to tell us the goals they accomplished in 2013— and their big plans for the year ahead. Lee Swislow Executive Director, GLAD
2013: In terms of LGBT legal issues, there was a lot to celebrate in 2014. In June (Pride month!), the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and dismissed an appeal to Prop 8—and it’s hard to overstate the significance. “Anytime you go to the Supreme Court and win, it’s a huge year,” says Swislow, who is proud of the role her organization
played in the history making moment: GLAD organized the amicus strategy for the Windsor v. U.S. case that resulted in DOMA’s demise. And of course, GLAD has been instrumental in winning previous court battles that “helped lay the groundwork” for 2013’s Supreme Court climax. “The law is a series of building blocks,” explains Swislow. And closer to home, another very important block finally fell into place: the first day of equal marriage arrived in Rhode Island on August 1, 2013, fulfilling GLAD’s “6 x ‘12” campaign to get all six New England states on the side of same-sex couples. “When we announced that campaign, some people looked at us like we had three heads. They didn’t think we could do it,” says Swislow. “But we said, ‘let be bold. Let’s go for it.’ To now look at the map and see New England as a solid block of equality is an amazing thing.” 2014: Putting aside those reasons to rejoice, there’s still much work ahead. 2013 wasn’t all unmitigated successes; though the Employment
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Non-Discrimination Act passed the Senate, it is stalled in the House. And though GLAD was instrumental in shaping the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s guidelines (released in early 2013) for compliance to the new transgender non-discrimination law, Swislow knows that the fight for a public accommodations-inclusive law still lay ahead for GLAD. However, the organization will have to continue fighting without her at its helm. What is Swislow’s biggest transition in 2014? In April she will retire from GLAD, and she is honest about her resolution to devote a lot more time to her personal life. “It’s great to feel like I’ve been at GLAD through an amazing period where we’ve accomplished so much,” says Swislow, who became executive director in 2005. “But I’m really looking forward to changing my lifestyle, and living life at a slower pace.” She has every intention of staying “connected to the movement,” and even floats the idea of part-time work. (Perhaps, she muses, involving the issue of health care access; she’s a former nurse.) “I want to see what else emerges, and you don’t really know until you have the time to allow it.” After such a successful tenure, she’s earned all the time in the world.
“ I’m really looking forward to changing my lifestyle, and living life at a slower pace. ” Lee Swislow
Craig Coogan Executive director, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
2013: 2013 was especially special to Coogan. It was his first full year in Boston; previously with One Voice Mixed Chorus in St. Paul, he joined BGMC as executive director in October 2012. Yet he managed to oversee some big artistic triumphs over the last 12 months. The chorus performed for over 4,000 people on Boston Common as a featured act in the inaugural Outside the Box performing arts festival, an experience that spotlighted a gay arts organization for a diverse crowd that may not otherwise have been exposed to its work. In fact, finding ways to earn more eyeballs—in part via collaborations with other arts organizations—has become paramount. Coogan says that emergence of MASSCreative, a statewide arts advocacy group that formally launched in late 2012, was vital to developing new relationships over the last year. “When I first got here the chorus felt like a bit of an island: not fully connected to the gay community and not fully connected to the
arts community,” says Coogan. MASSCreative has fostered newfound relationships with other local arts organizations that will lead to collaborations in the year ahead, he said, and take advantage of the “natural connections” that exist among them. 2014: The overarching intent is to “introduce more people to the work of the Chorus,” says Coogan. And that means thinking beyond the finite seating available at Jordan Hall. Coogan says that he intends to ramp up the Chorus’s online presence by posting a larger number of performance videos. In May the Chorus will also release a 10-minute long video commemorating the 10-year anniversary of equal marriage in Massachusetts—and the role it played in those earlier battle days. (For instance, many don’t realize that on the day of the final marriage vote, Chorus members distributed CD copies of the song “Marry Us” to every legislator.) The video will also play a large role in June’s Pride concert, Can’t Stop the Beat, which will for the first time implement large video projection screens so that “the history of the LGBT movement can be told through song and video,” says Coogan. “Audiences today are used to interacting with art in a variety of ways. There so many more ways we can get people engaged.” Ready: Action!
Frank Ribaudo Founder and Co-owner, Club Café 2013: Some of us dreaded turning 30. (Remember the Will & Grace episode featuring Jack’s third-life crisis?) But for Boston’s gay landmark Club Café, it was an amazing anniversary in more ways than one. On the professional
backing away, I’m doing it at a time when Club Café couldn’t be healthier.”
Linda DeMarco President, Boston Pride
Joe Posa and Frank RIbaudo front, says Ribaudo, business is booming and the restaurant and nightspot enjoyed its most successful year in nearly a decade. (That includes a 20 percent increase in dining room activity.) That would be impressive any time, but especially when one considers that Club Café is getting stronger while other gay bars are shuttering: victims of a more inclusive culture (upside!) that has taken business away from LGBT-focused businesses (downside). Not only is Club Café bucking the trend, it’s doing so while holding fast to its gay identity. In 2013 it scored “Best Gay Club” in Boston magazine’s annual “Best of Boston” awards for the first time in years. But there was also a major milestone in Ribaudo’s personal life. In October 2013 he married his longtime partner Joe Posa in a ceremony that culminated with a community celebration at—where else?—Club Café.
2014: Marriage has made quite an impact on Ribaudo, who says he used to think tying the knot would just be a matter of “making things official.” “I was wrong,” he admits. “It feels different and wonderful.” And that’s why he’s resolved to spend a lot more time with his husband—and less, we admit we’re sad to say, in Boston. “I’ll be spending about 25 percent of my time in Boston and 75 percent at our home in Florida,” says Ribaudo. “It’s a huge transition time for me, I’m 69 years old, and I really want more time to spend with my husband and family.” He says he’ll continue to oversee operations, but general manager and co-owner Jim Morgrage will be steering the ship. “Over the last couple of years I’ve really handed over a lot of the reigns to Jim. That’s been hard for me, because I like control!” laughs Ribaudo. “But he’s been doing an amazing job. If I’m going to be
2013: Dearco scored a hat trick in 2013, with the community stalwart earning three awards in a single month. In October, DeMarco was awarded the Community Service Award at an annual banquet held by Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) New England. She received from Governor Deval Patrick one of six Larry D. Meehan Tourism Awards at the Governor’s Conference of Travel and Tourism, recognizing that Boston Pride’s 10-day calendar of events attracts about 1 million visitors to the region as one of the nation’s largest Pride parades. And the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus honored DeMarco with its Abigail Adams award, which recognizes the state’s most outstanding female leaders. “It was incredibly humbling,” says DeMarco of the trio of top honors. “It made me step back and think about the impact I can have.” Another reason to step back: to take in the
JAN|FEB 2014 | 37
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fact that 2013’s Boston Pride was the largest to date, with the biggest turnout and most parade marchers in a storied 40-year history. 2014: This year, promises DeMarco, Boston Pride won’t just be interested in being big. “We really want to make our Pride much more diverse,” says DeMarco, who has resolved to create a celebration that lives up to the 2014 theme: “Be Yourself, Change the World.” She says that this year the 10-day Pride calendar will be segmented into dates that specifically reach out to specific communities within the larger LGBT population: Black, Latino, and Transgender Pride days are among those on the horizon. “It’s all about diversifying the calendar,” says DeMarco. She says another focus in 2014 will be to continue supporting sister Pride celebrations around the country. She says Boston Pride, which will be attending June’s WorldPride 2014 events in Toronto, can do even more to offer support and guidance to groups that struggle in less progressive regions. “We live on a very progressive island called Massachusetts,” says DeMarco. “We’re very lucky here, but if you visit our neighbors to the south you see them struggling with some of the same things we struggled with 16 years ago.” Finally, she adds that there will also be the return of something that brings all Bostonians of all stripes together: the Red Sox. Expect another Pride Night at Fenway Park. Homerun!
Corey Yarbrough Co-founder and executive director, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition
2013: The last year was one of significant growth, says
Corey Yarbrough Yarbrough, referring to both literal size and reputation. “I think HBGC is something that people are now forced to take more seriously. When we started, there was a sense of, ‘Oh, here’s this cute group trying to make a difference,’” chuckles Yarbrough, who launched the organization in 2009. “We’re now approaching a $200,000 budget with hired staff members.” Increased clout, too. In 2013 the HBGC released a series of videos featuring in-depth, half-hour interviews with 10 of the 12 Boston Mayoral candidates, highlighting their platforms on issues that specifically affect LGBT communities of color. (11 candidates accepted the invitation. Only one, Republican David Wyatt, did not respond.) Attracting major politicos demonstrated HBGC’s growing stature. So do hard numbers, like those associated with its November LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference, which has exploded from 75 participants to, in its third year, over 230. (HBGC also expanded its mentorship program, which matches up LGBTQ youth of color with professionals who can provide support.) Galvanizing youth is crucial, says
Black and Latino organization, people always expect us to be criticizing the Black and Latino communities for being homophobic. But we never do the opposite,” he explains. “We never analyze racism that exists within the mainstream, predominantly white LGBT community, and how that affects us. In 2014 I want to see more action and organizing around that.”
Daniel Heller Founder, The Welcoming Committee Yarbrough; they are, after all, HGBC’s future leaders. “We’re really interested in what it will look like to have even more people from our community dictating the work of the HBGC, and bringing them to the forefront. We have a whole next generation we’ll need to pass the torch.” 2014: Moving forward, HBGC is resolved to augment its own diversity—and to deepen conversations around disparate topics. “In 2014 we really want to engage more women,” says Yarbrough. “Because the word gay is in our name, many people assume we’re just for men.” He says that while HGBC is working to increase its women-focused programming, it is also looking to increase discussion around “taboo topics that we know are impacting our entire community, but don’t talk about.” For instance, the experience of LGBT people reentering the population after jail, “marginalized people within an already marginalized community”; the HGBC has previously collaborated on events with Black and Pink, and advocacy organization for LGBT prisoners and allies. Yarbrough would also like to see other circles of the LGBT movement confront their own prejudices. “As a
2013: It was a year of success and strategizing for TWC, says founder Daniel Heller. His network-building enterprise is rooted in Guerilla Queer Bar, a movement of recurring one-night-only “takeovers” of traditionally straight bars by throngs of twenty- and thirty-something gays. But today, GQB is just one facet of TWC, which has become a much more robust entity since a 2012 rebranding. “2012 was when we realized that we weren’t an events company, but a community building organization,” says Heller of the TWC, which now boasts everything from culture vulture outings to professional networking nights and “#DestinationTakeover” field trips. (Kathy Griffin at Mohegan, or a gay ski trip to Mount Snow? Let’s go!) With a rearticulated purpose, 2013 became a year for TWC to “build ourselves to that identity,” says Heller. And they had some important help in the process: The Welcoming Committee was one of 15 companies selected by PayPal for its inaugural class of “Start Tank” startups. The e-commerce behemoth established the Start Tank as an incubator for nascent businesses with bright ideas: TWC received co-working space at
Daniel Heller PayPal’s One International Place offices, and mentorship from an out PayPal executive. These resources helped TWC expand (it now operates in Philadelphia and a team of 30 core volunteers) and refine: members are now evenly split between men and women, equilibrium Heller had been working to achieve. 2014: With so much strategizing accomplished, 2014 is the year to “unleash the movement,” says Heller. Among other plans, the company will be expanding to additional cities (expect them to take a bite out of the Big Apple), and growing its series of “Newbie” mixers where TWC volunteers—trained to “hug people and act as social lubrication”—shepherd new members of the flock. But wait: in 2014, in the bluest of blue states, why bank on a comfort-building business for members of a generation with overwhelmingly supportive peers? (Some surveys place support for same-sex marriage at 80-plus percent among twenty-somethings.) “There’s a misconception that everyone feels comfortable everywhere. Everyone is at their
own individual space on the spectrum,” says Heller. “Think about the symphony,” he elaborates, referring to the site of a recent “takeover.” “It would probably be unlikely that the person holding the cello is homophobic. But if you walk in as a gay person—what about all the older people in the crowd?” Sure enough, TWC events are regular sellouts: if you build it, they will come.
Harvey Makadon Director, National LGBT Health Education Center 2013: As a part of the Fenway Institute, the National LGBT Health Education Center provides health care organizations around the country with programs and resources to better understand and care for LGBT people. Of course, you can’t teach a student unwilling to learn—but Makadon says 2013 was a year that showed honest, earnest interest in every corner of the country. “I don’t want to sound like some Northern snob, but there has been incredible interest in LGBT health from Southern states,” says Makadon, adding that a recent Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health disparities and the
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Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 campaign have both galvanized interest in the issue. Makadon travels the country—from Little Rock, Arkansas to Jackson, Mississippi, a city with one of the highest rates of new HIV infection in the country—to lead vital programs that help health care practitioners understand LGBT issues and tailor prevention, education, and treatment appropriately. “These are people coming to us and saying, ‘we want to offer better care and more affirmative programs,’” says Makadon. In fact, he says, there is especially renewed interest in understanding gender identity development (to inform care for trans patients), and understanding the challenges of HIV prevention in marginalized communities like Black MSM. The Center also continued to produce free “webinars” and this year collaborated with the Center for American Progress to develop two documents related to LGBT people and the Affordable Care Act. 2014: Makadon will continue to earn frequent flier miles in the year ahead, funding has allowed the Center to continue to grow: new programs are planned in North Carolina and Arkansas in January, followed by Mississippi and a presence at New
Orleans’ National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium in May. But Makadon would love to spend more time close to home, too—and not just to give his suitcase a rest. “We take a lot of things or granted in places like Massachusetts, and it can make us less likely to recognize the importance of these discussions and programs,” says Makadon, who can sometimes detect greater passion and interest in less apparently progressive places than at institutions in our own backyard. “The last thing we should do is become complacent and believe these things aren’t worthy of our attention.”
Rebecca Haag CEO, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts 2013: It was a year of both change and constancy. In June 2013, the AIDS Action Committee entered into a “strategic partnership” with Fenway Health, an act that leverages the resources of both the state’s leading service provider to those with HIV/AIDS and one of the world’s largest LGBT-focused health care centers. As an internal matter, this means each organization will retain individual identities while operating under a single corporate structure; some members of AIDS
Action’s Board of Directors joined Fenway’s board, which now oversees financials and governance for both. To those who receive AAC services, on the other hand, the only real change will be even greater efficiency. Though the AAC wasn’t the only organization to link up with Fenway in a new way last year: the LGBT Aging Project became an affiliate of the Fenway Institute, and the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth became partner with Fenway on a grant to study health disparities among LGBTQ youth of color. And Haag says these intersections speak to organizations’ growing awareness of the value in collaboration. “In many ways, I think we’re all learning that we have to integrate our resources if we really want to get to the hardest to reach populations,” says Haag. “We need to be
“ If we want to be truly successful in eradicating HIV/AIDS, and achieve full equality for all in our community, we need to continue taking a look in 2014 of how we include those people who have become marginalized. ” Rebecca Haag thinking about building new relationships.” 2014: Expect to see even more relationships taking root, says Haag, who says the AAC remains resolved in its quest to address disparities among vulnerable and particularly marginalized populations like homeless and transgender youth, and communities of color. “If we want to be truly successful in eradicating HIV/AIDS, and achieve full
equality for all in our community, we need to continue taking a look in 2014 of how we include those people who have become marginalized,” says Haag. She says that the AAC wants meetings with organizations like the NAACP and Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts to develop partnerships toward that end. “Just as Black and Latin leaders stood up for us, we have to be more vocal in standing
up for others who working toward equality,” says Haag. “That will be the true test of leadership in our community.” Of course, there’ something else needed, too: funding. To that end, Haag hopes that the current administration will resolve to make HIV/AIDS funding a major priority. “We need the resources to build these bridges,” says Haag. Massachusetts has been particularly successful in the fight against the epidemic, reducing new diagnoses of HIV by 53 percent since 1999. But state HIV/AIDS funding has decreased too: from nearly $52 million to $32 million in the past 13 years. Haag worries about the ability to sustain past successes, and achieve new ones, without appropriate resources; she hopes the governor will see an opportunity to seal the deal with an additional $4 million in funding
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for which advocates have been lobbying. “This could be a legacy for this administration,” says Haag. “He has been great on gay marriage. He has been pushing health care reform. He could be seen as the leader who helped to eliminate HIV in Massachusetts. But it comes at a cost, and it’s time for this administration to step up and take a leadership role to invest in something that will save lives and health care costs.”
Grace Sterling Stowell Executive Director, Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth (BAGLY) 2013: BAGLY got a new home this year, moving into an expansive new program and office space that is open five days a week to provide a larger scope of services for LGBTQ youth. There’s a library, cybercenter, free sexual health clinic, and ample community space for everything from movie nights to vogue practice. “It’s the fulfillment of a dream we’ve had for 33 years,” enthuses Stowell. And it offers BAGLY’s young leaders a consistently available space to find resources, safety—and most importantly, each other. At the same time, BAGLY
has continued to expand and strengthen youth leadership in its statewide network of 15 other similar AGLY organizations. 2014: Besides looking forward to the Creating Change Conference in late January, Stowell is excited to see how the new space impacts BAGLY’s ability to build young peer leaders and connect with “priority populations” that include youth of color, transgender youth, and homeless/ low-income youth. (Expanding on community partnerships, she adds, is crucial to this as well.) She’s also looking forward to give the new space an official name; in fact, she encourages the community to visit bagly.org by January 31 to participate in the “Name Our Space” concept to dub the new office.
Stacey Furtado Co-Chair, Young Leaders Council of Fenway Health 2013: The YLC is an initiative of Fenway Health that unites twenty- and thirtysomething LGBT leaders who want to contribute meaningfully: its $25/month donation minimum makes it an accessible entry point for young philanthropists. But the larger goal is to galvanize
Create a legacy for a world without cancer. Include Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in your estate plans, and help support cutting-edge research and compassionate patient care for families like Meg and Carla.
Stacey Furtado a generation’s excitement for the Fenway community, with ongoing social events—from craft beer tastings to cocktail parties at member homes—as integral to the YLC’s identity as its more service-oriented elements. This still-young (launched in 2010) organization makes a major impact, raising $100,000 for Fenway Health in 2013 alone. That includes $37,000 from YLC participation in Harbor to the Bay, triple the amount raised last year and reflecting nearly quadruple the participation—a testament to the rapid growth of the YLC, which now boasts over 175 members. 2013 also saw the organization celebrate some programmatic milestones by hosting its first transgender focused event (a intimate “How to Be a Better Ally” discussion) and partnering with the You Can Play Project for a panel discussion about coming out in athletics with two-time Olympic ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow. 2014: “We offer an opportunity to open people’s eyes to different aspects of gay culture in Boston,” says Furtado, who became YLC co-chair in 2013. She says she discovered the organization because she had
been “craving the sense of community” she had found in college LGBT organizations; and because, as a young leader in her late 20s, she noticed a distinct “lack of youth participation” in major events like the Women’s Dinner Party. “I thought I could help to change that,” says Furtado, who has worked with YLC members to set some ambitious goals for 2014: paramount is achieving a total of 250 members by the end of the fiscal year. (Though not one to shy from a challenge, Furtado has a “reach” goal in mind that is even higher.) To that end the organization will continue to organize calendars full of social and networking events that connect other local LGBT leaders who like their activism with, say, a side of craft cocktails at a trendy bar. (Hey, some of the best ideas are born that way.) And the centerpiece is the YLC Anniversary Party, celebrating its fourth year on Saturday, February 1 (7-11PM) at the Revere Hotel Boston Common’s Space 57, a party warehouse that will be filled with dancing to DJ Brian Derrick, flowing cocktails, and a still-secret surprise speaker. For tickets ($20), visit facebook. com/ylcfenway. [x]
Dana-Farber patient Meg (left) and her wife, Carla INVEST IN TOMORROW’S CURES TODAY Learn more: Alice Tobin Zaff, Director of Gift Planning 800-535-5577 • firstname.lastname@example.org
SEASONAL Travel STORY Scott Kearnan
Sleeping Under The Stars This Valentine’s Day, choose a gay-friendly getaway that’s destined to be heavenly
[BELOW] Dining at Flannel, Topnotch Resort. [OPPOSITE] The firepit at The Roost, Topnotch Resort
“Hey, baby: what’s your sign?” It’s the oldest pickup line in the book, but it comes in handy well beyond setting up the first date. On February 14, you’ll want to spend a romantic night with your loved one. Where to go? Choose a gay-friendly getaway that will suit your other half’s zodiac sign—or their distinct interests and personality, anyway—and prepare to be leave them starry-eyed. Aries Aries is all about action. This headstrong sign (represented by the ram, naturally) plunges into everything, especially adventure, with aplomb. Sure, it can be tiring to keep pace with a partner so independent and impulsive. But there’s an upside to Aries’ brashness and NASCAR-level need for speed: you’ll never, ever be bored. Getaway: TOPNOTCH RESORT. Even on a romantic getaway, you’ll need to keep Aries fully stimulated. (In more ways than one.) And recently reopened,
after a $15 million renovation, Topnotch is the place to do it. It’s also the only resort in Stowe, Vermont to be approved by TAG: an accreditation program for gay-friendly accommodations run by the LGBT tourism organization Community Marketing, Inc. Somewhat resembling an Aspen escape, this luxurious Green Mountains-side resort has tiered, firepitlit stone terraces with pools, tennis courts and bocce ball: plus two restaurants—the more formal Flannel bistro and casual Roost lounge—that feel like citified versions of log cabin lodging. (Expect hip beers and farm-fresh fare.) But more importantly to Aries, there’s the Nordic Barn and Experience Center: Topnotch’s concierge-like services that curate
JAN|FEB 2014 | 45
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Burns & Levinson is a Boston-based law firm with over 120 attorneys and offices Burns & Levinson a Boston-based firm Merrimack with over 120 attorneys and Shore, offices in Providence and Newis York, as well aslaw in the Valley / North Providence andShore New York, as in the Merrimack / North Shore, MetroinWest and South areasas of well Massachusetts. We work Valley with entrepreneurs, Metro West and South Shore areas of Massachusetts. We work with entrepreneurs, emerging businesses, private and public companies and individuals in sophisticated emerging businesses, private and public companies and individuals in sophisticated business transactions, litigation and private client services – family law, trusts & business transactions, litigation and private client services – family law, trusts & estates, marriage and divorce law. estates, marriage and divorce law. burnslev.com 617.345.3000 burnslev.com 617.345.3000 Office Office Locations: Boston (HQ),(HQ), Andover, Hingham, New York, Providence, Waltham Locations: Boston Andover, Hingham, New York, Providence, Waltham
married residents who had been legally married in an equality state to terminate their marriage in Colorado without having to change their residency. New married been legally Mexico,residents which iswho thehad only state in the married in an equality state to terminate nation to have no laws banning or their marriage in Colorado without legalizing same-sex marriage, does having to change their residency. recognize same-sex marriagesNewthat Mexico, is the only state in the occur inwhich marriage equality states. Samenation to have no laws banning or sex couples living in New Mexico, but legalizing same-sex marriage, does married in a marriage equality state, can recognize same-sex marriages that legally get divorced in New Mexico. occur in marriage equality states. Samesex couples living in New Mexico, but The issue of residency and jurisdictional married in a marriage equality state, can requirements is being addressed by legally get divorced in New Mexico.
a number of states that recognize
same-sex In some marriage The issue ofmarriage. residency and jurisdictional equality states, laws are by being requirements is remedial being addressed aenacted number toof allow states divorces that recognize between same-sex some marriage same-sex marriage. spouses In who married in a equality remedial being marriagestates, equality state laws whenare their home enacted to allow it,divorces states prohibited thereby between exempting same-sex spouses who marriedCurrently, in a residency requirements. marriage equality state when their home California, Washington D.C., Minnesota, states prohibited it, thereby exempting and Delaware allow non-residents residency requirements. Currently, that married in one of these states to California, Washington D.C., Minnesota, obtain a divorce there if neither spouse and Delaware allow non-residents livesmarried in a state willthese legally dissolve that in that one of states to their marriage. obtain a divorce there if neither spouse lives in a state that will legally dissolve Vermont follows strict standards by their marriage. which non-resident spouses may return
Vermont follows standards by the to Vermont to get strict divorced so long as which spouses may return couplenon-resident was married in Vermont, neither to Vermont to getin divorced long as legally the spouse resides a state so that can couple married inthe Vermont, grant awas dissolution, coupleneither does not spouse resides in children, a state that can aren’t legallyany have any minor there grant a dissolution, the couple does not protective orders between the spouses, have any minor children, there aren’t any and all issues concerning the marital protective orders between the spouses, estate are resolved by agreement. and all issues concerning the marital estate are resolved by agreement.
A Few Creative Strategies
AWith Few Creative Strategies of residents of the exception marriage equality where divorce With the exceptionstates of residents of options are the same for marriage equality states wheredifferent-sex divorce and same-sex residents of options are the couples, same forand different-sex and same-sex couples, and residents of one of the special states with exceptions one of the special states with exceptions
3p to d mar and
That said, it is important for all couples, mentioned above, most spouses seeking especially same-sex couples, to consider a divorce find themselves in a state of executing a prenuptial agreement prior to limbo – just what they do not need at getting married. Prenuptial agreements what is a most stressful time. Some That said, it isproperty important forother all couples, mentioned most spouses seeking settle and financial rights creativeabove, and tenacious couples, however, especially same-sex couples, to consider a divorce find themselves in a state of and obligations before a couple enters have gone to interesting lengths to executing a prenuptialand agreement limbo – just what do not need at a marriage, every prior state torecognizes terminate theirthey marriages. getting them married. Prenuptial agreements what is a most stressful time. Some regardless of the couple’s sexual property and other financial rights creative and tenacious couples, however, Recently, a stealthy lesbian couple settle in orientation. Alternatively, postnuptial and obligations before a couple enters haveOklahoma gone to used interesting lengths only their initialstoduring agreements, which are entered into after a marriage, and every state recognizes terminate their marriages. and was actually divorce proceedings marriage, can be used to settle property them regardless of the couple’s sexual granted a divorce. However, once the and financial rights and obligations in Recently, a stealthy lesbian couple in orientation. Alternatively, postnuptial court caught wind of their same-sex the unfortunate event of a future divorce Oklahoma used only their initials during agreements, which are entered into after divorce, the court declared the andcanare regardless of divorce proceedings and later was actually marriage, be also used recognized to settle property dissolution void. In another case that sexual orientation. granted a divorce. However, once the and financial rights and obligations in arose before Rhode Islandsame-sex had legalized court caught wind of their the unfortunate event of a future divorce Additionally, in aregardless situationof where a same-sex divorce, the marriage, court latera lesbian declaredcouple the that and are also recognized same-sex couple has a child of the marriedvoid. in Massachusetts but resided in dissolution In another case that sexual orientation. arose beforeIsland Rhode explored Island hadalegalized marriage, and where only one of the Rhode more drastic Additionally, situation whereora adoptive same-sex marriage, a lesbian couple athat parentsinisa the biological alternative in order to attain divorce: same-sex couple child ofparent the should married in Massachusetts but resided in parent, the has othera intended One spouse explored sexual reassignment marriage, and where only one of the Rhode Island explored a more drastic adopt the child in order to avoid later surgery to change the gender on her birth parentschild is the biological or adoptive alternative in order to portray attain a their divorce: custody disputes. Finally, samecertificate so as to marriage parent, the other intended parent should One spouse explored sexual reassignment sex divorcing couples should retain a as between a man and a woman. adopt the child in order to avoid later surgery to change the gender on her birth family law attorney in their state who child custody disputes. Finally, samecertificate so as to portray their marriage Same-sex divorcing couples who live is knowledgeable and experienced with sex divorcing couples should retain a as between a man and a woman. in non-recognition states can ask the the nuances of same-sex divorce and family law attorney in their state who court for “equitable relief” when the custody matters regardingwith children of Same-sex divorcing couples who live is knowledgeable and experienced court in their state refuses to apply its same-sex couples. Obtaining in non-recognition states can ask the the nuances of same-sex divorce and effective own divorce statutes or the laws of and knowledgeable legalof counsel court for “equitable relief” when the custody matters regarding children thein state that refuses legalized the marriage. court their state to apply its through marriage and divorce will same-sex couples. Obtaining effective is aor judgment on ownEquitable divorce relief statutes the laws based of minimize the legal that results and knowledgeable legalturmoil counsel the what state isthat the marriage. fair legalized and equitable when no other throughfrom marriage divorce will marriageand inequality. Equitable is a exists. judgmentEquitable based on relief, legal relief remedy minimize the legal turmoil that results what is fair and equitable wheninnothe other however, will not result grant from of marriage inequality. legaldivorce remedynor exists. Equitable relief, any judgment of divorce, however, will not result in the of due so remarriage will not be grant possible Attorney Jaime L. Pruzansky, a family divorce nor any judgment of divorce, to laws prohibiting multiple concurrent law solo practitioner not affiliated with so remarriage will not be possible due Attorney Burns Jaime L.&Pruzansky, family with the Levinson,a assisted marriages. But a judgment in equity to laws prohibiting multiple concurrent law solo practitioner notwriting affiliated research and of with this article. She can settle property rights, support Burns & can Levinson, assisted with233-0072. the be reached at (207) marriages. But a judgment in equity obligations, and custody and parenting research and writing of this article. She can settle property rights, support canarticle be reached at (207)&233-0072. plan protections. This by Burns Levinson LLP provides obligations, and custody and parenting plan protections.
general information and does not constitute
This article by Burns & Levinson LLP provides legal advice. All views expressed here are those general information and does not constitute of the authors and do not necessarily represent legal advice. All views expressed here are those Since “I Do” Doesn’t Fully It it is not easy the views of Boston Spirit Magazine. The bottom line is Do that of the authors and do not necessarily represent Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a for any couple – whether same-sex or the views of Boston Spirit Magazine. Attorney The bottom line is that it is not easy similar outcome. advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a for different-sex any couple – –whether same-sex or to go through a divorce. similar outcome.
Since “I Do” Doesn’t Fully Do It
different-sex – to go through a divorce.
burns & levinson’s lgbt group
burns & levinson’s lgbt group Top (left to right):
Top (left EllentoJ.right): Zucker - Employment Law, Business Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense EllenTimothy J. ZuckerJ.- Famulare Employment Law,Estate Business Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense - Real Timothy J. Famulare - Real Estate Laura R. Studen - Employment Litigation, Business Litigation, Family Law Litigation Laura R. Studen - Employment Litigation, Business Litigation, Family Law Litigation Donald E. Vaughan - Real Estate, Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning Donald E. Vaughan - Real Estate, Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning Lisa M. Cukier - Estate Litigation, Family Law, Business Litigation Lisa M. Cukier - Estate Litigation, Family Law, Business Litigation
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“Music 2” at Winvian
where every May Hidden Pond—owned by gay hotelier Tim Harrington, who held his wedding on its grounds—opens its luxurious 16 cottages and 20 bungalows nestled in the jade majesty of the Maine beach woods. With names like “Stargazer” and “Sweet Fern,” the high life-meets-great outdoors accommodations boast river-stone gas fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, Bose radios, flat-panel TVs, and a nearby heated swimming pool. But Taurus’s pronounced self-indulgent
Earth’s private dining Potting Shed at Hidden Pond
outdoorsy experiences (and can provide equipment) for any season, from après-ski fun to horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and much more. Active Aries can also stay in shape at the state-of-the-art spa and fitness center with personal trainers, daily classes and a separate indoor lap pool. In an area associated with laceand-doily bed & breakfasts, Topnotch is a rustic-glam retreat for the butch or bearish spouse that likes craft brews and fly-fishing by day, but sharing champagne in Fair Isle sweaters come sunset. (TopnotchResort.com; Stowe, Vermont)
Taurus Grounded and sensual, the bull is ruled by Earth. (Each zodiac sign is associated
48 | BOSTON SPIRIT
with one of four elements.) And a few you’ve dated might live in Log Cabins, if you catch our drift: responsible and hard working (if often obstinate), Taurus is a practical sort that loves the creature comforts of rich food and high thread-counts. Getaway: HIDDEN POND. By day you can hit the beach, browse boutiques and clink drinks over show tunes at Front Porch piano bar in neighboring gay resort town Ogunquit. (Which Taurus appreciates as the more sedate older sibling to party-happy P’town.) By night, retire with the blue bloods in tony Kennebunkport,
Dining at Earth, Hidden Pond
side will really squeal over the Tree Spa: built into the forest canopy and connected by catwalks, its three treatment rooms offer muscle-melting massages, facials, and body treatments. Gourmet gluttony will be satisfied by the restaurant Earth (apropos!), commandeered by star chef
Ken Oringer, the same toque behind Toro in Boston’s South End “gayborhood.” The farm-to-fork menu offers rustic elegance: think chilled river oysters with lemonhyssop mignonette and blue fin tuna poke with shiso, soy and maple. Don’t forget a nightcap (and s’mores) at the Back Porch Bar overlooking nightly bonfires. (HiddenPondMaine.com; Kennebunkport, Maine)
Gemini If you’re trying to win trivia night at the gay bar, get Gemini on your team. Intellectually curious but overloaded with nervous energy, they flit among interests (ahem, in all senses) learning little about a lot. That fast-talking flirt who can quote Cher lyrics and discuss quantum physics over cocktails? He’s a twin, but with more than two sides. Getaway: WINVIAN. It might throw your Gemini lover’s natural indecisiveness into overdrive, but they’ll flip a lid while browsing the exciting 19 cottage options that available on the Winvian’s meticulously maintained 113-acre
property. Each private accommodation is elaborately designed to reflect a different theme: but don’t worry, we don’t mean the kind of hokey “Caveman Love Dens” you’d find at highway motels that rent by the hour. (Ooh! A vibrating bed and wooly mammoth rugs!) Winvian, which boasts a serene, glassy pond and borders a lush, 4000-acre forest for hiking and horseback riding, is an elegant estate where you can curl up with a good book in the “Library” cottage, with its huge stone fireplace and bookcase-lined balconies; chip around the “Golf” cottage, with its undulating putting green floors; or hang inside the “Helicopter” cottage, sipping champagne and watching a flat screen TV inside a restored 1960s chopper that dominates your own personal hanger. This veritable variety show is perfect for Gemini’s inquisitiveness. Prepare to drop a pretty penny (all-inclusive packages are available), but this perfectly picturesque getaway is worth every dime. It’s also a history maker: shortly after Connecticut legalized gay marriage, Winvian hosted the first gay wedding ever featured in
The Casino of the Sky at Mohegan Sun. [OPPOSITE] Avalon at Mohegan Sun
names like “Cutting Edge Knife Skills” and “Introduction to Indian.”) When your top chef needs a break, pull up a seat at Amuse, the resort’s fine dining destination, or its cozy and casual Tavern. Or just enjoy a day of hot air ballooning before the resort’s Saturday marshmallow roasts. (Even a fledgling chef can’t mess up S’mores.) Be sure to spend time in neighboring Burlington, Vermont’s largest city and home to the state’s annual Pride celebrations, where a progressive, earthy-crunchy downtown holds charming bookshops, quirky antique stores and restaurants focused on locally sourced, organic ingredients. Bonus: Cancer will appreciate that the Essex is petfriendly, so no four-legged family member needs to be left behind. (EssexResortSpa. com; Essex, Vermont)
Essex Culinary Resort and Spa
Leo Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. (Winvian.com; Morris, Connecticut)
Cancer If you care for a Cancer, you know this is a highly emotional sign. Vulnerable and (often overly) sensitive, Cancer’s mood changes like the tides governed by its ruler, the Moon. There’s a reason you put up with some crabbiness: Cancer is a deeply loving, extremely maternal caregiver with an innate need to build the perfect love nest. Getaway: THE ESSEX CULINARY RESORT & SPA. If anything can make your Cancer crawl out of its shell, it’s the
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comforts of home and hearth. In anatomy, the sign rules the breast and stomach: Cancers find comfort in food, and cooking is partly how they show affection. So they’ll adore the Essex, a “culinary resort and spa” that attracts the glamorous gourmand set. Though there’s a 10-room spa, award-winning tennis courts, and the region’s only executive golf course, the main attraction at the Essex is its Cook Academy, offering a huge spread of a la carte culinary classes daily. (Think course
Every lion is both a king and a cub. Ruled by the Sun, Leo sees itself as the center of creation, a diva demanding the spotlight in relationships. (How nice of you to co-star!) That arrogance can seem insufferable, or charming and childlike—because regal Leos are fiercely loyal lovers and lavish spenders who want to show others a grand time. Getaway: MOHEGAN SUN. Leos are the zodiac’s natural entertainers, and rules the fifth “house” of the horoscope, which governs pleasure, games, and general revelry. Casinos are ultimate play palaces: so the over-the-top offerings at Mohegan Sun, a member of Connecticut’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, will suit the lion nicely. That its name nods to the
sun association doesn’t hurt. Leos love to gamble (just restrain them when overconfident), eat well (hit up Todd English’s Tuscany) and party, so pop corks of bubbly at Mohegan’s just-opened Avalon nightclub while bumping and grinding to big name DJs. (And fondly reminiscing of Avalon days of yore.) Glittery live spectacles are straight up Leo’s alley, and the Mohegan Sun arena, ranked third in the country by Billboard magazine, hosts Cher and Lady Gaga in months ahead. Finally, after a robust romp in the hay (luxury suite for Leo, please), book reservations for a couples massage at Elemis Spa. Your fat cat (figuratively speaking, Leo responds, fluffing a mane) will be purring
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with contentment. (MoheganSun.com; Uncasville, Connecticut)
Virgo A Virgo could never hide in the closet: they’d rather keep it neat. Meticulous perfectionists (but note, not prudes), Virgo spouses argue using PowerPoint and correct the grammar in your love notes. Hypercritical? Maybe. But mostly just discerning, the brilliant better half you can’t help but admire for keeping both your lives in order. Getaway: HANOVER INN. For a judicious mind like Virgo, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect getaway than a refined,
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The Hanover Inn
historic hotel that is actually owned by an Ivy League university. The Hanover Inn, the oldest continuous business in New Hampshire (Virgo will fact-check that), once did double-duty as a women’s dormitory for Dartmouth College. But today this charming, 108-room neo-Georgian hotel overlooking the campus Green is enjoying recent renovations that smartly updated its formerly old-school New England
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interior with bold flourishes of contemporary sophistication. It also added the sleek PINE Restaurant, creation of Boston chefrestaurateur Michael Schlow (Tico, Via Matta), which wouldn’t feel out of place in the South End. (The nearby Canoe Club is a favorite tavern for gay students and staff.) Virgo’s conscientious nature will love the Hanover’s eco-friendly efforts: composting leftover food to grow future garden-raised ingredients, among other initiatives. And you’ll want to demonstrate your own attentiveness by booking the “Romance Package,” which includes wine and chocolate covered strawberries. But what really turns on Virgo is a big brain. So take advantage of Dartmouth’s professorial presence in this college town, filled with quaint independently owned cafés and bookshops. Neighboring the Hanover is Hopkins Center for the Arts, staging live theater and music, and the Hood Museum of Art, boasting an encyclopedic collection of 6000 international artifacts (especially strong in Native American representation) and paintings by masters like
Picasso. (HanoverInn.com; Hanover, New Hampshire)
Libra To the sign of the scales, life and love is about achieving balance and harmony. So in marriage, they’re diplomatic dreams— yet also so wishy-washy, you sometimes wish they’d show more conviction. Libra gets involved in social justice too, but by hosting graceful HRC fundraisers at art museums (they’re culture vultures), not shouting on picket lines. Getaway: CAMDEN HARBOUR INN. Owned by gay couple Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest, this Maine gem
offers peace, tranquility and four-diamond dining in a wealthy summer colony: a mid-coast destination so picturesque, it was the setting for the Lana Turner film Peyton Place. Libra’s love of elegant
Dining at Natalie’s Restaurant, Camden Harbour Inn, Camden, ME
surroundings jibes with the Netherlands natives’ style of European luxury, found in tranquil ocean-side rooms decked in cheery yet calming hues of cream and violet. (Truly luxe is the Royal Dutch Suite,
with its own Finnish spa.) And Libra’s life mission to establish inner harmony and balanced relationships will be fulfilled by the spa’s special menu of “transformative experiences”: including “yoga and the art of compassionate communication,” a “food as medicine workshop” on holistic diet approaches, and a “relationship intimacy training course.” If the last works, you may want to scope the “Maine is for ALL! Lovers” same-sex wedding package or “Plunge with Pride” honeymoon experience. (With each, the inn makes a donation to the HRC.) And since Libra is an art lover, make a trip to the nearby Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. There the world’s largest Wizard of Oz collection, owned by gay Camden couple Willard Carroll and Tom Wilhite, displays 107 props and pieces related to the film and book through March. (CamdenHarbourInn. com; Camden, Maine)
Scorpio With Scorpio, you’re sure to score tail. The question: what kind? On one hand, the scorpion stings; ruled by war planet Mars, this secretive sign is not one to
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cross. On the other, the powerful sex drive is legendary; even the most vanilla Scorpio has a sprinkle of kink. This water sign exudes physical and emotional intensity that is icy hot. Getaway: REVERE HOTEL BOSTON COMMON. Since you won’t be moving too far from the mattress, Scorpio would just as soon have a staycation in a sexy city hotel. Revere does the trick. (No pun intended.) The 24-story tower, bordering Bay Village between Jacques Cabaret and the Theater District, boasts a rooftop pool and bar with sparkling white, Miami-style cabanas and the lower level Emerald Lounge, a green-glowing space age nightspot. Scorpio will surely get aroused by the hotel’s two steamy special offers for February: the “Screaming Orgasm” package includes a private mixology lesson with Kitty Amann, spirits expert and author of The Screaming Orgasm: 69 X-Rated Cocktails. And the “Midnight Ride” package features a 90-minute “boudoir” couples portrait session, with makeup artist, by pro photographer Allana Taranto, who is
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The roof deck at the Revere Hotel
experienced in shooting same-sex couples. (Nervous? Loosen up with complimentary prosecco.) When it’s time to get busy in one of the 356 guest rooms, each with private balcony, you’ll lay on your choice from a “pillow menu” of customizable options based on sleeping position (side or stomach?), anti-snore needs, and other wants. Or just toss it on the floor; Scorpio has other business to attend to. (RevereHotel. com; Boston, Massachusetts)
Sagittarius The third Fire sign: but while Aries is a spark and Leo a steady blaze, your sweet Sagittarius is a wildfire running amuck. (And probably running a mouth. The dinner party tact leaves a lot to be desired.) The rascally, lovable archer is a world traveler and armchair philosopher, shooting arrows at ideas and always filled with romantic wanderlust. Getaway: MJW ADVENTURES. Some lovers treasure their little black book. Sagittarius holds dear a little blue
beaches. Sagittarius feel right in their element, no matter where in the world you wind up. (MJWadventures.com)
One of the many friendly faces you will meet on MJW’s 15-day trip to Thailand, on eof their many adventure destinations one: a passport. Your lover needs someone they know is willing to see the world with them, so plan ahead to participate in an outing with MJW, a gay adventure tourism company. Each trip visits a different exciting destination and allows a couple to bond abroad while in the safety and
comfort of an LGBT group. Included on the horizon for 2014 is a weeklong white water rafting excursion at the Grand Canyon, including an overnight in Vegas, scenic helicopter ride, and the chance to explore area caves and waterfalls. There’s also a 15-day trip to Thailand for the romantic celebrations of Loy Krathong and Yi Peng, in which thousands of decorations are floated down a river and sky lanterns are launched to the heavens. The journey is jam-packed with opportunities to tour temples, attend festivals, ride elephants and splash on white sand
Just as the goat makes a slow, steady climb to the highest perch on the mountain, your Capricorn honey is determined to ascend to the top of any pecking order. Cynics may call them social climbers, but you see your sugar daddy/mama as a caring partner investing diligence and patience (and ample dry wit) into whatever will advance you both. Getaway: FORTY 1 NORTH. Newport was long the playground of American royalty, and their impressive sandcastles (“summer cottages” built for Vanderbilt, Astor, and other gilded age families) still remain. Capricorn craves to rub elbows with this type of elite, and Forty 1 North offers a waterfront outpost surrounded by Newport’s classic opulence—but in modern, urbane accommodations unique to town. Suave electronic house music—the kind you’d hear in a chic city cocktail bar— pulses on the large dockside lounge, which
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Christie’s Restaurant Dining Room at Forty 1 North
and a mural of black and white 1950s beach bunnies. Dessert comes upstairs: in your plush rooms with mosaic-tiled bathrooms boasting oversized spray showers and two-person soaking tubs. How sweet. (41North.com; Newport, Rhode Island) feels more “South Beach” than “southern New England.” Under a dramatic pavilion is a big, buzzing bar, where you can mingle with other pretty people (worth a pretty penny) and gaze out to Forty 1 North’s private marina full of yachts. Though you don’t need your own boat; the resort offers packages with private half-day fishing charters, with the option to have its chef prepare your catch for dinner at The Grill. Otherwise, tuck into Christie’s, Forty 1 North’s casual American eatery filled with bright, modish mid-century furnishings
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Aquarius With Aquarius, most love stories start as friendships. That’s because these eccentric idealists adore their freedom and are often more committed to aligning with dreamy nonprofits and activist groups than interpersonal relationships. But pin them down as partners and you’ll find a quirky, rebellious lover who is also a best bud. Getaway: KATE’S LAZY MEADOWS. If gay Aquarius was a band, they’d be The
B-52’s: that kooky surf- and alt-rock outfit with members that always seemed to have their wig-topped heads floating in space. So you know your personal water bearer will love the kitschy décor at Lazy Meadows, the Catskill Mountains motel owned by B-52’s singer Kate Pierson and her partner Monica Coleman. Found just over the western Massachusetts border, Lazy Meadows is made up of suite-style
shops and annual festivals that profess a progressive, peace-and-love worldview. (LazyMeadow.com; Mount Tremper, New York)
The Bubble trailer at Kate’s Lazy Meadows
log cabins, many with fireplaces and kitchenettes, each looking like a real life “Love Shack.” Expect a retro sensibility straight out of a ‘50s drive-in, where campy flea market finds share space with, say, drawers full of VHS B-movies. Aquarius will adore such idiosyncratic surroundings
when cuddling up after a day spent hiking on nearby Mount Tremper or fishing on the Esopus Creek behind the motel. And this hamlet holds a vibrant rural arts community; neighboring Woodstock, New York, the Age of Aquarius Mecca, is full of amazing art galleries, coffee
You left the house for groceries; you return to find your spouse adopted three cats. Sound familiar? This Water sign is so intensely empathetic it often wishes emotions had an “off” switch. Full of compassion (if sometimes needy), Pisces treasures your together time; even more gregarious fish require quiet to recharge psychic batteries. Getaway: ROSE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE. Solitude and a sea breeze is something Pisces craves. And as such a sensitive soul, they’ll appreciate knowing that you gave not just money, but your time to treat them to something special. So whisk them away to Rose Island Lighthouse, a short ferry ride off the coast of Newport. It boasts a well-kept secret: that you can enjoy accommodations on your own 18-acre island with a private beach, and unobstructed views of the ocean, for
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just a couple hundred dollars per night. In exchange for the very low rate, you simply volunteer as a “relief” light keeper and do few tiny tasks—like raise the flag and flip on the electric generator daily—to earn your keep. After that, you’re on your own to hit the beach for sunbathing or kayaking. Though the lighthouse-slashmuseum has been restored to its 1912 splendor, bear in mind that the guest room
is pretty basic—these are servant quarters, after all. But for the romantic experience of a lifetime and the ultimate in seaside solace, a few chores are worth the charm. (RoseIslandLighthouse.org; Newport, Rhode Island) [x]
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CULTURE Books STORY Peter Accardi
“ I want to make this store more friendly to lesbians, there is a perception that we are just for men of a certain age. We have many books for women, too. ” Brian Gale
Calamus Bookstore’s Brian Gale
Calamus Lives! John Mitzel’s LGBT bookstore lives on under the direction of longtime assistant manager Brian Gale There are bookstores—a diminishing breed, to be sure— and then there are bookstores for us—LGBT bookstores—and those are even more rare and heading to the danger zone. Boston is lucky to have one
of the few left in the country: Calamus Bookstore. Calamus is undergoing changes since the death in October of its owner John Mitzel, who also managed Calamus’s predecessor—Glad Day Bookstore on Boylston
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Street in Back Bay. When that store closed, Mitzel opened his own place on South Street near South Station. That was 13 years ago. Its name refers to a group of Walt Whitman’s poems in Leaves of Grass that speak of male same-sex attraction. Upon Mitzel’s death, Brian Gale, assistant manager who worked with Mitzel for 15 years, took over. The darkly handsome Gale knows much work must be done to keep Calamus open. Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia’s LGBT bookstore, is in a
holding pattern after its owner retired. New York City’s Oscar Wilde Bookstore went belly-up in 2009. A Different Light in San Francisco closed last year. Some bookstores around the country are more accurately described as stores that also sell gay books. Calamus is an authentic LGBT bookstore. You can feel its uniqueness as you descend the five stairs from the sidewalk and open the glass door with black wood trim. You are hit by grand displays of books that tell of our heroes and chronicle our stories, from Alexander the Great to Liberace; through Gertrude Stein and Fran Lebowitz. Books of all kinds. Scholarly history books, fiction and non-fiction, “how-to” books, picture books of men in Speedos and less, small books with small print and large books with almost no print but lots of pictures. There are many rare books you won’t find anywhere else, and, way in the back, the X-rated fare—magazines like Men, Mandate, and First Hand, and a large selection of male erotic DVDs—okay, porn, if you prefer. Calamus has a sea of goodies for every taste.
You can see on the right a wide bookcase of newer books and under the counter DVDs of movies you might have seen at gay film festivals. Behind the counter, you will see Gale, whose prominent eyebrows rise in a hello as you enter. He will not always be there because he is often on the floor. There is much to do just to keep the shelves in order. He recently hired a helper. “I haven’t had a day off in three months—not since John went into the hospital for chemotherapy,” Gale said on the day I visited. He has large shoes to fill. Mitzel was a giant figure in and out of the bookstore. In 1978 he cofounded Fag Rag, the nation’s first gay male periodical; he also wrote books and columns and had a life full of political activism. Gale knows the changing landscape all too well. The Internet, especially Amazon. com, has deeply hurt the bookstore business, and Calamus is a little out of the way for shoppers, nestled down a narrow street a few blocks east of Chinatown. And how does Gale propose to keep Calamus afloat? He is excited by the question. “Pricing, pricing, pricing. I’m going to sell off the old inventory at competitive prices. Give people an incentive to buy books,” he said, with the confidence of a man with a plan. “I’ll take a page from Barnes & Noble and take off 30 percent. Discounting is the reality.” He plans other steps. “I want to make this store more friendly to lesbians,” he said. “There is a perception that we are just for men of a certain age,” and he pointed to the 10 or so older guys rustling through books. “We have many books for women, too.” And he sprang up and returned with a couple of them. “Here’s a
bio of Lillian Faderman, My Mother’s Wars. Here is a book that has generated interest, too.” He held up Radical Relations—Lesbian Mothers, Gay fathers and Their Children in the United States Since World War II. “Women visit our store, but we need more of them.” Gale plans more events as well. “Donna Minkowitz came by for a reading of her book Growing Up Golem, a GLAAD Media Award winner. And Joe Putignano was a huge success.” The muscular Putignano is the author of Acrobaddict, about his life as a world class gymnast. Recently, Tim Teeman visited and autographed his book In Bed with Gore Vidal. “Some 30 people attended, and we sold out,” Gale said. “We’ll be inviting more writers. We can help each other out.” Nothing is off the table. Gale is even thinking of adding books from The New York Times best-seller list that would interest the community. “A gay bookstore can be viable. But it has to be done smartly,” he says. “I would never alienate our regular customers, so it will be a balancing act. We’ll reach out to college students right away. There will be a 10 percent discount for them.” Gale envisions selling more than books, using a formula used in other stores. We hope to add boutique-type stuff— handmade greeting cards, for example. I’d like more idiosyncratic vendors who offer things like T-shirts that appeal to the community. But it needs to be the right fit for Calamus. It’s crucial to create a place where you can get things no one else offers.” [x]
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CULTURE Books STORY Loren King
Michael Broski PHOTO marilyn Humphries
Myth and Reality New book tackles 21 myths about LGBT life and people “That’s just not true!” How often have you screamed that phrase at the TV when an ignorant talking head spouts “facts” about LGBT people? How often have you wanted to scream it at a dinner party or office function when a stranger offers a lame attempt at humor at LGBT folks’ expense? Well, a new book by three noted gay authors does all that and more. You Can Tell Just By Looking: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (Beacon Press) analyzes, provides contexts for,
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and dispels misconceptions that straights often hold about gays, and some enduring myths and stereotypes that even gay people hold about ourselves. The book is written by three renowned LGBT scholars: Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini and Michael Amico. It’s the third in a series published by Beacon that takes the “myth-busting” approach to a social issue; the others are They Take Our Jobs!: And 20 Other Myths about Immigration, by Aviva Chomsky and They’re Bankrupting Us!: And 20 Other Myths about Unions, by Bill Fletcher Jr. You Can Tell Just By Looking is the first of 21 myths tackled in the 190 page book, beginning with the commonly held belief that LGBT can telegraph their desires via “gaydar.” That notion is dismantled in the same manner that the book handles all its myths, with a mix of research, information on how gay people historically communicated desire and the citing of a psychological experiment that asked participants to determine whether a person is gay or
straight based on how that person appears in a photograph. The writers take a similar scholarly but readable approach to the other myths in the volume including: “Homosexuals are Born That Way”; “All Religions Condemn Homosexulaity”; “LGBT Parents are Bad for Children,” among others. Several of the essays bust myths about transgender people, such as “Transgender People are Mentally Ill” and “Transgender People are Gay.” Other essays don’t shy from controversy: Myth 21 refutes the notion that getting tested on a regular basis helps prevent the spread of HIV, advocated for both gays and straights by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. The essay argues that compulsive testing has the effect, particularly on young people, to view negative testing as license to have unprotected sex. The three authors originally came up with a list of some 35 myths which then had to be consolidated or eliminated, says journalist and scholar Bronski, a Cambridge resident whose extensive writing about LGBT issues includes the books Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility (1984); The Pleasure Principle: Sex, Backlash and the Struggle for Gay Freedom (1998); and A Queer History of the United States, winner of the 2012 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association. Bronski says the authors wanted the book to be accessible for high school and college students, but also wanted research and analysis to give substance to their anecdotal evidence. “We wanted good and bad myths,” says Bronski, who worked with collaborators for the first time. He wanted other writers to complement his perspective as as an activist with its roots in ‘70s-era gay liberation. Pellegrini, author of the Beacon book Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance and Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies at New York University where she’s also director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, came out of the second wave of feminism. Amico, at 29, a former student of Bronski’s at Dartmouth College, is a product of the post-AIDS gay youth movement. All three writers, notes Bronski, represent three separate
Bronski says the authors wanted the book to be accessible for high school and college students, but also wanted research and analysis to give substance to their anecdotal evidence. “We wanted good and bad myths.” historical eras “but we share similar antiassimilationist politics.” One of the most current topics in the book is the myth that “Coming Out Today is Easier Than Ever Before.” This essay looks at the most obvious change in gay visibility, the increase in media representations, when it states: “Paradoxically, the belief that out gay celebrities are positive role models and examples for how things can and do get better only grows stronger the more difficult coming out is for everyone else. This is especially true for LGB people who live at the economic margins, disproportionately young queers of color. Amber Holibaugh, co–executive director
of the activist organization Queers for Economic Justice, says, ‘If you come out now and you come from poverty and you come from racism, [or] you come from the terror of ... immigrant communities or communities where you’re already a moving target because of who you are, this is not a place where it’s any easier to be LGBT even if there’s a community center in every single borough.’ The lifesaving costs of hiding sometimes outweigh the life-threatening costs of coming out.” “Certainly it’s easier for middle class white kids ... visibility is great but it also sends the message that if you don’t live up to what you see on television, you’re
not the right kind of homosexual,” says Bronski. That kind of challenge to accepted notions gives You Can Tell Just By Looking its purpose. It offers evidence and perspective that even with the increased acceptance that comes with marriage equality and greater visibility, living openly as LGBT remains a complex undertaking. The book’s myth-busting message is be one way to begin the conversation on what it means to be queer in today’s world. [x]
at the Peabody Essex Museum November 16, 2013–January 26, 2014
Co-organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Supported by
Additional support provided by Japan Foundation, Wacoal Corporation and the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum. Koji Tatsuno, Autumn/Winter 1993-94. Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute, Gift of Mr. Koji Tatsuno. Photo by Richard Burbridge.
Open Tuesday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm Open until 9:30 pm the third Thursday of every month Closed Mondays (except holidays) and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
JAN|FEB 2014 | 63
CULTURE Film STORY Loren King
Gone, Baby, Gone Gay film ‘He Is Gone’ will be shot in Boston this summer “ What really grabbed me is that the characters are gay but the experiences they go through are about being human. ” Lois Munoz-Merka Director
Actors, get those resumes and head shots ready. The director of a Bostonset, independent feature film with gay subject matter will be casting leading and supporting roles starting in March. He Is Gone will then have a three-week shoot in Boston, Providence and Provincetown in July. Lois Munoz-Merka, a former resident of Boston and Providence who now lives in Orlando, is producing and directing the film, based on the book Missing (Seventh Window Publications) by first-time novelist Drake Braxton. Missing won the New England Book Festival for Best Gay Fiction in 2012. It is a a psychological drama about a gay couple from the
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Location scouting: Munoz‑Merka did not get one ‘no’ from the places she visited, including Club Café, the Ramrod, and Fenway Health.
Boston area—Blain Harrington, a Massachusetts college professor, and his Brazilian husband, Manny Madeira—that travel to Alabama for Blain’s 20th high school reunion. In the blink of an eye, Manny disappears. What starts as a simple mystery soon becomes a complex tale of love, relationships, responsibility, friendship, self-destructive behavior and redemption. Munoz-Merka, who has a background in music, film, and television, signed on to direct simply because she fell in love with the book. “What really grabbed me is that the characters are gay but the experiences they go through are about being human,” she says. Munoz-Merka is heterosexual but has a deep connection to the LGBT community: her sister came out in the 1960s. “The people she introduced me to are the greatest, kindest, most attentive people I know. They inspired me. My passion for this project is enormous,” she says.
Munoz-Merka has already scouted locations in Boston—much of the film will be shot in the Back Bay and the South End, where the novel is set. She went into local establishments with her “pitch” to shoot. She says she “did not get one ‘no’ from the places she visited, including Club Café, the Ramrod, and Fenway Health. She also plans to shoot some scenes in Provincetown and Providence, RI which will substitute for Amsterdam. Rural Rhode Island will stand-in for Alabama. “I think so many people can relate to the themes in story of love and loss,” says Gregory Allen, who wrote the screenplay. “I’ve written for the stage and have a background in theater, but have always wanted
to go into film. I’m friends with the publisher of Missing and threw my hat into the ring as a potential screenwriter with Lois and had no idea at the time I’d end up as a co-producer on the project.” Allen says that the producers have been working for months to attract investors to their project. “Finding the right people to assist with funding is similar to what I’ve done with producing live theater. I know there are those people out there that want quality LGBT films made—we just need to connect to them and get them involved in this project,” he says. Munoz-Merka says the plan is to release He Is Gone to the festival circuit once it’s finished. “My belief in the story is so strong. It’s such a cool story,” she says. [x]
For more information on the film, or to get involved with the production, go to www.asdmedia.co/film.html
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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King
Two Guys and a Dream
Gay couple’s musical journey ‘Witness Uganda’ premieres at the American Repertory Theater In 2005, Griffin Matthews was a young, struggling actor in New York City still wrestling with the homophobia he’d experienced from the church in which he was raised. Wanting to reach beyond himself and do some good in the world, he traveled to Uganda in Africa as a volunteer. In that impoverished country, with its estimated 2.5 million orphans — due to AIDS, poverty and 25 years-long war — Matthews met a group of orphaned teenagers who’d change his life. He mentored them through school, which isn’t free in Uganda. To raise funds for their education, he launched the Uganda Project. Flash forward to 2014. Matthews and his partner, Matt Gould, also an actor and
musician, remain committed to the Uganda Project. But they’ve also turned Matthews’s story into a compelling musical that details his literal and metaphoric journey. Witness Uganda will have its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge under the direction of Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. Running February 4 to March 16, Witness Uganda, which weaves a story with original music, will feature a cast of 14 and a seven-piece band. Matthews will star as himself and Gould will be on stage as music director and performer. Matthews, who now lives with Gould in Los Angeles, says he was at a crossroads when he decided to go to
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Africa. “I felt confused about my place in the world and what I had to say as an artist and as a person. I had no idea Uganda was one of the most dangerous places in the world. I don’t think this happened by accident. I could have chosen any place in the entire world. But I chose Uganda — or Uganda chose me.” Each time he returned home from his trips, Matthews would pour out stories of frustration and fear, hope and reward to Gould, who then began to set this partner’s words to music. Matthews remained skeptical. “I thought, ‘No one wants to hear a musical about my travels in Uganda.’ But Matt recorded me, set it to music and played it for me and that was the ‘Aha’ moment. I was imagining a traditional musical ... [but] when he set it to my words, I realized music helped propel
the story and convey a feeling that words alone could’t do.” The couple staged a 20-minute concert of their material as a fundraiser for the Uganda Project. More performances followed as more people embraced the experience and identified with the story, and Witness Uganda began to attract attention from musical theater professionals earning the 2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater. It was workshopped at Disney/ ASCAP (hosted by composer Stephen Schwartz) and at the Vineyard Arts Project/ Art Farm. Shwartz, composer of the scores for Pippin and Wicked, personally encouraged Gould and Matthews that their show was indeed a musical and needed to be pushed in that direction. “It allowed us enough attention to submit the piece [to the A.R.T.],” says Gould. “It was the only place we felt we wanted to
Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews go. We’d seen [the Diane Paulus shows] Hair and Porgy and Bess and Griffin had worked in NY with [Diane Paulus] years ago. She had the right spirit and the right feel for what this piece was for us. We could not place it with someone who didn’t understand the heart and the movement — she was our pick from the beginning.” Lucky for them, their intuition was spot on. Paulus loved Witness Uganda and wanted to meet with them. Gould and Matthews did a workshop with the A.R.T team in February, 2013. “She gets it and its been an amazing process ever since,” says Matthews of Paulus. “Diane believed in the movement part of the show. She told us, ‘we have to do this at A.R.T and colleges involved, we have to bring people, including black people, into this theater who would not necessarily go.’” During that two-week workshop period, Gould and Matthews performed parts of Witness Uganda at public schools in and around Boston. It was an eye-opening experience, they said, and renewed their belief in the education and outreach aspects of the show. “Those kids went nuts getting musical theater from a black guy,” says Matthews. “I never knew growing up that black people did community theater.” “We talked about being gay and a couple. Matt and I are
in our 30s and when we both went to high school, we could not talk about being gay. In every school, when we said we were gay and a couple, the room erupted in cheers. This is the next generation? I am so inspired ... we met so many pro-gay groups in middle schools. Middle schools! If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.” It’s been the realization of a dream that began simply by talking. But both Matthews and Gould stress that arriving at the A.R.T. wasn’t an easy road. “We had to go through a lot before we finally landed with the woman who believed in what we were doing,” says Matthews. What keeps them going, he says, was “our belief in each other and belief that we were doing the right thing, even when everyone was telling us ‘No.’ Or telling us we had to add more white people or change the name. We said no; this is what it is and if the world and the business isn’t ready for this, then, well, maybe it’s just not meant to be. And that was usually the moment when another door opened and we could move onto next level.” [x] Uganda Project,
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CULTURE Travel STORY AND PHOTOS Robert B. Dimmick, a.k.a Etiquetteer
To Venice, on the Orient Express Etiquetteer, out nationally syndicated etiquette columnist from Boston, takes the trip of a lifetime—you should too! Any vacation with a dress code would be likely to appeal to Etiquetteer. So a trip on the Venice Simplon Orient Express from London to Venice for a Birthday of Significance sounded like the Perfectly Proper thing to do— to explore how well vintage deluxe travel has survived in the 21st century.
The Departure Arriving early to the Victoria Station VIP lounge gave me the time to observe my
fellow passengers—and their clothes. “You can never be overdressed on the OrientExpress” according to its literature. Most passengers apply that only to dinner. During the day, everyone at least kept from wearing jeans and athletic shoes, but they could have gone more on the smarter side of “smart casual.” The ensembles of some were marred by backpacks—no one travels with a valise any more. One lady appeared ready to hike the Alps instead of board the most glamorous train of
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them all, in a white polyester turtleneck, grey pullover and slacks, and hefty backpack. Photography has changed the train experience, especially with digital cameras. Boarding the Orient Express, one thinks first of Lauren Bacall languorously making her way down the uncrowded platform with her jewel case. In reality, when the gate is opened, everyone immediately rushes forward with their cameras to photograph the train and its uniformed staff. I found myself waiting to find out if I was in
Venice: Rialto View
the right car until the attendant was done posing with other passengers. Photography continues throughout the trip. All of us wanted to have pictures of ourselves enjoying those luxurious settings. I was assigned to the Phoenix on the British Pullman (sister train of the VSOE), once a favorite car of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. A reserved traveler when traveling alone, it was delightful to discover a small triangular table just for me. I could make pleasant conversation with the couple across the aisle but still be in my personal space.
     
The route: 2 trains, from London through Paris and onto Venice British Pullman: Victoria Station Platform Orient Express Orient Express: Luncheon Dessert Orient Express: Author Robert B. Dimmick (Etiquetteer) boarding the train Orient Express: Luncheon Views
The Accommodations My single compartment on the continental train, a snug jewel box of marquetry and mohair velvet, could not have been more perfect. Its most unique feature, however, was a blue nightlight over the door. Late at night, listening to France speed by in the dark, I could drift off looking at the blue-lit curved ceiling.
But a luxurious dinner came well before bedtime. I was assigned to the second service at 9:30 p.m., and met my table companions in the bar car for a cocktail first. Its 12 Suspects Cocktail must be tried—a combination of 12 ingredients (mostly champagne) so subtly blended that all of them have a motive. Then a dinner of lobster, fillet of beef, and chocolate soufflé exceeded my expectations. How on earth they prepare a soufflé on a moving train ...
The Day In Venice In the morning, I rose in time to see us speeding by large lakes with the Alps in the background.
It was easier to enjoy the view once Marco, the steward, brought a coffee tray with a basket of croissants to my compartment. A long leisurely luncheon in a different dining car allowed the enjoyment of both Alpine scenery and another amazing menu. The train pulled into Santa Lucia Station in Venice far too soon, but the wonders of Venice were eager to be revealed around every corner. It is essential to get lost in Venice to enjoy it and discover it. It’s also unavoidable. Be prepared with comfortable, Perfectly Proper walking shoes, a discreet flask of water, and a map of Venice. While searching for something else, I discovered some magical views and some delightful shops I might not have found otherwise. I also detected a distinct whiff of marijuana down one calle while looking for I Gesuiti. Venice is still a party town. And everyone is a photographer! Almost all churches, and many museums, have a no photography policy. Enforcement, however, varies wildly, so use discretion and do not use your flash. If chastised, say “Scusami” and put your camera away at once. When I asked for recommendations of what to do in Venice I
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[LEFT] Venice: Cannaregio Canal [RIGHT AND OPPOSITE] Venice: La Fenice [OPPOSITE, BOTTOM-LEFT] Venice: Caffé Florian [OPPOSITE, BOTTOM-RIGHT] Venice, travelling in style
heard the same things I’d read in guidebooks: the Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica San Marco, Harry’s Bar, and of course a gondola ride. These are not the recommendations I’m going to give you. Vaporetto: The vaporetto serves Venice the way the MBTA serves Boston, but the #1 vaporetto has a more glamorous route than the #1 bus: the Grand Canal. You’ll take it at least once, and you’ll be dazzled by the splendor and decay. It helps to know your vaporetto lines before you arrive. Find the map online. Be flexible about timing. Travel takes longer in Venice. But really, you could just ride it all day long and be enchanted by Venice. The Spritz: One local custom I took to almost immediately was the daytime pause for a spritz: prosecco, an apertif like Campari or Aperol, and
a bit of seltzer, served on the rocks in a tumbler. It enhances the Venetian experience like nothing else. It’s a daytime drink; don’t order after 4 p.m. La Fenice: If you’ve read Jon Berendt’s City of Falling Angels you know this candy box of an opera house was gutted by fire in 1996 and spectacularly restored to its former glory. I was fortunate to be in Venice for the closing night of Madama Butterfly, and the entire experience will captivate you— whether it’s an opera you see there or not. Jewish Ghetto: The ghetto that gave the world the word “ghetto” is decidedly worth your time, especially the tour of the three exquisitely maintained 17th- and 18th-century synagogues. Gentlemen, bring a hairpin, as you will wear a yarmulke inside the synagogues. Caffe Florian: Caffe Florian is the most famous of the three
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outdoor cafes on the Piazza San Marco. Each has a little orchestra of up to six musicians, playing tangos, show tunes, and operettas. For me, there was nothing more exciting than getting to take my ease near the orchestra tent at a little table with a Florian cocktail (gin, Martini dry, bitter Campari, and aurum) and a plate of little sandwiches. A Bar Tour: Thanks to the Rick Steves’ Guide to Venice, I connected with tour guide Alessandro Schezzini, who leads groups of six-to-eight people through three bars for ombre e cichetti (wine and bar snacks). It’s a great way to get comfortable in and learn about the city, as well as get to know other travelers. We visited three little bars in San Polo near the Rialto Bridge: Antico Ostaria, Cantina do Mori (my favorite, a low room hung with copper pots), and the Ostaria al Diavolo e L’Aquasanta (which
means the Devil and the Holy Water). Furlane: Furlane are the traditional footgear of gondoliers, made of black cotton velvet uppers and recycled bicycle tires for soles. For the rest of us, they come in a rainbow of colors, and at super-deluxe Pied a Terre on the San Polo side of the Rialto. They even make furlane out of old upholstery from the Gritti Palace Hotel! Pick up a pair to wear for your next creative black tie event, or for the most glamorous bedroom slippers. (Less expensive handmade furlane appear in other little shops throughout Venice.) Masks: Now Venice is overfull of mask shops—too many people can’t think of another type of souvenir. While wandering lost in San Polo, I found two excellent shops with local artisans (read: not masks from China). The artisans of Casanova are specialists in
“ La Fenice: If you’ve read Jon Berendt’s City of Falling Angels you know this candy box of an opera house was gutted by fire in 1996 and spectacularly restored to its former glory. ”
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all types of Venetian papiermache masks, that are made right there in the front room. While the bauta is more traditional for men, I chose for myself a red columbina mask. So much easier for parties, as it doesn’t get in the way of eating, drinking, talking, or kissing. At Rugadoro, Sarah Zanarella covers her masks in patchwork and embroidery for a fresh and colorful innovation. Tabarro: The traditional Venetian cape, the tabarro, called to me from the crowded shop of Monica Daniele in San Polo, and when I tried one on, I had to have it. If you can keep from swooping about like the Phantom of the Opera or Zorro the Gay Blade, an evening out will be only more elegant. Skip Laundry, Buy Underwear: Sometimes while traveling, instead of doing laundry, it takes less time to buy more underwear. Intimissimi in
Cannaregio offers a stylish collection of underthings for all genders. Also Mercerie di Gavagnin Roberto & c.s.a.s. which I found while heading in the general direction of Piazza San Marco. No Really, Get Lost: Because you’ll find the unexpected, whether it’s a view of a tiny staircase, a pot of flowers on a windowsill, a little shop full of marbled paper, or a nude, anatomically correct male mannequin. The last was in the window of Fiorella Gallery on Campo Santo Stefano, and it was the last thing I expected to see in Venice. Part art gallery, part extreme fashion (if you liked “Hippie Chic” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, last year, you’ll love this), its exuberant audacity will leave you needing a spritz. [x]
[TOP] Venice: Gondola [MIDDLE] Venice: Underwear! [BOTTOM] Venice: Fiorella Gallery [OPPOSITE] Venice: Grand Canal
Recommendations in Venice It’s worth pointing out that street numbers in Venice are assigned entirely at random and make absolutely no sense. Some businesses print maps on the back of their business cards to help out.
Pied a Terre Venezia
Rialto, San Polo 60 Tel: 0415285513 Cell: 3485646548/5 email@example.com www.piedaterre-venice.com
Rugadoro—Hand Made Patchwork Masks
Venice Simplon Orient Express
www.vsoe.com/web/vsoe/venice_simplon_orient_express.jsp 800-524-2420 firstname.lastname@example.org
Venice Vaporetto Map:
Castello 5453 Good Heavens, it’s right there in Piazza San Marco. You can’t miss it! www.caffeflorian.com
Cantina do Mori
Ruga Rialto 1062, San Polo email@example.com 0415205487
Calle del Cristo, San Polo, 2210 3358439462 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sestiere Cannaregio, 2351 intimissimi.com 041720666 Mercerie de Gavagnin Roberto & c.s.a.s. Calle dei Fuseri, San Marco 4364 0412410937
San Polo 429 0415225401
Teatro La Fenice
Campo S. Fantin 1965 www.teatrolafenice.it/site/index.php
Campo Santo Stefano 2806, San Marco 0415209228 email@example.com fiorellagallery.com/
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CULTURE Music STORY Loren King
The Sweetest Sound ‘Forty and Fierce’ celebrates the ageless Sweet Honey in the Rock It’s hard to believe that Sweet Honey in the Rock, the internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award-nominated all-female a cappella group founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon, is turning 40. Then again, Sweet Honey is ageless. Personnel has changed—Reagon retired from the group in 2004 and there have been 24 Sweet Honey members to date—but it has never wavered from its core mission to entertain, educate and enlighten. Sweet Honey in the Rock’s music and longevity will be at the forefront when “Sweet Honey in the Rock 40th
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Anniversary Celebration: Forty and Fierce” comes to Boston’s Symphony Hall—one of the group’s favorite venues —March 2 at 5 p.m. as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. “It’s a wonderful hall and a wonderful crowd,” says founding member Carol Maillard about performing in Boston. “The audience is fully invested in the experience. They sing with us, respond, holler—they are present. They get that we’re in this together.” “Forty and Fierce” will be a retrospective of the group’s career, complete with guest artists and audio-visuals, all under the direction of renowned dancer/choreographer Dianne McIntyre, a longtime friend of Maillard. Among numerous other credits, McIntyre choreographed HBO’s
award-winning “Miss Evers’ Boys,” for which she received an Emmy nomination. “We’ll look at the past and who we are now as individuals and where we’re on our way to,” says Maillard of the Boston show. “We’ll share with the audience our message and sound. We pay homage to history, but we also have to engage younger audiences. We have fans who’ve been with us since 1973 but we also want to bring young people into the Sweet Honey family.” Sweet Honey’s trademark has long been its adventurous repertoire: a diverse mix of blues, African, jazz, gospel and R&B, with excursions into symphonic and dance theater. Reagon formed the group as a quartet in 1973 at a workshop at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company in Washington. Sweet Honey grew directly out of the1960s civil rights movement, since Reagon had been a member of The Freedom Singers, the movement’s paramount African-American singing group. Sweet Honey then became a staple of the women’s movement of the late 70s and early 80s when a band of African-American women singing songs of love, protest, history and politics was no small thing.
Sweet Honey took on a new challenge in 2011 when they performed a special program at New York’s prestigious Rose Hall in Jazz at Lincoln Center. They recorded their two-night show in front of audiences. The 2-CD result, “A Tribute—Live!
Jazz at Lincoln Center,” was released in 2012 and paid homage to legendary black female singers such as Nina Simone, Odetta and Abbey Lincoln. “I was gaga over that material. It shows another side to each singer,” says Maillard.
The core members who’ll appear in Boston, besides Maillard, include another founding member, Louise Robinson, who returned to the group in 2004 after a 27-year hiatus; Aisha Kahlil (the most tenured member of the group at 32 years, joining in 1981); and Nitanju Bolade Casel, a member since 1985. Rounding out the ensemble is Sweet Honey’s on-stage sign language interpreter Shirley Childress who has interpreted for Sweet Honey since 1981. In May, 2013, Dr. Ysaye Barnwell departed the group after 34 years in order to focus on her work as a composer, arranger, author, and vocal teacher. Although “Forty and Fierce” will touch upon “the spiritual journey” of its four core members, says Maillard, it will, of course, mostly be about music. “People like all a cappella because it’s the way they remember us. But it’s a new century,” she says. “We are not an oldies group. We’re always tying to find new collaborators and new material. You have to be brave enough to go forward.” [x] Sweet Honey
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CULTURE House Proud STORY Scott Kearnan PHOTOS Matt Teuton
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Pas de Deux Becomes a Trio Boston Ballet soloist John Lam builds a family and a home with his husband, real estate lawyer John Ruggieri It’s the end of The Nutcracker and the beginning of a New Year. But for Boston Ballet soloist John Lam and his husband, real estate lawyer John Ruggieri, 2014 is significant for a different reason. It’s the first year they will enter with a son at their side—the pitter patter of his little feet throughout their rustic log home in Barnard, Vermont: their retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. “Being a parent changes your life completely, in only a positive sense,” says Ruggieri of raising their new son, Gio. “It gives life a completely new meaning: a new reason to live, a new reason to work, a new passion for everything.” Starting a family has always been frontof-mind for the couple. It’s a desire they bonded over on their earliest dates, though their expectations of its possibility were different. Save for some “true pioneers,” examples of gay parents were not widely visible to members of his generation, says Ruggieri. On the other hand, Lam, who is about 20 years younger, says he came of age in a time when the option to parent was “something I assumed I could do.” That’s not to say that the process was easy. Lam and Ruggieri chose IVF to start their family, and began the process in 2011. They selected an egg donor who was Vietnamese-French, reflecting both their backgrounds (Lam is Vietnamese-Chinese and Ruggieri is Italian-French) and each inseminated half the oocytes. Their son, Gio, was born in August—and the couple hasn’t ruled out a possible future sibling. (They preserved viable embryos.) But while they have nothing but praise for
[OPPOSITE] Husbands John Lam and John Ruggieri retreat from city bustle to the calming retreat of a rustic-chic Vermont Home. [BELOW] There was new reason to celebrate the
holidays this year: they were the first spent with the couple’s baby son, Gio. PHOTO Jordan Jennings
[FOLLOWING] Dream Home. The couple’s
style is a mix of sleek high-end furnishings and eclectic antiques, the perfect marriage of their city sensibility and deep appreciation for the simpler pleasures of country life. And every piece has a story. Take that saddle lofted high on a support beam: it’s a nod to their dream of eventually raising horses on the property.
the clinic and hospital staff that was part of the process, they admit that resources for expecting gay parents seemed unexpectedly hard to come by. “Thank God we live in Massachusetts, where our rights are on par with straight couples,” says Lam. Still, he says, they
Those assumptions, says Lam, will only diminish with visibility. “People automatically assume Gio is parented by a straight couple,” says Lam. “Part of the reason we love to share our story about starting a family is that we consider it our responsibility to educate.” Most of the time, though, you’ll simply find the couple enjoying new fatherhood around the Barnard home in the Green Mountain State. Here they share their love of snowmobiling, hiking, and entertaining
discovered plenty of areas (say, insurance) in which more guidance for gay couples is needed. Plus they’ve encountered the blind assumptions, when one husband is out without the other, that Gio is also being raised by a wife and mother at home.
friends and family amid 10 acres of rolling hills. “It’s the quintessential New England experience,” says Ruggieri. “Vermont is a place we both fell in love with,” adds Lam of the home, which the couple has dubbed the Stonewall Lodge:
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[ABOVE] The couple dubbed their home the Stonewall Lodge, nodding to both its architecture and the NYC gay bar that catalyzed the modern LGBT equal rights movement. Naturally there’s a well-stocked wet bar for entertaining. [OPPOSITE] This deep, indulgent soaking tub is the perfect place to unwind from the pressures of new parenthood. “Nighttime is definitely a different experience!” laughs Lam of how life has changed. “There’s a lot of stress involved, but every bit was worth it. And if anything, it has only strengthened our relationship.”
a nod to the NYC bar that played a role in the birth of the modern gay rights movement. (They also recently bought a separate lakeside home they call “Stonewall Lake.”) Their home’s no gay bar, but as two fixtures on the Boston social scene, Lam and Ruggieri do plenty of home entertaining—hence the beloved player piano, gourmet kitchen (where Lam, an avid home chef, gets to indulge his nondance passion all year round), and wet bar always well-stocked with fine red wine, single malt Scotch, and quality vodka for cosmos—plus San Pelligrino for nondrinker Lam. Cuddle time is constrained when you’re new parents, but the home has a fabulous sense of rustic romance. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a grand stone fireplace stretching to an 18-foot ceiling, or a sunken hot tub on the deck. And
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NEW AND IMPROVED AND ON A SCREEN NEAR YOU
BostonSpiritMagazine.com JAN|FEB 2014 | 81
Lam is an avid cook, so the couple has a chef-grade kitchen for pulling together his favorite meals. [OPPOSITE] With its animal prints and nods to country life (note the Frederic Remington cowboy sculpture), Stonewall Lodge has a rustic edge. Itâ€™s neither Johnsâ€™ typical style: Ruggieri tends to lean toward contemporary looks, like Lam is inclined toward French-Victorian.
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“ Being a parent gives life a completely new meaning: a new reason to live, a new reason to work, a new passion for everything. ” everything about this area of Vermont is meaningful to the couple: they married on a nearby estate in 2011 (their wedding was featured in a splashy Boston Globe feature) and built their registry with locally based glassblower Simon Pearce. Coincidentally they honeymooned on St. John’s— which like this area of Vermont owes its natural preservation largely to charitable bequeathment by the wealthy Rockefeller family. Though there are some newer pieces (including the high-end, handmade work of Bridgewater furniture maker Charles Shackleton), the home’s handsome décor is comprised of almost entirely vintage furnishings. Some are century-old, found
through frequent antiquing excursions (especially at Antiques Collaborative in nearby Quechee, Vermont) or passed down by Ruggieri’s family: for instance, a painting of a lion from Ruggieri’s mother Carrie, whose work hangs in Bentley’s, a landmark restaurant in artsy Woodstock, Vermont, where the couple often browses galleries. Family ties are, after all, those that build the tightest bonds. “We’re so proud of creating a beautiful family together,” says Lam. “And it’s an experience that has made us even stronger as a couple.” [x]
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SCENE Category PHOTOS Marilyn Humphries
Eastern Bank Social Justice Awards Eastern Bank | Boston | October 8
Eastern Bank honored Mayor Thomas M. Menino with its 25th annual Wainwright Social Justice Award for his commitment to workforce development and job skills training — a cornerstone of his three decades of public service. The bank also honored almost 100 Massachusetts organizations dedicated to workforce development training before more than 600 people at an evening reception in downtown Boston.
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SCENE Benefit PHOTOS courtesy Hispanic Black Gay Coalition
Hispanic Black Gay Coalition 4th Annual Gala Villa Victoria Center for the Arts | Boston | November 9
The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) hosted its fourth annual gala, honoring Rev. Irene Monroe with the 2013 James Earl Hardy Legends Award. 1
5     
HBGC Program Assistant Jordan Holmes with HBGC volunteer Steven Emmanuel Martinez HBGC Board Members Karyn Smith and Shawn McGuffey HBGC supporters pose of the red carpet with HBGC Board Member Marco Torres Boston City Councillor Felix G. Arroyo with HBGC co-founders Quincey Roberts and Corey Yarbrough HBGC co-founders with 4th annual gala honorees: Rev. Irene Monroe, Nelson Roman, and Grace Sterling Stowell, representing BAGLY.
SCENE Benefit PHOTOS James Zimmerman
Annual Fundraising Gala at PAAM PAAM | Provincetown | October 12
Provincetown Art Association and Museum held their big celebration of P’town art and artists for its 8th year. Kudos!
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SCENE Benefit PHOTOS courtesy GLAD
GLAD Spirit of Justice Dinner Marriott Copley | Boston | October 25
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the landmark Goodridge ruling that allowed same-sex couples to marry legally in Massachusetts. Former Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall was honored along with the plaintiff couples.
GLAD staffers Maryse Pearce, Gypsy Vidal, Michelle Weiser, Molly Girton and Annie Kurtz
GLAD Attorney Janson Wu (center) and guests
Featured Speaker Molly Girton [RIGHT] and mom Pat Freedman
BAGLY member Karter Blake [FAR LEFT] and guests
State Rep. Carl Sciortino and former SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, this year’s Spirit of Justice Award recipient
MTPC Steering Committee Member Maxwell Ng and DJ O’Donoghue 86 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Margaret H. Marshall and GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto with the plaintiffs in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. From left: Julie Goodridge, Annie Goodridge, Hillary Goodridge; Mike Horgan & Ed Balmelli; Marshall & Bonauto; Rob Compton & David Wilson, Heidi & Gina Nortonsmith, Gloria Bailey & Linda Davies; Ellen Wade, Kate Brodoff, and Maureen Brodoff.
GLAD Board Member Keplin Allwaters [LEFT] and guest
GLAD Legal Director Gary Buseck delivered remarks at the dinner.
SCENE Benefit PHOTOS Community Servings
Pie in the Sky Pie Central | Boston | November 16 & 23
Community Servings’ annual pie drive/benefit distributed nearly 18,500 pies to 10,000 individuals, raising $640,000.
Bobby Morris, Derek Schwenke, John Young, Paul Daly, Andrew Christensen, Christian Webster, David Cianciarulo, Mark Bastian, Matt O’Hurley, Paul Miller, Alex Thornhill, Steve Farrell, Joe DiMattia, Ronald Brankley, Donald Schultz (from Gays for Good)
Joseph Dav, Cliff Smith, Michael Ferrier
Community Servings’ CEO, David B. Waters and President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, New England, Pat Villani.
More pie people at Pie Central
SCENE Category PHOTOS Andrea Doremus Cuetara
Demonstration Against India’s Reinstatement of Penal Code Section 377 Harvard Square | Cambridge | December 15
Members and allies of the South Asian LGBTQ community in the Boston area gathered in Harvard Square the day after the area’s first snow storm to protest the recent
decision by the Supreme Court of India to reinstate Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which outlaws “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” and is frequently interpreted to outlaw homosexual
relations. Fifteen to twenty individuals braved the inclement weather to join in solidarity with other protesters who were gathering in places around the world.
JAN|FEB 2014 | 87
TAO Dance Theater, Feb 27-28 at Boston’s Schubert Theater
DANCE Close to Chuck
THU FEB 20 - SUN MAR 2
BOSTON | BOSTON BALLET
Close to Chuck features the company premiere of Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo's C to C, Jíri Kylián's transcendant Bella Figura, and a world premiere by Jose Martinez. Boston Ballet | bostonballet.org EDITOR'S PICK
TAO Dance Theater
THU FEB 27 - FRI FEB 28
BOSTON | SCHUBERT THEATRE
Boston debut. A a radical new presence on the country’s burgeoning contemporary dance scene. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
The Final Cut
WED MAR 5 - FRI MAR 7
CAMBRIDGE, MA | OBERON THEATER
Calendar COMMUNITY EDITOR'S PICK
16th Annual Lesbians and Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention
SAT JAN 25
BOSTON | HOLIDAY INN
A benefit for the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), the state’s leading breast cancer organization with the unique goal of breast
cancer prevention. A premier event for the LGBT community in Boston and New England. New this year, DJ Jodi will be joining for this 16th anniversary event. Other highlights include a large silent auction, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Reduced ticket rates for current students are also available: $20 in advance or $25 at the door (valid student ID required). EDITOR'S PICK
MassEquality Icon Awards
THU FEB 27
BOSTON | FAIRMONT COPLEY PLAZA
Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events: BostonSpiritMagazine.com
The 3rd annual Icon Awards provide an opportunity for the MassEquality to honor and celebrate the exceptional leadership, voice, and advocacy of individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to bettering the lives of LGBT people and allies. The Icon Awards will have four honorees (to be revealed soon) this year. Dinner will be provided by out "Top Chef" star Tiffani Faison. MassEquality | massequality.org
88 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Using only the languages of movement and music, this dance-theater piece is a reflection of the faith of humanity in times of war and destruction. A requiem for the dream of peace, this provocative production explores how we learn to love and hate one another, and how we survive in the most difficult of times. American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
THU MAY 1 - SUN MAY 4
BOSTON | CITI WANG THEATRE
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been thrilling Boston audiences since the Celebrity Series presented their Boston debut in 1968. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
FESTIVAL Psychedelic Cinema
SUN FEB 9
BOSTON | INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
Transport yourself to the psychedelic 60s. Massachusetts native Ken Brown’s astonishing Super 8 films were shot as part of the light shows that accompanied the great bands of the era. Featuring elaborate montages, quirky animations, and lots of swirling lights, they were projected during historic performances by Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who, Boston’s own The Hallucinations (J. Geils) and practically every other great band to come through town between 1967 and 1969. This special presentation will include live music by a supergroup of silent film accompanists: Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra, Beth Custer of Clubfoot Orchestra, and Jonathan LaMaster of Cul de Sac. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston | www.icaboston.org
Oscar-Nominated Short Films at the ICA
THU FEB 13 - MON FEB 17
BOSTON | INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
For the eighth consecutive year, the ICA presents the Oscar-nominated shorts program, featuring the intriguing live-action, animated, and documentary short films you always wish you’d had a chance to see come Oscar night (March 2) Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston | www.icaboston.org
MUSIC Igor Butman Moscow
Jazz Orchestra with special guest Alan Harris
THU JAN 16
BOSTON | SCULLER'S JAZZ CLUB
Tenor saxophonist, bandleader and entrepreneur Igor Butman occupies a unique place in Russian jazz circles for his considerable musical skills, media visibility and savvy political connections. The St. Petersburg-born Berklee graduate is not only recognized as the most famous Russian jazz musician in the world today, he also runs a successful record label, operates two jazz clubs and provides artistic direction for a jazz festival. Sculler's Jazz Club | www.ScullersJazz.com
Luciana Souza Trio
SAT JAN 25
CAMBRIDGE, MA | SANDERS THEATRE with special guests Lionel Loueke, guitar and Gregoire Maret, harmonica. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org EDITOR'S PICK
Voices Rising: Let it Shine!
SAT JAN 25 - SAT FEB 1
BOSTON | FIRST CHURCH BOSTON
Now in their 10th anniversary year, LGBT women's chorus Voices Rising brings "Let it Shine: A Choral Celebration of Light." Selections range from an evocation of sun dancing on a Romanian mountain peak to a musical setting of Sara Teasdale's words on the far-off hopes and dreams we see in stars. The chorus will explore the spark within each of us and the ways in which that spark illumines our path to a brighter world. voicesrising.org
David Shifrin, Sasha Cooke and Opus 1
TUE JAN 28
| CELEBRITY SERIES
Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
FRI JAN 31
BOSTON | JORDAN HALL/NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Resourceful Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Gerard Finley and Julius Drake
FRI FEB 7
BOSTON | JORDAN HALL/NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Bass-baritone & piano. Baritone Gerald Finley delivered the solos with the clarity of an orator, and the visionary nobility of a prophet. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org EDITOR'S PICK
OMG!!! A Gay Cabaret
SAT FEB 8 - MON FEB 10
| BOSTON GAY MEN'S CHORUS
Funny. Sexy. Gay! It’s not your traditional cabaret, it’s better. From Boston Gay Men's Chorus. Boston Gay Men's Chorus | www.bgmc.org EDITOR'S PICK
Newport Jazz Festival: NOW 60
THU FEB 13
BOSTON | BERKLEE PERFORMANCE CENTER
The Newport Jazz Festival has put together lineup of ferociously talented superstars to celebrate their legacy. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Sweet Honey in the Rock: Forty and Fierce!
SUN MAR 2
BOSTON | SYMPHONY HALL
Celebrate 40 years of this vital and innovative a capella ensemble. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard
SAT MAR 8
BOSTON | JORDAN HALL/NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Soprano and piano. Program to include works by Clara Schumann, Brahms, Pfitzner, Strauss, Poulenc, Duparc, Chabrier, Chausson and Debussy. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
WED MAR 19
BOSTON | SYMPHONY HALL
Circus Oz: From the Ground Up
WED FEB 19 - SUN FEB 23
BOSTON | SCHUBERT THEATRE
Acrobatic daredevils from downunder bring pluck and sass to their wildly entertaining, irreverent performances. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
Ira Glass: Reinventing Radio
SUN MAR 9
BOSTON | SYMPHONY HALL
The creator of the public radio show This American Life talks about his program and how it's put together. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
SOCIALIZING Cornhole Tournament at Club Café
MON JAN 13 - MON MAR 3
BOSTON | CLUB CAFÉ
Club Cafe is launching a 7-week cornhole league, with free appetizers at each outing. $20 per player; 2 players minimum per team. Registration closes January 6th. EDITOR'S PICK
Celebrity Series 75th Anniversary Gala
SAT APR 12
| CELEBRITY SERIES
A black-tie gathering of friends, both old and new. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
THEATER The Heart of Robin Hood
ONGOING THRU SUN JAN 19
CAMBRIDGE, MA | AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER
The notorious Robin Hood and his band of merry men steal from the rich, but refuse to share with the oppressed peasantry. American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
Venus in Fur
BRUCKNER, Symphony No. 8 Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
FRI JAN 3 - SUN FEB 2
PERFORMANCE Brian Stokes Mitchell:
An adaptation of the classic erotic novel. Huntington Theatre Company | www. huntingtontheatre.org/
THU JAN 23
CAMBRIDGE, MA | SANDERS THEATRE
Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway. Celebrity Series | www.celebrityseries.org
| HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
FRI JAN 3 - SAT FEB 1
BOSTON | LYRIC STAGE
Working reveals the hopes, dreams, joys, and concerns of the average working American by following them through one 24-hour workday. Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St, Boston 02116, 617-585-5678, | lyricstage.com
Death of a Salesman
SAT JAN 4 - SUN JAN 26
FRI FEB 14 - SAT MAR 15
CAMBRIDGE, MA | AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER
BOSTON | LYRIC STAGE
Obie Award-winning playwright Deborah Margolin’s recently controversial play. Imagined jail-time conversations between Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff and Solomon Galkin, a poet and philosopher. American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
In the person of Willy Loman, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St, Boston 02116, 617-585-5678, | lyricstage.com
THU FEB 20 - SUN MAR 30
| BROADWAY IN BOSTON
Musical based on the Dickens classic. Trinity Repertory Theater | www.trinityrep.com
PROVIDENCE | TRINITY REPERTORY THEATER
TUE JAN 7 - SUN JAN 19 The Tony-winning musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. Broadway In Boston | www. broadwayinboston.com
The Color Purple
FRI JAN 10 - SAT FEB 8
VISUAL ARTS American Gestures:
| SPEAKEASY STAGE COMPANY
ONGOING THRU SUN JUN 1
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. SpeakEasy Stage Company | www. SpeakEasyStage.com
BOSTON | MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/BOSTON
The Whipping Man
SAT JAN 25 - SUN FEB 16
CAMBRIDGE, MA | AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER
As the Civil War ends, a Jewish Confederate soldier returns home to find that only his two former slaves, raised as Jews in his household, remain. As they cobble together a Passover Seder, they grapple with a changing social order, newfound freedom, and longburied secrets that threaten them all. American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
American art of the 1940s and ’50s was dominated by the gestural style known as Abstract Expressionism: in love with spontaneity and happy accidents. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org
Amy Sillman: One Lump or Two
ONGOING THRU SUN JAN 5
BOSTON | INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
BOSTON | ARTSEMERSON
The first museum survey of works by New York–based artist Amy Sillman traces her development from cartoon figures to her growing concern with the bodily and erotic dimensions of paint. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston | www.icaboston.org
Beyond Human, ArtistAnimal Collaborations
THU JAN 30 - SUN FEB 2 An immersive multimedia experience inspired by The Grapes of Wrath. ArtsEmerson | artsemerson.org
ONGOING THRU SUN SEP 7
TUE FEB 4 - SUN MAR 16
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
CAMBRIDGE, MA | AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER
A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus exposes the challenges confronted by American aid workers around the world: “Is changing the world possible?” American Repertory Theater | www. americanrepertorytheater.org
The redesigned Art & Nature Center opens in October. Elephants paint pictures, dogs pose for photographs and birds create art installations. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org EDITOR'S PICK
ONGOING THRU SUN MAR 2
BOSTON | INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
FRI FEB 7 - SUN FEB 9
| BROADWAY IN BOSTON
Based on Green Day's Award-winning multi-platinum album, taking the American musical where it's never gone before. Broadway In Boston | www. broadwayinboston.com
A central figure in feminist art, Ramberg explored traditional notions of beauty and their relationship to our bodies in her paintings from the 1960s and 70s exhibiting a wide range of influences including costume history, surrealism, outsider art, Pop art, and comics. The exhibition features work dating from 1971 to 1981, a period in the late artist’s career when she moved towards increasing abstraction of the female form. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston | www.icaboston.org
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Dawn L. Petros: Sense of Place
ONGOING THRU SUN APR 13
BOSTON | MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/BOSTON
Features the photographs, video art, and sculpture of this 2007 SMFA Masters degree recipient. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org
Future Beauty: AvantGarde Japanese Fashion
ONGOING THRU SUN JAN 26
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto reshaped fashion in the early 1980s. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org
Impressionists on the Water
ONGOING THRU MON FEB 17
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM Through nearly 60 oil paintings, works on paper, models and small craft, this exhibition illuminates the importance that access to the sea played in impressionism. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org EDITOR'S PICK
John Singer Sargent's Watercolors
ONGOING THRU MON JAN 20
BOSTON | MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/BOSTON
More than 90 of Sargent’s dazzling works, this exhibition combines for the first time his two most significant collections of watercolor paintings. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org
LaToya Ruby Frazier: Witness
POP! Goes Boston at the Intercontinental
ONGOING THRU WED APR 30
BOSTON | INTERCONTINENTAL BOSTON
InterContinental Boston, a luxury hotel located along Boston’s hot Fort Point Channel waterfront area, and Martin Lawrence Gallery, one of the premier galleries in Boston, launch “POP! Goes Boston”: an exhibit of three of the greatest past and current Pop artists in the large lobby of the hotel. The show explores the iconic Pop Art movement with 15 works by Pop pioneer Andy Warhol; the King of Japanese Pop Art, Takashi Murakami, and French-born Pop Illusionist, Philippe Bertho. POP! Goes Boston illustrates each artist’s achievements in this area of visual arts showcasing a total of 15 pieces. The exhibit includes five screenprints by Warhol including Muhammad Ali, Sidewalk, Santa Claus, The Marx Brothers and Blackglama; four Murakami lithographs of the And Then and Then and Then series; and serigraphs by Bertho including Love Pop2, Love Pop3 and four Ça Tourne (“It’s Spinning”). EDITOR'S PICK
She Who Tells a Story
ONGOING THRU SUN JAN 12
BOSTON | MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/BOSTON
“She Who Tells a Story” introduces the pioneering work of twelve leading women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org EDITOR'S PICK
ONGOING THRU MON MAY 26
ONGOING THRU SUN MAR 2
BOSTON | INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
Frazier’s stunning black-and-white photographs explore psychological connections of intergenerational relationships within her family and community. Over the past nine years, Frazier has focused on images that deal directly with issues of access to health care and the social, economic, and environmental decline of the town of Braddock, the working-class Pittsburgh suburb where the artist was born and raised. Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston | www.icaboston.org
BOSTON | MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/BOSTON
Explore the changing meaning of pink in art and fashion. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston | www.mfa.org
FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
SAT JAN 18 - SUN APR 13
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Within a gallery-turned aviary, the artist introduces a flock of 70 brightly plumed Zebra Finches to live among iconic Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org
SAT MAR 29 - SUN JUL 6
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
“SMART, CONCISE, AND GENUINE!”
More than 200 examples of midcentury modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org
– L.A. SPLASH
Turner & the Sea
SAT MAY 31 - MON SEP 1
SALEM, MA | PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events: BostonSpiritMagazine.com
First full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner's lifelong preoccupation with the sea. Peabody Essex Museum | www.pem.org
90 | BOSTON SPIRIT
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JAN|FEB 2014 | 91
BEAUTY | BODY
HOME | GARDEN
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Furniture ... Made for Real Life Circle Furniture offers an eclectic selection of furniture for traditional and contemporary homes, fast delivery times for made-to-order items, corporate philanthropy, support of the regional economy, and most of all, fun.
Beauty Medicine Boston
1318 Beacon Street, Ste. 7 (2nd floor) Brookline, MA 617.953.6261 http://www.beautymedicineboston.com
Boston's Only Urban Resort Destination Spa With uncompromising quality and a staff of award-winning professionals, EMERGE beckons as an urban oasis of unsurpassed luxury, providing relaxation and rejuvenation for men, women and couples. Additionally, The Men's Club at EMERGE — designed for the personalized, fine grooming needs of the urban gentleman — offers precision hair cuts and shaves from a Master Barber, scalp treatments, massage, a steam room, a flat screen TV and full Internet access. Conveniently located on Newbury Street, EMERGE is classic, traditional and European in design and atmosphere. 275 Newbury Street Boston, MA 617-437-0006 www.EMERGESPASALON.com
31 St. James Ave. Boston, MA 617-778-0887 www.circlefurniture.com
Enjoy the latest revolutions in spa + salon services Sleek, innovative and cutting edge, G2O offers men, women and couples a comprehensive program of contemporary spa and salon services and treatments devoted to wellness, health and rejuvenation. Recognizing water as a life force that sustains and nourishes, G2O celebrates a new generation of signature services and amenities. Highlights include The Bali Paradise Experience, The Brine Inhalation Therapy Room, the Skylight Hot Tub, stateof-the-art sunless tanning technology, a Penthouse Terrace and more. Providing “The Formula For The Essentials of Life,” G2O is Boston's "green" day spa on Newbury Street. 338 Newbury Street Boston, MA 617-262-2220 www.g2ospasalon.com
Seligman Dental Designs
Personalized dental care; healthy, beautiful smiles; comfortable, caring service in our state-of-the-art dental facility in the heart of the South End. It’s no secret that healthy teeth and a radiant smile can improve your appearance, your self-esteem and your overall health. Whether your goal is to restore your smile or maintain good oral health, you can benefit from Dr. James R. Seligman’s comprehensive approach to dental care. 617-451-0011 SouthEndDental.com
Your Weight. Your Life. Take Control. The country’s largest and most respected network of weight loss programs, includes an adults-only residential facility with upscale amenities, state-of-the art facilities, and chef prepared meals.
721 Worcester Street (Route 9) Natick, MA 508-651-3500 www.doverrug.com
Gardner Mattress Corporation A New England favorite for generations, Gardner Mattress has been manufacturing quality custom-sized, odd-sized and handmade mattresses in their Salem factory for over 70 years! Though their landmark location is North of Boston in Salem, they also service satisfied customers throughout New England. At Gardner Mattress, you’ll find mattresses including lace-tufted, layered latex, pocketed coil, quilted cotton and ivory plush, all handmade with natural materials. Located in Salem, Woburn and Newton, MA and Rye, NH. www.GardnerMattress.com
bright ideas begin at lucia Lucia Lighting & Design Our unique lighting store features 12 showrooms in 8,000 square feet of a lovingly restored mansion staffed with certified lighting specialists who are both educated and customer focused. Whether you want to visit our showroom or have one of our team visit you at your location in the Boston area, lucÃa lighting & design is the answer. 311 Western Ave. (RT-107 Lynn, MA 781-595-0026 www.lucialighting.com
The Outdoor Living Store For over 40 years, Seasons Four has been a destination for everyone in New England that values outdoor spaces. We are a trusted source for quality, heirloom furniture for your sunroom, porch, patio, deck, and garden. We also provide unique plant material, statuary, fountains and garden accessories to complete your outdoor room. 1265 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 781-861-1200 seasonsfour.com
92 | BOSTON SPIRIT
New Showroom Now Open Dover Rug & Home Dover Rug & Home offers the largest selection of fine floor coverings and window treatments in New England. Visit their BRAND NEW location at 721 Worcester Street in Natick (RT9) As the “Best of Boston Home 2011” recipient, their larger showroom has something for every budget. Natick, MA and Hanover, MA locations.
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Bath and kitchen products, since 1945. Experience our beautiful 4,500 square foot showroom, north of Boston.
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Yale Appliance & Lighting
Turn it On!! Over 3500 lights, 800 appliances and 200 plumbing products on display. We service what we sell.
Where the accent is on family since 1985.
296 Freeport St Dorchester, MA 1-866-849-7838 www.yaleappliance.com
PROFESSIONAL | SERVICES Burns & Levinson, LLP
Burns & Levinson LLP, a leading mid-size law firm with a clientcentric culture, has over 125 attorneys in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. We work with entrepreneurs, emerging businesses, private and public companies and individuals in sophisticated business transactions, litigation and private client services — family law, trusts & estates, marriage and divorce law. 617-345-3000 www.burnslev.com
PROUD SUPPORTER OF LGBT ORGANIZATIONS
Harvard University Careers If you can work, you can work at Harvard! We are so much more than just students and professors. We are the 5th largest private employer in Massachusetts, with over 16,000 employees. Almost any job you can think of exists at the University.
Since 1985 the Accent family has been delivering customers to their special occasions in style. You can always count on our gorgeous cars, impeccable customer service, and competitive rates.
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Reproductive Science Center
A pioneer in helping lesbians and gay men become parents, the Reproductive Science Center of New England serves clients throughout New England, and even across the United States and Europe. Their Medical Director, Samuel Pang, MD, is a member of the gay community and they are committed to providing quality, personal care for their diverse family of patients.
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Peter Hamilton Nee and Robert S. Edmunds UBS is proud to support Boston Spirit magazine, and salutes Fenway Health for their faithful service to our community. Please contact us any time. Peter Hamilton Nee, AIF, CRPC, VP, Investments and Robert S. Edmunds, CFP, CRPC ubs.com/ team/neeedmunds. Wellesley, MA 781-446-8918 or 800-828-0717 ubs.com/team/neeedmunds
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A family-run business since 1898, at Lux Bond & Green we’re known by the company we keep. Rolex, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Baume & Mercier, Piaget, Mikimoto, David Yurman, John Hardy, and Hermés are just a few of the brands we carry. Our services include: Appraisals, Jewelry and Watch Repair, Custom Design, Wedding & Gift Registry and more. www.lbgreen.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. We will help you Robert S. Edmunds, CFP , CRPC where you wantVice to go, but also how you want to get 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®
Vice President–Investments ubs.com/fa/peternee 55 William Street, 3rd Floor Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM and CRPC® are registered service marks of Wellesley, MAand 02481 Chartered Planning Counselor UBS CRPC areServices registeredInc. service of the of College the CollegeRetirement for Financial Planning®. Financial is amarks subsidiary UBS for AG. 781-446-8918 800-828-0717 . UBS Financial Services Inc. isreserved. a subsidiary of UBS AG. FinancialUBS Planning ©2010 Financial Services Inc. All rights Member SIPC. ©2010 UBS Financial Services Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. 12.00_Ad_4.5x7.5_WF1110_NeeP email@example.com SM
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TRAVEL | ADVENTURE 5 Star Travel Services
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. It has received numerous awards worldwide for philanthropic contributions to the community. Their staff has traveled the world. They provide both Corporate and Leisure Travel, and specialize in Cruises. Call 5 Star Travel for all your travel needs. Remember: Without a Travel Agent, you are on your own. www.5star-travel.com
art + eat + retreat ArtBar is a warm, intimate retreat for food and art lovers located at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA. The ArtBar boasts stellar selections from the hotel's world-class art collection while the restaurant features innovative cuisine, a well curated wine list and seasonal specialty cocktails. Patio seating along the Charles River, with full bar service offer unparalleled riverside dining with views of the Boston Skyline. 40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard Cambridge, MA 617-806-4122 artbarcambridge.com
Marriott Copley Place
110 Huntington Avenue (Boston) , MA 617-236-5800 http://goo.gl/soiy38
40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard Cambridge, MA 617-806-4200 www.sonesta.com/Boston/
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 Source for Diamonds, Wedding Rings, Fine Jewelry & Watches Long's Jewelers has been in the business of happy moments since 1878. We're honored to help our customers celebrate milestones like engagements, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and retirements and not to mention "just because" moments! Whether you're looking for diamonds, wedding rings, fine jewelry, Swiss watches, awards, or corporate gifts, Long's has you covered.
Catering | Events The premier caterer on the lower cape, Ptown Parties is a full service catering and event planning company. Let them cater your next cocktail party, clambake or wedding, in your home, inn, rental condo or yacht. Let Ptown Parties take care of all the hassles, so you can enjoy a carefree day in Provincetown, and a great party that night! 508-487-6450 Ptownparties.com
WEDDING | EVENTS
94 | BOSTON SPIRIT
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.
LGBT Owned & Operated Accent Limousine & Car Service We provide professional transportation services throughout Greater Boston and the Metro-West. We grow our client base every year because we care for our clients as only a ‘Family’ business can. Our chauffeurs are professionally attired, knowledgeable, reliable, and friendly, and their professionalism and driving abilities will immediately earn your trust and confidence. We look forward to driving you on your next special occasion. www.accentlimo.com/spirit
Boston, Braintree, Burlington, Natick, and Peabody, MA 877-845-6647 www.longsjewelers.com
Spectacular city views, luxury accommodations, regional cuisine, and contemporary art All of our 400 well-appointed guest rooms and suites offer guests the comforts of home with first-class amenities and overlook the Charles River, Cambridge or Boston's stunning skyline. The Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston features both casual and elegant dining and delicious inspired cuisine in two highly acclaimed riverfront restaurants with seasonal patios, ArtBar and Restaurant Dante.
WEDDING | EVENTS
32 Wood Road (Just South of Boston) Braintree, MA 781-849-1970 KonditorMeister.com
Great Location. Great Amenities. Boston Marriott Copley Place Located in the Back Bay and a few blocks from the South End, the Boston Marriott Copley Place is perfect for business or leisure travel. The hotel features deluxe rooms, Champions, Connexion Lounge, Starbucks, indoor pool, fitness center, 70,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and is minutes from top attractions.
Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston
Affordable great music for your party! Boston Spirit’s official Cruise DJ for four years. Bringing, Great Music and Fun to your Events! All genres: pop, jazz, techno, world beat, swing, disco & more!
RELAX | RENEW | REFLECT
Going to New York?
World-Class Luxury Guesthouse and Spa
Swank, fully-furnished pads for business or leisure. Singles, couples, families. WiFi, amazing views, minutes from NYC.
10% Discount for Spirit Readers! BOOK ONLINE Promo Code: spirit
www.NYC-JC.com +1 (201) 706-1017
14 Johnson Street, Provincetown | 800.487.0132
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JAN|FEB 2014 | 95
CODA Television STORY Scott Kearnan people. That was weird: I don’t meet many straight allies who are so passionate!
going through this, and that no one understood or could see why helping me was important.
[BS] Any other stars you got to meet that you were really excited about?
[BS] What was your
[ZK] A lot of people came up to
congratulate me, and everyone was awesome. But I’m not going to lie: I was really excited to meet Darren Criss. [Laughs] [BS] When did you realize you
had a different gender identity?
Local Hero 19-year-old transgender activist receives national recognition with TeenNick HALO Award For many trans teens, validation from peers is hard to come by. (Bullying, unfortunately, much easier.) But 19-year old Methuen native Zachary Kerr recently received a huge show of support from pop culture’s most popular crew. The transgender educator and activist was one of four people recently honored with a TeenNick HALO Award, recognizing young people who do important and inspiring work, in a celeb-studded ceremony watched by millions. Mind you, Kerr is used to an audience; this former high school GSA president has spoken at more than 200 schools, and run countless workshops and professional development sessions for Greater Boston PFLAG and the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program, in order to share his story and foster a climate of understanding and tolerance for trans kids. (Not to mention lobbying in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.)
At the November show, emceed by You’ve Got Talent host Nick Cannon, Kerr received the award from Glee dreamboat Darren Criss. And beforehand, he lived the dream of countless Hunger Games fans by spending the week with star Josh Hutcherson, founder of the Straight But Not Narrow campaign, dedicated to building allies for LGBTQ youth. But the most important part to Kerr? Getting his most public platform yet to spread awareness of trans issues—and show potentially thousands of trans kids watching at home that they are not alone. We talked to Kerr about coming out trans, and earning his big moment in the spotlight. [BOSTON SPIRIT] Congrats on the
HALO Award! What was it like to hang with Josh Hutcherson?
[ZACHARY KERR] I loved getting
to spend time with Josh. He’s almost as passionate as I am about supporting LGBT
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[ZK] Growing up I was a selfproclaimed tomboy. All my best friends were boys and I was the only girl in the football league. I don’t remember this, but my parents say that when I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I would answer, “a boy.” In the second grade, I wanted to wear my big brother’s clothes to school but my parents would make me wear girl clothes. So I would take my boy clothes in my backpack and change into them on the school bus, wear them for half the day and change back on the ride home. [BS] I hear that when you came
out as trans, your parents had different reactions.
[ZK] My dad is very easygoing. It was harder for my mom. We had a closer relationship: we talk about everything, we always hang out. I think my mom saw it as me changing, and her losing her youngest daughter. But I knew she got it the day she said to me “I’d rather have a happy son than a dead daughter.” She saw where we were headed if I was going to continue to be her daughter. [BS] So people understand: what
are the experiences as a trans teen that put you in such a dark place?
[ZK] Just feeling that I was alone: that I was going to be a boy trapped in a girl’s body for the rest of my life. ... It was the feeling that I was the only one
experience like at school?
[ZK] I was lucky to go to a school that was very accepting. … I went into the guidance office and said, “I’m not coming back to school as a girl. I’m not using female pronouns.” She emailed everyone before school started to say: there is a student, he is transgender, and this is what you should him call for attendance. I went into junior year so scared that I was going to have to explain everything to everyone. But I remember walking into my homeroom and seeing my teacher. I didn’t have to say anything to him, the first thing he said was, “Hi Zach.” Not every school would have been like that. [BS] What would you like to
focus on in the future?
[ZK] I want to be in a position with trans kids where I can be someone that really does understand everything they’re going through, as a social worker or in a therapy role. I feel like that’s where I’m needed. [BS] Who is your personal hero? [ZK] My friend Joe Stevens from the band Coyote Grace. He’s the first trans person I met. We met at a concert when I was 16-years-old and he didn’t have to, but we started emailing. When he plays at concerts he tells people he’s trans. I once said, ‘why do you do that? You don’t have to tell people.’ He said, ‘because of kids like you, so you can see that there are other trans people out there.’ That totally resonated with me and it’s one of the reasons I do what I do. [x]