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MAR|APR 2014




Self-identified asexual funny lady headlines LGBT Executive Networking Night in April

Michelle Kosilek Speaks

The controversial transgender rights activist talks from prison

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus

Think you know them? They require a new hearing!

The Big Gay Wedding Guide After a decade of marriage equality, tie the knot in a fab way!

30 Years of Gays on Screen

Boston LGBT Film Festival hits a milestone

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From The Publisher Believe it or not this issue represents the nine year anniversary of Boston Spirit magazine. Where has the time gone? There have been so many incredible stories and events along the way and so many great friendships made. It’s been an amazing ride so far, and I think the best is still yet to come. Just think, when the magazine started there was no LGBT Executive Networking Night. Now that event attracts more than 1,000 people each spring. This year, with the very funny Paula Poundstone as our Keynote Speaker. We anticipate an even larger crowd! We’ve also added in some informative ‘expert panel’ discussions to the event. Check out page (xx) for all of the details. There was also no annual Summer Sunset Cruise when the magazine launched. Now in its seventh year, the cruise has generated more than $100,000 as a fundraiser for Fenway Health, with crowds of 700 and more joining us for the best floating party of the summer. In April we have a new entry to Boston Spirit’s event series, as we will have our first Executive Breakfast event. We are very proud to partner with the Boston Red Sox on this breakfast, which will cover the topic of Diversity Staffing. We have two senior executives from the Red Sox joining us to tell those in attendance about the policies that the Red Sox have in place with regard to diversity initiatives. It promises to be a very educational and entertaining morning. For more information see page (xx) for details. Finally, we are planning some very fun events for the fall. So stay tuned. As for the magazine, we have some amazing stories coming your way, including our exclusive interview with Michelle Kosilek in this issue. I wrote to Michelle in November and asked if she would speak to Boston Spirit to discuss her case against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections with regard to her gender reassignment surgery. She agreed, and James Lopata and I held that interview in late January. The result was a fascinating interview and one that I will never forget. With that in mind, I will leave you to enjoy this issue of Boston Spirit and I hope to see everyone at Boston Spirit’s 2014 LGBT Executive Networking Night on April 17th at the Copley Marriott Hotel.

David Zimmerman Publisher


Boston Spirit Magazine supporters Accent Limousine Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Audio Concept Boston Symphony Orchestra Boston University Burns & Levinson, LLP Carpe Diem Celebrity Series Circle Furniture Delete Destination Salem DJ Mocha


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THE GUIDE 62 40 25 50 THE GUIDE 10 13 54 69 THE GUIDE 31 55 76 67 61 60 COVER 75 35 3 59 1 41 23 64 5 29 11 COVER 65 THE GUIDE THE GUIDE 57 34 7 12 73 15 37 THE GUIDE

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As We Go To Press … Imagine before you were born. You do not know who you will be, what genes you will inherit, what family or neighborhood environment you will find yourself in. You could be born as an heir to the Vanderbilts or in the slums of Mumbai. You could be lesbian or gay or straight or bisexual or transgender. You could have the constitutional makeup of a prodigy or possess a genetic predisposition to severe addiction. Your parents could be destitute heroine junkies or a Tiger Mom. You have no control over any of that. But imagine that you can decide the rules of the community you will be born into, the kind of government structure you would want in place, social services, legal practices, and social justice systems.   This is the hypothetical challenge that philosopher John Rawls poses.  What structural blueprint would best serve you whether you were born Jenna Bush or Trayvon Martin, Phillip Seymour Hoffman or a disowned child living on the streets? Or Michelle Kosilek? Imagine growing up as a young, effeminate boy, named Robert, in an abusive household, with an alcoholic father, being sexually molested by your grandfather. You have little-to-no proper parental supervision and find yourself wandering the streets of Chicago by the age of 10. There, you begin to find some semblance of freedom for yourself through drinking, drugging, and turning tricks. You begin to suspect that you aren’t really a boy after all. You’re caught in a street life cycle of addiction and crime. As you begin to try to get help for yourself, someone suggests that all you need is a good woman in your life. You find one and you marry her. Then, one tragic evening, your tortured past catches up to you during an altercation, and you find yourself killing her in a blackout. As you come to terms with the horror that so much of your life has become, you are also convinced that you are a woman. After suicide attempts and attempts at self-castration, you finally get the help you are looking for in prison, from medical staff. These physicians provide psychiatric care and determine that gender reassignment surgery is medically necessary for you. What if you had been born as Robert Kosilek? Kosilek’s case may seem very controversial on the surface — murderer wants state to pay for sex change surgery. It makes great headline copy. But below the


Contribute your opinion:

surface, as with every case, there is a human being caught in a less-than-satisfactory societal net. Kosilek’s is not — in a large sense — a case about transgender rights, or even prisoner rights. Michelle Kosilek, in her words in the interview and letter we present in this issue of Boston Spirit, rightly frames her case as about human rights. Kosilek is trying to make amends for what she calls her “very troubled journey … where I have taken every fucking wrong turn possible.” From her prison cell, she is trying to speak up for the rights of human beings who happen to be inmates. Her case may not look pretty from the outside, but advocates can come from unlikely places. We may abhor that she took a life. We may feel uncomfortable with taxpayer dollars being used to pay for the sex reassignment surgery of a convicted killer. But how comfortable are we with the societal circumstances that made Michelle Kosilek’s distressing life possible? How comfortable are we with our current penal and prison systems? (Consider New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof’s recent column where he described how jails have become de facto mental health institutions. “The only way to get treatment is to be arrested,” he wrote in a piece dated February 8, 2014. “Psychiatric disorders are the only kind of sickness that we as a society regularly respond to not with sympathy but with handcuffs and incarceration.”) Kosilek, despite her unsettling history, is dedicating what is left of her life to creating a future that can give more children a better chance at living a life of dignity. If we don’t want to pay for her surgery. So be it. What else can we do to help her in creating the dream of a better society for kids in the future? Kosilek’s case is bigger than her individual surgery and begs a much larger question: If we were born as Robert Kosilek, or any number of other children other than us, what social justice systems would we want in place? Once we answer that, Kosilek’s current activist work begs a second powerful question: What are we willing to do to create it?

James Lopata Editor

C E L E B R AT I N G 2 5 Y E A R S O F




Community Cliffnotes: Kehset

72 Spotlight PHOTO Lea St. Germain


The Big Gay Wedding Guide


Hit List April Fools Gray Area That’s Amore Ricardo Recommends Go Figure Word Is Out Get ‘Out’ and Vote Community Cliffnotes

8 10 12 14 16 18 20 20 21

Feature Michelle Kosilek Speaks

‘I came to prison for taking a life in a tragically accidental situation and, regardless of that, I am nonetheless a human being deserving of dignity, and medical care is one of the things that prisons are required to provide’

MAR|APR 2014 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 2

‘This is not about me’ Massachusetts’ Forgotten Gay Governor and Senator


David Walsh had a skeleton or two in his lavender closet

Michelle Kosilek Speaks

Maine Native Wins NYC ‘Gay’ Councilor Seat

Corey Johnson made headlines as an out high school football hero from small town Maine in the ‘90s


26 32



Planting Roots


Two gay couples capture the emerging spirit of a generation that enjoys raising its own food and getting its hands dirty ...

Seasonal It’s impossible to cover every aspect of same-sex wedding planning in a single feature. Even a whole magazine wouldn’t do. But we boiled down the process to some of the major components and share the people, ideas, and facts that will get you on your merry way—down the aisle.


The etiquette of treating your big day with the propriety it deserves


43 Planting Roots


Culture Big Role, Big Heart


Dads and Monsters


Kickstarting a Gay Phenom


The Music Men


30 Years of Gays on Screen


Inn and Out


Local favorite John Kuntz tackles ‘The Whale’ James Fluhr takes on homophobia—with glitter and war paint—in ‘Our Lady’

Massachusetts native garners big money and lots of attention with his new film Arvind Think you know the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus? Think again

Provincetown couple combines New England heritage with modern charm at Salt House Inn

Scene One Big Event First Event  Martin Luther King Day Service Toys for Joys

84 84 85 86

Calendar Calendar88

Coda Hometown Honey on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Worcester-based queen Joslyn Fox, a.k.a. DJ Patrick Allen, makes a run for the tiara

The Big Gay Wedding Guide

ON THE COVER Paula Poundstone 38

Same-Sex Weddings, the Perfectly Proper Way

Boston LGBT Film Festival hits a milestone

Paula Poundstone Mixes Pleasure with Business

The Massachusetts native will headline this year’s LGBT Executive Networking Night

The Music Men







MA state representative Candidate Chris Remmes



with your nearest, dearest and queerest. First up: “That’s So Gay!” a new trivia game with over 2,400 questions about LGBTQ history. Each correct answer earns color tokens representing categories like Movies, Literature, Science, and The Courts. Amass a full rainbow flag to win. The game was developed by Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago LGBT newspaper, Windy City Times. To learn more or purchase ($24.99), visit

Dziedzic, former chair of MassEquality’s board of directors. The husbands first brought the Canadian spa brand to the South End in 2010, and a Newbury Street spot launched less than a year ago. Now they’ve taken it to The Street, a booming new restaurant and retail strip in Chestnut Hill that is also home to luxury gym Sports Club/LA and Manhattanborn, burger-hit Shake Shack. The 1,000-square foot skoah is designed like a sleek and modern Canadian cabin, with a custom fireplace and three treatment rooms.


with a facial from skoah, which just opened its third area location under owners Jay Judas and Pete


when a primary election determines which Democrat may take the 2nd Suffolk State Representative seat held by Gene O’Flaherty since 1997. (O’Flaherty vacated for an appointment by Mayor Walsh.) Among the candidates: out Charlestown resident Chris Remmes, active HRC volunteer and former vice-president of the Greater Boston Business Council. Remmes, a realtor and chair of the Charlestown Democratic Ward Committee, planned to run even before O’Flaherty announced his departure. “He was representing the district of twenty years ago, not today,” said Remmes of O’Flaherty, a one-time equal marriage opponent. (Though he eventually helped vote down an anti-gay Constitutional Amendment in 2007.) Remmes admits the absence of a clear-cut conservative makes it harder to highlight his progressive credentials. “But I’m in this to the end,” said Remmes, who hopes to advocate for transgender issues. The final election will be held April 1. More: remmes. org.


FXX’s “Chozen” 8 | BOSTON SPIRIT

for cute cosplayers at PAX East, the annual convention for video and computer game fans, coming to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from April 11-13. Last year’s event attracted 60,000 devotees, but 2014’s installment brings something new: the Roll For Diversity Hub and Lounge, an area offering

specific resources (including free booth space) and “diversity-driven content” for LGBTQ gamers, among others. Though the initiative received some backlash over perceived marginalization, show director Robert Khoo stated that the area is “something that both celebrates and raises awareness of different, underrepresented gamer groups.” (Another place with more representation: King of the Nerds, a TBS reality competition featuring

“Gaymer” Xander on TBS’ reality competition ‘King of the Nerds’

Sat. March 26

MAR|APR 2014 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 2

Sat. April 26


David Zimmerman EDITOR IN CHIEF


Dinner Party and Men’s Event on Saturday, March 26 and Saturday, April 26, respectively, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The major annual fundraisers for LGBT-focused Fenway Health are co-chaired this year by Sarah Kyley McCormack, Cynthia R. Cahill and Jennifer L. Jones; and Joe Caputo, Rob Krasow and Matthew E. Thompson. For event info and tickets, visit and

DIVE INto Revolutionary, a

fascinating historic novel about America’s first female soldier, Deborah Sampson Gannett of Plympton, Massachusetts, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War. The richly researched work comes from author (and distant relative) Alex Myers, the first openly trans student to attend

Harvard University, where he worked to change the school’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity. As local history, Revolutionary deftly covers Gannett’s interesting connections to a litany of small local towns, like Uxbridge, Middleborough, and Sharon. More importantly, it’s a nuanced profile examining gender identity issues within a historic context—offering new light on how we see them today.


and support The Point Foundation, a national LGBTQ scholarship fund that works to help promising students and future leaders fulfill their academic potential despite obstacles they have faced, such as family rejection and homelessness. Tickets are $125 to attend the Boston Cornerstone event on Thursday, March 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It is a chance to toast students and alumni with other supporters of our community’s most ambitious youth. [x]

James A. Lopata ART DIRECTOR

Dean Burchell


Jenn Dettmann


Chris George, Michael Poulin



Scott Kearnan



Loren King


Dimmick, Tony Giampetruzzi, Mark Krone, Fred Kuhr, Ricardo Rodriguez


Joel Benjamin

COVER IMAGECourtesy Paula


ON THE WEB TALK TO USSend comments, questions and encomia to

SEP|OCT 2013

self-proclaimed “gaymer” Xander in its new season.)

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


Kathy Griffin Boston

Author Alex Myers

‘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 Seasonal STORY Scott Kearnan

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Antonio Douthit-Boyd. Photo: Andrew Eccles


2013 • 2014 75TH SEASON

April/May Performances Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


Jason Moran - Fats Waller Dance Party The Assad Family - A Brazilian Songbook Takács Quartet - Bartok Cycle, Part 2 Marc-André Hamelin and Emanuel Ax duo piano Nicholas Phan tenor Maria Schneider Orchestra Deborah Voigt soprano

4/4 4/5 4/11 4/13

The Assads

4/17 4/26 4/27

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 5/1-4 Marc-André Hamelin piano 5/2 Anthony Marwood violin Martin Fröst clarinet Art Spiegelman 5/9 “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?” Mark Morris Dance Group 5/15-18 Acis and Galatea (East Coast Premiere) Dmitri Hvorostovsky baritone 5/29


Tiffani Faison

Chef-owner of Sweet Cheeks Q and Top Chef finalist a. “I was the youngest AllAmerican cheerleader in the state of California at age 14.” b. “I have taken a trophy pan from every kitchen I’ve worked in.” c. “In high school I once baked a batch of brownies laced with Ex-Lax for a school function.” d. “I have moved 15 times in my life.”


David Brown

Maria Schneider


We asked each to tell us three fascinating things about themselves, plus one big lie. See if you can spot the fib amid the facts.

Deborah Voigt

Chief Advancement Officer at The Forsyth Institute and beloved broadcast pro a. “I once lived next door to a serial killer.” b. “I was a mime as a teenager at Six Flags Over Middle America, now Six Flags St. Louis.” c. “I sang back-up for Paul Anka.” d. “I was Oprah Winfrey’s intern in Baltimore.”

75th Anniversary Season Print Media Sponsor

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Answers 1: B, 2: B, 3: D, 4: A,5: D

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Jim’ 3 ‘Gay Clerkin

Matty in the Morning show producer and music director for KISS 108 and Evolution 101.7 a. “I went to the same high school as Notorious B.I.G.” b. “I have a master’s degree in business from an accounting college, but I can’t do my own taxes.” c. “I once got a call from Mitt Romney’s press secretary letting me know that he doesn’t like me.” d. “I once peed at a urinal next to Justin Bieber.”


Rev. Irene Monroe

Theologian, speaker, internationally syndicated religion columnist and Huffington Post and Bay Windows contributor a. “I once belonged to a girl singing group called ‘TriColettes,’ named after French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette but fashioned after Diana Ross and the Supremes.” b. “I ran my first Boston Marathon as a sophomore at Wellesley College under a male name, long before women were allowed to run the race.” c. “I worked at Seventeen Magazine right after college and lived down the street from John Lennon’s residence at New York City landmark The Dakota.” d. “I was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency while a student at Columbia University.”

Kris 5 Knievil

AKA Christopher Fijal, drag artist and performer, hostess and show director at Jacques Cabaret a. “I was a child model between 3-6 years old and did runway shows and print ads for a children’s clothing store.” b. “I appeared on a live TV broadcast of WWE RAW as Frances, the possible mother of chairman Vince McMahon’s illegitimate child, and revealed to him that I was a transexual named Frank.” c. “I own over 150 pairs of high heel shoes and boots. More than half of those are black.” d. “I won first place in a hot dog eating contest at teenage Bible camp two summers in a row.” [x]  161 Essex Street | Salem, MA 01970 | 978-745-9500 | David Tucker Photography

SPOTLIGHT Celebrity STORY Scott Kearnan

Gray Area As producer of Anderson Cooper 360, 33-year old Massachusetts native Jack Gray keeps things running smoothly for one of the country’s best-known television personalities and out public figures. But when it was time to tell his parents he was gay, it was Gray’s turn to get help from a veteran who knows a thing or two about breaking news. “He took me out to lunch for a great talk,” recalls Gray. “But with Anderson, you’re never left alone. One minute we’re in this really deep conversation about how I’m going to tell my family, and then Lesley Stahl comes over to the table. Suddenly I’m totally fixated on her hair, makeup and assessing her fabulousness. It was the gayest moment of my life.” It’s one of many anecdotes about NYC living, the news business, and brushes with celebrity that Gray includes in his first book, Pigeon in a Crosswalk: Tales of Anxiety and Accidental Glamour. The essay collection, written with the encouragement of Cooper, reads like a belly-laugh-filled coffee

date with your wittiest pal; Gray piles on pop culture references and self-deprecating humor as he recounts his past (including childhood days weaned on The Golden Girls and local news) and tries to navigate the fast lanes of city life and the modern media world. The pithy, behind-the-scenes tales and elbow-rubbing with celebs has plenty of thirty-something generational appeal, but Gray brings a maturity and perspective to his observations on more serious matters, like bouts with depression, that ensures Pigeon will appeal to older readers too. “Sometimes I feel young, sometimes I feel like a gay fossil. It depends on the day,” laughs Gray, whose dry and world-weary humor belies his age—as does his extensive experience. The news bug was always in him, starting with childhood broadcasts he staged in his living room the way other kids might imitate MTV clips. Gray grew up enamored with the “Chet-and-Nat” Golden Age of Boston news, and spent a college internship working under the couple at WCVB Channel 5. Long before Anderson Cooper came around, it was Chet Curtis

Pigeon serves plenty of dish on his famous boss and his BFF Kathy Griffin, but Gray could fill many more books with his run-ins with stars: from finding a favorite chair for the diminutive Dr. Ruth to bumping into Madonna at Cooper’s birthday bash. (“That’s the only time I was really star struck. But you don’t say anything to Madonna—you just back away slowly and leave her the fuck alone.”) But the biggest diva he’s dealt with? That honor belongs to yet another big name from Boston.

Jack Gray whom Gray considered a friend and mentor. The elder newsman eventually tapped him to produce his NECN show, The Chet Curtis Report, and Gray finds it hard to overstate the influence of the Boston market and his relationship with his “second father.” “There’s something about Boston, and that certain generation,” says Gray, speaking shortly before Curtis died in January. “They were figures in the community. They knew

how to pronounce the names of the towns, they knew every politician, and they knew what it meant to say ‘the Braintree split.’ They had roots here, and they weren’t just looking for the next big thing. Chet was an amazing figure in my life. The best thing he did was give me the freedom to try new things—and to sometimes fuck up.”

“Barney Frank was so cranky. That’s not exactly a surprise,” recalls Gray of when he booked the former congressman for a segment on NECN. “He had to wait for twenty minutes for another guest to finish. He was like, ‘You’re lucky I like Chet or I’d be out of here.’ If he’d walked out I would have been screwed. Here I am, a twenty-something trying to produce a half hour of live TV, and he almost had me in tears.” Even when it’s focused more on Gray’s anxiety than the “accidental glamour,” Pigeon has us in tears too—but only because we’re also in stitches. [x]

Learning from the best prepared Gray to work with top talent like Cooper today.

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SPOTLIGHT Food STORY Scott Kearnan

Culinary power couple Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier

That’s Amore

GAY CHEF COUPLE BRINGS THEIR PASSION TO BOSTON If you’re among the many who mourned the closing of Ogunquit fine dining institution Arrows, take heart. The James Beard award-winning gay chefs behind it have a new target, and for city folks, this new restaurant might hit even closer to home. Culinary power couple Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier opened M.C. Spiedo Ristorante & Bar in Boston’s booming Seaport district in February, inhabiting the space at Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel that was formerly occupied by 606 Congress. These high-end chefs have been at the forefront of the local, sustainable, farm-to-fork dining movement long before those were popular buzzwords — Arrows celebrated its 25th anniversary shortly before shutting its doors in September. The couple continues to bring it to another Ogunquit restaurant, MC Perkins Cove, their less formal but equally lauded American gem. (It’s home to one of America’s Best Lobster Rolls, says Food & Wine.) But for this latest venture,


they’re also seeking inspiration abroad: Italy. “Spiedo” means “spit” or “skewer” in Italian, and the restaurant will boast a 40-inch steel spit that will be used nightly to roast locally sourced duck, chicken (pictured) and suckling pig, among other soon-to-be favorites. Gaier and Frasier have long been favorites of the dining world. Arrows topped countless “best of” lists and was included in Gourmet magazine’s list of “America’s Top 50 Restaurants.” (At a lofty #14, no less.) It spawned a cookbook. (They’ve since written another.) And Bon Appetit deemed it among the Country’s Most Romantic Restaurants. That’s unsurprising, since the duo have been a couple for nearly 30 years. They even appeared together on the fourth season Top Chef Masters, the first time in the show’s history that two chefs from the same restaurant appeared, competing for two separate LGBT organizations: Gaier for the Equality

Maine Foundation, and Frasier for Outright Lewiston/Auburn. Now the only thing they’re competing for is space in the Boston dining scene . Guests at M.C. Spiedo can expect old world cookery from Florence, Bologna, and Venice combined with contemporary techniques. And though skewered meats are a highlight, there will be plenty of surprises that reflect Gaier and Frasier’s passion for the Italian Renaissance, a period remembered not only for its art and architecture, but the start of modern cookery: from the development of supper clubs to the emergence of recipe collections. In fact, among the signature dishes is Leonardo’s Salad, based on a shopping list that Leonardo Da Vinci wrote in one of his many meticulous notebooks. We’re already in love. [x] M.C. Spiedo Ristorante & Bar

606 Congress Street, Boston


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SPOTLIGHT Design STORY Ricardo Rodriguez

Alina Wolhardt


Ricardo Recommends Ten Shades of Color


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.



If you want to make a bold statement with your living room, this is a beautiful color. It’s a dark blue with a hint of greena great color with a little attitude. A lot of people are afraid of dark colors but dark colors can really pull a space together and make it feel very cozy.

Brad Dufton


With the Spring (and the Spring real estate market) around the corner, this might be a good time to think about how to spruce up your home.

Living rooms tend to get accessories changed around and furniture relocated, but a good coat of paint might be that extra special change you have been looking for.

I found this paint color 4 years ago, and I have used on 95% of my design/painting projects ever since! It is one those very few colors that offers a neutral backdrop, without having to sacrifice style; it’s a welcomed alternative to the expected beige and a sure thing if you happen to have wood stained trim, for it compliments perfectly with any wood tone. It offers a soft, chalky, sky-like appearance, creating a very relaxed and natural atmosphere. When I own my dream car, which is a 1963 Corvette Stingray, I’m going to have it costumed painted in this color!

Your paint color choice can create a feeling of openness to the space, it can create the most amazing background for your art, or it can bring that additional sophistication you desire. Here are the recommendations from 10 of the Hub’s top interior designers. These are their go-to paint colors when designing a living room space. In the words of pioneering photographer Ernst Haas: “Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it.” So let yourself be carried away …




Dee Elms



The depth of this color is stunning- it’s enough to get lost in. It is rich during the day and romantic at night. All art looks phenomenal against this color, as it can stand on its own or blend seamlessly with other colors. I particularly love the idea of dramatic, lacquered black doors to compliment it.

Dennis Duffy Duffy Design Group, Inc.) DKC-43 DONALD KAUFMAN I am a big fan of Donald Kaufman Paints, as the pigments that they use react to changes in light quality and source. In theory, I tend to use neutrals for living spaces, so that artwork and the inhabitants become the color.

Elizabeth M. Georgantas



I think this is the perfect paint color for a living room because it is a rich white. Not too bright, not dingy, just soft and with depth to it.



I have found Cloud White to be the perfect wall color. Cloud White is a white that changes color in different light, it is a soft white that I have found to work with any color it may be paired with. White is the color of protection and encouragement and offers a sense of peace and calm. White walls perfectly define the artwork and furnishings used in the room.

Lisa Kreiling (LTK INTERIORS)


For a daring client, I would try this color. It’s a saturated saffron color that feels ancient and cultured, but also modern depending on how you furnish the room. It pairs so well with jewel tones and hints of black for a more wintery look. In the spring, bright blues and turquoise are set off wonderfully.


Gray has always been my favorite color choice for setting a stylish and fabulous backdrop for any living room. Gray will pop anything that is bold, patterned, metallic and/or pastel toned while still adding subtle depth to the walls. There is just something about the sophistication and calmness that makes you feel just right within the interior space.

Duncan Hughes




If you are not careful, natural light in New England can tend to turn greys flat and icy. This paint color is actually a green-blue grey. It also feels warm, because it reflects the light less. This is a versatile grey that tends to take on the quality of the colors around it. I have used this color with great success in rooms where we need a strong neutral that feels historic, but current. This color also makes for an excellent neutral background for most objects and artwork. And because of the extra pigment your living room wall color will look dramatically different as light changes throughout the day.

John Pompeii



Gray is becoming the ultimate neutral because it looks good with almost any color. Classic Gray is a modern neutral that creates a light and airy feeling yet adds more warmth to a room than basic white.

MAR|APR 2014 | 17


Go Figure


is the conservative estimate of how many children in the U.S. are being raised by LGBT people of color; the number could be as high as 1.1 million. [source: Movement Advancement Project]

2 out of 3 LGBT law enforcement officers reported hearing homophobic comments on the job. [source: Williams Institute, UC Los Angeles]

100% of gay male couples who have children together stay together, making those relationships more stable than any other kind studied. [source: research by NYU professor Judith Stacey, as reported in the New York Times]

1 out of 37 children in the U.S. is being raised by a same-sex couple. [source: Williams Institute, UC Los Angeles]






Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; The Willaims Institute 18 | BOSTON SPIRIT



of reported cases of LGBT discrimination in public employment were against law enforcement and corrections employees. [source: Williams

states ban second parent adoption (e.g. samesex couple adoption).

Institute, UC Los Angeles]

67% of gay men say they viewed an LGBT web site or blog in the past week; 58% of lesbians said the same. [source:

Community Marketing Inc.]

[source: ABCNews]

1 million African-American adults identify as LGBT in the U.S. [source: Williams

Institute, UC Los Angeles]

April 17, 2014 Boston Marriott Copley Place 6:00–9:00 p.m. $10 admission fee KEYNOTE SPEAKER

PAULA POUNDSTONE On April 17th LGBT corporate professionals from Greater Boston (and beyond) will gather at the Boston Marriott Copley Place for an unprecedented evening of networking and business conversation.

NEW AND IMPROVED FOR 2014 Educational and informational panel discussions on: ‘Best Practices for Started and Operating an LGBT Employee Resource Group’


‘Corporate Training Tips for LGBT and Diversity Issues’

‘Financial Tips for a Post DOMA World’



More than 1,000 people attended this event in March 2013,don’t miss out!


Get ‘Out’ and Vote

Word Is Out

Thirty-nine out, loud and proud candidates are runningfor political office in New England, by the count of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which makes its business helping LGBT politicians get elected. The list includes out gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud in Maine (Boston Spirit’s cover storyfor Jan/Feb 2014), as well as Maura Healeyfor Attorney General and Steve Kerriganfor Lt. Governor in Massachusetts, Brett Smileyfor Providence Mayor and David Cicillinefor U.S. Congress in Rhode Island — all endorsed by the Victory Fund. All candidates are listed below. Get ‘out’ and vote!

Openly LGBT Candidates that Victory is aware of: MASSACHUSETTS



MAURA HEALEYfor Attorney General

MIKE MICHAUDfor Governor

STEVE KERRIGANfor Lt. Governor


DAN INNISfor Congress CHRIS PAPPASfor Executive Council DEB RUGGIEROfor State Rep ROBERT THEBERGEfor State Rep

(Endorsed by the Victory Fund)

(Endorsed by the Victory Fund)

RICHARD TISEIfor Congress CARL SCIORTINOfor State Rep CHRIS REMMESfor State Rep ALEX MORASHfor State Rep SHAWN ALLYNfor District Attorney CHERYL COAKLEY-RIVERAfor State Rep LIZ MALIAfor State Rep KATE HOGANfor State Rep SARAH PEAKEfor State Rep STAN ROSENBERGfor State Senate DAVID MCCHESNEYfor Selectman

(Endorsed by the Victory Fund)



(Endorsed by the Victory Fund)

BRETT SMILEYfor Mayor of Providence (Endorsed by the Victory Fund) DONNA NESSELBUSHfor State Senate GORDON FOXfor Speaker




KEVIN LEMBOfor Comptroller ANDREW MAYNARDfor State Senate BETH BYEfor State Senate

SPOTLIGHT Community STORY Scott Kearnan

Community Cliffnotes

It’s Spring, and Boston Spirit is introducing a new department. New England is full of vital LGBT community organizations doing important work, and more are founded all the time. But aside from browsing the vendor tables at Pride, there are few regular opportunities to learn about the groups that are out there. And if you’re new to town, it can be especially hard to discover those places you can turn to find support, services— and most importantly, a sense of belonging.


In each issue we’ll spotlight a different organization and explain a little bit more about the work they do. If you’re a New England newcomer, you’ll soon be caught up to speed. And even if you’re already well ensconced in the local LGBT world, we think you’ll discover some new neighbors—and fresh facts—about our diverse community.

Dancing the Hora at the Keshet Cabaret PHOTO Meri Bond Photography

What Is Keshet? Keshet is a grassroots organization that works for full inclusiveness of LGBT Jews in Jewish life, advocating for equality and building bridges between communities. The Hebrew word Keshet means both “bow,” suggesting targeted action, and “rainbow.” (We don’t think we need to explain that one.) The nonprofit organization is supported by paid staff and a nearly 20-person board of directors that includes academics, attorneys, rabbis and other movers and shakers from around the country: including Gender Rights Maryland executive director Dana Beyer and University of Colorado, Boulder’s Jewish Studies

director David Schneer. From humble beginnings, Keshet has become recognized as a vital force in social justice; in October the Slingshot guide, a resource guide recognizing Jewish innovation, honored Keshet in an elite list of the country’s top nonprofits.

How Did It Start? Jonathan Krasner and Jared Goldfarb, two gay Jewish Bostonians, founded Keshet in 1996. Their goal: to respond to, and ameliorate, an environment in which many queer Jews felt forced to choose between communities or to hide an important part of themselves in order to remain involved in Jewish life. Keshet began as an all-volunteer

organization before naming Idit Klein as its first (and current) executive director in 2001; last year she was named to “The Forward 50,” a list of the country’s most impactful Jewish leaders, by The Jewish Daily Forward. In 2010 Keshet merged with Jewish Mosaic, a Denver-based national organization with a similar mission; Keshet’s headquarters remains in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, but the organization now has additional offices in San Francisco and Denver. In fact, in a midnight ceremony earlier this year, Keshet members Anna and Fran Simon became the first couple to take part in Colorado’s newly instituted Civil Unions.

Why Is It Important? LGBT people are often forced to deal with conflict between their own sexual and gender identities and the attitudes experienced within communities of faith. Jewish queers are no exception. “At the time Hineini came out, not a single Jewish high school had a GSA,” explains Bonnie Rosenbaum, Keshet’s director of Communications. She’s referring to Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School, a groundbreaking 2005 documentary that Keshet produced about the struggles of a lesbian student to start a GSA at her school in Waltham, Massachusetts. It has since been screened in 14 countries, and the demand speaks to a

MAR|APR 2014 | 21




[1] [2] [3]



LGBT and Ally Teen Shabbaton Marriage Equality Keshet supporter Enid Shapiro during Hora PHOTO Meri Bond Photography

greater “hunger for resources,” says Rosenbaum. “It’s not as though the Jewish community is inherently homophobic,” she adds, pointing to statistics that show its overwhelming support for same-sex marriage. (According to a March 2013 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 81 percent of Jewish Americans are supportive: more than any other single religious or ethnic group.) However, explains Rosenbaum, many corners of the Jewish community still “don’t have the tools” to implement more inclusive practices. Keshet provides them, and connects those practices back to the foundational value that all people are made in the image of God.

[4] [5]

Keshet Rabbi Joel Alter and Alex Greenbaum Keshet members Suzie and JoJo who met through Keshet PHOTO Meri Bond Photography

What Has It Done? A lot. Keshet’s work is as diverse as its membership, but training is a cornerstone: Keshet implements workshops, professional development curriculums, and leadership summits that help educators, clergy, and other professionals (like Jewish youth camp staff ) affirm LGBT people in community settings. Sometimes it’s as simple as refining Hebrew school paperwork to reflect same-sex family units; other times, it’s as complex as trying to expand opportunities to work with orthodox synagogues. (An area Keshet has had success in. One Denver orthodox



Keshet training for Jewish educators PHOTO Ethan Halainen

[7] [8]

Challah baking workshop PHOTO Bonnie Rosenbaum Tefillin Workshop PHOTO Jordyn Rozensky

synagogue recently hosted a Keshet Training Institute.) Keshet’s Jewish LGBTQ Teen Organizing Project directs resources specifically at queer and ally youth, and recently founded an annual LGBTQ and Ally Teen Shabbaton (next occurring April 4-6) to develop young advocates. And Keshet curates a wide array of educational, cultural and social events (everything from speed dating to challah baking workshops) that bring queer Jews together, and works to mobilize pro-equality movements within other Jewish communities. Even its website is a wealth of info, offering an Equality Guide, a directory of inclusive institutions (from Jewish Community Centers to

senior housing facilities), and several collections of written works (like “Torah Queeries” and “TransTexts”) that explore aspects of Judaism from an LGBT perspective.

What’s It Working On Now? What, that wasn’t enough? Another important Keshet program is its Parent & Family Connection, a mentoring and leadership program that allows those dealing with a loved one’s coming out to connect with other Jewish parents and families who can offer support based on their similar experiences. The Connection has trained mentors in five regions: Boston, Chicago,




Denver/Boulder, Philadelphia and DC/Baltimore. But in 2014, says Rosenbaum, the plan is to enter a brave new world: cyberspace. “We’re working on launching an online connector, so that parents anywhere in the US can connect or start a chapter in their city.” Also important to Keshet is making greater inroads on trans inclusiveness in the Jewish community. “We’ve reached an impressive place where folks are getting on board with the G, the L, and somewhat the B,” explains Rosenbaum. But when it comes to the T, there’s a longer way to go.

How Do I Get Involved? For starters, become a member; information on joining Keshet is hosted on its website. Stay abreast of

Keshet events through the online calendar, which is jampacked with social outings of all kinds. Among the largest is its 7th Annual Keshet Cabaret, to be held on March 27 at the Sheraton Boston. The gala, full of live comedy, music, theater, and fabulous actions, is a major benefit for the organization. This year the Keshet Cabaret will recognize two major power brokers: Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, and Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. [x] KESHET

Top Brass: Idit Klein, executive director S284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 617-524-9227 @KeshetGLBTJews

MAR|APR 2014 | 23

136036_BOSCO_BostonSpiritNovDecAd_3.556x9.875.indd 2

10/16/13 3:05 PM

FEATURE Transgender STORY David Zimmerman and James Lopata

Michelle Kosilek Speaks ‘I came to prison for taking a life in a tragically accidental situation and, regardless of that, I am nonetheless a human being deserving of dignity, and medical care is one of the things that prisons are required to provide’ Michelle Kosilek is an unlikely advocate for LGBT equality. Convicted for murder and spending time in a designated all-male prison, Kosilek is suing for her right to receive gender reassignment surgery, to allow her physical body to match who she has discovered herself to be: a woman. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts refuses to pay for the medical procedure. Most recently, on January 17, 2014, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals declared in favor of Kosilek’s surgery, stating, “DOC has violated Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment rights.” The state is appealing the verdict. Even as the legal case remains in Kosilek’s favor, the court of public opinion is not so favorable. Even progressive politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have not been supportive of Kosilek receiving medical transition surgery while in prison. Further, the prospect of Kosilek being one of the most highly visible people associated in the public mind with a transgender rights issue, makes some in the transgender community uncomfortable.


While many have weighed in on the merits and demerits of the case, one conspicuously absent voice from the public dialogue has been Kosilek’s. Boston Spirit reached out to her. She agreed to speak to us. She had a great deal to say. We also present an open letter she wrote to the community. [BOSTON SPIRIT] Well, hello, Michelle.

Thanks for being with us this morning

[KOSILEK] It’s my pleasure. I always have an overwhelming desire to have information—factual information— about me disseminated to as many precincts as possible, putting a stop to this craziness where my crime has been conflated with my right to medical care in a very cruel way that I am sure has negatively impacted some of the transgender members of the family. [SPIRIT] Well, we want to get the information out there as well, which is why we are happy you’re willing to speak to us directly.

So let’s start with a rather broad question: How would you characterize your role in the transgender movement today? [MK] Well it was a role I initially assumed

from a personal perspective—just from my own need to express myself and to be who I was. Over the course of the battle, it evolved into something much more meaningful, an opportunity to actually be helpful to the prison population in general. There have been an increasing number of medical vendors employed by the Department Of Corrections in recent years who have, for one reason or another, pulled back on the legal mandate to provide adequate medical care across a broad spectrum of illness presentations. I am just really grateful that I was offered an opportunity to go into federal court and have the federal district court and the appeals court both agree that regardless of how unusual the situation presented as a medical condition, and however much resistance there might be because of its unorthodox nature, it was required to be addressed appropriately as all other medical conditions were. There have been a number of lawsuits around the country and in each of these cases the prisoner has prevailed that they have a right to this. But Massachusetts is one of those states that still has an attitude about spending money to provide adequate prison medical care.

[SPIRIT] How aware are you about the response you get from the transgender community? [MK] Well I’m not exactly aware of what’s

happening within the transgender community, unless I hear about it from persons like yourself, or [my sister or daughter]. I was talking to my daughter Amy, [about what] she had seen on a transgender website. And some were

“ You don’t lose your right to humanity and dignity when you go to prison. We don’t go to prison FOR punishment. We come to prison AS punishment. This is what a lot of people, including our elected officials, don’t understand. ” questioning why a prisoner should be able to get something—I mean this is really big in the minds of trans people in the community—why a prisoner should get a procedure that is very, very expensive, that many of them have to save years to be able to afford. And I gave her the obvious answer, which is the truth that has been ignored for up to 20-some odd years in this litigation, and that is, when I was a prisoner in the Bristol county jail trying to get this treatment I had $27,000 dollars in my prison account, ... and I was able to pay for my own surgery. I had contacted a surgeon, and he had agreed to come here and do the surgery. And this is the information I offered my daughter: “in case anyone says anything cruel to you about this procedure in the ways you described to me: I offered to self-pay. And they don’t understand that the US

Supreme Court ruled in 1976 in Estelle v. Gamble that because we [prisoners] are deprived of our right to earn a living wage, prisons are responsible for our housing, our medical care, our clothing, our food and to keep us safe. There are all kinds of medical conditions that they refuse to provide treatment for—even though in the end they are forced to do it anyway—that are way more expensive than mine. They do hip replacements and the part for a hip replacement costs more than my surgery.” [SPIRIT] Senator Elizabeth Warren said regarding your case, “I don’t think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars.” What would you say to Elizabeth Warren if you could talk to her? [MK] I would say that it was disheartening

to me—and that is the kindest word I can think of—that a sitting United States Senator could be so misinformed

about the right to prison medical care as established by the Supreme Court decades ago. It really is, it’s disheartening to me. I would hope that our elected officials would be more informed about civil rights in regards to prisoners. This is the woman who has stood up in strong support of LGBT rights for those in the community. I don’t understand why my rights should be diminished by the existence of the wall that surrounds me, because of the life that I took. My humanity and my right to dignity has been repeatedly established by Supreme Court rulings. You don’t lose your right to humanity and dignity when you go to prison. We don’t go to prison FOR punishment. We come to prison AS punishment. This is what a lot of people, including our elected officials, don’t understand. [CONTINUES 28]

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‘This is not about me’ Michelle Kosilek’s Open Letter to the LGBT community

and I had received the best present ever—my daughter Amy called me mom for the first time! The last time I held her in my arms in 1974 was as her father, surrendering her to the painful safety of adoption. My name is Michelle Lynne Kosilek, and in the context of re-imagined families, I am your sister. Our LGBT inheritance unites us in ways that genomic diversity can never separate us. Millions of us, chosen by circumstance or grace to be ambassadors of change. To teach the uninformed and the misinformed that the differences that develop into challenges in the crucible of intolerance are gifts that strengthen us. Our diversity presents us with unique perspectives that others may never stumble upon. If we remove the shackles of ego, we realize that much of our collective wisdom has been revealed when we stumbled over previously unknown truths while we’re struggling through the obstacle-courses of our fears. When we let go of our fears, we are freed to see what has always been there. Contentment smiles on us. Not the elusive joy that allegedly flows from an untroubled mind; in times when so many need so much, all minds should be a little troubled. A slight unease that blocks complacency. Rejected by my family of origin as many of you were, I took every wrong turn on the way back home. When I got sober in 1983, I was desperately lonely. I married my therapist; six years later I took her life during a fight. I will try to atone for that as long as I live, and still fall short. “Closure” is a pop-psychology term that allows people to begin grieving; it doesn’t close any wounds, and I won’t pretend to understand anyone else’s pain. But if any of you want to know the woman behind the headlines; if you believe that everyone deserves the right to seek redemption, I invite you to read my memoir Grace’s Daughter. It’s an inexpensive e-book available from For those who can’t afford the $2.99, it’s available free from the publisher,, using coupon code QL88Q. No proof of indigency required; poverty is an onerous burden that I won’t add to. It was in prison that I re-imagined the concept of family, through our legal battle and the love of several women who saw something redeemable in me. My peerless partner Jessica, my sister-from-another-mother Cindy, my mother-bear lawyer Franny; all played a unique role, inviting me back into the world of the loveable. (Cindy’s niece Dianna, gifted me with “auntie” status.) Their love taught me that even the most reviled among us cannot be stripped of their humanity. They also taught me to let go of my anger at myself and, more importantly, at my detractors. Our detractors, because my prisoner status has been conflated with my gender dysphoria to magnify an already-existing intolerance of transgender people.


Transgender women will leave with shattered faith and shaved heads like Shelly, because Kentucky does that to all who are placed in segregation, even if it’s for protective custody. Rebekah left the Oregon prison, but only after she almost died from MRSA when she self-castrated after years of being denied hormones. They were the lucky ones. Many LGBT prisoners end their own life as a way of ending their suffering. Whether it’s from loss of hope or the degradation of being a sex-slave, these self-imposed death sentences are a preventable family tragedy. Our family. Our tragedy. In many instances our sisters and brothers took all the wrong roads that I did, often because their families of origin disowned them. In urban areas, 40% of homeless people under the age of 25 are LGBT. Many are just one more despair-filled lonely day away from the mis-steps that lead to prison. I ask you now to re-imagine the concept of family, to include those who are even more marginalized within our already-marginalized family. Get involved in mentoring, in volunteerism. Rosie’s Place would be a good starting point, as would the Community Church of Boston on Boylston Street. If the vacant stares in the eyes of vagabonds begging on street corners fills you with a sense of unease, think of the young people who now stand on other corners. Waiting to sell themselves to strangers, their need for dignity subsumed by their isolation and hunger. They’ve begun to believe that they are unlovable, the first step towards becoming as silent as their shadows. Defined only by the vagaries of the light.

MAR|APR 2014 | 27

“ … the US Supreme Court ruled in 1976 in Estelle v. Gamble that because we [prisoners] are deprived of our right to earn a living wage, prisons are responsible for our housing, our medical care, our clothing, our food and to keep us safe. ” [FROM 25] [SPIRIT] Over the number of years that you have been in prison, what significant changes have you seen in attitudes and the way you have been treated by staff and guards? [MK] The way that I have been treated by

staff has amazingly improved year after year. The day that I got the ruling on the 17th of January, I was congratulated by dozens of prisoners that I know, including some who came up to me to tell me: “I was just talking to my mom and she sends her congratulations,” or “I was just talking to my auntie and she sends her congratulations,”—you know, women that I don’t even know. But more importantly, I have had congratulations from every staff member that knows me. The ones who have known me longer have been more ebullient in their congratulations. I can tell the sincerity in that. I have not had one negative response. And last Friday afternoon at 4:30 in the afternoon, the superintendent opened the door to my room, and I looked up, and I said, “Hey are the rumors that I am hearing about you true?” And he said, “What are you hearing?” “I hear that you have tendered your resignation and that you’ll be leaving us soon.” He said, “Yeah, but my one concern is that after I leave, they’ll say that you chased me out of here.” I said, “Well it’s a big dysfunctional family dear, and you know that. You have been working here long enough to know that there are 1,500 people that live in the dysfunctional family here, and about 500 of you that work here, and at any given time most are so damn bored that they will sit around and make up anything. And I guarantee that after you leave, somebody will offer that as a reason for your departure.” He said, “Well anyway, that’s not the reason I came up here. The reason I came up here was to congratulate you.”

[SPIRIT] There are a number of people in the transgender community who are uncomfortable with your case. If you could talk to some of these people, what would you tell them? [MK] I would tell them that I came to prison

for taking a life in a tragically accidental situation and that, regardless of that, I am nonetheless a human being deserving of dignity and that medical care is one of the things that prisons are required


to provide. That it breaks my heart to know that there are thousands of women and trans men like me out there who are unable to afford this surgery at this point in their life and that this makes them perhaps have very despair-filled days, some of whom might be so filled with despair that they might even be depressed and on anti-depressants. I understand this. I personally experienced depression for a long time. I tried to take my own life twice. And I tried to self-castrate in a moment of despair. But the fact that I am a prisoner should have nothing to do with anyone’s belief in my right to dignity. The courts have stated that we have a right to dignity. It’s just a common human right. [SPIRIT] Talk a little about some of the specific, significant changes that you have seen over your years with regard to either policies, practices, or treatment of LGBT prisoners. [MK] I can speak mostly from personal

experience as far as transgender people are concerned. And I can speak from a perspective of observation where gay prisoners are concerned. As a matter of fact I was just talking to one of the local jailhouse lawyers who is trying to get a gay prisoner single-cell status. He’s currently being held in a double cell and has had a number of different cell partners. The Department of Corrections has a policy— the Inmate Management Policy—it’s a state law that requires they screen all people for compatibility with whoever they are going to be put in a cell with. They don’t do this, and then they have gay people stuck in cells with homophobes. Fights ensue; suicides ensue. These things are issues for gay prisoners all the time. There are quite a few here. If you are here long enough you eventually earn the right to have a single cell, because about half of the cells here are single cell. But you have to be here about a year before that happens, and in the interim, gay prisoners are housed with a bunch of people who may be homophobes or who may not be homophobes. There is another transgender woman here who is now in the segregation unit because she got in a fight with someone that resulted from her being forced to cell with people. Gay guys have their own version

of difficulties that are not related to me, except that they are a family member of mine, and I will do whatever I can to try to help them. This morning I signed an affidavit for a gay prisoner who is going through litigation over the prison’s refusal to cell him alone. From the transgender perspective, when I first came into the Department of Corrections the resistance was so high, the first thing that my Block Officer said to me at Walpole was “What’s wrong with your voice?” I said “What’s wrong with your attitude? Nothing is wrong with my voice.” It got worse from there. There was all kinds of resistance. There was name calling. I heard “faggot,” “freak,” things like that from staff and from other prisoners. I was relatively isolated for much of my incarceration, but that isolation was mostly by choice. Over time it got worse. Every time I was trying to be myself, or express myself, there were people who were in disagreement with the way that I looked, the way that I walked, the way that my voice sounded. I got disciplinary reports for using homemade makeup, homemade eyeliner. (I would make homemade lipstick.) There was verbal abuse involved. There was just an unfriendly atmosphere for the most part, so I just remained isolated. That slowly changed. When I was allowed to begin my transition, there were very few people who were outwardly supportive, but one of the ones who was outwardly supportive was, at the time, superintendent of Norfolk. … My therapist told me that [the superintendent] actually had a meeting with the staff where he said, “We are going to support Ms. Kosilek’s transition, and we are going to do so in a respectful manner.” And from that point on things began to change slowly. … It didn’t change overnight. You know I could still go out and walk by a building and somebody could yell out a window: “Kill yourself you fucking freak.” But that’s not about me. That’s about them. None of them would come up to my face and say that. But you know those changes came slowly. Mr. Lopata can I ask you a question? Are you gay?

“ It breaks my heart to know that there are thousands of women and trans men like me out there who are unable to afford this surgery at this point in their life and that this makes them perhaps have very despair-filled days. ” [SPIRIT] I am. [MK] So then you know what it’s like in the

LGBT community, and that the letter T isn’t at the end by accident. Some people are open and accepting, but there is still— it’s like a stepchild-in-the family kind of a thing. Not in all, but in some areas of the family. In a straight prison community— which in case you are unaware, most people are conservative in their political views—there will never be 100 percent acceptance. With the young population there is a lot more acceptance, because there seems to be a lot more acceptance of everything. As far as the medical care, the resistance has been political. The medical staff, for the most part, has been willing to recommend and approve everything, including the surgery. The people that were in charge of the medical program said that I was a strong candidate; that’s what they testified in the courtroom. So the resistance is just political. And that

NBCVB-BostonSpirit_Layout 1 2/6/14 3:31 PM Page 1

is what the courts agreed on. They have spent several million dollars over 20 plus years in the process when I offered to pay for myself at $4,500 twenty-two years ago. [SPIRIT] In terms of your personal story tell us how you came to discover who you are and how you’ve gotten to be where you are. [MK] In my earlier years ... I was subjected

to some rather drastic intolerance— again, I’ll try to use the kindest word I can: intolerance. My mother abandoned me and my sister in 1953. I was four. She was six or seven. The local police department gave control of us to the local Catholic parish, St. Hedwig’s. So that is basically where I grew up, from age four to age ten, and the acceptance there was just completely nonexistent. They were relatively cruel in some of their responses. I was beaten a lot, hit a lot, and at one point locked in a closet overnight, without being fed. And I went from that environment to

living with my mother and her alcoholic husband. It was like planet shock. I went from [living at the parish] to being allowed to wander the streets of Chicago at late hours at age ten. I began drinking at that point, and not long afterward, my maternal grandfather began molesting me. He and my grandmother used to give me and my sister a dollar a piece a week for allowance. My mother used to send me over there on a Saturday to get it when my grandmother was out. And my grandfather was there, and he began to serial molest me. That lasted until I was about 12. From that point I began trying to explain to whomever I could, whenever I could, to whomever was willing to listen, that I wasn’t sure that I was gay, but that I was having a problem living this way, and that I wasn’t really enjoying it, and that I was a girl. There wasn’t very much knowledge about transgender people back then—in the early- to mid-1960s. The

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Department of Correction Statement on Kosilek Appeal

“ While we acknowledge the legitimacy of a gender identity disorder diagnosis, DOC’s appeal is based on the lower court’s significant expansion of the standard for what constitutes adequate care under the Eighth Amendment, and on substantial safety and security concerns regarding Ms. Koselik’s postsurgery needs. ” Mason J. Dunn Executive Director, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

“ At the core of this case is Michelle Kosilek’s right to medically necessary care. The Constitution, and more specifically the 8th Amendment, protects everyone, including those who are transgender and incarcerated. Doctors and courts have agreed that the care sought by Michelle is life saving and medically necessary; thus, denial of that care is a violation of her Constitutional rights. The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition applauds the First Circuit Court of Appeal’s affirmation of Michelle’s right to medically necessary care. Moreover, we support the right of all transgender people to have access to inclusive health care. ” 30 | BOSTON SPIRIT

people at Johns Hopkins were just starting to do their research, and I just got into drug use and prostitution. You know kids didn’t have much chance making a living on their own. I ran away frequently, and I was just trying to be as girly as possible in my private moments. At one point I developed gynecomastia [enlargement of breasts in males], and was talking about it. And my step-father broke a window and came at me and cut me. And my mother hit him with a frying pan full of chicken. It was a really ugly scene and I was very frightened. At that point I was not going to be accepted with the people that were supposed to be embracing me and nurturing me. I got kind of scared about how the rest of the world was going to treat me, and that contributed to my very early substance abuse and a decades’ long battle of being myself and purging myself and being myself. You know—back and forth—throwing away hundreds of dollars’ worth of cosmetics and clothes, and then trying to act like a man hiding in plain sight behind a beard. But it never worked. I found myself in a substance abuse facility in 1983. I trusted my therapist, and he referred me to Cheryl, one of the volunteer counselors who he said was an expert on, or more knowledgeable about, sexual issues. Cheryl is the one who seduced me. She’s the woman who—I took her life. [SPIRIT] Thanks for sharing your story. [MK] Along the way there was a whole

lot of bizarre stuff. I tried everything in the world to act masculine. I worked construction. I drove a truck. You name it. Anything that was allegedly masculine, I did it. But none of that worked, including my therapist’s suggestion that, if I just found the right woman, my female urges would go away. Cheryl was the woman that my therapist suggested. And I was in the Bristol county jail and I tried to take my life, and I kind of blacked out and started having—you know, your life really does start flashing before you as you’re losing consciousness—I was dying. And I just had all these thoughts that I was just running for nothing. For all these years I had wasted decades of my life trying to be the man that I knew that I was not. And I just decided

from that point on to never go back. The next time I went to court and the media yelled something up to me: “Hey Robert.” I said “Don’t call me that name, Robert. My name is Michelle.” And that was that from that point on. [SPIRIT] So what is your hope for the future? [MK] My hope for the future is that

I will live long enough to be able to effect some changes in many other people’s lives, and in some way to be absolved for the things that I have done on this very troubled journey that I have taken, where I have taken every fucking wrong turn possible, and that I can someday hopefully convince the court that my conviction was an erroneous one, and that the facts were not taken into account, and I can get a re-trial and perhaps someday get out. But if I don’t, and this life sentence is what I’m stuck with, then that is what I’m going to accept and continue to move forward trying to improve my life and the lives of anybody who I come in contact with as much as possible. There’s a lefty singer-songwriter named Katie Curtis who has a line in one of her songs: “We may not be able to change the world, but we can change the world within our reach.” That is what I am going to continue trying to do. I’m relatively healthy. I’ll be 65 in April. I’m a vegetarian, non-smoker, I do yoga. I exercise seven days a week, and I run five days a week, so I’ll probably live another 20 or 30 years. So I’ve got a long time available to me to try to make lots of changes in the lives of others.

[SPIRIT] Anything else that you can think of that you would like to share? [MK] I would just like to say in closing

that people need to understand that I— like anybody—I am a work in progress. I have made a lot of mistakes, and I will probably continue to make a lot of mistakes. Though none of them will be as damaging to others, I’m sure, as those I have made in the past—where I was running from myself because others were willing to beat me to convince me that I shouldn’t be myself. I’m not a bad person, regardless of how the D.O.C. might instigate the media, conflating my crime with my status as a transgender woman. [x]

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MAR|APR 2014 | 31

FEATURE History STORY Mark Krone

Massachusetts’ Forgotten Gay Governor and Senator


Even though he was cleared, the damage to Walsh was done and he was defeated in the next election and retired from public life.

David Walsh had a skeleton or two in his lavender closet Several generations of tipsy gay men have traversed the terracotta-colored Arthur Fieldler Bridge onto the Esplanade for late-night cruising along the Charles River over the years. To get to the river, they stepped past a statue of David Ignatius Walsh (1872-1947) by sculptor Joseph A. Coletti. David Walsh was a closeted gay man who led a very public life. He became governor of Massachusetts in 1914. And in 1918, he became the first Irish-Catholic U.S. senator for Massachusetts. Walsh’s statue modestly faces away from the cruising path. As in life, he is present for the action but can claim he sees nothing. You would think the first Irish-Catholic senator in Massachusetts would be better known. But Walsh, a Democrat, had a skeleton or two in his lavender closet and was therefore nudged from sixth grade textbooks and public consciousness in favor of the very heterosexual Kennedy boys. John F. Kennedy was elected senator 34 years after Walsh. Walsh, a lifelong bachelor, did not come from the big-city political machines that produced the populist rouge, James Michael Curley, or John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, grandfather of the Kennedy brothers. He was born and raised in Clinton, forty-six miles west of Boston. It was a town with more farms than bars, and where Yankee Protestants outnumbered Irish-Catholics. But this did not pose much difficulty for Walsh because unlike Boston, the Irish vs. Yankee power struggle barely existed since both groups had

similar interests. As farmers and small business owners, they were of roughly equal status and shared a rural sensibility. It also meant that they tended to mind their own business when it came to matters like sexuality. Walsh built a successful career on this potent coalition of urban Irish Catholics and Yankee farmers. The ninth of ten children from a deeply religious family, Walsh remained a devout Catholic throughout his life. His father, an Irish immigrant, died when he was 12, requiring Walsh to work throughout his school years, until college. With financial help from his steadfastly loyal sisters, Walsh graduated from Holy Cross and Boston University Law School, no mean feat for someone of his background. After serving in the legislature, he was elected lieutenant governor and then in 1914, governor, where he served for one two-year term. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1918, where he championed child labor laws and women’s suffrage. At the 1924 Democratic Convention, Walsh courageously demanded that the Ku Klux Klan be publically denounced in that party’s presidential platform, saying: “We ask you to cut out of the body politic with the sharpest instrument at your command this malignant growth which, injected, means the destruction of everything which has made America immortal. If you can denounce Republicanism, you can denounce Ku Kluxism. If you can denounce Bolshevism, you can denounce Ku Kluxism.”

Walsh is perhaps best known today as an isolationist who opposed U.S. entry into World War I and later, World War II. However, he changed his position and supported President Franklin Roosevelt’s declaration of war after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Walsh opposed European colonialism in Africa and Asia and became a champion of Filipino independence long before self-determination for developing countries was supported by his party. He was a respected and powerful senator but his career was about to end in scandal. During the tense early days of World War II, neighbors of a house at 329 Pacific Street in Brooklyn noticed large numbers of men entering and leaving. Some thought a few of the men looked German and contacted the New York Police Department which in turn contacted Naval Intelligence, as the house was close to the Brooklyn Naval Yard. Naval Intelligence set up surveillance on the house with the help of the FBI. Despite a lifetime of independent and, at times, courageous leadership, Walsh’s star faded in a single day, March 14, 1942. Several New York City policemen along with a few Naval Intelligence officers raided the Pacific Street house and arrested the owner, Gustave Hermann Beekman, a naturalized American citizen from Sweden. Beekman was charged with running a house of prostitution by providing sailors to prominent male clients for homosexual assignations in upstairs bedrooms. Making matters worse, a newspaper claimed that some of the young men were German spies. Although Senator Walsh (who at that time was chairman of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee) was not at the

MAR|APR 2014 | 33

“ Senator Walsh chased my father and his roommate who had been down for the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. Walsh picked them up. They were very innocent West Pointers. Walsh chased them around a room. My father said it was appalling … Even the little birdies on Boston Common knew what Senator Walsh was up to. ”

house that day, Gustave Beekman fingered him as a regular visitor. In 1997, New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini wrote about the raid in his biography of the composer, Virgil Thomson, who was among those arrested at the Pacific Street residence that day. “Thomson feared that his arduously established reputation would collapse,” wrote Tommasini. In those days, even prominent and powerful gay people lived on the razor’s edge. Pursuing sexual fulfillment could mean professional destruction or

worse. Thomson was able to ride out the bad publicity but he was shunned by a few fellow composers. Senator Walsh would be shunned by history. President Roosevelt and Walsh dueled over several major issues including FDR’s failed plan to increase the size of the Supreme Court as well as granting aid to Great Britain prior to American involvement in World War II. Still, the last thing the U.S. needed was for one of its most powerful senators to get caught up in a sex scandal, especially the chairman of Naval Affairs. When the FBI investigated the matter under the watchful eye of J. Edgar Hoover, who had his own secrets, Walsh was fully exonerated. Under pressure, Beekman recanted, saying he never saw Walsh at the house. Even though he was cleared, the damage to Walsh was done

Gore Vidal in a 1974 interview

and he was defeated in the next election and retired from public life. No one has proved that Walsh was a frequenter of the house on Pacific Street, but FBI documents released in the 1980s include testimony from another Pacific Street regular who saw Walsh at the house. The late Gore Vidal said in a 1974 Fag Rag interview, “Senator Walsh chased my father and his roommate who had been down for the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. Walsh picked them up. They were very innocent West Pointers. Walsh chased them around a room. My father said it was appalling … Even the little birdies on Boston Common knew what Senator Walsh was up to.” [x]

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FEATURE Politics STORY Tony Giampetruzzi

“ I never took anything for granted and was always running like I was 20 points behind. ” Corey Johnson

Maine Native Wins NYC ‘Gay’ Councilor Seat Corey Johnson made headlines as an out high school football hero from small town Maine in the ‘90s If you’re a 30 or 40-something, chances are the name Corey Johnson may ring a bell. He was the kid whose mug hit the cover of the gay weeklies like In Newsweekly and Bay Windows in Massachusetts shortly after he came out to his teammates on

the Masconomet High School football team in 1999. Johnson was 17 at the time, and was about to become a sensation. Coming out while in high school was becoming more common, but not when you were a local football hero … and that made the difference.


“I never expected to end up on the front page of The New York Times or that 20/20 would do a story on me,” he recently told Boston Spirit. But he did, and stories about his experience, the warm reception he received from his teammates—they’d serenade him with “Y.M.C.A.” after big games—and the shattering of stereotypes became headline news across the country. “Then, for a small moment in time, I was the poster child,” says Johnson. To say the least: in 2000, Johnson joined the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Ellen Degeneres and a handful of others who harnessed the energy of the special year to headline gigs like the Millennium March on Washington, appearing in ads for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and tearing up the speaker’s circuit. Within a short period of time Johnson made his way to New York City where, after more than a decade of activism and involvement in local government, he swept last year’s primary and general election to win the city council’s so-called “gay seat” (a district that includes neighborhoods like Chelsea, the West

Village, SoHo and the Theater District), with 63% of the vote. He now represents more than 150,000 city residents, a population number that bests all but four cities in New England. “Of course it felt pretty incredible because I worked night and day to make it happen. I never felt like I was definitely gonna win. I always had a healthy amount of insecurity. I never took anything for granted and was always running like I was 20 points behind,” says Johnson. “To win by that much of a margin felt pretty good.” To be sure, most people thought my race would be a close one, says Johnson. “Political observers, community leaders, labor unions thought that my primary would be one of the closest in the city and it ended up not being that way,” he says. The numbers are likely not that surprising. His decadeplus residency in New York City has been a busy one. He has directed and shaped political and communications strategy on a variety of mayoral, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns; worked for the Retail Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDSU) to help win a Democratic

majority in the New York State Senate; served on the media-strategy team of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); served as National Finance Director of the Gay and Lesbian

Leadership Council (GLLC); served at the Democratic National Committee; and worked at GFI Development Company on community outreach on two hotel projects in Manhattan and an affordable housing

related project in Brooklyn. The latter credential was used against him by his primary opponent and civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland who accused Johnson of being in cahoots with big development. The accusations didn’t stick, mainly due to Johnson’s solid community pedigree. In New York City, 59 community boards across the five boroughs, each with 50 members, listen to and represent the concerns of the local residents. Johnson served on the board in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen for eight and a half years and was chair for more than two of them. “That made me one of the youngest, if not the youngest, community board chairs in New York,” he says. “That really helped me understand the issues that the local community is confronting. I think that was the most relevant experience I had coming into this race, and really, most people didn’t ask about my professional background. They wanted to know what I had done in the community and what had prepared me to actually run for the council and represent them in City Hall.”



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13 14 15 16 17 1 FEATURE Comedy STORY Scott Kearnan


Paula Poundstone Mixes Pleasure with Business The Massachusetts native will headline this year’s LGBT Executive Networking Night On Thursday, April 17, Boston Spirit will host its seventh annual LGBT Executive Networking Night at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Ballroom. Every year, the city’s largest event of its kind brings together over 1,300 corporate professionals to mix, mingle, network and recruit. And as always, a special guest speaker


will regale the audience with personal anecdotes and professional expertise. This year, we’re thrilled to welcome comedian Paula Poundstone. There’s just one problem. “I’m probably the worst business person on the planet,” laughs Poundstone. Well, she’s doing something right. Since launching her career in the late-70s Boston comedy club scene, the Sudbury, Massachusetts native has become one of the country’s most successful comics. She’s had recurring spots on The Tonight Show and The Rosie O’Donnell Show, recorded her own television specials and albums, authored a book and is now a panelist on

the popular NPR show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! She’s also a touring machine, with stops coming up in Middlebury, Vermont; Plymouth, New Hampshire; and Fall River and Beverly, Massachusetts; and Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino throughout March and April. (Head to for specific dates and tickets.) Though her observational humor (and penchant for neckties) has made her a longtime favorite with LGBT audiences, Poundstone is one of the more prominent celebrities to primarily identify as asexual. Carnal matters just don’t appeal to the comedian, who chatted with us about

April 17, 2014 Boston Marriott Copley Place 6:00–9:00 p.m. $10 admission fee KEYNOTE SPEAKER

PAULA POUNDSTONE On April 17th LGBT corporate professionals from Greater Boston (and beyond) will gather at the Boston Marriott Copley Place for an unprecedented evening of networking and business conversation.

NEW AND IMPROVED FOR 2014 Educational and informational panel discussions on: ‘Best Practices for Started and Operating an LGBT Employee Resource Group’


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everything from social media to sexuality. Poundstone may have started off unsure what advice to impart to Spirit executives, but along the way she revealed one key to success that has always served her well: when in doubt, just be your best. [BOSTON SPIRIT] You come from

the world of stand-up comedy, but you’re pretty active—and funny!—on Twitter. What was it like to adjust your comedy to that medium?

[PAULA POUNDSTONE] When someone first told me about Twitter, I thought it was the stupidest and most egocentric thing I’d ever seen. I still feel that way, I just happen to enjoy it very much. There’s an argument that if you put jokes on Twitter you’re giving them away. But I think of it this way: I’ve always been a postcard writer. So I think of Twitter as the postcards in my head. And I love that there’s an outlet

for the postcards in my head so I can just send them out to everybody. I don’t worry about giving it away. There’s always more where that came from. [BS] You can get heckled in a stand-up show, but I’m sure on Twitter people are even more likely to shout back if they don’t like what they hear. [PP] People have these vague measures of what’s appropriate, of how soon is “too soon.” Everyone has a personal standard. And if someone puts their toe over that line, they love to make you hear about it. It’s the equivalent of that guy who gives you a dirty look because you go to move into his lane on the freeway. [BS] Have you ever had someone tell

you your humor crossed the line?

[PP] Once I saw a poster about a run to benefit Alzheimer’s. Something about those two

things just didn’t seem to go together too well. I had a reaction to it and I wasn’t sure if people would find it offensive or funny. But I thought, oh, I’ll tweet it. In very short order I heard from someone with such vitriol. She was so angry with me: How could I say that! The strange thing is, she re-tweeted it in order to say: look at this horrible thing Paula Poundstone said! Look, I’m willing to say I made a mistake, but if you found it so horribly offensive then why would you send it out to more people? But that’s America: “Look at this horrible thing!” It’s like when my mother would smell the milk to see if it was going bad. If you really think something is going bad, just get rid of it.

[BS] What are you planning

to speak about at the LGBT Executive Networking Night?

[PP] I have absolutely no idea. I have no words of wisdom. I’m always laughing about the idea that if I’m a business, I’m a fairly poorly run business. [BS] Aw, come on. I’m sure

something you’ve learned, as a performer, would be a big help to those in the business world.

[PP] Well, a very long time ago I realized something about being a performer. You see, often a comedy show has an opening emcee, a middle act and a headliner. I remember when I was starting out, I used to chafe at the fact that there were places I worked where I was a stronger performer than the guys, but they were always booked [as the headliners] instead of me. I would get so frustrated. But one day it occurred to me that what I had to do was go out there, over and over again, and

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just do really good work. If I made that my emphasis, and no longer worried about the politics, eventually I would be undeniable—and if someone booked me as the middle act, they would look like an idiot. I couldn’t be responsible for what someone else was doing and why. I had to focus on what I had control over: to do what I do and be the best I can be. It worked pretty well for me. And it took away a lot of the frustration. Comedy is a lot more fun when you’re not gritting your teeth over the position that you’re in. [BS] I’ve seen you described as an

asexual. Is that how you identify?

[PP] I already reveal more

about myself than most people. I don’t do it on purpose. I just can’t shut up. But short of letting everyone know every last detail of every sexual experience I’ve ever had in life, I don’t know how else to communicate it. So, yeah:

“ I couldn’t be responsible for what someone else was doing and why. I had to focus on what I had control over: to do what I do and be the best I can be. It worked pretty well for me. ” Paula Poundstone

so far. I might turn a corner someday, but so far, I just don’t like sex. And it seems to take up so much time! I can’t understand how people do it. I’m happy for them. I’m not some born-again Christian saying everyone has to be like me. I can see a profit to the world for people to be procreating or having sexual relations. But these people that are sexually active, I don’t know when they do it. Where do they find the time? Don’t they have to go to the grocery store? Do they not have fresh produce? Sometimes I imagine that since I don’t have an interesting sex life, I must have

some other rare talent that all that energy is directed to. Like when you squish a balloon and all the air goes to one side. I imagine it’ll turn out in some moment of clarity that I was born into this world with some other great skill that I just haven’t found yet. Like maybe the first time I skeet shoot I’ll be amazing. No one will ever have seen anything like it!

therapist who had the balls to say, “Oh no you don’t.” Uh, yeah I do. What, do you think I’m bragging? It used to happen to me as a kid and now it might happen to me at the airport. It used to really upset me. But eventually I just got used to this idea that I’m whatever anyone wants me to be. I don’t care to correct it. I think a lot of people assume I’m gay. I remember one night saying to a crowd, because I talk about it now and then on stage, that I don’t like sex. Someone in the crowd yelled, “What about with a woman?” I said, “That would still be sex.” [x] Paula Poundstone

[BS] Does it ever bother you,

March 15 in Plymouth, NH; April 5 in Fall River, MA; April 19 in Beverly, MA; October 17 in Randolph, VT; and November 7 at the Wilbur in Boston

[PP] It happens all the time

Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night

how intent people seem on trying to define someone by their gender and sexuality?

that I get mistaken for a guy. I told that to more than one


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FEATURE Food STORY Scott Kearnan


Planting Roots Two gay couples capture the emerging spirit of a generation that enjoys raising its own food and getting its hands dirty ... From the local dining movement to growing interest in everything from urban beekeeping to micro-farms, it’s clear that many Americans are craving a return to seemingly simpler, more natural, and authentic ways of life. And that’s especially true for younger folks, who barely knew a world without the blessing/curse of a mobile phone in their pocket. These two gay couples capture the emerging spirit of a generation that enjoys raising its own food and getting its hands dirty. They live together, love together, work together, and play together. Here are their stories. [OPPOSITE] Jon and Aden Mott-Restivo

Aden And Jon Mott-Restivo The day begins at 4 a.m. That’s when Aden Mott-Restivo rolls out of bed and into the shower. (A better wakeup call than a rooster crow.) He puts on a pot of coffee. He feeds the animals: First the three dogs, including Legend, the 8-year-old Australian Shepherd for which Legend’s Creek Farm is named, then the 21 dairy goats (each named for a different John Waters’ film character) kept on just one plot of the couples’ 35-acre land in Foster, Rhode Island. Together the husbands hand milk the goats and gather a supply that will be used to make their handmade soap and cheese. Jon, a commercial real estate lawyer by day, heads to his office in Providence; Aden makes a


quick breakfast of farm fresh eggs from their coop of chickens and a smoothie of carrots plucked outside the side door. He’ll spend the rest of the day weeding, mending fences, working on business development for what he hopes will one day become a dairy empire—and generally “running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” For the record, they’re vegetarians. They’re also in bed by 9 p.m., ready to start the cycle again. Running a farm home like this isn’t for everyone. But for the Mott-Restivos, it’s a way of life that ensures a special bond between them, their land, and their

animals—the dogs, goats, chickens, a llama and a hive of honeybees. It offers them fresh food for a healthy diet and contributes to a sustainable environment, both important to the couple. (They vacuum seal hauls of produce for use year-round and plan to take a future home “off the grid” by using geothermal energy.) Farming establishes a sense of harmony in a frenetic modern world. “After working at a desk all week, nothing feels better than being outside and chopping down a tree,” says Jon. “It balances me. It balances us.” And they balance each other. Jon, the dapper attorney, is more soft-spoken and even-keeled; his legalese comes in handy as they navigate the challenging bureaucracy of becoming a certified dairy farm, which would allow them to start selling the artisanal cheeses that Aden has spent the last half-decade perfecting. (Their fabulous farm-made soap is already for sale through Aden, armed with the windswept cool of a former rock band front man, is by his own good-humored admission a bit more anxious. But he’s also ambitious, possessing a sense of agricultural entrepreneurship that was sparked when he was a kid, spending summers on the New

EXECUTIVE Breakfast Series APRIL 9, 2014 TOPIC: Using the Strength of Diversity to Build a Championship Winning Team


Join Boston Spirit magazine, the World Champion Boston Red Sox, and the New England Human Resources Association for an entertaining and informative breakfast discussion on Diversity Hiring and Staffing.

Listen as Dr. Charles Steinberg (Executive Vice President) and Amy Waryas (Vice President of Human Resources) of the Boston Red Sox discuss the policies and procedures they have in place to assist in attracting the highest quality talent on and off the field.

Hear from Kim Dukes-Rivers (CEO of Diversity Staffing Pros) as she offers the latest tips and trends to help you meet you hiring/staffing goals.





[AT LEFT] Dishes from

Bondir PHOTOS Andy Ryan

[FAR LEFT] Vegetable

Mignardises with Teff Polenta

[LEFT] Roasted Pork Loin

with Ginger Beets

[BOTTOM] Olive Oil-Poached

Cod, Fennel and Onion Étouffée

[OPPOSITE] Veronica Chudik and Rachel Miller PHOTO by Joel Benjamin

Hampshire farm of a family friend. That interest took this now third-generation farmer to Norfolk County Agricultural High School—which also offered a slight reprieve from the anti-gay bullying in the classrooms of his Quincy, Massachusetts hometown. Those experiences affected Aden: “I was a troubled teen going down a bad path,” he admits. It wasn’t until his father gave him an ultimatum—shape up or move out—that the then teenager was able to come out. Today Jon and Aden count both sets of parents among their biggest supporters. In fact, Aden hopes to eventually build a second home on Legend’s Creek Farm, so that his father and mother can live in the original building. It’s just one of many plans they have for the farm, which they founded in 2011 after returning from a few years in St. Louis, Missouri, where Jon attended law school. In order to become a fully licensed dairy, they need to add a separate structure that adheres to certain codes, establish a pasteurization system (Rhode Island is the only New England state forbidding sale of raw milk), as well as separate septic and water. Some of this will require expanding on to the

property’s wetlands, which must adhere to its own regulations. It will take two more years for the couple to demonstrate that a consistent, required percentage of income derives from the farm. But all the regulatory hurdles are worth leaping. “I’m not stopping until this is an empire,” says Aden, who wants to eventually build the micro-dairy into a large-scale operation with its own hired hands (like a full-time cheese maker and farm stand operator). He would like placement in stores like Whole Foods and maybe eventually to supply produce for

Providence Coal Fired Pizza, a popular restaurant owned by Jon’s family. Because even for a full-time farmer, modern life sometimes requires spending too much time clicking a mouse and too little tending the goats. “I don’t want to be sitting behind a computer anymore!” says Aden. Besides, the couple wants more time together to focus on each other—and their eventual goal of raising a family. They want to be dads, and sooner rather than later. Children—twins, ideally—would be the ultimate addition to their loving menagerie. “Growing a family is something important to both of us,” says Aden. “I wish we were ready for it now. But as the business grows, we will be.” For now, they still have those 4 a.m. feedings to attend to. You know, for their kids—all 21 of them. [x]

Veronica Chudik And Rachel Miller “It’s called companion planting. Certain things just grow well together.” Veronica Chudik is talking about the approach used at Bondir Gardens, her plot in Carlisle, Massachusetts, that is founded

MAR|APR 2014 | 47

“ Of course, I might be cooking 15 hours a day, and she’s out there farming sunrise to sundown. So we work together, but we have to try really hard to see each other. ” Rachel Miller

on principles of biointensive farming: the idea that planting certain combinations of crops promotes sustainable, symbiotic relationships that create better produce and simultaneously improve the overall soil quality. Take the “Three Sisters,” for example: beans, squash and corn. Beans add nitrogen to the soil, which helps corn grow, which offers helpful shade for squash, which becomes a natural mulch preventing weeds. Each can grow separately—but together, they’re much stronger. The same could be said of Chudik and her girlfriend, Rachel Miller. Miller is a professional chef, most recently of Bondir Concord, the suburban sibling to chefowner Jason Bond’s acclaimed Cambridge restaurant Bondir. As befitting the quaint, quintessential New England vibe of both spots (think brick fireplaces and Yankee antiques), the New American cuisine is guided by a pretty old-fashioned philosophy: stay farm fresh and local. So to maintain that mission, Chudik helped establish Bondir Gardens last year through Tuft University’s New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. She grew the crops, and Miller put them on a plate. It’s a perfect pairing. “It’s great to work together in the way we do,” says Miller, recently named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” stars in the Boston-area culinary scene. She laughs. “Of course, I might be cooking 15 hours a day, and she’s out there farming sunrise


to sundown. So we work together, but we have to try really hard to see each other.” The busy twosome started seeing each other almost five years ago. They met through mutual hospitality biz friends while Miller was working in the kitchen at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro and Chudik was working as a server nearby. The connection was instant, forged in part by shared passions for food and sustainable agriculture. Miller, originally from Virginia, started working as a line cook at age 16. The one-time vegetarian converted to carnivore living after discovering value in sustainable meat production, moved to Boston to find work in butchering and landed at the South End’s former Lionette’s Market. Chudik’s parents are Slovakian immigrants, and she became enamored with agriculture by visiting family farms back in the old country. “It wasn’t long before we U-Hauled,” laughs Miller of their fast-kindling chemistry. But she doesn’t just mean to their Jamaica Plain apartment; about a year after meeting, Miller and Chudik packed up and moved to Smithville, Texas, a small and remote town about 42 miles southeast of Austin. There they bought a cabin and eight acres of land—for the whopping tune of $500. (Yes, really.) Together they raised chickens and pigs and grew organic herbs and veggies. A friend with farming experience taught them the basics: irrigation, soil fertility, stuff like that. It was a shortlived but rewarding experiment. “There

was no cell phone reception, no Internet or bookstore,” recalls Miller. “You just dig a hole and hope that it works!” They made a go of it for six months. Then these culinary gypsies spent another halfyear on a road trip through the Southern states and Appalachia, rediscovering the culture that first inspired Miller’s passion for cooking. Returning to Boston, Miller blossomed at Bondir, wound up sous chef and became a driving force for its Concord offspring. Chudik cultivated Bondir Gardens first in Dracut, Massachusetts and this Spring as a tenant farmer on a Carlisle farm owned by a lesbian couple. What next? They’ve discovered their passions, but will never stop exploring where they best take root. Just last month Miller resigned from Bondir Concord, and is poised to parlay her rising-chef reputation into some new opportunities. Chudik continues to manage Bondir Gardens while studying Environmental Health at UMass Lowell. The dream is to continue cultivating a loving relationship that just, well, makes sense: The farmer and her chef, the partner who works the land and the partner who feeds the home. One day, they hope, those two will again be one and the same. “We’d really love to buy and live on the land where she produces,” explains Miller. “It’s very expensive around here, but that’s the goal. To find land where we can farm and live. Whatever will make it more sustainable for us to live and work together.” Sustainability. Luckily, that’s ground they have pretty well covered. [x]




Intellectual Property and the Entrepreneur: Are You Protected? DEBORAH J. PECKHAM Partner and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Group l 617.345.3577

One the most rewarding aspects of working with startups and entrepreneurs is getting a chance to help a new idea become a reality. But navigating a path from the initial spark of genius to commercialization is challenging and can be overwhelming. Here are some basic tips to help with the process.

1. Identify and Prioritize Goals and Then Assign Resources. Startups face so many challenges right away, and prioritizing resources, including time and cash, can be daunting. Should you file a patent application? Should you incorporate? Where will the money come from? Can you hire your brother to help you? When inventors come to me with new ideas I often feel my best counsel is to tell them to take a breath, and then start making lists of tasks and priorities, or else they will be guilty of just trying to catch the balls as they come in rather than proactively determining a rational direction. Once you choose a direction,

measure up what you can do with the resources you have or reasonably believe you can obtain, and decide whether you should seek out funding as an initial step. Accept that you can’t do everything you think you want to do at first. Then go about the business of figuring out the most important goal, and work from there.

2. Accept That Your Goals and Direction Can Change. Don’t become wedded to the initial path you choose (even though this seems counter to my first tip). The fact is that many startups get hampered by making a plan and believing it cannot be changed. The key is that changing direction should result only from a review of hard facts and after careful thought. Let’s say you thought the nuclear motor was best suited to a personal locomotive device, but after further study you now you realize it fits better on a 747. That’s OK, but let’s study the viability of that avenue and then rejigger our plans

to move in that direction. Remaining nimble and continuing to change your plans as information begins to flow in will be essential to your success.

3. Getting IP Straight: Know What Rights Apply. Not every startup has intellectual property concerns, but if you’ve landed on what you think is a great new idea, chances are you need to explore its metes and bounds and then find a way to protect it. You don’t have to retain a lawyer for each step of your plot to world domination, but if you are confused about what rights you have, or what exclusivity you can acquire, it’s a good idea to consult with a qualified intellectual property lawyer who can at least sketch out the details of the various rights that might apply to your great new idea. Here are some generalities that you should be aware of:

a. Patents – Patents provide inventors of innovative and useful technologies

Burns & Levinson is a Boston-based law firm with over 120 attorneys and offices in Providence and New York, as well as in the Merrimack Valley / North Shore, Metro West and South Shore areas of Massachusetts. 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 Office Locations: Boston (HQ), Andover, Hingham, New York, Providence, Waltham 50 | BOSTON SPIRIT

with a temporary right (generally 21 years) to exclude others from making, using or selling the same invention. Patentable technologies might include things like a better auto engine, innovative software coding, a novel wine opener, etc. Patents generally do not cover creative writing, motion pictures, music or brands, which are the subjects of other forms of intellectual property protection (see below). There are, however, “design patents,” which provide rights in the non-functional, ornamental design features of a product, such as the original design of the Coca-Cola® bottle.

b. Trade Secrets – A trade secret is a commercially valuable item of information, like a recipe or method of manufacturing, that a company keeps confidential. If you own a trade secret you can enforce your rights against anyone who steals that trade secret or uses it without your permission. If the trade secret is disclosed or independently learned by a third party, the trade secret loses its protection. Sometimes, if an entrepreneur cannot patent what is otherwise a valuable idea, trade secret protection is a good avenue for locking down rights.

c. Copyrights – Copyright protection covers novel, creative expression that is recorded in any media, including writing, digital and analog media, as well as film, finger paint, etc. If you own a copyright you have exclusive rights to control how the subject matter is used – generally throughout the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years (or for up to 120 year from its creation if created by an employee as a work for hire).

d. Trademarks




– Trademark law protects any word, name, symbol or design (or combination of those elements) that identifies the source of a product or service. The quintessential American trademark is probably the McDonald’s golden arches. If you are the first to adopt and use a particular trademark in commerce, then you will enjoy the exclusive right to use that mark in connection with the goods or services with which you first used that trademark. Trade dress is similar to trademark, but the protection covers the look and feel or décor of a product or establishment. A good example of trade dress might be the overall décor of the Apple® store.

4. Just Because You Thought of it, That Doesn’t Make it Yours. We all want to believe that the fruits of our ideas are owned by us. But the law says differently, at least sometimes. First, if someone else thought of it before you and managed to create a useful innovation from it (a machine, a software program, a better mouse trap, etc.) even if they didn’t commercialize it, that person might own a patent covering that idea. Second, if your idea was for a new book, musical or television show, it’s not protectable at all unless you write it down – and again, if someone else thought of it first (and they wrote it down) they might own it. The point is that it’s not always intuitive determining what is “yours.”

5. Just Because You Paid for it, That Doesn’t Make it Yours. It is a common misperception that if you pay someone to create something then you must own the rights in the creation. Contrary to the over-used maxim that “possession is 9/10ths of the law,” in the intellectual property sphere, possession itself does

not equal ownership or control. As a general matter, there are only two ways to transfer rights from the person who actually creates something to the person who possesses a copy of that creation. First, if the creator is a direct employee of an organization and the creation is copyrightable, and was created within the scope of the creator’s employment, then the work belongs to the employer. In virtually every other context, for the creation to transfer to another entity, there must be a written assignment of rights to the creation. Are you paying an outside consultant to create your website? Make sure there is a contract assigning rights back to you.

6. Share Your Excitement, But Mark it Proprietary and Confidential. Entrepreneurs tell me all the time that they do business on a handshake and they prefer it that way. Who doesn’t? Positive relationships founded on trust with partners, employees, consultants and interns are valuable commodities upon which to build a business. But don’t be naïve and think that a handshake will protect your investment or the investment of your partners in your business. When you pitch new ideas, mark every page of your presentation as confidential and proprietary. If you can do so without putting off potential supporters, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement before pitching the idea. Blame it on the lawyers.

This article by Burns & Levinson LLP provides general information and does not constitute legal advice. All views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Boston Spirit Magazine. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

burns & levinson’s lgbt group Top (left to right): Ellen J. Zucker - Employment Law, Business Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense Timothy J. Famulare - Real Estate Laura R. Studen - Employment Litigation, Business Litigation, Family Law Litigation Donald E. Vaughan - Real Estate, Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning Lisa M. Cukier - Estate Litigation, Family Law, Business Litigation Bottom (left to right): Deborah J. Peckham - Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Licensing Peter F. Zupcofska - Family Law, Probate Litigation Scott H. Moskol - Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions, Bankruptcy, Corporate MAR|APR 2014 | 51


The Big Gay Wedding Guide It’s impossible to cover every aspect of samesex wedding planning in a single feature. Even a whole magazine wouldn’t do. But we boiled down the process to some of the major components and share the people, ideas, and facts that will get you on your merry way—down the aisle.


How do you create a wedding so pretty, it looks like it jumped from the pages of a magazine? By working with the right people, of course. From planning books to LGBT business websites, there are many resources to help you find vendors that are enthusiastic about working with same-sex couples. (You don’t need us for that. You have Google.) A picture, on the other hand, is worth a thousand words. So we dissected this photograph by Lea St. Germain Photography, “Blurred Lines,” to learn a little more about the elements of a fab wedding—and the people who can make it happen. The Setting. Finding the right venue is vital. This photo shoot was organized by Lombardo’s, a family-run Randolph facility that is dedicated to weddings and special events. (It’s also home to New England’s largest crystal chandelier, measuring 18- by 23-feet. Now that’s glamour.) Choosing a gay-friendly dedicated events’ venue is often the easiest way to go; there’s already an established network of vendors to help, and often plug-and-play packages (like Lombardo’s “Classic,” “Grande,” and “Exquisite”) streamline the process while remaining customizable. ( The Style. Your special day needs a look as unique as you and your spouse. Leave your armchair interior decorating skills for your living room, and call in a pro for the big day—like Salem-based JD Design, which did the work here. Owner JennieDee Hertello planned her first event, a drag fundraiser for the Boston chapter of GLAD, while still studying at Newbury College. Today her business is certified through the Gay Wedding Institute, which

MAR|APR 2014 | 53

PHOTO Lea St. Germain

Putting Together the Pieces

trains vendors about the legal, cultural, and sensitivity aspects of working with same-sex couples. A few industry trends Hertello is seeing: after-parties (they’re huge), museums (as venues), and the one she’s most excited for, “Acceptance.” Cheers. ( The Florals. Love is in bloom and you need flower arrangements to match. Barry’s Flowers of Braintree did the work here, and owner Lynne Kurlansky tells us that the trend right now is for centerpieces that are tall and tight with a hint of crystal bling. As for bouquets and boutonnieres: use inverted colors so you’re not too matchy-matchy. ( The Lighting. You need to set the right mood, of course. Call in experts like Newburyport-based Boston Lighting. President Alexis Sommerfeld says that while uplighting is still popular, illuminated sheer drapes are on trend—and so is pin spot lighting for centerpieces, so all that money you spend on florals doesn’t get lost in the dark. The Memories. Last but not least, you need someone you can trust to capture your day forever. And choosing a

photographer can be one of the hardest parts for same-sex couples; this needs to be someone you feel comfortable showing affection before, after all. So take extra time to research supportive shutterbugs, like Lea St. Germain Photography, who lensed these. “My job is to capture the love that all these couples feel for one another,” says St. Germain. Mission: accomplished. ( Other vendors featured: Bella Sera Bridal (; Gateway Productions (; Rentals Unlimited (; Soiree Andover ( Models: Dynasty Models. Makeup by Carmina ( Hair by Rosalie Giardina ( bridalluxeboston).

Bernadette Coveny Smith of 14 Stories, who has become a national expert on the gay wedding industry, blogger for and author of several books about LGBT wedding planning

One Must-Know Vendor: 14 Stories What is it: The country’s first LGBTfocused wedding planning firm, founded in Boston in 2004 and named for the 14 plaintiffs in the case that led to legal

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same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. There is now an additional office in New York. Who is in charge: Bernadette Coveny Smith, who has become a national expert on the gay wedding industry, blogger for and author of several books about LGBT wedding planning. What they do: Everything, pretty much. Full wedding production is available, but they’ll also help you pull together packages for eloping in Massachusetts and New York—smaller, tailored experiences with cake, photos, and other niceties designed just for you and your spouse. What else: Coveny Smith also founded the Gay Wedding Institute, which trains vendors around the country how to work with LGBT couples; she’s launched Gay Wedding Confidential, a mobile app that offers step-by-step points about planning; and launched Fourteen, a line of classic menswear-inspired formalwear for women. (More:

5 Rings That Really Sparkle

Rony Tennenbaum The gay New York-based designer creates sophisticated, contemporary rings that defy convention: think black diamonds, rippled bands of rose gold, and curious engravings of “LVOE.” (“Because love is love, no matter how you spell it.”) But they’re classy, not quirky—and make use of recycled EcoGold, which reduces mining and waste. Each runs a couple thousand, but they look like a million bucks. (More:

Pointing It Out: Handsome. Elegant. Fashion-forward.

The good news: it’s time to pop the question, or seal the deal with a ceremony. The bad news: the sheer variety of engagement and wedding rings has your head running in circles. Slow down. Here are five fab styles from very different designers to help you finger the perfect pick.

Proposition Love Offering less expensive materials like cobalt alongside traditional gold, silver and diamond, this line of “EnGAYgement rings” and wedding bands has options for every budget. The symbolic triangle is a recurring motif, celeb-designed limited edition rings benefit LGBT charities, and the “Countdown Collection” has bands representing each state that legalizes equal marriage: like Massachusetts, seen here. (Browse:

Pointing It Out: Sleek. Understated. Politically-minded.


Brilliant Earth Social justice is the cornerstone for this pro-equal marriage brand of bands, which uses only materials that adhere to its strict ethos of fair labor and environmentalism. (A portion of sales benefits communities compromised by the jewelry industry.) The gorgeous blue sapphire collection is a highlight, an online “diamond lab” lets you customize, and a treasure trove of antique rings is filled with glitzy one-of-a-kinds. (More:

Pointing It Out: Enchanting. Individualistic. Eco-aware.

Long’s Jewelers New England’s storied jeweler is a staunch supporter of equal marriage. Last year the company even worked with Boston Spirit to choose two reader couples to star in a new ad campaign. It’s good to know that you can find a supportive environment for scouring through options from super high-end lines: like David Yurman, Mikimoto, and one of our favorites, the Egyptianinspired elegance of Venetian designer Roberto Coin.

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Pointing It Out: Luxurious. Glam. LGBT-supportive.

Love and Pride The brainchild of designer Udi Behr, Love and Pride boasts several collections of ‘gay’ engagement and wedding rings that really run the gamut in style: from titanium bands with white sapphires and rainbow accents, to diamond-studded rings made of 18-karat gold strands. But most range in the hundreds, not thousands, of dollars—so something will fit any budget. (More:

Pointing It Out: Varied. Creative. Wallet-friendly.

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10 Reality Checks Gay couples want the same rights as everybody else—but we’re not looking to be like everyone else. So it’s liberating to know that same-sex ceremonies needn’t be bogged down with the same tired traditions that straight folks feel obliged to slavishly follow. (No offense, hetero friends.) That said, the still-new institution of equal marriage has yet to field many conventions of its own—and when you’re overwhelmed with planning the ins and outs of a wedding, a few general guidelines wouldn’t hurt. So we turned to Community Marketing, Inc., a leading national firm on LGBT consumer trends, and their 2013 report with The Gay Wedding Institute on trends in same-sex marriage. If you need the support of seeing how other couples approach their special day, we hope this helps. But remember: as in love, all that matters is what your heart wants.

WHEN When should we get hitched? Depends on the couple, of course. But of married same-sex partners, most tied the knot after 1-5 years together. (32% of male couples, 50% of female couples.)








How should I pop the question? There’s a big difference between the sexes here. Among female couples, 46% of engagements involved a proposal from one partner to another; an additional 18% took turns proposing. With guys? A large majority (62%) skipped the formal proposal process and mutually agreed to make it legal.

How many people should we invite? Zero, if you prefer: 26% of married same-sex couples had a simple ceremony with no reception. 29% have a guest list of less than 100 people. (Average number: 65.)


How much should I spend? Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses—they’re not spending as much as you think. 34% of male and 31% of female couples spend less than $50 per guest.


SHOULD Should we get engagement rings? Wedding bands? Both? Nearly all couples get wedding bands (88% of male; 90% of female). But 81% of male couples skip engagement rings, whereas in 66% of female couples one or both women wear them.



WHAT What should we wear? In 66% of male couples, both men wear suits for the ceremony. (24% opt for casualwear.) 36% of female couples decide one woman will wear a suit and the other a dress; for 27%, both wear dresses. What a wedding party? If you don’t want to open a can of worms by choosing best friends—avoid it. 30% of couples skip a wedding party. Another 30% limit it to 2 or 3 people total.



What about the reception? For the party, things are slightly more decisive. 21% hold it at a restaurant, 17% at a private residence and 10% at a hotel.


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Where should we hold the ceremony? Couples choose all sorts of spots, but the top picks appear to be a private residence (15%), public park or beach (14%), religious space (12%) and a city hall or civic space (11%). Where should we honeymoon? A slight majority (57%) of gay couples vacation after, though there’s another difference between the sexes here: 65% of females honeymoon compared to 49% of males. Destinations run the gamut, but Hawaii edged out others as the choice for 7%.

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8 First Dance Songs About Gay Love You know the feeling: you’re slow dancing with your baby to a tender tune. Then—BAM!— the lyrics hit you over the head with a gender-specific pronoun, totally ruining the mood. (“Gee, that could have been our song. If you were a she.”) You could always go down the Mariah Carey-paved route of generic ballads with abstract lyrics. But here are eight great suggestions for a first dance: love songs by gay artists about same-sex romance. Brett Every featuring Belinda Crawford, “What a Beautiful Day.” A slowly strummed guitar brings folksy cheer to this tune about a gay wedding performed by an out Aussie singer-songwriter. Jim Verraros “Alive.” A jaunty ode to everlasting love by the American Idol finalist

Songwriter Mary Lambert, the lesbian co-writer of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love,” famously performed during a mass gay wedding at the Grammy Awards and star of the gay Eating Out films. Boston Gay Men’s Chorus “Marry Us.” On the eve of a constitutional convention that could have banned equal marriage, BGMC delivered this


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recording to every legislator at the State House. Mary Lambert “She Keeps Me Warm.” The lesbian cowriter of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love,” famously performed during a mass gay wedding at the Grammy


Awards, expanded her original verse into a full and beautiful love song. Tracy Chapman “Wedding Song.” This Tufts grad got her start in Cambridge coffeehouses, and though she’s quiet about sexuality (despite



w w w. h o t e l c o m m o n w e a l t h . c o m

once dating The Color Purple author Alice Walker), she delivers a resoundingly romantic ballad. Ari Gold “Just a Little Love.” Diana Ross’s hunky former backup singer, a gay white boy from an Orthodox Jewish family, croons a magnificently soulful R&B ode to life-altering love. Tegan and Sara “When I Get Up.” The indie rocker lesbian twins trade hipster cynicism for earnestness with a simple ditty about true devotion. Indigo Girls “Power of Two.” The iconic duo deliver a tender but resolute anthem for any two honeys determined to take on the future together.

Let The Band Play Rather leave the tunes to a flesh and blood band? Check out Honey Train, a six-piece wedding act that performs everything from ‘50s swing and ‘60s soul to ‘80s pop and ‘90s dance. It’s fronted by vocalist Joya Graves, a founding member of madFemmePride, a diversity-conscious queer organization. Graves also married her own wife seven years ago—so if you need a little extra advice on wedding planning, maybe this singer can lend some notes.

6 Ways To Save Cultural clichés suggest that every gay wedding is an over-the-top, multimilliondollar extravaganza with tiara-wearing swans and a live performance by Liza Minnelli. Fact: LGBT people actually need to budget too. So we tapped Kristin Jones, director of events at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, to share six ideas for creative cost cutting.

(And if you have anything to celebrate this May, know that the hotel is offering a ReverEquality package that contributes 10 percent of your room rate to MassEquality, and includes discounts to Club Café, Skoah, and other gay-owned businesses.) Piggyback. No, that’s not a new position. Ask the venue if it is hosting any events on the night prior to your wedding. This isn’t unlikely—and for certain elements, like lighting, you might be able to use the same vendor to eliminate (or greatly reduce) delivery and set-up fees. Skip dessert. Well, not exactly. But honestly? By the time cake comes around, everyone’s dancing anyway. Opt for dessert-slash-favors: a chocolate bar or thoughtfully assembled candies. Even more gourmet stuff, if ordered in bulk, can be cheaper and cuter. Practice crop rotation. Re-use floral elements by mixing and matching them for the rehearsal dinner, reception, and brunch. That kind of green thumb will save you serious greenbacks. Just take a taste. Decent wedding food is a culinary unicorn: mythic, elusive, something someone supposedly saw once, never glimpsed again. Get creative by serving a series of small tasting plates rather than a full three-course dinner. These are often more easily prepared en masse, so the quality will likely be better. Hire “DJ shuffle mode.” We’re not trying to put disc jockeys and bands out of business. But in the age of iTunes, automating music is an easy money saver. Choose favorite and meaningful songs, and invite guests to assemble the soundtrack via a “request” line on the RSVP card. Occasional laptop

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Control-Alt-Delete Sure, it sounded like a good idea at the time. But now that your circuit party and Dinah Shore Weekend days are done (and the fog has cleared), you can no longer remember what those Chinese characters you got tattooed on your (then, more muscular) upper back even mean. (“Something-something fate, was it?”) Although Facebook timelines have made it substantially more difficult to erase evidence

of past mistakes, Delete Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon can get the job done—you know, so you don’t walk down the aisle in a backless gown that reveals your ex-girlfriend’s name. (Awkward.) The Newbury Street facility features state-of-the-art equipment and trained medical pros; over a series of several customized sessions they can comfortably remove most tattoos. (Unlike with fly-by-night operations, yes, you will be numbed.) Prices start at $75 per visit, and a consultation will estimate how many you might have in store, but a new treatment method—dubbed “4-n-1”— packs 4 traditional visits into a single visit, accelerating the process. Delete offers other services that could get you glowing for your wedding day, too: from anti-aging treatments designed to boost collagen production and reduce fine lines, to scar remodeling and even unique “nutrient infusions” designed for different needs. Remember: that tribal tattoo looked a lot cooler during your Avalon bartending days than it will to the grandkids when they’re looking at your honeymoon photos. Time for a skin restart. ( [x]

PHOTO Lea St. Germain

tending (as in, “hit play!”) becomes a responsibility for the wedding party. Even adding souvenir CDs of the playlist will cost much less than hiring another hand. Adopt a consumer mentality. Plenty of people don’t understand the difference between an open bar (flat rate per guest) and a consumption bar (charged per drink ordered). It’s always a gamble—but if your guests aren’t big drinkers (maybe 2-3 each) you can save a lot by going with the latter. Also: reserve top shelf brands for popular spirits like vodka, allot house liquor for the rest.

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SEASONAL Weddings STORY Robert B. Dimmick (a.k.a. Etiquetteer)

Same-Sex Weddings, the Perfectly Proper Way The etiquette of treating your big day with the propriety it deserves

After ten years of equal marriage in Massachusetts, LGBT couples have not only celebrated marriages, they’ve adapted their ceremonies and parties to update relevant heterosexual wedding traditions. Because let’s face it, someone is not necessarily going to wear the Biggest Dress in the World, nor will a parent necessarily walk a daughter or son down the aisle. Etiquetteer asked three couples how they managed some of their wedding issues with Perfect Propriety. Possibly the most nerve-wracking moment in any wedding is the statement “Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.” With equal marriage still far from universal acceptance, the risk is ten times greater that someone will shout out “I object!” like in the old melodramas. So guest lists get extra scrutiny. To Etiquetteer, the same rules apply as they do at opposite-sex weddings. Inevitably the question will come up “But what about [Insert Name of Homophobic Relative Here]? Must we invite him/her?” While some writers allow couples to pass over homophobic relatives altogether, Etiquetteer would encourage them to discuss first with more sympathetic family members to see what sort of rapprochement can be managed. Weddings, for good and ill, are emotional events, and are often interpreted not only as the beginning of a marriage and the joining of two families, but as the eradication of relationships between the couple and unsupportive relatives. This means they are often the last chance for Love to win out. Consider

carefully how to construct your guest list. At a bare minimum, even the homophobes should receive an announcement. Family members are entitled to learn when the marital status of another family member has changed, whether they approve of the change or not.

Brian French and Tom King took an inclusive approach with invitations to their wedding. “We both have fairly small families and the goal was to invite immediate family only,” said French. “Philosophically, I think we both agree that it is better to invite than not invite—it is up to the guest to decide to come or not. I think this is really the way to go—invite

someone for whatever reason. If they don’t support the marriage, then they shouldn’t come!” Jim Vogel and Robert Anderson took a slightly different approach since they have families of unequal size. “We did not invite anyone that we didn’t think would be fully supportive. We were uncertain as to how some of those relatives would deal with the ceremony, and rather than selecting a few that we thought would be comfortable with it, decided to not invite any of them,” said Vogel. “Part of that same decision was financial, in that to invite all of that side of the family could have meant an additional 20-30 people, and that would have pushed us into a different venue. All that attended were glad to be there.” Christina Aprea Young was quite candid about the guest list at her wedding to Stephanie Young. “I’m Italian. So I have a huge family, and quite frankly, they were all really supportive of our marriage. Steph’s family is not nearly as big. So first I created a list of all my “must invites,” and then let her create a list that she felt was adequate. We had to cap it because of cost, but in the end it worked out really well. There was really only one family member of Steph’s who was deeply opposed, and when she asked her step-mom, she told Steph not even to invite that relative, so we didn’t. At the end of the day we were extremely lucky to have so much support.” There’s an infinitesimal chance that male-female couples will arrive at the altar in the same outfit. The old-fashioned rule that women don’t show up in the same dress to the same event lingers just a little around a lesbian wedding, even if

MAR|APR 2014 | 63

A Fabulous Wedding Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard

“ The goal was to mingle/hang out and have time to talk rather than dance, etc. Many of our guests know each other so it wasn’t necessary to be attentive to everyone at all times. ” Robert Anderson and Jim Vogel

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neither is planning to wear a dress. Christina Aprea Young and her bride, fortunately, had different looks in mind, but still felt the need to coordinate. “We each had in our own mind what we wanted to wear on our wedding day and supported the other’s vision. I wore a dress, and Steph wore a woman’s white suit with a black sleeveless blouse underneath. For me, I had always pictured my wedding dress to be simple, but elegant. I don’t think I knew I was going to sparkle quite as much as I did, but when I put that dress on I knew. The one problem was that Steph pictured me in white, but the dress was ivory. We had to be careful how white her suit was so that we didn’t clash, but we were very happy with how it turned out. I did help Steph pick out her suit, but only because she had trouble finding the right one. She wanted to feel beautiful and feminine and not look like she was in a man’s suit, but also didn’t want to wear a dress. We found that the silky blouse underneath, as well as a flower that was put in her hair really helped.” Men have it much easier, since the old rule of Perfect Propriety says that gentlemen dress alike on formal occasions. Jim Vogel and Robert Anderson made an easy decision on black tie when they decided their ceremony

would be “formal and somewhat traditional.” “I think that the best part of wearing tuxes,” said Vogel, “was that we didn’t have to agonize over the myriad of other possibilities of attire. It was one of the easier decisions for us to make.” Brian French and Tom King also chose matching tuxedos for their evening wedding, but with different waistcoats and ties. “Thematically, we were wearing the ‘same’ thing but slightly different—signifying individuality I guess. I think the majority of our energy was on planning the ceremony itself—to be inclusive of our friends,” said French. Etiquetteer smiles more brightly to learn that Happy Couples focus on their guests as well as on themselves. While the setting was formal for the King/French nuptials, the vibe was relaxed. “The goal was to mingle/hang out and have time to talk rather than dance, etc. Many of our guests know each other so it wasn’t necessary to be attentive to everyone at all times.” Robert Anderson and Jim Vogel upended the usual wedding schedule to accommodate the schedule at their church. “Our celebration was oddly structured with drinks and dinner first, then the ceremony, and then dessert. I think it allowed for a more social situation right at the beginning. It allowed us to mix with guests

“ Love is love. A wedding is a wedding. No need to treat it differently. I just focus on what they want for their day and try my best to make it happen. ” Aprea Young photographer

right at the beginning, though in hindsight I don’t remember if we adequately made time for everyone. It was a bit of a blur.” Anderson and Vogel also prepared a slideshow for the dinner that included photographs of everyone attending the wedding, taken at different times in their lives, which sparked wonderful memories and conversation during the celebration. The Youngs, at a more traditional wedding banquet, went from table to table to thank everyone for attending. “And quite frankly, after the formal thank you’s, everyone was on the dance floor so we got right out and danced with them!” remembered Christina Aprea Young. But one of the humblest, and therefore loveliest, gestures of hospitality Etiquetteer has ever seen a Happy Couple make took place at a small afternoon wedding for about 60 people in Cambridge, when the grooms cut and served the wedding cake themselves for all the guests. It was a beautiful and useful innovation of the traditional receiving line (which Etiquetteer dearly loves) that made a lasting impression. One part of the wedding ritual that remains the same for gay and straight weddings is the photography. Christina Aprea Young was inspired by her own wedding to hang out her shingle as a photographer.

Shereaffirmed that all couples want the same things. “Honestly, my same-sex couples — each has the same dreams of what their wedding photos should look like. The only tricky part comes with posing. I try to get a feel for who is the more dominant one during our time together preparing for the wedding, so that I can pose them how they view themselves for their couple shots. I will admit that I do switch it up every now and again just in case. But I do that with my opposite-sex couples, too. Love is love. A wedding is a wedding. No need to treat it differently. I just focus on what they want for their day and try my best to make it happen.” But the likelihood of a drag queen showing up increases exponentially at a gay wedding! Aprea Young remembered photographing a Provincetown wedding. “The most popular drag queen agreed to make an appearance, and she drove in on her scooter, with her rainbow skirt, and too-tight top, and was hilarious. It was hard to not let the other guests know she was coming, but also to capture their surprise, awe, and looks of ‘Oh my goodness!’ when she first arrived. A ton of fun though.” To which Etiquetteer can only smile and say “NOT Perfectly Proper!” [x]

Gala and Auction Thursday, April 3, 2014 A benefit for

Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Bullying Prevention, Family Support and Education Programs

Honorary CHairs

United States Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford & partner, Dr. Stephen DeVincent

EvEnt Co-CHairs

Holly Safford, Stanley N. Griffith, & Sarah C. Libbey


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FEATURE Theater STORY Loren King

Big Role, Big Heart Local favorite John Kuntz tackles ‘The Whale’ John Kuntz may be one of Boston’s most versatile actors, from his roles with Actors Shakespeare Project (he’s a founding member) to his early solo performances in Freaks, Starfuckers, Actorz ... with a Z, and Party Poopers, all of them shows that celebrated misfits and queerness at a time when it wasn’t all that commonplace in plays. But even Kuntz admits that good gay roles don’t come along very often. So it’s with particular excitement that Kuntz prepares for one of the most challenging parts of his career: the starring role of Charlie in gay playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, running March 7 through April 5 at SpeakEasy Stage Company. Charlie is The Whale of the title: a six-hundred-pound recluse who hides away in his apartment on the outskirts of


Mormon Country, Idaho, eating himself to death. He’s mourning the death of his male lover and desperate to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. If that sounds dark, it is; but the New York Times called Hunter’s play “big-hearted and fiercely funny” during its acclaimed off-Broadway run in 2012. “It’s a buffet for an actor,” says Kuntz from the Cambridge home he shares with his husband, fellow actor Thomas Derrah. “[Charlie] is so complicated and intriguing. Ultimately he’s a kind person and I think a lot of his anger and rage is directed inward; he’s also grieving his lover. You know he’s dead at the beginning of the play but later you find out what happened.” The Whale will be directed by David R. Gammons, veteran of SpeakEasy productions including the critically-lauded Red

John Kuntz PHOTO Joe Mazza/BraveLux

which earned 2012 Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production and for Derrah as Outstanding Actor in the lead role as artist Mark Rothko. Gammons and Kuntz share even more of a history: Gammons has been Kuntz’s go-to director in the actor’s own plays including his solo show, The Salt Girl (winner of the 2010 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play) and his newest play, The Hotel Nepenthe which was part of the Emerging America Festival at the Huntington Theatre and received the Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play, “We have a common vocabulary,” says Kuntz of Gammons. Kuntz read The Whale long before he’d heard about the SpeakEasy production. “I just wept when I read the play but never dreamed I’d actually get to play the role. David was telling me that he was thinking of me for a role, and it turned out to be The

“ I’ve never done anything like this. It scares me and I love jumping in and figuring it out. It’s going to be physical ... Charlie is wildly strong. He lifts 600 pounds and the suit weighs 50 pounds. The audience has to believe I’m 600 pounds and that’s my body. ”

Whale ... he wanted me to play Charlie and I was thrilled he thought of me.” “David creates a wonderful, safe environment where actors can just play,” says Kuntz. “He lets you go, and we discover things together. I’m looking forward to that creating.” The role will require Kuntz to wear a 50-pound fat suit designed by SpeakEasy costumer Gail Astrid Buckley. The actor may be known for his physicality ­— he played an elf in The SantaLand Diaries and multiple roles in his solo shows — but Charlie represents a major challenge for Kuntz to learn “how to be in this man’s body,” he says. “I’ve never done anything like this. It scares me and I love jumping in and figurJohn Kuntz ing it out. It’s going to be physical ... Charlie is wildly strong. He lifts 600 pounds helped launch his career but one that he and the suit weighs 50 pounds. The audihasn’t performed with for some 15 years. ence has to believe I’m 600 pounds and “I’ve done more plays with SpeakEasy that’s my body.” than any other company in town. It was So rather than eating to gain weight, the my artistic home for many years,” he actor is actually working out to be ready says. “They were the first ones to produce for the physical demands of the role. my shows at the late-night cabaret they The Whale marks a homecoming of sorts had. I did SantaLand Diaries with them; for Kuntz at SpeakEasy, a company that 12/11/12 I was in Jeffrey, which Gardner12-10-12R2_Gardnr_Dec2012R2 2:15 PM Page 1 was one of their

big hits; and Fifth of July, among other productions. Despite the fact that Kuntz and Derrah (who most recently played the snake in the Huntington Theater production of The Jungle Book) are two of the best known of Boston’s impressive stable of actors, Kuntz says he and Derrah have shared the stage only a few times. They met during a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on Boston Common. “He was Malvolio and I was Sir Andrew,” says Kuntz. “We didn’t do another show together until The Lily’s Revenge 12 years later. Then we did Two Gentlemen of Verona.” As prolific as he is, Kuntz still searches for gay roles. The Whale will give him one of the most complex if his career. “It’s a strong gay character,” he says. “You don’t see that a lot. So that drew me. It’s a beautiful character and story and I hope I can tell it well.” [x] Speakeasy Stage

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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King

Dads and Monsters James Fluhr takes on homophobia—with glitter and war paint—in ‘Our Lady’ Most writers take years—and sometimes years of therapy—to figure out how to channel their pain into their art. James Fluhr seems to have it figured out at age 23. Fluhr’s solo show, Our Lady, which he’ll perform at the New Rep theater April 3-27 is a bold take on coming out and his deeply personal response to homophobia. With a nod to Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers, it’s about a boy who confronts the Monster of Hate in a mythical world of fantasy and nightmare. Fluhr says the performance deals with themes of finding freedom and how to feel beautiful when you are told you’re ugly. Fluhr originally created the show under Boston University’s New Play Initiative. (He graduated from BU in 2011 with a degree in theater arts and a concentration in scenic design). During that time, he visited his father in Fluhr’s native Tennessee. “It was the first time I’d seen him


in a few years and I decided to talk to him about my being gay. I wanted to share that part of my life with him,” he recalls. To his surprise, the conversation went well and his dad was supportive. But several months later—Fluhr recreates the moment in his show—Fluhr found himself standing outside in freezing cold talking to his father on the telephone. “He was screaming at me, saying I was disgusting and embarrassing. He’d seen pictures of me online from a drag ball fundraiser for equal marriage. I wasn’t a ‘quiet gay.’ “It got very aggressive, He was screaming at me and threatening to pull my college loans. He was demanding that I call him ‘sir.’ It was such a masculine power trip he was playing on me.” Later, Fluhr wrote down every word he could remember about the exchange. It became a monologue for The Monster in his show and it helped the story evolve to a vision of “using weapons of drag as

war paint,” says Fluhr and “using artistic skills to fight and to feel beautiful again. What he thought was disgusting, I thought beautiful.” Fluhr, who won an IRNE Award for Best Scenic Design in 2012 for Boston Center for American Performance’s The Road To Mecca (BCAP is an adjunct of the Boston University College of Fine Arts), moved to New York when Our Lady played the 2013 New York Fringe Festival. He credits Jim Petosa, who served as BU’s theater director and is now the artistic director at New Rep, with allowing him to bring his solo show back to Boston with a spot at New Rep’s Black Box Theater. “I realized a lot of the story’s power when it played at the Fringe,” says Fluhr. “I was disappointed that the show didn’t go anywhere after the Fringe Festival but it allowed me to rewrite it and make it stronger.” One of the most powerful moments in the show for both performer and audience, he says, is when “the boy” talks to an empty chair that’s being saved for his father. “At one point I scream ‘Dad, it’s me, James!’” It is an exchange that’s allowed Fluhr to process his anger and let it go.

“[My mother]’s a warrior to me; she’s my role model. … She’ll be coming to Boston to see the show and we’re going to see Cher in concert for my [24th] birthday.” James Fluhr Later, he demonstrates his forgiveness with the line, “Not everyone likes glitter. It’s not a crime.” Fluhr describes performing such deeply personal material “like jumping into a pit of snakes.” He plans to work alongside a cast in future plays. One of his other works, Fabulous, The Assassination of Retail, draws on his experiences working at Diesel, first in Boston and now in SoHo. Besides his frayed relationship with his father, Fluhr says Our Lady helped him deal with the recent ending of a three-andone-half year relationship. He went on a short vacation to get away from the pain of the breakup, he says, and returned home to find waiting for him a helmet he’d ordered for one of the monologues in the show. “I put it on and went right to work in warrior mode,” he says. The breakup “triggered some of the same rejection that

allowed me to be more in tune with the themes of the show. If I share my experiences—good and bad—people connect with it. The fear is in facing bad things alone. The monster isolates you. But we’re all facing the same monster—so its power dissipates.” Although still estranged from his father, Fluhr describes his mother (his parents are separated) as his best friend and biggest supporter. “She’s a warrior to me; she’s my role model,” he says. “She’ll be coming to Boston to see the show and we’re going to see Cher in concert for my [24th] birthday.” [x] Our Lady

New Rep theater April 3-27



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CULTURE Film STORY Tony Giampetruzzi

Kickstarting a Gay Phenom Massachusetts native garners big money and lots of attention with his new film Arvind Lots of people have taken to Kickstarter, the online fundraising mechanism, to raise money to get their projects off the ground. Sometimes the effort gets traction, and other times it goes bust. In the case of Evan Roberts, a film student at University of Texas and a native of Massachusetts, not only did a fundraising campaign for an upcoming gay-themed film net him a remarkable $16,406 (more than 164% of his original goal), it also set off an unintended publicity campaign for the subject of the funding: a film Arvind which follows a teenage boy on a journey to make sense of a very chaotic childhood. “You never know what you’re made of until you press the ‘Launch’ button. There’s something that came out of me when the clock was ticking, and it really


activated my creative chaotic brain in a way that was really exciting and fun and I actually miss it,” says Roberts. “We raised our initial goal in seven days, which was astonishing to me.” Even The Huffington Post took note in a feature story about the effort. It’s an unusual level of support for an Indie, let alone a student project, but Evan, who is wrapping a master’s stint in Texas, is no stranger to filmmaking. He already has a number of awards under his belt and, if the buzz is any indication, Arvind is positioning Roberts for another hit. Arvind is based on the true story of a boy whose mother is a first generation immigrant from India and who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP) and depression. When Arvind was three his mother attempted to poison him and his brother (as well as herself ) during a bitter divorce trial with his father. After more than 10 years of prison and parole, Arvind’s mother was released from prison and attempted to contact her sons. The brothers brought her to court and were successful in securing a life-long

protective order against her. In response, Arvind wrote a play called Mommy (which has already hit stages) with his mother as the main character. Arvind follows his life during this process. Roberts, 36, grew up gay in Groveland, Massachusetts. He eventually landed at

RIT to study photography with the hopes of becoming a portrait photographer or a photojournalist. After a couple years, he decided that the coursework was too specialized and went to London, Jerusalem, and Palestine, where he taught photography workshops to young people and discovered a passion for oral history and life story narratives. Wanting to expand to the aural, he moved to Portland, Maine to study radio documentary at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. He freelanced in public radio in San Francisco where he returned to working with youth as a mentor at outLoud radio. He also started his own oral history company, Audio Heirlooms, where he created custom audio projects for families who wanted to preserve a loved one’s life in their own voice. He combined the audio and the visual when, in 2010, he made his way to Austin and embarked on a course of study that has already garnered accolades within the film making biz. [SPIRIT] Your first major project after school, and the one that helped you earn your keep, was Audio Heirlooms—which you still own. Who are some of your clients? [EVAN ROBERTS] I had auspicious beginnings.

My first clients included a friend’s father who was a Senior Partner at Goldman Sachs and then the President of the Board at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The next big project was for a friend’s mother who was dealing with breast cancer; her life was rich with activism and passion and there were lots of shifting dynamics with friends and family- a really fascinating woman. I also worked on a few Audio Birthday Cards with actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, the wife of Brad Paisley, which also included Scott Hamilton and Kevin Nealon.

“ Working in radio really prepared me for filmmaking because in radio you have to boil down a story to the essential parts— you can’t risk losing someone’s attention. ” Evan Roberts

[SPIRIT] How did the audio part of your life prepare you for video? [ER] Working in radio really prepared me for filmmaking because in radio you have to boil down a story to the essential parts—you can’t risk losing someone’s attention. You have to really lead them down the path you want them to go. Narrative storytelling and scriptwriting works in the same way. Radio is actually a very visual medium, you have to paint a picture with words and sounds. You’re activating the listener’s imagination.


[SPIRIT] Your first film while in school, 33 Teeth, was featured in festivals such as Slamdance, Outfest, Frameline, NYC Short Film Festival (where it won Best LGBT Short), and was picked up for distribution by a Canadian company. What was it about?

[SPIRIT] Which was another gay coming of age story. The film also went on to make a splash on the festival circuit, won you a number of awards and was tapped for a DVD compilation of gay shorts. Was this all a build up to Arvind? It seems to be pre-billed as your opus.

[ER] Eddie, a hormonal 14-year-old with a heightened fascination with the comb of his attractive neighbor, Chad. That was followed up by Yeah, Kowalski!

[ER] It does feel like the culmination of a lot of ideas in my head about authenticity within fiction, performance within reality, personal myths, storytelling,

[CONTINUES 83] MAR|APR 2014 | 71

CULTURE Music STORY Loren King

The Music Men Think you know the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus? Think again Craig Coogan and Reuben Reynolds There’s a preconception when audiences hear the words “Boston Gay Men’s Chorus,” says Craig Coogan, who took the reins as executive director last year. “People hear ‘chorus’ and think of a group standing there holding blue books. They hear ‘gay’ and think frivolous. It’s neither and both at the same time.” The 175-member BGMC has been around so long—it started in 1982—and has been so successful that perhaps it’s understandable that, like other cultural institutions from Boston Ballet to the MFA, it’s often taken for granted. “We’re well-known and well-regarded but when I ask people, ‘when was the last time you came to an event?’ I realize that many think they know the BGMC—but they really don’t,” says Coogan. “Part of it


is the changing tide culturally, in the gay community and in the arts community. People don’t realize that every time we do a concert, it’s a brand new experience. As our country changes, so does our programming and our approach.” Reflecting those changes is the BGMC’s annual spring concert, which takes place March 22 and March 23 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. Titled Sons & Daughters, the show is an ambitious weaving of original and time-honored material in two acts, with the overarching theme of family — chosen, biological, global — and how the idea of family evolves over the course of one’s lifetime. For Sons & Daughters, the BGMC is looking beyond “I have two mommies” stories, says Reuben Reynolds, the chorus’

music director since 1997. The family themes emerged organically—one-third of the chorus members are under 30 and many have children; there are also older members who care for aging parents. Family in all its forms is also an apt theme for a chorus that’s part of the cultural landscape in Massachusetts—ground zero for marriage equality. The concert’s first act begins with “Family” from the musical Dreamgirls followed by “The Gift of Two,” a duet about gay parents. But then the theme expands to include more challenging material: “Beneath the African Sky,” by gay composer Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, was inspired by the real-life story of two young sisters who survived the Rwandan genocide and who roamed African refugee

camps for six years searching for their parents. In 2006, after the girls had been adopted by a family in the United States, Oprah Winfrey arranged for the girls’ biological family to be reunited—their parents and siblings had survived after all. “Beneath the African Sky,” notes Reynolds, “is a lullaby with a beautiful oboe melody. It’s a traditional song that the girls’ mother used to sing for them and that they’d sing as they traveled from camp to camp.” The second part of the concert features the New England premiere of the one-act musical Alexander’s House, about a gay man whose sudden death brings together his extended family and friends, including his estranged son. With music and lyrics by composer Michael Shaieb and a book by Shaieb and Bren Lord, the work was commissioned by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. and first performed in 2011. BGMC cast members will perform roles downstage while the rest of the company serves as a Greek chorus, says Reynolds. The dance numbers will be staged by acclaimed choreographer Larry Sousa, whose work has been heralded in musicals such as Bloody, Bloody Andrew

Jackson and In the Heights at the SpeakEasy Stage Company. Redefining the BGMC as it enters its fourth decade will continue well after the Spring concert. In June of 2015, the BGMC will become the first gay chorus to perform in The Middle East, with concerts in three cities in Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ein Gedi) and in Istanbul, Turkey. The BGMC’s final show will take place during gay pride in Istanbul. Coogan said the decision to tour was made in the wake of the Boston Marathon attacks. “We wondered, ‘what do we do?’ The gay community is more established now. How do we effectively communicate our relevance? With fresh eyes and fresh energy, we came up with the idea of a tour of the Middle East,” he says. Reynolds remembers when the BGMC in 2005 became the first gay chorus to tour Poland and Germany. It was met by pickets, protestors and police in riot gear. When Coogan and the board of directors talked about a response to the Marathon terrorism, Reynolds said, “My first thought was, ‘we need to learn what’s going on in the Middle East.’ It’s a little

scary but we are not going there to preach. We’re commissioning music from their culture and partnering with organizations in their country so the money raised stays there.” Both Coogan and Reynolds say they fully expect the BGMC to be profoundly changed by the tour and to return home able to impart that experience to audiences. “In 2005 we went expecting to change others but came back more changed,” says Coogan. “In 2015 and 16, the range of experience is something we’ll be able to share with our audiences through song, and love, and our understanding of a part of the world that’s so important.” “We’ve been around a long time and maybe we’re easy to ignore,” says Reynolds. “But we’re energized and moving in new directions.” [x] Sons & Daughters

BGMC’s annual spring concert March 22,23 New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall 617-542-SING (7464)


317 S. Broadway Salem, NH 03079 603.898.9216

One Wheeler Road Burlington, MA 781.270.2600


30 Years of Gays on Screen Boston LGBT Film Festival hits a milestone Thirty years is a long time for any cultural institution. But for the Boston LGBT Film Festival it represents a social sea change. Back it 1984, it was difficult just to find enough gay films to call it a festival; even the word “gay” on a marquee could spell controversy. George Mansour, who unofficially programmed a gay film festival back in 1981 and then officially three years later, recalls then-Boston University president John Silber’s objection to the marquee of the neighboring Nickelodeon Cinema boasting a gay festival. Thirty years later, the event which runs April 3-12, is a staple on the Boston cultural calendar and is, as well, one of the most respected and popular gay film festivals in the

“ The Festival has moved its dates to early April in order to include/involve/capture our vast student population. ” James Nadeau Boston LGBT Film Festival artistic director

world. One of the ways that the fest will celebrate its longevity at age 30 is with its first-ever George Mansour Vision Award, which will go to “a filmmaker/artist who has made a significant contribution to LGBT cinema.” The awardee will be announced sometime in March. Past festival programmers, including Mansour, Bo Smith, Kathleen Mullen


and Amanda Johnston, are expected to attend the event’s 30th anniversary edition. The opening night will once again be held at the Institute of Contemporary Art. There will be a VIP reception prior to a to-be-announced film and a cocktail party post screening. The milestone event takes place in April, rather than May. “The Festival has moved its

dates to early April in order to include/involve/capture our vast student population,” says James Nadeau, the festival’s artistic director since 2010 and who has served the fest in some capacity since 2000. “In doing so, the Boston LGBT Film Festival is now the first major LGBT film festival [of the season] in North America and will thereby set the tone for the upcoming LGBT film festival season. We will be the first to present LGBT-centric films submitted directly to our festival but also present films from internationally recognized film industry events such as Toronto International, Sundance, Berlin-ale International and the European Film Market.”

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Scene from “Open Up to Me” PHOTOS courtesy of the Boston LGBT Film Festival

Although the film lineup was still being finalized at press time, Nadeau cited several confirmed documentaries that will screen as part of the Festival’s Extraordinary Lives series, which showcases films about LGBT artists and personalities that have changed our culture. Notable films include Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton, about the bisexual writer and filmmaker whose lovers included movie critic Pauline Kael and gay activist Harry Hay; The Dog, about the life of John Wojtowicz who spectacularly attempted to secure the money for his partner’s sex re-assignment surgery by robbing a bank in Brooklyn in 1972. (His attempted heist

was made famous by Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon); Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, about the author of The Color Purple; and Veil of Silence, a documentary about LGBT people in Nigeria living on the brink of an impending law that could re-write their destinies. The LGBT festival has always offered a stellar lineup of international films and this year will be no exception. The schedule includes Tom Shkolnik’s The Comedian (UK); Abdellah Taia’s Salvation Army (France); Kim Jo Kwang Su’s Two Weddings and a Funeral (South Korea); and Simo Halinen’s Open Up To Me (Finland).

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 •

MAR|APR 2014 | 75

Scene from Salvation Army PHOTOS courtesy of the Boston LGBT Film Festival Besides discovering films at festivals, Nadeau also books films, particularly shorts, via submissions. “Shorts are usually where the most interesting work is emerging,” he says. Shorts with timely or complex themes also allow for interesting post-screening

panels or discussions. There are several shorts that focus on the changes to military life brought on by the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and another film that tackles the subject of LGBT military personnel who are suffering from PTSD. The first Spotlight

Series, funded in part by the Boston Foundation’s Equality Fund, will focus on the LatinoAmerican LGBT communities and films originating from Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries. Nadeau says there will be post-festival juried and

audience awards this year, which is especially important due to the anniversary. “We feel a great responsibility to officially recognize the ‘Best of the Best’ in our festival through newly created Jury and Audience Awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short Films. We also feel it is important to create a special closing event to announce our winners which also gives our audience one last opportunity to interact with the filmmakers and the talent that create the films that make our festival possible,” he says. An awards brunch will take place on Sunday, April 13. [x] Boston LGBT Film Festival

April 3-12

EXECUTIVE Breakfast Series APRIL 9, 2014 TOPIC: Using the Strength of Diversity to Build a Championship Winning Team


Join Boston Spirit magazine, the World Champion Boston Red Sox, and the New England Human Resources Association for an entertaining and informative breakfast discussion on Diversity Hiring and Staffing.

Listen as Dr. Charles Steinberg (Executive Vice President) and Amy Waryas (Vice President of Human Resources) of the Boston Red Sox discuss the policies and procedures they have in place to assist in attracting the highest quality talent on and off the field.

Hear from Kim Dukes-Rivers (CEO of Diversity Staffing Pros) as she offers the latest tips and trends to help you meet you hiring/staffing goals.





CULTURE House Proud STORY Scott Kearnan

Inn and Out Provincetown couple combines New England heritage with modern charm at Salt House Inn

New York City. Provincetown. One is a sprawling urban jungle; the other is a quaint, sand-speck-sized art colony at the edge of the sea. Yet somehow, the two make perfect bedfellows. Literally. “In a way, the culture feels the same,” says Salt House Inn co-owner Kevin O’Shea. “Provincetown is quintessential New England. It’s a beautiful, historic town at the end of the world. But there’s an urban feel to it. It’s a place where two guys can walk holding hands downtown at sunset.” The marriage of “classic” and “cosmopolitan” also defines Salt House Inn, the luxury property that O’Shea and his husband, David Bowd, opened for its first season last May. The building was previously known as Dexter’s Inn, but no trace remains of that old inhabitant. Gone are wall-to-wall carpeting, staid wallpaper and other ‘80s relics—replaced by sleek hardwood floors, sparkling white walls, and modern arrangements of nauticalinspired antique décor. If Cape Cod and the Hamptons got hitched in a ceremony on the sand dunes, their offspring might look like this.


It took an equally complementary couple to make it happen. O’Shea and Bowd are both power players in the hotel world—albeit in very different ways. O’Shea is an interior designer who worked with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group before opening his own studio, Kevin O’Shea Designs, in 2009. And Bowd is a 30-year hotel biz veteran who spent several years with Ian Schrager; he is now COO of Andre Balazs Properties, the group behind ultra-luxe

destinations like The Mercer in New York and The Standard in LA. They first came to Provincetown on vacation, as many couples do, and were so enamored by the town that they wound up buying a home: The Martin House, one of Provincetown’s oldest (and supposedly, most haunted) properties. It spent much of its life as a restaurant that hosted everyone from Jackie O to Bea Arthur. “It needed a lot of love,” says O’Shea, who spent a year renovating the home:

MAR|APR 2014 | 79

honoring its history while imbuing it with a modern sheen that nods to the couples’ contemporary digs in New York City. Today the Martin House retains the restaurant’s original bar; enjoys the equipment of a commercial kitchen but in polished, chic surroundings; and marries Victorian and modern décor with original architectural elements (like gorgeous chimneys and brick floors) and unique vestiges of the home’s storied past, such as a a table made from the hatch cover of an old ship. “It was a major departure,” says O’Shea, comparing the Martin House to their Manhattan home. But having made it their own, it’s a departure they now adoringly call home. In a way, the renovations served as a rehearsal for those performed on Salt


House Inn when the couple acquired that property in 2011. Again, the idea was to find harmony between historic Provincetown and modern beach living. “A lot of inns in town design in a very heavy, Victorian manner,” says O’Shea, who took an opposite approach: the airy, bright, uncluttered aura of a beach cottage. “It’s a modern interpretation of traditional Colonial aesthetics,” elaborates Shea. The 15-room inn was given its name as a two-fold nod: to nearby salt mines (the property was originally comprised of cottages for workers) and to the village of Salt, England where Bowd was raised. Inside, elegant but cheerfully minimalist white bedrooms hold clean lines. Each boasts a focal point, a “wall of curiosities” featuring artful arrangements of vintage

objects mostly culled from antiquing trips around New England. Many are nautical and industrial in nature, from bright red oil lanterns to rusted pulleys. The couple’s industry connections allowed them to access trade-only furnishings and highend amenities, like heavenly custom mattresses and upscale, all-natural products for the spacious, spa-like bathrooms with walk-in rain showers. The crown jewel: a loft suite where exposed beams crisscross vaulted ceilings and a clawed tub sits, somewhat sensually, at the foot of the bed. Outside the bedrooms, guests can laze at the outdoor lounge or on the second floor sun terrace—perhaps munching on homemade pastries and other treats that O’Shea, who also attended culinary school, makes each morning. (The

MAR|APR 2014 | 81

extensive daily menu is written on a black chalkboard that serves as one wall of the dining area.) But unlike many other properties of similar size, Salt House also affords privacy with attentive but unobtrusive service. “There can be a sense of overfamiliarity at some inns. When you come in at night you feel like you’re back to sneaking in to your parents’ house,” chuckles O’Shea. The vibe is all about relaxation: there is no set “checkin” time, and the front desk is little more than a cubby with a laptop. Despite extensive background in the hotel business, opening their own small inn last May was still a “trial by fire” for the couple, says O’Shea. It’s one they’re perfectly suited to. “We’re lucky that we’re both passionate about the hotel world, but come at it from two different places. Our skills dovetail each other,” says the designer, who says Bowd takes the lead on operational and financial aspects. So far, it seems to work: they’ve recently acquired another property, the Fairbanks Inn, a character-filled three-building compound, and are in the process of redeveloping it into “something very interesting and entirely different.” A few renovated bedrooms offering a glimpse at the upcoming new concept will be ready for this May’s season opening. Provincetown may already be more urbane than most historic Atlantic ports, but if this dynamic duo wants to up the ante one accommodation at a time, we have no reservations. [x]

Salt House Inn


[C OREY FROM 37] Another issue that surfaced during the campaign was Johnson’s HIV status, but only in the context of a similarity to one of his mentors, State Senator Thomas K. Duane who ran for and won Johnson’s current seat in 1991 when being HIV-positive was far more taboo than it is today. According to The New York Times, Johnson tested positive in 2004 during a routine doctor’s visit, and while his status would be a non-issue in the campaign, Johnson says that his priorities are focused on the many issues that face those in need. “New York has a huge affordability crisis, there is major income inequality,” he says. “43% of New Yorkers are living at or below the poverty level, which is a pretty devastating number. We need to make sure that the social safety net continues to exist for the most vulnerable. And, we need to focus on building affordable housing, investing in our public schools, and making sure

that jobs in New York are living wage jobs so that people can actually live here and not fall behind.” Johnson has made it clear that he wants to move beyond being the gay high school football player from Massachusetts, but he continues to have strong feelings about his coming out, gay athletes, sports in general, and, of course, his home team Red Sox which, he claims, is the favored club for at least two NYC electeds: himself and incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio. “In 1999, I think I was very fortunate to be in a state like Massachusetts which already had a lot of forward-thinking policies regarding LGBT young people and youth in schools. It certainly wasn’t the heart of the midwest or the deep south,” he says. “And, now that the marriage equality fight has become such a central issue for the LGBT community nationally, we need to keep focusing on making sure that young people are taken care of,

work against bullying, help helpless LGBT youth, and make sure that young people continue to be a priority.” As for his legacy as a gay high school athlete 15 years ago, he says that it will be people just like him who turn the tide on the nagging question of when pro athletes will feel comfortable revealing their own sexuality. “A lot of people say that pro athletes need to come out. Well, I don’t think that having a professional athlete coming out will suddenly make it easier for other athletes to come out,” he says. “I think you’ll have high school and college athletes continue to come out and create an atmosphere in sports generally where it will be accepted for someone in professional sports to come out and be accepted. I think we’re seeing that already, and hopefully it’s creating an atmosphere for that to happen.” [x]


transformation, dealing with the past, my teenage years, etc. It makes sense that I want to tell a story this way. I also relate to Arvind: he’s the youngest, he’s the gay one, he’s the one who pursues the arts, he is yearning to live in a foreign country, he wants adventure, he wants to grow up and be independent. These are things that aren’t too far from my experience as a teenager. [SPIRIT] You actually know Arvind. He’s a real person. [ER] I met Arvind when he came in to audition for Yeah, Kowalski. We brought him in for a callback, and he came in early, and I wasn’t really ready for people, so I decided to ask him questions about the script and the character and to see if he thought their choices were authentic as far as teenagers go now. He had a really interesting take on a few moments in the script, I can’t really remember them exactly, but I was intrigued and I thought he had interesting insights.

When I started to work on my thesis, I interviewed Arvind again and asked him to just tell us a little bit about himself: he was just very compelling, watchable and authentic. His mother contacted him and his brother just after our first interview with him, and we started filming just before the court hearing where the two brothers would secure their restraining order.

Evan Roberts [SPIRIT] And you asked him to pen his story? [ER] Yes, and he just wrote what happened down; it felt almost like a re-enactment, with his own embellishments (he made his mother a heroin addict, for example, in addition to having borderline personality disorder.) so, the play could be seen as a retelling of what happened instead of a reinterpretation.

One thing I saw a lot working in public radio is that no matter what questions you have written on your list, when you sit down to interview someone, most people know what story they want to tell you before you walk in the door. So I followed the story he put in front of me.

[SPIRIT] If all goes well, the film will be released in May. What’s next? [ER] I’ll probably stay in Austin for a bit and try to get involved with projects or spearhead another film. In five years, I’d like to have made a feature film and see if that’s the direction I want to go in. I’ve also been thinking about working with LGBT refugees (I worked on a project in South Africa two years ago, and I still keep in touch with people there), interview them about their lives, work with them to get their stories into a script and then try and get that produced and filmed in Africa. LGBT refugees are the most vulnerable of the refugee population, and I think there’s an audience for their stories. [X]

MAR|APR 2014 | 83

SCENE Celebration PHOTOS Tiffany Club of New England

First Event Peabody Essex Museum | Peabody | January 25

The Tiffany Club of New England held its beloved First Event at the end of January, using the occasion to honor the late Ken Garber, who was an important contributor to the transgender community.

SCENE Benefit PHOTOS Courtesy One Big Event

One Big Event Connecticut Convention Center | Hartford | October 26

Connecticut’s huge benefit and celebration for The Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective marked 30 years with a big party!

SCENE Servivce PHOTOS Courtesy of HRC Boston

Martin Luther King Day Service BAGLY | Boston | January 20

Over 60 volunteers gathered for a Martin Luther King Day service at BAGLY (Boston Area Gay & Lesbian Youth) and filled 300 care bags for homeless LGBT youth in Massachusetts. HRC partnered with Gay for Good Boston and the Ally Coalition.

MAR|APR 2014 | 85

SCENE Benefit PHOTOS Piper Jo Nevins

Toys for Joys Cruiseport Boston | Boston | December 14

Despite inclement, New England wintery weather, Toys for Joys gathered its largest group yet for its 5th Annual Holiday Gift Gala.


MAR|APR 2014 | 87

Deborah Voight, Boston Symphony Hall, April 27

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been thrilling Boston audiences since the Celebrity Series presented their Boston debut in 1968. Celebrity Series | www.

FUNDRAISER MassArt Benefit Art Auction

„„SAT APR 12


MassArt celebrates its 25th annual MassArt Benefit Art Auction with a selection of the area’s finest artwork from painting to sculpture. Each spring, the MassArt Auction draws a crowd of over 700 collectors and art enthusiasts seeking to view and purchase exceptional contemporary art in a festive environment. Over 300 works of art from internationally renowned artists in live and silent auctions.

Calendar COMMUNITY A Conversation

with Meryl Streep



Meryl Streep, considered by many to be the greatest actress of our time, will take to the stage in the latest installment of the Chancellor's Speaker Series. Moderated by Andre Dubus III, bestselling author and professor in UMass Lowell's English Department.

Miksang Contemplative Photography: Basic Goodness and Good Eye


Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as “Good Eye”. The Miksang Society presents a form of contemplative photography that brings together the art of photography, the discipline of meditation and the Dharma Art teachings of the meditation master and scholar Chögyam Trungpa. In addition to meditation and Miksang there are several other perception exercises. No previous meditation or photography experience necessary, but you will need to bring your own digital camera.


Moving Forward: Boston Strong in Everyday Life

„„SAT APR 12


How can we come together and create a society that is sane, healthy and good? In the chaos of modern life can we meet daily challenges with dignity and wisdom? One year after the Boston Marathon tragedy--when the people of our city demonstrated profound kindness and courage--we are moving forward. We are looking into what will bring us greater peace and resilience in our everyday lives. Join us for an inspiring evening with meditation master and marathon runner Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche exploring our incredible capacity to meet daily challenges with strength, courage, and compassion.

MUSIC Antigone Rising concert



DANCE The Final Cut



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. Staged by Alla Sigalova, a world-renowned choreographer, Head of the Movement Department at the Moscow Art Theater School, and a former judge on the Russian version of "Dancing with the Stars." American Repertory Theater | www.

The all-lesbian female-bootstompin'-alt-country-rock band comes to Boston. In 2005 Antigone Rising become the first band on Starbuck’s Hear Music selling over 150,000 copies of their debut. Their first EP, "Whiskey & Wine: Volume 1," drops March 25, 2014, when the band will begin a never ending cycle, releasing one song at a time, followed by a music video and acoustic or alternate mix version. The goal is to provide audiences a variety of online content from video interviews to blog posts all year long.

Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events:

Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard

The Whale




Soprano and piano. Program to include works by Clara Schumann, Brahms, Pfitzner, Strauss, Poulenc, Duparc, Chabrier, Chausson and Debussy. Celebrity Series | www.

„„SAT MAR 8 - SUN MAR 30

A 600-pound recluse who is in his final days reaches out to his estranged teenaged daughter in this big-hearted, humorous work about grief, beauty, and redemption. SpeakEasy Stage Company | www.


Tongue of a Bird

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra


„„WED MAR 19

BOSTON | SYMPHONY HALL BRUCKNER, Symphony No. 8 Celebrity Series | www.

Jason Moran: Fats Waller Dance Party



Pianist Jason Moran views Waller’s music through two lenses: the jazz piano trio and as contemporary dance music. Celebrity Series | www.

The Assad Family: A Brazilian Songbook



Sergio and Odair Assad bring the extended family for an exciting program of Brazilian music. Celebrity Series | www.

Deborah Voigt

„„SUN APR 27


A much-anticipated vocal recital featuring selections by Amy Beach, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Bolcom and Bernstein. Celebrity Series | www.

Steve Tyrell



Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist. North Shore Music Theatre |

Deep Springs Valley from the “Travel” landscapes of Justin Kim, Oxbow Gallery, Northampton, MA

PERFORMANCE Drag, Debauchery

and Hockey Players



Those bodacious babes are back and this time they brought friends! Join us for a night with some of Boston's top drag performers with special guests; members of Boston Pride Hockey's The Boston Lobsters. 8pm /

Ira Glass: Reinventing Radio



The creator of the public radio show This American Life talks about his program and how it's put together. Celebrity Series | www. EDITOR'S PICK

Lesbian comedian Fortune Feimster

„„FRI MAR 28 - SAT MAR 29


Lesbian comedian Fortune Feimster made her national TV debut in 2010 on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, where she finished as a semi-finalist. That same year she was selected to perform in the New Faces showcase at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Now Fortune is a full-time writer and roundtable regular on the E! Network’s popular late night talk show, "Chelsea Lately," with Chelsea Handler. She’s also a cast member on the second season of Handler’s scripted series, “After Lately.”


Northampton Pride Parade and Rally



Pride Season kicks off rain or shine at noon!




Celebrate Mardi Gras Dyke Night style with masks and mayhem! Show off your Best Bra for $50 cash prize! Second Saturday dance party features guest DJ MARYALICE, who will have you dancing to seamless dance mixes (pop/dance/top 40). The lounge features DJ Triana who brings with her an international flair: Reggaton, Samba and '90s hip hop hits. Plus gravity-defying pole dancers, gigantic dance floor, 4 pool tables and more. Dyke Night | EDITOR'S PICK

Celebrity Series 75th Anniversary Gala

„„SAT APR 12


A black-tie gathering of friends, both old and new. Celebrity Series | www.

THEATER Death of a Salesman



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, |




Musical based on the Dickens classic. Trinity Repertory Theater |

Witness Uganda



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.

The Seagull



Nicholas Martin and Kate Burton, renowned interpreters of Chekhov's blend of humor and pathos, reunite for this emotionally rich classic. Huntington Theatre Company | www.

MAR|APR 2014 | 89

An emotionally wounded young search and rescue pilot returns to her childhood home in the Adirondacks to search for Charlotte, a missing 12-year-old girl. American Repertory Theater | www. EDITOR'S PICK


„„TUE MAR 11 - SUN MAR 23


The pop culture phenomenon and runaway international success is now live on stage! Broadway In Boston | www.


„„FRI MAR 14 - SUN MAR 23


Rigoletto is obsessed with protecting his innocent daughter, Gilda, from the corruption which has become a way of life in the Duke’s court. But he cannot contain the passion stirring in her young heart. Boston Lyric Opera |

Becoming Cuba

„„FRI MAR 28 - SAT APR 26


Funny, steamy, and political, this powerful new drama from Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez asks whether freedom is something we all want. Huntington Theatre Company | www.

Rich Girl

„„FRI MAR 28 - SAT APR 26


When sheltered Claudine meets starving artist Henry, she falls head over heels. But her mother, a tough-talking celebrity financial guru, has her doubts. Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St, Boston 02116, 617-585-5678, |

Into the Woods



where the accent is on YOU since 1985

A baker and his wife learn they've been cursed by the Witch next door, then embark into the woods on a quest to reverse that spell. Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St, Boston 02116, 617-585-5678, |

The Tempest

„„SAT MAY 10 - SUN JUN 15


When shipwrecked aristocrats wash up on the shores of Prospero’s strange island, they find themselves immersed in a world of trickery and amazement. American Repertory Theater | www. Serving glamour and style since 1985. You can always count on our gorgeous cars, impeccable customer service, and competitive rates. Weddings / Nights Out /Anniversaries / Special Occasions / Airport Transfers

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The Shape She Makes


The Book of Mormon

„„SAT APR 5 - SUN APR 27

„„TUE APR 1 - SUN APR 27


A new musical from the creators of South Park and Avenue Q. Broadway In Boston | www. EDITOR'S PICK

Our Lady

This profoundly moving and heartrending production uses a fusion of dance and theater to explore how the echoes of childhood relentlessly shape our lives. American Repertory Theater | www.

I Puritani

„„THU APR 3 - SUN APR 27


„„FRI MAY 2 - SUN MAY 11

Fresh off the New York Fringe Festival, this dynamic one-person performance piece exposes James Fluhr’s own coming out as a gay man. Created in response to toxic homophobia causing many gay suicides. American Repertory Theater | www.

In Between

„„FRI APR 4 - SUN APR 20



Son of a Palestinian-Muslim father and a Jewish-Israeli mother, Ibrahim Miari recalls his childhood in Acco, Israel, memories of his Jewish and Palestinian grandmothers, and war. American Repertory Theater | www.


Elvira has been promised to one man, but loves another. When she believes the object of her affection has betrayed her, she descends into madness. Boston Lyric Opera |


American Gestures: Abstract Expressionism



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 | EDITOR'S PICK

Beyond Human, ArtistAnimal Collaborations



The redesigned Art & Nature Center: Elephants paint pictures, dogs pose for photographs and birds create art installations. Peabody Essex Museum |

Dawn L. Petros: Sense of Place



Features the photographs, video art, and sculpture of this 2007 SMFA Masters degree recipient. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston |

FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

On the Verge



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 |

„„SAT MAY 3 - SUN MAY 25 Three Victorian-era women set off to explore “Terra Incognita,” not realizing that they have time traveled into 1955 American pop culture.

Carrie: The Musical



From the classic Stephen King novel comes the haunting story of a highschool outcast. SpeakEasy Stage Company | www.



POP! Goes Boston at the Intercontinental



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

Think Pink



Explore the changing meaning of pink in art and fashion. Museum of Fine Arts/Boston |

California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way

„„SAT MAR 29 - SUN JUL 6


More than 200 examples of midcentury modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965. Peabody Essex Museum |

“Travel” Landscapes by Justin Kim

„„THU APR 3 - SUN APR 27


“Travel” includes large mixed media landscapes on paper. Artist Justin Kim’s work combines the grand tradition of painting with a contemporary sensibility, exploring themes including pastiche, authenticity, physical presence and the relationship between technology and the artist’s hand. His work generates tension between artifice and reality while challenging traditional painting structures. Born in Hartford, CT, Mr. Kim received a B.A. from Yale and an MFA from the American University in Washington, D.C. He interned with the artist David Hockney and has exhibited both regionally and nationally. Kim splits his time between Northampton, MA and New York City. Opening reception on Friday, April 11, 6 – 8PM.

Visit our online calendar for the latest events and submit listings for upcoming events: 90 | BOSTON SPIRIT


Beauty Medicine Boston

Your Source for Equalityminded People, Places, Services and Adventures in New England and beyond.





Botox®, Dermal Fillers & Skin Therapies Rejuvenate yourself with state of the art cosmetic injections and advanced skin therapies and treatments, including: Botox®. Juvederm®, Radiesse®, Belotero® and Ultherapy. Personalized, artistic and compassionate skin care administered by Advanced Practice Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Nelson Aquino. Two convenient locations: Office of Joseph Russo, MD, FACS: 575 Boylston Street Newton Centre, MA 02459 and 1318 Beacon Street, Ste. 7 (2nd floor) Brookline, MA 617.953.6261

Elizabeth Grady

Because the world sees your face first Elizabeth Grady provides an innovative approach to beauty and skin health through our products, services, schools and franchises. The expertly trained estheticians, massage therapists and makeup artists at our many locations will prescribe the worlds best face care products and treatments that are right for you. At the Elizabeth Grady Schools, we also educate and nurture the next generation of highly-qualified professionals. 1-800-FACIALS

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







For information on including your business, e-mail

MAR|APR 2014 | 91

Wellspring Weight Loss


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. or call us at 1-866-364-0808

 COMMUNITY | NONPROFIT Planned Giving at DanaFarber Cancer Institute


Invest in a future without cancer Include Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in your estate plans to reach your financial goals and help fight cancer. 800-535-5577

 HOME | GARDEN Circle Furniture


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. 31 St. James Ave. Boston, MA 617-778-0887

Dover Rug


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. 721 Worcester Street (Route 9) Natick, MA 508-651-3500

Wellspring is the premier weight loss lifestyle program on the globe.


– Dr. Phil, 2012


Gardner Mattress


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.


Lucia Lighting


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, lucía lighting & design is the answer.



311 Western Ave. (RT-107 Lynn, MA 781-595-0026

Seasons Four



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.

Portside Family Dental 7 Brown Square, Newburyport, MA 01950 tel: 978-462-4590 fax: 978-465-3065


1265 Massachusetts Avenue Lexington, MA 781-861-1200

Yale Appliance & Lighting

Turn it On!! Over 3500 lights, 800 appliances and 200 plumbing products on display. We service what we sell. 296 Freeport St Dorchester, MA 1-866-849-7838

Your financial needs are unique. Call me today at (877) 524.5522

Frank X Addonizio CFP®, CRPC®, CLTC Financial Advisor

20 Park Plaza Suite 465 Boston, MA 02116 877.524.5522 x 202

Awarded 2014 FIVE STAR Wealth Manager SM Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA


50 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

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Harvard University

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.

UBS Financial Services, Inc.

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 team/neeedmunds.

 WEDDING | EVENTS Accent Limousine


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.

Wellesley, MA 781-446-8918 or 800-828-0717

 RETAIL | SHOPPING Lux Bond & Green


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

Marriott Copley Place


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. 110 Huntington Avenue (Boston) , MA 617-236-5800

Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston


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. 40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard Cambridge, MA 617-806-4200



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.

DJ Mocha


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! 617-784-1663

Gourmet Caterers

a h c o M J D

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.

Konditor Meister

high impact | low proole

Konditor Meister — Voted #1 Wedding Cakes in Boston Extraordinarily Beautiful & Elaborate Wedding Cakes & fine European pastries. Delicious Custom Holiday & Party Cakes for all occasions.

photo and video documentation

32 Wood Road (Just South of Boston) Braintree, MA 781-849-1970



Lombardo’s has been providing the highest quality of hospitality and cuisine for over 50 years. From innovative menus to an upscale atmosphere, Lombardo’s ensures every wedding will exceed their client’s expectations.



Long's Jewelers


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.


World-Class Luxury Guesthouse and Spa

Boston, Braintree, Burlington, Natick, and Peabody, MA 877-845-6647

Ptown Parties

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

14 Johnson Street, Provincetown | 800.487.0132

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CODA Television STORY Scott Kearnan

Hometown Honey on RuPaul’s Drag Race Worcester-based queen Joslyn Fox, a.k.a. DJ Patrick Allen, makes a run for the tiara

Let the games begin. RuPaul’s Drag Race just revved up its sixth season. And among the competing queens introduced on the Monday, February 24 premiere was a local lovely: Joslyn Fox, a Worcester, Massachusetts-based performer whose sassy, ultra-femme style recalls the glittery glory days of MTV-ready pop princesses. But you might know him by his other stage name, DJ Patrick Allen, a familiar face (makeup off, this time) spinning at New England’s gay nightspots and Pride events. We’ll be rooting for this hometown honey. Of course, only time will tell if Fox has what it takes to seize the crown, and this queen can’t drop any spoilers. But she did spill the t to Spirit about her early inspirations, current competition, and biggest fan. Spoiler: it’s one awesome, doting dad. [SPIRIT] How did you discover drag? [JOSLYN FOX] I used to go to

Boston every Monday night for drag shows at Axis nightclub. I remember when the shows would start, standing down at the base of the stage, just living for these queens. They were Britney and Madonna in the flesh to me. It was so exciting. Eventually someone said, “Why don’t you give it

a shot?” I realized it was the best opportunity to encompass everything I was interested in. [SPIRIT] What stars influenced your style? [JF] I loved Janet Jackson

growing up. People tell me I move like her on stage, and that’s from watching her videos. When I was young Britney was more current and I’d record her videos to learn the choreography. I think that’s really how I developed my style. It’s very fishy and girly— not so edgy or over-the-top.

[SPIRIT] How did you choose

your drag name? [JF] Joslyn is my last name, but that’s actually not how I chose it. Before my first show I was going to be Billy Wicked. This gaggle of queens told me it was awful. They started throwing out other names. Someone said, “You could be a Joslyn.” They had no idea that was my last name. I thought it was fate. Separately, a friend saw me walking down the street. Later she called and said, “I just saw you and thought: you are such a fox!” [SPIRIT] Drag queens often have two

coming-outs. How did yours go?

[JF] I came out as gay at 14. The

response was basically, “What do you want for dinner?” My


parents didn’t think twice about it. It was very different for my mother when I came out as a drag queen. She didn’t know how to take it, and thought there would be another coming out where I told her I wanted to be a woman. It was actually easier for my dad. They came to my show, and it started to change her mind. She started getting used to it. But his jaw was on the floor. The next morning he said, “You know, you make one hot chick.”

the hotel room, before I fell asleep. But those moments brought out the best in me. [SPIRIT] If you had to “lip sync for your life,” what song would you choose to slay the competition? [JF] Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.”

That’s probably the number one song I perform to.

[SPIRIT] And what’s one gay icon whose catalogue would cause you a problem? [JF] Barbra Streisand. I love

[SPIRIT] How do you think you’ll

her, but I know her movies much more than her music.

[JF] I play dumb and come off

[SPIRIT] Who is your favorite past Drag Race winner?

come across on the show?

as stupid, but my secret power is that I’m smarter than I seem. Going in, I was afraid I’d be hated and have no friends! It wasn’t like they were all going after me, but I think I’ll be seen as a sweetheart who stood up for myself.

[SPIRIT] What was your biggest challenge? [JF] Just to push myself and

prove to Ru and the other girls that I deserve to be there. There were moments alone when I’d really start to get discouraged and down on myself. There were struggles at night when I’d get back to

[JF] Jinkx Monsoon. She

was the ultimate underdog. I re-watched Season 5 to gear myself up, and it was amazing— knowing now that she won—to see how when she started no one thought she should be there. But that lit her fire.

[SPIRIT] “Charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent,” are the four qualities RuPaul seeks in the next drag superstar. Which one do you have all over the other girls? [JF] Charisma. Some of those

girls are all business. I can still show the charm without letting it be a distraction from the task at hand. [x]

Boston Spirit Mar | Apr 2014  

March | April 2014 issue of Boston Spirit magazine

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