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Hero Rhode Island native Davey Wavey builds powerfully positive platform online
INTRODUCE YOU ...
Notable locals you should know
Who Owns Pride? Trademark Tussle over LGBT ID
Classic Magic Cirque du Soleil astonishes with old-school acrobatics
Rapp Music Broadway’s ‘Rent’ boy comes back to town
Embracing Diversity, Empowering Individuals.
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From The Publisher Happy Spring! And what a spring it has been so far. Just in the past few weeks we have seen many of you at Boston Spirit’s 2nd annual Red Sox Hot Stove Happy Hour and then we saw even more of you at Boston Spirit’s 10th annual LGBT Executive Networking Night. I would like to, once again, thank all of you that continue to join us at our events and support the magazine. If you thought April was busy ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet.’ As we move further along into spring we’ve got an entire Pride season ahead of us as well as Boston Spirit’s (always amazing) Summer Sunset Cruise. Last June we had 700 people on board for the cruise and it was the best party of the summer! If you missed it, don’t make that mistake again. For details see page 71 of this issue. Because we have been so busy with events and deadlines, we haven’t really
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acknowledged that April marked Boston Spirit’s 11th anniversary. It is incredible how fast the time has gone. 11 years… Looking back at all of the stories we have written, all of the events, all of the truly amazing people we have been lucky enough to meet, it has been the best ride any of us could have imagined. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem to capture the true amount of gratitude that we have for your continued support. Barely a week goes by without someone contacting me to say how much they love Boston Spirit or to say thank you for supporting the community or a particular cause. Publishing Boston Spirit truly is a labor of love and we very much look forward to the next 11 years as I think they are going to be even better!
David Zimmerman Publisher
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As We Go To Press … It became the story about how the governor got booed off the stage. It could have been a different story. We just wanted to hear Charlie Baker say one thing: “I support public accommodations access for transgender people.” Instead, the Massachusetts governor blabbered on over 15 minutes about everything but that, including last year’s nine feet of snow and his work to fix the MBTA and public transportation. “That’s not the ‘trans’ bill we came here to hear about,” noted one transgender attendee to me, wryly, after the event. You would have thought a guy like Baker would have better understood what he was walking into. I mean, the guy ran with an openly gay lieutenant governor candidate a few years ago; he supported marriage equality; and he—just a few short months ago—led the nation in creating a first-for-a state LGBT supplier diversity policy. If any quote unquote moderate Republican would know how to handle an LGBT issue—or rather “LBGT” issue (he oddly kept tripping up on that term, which says a lot—it should be Baker. When the governor finally came around to the issue at hand, he had the nerve to lecture us about how important it is to tell our stories in order to change the hearts and minds of legislators. Um, say wha? The “LBGT” community pioneered story-telling politics to create legal marriage for same-sex couples in one of the fastest moving civil rights turnarounds in history—mere decades. Please don’t lecture us about telling stories. How about we lecture you on listening to them?
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And that’s what the audience, unfortunately, had to do. Boo! We’ve learned from our LGBT activist history that when someone doesn’t seem to be listening, we have to speak up in ways that they will hear. Boo! Are you listening now? We hope so. It seems that the event is having an effect on our highest-approvalrating-of-any-governor-in-the-country. “The man who could do no wrong had done wrong,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham. The odd thing is that it could have been a different story. And it would have been much easier to do than Baker might have imagined. While we all wanted him to declare that he would sign a bill, he probably could been received well without going quite that far. He just had to move the needle further than he had before. He already had an applause line when he declared that “we should not discriminate against anyone in Massachusetts.” He could have built on that statement. He could have turned up the heat on Massachusetts House Speaker DeLeo. After all, the bill is being held up by DeLeo for what appears to be political reasons. “My criteria for any bill that reaches my desk for signature is that we should not discriminate against anyone in Massachusetts,” the governor could have told us. “I don’t see why that should be so difficult for DeLeo and the legislature.” Further, rather than lecturing us on storytelling, he could have actually shared a story or two of his own that he had heard from transgender people. He could have demonstrated that he was actually listening. This story should not have been
so hard for his handlers to have come up with, should it? Next he could have turned up the rhetorical heat. He could have said that, while past stories were powerful, important, and helpful in moving legislation, they were not what he was ultimately after. “At the end of the day I’m not interested in the stories you can tell me about what has happened in your lives,” he could have said. “Because when all is said and done what interests me and should interest everyone in the Commonwealth is our future stories. I’m interested in the stories that will be told that will not include having to face off in protests. I’m interested in creating a harmonious Commonwealth, where you and everyone is safe in public spaces. I’m interested in a future where public accommodations access is not an issue and is not part of the story anymore. I’m interested in a future where our stories are simply about life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Before that can happen, I look forward to hearing more of your stories here tonight as I meet and greet in the crowd. Please tell me. I’m hear to listen.” Can you imagine if he had approached us with that kind of humility? Instead, we needed to tell Baker a story he apparently didn’t want to hear. Until transgender people have legal access to all public spaces, our LGBT spaces will not be safe for him. Boo.
James Lopata Editor
PHOTO Michael Frye
Contents 10 14
A Time to Band Together
Slave to Beauty
Seasonal Let Us Introduce You
What makes a notable local someone we think you’d like to get to know?
Who Owns Pride?
A week in the quiet beauty of the Piney Woods Boston Pride
The Word that Best Describes LGBT Identity Protected from Possible Trademark Dispute
Let Us Introduce You
‘Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities’ is Cirque du Soleil’s return to form
Forever a ‘Star!’
How the Marriage Fight Was Won
New England Events
Oh, Say, Can He Sing!
‘A tribute to Gertrude Lawrence’ takes place in the legendary performer’s adopted home of Dennis on Cape Cod New film ‘State of Marriage’ documents the trailblazers in Vermont
Ang Lee (‘Brokeback Mountain’) will be honored by the Provincetown Film Fest
Forever a ‘Star!’
GOAL’s 25th Anniversary 78 Boston Spirit’s LGBT Family Day at the New England Aquarium 80 Landry and Arcari’s Dance with Designers81 Out Professional Executive Networking Event 82 Red Sox Hot Stove Happy Hour 83 Boston Business Builder 85 Boston Spirit’s 10th Annual LGBT Executive Networking Night 86
WHAT stages provocative play ‘Cock’
Magic To Do
Wary of Wilde’s persecution, early 20th-century Boston Brahmin led brilliant aethetic life in secrecy
Hit List Silviya Mihyalova Swets the Small Stuff Community Cliffnotes LGBTQ Youth Summer Camp
Business leaders brainstorm what’s next after Greater Boston Business Council closes its doors
Ink Block build-out is living up to the SoWa development’s buzzy promise
MAY|JUN 2016 | VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 3
Coda Anthony Rapp switch hits for Red Sox fans and Boston’s Broadway crowd
Being yourself is just being human. Everywhere. Every day. Weâ€™re with you. We Bank Human and celebrate the LGBT community. TM
SPOTLIGHT Trending STORY Scott Kearnan
Hit List NEWS, NOTES AND TO-DOS FOR EVERY GAY AGENDA
CHECK OUTthe platform of Jack Patrick Lewis, an out democratic candidate for Massachusetts state representative in the 7th Middlesex District. Lewis, a husband and father who lives in Framingham, is the executive director of OUT MetroWest, which supports community programming, educational outreach and advocacy for LGBTQ youth. In a recent interview with “The Rainbow Times,” Lewis cited innovating schools, improving the MBTA, investing in green energy production and protecting budgetary funds for the disability community as especial priorities. Before advancing to the general election, Lewis will face a democratic primary on September 8. More info: electjacklewis.com ACCEPT THE CHALLENGEoffered to New England by the Human Rights Campaign’s justreleased State Equality Index, a report that groups US states into four tiered categories based on the degree to which local legislation protects and advances LGBT rights. Connecticut was one of just seven states placed in the top category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality,” which acknowledged states with the most “robust” legislation. Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont were one level down,
Scott Pomfret categorized as “Solidifying Equality,” a designation for states that are “considered high-performing but not cutting edge on LGBT equality.” New Hampshire and Rhode Island were deemed as “Building Equality.” No New England states were among the 28 listed in the lowest-ranking category. More info: hrc.org
STOCK UP ON BEACH READS
from gay Boston author Scott D. Pomfret. “You Are the One,” published in April, is a collection of previously published LGBT-focused short stories, including its title tale about the torrid affair between a butch soldier and an “uppity homosexual” landscape architect who is tending more than rosebushes on the military base. June sees the release of Pomfret’s “The Second Half: A Gay American Football Novel,” about a complicated romance
between Payton, a college football coach, and Brady, his star quarterback. Payton plus Brady? Sounds like a pageturner. More info: scottpomfret. com
TUNE INto “New England Pride TV,” a new monthly show hosted by award-winning Worcester-based vocalist
and emcee Dale LePage. LePage, who currently hosts “WooTube,” a weekly entertainment talk show carried by Charter TV3, says he is launching “New England Pride TV” to “give an important voice to the LGBTQ community and their supporters, inform, educate and entertain.” The show
PUBLISHER David Zimmerman EDITOR IN CHIEF James Lopata MANAGING EDITOR Robert Phelps [firstname.lastname@example.org] ART DIRECTOR Dean Burchell CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE EDITOR Scott Kearnan [email@example.com] CONTRIBUTING ARTS EDITOR Loren King CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Stowell, Mark Krone CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Joel Benjamin, Allana Taranto COVER PHOTO Doug Breault ON THE WEB [bostonspiritmagazine.com] TALK TO US [firstname.lastname@example.org] EDITORIAL CONTACT [email@example.com] PUBLISHING AND SALES CONTACT [firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-223-8538] THE FINE PRINT Boston Spirit
MAY|JUN 2016 | VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 3
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
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Shania LeClaire will air on second Mondays, and cover topics that range from LGBT health to music, fundraising events and restaurants. The show will be aired on its own website, where you can also find updates on airdates and cable channels that will carry it. More info: newenglandpridetv.com
RAISE A TOASTto PR guru Sam
Mazzarelli, a VP at Weber Shandwick, and Jonathan Soroff, “Improper Bostonian” columnist and co-host of Boston Herald Radio’s “Status Report.” The power couple was married in February after 10 years together. Though they’re known as social butterflies, the twosome chose to exchange vows in a very private ceremony, officiated by a Unitarian Universalist minister and held on stage at Boston’s Symphony Hall before a gathering of just four family members. (Both are art patrons: among other associations, Mazzarelli is on the board of directors of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Soroff sits on the board of overseers of the Boston Ballet.) Cheers, gents: here’s to many more years of laughter and love!
DISCOVER THE WORKof
Shania LeClaire Riviere, a painter, photographer and experimental drag fusion artist who unveils a new digital drawing series, “My Weekend in Provincetown,” during a special preview event at P-Town’s 8 Dyer Hotel on June 20. The visual collection,
described as a “documentation and deconstruction of the great diversity of people” who visit Provincetown, then moves to Frederick Studio for a solo show from June 23-29 (opening reception on June 24). Riviere’s website has also launched the Collector’s Corner, a shop for prints from past series like “Out the Window,” images taken during the artist’s former work as a live-in housekeeper at a Provincetown bed & breakfast. Today Shania, also known as Shane Adams, resides in North Truro with his husband. More: shanialeclaireriviere.com
SCORE TICKETSfor the 20th
Anniversary Tour of “Rent,” now on sale in advance of the tour’s Boston stop at the Shubert Theatre from April 11-23, 2017. The revolutionary rock opera, a modernized retelling of Puccini’s “La Boheme” set in the queer East Village during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, kicked off its first tour in Boston back in 1996, when its Shubert staging broke the Hub’s all-time box office record for a week-long musical engagement. Expect a similarly passionate response for the anniversary go-round, so get your seats secured. More info: citicenter.org [x]
SPOTLIGHT Fitness STORY Scott Kearnan
Silviya Mihyalova Swets the Small Stuff
RUGS AND CARPETING
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When she opened Swet Studio in the South End in the fall, 30-year old fitness guru Silviya Mihyalova wanted to make her LGBTQ community feel like a priority.
also declares the bathroom as “Gender Neutral,” reflecting Mihyalova’s consideration for the comfort of trans clients, who might feel especially marginalized in other facilities.
“Working out in certain gyms, you sometimes feel like people give you weird looks. It’s very uncomfortable,” says Mihyalova, who is a lesbian. And unlike other health clubs that market to gay clients without really working to earn their allegiance, Swet shows Mihyalova’s attention to inclusivity-enhancing details.
“I wanted people to have a very different experience here than they might have elsewhere,” says Mihyalova. She understands, after all, what it feels like to not fit in. Growing up in her native Bulgaria, Mihyalova’s strict parents actually forbade her from nearly all exercise— they felt it would make her too unwomanly. “Basketball would make me two tall, swimming would make my back too wide,” recalls Mihyalova of their attitude. Their only exception: ballroom dancing.
It begins with a website that proudly trumpets Swet as “dedicated towards LGBTQ community,” and it extends to arrival at the Tremont Street space: an industrial-chic, loft-like studio with a purple cathedral ceiling. There is no formal front desk here, just a comfortable reception area where guests can grab an espresso and check out some of the curios that hang on the brick walls, including Mihyalova’s collection of vintage exercise equipment, framed photos from black and white beefcake magazines, and a painting titled “Open Your Mind,” replete with rainbow symbolism. Signage
But within a year of moving to Massachusetts at age 19, Mihyalova was already making up for lost time on the gym floor. She’d work out for two hours in the morning and two hours at night, and not just to stay active. As a new immigrant, Mihyalova appreciated the social aspect of exercise. “In Europe you meet people at the coffee shop,” says Mihyalova. “Here, I started going to fitness classes with new friends and it
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really became a social thing.” In keeping with that social aspect of exercise, Swet Studio focuses on group classes. You won’t find weight machines or dumbbells for isolated exercise here. But you will find a lineup of totally unique, boutique experiences like Indo-Row, a fast-paced indoor rowing class, Bollyx, a dance-exercise class inspired by the films of Bollywood, hip hop yoga and even aerial programs— from barre to guided meditation—during which clients suspend from the ceiling in silk hammocks. In all cases, inclusivity is paramount to Mihyalova’s approach. “I didn’t always have good experiences getting jobs in gym. They wanted me to cover my tattoos, look a certain way and wear certain clothes,” says the trainer. Those excluding experiences sparked the idea for Swet Studio’s LGBT-focused identity. And Mihyalova is especially sensitive to her trans clients, from paying particular attention to pronoun use to gently guiding guests through
post-transition exercise programs. One such popular pick is “Getting Started,” an educational experience that focuses on exercise basics, like proper form, in intimate classes of five people to eliminate intimidation and enhance one-on-one attention. Swet Studio is already living up to its promise as a health
club and social events spot with gay appeal. Since opening it has worked with a number of community organizations to host a variety of special events: like a same-sex partners ballroom dancing class with The Welcoming Committee, a social group for LGBTQ twenty- and thirty-somethings; an evening of “sports style” with Qwear, a
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Somerville-founded queer fashion website; and a trans fitness talk with Cei Lambert, patient advocate at Fenway Health’s Trans Health Program. All this, and Swet is just getting started. [x]
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SPOTLIGHT Youth STORY Scott Kearnan Spotlighting New England LGBT organizations and the work they do. Helping you to discover some new neighbors—and fresh facts—about our diverse community.
“For kids, coming out is still a very isolating experience,” says Markham. “Even those who have their parents’ support still have to find out what it all means for them: What are things going to be like for them? Who will their friends be? And then, of course, there are the kids who are kicked out of their homes with no support.” Markham has made it possible for kids of all kinds to find support and feel a sense of community. Camp Lightbulb, a nonprofit he founded in 2012, is uniting LGBTQ young people in ways that foster inclusion, personal growth and self-empowerment. And it’s just getting started.
WHAT IS CAMP LIGHTBULB?
Community Cliffnotes LGBTQ Youth Summer Camp CAMP LIGHTBULB TURNS KIDS ON TO BUILDING POSITIVE LIFE SKILLS IN P’TOWN Puck Markham is 45 years old, and came out when he was just 18. For a teenager to come out at the height of the AIDS crisis, and amid all the attendant homophobia, was a very brave move. But unlike many men of his generation, Markham doesn’t believe in romanticizing the notion that
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today’s kids have it infinitely easier. Sure, American culture has caught up and young people questioning their sexuality can find many more helpful resources at a much earlier age. But they also face emerging challenges—from navigating adolescence in the era of pervasive social media-based bullying, to navigating comparatively new frontiers of fluid gender identity. Circumstances have changed, but the need for support and belonging remains the same.
Camp Lightbulb is a weeklong overnight summer camp for LGBTQ youth held in Provincetown. (This year’s dates: June 25 through July 2.) The camp allows those ages 14 to 17 to connect with other young people who share their experiences. And though the bunk bed accommodations are provided at Truro Hostel, most activities—from scavenger hunts and concerts to dance parties and workshops—are held in Provincetown, so teens get to experience a famous and historic arts enclave that supports and cherishes its LGBTQ associations. It may be the first time many of these young people can experience an environment where they are not merely tolerated, but celebrated. “These kids come from across the country, and for one whole week they get to experience what it feels like to not be the odd one out,” says Markham, who previously enjoyed a successful career in the financial services sector. Though his coming-out was greeted with contention from his mother, Markham was nonetheless raised in the Netherlands, historically a very progressive place for LGBT rights. (In 2001, it became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages.) He was inspired to found Camp Lightbulb in 2012 after hearing countless stories of young people who were experiencing merciless bullying, being driven to depression and, in the most dire cases, even taking their own lives. Camp Lightbulb (which contains the letters LGBT
in its name) was designed to bring a “shining light” into the lives of young people. Its logo was even inspired in part by the work of Keith Haring, the 1980s graffiti artist known as much for his sense of humor and irreverence as for his status as a proud gay man and activist. Markham’s brainchild is already making its mark. Camp Lightbulb’s first installment brought together nine young people, and enrollment has doubled with every subsequent year.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? According to The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization, LGB youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight peers, and nearly half of young transgender people have seriously considered suicide; one quarter have attempted. These statistics barely scratch the surface of the sense of isolation, alienation and ostracization that young queer people face. And it doesn’t matter where you come from. Markham says that the backgrounds of campers vary widely. On one hand, he recalls one camper who comes from an affluent family in a Boston suburb, yet is the only out student in her entire private school. (“If you’re the only out person in a school
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in one of the most liberal areas of the country, that shows you how much things have stayed the same,” says Markham.) On the other hand, he recalls receiving a letter from a religious mother in the Bible Belt: though she was still struggling to accept her gay son’s sexuality, she wanted to find him an inclusive summer program now that he had been banned from attending his usual summer church camp.
WHAT IS IT WORKING ON NOW?
Camp Lightbulb also works to ensure that some of the LGBTQ community’s most marginalized members are welcomed here. About 40 percent of attendees receive some form of scholarship, making it possible for young people with low economic means to attend. About one-third of campers reflect communities of color and about one-third are transgender. “This generation of kids is very focused not only on their sexual identity, but their gender identity,” notes Markham. “There’s an enormous focus on who they are from a gendered perspective, and how they should relate to each other in that way.”
He recalls one camper, designated female as birth but beginning to identify as a boy, who came to the camp through placement with the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families. The camper’s immigrant parents were strongly opposed to trans identification, refusing to cut their child’s hair. Camp Lightbulb was a tremendously empowering experience. “She asked to use the male restroom, and we said ‘of course.’ The look of excitement was tremendous. It was such a huge thing.”
Markham recently made the move to focus on Camp Lightbulb full time, becoming the nonprofit’s first paid employee. And though the summer camp will continue to be held in Provincetown, he recently moved to Los Angeles to identify new potential donors, grant opportunities and partner organizations. He’s intent on ramping up the camp’s programming — and in fact, over the winter it staged its first “Holiday Camp,” a LGBTQ youth outing to New York City. Ultimately he hopes to expand Camp Lightbulb’s initiatives so that it offers experiences for young people every two to three months: from ski outings to European jaunts. The idea, says Markham, is to help as many young people as possible find a comfortable and inclusive home away from home. “What they take away from these experiences is that they really are part of a community.” [x]
For more info on Camp Lightbulb, to donate, volunteer or register a young person, visit camplightbulb.org
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SPOTLIGHT Cyberworld STORY Scott Kearnan
“ Let’s be clear, I’m not curing cancer or mapping the human genome. I make funny videos on the Internet. ” Davey Wavey Fair enough. But those who only know the viral video star from his (largely shirtless) clips may not be aware that he does have a longer history in LGBT advocacy. His Ocean State upbringing yielded a “perfect childhood” says Davey, and though his parents initially balked when he came out at as gay at age 17—even fleetingly sending him to get counsel from a priest—they’ve since become his biggest supporters and most ardent fans. But undergrad days at Seton Hall, a Catholic college, burst his insular bubble and exposed him to his first real encounters with discrimination from students and administration. When the school refused to formally recognize an on-campus GSA he tried to form with peers, they filed a (eventually unsuccessful) lawsuit against the university. “It was the first time I encountered in my life the kind of discrimination that other people face on a daily basis,” says Davey. Galvanized, Davey graduated and took a job in online marketing with the Boston-based LGBT nonprofit Family Equality Council.
YouTube Hero SIZE DOESN’T MATTER. JUST ASK DAVEY WAVEY. If it did, it’d be impossible to imagine that a nice upper middle-class boy from the smallest state in the country would somehow wind up one of the biggest gay personalities on the Internet. Yet Davey, known by his real name Jonathan when he was growing up in Rhode Island, has transformed into a bona fide social media superstar over the last decade. His nearly 800 YouTube videos—which range from funny skits about the gay scene to more serious social commentary—have garnered over 300 million views. And he’s parlayed his online fame
20 | BOSTON SPIRIT
(which includes 150K Twitter followers) into a full-time job: a cottage industry as a one-man brand. Heck, he’s even launched his own underwear line. He also has big goals, and large plans about how to better use his platform to push progressive ideals. But despite his high profile on the gay web, he’s also managed to maintain a modest ego. “Let’s be clear, I’m not curing cancer or mapping the human genome. I make funny videos on the Internet,” laughs Davey.
It was there he honed his Internet branding skills—but soon it was himself that he was marketing. What started as a small side hobby–a funny web video here, another there–turned into a massive online persona. As his profile grew so too did earning opportunities, and five years ago Davey made the move to concentrate full-time on his YouTube-based career. Some might scoff, but it takes drive and discipline to stand out as a social media entrepreneur. “People probably think I’m some crazy, wild, sex-crazed guy,” says Davey. “The truth is, I’m such a basic bitch. I don’t drink, I almost never go to clubs, and I’m in bed by 10 at night so I can get up early to go to the gym.” The payoff, he says, is huge. “I feel like I haven’t worked a day since [going full-time
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“ I still say stupid shit all the time, and I know there is plenty of room for improvement to better myself as a human being. But with a platform that reaches so many people, there is a responsibility to do the best that I can. ” with YouTube],” says Davey. “I put in more hours than I ever did for someone else, but I get to do what I love: talk about the things I love to talk about, make people smile and maybe learn something.” Learn? Well, yes. Davey is best known for the kind of amusing, salacious skits with which he built his following. This is a guy who posts videos like “Top 8 Reasons to Be Gay,” “Straight Guy Kiss Challenge,” and a series in which he interviews gay porn stars while wearing a device called the Autoblow. But he says that as his audience has grown he’s recognized the power of his medium and the responsibility that he has to use it wisely. “I hold myself to a certain amount of accountability,” says Davey, who knows that his prototypical privileged-white-jock persona can be a divisive one. But he says his favorite videos are those that touch on more serious issues, from illuminating conversations with trans teens to touching tributes to bullied LGBT suicide victims. Later this year Davey will even go on what he’s dubbed the “Lost Boy World Tour,” visiting about eight different countries with the intent to capture “ordinary LGBT people living extraordinary lives” and “give light to underrepresented communities.” But sometimes even the best intentions can come under fire. For instance, earlier this year he posted a popular video, directed at younger gay men, criticizing ageism in the community. “Every aspect of your stuck-up, cocky gay world was built on the sacrifices that [older] man made,” ranted Davey. “So shut up and show some fucking respect.” Though the video garnered lots of praise, it also instigated a social media backlash, with some calling Davey a hypocrite for primarily showcasing young, hunky dudes in his own clips. Davey’s response is that viewers need to take as much responsibility for what they watch as for what he posts. “I know that I include a full rainbow spectrum of ages, backgrounds and experiences in my videos. But the videos people watch are those with
22 | BOSTON SPIRIT
the white, young, shirtless gay men,” he says. “One of my favorite videos is an interview with a transgender woman of color, yet it has a fraction of the views. Another one, which I just filmed, is with a young man in Arkansas kicked out of his church for being gay. It’s really powerful. But I know it won’t get the same number of eyeballs as one I post with a porn star.” “I wouldn’t be able to make the videos that don’t get as many views, but have important messages, if it wasn’t for the shirtless stuff. Basically, they subsidize the important content that gets less views.” Davey also hopes to use his success to pay it forward. He recently launched Rising Rainbows, a “scholarship program” that offers
unique exposure opportunities to LGBT YouTube personalities with fewer than 10K subscribers. According to its application, “special consideration will be given to applicants with diverse backgrounds and/ or underrepresented identities.” Davey says he wants to use his virtual soapbox to help others build theirs. “I still say stupid shit all the time, and I know there is plenty of room for improvement to better myself as a human being. But with a platform that reaches so many people, there is a responsibility to do the best that I can.” [x]
FEATURE Outdoors STORY Kim Stowell
A week in the quiet beauty of the Piney Woods Turning off Town Farm Road in rural Oakland, Maine, you bump onto an unpaved lane, passing a sign that gives fair warning about the chipmunks that enforce speed limits, and eventually you arrive at the crest of a hill. It is here that you catch your first glimpse of the lake, stretching far and wide, helping you to begin relaxing. You creep slowly down the gravelly hill and find yourself transported. Except for the cars and the kayaks, you might think you were in the summer of 1925. You have arrived at Birch Point, a small peninsula jutting into Salmon Lake, and home to Wheelers Camps. This place has some well-documented history for a camp in the woods, and it has changed remarkably little in the last 100 years. The first cabin, built in 1899, is named “Keneo” after the Kenny family whose farm included the land. Others came soon after, built on leased parcels of Birch Point land. The Birches, Camp Hurricane and Birch Point Lodge were built over the next three years, placed in wonderful harmony with the land and each other—fortunately so, since there was never a plan or design, and no concern for uniformity.
24 | BOSTON SPIRIT
Back then, families used their camps as a summer residence. Time spent at Birch Point was taken up largely with fishing and the chores that accompany rustic living, for there was no electricity, and water came from a hand pump in each kitchen. The families seem to have gotten along well though—indeed there are poems written by the original camp owners about their beloved camps and the characters that inhabited them that have been preserved to this day: Come rest you here! Give care the slip. Give up the days to fellowship. As time went on, some owners began renting out their camps when they could not be there, and a new wave of families joined the tiny Birch Point summer community. Small areas were cleared for croquet and a modest playground. Among the children’s diversions was an airplane swing, so well loved and well used that it was repaired again and again, inspiring some camp philosopher to ask the existential question whether it could be called the same swing. In 1920, half of the land comprising Birch Point was sold to Dean Wheeler (who had helped, as a teenager, to build
Keneo). Dean saw the possibilities for both improving the property and preserving its pristine character, and eventually he was granted possession of the other half of the hundred acres. It is perhaps Dean’s vision that has protected the spot to the present day. Three more camps cropped up—Cove Camp, Camp Sunset and Camp Molly— and an icehouse was built so that camps could keep foodstuffs cold in iceboxes. Before too long, electricity came to Birch Point in the form of a large generator, and a water tower followed soon after that. Now camps could have gravity-fed running water and electric lights, refrigerators and the like. Kitchens were adapted, bathrooms were added—even a bathtub in one camp so that a long-time renter could continue to visit despite her arthritis. A camp-to-camp phone system, made of army surplus materials and with a rather complicated system for accessing a particular camp, was added around this time. However, with the addition of Boulder Cabin, Twin Pines, Edgemere and finally Pine Rest in 1940, the building of camps was halted. An enterprising man, Dean had other sources of income that kept him busy all year round—he ran the town’s general store as well as Wheeler’s Funeral
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Home—and so his wife put her foot down at the building of any more camps. Families traveled great distances to return to the small paradise every summer. Grandchildren were introduced, concerts and even weddings were held. Delivery trucks brought groceries and newspapers as well as fresh goods from the town’s bakery, and the children were occasionally treated to a ride in Dean’s hearse (ducking whenever they passed anyone lest they offend folks’ sensibilities).
Keeping It in the Family When Dean Wheeler died in 1958, his son Alfred took over, continuing to preserve the character and tradition of what was now known as Wheeler’s Camps for the next 45 years, until he became too sick to continue. Enter the current steward of the enterprise, his granddaughter Robyn Deveney. A self-proclaimed “native Mainer accidentally born in New Jersey,” Robyn had spent every summer of her life at Wheeler’s, following her genteel grandfather around, learning the ropes. When
he needed full-time care in old age, Robyn moved in with him and her grandmother, caring for both them and the Camps for five years. As Alfred lay dying, the deed to Wheeler’s was transferred, and Robyn became the new owner in 2010. Robyn had always known this would be her destiny, saying she never thought of doing anything else. This is not to say that there were not learning curves, one of which was developing communications skills. “My parents can both be a little awkward in social situations,” she smiles, “but I realized that I needed to overcome this in order to be a good host.” She is a very busy host; for the most part, it is Robyn alone who manages the camps and property. She opens things up in stages beginning around Memorial Day, putting the docks in, turning the water on (from the dowsed well!) and bringing pillows and blankets in. She continues to employ a cleaning person named Thelma, even though—at 80 years old—Thelma can perform only the smallest of chores, cleaning only what she can access without bending or reaching. Robyn generally tidies up a bit more after Thelma has been
through, but “Thelma’s been here forever,” she says. “It could be bad luck not to have her here.” As the tenants arrive, Robyn is at the ready, delivering kayaks and canoes, grills and wood for the fireplaces. All summer, she is available to answer a question, recommend a good place for bird watching or identify a flower found on a hike. She might be able to recommend a good restaurant, but there is not much in the way of local attractions. Most visitors to Wheeler’s are there for the simplicity of a week in the quiet beauty of the piney woods.
The Tao of the Camp As summer turns to fall, the docks come back out, water gets turned off and pillows, blankets, kayaks and grills go back into storage. During the winter, Robyn treks in frequently to check on things, making sure there have been no break-ins or weatherrelated problems. “I used to think winter would be the time to clear out the filing cabinets,” she says, “but it has become one
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of my favorite times to be on Birch Point. The winter feeds my soul.” Very few modifications have occurred on Robyn’s watch. An Internet connection, added only to the apartment over the garage where she and partner Phyllis Capanna live during the summer months, was one. “I imagine it’s like when my grandfather had the only telephone in Camp. It’s a little like putting out a birdfeeder; it attracts the people.” She has occasionally installed temporary ramps to make camps handicapped accessible, but has resisted impulses to change much of anything. “I painted the kitchen in Molly one summer,” she recalls, “and a boy who had been coming for years cried when he saw it. People like things to stay the same.” An ad placed a few years ago in the venerable magazine
Lesbian Connection has brought a new community to the shores of Salmon Lake, and there are times during the summer when every camp is rented by LGBT folks. Although complete privacy is sought by some campers, these weeks—with their potluck suppers and drumming circles—harken back to the community spirit of the early years on Birch Point. Robyn’s love for Wheeler’s Camps is evident. She considers herself a sort of curator. “One person needs to call the shots,” she says, “but this place belongs to everyone. The land has its own spirit and agenda. There is a tao of camp; when you are at Wheeler’s, you are one with nature.” [x]
Cottage rentals June–October 207-692-6994 firstname.lastname@example.org. Special thanks to Carol Fisher, the unofficial historian of Wheeler’s Camps.
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FEATURE Elders STORY Bob Linscott
Senior Spirit Boston Pride
DON’T LET THE PARADE PASS YOU BY Some call it the High Holy Days for the gays. Others in the LGBT community might refer to it as a an obligatory event on par with the annual Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws. Whatever your connection with Pride Week might be, you have probably seen the excitement ebb and flow. And as you age there may be more ebb in your equation. There is another reality around people’s connection with Pride Week: once you skip your first one, it is easier to skip the next one and the one after that. In time you may not remember your last Pride parade but someday you will realize that you just stopped going. If any of this is true for you perhaps you need to meet Caroline Cutler. She is turning 70 this year and she may be Boston Pride’s Biggest Fan. The last two years for Cutler have been full of many unexpected surprises and challenges. Cutler is a resident at Mount Pleasant Home, an innovative rest home in Jamaica Plain. Even though she has known she was different since she was a little girl, Cutler didn’t know what that difference was. Just last year some parishioners in her church, yes her church, helped her realize that she was a lesbian. And so in the eve of her 70th year Caroline Cutter came out. In the months that followed this major life change Cutler decided to embrace her new identity and she joined a supper club for LGBT older adults that met
30 | BOSTON SPIRIT
right there at Mount Pleasant Home. As spring rolled around she recalls observing people’s excitement about Boston Pride. Cutler told Kathy Seaman, the Director of Admissions at Mount Pleasant Home that she had never been to a Pride Parade and Seaman encouraged her to attend that year. Cutler remembers that Seaman’s
“Lady Caroline” Cutler
LGBT seniors at 2015 Pride Parade. “Lady Caroline” Cutler, third from right invitation caused a lot of worry. She wanted to go but she didn’t know how it would be possible due to her health. Some medical issues left her in a neck brace and she has trouble walking without her cane. She also didn’t know what to expect at a Pride parade and that made her a bit nervous. Seaman sensed Cutler’s apprehension and promised to take her and stay with her for the whole parade. Cutler was so excited the night before the parade that she tossed and turned all night waiting for morning. When she and Seaman arrived at the parade staging area Cutler was so surprised to learn that she was not only getting to see her first Pride Parade, but that she would be riding in it in one of the Senior Pride Coalition Trolleys provided by the Mayor’s Office. Minutes after Cutler got settled into her seat on the trolley her voice cracked with emotion as she called out: ‘look, look!’ She was pointing at a person waving a rainbow flag. Her eyes filled with tears. Kathy tried to tell her to pace herself because she would be seeing many more of those. A few weeks ago Cutler shared a few more of her memories about her first Pride Parade last year. “There were so many things that stood out to me. One of the first things I remember were those two cross dressers. I had never seen one before. They had make-up, parasols and the works. They rushed right up to me when they saw my neck brace and said
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‘are you OK dear?’ they were so nice. They said they were marching right behind the trolley in case I needed anything.” Cutler was also amazed by the amount of people – she couldn’t get over the crowds on every street they passed. “And they weren’t just gay people, they were straight people too” but what she will remember most is “all the people, especially the young ones saying ‘thank you, thank you’ that made me cry the whole way. They really cared about us seniors, and they were saying thank you because they knew what we went through in our lives to come out, even me as a late bloomer!” Cutler has all her Pride memorabilia from the parade in her apartment. She cherishes each item. “I have my rainbow
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flag on the wall, my clacker, the jewelry I was given (Pride beads) a Pride bracelet, I hope I get another one of those this year. And I got a Pride t shirt that I will be wearing this year. I don’t care if it is cold I won’t put a sweater over it because I want people to see what it says. At the end of our interview Caroline paused and said, if Seaman hadn’t given me a boost I wouldn’t have gone. I was scared but with her help I put my brave feet out there and those feet kept saying lets go lets go so I went. Now I want to pass that on to someone else. There might be someone else like m who is scared or skeptical and they don’t know what a wonderful happy event this is. I hope someone will find me through this article
so I can be there for them. I will sit with them and give them encouragement. I will even meet them a few days before if that will help them. So this year at Pride when you start to think, ‘I’ve seen enough Pride parades’ take a moment to think about how your presence means to everyone there. Especially our LGBT youth and our LGBT elders. They need to know this is a time to celebrate our community. It is strength in solidarity. For someone like Caroline Cutter, it isn’t just a parade, it is an affirmation for being brave and living an authentic life. “I look back on that day and say just ‘wow’ I want to do this every year as long as I am alive.” [x]
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FEATURE Legal Matters STORY Scott Kearnan
Who Owns Pride? The word that best describes LGBT identity protected from possible trademark dispute What’s in a name? For the LGBT community: plenty of history. For decades, the word “Pride” has come to represent the LGBT community’s quest for self-affirmation, encouragement of social justice, and respect for an equal rights movement rooted in the Stonewall riots. Of course, it is also used to refer to many regional LGBT organizations and their respective celebrations: like June’s Boston Pride parade, festival and related parties. So imagine Boston Pride president Sylvain Bruni’s surprise last year, when his email inbox started receiving Google Alerts related to ice hockey. Sorry, there are no plans for drag skating on City
Hall plaza. Rather, it turned out that the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) had launched its first four teams: the Buffalo Beauts, the Connecticut Whale, the Buffalo Riveters—and the Boston Pride. In this case, the word “pride” seems to refer to a clan of tough lionesses; the hockey team’s black and gold logo replaces the letter “I” with a ferocious claw mark. Will there be a catfight? Probably not. But Bruni said he was “perplexed” to discover that the NWHL had chosen Boston Pride for a team name. “It makes no sense, when you consider that a Google of the term shows our organization for the first hundred pages
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[so to speak],” said Bruni. Boston Pride, which celebrates its 46th anniversary this year, is one of the oldest and largest LGBT pride events in the country; the same-named women’s hockey team kicked off its inaugural season in November. “It seems that when you’re a brand new brand, it would make more sense to choose a different name from the outset,” says Bruni, who adds that his organization consciously calls itself Boston Pride—as opposed to “gay Pride” or “LGBT pride”— to be as inclusive as possible to allies and the greater community. Bruni says that his organization reached out to the NWHL, and though he wouldn’t describe the specific response, he says it indicated that the NWHL was not open to “a constructive discussion.” An NWHL spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from Boston Spirit.
In the meantime, Bruni says that Boston Pride has “taken steps to ensure the name Boston Pride and its relationship to the LGBT community” is protected by renewing its existing service mark. This should presumably prevent another organization from using the name in a way that infringes on LGBT-related turf. (According to the hockey league’s website, the NWHL does have a trademark, which protects goods, rather than services, on its team logos.) From Bruni’s perspective there are “no next steps” for the Boston Pride organization to take right now, though he adds that the group will continue to watch over instances of the term to make sure that its relationship to the gay community is protected. If the NWHL’s choice of Boston Pride as a team name already seems like an unnecessary intrusion on a longstanding brand—well, it gets even more odd.
“ It seems that when you’re a brand new brand, it would make more sense to choose a different name from the outset. ” Sylvain Bruni Boston Pride presdient
Since the early 90s, the Hub has been home to Boston Pride Hockey (BPH), an LGBT hockey team that now has over 100 members and even scored a gold medal in the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam. But apparently BPH has no hard feelings toward the newer team with a strikingly similar name: “Boston Pride Hockey is pleased that professional hockey has expanded to include a women’s league and that Boston is home to one of the original four teams in the league,” said BPH in a statement to Boston Spirit. “By all accounts, it appears the first NWHL season has been a success, in particular for The Boston Pride as the first winners of the Isobel Cup. We wish the team continued luck in the future.” Names are important. But for now, it seems, no one’s pride appears to feel too injured. [x]
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FEATURE Living STORY Scott Kearnan
’Hood Vibrations Ink Block build-out is living up to the SoWa development’s buzzy promise For years, Boston’s South End has been known as the city’s “gay-borhood,” home to bars old (Club Café) and new (The Trophy Room), and the starting point for June’s annual Boston Pride parade. But the ‘hood also continues to evolve, demographically and otherwise. That’s especially true if you look to the SoWa District (“South of Washington”), a once-industrial section of town that is now anchored by one of Boston’s most buzzy new developments: Ink Block, a multi-building, mixed-use destination of high-end residences, retail and restaurant space that opened on the site of the former “Boston Herald” headquarters at the beginning of last year. Ink Block has already breathed new life into its corner of the South End, thanks to components like Sepia, a collection of 83 swanky condos, an expansive Whole Food Market, and the
34 | BOSTON SPIRIT
just-opened Turnstyle indoor cycling studio. But Ink Block is just getting started. In the months ahead, many more new elements will open doors at Ink Block: from Siena, a 76-unit luxury condo building, to a yoga studio and several new restaurants. Even a popular, long-standing South End artisan market is relocating here, reinforcing Ink Block as a harbinger of a vital future for SoWa. “I’ve always had enthusiasm for this neighborhood, and Ink Block is a great new reason for it,” says Jamie Curtis, a realtor with Compass. Curtis has lived in the South End for 18 years, and holds a unique distinction: he was the first to purchase a one-bedroom residence at Sepia. He has since become a cheerleading “ambassador” for the development, even named to Sepia’s trustees. After years spent living in the neighborhood’s traditional brownstones, he was lured
Jamie Curtis by Ink Block’s modern amenities: think a rooftop pool lounge and niceties like on-site dry cleaning service. The “gay-borhood,” like all parts of the city, is becoming “more blended,” admits Curtis, but he was “pleasantly” surprised to discover many LGBT folks among those moving into his building—some becoming South Enders for the first time—and he even founded the New York Street Neighborhood
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MAY|JUN 2016 | 35
Association to serve as a group uniting those in and around Ink Block in the interest of contributing to the area’s vibrancy. (Early plans for the just-launched association include installing public art over the chain link fences around nearby building sites.) With the residences at Sepia’s sibling Siena now pre-selling, Curtis is excited to see how the new blood contributes to the neighborhood’s vitality. (Between Siena and other burgeoning nearby developments like The Lucas, a 33-unit condo build inside a former Catholic church, the area’s residential population is expected to grow by 600 percent over the next several years, says a spokesperson for Ink Block.) “Getting in early was a really smart decision,” says Curtis of his instinct to invest. “But with everything new coming in, it’s only getting better.” Those new tenants, arriving throughout spring and summer, include a CorePower Yoga studio, an outpost of trendy salad purveyor Sweetgreen, a new location of the Boston area’s Fuji line of sushi restaurants, and an as-yet-unnamed craft cocktail bar owned by guitarist Ken
Casey from Dropkick Murphys. Probably the biggest, most delicious deal to arrive will be Bar Mezzana, a refined 170-seat (inclusive of open-air patio) Italian restaurant from chef Colin Lynch. Lynch formerly served as executive chef for the empire of nationally renowned restaurateur Barbara Lynch (no relation), including South End joints B&G Oysters and The Butcher Shop. His wife Heather is also Barbara Lynch alumni, and will move to Bar Mezzana from Fort Point spot Sportello. “Heather and I have lived and worked in the South End for over a decade and it is definitely home for us,” says Colin Lunch. “To have the opportunity to open a restaurant in this incredibly dynamic community is amazing. What is most exciting about the Ink Block location is that it is part of this awesome neighborhood we love so much, but it still feels a bit new and undiscovered.” Not for long. Gay entrepreneur Chris Masci, founder of New England Open Markets, a series of seasonal outdoor markets featuring handcrafting designers, specialty food makers and other artisans, will relocate his flagship South End Open
Market to parcels adjacent to Ink Block. In 2016, the market will for the first time centralize all its components—artist vendors, farmer vendors and a food truck fleet—directly opposite Ink Block at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Traveler Street; eventually, it will move underneath the I-93 overpass on the Albany Street side of Ink Block. The nowconsolidated market will have a “festival feel,” says Masci, besides the 200-plus small businesses already represented each weekend, he teases a vintage goods market and live music series in the offing. There’s no doubt that his hugely popular market helped draw important crowds to the area from the moment it launched in 2003, when that corner of the South End still had an up-and-coming rawness. Now that Ink Block is helping to expand the footprint of the ‘hot hood, the market makes for a perfect addition. “We are excited to be in the middle of Ink Block’s energy,” says Masci. “And we’ve heard that residents are excited to have us at their doorstep.” [x]
FEATURE Business STORY Rob Phelps 2015 GBBC Summer Cruise attendees
A Time to Band Together Business leaders brainstorm what’s next after Greater Boston Business Council closes its doors Nothing endures but change—it’s one of those ancient phrases uttered by Greek philosophers that still rings true today. The sentiment is especially fitting to describe a general consensus among Greater Boston business leaders concerning the closing of the Greater Boston Business Council, as many of those nearest and dearest to the organization are taking a philosophical approach to the announcement of the March 1 closure. “It’s all relative to changing times and changing landscapes” within and around the LGBT business community, says Sean Driscoll, founder and principal of BB2 Consulting, who served on the GBBC board from 2012 to 2014.
“Ultimately, it’s bittersweet but at the same time, as I wrote in the closing address [posted online], I don’t really see it as a bad thing,” says Valerie Clark, the council’s final president, who served in that role for the past five years and before that as the organization’s secretary. Clark now runs her Massachusetts-based financial investment company, Independent Financial, from her home in Hawaii. “For 25 years, the GBBC has stood as a beacon for the LGBT business community of Boston,” Clark wrote in her goodbye letter on the BCCG website. “As an all-volunteer organization, it has grown increasingly difficult to service the growing demands of the community. Though it is the end of an era, we believe
“ Though it is the end of an era, we believe it is a positive sign for the LGBT Business Community.” Valerie Clark it is a positive sign for the LGBT Business Community.” Positive? Well quite possibly. But still very hard to accept for many who volunteered so much of their time and energy over the years, as well as for the Greater Boston business community, which feels the loss, if not an outright vacuum. “Sad to see this happen since during my term both myself and Vivian Meranda, then VP, worked diligently to build it to three times the size it was prior to our election,” wrote Ed Travers by email. Travers, a senior internal auditor at Boston Properties, served first as a GCCB member and then as its president for 10 years. “Handing off a strong organization, our thoughts were it was set for many years.”
MAY|JUN 2016 | 37
“[We] changed the look of the organization and offered business and educational opportunity for all our members and corporate sponsors,” concurred Meranda, a senior loan officer at Berkshire Bank, also by email. “As you know, volunteer work is never easy, but we persisted in making LBGT businesses seen and heard as strong, powerful, smart, and successful, in this great city of ours.” By a “positive” change, Clark speaks of significant advancements in the business community since the council opened its doors in 1990 and how in many ways she believes it’s time for a new 21st-century organizational approach to better address the needs of a new era. As Driscoll puts it, “Sometimes it takes a hard stop and a restart to go forward.” “At the time when the council started back in ’91,” Clark says, “it was still very different to be out per se, particularly at work, particularly if you were in finance. I mean, my God, it could be the end of your career. The council provided a shelter and safe haven for a lot of people, and gave them a place to interact.”
Nancy Stager at the 2016 Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night Clark adds to this a litany of other accomplishments and activities like the GBBC’s annual Pride Harbor Cruises— which raised thousands of dollars each year for nonprofits, including the AIDS Action Committee, Community Servings, and Boston Pride; Pride Lights (which, notes Driscoll, brought the LGBT community together and empowered many of with the first glimpse of strength in numbers, an almost unthinkable revelation in today’s cyberworld); a host of other activities (like the monthly business luncheons at the Club Café that BCCG
member Michael Travaglini, a service associate at Eastern Bank, fondly recalls hosting and says he’d be eager to start up again); and the Awards for Excellence dinners, which not only recognized those who made a difference in the LGBT community but brought business leaders and other professionals together to network, thereby sowing seeds for even greater differences to come. Adding to this, Driscoll notes how the GBBC also fostered “cross-connection” between minority business owners, including not just LGBT, but women,
Wherever, whenever LGBT leaders of industry are being celebrated ...
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well beyond the state to reach national and even international organizations. Says Jonathan Lovitz, NGLCC vice president for external affairs from his office in D.C., “The moment we found out that the GBBC in its original form was going to close its doors we immediately started to make sure that every available resource is still present in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.” “We’re now shifting to an opportunity for a Greater Boston-area office to open which will be started by our great collection of NGLCC-certified businesses in the Boston area,” Lovitz says. “We don’t skip a beat. If you go to the nlgcc.org, you’ll see that everything people came to expect from the certification network, all of that, will continue, business as usual.” Nancy Stager—vice president of talent acquisition and inclusion director at Eastern Bank and a former council member who served on the board with Driscoll from 2012 to 2014—acknowledges that “The ‘National,’” as she refers to the organization in D.C., “has done good work. But we need some boots on the ground here.”
“Look, more gets done when people in communities reach out to allies across a broader spectrum,” Stager says. “And so the GBBC was a great opportunity for people within the LGBT community to get together and discuss common issues, and it was a great opportunity for people who were allies of this community to more deeply understand what the issues are. And we’d like to continue that because we know there’s real value in getting members of the community together, business owners, business leaders right here in the Greater Boston area. We need to band together.” Driscoll agrees with Stager. “We need to bring together a roundtable of people that are interested in new businesses—some LGBT corporate professionals and some other LGBT influencers—and ask, what does everybody want to do now? Because there are so many exciting things happening and it seems right that we need a network, whether it’s a chamber or some other structure. I think it’s out there and waiting. And I’m hopeful about that.” [x]
PHOTOS: JOAN MARCUS; ILLUSTRATION: ZINA SAUNDERS
ethnic, veteran, disabled, all of the above and more—an effort he spearheaded from his experience consulting for Work Without Limits, a statewide advocacy group for the disabled—so that all groups can now rise together in ways they could not before. By changes in the business landscape, one example Clark refers to is Governor Charlie Baker’s recent executive order making Massachusetts the first state in the country to expand the Commonwealth’s supplier diversity program to include LGBT-owned businesses—a program the GBBC helped set up with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. She adds that through technology many things sthe council used to do—like facilitating local businesses to connect with the NGLCC and other groups—can be done online, citing her own telecommuting she does from thousands of miles away. “The way we meet and interact with one another has changed,” she says. In her farewell letter, Clark directs local business owners to the NGLCC, which expands supplier diversity opportunities
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MAY|JUN 2016 | 39
FEATURE History STORY Mark Krone Holland Day PHOTO Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs
Division, The Louise Imogen Guiney Collection, LC-USZ62-126986
Slave to Beauty Wary of Wilde’s persecution, early 20th-century Boston Brahmin led brilliant aesthetic life in secrecy South Station, February 1882. If 17 year-old Fred Holland Day (18641933) had a hero in this world, it was Oscar Wilde. They both loved of the poetry of John Keats, whose death at such a young age only heightened the romance of his work. They believed in beauty for its own sake; art needed no moralistic message or advanced artistic technique to justify it. And both were enthralled by the male form. How was Fred to know that
on a wintry Boston afternoon in February 1882, he would meet his idol in South Station? Casting himself in the third person, Day wrote about the chance meeting 10 years later: “… he approached the Unapproachable, and … requested the Sun’s God his autograph. The Great One looked down upon the youth with that sunny smile so often and cruelly maligned as ‘incubating,’ and taking the pencil, slowly traced his name
in calligraphy rather more curious than his appearance. The gates swung open and the throng (along with Wilde) passed through.” Wilde was in Boston to give a talk. His reputation for delivering insults wrapped in literary velvet had preceded him. But this time the joke was on Wilde. On that winter evening, 60 Harvard students came to hear him speak at the Music Hall on Winter Street (now the Orpheum) in downtown Boston. The Lowell Daily Courier reported that “all were in kneebreeches and black stockings.” Each carried a sunflower and affected a far-off gaze. They were mocking Wilde and he knew it. The Harvard Crimson reported that at one point, Wilde glared at them saying, “Save me from my disciples.” Just 10 years after the chance meeting in South Station, Day would sit in Wilde’s London study, tea cup in hand, not as a nervous acolyte but an equal. He’d become a leading book publisher, collector, and art photographer. He was well-known in art circles on both sides of the Atlantic. Day’s rise was fast but his most productive years were no more than a decade (18951905). More recently, his reputation has improved, but only after many decades of silence among art historians. Why did this seminal figure in art photography and book publishing sink into obscurity? Another question suggested but never answered in Day’s biographies since his death: was he gay? Just who was this artist, obscured by time yet central to the history of photography? Author Estelle Jussim has called Day “a slave to beauty” but if he was, it was the only thing he was enslaved to. Day was born a wealthy Boston Brahmin and lived a life of wide choices and free thinking. The mild reticence expected of Bostonians of his class was mostly ignored by Day in favor of the personal expression that made his work seem scandalous then and groundbreaking now. Still, he kept his sexuality to himself. Day may not have
wanted to make the same mistake his idle, Oscar Wilde, had made, the one that ultimately cost the famed playwright’s life. Fred’s father, Lewis Day, a prominent Brahmin businessman, owned cattle ranches and leather companies. Although he was successful, Lewis Day passed none of his interest in industry down to his son. The senior Day was often called away to tend his business enterprises, allowing Fred’s devoted mother, Anna, to raise him. When he was around Fred, Lewis Day was supportive and warm. As Fred was Lewis and Anna’s only child, he received all of their attention. While some historians have called his Anna “domineering,” others took note of her unusually progressive attitudes PHOTOS courtesy of The Royal Photographic Society towards immigrants and African/ National Media Museum, United Kingdom Americans, which she passed on to her son. Anna took the democratic teachings of her Universalist faith seriously and The Day’s home in Norwood, 23 miles her son inherited her world-view to great southwest of Boston, was the center of effect in his later work. their lives and always a touchstone for Fred. The family had an apartment on
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Boylston Street in Boston and Fred would later have studios there and in London but Norwood was always home. In 1879, Fred’s mother, Anna became sick and was ordered to travel to Denver to recover amidst the fresh mountain air. Fred, a teenager, accompanied her. In Denver, he met Americans who were Asian and Latino for the first time, broadening his perspective. He purchased Chinese painting supplies and became fascinated by Asian-American art, which became a lifelong passion. With his mother recovered, Fred returned to Boston, where he enrolled in the Chauncy Hall School (then located in Boston, now called Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham). Fred was popular and his love of art and the artistic life was tolerated among his fellow upper-class peers. In his senior year, he embarked with fellow students on a European tour which included England, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy and France. He sent articles on his travels back home to the Norwood Review.
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Upon graduation, Day won a gold medal for best scholarship in English literature. This would be the end of his formal education. Instead of following most of his friends to Harvard however, Day took a desk job in a book publishing company at the urging of his father, who thought his son’s high-flung artistic interests needed leveling. The working world did not alter Fred’s love of art or beauty but he did put the experience to good use when he later founded his own publishing house, Copeland and Day. At 22, Day began taking photographs, mostly of the homes of local authors, thereby combining his two passions: books and photography. His early pictures were taken in dim gaslight which required his subjects to hold their poses for long stretches. The availability of electric light was not widespread until after World War I but wealthy families began using electricity for lighting their homes as early as the 1890s. The evolution in lighting from gas to electricity influenced
Day and other early photographers, opening the way to Pictorialism, which created satiny, dark, photographs. When Day was 22 in 1886, he met Louise Guiney, who would quickly become his
closest friend. They shared a love of literature and art, especially the poetry of John Keats. Though he published just 54 poems in his short life, Keats was a beacon to young romantics like Day and Guiney even though he had died 70 years before. Day and Guiney were part of the fin-de-siècle generation who reacted against the growth of sprawling, impersonal, cities, unchecked capitalism, and the bulldozing of forests. They wanted to reclaim what they saw as a more spiritual past when the accrual of money was the not main object of life. Over time, Day’s less orthodox religious outlook allowed him to experiment with art photography in ways Louise Guiney, a staunch Roman Catholic, could not always accept. An example of Day’s lighter attitude towards religion was a plaque he mounted over a door to his Beacon Hill apartment: ”This is the Day the Lord Hath Made.” Another pivotal relationship in Day’s life was his friendship and business partnership with Herbert Copeland, described
by Jussim as “a well-educated, debonair, sophisticated young bachelor,” though other accounts mark him as ineffectual and a drunk. A friend, Gertrude Savage told Day that she knew a man who reminded her of Day and that they should meet. She then sent Day an example of Copeland’s handwriting. Day looked at it and said, “Mr. Copeland’s ‘hand’ is surely much like mine …” If Copeland was like Day, it was because of They shared an interest in books and art. But there were marked differences, too. Copeland was probably not as smart as Day, nor as hard working. Still, their partnership created one of the most respected publishing houses at the time. Between 1893 and the year it folded in 1899, Copeland and Day published about a hundred books, with authors including Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Later, Copeland became an alcoholic, often borrowing money from Day. Like Day, Copeland was almost certainly gay. He had relationships with men that he called “intimate.” In a letter to Day, complaining about a relationship with a married man, Copeland wrote, “I was desperately taken with him at first sight, and deliberately laid myself out to catch him…before I knew he was married.” Day was famous for befriending young men from the slums of Boston. The most famous of these was poet Kahlil Gibran. He was generous financially and by all accounts, treated Gibran well. Another young man Day met was an Italian immigrant living in Chelsea whom Day used in his photograph, St. Sebastian. The boy was well aware of his good looks and the effect they had on both Day and his old friend Herbert Copeland who also knew him. When Copeland visited him, the boy’s mother, who did not approve of her son posing for the men said icily, “It’s very good of you Mr. Copeland to take such an interest in (my son).” The boy interrupted saying, “Nobody can help taking an interest in me, can they Mr. Copeland?” In The Seven Last Words of Christ, Day uses himself as the model of a crucified Jesus with “Roman soldiers” looking on from below. He starved himself over several months to look the part. He purchased garments that matched those from the period. Even his father, on business in
Florida, promised to buy large nails for the cross, if he could find them. It’s difficult to know how to take the image. Is it a reverential reenactment of one of the most sacred moments in Christianity? Or is it an attempt at an homo-eroticized version of a central event
in a religion that had condemned queer people? One suspects it is a little of both. Adrienne Lundgren, a senior photograph conservator in the Conservation Division of the Library of Congress, thinks it is not a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ but a kind of performance art intended to elicit a response from the viewer. In short, it is art, not history. The New York pioneering art photographer, gallery owner, and art critic, Alfred Stieglitz, began noticing Day’s photographic work in the middle 1890s. Steiglitz had founded The Camera Club and turned its newsletter, Camera Notes into the most influential publication on photography at that time. In some ways, Camera Notes took the place of the old art academies that dictated which artist’s works would be selected or left out of annual shows. If your work was in Camera Notes, you were good. In 1903, Camera Notes evolved into a full-fledged magazine called Camera Work, which was the authority on photography until it folded in 1917. Both Stieglitz and Day were proponents of photography as art. But Day was not as interested in following the methods of great painters as was the New York group of photographers
that surrounded Stieglitz. When Stieglitz copied Cubist painters by making Cubist photographs, Day ignored it. Perhaps it is inevitable that Stieglitz and Day would become competitors. When Day felt shut out by Stieglitz, he responded in kind by ignoring Stieglitz. When Day refused to have his work featured in the first issue of Camera Work, it spelled the end of their relationship and may have been the worst professional move of Day’s life. He could not have known the status that Camera Work would earn through the years as the arbiter of great Pictorialist work. This is the major reason why Day is too little remembered today. As Priscilla Frank pointed out in a 2012 Huffington Post article, before artists Cindy Sherman’s multiple personalities or Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic images, there was Fred Day. It is long since time to base the position of Day’s work on more than his exclusion from one journal over 100 years ago. By 1925, both of Fred’s parents and his close friends, Louise Guiney and Herbert Copeland had all died. By this time, Day spent long stretches of time upstairs in his bedroom at the house in Norwood. His last years were spent in increasing seclusion. Fred Holland Day died at 69, on November 12, 1933. Was Day a gay man? We can’t know for certain but most everything points to it. He was unmarried and aside from his chaste friendship with Louise Guiney, all of his important adult relationships were with men. He used attractive young men in his photographs, befriended young men from Boston’s slums throughout his life. We know that his business partner, Herbert Copeland shared his interest in young men. His literary heroes were Oscar Wilde and Honoré de Balzac. The former carried on a public affair with a young man which was his ruin and the latter included gay characters in his realist fiction. The 1890s were not a time for public pronouncements on sexual desire. But that didn’t mean Day was without desire. Maybe it was better, more artistic, to remain silent. After all, his hero John Keats, wrote: “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter …” [x]
MAY|JUN 2016 | 43
SEASONAL People STORY Scott Kearnan PHOTOGRAPHY | ART DIRECTION Joel Benjamin
What makes a notable local someone we think you’d like to get to know? Each year, as we compile names for this annual list we ask ourselves this question. So this year, we decided to flip that question around and ask ourselves, which local notables might best like to get to know you?
How about a young openly gay candidate for state senate from the Outer Cape who’s ready to respresent our interests on Beacon Hill? How about a transgender advocate for equal public accommodations rights for all? Or a biotech exec who’s reaching out to bring greater diversity into the workforce? Or the social activist who’s just taken up the helm of MassEquality? How about a top chef keen on cultivating our palates, or the wicked queer film fest director focused on bringing us even edgier LGBT cinema, or a power couple that’s amping up North Shore Pride? Our list goes on ... And we could not be happier to introduce you to them.
44 | BOSTON SPIRIT
LLisa isa Lisa
Watt-Bucci Board member, North Shore Pride They’re a married couple making a big difference. In just five short years, Hope and Lisa Watt-Bucci, alongside a larger board of volunteers, have turned North Shore Pride into an annual parade and festival that drew over 5,000 participants to downtown Salem last year. (This year’s extravaganza goes down on June 25.) The event came about in response to a lack of LGBT representation in the suburbs, but it’s becoming much more than a one-day affair. North Shore Pride has branched out to encompass events throughout the year, like professional networking events— the last of which saw Attorney General Maura Healey in attendance. Protecting community is important to Hope, a Manchester-by-the-Sea native who served in active duty in the U.S. army during the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” So she and Lisa, who also work in real estate together, are finding ways to connect LGBT people in the area outside Boston, where visibility isn’t as high—but where pride is just as powerful as anywhere else.
Hope, as someone so passionate about visibility for LGBT people, was it hard to reconcile your desire to serve your country with the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy? HOPE: It was a real internal struggle. I’m a proud member of OutVets. I’ve always held on to that patriotism. At my house the flagpole has the American flag and the rainbow flag; it drives my neighbors crazy. But I struggled deeply with that issue on active duty. I said to myself, “I can’t let them. At some point I’ll be able to make a difference. Stand strong.” It was a difficult time for me, but there was a broader picture of service to my country first, then service to myself.
Why did you found North Shore Pride? HOPE: I was noticing things in my community. In Gloucester there was a gentleman assaulted outside a bar. A couple in Newburyport was assaulted for holding hands. Little girls in my hometown were yelling anti-gay slurs. I said, “You know what? I’ve got to do something.” There’s more diversity in the city, more education about these issues. In the suburbs, we don’t get that.
Why do you think the North Shore needs a separate Pride? HOPE: On the North Shore we don’t have the same resources or forums for a comfortable public dialogue about the needs of the LGBTQ community. We don’t see welcoming stickers on
businesses. We have a hard time finding a card for a same-sex wedding; you have to go into the city. There’s very little affirmation of LGBT people on the North Shore. The community doesn’t feel represented or recognized. We offered education to allies and the business community. That’s the kind of void that North Shore Pride is looking to fill.
What makes North Shore Pride so special? HOPE: We pride ourselves on reaching out to the community. We hold open board meetings so that anyone from the public can attend to offer suggestions. We have our parade and festival in Salem, but our goal is to reach people in everywhere from Ipswich to Reading, all the corners of the North Shore that have no representation. So we purposely move our other events.
People say, “I can’t believe you came to my town. It’s the only time I’ve ever truly felt comfortable.” We see the need. There are people that are happy even to just see the rainbow flag.
Any moments that especially remind you of the value of what you do? LISA: Last year I was doing a final loop on Salem common, picking up trash, when a young straight guy came up to me and asked, “Are you Hope? This was a great day. It really opened my eyes.” That’s the goal. We don’t want it to be just gays and lesbians; we want straight people to come. This is all about building unity in the community and showing that we can all get along and be respectful. [x]
NE 18 art Conductor ductor U J – 6 Y kh on MA N eith Loc ms Laureate C K O S A illia 2016 SE John W
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THE GOLDEN AGE OF BROADWAY
Keith Lockhart, conductor Marin Mazzie, Laura Osnes, Jason Danieley & Justin Hopkins, special guests Tanglewood Festival Chorus Wednesday, June 15, 8pm Thursday, June 16, 8pm #PopsBroadway
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JJenn enn TT.. Jenn T.
LGBT marketing guru “Professional Lesbian” is a unique title for a business card. But Grace’s self-given moniker is a fitting (and funny) one. The Connecticut-based consultant has spent the last 12 years guiding companies large and small in their efforts to connect—thoughtfully, respectfully and responsibly—with LGBT customers. But she’s not focused simply on helping businesses bait gay dollars: Grace, former executive director of the Greater Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, always begins her work by shaping company cultures to reflect pro-LGBT values. Successful marketing starts, she says, with sincerity. Grace’s mission comes from a highly personal place, spurred by the hostility she encountered when she worked in the corporate world. Besides consulting with companies, Grace—who has authored two LGBT marketing books and offers online courses—also teaches gay people “how to market themselves” by developing a unique personal and professional brand. In that way, she wants to inspire other LGBT people to build platforms from which to share their own stories in the marketplace.
What was your comingout process like? I don’t remember the actual coming-out process being too exhausting. Honest to god, it was just a light bulb moment when I was 19: “Oh my god, I’m a lesbian!” And my entire life made sense. It was a true epiphany. For a while I worked in retail, where it was a non-issue. But when I moved into the corporate environment, it was a shock to me. It was my first experience of going into the closet. The atmosphere was confronting and jarring. I wasn’t sure how to handle it.
How did the corporate environment affect you? I would hear people talking about me. My boss told one of my coworkers that I had “that MAY|JUN 2016 | 47
captain of the softball team dyke look” about me. I would hear “faggot” or “dyke” tossed around, not necessarily directed at me, but about customers they just spoke to on the phone. It was a really confusing time.
How did that lead to your first LGBT marketing work? I went to the CEO and basically outed myself. I said, “I can’t handle hearing people call customers faggots and dykes on a daily basis.” He said, “Come back with an idea that would be important to you.” Six months later I came back with a plan of how we as an insurance company were going to market to the LGBT community. If I was going to come out, I was going to do it in the biggest way possible. When we did photos for our campaign, I used myself. I went all in!
What mistakes do you see companies make in their LGBT-focused marketing? I often see companies say, “Let’s take our standard mainstream advertisement, throw a rainbow on it, and call it gay.” That’s the easy route. The other thing is a misconception that the LGBT community is one big mass of people with the same attitudes and lifestyle, who all want the same thing and spend money the same way. I’ve worked with a company that’s target demo is minority women age 55 and older; that’s who happens to spend money on their product. Then they tell me, “we want to market to the LGBT community,” but I soon realize that they’re basically talking about young gay white men. I have to remind people, “Find your demographic.” Where can we find aging Asian lesbians, or older trans women? Instead of spending $10,000 on a highway billboard, let’s spend money on advertising in a niche gay publication.
How can companies stand out with the LGBT community when so many more are now marketing to us? Instead of seeing advertising that was made different for LGBT people, you’re seeing more messaging that it is very inclusive. I recently saw an ad for Pottery Barn that happened to have a lesbian couple in the stock photos they used. I thought that was amazing. It shows a heightened awareness of the LGBT community. Someone working on the ad campaign was doing their due diligence to make sure the imagery is balanced and everyone is being represented. [x]
Ja er Javivier
Barrientos Senior director of global diversity & inclusion, Biogen Idec The innovation industry is nurtured by diversity. Enter Barrientos, who fosters for Biogen Idec a workforce that reflects the global nature of a biotech heavyweight with over 7,000 employees worldwide. Barrientos, who previously managed diversity programs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, develops corporate equity for employees in myriad ways. Before nationwide marriage equality, he helped Biogen implement compensation policies that reimbursed tax losses for same-sex couples that were unrecognized by state or federal laws. (The company was also early to sign on to an amicus brief challenging DOMA.) Biogen was one of the first companies to expand benefits to cover transgender healthcare needs, has established an awards program for employees who champion inclusion and launched a Diversity + Inclusion Strategic Council to foster leadership and guide future initiatives. Inclusion is a personal priority for Barrientos, who immigrated to the States from Costa Rica, where he volunteered with the World Health Organization to help develop the country’s first HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum. He has learned how to succeed in the face of exclusion, and now he’s intent on breaking down barriers for others.
How did your background prepare you to tackle issues of diversity and inclusion? I was being prepared for this job from a very early age. I bring the understanding of what it’s like to be excluded, and knowing from an early age how to get to the table. I grew up in Costa Rica as one of nine children. My mother raised us by herself as a businesswoman working in the male dominated cattle industry. She was a model of succeeding in a place where you’re not necessarily welcomed. Ironically, my family didn’t want anything to do with the faggot boy, as my older brothers labeled me from an early age. Because
MAY|JUN 2016 | 49
UY I wasn’t so integrated into my family, my only option was to be good at school. I wanted to stay far away from constant reminders that I was some kind of broken person. Schooling became my lifeline.
Where did you begin to find inclusion as a gay man?
When I came to Boston, right away my life began to change. I found great acceptance for being gay within the community of the South End. I began to gain confidence that this huge part of who I was wasn’t a big deal. In fact, all my first bosses were gay or lesbian. But then the challenge became that I was Latino. People had issues with that.
What major maxims have your experiences taught you? The main thing I take away from my experiences is the notion of
self-inclusion: You can’t wait for the world to change; you have to find a way into the world. You can’t afford to disengage. You have to fight constantly to get yourself to that table. Surround yourself with a community and resources to prop yourself up. Exclusion is crushing and relentless, so get yourself the ammunition to withstand it.
Are there any ways in which being gay helped you professionally?
I intuitively learned how to network in the gay bars. I was a young man in my twenties in the ’ 90s in Boston, a completely new environment without any friends. You’d walk into a bar, and it was sink or swim. Gay people are particularly positioned through our experiences to find out who is an ally and how to navigate an environment. There’s a lot more at stake. You need to
figure out quickly who’s on your side and who can hurt you.
The Boston Pride theme is “Solidarity Through Pride.” Are there ways to apply professional methods of inclusion to the larger LGBT movement? Our inclusion council is developing the next generation of leaders. The executive level and the boards are where we really need to see diversity. We need leaders who have a robust idea of inclusion. In the beginning the LGBT community was led largely by white gay men and women, and it was assumed everyone else would come along. That didn’t happen. You still have these segregated ways, and in order to fully unlock the value that we LGBT people have for the world, we need to make sure our community includes all. [x]
Meet our Homeowners
Smart. Passionate. Advocates.
Joanne Colucci & Marilyn Lober Colucci tell their Seashore Point story.
AGE: Joanne 57; Marilyn, 58 OCCUPATION: Joanne is a Director of Global Security for a Fortune 100 corporation and was a first responder on 9/11; Marilyn, a painter and photographer, works in a gallery in Provincetown. ORIGINS: New York, NY PASSIONS: the arts; the LBGT community; and The Residences at Seashore Point
After two years at The Residences at Seashore Point, homeowners Joanne Colucci and Marilyn Lober Colucci share their three favorite things about living here:
Value–You can not beat the price for what you get. Consider what you spend now. Amenities like maintenance-free living and the in-house gym alone make living here worth it. And that’s just for starters. Convenience–The option of underground parking is worth its weight in gold in Provincetown. And we’re just two blocks from the center of town. Welcoming & Vibrant–Anyone 55 and older is welcome. For us, it was important to know Seashore Point openly welcomes those from the LGBT community. It feels just like home, but with a “vibrant buzz.” We wake up every morning in our lovely condo with an incredible view, and think,
“We made the right choice.” Visit or call 508-487-0771 to learn why Seashore Point may just be the right choice for you.
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Kelllly May Kelly
Managing director, Wicked Queer: Boston LGBT Film Festival Politics can change laws, but it’s art that has the power to move hearts and minds. That’s why the Boston LGBT Film Festival, founded in 1984 and the fourth oldest LGBT film fest in North America, has for years spotlighted the issues that define our community: from documentaries that explore every nook and cranny of the globe, to powerful shorts and feature-length films that examine the joys, sorrows, struggles and celebrations of our inspiring community. Kelly May is part of the volunteer-led team that keeps this local cinematic tradition alive. Creative marketing is May’s area of expertise: when she’s not helping the festival team cull through submissions for the annual lineup of films, she’s a director of marketing for Pearson Education. And this year that background came in extra handy. For its justwrapped 2016 installment, the festival rebranded under the new name Wicked Queer, a malleable moniker that organizers hope will reflect the breadth of content contained in the films. May, also a contributing entertainment writer for the LGBToriented Edge Publications, is helping our historic festival hit wicked new heights.
What does the team look for when selecting films? The selection process always feels like it’s brand new, because some years things come together in such way that there’s a particular trend everyone is talking about. It’s really fun to notice what’s bubbling up on an international level, and it’s important to reflect that in the film programming. For instance, a few years ago there were lots of marriage documentaries, or films on the struggles in Africa. Right now, we see a lot more films on aging. Boston audiences are educated; they like to be able to discover something new, so we’re able to introduce films that can be more challenging. We also make a strong effort to show the voices of our community from all around the world.
MAY|JUN 2016 | 51
That’s an important part: to show the differences along racial and ethnic backgrounds.
What were some of your favorites this year? I’ve always loved the short program. It’s a nice way to get a sense of what people are thinking about worldwide. And as the quality of cinematography has gone up through the years, sometimes an eight-minute short can hit home with more force than a full-length film. One of my favorite films this year was “While You Weren’t Looking” out of South Africa, which is about lesbian couples and developed in a really interesting way. But we also had some great less serious stuff, like the caper “All About E.”
As technology changes, filmmaking is becoming more accessible to all. As a result, are you seeing new opportunities for LGBT filmmakers? Absolutely. That’s a huge conversation going on in the film community. In terms of the opportunities for the LGBT community, it’s now getting us to a point where the films we’re showing are not specifically LGBT strictly in terms of their topics; rather it may be that filmmaker or the entire crew is part of the community. That’s a changing conversation that I think will be bubbling up even more in a few years. As opportunities expand and more people are able to be out around the world, it changes the films people want to see and the stories that filmmakers want to tell.
Why rebrand as Wicked Queer? In our community the word queer used to be used very specifically around politicized work. But the definition is changing, and how people interact with it and identify as queer is changing. It’s important to reflect that fact and rebrand. “Wicked” is also fun and playful and connects it with Boston. People from other countries always ask, “Why wicked? What are you trying to say?” [Laughs] When we explain it’s a local joke, they really love how we embrace our own local community.
Who would you cast in a movie about your life? Hmm. Well, I’d love to cast Uma Thurman. I’d love to be that badass! [x]
Hecttoor Camacho CEO, Online Buddies Cambridge-based online gay hookup platform Manhunt celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Its eyes, however, are set firmly on the future—and that’s where Camacho comes in. Camacho worked in the much more staid banking industry before serving as the sexsoaked site’s director of advertising from 2007 to 2012. Then he detoured through the world of Buddy Profits, doubling memberships at the online affiliate program that, under his direction, grew from 18 to 42 gay adult websites. As Manhunt’s president and founding partner Larry Basile formally retired last fall, cofounder Jonathan Crutchley tapped Camacho to return to the fold. Now he’s CEO of Online Buddies, the parent company of Manhunt and properties like the recently acquired Jack’d, a mobile app with younger, more diverse users: about half of American Jack’d users identify as black and 14 percent as mixed-race. Camacho’s mission is clear: to retool Manhunt’s identity, respect its older users while luring fresh faces, and carve a niche for the flagship brand for the next 15 years—at least.
What was your coming-out like? Did Manhunt play a part? I was raised Catholic and came out at 20, which seems late today. Manhunt was part of my slow coming out story. It was really part of the gay community here in Boston when I started: Everyone was on it even if nobody talked about it. Now when I tell people what I do, they always ask, “What’s your office like?” But it’s nothing like their imagination would lead them to think. It’s a business! I’m looking at numbers all day, not looking at profiles or watching porn while boys in skimpy underwear bring me coffee. [Laughs]
MAY|JUN 2016 | 53
What has been the biggest challenge facing the company in recent years? Our biggest challenge was that we didn’t take mobile seriously. We’re still dealing with that, but the thing is, as adult catches up to the mainstream in that space, big companies like Apple and Google start to put pressure on. It was hard to get Manhunt on iTunes, and Google still rejects us because of the adult content of what we do. There’s a lot of catching up for technology to do.
How are younger users different today than they were back when Manhunt launched? The mobile, millennial demographic grew up in a world where free trumped payment. When they can find everything they want for free, how
do we make them pay? That is the challenge in this age. And Manhunt is a 15-year old brand. How do you take a platform with an older consumer base and introduce it to a younger consumer base with different skills and desires? These are the questions that keep us up at night.
in one platform, so when you log in to Manhunt you can watch porn, use chat rooms or live cams, trade Snapchats. One thing that will never change is that men want to get off.
On that note: What are the plans for the platform?
Jack’d allows us to connect with a younger demographic and prepare them for the next evolution of life, which is Manhunt. What might surprise people is that Jack’d isn’t a place for people to hook up. Less than 5 percent of interactions lead to an encounter. It’s a community of young mavericks looking for a much deeper connection than a hookup. The goal, as with any product, is to keep them online longer. We’re looking at things like interactive games that keep them online building relationships. [x]
Millennials are a no-labels group, so we’re phasing out “gay” from marketing and moving forward as a platform for men seeking men: whether to date, hook up, chat, whatever. Millennials are curious and open-minded. There are straight guys who still sometimes have encounters with some of our users. Also there are all these new platforms that have been created now that allow men to get off: Snapchat, Tumblr, things like that. We want to take all these different services and put them
How does Jack’d fit into the model?
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M a r y Mary Dumont Mary
Chef/owner, Cultivar All of Mary’s Dumont’s experience has led to this moment: By late summer, the celebrated chef will open her first restaurant an owner, Cultivar, in Downtown Boston. It’s an amalgamation of everything she’s done to date, from cutting her teeth at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Jardinière as an ambitious wunderkind, to perfecting her farm-to-table approach at Harvard Square’s acclaimed Harvest, where she helmed the kitchen for eight years. Last May, Dumont moved on to start prepping Cultivar, which the former “Iron Chef America” star says will pull together all her culinary inspirations to create “modern American garden cuisine” using many ingredients grown on site, and served in an “organic”-feeling space that includes a spacious outdoor patio. Dumont deserves this time to shine. In the age of so-called “celebrity chefs,” the New Hampshire native has been one of New England’s most respected yet quietly successful toques. As she balances a highly anticipated restaurant opening with the quieter family life of a wife and stepchildren, Dumont is doing it her way.
What was your coming-out like? I told my friends during my freshmen year of college and it was received really well. I wrote my parents a letter. I was thinking about how grateful I was for all they’d done for me, how hard they’d worked all my life, and I thought it was a shame for them to not really know me. My mother got back to me and just said, “I always knew!”
MAY|JUN 2016 | 55
How did you break into the biz?
provide something important to you?
I was waiting tables at this gay restaurant and piano bar, Alta Plaza, in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. It was one of those moments where someone didn’t show up, and chef Amey Shaw said to me, “You like to cook, right?” She handed me a knife and said, “Here’s your shot, kid.” Then I would always pass by Jardinière and think, “I’m going to do everything I can to get a job there.” It sounds like a silly story, but I walked in and said to chef Traci Des Jardins, “I’m ready to work today.” She said, “Do we have an appointment?” I said, “No, but I can work tonight and it’ll be free for you.” She just kind of looked at me out of the corner of her eye and said, “Okay kid.” A couple days later she hired me.
It was a really important community to me. I had recently broken up with my girlfriend and my mother had just passed away. I was completely broken hearted. I got another job in the Castro, and all the guys that worked there were drag queens. They saved my life. They didn’t let me fall down. They just took care of me. They’d say, “Honey, we’ve been through all that and worse,” and they’d put me in the backseat of a convertible and we’d go driving with the hair of their wigs blowing in the wind. I was so hurt, and having these amazing, hysterical personas around helped me get through it.
Moving from New Hampshire to San Francisco, did the LGBT community
Have there been unique challenges in being a woman chef? And in being a lesbian chef? As a woman I’ve gone through my fair share of harassment. But my approach was always, “You’re going to beat them
with your attitude.” Most of that fades away, but even today I hear things in the kitchen sometimes. Sometimes words just roll out of people’s mouths. Actually, for a lot of my life I gravitated toward gay men because I didn’t really feel accepted by the lesbian community. I don’t mean that in a mean way, it’s just they didn’t believe me. I’d walk into a giant group of lesbian friends and they’d be like, “What are you doing here? You have long hair!” [Laughs]
Why did you choose the name Cultivar? Cultivar refers to any plant, whether vegetable or fruit, that has been cultivated through human intention to have the best characteristics of several plants. That’s the way I look at my life at this moment. It’s like I’ve taken cuttings of every part of what I’ve gone through to make one complete thing. [x]
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Laila Laila Mcqueen aka Tyler Devlin
Artist and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Growing up in New Hampshire, Tyler Devlin didn’t feel like he fit in. Kids were cruel, so the burgeoning artist poured his emotions into creative work—including drag. By the end of high school, he was selling high heels and dildos in the boutique of a Granite State strip club, where he pinched his name (Laila, combined with a nod to designer Alexander McQueen) and picked up his gritty-meets-glam dance moves. Where other drag performers are inspired by pop stars like Britney and Beyonce, Laila McQueen owes a debt to ‘80s trash rock, campy horror flicks like “Beetlejuice” and goth icons like Marilyn Manson. McQueen made a name in the New England club scene before catching the eye of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producers, who cast her in the hit show’s current, eighth season. McQueen didn’t snatch the crown, but she did sashay down the runway that has catapulted dozens of queens to the next level. Now, all the world is her stage.
Why did you get into drag? I’d always been fascinated with the idea of transformation. I love to watch the behind-thescenes shit in movies. I love the process of it all. I had a really hard time in school. I was a total freak of nature and no one really cared about me. Instead of doing drugs, partying a ton or getting wasted, I threw myself into more artistic activities to distract myself and escape. I’m an artist. Drag is just another extension of art.
A lot of people assume that younger generations are less homophobic, especially in New England. Whoever thinks that is an idiot! New England has plenty of hicks, just like they do down south. I’d get made fun of and threatened. Some of the people I thought were my friends wound up tormenting me too. I remember one sleepover: We set up these tents in my friend’s backyard. MAY|JUN 2016 | 57
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I woke up to them kicking me in the neck and face, hitting me with a bat while I’m sleeping. It was fucked up.
Now that you’re a “Drag Race” star, did all those old bullies suddenly reappear and want to be friends? The hardest times were in middle school. I was the first to be gay and out. Everyone knew I loved dudes. I said it first. They all treated me like shit, I was like “fuck you all,” and then by the end of high school half of them came out as gay! Now they’re all “Hey girl! Fierce! Work! Guess what? I’m a homo too! Let’s hang out!” You’ve got to be kidding me.
What draws you to some of the darker influences? Even when I was really young watching Disney movies, I hated the heroes. I hated the good guys. I loved the villains. They looked cooler. Their demeanor was more interesting to me. They were more fun. I take inspiration from a certain rock star mentality, and to me, Beetlejuice is like a rock star.
The judges thought you seemed subdued. What was the emotional experience of the show like for you? I’m naturally a very anxious person. To be sent across the country for this was unlike anything I’ve ever done. The other girls are big personalities. It’s not in my nature to be the loudest one and talk over everyone in the room. They thought that I wasn’t super
talkative, but that’s just my kind of humor. Everyone yells and yells, and I’m the kind of person who waits until it’s quiet for a second to tell someone she’s a fat queen or something.
You were sent home in a double elimination. What was going through your head at the time? I was panicking. I still haven’t watched the lip sync. I know what happened, I don’t feel the need to beat it to death. When RuPaul was like, “Both of you get the hell out of my studio,” all I could think was, “Good for you, Laila. This has only happened once before.” The weird thing about being on TV is that you go through a crazy, exhausting experience, have so many emotions about it—and then it’s like, “Shit, you have to relive this again!” [x]
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Sara Sara Sara
Of Consul, Locke Lord Powerhouse attorney Sara Schnorr has been in some pretty high-pressure meetings. After all, she spent 35 years with the heavyweight firm Edwards Wildman Palmer, rising to partner status, and following a merger now holds an Of Counsel position with Locke Lord. And she’s been in many closeddoor rooms with legislators and other politicos, bending ears to advocate for LGBT equality—including a public accommodations-inclusive transgender equal rights bill. But the meeting that most changed her life was a gathering of the Tiffany Club, a Waltham-based social and support group for the transgender community. It was there that Schnorr opened a new chapter in her life and began to embrace her authentic self after a lifetime spent dressing in women’s clothing only in private—much to the dismay of her then-wife. Nearly 10 years ago, an emboldened Schnorr finally came out to her firm, started planning her transition, and began presenting as her authentic self. She received wide support from colleagues and clients, and in a world where transgender people remain among the most marginalized within the LGBT community, Schnorr’s success as a dynamo attorney with an international law giant shows it’s never too late to realize your full potential—and live as who you really are.
What was the climate growing up with questions about your gender identity? I grew up with mostly female cousins and we’d play dress up. The aunts would always yell and let us know that wasn’t appropriate; I got the message early that what I wanted to wear wasn’t for little boys. In Catholic elementary school I saw in the catechism that wearing the clothes of the other gender was a mortal sin—not even a regular old venal sin! The neighborhood
priest threw me out of confession because he thought I didn’t want to stop. By age 13, I knew my family didn’t accept what I thought was normal, my church thought it was a mortal sin, and I was in danger of losing my soul. That’s when I really started repressing things.
When did you finally decide you needed to present publicly as a woman? Around age 60 a lot of things happened. My mother died. My firm went through a difficult merger. I
WED YOUR WAY needed to talk to someone. I was drinking too much and self-medicating with hormones I bought online. I finally went to the Tiffany Club. That was my first experience in being around other trans folks and it was really important in getting me to the point of saying, “Why am I allowing all the thoughts I carry with me to destroy me, and keep me from being myself?”
What are your thoughts on the recent attention paid to transgender celebs like Caitlin Jenner? The coming out of Caitlin, the Wachowski siblings and other celebrities has really elevated public awareness. That’s a good thing. What I worry about it is that the image they present is exclusively glamorous: Hollywood, gowns, makeup, looking perfect all the time. In some ways the glamorization of trans people like Caitlin can make it harder for others. If a trans person comes out at their company, are they expected to look as good as Caitlin? What about the trans people who don’t have the privilege of being able to afford the greatest surgeries and most expensive clothes?
You do a lot of public speaking on trans issues. What are those experiences like? It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re changing minds. I had a presentation at Curry College and a student who was too shy to speak during it came up to me afterwards. He said, “I just wanted to talk to you, because I’ve never met a living, breathing transgender person. It’s just amazing, you’ve opened my eyes.” Those moments are so gratifying.
What’s one piece of advice you have about succeeding as a transgender person in the corporate world? If passing is important to you, I think it’s important to be honest with yourself about how well you pass. Some people have passing privilege; people have no idea you’re trans. Others find it really hard to pass. You need to have the selfconfidence to take that step and present as your authentic self, and learn coping strategies for handling pushback and discomfort from coworkers. The more confidence you have, the easier it becomes for other people to accept. [x]
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Interior designer and founder, studioTYAK He’s a Southern boy with a winning smile that brightens a room—one, quite possibly, he’s already made pretty as a picture. Martyak’s three year-old design firm has already been responsible for some of the most striking restaurant interiors in Boston and beyond: from gay restaurateur Brian Piccini’s sexy South End steakhouse, Boston Chops, to Fenway’s country roadhouse-inspired Loretta’s Last Call. Armed with a master’s in architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design, a top-tier university in the industry, his inimitable style and serious expertise keep him in high demand—whether he’s transforming Downtown Boston’s Battery Park from a bro-heavy sports bar to something sleeker, or working with the Equinox brand of high-end health clubs to juice up their juice bars. Martyak’s Southern charm also makes him a friendly face on the social scene, and you’ll often find him out and about in support of Fenway Health. He sits on the steering committee of Fenway’s Young Leaders Council and co-chaired March’s Men’s Event, which raised over $630,000 for the non-profit LGBT healthcare institution.
What was your first design project? When I was in high school my parents were kind of debating whether to sell the house and move to another neighborhood, or renovate. And that was my first project: a full-scale renovation of the first floor! Eight years later, when I graduated from grad school, their Christmas gift was to design the second floor. So my parents’ entire house has been touched by my design!
Where do you get your inspiration? It comes from all over. For Loretta’s, it was my childhood growing up in Nashville. I tapped into six-year old Stephen, listening to Reba
McEntire. I used my knowledge of country music. It’s crazy to think country music from the ‘80s is slightly vintage at this point, but I used all that knowledge and channeled it into the space. As for Boston Chops, Brian and I had been acquainted through mutual friends. He had identified a very clear concept. He’s quite a visionary, and in that situation it was really about taking his vision and making it come together in a cohesive away. He wanted that sexy steakhouse that was going to appeal to the gayborhood, but we’ve also found it’s very appealing to the suburbanites too.
Are there ways in which being gay affects your work? I don’t really think about it. As a designer, me being gay is probably
more of an asset than a negative. Don’t get me wrong. Depending on the client, you can still get into an old boys’ club kind of situation. I think if I was still living in the South it might be more of an issue. But in Massachusetts, I feel like we get extra style points. There’s that whole assumption that we have taste and know what’s hot.
What was your coming out experience like? I didn’t come out until I was 20. I have the greatest parents in the world, but that said, when I first came out to my dad, he hugged me and the first words out of his mouth were “we love you, but we’re going to fix you.” That wasn’t the easiest thing to hear. At the same time, it gave me extra fire: I wasn’t going to let this part of me slow
me down. Anyway, after a comedy of errors with a Christian therapist they forced me to go to, and hearing the things he said, they just kind of said, “this is a bunch of baloney.” Eleven years later, they’re totally supportive. They were even at the Men’s Event with me.
Why are you so committed to Fenway Health? Fenway is such an important organization for our community. There’s so much amazing research and advocacy going on, much of which people don’t even really know about. I grew up in the church, and giving back was really important to me. As an adult I wanted to find an organization that I really wanted to support, and I’m thrilled to help in any way that I can. [x]
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JJulian ulilian Cyr
Candidate for Massachusetts Senate Julian Cyr, an openly gay candidate for Massachusetts state senate representing the Cape and islands, is only 30 years old. But he sees himself as a steward of a much longer history. For one thing, Cyr wants to retain the small businessfriendly ethos that has long defined the Outer Cape, including his native Truro, which is becoming an increasingly unaffordable community of retirees. He wonders how the region can retain its legendary vibrancy when young families—including queer families, like Cyr’s sister and her wife—are seeing a lack of affordability and opportunity. He is also deeply committed to the LGBT history that has deep roots in land’s end. Under Governor Deval Patrick, Cyr worked closely with the senate as deputy director of government affairs for the Department of Public Health, and he recently left his role as the department’s director of policy and regulatory affairs to campaign full-time. But Cyr also served as a counselor at AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and chaired the Massachusetts Commission of LGBTQ Youth, and he believes he has the political chops to bring that Outer Cape-bred commitment to LGBT interests to Beacon Hill.
What has been your experience running as an out candidate? It hasn’t come up that much. But when I have the chance to talk about my identity, I place it in the context of public service. I explain how I’ve seen firsthand how my life was made better by those who went before me. I’ve seen how
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UY people stepped up for me, and I feel I have a debt to repay to those who did far more of the heavy lifting I had to do.
How did growing up in Truro shape that sense of LGBT identity?
Growing up on the Outer Cape I was as a living witness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I didn’t really know what was going on—I was six or seven years old—but I remember my parents and many of their best friends confronted with something very profound. But what really left an impression on me was that in the middle of this tragedy there was also this community that came together. As a gay person I feel like, in a way, I’m able to continue
a special legacy. On the campaign, I explain how this really informed why I got into public service.
As a candidate, is being gay or young the bigger challenge?
Was it scary to leave your job to campaign full-time?
It’s with being young that I think I have more to prove. More people have asked about that, and rightly so. They can be a little skeptical: “Who’s this 30-year old guy? What life experience does he have?” Then they learn about the deep experience that I have in state government, the years I worked in the legislature, my commitment to social justice—and that I’m someone who grew up in a quintessential Cape family. I think I show them I’m the full package. [x]
The hardest part of the whole thing is coming out that you’re running. Once you announce and people know you’re a candidate, it’s a little easier. Whether you’re saying, “I’m a candidate for political office,” “I’m a queer person” or “I’m a gay person,” it’s coming out that’s the hardest part: getting yourself to that place. But it’s similarly an opportunity, very affirming and empowering.
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FRANK RIBAUDO & JIM MORGRAGE OF CLUB CAFÉ Everyone in Boston’s LGBT community is familiar with Club Café, the iconic South End restaurant, bar and entertainment venue, and its owners, business partners Frank Ribaudo and Jim Morgrage, who are famous for hosting countless fundraisers for the city’s charitable, social and political groups. Burns & Levinson partner Donald Vaughan, who represents Club Café, first met Frank in the 1980s when he represented Joe McAllister, a former co-owner of the Club. “We were negotiating my buying Joe out, and things got pretty intense. Let’s just say that Donald was not one of my favorite people then,” said Frank. “However, after that deal was done, and Joe had passed away, I began to realize how committed and involved Donald was with the community.” Donald and Frank went on to serve together on the Boston Living Center Board (BLC) for a number of years. “I saw Donald combine his legal background and people skills, with his connections in the LGBT and business communities, to help the BLC get through some tough times
and grow,” said Frank. “When I was on the Community Research Initiative Board and it needed some solid and creative advice to deal with a tough lease situation, I recommended that we reach out to Donald. He pitched in and got a result that was life-changing for that organization.” For the last 13 years, Donald and Frank have been fellow riders in the Harbor to the Bay, a one-day bike ride from Boston to Providence that, with Club Café’s support, has raised more than $4 million for local HIV/AIDS organizations since 2003. “Donald gets it. He combines great legal abilities with business savvy. And he matches our commitment to the community,” said Jim. “We had tried spreading our legal work around, but that showed us Donald’s value to our business. We’re back to calling him first,” added Frank. “He’s our guy.”
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Barbara Hoffman, who passed away in April 2015, will always be remembered as a legend and pioneer for the LGBT community and for civil rights in Boston. “Barbara was the type of client I love working with,” said Donald Vaughan, her longtime attorney who helped her with personal law issues ranging from real estate concerns to estate planning. “She was a fascinating person, with both a very public side and a very private side.” One of the things Barbara was quietly proud of was her prowess in real estate. In the 1970s she bought a number of townhouses in the South End and later sold them once the neighborhood became a sought after place to live. She held onto one though, her house located on West Springfield Street. “We sold that house out of her estate,” said David Gearhart, a longtime friend and co-executor of her estate with Donald. “It’s a matter of public record, so I feel comfortable saying that she bought the property for $10,000 and we sold it for $2 million.”
At Burns & Levinson, we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our clients. Here, we profile a select group of clients who are using their personal and professional successes to benefit their communities.
LISA CUKIER & JULIE PALEN
“Barbara was not so much proud of the monetary appreciation, but of what she could do through her estate with that money,” said Donald. “Almost all of her estate is being paid out to charities, including more than $800,000 to Rosie’s Place, the nation’s first women’s shelter, founded by Barbara’s longtime friend, Kip Tiernan.” “I am still somewhat amazed at the price we received for Barbara’s house,” said David. “It was due in large part to Donald’s skillful orchestrating of a bidding war that increased the price by more than 20 percent.” “I couldn’t have served as executor without Donald’s guidance and insight. He was both savvy and reassuring, and always available,” said David. “He and his colleagues at Burns & Levinson made arranging for Barbara’s care in her final months, and then dealing with her estate, so much more manageable for me.”
Julie Palen dedicated 2015, her 49th year, to supporting and benefiting the world around her. Coining this personal endeavor “50-50-50,” she set out to generate excitement in the lesbian community and raise $50,000 for 50 charities by her 50th birthday. 50-5050 was, simply put, a wonderfully fun and successful year for Julie and those who know her. The concept of “fun success” runs in Julie’s blood and has guided her career as an esteemed business woman since the 1980s. Her entrepreneurial career started in college. “As a student at Salem State, I made the salsa everybody loved,” she said. “I sold enough of it during the holidays to be able to fly home to Kansas for Christmas!” In 1993 she founded InterNoded, Inc., a wireless application management services company, which she later sold to the venture capital-backed firm Tangoe in 2009.
Julie brings people together. “How do you get dissimilar kinds of people, who think differently and who have different internal goals and objectives, to come together and focus on a single objective? Through fun, shared goals and hard work,” she said. Burns & Levinson has counseled Julie on several transactional and business ventures. “The firm shares my entrepreneurial style. Its attorneys, including my friend Lisa Cukier, are no-nonsense, smart, strategic thinkers who can roll up their sleeves, deal with the grit and have fun,” said Julie. “I enjoy brainstorming with Lisa over a beverage, poolside. We do our best thinking while afloat!” Julie, who initially planned to retire after selling her company, is now engaged in a business venture in Colorado focused on health, nutrition and weight loss.
This communication provides general information and does not constitute legal advice. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. © 2016 Burns & Levinson LLP. All rights reserved.
Burns & Levinson is a Boston-based law firm with more than 125 attorneys. We work with entrepreneurs, emerging businesses, private and public companies and individuals in sophisticated business transactions, litigation and private client services. Our LGBT Group: Lisa Cukier l Scott Moskol l Deborah Peckham l Laura Studen l Donald Vaughan l Ellen Zucker
CULTURE Stage STORY Loren King
“ The show was originally conceived with no sets, no costumes. It’s all about the word— jarringly so. That’s why I chose to do it here. It is about the human condition and relationships. It’s funny and makes you think. ” Jeffry George
Circling Desire WHAT stages provocative play ‘Cock’ It take balls to title a play “Cock.” Of course, multiple meanings are at work; besides the obvious one, the word refers to a rooster, with cockfighting the subtext of Mike Bartlett’s sharp satire about a man, John (the only character with a full name), torn between his longtime male partner, M, and the loving woman, W, he falls for when the two battling men take a relationship break. “Cock” will run at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) Julie Harris Stage June 16-July 10.
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“The show was originally conceived with no sets, no costumes. It’s all about the word—jarringly so. That’s why I chose to do it here. It is about the human condition and relationships. It’s funny and makes you think,” says Jeffry George, WHAT executive and artistic director who will direct “Cock.” The four-member cast is made up of Lee Seymour, Nicholas Carter, Madeleine Lambert and Chiz Chisholm. George read Bartlett’s “delicious” script after “Cock”’s 2009 London engagement. He waited until the timing was right to
bring the play to WHAT, a prestigious venue not necessarily known for staging LGBT-themed work. The play was conceived to be performed in the round, which isn’t WHAT’s configuration. But designer Christopher Ostrom “has come up with a way to surround the audience with a chain-link fence so that it is inside the action ... looking down at a fight,” notes George. The centerpiece of the play is a dinner party attended by John, M, W and M’s father. “There’s lots of confrontation, like a sparring match, among all the characters, including a touching scene between father and son,” says George. George has been a central figure at WHAT for many years, with various duties including the supervision of the construction of the 200-seat Julie Harris Stage. But he held off directing a show until last year when he helmed WHAT’s acclaimed production of “Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story.” “‘Thrill Me’ was on my bucket list so I took the jump,” he says. Besides “Cock,” George will also direct “Alabama Story” later this summer. “I could not resist doing [“Cock”]; the material was just too good,” George says. But the power of the play is how little it actually has to do with sex or sexuality. “‘Cock’ isn’t gay; it’s just human,” he says. “[John’s] dilemma could translate into any other situation where a choice needs to be made, or not made.” [x]
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CULTURE Stage STORY Loren King
Forever a ‘Star!’ ‘A tribute to Gertrude Lawrence’ takes place in the legendary performer’s adopted home of Dennis on Cape Cod She was an entertainment superstar for nearly three decades, but perhaps because her fame came before television, there are many people who haven’t a clue who Gertrude Lawrence was. I didn’t help that the glitzy Hollywood musical “Star!” (1968) with Julie Andrews playing the British stage legend, was a colossal flop. But it has long been the mission of the Gertrude Lawrence Stage, home to Eventide Theater Company of Dennis, to make sure Lawrence’s singular talents and contributions to show business are not forgotten. Lawrence, star of numerous Broadway shows—including “Private Lives” opposite
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Noel Coward and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” (her last role before her death in 1952 at age 54); and the 1950 film version of Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie”—lived in Dennis after first arriving in the Cape Cod town in 1936 to star in “Skylark” at the Cape Playhouse. A year later, she married Cape Playhouse manager Richard Aldrich and the pair opened the Falmouth Playhouse in 1949 and the Cape Cod Music Circus (now the Melody Tent) in 1950. “The majority of people don’t know her,” says Robert Wyatt, director of Music at Highfield Hall in Falmouth. Wyatt will present “A Tribute to Gertrude Lawrence”
June 4 and 5 at 7:30 and 2:30 p.m. at the Gertrude Lawrence Stage, at the Dennis Union Church fellowship hall. A pianist who graduated from Boston University and earned his doctorate from Florida State University, Wyatt’s lecture on Lawrence will also include his playing classical pieces—and possibly “Someone To Watch Over Me” which Lawrence famously sang in Gershwin’s 1926 Broadway musical “Oh, Kay!” “Lawrence could sing, dance and do comedy and drama. She had exciting escapades with Noel Coward and Daphne Du Maurier. She was energetic about everything,” says Wyatt. Margaret Forster’s biography of celebrated writer du Maurier as well as the 2007 BBC film “Daphne” both detail a torrid romance between du Maurier and Lawrence, who starred in du Maurier’s play “September Tide” in 1948 (Janet McTeer is a delightfully sexy Gertrude in the movie). Eventide tapped Wyatt for the Lawrence tribute because he became familiar with Lawrence’s career while doing research for his previous show, “Gershwin, by George!” For 25 years he’s been a lecture/ recitalist for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where he’s also this spring presenting a four-part series on the history of Hollywood musicals. Wyatt’s presentation will introduce new audiences and re-acquaint older ones with Lawrence’s storied life and career, using film and video clips, sound recordings and photographs projected onto a large screen. “I’m going to interview people on Cape Cod, now in their 80s and 90s, who knew her personally. She was a character,” says Wyatt. “[George] Gershwin was really taken by her and wrote ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ for her.” He points out that Lawrence might now be better known to mainstream audiences had she lived to make the film version of “The King and I.” She was starring on Broadway opposite Yul Brynner (said to be another of her famous affairs) when she died of cancer. Most people now associate the role of Anna with Deborah Kerr, who starred in the film version. But if Wyatt and the folks at Eventide have anything to say about it, Lawrence’s star will shine brightly for generations to come. [x]
CULTURE Film STORY Loren King
How the Marriage Fight Was Won New film ‘State of Marriage’ documents the trailblazers in Vermont Jeff Kaufman has made documentaries about jazz in Harlem in the 1930s, persecution in Iran and Nazis hiding in Argentina, among others. But it is “State of Marriage,” the new documentary Kaufman made with his wife, producer Marcia Ross, about Vermont’s groundbreaking fight for marriage equality, that the filmmaker counts as his most personal. Kaufman lived in Vermont for 11 years, six of those as a journalist covering the Vermont legislature for television, radio and his own newspaper column. “I saw firsthand, in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, how the entire state erupted into a conversation about LGBT rights. That kind of neighbor-to-neighbor community conversation was an amazing experience. It changed everything,” he says. “It did not happen anywhere else in the world until it happened in Vermont.”
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“State of Marriage,” which first screened at the 2015 Provincetown International Film Festival, was picked up for distribution by The Orchard and will be available on iTunes and VOD May 31. The film focuses on the three women— small-town Vermont lawyers Susan Murray and Beth Robinson, and Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Boston’s GLAD—who spearheaded the nearly two-decades-long struggle for marriage equality in Vermont. It was their hard work, and their victories, that built the foundation for the entire marriage equality movement. Vermont in 1999 became the first state to grant same-sex couples legal recognition in the form of civil unions. Robinson (now a Vermont State Supreme Court judge) successfully argued the case before the State Supreme Court. A decade later,
[L-R:] Daniel Kaufman (cinematographer), Michael
Clifford (field audio), Jeff Kaufman (director/producer), Marcia Ross (producer) and (the remarkable) U.S. Rep. John Lewis on location for “State of Marriage.”
Vermont legalized same-sex marriage, the first state to do so by legislative vote. But those historic milestones came with a price. Anti-civil union forces organized an ugly “Take Back Vermont” effort in 2000 that led to the defeat of many Republican House members who’d voted for the civil unions bill. For Kaufman, the political courage of those Vermont lawmakers was an important element to the story. “I got to know Mary, Beth, Susan and Evan [Wolfson, Freedom to Marry founder]. But I also got to know John [Edwards] and Marion [Milne], who risked their political careers to do the right thing and both of those things stayed with me,” says Kaufman. By then, he had moved to Los Angeles and was making the film “Father Joseph,” about a humble priest’s humanitarian work and grassroots activism in Haiti. But violence had erupted in Haiti, preventing Kaufman from traveling there. His portrait of Father Joseph, he says, re-ignited
memories of the tenacity and commitment of the marriage equality trailblazers in Vermont. “It’s remarkable what you can do with nothing when you have a humane vision on your side,” he says. Kaufman told his wife, Marcia Ross, a casting director and studio executive in Los Angeles, that he wanted to return to Vermont to make this film. “She said, ‘let’s do it,’ which is Marcia’s spirit,” says Kaufman. The couple returned to Vermont in the summer of 2013 to start the interview and research process and teamed with executive producer Lola Van Wagenen. “She lives in Vermont and is a big champion of documentaries. She just got right on board with us from the get go,” says Ross. “Without her support, we could not have made the film.” They made four additional trips to Vermont, as well as visits Boston to meet with Bonauto and to Washington, D.C. for interviews with, among others, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the 1960s civil rights leader who states in the film, “What Susan and Beth did was in keeping with what Rosa Parks and others did.”
As the filmmakers traced the long journey of the marriage equality pioneers, “what developed was the idea of democracy in action,” says Ross. One of the most powerful scenes in the film is the nail-biter of a moment in 2009 when the legislature casts votes, one by one, on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Kaufman and editor Asher Bingham create all the drama, intrigue and suspense of a legal thriller. “I loved that we were able to take viewers into the room when it happens,” says Ross. “We wanted it to feel as cathartic as it did for those who were there. If you are not crying by the end, we have not succeeded.” The heart of the film, though, is its central figures. “Beth, Susan and Mary are not self-promoting so we felt we had to tell their story,” Ross says. “The thought of them not being remembered for what they did was unacceptable.” Another key part of the film are interviews with longtime gay couples who headed to Vermont for civil unions after 1999. One of those couples is acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally (“Master Class,”
“Mothers and Sons”) and his now husband Tom Kirdahy. Although he’s a small part of “State of Marriage,” McNally made such an impression on Kaufman and Ross that McNally’s life and career will be the subject their next film. “I was especially moved by Tom and Terrence. He talked about what love and marriage and companionship meant to him in a way that was unfiltered and intense. Damn, that’s what I want,” says Kaufman. The stories of the LGBT couples also had personal resonance for the filmmakers. “Marcia and I have a professional relationship but we have a personal relationship, too. Making our first film about people who love each other and were willing to fight so hard to have others recognize that love could not have been a more moving and intense way to cement something between us,” says Kaufman. “How arrogant, if you are lucky enough to have a good relationship, is it to say, ‘I have a wonderful relationship that society recognizes, but that’s only for me.” [x]
Join Victory Programs for our 4th annual Drive for Victory Golf Tournament at the beautiful, members-only Oakley Country Club! Golfers will enjoy a pre-tournament lunch, 18 holes of golf, on-course contests, live and silent auctions, dinner, awards and more! Proceeds benefit Victory Programs, a nonprofit serving men, women and families struggling with homelessness, addiction and chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS.
Monday, June 20 Shotgun Start – 12:30 pm Oakley Country Club, Watertown Register today at www.vpi.org
MAY|JUN 2016 | 73
CULTURE Film Fest STORY Loren King
Summer Movies Ang Lee (‘Brokeback Mountain’) will be honored by the Provincetown Film Fest
Things are off to a good start for the 18th annual Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF). While the films have not been announced yet—but there’s always plenty of LGBT fare—the guest of honor is enough to make us save the dates (that would be June 15-19). This year’s Filmmaker on the Edge is two-time Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, who gave the world one of the most memorable gay romances ever in “Brokeback
Mountain.” The 2005 film, set in the American west spanning the years 1963–1983, earned Lee the Oscar for best director and Oscar nominations for its stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams. Lee also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and again won the best director Oscar for “Life of Pi” in 2012. A native of Taiwan, he’s the first person of Asian descent to win an Oscar,
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Effie Brown Golden Globe and BAFTA for best director. Lee is currently in post-production on his next feature, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” Lee will accept the award in conversation with resident artist John Waters on Saturday, June 18, at Provincetown’s historic Town Hall. Previous recipients of the Filmmaker on the Edge honor include David Cronenberg, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Mary Harron, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant and Christine Vachon. Although not as high-profile as “Brokeback Mountain,” Lee’s second feature from 1993, “The Wedding Banquet” (winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival), also was a notable LGBT breakthough in its story about a gay Taiwanese immigrant man who marries a mainland Chinese woman to get her a green card as well as to placate his traditional parents. Lee’s other
films include “Eat Drink Man Woman,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “The Ice Storm,” “Hulk” and “Lust, Caution.” The PIFF also announced that prolific filmmaker Effie T. Brown, whose credits include “Dear White People,” “In the Cut” and the LGBT classic “But I’m a Cheerleader,” will host the third annual Evan Lawson Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday, June 19. Brown, who is currently a producer and mentor on HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” will deliver the keynote address at the event. Held on the final day of the festival, the Evan Lawson Filmmaker Brunch serves as a fundraising event for the Gabrielle A. Hanna Film Institute. Now in its third year, the Hanna Institute, an initiative of the Provincetown Film Society, is committed to advancing opportunities for underrepresented filmmakers and media artists. [x]
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CULTURE Performance STORY Loren King
Magic To Do ‘Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities’ is Cirque du Soleil’s return to form For Michel Laprise, it all goes back to one life-changing moment. “I was in my teens. My parents had divorced. I was from a small town next to Quebec City: all-white, Catholic, middle class. I was a bit darker. I thought I was gay, though I didn’t know what it meant,” recalls Laprise. Standing in the parking lot of a flea market one afternoon, the teenager heard world beat music in the distance. He followed it to a big top tent. “There was no fence, no security. I lifted a bit of the canvas. Cirque du Soleil was in a dress rehearsal, in costume. It had such an impact on me, I started to cry,” says Laprise. “I didn’t know it was possible to have
so much beauty and diversity in one place. My dad saw me and I told him, ‘I need to see this show tonight.’ It was at the beginning [of Cirque du Soleil] so you could still get tickets the same day. I was transported and I returned the next day.” Fast forward 16 years and Laprise has directed his first touring show for Cirque du Soleil, “Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities.” Set within a curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and physics, it’s a steampunk, sci-fi fantasia set in the late 19th century. “Kurios” debuted in Montreal in 2014 and is has been touring North America. The show arrives at Boston’s Suffolk Downs May 26-July 10.
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An avant garde theater director in the 1990s, Laprise has worked with Cirque du Soleil in several capacities including casting and directing corporate performances since 2000. He also collaborated with Madonna on her MDNA tour, which kicked off in 2012, and on her appearance at the 2012 Super Bowl half-time show. Staging a reality-based, period-set show with Cirque du Soleil’s signature mix of eye-popping costumes, original music, white-knuckle acrobatics, Commedia dell’arte and technically complex stunts proved irresistible to Laprise. “There was so much happening in the 19th century,” he says. “There was the invention of the telegraph so you could really communicate with people in other places; the development of the railway system, so people were able to visit and receive guests; and the invention of the
gramophone meant that, for the first time, the human voice was eternal.” In one bravura sequence, two acrobats hand balance on a series of chairs. Laprise wanted to use “everyday objects” in imaginative ways. “I wanted a child-like way of looking at things,” he says. “It creates an optimistic vibe in the show.” But mostly Laprise wanted to recapture what it felt like to be an outsider who accidentally glimpsed a bit of magic behind a curtain. “I wanted to go back to the soul of Cirque du Soleil. I want to be humble, to reinvent. It’s a lot of work, and I was superdemanding. I wanted to make sure we touched the hearts of people like I was touched that first time,” he says. The response to his creation was immediate and gratifying. At the world premiere of “Kurios,” many told Laprise that “Cirque
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When you include Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in your estate plans, you support the future of groundbreaking cancer research and compassionate care for all patients and families. Michel Laprise du Soleil was back,” he recalls. “We wanted to go back to the emotional relationship people have with Cirque du Soleil.” It certainly will be emotional for at least one performer in “Kurios.” Natick native David Locke is one of six acrobats who will be featured on the Acronet in a show-stopping number. The Acronet is a dynamic act that involves a net spread across the stage with the acrobats jumping, balancing, flipping into the air, catching one another and “doing all kinds of crazy stuff,” says Locke. A gymnast since age four, Locke has been with the company for six years. He’s performed martial arts, the high bar and the Cyr wheel (a metal wheel that the performer stands inside as it rolls and spins) in Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas productions of “Viva Elvis” and in “Ka.” “Kurios” is his first touring show. Like Laprise, Locke remembers being awed by seeing Cirque du Soleil shows as a boy in Boston and in Las Vegas, where he’d go to compete in gymnastics. While other gymnasts from his alma mater, The College of William and Mary, went on to jobs with Disney and other entertainment groups, he auditioned for Cirque du Soleil in Vegas and won a role. Now, he’ll get
to come home to Boston where family and friends are already clamoring for tickets, he says. Laprise says he’s proud of Cirque du Soleil’s commitment to its international LGBT artists since it was founded in 1984. “I didn’t know when I joined 15 years ago how open it was. I got married to one of our acrobats, and the company was so supportive … we divorced, but it’s OK,” he says. “It’s a beautiful company for LGBT. So many artists and administrators are out; it could not be a more comfortable place.” He says a moment in “Kurios” represents his own shout-out to the LGBT community. “We have some hand puppetry and a disco ball which is a tribute to Pride, as well as a visual effect with a rainbow projected onto a screen. It’s a nice moment about diversity and we’ll do it when we go to Russia; we’ll do it everywhere,” he says. Laprise pays a visit to each city on the show’s North American tour. He makes a point of walking through the parking lots to see smiles on the faces and hear the reactions to “Kurios.” The goal is simple: to create joy. “I don’t want to impress people,” he says. “I want to touch and inspire them.” [x]
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SCENE Milestone PHOTOS Patrick Lentz
GOAL’s 25th Anniversary Sheraton Hotel | Boston | April 9, 2016
The Gay Officers Action League of New England celebrated its 25th anniversary in grand style. Three hundred and twenty-five GOAL NE members, family, and friends were joined by Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Colonels Richard D. McKeon and Robert L. Quinn of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire State Police Departments respectively, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, and Chief of MBTA Transit Police Kenneth Green. Distiguished Service Awards went out to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Attorney General Maura Healey, along with Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard; Greg Miraglia, dean of criminal justice training at Napa Valley College; Massachusetts State Police Detective Lt. Mary Ritchie; and U.S. Marine Sgt. Tanner White, who serves as an openly gay HIV positive active duty Marine.
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Master of Ceremonies Randy Price, Distinguished Service Award recipent U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Tanner White, GOAL New England President Anthony Imperioso, and GOAL Vice President David McClelland.
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SCENE Family PHOTOS Boston Spirit staff
Boston Spirit’s LGBT Family Day at the New England Aquarium New England Aquarium | Boston | February 17, 2016
It was a first for the New England Aquarium when LGBT families took over the entire facility—from the amazing shark tanks to the interactive tidepools—at Boston Spirit’s firstever LGBT Family event. The fun included activities for all ages, food and drinks, and plenty of time for kids and parents to get to know one another while enjoying all that the New England Aquarium has to offer.
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SCENE Focus on Design Boston Spirit staff
Landry and Arcari’s Dance with Designers Landry & Arcari Showroom | Boston | March 30, 2016
Designers, decorators, home industry insiders, and FUDs (friends of designers) kicked off the third annual Boston Design Week in style, mingling and dancing the night away at Landry & Arcari’s Dance with Designers Party. The 12-day, city-wide line-up of events builds awareness and appreciation of all that design does in our lives—from the fit trackers on our wrists to the highways, parks, and skyscrapers we all share.
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SCENE Business PHOTOS Courtesy of OPEN
Out Professional Executive Networking Event Empire Restaurant & Lounge | Boston | February 23, 2016
Over 170 LGBT business people gathered at Out Professional Executive Networking’s (OPEN) February meet-up, where Freedom Massachusetts Field Director Jeanmarie Gossard delivered an empowering speech on how we can all support the current bill that would prohibit discrimination of the transgender community in public spaces.
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SCENE Sports Boston Spirit staff
Red Sox Hot Stove Happy Hour Cathedral Station | Boston | April 10, 2016
For our second year in a row, Boston Spirit teamed up with the Boston Red Sox, sports talk radio WEEI, and Cathedral Station for a happy hour at Boston’s favorite sports bar and pub. Former Red Sox play Lou Merolin joined Boston sports writers Steve Buckley, Rob Bradford, and John Tomase for a great discussion and Q&A about the 2016 baseball season and our hometown team.
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TRADE CE NTER HE WORLD PROVINC ETOWN II AT T
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SUMMER VISIT BOSTONSPIRITMAGAZINE.COM FOR TICKETS
SCENE Workshop PHOTOS Courtesy SBA-Boston
Boston Business Builder Boston | Small Business Administration | February 17, 2016
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined representatives from the Boston district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at a workshop for regional LGBT business owners and leaders. The workshop focused on how businesses can take advantage of new procurment opportunities available through the Bay State’s recent inclusion of LGBT businesses in its supplier diversity program.
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SCENE Networking PHOTOS Ars Magna / Allana Taranto
Boston Spirit’s 10th Annual LGBT Executive Networking Night Marriott Copley Place | Boston | April 13, 2016
More than 1,000 LGBT professionals turned out for Boston Spirit magazine’s 10th annual night of networking, socializing, food tasting (gratis local culinary entrepreneurs), and seminars led by some of the region’s most prominent business experts in their fields. The Commonwealth’s Governor Charlie Baker, who earlier this year spearheaded an initiative to make Massachusetts the very first state in the nation to include LGBT in a supplier diversity program, delivered the keynote speech.
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CALENDAR Boston Pride
Unfurl the rainbow flag, pour on the body glitter and clear your social calendar. New England’s largest Pride week is here, and you can expect another awesome schedule of parties, exciting lineup of live festival entertainers and significant conversations about vital community issues. (Seriously, remember to have those between body shots at the gay bar.) In fact, 2016’s theme, “Solidarity Through Pride” nods to the importance of discussing intersectionality—the overlapping of sexuality and gender with race, class and other social identities—as part of building a broader LGBT equality movement. On June 6, Boston Pride will host a political forum at Faneuil Hall that should lead to some enlightening dialogue. On the lighter side, you’ll still find block parties, “queeraoke” nights, the Dyke March, main Pride parade, concerts and much more. WHEN
Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 12
Out To Climb Summer is coming, so it’s time to step up the quest for a ripped back and a booty that really fills out a bathing suit. Elevate your exercise game with Out to Climb, a monthly series of LGBT “takeovers” at Brooklyn Boulders, a massive indoor rock climbing facility with a cool, graffiti-covered gym and even a communal work area where you can tap on your laptop in between fitness classes. Out to Climb brings together queer climbers for a meet and greet and open climb session from 7:30-10 PM. Afterwards the group heads to nearby restaurant The Independent for complimentary apps and themed cocktail. And after scaling walls, a little martini lifting is well deserved.
Cyndi Lauper & Boy George On May 6, LGBT activist Lauper releases her new Nashvilleproduced album “Detour,” her first foray into country music that features collaborations with artists like Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. (“Detour” builds on the genredabbling success of 2010’s Grammy-nominated “Memphis Blues.”) As part of her tour supporting the album, Lauper will co-headline concerts with gay icon Boy George on several select dates. Luckily, the New England stops are among them. Here’s hoping we get at least one duet from the show: maybe a country cover of “Karma Chameleon” or “Time After Time”? But regardless of the set list, it’ll be a blast to catch this queer-friendly twosome together. Girls (and boys) just wanna have fun. WHEN
Friday, May 20
Wang Theatre in Boston
Saturday, May 21
Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT
Wednesday, May 18 and Wednesday, June 15
Brooklyn Boulders, 12 A Tyler Street, Somerville
Day pass cost is $19
Boston Calling In just three short years, Boston Calling has earned a national rep among music festivals. Twice a year organizers pull together seriously diverse lineups representing established talent and cool up-and-comers from across many genres. And May’s festival should be no exception, with a three-day roster that includes quirky “Elastic Heart” singer Sia, Swedish synth-pop nymph Robyn, tuxedo-clad R&B chanteuse Janelle Monae and the UK-based EDM blokes of Disclosure. Besides the music you’ll find plenty of food vendors, wines and craft beers, and if you opt for a VIP ticket, catering by Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar enjoyed with an unobstructed view from the mezzanine of City Hall. Sounds like music to our ears.
AIDS Walk & 5K Run Boston
Sunday, June 5
In its 31st year, AIDS Action Committee’s annual fundraiser carries on its legacy as New England’s largest single HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness event. Supporters will start and end at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade, lacing up their sneakers and strutting city streets to amplify awareness and harness vital, program-supporting monies. Whether walking, running or simply perusing vendors at the healthy lifestyle-focused Wellness Festival, it’s a way to put your foot down and move the fight against the epidemic forward.
Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston HOW
Sign up, donate, and learn more at aac.org
Women of Color Weekend
Gather your gaggle of friends, and prepare to make some new ones. Provincetown’s annual Women of Color Weekend is here, and as always it’s packed with a lineup of parties, live shows and other opportunities to meet up a new BFF—or maybe even a GF. On the agenda is “A Black and White Affair,” a “dress to impress”-style soiree at Paramount at Crown and Anchor, a delish Sister Soul Sunday Brunch at Lorraine’s Restaurant, stand-up comedy from Mimi Gonzalez and Sam Jay, a townwide scavenger hunt in the style of “The Amazing Race” and even some writing and public speaking workshops that will help you express yourself, proudly and as you are, all year long.
Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7 WHERE
For the full lineup and to purchase passes ($99 general; $299 VIP), visit provincetownforwomen.com
Red Sox Takeover Here’s our idea of an awesome team: 600 LGBT people lining the bleachers at Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Colorado Rockies. That’s what will happen thanks to The Welcoming Committee, the Boston-based LGBT social events crew that has reserved a whole swath of the stadium just for those who bat on our side. Not only will you get to down hot dogs and cold suds while hanging with some fellow athletic supporters, but the tickets for this takeover are offered at a 25% off typical Red Sox prices. Homerun! WHEN
Wednesday, May 25 at 7 PM WHERE
Fenway Park, Boston HOW
Tickets are $26 at thewelcomingcommittee.com
Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29 WHERE
City Hall Plaza, Boston HOW
Tickets range from $60 single-day passes to $375 three-day VIP packages. Visit bostoncalling.com for the full lineup, options and to purchase
OutRiders Boston to Provincetown Ride º
Biking 126 miles takes a lot of pedal power. But if there’s one thing that fuels OutRiders, a group comprised mostly of gay and lesbian cyclists, it’s a sense of community. You’ll find new friends on the open road when you sign up for the annual ride from Boston to Provincetown, a purely for-fun (not fundraising) journey that takes you and over 100 other riders around the crook of Cape Cod. If you’ve been thinking about taking part in a similar fundraising ride—like September’s annual Harbor to the Bay, which benefits AIDS-related charities—here’s a low pressure way to see to find your footing, one turn of the wheel at a time. WHEN
Saturday, June 18
Boston to Provincetown
Learn more and sign up at outriders.org
The well-regarded 1991 film “Dogfight,” starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor, directed by Nancy Savoca, is now a musical by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan. Set on November 21, 1963, it’s about three young Marines who set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery, partying and maybe a little trouble before their deployment to Vietnam. “Dogfight” is running to June 4 at the Speakeasy Stage Co. under the direction of Paul Daigneault, Speakeasy’s Producing Artistic Director. The cast includes Drew Arisco, McCaela Donovan, Jordan J. Ford, Dave Heard, Liliane Klein and Alejandra Parrilla. WHEN
May 7–June 4
Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston
Femme Show PHOTO Hans Wedland
“Femme Super Power” Variety is the spice of life, and The Femme Show, a queer collective of artists who celebrate femme identity, are bringing some powerful zest to their latest production. “Femme Super Power” will highlight performers who possess awe-inspiring abilities: everything from political burlesque to spoken word poetry. The common thread that runs throughout this eclectic evening is a queer sensibility that engages in funny, bold, introspective and challenging conversation about gender and sexuality. Spend a night with these fabulous femme fatales. WHEN
“Boys to Men”
Friday, May 6 and Club Café, 209 Columbus Saturday, May 7 Avenue, Boston (7:30 PM)
Tickets are $12 at thefemmeshow.com and $15 at the door
Founded by choreographer Osnel Delgado in 2012 and based in Havana, Cuba, Malpaso Dance Company is one of only a handful of Cuban dance companies that operates independently from the Cuban government, signaling a new era in Cuban dance. The troupe will make its Boston debut May 14 and 15 at the Shubert Theatre as part of the Celebrity Series Boston. The company’s program will include new works by American choreographer Trey McIntyre and Malpaso’s Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, music set to and performed live by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble. On May 15 only, Arturo O’Farrill, Osnel Delgado Wambrug and Fernando Saéz Carvajal will engage in a free post-performance talk with the audience. WHEN
May 4–15 (8 pm Sat., 3 pm Sun.)
City Shubert Theater, 265 Tremont St., Boston
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Personalized dental care; healthy, beautiful smiles; comfortable, caring service in our state-of-the-art dental facility in the heart of the South End. It’s no secret that healthy teeth and a radiant smile can improve your appearance, your self-esteem and your overall health. Whether your goal is to restore your smile or maintain good oral health, you can benefit from Dr. James R. Seligman’s comprehensive approach to dental care. 617-451-0011 SouthEndDental.com
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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 Dana-Farber.org/spirit
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HOME | GARDEN Circle Furniture
Seasons Four 18
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 www.circlefurniture.com
Looking for a beautiful apartment with stunning views of the Boston Harbor, a building full of first-class amenities and a vibrant community to live in? Get it all at Portside at East Pier. Whether you want to relax in comfort at home, walk the waterfront, explore the outdoors or find some of the best food in Boston, there’s plenty of action to be had here. Plus, with convenient access to the T at Maverick Station, the rest of the city is just a short train ride away. Come experience a place where discovery lies around every corner. It’s East Boston. But when you live at Portside at East Pier, you’ll just call it home. GoEastPier.com
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 (RT-9) As the “Best of Boston Home 2011” recipient, their larger showroom has something for every budget. Dover Rug & Home is headquartered at 721 Worcester Road (Route 9), Natick, MA 508-651-3500. Dover-Boston is located at 390 Stuart Street in the Back Bay, Boston 617-266-3600. 721 Worcester Street (Route 9) Natick, MA 508-651-3500 www.doverrug.com
Gardner Mattress Corporation A New England favorite for generations, Gardner Mattress has been manufacturing quality custom-sized, odd-sized and handmade mattresses in their Salem factory for over 70 years! Though their landmark location is North of Boston in Salem, they also service satisfied customers throughout New England. At Gardner Mattress, you’ll find mattresses including lacetufted, layered latex, pocketed coil, quilted cotton and ivory plush, all handmade with natural materials. Located in Salem, Woburn and Newton, MA and Rye, NH.
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. employment.harvard.edu
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 ubs.com/team/neeedmunds. Wellesley, MA 781-446-8918 or 800-828-0717 ubs.com/team/neeedmunds
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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 www.sonesta.com/Boston/
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Burns & Levinson LLP, a leading mid-size law firm with a client-centric 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.
Marriott Copley Place
bright ideas begin at lucia Lucia Lighting & Design Our unique lighting store features 12 showrooms in 8,000 square feet of a lovingly restored mansion staffed with certified lighting specialists who are both educated and customer focused. Whether you want to visit our showroom or have one of our team visit you at your location in the Boston area, lucÃa lighting & design is the answer. 311 Western Ave. (RT-107 Lynn, MA 781-595-0026 www.lucialighting.com
Burns & Levinson, LLP
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Portside at East Pier
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.
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.
ha c o M DJ
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 MochaDJ.com
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Konditor Meister—Voted #1 Wedding Cakes in Boston Extraordinarily Beautiful & Elaborate Wedding Cakes & fine European pastries. Delicious Custom Holiday & Party Cakes for all occasions. 32 Wood Road (Just South of Boston) Braintree, MA 781-849-1970 KonditorMeister.com
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.
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CODA Song STORY Scott Kearnan Anthony Rapp and Jackie Burns in “If/Then” PHOTO by Joan Marcus
[SPIRIT] How does singing at a ballpark compare to performing within the wheelhouse of a theater? [AR] It’s a very pleasant place to sing. The crowds are very appreciative. When I sing the anthem I don’t do crazy riffs or anything, I sing it pretty straightforward. I remember last time as I walked off the field one of the guys yelled over to me, “Thanks for doing it right!” [Laughs]
Oh, Say, Can He Sing! Anthony Rapp switch hits for Red Sox fans and Boston’s Broadway crowd When he was a fresh-faced young actor growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Anthony Rapp’s life could have gone in many different directions— but all roads lead back to the stage. Sure, Rapp has starred in numerous films, including the 1992 prep school-set drama “School Ties,” which was filmed mainly in Concord, Massachusetts (and starred then-unknown local boys Ben Affleck and Matt Damon). But Rapp really got his big break on Broadway by originating the role of Mark Cohen in the rock opera “Rent,” playwright and composer Jonathan Larson’s ode to life, love and art set against the bohemian backdrop of the East Village at the height of the AIDS epidemic. “Rent,” which sees its 20th anniversary tour visit Boston next spring, was revolutionary for its celebratory inclusion of LGBT
characters. And it catapulted Rapp’s career, which has encompassed everything from the titular role in the Broadway revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” to a one-man musical memoir, “Without You,” that details both his “Rent”-related rise and his relationship with his mother—from his coming-out to her death from cancer. Parallel storytelling is also a central conceit in Rapp’s latest role in the national tour of “If/ Then.” (Broadway in Boston brings it to the Opera House from July 5-17, with $10 of every ticket sale benefiting Fenway Health for online ticket sales using the promo code SPIRIT16.) In “If/Then” Rapp reprises the role of Lucas, a bisexual character he originated in the Tony-nominated Broadway production, where he co-starred with fellow “Rent” alum Idina Menzel.
The show tracks two possible life trajectories for its protagonist Elizabeth, illustrating how a single decision can lead to radically divergent paths and different consequences. Boston Spirit caught up with Rapp before he comes back to town this summer: [ANTHONY RAPP] I’ve worked in Boston a couple times over the years. One of my favorite experiences was in 2002, when I did “Henry V” with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. That was really thrilling, to be doing free Shakespeare in the park with such an incredibly supportive audience. Boston is a very vibrant city with a very dedicated arts community. [SPIRIT] Any favorite memories from when you weren’t working? [ANTHONY RAPP] I’m a huge baseball fan and got to go to Fenway Park a few times. I sang the anthem there, which was an honor. I’ll do it again when I’m in town for “If/Then.”
[SPIRIT] Your character Lucas in “If/ Then” is bisexual. It seems there’s very little representation of bi characters on stage. Why is that? [AR] It’s funny. I think for so long there’s been a fight for same-sex relationships to be more openly portrayed, and that’s been a very important fight. But I think maybe there’s some fear, whether expressed or not, that if you have bisexual characters, that even though you’re still showing a real part of the community you’re somehow coopting a segment of the culture. I think that might be part of it. And also there’s the idea that people sometimes conflate bisexuality with a phase, which keeps it from being affirmed. [SPIRIT] “Rent” addressed many LGBT-related issues of its day. What are some LGBT issues going on right now that you’d like to see explored in theater? [AR] Well there’s so much mainstream conversation about trans issues, which is always really important, and you have kids who are identifying and expressing themselves at a really, really young age. I think that’s interesting and underexplored: how kids have a sense of their identity and how they’re feeling more empowered to express it. [x]
L ove wins on Bostonâ€™s beautiful waterfront. Celebrate at the New England Aquarium.
Leah Haydock Photography
Zev Fisher Photography
May | Jun 2016 issue of Boston Spirit magazine