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NOV|DEC 2016


Hats Off!

Saying good-bye to one of our best

Bigotry Watch Keeping an eye on emerging anti-LGBT agitators

Holiday Sweets Seasonal treats from New England confectioners

Très Gray Silver style shoot celebrates the sleekest shade

Urban Nutcracker Diversity plays leading role in updated holiday classic

Carnival Collection

by Eric Haydel N AT I C K




W W W. D OV E R R U G . C O M

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S W I S S M A D E S I N C E 18 58


Boston Spirit Magazine supporters

From The Publisher One of the more dominant “themes’” that is ever present in the LGBT community in New England, and around the world, is the incredible sense of philanthropy. When it comes to supporting important causes within our community, the level of generosity in this region is remarkable. Boston Spirit recently sponsored the New England HRC Gala as well as the GLAD Spirit of Justice Dinner. These are important event for organizations that are doing very important work. It was amazing to see the level of support (both with hearts and wallets) that was present at these events. No one represented this sense of giving more than John Michael Gray and Tim O’Connor. You might know them as The Hat Sisters. John Michael and Tim have been tireless in their support of causes ranging from LGBT issues to the arts, and more. Simply put, you will not find two nicer gentlemen.

Recently John Michael passed away. It was one of those rare occasions when, whether you knew him or not, you feel as though you lost a close friend. I hope you will join me, and everyone at Boston Spirit, as we let Tim know that we are here for him just as he and John Michael have always been here for us. Finally, as I have done each year at around this time, I’d like to remind you that, while the holidays can be a wonderful time with family and friends, for many it can also be a very difficult time. Please remember to take a moment and check in on those who might be struggling this holiday season… you would be surprised at the difference a simple call or visit can make. Enjoy the issue and Happy Holidays!

David Zimmerman Publisher



Boston Spirit Magazine is pleased to partner with Eastern Bank, Michele O’Connor at Morgan Stanley and Burns & Levinson for a very special seminar on:

Retirement Planning for the LGBT Community. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2016, 6:30–8:30 P.M. CLUB CAFÉ’S NAPOLEON ROOM



Barking Crab Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston IVF Boston Symphony Orchestra Broadway in Boston Burns & Levinson, LLP Circle Furniture Club Café Concord Museum Destination Salem DJ Mocha Dover Rug Eastern Bank Fenway Health Fertility Solutions Foxwoods Resort Casino Gilead - PreP Hotel on North Jimmy Fund Landry & Arcari Lombardo’s Long’s Jewelers Lucia Lighting Macy’s Marriott Copley Place Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams Morgan Stanley Smith Barney NE Aquarium New England Leather Weekend Partners Healthcare Peabody Essex Musem Porches Inn Provincetown Tourism Seashore Point Seasons Four Ski Haus TD Bank

COVER 17 75 31 11 49 33 37 79 80 95 COVER 5 15 73 59 20 29 70 71 78 1 35 3 9 COVER 82 19 77 16 7 25 34 13 61 57 55

trend report


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Contribute your opinion:

As We Go To Press “Could you do more about Western Mass, lesbians, trans people, old people, and fat people?” —a Boston Spirit magazine reader

As editor of Boston Spirit, I receive a lot of comments about the magazine and our coverage. From what I hear, most of you seem to love it. That warms the hearts of all of us who work here. It validates the work we’re doing. It is a privilege and honor for us to serve one the most important LGBT constituencies in the world. (We would argue the most important, but some of our readers live outside the amazing New England states, and we like to keep them happy too! Wink wink.) Every so often our staff gets some feedback more than the normal pat on the back. Sometimes people share with us ideas for future stories, and coverage. These suggestions are nuggets of gold. They help us think differently about what we’re doing and how to do it better. Thank you to all of you who have provided this—what I like to call—“feed forward” (because who wants to dwell in the past, right?). One such comment is quoted above, which we recently received. This comment is a particularly colorful variation on a whole theme of “feed forwards” that I frequently receive.


These are the comments that say to me: “Cover all of us in New England, in our all amazing variety and splendor! Don’t hold back! Celebrate every one of us!” I love this! It demonstrates to me just how out loud and proud we really are in this corner of the world! You go, girl! I like to say that being editor of Boston Spirit is not so much about writing and editing as it is about holding space for our evolving community. And that space includes coverage of celebrities—let’s face it, we get a rush on magazines when someone like Julian Edelman graces our cover. And it includes important substantive and investigate journalism, such as our Mitt Romney piece four years ago, which went viral. And that space also needs to include reflections of those who don’t always stand out, need to be investigated, or have press representatives. And while we strive to cover all aspects of our community, we can always do better. To that end, you’ll notice our fashion shoot in this issue features beautiful and handsome models that tend to have been on this planet a few more years than you’d see in fashion spreads in magazines like Vogue. I think our spread is one of the

hottest we’ve done. And even though I identify as a gay man, I have to say that the women in this spread got me questioning that orientation! Sizzle! You’ll also notice that we have a new section that includes dispatches from the five New England states outside of Massachusetts—Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. (Since most of our coverage centers on Greater Boston, we thought our Bay State readers would be generous in allowing us extra space for additional items beyond I-495.) So our emailing reader asked us a great question: “Could [we] do more about Western Mass, lesbians, trans people, old people, and fat people?” The answer is, yes. We could do more. We could do a lot more. Here’s our question now to all of you: “Could you help us by sending us more of your suggestions for doing that?” We can’t guarantee we’ll use them all, but we promise to seriously consider every one. Happy Holidays!

Making progress, together.

Rates may fluctuate, markets rise and fall, trends come and go, but here at Eastern Bank our success is driven by yours. Whether it’s by providing free checking, offering online and mobile banking to make life simpler or advocating for fairness and equality in the communities we serve, our mission is to move you and your life forward. That’s why here, you’re first.

Member FDIC



Tasty New Trend in Tapas



Pioneer of the Progressive Movement


NOV|DEC 2016 | VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 6


You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two

Season’s Shades of Gray


Holiday Sweets


Find the silver-lining in going gray. Dress in the season’s coolest color: gray New England confectioners work their magic to make the yuletide gay

Tasty New Trend in Tapas 10 Role Models 12 Where Everybody Knows Your Name 14 Rainbow Connection 18 From the Blogs 23 Newsmakers23

Notable New England Newsmakers of 2016


Diversity plays key role in Tony Williams’ holiday classic ‘Urban Nutcracker’

Headline grabbers of 2016


Culture Visibility Matters


Urban Legend


Actor De’Lon Grant comes home to Boston in a powerful role

Hats Off to the Hat Sisters


Love Letters


Bigotry Watch


Pretty in Pink


For the Love of Judy


Late John Michael Gray and his partner Tim O’Connor brought out the best in a community The 411 on anti-LGBT advocates that New Englanders must keep an eye on

Pioneer of the Progressive Movement 36 American hero’s radicalism and sexuality kept Marie Equi from the history books—until now


“The Scottsboro Boys”

Boston’s ICA premieres dance legend Bill T. Jones’s powerful, personal ‘Letter to My Nephew’ China Forbes and Pink Martini continue to mix the snappy and the sublime Peter Mac gives Judy Garland and The Golden Girls new life at Club Café


For the Love of Judy

Season’s Shades of Gray

Sarah Waters’ saucy ‘Fingersmith’ arrives at the ART


Pride Portland Gay for Good Boston Volunteers at Braille Press  Hartford PrideFest Harbor to the Bay Victory Programs Summer Sports Tea Dance Fenway Health Donor Appreciation Night Pride in Our Workplace Executive Breakfast Pride in Our Workplace Executive Breakfast


83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89

Calendar New England Events


Coda Peter Pam

Trans actor plays central trans role in major big-screen release





NOVEMBER 19, 2016–MARCH 12, 2017

It’s not just an exhibition. It’s an obsession.

Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation provided generous support. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum also provided support. MEDIA PARTNERS

161 Essex St. | Salem, MA |



Christian Louboutin, Pigalle, 2015. Leather. Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin.

Exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

SPOTLIGHT Trending STORY Scott Kearnan

Hit List NEWS, NOTES AND TO-DOS FOR EVERY GAY AGENDA “rebrand himself” posttransition to family, friends, and colleagues back in the ‘90s. A portion of “Balls” book sales will be donated to Camp Aranu’tiq, a New England summer camp for transgender youth. More:

STUDY UPon the New

Kevin Williams serving at Celebration of Life


to be a server at the Boston Living Center’s Celebration of Life, an annual event that serves Thanksgiving dinner to those with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones. Held this year on Tuesday, November 22, at Hynes Convention Center, the Celebration brings a warm meal, and true warmth, to those who may otherwise be hungry and alone. The dinner is staffed by dozens of volunteers, both servers (who

agree to fundraise at least $250) and non-servers—so mark it down and sign up. More:

GET A FIRM GRIP ON“Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some,” a new book by trans Boston native Chris Edwards. The cheeky, humorous memoir details how Edwards used his professional marketing skills, honed while working at Hub-based advertising giant Arnold Worldwide, to

England colleges that are excelling at LGBTQ inclusion. The Campus Pride Index recently released its annual ratings of schools’ LGBTQfriendly policies and practices, and two Massachusetts colleges received perfect five-star evaluations: Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Close behind with four-and-a-half star ratings were University of Vermont, University of Maine at Machias, University of Connecticut, and Williams College in Massachusetts. More:

the region’s best mountain resorts—plus other social outings, from movie nights to brewery visits—that’ll keep your social calendar from going into hibernation. Learn more and meet some of the crew at OutRyders’ season kickoff party at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 11, at Club Café. More:

TAKE A PEEKat “Cantabridgia,” a new indie short film series created by Boston-based


with OutRyders, New England’s largest gay ski and snowboard club, which is about to plow into its next season of wintery fun. OutRyders organizes gay ski outings, both day trips and overnights, to


NOV|DEC 2016 | VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 6

A Division of Jake Publishing, LLC Published by Jake Publishing, LLC. Copyright 2004 by Jake Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the written permission of Boston Spirit magazine. Neither the publishers nor the advertisers will be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. The publishers accept no liability for the accuracy of statements made by advertisers. Publication of the name or photograph of any person, organization or business in this magazine does not reflect upon one’s sexual orientation in any way. Boston Spirit Magazine, 398 Columbus Ave. #395, Boston, MA 02116


Susan RyanVollmar

writer/director Anthony Jon. In the series, which started rolling out installments this summer, Jon plays a listless, 23-year-old gay artist managing an existential crisis and the laughable, increasingly ludicrous circumstances of life alongside his pals, played by Matthew Eriksen and Adam Laframboise. Take a dash of coming-of-age comedies like “Heathers,” add the urban gay appeal of “Looking,” and you might have a small sense of the humor and heart involved. More: and twitter. com/cantabridgia


this year’s annual award recipients from The History Project, Boston’s nonprofit that documents and preserves in its extensive archives the history of the city’s LGBTQ community. This year’s HistoryMaker award recipient is Susan RyanVollmar, former editor at the “Boston Phoenix” and “Bay Windows” newspapers, for her journalistic work that

helped bring to light the Boston Archdiocese’s cover-up of sexual abuse, covered extensively the fight for equal marriage in Massachusetts, and more. The Lavender Rhino Award, given to emerging history-makers, was awarded to Corey Yarbrough, co-founder and former executive director of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition. More: historyproject. org

POUR ONE OUTfor Fran’s Place. One of Massachusetts’ first gay bars, the Lynn watering hole closed this fall after 40 years. It had been owned by the same family, and operated under several earlier names, since the 1920s, but the property is being sold. Over 100 guests, including many longtime patrons, showed up for the bar’s final Saturday night party in September, according to the “Boston Globe.” Among the final songs played were “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow.” Thanks for the memories, Fran’s. [x]

167156_BOSCO_Spirit_Magazine_Nov/Dec_.556x9.875_F.indd 1

8/15/16 10:29 AM

SPOTLIGHT Food & Drink STORY Scott Kearnan

Tasty New Trend in Tapas CASUALLY CHIC WINE BAR PAIRS ITS GLASSES BY THE TIN Lesbian restaurant owner Haley Fortier is on the cutting edge of a culinary trend. At her new Downtown Boston wine bar, Haley.Henry, Fortier is introducing locals to an increasingly popular phenomenon: tinned seafood. At first, many Americans wrinkle their nose at that concept, associating tinned seafood with smelly cans of cheap sardines. But what Fortier serves is totally different. She curates a Mediterraneanfocused collection of colorful tins of imported, sophisticated seafood caught in peak season, from smoked eel to tuna belly, steeped in elegantly flavored olive oils. They’re served on slate boards with fresh-baked breads and chips for spreading—sort of like a seafood spin on charcuterie. It’s an approach to casual dining that is very popular at cafes in Spain and Portugal, and spreading to hip neighborhoods in global cities like London and NYC. Fortier is among the first to bring it to Boston at Haley.Henry, an intimate, nautical-themed 26-seat joint that boasts a stellar wine program for pairing glasses and bottles with your pick of tin—or one of several small plates, like roasted carrot salad or a foie gras topped with starflower and blueberry, devised by chef Carolina Curtin, alum of star restaurateur Barbara Lynch’s fine dining icon Menton.


“This was a project about four years in the making,” says Fortier, who previously worked at another Lynch restaurant, Sportello. “We don’t have a lot of wine bars in Boston, and I don’t think most people are familiar with tinned fish. So I wanted to bring together these two things that I was passionate about, and change people’s perception.”

Restaurateur Haley Fortier

in the local community—earned respect from her peers. Stepping outside the New England bubble, her differences were more pronounced. “On vacation with family, with my short hair I’d get double-takes trying to use the women’s bathroom,” says Fortier, who knew she was attracted to women by a young age. Looking back now, she can laugh at some of the early evidence that she was a bit unlike her four sisters. “As the second-youngest, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs,” recalls Fortier. “But there’s this one family photo where I’m wearing this camouflage cargo pants. I don’t know where they came from. But it’s like, at that point, I think you just had to know.” She chuckles. “That was the summer I asked everyone to call my Tommy, too.”

Changing perceptions is something that Fortier can do quite well. Though she spent time living in Spain, where she first fell in love with tinned seafood, Fortier grew up in a small town in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. “Growing up in the ‘80s there, you might think I’d have a tough time,” says Fortier. But actually, she was a star athlete, particularly in soccer, and though she didn’t officially come out to her parents until her first year of college, she believes that her popularity on the playing field—plus her family’s active involvement

Now Haley Fortier is perfectly happy to be known by her given name. But if you’re wondering where the second half of the restaurant’s moniker came from, know that it’s actually a sweet story—and a nod to her supportive parents. “My father never had any sons. I share the same middle name as my mother, but my father has no one to share his. His middle name is Henry, so the restaurant is Haley.Henry. I’ve given him a son.” [x] Haley.Henry

45 Province Street, Boston









800-982-2787 • GROUPS (10+) SAVE! CALL: 617-482-8616


SPOTLIGHT Fashion STORY Scott Kearnan

Role Models GLASSCOTT AND GROVER ARE OUT, PROUD & PRO FASHIONISTAS “I never felt beautiful.” That’s an odd thing to hear from a professional model. But when she was growing up in a small town outside Boston, Ava Glasscott endured the kind of torturous bullying that assails many transgender young people. “I wouldn’t wish how I felt on my worst enemy,” she says. For a while, life felt very, very dark. But now Glasscott lives under bright lights of flashbulbs and within the loving gaze of the camera. The stunning bombshell has made history as one of Boston’s first professionally signed transgender models, and today finds herself celebrated, rather than denigrated, for both her body and her spirit. “After all those years of being tormented, when people tell me I’m gorgeous, I sometimes feel like they’re lying,” admits Glasscott. “But now when I’m in front of a camera,” she says, “I feel more confident.” It took a lot of time to get to that point. Glasscott began identifying as female at an early age, and began taking hormones as a teenager. But despite the support of her mother, with whom she shares a


rock-solid bond, incessant bullying made for a hellish adolescence. Glasscott lost herself in the fantasy worlds of comic books (today she’s also a knockout fixture on the cosplay circuit) and wrapped herself in the fierce fabulousness of her favorite flick, the drag comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” Of course, even as a kid, Glasscott knew she one day wanted her own breasts—not just some female impersonator’s padding. “Once I completed my gender reassignment surgery, I finally started to feel comfortable in my own skin,” says Glasscott, who graduated from cosmetology school before signing with Boston’s leading modeling agency, Maggie Inc., and finding herself the subject of fawning photographers. She’s since been busy booking with commercial clients, has appeared in a Massachusetts public health campaign, and has previously starred in fashion shoots right here in Boston Spirit. Her ambitions are huge, and her goals include establishing herself as a celebrity stylist, moving into acting, and one day, she hopes, landing a gig with a major

international client—think Estee Lauder major—so that she can help promote positive representations of transgender women in the mainstream. After all, while she credits contemporary LGBT icons like Caitlin Jenner and Laverne Cox for “opening conversations” about trans issues, the trans community is still fighting to be fully embraced by the modeling industry. While Glasscott is out as transgender, she also knows she sometimes benefits from “passing privilege,” the assumption from others that she is a natal female. And being out comes with costs. She says she was once approached by the men’s magazine “Maxim”; when she disclosed that she was trans, she says, she stopped hearing back. “On one hand, you have overt discrimination. For instance, I’ve chosen to not change my name, which is something that makes me visibly trans,” says Miles Grover, another trailblazing trans model represented by Maggie Inc. Grover grew up in Jamaica Plain with a very supportive family; in fact, it was her own mother who first broached the topic that she may be transgender. The rest of the world is still catching up, though, and Grover knows being trans can sometimes cost her gigs. Frankly, it doesn’t feel much better when being trans earns her them, either. “It’s great to get work, but I also know that sometimes I’ve been picked because

Ava PHOTO (hair and makeup by Kenia & Rachael) [LEFT] Miles Grover PHOTO Sandy Poirier (hair by Patty Martin and Liz Grace for Shag Salon) [ABOVE]

I’m trans, not because of how I look, and that’s a different form of discrimination,” says Grover. “I’ve had clients ask me to write my coming-out story for their website. It can feel exploitive.” The industry is still learning to navigate the still-newish waters of out transgender models. (Key word: “out.” Trans models have most certainly been in the biz for years, reminds Grover.) But Maggie Inc. president Robert Casey says he’s glad to see trans models increasingly embraced by the business, and he’s not surprised to see Boston help in leading that way. “Our industry has often been at the forefront of social issues,” says Casey. “Boston traditionally has a reputation of being conservative, responsible for Nantucket reds, the Kennedys as style icons, and pretty much all things preppy. But this reputation belies the young energy and creativity of our fair town with such a large population of students, and the innovation that comes out of the institutions here.” “More and more, clients are booking models for individual styles and stories: They no longer want to style models to look like their brand, they want to cast

models who already live and breathe their brand. The climate is right for an embrace of trans models into our community and I couldn’t be more proud to be on the forefront of this development.” And in fact, this development can be deeply meaningful to members of a community who struggle so often to be exalted, rather than debased, for how they present themselves to the judgmental lens of the world. “It was about five months into my hormone therapy that I met with Casey [Maggie Inc. president Robert Casey],” says Grover. “I felt really beautiful in my body for the first time.” “I think a lot of trans people gravitate toward dressing well and wanting to be seen for it in some way,” adds Grover, who recently appeared on the cover of Boston’s “Panorama” magazine. “When our gender dysphoria is alleviated, there’s this really intense feeling of, ‘Wow, this body is on my terms for the first time in my life.’ It feels really good.” Sometimes, beauty is much more than skin deep. [x]

Meet our Homeowners

Forty-seven years later...a miracle happened Mary Decremer and Connie Tavanis tell their Seashore Point story.

OCCUPATION: Mary Decremer was a teacher, ran an ice cream store, and raised her twin sons. Connie Tavanis was a jr. high school art teacher and pursues her love of art, working in different mediums, especially clay, in her studio near Seashore Point. ORIGINS: Mary is from Upper Peninsula, Michigan; Connie is from Woburn, MA PASSIONS: Mary—being near her grandchildren; Connie—being near the ocean, being active and living in an all inclusive community.

Visit or call 508-487-0771 to learn why Seashore Point may just be the right choice for you.

Mary and I knew each other in the 1960’s as Sisters of St. Joseph. While we each pursued different lives after leaving the convent, a notice about a mutual friend’s passing on Facebook brought us together again, 47 years later. We just picked up where we left off. We chose to move to The Residences at Seashore Point for many reasons, but mainly because it “frees” us and, more importantly our families from worry. This condominium community is a place where we are safe, intellectually challenged, socially active and respected. It is truly amazing that we are only two blocks from downtown with all the art openings, theater, movies, lectures, etc. We both like to give back to our community and can walk to our volunteer “jobs”. Our future here is set and if any extra care is needed it will be provided. The Residences, with its own wonderful programs, friendly staff and residents, make life what it should be for everyone —“FUN”!

It simply does not get much better than this!

100 Alden Street • Provincetown, MA 02657

Just 2 blocks from the heart of everything

SPOTLIGHT Senior Spirit STORY Bob Linscott

Where Everybody Knows Your Name MEALS PROGRAM DEVELOPS INTO DE FACTO COMMUNITY CENTER FOR LGBT ELDERS LGBT older adults came of age when it wasn’t so easy to find other people like themselves. Without the assistance of the Internet or gay publications, they still managed to seek each other out and build lasting social circles. Many of these folks believed these friends would be there throughout their whole lives. Sam Hansen is a 72-year-old gay man. For much of his life, Sam was the center of a number of social circles and his calendar was always filled with parties and events. Sam noticed that as he aged the number of social gatherings began to diminish. When he retired he felt like the well was beginning to dry up. Although he doesn’t recall when, he stopped going to the bars a long time ago. He felt he outgrew that scene. That was hard for him because for most of


his life that was the primary way he kept in touch with his gay friends. Sam was very aware of the things you are supposed to do when you retire like travel the world, find a hobby, or attend programs at the local senior center. His savings didn’t make travel possible, his favorite hobby was reading, and he couldn’t imagine stepping foot in a senior center. He just knew he wouldn’t fit in. As a result, Sam’s world got smaller and smaller with each year until one day he heard about a community meal program for older LGBT adults and their friends. It took Sam nearly a year to get the courage to walk in the door and when he did it changed his life overnight. Suddenly he found a place filled with other LGBT older adults like himself. He instantly recognized people he had known back in

Opening of Out4Supper, Ethos’ LGBT Supper Club in Jamaica Plain. PHOTO Steve Lord/LGBT Aging Project

the seventies and eighties when he was active in the gay scene. He had no idea that programs like this existed for older LGBT people and that these programs were hosted by mainstream elder service providers. What Sam found was one of the LGBTfriendly congregate meals in Massachusetts. These programs are sponsored by a number of elder service providers in different parts of the state that are committed to providing safe, welcoming programs for LGBT older adults and their friends. These community meals become a lifeline for LGBT older adults, especially those who were struggling with the social isolation that often comes with older age. In our society there are not too many places specifically designated for older adults and even fewer for LGBT seniors. But the community meal program welcomes everybody and provides a whole new social outlet.

S U P P O RT FE NWAY H E ALTH ’ S LI FE SAVI N G M ISS IO N Join us for a fun-filled evening to benefit the health of all in our community.

Want to get involved? B E CO M E A TA B LE CA P TA I N ! B U Y TI C K E T S TO DAY !



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For decades, elder service providers have sponsored these congregate meals but is wasn’t until 2006 when the first LGBT-friendly site was opened. At that time Ethos, an elder service provider in Jamaica Plain, was aware that LGBT older adults were not attending any of their mainstream congregate meals. With assistance from The LGBT Aging Project, Ethos launched Café Emmanuel at Emmanuel Church in Boston. This was the first federally funded LGBT-friendly congregate meal program in the nation. In the 10 years since these programs began we are now seeing a reinvigorated social community among older LGBT adults. Before the LGBT meal programs, many of these seniors were so isolated they could go days without speaking to another soul. Now they know that they will be welcomed and embraced by friends the minute they walk through the door and that is worth its weight in gold. There is also a practical dimension to the community meal program. Currently there are nearly twenty LGBT-friendly community meals and each one is sponsored by a local elder service provider.

Sam Hansen [LEFT] and Michael Turner at 2012 Easter Bonnet Contest at Cafe Emmanuel. PHOTO Steve Lord/ LGBT Aging Project

The goal is to not only provide a safe space for LGBT older adults but also to build up a lasting trust with the community of

LGBT older adults. Prior to these meal programs, LGBT older adults often felt that they would not be welcomed by elder service providers and never even bothered inquiring about services. Now the café participants know many of the aging service staff by name and are not hesitant to ask for help. In addition to the resources that the elder services providers bring, the community meals have developed into vibrant de facto community centers offering entertainment, and social programs in addition to the meals. Many offer book groups, music performances and intergenerational programs. Last Thanksgiving the participants at Café Emmanuel were asked to share something they were thankful for. Sam stood up and said he never thought he would ever have this many friends again and for that he was thankful for this program. [x]

For details, including locations, on LGBT–friendly community meals programs, To volunteer, call Bob Linscott at 857-313-6578.

f rom g e t t i n g a ru n n i n g i nj u ry to j ust g e t t i n g ol de r , w e’ re he re w hen you n eed us .

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“When the community health center saved my daughter’s life, it brought new meaning to mine. I work here, too. But it’s not a job, it’s my way of saying thanks.” - Philly Laptiste Associate Director at Bowdoin Street Health Center (Gives back to the neighborhood she loves.)

At BIDMC, we believe that to properly care for the diverse communities that we do, we need a comparable staff in place. That’s why throughout all levels of our hospital, there’s a real commitment to diversity that you can actually see. Our differences are our strength - and are celebrated each and every day. Learn about our life-changing career opportunities: EOE M/F/VET/DISABILITY/GENDER IDENTITY/ SEXUAL ORIENTATION

SPOTLIGHT Law & Order STORY Scott Kearnan

Rainbow Connection DESTRUCTION OF LGBT NEWSPAPER BOX BRINGS TOGETHER NEW ENGLAND COMMUNITY In August, vandals targeting a New England LGBT newspaper box used explosives to blow it apart. They only succeeded in bringing a community closer together. “The community really banded together to lift each other up,” said Nicole Lashomb, editor-in-chief of “The Rainbow Times,” which saw one of its downtown Salem distribution boxes exploded by a group of seven people. The incident, captured on surveillance video and still under investigation, followed a string of smaller vandalism incidents against “Times” news boxes throughout the summer. The explosion, seemingly caused by fireworks or pyrotechnics, surprised many locals in Salem, which is regarded as a very LGBTfriendly city. But strong public support for the “Times” from city officials and business owners, who unfurled rainbow flags on storefronts to show solidarity, proved a passionate rebuttal to those who would intimidate LGBT people. “It showed people are more committed and vigilant than ever about fighting for LGBT equality,” said Lashomb of the response. Until recently, vandalism against “Times” news boxes was relatively rare, said Lashomb. When papers first hit streets in 2007, boxes in Northampton were targeted and the “Times” team even received violent threats that required


police protection at the city’s Pride festival. Still, most subsequent incidents were attributed to typical street vandalism. But beginning around the end of May, boxes around Salem were specifically targeted in about 10 separate instances. Though other newspaper boxes nearby were not impacted, vandals filled “Rainbow Times” boxes with heaps of garbage, urinated on papers and defaced exteriors. The violence implied by an explosion, though, was especially disturbing. Some staffers had nightmares following the explosion, said Lashomb. Paper distributors expressed concern about safety. “When you are trying to serve a marginalized community, and someone takes the positive message, mission, and vision that you’re trying to convey and literally blows it up, it’s demoralizing,” said Lashomb. But the “Times” quickly rallied. Shortly after the explosion, a public event was held to unveil a new box in the same location. Support from city officials was swift and strong. Salem has LGBT liaisons in the mayor’s office and in its police department, which Lashomb praises for showing sensitivity and seriousness in pursuing the investigation as a hate crime. “When something like this happens, we stand strong,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll at the unveiling. “We want to show anybody who

Salem, Massachusetts Mayor Kim Driscoll and members of the community gathered on August 28 to unveil a new Rainbow Times newspaper box at the site where a similar box had been destroyed by vandals. PHOTO Marilyn Humphries

is watching and certainly those who committed this act: Don’t do it here again.” Event attendees also found themselves surrounded by 3x5-foot rainbow flags displayed on downtown storefronts. The flags were distributed by the Salembased North Shore Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (nAGLY). “It seemed obvious what to do,” said nAGLY executive director Steve Harrington. Inspired in part by a recent incident in Natick, where more than 40 residents touchingly displayed rainbow flags after a lesbian couples’ home was vandalized, nAGLY distributed about 200 flags to Salem businesses and individuals. About 30 were displayed during the downtown unveiling, said Harrington. “The positive feedback I received when distributing them was heartening,” said Harrington. “Many businesses were unaware of the incident itself, but most took the flag after learning of it.” Although nAGLY did not request donations, enough were offered to cover the cost of the flags. Vandals probably didn’t intend to inspire donations to an LGBT organization, but the outpouring of support showed that the community would remain uncowed and committed. “Sometimes in the fight for LGBT equality we can become complacent, especially in a progressive place like Massachusetts,” said Lashomb. “This united us. We will not be intimidated. We will not be silenced.” [x]

L ove wins on Boston’s beautiful waterfront. Celebrate at the New England Aquarium.

Artifact Images

Leah Haydock Photography

Artifact Images

Zev Fisher Photography



What is TRUVADA for PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)?

uYou may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems

TRUVADA is a prescription medicine that can be used for PrEP to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection when used together with safer sex practices. This use is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This includes HIV-negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex, and malefemale sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 infection and the other does not. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV-1. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP?

Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: uYou must be HIV-negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1 infection. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative. uMany HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: uYou must continue using safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. uYou must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. uTo further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1: • Know your HIV-1 status and the HIV-1 status of your partners. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months or when your healthcare provider tells you. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV-1 to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior. • Have fewer sex partners. • Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. uIf you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects: uToo much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats. uSerious liver problems. Your liver may become large and tender, and you may develop fat in your liver. Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, lightcolored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain.

if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions. uWorsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider tells you to stop taking TRUVADA, they will need to watch you closely for several months to monitor your health. TRUVADA is not approved for the treatment of HBV. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you also take lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) or adefovir (HEPSERA).

What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP?

Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include: uKidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA for PrEP. uBone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. uChanges in body fat, which can happen in people taking TRUVADA or medicines like TRUVADA. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomacharea (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP?

uAll your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you

have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. uIf you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Pregnancy Registry: A pregnancy registry collects information about your health and the health of your baby. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take medicines to prevent HIV-1 during pregnancy. For more information about the registry and how it works, talk to your healthcare provider. uIf you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. The medicines in TRUVADA can pass to your baby in breast milk. If you become HIV-1 positive, HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. uAll the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. uIf you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA for PrEP, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include ledipasvir with sofosbuvir (HARVONI). You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.

Have you heard about


The once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when used with safer sex practices. • TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex. • You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA. Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you.



This is only a brief summary of important information about taking TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. This does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medicine.



Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP to help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: • You must be HIV-1 negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1 infection. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-1 negative. • Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include flu-like symptoms, tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP.

TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including: • Those in the “Most Important Information About TRUVADA for PrEP" section. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Bone problems. • Changes in body fat.

While taking TRUVADA for PrEP to help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: • You must continue using safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. • You must stay HIV-1 negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a flu-like illness while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. • If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. • See the “How to Further Reduce Your Risk” section for more information. TRUVADA may cause serious side effects, including: • Buildup of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats. • Severe liver problems, which in some cases can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain. • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months. You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time.

ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP (PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS) TRUVADA is a prescription medicine used with safer sex practices for PrEP to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection in adults at high risk: • HIV-1 negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex. • Male-female sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 infection and the other does not. To help determine your risk, talk openly with your doctor about your sexual health. Do NOT take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: • Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. • Take lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) or adefovir (HEPSERA).

TRUVADA, the TRUVADA Logo, TRUVADA FOR PREP, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, and HEPSERA are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2016 © 2016 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0050 09/16

Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP include stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. These are not all the possible side effects of TRUVADA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP.

BEFORE TAKING TRUVADA FOR PrEP Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. • Have any other medical conditions. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you become HIV-1 positive because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRUVADA for PrEP.

HOW TO TAKE TRUVADA FOR PrEP • Take 1 tablet once a day, every day, not just when you think you have been exposed to HIV-1. • Do not miss any doses. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • You must practice safer sex by using condoms and you must stay HIV-1 negative.

HOW TO FURTHER REDUCE YOUR RISK • Know your HIV-1 status and the HIV-1 status of your partners. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months or when your healthcare provider tells you. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV-1 to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior. • Have fewer sex partners. • Do not share needles or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them.

GET MORE INFORMATION • This is only a brief summary of important information about TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more, including how to prevent HIV-1 infection. • Go to or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit for program information.



Newsmakers | Vermont

From the Blogs

Green Mountain State Update

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg


 PHOTO courtesy Emerge Vermont

Vermont Leads the Way for National Transgender Rights The University of Vermont (UVM) led the way to a national sports boycott against North Carolina’s law restricting transgender people to using public restrooms in most public buildings that match the gender declared on their birth certificates caused the NCAA. The UVM women’s basketball team cancelled its trip to play against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in August. Several weeks later, the NCAA declared it would relocate all of its national championships away from North Carolina. The University of Vermont and NCAA have joined several other high profile institutions and celebrities, including the NCAA and Bruce Springsteen, who are eschewing visits to North Carolina in the wake of passing the law. The pressure from so many has not prompted action by North Carolina’s government to make any changes to the law.

Score one for Vermont and zero for North Carolina!

Local-level publicservice training group supports LGBT women Vermont’s state legislature is made up of 40% women—the highest representation than any other US state except Colorado. However there are far fewer women serving at the town level. So a new program, Emerge Vermont Local—sponsored by the women’s public service advocacy group Emerge Vermont—is making its debut this fall, and the program is reaching out to LGBT women and women of color. “Only one mayor and 21% of selectboard members in VT are women. Our towns need more women leaders to help create vibrant, sustainable futures for all Vermonters,” notes an October 3 Emerge Vermont press release announcing the new program. Learn more about Emerge Vermont at [x]

Congratulations are in order for Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and his longtime partner Bryon Hefner. The two public officials tied the knot in a private ceremony in Cambridge on September 6. As the first openly gay leader of a Legislative chamber in Massachusetts, Rosenberg is the first Bay State legislator leader to take advantage of same-sex couples’ right to marry first established in the Commonwealth in 2004. First elected to the Senate in 1991, the Amherst Democrat took over the Senate gavel in 2015 after serving as majority leader under former Senate President Therese Murray. Rosenberg, 66, proposed to Hefner, 29, in February of 2015. The couple has been together since 2008. Hefner is a special assistant to Alan Klein, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, and worked previously as an account executive at Regan Communications Group and as a State House aide.

GOVERNOR BAKER SIGNS LIPODYSTROPHY BILL INTO LAW Long-term survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Bay State can finally gain

NOV|DEC 2016 | 23

access to insurance coverage for treatment of the debilitating side effects of early HIV medications thanks to the bill that Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on August 11. Sponsored by Senator Mark Montigny and Representative Sarah Peake, the bill, An Act Relative to HIV-Associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome Treatment, goes into effect on November 9. “Some of our longest-term survivors of the HIV epidemic have been suffering profoundly, silently, and invisibly because of medications,” said Ben Klein, senior attorney and AIDS law project director at GLAD. Lipodystrophy, said Klein, remains “one of the most unrecognized issues in the HIV epidemic.” According to a statement by GLAD’s Treat Lipodystrophy Coalition, the TLC began the fight for the bill in 2013, “after representing several people with lipodystrophy who were experiencing profound suffering but could only get medical treatment if they lawyered up and threatened to sue their insurer. Together with then State Representative Carl Sciortino, the original bill sponsor, we realized that a more systemic solution was needed and the idea for this legislation was born.”

“ I commend OUTVETS on their efforts to ensure that the hard work of LGBTQ veterans are recognized and honored in our City.” Mayor Marty Walsh On OUTVETS Marching in 2014 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mayor Martin Walsh of strong-arming organizers in 2014 with thinly veiled threats to withhold permits,” according to an August 3 New England Cable News report.

“Hillary was great,” event co-host and organizer Alix Ritchie said. “She was serious, to the point, and funny. She was warm. She’s a very warm person. And everyone was ecstatic she was here...the spirit of the crowd must have lifted her too.” Other Clinton supporters in attendance included tennis legend Billie Jean King, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, U.S. Senator Ed Markey, former Congressman Barney Frank, and Donna Brazile, interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. It is also reported that when Clinton learned that the Pilgrims landed in Provincetown first before going to Plymouth, she said she would return to town for the 400th First Landing anniversary in 2020 either as a private citizen or as president.

Walsh maintains that he was within his legal rights to encourage organizers to allow OUTVETS to march. As he told Boston Spirit back in 2014: “This is a groundbreaking historical moment that we should all be proud of. Boston is an inclusive community where everyone deserves to live, work, and play. I commend OUTVETS on their efforts to ensure that the hard work of LGBTQ veterans are recognized and honored in our City.” Donald Trump and Mike Pence at a campaign rally

TRUMP-PENCE PRESIDENCY POSES SERIOUS THREAT TO LGBT PUBLIC HEALTH Standing firmly upon the most anti-LGBT platform in U.S. history, a Donald TrumpMike Pence presidency poses a major threat to not only the strides towards equality the LGBT community has made but also to its very health and well being. Hillary Clinton and Cher at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum OUTVETS marching in Boston’s 2014 Veterans Day Parade

BOSTON MAYOR ACCUSED OF PRESSURING ST. PAT’S PARADE ORGANIZERS A lawyer representing South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has filed a complaint accusing Mayor Marty Walsh of pressuring organizers to include OUTVETS, a national LGBTQ veterans organization, to march in the parade. “The lawyer, Chester Darling, made the accusations in an amended complaint filed this week to an earlier civil lawsuit accusing


HILLARY CLINTON, CHER FÊTED AT P’TOWN CAMPAIGN EVENT Provincetown rolled out its red carpet for two long-term supporters of the LGBT community on Sunday, August 21, when Cher joined Hillary Clinton at a campaign fundraising event, which raised approximately 1.5 million dollars and was attended by more than 1,000 cheering fans. Though she did not perform, Cher’s songs could be heard from atop High Pole Hill including “If I Could Turn Back Time,” “If You Believe In Love,” and “Woman’s World.”

“From a public health standpoint, a TrumpPence administration isn’t looking good for the health of LGBT Americans, and the impact could have far-reaching and devastating consequences,” writes Dwayne A. Steward in an August 15 Advocate article. Steward is the manager of Community Engagement and Prevention at the Boston-based Writes Steward, “It’s no secret that we are a community already facing extensive barriers to health and wellness services, even under a president that has been lauded as the staunchest LGBT ally ever to occupy the White House.” Pence, writes Steward, “is arguably best known on the national stage for his unapologetic support for anti-LGBT policies. In March 2015, he proudly signed the

“re-brand himself” for his family, friends and coworkers “at a time when the word ‘transgender’ was yet to exist.” Now Edwards has come out with a new memoir, “Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some,” a hilarious recounting of how the native Bostonian simultaneously transitioned from female to male while successfully setting forth on an award-winning advertising career that began at Boston’s Arnold Worldwide ad agency. Edwards says his decision to share his story was influenced by “the staggering 51% suicide attempt rate among transgender youth.” His hope is that in sharing his transition success story, it will help parents to be more supportive and give transgender youth more hope,” according to a press release that announced the memoir’s early October release.

Chris Edwards Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which opponents said gave businesses and individuals in the state a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBT people.” The GOP’s vice-presidential candidate’s record includes opposing the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage-equality ruling and public accommodations laws for transgender people, and he supports a repeal of the

military’s ban on open service by LGBT Americans as well conversion therapy.


Coincidentally, Edward’s memoir was released and celebrated in Boston at two book-launch parties during the first week that the state’s trans-equality bill, signed into law over the summer, officially kicked in. [x]

There wasn’t a lot of support for gender transition in 1995. So ad-agency copywriter Chris Edwards used his career skills to

Enjoy a well deserved getaway this holiday season. “Both earnestly homey and at home with irony.” -Travel + Leisure

SPOTLIGHT News STORY Kim Harris Stowell

Newsmakers | Rhode Island This Just in from Little Rhody

Bishop David Father David Martins, an openly gay Rhode Island pastor in the tradition of the Independent Catholic Church of the Americas, was ordained Bishop David on October 1. This coincides with the Feast of Saint Therese, who is Patroness of the Parish where he serves as Pastor.

Michael Templeton

Providence’s Church of St. Mary Fires Gay Employee A music director at a Catholic church in Rhode Island was fired in September because he married a man. On September 20, Michael Templeton posted this update to a social media page: Earlier this afternoon, after twenty-four years in music ministry, I was summoned to St. Mary’s to be fired from the position of Director of Music Ministries by the pastor and a diocesan HR staff member because of the person I love…. We have always said that St. Mary’s Church is an intentional parish. Folks come from all over RI to participate in the unique type of community St. Mary’s has been since the days of the Holy Name friars. At this time, I ask for your prayers for all those involved-- for the pastor, for the bishop, and for the good people of St. Mary’s who are actively involved in parish ministry.... God is good. I feel grateful to my friends and family for their love and support. For his part, Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin had this to say to RI NBC affiliate WJAR: “If an individual deliberately and knowingly enters into a relationship or engages in activity that contradicts the core teachings of the church,” Tobin said, “that individual leaves the church no choice but to respond.” “My heart breaks because this brings to light what ‘safe’ means to people,” Templeton told, “I feel this action represented more than me in my role. It represents people who have been marginalized and thought of as ‘less than’ for a whole host of reasons.”


The Independent Catholic Church of the Americas celebrates outside of the permission of Rome. While the Vatican has recognized a shared Eucharist, there are differences that call the two expressions of faith in different directions. Bishop David attended Our Lady of Providence College Seminary and Providence College, and went on to study at Mount Saint Mary Seminary, the Institute of Priestly Formation at Creighton University, and Saint Joseph College in Maine.

State defunds RI’s Only Syringe Exchange Program In July, AIDS Care Ocean State’s (ACOS) funding was not renewed by Rhode Island’s Legislative grants, a loss of of $65,000 in HIV prevention funding to its ENCORE (Education, Needle-exchange, Counseling, Outreach, and Referrals) program. ENCORE guarantees access to front line intervention, mental health and addiction counseling, free HIV and Hep C testing, and more. ENCORE’s outreach workers distribute and train individuals on how to administer NARCAN, the lifesaving drug used in an opioid overdose. ACOS has reached out to elected officials with letters of support from healthcare providers, community advocates, local authorities, and the community at large. Efforts put forth by The RI Medicaid Office, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the RI Department of Health to research alternative sources of funding have not yet been successful.

Currently, Bishop David pastors his Parish, Saint Therese, in West Warwick, RI. He is also very involved in the Recovery Community, with at risk youth and their families, in the LGBT Community, and with other marginalized populations.

Law & Order Party In 1842, the Law and Order Party of Rhode Island was brought into existence by Thomas Wilson Dorr, who wanted to extend voting rights. Along with the Cool Moose Party, it is among several political parties that have existed only in Rhode Island over the years. Today, Law and Order Party is a curated events list sent via email each Sunday, the brainchild of Headmaster publisher Matthew Lawrence. Created after the closure of the Providence Phoenix, it provides reviews and previews of local art, music, theatre, and cultural events in and around Providence. On September 27, Lawrence’s group hosted the First Annual Law And Order Party Awards—the Dorrys—to honor the region’s best and most interesting art and culture. Awards were presented in the areas of art, books, drama, film, music and performance.

NCAA: Come to Rhode Island! Rhode Island is making a bid to replace North Carolina as a host of college basketball tournaments next year, as it has a history of inclusivity. Gov. Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza have sent letters to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), promoting Providence as a viable venue for the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship, emphasizing its tradition of acceptance and personal and religious freedom. Due to anti-gay legislation passed in N. Carolina, the NCAA has announced plans to pull its championship events from that state. [x]

SPOTLIGHT News STORY Alyssa Gillin

Newsmakers | New Hampshire Headlines from the Granite State Standing with Obama supporting of trans students New Hampshire is one of twelve states and the District of Columbia that has filed an amicus brief supporting transgender student in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas. The amicus brief, led by Washington State attorney General Bob Ferguson, counters a suit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to block the recent released of guidance advising schools how to ensure dignity and equal treatment of transgender students by federally funded schools, provided by the Departments of Education and Justice and announced by President Barack Obama. According to Sarah Warbelow, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, Ferguson and those who have signed on from the twelve states, including New Hampshire, “are showing the nation what it means to stand up for all students, ensuring that our transgender youth are affirmed and respected in one of the places they should feel most safe—their schools. No student should have to live in fear of being who they are, and we thank the tireless advocates working to guarantee a future full of opportunity for all young people.”

NH state representative Ed Butler

Granite State cities push forward on trans equality

Durham, NH

LGBT family-friendly city The national real estate network Movoto has name Durham one of the “Seven Best Towns in New Hampshire for LGBT Families.” What makes Durham so gay family friendly? Home to the University of New Hampshire, the college city atmosphere creates a warm and friendly environment for everyone to represent who they really are. What’s more, Durham “offers a wide range of cultural and family-friendly activities ranging from sports to theatre to a stargazing observatory” plus “the immediate surrounding area also offer year-round family activities such as fishing, swimming, skiing, and snow boarding.” Sounds like good stuff for just about any kind of family—which only goes to show how progressive and cool Durham is for everyone.

One of the first battles in the public debate over public accommodations and other fundamental civil-right protections for transgender people happened in New Hampshire when, in 2009, state representative Ed Butler put forth a plan to include gender identity and expression in the state’s anti-discrimination, thereby covering transgender citizens’ concerns about housing, employment, and protection from violence. It was “a really very simple extension of nondiscrimination protection to a class that isn’t covered and needs to be covered,” said Butler. Although Butler went on to successfully sponsored the state’s marriage bill, he’d expressed at the time that the failure of the 2009 transgender rights bill was simply due to asking for the legislature to do too much, too soon. However the Granite State is moving forward on the issue, with individual cities such as Portsmouth and Dover have adopting rules to allow transgender students to use their preferred restroom and locker rooms. Positives steps in the right direction.

Don’t let autumn pass you by

Here’s a day-trip tip for everybody: it’s not too late to head up to Laconia before the snowy season starts and hop on the Fall Foliage Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. Even after the last leave has dropped, this fun and spirited trip has got some truly fabulous views. The cruise around the lake lasts approximately two-and-a-half hours and provides a view of the Weirs Beach shoreline and the beautiful mountain ranges New Hampshire is known for. [x]

NOV|DEC 2016 | 27

SPOTLIGHT News STORY Natalie Nonken


Newsmakers | Connecticut

Newsmakers | Maine

Articles from The Constitution State

News from the Pine Tree State launched a group dedicated to gathering signatures to remove protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Anti-LGBT Rev. Michael Heath

Hartford’s Second Pride Festival Draws a Crowd of Hundreds As reported by the Hartford Courant, the city hosted it’s Hartford Capital City Pride Festival this year on September 16th. This was the second annual festival in Connecticut’s capital. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed the festival, which was the last of the PrideFest events that were held throughout the week. The final event of the week even involved a party after the outdoor festival at Bushnell Park. Charlie Ortiz, chair of the PrideFest, told the Hartford Courant that the former mayor, Mayor Pedro Segarra, had a great deal to do with the start of the festival in the city. Mayor Segarra encouraged nonprofits in the area to host an even focused on the LGBT community. According to the Courant, the first festival in 2015 moved Ortiz and his organization CLARO, Connecticut Latinas/os Achieving Rights and Opportunities, to start the site The site features information about Connecticut’s LGBT community and the local businesses that support the community.

Community College Hosts LGBT Q&A According to the Ellington Patch, Asnuntuck Community College hosted a question and answer session in order for their community to gain a stronger understanding of the LGBT community. The event, held on September 27th, was hosted by the Asnuntuck Association of Non-Traditional Students and Asnuntuck College’s Pride. The event at the college, in Enfield, Connecticut, was meant to educate students about LGBT topics.

Angel Cadena

Gender Equality Forum At SCSU Talks Gun Rights As reported by Brian Zahn of the New Haven Register, this October a panel discussion on


A call to stand up for out civil rights A group led by the notoriously anti-LGBT Rev. Michael Heath under the auspices of the equally antigay group MassResistance

gender and sexual equality was hosted at Southern Connecitut State University. The panel included two Republican congressional candidates—Angel Cadena and Matthew Corey. One of the topics discussed was gun control, as the panel talked about this summer’s massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. According to the New Haven Register, Professor Rosalyn Amenta, who is a SCSU adjunct professor in women’s studies, said that the panel discussion was meant to be an opportunity to examine where CT candidates stood on the role that they play, as well as the role that local government plays, in securing justice for everyone. While the panelists had varying opinions when asked about the topic of gun control, the event brought up the important discussion of concerns for safety in the LGBT community, and in the country in general.

The group, Equal Right Not Special Rights, proposes striking the words “sexual orientation” from the Maine Human Rights Act, which, according to a Portland Press Herald article covering the group’s formation back on July 8, “ is a 2005 law that prevents discrimination in employment, housing, loans and in public places, such as refusing service at a restaurant.” The earliest that such a referendum could be sent to

Connecticut LGBT Organizations Show Their Support for Congressional Candidates According to Rob Ryser of the NewsTimes, this October a couple of different LGBT organizations expressed their support for the different candidates for congress in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC endorsed Democrat Elizabeth Esty. Log Cabin Republicans, who represent gay conservatives, endorsed GOP candidate Clay Cope. Cope is an openly gay candidate who fully supports the Second Amendment. Esty advocates for gun reform in ways such as preventing those on the government’s nofly list from being able to buy firearms. [x]

Maine voters would be November 2017. The group would need to collect 61,123 valid signatures within a year after the first signature has been collected. “The people of Maine settled this issue in 2005,” said Matt Moonen, executive director of the LGBT-rights advocacy group EqualityMaine. “What they’re trying to do is so out of touch with the values that we have as Mainers.”

ushers in the new by hosting a festive “Business After Hours” networking event on Tuesday, December 6, at Portland’s Mediterranean eatery TIQA, located at 327 Commercial Street. This special end-of-year gathering in the popular socializing series is co-hosted by Rebecca Bolduc of RJA, LLC, who will also be offering free henna

tattooing. There will be a bar with specials and food provided the evening’s host venue. For more information, call 207-772-3599.

Come join the chorus The Maine Gay Mens Chorus holiday concert is coming up—at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and

Saturday, December 9 and 10, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, at the First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., in Portland—but it’s not too late to join in the fun. Gay Maine men can just show up to a Wednesday night rehearsal from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at First Parish. For the rest of us, don’t miss the show! [x]

“Mainers, after repealing a same-sex marriage law in a 2009 referendum, approved same-sex marriage in a 2012 referendum by a 53-47 percent margin,” reported the Portland Press Herald article. “A New York Times poll in 2014 found that 63 percent of Mainers supported same-sex marriage and 27 percent opposed it.”

Casual cocktails and conversation The DownEast Pride Alliance wraps up the old year and

Maine Gay Mens Chorus

Holiday season getaways in the Berkshires. Just 2 hours from Boston. Voted one of the Top Ten Best New American Hotels by Architectural Digest.

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FEATURE Tribute STORY Scott Kearnan The Hat Sisters at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual New England Gala Dinner and Auction in 2014. PHOTO Jo Nevins Photography

Hats Off to the Hat Sisters Late John Michael Gray and his partner Tim O’Connor brought out the best in a community John Michael Gray never dimmed his light. His light shone bright wherever he traveled with his husband, Tim O’Connor, as the duo known as the Hat Sisters: decades-spanning gay activists and community icons who brought effervescent joy—and their wonderfully outrageous, trademark haberdashery—to countless LGBT events and fundraisers throughout New England. And his light shone strong even in his final days, battling metastasized lung cancer that was diagnosed in June, just as the couple was settling into retirement at their home in Provincetown. There, Gray made the most of one last, sunny summer. “He was always a class act,” said O’Connor, recalling one of their

final frolics together in Provincetown. The husbands, excited as always about their latest hat creation, made an appearance at August’s annual Townie Drag Brunch at Bubala’s by the Bay. Gray, who was in the midst of chemotherapy treatments, detoured home to administer a necessary shot. Then the drag went back on in time for Tea Dance at the Boatslip. His energy was unflagging, and his determination to make the most of every day was a testament to his love for his husband and his community. “That was a great day,” said O’Connor to Boston Spirit. “He was such a trooper.” Gray died from his cancer on September 24, leaving a void that


may never be filled—but also a legacy that will never be forgotten. His passing was reported, and his life celebrated, by outlets ranging from “The Advocate” to “The Boston Globe.” They recounted the now-familiar story of how the Hat Sisters came to be. They met at a dinner party in 1984. (“He was cute. He reminded me of Omar Sharif,” laughed O’Connor.) They made their Hat Sisters debut only a few weeks later at Provincetown Carnival; Grey adorned baseball caps with feathers, a comparatively modest prototype for the much more elaborate ensembles they would wear over the next three decades as fixtures in Boston’s gay community. But the Hat Sisters’ reputation grew well beyond Boston’s borders. In the late ’80s, cartoonist Eric Orner introduced them as recurring characters in his comic strip “The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green,” as wise, instructive older pals to the titular bachelor protagonist. The syndicated strip was a staple of LGBT publications and carried in markets across the country. It was even adapted into a 2005 film, in which established character actors Richard Riehle

and Joel Brooks portrayed the Hat Sisters. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and ensured that these Hub-based, hat-wearing stars would reach many more people than they ever anticipated. O’Connor remembered one of the first times he realized that the Hat Sisters had connected with the community in a special way. “We were invited to a huge party on Fire Island. They turned the beach into a dance floor,” recalled O’Connor. He and Gray showed up in an expectedly elaborate ensemble: Think pearl-studded high heels, beaded bodices and silver foil umbrellas. “We reached the boardwalk, where a huge staircase led down to the party. It was a gorgeous sunny day. I just remember this sea of men turning around, seeing us in our outfits, and screaming and applauding.” They were even greeted by a personal security guard in this sea of Speedo-clad hunks.

Radiant Spirits Amid all the parties, galas and fundraisers, the Hat Sisters did serious social advocacy. Over the years they’ve helped raise many

thousands of dollars for nonprofit organizations. And just as importantly, their radiant presence raised the spirits of a community over an intensely transformative but wearying three decades, through the ravages of AIDS and during hard-fought battles for basic equality, from fundamental legal protections to the right to marry. Gray and O’Connor married on their 20th anniversary, only a few short months after marriage equality arrived in Massachusetts, in a ceremony attended by the late Mayor Thomas Menino, who always seemed to count himself among the Hat Sisters’ biggest fans. Over the years, they’ve earned many admirers. “The Hat Sisters embodied the best of the human spirit—always ready to help others in any way possible,” said Reuben Reynolds III, music director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. “We’re going to miss

John and the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus extends its deepest condolences to Tim.” “My first encounter with John dates back over a decade, when I first volunteered for Boston Pride and participated in the Pride Lights ceremony,” recalled Boston Pride president Sylvain Bruni. “The Hat Sisters were introducing Mayor Menino to the crowd and performed a fabulous routine on stage. After the lighting of the tree, John went on to thank all volunteers for our help. He really communicated his passion to us: Do what you can to support your community and make it a better place for everyone.” “He was an inspiration to us and his impact on the LGBT community in Boston and New England will live on for a long time,” said Bruni. But when hats came off—and believe it or not, they did—John Michael Gray was much more


The magical tradition continues…

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than a Sister. He was a loving husband, said Tim O’Connor, and “the most kind and understanding man.” “Not only did we love each other—but we really liked each other,” said O’Connor. “We were joined at the hip. I keep expecting to turn a corner and see him there.” To celebrate Gray’s life, O’Connor organized two memorial services in October. At the first, held in Provincetown, pastor Jim Cox of the Provincetown United Methodist Church presided over a program that included a performance from Crown & Anchor’s resident piano man Bobby Wetherbee, who grew up alongside Gray in their hometown of Amherst. Reverend Kim Crawford presided over a second service at Boston’s Arlington Street Church, where the program included a sing-along to “Over the Rainbow” led by cabaret

performer Carol O’Shaughnessy and a performance by staff members from Newton Public Schools, where Gray served as director of fine arts for 22 years. Crowds at both services included many local community members who wanted to pay their respects to the memory of a man who inspired great love and admiration. O’Connor said the public outpouring has been a great source of comfort. “I’m overwhelmed by the love people have shown for us,” he said. “It is heartbreaking and phenomenal.” O’Connor’s heartbreak is intensely fresh. But he holds fast to the greatest legacy Gray left in his life, where—hat on or hat off— his light shone brightest. “He had this wonderful, calming effect on my life,” added Gray. “I’m not sure where I would be if he hadn’t fallen in love with me, and accepted me for who I am.” [x]

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Bigotry Watch The 411 on anti-LGBT advocacy groups that New Englanders must keep an eye on As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” In New England, we aren’t exactly faced with the raving, hate-fueled Westboro Baptist Church brand of bigotry—at least not on a regular basis. Today, with some exceptions, it isn’t hate that fuels most organized opponents of the LGBT community here in the Northeast, but rather the clash between civil and religious rights, and what constitutes freedom of expression. These are important questions. Worthy debates to have over heartfelt values. But so often anti-LGBT advocates move their agendas forward, fueled by what they believe to be good intentions or not, without rational discussion, or consideration of points of view other than their own. Their misguided actions pose threats to our communities. At risk, notes one public health official, Dwayne A. Steward of Fenway Health, is the “undoing [of ] years of public health strides in

inclusive care for underserved populations in our country” and the overall “well-being of this country’s LGBT citizens. And it’s no secret that we are a community already facing extensive barriers to health and wellness services.” Let alone assurance of a seat at the proverbial lunch counter— because no matter how often we hear public accomodations rights referred to as “bathroom bills,” don’t forget, it’s not just bathrooms, key as they may be, that we’re talking about here but all of the public areas and activities every one of us, LGBTQIA+ and otherwise, shares as a society. As we move into 2017, here are a few key groups with harmful anti-LGBT agendas we’re watching (and don’t let their “family”-friendly names fool you):

Keep Massachusetts Safe As of early fall 2016, this group has collected enough signatures to put a referendum


Keep Massachusetts Safe protesters outside Boston State House.


question on the 2018 ballot asking voters to repeal the newly enacted and hard-won law that extends equal transgender rights (S.2407, “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination”). “We look forward to spending the next two years continuing to raise awareness about the dangers of this law and making sure voters are fully educated on what is at stake,” the antitransgender advocacy group stated in an October 11 press release. “This [law] would endanger the privacy and safety of women and children in public bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other intimate places (such as common showers), opening them to whomever wants to be there at any given time, and also to sexual predators who claim ‘confusion’ about their gender as a cover for their evil intentions,” claims this group. Chanel Prunier of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts signed on as the group’s chairwoman after losing her seat as the Bay State’s representative on the Republican National Committee, where she advocated against marriage equality

Chanel Prunier, chairwoman of Keep Massachusetts Safe with 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, during her tenure as the Bay State’s representative on the Republican National Committee. during her tenure there since 2013.

Watch them at:

Alliance Defending Freedom In early October, this group, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Attorney General Maura Healey. The suit claims that the Bay State’s new transgender civil rights law violates the right of churches to operate facilities “in a manner that doesn’t violate their core religious beliefs.” The group also cites “the bathroom bill” as a dangerous threat and also maintains that Healy also aims to “force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s view.” The Arizona group filed the suit on behalf of four Massachusetts churches: Horizon Christian Fellowship in Fitchburg, Abundant Life Church in Swansea, House of Destiny Ministries in Southbridge, and Faith Christian Fellowship in Haverhill. The group is asking the court to suspend

who were without full protection and equality under the law for too long.”

Watch them at:

Equal Rights Not Special Rights

enforcement of the law until a ruling has been made on the case. Standing up for the newly enacted law this group is attacking, Jillian Fennimore, a spokeswoman for Healy’s office, said, “We are pleased that we finally have a law in place that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places. This law is about civil rights for people

Equal Rights Not Special Rights proposes striking the words “sexual orientation” from the Maine Human Rights Act—turning time back decades to make homosexuality once again a crime. This group has begun gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to do exactly that. The earliest such a referendum could be sent to Maine voters would be November 2017. The group would need to collect 61,123 valid signatures within a year after the first signature has been collected.

Equal Rights Not Special Rights is lead by Rev. Michael Heath and the national organization MassResistance, which in 2011 filed bills in Massachusetts aimed at the eliminations of the Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth—a vital portion of our community sorely in need of more protetions, not fewer.

Watch them at:

Family Institute of Connecticut This group has taken on a leading role in opposition of marriage equality. Although it unsuccessfully attempted to amend the state’s constitution to ban same-sex couples from marrying in Connecticut, it continues to work towards

repealing marriage equality at the national level. Earlier in 2016, in an open letter to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the group’s president, Peter Wolfgang, wrote, “You claim to support religious freedom, yet a leading gay-activist organization [the Log Cabin Republicans] calls you ‘one of the best, if not the best, progay Republican candidates to ever run for the presidency’— particularly because of your ‘standout position’ when it comes to legislation that forces Christian business owners— and others of faith—to either betray their conscience or lose their business.” Needless to say, this group is also actively against equal public accommodations rights for not only trans people, but also against anyone who a business


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Peter Wolfgang, president of the Family Institute of Connecticut, and his wife Leslie.

Rev. Michael Health [CENTER], who is leading the group Equal Rights Not Special Rights in Maine.

owner “and others of faith” deem acceptable to discriminate against.

intentionally deprive some kids of either a mom or a dad. … It’s unconscionable when a state encourages this through policies that deprive children of the love of both a mother and a father. This is a very sad day for Rhode Island.” The National Organization for Marriage is currently leading local initiatives throughout New England and the country aiming to chip away at marriage equality through “ballots and courts,” and to ultimately

Watch them at:

National Organization for Marriage According to the Human Rights Campaign, this group “uses racially motivated tactics as part of its official strategy. From the group’s internal memos: ‘The strategic

goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies.’ They’ve also tried to make opposition to equality a ‘key badge’ of Latino identity in yet another attempt to divide. In 2013, when Rhode Island passes its statewide marriage equality legislation, the group’s president Brian Brown told its Rhode Island constituency that same-sex marriage was “designed to

repeal marriage equality at the national level. [x]

Watch them at:; Some great organizations that keep informed on current challenges facing LGBT rights include:

GLAD ( Human Rights Campaign ( MassEquality ( Freedom Massachusetts (www.

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FEATURE History STORY Mark Krone

Pioneer of the Progressive Movement American hero’s radicalism and sexuality kept Marie Equi from the history books—until now Marie Equi wasn’t supposed to amount to much. Born in 1872 to immigrant parents in New Bedford, a Yankee city on the decline, Marie’s future was limited at best. There were two routes to a decent life for most immigrant girls then: marriage or education. Marie was not a promising candidate for either. Her teachers thought her intelligent but unruly and she had never shown the slightest interest in the opposite sex. Under these circumstances, Marie looked forward to a harsh life in the textile mills and a mundane home life living with her parents and/or siblings. But that’s not how it turned out. Not at all. Equi went on to become a homesteader in the Far West, a medical doctor, out lesbian, labor activist, suffragist, and one of the most significant reformers of her era. How did it happen? Fortunately, public historian Michael Helquist’s recent book “Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions“ rescues her from oblivion. Helquist believes that her radicalism and sexuality kept Equi from the history books. Because of his new book, Equi takes her place in the pantheon of LGBTQ heroes. As a child, Marie suffered from tuberculosis which got so bad, she was sent to family friends in Florida to recover. She was a good student at New Bedford High School, forming

her first significant female attachment with a teacher, Mary E. Austin. Austin may have been the first person outside of her family to sense Marie’s dynamic combination of energy, restless intelligence, and charisma. But like other working-class girls, Marie was soon forced to drop out of high school to work in the textile mills where she experienced firsthand the dehumanizing drudgery of the work. The factory air was so thick with floating cotton fibers that workers sometimes vomited cotton balls at the end of their shifts. But Marie’s capacity for friendship was about to save her. Betsy Bell Holcomb was a high school friend from a well-off New Bedford family who had been impressed with Marie’s intelligence and charm. Betsy was a Wellesley College student who took Marie on as a project and was determined to see her get a chance to attend Wellesley, too. But after a stint Northfield Seminary for Girls (now Northfield Mount Hermon School) to prepare for college, Marie was forced to return to New Bedford as she could not afford the tuition. At 19, Marie Equi was at a crossroads. It must have shocked Betsy Bell Holcomb’s family when she dropped out of Wellesley before graduating and moving to Oregon to homestead a piece of land. But that is exactly what Betsy did and before long,


Marie Equi she wrote to Marie, urging her to come out West and join her. Since Marie’s father had wanted to marry her off to a local man, Betsy’s invitation was perfect timing. Without hesitating, Marie joined Betsy in The Dalles, Oregon in September 1882. At first, life was good on The Dalles, a town at the end of the Oregon Trail. The women lived as a couple and attempted to make a go of it as farmers. Betsy supplemented their income by teaching in town. It did not take long for Marie’s fiery temper and sense of justice to get the best of her. Betsy Bell Holcomb had taught at the local private academy run by a shady character named O. D. Taylor. When the

end of the school year came, Holcomb had still not received her final salary of $100. The women went to Taylor’s office and demanded payment. Equi threatened to horse whip Taylor in the middle of the street. A fight ensued and Taylor was restrained by men on the street while Equi “reigned blows” on him. Most onlookers cheered as Taylor had a reputation as a double dealer. Equi’s relationship with Holcomb combined with her relocation to The Dalles had given her confidence. She was no longer just an immigrant’s daughter. It was around this time, that she decided to become a medical doctor.

Progressive & Suffragist Equi established her medical practice in Portland, Oregon in 1905. She soon distinguished herself as a doctor, especially for women, for whom she performed a range of services, including abortions in a clean, safe setting. Oregon was a center of the Progressive and Suffragist movements. Equi soon met Abigail Scott Duniway, the leader of the Oregon Suffragist movement. Though some activists thought Duniway moved too slowly and quietly, Equi admired her and the two became friends. When the San Francisco Earthquake struck in 1906, Equi, along with many other Portland medical professionals, rushed to the stricken city to help in relief efforts. Her reputation as a humanitarian grew when her work in caring for a dozen pregnant women, new mothers, and babies in the aftermath of earthquake hit the newspapers. It is entirely possible that the first babies born after the earthquake were delivered by Marie Equi. Equi soon met and fell in love with a young wealthy woman named Harriet Speckart. The unconventional relationship did not sit well with Speckart’s mother. Equi became embroiled in a legal case involving Speckart’s inheritance. Her mother charged that Harriet was under “the spell” of Marie Equi. Despite her mother’s disapproval, Speckart and Equi’s remained together for years and eventually adopted a child, Mary Everest. Speckart did most of the child

rearing, while Equi covered the expenses. Other women also figured into Marie’s life and she never hid or denied the nature of the relationships. Over the years, Equi never forgot her early life in the New Bedford mills. She championed a variety of causes including the eight-hour day, the right to organize a union, and an end to child labor. She worked with Margaret Sanger on abortion rights. But her primary cause was Women’s Suffrage. Finally, in 1912, Equi saw Oregon women gain the right to vote when a state referendum passed 52%–48%. It was the sixth Oregon referendum on Suffrage, the previous five having failed. On the eve of World War I, Equi denounced American involvement. She was charged with sedition and spent ten months in prison at San Quentin State Prison. Her daughter Mary said that her mother was never the same after the imprisonment. At the end of her life, when she checked into a hospital in 1950, Equi received 13 red roses from local longshoremen who remembered when she had spoken out for them. Her friend Julia Ruutttila wrote of Equi: “Fighter and friend to valiant end/ our champion to revere and defend.” Equi died in 1952. Recently, in thinking about her life, author Helquist said, “Lots of people struggle with obstacles that leave them feeling discouraged and alone. I hope they recognize in Marie Equi another outsider … (who) made progress by not giving up.” [x]

NOV|DEC 2016 | 37


Meet 10 LGBTQ community members (and one ally!) who a have found the silver-lining in going gray. Here they are dressed in the season’s coolest color: gray, in clothing from Neiman Marcus.

[PHOTOGRAPHY] Joel Benjamin [STYLING] Terri Mahn, Team, Inc. [HAIR AND MAKE-UP] Jason Byron Gavann [PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT] PatrickSporleder [ASSISTANT STYLIST] Christy Kusuma [SETS] Associated Quirks [ADDITIONAL SET DESIGN] Dan Norman

Rev. Benjamin Perkins Vice president, Health Equity/ Multicultural Initiatives for the American Heart Association|American Stroke Association When did you start going gray?

25 was the first time I saw one!

What does having grey hair represent to you?


What’s the best comment someone ever said to you about your gray hair?

You’re a daddy now. How would you describe your shade of gray?

The 51st shade of gray. Parting shot?

I am Vice President of Health Equity/ Multicultural Initiatives for the American Heart Association|American Stroke Association, where I work to ensure that all lives are free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, with a focus on communities of color and others disproportionately impacted. Tom Ford black and white houndstooth jacket, Theory black turtleneck sweater

Dan Norman Plumber How does the world see you with gray hair?

Older and distinguished. When did you start going gray?

Around 18; it started in one spot and spread from there. What does having gray hair represent to you?

I’ve earned everyone of them. It’s a sign of strength.

How do you describe your shade of gray?

More salt then pepper.

Baldwin black leather shirt, Vince black pants

David Brown Chief Advancement Officer of MAB Community Services, and former meteorologist When did you start going gray?

I first noticed I was going grey during a family vacation about 10 years ago when I grew a beard–my mom looked at me and said she couldn’t believe how grey I was. I was in my early 40s. What does having gray hair represent to you?

It represents getting older, plain and simple. I love getting older as it represents growth. I made a big change professionally before I turned 50 and every grey hair I have is well earned. Have you ever dyed your hair?

What TV person hasn’t? OK ... Anderson Cooper. Parting Shot?

I am fortunate to be the Chief Advancement Officer of MAB Community Services. We operate 3 divisions focused on eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, and transforming lives for those with disabilities. Rag & Bone white shirt with baseball collar, Theory black wool cardigan

Marianne Stravinskas Realtor with Keller Williams How do you perceive yourself with gray hair?

It is shocking when I see a picture of myself because I still don’t think of myself as someone with grey/almost white hair.

What does having gray hair represent to you?

As someone who changed careers in the past few years, I find my grey hair easily communicates to my clients my wisdom about life. What’s the best comment someone ever said to you about your gray hair?

“I love your hair color and I wish I had the courage to do the same.” How would you describe your shade of gray?

Fifty shades of white. Parting shot?

Here’s the address for the link to my Keller Williams website: Eileen Fisher black/gray striped poncho jacket

Peter Chronis Banking operations for Eastern Bank, artist, and teacher How does the world see you with grey hair?

I get referred to as “daddy bear” with some frequency. How do you perceive yourself with grey hair?

Frankly, I don’t mind it—I’m happy to have hair. Have you ever dyed your hair?

I don’t dye my hair, but I did dye my beard for a while, until one summer in Provincetown when I noticed the sun bleached it down to the color of eggplant. That was it for me. What’s the best comment someone ever said to you about your grey hair?

It’s cliché, but “very distinguished”, followed by a clear fluttering of their eyes. Parting Shot?

Readers can be able to view my pottery work at the upcoming holiday show and sale at Feet of Clay Pottery, in Brookline Village. Peter Millar gray wool puffy jacket, Peter Millar black zip-front shirt

Meg Upton Massage Therapist When did you start going gray?

My gray hair started at 18 and I began dying it fireengine red “Manic Panic.� At 22, I shaved my hair off and let it grow in naturally. How do you describe your shade of gray?

I refer to my color as silver. Every year there is a little more silver and little less brown. What does having gray hair represent to you?

I love my gray hair. it is one of my favorite features on my body. I feel strong and beautiful. What’s the best comment someone ever said to you about your grey hair?

I am approached at least once a day, if not more, by admirers. Mostly I am asked if it is real and then told that they are inspired to let their hair gray out. Oscar de la Renta black and metallic patterned dress

Harold Dufour-Anderson Public health specializing in substance use treatment professional, and former French film actor How does the world see you with gray hair?

Viewed as mature with defined tastes and interests. How do you perceive yourself with gray hair?

Frequently, referring to the gray hair on my chin, I exclaim that I’ve earned every last one of them. Have you ever dyed your hair?

Quelle horreur! My authentic self would cast serious shade at my otherwise aspirational self. How would you describe your shade of gray?

Steely gray.

Vince gray cardigan, Neiman Marcus gray cashmere sweater, model’s own scarf

Parting Thought?

Following appearances in a couple of French films, including “Un Grand Carnaval,” found my calling as a public health professional, part of the state-wide effort confronting the prescription drug/ heroin epidemic

Liz Page Event producer, principal and founder, Liz Page Associates How does the world see you with grey hair?

Jonathan Soroff once called me a Silver Fox, I loved that!

What does having grey hair represent to you?

Honesty and strength

Have you ever dyed your hair?

I did a reverse frost once at the urging of my hairdresser, and I looked like a skunk but not as chic.

Is having grey hair a political act?

Yes, especially for women. Too many women are afraid of aging and they are desperate to hide the evidence. I think it is great to be older but you must keep your sense of humor, your thrill of discovery, and your unrelenting pursuit of experience or aging will turn you to stone

Parting shot?

Liz Page Associates is producing the 15th Anniversary of Pride & Passion Benefit and Auction on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. This year our theme is Celebrating Our Allies—Those Who Stand Up and Speak Out to Support the LGBTQ Community. Lafayette black knit jacket (with pony), Lafayette black turtleneck sweater, Eileen Fisher black velvet leggings

Michael Tilley Manager, Chanel Boston How does the world see you with grey hair?

I think I’ve benefitted from the adage of “respect your elders.”

What does having grey hair represent to you?

Experience, and a lot of stories to share. Have you ever dyed your hair?

Once. I hoped it would make me look more virile, but it only made me feel like a poser. How do you describe your shade of gray?

#27 of the 50

Rag & Bone black zip hoodie jacket, Vince gray sweater, Rag & Bone jogging pants


With the holiday season just around the corner, shopping, especially online shopping, is high on the to-do list. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals often boast the “lowest prices of the season” and retailers fight for consumers’ attention. The rise of internet retailers has opened up new paths to finding the perfect item at a price you can afford. However, counterfeit items are popping up in every category, from handbags and electronics to food products and pharmaceuticals. Shockingly, imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are worth close to half a trillion dollars a year. In 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that there was $450 billion in imported fake goods worldwide. Many of these pose safety threats, from low quality children's toys to camera batteries and hair styling tools that can cause fires. Counterfeit goods aren't just a threat to consumers. Businesses of all sizes are also affected by the rise of counterfeit goods. We’ve put together a few tips for both consumers and business owners to ensure that this holiday shopping season is as painless as possible.

TIPS FOR CONSUMERS 1. Know your seller. When shopping online, especially on auction sites such as eBay and Amazon, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the seller. Most sites have seller profiles with reviews and ratings, so always look for sellers with plenty of positive feedback. Consider the reviews seriously and take your time when weighing different purchasing options. When shopping online, inspecting the item before you buy it isn't an option. That makes it hard to tell if what you’re buying is authentic. Unscrupulous sellers will often show photos of authentic products, but will seller lower-quality replicas. You can ask the seller where they originally bought the product, or how it ended up in their hands. 2. Avoid unauthorized retailers. If you’re shopping on a bargain or flash sale site, make sure it’s an authorized retailer of the item you intend to purchase. This is important because, even though you may be buying an authentic product, certain benefits may be

negated if the product came from an unauthorized retailer. For instance, many manufacturers will not provide a warranty for a product unless it was purchased from an authorized retailer. In fact, many manufacturers do not even have an obligation to repair any damage to an item bought via an unauthorized website. There is often no customer service available for these products, which can make dealing with any potential issues a nightmare. So, check the manufacturer’s website for a list of retailers authorized to sell their products. 3. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Go with your instincts. Be wary of deep discounts from third party online retailers. If the product is currently available from the manufacturer at a certain price, and the third party seller’s price is dramatically lower, ask why. On a site with unverified sellers, there's a higher chance that the product is counterfeit. If the deal is too good to be true, unfortunately it probably is.

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.

$450 billion


The yearly estimated worth of imported fake goods worldwide. 4. Beware of safety hazards. Counterfeit products such as electronics, children’s toys, curling irons and other hair products can pose a serious safety threat to consumers. Counterfeit items do not follow the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They can contain defective components or unsafe production materials that could potentially be hazardous. If it’s a knockoff at an unbelievable price, it’s more than likely that quality was compromised in order to attract customers with a lower price point. Online purchasing can be a great way to get your holiday shopping done, and it often offers good deals and prices. However, it’s important to remember that off-price items often have a much higher chance of being counterfeit or defective, so proceed with caution.

TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS 1. Protect your business from the “gray market.” Gray market goods are items sold by importers who purchase a company’s products abroad and import them into the U.S. without the brand’s authorization. Consumers then purchase the “authentic” item, usually at a lower price, but not necessarily with the same benefits from an authorized retailer. Companies have rights when it comes to situations like this. There are both trademark and patent remedies against the sale of gray market products. Under current law, patent owners can prevent the unauthorized importation and sale of their products because patented

products sold abroad cannot be imported into the U.S. without the company’s permission. 2. Protect your brand from counterfeiters. Businesses have also been hit hard by counterfeiters. Take for example, a successful company that began printing designs on curtains and selling them on Amazon. The curtains became wildly popular and, shortly after, counterfeit versions began popping up on Amazon for a significantly lower price. It wasn’t long before the counterfeit curtains began outselling the authentic product, and buyers, unaware that they had purchased shoddy counterfeit curtains, began posting poor reviews. This issue is becoming increasingly common among online retailers. Companies — whether large or small — that suspect their products are being counterfeited should seek the advice of experienced, anti-counterfeiting legal counsel. This puts them in the best position to effectively and efficiently remedy the situation. Giving the perfect present can be one of the most satisfying feelings you will experience this holiday season. Take care, using the tips above, to give the best gifts ever this year. With the numbers being as staggering as they are, counterfeit products are not something to take lightly. Both consumers and businesses need to be ever-vigilant to protect themselves. Keep these thoughts in mind so that the season can be stress-free and enjoyable for both consumers and brand-owners alike.

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.

Mark Schonfeld Susan E. Stengerisisa an partner appellate attorney at Burns & atLevinson Burns & Levinson LLP in LLP in Boston. Boston. The She world's has successfully leading handled brand names manyrely federal on him andfor state appeals including guidance on complex family business law cases. and IP Susan litigation, alsoespecially handles cases in the the protection trial courts of corporate involving trust and estate disputes, intellectual property and through business and entertainment trademark, copyright litigation. and patent litigation. Clients appreciate Mark's extensive experience protecting companies from IP infringement and his use of innovative techniques to prevent and stop gray-market imports. His work has enabled IP owners to seize millions of dollars in counterfeit Lisa M. Cukierfrom is a partner at merchandise distribution Burns and Levinson specializing centers, retail operations and in custody/parentage and divorce, factories that manufacture guardianship/conservatorship, counterfeit products. estate & trust litigation, undue influence financial Questions? Emailand Mark directly: exploitation matters, family asset disputes, and planning/litigation for same-sex couples. Special thanks to: Jordan Bowne, Esq. for his contributions to this article.

MEET THE FIRM MEET THE FIRM Burns Burns & & Levinson Levinson is is a a BostonBostonbased based law law firm firm with with more more than than 125 125 attorneys. attorneys. We We work work with with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, emerging emerging businesses, businesses, private private and and public public companies companies and and individuals individuals in in sophisticated sophisticated business business transactions, transactions, litigation litigation and and private private client client services. services. Our Our LGBT LGBT Group: Group: Lisa Lisa Cukier Cukier Scott Moskol Scott Moskol Deborah Deborah Peckham Peckham Laura Studen Studen Laura Donald Donald Vaughan Vaughan Ellen Ellen Zucker Zucker

Michael Lynch Photographer, artist, swimmer How do you perceive yourself with gray hair?

Respectfully, I’m often refer to as “sir”, and recently, a young woman offered me her seat on the bus. How do you perceive yourself with gray hair?

Well, “the frost is on the pumpkin”, but I try to maintain a youthful attitude. Have you ever dyed your hair?

No, I like the color of my hair, and I don’t see any advantages to coloring it. How would you describe your shade of gray?

Silvery white. Parting shot?

In September, I completed my 12th Provincetown Swim for Life. It’s a 1.4 mile swim across Provincetown Harbor, held annually, to raise money for health services, on the Outer Cape. This years swim was dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Massacre. Additionally, I have an Instagram account, @mikelynch63, where I share my photographic work. John Varvatos black leather jacket, Vince gray cashmere sweater, model’s own denim jeans

John O’Conner Realtor at the Luxury Homes Division of Keller Williams Boston-Metro Have you ever dyed your hair?

For a time back in the 80s I had a platinum blond flat top. Fierce.

Is having gray hair a political act?

Aging isn’t for sissies, so yes, leaving my hair silver is a bit of a political statement. This is what a 53 year old man looks like! What’s the best comment someone ever said to you about your gray hair?

Passerby on Newbury Street: “Oh my god I love your silver hair!” Me: “Thanks! I have a great colorist.” Passerby (laughing): “Who cuts it.” Me: “The one-and-only Russ Barrie at Roosters on Tremont Street.” Parting Shot?

Right now I am excited about growing my real estate sales practice at Keller Williams: Kenzo dark navy and gray shirt

SEASONAL Holidays STORY Scott Kearnan

Holiday Sweets New England confectioners work their magic to make the yuletide gay ‘Tis the season to stuff ourselves silly with sweet treats—from gingerbread cookies to cinnamon swirls—as we hop from one holiday party to another. (Don’t worry. You’ll have six months to start getting back in shape for P’town.) Let’s be honest: Willy Wonka looked more Liberace than the CEO of a candy factory. And indeed, there’s a great gay tradition in the world of bakers and confectioners. So in honor of the holidays ahead, we checked in with two gay-owned sweet shops to learn more about the fabulously talented fruitcakes behind them—oh, and their delicious treats too.

Spindler Confections Jeremy Spindler’s earliest memories of candy making are inextricably linked to the holidays. As a kid growing up in Evansville, Indiana, the weeks leading up to Christmas were filled with busy bonding times in the family kitchen, where Spindler first learned how to make fudge, bake cookies and dip chocolate alongside his mom and dad. Now that he runs his own small-batch candy shop, Spindler Confections, this time of year is just as bustling as ever. November and December account


Spindler Confections in Cambridge, Mass. for 50-percent of sales for the entire year, says Spindler. That’s a lot of pressure riding on one small part of the calendar, but the payoff—turning a personal passion into a thriving business—is the greatest holiday gift of all. Spindler got his start as a professional confectioner about four years ago. At the time, Spindler, who originally moved to Boston to pursue a Ph.D. in music theory and composition, was working in academic administration and decided to turn his “life long hobby” into a bona fide side gig. He got his home kitchen licensed for production, and started hawking sweets

through farmers markets, special events, and eventually via wholesale through other businesses. Spindler is largely self-taught, basing his work on those early experiences with Mom and a few recreational cooking classes. But he quickly earned a strong following for the artisanal nature of his handcrafted creations, which employ many high-quality and local ingredients: from Vermont maple sugar to honey from Rhode Island beekeeper Annie B’s Honey Farm. Eventually, Spindler was able to leave his academic career behind and focus fulltime on the confection world. Production

Spindler Confections

outgrew his home kitchen, so last year he launched a brick-and-mortar retail shop in Cambridge, owned with his husband Jeff Myers. (Their wedding featured a candy buffet, in case you were wondering.) All Spindler’s candies are made at the shop, so guests stopping in to browse the boutique’s well-stocked shelves also receive a frontrow seat to see him dipping chocolates and making his signature caramel swirls, treats created by pouring marshmallow Fluffbased nougat over sheets of caramel and then rolling up the slab like a jelly roll. As befitting someone who learned the craft of candy making as a child, there’s a whiff of nostalgia that accompanies all the sweet, sugary scents at Spindler

Confections. “I feel like a lot of what we do is quite traditional and a bit old-fashioned. I have a back-to-basics approach,” says Spindler, who focuses less on trendy treats and more on classic favorites like salted maple caramel and peanut butter cups. Of course, he’s not afraid to improve on an idea: say, by adding confectioner’s sugar, butter and vanilla to those peanut butter cup fillings, to create a sweeter, more cookie dough-like texture. Still, his throwback sensibility is appropriate to Cambridge, a city that was once a huge candy-making hub in the region. Business first started booming in Boston, where America’s first chocolate mill was founded on the Neponset River in 1765, and Cambridge followed. According to the Cambridge Historical Society, when the NECCO wafer headquarters was built in Cambridge in 1927, it was the largest factory in the world devoted to candy making. The industry thrived in Cambridge throughout the mid-20th century, and at its 1946 peak there were 66 candy manufacturers listed in the city’s directory, according to the society.

Spindler C onfections

Today, small-batch candy making is a dying art. “I can only think of a handful [of shops] in the Boston area that actually make their own products,” says Spindler. He and his husband are self-described “history buffs,” though, so they honor the history of the craft right in the shop. Spindler Confections boasts a miniature museum of antiques associated with the industry’s local roots. Peek around, and you’ll find a huge wooden shipping crate for chocolate, believed to be from the late19th century, from Potter Confectioner Co. in Cambridge. There’s a two-pound box of Revere Sugar from the early 20th century—it still has the notched sugar cubes inside. Preserving the memory of these

predecessors is important, Spindler Confections chocolates says Spindler. “I like to think that we, along with all of the other small producers, are continuing that legacy a bit — just on a smaller scale.” Rights Campaign out of respect for the The couples’ respect for what came trailblazers who led the still-moving before isn’t limited to the candy world. It march toward equal rights. “It’s going to also extends to their perspective on the be really easy for young people to take our gay community. They have an affinity recent gains, like our right to marry, for for The History Project, New England’s granted,” says Spindler. “But we have to LGBT history archive, and hope to carve remember that it was a very long and hard out time to volunteer soon. And they are fight, and we have organizations like the already active supporters of the Human HRC to thank for that.”

When it comes to being gay, Spindler also cites a more personal pioneer. “I had an uncle who came out in the early ‘90s, which made it much easier for me,” says Spindler. “He had a very, very difficult time with the family accepting him, but eventually they did, and that helped me quite a bit.” By the time Spindler came out at age 19, the situation was much sweeter. “I was very fortunate to have a supportive family, and I’m grateful that I have not had to endure a lot of the discrimination and hate that many people have,” says Spindler. “My family is the biggest reason why coming out was not very difficult for me, and I owe a lot of my happiness to them and the way they raised me.” After all, they made him the candy man he is today. Spindler Confections

2257 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

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Sweet Tooth Run, run, Rudolph. From Thanksgiving through the winter holidays, it’s an “intense sprint” in the kitchen at Sweet Tooth, a South Boston bakeshop, says gay owner Glenn Quirion. This is the single busiest time of year, with Quirion’s hands working faster than a workshop full of elves to create all the thousands of gingerbread houses, shortbread sweets, and other seasonal Sweet Tooth in South Boston goodies required to keep up with demand by drop-in customers and catering clients— like the concession company at the Boston Opera House, which chooses Sweet Tooth to provide the working in the kitchen with his mother, hand-decorated Christmas cookies sold who ran an at-home cake business that during the Boston Ballet’s annual run of eventually evolved into a bakery. “I made “The Nutcracker.” my first wedding cake when I was 10 It’s a breakneck pace, but one that years old,” chuckles Quirion, who kept at Quirion has been training for all his life. it throughout all the years that followed. The Augusta, Maine native entered the During grad school, while earning his race when he was just a kid, growing up master’s degree in vocal performance at

“ When we first came here, everyone asked ‘Why Southie?’ We were the gays coming in with our nice new shop—and of course, it’s pink! ” Glenn Quirion the University of Colorado Boulder, he ran “a side hustle” catering thesis recitals. And that boy who got his start baking wedding cakes eventually baked his own: a gorgeous, tiered cake for his wedding to a “wonderful woman” some years ago. Some things have changed. Quirion has since come out as gay, a process that was pretty drama-free thanks to a supportive family (which includes two gay brothers). But he’s still baking plenty of wedding cakes—and birthday cakes, and holiday cakes—now with the help of his loving partner in life and business, David


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Venter. They may not be betrothed, but Sweet Tooth represents a total “marriage of talents,” says Quirion. They were both working in corporate America when they met one fateful night at gay bar The Eagle: Quirion as a sales director for a performance travel company and Venter for a large marketing firm. Both are blessed with entrepreneurial spirits, so they poured their passions into launching Sweet Tooth, with Quirion helming the culinary side and Venter managing the business end. It’s been a recipe for success. Besides the annual holiday crush, Quirion says that Sweet Tooth bakes for hundreds of weddings each year—turning out elaborate custom cakes for straight and gay couples, the latter including a high-powered lesbian couple whose nuptials were recently profiled in “Boston Weddings,” the matrimony-focused spinoff of “Boston Magazine.” These are elaborate custom creations, ranging from Jackson Pollockinspired pastries with colorful splatters to steampunk-themed cakes. And that’s just the beginning of what Sweet Tooth can create. The full-service shop creates

Sweet Tooth in South Boston

everything from cake lollipops to oldfashioned pound cake by the slice. They’re increasingly moving into wholesale, too. Sign up for an account with HappySpeedy, a Boston-based same-day delivery service for online grocery orders, and you can get Sweet Tooth tiramisu, chocolate-Nutella pizzas, and other goodies at your door in minutes.

Those deliveries might be rapid, but it takes time to grow a business like Sweet Tooth, a boutique operation where everything is handmade using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. In November, Sweet Tooth celebrates its 10-year anniversary. And over the last decade, Quirion has witnessed both the growth of his business and recent evolution of South Boston, historically a


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working-class neighborhood full of oldschool Irish pubs. An influx of high-end residences, hip restaurants, and a growing LGBT community has been pushing Southie in a trendier direction since the days when Sweet Tooth first proudly plopped a gay bake shop in the heart of the ‘hood. “When we first came here, everyone

asked ‘Why Southie?’” Quirion chuckles. “We were the gays coming in with our nice new shop—and of course, it’s pink!” “But the growth here has been incredible,” says Quirion. “We saw the direction the neighborhood was moving, and we wanted to be pioneers.” He says that the community has been very welcoming; Sweet Tooth even partners with the local branch of Catholic Charities for the organization’s annual Christmas House Tour. The shop works with nonprofits outside of Southie, too. Each month Sweet Tooth creates a birthday cake for residents of Rosie’s Place in the South End, a center for poor and homeless women. And in October, Sweet Tooth was responsible for the desserts at the Human Rights Campaign’s New England Gala Dinner at the Westin Waterfront. It’s all pretty impressive for someone who started baking at his mom’s knee as a kid. But now that Quirion and Venter have a son of their own, Joshua, is there any sense he’ll pick up the family tradition? “Baking’s not an interest of his,” says Quirion. He pauses, and chuckles. “But he sure can fold one hell of a box!” Sweet Tooth Bakery

371 West Broadway, South Boston


[ABOVE] Christohper Hastings Confections’ Dark Chocolate Absinthe Cubes made with Maine-made Absinthe Verde from Treespirits in Oakland, Maine [BELOW] Applejack Apple Caramel Bonbons made with local Maine apples and Treespirits Applejack spirits

Christopher Hastings Confections Mark Simpson and Nate Towne came home for the holidays. When the husbands and cofounders of Christopher Hastings Confections realized that their handcrafted chocolates and candies business had outgrown their licensed home kitchen in Nate Towne and Mark Simpson Portland, Maine, they found a production space in the revitalizing downtown of Waterville, Maine, the same 16,000-person city in which Towne grew up. The couple resettled there in June, just in like Thanksgiving-apropos “pumpkin time to begin ramping up production for crack,” an organic pumpkin seed brittle the winter holidays ahead. “Chocolate is with autumnal spices, and the Christmas cyclical,” says Towne, who sees demand favorite peppermint bark. jump from the pre-Halloween weeks of Theirs is a labor of love—literally. October through the post-Valentine’s Day The duo started dating 15 years ago and rush. They expect a lot of late nights spent married in 2014. Only a few months later, in the kitchen, prepping seasonal sweets they formally united their skills (and their


Spend the day shopping at Tanger Outlets, the only indoor outlet mall in the U.S. or our high-end boutiques. Grab a bite to eat at one of our dozens of restaurants. End the night with a front row seat at Legends from November 25TH to January 1ST. It’s all here at Foxwoods Resort Casino. The only thing missing is you. GET 15% OFF YOUR ROOM RATE WITH THE CODE LGBT AT FOXWOODS.COM

“ Chocolatemaking was a fun, creative outlet that I explored at first just to make gifts for friends ” Mark Simpson Christopher Hastings Confections

Christopher Hastings Confections middle names) to launch Christopher Hastings Confections. Towne is a public relations and integrated marketing professional whose past experience includes work with well-known artisan chocolatier Gail Ambrosius. Simpson, meanwhile, has spent over 25 years as an engineer. His work making crystals, used for everything from jewelry to missiles to semiconductor lasers, is actually very applicable to the art of chocolate making, which depends on manipulating sugar crystals to yield the ideal flavor, texture, color, and consistency. “Chocolate-making was a fun, creative outlet that I explored at first just to make gifts for friends,” says Simpson, who has since been certified by Ecole Chocolat, a Vancouver-based school for chocolate arts. When it comes to chocolates, “Mark is the brilliant mind, and I make them look good on Instagram,” laughs Towne, who balances this confections career with a full-time job as the marketing manager at Waterville Creates, a non-profit that strengthens and promotes the city’s art and cultural institutions. When he’s not creating sweet treats, Simpson retains a


Christopher Hastings Confections

part-time engineering role with a Boston company. But it may not be long before they dedicate themselves solely to Christopher Hastings Confections, which has amassed quite a following (and local food awards) for its hand-made, hand-painted chocolates that combine top-tier taste with the kind of elevated presentation and packaging that make them excellent gifts. Right now they sell primarily through an online store and via wholesale to various

Maine boutiques. Future plans include a downtown Waterville retail shop; right now the production facility is open by appointment only. The couples’ idea is to prioritize quality product over sheer quantity of sales. It’s an approach that goes hand in hand with their ethos to source as many local ingredients as possible—and put them to exceptionally creative use. For instance, absinthe from Oakland, Maine distiller Tree Spirits is used to make sugar fondant encased in a dark chocolate cube. Apple Jack caramel bonbons are made using fresh Maine fruit that the couple handpicks from Lemieux’s Orchards in Vassalboro; they also harvest themselves the wild Maine blueberries used to make blueberry jelly cubes. Local dairies provide their cream and butter, regional beekeepers provide the all-natural honey—and they even source straight from the sea. Christopher Hastings candies use sea salt procured from Eggemoggin Reach on Deer Isle off the Maine coast.

When it comes to local pride, they also hope that bringing a successful boutique business to Waterville will help support the city’s downtown revitalization efforts. Their presence will certainly enhance the local gay community, which is still small but certainly more visible than it was when Towne was growing up there in the ‘80s. “There were no gay role models around me,” says Towne, who remembers sneaking down to the basement of a magazine store where he worked to peek at the gay publications that the business received but refused to stock. Today, their rave-worthy chocolates and candies are making these gay confectioners the most popular couple in town. “This is such a loving, respectful community,” says Towne. “If anything, being gay is an asset in that it sets us apart.” [x] Christopher Hastings Confections

18 Common Street, No. 205, Waterville, Maine

BAVARIAN CHOCOLATE HAUS Looking for a sweet reason for a road trip? Set your GPS to the winter wonderland of North Conway in New Hampshire, where among the snow-capped peaks of the White Mountains you’ll find the gay-owned Bavarian Chocolate Haus. It’s a charming candy shop housed inside a unique German cottage-style building, offering many kinds of fudge, chocolate candies, and maple-based sweets—all hand-made here. The couple purchased the business from previous owners back in 2008, and have maintained a commitment to quality while identifying ways to grow: The couple is planning to open a second location in nearby Bridgton, Maine next spring. When you visit, make the most of your trip by soaking in all the spectacular holiday spirit of New Hampshire’s White Mountains: from skiing at neighboring Attitash Mountain Resort to snowshoeing and snowmobiling with various local tour businesses. And of course, you can hunker down for a romantic wintery escape at Omni Mount Washington Resort, a rambling and historic New England resort with fabulous restaurants and a cozy wine bar, decadent spa and winter activities that range from horse-drawn sleigh rides to canopy tours along the snowy treetops. File under: the sweet life. [x] Bavarian Chcolate Haus

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SEASONAL Scrapbook COMPILED Rob Phelps

Notable New England Newsmakers of 2016 Seems like LGBTQA news hit the headlines almost every day this year. From politics to sports, election-year coverage to the Olympics, and practically every kind of story in between, even when we weren’t at the top of the newsfeed, LGBT made the page in more stories than ever in 2016. In other words, we are here, we are queer, and our contributions are increasingly more recognized. Here are some of our favorite headline grabbers: CHALK UP ANOTHER FIRST FOR THE BAY STATE On November 3, 2015, by executive order, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the expansion of the Commonwealth’s supplier diversity goals to include LGBT-owned businesses. While initiatives supporting women and minority-owned businesses are common in Massachusetts and elsewhere, no other state has yet included LGBT businesses until now. The Commonwealth joined forces with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) in seeking to officially certify and recognize businesses—a prerequisite for being part of the state’s database of eligible businesses. “As a business owner and entrepreneur you have to be confident. You have to be a risk taker,” said Stacy Robison of CommunicateHealth in Northampton. “And those things can be hard when you’re faced with discrimination or just worried about how you’ll be received. For the state to do something like this— really rolling out the welcome mat—is really huge.”


PRECEDENTSETTING CIVILRIGHTS CASE One of the early victories of the year won through the efforts of Gay Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) was a Dorchester man’s case against Fontbonne Academy before the Massachusetts Superior Court. Matthew Barrett had only just been hired as the academy’s food services director when Fontbonne swiftly fired him when he disclosed that he was married to a man and not a woman. In this first-of-its-kind decision, the court ruled that the Catholic girls school in Milton had clearly and directly violated the Massachusetts nondiscrimination law; was not exempt from the law; and had no constitutional defenses against its discriminatory conduct. “Religiously affiliated organizations do not get a free pass to discriminate against gay and lesbian people,” said Bennett Klein, GLAD’ senior attorney who argued the case. “When Fontbonne fired Matt from a job that has nothing

to do with religion, and simply because he is married, they came down on the wrong side of the law.” In early May, Fontbonne settled the case for an undisclosed amount, which means the school cannot appeal the court’s decision.

MAJOR APPEALS COURT APPOINTMENT “GLAD’s loss will be the Commonwealth’s gain,” said Janson Wu, executive director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, about Vickie Henry’s appointment in late 2015 to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. For GLAD< Henry had served as senior staff attorney and Youth Initiative director. Having joined GLAD in 2011, Henry lent her expertise to many of GLAD’s landmark legal cases, ranging from two challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the landmark marriage-equality case before SCOTUS, to challenging Social Security’s discrimination against married samesex couples.

MAJOR-LEAGUE ALLIES Four of Boston’s major league teams and the TD Garden rallied around state legislation, in early January, to include non-discrimination protections for transgender people in public places— like sports stadiums. The New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, New England Revolution, and the Garden, home

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at the 2016 Boston Spirit Executive Networking Night. PHOTO Ars Magna / Allana Taranto Matthew Barrett [RIGHT] and Ben Klein, GLAD senior attorney PHOTO Rob Phelps GLAD’s Vickie Henry, outgoing senior staff attorney and youth initiative director [FROM LEFT]; Janson Wu, executive director; Gary Buseck, legal director; and Mary Bonauto, civil rights project PHOTO Susan Symonds

to the Celtics and Bruins, officially endorsed the public-accommodations bills (SB 735 and H 1577).

shark tanks to the interactive tide pools—at Boston Spirit’s first-ever LGBT Family event, held in mid-February.

Advocates say backing from the world of sports, which has not traditionally been a bastion of support for LGBT causes, demonstrates the increasingly mainstream appeal for equal rights for all people, and that includes trans people.

The fun included activities for all ages, food and drinks, and plenty of time for kids and parents to make new friends while enjoying all that the New England Aquarium has to offer.


Boston Pride made history when a group of Irish-proud LGBT people was officially invited to march in South Boston’s historic—and very traditional—2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

One of the largest annual transgender conferences in the country, the 2016 First Event, took over all 17 conference rooms, social gathering spaces, and guest rooms at the Westin Hotel in Waltham in January The family-friendly event opened with the popular Tiffany’s Closet, where participants found everything from affordably priced complete outfits to that perfect accessory. The line-up of activities included workshops on everything that covers the mind, body and soul; youth and kids programs; grown-up meet and greets; a restaurant excursion night; a formal black-tie affair; dance parties; lots of informal gatherings; a fashion show; a cowboy fireside sing-a-long; a poetry slam; special screenings; and lots of other fun and educational stuff to do for everyone, including spouses and families. A big brother/big sister program paired newcomers with “old hands” to encourage, advise, and otherwise offer support. First Event 2017 takes place January 25–29 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Resort in Marlboro, Massachusetts. For details, go to or send an email to

NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM FAMILY DAY It was a first for the New England Aquarium when LGBT families took over the entire facility—from the amazing


For the second year, the Irish LGBT contingency marched under the Boston Pride banner in South Boston’s 2016 parade. Organized by the Allied War Veteran’s Council, the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the longest running public parade in the United States. “There are many members of Boston Pride who are veterans and of Irish descent,” said Sylvain Bruni, president of Boston Pride, “and being able to march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the second year is a great accomplishment for us all.”

MARCH MADNESS HISTORY Serious college basketball fans—as well as those of us who love to watch March Madness starting around Sweet Sixteen time—got a new champion to root for when former U-Mass basketball star Derrick Gordon hits the court as the first openly gay player to compete in the NCAA tournament. Gordon, who came out while at U-Mass, hit the court for the Seten Hall Pirates, which took on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Pepsi Center, in Denver. While the Pirates didn’t make it all the way into the Sweet Sixteen this time, Gordon made history. “For us, the fact that he’s gay is an old story,” said Seton Hall Coach Kevin Willard. “These kids know about Derrick, they’re on social media and are very informed. This generation of athletes are much more educated on the gay athlete. I think the attention is brought

on by adults. We make it a bigger deal. Some of these kids can teach us a lesson on how to handle this type of stuff.”

WHITE HOUSE AIDS POLICY DIRECTOR HONORED From Provincetown to the White House. That’s the story of the man honored at one of Boston’s biggest benefits of the year for his tireless work in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Douglas M. Brooks, director of the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy, received the Gerry E. Studds Award at the 2016 Men’s Event—where more than 1,300 gay and bisexual men, transgender people, friends, and supporters gathered for a night of dinner, dancing, and fund-raising for the life-saving programs and services at Fenway Health that benefit the entire LGBT community. Brooks’ career in AIDS advocacy began in 1992 with his work for the Provincetown AIDS Support Group. He went on to become the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI), a regional health and human service agency with a range of residential and community-based services in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. He also previously served as Executive Director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center, which is now part of Fenway Health. For 12 years, Brooks represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the Massachusetts-South Africa Health Task Force. In 2010, he was appointed to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and subsequently named that body’s liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee.

TRAVEL BAN PROTESTS In late March, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim filed an ordinance on March 28 that aimed to prohibit the City of

Attorney General Maura Healy [THIRD FROM with event coordinators Mechelle Ziff, Andrea Ziff, and Grace Stevens Boston Spirit Family Day Seten Hall basketball star Derrick Gordon makes NCAA history as the first openly gay player to compete in “March Madness” tournament. Photo courtesy of Derrick Gordon/Twitter. LEFT]

Douglas M. Brooks, White House director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and recipient of the 2016 Gerry E. Studds Award. The award is being given at Fenway Health’s annual Men’s Event in honor of Brooks’ tireless work in the battle against HIV/ AIDS. PHOTO courtesy

Boston from financing travel to the Tar Heel State, and the city council agreed in a unanimous vote. The ordinance came in response to North Carolina’s enactment of House Bill 2 (HB 2), which, the city councilor points out, “bans people from using restrooms that do not match their so-called ‘birth gender,’ creates a statewide antidiscrimination law that fails to protect the LGBTQ community, and strips municipalities of their ability to enact stronger anti-discrimination laws.” “In Boston we take great pride in leading on issues of social justice and LGBTQ equality, and we have a continuing obligation to uphold this mission whenever there is an opportunity to do so,” said Zakim. Many businesses also responded by planning to pull away from the state. PayPal cancelled a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina, which inspired Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to invite the company to bring the 400 jobs to Vermont. Like Zakim in Boston, Shumlin also led Vermont in issuing an official ban on state travel to North Carolina, then followed up this action by adding a second official travel ban—this time to Mississippi upon passage of another sweeping anti-LGBT law in that state.

FAMILY TIES Lisa Kron, playwright and 2015 Tony-winning lyricist of the acclaimed Broadway musical “Fun Home,” was among the many queer artists and activists that regularly appeared with The Theater Offensive. In April, Krone and the acting troupe The Five Lesbian Brothers—who have often performed together at TTO—received the OUT On The Edge Award at TTO’s signature event, ClimACTS! For TTO founding Artistic Director Abe Rybeck, seeing “Fun Home” was not only a visceral, moving theatrical experience but, he said, Kron’s success—on her own terms—feels personal. “It was very powerful, as a grassroots queer theater artist and activist, to watch the Tonys and hear the name of someone who’s part of our Theater Offensive gang,” he

told Boston Spirit. “Lisa stays in touch with the importance of grassroots work; it’s what she’s done for decades.”

PRIDE KICK-OFF Broadway sensation Nick Adams joined the 175-voice strong Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and dancing boys to kick off Boston Pride Week in June. The concert, “POPular,” featured pop classics from the 1960 through 2016, including hits by The Beatles, Queen, Abba, Elton John, Culture Club, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, and Adele. “Pop music is the soundtrack of American life, and we can’t wait to share the songs that have shaped several generations of chorus members and the LGBT community as a whole,” said Reuben M. Reynolds, III, BGMC music director. “We’re also thrilled to be bringing Nick Adams, a graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music, back to his old stomping grounds.” Adams originated the role of Adam/ Felicia in the Tony-winning Priscilla Queen of the Desert during its 2011-’12 run, among his notable roles.

RED SOX EXECUTIVE COMES OUT FOR PRIDE NIGHT Boston Red Sox annual Pride Night at Fenway Park line-up featured both the Sox playing against the Toronto Blue Jays plus a pre-game event featuring a powerfully moving talk by Billy Bean, former MLB player and out LGBT advocate. Upon attending a previous talk by Bean, Sox senior executive David Baggs was moved so much that he came out himself as a gay man in a SB Nation Out Sports editorial: “Years ago I read Billy’s book, ‘Going the Other Way.’ At the time I was too confused to take action about who I was. If someone told me 15 years ago I would be working for the Red Sox and witness an openly gay former player speak to the front office, introduced and accepted by the team president, president of baseball operations, and

current bench coach, I’d have asked them to stop drinking and promptly seek help. … “In professional sports I’ve learned that, like everyone else, I need to hustle, work hard, hold myself to a high level of grit... and most importantly be myself. If I can’t do that, I can’t make it in any endeavor, including sports. ... “I am so happy to finally, completely, be true to myself,” wrote Baggs, who helped bring Bean to Sox Pride Night.

VERMONT BANS CONVERSION THERAPY Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the prohibition of licensed professionals who counsel minors from attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor, aka “conversion therapy.” “It’s absurd to think that being gay or transgender is something to be cured of,” said Governor Shumlin. “Our country has come a long way in a short period of time in recognizing the civil rights of members of the LGBT community, and I am so proud that Vermont has taken a leadership role at every step of the way. At a time when the rights of LGBT individuals are under attack in other parts of the country, Vermont will continue to stand up to hatred and bigotry and show the rest of the country what tolerance, understanding, and common humanity look like.”

STANDING WITH ORLANDO To honor the victims of the mass shooting that took place on June 12 at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, all five Boston Pride block parties held a moment of silence. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Pride also led a vigil the next day at City Hall Plaza. “Boston Pride extends our sympathies to the victims and families of the tragic Orlando nightclub massacre and we stand in unison with the LGBT

Tony-winning playwright and lyricist of Broadway’s “Fun Home” Lisa Krone [CENTER], one of the Five Lesbian Brothers. PHOTO courtesy

Broadway star Nick Adams. PHOTO courtesy

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. PHOTO courtesy David Baggs, senior manager of Red Sox Sales Academy for the Boston Red Sox. PHOTO courtesy David Bagg/ Linked In

community of Orlando to condemn this vicious act,” stated a Boston Pride press release, announcing the events.

thereby extending protection from discrimination to transgender people in public places.

Convention. The event could have had a $100 million economic impact in the Charlotte area.

A candlelight vigil was also held in Copley Square, outside Trinity Church, led by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The state’s senate and house reconciled their two versions of the law on July 6. Earlier this year, the governor publicly affirmed that he would sign the bill if brought to him by the legislators.

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” read a statement from the NBA.

MARKEY STANDS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE In support of the passage of strong gun safety legislation in Congress, Bay State U.S. Senator Edward Markey held a press conference on gun violence at Fenway Health’s Ansin Building a week after the nightclub shootings in Orlando. Joining the senator at the podium were Stephen Boswell, MD, president and CEO of Fenway; John Rosenthal, head of Stop Handgun Violence; Monalisa Smith, head of Mothers for Justice and Equality; and William Begg, MD, an emergency-room physician from Newtown, Connecticut.

BAY STATE ELDERS COUNT May 11, 2016 was a landmark date in Massachusetts, even though there wasn’t any fanfare and probably most people were not aware that anything occurred. On that day the Executive Office of Elder Affairs amended the standardized form known as the Complete Data Set to include two new questions: one on sexual orientation and one on gender identity. This means that for the first time in Massachusetts history, LGBT older adults are being counted in the state’s aging services data.

TRANSINCLUSIVE PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS BECOMES LAW “Massachusetts is now the 1st state this year—& the 18th in the nation—to pass full #trans protections! #TransBillMA.” The tweet rang out from Freedom Massachusetts around 3:30 p.m. on July 8, 2016, after Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination,”

The governor’s public affirmation came shortly after Boston Spirit magazine invited the governor to deliver the keynote speech at its annual executive networking night. It was hoped that the governor would address the issue at the event. When he failed to do so, protestors booed him from the podium in front of more that 1,000 members of the LGBT business community and allies as well as major media outlets. The Spirit event helped bring into focus the tireless work over more than 10 years by groups like Freedom Massachusetts, GLAD, and MassEquality as well as the hardworking legislators and others who made this day possible. The law officially kicked into action on October 1.

SENSATIONAL SUNSET CRUISE Nearly 700 friends cruised around Boston Harbor on Bay State Cruise Company’s Provincetown II when Boston Spirit hosted its 10th annual Summer Sunset Cruise, one of the largest and most popular events of the summer. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised went directly to Fenway Health.

CELTICS APPLAUD ALL-STAR MOVE The Boston Celtics voiced its approval on July 21 when pro basketball’s commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA is moving its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina to protest North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation (HB2). “We support the NBA’s decision and share the league’s values of equality and inclusion. We hope that productive dialogue continues in the effort to welcome all who love our game,” a Celtics spokesperson told Boston Spirit. The All-Star Game was estimated to have been the largest event in that city since the 2012 Democratic National

SISTERLY LOVE Every year, Boston’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence work their magic volunteering their good services at GLAD’s annual Summer Party in Provincetown. This year, GLAD returned the favor, celebrating the Sisters as the 35th annual event’s guests of honor. Up on the beautiful grounds of the Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum, the shindig features fabulous silent and live auctions (with comedian Kate Clinton at the gavel), delicious delicacies, and a chance to enjoy gorgeous views of town and harbor with friends and special guests and other GLAD supporters.

HAT SISTER LEAVES CHARITABLE LEGACY News of the September 24 passing of Hat Sister John Michael Gray swept through Boston, Provincetown and beyond over the weekend. (See related story on page 30). Word is that Gray fought a swift, tough battle with cancer over the summer. Friends, family, and so many of us who may have only shared smiles with him but considered he and Tim a kind of best-friend couple were touched by news of Gray’s illness over the summer, making contributions to help the two fight Gray’s illness. We at Boston Spirit offer or deepest condolences to his surviving husband, Tim O’Connor—the other fabulous and treasured half of the Hat Sisters— and share the best of all possible memories with everyone in the LGBTQA community the two touched. [x]

Bob Linscott, assistant director, LGBT Aging Project, The Fenway Institute; Dale Mitchell, executive director, Ethos; Alice Bonner, secretary of elder affairs, EOEA; Lisa Rivers, nurse manager, EOEA; Mary DeRoo, director of home and community programs, EOEA; Susan Tompkins-Hunt, assistant director of home care programs, EOEA; Lisa Krinsky, director, LGBT Aging Project, The Fenway Institute; Sean Cahill, director, Health Policy Research, The Fenway Institute; and Carole Malone, assistant secretary of elder affairs, EOEA. PHOTO courtesy of The LGBT Aging Project

Hat Sisters Tim O’Connor [LEFT] and John Michael Gray. PHOTO courtesy Hat Sisters Facebook page.

Senator Edward Markey. PHOTO courtesy

The Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (shown here with Edie Windsor at last year’s event) were guests of honor at GLAD’s 2016 Summer Party in Provincetown. PHOTO courtesy of GLAD

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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King

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De’Lon Grant. PHOTO courtesy De’Lon Grant

Visibility Matters Actor De’Lon Grant comes home to Boston in a powerful role

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Actor De’Lon Grant has taken on weighty roles in shows that tackle race and racism in America head on—from runaway slave Jim in the Lyric Theater’s 2011 production of “Big River” to abolitionist Frederick Douglass in a Chicago production of “Douglass,” directed by Christopher McElroen. It was McElroen who tapped Grant to play Douglass after directing him in the Huntington Theater Company’s adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel “Invisible Man” in 2012. It didn’t start out that way for the Providence, RI native who grew up mostly in Minnesota. Grant came to Boston to earn his masters in musical theater from Boston Conservatory and quickly found a

welcoming home in the city. He just returned to Boston after a three-and-one-half year stint on the road playing Barry Belson in a national tour of “Jersey Boys.” “I’ve been okay with being a supporting character as long as I was part of the party,” says Grant. “I didn’t covet the lead. But now that [leading roles] have been coming, starting with ‘Big River,’ I feel a sense of, oh wow, I really have to be serious. It’s not about play.” That’s a good thing, because Grant is about to take on another role rooted in history, racism, and injustice. He’ll play the real-life character of Haywood Patterson in Kander and Ebb’s Tony-nominated musical “The Scottsboro

gorgeous and it illuminates what these kids—they are kids—want, and that’s just to go home. It’s heartbreaking. “There’s also another layer, which is that it’s a show within a show. It’s almost Brechtian,” he says. “You’re seeing a play but reminded that it’s really happening.” As they did so masterfully with “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” Kander and Ebb mix topical social commentary with a powerhouse score. “The Scottsboro Boys” could be a story for today, in the age of racial profiling, Black Lives Matter, and and increased awareness and anger about the inherent racism of mass incarceration as detailed in contemporary works such as Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow” and Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary “13th.” But “The Scottsboro Boys” is, first and foremost, a dynamic piece of theater. “I really appreciated when we had our first meeting of the creative team, that Paul told us we were going to just tell our story and let the audience draw parallels,” says Grant. That said, Grant says he’s pleased that SpeakEasy will present postshow conversations between the cast and the audience. “It’s important for me to remember that as artists we hold up a mirror to the world. Sometimes musicals are just fun and escapism, which we also need. But hopefully this show allows us to have a conversation and gives the audience something to take away,” says Grant. “When I find something is difficult, I approach with humility—how do I make this work? To work hard and to land it—that’s the best feeling there is.” [x]


Boys,” running to Nov. 19 at the SpeakEasy Stage Company. Directed by Paul Daigneault, this unconventional musical examines one of the most infamous events in American history. In 1931 Alabama, nine African American boys were falsely accused and convicted of a crime. Patterson, a teenager when he was sentenced, taught himself to read and write in prison and later worked with a journalist, Earl Conrad, to write his autobiography “Scottsboro Boy,” published in 1950. Patterson died of cancer two years later, having spent 21 years behind bars. In one of the last collaborations, legendary composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb (who died in 2004) created a score that features a mix of gospel, jazz, and vaudeville, as “The Scottsboro Boys” uses the construct of a minstrel show to tell the chilling true story that provoked a national outrage and helped launch the American civil rights movement. For Grant, the role brings with it a sense of responsibility. “There’s a theme that book writer David Thompson goes through about truth, about telling the truth and no one listening,” says the actor. “Haywood is trying to tell truth and trying be honest in a couple of songs, such as “Nothin,’” which is about the fact that no one is listening to him. He’s a hard character—living in Alabama, poor, black, how else is going to be? Through the songs I have to find a way the nuances that make him sympathetic.” Grant describes himself as more actor than singer, but he does have a couple of showstoppers including “Go Back Home,” which Haywood sings with the other Scottsboro Boys. “That’s my favorite; it’s

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CULTURE Dance STORY Loren King

Urban Legend Diversity plays key role in Tony Williams’ holiday classic ‘Urban Nutcracker’ Making the Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker more contemporary and more inclusive—including performances specifically for LGBT audiences—while still holding to its classical tradition is what makes “Urban Nutcracker” as much of a local holiday tradition as its Boston Ballet counterpart. For creator Tony Williams, “Urban Nutcracker” was born of community need. “I was steeped in the traditional ‘Nutcracker’ as a kid with Boston Ballet,” says Williams, a Jamaica Plain native who in the early 1960s became the first AfricanAmerican principle dancer in the Boston Ballet. In 2000, Williams started a dance school—now the Tony Williams Dance Center—in Jamaica Plain. He learned that “a lot of boys were attracted to hip hop and tap, not ballet,” he says. “I was thinking of doing a ‘Nutcracker’ with the school because it’s a great way to get everyone involved and because I like putting on


shows. In Jamaica Plain there’s a very diverse community, many of my teachers are African-American, so I said ‘let’s do one with tap and hip hop and a classical base.’” Williams recalls that someone suggested he check out Duke Ellington’s jazz recording of “The Nutcracker Suite.” Williams immediately had the idea to combine the jazz and classical components into “a big stew of dance styles.” The result was “Urban Nutcracker” which was set in the present and mixed Tchaikovsky’s score with Duke’s big band version. “I had no idea it would work,” says Williams. “I didn’t know what would happen but the first night at the Strand Theater [in 2001] was sold out. We opened on a downtown scene and the audience went wild.” Fast forward 16 years and “Urban Nutcracker” returns to John Hancock Hall, its home for the past six years, for 13 shows, December 16-31. Drawing audiences from Boston and the suburbs, black and white,

straight and LGBT, it’s one of the city’s most beloved and inclusive holiday events. “I’m all about trying to represent all community citizens,” says Williams. “That’s my goal.” This year’s annual LGBT show takes place December 29 at 7:30 p.m. “We love the LGBT show. It started in 2011 and was such a big hit; [LGBTs are] a huge part of our cast and our audience,” says Dustin Rennells, the company’s operations manager who guides all aspects of the shows. (“I’m the person you talk to if something’s wrong with your seat and I’m the person the cast talks to if there’s a sequin missing,” Rennells says.) He’s also the costume designer—updating, adjusting and modifying the show’s original designs by artist Rebecca Cross. Where he finds the time or energy to also work as an event planner for Fenway Community Health Center is anyone’s guess. When “Urban Nutcracker” reached the 15th-year mark last season, Rennells and the design team recreated the sets and costumes based on the production’s original ideas. “It just about did us all in, but it was an amazing show, visually,” says Rennells, a Missouri native who studied at the Art Institute of Boston and who has been with “Urban Nutcracker” for 10 years. Besides the LGBT show, Rennells says he’s most proud that “Urban Nutcracker” offers an Autism-friendly show (it takes


“Urban Nutcracker” PHOTO PeterParadise

place December 17 at 11 a.m.). “Three years ago, the of brother of one of our dancers asked would it be appropriate to bring his child who has Autism and we just felt, of course, that shouldn’t even be an issue! That allowed us to create an experience for everyone to enjoy without the fear of being too loud, or worrying if they have to get up and leave,” says Rennells. “We keep [the house] at half light, and the music is not as loud, and there are secluded spaces where people can go if they need a break.” The LGBT show allows the company to have some fun, drawing inspiration from the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the legendary, all-male comic ballet company Williams has worked with in the past and which combines classical ballet with camp. Last year, for instance, the intimate “Arabian Nights” segment of “Urban Nutcracker” was danced by two male dancers including Rick Vigo who, says, Rennells, “performed a stunning showcase. It was so beautiful; it was my favorite part of the show last year.”

In his 11 seasons with “Urban Nutcracker,” Vigo has danced the Snow King and the Nutcracker Prince among other roles. A native of Hawaii, Vigo learned to dance from his mother and by watching Madonna and Michael Jackson videos. “I wanted to perform for Madonna. That was my ambition; it kind of still is, secretly,” he says. After studying theater and ballet at Atlanta’s Emory University, Vigo moved to New York and immersed himself in a summer program at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. His next stop, at the urging of a friend, was Boston. Like Rennells, he’s one of many “Urban Nutcracker” dancers and staff whose loyalty to Williams and to his vision has created “an ‘Urban Nutcracker’ family,” as Rennells describes it. Quite simply, “Urban Nutcracker” aims to reflect onstage who its audience is, says Rennells. It’s a big umbrella and a big mission that this big family is happy to embrace. [x]

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CULTURE Dance STORY Loren King

Love Letters Boston’s ICA premieres dance legend Bill T. Jones’s powerful, personal ‘Letter to My Nephew’ Over his four decades as a pre-eminent dancer and choreographer, Bill T. Jones has often fused deeply personal subjects with social and cultural immediacy. One of his best-known pieces, “Still/Here,” which his company performed at Boston’s Wang Center in 1995, was a multi-media meditation on life-threatening illness and survival in the age of AIDS. Jones has long been open about all aspects of his life: he’s been out for many, many years, and publicly acknowledged his own HIV-positive status after the death in 1988 of his partner, Arnie Zane, who was co-founder and co-artistic director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. With his newest dance/theater


creation, “Letter to My Nephew,” which will have its U.S. premiere in Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) this month, Jones at 64 is still examining the deeply personal and socially-politically challenging in his work. The piece is a conversation between Jones and his beloved nephew, Lance T. Briggs, a former dancer and model who idolized his uncle and Michael Jackson and whose life, unbeknownst to his family, descended into drugs and prostitution before Lance became paralyzed by illness. He remains ill though very much alive. “Letter to My Nephew” runs November 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and November 13 at 2 p.m. It marks Jones’ return to the ICA for

“Letter to My Nephew." PHOTO Eric Politzer

the first time since 2014. Composer Nick Hallett and baritone Matthew Gamble will perform live onstage alongside the nine dancers of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, providing a mix of pop music, lullabies, rhythm and blues, and house music. Associate artist director Janet Wong’s video design turns the stage into a ballet class, a disco, and a “simulated battleground” as, through it all, Jones’s words to his nephew come alive on stage. Besides Jones’s heartbreak and struggle with guilt, the piece raises larger questions about personal and social responsibility; violence and racism; and universal themes of loss, redemption, and hope. “I’ve been working with Bill for 20 years,” says Wong. In “Letter to My Nephew,” she says that, typically for him, “art and life are merging.” But the reality of that is more glaring and more affirming because collaborating with Jones, she says, has

actually sustained Lance, who is also gay. Lance has come close to death during the continued development of the show and Wong says she believes that through the collaboration he has found a reason to live. Jones had talked to his nephew every week for six or seven years, says Wong, but then recently decided to do an oral history. “A letter is another way into the relationship, a wider lens,” she said. “It’s about the nephew/uncle relationship but also about Lance’s life and his choices. The dancers take turns playing Bill and Lance and there will be text projected on screens to give a hint of who they are.” Wong explains that “Letter to My Nephew” is a variation on “Analogy/ Lance: Pretty aka The Escape Artist” which is the second part of a dance trilogy called “Analogy” that Jones and his company are currently developing. The first section of the trilogy, “Analogy/Dora: Tramontan” is about Jones’s mother-inlaw Dora, a Holocaust survivor. Part two is about Lance and part three, says Wong, will be developed this summer. The trilogy is inspired partly by W. G. Sebald’s novel “The Emigrants,” as Jones is creating an

“ It’s about the nephew/ uncle relationship but also about Lance’s life and his choices. The dancers take turns playing Bill and Lance and there will be text projected on screens to give a hint of who they are.” Janet Wong Associate artist director

emotional experience by re-examining the past through text, memory, music, and movement. Lance has been collaborating with Jones not just through letters but also, as a rapper and musician, through songs. “I feel it’s what’s kept him alive,” says Wong.

David Henry, who oversees performance and media arts at the ICA, saw the company perform “Analogy: Lance” at a rehearsal in Paris where the work originally debuted. The arts group sponsoring the production requested that the performance have less text and more dance, so Jones adapted it into “Letter to My Nephew.” Henry was so moved and impressed that he immediately asked whether the ICA, which has a long relationship with Jones, could host the U.S. premiere of this show. Henry said the ICA may showcase the entire trilogy at some future date. “It’s amazing and sad. Lance’s story isn’t pretty,” said Henry. “Bill talked at the rehearsal about how he’d mentored Lance. He is trying to reflect; he’s always moved from the personal to the universal. This is a specific story and a human story.” Henry said Jones and Wong will offer free 20-minute talks in the ICA lobby to introduce the work and provide a context for what the audience is about to see. [x]

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CULTURE Music STORY Loren King

Pretty in Pink China Forbes and Pink Martini continue to mix the snappy and the sublime When lead singer China Forbes and the internationally loved band Pink Martini perform their Holiday Spectacular at the Orpheum Theatre on December 17, it’s a homecoming for both Forbes, who grew up in Cambridge, and for Pink Martini founder and artistic director Thomas Lauderdale. The pair met at Harvard University, a moment that remains vivid for Forbes. “We knew about each other in freshman year but we met during sophomore year when I saw him running around campus in a strange outfit. He looked like a schoolboy from Eaton in knee socks and shorts and a bowtie,” recalls Forbes. “I knew he was special. He’d seen me in a production of ‘Evita’ at the Loeb so it was meant to be.” The pair began writing songs and playing music together, but it wasn’t until 1994 when Lauderdale, a classical pianist,


launched Pink Martini in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He invited Forbes, by then living and performing in New York City, to join the band as lead singer, which she did a year later. Forbes has called Portland her home ever since. “Portland is magical because Thomas is magical and if he’s hosting you, you are immediately thrust into the mix of a fun group of people. I was from New York City so this was like summer camp,” she says. Since the band’s debut in the ‘90s, Pink Martini has grown to a full orchestra of 12 members with an eclectic repertoire that includes original but vintage-sounding songs in dozens of languages. The band’s pop-cabaret-symphonic sound is both sophisticated and utterly playful; there’s simply nothing else out there that’s like it. The band’s debut album “Sympathique”

(1997) was a smash in France making Pink Martini the toast of Paris. The title cut, says Forbes, is now a standard in French-speaking countries. “Literally, everyone knows it,” she says, recounting a trip to a manicurist in Montreal where the young woman asked Forbes about her music. “I asked her, ‘Do you know Je ne veux pas travailler…?’” said Forbes, singing the opening line of the song “Sympathique” on the album’s chorus. “She said, ‘Yes! My grandmother used to sing it to me. It’s an old Edith Piaf song.’ And I said, ‘No, it’s me.’ She didn’t believe me. They think it’s either Josephine Baker or Edith Piaf. … French I speak, the best of all the languages that we sing in. My grandfather was French and my father loved being French and speaking French so any chance I have to sing in French I love,” Forbes says. More French tunes are in store when Pink Martini’s new recording “Je Dis Oui!” is released in November. It includes three original French songs, all sung by Forbes, which Lauderdale wrote for the soundtrack for the new French-Belgian film “Souvenir” starring Isabelle Huppert which is due in theaters this fall. Forbes says Pink Martini has always attracted a diverse audience, including

many LGBTs, to its shows. She expects to see many familiar faces when the band plays in Boston, including members of her extended family who live in New England. China’s older sister Maya Forbes wrote and directed the moving, critically lauded 2014 film “Infinitely Polar Bear,” which depicted with humor and poignancy growing up in Cambridge in the late ‘70s with their father, Cam Forbes (played by Mark Ruffalo), who battled bipolar disorder. Cam Forbes died of cancer in 1998. “The Orson Welles Cinema was our babysitter,” says China Forbes, recounting her early years with Maya in Cambridge. “We used to watch really inappropriate films there like ‘Cousin Cousine’ [and other] French films with tons of sex and ‘Outrageous’ when we were five and seven years-old . … I wish my dad was still alive; he didn’t get to see [Pink Martini’s] success although he did get the first record we made, so that was nice. He would have been so excited to know how popular we are in France. That would have been his dream come true.” [x]

China Forbes PHOTO Autumn de Wilde Pink Martini [OPPOSITE] PHOTO Chris Hornbecker

CULTURE Cabaret STORY Loren King

For the Love of Judy Peter Mac gives Judy Garland and The Golden Girls new life at Club Café Peter Mac’s Judy Garland isn’t tragic Judy, drug-addled Judy or campy Judy. Mac’s recreation is Judy Garland in concert, which he’s performed to acclaim for 14 years, and continues with his new show at Boston’s Club Cafe. His tribute celebrates Judy Garland of the peerless voice and stage presence, the consummate entertainer at the peak of her artistic gifts. It’s with good reason that Mac’s Garland show is so reverent. The star of screen


and concert hall quite simply saved his life. “Peter grew up in a homophobic community on Long Island. He escaped into the basement and shut out the world, listening to Judy Garland from when he was very young,” says John Mac, Peter’s husband and producing partner. When Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998, Peter Mac, who was then 26, felt compelled to write a play, ”Judy and Me,” which drew parallels between his own and

Shepard’s life, and how his was saved by his deep connection to Garland. But he realized that the actress he’d cast wasn’t delivering the ebullient Judy he’d created. So, at the last minute, Mac stepped into the role himself. The result was an uncanny recreation of his idol. “Judy and Me” ran for nearly two years at Rose’s Turn in New York City and later at St. Luke’s Theater in New York. Mac continued to perform as Garland in concert, first in New York and then in Los Angeles, singing Garland’s best known songs from “Over the Rainbow” to “Get Happy” and “The Man That Got Away.” He and John Mac, a couple for 14 years and married for eight, several years ago moved from LA to Salem, Mass. It was there, at Opus Underground, last year that Club Cafe general manager Jim Morgrage saw Mac performing as Judy and

arranged for Mac to bring the show to Club Café. His show isn’t a drag impersonation; Mac does all his own singing and channels Garland in a way that only a kid who grew up watching, mesmerized, all her talk show appearances, TV specials and concerts could. Mac changes the show every six to eight weeks. In November, he’ll perform “Becoming Judy” on Saturday nights Club Cafe. He begins as himself, recounting for the audience his troubled life as a gay youth enthralled by Garland, as he gets into makeup and costume. Then, transformed, he sings and engages with the audience as Judy. “It’s ‘60s concert Judy but Peter breaks the fourth wall, talking about current events and other updates that make the show seem as if Judy were still alive and performing,” says John Mac.

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In December, Club Cafe audiences will see an “updated version of Judy Garland’s Christmas special,” he adds. John Mac estimates that nearly 70 percent of the Garland in concert audiences are straight because “gay audiences think of Garland impersonations as drag shows.” But Mac’s performance, he says, is “evocative, artistic and highbrow tribute to Judy.” So much so, he adds, that while Mac was living in West Hollywood, Garland’s children, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft, saw Mac’s interpretation and gave it their seal of approval. In 2012, actress Margaret O’Brien who played Judy’s little sister in “Meet Me in St. Louis” nominated Mac for the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Golden Halo Award to mark the 10th anniversary of his Judy Garland tribute. Mickey Rooney, Garland’s friend and frequent costar in the beloved “Andy Hardy” movies from MGM, presented Mac with the award. If that isn’t enough, Mac also writes and performs in “The Golden Girls Live” at

Club Café Thursdays through Sundays. John Mac, who also produces the comic parody tribute, stresses that it’s an improvised show and not a verbatim recreation of episodes from the popular sitcom. Inspired by “The Brady Bunch Live,” the Macs have produced “The Golden Girls Live” for 14 years, starting in New York and continuing it in Los Angeles while they lived there before opening at Club Café last year. “It’s an homage to the show and the impersonations are spot on,” says John Mac. In November, “The Golden Girls Live” will continue “Terms of Estrangement” which focuses on the relationship between Dorothy and her mother, Sophia. In December, Club Cafe audiences will be treated to the Golden Girls’s “Lost Christmas Episode” as a way to commemorate the holiday season. [x]


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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King Sue Trinder (Sara Bruner) [LEFT] seeks to know more about Maud Lilly (Erica Sullivan) PHOTO Jenny Graham, Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two Sarah Waters’ saucy ‘Fingersmith’ arrives at the ART Bill Rauch, who directs the play “Fingersmith” at the American Repertory Theatre’s Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square December 4–January 8, promises audiences a “wild ride.” That’s not surprising, considering that Alexa Junge adapted her play from Sarah Waters’ award-winning 2002 novel set in Victorian England. Waters’ saucy mix of Dickensian London tropes such as madhouses, gothic mansions, orphans, petty thieves, and shocking secrets entwined with a lesbian romance between

sheltered heiress Maud Lilly and scrappy pickpocket Sue Trinder, earned legions of fans and a Man Booker Prize nomination. “Fingersmith” was made into an excellent two-part BBC miniseries in 2005 starring Sally Hawkins and Imelda Staunton. Rauch, artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) where “Fingersmith” premiered in 2015 to glowing reviews, now brings the production to the ART (it’s the same show but with a new cast). The transfer follows the same path as the acclaimed “All The Way,” starring

Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon Johnson. That show, also under Rauch’s direction, was developed at OSF before heading to Cambridge three years ago and later opened on Broadway. Cranston won the Tony Award as best actor for the show. “Fingersmith,” said Rauch, was a huge hit for the OSF, an esteemed company based in Ashland and which mounts 11 new productions a season. “There were audience members who saw it again and again. One woman saw it 17 times. People were quite obsessive, in a great way,” he said. It was Rauch’s long relationship with the ART that brought “All the Way” and now “Fingersmith” to the Cambridge theater. “I was a Harvard undergrad when ART started in the ‘80s. I’ve long known and admired [artistic director] Diane Paulus...I worked with her on ‘All the Way’ three years ago and it was a wonderful experience so I was eager to come back,” says Rauch who’s headed OSF for 10 years. “Colleagues from A.R.T. came and saw “Fingersmith” and thought it would be a good match.” Rauch wasn’t familiar with Waters’ novel before Junge, a longtime colleague and friend, brought the idea of adapting it to him. “It’s her favorite book; she’s so passionate about it,” he says. “Then I read it and I was blown away. It’s extraordinary. So we commissioned it.” Junge is a Los Angeles-based screen and television writer whose extensive credits include “Friends,” “Sex and the City,” and “The West Wing” for which she earned two Emmy nominations. She’s also a producer and writer for the current Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. In a talkback during the 2015 run of “Fingersmith,” Junge said adapting Waters’ novel was “daunting.” An ambitious period piece with elaborate costumes, sets, and

NOV|DEC 2016 | 81

lighting, Rauch says it was “the hardest show that our wardrobe crew ever faced. The first time we had it in front of an audience was a wild ride.” The pressures of mounting such a complex production increased when Waters herself came to see “Fingersmith” on opening night, no less. “Sarah Waters was so lovely and quite perplexed why this American company on the west coast in southern rural Oregon wanted to do ‘Fingersmith’ but she and two of her agents came out to see it. She was here for the opening in February [2015] so that was stressful,” he says. “But she’s been generous. She gave notes and thoughts on each draft, but she was generous about letting us find its own way.” “As with any wonderfully dense novel, there’s no way to do all but Alexa’s done a wonderful job of capturing the spirt and quite a few of the twists and turns of the novel,” Rauch says. “It’s a thrilling story with many surprises and the characters are so rich. And its a very emotional story. The audiences’ initial take was having their breath taken away by the power of

Sue Trinder (Sara Bruner0 [LEFT] has inklings that her scheme to con Maud (Erica Sullivan) could be more difficult to pull off than she thought. PHOTO Jenny Graham, Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

the story. There were audible gasps during the show.” The multiple layers to the story—it’s a thriller, a romance, an historical narrative—may account for why “Fingersmith”

drew audiences to the show multiple times, says Rauch. It also pulled a cross section of theater-goers. “The LGBT community responded to it but so did our core audience. We have a literate, really curious, really engaged audience and they were just very drawn in by it. It was a great success for us.” The OSF’s has been the sole stage production of “Fingersmith.” But last year also saw a theatrical version of Waters’ first novel, “Tipping the Velvet.” Playwright Laura Wade (“Posh”) adapted the novel for a production last fall at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Not only that, but “Fingersmith” served as the source material for a new South Korean film, “The Handmaiden.” Directed by Park Chan-wook, it moves the action from Victorian England to 1930s Korea under Japanese colonialism. “The Handmaiden” just played the Toronto International Film Festival after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and is set to be released in the U.S. this fall. [x]

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SCENE Pride PHOTOS Courtesy Pride Portland

Pride Portland All over town | Portland, ME | September 18, 2016

Portland, Maine’s LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, ally/asexual community) filled the streets of Maine’s largest city once again to bring people together “to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQIA movement, remember our history, and raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done.” Mary Bonauto, the Portland lawyer who sucessfully argued the marriage equailty case at the U.S. Supreme Court, served as one of the parade’s marshalls.

 PHOTO Steven Bridges

NOV|DEC 2016 | 83

SCENE Community PHOTOS Courtesy of Gay for Good Boston

Gay for Good Boston Volunteers at Braille Press National Braille Press | Boston | August 24, 2016

A dozen amazing volunteers helped assemble a couple hundred copies of “Amazing Grace” for the National Braille Press Great Expectations Program. As its story goes, when Grace’s school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn’t black. With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be in this amazing book. Gay For Good aims “to energize and mobilize the LGBT community to interact with the greater community by volunteering our time to various social welfare and environmental service projects.”


SCENE Pride PHOTOS Courtesy Capital City Pride

Hartford PrideFest Downtown | Hartford, CT | September 10, 2016

Gathering below an enormous rainbow flag draped upon the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, hundreds came out for the second annual Hartford Pridefest to celebrate achievements in equality, stengthen inclusion, and enpower youth in the community. The weeklong festival culminated in a Studio 54-style party.

NOV|DEC 2016 | 85

SCENE Fundraiser PHOTOS Courtesy Team CRI

Harbor to the Bay Boston to Provincetown | September 17, 2016

On Saturday, September 17, nearly 300 incredible riders and over 200 amazing crew members hit the Harbor to the Bay route from Boston to Provincetown to support HIV/ AIDS services and research. Launched in 2003, Harbor to the Bay (H2B) has raised over $4 million for four local HIV/AIDS organizations: CRI, Fenway Health Center, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, and AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. One hundred percent of all rider-received pledges has gone directly to these beneficiaries.


SCENE Benefit PHOTOS Patrick Lentz

Victory Programs Summer Sports Tea Dance dbar | Dorchester | September 29, 2016

Celebrating its sixth year, the Summer Sports Tea Dance is dbar’s biggest annual event, attracting nearly 500 guests, many from the LGBT sports community, and raising more than $10,000 for Victory Programs’ 17 health, housing, and prevention programs. This year the kind folks at dbar enlisted the delicious aid of specialty food truck Donna’s Dogs for hungry guests. They also provided outdoor party games, including guest favorite, Giant Jenga. Guests were encouraged to wear a wig and their favorite sports gear for a new-thisyear #WigFun4Victory photo contest on Facebook.

NOV|DEC 2016 | 87

SCENE Fête PHOTOS Marilyn Humphries/Courtesy Fenway Health

Fenway Health Donor Appreciation Night Ansin Building | Boston | September 22, 2016

Fenway Health hosted its annual Donor Appreciation Night, an evening to celebrate the generosity of Fenway’s Leadership Circle and Legacy Society members. Henia Handler, Fenway’s director of government relations and lifelong activist and advocate for public health, received the Michael A. Tye Leadership Award.


SCENE Panel PHOTOS David Zimmerman

Pride in Our Workplace Executive Breakfast Locke Lord | Boston | September 29, 2016

International law firm Locke Lord and Boston Spirit magazine hosted the latest in the Pride In Our Workplace executive breakfast series at the Boston offices of Locke Lord. Panelists for the breakfast presentation included Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and Chief Diversity Officer for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Karen Young. The topic of the presentation was “Public/Private Partnerships for Advancing LGBTQ Inclusion and Civil Rights.”

NOV|DEC 2016 | 89


CALENDAR Melissa Etheridge The trailblazing out rock icon shows no sign of slowing down. She became a legend thanks to hits like “Come to My Window,” “I’m the Only One,” and “I Want to Come Over,” but she’s kept rocking well into the fourth decade of her career. Earlier this year, Etheridge released “Pulse,” a single dedicated to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, and last month she released her latest album, “MEmphis Rock and Soul,” which sees her cover classic Southern rock tunes. Tonight she brings her “Holiday Trio” tour to New England, performing her big hits and some spirited seasonal favorites. WHEN



Thursday, December 8

Lynn Memorial Auditorium, Lynn MA

Holly Folly Sure, you may mainly think of Provincetown as a gay summer resort town—but it’s also a magical place to spend the merriest, gayest time of year. Before the Christmas rush hits, head down to for Holly Folly, an annual multi-day marvel featuring piano sing-a-longs, dance parties, drag brunches, and even a “Santa Speedo Run” to benefit local organizations. Plus innkeepers will break out their wickedest wreaths to upstage each other in the fiercest and most festive winter holiday decorations. It’s a fantastic way to get into the season’s spirit—and score some truly unique gifts from P’town boutiques while you’re at it. WHEN



December 2-4


Mr. New England Leather Weekend Take out the black leather and boots. The fourth annual installment of this social and educational series for the leather community has returned, and it’s ready to bestow the 2017 title to the next deserving mister, who will go on to compete at Chicago’s International Mister Leather in May. In addition to the parties and workshops, the weekend will also feature an exhibit by the Leather Archives & Museum focused on the history of New England’s leather communities, plus a silent auction benefiting AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod. WHEN



Nov. 18-20


Boston Gay Men’s Chorus: ‘Jingle All the Way’ Even the most Grinch-like gay heart will grow three sizes thanks to the glorious seasonal spirit of the BGMC. With “Jingle,” the jolly gents will regale audiences with holiday favorites, from classics like “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and “Joy to the World” songs to some surprise gifts—say, the Weather Girls’ saucy “Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man This Christmas).” It’ll be more festive fun than you can shove down a chimney. WHEN



December 11, 16, and 18

New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston

Pet Shop Boys “It’s a Sin” if you miss this rare New England appearance by the UK-based Pet Shop Boys, the electronic duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. They became gay icons thanks to a throbbing synth-pop catalogue that ranges from ‘80s hits like “West End Girls” to recent releases like “The Pop Kids” from their new album “Super.” That’s the record they’ll be promoting on this latest swing through the states, but expect plenty of welcome blasts from the past too. WHEN


Wednesday, November 9 Orpheum Theatre, Boston


Glowberon: Joey Arias NYC-based performance artist Joey Arias is a legend to anyone who followed the Big Apple’s edgy, underground gay art scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but he’s certainly stayed active ever since, even heading to Vegas to spend six years with Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity.” Tonight he comes to Cambridge as part of Glowberon, a fringe-focused cabaret series created by Harvard Square’s Oberon and Provincetown’s Afterglow Festival (founded by John Cameron Mitchell and Quinn Cox). Expect nothing but an A-plus show from Arias. WHEN



Thursday, November 3

Oberon, Cambridge


‘Kinky Boots’ Discover the multiple Tony-winning musical that made Cyndi Lauper the first woman to score the award solo in the Best Score category. “Kinky Boots” follows the unlikely camaraderie between Charlie, the hapless inheritor of his father’s English shoe factory, and Lola, a towering drag queen whose knack for designing high-heeled sequined boots might be the key to saving the business. Along the way, Charlie and Lola must contend with a few workplace hazards—like some homophobic townies that staff the factory. This rousing, kicky affair leaves audiences inspired. WHEN



November 30 through December 4

Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Worcester

Toys 4 Joys Want to brighten the life of a less fortunate child this holiday season? Take part in this annual gay-founded toy drive, which doubles as a snazzy soiree, back for its eighth installment. Toys 4 Joys attracts hundreds of attendees every year, and has raised over 10,000 toys that have been distributed to underprivileged kids through half a dozen different organizations: from the Multicultural AIDS Coalition to United South End Settlements. To take part, register online, and sign up to bring some toys. Then, don your festive attire and bask in the satisfaction of contributing to true holiday spirit. WHEN

Friday, December 9


An Evening with David Sedaris If humor is hot, then David Sedaris might be the sexiest guy around. Armed with wit, incisive cultural observation, and a healthy (mostly) dose of self-deprecation, Sedaris has entertained millions through best-selling books and countless appearances on National Public Radio. Now fans have the chance to enjoy a more intimate evening with the humorist, who visits the Hub for this special engagement from the Celebrity Series of Boston. WHEN



Symphony November 20 Hall, Boston


Revere Hotel Boston Common, Boston

Bachelor/Ette Auction for Harbor to Bay The annual Harbor to the Bay bike ride already took place in September, but the Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—that wickedly wonderful order of do-gooders—is still raising monies for H2B’s HIV/AIDS-related beneficiaries, which include Fenway Health and AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod. So the Sisters will host this uproarious auction of notable local LGBT bachelors and bachelorettes. Not only will your cash go to a deserving effort, but you may just score a date for your upcoming holiday parties. Bonus! WHEN



Thursday, November 17

Club Café, Boston

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Ptown Parties

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 WEDDING | EVENTS Accent Limousine


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Gourmet Caterers

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NOV|DEC 2016 | 95

CODA Cinema STORY Scott Kearnan mimosas were coming around. Thank god I hadn’t had anything to drink yet. That would have been a funny callback! [SPIRIT] With trans representation so limited, did you feel a sense of responsibility in your role? [EVE] Yes, a little. But when I’m working

Peter Pam

on set, I try to not think where it will end up and what will happen to it. I just want to tell the story strongly and clearly. It’s a lovely thought that someone will see it and it will be helpful to them. I take that seriously because I remember seeing my first trans characters, and not all of them were treated with such dignity, and handled with love the way that Pam is. Annie created the bones of the character, Josh and Jill [the screenwriters] fleshed it out, and Katie handled everything with poise and care. I was able to trust everyone around me.

Eve Lindley PHOTO Andrew Wohanasian

Trans actor plays central trans role in major big-screen release Roslindale-based artist and author Annie Weatherwax hit a homerun with her 2014 debut novel “All We Had,” about Rita and Ruthie, a nomadic motherdaughter pair in a small American town, teetering on the edge of poverty but supported by chosen family—including Peter Pam, a transgender waitress at a local diner, who somewhat serves as the tome’s moral compass. “All We Had” was an editor’s pick for Oprah’s Book Club–a major coup of exposure—and caught the eye of actress Katie Holmes, who decided to make her directorial debut with its film adaptation, which is receiving wide theatrical release and placement with ondemand cable services in December. Transgender representation in mainstream film remains limited. And transgender actors in trans roles are even scarcer. So we caught up with Eve Lindley, the Brooklyn-based actor, model, and artist (she also works in costuming for Broadway shows) who plays Peter Pam. Lindley, who also stars on the critically acclaimed USA show “Mr. Robot,” shared her experience of adapting a Boston-born book for the big screen.

[SPIRIT] Were you always drawn to acting and the arts? [[ EVE LINDLEY ] For sure! I was always in

the school shows and community theatre. People thought I was good, and it made my parents proud of me—particularly my mom, with whom I had a strange relationship. In those moments, even though she was in the audience and I was on stage, I felt very close to her. I’m an actress before I’m trans. I’m a storyteller. That’s what I dedicate my life to.

[SPIRIT] Were you nervous to audition for “All We Had”? [EVE] I’m always a little nervous about

auditions. But I’m the only actor who actually enjoys the audition process! It’s such an unnatural way to meet someone—but every time you meet someone, it’s like you’re auditioning for them, right? At least at an audition it’s like, “Well at least we’re being up front about this!” I had one audition and three callbacks, two of which were last minute. One time, my phone rang when I was at my friend’s birthday brunch deep in Brooklyn. It was my agent saying, “They need to see you now.” It was just as the

[SPIRIT] There’s a conversation happening now about the importance of casting trans actors in trans roles, and whether it’s problematic when trans roles go to cisgender actors—most recently Matt Bomer, who will play a trans woman in the film “Anything.” What are your thoughts? [EVE] It’s an important conversation,

and there’s a lot of gray area. I think a lot depends on the story. There’s so much trans talent out there and we already have such a hard time being seen. Yet I don’t want to be playing solely trans characters for the rest of my life. I’d love to play anything from Supergirl to Blanche DuBois! [Laughs] I want to tell stories about characters, not just trans people. At the same time, if you’re going to tell our stories, then have us help you tell them. Now there’s this whole Matt Bomer thing. My good friend is one of the producers. I talked to him about it. I really feel for him. They’re trying to make a movie and get people to see it. The way the business works is that more people want to see Matt Bomer in a dress. Part of it is spectacle: They want to see how he navigates playing a woman as this attractive man with that jawline and all those “American Horror Story” butt scenes. He’s someone who can deliver an honest performance. People would rather see him than me in a love story because they don’t know who I am. These things are unfair, and they’ve always been on my mind. The way to change it is—well, I’m going to make a name for myself! [x]



Boston Spirit Nov | Dec 2016