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MAR|APR 2018

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Fashion Fierce The vogue look of spring ’18

Bisexuals: LGBT’s unsung Bs

Politically Anxious

Troubling times for health care

April Fool

Standout Boston stand-up

Wigging Out ‘Moonlight’ writer takes the stage

Ingénue Redux

Still constantly craving k.d. MAY 9, 2018

LGBT Executive Networking Night KE Y NOTE SPE AKER

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Granted every generation, every decade, has its issues and challenges, but we seem to be living in a time where the current issues and challenges are reaching new levels. As a result it truly does feel like your vote, your support, your activism, your leadership really is needed now more than ever. And maybe, just maybe, if we all take an active role, we can move from “trying to affect change” to actually making change happen. If we don’t, today’s “now more than ever” might seem like the good old days compared to what tomorrow brings.

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Within the LGBT community, there are many ways to show your support. One way is to attend some of the great events that are coming up in the next few months. The Fenway Men’s and Women’s events, the PFLAG Pride and Passion Gala, MassEquality’s Beacons of Light event, Dinnerfest, etc. These organizations are helping thousands of people each year from kids to seniors. They are making our little corner of America a better place. Boston Spirit is proud to sponsor all of these events and we hope to see you there!

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Now more than ever. It seems like that saying has been getting a lot of use lately. We need your vote “now more than ever.” We need your support “now more than ever.” We need leadership “now more than ever.” We need gun control “now more than ever.” And yet this time it really does seem to be true. Forget about Making America Great Again; how about we start by trying to make America good again. THEN maybe we can aim for great. How about we make America a place where women can feel safe in the workplace, where kids can feel safe in school, where transgender people can feel safe walking the streets. A place where we care about and take care of the elderly, veterans and those in need. Once we nail down those basics, THEN maybe we can get on the road to great.

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As We Go To Press Yes, there are LGBT people who support Trump. At least 18 of them. That’s how many showed up at a rally in Washington for the president last summer, according the Washington Blade. Yes, 18. The rest of us seem to still be in shock. That’s based on reports from mental health professionals who have seen a spike in Trump-related stress. Many LGBT people “aren’t feeling safe,” says Fenway’s senior behavioral specialist and coordinator of behavioral health training Sixto Muñoz to Boston Spirit in this issue. “It can be exhausting.” Muñoz suggests people take care of themselves—perhaps seek therapy, socialize, exercise, be with like-minded friends, watch movies, and enjoy healthy activities. We agree. In this issue, we’ve put together some ways to help focus ourselves on our better selves. That begins with our cover story—fashion! Our out stylist Evan Crothers inspired us to think about enjoying life. “This shoot was about showing the fun you can have when you play with things, and put them together in ways you might not have considered,” says Crothers. “There are no rules about personal style. It’s about being in touch with yourself.”

Contribute your opinion: editor@bostonspiritmagazine.com

4 | BOSTON SPIRIT

And our local out fashion designer with a growing international reputation, Daniel Hernández, shows us how to do this with a regal flair. If you’re not into dressing up, then perhaps playing with the Boston Gay Basketball League might be your ticket to healthy escape! The league recently received its official nonprofit status, so you can have fun and feel good about doing charitable work at the same time! And our story on the “B” in LGBT—bisexuality—reminds us all to be fully who we each are—despite prejudice from without. Now more than ever, it’s critical that we live life out loud and proud and to the fullest. As stylist Crothers says: “It’s much easier to pull someone back than to pull something out of them. Give more. Give a lot. You have to show up with the goods, or people won’t know you have them.” If 18 gay people are willing to publicly come out for Trump, then surely the rest of us can show up for ourselves—even more. Give us the goods!

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20

Hit List

Contents

Politically Anxious

MAR|APR 2018 | VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 2

Spotlight

Mental health care professionals stand up to spike in Trump-induced stress A broken promise

Hit List A Fresh Twist April Fooling Keeper of Culture Four-Star Home Cooking A Fresh Perspective Senior Spirit From the Blogs Newsmakers | Rhode Island Newsmakers | New Hampshire Newsmakers | Vermont Newsmakers | Maine Newsmakers | Connecticut

8 10 12 16 18 20 22 25 27 28 30 31 32

The Unsung Bs of LGBT

33

Feature

March is awareness month for the largest—and woefully misunderstood—single group under the LGBT umbrella

Upping Their Game

By popular request, Boston Gay Basketball League is expanding both its competitive teams and recreational division

58

Shapes of Spring

36

40

A Fresh Perspective

Moving Forward from Patient Zero From early days of treatment for LGBTQ couples, IVF services are thriving in New England

Eye of an Aesthete

Boston fashion stylist sees the best in people and knows exactly how to bring it out

Moving Forward from Patient Zero

38

From red carpet couture to right off the rack, fashion designer Daniel Herández is bringing classic back

Shapes of Spring

Bold colors, fresh lines, playful patterns— basic elements for this season’s style

47 58

Substance and Style

73

Who’s Afraid of Woolf’s ‘Orlando’?

76

Having a Ball

78

Company One rolls out the runway for Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Wig Out!”

73

Substance and Style

Decidedly Queer and Arty

84

44

71

Time and gender are fluid in Lyric Stage’s production

82

Providence couple’s ‘Headmaster’ art journal proves smart, sexy and highly collectible

We Are Family

Stunning show at PEM presents Georgia O’Keefe in a new light

Beggars’ Banquet 40

Culture

LGBT images figure prominently in MFA photography exhibit

80

Wicked Queer brings global LGBT stories to Boston Boston Lyric Opera’s “The Threepenny Opera” remains prescient and timeless

Seasonal

Return to Regality

The Whole Wide World

Calendar

New England Events

82

White Out Weekend First Event 2018 Winter Rendezvous Business Leadership Information Session North Shore Pride Professional Networking Event

90 91 92

Falling in Love Again

96

Scene

Coda

Twenty-five years after her breakthrough album, we’re still craving k.d. lang

82

Beggars’ Banquet

94 95


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SPOTLIGHT Trending STORY Scott Kearnan

Hit List NEWS, NOTES AND TO-DOS FOR EVERY GAY AGENDA platform includes a push to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. More: peacockforsenate.com

GET TO STRUTTINGin

“Stonewall Stilettos,” a pair of haute couture heels made with the actual pleather of banquettes from NYC’s iconic Stonewall Inn. Rising international design star Shayne Oliver created the shoes, which symbolize the strides of early LGBTQ activists, for “Commitment, a Collection by Equinox,” a capsule of seven one-of-akind luxury goods that the Equinox chain of high-end fitness clubs (which has New England locations in Boston and Connecticut) will auction off for charity this year. Proceeds from the stilettos, which will be auctioned during Pride month in June, will benefit the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative. More: commitmentcollection.com

Brad Peacock

CELEBRATE GOOD SPORTSMANSHIPbetween

GET TO KNOWBrad Peacock, the

out veteran campaigning for the US Senate seat currently held by Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Peacock, also running on an independent ticket, is a Green Mountain State native and farmer. He served in the Air Force under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and says he was discharged for being gay, according to the “Bennington Banner” newspaper. His

“Stonewall Stilettos”

the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. Last month the two groups took part in a friendly Super Bowl-related wager: It was agreed that if the New England Patriots won, the Philadelphia chorus would perform “Please Come to Boston” and post the video online; if the Philadelphia Eagles triumphed, the Boston chorus would perform “Philadelphia Freedom” and do the same. We all know how that turned out. The Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis, which will be the 2020 host to 130 LGBT choruses for the quadrennial GALA Chorus

Festival. More: bgmc.org and pgmc.org

RENAME ITthe “Rainbow State”: Vermont is the US state with the highest percent of people (5.3%) identifying as LGBT, according to newly released data from the Williams Institute. Massachusetts (4.9%) is tied for second-place with California and Oregon. According to the study, nationwide 4.1% of people identify as LGBT. Here’s how the other New England states clocked in: New Hampshire (4.6%), Maine (4.5%); Rhode Island (4.0%); Connecticut (3.5%). Where will you find the fewest fellow queers? That’d be South Dakota, where only 2.0% of people identify as LGBT. SEND YOUR SUPPORTto Katya, the hilariously irreverent, Boston-bred breakout of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” who recently announced via Instagram a yearlong hiatus from drag and the grueling

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus

PUBLISHER David Zimmerman EDITOR IN CHIEF James Lopata MANAGING EDITOR Robert Phelps [rob@bostonspiritmagazine.com] ART DIRECTOR Dean Burchell CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE EDITOR Scott Kearnan [lifestyle@bostonspiritmagazine.com] CONTRIBUTING ARTS EDITOR Loren King CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alyssa Gillin, Tom Joyce, Natalie Nonken, Kim Harris Stowell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Joel Benjamin COVER PHOTO Joel Benjamin ON THE WEB [bostonspiritmagazine.com] TALK TO US [feedback@bostonspiritmagazine.com] EDITORIAL CONTACT [editor@bostonspiritmagazine.com] PUBLISHING AND SALES CONTACT [publisher@bostonspiritmagazine.com or 781-223-8538] THE FINE PRINT Boston

MAR|APR 2018 | VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 2

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

8 | BOSTON SPIRIT


Katya

pace of post-“Drag Race” globetrotting. Katya, real name Brian McCook, was a familiar face at Bay Village’s Jacques Cabaret before sashaying to star status on the hit reality show’s seventh season and second “All Stars” installment. “I am Brian, a recovering drug addict and workaholic,” read the social media post. “I need to take some personal time for my mental health to heal and recover.” He promised a 2019 return. We’re with you, Katya — Brian — all the way. More: welovekatya.com

DISCOVER“The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves,” a new novel by author James Han Mattson that examines the aftermath of a murder-suicide by a closeted gay teenager in New Hampshire, the titular Ricky, after a classmate outs him online. When Ricky’s sister returns to their rural hometown from Boston, she is confronted by the ghosts of the past and unpacks the events of the dead teen’s final year. Told in snippets of first-person narratives and gay dating app exchanges, the result is a moving meditation on grief, remembrance,

homophobia and the haunting nature of loss. More: jameshanmattson.com

HEAD TOthe 808 Gallery at Boston University to see “Forms & Alterations,” an art exhibition using fine art and experimental fashion to examine the commingled relationships between clothing, gender identity, and self-expression. Over a dozen individual artists and collectives are represented in the show, including Qwear, a queer fashion platform founded by trans activist Sonny Oram, who also works in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. The innovative exhibit runs through March 25. More: bu.edu/art [x] Untitled  PHOTO Katherine

Hubbard + MPA. Courtesy of Higher Pictures.


SPOTLIGHT Mixology STORY Scott Kearnan

SPOTLIGHT Mixology STORY Scott Kearnan

A Fresh Twist KAYLA QUIGLEY SHAKES UP THE CLASSY COCKTAIL SCENE As beverage director for the Franklin Restaurant Group, Kayla Quigley creates killer cocktail programs for some of Boston’s hottest bars. Ironically, some of her most important experiences in the bar world actually took place before she could even drink. “I remember going down to Club Gallery in Providence when they had an 18-plus night,” recalls Quigley, who grew up in the small town of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She started tiptoeing out of the closet during her years in a Catholic high school, where she first met same-sex couples and began to embrace her own lesbian identity. She also learned to appreciate the unique, haven-like role that the bar scene has long played for LGBT people. “It was our hangout,” says Quigley of the now-closed Club Gallery. “It was a safe space, for lack of a better term. It was a place in public that felt like home. We couldn’t drink, but it was a fun place to be.”

Now Quigley supplies the sophisticated sips for the Franklin group’s fun-spots across Boston—including the cocktail-shaking Franklin Café, a beloved institution in the South End gayborhood, and Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, a classy Fenway-area affair known for its extensive whiskey selection. She’s also establishing a reputation as a go-to gin guru thanks to the latest entry in the restaurant group’s portfolio: Our Fathers, a just-opened Allston restaurant dedicated to modern Israeli cuisine and contemporary spins on Jewish deli-inspired dishes. Here, Quigley has curated one of the biggest gin selections in the city: Nearly 100 varieties from around the world, plus more than 30 gin-based cocktails. The idea is to highlight a sometimes-polarizing spirit that is underrepresented on area menus, says Quigley, who enjoys educating guests on the nuances of booze that is finally earning wider appreciation.

KAYLA’S (GIN) COSMO Thirsty? Kayla Quigley shared this recipe for Our Fathers’ WC Fields cocktail, a gin play on a cosmo.

10 | BOSTON SPIRIT

1.5 oz Malfy Gin 1 oz cranberry syrup (recipe below) 0.5 oz lime juice 1 egg white 0.25 oz dry curaçao 1 dash lemon bitters

Quigley cut her teeth behind the bar at Sweet Cheeks Q, the Boston barbecue restaurant from out “Top Chef” runner-up Tiffani Faison, who Quigley credits for being a prominent, proudly out woman in the biz. She’s also working towards her master’s degree in Gender/Cultural Studies at Simmons College, and her thesis examines the role of masculinity in bar culture. Given her sociology background, we had to ask: Why does Boston have so few spots for gay women? “That’s a really interesting question,” says Quigley. She has a few theories. “The age of the Internet and dating apps no longer requires someone to go to a lesbian bar to meet other lesbians. And some people may not like this answer, but the proper butch no longer exists here as it used to, so there’s not the same safe-space factor.” “That’s not to say every space is safe. But I’m incredibly fortunate that as a white cis female I can walk into almost any bar and not be beaten up,” adds Quigley. Progress: We’ll drink to that. [x]

Place all ingredients in a cocktail tin. Add ice and shake vigorously; strain into an empty cocktail tin. “Dry shake” (without ice) until egg white becomes frothy; strain again into a glass. Garnish with three whole cranberries.

CRANBERRY SYRUP

1 quart whole cranberries 0.5 quart sugar 0.5 quart water

Blend all ingredients in a blender; fine strain and keep refrigerated.


SPOTLIGHT Comedy STORY Scott Kearnan

April Fooling BOSTON’S STANDOUT STAND-UP COMEDIAN JULIE GOLDMAN Speaking on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, outspoken comedian Julie Goldman has a surprising take on the Orange One in the White House: “It’s been amazing. I hope he never leaves.” Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Trump has offered plenty of fodder for Goldman on “Dumb, Gay Politics,” her new podcast with writing partner Brandy Howard. Out since she started working the standup circuit in her teens, the Lexington, Massachusetts-raised star of Bravo’s “The People’s Couch” has never shied away from hot topics. And she’ll surely push buttons during her Sunday, April 22, appearance for an LGBTQ comedy brunch at Club Café, produced by Kristen Porter (of Dyke Night fame) in conjunction with the Women in Comedy Festival. Politically, Goldman doesn’t have much in common with the president. But she

Julie Goldman similarly speaks her mind, and she’s not afraid to ruffle feathers. Though the Emerson College alum says her dream gig is to score a standard sitcom role (as the “likable lez next door!”), she talked to Boston Spirit about equal opportunity offensiveness and sticking to her signature unsafe humor in a more sensitive comedy landscape.

[SPIRIT:] What do you think is the value of humor in times like this? [GOLDMAN:] Priceless. In my opinion, without it we would die. It’s the only thing we have. It’s our power. I’m not in government. I’m not in politics. I’m not legislating laws. All I have is my humor. That makes me feel in control. It makes me feel powerful, and I will use it to the most inappropriate level I can take it, because that makes me feel the best. Political correctness will be the death of everybody.

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[GOLDMAN:] I had someone stand up and walk out and give me the finger at Wellesley College. Because I called them “ladies.” And then it went into a whole thing. But I like to make fun of the gender preciousness that we’re feeling—and how, in a way, the oppressiveness about people’s triggers and their genders and their identities and all that shit is making it hard for anyone else to be anything.

in comedy is that we have to remember: What offends me might not offend you, and what offends you doesn’t offend me. And now that we’re both offended, what are we supposed to do? Who’s right and who’s wrong? … And by the way, we don’t need to agree. That’s okay. That’s fine. When it comes to laws and politics, I think there is more black and white to be had. Everyone wants equality, everyone wants to make money, and everyone wants to be left alone. But at the end of the day, as a comedian and as a human being, if I don’t agree in—let’s call it your religion, because I do think we’re talking about a set of beliefs—does that make me hateful? Ignorant? If you’re going to come to a comedy show, we need to all know that we’re all going to be made fun of and that’s all okay.

[SPIRIT:] I’ve heard other comedians complain about increased preciousness. Do you think the pendulum will swing back at some point?

[SPIRIT:] You’ve said Mel Brooks was a huge influence on you. What’s your favorite Mel Brooks movie?

[SPIRIT:] For queer people in particular, humor has long been a source of power. [GOLDMAN:] I do believe that using your humor to make fun of, especially, yourself and everything else keeps you from being victimized. If you have a fucking trigger word, I feel bad for you. [SPIRIT:] What’s the most vehement response you’ve received from an audience?

[GOLDMAN:] I hope so. I hope we’re in the

women’s studies phase, where we’re 18 and feeling our shit. You know, you’re militant. You’re black and white and there’s no nuance. One thing I’ve learned

[GOLDMAN:] “History of the World, Part 1.” It’s probably the most juvenile, so that’s probably why I liked it so much as a kid. Then “Young Frankenstein,” “Blazing Saddles”—I liked all that shit. Because he

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did race. He did gay. He did women. He did all that shit, and he made everyone the joke. No one was above anyone else. Everyone was equally available to be made fun of. And the gay people in his movies were fucking awesome. They were hilarious. And the women were hilarious. They were amazing and strong and they would give it back. [SPIRIT:] When you’re back visiting Boston now, how do you think it has most changed since your college days? [GOLDMAN:] I feel like it’s become, in a weird way, more commercial—or more gentrified. Where the school is now, that used to be the Combat Zone. My uncle was gay, his heyday was the ‘70s, and he took me on a gay tour of Boston once. Showed me where they used to do all the shit. He was like, “this is where the bathhouse was, this is where the gay clubs were.” Everything was through a back door, up a flight of stairs. I was probably 18 or 19. He showed me the Fens, he showed me everything. [x]


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SPOTLIGHT Performing Arts STORY Scott Kearnan Richard Jenkins in “The Shape of Water”

[SPIRIT] Giles shares his love for old movies with Elisa. A lot has been written about gay men as keepers of culture. Has there been a gay man in your life who played that role for you?

Keeper of Culture HOW THE OCEAN STATE’S OWN ‘SHAPE OF WATER’ STAR RICHARD JENKINS GETS IT EXACTLY RIGHT Cumberland, Rhode Island is a long way from Hollywood. Yet surprisingly, the sleepy Ocean State town is where Academy Award-nominated actor Richard Jenkins makes his home. In fact, he’s the former artistic director (1990–1994) of Providence’s Trinity Repertory Company, where he first kicked off his acting career. Jenkins just earned his second Oscar nod for the critically acclaimed film “The Shape of Water,” a 1960s-set fable that is, ostensibly, about a romance between a mute maid, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), and a humanoidamphibian sea creature held captive in the government laboratory where she works. But once Sally frees her fishy beau with the help of her friends Zelda (Octavia Spencer), an African-American coworker, and Giles (Jenkins), her gay neighbor, the flick quickly becomes a larger social parable about outsiders enduring and fighting back against politically sanctioned prejudice. As Giles, a struggling commercial illustrator who lives above a movie palace, where the lonely, film buff bachelor loses himself in the romance of black-and-white musicals (when he’s not pining for the studly counter help at the local pie shop), Jenkins, 70, offers an empathetic portrayal of an older gay man in an especially oppressive era. He spoke to Boston Spirit”about his latest acclaimed role.

16 | BOSTON SPIRIT

[SPIRIT] What was it about the character of Giles that resonated with you? [JENKINS] I loved his insecurity. He needed to be accepted. He wanted to be appreciated. He wanted to be loved. To be a gay man in 1962, and an artist at a time when they weren’t using drawings in commercials anymore—everything he needed, it was the wrong time for, and he knows it. He puts on this façade: “I think I can sell this product! I think this pie shop guy really likes me!” [SPIRIT] Are there experiences with alienation in your own life that you drew upon to inform the role? [JENKINS] I think we’ve all felt unworthy and alone and misunderstood. It’s such a human feeling: trying to connect. … I don’t know what it’s like to be gay in 1962. I was a high school student in 1962. And if you were a straight white male it was a great time. I had a wonderful time. There were no gay students in our high school until our 35th reunion. That was something we just didn’t talk about. You could not be who you are. And I can understand that—maybe not in the same way, but I understand feeling invisible.

[JENKINS] There was a man named Adrian Hall who was the artistic director of the first theater that I became a member of [Trinity]. I was a teenage actor. He opened my eyes to what the possibilities were. He was a gay man from Texas, six-foot-four, full of life, and he was interested in what the theater could do that movies couldn’t do. He used to say, “It’s not what you do; it’s how you do it.” Everything that we did meant something politically and socially to him. We did a play about the Manson Family. We did a play about Jim Jones. … I owe him a great deal. I was from a small little town in Illinois, I went to a small wonderful school in Illinois, and then I found myself thrown into the theater with this guy who was like no one I’d ever talked to, like no one I had ever met. He was tireless. And he believed in me. [SPIRIT] This is a timely film. What do you hope audiences will take away from it? [JENKINS] [Laughs] You’re asking me to give a speech. When I was a kid, what the movies did for me was—they give you a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes and look through their eyes. And every issue changes if you know someone involved in that issue. That’s what movies can do. That’s what theater can do. That’s what actors do, that’s how we contribute: We give you a chance to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. Whether you even know it or not, that’s what’s happening. And hopefully next time it influences you because you know someone. If you have a gay child, gay rights means a lot more than if you don’t. This is what art can do: It can put you in their shoes and still make it a fabulous, wonderful journey that you want to go on. [x]


RSVP NOW bostonspiritmagazine.com / enn

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 Boston Marriott Copley Place, 6–9:00 p.m. Boston Spirit magazine is pleased to announce our 12th annual LGBT Executive Networking Night. Gather for an evening of networking and business conversation. This promises to be a special night and one you do not want to miss.

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KRISTIN BECK unit popularly called SEAL Team Six, and received multiple military awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. The keynote speaker for this year’s executive night is Kristin Beck. Kristin served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEALs before her transition, taking part in 13 deployments, including seven combat deployments. She was a member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU), a special counterterrorism

Now a civil rights activist, Kristin gives speeches and lectures at various events around the country. She was a key voice in the Congressional bill to end discrimination toward the LGBT community and has been a vocal advocate on behalf of transgender troops in the U.S. military. She continues her “new mission” fighting for equality for all Americans.

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SPOTLIGHT Cuisine STORY Scott Kearnan

Four-Star Home Cooking TOP CHEF AT BOSTON SEAPORT’S ENVOY HOTEL COOKS FROM THE HEART Tatiana Pairot Rosana is a first-generation American who grew up in Miami in a very traditional Cuban family. She’s always considered her father her greatest mentor, and would do anything to avoid disappointing him. So she was incredibly nervous when she called her dad to deliver some potentially nerve-wracking news. Luckily, he had just the right response. “He told me, ‘you’ll be good at whatever you put your head into, but you’ll be great at whatever you put your heart into.’” That’s the advice Rosana received when she told her father she was abandoning studying to be a doctor in order to pursue her true passion: a career as a chef. It was the

“second scariest thing” she ever had to do—right behind coming out as a lesbian, a revelation that, initial friction aside, ultimately received the same support from parents who encouraged their daughter to follow her heart “They understood once they saw how happy [her now-wife] Alexis made me, how I was more myself with her than with anyone else,” says Rosana. “My dad said, ‘I’ll never not support you. I love seeing you this happy.’” The comforting warmth of family is something that Rosana hopes to capture in her cuisine at the Envoy Hotel in Boston’s Seaport, a gorgeous and glittery property with an innovative waterfront restaurant (Outlook

Chef Tatiana Pairot Rosana. PHOTO Joel Benjamin

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Kitchen and Bar) and buzzy rooftop lounge (Lookout Rooftop and Bar) offering stellar skyline views. Rosana says she wants to break the “stigma” associated with hotel restaurants, which are often presumed to be impersonal, by tapping her technique-driven Le Cordon Bleu training while also making guests feel entirely at home. To that end, Rosana creates many dishes inspired by the nostalgia of family. Her pork chop plate invokes a Cuban mojo sauce that is based on her grandmother’s recipe. Her spicy tuna poke, or Hawaiian raw fish salad, is spiked with gochujang vinaigrette, thus nodding to both her wife’s Korean ancestry and upbringing in the Aloha State. One day, she says,

“ It can actually make me angry, because sometimes I tell people I’m a chef and they think it’s cool—and then, when they find out I’m gay, it’s almost like they think I’m cooler. ” Tatiana Pairot Rosana she hopes that she and Alexis, whom she met working at Boston’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, might own a small restaurant of their own. Rosana’s skillfulness and vibrant use of flavor was also shaped, in part, by a member of her local LGBTQ family. Her first formal kitchen role was at Harvard Square’s Harvest

restaurant, a decades-spanning fine dining institution where she worked under its then-chef Mary Dumont. Dumont, a “Food & Wine” award winner and “Iron Chef America” alum, is an out lesbian whose strong reputation and public profile served as a role model to Rosana. “To see another lesbian chef out there, doing it, being proud of

who she is—and being talented as heck—was so inspiring to me,” says Rosana. “She built my confidence as a cook and a person. It was like, if she can do it, I could do it.” If anything, Rosana says she’s been surprised to find that her sexuality has actually imbued a sort of culinary street cred with her peers. “It can actually make me angry, because sometimes I tell people I’m a chef and they think it’s cool—and then, when they find out I’m gay, it’s almost like they think I’m cooler,” says Rosana. “I’m not complaining,” she says with a laugh. “But I try to not tell people off the bat. I want people to like my food for what it is.” [x]

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SPOTLIGHT Politics STORY Scott Kearnan

A Fresh Perspective BECOMING THE FIRST TRANS MEMBER OF CONGRESS IS JUST ONE WAY ALEXANDRA CHANDLER COULD CONTRIBUTE TO HISTORY Alexandra Chandler is ready to make history. Maybe more importantly, she thinks voters are too.

fighter. You’re tough. You stood up for yourself, so you’ll stand up for me and my family.’”

“I’ve been very heartened by what I hear on the campaign trail,” says Chandler, currently in a race to represent Massachusetts’ third congressional district in the U.S. House. If she wins, she would be the first out transgender person elected to Congress. And she’s feeling pretty good about the reaction that voters are registering to the prospect.

Chandler certainly has had to stand up for herself over the years, and especially as a woman who transitioned while working at the Defense Department’s Office of Naval Intelligence, where the Haverhill, Massachusetts resident served 12 years as a top analyst safeguarding the U.S. from, among other threats, the spread of weapons of mass destruction from nations like North Korea.

“People have said to me, ‘Because of your history, your work in the military and being transgender, I know you’ll be

It wasn’t easy for Chandler, who knew there was “something different” about her since childhood. After all, she was working

Alexandra Chandler. PHOTOS courtesy of alexandrachandler.com

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within military culture during the George W. Bush administration. Prejudice was prevalent. She notes a 2006 ACLU lawsuit on behalf of a veteran whose job offer at the Library of Congress was rescinded after it was discovered she was transgender. She also recalls when, during her transition, among the first to occur on-the-job at the department, an employee at a town hall-style meeting angrily mischaracterized the situation as a “drag queen walking around and using the women’s bathroom.” “They said it was disgusting, that I should be fired.” Half the room applauded, says Chandler. But what also stood out was the support she received from her higher-ups. At that same town hall, she says, “the captain, to his great credit, gave a speech that could have been written by the Human Rights Campaign, talking about navy values of courage, commitment, equality

Chandler and her wife, Cathy, with their two daughters. and inclusion.” The other half of the room applauded. “Most of these people were not bringing their politics into their day job,” says Chandler. “Many of them were conservative Republicans who had never met a transgender person before. But they knew me, they knew we had a mission and they were behind me 100-percent.” And in fact, whether she’s steering conversations that

bridge social divides or discussing important policy issues, Chandler says she tries to keep a certain maxim in mind: “Until proven otherwise, assume best intent.” It’s a refreshing antidote for heavily polarized times, one Chandler has held close ever since she grew up in an active political family with a partisan Republican grandmother and a father who was “practically a socialist.”

Their heady debates did much to shape her perspective. “I truly believe that the GOP Congress is thoroughly and completely wrong on many issues,” says Chandler. “But I think most of them probably believe they’re doing what is best for people.” Giving the benefit of the doubt doesn’t mean being naïve or blind to corruption, cautions Chandler. But the attitude does set a productive stage for working together.

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SPOTLIGHT Community STORY Bob Linscott

“Lincsott [FRONT, CENTER] with graduates from one of The LGBT Aging Project’s earlier classes on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for LGBT older adults.  PHOTO  courtesy

Senior Spirit

LGBT Aging Project at Fenway Health

Cracks in the rainbow: Responding to stress below the surface in lives of older LGBT adults The LGBTQ community has come a long way in the last 50 years since Stonewall, but there is an aspect of queer experience that is rarely talked about. Until recently, few researchers have looked at the role stress plays in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. Naturally, there is a direct correlation with the amount of discrimination, experienced or perceived, which is related to higher levels of stress and poorer reported health. But it is the hidden stress that lies beneath the surface that takes its toll on the body over the years. This is chronic stress, the stress from past, ongoing or perceived discrimination and other complicating factors like isolation. Researchers now confirm that unrelenting chronic stress can eventually exhaust the body, overwhelm the brain and lead

22 | BOSTON SPIRIT

otherwise healthy individuals to function in a depleted state. For older adults who were coming of age before the Stonewall era, hiding their authentic self was often a life or death matter. If family, employers, landlords or other associates found out they were gay, lesbian or gender diverse they were at risk of eviction, estrangement from family and friends and termination from their job. There were no protections in place at the time, resulting in a constant level of stress that created increased health problems. Recently, researchers have been looking at the factors surrounding minority stress and discrimination. In The American Psychological Association’s “2015 Stress in America Report,” researchers found that over a quarter of all LGBT adults report

some type of discrimination or harassment. The study also found that LGBT adults report significantly higher levels of stress than those who are not LGBT. Currently society has become more accepting of LGBT people and there are more services and protections including political organizations like MassEquality, Lambda Legal, GLAD and health organizations like Fenway Health. These organizations are playing an even greater role right now when the very protections our community has taken for granted are now at risk in the current hostile and unpredictable administration. This uncertainty re-engages those feelings of stress, especially for our older LGBT adults. Over the years, many LGBT people developed maladaptive coping strategies to help them deal with the discrimination or isolation from their sexual or gender diversity. Some of these strategies include alcohol and substance abuse or self-isolation. In order to change old behaviors that have become


ingrained for decades, people need to learn new coping strategies to respond to stress in healthy ways. Through evidence-based research the scientific world has proven that meditation, mindfulness and other practices like yoga and tai chi significantly reduce stress. One of the many opportunities that has surfaced in recent years is the growing number of meditation centers that have developed regular LGBTQ gatherings and retreats. In the greater Boston area there are dozens of places like Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, Shambhala Meditation Centerin Brookline, South Shore Insight Meditation Center and the Arlington Street Zen Center at Arlington Street Church that offer regular LGBTQ nights for experienced practitioners and those seeking to learn meditation. Early in my work at The LGBT Aging Project I began to be concerned about the long term effects of stress from a life time of stigma on older LGBT adults. The search to find a practice to bring to them to counterbalance this led me to a program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Over the years MBSR has become the gold standard intervention used by medical

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providers all over the world to reduce stress and create greater enjoyment in life. MBSR is an 8-week intensive course that combines meditation, mindfulness, yoga and other techniques to transform a participant’s relationship with stress, improve health, and increase enjoyment of life. In 2017, the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at UMass Medical launched its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative to reach out to groups like the LGBTQ community and people of color who often face higher levels of stress and encounter greater health disparities. With this new initiative the Center launched their first LGBTQ+ class which was offered live online to anyone in the world. The first class drew participants from Italy, South Africa, British Columbia and across the US from Texas to Boston. Plans are underway to have ongoing LGBTQ+ classes right in Boston starting this spring. To learn more about the LGBTQ+ Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, visit www.umassmed. edu/cfm; for more on LGBTQ meditation groups around New England contact OutBreath on Facebook or Meetup.com; for more about the relationship between stress and discrimination in the LGBT community visit the 2015 Stress in America Report at apa.org [x]

Bob Linscott is assistant director of the LGBT Aging Project at Fenway Health.

[CHANDLER FROM 21] And finding common ground is essential for dealing with issues at the top of Chandler’s list. A mother of two, Chandler and her wife Cathy, have dealt with student loan debt and day care costs. Chandler also watched her late father deal with multiple sclerosis, sky-high medical costs and addiction, bringing issues like affordable access to healthcare and the opioid epidemic into sharp relief. As the only candidate in her race with a national security background, Chandler offers an incredibly important perspective as the Trump administration continues to ignore the consensus around Russian interference in American elections— and, instead, is actively working to discredit the findings and reputation of America’s intelligence community. “As a Russian-speaking lawyer and former intelligence analyst, I look forward to being a relentless check on the Trump administration and its treatment of the intelligence community,” says Chandler, who made the

decision to serve on 9/11, which happened to be the seventh anniversary of her father’s death, while anxiously waiting to hear from Catherine, who was stuck underground on the NYC subway when the towers fell. “I will protect it from politicization and deal with the facts, so that we can protect ourselves going forward.” From restoring economic promise to the middle-class to protecting and advancing rights for LGBTQ people and people of color, Chandler’s best intentions are clear: To bring her A-game to D.C. “I have a proven record of getting things done against the most difficult problems on the planet,” says Chandler. “I did it as a transgender lesbian woman working under the Bush administration. I lead intelligence delegations abroad. I think I can handle a Republican Congress.” [x]

For more info on Alexandra Chandler, visit alexandrachandler.com

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SPOTLIGHT News STORY Rob Phelps PHOTO courtesy of Boston Pride

From the Blogs NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM BOSTONSPIRITMAGAZINE.COM

BOSTON PRIDE RAISES $10K+ FOR PUERTO RICO

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, is the first known transgender homicide victim of 2018. According to police, she was murdered on January 5. PHOTO via Facebook

TRANS RIGHTS ACTIVIST KILLED IN NORTH ADAMS Transgender rights activist Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was found stabbed and beaten to death inside her North Adams home on January 5, according to The Berkshire Eagle. Well known in the Massachusetts transgender community for her activism and participation, Christa was the founder of the Miss Trans New England Pageant. Christa’s husband Mark S. Steele-Knudslien, 47, was arrested and charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty on January 8, although he had gone to the Adams police station the night of the murder, turning himself in and admitting to killing his wife. He was held in jail without bail. According to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), her death was the first known killing of a transgender person in the United States in 2018. The Human Rights Campaign released a statement mourning the loss and calling her violent death the first known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2018. “Steele-Knudslien’s death comes after HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report documenting the senseless acts of violence that made 2017 the deadliest year on record for transgender people, particularly for trans women of color,” according to the HRC statement.

PRINTER SUED OVER WEDDING PROGRAM/ HATE PAMPHLET SWAP A Massachusetts printing company is being sued for sending out hateful, anti-LGBT pamphlets in place of wedding programs

Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg . PHOTO courtesy Wigdor LLP ordered for the nuptials of a same-sex couple. On the evening before their wedding ceremony held in Pennsylvania, the couple, Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg of Australia, opened the package delivered from Waltham-based Visaprint expecting to find one hundred copies of the program they designed for their friends and family celebrating their love and commitment; instead, they found 80 copies of a pamphlet title “Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of faith.” “Our memories from that day should have been filled with nothing but love and happiness,” Heasley and Borg said, in a statement emailed to the Boston Herald. “Instead our memories are mixed with vivid memories of the moments where we were taken away from our wedding day, our thoughts filled with the worries and the disturbance that came from receiving the shocking hate mail only hours earlier.” A spokesperson from Vistaprint told the Boston Herald that the company “immediately launched an internal investigation” upon learning of the pamphlets-programs swap. “Vistaprint would never discriminate against customers for their sexual orientation,” the spokesperson said. “We pride ourselves on being a company that celebrates diversity and enables customers all over the world to customize products for their special events.” According to the Herald report, “The couple’s attorneys say Vistaprint discriminated against their clients “based on their sexual orientation” because they refused to provide them with “the same services as straight individuals.” They also allege that the pamphlets themselves were perceived as a threat.

Boston Pride’s end-of-year giving campaign to raise funds for hurricane relief efforts for the LGBTQ community in Puerto Rico surpassed expectations raising more than $10,000 for the Puerto Rican LGBT community post-Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island. Donations are still being accepted online at http://www.bostonpride.org/pr/. The goal of 10K was reached primarily through a drive on Giving Tuesday and a brunch held in mid-December at Club Café thanks to Boston Latinx Pride, which partnered with Club Café. The funds go to Waves Ahead, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit that provides support to the LGBTQ community affected by Hurricane Maria. “Boston Pride is tremendously grateful to those who attended the Hurricane Relief brunch and to the performers who donated their time,” said Marco Torres, Boston Pride Board Member and Chair of Latinx Pride. “The event was truly a rainbow representation from our community that cares so deeply about others and who rallied around this important cause to help our LGBTQ Community in Puerto Rico.”

The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/ AIDS. PHOTO courtesy hiv.gov

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FIRES AIDS/HIV ADVISORY BOARD The Washington Post reported on December 29 that after a half dozen advisors on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned in protest of the Trump administration’s policies on health care, the Trump Administration fired the remaining advisors. News came to the advisors through a FedExed form letter.

MAR|APR 2018 | 25


The letter “thanked me for my past service and said that my appointment was terminated, effective immediately,” former Council advisor Patrick Sullivan told the Post. The Emory University epidemiologist had been appointed to a four-year term in May 2016. PACHA was established in 1995 to provide recommendations on how to effectively implement national HIV/AIDS strategy and policies, as well as monitor their implementation. Its advisors included “doctors, members of industry, members of the community and, very importantly, people living with HIV. Without it, you lose the community voice in policymaking,” Lambda Legal attorney Scott Schoettes, an advisor who quit the Council back in June, told the Globe. Upon leaving the Council, Schoettes wrote in a Newsweek commentary, ‘‘The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease.”

Jenayah De Rosario [SECOND FROM LEFT] and friends. PHOTO via Facebook

DAY SCHOOL HOSTS DRAG QUEEN HAVDALAH

Jewish Holidays” and “Heather Has Two Mommies.”

Along with a more traditional havdalah ceremony marking the end of Shabbat — including music, a braided candle, grape juice and spice bags — local drag queen Jenayah De Rosario joined in the festivities at “Sparkle Havdalah: A Drag Queen Story Hour” at the Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, Massachusetts. To the delight of the K–6 attendees, De Rosario read “Sparkle Boy,” the story of a youngster who enjoys waring glittery clothes, written by Jewish children’s author Leslea Newman.

“We live in a community that is progressive, has many LGBTQ families and really celebrates people being themselves and not being stuck with really rigid ideas of what gender needs to look like, so it felt like a really natural fit for our community,” Amy Meltzer, the school’s director of family engagement, told the national Jewish newspaper The Forward.

Newman also read two more of her books: “Here Is the World: A Year of

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“People have certain stereotypes that a Jewish community might have a narrower approach to understanding gender, so it’s a message that we’re a welcoming community and an inclusive community,” Meltzer said. [x]

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SPOTLIGHT News STORY Kim Harris Stowell

Newsmakers | Rhode Island This Just in from the Ocean State

Gay rights advocates are saying the ban is needed because crimes against gay and transgender people are on the rise. Lori Franchina.

LESBIAN FIREFIGHTER WINS HARASSMENT SUIT According to a joint press release from the ACLU, GLAD, NCLR and Lambda Legal, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $700,000 jury award for Lori Franchina, the lesbian fire-fighter who experienced extensive unchecked harassment from her co-workers at a Providence, Rhode Island, fire department. In ruling in Franchina’s favor, the court concluded there was more than enough evidence to support her “sex plus” discrimination claim under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, where the “plus” in her case is her sexual orientation. The ruling clarifies that findings of sexual orientation discrimination do not negate a sex-discrimination claim under Title VII.

“GAY PANIC” DEFENSE BAN A Rhode Island lawmaker wants to bar the criminal defense that allows the use of a victim’s sexual orientation as justification for violent crime. Democratic Rep. Kenneth Marshall has introduced a bill to restrict the use of a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a defense by defendants who claim provocation, diminished capacity or self-defense. The bill would prohibit the court from allowing such information into evidence. Illinois recently joined California in prohibiting defense attorneys from mounting the so-called “gay panic defense.”

FOURTH ANNUAL TRANS HEALTH CONFERENCE The theme of this year’s Rhode Island conference is Resistance and Resilience, empowering the local TGI community with the information and tools to be strong selfadvocates, building a community movement towards social justice and expanding the local network of knowledgable and affirming healthcare providers. The keynote speaker is Justice Gaines, a local activist and poet. Xe (Gaines’ preferred pronoun) is an organizer at RI Jobs with Justice. Xe also coordinates a Racial Justice Coalition of community organizations throughout the state. Gaines’ poetry explores the experiences of being a Black trans woman in America. A community track is offered, designed for transgender and gender-variant/gendernonconforming folks and their friends and family members. Continuing education credits will also be available. Contact them at transhealthri@gmail.com.

SUNDANCE HONORS RI NOVELIST EMILY DANFORTH “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” a film based on the 2012 novel by Rhode Island College English professor Emily Danforth, won a major prize at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival last month. The film features actress Chloë Grace Moritz as Cameron, a teenage girl in Montana forced into gay conversion therapy after she’s caught having sex with the high school prom queen. It won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic. Danforth said the book, published as a young adult novel, is a work of fiction, but it does have some autobiographical elements.

“Miseducation of Cameron Post.” PHOTO Jeong Park For example, Danforth grew up gay in Montana, as did Cameron. But unlike Cameron, Danforth did not go to a gay conversion center. (Rhode Island is one of nine states that have passed a law banning gay conversion therapy, just btw.) Danforth was a consultant on the film, went to Sundance for the premiere and even had a cameo. “I love the film. It’s funny and smart and moving,” she said. “I’m really so happy with it.” Will it come to theaters? Danforth said word from the filmmakers is that there is film industry interest in picking it up.

WOMXN’S NIGHTS IN PROVIDENCE Citing a belief in the importance of womxn’s spaces, the group Womxn’s Night has partnered with the Queer Womxn’s Collective of Rhode Island—an organization with a mission of creating spaces for queer womxn to gather, organize, and gain support—to organize a monthly event space for queer womxn and allies to collect, dance, socialize and make lasting connections. The group welcomes all who identify as lesbian, queer, bisexual transgender women, queer women of color as well as feminine identified gender non-conforming individuals. The first event, held Feb. 17, took place at Free Play Bar and Arcade. In March, the group will convene at the Colosseum. Future plans include takeovers, potlucks, discussion circles, nights out and so much more. There will be a major focus on inclusivity and intersectionality where difficult conversations, accountability and learning will be encouraged. Organizers aim to work together to build everyone up, grow in strength and power, have fun and build a support network. For more information, find them on Facebook at Womxn’s Night. [x]

MAR|APR 2018 | 27


SPOTLIGHT News STORY Rob Phelps

Newsmakers | New Hampshire Headlines from the Granite State

Transgender rights supporters in New Hampshire. PHOTO Ryan Rowe/courtesy HRC

HOUSE APPROVES BILL TO BAN CONVERSION THERAPY The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill (HB 587) to ban conversion therapy in the state on February

8. After voting it down only a month before by a single vote, the bill passed this time by a narrow margin—179 to 171. So it can now move along to the Senate.

which attempts to shame young people into changing their sexual orientation or identity,” Rep. Ed Butler, a Democrat from Hart’s Location, said in a statement following the vote. Opponents say the bill goes too far and limits counselors and teachers from helping young people with “temporary same-sex crushes,” according to a February 8 report in the Portland News Herald. “Quietly lurking in the bill is prohibition against gentle client-affirming talk therapy,” said Rep. Mark Pearson, a Republican from Hampstead. In response to these nay-sayers, Butler assured the News Herald that the bill does not in fact restrict such counseling.

“Conversion therapy is a harmful and damaging practice

GRANITE STATE RE-INTRODUCES TRANS RIGHTS BILL A public hearing on a bipartisan bill (HB 1319) to create legal protections for transgender people was held on January 31 by the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee. Similar legislation had been defeated in 2007 and tabled in 2017. According to the Union Leader, the turnout over moren than 400 by supporters of transgender rights, from high school students to law enforcement, was so large that the hearing had to be moved to Representatives Hall. The bill (HB 1319) would ban discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. New Hampshire already provides protections based on

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gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

program LGBT University in the Granite State.

Its supporters include the Granite State’s Business and Industry Association, the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.

The goal of Freedom for All is to secure federal statutory protections across the country by working at the federal, state and local levels to advance antidiscrimination legislation.

If the legislation is approved by the Granite State House Senate and is signed by the governor, all six New England states would then ensure protections for transgender people.

LOG CABIN REPUBLICAN LEADER APPOINTED TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Granite State Governor Chris Sununu and the state’s Executive Council appointed Doug Palardy to the state’s sevenmember Commission for Human Rights on February 9.

LGBT University graduates. PHOTO courtesy Freedom for All The council investigates, mediates and enforces discrimination violations. One of four cofounders of the state’s first chapter of Log Cabin Republicans in 2017, Palardy owns the Great Island Inn in New Castle with his husband State Senator Dan Innis. “Doug has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community in New Hampshire, and I am certain that his experiences and insights are going to be of great value to the Commission,” Governor Sununu told SeaCoast Online. “As a member of the LGBT community, I have particular

interest in the commission’s ongoing commitment to eliminating discrimination through outreach, training, research and education. I feel a duty to continue this long-standing tradition and to lead by example. I greatly look forward to serving all Granite Staters in this new capacity,” Palardy told the Seacoast Online reporter.

LGBT UNIVERSITY COMES TO NH In early January, the national nondiscrimination campaign Freedom for All launched a new cohort of its activist and community-leadership training

The new Granite State group met for the first time in Concord on January 6 and 7. During the three-month initiative, Freedom for All is helping volunteers, through in-person and online training sessions, work towards the passage of HB 1319, the state’s transgender nondiscrimination bill. According to the nonprofit’s website, “the LGBT-U program has graduated over 50 apprentices from across the country, and many have subsequently gone on to jobs in the non-discrimination and LGBTQ rights movements.” [x]

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SPOTLIGHT News STORY Rob Phelps

Newsmakers | Vermont Green Mountain State Update

Christine Hallquist. PHOTO courtesy WCAX High school essay contest winner roundtable with Bernie Sanders. Photo courtesy U.S. Senate Karen Richards with Attorney General Bill Sorrell. PHOTO courtesy Vermont Public Radio

SANDERS SELECTS PRO-LGBT ESSAY IN STUDENT COMPETITION

LAW ENFORCEMENT OKAYS THIRD GENDER ON DRIVER’S LICENSES

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders chose an essay calling for greater LGBT rights and protections as the winner of his eighth annual “State of the Union Essay Contest.”

Vermont’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board unanimously agreed not to oppose adding a third option for those who don’t identify as male or female on the state’s driver’s licenses. The DMV had asked the board to weigh in on the question before the department implements a new computer system that would allow the third option to be added to the licenses. Specifically, the DMV asked the board to consider whether the change would impact police officers stopping people for traffic violations. The board consists of public safety officials from across Vermont and is tasked with making recommendations to the legislature and governor. After meeting with members of the transgender community as part of the deliberations, the board agreed to not oppose the DMV moving forward with the third gender option. “Law enforcement does not see that as an issue for them in the upcoming year,” Paul Gauthier, board chair, told Vermont Public Radio. “The general opinion around the table was that it wasn’t going to impede the way we conducted our business.” “I think it’s a major victory for folks who are transgender. It acknowledges who they are and that’s an important thing for us to do,” Karen Richards, director of Vermont Human Rights Commission, told VPR. The third-gender option on the licenses would broaden the rights of LGBT Vermonters while specifically adding more protection for LGBT drivers pulled over by the police, Richards said.

30 | BOSTON SPIRIT

The contest gives Vermont high school students an opportunity to describe which issues they would prioritize if they were president. Marjorie Parker, a sophomore at Woodstock Union High School, prioritized LGBT rights in her winning essay. “With the recent military ban on transgender Americans, the LGBT community is feeling singled out and at risk,” Parker wrote. “One way to bring a greater feeling of peace to these fellow Americans is by increasing protections instead of taking them away.” This year, 585 students from 47 Vermont high schools submitted 250–500 word essays—more schools than any prior year, according to a press release from Sanders’ office. Sanders invited the 20 finalists to a roundtable discussion at the statehouse in Montpelier to discuss the issues in their essays. “I always enjoy speaking with these students about what they would change to make our country a better place,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. “We need our students to help find solutions for the problems that face our country. That’s what democracy is all about.” Parker’s winning essay will be entered into the Congressional Record, the official archive of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

POWER COMPANY CEO MAY BECOME FIRST TRANS GOVERNOR IN U.S. Christine Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Coop (VEC), wants to be the first transgender governor in the United States. Though out and proud about her identity, she’s hoping that if she ultimately decides to run, her gender ID won’t be what voters focus on. After all, Hall brought VEC from the verge of collapse to an “A-plus rated company with a stable outlook,” she told Vermont’s NBC News Channel 5. “We’re now in our fifth year without a rate increase, while others are raising theirs,” she said. And the power company is now 96-percent carbon free. “We’ve demonstrated you can have a clean electric grid and it’s not going to cost more money,” she says. “I consider myself a very strong leader with a good history who happens to be transgender,” she said. “I mean I’d ask the voters who may be struggling with the fact I am transgender to try to look beyond that. Try to look at what I’ve done.” And, of course, what she would do for Vermont as its governor. Hallquist supports universal health care at the national level and is fully committed to protecting and advancing civil rights everywhere. Her plan also involves energizing the state’s economy, helping Vermont’s poor, expanding broadband service into the state’s rural communities and raising the state’s minimum wage to $15. While she rooted for Republican Governor Rick Scott’s election in 2016, she says there will be “distinct differences in our policies. “I want this to be the nicest gubernatorial campaign the country’s ever seen. I like Phil Scott.” But, she adds, “I can’t be a Republican today. It’s like kissing the ring of your oppressor. The [national] GOP platform is anti-LGBT, and anti-other minorities.”  [x]


SPOTLIGHT News STORY Rob Phelps

Newsmakers | Maine

News from the Pine Tree State Thousands came out in Augusta to stand up for women’s rights at the second annual Women’s March on January 20, as they did all across cities and towns in New England, across the country and in many corners of the world. In Augusta, speakers included Emily Cain, executive director of Emily’s List, who told the crowd, “2018 is already being called the year of the women, and that’s because women are stepping up,” Cain told the crowds. “They’re stepping up in their towns, their communities, they’re getting ready to run for office in unprecedented numbers, and they’re going to win.” “When we look at the past year, the story hasn’t been about a reckless president, but rather, about the strength and perseverance of women who stood up to raise their hands and say Me Too, and turn that to action,” she said. Among a variety of speakers that moved the crowd were State Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, a woman who only identified herself as “S”

“For Harrigan, the evening culminates years of struggling with his developing identity as a gay person, as well as bullying by some of his peers and the debilitating depression that followed,” the Press Herald reported.

Find out more about the organization at mainetransnet.org.

“He overcame the intolerance and despair, he says, by embracing and celebrating who he is through the art of drag makeup and performance. And he has the accolades to prove it. Students elected him prom queen last spring and Spirit Week queen last fall. In November, he organized Portland High’s first drag show, which featured prominent student-athletes and raised $2,400 for a suicide prevention hotline.

EMPOWERING YOUTH

PHOTO courtesy Maine Public

STILL STRONGER TOGETHER AT WOMEN’S MARCH

and advocate for transgender people, how to ensure trans people are included in all levels of movements and community life and what we can all do to support the movement for transgender liberation in Maine.

because she is a Dreamer facing deportation depending on the outcome of the DACA program, June Sapiel of the Penobscot Nation and Quinn Gormley, a transgender advocate from Damariscotta.

When Portland High School senior Joey Harrigan stepped out onto the outdoor ice rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland, his “cotton-candy-pink wig and black faux fur coat” offered “little defense against the damp cold that sets in as evening falls along the Fore River,” according to the Portland Press Herald. But Harrigan was not to be deterred. Performing as his persona “Famine,” Harrigan was making his public debut as headliner and emcee at the third annual “Out on Ice!” fundraiser for Equality Maine, co-hosted by GLSEN of Southern Maine. Proceeds of the event benefit safer-schools programs for southern Maine’s LGBT youth.

“As emcee of the show, Harrigan shared his personal experience and empathy for other teens who are dealing with depression and considering suicide. ‘Drag is something that makes me feel happy,’ he says, explaining his reason for the fundraiser, ‘but a lot of kids don’t have something like that in their lives.’” Joey Harrigan, count Boston Spirit among your biggest fans!  [x]

PHOTO courtesy MaineTransNet

REACHING OUT TO TRANS ALLIES Also at the Women’s March in Augusta, MaineTransNet’s “Tour for Trans Allies” held an interactive presentation and panel discussion about how Mainers can be supportive allies to transgender Mainers, and how to include transgender people in movements for resistance and action. The presentation went over specific skills on how to support

Joey Harrigan as “Famine.” PHOTO Brianna Soukup/ courtesy of Portland Press Herald

MAR|APR 2018 | 31


SPOTLIGHT News STORY Natalie Nonken and Rob Phelps

Newsmakers | Connecticut Articles from The Constitution State elected to the state Senate from Stamford in 2002. Three years later, he helped win passage of a civil-unions law that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, albeit under a different name. The distinction was erased in 2008 in a decision by the court he now hopes to lead.” Confusing: Do quotation marks indicate text lifted from The Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald and Governor Dannel Malloy. PHOTO courtesy Creative Commons

If confirmed, McDonald would become the first openly gay chief justice in any state in the United States. “The appointment marks personal and professional milestones for McDonald and Malloy, friends whose careers have intertwined since McDonald served him as a legal adviser during Malloy’s time as mayor of Stamford. With a year remaining in office, the governor is poised to leave a Supreme Court dominated by his appointees,” according to the Mirror. According to the Mirror, “Malloy, long a strong supporter of gay rights, said [that] McDonald is qualified on the basis of his intellect, temperament and respect for the rule of law. It also can’t go without noting the national significance of this nomination. “McDonald would be the first openly gay chief justice of the highest court in any state, though not any jurisdiction. Maite Orono Rodríguez, who is a lesbian, was confirmed a year ago as the chief justice of the highest court in Puerto Rico. Nationally, there are only about a dozen LGBT justices in state supreme courts. “As an openly gay candidate, McDonald was a political rarity when he was narrowly

32 | BOSTON SPIRIT

PRIDE CENTER HOSTS 15TH ANNUAL DOROTHY AWARDS On March 3, the New Haven Pride center is hosting the Dorothy Awards for the 15th year. The awards dinner event, say its organizers, “honors incredible LGBTQ+ Nutmeggers that are having a huge impact and creative positive change for Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ community.” The event, hosted by Chairperson Joshua O’Connell and activist Kiki Lucia, begins at 6 p.m. at Fantasia in North Haven. Tickets start at $125 with sponsorship opportunities also available.

GOVERNOR NOMINATES FIRST OPENLY GAY JUSTICE IN U.S. TO LEAD A STATE’S TOP COURT “Intellect, temperament and respect for the rule of law” — these were the top three qualities Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy identified in the state’s Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald when the governor nominated McDonald to be the next chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, according to a report in the Connecticut Mirror.

For more information or to register or volunteer for the conference, visit ourtruecolors.org.

True Colors Conference. PHOTO courtesy TCC

Visit dorothyawards.com for additional details.

Mirror?”

“HELLO! MY NAME IS” AT TRIANGLE COMMUNITY CENTER

TRUE COLORS ANNUAL CONFERENCE RETURNS TO STORRS The annual True Colors conference will take place once again in Storrs on March 16 and 17. Says the event organizers on their website, True Colors is the “largest and most comprehensive conference in the country focused on LGBTQ youth issues.” This year marks the event’s 25th anniversary. Over 3,500 participants are expected to attend the conference, which features upwards of 200 different workshops and activities. Workshops are geared towards many different audiences, including, but not limited to, college students, youth, professionals and family members. Many activities are also geared towards the general public and attendees of all ages and orientations. Dorothy Awards. PHOTO courtesy New Haven Pride Center

As a new monthly event this year, Norwalk’s Triangle Community Center is now hosting “Hello! My Name Is” with the help of Troupe429: LGBTQ Bar & Performance Space. The Center is inviting professionals and business owners from the area along with anyone searching for a new job or simply looking to make new work connections. The night will include a business card drop and a drink special. March’s event takes place on the first of the month at Troupe429, with the location for the following April 5 event to be announced. Visit ctpridecenter.org for details (no RSVP necessary). [x]


FEATURE Sexuality STORY Scott Kearnan

The Unsung Bs of LGBT

Bisexual Resource Center board members

March is awareness month for the largest—and woefully misunderstood—single group under the LGBT umbrella I was newly 18, riding wordlessly in a car with my mother behind the wheel, just after she’d been told that I’d met my first boyfriend. She wasn’t upset, but there was a fleeting, understandable emotional hiccup. And though she was quickly accepting, she couldn’t help herself from playing one little bargaining chip: “Are you sure you’re not just bisexual?” In my head, I yelled, “yes!” After all, that’s how I’d been labeling myself, when pressed, by friends and peers. I never really “came out,” per se, in my late-’90s high school days. I simply started openly acknowledging that dudes were hot, whenever I thought so, and began to enjoy the benefits of that observation, under the rare available circumstances. It never occurred to me that this expansion to my

repertoire of sexual desires meant I was also expected to forever swear off girls as a result. But from the first time I uttered the B-word, that seemed to be the assumption. Most folks accepted it politely, but there was always a skeptical sideways glance, a patronizing sense of disbelief, a latent assumption that, while I may have seemed at-ease with my sexuality, I was really just taking a hesitant half-step, buying time until I was ready and able to make some fuller, less-fraudulent disclosure. Bisexual, it was suggested to me, was bogus. Other reactions were more venomous. My boyfriend was only the second person I’d had sex with, and the first male. And yet, despite his having the lengthier sexual

resume, he’d fly into fits of rage, calling me a “disgusting slut” who’d soon leave him for a woman. I was accused of wantonly flirting with every cashier and waiter. (I thought I was just asking for a refill on my Coke.) Being gay would not be easy. But being bisexual, it seemed, would be practically impossible. So it should have been a refreshing relief when my mother was the first person to positively posit the idea. But I knew she was asking her question for the wrong reason. She didn’t want a nuanced answer about the spectrum of sexuality. She wanted a glimmer of hope I’d wind up with a wife, something I knew, whatever dalliances await, was not in my future.

MAR|APR 2018 | 33


“Being gay would not be easy. But being bisexual, it seemed, would be practically impossible.” Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane

Kate Estrop, board president, Bisexual Resource Center

Out loud, I said “no.” It was easier. But I felt some shame, and still do, that I helped contribute to the erasure of a sexual identity and, subsequently, imposed limits, out of sheer exhaustion, on my own exploration. This kind of experience is not uncommon. Bisexual people comprise about 52 percent of all LGB people, according to the Movement Advancement Project, an independent think-tank studying LGBT issues, which authored a 2016 study, “Invisible Majority,” that outlined the unique disparities facing bi folks. And yet, despite their sheer numbers, most bisexual-identified people remain closeted. According to a Pew Research study from 2013, only 28 percent of bi people say they are out, compared to 71 percent of lesbians and 77 percent of gay men. “Bisexual people are really hard to see,” says Robyn Ochs, a Boston-based, nationally recognized bisexual activist and public speaker whose accomplishments include the 1983 founding of the Boston Bisexual Women’s Network, the country’s oldest still-existing organization for bi women, which continues to produce a quarterly publication and monthly brunch meet-up, among other events. Ochs says our cultural comfort with crystal-clear binaries leads us to presume a person’s sexuality based on the gender of their current partner. We assume a person is gay or straight, rarely considering bisexuality unless it is explicitly stated.

Robyn Ochs, founder, Boston Bisexual Women’s Network. PHOTO Marilyn Humphries

At the Boston Pride march.

And when it is, she says, bisexuals are confronted with a “crushing wave of negative stereotypes,” held by folks both within and without the gay community—stigmas that only serve to keep folks in the closet. You’ve heard them: Bisexual people are promiscuous or untrustworthy, bisexual people are fooling others or fooling themselves, bisexual people aren’t really oppressed. Actually, the limited existing research on public perceptions of bisexual people suggests that positive attitudes are evolving at a significantly slower rate than they have toward gay and lesbian people. And B folks can’t necessarily count on their L and G family to help those attitudes along. In fact, according to a 2015 study published in the “Journal of Bisexuality,” bi people reported that their experiences with discrimination from gay and lesbian people was relatively comparable to their experiences with discrimination from straight people. “Hurt people hurt people,” says Ochs. And so, bisexual people often find little comfort even from those LGBT organizations and resources that purport to include them. Unsurprisingly, the fear of coming out, lack of support and threat of ostracization from both straight and lesbian-gay communities result in some pretty significant health- and quality-of-life-related disparities for bi people. According to stats compiled by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission,

about half of bisexual women and one in three bisexual men have considered or attempted suicide; bisexual women are more than twice as likely to live in poverty as lesbians, and bisexual men are 50-percent more likely to live in poverty as gay men. Bisexual youth report higher rates of suicidal thoughts and school bullying than their gay and lesbian peers, according to research from the University of Illinois. There are other documented disparities surrounding rates of high school graduation, substance abuse and STIs. The list goes on. These outcomes helped inspire the Boston-based Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) to designate March as Bisexual Health Awareness Month. The annual international campaign is designed to raise the visibility of bi people and the unique discriminations and disparities they face, says BRC board president Kate Estrop. Going forward, she says, the organization also wants to work to address the challenges facing bi+ folks at various intersections of identity related to race, income level, and other markers. The Bisexual Resource Center, founded in 1985, is America’s oldest organization advocating for bi+ people. It is a national leader. It is also, unfortunately, one of the few. Despite bisexual people being the largest single group within the LGBT umbrella, and even though bisexual people report some of the most significant health- and quality-of-life-related disparities, the


bi community is significantly underresourced. According to the 40th annual LGBT Funders Report, of the $487 million directed to LGBT programs and organizations between 1970 and 2010, only $84,000 went to bisexual-specific groups. That number is “unconscionable,” says Ochs. “It makes me furious.” Here again, invisibility becomes an issue. “It is so important for bi people to get into positions of power at organizations, to have a seat at the table and to have a presence that makes sure their identity is represented among leaders,” says longtime bi activist Ellyn Ruthstrom, executive director of SpeakOUT Boston and former BRC board president for ten years. In 2015, Ruthstrom and BRC founder Woody Glenn were the first openly bisexual grand marshals in the decades-spanning history of Boston Pride. “Openly” is always a key word in a culture that erases or invalidates the bi identity. “There’s a difference between being a leader and being an out leader,” says Ruthstrom. “We know of many closeted bi people who identified as gay or lesbian

in order to just be accepted within their roles.” And when out bi people are sought to lend their voices to public panels, organizational boards and academic roundtables, it can smack of tokenism. “Often, when I’m asked to be part of these things, I feel like bisexuality is a box to check off,” says Zachary Zane, a bisexual writer and activist whose coverage of bi+ issues appears regularly in both LGBTQ and mainstream outlets, from The Advocate, where he is a contributing editor, to The Washington Post. Recently relocated to Brooklyn from Boston, he’s a weekly columnist at bisexual.org and attended the Bisexual White House Briefing held under the Obama administration, the first administration to hold such meetings on cultural and policy issues specifically affecting bisexual people. At 26, Zane is also positioned to observe the evolution in attitudes toward bi+ folks within the millennial generation. He says much of the resistance he receives has come from older generations of gay men who “want to hear your sexual resume, and gain a strange satisfaction in trying

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to prove to you that you’re either gay or straight.” Though biphobia persists, the younger generation’s growing engagement with broadened vernacular—including terms like sexually fluid, polysexual and pansexual—at least acknowledges more nuanced understandings of sexual identity. Though more labels can lead to more infighting, says Zane, he hopes they can also amplify a “unified voice” that ensures bi+ people, and their issues, are better represented in future research. It may also make good on the promise of sexual freedom that the LGBT community has long stood for, in theory if not always in practice. “Back when I still identified as straight, the sexual liberation of the LGBT movement felt so empowering to me,” says Ruthstrom. “It was all, ‘Love who you want to love! Be who you want to be!’ I thought that was so wonderful.” “It’s disappointing to now be part of that community and feel that freedom—to love who you love and be who you want to be—s not given as freely to bi people.” [x]

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FEATURE Sports STORY Tom Joyce PHOTOS Mike Brosseau

Upping Their Game By popular request, Boston Gay Basketball League is expanding both its competitive teams and recreational division Regardless of who they love or what their skill level is, the Boston Gay Basketball League has been an inclusive environment for the city’s population over the past 24 years. The league is well-established, complete with 14 teams split between two divisions, many of whom are named after their respective sponsors. In recent years, the league has started to branch out and expand itself, and it will continue doing such. This past August, it was granted nonprofit status, helping the league in its conquest to give back to the community. At their Christmas Party this season, they collected personal care items to donate to the Boston Living Center, the nonprofit that helps HIV positive people in the Boston community. They also held their third annual “LipSync Throwdown” on February 18, an event where the proceeds benefit Boston’s Victory Programs. The league also coordinates with charitable

causes and can mobilize its bevy of players to help said cause. “If someone needs a group of volunteers for one night, we have guys who can help them out,” commissioner David Harding said. Plus, the league is set to expand. Next year, they are set to add one or two teams to the Division 2 level to give more people a chance to play basketball. “There’s been overwhelming demand, especially for people in Division 2, to join the league,” Harding said. “Our wait list has been pretty long these past few years—and we want to give more people the opportunity to play.” Even in the past few years, some of the league’s players at the Division 1 level—the division for experienced

basketball players—have noticed an uptick in the league’s skill. Essentially everyone on those teams has a basketball or athletic background. “It’s gotten a lot more competitive,” Tim Walsh, an Ashland native who has earned the league’s MVP award in the past, said. “We have some great allies here. I think every year it gets better. We have a great gym space and it’s very well-run. It’s fun to show up every year.” “It’s a lot of fun,” Scott McIsaac, who has been in the league for nearly 20 years, added. “When I first started, it was very interesting to find a league that was gayoriented and competitive. I didn’t know

“ It means a lot. I think regardless of what division you play, it’s an opportunity to meet new people in the winter. ”

Mike Brosseau assistant commissioner

36 | BOSTON SPIRIT


“ Gay life has turned to Grindr and social apps, so this is a great way to meet people face-to-face—not just looking for drinking or sex. We’re here to meet people and have a good time. ” Scott McIsaac

that was something that existed. Now, they’re a really important part of my life.” The players enjoy the experience in the league for a handful of reasons, but Harding noted one major reason why that is in this age where social media has overtaken in-person interactions. “Gay life has turned to Grindr and social apps, so this is a great way to meet people face-to-face—not just looking for drinking or sex,” he said. “We’re here to meet people and have a good time.” Although the league’s officers have overwhelming responsibilities at times, it is worth it for them to be able to connect players on a human level. “It means a lot. I think regardless of what division you play, it’s an opportunity to meet new people in the winter,” assistant commissioner Mike Brosseau said. “It’s a way to meet a new family, if you will. We try to do socials every couple of weeks. We really try to engage our guys with one another.”

For the league’s players, being able to play in it helps give them a sense of community—especially if they are new to the city or have only recently come out as gay. “I moved to Boston in 2011 and didn’t really have a gay life,” Harding said. “I was actually kind of nervous to walk into the gym the first night of playing with these guys. Somehow, I became commissioner after a few years. I really enjoy the league. Not just playing-wise, I also love the social aspect, the community involvement and all that. Meeting people with similar backgrounds though got me to open up.” In both leagues, there is mandated playing time for players, a minimum of eight minutes per game. This ensures that novice players at the Div. 2 level have the opportunity to play if they sign up. During the summer, there is also an outdoor league that gives more players the opportunity to play because the league does not have to pay to secure permits for outdoor courts. This keeps the cost

low and they are able to offer eight week seasons for $35. When playing outdoors, they also have the courts for longer (twoand-a-half hours as opposed to two hours) than they do in the winter; it also gives the players an opportunity to compete while enjoying fresh air. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the league may be the handful of straight allies who compete in it. “I love that there’s people who don’t care that they’re playing in a predominantly gay league,” Harding said. “They just want to support their friends and play basketball.” It is that mindset of acceptance regardless of athletic ability or sexual orientation that has allowed the league to thrive over the years. It is also why interest in it is still high nearly a quarter of a century into its existence. [x]

bgbl.com

MAR|APR 2018 | 37


FEATURE Health STORY Rob Phelps

Sixto Muñoz, senior behavioral health specialist and coordinator of behavioral health training. PHOTO Rob Phelps

Politically Anxious Mental health care professionals stand up to spike in Trump-induced stress Few if any progressively minded people need statistics to tell them that the Trump presidency is deeply, emotionally disturbing. (It’s hard to imagine anyone of any political persuasion not getting this, but some don’t, which only adds to the anxiety for many.) From the despair on election night to the ensuing daily news reports, the anecdotal evidence is everywhere: Kids hiding under beds afraid of the president coming after them. Blood pressure rising. Teeth grinding. Sleeplessness. Depression. Eating disorders. Alcohol and drug abuse. The list goes on. Mental health care practitioners don’t have many hard numbers yet about the psychological havoc wrought by this administration’s actions during its first year in office, if the effects are even quantifiable. (See “A broken promise” on the

38 | BOSTON SPIRIT

facing page for some of Trump’s greatest hits against the LGBT community.) “Taken together, [Trump’s policies] threaten the health and well-being of LGBT people, particularly youth, elders, those also living with HIV, low-income individuals, Black and Latino people and undocumented immigrants,” says Sean Cahill, director of health policy research at The Fenway Institute, in his introduction to the Institute’s study on causes of this current spike in angst. “I don’t think we have any way to quantify the emotional affects of these policies,” Sixto Muñoz, Fenway’s senior behavioral specialist and coordinator of behavioral health training, tells Boston Spirit. “But we do know what our clients have been saying. Anecdotally, therapists are hearing from clients reeling from the results of the election.”

“The daily horrors emanating from the White House is in keeping with ongoing working-through of trauma,” writes therapist Matt Aibel, a past associate director at the National Institute for Psychotherapies. Aibel makes this observation in one of the first published academic papers on the subject—“The Personal is Political is Psychoanalytic: Politics in the Consulting Room,” just out this January in the journal “Psychoanalytic Perspectives.” “Since Election Day,” Aibel writes, “such colloquialisms as ‘Trump Slump,’ ‘Trump Anxiety’ and ‘Trump Affective Disorder’ achieved cultural and perhaps even clinical currency (in an informally diagnostic sense, of course) along with increases in reported incidents of bullying, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and intense fear and terror of deportation, among other causes for clinical concern.” “With patients whose personal traumatic histories may not be specifically triggered by the current presidential administration and those who feel their own personhood may not be under direct threat,” he writes, “there is still enough cause for tremendous anxiety and sadness about the fate of our democratic processes, our nation and our planet, to warrant serious analytic attention.”

Mind/body connection Muñoz points to the concept of “hyperarousal, where traumatic events are stored in the body. The Trump presidency reminds many people of traumatic events in their past, he says. Even if they’re not aware of the connection, their bodies and subconscious are very aware of it. “It puts people back in that position where they might have felt unstable and uncomfortable. “It’s remarkable how we woke up the morning after the election and effectively nothing had changed, Obama was still president, but even the idea that things were going to change put people already sensitive, who may have specific histories, into a heightened state of awareness,” he says. Being in a heightened state of arousal means you’re always on the lookout for what might be coming around the corner because you aren’t feeling safe, he says. “It can be exhausting.”


People in states of high arousal have difficulty concentrating. They have trouble “focusing on the task at hand because they’re always afraid of what’s going to happen,” he says. “They feel tired all the time, and when you’re not feeling your best you often don’t do things you normally would do. You don’t go to the gym, you don’t reach out to others for support, you don’t enjoy healthy activities because you just want to lay down or isolate and not have to deal with the world.” If there’s any comfort to be found here, Muñoz says, it’s that people feeling these things are not alone. And that it’s a natural reaction. And that there are things we all can do to take care of ourselves that will help us feel better. For some people, taking care of themselves means turning to activism or other ways of expressing their desire for community, he says. “For others it may mean seeking out therapy. Or it might mean reading or writing or watching movies.” (Being alone doesn’t always mean being isolated, after all, especially when you’re doing something that’s healthy for you.) “Other things we suggest are connecting with your social support, identifying people who you think could be potentially supportive of you, exercising, eating well and sleeping well,” he says. “All the things you can do to take care of yourself.” “You can come to Fenway, he says, “or go to any other kind of space in your area where you can find like-minded people.”

A broken promise It’s probably a good idea to take a deep breath before you read this. But when supporters of 45 say “oh, boo-hoo!” to anyone for caring about LGBTQ concerns over Trump administration actions (let alone our panic attacks), the list below reminds us we are not overreacting. No, we need to breath deeply, do all we can to take care of ourselves and then step out and stand together for our rights. In late January, the Fenway Institute issued a 32-page policy brief compiling the Trump administration’s strikingly anti-LGBT record achieved in its first year in office. Fenway prefaces the report by reminding us: “In 2016 Donald Trump said, ‘As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens,’ but since taking office he has done the exact opposite,’ said Sean Cahill, PhD,

director of health policy research at the Institute. “Changes in regulations and guidance overseeing health and human services, and the appointment of judges who are hostile to LGBT people, have made LGBT people much more vulnerable to discrimination in health care, social services, employment, and access to government services,” Cahill said.

In other words, the president has broken his promise. According to Fenway, he’s done so by: „„

„„

Integrated care As coordinator of behavior health care training at Fenway, Muñoz makes sure that everyone on his mental health team takes care of themselves in the same way. “We always ask our clients, how can you care for someone else if you’re not caring for yourself? The work we’re doing is not always easy, so if we want our therapists to stick around they need to take care of themselves too.” To be there for their clients, Muñoz also ensures they have a clear understanding of their clients’ concerns. Right after the election, for example, he brought in Simmons College social work professor Gary Bailey to lead a training called “Clinical Practice in Turbulent Times.” The training focused on best practices for therapists “in times when social justice

PHOTO courtesy of The Fenway Institute

„„

Rescinding guidance to schools that discrimination based on gender identity violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 Reversing a long-held Department of Justice policy interpreting Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, to also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity Reversing progress on sexual orientation and gender identity data collection on federal surveys

„„

„„

„„

Attempting to ban transgender people from serving in the military Weakening the Affordable Care Act, which, since 2010, has resulted in historic gains in health insurance coverage for LGBT people and people living with HIV Appointing Neil Gorsuch, who has an extensive record of opposition to LGBT equality and support of religious refusal, to the U.S. Supreme Court

„„

„„

Appointing judges with anti-LGBT records to federal district and circuit courts Failing to show leadership by ignoring LGBT Pride Month in June, dismantling the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and signaling to other nations that his administration does not prioritize human rights, including the rights of LGBT people in countries where they are persecuted.

To see the full policy brief, go to fenwayhealth.org, select News/Press Releases and scroll down to the January 18, 2018 posting. [RP]

issues are coming to the forefront of our clients’ lives.” Muñoz works on an integrated health team, which means that anyone who comes to Fenway for a regular medical appointment—from basic labs to bigger concerns—can also meet with a therapist on the spot. He says they’ve already helped many coming in with politically triggered health worries. Some people just need a quick chat; others opt for longer-term care.

Whether things get worse or better, Muñoz reminds everyone he sees that Fenway isn’t going anywhere. “We’re committed to providing the same services in good times and bad,” he says. “It’s helpful to remember that Fenway was created at a time when the government was not responding to the AIDS crisis in our community, and we weathered that. We weathered both Bush eras and the Reagan era. We will weather this too.” [x]

MAR|APR 2018 | 39


FEATURE Health STORY Kim Harris Stowell

Moving Forward from Patient Zero

Erin and Jen Keene-Crouse, with daughters Raylin and Isla. PHOTO courtesy of Boston IVF

From early days of treatment for LGBTQ couples, IVF services are thriving in New England

overcoming various taboos. Beyond any issue of homophobia, the procedures utilized had been created for the treatment of infertility. To treat a healthy couple with technologies designed to treat illness was inconsistent with the missions of many practices, and was a hurdle for early doctors and couples. In the case of the lesbian couple who came to the center in 2007, requesting that an embryo created from an egg of one of the women be implanted in the other one’s uterus, there was some objection by those doctors, claiming there was no infertility. In other cases, circumstances prevailed that bypassed these hurdles. Another lesbian couple came looking for help from the center in 1998. One woman had premature ovarian failure but wanted to have a baby, and they wondered if they could harvest eggs from her partner, implant embryos created from those eggs

In the late 1990s, a loving couple called Bob and Dane were looking for help starting a family. What they wanted was a child or children to whom they were biologically related. And so they began searching for a surrogate to carry the pregnancy. After turning down or being turned down by close to 20 surrogates, the couple went to a Boston hospital, connecting with a third party coordinator who was quite enthusiastic about helping them find a surrogate and an egg donor. Within a short time, however, she notified them that their case would have to be presented to the hospital’s ethics committee.

40 | BOSTON SPIRIT

Meanwhile, in Waltham, a boardcertified reproductive endocrinology and Infertility Specialist called Dr. Samuel Pang was working for Reproductive Science Center of New England (RSC New England, which was re-named IVF New England some years later). A gay man himself, he had been treating lesbian couples and single women, since 1993, helping them get pregnant. When these three men connected in 1998, Bob and Dane’s case became known as Patient 0, the first gay male couple to be treated by IVF New England. Sperm from each man was introduced separately to donor eggs, the resulting embryos being implanted in a surrogate, and in 2000, twins were born. They were thrilled. Since those early days, dozens of LGBT couples have been treated by IVF New England, a pioneering practice in many ways. Initially, the challenge was about


into her uterus so that she could carry the preg-nancy. Known as partner-assisted reproduction, this fell within the scope of most IVF programs, including IVF New England, as the woman requesting treatment had a medical condition. The procedure was done, and a beautiful baby was the happy result. Other hurdles to be cleared have concerned the birth certificate. When Bob and Dane’s twins were born, for instance, the surrogate was listed on the birth certificates as one of the parents, an issue that affects a number of factors. “If I had died before we could get that changed,” says Bob, “my children would not have been able to collect on my Social Security. I would never be recognized as their father, and the surrogate would legally be their mother.” Fast-forward five years, and the couple had a third child who became the first baby in Massachusetts to have both fathers listed on his birth certificate. It was not an easy process, requiring a judge to issue a pre-birth order, but they pioneered the process that countless couples have utilized since.

“ I was destined to do this work, to be here in this time, in this place. And I know our patients can feel the difference. ” Dr. Samuel Pang

Dr. Samuel Pang, infertility specialist, Boston IVF. Another hurdle was offering IVF services to transgender people, but the folks at IVF New England stepped up. In the case of a transwoman who is partnered with a woman, the clinic has used her sperm to inseminate her partner’s eggs. Likewise, they have worked to assist transmen in harvesting their eggs for

later use. In either case, the harvesting of gametes needs to be done before hormone treatment begins or during an interruption in their hormone therapy. IVF New England was also the first center in the country to launch an all-LGBTQ fertility website at www.gayivf.com. There, all the options and procedures are detailed

Plan to take care of each other. A wealth plan that is thoughtfully constructed can help you provide for those you love. True wealth is not only about money. It’s about the relationships, interests and goals that bring you joy ... and what should be at the heart of your wealth plan. As a Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor with significant experience working with same sex couples and the larger LGBT community, I know every client’s circumstances and resources are unique. By understanding your total life picture, we will work together to build a solid financial plan so you can be more at ease enjoying those things that matter most. Building confidence in your future is my goal.

Michele B. O’Connor Executive Director Portfolio Management Director Financial Advisor 53 State Street, 39th Floor Boston, MA 02109 617-589-3297 www.morganstanleyfa.com/ michele.oconnor michele.b.oconnor@ morganstanley.com

Call me and let’s arrange a meeting. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. © 2018 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 1982759 LGBT008 01/18 CS 9133493 01/18


Greg Hughes, Stacey Kuhlman and daughter Vianne Kuhlman Hughes . PHOTO courtesy of Boston IVF using language that is welcoming, appropriate and LGBTpositive. Also available on the site are the success stories of several couples who have utilized their services. Today, many IVF practices treat LGBT couples. This is partly owing to the legalization of same-sex marriage, and perhaps also to the realization that there is money to be made. It may seem archaic that this was ever an issue, but few resources existed as recently as seven years ago, blocking the path to parenthood for many loving couples. After 25 years of helping LGBT couples to have families, Dr. Pang sees his work as more than a job. Indeed, he and his husband have been patients of the center themselves, as illustrated by the photos of his two children displayed proudly on his desk. One has to wonder whether the progress would have gone ahead as quickly if there had not been a gay man

spearheading the initiative, a point not lost on Dr. Pang himself. “For me, this is a mission,” he says. “I was destined to do this work, to be here in this time, in this place. And I know our patients can feel the difference.” In October 2014, IVF New England underwent a corporate business merger with Boston IVF, creating what is now the second largest IVF center in the U.S. An interesting final note to the story is the existence of a business founded by Bob and Dane, that first male couple to be treated. Called The Center for Surrogacy and Egg Donation, the two assist other LGBT couples in finding the resources they need to begin their family planning. “Our twins are almost 18 years old now,” Bob says. “We were so fortunate to find the folks at RSC New England when we did. Their knowledge and sensitivity made all the difference. [x]


Where each relationship matters.

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FEATURE Fashion STORY Scott Kearnan

Eye of an Aesthete Boston fashion stylist sees the best in people and knows exactly how to bring it out He’s one of the most sought-after fashion and wardrobe stylists in Boston. But please, don’t presume Evan Crothers is questing to give you a “Queer Eye”-style makeover. “I’m not a fairy godmother who goes, ‘bibbidi-bobbidi-boo’ and makes you fabulous,” laughs Crothers. In fact, he’s probably more of an ambitious workhorse than an avid clotheshorse. Professionally, Crothers is the kind of guy who creates awe-inspiring looks for photo shoots with major clients like Adidas, Reebok, VH1 and Lands’ End. But personally, he’s more likely dressing himself in effortlessly cool casualwear, fashionable but unfussy.

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“I hate shopping; it’s work for me!” chuckles Crothers. “They mean no harm, but friends always think it’s such a fabulous job, I must be obsessed with clothes, and I’m looking for any chance to give someone a makeover. That’s actually the last thing I want to do—especially if I’m not getting paid for it!” The truth is that Crothers uses clothes to create entirely new characters. His clients tap him to guide the voguish visuals for advertising and editorial photo shoots. He assembles overflowing racks filled with expertly fitted options for outfitting models, conceives countless perfect looks, and minds all of the seemingly minor details—from every just-so sleeve roll to

Evan Crothers ar work with model. Evan Crothers. PHOTO Joel Benjamin [OPPOSITE] Fashion shots styled by Crothers. [LEFT]

[RIGHT]

each intentional shirt tussle—that make the big picture come alive. Each piece is placed on every person with great premeditation, keeping in mind the client, its intended audience and the story the shoot is trying to tell. Crothers’ own story starts in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he grew up, and showed a creative mind and the eye of an aesthete from the get-go. At first, that talent took him to Boston Conservatory, where he majored in musical theater, followed by New York City, where he worked as a casting assistant on films and Broadway shows. Eventually he moved back to Boston to work for a local modeling agency, which dropped him headfirst into a more fashion-focused world. And soon he was in full stylist mode at Rue La La, the Boston-based company that pioneered the trend of online fashion flash sales.


Boston Celebrates Design

Crothers credits his casting industry otherwise understanding human nature in experience with fostering the skills that ways that lend well to creating characters. have helped him build his name, brand “I remember that very strong feeling of and seven-years-running business as a knowing I was different, and not wantsolo stylist. ing to be that way,” says Crothers, who “In casting, a producer or director has always knew he was gay. His parents were hired you to facilitate the vision they say entirely accepting, and in fact, when he they want,” says Crothers. “It’s all about was 13 years old his mother confronted reading between the lines. When a person him with the obvious reality with which walks in the room, you feel the role in your he was wrestling. It was such a relief. gut. When it comes to wardrobe, you’re “At that age, all you want to do is fit in.” still putting together a character.” Today, though, Crothers’ success rests on He also acknowledges that being gay his ability to stand out. In this very issue helped—not necessarily by lending some of Boston Spirit, for instance, he styled a stereotypical, innate flair for fashion, shoot with photographer Joel Benjamin AD2021Home_BDW2018_BostonSpirit_MarchApril:Layout 1 2/15/18 4:18 PM Page 1 but because LGBTQ folks, as a matter of (see page 58) that he hopes will inspire survival, often become adept at reading readers to consider embracing their own rooms, playing roles, profiling people and sense of style by celebrating what makes

BostonDesignWe k.com

them unique—and gives them, well, character. “This shoot was about showing the fun you can have when you play with things, and put them together in ways you might not have considered,” says Crothers. “There are no rules about personal style. It’s about being in touch with yourself.” “I love to break people’s eyes open,” says Crothers, who compares the secret to style to something else he learned in his casting days. “It’s much easier to pull someone back than to pull something out of them. Give more. Give a lot. You have to show up with the goods, or people won’t know you have them. You can always edit.” [x]

Now, New, Next!

April 4-15, 2018 Boston Celebrates Design

April 4 - 15, 2018 Sponsored by: bostonSPIRITmagazine.com

Produced by Fusco & Four/Ventures, LLC www.BostonArtFairs.com 617-363-0405 bostonSPIRITmagazine.com

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Sean Flood, Chopper Ride, (detail) Courtesy of Childs Gallery, one of 50 exhibitors in AD20/21 HOME. bostonSPIRITmagazine.com


Military cape in cashmere wool, $480, liquid metal cowl halter top, price upon request, and cashmere wool high-waisted short with laser engraved buttons, $220 Sequinned tank, $110 and full circle couture skirt with pockets, $380


SEASONAL Fashion STORY Scott Kearnan ART DIRECTION AND PHOTOGRAPHY Joel Benjamin

Return to Regality From red carpet couture to right off the rack, fashion designer Daniel Hernández is bringing classic back Out fashion designer Daniel Hernández just moved to a smaller city—but his name just keeps getting bigger. Hernández, whose red carpet couture and ready-to-wear fashions have earned numerous industry awards and accolades, built his thriving career (plus a client base of movers, shakers, and tastemakers) over many years in Boston. But he and his husband recently relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, a city that may prove an even more practical home base for a growing global presence, says Hernández, who just launched his very first men’s collection. “Looking to the future, I plan to open my first store,” says Hernández. In 2002 he opened a design space, DH Studios, on Boston’s Newbury Street, the same style-savvy avenue where he studied at the School of Fashion Design. But over the years, local designers and other creative talents have been pushed out of the Hub’s increasingly corporatefeeling Back Bay. Providence, meanwhile, has been thriving as a burgeoning fashion city thanks to the presence of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), consistently ranked among the top art and design colleges in the world, and the growth of event series like StyleWeek Northeast, the city’s super-chic answer to New York Fashion Week.

“In a city like Providence, where the real estate is still somewhat affordable, people can still access you and you can build a successful longterm business, own a real space for a store and do it in multiple cities,” Hernández says. Hernández has already established an international presence. He studied in Paris, and sent his works down runways during fashion weeks in Boston, Seattle and Las Vegas, where he returned just last month. In fact, seeing his garments sold in shop windows at the five-diamond Venetian resort-casino marked one of his proudest professional moments. “I just cried. I can’t describe that moment,” says Hernández. “I feel like every year has been better than the last. I feel so blessed, having started as a no-name in a country with extreme poverty.” Hernández was born in Colombia, and knew from an early age that he had a future as a fashion designer. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to be,” says Hernández. “When I was seven years old I was taking my jeans apart.” It helped that his grandfather was a shoemaker and his grandmother a clothing designer.“ She taught me everything I know,” says Hernández, who remembers toiling alongside her to make

Daniel Herández

his sister’s prom dress, one of his first complete garments. Working with his grandmother also established a rapport that allowed Hernández to come out as gay to his family without much issue. “She was a Jehovah’s Witness, but fashion brought us together,”

he says. “It was what we had in common, and it helped us form a great relationship where that didn’t matter.” Eventually he moved to Boston to join his mother, who came here to build a better life for her family. And he credits the city’s tightknit

[CONTINUES 54] MAR|APR 2018 | 47


Liquid metal cowl halter top, price upon request, and cashmere wool highwaisted short with laser engraved buttons, $220 Slate vegan-leather bomber jacket, $210, jacquard silk tie $42, lightweight wool slacks with waistband stretch technology, $195, fuchsia cotton shirt, $92.

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Circle gown from the Red Carpet Collection, silk georgette with hand-applied gold detail fur sleeves, and leather cinturon, $980. Houndstooth skinny pant, $120, and embroidered t-shirt $58.

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Houndstooth tubular pants, $220, and large sequined cowl top, $148. Couture matador t-shirt, $58, and heavyweight stretch denim jean with zipper detail, $98 Full circle cocktail dress in metallic lamĂŠ, $280, and gaucho stretch-plaid pants, with embroidered detail, $145 Wrap gown from the Red Carpet Collection, $850

MAR|APR 2018 | 53


[FROM 47]

fashion community, and especially his support from gay clients, for fostering the growth of his brand. “Boston is a smart city where people see fashion as an investment; if you put in the work, people are willing to pay for it,” says Hernández, who has focused largely on outfitting high-end client and their families, with growing emphasis on red carpet looks. His fashions have been spotted on stars like Jeremy Tardy (Netflix’s “Dear White People”) and Steve Howey (Showtime’s “Shameless”). That’s even more impressive when you consider that Hernández only launched his men’s collection last year. He describes its aesthetic as “the return of the gentleman.” “We’re seeing a comeback of regality,” says Hernández, who wants to create “practical, classic pieces with flair.” Timeless pieces, like a line of silk bowties, are complemented with bold ideas like a fuchsia dress shirt. And he looks far and wide to source the highest quality components: for instance, his men’s belts combine topnotch Italian leather with belts welded by a small local artist based in Pennsylvania. Hernández also encourages environmentally conscious design through inventive ideas like buttons made from biodegradable plant-based material. In addition, he also frequently teaches classes in apparel and cosmetics at the Boston Center for Adult Education, where he’s noticed a large number of gay students taking up seats. Which begs the question: Stereotypes aside, why does it seem that gay men have such a gift for fashion? “It’s interesting, because I have a friend who is writing a book on what the world would be like without homosexuality, and all the important influence it has had on culture in general,” says Hernández. “I don’t really know why that is. I’m just glad that’s how it turned out.” [x]

Water-repellent below-the-knee coat with a golden bullion patch, $480, with fur sleeve/muff. Hand-embroidered gold body suit finished with venetian three-dimensional lace and Sworoski crystals, $129, animaltextured pencil skirt, $98

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amazing insights By Lisa M. Cukier, Esq. Robin Lynch Nardone, Esq. Katie Menard Dalton, Esq.

Disgracebook: Exacerbating the Pain of Divorce Divorce has always been a challenging endeavor. Even in the best of circumstances, it frequently involves feelings of anger, loneliness, and uncertainty. But 21st century social media has added complications that can make the process that much more difficult – and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the digital realm of Facebook. With social platforms connecting the world in ways unimaginable even 20 years ago, keeping the past in the past is not always easy. The urge to share details of one's life – to prove, to one-up, to sensationalize, to bully – or to keep tabs on an ex-partner can be overwhelming. Regardless of one's relationship status, though, rushing to post updates to social media accounts to document the minutiae of daily life is not healthy and certainly not helpful. Add in the volatility and upheaval inherent to the dissolution of a marriage, and things can get out of control quickly. Jealousy, competition, spite – when these manifest themselves online, significant consequences in the real world can result.

Because social media is so ingrained in the fabric of many people's daily lives, simply escaping it – or "opting out" – is not always feasible. Rather, a different strategy must be adopted; one built upon a foundation of responsibility and, even more importantly, sensibility. To help those going through a divorce navigate the uneven terrain of the Facebook landscape, we've compiled a list of dos and don'ts that, if followed, should help keep things more amicable, and as devoid of bitterness and animosity as possible.

—DO— • Pretend that you are living in a glass house. You should assume that everything you do or say may be used against you during your divorce proceeding. Even the most conservative should be cautious. • Set up your Facebook Timeline to be a memoir of your good parenting and your children's delight in your care.


• Unfriend, unfollow, or even block your ex, especially if you find yourself compulsively scouring and scrutinizing her/his page and posts. If you are consistently agitated by those posts, the best thing to do is completely remove the ability to view them altogether. And it should go without saying, but never leave nasty or snarky comments on your ex's page – that is a no-win situation for anyone. • Set the privacy settings on your account to the highest level of restriction before and during your divorce, so that the public (including your ex's private investigator) cannot see your posts, photos, and friends. • Deactivate your account if you want to avoid any unnecessary drama or war stories from your virtual "friends." Different than actually deleting an account, de-activating it makes you less likely to be accused of spoiling evidence during the divorce proceeding.

—DON’T—

• “Check in” at fancy restaurants, concerts, or other venues that could reasonably be classified as luxuries if you are alleging that you need increased support to pay for basic necessities, like rent or mortgage. The same goes for posting pictures of extravagances, like your new designer handbag or diamond cufflinks. • Post videos of your children crying or upset. And don't post videos of you scolding your children, or being anything less than a model parent. Such videos can end up in court as evidence and be used to decrease or eliminate your parenting time. • Post pictures of cute martinis or video clips from wild nights out, and expect to survive a motion requiring you to submit to

a breathalyzer test before picking up your children for your parenting time. • Click "interested" or "attending" for events advertised on Facebook. Doing so not only alerts the people of your schedule, it also flaunts your financial ability to attend things that a judge may deem frivolous. Likewise, do not advertise events that you, yourself, are hosting. The middle of a divorce is not the time to announce to your digital acquaintances, many of whom are likely little more than virtual strangers, that you are hosting a party for your children, let alone the date and location of said party. • Post pictures of yourself (and especially not your children) with new people you are dating. • Post status updates bad-mouthing your ex. This may be especially difficult following a contentious hearing or a�er reading a document filled with exaggerations about your behavior. Many ex's ill-advisedly seek retribution on Facebook. Though doing so might feel good in the moment, nothing good will come of posting about your former partner is, and all it will do is make you look foolish and emotionally weak. Although much of this advice may seem obvious, in the throes of divorce, rational thought o�en has a way of getting muddled. When it comes to Facebook, particularly, erring on the side of caution is always the most advisable route. Burns & Levinson attorneys are always available to provide insight into how best to manage the process of divorce. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about your options, please do not hesitate to contact us.


SEASONAL Fashion STYLIST Evan Crothers ASSISTANT STYLIST Christian Adams ART DIRECTION AND PHOTOGRAPHY Joel Benjamin

Bold colors, fresh lines, playful patterns— basic elements for this season’s style What makes you unique? With this springtime’s palette of confident colors, playful patterns and flirtatious exchanges between sporty and refined, these new looks are eager to express personality through personal style. Through his collaboration with photographer Joel Benjamin, Boston stylist Evan Crothers (see “Eye of an Aesthete” on page 44) hopes to inspire everyone to embrace our own sense of style by celebrating what makes us unique.


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CULTURE Art STORY Loren King

We Are Family

“Jimmy, Paulette and Tabboo in the Bathroom, NYC,” PHOTO Nan Goldin “Twins at WDIA, Memphis,” PHOTO Ernest C. Withers

LGBT images figure prominently in MFA photography exhibit LGBT families in every configuration and in the broadest definition of the term are a major part of the impressive exhibit “(un)expected families” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) to June 17. The show, curated by Karen Haas, depicts a wide range of relationships—multiple generations, romantic unions and alternative family structures—through the images of photographers both renowned and emerging. Like the eternally influential Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin earned a reputation for chronicling the lives of subcultures and the marginalized. Goldin grew up in Lexington and famously began her career in Boston photographing drag queens in clubs such as The Other Side. After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1977/1978, Goldin moved to New York City where her stark images of people on the fringes from punk rockers and junkies to gay men suffering the ravages of HIV/AIDS, earned her a reputation for capturing powerful human connections in fragile times. Her photograph “Jimmy Paulette and Tabboo! in the bathroom, NYC (1991),” shot in Goldin’s characteristically direct, snapshot-like style, depicts two drag queens in New York City’s East Village.

Boston photographer David Hilliard has been an out artist for his entire career. Known for his triptychs, Hilliard is represented by the powerful father-son portrait “Rock Bottom” (2008), one of an extended series of panoramic photographs that trace the shifting narrative of Hilliard’s complicated and well-documented relationship with his father. “The beautifully choreographed self-portrait visually links the two men, unmistakably related to each other and sporting identical swallow tattoos, across a serene expanse of lake,” is how the MFA eloquently describes the image, which captures the closeness between Hilliard and his father who, despite their differences, clearly share a deep bond. Cambridge-based Jeannie Simms’ photograph, “Arnie, Susan & Elijah, Jamaica Plain, MA (2015),” is from a series documenting the lives of couples married in Cambridge after Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to issue same-sex marriage licenses on May 17, 2004. Her color image shows two women leaning across a kitchen counter as they talk, while a smiling child plays the piano in the foreground. The MFA recently acquired works by local photographers Amber Tourlentes, Zoe Perry-Wood and Jess Dugan, whose

work documents the experience of LGBTQ couples, families and individuals. Tourlentes, a native of Boston’s South End, between 2002 and 2006 created a series of LGBTQ family portraits on the Town Hall stage in Provincetown during its annual Family Week, sometimes revisiting the same subjects over the course of several years. The simplicity of the portraits in her “Families on Stage” series— happy kids and beaming moms and dads in every combination and configuration— is extraordinary in its ordinariness. Perry-Wood has spent the last decade photographing another annual event, the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth (BAGLY) Prom, which offers a safe and celebratory occasion for young couples— an alternative to more traditional highschool proms. “(Un)expected families” presents the tender image of “José and Luis (2015),” a portrait from Perry-Wood’s series, “Hanging in the Balance: Portraits from the BAGLY Prom,” in which the young subjects pose, alone or in couples, in front of the camera in a studio-like setting. “This current period represents an important moment in social history when a 30-year tradition continues to play a vital role, while the lives of these youth

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“Movement that’ll move you.” –NEW YORK MAGAZINE

Michael Jackson, Jr. Photo by Andrew Eccles

“Mum in her Bathtub, Washington, D.C.,” PHOTO Sage Sohier

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hang in the balance between imminent, broad social acceptance and historical, outright discrimination and oppression,” says Perry-Wood via email. Dugan often photographs friends and acquaintances within the LGBTQ community—in natural light and within the intimacy of their own living spaces—exploring issues of gender, identity and social connection through large-format portraits. The trans subject of “Devotion,” from Dugan’s series “Every Breath We Drew (2012),” sits naked on a bed as he ties the bootlace on the outstretched foot of an unseen partner. Dugan shot the photo in Boston in 2011, but the project took on new life after Dugan relocated from Boston to Chicago for graduate school. “The move disrupted my sense of community, both personally and professionally. Finding myself alone in Chicago had a profound effect on the work; the photographs shifted from being about gender and identity to being about intimacy and connection and became an exploration of how my own identity was reflected back to me through my relationships with others,” Dugan noted in an interview with photographer Dawoud Bey (who’s also represented

in “(un)expected families”) which is included in the monograph “Every Breath We Drew” published in 2015 by Daylight Books. “The work became about desire, both a desire for a particular person and a desire for a kind of intimacy; to be seen by others as I see myself.” Caleb Cole examines the complex issues of gender, identity and sexuality in the culture and in history through his imaginative juxtaposition of vintage images with materials such as postcards, magazine text and various objects. Born in 1981, Cole is a local photographer particularly fascinated by the dynamics of family photographs found at estate sales and flea markets in which one of the subjects—in contrast to the rest of the smiling faces—appears especially sad or downcast. Cole digitally alters these vernacular images to isolate the single, lonely figure, all the while maintaining the shapes of the remaining sitters so that the “odd one out” is set off against the blank, white expanse of the group. In “The Big Sister “(2012), a recent acquisition, a young girl whose parents have just introduced her to a new baby looks dejectedly off into space as if desperately wishing she could return to her former status as an only child. [x]

mfa.org


CULTURE Art STORY Loren King

Substance and Style

Georgia O’Keefe

Stunning show at PEM presents Georgia O’Keefe in a new light As a visionary painter and style maven, Georgia O’Keefe over the years has been embraced by artists, photographers, feminists and the youthful counterculture, turning her into a celebrity and an icon. The extraordinary exhibit “Georgia O’Keefe: Art, Image, Style” at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents O’Keefe as a true American original: an adventurous, independent free-thinker whose

life and art were inextricably connected. Running to April 1, the PEM exhibit puts side by side for the first time many of O’Keefe’s works of art —her bold Southwest landscapes and sumptuous, erotic flowers—and her clothing and accessories from her wardrobe. The juxtapositions are both breathtaking and illuminating. An expert seamstress, O’Keefe designed and created many of her own

androgynous outfits (her modest sewing basket is among the many interesting objects in the show). Her unique and individual style was in harmony with her artist’s voice. The exhibit, organized by the Brooklyn Museum and guest curator Wanda M. Corn of Stanford University, consists of some 125 works that illustrate how O’Keefe crafted her image in the public eye. She considered her entire being

and her life as an ongoing work of creative expression. The PEM exhibit includes numerous photographs of O’Keefe—she was the most photographed American artist of the 20th century—which helped cultivate her public persona as a pioneer of modernism. Besides photographs of the young O’Keefe by her husband, legendary photographer Alfred Stieglitz, famed photographers Cecil Beaton, Carl Van Vechten and Ansel

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Adams also captured her striking androgyny in iconic photos. Later, young artists such as Laura Gilpin, Todd Webb and Bruce Weber made frequent pilgrimages to O’Keefe’s home in New Mexico to photograph her in her own environment. Immediately upon entering the exhibit, the viewer is struck by how the crisp, sharp edges in O’Keefe’s paintings resemble the clean lines of the simple but elegant silk and linen garments, mostly black and white, that O’Keefe designed and sewed herself. The V-shape of her necklines is repeated in her works of art as the exhibit illustrates in visually-stunning pairings. O’Keefe—she kept her own name throughout her life despite her 22-year marriage to Stieglitz, a rarity for women of the time—was one-of-a-kind from childhood. The exhibit begins with a yearbook and

O’Keefe’s dresses photos from Chatham Episcopal Institute, the Virginia boarding school she attended, to her years as an art teacher in Texas. By then, she was already attracting attention for her art. The show includes four early watercolors, the swirls and bold lines her “Blue” series from 1916, that show

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that O’Keefe as one of the first American artists to practice pure abstraction. About this time, O’Keefe met photographer and art dealer Stieglitz who gave O’Keeffe her first gallery show in 1916. The couple married in 1924 and lived in New York City. The exhibit includes several

works that show O’Keefe’s early use of color in the flower paintings she did at Stieglitz’s vacation home in Lake George. “Manhattan” (1932) is among her skyscraper paintings that balance bold, modern vertical lines with signature flowers, Her painting of the Brooklyn Bridge symbolized the artist’s farewell to New York when, three year’s after Stieglitz’s death in 1946, she moved full-time to New Mexico and reinvented herself as a Southwestern Modernist. The exhibit includes Levis jeans, work-shirts and bandanas that O’Keefe wore long before denim was de rigueur for either men or women. By this time, O’Keefe bought or commissioned her clothes, dressing in loose-fitting tunics and smocks, usually adorned with her Alexander Calder pin. The gorgeous black-andwhite photographs of her in

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“Ram’s Head,” 1935 Portrait of the artist, Prospect Mountain, Lake George, 1927. PHOTO Alfred Stieglitz [FAR-LEFT] Portrait of artist, 1929. PHOTO Alfred Stieglitz [ABOVE]

[ AT LEFT]

these outfits are placed next to “The Mountain, New Mexico” the clothing itself: black suits (1931). from Spain, a white blouse The third section of the she acquired in France. By exhibit is dedicated to the ‘60s, she added more color O’Keefe’s fascination with to her wardrobe with simple Asian art and culture and dresses by Marimekko and the influence it had on her Claire McCardell and Ferpersonal style and art. By this ragamo flats. Her art, too, had time, she was internationally became more colorful thanks renowned—the show features to her trips to New Mexico spreads in magazines such which began in the ‘30s. The as “Life,” “House Beautiful” show includes the iconic and “House and Garden” of paintings “Ram’s Head, White O’Keefe’s stylish, modern Hollyhock, Hills” (1935) and house in Abiquiú, Gardner12-10-12R2_Gardnr_Dec2012R2 12/11/12 2:15outside PM Page 1

Santa Fe—and short videos of O’Keefe painting and sculpting in her studio and and talking about her work. O’Keefe’s influence continued even after her death in 1986 at age 98. The exhibit concludes, fittingly, with a video of a Dior 2018 collection that features runway models dressed in O’Keefe-inspired vaquero hats, capes, white blouses and bolero jackets. There’s Andy Warhol’s large portrait of her, done about

1980, a silkscreen sprinkled with diamond dust. A wall of photographs taken of O’Keefe in her later years includes several by Weber. One of the last formal portraits of the artist is from 1980 when, afflicted with macular degeneration and no longer able to read or paint, she sits in a meditative pose that invokes Zen masters or saints. Her famous face is as craggy as the rugged landscape around her and just as serene. [x]

pem.org

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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King

Erica A. Lundin, A. Nora Long, Caroline Lawton and Jeff Marcus in rehearsal. PHOTO courtesy

Lyric Stage Company

Who’s Afraid of Woolf’s ‘Orlando’? Time and gender are fluid in Lyric Stage’s production One of the most transgressive works in all of literature is Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel, “Orlando: A Biography,” a romantic romp about a young English nobleman and poet who changes sex from male to female and lives for centuries. There have been various adaptations of the novel, Woolf’s most popular, such as the 1992 film starring Tilda Swinton as Orlando and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I. More recently, acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl tackled a stage version, produced off-Broadway in 2010 and directed

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by Rebecca Taichman who won the Tony last year for directing Paula Vogel’s “Indecent.” Area audiences will get to experience “Orlando” in the flesh as Boston’s Lyric Stage mounts a production that runs February 23–March 25. The show is directed by A. Nora Long, associate artistic director at the Lyric Stage and a fan of Ruhl. Among her many honors, Ruhl was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee for best new

“ Conversations about gender are prevalent on college campuses and in the culture in a way it wasn’t when Sarah adapted [‘Orlando’]. The students had the opportunity to engage with and be challenged by a text that resonated in that way. ” A. Nora Long Director, “Orlando: A Biograpy”

play for “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play.” Long says the current cultural moment is perfect for Woolf’s timeless tale. “People are interested in investigating the way men and women are socialized to approach desire and sex, and also having the conversation about ‘is the binary useful’ and how we move beyond that to


be more inclusive and kind,” says Long, a Roslindale native who earned her MFA in dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. “For some, the play will feel revolutionary to see now. For others, it’s a chance to start a conversation.” Woolf wrote “Orlando,” a satire of a biography, for her lover and close friend, the aristocratic poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West, to whom it is dedicated. Most interpretations agree that the character of Orlando is a winking portrait of Sackville-West, and that Woolf transformed West’s lover Violet Trefusis into the Russian princess Sasha, the great love of Orlando’s youth. Long notes that Sackville-West’s son, Nigel Nicolson, called “Orlando” “the longest and most charming love letter in literature.” “It was the fastest novel [Woolf ] wrote and she had a lot of fun writing it and celebrating Vita Sackville-West,” says the director. “It was a fantastical and wonderfully romantic gift to her and she loved it.”

With the Lyric production, Long gets the rare opportunity to revisit a show she’d previously staged at Suffolk University in the Spring of 2017 and make deeper discoveries into the rich material. Long chose “Orlando” for a collaboration between Suffolk’s theater department and the Lyric because it seemed fitting in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, a contentious time when social attitudes about gender roles and the different treatment of men and women on the world stage were being assessed and debated. A year later, the context has only broadened and the conversation may be even more urgent. “Not enough has changed since Ruhl wrote the play or since Woolf’s book,” says Long, who will moderate postperformance chats between the cast and audience February 25 and March 11, after the 3 p.m. performance. While the Suffolk production featured 17 students, the Lyric’s cast will be leaner and a mix of Boston stage veterans and newcomers, led by Caroline Lawton as Orlando. Lawton’s extensive credits include Lyric Stage’s productions of “Tale

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of the Allergist’s Wife” and “The Underpants.” Also in the cast is Jeff Marcus, from last season’s “Camelot” at the Lyric; Elise Arsenault (“Avenue Q,” “My Fair Lady”); Michael Hisamoto (“Hold These Truths”); Hayley Spivey, whom Long saw in “Men on Boats” at SpeakEasy Stage; and Rory Lambert-Wright, a transfer from the Suffolk University production who is making his Lyric debut. The show was a hit with the student community and audiences at Suffolk. “Conversations about gender are prevalent on college campuses and in the culture in a way it wasn’t when Sarah adapted [‘Orlando’]. The students had the opportunity to engage with and be challenged by a text that resonated in that way,” she says. Despite Woolf’s highbrow reputation, “Orlando” is a wild, fun and sexy tale rich in time-travel and gender bending romance. “It’s a fast-paced play,” says Long. In the intimate confines of the Lyric, she hopes “Orlando” feels “like a party that will end too soon.” [x]

lyricstage.com

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CULTURE Theater STORY Loren King

Having a Ball Company One rolls out the runway for Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Wig Out!” For most of us, Tarell Alvin McCraney burst into our concisenesses when he won the Oscar last year for co-writing the screenplay for the groundbreaking LGBT film “Moonlight,” based on McCraney’s play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” But McCraney has long been on the radar of Boston’s Company One Theatre. Company One in 2011 staged McCraney’s “The Brother/Sister Plays” trilogy. Now, in its 19th season, Company One presents “Wig Out!,” McCraney’s play about competitive ballroom drag. Summer L. Williams, Company One’s co-founder and associate artist director who will direct “Wig Out!,” says she “fell in love with [McCraney’s] voice” when she directed two of the three pieces in McCraney’s “Brother/Sister Plays,” which consists of “In the Red and Brown Water,” “The Brothers Size,” and “Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet.” Although “Wig Out!” received rave reviews for a 2008 offBroadway production, Williams realized the show had not been done locally and she jumped at the chance to stage it. “Wig Out!” recreates the defiant drag queen sub-culture of the early 2000s that was so memorably captured in Jennie

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Livingston’s landmark documentary “Paris Is Burning.” In the play, various social outcasts create families within “houses” presided over by drag queens and the men who love them. It culminates in a midnight drag ball face-off between the House of Light and its rival, the House of Di’Abolique. McCraney’s play provides its own Destiny’s Child-like Greek chorus to guide the action. “Wig Out!” may be sent in the early 2000s but ball culture is alive and well, even here in Boston, notes Williams. The current political climate also makes the show seem especially topical. “The time is right. It seems that the country is ready to have the conversation that he’s offering in the play and it’s a testament to his brilliance that he wrote it in the early 2000s,” she says. Company One is “always down for a challenge” and that includes embracing a show that centers on a world populated by queer people of color, says Williams, a group not always easily found in Boston theater. “That’s important because where are those faces?” she says.

“ The time is right. It seems that the country is ready to have the conversation that he’s offering in the play and it’s a testament to his brilliance that he wrote it in the early 2000s. ” Summer L. Williams Company One’s co-founder and associate artist director

“Wig Out!” runs April 27 – May 13 at the American Repertory Theater’s Club Oberon. Company One usually stages its shows at the Boston Center for the Arts but ventures into other Boston neighborhoods “if that make sense for the material,” says Williams, whose extensive credits including directing “Intimate Apparel” at Lyric Stage Company and “Bootycandy” at SpeakEasy Stage. Company One mounted its production of “We’re Gonna Die” at Oberon last year with success. The nightclub environment will be used to create an immersive experience for the “Wig Out!” audience. “Hopefully, there will be a sense that you’ve been dropped into this world and it is happening all around you,” says Williams, “My vision is you have to invest some energy in being able to see all the


Tarell Alvin McCraney. Photos courtesy of Company One A scene from Company One’s 2011 production of Tarell McCraney’s “The Brother/Sister Plays.” [OPPOSITE-RIGHT] Summer L. Williams, director and co-founder of Company One [ABOVE]

[OPPOSITE-LEFT]

nuances going on around you. You will have to turn and look this way and that, which is a great metaphor for our world, right? People have to dig in a little deeper to really see what’s going on.” The cast will be a “healthy mix” of veteran and young actors and up-and-coming

drag performers, says Williams, who partners with Boston’s Theater Offensive in casting young talent for the show. Cast members include Dev Blair, Ally Dawson, Miles Jordan, Sidney Monroe, Juan Carlos Pinedo, Trinidad Ramkissoon and Shawn Verrier.

Be Our Guest

Williams is eager to explore the play’s “idea of chosen family; it’s why the ‘houses’ were created.” Williams is also drawn to McCraney’s colorful, flamboyant language and the way “life intersects with the divine.” The play is rich with allusions to Greek mythology, Homer, Milton, the Bible and Shakespeare, not to mention classic Hollywood melodrama. Ball culture is about family and identity; not just glamour and fashion, but all identities. As depicted in “Paris Is Burning,” there are participants in the balls who dress in military garb or as scientists or tennis players. It’s about entering forbidden and elusive worlds. “I don’t usually feel like an outsider,” Williams says, but when she visited a Boston ball, “I felt it was a sacred space to these young people who depend on it; it’s exclusively for them.” One of the missions of staging a show like “Wig Out!,” about a subculture within a subculture, and bringing in the community that populates it, says Williams, is simply to be able say to them, “We see you.” [x]

companyone.org

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CULTURE Cinema STORY Loren King

3 2

1

6 5 4

Scene from “Mr. Gay Syria,” by Turkish filmmaker Ayşe Toprak Allan Carr in “The Fabulous Allan Carr” [4] Lyota Majima and Kôichi Imaizumi in “Berlin Drifters” [5] Rebecca Karpovsky in “Pinsky” [6] Susanne Bartsch in “Susanne Bartsch: On Top” [1]

[2,3]

The Whole Wide World Wicked Queer brings global LGBT stories to Boston When it is easier to watch a movie on a mobile phone than to head out to a theater, Wicked Queer, Boston’s longrunning, ever-relevant LGBT film festival, understands that its mission is to provide something that can’t be accessed through the Internet or on any device: a unique experience to view films from around the world, and hear from the filmmakers behind them, in an atmosphere of community and camaraderie. Running March 29 to April 8 at venues around the city, Wicked Queer, at 34, is among the oldest LGBT film festivals in the country. Opening night festivities at the Museum of Fine Arts begin with the U.S. premiere of the Finnish LGBT

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romance, “A Moment in the Reeds,” with director Mikko Makela in attendance. The film had its world premiere at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival, where it got shining reviews. It’s about Tareeq (Boodi Kabbani), an architect and Syrian refugee struggling to adapt to life in Finland. He’s hired to help renovate the lake house belonging to the family of Leevi (Janne Puustinen), who has just briefly returned home from studies in Paris. “A Moment in the Reeds” has earned comparisons with the recent “God’s Own Country” for its story of two men thrown together by circumstance who develop a deep connection in a short time.

A similar storyline in a wildly different film comes from Japanese actor-director Koichi Imaizumi’s explicit romance “Berlin Drifters.” It’s about two Japanese men in Berlin, each seeking genuine connection in his own way, who come together and drift apart over the course of a few erotically charged weeks. Two documentaries will screen after their world premieres in February at the prestigious Documentary Fortnight at New York’s MOMA. “Parental Rites” from director Jules Rosskam is a first-person essay film that examines physical and sexual abuse in a contemporary Jewish American family, with the filmmaker’s queer and transgender identity at its core. According to MOMA, “As filmmaker Rosskam and his partner, Alex, retrace a 1974 road trip taken by Rosskam’s parents, photographs, audio recordings, home


movies, live action and colorful animation are combined, collage-like, to evoke the psychoanalytic journey of memory retrieval and trauma recovery—as film and filmmaking become part of the healing process.” James Nadeau, Wicked Queer’s executive director, describes the film as “amazing and beautiful.” Also fresh from MOMA is “Mr. Gay Syria” from Turkish filmmaker Ayşe Toprak. It depicts the challenges of being gay in the Middle East and the harsh realities of refugees. The film focuses on the relationship between Husein, an Istanbul barber yearning to escape to Europe, and Mahmoud, a gay rights advocate who helps asylum seekers. Both share the dream of participating in the Mr. Gay World contest, representing the LGBT community across the Muslim world. It’s not surprising that several films in this year’s festival reflect the glaring global plight of immigrants and refugees from both personal and political viewpoints. Wicked Queer will present a panel talk on queer immigration featuring local experts, along with a screening of Myriam

Fougère’s documentary “Feminista.” It’s a road movie that tracks the 2015 trip Fougere took with a group of young activists, traveling from Turkey by the way of the Balkans, to Italy, Spain and Portugal, and how the experience affected the group personally and politically. There are lighter films, too. One is “Pinsky,” from Newton native Rebecca Karpovsky, who co-wrote the script with director Amanda Lundquist and shot it in Boston. Karpovsky plays a 26-year-old Sophia Pinsky, whose girlfriend breaks up with her on the same day that her grandfather dies. With her life unraveling, she moves back to Boston and into the home of her overbearing Russian-Jewish grandmother. As Sophia tries to make it as a stand-up comic, she must deal with her meddling grandmother’s attempts to fix her up with eligible men. “The Ring Thing,” directed by William Sullivan. is about a lesbian couple, Sarah and Kristen (Sarah Wharton and Nicole Purcell), whose commitment is tested after Sarah accidentally proposes to Kristen while on vacation in Provincetown.

The mixup sends both women on separate journeys of figuring out her expectations for the future. Anyone who recalls 1989’s disastrous Oscar telecast opening number, with Snow White, Rob Lowe, dancing tables and chairs, and cameos by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, won’t want to miss “The Fabulous Allan Carr,” director Jeffrey Schwarz’s (“I Am Divine,” “Tab Hunter: Confidential”) documentary portrait of the showman responsible for that infamous Oscar night. The film charts Carr’s rise to mega-producer during the 1980s, with projects that ranged from “Grease” to “Can’t Stop The Music” and “Grease 2.” There’s also archival footage of Carr’s legendary parties, in an illuminating, hilarious portrait of a showbiz legend. “The Fabulous Allan Carr” is one of several documentaries about queer icons in this year’s fest. The acclaimed “Susanne Bartsch: On Top,” from gay filmmakers Anthony Caronna and Alexander Smith, explores New York City club culture through the influence of nightlife legend Susanne Bartsch. The film takes its title

[CONTINUES 83]

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CULTURE Opera STORY Loren King

Beggars’ Banquet Boston Lyric Opera’s “The Threepenny Opera” remains prescient and timeless Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s 1928 classic “The Threepenny Opera” isn’t often performed by opera companies. The story-and-song structure is closer to the realm of musical theater. But Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) embraces a wider repertoire this spring as it taps iconic 20th Century works. Besides “The Threepenny Opera,” which runs March 16 - 25 at the Huntington Avenue Theater, the BLO will stage two Leonard Bernstein works,”Trouble in Tahiti” and “Arias & Barcarolles,” in May. “The Threepenny Opera,” with songs such as “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” and “Pirate Jenny” that have passed into the popular canon, seems the perfect vehicle for the Boston debut of director James Derrah, who is equally at home with classical and modern opera. Boston Spirit spoke to Derrah via Skype while he was in Germany rehearsing a new production of Handel’s “Alcina.” Last year, he directed the acclaimed world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s operatic adaptation of Lars von Trier’s film “Breaking the Waves” for Opera Philadelphia. The production was nominated for a 2016 International Opera Award for best world premiere. Derrah says his background in classical theater including acting—he holds an MFA from the UCLA School of

Theater, Film, and Television—provided him with knowledge and appreciation of good storytelling.“The kind of unique nature of ‘Threepenny Opera’ as music and theater is intriguing and exciting to me. I’d always loved Kurt Weill’s music and spent time with the plays of Brecht, but never directed or been involved with the piece so that was a major draw [to direct it for the BLO],” he says. “The piece is applicable to any time you may be in. It’s the right time now but so is anytime, which is a testament to its durability as a work of art. “It changes or evolves thematically but that’s also a testament to how prescient Brecht was to know some of the predicaments we find ourselves currently in. It’s surprising how predictive he was about human nature.” Brecht teamed with composer Weill on the adaptation of “The Beggar’s Opera,” a play with music by John Gay, during the Weimar era in Germany. “The Threepenny Opera” proved popular with audiences and was regularly staged before the Nazis rose to power in 1933. The show’s irony-laced skewering of capitalist values is told through assorted beggars, cheats, opportunists and criminals in Victorian London on the eve of a royal coronation. These include Macheath (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) who’ll be played

82 | BOSTON SPIRIT

James Darrah. PHOTO courtesy Boston Lyric Opera James Darrah. PHOTO Simona Keller [BOTTOM] Kellly Kaduce. PHOTO courtesy Boston Lyric Opera [TOP]

[MIDDLE]

by Christopher Burchett. Macheath’s quick marriage to Polly Peachum (Kelly Kaduce) angers her father (James Maddalena) who exerts his influence and gets Macheath arrested and sentenced to hang. MacHeath then visits Jenny (Renee Tatum), his former lover and a prostitute. He laments his criminal ways and begs forgiveness before facing the gallows. BLO

favorites Michelle Trainor as Mrs. Peachum and Chelsea Basler as Lucy Brown round out the cast. The acton takes place in London but Derrah says one of the strengths of the production will be “the enigmatic abstraction …we’ve tried to create a production that is more like an imagined locale,” he says. “It looks ‘period’ but it’s not intentionally overwrought …


because you want people to connect as they are.” There are complex, interesting people in the text, he says, citing Jenny in particular. “She’s the old love of Macheath and their entire story takes place before you see a single scene in ‘Threepenny.’ There’s very little detail about it so you are kind of jumping into the middle of a world. We are trying to create a very overtly theatrical world that is not concerned with naturalism and can create images and physical relationships that are interesting and intriguing,” he says. Derrah, who’ll return to Massachusetts over the summer to conduct a Leonard Bernstein centennial concert at Tanglewood, studied classical music and can play several instruments. During a trip to Croatia for a theater program, Derrah participated in two opera productions, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Verdi’s “Nabucco.” He was drawn to the form and, once at UCLA, he pursued opera direction in earnest even though theater was his primary field of study. The result was the “right amalgam of those different backgrounds,” he says. Derrah jumped at the chance to direct “The Threepenny Opera” for BLO but knew it

wouldn’t be presented as traditional opera; it will be sung in English without supertitles. There are more substantial differences. “It’s not just catchy tunes or beautifully sung phrases where you can coast on having beautiful color in your voice. It needs to have a level of connection to the text constantly … all opera has that, but the lyric quality of Weill is different,” he says. “The modernity of it shouldn’t look domestic or normal but not so decorous or ornate that it removes [the viewer’s] ability to connect to the through-line of the story.” Derrah’s fidelity to Brecht and Weill doesn’t mean he won’t explore more contemporary nuances such as gender roles and sexuality with the characters and their relationships. “Today, ideally, we’re more open [about sexuality and gender] and the piece has opportunities—not to exploit that or latch onto it in a heavyhanded way—but to use the text as written to illuminate these human beings in a way that feels relevant to us from a political, social and sexual point of view,” he says. “Maybe it will illuminate something about ourselves that is uncomfortable.” [x]

blo.org

[BOSTON FILM FESTIVAL FROM 81] from Bartsch’s famous Tuesday night parties at Meatpacking district club Le Bain, where gender-queer figures such as RuPaul Charles, performance artist Joey Arias and transgender pioneer Flawless Sabrina found their identities and careers. The directors will be at the screenings. Commemorating the life and death this past September of LGBT icon Edie Windsor is a new film, “Edie Windsor: To a More Perfect Union,” which

traces Windsor’s landmark fight, while well into her 80s, for marriage equality. The documentary offers parallel stories of Windsor and her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who argued United States v. Windsor before the U.S. Supreme Court and won. In a groundbreaking ruling, the high court declared a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in a 5-to-4 decision. [x]

www.wickedqueer.org

CATCH THE GAME AT CHAMPIONS. Watch your team swing it out of the park on our giant video wall, featuring thirty-six 46” HDTVs. Sip one of our 36 beers on tap or sample our tasty all-American grill menu. No matter who you are cheering for, we’ve got you covered with a place to watch, a drink to savor and a dish to enjoy. For reservations, call 617.927.5304 or visit ChampionsBoston.com.

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Located in Boston Marriott Copley Place 110 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

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CULTURE Visual Arts STORY Scott Kearnan

Decidedly Queer and Arty Providence couple’s ‘Headmaster’ art journal proves smart, sexy and highly collectible Remember your school days? Every headmaster had a binder. So do Jason Tranchida and Matthew Lawrence, the Providence-based queer couple behind “Headmaster” magazine. But their binder isn’t filled with class rosters, student grades or essays that need to be marked. It’s filled with the names of over 200 artists they’ve discovered—and want to consider featuring in “Headmaster,” which they describe as a “bi-annual art magazine for man lovers.” For each 88-page issue of “Headmaster,” Tranchida and Lawrence dole out creative homework assignments for participating (mostly LGBTQ) artists to fulfill. Months

84 | BOSTON SPIRIT

later, the surprising, sophisticated results are featured in their perfect-bound, art book-style publication. “Headmaster” is available only in limited print runs of 1,000 copies that are sold online and in over 30 international retailers, from Adam’s Nest in Provincetown to John Waters’ famously beloved Atomic Books in Baltimore. Every issue’s assignments are different, though all are challenges to “investigate themes of masculinity,” and artists submit their work in everything from painting and photography to poetry and prose. But “Headmaster” is the kind of consistently clever, decidedly queer, highly collectible magazine that belongs on every coffee table. “When it started, the only thing we knew was that we wanted it to be queer and arty,” says Tranchida, who was born and raised in Michigan before moving to the East Coast, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and

MFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute. Today he runs his own graphic design and brand development firm, LLAMAproduct, working with clients like the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Tranchida met Lawrence, a Rhode Island native, arts writer and event curator, at a party back in 2005. But the idea for “Headmaster” wasn’t born until about five years later, when they met with two other friends to brainstorm ideas for a magazine. For six months, they pored over “amazing art books and crappy zines” alike for inspiration, says Tranchida, eventually coming up with a concept— and a name that guides the “Headmaster” brand: a tongue-in-cheek, vintage prep school aesthetic represented by an eponymous character first glimpsed in the magazine’s Kickstarter campaign video. As a magazine, “Headmaster” is like a tweed jacket worn over a leather harness. Tranchida and Lawrence now run the magazine on their own, compiling smart


[FROM LEFT TO RIGHT] Issue 8 cover, artwork by Joe Sinness, artwork by Skylar Fein and artwork by Michah Salkind and Ted McGuire.

and sexy, cutting-edge work by contributing artists, most of them LGBTQ, from within and without New England. Some are unknown artists on the rise. Others have received prominent gallery exhibitions and awards. Actor Alan Cumming even got in on the action. And the guiding assignments run the gamut. For the just-released eighth issue of “Headmaster,” each artist received an assignment inspired by one of the archetypal characters of the Village People. The results include moody photography straight from “Fire Island,” a series of collages exploring the appropriation of Native American culture, and a dissertation on disco. For the seventh issue, “Headmaster” sent contributors on creative “field trips” to locations near their homes. The fourth issue turned the tables, tasking femaleidentified artists to artistically examine different aspects of masculinity. Every issue is uniquely challenging—and for readers, uniquely rewarding.

“From a curatorial standpoint, we strive for real diversity,” says Tranchida. “It’s a queer magazine, but it’s also an art magazine. Both of those get equal weight. It’s balanced and ambitious.” [x]

“ From a curatorial standpoint, we strive for real diversity. It’s a queer magazine, but it’s also an art magazine. Both of those get equal weight. It’s balanced and ambitious. ” Jason Tranchida

headmastermagazine.com.

MAR|APR 2018 | 85


º

CALENDAR ABBAsolutely Fabulous

Extra

Dancing queens will boogie in their seat-backs when the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus takes the stage for this all-ABBA tribute. From “Lay All Your Love On Me” to “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” the BGMC will cover all the biggest hits of the Swedish super-group. And with the sequel to the ABBA-inspired movie musical “Mamma Mia!” hitting theaters later this year, it’s the perfect time to hustle your way through the disco-era phenomenon’s delightfully memorable discography. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Sunday, March 4 (Dedham); Sunday, March 18 (Boston)

Mother Brook Arts & Community Center, Dedham; New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston

bgmc.org

Cynthia Lee Fontaine

Are you ready for her cu-cu? “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Cynthia Lee Fontaine, the over-the-top queen who snatched the Miss Congeniality title in Season 8 (and returned for a second stint on Season 9), is the perfect guest for the opening installment of this new monthly night at Boston’s Machine nightclub. The Hub’s own decadent diva Dusty Moorehead hosts, DJ Michael Giller spins, and a bevy of other sequined-covered drag performers will strut their stuff for a rare 18+ party. It’ll give you all the gay nightlife energy you can handle — and then some. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Saturday, March 3 and every first Saturday of the month

Machine Nightclub, Boston

Doors open at 10 PM

The Men’s Event & The Dinner Party Pioneers will be honored at these annual back-to-back galas that massive sums for Fenway Health, America’s largest LGBT-focused health care organization. At the Men’s Event, celebrating its landmark 25th year, tuxedo-clad gents will fete Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award recipient Deval Patrick, the first African-American Massachusetts governor. At the traditionally woman-focused Dinner Party, the Dr. Susan M. Love Award will go to lesbian athlete Diana Nyad, known for her 53-hour nonstop swim from Havana to Key West at age 64 — and advocacy for victims of sexual abuse. At both, guests will eat, drink, dance and raise auction paddles high.

Deval Patrick

WHEN

Saturday, March 10 (The Men’s Event) and Saturday, April 21 (The Dinner Party) WHERE

Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston HOW

mensevent.org; dinnerparty.org


Dinnerfest RED Party + Auction

Taste of the South End When it comes to dining, Boston’s South End gayborhood has generally been one of the trendiest (and tastiest) parts of town. If you’re looking for a chance to graze among all the gourmet delights, here’s your chance: Taste of the South End, a fundraiser for AIDS Action Committee. Over 40 restaurants, including Aquitaine, Boston Chops and Tremont 647 will dole out delicious dishes while you are sipping on wine and beer samples and bidding on exciting silent auction prizes. You’ll support the work of a vital organization while also narrowing down your picks for next weekend’s dining reservations. It’s a win-win, really. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Tuesday, March 20

Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston

tasteofthesouthend.org

What’s your favorite red? Chianti? Merlot? Malbec? Have them all (plus plenty of white wines too) at the Dinnerfest RED Party, an annual fundraiser for Victory Programs held for the first time at Boston’s just-opened City Winery. The Dinnerfest name nods to the roots of the Boston Living Center (a Victory Program initiative) as a series of community dinners for people living with HIV/AIDS. A major foodie draw, it features a silent auction with fabulous feasts culled from top restaurants, plus a chance to rub elbows with restaurant VIPs like out “Top Chef” star and Dinnerfest co-chair Tiffani Faison. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Sunday, April 22

City Winery, Boston

vpi.org

Trixie Mattel

Haters Roast: The Shady Tour Beth Ditto Lesbian singer Beth Ditto has been a presence on the music scene for many years now as front woman for dance-rock band Gossip. So it’s kind of wild that it took this long for her to release her first full-length solo album. But here she is, touring to support “Fake Sugar,” a genuinely sincere record that sees the self-described “fat, feminist lesbian from Arkansas” embrace her Southern rock roots, smoothing out the edges more of the infectious pop hooks Ditto delivers so well. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Thursday, March 15

The Sinclair, Cambridge

bethditto.com

While we always gag over the fashion challenges on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” let’s be honest: Some of the best moments come whenever the queens let their wigs down, take out their claws, and throw more shade than a redwood at high noon. Here’s a tour that cuts to the chase, reuniting some of the most memorable past contestants to drag each other — and the audience — with scathing, hilarious digs. The exact lineup varies by city, but Season 5 winner Jinkx Monson, Trixie Mattel, Latrice Royale, Trinity Taylor and Willam are all on the roast roster. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Saturday, March College St. Music Hall, 24 (New Haven); New Haven CT; House dragfans.com Wednesday, March 28 of Blues, Boston (Boston)


º

‘Rent’ The ‘90s are totally in fashion again. (If only that applied to Clintons in the White House.) So score tickets to the 20th Anniversary Tour of “Rent,” the revolutionary rock opera that brought LGBT characters and issues to homogenous Broadway. A reinterpretation of Puccini’s “La Boheme” set in the queer East Village during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, “Rent” inspired hyper-devoted fans, kick-started theatre careers (Idina Menzel got her start as Maureen, the show’s bisexual performance artist) and resulted in rousing music that celebrates freedom, art and communities of light in a world threatened by darkness. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Thursday, April 5 — Sunday, April 8

The Hanover Theater, Worcester

thehanovertheatre.org

Tyler Henry Move over, “Long Island Medium.” Henry is the hot celebrity psychic du jour, star of his own E! series “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.” But this clairvoyant comes with a twist: He’s 22 years old and openly gay, frequently tapped for readings by major stars (he’s appeared on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”). He’s certainly courted controversy from skeptics who dismiss his self-professed ability to connect with deceased loved ones. But if you’re a believer, here’s your chance to hear his “5 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Departed” and check out a live audience Q&A. WHEN

Saturday, April 7 (Wallingford, CT); Sunday, April 8 (Boston) WHERE

Toyota Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford CT; Lynn Auditorium, Lynn MA HOW

tylerhenryhollywoodmedium.com

Todrick Hall You have to hand it to Hall: For a contestant cut during the semi-finals of “American Idol,” he’s fashioned himself a more successful career than many of the show’s winners. He’s a YouTube phenomenon, choreographer for pop stars like Beyonce, singer, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge and even appeared on Broadway in “The Color Purple” and “Kinky Boots” (as the strutting lead Lola). Hot off a stint as Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” the gay Jack-of-all-trades visits Boston for a one-man show that will spotlight his vibrant, varied talents. WHEN

WHERE

HOW

Sunday, April 22

The Wilbur Theatre, Boston

thewilbur.com


SCENE Recreation PHOTOS Courtesy OutRyders

White Out Weekend Sunday River | Maine | February 8–11, 2018

Outryders, New England’s largest LGBT ski and snowboard club, teamed up with Sunday River resort again this year for the fifth annual White Out Weekend. Along with hitting the trails, there were plenty of off-trail activities too like après ski socials, fireworks and the fabulous “Mad Hatter Par-Tea” up at the Peak Lodge.

90 | BOSTON SPIRIT


SCENE Category PHOTOS Denise MacCaferri Photography

First Event 2018

Best Western Royal Plaza | Marlboro | January 30–February 4, 2018

“Making a Better World” was the theme for First Event 2018, where over 900 participants of all gender variant and questioning persons, their families, allies and professionals gathered to celebrate, meet old friends, make new friends, teach and learn from each other at one of the oldest and largest transgender conferences in the world. This year’s keynote speaker was Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, director of external relations at the National Center for Transgender Equality. Transgender advocate Mimi Lemay and Kasey Suffredini, acting CEO and president of stragegy at Freedom for All Americans, won the 2018 Community Service awards. Along with 890 workshops, highlights included the popular Tiffany’s Closet, the annual fashion show and the Greater Boston PFLAG Youth and Family Program, which attracted more than 200 participants.

MAR|APR 2018 | 91


SCENE Sports PHOTOS Edge Media

Winter Rendezvous Stowe Mountain Resort | Stowe, Vermont | January 24–27, 2018

Hundreds of skiers and snow bunnies hit the slopes for the 34th annual Winter Rendezvous. Amber and Lucy Belle of the House of LeMay hosted several drag events, and performances by Coco Peru and comedian Judy Goldman fundraised for Vermont nonprofits like the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont.

92 | BOSTON SPIRIT


RSVP NOW bostonspiritmagazine.com / enn

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 Boston Marriott Copley Place, 6–9:00 p.m. Boston Spirit magazine is pleased to announce our 12th annual LGBT Executive Networking Night. Gather for an evening of networking and business conversation. This promises to be a special night and one you do not want to miss.

FEATURED SPEAKER

KRISTIN BECK unit popularly called SEAL Team Six, and received multiple military awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. The keynote speaker for this year’s executive night is Kristin Beck. Kristin served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEALs before her transition, taking part in 13 deployments, including seven combat deployments. She was a member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU), a special counterterrorism

Now a civil rights activist, Kristin gives speeches and lectures at various events around the country. She was a key voice in the Congressional bill to end discrimination toward the LGBT community and has been a vocal advocate on behalf of transgender troops in the U.S. military. She continues her “new mission” fighting for equality for all Americans.

In addition to Kristin’s talk, we will have several side sessions specifically geared toward workplace development for LGBT professionals. There is a $15 admission fee at the door to attend the event. PRESENTI NG SPONSORS

CO RPO RATE S PO NS O RS


SCENE Networking PHOTOS Courtesy of North Shore Pride

North Shore Pride Professional Networking Event Peabody Essex Museum | Salem | February 1, 2018

A group of LGBTQ owned and allied businesses joined a full capacity crowd at North Shore Pride’s annual evening of networking and inspirational messaging from Paul Alexander, chief marketing officer for Eastern Bank, and the keynote address from Judy Shepard, founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, named for her son. On this 20-year anniversary of Matthew’s death, Judy’s message of acceptance, understanding and education—including how business and our local community are key to ending discrimination towards LGBTQ persons—was paramount to the evening. The evening also featured complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music by the North Shore band “What Time Is It, Mr. Fox.”

94 | BOSTON SPIRIT


SCENE Business PHOTOS Joel Benjamin

Business Leadership Information Session 50 Milk Street | Boston | January 23, 2018

LET’S DANCE!

At the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s first business leadership information session, more than 60 progressive business owners and executives met with the Chamber’s board of directors to engage in a vibrant discussion about the group’s mission, work and benefits of becoming charter partners and key business allies. As an advocate and link between business and government, the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce seeks to promote economic growth and viability for LGBT-owned business throughout the Commonwealth.

www.mochadj.com INFO@MOCHADJ.COM


CODA Song STORY Scott Kearnan

k.d. lang in concert. PHOTO Matt Duboff

Falling in Love Again Twenty-five years after her breakthrough album, we’re still craving k.d. lang When “Ingénue” was released in 1992, k.d. lang was catapulted from critically acclaimed singer-songwriter to pop cultural phenomenon. And she did it as an out mainstream artist in an era where few existed. She came out as a lesbian in “The Advocate” and set tongues wagging with an iconic “Vanity Fair” cover that showed the androgynously attired singer receiving a barber shop-style face shave from scantily clad supermodel Cindy Crawford. In honor of its anniversary, the still-beloved lang has decided to revisit her bestselling record on the “Ingénue Redux Tour,” performing live the full album in its entirety — plus some additional favorites. She took some time to look back at her revolutionary album and groundbreaking career. k.d. lang’s “Ingénue Redux Tour” plays the Orpheum Theater in Boston on March 22. For tickets, visit ticketmaster. com.

for the summit.” But I’m glad I had those experiences. I would never take those experiences from a younger me. Those are [LANG] It’s pretty raw and vulnerable. When I first made it the scars on the trunk of the there was some terror in being tree that make it interesting. so honest about what I was going through. When I wrote [SPIRIT] In a previous interview, you said, “The older I get the more it and when I was performing I embrace who I am.” How so? it the first time around, I had the fear of god in me. I wasn’t [LANG] I think as years pass by sure how the public and the and dreams fade away, you critics were going to react to it. realize you’re not really going I was nervous — and it turned to attain all your dreams and all out that it’s kind of been my your goals. I’m never going to golden goose, so to speak. It’s look like whomever I figured I something I sing now with wanted to look like. I’m never reverence and gratitude and going to have the private jet appreciation. I love so much situation. You’re never going that the audience has its own to create the perfect record relationship and their own that is perfect. There are all experiences with the record these unattainable goals. But that makes it deeper and richer. what I’ve attained is what I really want. You realize that’s [SPIRIT] With 25 years of wisdom who you are, and you fall in and experience behind you, any love with yourself. You’re not words of advice you wish today’s k.d. lang could share with the young grasping for something. ingénue who made that record? [SPIRIT] What are your thoughts [LANG] No, because it wouldn’t on the coming-out process for be applicable. I thought I was artists today, compared to your prepared for fame at the time, experiences 25 years ago? but I look back at certain [LANG] When I came out it moments in my life and say, was kind of a treacherous “Oh god, I was so cocky and so time because AIDS was in sure of myself, so gung-ho on pushing and pushing and going full swing, Queer Nation was outing people and it was a very [SPIRIT] In revisiting “Ingénue,” how has your perspective on the album changed?

96 | BOSTON SPIRIT

volatile time for the LGBT community. I think now it’s still relevant and yet I feel like we’ve even surpassed the need for people to come out publicly. There are a lot of people who see sexuality as an entirely complex, fluid thing. That casts a very different environment. I’m not even sure you need to establish who you are sexually anymore in a public way. [SPIRIT] As our ideas of sexual and gender identity have become more flexible and fluid, in some ways, labeling yourself feels less relevant. Does that make sense? [LANG] It totally makes sense.

It’s a slippery slope because if you don’t own your sexuality, that creates a dangerous environment. But if you do completely own your sexuality and you tend to change, as we do because we’re human, it also creates a dangerous environment. And then you have the aspect of “why is it necessary?” The argument is that it’s necessary if we don’t want to fall back to the same situation where people don’t talk about it. It’s fascinating. But ultimately it’s all about being comfortable with who you are.. [x]


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