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SEP | OCT 2019


Out in New England Fall-friendly travel guide

Business of Drag Local divas, celebrity queens

Queer Enough? When labels don’t fit

Fresh Fruit Reborn Defiantly satirical cabaret

Billy Porter Breaking on through



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From The Publisher Over the years you might have noticed that I return to a familiar theme from time to time…traveling in New England. It is no secret that I am a fan of all that New England has to offer, from the beaches of the south coast of Rhode Island and the Cape and Islands, to the Berkshires and the incredible beauty of northern New England; if you can’t find it here it doesn’t exist. I have so many incredible memories of traveling throughout the area. For me, there is nothing like Provincetown and Nantucket in October. The crowds have thinned, the leaves are turning and the nights are a little cooler. Or, for something a little more athletic I still think that the Knife’s Edge on Mt. Katahdin is one of the best hikes in the country (even better when coupled with some of Maine’s amazing white water rafting!) Then again, if the energy of the city is more your style we’ve got Newport, Boston, Portland, Burlington and more. For you foodies we’ve got it all. Same for those of you who prefer the arts. New England (our home) is just a special place. In this issue we are excited to celebrate the area we call home. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. We are also very excited to let you know about a couple of events we have coming up in the next few months. First off is the return of Drag Idol. We held this event last year and it completely sold out! It was an amazing night. We have moved to a bigger location this year and we cannot wait to see what our performers have for us this year. This is a super fun event and one you do not want to miss. Also coming up is a new event, Breaking the Double Pane Glass Ceiling. It is no secret that it can be difficult for women to break through the glass ceiling in the corporate world…add in being a member of the LGBT community and it only becomes more difficult. We are going to tackle that issue with some incredible panelists and some much-needed conversation. Keep an eye out in this issue for more information on these events. We hope to see you there. Happy Fall,

David Zimmerman Publisher


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Contribute your opinion:

As We Go To Press I identify as a cisgender white American male. How about you? Am I queer? Am I queer enough? Joy Mosenfelder’s beautifully reported story, “Navigating the Alphabet: Love, Sex, Identity and Community Across the Intersectional LGBTQIA+ Rainbow,” asks important questions about who we are and say we are. As many of us navigate the increasing complexity of defining—or deciding not to define—who we are, a backlash grows from a large segment of society that wishes to define gender and sexuality back to some sense of what they think it used to be—namely heterosexual men and women, period. And so the edges are moving further afield. A gaping dichotomy opens wider. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It’s most noticeable in our politics. While most LGBT people in America enjoy basic freedom and dignity—marriage equality, workplace protections, and such—these are being seriously threatened and even taken away. Even as marriage equality for same-sex couples is the law of the land, our government is banning transgender people from serving in the military. While we have the first viable out, gay presidential candidate, Black, transgender


women are being murdered at an unprecedented rate. Call it the law of unintended consequences. With wins, comes backlash. With success, come new trials. There are other gaps, perhaps less monumental, but compelling in their own way, further illustrating the divide between those benefitting from societal acceptance and those who aren’t. There are those who labored in obscurity and struggled to open doors for those who came after, many of whom have not fully benefitted from the promised land they helped others enter. Scott Kearnan’s fascinating story on the economics of being a drag performer illustrates this. I remember going to Matthew Kasten’s Boy Bar Beauties in Boy Bar in the East Village in the early 1990s, where RuPaul booked many of her first gigs with other drag performers, long before “Drag Race,” when drag was truly countercultural. I was there when the fluorescent lights clicked on, flooding the dance floor several hours before closing time, as police raided the joint. This was not television reality. This was real police action in a gay establishment. And it was frightening. Today, as drag goes majorly mainstream, it looks like fame is a great thing for drag performers. Look more closely, and you’ll see the big names drawing the money and

crowds, and those who are not so famous, picking up the crumbs. Sometimes the question about the degree of a person’s queerness comes couched in terms of how much a person struggled, or struggled to be able to fully inhabit their identity. If a person becomes famous and brings in the money, how queer are they? I don’t know how queer you need to be or how much one has to suffer in order to be queer enough. I do know that I’ve lived through scary situations because of my identity. And I know that I live quite well now. And so I find myself drawn to a quote by Toni Morrison that circulated widely in the wake of her recent passing. “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else,” she said. “If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” We’re all queer enough. When a person, like me, can comfortably say that, and live in that truth—and I know many of our readers can say and do that — then my job — our job — is to help free those who can’t. Let’s get ready for 2020. We’re gonna need to do a lot of freeing!

James Lopata Editor in Chief










Hit List


Sustainable Suds

The Business of Drag

Contents SEP | OCT 2019 | VOLUME 15 | ISSUE 5


Out in New England

Hit List Sonic Boom Sustainable Suds Good Vibrations Fresh Fruit Reborn Campy, Classic Car Crowd Senior Spirit From the Blog Newsmakers | Rhode Island Newsmakers | New Hampshire Newsmakers | Connecticut Newsmakers | Vermont Newsmakers | Maine


The Business of Drag

How celebrity queens have complicated life for local entertainers—for worse and for better

Navigating the Alphabet

Love, Sex, Identity and Community Across the Intersectional LGBTQIA+ Rainbow


8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32

34 38

From gay-owned to gay‑friendly, perfect places for fall outings where everyone feels most welcome


Out in New England

From gay-owned to gay‑friendly, perfect places for fall outings where everyone feels most welcome




Fun, Fierce and Flamboyant


Spread Your Wings


Taylor Mac brings landmark ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music’ to New England

PEM’s new Fashion and Design Gallery invites audiences to inspiration and self-expression

Artists and Rebels


The Boys in the Choir


To Tell the Truth


Stage legend Everett Quinton returns to Provincetown’s Tennessee Williams Festival Young gay black men take center stage in ‘Choir Boy,’ Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play with music William Dameron’s memoir ‘The Lie’ explores coming out later in life

Out in New England



Artists and Rebels

Calendar New England Events


Drive for Victory GLAD Summer Party CRI Summer Party Portland Pride Rhode Island Pride North Shore Pride Boston Cornerstone Event Cape Cod Pride LGBTQ Professionals Networking Night

86 87 88 90 91 92 93 94

Break on Through




Billy Porter becomes first gay black man with Emmy nomination for dramatic lead


Break on Through



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SPOTLIGHT Trending STORY Scott Kearnan

Hit List NEWS, NOTES AND TO-DOS FOR EVERY GAY AGENDA 59 churches statewide, and sounds poised to bring a pretty progressive sensibility to the role. Before he was ordained to the priesthood, Brown even worked as director of education for Planned Parenthood of South Central Michigan. More:

SPEND A MOMENTchecking out an important piece by

Provincetown Brewing Co. Nicole Eisenman


Provincetown Brewing Co. taproom. The gayfounded beer-maker just opened its Bradford Street taproom in Cape Cod’s LGBTQ paradise, turning out styles like “The Bearded Mistress,” an India Pale Ale, and the tart “Crandaddy Sour.” You’ll be drinking for a good cause too: As part of its “Draftivism” mission, the brewery donates a portion of sales to organizations supporting LGBTQ rights and other social justice efforts. More:

Reverand Thomas James Brown

SAY “HALLELULIAH,”because the State of Maine has its first openly gay, married bishop. Reverend Thomas James Brown was named the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, which represents

an acclaimed, LGBTQ contemporary artist. “Grouping of Works from Fountain” at 401 Park—a just-unveiled, one-acre space in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood—is the first permanent public installation from Nicole Eisenman, only the fourth woman to receive the esteemed Carnegie Prize. “Grouping” consists of a shallow pool surrounded by three large and lounging, genderless figures—they are “queer,” according to Eisenman, who also identifies as such. “Grouping” was inspired by a similar German

JAG Productions “Choir Boy”

installation of Eisenman’s that was vandalized with swastikas in 2017. More: the-green-at-401-park

CHECK OUTthe work of JAG Productions, an awardwinning—but still-new theater company based in the Upper Valley of Vermont. The organization was founded by queer artist and performer Jarvis Green, and is currently the only company focusing on African-American theater in the Green Mountain State, according to the New England Theatre Conference. Past productions from JAG, which has earned big buzz in the region’s arts scene in just four seasons, include “Choir Boy,” a coming-of-age tale about a gay Black prep-school student. More: BE PROUDto be a New

Englander. According to a study just released by the Public Religion Research Institute, our region (perhaps unsurprisingly)

PUBLISHER David Zimmerman EDITOR IN CHIEF James Lopata MANAGING EDITOR Robert Phelps [] ART DIRECTOR Dean Burchell CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE EDITOR Scott Kearnan [] CONTRIBUTING ARTS EDITOR Loren King CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alyssa Gillin, Tom Joyce, Nina Livingstone, Natalie Nonken, Kim Harris Stowell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Joel Benjamin COVER PHOTO Elizabeth Carey ON THE WEB [] TALK TO US [] EDITORIAL CONTACT [] PUBLISHING AND SALES CONTACT [ or 781-223-8538] THE FINE PRINT Boston Spirit magazine. A Division of Jake Publishing, LLC Published by Jake Publishing, LLC. Copyright 2004 by Jake Publishing, LLC. All

SEP | OCT 2019 | VOLUME 15 | ISSUE 5

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




Benefits of Working at East Boston Savings Bank: and white peppercorn. V Smiley’s Preserves are also unconventional in that they are made with natural honey, rather than refined sugar. More:

PEEK INSIDEPortland, Maine’s leads the country when it comes to public support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. Taking its “Live Free or Die” motto to heart, New Hampshire is tops, with 81% of residents supporting such policies. Vermont is tied with Utah for second place (77%), followed by Connecticut (76%) and Massachusetts (tied with Washington State at 75%). Rhode Island (73%) and Maine (69%) are close behind. More:


Preserves, a line of artisan jams, honey and aromatics by its eponymous queer founder, V, and her partner Amy. The small-batch creations, developed on a family farm in Vermont, come in delicious flavors like strawberry Italian plum jam with rosewater, raspberry redcurrant geranium jam, and pear sage lemon marmalade with lavender

last gay bar—now that you can. Blackstone’s, a laidback watering hole known for drawing leather- and denimclad types to its pool table, recently replaced a streetfacing wall of windows that had been boarded-up since 1991, when they were shattered by anti-gay vandals. Now, 28 years later, manager Carl Currie told Bangor Daily News that the symbolic change was long overdue. “There was a huge issue of bigotry in this city,” Currie told the paper. The windows reflect, “how Portland [has now] accepted the LGBTQ community completely—or nearly completely.” More: blackstones. com

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SPOTLIGHT Innovation STORY Scott Kearnan

Sonic Boom

Olivier Changeart. PHOTO courtesy OJC Artisans of Sound

SIGNATURE SOUNDS GIVE BUSINESSES AN UNFORGETTABLE EDGE If you want to know how Olivier Jamin Changeart is feeling, just listen to how he’s playing the piano. “When I’m sad I play in a minor scale—when I’m happy, a major scale,” explains Changeart, who started tickling the ivories when he was just a seven-year-old growing up in Toulouse in the south of France. Back then, you might have heard a lot of those minor scales: Changeart, who is gay, had a “difficult time” with his conservative Catholic family—and music, he says, was a kind of “refuge.” “It was a way to be myself, express myself, and share my feelings with others in a way that I couldn’t with words.” As it turns out, learning how to channel emotion through music paid off—big time. Today Changeart lives with his husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and recently launched his own unique business: OJC Artisan of Sound, a “sound boutique” that works with clients

to create emotionally evocative “sonic identities.” What exactly does that mean? Just as major companies develop impactful graphic logos (say, the Nike “Swoosh”) and artfully arrange words into memorable slogans (“Just Do It!”), signature sounds—short snippets of music that excitedly introduce a speaker at a trade show, pleasantly greet a website visitor, or soothe a caller on hold—are increasingly being used to similarly convey a consistent brand personality. Think of them as audio autographs. Although it may be a novel new direction for the future of marketing, sonic branding is actually a pretty natural next-step for Changeart, when you consider his professional background. An expert in the physics of sound, he worked for about a decade as an acoustic engineer in Paris, handling projects for prestigious institutions like the Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay. After moving to


New England with his husband, he became an architect—earning his master’s degree from Boston Architectural College and focusing on how materials and geometry affect sound—and thus, a person’s experience— within a physical space. His thesis title: “Architecture of the Ears.” Changeart still calls on his architectural experience for his work with OJC—from playing with ideas of rhythm and pattern, to interpreting a client’s vision for the emotional experience they want to create. Then he helps them build it, note by note. “There’s a strategy behind it,” Changeart explains. “You need to understand what the client wants, and translate it into some kind of architectural element using volumes, materials and design elements. It’s the same thing with music. You need to understand the brand, the core values and essence—and express it through music.” Though it’s been more widely adopted in Europe, sonic branding is a relatively nascent business in the US, says Changeart, who is getting in on the ground floor—and, evidently, the right foot. He officially launched OJC

last year and is already working with clients like Mirakl, a major e-commerce developer that powers online shopping for Office Depot, 1-800-Flowers and other bigtime businesses. His husband’s experience in the biotech world has also caused Changeart to take note of how the healthcare industry, in particular, could benefit from the kind of thoughtful emotionality that sonic branding offers. His spouse has also been his biggest champion in launching a new, innovative venture like OJC, says Changeart, who met his future husband when they were both singing in a gay men’s chorus in Paris. They’ve been making beautiful music ever since, and Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” one of the first songs they ever sang together, was played at their wedding—their own sonic identity as a couple. Which of course, begs the question: How would that petit garçon who once played in minor scales describe his own personal sound-signature today? “It would certainly be joyful,” says Changeart. File under: major change. [x]

SPOTLIGHT Libations STORY Scott Kearnan

Sustainable Suds CRAFTROOTS BREWING: A 100-PERCENT LOCALLY SOURCED, OUT, PROUD WOMEN-OWNED, BUSINESS Leave it to a gay-owned brewery to find a way to get glitter in your beer. “We’re doing a ’70s-themed party tonight,” explains Maureen Fabry, the alcohol alchemist who cofounded CraftRoots Brewing with her wife, Robin Fabry. Rather than simply show up in bellbottoms, Maureen decided to create a special sip for the occasion: She took their Bavarian Hefeweizen-style beer, infused it with lemon puree, and added a touch of edible glitter, “to give it a disco ball effect.” “Doing something new and fun keeps people coming back!” says Maureen. So does simply damn-good beer—and equally excellent

company. Although Maureen had already been homebrewing for years, CraftRoots established its cool production facility and taproom in an industrial park in Milford, Massachusetts, in 2017, shortly after Robin retired from her three-decade career on the State Police force. Since then, their suds have earned raves for several reasons. For one, CraftRoots takes seriously its slogan, “locally sourced and crafted with love,” making its beers—which range from blonde ales to Irish dry stouts to rotating fruit-infused varieties—exclusively with ingredients grown on small farms in the northeast. In addition, CraftRoots brings important female and LGBTQ

Robin [LEFT] and Maureen Fabry

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“ That’s one of the most impressive things for me, to be able to look around the taproom and see people enjoying the product of your work. It brings together people who might not otherwise be in contact or have a conversation with each other. It’s a great unifier. ” Maureen Fabry visibility to the Millennial maledominated craft-beer industry. It is one of the few 100-percent women-owned breweries in the Bay State, and Maureen and Robin are proudly-out business owners in the Central Massachusetts town where they also live and raise their twins. They develop close relationships with their customers: Maureen is the sole brewer, while Robin keeps the taproom running and designed the look of the funky space, which features a 24-footlong bar of reclaimed wood and high-top tables of repurposed metal drums. Ironically, “the only reason we have a brewery today, is because I’m lazy,” jokes Robin. Back in 1996, Maureen bought her a home-brewing kit—but it “felt like too much work,” Robin

laughs. So instead, Maureen wound up the one who started experimenting, and eventually caught the beer-making bug. Kidding aside, it takes a lot of hard work to cut it in the increasingly competitive craft-beer market. Although CraftRoots is certainly still small-scale, the National Brewers Association actually named it the fastest-growing brewery in the country back in 2017, based on the robust increase that accompanied the taproom opening. They brewed 308 barrels in 2017, 469 in 2018, and plan to grow by 20- to 50-percent per year going forward. They want to maintain a lifestyle balance, and remain unwavering in their commitment to sustainability: For instance, after brewing, spent

grains are provided to local farms as cow feed. It’s no surprise that CraftRoots has grown such a devoted following for its fabulous beers— one that cuts across all lines of identity. “It’s a unique taproom in that it’s very diverse,” says Maureen. The couple is proud of the range of ages, ethnicities and LGBTQ orientations that visit their space to enjoy a pint, have a conversation, and hear regularly scheduled live music. They fly the rainbow flag in the taproom all the time, and even made a special “Pride & Peace” beer invoking hints of sweet apricot. Other community-minded releases have included the Colonel Bragg Brown, a brown ale named for a Milford military

veteran; proceeds were donated to the local Italian-American War Veterans post. Indeed, the community-building power of beer is a big part of what first attracted Maureen to brewing in the first place. “It brings different groups of people together,” says Maureen. “That’s one of the most impressive things for me, to be able to look around the taproom and see people enjoying the product of your work. It brings together people who might not otherwise be in contact or have a conversation with each other. It’s a great unifier.” [x]

SPOTLIGHT Wellness STORY Scott Kearnan

Good Vibrations COUPLES UNLOCK ENERGY, EROTIC ENLIGHTENMENT AT MASSAGE WORKSHOP RETREAT About seven feet to my right, my boyfriend is oiling down a naked stranger. This is odd, I think.

beach with a storied gay history, appeals to a certain kind of traveler: the type who love the outdoors, appreciate an air of spiritualized sensuality, and won’t get red-faced if they encounter a peep-show while doing their Green Mountain State leaf-peeping. (Though to be clear, there’s an inclusive emphasis on the second part of “clothing optional” here. We’d previously stayed very comfortably at Frog Meadow without ever disrobing.)

Okay, okay, to be fair. He’s not a total stranger. We only met him about 14 hours ago, but you get acquainted with folks fast when you’re spending a weekend at a group massage retreat at Frog Meadow, a clothing-optional men’s resort in a quaint, gay-friendly corner of picturesque southern Vermont. And besides, I’m doing the same—practicing on my own randomly chosen partner a series of muscle-melting techniques, energy-channeling movements, and other intriguingly mystic-sounding approaches to “Heart-Centered Touch” under the guidance of Adam Brown, a New York-based instructor and acupuncturist. Brown taps Taoist principles for his fraternal-feeling workshops that explore male touch through energy-unlocking elements of massage. It’s all about exhaling, with a whiff of enlightened eroticism. Over the course of a three-day weekend, me, my love and 10 other guys will share meals, hot tub-time and personal stories—from the hilarious and lighthearted, to the pretty profound. We’ll arrive feeling ready to disconnect from the frenetic pace of the world outside these woods—and a little anxious about what the hell this woo-woo-sounding workshop will actually entail. (Some of the men have done these before. Others, like us, have never joined an organized nude getaway with a group of, almost-entirely, gay men.) We will leave, however, feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated than we have in years. That’s exactly the point, says Scott Heller, who owns and operates Frog Meadow with his husband, massage therapist Dave King. Heller says the Vermont resort draws guests who “seek deeper connections with humanity,” and “have the desire to share and learn in a relaxed, spiritual and nurturing environment.” Yet it still has the trappings of a charming bed and breakfast. Frog Meadow serves up its crunchy workshops with pro chefprepared meals and Egyptian-cotton sheets. “The mind can only absorb what the body can endure,” says Heller. No monastic ascetism here. And there’s proved to be a big market for what Frog Meadow offers. It has earned a growing national presence as a New England


“ It draws guests who seek deeper connections with humanity and desire to share and learn in a relaxed, spiritual and nurturing environment.” Adam Brown, instructor getaway for gay men, and a Frog Meadow escape was even featured as a contestant prize on the eighth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Frog Meadow started hosting retreats shortly after its 2007 opening, and Brown— the first guest instructor to appear, has held about 30 at the property since then. (He returns in October.) But he’s hardly the only one. Frog Meadow has become the unofficial stateside spot to find Germany-based, globetrotting “GAY-TANTRA” expert Armin Heining, tapped New York author and life coach Ray Rigoglioso for “Celebrating Gay Manhood” workshops, and welcomed popular New Jersey instructor Colby Smith for “Yoga & Wellness” weekends, among other programs. The property, a popular pick for visitors to nearby Rock River, a clothing-optional nude

The “Heart-Centered Touch” retreat, among the most popular, is rooted in Brown’s early-’90s work using the “healing arts” as a response to the height of the AIDS epidemic. At a time when gay men were being treated like pariahs, bodywork was a way to cultivate compassion—and help folks restore some kind of emotional equilibrium—through the simple yet radical process of skin-on-skin contact. “We developed a community among ourselves,” recalls Brown, who would visit hospitals simply to touch sufferers being ostracized even by staff. “It was really profound.” Many of the guys who joined our late-spring session had their own impactful experiences: I met a bisexual man from Rhode Island who explained how being “vulnerable around other men” was helpful in healing as a survivor of sexual assault; a guest from New York who felt so emotionally isolated from other gay men that he had never been able to accept tender touch; and a couple from Connecticut who discovered that workshops like this helped them “reignite” their communication and connection with each other. At the end of one day of workshops, me and my boyfriend meandered back to our bed in the “Bee Cottage,” an adorable, seasonal setup in the middle of a meadow. (It has solar-powered electricity. The bathroom, however, is the nearest tree.) We were spent in a wonderful way, full from dinner, and ready to spend time together, feeling peaceful and present. Will this sensation last when we return to the stress of work-life in Boston? Maybe so, maybe not. But if nothing else, I realize, a Frog Meadow workshop will leave you with remembrances of unforgettable fun, recharged batteries and new bodywork pointers to practice. On who? That part’s up to you. [x]


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SPOTLIGHT Performance STORY Scott Kearnan The cast of “Fresh Fruit Is ... Born Again!”

action that I would want to take.”

Fresh Fruit Reborn AUGHTIES DRAG CABARET TROUPE REIMAGINED FOR A CURRENT CRAZY WORLD For 13 years, Aughties-decade audiences went bananas over the antics of Fresh Fruit—a drag-cabaret troupe that took over Boston’s Club Café with deliciously double-entendrefilled skits and spoofy, satirical songs that lampooned everything from gay culture to American society. Of course, the political climate has never been more ripe for parody—so naturally, the group is returning to the stage this fall for the first time in six years with a new show: “Fresh Fruit Is…Born Again!,” back again at Club Café on select weekend dates from Friday, October 11 to Saturday, October 23. Squint, though, and you’ll notice that underneath that makeup, the gender-bending boys look a little different. “The world is screaming for this again,” says Fresh Fruit cofounder Michael Gaucher, whose Bitter Bitch Productions are seen frequently at Club Café. (Recent shows have included

“The Menopausal Mermaid” and “Golden Girls: The Lost Episode” drag imaginings.) Gaucher and Rodney VanDerwarker, a fellow original Fruit, decided it was time to revive the group for the Trump era, when there’s simply too much material to pass up—and the importance of queer art feels more evident than ever. “It’s like a live reality show going on in politics; it couldn’t be more absurd,” says VanDerwarker. “If those freaks didn’t have their finger on the nuclear button, it would be funny how ridiculous it is.” This time, though, Gaucher and VanDerwarker, who performed in the cast during its original run from 2000 to 2013, decided that they wanted to stay behind the scenes. They’ll direct a new bundle of Fruits (including, full disclosure, this writer), resurrecting favorite musical numbers from shows past and introducing a slew of new, timely takes on well-known tunes. Other new Fruits include


Andrew Child, Jaryd Towlson, and Brian Washburn. Joshua Roberts, an alum of Bitter Bitch’s “Golden Girls,” is artistic manager. There’s plenty of hilarious intracommunity humor: For instance, the Fruit’s “Regret Tango” resets “Cellblock Tango” from the musical “Chicago” inside a gonorrhea-stricken gay gym. “Internet Killed the Gay Boy Bar”—a riff on the ‘80s pop hit “Video Killed the Radio Star”—bemoans the demise of such spaces in the age of Grindr. Other selections are more pointedly political. “All Fake News,” a twist on “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News” from the musical “The Wiz,” takes on Trump for his preferred method of scapegoating and penchant for bald-faced lies. “Republican Girl,” meanwhile, reinvents Madonna’s “Material Girl” into uproarious commentary on the kind of greed-is-good mentality that dominated the Reagan era—and is everywhere to be seen in our current administration. Consider it a kind of comedic catharsis. “I’m just so infuriated,” says Gaucher of the state of the nation. “At least I feel like I can do something to voice some of my frustration, because I don’t see people taking the

Of course, Fresh Fruit has historically taken an equal-opportunity-offender approach to its bawdy humor. “We haven’t been very kind to liberals, either!” VanDerwarker clarifies. And too-sensitive souls probably aren’t the right audience for “Born Again,” which spreads its snark far and wide. “Joan Rivers always said, ‘never apologize for your humor,’” adds VanDerwarker. The Fruits don’t plan to start toning things down now. That said, with all the sincerely ill-intentioned rhetoric already out there in the world, the Fruits want to be thoughtful about where they aim their pun-filled potshots. Certain things just aren’t worth joking about when the stakes in the real world are so serious. Besides, the power of queer art is its ability to galvanize action and energy through the act of shining a defiant, joyful light. So the show is packed with plenty of numbers offering pure escapism, like “Old Chicks,” which transforms Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” into an anthem for the geriatric-snowbird set. “Born Again” is all about giving audiences a place to laugh off a lot of steam, and leave a little motivated. “If you can access someone’s emotions rather than their emotional intellect, I think you can move them further,” says Gaucher. “It’s also a safety valve. People can come in and just laugh, and not feel so panicked, morose, or despondent. They can laugh, and be like, ‘Yes! Thank you for making a joke out of this, because I can’t even handle it anymore.’” The Fruits are back. How sweet it is! [x] or

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SPOTLIGHT Social Club STORY Scott Kearnan

Campy, Classic Car Crowd ‘BAWDY’ YANKEE LAMBDA CAR CLUB CONVENES IN P’TOWN The floats of Provincetown Carnival have come and gone, but prepare to see another colorful, elaborately costumed fleet come cruising down Commercial Street very soon. The Yankee Chapter of Lambda Car Club International, the largest club for LGBTQ auto enthusiasts in North America, is hosting its annual invitational in P’town from September 13–15. It’s a chance for car lovers to connect, compare bodies—from convertibles to coupés—and then shift gears, enjoying social events such as a banquet and awards ceremony. Considering that the categories include “Best Decorated,” you can rest assured that this is no ordinary, straight-lunkhead car show.

“We want costumes, we want flamboyance—we want to put on a show,” says Carl Derry, president of Lambda’s Yankee Chapter, which represents members all over New England. Derry says that the yearly Provincetown gathering always has a theme—this year’s is an outdoorsy “Camp Tramp” motif— and embodies the lighthearted nature that makes Lambda a bit unique among car clubs. Whereas other car clubs can feel “stuffy” and “fussy,” Derry says that Yankee has a more “bawdy” sensibility that embraces double entendre. (Insert stick-shift joke here.) “The gay car club is campy, whereas other car clubs are just about the car,” says Derry, who stresses that attendees don’t need to own a car to enjoy the

invitational—or be a member of Yankee. In fact, though he’s had a passion for cars since he was a child and owns a collection of about 8,000 auto brochures, the chapter president—a Yankee member since 2001—doesn’t even have an auto himself.

But he appreciates the opportunity to build friendships with other gay men who share his appreciation for car design and engineering; Yankee typically hosts at least one social event each month. Some are specifically car-related: say, visiting

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simultaneously indulge a hobby and embrace their community. “If you live in the South End of Boston, it’s easy to be wrapped up in gay culture,” says Derry, who lives in the more rural town of Pepperell, on the New Hampshire border. “In the suburbs, all your neighbors are straight.”

the New England International Auto Show in Boston in January, or taking an October trip to the Newport Auto Museum in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. But the gatherings also include brewery tours, barbecues at members’ homes, and other

non-auto-focused festivities. Yankee also participates in both Boston Pride and North Shore Pride. Outings like these are a way for members, especially those who live in areas with smaller LGBTQ populations, to

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While the social element is certainly a major draw to the club, visitors to the invitational will definitely see their share of seriously cool cars. This year’s main car show, which typically includes about 60 autos—largely 1960s and 70s models—will be held at the parking lot of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. Past shows have seen pretty impressive autos—from older machines like the Ford Motel T or a 1933 Auburn, to comparatively newer cars like a ’70s Gremlin with a Levi’s interior or a Hyundai Genesis Coupe retrofitted with gullwing doors. Looking ahead, Derry says that next year’s invitational will be

a particularly “special” one to acknowledge the Yankee Chapter’s 25th anniversary. And in 2021, he adds, New England will host Lambda’s Grand National Invitational for the very first time. Derry plans to take the events out of Provincetown for the Grand National, to find a setting that can better accommodate the 200 or so cars that are anticipated. As for this year’s invitational? Don’t be shy about showing up, says Derry, whether you want to cheer the parade on Commercial Street, peek under some hoods at the Pilgrim Monument, or just steer your way to some new friendships—and laughs—with fellow car lovers. “We like to have a sense of humor,” says Derry. “That’s what people love about it. It’s a light-hearted car show.” [x]

SPOTLIGHT Community STORY Bob Linscott

Senior Spirit

Pathways to Pride: MetroWest’s Booming Initiative for LGBTQ Older Adults As recently as a few years ago the MetroWest area was considered a “gay desert.” There were no programs, social opportunities, services or resources for LGBTQ older adults. In the past three years a group of elder service providers in the area received a multi-year grant to fund LGBTQ Aging Programs specifically in MetroWest. One of those first to identify this lack in coverage for LGBTQ older adults was Stephen Corso, director of strategic initiatives at Baypath, an elder service agency in Marlborough. Corso

knew very little about the LGBTQ community but began collecting others to join him. Douglass Flynn, a well-known sports writer who covered the beat for the Bruins and Patriots, stepped up. Like Corso, Flynn was completely unfamiliar with the LGBTQ community, but he always had a passion for helping people in need and a particular soft spot for older adults. His father, Ed Flynn, had served as executive director for South Shore Elder Services in Braintree for 20 years.

State Rep. Jack Lewis at 2017 Pride Across Generations Banquet, Framingham State University. PHOTO Courtesy Douglas Flynn In 2017 Corso and his team at Baypath applied for a grant from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Their proposal was accepted and they began creating the infrastructure to welcome and support the social, emotional and home care needs of all MetroWest LGBTQ older adults. To manage the program and act as the agency’s liaison, they hired Julie Nowak. An out and

proud lesbian, she came on board with the mission to put MetroWest on the LGBTQ map. She and the team realized they needed to provide training to all the area’s elder service providers in their area, who she found knew about little about sexual orientation and gender identity. She also established a regular LGBTQ Coffee and Celebration group that met at Baypath. She wanted people to know Baypath

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could be their home base— essential if these older adults were to come to them when they began needing home care services or other aging support. In the first year of the grant those gatherings were small, only bringing in 8–10 people, but people came regularly to share cupcakes and meet others. Then the team connected with Kim Dexter, the Title 9 Diversity and Inclusion Director at Framingham State University. Prior to that meeting Flynn and Nowak realized that in order to create a welcoming and inclusive environment they needed to reach out to the younger LGBTQ community and bring them on board. Dexter connected them with FSU’s LGBTQ student organization—a perfect fit because the LGBTQ students felt a lack of connection to their cultural identity, especially to LGBTQ history. In the fall of 2017, the two groups launched the first Pride Across the Generations Banquet. It was an instant success. The connection between older and younger LGBTQ generations was “instant and electric as if they had been kept apart for too long,” attendees told Dexter. The following year Flynn became community programs manager at Baypath, taking over the initiative when Corso retired. That year, under the guidance of Nowak, Flynn and their colleagues at Framingham State, the banquet drew over 80 attendees. It is now the signature event of Baypath’s LGBTQ Initiative. This year the banquet, to be held on National Coming Out Day (Friday, October 11), will be even bigger to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. As the Pride Banquets began to build up their base of LGBTQ older adults, Flynn and Nowak realized their “cupcake gatherings” were not going to be sufficient for the needs of this growing population. Based on successful collaboration with the college students, Nowak and Flynn began exploring additional intergenerational options. That was right about

the time when Kathy Faddoul approached them. The Health Nurse at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School., Faddoul had attended the Pride Banquet and was eager to find a way to have her school collaborate in this initiative. Now two new players have entered the scene: Margo Wilson and Erin Silveira. Both women work at the Assabet Valley high school. Wilson, known as “Chef Wilson” at school, ran a culinary arts program at the high school that has its own restaurant, The Epicurean Room, managed and staffed by the students. Silveira is Assabet’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) advisor. When all these great minds came together a whole new vision was created. On October 15, there will be a new LGBTQ Community Meal Program. This one will be unlike all the other 23 sites across the state because The Pathway’s Café, as it will be called, will be managed by the Assabet high school students. The students will prepare and serve the meal and the students from the GSA will join their LGBTQ older adults for the meal. Once upon a time there was an old belief that stated all LGBTQ people will age alone living a lonely and isolated life. That myth no longer has a place in MetroWest. The collaboration and commitment of Corso, Flynn, Nowak and all their colleagues embodies Margaret Mead’s famous quotation: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” To learn more about this year’s Pride Across the Generations Banquet on Oct 11, The Pathways Café at Assabet or any of Baypath’s LGBTQ initiatives contact Julie Nowak at or call Baypath’s confidential LGBTQ Initiative Help Line at 508-573-7288. [x]

Bob Linscott is assistant director of the LGBT Aging Project at The Fenway Institute

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“Additionally, I would work to ensure that our LGBT and gender-nonconforming students have access to sexual health resources that work for their identity,” she told The Rainbow Times. For more on St. Guillen, go to —R. Payne

Gail Horowitz visiting the Grand Canyon in April 2019. PHOTO courtesy Susan Brand

REMEMBERING GAIL HOROWITZ Gail Horowitz, the Massachusetts attorney and pioneering LGBTQ legal advocate instrumental in ensuring equal protections for same-sex couples under MassHealth after the state legalized same-sex marriage, died on May 1. The 67-year-old Cambridge and Provincetown resident was the longtime partner and wife of Susan Brand.


Portrait of Peter Buttigieg, by Jo Hay. PHOTO Marian Peck

Democratic Presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, addressed a crowd of hundreds at Provincetown Town Hall in early July. Buttigieg campaigned in P’town with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg. At the free public event at Town Hall, candidate Buttigeig took questions about politics and the LGBTQ community, climate change, and the currrent administration. Reported the Boston Globe, “Without naming the president once, Buttigieg took the opportunity to argue that those opposed to the Trump administration are ‘probably underreacting’ to the seriousness of the moment and its potential for changing the course of the country.” Bittigeig’s talk served as the warm-up act for the LGBT youth program Camp Lightbulb’s variety show, which had previously booked the room but generously agreed to share the stage. He also attended a local fundraiser and made some surprise appearances, including one at a local gallery where he posed beside of large portrait of himself by Provincetown artist Jo Hay.


“A self-taught expert in elder law for LGBTQ couples, Ms. Horowitz began researching efforts across the country to ensure that same-sex couples could receive the same MassHealth benefits as heterosexual couples, even though the federal government—which funded a portion of the program—would not recognize LGBTQ marriages,” reported the Boston Globe.


ALEJANDRO ST. GUILLEN RUNS FOR BOSTON CITY COUNCIL Alejandro St. Guillen is making history in her run for Boston City Council as the first openly gay and first Latinx woman. St. Guillen is extremely passionate about issues impacting LGBTQ youth. Her commitment to helping marginalized groups also includes immigrants, teenage pregnancies, the Latinx community, and women’s rights, including abortion. As the first Latina elected to the Boston City Council, she says she would be a “fierce advocate” for these groups.

In mid-July, TripAdvisor sent a letter threatening legal action against organizers of Super Happy Fun America’s “straight pride” parade, scheduled to march through Boston in late August, demanding the group stop using the TripAdvisor logo on the website promoting the event. And TripAdvisor lawyer Bradford Young and his associates at the Needham, Massachusetts–based global travel forum’s letter did so with pizzazz, filling it with over a dozen references to LGBT anthems. According to The Boston Globe, several other companies denied any association with the event and demanded the planners remove their logos from the web page; these included Lyft, Netflix, and Boston-based State Street. [x]

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SPOTLIGHT News STORY Kim Harris Stowell

Newsmakers | Rhode Island This Just in from the Ocean State Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, and former Republican Rep. Claudine Schneider.

Erin Lynch Prata

Governor Gina Raimondo

RI GOVERNOR: NONBINARY OPTION COMING TO STATE IDS Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo has announced plans for an initiative to include a non-binary option on driver’s licenses and birth certificates. Instead of just M or F, there will, within the next year, be an X option as well. Said Raimondo, “It’s really just basic fairness so that everybody can be treated equally and recognized by their government for who they are.” While calling it a positive step forward, TGI Network of RI has expressed frustration with the Governor’s refusal to indicate any specifics as to timeline. In a statement, TGI’s Board President Ethan Huckel said, “While we would have liked to have a shorter and more specific timeline, we believe the Governor is motivated by a desire to promise only that which she can realistically deliver .... We are committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue about the progress being made to ensure that this change happens as quickly as possible.”

LOCAL OFFICIALS LAUDED FOR URGING SUPREME COURT NOT TO ROLL BACK LGBTQ RIGHTS Last month, the ACLU of Rhode Island commended six current and former elected state officials who signed onto court briefs to urge the United States Supreme Court not to roll back civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, when it hears three discrimination cases this fall. All of the cases involve people—outside of RI—who were fired for being LGBTQ. The officials included US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. David Cicilline, Attorney General Peter Neronha,


Wikipedia and Instagram photos composite/The Advocate.

PAWTUCKET RED SOX ‘CELEBRATE’ PRIDE NIGHT WITH SPICER, CHICK-FIL-A In July, for their “Pride Night at the Ballpark,” the Pawtucket Red Sox brought in Sean Spicer, former press secretary of the Trump administration, to throw the first pitch and offered up free chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A—the fast-food joint whose outspokenly homophobic CEO has donated millions of dollars through his fast-food company’s profits to anti-LGBT groups. As sports columnist Britni de la Cretaz tweeted that evening, The Boston Globe reported, “The PawSox are having Sean Spicer throw out the first pitch on Pride Night. What an insult to all their queer fans.” According to The Boston Globe, Spicer “was representing the Independence Fund, a nonprofit serving wounded veterans. He is a member of the organization’s board of directors. The charity teamed up with the Paw Sox to present an all-terrain wheelchair to Marine veteran Carlos Lopes, a Rhode Islander wounded in Iraq in 2005.” The timing of Spicer’s appearance on Pride Night, however—as well as the Chick-fil-A handout—was callous at best. —RP

RI WOMAN FORCED TO ADOPT HER OWN BIOLOGICAL SON; BILL TO CHANGE THE LAW FAILED He is linked biologically to both of his mothers, Sara Watson and Anna Ford; the couple used Watson’s egg, while Ford carried and

Chief Judge Michael Forte delivered him. The couple thought they had done everything right, making sure to consult with attorneys along the way to ensure they were both legally protected. But when they went to fill out his birth certificate and name him, they were told they could not both be listed on his birth certificate, forcing Watson to legally adopt him. The rigorous process included fingerprinting, a background check, home visits and even paying to place a newspaper advertisement alerting the child’s anonymous sperm donor of her intention to adopt her own child. This last aspect was the most painful, seeming to give the sperm donor more rights than the child’s biological mother. State representative Erin Lynch Prada sponsored a bill earlier this year to address this issue, but Rhode Island Family Court’s Chief Judge Michael Forte blocked its passage, stating the language was confusing. “This should not be rammed through without making sure the interests of children aren’t being compromised,” he said. The bill will be reviewed this fall by a study commission.

OCEAN STATE PRIDE VOLLEYBALL The Ocean State Pride Volleyball League is accepting registrations for the fall session. The 10-week session will take place on Sundays from Sept. 8 - Nov. 10 at the Kent County YMCA in Warwick. Games will be from 3:00-5:30 pm, with warm-up/ scrimmaging from 2:30-3:00 pm. For more information, email organizer Neil Nachbar at [x]



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Newsmakers | New Hampshire Headlines from the Granite State

State Rep. Gerri Cannon at Manchester Transgender Equality Rally “I think it would be a very important step for the Republican Party in New Hampshire to take that step,” the Granite State chapter’s Jim Morgan told Manchester TV station WMUR-9. Morgan is also a Derry Town Councilor.

EXPOSING DISCRIMINATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION In July, US Congressman Chris Pappas (NH) and Vice Chair of the US House Democratic Caucus Katherine Clark (MA) introduced legislation to block a proposal by the Department of Education to allow colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas joined the two US Congresspersons from New England in introducing the bill. The legislation, the Exposing Discrimination in Higher Education Act of 2019, requires universities that receive federal funds to apply for a waiver from the Department of Education before allowing them to claim religious exemption from Title IX protections for students. “It is appalling that schools receiving federal funds are allowed to actively discriminate against LGBTQ students who have the courage to live openly and proudly,” said Pappas, a cochair of the US House Equality Caucus. “Reinstating these requirements will shed light on schools seeking to discriminate against students solely on the basis of gender orientation or sexual identity by requiring them to publicly disclose when they receive waivers. All students deserve to know if their schools are working to build an inclusive and safe environment for them to learn and grow,” Pappas said.

GENDER X BILL TO BECOME LAW Starting in January 2020, Granite State residents will have the option to select M,

US Congresspersons Chris Pappas (NH) and Katherine Clark (MA). PHOTO courtesy @KatherineClark/Twitter F or X to mark their gender on their state driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs. In July, Governor Sununu opted not to sign the bill (HB 669) along with the 42 others that he did sign. He let the Gender X bill pass by default without his signature. The bill’s passage into law “is a statement that even if the governor doesn’t necessarily fully agree with what was there, people’s will can be respected and the law can be put into place,” bill cosponsor and state Rep. Gerri Cannon of Strafford told New England Public Radio. “For those people who identify as neither male nor female, this is an opportunity for them to have [an] identification document that recognizes them for who they are,” Cannon told NPR.

LOG CABIN TRIES AGAIN TO REMOVE ANTI-MARRIAGEEQUALITY WORDS FROM GOP PLATFORM Log Cabin Republicans in New Hampshire are again proposing to strike the antimarriage equality provision from the state’s Republican party platform.

Reports WMUR-9: “Last year, Jennifer Horn, a former state Republican Party chair who was chair of the Log Cabin Republicans at the time, attempted to propose to the state GOP convention that it drop from its platform a long-standing plank that says: ‘Recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God, encouraged by the state and traditional to humankind, and the core of the family.’ “But the proposal was never voted on because Horn was disqualified as a delegate due to a residency controversy. “The next convention will not be held until May 2020, but Morgan said it is not too early for the discussion to begin on the possibility of dropping the statement.”

SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IN MANCHESTER Hundreds of people came out for the third annual Transgender Equality Rally and Picnic, held in Manchester’s Victory Park in late July. Speakers included State Rep. Gerri Cannon, US Congressman Chris Pappas, and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, the first female to hold the office. Transgender educator Chloé LaCasse emceed the event. Festivities also included lawn games, hula hoops, picnic baskets, poetry, music, informational tents, and plenty of celebration and support for the trans community. And the fun didn’t end after the picnic baskets were put away, as Madear’s Manchester held an “official” afterparty to keep into the late afternoon. The event was sponsored by Manchester for Rights and Democracy NH and the ACLU of New Hampshire. [x]



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SPOTLIGHT News STORY Natalie Nonkin

Newsmakers | Connecticut Articles from the Constitution State campaign against discrimination, using tactics ranging from political lobbying to public protest to civil disobedience.” Their campaign was considered to be extremely successful.

VISIONARY GALA WITH CELEBRITY GUEST This year Norwalk’s Triangle Community Center will host its 13th Visionary Gala at The Loading Dock in Stamford on Oct 4.

Governor Ned Lamont.

GAY/TRANS PANIC BILL SIGNED INTO LAW Governor Ned Lamont signed into law on June 21 legislation banning ‘gay or trans panic’ defense in criminal cases. The means that defendants on trial for committing violent acts can no longer claim as a defense the sexual orientation or gender of their victims—in other words, the crime may no longer be blamed on the victim because the victim is LGBT. “Claiming that meeting or interacting with someone who is gay or transgender elicited some type of temporary insanity that is supposed to justify a violent crime is ludicrous, and quite frankly it is absurd that this tactic has ever been successfully utilized in the court system,” Lamont said in a statement. Connecticut joins Rhode Island in becoming one of the few states in the country to pass this common-sense legislation. In Massachusetts, Senator Edward Markey and Congressman Joe Kennedy reintroduced similar legislation on the national level this year. —RP

The gala is an annual fundraiser that helps to keep all of the center’s events and programs running. TCC hosts support groups, youth groups, recovery programs, and other events throughout any given year. They also have a case management program to help those in need of housing and financial assistance or referrals. The Visionary Gala is their largest fundraising event. The party includes a dinner, awards, auctions, dancing and entertainment. Plus, this year the gala will feature a very special celebrity guest: Lea DeLaria, award-winning TV star, jazz singer, comedian and owner of The Club in Provincetown. For more, visit

HIGH SCHOOL TRANS ATHLETES SUED BY PEERS Three Connecticut high school track team runners filed a complaint with the US Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that transgender athletes have cost them races and scholarships. Conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom filed the complaint on their behalf. ‘‘We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,’’ one of the highschool plaintiffs told The Associated Press. ‘‘I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had


To learn more about this turning point in Connecticut LGBTQ history, museum visitors can view galleries opening at 5pm, and attend the programming which beings at 5:45 p.m. High school sprinter Andraya Yearwood [LEFT], a transgender track star. PHOTO courtesy Outsports/YouTube extra rules to keep the competition fair.’’ That said, “the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports in the state, says its policy follows a state antidiscrimination law requiring students to be treated in school according to the gender with which they identify,” the Boston Globe reported. “That means that athletes can compete according to their expressed gender identity as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.” —RP

CONNECTICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOSTS LGBTQ HISTORY PRESENTATION On September 26, Hartford’s Connecticut Historical Society will present “The Transformative 1980s and 1990s in LGBTQ Connecticut.” Central Connecticut State University’s LGBTQ Center Director, Professor William Mann, will talk about how the LGBTQ movement grew in Connecticut during that time period. As explained on the Greater Hartford Arts Council website,, during the 1980s and 1990s, members of Connecticut’s LGBTQ community “launched a sustained

PRIDE NEW HAVEN CELEBRATES The New Haven Pride Center is hosting their annual PRIDE New Haven events September 15–22. The weeklong celebration is described on their website as “a visible infusion of LGBTQ+ celebratory programming that highlights the culture, art, and history of New Haven and Connecticuts LGBTQ+ community.” During the week, the downtown area of New Haven is transformed to become “a community-wide safe space for New Haven and Connecticut’s vastly diverse LGBTQ+ community.” PRIDE New Haven celebrated their 20th anniversary with last year’s week of celebration. The fun kicks off on Sunday, September 15 with a flag raising ceremony with the mayor, Toni Harp, followed by a reception. On Monday, there will be a photography exhibition, “It’s a Queer Story,” by New Haven’s own Julia Genzona. A week full of workshops, socials and entertainment will conclude with a march and block party on Saturday, September 21, followed by a story hour, walking tour, and dance on Sunday the 22nd. Visit for more. [x]

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Newsmakers | Vermont Green Mountain State Update

New Pride flag on vandalized Burlington porch. PHOTO courtesy of Christopher Vaccaro

BURLINGTON FLAGBURNING LEADS TO ACT OF GOOD WILL Overwhelmingly, an enormous sense of love, strength and community pervaded Pride events this year. Nevertheless, Priderelated hate crimes caught the attention of the national media; if there’s any good news in this, it’s that many of these stories aimed to promote tolerance, acceptance and respect. In mid-June, USA Today reported on a rainbow flag burning in Burlington and an act of goodwill by the city’s deputy police chief toward the gay couple whose flag got scorched. According to the national newspaper, the flag-burning happened on the first day of Pride Month (June). However, “[j] ust a few days later, Burlington Deputy Police Chief Jon Murad visited Christopher Vaccaro and Jimmie Searle at their Burlington home with a Pride Flag to replace the couple’s own,” the paper reported. And “[t]ucked into the new flag was a handwritten card from Police Chief Brandon del Pozo. He wrote about Stonewall, the 1969 riots against police violence in Manhattan, and the historical oppression of the LGBTQ+ community by police.” “That was a really touching thing,” Vaccaro told USA Today.

“Actually, we both started to get a little teary-eyed.” As for Deputy Chief Murad, he told the paper, “Hate crime is a terrible way to begin Pride Month. It shows that we still have a long way to go collectively. But we have come a long way as well, and I think that our police response is indicative of that.”

Bennington, Vermont,” she told the Bennington Banner. Carton’s vision for Queer Connect is to have the new group open to all, including LGBT allies. One interesting aspect of Queer Connect is that it helps members learn more about LGBTQ history. For example, Carton created a card game “Queer Pop-Up,” where the objective of the game is to “educate people on the existence of LGBTQ history and culture as well as to increase visibility of the group.” Carton’s drive for change doesn’t stop there. She intends to start a radio show on Bennington College’s WQWH called “We’re Queer, We’re Here,” partner with local LGBTQ youth in schools and with Alliance for Community Transformations (ACT) to address LGBTQ youth that may need additional support and establish a Bennington Pride Parade. For more, go to — R. Payne

BENNINGTON HOLDS FIRST PRIDE And sure enough, on the weekend of June 28–30, Bennington held its very first Pride Parade and Pride Fest

Lisa Carton [LEFT] with Bennington Pride co-organizer Sophie Nevin. PHOTO Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner

INTRODUCING QUEER CONNECT In founding Queer Connect, Lisa Carton hopes the new LGBT organization will be a home away from home for its members.

“Our straight allies have been very enthusiastic. Friends and family are crucial to LGBTQ people, especially young people, who may be in the process of coming to terms with their identity. We are very happy that straight friends and family members will be at the parade to show their love and support,” lead organizer Lisa Carton,

After moving to the community roughly 30 years ago, Carton couldn’t help but feel lost and disconnected toward her neighborhood. So she decided to take a huge step by starting Queer Connect for “all things LGBTQ right here, in and around


Bennington Pride. PHOTO courtesy CATTV

founder of the community’s new Queer Connect, told the online news forum VT Digger prior to the event. The theme was “Coming Out and Coming Together,” and that’s exactly what hundreds did, according to the Bennington Banner. “In the parking lot of the Bennington Museum before the parade began, organizer Lisa Carton said about 30 organizations were involved, but interest was so strong that people had been showing up who were not on the list of participants,” the Banner reported. “It’s going great. You can see. I’m so happy to see the town with such visible community,” she said. “The show of support has been spectacular. I’m just really so pleased,” she told the paper. Along with the parade that rolled through the town, highlights included a “Coming Out Bennington Celebration at the Masonic Hall, with live music, a DJ, an auction and drag performance; a story slam; a Pride exhibit at the Bennington Museum; festival booths with vendors educational and other services; and much more (including “Free Mom Hugs.”) Pitching in with technical, logistical and financial assistance and advice were the groups Rights and Democracy of Bennington, VT, the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont, the Pride Center of Vermont and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Plus local “Partners in Pride,” including the Bennington Farmer’s Market, Bold Strokes Books, United Counseling Services (UCS), the Vermont Arts Exchange, and the Bennington Museum. [x]

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Newsmakers | Maine

News from the Pine Tree State Charlie Howard, circa late 1970s though he moved to Bangor barely six months before he was killed,” Sarah Cornell, a member of Seacoast LGBT History Project steering committee, told Seacoast Online.

Blackstone’s, Portland

NEW WINDOWS FOR BLACKSTONE’S “Portland is a more welcoming place for the LGBTQ community today than it was 30 years ago.” So tweeted the Bangor Daily News last week, and to prove this assertion the BDN pointed to Blackstone’s, a popular Portland, Maine, gay bar that endured repeated homophobic vandalization for years since opening in 1987. Since 1991, the management simply boarded up the smashed facade with plywood and plexiglass. Now, some 28 years later, plateglass picture windows have replaced those boards. “It’s a pretty big deal. Everyone’s responding to it amazingly well. It changes the whole dynamic of the bar,” the bar’s manager Carl Currie told BDN. “We put the glass in because we’re at a point now where the bar is safe. It’s time to open it up and acknowledge that.” “When you look at the broken glass, it’s important to recognize that those things happened— there was a huge issue of bigotry in this city—but it also reflects

on how Portland [has now] accepted the LGBTQ community completely—or nearly completely. There’s been such broad acceptance. That’s why we’re the last [gay] bar,” Currie said.

REMEMBERING CHARLIE HOWARD Thirty-five years after three teenagers in Bangor killed Portsmouth native Charlie Howard for being gay, the city of Portsmouth is planning to honor him with a remembrance bench. The permanent memorial comes after a recent exhibition on Howard’s murder and its effect on the LGBTQ community in Maine, and a Seacoast LGBT History Projectsponsored, nondenominational remembrance service, which raised awareness and funds for the marker for Portsmouth. In July 1984, three teens threw 23-year-old Howard to his death off a bridge over the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor. The city of Bangor holds an annual service for Howard, where flowers are strewn into the Kenduskeag. “Not many people in Bangor know that Charlie was born and raised in Portsmouth, even


The traveling show, curated by the LGBTQ+ Collection at the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine and the University of Southern Maine Libraries, went on display at Portsmouth’s South Church Unitarian Universalist and the Randall Gallery in the Portsmouth Athenaeum. After the exhibitions and service, Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock and former Mayor Robert Lister, one of Howard’s high school teachers, made a formal request to their city council for the memorial bench in Howard’s hometown. “He was well-known by many including former Mayor Eileen Foley, and because he has no family in the area, and because he himself is deceased since 1984, we, at the request of individuals in the community, make application to the City Council for a remembrance bench,” Lister and Blalock wrote in their request to the council. “Charlie was a very caring person who was always concerned about others,” Lister told Seacoast. Though bullied, “Charlie always seemed to turn the other cheek,” Lister said. “He would always convey his feeling that he was his own individual. I am convinced that had he lived, he would have been a prominent advocate for the rights of individuals.” According to Seacoast Online:

“As the Bangor Daily News reported in a special 2014 series on Howard’s death, he and friend Roy Ogden were walking home from a Unitarian Church potluck that fateful night in 1984. Ogden later told police a car pulled up and three youths inside the vehicle demanded to know if they were gay. “The confrontation escalated and Ogden and Howard ran across State Street, pursued by the trio. They grabbed Howard at the bridge over the Kenduskeag, and threw him in. Ogden ran to pull a nearby fire alarm. But it was too late for Howard, who was found drowned some hours later. “Daniel Ness, 17, Shawn I. Mabry, 16, and James Francis Baines, 15, were originally charged with murder. But the charges were reduced to manslaughter after a judge decided they should be tried as juveniles. All were free by age 21. “The Bangor Daily News article begins with a quote from author Stephen King, who lives in Maine. “‘I think the death of Charlie Howard shocked people in the Bangor area out of their complacency about matters of sexual preference and prejudice,’ King said. ‘I know it did me.’” “It feels like an important time to reintroduce Portsmouth to Charlie,” Cornell told Seacoast. “We need to remember how joyful and brave he was. We also need to take responsibility for how he was treated here.” Portsmouth officials are currently discussing the location for Howard’s memorial bench in their city. [x]

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FEATURE Business STORY Scott Kearnan

The Business of Drag How celebrity queens have complicated life for local entertainers—for worse and for better It’s good to be king. It’s even better to be a drag queen. Well, that’s true for a certain segment of the royal family, anyway. Thanks in large part to the success of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the Emmy-winning VH1 reality show that brought drag out of dive-y gay bars and on to the big-budget stage of mainstream Hollywood, some queens have become bona fide celebrities. And they earn like it, filling their international tour calendars with gigs that score them thousands of dollars per appearance. We haven’t even talked about all the merchandising, music albums and other opportunities that come their way— whether or not they even won RuPaul’s crown. (Being a big,

memorable TV personality pays just as well.) And yet, even as some performers are reaping the benefits of drag’s unprecedented new level of success, others are—to lift a queen catchphrase—being paid dust. These are the quote-unquote “local queens,” the gals tucking and toiling hard in the neighborhood bars and clubs in cities across America, including in New England, plying their gender-screwing craft not to net the most Instagram followers, but to be part of a long heritage of gay and queer culture. They are among our community’s most vital activists and brightest entertainers. They need to eat too. But “Drag Race” has complicated things. On one hand, that it’s


popularized drag has, in some circumstances, resulted in more gigs. On the other, local queens are still working for mere shillings, and audiences are saving their tips to see the TV stars. Not to mention that drag, historically a proudly subversive tool of the counterculture, is starting—like everything else—to benefit the already-privileged. Because now that it’s a road to fame and fortune for the lucky few, queens with cash flow speculatively invest, and mightily so, in designer costumes and social media followings in order to land a spot on the show. They are true pageant girls, purchasing their best chance for a ticket to the top. Meanwhile, those with less access to means, including those who paved the way years ago, are still sewing their own outfits and receiving little gratitude. “The difference in pay is astronomical, and so is the

RuPaul’s Werq the World Tour

difference in support,” says Kiki Lucia.

Pay gap Like lots of other queens in New England, Kiki spends a lot of money to build her wardrobe, and works long hours to produce, promote and perform in her shows—like “Let’s Have a Kiki,” her monthly event at Partners Café, a New Haven gay bar. Patrick Dunn, as Kiki is known once the lashes come off, also works a full-time job as the first-ever executive director of the New Haven Pride Center in Connecticut. “Most of the ‘RuPaul’ girls are very talented,” says Kiki. “But they can stand still on a stage and get hundreds of dollars, then a local comes out, does sideways splits and jumps and a crazy performance—and gets, like, ten dollars.” “It all comes back to how audiences consume drag. There can be this expectation

that drag is ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ so ‘until you get on there, I don’t care about you!’” Kiki makes about $100, plus tips, from a typical bar show. (For which, she’s probably wearing several-thousanddollars’ worth of costumes.) Compare that to the $7,000 quote that Dunn recently received from an early-season “Drag Race” contestant, while researching entertainment for Pride New Haven. And that was a bargain, according to some promoters I spoke to. Depending on their level of popularity (or notoriety, for that matter), “Drag Race” girls can earn up to $10,000 to perform one number and stick around for a meet-and-greet. It’s not just the clubs where local queens are feeling the squeeze. There are murmurs that Provincetown’s summer seasons have gotten more challenging since the “Drag Race” stars started moving in for runs. Audiences are also saving their money for highpriced, national theater tours that group fan-favorite queens together—like the “Werq the World Tour,” which brings “Drag Race” stars to Boston’s Wang Theatre and Connecticut’s Foxwoods Casino in October.

Friendly competition Even if it sometimes smarts, local queens don’t begrudge the “Drag Race” stars for taking what they can get. And they’re especially proud when their own hometown girls hit the big-time. Just ask Kris Knievil, a buxom, blonde, and highly beloved fixture on Boston’s drag scene since the late’90s and the program director at Boston’s storied drag bar, Jacques Cabaret. “Miss Kris” also works a day job a

makeup and looks on whatever’s trendy on TV. “At a certain point, people really start to blend together,” Kris says. That might be because, to some extent, queens craving camera-ready ensembles are now outsourcing some of their design work—acting more like curators of other folks’ craft.

Cottage industry

Kris Knievil and friends at Jacques Cabaret

Pride Kickoff at Partners Café in New Haven. PHOTO Daniel Eugene Dorothy’s Boutique, a wig- and fishnet-filled shop favored by performers. It’s the same store where Brian McCook, now better known as “Drag Race” standout Katya, once punched a timecard. Katya’s not stocking shelves anymore. Her national tour just swung through Boston, playing the thousand-seat Wilbur Theatre. Other notable, New England-bred “Drag Race” vets include Boston’s Jujubee, star of the TLC network’s new bridal show “Drag Me Down the Aisle”; New Hampshire native Laila McQueen, recently featured in a makeup-tutorial video on; and Violencia Exclamation Point, a punky Boston queen, is currently competing on “The Boulet

Brothers Dragula,” a “monster drag” competition that is an edgier, horror genre-spiked spin on “Drag Race.” The formerly web-based series was snatched up by Amazon Prime Video for its new third season. Kris is happy for the success of her local sisters; in fact, she’s auditioned for “Drag Race” multiple times herself, and seemingly made it close to the final cut. And at Jacques, she’s a judge for the third cycle of “Drag Gauntlet,” a popular, weekly live series that applies the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” elimination model to fameseeking local queens. That said, she’s noticed a few side effects of the “Drag Race” phenomenon—like, say, some homogeneity among queens who are all basing their

Which brings us to another change in the biz: though local queens aren’t necessarily taking home more money in the post-“Drag Race” era, other artists are able to realize their dreams in new ways. Recent years have seen the development of a cottage industry around catering to queens. Fashion designers, makeup artists, and makers of wigs, jewelry, and other accessories are building businesses by selling to famous—or fameseeking—drag performers who used to do it all on their own. Take Will Doughty. Two years ago, the Connecticutbased stylist started selling his personally styled wigs through his Internet store, Shop Will Beauty. He started off making about $2,000 per month in sales; now he averages about $10,000. It’s become his fulltime job, and allows him to earn a far better living than he ever could have performing as Bridgett London, his former drag alter ego. “A few years ago, I never could have made a living selling wigs out of my house,” says Doughty. “But now that ‘Drag Race’ airs about six months of the year, it’s catapulted drag into the mainstream.” He estimates that about half his orders are from customers under age 20, who want to be queens, and notices that he sells more of whatever look

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current-season standouts are rocking. Everyone wants to be a star.

New venues The good news is, they are starting to get more platforms at the local level. The popularity of “Drag Race,” which reaches a much wider audience than just gay bar regulars, has created an uptick in private and corporate events, say queens like Kris Knievil. Promoters are planning unique experiences, like “Local Drag at Sea” a Boston-to-Bermuda cruise being organized by Henry Paquin Presents for August 14–21, 2020. Drag performances are being booked by major venues that never previously showed interest—like Boston’s Museum of Science, for instance, which has been hosting shows in its planetarium. And straight bars and restaurants are seeing dollar signs in drag brunches and dinner shows: In Boston alone, the 1795-founded Bell in Hand Tavern, America’s oldest continuously operating tavern; Lansdowne Pub, across the street from Fenway Park; and Carrie Nation, a swanky after-work

favorite for State House suits, are among the unlikely new destinations banking on drag to bring in new guests. The bets are paying off. In fact, the weekly Sunday brunches at Carrie Nation, now in their third year, have been such a success, the queens were recently able to negotiate even better terms for themselves, according to performer Destiny Phon, who cohosts and produces the show. As for the gay bars and nightclubs? Funny enough, as the “Drag Race” queens ascend to ever higher levels of fame, they may wind up ceding the nightclub scene to the locals once again. After all, the clubs soon won’t be able to pay them, says Rafael Sanchez, whose Rafael Sanchez Presents/Gay Mafia Boston produces some of the largest LGBTQ events in New England. Sanchez says that the booking fees for “Drag Race” queens is, “a bubble that’s always expanding—and bound to burst eventually.” “Soon the clubs won’t be able to pay them,” says Sanchez, who co-owns EGO Providence, Rhode Island’s biggest gay dance club.

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Don’t get him wrong, he loves drag, and what it does for business. But even though Sanchez does sometimes still book national names for his club nights, he’s found that it makes more sense to graduate the “Drag Race” girls to theater tours, which can sell pricier tickets to a whole new market (including suburban realityTV fans) that might not make it to a gay bar. Sanchez produces recurring “Dragathon” tours that’ll next bring nationally known queens to New England around Halloween. The TV stars are the ones who move the big tickets, says Sanchez: “When I started in this business, it was all about the superstar-DJs of the moment. Now it’s the drag queens.” But Sanchez has made a point to feature—and compensate—local girls at these shows, giving them the opportunity to open for the major names. It’s important, he says. “There’s so much talent out there,” he says. “Go to any city in America with great nightlife, and you’ll find queens who put in the same effort, if not more, on stage.” [x]


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The Next Chapter of Your Life: Planning for Retirement YOU HAVE A UNIQUE VISION FOR YOUR RETIREMENT. WHATEVER THAT VISION IS, PROACTIVE PLANNING IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD BRINGING IT TO LIFE. Rather than planning your life around your money, plan your money around your life. The first step in planning for retirement is defining what retirement means to you and answering some important questions. When do you plan to retire? How will you spend your time in retirement? Can you afford long- term care if you need it? Will you need to care for your parents or other loved ones? Are there charities you want to support? Articulating the retirement you envision helps you set concrete goals and determine how much income you will need in retirement to achieve those goals.

Understanding the Risks to Your Retirement As you map out your road to retirement, it is important to consider the following factors which could impact your ability to afford your retirement. Longevity. With advances in medicine and increased emphasis on wellness, people are living longer, healthier lives. As a result, many people underestimate their lifespan and risk outliving their assets. When building your retirement income, allow for the possibility of living longer than you expect. Market Risk. This involves not just the possibility that the market will move against you, but that it will move


against you immediately before or after you retire and begin withdrawing assets to meet expenses. However, keep in mind that, over the long-term, stocks have outperformed other asset classes1 and should likely still have a place in your investment strategy. Inflation. If your assets do not grow as fast as the inflation rate, you could lose your purchasing power. Consider allocating a portion of your retirement portfolio to investments with the potential to outpace inflation. Asset Allocation. This strategy is the process of combining various asset classes—such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents—into your portfolio to meet your unique risk preferences and return objectives. As you move towards retirement, the focus of your asset allocation strategy will generally become more conservative, shifting from equities and growth to fixed income and cash equivalents that provide income and capital preservation.

Medicaid Services, price increases for personal health expenditures are projected to rise 2.2 percent, compared with 1.9 percent for overall inflation.2 In addition, fewer individuals are covered by employer-sponsored health care plans. An experienced Financial Advisor can help you define your goals and prepare for your vision of retirement. Look for one who is willing to support you every step of the way, from determining your income needs and allocating your investment portfolio to monitoring your plan and adjusting your strategy as your life evolves or priorities change. It’s your retirement—don’t settle for anything less.:

Rate of Withdrawal. Withdrawing too much from your retirement nest egg early on can increase your chances of outliving your assets. Generally, your withdrawal rate should be based on your asset allocation, life expectancy, time of retirement and portfolio value. Health Care Costs. For many people approaching retirement, potential future health care costs are a source of anxiety, especially as medical costs outpace inflation. According to the Centers for Medicare and

Investopedia. Stocks Remain the Best Long-Term Bet. Available at Accessed July 23, 2018 Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Estimates of future performance are based on assumptions that may not be realized. This material is not a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.


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2 Fortune. Healthcare Prices to Outpace Inflation for the First Time Since 2010. Available at Accessed July 23, 2018

FEATURE Identity STORY Joy Mosenfelder

Navigating the Alphabet Love, Sex, Identity and Community Across the Intersectional LGBTQIA+ Rainbow “Am I queer enough?” Every year it’s the same refrain, louder around Pride season. “Am I gay enough? Have I struggled enough? Did I earn the right to call myself that label?” “Will I be welcome here?” These questions stand out at a time when Pride has become practically mainstream. So much so that corporations are sponsoring Pride parades in major cities. So much so that members of the community kvetch about straight people appropriating LGBTQ+ culture and events. “No cops at Pride.” “Stonewall was a riot.” “We’re sick of corporate pandering.” “No straights at Pride. You are not welcome.” And it stings, for members of our community who fly under the radar. And so, those on the margins of our community find themselves asking, “Am I queer enough?” As though knowing who you are is a badge that must be earned.

Feeling welcome “I don’t want to be the person who asks questions and makes other people do all the work,” shares Cassy, a bisexual, cisgender, white woman in her early thirties. “I want to do the work to learn things, but I don’t know where to get started.” Cassy, who is married to a heterosexual, cisgender, white man, came out this June, after decades of wondering if she was queer enough. She is acutely aware that from the outside, she doesn’t look like she belongs at Pride. For those who experience attraction to individuals of more than one gender, the idea that who one loves at a given moment


changes how other people perceive on is pervasive. “I know that different people in my life will treat me differently when I’m in a gay relationship versus a ‘straight’ relationship,” shares Amber, a nonbinary or pangender bisexual person of Asian descent living with an invisible disability. “But the question is, is a relationship even ‘straight’ if one of the people in it is not?” Amber regularly posts bi affirmations on Twitter. They have found community and forged solidarity with other bisexuals and gender nonconforming individuals through the power of social media and shared experiences. “I’ve always had an aversion to being just one thing” Amber explains. “It started with my Asian identity. I was racialized from birth. And then it spread into sexuality, and gender, and disability and then realizing I have multiple identities,” they continue. “Who I am is also very nebulous and can change in a lot of different ways.” Amber and I discussed intersectionality, the way pieces of a person’s identity intersect and how that impacts the way people move through the world as their experiences and innate features put them further from the “default” upon which our social institutions have been built. “It’s hard to explain this feeling to someone who’s white,” they share. “White people can be very welcoming to people of color, can be very gracious, while still creating very white spaces. It wasn’t my community. I didn’t feel ostracized, I just felt like there wasn’t a place for me, the intersection of a person of color and someone who is LGBTQ+.”

“I’ve mostly dated cisgender men and I look and dress very feminine. I have an invisible disability and a very visible race. The funny thing about how that all intersects is that all I really want is to be seen as all the different identities that I have.” Amber

Belonging Kat B has only felt like part of the larger queer community for the last few years. Kat, a nonbinary, white, demisexual, biand panromantic person with an invisible disability, also struggles with a sense of feeling like they don’t belong in most LGBTQ+ spaces. “Part of that is being bi/ pan and the biphobia and bierasure that happens, not just within the heterosexual side of the equation, but also within the queer community itself. Certainly part of it is not really seeing any depictions of bi/ pan folk in media or in my life growing up.” Kat felt out of place trying to access queer spaces in their 20s. What they

“I honestly have not been as involved as I otherwise would have liked to have been out of a fear of not being enough.” Cassy found was mostly loud clubs and party spaces that felt very sexual and foreign to the way they experienced attraction. “I always felt like I wasn’t gay enough, I wasn’t queer enough, since I had so few attractions to anyone of any gender.” Kat met their partner, a cisgender, heterosexual, white man in his thirties, before coming out as nonbinary. “Before I transitioned, less than a year ago, I felt like everyone was just reading me as straight unless I told them. There were very few places in my life where I felt like it was safe for me to be out in that way.” Progressive disability has hindered Kat’s ability to venture out to LGBTQ+ spaces and build community. However, online spaces have provided a wealth of opportunity, especially around fandom— online communities where fans gather to share thoughts and fan fiction about their favorite shows, books, movies and other entertainment franchises. “There is a huge variety of writings in fandom dealing with gender and sexuality, this beautiful universe spanning the whole different ends of the spectrum,” explains Kat. In fandom, they found representations of demisexuality, asexuality,

“ Because I know a lot of folks who are nonbinary and who are trans have had a lot of really horrible experiences with dysphoria and oppression and bigorty and mental health, I almost feel like I don’t want to take away from their experiences by claiming that we share an identity because I do have a lot of privileges.”

“Trans people are seen as very binary, but more and more people are coming out and saying ‘I jumped so many degrees of transition’ and I think we need to talk about the fact that we wanted binary so bad that we had people jumping through multiple stages of identity discovery real quick.” Jae B.

Kate Estrop and nonbinary gender experiences. “That was an important introduction for me.”

A post-label society? George Grattan, a bisexual, cisgender, white man who organizes “Bi/Pan+ Guyz Social Night” through the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), did not have peers online or off when he came of age during the AIDS crisis. “I had no bisexual male mentors,” explains George “I didn’t even know the word existed until I was 15

or 16 and I didn’t meet another bisexual man until I was in my 30s.” Grattan shares his thoughts on the idea of getting to a “post-label” society. “It’s very easy for straight, cisgender people to say that. It’s very easy, even for some, gay and lesbian people to say that,” he pauses. “It’s harder for trans people. It’s harder for bi people. It’s harder for intersex or asexual people to say, ‘Yeah, let’s get to that post label society’ because for a lot of us finding and claiming and owning and taking pride in and deploying that label

SEP | OCT 2019 | 39

was literally a lifesaver, and at least a life changer. So I don’t see a point where I’m going to be ready to put down labels or set them aside any time soon.” Finding the right words took 33 years, for Jae B, a nonbinary, transmasculine, bisexual person with multiple disabilities. “I tried really hard to be a girl like my mom wanted,” shares Jae. “And then, as a teenager, I tried really hard to be not that, which meant T-shirts and jeans. Then I was like, ‘I’m a guy,’ so I tried to be a guy. And then I was like, ‘I’m not a guy. I like dresses, so I’m fat and femme,’ but then none of it fit. I mean that in the ‘I want to tear the skin off my body,’ way. ‘I need to cut my hair.’ ‘I need to grow my hair.’” “All the little things that have to do with gender markers were a constant struggle. A place of pain,” explains Jae. “Later, I discovered genderqueer and nonbinary. “We view the middle as being as masculine as possible for female-bodied people, but the middle is really that clash of masculine and feminine. My gender is the middle if the middle were a combination of dump trucks and barbies, instead of just dump trucks.”

Kate Estrop, a nonbinary, bisexual, white person and a board member at the BRC, shares other’s feelings of not being seen. “I think in general, society’s focus (both in terms of sexual orientation and in terms of gender) is on the binary. Unfortunately, a lot of LGBTQ+ spaces are still focused on the cisgender, white, gay man experience.” “I still haven’t ever labeled myself as trans, and I think it’s because the trans experience is still incorrectly rooted in my head as being a binary one. I haven’t been comfortable claiming that label for myself,” Estrop explains. “Not being enough, I mean, I feel like being socialized as a cisgender woman in this country, we are socialized as not being enough. We always have to try to be prettier, or thinner, or better at cooking, or more polite.”

The privilege to be who we are But haven’t we always had to fight for the privilege of being who we are, on our own terms, despite social pressure not to love who we love? Or walk through the world

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in the way that feels most comfortable and natural for us? Stonewall was a riot. A riot to protect a sacred space, invisible to the rest of the world, where people who weren’t safe living their truth in the world could feel safe. Stonewall was the sort of place where people just starting to realize they might be different from their parents and friends could find other people who felt the things they felt and shared their experiences. Today, many members of the LGBTQ+ community still struggle between the conflicting need to be seen for who they are and concerns about acceptance, safety and belonging both within the community and in society-at-large. The need for LGBTQ+ spaces that provide an opportunity for people to discover who they are is clear to Grattan. “I am working towards a space where all are welcome without suspicion,” he shares.” And where people carry their assumptions lightly.” Stonewall, before the riot, was a sanctuary. [x]

Whether you want to provide for your loved ones, support the organizations that are important to you, or plan for your own comfortable retirement, I can help you plan for your goals. I’ll look at all aspects of your finances, then find solutions that are right for your unique needs. I’ll be there to adjust your plan as life unfolds. When you have the right approach, life can be brilliant.

South End Wealth Management Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisory Practice

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2016 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. (8/16)


Boston 20 1 9

November 8 7 - 10:00 p.m. Oberon Theater




Join Boston Spirit magazine, Mistress of Ceremonies Verna Turbulance, and our friends at Victory Programs for a very special night of drag performances, celebrity judges, and the crowning of 2019 Boston Drag Idol Champion.

VIP tickets, $45 General Admission, $25

Verna Turbulence

SEASONAL Travel STORY Kim Harris Stowell and Rob Phelps

From gay-owned to gay‑friendly, perfect places for fall outings where everyone feels most welcome As summer winds down, vacation season may seem over. It’s always a little bittersweet to put away the beach chairs and the sunscreen for another year. But there is still so much fun to be found around New England—from great getaways to cultural exploration ... and let’s not forget leaf-peeping, apple picking and other regional seasonal must-dos. Those of us who live in New England are lucky to have so much beauty and variety right outside our doors. And there’s even more right down the highways, back roads and main streets throughout our region. Here, for your traveling pleasure, is a sampler of enticing destinations for fall outings. Whether it’s a day trip, a weekend jaunt or a full-fledged vacation, you have no excuse for hanging up your good-times hat. Call the dog-sitter, pack a bag or just grab the car keys and head out the door. Adventure and delight await you during this marvelous season, in this very special part of the world.


CT44  ME50  MA55  NH62  RI64  VT70

SEP | OCT 2019 | 43


ONNECTICUT ANTIQUING AND APPLE PICKING Autumn in Connecticut. Sounds like the setting for a Hollywood classic featuring stars sporting midAtlantic accents and smart traveling attire. And you can do all that as you please—or get down and dirty with outsider filmmaker John Waters at his third annual très gay summer camp for grown-ups. But seriously, there’s all that and more in this beautiful, welcoming New England state that turns out idyllic settings for perfect fall getaways. Antiquing and apple picking are just a couple great options. Join in a game of drag bingo or hit an old-school gay bar on your way to the Hartford Pride Festival— one of the last big events in the rainbow season.


bakery that turns out luscious pies, pumpkin cheesecake and cider doughnuts that are so tasty, the dozen you promised to take home may not make it that far.

CT01 Pick some applesat Beardsley’s Cider Mill and Orchard. The Beardsley’s have been farming this plot of land 548 Kings Highway Cutoff, in the White Hills of Shelton, Fairfield, CT since 1849. Originally a CT02 Explore the Antiques Capital of dairy farm until a freak Connecticutin Woodbury. accident burned the barn to This small, charming and the ground, everything from picturesque New England hay to turkeys has been town is situated in the raised on the farm, including eastern hills of the state. apples planted in the 1920s, Distinguished by antique some of which are still being homes and buildings along harvested today. Boasting Main Street—some going over 10,000 dwarf apple back as far as the early trees in their Pick-Your-Own 1600s—Woodbury offers a Orchard, visitors are invited warm and welcoming to pick their apples right off atmosphere. If you like the trees, where from row to antiques, you will love this row you can harvest town, known as the antiques Cortlands, Galas, Macouns capitol of Connecticut. Right and a dozen others. Purchase along Main Street, you will a starter kit to make hard find Mill House Antiques and cider (Why not? You’ve got Gardens, Martell and Suffin apples.). On the property is a


Antiques and Farmhouse Antiques. And that’s just to get you started.

CT03 Get campywith John Waters. Back by popular demand, the down-and-dirty director (“Pink Flamingos,” You also can hike the many “Hairspray,” “A Dirty Shame”) wooded trails or visit the will return to Club Getaway charming Walker Road in Kent, Connecticut, for a Vineyards. Rumor has it that once-in-a-lifetime there is a Gay Martini Club Sleepaway-Camp experience that meets monthly in the for his super fans September area, but you might have to 13–16. The 300-acre adult do your own sleuthing to find summer camp in the it (hint: Facebook). Berkshire Mountains transforms itself for this Catch an incredible musical exclusive event. This third at the Goodspeed Opera annual Camp John Waters House, home of the original weekend promises to be productions of “Man of La “dirtier, filthier, raunchier and Mancha,” “Shenandoah,” longer than ever before,” and “Annie,” and the first with a John Waters Costume regional theater to receive Contest judged by Waters two Special Tony Awards for himself, dance parties, outstanding achievements. fireside storytelling, a Movie On stage September 13– Marathon, Hairspray Karaoke, November 24: “Billy Eliot.” scotch and cigars and more. 6 Main Street, East Haddam, (And not too early to plan ahead for the annual LGBTQ



weekend—the Glamp Out—in late August every year.) 59 South Kent Road, Kent,

Play drag bingoat the VFW in New Milford. This monthly event features NY queens Ivy Stalls, Bella Noche, Annie Manildoo and KJ Johansen. Grab your lucky charms for bingo and a show. Prizes, cash bar. Feel free to bring your own snacks, food, and soft drinks. Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 7pm. $25 Includes show and 2 bingo cards. More cards will be available for purchase. To reserve your tickets, call 860-350-8152. 11 Avery Rd, New Milford

CT04 Get your groove onat Troupe429, an LGBTQ bar and performance space in Norwalk. There’s dancing under the disco ball, a game room and an all-day Sunday happy hour. Siren, their LBTQ+ women’s party, is held every second Saturday at 9 p.m., featuring drink specials, DJ, dancing and “feminist af.” 3 Walk Street, Norwalk,



Meet up with bawdy night PLACES TO owlsat Trevi Lounge, a gay EAT AND bar in Fairfield popular DRINK with a later crowd. Along CT06 Sip some wineat Walker Road with a decidedly laid-back Vineyards, a small, familyatmosphere, you’ll find owned farm winery located attentive bartenders, a in beautiful, historic friendly crowd, male dancers, Woodbury. In the tasting karaoke and more. room, housed in a 150-year548 Kings Highway Cutoff, Fairfield, old barn and open Saturdays and Sundays through CT05 Celebrate Prideat two of the December, the focus is on regions last big events of the blending grapes in a classic season: First, the Hartford tradition, highlighting the PrideFest takes over Pratt unique characteristics this Street in Downtown Hartford specific growing area has to Saturday, Sept. 14, from noon offer, but there are also art to 6 p.m. The fifth annual shows and other artistic family-friendly event events throughout the year. welcomes folks from all over You can also enjoy a picnic the region, with an afterwith Walker Road wines on a party at Hartford City Hall grassy hillside or deck hosted by CLARO overlooking the vines. (Connecticut Latinas/os 17 Walker Road, Woodbury, Achieving Rights and Opportunities). Then head Hungry?Stop in to Johns over to New Haven for more Café. Nestled in antiquey Pride festivities September Woodbury, this bistro15–22. style eatery features fresh,, innovative New American dishes with a Mediterranean flair. What’s more, Chef Dennis DeBellis welcomes diners to request their own “twist” on any offering on

the creative menu, so don’t be shy! 693 Main Street South, Woodbury,

Amuse yourself at Quassy Restaurant on the shore of the picturesque Lake Quassapaug—at the 110-year-old Quassy Amusement and Waterpark. You don’t have to go on any rides (unless you want to!); this experience is all about novelty and a beautiful autumn outdoor setting. The restaurant has a large deck with lakefront seating plus a covered patio party area for groups. The fare is basically your hamburger or hot dog platters, steak and cheese, chicken sandwiches, barbequed chicken and ribs, and there also calamari, fresh salads and specials. And beer and wine. A perfect something for a fall getaway day, and open through October. 2132 Middlebury Road, Middlebury

SEP | OCT 2019 | 45



a private bath, with jacuzzi baths or fireplaces in a few.

818 Boston Post Rd, Madison, Find your home away from homeat the Scranton CT07 Settle inat the Mermaid Inn Seahorse Inn. This historic in Mystic. This charming bed and breakfast inn, Victorian Italianate inn located in the shoreline town located in historic Mystic is of Madison, is convenient conveniently located close to to beaches, shopping, Mystic Seaport and the restaurants and Clinton Mystic Aquarium. Upon Crossing, a premium retail arrival, you will be instantly outlet center. Built in 1833, intrigued by the décor and the inn is named for Sereno colors – there are mermaids Scranton, the original owner everywhere, thanks to local of this Greek revival home. artist Jennifer Wolcin, who A full breakfast is served has transformed some of the daily, which includes fresh rooms into enchanting pastries cooked on the aquatic hideaways. premises, homemade granola and a daily hot item such Each of the four rooms at as buttermilk pancakes this lesbian-owned bed or frittatas and bacon & and breakfast has a private sausage. Those with gluten Italian granite bath as well as free, dairy free or other such special touches as fluffy restrictions are happily robes and complimentary accommodated. A gaybeverages, chocolate and owned establishment, the evening brandy. A full elegant Scranton Seahorse breakfast is served daily, as is Inn endeavors to be a home afternoon refreshment. away from home; each of 2 Broadway Ave, Mystic, 860536-6223. mermaidinnofmystic. the seven guest rooms has



Proudly Proudly serving serving Boston’ Boston’ss LGBTQ+ LGBTQ+ community. community. Helping home buyers and sellers Helping sellers find theirhome placebuyers in the and world for find their place in the world for over 18 years. over 18 years.

Ellen + Janis Real Estate Team Ellen — + Janis Real Estate Team — 617.971.8940 617.971.8940



Chef Tiffani Faison

Owner of Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama and Fool’s Errand

OCT 24, 2019 5:30-7:30 PM


Elyse Cherry

CEO of BlueHub Capital

Valerie Stone

Join us for an inspiring and empowering discussion with Boston’s prominent LBTQ women leaders as they discuss their personal journeys breaking through to the top of their various fields. The panel will highlight their insights and advice on how to successfully navigate both the challenges and opportunities facing LBTQ women in their careers today. They will share their stories, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and their hopes for the future. The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A with the audience and networking over light refreshments. The event is open to all professional backgrounds. Talk with industry movers and shakers, make professional contacts, share experiences with your peers, and get inspired to action.

Beth Chandler,

Vice Chair for President and Diversity, Equity CEO, YW Boston and Inclusion of the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital





The Spirit of October at The Gables

As nightfall descends on Salem, walk the halls of two of America’s most famous homes as you enjoy exciting theatrical shows, Spirits of the Gables and Legacy of the Hanging Judge. Performance dates: October 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 25, and 26 starting at 8PM For details or to make reservations, visit or call 978-744-0991 x153 The House of the Seven Gables is open 7 days a week for tours. Guided tours run continuously from 10AM-7PM.



115 Derby St | Salem, MA




Plan your visit at

Just 16 miles north of Boston, Salem is perfect for a day or a stay. /




Charting a course FOR SALEM

Moody Interiors, HausWitch), explore the dining scene (Turners, Finz, Adriatic), and stick around for live music (Gulu Gulu, Opus, Rockafellas) after dinner. Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate (Ye Olde Pepper Company, Turtle Alley, Harbor Sweets) or ice cream (Maria’s Sweet Somethings, Melt) or go bold with a spicy chocolate elixir at Kakawa Chocolate House.

October may be the most popular time to visit Salem, but September might be the best time to visit Salem. Where October has enthusiastic crowds, costume balls, and pumpkin-spice everything, September offers unhurried meals, smaller tour groups, and perfect weather for sunset sails. If you love the bustle of crowds and festive fare, October is for you, but if you prefer an unhurried Salem experience, try September in Salem. WHAT TO DO / Salem is worthy of several

days to both explore the city’s significant historic and cultural sites and to linger over a great meal or settle in to hear live music. If it’s been a while, or if you have never visited Salem, brush up on your Salem Witch Trials history at a museum or on a walking tour. If architecture is your passion, find a new historic house crush at The House of the Seven Gables or the Phillips House Museum. Take an evening walking tour to hear some of Salem’s most intriguing stories — many, like the White Murder, are true! Stroll the wharves at Salem Maritime National Historic Site, America’s first designated National Historic Site, where tours of the US Custom House where Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and the tall ship Friendship of Salem are free. September 2019 will mark the opening of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) expansion, making this fall the perfect time to dive into PEM’s remarkable collection of art and culture from around the globe. SHOP AND DINE / If cultural and historic don’t strike your fancy, you may want to shop in unique boutiques (Modern Millie,


John Andrews Photography

John Andrews Photography

GETTING TO SALEM / Just 15 miles north of Boston, Salem is easily accessible by car, train, and seasonal high-speed ferry. The MBTA Commuter Rail will get you from Boston’s North Station to the heart of downtown Salem in 30 minutes, and Boston Harbor Cruises’ Salem Ferry will magically transport you from Boston’s Long Wharf to Salem in under an hour. PARK YOUR CAR / If you drive, park at the Museum Place Garage at 1 New Liberty Street ($1.25/hour except October weekends when City lots and garages are $10 for the first 2 hours and $30 for 2+ hours), which is across the street from the National Park Service Visitor Center. At just over 1 mile across, downtown Salem is incredibly walkable, but if you prefer wheels, try the Zagster bikeshare program or new rentable e-Scooters. PLAN YOUR VISIT / Whether the lighter

John Andrews Photography

Above, from top: Schooner Fame; Finz; Salem Witch Museum; Wine tasting at Pamplemousse

crowds of September piques your interest, or your passion for Halloween draws you to October in Salem, you will find plenty to do and see. Learn more and plan your trip at SALEM.ORG and HAUNTEDHAPPENINGS.ORG . You may just want to visit more than once!



AINE TRAVEL DOWNEAST FROM OGUNQUIT According to legend, Ogunquit means “beautiful place by the sea.” In the late 1920s the Ogunquit Art Association was formed and began organizing art education and exhibitions. As the reputation of the summer art colony grew, word of Ogunquit’s beauty and lively lifestyle began to spread throughout the region. Today the small town of Ogunquit is defined by its miles of sandy beaches, dazzling art and theater scene, and its thriving and welcoming LGBTQ community. Further up the coast—from quintessential New England harborside communities like Rockland’s little village or the big city of Portland to the natural grandeur of Acadia National Park on Mt. Dessert Island—you might not find as many “gay” per se establishments, but “gay friendliness” abounds. Up and down Main Street in Bar Harbor, at Acadia’s doorstep, you’ll spot rainbow flags snapping in the fresh Atlanic breeze, seasoned by mountain pine, and a warm, inclusive attitude in many of even the most traditional establishments.


September 11–October 14, featuring a memorial exhibition of Ted Jaslow’s work, and showcasing Painter Jeffrey Fitzgerald, photographer David Wade and invited New England sculptors.

Paris and the Bolshoi Ballet in world-class performances in Moscow, and live music and an iconic setting, and comedy shows plus special manages year after year to ME01 Take a strollalong Ogunquit’s events. And a close-enough bring in big stars and Marginal Way. This drive down from Camden. top-notch entertainment. picturesque 1.25-mile paved, 345 Main From Sept. 18 to Oct. 27, the path meanders along the St., Rockland theatre is offering up “Kinky breathtaking rocky coastline Boots,” the delightful Cyndi ME05 Be awed by natureat Acadia from the middle of town to, 3 Hartwig Lane, Lauper/Harvey Fierstein National Park. Stay in a cozy charming Perkins Cove. An Ogunquit, 207-646-8400 collaboration. This show will guest house in Bar Harbor, easy stroll with numerous have you dancing in the literally at the doorstep of benches and steps down to ME02 Shop for treasures.Open aisles! this 47,000-acre wonderland. every day 10 a.m.–6 p.m., tiny beaches, the beginning , 102 Main Start with a sightseeing trip Abacus, a wonderful gallery/ and end of the path are St. Ogunquit around the park’s loop from a shop in Ogunquit, is a clearly marked, but you can car, shuttlebus or bike (rather treasure trove of interesting, ME04 Catch a picture on a historic also ask anybody in The Cove hilly so for more advanced unique items, including screen.Built in 1923, or in town to point you in the bikers) around the scenic pottery, metal sculpture, Rockport, Maine’s Strand right direction. loop. Then bikers of all levels crafts, jewelry, furniture, a Theatre was designed in Immerse yourself in artFor art can hit the Carriage Roads, large selection of men’s classic Egyptian Revival, and lovers, a visit to Ogunquit’s built by a Rockefeller back in jewelry and Dana Heacock’s the only one of three Barn Gallery will be worth Bar Harbor’s opulent past to distinctive calendars, all Rockland theaters built in your while. There, juried link the grand “cottages,” housed in a striking and airy that style to survive. Today members of the Ogunquit Art summer homes of the storefront. it’s a nonprofit cinema Association host their vibrant, 213 Main wealthy, and maintained bringing in both classic exhibitions, inspiring gallery Street, Ogunquit now in the National Park for movies and smart edgy new talks, lively panel discussions, recreation and one of the films, high definition ME03 Catch a show on a historic illuminating demonstrations, best ways to experience this broadcasts from the stage.Now in its 86th year, and enlightening glorious setting. Cyclists Metropolitan Opera in New the venerable Ogunquit workshops. Fall Exhibitions: share these roads with horse York, Comedie Française in Playhouse produces









PLACES TO ME08 Party Ogunquit-style. and pedestrians—you can even take a carriage ride— Mainestreet is a casual EAT AND along miles of crushed gravel northern New England gay DRINK offering some of the most bar with 2 dance rooms, 2 ME06 Love your breakfast.A bright spectacular views where outdoor decks and 3 bars. and cheery breakfast bistro, ocean meets sea on the East Featuring a variety of shows with a very cute retro design, Coast. from plays to drag to Amore Breakfast has got comedy, top 40 dancing in And be sure to stopat Jordan great coffee, big portions— the dance rooms, karaoke, House restaurant, nestled at including a multitude of pool tournaments and the foot of Eagle Pond, for variations on eggs benedict— women’s tea dances. a popover and tea (a great and sunshine pouring in the thing to do halfway through Mainestreet is open yearhuge windows. a bike or a hike). Check out, 87 Main round and often hosts the many well-marked Street, Ogunquit charitable events benefiting hiking trails (from easy to local organizations. BearFest ME07 Dine on the edge.Perched on rock-wall-climbing tough), is October 11, and Women’s the edge of the sea with one beaches and a host of other Weekend is October 15. Also, of the best views you’ll find recreational activities, and every Friday and Saturday at in the area, MC Perkins Cove don’t miss the incredible 9:30pm, you’ll find Dueling serves up an upscale views from atop Cadillac Drag Divas, featuring Emmy contemporary cuisine Mountain (sunset is sublime); Award Winner Chi Chi Rones created by award winning at 1,530 feet, it’s the tallest and Acclaimed Impressionist chefs, Mark Gaier and Clark peak on the East Coast, with Jo Anna. Frasier. mountains dropping into the, 195 Open all year with lunch Atlantic in one direction and Main Street, Ogunquit 11:30am–2pm, dinner 5:30–11pm. forests stretched all the way Sing your heart out.World Dressy casual dress requested. to Katahdin in the other., 111 famous for the fabulous Mount Desert Island, Perkins Cove Road, Ogunquit Piano Bar, with shows every acad 207-646-6263 night of the week, the Front

Porch is so much fun! But they have upped their food game in recent years too, making it a great stop for travelers and locals alike. Get there early if you want a seat at the piano., Ogunquit Square, (207) 646-4005

Enjoy Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn.Here, executive chefs Chris Long and Shelby Stevens serve up what they call “an intriguing culinary paradox: modern New England cuisine:” locally sourced ingredients subtley enhanced with unexpected flavor combinations from international culinary traditions. The result? A delicously sophisiticated affair in a relaxed, refined setting., 83 Bay View Street, Camden, (207) 236-4200

Go Cuban.While lobster shacks are essential stops

SEP | OCT 2019 | 51

BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS Boston is always out and always welcoming! A quintessential blend of colonial history and cuttingedge innovation, Boston is perfect for exploring diverse neighborhoods, visiting iconic landmarks, enjoying incredible cuisine, and exploring lush green spaces.


FOODIE FUN Boston is a world-class foodie destination. Unparalleled dining, food tours, wine and beer gardens, tastings, farmers markets and cooking classes showcase Boston’s unique culinary characteristics.

GREEN SPACE Affectionately known as “America’s Walking City,” you can stroll the city’s sidewalks and its abundance of parks. Boston is home to a unique variety of breathtaking spaces, from the oldest botanical garden to the priceless Emerald Necklace and the beautifully landscaped Rose Kennedy Greenway.

MUSEUMS Boston museums give you the opportunity to spend time with the Old Masters, be inspired by contemporary artists or wander a Venetian palace filled with treasures. You can explore an assortment of aquatic animals, the world-famous Glass Flowers and the only presidential library in New England.

PERFORMING ARTS Boston’s cultural calendar is seemingly infinite. Mellow jazz clubs, rock concerts, Mozart concertos, musicals, classic plays and much, much more. Satisfy your love of “The Arts” and search for interesting things to do, see & hear.

TOURS & TRAILS See the city on foot, bike, trolley, Segway, boat or duck. No matter what your interest, whether history, heritage, food, whales, equality, movies or behind-the-scenes at iconic landmarks - there’s a tour for the taking.


TO R E S E RV E YO U R R O O M , C A L L 6 17. 2 3 6 . 5 8 0 0 O R V I S I T C O P L E Y M A R R I O T T. C O M .


© 2018 018 Marriott International, nternat , Inc Inc.


Our hotel is always thinking of ways to make your stay more brilliant. Start by checking in via mobile app. Relax and recharge in our luxurious rooms featuring wireless high-speed Internet. Get energized in our fitness center and indoor pool. Or just take advantage of our premier Back Bay location with easy access to top attractions, local transportation and connections to over 200 shops and restaurants.



when traveling Downeast, the Cuban-inspired Havana restaurant in Bar Harbor, tucked in a perfect little niche of a place, is an experience that really should not be missed. There’s often live acoustic music in the front bar. Havana has received the Wine Spectator Award for Excellence every year since 2004 for both its excellent selection and spirit as well as its dinner menu. As for that menu, all veggies and seafood are locally sourced and organic—also true for the meats, which have been “humanely raised” (meaning room to roam, with proper shelter and gentle handling). ,18 Maine Street, Bar Harbor ,

PLACES TO STAY ME09 Spend a night in Ogunquit. At Moon Over Maine, the focus is on comfortable surroundings in a casual atmosphere. Built in 1839, this quaint cape style home offers the charm of yesteryear with updated contemporary features. It is located just off the village center, with the beach, shops and the Marginal Way nearby. All rooms have private baths, mini fridges, wi-fi and flat panel TVs. Every morning you’ll enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring innkeeper Rick’s internationally famous scones., 22 Berwick Road, Ogunquit, (207) 646-MOON

Treat yourselfto the luxuries of The Camden Harbour Inn. Since the late 1800s, the inn has welcomed travelers from its perch a top a hill overlooking one of the prettiest harbors in Maine. What’s inside is equally inviting, with its opulent and individually designed rooms and posh restaurant, Natalie’s., 83 Bay View Street, Camden, (207) 236-4200

Lodge yourself in Bar Harbor Located in the historic heart of Bar Harbor, Maples Inn Bed and Breakfast itself dates back to 1903. It features tasteful guest rooms and suites, some with cozy fireplaces and private decks to catch a breath of that famous “champagne” air before slipping under the cool sheets. A perfect place to feel at home after an active day of exploring Acadia National Park., 16 Roberts Avenue, Bar Harbor, (207) 288-3443

Escape to Acadia.With its stunning views of Frenchman Bay, the eight-room Saltair Inn Bed and Breakfast offers accommodations for both the budget traveler and the luxury-seeking traveler under the same roof., 121 West Street, Bar Harbor, (207) 288-2882


ASSACHUSETTS EXPLORE THE PIONEER VALLEY LGBTQ-and-A travelers cannot go wrong in this quintessentially friendly corner of New England. From picturesque Amherst, Deerfield and Northampton—famously dubbed the “lesbian capitol of the world” but truly inclusive of every color in the rainbow flag—to woodsy country, open fields and the hilly Berkshires. Windy country roads teem with great restaurants, shops and plenty of places where you will feel welcome wherever you go.

THINGS TO DO MA01 Hit the trailson the Seven Sisters Trail. Named after the prestigious colleges, two of which (Smith and Mt. Holyoke) you can spot from its (up to 1K+ feet) elevations, the complete not-for-firsttimers trek runs just over 5 miles along the Holyoke Range. And while it’s rated difficult, there are several easy-to-moderate options to hike just a portion and get enough exercise to please your Fitbit while taking in fresh views and clean air. At Skinner State Park, there are more than 40 trails, and you can even drive right up, park at the summit, and visit the historic Summit House, with spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley— made even more scenic by

the fall foliage of your autumn excursion.

affordable products for all fairly short walk that’s kinds of bodies and lifestyles. also totally handicapped 122 Main Street, Northampton, accessible. The trail is very skinner-state-park carefully constructed and presents a beautiful visual MA03 Listen to live musicat the Iron Ride the railson the scenic experience, allowing all users Canalside Rail Trial. Its 3.7 Horse, the longest running to observe a myriad of native well-maintained miles of music club in Northampton. wildlife and plants. There easy riding roll over the founded in 1979, the club has are boardwalks and several Connecticut River over hosted everyone from Shawn observation decks along the trestle bridges between the Colvin to the Smashing way, overlooking the Fort historic town of Deerfield Pumpkins to Wynton River, marshes, and fields. and the Turner Falls village Marsalis. On September 20, 69 Moody Bridge Road, Hadley of Montague. In addition to master musician and bikers, the trails are open multi-talented blues MA02 Shop eclectic boutiquesin to runners, walkers, inline performer Vanessa Collier Downtown Northampton, skaters, picnickers and nature brings her charismatic charm, where for example, you’ll find lovers. Trail maps and parking passionate and fiery Oh My, a sensuality shop. information are available on performances, soulful voice, Owned by Carol Gesell and the website. searing saxophone solos, and Beth Meyers, the shop is witty songwriting to the founded on the belief that canalside-rail-trail stage. A graduate of the people of all genders and Berklee College of Music, Take a nature strollalong orientations deserve the Vanessa’s 2014 debut album this sweet hiking trail, right to their own unique Heart, Soul & Saxophone was passing through a variety sensuality. They are wellnessdeclared “magnificent” on of habitats. The Silvio O. driven, body-positive and Dan Aykroyd’s blues radio Conte National Fish and quality-focused, stocking Wildlife Refuge offers a safe, long-lasting, and

SEP | OCT 2019 | 55

Experience authentic Gloucester this fall. The pace is more relaxed, the temperatures’ a bit cooler, the colors more vibrant, and the people are always friendly. There’s so much to do and see here that you’ll need another day to stay and play! Gloucester, Massachusetts, just a 45-minute drive north of Boston,

is an enchanting destination for all! Renowned for its coastal beauty and maritime riches, arts and cultural scene, fresh seafood and for its storied history, Gloucester is a quintessential destination for anyone seeking that true New England experience. From our award-winning community theatre company, to genuinely welcoming accommodations, to cozy live music venues, to the freshest seafood selections around, to our own wholesome farmers’ market, to locally-owned

specialty markets and shops -- DISCOVER it all! Gloucester, home to America’s oldest seaport, offers sincere charm, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Enjoy whale watching and schooner sails, our working waterfront, Rocky Neck Artist Colony, Cape Ann Museum, maritime legend and lore and of course, infamous Fisherman’s Statue peering out into Gloucester Harbor. A memorable experience awaits you. We invite you to DISCOVER Gloucester.


Culture Whale Watches Art Galleries Schooner Sails History & Heritage Lighthouses Hospitality Live Music Fresh Seafood Boutique Shopping Farmers Markets Beaches Boating & Sailing

HarborWalk Hiking Nature’s Bounty Main Street

Shopping Professional Theater Surfing Rocky Neck Artist Colony Water Taxi Bike Trails Boulevard and Garden Strolls Deep Sea Fishing Working Waterfront Tidepools Museums Scuba Diving Saltwater Taffy Waterfront Scenery Birdwatching Natural Beauty Locally-owned Shops Lobster Fall Color Seaside Playgrounds

for more information

Gloucester’s morning-to-midnight neighborhood hangout


3 Main Street 978-314-4238

Gloucester Stage Company

267 East Main Street 978-281-4433

At Drift, new face of the coffeehouse is coffee plus beer, wine, cocktails, great food and live music.

Starting conversations that continue past the performance. Rousing classics and intellectually stimulating premieres.

Cape Ann Farmers Market

Minglewood Harborside

at Stage Fort Park thru October 10 Thurs 3-6:30pm 978-290-2717

Featuring vendors, live music and children’s activities. In beautifulStage Fort Park, free parking during market hours. Thanksgiving Market Nov 23.

A thriving local food and educational community event

25 Rogers Street 978-281-0223 An alfresco experience both inside and out. Fresh, local seafood, creative sushi and tavern favorites are complimented by refreshing cocktails.

Waterfront dining with oversized deck and retractible glass walls

Fresh Seafood

Harborview Inn

71 Western Avenue 978-283-2277 800-299-6696 Within walking distance of downtown’s restaurants, museums, shops and attractions.

Common Crow Natural Market

200 Eastern Ave Gloucester 978 283-1665 Hot and cold grab and go, coffee & pastry, groceries, meats, produce, cheese, bulk foods, natural health and beauty, Women Owned.

Your one stop shop for natural, local, organic food and fair trade gifts

Nature’s Bounty

Locally Grown

Live Music

Award-winning professional theater

A perfect four season Bed & Breakfast overlooking Gloucester Harbor






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show, winning her accolades as Best of 2014 Blues Breaker. 20 Center Street, Northampton,

MA04 See great artnorthwest of Northampton. (The windy, woodsy drive here is stunning.) Up in the corner where Massachusetts meets Vermont and New York, you’ll find Williamstown and the world-class Clark Art Institute. Likely the only are gallery where you can gaze upon Monets, Whistlers, and Degas, then take a romantic stroll through 140 acres of contemporary gardens and fields shared with friendly dairy cows. The history, the architecture, the special exhibitions make the Clark a top New England destination. 255 South Street, Williamstown,

MA05 Join fellow Emily Dickinson fansat the Seventh Annual Amherst Poetry Festival (September 19–22). It opens Thursday night with a poetry slam featuring Northbeats Poets, then continues through the weekend with a

number of workshops, readings, talks and performances. The cornerstone of the festival, The Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon—an epic, one-day reading of all 1,789 poems written by Emily Dickinson— takes place Saturday. Headlining poets read on Friday and Saturday nights. A high point of the whole affair is a late-night garden party with musical performances on that Saturday, before Jubilat Jones hosts a reading series on Sunday. amherst-poetry-festival/

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK MA06 Eat at Fitzwilly’s Restaurant,A standard-bearer in Northampton since 1974, this friendly place will not disappoint. From poke bowls to brisket, there is something on this menu for everyone. There are many vegetarian options, and they are known


for their craft beer selection and lively ambience. Try the potstickers and feel free to let your Pride flag fly! 23 Maine Street, Northampton

Pub crawlinto The Dirty Truth. This hipster bar in the heart of downtown Northampton’s nightlife scene serves up consistent gastro-pub fare. With a long bar on one side, and high tables well-suited to group socializing on the other, the Dirty Truth is popular with members of the LGBT community. 29 Main Street, Northampton. 413-585-5999

to transport you to tapas country.

101 Armory Street, Northampton,

MA08 Enjoy the art of cookingat Mezze Bistro and Bar in Williamstown. After a visit to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, treat yourself to a sumptuous meal in casual ambience. When it comes to pairing small-batch microbrews, locally distilled spirits and seasonal, smallproduction wines with the finest of independently grown, fresh organic ingredients, Chef Nicholas Moulton brings tasteful magic to the table.

MA07 Sip wine by the glassat 777 Cold Springs Road, Convivo Wine Bar. Chic and Williamstown, mezzerestaurant. sophisticated without com attitude, comfy but not frumpy, grown up but not stodgy, here is the place to PLACES enjoy delicious wines by the TO STAY glass or two and nosh on MA09 Lodge in a rustic innat Greens Mediterranean-inspired Treats Suites in Northampton, plates. Look out for live music where owners John Sielski evenings featuring Tony Silve and Jim Dozmati will pamper and his Spanish guitar you in this beautiful rustic playing songs from Spain, setting, minutes from the Mexico and South American heart of Northampton.

MA08 MA09

Private and romantic, with gorgeous mountain views, fully equipped kitchens, fireplace, gardens and more. 1236 Florence Rd., Northampton, greenstreetcsa@



MA10 Pamper yourselfat The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA. What is it about this place that keeps us coming back? The comfy blend of old and new, the retro-inspired architecture, the homey, quirky atmosphere, the steamy year-round hot tub and heated outdoor pool, the boutique luxe of its beds and baths... And alll that mind-blowing conptemporary art at the MASS MoCA, right across the street. North Adams is a travel destination unto itself, but we would be remiss without giving it a nod and noting its close proximity that easily puts it in reach as part of a Pioneer Valley adventure. 231 River Street, North Adams,

Nantucket Island Eat. Play. Stay.

Katie Kaizer Photography

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• Explore whale ecology & conservaton • See extraordinary maritime art • Board world’s largest ship model • Steps from harbor, accommodations, great dining



there is something here for everyone New Bedford, located less than one hour south of Boston, is internationally recognized as a destination for its unique culture, vibrant arts, rich history, incredible dining (including the freshest seafood and amazing eclectic cuisine) and working waterfront. Atlantic Magazine named New Bedford one of the most artistic cities in America.

Get a taste for what makes this city dynamic—cultural diversity, worldrenowned feasts and festivals, beaches and boating, parks and playgrounds, great architecture, cobblestone streets. It is also home of the popular New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park. We are a passionate hard-working people who’ve settled here from all over the world.

The Blue Lane The newly installed Harbor Walk and Cove Walk gives visitors a great opportunity to photograph the wonderful water-front vista. The area hosts an abundance of recreational opportunities including outdoor trails, bike paths and beaches. Located nearby, Fort Taber —a 50-acre waterfront park—provides over a mile of ocean frontage located on scenic Clark’s Point which projects into Buzzards Bay.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Explore whale ecology and conservation, along with the origin story of New Bedford at the Whaling Museum. Bordered by cobblestone streets overlooking the harbor, the Museum tells the story of human interaction with whales in the world’s oceans, and reveals the history

of the “City that Lit the World.” Marvel at massive whale skeletons and exhibits based on America’s longest painting, which takes you on a whaling voyage around the world. Climb aboard the world’s largest ship model. See outstanding collections of fine and decorative art, including scrimshaw and Golden Age Dutch maritime paintings. Ask about holding your unforgettable wedding in one of the Museum’s unique spaces.

Port of New Bedford

The Port of New Bedford is an exceptional harbor to visit by water and Pope’s Island Marina is the place to experience it from! A 204 slip, floating dock marina offers award winning customer service, essential amenities, easy access to historic downtown New Bedford, and a marina-based launch service. New Bedford’s long and unique history from the days of whaling to its current 17-year run as America’s #1 fishing port makes it a destination offering a wide variety of things to see and do. The historic, cobblestoned streets of downtown offer a multitude of restaurants, shops, museums, galleries, concerts, and festivals. New Bedford received accolades from transient boaters and cruise groups alike who have based their stay from Pope’s Island Marina. Come and experience the hospitality of Pope’s Island Marina and see why visitors again and again have said “… it was a new port for us, and we will definitely be back again!”

Port of New Bedford

Annual Events JAN Moby Dick Marathon FEB-DEC AHA! Art, History, and Architecture (2nd Thursday of the month) MAR New Bedford Half Marathon MAY Viva Portugal/Zeiterion Theatre JUN New Bedford Jazz Fest JUL Cape Verdean Recognition Week & Parade JUL New Bedford Folk Festival/Zeiterion Theatre JUL-AUG Summer Sound Series (concerts on Pier 3) AUG Feast of the Blessed Sacrament (Largest Portuguese Feast in the World) SEP Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival OCT New Bedford Chowder Festival OCT Oktoberfest DEC Holiday Happenings DEC City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve


EW HAMPSHIRE UNWIND IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS While the Granite State may not be famous as a hotbed of gay culture, it is a downright beautiful place to visit, and, interestingly, it has a statistically higher-than-average LGBT population. A visit to New Hampshire will leave you awestruck, especially during its most-inviting foliage season.


hundreds of feet in the air? This 80-passenger cable car brings visitors to the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain in under 10 minutes. On a clear day, you can see the mountains of four states and Canada. At the summit, you’ll find spectacular scenic walking paths, a 360-degree observation deck, a cafe, bar and restrooms. Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway is open until October 20 from 8:30am-5pm daily, weather permitting.

NH02 Go antiquingat the Antiques & Collectibles Mall of New Hampshire. An expansive multi-dealer antique shop, the Antiques and Collectibles Mall offers a wide range of antiques, collectibles and furniture. Think old toy trucks, knives, gold, silver, costume jewelry, watches, coins, old hunting and fishing items, musical instruments, postcards, razors, badges, fountain pens, signs, glass, pottery, sewing items, rugs, dinnerware and more. Much NH03 Great Scot!The New more. Hampshire Highland Games, 8 Dunster Avenue, Greenville, organized in August 1975 at Loon Mountain Resort, has NH01 Take a rideon the Cannon grown to become one of the Mountain Aerial Tramway. largest and most diverse What better way to see the commemorations of Scottish gorgeous fall foliage art and culture in North extravaganza than from


WHERE America. Despite the words of an early naysayer who TO EAT proclaimed: “ye canna run a NH04 Ride the railson the Cafe highland games at a ski Lafayette Dinner Train, resort; you need a footba’ something completely field,” that sentiment has different in dining been roundly proven experiences. Located in the incorrect, and the Games scenic White Mountains, have been held at Loon ever diners enjoy a two-hour train since. This year’s Games will ride complete with signature be held September 21–23 cocktails and a five-course and will feature such heavy dinner aboard 1950s-era athletics as the Caber Toss, restored vintage rail cars Hammer Throw, Weight Over enhanced with vintage Bar, Stone Carry and more. suitcases, mood lighting and Other activities include ’50s-era music. Onboard sheepdog trials, pipes and historians are happy to drums, great food and a answer any questions, and chance to experience the table service is professional ancient Scottish game and attentive. The fall known as Shinty. Tickets are schedule offers Thursday, required, and parking is Friday, Saturday and Sunday off-site, with a shuttle to the rides. “All Aboard” is at 4:15 Games. p.m., with departure at 5 p.m. 60 Loon Mountain Road, Reservations are a must, but Lincoln same day reservations can be







PLACES NH07 Stay with other womenin made by phone. Also, tables are set for traditional railcar Bethlehem. With a sign on TO STAY dining and thus you may be NH06 Dine and Lodgein beautiful the road that perpetually seated across the table from says, “no vacancy” (to keep Franconia at the the Horse another couple, although a men and straight people and Hound Inn and private table can be reserved away), the Highlands Inn is a Restaurant, opened in 1946 in advance. lesbian paradise! This is a as a tasteful inn, tavern and, decidedly laid-back restaurant. With three 603-745-3500 establishment, with 13 fireplaces, knotty pine rooms, including a dogNH05 Find Cozy Cajun foodat paneling and an expansive friendly Cottage with an Madear’s Restaurant in the lawn and gardens, the inn has outdoor deck, microwave heart of Manchester. Chefs welcomed everyone from and small refrigerator. Some Robb Curry and Kyle Davis Hollywood stars to local rooms include a whirlpool offer tapas-style dining, with outdoor enthusiasts, and has tub, fireplace or attached the legacy of Davis’ Frencha reputation for great food, outdoor deck. There are 100 Canadian grandmother, and elegant lodging and warm private wooded acres for Curry’s roots in Baton Rouge hospitality. Situated on a strolling, hiking, crossevident in everything they quiet country road and country skiing or serve. Try the pork belly three surrounded by eight private snowshoeing on the many ways, etouffe, or the boudin acres bordered by Tucker trails. An outdoor pool and balls in creole sauce. You’ll Brook, the inn invites you to hot tub are also available, and love this funky place! If you relax and unwind after an there’s an extensive lesbian are in the area on Sunday, be active day in the great book and movie collection. sure to stop in for their drag outdoors. You’ll enjoy a fresh, hot brunch. And the beignets. 205 Wells Road, Franconia,, 175 Hanover breakfast each morning and St., Manchester free house concerts every

Saturday night (upcoming shows feature Karen Grenier, the Colby Sage Duo and Jenica Rayne, as well as a staged reading of Artemisia and Hildegard by playwright Carolyn Gage). A peaceful escape in a beautiful setting.

240 Valley View Lane, Bethlehem,


HODE ISLAND WELCOME TO THE SOUTHCOAST The Ocean State is known for many things—Quahogs, beaches, Newport, Brown University, RISD...and a very gay-friendly climate. Rhode Island was one of the first states to pass legislation protecting the rights of LGBT people. This little state is divided in half by the beautiful Narragansett Bay. Thanks to the efforts of the Save The Bay organization, the bay is a rich and pristine source of fishing, clamming and boating all the way down the beautiful Southcoast and out to Block Island. As for the urban life, there is no “gayborhood” in the capitol city of Providence, but there’s really no need for it— the city abounds in great gay bars, one of which is highlighted here.


please) and will cruise out of Newport Harbor into the Bay with spectacular views of the Pell Bridge. Indulge in nautical merriment and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community until 5 p.m.

built in 1856. Open on Saturdays and Sunday in the fall, it features a collection of artifacts and historical information, as well as a picturesque view from the top of the tower.

Catch a ferryand explore Narragansett Bay. There are a number of easy ways to get out on the bay. One is the RI Bay Cruise, which takes Beavertail Road, Jamestown, you on a narrated cruise RI02 Catch the view from a past the many islands and RI03 Explore Block IslandSeven lighthouse. If you’re looking to lighthouses. Also delightful is miles long and three miles soak up some outdoor vibes the fast ferry to Newport, an wide, Block Island is shaped from the shore, you can’t go inexpensive and stress-free like a pork chop and covers wrong with Beavertail State way to get to and from the 7,000 acres. It is said to have Park. Located in Jamestown, city to Newport. 365 fresh water ponds. The which is on Conanicut Island, Island is famous for its miles in Narragansett Bay, it is of free public beaches, known for offering some of RI08 Cruise with the Trailer Park sparkling clear waters and the most beautiful vistas Girlson September 28. Find dramatic bluffs. It’s no along the New England your way to Bowen’s Wharf wonder that the Nature coastline. It can be enjoyed in Newport for an Conservancy has designated via hiking trails along the unforgettable cruise Block Island “one of the rocky coast—where you’ll featuring drag entertainment twelve last great places in find tide pools and dramatic from the Trailer Park Girls. the Western Hemisphere.” views—or from the comfort Wooden schooner The The Block Island Ferry runs of your car. Also interesting is Adirondack II leaves the dock out of Point Judith and the Beavertail Lighthouse, at 3:30 p.m. (arrive by 3:10,


Newport in Rhode Island and Fall River, Massachussetts., blockisland. com

RI04 Stroll through historic gardens at the Van Wickle family’s country place from 1874 to 1974. Blithewold Mansion and Gardens is a 33-acre summer estate with grand views of Narragansett Bay. It is one of the most fully developed and authentic examples of the “Country Place” era. The family was decidedly informal, eschewing nearby Newport as too stuffy for their tastes—plus they could moor their Herreshoff steam yacht at the water’s edge. The property features a 45-room mansion filled with family heirlooms, and acres of lovely gardens harkening back to the Arts





A beach escape is closer than you think... SOUTH COUNTY RHODE ISLAND

Photo: Dave Sarazen

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and Crafts movement from whence they originated. Containing an exceptional collection of rare and unusual plants, specimen trees, a greenhouse, and whimsical stonework, the gardens reflect the original vision of landscape architect John DeWolf while also incorporating more contemporary elements such as a pollinator garden and a small nursery. Programs include a September lecture series on the history of the English garden every Friday at 11 a.m., delivered by architectural historian John Tschirch. 101 Ferry Road (Route 114), Bristol;

RI05 Waterfire for recovery. Waterfire, the award-winning installation/festival by artist Barnaby Evans, is a powerful work of art consisting of dozens of fire braziers that seem to float above the three rivers that meet in the center of the city of Providence. Providing a fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke and flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the spectacle is an excellent complement to the enchanting world music emanating from speakers embedded within the walls of the stone paths


of Waterplace Park. For a truly sublime experience, try taking a romantic ride on one of the lovely gondolas that quietly ply the water. September 14 will feature a full lighting commemorating the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK Enjoy great Italian food. After you’ve explored all that Beavertail Park has to offer, finish off your day on Conanicut Island with dinner at Trattoria Simpatico. With several dining options—the deck, the patio, the pergola, the terrace, the chart room— you can enjoy outdoor dining even if the weather is chilly. Once you have decided on your table, try the calamari— it’s the state’s official appetizer, and Simpatico does it with a distinctive antipasto treatment. You’ll also find delectable Italian cuisine, with lots of seafood choices. Good wines, attentive service, and twinkling lights everywhere give this restaurant a wonderful overall ambience.

13 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown,

RI06 Visit a distillery.A lesbianowned distiller? Yes! Crafting Dine on Block Island.Ballard’s their own gin, vodka and offers a distinctive menu of limoncello (yes!), owners exceptionally fresh seafood Kara Larson and Cathy as well as an incredible Plourde are specializing in view of Ballard’s Beach. Chef products that showcase Ariel Fontanilla specializes “premium spirits from in “ocean-to-table” fresh natural botanical flavors that fish caught from Block reflect the unique character Island waters. Occasional of the historic Blackstone beachfront concerts make Valley.” And on September this establishment a fun 22, they will be part of the alternative to all the other first ever Pawtucket, RI Craft fun alternatives on this Crawl, part of Pawtucket special island. Restaurant Week. Visit all 42 Water Street, Old Harbor, four breweries and two Block Island, distilleries in Pawtucket, each Feast in Little Italy.Not a gay one offering a drink special restaurant per se, but so very for this week only, and you Rhode Island, Constantino’s will receive a special prize is renowned throughout glass. Providence and beyond for 59 Blackstone Avenue, authentic Neapolitan Italian Pawtucket; rhodeislandspirits. com cuisine, an award-winning wine list and exceptional RI07 Raise a glass.The most fun service from dashing waiters. you can have on a Sunday It’s located smack-dab in afternoon! It’s Super Gay the heart of Federal Hill—the Sangria Sundays at The Stable Little Italy of Providence— in Providence. Drinks are where the Costantino family strong (try the sangria) and has been making pasta in the the crowd is mostly men, but classic tradition for over 70 everyone is welcome. It’s a years. If the weather is nice, small bar inside with a few there is usually live music tables outside. On Sundays, on the plaza, heavy on the it’s often standing room only. Sinatra. An old world feeling Friendly, attentive bartenders in a chic location. and a warm, inviting 265 Atwells Ave., Providence; atmosphere. (401) 528-1100


Whether you’re looking to relax by the sea, refresh at the spa or explore Rhode Island’s past, the reinvented Newport Marriott has everything you need for an inspired stay. Enjoy refreshed nautical-themed guest rooms with spa-like bathrooms, enticing restaurants and vibrant bars as you take in the relaxed change of pace and natural beauty of this historic coastal community. F O R R E S E R V AT I O N S , C A L L 401.849.10 0 0 OR VISIT N E W P O R T M A R R I O T T. C O M


©2019 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All names, marks and logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.


125 Washington Street, Providence

PLACES TO STAY RI09 Overnight in elegance. F illed with custom furniture and found objects from Europe

and beyond, The Dean Hotel in Providence revels in the details. The historic building has been elegantly transformed into a 52-room hotel in the heart of the Providence’s Downcity historic district. Their Bolt

outdoor bar and firepits for Coffee Bar is a perfect way to cool evenings. start the morning, and the 36 Water Street, New Shoreham, Dean Bar and their own Block Island; blockislandhotels. restaurant, called North, com works nicely to end the day RI08 Southcoast host.For both as well. A winning B&B and boutique chic, slip combination of posh, away into the cozy luxury of comfort and history makes the Bristol House Bed and The Dean a superb option for Breakfast. TripAdvisor an overnight visit to awarded it a “Certificate of Providence. 122 Fountain Street, Providence; Excellence” for six consecutive years in a row, starting in 2013. Each of its Stay on Block Island.Listed four rooms is decorated with on the Register of Historic as much unique personality Places, the National Hotel on as any self-respecting bed Block Island is located in the and breakfast but with 600 heart of Block Island’s Old thread-count luxe. The next Harbor, decorated in keeping morning, the innkeeper offers with the Victorian style of the a gourmet sit-down hotel, and is within walking breakfast, mindful of distance of the ferries, shops, (advanced noted) dietary restaurants and beaches. restrictions of her guests. The hotel restaurant, the Tap 14 Aaron Avenue, Bristol, & Grille, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily on its expansive deck overlooking the harbor. There’s also an

What’s Special is Simple Get a free $20 gift card with every $100 gift card purchased A visit to New England is an experience that lasts long after you’ve returned home. Until October 31, 2019, receive a free $20 gift card with every $100 gift card purchased. Give it to someone you love, or use it to make memories of your own. Use code SPIRIT online or by phone.


Photo Credit: Topside Inn (Maine)








ERMONT DISCOVER THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM The Green Mountain State will soothe your soul. Far from the noise, distractions and hustle-bustle of wherever you normally are, practically everywhere you travel here, you are bound to find a welcome in this very LGBTQ-affirming place. In the fall, the extraordinary beauty of the mountains, rivers and fields are heightened by the colors of the season. Take a deep breath and prepare to relax.

THINGS TO DO Hit the trails. Known as the #1 mountain bike destination in the Northeast, Kingdom Trails offers an extensive trail network for non-motorized, multi-use recreation activity. The system has trails for all levels of abilities, whether it’s the old cart roads and doubletrack trails for beginners, or tight, fast, flowing, singletrack for more experienced riders. Upon your arrival, Kingdom Trails’ staff members will tailor a route on their highly detailed map to fit your rider level, length of desired ride and/or time. The staff will highlight trail options with brief terrain descriptions for you to follow or you can branch out as you feel comfortable. In order to generate the funds needed to maintain the trail system

and manage usage on private land, all users must purchase either a Day Member Pass or a Membership to access the trail system. 478 VT. Rte 114, East Burke,

also has a picturesque covered bridge spanning the Connecticut River, which makes for a wonderful photo opp setting.

there from mid-April to mid-November.

108 South Lunenburg Road, Lunenburg

Get folky. Across the street from Aunt Sadie’s and Twin Oak Antiques is Pat Briggs Antiques, which has specialized in early American antiques and accessories, folk art, signs, primitives and small furniture for 52 years.

VT01 Pick a wick. Lunenburg is the home of gay-owned Aunt Go antiquing in an antique Sadie’s candles. While they town. T he quaint town of don’t offer tours—or really Lunenburg, brimming with even have regular hours— antique shops, makes for a someone is almost always great day trip. At one time, 103 Lunenburg Road there, and they do sell their Lunenburg boasted the most fabulous candles on location. photographed church in the Treasure hunt. Also in 108 S. Lunenburg Road, state. The congregational Lunenburg is Whatever church sits at the very top Treasures, Antiques and of The Common making for VT02 Go campy. Right on the Uniques. A great eclectic an ideal photo setting. After shop that specializes in property of Aunt Sadie’s is years of neglect, the Top of architectural items, tools, the unique Twin Oak The Common organization primitives, furniture and Antiques, specializing in has worked tirelessly to great bargains. camp, cabin and Adirondack92 Maillett Road, Lunenburg restore the church to its style furniture and original splendor and they accessories, signs, folk art and VT03 See fine art.St. Johnsbury host monthly open mic just plain funky stuff. Like Athenaeum: St. Johnsbury is nights and other events. If Aunt Sadie’s, the shop doesn’t 20 miles from Lunenburg on you’re into covered bridges keep regular hours but Route 2 and it boast some (and who isn’t?), Lunenburg someone is most always nice restaurants and tourist




attractions, most notably the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. If you’re an art enthusiast, the Athenaeum is a must visit! Featured prominently in the collection are European and American artists from the late 18th century, with a special focus on the Hudson River School.

VT04 Listen to live music.Hosted by Catamount Arts, it’s Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” like you’ve never heard it before performed by Apollo’s Fire on Oct. 9 at Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy. Apollo’s Fire has taken the concert world by storm—from sold out shows at Tanglewood and Carnegie Hall to a 2019 Grammy win, audiences and critics are left spellbound by their passion and their extraordinary use of sound. If you thought you knew “The Four Seasons,” be prepared for surprises. From the bird calls and storms to drunken peasants and more… the story that Vivaldi intended comes to life as each virtuoso musician takes turns stepping into the spotlight. Check out all Catamount Arts has to offer in northeastern Vermont year-round, from






music to movies, talks and readings to visual arts.

VT06 Dinner with a view.A room, a consider a special touch—a massage or roses, view, a warm welcome. These champagne and chocolate are among the treats Flannel, for example—to make your Stowe’s Topnotch Resort Take Pride!The Vermont experience even more promises of its neat little Pride Festival is one big party memorable. restaurant with its big scenic in Battery Park. It’s a place views—not to mention the for the entire community— Also onsite is an outstanding locally sourced dining, LGBTQ+ and ally—all are farm to table restaurant, world-class wining, creative welcome to come together. offering award-winning, cocktails and Vermont beer Onstage entertainment to creative and highly seasonal on tap. It’s rustic charm finely include drag performers, cuisine, as well as a cozy pub done—like their burger dancers, comedy, poetry and and 15 acres of gardens & topped with foie gras. burlesque, while the park is wooded trails. 4000 Mountain Road, Stowe, filled with fabulous vendors 48 Lower Waterford Road, Lower with info, activities and food Waterford, for all. September 8, Battery VT08 Stay in Stowe.The Golden Park, Burlington. PLACES Eagle Resort offers both residential-style rooms and TO STAY cabin rentals. This gayVT07 Lodge in luxury.According to friendly Stowe favorite is WHAT TO the Zagat survey, the Rabbit popular not only because of Hill Inn “may be the most EAT AND its incredible location for romantic place on the DRINK nature outdoors planet.” It ranks #27 of the VT05 Dine at a mainstay.Leunig’s enthusiasts—skiing, sure, but Top 100 Hotels in the World Bistro and Lounge is one of year-round hiking and biking by Travel+Leisure Magazine. the oldest, continually trails—but also for its Dating back a couple operating restaurants in creature comforts, including hundred years, this Vermont downtown Burlington A a heated outdoor pool, hot bed and breakfast inn is a French bistro & bar, serving tub, cedar sauna and comfy peaceful, luxurious and lunch, brunch and dinner, it is beds with crisp linens. With surprisingly affordable located in the Church Street its great mountain views, its destination. Featuring 19 Marketplace on the corner of not a bad spot to just hang guestrooms and suites, most Church and College streets. out and enjoy nature in a with gas fireplaces, many Offering spectacular seasonal more relaxed state too! with double spa baths, menus and live music, they, 511 private porches and are dedicated to great food, Mountain Road, Stowe mountain views, Rabbit Hill great times and giving back Inn bills itself as “a paradise to their community. for the senses, a vacation for 115 Church Street, Burlington, the soul.” You might want to 802-863-3759

SEP | OCT 2019 | 71

CULTURE Performance Art STORY Loren King

Fun, Fierce and Flamboyant Taylor Mac brings landmark ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music’ to New England Even among Broadway’s most creative and celebrated, Taylor Mac is an original. At this year’s Tony Awards, there he was, flamboyant, decked out in high drag as Mac introduced a scene from “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” which was nominated for seven Tonys including best play. Even in this ultra queer-friendly


setting, Mac—who uses “judy” (lowercase) as a gender pronoun in homage to Garland and queer legacy—was “the oddest-looking person. Two others were done up in fabulous outfits but it was very tailored, couture. I was definitely the oddball.” That oddball-ness has long distinguished Mac’s career as playwright, actor,

singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Besides the Tony nomination for “Gary,” Mac was a 2017 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” an epic work that chronicles the hidden history of America through a decadeby-decade selection of songs ranging from murder ballads to disco to protest anthems. The complete, 24-hour version of the show premiered in 2016 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. Now, Mac and musical collaborator Matt Ray and costume designer Machine Dazzle bring a two-hour version of the landmark musical odyssey to area audiences. Even in scaled down form, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” is fun, fierce and flamboyant but also incisive and immersive. “I always said I’m the Bob Hope of drag trying to inspire the troops to engage,” says Mac over the phone from his home in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, where he lives when he’s not in New York. “US history is so much about politics that the show contextually becomes a political show. I didn’t set out to make a political show, but our history sort of dictates that’s what it is. I think it’s the job of a theater artist to get audiences to start digging and look for the connection with each other and the collaboration with each other to overcome the horrors of our world, and there are horrible things right now: we have children in concentration camps. It’s never good to shame people into doing things; my hope is to inspire people to become active.” Mac performs “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)” in Providence, Rhode Island (September 14, Veterans Memorial Auditorium); Worcester (September 16, Fenwick Theatre), Portland, Maine (September 19, State Theater), and Middletown, Connecticut (September 21, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University). Mac will be joined onstage by costume designer Machine Dazzle and a band led by musical director Matt Ray. The idea for the show grew from California native Mac’s research of US history. “I grew up in a school system that wasn’t very good; it had the third highest illiteracy rate in the country, so I feel like I’ve been playing catch up with my education. As a theater artist, if there is a problem in your life, you can make a show about it so you can correct it. I didn’t know a lot about US history, so I made a show about it.

“The idea was how communities are built, sometimes as a result of being torn apart. This is something that happened throughout history. So I thought, ‘what’s the best form to support that [theme]?’ The goal of a popular song is to reach the people and rally them to a cause, or to get them to mourn together or celebrate together. So popular song became the form I needed to tell the story of people building themselves up. … My organizing principle for the shorter show is songs of resistance, so I chose a bunch of songs that were written with that intention.” Mac, who performed at the American Repertory Theater in 2012 with “The Lily’s Revenge” and in 2015 with “The Last Two People on Earth” with Mandy Patinkin, says that “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” is more political than “Gary,” which, though it has topical themes, is more personal. “I was in a hotel room flipping channels and I saw 10 dead women in, like, 10 minutes, from ‘CSI’ to ‘Game of Thrones’ … This is how we tell stories; we sensationalize violence and victimize women for entertainment,” says Mac. “And my mom

“ I was in a hotel room flipping channels and I saw 10 dead women in, like, 10 minutes, from ‘CSI’ to ‘Game of Thrones’ … This is how we tell stories; we sensationalize violence and victimize women for entertainment. ” Taylor Mac was dying and it was disturbing, so I put it in the play. ‘Titus Andronicus’ is one of the more sensationalized, violent plays in the entire English-speaking canon.” Mac wondered how to address violence without perpetuating it. The play’s focus

became “the cleaners, the people who clean up the mess, not those who cause the mess.” Mac wanted to play “Gary” and still hopes to do so in future productions. But when the play opened cold on Broadway, it needed a marquee name so Nathan Lane was cast. “Even with Nathan and seven Tony nominations, we still closed a month early. It was a tricky show to sell on Broadway,” says Mac. “I was proud of it. It was unlike anything I’ve seen on Broadway.” Area audiences are likely to say the same about “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” which showcases Mac’s unique presence but draws the crowd into the fun—and the message, which includes the importance of “being in the room with each other and present with each other because we’re so wrapped up in the 24-hour news cycle and our need to survive economically and all of that,” says Mac, “that sometimes we just stop hanging out with each other.” [x]

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CULTURE Visual Art STORY Loren King

Spread Your Wings

Iris Apfel. PHOTO Willamain Somma/ courtesy Peabody Essex Museum Dress by Alexander McQueen. PHOTO courtesy PEM Manolo Blahnik boots. PHOTO courtesy PEM

PEM’s new Fashion and Design Gallery invites audiences to inspiration and self-expression The installations in the Fashion and Design Gallery, which will take up the entire 5,000 square foot third floor of the Peabody Essex Museum’s (PEM) brand new wing (opening September 28), is an invitation for visitors to express themselves. From their fashion style, to their furniture to their entire environment, the exhibits will challenge the way viewers think about design. If that sounds ambitious, it is. The new gallery will have beautiful objects from the museum’s extensive collections of furniture, paintings, fashions and artifacts that will rotate over time. But it will also be a space for ideas and engagement. Visitors can ogle and admire the art and objects but the goal is to bring viewers into


the center of the experience so they can connect design to their own lives. “Our idea is to enable people to see themselves as designers; to see that design can be everything from landscaping to crafting a meal to setting a table to urban planning,” says Petra Slinkard, PEM’s first curator of fashion and textiles. “We want to blow up this idea of ‘what is design’ to really see how it touches every aspect of our lives. [The aim of the exhibits is] not to dictate what design is. We are proposing: here are ways that design can be.” The Fashion and Design Gallery is one of many highlights as PEM’s much anticipated 40,000 square foot, $125 million expansion opens to the public on September 28. Visitors will be able to wander

through the new atrium, grounds and gardens and the new gallery spaces hosting some 13 new exhibitions and collectionbased art experiences at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on that date, complete with live music and free admission. (PEM members will get a sneak peek of the renovated space on Sept. 26 and 27.) It is the eighth expansion in the PEM’s history, bringing the museums footprint up to more than 100,000 square feet and make it one of the largest art museums in North America. The exhibits in the Design and Fashion Gallery aim to stimulate ideas and connect viewers to capital D design. If ever there was a figure that understood how to use design and fashion as expressions of identity, it’s Iris Apfel. Now 97, the

New York fashion icon is known for her inventive mixing of haute couture with costume jewelry to create a singular style. In 2010, PEM hosted the exhibit “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel,” which showcased more than 80 ensembles from Apfel’s personal collections. Apfel was so impressed with PEM that she bequeathed to the museum more than 600 pieces of clothing and accessories by world-famous designers, an eclectic collection that she has amassed over more than five decades. Apfel’s PEM collection will figure prominently in the fashion section of the new installations. Visitors will see 15 rotating ensembles on display. “It not just about the clothes,” says Slinkard. The exhibit will invite viewers to entertain the idea that “design and fashion can be your life. [Apfel] created head to toe magnificent ensembles,” she says, which often made use of old world textiles. She also understood that interior design, with great attention to small details, created an inclusive environment. The exhibit will also display for the first time the clothing

bright ideas begin at lucía

of Apfel’s husband of 67 years, Carl Apfel, who died on August 1, 2015 at age 100. Apfel’s sensibility meshes with the gallery’s mission to show “that we design for ourselves,” notes Slinkard. “How do we get people to feel empowered and extend the sense of inspiration that people got when the first saw ‘Rare Bird of Fashion’ when they thought, ‘let me revaluate my wardrobe to see what fits with my self-expression.’” Besides Apfel’s fashions, viewers will see five more thematic sections in the new gallery. There’s one that houses PEM’s intricately hand-carved 1875 Chinese Moon Bed, an highlight of PEM’s collection that will be juxtaposed with domestic furnishings such as American made quilts and domestic textiles, pairing an extravagant domestic piece with utilitarian, but no less beautiful, ones. Another section will host contemporary wood and glass; and another will feature furniture. In keeping with its mission to use design as a way to engage visitors, the gallery also hosts a section of rotating exhibits

dedicated to “Hot Topics” that will connect visitors to various issues and themes. Current “Hot Topics” include “Power and Empowerment,” an exhibit that includes a military outfit from the War of 1812 that was worn by a Salem resident and other clothing and artifacts that will invite visitors to examine what it means to dress to feel empowered. Other exhibits will focus on contemporary issues such as cultural appropriation and body modification. The aim of the “Hot Topics” section is to begin with the personal then open up to larger social and cultural commentary. In many ways, that’s the goal of all the exhibits in the new gallery wing. It also means that the ideas and concepts for all the exhibits will keep evolving, says Slinkard. “This is meant to be an experience that will grow and adjust as topics come to light,” she says. “We hope to address those as our collection continues to grow and define itself.” [x]


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CULTURE Festival STORY Loren King

Artists and Rebels Stage legend Everett Quinton returns to Provincetown’s Tennessee Williams Festival that keep Williams, who died in 1983, very much alive. “Back in the day when we were bad kids, Charles [Ludlam] and I got shit-faced and we were supposed to have breakfast with Tennessee Williams the next day. We were 45 minutes late and he was furious, as he should have been. But he calmed down and we had a lovely time,” says Quinton, a longtime member of Ludlam’s legendary Ridiculous Theater Company in New York City and his partner until Ludlam died in 1987 at 44. “We started drinking again and Charles said he wanted to play Blanche. I think Williams was flirting with me. He said to Charles, ‘I will not allow you to make a

Marcel Meyer[CENTER] and Everett Quinton [RIGHT] in rehearsal. PHOTO Ride Hamilton travesty of Blanche.’ Then he pointed to me and said, ‘But you could play her.’” Quinton never did play her (“Blanche is too scary. I don’t have the chops,” he says), but he has starred in Williams’ plays in Provincetown starting with “And Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws” in 2011, his first ever visit to Provincetown. He directed Regina Bartkoff and Charlie Schick in the two-person “In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel” in 2016. The following year, which paired Williams and Shakespeare, Quinton was among the all-star cast for “Antony and Cleopatra” along with Marcel Meyer.

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Through new interpretations of his plays and by pairing him with notable literary masters spanning continents and time periods, the annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, running September 26–29, keeps the great American playwright in his rightful place at the literary and theatrical center. That continuity is also provided by the diverse group of theater artists who gather to celebrate the continued relevance of Williams’ famous and more obscure works. Many have had close ties to productions of his plays around the globe for years. Some, like festival veteran Everett Quinton who stars in this year’s production of “The Night of the Iguana,” even have personal stories


Tennessee Williams Yukio Mishima


“The Night of the Iguana,” which premiered on Broadway in 1961, is part of this season’s pairing of Williams and Yukio Mishima, one Japan’s most celebrated authors who died by suicide in 1970. Mishima’s “Confessions of a Mask,” his semi-autobiographical account of a young homosexual who must hide behind a mask in order to fit into society, made him a literary sensation at age 24. Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s, according to festival’s web site. “The Night of the Iguana,” which will be staged at the Provincetown Theater, is set at a hotel at the edge of a Mexican cliff

overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The hotel becomes a sanctuary for the defrocked Reverend Shannon (Meyer) who is tormented by his loss of faith. Quinton plays Nonno, a 97-year-old grandfather and “the world’s oldest living and practicing poet” who is cared for by the self-described New England spinster and traveling artist Hannah Jelkes. The play will be directed by Fred Abrahamse who with Meyer heads the Cape Town, South Africa-based Abrahamse and Meyer Productions, a company that has become a fixture at the Williams festival. This season, Abrahamse and Meyer Productions will also stage Mishima’s “The Lady Aoi.” Quinton says that since Nonno “doesn’t have much dialogue to hide in,” he’s doing research to “find out who he is.” “I was a young queer in the pre-Stonewall days,” he says. “Queers have had it worse because what we have been denied is access to God. We’ve been told God hated us and we’d pay for this. I think that’s what he’s relating to [with Shannon]. The Williams festival was launched in 2006 with the mission not just to

celebrate Williams’ connection to Cape Cod but also his evolving international importance and his avant-garde spirit. No one embodied the avant-garde sprit more than Ludlam, who founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in 1967 and staged numerous campy, farcical and very gay shows during the heyday of New York’s downtown scene. Quinton continues that subversive spirit: just this past June, he directed and starred in Ludlam’s 1983 play “Galas: A Modern Tragedy” on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. During his 2017 visit to Provincetown for the Williams festival, Quinton had on his mind the revival of another Ludlam classic when he stumbled across Marine Specialties, one of Commercial Street’s unique and popular shops. “I was doing Charles Ludlam’s ‘Conquest of the Universe’ [‘or When Queens Collide’], which has a dance of the fire women. [In Marine Specialties] I found four red, velvet-like fireman hats and I snapped them up for the play.” [x]

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CULTURE Stage STORY Loren King Maurice Emmanuel Parent. PHOTO Nael Nacker

The Boys in the Choir Young gay black men take center stage in ‘Choir Boy,’ Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play with music When Maurice Emmanuel Parent was starring in the 2017 Actors’ Shakespeare Project production of “Edward II,” he spent a lot of time watching “Moonlight,” the Oscar-winning film that Barry Jenkins adapted from Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play. It helped Parent get into his character of a gay king whose “friend” Gaveston returns to court after a long exile imposed by Edward’s late father. “Before the show, I’d watch a two- to three-minute clip of the scene in the diner when there was so much [that the two men] wanted to say, but that wasn’t said,” recalls Parent whose performance as Edward II earned him the Elliot Norton Award as best actor.

Fast forward two years and Parent is again absorbed in McCraney’s work, this time “Choir Boy,” McCraney’s 2019 Tony nominee for best play. Parent will direct SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of “Choir Boy,” a play with music, running September 13 to October 12. “Choir Boy,” like “Moonlight,” is a coming of age story that centers on a sensitive young gay black man trying to reconcile his identity with his community. Pharus Young (played by Isaiah Reynolds) is a student at the elite Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, an august institution committed to building “strong, ethical black men.” As he enters his senior year, Pharus is eager to lead the school’s prestigious choir.


But not everyone appreciates a “sissy,” as his rival, the bully Bobby Marrow (Malik Mitchell) calls him, being named choir leader. SpeakEasy’s artistic director Paul Daigneault tapped Parent, who earned raves for his role in SpeakEasy’s acclaimed 2016 production of “The Scottsboro Boys,” to direct the show. Parent made his directing debut last year with the Lyric Stage’s “Breath and Imagination,” another play with music starred Davron S. Monroe as Roland Hayes, one of the first world-renowned AfricanAmerican classical vocalists. Parent jumped at the chance to tell a story about young queer men of color, particularly an effeminate boy. “As a black queer man, there is a commonality of experience in ‘Choir Boy’ that I saw as soon as I read [the script] and started thinking about what I could bring as a director,” he says. “Maybe this isn’t PC, but one thing I love about Pharus is that he’s unapologetically effeminate. He’s a strong character because if it. Often gay culture [emphasizes] butch, ‘straight acting,’ all this

nonsense.” In the play, the choir offers Pharus “a place where he can be his full self,” says Parent. But other messages from the school and the church are less affirming. “This experience [in the play] is specific to cisgender black gay men,” he says. But the idea of not being accepted even in the “spaces that are supposed to be safe, supposed to be home—schools, churches, community centers, barbershops—where you are no longer a minority” is universal. “If you are outside of the expected norm of what a ‘black man’ is as set by gatekeepers, then you are not at home where you are supposed to be home. So you try to hide to fit in. Many gay men felt at home in the music of the church,” says Parent, even if the “gatekeepers” were unwelcoming. “Pharus understands the spirituals on such a deeper level” because of who he is, which is one of the show’s subtle and powerful themes that Parent hopes to explore. Parent has indirect experience with the some of the issues raised in the play about the often-contradictory messages within black churches. “I lived in a very black community in a suburb of Washington, DC. I didn’t know I was a minority until I was an undergraduate in Pittsburgh,” Parent says. “I was raised Catholic, but my grandmother belonged to an AME church and was very religious. Every month, I’d leave the Catholic

Maurice Emmanuel Parent. PHOTO Nile Scott Studios

“ Maybe this isn’t PC, but one thing

I love about Pharus is that he’s unapologetically effeminate. He’s a strong character because if it. Often gay culture [emphasizes] butch, ‘straight acting,’ all this nonsense.” Maurice Emmanuel Parent

church and go [to her church]. I did notice that the preacher might [lecture] about the ills of homosexuality, then I’d look in the choir and see [obvious gay men].” Parent is delighted that David Coleman is music director for “Choir Boy.” “I didn’t grow up in the church, so I said, ‘We need David Coleman.’ He is connected to and knows the music so well.” “Choir Boy” reunites Parent with Reynolds, his castmate from “The Scottsboro Boys,” and Richard Snee, a fellow member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, who plays Mr. Pendleton. The other young actors—Jaimar Brown, Antione Gray, Dwayne P. Mitchell, Aaron Patterson, Thomas

Purvis, Nigel Richards and J. Jerome Rogers as the headmaster—joined the show after an extensive audition process. “There is lots of music and dancing; it was a tough show to cast. We were specific with all the roles; all eight boys had to sing, dance and act,” says Parent. “I love how the play is expressly modern,” he adds. “The [time frame] is ‘last year,’ but a lot of the sensibilities are old, the morality of characters is straight out of the ’50s,” he says. “As far as the queer community has advanced, others have regressed…queer kids of color are under systems of oppression that are rooted in old thinking.” [x]

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CULTURE Books STORY Loren King

To Tell the Truth William Dameron’s memoir ‘The Lie’ explores coming out later in life When William Dameron “burst out of the closet” at age 43, he not only discovered his true self, he also found a memoir. “I wanted to be a writer but nothing sounded authentic,” Dameron says of the years before he finally ended his marriage to his college sweetheart and began to live openly as a gay man. But coming out after decades of being “a man in hiding,” as he writes in his memoir, brought with it “a burst of creative energy.” Dameron, who lives in Brighton with his husband, Paul, and works for an economic consulting firm in Boston, started a blog about his life and his journey that led to personal essays published by the Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and Salon, among others. When his essay, “After 264 Haircuts, a Marriage Ends,” appeared in the popular “Modern Love” column of The New York

Times in 2017, it drew the interest of a literary agent who encouraged Dameron to shape the book he’d been working on since 2013 into a memoir that would interest publishers. “It was timing and luck,” Dameron says. “I felt like there wasn’t a book like this in the world.” In “The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out,” published in July by Little A (New York), Dameron details with unflinching honesty his struggle to come to terms with his gayness. He grew up Catholic in North Carolina with an absent father and a homophobic mother. Following the example of his older brother, Dameron married at 20 and soon became the father of two daughters. The family moved to Franklin, Massachusetts, and Dameron lived the respectable life

William Dameron of a middle-class suburban husband and father. He writes lovingly of his children and the fear that he’d lose their love and support if he acknowledged the sexuality that he’d acted on only once, very briefly, at age 19 when he visited his lesbian aunt Sheila in Central City, Colorado in 1982. In that moving chapter, Dameron writes of hanging out at a small-town gay bar with Shelia and of kissing a man for the first time. But that brief taste of freedom

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soured as soon as he returned home. “I couldn’t be who I was without Sheila, and the ocean of space between us swept us apart. I returned to the closet, and Sheila returned to the bottle. Neither of us was strong enough to maintain the path we cut together along Clear Creek,” he writes. At the urging of his agent and editor, Dameron says he dug deeper into the past and into the motivations for his sometimes-unheroic actions. He writes about embarrassing things, such as the period of time when he was working out frantically

and injecting himself with steroids in a desperate attempt to change who he was. He writes honestly about how much he hurt his wife when he finally admitted, to her and to himself, that he was gay. But digging deeper into the writing process was not for therapy, which he’d already done, but to create a better memoir. “I wanted to be truthful but I wanted a story that was entertaining and enlightening,” he says. “I wanted it to read like a novel; to craft it in a way that it could be accessible.” By the time Dameron came out and met Paul, the father of three, his mother had evolved and was far more accepting. Dameron knew the early chapters that recount the trauma of his childhood would be difficult for her to read. “I put off sending it to her,” he says. When she did read it, she told her son, “‘I know you so much better now and I love you even more,’” he recounts. Dameron dedicated “The Lie” to his mother and to Paul, an engineer whom he met through an online dating site in 2007. They were married nine years ago. Coming out later in life and all the issues it entails, from loneliness to finding and

holding onto the gay social network that became his lifeline, is the core of “The Lie.” But, Dameron says, publishers were most interested in the very contemporary topic of catfishing. After he’d come out, Dameron discovered that his photo and identity was being used on dating sites around the world; many women, and a few men, contacted him believing him to be someone else that they’d been duped into falling for. “It was the universe’s poetic response or perhaps a cosmic joke. For most of my life, I had pretended to be someone I was not, and now I had become the one others pretended to be,” he writes. Once the catfishing became the “hook,” Dameron did a major rewrite. Publishers responded to the “contemporary spin” and began to see “The Lie” as more than “just another coming out story.” Yet, for LGBT readers, Dameron’s story is a reminder that no two coming out experiences are the same and that everyone has to travel their own journey to it. “Coming out later, we feel a stigma and shame, as if we hid until [being gay] was ‘acceptable,’” says Dameron. “It’s never too late to become your true self.” [x]

Sunday, October 20 OR

Sunday, November 3


Calendar Shura

Armed with wistful synth-pop melodies and hook-laden choruses that are melancholy yet hopeful, UK-based singer Shura has emerged as a standout among next-generation LGBTQ musicians. Her talent and authenticity were readily apparent on her 2016 debut album, “Nothing’s Real.” Now the out lesbian performer is on tour to support her new follow-up record, “Forevher.” (That’s not a misspelling.) The album was largely inspired by her long-distance relationship with her girlfriend, and includes singles like “The Stage,” an ode to the pair’s first date at a concert, and “Religion (U Can Lay Your Hands On Me)”—a disco-lite ditty that compares queer love to spiritual ecstasy. WHEN



Tuesday, October 22

Brighton Music Hall, Boston

ticketmaster. com

RuPaul’s Drag Race: ‘Werq the World’ Tour Once upon a time, a humble little reality show about drag queens launched a bona fide cultural phenomenon, turning gender-bending artists—previously relegated to dingy dives and queer cabarets—into mainstream celebrities of galactic proportions. See a full constellation of such stars at “Werq the World,” a city-hopping tour that will feature season winners like Aquaria, Monét X Change, and Violet Chachki, plus fan favorites like Detox, Kim Chi, and Naomi Smalls. (Specific lineups vary by location.) “Drag Race” judge Michelle Visage hosts, and guarantees a stiletto-stomping evening of fierce fun and lively lip syncs. WHEN



Tuesday, October 22 (Foxwoods); Tuesday, October 29 (Boston)

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket CT; Wang Theatre, Boston

ticketmaster. com

Spookybear 2019 Hairy but not-so-scary times await at this annual Provincetown gathering spearheaded by the Northeast Ursamen, an organization for the region’s bear community. Spookybear, held the weekend of Halloween, is a fun, frisky, and festive lineup of events that typically includes club nights, costume parties, bear dune tours and a boisterous farewell brunch. And even if you don’t typically count yourself among the Ursamen, Spookybear generally attracts a pack of cubs, otters and other admirers of the hot and hirsute to swarm P-Town’s party scene one last time before autumn ends. The only horror would be to miss it.



Thursday–Sunday, October 31–November 3 WHERE

All over Provincetown HOW

Pride New Haven Connecticut’s second-largest city knows how to throw a premier Pride event, and this year’s installment will be no exception. The week-long series of events generally includes a Mr. and Miss Gay New Haven pageant (produced by local legend Sylvia Heart), a vendor-packed block party with DJs and live performers, drag shows, and other exciting events. Celebrate 21 years of city-wide queer visibility with a fun-filled lineup offering something for everyone in bright-shining rainbow.

Bad Bunny He may not identify as queer, but Bad Bunny (AKA Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) has certainly acquired a big LGTBQ fan base for his gender-fluid style and outspoken activism within the machismo-heavy subgenres of Spanish-language hip-hop. The 25-year-old Puerto Rico native, often seen with his fingernails painted in neon colors—or rocking flamboyant, femme-leaning fashions—recently shared his thoughts on music-as-activism with “GQ” magazine: “I think it’s my responsibility, as a person of influence—not just as an artist but as a person—to sometimes try to do what I can.” Hop over to a concert and see what all the buzz is about. WHEN



Friday, October 25 (Boston); Saturday, October 26 (Bridgeport)

Agganis Arena, Boston; Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT

ticketmaster. com




Sunday–Sunday, September 15–22

All over New Haven, CT

Taylor Mac: ‘A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC (ABRIDGED)’ Acclaimed NYC-based performance artist Taylor Mac has performed on Broadway, been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama— and over the course of a career, used elements of commedia dell’arte, camp drag, and contemporary cabaret to chart a truly unique course. Garbed in surreal, Elizabethan-inspired fashions from collaborator and costume designer Machine Dazzle, Mac will make quite an impression during this live musical odyssey covering everything from “murder ballads to disco” as the performer explores “the ways in which communities build themselves because they are being torn apart.” WHEN



Saturday, September 14

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence

SEP | OCT 2019 | 83

Dan Savage’s Hump! Film Festival The world of professional pornography can be pretty problematic: Misogyny, unrealistic body standards, and of course, heterosexism run rampant. Enter: Hump! Film Festival, the creation of legendary gay author and sex columnist Dan Savage. Now in its 14th year, the series allows amateur filmmakers to screen short flicks (sub-five minutes) that spotlight their own unique idea of sexiness—covering true diversity when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, color, shape, and yes, kink. This year’s flicks include Best in Show winner “Around the World in 80 Lays,” a globe-trotting journey about the joy of sex. WHEN

September 6–7 (Burlington); September 14–15 (Portland)



Roxy Cinema, Burlington, VT; Space Gallery, Portland, ME

The Back Room


DJs Chris Ewen and Scott Heim have opened the door to a whole new LGBTQ dance party, set just steps from the former site of the late, great Manray nightclub—where Ewen’s sets were a longtime staple. The Back Room is a just-launched series that takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month, and it breaks out of the top-40 box: If you’re looking for “post-alternative boypop,” “subliminal techno antihistamines,” and “sleazy industrial deathdisco ghost-anthems,” this is the hip, sexily subversive night for you.

10:30 p.m.–2 a.m., Saturdays, September 28 and October 26; fourth Fridays thereafter WHERE

Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, Cambridge HOW

$12 at the door




Pride Vermont Parade and Festival Bianca Del Rio: ‘It’s Jester Joke’ In a world where even drag queens are cleaning up their acts to avoid being pegged as offensive, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bianca Del Rio remains a rare performer who clearly eschews PC culture. And you know what? There’s still a big audience for her brand of no-holds-barred humor: Del Rio’s new tour, “It’s Jester Joke,” is the largest solo drag show tour in North American history, and will make her the first queen to headline NYC’s iconic Carnegie Hall. Catch the side-splitting and unfiltered wisecracker when she swings through New England. WHEN


Sept. 30 (Portland); State Theatre, Portland, ME; Veterans Memorial Oct. 3 (Providence); Auditorium, Providence; Shubert Theatre, Oct. 4 (Boston), Oct. 5 Boston; Bushnell Belding Theater, Hartfort, CT (Hartford)


Head to the Green Mountain State’s biggest city, Burlington, to celebrate Pride Vermont. This year the annual celebration will include a colorful parade from Church Street to Battery Park, site of the exciting festival filled with LGBTQ vendors and live entertainment, from drag and burlesque to stand-up comedy. The 2019 theme is “Proud Legacy, Powerful Future: 50 Years of Resistance,” a nod to the half-century anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—as well as the 30-year anniversary of Outright Youth, an offshoot of the LGBTQ youth organization Outright Vermont, whose founders will be honored as grand marshals. WHEN



Sunday, September 8

Downtown Burlington VT


1360 W O R C E S T E R S T, N A T I C K, M A V E R V E H O T E L N A T I C K.C O M

T O L E A R N M O R E, C A L L 508-653-8800, A S K F O R S A L E S. D ISTIN C TIV E H OSP ITAL ITY G ROUP ®

SCENE Sports PHOTOS Steve Lord

Board member Pam Feingold with teammates

Drive for Victory


Cape Club | Sharon, Mass. | June 17, 2019

Victory Programs’ annual charity golf tournament continues a tradition of defying unpredictable New England weather patterns to play on a perfect day. This year, the fundraiser attracted more than 120 people, raising nearly $60,000, to the gorgeous greenways at the Cape Club of Sharon. Drive for Victory is a scramble style tournament over 18 holes featuring prizes for “Most Accurate Drive,” “Closest to the Pin,” and the top three scoring teams. Proceeds from the event help Victory Programs open the door for recovery, community and hope across 19 housing, prevention and recovery programs in the Greater Boston area.

First Place Winners Mark Dromgoole, Tom Dromgoole, John Murphy and Tom Sodergren Title sponsors Jess and Chris Maguire and friends

Second Place Winners Ben Gredler, Will Horn, Ashten Petry and Bill Whitney

Third place winners Bill Griffin, Reic Letson, Angelo Theofilopoulos and Bill Theofilopoulos

Director of Facilities John O’Conner, VPI staff

Event committee members Phil Paul and John Fernandes Board member and event committee member Elizabeth Dugan with husband, Jack Moran, and Dave Wagner and Carolyn Dipesa


SCENE Fête PHOTOS Susan Symonds,

GLAD Summer Party

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum | Provincetown | July 27, 2019

Over 700 people gathered for GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)’s 38th annual Summer Party in Provincetown, hosted by celebrity emcee and auctioneer Varla Jean Merman. GLAD honored community activist, author, actor, political humorist and emcee/ auctioneer extraordinaire Kate Clinton for her decades-long contributions to the fight for LGBTQ equality. “Among the unalienable rights laid out in the Declaration of Independence, there is ‘life,’ there is ‘liberty’ but there is also the too oft-forgotten ‘pursuit of happiness,’” Clinton said in her acceptance. “Every coming out is, in essence, our pursuit of happiness. It is very courageous. It is what makes us so powerful and so dangerous.”

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SCENE Benefit PHOTOS Evgenia Eliseeva

CRI Summer Party The Red Inn | Provincetown | July 20, 2019

Boston-based Community Research Initiative reprised one of the summer’s most fun feel-good events with its 16th annual Summer Party in Provincetown. And once again, The Red Inn hosted with plenty of great food, drinks, friends, special guests and surprises, raising funds for CRI’s livesaving HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C clinical research. Recognizing the great work of Chris Casale, CRI presented Casle, Outer Cape Health Services’ director of pharmacy services and operations and Provincetown Health Center site director, with the 2019 Dr. Cal Cohen Founder’s Award.


SCENE Pride PHOTOS Judy Beedle Photography |

Portland Pride Portland, MA | June 15, 2019

The biggest celebration of the 10 Days of Pride festivites in Portland, Maine, the Portland Pride Parade brings thousands of people to march through the streets and celebrate together in Deering Oaks Partk. This year’s theme, “Resist, Remember, Rejoice,” honored the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, celebrated the acheivements of the LGBTQ+ movement, remembered a shared history, raised awareness of the ongoing struggle and fostered an environment of inclusivity, accessibility and solidarity.


SCENE Pride PHOTOS Courtesy Rhode Island Pride



Rhode Island Pride





Providence | June 15, 2019

There’s nothing like Rhode Island PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parde, and the crowds made sure this year’s was even bigger and better than ever. With over 200 vendors in the marketplace, social resource organizations, food trucks, Hasbro Kid’s Zone, live entertainment plus the beer, wine and spirits garden. 5




[1] PHOTO John_O’Leary [2]  PHOTO Jillian


Salerno Davison

[6] PHOTO Joy Adamonis

[3] PHOTO Alexia_Heroux

[7] PHOTO Chad_Schmitz

[4] PHOTO Laudy

[8] PHOTO Kah’Reem



[5] PHOTO Deyanira

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SCENE Pride PHOTOS Courtesy North Shore Pride

North Shore Pride Salem Common | Salem, MA | June 23, 2019

The seventh annual North Shore Pride Parade and Festival featured Grand Marshall Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) and Festival Emcee Angie C. Shaw (Boston Classic Rock 100.7 WZKX radio) for its most fun-filled event to date. The afternoon included performances by hip hop funk band Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket, local country artist Annie Probst, singer-songwriter Jme Redd, drag entertainer and singer Qya Cristál and the rhythm and blues dance group Vinyl Groove.


SCENE Scholarship PHOTOS Courtesy Point Foundation

Boston Cornerstone Event More Than Words | Boston | May 9, 2019

At the 2019 Point Foundation Boston Cornerstone Event, John Hancock announced their funding of a student scholarship as part of the Point Community College Program. The Community College Scholarship inspires LGBTQ community college students to fulfill their ambitions of attending a four-year college or university, giving them an opportunity that may otherwise not be afforded to them. This scholarship is a great extension of John Hancock’s values, mission and work because it will benefit a student studying finance, technology, marketing or communications. “Knowing that there are people who are willing to support and guide young LGBTQ+ members of society has added passion and drive that I plan on using to pursue my dreams of empowering queer individuals, especially within the corporate world,” said 2019 scholarship recipient Luis Verbera.

Your care, your community. Fenway Health is your one-stop shop for high quality individual needs, and our team of providers has a long history of caring for the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and all people in our neighborhoods. FAMILY MEDICAL CARE 1340 Boylston Street - Fenway 142 Berkeley Street - South End TEEN & ADOLESCENT CARE 75 Kneeland Street - Downtown


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SCENE Pride PHOTOS Courtesy Cape Cod Pride (Charles Evans, Jonathan Finn and Sue Wilson)

Cape Cod Pride Village Green | Hyannis | June 22, 2019

“Honoring Our Past, Uniting for Our Future” was the them of the fourth annual Cape Cod Pride Festival, and over 1,100 people came out to celebrate with food and fun, speakers and games, a group dance to “We Are Family” and grooving to Funktapuss, plenty of sunshine and even a pair of rainy downpours that couldn’t supress the joy.


SCENE Networking PHOTOS Courtesy Cambridge Savings Bank

LGBTQ Professionals Networking Night


MIT Media Lab | Cambridge | June 25, 2019

Over 150 professionals from the Cambridge area and beyond celebrated the end of Pride Month with networking, appetizers, drinks and a beer tasting provided by Shipyard Brewing Company at the second annual LGBTQ Professionals Networking Night at the spectacular MIT Media Lab, hosted by Cambridge Savings Bank. Event sponsors included MIT, Boston Spirit Magazine, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge Office for Tourism and Shipyard Brewing Company. Cambridge Savings Bank would like to thank all their community partners and everyone who attended this amazing event. INFO@MOCHADJ.COM

CODA Stage Scott Kearnan Billy Porter

What I require and what I demand is respect for my humanity—as I respect yours. That’s the only conversation I’m interested in having. We cannot move forward, we cannot heal, until that happens across the board. Period. With everything, and everybody. [SPIRIT] With all the division in the world right now, does it give you any hope that a show like “Pose,” about queer people of color, is clearly still connecting with a mass audience?

Break on Through

our communities. Artists have always been at the forefront of change. James Baldwin said it’s an artist’s job to disturb the peace—and I take my job very seriously.

Billy Porter becomes first gay black man with Emmy nomination for dramatic lead

[SPIRIT] I noticed that you say the show is about people who love each other “through” their differences. Not “in spite of” their differences. Was that intentional?

Billy Porter’s reign is long overdue. From the moment he strutted across the stage in “Kinky Boots,” originating the now queer-canon role of Lola the drag queen, we’ve wondered when the vital theater veteran would see his stardom explode. Now it has with “Pose,” the FX network’s hit (and breakthrough) TV show about the LGBTQ ballroom culture scene of 1980s NYC. For his portrayal of ballroom emcee Pray Tell, Porter became the first openly gay Black man to receive an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Whether he’s using the red carpet as a platform for gendernonconforming couture, or candidly speaking his mind on politics and identity, Porter is a statesman for the new queer Hollywood. Now he’s

intentionality to that. Our language needs to change, in terms of how we communicate with each other and how we dissect the issues that we’re vibrating in right now. We love people through their pain. Not “in spite of”—that’s a different kind of thing for me. I love you through it, because there’s a level of respect for your humanity to start with. You start with a respect for someone’s humanity, and then you can love them through it. You know, I’ve been talking a lot about LGBTQ activism, and one thing I’m vehement about right now is the language surrounding “acceptance” and “tolerance.” Those terms intimate that I need validation from something other than myself. I don’t need anybody’s tolerance. I don’t need anybody’s acceptance.

collaborated with Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company to direct the world premiere of “The Purists” (Aug. 30— Sept. 29 at BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion), a play about a group of stoop-sitting neighbors in Queens who fight over music but “choose to love each other through their differences,” says Porter. “I think that’s a very important message today.” [SPIRIT] Why is the “The Purists” the story you want to tell right now? [PORTER] It’s a story about people from different walks of life—seemingly the type of people who wouldn’t get along with each other—choosing to honor one another’s humanity and, at the end of the day, get along and be present. We need to see what that looks like these days, because there’s a lot of hate running rampant and infesting our culture and


[PORTER] Yes. There is an

[PORTER] Yeah, I think that this is actually when art and artists of all ilk make our best work. This is when we emerge, because there’s something to talk about. There’s a real energy surrounding growth that’s necessary. These are the times when the best art is made. It’s not surprising to me that we’re in this wonderland of LGBTQ material. Because we need it. [SPIRIT] What’s a story you still want to tell? [PORTER] As a Black man, and as a Black Christian man that grew up in the Pentecostal church. I’m really interested in cracking open the conversation that exists in our culture in terms of religion and the LGBTQ community. We’re not having that conversation. It’s time to have it out loud, in the forefront, and duke it out. Because none of us are free until we’re all free. I’m not asking you to believe what I believe. If you think I’m going to hell, that’s fine. But you don’t get to take my rights away because of it. Again, we have to respect each other’s humanity— period. You want police to stop shooting our children in the back, but you turn around and treat the LGBTQ community the same way others are treating you? No. [x]

Profile for Boston Spirit magazine

Boston Spirit Sep | Oct 2019  

Sep | Oct 2019 issue of Boston Spirit magazine

Boston Spirit Sep | Oct 2019  

Sep | Oct 2019 issue of Boston Spirit magazine