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Tallahassee’s LGBT Community Newspaper

November 1, 2010

ANTI-GAY ANTI-GAY Bullying Bullying Who’s Who’s To To Blame? Blame?

Family Family Tree Tree Center Center Elections Elections 2011 2011 Board Board of of Directors Directors Announced Announced

Masqueerade Masqueerade Gayla Gayla Wrap-up Wrap-up AA Great Great Success! Success!

Volume 14, Issue 10

BRANCHING OUT is published monthly by The Family Tree Community Center. Appearance in this publication makes no inference about sexual orientation or gender identity.

BRANCHING OUT’S mission is to be the paper of record for the LGBT community of Tallahassee, and in that capacity it seeks to inform, advocate, engage, and entertain while being a responsible representative of the LGBT community and its allies to the outside world. Contact Branching Out:

P.O. Box 38477, Tallahassee, FL 32315 (850) 222-8555

Publication Schedule - 1st of Each Month Submission Deadlines - 15th of Each Month Production Team:

Andy Janecek, Executive Editor Steven Hall, Features Editor Patrick Patterson, Layout Editor Margeaux Mutz, Voices Editor Melissa Henderson, Circulation Assistant Ron Bunting, Circulation Assistant Dan Beam, Layout Assistant

PIECES OF YOU by Andy Janecek, Executive Editor Branching Out Production Team

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting an award to Wild Birds Unlimited at The Family Tree’s annual National Coming-Out Day Gayla. Susan and Mary, the owners of this delightful nature shop near Governor’s Square Mall in Tallahassee, advertise their business in Branching Out each month. In fact, they’ve advertised their business in every issue of Branching Out that’s been printed in the last couple of years. Their paid advertisement does more than just promote their shop - it also supports a community newspaper that is delivered to over 1,500 homes and businesses in Tallahassee, North Florida and our surrounding communities. Did I mention that, thanks to the revenue generated from our advertisers, we have always and will continue to provide this publication at absolutely nocharge to our readers? This is no easy feat in a time when the newspaper and printed media industries continue on a downward slope, being over-shadowed by electronic media, blogs and online resources. While funding plays an obvious role in the production of Branching Out, this publication could not exist without the efforts of our volunteer writers, contributors, layout designers, circulation assistants and editing team. Branching Out is produced entirely by a team of volunteers that dedicate their spare time to informing, entertaining and engaging YOU! Your support is what fuels our efforts and we’re always looking for new, creative contributors to join our team. In September, we asked our readers to complete a short survey so that we could improve and expand the features of Branching Out that interest you the most. The survey results revealed that our readers range in age from 18 to 83 and that most of you feel the quality of this publication is “consistently high” and “generally good.” We couldn’t be prouder! You also told us that one of your favorite parts of Branching Out is the community calendar. As you’ll notice in this month’s issue, we’re working hard to bring you a more comprehensive list of local happenings and events. While we have no plans to discontinue printing Branching Out, we are also working to bring you an electronic edition that supplements the printed version - because you asked for it! Watch for more details about an electronic edition in a future issue of Branching Out. As we plan our upcoming production schedule for 2011, we’ll continue to seek your contributions, feedback and ideas. This is a community newspaper, and as such, it is a community effort; it would be incomplete without you! Thank you for allowing us into your lives each month and for providing the feedback we need to ensure that every issue represents a little piece of you.

Contributors in this issue: John R. Cepek Diana Kampert Skye Nelson Cory J. Sanders Ivan Sondel Vickie Spray

in this issue... News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue. . . . . . . 4-5 Wellness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Out and About. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-8 Transgenderscope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 News, Cues and Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 What’s Happening This Month. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7, 12 News From The Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

What do you get when you’re a member of Pre-Paid Legal? Confidence in your daily decisions. Peace of mind with your personal affairs. Security for your family. Protection of your legal rights. Advice from courteous and concerned attorneys. Answers to your questions. Call today for more information on how to access the legal system!

KRISTEN WOFFORD Your Name Independent Associate Independent Associate 850-766-4352 Contact Information PRE-PAID LEGAL SERVICES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIES




Community Elects New Family Tree Directors

New Online Resource Focuses on Older LGBT Adults

by Branching Out Production Team

News Release

At their October 25th annual membership meeting, members of The Family Tree approved a number of amendments to the organization’s bylaws and agreed upon a 2011 budget. Franco Tompeterini and Joseph Ballard were elected to the board of directors to fill atlarge seats vacated by Jim Van Riper and Paul Anway. Additionally, Steven Hall, Andy Janecek, Debbi Baldwin and Margeaux Mutz were re-elected to serve another term on the board of directors. Christy Baldwin, Dave Glaze, and Greta Langley remain on the board. Their terms expire in December of 2011.

On October 12, 2010, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), in partnership with 10 organizations from around the country, announced the launch of a new website aimed at improving the quality of services and support offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults.

Meetings of The Family Tree’s board of directors are held at 6:30pm on the second Monday of each month. The meetings are open to the public and are held at 5126-C Woodlane Circle in Tallahassee.

LGBT Leaders Honored at Annual Gayla Event by Branching Out Production Team More than 100 people took part in The Family Tree’s National Coming-Out Day Gayla and Awards Presentation on Friday, October 22. The organization hosts the annual event to celebrate efforts that improve the lives of LGBT people. This year, seventeen individuals and organizations were honored for their work in the community. Attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner and dancing, live music by the Yellow Dog Jazz Band, dancing to the tunes of DJ Mix, and a silent auction. Leon County Commissioners Bob Rackleff and Akin Akinyemi attended the event to accept an award for their work on a human rights ordinance that they approved earlier in the year. Awards were presented by Robert Stuart and members of The Family Tree’s board of directors. Event sponsors included Greta Langley of Greta Langley Financial, LLC, and Mary L. Wakeman of McConnaughhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope & Weaver, P.A. Certificate of Appreciation Leon County Commission Community Choice Award: “Newest Community Leader” Rev. Nancy Dahlberg Community Choice Award: “Branching Out Advertiser of the Year” Wild Birds Unlimited

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging ( was established through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults.

Proposed Orange County Ordinance Mirrors Leon County by Branching Out Production Team

The Orange County Commission has recently voted to allow a proposed Human Rights Ordinance to proceed to a final vote on November 23, 2010. Language in the proposal would prohibit discrimination in this Central Florida county, which includes the city of Orlando, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The proposed ordinance was based upon language used to secure similar protections in Leon County earlier this year.

Transgender Community Takes a Moment of Silence News Release On November 20, 1999, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was born. This year, as in years past, TDOR will be recognized on November 20 by FSU’s Pride Student Union with a transgender panel discussion followed by a candlelight vigil. The panel discussion will begin at 6:00 pm in the Student Union on the campus of Florida State University. Supporters can meet at the Integration Statue, also on the university’s campus, at 7:30 pm to participate in the vigil. The events are open to all people who place value on any human life. For more information, contact Margeaux Mutz at

Community Choice Award: “Excellence in Graphic Design” Patrick Patterson Community Choice Award: “For Leadership in Faith within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America” St. Stephen Lutheran Church Community Choice Award: “Business Partner of the Year” Karen Richardson PRIDEFEST Volunteer of the Year: Melissa Henderson Volunteer of the Year: Debbi Baldwin LGBT Leadership in Education Award: Dr. Petra Doan LGBT Leadership in Faith Award: Gail Dixon LGBT Leadership in Community Outreach Award: Vickie Spray LGBT Leadership in Business and Government Award: Lisa Livezey Comingore LGBT Leadership in Equality Award: Rev. Mark Byrd Community Pride Award: Steven Hall and Patrick Patterson LGBT Business Award: Watts Mechanical Outstanding Social Organization of the Year: Shani-Angela Hervey, MIXIT Tallahassee Founder’s Award: Jeff G. Peters, Esq.




Anti-Gayis a Bullying Theological Issue

by Cody J. Sanders, Special To Branching Out

The following is reprinted with permission from Religion Dispatches. Read more at

When I heard about the death of 15-year-old Billy Lucas early in September, I was terribly saddened. It is a tragedy when a young person completes suicide in the aftermath of daily torment and harassment. After this, I sat in stunned silence in front of my computer screen as news stories continued to appear about the suicides of 13-year-old Asher Brown, 18-yearold Tyler Clementi, 13-year-old Seth Walsh, and 19-year-old Raymond Chase. Today, it is very clear to me that profound sadness and stunned silence is no longer a suitable, appropriate, or adequate response.

From Lamentation to Indignation My sadness began to change into something different with each successive news story about another gay teen hanging himself, shooting himself, or jumping off a bridge. As I saw the faces of these young victims and imagined the family and friends left to cope with the chaos created by their suicides, my lamentation began to morph into an indignant fury. My indignation grew as I shifted my gaze from the individual acts of suicide to the contexts in which these suicides are set. Suicide happens for numerous reasons. Some seek relief from enduring physical and psychological pain that seems infinitely unrelenting and others after severe bouts of depression. These teens, however, were not seeking relief from some persistent, internal state of depression or physical illness. The pain they faced had an external source: the cruel, unremitting, merciless pounding of daily humiliation, taunting, harassment, and violence. And all of this pain visited upon these young lives because of one thing they had in common: they were not heterosexual. These suicides are not acts of “escape,” or a “cop-out” from facing life. When LGBT people resort to suicide, they are responding to far more than the pain of a few individual insults or humiliating occurrences. When LGBT people commit suicide it is an extreme act of resistance to an oppressive and unjust reality in which every LGBT person is always and everywhere at risk of becoming the target of violence solely because of sexual orientation or gender identity. They are acts of resistance to a perceived reality in which a lifetime of violence and abuse seems utterly unavoidable. The landscape upon which LGBT teen suicide is set calls for far more than our sympathy and sadness. There are times in which it is important to be guided to action by our anger. This is one of those times.

From Interpersonal Violence to Group Subjugation Our response to bullying is a response to violence. Beyond the inflicting of individual pain, violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has effects far beyond the individual target. This is what Iris Marion Young terms “systematic violence” in her famous “Five Faces of Oppression.” It is a violence of instrumentality—violence with the effect of keeping an entire group subjugated and in a state of oppression. Young argues, “Members of some groups live with the knowledge that they must fear random, unprovoked attacks on their persons or property, which have no motive but to damage, humiliate, or destroy the person”.* The only thing one must do to become victimized is to be a member of a particular group (e.g. to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender). We must widen our perspective from individual acts of bullying and violence to the instrumental purpose these serve in subjugating LGBT people to particular


religious and cultural ideologies in which reality is defined from a strictly heterosexual perspective—and gay and lesbian people become non-persons. As more churches and denominations ordain gay and lesbian clergy, more gay and lesbian people are featured in media, and more medical, psychological and psychotherapeutic organizations reject notions of the pathological in sexual minorities, dominant religious and cultural ideology is in a state of crisis. It is no longer an unquestioned assumption that heterosexual experience represents the definition of reality for all people. The power to define reality for the masses is at stake and this power comes with all manner of political and ideological implications. Thus, there is a vested interest on the part of the religious and political right in keeping LGBT persons silent and subjugated. Whereas political rallying on issues like same-sex marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell serve to maintain some ground on the preservation of anti-gay cultural ideology, the intermittent reinforcement of violent attack is an even better tool to ensure the silence (and suicide) of LGBT people and their subjugation to the closet. While a majority of LGBT people may avoid ever becoming the victim of a violence, none will be able to avoid the psychic terror that is visited upon LGBT people with each reminder that this world is one in which people are maimed and killed because of their sexual and gender identities. It is this psychic terror that makes life so difficult for many LGBT people. It is this psychic terror that does the heavy lifting of instrumental, systematic violence. It intends to silence and to destroy from within. While most of us will never be physically attacked by another human being, all of us know we are targets.

A Theology of Anti-Gay Bullying Anti-gay bullying is a theological issue because it has a theological base. I find it difficult to believe that even those among us with a vibrant imagination can muster the creative energy to picture a reality in which anti-gay violence and bullying exist without the antigay religious messages that support them. These messages come in many forms, degrees of virulence, and volumes of expression. The most insidious forms, however, are not those from groups like Westboro Baptist Church. Most people quickly dismiss this fanaticism as the red-faced ranting of a fringe religious leader and his small band of followers. More difficult to address are the myriad ways in which everyday churches that do a lot of good in the world also perpetuate theologies that undergird and legitimate instrumental violence. The simplistic, black and white lines that are drawn between conceptions of good and evil make it all-too-easy to apply these dualisms to groups of people. When theologies leave no room for ambiguity, mystery and uncertainty, it becomes very easy to identify an “us” (good, heterosexual) versus a “them” (evil, gay). Additionally, hierarchical conceptions of value and worth are implicit in many of our theological notions. Needless to say, value and worth are not distributed equally in these hierarchies. God is at the top, (white, heterosexual) men come soon after and all those less valued by the culture (women, children, LGBT people, the poor, racial minorities, etc.) fall somewhere down below. And it all makes perfect sense if you support it with a few appropriately (mis) quoted verses from the Bible. With dualistic conceptions of good and evil and hierarchical notions of value and worth, it becomes easy to know who it is okay to hate or to bully or, seemingly more benignly,


to ignore. And no institutions have done more to create and perpetuate the public disapproval of gay and lesbian people than churches. If anti-gay bullying has, at any level, an embodied undercurrent of tacit theological legitimation, then we simply cannot circumvent our responsibility to provide a clear, decisive, theological response. Aside from its theological base, anti-gay bullying is a theological issue because it calls for acts of solidarity on behalf of the vulnerable and justice on behalf of the oppressed. But this imperative to respond reminds us that the most dangerous form of theological message comes in the subtlest of forms: silence.

The Longer We Wait, the More Young People Die There is already a strong religious presence in the debate around anti-bullying education in schools. Unfortunately, it is not a friendly voice for LGBT teens. There is also no lack of rhetoric on sexuality stemming from theological sources. But the loudest voices are not the voices of affirmation and embrace. In a recent article, I urged churches that rest comfortably in a tacitly welcoming or pseudo-affirming position to come out and publicly proclaim their places of worship as truly welcoming and affirming sanctuaries for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. I cannot count the number of times I have heard well-meaning, good-hearted people respond to this appeal, saying, “Things are a lot better for gay people today than they were several years (or decades) ago. In time, our society (or churches) will come around on this issue.” To these friends and others, I must say, “It’s time.” For Lucas, Brown, Clementi, Walsh, and Chase the time is up. For these teens and the myriad other bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay youth lost to suicide, the waiting game hasn’t worked so well. As simply as I can state the matter: The longer we wait to respond, the more young people die. If this were a hostage situation, we would have dispatched the SWAT team by now. And in many ways, it is. Our children and teenagers are being held hostage by a religious and political rhetoric that strives to maintain the status quo of anti-gay heterosexist normativity. The messages of Focus on the Family and other organizations actively strive to leave the most vulnerable among us exposed to continuous attack. The good news is that we don’t need a SWAT team. We just need quality education on sexuality and gender identity in our schools and more faithful and courageous preaching and teaching in our churches. Catholic theologian M. Shawn Copeland offers profound words to any individuals and churches seeking to wash their hands of this issue. She states, If my sister or brother is not at the table, we are not the flesh of Christ. If my sister’s mark of sexuality must be obscured, if my brother’s mark of race must be disguised, if my sister’s mark of culture must be repressed, then we are not the flesh of Christ. For, it is through and in Christ’s own flesh that the ‘other’ is my sister, is my brother; indeed, the ‘other’ is me… If anti-gay bullying is a theological issue, perhaps what is called for is a creative theological response. A theological response that challenges the systematic violence that upholds an oppressive religious and cultural ideology will not be a response through which we can hedge our bets. It will be a full-bodied, wholehearted giving of ourselves to the repair of the flesh of Christ divided by injustice and systematic exclusion.

Reflections of a Bully Reflections of Myself by Skye Nelson Special to Branching Out As many of us are likely aware, in the past months, the issue of bullying, with a particular focus on the bullying of LGBT youth, has made its way into the national media. Unfortunately, it took the highly-publicized bullying-related suicide of Tyler Clementi to bring about awareness of an issue that has practically always been an active problem throughout the country. However, now more than ever, an opportunity exists to do something about this disturbing phenomenon; with this added awareness, reform can come. Our community and our allies need to stand up and get involved, especially those of us with families, in order to help protect the countless victims of bullying and work to help end this problem.’ I am sure that many of us have experienced what it is like to be bullied, whether it was for our sexual orientation, gender identity, or something else entirely. Personally, I’ve dealt with this issue on both sides, not only was I bullied on numerous occasions throughout my youth, but on a few occasions, I was a bully myself, something I greatly regret. Perhaps one of the biggest regrets of my life is one of these occasions in particular. It occurred when I was in fifth grade, I was serving as a “Safety Patrol” which was a position given to the older students that allowed them to watch over and govern younger students on the buses and the area where they stopped at the school. A student that rode my bus came to my attention when I was attempting to give out discipline; at the time this student, though I perceived her to be male, insisted on identifying as female, and refused to give me a name. I didn’t end up bullying her at the time, but the incident led me to take violent action toward her on two occasions after that. The reasons for my behavior, though they do not excuse it, were related to my home situation. I am myself a transwoman, as I believe the child I bullied was as well, and because of a lack of support from my family and community, and being told that who I am as a person was not acceptable, I was led to lash out against other people like myself, to continue a cycle of abuse. I don’t believe my actions as a child can be completely excused by my environment, but the experience has led me to have a particular concern for the issue of the bullying of LGBT youth. In my opinion, we need to organize as a community, not only to protect young ones from the actions of other children near their age, but also to continue to work our hardest to try and change the opinions of those in our community who speak from ignorance and promote ideas that contribute to this sort of violence. With so many suicides now visible to us through the media, society as a whole should take the time to reflect on the consequences of certain behaviors and ideas, and we, the LGBT community and our allies should be there to help enact change for the better, change that protects our youth and promotes an overall better world.

The Family Tree is working as part of a broader coalition of community groups and leaders to provide information, education and training, and to develop public service announcements for our local schools and the public on bullying and related issues. As this effort continues it will be reported on in future issues of Branching Out.

Ministers who remain in comfortable silence on sexuality must speak out. Churches that have silently embraced gay and lesbian members for years must publically hang the welcome banner. How long will we continue to limit and qualify our messages of acceptance, inclusion and embrace for the most vulnerable in order to maintain the comfort of those in our communities of faith who are well-served by the status quo? In the current climate, equivocating messages of affirmation are overpowered by the religious rhetoric of hatred. Silence only serves to support the toleration of bullying, violence, and exclusion. In the face of what has already become the common occurrence of LGBT teen suicide, how long can we wait to respond? Cody J. Sanders is a Baptist minister and Ph.D. student in Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX. Cody was a Fellow in the inaugural class of the Human Rights Campaign Summer Institute for Religious and Theological Study and is a participant in the Beyond Apologetics symposium on sexual identity, pastoral theology, and pastoral practice. *Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference. p. 61 **Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom. p. 82



Creating Heaven on Earth A Spiritual Endeavor by Vickie Spray Branching Out Contributor The identities we cling to, the ones we have adorned ourselves with in order to make sense of who we are, hide the true identity of our spiritual nature. Our true Self, all of life’s true Being, can be seen in every act of love and the hope we feel even when things seem hopeless. The true Being is what is behind the wag of our dogs tail when we come home. Our true nature does not care what we look like, what kind of job we have, how much money or how big of a house we may live in. It does not care if we are lesbian, gay, straight, bi or transgender. Our true nature can not hold a grudge against ourselves for anything we have ever done. It resides within the pure joy we feel when are able to forgive someone who has wronged us and when we give without expecting anything in return. The Spirit that is our true nature holds the world in place even when the unenlightened side of our human nature builds chaos. While we hear of catastrophes or experience the tragedies of living, a subtle energy of rebuilding occurs in all lives affected by that catastrophe. Spiritual growth is possible in each crisis we face. While fear is epidemic in the hearts of humans, a sense of peace is found in all who surrender to their innermost silence. While the great monster of shame born from the clinging past demands honor and respect, a quiet self-acceptance grows into full-fledged-unconditional-positive-regard. While we live in physical form, our Spiritual Self is a constant companion who simply waits for our attention. In the stillness that lives beneath the world’s activity, is the strength, the power and the will of a Universe that holds us and all things dear. We are not separate from It and it is not separate from us. Our awareness to this connection is what is changing the world in which we all live. That awareness is how we become who we are capable of becoming. This awakening is what leads us to our true Self. Our true Self is accessible at all times. It is gotten to by a willingness to pay attention to its promptings. It speaks in that small still voice we probably have heard at one time or another. Some call it intuition. Some call it God. Some call it Source, Universe or Consciousness. The mind is unable to reach this place. It can take us to the door of that inner sanctuary but it does not open the door. The mind has a tremendous amount of power but it does not have the power to reach our true Selves. If we hold dearly onto the false identity of human form, what we look like or what kind of power or control we have amongst people, we depend upon something that is fickle and easily destroyed. If we depend upon the love that connects our true Self to these very same people and their true Self, our strength and peace of mind is a forgone conclusion. The more peace we experience within ourselves, the more peace we experience on the earth we inhabit. The more peace we experience, the more peace we will want to experience. It is a much friendlier loop than the constant loop of our minds with its constant concern for the unimportant and trivial.

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The religions of the world were created by the combination of a whisper from Spirit and the roar of humanity. In some centuries, the ugliness of unenlightened humanity had horrid outcomes. In other times, the Spirit, in its quiet weavings within small enclaves of humans in touch with the mystery of living as Spiritual Beings, created a divine fabric of awareness that we can still feel in our present existence. The spiritual movement that is occurring on the earth at this point in human history is being built on both. Let the mystics, religious individuals, seekers, and philosophers continue to hear the subtle nudging of Spirit. In that nudging is the compassion, acceptance and divine right to BE. In the silence of our own Spirits we find the truth of who we really are. In that silence we experience the love behind all things beautiful. We are beautiful. Vickie Spray works to broaden her own awareness into her true Spiritual Nature and assist others to do the same. Reach her at



Tallahassee Prime Timers A social group for mature men, featuring gatherings, house parties, monthly dinners and weekly happy hours

What’s Happening... Compiled by Diana Kampert Branching Out Contributor

this month

November 5, 2010 Oyster Roast 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Dine under the stars in the heart of historic Apalachicola at the 6th annual Apalachicola Oyster Roast. Apalachicola oysters are recognized by top chefs as some of the best oysters in the world. Come enjoy Apalachicola Bay’s finest surrounded by the lush, rustic beauty of the Garden Shop on Commerce Street between Avenue F and G. There will be roasted oysters, oyster on the half shell, creamy artichoke and oyster bisque, shrimp, locally caught blue crab, and scratch-made cakes and desserts. Blues artists Joe Hutchinson will entertain. Commerce Street, between Avenue F and G Apalachicola FMI and Tickets: Apalachicola Bay Chamber (850) 653-9419;; November 5, 2010 Special Deck the Halls Preview 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Wreaths & Sweets at the Insider’s Art Show. In the auditorium vote on favorite artists, art awards ceremony and homemade savories from the creative art department. In the dining room enjoy a preview of one-ofa-kind wreaths for the upcoming Deck the Halls event, sweets (Greek pastries by Liz Sullivan) and some fun giveaways. Free and open to the public. Tallahassee Senior Center 1400 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee FMI: Rosetta Stone Land (850)891-4000;

Young Actors Theatre presents “The Wizard of Oz” News Release A splendid family musical based on the delightful MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, comes to life on the Young Actors stage! Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world – the magical Emerald City in the magical Land of Oz. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel over the rainbow and into the universe of Dorothy’s imagination. Young Actors Theatre is located at 609 Glenview Drive; Tallahassee, FL, in the heart of Midtown Tallahassee. Tickets are $14 for children (12 and under); $16 for students and seniors and $18 for adult. Tickets can be reserved beginning Monday, November 8th by calling the Box Office at 386-6602, Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Performances are as follows: Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 13th at 7:30pm; Sunday, November 14th at 2:00pm; Thursday, November 18th at 7:30pm; Friday, November 19th at 7:30pm; Saturday, November 20th at 7:30pm; Sunday, November 21st at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. There will be a special Children’s Matinee performance at 11:00am on Saturday, November 20th.

November 5 – 6, and 11 – 13, 2010 “Apocalypse Faust: An Explosive Cabaret” All shows 8:00 pm The last battle is here and it’s being waged in Faustlandia. From the man-made disasters in our beloved Gulf to the meltdown of our financial system, come bask in original Faustian sketches and music that brings the shortsightedness of humanity into keen, albeit comic, focus. The show starts at 8, but come early to catch Eclectic Acoustic playing in the back yard before the show! Tickets: $15; $10 students, retirees and disabled Mickee Faust Clubhouse 623 McDonnell Drive in Railroad Square, Tallahassee FMI:; (850) 562-RATS November 7, 16, 30, 2010 Learn Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue at “LATIN BEAT” Classes begin 6:00 pm A group class taught in a fun and informal manner. Women, Men, and Gender Non-conforming...there is no need for a partner, just come in and meet new people and enjoy the groove. Our instructor is trained to teach individuals with zero dance background to the most experienced dancers. Hosted by Mixit Tallahassee Divine Union in Railroad Square 641-B McConnell Drive, Tallahassee FMI: November 7, 2010 Tallahassee Bach Parley “Solo Bach” 3:00 pm Baroque music lovers are in for a treat as the Tallahassee Bach Parley, a Baroque music ensemble that performs on period instruments, celebrates the opening of its 30th season with “Solo Bach” featuring two iconic solo pieces for cello and violin: Suite No. 5 in C minor, Kim Jones, cello, and Partita No. 2 in D minor, Valerie Arsenault, violin. Free and open to the public. Donations are welcomed and free childcare is available. St. John’s Episcopal Church 211 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee FMI: Valerie Arsenault 224-8025; November 7, 2010 The 17th Annual Punk’n Chuck’n Contest 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Halloween is over, so it’s time to toss that gooey gourd on your front porch. But don’t just throw it away: give it one major fling in the parking lot of the Mickee Faust Clubhouse!! This is a family-friendly event, and everyone is guaranteed to come away a winner with some really cheesy prizes. Mickee Faust Clubhouse 623 McDonnell Drive in Railroad Square, Tallahassee FMI:; (850) 562-RATS; iamcitizenfaust@yahoo. com

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The Mickee Faust Club presents “Apocalypse Faust” in November News Release Maybe it isn’t quite the end of days, but the Mickee Faust Club is making its political and social commentary on natural and man-made disasters in the form of its fall cabaret show, “Apocalypse Faust”. The company’s skewering of all things disastrous goes up on the stage at the Mickee Faust Clubhouse in Railroad Square, 623 McDonnell Drive, Friday and Saturday November 5-6 and Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13. All shows start 8pm with pre-show entertainment in the back yard with house band, Eclectic Acoustic. “We all know that BP stands for ‘Beyond Pardonable’,” says Mickee Faust, the cigar-puffing evil rat played by Tallahassee performer Terry Galloway. “But they’re only the tip of the Tea Party-infused stupidity that comes in for our ridicule!” Certainly, the oil spill in the Gulf gets a bit of attention in this cabaret. There’s a whole competition running to find the perfect slogan for the multi-national oil company. Prizes for the four finalists include a free can of anchovies, two tickets to one performance, and the thrill of having their slogan included in the show. They will also be eligible to win a grand prize: a weekend stay for two in Franklin County with accommodation at the Sportsmen Lodge B&B in Eastpoint, FL. Tickets for “Apocalypse Faust” can be purchased online at the Club’s website: Admission is $15 or $10 for students, seniors and people with disabilities. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the nights of the performances starting at 6:30pm. For more information, call the Faust fan line at (850) 562RATS (7287). Or visit



PFLAG Dad Sends Open Letter to Youth

News Release

Earlier this month, John R. Cepek, national president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) issued the following open letter to youth in light of the mounting reports of bullying, harassment, and suicide among youth:

I hope that your parents are among these people. I hope that in the same way I’m proud of both my sons, someone is proud of you just because you’re there and because you’re alive. You deserve that, no matter who you are or how different you feel.

Dear ___________,

But if for some reason you don’t feel like you’ve got that support, I want you to know that there are parents and families who love you. Maybe they’re people you already know. Or maybe they are people like me who you haven’t met yet, and the other parents who belong to a group that I’m a member of called PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

I know it may seem strange that you’re getting a letter from someone you’ve never met. To be honest with you, I feel a little odd writing this letter to people I’ve never met. But this is a difficult time, and I want to make sure that someone delivers an important message to you. My wife and I have two sons. We think that they are the best kids in the whole world. They’re very different, with very diverse personalities, talents, and interests. One of the other things that makes them different is that one is straight and one is gay. But the important thing is this: we love them equally. That’s why it is so painful to us to read the reports of the kids out there who have killed themselves because somehow they felt that their lives were not equal or worth living, either because they were mercilessly bullied and teased for being different, or tortured because they were gay. That’s why I’m writing to you today. There have been a lot of people out there sending some important messages your way. They’ve been telling you that there are people who can help, and that it is going to get better, and your job is to be strong and stick it out. You should listen to them, because they’re right. But as a dad, I want to send you one more message. Here it is: there are people who love you and accept you for who you are right now. Whether you’re gay or straight, it doesn’t matter.

So if you’re reading this and feel like no one loves you for you who are today and who you’re becoming, I want you to do something for me. I want you to go online to and find a PFLAG chapter near you. Contact them and tell them your story. Ask them for help. Tell them what you’re experiencing, and tell them what you need. These are families who understand what is happening and who want to support you. I can’t imagine a world in which either of my kids felt like life wasn’t worth living because people rejected them, and I have a hard time imagining what some of you might be going through right now. But please know that you’re not alone. There are people to talk to, and families and friends nearby who will support you and your own family, too. All you need to do is ask. I hope that one day we will meet and I’ll know that you made it. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to be alive, and you deserve to be loved. Lots of people agree with me on that. Trust me. Sincerely, John R. Cepek President, PFLAG National

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DON’T HOPE(850) SO.482-4544 KNOW SO. Call me for a fast, free Good Hands® Coverage Checkup. I can 4598 A EAST HWY 90 help you makeMARIANNA sure you get the right coverage at the best possible price. Why wait? Call me today. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company: Northbrook, IL. © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company



Community Stories, Opinions, Happenings, and Ideas.


by Margeaux Mutz Branching Out Production Team

A lot has happened in the month since I last wrote in this space. I’ll start with the lighter stuff and move into the heavier stuff as I go. A friend of my partner Sarah told her of an experience at a grocery checkout that I couldn’t help but laugh at, while at the same time understanding the negativity of the judgmental space that it came from. Sarah’s friend just happened to be in line behind a large man with very obvious and numerous tattoos, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. As she turned, the lady behind her leaned in close to her ear, pointed at the man in front of them and whispered “I’ll bet he smokes THE marijuana!” Now, even though I still laugh thinking about it, I am appalled by the mindset that allows for such stereotyping. Yet, as I scan my brain cells I realize that I am often guilty of stereotyping people. As a matter of fact, I’m stereotyping the woman who made the comment as I write these words. Damn, I hope she is not as close minded as I think she is. In any case, her comment can serve as a means for me to be more aware of my own judgmental thoughts. On the same topic of stereotyping and tattoos, it is often thought that the Black community is unwelcoming in their response to LGBT individuals and agendas, yet the last three people who have noticed and asked about my transgender tattoo have been Black, positive and very uplifting. The last time occurred at the Monroe Street Goodwill. I was standing in the checkout line with some dresses. I do love girly clothes and not because I am a MTF transsexual but because I am Margeaux. All MTF transsexuals do not share my passion. Some eschew the trappings of what is supposedly feminine, just as many GG’s (Genetic Girls) do, yet they consider themselves women. Being a woman is not what you see on the outside. Rather, it is what one feels on the inside. There is no stereotypical transsexual. Though we all have traits in common none of us is exactly the same. But getting back to the checkout line, as I stood in line my tattoo was plainly visible to those behind me. The Black man directly behind me asked what the tattoo stood for. I told him that it was the universal symbol of transgender. He then called to his wife standing a few feet away and said “Honey, come look at this tattoo.” As she walked over, he told her that it was the universal symbol of transgender. After gazing at it for a few seconds she said “Oh! Isn’t it beautiful!” She then asked what the date signified. I told her that it was the date of my official name change. It was obvious that her excitement for me was genuine as she thanked me for being so forthcoming. I hope, my excitement for meeting such wonderful folks, was obvious to them. It does feel good to share the world with such people. Onward and downward as I recall more recent personal stories during the last month; this one is both uplifting and demeaning all at the same time. I stopped by Lowe’s after work dressed as I always do while working, dress or skirt, makeup, hair done, painted nails, girly, as I said before. I went to pick up some black grout for a tiling project that I am doing. As I looked for the grout all I could find was unsanded in black. Now I have tiled for years and built my own house (all the rooms are tiled but one), yet I have never used unsanded grout. I asked the sales clerk what it is used for. He looked at me and said “Ma’am, unsanded is used for very small grout lines, 1/8 or less, but you really wouldn’t understand that.” He then asked what my husband was tiling. Wow! I was so mesmerized by the process that I continued to play the dumb, helpless female just to feel like a marginalized woman. On the one hand, I was thrilled that he considered me a woman; on the other hand I was disgusted at his male bravado. I wanted to hug him for calling me “Ma’am”, though miss would have been preferable, and I wanted to slap him for stereotyping my humanity. Actually, I’d like to see him lug my purse around all day. Just ask anyone who has tried to lift it!

Ask Margeaux Q: Have you ever been bullied? A: This question is very pertinent in light of recent events in this country and around the world. It seems as though every publication, editorial and newscast has latched onto the bullying of the LGBT community and those who are perceived as different, as though it has never happened before. It wasn’t that big a deal back when people were just being beaten and killed, but now throw in the specter of the internet and “Oh, My God”, we have a full blown epidemic. Well, we do and have had an epidemic in the world for a long time, and it is called HATE! Hate for those who are different and things that are not understood. In the past I had always blamed the problem on groups. Look around, most of the bullying that goes on in the world is instigated by groups (nation states, religions, gangs), but now one person is capable of wreaking havoc via cyberspace. Doesn’t sound like improvement to me. Yet I’m hoping the recent turn of events will cast so much light on the problem that there will be real change. Back to the question though, I have never been physically challenged during or since my transition. I’m thankful for that, but according to “Edge” “there were 162 documented victims of anti-trans violence in 2009”. How many more are undocumented we will never know. If you are so inclined and want evidence of names, go to where you will find the names of 26 trans people who have been murdered in this year alone, or click on 2009, 2008 or 2007 and find many more. If you want to go all the way back to 1998, search for Remembering Our Dead on Google and watch name after name march across your view screen. It’s horrific, tears well up in my eyes every time I view it, yet a couple times a year I feel compelled to do just that. This time of year in the Trans community it is especially pertinent, no matter whether bullying is noticed by mainstream society or not. November 20 is recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance, also known as TDOR. So far 47 events are listed on as taking place around the world. That does not include our event in Tallahassee, which will be listed by the time of our printing. Information on the TDOR event can be found in a separate posting in this newspaper. Please attend. It is important! If you have a question for Margeaux, email her at branchingout@ Your question may be featured in the next issue of Branching Out or online at!

Last, but not least, on the memory trail of stereotyping in public spaces, was an incident that occurred during a recent lunch at McDonald’s. Once again as is my wont, I wore a dress and makeup with my hair pulled up, this time with a flowered clip. As I walked to the counter I noticed a guy staring at me intently. Normally, I would avoid the gaze of such people, but on that day I chose to make eye contact. Well, we had a little stare down until I needed to place my order. I got my food and looked for a spot somewhere away from him. Unbelievably, he came over and sat right across from me. I kept my head buried in my newspaper, just as people who have been together too long often do, and avoided him. Finally, he left and I thought it was over. Think again Sherlock, as I went to my car I heard a voice behind me. Guess who? His first words were “Wanna hang out”? At this point I wasn’t sure if he wanted to hurt me, f--- me or both, and didn’t need to find out. When I said “No thanks, I have to work”. He said “Well, how about after work?” Long story, short I said “No thanks” again, and got into my car. He did try to follow me but I managed to lose him or he gave up. Was he thinking physical mayhem? I don’t know. Was he stereotyping me as someone “looking for it”? Did he see a woman, transsexual or cross dresser who was confident enough to make eye contact and misconstrue it to mean that I “wanted it.” Recently, I read an article advising people on how to be perceived as approachable and friendly. Of course, eye contact is high on the list. I believe in being approachable and friendly, but it can have its drawbacks. Sometimes I’m not sure my approachability keeps me free from harm, or in harms way. I’m also not sure whether I will eat lunch at that MacDonald’s again. I do know with absolute certainty that I am going to continue being myself no matter the consequences! Margeaux Mutz is the facilitator of Transgender Tallahassee. Reach her at margeaux.mutz@ .



by Ivan Sondel Branching Out Contributor

News, Cues, & Reviews

Local Theatre: the gay inclusive musical comedy Legally Blonde: the Musical plays the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center November 8th. For ticket information call 222-0400. Other musicals of LGBT interest coming to the TLCCC are The Color Purple (1/8), Spring Awakening (3/3), Mama Mia! (3/21-22) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (4/24). Broadway News: 11/4: Lincoln Center Theatre presents Patti LuPone, Sheri Rene Scott and Brian Stokes Mitchell in a musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown featuring a score by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane. Coming soon: Now playing in select movie theatres: A feature length animated adaptation of J. R. Ackerley’s memoir My Dog Tulip with the voice talents of Christopher Plummer and the late Lynn Redgrave. Books: now in stores: Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems by Alice Walker; Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour (A Photographer’s Life and His World) by Charles Churchward; Krakow Melt a novel by Daniel Allen Cox; Children of the Sun a novel by Max Schaefer; The Good Daughters a novel by Joyce Maynard. 11/2: Mary Ann in Autumn: a Tales of the City novel by Armistead Maupin. CD: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson original cast recording of acclaimed Broadway bound musical by out composer/lyricist Michael Friedman. DVD: 11/16: Brotherhood (winner of the Best Alice Walker Picture prize at last year’s Rome Film Festival); Sondheim: The Birthday Concert; Glee - the complete first season; The Kids are Alright acclaimed family dramedy. Congratulations: Recipients of 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors include Jerry Herman and Bill T. Jones as well as the openly straight artists Oprah Winfrey, Merle Haggard and Sir Paul McCartney. Herman is the composer/ lyricist of Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles; Jones formed his now world famous dance company in 1982 and won Tony Awards for choreographing Spring Awakenings and Fela! The Kennedy Center Honors will be televised December 28th on CBS. Passage: Jill Johnston, culture critic for The Village Voice, died September 18 at the age of 81. Johnston is perhaps best remembered for her book Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution (1973); other works include Mother Bound, Paper Daughter and a biography of her father England’s Child: The Carillon and the Casting of Bells. She is survived by her wife, Ingrid Nyeboe, and two adult children.

Book review: Proust’s Overcoat: The True Story of One Man’s Passion for All Things Proust by Lorenza Foschini (translated by Eric Karples). Foschini has fashioned this exquisite extended essay about the famous French perfume magnate and bibliophile Jacques Guerin, a friend of Satie, Genet, and Cocteau, and collector of rare books and manuscripts. A professional visit with Dr. Robert Proust (Marcel’s younger brother) leads to a treasure trove of papers, notebooks, furniture and clothing; but not immediately, and not without some duplicity. It is said that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Dr. Proust’s widow felt betrayed by her philandering husband and disgusted by his degenerate homosexual brother-in-law. With little forethought as to the lucrative aspects of the Proust canon, she bitterly ordered the great novelist’s papers burned. Though much was lost, much was saved by a savvy antiques dealer and friend of Guerin. I sat enthralled, reading this slim volume in a single sitting (unheard for me). This is a fascinating slice of gay history – the openly gay Guerin preserving for posterity the works of the great Proust. I heartily recommend it. Book review: By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham. This is a mid-life crisis novel; and though the author would probably disagree, it’s about filthy rich people with classy problems. Peter is an art dealer/gallery owner in Manhattan, who lives in a loft apartment with his magazine editor wife. They have a malcontented college drop out daughter, and have slipped into a predictable routine – right down to their love making, Their habit of being is disrupted by the arrival of the wife’s kid brother Ethan, a drug abusing manipulator with the physical aspect of Narcissus. The drama arises when the heretofore straight Peter develops a consuming passion for the young man. What follows is in introspective catalogue of feelings and emotions, which lead to a slowly devolving crisis of character and sexual identity. Are his desires rational? Does just having these feelings constitute betrayal? Would it be his life’s folly to embrace this new passion? By Nightfall is not a bad book; in fact, it’s quite well written. Mr. Cunningham writes polished prose on a grand scale. It starts slowly, but builds momentum, with the final third exquisitely rendered. However, on the whole this seemed somehow slight and unfinished, and left this reader strangely unsatisfied.

The Family Tree has 10x10 tents available for rental. Rental Fee: $40 Interested? Call 850-222-8555 or email VOLUME 14, ISSUE 10


What’s Happening... this month continued

November 7, 2010 “The Nutcracker Kingdom of Sweets” 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm The Tallahassee Ballet This event introduces families to the magical lands of the Kingdom of Sweets featured in the Nutcracker! Children will be invited to participate in a variety of activities including cookie decorating, professional face painting by BJ’s Klown Kapers, a live sneak peak at the Nutcracker performance, ornament painting with Ms. Ribits and much more! Families will also enjoy delicious treats prepared by Carrie Ann and Co. and award winning photographer Dina Ivory will be on hand to take a family keepsake photo with Clara. Tickets: $20 (under 18mo-FREE) Dorothy B. Oven Park 3205 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee FMI: The Tallahassee Ballet (850) 224-6917;; November 11, 2010 Cabaret Risqué presents Fever Doors at 8:00 pm; show starts at 8:30 pm A queer variety show unlike any other. It’s a seduction, a tease, a dare of pleasure…most of all, it’s full of risqué fun. After the show, stick around for a late night dance party 10PM – 1AM. Music by DJ Jubilee. Free before 9pm or with attendance to burlesque show. $5 after 9pm. Hosted by Mixit Tallahassee The Warehouse 706 E. Gaines Street, Tallahassee FMI: November 11, 2010 Light The Night Walk 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Held on fall evenings in communities across the U.S. and Canada, Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s walk and fundraising event to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Thousands of participants raise funds for vital, lifesaving research and patient services and, on these special nights, they carry illuminated balloons in a show of support from a caring community. Anyone can take part - children, adults and seniors are all welcome. This is a casual fundraising walk with no fitness requirements. There are many ways you can help. You can register to walk individually or as part of a team; just make a donation online; or become a volunteer or sponsor/partner. FSU Langford Green, Tallahassee FMI:

November 15, 2010 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction & Wine Extravaganza 6:00 – 9:00 pm The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction event offers exquisite foods, an array of fine wines, live music and a live and silent auction. Guests will enjoy the signature dishes from local chefs and caterers while tasting wines from around the country. Tickets: $150 Tallahassee Automobile Museum 6800 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee FMI: November 18 – 20 & December 2 – 4 It’s a Wonderful Life 8:00 pm James W. Rodger’s stage version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” stays true to the muchloved Frank Capra film. George Bailey grows up in a small American town, dreaming of adventure and escape, but every attempt to leave is thwarted by the responsibilities of everyday life. Nearly ruined by a ruthless businessman and brought to the brink of despair, he encounters an unlikely angel. Now George gets a chance to see what the world would be like if he’d never been born. A joyful holiday treat for the whole family! TCC Campus, Turner Auditorium 444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee Tickets:$10 for adults, $7 for seniors;$5 for students. Additionally, all TCC students, faculty and staff get in for free. To purchase single tickets, contact FSU’s Fine Arts Ticket Office at 644-6500 or visit To purchase group tickets, please email Eva Nielsen-Parks or call 850-201-9882. November 19, 2010 The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis 7:30 pm Kick-off your Holiday celebration with Mannheim Steamroller’s spectacular 25th Anniversary production. Grammy Award winner, Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with state of the art multimedia effects in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller with this ultimate family experience that has made Mannheim Steamroller America’s favorite Christmas artist. Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee Tickets: On sale at the Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets and at www. FMI: Civic Center Box Office (850) 222-0400 or (800) 322-3602;

November 12 to December 26, 2010 22nd Art in Gadsden 10:00 am to 5:00 pm The 22nd Art in Gadsden is an annual juried signature exhibition of fine art representing over 100 artists that are living within 200 miles of Quincy, Florida. Gadsden Arts Center 13 N. Madison Street, Quincy FMI: Gadsden Arts Center (850) 875-4866;;

November 20, 2010 Transgender Day of Remembrance Panel Discussion and Vigil Discussion at 6:00 pm; Vigil begins at 7:30 pm Take part in a panel discussion and moment of silent to remember those lost to inequality. The event will be followed by a candlelight vigil at the Integration Statue on the campus of Florida State University. Hosted by FSU’s Pride Student Union and Transgender Tallahassee FMI:

November 13, 2010 Out & Out Saturday – MASKED 10:00 pm – 2:00 am This is an event where you can show your artistic talent off - whether you make your own mask and/or your own clothes or maybe you simply purchase some awesome styles; we at Carben want to see you at this event! We will also be taking some extraordinary pictures of the night and video taping it to post on our website - Buy a mask or create your own! Come out to this event and show your hidden face! Paradigm 115 West College Avenue, Tallahassee FMI:

November 25 to December 31, 2010 LeMoyne’s 46th Annual Holiday Show and Sale 10:00 am to 8:00 pm with a special Thanksgiving evening opening from 6 – 8 pm The annual Holiday Show at LeMoyne keeps getting better and better, and we are striving to make this our best year ever! The theme selected is It’s a Wonderful Life; don’t miss this feast for the eyes as LeMoyne transforms from an art gallery to a true Winter Wonderland. Virtually everything is for sale; ornaments, original works of art, books, cards, gifts, etc. LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts 125 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee $3 donation is requested from non-members. FMI: Lesley Marchessault (850) 222-8800;;

November 13, 2010 34th Annual Old South Day Festival in Ochlocknee 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Come enjoy arts and crafts, food of all descriptions, a parade, an old fashioned country fair, an antique museum, a living museum, entertainment, and the making of cane syrup by the old fashioned open kettle method, and may other activities! Old South Day is a tribute to our rich and glorious past and a salute to the blending of heritage in the region. In addition to the day’s festivities, the Old South Day Heritage Quilt will be awarded. Free and open to the public Downtown Ochlocknee, Georgia 5020 Spence St. US Hwy 19 North of Thomasville FMI: Sharon Herring (229) 574-5151


November 26 and 28, 2010 “The Nutcracker: A Diversity Celebration” Nov. 26th performance 8:00 pm Nov. 28th performance 2:30 pm World Ballet, Tallahassee’s premier ballet company, is proud to be the first to perform The Nutcracker, A Diversity Celebration in the newly renovated Ruby Diamond Auditorium. Henry Hernandez’s creative version and his imaginative approach, bring a wide eclectic tapestry that captures the cultural essence of our diverse Tallahassee community. Last year’s performances, received both national and international attention, reaching as far as China. FSU Campus, Ruby Diamond Auditorium, Tallahassee FMI: World Ballet Inc. (850) 553-3315;



of the

We Came Out With Pride by Steven Hall, Co-Chair Family Tree Community Center

October was an active month for the LGBT community. We celebrated National Coming Out Day on October 11 with activities at each of our local colleges, some hosting numerous events. We mourned the loss of numerous young people, whose lives ended far too soon, at a candle light vigil entitled Stop the Hate at FSU. We stood alongside other members of our community, steadfast, that no one should have to live in an abusive relationship during the Refuge House’s annual Domestic Violence Awareness Speak-Out and Candle Light Vigil. And on the day of The Family Tree’s annual Coming-Out Gayla and Awards Banquet, October 22, we were able to celebrate the strides made in the LGBT community at the announcement by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum that he would not appeal the ruling that overturned the ban on gay adoption. Fitting that this notation appears in our November 2010 edition. November is National Adoption month. To quote President Obama in his 2009 proclamation, “All children deserve a safe, loving family to protect and care for them.” Now, hundreds, if not thousands, of loving, responsible homes and families in Florida are able to share their love with a child who has no one to love them. The ban has been overturned, but there’s still much work to be done. We at The Family Tree hope to provide some educational opportunities in early 2011, providing information about, well, what all of this really means now. Do you just pick up the phone and apply? What is involved in getting approved? Are there classes I need to take? What about a 2nd parent adoption? We hope to provide the answers to these and more questions in the coming months. On October 25, we held our annual membership meeting. This year’s annual meeting ratified revised bylaws for The Family Tree (which are now available on our website), including changing our name! Our name has been changed from The Family Tree: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center, Inc., to a shorter, and we hope more inclusive, The Family Tree Community Center, Inc. Like so many other organizations, we decided it was time to have a more concise, encompassing name, rather than one that spelled out certain groups. We will continue our efforts to be a center that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and supportive community (forgive me if I left anyone off!). The annual meeting also served to elect the 2011 Board of Directors. Entering the meeting, four of the existing board members were up for re-election, if they so chose, and there were two vacant positions. Prior to the meeting, Paul Anway, a board member for the last six years, indicated it was time for him to step down and concentrate on other endeavors. We thank him for his years of service. Paul, you will be missed, but rest assured we know how to get in touch with you! The 2011 Board of Directors are: Joseph Ballard, Christy Baldwin, Debbi Baldwin, Dave Glaze, Steven Hall, Andy Janecek, Greta Langley, Margeaux Mutz, and Franco Tompeterini. Joseph and Franco are new to the board and we look forward to working with them! The 2011 officers will be determined at the next board meeting, November 8 at 6:30 p.m., and will be announced in the December issue. Coming up, we will be holding a free event bringing awareness to Domestic Violence within the LGBT community, to be held on November 9th, 7:00 p.m., at The Family Tree. On November 10th, at 7 p.m. (promptly) in the TCC Ballroom, TCC’s Pride Student Association will hold its first drag show ever, The Art of Drag, with all proceeds benefiting The Family Tree! In December, we’ll be holding the 2nd annual holiday drag show, Draggin’ Out the Lights. The final date and location will be in next month’s paper, as well as on our website and Facebook page. Oh yeah, one last thing… Don’t forget to vote!

Family Tree Merchandise Available @ VOLUME 14, ISSUE 10




TODAY For a donation of $60 we will send you • Membership Card • Family Tree car magnet and • Family Tree T-Shirt

How does your donation help the community? • provides funding for programs that educate members of the community • provides support for the youth of our community that are struggling with coming-out and other issues • provides funding for a safe space for people to visit, hang-out and relax • provides support for the publication of Branching Out, Tallahassee’s LGBT Community Newspaper • provides support for the production of Tallahassee PRIDEFEST and many other events all year long “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To find out more, visit


Help the Family Tree while you’re browsing and shopping online!

Visit - and select Family Tree (Tallahassee, FL) from the pulldown charity menu Contact Us:

Mailing address: P.O. Box 38477, Zip 32315 Phone: (850) 222-8555 Email:

Programs and groups LGBT Business Partners Diversity of Spirit AA Gender Chat Support and Social Group Youth Group Women’s Chat Group Men’s group Globe (Narcotic’s Anonymous)


Producer of Tallahassee PRIDEFEST Community meeting space Support and social programs Branching Out Newspaper Resource library Switchboard/referral support Community advocacy and outreach LGBT Speaker’s bureau Free Wireless internet

Mission Statement The Mission of The Family Tree, A lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community center, is to provide services which promote the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, to work to eliminate the conditions in society which allow homophobia to exist, and to be a place where everyone is welcome.


Branching Out is mailed free every month to nearly 1,000 recipients. We do not share or sell your information with anyone, and we value your privacy. Please sign up by sending us this form, or update your address information. Mail to P.O. Box 38477, Zip 32315, or call (850) 222-8555 Full Name Street Address/P.O. Box


City, State, Zip Code


Recurring Events Prime Timers Happy Hour 6pm+, Wednesdays Ming Tree Restaurant, 1435 East Lafayette Street

Board Members Co-Chair - Steven Hall,

Dinner Potluck and Service Last Sunday of every month, a potluck at 5:30p.m. and then religious service. Gentle Shepherd MCC. 4738 Thomasville Road. (850) 878- 3001.

Treasurer - Debbi Baldwin,

Noon Potluck and Service First Sunday of every month, a religious service at 10:45a.m. and potluck at 12p.m. Gentle Shepherd MCC. 4738 Thomasville Road. (850) 878- 3001.

Member-at-large - Vacant until 2011

LGBT Business Partners First Thursdays, 12noon luncheon Third Thirsdays, 5:30p.m. - 8:30p.m. social. Locations and times vary. Contact for information about upcoming meetings.

Member-at-large - Christy Baldwin,

Sunday Morning Service Every Sun. at 11a.m. at Gentle Shepherd MCC 4738 Thomasville Road. (850) 878-3001. Lesbian Spiritual Group Every other Monday, 7-9pm. Marcy or Rebecca, (850) 878-8997 Family Tree Board Meeting Second Monday of every month at 6:30 5126-C Woodlane Circle Gender Chat Second Tuesdays. 7:30p.m. Location TBA. E-mail for details. Women’s Chat Wednesdays, 7-8:30p.m. Location TBA Patrice Brown, PFLAG - Tallahassee 2nd Thursday of each month - 6pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 211 North Monroe Street Contact: Susan Gage, 850-597-2374 Beanstalk Ministries Sunday service at 6p.m. 850-766-3542

Secretary/Webmaster - Andy Janecek,

Member-at-large - Greta Langley,

Member-at-large- Dave Glaze, Member-at-large - Margeaux Mutz, Member-at-large - Vacant until 2011

Community Resource Directory

Community Organizations • • • • • • • • • •

Pride Student Union PSU—FSU’s Lesbian/Gay/ Bisexual/Transgender Student Union 850-644-8804, Youth Group A group for youth/teens 850-222-8555 facilitator Jennifer Martinez: Prime Timers A club for mature men over 21 850-877-4479, Tallahassee Area Lesbian Moms Big Bend Cares Support Group, For HIV-positive members Mondays, 7-8 Healthline 211 (Telephone Counseling and Referral Service) Crisis intervention and referrals 24 hours a day, 850-224-NEED (850-224-6333) Refuge House Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, www.refugehouse. com, e-mail, 24 Hr Hotline: 850-681-2111, LGBT Program: 850-395-7631 Safe Zone Tallahassee, A program designed to identify people who consider themselves to be open to and knowledgeable about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered issues, 850-644-2003 Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), 850-597-2374 North Florida Lesbians Listserve:

Religious Support All Saints Catholic Community............................................................................656-3777 Gentle Shepherd Metropolitan Community Church...................................878-3001 Nichiren Buddhism (contact Carol)....................................................................878-8467 Quaker Meeting.......................................................................................................878-3620 St. Catherine of Siena (Catholic)..........................................................................421-0447 Unitarian Universalist Church.............................................................................385-5115 St. Stephen Lutheran Church..............................................................................385-2728 United Church in Tallahassee...............................................................................878-7385 Temple Israel.............................................................................................................877-3517 First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee..........................................................222-4505

Submit your organization for the resource directory! Email or call (850) 222-8555 VOLUME 14, ISSUE 10


November, 2010  

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