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The Pride Center

Honorary Chair

of the Capital Region

Alan Bennett I l ag a n

Cordially invite you to join us and dress to impress!

S at u r d ay

February 8, 2014 At T h e S t at e R o o m , 142 State Street, Albany NY, For The

THE funky formal, gender bender, high fashion event of the season! Eat! Drink! Dance! And be Merry!

Hors D’oeuvres

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm VIP Reception

Complimentary Virgin Drink Bar

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Gay Soiree!

Cash Bar

1930’s Cabaret Music by Sonny & Perley Dance Music by DJ Robb Penders sponsored by:

Soiree Ticket: $45.00, VIP Ticket: $75.00 (VIP ticket includes 6 PM admission and complimentary wine during VIP Reception)


Purchase tickets online at or by calling the Pride Center at 518.462.6138.




from the



Ken Mortensen

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful participation that we had at the Pride Center Gala. I was very excited and moved by what was accomplished. The money that was raised will be utilized and help with future Youth programs. We have grown very quickly and have recruited some exceptional talent to mentor these programs. The dinner is a great opportunity to visit with old friends and make new connections. The Holidays are upon us. Each year they seem to come more quickly. The Pride

Center has a busy year ahead. We are out of space in our current building, every square inch is being utilized. The downstairs, garden level meeting room has been totally renovated. I hope that you will check it out on your next visit to the Center. We are also working on Pride for 2014. In closing, it is my wish for everyone to have a safe and healthy New Year ahead. I look forward to working with the Community to make our Pride Center even better in 2014.

Director’s Note: What an incredible year! By Curran Streett, Executive Director community center, brought on 4 new staff and engaged more people in the community than ever before. With a thriving Business Alliance, case management program, youth leadership, empowerment and support programs, senior support, in demand educational trainings and now supportive health services, we have something for everyone. You supported us at unprecedented levels, and worked to bring in even more friends as you served as ambassadors. So thank you. None of our success would be possible without your support. Between the advancements our movement has made and the growth of the Pride Center, our community has a lot to celebrate! I am so proud to be a part of this organization and community as we wind down on a year of incredible milestones. We celebrated the 30th anniversary of our youth program, we renovated the remaining spaces of our

So what does the next year hold? The pride Center’s Board of Directors has been operating based on our recently approved Strategic Plan, and are doing amazing work to advance the organization. You will find each of our programs expanding as we have more staff than ever to support the efforts, and more community members accessing the Pride Center. The organization

From The Editor’s Desk -

As I sit here and write this column about the past year, I have the anthem song Seasons of Love from RENT going through my head. “Five hundred twenty-five


Michael Weidrich,


thousand six hundred minutes, Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear, How do you measure, measure a year?” And what a year it was! From marriage equality, to the 30th anniversary of our Youth Group, to the 40th anniversary of the Pride Center residing at 332 Hudson, to the biggest PRIDE Festival ever, to the best Pride Gala ever. “In daylights, in sunsets, In midnights, in cups of coffee, In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife, In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure, a year in the life?” But at the end of the day, it’s all about the people. The people who use our services. The people who volunteer at our events. The people that are a

has been working at enhancement at every level, and has recently embarked upon a racial inclusiveness initiative to ensure our entire community is served as best as possible, in a place that feels as comfortable and affirming as possible. We are working with our allies more than ever before, to increase the number of vocal ambassadors in all corners of the Capital Region. We are already scheming ways to make our special events even better, including Pride and the GALA, and look forward to our newest event, the Gay Soiree, where you are certain to be dazzled. We are looking forward to another year of community- of connecting people, of supporting people and empowering people to live their best lives. Thank you, for all do you in the name of community. Here’s to another great year!

Editor part of our youth groups, our vintage pride group, our trans pride group. The people whose lives we touch every day and try to affect in a positive way. “It’s time now, to sing out.Though the story never ends, Let’s celebrate, Remember a year in the life of friends.” And from those people, we build community, we create friendships, we find loved ones. The Pride Center is built on a foundation of community, and without those people, we would not exist. So we thank every person who is a part of our community for giving us a reason to exist! “How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.”


Pride Center now offering free assistance with enrolling into health insurance! By Lauren Ford, LGBT Health Specialist

The Pride Center is excited to announce that as of November 2013, we have begun offering free information regarding the Affordable Care and assistance with enrolling into public or private health insurance! Many of us have heard about the new health insurance options being offered as a result of the Affordable Care Act or ACA. Understandably, there is a lot of confusion and curiosity surrounding this legislation. The ACA refers to a new federal law that will allow many people to access affordable health insurance, some for the very first time. Some people are in favor of the law, some are in opposition, and some haven’t yet formed an opinion. Knowing the facts of the law is important whatever your opinion may be. The new patient’s Bill of Rights in the Affordable Care Act outlaws many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses. For instance, it ended lifetime limits on coverage in 2010 and will phase out annual limits on coverage by 2014, both of which are particularly important for people with conditions such as HIV or cancer. As of 2014 it also prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition such as HIV or a transgender medical history and from arbitrarily canceling a sick person’s coverage. The Affordable Care Act’s implementation in New York State meant the creation of the “New York State of Health” Marketplace, also



Steve Hendrickson, Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator

known as the exchange. There will be subsidies available that make it possible for individuals who make between $15,000 and $43,000 per year to purchase more affordable private coverage. New health insurance plans in the marketplace may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in any of their activities, and all exchange plans must offer comprehensive benefits across 10 essential health benefit categories, including prescription drugs, hospital stays, and mental and behavioral health services. The Affordable Care Act sets a new national threshold for Medicaid eligibility. Starting in 2014 every adult under age 65 who makes less than $15,000 per year will be eligible for Medicaid coverage regardless of which state they live in. This group of newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries will include many gay and transgender people and their families, since research regarding widespread discrimination in the workplace and in relationship recognition indicates that gay and transgender people are disproportionately likely to make less than $15,000 per year and to be uninsured. The new national eligibility threshold also eliminates the disability requirement for Medicaid coverage for people living with HIV. These are some points to the Affordable Care Act. Please keep in mind that this is not everything in the plan. There are a lot of other fine details that we can help you with. Steve Hendrickson and Oliver Peters are the Pride Center’s Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator. It is their mission to help LGBT individuals and families navigate through the enrollment process. If you would like to access help through the Pride Center we will be listing drop in hours, be out in the community for outreach and able to make appointments. You will need to plan about one hour to sit down with

either Steve or Oliver and complete the online enrollment, and at the end you will leave with a health insurance plan. Please call the Pride Center at (518) 462-6138 to schedule an appointment or find out more. You can also email us at: Thank you so much and we hope to see a lot of familiar and new faces out and about.

Meet Steve Hendrickson, Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator I am happy and honored to be working with The Pride Center of the Capital Region as the Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator. This is a very exciting time for many Americans, and I am happy to be part of it. The Affordable Care Act means that millions of people will now be able to afford quality healthcare. Some people will be able to see a doctor for the first time while others will be able to address medical conditions and cover family members. I hope that I will be a familiar face to many people through this process. I am from a very small town in Central NY and I came out in high school. I started doing HIV peer education while I was in high school. One of my earliest memories that inspired my work was going to see part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Syracuse, NY with my health class. A lot has changed over the past years and it is nice to see the progress we have made on many fronts. I continued doing HIV peer education throughout (continued on page 7)

Pride Center now offering free assistance with enrolling into health insurance! college in Western NY that involved an internship doing case management for people living with HIV/AIDS and outreach for the LGBT community in Rochester, NY. I was fortunate enough to be in Washington, D.C. in 1996 to see the AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed for the last time in its entirety. That was the point that I decided I wanted to pursue this work for my career.

to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act will be very rewarding. Our community has so many strengths and I am happy to add to those strengths in my work with the Pride Center. Keep your eyes and ears open for more information about signing up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

I moved to the Capital Region about 12 years ago and have worked in the LGBT and HIV service fields ever since. It has been exciting to see the progress over the years from advanced HIV medications to recognition of same sex marriages on both the state and federal levels. Since this program is so new, we are gearing up to begin outreach in the community and then start enrolling people under the Affordable Care Act. As the Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator, it will be my goal to help people navigate the enrollment process and obtain affordable health care. There are many options for people seeking healthcare under this new program and it is a great opportunity. Through this service we are offering to sit down with people in a safe, comfortable, confidential and one-on-one environment to help them navigate their healthcare options. The ultimate goal of this process is to find a health insurance plan that fits your budget, but more importantly fits your healthcare needs. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing, snowshoeing and yes even winter camping. I recently fulfilled a bucket list dream and spent two weeks in Austria backpacking through the Alps. It was such an amazing experience to be on a mountain top above the clouds. I crossed glaciers and got to swim in cold glacial lakes at the same time as getting sun burned from the elevation. Besides Austria, I also spent some time in Iceland, Denmark and Germany. Europe is very beautiful and I am looking forward to going back to see more. I am looking forward to working with the Pride Center of the Capital Region and offering services that I am proud of. Being able to help people get connected

Meet Oliver Peters, Outreach Coordinator Greetings CommUNITY readers! My name is Oliver Peters and I am your Outreach Coordinator. As one of the newest members here at the Pride Center, I have been tasked with letting you know a bit about myself and my position. A bit about myself. I was born in Saratoga Springs and raised in rural Schenectady County. In 2005, I graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Art with a 5 year B.F.A. in Visual Arts and Technology: Photography. After 6 years of Midwestern living I decided it was time to move back East – I landed in the South End of Albany. There, I actively participated in the Grand Street Community Arts program; regularly contributing to the BoardedUp Project and other neighborhood events. I relocated to Brooklyn in 2010 and quickly became involved in food education and outreach. I have always been passionate about empowerment (and food). In addition to my work with Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project and the Brooklyn Food Coalition, I divided my time between freelance graphic design projects, a blue chip art handling position and production assisting jobs with companies, such as Condé Nast. I also had the opportunity to copy edit issue #8 of Original Plumbing and to model for Brooklyn based clothing line, Marimacho. In

2012, my works on paper were selected for the first issue of the online arts and cultural magazine, Make8elieve {Ohio#Switzerland} as well as for inclusion in Pierogi Flat Files. I recently began making the shift back to the Capital Region to be closer to my family. A bit about my j-o-b. As the Pride Center’s Outreach Coordinator, my goal is to educate and assist individuals and small businesses with the seemingly daunting task of navigating, understanding and potentially enrolling in the New York State of Health Benefit Exchange (the Marketplace). My top priority is to educate our community on the rules and regulations surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and to separate fact from fiction. Many members of our community, along with many of those who fall outside of its walls, have had great difficulty obtaining affordable healthcare or have gone without coverage entirely. The ACA changes a great many things which will undoubtedly allow more New Yorkers to enroll in plans, get the coverage they need and to keep it. Over the next year, my colleague (Steve H.) and I will be holding information sessions throughout Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties. We will have dedicated and floating time slots for drop-ins at the Pride Center, as well as other locations where you can meet with us to ask questions, collect pertinent information and/or complete your application. You may also want to give us a call or shoot us an email to set up a one-onone meeting. And we will be stocked with analog applications. If the Internet is misbehaving or you don’t have a computer, you can still apply! I consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity to work with the spectacularly dedicated staff at the Pride Center and I most certainly look forward to meeting you. You can contact us via telephone at 518 462 6138 or by email at healthcare@


New Additions to The Pride Center of The Capital Region justice, embracing and educating others about the African Diaspora and dabbles in art from time to time. Rosy is honored to join the Pride Center staff as Program Director and is looking forward to assisting with the organization’s expansion as well as with helping to amplify the voices of our community.

Pride Center welcomes Rosy Galvan as new Program Director

Aaron Bogert joins the Pride Center staff as Development Coordinator

Rosy Galván was born and raised on the Lower East Side, Manhattan. She is the youngest of five children. Her parents are from the Dominican Republic and instilled in her a great sense of pride in her community and culture. As a child of low-income immigrants, Rosy knew that education was her only gateway to opportunity and advancement. Thanks to a variety of programs, she was able to graduate top of her class in high school and successfully completed a double major in Sociology and Human Rights with a minor in Environmental Science at Columbia University (where she also came out to herself as Queer). She then worked at a Dominican community organization in Washington Heights, first coordinating a HIV prevention peer program for youth and then as a Mental Health Counselor for people living with HIV/ AIDS, most of who were undocumented immigrants. She then decided to further her career and enrolled at the School of Social Welfare here in Albany for her Master’s degree in Social Work.

When Aaron Bogert came on as an intern at the Pride Center in late May after finishing graduate school, he didn’t necessarily expect that internship to turn into a job, so you can imagine his pleasant surprise when he was asked to join the Pride Center staff as the Development Coordinator in September. “As my internship progressed through the summer, I was given more and more tasks centered on development and organizational advancement,” said Aaron. He adds that “this was a whole new world for me at the time, and development ended up being a fascinating field, so I’m excited that my job at the Pride Center is exclusively focused on it.”

Community work has taken Rosy to many places. She’s lived and worked in New Orleans, Salt Lake City and in various cities in México. The majority of her experience has reflected around HIV Prevention in the LGBT community. Rosy recently served as Prevention Projects Manager with Project HOPE at the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY. HIV Prevention is her primary passion, particularly working with gay and bisexual men. She is a firm believer that the social contexts in which we live deeply affect our health, both in the decisions we make and in our access, or lack thereof, to culturally competent healthcare. Rosy is also passionate about racial and economic


Lyndon Cudlitz is the new Community Education Program Manager Among the many exciting changes at the Pride Center, I am pleased to announce the creation of a dedicated staff person for our Community Education & Outreach program. With my new position as the Community Education Program Manager, the Pride Center has an opportunity to increase the depth and reach of this valuable program. Requests are pouring in more than ever for the Pride Center to provide comprehensive trainings to organizations, businesses, and schools! We offer a wide-range of high quality trainings to assist health & human service providers, employers, educators, and others in creating more LGBTQ-affirming environments. My new role at the Pride Center will also be to enhance educational opportunities for LGBTQ people in the Capital Region through events and workshops, as well as ensure that Pride Center staff and volunteers have continued training opportunities to help us better serve you. I am excited to bring my passion for community education and 13 years of LGBTQ training experience to this new position! For more information or to schedule a training, please contact me at or 518-462-6138 x16.

The transition from intern to staff member was easy for Aaron because he had already been at the Pride Center for more than three months as an intern when he was hired. “It was the ideal way to be hired, really, since I already knew the people who are now my coworkers quite well by the time I started working with them. No awkward, stilted introductions were required,” he says. As for having the added responsibilities of being a staff member, Aaron looks at them as a opportunity to learn more about development work and to prove his abilities, rather than something for him to be nervous about. He concludes, “I’m just really excited to be a part of the Pride Center and to be a member of such an amazing staff.” Says Curran Streett, Pride Center Executive Director “The Pride Center’s amazing growth over the past few years is based in our incredible community support. We are excited to now have a staff person dedicated to enhancing support from the community.”

The Pride Center welcomes MSW Intern Jurrian Craig Hello everyone, my name is Jurrian Craig, and I am one of the three SUNY Albany MSW interns that will be working at the Pride Center of the Capital Region this year. I am very excited about opportunity and look forward to working with this agency.

ence working as a clinician for the Center Support program and I also look forward to assisting this agency with administrative tasks and planning for success in the future. I am also looking forward to co-facilitating the Rainbow Nights youth group in Schenectady!

I am a graduate of the University of New Orleans where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in History. During my undergraduate career I enjoyed focusing on subjects such as racial issues, gender issues, social stratification, and New Orleans history. I am a Capital Region native, and in the spring of 2009 I moved back to this area to be closer to my family and enroll in graduate school. In the fall of 2010 I enrolled in the Masters of Social Work program at SUNY Albany as a part time student. I am now beginning by fourth and final year as a graduate student and I am looking forward to spending this year working with the Pride Center! During this internship I hope to gain experi-

I have a wide variety of experience which includes working as a case manager for adults with intellectual disabilities at a local non-profit agency since this past February. Before I accepted that position I worked for 4 years in supported employment as an Employment Specialist assisting individuals with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities to obtain and maintain integrated community employment. At my previous MSW internship I was assigned to work at a local department of probation where I worked with ex-offenders in the Mental Health Court system of New York State as well as registered sex offenders. I addition to professional experience I have many years of retail experience “under my

belt.” I enjoy working (when I have time!) at a liquor store owned by my father. In my spare time I love spending time outside, visiting with friends and family, and traveling. I love to camp, hike, bike ride, and go roller-skating. I like going to the movies. I also enjoy reading for pleasure, although it has become difficult to find time to do this during the school year. I am a coffee addict and if you ever have the pleasure of working with me before noon you will most likely see a coffee mug attached to my hand. I love music and dancing and I will listen to just about anything – although, don’t ask me questions about artists and song titles because I am not good at remembering them! I have always enjoyed meeting new people and learning about new ways of life! Culture and people fascinate me, and I’m the type of person that can have a conversation with just about anyone. Please reach out to the Pride Center, we are happy to help!

The Pride Center Welcomes BSW Intern Melanie Karmazyn My name is Melanie, I’m a full time student at SUNY Albany. I’m currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare. I graduated from Guilderland Central High School in 1994 and a Votech program with a Practical Nursing degree. Having worked in the medical field doing different things from being in a doctor’s office to collecting blood specimens in one of the local jails. Working in the medical field made me realize that I wanted to help people, I just didn’t want to help them in a medical setting. I wanted to help them before they ended up in a medical setting. Growing up I was always the person that people came to when they had a problem, a secret, or just needed someone to listen while they talked. While attending high school I was a member of the International Club. This club was about people of different ethnicities coming together, sharing recipes, cultural traditions, different experiences and educating people about other cultures of the world. Being a member of this club made me understand that no two people are the same and that’s what was going to make this world an interesting place to live in. In 2010 I attended Hudson Valley Community College pursuing an Associates

Degree in Human Services. While attending the program I was a member of the Human Services Club. In this club we worked on many projects that allowed us to benefit the community as well as give back to the student body. During the winter holiday season the club would adopt 20 student families in need and help them out with gifts and other items also. We also did food drives to help out the food pantry that was on campus as well as create care packages for the troops that were overseas. I’ve done an internship at Mercy House which is a women’s homeless shelter. While interning there I co-facilitated an art therapy group under the monthly women’s group. The group met on a Saturday and I would explain the many different forms of art that allow expression. Some women would draw, sing, write poetry, and even bake a favorite childhood dessert. Cooking is another way that I consider myself helping people. I absolutely love to cook or bake. I like learning a new recipe and incorporating my own spin on it. When I bake I do accommodate the specific person’s needs from gluten free to diabetic. Food and the word comfort somehow pair well together. People have always come to me and said how my food was comforting, they could tell that I cooked it with love.

Cooking is a way that I express myself whether I’m in a good mood or a not so good mood. During my internship here at the Pride Center I’m hoping to learn more about the transgender community as well as dealing with confrontation with a client. I will be working with Lauren , the LGBT Health Specialist to provide Case Management Services to the LGBTQ community. I’m excited to have been placed at the Pride Center as it will help me learn more about the transgender population. I would like to learn how to advocate for this population when it comes to needing important documents such as a s.s.card, photo I.d., or obtaining a birth certificate all of things that different agencies or places of business could ask for during the hiring process. My overall goal would be to complete my Masters in Social Work, move down south and start a program that focuses on helping single working parent families. Another area of interest that I may pursue would be creating a program that focuses on single fathers that are working and raising their children. I would like to be able to provide prevention services as well as emergency services to single fathers. I don’t feel that there are enough programs out there to help single fathers.


LAW OFFICE OF ANNE REYNOLDS COPPS Casey Copps DiPaola, Associate Kate Siobhan Howard, Associate

126 State Street, 6th Flr. Albany, New York 12207 518.436.4170


Adoption Business Formation Education Law Employment Law Estate Planning Family Law Matrimonial Law Medicaid Planning Name Changes Real Estate

Romaine Brooks Gallery December Artist: Stacy Mercer on Her Art, Her Image and Becoming I am inspired by the struggle I had through my life with body image and accepting my own beautiful self. I am a spiritual person and my art reflects this in my work, exploring nature and the small wonders and mysteries. I have had many teachers that have inspired me through bellydance as well as fire spinning which is also reflected in my art and what I try to bring to the world through it. As a plus size woman I fought for a long time to accept me and in my art you will see women of all shapes and sizes because we are ALL beautiful in our way. In my work I like to explore the female form but in a softer way because often women have this one image of beauty and there are so many more. We also tend to overlook the beauty that is the simple tree or a beautiful anima; l so I do like to explore secluded wooded areas and alcoves and those secret magical places. This ties in to how I see what art can do because it can change perception even if it is just one person it has done what it is meant to. My goal is to show people that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and movement and an exploration of the different and out of the ordinary. While I was growing up my uncle was a graphic designer before that was a job. He designed for Rockefeller Center and I wanted to be like him. So from a very young age I started making art in many different ways and then moved onto mimicking comic books and designing my own characters. When I made it to high school I was blessed with the most amazing art teacher, Mrs. G, who took me under her wing and showed me so much more in the art world and introduced me to new mediums. Which is where I discovered painting and how I could start to “break” the rules. I eventually went on to college and gained my fine arts degree. While classes had many benefits it also hindered me to a degree because I was told I could not use my music that I enjoyed when I worked because “it did not work the correct side of the brain”, not verbatim, mind you, but the general idea. While I would never tell someone to NOT take a class I would remind them NOT everything is gospel- you take what is useful for you. I am a performer as well as an artist. One of my greatest art accomplishments, besides showing at my first local gallery, was being signed by Mac Worthington gallery of contemporary art in Ohio. There was one occasion just after a belly dance performance, I had one of the audience member came up to me [and say] “ You were beautiful. The strength and honesty and the confidence showing yourself (my stomach was bare with my style of costuming) I want to get where you are.” That touched me so deeply because I knew where she was coming from, the uncertainty and unhappiness in her own skin, to know I reached her that deeply. As artists we are the gatekeepers to very primal things and even if we do not know it we change people with everything we do.

Stacy’s show, “becoming” will open at Pride Center’s Romaine Brooks Gallery on Friday, December 6th with My show is called “becoming” and it is done in all oils. It took time to find the pathway my art took because it also mirrors my be- a reception as part of Albany’s 1st Friday from 5-9pm coming and growth. While certain pieces mirror my own journey and will be on display through the month of December. and what I understood or built on some shows a mythical aspect of The Romaine Brooks Gallery is located on the 3rd floor becoming and doorways. Execution came in layers and emotions of the Pride Center’s building at 332 Hudson Ave in and some sleepless nights because sometimes the muse just does Albany. not let you sleep until you get to where she wants you to be. I am currently building a new show around the fire and ancestors



Pride Center Gala / October 18, 2013

Jeff Baltes & Gene Knapp

Jim Gaughan & Keith Lee

Gloria DeSole, Libby Post, Barbara Goldstein, Judy Disco

Christina Arangio & Steve Ammerman

Meredith Butler & Ronnie Mangione



2013 - The Year In Review Curran Streett Executive Director

This year has been so exciting for the Pride Center it is hard to pick a favorite moment. The Gala was definitely a favorite, highlighting our great programs and garnering incredible support for our work. It was an amazing experience being in front of a bigger crowd than ever before, looking out among the sea of friends we have raised over the years. We are so fortunate as a community to have so many invested and passionate people working to advance our rights.

Michael Weidrich Director of Operations

This year has seen the Center grow in leaps and bounds! We started the year with only 5 staff members and are ending it with a whopping 10 people. This 100% growth forced us to devote some tender love and care to our building, from adding new offices to the 3rd floor, to renovating the Romaine Brooks Gallery, to the completely gutting and renovating the basement into a beautiful Garden Level completely with a brand new kitchen and brand new wood floors. But probably my favorite addition to the building is our brand new Pride Center sign that proudly shows the world who we are.

Rosy Galvan Program Director

“My favorite part of 2013 was attending the Pride Gala. It gave me a glimpse of the incredible work done by Center staff and volunteers. It also made me feel extra motivated and grateful to start my new position! Hopes for 2014 include learning the ins and outs of my job, the passing of GENDA and continuing to live a fabulous life.”

Lyndon Cudlitz Community Education Program Manager

1)Moving to Albany and getting to know a new LGBTQ community! 2)I’m excited for the expansion of the Pride Center’s Community Education program. We’re receiving more requests than ever to provide comprehensive trainings to organizations, businesses, and schools. The Pride Center will also be offering more educational opportunities for the LGBTQ community through workshops, events, and more!

James Shultis Youth Program Coordinator

2013 has been a fabulous year for our Center Youth program. We celebrated our 30th anniversary of being in existence, which is amazing to think about. 30 years ago, it was taboo for a gay man to want to start an youth group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, questioning and allied (LGBTQA) teens; now we have three wonderful youth groups throughout the Capital Region; visit schools and youth-serving organizations to educate and advocate for safe spaces; host a variety of social events, like the 16th annual Alternative Prom, Frostbite Ball, Spring Fling, a handful of youth specific Capital Pride events, had 75+ youth lead the Pride Parade in the Youth March, plus so much more. For 2014, I can’t wait to see more growth within our programs at the Pride Center, gain even more support from our community, and see GENDA (the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act) be passed once and for all!

Lauren Ford LGBT Health Specialist

What a year 2013 has been for our Center Support Program! At the start of 2013 we began offering on-site HIV testing, in July Case Management Services celebrated one year of providing health and human service coordination for our community and as the only provider of trans-specific case management services in Upstate New York. Moving into September we welcomed more Social Work interns to provide low-cost mental health counseling than ever before and in late October we brought on our first-ever team of healthcare enrollment coordinators to assist our community in knowing their rights and applying for public and private health insurance! Whew. I love that I have the privilege of coming in to work each day and seeing the Pride Center really live our mission to support the well being of all in our community. Here’s to next year!

Steve Hendrickson Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator

The high light of my year was coming on board as the new Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator for the Pride Center of the Capital Region. This is a very exciting time for many people who will be able to obtain affordable health care. It is great to see this program added to the other programs and services that are offered by the Pride Center. Please stay tuned as we get this program rolled out and if you have any questions about new health care laws, please contact us at the Pride Center and we can help you through the process.

Oliver Peters Outreach Coordinator

The best thing about 2013 has definitely been starting work at the Pride Center. It’s a great way to end the year! Looking forward. In 2014, I am really excited about the Pride Center’s growth; and with that, added potential to reach and relate to our ever changing, diverse community.

Steven Minchin Administrative Coordinator

The best parts of 2013 for me were tied together, the first was every Thursday evening, from about 6-7 from January to June. That’s when the Pride Planning Committee would meet. I was always uplifted by their energy, ideas and friendship. And those meetings led up to one of the highlights of the year, though only a moment in itself, really, but little else could have been better than the amazing sense of pride and joint accomplishment I felt toward the end of June 9th. That was shortly after we had finally finished all of the cleanup from the Pride Festival. And though it had been a 16 hour day, it was a highlight of the year, marked by a true sense of community that had done something amazing together.

Aaron Bogert Development Coordinator

My favorite part of this past year was deciding to move back to the Capital Region and getting hired at the Pride Center. It was great to find myself at an organization back home where I feel like I am actually making a difference and contributing to the community. In addition, it’s great to be working with such an amazing staff at the Center!



to the

Center Youth Action Team’s Communications Committee

The Center Youth Action Team is designed to encourage youth leadership, contradict myths and stereotypes of the LGBT community, give voice to the rich diversity of the LGBTQ community, and provide positive representations of the LGBTQ and allied community. This unique program provides youth with training and speaking opportunities to help make schools safer while developing a sense of confidence and pride in their identities. The Center Youth Action

Team conducts trainings and presentations for school teachers, administrators and GSA’s as well as community groups throughout the year. Within CYAT we have different committee’s that will tackle the different aspect of CYAT (education, event planning, etc.) The committee that puts together articles like the one below is named the Communications Committee and our job is to maintain communica-

tions for the CYAT on Tumblr/blog/ Facebook and to submit articles for the CommUNITY newsletter about current events, or about important celebrations (breast cancer awareness, LGBT history month, Ally week etc.) On the Communications Committee we have Athena, Taylor, John and Troy, all gifted students representing different counties and views in Upstate New York.

Pride Center LGBTQA Scholarship Applications Now Available for HS Seniors! By James Shultis, Youth Program Coordinator The Pride Center is proud to announce that applications are now available for the Pride Center Youth Scholarship! This scholarship is intended to help Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans*, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) students and their allies who exemplify leadership, academic achievement and commitment to LGBT equality. Scholarships of up to $2,500 will be offered to at least four graduating high school seniors who have been accepted at two or four year accredited colleges or universities. Applications will be reviewed by a committee tasked with assessing the following; academic re-

cord, commitment to the LGBTQ community as demonstrated by past activity and future ambitions, financial need and the quality and content of the personal statement. We all know how tough it can be to navigate finances, so we’re happy to say these scholarship funds may cover tuition, books, supplies (including technology), room and board, transportation, or living expenses. We’re looking forward to providing this opportunity to LGBTQ and allied seniors graduating this year!

Please help us spread the word! If you know an LGBTQ identified senior in high school who would be a good candidate for this scholarship, please contact James Shultis, Youth Program Assistant by email at, or call 462-6138. For more information, or to access a scholarship application, please visit our website at Applications for the 2014 Pride Center Youth Scholarship are due Friday, May 2!

What the ENDA Means for Young People

By Taylor Keith, Member of the Pride Center’s Youth Action Team and student at Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls U.S. Senate Democrats have signaled their unified support for the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), a law that would make it illegal to discriminate against members of the LGBT Community in the workplace. That means that with the current makeup of the U.S. Senate, there are 59 votes for ENDA, which includes two independents who caucus with the Democrats, which is one short of the of the 60 vote threshold needed to overcome any threat of a filibuster in the Senate. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader (D-Nevada), let it be known that it was his intent to bring ENDA up for a vote by Thanksgiving.


If ENDA should pass it would be against the law to use a person’s sexual orientation or gender identification as a basis for discrimination in hiring or employment. ENDA was reintroduced in the House but it is believed that chances of passage in the Republican controlled House is unlikely since John Boehner speaker of the house (R-Ohio) publicly announced that he is not in support of the bill. As a person in the LGBTQA community ENDA is very important to me. I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity at a job and that workplaces should judge you by the

quality of your work no your sexual preference, gender- expression, ethnicity, family background. Even though this act is aimed to the LGBTQA community it’s really a human rights issue which is why everyone should be educated about this and why everyone should call/message their congressman and tell them to support this bill! For as the famous Martin Luther King Jr. said “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

“It Could Happen to You” Video Review

By Taylor Keith, Member of the Pride Center’s Youth Action Team and student at Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls Shane Bitney Crone’s video “It Could Happen to You” on YouTube told the story of him and his fiancé (Tom Bridegroom) whose committed relationship was tragically cut short when Tom took a misstep off the side of a roof and fell to his death. While Crone came from a family who was loving and accepting of his sexual orientation, Bridegroom’s family was not. Bridegroom’s family went so far as to threaten Shane and blame him for making Tom gay. Crone was told after Bridegroom’s death to stay away from the funeral. Crone was also denied visitation rights to see Tom in the hospital after the accident. He was denied rights accorded to married couples because Crone was not recognized as Bridegroom’s partner or family. After seeing this YouTube video (it was published in 2011 I was about 12) I began to truly understand how hurtful homophobia could be- not to say that I have never been to exposed to homophobia. I have shared this video with my friends and I told people that this could happen to you. Someone you love could die and their family could shut you out completely. Life is too short to focus on what makes us different, it should be focused on equality and living in harmony. Three years after Crone’s video was released, a documentary named Bridegroom based on the story of Crone and Bridegroom’s experienced premiered on April 23, 2013, at the Tribeca Film Festival. Bridegroom was supported by President

Clinton, who introduced the movie at the Film Festival. President Clinton stated that, “[t]his is really, on one level, a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story...And on another level, and it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.” According to Wikipedia ‘Bridegroom,’ written and directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (of ‘Designing Women’ fame), is a poignant, powerful tale of first love and untimely death as well as a practical, frankly undeniable, plea for marriage equality....Despite the pain, sadness and vast emotional upheaval depicted here, “Bridegroom,” is also a movie filled with hope and passion, dignity and pride, and many stirring pockets of joy.” The film relies on interviews with Crone’s family and the couple’s friends who described how they met, fell in love and had an enviable relationship. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) broadcast the documentary which was followed by “First Look: Gay Hollywood on Oprahs’ Next Chapter. Oprah sat down with Wanda Sykes, Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) and they talked about coming out, marriage, activism, and the importance of equality. I watched this commentary and one thing Oprah said that really stuck with me was that she thought that everything was going okay, she knew it was bad but she didn’t think it was that bad. That stuck with me because not everybody knows about the

struggles for equality and while they believe in equality and talk about it from time to time they don’t really know how bad it truly is. I think the next step in the fight should be education. Everyone knows what the LGBQTA Community is fighting for. What they don’t know is how bad it is and what kind of legislation has passed.. Education is a necessary step toward the path to equality and we need to use it. Representation is also needed. People are needed to demonstrate that they are regular people who just happen to be gay. In Modern Family, Tyler Ferguson portrays a normal family man who just happens to be gay. People say, “[o]h he’s just like us” or “[o]h he raises his daughter like us.” There is no room for the “[o]h but he’s gay.” or “[o]h my god he’s marrying a man.” comments because you are already comfortable with him as a person. “Bridegroom” has opened the eyes of many people and has “opened the closet door” for others. This story is not a gay story, nor is it a straight story. It’s a human story. It’s something everybody can relate to and it really sheds light on the struggle for equality. It shows that the LGBTQA Community has a long way to go before people stop being gay, lesbian, and straight, Black, White or Latino. We stop having labels put on us and we start becoming people who can just love each other without being judged or threatened.


Happy Holidays? By Liz Condrey, MSW Take a look at the television shows, movies, commercials, advertisements, magazines, and even Facebook during the months of November and December and you’ll see it: families sharing laughs around a dinner table, fiancées excitedly meeting soon-to-be in-laws, friends socializing in fancy winter garb around a fire... the holiday season has descended upon us. The images we are confronted with depict happiness, community, family, gifts, and a lot of food. Sometimes, though, the holiday season can be taxing, stressful, sad, and isolating. One major theme of the holidays is time with family. Most of the images of families that we are bombarded with, particularly during the holiday season, reflect a heterosexual and nuclear family norm. Parents around the table with children and husbands with jewelry boxes for their wives. While many LGBTQ individuals cultivate and maintain loving and respectful relationships with family and other loved ones, other queer folks are not as lucky. When someone does not have an accepting family of origin to go home to during Thanksgiving, for instance, that person may feel isolated, anxious, or depressed. These same feelings can surface when parents, grandparents, or other extended family members make it clear that your partner will not be included at family functions or in family holiday traditions. The holiday season can be hard for other reasons, as well. Sometimes, we may be experiencing the first holiday without a parent, partner, friend, loyal pet, or loved one. This may be due to death, estrangement, the end of a relationship, tension as a result of coming out to certain family members, or countless other reasons. This sense of loss may be amplified and enhanced by the merriment on our television screens and our Instagram feeds, and our self-imposed need to “keep it together” during the holidays might heighten our level of anxiety and hinder our instinct to grieve. So, what can we do about this? If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or feel isolated and alone, it is important to talk to a trusted friend about what’s going on internally. There are healthy ways to cope with these feelings and process what lies beneath these feelings of helplessness, sadness, lack of motivation, anxiety, and isolation. It’s also important to recognize patterns in your mood. Do you experience an increase in anxiety during a particular holiday or time of year?


Is it a time when you tend to focus on a particular loss? Recognizing and confronting these patterns can help you become more equipped to cope with them. If you notice that each Christmas, you experience great sadness regarding a deceased parent, you can be proactive in the months and weeks leading up to that holiday. Reach out for extra support, tell people you trust to be gentle with you during this particular time, and you may find that others have similar experiences and stories and will support you. You can also check in with your therapist or family doctor around what tends to be a difficult time of year. These professionals can help you manage your stress, make appropriate referrals, cope with sadness, process your feelings, and monitor your health during this time and follow up with you after the holidays have come and gone. As a therapist, I have seen the very real impact that family-related stress can have on one’s mind and body. It can manifest in symptoms of anxiety, lowered self-esteem, and increased isolation. I have also seen the positive impacts that processing these symptoms and feelings can have on a person’s overall ability to cope with stress, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem.

When you have another person there to listen to you, support you with problemsolving, help you develop healthy coping strategies, explore past patterns, and discover your sense of resiliency, it becomes much easier to face stressful situations and relationships head-on. If the holidays feel overwhelming, don’t face it alone; reach out for help. Liz Condrey works at Choices Counseling and Consulting and specializes in issues related to intimate partner abuse, anxiety, and depression, and utilizes traumainformed, feminist, and strengths-based frameworks in her practice. She works with individuals and families. She has no idea what to get her two cats for Christmas and welcomes suggestions. To learn more about how Choices can support you, go to, or call (518) 438-2222.

My Big Gay Ears - Some Arts Excursions by


Long Winter Days

Joseph Dalton

Tear out this article and save it for after the holidays. Once the Christmas lights are taken down, daylight will still be in short supply and if you’re like me, you’ll be getting cabin fever by mid-January. Here are a few options for interesting places across the region to visit when your body says stay home but your spirit need lifting. Bundle up and get in the car, then let your imagination soar. Albany Institute of History and Art. If you grew up in Albany you probably already have met the museum’s famed mummies. But in just the past few years, new research and technologies have provided fresh information on the who, how and why of these Egyptian wonders. “The Mystery of the Albany Mummies,” on view through June 8, features major loans from other international museums, plus a few contemporary artifacts. Don’t miss seeing the ornate necklace worn by Anne Baxter in “The Ten Commandments,” which is in the room dedicated to “Egypt-mania.” (www.albanyinstitute. org) New York State Museum. Speaking of childhood, this is family museum with permanent exhibits on the many aspects of the Empire State, both natural and man made. This win-

The Fashionable

and the

ter there are also shows of paintings of Lake Erie by Charles Burchfield, and two concurrent exhibits on aspects of New York’s involvements in the Civil War. (www.nysm. Mass MoCA. In the small town of North Adams, Mass. a complex of 19th century industrial buildings have been transformed into a 13-acre wonderland of contemporary art. The unusual exhibits are always thought provoking with emphasis on new forms of sculpture, interactive installations and a variety of multimedia. So don’t go expecting just some pretty paintings. Actually, I take that back. Get to Mass MoCA if for no other reason than to experience the drawings and paintings of Sol Lewitt. One entire building on the campus is dedicated to 105 of his “wall drawings.” The artist wrote instructions for how each is to be created and it took six months for a team 65 artisans to execute his instructions. It’s not to be missed! ( Olana. After Hudson River School painter Frederic Church (1826-1900) conquered the international art world with his massive canvases, he built this idyllic home on a bluff overlooking the river valley, the Catskill

Mountains and the Taconic hills. Besides the beautiful vistas, the building itself is a feast of Persian and Moorish style. Take the afternoon tour, which lasts about an hour, then head into nearby Hudson for coffee and a bit of shopping. ( Dia: Beacon. If you’ve done Mass MoCA, want more large scale contemporary art and don’t mind a drive, Dia: Beacon should be next on your list. It’s another massive site, reclaimed from its industrial past, and filled with permanent installations of art by major figures of the 20th century. Among the offerings, there’s colorful, large installations of paintings by Andy Warhol, undulating steel forms by Richard Serra, and the fluorescent light sculptures by Dan Flavin. But not everything knocks you over the head with boldness. Consider as alternatives the fine-lined paintings of Agnes Martin, and the minimalist sculptures of Fred Sandback, which are made of string. ( beacon) Joseph Dalton writes about the arts in the Times Union and sells houses across the Capital Region. Find out more about all his endeavors at:

Frivolous - Winter White Wonderland

By Alan Bennett Ilagan It’s a debate that has raged for decades. Inspiring heated discussion, vicious battles, and strained friendships, it’s an argument that rivals the proverbial chicken or the egg. From the fiercest fashionistas to the most plainlyattired hausfraus, it is the most divisive question of the time: is it acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? I was just discussing this in my office the other week, and the general consensus was that the rule is an antiquated one, rendered obsolete even by some of the very same people who continue to favor pleated pants, tie-dye, and corduroy (the poor man’s velvet). Personally, I think the no-white pants after Labor Day or before Memorial Day rule is arbitrary at best. However, for seasonal attire, I usually don’t don white or light-colored pants unless it’s spring or summer – or if I’m going somewhere warm and in close proximity to a beach. (Location and weather play more important parts to wardrobe selection than pre-determined dates.) A safer and simpler solution would be to don a shade of winter

white – a creamier version of the stark staple that has gotten the go-ahead from even the most staunch of no-white-after-Labor-Day stalwarts. The fact that such a topic remains in perennial debate points not only to a greater misunderstanding of the function of fashion, but to its merits as well. Fashion, like beauty, will always reside in the eye of the beholder. To pin it down with rules, with dos-and-don’ts, is to go against its very nature. Fashion is fluid. Fashion is movement. Fashion is expression and instruction. Fashion is knowing the rules, but breaking them when necessary. Perhaps above all else, fashion is philosophy. Whenever someone asks if it’s okay to wear white after Labor Day, I sigh a little, knowing I’m about to say something that will likely hurt their feelings, but also realizing that such a question shouldn’t matter. True fashion is not looking to others for acceptance or ap-

proval. True fashion arises from the connection between article of clothing and wearer of article. If you believe in wearing white after Labor Day, if you feel it works on you, then you alone can make that decree. That said, fashion will never be brown shoes with a black belt. Fashion is an unfathomable conundrum. Alan Bennett Ilagan is a freelance writer and amateur photographer who resides in upstate New York with his husband Andy. He created the website, which contains a repository of his work, as well as a daily blog; the website recently celebrated its tenth anniversary online. He was the manager of the Romaine Brooks Gallery from 2008 to 2012. His writing has appeared in Instinct, xy magazine, Capitalmen, Q Northeast, the Windy City Times, and the Boston Phoenix. Notable artistic collaborations have been created with the likes of Steven Underhill, Paul Richmond, Dennis Dean, and Michael Breyette.


To Be a Blessing - Allies Support Birth Pangs By Audrey Seidman In late October, as I went looking for writers to fill this space, a member of Advocates for Welcoming Congregations (AWC) asked if we should continue to make the effort: “Is our work essentially done? Are we still needed? Since 2006, AWC has worked to encourage the welcoming of LGBTQ persons into the full life and leadership of Capital Region communities of faith. We have also made visible (including through this publication) increased opportunities for members of the LGBTQ community to practice their faith traditions. In these short few years we have indeed come far, with many more congregations officially – or rebelliously – hanging signs of welcome and equal treatment to our community. Much of this progress was aided by the willingness of many heterosexual allies – clergy and congregants – to take risks on our behalf. In early November I heard a story of such a struggle that took place nearly 30 years ago. I was on a pilgrimage to Philadelphia to honor the 80th birthday of Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a political activist, founder and director of The Shalom Center, and a leader of the Jewish Renewal movement. (That the fundraising event on Sunday, November 3, called “This is what 80 looks like!” also featured Gloria Steinem, soon to turn 80, is a story for another day.) At a small informal gathering at the home of Waskow and his wife, Rabbi Phyllis Berman, guests were invited to tell tales about Arthur. We heard many, including about his authorship of the ground-breaking Freedom Seder that, written in 1969, linked the Jewish story of freedom from slavery with the Civil Rights Movement and women’s liberation. I have a few stories of my own; Arthur’s writing, teaching, and praying blew my mind open and helped carry me to new places on my own spiritual journey.

served on the planning committee for this event. At one point, a heterosexual couple asked the committee if they could hold their wedding at the Kallah and invite all of its participants. Breitman recalls the debates that ensued: “It was a very stormy meeting, but ultimately we decided that the Kallah could not sponsor the wedding of a man and a woman because it was a moment in history when gay and lesbian people could not be married either civilly or Jewishly and so we did not do that.” Breitman remembers that Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the Hasidic founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, remarked at the end of this tumultuous discussion, “Now that we’ve come to this, sit quietly for a moment. These are the birth pangs of the Shechinah (feminine Divine Presence).” Breitman offers context: “This is the moment in 1985 when gay and lesbian Jews that were in Rabbinical school were deep in the closet. This is the time when, if you were gay or lesbian or if you mentioned that you were bi-sexual or that you were transgender at all, (even in gay or lesbian circles), you could not be a Jewish professional and be out.”

With the intention of making the Kallah a safe and welcoming place, the planners chose to build a “coming out” ritual into the Sabbath service. During Saturday morning prayers, people were invited to come up to the sacred Torah scroll, and people started to come out, gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender. “It was an extraordinary moment of standing on the steps of the student union in the sunlight and one by one people coming out, and you could see the light beginning to shine,” Breitman remembers. I was extremely moved to hear this story, part of the history of both my Jewish and LGBTQ communities. Breitman, Waskow and other allies took a controversial stand that moved this faith community forward. Actions like these have ultimately made same-sex marriage possible! So now I have two questions for you to ponder: Is AWC still needed? And to whom are you an ally? Audrey Seidman found the Jewish Renewal movement (see in 2000 and has been on an amazing journey ever since. You can join the Advocates for Welcoming Congregations conversation at or call Audrey at 459-0661.

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Still it was the story shared by Barbara Eve Breitman, a Philadelphia psychotherapist and trainer of spiritual directors, that begs to be shared. It is a story that shows the transformative power of having allies. Early leaders of the Jewish Renewal movement – a group spiritually deep and denominationally wide – were planning their first national gathering – called a Kallah – to be held on a Pennsylvania college campus in July 1985. Breitman and Waskow both



Welcoming Congregations

Join Us In Exploring Your Spiritual Side At One Of The Welcoming Congregations Below: Community Congregational Church (UCC) 221 Columbia Tpke, Rensselaer, NY Community Reformed Church of Colonie 701 Sand Creek Road, Colonie, NY (518)869-5589 Congregation Agudat Achim (Conservative) 2117 Union Street, Schenectady, NY (518) 393-9211 Congregation B’nai Shalom (Reform) 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY (518) 482-5283 Congregation Berith Shalom (Reform) 167 Third Street, Troy, NY (518)272-8872 Congregation Beth Emeth (Reform) 100 Academy Road, Albany, NY (518)436-9761 Congregation Gates of Heaven (Reform) 842 Ashmore Avenue, Schenectady, NY (518)374-8173 Congregation Ohav Shalom (Conservative) 113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY Congregation Temple Sinai (Reform) 509 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY (518) 584-8730 Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church 943 Palmer Avenue, Schenectady, NY (518)374-4306 St George’s Episcopal Church 30 North Ferry St., Schenectady Emmanuel Baptist Church 275 State Street, Albany, NY (518)465-5161

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The Gabyboomer Diaries - Sixty Feet to Success: Dr. Ray’s Road to Sports Stardom (Part 2) By Dr. Raymond H. Werking, Jr.

The last column of “The Gabyboomer Diaries” chronicled my entry into the world of athletics via the sport of bowling. The construction of a modern, new bowling establishment in my town, coupled with my discovery of the Saturday morning junior leagues that became so amazingly popular in the sixties and seventies, created a whole new world of acceptance and popularity for me. My phenomenal hand eye coordination and dedication to endless practice sessions allowed me to rise to the very top of my beloved game. I literally went from being a sissy to a star in less than one school year. In order to understand this evolution, it must be stressed that bowling in the era in which I grew up was not the recreational activity that individuals participate in today. Bowling was viewed as a bona fide sport in which numerous basketball players and football players vied to be competitive during the offseason. The super jocks literally strived to earn varsity letters in the field of ten pins and were looked up to for their efforts. It breaks my heart to say so, but bowling today ranks slightly above miniature golf on the respectability scale of physical prowess. Synthetic lanes and expensive, designer bowling balls have made the game so easy that grandma can compete with the best of them.

Dr. Ray Werking (right) with the greatest bowler of all time, Dick Weber (center) and local bowling star, Tom Walsh, Jr. (left), prior to a nationally televised match in September 1978


Against the backdrop of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the fall of 1965, my bowling talents rose to a new level. I lapped the field in the first practice session of the season and qualified for a varsity match against Hudson High School. This set the stage for a New York State Championship which I would win the following April, one of only 12 such awards ever achieved in the nearly 70 year history of Columbia High School. It was about this time that I became part of a whole new subculture known as “jackpots” in which a group of guys would put up their own money to compete for significant cash in single game head-to-head matches. This type of competition was positively created for my psyche. I lived for the challenge, and no one could throw three clutch strikes in the tenth frame to win a match the way Ray did. I almost always wore a tight, black t-shirt and learned how to play the role of a bad boy very well. A typical weekend consisted of up to 100 single game matches. The group I traveled with were tough and protected me in an environment that was less than optimum to say the least. My bowling skills made me a commodity, and my friends recognized this. They also knew that I was probably the only one

in the ragtag crowd who could be trusted to handle the money. Little did the members of our motley crew realize, however, that I had crushes on at least half of them and absolutely adored the all male environment in which a closeted, shy, gay boy who weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet could actually thrive. . . COMING UP NEXT: The Wonderful World of Professional Bowling Brings Fame, Fortune, and Romance . . . Dr. Raymond H. Werking, Jr. is a lifelong educator and published novelist who has rededicated himself to completing his tell-all autobiography, “Unapologetically Alive.” He has a doctoral degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany. He volunteers as Executive Producer of HomoRadio which is now in its twenty-second year of service to our community. Don’t miss this awardwinning LGBT news and public affairs program’s live broadcasts every Sunday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm on WRPI 91.5 FM, on, or via iTunes. Ray would love to hear your comments, questions, and feedback at

Genderf*ck - Dehumanization By Drew Cordes

The ways in which language reinforces the gender binary are familiar to many of us. The most immediate example being the lack of a gender-neutral singular pronoun in many of the world’s tongues. There have been many attempts to sidestep this limitation historically and in the contemporary queer/ trans community, from the invention of new pronouns such as “zie, hir, yo;” repurposing the gender-neutral yet plural “they” for singular purposes; or not having a pronoun preference at all (the latter being my favorite because it forces other people to make a choice they’ve never thought about making before). Seemingly all of life conspires to support the binary. The sinister aspect of this being that it nestles largely unnoticed under our collective nose. There is no mainstream cultural dialogue about “the pronoun problem” in English-speaking countries. Native Spanish speakers don’t perceive their language’s gendered means of addressing objects and adjectives as an issue. It just is. That is hegemony -- the domination of cultural archetypes and methodology enforced and reinforced so slyly that one struggles to even perceive the influence. Frightening, yes? Makes you wonder how much of your life is truly yours, and how much you just unwittingly perform and submit to -- a conglomeration of customs and standards socialized and conditioned into what

and the



Gendered Language

you consider You.

latch on to.

What has been raising my neck hair the most lately is the manifestation of this hegemony that occurs when life itself begins. Birth. When we are born, the first thing, literally the first concern of everyone in the room aside from the prevention of death and injury, is gendering the infant. The child is and remains an “It” until it is gendered, and the way our language is constructed we intuitively comprehend an “It” as a thing; not a person, a thing. Gender is the lens through which our humanity is first perceived and understood. Without an immediately recognizable gender we are less than. The way in which we are understood and countenanced is handicapped.

And latch we do. We’re a pack of leeches when it comes to humanizing our infants via gender. Hell, as soon as they can, hospitals plop pink and blue caps on top of those aforementioned alien skulls. Parents take them home to gendered nurseries and toys. It goes so far that doctors used to regularly (and sometimes still) perform unnecessary surgeries to make intersex infants’ genitals look more “traditional,” rendering judgment on what the kid’s gender should be for the rest of its life before its eyes can even focus. All this in the name of subscribing to familiar definitions, adhering to the standards set by the tool we innately rely upon far, far above all others combined to countenance the world around us: language. So, how does one combat hegemony? How does one combat language? As you might expect, the answers are unclear. This is not like a political battle, where the road of lobbying and campaigning is tough, but at least you can see the road. Here, we’re basically groping in the dark. (This is unfortunately the case all too often in the struggle for trans* empowerment.)

This may seem all theoretical and abstract, so let’s get concrete with some examples of how this might affect someone personally. Which will be easier for the mother to get over: the death of an newborn girl, or the death of an It? Does the humanity of an It not feel inherently less than the humanity of the little girl? The little girl we can almost picture in our mind. Not so with an It. Does giving birth to an It not smack of some unthinkable monstrosity? Nothing inspires fear in humans like the undefined, after all. (See: most good horror/suspense films -- Alien(s), Jaws). And nothing trumps love quite so effectively as fear. The reason this happens, as far as I can deduce, is that babies are pretty much a blank slate. We have no other means of connection, no other way to identify or empathize with them human-tohuman. Their brains are undeveloped, so there’s no intellectual interaction; outstanding physical characteristics are minimal (aside from that temporarybut-still-freaky, cervically smushed alien skull) -- even eye color is still in flux, and hair, if they have any, is liable to change as well. Gender is all one can

All I can do is suggest the same small, humble actions I usually do for problems of this sort: visibility and friendly person-to-person interaction/education. You cannot change the machine, especially not overnight, but you can change individual hearts, and before too long the sea change of all those hearts can reach critical mass and deliver the status quo one hell of a thump. Albany resident Drew Cordes identifies as queer, trans, and genderqueer, and is a part of the trans* social justice group Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region. Reprinted with permission of The Bilerico Project: www.bilerico. com.


Trans View #118 - New Beginnings.... By Moonhawk River Stone © 2013

December 21st marks the shortest day of the year. In many religious and spiritual traditions there are holidays which commemorate this truth by celebrating the shortest night of the year with celebrations for the coming of the Light--meaning the longer days begin anew after the shortest night. It is a time in our temporal calendar to pause and think about the Light, coming of the Light--meaning God energy in all its forms. When we do so, this season can be very beautiful, whether you are in awe of the light twinkling from holiday lights or snowflakes falling to earth or the stars in the heavens. These are reminders that Light, the Light in our hearts and the Light in the world as represented by the word God in all forms. In my Interfaith perspective, I refer to God as All That Is, because all traditions honor the same Universal Energy we typically call God, and all of them connect God with Light. So, there is the shortest night and ten-twelve days later there is the secular New Year, the marking on our calendars, the turning of the year or another sort of New Beginning. We often use this time in a less spiritual way to turn to New Beginnings, called New Year’s Resolutions, to mark the things we’d like to change--usually within ourselves, sometimes in our communities or the larger regions--state, federal, World. It’s become folklore about making New Year’s Resolutions and that we fail to keep them pretty routinely. That’s because from my perspective, we ignore the spiritual component in what we do. If we don’t bring our whole selves to an endeavor, any endeavor, then we often don’t meet with success. Typically we ignore the emotional and psychological


components of what what we are resolving to accomplish, but a lot of the time we especially eschew the spiritual.

too oft quoted these days, begins with us, each of us, individually. What if? What indeed!

But suppose, we suspend the religious for a moment and consider just the spiritual--just the concept of bringing Light into the World, into everything we do. Then what? How does that change ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, our World? When we can find a way to move beyond restriction to honor the very fundamental way in which we are all connected--we are all of the Light, then what can happen? That the Light knows not the boundaries to which we humans adhere.

We may have to deal with what seems the same old same old tried and true political realities with regard to all things trans, but do we need to deal with them from the same old same old set of tools? Or can we challenge ourselves in this season of New Beginnings to do something different? To resolve ourselves to challenge ourselves to see with new eyes, a clear heart, a unveiled Spirit?

There is a word, now in pretty common usage in the West, that comes from Hindi with roots in Sanskrit: Namaste. It has been commonly used in the Indian subcontinent as a greeting and parting salutation for the past 4000 years, and it had spread to all of Asia at some point. Done the traditional way, a person places their hands together, palm to palm in a manner Christian folks in the West would notice as being “prayerful”, and holding them over the heart chakra (your heart), bowing the head slightly while saying, “Namaste”. Namaste means “I honor the Spirit (Light) in you which is also in me.”

We might say, “I may not like them or trust them, but I can honor them.”; As the Michael Jackson song, “Man In The Mirror” enjoins us that if we wish to make the change, it needs to begin with looking at ourselves in the mirror with honesty and without the usual veil of our fear and disconnection from Spirit. “Who am I pretending not to see?” he sings, the inference that we are the same, and change must come from ourselves first in order to create the possibility of it within others.

•My energy salutes the energy lying within you, (which is the same Light energy).

As transgender people, we like all other marginalized peoples, have experienced some of the most un-Namaste moments imaginable. Truly and frequently. In this New Beginning, do we hold grudges, wish for revenge, hold onto toxic rage? Or do we put our hands together, palms touching, bow our head and say, “Namaste” to those who hate us, who seek to destroy us, who would keep us from our freedom and equality, who fear us, and in doing so, change everything and begin a New Conversation, a true resolution, a New Beginning? Until next time...”Namaste”.T

•I recognize the power of divinity that dwells in your heart.*

Reference: *

Now imagine, for a moment, were we to begin anew in our endeavors from this perspective, from this resolution? How would that change our ourselves? our neighbors? our communities? our politics? our advocacy? our state and country? and our World? Yes, I am an idealist, no debate there. But change, as Ghandi is

Rev. Moonhawk River Stone of RiverStone Consulting is an Interfaith Minister, transgender activist, writer, educator, consultant, keynote speaker and psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years experience and with extensive expertise in all aspects of transgender policy and heatlh.

The word Namaste signifies that: •Your spirit is the same as mine and therefore there is no difference between you and me. •I welcome the place where you and I meet, (that we are both the Light).

Money Matters - Put Your Money Where Your Values Are By Thomas J. Walling CFP®

are allowed to vote on issues affecting that company. These votes are called proxies. Using these proxies to forward issues important to shareholders is another way SRI affects change in companies. Regardless of the outcome of the votes, the issues are being raised with these companies. Hopefully, they will see the writing on the wall and make the changes. Greed is an ugly thing.

When meeting with a client who was passionately against hydrofracking last week, I noticed she had a new position in a company that was highly tied to the “Renaissance of Energy,” ironically…hydrofracking. How many of you can say that you do not own any part of a certain chicken sandwich company after that whole anti marriage equality thing not so long ago? The truth is that most people do not know whose individual stock they own through their retirement accounts at work or their investments at home. Diversification (or not putting all your eggs in one basket) may be to blame. In order to spread the risk, managed or grouped securities funds (Mutual Funds, ETF’s, UIT’s to name a few) exist. The primary job for these is to make money and lessen risk. There is a trend growing called Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Some investment companies offer filters to ensure certain criteria are met with respect to ideologies. Different people have different attitudes and priorities about everything. There are companies that offer screens for almost any religion related value set. There are anti weapon, tobacco, alcohol and gambling screens. There are sustainability / renewable(Green) and corporate governance screens. As time goes on, there seem to be more and more SRI themes to match your values. The idea is to put your money where your values are. Money is what drives companies. Investing in things with social screens directly tells companies who are doing the right thing that you support them. Not investing in companies with poor practices tell these companies that they need to change in order to get the investments of people who care. When stock is owned, the shareholders

Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Most of these screens get on one side of a discussion. If you smoke and like guns, the tobacco and weapons screens may not be right for you. If you are Pro Choice, Pro Marriage Equality and believe in the use of birth control, some religious screens may not be for you. Talk to your financial advisor regarding which filters may be right for you, your goals, and your values. Most religious screens are not friends to the LGBT community. Human and Labor rights screens as well as Diversity will usually incorporate LGBT equality in human resources into its factors. Renewable and Sustainability screens seem to be the

most popular these days as we realize that we have one planet and we need to respect it. But do not forget that the investments happen primarily to fund a goal by making money. So, the next time there is an oil spill or a Bangladesh sweat shop factory fire, wouldn’t it be nice to know you had a screen in place to lessen the chances of your financial support of that company? Put your money where your values are! Thomas J. Walling CFP® is an Investment Advisor Representative of and offers securities through Cetera Advisor Networks. (Member FINRA/SIPC) and a Registered Investment Advisor. Branch office:235 Lark St. #43 Albany, NY 12210. He is also past presenter at the PrideCenter on financial affairs affecting the LGBT community as well as for SAGE of NYC. Tom is past presidents of the board of directors of The Albany Damien Center, Inc. as well as Our Brothers’ Keepers Foundation. He can be reached at 518.878.1294 or

QueerEngineer Get to know us & how you can support LGBTQ* students in science, technology, engineering, & mathematics. /QueerEngineer


A Pride Center of the Capital Region affiliate


*Trans is an inclusive term referring to transgender, transsexual, and other gender non-conforming people.

for the LGBT Community

*Trans is an inclusive term referring to transgender, transsexual, and other gender non-conforming people.

First United Presbyterian Church 1915 Fifth Ave., Troy 12180

Transgender Mary272-2771 Anderson invented the Advocates windshield wiper. ® of Stephanie the Capital Region . Kwolek invented Kevlar

10 AMMargaret SundayKnight Service Care about human rights?bag. invented the grocery

Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region

Join the Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region!

Care about human rights? Join the Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region!

allies dedicated to suppor ting and empowering theto come trans* community of (Leave it to the ladies up with great ideas.) New York.

TACR is a grassroots advocacy group made up of trans* identified folks and allies dedicated to suppor ting and empowering the trans* community of New York.

Check our web site: TACR is a grassroots advocacy group made up of trans* identified folks and Rainbow flags in the sanctuary & outside If you’re looking for big ideas to power the growth of your company, we’d like to help you. We’re a women-owned Newcomers welcome! business with a team of professionals who not only know how to think, but also make things happen. Communications. us at, Leadership programs. Email New product development. Public relations. Sponsorships. Customer relations. and check out our facebook page at The list goes on. Call Wanda Zygmuntowicz at 716-983-4239. She’s our President, and she just loves a challenge. Monthly meetings, first Thursdays, 7 pm, at the Women’s Building *Trans is an inclusive term referring to transgender, transsexual, and other gender non-conforming people.

For issue released in November

Newcomers welcome! Email us at, and check out our facebook page at Monthly meetings, first Thursdays, 7 pm, at the Women’s Building *Trans is an inclusive term referring to transgender, transsexual, and other gender non-conforming people.

Copyright © 2010 CUSTOMERicity, LLC. All rights reserved. Kevlar™ is a registered trademark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

Try us out for the holidays!

First United Presbyterian Church A congregation dedicated to inclusiveness & social justice for the LGBT Community

1915 Fifth Ave., Troy 12180, 272-2771 10 AM Sunday Service Check our website for Advent & Christmas Eve Services:

For issue released in December/January Companions, Aides and Nurses Personal Care, Medication Management

Looking for a Services Welcoming Community? available 7 days a week Care provided under the supervision of an RN

Check us out!

First United Presbyterian Church Caring Caregivers welcomed

A congregation dedicated to inclusiveness & social (518) 452-3655 justice for the LGBT Community

1915 Fifth Ave., Troy 12180, 272-2771 10 AM Sunday Service Website:

Over 50 Years Automotive Experience

Rainbow flags in the sanctuary & outside

Located in the ♥of the Community Complete Automotive Repairs We love Honda, Toyota, Nissan and SUBARU! We are the Capital Region’s #1 Independent Subaru service center

Free Phone Consultation We use the latest diagnostic equipment available. 120 Catherine St, Albany (3 blocks from the Capitol) Mon—Thurs 7:30am—5:30pm Friday 7:30am—5pm



NYS Inspection Station Motorcycle Inspection Station and minor repairs.

Free Shuttle Service to Downtown Albany and Medical Center Area


in the Garden By Judith Fetterley

- November

For much of my life November has been my cruelest month. Daylight savings ends, darkness sets in, what little light is left slants oppressively. November gray replaces the gold and red and orange of October and the weather turns cold and wet. In the past, as November days accumulated, my depression deepened so that by the end of the month I could barely get out of bed. I once had a class that learned of my fear of November; they kept track and each time the class met they created a calendar on the blackboard with days passed crossed off and days left to go calculated. When November finally ended, we had a big party! It used to take this kind of love to get me through this month. Since becoming a “professional” gardener, however, my relation to November has changed. Now November is the month when I finally get to put the garden to bed. I have been slowly taking the garden down since early October.

It hurts to do this, it is too early, but I have no choice since my gardens are so extensive and I have so little help. (How I wish I had a “head gardener and staff,” my four favorite words in the English language!) By November the plants are ready to go and it feels good to yank dead annuals out of the ground and cut back foliage that has been shriveled and rotted by frost. In October I have to pause at each garden and decide what I can bear to give up so soon and what must stay no matter the trouble it causes later. In November I can work rapidly; everything goes except what I leave for winter interest. Is it just my imagination or has it actually become warmer and drier and sunnier in November? Or has gardening simply cured my depression? It feels a bit lonely; I am the only one in my neighborhood still outside, but as I work I can imagine that soon I too will be inside, warm and resting. Some gardeners believe you should leave most plant material in the garden for the winter. They argue that this provides ground cover and protects the soil. Also the plants provide food and shelter for animals and winter interest for us. Finally they claim that clean up is easier in the spring as very little is left of the previous year’s plant material after the winter weather has done its work. I align with those who advocate removing most plant material from the gardens before winter arrives. Plant material left to winter over often pro-

vides food and shelter for animals you don’t want; much of it is unsightly; it makes composting the gardens to protect the soil over the winter more difficult; and it makes spring clean up a lot messier. But mostly I take the gardens down as much as I can in November because I want to see the beauty of their bones. The clean clarity of the raked garden with only the tree peony, dwarf white pine, and Japanese maple left in it provides a pleasure during the winter months that is well worth the work I do in November. The garden is work, no way around that fact, and by November I am tired. I get through this last month because I know I am about to get a rest. All season long I have been making a list of things I need and want to do in winter – read, write, fix the windows, design a website, go to New York, visit my brother. But I think I will start December by sleeping for a week. Judith Fetterley lives and gardens in Glenmont, New York. She also runs Perennial Wisdom, a garden design business for new and existing gardens. She can be reached at fetterleyj@ Please note the following correction: the title of last month’s Out in the Garden column should have been “Autumn Glory,” not “Late August.” We apologize for the misprint – Editor.

Holding Our Own and the Women’s Building Announce Fabulous Feminists of 2013 On Saturday, December 7, 2013, Holding Our Own and the Women’s Building will once again celebrate the Capital Region’s “Fabulous Feminists”. This singular unique event honors a wide variety of feminist leaders and leadership styles— from the quiet, behind the scenes individual who is often overlooked, to the in-your-face, fearless activist no one can forget, to the long-haul, slow-burn leader who commits for a lifetime. Nominated by their peers, the 13 honorees, being presented awards in 8 categories, represent some of the best feminist social justice work

being done in the region. The categories and honorees are: Badass Feminist Award-- Angelica Clarke, Juliet Shen; Nexus Award -- Ellen Tuzzolo; Sustainer Award -- Meghan Kelly; Legacy Award -- Reszin Adams, Gloria DeSole; Game Changer Award -- Darby Penney; Creative Force Award -- Chrys Ballerano; Next Wave Award -- Darian Henry; Kid Feminist Award -- Aurora Sikelianos; Community Choice Award – Rev. Moonhawk River Stone; Kitchen Cabinet Award -- Roxanne Ramlall, Sheila Healy.

The Fabulous Feminists Awards Bash will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the Albany Hilton. For ticket information, please contact Holding Our Own at 518-462-2871, visit us on the web at www.holdingourownonline. org or reserve online at Questions? You can also email


ASK MARK YOUR TAX QUESTIONS By Mark Witecki CPA CFP(R) CFE, Dear Mark, My partner and I were married in Canada in 2008 in a same sex marriage. I just discovered that she was actually married to another person at the time we were married, and now I am proceeding to have our 2008 marriage annulled. What happens when a marriage is annulled? What about old tax returns? We are both residents of New York. I have asked others and we are getting varying answers. Signed, Not Sure Dear Not Sure, I assume you have gone to an attorney to address this matter of annulment/divorce? An annulment means the marriage is cancelled. Once the annulment is in effect,( let’s say it takes place in 2014,) then you file returns as you never have been married. At that point, you would redo your 2012 and 2013 Federal returns if you filed as married in 2012 and 2013 (which should be done unless the annulment will take place in 2013 - but since you are only looking into it now, and that process takes a while, it is doubtful the annulment will take place in 2013) as either single or head of household if you qualify. You would then look at your New York State Returns for 2011 and 2012, and if you filed as married either jointly or separately, you would amend those as well. While amending , double check your returns for any missing items. It’s best to contact a tax professional to do that work. ----------------------------------------------Dear Mark, My spouse and I, a same sex couple, own a number of residential real estate properties. We were married in Norway in 2010. On our tax returns, we previously prior to 2012 included half of the income and expenses for each property


on our individual tax returns. The properties had tax losses. My income was too high to take the real estate losses, and his was low enough to take them. We filed extensions for 2012 and filed our taxes in October and we could not use ANY of the losses because our combined income was too high. Now we are selling some of the properties and there are large gains for two of them. What happens to those losses I could not take? We both are in the wonderful state of New York. Signed Is there no end to the complex rules? Dear Is there no end, The losses you did not use previously are “suspended” and can in most circumstances be used against future gains, including gains on the sale of those properties. Keep in mind that your Federal suspended losses are probably not the same as your New York State suspended losses. You were able to file your 2012 Federal return as married because a marriage that was legal in any state or country at the time of the marriage is recognized by the IRS as qualifying. Norway recognized same sex marriages in 2009 so your marriage qualified for 2012. New York State returns could not be filed as married before 2011, so your 2011 and 2012 New York State returns most likely could not use the real estate losses. You don’t say if you filed on New York as joint or separate, but separate filings for New York do not solve the problem of one spouse being over the income limits and one under. Therefore, you have different losses to carry forward for Federal and New York State purposes. You also do not mention if you have any income from any other states, which can complicate the answers to these questions. -----------------------------------------------

Dear Readers, It is necessary for any of you who receive the basic star program to re-register for it by the end of the year. You should have received a letter regarding this from the State, but if you have not, contact your local taxing authority. Answers that apply to specific taxpayers may not necessary apply to others. Changes in tax law and rules may affect answers given at any point. You can write Mark at Mark Witecki CPA CFP(R) CFE, 3701 State St, Schenectady, NY 12304 Mark D. Witecki specializes in small businesses and professional individuals. Mr. Witecki has a B. S. in Accounting from S. U. N. Y. Albany and an M. S. in Accounting from Syracuse University. Mark D. Witecki is a Certified Public Accountant, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ practitioner, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified College Planning Specialist and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® , CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Mark’s office is located at 3701 State Street, Schenectady, New York and contacted at 346-4000.


Garden Level Renovations Over the course of September, the basement of the Pride Center received some tender lover and attention. With the generosity of the Bender Family Foundation, Builders Kitchen Inc, Security Supply, Anthony DeThomasis, Eric Snyder and his Eagle Scout Troop, Chip Fasciana, and Skylands Services, we were able to transform the space like a caterpillar into a butterfly. A whole new kitchen was installed, brand new hardwood floors were laid, wainscoting and a fresh coat of paint were applied, and the fireplace was given a super paintjob by Eric that highlight the antique details. It truly took a village to renovate the Garden Level and is now a more warm and welcoming space for our Center Youth program and all of the support groups that meet there. A big thank you to everyone who was a part of it!


The Albany Gay Men’s Chorus Presents

“A Place Called Home”

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 8:00 PM First Congregational Church 405 Quail Street (off New Scotland Ave.) Albany, NY Adults $10

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 7:30 PM Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church 175 Fifth Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY Students $7

Under 12 Free

(Advance discounted tickets available at Romeo’s Gifts in Albany and through the Pride Center of the Capital Region at (A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Albany Damien Center Rebuilding Fund)


e-mail: website: facebook: AGMC

AGMC is an affiliate of The Pride Center of the Capital Region

JUNE 25th – JULY 3 2014


TOURS DE FRANCE 345 Hudson Avenue Albany, NY 12210 518.426.3922

$3,398 person/ double occupancy

$300 nonrefundable deposit

Paris for the First Time



Here’s Guffman - Have Yourself


Merry Little Panto!

By Patrick White When looking for new and interesting ways to celebrate the holidays in the theatre last year Dainty June and I thought we would take a chance on “Robin Hood: 50 Shades of Green” at Ghent Playhouse. We understood it was a Panto; but, what the heck was that? We had seen pictures seasonally of some great British figure appearing in a Panto, usually in drag. The Ghent Playhouse is one of our favorite theatres and we’re adventurous playgoers. It was a delight. “SleepFrog” is this year’s incarnation running from 11/29-12/15 and I’ve enlisted its mastermind, Judy Staber to tell us what, exactly, a Panto is.

Sally McCarthy as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Tom Detwiler as his mother Baroness Dona Trumpet and Matt Coviello as Baron Getrich in “Robin Hood: Fifty Shades of Green.”

So, a Panto: What is it, where did it come from and how did it make its way to Columbia County? For years the Panto has been a British holiday tradition. As a child, I went to a Panto every Christmas, sometimes with my actress mother playing a part. These fondly remembered Pantos often included dancing girls and a children’s chorus, as well as the cross-dressing Dame (a man) and Principal Boy (a woman) and, of course, jokes, songs, slapstick, chases, and lots of audience participation with “It’s behind you!” and “Oh, no I’m not – Oh, yes you are!” The British Pantomime is the illegitimate grandchild of the Commedia dell’Arte and the Music Hall. “Mime” left the Panto stage when British Music Hall comedians stepped in and began to play the Dames. It has evolved into an annual raucous celebration of enhanced fairy stories, with audiences encouraged to ‘hiss the villains’ and ‘cheer the heroes’, and generally join the fun. In 2000, when asked by another transplanted Brit to Columbia County, New York if I


would put on a Panto I said, “Why not!” At the time I was Executive Director at The Spencertown Academy and so the size of the stage there determined the size of our company (small). Our actors all lived in Columbia County but none of us knew how a Panto would be received. We dropped the dancing girls and children’s chorus, but had plenty of gender-bending, colorful costumes and sets, current political jokes (always in good supply thanks to our leaders), double entendres, and vaguely familiar songs. We decided to begin on Thanksgiving weekend, the most American holiday. We sold out our first show, Cinderella and had to add another week. The PantoLoons were born!

wonderful group whose intent is to entertain and who manage to do that and more. They also make you think.” J. Peter Bergman, The Advocate and The Chatham Courier. We invite you to come and see for yourselves. In these times, laughter is surely the best medicine.

How long have you been doing pantos at The Ghent Playhouse and who’s in your merry band of loons?

Rick Rowsell and Joanne Maurer are Bossy the Cow and Sally McCarthy is Jack in “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

For the past fourteen years we have produced our American version of a Panto, and are now in our ninth year at the Ghent Playhouse: “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, “Puss in Boots”, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”, “Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Cinderella” again, “Hair Loom: Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin in DisTress”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Puss in Boots” again, “LOST: the Grimm Years” (Little Red Ridinghood and Hansel and Gretel all get lost in the forest, with grim results), Menagerie à Trois (with 3 pigs and 3 bears, one wolf and a duck) and last year’s Robin Hood: Fifty Shades of Green.

Cathy Lee-Visscher as Gretel, Mark Schane Lydon as Little Red Ridinghood and Sally McCarthy as Hansel in LOST: the Grimm Years

The PantoLoons has remained pretty much a company of eleven good souls. Some of us have been on board since 2000 and we’ve added wonderful new talent along the way. We all multi-task as far as each show goes: Tom Detwiler directs; Paul Leyden is music director; others work on the sets, and props, Joanne Maurer is our wonderful costumer and everyone has input into my script adding lyrics and jokes. (I write the basic script coming up with plot, characters, etc.) Everyone has a role on stage except for Bill Camp who is the genius behind the lights, sound and special effects. It is a truly cooperative effort and we all have lots of fun. As one of our regular reviewers has said “It’s hard to say too much about this zany,

Where the settings may be juvenile, the humor can be adult or at least political in nature, judging from last year’s show there’s no attempt made to impartiality or fairness...what topics can we expect this year? Well, Mr. Weiner, Twerking, the Big Shutdown, Obamacare, maybe Mr. Snowdon will get a look-in as well as Baby Prince George. We try to use it all, and have been known to add new lines after opening night. We are right on top of topical. We had a gay marriage last year, and several years ago, before it was legal in NY I had a line as the Fairy in Puss In Boots. “Henrik Hudson and I were going to get married, but Fairies can’t get married in New York State.” And now it’s legal. Continued on Page 38

Here’s Guffman -

continued I serve on the Board of Directors and have for about five years – maybe it’s more. Because my career for 30 odd years ( and I mean odd) was Arts Marketing and PR, I get lumbered with the press, etc. I’m also on the building improvement committee. I directed “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in 2010 and hope to direct again. We had a fabulous season last year and broke all box office records. This year we’ve just finished a good production of “Other People’s Money” and after the Panto we’ll be doing “My Cousin Rachel” a gothic melodrama based on Daphne DuMaurier’s novel. Then it’s Alan Ayckbourne’s “How the Other Half Loves” and

finally we wind up the season in May/June with “The Grapes of Wrath.” So you see we give the public a wide variety of plays. Our standards are high and our ticket prices are reasonable.

In January, John R. McEnerney opens his show, BOUND: The Art of Letting Go at the Pride Center’s Romaine Brooks Gallery

parents have held their careers for as long as the artist can remember, but it was his mother’s photography that he especially admired.

John’s work is inspired by photographer’s he knows, such as Joe Oppedisano, Mike Ruiz and many others.

“I think I get the talent and the eye from her. She was our family photographer and is rarely seen in family photographs unless I grabbed the camera and captured the moment. I now look back at our family photographs and wonder how my mother chose her angle or whether or not to use Black and White or Color FILM! “

couples on their weddings. He’s also looking at developing his business, jrMac Photography, into a more full time job as well as being a Licensed Massage Therapist.

It seems like such an odd holiday offering… I love being a PantoLoon. I am very proud that I founded this crazy show and got this wonderful troupe of people together. Specifically, I write the script with lots of help from Tom Detwiler. I act as producer too, getting the publicity out, doing the program etc etc. I also play a role in each and every show – sometimes in drag, sometimes as a fairy, actually I’ve only twice played a mortal woman!! What else do you do for The Playhouse and what can you share about the Theatre’s recent and upcoming shows?

If your readers want to know more they should go to for information about tickets, directions and the Playhouse in general. Patrick White is a Capital Region actor who will be performing in “Good People” at Curtain Call Theatre 1/10-2/8.

John McEnerney’s BOUND: The Art of Letting Go kicks of 2014 at the Romaine Brooks Gallery By Steven Minchin

When asked about his upcoming show John told us that he has “started to bring in a more dark side to some of my pictures. I still try to capture a certain amount of joy in all of my shots, but with this show, I am pushing myself artistically.”

John says, “I love photography and want to share it with the world.” John R. McEnerney’s BOUND: The Art of Letting opens for the month of January at the Romaine Brooks Gallery as part of Albany’s 1st Friday with a reception on January 3, 2014 from 5-9pm. The Romaine Brooks Gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the Pride Center, at 332 Hudson Ave in Albany.

He explained further: The title of my show is BOUND: The Art of Letting Go. I decided to do this when I started working with Chuck Cravens of Chained By Chuck. I have worked with him over the past few months on product shoots and promotional shoots for his events and business. The pictures have turned out better than I expected and I feel that they need to be displayed and available for people who would not normally see this type of photography. John grew up in what he calls , “your typical American family.”Both of his

Currently John is working with several


ASK THE LAWYER - Looking Forward LGBTQ People in the New Year

to the


of the



By Geri Pomerantz

As the year comes to an end, reviewed here are some recent developments in legal issues of significance to the LGBT community. Notably, this column is submitted on November 5th. Because the legal landscape is ever changing in our post- Windsor world, much can happen between now and the end of 2013. Ten years after Massachusetts first allowed same sex marriages, and following the landmark US Supreme Court decision in Windsor, on October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a decision in Garden State Equality v. Dow, paving the way for marriage equality in that state. In 2006 the Supreme Court of NJ held that same sex couples should have the same rights and benefits as married opposite couples. In response, the legislature established civil unions. This lawsuit was filed in 2011, claiming that civil unions do not provide equal treatment for same sex couples. The trial court held that civil unions were not the same as marriage and that the state must extend civil marriage to same sex couples, and ordered same sex marriages to start October 21, 2013. The state filed an appeal, and also sought a stay of the order pending appeal. The case went to the highest state court after the request for a stay was denied. The State Supreme Court denied the state’s application for a stay, and New Jersey became the 14th state to allow same sex couples to marry. The governor eventually decided not to pursue an appeal of the lower court’s order. Several cases have been filed around the county challenging state level anti marriage statutes, and are pending. The United States Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule to amend the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program regulations regarding coverage for children of a federal employee’s (or retiree’s) same sex domestic partner. Although children under age 26 of same sex unmarried partners are now eligible for health insurance coverage, such coverage is limited to families that reside in non-recognition states, or states that do not allow same sex couples to marry. Thus, if you are a NY state resident, and a federal employee, and want employer provided health insurance coverage for your partner’s child, you must marry your partner. The rule is effective January 1, 2014. In the LGBT legal community, it is generally anticipated that this rule will be a model for other federal agencies, although many are disturbed by the requirement that parents be married for children to have benefits.


North Carolina has provided another reason why New Yorker’s might not want to relocate to that state. On October 18th, the NC Department of Revenue announced that it will not recognize same sex marriage for state income tax purposes. For federal tax purposes, the IRS requires same sex married couples, regardless of where we live, to file federal tax returns as married, like our opposite sex counterparts. But in NC, and other non-recognition states, same sex married couples must file their state tax returns as single. Because NC, like most states that have state income taxes, relies on the taxpayer’s federal returns in calculating the state tax, same sex married taxpayers in NC are required to prepare a second set of federal returns as if they are filing as two single people, upon which to base their individual state tax returns. The ruling was not a surprise, but demonstrates the absurdity of and confusion resulting from marriage inequality in this county. New York’s Court of Appeals, issued a decision in Sadiford v. NYC Department of Education (DOE), on October 17, 2013, allowing Plaintiff, a lesbian and school aide, to continue her case alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation and retaliation. Plaintiff claims the principal repeatedly made homophobic remarks to and about Plaintiff, and in the presence of students and teachers and that staff members allegedly taunted Plaintiff and made lewd comments to her, about which Plaintiff complained. The principal then caused an investigation of sexual misconduct against Plaintiff, and terminated her employment. She was reinstated with back pay after filing a grievance. She then filed a case in state court alleging that the principle, and the DOE, discriminated against her and retaliated against her for complaining about it, under the NYS and NYC Human Rights Laws. The defendants argued that plaintiff was terminated as a result of inappropriate conduct, not discriminatory animus. The Court held that Plaintiff’s offer of evidence that the principal made repeated homophobic remarks was, amongst other things, sufficient to survive the defendant’s motion to dismiss her claims. A Rockland County NY family court judge reluctantly applied the doctrine established by the Court of Appeals majority in Mtr of Allison D. v. Virginia, ruling that a parent who is not legally related to her children has no rights to custody or visitation of those children. Mtr of AF v AK, decided September 24, 2013. The petitioner mother was the domestic partner of the biological mother. It

was undisputed that both women held each other out to the world as the children’s parents. There was no second parent adoption. After their separation, the biological mother denied Petitioner any access to the children. Although the biological mother initially filed for child support against Petitioner, she withdrew that application. Had she obtained an order of support, the non-biological parent may have had a claim for visitation. Yet another very sad reminder of the importance of adoption, and the need for the NYS legislature to act on issues concerning standing in custody cases. In October, the US Government filed a discrimination complaint in federal court against a Texas RV park owner on behalf of a Trans woman tenant of the park. USA v. Toone, (USDC, ED Texas). Amongst other things, the defendant park owner repeatedly made transphobic remarks to complainant; he prohibited the complainant from wearing women’s clothing in the park, stating that “there are children” and “it is not the type of atmosphere we want to promote”; he tried to get the sheriff to remove complainant from the park, which the sheriff refused to do so because it was an improper eviction. Defendant then obtained an eviction order from what appears to be a transphobic judge. Complainant filed a complaint with HUD, who determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that illegal discriminatory housing practices occurred because of sex, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. This could be a landmark case. The legal rights of LGBTQ families are an ever-changing landscape, to be addressed monthly in this column. The material in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to give legal advice, and should not substitute for the independent advice of counsel. Geri Pomerantz is an attorney in the capital district with a practice focused on family and matrimonial law, specifically including LGBTQ issues. Geri conducts continuing legal education training for other lawyers on issues of importance to the LGBTQ community. She recently presented at the New York State Bar Association’s training “the Path to Marriage Equality and Beyond: Representing LGBT Clients in a Post-DOMA World”. Amongst other things, Geri is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District. Geri can be reached at The views expressed in this column are solely those of Ms. Pomerantz and do not reflect the opinion of the Pride Center.

Michael Cooks By Michael Meade


You Can Too - The Chaffing Pan one made of aluminum for a few dollars at a party supply store, sterno included. They work surprisingly well. If you’re having people over for the holidays and you want to wow them with a special dessert, get hold of a chafing dish and make Cherries Jubilee. It’s delicious, impressive and festive (everybody loves watching food being set on fire) and it’s incredibly easy and inexpensive.

A few years ago, I asked for a chafing dish for Christmas. My mother went out and bought me one, even though she didn’t really understand why I wanted it. Mothers are like that, or at least mine is. “What are you going to do with a chafing dish?” she asked me, “I had one for twenty years and I never used it once.” Apparently, every woman in America who got married in the late 1950s received a chafing dish as a wedding present. Scandinavian food is not very popular in this country any more (okay, when was the last time you ordered Norwegian takeout?), but back then it was extremely trendy. This may have had something to do with the popularity of Danish Modern furniture, which sparked a vogue for all things Scandinavian, including Swedish Meatballs. And I don’t mean really good meatballs made the traditional way by real Swedes. I’m referring to the bastardized American version: those horrible little balls of rubbery meat swimming in a gloppy gray sauce. If you got married back then, you got a chafing dish so you could make Swedish Meatballs. And if you were anything like my mother, you had better things to do with your time, so you stuck it up in the attic in its original box and, years later, you unloaded it at a garage sale. But everything comes around again in the fullness of time and even though the ubiquitous Swedish Meatball has pretty much vanished, a chafing dish is a very useful thing to have. A chafing dish consists of a shallow pan set into a deeper pan over a can of sterno. You fill the bottom pan with water which, heated by the sterno, keeps the food in the top pan hot and fresh for several hours. It’s easy and fun to work with and great for holiday entertaining. You can make an elegant presentation and serve a large crowd of guests with very little effort. If you don’t happen to have a chafing dish (or know where you can borrow one), you can rent one or you can get a disposable

Cherries Jubilee was invented by the great French chef Auguste Escoffier, one of the legendary figures in culinary history, to honor England’s Queen Victoria on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 1887. Today we think of Victoria (when we think of her at all) as a grouchy old lady who was not amused. But in fact, she did have a gentler side and she really loved a good party. She vacationed each summer on the French Riviera where, safely out of the view of her subjects, she would let her hair down and have some fun. It was there that she developed a fondness for the cooking of Escoffier, then the reigning chef de cuisine at the Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo. The Queen loved cherries and she loved ice cream, so Escoffier combined the two into a chic new dessert and presented it to her as his gift during the celebration of her fifty years on the throne. Later, he moved to London to run the restaurant of the Ritz Hotel and there Cherries Jubilee found a wide and appreciative audience. The first time I made Cherries Jubilee was for a party that Greg Anderson and William Tuthill gave at their home for pianist Nate Buccieri, who was embarking on a fundraising bicycle tour of Europe. I was a little apprehensive because I’d never used my new chafing dish before, but it turned out great. I didn’t burn their house down, the guests oohed and aahed and there wasn’t a cherry left at the end of the night. Try it this year for a holiday dinner or New Year’s party. You’ll all have a great time with it! And since I’m now feeling nostalgic for the good old days when Swedish meatballs appeared at every holiday buffet, here’s a really authentic (and really good) recipe for them as well. Whatever you’re celebrating this holiday season, I wish you peace and joy and I look forward to being with you here again in the New Year.

Cherries Jubilee 3 large cans sweet dark pitted cherries, undrained 2 8-ounce jars currant jelly 1/4 cup brandy 1 gallon good quality vanilla ice cream Combine the cherries (with juice) and jelly in a large saucepan and heat, stirring until jelly is melted and mixtures thickens slightly. Set up the chafing dish with hot water in the bottom pan and light the sterno. Pour the cherries into the top pan. When you’re ready to serve, pour the brandy over the cherries and ignite. After the brandy burns down, ladle the cherries over vanilla ice cream. The cherries will stay hot throughout the party as long as you keep the sterno going and check to make sure that the water in the bottom pan hasn’t boiled dry. Swedish Meatballs (Meatballs) 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and grated 2 tablespoons butter 2/3 cup milk 4 - 5 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into small pieces 2 eggs 1 pound ground pork 1 & 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste) (Sauce) 6 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup flour 1 quart beef stock (canned is perfectly okay) 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream Salt (to taste) 3 - 4 tablespoons lingonberry jelly (to taste) Note: Classic Swedish meatballs call for lingonberry jelly, which is hard to find and kind of pricey. You can easily substitute red currant or raspberry jelly. (continued on page 42)


Michael Cooks


You Can Too (continued)

Sauté the grated onion in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until soft and translucent (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine bread pieces and the milk. Set aside until the bread absorbs all the milk (15- 20 minutes). Pulverize the wet bread in a food processor (if you don’t have one, use your hands) and pour it into a large bowl. Add the cooled onions, eggs, pork, beef, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and pepper. Mix with your hands for about 2 minutes until well combined. Roll the mixture into small balls (about 1 teaspoon each) and set aside on a tray. You should get about 40 – 50 meatballs. Heat 6 tablespoons of butter for the sauce in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, reduce the heat to medium and add some of the meatballs. Do not crowd the pan. Work in batches, browning

them slowly on all sides. Be gentle when you turn them so they don’t break apart. Do not cook the meatballs all the way through, only brown them at this stage. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan, setting them aside so you can make the sauce with the remaining pan butter.

add the hot beef stock a little at a time. Everything will sputter at first, and the sauce will seize up and solidify. Keep stirring and adding stock slowly, and it will loosen up and become silky. Add the meatballs to the sauce and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. You might need to do this in batches.

Start the sauce. (Check the pan butter to see if it has burned. If the butter tastes burnt, discard the butter and replace with new 6 tablespoons.) Heat the pan butter on medium until hot. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stirring often, let the flour cook until it is the color of coffee-with-cream; this is a classic roux. As the roux is cooking, heat the beef stock in another pot until it simmers.

To finish, move the meatballs to your chafing dish. Add the sour cream and mix well. Either add the lingonberry (or red current or raspberry) jelly to the sauce or serve it on the side.

When the roux has cooked until the color of coffee-with-cream, slowly

Michael Meade studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, worked at Jack’s Oyster House in Albany and is currently souschef for Thunder Mountain Curry in Troy. Send questions or comments to

These Presbyterian Churches Welcome You Where you can find a place ~ come as you are! Albany First Presbyterian 362 State Street (at Willett) Sunday Worship 8:30 am & 10:45 am

Guilderland Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church 2291 Western Avenue Sunday Worship 8:30 am & 10:00 am

Saratoga Springs Presbyterian-New England Congregational 24 Circular Street Sunday Worship 10:45 am

Albany West End Presbyterian 585 Central Avenue Sunday Worship 11:00 am

Hudson Falls First Presbyterian Church 5 River Street Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Scotia Trinity Presbyterian Church 185 Swaggertown Rd. Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Albany Westminster Presbyterian 262 State Street / 85 Chestnut Street Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Lansingburgh (Troy) Cornerstone Community Church 570 3rd Avenue Sunday Worship 10:30 am

Amsterdam United Presbyterian Church 25 Church Street Sunday Worship 9:30 am

Putnam Station Putnam United Presbyterian Church 365 County Route 2, PO Box 8 518-547-8378 Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Spencertown St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church 5219 County Route 7 /stpeterspresbyterianchurch Sunday Worship 10:00 am Troy First United 1915 Fifth Avenue (downtown) Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Colonie Roessleville Presbyterian Church Elmhurst and Central Avenue 518-459-2816 Sunday Worship 9:30 am

Rensselaer First Presbyterian Church in Greenbush 34 Broadway 518-463-0894 Sunday Worship 9:30 am

Valatie First Presbyterian Church 3212 Church Street 518-758-9658 Sunday Worship 11:00 am

Delmar Delmar Presbyterian Church 585 Delaware Avenue Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Rensselaerville Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church Main Street at Methodist Hill Road 518-797-9303 (Summer only) Sunday Worship 11:00 am (Summer only)

West Charlton West Charlton United Presbyterian 1331 Sacandaga Road Sunday Worship 10:30 am

More information at

42 For any questions regarding this ad, please

Pride Center Special Events  Wednesday, December 4: Board of Directors Meeting, 6pm. The Board meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Center. All meetings are open to the public to observe for the first half of the meeting. Wednesday, December 4: Affordable Care Act Info Session, 6:30-7:30pm. Arbor Hill / West Hill Library Branch, Large Meeting Room, 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard, Albany. Learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and New York State of Health Benefit Exchange (The Marketplace). Thursday, December 5: Affordable Care Act Info Session, 6:30-7:30pm. Delaware Library Branch, Large Meeting Room, 331 Delaware Ave, Albany. Learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and New York State of Health Benefit Exchange (The Marketplace). Friday, December 6: 1st Friday at the Romaine Brooks Gallery, 5-9pm. Come to the Romaine Brooks Gallery, the Pride Center’s very own art gallery! This month’s featured artist is Stacey Mercer. Tuesday, December 10: Business Alliance LGBT Professionals Mixer, 6-8pm. University Club, 141 Washington Ave, Albany. $5 suggested donation. Meet up with friends and network with new contacts. Thursday, December 12: WERK IT! A Talent/Variety Show, 7-10p. The Linda, 339 Central Ave, Albany. $5-$10 sliding scale. Benefits the Pride Center Youth Program. Bring an act! Poetry, spoken word, theater, dance, drag, music & other talents welcome! Ages 13-24; ID required. Friday, December 13: CONNECT: Supporting Families of LGBTQ Youth, 7-8:30pm. Come together with parents, family members, and friends who have LGBTQ youth. Finding and extending support; building community. Every second Friday of the month. Sunday, December 15: Vintage Pride Potluck, 1-3 pm. First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany. Bring a dish to share and enjoy drinks and dessert provided by the Pride Center. A casual social opportunity for LGBTQ people 55+. Sunday, December 15: Movie Night, 6:30pm. Drop in to the Rainbow Café and watch a film! Wednesday, December 18: Holiday Party, 6-8p. Join us for food, music, and more as we celebrate this holiday season at the Pride Center! Sunday, December 29: Supper Sunday, 5-9pm. The Pride Center’s monthly program that offers a free, delicious community meal home-cooked by our fabulous volunteer Mike C. the last Sunday of each month. Tuesday, January 7: Affordable Care Act Info Session, 6:30-7:30pm. Main Library Branch, Large Auditorium, 161 Washington Ave, Albany. Learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and New York State of Health Benefit Exchange (The Marketplace). Info: Tuesday, January 14: Business Alliance LGBT Professionals Mixer, 6-8pm. Jack’s Oyster House, 42 State Street, Albany. $5 suggested donation. Meet up with friends and network with new contacts. 5% sales from evening donated to Pride Center. Thursday, January 16: College Student Night, 7-9pm. Join your fellow local LGBTQ students for a night of socializing, networking, and getting to know the Pride Center. Free food! Thursday, January 17: Frostbite Ball, 6-9pm. Bring your friends, dancing shoes and singing voice; we’re going to take over the building with this event! Snacks and drinks served. (Ages 13-18) Monday, January 20: Gay-Straight Alliance Network Brunch, 11a-1p. Let’s celebrate MLK Day by coming together for a networking and skill-building event for GSA faculty and student leaders throughout the Capital Region. FREE brunch for students & faculty. RSVP by Jan 17th.

All events take place at the Pride Center (332 Hudson Avenue, Albany) unless otherwise noted. For more information call (518) 462-6138.


Ongoing Events Sundays

Rainbow Café Drop-in

Weekly, 1st Floor, 6—9pm LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7—8:30pm Bisexual Potluck Brunch* 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 11am-1pm

Vintage Pride Potluck Lunch 3rd Sunday of the month, 1—3pm First Presbyterian Church 362 State Street, Albany Movie Night 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 6:30pm Supper Sunday Last Sunday of the month, 1st Floor, 5—9pm


Board of Directors Meeting 1st Wednesday of the month, 3rd Floor, 6pm Women’s Group 2nd & 4th Wednesday of the month, 1st floor 6-7pm Potluck, 7-8pm Support Group Live from the Living Room Open Mic* 2nd Wednesday of the month, Garden Level, 7pm LGBT Book Club* 3rd Wednesday of the month, 1st Floor, 7pm


Rainbow Café Drop-in, 6—9pm Thrive LGBT Youth Group (Ages 16—24) Weekly, 3rd Floor, 6—7:30pm LGBT Narcotics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm


Men's Peer Support Group Weekly, 1st Floor, 7—8:30pm Gay Men’s Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm

Schenectady Rainbow Nights Youth Group (Ages 13—18) Weekly, 6—7:30pm Proctors Theater, Underground Space, 432 State Street, Schenectady

Free Confidential HIV Testing 1st & 3rd Monday, 3rd Floor 4—7pm

Game Night 2nd Thursday of the month, 1st Floor, 6-9pm



Capital Region Support Group for Family and Friends of LGBT People 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7pm First Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady More info: Julia Helfman 518.372.9911

1stFriday @ Romaine Brooks Gallery 1st Friday of the Month, 3rd Floor, 5—9pm

Trans Pride Discussion Group 1st Tuesday of the Month, 1st Floor, 7—9pm

Trans Pride Meet & Greet 3rd Tuesday of the month, 1st Floor, 7—9pm Saratoga Youth Group (Ages 13-18) Every other Tuesday, 4:30-6p Saratoga Arts Center 320 Broadway, Saratoga

Albany Youth Group (Ages 13 – 18) Weekly, Garden level, 7—8:30pm

CONNECT: Supporting Families & Friends of LGBTQ Youth 2nd Fridays, 3rd Floor, 7-8:30p Free Confidential HIV Testing 2nd & 4th Friday, 3rd Floor, 4—7pm

* Indicates outside groups that meet at the Pride Center.


All events take place at the Pride Center (332 Hudson Ave) unless otherwise noted.

Pride Center Administrative Office Hours Monday—Friday: 10AM-5PM


Saturday—Sunday: Closed

Dec / Jan 2013   

Pride Center Affiliate Events 

Friday, December 13: Albany Gay Men’s Chorus: A Place Called Home, 8pm. Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 Fifth Avenue, Saratoga Springs. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Damien Center Rebuilding Fund. Tickets available at Saturday, December 14: Albany Gay Men’s Chorus: A Place Called Home, 7:30pm. First Congregational Church of Albany, 405 Quail Street, Albany. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Damien Center Rebuilding Fund. Tickets available at Thursday, December 19: Saratoga Pride Lesbian Breakfast, 7:30am. Country Corner Café on High Rock, Saratoga. Latecomers welcome. Thursday, January 16: Saratoga Pride Lesbian Breakfast, 7:30am. Country Corner Café on High Rock, Saratoga. Latecomers welcome.

Community Events

Sundays, December 1 & 15: Bisexual Potluck Brunch, 11a-1pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Come for great brunch and a meet other bisexual members of the community. Wednesday, December 4: We Served As Well: Transgender Veterans Group, 4:30-5:30pm. VA Medical Center, Room 806D, 113 Holland Ave, Albany. A peer support group for transgender, crossdressing , gender-questioning, two-spirited and curious veterans. More info: Wednesdays, December 4 & 18: In Our Own Voices’ Out The Closet I Am Support Group (Ages 21-30),* 6-8pm. For more info visit Friday, December 6: Albany Girl Party Presents: White Party, 8p-4a. Rocks, 177 Central Ave, Albany. $10. Portion of proceeds to benefit Pride Center. Speed dating prior to party, must register. Ages 21+. Wednesday, December 11: In Our Own Voices’ TransCare,* 6-7:30pm. TransCare is a social group for transgender POC to share their voices about community issues. Wednesday, December 11: Poetry Open Mic Night, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Now in the newly renovated Garden Level space!   Sundays, January 5 & 19 Bisexual Potluck Brunch, 11a-1pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Come for great brunch and a meet other bisexual members of the Capital Region community.   Wednesday, January 8: Poetry Open Mic Night, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Now in the newly renovated Garden Level space!   Wednesdays, January 8 & 22: In Our Own Voices’ TransCare,* 6-7:30pm. TransCare is a social group for transgender POC to share their voices about community issues. Wednesday, January 15: In Our Own Voices’ Out The Closet I Am Support Group (Ages 2130),* 6-8pm. For more info visit Wednesday, January 15: LGBT Book Club, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. *All In Our Own Voices events take place at 245 Lark Street, Albany unless noted. For more info, call (518) 432-4188 or email

Have an event for CommUNITY? If you would like to have your events posted in the CommUNITY newsletter, please visit our website at and click on the events tab and select calendar of events. From there you can submit your own event. Or email Events must be submitted for approval by the 5th of the month.


We’re Proud to Support These Businesses as They Support the LGBT Community Members as of November 1, 2013

AIDS Council of Northeast New York Athos Restaurant Bombers Schenectady Broughton Properties/ Keller Williams Realty Buenau's Opticians Central Avenue BID Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar Connections Psychotherapy Consumer Optical Crisafulli Bros.Plumbing & Heating Contractors, Inc Customericity, LLC Deja Vu Geri Pomerantz, Esq Grappa '72 Ristorante Hokkaido Albany

Interim HealthCare James W. Leone, State Farm Agent Joseph Dalton / Prudential Manor Homes Joseph Roche Journey United Church of Christ L&P Media Latimer/Stroud, LLP Mark D. Witecki, CPA CFP CFE Ronnie Mangione / Merrill Lynch Security Plumbing & Heating Supply Skylands Services, INC Steve Cook / State Farm Insurance Sunrise Management and Consulting The Point Restaurant Thomas J. Walling/Tower Square Securities, Inc. Tri City Rentals

Don’t Miss The Regions Fastest Growing LGBT Professionals Mixer: Our Business Alliance mixers have quickly become one of the most anticipated and popular Pride Center events— and are only getting bigger. If you haven’t joined us yet, make plans now for our next three mixers! Come and meet up with friends , distribute your business cards, enjoy some light fare and cocktails while making important business contacts.

Tues. Dec. 10th 6-8pm University Club

141 Washington Ave., Albany

Tues. Jan. 14, 2014 6-8 pm Jack’s Restaurant Oyster House 42 State St., Albany For More Information or To Join Visit:

Tuesday Feb 10th 6-8pm Northeastern Fine Jewelry 1575 Western Ave, Albany


QFEST CHRISTMAS Not just a movie! There will be an Ugly Sweater Contest, some Comfy Couches, and the whole QFEST 2014 line-up will be announced!



Have lunch at Ambition 12-2pm or dinner at Café Nola 5-7pm

before coming to the movie and a portion of the proceeds will support Schenectady Pride!


432 State Street • Schenectady • NY • Box Office 518.346.6204 •




332 Hudson Avenue Albany, NY 12210

Be with us! Tri City Rentals is a proud supporter of the LGBT community Visit one of our 24 Fine Capital District Apartment Communities

We want to thank the for choosing us as this year’s business of the year!


CommUNITY Magazine December / January double issue