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This is a special time of year in our community, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with you! This June marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots- a defining moment in our history that many say catalyzed


C u rran Streett, Execu tive Directo r

the movement for LGBT equality. It is hard to believe that just 45 years ago our brothers and sisters were being dragged out of bars, routinely arrested and photographed for purposes of public humiliation and debasement. We now gather in thousands, celebrating our identities, families and community visibly defying those images of tragedy and remorse. We have more legal protections, social acceptance and positive role models than ever in history. This is not to say our work is done, but it is to say we have a lot to be proud of. I hope to see you out enjoying the

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Welcome to our special PRIDE doublei s s u e , chock full of PRIDE go o d ne ss ! It always amazes me the wealth of PRIDE events the Pride Center puts on every year. And along with our partners at In Our Own Voices, in Hudson, and Schenectady; there is also Black & Latino Pride, Hudson Pride and Schenectady Pride, all within a few weeks of each other. It’s a big rainbow around the whole Capital Region.

I recently was thinking about my first Pride event, oh so many years ago. I was asked last month to be the keynote speaker at the College of Saint Rose’s Lavender Graduation, which was an honor for me as an alumnus. Shai Butler, the Assistant to the President for Diversity, asked me to say something inspiring, to speak to leadership, and encourage these graduates to be change agents. So I thought about the things that inspire me, that empower me to be a leader and what keeps me going to make change in the world. This took me back to when I came out in 1992, when I was an undergrad at Syracuse University. During the course of the year, I joined the GLBSA on campus and started becoming very active with them. We started hearing rumblings of some sort of gathering in Washington


festivities and all that our community has to offer during Capital PRIDE and that you will carry the excitement on throughout the year

Mic hael Weidr ic h

DC in spring of 1993. As details became confirmed, we started chartering buses to take a SU contingent down to what history came to call the “Million Gay March on DC”. For one glorious weekend, the entire city of DC was LGBT and literally there were a million people. I joined the march through the streets of DC, I got roped into a demonstration by ACT UP in front of the White House, and I exchanged words with anti-gay demonstrators on the side of the road. But probably the most moving moment of the weekend was seeing the AIDS Quilt fill the entirety of The National Mall, from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. With a million people surrounding us, we stood in silence of our fallen brothers and sisters. As the first generation to come out post-80’s AIDS epidemic, I felt like a generation adrift with no mentors or teachers because AIDS killed our big brothers, our uncles, our fathers, and our best friends. The gravity and the enormity of the community with which I now identified with hit me so deep that it changed me profoundly.

make community. So for the past twenty years, I have tried to live up to that mission- to do for those who couldn’t and to do for those to come. Because at this point in my life, it about preparing for the next generation and the next bearers of our legacy. So this was the story I shared with these fresh, young Saint Rose graduates, most of whom were probably born about that time. I’m sure it probably sounded like a story my father used to tell me about Vietnam, in a folklore-ish kind of way. A few of the faculty in attendance came up to me afterwards and thanked me for sharing my story. One faculty was actually there in DC in 1993 and we reminisced about the sights and sounds. Another faculty shared with me that her father had died of AIDS around that time, a closeted gay man who couldn’t come out. Now every year as we celebrate PRIDE and march in our parade and we join our community, I reaffirm my commit-

That weekend, for me, helped crystallize my own personal mission in life. It made me think of the legacy that was handed to me by the previous generation and what was my responsibility to carry on that legacy. I thought about all those quilts and all those people who we lost and the things they wouldn’t be able to do. I wanted to do for them what they were never able to. To march the march, fight the good fight, push and shove for equal rights and equal recognition, to end discrimination, and

We want to hear from our Community! Letters to the Editor may be sent to Michael Weidrich at Letters must be 100 words or less and must include name, phone, email.


PRIDE CENTER STAFF AWARDED FOR THEIR WORK The Pride Center staff have recently been bestowed with a number of awards for the outstanding work they do in the Capital District. We would like to extend a big congratulations to Pride Center Executive Director, Curran Streett; and Pride Center Deputy Director, Michael Weidrich for receiving the following honors:

to the Stakeholders Board Members that played a crucial role in the early

Curran Streett – Executive Director of the Pride Center winner of the Women of Excellence, Excellence in the Professions Award

Michael Weidrich – Deputy Director of the Pride Center winner of the Stakeholders Founders Award. Congratulations to the Pride Center Deputy Director, Michael Weidrich, who was one of the recent recipients of the Stakeholders Founders Award. The Founders Award is given in recognition by

stages of the organization and who have continued to be a key component in its development and growth. Michael

Curran was recently honored as one of the Capital Region’s “Women of Excellence” by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber, in the category of Excellence in the Professions. Curran was among seven women in the region to receive this prestigious award out of the many nominations received this by the Chamber this year. The 2014 Women of Excellence honorees received their awards at the 23rd annual luncheon on May 30.


Alison “Alli Fabulous” Horgan

PRIDE. One word that has a multitude of meanings. When I think of pride in a patriotic sense, I think of courage, honor, sacrifice and freedom. When I think of pride in a familial sense, I think of admiration, respect, loyalty and adoration. And when I think of pride in the sense of accomplishment, I think of determination, integrity, motivation and hustle. However, in thinking about pride, in relation to where I work and who I work with within the LGBTQ community, I think of having respect for who you are, what you do, where you came from, where you’re going and whatever makes you, you. As an Ally, the Capital PRIDE Festival

received this honor at the 2014 GOBY Awards on April 23rd at the GE Theatre at Proctors.

to me also means inclusion and diversity. Loving and accepting the differences AND similarities between us, encouraging others to be more open minded, challenging stifled and archaic attitudes and embracing how far we’ve come. Capital PRIDE is a celebration as much as it’s a comfort zone and an agent of change. For every confident and selfreliant individual within the LGBTQ community, there is that scared, wideeyed boy or girl from Des Moines or Mobile, someone who needs to find a place where they can be understood, somewhere they can belong. And they find it at places like PRIDE. I’m ecstatic to be a part of an event that brings all ages, races, ethnicities, genders and classes of people together

to swirl, twirl, dance, sing, shout, love and celebrate who they are. In a society where it’s easier to fit into a mold, PRIDE is the breaking of that mold, PRIDE is “no way, we’re not doing it your way”, PRIDE is owning and respecting yourself and celebrating all the fabulous things that you’re made of. Bam. I’ve been to the Capital PRIDE Festival, but only briefly, just passing through the park on my way somewhere. Admiring all the splendor, passion and fabulousness of the event, but never getting involved. Now that I am working at the Pride Center, this year will be my first PRIDE. And I am beyond excited. Own it. Love it. Work it. Flaunt it. Capital PRIDE 2014 is going to rock.


LesBoa will be celebrating its 5th year involved in Capital PRIDE. This event originated from a group of friends who grew up in the Capital District that would always talk about all female events in larger cities and why we never had a solid one in the area. After thinking about the idea to host an allfemale event, we were presented from a former Pride Center employee the opportunity to get this idea into action. Teaming up with a few local DJ’s and clubs, the event was developed and we joined our first PRIDE week in 2009.

Five years later, we have made our home at ROCKS to host LesBoa every year during PRIDE week and continue to grow and grow. LesBoa’s event gives the opportunity of all ages of the spectrum to come out, dance the night away and to celebrate our own PRIDE. We would like to thank each and every person that continues to come out each year, supporting this event and helping us to provide a memorable night with great people and friends. Lesoboa will help kick off #PRIDEweek with it’s 5th anniversary party at Rocks on June 6th!



Arlene Lev, Clinical Supervisor for the Pride Center’s Center Support Program, has been awarded the prestigious Community Engagement award from the President of the University

at Albany for her 30 years of work to improve services and care for the LGBTQ community of the Capital Region. In 2008, Arlene began a collaboration with the UAlbany School of Social Welfare to provide field internships with the Pride Center, developing the first low-cost therapeutic services available specifically for the LGBTQ community. Among her groundbreaking initiatives, Ms. Lev helped found Rainbow Access Initiative to reduce LGBTQ health disparities. At UAlbany, she launched an advanced clinical course focused on LGBTQ needs.



Al an Bennet Il agan

Wearing Your Pride from the Inside

I’d like to think, at least for this moment, that the best of humanity – the ideas of acceptance and love – will triumph over all else.

Pride is such a celebratory event in the gay calendar year that almost anything goes, particularly when it comes to fashion. While some take this to alarming extremes (guilty as charged) this is the one moment that we get a pass when it comes to flamboyance, outrageousness and, more often than not, simple poor taste. What do you think I’m going to say about rainbow tank tops or Mardi-Graslike beads or shiny short-shorts? At any other time of the year I’d rip such things to shreds, at least when it comes to everyday wear. (There’s a time and place for that, said the man who once wore lace underwear to a formal cocktail party – and nothing over them.) This is usually where I make catty, cutting remarks about those who wear pleated pants or crocs, critique the wayward choices of celebrities walking red carpets, or rudely spout off from some undeservedly-self-righteous plane, but for this article, and this month, I’m going to suspend such behavior in the name of Pride.

It’s... a good moment to step back and look at the way we judge one another 6

At UAlbany she piloted The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project to improve the cultural-competency of professionals working with the LGBTQ community. Additional partners include In Our Own Voices, Rainbow Access Initiative, The Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center; NYS Northeast Division National Association of Social Workers, and Pride and Joy Families. The Pride Center’s director Curran Streett said, “…The work Ms. Lev has done to support the community is immeasurable and has been essential to expanding the holistic health of the local LGBTQ community.”

While certain events call for something a little more fancy and special (such as the fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s Formal Affaire that GLSEN has planned for the eve of Pride), this month is about wearing what makes you feel good and comfortable in your skin, as well as whatever celebrates who you are as a person.

This month is about wearing what makes you feel good and comfortable in your skin For some, that means a whole wardrobe of rainbow-colored chaos, and though I may cringe at the onslaught of such garishness, this is the time of the year where that’s deemed a non-violation by the fashion police. It’s also a good moment to step back and look at the way we judge one another (guilty again). It’s easy to criticize someone else. Whether about fashion or difference in opinion, criticizing others is something that most of us do - consciously or unconsciously, actively or passively, out loud or to ourselves. I’m probably more guilty of this than the average person,

in large part because I’m a very critical person, and in small part because of the nature of this column. Yet if you think I’m critical of others, you should see the self-abasement I inflict upon myself. That’s a common lot for a number of us, who find it easiest to criticize ourselves. But for Pride, give yourself a break.

No matter what you wear, and no matter how you wear are fierce I’d like to think, at least for this moment, that the best of humanity – the ideas of acceptance and love – will triumph over all else. That starts with a sense of self love. For now, and for this month of Pride, let’s be a little kinder to each other, a little more forgiving of ourselves, and a little more careful of our place in the world. No matter what you wear, and no matter how you wear it, remember this: there is no one else like you, and you are fierce. Alan Bennett Ilagan is a freelance writer and amateur photographer who resides in upstate New York with his husband Andy. He created the website www.ALANILAGAN. com, 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.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Eat* Shop* & Much More*

Jay Street Marketplace Rock out with Radio Rattle @ 7pm

Experience the Capital Pride Singers @ 5pm

Have fun with the Pet Pride Parade @ 4pm

Celebrate Diversity



Say It Loud Black & Latino Gay Pride 2014 th

June 7 |

Jennings Landing (Formerly Albany Riverfront)

J UN E 5 - 8



THURSDAY JUNE 5 TH S OBER D ANCE : T HE T HROW B ACK B OOMERANG P ARTY First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany 405 Washington Avenue - Albany 9:00 pm - 1:00 am

Official Afterparty

FRIDAY JUNE 6 TH Mother La’Mia Aiken-Revlon’s L.S.S. Awards Ball First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany 405 Washington Avenue - Albany 9:00 pm - 1:00 am


76 Central Avenue

T HE C ELEBRATION Jennings Landing 1 Quay Street - Albany 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Albany, NY

T HE O FFICIAL AFTERPARTY Water Works Pub 76 Central Avenue - Albany 10:00 pm - 4:00 am


A very special appearance by the “Original” WINNER of RuPaul’s Drag Race


S AY I T L OUD ! T-D ANCE Fuze Box 12 Central Avenue - Albany 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

For More Info Contact 518-432-4188 or visit


Saying It Loud with Black & Latino Gay Pride In Our Own Voices, Inc., (IOOV) and our community members are about to bring back the excitement and authenticity of a very important cultural event, Say It Loud! Black & Latino Gay Pride (June 5th-June 8th). This event has grown into a lively event drawing in hundreds of people to celebrate the contributions and talents of LGBT POC communities. If you are fortunate enough to engage in conversation with Executive Director of IOOV, Tandra LaGrone, she will tell you in great detail how this initiative began back in 2006 with only a handful of organizers and $150. Yet, with very few resources the 1st Black & Latino Gay Pride generated 200 LGBT POC along with their families, friends and allies. That first outcome was enough to fuel ongoing efforts that have now galvanized over 6,900 Black & Latino Gay Pride planning partners and attendees over the last eight years.

With over 5,000 Black and Latino LGBT POC living in the seven different counties of the Capital District, some of who we have yet to reach, we continue to build on the early community organizing efforts of our Executive Director and other IOOV pioneers. Say It Loud! Black & Latino Gay Pride remains an LGBT POC-led event with support from allies. The magic of it all lies in the community engagement that empowers LGBT POC to assume leadership and take action. We are intentional about providing opportunities for our communities to have meaningful input about Black & Latino Gay Pride and other initiatives that impact their lives. “I am excited to finally be in a place where I am able to be a part of something and give

back to my community,” shares La’Mia Aiken who provides leadership to the Black & Latino Gay Pride Ball. Although every year we face resistance from some members of the mainstream LGBT community, hearing the positive feedback from people like La’Mia makes all the adversity worth it. When it comes to promoting the agency and visibility of LGBT People of Color (POC), it is often countered with micro-aggressions of white privilege. This plays out through questions and statements that challenge POC space by implying the notion of ‘reversed racism.’ The fact that even our white allies cannot unpack the subtle resistance as to why we gather for Say It Loud! Black & Latino Gay Pride, nudges us to place present day behaviors in a proper historical context. We have inherited generations of institutional and community racism that still shape an imbalance of power structures, and any threat to that paradigm will spark reactions from those with the most power and privilege. Paradoxically, we also live in a time where it is not cool to stray from the PC factor, so all racist reactions must be packaged with care, resulting in micro-aggressions that can be harder to address since the harm can be hidden in plain sight, buried in blame and patronization. The struggle continues when LGBT POC communities alike must compromise on their racial identity within the LGBT movement because it is not reflected or is similarly targeted as in mainstream communities, i.e., our issues are not addressed or even brought to the table.

Say It Loud! Black & Latino Gay Pride provides a space to gather and celebrate each other while addressing the challenges of racism, transphobia, homophobia and other issues that lead to health disparities. LGBT POC are met with very specific vulnerabilities, challenges, and strengths that must be addressed and celebrated among community members and allies. Black & Latino Gay Pride gives us a safe space to rethink and reclaim racial justice practices that help build the social capital needed to promote healthy and thriving LGBT POC communities. As members of the Center for Black Equity (CBE), we are also part of a global movement that organizes and promotes annual Black Prides across the world. “Over 350,000 members of Black/African American LGBT communities attended Black Prides in the recent years,” reports the CBE. IOOV is PROUD to Say It Loud! year after year and we will continue to engage in a unified voice, one encounter at a time. In the words of Kym Dorsey, Voices of Unity group facilitator, “Come and experience something new, something fresh, something that will pull all the LGBT colors from the rainbow enabling all of us to shine.” Friends, on behalf of IOOV and the rest of our LGBT POC family, we welcome you to experience the love of Say It Loud! Black & Latino Gay Pride. Alone we are great, together we are mighty.


SCHENECTADY PRIDE 2014 is flying by and June will be here before you know it! With the (hopefully) warmer weather comes Pride events and celebrations all over. It was just two years ago, in Spring 2012, that a group of LGBT community members residing in the City of Schenectady formed Schenectady Pride in order to celebrate community diversity, community engagement and the contributions made to the city by the LGBT community. On Saturday, June 21st, 2014, we will be hosting our 3rd Annual Schenectady LGBT Pride celebration with a host of events and activities for everyone – kids, adults, & even pets – to enjoy. We would like to invite all of you to join our festivities.

pets take center stage as they compete for some great awards! The entry fee is only $5 and benefits Schenectady Pride, the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, and Homeward Bound. Visit our website to sign Fluffy up!

Who? Everyone! What? Schenectady LGBT Pride

And that’s not all, folks! The Jay Street Marketplace will feature music, community organization tables, vendors, food, drinks, and more fun. Some of those things include Mad Jack Brewing Company pouring some of your favorites and the Paint with Puzzles table to support Autism Awareness. With each passing day, Schenectady LGBT Pride is getting bigger and better. You know you want to be there.

When? Saturday, June 21, 2014 Where? Schenectady – Jay Street Marketplace & the surrounding area Why? Why not?!

We will be kicking off the day at 4:00 PM with the Second Annual Family Pet Pride Parade, featuring local celebrity standup comic Sandy Beach. Dress your furry (and not so furry) friends to impress as they compete for “most prideful”, “best dressed”, “Pride King” or “Pride Queen”. Your beloved family


Our Main Stage, on the corner of Jay and Franklin Streets will feature some of the Capital Region’s most talented, starting with the ever popular Capital Pride Singers, the only Gay/Lesbian/ Bisexual/Transgendered/Affirming chorus in Albany. They take the stage at 5:00 PM and will have you singing along in no time. Carmie Hope will be gracing the stage at 6:00 PM for a passionate and heart-felt solo performance that you won’t want to miss because she’s sure to have everyone talking. And last, but certainly not least, rock and roll with Radio Rattle, who will be making their third appearance at Schenectady Pride, at 7:00 PM.

Visit us on facebook: Visit us on the web:


Trixie Starr (aka Rich Volo) President,Hudson Pride Foundation

In May of 2010, I thought, “Let’s have a gay pride parade here in Hudson. We’ll march down Warren Street. The Village of Catskill did it last year. If they could do it, we can. . . How hard could it be??

I had no idea what I was doing. I made a few phone calls, got event insurance, and put out a facebook event to see if anyone wanted to help me start a parade.

The parade grew every day - more and more people signed up to march, more people donated money. We could not keep up. We put together a Pride Map with logos from all local businesses. 800 copies were snatched up within two days. We needed another run. It was the Friday before the parade on Sunday. I went to Staples that afternoon and asked if it was possible - 800 more copies printed and folded. I got a phone call on Saturday morning. The copies were done. The staff at Staples stayed late that Friday night, and did all the folding. I rented a dunk tank for after the parade festival. That day, there was a line of kids for the dunk tank. I had no idea where these kids came from! Today, carnival games, slides, and kid rides are always a part of the Hudson Pride Festival.

People showed up - about a dozen. We had six weeks until the event. No one in the group had ever put together a parade.

The next day, the Associated Press picked up the local story and it went global. Within a day, we were getting calls for interviews from NYC news stations.

At the very first meeting, we decided to name the organization “Hudson Pride”. It does not only represent the pride of the LGBT and heterosexual communities of the City of Hudson, but also, for us, having pride in a little city and county, that has been through a tremendous rebirth.

Please visit for more information.

We knocked on doors in town and went to local businesses; we raised $25 here, $100 there. We sold tickets for a boat cruise and a dance party. We raised over $10,000 that first year. It covered our expenses, with a little left over.

The story made the front page of the local newspaper, The Register-Star. I remember being in parade planning meeting that night when the story appeared. We were thinking, ‘Wow, that’s really great!’

This year marks our fifth parade.

Hudson Pride weekend is the third Saturday in June – June 20-22, 2014.

We started raising money. We got a stage, porta-potties, tents and permits.

That year, two openly-gay high school seniors, Charlie Ferrusi and Timothy Howard, ran for Prom King and Queen in Hudson - and won!

We plan local LGBT awareness events, and work with people such as James Shultis from Capital Pride, to provide education and outreach to teens in Columbia County.






Charlie and Timmy were our Grand Marshals that first pride parade. Martha Harvey had the idea to create a scholarship program with the extra money raised. Charlie and Timmy were awarded our first scholarships. The Hudson Pride Foundation is the first LGBT organization in Columbia County. We plan a parade every year, award $4,000 annually in college scholarships to teens in Columbia County that show a commitment to LGBT issues.

A big THANK YOU to all of the Hudsonians, past and present, that make up the all-volunteer Hudson Pride Foundation Board: Holly Northrop, Martha Harvey, Harry Laughlin, Paul Barrett, Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Rachel Spath Kappel, Richelle Martin, Jamie Trachtenberg, Peter Frank, Carol Lavendar, Rob Bujan, Nicolas Ganey, Victor Mendolia, Kevin Moran, Mike Patterson, Abel Ramirez, Rachel Seider, Brittany Thibeault



With Capital PRIDE just around the corner, it seems only fitting to reflect on how far we’ve come as a queer community since the early days of gay pride! We’ve evolved from radical marches resulting from the Stonewall riots to momentous festive parades. Though the fight for equality is far from over, we’ve come to a place where we have the ability to visibly affirm our identities and dignify ourselves as diverse queer communities. The progress we’ve made as a community can be attributed to collective advocacy and the hard work of social change. From the Gay Liberation Movement and valor of Harvey Milk, to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the passing of Marriage Equality, headway continues to be made bolstering our history. It is through our ongoing endeavors that we’re continually righting inequities and rewarding the merit of all our genders and sexualities. With each step forward we add to a powerful LGBTQ legacy. Every effort made in shifting the paradigm of our existence contributes to our strides for pride!


Though there are fewer experiences of overt homophobia or transphobia, there still exist many micro aggressions, daily insults or ways our lives are made invisible, that render environments uncomfortable or hostile at times. We all have experienced these in some fashion, whether indirect comments, “that’s so gay,” or personalized insults, “you’re not a real woman.” It is these interactions with ignorant people that can serve as catalysts for change. As queer people, we know how painful it can be to be ostracized. This is why it is so important to advocate early on for kids in elementary, middle, and high school who are often mistreated by their peers, and the adults they turn to for help. A crucial part of this involves working with teachers and school administrators to develop affirming language and policies that are inclusive of all LGBTQ students. As an advocate and trainer, I have had the great privilege to be part of these cooperative efforts aimed at propelling knowledge and support for LGBTQ students and adults alike. Educational training is an essential part of promoting awareness and transforming atmospheres to be inclusive. Helping schools and other organizations to become knowledgeable of appropriate language is one of the central influential steps. This establishes

an affirmative discourse and builds more inclusive and accepting environments. We all have the ability to take a stand and contribute to creating and maintaining safe spaces for all LGBTQ persons, which is at the heart of advocacy. We can take action by consistently addressing inappropriate jokes or biased language. Though not always easy, efforts such as this are necessary to evoke change and help shift the culture of any environment. We are afforded countless opportunities to promote diversity awareness, inclusiveness and equality among peers, professionals, students, and families. As queer individuals, we all have the ability to serve as agents of change to cultivate empathy and cultural competence. Our efforts as a whole continue to foster fundamental LGBTQ rights to safety and fairness. What a reward there can be to hold this role, to actively educate people and help raise consciousness. This heightened mindfulness brings all of us not only to a level of greater acceptance but ultimate celebration for LGBTQ identities! Happy PRIDE! Acey Mercer, MSW is a Psychotherapist at Choices Counseling & Consulting and the Senior Consultant of the Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality (TIGRIS) in Albany. If you or someone you know is in need of counseling and support in school or at their place of work, please contact Acey at



Join use for the June

LGBTQ Professionals Networking Event Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 6-8pm Come and meet with new and old friends, Trade buisness cards And make important contacts This month’s Business Alliance Networking is proudly sponsored by:

Michael Cocca Franklin Terrace Ballroom126 Campbell Ave. Troy, NY 12180 $10 Suggested donation



It takes a lot to put together 10 days full of multiple events. It takes a lot to put on a parade. It takes a lotto put on a festival for tens of thousands featuring national recording artists. Imagine what it takes to organize and execute all of those things at the same time? Capital PRIDE is the largest Pride celebration in Upstate New York and would not be the amazing success that it is year after year without the combined dedication, talents, intelligence and heart of an amazing group of individuals The PRIDE Steering Committee. That committee, Scott Levine, Rob Loren Hill, Ed Davis and Corey Polesel have given of themselves tirelessly during the past 6 months to bring you Capital PRIDE 2014. With the help of some of the worlds most amazing volunteers (many pictured above) you can expect one thing from their hard work - an amazing Capital PRIDE. So as you plan your PRIDE Week, take a minute to get a little more insight into what PRIDE means to the committe that Steers us through it’s planning...... 18

Hometown - Albany Job Title - Manager - Waterworks Pub Length of time in Capital Region - 70s Sprit Animal / Element - Really? Umm... Hawk/Water How do you Identify - Gay Favorite Movie - Some Kind of Wonderful Favorite TV Show The Good Wife & House of Cards Favorite Music/Artist Beatles, Led Zeppelin & Cher Favorite Book Any book that's good enough to finish before I have to pay the late fee at the library Favorite Food - Meat & potatoes Favorite Drink - Coca Cola & Coors Lt. Favorite Color - Blue Favorite Vacation /Destination - Europe Favorite Role Model / Favorite Idol My Father & Whoopi Goldberg

#MyPRIDE At last year’s PRIDE Festival, these two wonderful women came up to me back stage and said “Hey, do you think we could get married on stage in celebration of NYS Gay Marriage?”. After verifying that they had a license, in the next twenty minutes we scrambled to find a preacher, one bride’s brother in a crowd of 25,000 and adjusted the stage schedule to have our first gay wedding at Capital PRIDE. It’s was the quickest wedding I have ever seen outside of a Kardashian Reality Show.

ROB HILL Planning Co-chair

(Scott’s #CapitalPRIDE memory)

Hometown - Painesville, OH Job Title - Assistant Director, Undergraduate Admissions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Length of time in Capital Region - 9 years Sprit Animal / Element - bulldog / fire How do you Identify cis/male/queer/occasional drag queen Favorite Movie Kill Bill or Who Framed Roger Rabbit Favorite T.V. Show - right now, Adventure Time Favorite Music/Artist - Garbage Favorite Book - Catch-22 Favorite Food Peanut Butter Pandemonium ice cream Favorite Drink Peanut Butter Pandemonium milkshake. Favorite Color - the juxtaposition of blue and brown Favorite Vacation /Destination - Maui or Paris Favorite Role Model / Favorite Idol my parents


How long been volunteering for PRIDE?

Scott: 9 Years. Rob: This is my 5th PRIDE as a volunteer, second as co-chair. Ed: This is my 6th year. Corey: A long, long time.... hmm… 6 or 7 years I think.

How did you first get involved in PRIDE?

Scott: About 9 years ago, while working at Waterworks Pub, we thought it would be a good idea to bring a Pop Act into the Club as a fundraiser for Capital PRIDE. To cover the cost of the Act, we needed some more corporate sponsors, so I brought in our first Liquor & Beer sponsors and raised enough money to have our first national artist not only at the Waterworks Fundraiser, but also as the featured act at the Capital PRIDE Festival. This went so well, it turned into years of securing corporate sponsorships to slowly grow the level of our entertainment and at the Capital PRIDE Festival.

Rob: I had just moved back to the area after briefly living with family in Ohio and wanted to get involved in the community. This seemed like a good first step.


Ed: As a way to repay the Center for the support they gave our oldest daughter. Corey: A friend of mine suggested I become involved and I took her up on it.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to volunteer or otherwise help out the Community?

Scott: There is so much to do and so many different ways that people can help throughout the year, from small things that take up very little time, to larger long term volunteer commitments. Just take the time and reach out to see how best you can help. It’s definitely worth the effort and a great way to meet new people.

Rob: Think about what you like and what you’re good at, and use those skills or activities to give back. Not every volunteer activity is the same so don’t be discouraged if one type of volunteering activity doesn’t appeal to you - try something else!

Ed: Working with people gives you a great feeling about yourself, it can do wonders not only for yourself but for those around you.There are many ways you can and should become a volunteer for the Community. And you must realize that the “Community” includes you as well, be you LGBTQA. Corey: Jump right in, be yourself, have fun and pay it forward!

What is the best part of working on your aspect of PRIDE?

Scott: The best part of working on PRIDE for me is helping to organize a community to work together to not only secure enough funding for the Capital PRIDE Entertainment, but to see the result of all that effort in the faces of the tens of thousands of people cheering and singing along to songs they have heard on the radio for years.

Rob: Each event between the kickoff and parade is in essence its own little burst of PRIDE, with its own background and personality. Some are for celebration, others for reflection, and still others to bring us closer together to one another. The best part of chairing events is getting to see the forest and the trees - helping with each individual event and also making sure that we have a little bit of everything for everyone. Ed: I am a quite person by nature, PRIDE allows me to get out and meet and work with some great people. No pun keeps me off the streets. Corey: At 6 am in the morning on festival day meeting in the park, seeing the community come together, making new friends.

What does PRIDE mean to you?

Scott: PRIDE is important because it is a celebration about being our true selves. It’s a chance to recognize how far we have come and how far we still have to go in the hearts and minds of an ever shrinking few. It’s an opportunity to show our peers, our family and our friends that we are the same as everyone else while being wonderfully diverse community of equals.

Rob: PRIDE is about celebrating community, in the broadest sense possible. For me, it’s a community that saw me through times good and bad in my life, and one that has brought me together with friends and family in countless ways. Ed: Taking the time to show just how we feel about OURSELVES. Corey: Because the Center is a very important resource for the community. It is essential, particularly for the youth to have somewhere they can feel accepted and “normal”. It is also essential for us over the hill types to know we are not alone and that there are resources available to us.

Anything else you'd like to add about this year’s PRIDE?

Scott: This is the first PRIDE we are bringing in a Grammy Winning Artist to perform at the Festival, Thelma Houston, and the first PRIDE where we have 3 featured headlining acts in addition to our new tradition of a big party band to get things going. With the Parade and Festival being on a Saturday this year, it is sure to be one of our Biggest events yet.

Rob: I always say it’s going to be better than ever. But this year I really mean it - it’s going to be the best PRIDE yet! Ed: Last year we mixed up the Festival by having many smaller tents for vendors, and in the past we have had to move the starting point of the Parade, because it just grew bigger. You can never predict what you will find on the big day. But we can insure you that you will never go away disappointed. And rest assured that next year will even be better than this year. Corey: Well… “ Satur”gay” is gonna be special!!!


ED DAVIS Parade Chair

Hometown - Albany Job Title Retired Rural School Transportation Supervisor Length of time in Capital Region - Forever and a day Sprit Animal / Element spirit Animal - Wolverine / Element - Air How do you Identify - Human .......Straight Favorite Movie - Kelly's Heroes Favorite T.V. Show - Laugh - In Favorite Music - Golden Oldies Favorite Artist - Moody Blues / Meat Loaf Favorite Book - anything by Stephen King Favorite Food - RIBS, RIBS, RIBS Favorite Drink - Root Beer Float Favorite Color - Blue Favorite Vacation /Destination - Cape Cod Favorite Role Model / Favorite Idol Does anyone really need one? The best anyone can do is to do their best and to keep improving ourselves. Everyone is different and we all make our own mark on the people around us. That is what Makes us what we are, trying to be like someone else, is not being true to yourself.

#MyPRIDE Last year racing down to the corner of Lark and Madison in a golf cart to pick up Congressman Paul Tonko and New York Assemblyman John McDonald. Then “FLOORING THE CART’ to get them to the Parade staging area just before the start of the Parade. Now for the rest of the story...the golf cart was a 2 seater.

COREY POLESEL Festival Chair

(Ed’s #CapitalPRIDE Memory)

Hometown - Duanesburg NY Job Title Length of time in Capital Region - 32 years Sprit Animal / Element Spirit Animal : Squirrel, Element : earth How do you Identify - I’m a gay transman Favorite Movie - Enemy Mine Favorite T.V. Show - Babylon 5 Favorite Music/Artist too many to say... Greenday, Abba, Peter Paul and Mary, Kenny Rogers. (ecclectic enough for you?) Favorite Book - The Long Walk, or the Count of Monte Cristo Favorite Food Stewarts Chocolate Peanut butter cup ice cream Favorite Drink - white russians Favorite Color - Blue Favorite Vacation /Destination - Easton Mountain Favorite Role Model / Favorite Idol Odhin


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 Sholom (Reform) 167 Third Street, Troy, NY Congregation Beth Emeth (Reform) 100 Academy Road, Albany, NY (518)4369761 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 First Church in Albany 110 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY (518)463-4449 First Congregational Church of Albany UCC & NACCC 405 Quail Street, Albany, NY / (518)482-4580 First Lutheran Church 181 Western Avenue, Albany, NY (518)463-1326 First Presbyterian Church 362 State Street, Albany, NY (518)449-7332 First Reformed Church 8 North Church Street, Schenectady, NY First Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, NY (518)374-4446 First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany 405 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY (518)463-7135 First United Methodist Church 603 State Street, Schenectady, NY (518)374-4403 First United Methodist Church, East Greenbush First United Presbyterian Church 1915 Fifth Avenue, Troy, NY (518)272-2771 Friends Meeting (Quaker) 727 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY (518) 436-8812

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 501 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, NY www.goodshepherdchurchloudonville. org (518)458-1562 Holy Trinity National Catholic Church 405 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY (518)434-8861 Journey United Church of Christ 500 Kenwood Blvd, Delmar , NY Presbyterian New England Congregational Church, Saratoga Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church 175 Fifth Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY / (518)584-3720 Saint Aelred’s Priory and Retreat House (National Catholic) 670 Bunker Hill Road Northville, NY Tel. 518-863-8086 or 518-434-8861 St. Andrews Episcopal Church Main at Madison Avenue, Albany, NY / (518)489-4747 St. John’s Lutheran Church 160 Central Avenue, Albany, NY (518)465-7545 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga 624 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY (518)584-1555 Unity Church in Albany 21 King Avenue, Albany, NY (518)4533603 Woodstock Jewish Congregation (Reconstructionist) 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock, NY (845)246-1671

Proud To Be Open! Affirming! Welcoming! Joyous!


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!


Residential • Commercial Land & Development Landlord / Tenant Representation

Brian Brosen & Reginald Monroe Licensed Associate Real EstateBrokers


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Adults $10

Students $7 Under 12 Free Tickets are disc ou - online at www nted with advance purchase : - in Albany at R om eo ’s Gifts, 299 Lark - in Hudson at PM St. - in Hudson at Sp Wine Bar, 119 Warren St. otty Dog Books & Ale, 440 Warre n St. A portion of th e pr The Pride Cent er of the Capioceeds will benefit tal Region Al ternative Prom

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

June Sunday,4:00 PM hurch terianrC y b s e r P e First 9 Warren St et 36 NY Hudsont,h & Warren) of Four (corner

AGMC e-mail: website: facebook: AGMC

 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

 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

Ad Busines Educa Employ Estate Fam Matrim Medica Name Rea

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


Pride Center Special Events CAPITAL PRIDE 2014 EVENTS

Sunday, May 30: 17th Alternative Punk Rock Prom, 7-11pm. The Armory at Sage College, 130 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208. All lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning young adults AND allies (ages 19 and under), are cordially invited to join several hundred of their peers for an unforgettable night of dancing, socializing, & making new friends in a safe, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere. Thursday, June 5: Capital PRIDE Kick-Off BBQ, 5:30-7:30pm. An annual tradition, the Kick-Off BBQ has marked the official start of Capital PRIDE for decades. Enjoy good food off the grill & catching up with old friends! $5 suggested donation. Friday, June 6: The Pride Show + Fire & Flow, 5-9pm. The Pride Show will highlight some of the amazing LGBTQA artists featured during the Romaine Brooks gallery’s 2013 season. We also welcome the Fire & Flow Arts Collective of Albany to spin fire with props of many kinds. FREE! Friday, June 6: Saratoga Pride Youth After-Party, 6-8pm. Circus Café (back room), 392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Want to hang out & meet other LGBTQ & allied youth, ages 13-18 after the Saratoga Springs City Hall Pride Proclamation? March down to Circus Café & check out their back room where we’ll have music, refreshments & of course, great company! FREE! Sunday, June 8: Bank of America PRIDE 5k Run/Walk & Rainbow Fun Run, 8-11am. Washington Park. Whether you’re taking part in the run or cheering on your friends, the Pride 5k is one of our most exciting events! To register please contact: $20 in advance, $25 day of race. Monday, June 9: Pride for All, 5:30-7:30pm. Living Resources, 300 Washington Ave Ext. Join the team at Living Resources & the Pride Center for a screening of Our Compass, an educational documentary about the lives of 8 developmentally disabled LGBTQ individuals. FREE! Tuesday, June 10: Cruise Along the Hudson with Vintage Pride! 6-9pm (Boarding time at 5:30). Dutch Apple Cruises, 141 Broadway. Sit back & enjoy a ride on the scenic & historic Hudson River! This event is for Vintage Priders (ages 55+), & friends & supporters of Vintage Pride. $30 per ticket, includes dinner. Cash bar. For tickets please contact: Tuesday, June 10: Business Alliance Professional’s Networking Event, 6-8pm. Franklin Terrace Ballroom, 126 Campbell Ave., Troy. Our very popular LGBTQ Networking event comes to Troy’s gorgeous Franklin Terrace Ballroom. Sponsored by Tri City Rentals. $10 suggested donation. Tuesday, June 10: Trans-Queering Your Sex, 6-7:30pm. Interested in a trans, gender queer &/or gender non-conforming person? Wanna have fun & be respectful? Wanna experience “non traditional” sex & desire not based on stereotypes? This is the workshop for you. Presented by Victor Tobar, a queer, gender non-conforming Latin@ kink & sex educator based in NYC. $5. Tuesday, June 10: Playing with Roles: How to Spice up Your Sex Life, 8-10pm. Fuze Box, 12 Central Ave. Be anything or anyone you want. Let go of your inhibitions & imagine. Join Victor Trobar in having an open discussion about role play as part of human sexuality. $6$10. Thursday, June 12: Albany PRIDE Bowling, 6-9pm. Playdium Bowling Center, 363 Ontario St. Pride Bowling Night has become an annual favorite, & this year will be no different. $20 includes shoes & bowling. Thursday, June 12: Schenectady Rainbow Nights Youth Film Night, 6-8pm. Proctors Theater (underground space), 432 State St., Schenectady. If you’re an LGBTQ or allied youth, ages 13-18, come join our group as we watch a pride-related film & get psyched for the Parade & Festival! FREE! All events take place at the Pride Center (332 Hudson Avenue, Albany) unless otherwise noted. For more information call (518) 462-6138.


Pride Center Special Events CAPITAL PRIDE 2014 EVENTS

Friday, June 13: GET REAL: Community Organizing 101, 5:30-7pm. Join us for a special Capital PRIDE edition and learn about community organizing and the roots of Pride throughout the country. Ages 13-18. FREE! Friday, June 13: Youth March GEAR UP!, 7-9pm. A special edition of our Friday Night Youth Group for youth 19 and under! We’ll be getting in gear for the for the Youth March and Capital PRIDE Parade by making signs, banners, and creating some awesome chants. FREE! Saturday, June 14: Capital PRIDE Parade presented by Walgreens, Noon. Sprague Pl. & State St. to Lark St. to Madison Ave. to Washington. Come and celebrate the Capital Region’s great LGBTQ Community with one of the most anticipated and loved parades of the year! FREE!

Saturday, June 14: Capital PRIDE Festival, 12-5pm. Washington Park. Don’t miss one of the biggest celebrations in the Capital Region! Join tens of thousands as we show off our Pride in Washington Park. FREE!

PRIDE CENTER CALENDAR-JUNE 2014 Wednesday, June 11: Women’s Group, 6-8pm. For lesbian, bisexual, transgender, samegender-loving, queer, and questioning women ages 18+ to talk about coming out, dating, relationships, sex, religion, and other issues affecting women’s communities! Wednesday, June 18: LGBTQ Book Club, 7-9pm. We are reading Dancer by Colum McCann. Hope you can join us!

Sunday, June 15: Vintage Pride Potluck CANCELLED. Please join us again on July 20th from 1-3pm @ the First Presbyterian Church. Sunday, June 29: Supper Sunday, 5:30-9pm. The Pride Center’s monthly program that offers a free, delicious community meal home-cooked by our fabulous volunteer Mike C. on the last Sunday of each month.

PRIDE CENTER CALENDAR-JULY 2014 Wednesday, July 9: Women’s Group, 6-8pm. For lesbian, bisexual, transgender, samegender-loving, queer, and questioning women ages 18+ to talk about coming out, dating, relationships, sex, religion, and other issues affecting women’s communities! Thursday, July 10: Pride Center Youth Scholarship Fundraiser and Awards Reception, 5:30 pm. Hosted by Tom & Lisa Evans, Selkirk, NY. To RSVP and get directions, call 462-6138. Thursday, July 17: Business Alliance Professional’s Networking Event, 6-8pm. Buenau's Opticians 228 Delaware Ave, Delmar. $10 suggested donation. There will be a special giveaway at this month’s event! Be sure to show up and enter the drawing to be one of the winners of a pair of designer sunglasses from Ray-Ban! Saturday, July 19: Volunteer Appreciation Party & BBQ! 11am-2pm. We are the oldest continuously operating LGBTQ Center in the country for a reason: YOU! Let us say thank you for all of your amazing help! Sunday, July 20: Vintage Pride Potluck. First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany. Bring a dish to share and enjoy drinks and dessert provided by the Pride Center. New topics and activities every month! A casual social opportunity for LGBTQ people 55+. Sunday, July 27: Supper Sunday, 5:30-9pm. The Pride Center’s monthly program that offers a free, delicious community meal-home-cooked by Mike C! 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


Vintage Pride Potluck Lunch 3rd Sunday of the month, 1—3pm First Presbyterian Church 362 State Street, Albany

Live from the Living Room Open Mic* 2nd Wednesday of the month, Garden Level, 7pm

Bisexual Potluck Brunch* 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 11am-1pm

Rainbow Café Drop-in Weekly, 1st Floor, 6—9pm G.O.O.D. Sundays Open Mic Night 1st Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 6:30pm

Women’s Group 2nd Wednesday of the month, 1st floor 6-7pm Social, 7-8pm Discussion

LGBTQ Book Club 3rd Wednesday of the month, 1st Floor, 7pm


Thrive LGBTQ Youth Group (Ages 18—24) Weekly, 3rd Floor, 6—7:30pm

Movie Night 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 6:30pm

LGBTQ Narcotics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm

Supper Sunday Last Sunday of the month, 1st Floor, 5—9pm LGBTQ Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7—8:30pm

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



Men's Peer Support Group Weekly, 1st Floor, 7—8:30pm

Gay Men’s Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm Free Confidential HIV Testing 1st & 3rd Monday, 3rd Floor 4—7pm


Rainbow Café Drop-in Weekly, 1st Floor, 6—9pm Game Night 2nd Friday of the month, 1st Floor, 6-9pm

Trivia Night 3rd Friday of the month, 1st Floor, 6-9pm

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

GET REAL: Youth Education (Ages 13 – 18) 2nd Fridays, Garden Level, 5:30-7pm

Capital Region Support Group for Family and Friends of LGBTQ 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, 1st Floor, 5—9pm

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

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

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

June 2014

Pride Center Affiliate Events Albany Gay Men’s Chorus Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings from 6:45 - 8:45pm at the First Lutheran Church of Albany, 181 Western Avenue (State Street side), Albany. Wednesday, June 11: Saratoga Pride Women’s Cocktails, Lesbian coffee turns into Lesbian Cocktails! Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Check out our website for location and additional details. Thursday, June 19: Saratoga Pride Lesbian Networking Breakfast, 7:30am. Country Corner Café, Church St., Saratoga Springs. You can find us in the upstairs dining room. Latecomers welcome!

Community Events

Wednesday, June 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, cross-dressing , gender-questioning, two-spirited and curious veterans. More info: Wednesday June 11: “Live from the Living Room” Poetry Open Mic Night, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Now meeting in the renovated Garden Level space! Sunday, June 1 & 15: Bisexual Potluck Brunch, 11a-1pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany, 1st fl. Come for great brunch and a meet other bisexual members of the community! Wednesday, June 4 & 18: IOOV Out The Closet I Am (Ages 18-30)* 6:30-8pm. This is a support group for Women who have sex with Women. Join us for stimulating conversation and peer support around sexual orientation, gender and overall sexual health. For more info call 518432-4188 or message or www.facebook/outtheclosetiam Friday, June 13: IOOV Sexversations for Womyn Who Love Womyn* 7-9pm. Join us for a night of sexversations around orgasms, consent, power play, kink and overall sexual health. Bring your appetite for self-love, mental stimulation and sharing in community, Location TBA. Call (518) 432-4188 or message Wednesday, June 11 & 25: IOOV-Voices of Unity (Formerly Trans Care)* 6-7:30pm. This is a support group for Transgender people of color to share their voices about issues affecting their community. For more information, call 518-432-4188. Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00PM: Yoga @ Trinity, Kripalu Yoga for all levels and in a beautiful historic chapel; class tailored to participants present. $12/class. Contact Dee Most Wednesdays at 8pm: Pint with the Pastor, Madison Pour House, 110 Madison Ave, Albany. An informal, open conversation among diverse and inclusive friends (new and familiar) about spiritual topics relevant to people of all faith experiences with a "resident theologian" in the room to support our discussion. Contact Dee *All In Our Own Voices (IOOV) 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 before the 5th of the month.


July 2014 Pride Center Affiliate Events Albany Gay Men’s Chorus Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings from 6:45 - 8:45pm at the First Lutheran Church of Albany, 181 Western Avenue (State Street side), Albany. Wednesday, July 9: Saratoga Pride Women’s Cocktails, Lesbian coffee turns into Lesbian Cocktails! Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Check out our website for location and additional details. Thursday, July 17: Saratoga Pride Lesbian Networking Breakfast, 7:30am. Country Corner Café, Church St., Saratoga Springs. You can find us in the upstairs dining room. Latecomers welcome!

Community Events Wednesday, July 2: 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, cross-dressing , gender-questioning, two-spirited and curious veterans. More info: Wednesday, July 9: Poetry Open Mic Night, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Now meeting in the newly renovated Garden Level space! Sunday, July 6 & 20: Bisexual Potluck Brunch, 11a-1pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany, 1st fl. Come for great brunch and a meet other bisexual members of the community! Wednesday, July 2 & 16: IOOV Out The Closet I Am (Ages 18-30)* 6:30-8pm. This is a support group for Women who have sex with Women. Join us for stimulating conversation and peer support around sexual orientation, gender and overall sexual health. For more info call 518-4324188 or message or www.facebook/outtheclosetiam Friday, July 11: IOOV Sexversations for Womyn Who Love Womyn* 7-9pm. Join us for a night of sexversations around orgasms, consent, power play, kink and overall sexual health. Bring your appetite for self-love, mental stimulation and sharing in community, Location TBA. Call (518) 432-4188 or message Wednesday, July 9 & 23: IOOV-Voices of Unity (Formerly Trans Care)* 6-7:30pm. This is a support group for Transgender people of color to share their voices about issues affecting their community. For more information, call 518-432-4188. Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00PM: Yoga @ Trinity, Kripalu Yoga for all levels and in a beautiful historic chapel; class tailored to participants present. $12/class. Contact Dee Most Wednesdays at 8pm: Pint with the Pastor, Madison Pour House, 110 Madison Ave, Albany. An informal, open conversation among diverse and inclusive friends (new and familiar) about spiritual topics relevant to people of all faith experiences with a "resident theologian" in the room to support our discussion. Contact Dee *All In Our Own Voices (IOOV) 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 before the 5th of the month.


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Understanding Healthcare Options Updates and Facts

The Pride Center of the Capital Region offers free personalized LGBTQ-friendly assistance to individuals, families and small businesses who are interested in enrolling in healthcare coverage.

We make enrolling easier! *If you missed the March 31st deadline you still may qualify *There is NO enrollment deadline for Medicaid/CH Plus eligible individuals and families (we enroll and renew Medicaid applications) *OUR SERVICES ARE OPEN TO ALL - Green Card holders and other immigrants may qualify for coverage *If you have had a Qualified Life Event you have 60 Days to enroll! (some examples — marriage, loss of employment, birth/adoption, citizenship, victims of domestic violence, if you are under-insured or paying too much for employer offered insurance) *Small businesses can still enroll through the (SHOP) marketplace and may qualify for tax credits For questions, requests or to schedule a FREE appointment, please contact the Pride Center of the Capital Region at 518 462 6138 or *OUR SERVICES ARE OPEN TO ALL


Healthcare Enrollment: What’s a qualifying life event? Qualifying events are major moments in your life that permit you to apply for health insurance within a special enrollment period (within 60 days of event). Eligible life events include:

*An individual or dependent loses minimum essential coverage due to:

job loss; an employer no longer offers coverage or the plan offered does not meet minimum guidelines; divorce; the death of a spouse; becoming ineligible for Medicaid or Child Health Plus; end of COBRA coverage ; or if a health plan is decertified

*Marriage/domestic partnership, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption (foster care) *Gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual *Consumers who are newly eligible or ineligible for tax credits (APTC) and/or cost sharing reductions (CSR) *Permanent move to an area that has different health plan options *Release from prison *Victims of domestic violence *NYS of Health Marketplace staff or contractor enrollment error * A Qualified Health Plan violated a provision of its contract *Other exceptional circumstances, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) When is the next Open Enrollment Period ? (If you are not eligible for Medicaid and do not qualify for any of the above life events)

The next open enrollment period for individuals and families begins on November 15, 2014 with coverage starting on January 1, 2015. For questions, requests or to schedule a FREE appointment, please contact the Pride Center of the Capital Region at 518 462 6138 or





Thomas J. Walling CFP®

Keep Paving the Way Here in the Northeast and federally, we have gained most rights but still have a way to go. Back in the 1980’s, I was in my twenties and realizing the impact of my relationship wiring. The AIDS crisis was just starting. Back in those days it was called GRID (Gay Related Immunodeficiency). AIDS was a diet plan with supplements that tasted like chocolate. I remember seeing a poster at a Gay club in Dallas about the mystery illness. A few years later, I heard the rhetoric from religious and government talking heads blaming the illness on perversion, lifestyle choices, and a sexually free culture. There was talk of quarantine, isolation, and God’s revenge. There were no rights for LGBT people and bullying as well as bashing was rampant. We were seen as second class citizens. Most were apathetic to our suffering and scared of the unknown illness. We were a feared subculture with a mysterious infectious deadly disease. Personally, I also think this was the start of the Marriage Equality movement. Stonewall was years earlier and led to awareness, but no real changes in law. The AIDS crisis made us realize we needed to take care of ourselves as our friends wasted, suffered, and perished. Pretty heavy stuff.

What did not kill us made us stronger. There were no legal protections for our relationships. Parents disassociated with their children. Law provided no recognition or protection for our families. Inheritance laws provided for the blood relatives to inherit assets and partners were seen as strangers in the eyes of the probate system. Parents were in charge of medical care no matter how strained of a relationship. Partners were sometimes not allowed hospital visitation. This all led to organizing a strong and increasingly powerful lobby. In other words, enough was enough. In 1999, my decision to enter the Financial Services Industry was largely due to my wanting to equalize the playing field for us as much as possible. Through legal documentation and asset positioning, many inequities could be lessened. Looking back on my columns from not really that long ago, I am amazed at our growth in such a short period of time. Bit by bit we have worn away most of the legal disparities. Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, a few Pension Protection Acts, some Supreme Court wins, and little civil disobedience have gotten us closer and closer to equality. Our city, our county, and our state have been among the mavericks of the GLBT movement.

All have enacted laws early in the fight. New Yorkers have been leaders in the country from Jason West and the New Paltz marriages to Edith Windsor from New York City who brought an end to most of DOMA. Out of the Stonewall riots and the passage of Marriage Equality rose a stronger more unified community. These were some of the larger wins, but I bet most of you have a story of your own fight against inequality. Fast forward to today. Here in the Northeast and federally, we have gained most rights but still have a way to go. That is why it is so important to support organizations like the PrideCenter who are out there fighting the fight. Until there is an end to bullying of LGBT youth and equal rights for all (including the Transgendered), we need to appreciate and applaud them. Stonewall was less than fifty years ago. Strength and perseverance can and have changed things. Be strong. Be proud not only of yourself, but of where you live. Keep paving the way and maybe someday the driveway will be done. Thomas J. Walling CFP® is an Investment Advisor Representative of and offers securities and advisory services 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. Tom can be reached at 518.878.1294 or

Thomas J. Walling, CFP®


NY Insurance License #LA910069 235 Lark St., Suite 43 Albany, NY 12210 Direct: 518.878.1294 Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC




Judith Fetterley

Cricks, Crawdads, Cows, and Cornfields

I did not and do not have a nature deficit disorder and for this I am thankful to Indiana. I was trying to tell him why I had a warm spot in my heart for Indiana. He kept saying, “But you couldn’t live there as an adult, right?” No, I couldn’t, I am a New Yorker through and through. I was born in New York City, my father’s family has been in upstate New York since the 1700’s, the first road I ever knew by name and number was Route 20, the Cherry Valley Turnpike. When we went to New Zealand, I said to Sara that I could live there if only it weren’t so far away from the West Village. When the Millennial Waterford ball dropped in Times Square, I honestly believed it was finally New Year’s Day in the rest of the world too! I am New York parochial. But I am grateful to Indiana. I arrived there as a child of ten, from Toronto, already an intense baby dyke. I played hockey – no ice in Franklin, so forget that; I skied, no snow, so forget that; I played football but I liked to tackle which horrified the other girls, so forget that. I had my toys – tin soldiers, stuffed animals, cars of all kinds; the other girls had dolls. I had a lightweight English bicycle that I could ride fast; the other girls had heavy fatwheeled monsters that went nowhere because they had all stopped riding bikes anyway – too unladylike. I had a Canadian accent, hair that could not be tamed. I wore weird clothes. I liked to

play with boys, the other girls liked to kiss them. I thought I was normal but in fact I was already queer. They knew it and shunned me in the way only a small mid-western clique of girls can do. Left to my own devices, I discovered cricks, crawdads, cows, and cornfields. The afternoon of the first day I spent in Indiana, my mother and I were standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window. Our new house backed up on an open field owned by the American Legion but rented to a local farmer. As we stood there a procession of cows made their way across the field, heading home for milking. I was mesmerized. Coming from a large city, I had never seen cows before. I thought they were beautiful. I began to watch for them every day. I also began to explore the cornfield that abutted the cowfield. I discovered corn silk. I gathered large quantities of it, dried it out, and stuffed it into empty Cheerios boxes. Someone must have told me you could smoke it so I got myself a corn cob pipe, and lit up. Where were my parents!!!!

I thought I was normal but in fact I was already queer. They knew it and shunned me in the way only a small mid-western clique of girls can do

On the way to school I crossed over Hurricane Creek, so-called because in the spring it was wild and flooded its banks. In this creek, which I soon learned to call a “crick,” were crawdads, tiny crayfish that look a bit like a lobster. I loved to catch them, look at them, and put them back in the water. I loved to wade in the creek, to feel the water-washed stones under my feet, to poke in the mud for anything else that might be alive. I learned to watch out for the junk people threw off the bridge and to swear I would never mess up a creek that way. In the mornings the creek held out its promise of adventure and helped me get through the day; on the way home it helped me forget that day’s pain. On the weekends I rode my bike through all the back alleys of this little town in the middle of Indiana. In those alleys I discovered hollyhocks – my first real flower. By the time I was twelve I was hooked on nature. In Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv claims that direct contact with nature is essential to the physical and emotional health of children and for their development. Too many children (and adults) today suffer from what he calls a “nature-deficit” disorder. I did not and do not have a nature deficit disorder and for this I am thankful to Indiana. After two years, I did have a wonderful circle of friends. The cricks, crawdads, cows and cornfields kept me sane until we could all grow up a bit. Judith Fetterley lives and gardens in Glenmont, New York. She also runs Perennial Wisdom, a garden design business for new and existing gardens. Judith can be reached at

Dedicated to inclusiveness & social justice for the LGBT Community

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Audrey Seidman Suppose you could experience a true homing of the Spirit? How would that change how you feel welcome in the world and welcome the world to you? Come and join Advocates for Welcoming Congregations (AWC) in an exploration of being truly welcoming and welcomed.

An Invitation to Share the Blessings, Share the Struggles For five years, Advocates for Welcoming Congregations has been sharing through this CommUNITY publication, stories of our faith journeys and struggles, personal, congregational and social. We are reaching out to invite you to contribute your story – or your point of view – to our monthly column, “To Be a Blessing.” Tell us about where on your faith journey you felt welcomed, and not welcomed as a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally; tell us how you connect to the sacred, whether in a church or synagogue, in a forest or on a beach. Offer us some reflection on any aspect of the intersection of queer identity or ally-hood and religion or spirituality.

Interfaith Pride Service and Reception for Capital PRIDE Week Sunday June 8, 2014, 4-6 PM First Presbyterian Church of Albany 362 State Street, Albany New York #PRIDEweek

Share with us your experience of the changes that have occurred, the changes still needed. Inquire or email your essay of up to 700 words to

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(Leave it to the ladies to come up with great ideas.) 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 business with a team of professionals who not only know how to think, but also make things happen. Communications. Leadership programs. New product development. Public relations. Sponsorships. Customer relations. The list goes on. Call Wanda Zygmuntowicz at 716-983-4239. She’s our President, and she just loves a challenge.

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Let us celebrate a year where we’ve seen growth in the number of faith communities welcoming and affirming LGBTQ persons, as well as political reality in same-sex marriage. It’s been slow progress, yet progress indeed and cause for some celebration. This year’s annual Interfaith Pride Service will include music and readings, some stories that echo the journey and some time for sharing and reflection on the way ahead. And, oh yes, a warm welcome! The program will be facilitated by Rev. Moonhawk River Stone, (Interfaith Minister) and Alden (Joe) Doolittle (Reformed Church /Room for All), with a cross-section of faith leaders participating. Admission is free. Refreshments and camaraderie to follow. For more information, Contact Joe Doolittle (, 518-384-1700. AWC is a Capital Region group that encourages the welcoming of LGBTQ persons into the full life and leadership of communities of faith. AWC also works to make visible for members of the LGBTQ community opportunities for practicing their faith traditions.



Nyvek Moshier

But It Saved My Mother’s Life When I was younger my mother told me how a blood transfusion saved her life. Now back then blood was not tested as thoroughly and she got sick, thankfully it was something they could treat. My mother said she would never get a blood transfusion again, but none the less I was still thankful that she had received the transfusion. The transfusion allowed her to live and to become the amazing woman that was my mother. As soon as I was old enough I started donating blood whenever I could. Now obviously I quickly found out that the law discriminated against gay men, but I was able to justify my actions in a few ways. First off, I found out I was O Negative and understood that as a universal donor I could help save so many lives, the lives of people like my mother. Second, I was a virgin up until I was 23 and technically was not breaking the law since it was (and still is) specifically worded to discriminate against sexually active gay men. Third, I was closeted and hiding it was second nature. Now clearly a lot has changed since then. I am obviously an OUT gay man and definitely no longer a virgin, but my desire to save the lives of people like my mother still resonates strongly in my heart and soul. So for the past few years I have lied to donate blood. I have justified it in so many ways. My main reason being “How can I, for any reason, not contribute to saving the lives of others?” Once again, others like my mother. When my mother passed away in 2009 my desire to donate increased drastically. I felt determined to donate as often as possible, even if it meant hiding. This has upset a number of my friends

who have always seen me as an unapologetic advocate for LGBTQ rights. I am first to admit that they are more than justified in calling me a hypocrite, I know I would if I was them. But on this subject, each time I approach it as a gay man I also think of my mother and how, if someone had decided not to donate, she would never have been part of my life. A SIDE NOTE: Now I know some of you may be thinking at this point “If she had not received it then you wouldn’t have been born. So what’s the point of this?” Well, I was adopted, so clearly I would still be here regardless. I just would have been deprived of an amazing upbringing by an amazing woman. So for years now my pattern has been to march in parades, protest in Washington D.C. and at the state capitol while also lying every few months in order to be able to donate blood. And, up until this point, I have had no problem justifying my actions. Well, a lot has changed. Since the last time I donated blood it has become a new world in such a short amount of time, and each week it still seems to change. During this short time a crucial part of DOMA was struck down, marriage equality has reached many more states, lawsuits are working their way up to the Supreme Court, and of course I have become engaged. What I, and so many others, have worked so hard for is becoming a reality. And I think part of my justification when donating blood in the past was that, although I was fighting for it, I was not totally convinced I would actually ever see real progress in regards to LGBTQ rights in my lifetime.

Now here I sit, just having given blood and deeply conflicted. Today as I answered “NO” to those questions regarding being a homosexual it stung more than it ever has and actually caused my gut (and heart) to ache. My stomach has been off since I hit the “NO” option, even before I gave blood. During the whole thing I kept looking at the ring on my finger and thinking about what I was hiding. I then tried to go on my cell to distract myself from my thoughts, but my screen background is a picture of Jon and me. Before I was only lying about myself every few months, now I found myself denying the existence of the man I love and who I have decided to commit the rest of my life to. Even as I sit here typing this, my heart aches over what I have done. I have to add to this that while I was sitting and waiting to give blood a friend walked by and asked what I was doing. “Why are you here? You know we can’t give blood.” The look of disappointment on his face when he realized I was going to lie is still with me and it stings. But still, I am conflicted. Where I am in my life no longer allows me to blindly justify giving blood, I see this now. But then I think of my promise to myself and to my mother to do my part in saving lives. So what am I to do? Do I stand strong in defiance of a law that discriminates against me as a gay man, while turning my back on a promise to myself and my mother? Or do I continue to hide a part of myself to keep a promise to myself and my mother? Do I have to choose between honoring myself as a gay man and honoring the memory and spirit of my mother?


Nyvek is a local college student who has been volunteering with the Pride Center since 2008. His field of study is Tourism & Hospitality Management, with the ultimate goal of becoming a wedding planner. It was Nyvek’s passion for weddings that first got him involved in the fight for marriage equality and the community as a whole.

Proudly serving the LGBT community and our friends

694 Columbia Turnpike East Greenbush, NY 12061 Tel: 518-479-3713

Practice focused on family and matrimonial law


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saturday, June 21 9am-1pm // siena College Campus Blessing of the Animals Vendors & Demonstrations Contests & Prizes Empties for Animals Bottle Drive Music by Grand Central Station and much more!

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No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here. God is Still Speaking.

Journey United Church of Christ 27 Hannay Lane (off 9W) (Cyprus Shrine)

Glenmont, NY 12077

(Behind Milestone; near Johnny B’s)

Worship Every Sunday 10:00 a.m. 518-729-7127 find us on Facebook Seeking to be a Multicultural, Multiracial, Accessible to All, Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice Congregation that welcomes all regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Appointments Available at: East Greenbush Chiropractic and

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G eri P omer ant z

The Child-Parent Security Act 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 . The views expressed in this column are solely those of Ms. Pomerantz and do not reflect the opinion of the Pride Center.

This column has frequently addressed the many ways in which New York State law does not adequately protect parent child relationships when the child’s parents are not married and/or where the parent(s) and child are not biologically related. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA, or “the act”) would be an important step in recognizing the ways in which families are formed and protect many parent child relationships. The CPSA will establish a legal procedure for a partner of a biological or adoptive parent to be declared a parent through an order of parentage. The partner would be the petitioner in such a proceeding. In order to be successful, the petitioner must have been an intimate partner of the legal parent. She must demonstrate, amongst other things, that the legal parent consented to the formation of a parent child relationship, that the petitioner established a parent-child bond with the child, and that petitioner performed significant parental functions. Once parentage is established, the petitioner may continue to have a relationship with the child after the termination of the adults’ relationship if a court determines that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. Currently in New York State, the former partner has no right to seek visitation or custody of a child against the wishes of the legal parent. Now, the only way a partner, or step parent, may acquire parental rights to a child is through adoption. Currently, New York State Law bans surrogacy contracts. Such contracts can not be enforced to terminate the parental rights of the surrogate. However, there is no prohibition on a woman carrying a child for intended parents as long as she is not paid to do so. Paid carrier agreements are illegal in NY. Thus, New Yorkers who wish to use paid surrogacy to create families must now travel out of state, where such arrangements are permitted. The lack of a legally enforceable agreement between the intended parent(s) and


surrogate results in a legal limbo and confusion for everyone – the woman giving birth, the intended parent(s), the sperm/egg donor, and most importantly, the child. New York is one of the most restrictive states for gestational carrier arrangements. A majority of states enforce surrogacy contracts where the surrogate does not have a genetic link to the child. Keep in mind that there are two different types of surrogates. A gestational surrogate is not genetically linked to the child. An intended parent or donor contribute the egg and sperm, and through in vitro fertilization the gestational carrier gives birth to the child. This is by far the more common type of surrogacy today. With traditional surrogacy, the carrier is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s or a donor’s sperm, and she is genetically linked to the baby. The Baby M (Mary Beth Whitehead) case in the late 80s was a traditional surrogacy case. Assisted reproductive technology, as well as the ethical and legal practices surrounding such arrangements, has certainly evolved in the past 25 years. The CPSA would lift the ban in NY on gestational surrogacy contracts. This is an agreement between intended parents and a gestational carrier that the intended parents will be the legal parents of the child. When all the requirements of the Act are met, the intended parents may obtain “an order of parentage”. The requirements include that everyone had attorneys, was aware of their rights and obligations, and voluntarily made the agreement, and the carrier had the right to make her own health care decisions. This order of parentage may be issued prior to birth, but does not become effective until after the child is born. There would be no need for an adoption by the intended parents. The CPSA would similarly allow for the enforcement of donor agreements. Under the current New York “artificial insemination” statute, the sperm do-

nor’s parental rights are severed only when the donation by an unknown donor is made to a married couple under the supervision of a medical professional. If the donor is known, or if the intended parent(s) is/are not a married couple, or if it’s not under supervision, the only way to definitively cut off the donor’s parental rights and establish the rights of a non biological parent is through adoption. There is no current NY state statute regarding egg or embryo donation. The CPSA recognizes all forms of collaborative reproduction, including artificial insemination utilizing a sperm donor, and any assisted reproduction in which an individual other than the intended parent provides genetic material, with or without a gestational carrier arrangement. An order of parentage may be issued to the intended parent(s) by a court for a child born through collaborative reproduction, and language regarding the presumptive parentage of a spouse is similarly extended. The CPSA is sponsored in the Assembly my Member Paulin (A0671) and in the Senate by Senator Hoylman (S04617). On January 8, 2014 it was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, and on April 6, 2014 to the Senate Committee on children and Families. Unless and until the CPSA is passed, agreements between intended parents and donor and/or gestational surrogates are still an important part of collaborative reproduction, such that all parties’ expectations and interests may be fully reflected. Such agreements can address parental rights, confidentiality, medical expenses, insurance, future contact, and communication with the intended parent and the child or the donor. However, there are important legal issues concerning parental rights and obligations that each party should discuss with his or her independent attorney before creating families through third party reproduction. For third party reproduction, and certainly for partners of legal parents, adoption may very well be the only way now to establish parental rights. 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. Amongst other things, Geri is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District. Geri can be reached at



Mic hael Meade

Summer Salads Michael Meade graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, worked at Jack’s Oyster House in Albany and is currently sous-chef at Thunder Mountain Curry in Troy. Questions and comments are welcomed.

Summer salads can be a funny thing because they can easily land you in a rut. Most of the time I’m perfectly content cutting up a ripe tomato and dousing it with a bit of olive oil. Or slicing up a head of lettuce and drizzling it with a good buttermilk dressing. For more involved salads, I love making a good Cobb salad or a healthy grilled chicken salad, but generally simplicity rules in the summer when the produce is so darn good. And when simplicity rules, sometimes boredom can set in more quickly than it should. If this is the case for you as well, it’s time for a summer salad wake-up call. Here are some recipes for salads that are just a little bit different. I love roasted beets and they’re particularly good when paired with goat cheese in the first salad. The second salad features kale, a green which is enjoying a tremendous vogue right now and who am I to lag behind the times? The third salad is jazzed up with ripe pomegranate seeds. All three are hearty enough to serve as a main dish for lunch or supper on a warm day. Enjoy!

Beet Salad with Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and Arugula

12 oz. mushrooms, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (use whatever kind of mushroom you prefer) Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 10 Tbs. olive oil 24 baby beets in assorted colors, greens trimmed and reserved for another use 1 large shallot, minced 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 5 oz. arugula 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with salt, pepper and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet. In a bowl, toss the beets with salt, pepper and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet. Roast the mushrooms until browned and softened, about 15 minutes. Roast the beets until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut in half. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil, and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, beets and arugula with the vinaigrette. Top with the goat cheese and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Kale Salad w. Creamy Lemon Dressing

2 cups torn country-style bread (1/2-inch pieces) Olive oil as needed Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 Tbs. water 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. anchovy paste 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. lemon zest 1 lb. Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves cut into chiffonade 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish

sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bread on the prepared baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until the croutons are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, lemon zest and pepper. Put the kale in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Top with the croutons and cherry tomatoes and garnish with cheese. Serve the remaining dressing alongside. Serves 4.

Spinach, Pear and Pomegranate Salad 1/3 cup walnut pieces 3 Tbs. cider vinegar 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbs. honey 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper 8 oz. baby spinach 2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and sliced 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour onto a plate to cool. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add the spinach, pears, pomegranate seeds and walnuts to the bowl and toss gently to mix and coat well. Divide the salad among 4 plates or bowls and top each with about 1 Tbs. blue cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4. Send questions or comments to

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking


V I N TA GE P R ID E: W h o W e A re !

inte rvie we d b y

Chuck Z imme rman

Bob Willower Music Continues to Serve Me Well!

Pass the Bach Branch of the Albany Public Library on New Scotland Avenue at the right time on Thursdays and you may be lucky enough to get a glance of “Storyteller Bob” entertaining very young children, an activity performed there and in schools and daycare centers by him for many, many years. “Join Bob at his musical story time” states the Library’s online description of just one of Bob Willower’s numerous involvements with music, entertainment or just plain sharing himself with others. I asked Storyteller Bob when all this began. “Geneva, New York, a good time and place” was his immediate response. “Geneva, New York is the Heart of the Finger Lakes” ……”and its stunning natural beauty will quickly welcome you upon arrival”, decries a Geneva, New York tourist and promotional website. Bob Willower recalls his hometown as the locale and environment that guided his future life’s course. It was a time of post World War II freedoms [other than the occasional mandated air raid tests!] that led to his participation in his school’s band, chorus and acting

offerings , and, ultimately to Bob’s lifelong love of music and entertainment. Bob Willower needed to make a decision… .a choice between going to Las Vegas to possibly become rich and famous or to accepting that Regents scholarship to SUNY Albany [Downtown Campus, the ONLY one.…at the time!]. Albany got the better deal, friends of Bob Willower would now agree. “I loved the Campus”, Bob told me, where he majored in English and participated in Dramatics, once as lead in the SUNY production of Annie Get Your Gun, performed at Page Hall. Living “that happily ever after” life had also been on Willower’s agenda and, this, too, began to come to fruition in and about Greenville, New York, following Bob’s college graduation. Bob Willower began a seven year teaching career in Cairo, New York, eventually marrying, establishing their home and becoming the proud father of daughter, Kate. Career-wise Bob transitioned to private industry for about eleven years, leading to his position as Personnel Director there. His

professional Health Care career includes work at Good Samaritan Hospital for seventeen years, and eventually another 8 or so years at the AIDS Council of New York in Albany, where he became Human Resources Director until his retirement in 2008. Music continues to be a vital and inspiring part of Bob Willower‘s life. “Storyteller Bob” often plays his guitar while singing and performing for youngsters at the Albany Public Library. He joined the Albany Gay Men’s Chorus several years ago and has taken a brief hiatus to pursue another captive audience and new love…his grandson Zeke who is soon approaching age two! Bob also mentioned to me that he was one of the original members of Capital Pride Singers and sang with them for several years. Presently he is composing his own sonata for piano under the watchful tutelage of Ben April, a music teacher and also vocalist at the Frist Presbyterian Church on Willet Street. Willower also plays an active role working in and with the Preschool Program at “First Pres”. Before joining First Pres he was an active 14-year participant with Albany Friends Meeting, and continues to share his musical and story-telling talents with this Quaker group. Bob also actively participates in our Pride Center’s Vintage Pride monthly Potluck luncheon celebrations. Yes, Bob Willower, music continues to serve you well!


One of the highlights of our Bombers ice hockey season this year was hosting the Pride Center at our annual fundraiser game in March. Our decision to include the Center as part of our event was decided in a non-conventional place; the team voted in our locker room one night after a practice in early January to have a portion of the event’s proceeds go to the Pride programs. As we were preparing to vote we heard a series of stories from different players that night about why donating to the center was important for the team. Fast forward to March 15th, and I am proud to report that through a great deal of team work from the Center and the Bombers, we all pulled off a successful night of skating. The night began with the ice rink opening to a large crowd of skaters for an hour of public skating; the crowd included kids on skates for the first time, parents trying to remember how to stand up on their rusty skates, and those who just love skating. Judging by the faces, and the responses


we received from everyone there will be another Bombers public skate next year. The highlight of the night though was the Bombers hockey game where two squads from the team played each other for thecoveted Blue-White Bowl. Besides some good natured joking amongst the teammembers about who was going to walk away with the bowl; the team got down to someserious hockey business once the game got underway.

The build up to the game included a live DJ playing the team’s favorite tunes, and the National Anthem performed by the Capital Pride Singers. In the stands there were fans waving signs of their favorite players names, and then when the game was about to begin their attention was drawn to the center ice for the ceremonial puck drop. We were proud to have Pilar Arthur-Snead, Development and Marketing Manager of the Pride center join us on the ice for the drop.

As the game got underway there was competition between the players, but in the end there were no injuries, and no hard feelings. One of the great things about playing with the Bombers is that we all love our team, and we enjoy playing hockey with one another. At the game’s conclusion we awarded the trophy to the winning team, and much like what is done at NHL games, the team who won that night got to skate the length of the rink holding the trophy high for all to see. As I look back to March I believe the night was a big success, and we all enjoyed sharing the Bombers spirit with our family, friends, and with the community. Our work together with the Pride Center was a great example of team work, and we look forward to future opportunities to help the center keep Albany’s Pride strong. Anyone interested in finding out more information about the Bombers, please contact us at, or visit us at our Pride Table at the festival in June.

Here’ s Gu f f ma n

Pa t r i c k Whit e


Summer Preview A glimpse of what’s behind the curtians this summer... I love extolling the virtues and variety of Capital Region theater but unfortunately during the summer the productions are few and far between. Yes there are still notable exceptions like “Smoky Joe’s Café” at Capital Rep, “Hands on a Hardbody” at Park Playhouse, The Outgoing Tide” at Curtain Call, “The Tempest” at Ten Broeck Mansion and I’m very eager to see “Bent” at the Albany Barn almost as much to check out this new performing venue as to catch this play which I haven’t seen in ages. Thankfully we live within a short drive to a worldwide destination for summer theater, The Berkshires. There’s also plenty of exciting stuff going on nearby in New York and Vermont. Here’s what I’m most excited to see this summer.

Busch (“Psycho Beach Party”) romantic comedy “You Should Be So Lucky,” a gay Cinderella tale. Glimmerglass Opera continues its presentations of musical theatre with “Carousel”.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon” presented by The PigPen Theatre. It’s already been at the Gym at Judson in NYC and The Writers Theatre in Chicago garnering acclaim and critic’s picks there with the Times hailing “their versatility is delightful to watch. Their hard work seems effortless.” Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” at Pittsfield’s Colonial and a couple of interesting plays from the past“Benefactors” by Michael Frayn and “A Hatful of Rain”. One of my favorite theatres, Barrington Stage has the Cole Porter classic “Kiss Me Kate” and the wrenching “Breaking The Code” about the seminal figure in gay studies, Alan Turing. Shakespeare & Co. has the two parts of “Henry IV” and a stripped down “Julius Caesar” directed by founder Tina Packer. Another 15 minutes past Lenox to get to Chester and you’ll be rewarded by the very smart, very stimulating Chester Theatre Company who has Caryl Churchill’s “A Number”.

Vermont has two of the most rustic and lovely theatres in Weston and Dorset. Two good excuses to visit these charmers would be “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike” at Weston and “Out of the City” at Dorset. “V&S&M&S” is going to be done again and again this summer and for years to come because it’s becoming increasingly more rare for a comedy to be produced on Broadway much less one that wins the Tony for Best Play so when you break through that barrier you are going to be rewarded with many pro- That to me looks like a fine summer inElsewhere in New York there is the Pow- ductions, not that Christopher Durang deed. Hope you catch some fine theater erhouse Theater at Vassar College in doesn’t totally deserve it on his own. yourself. Happy playgoing! Poughkeepsie which has the world pre- mieres of new works by Richard Green- And finally in The Berkshires: Williamberg (“Take Me Out”) and John Patrick stown has the star power with Renee Patrick is a Capital Region actor who will be Shanley (“Doubt”). “The Babylon Line” Fleming (“Living on Love”), Chita Rivera performing in “Any Addict” at The Arts Center and “The Danish Widow” should be hard (“The Visit”) and Lauren Ambrose and of the Capital Region 6/6-6/14. tickets to get a hold of. The Theater Barn is Chris Pine (“Fool For Love”) but I am doing an early Charles perhaps most excited for the well travelled “The Babylon Line” -Powerhouse Theater - 6/25-7/6 “The Danish Widow” -Powerhouse Theater - 7/16-7/27 “Carousel” - The Glimmerglass Opera - 7/12-8/22 “Living on Love” - Williamstown Theater, Festival Main Stage - 7/16-7/26 “The Visit” - Williamstown Theater Festival, Main Stage - 7/31-8/17 “Fool For Love” - Williamstown Theater Festival, Nikkos Stage -7/23-8/2 “A Little Night Music” - The Colonial Theater - 6/30-7/19 “Benefactors” - The Colonial Theater - 7/9-7/26 “A Hatful of Rain” - The Colonial Theater - 8/13-8/30 “Kiss Me Kate” - Barrington Stage Company - 6/11-7/12 “Breaking The Code” - Barrington Stage Company - 7/17-8/2 “A Number” - Chester Theater Company - 7/30-8/10.


Lifestyle Photography is... Your Everyday, Your Important Moments, Your Once In A Lifetimes, Your Loved Ones. Lifestyle Photography for a Lifetime of Moments

Guide to the Capital Region DINING NIGHTLIFE DIRECTORY & MORE!




Why is insuring the LGBTQ community...



...important to the Pride Center? The Pride Center is committed to addressing

health disparities in our community! Our 3-pronged Approach: 1. Train providers on how to be LGBTQ competent. 2. Connect community to competent providers through our Case Management services.

3. Enroll our community into affordable health insurance to ensure your ability to access culturally competent providers! The Affordable Care Act has made significant changes that benefit YOU. For more info on how to enroll, please contact:


T R AN S V I E W #12 3 ©


Mo o nhaw k Riv er St one

In Memoriam...

We can have a Big Pride Birthday Party in June, but, really folks, it’s best to give us the present when it’s ready. First off I’d like to begin this column with a brief memoriam of two local women who passed in April. Alice Baker, 76, passed suddenly on April 28, 2014 and was known for her ownership of Little Motors on Central Avenue in Albany. She was a remarkable transgender woman who faced her transgenderism in an era almost impossible to do so. She lived life unapologetically and to the fullest until her death and was well loved and well regarded by the Albany Community. I am unsure how well she was known with the transgender community in Albany, but truly her life is an inspiration and example to all of us--to be ourselves, aim high, achieve greatly and have fun doing to it. About 10 days earlier Beth Curtis of Albany Electrolysis died suddenly and unexpectedly at Albany Medical Center. For over 35 years she had provided compassionate care, the loan of a nonjudgmental ear and encouragement to two generations of transgender women who sought her services. She was revered and her loss is a great one for our community, not only for the very fine service she provided but because of the very fine human being she was and how she never let a client’s difference get in the way of her care to them. Her guiding presence leaves a huge open space in our community and grieving her loss will take some folks a long time. Beth stood up for transgender women when other electrologists did not.

She was open about her clientele and welcomed everyone. A true ally in the very deepest meaning of that high office.

Be ourselves, aim high, achieve greatly and have fun doing to it. My condolences go to both Ms. Baker’s and Ms. Curtis’ families and my wish is that they know the incredible positive impact they had for uplifting transgender people in the Capital District. Bless them and their loved ones.

moting and solidifying equality in our community, especially in the incredibly (these days) neglected Trans* community. So here’s my suggestion. We can have a Big Pride Birthday Party in June, but, really folks, it’s best to give us the present when it’s ready. The change doesn’t need to sit around and age and primp and get all ready for the Big Party. In the waiting, people are without health care, people are dying, losing their homes, their apartments, their jobs and suffering from discriminatory violence. I’d like to suggest that every day is the right day for the Big Pride Party where we unwrap the present of deeper equality and more effective protection of our human and civil rights. So, I’d like to challenge our leaders that every day and any day is a good day to roll it out for the LGBT folks. We’ll be very grateful right then and there, but it’s really much harder to work up an authentic enthusiastic gratitude when the Present’s been sitting in the closet for too many months.

And It Wouldn’t be June and Pride Month Without A Wee Bit Of A I won’t be at Pride 2014 this year, I will Rant... be in Philadelphia at the Philly Trans In the past eight or nine years for so the LGBT Community has played a guessing game as to what “they” [read the powers that be] might give us in terms of pro LGBT legislation or policy changes as our June present. We’ve come to expect this disbursement of the appropriate gratitude and accolades about how wonderful our government leaders are. But really, folks, these June rollouts are just that very strategically planned roll outs to the community. To give us something for us to feel grateful to “them”. Sometimes we’re finding out these roll outs were ready to rock and roll months earlier but were “held” for June. I am deeply grateful for the positive changes our government leaders make in eliminating disparities in the LGBT Community and pro-

Health Conference where I am on the organizing committee and making several presentations. It’s the largest trans conference in the world (3500 people)-and it’s free. I encourage all trans folks of anywhere on the spectrum to experience it at least once, and encourage allies to go and having a mind blowing experience walking the talk of diversity and inclusion and see that in action! Let’s all remember there is a time and place for everything and June is the time to turn to Pride and Joy. Until next time...T 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 with experience and extensive expertise in all aspects of transgender policy and health.


An Interview with Joe Benny and Dr. Ray Werking

on Homo Radio

Dr. Ray Werking and Joe Benny discuss the Bank of America Pride 5k on Homo Radio The following is an excerpted selection of a radio interview between Joe Benny and Dr. Raymond H. Werking, Jr or “Dr. Ray”, on air personality of the Sunday morning WRPI talk show, Homo Radio. The interview was broadcast live from WRPI Radio Studios on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Homo Radio, an award winning radio program on air since 1992, is the voice of the Capital District’s diverse LGBTQ community. You can find recordings of this program by visiting the WRPI Radio website ( Listen live on Sundays from 12 pm to 2 pm on 91.5 FM.

Joe Benny: I appreciate that! But really, I really do appreciate the time to talk about my story and how that impacted my life and what’s going on in my world and my participation in the LGBT community. And the Pride Center and that’s why we’re here today, really, to talk about the Pride 5k which is sponsored this year by Bank of America and the City of Albany. And we’ve been around since 2007. It’s a 5K in the park, in Washington Park. This year it’s on June 8th. The race starts at 9 and registration opens at 8. We’ve had about 200 participants year in and year out. We are really striving to crack that code and drive a few more participants into the park. This year it’s a week before it typically is so hopefully that will get a few more people out having it be a week early and it is on a Sunday morning not a Saturday morning. Which is sometimes a better race day for people. DR: […] When I was raising my nieces the older niece was so into, whose now 22, into the Friehofers’, so a 5K can be a little daunting. But this is designed to appeal to everyone. You don’t have to be, you know, a long distance runner or an accomplished runner like you are, to enjoy this!

About Joe Benny Joe Benny is serving as the 2014 Bank of America Pride 5K Race Chair. In this capacity he is helping to promote the event. Joe brings his enthusiasm; he shares his commitment to family, a love of food and wine and passion for running. Joe graduated from Siena College with a BA in Management and with an MBA from SUNY at Albany. Joe is a District Sales Manager at a local wine and spirits retailer. Joe Benny on the Pride 5K Sean Maclaughlin (co-host): Joe Benny is here talking about the 5K race that’s coming up. It was nice catching up with you on some of your personal life, your story and you know, what makes you; you.


JB: The race is a running event and a walking event. And there’s runners and avid runners that participate or one time a year walkers or runners or walkers that come out. It’s really for members of the LGBT community and their allies and friends and their family. And to come out and to just celebrate together in athletic event, in a family friendly environment. And after the run, the 5K run/walk, there is the Rainbow Run which is about a 1000 meters, 1K, for all the kids to participate in that are down there with their families. And a lot of the adults run with kids and a lot of the people that have dressed up in costume or using the rainbow get out there and the other 1000 meters with the all kids. And just to see people light up and have smiles on their faces, I think that maybe why you see me glowing through the glass here! DR: We have had a lot of questions with the roll out for PRIDE. Can I bring

my kids? Is this family friendly? And boy, you guys really wrapped yourself around the concept of family friendly. JB: This absolutely is family friendly! It has to be because from my perspective because not only does it celebrate who we are as a community and making sure our kids our friends kids all say this is something that is acceptable, this is who we are and to be out together is really impactful and really important. DR: You have a lot of prizes too?? JB: We have great prizes!! Every year our sponsors step up to the plate and donate great things. We have in the past things like baskets full of massages; we’ve had things like, not baskets full of massages, baskets with massage coupons in them and some wines and spirits occasionally, tickets to events in the city at the Times Union Center and different things. We have so many prizes that age groups win, genders win, we have a non-gender specific category this year that we are going to be giving prizes out in recognition that there are people [for whom] typical gender identification [categories] don’t fit who they are. The Pride 5k is taking place on Sunday June 8. Registration begins at 8 am and the Race begins at 9. The Rainbow Fun takes place immediately following the 5k and awards follow immediately after that. The race fee is $20.00 for pre-registration and $25.00 the day of! Visit: to register today. Call (518) 462 – 6138 with any questions you may have!

Pride 5K Run/Walk Sunday, June 8th, 2014 Washington Park Albany, NY 5K Chair: Joe Benny 8:00 AM: Registration Pre-registration: $20 Race day registration: $25

9:00 AM: 5K Run/Walk 10:00 AM: Fun Run (.6 miles, all ages) Join us for the 7th Annual PRIDE 5K during Capital PRIDE 2014! The 5K run/walk begins at 9 AM at the Washington Park Lake House and the course will wind through the park before ending back at the Lake House. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 participants in 3 categories (female, male and open gender). Sponsored by Bank of America and the City of Albany as part of Capital PRIDE 2014.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bank of America

Washington Park, Albany, NY

Pride 5K Entry Form

Registrant Information Please complete one registration per participant. Deadline is Monday, May 26, 2014

Team Information


All team members must register individually. Each participant may only register as part of one team.

Address: City/State/Zip:

Team Name:

Phone: E-mail: Age on race day:

Will you be finding sponsors for your run?

Category in which you will be running/walking (circle one):

Team Contact:



Open (all gender)

T-shirt size (pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt, circle one)







Registration Fee (non-refundable)


$20 $25 day of race Check enclosed: Please make payable to: Pride Center of the Capital Region


MasterCard - Visa

Please send signed and completed registration form to:

Questions? Call the Pride Center at: Phone: (518) 462-6138


Waiver & Release Statement: Please read & sign

Registration is also available at (fees apply) OR

Pride Center of the Capital Region 332 Hudson Ave Albany, NY 12210

Card #:

In consideration of this entry, being accepted, I hereby for myself, heirs, executors and administrators waive and release any claims that I may have against the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council or any of the sponsors involved in the 2014 Run/Walk for Pride. I certify that I am physically able to participate in this event.



Signature of Parent/Guardian (if under 18):

Fax: (518) 462-2101 Join us for the 7th Annual Run/Walk for PRIDE 5K during Capital PRIDE 2014! Sponsored by Bank of America and the City of Albany as part of Capital PRIDE 2014. Race Information: Registration: 8 AM - Race Begins: 9 AM - Length: 5K (3.1 miles) Start & Finish Site: Washington Park Lake House, Albany NY Course Description: Within Washington Park (Mixed Terrain) For more information about the Bank of America Pride 5K and Capital PRIDE 2014, you can visit our website at



Empowering success

IN DIVERSITY. Verizon Foundation’s philanthropy reaches neighborhoods across the country and around the globe. We embrace diversity to help our communities grow and expand in exciting new directions. A diverse community makes the world we live and work in a better place, and Verizon is sharing its technology, resources and passion so that together we can be even more successful. Verizon is proud to sponsor the Capital Pride Festival. See how we’re making an impact at Share your story @VerizonGiving ©Verizon 2014

52 DIV_CDG&LCCPF_7x10_4C_NB_v3.indd


5/19/14 10:58 AM

Sunday, July 20th

IN OUR OWN VOICES, INC., CONGRATULATES THE 2014 AWARDEES Organization of the Year - APD Domestic Violence Unit @ Albany City Court LGBT Community Advocacy Award La’Mia Aiken

Volunteer of the Year - Joey Matos IOOV Community Partnership Award Courtney D’Allaird- SUNY Albany

Business of the Year - OH Bar

LGBT Community Legal Advocacy Award Erica Nicole “Nic” Rangel, Esq., M.P.A.

Friend of the Family - Suzanne "Suzie" Carrk

Unsung Hero - Corey Polesel

Rising Star Award - To Be Determined The Rising Star Award is given to an LGBT youth of color, age 18-24, who is either currently enrolled in a college or university, or who will be attending an institution of higher education and can be used to offset tuition and other school related expenses.

To purchase tickets to this year’s event , nominate a Rising Star or if you need more information contact Desiree A. Farley by phone at (518) 432-4188 or by email





Drew Cordes

The Beauty of Sadism I could see it in their face as clear as words on a page - the precise moment they snapped in two. It was incredibly moving. Let the record show that what I’m about to detail were safe, sane, and enthusiastically consensual activities that my scene partner and I negotiated ahead of time. There’s a world of difference between exploring extreme situations and sensations with safewords, knowledge and forethought, and a trusted and caring partner, as opposed to actual harmful, nonconsensual physical and mental abuse.

Breaking through pain, or having pain break you, can provide a release or trancelike state that can last for minutes, an hour, or even hours Quality sex-positive writing, work, and art is hard to come by, and I admire its producers for having the guts to illuminate a subject that can be powerful, fundamentally unifying and instructive to the human experience despite constant censorship and discouragement from sex-shaming powers that be. I feel I should always aspire to such a standard. So here we go. I discovered the beauty of sadism a while ago during at a leather/kink conference. I’ve never identified as a sadist or felt much draw to such practices. The idea of hurting others never turned me on, and even now that I “get it” the primary appeal still is not sexual in nature, per se. Let me explain. When chatting with sex partners about likes and dislikes I’m often asked, “Do you like pain?” This is a vexing question. I think it’s too simply put. When in a more bottomy space, my answer to this question is always, “I don’t like pain, but I like where pain can take me.” The pain itself is not a turn-on, for me anyway. What it does for me as a recipient is let me explore parts of myself that would otherwise go completely untouched in everyday life. In daily life, if you’re desperately pleading and begging someone through

tears to stop torturing you, crying that you’ll do anything for them if only they’d stop, sobbing that you can’t take it anymore... something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Everything we do in our lives is to prevent something like that from happening. We want and need safety, stability and affection. With those things though, comes a kind of complacency, a lack of challenges - how can we test our mettle and know what we’re really made of when our successful lives serve to protect us from the very distressing situations in which we might rise to the occasion and transcend our perceived limitations, or alternatively, crumple in abject defeat? As Fight Club so concisely puts it, “How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” I’d only experienced these things as a recipient before. It can be an incredible catharsis. Beyond orgasm. Orgasms last five or 10 seconds if you’re lucky. Breaking through pain, or having pain break you, can provide a release or trancelike state that can last for minutes, an hour, or even hours. Furthermore, what I find particularly interesting is that you can grow and learn valuable things about yourself just as much by being broken as by breaking through. Either result will teach you something. As a bottom, I knew and felt these things, so I understood why people wanted to subject themselves to pain, but I could never see myself as the person doing the inflicting. I didn’t see the appeal. I can now, however, because a while ago I had the honor of breaking someone myself. I sat on top of their chest doing my best to make those physical, mental and emotional barriers all disintegrate – punching, poking, pinching, prodding. I watched a person fall apart before my very eyes. Their lids fluttered, their face twitched, their mouth spread in a dolorous grimace and tears started flowing.

Between bleats of pain and shame they told me they couldn’t take it anymore and used the safeword.

The pain itself is not a turnon, for me anyway. What it does for me as a recipient is let me explore parts of myself that would otherwise go completely untouched in everyday life. I immediately pulled them close in a hug, stroked their hair, soothed them, and told them they should be proud of enduring what just happened. In those moments it clicked. I had watched... no, actually I had caused everything this person had constructed to protect themselves from fear, pain and uncertainty in the outside world to crumble helplessly to the ground. I could see it in their face as clear as words on a page - the precise moment they snapped in two. It was incredibly moving. This person trusted me enough to let me tear them down absolutely, to methodically strip away all the exterior till there was nothing left but core personhood, that most base state of humanity - raw, wounded, desperate, real. Real with another person in a way we rarely are granted access, even with those we love most. What’s more, they not only trusted me to perform that painful operation of stripping them raw, they trusted that I’d help put them back together afterward. And I did. We did. Together. The connection fostered, or rather demanded, by an activity like this is incredibly deep. It is not something that often occurs in the outside world, and like I said before, when it does, usually it’s because something has gone legitimately wrong - a death, a bad breakup, etc. In contrast, we were able to choose how, when, and where we experienced those same feelings, and we shared moments of intense closeness that we’ll always remember and always have between us. If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is. Albany resident Drew Cordes identifies as queer, trans*, and genderqueer, and is a part of the trans* social group Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region.



Sometimes when I watch movies at home, I’ll fast forward through the sex scenes or replay them, watching the way things pan out from a critical sex educator perspective. I rarely feel turned on by the kind of sex I see in pop culture and media, and often times find myself disappointed by the finite goals being presented: sex that involves two people meeting, falling in love, having a complicated courtship and a built up first kiss, and the huge culmination: two bodies writhing softly between the sheets. And then those two people, usually a white man and a white woman agree to do this, in the same way, only with each other, for the rest of their lives. This formula sets people up for failure by creating unrealistic expectations and reflecting the values of a heterosexist, misogynist, white supremacist, capitalist society. And unfortunately, this kind of framework is at the root of the type of sex education most people receive. We often think about sex ed as an awkward class where young people are taught to abstain from sex and handed a handful of condoms. However, the informal education we get about sex is often more thorough and pervasive than what we learn in school.

Our education about sex is ongoing and saturates our lives constantly Expectations about sexuality are set for us when we’re socialized into gender roles, or overly sexualized or desexualized because of our race or disability status, size or age. We’re taught what sex is supposed to look like, what parts of our bodies it should involve, and that we should only have a desire to have sex within the confines of long-term monogamous relationships with people of the opposite sex . Our education about sex is ongoing and saturates our lives constantly. And yet, the things we learn about sex and sexuality are often framed in a sex-negative and narrow



Victor Tobar

perspective that gives us really precise formulas for what should be considered a normal “healthy” sex life. I find it incredibly important to remember that sex education isn’t just about teaching people about technique or acts, and that safer sex goes beyond knowing how to properly put on a condom. Sex education, to me, is about encouraging people to connect to themselves, their bodies, their desire, and their imaginations. As an educator, I strive to create a fun and inclusive environment that supports people in defining their own sexuality, deciding if, when, and how they choose to be sexually active, and supporting them in expanding their ideas of what intimacy, pleasure, and possibility can look like.

Sex education is about encouraging people to connect to themselves, their bodies, their desire, and their imaginations In my role as educator, I often find myself reminding people that it’s just as okay to say no as it is to say yes. Safer sex goes beyond a science class about STIs and how they are contracted, and deals with a kind of safety we don’t get taught as young people. It is about consent and trust, about feeling entitled to say yes, feeling confident saying no, and feeling safe enough to experiment on our own or with others without fear of judgment, shaming, or expectation. People often ask me how I started working as a kink and sex educator, or how I became involved in BDSM1 and Leather communities. It would be easy to answer by saying that it’s because I love sex and because I’m kinky, but that wouldn’t be totally honest. When I first entered the public BDSM scene, well over a decade ago, I thought I knew a lot about sex because I had had a lot of sex and I liked the idea of trying new things. As I entered the scene, I realized that in this world of BDSM, there

was a lot more talking, a lot more thinking, and a lot more skill than I had ever imagined.

And yet, the things we learn about sex and sexuality are often framed in a sex-negative and narrow perspective I was fortunate enough to fall into a crowd of experienced kinky people who have been my peers, mentors, teachers, partners, and close friends. People who taught me to learn about what I want, know my own limitations, be acutely aware of my own and my partners’ needs, and use my imagination to envision pleasure and connection in new and creative ways constantly. I started teaching because I wanted to share the sense of empowerment I found in this community. I also get to teach people how to throw a flogger, find their gspot, develop an ongoing roleplay, or negotiate polyamory, among other topics. And that’s where the fun and hard work come to fruition. Victor Tobar is a Queer, gender nonconforming, Latin@ kink and sex educator, writer, performer, and multi-media artist based in New York City. Over the past 10+ years, Victor has been an active member of NYC’s progressive BDSM and sex-positive education spaces, and has presented workshops both locally and nationally on topics ranging from Negotiating Safer Sex, to advanced BDSM skills-based classes, and so many things in between. He has a passion for BDSM education, rough body play, and imagination. Currently, Victor is the Supervisor of the Pleasure Chest New York’s Upper East Side boutique, where he regularly presents workshops on a broad range of BDSM, sex, and relationship topics. Victor works within an anti-oppression model to create open and practical workshops that are inclusive and respectful of people of all genders, orientations, and skill levels, and that are, above all else, FUN!

Visit: for more stories from educators and everyday people about their own sexual awakenings.

BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance and submission, and Sadism and Masochism


Leatherwomen and Leatherdykes have played a large role in both the Leather and general LGBTQ communities for decades, wearing many hats and working tirelessly not only to build their own community of Leatherwomen but also to help enrich and protect those of their Leather brothers. Leatherwomen and Leatherdykes forever changed the map of LGBTQ and Leather, from the March on Washington to the AIDs/HIV epidemic, to stepping up as leaders, organizers, writers and photographers, they all helped piece together the society that we see today. Leatherwomen are care takers, they held the torches of those who were in hospitals and homes, battling HIV and AIDS. They brought meals and clothes, changed bed sheets and provided comfort and care that so many medical professionals refused to give out of fear and negative stigmas. Leatherwomen are best friends. Many will say, “Behind every great Leatherman is a great Leatherwoman.” I would have to disagree with that statement and instead say, “Beside every hardworking Leatherman is an equally hardworking Leatherwoman.” Ann Rice (b. 1941) and John Preston (b. 1945-d. 1994) were best friends. While Ann Rice was writing the Beauty Series under the penname A N Roquelaure, John Preston was writing Mr Benson. They both had their writings published in Drummer Magazine, the most influential gay male Leather rag of its time. During those times every gay Leatherman read Drummer Magazine. Ann Rice still refers to John Preston as “My beloved and best friend John Preston”. They corresponded with each other frequently up until his death. Though Ann Rice says she never took a very active role in the Leather Community, her published works set the bar of who qualifies as a literary genius in the genre of BDSM and Leather. Jeanne C Barney (b. 1939), a straight


Leatherwoman and a mother, founded Drummer Magazine with her best friend John Embry (b. 1926-d.2010). The first meeting about creating Drummer Magazine was held in her living room in the early 70s. Later, Jeanne became the first editor of that groundbreaking magazine and even had Jeannie’s Lamp, an advice column for those Leathermen who were active readers of Drummer. She was heavily involved with the Leather Community and was the only woman to be arrested in the infamous LA Slave Auction that Drummer held. Jeanne was a spitfire of an activist during those times when LAPD was shaking up the gay and Leather communities and her work as a writer for the Advocate Magazine is legendary. There have been many times where Leatherwomen have shared their homes for meetings, helped organize protests and marches, taught classes on safe BDSM and sex practices. Cynthia Slater (b. 1945-d. 1989), a bisexual Leatherwoman, founded The Society of Janus, having meetings, demos and socials in her own home. She was also one of the first to have “clean and sober” play parties and frequented the Catacombs. In her spar time she was also a photographer, photographing Leatherfolk at the first March on Washington and other Leather, BDSM and Women’s events. Leatherwomen are writers. Gayle Rubin (b. 1949), a Leatherwoman, wrote a thesis called The Valley of the Kings: Leathermen in San Francisco, 19601990. She is a cultural anthropologist who bridges the gap between our Mainstream and Leather Cultures by writing books, teaching at elite College Institutions on various sex-positive topics and continues to be an active member in the Leather Community as a friend, mentor and groundbreaking radical feminist. She also helped to found Samois, one the earliest known SM Lesbian groups. Many other writers who helped shape the Leather, BDSM, Feminist and SexPositive scene include Susie Bright, Pat Califia, Carol Queen, and Vi Johnson are just a few to name.

Leatherwomen are founders and leaders of organizations, conferences and contests. Leatherwomen are titleholders founders and leaders of organizations, conferences and contests. International Ms Leather, Desire, Women’s International Leather Legacy Weekend, American Brotherhood Weekend, Great Lakes Leather Alliance, Northwest Leather Weekend are just a few conferences and contests of which Leatherwomen are producers or founders. If one was to combine all of the ways that Leatherwomen have impacted the LGBTQ and Leather Communities, you will discover that Leatherwomen are a crucial ingredient in the creation and evolution of our cultures. Leatherwomen don’t always have to don their Leather vests, jackets and corsets, or their boots and heels. Leatherwomen are not just the rebellious, non-conforming, negative gender stereotype busting, misogyny destroying, and fist-in-the-air protesters. They don other hats too, those of lawyers, sexeducators, organizational leaders, writers, photographers, mothers, CEOs and plenty other titles. You see, as women and as Leatherwomen, just taking the identity of either, we are working for equality in our everyday lives. Each time we Leatherwomen advocate for sexual freedom, the right to choose, the right to say no and have our demand be heard, we are empowering ourselves. We boldly stand beside or step to the front and open our mouths, wallets, hearts and souls and sing a song of freedom so strong, so in tune-its only a matter of time before we are heard, our actions recognized and our demands are met. A femme tomboy whose interests include Leather history, Tyesha is an active Leatherdyke and current board member of NLA-I, Registration Coordinator for Gender Odyssey, and Editor of

Reach Tyesha at


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


Advertisers Index Adirondack Oral Surgery.....39 Albany Gay Men’s Chorus....25 Best Framing...14 Buenau’s Opticians.....17, 38 Canterbury Animal Hospital.....23 Choices Counseling & Consulting.....31 Connections Psychotherapy.....36 Deb best Practices...25 Law Office of Anne Reynolds Copps.....25 Customericty.....36 Joseph Dalton/ Prudential Manor Homes.....35 Delmar Family Medicine.....14 First United Presbyterian Church.....35 First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany...23 Hudson Pride...8 Hudson Valley Community Center...24 In Our Own Voices....10, 53 Jay Zhang Photography.....43 Journey United Church of Christ.....39 JrMac Photography / Massage Therapy.....39 ROCKS....7 Ronnie Mangione, Financial Advisor.....23 Law Office of Geri Pomerantz.....37 Mohawk Hudson Humane Society....39 Proctors...59 Queer Engineer.....58 RBC Wealth Management.....38 Joseph Roche, Accounting.....47 Saratoga Pride.....58 Schenectady Pride...9 Security Plumbing and Heating Supply Supply....14 Skylands Services.....31 Sutton Law...34 The Capital Team / Realty USA...24 The State Room.....38 Tri City Rentals.....24 United Hearts Ceremonies/Reverend Kay...31 Verizon...52 Welcoming Congregations.....22 Thomas J Walling, CFP® / Cetera Advisor Networks...34 Mark Witecki CPA.....31

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ICFS Presents The Breakfast Club (1985) & Weird Science (1985) Tuesday, June 3 • 7 pm $9 adults • $6 students GE Theatre

TUESDAY • JUNE 3 • 7PM $9 Adults • $6 College Students Games, Prizes, Surprises, Specialty Drinks and Comfy Couches!

A Totally John Hughes Double Feature MEDIA SPONSOR


Festival Cinema Invisible 2014 June 6–8 Visit for details. Individual Film: $6.50 Day Pass: $20 Festival Pass: $50 GE Theatre Part of our Film 100 Series: Stagecoach (1939) Monday, June 9 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 pm Not Rated, 96 min. GE Theatre Part of our Film 100 Series: The Third Man (1949) Monday, June 16 2:30, 5:00 & 7:30 pm Not Rated, 105 min. Mainstage Brasslands (2013) Monday, June 16 3:30, 5:30 & 7:15 pm Not Rated, 88 min. GE Theatre

Manon Wednesday, June 18 3:30 & 7:30 pm Not Rated, 159 min. GE Theatre

Swan Lake Legends Thursday, June 19 2:30, 5:00 & 7:30 pm Not Rated, 107 min. GE Theatre

Jerusalem (2013) Sunday, June 22 2:00 & 3:15 pm Rated G, 45 min. GE Theatre Part of our Film 100 Series: Amadeus (1984) Monday, June 23 3:30 & 7:00 pm Rated R, 180 min. Mainstage Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) Monday, June 23 3:00, 5:15 & 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 24 3:00, 5:15 & 7:30 pm Rated R, 113 min. GE Theatre

Redwood Highway (2013) Wednesday, June 25 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 pm Thursday, June 26 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30 pm Rated PG-13, 90 min. GE Theatre

Part of our Film 100 Series: Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Monday, June 30 2:30, 5:00 & 7:30 pm Not Rated, 111 min. Mainstage



P AID PERMIT #798 332 Hudson Avenue Albany, NY 12210


CommUNITY Magazine (vol. 2 iss 5) PRIDE!  

- Special Summer Double Issue- CommUNITY is the premier Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer magazine of New York's Capital Region...

CommUNITY Magazine (vol. 2 iss 5) PRIDE!  

- Special Summer Double Issue- CommUNITY is the premier Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer magazine of New York's Capital Region...