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SIMPLY YOGA By: Varoon Single

Gay History DBQ By: Lennie Ballosh

Far From Home: Part 3.# By: Andrea Becker and Sasha M.

The STONEWALL

Knights

By: MX J. Vigants

Nostalgia By: Jeremy Stough

WHAT IN THE WORLD? Election Coverage by Friends of Co.


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Co-ZINE is a monthly, online publication that is published by Co Dubuque. The publication is on codbq.org. Anything published in Co-ZINE is a reflection of the authors, not the views and policies of Co Dubuque and its staff. Any advertisements involving products or services are not investigated by Co Dubuque. Co Dubuque does not claim responsibility for the products or services. All material is copyrighted © 2016 Co Dubuque. All rights reserved.

CALL FOR WRITERS AND ARTISTS We consider submissions from mem

bers of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. • • • • • •

Articles Personal Experiences Opinion Pieces Photography/Art Journalism …and more! Submit to codubuque.cozine@ gmail.com Applicants will be notified January 25th, 2017.

Headquarters

Co Dubuque 1900 John F Kennedy Rd, Dubuque, IA 52002

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Marketing

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Graphic Design Luis Morteo Alina Crow

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Editor in Chief

Volume 1 #3

Editor

Co Dubuque

Andrea Becker

Travis Nelson

Journalist

Andrea Becker

Co Volunteers Andie Donnan Antonio Pirillo Darren Oakes Shane Norton Lenny Benhke Aaliyah Fondell Indigo Channing

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4. December Events 6. Simply Yoga 9. Where do You Co? 10. Far From Home, part III 17. Nostalgia by Jeremy Stough 18. Election Coverage 20. The Stonewall Knights (mxvigants.com) 28. DBQ Gay History 30. “Little Ben” Book Review 32. How We Co 35. Tri-state Events 36. Zodiac

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December Events Alphabet Soup: LGBTQ+ Adult Support Group Tuesdays from 6-8pm - Multicultural Family Center December 6, 12 & 20th LGBTQIA Coloring-Palooza Saturday, December 3, 2016 2-4pm - Jitterz Coffee & Cafe LGBTQ+ All Ages Game Night Thursday, December 8, 6-8pm - The Smokestack Nonprofit Day and End of Silent Auction Saturday, December 10, 2016 10am-11pm - Roshek Building Caricature Artist Saturday, December 17, 2016, 8am-2pm Hot Diggity Dog Grooming & Boutique LGBTQ+ Holiday Drag Show Saturday, December 17, 2016 7:30-11:30pm - The Smokestack Co-zy Movie Night Wednesday, December 21, 6:30-9pm - Inspire Cafe

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by Varoon Single Standing in front of a uniquely Portuguese, seventy-year-old villa in Goa with a cup of crème brûlée in my left hand and my phone in the other, I can’t help but think back to this day three years ago. I was in Melbourne, with a green eyed, Aussie-Canadian boy and we were fast approaching five years of monogamy. I was living the epitome of the Aussie dream. I had an amazing social life, I was pretty, the youngest national manager of two teams in an executive agency with the attorney general of Australia, and an apartment a block from Kyle Minogue’s childhood abode… yet somehow, it was the unhappiest I had ever been. One day over a sunny picnic in a Melbourne park, he asked me, “What are the top three things in your life that you would change? The three things that bring you the most unhappiness?” My answer was clear. Job, home and him… but I couldn’t tell him that. A few months later, I began a year’s sabbatical, was single, and planning to leave Australia for good. Most of us struggle with the easiest choices: a flat white or a skinny soy latte? Muffin of the day or a pretzel? My colleagues at the time said, “Varun everyone talks about this, but you’re the only one we know who’s doing it. We’re so, so proud of you! You are truly made for bigger things than a pinstriped nine-to-fiver.” My ex was also in a mundane rut, and today he seems to be exactly where I left him. We all have choices to make; some of us just choose not to choose. When we do, we define who we are and what we become. I went from city to city and country to country in Europe starting with London. It was all the same to me. What do you think when you think of Europe? Opulence, art, fashion, flower shops, smiles… but all I could pay attention to was the economical expense, grumpy locals, and sightseeing overrun with tourists. Yoga became my only escape from mundane nine-to-fives and redundant, weekly pho dates. Those 90 minutes made me feel more alive than dancing all night in my underwear. I decided to pursue it. I enrolled myself in a teacher training course in an exotic location, away from the shadows of the west. Twenty five days of abstinence and intense, rewarding training later, the end of my course and certification was near. Then the earthquakes struck and I was in the midst of it all in Pokhara, Nepal... Okay, that pause wasn’t for dramatic purposes. I suffered from an anxiety attack. It’s not easy to talk, let alone write, about what I experienced when I did. Why Nepal? Why that changing point? A month prior, I lost my best friend and angel who set out on the same path as me – quitting that sad life and trying something fun and free in a country like Germany. The Germanwings plane went down and took him and his mum, too. I still remember waking up to the call, to the news. I still cry to this day for the loss of my precious friend. He supported and touched me in more ways than one. He was less than thirty years old... I realized then that I had one true purpose: make this happen. Make a difference where it is truly needed. As someone asked, why not go and work in India where people need help the most? Why not that over trying so hard in a foreign place? Why choose the harder path? Today, I’ve quit that prestigious job with the attorney general of Australia, left a gorgeous SATC-style apartment in the heart of Melbourne and my best friends, and settled in the simple and quiet environment of the Goan hills of northern India. Why Goa? Why would you leave such an amazing life in Melbourne – or for that matter, my hometown of Chandigarh – and settle in Goa? Why yoga in Goa? The answer is simple: Goa is my paradise. Goa is my Bali from Eat Pray Love. It’s the end of that book. It’s the discovery of solace. It’s where change begins and I can truly shine. It’s not saturated, it’s balanced, people are lovely and there are smiles and sunshine and generosity everywhere I look. My father exclaimed when I told him last year, “It’s perfect for you! I see you there!” It’s the most western place in India, so there is a balance of Chandigarh and Melbourne. It is the center of the world – from there, you can travel anywhere easily.

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You may chuckle if I admit that I still scream every time I see a frog or a lizard or some strange thing flying… but I do remember to count my blessings, like finding my perfect home! Where else could I have found my old, Portuguese villa and manage to design according to my vision? My aesthetic style is very Melbourne-inspired: artistic, hipster, minimal and clean. For the interior, I am determined to support local artisans who know how to represent and complement the local culture and reflect the local environment. Despite being an abandoned and now restored heritage villa, I’m using luxurious, neutral tones for the furnishings. I have even commissioned Athanguddi tiles. They are a dying art and only two manufacturers remain in the world, both on the east coast of India. There are uniquely baked using glass and terracotta and their colorful patterns are hand painted. As it’s a one man show, I’m reaching out to the NGOs and local LGBTQ communities to find people who are from the community or friends of the community, people passionate and driven to make a difference, to empower and drive change. I want everyone who walks through the door to feel a sense of belonging and non-judgment, as is in line with yogic principles. After all, that is why I’m really here: to give hope. Hope is all we can wish for. What really drove me toward traditional yoga is studio-style, westernized power yoga, which derives the postures from yoga but fails to capture what it’s truly about. This is how I started, too, five long years ago in Melbourne... Now having learned the art and science in its truest form, I can’t help but share it with the rest of the world. The World Health Organization suggests that the 80% of modern day diseases are psychosomatic. And what is the only cure? Therapy, drugs and more drugs? No: Yoga and yoga only. It’s the only science that aims at strengthening and killing the root from within rather than through suppression and camouflage. All this must be combined with good diet and lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle shift without any drastic changes. It’s what works for us personally, and through this retreat I want to spread the truest form of yoga and help people develop their own practice based on who they are and facilitate a difference in their own lives, instead of having to rely on a video or a book or even a teacher. As my own teacher said, “If you’re learning to drive, it doesn’t mean you will take your teacher with you everywhere you go, every time you drive for the rest of your life.” Having this retreat in India comes with its own set of challenges, but I believe that this is where we can truly start to make a difference. We aim to not only let individuals be who they are but also get more in touch with who they could become, bettering their own lives and the lives around them. The retreat is set for a phased launch, first opening its doors to casual, community-based classes and a yogic diet based bistro. The main launch will take place in the first half of 2017 and will feature the bistro, a swimming pool and the various yoga spaces.

Photos courtesy of Simply Yoga’s facebbok page and Varoon Single

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Where Do You Co?

Colleen Co Dubuque Celebrates Diversity in All Forms: When I moved to Dubuque in 1993, I fit right in as a white, Irish-German, heterosexual Catholic woman. The city was not very diverse ethnically, culturally, or in gender identity (as far as anyone knew). All of that has changed. I am very happy about the change. It all started for me when IBM opened. I was very fortunate to meet one Pakistani man employed by IBM. He introduced me to his colleagues: an Argentine man, Greek/Lebanese man, a Native American/Spanish woman, and an Iranian woman, among others. We became good friends. They taught me so much about their cultures. We celebrated mostly through food, music and dance. I even learned a few phrases in various languages.  As a Biology teacher, I was thrilled to be opened to these cultures. It helped me to serve my students with an opened mind. In Dubuque, of all places, I was celebrating Ethnic and Cultural Diversity.  Some of my new friends also opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone is heterosexual.  With an open mind, as I see it, there is a continuum of gender identities. It is not so simple as male and female, though my biological bias told me it was. I knew there were homosexuals - lesbian women and gay men - but I was not as aware of bisexuality or transgender people. By asking questions, I learned the meaning of LGBTQ and more (+): asexual, pansexual, and gender fluid people exist, among others to create the LGBTQ+ community. As an educator, I must create a safe and welcoming environment in my classroom for ALL students. Learning more about ethnic, cultural and gender diversity has helped me in that endeavor.   Although my IBM friends have moved on and out of the Dubuque area, I can continue seeking experiences of diversity through my new friends at Co Dubuque. Co Dubuque, an inclusive group, truly celebrates diversity in all forms in our community. I attended the “Come Out” and PRIDE event, part of the Dubuque Stands with Orlando 2016 Vigil, and the Poke-Co Pub Crawl.  Each event taught me more about a community that can celebrate, mourn, and stand together.  As an ally, I felt genuinely accepted and included at each of the Co Dubuque events that I attended. ALL are welcome. Co Dubuque wants to bring all people together, all ages, all identities, all cultures, and all ethnicities to celebrate what each of us brings to the world. I am wholly impressed by the vast number of different events that Co Dubuque is hosting. I wish I could attend them all.  Hopefully, through all of these events, we will learn more about each other, break down barriers and stereotypes, and make Dubuque a true community, as their name suggests: Co for Community, Cooperation, Cohesive, Coexist, Combine, Communicate and Compatible. The prefix says it all, Co- means together or with: Let us all come together and celebrate diversity in Dubuque.  Truly, Co Dubuque celebrates diversity in all forms.  Antonio In September, 2015, I transferred to Dubuque from Iowa City to open a new Planet Fitness gym in the area. I had a big job ahead of me, so I applied most of my time to my work for much of the next six months. Due to some unforeseen circumstances however, I decided to assume a different role with the company so I could have more time to enjoy life. Not much later, I met Luis Morteo, president of Co Dubuque. He was looking for help with an upcoming event. After meeting with him, I became very interested in Co Dubuque and what they stand for, and I told him that I wanted to get involved in any way possible. I was graciously given the very important roles of acting as board secretary and event coordinator, and I was so excited to be involved in something bigger than myself.   As an LGBTQ+ non-profit, Co Dubuque has set a new standard in community organization by helping to connect the LGBTQ+ community, allies, and their families. Not only is Co Dubuque bringing together the LGBTQ+ community, but they are creating a vast network of ally organizations and businesses, resources, and events for the people of the tri-states. Co is making a difference in the lives of many by organizing safe and fun events for community members of all ages! In my time with Co Dubuque, I have seen the LGBTQ+ community in the tri-state area come together to support one another. I have seen new friendships blossom. The executives and volunteers that make up Co have become a family to me, and I couldn’t be happier to have met such an amazing group of people! This is a new era of acceptance and gratitude, and Co is leading the way! Be You, Be Proud, Be Co! 

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Far From Home: Part III

Conversations on Sex, Gender, Sexuality and Discrimination in the Motherland by Andrea Becker and Sasha M. When we left off, Albina discussed what it was like to be a woman biologically, but to fulfill the roles of both man and woman in her own household. She discussed that she has witnessed discrimination in the world, but not personally experienced it. In her experience, her opinion has been as valuable as anyone else’s. Here, Alyona and Mariya begin to discuss the value of their opinions, and how their relationship has colored their experience living in both urban and rural Russia. Is a woman’s opinion as valued as a man’s? Alyona: Well, at school, they tried to feel me up. But when I scratched up the hands of Roma – oh! And I also knocked out Ilya’s tooth once. He didn’t do anything sexist to me, he just annoyed me and I knocked him against the wall – Alexander: He kicked me once outside of biology class. Alyona: Poor Ilya, I hope he is alive!… I always perceived myself to be a guy. I thought girls that went crazy for them were idiots, and I always viewed the boys as competition. Maybe I felt that way because I am a lesbian. Mariya: From the perspective of your teachers, your answers and your opinion – Alyona: Oh, I have a great example. In theatre school I had a very good professor but she really upset me once. There were consistently less men in theater and once, she pointed out to me how many girls there were. As she asked the girls to write to the boys, imploring them to come back to the theatre school, I asked, “What the hell? I understand that there aren’t enough males to fill every role, but this hurts my pride.” [It was] just like my one colleague in philology: many of his missteps were forgiven. We had many female professors – he flirted with them often and it worked. They responded with jokes and laughter. How has your sexuality colored your experience as a woman in Russian society? Alyona: I don’t have much to say, to be honest. I did not have sexual encounters with men. Alexander: But what about your preference, or your nature, aside from what experiences you have had in bed? I wonder about your existence as a woman who loves women: does it change your status, your experience of life? Alyona: Yes, of course. She becomes silent, but as soon as Alexander asks her, “How?” the conversation’s pace is quickened, as if many important things need to be said all at once. Alyona: You are afraid of sharing some things. 11

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Mariya: You just don’t tell anyone besides your most trusted, closest friends. Alyona: Yes, yes, yes. Mariya: You hold everything inside yourself, you can’t share with your relatives… they may have accepted you if society would accept you… but our society does not accept this. Alyona: You’re afraid that people will turn away. Mariya: Yes. Alyona: So even if you are a good person – Mariya: People listen to what others say and make that their first priority. Only then do they think about you as a good person or a bad person. You feel ashamed of something that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Alexander: So publicly you keep this a secret? Alyona: Yes, and mainly because our parents don’t know. If our parents knew, then we would not be afraid of showing ourselves. Mariya: And don’t forget the workplace. Alyona: Yes. I don’t have a normal job right now, so I don’t share this view yet. If I had a job where people took this seriously, it would obviously be a secret, like tattoos. But parents are a very difficult thing. You are afraid of hurting them, disappointing them. It’s very sad that it’s not actually you that disappoints them! It’s the stereotypes that are embedded into our society about people like you. They will think that you are no better than a pedophile or some immoral shit. Some associations that arise are completely absurd. Alexander: Don’t you think that your parents are fairly progressive and might accept it? Mariya: Her parents are religious. Alexander: The Christian community of Russia isn’t very accepting of this yet. One of the more progressive sects in the US is the Methodist group – I have a friend who is a priest in a Methodist church who happily marries gay couples and is very accepting of everyone. Alyona: In the Methodist church here, they will tell you it is unacceptable. Mariya: We are far from that. Alexander: So, Mariya, your parents also don’t know? Mariya: No. 12

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Alexander: In public, do you feel comfortable being close to each other or holding hands? Mariya: In a way, it’s easier when it comes to those things because we live far from home. This is a very big city, so it’s rare to run into someone you might know, or someone who might tell your family. Besides all of this, we rarely hold hands. We don’t kiss at all, we don’t hug, not because we are lesbians, but because it’s kind of rude when people are in public licking each other’s faces. Alexander: I don’t mean licking each other’s faces… but I do find it more enjoyable when going out together, to really be together. Mariya: Well, yes, it feels good, but… something sits inside you that warns you to be ready, that you may be assaulted… there are people who are radically violent when it comes to those things. Alexander: Do you think Saint Petersburg is more progressive than Moscow? Alyona: Yes, of course. Saint Petersburg is considered to be the capital of the Russian LGBTQ. Mariya: Yes, the first ever lesbian action was in Saint Petersburg by two Russian women… then they had their faces destroyed by policemen. Alexander: Are there parades or other actions for gay rights in Russia? Alyona: There are not really parades, but there are actions of protest. People gather at Marsovoye Polye (The Field of Mars, a public square) with balloons and rainbow flags, and they shout for a while and then scatter. Alexander: Do any of your friends participate in such movements? Mariya: Yeah, we know one. While same-sex relationships were decriminalized in Russia in 1993, they’re still far from being accepted in Russian society at large. There are no laws barring discrimination or even violent acts against people in same-sex relationships, in private or public places, and often it is law enforcement who engages in this violence, or at least takes the side of the perpetrator. Like Alyona and Mariya say, gay couples showing any kind of affection in public 13

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are often subject to physical and verbal assault by their fellow citizens. Russians are disallowed by law to marry someone of the same sex… but transgender individuals are allowed to change their legal documents after reassignment surgeries. These figures might seem extreme, but there are still some states in the US using all their available power and resources to make sure that same-sex and non-traditional couples are unable to marry and reap the benefits of traditional marriages. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness in Russia until 1999 and in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM until 1973. Gender dysphoria is still in the 2016-2017 DSM. Violent acts still take place here, too. If Alyona and Mariya’s struggles sound more familiar than you might have expected, it’s because they are. If their lives seem closer to home than the other side of the planet, they are. Going forward, we must learn to face the obstacles in the path of the LGBTQ+ community – and their basic human rights – together, as a global community… because in the age of information and unprecedented connections, this is who we are. Alexander: If you bought tickets and went on vacation to Finland, would your fear, your desire to keep your secret, disappear? Mariya: It would disappear to some extent, but the fear would still exist in your head. Alyona: It wouldn’t turn off in me. Even if we went all the way to Holland, I would think, “Shit, Russian tourists might be here.” Mariya: There is this new video on the internet: there was a soccer championship, with Russian fans and tourists, and in front of them a gay guy dressed flamboyantly. They were recording and would kick him from behind, and whenever he turned around, they just said, “Sorry, man.” They did the same thing over and over until the man fled. So it is kind of scary. It can happen anywhere. Alexander: Do you, in the long run, plan to stay in Russia? Mariya: Well, we don’t really have other choices right now. Alexander: But what do you want? Mariya: Well, I am a patriot. Alyona: I would travel, I would leave somewhere… but I wouldn’t move anywhere for good. I would travel and run around a while to eventually say, “I am ready to settle down –” Mariya: – in Russia! 14

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Alyona: I seriously am thinking about that. I looked a little bit at traveling work-exchanges… but I don’t yet have resources for that. What is your perspective on freedom of expression and censorship in Russia? Alyona: I read an article at the end of high school – it was related to a competition for a journalism position I wanted. I don’t quite remember the points that the article made, but the conclusion was that there is not really such a thing as the freedom of speech. Meaning you can say what you want, but everyone couldn’t care less. Also, there could be consequences. Not as big of consequences as there were throughout history, though. Once I interviewed a woman whose grandfather fought in WWII. They were sitting out in a hiding place under Volgograd. They stayed for nineteen days, almost without food or water. Everyone was tired and very weak. Her grandfather said, “Fuck all this! Stalin himself walks around shooting his own soldiers.” The following day he was executed for those very words. Today, it’s not that bad. Mariya: It depends what you say, and there are many journalists who were murdered or who have disappeared, so the freedom of speech does exist, in a way… but there is nothing to say. Albina answers the same question, but she tells us how different things have been since the fall of the Soviet Union. She discusses how German forces once occupied her hometown, and the harsh conditions many Russians endured during WWII. While, to some degree, freedom of expression and speech has been truncated in Russia for many, many years, Alyona, Mariya and Albina remind us that things are better now than they were before. Albina: So, I think that though I do not belong to the generation who suffered from the camps in the twenties, the thirties, the forties, and the fifties, but the memory of it still lives inside me. When I read about the poets and writers, scientists and researchers who were not only killed, but had to suffer before they were killed, were tortured…. of course I have this in my memory and I have it in my blood. So, nowadays the power of the state is getting aggravated, so I feel this fear of the opportunity for history to repeat itself… We will rejoin Alyona, Mariya and Albina in January, when we will further discuss the fall of the Soviet Union, freedom of expression and censorship in Russia, and the hardships that face these three women in the future.

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Nostalgia

By: Jeremy Stough

“It was that first night, back in my old apartment. I’m sure you remember. The one bedroom broom closet. It was July, wasn’t it?” He was silent for a moment, a slight smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. It had been at least four years, but of course she remembered. “No, no. It was May, it had just started warming up.” He looked away for a moment, his eyes seeming to focus on something in the distance. “We had both windows open, the ceiling fan running full blast, rocking back and forth. Always thought it was going to rock its way loose and fall.” He laughed softly. “But still, it was warm. The air was so thick and heavy. Couldn’t get away from it. But the damndest thing, the damndest thing, was the wind howling outside. It was cold outside, actually cold, you remember? But no matter what, that wind just wouldn’t come through the window. It was crazy!” He smiled again, wider. “That’s the happiest I’d ever been, right then and there, under that paper-thin napkin of a sheet, with your head on my chest.” He stood and stretched, turning to look out the window. Slowly, the dark violet velvet of the night was giving way to a growing gradient of orange. “It destroyed me, it really did, when we broke up. Well...” he took a breath, his face changing from a smile to a sneer, “When you left me, I should say. But I forgave you. For four years I watched you with him. Four years of following you around this god damned country. It cost me money, you know. To pack up and relocate every time you did? Not to mention the time required to keep tabs on you. All the medication, and the bribes. You wouldn’t believe what it cost to have your housekeeper continually dose you with the morning after pill. A damn fortune, in case you were actually wondering!” His voice had risen, cracking slightly with mania. He cleared his throat, pinching the bridge of his nose. Involuntarily, his teeth began chattering, reverberating in his skull. The vibrations helped, calming the fervor of emotion. “But don’t worry. Dear old Derek received your note this morning. The same one you left me. The exact same one, actually. I saved it, just for this.” He walked around, behind her chair, resting one hand lightly on the back of it. “But that’s all in the past, isn’t it?” He chuckled deeply, and reached over her to the table. His hand floated for a moment, before seizing upon a large hunting knife. It glinted eerily in the blossoming dawn light. He smiled. “It’s time to focus on you now.” Jeremy Stough is an Iowa native, currently living in Dubuque with his partner Scott, and their guinea pig, Chabi. ‘Nostalgia’ is his first publication.

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What in the World?

Co-ZINE asks people from around the globe to respond to our most recent campaign cycle and general election. Russell Roth (Canada) I have had countless conversations with American friends about this election, and have been told by some that the rest of the world needs to stay out of America’s business, mostly by Republican and Libertarian friends. I have spent my career in positions all related to social justice and advocacy. To me, social justice is not defined by national borders. I have been part of dialogue related to marginalized populations all over the world. This election was no The year 2016 has been a strange one in the different: It began in a very disconcerting way and United States of America and on Earth. From the ended in a way that I think far more people should have expected, considering the discourse that has unprecedented Orlando tragedy in June to the been so pervasive. November vote that retained the position of Vitit As terrible as it is, I think this had to happen. Muntharbhorn, a champion for LGBT rights in There was no other alternative: when you forget or the UN, LGBTQ+ communities in particular have ignore history, you are bound to repeat it. Brexit led experienced very high highs and very low lows this and the USA followed. The next question is, “Can year. Now that election season is over, many of the ship be turned around?” Hatred has a strong us around the world are left reeling, overwhelmed generational element and it is hard to rationalize and confused by what is going on. away. There is so much anger, and not enough comMany media sources have claimed that Hilpassion. In the work I do, even close friends feel lary Clinton and Donald Trump are the “two most that the people I serve should be left to die, but I unlikeable candidates in history”... and while we believe in hope and humanity.

all have our own strong opinions, we decided to Paul Manning (United Kingdom) find out what people who couldn’t participate in This election cycle was a total fiasco! The way our election thought about its controversial results. it was all presented makes Americans look like Here is what they said.

laughing stock, like they can’t do the right thing… and the candidacy was not very good, either. You Milton A. (Argentina) I believe that Americans voted and expressed couldn’t test any of them. As for Trump, he’s a hortheir darkest and deepest feelings toward the world, rible, vindictive, racist, homophobic moron that toward other countries, different cultures, religions, shouldn’t be president. I already miss Obama as he’s a great guy. I wish he could be elected president and sexualities with what little humanism remains in the US and in the general world. In recent years, again as he’s in it for the people. By the way, I’m still you can see videos of many Americans mistreating annoyed with the Congress that didn’t make some of his bills into laws too... and discriminating against foreigners. They have also expressed their ideas of their superiority over other countries, which is not real. Lamentable Trump is all that people do not publicly present, but have always felt inside. Americans are about to have the government that they deserve right now. They could have improved, but they decided to express this anger and will have to suffer the consequences… but I believe this edifice of hated that has been built in your country can still be broken.

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I.R. (Germany) Most of my friends and I don’t understand how Trump could be elected. We don’t understand the political system of the US. How could this man be your next president, even when most of the population voted for Hilary? My first impression when I heard it on my way to London early in the morning? They are joking; this is a joke. I do look forward with excitement to the coming years. As an economical, educated man, I believe he’s not able to do all the things he promised during his campaign. But I am a bit curious about the protests. I can’t remember any protests against a freshly elected president of the “first” world during the last 20 or 30 years. The next four years will be interesting ones for the US and for the rest of the world. Varoon Single (India) It’s great to have a discussion, and I guess it becomes an invasive one, especially when it comes to large, first-world economies. It is no use pretending that a leader can truly change the world, let alone a single nation. Although we in the growing world have been preoccupied, dealing with the issues of our own nation and day to day lives, it did make for an interesting array of smear and what one would do for power. It is not for me to say whether what the people chose is right or wrong: that’s a personal per-

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spective. Having said that, I would have voted for Trump, too. Not based on fear or pent up frustration, but for the same reason Tony Abbott was elected in Australia. Change is what is required and even a dark horse may be worth the chance in these times of turbulence. Ashley Wilson (Canada) I’m Canadian, but I thought this year’s election was really interesting. Even though I’m from another country, I was rooting for Hillary Clinton. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I was very upset and scared for my American brothers and sisters because of all the hate Donald Trump promoted and still promotes.

Whether you like the results of this year’s election or not, it is impotant to remember that the person who holds the most power in society is not any governmental institution: it’s us, it’s individual people. We begin big changes and social movements by talking to the people around us about the things we care about, and by opening our minds to the global community, like we’ve just done here. As Margaret Mead once advised, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know. And you are the [one] who’ll decide where to go. ~Dr. Seuss

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Dec. 2016

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Gay History DBQ By: Lennie Ballosh

Dubuque, Iowa. When first people think of this city, they envision two casinos, the Mines of Spain, and one will occasionally encounter the history buff who recalls Dubuque being Iowa’s first city. Throughout Dubuque’s history, Roman Catholicism with strong Irish ties made the city into the port of Mississippi. One would assume with a strong Catholic influence in the community, it would be a very conservative area with strong anti-LGBT views... but that was not the case for a couple of local Dubuquers. Growing up in Dubuque as a gay man in the 1950s was an experience similar to living under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “There was nothing different about growing up gay at that time than the rest of Dubuque,” Mark said. “It was just not talked about. It was not dealt with.” One of Mark’s extracurricular activities was theatre at Wahlert, Dubuque’s Catholic high school. “I became really involved when I was a junior and senior,” he said. “I was pretty good at doing that. It was a release. I got through school and graduated from Wahlert.” Although Mark sort of felt alone during the heteronormative 1950s, he discovered after graduation that he was not the only one who was hiding a secret. “I did realize at a later time that my friends, when I was in the 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, those guys were gay,” Mark said. “After high school, I found that little by little that guys I had been friends with were gay and were moving away from Dubuque.” Within Dubuque, though, Mark discussed the place to go: The Luchardes, owned by Mark Sullivan, a gay man who also owned a floral shop out of the Hotel Julien. “There was the dirty bookstore on Main Street. It was notorious,” Mark said. “It used to be in what was called the Merchants Hotel. That was one place gay people would go. They sold gay movies and newspapers and magazines. These things were so old.” After Mark finished college, he moved to Milwaukee where he has lived for many years. “To be alone is one thing. To be totally forgotten is completely another thing,” he said. Mark was not the only local who grew up around the same time period. Dave Wetter, grew up in Dubuque and went to Senior High School. He stated that he knew he was gay since he was in the 7th or 8th grade. “I didn’t really come out,” Dave said. “I always was out. Everybody already knew.” Dave also worked throughout most of high school, which caused little question of why he did not go out with women or out with friends. He worked in the bar business most of his life, then became a pressman for the Telegraph Herald. After high school, Dave continued to work in the bar business, where he owned some of Dubuque’s own gay bars, from The Bistro to One Flight Up. “I never directly saw any gay bashing,” Dave said. He explained that there was occasional name calling, but nothing out of the ordinary even after opening the gay bars. The Bistro was open from 1977 to 1988. “The only reason why I got out of it was because I didn’t have anyone else to do it,” Dave said. “The thing that changed the bar scene was the AIDS epidemic. That kind of slowed business down compared to what it used to be.” Before it was called AIDS and the public knew the full extent of the disease, Dave explained how people were afraid to come into the bar because they believed the virus could be spread through saliva or even through the air. He was busy with his business but noticed the AIDS epidemic really took a toll. Dave chose not to renew his liquor license and close the doors of the Bistro. Although both Mark and Dave grew up in the same city, they had very different perspectives about being a gay man within the city, from family to the community at large. Mark might have left for Milwaukee, but says he still comes to visit the Dubuque area. Dave on the other hand is still part of the Dubuque community, and so is his partner. They both said that LGBT rights have greatly progressed over the years since the time they came out. “It’s important for Dubuque to realize that there’s a history there,” Mark said.

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Dec. 2016

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965 Main Street Dubuque Iowa 52001

Dr. Jeff Manternach, OD

563.845.7238 keycityvision.com

Little Ben Children’s Book Series

by Wes Pranschke WES PRANSCHKE has returned with his Little Ben Children’s Book Series, BOOK #4, LITTLE BEN AND THE SEVEN DUCKLINGS! Wes was born and raised in Davenport, IA. He Received his degree in Fine Arts at St. Ambrose in Davenport and then received his Graphic Design Degree from Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, IA. This tender-hearted man had a passion and followed his dreams. His work was picked up by Spore Books out of Rock Island, IL and he published his first book in 2015. Wes has been very happy ever since! Wes uses his artistic talents to touch the hearts and minds of children. He hopes to help kids imagine adventures and discover confidence. Wes now has written and sketched out enough ideas for 20 more “Little Ben” books and can’t wait to share his stories with all of you! Wes is so looking forward to coming back around and seeing everyone who has been supportive of Ben and his books! And hang on! Book #5 gets released this Spring!... with Book #6 already in the works!

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Dec. 2016

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How We Co Out in the Park: Six Flags A literal double rainbow. Yes, a LITERAL DOUBLE RAINBOW! That is what greeted us as we arrived in our vans at the “Out in the Park” event at Six Flags Great America. The park was full of LGBTQ+-ers and was framed in the sky by a literal double rainbow. It was perfect. Also not bad? Zipping through rides with almost no lines and flying through the dark night sky, screaming with delight.

Co Dubuque Camping on the River There were so many spiders, y’all. So many spiders. Boatfuls of Co-ers descended upon an island in the middle of the Mississippi. We pitched [literal] tents. We chopped wood and made fire. We ate fancy s’mores and concocted a boil. And we wondered why there were absolutely no bugs on this marshy Mississippi isle. That is when we saw all the spiders. So, so many spiders!

RuPaul’s All Star Drag Race at Fife’s Bar “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” RuPaul is wise. And in the spirit of RuPaul-ian wisdom, we gathered at Fife’s every week to watch her and her queens. We watched them lip sync for their legacy and go to the library for fundamental reading. We were thankful that there was a bar in Dubuque that supplied us with both Moscow Mules and televised drag. In the end, Alaska won, which meant that, for a moment, all was right and fair and good in the world.

Halloween Spook Co welcomes all! Be you young, be you less young! Be you cis, be you trans! Be you straight, be you other-than-straight! And on the night of the Halloween Spook, we also welcome you be you goblin, be you Incredible Hulk, be you witch, be you German Vampire Batman! It really was a joy to see all of the be-costumed kids get their candy on and, later, to see all of the be-costumed adults get their dance on. Thanks, as always, to Smokestack for being such a willing and welcoming venue and partner.

New Orleans LGBTQ+ Halloween Trip Baseline New Orleans is kind of crazy. New Orleans on Halloween weekend? Extra crazy. There were mobile dance parties, a Thriller flashmob on Bourbon Street and Beetlejuice-themed jazz bands. We stayed in the most amazingly creepy orphanage asylum and lunched in a cemetery. We ate gumbo and got tattoos and celebrated birthdays and met up with Marilyn and more. NOLA was a spooky good time! 32

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$10

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Click to Order:

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All proceeds go to LGBTQ+ youth and all-ages events, activities and educational workshops.


LGBTQ+ Iowa & Tri-State area Events CEDAR RAPIDS

IOWA CITY

Dyke Dive & Queer Pressure December 2, 7:30 pm – 11:55pm Ideal Bar, 1968 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704 https://www.facebook.com/ events/1430300993666156/

Free Christmas Dinner Sunday, December 25th, 6pm – 9pm 13 S. Linn St. Studio #13, Iowa City, IA 52240 Join us for a FREE CHRISTMAS Auditions for Queer Shorts DINNER at Studio 13 from 6 until 9 then Karaoke till close. NO COVER. December 4th and 5th, 6pm – 9pm Belle’s Basix Drag Show StageQ Rehearsal Space, 306 N. Brooks Pride donations requested. Every Friday and Saturday St. Madison, 53715 $5 @ the door, 9pm StageQ proudly announces auditions Sasha Belle Friday Drag & Dance Party 3916 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA for Queer Shorts!, our annual pro Every Friday, 8pm 52402 (319) 363-3194 duction of short plays dedicated to https://www.facebook.com/bellesbasix 13 S Linn St. Studio #13, South Linn and celebrating our LGBTQ commu Street, Iowa City, IA nity. Now celebrating our 12th year, the theme will be “Queer Love”. Per QUAD CITIES formances will be held the weekends MADISON of February 10th and 17th 2017. Connections Game Night http://stageq.com/ Every Wednesday Night! LGBTQ Narratives Group www.facebook.com/connectionsQC/ PFLAG Monthly Madison Meeting December 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 822 W. 2nd St. Davenport, IA December 18th, 2pm – 4pm http://lgbtoutreach.org All meetings are held at 1704 Roberts 2701 International Lane, Suite 101, Connections Drag Show Ct. Madison, WI Madison, WI 53704 Every Friday Night at 11:00PM Speaker Meeting 2:00-3:00 PM 608-255-8582 www.facebook.com/connectionsQC/ Support Circle 3:00-4:00 PM Connections Night Club OutReach Holiday Celebration 822 W. 2nd St. Davenport, IA Rollers (Retired Older Lesbians) Lunch Saturday, December 10th, 6pm – 8pm Emspak Home, 916 Castle Place, Madi- December 20, Noon – 2pm (this is a Mary’s on 2nd presents Sunday Fun recurring event) son, Wisconsin 53703 Day with Bobby!!! Elie’s Family Restaurant, Madison, WI, Frank and Dolores Emspak and the Euchre Tournament every Sunday at Board of Directors of OutReach LGBT 4102 Monona Dr. Madison, WI 5pm sharp We meet at Elie’s Family Restau Community Center invite you to our 832 W. 2nd St. Davenport, IA 52802 rant in the Lake Edge Shopping Cen annual holiday celebration. The event (563) 884-8014 ter on Monona Drive in… will include a hot and cold buffet, www.facebook.com/MarysOnSecond/ wine and other beverages, mingling $5 buy in. We have not reached our and music. Please join us for this fun goal. For the Ron Friichtenicht and festive event at this beautiful Angel Tree. These gifts go to children lakeside home. There’s more FREE living with HIV / AIDS or have a parking at the Christ Presbyterian family member with HIV / AIDS. Church parking lot. Call 608-255All Proceeds Benefit Ron Friichtenicht 8582 for more information. Angel Tree. PFLAG Monthly Meeting Thursday, December 8th, 7pm – 9pm Grant Wood Area Education 4401 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 http://www.pflagcr.com/

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What Does Your Zodiac Sign Say? ARIES (MAR 21—APR 19) Ready... set... charge! Reach for what you want and make it happen. Now is the time: Burst through that door.

LIBRA (SEPT 23—OCT 22) You’ve been feeling pleasant and holiday cheer is on its way. Drink it up! You love the food, decorations, parties and gifts.

TAURUS (APR 20—MAY 20) Your brute ways can be quite charming at times. Keep making people smile and see where it goes.

SCORPIO (OCT 23—NOV 21) Your emotions are overflowing. Take a deep breath and stop being so frantic. You’re supposed to be in control of yourself…

GEMINI (MAY 21—JUN 20) You’ve got this! Keep those personalities in check, you might surprise even yourself with your accomplishments.

SAGITTARIUS (NOV 22—DEC 21) You feel great! It’s your season, until Capricorn takes over after December 22nd. Feel good – you truly deserve it.

CANCER (JUN 21—JUL 22) You are missing out on all the fun... staying in will do that that to you. Go on forward. Have an adventure… at least try! The experiences that challenge, teach.

CAPRICORN (DEC 22—JAN 19) Well now, you just got it going on... A glow has begun to brighten up that dark cloud you carry. Continue doing what you’re doing and feel it lighten up.

LEO (JUL—AUG 22) Roaring like a Leo can get you a free pass this week. Let’s see if you can roar... don’t force, of course, but let loose freely with no ill will.

AQUARIUS (JAN 20—FEB 18) Keep pursuing that goal! Yes, it changes frequently, and skepticism, doubt, resilience and opinion get in the way... but when haven’t they? Don’t let obstacles discourage you this month.

VIRGO (AUG 23—SEPT 22) Can you please get it together? When you confuse everyone, they will put you in the awkward zone. When that time comes, don’t forget that it’s you who caused it.

PISCES (FEB 19—MAR 20) Some days are anxious and others are content. Take a bath, drink some cocoa and warm up with a cozy blanket and a seasonal movie. You’ll smile.

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What in the World?  

CO IS A COMMUNITY NETWORK OF PASSIONATE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CATALYZE AND SUSTAIN AN AFFIRMING COMMUNITY FOR LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND FAMI...

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