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MAY 2017

“Comforable in my Seat” by Rev. Lillian Daniel

Phillip & Vee: Sleepless Nights

The Prom We Never Had

LGBTQ+ News from the Heartland

io g r e S y b y r t by t Poe r A d n a z .. t . i a d Or n ro o F w Dre e! r o m and

Letter from the Editor My dear community, it is with a heavy heart that I address you this month. Our political climate continues to become more dangerous for minority communities each day. As I write, the Senate is voting on the new American Health Care Act, which would deny access to health insurance to millions of people, especially women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The legislative government continues to write and vote on unjust bills at a very rapid rate, not even waiting to hear from professional committees what the effects of passing these new laws would be. This is an alarming time for all of us, so I want to use my letter this month to ask all of you: please, do your very, very best to stay informed. Watch the news, pay attention to bills passing through the House before they reach the Senate, and actively contact your representatives to voice your concerns. We still have the power to enact some change. As always, you can reach me at

Andrea Becker Editor in Chief



Phillip & Vee

Bebop by Sergio Oritz

Decisions by Drew Foronda

Drug Treatment Center Finder

The Prom We Never Had


“Comfortable in my Seat”

Iowa Legal Aid


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Headquarters Community Productions 299 Main Street #44, Dubuque, IA 52001 Co-ZINE is a monthly online publication. Links to this publication are found at www.codbq. org/cozine, but Co-ZINE is not an affiliate of Co Dubuque. The views represented in Co-ZINE are strictly those of their authors and do not represent the views of Co-ZINE or Co Dubuque staff members or volunteers. Advertisements involving products or services are not investigated by Co-ZINE and Co-ZINE does not claim responsibility for these products or services. © 2017 Community Productions

Call for Writers and Artists

Editor in Chief Andrea Becker

We consider submissions from members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

Layout and Design Alina Crow

We love  • Personal Experiences  • Opinion Pieces  • Photography/Art  • Journalism  • …and more!

Publisher Luis Morteo Owner Cindy Lewis

Submit to

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Notification Applicants will be notified May 25th, 2017.

May 2017 | Co-ZINE





May Cedar Rapids

Belle’s Basix Drag Show $5 Every Friday and Saturday 9pm 3916 1st Ave NE, (319) 363-3194

Des Moines

Meetings for Parents of Gender-Creative Kids Children’s Library at Plymouth Church 3rd Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312 The Maie Intellect: An Oxymoron? The Temple Theater $20.00 - $38.00 April 25th to May 14th Des Moines Diversity Chorus Welcomes Singers Westminster Presbyterian Church Monday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 4114 Allison Ave, Des Moines, IA PFLAG @ Unitarian Universalist Church Every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7pm 1800 Bell Ave

Des Moines Vet Center LGBTQ Support Group 2nd Monday of every month 1821 22nd Street #115 (515) 284-4929 for information. LGBTQIA Sexual Assault Support 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month; 7:00 p.m. 3030 Merle Hay Rd POCQAT @ Monsoon Community Resource Center, 1st Sunday of the month from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. 4952 Franklin Ave, Des Moines, IA Contact or for info.

Quad Cities

Connections Game Night Every Wednesday Night! 822 W 2nd St. Davenport, Connections Drag Show Every Friday Night at 11:00PM connectionsQC/ Connections Night Club 822 W 2nd St. Davenport, IA

Iowa City

GLBTQ Movie, Mondays 4pm Iowa City Senior Center 28 South Linn Street Larry

Sasha Belle Friday Drag & Dance Party Fridays 8pm @ Studio 13 South Linn St Magical Masquerade: Queer Prom Friday May 19 8-11pm The Mill, 120 E. Burlington

Dubuque Area

Co-mmunity Game Night Thursday May 11 6-8pm @ the Smokestack All Ages Alcohol Free Bowling Sunday May 14 3-5pm @ Cherry Lanes Retro Rewind Illusions Midwest Drag Show Saturday May 20 8-11pm @ the Smokestack



Phillip & Vee: Sleepless Nights by Jeremy Stough

A cold wind ripped through the night, shaking the bare tree branches and rattling the windows in their sills. A seasonably cool Iowa day had turned into an exceptionally cold spring night. Inside, illuminated only by the warm orange of the yard light outside, Vee laid awake, staring at the ceiling. Around him, the house was mostly quiet, except when a strong gust of wind set the windows to banging. The old farm house, rented, had been good to them through the lease. It stayed cool in the humid heats of summer, warm in the dead colds of winter. His only real complaint would have been the windows. They added certain character to the house, sure. A building that age was sure to come with a full biography of character. That didn’t make it any easier to sleep when a loud crash could thunder through the house on any windy day. Vee sighed, and rolled onto his right side. The clock on the small stand beside the bed read shortly after two in the morning. He stared at the display, watching as each minute finally ticked to the next. He was tired, but every time he’d start to doze off, a zephyr rocked the house, jolting him back awake.

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So, instead of the sweet embrace of sleep managed to find something to eat, either and dreams, he found his mind a-wander by luck or by the happy windfall of finding in thoughts of a different night. Several loose change, it was a good day. nights, in fact. Vee suddenly jumped, finding himself Nights when he’d laid awake, staring at back in the present. A short distance from a different ceiling. That ceiling had been the bed, a pair of eyes, reflecting the dim mired in cobwebs and ventilation ducts. light, stared at him expectantly. He almost He’d laid awake, stomach growling with laughed, reaching out a hand. The sudden hunger. It had been a rough time in his specter, terror of the night, was Thomas. life. Through various unfortunate happen- The cat, by then at least twelve years old, stances, Vee had wound up living in the had been a hand me down from a friend. unfinished basement of a not-quite-ac- He had been there, as well, during the bad quaintance, unable to pay for the full rent nights. of an actual apartment. To be truthful, he’d barely been able to cover the pittance they He never once allowed the cat to go huncharged him for rent. And so, he went hun- gry. Regardless of how long it had been gry. His days were much the same. Wake since his last full meal, and regardless of up, go to work, come home, sleep. If he’d cost, Vee always managed to work a bag

May 2017 | Co-ZINE


of cat food into his non-existent budget. It had been a series of bad financial decisions that led to his visit with poverty. He had, through pure naivety, lost a substantial sum to a housing scam. Afterward, attempting to make ends meet, he’d fallen into a cycle of pay-day loans. Every other Friday, when he was paid, he would go directly from work to the loan shop. His check would disappear, paying off the loan. The next day, he would return, taking out the same loan. On Monday, after work, he would go to the second shop, pay off that loan. Then, on Tuesday, he would return, and get the money he would live on until the next pay check. It was a struggle.

over onto his other side, and smiled. In bed next to him, limbs arranged in the strange pattern of sleep, was Phillip. It was during those nights, the bad nights, the nights awake with hunger, depression and panic, that he’d really started talking with Phillip. It had, honestly, been his only form of social contact outside of work. They talked through the nights, the fears. It was with Phillip’s encouragement that Vee had moved to Dubuque, found a new job. Broke the cycle. Vee reached out and gently squeezed Phillip’s hand. In response, he smiled a dreamy smile. Not only was he the instrument, he was the proof. It gets better.

Thomas, finding no food and growing Still holding Phillip’s hand, Vee faded off bored of pets, wandered away, to explore to sleep. empty portions of the house. Vee rolled

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by Sergio Oritz

A sinister, crouching madness


found Charlie Bird Parker in a haunted well, small miseries crushing his bones. Madness like armies of the implacable Corsicans followed him, hung on the gallows of his solitary days. ―Bebop the powerful high notes of his chords. Did he want to correct the very hard opacity of the world, or was it the long line at the gates of death?

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 RamĂłn Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

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Quote of the Month

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and be understood.” Lucius Annaus Seneca We are not authentic! We are HOME COOKING!

1091 University Ave. • Dubuque, Iowa 52001


Mon.-Sat. 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM Sunday 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM


May 2017| Co-ZINE



Previous page:

“Decisions” by Drew Foronda Drew Foronda is a 28 year old digital artist from Taos, NM. He has a BFA in musical theatre and has been creating visual art for about a year. His work speaks volumes about the experience of being bullied throughout childhood for his sexuality. Drew used art as an outlet to overcome great diversity. The piece shown here is entitled “Decisions.” This piece was

originally created to tell Drew’s story: a gay child considering suicide due to child bullying. This piece is just as relevant to Drew today as it was 20 years ago. He hopes to shed light on the very serious issue of youth suicide. Drew has recently been accepted into Otis College of Art and Design with a full merit scholarship and will begin attendance this fall.

If you think you or someone you know might be at risk for suicide, please take a look at the following resources. Help is at your fingertips. Dubuque Crisis Lines: 855.800.1239 888.557.0310 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255 I’M ALIVE Online Crisis Network:

May 2017 | Co-ZINE


Community Services & Resources: Drug Treatment Center Finder Drug Treatment Center Finder is not a specific treatment center, instead, we are a free webbased resource hub that strives to provide the most up-to-date information and available treatment services across the nation. America is facing a prescription painkiller epidemic: 1,700 young adults died from prescription drug overdoses in 2014 - a four-fold increase from 1999. Our goal is to provide resources to addicts and their loved ones in order to guide them to the help they need in order to rebuild their lives. We currently offer the following resources, with more to come: > Health Screenings

> Collection of Informational/Educational Resources & Data

> Extensive Drug and Alcohol Addiction & Treatment Guides > Nationwide Directory of Addiction Treatment & Mental Health Services

All of the statistical information found on our website is pulled from studies conducted and published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and their divisions: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Co Dubuque: The Prom We Never Had ...turn the page to read!

May 2017 | Co-ZINE




Co Dubuque hosts “The Prom We Never Had� on April 22, 2017

On Saturday, April 22, Co Dubuque opened doors on one of its most popular events to date: a prom. This prom was held at the Holiday Inn on Main Street in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. The premise of this event was to give the area LGBTQ+ community the opportunity to enjoy a high-school-style prom in a way they may have been disallowed to do in school.

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any schools still distribute lists of rules before prom - naturally, students should behave appropriately; however, it is unfortunate that so many of these lists still include a rule like “all couples must be boy/girl”. How many members of the LGBTQ+ community were denied taking their date of choice to prom in high school? Why does such a rule even exist? Both of these questions are very difficult to answer. All we know is that many members of the LGBTQ+ community missed out - and are still missing out - on the best part of prom: their dates! Co Dubuque was founded on a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims of last year’s Orlando shootings. Most of Co’s events are community-focused, community-building events, but some of them still maintain a social justice flavor. “The Prom We Never Had” was not a way to change the system, rather a way to make up for something the community had lost, and that students continue to lose each year when prom season rolls around. People of all ages showed up for Co’s prom, from high schoolers to senior citizens, it seemed as though all of Dubuque’s LGBTQ+ and ally community wanted to join in the fun. Co-ZINE ran two photo stations at prom. First, when guests entered the dining and dance hall, we asked them to stop, sign our register and sit for a photo. Co wanted to add even more authenticity to their prom, and what better way to emulate that end-of-the-school-year rush than with an awkward yearbook photo? Guests from prom will have the opportunity to view or purchase yearbooks soon!

May 2017 | Co-ZINE



ur second photo station was a photo booth. Guests had the opportunity to grab their date for a typical prom photo. Lots of people also chose to be photographed with groups of friends, funny faces, and more. Everyone dressed up in their evening wear and prom dresses, danced to a prom playlist created especially for that night. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts were provided and “students” could purchase drinks from a bar. Co’s prom defeated school prom in inclusivity and refreshments. The next way that “The Prom We Never Had” was superior? It was populated by drag queens! Ron “Calamity” Raymond and Miss Tracie gave performances, Elektra SuperNova was in attendance.

Elektra SuperNova and friends

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he night’s colors were black and gold, and the theme was Somewhere Over the Rainbow. When a legendary bar, a convening place for the LGBTQ+ community, called One Flite Up, was still open for business in Dubuque, Ron “Calamity” Raymond had a well-known drag persona: Judy Garland herself. The theme was chosen specifically to incorporate this nostalgic song and an old Dubuque drag tradition. Ron, as in time gone by, performed the contemplative song while the audience moved toward the stage to sit with Judy through the performance.

This performance was a time-honored tradition until One Flite Up was forced, unfortunately, to shut its doors in 2007. The community was grateful to experience this sweet performance one more time at prom.

Miss Tracie

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inally, prom court. Throughout the course of the evening, attendees were nominated to prom court three kings and three queens were chosen. Since Co’s prom was a non-heteronormatinve event, everyone really ended up a queen. After nominations were made, guests made their way toward the entrance hall to cast their ballot. Darren Oakes of Co Dubuque sat at the table and watched

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handwritten slips of paper fall into the jars at the table in front of him. After ballots were all cast, Darren sat at the table and carefully sorted them into stacks for each nominee, and then counted them to determine who the winners would be. Darren made his way to the stage where he met Ron “Calamity” Raymond before the final performance, where they would

announce the winners together. The final slips of paper were pulled one by one, and each name called was met with applause and cheering.

In the photo on the right, the queens (from left to right) are pictured: Co Dubuque’s own Cindy Lewis, Emily Stier, and Angela Spurlock.

The kings, pictured at the left, were (in order from left to right) Nino Erba, Ceasar Valdez, and Jason Coffman.

Overall, “The Prom We Never Had” was a huge success. Over a hundred guests were in attendance, and we finally had our prom. Co Dubuque hopes for an even more successful turnout next year at the second prom we finally will have.

In the center, all the kings and queens are pictured together. Co-ZINE had a blast with the court in the photo booth!

May 2017 | Co-ZINE


From the Heartland




The Iowa Senate passed HF134 on April 11 with a 43-6 vote. HF134 disallows municipalities’ from using “familial status” as a mode of denying tenants. This means that doors are closing on discrimination and opening for LGBTQ+ families who want to rent homes in Iowa. Municipalities can no longer use their own definitions of “family” as a basis for turning a tenant away. One Iowa’s Executive Director, Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, said “Local ordinances that discriminate against people based on what their family looks like do not reflect our state’s legacy of equality, and we thank the Iowa Senate for bringing us one step closer to ridding Iowa of these restrictions. It’s important to acknowledge that this Republican-introduced bill passed with bipartisan sup-

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port, showcasing that upholding Iowa’s people with preexisting conditions, and legacy of equality is a bipartisan effort.” people of color. Call (866)246-9371 to be connected to your representative today. However, not all lawmaking this month was LGBTQ+ friendly. Two days later, on April 13th, the Iowa Senate also passed a bill (HF516) that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls. This type of bill specifically targets members of marginalized communities. Individuals who identify as transgender are likely to be turned out of polling places under this new law; in addition, people who belong to other marginalized communities, such as people in poverty and people of color, typically have less access to resources and transportation and are less likely to hold a photo ID at no fault of their own. On March 24th, the AHCA (American Health Care Act) was pulled from the House before voting, but it’s scheduled to return to the floor this week. The House Freedom Caucus has formally endorsed the bill so now is the critical time to call your representatives and ask them to vote against the AHCA. This bill increases healthcare premiums by 20% and makes huge cuts to Medicaid, jeopardizing the health and well-being of low-income, elderly, and disabled Iowans, among LGBTQ+ individuals (especially those infected with or vulnerable to HIV),

LGBTQ+ Resources On April 29th, at the 5th Annual LGBTQ Health & Wellness Conference at Des Moines University’s Student Education Center, One Iowa released its new resource list. They surveyed health care providers across the state to learn about their anti-discrimination policies and more. This list, intended for members of Iowa’s LGBTQ+ community, provides information on over 80 primary healthcare providers, dentists, hospitals and others. Other hosts of this event included Planned Parenthood and the Iowa Department of Public Health. Please visit www.oneiowa,org for more information. A new resource has been launched by the makers of AIDSVu: HepVu. HepVu and AIDSVu provide comprehensive health information, antibody prevalence maps, and webinars. You can visit www.hepvu. org and for more information.

May 2017 | Co-ZINE


Comfortable in my Seat

by Rev. Lillian Daniel

“When you are invited by someone to a tipping his fourth caffeinated soda into the wedding feast, do not take the place of woman’s lap. How comfortable was her seat then? honor…” Luke 14:8 A mother was traveling with three small children but for some reason, none of them were seated together. So the mother asked the other passengers if they would move so she could stay close to her little ones.

We don’t want to move because we don’t feel the pain. Why give up a comfy seat for one that could possibly be worse? Why change things? Why shake things up?

Stop and imagine that awkward scene. To me, the point is painfully clear. Sometimes we don’t do the right thing for the most mundane of reasons. We’re comfortable in our seats.

God’s seating arrangements are flexible and we need to be flexible too.

But here’s the thing. Change happens anyEveryone agreed to move, except for one way. God seems to like it that way. woman. She seemed able to move, but was In my own Christian tradition, Jesus gave just unwilling. By way of explanation she up a comfortable seat in heaven to join added her reason: “You see, I’m comfort- us here on earth. But pretty much every able in my seat.” religious tradition makes the same point:

That woman may not have been as comfortable later on in the flight. I imagine her seated next to an unsupervised toddler, crying for his mother, loudly, interrupting her movie. Or maybe the kid was rejoicing in his new found freedom, giddily

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Don’t ever get so comfortable in your seat that you forget how to stand up and do the right thing.

Rev. Lillian Daniel, pastor of 1st Congregational Church in Dubuque and author of Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To, is a Co-Dubuque board member.

Iowa Legal Aid

CRITICAL SERVICES FOR VULNERABLE IOWANS Iowa Legal Aid is the only statewide provider of free, civil legal assistance to lowincome Iowans. Iowa Legal Aid: 

Helps people with critical legal needs that affect safety, shelter, sustenance and health:  Protects victims of domestic violence;  Protects families from unsafe housing and illegal evictions;  Protects elderly Iowans from consumer fraud, elder abuse and financial exploitation; and  Secures health care, SSI and basic public benefits for low-income Iowans.

Provides services in all 99 counties through 10 regional offices.

Does not handle fee generating cases or criminal cases CLIENT DEMOGRAPHICS:  72% are women;  30% have a disability  24% are age 60 or older;  Over 16,100 children lived in the households served

2016 Closures by Case Type Juv Empl Health 3% 3% 6%

Family 29%

Housing 30%

Misc. 8% Income Maint. 9%

Consumer 12%


Over 499,000 Iowans (16.7%) have incomes below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines and are income eligible for Iowa Legal Aid’s services.

Iowa Legal Aid closed approximately 16,350 cases in 2016, serving nearly 38,000 Iowans; this is almost 39% less than the number of cases closed in 2010. The decrease is the result of reduced staff (13 fewer attorneys and 6 fewer support staff), not reduced need.

10,000 families are turned away or underserved annually due to lack of staff resources.

“Iowa Legal Aid is a very accomplished, productive, and organized program providing high quality effective and efficient legal services to its clients.” — Report from Legal Services Corporation Office of Program Performance

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This is Me Iowa is a place where the transgender community (members and allies) can come to find information, resources, support, and more... contact Sarah at to purchase a "Transgender Rights Are Human Rights" silicone bracelet for $3 with proceeds going to various non profit Transgender organizations Serving the Tri state area of: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin

Taurus Thinking about moving upward and onward? Don’t be afraid to take risks regarding jobs and money this month, but don’t be hasty, either.


Gemini Make sure to stop and smell the blooming spring flowers this May. When you’ve spent so much time and energy on others, a self-care break is so important. Cancer Romance is in the air this full moon – chances are, love is evolving or coming your way. Just make sure you’re taking necessary precautions: even pure love can have big consequences. Leo Sometimes, lion, your focus jumps from task to task or goal to goal… but this month, shift your focus to your career. It’ll be a lucrative change.

Virgo If there’s a trip you’ve been dreaming of, now is the time to start planning it out. Now is also the best time for Libra short-distance and short-term ventures. Feeling like you’ve lost your mind these days? Take the opportunity this spring to reorient and reorganize yourself. Clean your house. Scorpio Spring is here and it’s not unbearably cold anymore! Time to whip yourself back into shape. If you’ve been thinking about exercising more, start while you’re still motivated! Sagittarius While you may have to play conflict mediator at work and within your social circles this month, you’ll also have plenty of time to recuperate at home. Capricorn Life seems a little bit hectic right now, but just keep pushing through. You’re great at staying on top, and if you don’t get overwhelmed, all your hard work will pay off. Aquarius Your social calendar is super busy this month – how exciting and fun! Keep your eyes open at events: you’ll have a chance to make amends. Pisces You overdid it. You’re starting to feel like the consequences for overspending are falling in your lap. You’ll get through it, but manage finances carefully this May. Aries Feeling your own allure this month? So is everyone else! Use this to your advantage, but remember self-respect and take precautions when your personal safety demands it.

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connections. We connect people to volunteer opportunities and Resources Unite strengthens resources that to a happier communities by lead creating and more engaged way of people life. connections. We connect to volunteer opportunities and resources lead to a happier OVERthat THE LAST YEAR and more engaged way of life.

11,748 11,748 300+ 300+

OVER THE LAST YEAR individuals were connected to volunteer opportunities through RU. individuals were connected to volunteer opportunities through RU.

local nonprofit organizations were strengthened through our marketing, strategic planning and connection to volunteers. local nonprofit organizations were strengthened through our marketing, strategic planning and connection to volunteers.

RESOURCE CENTER 1900 JFK Rd, Dubuque / (563) 231-6280

Co-ZINE May 2017  

This issue features The Prom We Never Had, LGBTQ+ news, and more.

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