Issuu on Google+

Feb 2011 Issue #2

New Hampshire www.connextionsmagazine.com

1


THE

HUMAN

ORGANIZATION TRANSGENDER

RIGHTS

CAMPAIGN

WORKING EQUALITY.

TO BY

IS

AMERICA’S

ACHIEVE INSPIRING

LESBIAN, AND

LARGEST

CIVIL

GAY,

BISEXUAL

ENGAGING

ALL

RIGHTS AND

AMERICANS,

HRC STRIVES TO END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LGBT CITIZENS AND REALIZE A NATION THAT ACHIEVES FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS AND EQUALITY FOR ALL.

HRC SEEKS TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF LGBT AMERICANS BY ADVOCATING FOR EQUAL RIGHTS AND BENEFITS IN THE WORKPLACE, ENSURING FAMILIES ARE TREATED EQUALLY UNDER THE LAW, AND INCREASING PUBLIC SUPPORT AMONG ALL AMERICANS THROUGH INNOVATIVE ADVOCACY, EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS. HRC WORKS TO SECURE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR LGBT INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES AT THE FEDERAL AND STATE LEVELS BY LOBBYING ELECTED OFFICIALS, MOBILIZING GRASSROOTS SUPPORTERS, EDUCATING AMERICANS, INVESTING STRATEGICALLY TO ELECT FAIR-MINDED OFFICIALS AND PARTNERING WITH OTHER LGBT ORGANIZATIONS. WWW.HRC.ORG


DADT 6

The Repeal - Dec 22, 2010

34

Life Planning 15

For the same-sex couple

18

Fight for the Right 18

FEATURES

February 2011 Issue #2 New Hampshire

Interview with Scott Herman

View From the Margins 20

Transgender in America

Homophobic Bullying 22

In America

A New Hampshire Native 24

Connecting from Cali

Hera Bjork 34

Icelandic Pop Star

Sex Sells 37

but is it worth your health?

Journey to Inner Freedom 38 Ireland Singing Taxi Driver

www.connextionsmagazine.com

3


CONTRIBUTORS PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shelly Straub ART DIRECTOR Lucia Camarda CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Stuart Gallagher Photography Jack Sanders Beth Therriault Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Christopher de la Torre Nikki Fenmore Vanessa Sheridan Charles Kimball Sam Washington Paul Phan Read Connextions Magazine online or purchase your print edition through our website at:

www.connextionsmagazine.com WRITE TO US: Do you have a question or comment regarding Issue #1 or future issues of Connextions Magazine? We would love to hear from you! Email responses and press releases are always welcomed. shelly@connextionsmagazine.com Letters may be edited for space when included in our ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. All submissions become the property of Connextions Magazine.

The views and opinions stated throughout this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of staff at Connextions Magazine.

r e t t e L

from the editor

A

long with the brisk -19 degree weather in parts of the Country, change is in the air! Change equals progress… or so I’ve heard. With that said, I have a wonderful feeling about 2011! Connect, unite, and stand together… with events that took place at the end of 2010, this proves to be a positive year of change for America! We traveled through the mountains and along the 18 miles of seacoast in New Hampshire to bring you Issue #2. Read the exclusive interview with Scott Herman, best known for his role in MTV’s Real World: Brooklyn; meet Eric and Steve, finally married after spending 3 decades together; our ‘Area of Attraction’ tours you through NH in 72 hours, and don’t miss the dockside decor at the Ale House Inn. Here are a few facts about New Hampshire that I walked away with: • There is no state tax in NH, which makes shopping a LOT more enjoyable! • Same-sex marriage is legal in the state of New Hampshire! • This state currently does not host any pride celebrations! Most folks head to Boston or harboring cities for their annual equality gatherings! Special features this month focus on Homophobic Bullying in America, Safe Sex, a look at transgender America, and last but certainly not least, the momentous DADT repeal! Thanks so much for taking the time to browse the pages of Connextions Magazine! Your comments and feedback are always welcomed, along with new subscribers and facebook friends… so feel free to show your support by passing the word. Connect with you in Vermont!

Shelly Shelly Straub Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Cover Photo:

Connextions Magazine publishing office is located at 8601 Tartan Drive North, Cicero, New York 13039. Connextions Magazine will not knowingly publish or advertise text which is fraudulent or misleading. The publisher reserves the right to edit, limit, revise, or reject any text without cause. Connextions Magazine assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors. If any errors are found, please notify Connextions Magazine immediately. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Photo taken at Hampton Beach in the Seacost Region of New Hampshire, courtesy of Lucia Camarda. Exclusive cover photo digitally edited by Stuart Gallagher Photography. Connextions Magazine highly recommends a visit to Stuart’s website to browse his breathtaking photography. www.stugallagherphotography.com Once again, we’ve placed 4 hidden state symbols on the cover. Do you know the symbols of New Hampshire? If you can find them, logon to our facebook page and let us know!


Area of Attraction 8

February 2011 Issue #2 New Hampshire

72 hours in New Hampshire

The Marrying Kind 16

Steve & Eric

42 in s as seen pire Diarie e) am d V o s e i ep Th e d a r e u (masq

DEPARTMENTS

8

Ale House Inn 28

A restored brewery

Nikki’s News & Views 36 In her own words

Justice? 40

The loss of your pet

Website Highlights 42

Connextions picks

Proffesional Directory 44

Business links

sks sh Ma Just Po

Next 46

In the next issue www.connextionsmagazine.com

5


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Footprint in History: Repeal of DADT - December 22, 2010

S

igning a contract with an adendum stating that you are not a homosexual, completely defines the quality of the soldier you will be. It absolutely determines whether you will lay your life down for the freedoms that our fore-fathers sacrificed their lives for. Someone far superior to those who fight side by side has concluded that what goes on in the bedroom, is what goes on when the bedroom door opens... Although we are very aware that discrimination and ignorance is still mingling and squawking throughout our society, the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, blows the door off the hinges completely! In the signing of the repeal on Wednesday December 22, 2010, nearly 17 years since the DADT was instated (1993), service members are still cautioned that it will take several months for the military to determine how to incorporate and implement new changes such as barrack assignments and re-instatement of those who have been discharged/seperated from military service under the DADT policy. Loyalty, Duty, Honor, Respect, Selfless-service, Integrity and Personal courage are the values that define our Service member men and women. The terms bigot and racist are not part of the boot camp training program. Finally we are at a crossroads that has been a long fight over the years that some would say is equivelant to the womens right to vote and sitting someplace other than just he back of the bus!

Breathe deeply and continue to be brave and march forward, remembering at all times that we are all ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.


Programs that Save Lives . . . SHELTER PROGRAMS

OPERATION BAGHDAD PUPS

SPCA International shows its support at the local level every month by awarding multiple cash grants to needy shelters. This money goes a long way to help the shelters improve their physical condition, enhance their spay and neuter programs, and ultimately reduce euthanasia rates. Cash grants also are available to aid shelters hit by unexpected circumstances – such as natural disasters, theft or fire – that threaten to break already limited budgets.

U.S. troops in the Middle East befriend local animals as a way to cope with the emotional hardships they endure while deployed in a war zone. Yet, it is against regulations for service members to care for an animal or bring it to the U.S. using military resources. Operation Baghdad Pups helps our troops safely transport their companion animals home. It is a logistically challenging program, but it does more than save animals – it also brings comfort, peace of mind and relief to our U.S. soldiers who have served overseas and helps them readjust to life back home after combat.

SPCA ANSWERS This program serves as a hub for information and as a referral resource for animal lovers throughout the world. SPCA Answers connects people with local shelters, helps initiate cruelty investigations, assists animal advocates throughout the world in the fight against cruelty, offers individual support for people dealing with unique situations, and much more.

Join us TODAY and help save an animal’s life!

Visit us Today!

www.spcai.org www.connextionsmagazine.com

7


Hampton Beach

photo enhancement by www.stugallagherphotography.com


72 hours in

New Hampshire www.connextionsmagazine.com

9


The Highlands Inn

Hiking Skiing Snoeshowing Kite surfing Waterfalls Covered bridges & friendly people!

Photo courtesy: Dave Iannuzzi Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

White Mountains

Photo courtesy: Dave Iannuzzi

Northern New Hampshire notables:

We Begin

our journey in the Northern region of New Hampshire…taking in the crisp air and glistening white snow. The scenic drive through the White Mountains is breathtaking and awe inspiring. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of a moose in your travels, this would be the place! A destination not to be missed is the unique and relaxing romantic lesbian vacation resort, The Highlands Inn. Bring your pet and grab your key to this four-season paradise in Bethlehem, NH. The resort has a ‘packed’ calendar of events all year round, which includes over 40 performers in the 2011 women’s concert series. Spend quality time with your significant other while socializing and making new friends that last a lifetime. Breakfast including the famous, all natural & organic,

sweet tasting New Hampshire made maple syrup is a given!


Photo courtesy: Jack Sanders

The Highlands Inn

www.connextionsmagazine.com

11


Hampton Beach

In about 3 hours, we find ourselves gazing over the oceanside at Hampton Beach in the south eastern region of the state. If you’re looking for prestine photo opportunities, you will find them here.

Our stay at the Ale House Inn was remarkable! Set in the bay, and within walking distance from the bridge to Maine, this restored brewery is a beauty!

Next stop… Portsmouth, NH! Shopping at its finest! Other than the Banana Republic store on the corner, there wasn’t a chain store or restaurant to be found in this quaint picturesque historic town. Handmade and all locally owned shops, lodging, and fine dining are the key ingredients to making Portsmouth a truly unique experience!

For some excitement, we headed to Manchester, NH to visit three “alternative” gay owned night clubs. The Breezeway Pub, The Element Lounge and Club 313 have their own style and charm but one thing remains the same… friendly, positive-minded people who have the utmost respect for their homestead towns!


Southern New Hampshire notables: New Hampshire town near Milton

Hampton Beach Portsmouth Manchester Merrimack Shopping Ocean views History Clydesdales FOOD!! & Friendly people!

Arriving at The Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdale Hamlet in Merrimack before 10:30am allows you to view these enormous Clydesdales in the courtyard prancing gracefully, enticing you to take plenty of photographs! Overall, the most memorable mention during our 72 hour stay in New Hampshire was most certainly the FRIENDLY people! What a refreshing atmosphere visiting so many towns, and during every stop, talking with as many people as possible, we found that the people of New Hampshire REALLY love where they live!

www.connextionsmagazine.com

13

Photo courtesy: Jack Sanders


Life Planning

for the same sex couple

When it comes to GLBTQ issues concerning life planning, there are dramatic differences and amplified challenges compared to traditional couples and families. These inequities are becoming increasingly apparent as states adopt laws outlawing or permitting same-sex marriages or civil unions. At the federal level, same-sex couples are complete strangers in the eyes of the law particularly after the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. There are 1,138 federal statutes which can benefit traditional couples after they marry, which are denied to same-sex couples. Taken in with religious, family, and societal attitudes toward gay men, lesbians and same-sex couples, these issues swiftly compound. Understanding some basic concepts and legal ramifications are vital to a long and happy life together. Let’s explore a few central topics. Parenting is a major consideration to very carefully and proactively approach. For starters, determine who will be the biological parent. Generally, for lesbians, one partner will give birth; for gay men, one partner will be the sperm donor. This decision will, in most states, determine many parental legal rights. Next, draw up a Parenting Agreement. Decide now what will happen if your relationship ends. If there is no second-parent or co-parent adoption, the biological parent’s rights are superior. The non-biological partner will need to establish he/she is a parent to the child – and there are no guarantees that a judge will agree that a parent-child relationship exists. These agreements can provide for custody, support and visitation rights, obligations and responsibilities. Also, without the agreement, the non-biological parent may have no legal obligation to support the children. So, if the non-biological parent decides to end the relationship, the other parent may have no right to seek support. And, file the agreement with the appropriate court –then you have an enforceable court order. Regarding adoption, things can get even more blurred. You should be aware of the laws in your state. Florida law specifically prohibits adoption by lesbians and gays. No exceptions. Utah will not permit unmarried individuals to adopt. Adoption law is state-specific. Talk to a lawyer to find out what your state law says. It isn’t easy being gay or lesbian and becoming parents. It can’t happen by accident. Put as much thought into the legal aspect as you do into what color to paint the nursery. Estate planning simply cannot be ignored for same-sex couples. Aside from legal handicaps, there might be hostility from the couple’s families who either do not approve of their union or are unaware of their son’s or daughter’s sexual orientation and lifestyle. Unless legal arrangements are addressed, a partner’s estate will likely bypass their spouse and be

distributed against their wishes according to state probate laws. Among other legal documents that need to be created are a Durable General Power of Attorney which allows your partner to act on the other’s behalf upon incapacitation. Advance Directives, also called Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney, are essential. A couple names the person responsible for carrying out their health care wishes. Without these, a partner may have no legal authority to make any decisions or even visit their spouse in the hospital. A HIPAA Authorization would permit a partner to have access to medical information so that a health care provider or insurance company will have no reservations about sharing protected medical information. Using a Domestic Partnership Agreement is one way to establish joint intentions about the relationship. It is similar to a pre-nuptial agreement and clearly outlines how property is to be divided in the event of separation. Planning for possible estate taxes should not be overlooked, as same-sex couples do not have unlimited marital deduction offered in traditional marriages. Making the effort to put a sound legal structure to protect valuable rights and assets cannot be understated. When it comes to handling of financial assets, real estate is usually the largest concern. Home ownership can be a wonderful experience as well as a defining moment in a same- sex relationship; however, until the laws ensure equal rights, owning a house for a same-sex couple is vastly different from a legally married heterosexual one. Among things to consider is how to title the new home, since it will determine what happens to the property in the event of separation or death. Rights of survivorship are granted to legally married couples who own real estate together and allow them take title to their home as “tenants in the entirety,” meaning each person is 100 percent owner of the house. Not only does that protect them in the event of death (the house is automatically owned by the survivor), it also protects them from creditors. One option for same-sex couples who are not legally married is to hold the title in joint tenancy with rights of receivership, so that if one partner dies, the other becomes owner of the property and takes on the mortgage. Proper titling of bank and investment accounts is also crucial, making sure accounts are held jointly and the partners are named as beneficiaries on IRAs and insurance policies. Another area of inequality occurs in the area of workplace benefits. Even though more employers are offering benefits for same-sex domestic partners, those benefits have income-tax liability attached. Although our societal and legislative atmosphere is rightfully heading towards equal rights for the GLBTQ community, there exists an inordinate amount of legal obstacles and denied benefits and protections that need to be artificially created by qualified legal and tax advisors as well as clearly understood by all same-sex couples and families.

As principal at Phan Financial Capital Management in Armory Square, Syracuse, New York. Paul offers straightforward and effective financial and tax guidance unique to non-traditional clientele. Paul is a regisgtered representative of and offers Securities through MML Investors Services, Inc., a Mass Mutual Financial Group Company. This article is not intended as legal or tax advice.

paul@phanfinancial.com

www.connextionsmagazine.com

15


Marrying Kind The

by: Christopher de la Torre

teve Snyder and Eric Fishman of Maryland wanted their 30th anniversary to be special. So they got married. Tying the knot this late in the game might seem odd, but the prospect of marriage for same-sex couples is new. And for many committed couples still denied the option at home, marrying out of state is an obvious solution. Enter New Hampshire. Steve and Eric decided on a Manchester wedding after a childhood friend asked if they’d consider it. A great choice, says Steve: “We made friends there we didn’t have before.” One of those friends, Beth Therriault, photographed the private wedding and the reception that followed months later in Maryland. “Beth is an amazing human being,” Steve says. “She captured our relationship perfectly.” In 2010 New Hampshire joined a small but growing number of jurisdictions to respect equality when it legalized marriage for same-sex couples. But the lack of federal recognition has resulted in a patchwork of legal protections that often spells frustration for same-sex spouses. “It’s confusing, but it’s moving in the right direction,” Eric says. “Eventually we’ll get there. One of the funniest things following the wedding was being asked by City Hall employees why it took us so long for us to get married. All we could say was, what took you so long?”


Eric and Steve live in Maryland with their Basset Hounds, Sophie and Emma.

www.connextionsmagazine.com

17

Photos courtesy of Beth Therriault Photography


FIGHT RIGHT for the

www.youtube.com/scotthermanfitness www.facebook.com/scotthermanfitness


Scott Herman

Battles Equality

By Sam Washington

Before flexing his muscles on MTV’s reality show The Real World:

Brooklyn, Scott Herman was just a regular American kid growing up in Salem, New Hampshire. He remembers always protecting the little kids in his neighborhood. However, it wasn’t until meeting Katelynn, his transgender roommate from the show, that Scott realized he needed to do more in the fight for gay rights. Today, Herman is using his celebrity muscle and Colgate smile to recruit straight allies to the gay cause. Why is it important to you that straight allies take on the fight for gay rights? It is the only way we can put an end to inequality. Until more straight men and woman stand up for what is right, especially in social settings, the gay community is going to continue to suffer.

Did anyone question what you were doing there? No, they knew I was just hanging with my friends and my boss and having a good time meeting new people. Why do you choose to make your home in New Hampshire? My mom moved to New Hampshire when I was in the second grade. So I really didn’t have a choice. (Laughs) But seriously, I chose to stay because it’s the perfect combination of a small town, big city and its where my friends and family live. How do you feel about New Hampshire making same-sex marriage legal? The state’s motto is “Live free or die”. The real question is why it took so damn long.

What led you to become a gay rights activist? I didn’t like being bullied as a kid and I don’t like to see anyone else bullied, but I’d say my journey to become a hardcore activist for gay rights began when I was on “The Real World: Brooklyn”. I learned a lot about the abuse endured by the gay community through my transgender friend, Katelynn. Her story of being brutally beaten and cast aside was enough for me to see that I needed to take a stand.

Have you attended a gay wedding? Not yet, but soon. Katelynn, my best friend from “The Real World: Brooklyn” will be walking down the aisle and I’ll be there. What do you recommend to readers who are making it their new year’s resolution to add fitness to their life? Join my fitness community and become a Hermanite! I have over four hundred videos on Youtube and I post a new workout every Tuesday. On Sundays I post an update so you know what to expect the following week. I also talk about various contests and other fun things the Hermanites and I are doing for the community.

What are you doing to get the word out? I have done various media interviews and speaking engagements talking about why it is important to be a straight ally. I’ve also led fundraisers to raise money for LGBT organizations including GLAAD, The Center, Trevor Project and Fenway Health. Have you ever been to a gay bar? Oh yeah. The first time was when I was 19. I was working part time as a trainer at a gym and part time at a real estate agency. My boss at the agency was gay and he took me to a gay bar in Haverhill. One of my clients from the gym, who was also gay, happened to be at the bar too. We laughed because I knew more guys in the bar than anyone else.

What are you doing to get the word out?

How important is diet in your workout routine? Very important. I have an amazing meal planner on the site that will show you exactly what to eat for your body type in order to reach your personal goals. What are you looking forward to in 2011? I am building a studio! Scott Herman Fitness is now sponsored by Sears so I will be able to do more creative videos with much better production quality. My goal is to help as many people as possible become healthy. And health includes tolerance, so please, let’s make 2011 a year of love.

www.connextionsmagazine.com

19


View

from the

I feel fortunate to be able to experience life as a transgender person, and it’s an honor to be able to contribute to Connextions Magazine. Since Connextions is written by and for the LGBT community (as well as their allies and even the ignorant!), I’m willing to serve as a representative of the “T’s.” I’ve come to understand that we transfolk truly are everywhere and that we exist in every community. We are an intrinsic part of the culture, although we are sometimes rendered invisible or immaterial by a misunderstanding society. That’s why, just as Connextions Editor-in-Chief Shelly Straub wrote in a recent article, constant ignorance compels me to speak out LOUD in these pages. (Shelly is not transgender, but she and I share a desire to present information about our communities and to offer a message of inclusion to the rest of the world.) Transpeople tend to be unique individuals who have the opportunity to view the world from the margins, as opposed to the center. That “marginal” perspective can often provide a fresh and unique take on life’s salient issues, and it’s a rewarding thing to be able to share this point of view with others. It’s also a great way for people to learn about the richness and incredible variety that life has to offer. Perhaps most importantly, we all need to be open to the differences as well as the similarities that we humans possess. We are much more alike than we are different, but those differences can certainly make life more interesting and worthwhile.

Margin s

Over the years I’ve learned that being transgender is a gift. A gender-variant status allows the transgender person to have experiences and to learn in ways that would have never been possible otherwise. Because this is true, I maintain that transpeople have a responsibility to recognize and accept their gender-gift and use it to become better, smarter, more empathetic people in general. It’s also important for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight sisters and brothers to acknowledge the significance of transgender persons and to appreciate their many contributions to society. I do not mean to dismiss or minimize the difficulties that many transgender people face in their daily lives. Currently, unemployment for transpersons is easily double that of the rest of the population. Unemployment often leads to poverty, which can begin a downward spiral into homelessness, alcoholism, substance abuse, and other destructive situations. Combine those problems with a lack of awareness as well as stigma, and rejection from “straight” society (and even, sometimes, from the LGB communities), and it’s easy to see why a certain percent of transpeople are forced to struggle in life. Despite these very real concerns, I am hopeful about the future of the transgender community, perhaps more so today than ever before. In my lifetime (and I’m still a long way from shuffling off this mortal coil!), I have seen tremendous progress take place for transgender people in ways I would have never imagined to be possible.

Vanessa Sheridan is a transgender writer and a national speaker, awareness trainer, and business consultant for organizations of all sizes. She is also the author of The Complete Guide to Transgender in the Workplace, a groundbreaking book that is helping people and organizations around the world. Vanessa loves music (she’s a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist), good books, live theater, and deep conversations with interesting people. She lives in the Minneapolis area. Visit her website at www.vanessasheridan.com.


The Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts is bringing together a National Coalition of Partners to promote arts in education. Harry and I, along with a few of our

friends, are working to make sure that all public school students receive education in the arts. We’re planning a telethon for August 2011 and will need your help to make it happen. Please visit our website to see how you can join with us and support our cause. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your www.GlenHanson.com

contributions are tax deductible. www.ChanningArts.org Thank you for your support!

The Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts 101 First Street #555 Los Altos, CA 94022-2778

www.connextionsmagazine.com

21


Homophobic Bullying

Why It’s Happening, and What We Can Do to Stop It teens is hardly a new problem ebullyingtheamongst i l America, recent pattern of young gay men W hinliterally being bullied to death is cause for grave

concern. Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Asher Brown, and Tyler Clementi, all victims of homophobic bullying, committed suicide. While each of these boys ultimately took their own lives, the decisions that they made were preceded by weeks of intolerance, harassment, and cruelty from their own peers. They were victims of a hostile environment, and if we are to stop this epidemic we must take a look at how our society in many ways encourages anti-gay bullying. Despite the progress that has been made over the years, we are still largely a homophobic society that makes GLBT people acceptable targets for ridicule. We are still told that “real men” cannot be gay, religious leaders still teach that homosexuality is an abomination, and the gay subculture remains largely misunderstood by mainstream society. Things are even worse among America’s youth, who often describe anything that they don’t like as “gay” and who use “faggot” as an all-purpose insult. With this atmosphere of homophobia, it should come as no

surprise that GLBT teens are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual teenagers. Fortunately, there are resources available to gay youth. Dan Savage, author of the syndicated relationship advice column Savage Love, has started the It Gets Better Project, an online video channel in which adults, including many celebrities, have posted videos to send the message that life does get better for GLBT people. The Trevor Project, a crisis hotline for gay and lesbian youth, is also available to teens. They can be reached at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, or 1-866-488-7386. Many schools also have student-run gay-straight alliances that gay students should check out. This is not just a problem for the gay community. We must all do our part to ensure that we see fewer of these senseless tragedies, not just by reporting bullying as we see or suspect it, but by remaining more sensitive to the homophobic attitudes of society. We need to think about what we’re really saying when we describe something as “so gay,” and we need to remember that sexual orientation is only a part of who a person is. We must all do our part to ensure that things do get better.


Veterinary Emergency &

Critical Care Center

Providing compassionate, quality urgent care and emergency medical & sugical services; nights, weekends and holidays.

315-638-3500 2115 Downer Street Road Baldwinsville, NY 13027

Conveniently located in Baldwinsville, 20 miles northwest of Syracuse. Just1/4 mile west of the 690 interchange.

www.connextionsmagazine.com

23


A New Hampshire Native…. By Charles Kimball

I grew

up in the small central town of Contoocook, New Hampshire, son of the town plumber. My family has lived in the town for centuries. Contoocook is a village in the town of Hopkinton, home of the governor of NH with many beautifully restored homes from the 1700’s. Antique stores abound and never forget that NH is run by women and has legalized same sex marriage. (something I cannot say for California) In downtown Portsmouth, both the shopping and colonial architecture are amazing. Portsmouth is gay welcoming and a great place to experience one of the most colonial cities in America. http://www.portsmouthnh.com/index.cfm. Take a boat ride to the Isle of Shoals or Star Island, http://starisland.org which are

Connecting from Cali

managed by the gay friendly Unitarian Universalist Church. Remember not to expect an elegant resort on the island, it was made for meeting great people, reading a good book, and the smell of sea air. While in Portsmouth, a visit to Strawberry Banke is a must http://www.strawberybanke.org, the living gardens and museum re-create lifestyles of over 300 years. Each of the nine furnished houses and period gardens on the 10-acre site, introduces you to a different era in American history. A wonderful place to stay in an old restored brewery is the Ale House Inn, also featured in this Issue.

Guard Station with views of the harbor and of Portsmouth that will awe you in its beauty....

New Hampshire has a mere 18 miles of coast line, so during the summer, the beaches are some of the nicest you will find anywhere. The village island of New Castle has a great beach close to the Coast

Charles Kimball is the owner of GayNapaGetaways.com in the great Napa Valley of California, offering travel concierge services. www.GayNapaGetaways.com

From Portsmouth onward there are many more towns and experiences that will welcome your visit. Travel is all about meeting great people and sharing the love of culture, along with the love of life. “Everyone to their own taste: The lady said when she kissed the bull!” That is an old Yankee way of saying that everyone can live their own life as they see fit and that we are to respect one another. I find that the great people of NH do live by that creed.


w e i v

Issue #1

online at

www.connextionsmagazine.com

I’m from Driftwood How pet friendly is NY? Cornell University Pride NY Real Estate

Ithaca, NY - One of the most liberal places in America Economical Luxury Hotel with a skyline view of NYC

Love, Relationships www.connextionsmagazine.com and Family

25


Breathe Release &

Closed eyes stare into the sun burning yesterdays thoughts has begun. Letting them ride deep into the red turning violently, twisting painfully, crying to stay, break free from the grasps of future mistakes. Tighter my fists, deep breathe and release, only to watch ashes of memories flee in retreat.


www.connextionsmagazine.com

27


photo enhancement by www.stugallagherphotography.com


Ale House Inn www.connextionsmagazine.com

29


The bayside dĂŠcor in the lounge basks in the warm sun that flows through the tall picture windows as you are greeted and checked-in to your room by a staff as warm and embracing as family. Any questions you have about local great eats, town history, shopping or even Ogunquit, Maine for nearby night life, ask Manager Scott Choppa who is a proud local native with a wealth of knowledge.

Flickering glimpses through the trees of exquisite architecture only begins to intrigue your curiosity of the quaint town of Portsmouth, home of the Ale House Inn. Approaching the Inn, it is hard to tell what lies within the brick outer exterior, and modern hallway. But as you step out of the elevator, the warm ambiance wraps its welcoming arms around you just begging for you to relax and stay awhile.

A deep breath and soothing exhale will come naturally as soon as you step foot into your spacious accommodations for the next night or two or three. There is no doubt that the soft colors and inviting furniture are a strong contrast to the brick exterior. Don’t think that just because you are in an historic town that you are going to have to go with out! Of course there is internet access, cable television and coffee/tea available, but the most amazing find was the Apple iPad sitting on the desk just waiting to get some use! Whether you are on vacation and here to relax; in town with plans to go shopping; on a business trip and need to get some work done; or in NH to get married, the Ale House Inn is a Connextions recommendation!


Just arou

n

h e c or n e r t d Located just 16 miles from the Ale House Inn, is the artsy resort village of Ogunquit, Maine which has been welcoming gay and lesbian vistors for over 100 years. www.gayogunquit.com

Scott Choppa, Manager

Heading west a short 40 min drive leads you into Manchester, New Hampshire which has alternative nightlife for every style. Make sure to check out The Breezeway Pub and The Element Lounge. www.gaynh.com

www.connextionsmagazine.com

31


NEW NEWS g n i t

s e er t In ads Re

“Living The Difference”

g n i t

s e r e t es n I ac Pl

GLBT History Museum

“Living The Difference” A book by J.C. Knudson Published by Espresso House Publishing & Distribution, LLC More than just one individual’s unique story, “Living the Difference” is required reading for anyone trying to understand the twentieth-century American gay experience -- in a time before widespread media acceptance and anti-discrimination laws.  This heartening yet frankly realistic memoir will also give hope and understanding to those coming to terms with the sexuality of themselves or their loved ones.   Its message -- of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding -provides good counsel, no matter the time or place.

America’s first GLBT History Museum in the United States opened in Jan 2011, located in San Francisco, CA A project of the GLBT Historical Society, an archives and research center established in 1985, the new museum will be the first of its kind in the United States—and only the second in the world. “A quarter century after the founding of the GLBT Historical Society, we’re proud to open a museum to showcase our community’s history,” said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the Historical Society. “The GLBT History Museum is in the heart of the Castro, a neighborhood visited not only by locals, but also by tens of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of queer culture. At our museum, they’ll discover treasures from our archives that reflect fascinating stories spanning nearly a century of GLBT life. We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself. Whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, visitors are sure to be moved, enlightened and entertained.”


www.sassmagazine.org

www.connextionsmagazine.com

33


www.herabjork.com

home country Iceland, in which she proudly represented at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo. Humor does not, by any means, escape her as we sat and laughed over dinner earlier in the evening. I never knew someone of such stature could be so easy to talk to the instant you meet!

:

Connextions Magazine had the pleasure of spending some time with Hera Bjork during her visit to the states in late 2010, and again in early 2011. A stroll through the park, fine dining with friends, a couple of bottles of wine, a great party hosted by www.nyc-jc.com, along with an incredible performance by Hera Bjork were on the agenda. :

Hera has a bold, clear voice that lures your every emotion to attention. We could not wait to hear more as she finished singing the title track on her latest album Je Ne Sais Quoi which instantly makes you want to dance! The electricity she radiates combined with her amazing voice was both stunning and exciting! Just as incredible as her voice, is her overwhelming personality. Hera is very passionate about her

:

Hera has also been named as the official entertainer for the upcoming Mr. Gay World USA event scheduled to take place in 2011. Her 2010 Gay events calendar included: Stockholm Pride Munchen Strassfestival Helsinki Drag Queen And, as stated by Hera, “a number of Eurovision related events in Manchester, Portugal, Holland, Denmark & Iceland where I met a bunch of lovely happy gays.�

Left to Right: Jarl Haugedal (Founder of Mr. Gay World USA), Hera Bjork, Magnus Jonsson :

Pictured above with Hera Bjork are Shelly Straub and Magnus Jonsson (Mr. Gay Iceland and 1st runner up for Mr. Gay Europe)

During converstations, Hera mentioned that some of her inspirations were Celine Dione, Aretha Franklin and George Michael. And although not gay herself, she has a large gay following in Europe which she expressly appreciates and enjoys!

www.connextionsmagazine.com

35


i’s Nikk News &

Views

Nikki Fenmore can be found at Art of Hair by day and Rain Lounge by night. If you find yourself in the Syracuse, NY area... stop by and say hi! Reach Nikki at fenmorenikki@ yahoo.com

in her own words...

Hello hello honnys!! I hope you all had an amazing season, a great new year, and you have all returned to sanity and reality!!! In this issue, we will be hitting on topics like Paula’s return to television, Jersey Shore... cast and crew, xmas decorations, and the new pajama pants craze... among others things. Since xmas just passed, we will start with xmas decorations. Now, i do not mind them at all, some can be very lovely, so lovely that they make you want to take another sneaky peek. But, what about the people that just go overboard. The houses that look like a UFO landed in their yard. OMG people... tone it down already! Now 1st, i hate those blow up thingys. We have Santa, we have holiday Homer Simpson, Snoopy, snowmen, globes, etc. And we usually find 3 or 4 together in a yard. It makes no sense, just use one. Why do you feel the need to tacky up your yard anymore than you did by just using one of the “blow-ups”. 2nd, the use of all the movable light up decorations. Now a few are good, but when you take every one you can find and fill your yard its downright tackiness. With a couple it’s pretty, with 10 or more it’s dreadful!!! You go by and almost get into accidents because your trying so hard to get your eye on each of the decorations. It’s just an eyesore, calm it down. Last, but not least, the random hanging of lights in your picture windows, trees outside, places there should not be lights hung in no pattern looks like Helen Keller put them up; just saying. Please stop, it makes no sense at all people. Plus, it is just ugly and makes people think you maybe a touch crazy!!! So, please people lets try for pretty xmas decorations....not ridiculous!!

D A B

Paula’s back on television!!! I am glad for her in a way. It’s in a reality show based on her actual genre, dance, called “LIVE TO DANCE”. I checked it out, it’s not too bad. It is reminiscent of “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE” and “MTV DANCE CREW”. So, the show is really not bringing freshness to the dance genre, just Paula. And boy, she hasn’t changed. She’s just as quirky, slurry, and “drunk” as usual. That’s the best part about it!! The show does not

showcase any other big names, so it’s kinda a snoozefest. But, the big test is to see whether it will succeed when it’s put up agaisnt her old show “AMERICAN IDOL”??? People are going to want to tune into “IDOL” i think because of the new judges, J-Lo and Steven Tyler. I believe people want to see their reactions to the up and coming newbies. I mean we missed Paula’s quirkiness last year, but then at the end forgot about her kinda. Well, let us know what you think. Send us your thoughts on this topic....”AMERICAN IDOL” or “LIVE TO DANCE”!!! Which one will you tune in to see!!!! “V” is back for all you sci-fi geeks out there!! I absolutely love it. Ok, last season was just a teaser. Just letting us know the characters. But now, it’s coming at us full bore and i cannot wait to see what’s to come!! There’s already been bloodshed, sex, and alot of relevations in just the 1st episode!! And the addition of Jane Badler from the original 80’s “V” is terrific. Check it out!! Ok Ok....let’s be serious people....WHAT IS THIS AWFUL PAJAMA PANTS CRAZE????? Omg it’s terrible and not a fashion statement. The only thing it looks like is that you couldn’t be bothered to get dressed after you rolled outta bed. And the stupid designs on them just make me take a double take and make me wish i couldn’t see!!! Please stop it, enuff already!!!!!! Well, those thoughts are just my thoughts, please do not take these things to heart....except the pajama pants!!! Remember, be kind to everyone and hopefully they will be kind back. Ok, well chat with you next article, cya soon....love nikki


. . . s l l e S x Sebut is it worth your health? The American Social Health Association estimates that there are at least 15 million new cases of STD’s every year. Half of the new HIV infections in the U.S. occur in people between the ages of 13-24. A condom has to fit properly. Because they come in all different shapes and sizes, it is worth trying out a few brands to see which are the most comfortable for you. Though most standard sized condoms fit most penises, some guys just won’t find these as comfortable. Using a snugger fit or larger size condom can enhance comfort and sensation. So can lube! It is a good idea to put a drop of water-based lubricant in the tip of the condom. This can reduce uncomfortable friction. Some people who think condoms are uncomfortable may actually be having a reaction to the condoms itself. Spermicide and an allergy to latex can irritate the skin, causing pain and discomfort. Consider spermicide-free condoms and use non-allergenic plastic (polyurethane) condoms.

Here are some guidelines to remember:

First and foremost… RESPECT YOUR PARTNER! And expect the same in return!

Talk to your partner about diseases, drug use and sexual activity. Communication is the key to any meaningful or non-meaningful relationship… even a one-night stands begins with a hello!

PROTECT YOURSELF! Always practice safe sex – with or without TOYS!

Use your toys safely and correctly! They can be unhealthy and dangerous if used improperly.

Condoms aren’t just for the boys…In 2003 the CDC reported that a case of female-to-female HIV transmission was likely to have occurred through sharing sex toys! Safe sex for women includes the use of what is commonly known as a ‘dental dam.’ These days, a few companies produce dams that are specifically for sex. The Sheer Glyde Dam, according to their website, is the only, "latex dam cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for protection against STDs for oral / vaginal-oral / anal (rimming) sex." Though oral sex is a lower risk activity for STD's than are vaginal and anal sex, infections like herpes and even syphilis can easily be spread from mouth to genitals. Using a dam can definitely help reduce your risk!

Asking someone to use a condom or dental dam does NOT mean you think they have an STD, so you shouldn’t consider this a RUDE request.

For more safe sex information, visit the CDC at http://cdc.gov or Planned Parenthood at www.connextionsmagazine.com www.plannedparenthood.org

37


o t y e m n o r d u e o e r J e F th r e n n I I

n 2010, at age 37, Darragh accepts and admits openly that he is gay. Finding the courage to ‘come out’ as a gay man, takes the support of special people. The first encounter with my best friend was a heartfelt, non-judgemental, two hour conversation with her (then a complete stranger), while she sat in the back of my taxi cab in 2009. From that night, our journey as friends began as did my personal journey to inner freedom.

www.thesingingtaxidriver.com

I have had many relationships with women and while I do love women, I always knew something wasn’t right. I could never connect with a women, on that most intimate level. I loved to the best of my ability at the time. I tried to be straight. For my Mom, my family, and my friends...my fear of rejection was strong. The final step in letting go and accepting myself as a gay man, came through music. It was during the recording of a song I had written about someone else, “Who Am I?” I realized that the time had finally come, when I had to stop running. I am gay. The whole idea of “coming out” was not something I had given any thought about, but I also knew I could no longer bury that which I had now embraced. The realization and acceptance that I am gay is one thing, but telling others is a whole different ball game. Obviously, the first phone call made was to my best friend, who was, of course, excited and supportive. And much to my surprise, as

I shared my big news with other friends and family, I heard comments such as “it’s about time” and “we’ve been waiting to hear this since High School.” The weeks have now passed by and I am still amazed at the freedom I feel. My message is simple: Be proud of who you are and walk tall.

Darragh McGann comes from Ireland where he has built up a reputation and career as an Irish Lyrical Baritone and Singing Taxi Driver. In 1995, Darragh was hired to be a Stand-in and Screen Double for Hollywood Legend Marlon Brando on a movie filmed in Ireland. Darragh has been heard on radio interviews, held concert performances and has had apprearances on television, both in Ireland and in America.


“Do you know how to use your

? ’ d o o G r o ay f

‘G

p i r t a n wi

Do you want to

to the Philippines?

For the first time,

the United States will be sending a representative to compete in the annual celebration of human rights at the 3rd annual Mr. Gay World competition in Manila, Philippines. Who is Mr. Gay World USA? He has an inner and outer beauty, self assurance, charisma and natural leadership. But most of all he will represent the American gay community and the fight for equality. Check out the Facebook page for details on how to enter.

www.facebook.com/mrgayworldusa www.connextionsmagazine.com

39


Gunnar 1998-2008

? Justice 1996-2006

As I stood that fateful day, every ounce of my heart was screaming on the inside, “NO!” My muscles were tight, the lump in my throat was large enough to cut off my airway, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Who am I to be so selfish to make a loved one suffer in pain so that I may embrace a few more precious moments?

Hoover Dam itself ruptured. For the last ten years what so many may call just a pet, was one of the deepest connections I ever had in my life. I held him in the palm of my hand when he first arrived. Later, I cleaned up many accidents, and paid for some damages, and not to mention the amount of vet bills over the years. No, his name was not Marley, but we have all had our fair share of ups and downs with our pets.

As all these things coursed like barbed wire through my head, he sat on the table, only to turn his head and look at me softly, saying with his eyes, “it is time.” In a mere blink his entire body fell into my arms and chest, lifeless. The weight of him barreled right through me to the pit of my stomach and I knew then, he was gone.

No matter how many times I felt overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for him, or getting up in the middle of the night because someone had to go pee-pee, the rewards far out-weighed everything. Greeted every single time I entered a room, by my side everywhere, snuggled naps on the couch or bed, car rides to get ice cream, to him, every moment was an exciting adventure when he was with me.

My knees buckled, my body went limp and the tears flowed as if the

Simba 1996-2001

Tom with Harley


Ebony

As the time passes, I often ask myself if I had done enough? What could I have done differently to improve his life while he was with me? According to the book “Coping with the death of your pet�, offered by the Humane Society, these feelings are a normal part of the grieving process. It has taken many tears for me to accept that I did the right thing, and his absence has left an empty hole in my life.

y k c u L

Although the hole never closes, I find myself dropping little tidbits of love in there every time I pet, play with or interact with other pets I meet. I wonder if the owner knows just how lucky they really are?

Risa 1996-2010

www.connextionsmagazine.com

41


website

Just Posh Masks www.justposhmasks.com Masquerade party anyone? Elegant, classy, intriguing & fun! Venetian, carnival, wedding, ornamental, leathered, feathered, or traditional… they’ve got a mask for EVERY OCCASION! These gorgeous masks are ready to ship and the website even has a currency converter for convenience! A “must see” site!

Eat. Party. Shop. Tastefully Simple®, the nation’s original home taste-testing company, offers a wide variety of easy-to-prepare foods that you and your friends can taste before you buy. Contact me for information on … • Hosting a Party • Placing an Order • Ordering Personal and Business Gifts • Arranging a Tastefully Simple Fundraiser • Our Business Opportunity

I look forward to hearing from you!

Linda Rodman - Senior Consultant 315.668.1011

© 2010 Tastefully Simple, Inc.

Linneelou@yahoo.com www.tastefullysimple.com/web/lrodman


highlights

Rainbow Resources of NH, Inc.

has been, without a doubt, the best resource for GLBT organizations, businesses and allies in the state of New Hampshire! Kudos to Mandy Vernalia, who is soon to retire, and other committed volunteers for your service to our community! Downloadable and free at www.rainbowresources-nh.org

www.queergifts.com

Find romantic gifts, family gifts, funny gifts‌clothing, greeting cards, tote bags, posters, movies, books, and art! Very descriptive information on your purchase, including how the sweatshirt fits (not too tight, not too loose) and a fabric thickness chart! Queer Gifts was made in Association with Cafepress. www.connextionsmagazine.com 43 Photos Courtesy: Just Posh Masks


NON-PROFIT/SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS PFLAG New Hampshire PO Box 957 Concord, NH 03301 www.pflagnh.org

Directory

Alcoholics Anonymous NH Area Assembly 1330 Hooksett Road Hooksett NH 03106 603.622.6967 p www.nhaa.net Channing ARTS The Dr. Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts 101 First Street #555 Los Altos, CA 94022 www.ChanningArts.org GayOutdoors.org Events/trips www.gayoutdoors.org GLSEN The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, SW NH Chapter PO Box 25 Temple NH 03084 www.glsen.org/southwestnh

Human Rights Campaign Civil Rights for LGBT 1640 Rhode Island Avenue Washington DC, DC 20036 www.hrc.org hrc@hrc.org 202.216.1500 New Hampshire Stonewall Democrats info@nhstonewall.org www.nhstonewall.org North East Transwomen’s Alliance 156 Cabot Street Beverly MA 01915 www.NETranswomensalliance.org NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce Rev Carmen Hernandez www.nyclgbtcc.com Pink Pistols Manchester, NH Pick on someone your own caliber. www.newhampshirepinkpistols.org

Professional

GOAL NE Gay Officers Action League of New England PO Box 43 Derry, NH 03038 info@goalne.org http://goalne.org

Queer Studies Program 73 Main Street Durham NH 03820 www.unh.edu/queerstudies/ Seacoast Gay Men, Inc. PO Box 1394 Portsmouth NH 03802 www.seacoastgaymen.org Seacoast Sapphos Lesbian Events www.seacoastsapphos.org The Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force 12 Amherst Street Nashua, NH 03064 info@aidstaskforcenh.org www.aidstaskforcenh.org UNH Alliance for GLBTQA Students Memorial Union Bldg. room 7 Durham NH 03824 theunhalliance@gmail.com www.unh.edu/omsa/alliance/index.html UNH Safe Zones Campaign 83 Main Street Durham NH 03824 www.unh.edu/safezones/

BOOKSTORES/RETAIL Giovanni’s Room 345 South 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.923.0813 www.queerbooks.com

FINANCIAL Phan Financial Capital Management Paul D. Phan, Investment Advisor Syracuse, NY paul@phanfinancial.com


COUNSELING/THERAPY

Beth Therriault Photography 603.714.4842 www.bethtphotos.com

Lee M. Faver, PhD, ABPP 25 Carriage Lane Westmoreland/Keene, NH 03467 603.852.8238 p www.leemfaver.com

NYC-JC Luxury Hotel Alternative 70 Greene Street Jersey City, NJ 07302 646.662.2797 www.nyc-jc.com The Highlands Inn 240 Valley View Lane Bethlehem, NH 03574 603.869.3978 www.highlandsinn-nh.com

NIGHT CLUBS Club 313 Manchester, NH www.club313.net The Breezeway Pub 14 Pearl Street Manchester, NH www.thebreezeway.net The Element Lounge 1055 Elm Street Manchester, NH www.elementlounge.net

Directory

Ale House Inn 121 Bow Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 www.alehouseinn.com

GayNH.com Events/Groups/News http://gaynh.com Rainbow Resources of NH, Inc., 26 S. Main Street, Box 181, Concord, NH 03301 www.rainbowresources-nh.org SASS Magazine FOR GIRLS WHO LOVE GIRLS www.sassmagazine.org

For more nightclubs and event info, click www.clubplanet.com and http://gaycities.com or www.gaynh.com

PHOTOGRAPHERS Stuart Gallagher Photography Online prints for sale www.stugallagherphotography.com

PUBLICATIONS/DIRECTORIES/ RESOURCES

Applaud Magazine PO Box 578 Raymond, NH 03077 www.applaudonline.com

Professional

LODGING

Jack Sanders www.sxc.hu

Unexpected Media Group, LLC www.exploretheunexpected.com

TRAVEL/OTHER

Gay Napa Getaways Charles Kimball, Owner www.GayNapaGetaways.com Mr. Gay World USA www.facebook.com/mrgayworldusa Outryders New England’s GLBT Ski & Snowboard Club www.outryders.org Reel North, LLC NH Registered Fly Fishing Guide PO Box 2594 North Conway NH 03860 reelnorth@gmail.com Vanessa Sheridan Business Consultant/National Speaker/Writer www.vanessasheridan.com

www.connextionsmagazine.com

45


Next...

lets connect in Vermont


We are the voice & bridge of LGBT business in the NYC Area. As the first gay/lesbian Chamber of Commerce in NYC, we are here to assist businesses obtain SBA Certification. NY State Certification and loan processes.

NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce Rev Carmen Hernandez is the CEO/Founder/Outreach/Pastor at Stratford Community Services, Inc. As an activist in the Soundview section of the Bronx for the past 25 years, Rev. Carmen Hernandez has helped empower at risk inner city kids. The Rev has proved to be a vital part of the South East Bronx community.

Contact Rev. Carmen Hernandez President/Founder (646) 401.7918 Email: nyclgbtchamber@msn.com Website: www.nyclgbtcc.com

The NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce Inc. is a not-for profit 501 (c) (6) whose purpose is to assist and facilitate in economic development opportunities for LGBT and minority businesses.

www.connextionsmagazine.com

47



Connextions Magazine - Issue 2 - NH