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Table of Contents Captain’s Log

My How You Have Grown Spokane

POWER UP in 2014

On the 12th Day of Christmas

Artist Spotlight: D.L. Polonsky

Accountability and Accessibility Within the GLBT Community


Cazwell Hearts HimSelfie

Way Back When

Livin’ in the 509

My Own Private Spokane

Jason Dottley’s Return to Love Story

Getting the Monsters Out of the Closet

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It is a new year and Proud Times has a new look! We begin the new year with renewed hope and aspirations. This is a time to reflect on our lives and resolve to make changes which improve our quality of life. Many commit to losing weight, getting fit or quit smoking. These are just a few possibilities which would be personally beneficial. Looking at the bigger picture, we can take this opportunity to evaluate our roles in the grander scheme. What role do we play in our community? How can we improve not only our lives, but the lives of others? Will the coming year be one to remember, or another which we simply survived? In keeping with our new logo, we are expanding our frame of mind and consequently yours as well. You will find articles that are designed to enlighten, empower and entertain. Providing unique perspectives and lesserknown information, we encourage you to increase your understanding and acceptance of others who don’t live within the confines of norms. By opening our hearts and minds, we have many more opportunities to create a society in which we can live in harmony. We can shift our paradigm to be more inclusive and we can anticipate a more unified Out & Proud Community. In this issue you will find examples of inspiration, creativity, commitment, humor and introspection. It delights us to provide offerings from returning contributors J’son M. Lee, Blaine Stum, Sidney Andrews and Jerry Rabushka.

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We are also pleased to include submissions from Michelle Cuttino, David Luhrs, Joshua Skye and Mick Sandoval, as well as local residents Mark Byrd and Kimberly Winchester. As usual, the invaluable contributions from Managing Editor Kurt Schmierer have resulted in another impressive issue. I am extremely grateful for his talents and hope you are, too. In the coming year, we aspire to broaden our scope to include a wider variety of subjects. While we have made efforts to be well-rounded, we are increasing our resolve to publish pieces by, for and about our lesbian population. Having successfully included articles pertaining to other portions of the Out & Proud Community, we will continue striving to be inclusive. In order to accomplish this, we require participation from individuals that are willing and able to provide material to meet these goals. We hope you will join us. Together, we can make our world a better place.

Dean Ellerbusch Proud Times Executive Editor

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My How You

Have Grown

Spokane By Blaine Stum

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It is not often that you see the City of Spokane get attention from a nationally published LGBT lifestyle magazine. And by not often, I mean never before in the history of the City of Spokane or the history of LGBT magazines. But that is precisely what happened when The Advocate recently published an admittedly tongue-in-cheek list ranking the “Gayest Cities in America.” When people think “Gays in Washington,” they think “Seattle.” Seattle has been a trailblazing city for LGBT rights, so it is understandable that it would come to mind first. But as I reflect on my time in Spokane (which happens to be my life thus far), I have to say that this city has started to shine even brighter than before.

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who frequented chic clubs, soaking in the culture and feeling part of something bigger. It was everything I felt I could not have here.

Growing up, the words “gay” and “lesbian” were rarely said around these parts—at least not in a positive light. I remember the churches I attended, and the way they talked about us in such disdainful tones. We were sinners. We could not be redeemed. It seemed as if it would be better to tell the congregation that you were addicted to crack than to speak the simple words, “I am gay.” I can remember not knowing that there was such a thing as an LGBT Community. I can honestly say that I did not even meet an out gay man or lesbian woman until high school (it would be even longer until I met an out Trans* person). Seeing how horribly they were treated by their peers made me less inclined to ever want to come out. I can even remember that we had an openly homophobic County Coroner and a Chief of Police who lobbied against anti-discrimination protections for our community. That was when our community began to come out, but those of us who were too young to notice (or too afraid to join in) did not feel at home. Being smack dab in the middle of a giant swath of conservative red usually meant that you either hid in the closet or left for greener pastures in the gay Meccas of Seattle, San Francisco or New York. Like so many before me, I dreamed every day of moving away to places like that too—seeing all the god-like gay men

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In the intervening years, I have come to realize that this city has more to offer than I could have believed in those days. That is not to say my experience has been all sunshine and lily fields. I have seen friends get bashed; they still carry with them the physical and mental scars of the hate they faced. Our Community still fears that this could happen at any given moment, knowing bigots and haters lurk in these parts. I have been harassed and threatened by bar denizens and street kids who have thrown beer bottles at me, shouted slurs and threatened my safety--forcing me to check over my shoulder and walk faster as I looked for a safe haven. I know there are certain areas where I should avoid holding another man’s hand, or show the slightest whiff of affection to a boyfriend. Everyone in our Community knows people who have been kicked out of their houses, disowned by their parents, and have had to face horrible prospects to survive. This is the story of the LGBT community not just here, but everywhere.

My experience has also seen many positives. I have been accepted with open arms into a resilient Community who, in the face of discrimination and terror, offer each other comfort and strength. I have had co-workers stick up for me and treat me as equally as anyone. I have worked for bosses who stuck up for me and helped me feel at home. I have made friends with some of the most fabulous people I could ever hope to meet. Our city has become home to an event like Pride, which grew from a sidewalk march to a full-blown festival that sees thousands of people come downtown for the festivities. Gay-Straight Alliances have sprouted up at schools I never would have believed could

be gay friendly. Spokane—my city—helped pass Referendum 74. In short, I have watched this city change before my very eyes.

I often defend Spokane—not because I believe the city is perfect or the LGBT community here is the best it can be, but because I believe this city has a lot to offer to all of us. My experience, as rocky as it has been at times, has proven to me that this can be a city of choice.

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POWER UP in 2014 By Sidney Andrews

An automobile is an empty shell and not worth the tires it rides on without a driver who gives it purpose and meaning. The car will sit in the driveway for days, or even years, waiting for someone to start it up and give it life. It can be equipped to the hilt. But, if no one drives it or utilizes its options, it is worthless to its owner. You and I are the magic that ignites the spark that in turn sets the wheels in motion. You and I could never realize its capabilities or hidden potential unless we study the manual, familiarize ourselves with its operational components and learn to activate the starter mechanism. Only then can we appreciate what that vehicle can do for us. Only then can we value its worth. And only then are we free of the limitations suffered when it sat idle in the driveway.

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We are destined to be power in motion! We are not just a body or an empty shell without a purpose. We are all magnificently made human beings programmed for success. There is nothing you and I can’t achieve or overcome. Unlike the automobile, the motivating or moving force in your life isn’t dependent on external influences—it comes from within. We are unconquerable spirits, clothed in flesh and here to experience the journey of a lifetime. It is this indwelling spirit that contains all the hidden potential and optional equipment you and I will ever need on our journey to living our authentic and best life. You and I have far more value than any label assigned to us. Our spirit is an intangible, invisible force or energy. It sustains our physical body with its breath of life. The spirit cannot deny the manifestation of itself in us, though we may deny spirit. We are GLBTQ—and no more than we can we deny our heritage, should we deny that which gives us life. We are much like untapped oil wells that lay far beneath the recesses of the earth, waiting to be discovered so that it might release its potential thrust of energy and riches. Just as massive drills push downward into the depths of the earth to open up and unleash that energy and power, you and I must reach deep to access our untapped potential, so that we may gain the rewards of living a proud and amazing life.

Self-exploration is the beginning of selfdiscovery. Self-discovery is the path to selfmastery and recovery from the negative influences that have kept your own riches hidden from you. I can’t remind you enough that you and I are equipped for the journey into self! All the tools needed were given to us at birth. We lack nothing but the willingness to begin the journey. In my course of study and personal experiences, I have discovered that our physical environment not only reflects, but parallels our spiritual essence. It can be seen in the course of living every day. For example, when we send our kids off to school, we make sure they have their books, completed homework, lunch money, pens, paper and whatever else they need in class. Not to do so would leave them ill-equipped to meet their day. Though we came equipped spiritually, we lost focus and became caught up in the visual aspects of life—believing all we have been told from the day we were born. We haven’t taken the time to listen to the call of our own inner spirit which is the spiritual essence that is our true, authentic self—waiting to be unwrapped to fulfill its desire for a proud, rich and fearless lifestyle.

accomplish it for ourselves and each other. You and I can be that spark that lights a fire under truth, for there is nothing more powerful than being exactly who you are. We have a responsibility, as well as an opportunity, to make a difference in our humanity just by “being.” These are indeed Proud Times! Questions, comments, curiosities? Email me at:

I suggest that this indelible spirit, without which you or I could not exist, is the primary moving force that allows for our existence. Just as your clothing is the covering and protection of the body against the elements, so too is your body the covering and vehicle that allows spirit to experience itself as a human being. The body is necessary to your spirit as a means to move you through life, just as your car is necessary to your need to travel from one place to another. We GLBTQ brothers and sisters are here to be representatives of what proud times looks like. Together we can do this! We can

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“What is it?” I asked, not used to the waterworks from my best friend— especially since Raymond was the alpha-male and tears were a no-no in his book. “Do you love me?” he asked. “Of course, I do,” I said, wiping more of his tears and fighting back a few of my own. “What’s wrong, Ray?”

by Michell

e Cuttino

Sitting in the living room in my red and green Christmas sweater, untangling last year’s lights and prepping all the other trimmings for our annual tree decorating night, Raymond sat beside me and grabbed both my hands. I looked up and saw a tear right behind his gaze, fighting to stay put and not flow down his cheek. He lost that battle and I quickly dropped the lights I was holding and squeezed his hands tightly.

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“I’ve been struggling with something I want to share with you for some time now, but I’m not sure how you’re going to take it. I’m not sure if you’ll still want to be my BFF.” We went back and forth as I professed my loyalty and let him know that there was nothing in this world he could say that would make me change the way I felt about him. We’ve gotten together on the twelfth day of Christmas for over ten years now and decorated a different part of the house, commencing with the tree and ending with the dinner table on Christmas Eve. That was a ritual I didn’t take lightly and I wasn’t willing to give up on it or him. I watched as he opened and closed his mouth several times. He dropped my hands and began running his palms across his face. I sat back a little and let him have his moment. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but by his actions I gauged

it was super important. He fidgeted, exhaled, grabbed my hands once again and looked me square in the eyes.

his life. Male friends abandoned him as well, scared they would be labeled and their sexuality called into question.

“I’m gay.”

His pastor offered to exorcise his demons, and the parishioners shunned him. They were quick to quote scripture supporting their claims that his lifestyle was an abomination, but forgetting the most important scripture of all, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven..:”

He said it in a whisper. I barely made out the words, but waiting on the confession for so many years now, I knew exactly what he said. I should’ve been shocked, or at least feigned surprise, or let out a squeal—something. My silence infuriated him. He roughly dropped my hands and stood to walk away. I grabbed his arm and pulled him back down beside me. “Ray, I’m glad you finally trusted me enough with all of you. Thank you for that.” He caught me off guard with a hearty bear hug and a rough kiss flush on my lips. He moved back and relaxed his shoulders. I did the same, not even realizing that my demeanor was just as tense as his. We spent the next couple of minutes letting the news and my reaction sink in. I didn’t want to impose on his reverie, so I waited once again for him to speak. When he did, he blew my mind. I never imagined him being a frightened little boy who used to get picked on for being a “sissy.” He was forced to hit the library and the gym for his own security. The library because the jocks never picked up a book, let alone stepped into its sanctuary. The gym because he was tired of being bullied and realized he needed brawn to go with his brains if he were ever to survive high school. He told me about the mixed reactions from his family and so-called friends. His inner circle now consisted of his father (who was sure his homosexuality was just a passing phase), his grandmother (who has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know who he is anyway, so she could care less about who he chose to sleep with) and me. His mother and siblings weaned themselves out of

By the time I made it home that evening, I was spent—mentally and physically. Between trimming the tree and discussing Raymond’s different “coming out” experiences, I had run through a plethora of emotions. I didn’t think I had anything left until I read his text message and cried like a baby. Raymond had planned on ending his life that evening, but he didn’t want to die keeping a secret from me. My acceptance gave him the strength to go on, because now he had a true ally. He no longer had to pretend to be something or someone he wasn’t and felt blessed to have me in his life. My response was simply… “On the twelfth day of Christmas, my best friend said to me. I’m gay and I will love him for all eternity.” As a black, heterosexual woman, I completely understand and sympathize with the plight of homosexual males. For those who are openly gay, I commend you. For those who are fighting with the idea of “coming out”, I urge you to do so only when you’re ready. Your declaration should be on your terms, in your own way and to the ones you love and trust the most. I’m not saying you will be met with congratulatory gestures and open arms every single time, but you will definitely find a chosen few who will love and support you.

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Since Raymond’s revelation, I’ve had several other friends and family members “come out” to me. They were all struggling with their sexuality, just as many of you are. They were faced with abandonment, dissatisfaction, rejection and myriad other reactions. However, the process also allowed them to eliminate the toxic people in their lives and create space for those who genuinely love, respect and encourage them. As a gay rights supporter, I’ve seen that homosexuality does not equate to loneliness. You are not alone. Times are changing and there have been great strides made in the LGBT community. Where some may shun you, there are countless others who will embrace and nurture you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. I suggested Raymond read, “A Resource Guide To Coming Out”, and he said it was a great aid. I hope it helps you on your journey as well. The link to the Guide is: humanrightscampaign/docs/comingout_resourc eguide_042013/24?e=1357809/2227012 Michelle “Big Body” Cuttino was born and raised in Bronx, New York. She is an esteemed book reviewer and contributing writer for African Americans On The Move Book Club (AAMBC), Proud Times Magazine and Black Literature Magazine, and once optioned one of her screenplays with Flavor Unit Films, Inc. She currently heads Big Body Broadcasting, her BlogTalkRadio network that hosts her bi-monthly show, The Q-Spot with Big Body. Michelle will be releasing her debut Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel and eBook short story series under her Big Body Publishing imprint in summer 2014. Her contact info: Email: Website: Facebook: Twitter: @MichelleCuttino

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Artist Spotlight:

By Kurt Schmierer

D.L. Polonsky is an artist, author and filmmaker. Born on 3 November 1960, he grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and has lived in Allston since April of 2000. He has been immersed in the arts for most of his life, as both of his parents and younger brother are artists. He began drawing and painting at four years old. Published in 1992, D.L. wrote and illustrated the children’s book The Letter Bandits. With political cartoons on the editorial pages of dozens of major papers and magazines, 9 were seen in The Boston Globe from 1986-2000 and 80 in The Boston Herald from 2004-2010. He has exhibited artwork throughout Massachusetts at Art Bijoux Gallery in Brookline, Out of the Blue Gallery in Cambridge, J.B. Scoops in Newton, T. Anthony’s Restaurant in Brookline, Bagel Rising

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in Allston, Caffe Espresso Royale in Brookline, and dozens of other venues. Using the resources of public access TV stations, D.L. made several dozen short films. His autobiographical short film Blid won Most Innovative Video in the Country by a NonProfessional in the Hometown Video Contest, a national film contest. His interview with openly gay Congressman Barney Frank won the Best Program of the Year from NEW-TV in 1988. Some thoughts from the artist himself: I like to say that my artwork is halfway between cartooning and realism. I do a lot of elaborate cross-hatching in my black-and-white pen

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drawings, and I turn the paper when I draw because it somehow makes all the shapes and the cross-hatching look fresher and have a certain energy. I don’t think you always have to start out inspired when you draw. If you just force yourself at the beginning it can happen during the process. Or you don’t have to feel inspired at all if you’re good at making the drawing or painting look like you were. But generally I start to enjoy the process at some point. I like to either get my work published in a paper or online magazine or newspaper or just do it for myself. But I generally don’t like to do assigned work of, say, the person who hired me or a member of their family if it’s just going to hang on a wall of their house. Generally, people are very particular about the subject looking exactly how they see them or want to see them in their mind, naturally. And, to be honest, it requires

where you can see the texture of the canvas/ pencil/paint. And, if you try to get work and send samples to a magazine art editor or museum curator by email attachment, it generally doesn’t have as much impact as sending hard-copy samples through snail mail. But that’s obviously the world we live in and it’s better than not having it seen in any form—which these days is usually the only other choice. I’ve also worked a lot in video making short films with the resources and help of public access stations. But because of my financial situation, it’s impossible now to pay a crew or actors what they should get paid. So, I’m going back to drawing and writing for now. I think the intent and meaning of an artist’s work is almost always misunderstood or misinterpreted. But that’s to be expected, because almost anything humans do or say or produce is usually misunderstood or misinterpreted by most people. To think that an artist and a viewer, or even two viewers, would look at one painting and both come to the same conclusions would be arrogant and naive. Based on your images, do you consider yourself an activist or more of an expressionist? I like to say that my artwork is generally halfway between cartooning and realism. I guess my activists beliefs come out in the themes and style of my artwork.

extra work and revisions that aren’t worth what they usually pay.

Do your views about the Out & Proud Community influence your art and films?

I think the ubiquity of digital technology is generally not a good thing for the world of the visual arts, because drawings and paintings on your computer screen usually don’t have as much impact as seeing the original work in front of you on a gallery wall or in your hands

I’m sure it does. I’ve heard a few artists— especially movie actors when asked about their sexual orientation—say “it’s not relevant” or “it has nothing to do with what I do.” But I think that’s a cop-out, because sexuality has something to do with everything people do and

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think and create—especially what they create. They probably have another problem being open about it and are using the idea that it’s not relevant as an excuse. I’m against some of the political correctness of the current gay culture—like the term “LGBT”. I find it slightly absurd that every time you mention “gay”, you now have to also include the initial for “transgender”. I have absolutely no problem with people being transgendered, but the instance of someone changing their sex is obviously much, much more rare than someone being gay. And many transgendered people weren’t and aren’t gay. So, it doesn’t need to be included in every mention of being gay—as if gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered are all one type of person.

agree with publications, online or not, that have a liberal point of view. It bothers me that so much print media is dying out due to the insane ubiquity of the internet. I think art generally doesn’t have as much of an impact when seeing it on a computer screen, rather than seeing the original on paper or canvas with all the textures of the surface and the paint/ink/pencil. But that’s the world we live in now. It’s no better or worse than a slideshow I suppose. To see more of Mr. Polonsky’s work, explore his websites:

Are you open about your own sexuality? Since about 1982, when I was 22. I find there’s more of a social stigma these days with my so-called mental illness Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but I’m fairly open about that too (obviously). Do you have family support about your sexuality? Yes. My parents are both very old—in their eighties. But they’re both artists and, like a lot of artists, they’re fairly progressive and open-minded about sexuality. I don’t think my two brothers have a problem with it either.

Proud Times readers are being introduced to your talents. What influenced your decision to share your artwork with us? I like to get my work out to as many people as possible and I generally

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Accountability & Accessibility Within the GLBT Community By Mark Byrd

When moving to Spokane 4 years ago, I was informed that the community was small, intimate, and very down-to-earth. I was excited to be part of the Deaf GayLesbian community of Spokane. For the most part, the transition from Seattle has been easy. Unfortunately, dealing with the Hearing Gay-Lesbian community is a different story. Page 24 | | January 2014

Some gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals are Deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as a means of communication with the hearing world. (I use the big ‘D’ for ‘deaf’ to signify respect for the Deaf culture, language and norms.) I have partial hearing, wear hearing aids, and can speak so the hearing world can understand me. However, it is a different story understanding what the hearing world is saying to me. You see, it is difficult to lip read. (Stand in front of the mirror and say “I love you” and “island view.” Can you differentiate between the two? I can’t!) Attending my first Gay Pride in Spokane, I was really excited to check out the local scene and organizations that make up our community. At the main stage in Riverfront Park, I watched the performances and speeches. Yet, something was missing. Where was the ASL interpreter? At Gay Pride parades and rallies I have attended across this country, ASL interpreters were provided. I was shocked, stunned, humiliated and embarrassed that Spokane didn’t provide an interpreter. Cutting my visit short, I went home and fumed. I emailed the local organization that sponsored the Gay Pride parade and festival, asking about the lack of ASL interpreters. Expecting to get a response along the lines of “we didn’t know who to contact” or “paying for an interpreter is expensive,” I also provided information on quality interpreters and suggested negotiating a reasonable but fair rate. The following year I returned to Gay Pride and there were interpreters at the main stage. My first thought was, “awesome!” But, that was short-lived. The “interpreters” were student interpreters from the local community college. Unable to translate properly, they interpreted only 25% of what was being said. This is demeaning to those who rely on ASL and conveys that we are not worthy to be members of the GLBT community. The message that the organization sent to the Deaf GLBT community

was, “here is your interpreter, quit your bitchin’.” As a Deaf person, I found this to be tacky, tasteless, and offensive. After sending another email, the Pride festival organizers placed a bona fide ASL interpreter at the event. Unfortunately, the organization didn’t pay them a fair wage. I learned from the interpreter that they were tight with money and expected interpreters to volunteer their time to the cause. That attitude demeans the profession of interpreters and the Deaf community. It conveys to Deaf GLBT individuals that they are not worthy of the expense to provide 100% accessibility to communication. I have also had first-hand experience with other events ignoring the Deaf GLBT community. This past summer, Gay Camp came to Spokane’s Interplayers Theatre before going on to Seattle. I was excited to see it, as many of my friends in other cities recommended I go. After researching the dates, times and cost, I decided that I wanted to go. But, one issue was in the way. Was it interpreted? Unable to find an email address, I asked this question on the organization’s Facebook page. My question on Facebook got deleted. I wanted to attend the Spokane GLBT Film Festival. I asked about which movies would be captioned and which were not. The response to my question was “deafening.” Even though several community members responded to my questions on Facebook, I have yet to receive an answer from the organization itself—nothing, nada, zip.

I am left wondering why the Spokane GLBT community is asking for full accessibility and acceptance into the mainstream society, when they can’t even provide for their own?

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PUT A RING ON IT By J’son M. Lee

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September 1996. The law forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently struck down “Section Three,” which

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prevented the federal government from recognizing any marriages between gay or lesbian couples for the purpose of federal laws or programs, even if those couples are considered legally married in their home state.

The challenge to DOMA was brought by Edith Windsor, who was married to Thea Spyer in Canada in 2007 and lived in New York (where their marriage was recognized). When Spyer died in 2009, the feds forced Windsor to pay $363,000 in taxes on her late wife’s estate. If federal law had recognized the validity of their marriage, Windsor would have qualified for an unlimited spousal deduction and paid no federal estate taxes. Currently, 18 states recognize marriage equality—California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. The ruling on DOMA will have major effects on families as it relates to military family benefits, social security benefits, multiple areas of tax categories, hospital visitation rights, and healthcare benefits. These are just a few of the myriad marital benefits that were denied to families because of DOMA, but will now be granted to same-sex couples in legal marriages.

their marriage and the impact these complicated rulings would have on their future. Mark and Edwin, thank you for taking the time to speak with Proud Times. First of all, congratulations on your nuptials! Tell our readers a little about yourselves. Edwin: Thank you very much. Well, I am relativity new to the [Washngton, D.C.] area. I moved here for my career, by way of El Paso, Texas. I am originally from Arkansas. I served in the military for a total of fourteen years. I am just a good old southern boy. Mark: I am a native of Houston, Texas. I came here in 1998 to attend Howard University. After I graduated, I stayed in the area to start my career. We both work for the federal government; he is a government contractor and I am a civilian.

Mark Williams and Edwin Greer are ecstatic about these rulings. Like countless others, they longed for the day when they could be married and enjoy the full benefits of that partnership. On November 23, 2013, their dream became a reality. Surrounded by a few close family members and friends, the couple said “I do” in a private ceremony at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, a world-class, four diamond hotel located on the banks of the Potomac River near Washington, DC. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the newly married couple to talk about

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Where did the two of you meet? Who popped the big question? Mark: We are part of the growing trend of people that met online. Edwin: We were out to dinner and with two other couples—one married as well. The other couple was engaged. They also met on the same website. There was really no popping of the question. We both knew we would get married, accepted it, and went with the flow. Mark: There was no [grandiose], romantic spectacle. After our first date we just knew. The main discussion was how it would happen. He wanted a big ceremony, and I was satisfied with going to the justice of the peace. Our intimate ceremony at the Gaylord National Harbor was perfect. The staff at the Gaylord was beyond accommodating. That helped make our day even more memorable. Edwin: He knew on the first date; it took me until the next date to know. Mark (laughing): Whatever! He knew he wanted all of this. Was it difficult making the transition to calling each other “husband”? Mark: It was an easy transition. Since we had a fairly short courtship, our marriage was a matter of “when” not “if.” I think we can say it was truly love at first sight. It always felt like we were in a marriage; the ceremony was the outward expression of what we felt. Edwin: I still stumble with saying “husband” when I talk to co-workers. I will lead with “spouse” first, and then when they ask me about my “wife,” I correct them and say “husband.” I have no problem calling Mark “husband” all the time. But truth be told, he calls me “husband”

more. I think he does that because I am older and he is afraid my memory is not so good. So, he feels the need to constantly remind me so I don’t forget (laughing). Were your friends and family supportive of your marriage? Did you encounter people who were less than enthusiastic about it? What do you say to those people out there who are against same–sex marriage? Edwin: For the most part, my friends and family were very supportive of our marriage, but you know there will always be detractors. My mother, step-mother, brothers, and sisters are all very happy for me, so those who aren’t don’t really matter. I did have one family member who went straight Old Testament on me when I announced we were dating, and subsequently went into high gear when we announced our engagement. Like Sweet Brown said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” So I just made a point not to allow that negativity to come into our relationship. And for those who are against same-sex marriage, I understand where they are coming from. You have to understand and respect people and their opinions—even if it is not your own—and just hope they become enlightened. Our marriage does not make their relationship any less valid. And for those people who scream at the top of their lungs about the sanctity of marriage, I refer them to reality television shows where the prize is a marriage proposal. Their argument is quickly muted. Mark: For me, I think more people were surprised that I would ever get married. I’m naturally an introvert, so to actually meet a guy that I love to be around all the time was a major accomplishment. To actually go through with a ceremony was like winning the lottery. The amount of words I have written about people who oppose homosexuality and same-sex marriage is endless. I will just say this—God

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created us perfectly imperfect. He created us in His image. In the eyes of the federal government, marriage has nothing to do with religion or children; it is a business/social contract between two people. I’ve talked to people about gay marriage, and one question invariably comes up. Do gay people change their names when they get married? I always respond that I think it’s a personal decision. Did either of you change your name? If so, what is your married name? Mark: HELL NO! Some of the couples we know have changed their names, but I think our marriage is built on the fact that we are individuals who have chosen to make a commitment to each other. Edwin (laughing): I have friends that took their spouse’s name. I have seen others who hyphenated the two names. We decided to keep our own names. To quote Ike Turner, Sr. in What’s Love Got To Do With It, “The name is mine. The name got my daddy’s blood on it. If [he] wanna go, [he] can go wherever [he] wanna go, but the name stays home!” When we decide to have children, the children will have both of our names. Mark: As you can tell, my husband is a comedian. We want our kids to have a name that connects us all, so we will give them both of our names. That way they are forever attached to both of us. We hear this talk of benefits being extended to legally married, samesex couples. What are some of those benefits?

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Mark: Since I work for the federal government, Ed can receive all the benefits I receive. In the eyes of the federal government, he is considered my spouse and beneficiary. Edwin: And with my veteran status, Mark will have access to my VA benefits. This is all very new to me. I read that legally married, same-sex couples will now be allowed to file federal joint tax returns. The ruling allows couples to receive the same tax benefits that heterosexual couples do when filing jointly. Are you finding that there is clear, coherent tax filing guidance for you? If so, where did you go for this information? Mark: We will have to get back to you on that one. We haven’t been married over a tax season yet. Edwin (laughing): Yeah, what my husband said. Let’s take a break from all the heavy, legal stuff and talk about something light. Let’s talk about those kids you alluded to earlier. Mark: We are thinking about it. We have been thinking about adoption, but we want to give our marriage some time to settle before we start that process. It’s important for us to give us some time to be young and free (less so on the young part for him) since we will be older when they leave our house. Edwin: We have talked about adopting children from the foster care system. I have always wanted to be a father, but never wanted to raise a child (or children) on my own. I know that Mark will be a great father, and I look forward to that day.

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Lastly, what advice do you have for other same-sex couples contemplating marriage?

the fact that I really, really love my husband. Being in love with the person, and not the person you want them to be, is really important.

Mark: Use your heart and head when deciding if marriage is the next phase of your relationship. Marriage is more than love—it’s a social, emotional, and financial obligation between two individuals.

Mark and Edwin, thank you so much for your candor during this interview. You answered a lot of the questions we all have wanted to ask. Also, thank you for your offer to get back to us on some of the issues. We’ll take you up on that! This article is just one of many to come on this topic, as we will likely have more questions and updates as our fight for marriage equality continues. I hope we can count on you guys to help us navigate these waters. What better resources than those who have already put a ring on it?

Edwin: Don’t do it! Run! Seriously, if you find that person who you know is the perfect mate for you, don’t waste your time trying to talk yourself out of getting married. Make sure you are really ready and that the two of you are really honest with who you both are and what you need in your relationship in order to make it work. Mark: My husband may be in the dog house if he keeps it up. We love being married. I think our rings are just a physical representation of

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For an overview of federal rights and protections granted to married couples, please visit:

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By David Luhrs

People have been taking photos of themselves and sharing them with friends, family and strangers on the web for years. Yet it wasn’t until 2012 that a name for these self-portraits, often snapped at odd angles with smartphones and distributed via social media or texts, really hit the big time. Nowadays, it has gotten so that a teenager cannot simply go to a concert without holding his or her iPhone in front of their face and impersonating a duck. America has gone crazy for the selfie, with teens, celebrities, and even the Oxford English Dictionary embracing the cellphone self-portrait. The motive is almost always the same: to let the world know where one is, what they’re doing, and how good they look. It’s the newest form of narcissism, and Cazwell’s latest hip hop dance track, ‘No Selfie Control’, is capitalizing on the craze with hilariously catchy lyrics set against a minimalist retro-funk track and smooth playa beat.

“It reflects our ever-growing need to be viewed as popular and attractive,” asserts the Massachusetts native; himself, a product of the internet age. Cazwell became a Youtube sensation after a million people in a single week viewed his ‘Ice Cream Truck’ music video. He has since earned hipster credibility with a steady flow of danceable hip hop tracks − including ‘Rice & Beans’ and ‘I Seen Beyoncé At Burger King’ − that impressively showcase his hypomanic take on pop culture. ‘No Selfie Control’ is his first collaboration with up-and-coming Viennese producer Dizzy Bell. In it, Cazwell sings, “If you could see me like I do, you’d be in love with me too.” Though meant to be funny, it pretty well reflects a generation that has become obsessed with attracting the spotlight. No attention is bad attention, except for, well, no attention.

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What inspired you to create a song about selfies?

Is the song meant to poke fun at the trend or celebrate it?

I dated a guy that was completely selfie obsessed and it got me thinking about the concept of self portraits on the web. The opening scene of the video, where I put my cell on the ceiling fan, is actually something he used to do.

Both. You can’t deny how hysterical it is that we now take ourselves and our images so seriously. People go to such lengths to perfect a picture that only their friends are going to see.

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What’s so special about Instagram? Isn’t it the same thing as sharing pics on Facebook and Twitter?

probably the most relatable song I’ve ever written. It certainly isn’t as gay-focused as some of the others have been.

Sometimes it’s easier to just post a pic than to actually think of something to say. What really started to change things was when Instagram introduced filters to apply to photos before uploading. Now everyone can feel like a professional photographer.

How does it compare to popular music today?

Including you? Duh. Is the intention to get attention? Again, duh. Hopefully, it’s positive attention that will get me some new followers. Most people I know are trying to get their Instagram game to blow up. Everyone has a different strategy. Do you think America’s narcissism is out of control? Is everyone looking for their 15 minutes?

I’m not really sure if it sounds like what’s popular today, but I missed working with disco-inspired tracks. You haven’t done a disco track since ‘All Over Your Face’. I’m exploring new sounds. For me, it’s about making sure every song is unique. …and tackling subjects that aren’t often addressed in popular music? I guess. Even if you don’t do selfies, chances are your friends do them, or your friend’s friends do them. But more likely than not, you do them too.

Screw 15 minutes. Everyone’s looking for their own reality TV show. What does it take to get you to follow someone on Instagram? I follow a lot of fashion because it’s a good way to keep up on clothes. I follow specific artists because I want to be updated on their work. There are some people that I have no idea why I follow them and I honestly can’t remember pressing the “follow” button. I admit I’ve gotten stuck in a few instaholes that I had to pull myself out of. How does ‘No Selfie Control’ compare to your previous songs?

Visit Or follow him:

I actually sing in it for one thing. I think it’s

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Way Back When

By Kimberly Winchester

Happy Holidays to all you wonderful gay, lesbian and transgender people! My name is Ms. Kim and I am a transgender here in Spokane. The holidays are a lonely time for many of us. I remember on the holidays getting drunk just to get through the holidays; they were indeed lonely times. It was a time when transgender people were not recognized as part of the gay/lesbian crowd and we were on our own. My family did not always understand my dilemma and were often closed-minded about the subject. At times I was excluded from family events due to my sexual orientation. They were embarrassed and there was little knowledge to go on—yet I knew I was a woman deep in my soul. This has never changed and I have survived the years of abuse brought on both by myself and others.

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I had a deep sense of not belonging and I attempted suicide several times. But so much has happened since the roaring 70s. In 1971, I made a life-changing decision and moved to Los Angeles. I met other people like me who seemed to be having fun and were so much alive. They were more open about who they were and what they were. My life would never be the same again. I quit drinking and started working as a female in public. There were few or no problems. I was dating and being treated like the lady I am. I had my name legally changed in 1973 and the state was gracious enough to put “female” for sex. I wondered if it was Los Angeles or me. It was me. I had endured a lot of negative treatment and dealt with a lot of threats, but I had found my place in society. Then in 1976, another life-changing event happened. A friend of mine was found shot to death and thrown in the brier bushes—to be found by a 6-year-old. My friend was stripped of her clothing and lay exposed for the world to see; this was done by some of our soldiers in Fort Lewis. I wanted to attend the trial, but was told it was a closed trial. I felt so betrayed by the system and became very rebellious. I was so hurt and afraid. I kept a watch on my back, slowed down my lifestyle, and went into seclusion.

It hurt me to see how nasty we can treat each other. I ended up strung out on heroin, until I was fortunate enough to make it to treatment in December of 1989. Luckily, we now have support groups and activities to help us interact in a positive way with each other. I have not used drugs of any kind since. I quit smoking on September 28, 1990. I have also completed Chemical Dependency Classes and hope to enter the field in the near future. It has been a long haul and often times lonely, but there have been many changes in my life. I had to only change me—not you or anyone else. I do not know about you, but I care about my extended family of brothers and sisters. For some of us, we only have each other; to be verbally insulted or physically abused is too much. I do hope we can connect and be one, without one trying to outdo each other. This is my Christmas wish to all: love one another and be big enough to forgive each other. I am looking forward to meeting you soon!

I went to the gay and lesbian bars, but it was awful. They called me a freak and told me it was not natural for people to change their sex.

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Need to catch up? See parts one, two and three in previous issues.

“You trust me—after what happened to you. You don’t trust anybody.”

What a night, Skuff thought, and it hadn’t really even started! It didn’t make sense that someone would invite him out and then tear at him with the enthusiastic ruthlessness of a five-year-old opening a Christmas present. He left Rolie to cruise Irv’s on his own, walked to his car in the cold, and drove out to spend some time with Jasper—which is all he wanted to do to begin with.

Jasp chewed his thoughts. He looked awesome: the smile, the bright green eyes, the see-thru ’stache, the love—not to mention he was surrounded by mechanic’s tools. “I had to,” he said. “I saw how you looked at me that one day. It was real. I don’t wanna spend all my life just under a hood. I thought I probably wouldn’t have the same bad luck twice, to get my jaw broke.” “Not with me around.” “I don’t like that house,” Jasp said out of nowhere. Ruined the mood in the garage. “I like the ladies but those kids are crazy. I hate to go there.” Skuff had no choice but to agree. He told Jasper all about Rolie and the aborted ride to Irv’s. It didn’t help. “I don’t wanna go anymore.”

Jasp scooted out from under an old Mustang to invite Skuff into the garage. What an awesome way to spend Saturday night, Skuff thought—with a motor. “Got some grease on for ya,” Jasp winked. Skuff ran a couple fingers down Jasper’s cheek, pulling the smudge onto his own hand. Jasp smiled bright and squeaked out a silly laugh, too happy to control himself. He really likes me, Skuff thought. “Yeah,” he said. “Yeah, what?” Jasp rasped.

“They’re my friends,” Skuff protested. “I’ll see what I can do.” If Miki and Lilly were devoted to providing a safe house, it should be safe for guests as well as inhabitants. “People who are put down and outcast shouldn’t do that to others,” Jasp said. He so much wanted to say “I love you.” Both of them did. But in a world where nothing is safe, this didn’t seem so either. With no words, there were other ways to show it. Jasp held onto Skuff’s dark greasy hand. Smudge, sweat, and drool was punctuated by an uninvited tear out of Jasper Hardy’s eye. “Better wash up,” he whispered. “Don’t wanna swallow grease.”

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Skuff’s apartment was boring. Walls white as Spokane snow, a few pictures a friend gave him; he hadn’t really done anything to fix the place up. He felt like he was living in a bus depot looking endlessly for a lost ticket. This made it the perfect place to meet his wife Rhonda, whom he hadn’t seen since they agreed to part ways. She called not long ago. Said she wanted to clear things up and better yet that she wanted to be friends. “We’d grown apart in a lot of ways,” she observed while being the only speck of beauty in his scantily clad living quarters. Skuff had to agree. He felt left behind after her college education, her professional advancement, and her head-turning looks that turned every man’s head but his. She wasn’t interested in cars and furnaces and motors. It made conversation difficult.

“It’s OK.” “No it ain’t. It just ain’t. I did you so wrong.” “Skuff,” she said as he realized it had taken her a long time to get to this conclusion, “we’re just starting later on being happy than some, but sooner than others.” She pulled up a photo of some hot-ass black dude on her phone. Tall, dark, and OMG that sexy smile! Camera flash off his tooth. “That’s Sean. Nothing serious.” “Well, congrats,” Skuff said, eyes bulging. He returned the favor with a pic of Jasp, smudged up and smiling like a geek. “That explains why I didn’t do it for you,” she smiled. “We’ve been through a lot together. We spent ten years of our lives together, and I guess…I’d like us to still be there for each other. You can’t help how you are.” Skuff was surprised; he’d expected her to be bitter and sarcastic after finding out she’d spent ten years married to a gay man. He felt a bit bleary-eyed. Love was coming from so many unexpected places. Still, everyone was afraid of everyone else. “I’m still sorry,” Skuff kept repeating to an area rug. “But yeah,” he finally admitted, “you were one hot mama.”

She sat on his boring couch with a pillow between them—as had been the case for the last few years. “I sort of knew...I I hot mama and you’re not batting an eye.” “Sorry,” was all Skuff could say. He felt hulky and over-large next to her. “Been confused for a long time.”

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__________ A late night at the newlyweds’ abode. Rolie came home even more aggrieved than when he went out, but getting turned down four times in an hour will do that to a young man’s disposition. He slammed the front door and blamed all the ills of his world on Skuff Watt. Folks were used his grand entrances. In a

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dim living room, Patrice was spread out over a chair under a hanging lamp, engrossed in a Bella Andre romance. Beautiful people were having all sorts of sex; in this type of literature, sex like this was usually reserved for people more beautiful than Patrice. She was getting more and more irritated with every pleasured gasp and textured moan, but she couldn’t put it down. Candle was exploring alternate spirituality and occasionally said something unintelligible, but that was hir way most of the time. Their disinterested companionship seemed marginally better than spending time alone.

“You know what there’s a warrant for? Your gender. Pick one.” Patrice, not knowing peace herself, was determined to squash it wherever it might rear its ugly head. “Gender is important to some,” Candle admitted. “I have none. So why mine is important to you is a study for someone else’s wisdom.” “Wisdom you could use, one day, perhaps. How do you talk so much or so little and yet make no sense?”

Patrice didn’t look up. “Go to bed, Rolie. The drama’s over.”

Candle, unsure why ze was a target, burned into Patrice. “Your words fall like acid rain from a dark cloud of wretchedness.”

“The drama unfoldeth now,” he promised. Skuff, Jasp, and the entire Spokane gay community were skewered in the vilest terms Rolie knew. And that was pretty vile. Finally, a Shakespearean pause.

Rolie let his cup runneth over unto and onto everyone, because he carried too much unhappiness for one soul to hold. It got so loud that Patrice could no longer hear Bella’s characters gasping with pleasure.

“Stop it,” said Patrice calmly, breaking off

The cuckoo clock chirped two a.m. and, if that wasn’t enough, an irritated Mikilani awoke to remind them right after. She rumbled back upstairs with some heavy thinking to do. Skuff knew he’d have to say something. Between Miki’s unflagging support and Jasp’s unflagging libido, he felt literally between a rock and a hard place. The next conversation would be difficult.

on the middle of her character’s passionate intercourse. “You’re disturbing his or her meditation.” Candle took umbrage. “You invoke me where there warrants no invocation.”

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Private Spokane By Dean Ellerbusch

Mount St. Helens erupted in May of 1980 and my family moved to Spokane that summer. My classmates at Simi Valley, California’s Hillside Jr. High couldn’t understand why I was moving to this place. I had no say in the matter. My mom and step-dad wanted to move away from that part of the country with “all of those colored people” (this is the tamest way they described anyone who wasn’t as white as they were). This is why we moved to Spokane, Washington.

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I was enrolled at Shadle Park High School and two weeks into the school year I was kicked out of my home and placed into Foster Care (the events that led up to this is a story to be told at another time). I was placed in a home on the other side of town in Hillyard and continued my education at John R. Rogers High School. As I was finishing up the 11th grade, I contacted my Department of Social and Health Services caseworker and asked her to locate the father I had never met. I moved to Minnesota and missed my senior year at Rogers. Not looking back, I graduated from high school, went into the Army, and moved back to California. I was o.k. with people not being as white as me. About 5 years ago, I returned to Spokane because my financial situation required it. Even

though I’m not working for low wages and am on a limited income, the cost to live here is manageable. One day, I hope to return to Southern California and “retire”—even if that means being homeless. In the meantime, I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m doing the best I can. Coming out of a debilitating depression in 2010, I found my way to The Inland Northwest LGBT Center. Entering the very small room, I asked the very young man if I could get a “gay rag.” He didn’t know what this was and I had to explain that I was looking for the local LGBT newspaper that would tell me about events, activities and businesses. He couldn’t provide one of these, as no gay rag existed in Spokane. He informed me that I could check out any of the books on the two walls of bookshelves. This was not the literature I was looking for (said in my best Jedi voice). He then produced a double-sided sheet that listed churches, bars, AA meetings, a bowling league and a group called INMx. I’m not a church person. I’m not a bar person. I’m not in recovery. I like bowling, but I’m not interested in joining a league. That left INMx. Reading the brief description, I learned that the Inland Northwest Men’s eXperience only accepted gay and bi men under 30 into their ranks. There was nothing on that list for me. I walked away, unable to connect with the local LGBT Community. As an activist, I had difficulty understanding why I was unable to get involved. I returned to The Center and learned from President Carol Ehrhart that I needed to log on to Facebook to learn about what was happening. I reluctantly created a Facebook account, as everything I had heard about Facebook made me think that this was a big waste of time. But, I wanted to connect with the Community. My early connections were disasters. I chatted with a doorman at Irv’s Bar and he invited me to come down and meet him. I entered the bar

and didn’t see him, even though I passed by and looked right at him. I asked the bartender to point me in his direction. It turned out that he didn’t recognize me from my profile picture either. We chatted for awhile and I learned that Irv’s wasn’t a gay bar. (What!?!) He informed me that it was a “gay-friendly” bar and that Dempsey’s was the only GAY bar in town. I was disappointed, as I came from Southern California—where there were gay dance clubs, gay piano bars, gay country bars, gay leather bars, gay twink bars, and on and on and on. I didn’t understand how a gay bar like Irv’s—with gay guys, lesbians and drag queens—was called a “gay-friendly” bar. As I mentioned before, I’m not a bar fly. But, I am an Out and Proud gay man.

Back on Facebook, I saw an invite from INMx for a game night. The invitation stated that all were welcome. I was a bit confused and asked a couple of my Facebook friends about this. They were under the impression that INMx had changed their policy of only welcoming gay and bi men under 30. Wanting to confirm that I was welcome,

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I sent a message through the INMx page, asking if I could attend. I was assured that I was welcomed. In addition to playing board games with a few others, there was a speaker flown over from Seattle to talk about being an HIV positive gay man. Being unsure of INMx’s confidentiality policies, I sent another message asking if I could post about how much I enjoyed the evening. A few days later I received a message informing me that I was too old and that I wasn’t welcomed to attend INMx activities. This was the first time in my life that I experienced age discrimination. After this rejection, I started searching for others who wanted to create a more inclusive social group. I found a couple of other people through Facebook that were interested in this concept and we arranged to meet over coffee. The woman and I had a great conversation, but the guy never showed up. I was concerned that he might have been injured, as he told me he was jumping into the shower before he joined us. I was really afraid he had fallen in the shower and cracked his head open. When I got home, I messaged him. Luckily, he hadn’t fallen and he could get up. He let me know that he had walked into the coffee house, saw me, and left because I didn’t look like my profile picture. Attempting to determine why this mattered, I asked him if he had expected to do more than have a conversation. I wasn’t there to hook up or date or get married. Was he? While he insisted that he wasn’t, he criticized me for not using a current picture of myself. I explained that I had been severely depressed and hadn’t had anyone take a picture of me in many years. The image I used was a representation of how I felt about me and my life at that moment. He retorted that it didn’t matter, because he had been around lying people like me and figured I was just a big fat lying liar. Here I am, a few years later. The all-inclusive social group Destinations that resulted from

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my search still meets every Sunday for a walk in Riverfront Park and every Tuesday evening for game nights. This gay rag Proud Times is starting its second year. I’ve served a 2-year term as Spokane PFLAG’s Secretary. I’m halfway through my 2-year term as Spokane NAACP’s Secretary. I get out there and continue my attempts to connect with Spokane’s LGBT Community. As outgoing as I am, I still experience a major disconnect while searching for a welcoming Out & Proud Community. I worry about the introverted residents. How are they surviving their own private Spokane?

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Jason Dottley’s Return to Love Story Star of TV’s Sordid Lives On Life and Love After Divorce By Mick Sandoval

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When Sordid Lives star Jason Dottley married his long-term partner, playwright-filmmaker Del Shores in 2003, the pair imagined theirs would be a love to last a lifetime. Together, the ‘first couple of West Hollywood’ (as they were often dubbed by fans of the show) fought hard for marriage equality, becoming posterboys of the movement. That was until last year, when Del Shores announced via Facebook that they were splitting. In his post, Shores wrote, “This was not what I wanted, but I must now accept what Jason wants.” Disappointed fans waited to hear Dottley’s reason for leaving. However, their wait would

be a long one. The early 30s Mississippi native chose to remain silent. Even Shores admitted in an interview with the Dallas Voice that he didn’t know why Dottley departed. “Let me put it this way,” he explained to reporter Rich Lopez, “I come up with reasons I don’t cast certain (actors), but the bottom line is, I don’t want (them) to play the role. The bottom line was Jason said, ‘I don’t want to be married to you anymore.’ And there was no negotiation on any level.” After a year of personal contemplation, Dottley says he is ready to break his silence. More than that, he is eager to experience love again. He sings about it in “Love Story”, a song he wrote that releases next month. The slice of 80’s pop, layered with emotionally compelling lyrics, is the first of a three-part experience Dottley is calling The Love Story Project that will also include a music video and a Love-U-Mentary film.

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You made your marriage with Del Shores public. Why did you choose to keep your divorce private for so long? I chose to keep my pain and my journey to myself, to write about it, to learn from it. Discussing it with total strangers while I was lost in the trek myself was not on the agenda for me. How long has it been since the divorce became final? April, 2013. You were married nine years. Walking down the aisle, did you intend for it to be forever? Of course I did. When did the blooms first start falling from the rose? That sounds so pretty. About two years before we separated.

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Were you fighting or simply drifting in different directions? We evolved into people who didn’t compliment and inspire each other anymore. We stopped healing, growing. It wasn’t like I threw the towel in the first time it got ugly. It was two years of collapsing before the foundation had to be scrapped entirely. Then we fought. Divorce .........doesn’t bring the best ...........out of you.

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When did you know it was over?

Jason Dottley The Fighter

At some point, a fire inside of you for someone burns out. It’s a cold, lonely feeling. You just know. What is your relationship with Del like now? We are peaceful and out of each other’s lives. Are you prepared to see him with a new man? I saw pics of Del with a guy that I heard he’s dating. He looked so happy. It eased my guilt for leaving. As for him seeing me with a new man—well, once I’m ready to share that part of my life openly again, he’ll see and he’ll be fine. Is it true that Del recast you in Sordid Lives? Can you imagine for one minute how awkward that set would be? I’m not friends with anyone in that cast because of my divorce. If he has recast the role, congrats to the new guy, who I hear is the original Ty from the movie. My life has moved on from Sordid Lives, so it’s not something that I feel I lost. It’s cherished, and I’m fine to leave my work as Ty complete as-is. And, I am definitely the better Ty. (Laughs) Yeah, I said it. Del knows it too. Has it been hard to contemplate love after divorce? If you go out looking for love, you might as well stay home. Love will find you.

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What is one thing you will do in your next relationship as a result of what you learned from your last? I will communicate better. I will compromise more and I will always make sure he knows that he’s my everything.

Are you encouraged by the response the project has received so far? I am! It has pushed me further than I ever thought I could take this project.

Will you walk down the aisle again? You bet your ass. Will the next time be forever? Who can say? I believe we are intended to have a series of love affairs. You don’t believe in one soul mate? I absolutely believe in soul mates. Nothing about a soul mate says that you are meant to be together forever, or even together at all. My three best friends are all my soul mates, but I’m not romantically interested in them. Do you believe in monogamy? 100%. I do not share. I’ll guest star occasionally, though. Why did you decide to launch The Love project? “The Love Story Project” is my attempt to shine a light on gay love. The project aims to help people see gay lovers as people and not ideas. I encourage everyone to visit the website, share your story, and become a part of it yourself!

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What are you looking for in your next love project? Someone who is ambitious, fearless, and inspiring. I’ve already found him, but I ain’t giving details. I’ve learned the hard way to keep my heart private. Visit for more information of Jason Dottley and his Love Story Project.

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Getting the Monsters Out of the Closet: A Chat with Author Daniel W. Kelly By Joshua Skye

Daniel W. Kelly

is the author of the LGBTQ-themed horror outings Closet Monsters, Horny Devils, Combustion and his latest No Place For Little Ones. He also maintains an impressive online presence with his website The Dan Zone ( where he addresses all that is the dark realm of horror. His cheeky fun Facebook page Boys, Bears, and Scares focuses on his passion, LGBTQ-themed terror treats. From his own writing to his tongue-in-cheek Youtube videos, Kelly is an energetic force who is as compulsively entertaining as he is candid. He is an extremely approachable, friendly, unassuming writer clearly out to have a good time with his readership. I recently sat down with Mr. Kelly and bombarded him with a barrage of questions and he was gracious enough to humor me.

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Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. How is the hectic life of an indie author treating you these days? Having a new book coming out around the Halloween season has been insane. Like, invigorating insane, though. I’m doing what I love. The only thing that would make it better is if, you know, I was getting paid good money to do it! If you could tell us a little bit about you. What is it like being Daniel W. Kelly? It’s the most fun I could possibly have because I just immerse myself in the things I love and block out all the B.S. I spend time with my hubby and my dogs in my house. I read horror novels and watch horror movies. I listen to and collect music. I blog about horror and music. And about once a month, I have a friend visit for the weekend and we spend the whole time watching horror movies and playing horror video games. I just surrounded myself in a “bubble of Dan.”

Boys. It started with the TV show in 1977—same year Star Wars came out! I immediately began reading the books and soon decided to write my own story. I wrote a story about Nancy Drew solving a mystery of a haunted lighthouse. I don’t remember the plot now, but I do remember it was really good! I also actually wrote an “oral story” in second grade—if that counts. At Halloween time, I drew a picture in art class of a ghost floating up from a graveyard and, on the spot, I told all the kids at my art table that I lived next to a graveyard and spun this fricking yarn about the ghost rising from the grave every night. Next day, one girl came in and scolded me, saying she told her mother and her mother said I was lying and that there were no such things as ghosts. I got the last laugh because, although my story was bullshit, our house actually was haunted as fuck.

Have you always been a writer? Has it always been a lifelong passion? I’ve always been artistic. I was drawing, dancing, and singing from when I was a young kid. I became obsessed with reading at a young age as well, and I think that just ignited my imagination more and made it easy for me to tell stories. I can still remember the first piece of fiction I wrote. It was a really bad play on Star Wars that took place in a baby’s crib. I was in the third grade. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Awesome! I’ve been a total Star Wars geek since the beginning, too. My first story was also sparked by my childhood fandom. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew and The Hardy

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Who are your inspirations? Who is your favorite mainstream author and your favorite indie author? What is your very favorite book? Because I was entering adolescence just as Stephen King’s books were becoming movies, I was hugely influenced by his horror novels. But I also love Ray Bradbury. It’s impossible for me to narrow anything down to a single “favorite”— whether it is movies, songs, or anything else I love. But, as far as books, I’d say that if I was forced to reread one book from my library, it would be either The Stand or Something Wicked This Way Comes. As for indie authors, I’ve never really locked on to any single one in particular. Although, in the 90s when I worked at Barnes & Noble, I read everything by gay author Robert Rodi. He was writing campy comedies back then. But, in the last few years, he’s written some Hitchcock homage novels with more of a thriller/horror edge—so, I’m psyched. They’re on my “to read” pile. So, I guess he might be my favorite indie author. I know when I write, it can almost be described as a compulsion. I have to do it— exorcising the monsters in my head (or the closet), so to speak. Is it the same for you? What is your drive and, when you write, is there a process you go through? Funny you should say that. I actually wrote a whole blog about that last year. I feel like I don’t control it—almost like it’s coming through a Ouija board and I’m just typing it out. The stories pop into my head and are pretty well outlined. So, I start writing and it unfolds almost like I’m watching a movie. I don’t usually get stumped on what happens next. My bigger problem is

making sure I don’t forget to leave out any of the details that are floating around in my head. It’s pretty wild. If you could write for any television horror series (past or present), what would it be? What would you write about and why? You know, it would probably be something like The Munsters. But I would bring it into the new millennium and introduce dirtier jokes and darker, more morbid humor. I’d also make Grandpa realize after centuries that he’s gay and load the show with jokes about him being a dirty old man who wants to suck and bite younger men. You have had your work featured in a number of tantalizing anthologies from Cleis Press, Alyson Books, and Grand Central Publishing. I can remember getting my very first acceptance letter. What was it like for you? My first submissions were to a jerk-off magazine called Firsthand. I was pretty psyched because the editor raved about what good sex stories I wrote and accepted three submissions in one... um…shot. But that left me wondering if it was just really easy to get sex stories accepted— because it seemed really easy. What about your first published novel? There is nothing quite like having a copy of your book in your hands for the very first time. How did it feel to finally see your name on the glossy, beautifully suggestive cover of your own book? When Closet Monsters was printed up, I seriously felt like if I never had another book published, I’d be fine with it. Closet Monsters was so special to me. Zombied Out, the novella

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in it, is still one of my favorite stories that I’ve written. And the book was really personal to me because I came up with a cover concept, executed it with my friends, submitted it to the publisher—and they loved it and used it. As genre fans, we are very much aware that mainstream horror hasn’t always been a very LGBTQ-friendly genre. In fact, it is one of the last ones to feature LGBTQ people in a positive light. Your work is, of course, LGBTQ-oriented. With your online presence, you seem committed to making such community-friendly fare more well-known and accessible. How important is that for you? It’s hugely important because I know there are guys who want to consume more gay horror. And I know there are guys like myself who make gay horror. I was having a hard time making gay horror fans aware of my books and it was hard for me to find gay horror books by other authors. Just typing “gay horror” into Amazon for instance—none of my books come up! Why is that? I have them “tagged” as gay horror. I began researching gay horror fiction on the internet and found dozens and dozens of books and authors that don’t come up in general gay horror searches. So, I wanted to create a place where guys could go to learn what’s out there and share with me what they know is out there so I can then let everyone else know. In general, what is your favorite horror film? More specifically, what is your favorite LGBTQ-friendly horror movie? Again, it’s so hard for me to pick a favorite. While I wouldn’t say it’s my “favorite,” I will tell you which movie succeeded the most in terrifying me as an adult. I had not seen [REC] and I purposely don’t watch trailers or read reviews for new movies because I don’t want to know anything about them going in so I was

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pretty clueless about what to expect from the American remake Quarantine. It was on cable (and I watch every mainstream horror movie that comes out at some point), so I turned out the lights and sat down to watch what I assumed was going to be another crappy Hollywood horror flick. By the end of the movie, I could barely breathe. My heart was racing overtime and I was seriously saying out loud, “I can’t take this anymore. This needs to end.” It is so claustrophobic and Jennifer Carpenter nailed the exact kind of meltdown I would have under those circumstances. As for gay horror films, I like so many of them— even the ones that get trashed. I’m big into indie horror films regardless of the budget and flaws, because you can usually see the passion of the filmmakers. These are guys who love the horror genre. And it often shows, despite limitations in production. But, most definitely at the top of my list of gay horror flicks as of now is Bite Marks, directed by Mark Bessenger. It’s scary, funny, sexy, has a charismatic cast that can act, and features an appearance by Evil Ed from the original Fright Night. It really has everything I love in a good, fun horror comedy. You have a new book out, No Place For Little Ones. Tell us about it. Combustion was the first book in this series. I’m writing about a bunch of men living in a strictly gay male city that’s also loaded with monsters. So, in each book, they have to take on some sort of new threat. I think of it as a gay Buffy. Combustion was like the introduction to the main characters and the city. It was a bit campy, filled with whacky sex, and played out more like a mystery until the reveal of the horror closer at the end. No Place for Little Ones is much darker. There are still laughs and plenty of sex, because I’m a fan of both. But it’s a much grittier, gruesome,

supernatural story. The main characters are all living in this renovated apartment building and it soon becomes obvious they’re not alone. Things get pretty vicious and tragic in this one. And it turned out that it’s really a springboard for so much of what’s coming in future novels in the series. No Place For Little Ones from Bold Strokes Books is available now. Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Do you have any last words for our readers? Support gay and indie horror—whether it’s books, movies, or both. And get in touch with me through my facebook page Boys, Bears &

Scares to let me know what gay horror books and movies you’ve seen that I might have missed. And if you’re involved in horror from the gay perspective (whether you write, make movies, create art, do photography, have a podcast, a blog, whatever), let me know and I’ll post about it on the page. My books are on there. Joshua’s books are on there. A lot of other gay horror authors, directors, actors, and whatnot follow the page. So it’s also a fun place to get connected with other fans and horror creators. That’s it. Thank you Joshua—for being as into all this horror stuff as I am.

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Resources LGBT Non-profit Organizations Imperial Sovereign Court of Spokane (ISCS) PO Box 65 Spokane WA 99210-0065 Website Facebook Page The ISCS is arguably the oldest organization of its kind in the Spokane Metropolitan Area, providing for support and concern of issues of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning communities of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. A variety of shows, Drag Shows, Fundraisers, Outings, Camping Trips, Raffles and Auctions are used to promote this unity. Our goal is to seek out the needs and provide for those needs as humanely, efficiently and as readily as possible. We are registered in the State of Washington as a Non Profit Business Entity and have a Board of Directors in place, regulated by Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws as required. We refuse to discriminate on any basis and work toward our goal of providing services for as wide of a range of needs as we are able. To do this, we use funds set aside in special accounts, all raised voluntarily by our community, and all funds are issued as needed.

Inland Northwest Business Alliance (INBA) 9 S. Washington, Ste. 618 Spokane WA 99201 509/455-3699 Website Interesting speakers every month. Great opportunity to network with other business people in the area. Meet new people in town and have fun. Bring a friend. The location of the event is rotating every two months. Please check the web site for this month’s location.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center (LGBT Center) 1522 N. Washington St., Ste. 102 Spokane WA 99201 509/489-1914 Website Facebook Page Local community resource center. Our Mission is to build a vibrant LGBTQ community through collaborative programs promoting education, advocacy and wellness.

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Pride Foundation

PO Box 883 Spokane WA 99201-0883 509/720-7609 Website Facebook Page OutSpokane meetings are held every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at The LGBT Center (1522 N. Washington St., #102 from 7:15-9pm. OutSpokane™ a 501(c)(3) tax exempt volunteer organization, exists to fund, host and coordinate Spokane’s Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival, the largest celebration in Eastern Washington in support of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning people. Our familyoriented activities provide many educational opportunities and experiences that advance visibility, advocacy and empowerment of our diverse community of GLBTQ people, their families, friends and allies in the Inland Northwest, Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

PO Box 2194 Spokane, WA 99210 Farand Gunnels – Regional Development Organizer for Eastern Washington 509-481-0402

Odyssey Youth Center

PO Box 10292 Spokane WA 99209 509/593-0191 Website Facebook Page

1121 S. Perry St. Spokane WA 99202 509/325-3637 Website Facebook Page Odyssey Youth Center works with at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth (LGBTQ) and their allies to provide a safe place, education, and advocacy. We promote positive growth and self-empowerment for our youth. Odyssey Youth Center has drop-in hours for youth on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm to 8:00pm, as well as Fridays from 3:30pm to 9:00pm

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Website: Facebook: Twitter Pride Foundation provides grants and scholarships; inspires a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality.

Spokane PFLAG

Membership meetings are on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm at Bethany Presbyterian Church (2607 S. Ray St., Spokane WA 99223). All are welcome. Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, the end

discrimination and secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

College Groups Central Washington University Diversity Education Center SURC Room 253 400 E. University Way Ellensburg WA 98926 509/963-1685 Website Committed to creating an atmosphere on campus of acceptance, equality and inclusion for all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

EWU Pride Center 105 Showalter Hall Cheney WA 99004 509/359-7870 Website Facebook Page We are here to support the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally students, faculty and staff at Eastern Washington University.

Gonzaga University GLBT Resource Center Unity Multicultural Education Center 709 E. Desmet Spokane WA 99258 509/313-5847 Website Facebook The LGBT Resource Center at Gonzaga University is inspired and guided by the university mission and values of faith, service, justice, leadership, and ethics. It aims to serve as a center for supporting community, networking, research, and education related to concerns shared by students, staff, and faculty of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Gonzaga University HERO Unity House 709 E. Desmet Spokane WA 99258 Website Social group for GLBT students.

Gonzaga University School of Law - OutLaws Website Facebook Page The GSA-Outlaws is devoted to promoting an inclusive law school community for LGBT students, faculty, and staff, as well as their allies. The organization fulfills this mission through many social, academic, and professional events that create campus dialogue on LGBT civil rights and legal advocacy. January 2014 | | Page 67

North Idaho College Gay/ Straight Alliance

University Of Idaho GayStraight Alliance

Facebook Page

ASUI Office - Idaho Commons, Room 302 Moscow ID 83844 Website Facebook Page

Our mission is to promote a positive and supportive environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, questioning and straight people as well as those who support them.

Spokane Community College ST:GLOBAL QSA Betsy Lawrence - Advisor 509/533-8103 Facebook Page Commonly referred to as Global, stands for Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Action League, Straight and Transgendered: Queer-Straight Alliance. Global’s purpose is to promote awareness and provide resources and a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, ally, transgender, transsexual, asexual, intersex, and nonheteronormative identified people.

Spokane Falls Community College - The Alliance Barbara Williamson - Advisor 509-533-4507 Website Facebook Page GLBT and allies group to provide a safe space and to educate our community.

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Social support group for students.

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO LGBTQA OFFICE PO Box 441064 Moscow ID 83844 208/885-6583 Website A safe and welcoming space for members of the university community to explore aspects of sexual orientation and gender issues in an open and non-judgmental atmosphere. They strive to promote full inclusion of LGBT persons and their allies at UI and to eliminate homophobia, heterosexism, and sexism on their campus.

Washington State University Women’s Resource Center Wilson Hall, Room 8 PO Box 644005 Pullman WA 99164-4005 509/335-6849 Website The Center works to promote a safe and supportive climate that enables women to engage as full and active participants within the university system. The Center helps transform the educational environment into a more

inclusive and progressive institution by assisting, supporting, and mentoring women at Washington State University.

Washington State University GLBTA PO Box 647204 - CUB401 Pullman WA 99164 509/335-4311 Website The mission of the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center is to support education and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and straight-allied students, staff, and faculty, as well as alumni/ae and members of the Palouse community.

Washington State University Gender Identity Expression And Sexual Orientation Resource Center PO Box 647204 Pullman WA 99163-7204 509/335-6388 Support and resources for the GLBT WSU community.

Transgenderfriendly Resources Therapists LGBT Counseling 1522 N. Washington St., Suite 102 Spokane WA 99201 Facebook Diversity Counseling Services 509/474-9964 Website Kate Robbins 509/768-8543 Juliann Haffey, LMHC, MA 509/385-0292 Website Zita Nickeson 1212 N. Washington St., Suite 104 Spokane WA 99201 509/868-3387 Terra Price B.S C.C. 2502 W. Gardner Ave. Spokane WA 99201 509/263-2206 Website

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Doctors/HRT Prescribers Dr. Andrea Chatburn Family Medicine Spokane 104 W. 5th Ave., Suite 200W Spokane WA 99204 509/624-2313 Website Dr. Cathcart Northside Internal Medicine 6120 N. Mayfair St., Suite 101 Spokane WA 99208 509/344-8328 Dr. Will Corell Integrative Medicine Associates 3424 S. Grand Blvd. Spokane WA 99203 509/838-5800

Urologist Robert J. Golden, MD 12615 E. Mission Ave. Spokane Valley WA 99216-1047 509/921-0099

GP/Gyno Care Dr. William Roth GP (pronounced “Rooth”) Roth Medical Center 220 E. Rowan, Suite 200 Spokane WA 99207 Office: 509/483-4403 Fax: 509/489-7556

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Wendy Smith ARNP, MN GP/Gyno Full Circle Medical Clinic 508 W. 6th Ave., Suite 303 Spokane WA 99204 509/624-6500

Hair Removal Elain Cain Electrologist 18123 E. Appleway Ave. Green Acres WA 99016 Loisville Lazer 6011 N. Division St. Spokane WA 99208 509/482-0655 Dianne at Mirage Spa and Salon Electrologist 9421 N. Division St. Spokane WA 99218 509/325-5254 Inland Empire Dermatology 312 N. Mullan Rd. Spokane Valley WA 99206 509/921-7884

Hormones and Pharmacy Needs Tyler Treharne, Pharm. D. Strochecker’s Pharmacy 2855-A SW Patton Rd. Portland OR 97201 503/222-4822

Surgeons Dr. Antonio Mangubat Breast Augmentation and Chest Reconstruction 16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite 101 Tukwila WA 98188 206/575-0300 Dr. Tuan Nguyen Breast Augmentation and Chest Reconstruction; MtF SRS Lake Oswego Plastic Surgery 15820 Quarry Rd. Lake Oswego OR 97035 503/635-1955

Legal Assistance Transgender Law Center 415/865-0176 Website

General Information How to change your gender marker on your drivers license: Website District Court name change petition and instructions: Website

Places of Worship Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane 4340 W. Fort Wright Drive Spokane WA 99224 509/325-6383 Website

Bethany Presbyterian Church 2607 S. Ray St. Spokane WA 99223 509/534-0066 Website Worship service on Sunday at 10:30am

Transgender Play Group We are pleased to announce the formation of a playgroup open to all gender nonconforming and transgender children up to the age of 13. It will provide children with a supportive and positive space where they can socialize with other children expressing comparable ranges of gender fluidity. It is especially designed to run concurrently with the parents group and conveniently allows parents the opportunity to meet while their children are having supervised fun in the same building. ALSO – parents of trans children of ANY age may attend this support group. Both groups are supervised by licensed mental health therapists. The playgroup has young adult mentors who also identify along the gender spectrum. There is no charge for either group. In order to keep our children safe and protect our families’ anonymity we do require a screening interview to establish eligibility for the groups. To arrange an interview or for more information please contact Marybeth Markham at or 509/795-6437. You can also find more info at

Worship services on Sunday at 9:15am and 11am.

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Open & Affirming Congregations Rainbow Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church 225 N. 2nd St. Yakima WA (Between Martin Luther King Blvd and Lincoln Ave) Pastor: Rev. Jane Emma Newall 509/457-6454 Website Celebrating God’s Expansive Love in the Yakima Valley 6:30 PM Sundays

River of Life Metropolitan Community Church 2625 W. Bruneau Pl. Kennewick WA 99336 509/628-4047 Website Christian church celebrating diversity and affirming GLBT people. Sunday services at 11:30 a.m.

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship Summit Northwest Ministries (Seventh-day Adventist) 8311 N. Idaho Rd. Newman Lake, WA 99025 208/773-5950 Ask for Caleb Foss, young adults pastor, to explore ways to get involved. Recommended by Terry Rice, local Kinship chapter leader.

Unitarian Universalist Church 4340 W. Fort Wright Dr. Spokane WA 99224 509/325-6383 Website Facebook Page We join together to create an inspiring and nourishing liberal religious home. In the wider world, we champion justice, diversity, and environmental stewardship.

Unity Church 2900 S. Bernard St. Spokane WA 99203 509/838-6518 Website Facebook Page We are a community of love and acceptance dedicated to spiritual discovery.

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Westminster Congregation United Church 411 S. Washington St. Spokane WA 99204 509/624-1366 Facebook Page Founded in 1879, Westminster celebrates over 125 years of dedicated service to God and the people of Spokane.

Social and Support Groups Bi-Social in Spokane Facebook Page A social group of varied ages and interests gathered to chat, play, and plan .

Book Group - GLBT Meeting at The LGBT Center 1522 N. Washington St., #102 Spokane WA 99201 Website

Have a passion for books? Want to share your passion with others and make new friends, all the while exploring interesting titles and subjects? If so, then The Center’s Book Group is for you. The Group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7pm at The Center. Always welcoming new folks to join and make new friends!!!

Destinations 509/850-0150 Website Facebook Page Destinations is an all-inclusive social group in the Inland Northwest encouraging interaction, mutual understanding and friendship between all sexual orientations and gender identities. We provide social settings and activities for people from diverse points of view to network, form bonds and create alliances.

Equality Spokane 509/723-2498 Facebook Page Equality Spokane’s mission is to help motivate, inspire, encourage and bring Spokane’s lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people along with their families and friends together.

Spokane Trans* People 509/489-1914 Website Facebook We intend to provide leadership and organization for the Spokane Transgender /Transsexual community. Assisting in the open exchange of information and offering mentor-ship to those who have recently come to terms with their gender identity

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"Proud Times" ~ Issue #5 ~ January 2014  

"Proud Times" ~ Issue #5 ~ January 2014 ~ Creating Change Together