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June - September 2010

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Dear Readers,

June - September 2010

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Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even when I was a young boy, I would play with my Hot Wheels, lining them all up, and open my own ‘car dealership.’ I would get a note pad and calculator out, and start adding up what each was worth and who owed me what. I even made a few repos’ back then, too! Now, at 23 years old, I own multiple businesses throughout the Oklahoma City metro area ranging from the health care field to the publishing arena. Being an Oklahoma native, it has always been important to give back to my community as well which is why I publish EscapeOKC Magazine. With EscapeOKC, I want to empower the Gay community, giving everyone a voice and a unique venue where they can stand up and proudly be themselves. I want the community as a whole to explore new ideas and have a more open state of mind. I want to push boundaries in a tasteful manner and provoke discussions vital to ensuring that equality is granted to everyone in our great state. Our newly redesigned Website is better than ever. It offers a wide variety of content, from business and finance to religion, from sex and relationships to articles on important community figures. We tackle sensitive issues dealing with politics and religion in Oklahoma head-on and in an appropriate forum. You can find businesses within the Gay community that support us and would appreciate our support in return.


EscapeOKC.com June - September 2010 Page 5 I am most proud of our Website’s community section, where you can find the latest happenings in the art world, a church to attend, the perfect place for drinks and dinner, the hottest nightlife, and coolest shopping experiences. You can even view current information about how to empower yourself and take control of your sexuality by getting tested and being sexually responsible. I am already expanding the magazine to include more communities throughout the state, and the nation. With readers and writers throughout the world expressing interest in the magazine, it was only a matter of time. EscapeTULSA will be introduced in late July and eventually the magazine will branch out even further. Which is why it is so important for you to show support locally for EscapeOKC. Showing your support is not only vital to the magazine, it is vital for Oklahoma’s growth to equality. By supporting EscapeOKC, you are supporting those in the Gay community and their fight to be heard and treated as first-rate citizens in a first-rate state. If you enjoy reading EscapeOKC, you can support it by letting us know! Share your opinions, ideas and articles of interest on a wide range of topics by visiting EscapeOKC.com. Let your friends and loved ones know that Oklahoma City has a new magazine that supports the interests of those in the Gay community. Tell your local businesses to carry the magazine and encourage them to advertise where they will have a direct impact on the customers they are trying to serve. Only with your support can EscapeOKC be a strong supporter of all things equal and offer a voice to those who need to be heard! Sincerely,

Justin Elliott Publisher/Owner


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As you stand and watch the parade pass by while absorbing all the colors and sounds of a community coming together, have you ever stopped to wonder just how it came to be? Have you ever taken the time to explore the origins of your community or revel in the fact that the guy wearing those rainbow flag pants once took a stand against discrimination so that you could be out and proud...in public? By far the biggest day of the year on the queer calendar, some in the Queer community might think that things have simply always been this way. That an entire generation of gay youth might not understand the fight that took place in Oklahoma City so Gay Pride could be celebrated and recognized is a lot like not knowing where you come from. The revolution of Pride is the evolution of us. It is the always changing atmosphere that acknowledges that we can all be who we want to be. It is a celebration of banners and pageants, music and food, friends and family, and a culmination of our goals and dreams, our accomplishments and creations. It is a celebration of us. On the surface, the annual Oklahoma City Gay Pride Parade we circle on our day planners every year, can be traced back to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 and the resulting parade held on June 28, 1970. Nearly every Pride event claims these historical events as their origin, which is a necessary element. However, to only lay claim to this See “Pride� on pg 17


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Why are we all such snobs?

by Elizabeth Black Having spent the majority of my teen years bouncing off the walls of The Wreck Room, then eventually graduating to the liquor bars on 39th, I know of one thing that is for certain in the gay and lesbian club scene of OKC – You Will Be Judged. Sadly it seems there is almost an unspoken rule in our community to expect your fellow gay to stare at you awkwardly, form their own opinion of you at a glance, and then follow it up by spreading their often incorrect notion to anyone who will listen. There is not any form of preparation one could go through in order to dodge the missile of judgment; everyone is at risk. The line is quickly drawn no matter what club or bar you walk into. The sense of cliques and judgment rein supreme whether it be in a gay bar or a lesbian watering hole. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, what connections you have, or who you may be out with the peanut gallery is always taking notes with which to reload the judgment cannon. We gays are all so quick to judge one another and I have never fully understood why. In a community that is suppose to stand for acceptance, happiness, diversity, and love why are we all so quick to segregate? Beyond the crossfires of judgment lie cliques. I can personally trace my experiences with cliques and groups all the way See “Snobs” on pg 27


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Hello y’all! Ruby Ann Boxcar here! You know, unlike my 67 year old drunken stripper sister, Donna Sue, I never really spent a whole lot of time hangin’ out in the bar/nightclub scene. I know that might be hard for some of y’all to believe. With my sense of style and drop dead good looks, those of you who don’t know me that well would have guessed I’d be livin’ it up in the wee hours of the mornin’, swinging from the mirror ball of a fashionable hip hotspot. Why, even when I’m spendin’ time at my trailer parked in Hollywood, you won’t find me partyin’ hardy till the early mornin’ light like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, or Debbie Reynolds. The fact of the matter is behind all this glamour and elegance is a down to earth gal who simply enjoys the same kind of stuff most of y’all enjoy. Just like you, I’m more than happy to spend the night curled up on the couch with a box of Little Debbie Snack Cakes and a great big glass of milk, watchin’ midget wrestling or roller derby or just listenin’ to a good eight track tape. Still, with my numerous performance appearances in both nightclubs and cabarets where liquor is served, I’ve come to notice that people, drunk or not, can really be downright stupid. I’m not talkin’ “she ain’t right” stupid, but just plain old, everyday, run of the mill stupid. Now that I think about it, it ain’t just at bars that stupidity is king, but even on these social networkin’ sites like Facebook or MySpace – where there are more dumbass, uninformed, ignorant people than you’d find at a Fred Phelps Fan Club meetin’. Is somebody runnin’ some kind of special where you get a free ride to the bars or your own personal computer with an internet hookup if your IQ is lower than your waist size? I’m not jokin’ folks. When it comes to uneducated people, I know what I’m talkin’ about. After all, I am from Arkansas. In an attempt to try and correct some of the dumber than dirt ideas that I’m runnin’ across, I’m gonna share with y’all a list of social commandments that I call “Ruby Ann’s Rules of Relatin’”. In the past, these have been policies that I’ve lived by when attendin’ church socials, but, with a few changes here and there, they ring true for any bar settin’ or internet high-speed encounter. So here we go! 1. Just because somebody buys you a drink, gives you the last piece of cake, or sends you a gift from Fishville, See “Mirror” on pg 12


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From “Mirror” on pg 11 it

don’t mean they think you’re sexy. Hell, with your bad haircut, messed up teeth, or walk that looks like somebody drove a semi-truck up your behind the night before, more than likely they just think you look thirsty, hungry, or need something for that bare ass, computer generated fish tank of yours. 2. If someone half way attractive says, “I like that outfit,” “God bless you,” or sends you a “poke,” it ain’t on a count of you lookin’ hotter than Rob Pattinson or Megan Fox. Truth be told, they’re tryin’ to make you feel better about that tacky shirt you decided to wear out, think you See “Mirror” on pg 28

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Dating Disaster

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By Brian Benson Another date, another disaster. This is pretty much how I would sum up my last date with “Mr. X” from last Saturday night. Once again I felt trapped like an obvious victim in a horror movie. I knew it was going to end bad, but just wasn’t sure when the deadly blow would come. Once while choking on some sushi, I almost considered not trying to fight for my life just so I could end my miserable date. I think all gays should have to read a guide book before we are allowed out in public. In a slight rip off from the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” I have put together a list of do’s and don’ts for the uneducated homosexual. Hopefully, the three guys in Oklahoma city I haven’t gone out with yet will see this list before our big date. 1. Do not talk about your exes. I want to think you are not still obsessing about them and are not carrying around any baggage from your last relationship. I don’t want to think that you have more issues than a National Geographic magazine 2. Don’t cruise other people or waiters at the restaurant. If you knew how many times this has happened to me, you would be shocked. At least wait until I go to the bathroom before you ask for the waiter’s phone number. 3. Don’t be rude to the wait staff. It just shows what an ass you are and the waiter won’t give you his number after you are rude to him 4. Don’t try to marry me on our first date. I am not sure if I like you yet so don’t try to plan for our 10th anniversary. Likewise, saying I love you or talking about vacationing together is also a little premature. 5. Don’t burp, fart, spit, pick your nose, or eat with your mouth open. Enough said. 6. Don’t talk about your job. I want to know that you have a job, but I don’t want to be able to perform it for you buy the end of the night. 7. Don’t brag about money; talking about your trip to Paris is okay, but bragging about how much you paid for it is not. Likewise I don’t want to know that you paid $200 for your jeans, $300 for your shoes, or 80k for your crappy car. There is a difference between sharing and bragging. 8. Don’t talk about your past tricks. I know that you screwed a lot of guys; I don’t want to know which ones we have in common. 9. Don’t lie about your job, money, career or other things. If you heard how many times I have gone out with supposed trust fund babies or deposed Russian royalty, you would be See “Disaster” on pg 30


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June June -- September September 2010 2010

historical event would be to ignore the unique ground breaking developments that happened in order to establish Pride events in Oklahoma City. In fact, Gay Pride Month was not officially observed in our city until June 1977 – nearly seven years after the original parade in New York City. What’s more, the earliest annual observations of Gay Pride Week did not include a parade until 1988.

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From “Pride” on pg 7

You might ask why it took someone so long to organize an event that to the Gay Community is the equivalent of Halloween, Christmas, & pretty much every other celebrated holiday during the year rolled into one. It is our chance to take center stage and bring down the house. The fact of the matter is, in Oklahoma, we were horribly oppressed and living in a tragically homophobic climate. Threats of violence, being publicly outed, and the prospect of losing your job, not to mention friends or family was enough to keep some of the proudest out of the spotlight. However, in June 1977, a collection of gay events – supported by local bars and upstart organizations – began to take shape during a time that was designated Gay Pride Week. Years later, these events were further enhanced and structured around a gay community center called OASIS that was formed in June 1984. The momentum that resulted led a handful of community leaders, including Paul Thompson, to bravely organize Oklahoma City’s first Gay Pride parade four years later. These early organizers did not expect a large outcome, but they were committed to the cause. To make things worse, their public attempts to organize the parade were met with threats of violence from members of the KKK who threatened to be present during the event. However, when the appointed day and time arrived, close to 500 brave gays and lesbians showed up to march. When these valiant queers topped the hill near Pennsylvania Avenue and 39th street, the roughly 25 KKK members – who had anticipated the opportunity to attack a handful of defenseless gays and lesbians - were intimidated and promptly left the area. See “Pride” on pg 20


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From “Pride” on pg 17

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In addition to the threat of violence, the marchers present that day faced imminent discovery by being forced out of the closet. Although members of a hate group, the KKK, were allowed to proudly showcase their cowardly ideals by shrouding themselves in secrecy by wearing a hood, a city ordinance in place at the time forbade parade participants from concealing their identity. When you consider the added guarantee of media coverage it was terribly frightening for those who, if outed, could possibly lose everything. Luckily, the news media were accommodating and agreed not to air any close up shots or footage that could lead to the identification of parade participants. In later parades, onlookers would be given the option to carry balloons that represented their inability to participate because of the oppressive climate in Oklahoma City. The following year, the number of people in attendance swelled to a 1,000 and the previously empty streets actually began to fill with viewers as well. Not only did the curious come out to see what all the fabulous fuss was about, but straight supporters of the gay community also chose to come out and take a stand. This time only about six bigoted men wearing KKK t-shirts were present, but no instances of violence broke out. Over the years that followed, protests continued to be rather unorganized and nonviolent, much to the delight of organizers and attendees alike. The next parade was even larger still – several thousand people attended – and it included what were becoming the characteristic events of Oklahoma City Gay Pride. While the parade itself became the focal point of what had originally been Pride Week it also involved a preliminary festival and address by a keynote speaker. Afterward, a block party on the gay strip was the place to be and celebrate individuality and equality. However, over the last 22 years, the events that have surrounded the parade have been altered based on the guidance of each planning committee and See “Pride” on pg 23 on the availability of resources.


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EscapeOKC.com June June -- September September 2010 2010 Page 23 From “Pride” on pg 20 Still, the goal of pride has stayed relatively the same: to create visibility for Queer people in Oklahoma. One writer in a June 15, 1990 issue of the Gayly Oklahoman – one of the community resources that contributed to the early success and eventual sustainability of the parade – wrote an article which stated, “As more and more gay men and lesbians come forward to appear in pride parades, the community-at-large” will see “not only the flamboyance and creativity that is the hallmark of gays and lesbians, but will also see the commitment, caring, and joy we experience in being able to express ourselves honestly.” As such, pride has often been a rallying point for issues that effect gays and lesbians and has also garnered strong opposition from state and local government organizations. For example, in 2001 Cimarron Alliance applied for a permit to hang banners from light posts along Classen Boulevard for the second year in a row in an effort to create visibility and awareness during pride. However, the Oklahoma City Council passed a city ordinance that excluded gay banners from being displayed on light posts. Even after the word “pride” was blacked out on the application, the city would not allow the proposed banners to be posted. In response, the ACLU sponsored a federal lawsuit on behalf of Cimarron Alliance and the ordinance was finally thrown out after the judge ruled that it was unconstitutional. See “Pride” on pg 24


EscapeOKC Page 24 .com June - September June - 2010 September 2010 EscapeOKC Page .com 24 From “Pride” on pg 23 Because inclusion and solidarity are at the heart of the gay pride movement, battles like these are far from over. Gay Pride in Oklahoma City continues to be a rallying point for Queer people across the State. Each year, vast amounts of time, money, and energy are invested in making it bigger and better than the year before with the goal of bringing together an oppressed people in need of a voice. This voice and visibility are available to us today because of brave queers who were willing to attend events, face discrimination, risk physical harm, and believe in a better future. It is because of them – and many others – that we enjoy the increasing freedoms we do have today in Oklahoma. This month, hundreds of thousands of men and women around the world will take to the streets to march for visibility and solidarity in gay pride parades. All Queer marchers simply ask for is the basic rights granted other Americans - the right to work, the right to safety, and the right to equality. During Oklahoma City’s Gay Pride events, we are met with the same opportunity to proudly stand up and proclaim our existence. When we participate, support, and attend Gay Pride in Oklahoma City, we are part of ensuring greater freedom and happiness for Queer people across the state.


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back to the sandbox. We all fell victim to cliquing at a very young age, some of us even fell out of cliquing and found ourselves to be outsiders, many times because of our sexuality. Is it a flaw in humanity to fall into cliques? Is it a choice? Ask yourself this: Could you successfully and securely leave your comfort zone to become part of another group? Is anyone comfortable enough to admit that they could open their clique to an outsider? Could they do it free of judgment? By behaving in this way we set an example and help lay the ground work for another generation within our community to see it as “acceptable” to be hateful and judgmental toward a fellow gay. The last thing someone should feel is unwanted, unloved, hated, or shunned. Every human has dealt with at least one of these feelings at some point in their lives. Find that memory, take from that what you felt and how you dealt with it. Did it have a positive effect on your personality? Did it have a negative one? Was there someone there to guide you or show you kindness and understanding? We all impact one another whether we realize it or not. For some, especially the youth, the gay community is the only family they truly have. We should embrace them, love them, and show them acceptance and understanding all while supplying them the tools needed to be a productive and proud member of this community. With suicide and drug addiction rates consistently climbing in homosexuals, reaching out, not just to one another but to our youth, is more important than ever. Your attitude can seriously alter someone’s life. However, it is up to each individual to choose whether or not the impact is a positive one. More time should be spent reaching out to the LGBT youth in a positive way and less time should be spent shunning them. Think about it like this – many straight activists hate gays because they see us as “less than them” or “not as good as them.” By reacting this way to See “Snobs” on pg 32

From “Snobs” on pg 9

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From “Mirror” on pg 12 need prayer, or your default picture makes you

look really lonely. 3. When a person asks you to dance, invites you to set by them in the church fellowship hall, or sends you a message, it ain’t on account of them wantin’ to give your bastard kids or your dogs their last name. Usually it’s because they want to dance and you don’t look like anyone else is gonna dance with you, they don’t want you to have to eat alone, or your Wall or Comment Section hasn’t been written on by anyone with the exception of a person inviting you to visit their band’s page in the past month. 4. And last, but not least, if an individual lets you order your drink before them, let’s you cut in line for a meat item, or leaves a flattering comment on one of your photos, don’t take it that they find you to be all that and a can of spray on cheese. They’re simply trying to be nice, want to be courteous, or, by the way you look in your picture, that you might be able to get ‘em comped tickets to Larry the Cable Guy or a demolition derby rally. So give yourself a reality check, and until the next edition… Love, Kisses, and Trailer Park Wishes,

Ruby Ann Boxcar

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EscapeOKC.com date doesn’t smoke, and don’t get drunk. It’s a fine line between being the cute, trendy bar star and the gross, drunk troll from Tramps. 17. Be courteous on your dates. Holding the door and trying to pay the tab is a nice gesture. However, opening the car door might be a little much. 18. Never stand me up. This is a small town and everyone knows everyone. I will get even. 19. Don’t complain that the last six people you had a first date with were bitches, or nut jobs, or stood you up. I would have stood you up too if I had known you complained all the time. 20. Don’t turn everything, even the slightest comment, into an argument. Does it really matter whether the mushrooms are Shiitake or Portabella? Remember, you say tomato and I say buzz off. 21. Don’t take a medication before your date that you have never tried before. Likewise, if you are on medication, now is not the time to stop taking it. 22. Don’t drink out of a straw. I know that this sounds stupid, but I actually had a guy

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shocked. None of them ever seem to be able to pay for their own dinner. 10. Don’t complain about stuff. That means your job, your life, or anything else. No one wants to date a Debbie Downer. 11. Don’t talk about your self nonstop. Let your date get a chance to talk about himself. Remember, it’s not all about you. 12. Pay attention to your date. If I am over at your apartment and you spend all your time talking to your dog and not me, or you spend your time texting or talking on your phone, I will leave you and your little dog too. 13. Don’t talk about religion or politics. You will never get laid if this comes up. 14. Be aware of how your date responds to your conversation. If it is obvious that his eyes glazed over three hours ago, for the love of God please change the subject. No one but you cares about your gall bladder surgery. You just sound like my grandma when you talk about that. 15. Never order anything messy, like spaghetti, or stinky, like onions. That is, if you want to get a good night kiss or you plan to keep your clothes clean. 16. Don’t smoke if your From “Disaster” on pg 15

See “Disaster” on pg 34


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EscapeOKC.com long as you are prepared to defend exactly who you are. Rather than encouraging the negativity, let’s set aside whatever it is were holding on to and move forward. Together. Until we stop judging one another, we are giving outsiders permission to judge us.

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our fellow gays and LGBT youth we are only enforcing the same kind of hate within our own community. In doing so we are fueling the hater’s fire. They are constantly looking for a reason to dismiss our accomplishments and what we have to say. The haters love to see cracks and problems within our support system; it’s a sign of weakness and they feed on it. Why does this community seem so stuck in a rut? We spend so much time fighting for our equal rights, all while cutting one another off at the knees. Generations before ours fought for the right just to dance, hold hands, express emotions publicly, and here we are tearing at each other, claws out, for no reason. This community is divided like it is because of our choices in attitude. I don’t believe this is a generational “hate one another” theme in the gay community. I think the lack of unity and overall acceptance in the OKC gay community has been pushed to the side for many years. We have carried on a hate-filled tradition that is a complete cliché. If any one community should welcome outsiders free of judgment and criticism, it is the gay community. Make the subject of conversation at Sunday brunch less about who we dislike or hate from the night before and more about how to break down these walls our gay community continually, and blindly, builds. We all want to raise above the cliché and just be who we are. This is seemingly harmless so

From “Snobs” on pg 27


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EscapeOKC.com dump me because he thought it was too girlie to drink from a straw – he told me this as he was wearing eyeliner and a woman’s shirt. The one thing you should definitely do on a date? If you have a secret that might be dangerous to me, such as a crazy stalker boyfriend or that you are HIV positive, you need to be upfront about it so precautions can be made. Waiting until our 10th date will just piss me off and make me think that you are hiding other things too.

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From “Disaster” on pg 30

Publisher: Justin Elliott Editorial Staff: Crystal Beshear Daniel Hites Graphic Design: Michael Glovik Photography: Sean Brady Andrew Rodriguez Layout & Web Design: Justin Tyler Moore Writers: Doug Knutson Brian Benson Ruby Ann Box Car Crystal Beshear Elizabeth Black


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ESCAPE MAGAZINE PRIDE ISSUE