The Best Damn Newsletter in New Jersey! ®
CHALLENGE The Newsletter of the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County – Serving New Jersey’s GLBTI Communities Continuously Since 1972
Volume 39, Issue 4, May 2013
Standing Still and Holding Our Breath...at Warp Speed! by Andy Skurna
The subject matter for this month’s article was a tough choice. The deadline for this article was 4/15, only 20 days from the day the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry (aka the “Prop 8 Case”). The very next day SCOTUS heard arguments in United States v. Windsor (aka “The DOMA Case”). But that is not all that has happened, is it?
Meanwhile, back in the backwards United States, where at least through June we are still denied the equal treatment under the law promised by the 14th Amendment in 1868, we have the story of Allen, Roger, and Lee.
Allen Mansell and Roger Gorley, civil union husbands holding each other’s power of attorney for the last five years in Missouri, had their status as second class citizens rubbed in I readily admit (and for most of you, this their faces, kneed into Roger’s back, and will NOT be a newsflash) I am plugged into cut into his wrists. Allen has been Facebook just about 24/7, thanks to forstruggling with depression for years, and mer GAAMC member Jen D., who insisted during a visit with his family, they back in 2008 that GAAMC must get with decided to take him to the hospital. the times and get a Facebook page. Five They called Roger and let him know, and years later, the stream of information and Roger met them shortly after they calls-to-action hitting my feed is like a arrived at the hospital. Lee Mansell, ride through the rapids for my eyeballs. Allen's brother, and Roger had a disagreement about Allen’s care, Our wonderful editor, Allen Neuner, sumresulting in a loud dispute in the hospital marizes the top LGBTI news stories from room. Allen’s nurse decided to ignore around the world and delivers them in Roger’s legal status as his “husband” and Challenge ten times per year in a package power of attorney, and instead of asking known as "Gleanings". [See pages 4 thru 6 Lee to leave the room, ordered Roger to Roger Gorley and Allen Mansell -Ed.] When you see those neat, little leave his husband’s side. When he blurbs flowed onto the pages like that, we refused she called in security guards who beat his wrists can sometimes lose sight of the fact of all that usually has until he lost his grip of Allen’s hospital bed. That’s when happened within the last 30 days. they forced him to the floor, where one security guard But the tide has changed. The stream of news — no, the jammed his knee into his back while placing him in stream of change has swelled into rapids. Here are the handcuffs and took him to a holding area to surrender to local police. One of the responding police offers (clearly an events of one week in the life of marriage equality: ignorant homophobe) refused to touch Roger without rubber April 10: Uruguay became the 12th nation, the third gloves on. It seems that in his very little, closed mind, one in the western hemisphere, to grant marriage equality. can contract AIDS just by touching a gay man. April 12: France’s Senate approved a marriage (continued on page 6) equality bill, after the National Assembly passed Inside Challenge their version of the bill in November, 2012. President Hollande supports marriage equality, and is Challenge Information.... ................................ page 2 expected to sign the bill that is presented to him. GAAMC Events.............................................. page 2 April 15: Ireland’s Constitutional Convention voted Bulletin Board.............................................. page 3 to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The Meet Our Vice President of Operations................ page 3 Irish government is expected to hold debates and Rally for Marriage Equality............................... page 3 respond within four months. Gleanings: Queer news from around the world .... page 4 Calendar ..................................................... page 7 April 15: United Nations Secretary-General Ban KiDancing to Architecture: music reviews............. page 9 moon denounced discrimination against LGBT peoThe Little Box of Concerts............................. page 10 ple, declaring that religion, culture and tradition Call To Action: Rebuild the Jersey Shore............ page 11 can never be justification for denying basic rights. Poetry by Bill Realman Stella...........................page 11 April 16: New Zealand’s marriage equality bill Movie Review: Out of the Lockers: "42"............. page 12 passed into law. Getting Personal..........................................page 12 AIDS Walkathon Appeal.................................. page 12 April 17: Colombia’s Senate began debating marThis Month's Contributors............................... page 12 riage equality. February Board Meeting Minutes...................... page 13 Poetry: Poems by Tony Puma.......................... page 13 GAAMC Information...................................... page 14 BONUS Online Dancing To Architecture Extra...... page 15
Page 2 CHALLENGE May 2013 CHALLENGE Volume 39, Number 4 May 2013 ISSN 0277-1675 Staff Editor .....................Allen Neuner Assistant Editor ............. Bill Stella Advertising Manager ............. open Circulation Manager ............. open List Manager ................ Sue Harris Submissions The deadline for all articles, inserts, and advertisements is the fifteenth of the previous month. All submissions must be provided as electronic files. E-mail submissions to Challenge @ GAAMC.org. Ad Rates Single issue: Full page, $125.00; Half page, $85.00; Quarter page, $45.00; Business card, $25.00. For multi-issue rates, contact the Editor at Challenge @ GAAMC.org. GAAMC members may place one free classified ad per month, of no more than 200 characters in length. Change of Address Please let us know your new address! All address changes should be sent to the List Manager at ChangeAddress @ GAAMC.org. Challenge is © 2013-2014 by the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation. All rights reserved. All articles reflect the views of the original contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of GAAMC, its officers, or executive board. All copyrights revert to the original contributors upon publication. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the contributor. All articles, contributions, and advertisements are printed at the discretion of the Editor and/or GAAMC Executive Board.
GAAMC Events for May 2013 Discussion Groups OpenTalk: A regular weekly discussion group, open to all. 7:00, in the Library. Moderators: Kerry (May 6); Elias (May 13); Gordon (May 13, 27). Discussion group does not meet on Film Festival nights. Main Events [All start at 8:00 unless otherwise listed.] May 6: Singer/songwriter Mindy Schmitt brings heart and spirit into her songwriting, going from soft and sweet to punching guitar rhythms and vocals, suggesting the influence of Melissa Ferrick and the Indigo Girls, yet with her own distinctive sound. Mindy combines her love for nature and her passion for connecting with people through music. On stage with just her voice and her guitar, she has played venues all over the east to acclaim. Mark your calendars now! May 13: Attorneys Susan Dromsky-Reed and Carl Soranno from the firm of Brach Eichler LLC will join us to discuss what New Jersey couples need to know about financial planning and how to take care of one another. Until there's marriage equality, we need to have our affairs in order. Susan and Carl will explain what we need to consider under current law to make sure our loved ones are protected. May 20: GAAMC’s Film Festival continues its march toward Pride Month with Paris Was a Woman, a documentary of salon society in Paris between the two World Wars. A masterful piece of storytelling that incorporates diaries, home movies, and professional interviews of the figures guiding art and literature in Paris during its Golden Age. Learn more about the names you may only have read about! This is an experience you won’t soon forget. Note: The movie will start at 7:00. Sherri will moderate a discussion group in conjunction with the movie. May 27: GAAMC kicks off the summer season with our annual Memorial Day Barbeque! It's not summer until GAAMC says so, and this is how we say it! We supply hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers, plus the buns and the fixin's; YOU supply your favorite summer side dish or dessert, and we share the bounty of the season. Bring what your friends always ask you to bring — potato salad, macaroni salad, ambrosia, fruit salad, tabouleh, hummus, whatever! This is one of the bestattended and enjoyable events in our calendar, and we're going to have a blast!
Coming in June! June 3: Jersey Pride Share Fest! You've kicked off Pride season in Asbury Park with Jersey Pride and you've had some adventures. Come share your experiences with your GAAMC friends! Did you forget to wear your sunscreen in all the excitement? Did you march with GAAMC in the Pride Parade in Asbury — and are you going to march in New York City at the end of the month? This is just the beginning of a month celebrating everything that makes you proud to be part of the GLBT community! June 10: GAAMC holds a special presentation of the film Bully. Many of us were bullied as children, and some of us even as adults. How do we break the cycle for ourselves and for future generations? Bullying is not just about sexuality; it's about breaking what makes us unique. Stop the cycle. Join us for this sobering presentation. Note: All programs and discussion groups are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, go to GAAMC.org.
May 3: Let's Rally For Marriage Equality!
Grace Church (Episcopal) in downtown Newark will present Our Stories in Song: Music of LGBT Composers on Sunday, May 5th, at 4 pm in the church at 950 Broad Street. The concert benefits HMI:Newark, which offers services for LGBTQ youth, and the Music Society of Grace Church. Performers include mezzo Lacey Jo Benter, sopranos Abigail Hayes Lennox and Amelia Watkins, baritone Timothy McDevitt, and pianist B r y a n Wa g o r n . Tickets: www.hmi.org/gracechurch or music@ gracechurchinnewark.org.
Okay, folks, it’s time to put the activist back in Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County! There will be a rally for marriage equality on the Green in Morristown on Friday, May 3, 2013 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. The rally is being sponsored by four Unitarian churches: Morristown, Plainfield, Princeton and Summit. It will coincide with the denomination’s annual business meeting in Morristown at the Hyatt Hotel on May 3 and 4. Meet our
Vice President for Operations
Hudson Pride invites all GLBTQ youth to their 2013 Youth Connect Prom on June 15th in Jersey City from 7 to 11 pm! Reservations are required, so for more information contact Stephanie Mills at 201-963-4779 x118, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Garden State Equality seeks walkers to join them for their fourth annual Equality Walk, being held June 22nd at 4 pm at beautiful Erie Park in Montclair. Team and individual walkers are welcome at this fundraising event supporting the many projects done by GSE in the fight for full equality for all! For more information, or to register, visit GardenStateEquality.org
Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Pride Events
by Mickey Suiter
GAAMC is fortunate to have such a generous and loyal volunteer in John DeLeeuw. You may know John as the tall, dark, and handsome guy who makes coffee each week, or you may have noticed him setting up chairs and tables for you to enjoy a discussion group or speaker.
Since GAAMC is an all volunteer organization, that means he's putting out chairs and arranging for refreshments so you don't have to! So please remember to thank him...or better yet, pitch in to help!
John is also our Vice President of Operations. He's there to ensure that our guests' needs are met, including adherence to our "Safe Space" standards. John makes sure that our guests respect the property of our host, the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. If any guests have questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding the spaces we use each week, please bring them to John. If he can't immediately address your issues, he will bring them to the attention of the Board of Trustees for the best possible resolution and implementation.
The group of four churches has proposed that the 51 New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey Unitarian churches pass a resolution urging that both state and federal law support marriage equality. The plan is to hold a public march and rally Friday evening from the Hyatt Hotel on Speedwell Avenue to the Morristown Green (about two blocks away) where four speakers will talk about the issues of marriage equality. The speakers will be Rev. Allison Miller of MUF, Gordon Sauer of GAAMC, Michael Mayer of Garden State Equality, and Annette Marquis, UUA LGBTQ and Multicultural Ministries Program Manager. There will also be a performance by O l y m p i a ’s D a u g h t e r s , t h e women’s a cappella singing group.
Please plan to join our Unitarian friends and GAAMC members at this local rally. There will be members of the press attending so it is important that we have a You can reach John by sending email to large crowd. We will meet in of the Hyatt on Speedwell Operations@GAAMC.org — or by walking up to front Ave. between 5:00 and 5:30 PM. him on a Monday night to say "Hello" and More information will be posted May 3: Rally For Marriage "Thank you!" and "What can I do to help?" on our Facebook page and Yahoo Equality on the Green in group as it becomes available, or Morristown, 5:30 to 6:30 pm. See see Mickey at any Monday night meeting. the article on the right for more information. Pride season is upon us and GAAMC, as always, will be participating in a number of fun, festive events. Save these dates and join us in celebrating another year of success in our march toward equal rights!
June 2: Jersey Pride in Asbury Park, noon to 6 pm. New Jersey’s oldest and largest celebration of gay pride. March with us in the parade or help out at our table at the festival — or both! June 9: North Jersey Pride in Maplewood, noon to 6 pm. The third annual festival in Memorial Park in Maplewood. Join GAAMC at the closest Pride festival to our home. June 30: NYC Pride March, noon to 4 pm. The granddaddy of all Pride celebrations. If you’ve never experienced the thrill of marching down Fifth Avenue with a million people cheering you on, you don’t know what you’re missing! August 24: Hudson Pride in Jersey City, noon to 8 pm. A friendly festival on Montgomery Street at the Hudson River. Great people, great location, and great views of the river and lower Manhattan!
Page 4 CHALLENGE May 2013
Queer news from around the world The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages in that state. The justices' questions and comments suggest they may be hesitant to issue a sweeping ruling in the case, if they decide it at all. A significant portion of the hearing was dedicated to whether marriage-equality opponents had standing to bring the case; if the court rules that they don't, same-sex marriages would resume in California under a lower court ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a swing vote, said the immediate needs of the 40,000 children of same-sex couples in California should be considered in the case. (The New York Times) Paul Clement, the lawyer hired by the House of Representatives to argue the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, struggled to answer Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan after she rebutted his argument that lawmakers passed DOMA to establish "uniformity" among the states. Reading from a House Report, Kagan said the law was intended to "express moral disapproval of homosexuality." Amid gasps from those watching the proceedings, Clement answered, "Does the House Report say that? Of course, the House Report says that. And if that's enough to invalidate the statute, then you should invalidate the statute." At least four Supreme Court justices indicated concern about the federal governmentâ€™s foray into defining marriage, an issue they said was traditionally handled by the states. (MetroWeekly, Washington DC) The U.S. Agency for International Development announced an $11 million public-private partnership aimed at growing support for LGBT equality in developing countries. Among the first projects will be a training conducted by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute in Bogota, Colombia, designed to increase the participation of LGBT individuals in government and civic life. "That civic engagement we know changes the discussion. It changes everybodyâ€™s understanding of who we are as people and it changes the nature of the debate," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Institute. (Washington Blade) A compromise immigration bill being negotiated by eight U.S. senators will not address the immigration concerns of LGBT families, according to Immigration Equality Executive Director Rachel Tiven. She hopes the bill can be amended as it works its way through Congress. Representative Jerrold Nadler (DNY) echoed that point, saying he would fight "to ensure that LGBT-inclusive language remains in any House and Senate conference report." Meanwhile, LGBT groups said that they will pressure the Senate to amend the bill because the legislation as written does not provide a remedy for binational same-sex couples. So far the White House has refused to say if it will join that lobbying effort. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is expected to offer an amendment on the issue, but Senate Republicans have warned that including LGBT provisions could sink the bill. (Metro Weekly, Washington DC; Washington Blade) President Barack Obama's proposed 2014 budget contains a provision that would allow federal workers to add their same-sex domestic partners to their health insurance plan beginning in 2015. The provision would help the government compete with corporations in attracting potential employees, according to a fact sheet released along with the budget. (CNN)
New Jersey's Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee passed a bill outlawing sexual orientation change efforts, commonly known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy, for those under 18. The legislation brings New Jersey into the forefront of states who have outlawed, or are seeking to outlaw, the much-criticized practice. The bill will now move to the state Senate for a vote. (Asbury Park Press) Rhode Island's state Senate passed a marriage equality bill by a 26-12 vote. The Senate also defeated a proposed amendment which would have put the issue to a popular vote in 2014. The bill now returns to the state House for a largely procedural vote on small changes made to it in the Senate; the House voted in favor of the original bill in January. From there, the bill goes to Governor Lincoln Chafee (I), who has promised to sign it. Rhode Island becomes the tenth state and the last New England state to approve marriage equality. (Boston Globe) See video of the Senate vote that passed the bill, with Sen. Maryellen Goodwin's conclusive "I will be casting my vote today on the side of love" speech at h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = O j D w 2 2 1BHs&feature=share&list=PLC12B9ACB2BB189CE " Delaware's House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize marriage for same-sex couples by a vote of 23 to 18. The bill now moves to the state Senate for a vote. Governor Jack Markell (D) has agreed to sign it into law. Governor Markell, along with the state's attorney general, Senate president pro tempore, and House speaker had earlier announced their support for legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. (TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com; Reuters) Nevada's state Senate voted to repeal the state's constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples, replacing it with language recognizing all marriages between two people "regardless of gender". Nevada's Senate is the first legislative chamber in the country to affirm the overturn of a marriage amendment. During debate, Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D) came out as "a black, gay male," pointing out that his parents' interracial marriage would have been similarly banned decades ago. The measure now has to be approved in the state Assembly, then by both houses again in 2015, after which it must pass a referendum which would take place in 2016 at the earliest. (ThinkProgress.org) Florida's Senate Commitee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs approved legislation that would establish a statewide domestic-partnership registry. The bill would provide certain legal protections, including hospital visitation, correctional facility visitation, end-of-life decisionmaking rights, and burial arrangements. The bill, passed with bipartisan support, now moves on to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Equality Florida) Two same-sex couples in New Mexico who were denied marriage licenses are suing in state court, seeking a marriage license and an injunction stopping the county clerk from refusing to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses. The American Civil Liberties Union and National Center for Lesbian Rights are co-counsel in the lawsuit. New Mexico has no specific law allowing or banning same-sex couples from marrying. The ambiguous status of same-sex couples' marriage rights was raised earlier when the Santa Fe city at(continued on next page)
(continued from previous page) torney issued an opinion that asserted same-sex couples are allowed to marry. (MetroWeekly, Wasington DC) Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) signed a measure passed by the state legislature repealing a law criminalizing gay sex which had been deemed unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in 1997. Montana Representative Bryce Bennett's (D) personal plea on the floor of the state House helped advance the measure. "[U]nder this law, I am considered a felon. I am not your equal," Bennett said. (Billings Gazette) Texas' Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted to repeal the state's anti-gay sodomy law, a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Texas, along with Oklahoma and Kansas, are the only states that still have the law on the books. The State Bar of Texas, the ACLU, and Equality Texas supported the bill, which passed unanimously. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. (Houston Chronicle)
behavior toward players that included the use of anti-gay epithets. "That's not good enough," said Troy Stevenson, the group's executive director. While the University has also accepted the resignation of Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, GSE is pushing for an investigation into what school officials knew, when they knew it, and why they didn't act sooner, as well as for a release of documents and information related to the internal investigation of Coach Rice. (NJ.com) P r o m i n e n t Z a m b i a n g a y - r i g h t s a d v o c a t e Pa u l Kasonkomona was arrested by police in the capital city of Lusaka after appearing on television to demand the decriminalization of same-sex relations. He was charged with "inciting the public to take part in indecent activities," a police official said. (BBC)
French lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage, despite vocal protests from some conservatives. The National Assembly, the nation's lower house, approved a marriage bill which will also give same-sex Parades in Cincinnati supported by municipal couples the right to adopt in a 331-to-225 funds will be required to follow the city's final vote. President Francois Hollande, who anti-discrimination policies under an pledged his support for same-sex marriage ordinance championed by openly gay on the campaign trail last year, will have to Councilman Chris Seelbach. The legislation Paul Kasonkomona (Photo: Mwebantu) sign the bill before it becomes law. follows a St. Patrickâ€™s Day parade in which Opponents, including the Roman Catholic organizers refused to allow an LGBT group to participate. Church, other religious groups and social conservatives, still (Cincinnati CityBeat) hope to block the measure by filing a legal challenge with The Arizona House Appropriations Committee approved the Constitutional Council. The Council has a month to make legislation that would allow businesses to forbid transgender its ruling. Once enacted, France will be the ninth country in customers from using certain public bathrooms. "My bill is Europe to allow same-sex marriage. (CNN) not about depriving somebody of civil rights. My bill is about Uruguay's Congress has voted overwhelmingly to legalize restoring civility in public baths, public showers, public gay marriage, becoming only the second country in Latin dressing rooms," said the bill's sponsor, Representative John America to do so, after Argentina. The bill was approved by Kavanagh (R). Opponents say there is no evidence that more than two-thirds of the lower chamber, despite allowing trans individuals to use bathrooms designated for opposition from the Catholic Church. The proposal has the gender with which they identify has caused serious already been backed by the upper house. It is expected to problems anywhere. Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General be signed into law by President Jose Mujica, a champion of Tom Horne said this week that he would sue to block the the bill. (BBC) town of Bisbee from implementing a recently passed ordinance that provides for civil unions for same-sex Members of New Zealand's Parliament broke into song and couples, which he says infringes on state law. (CBS News; LGBT advocates cheered after New Zealand became the The New York Times) 13th country in the world and first in the Asia-Pacific region to allow same-sex couples to marry. The move puts pressure California's Senate Governance and Finance Committee on New Zealand's neighbor, Australia, where thousands have approved a bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of petitioned the government to pass a marriage-equality bill. America to lift its ban on gay members by making the (The Washington Post) organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks. The Youth Equality Act, sponsored by Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara The Brazilian state of Rio de Janerio is the latest Brazilian (D), would deny tax-exempt status to youth groups that state to legalize same-sex marriage. The General Magisdiscriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual trate of Justice of Rio ruled that same-sex civil unions must be orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation. treated the same as marriages. This means that 15 days after That means those groups would have to pay corporate taxes the publication of a civil union, the couple will be considered on donations, membership dues, camp fees, and other married under the law and won't have to go through sources of income, as well as sales taxes on food, petitioning the judge to convert the union into a marriage. Rio beverages, and homemade items sold at fundraisers. The de Janerio joins nine other Brazilian states and the Federal bill now moves to committee for review. (ABC News) District in allowing same-sex marriage. (QueerLandia.com) The Boy Scouts of America board will vote in May on a proposed policy that would end a longstanding ban on gay Scouts. The decision to put forward the policy change was reached after months of surveys, research and discussion within the organization, said spokesman Deron Smith. The policy would apply to Scouts, but not to adult Scout leaders. (CNN) Garden State Equality is calling for more action from Rutgers University officials after the school this week fired basketball coach Mike Rice, who was videotaped engaging in abusive
Ireland will hold a referendum on legalizing gay marriage after a special convention set up to reform the Irish constitution recommended that same-sex couples in the republic be recognized in law. Under the Irish constitution, any major constitutional change has to be ratified by the electorate. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Gay and Lesbian Network welcomed the endorsement of (continued on next page)
Page 6 CHALLENGE May 2013
(continued from previous page) gay marriage equality. The convention was established by a coalition of the Fine, Gael, and Labour parties to secularize much of the Irish constitution, which gave the Roman Catholic church a great deal of power and influence in the government. (The Guardian, London) A 2011 Pakistan Supreme Court ruling gave transgender individuals the right to vote, and now some are running for office, convinced that their participation in politics will raise awareness of the plight of transgender people in the deeply conservative country. "People ask if we will win or lose in the elections. But I won when my nomination papers were submitted," said Bindiya Rana, an openly transgender candidate running for office in Karachi. (ABC News) The death of a California gay man who had contacted a lethal strain of bacterial meningitis follows the deaths of seven gay men who were killed by the disease in New York, but health experts said the disease is not transmitted mainly through sexual contact. "It's spread by respiratory droplets, which means you can be sitting and having a prolonged conversation with somebody and spread the disease without having sex," said Dr. Parveen Kaur of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Still, LGBT leaders say governments should make a vaccine effective against the disease readily available to gay men who want it, citing lessons learned from an initially slow response to the HIV-AIDS epidemic. (The Sacramento Bee) John Berry, the openly gay director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, will step down this week, according to an e-mail he sent to agency employees that listed OPM's many achievements under his watch. Berry, the highestranking LGBT appointee in the Obama administration, has been mentioned as a potential pick for a U.S. ambassador post. (Washington Blade) Lieutenant Dan Choi, who chained himself to the White House fence in November 2010 to protest "DADT", returned to federal court to face changes of failing to obey lawful police orders. Choi, who is not trained as an attorney, served as his own lawyer, alternating between whispered apologies for his teary breakdowns and loud rebukes of Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela George for failing to refer to him as a lieutenant. During the trial, Lt. Choi broke down and was carried out of the DC courtroom to a nearby VA Hospital. Facing a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a $5,000 fine, Choi was found guilty and fined $100. (Washington Blade) Brittney Griner, a basketball star at Baylor University who became the top pick in the WNBA draft, told the media that she was openly gay in college. "I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that. I’ve always been open about who I am and my sexuality," Griner said. (ThinkProgress.org)
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Standing Still and Holding Our Breath… at Warp Speed! (continued from page 1) Regardless of how many domestic partnerships and civil unions we get, no matter what legal status we cobble together with powers of attorney, wills, trusts, advanced directives, etc., some members of society will continue to refuse any same-sex couples’ status. And as long as we allow society to label us a different, the mistreatment will continue. We may become exhausted by the fight for every right. We may get overwhelmed learning of the battles our neighbors fight in the next town, state, or country. It is always emotionally crushing to learn of bullying cases so extreme that the victims take their own lives to end their suffering. But we must stop every now and then to acknowledge that we are winning in the court of public opinion. And just as it is with racism and chauvinism, some bigots are so damaged we just need to wait for death to claim them. But, whenever you find yourself in need of inspiration, a ray of hope that things are getting better, just look to our young people. In virtually every poll, people under the age of 30 are overwhelmingly supportive of equal rights. One recent poll estimated support for marriage equality at 81%. If ever you needed something to cheer about…there you have it.
May 2013 Calendar
Recurring Contact Information
* Hackensack Peer Support Groups: 800-508-7577; www.njbuddies.org † Pride Center, Highland Park: 732-846-2232; www.pridecenter.org ‡ Hudson Pride Connections Center: 201-963-4779; HudsonPride.org λ LGBT Center Rainbow Lounge, Princeton: www.princeton.edu/lgbt ♦ North Jersey PrimeTimers: www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm - HIV testing, Morristown; 973-889-6802 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - HIV testing, Asbury Park; 800-947-0020 10:00 am to 5:00 pm - HiTOPS Health Center, Princeton; www.hitops.org; 609-683-5155 x 211 Every Monday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ hyacinth.org 6:30 pm - Yoga, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - GAAMC, Morristown (see page 2) 7:00 pm - Bowling, Union; merenl @ comcast.net 7:00 pm - S.E.L.F. HIV Men’s support group, Hackensack * 7:30 pm - New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus choir practice, Princeton; 609-396-7774; www.njgmc.org 7:30 pm - Overeaters Anonymous, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Bowling, Green Brook; qcrollers @ aol.com 8:00 pm - Wellness Group, Jersey City ‡ Every Tuesday 12:30 pm - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @hyacinth.org 4:00 pm - Treatment Adherence Support Group, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @hyacinth.org 6:30 pm - Transview, Jersey City ‡ 6:30 pm - AA Group, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - NA Group, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - Tuesday Night Lesbian Connection, Bound Brook; 908-791-3764 7:30 pm - Men’s HIV support group, Asbury Park; 732-775-5084; apstillpoz @ yahoo.com 7:30 pm - Positive Yoga, Oradell * 8:45 pm - Bowling, Belleville; 973-256-5936; NJGLB @ aol.com 9:00 pm - Bowling, Jersey City; 201-933-6028; JoeyNJ @ aol.com 9:15 pm - Bowling, Edison; 732-548-4550; cnjgbl @ yahoo.com 01 Wed Noon - Transgender Working Group Update, Princeton λ 5:30 pm - Hudson County HIV/AIDS Services Planning Council, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - Gay Dad’s discussion group, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Workshop: Setting & Achieving Your Goals, Jersey City ‡ 02 Thu 4:00 pm - The After School Hang Out, Highland Park † 7:00 pm - Coffee Night, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 8:00 pm - 8: A Staged Reading, Princeton λ 03 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack * 7:30 pm - Karaoke, Highland Park †
Every Wednesday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @hyacinth.org 6:00 pm - Positive People peer support group, Hackensack * 6:00 pm - SAGE, Jersey City ‡ 6:30 pm - AA Group, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - Men’s Living Out group, Highland Park; njwarrior @ aol.com † 7:30 pm - Gay Men’s Coming Out group, Highland Park; pdumpert @ gmail.com † 8:30 pm - Pride Night meeting, Newark Every Thursday 6:00 pm - Our Youth weekly support group, Jersey City; www.myspacenj.org 6:30 pm - Double Jeopardy peer support group, Hackensack * 6:30 pm - Hudson Men of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - Sexual Assault Survivor Support, Princeton; www.hitops.org 7:30 pm - Rainbows on Cleveland Street, Orange; 973-256-5936; rbowsoncleveland @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Writers group, Highland Park † Every Friday 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City ‡ Every Sunday 10:45 am - MCC of Christ the Liberator, Highland Park; mccliberator @ excite.com † Noon - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Glen Ridge; 973-731-7765; stfrancisnj.org 2:30 pm - Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark; 973-621-2100 5:30 pm - Central Jersey Rainbows Bowling League, Bradley Beach; CJRBowling @ gmail.com 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 6:30 pm - Gay Men’s Opera Club; 732-249-9034; hagol @ msn.com 06 Mon Noon - "Why Evangelical Prostestants Are Right When They Say That State Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages Threatens Their Marriages and What the Law Should Do" , Princeton λ 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Asbury Park; www.jsqspot.org 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park †
04 Sat 11:00 am - Community Wellness 2013, Jersey City ‡ 11:30 am - Dialogues of the Carmelites, New York♦ 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org
07 Tue 5:00 pm - Class of 2015 Happy Hour, Princeton λ 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, New Brunswick; www.GPBN.net 7:30 pm - LGBT Fellowship, Belleville; 973-751-0616 7:30 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support, Highland Park †
05 Sun 1:00 pm - Faith Community Meeting, Jersey City ‡
08 Wed 7:30 am - Living Out Women, Highland Park †
Page 8 CHALLENGE May 2013 08 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www. GPBN.net 6:00 pm - Booked for Supper, Highland Park † 6:30 pm - North Jersey Prime Timers' monthly meetup, Little Falls ♦ 09 Thu 7:00 pm - Qspot Book Club, Point Pleasant 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of North Jersey, South Orange; 908-789-7489; pflagwaver @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Alternate Thursdays, Montclair; kjdinkin @ comcast.net 7:30 pm - Kollege of Kink, Highland Park † 10 Fri 7:30 pm - Rock Band/Guitar Hero, Highland Park † 11 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park † 1:00 pm - Women of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 2:00 pm - Lavender Graduation, Princeton λ 7:30 pm - Movie Social, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick gay Catholic liturgy; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 12 Sun 6:00 pm - Gay Men’s Classical Song Club, Kingston; pbrown02 @ worldnet.att.net 13 Mon 6:30 pm - HIV Testing, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Morris County, Mendham; 973-727-5288; pflag.morris @ verizon.net 7:30 pm - PFLAG, Princeton; 609-663-5155; www.pflagprinceton.org 7:30 pm - FetChat, Highland Park † 14 Tue 7:00 pm - Bisexual, Bicurious, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PCNJ Board of Trustees meeting, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Yoga for Men, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Men's Social Night, Highland Park † 15 Wed 7:30 pm - United in Grace discussion/support group, Jersey City; 201-946-0650; greg.perez @ comcast.net 8:30 pm - Bowling, Boonton ♦ 16 Thu 4:00 pm - The After School Hang Out, Highland Park † 6:30 pm - New Volunteer Orientation, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - GAAMC board meeting, Morristown; All GAAMC members are invited to attend. 7:00 pm - GLSEN Training, Highland Park † 7:00 pm - PCNJ HIV Planning Committee, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support Group, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Northwest NJ, Sparta; 973-729-9909 7:30 pm - Volunteer Group Meeting, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - ABT's Eugene Onegin, New York ♦ 17 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack * 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick social; 732-968-9263;
dignitynb @ earthlink.net 8:00 pm - Out of the Box open mic night, Highland Park (sign-up begins 7:30); outoftheboxinfo @ mac.com 8:00 pm - Shabbat Service, Highland Park; njlgh.onefireplace.com 18 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org 7:00 pm - Rainbow Bowling, Bradley Beach; 732-774-4540 7:00 pm - NJ Gay Film Society & Potluck Dinner Club, location TBA; gayfilms @ bigfoot.com 7:30 pm - Games Night, Highland Park † 19 Sun 1:00 pm - Faith Community Meeting, Jersey City ‡ 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 4:00 pm - TrueSelves trans support group, Highland Park † 20 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Asbury Park; www.jsqspot.org 7:00 pm - Dinner at Charlie Brown's, Millburn ♦ 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park † 21 Tue 7:00 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Lesbian Alliance of Princeton; 609-924-8174; Loisj @ msn.com 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Hunterdon County, Flemington; 908-752-1370; pflaghc @ yahoo.com 8:00 pm - PFLAG of Bergen County, Paramus; 201-287-0318; www.bergenpflag.org 8:00 pm - NJ Women, Secaucus; info @ njwomen.org 22 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www. GPBN.net 7:30 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park † 23 Thu 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Havurah board meeting, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 24 Fri 7:30 pm - Living Soulfully, Highland Park † 25 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park † 1:00 pm - Women of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - Gay Bowling, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; 732-776-6160 7:00 pm - Men's Pot Luck Dinner, Highland Park † 26 Sun 27 Mon 7:30 pm - FetChat, Highland Park † 28 Tue 7:00 pm - Bisexual, Bi-curious and Allies Support Group, Highland Park † 7:00 pm - Stonewall Democrats, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Yoga for Men, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Men's Social, Highland Park †
Dancing To Architecture™: Music Reviews & News with a Queer Ear by Bill Rea lma n Stella Welcome! Welcome Spring with sounds to put a spring in your step . This issue, it's music to listen to while walking in the warmer cool weather, or for quicker pursuits to make the heart beat faster. Or for sticking around a sidewalk cafe, small screen at hand, connecting to the cutie miles away — or across the room.
Kacey Musgraves ~ Same Trailer Different Park
May I introduce Kacey Musgraves and her songs if you haven't met yet. She has only reached that level of saturation where everybody knows who she is in Country Hits listening circles. But make no mistake, you will know who she is before long. Musgraves is a giant talent. Her promotions team has come up with hype which is no hype. Once you've heard her songs, none of the praise rings false. She's the rare songwriter whose real talents stand up to the statement that she's known for her "quirky puns, shrewd metaphors, and steely ironies." It's true, not mere words. Her team describes her personality with angles that aren't angles. They tell stories of destiny and steadiness, not your average, bought-and-paid-for boilerplate from the hyperbole machine. It's hype-free hype. "A MONTH BEFORE SHE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN HER SMALL HOMETOWN OF MINEOLA, TEXAS, KACEY MUSGRAVES REACHED UP HIGH AND STUCK A PIECE OF PAPER ON A HALLWAY WALL. THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, RICKY STEPHENS, JUST LET IT SIT THERE, IN CASE THE SINGER-SONGWRITER GOT FAMOUS ONE DAY. WE DON'T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT THAT MEMENTO OF MUSGRAVES' SENIORITIS — WHETHER THE EDGES ARE YELLOWING, WHETHER IT CONTAINS A SKETCH FOR ONE OF THE PORTRAITS OF HEROES LIKE WILLIE NELSON THAT MUSGRAVES USED TO PAINT IN ART CLASS, OR WHETHER MUSGRAVES SCRAWLED SOMETHING WRY AND REBELLIOUS ON IT […]. WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR NASHVILLE'S MOST EXCITING RISING ARTIST TO WRITE A SONG ABOUT IT. THEN, BECAUSE MUSGRAVES CAN MAKE LITTLE THINGS LIKE A TORN SHEET OF NOTEBOOK PAPER SPEAK FULL REALITIES, THAT SONG WILL HELP US FEEL IT CRUMPLED IN OUR HANDS."
That's the kind of respect Kacey Musgraves commands. Same Trailer Different Park (and how cool a title is that, anyway?) clocks in at a svelte 40 minutes, 12 lean songs with Pop craftswomanship that fly despite Musgraves' young-20s age, displaying a level of songwriting discipline that reminds me of Carole King. These lyrics alone illustrates her lyrical prowess. Her hit: "Merry Go Round" " 'If you ain't got two kids by 21 / You're probably gonna die alone.' / Least that's what tradition told you. / And it don't matter if you don't believe / Come Sunday morning, you best be there / in the front row like you're supposed to. // Same hurt in every heart. / Same trailer, different park.// Mama's hooked on Mary Kay. / Brother's hooked on Mary Jane. / Daddy's hooked on Mary, two doors down. / Mary, Mary quite contrary. / We get bored, so, we get married / Just like dust, we settle in this town. / On this broken merry go 'round // And 'round and 'round we go / Where it stops nobody knows / and it ain't slowin' down. / This Merry Go Round. // We think the first time's good enough. / So, we hold on to high school love / sayin' we won't end up like our parents. / Tiny little boxes in a row. / Ain't what you want, it's what you know. / Just happy in the shoes you're wearin'. //
… Jack and Jill went up the hill. / Jack burned out on booze and pills. / And Mary had a little lamb. / Mary just don't give a damn no more. …
And 'round and 'round we go / Where it stops nobody knows / and it ain't slowin' down. / This Merry Go Round. // It's a rare talent that can write observationally So, make lots of noise. about the lives Musgraves and (Yeah!) Kiss lots of boys. her neighbors lived, without (Yeah!) Or kiss lots of girls, cutting them to shreds. if that's something you're into. the straight and narrow Rather, "We think the first When gets a little too straight, roll time's enough" clearly tells us up a joint (or don't.) she includes herself in the fold Just follow your arrow of imperfect people living, wherever it points. learning, loving. But then… then… There's this utterly charming song that's the flip side of "Merry Go Round"'s melancholy. It's also a rare talent who can write songs with endearing credos but not turn trite. Musgraves succeeds, with "Follow Your Arrow": If you save yourself for marriage you're a bore. / If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a (w)horrible person./ … If you can't lose the weight then you're just fat. / But if you lose too much then you're on crack. / You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't,/ so you might as well just do whatever you want. // So, make lots of noise. (Yeah!) / Kiss lots of boys. (Yeah!)/ Or kiss lots of girls, if that's something you're into. / When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight/ roll up a joint (or don't.) / Just follow your arrow wherever it points. / Yeah, follow your arrow wherever it points. / If you don't go to church you'll go to hell. / If you're the first one on the front row you're a self- righteous son-of-a- / Can't win for losing. / you'll just disappoint 'em. / Just cause you can't beat 'em,/ don't mean you should join 'em./ Say what you think./ Love who you love. / 'Cause you just get so many trips around the sun. / Yeah, you only, only live once. / So, make lots of noise. (Yeah!) / Kiss lots of boys. (Yeah!)/ Or kiss lots of girls, if that's what you're into./ When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight,/ roll up a joint (I would) / And follow your arrow wherever it points, yeah./ Follow your arrow wherever it points. (lyrics © 2013 Kacey Musgraves)
Paul Simon aside, I'm hard-pressed to think of a betterwritten, more beautifully produced set of songs in an American Folk/Pop vein since Carole King's Tapestry. The mainstream, more savvy than many critics, who look down their noses at her Nashville-meets-Brill-Building roots, loves Musgraves. Light-hearted and sure-footed, Kacey Musgraves is a delight. I strongly recommend her. I'm proud to report that after this issue was printed Kacey Musgraves was named one of the "25 REASONS TO BE EXCITED ABOUT ROCK RIGHT NOW" by Rolling Stone magazine (May 9, 2013 issue). (continued on new, online-edition page 15) Dancing To Architecture™ ©2013 Bill Stella. All ©, ® & ™ items included in the column for review purposes are ©, ® & ™ their respective owners. The stylized Q indicates albums by (or significantly contributed to by) Out Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Transgendered persons.
Page 10 CHALLENGE May 2013
T H E L I T T L E B OX OF C ONC E RTS ™ GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
That's right. Melanie. (I don't feel defensive at all.) (Honey & I will be there.) Thursday, May 2, at Salt (a "gastropub") on Rt 206S, Byram, NJ Doors: 6:30 PM, Show 8 PM $27.50 + $10 minimum SaltGastropub.com
Friday, May 3, 7:30 PM The Minstrel @ UCC [GAAMC's Meeting Place] 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morris Twsp FolkProject.org
JOHNNY MATHIS That's right. Mathis. (I don't feel defensive at all.) Sunday, May 5, 7 PM Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, NJ CountBasieTheatre.org
DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS
Monday, May 6, 7:15 PM, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 Doors: 6:30 PM, $15.00
Thursday, May 9 Rockwood Music Hall 196 Allen Street, New York City
TEEN GIRL SCIENTIST MONTHLY Friday, May 10 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, May 11, 8 PM Lehman Center, Bronx, NY LehmanCenter.org
MELISSA FERRICK Sunday, May 19, 7:30 PM World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA WorldCafeLive.com
Friday, June 7, 7:30 PM Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA keswicktheatre.com
THE GO-GO'S PSYCHEDELIC FURS Sunday, June 16, 7:30 PM Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, NJ CountBasieTheatre.org
JOAN BAEZ & INDIGO GIRLS Thursday, June 20
Please note regarding shows at The Mann Center Rockwood: "There is a one drink Philadelphia, PA minimum; General Admission; Very MannCenter.org limited seating; Tickets do not guarantee seats." Rockwood's note, translated: In my CYNDI LAUPER experience, it's a small venue, the definitive intimate New York Performing "She's So Unusual" in its entirety experience: Not much personal space, but the room has fantastic Monday, July 6, 8 PM, acoustics and a friendly atmosphere. Taj Majal, Atlantic City, NJ Go and experience it for yourself. 609-441-6150 RockwoodMusicHall.com
CRITICS' DARLING RIP-OFF-OF-THE-MONTH
David Bowie ~ The Next Day
"Where Are We Now" was the first shitty, plodding song from Bowie's new, first-in-a-decade album, The Next Day. It was a video which also has music, setting a pattern for the ones that followed. Similarly the video, made for "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" is barely a music video, the melody-challenged, boring, shitty song almost an afterthought. The song pretentious video "Heat" is a melody-challenged, obtuse, shitty song. In other words, Bowie's back. And he's back in his standard (mis)appropriation mode, taking trends-with-legs (previous examples: androgyny, Philly Soul, Brian Eno's studio wizardry) and mashing them into mush for the masses. This year's model: Life sucks? Just reboot like a videogame and start over, the consequences of your past life erased. Don't buy it. No surprise that a new Bowie album comes with a new persona. For Bowie to re-invent himself in his 6th decade is just de rigueur. His latest re-invention is as a prodigal —his child-fans welcoming the return of the many-facaded Daddy David, crying, "We've missed you! You've been gone so-o-o long! Thank goodness you've come back to us!"— with amnesia. (More on that soon.) The best explanation for the critical acclaim this crap has accumulated: In an absurd perversion of the bromide "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," Bowie's absence has made his fans' healthy youthful distrust of institutionalized "classics" vanish before the weight of the long wait, dismissed by a hunger so brain-deadening it has turned his fans into zombies. Don't buy into it! This embarrassing, knee-jerk adulation by Ziggyinfatuated Bowie zealots mistakenly equates "I Miss You!" with "Your shit don't stink." Most definitely, ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you: David Bowie's shit does, in fact, stink. (Even worse, if you can imagine it, Bowie has bought into his own hype. Bowie's dot com is drenched in pablum. Persona-contradicting insecurity, I guess, prompts his site to republish his most fawning reviews and most hyperbolic career assessments.) Worst (perhaps not, readers, for you, but for me, nearly forcing my hand to want to strangle him for it (thankfully I don't care enough)) there's this… abomination. This album cover -->. It's a teflon no-stick, irresponsible image: a black-on-white square of "The Next Day" plastered over the black and white "Heroes" album. It's unambiguous this time, no mere reinvention. Bowie's attempting to reboot the history of his career, to start over from 1977. Problem is, I REMEMBER 1977. Even its bad middle-of-the-road music didn't sound as bad as this. As a young teen, I was often confused and disappointed by Bowie's self-reinventions, but when I was college-age they largely challenged and delighted me. To me it was Bowie's and Eno's Heroes, an essential step in my appreciation of collaborator/producer Brian Eno. Heroes led me to many discoveries: Noise can be musical; Musicians can have as many second acts as they can muster; "We can be heroes". And it established Eno as an important, vital producer who makes a huge difference, like Martin did for The Beatles and Johns did for The Who. But if Bowie's so tapped out he needs to defile his own history to transform himself, then fails at the transformation, then we, his audience, should make ourselves scarce. Look at the lie (the personal delusion?) he's selling us: The word "HEROES" is unambiguously crossed out. Plain as day, "The Next Day" is the next day, after "Heroes". The rest of his past? Blink. Gone. Perhaps "Heroes"'s follow-up, "Lodger", might arguably be permitted amnesty, since it belongs to the storied "Berlin" trilogy along with "Low" and "Heroes". The rest is history? No more. "The Next Day" begins anew after the Berlin years, so you're saying... <choke> ...Egad, man, you're attempting to disappear 1980's "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps"?!?!?!? (Probably my favorite Bowie album of all.) That's effin' criminal! But consider his "artistic purpose", his "message": It's as if he's saying "Memories are disposable… HOORAY!" Deleted. Erased. Non-existent. Nothing to see here. Nothing is perfect. This is artistically enforced amnesia. To the victor goes the spoils, and history is written by the victors, so let's spoil history—in the name of art. Silence=Victory?! Fuck. FUCK!! What's more denial-worshipping and deadly cynical than that? This crime can't go unchallenged. Committed surreptitiously, or for whatever justification, I won't let you, David Bowie, attempt to silence "Scary Monsters"' valuable voice. Like the survivors of Latin America's los desaparecidos, I bear witness to scary monsters (forgotten history) every day. I recall the truth of the moment when you gave "Fashion" the boot it deserved. It was so rich a send off that I'll retain the lesson you've abandoned: fashion and fascism are facets of the same shiny, worthless bauble. Bowie, you keep your shiny reboot. I'll keep the original unfashionable boot handy, for kicking shiny asses that need realignment.
The Next Wave of Action will be Back to the Beach, May 18: "The week before Memorial Day will be a “soft open” for many towns and businesses; COA will be coordinating parties, concerts, fundraisers and family events to kick off the summer season for locals." After a winter of recovery, getting our beaches clean for the summer is more important than ever. Kiley-Zufelt made these other awfully good points: "The good news is the park will be back. The bad news is there’s still a lot of work to be done, and not just at Gateway. Driving from Long Branch to Highlands, I was astounded at the level of devastation. Entire buildings were swept away; there’s still sand everywhere; every business and building in downtown Sea Bright was critically damaged. "It’s in our nature to have relatively short memories for disasters like this, especially when there are so many things competing for our attention. So please, don’t forget our neighbors at the Jersey Shore. If you can spare a couple dollars or a couple hours of your time, there are lots of people who could use a hand." (Jim Kiley-Zufelt's original column appeared in the February 1-7, 2013 issue of PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News.) Jim also said, "If you can spare a couple dollars," that is most welcome. Donate to COA at Noisetrade.com/ mickeyhart/jersey-shore and receive over two hours of music from Mickey Hart Band, in a special download-only album, "Jersey Shore", including the title song, what Hart calls "a tribute to the people and to the place we call The Jersey Shore", AND a full length concert recording of the band performing Live from the Jersey Shore on August 17, 2012 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, PLUS four tracks from the latest Mickey Hart Band album, Mysterium Tremendum. 100% of the net proceeds of "Jersey Shore" will go to Clean Ocean Action, who've organized over 4,000 volunteers since November 2012 to aid Sandy relief. All set to volunteer? Good.
Waves of Action A Special Call To Action Especially but not exclusively to The Gay Men of New Jersey Some weeks ago, as I was reading a recent issue of Philadelphia Gay News (Pick up your free copy at any Monday GAAMC meeting), I was pleased to see Jim Kiley-Zufelt began his column "Party Out of Bounds" with how good it felt to help clean up and rebuild Gateway National Park, the beaches at Sandy Hook, alongside 75 other volunteers. He wrote about turning his concerns (it was rumored that the park might never re-open) into the experience you get when your work makes a difference. After all, "That’s my favorite beach in all of New Jersey, and since I spend a lot of weekends there recharging my batteries from spring through fall, I was very concerned," he wrote. I know lots of people who visit Sandy Hook. Although I've heard from many kinds of people that they enjoy its beaches, especially Gunnison, it's mostly Gay Men. And that's why this is "A Special Call To Action To The Gay Men of New Jersey":
We use it. We love it. We should help fix it.
If you're reading this, don't hesitate, go to Waves of Action at
www. For TheS hor e. or g to learn how you can help Clean Ocean Action (COA) with the clean up. Do it NOW. COA has long worked to improve the environment of our shore communities. They tell us: "More than four months after Superstorm Sandy, families, communities, and cities are still experiencing its effects and need help. As we stand tall and pull together to recover and rebuild our homes and our lives, we can always spare time for our neighbors, our future, and our communities.
When Italian Americans Get Literary, They Forget Their Peasant Roots and Over-Enunciate Like Primary School Teachers or
The Italian Poem
by Bill Realman Stella My family? We didn't pronounce all the end-vowels of Italian words None of this literate accurate pronunciation shit, EsPECIALly with mouths full of food: "Ma-ni-GOT." "Prov-LOAN." "Bis-CAUGHT." "Mutt-za-RELL." Too busy eating, praising wordlessly with chewing and mmm-ing for literate accurate pronunciation. So what the hell am I to do at a gathering of poets committed to their capital "I" Italian, capital "H" Heritage? What other than to confess:
Every Sunday the aromas of Tomato GRAVY would billow Throughout the Stella homestead, Hit you with its Oregano Headiness As you'd enter the front door: "Whoa! What's cooking!? Oh, Ma! That smells GREAT! When's Dinner?" We all became bam-BEAN-os who just can't wait to stuff our faces, accept the love offered, no other love better. None better. "Pasta Fa-ZOOL!"
Page 12 CHALLENGE May 2013
Out of the Lockers: 42
A Movie Review by Sherri Rase Brian Helgeland, the Oscar-winning writer of L.A. Confidential and other films including Mystic River and co-writer of my favorite thriller Salt, has written and directed a movie that has earned a place in my library beside favorites like Brother Outsider and A League of Their Own. That film is the newly released 42. In it, we see a very limited window of Jackie Robinson’s career, but it is shamefully sufficient to see what the US was like for non-white people in 1947.
AIDS Walkathon Appeal by Paul Greenberg
To my GAAMC family: Sunday, May 19th, will be my 20th AIDS Walkathon benefitting Gay Men's Health Crisis and other tri-state organizations, taking place in Central Park. I am walking once again as a Star Walker, and this will be my 4th year walking with the Hyacinth group from New Brunswick.
Chadwick Boseman, who has appeared on screens large and small, takes on the largest role of his career so far, and knocks it out of the park. He is a compelling figure to watch, a fatherless son who reluctantly accepts guidance even though he knows how critical it is to take people’s advice to assure his success. Harrison Ford stars as Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He sees many reasons to bring players up from the separate, but NOT equal, Negro leagues and he settles on Robinson as the right combination of talent and grit. Nicole Beharie plays Rachel Isum, the woman who loves Jackie and accepts his telephoned crosscountry proposal when he lands an opportunity to work out with the Montreal farm team of the Dodgers. It is shocking to a 21st century sensibility to see the treatment of Robinson both as a human being and also as a ball player in the middle of the 20th century. Nearly 100 years after the Civil War (the South lost, by the way), people continued waging a culture war. Hearing Alan Tudyk spewing hate speech as Phillies Manager Ben Chapman is difficult to listen to and must have been galling for Robinson. Several times, you’ll feel Robinson's pain as he struggles for his spot with the Dodgers and, once there, what it takes for him to do, and be, his best. Boseman is brilliant and Ford is a born storyteller. Most compelling for me about this film is that athletes still struggle to give their all to the game, yet feel they have to hide who they are. Perhaps stories like Jackie Robinson’s will soon inspire lesbian and gay professional team athletes to bring every part of themselves to the game and not have to hide in the lockers and their hearts. 42 is now in theatres. See it on the big screen and put it on your list to purchase. It deserves space in your collection.
This is my favorite cause, helping people who need the services of GMHC and other tri-state service organizations. I am seeking donations at this time. My personal goal this year is $2,000. You can donate by sending a check, payable to AWNY, to me at 185 English Place, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920; or by donating on-line at www.aidswalk.net. The deadline for donations is Friday, May 17th. Thank you for helping me reach my goal!
Getting Personal Please help Emily make winter hats for the homeless and working poor. Send hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, to: P.O. Box 2374, Morristown, NJ 07962-2374. www.facebook.com/EmilysHatsForHopeInitiative Thanks.
This Month's Contributors Paul Greenberg is a long-time member of GAAMC. (pg. 12) Tony Puma's career in sales / marketing / advertising and public relations has influenced his poetry style. He belongs to the Italian-American Writers Association, Red Wheel Barrow Poets, Poets House (NYC), South Mountain Poets, and Hudson Valley Poets-on-the-Loose. Through the prism of poetry, he sees, hears, feels, and captures emotions in words. (pg. 13) Sherri Rase is a long-time member of GAAMC, serving in many offices. Currently she is Chairwoman of the Program Committee. (pg. 12) Andy Skurna currently serves as GAAMC's President, Webmaster, and the Editor of our Pride Guide. Other community services include Communications Co-Chair for Rainbow Cafe Morris, a social/support group for northern New Jersey's
LGBTIQA teens formed in 2012, and Executive Member at Large for the Morris County Branch of the NAACP. In his professional life, he has worked on or worked with computers and related technologies for more than 30 years. (pg. 1) Bill Realman Stella writes Dancing to Architecture because writing about music is like that. He hosted the eclectic pop music show Highest Common Denominator in his mind for twenty years before getting it on the radio for six, and will host it again. Bill has collected music since age 4, when for each song he'd hear on the radio, he'd ask his mom "Do they have a record?" Making a record good enough to share is still a small miracle. If you'd like Bill to write, DJ, or promote for you, get in touch. Comments and suggestions also welcome. Visit http://HowToFindTheBestMusic.blogspot.com or write bearealman @ gmail.com. (pg. 9, 11)
Minutes of the GAAMC Board of Trustees Meeting, February 21, 2013 Attendance Voting Trustees: DeLeeuw, Harris, Kennedy, Rase, Sauer, Skurna, Suiter Non-Voting Attendees: Allen Neuner; Mark Wydner The meeting began at 7:08 pm. I. Adoption of minutes: The minutes of January 17th were approved (Moved, Rase; seconded, Suiter). II.Old Business: Gordon presented a summary of the Retreat discussions and activities. III.New Business: Sherri, Andy, and Gordon voiced interest in participating as speakers and rd facilitators at the Unitarian Marriage Equality events on May 3 and 4th in Morristown. IV. Reports: President: Andy Skurna — No report. Acting Treasurer: Andy Skurna — Written report on file. Low attendance was discussed. Gordon suggested Pastabilities as an anchor event; April 29 was decided on as the date. VP Community Services: Kerry Dinkin — Written report on file.
Challenge: Allen Neuner — Stuffing willth be February 25th. Deadline for the April issue is March 15 . Allen stressed to board members and committee chairs that they must get submissions in or ask for extensions by the deadline. Programs: Sherri Rase — Written report on file. Sherri asked for help with program ideas and outreach to potential presenters. Speakers Bureau: Andy Skurna — Since various Board members are fulfilling requests for speakers, Andy suggested speakers add their reports to a Dropbox file regarding what had been presented. Discussion Group Resources: Gordon Sauer — Written report on file. V. Save These Dates: March 15th, Challenge deadline; March 21st, next Board meeting. (Note: no Board meeting was held in March due to unforeseen circumstances.) VI. Ideas & Suggestions: Several names of current and former GAAMC members were suggested as possible presenters. VII. Adjournment: Motion to adjourn passed unanimously (Moved, Sauer; seconded, Rase). The meeting adjourned at 7:50 pm.
by Tony Puma
copyright © MMIX - MMXIII
Hard Rain Dark and dreary/ Wet and weary. Rain comes down/ Soaks my crown. Wipers thump/ In mood funk. Noah days/ Sans Sun's rays. Drops race down window/ Bet on win, place, show. Warning of flood/ Garden of mud. Wet ballfield now/ No ‘Holy Cow’. Flamboyant light/ Clouds rumble slight. No beach for me/ With rain day three.
A Spring-Time Meet As if the season that brings on renewal of dormant nature awakened the feelings of warmth that 2 people seeking out each other had forgotten and may have thought these feelings were out of reach, the joy of such a meeting: And the meeting was a joy.
Hat Trick I should have thrown it away, that orange floppy hat. In my car, on floor, in rear, great for rain or shine cover. It is raining today. Hat on my head, dry and warm, melancholy memories. What trick is this you play with me? The hat I wore that day, in the park with you. As I wrote in poem, you made fuss about. It made me look old. It covered my eyes. You took it off my head, put it in your back pocket. We had our love. I lost your love. Hurtful memory hat, I should throw it away.
Since we rose from dust/ Nature plays with us. 3 inches top soil/ And hard labor toil. 3 inches rain/ Turns soil to grain. Bread to eat/ From that wheat. I love the rain.
Ode to the NRA I shot a rifle in the air the bullet landed in my hair. Well, you know the ending: I'm in a box descending.
Page 14 CHALLENGE May 2013
GAY ACTIVIST ALLIANCE IN MORRIS COUNTY
GAAMC, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, has served New Jersey’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed communities since 1972. GAAMC is a notfor-profit volunteer-run organization that provides social, educational, and outreach programs. GAAMC also offers opportunities for individuals to become politically active on issues related to the GLBTI communities. Our intent is to maintain a positive, healthy, respectful, and supportive environment in a safe space.
President (President@GAAMC.org) — Andy Skurna VP Community Services (Info@GAAMC.org) — Kerry Dinkin VP Operations (Operations@GAAMC.org)— John DeLeeuw Secretary (Secretary@GAAMC.org) — Gordon Sauer Treasurer (Treasurer@GAAMC.org) — vacant Trustees Sue Harris, Ron Kennedy, Sherri Rase, Mitch Rubin, Mickey Suiter, Alexa Vasios Committee Chairs & Functional Officers Archivist — Mickey Suiter (Archives@GAAMC.org) By-Laws Review Committee — Andy Skurna Challenge Editor — Allen Neuner (Challenge@GAAMC.org) Discussion Group Resources Committee — Gordon Sauer (Discussions@GAAMC.org) Information Committee — Mitch Rubin (FreeLibrary@GAAMC.org) Parliamentarian — Allen Neuner Pride Events Committee — Mickey Suiter Pride Guide Committee — Andy Skurna (PrideGuide@GAAMC.org) Program Committee — Sherri Rase (Programs@GAAMC.org) Webmaster — Andy Skurna (Webmaster@GAAMC.org)
Meetings are held every Monday evening at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ (near the Morris Museum). Discussion groups usually meet from 7:00 to 8:00. The evening's program usually starts shortly after 8:00. Refreshments are available. For program information, check our homepage at www.GAAMC.org. Members and non-members are always welcome. Annual membership dues are: Regular, $40/single, $70/couple; Students/Seniors, $30/single, $60/couple. Those looking to help out at GAAMC can contact Kerry Dinkin at Info@GAAMC.org. How to reach GAAMC Mail: PO Box 137, Convent Station, NJ 07961 Telephone: 973-285-1595 E-Mail: email@example.com Home page: www.gaamc.org Mail List: groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/gaamc Facebook: www.facebook.com/gaamc Challenge online edition: issuu.com/gaamc
PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS! May 13th
Protecting Your Rights
Need we say more?
See "GAAMC Events", page 2, for more details!
Charles Bradley ~ Victim of Love
REPETITION IS CALLED FOR!
Charles Bradley IS BACK!!! Victim of Love is every little bit of soul pop goodness one hoped he'd return with back when his previous album No Time For Dreaming gave me hope for a male soul-singer resurrection story roughly similar to that of DapTone label-mate Sharon Jones. Small, deep, Victim of Love pleasures: On "You Put The Flame On It" Bradley sings "You Put The Flame On ME", which tells you everything you need to know. The pent up passion in his wail on "Strictly Reserved For You" leaves no doubt how much effort he has put into ordering the details just so and tying his love exclusively to just one lover: him. Hold fast until minute three for a funkalicious guitar solo. "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" takes me right back to the masterful socially-relevant R&B sides of the early '70s (like "Try (A Little Tenderness)" and "War") I love to this day. I'm wishing as hard as I can that this new soul classic can find a Top 20 berth too. I'm just as proud to report that after this issue was printed Charles Bradley was named one of the "25 REASONS TO BE EXCITED ABOUT ROCK RIGHT NOW" by Rolling Stone magazine (May 9, 2013 issue).
Teen Girl Scientist Monthly videos
Last issue I introduced you to Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, the most exciting new underappreciated band I've come across in years. I hope you listened; now watch! A treasure trove of TGSM videos can be found at Vimeo.com, YouTube's more mature (but slimmer and poorer) brother. Have more fun than Jack White's guitar pick: Watch these! "Safari" produced in an astonishingly fresh 6-way splitscreen (as seen here in a screen shot), simultaneously depicting each TGSM-er individually for the entire song without ruining how tightly they perform together as band members. vimeo.com/19492352 "Fe ve r" vi me o. com/ 2 9 0 5 0 0 2 3 "I t 's On " vi m e o. c om / 4 7 4 7 7 1 4 7 "Be gin Aga in " vime o.com/ 2 1 7 3 6 6 0 6 "You r Ki n d" vi me o. com/ 2 1 7 3 7 2 2 0 "RiverSt omp" vimeo.com/17592832 "Hear Boys Talk" performed live at Arlene's Grocery (NYC venue) vimeo.com/45767803 Find all seven TGSM videos posted to Vimeo at vimeo.com/search?q=teen+girl+scientist+monthly And if you need a refresher (or haven't been introduced yet): "Teen Girl Scientist Monthly is a 6-piece rock group based in New York City. They sound like Arcade Fire and Black Lips fucking in the bathroom. The band is Matt Berger (vocals/ guitar), Matt Gliva (bass), Anne Hartung (violin), Morgan Lynch (vocals), Cathy Thomas (keyboards) and Hiroyuki Matsuura (drums). They began playing together in August 2010."
Q Speaking of video, you'll also recall from last issue that Ryan Cassata is currently on a lecture and performance tour, mostly at schools, presenting his story as a transsexual man. He has been uploading video from the road to YouTube, the latest being "Val's Song" & "The Rhythm" live at the Pal Center/Boys & Girls Center in Reading, PA youtube.com/watch?v=bkXjYuFzDfo His new song "Mayday" is at youtu.be/h6stDh1AmK8 and it's a plaintive, hopeful song with a DIY video impressively rich with brilliant, beautiful color choices, giving it a professional quality that erases any do-it-yourself economies. Another cool current video post is Ryan's performance of Smash Mouth's "All Star" ("Hey now, / You're a rock star / Get your show on / get paid // And all that glitters is gold / Only shooting stars break the mold") which turns into an audience singalong. http://youtu.be/6jv05u4sjqc You'll also remember this column's praise of Ryan's song "Hands of Hate" and its original music video http://youtu.be/WM9v55aTu3M . Now uploaded: a wonderful live performance of "Hands of Hate" www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCyyVYISaJE Heck, lets conclude this column with "Hands of Hate"'s lyrics, just so you can imagine what you're missing when you hear the song performed: "Oh, Mrs Shepard I heard about your son / He was filled with glory until hate's gun / And he cried at that fence / like a scarecrow, afraid / As those boys beat him dry / with the hands of hate // And Lawrence King never saw 9th grade / Before that bullet was forced into his brain / By a bully, a madman / A classmate of rage / Just at 15, young Larry / was sent to his grave // [Chorus] And we join together in the arms of faith / Can we join together and learn not to hate? / And we join together in the arms of faith/ Can we join together and be one human race // Our friend Tyler was forced off of a bridge / After his roommates filmed and outed him/ Making love to another / the same sex as him/ The only sin God saw / Was the roommates killing him// Poor old Jamey always smiled and thrived / But as the slurs went on, he couldn’t stay alive / and he took his own life / on a cold september night/ and the bullies admitted / that they wanted him to die // [Chorus] Did you think about how his mama would cry? When she was forced with goodbye? Did you think about his papa when he died? How will they survive? [Chorus] Support the artist at ryancassatamusic.bandcamp.com/ Or visit his YouTube channel, which has this catchy name: http://www.youtube.com/user/xQUEERKIDx Catch every thing of his you can, and witness a future star building his audience one-by-one.