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GA A MC T U R N S 40 ! C E L E B R A T E A T T H E R U B Y B A L L , S E P T E M B E R 3 0 th , I N M O R R I S T O W N !

CHALLENGE The Newsletter of the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County - Continuously Serving the GLBTI Community since 1972

Volume 38, Issue 7, September 2012

Once Upon a Time by Mickey Suiter

Picture it, Sicily, 1922 — I mean, Morristown, 1972. The Godfather was king of the box office, Stevie Wonder was topping the charts with Superstition, and Archie Bunker was shocking and entertaining TV audiences on All in the Family. The war in Vietnam was still raging as peace talks stalled and Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign hadn’t yet run off the tracks at the Watergate complex in Washington. On Wall Street the Dow Jones closed above 1000 for the first time. In June, over 5,000 people marched in the 3rd annual Christopher Street Liberation Day March in New York. And four kids from Livingston, Madison, and Parsippany decided there might be a need for a place for gay people to meet in Morris County. Jeff Samuels, Jenni Glaab, John Sheehy, and I had been attending meetings o f L G B T o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n Pa r a m u s , Maplewood, and Plainfield since the beginning of the year and had met many people who were from the Morristown area. So we thought, why not try to start something locally? John was the only one of us out to his family and the Sheehys were supportive. Mrs. Sheehy spoke to her minister about the possibility of our new group meeting at her church, St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Parsippany. He was agreeable but he said he wouldn’t be able to talk to his board until after returned from vacation later in the summer. Being young and impatient we didn’t want to wait, so he suggested we try the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. We contacted Ruth O’Dell, the building chairperson of MUF, and set up a meeting with her. The four of us had tea with Ruth and her husband one evening at their home in Morris Plains and must have impressed them because the MUF board agreed to let us meet at their facility. The other LGBT organizations we attended met on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and another group rented space at MUF on Tuesday so we were left with Monday for our meeting night. Since it was already August we decided to wait until after Labor Day and chose September 11 for our first meeting. John and I went to the Daily Record office in Morristown to buy a personal ad, the only advertising we could afford. When we explained what we wanted they offered to run our information for free as a press release. Not only did we get free advertising but the paper sent a reporter to our first meeting.

John and I picked up two six-packs of Coke and a dozen donuts on our way to the meeting — not at all sure we weren’t overbuying. We met Jeff and Jenni at the Fellowship and nervously waited, hoping someone else would show up. Finally, Rick, a freshman from Drew University, Jim, a freshman at County College of Morris, and Zi, a middle-aged church organist from Parsippany arrived, Zi bringing two younger friends from New York. So that made nine of us, plus the reporter for our first meeting. We’d doubled our membership in one night! GAAMC was a success! It wasn’t always that easy. For the first several months we rarely had planned programs. We usually just sat around talking. Sometimes people brought guitars and sat on the stairs in the main hall and played, with everyone singing along. The Unitarians were supportive but were a little nervous about the word ‘activist’ in our name, so for quite a while they preferred to call us the Gay Awareness Alliance. Each of the founders quit and rejoined at least once in those first months. We had three sets of officers by the spring of 1973. At that time those who were regulars got serious, wrote a constitution, and brought a little structure to the organization. And the rest is history. Forty years later GAAMC is still meeting at MUF on Monday nights, providing what service we can to the LGBT community. A lot has changed over the years, but I think those nine from our first meeting would still recognize GAAMC and would be proud of what they started. I know I am. Happy Anniversary, GAAMC.

Inside Challenge Challenge Information.... ................................ page 2 GAAMC Events.............................................. page 2 LEAGUE Foundation Awards 100th Scholarship....... page 3 This Month's Contributors................................ page 3 The Marrying Kind: Book Review ...................... page 4 Gleanings: Queer news from around the world .... page 4 Dancing To Architecture: music reviews............. page 5 Calendar ..................................................... page 7 Poetry: ISO................................................ page 12 The Little Box of Concerts.............................. page 12 GAAMC Board Mini-Minutes, April 2011.............. page 13 GAAMC Information...................................... page 14 Online Bonus: Expanded Dancing To Architecture.... page 15

Page 2 CHALLENGE September 2012 CHALLENGE Volume 38, Number 7 September 2012 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 @ 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 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 @ Challenge is © 2012-2013 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 September 2012 Discussion Groups OpenTalk: A regular weekly discussion group, open to all. Moderators: Gordon (September 3, 24); Elias (September 10); Kerry (September 17). 7:00, Library; on Film Festival nights, discussion may follow the film. Main Events [All start at 8:00 unless otherwise noted.] September 3: GAAMC's Gala Labor Day Social! Join us for one of the banner events in the GAAMC year! Bring a side-dish or dessert that may be shared with 6 friends and let’s have a BBQ! Email Socials @ and let us know which specialty you’ll bring! September 10: Anniversary Archive Program Founder Mickey Suiter and the Archive Committee share GAAMC’s long and storied history with friends that are new and friends of long standing. We are celebrating our Ruby Anniversary and everyone who’s made us who we are should be here to share. September 17: $1.98 Beauty Pageant! GAAMC’s super send-up of the classic “scholarship” competition, drag king Walker Von Folds III will surrender “his” crown to the Ruby Beauty who will reign over the biggest celebration year GAAMC has yet seen. Contestants are vying now for a limited number of spots. This year's competition features the return of two classic performers to compete for the most important $1.98 yet! Mr. Scarlett O’Hara will be presiding so you simply MUST be there! September 24: GAAMC's Memory Lane Literally thousands of people have been GAAMC members over the years, and it is time to share what GAAMC has meant to you. Did you meet your partner here? Is this where you learned there was a life after breakup? Is this where the Community opened a whole new world for you? It’s time to tell your story that makes our story. We’ll see you there! Sunday, September 30: GAAMC celebrates its 40th Anniversary by hosting the Ruby Ball at Moristown's Westin Governor Morris Hotel! The festivities start with cocktail hour at 5:00. For more information, go to! Coming in October! October 1: Children In Need Right now, there are thousands of New Jersey Children who need warmth, love and guidance from caring individuals like you. These children could have a brighter present and a promising future, with your help. All that it requires is the desire to give your time and provide your love and guidance. Please join us as The Division of Child Protection & Permanency providez an overview of their Foster Care & Adoption program. October 8: Rock the Vote! There's going to be a lot to say and a lot to hear this campaign season, and tonight GAAMC welcomes voters and questioners alike.  October 16 is the last day to complete and post your Voter Registration to be sure your vote will be counted! Our annual program will make sure you have the resources you need to make the decision that's right for you. Join us, register, and ROCK THE VOTE! [All programs and discussion groups are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, go to]

GAAMC Tip of the Month GAAMC's socials are a great way to mingle with friends old and new in a relaxed social setting. Part of the fun is in trying out dishes brought by other members — and everyone is encouraged to pitch in! You don't have to cook for a hundred people — just bring enough to serve 6 to 10. Contact Socials @ to find out what would be welcome!

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 3

LEAGUE Foundation Awards 100th College Scholarship LEAGUE Foundation marked a major milestone when it awarded its 100th college scholarship since its inception in 1996; seven graduating high school students received a 2012 award this year. During its tenure as the nation's oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender scholarship program, awards have been given to students attending 79 different institutions in 30 different states. Through the years, LEAGUE Foundation has received applications from students in all 50 states. The LEAGUE Foundation provides financial resources for America's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth to attend institutions of higher learning. Key selection criteria for these students include: identification as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender; achievement of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; active and substantial involvement in community service; and acceptance to an accredited college or university. Executive Director Charles Eader said, "As more and more young people throughout the U.S. are becoming aware of LEAGUE Foundation's scholarship program, our selection committee has a harder task of narrowing the increasing selection pool to the 7 award winners - as was the case this year. Each and every applicant should be congratulated for their courage to be an out and visible member of the GLBT community at such a young age." This year's Matthew Shepard Memorial Scholarship, (name used with permission of the Shepard family), named for the Wyoming college student murdered in 1998 for his sexual orientation, was awarded in the amount of $2,500 to Richard Frische of Mesa, AZ. Mr. Frische will be attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. The Laurel Hester Memorial Scholarship, named after the Ocean County, NJ police lieutenant who successfully battled county freeholders for the right to leave her pension and other benefits to her surviving domestic partner, was awarded in the amount of $2,500 to John Otto, III of Haddonfield, NJ. Mr. Otto will be attending the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. Five additional scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each were awarded to: Zachary Keith Johnson of Siler City, NC (University of NC at Greensboro); Sara McAtee of Greenwood, IN (Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin, OH); Emilie Palmer of Brookline, MA (Smith College in Northampton, MA); Maximillian Staebler of Bradenton, FL (Duke University, Durham, NC); and Amy Vallis of Washington, DC (Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA). Congratulations to these deserving individuals. Contributions to the LEAGUE Foundation scholarship programs can be made through its website at As a 501(c)3 organization, contributions to LEAGUE Foundation may be tax deductible.

@ Sunday, September 9th @ 4:00 PM

at Prudential Center, Newark, NJ GAAMC will provide the tickets, you bring  the  team  spirit… ...and a bunch of your friends. Email  your  group’s  contact  info   (a name, number of tickets and cell) to RSVP by September 3, 2012

This Month's Contributors Tony Puma: A career in sales/marketing/advertising and public relations influences his poetry style: less abstract and more tothe-point. Degrees from New York University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. A member of various poetry groups including Italian-American Writers Association, Red Wheel Barrow Poets, Paulinskill Poetry Project, Poets House (NYC), South Mountain Poets, and Hudson Valley Poets-on-the-Loose. A view of life through the prism of poetry; seeing, hearing, and feeling, trying to capture emotions and relate them via words. (pg. 12) Sherri Rase has been living and writing in New Jersey for more than 20 years. Her articles have appeared in The Jersey Gaze, Out in Jersey, and most frequently at and and their sister sites. Ranging from oped through historical and political work, Sherri’s writing also includes an encyclopedic sampling of arts fare in the New Jersey Metro area. Her work in the arts include live music of all descriptions including opera, jazz, and contemporary classical; book reviews; and CD and DVD reviews. (pg. 4) 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 or write bearealman @ (pg. 5)

Page 4 CHALLENGE September 2012

Altar'd State: Ken O'Neill's The Marrying Kind A Book Review by Sherri Rase

When did you first start to plan your wedding? Women are encouraged from the time we are girls to “play house” and start that whole process. Women of my generation got a real treat when Princess Diana and Prince Charles got hitched — it was like Disney Princesses on steroids! Pomp, circumstance, more pomp, gorgeous gowns, and after all Diana was marrying a Prince. Men may have a more prosaic view — some wait till they meet the right girl. Some meet Ms. Right Now and one thing leads to another. We are all inculcated with the idea that society requires us to pair off and multiply. But what if you’re not a heterosexual couple? This is the topic of Ken O’Neill’s first novel The Marrying Kind.


Queer news from around the world A federal district court judge in Connecticut ruled a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Judge Vanessa L. Bryant said DOMA's definition of marriage, which bars numerous federal benefits for married same-sex couples, is impermissible under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment right to equal protection. Her ruling is expected to be appealed, though a number of other federal district and appellate courts have reached a similar conclusion. (Boston Globe) Chris Armstrong, the gay former University of Michigan student body president, has won a $4.5 million award in his case against Andrew Shirvell, the former Michigan state assistant attorney general fired from his position for harassing Armstrong. Shirvell created a blog aimed at trying to oust Armstrong over his views on LGBT equality. Armstrong alleged Shirvell defamed him, invaded his privacy and stalked him. Armstrong, who won on all counts, had offered to drop his suit in an exchange for an apology from Shirvell. (Detroit Free Press)

Set in that not-so-long-ago time when gay men and lesbians could not marry in N e w Yo r k , a (Clockwise from top Manhattan couple L): Fired is attending a Michigan wedding. They Asst. Atty. soon find General themselves in an Andrew imbroglio as their Shirvell; towels are marked One of his “His & His”, and blog posts one of them, (as reAdam More, is a ported on ragingly successful CNN and wedding planner. posted on The Boy Scouts' An encounter at YouTube); ban on openly gay their table sparks Now victormembers and volunsomething in his ious, Chris teers has been oppartner, Steven Armstrong p o s e d b y s t a t eWorth, that leads speaks at ments from both to tears in the a 2011 G&L the White House Victory rich tapestry of and the Romney Fund event their families and campaign. “Now, tears and sorrow the BSA is not only as they skewer turning its back on hundreds of thoupublic sentiment, sands of Americans, as well as current and past Scouts — and soon find themselves hoist with their own petard with a they're turning their back on the leader of the free world twist you may not see coming. and their very own 'honorary president,’” said Jennifer Tyrrell, a former den leader of her son’s Cub Scouts troop who Personally, I laughed out loud at different points — that was kicked out of the organization this year because she is loud barking laughter that has people looking over your a lesbian. (Metro Weekly, Washington DC) cubicle wall at lunch time. There were also real tears as Steven and Adam’s situations resonated with those in my Virginia pastor Kenneth Miller could be sentenced to up to life. O’Neill’s narrative voice is the one you hear in your three years in prison after being convicted of helping a head; the one that says “Oooh, was it dark when s/he got woman flee the U.S. to avoid sharing custody of her child dressed this morning”? It is loving, catty, clever — and the with her former lesbian partner. The ruling reinforces the rights of same-sex parents, according to Gregory Nevins, an voice is ours. In short, I loved it. attorney with Lambda Legal. (Washington Post) Visit for information on how to A lesbian couple from Henderson, NV, seeks justice for get your book and how to get in touch with what’s rights denied them during their pregnancy, rights guaranhappening in marriage equality. Whether or not you plan to teed under Nevada's domestic partnership law. Brittney get married, shouldn’t you have the right to choose? Leon and Terri-Ann Simonelli claim that Spring Valley Hospital denied Simonelli spousal decision-making rights when [Editor's note: The Marrying Kind, published by Bold Leon checked into the hospital with complications in her Strokes Books, is available at Barnes & and pregnancy, with the resulting additional stress on Leon Aside from being available in standard book tributing to fetal death. They "should be treated like every format, it is also available for Nook and Kindle devices and other person," said Democratic state Assemblyman Tick Segerblom. (Las Vegas Review-Journal) applications.] (continued on page 9)

Matt Zarley Locks Lips

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 5 Beth Ditto Puckers Up

Dancing To Architecture™ Music Reviews & News with a Queer ear by Bill Realman Stella The Best-So-Far, Part 4: Out Music Video Stars for 2012's 150+ Favorite "Top 10" Albums list

The Out Music Listening Party, an extraordinary selection of Dancing To Architecture's favorite recent (last year or so) videos by Out Q musicians, was a GAAMC program on a recent Monday night. The videos, specially selected by this columnist, Bill Realman Stella, a.k.a. *me*, highlight some of the best new music — exciting, entertaining, ear-grabbing new artists, new sounds, new ideas — being created now by Out Q artists. Years of loving attention to the greatest possible variety of styles and genres and artists and audiences, attention to all the elements that go into making a great video on the shoestring budget of most independent artists (and most Out Q artists remain, or insist on being, in control of their careers independent of much in the way of music label support) went into the selection of videos chosen for the program. What follows is the evening's playlist, followed in Challenge's online edition by an expansion beyond the program's content, including videos selected for the evening which couldn't be fit in the time available through circumstances beyond my control. It also continues candidates for 2012's 150+ "Top 10" Albums list — but with the twist that these are all videos very much worth watching and hearing. In order of presentation:

"Get The Party Started." In 2011, UK LGBT Rights organization Stonewall named "Beautiful" the most empowering song of the previous decade for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Though much of the credit for that must go to the images included in the 2002 video for Christina Aguilera's hit version, it's my opinion that we could all benefit from time to time from singing the chorus: "I am Beautiful / No matter what they say / Words can't bring me down. / I am Beautiful / In every single way / Words can't bring me down. / So don't you bring me down today." I thought we all could learn it, so I led a singalong to that chorus. Thus, having begun the GAAMC program on a note of unity and empowerment, we switched the mood to sheer fun for the next two videos.

literally frying on a stove. You get an Amazon-like box (with the trademark grin and with the slogan "little card, big smile" added on it) dropped in response to a dropped towel, and very creamy sunscreen, and two big, prickly, green (yes, green) balls floating by in the backyard pool! I've never seen a Gay-themed Dance music video both put hot guys and sexual content on screen and keep it from getting sleazy. And how do they do that? They make fun of and humiliate the guy who is the sleaze without being ugly about it. It's a delicatelybalanced four minutes of slapstick. And it redeems what must be the difficult chore of making a music video above and beyond mundane professionalism into something that's plain fun to watch. It's just all too silly and delightful for words. A must-see. (Zarley's follow up video, "Trust Me", goes

Q · Linda Perry, composer;

Katharine McPhee, performer

~ "Beautiful" ~ The Music of SMASH The clip from NBC TV's SMASH weaves the perspectives several characters have of McPhee's character into a revealing look inside the mind of a young actress auditioning for her next big break. But what makes it Out music is Lesbian hit-maker Linda Perry, who'd be a Rock icon in a universe where cream really does rise to the top. Perry is also the composer behind 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up" (known by its lyric "Hey hey hey hey / hey hey hey / I said hey / What's going on?"), and by hits by P!nk like

Q · Matt Zarley ~ "WTF" ~ Change Begins With Me Matt's a boy (or, rather, a muscle bear) who just wants to have fun. He's a Pop singer, one who can successfully straddle Dance music as well as Pop ballads, and he's even a little bit Country sometimes. Zarley comes to his solo career by way of stints in Broadway revivals and replacement casts of A Chorus Line and Cats among others. What causes him to stand out is just how Out he is in his recent (going back to May of 2011) videos. They have a matter-of-fact-ness about Gay sexuality and society that is (to me, astonishingly) rare among the dozens of better-established Out artists. For a song that's said to be based on the Zarley's real break up — and heartbreak — "WTF" is downright funny (make that: "down low" funny). You get hot guys making explicit passes with over-the-top expressions of lust and surprise on their faces. You get smoking meat —

Screen shot from "Move In The Right Direction"

where no music video has gone before as well. It's not quite the song "WTF" is, but it intends to be not as much fun-in-bed (so to speak): its political ad intro is 30 seconds of quality satire.) Q · Gossip ~ "Move In The Right Direction"

~ A Joyful Noise Lead singer and songwriter Beth Ditto has never appeared more beautiful than in the stark black and white contrasts of this fun, lightly motivational video. Just blasts of red — simply one, equally stark, bold red — saturate the retina for emphasis in the this beautifully designed video. Obviously, it's accomplished using green-screen, with only the band, their instruments and some dancers in the studio. But the combined effect says "This has a message about change" and "This is change you can dance to." (continued on page 11)

Page 6 CHALLENGE September 2012

C ontact S

for more info, including how to E nter to be a $1.98 Beauty Pageant Contestant. L imited spots available.

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 7

September 2012 Calendar Recurring Contact Information

* Hackensack Peer Support Groups: 800-508-7577; † Pride Center, Highland Park: 732-846-2232; ‡ Hudson Pride Connections Center: 201-963-4779; λ LGBT Center Rainbow Lounge, Princeton: Monday – Friday 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;; 609-683-5155 x 211 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm - The Daily Grind, Princetonλ Every Monday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ 6:30 pm - Kundalini Yoga, Jersey City‡ 6:30 pm - CSA Pickup at the Center, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - GAAMC, Morristown (see page 2) 7:00 pm - Bowling, Union; merenl @ 7:30 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; 7:30 pm - Overeaters Anonymous, Highland Park† 8:00 pm - Bowling, Green Brook; qcrollers @ Every Tuesday 12:30 pm - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ 4:00 pm - Treatment Adherence Support Group, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @ 6:00 pm - Transview, 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 @ 7:30 pm - Positive Yoga, Oradell* 8:45 pm - Bowling, Belleville; 973-256-5936; NJGLB @ 9:00 pm - Bowling, Jersey City; 201-933-6028; JoeyNJ @ 9:15 pm - Bowling, Edison; 732-548-4550; cnjgbl @

01 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; 02 Sun 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ 6:30 pm - Gay Men’s Opera Club; 732-249-9034; hagol @ 03 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park† 04 Tue 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, New Brunswick; 7:30 pm - LGBT Fellowship, Belleville; 973-751-0616 7:30 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support Group, Highland Park† 05 Wed 5:30 pm - Hudson County HIV/AIDS Services Planning Council, Jersey City‡ 6:30 pm - Social and Games Night, Clinton; 7:30 pm - Gay Dad’s discussion group, Highland Park†

Every Wednesday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @ 1:00 pm - "Generation Q", WRSU 88.7 FM; 2:30 pm - RU Pride, Newark; rupridenewark @ 6:00 pm - Positive People peer support group, Hackensack* 7:00 pm - SAGE Hudson County, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - Men’s Living Out group, Highland Park; njwarrior @† 7:30 pm - Gay Men’s Coming Out group, Highland Park; pdumpert @† Every Thursday 6:00 pm - Our Youth weekly support group, Jersey City; 6:30 pm - Double Jeopardy peer support group, Hackensack* 6:30 pm - M-POWER men's group, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Sexual Assault Survivor Support, Princeton; 7:30 pm - Rainbows on Cleveland Street, Orange; 973-256-5936; rbowsoncleveland @ 7:30 pm - Writers group, Highland Park† Every Friday 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ 3:30 pm - After School HangOUT, Highland Park† Every Sunday 10:45 am - MCC of Christ the Liberator, Highland Park; mccliberator @† Noon - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Glen Ridge; 973-731-7765; 2:30 pm - Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark; 973-621-2100 5:30 pm - Central Jersey Rainbows Bowling League, Bradley Beach; CJRBowling @ 06 Thu 6:00 pm - Nutrition & Wellness Education, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - Coffee Night, Edison; 7:30 pm - Gay Educators Group, Highland Park† 07 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 8:00 pm - Karaoke, Highland Park† 08 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Movie Social, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick gay Catholic liturgy; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ 09 Sun 6:00 pm - Gay Men’s Classical Song Club, Kingston; pbrown02 @ 10 Mon 6:30 pm - HIV Testing, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Morris County, Mendham; 973-727-5288; pflag.morris @ 7:30 pm - PFLAG, Princeton; 609-663-5155; 11 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†

Page 8 CHALLENGE September 2012 11 Tue 8:00 pm - Men's Social Night, Highland Park† 10:30 pm - Pride Alliance Ice Cream Social, Princetonλ 12 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; 6:00 pm - Queering the Color Line family dinner, Princetonλ 6:00 pm - Booked for Supper, Highland Park† 6:30 pm - North Jersey Prime Timers' monthly meetup, Little Falls; 7:30 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park† 13 Thu 6:00 pm - L-B-Q Women United, Jersey City‡ 6:30 pm - Volunteer orientation, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - PFLAG of North Jersey, South Orange; 908-789-7489; pflagwaver @ 7:30 pm - Alternate Thursdays, Montclair; kjdinkin @ 7:30 pm - Kollege of Kink, Highland Park† 14 Fri 7:00 pm - Dinner, Newark; 15 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; 5:00 pm - Potluck Dinner, Hazlet; 7:00 pm - Rainbow Bowling, Bradley Beach; 732-774-4540 7:00 pm - NJ Gay Film Society & Potluck Dinner Club, location TBA; gayfilms @ 7:00 pm - Games Night + Dessert, Highland Park† 16 Sun 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ 4:00 pm - TrueSelves trans support group, Highland Park† 17 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park† 18 Tue 7:00 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Are You a Stage Performer Wannabe?, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Lesbian Alliance of Princeton; 609-924-8174; Loisj @ 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Hunterdon County, Flemington; 908-752-1370; pflaghc @ 8:00 pm - PFLAG of Bergen County, Paramus; 201-287-0318; 8:00 pm - NJ Women, Secaucus; info @ 19 Wed 2:00 pm - Bisexual Day Celebration, Princetonλ 5:00 pm - HIV+ Consumer Meeting, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - United in Grace discussion/support group, Jersey City; 201-946-0650; greg.perez @ 7:30 pm - Havurah board meeting, Edison;

8:30 pm - Bowling, Boonton; 20 Thu 6:00 pm - Nutrition & Wellness Education, 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 21 Fri Noon - Being LGBT at Princeton, Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick social; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ 8:00 pm - Out of the Box open mic night, Highland Park (sign-up begins 7:30); outoftheboxinfo @ 22 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park† 2:00 pm - Youth Support Group, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Gay Bowling, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; 732-776-6160 7:00 pm - Men's Potluck Dinner, Highland Park† 23 Sun 4:30 pm - Torah Queeries, Highland Park† 25 Tue 3:00 pm - Health Drop-In Hours, Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Bisexual, Bicurious, 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† 26 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; 6:00 pm - Pride 365 Committee Meeting, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park† 27 Thu 6:00 pm - L-B-Q Women United, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park† 28 Fri 1:00 pm - Women With Voices, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - Living Soulfully, Highland Park† 29 Sat 2:00 pm - Cabaret, Fair Lawn; 30 Sun Noon - Sukkah-Building Brunch, Metuchen;

5:00 pm - GAAMC's 40th Anniversary Ruby Ball, The Westin Governor Morris Hotel, Morristown; (see GAAMC Events, pg. 2)

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 9


(continued from page 4) The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a civil union in Vermont is no less than a marriage in Massachusetts. The determination came as part of divorce case with a strange twist. Todd J. Elia-Warnken entered into a civil union in 2003 in Vermont and never dissolved it, even when later getting married to Richard Elia in Massachusetts in 2005. Elia only found out about the civil union when he filed for a divorce in 2010. With its ruling, the Massachusetts Court decided the couple had never officially been married in the state, so Elia-Warnken lost his argument that civil unions aren't equal to marriages. ( The Maryland State Board of Elections has finalized the wording for Question 6, the state’s impending referendum on a recently passed same-sex marriage law, as follows: "Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs." Marylanders for Marriage Equality praised the wording, calling it “accurate and straightforward” for the way it reflects the bill’s intent: “Equality under the law and protecting religious freedom.” A recent poll found the referendum passing with 54 percent of voters in support and only 40 percent opposed. Meanwhile, Maine voters will be asked the following question on statewide ballots this November, according to the secretary of state: “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” (; Portland Press Herald) The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case of a New York widow who was forced to pay a tax on her wife’s estate that she would not have had to pay if her spouse were male. Lawyers for Edie Windsor, 83, decided to skip a step at the federal appeals court level and ask the high court to take the case due to Windsor's age and health. New York joins California and Massachusetts in having DOMA-related cases up for acceptance by the Supreme Court for its upcoming session. (The Huffington Post) A federal judge ruled against two Hawaii women who want to get married instead of entering into a civil union, handing a victory to opponents of gay marriage in a state that’s been at the forefront of the issue. U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay’s ruling sided with Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy and Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian group that was allowed to intervene in the case. Hawaiian law allows for civil unions, but not for gay marriages. The case put Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) in the unusual position of being a defendant in the lawsuit while supporting the plaintiffs’ claims, saying a same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. ( The Department of Homeland Security said it will take into account the marriages of binational same-sex couples when deciding whether to pursue deportation of a foreign national. The announcement was sought by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and more than 80 other members of Congress who urged the Obama administration to stop deporting the gay and lesbian spouses of U.S. citizens while the courts grapple with the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. (

Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that all 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory. In a 9-2 decision, the tribunal cited an article of the constitution requiring states to recognize legal contracts drawn up elsewhere. It did not specify what degree of recognition must be granted to same-sex couples. (The Huffington Post) Vietnam's first public LGBT Pride Parade was held August 5 in Hanoi. Surprisingly, given Vietnam's history of human rights abuses and intolerance of openly LGBT people, the Vietnamese government is publicly considering legal rights for the country’s growing number of same-sex couples. "I think, as far as human rights are concerned, it's time for us to look at the reality," said Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong. (The Huffington Post) HELEM, a Lebanese LGBT advocacy group, has called for an end to what it calls "tests of shame," after an incident in which authorities in Beirut arrested 36 men and subjected them to anal exams to determine if they had engaged in gay sex. "We're here because we want a clear statement from the ministry of justice that these kind of tests should be completely abolished and punished by the law," said one protester who attended a demonstration against the practice. (Agence France-Presse) Germany's constitutional court has strengthened the rights of gay and lesbian couples, giving them a same tax benefit as heterosexual married couples. The ruling, coming as the country is mired in an escalating debate on the status of homosexual partnerships, states that gay couples who have entered into a "registered partnership," the German legal phrase for relationships similar to marriage, must be exempted from the country's land transfer tax just like straight married couples. (CNN) A bill pending in the Ukrainian parliament would criminalize positive depictions of gays in public, including on television and in movies, and ban Pride parades. It's unclear whether the measure has the support of President Viktor Yanukovych, whose parliamentary representative backs the measure. Other lawmakers supporting the bill say it is intended to fight growing acceptance of homosexuality, which one anti-gay activist said should be treated as a disease. (Washington Post) Right-wing activists in St. Petersburg, Russia, have filed a lawsuit seeking nearly $10.5 million in damages from Madonna. The activists claim her August 9th concert promoted homosexuality and offended members of the Russian Orthodox faith. The author of a law passed in February making it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at the concert. The complaint includes concert video showing Madonna asking fans to raise their hands to show pink armbands that were distributed in support of gays and lesbians. (Moscow Times; USA Today) The Department of Defense, in a first-of-its-kind move, allowed active duty members of all branches of the U.S. military to don their service uniforms while marching in the San Diego gay pride parade. The move, confirmed in an internal defense memo, marks the first time the military has granted such blanket permission since the September repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. (Reuters) Brigadier General Tammy Smith has become the highestranking openly gay member of the U.S. Army. Smith is married to Tracey Hepner, who took part in a promotion ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery last week. (Los Angeles Times)

Page 10 CHALLENGE September 2012 Dozens of national and state LGBT organizations issued a joint statement condemning a shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, an advocacy organization that has long opposed LGBT equality measures on religious grounds. FRC President Tony Perkins said he appreciated the statement, but added the shooter “was given a license to do that” by groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which includes FRC on its list of hate groups. The suspect reportedly said he opposed the organization’s politics before shooting a building employee in the arm. (Washington Post) LGBT residents of Jacksonville, FL, remain unprotected from employment discrimination under local and state laws after the City Council this week rejected a proposed amendment to the city’s Human Rights Ordinance. A version of the bill without protections based on gender identity came within one vote of passing. A councilman who had supported the bill voted against it, saying his office had been overwhelmed with messages urging him to vote no. (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville) David Richardson made history when he won his Democratic primary for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives. He faces no Republican opponent, meaning Richardson will become Florida’s first openly gay state legislator. (The Miami Herald) A federal task force is expected to recommend that HIV testing be conducted by doctors during routine checkups, a move which HIV advocates say would represent a "sea change" in the way the virus is detected and treated. The federal health care law passed in 2010 requires insurers to cover recommendations made by the task force. (Chicago Tribune) The Federal Aviation Administration has stopped requiring extra psychological testing for transgender pilots, under a policy revision in the FAA's Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners. Transgender advocates said the tests were unnecessary and expensive. ( MARRIAGE BANNS: Representative Barney Frank (DMA) married Jim Ready in a ceremony attended by about 300 friends and family members, becoming the first married, openly gay member of Congress in U.S. history. Frank, who will leave Congress after this year, said he wanted to marry while he was still in office in order to set an example. Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, married Heather Poe in Washington, D.C. The couple resides in Virginia, which does not recognize their union. (New York Times; Washington Post) OBITUARIES: Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, died at the age of 61 this week after a long battle with cancer. The announcement of her death included mention of her female partner of 27 years, a relationship confirmed by Ride's family and co-workers. Willis Edwards, the longtime political and civil rights ac-

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tivist who headed the Beverly HillsHollywood NAACP chapter, has died of cancer at age 66. Edwards, who nearly died of AIDS 15 years ago, was active in working to get the African-American community engaged in the fight against the disease. Gore Vidal, famed American novelist, playwright and sexual libertine, died at the age of 86. Vidal rejected the labels homosexual or heterosexual, instead believing all human beings were inherently bisexual. He lived for decades with a male companion, claiming the relationship was successful because the two did not have s e x w h i l e l i v i n g t o g e t h e r. (; Los Angeles Times; New York Times) Over one-third of all out Olympic athletes took home medals from the London Olympics. If "Team Gay" were a country, it would have tied with Mexico and Ethiopia in total medals. Out medal winners were: Seimone Augustus, USA, basketball, gold; Carl Hester, United Kingdom, team dressage, gold; Marilyn Agliotti, Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, Kim Lammers, and Maartje Paumen, Netherlands, field hockey, gold; Megan Rapinoe, USA, soccer, gold (coach Pia Sundhage is also openly lesbian); Judith Arndt, Germany, cycling, silver; Edward Gal, Netherlands, team dressage, bronze; and Lisa Raymond, USA, mixed doubles tennis, bronze. (

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 11

Dancing To Architecture™ (continued from page 5)

Dudley Saunders ~"The Undoing(Every Day)" ~ The Billy White Acre Sessions+ I started with fun and uplifting songs because I knew I also wanted to get serious. We turn to a veteran performer for a song that isn't as current as the rest but (again, if we lived in a universe where cream really does rise to the top) would rival "Beautiful" for Empowering Song of the Decade. Just doing my part to bring this great song to the attention of the wider world. "The Undoing" (recorded and released around the time Aguilera released "Beautiful") took until 2008 for Saunders, a composer of exciting and often dark sounds, to pull together the right combination of time, talent and money to produce its video. It's a stunner, illustrating the song's "undoing" more deeply than mere wish-fulfillment, engagingly showing how abuses one wishes one can doover can't be undone, but how effective and rewarding facing every day responsibly can be. It depicts addiction and 12-step programs, but you don't have to be in either to get real value from the song's messages. "The Undoing" is the "Layla" of motivational songs, an epic with slide guitars pealing and squealing mightily, bright beams of energy raging against the dark. Almost every time I watch the video, I cry. I just watched it again to write this paragraph, and I cried again. It's that good, that powerful. If all turns out as hoped, Saunders' new album will be with us before the end of 2012.

Two songs from his fourth, and forthcoming, album, Monsters (Strange Troubadours) won the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest for the Western Region. As this issue goes to press, Saunders has a Kickstarter project running at to help underwrite Monsters' marketing and promotion. (The goal was met by the September 1 deadline.)

Q · Justin Vivian Bond ~ "Mx. Is My Prefix" Justin Vivian Bond may be best known for playing the Kiki half of the hilarious and tal-

ented cabaret duo Kiki & Herb. I con vouch that Bond is one of the sharpest wits of our era, having witnessed Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway. Now that Kiki's retired, Bond's fulllength solo debut Dendrophile was one of the most distinctive releases of 2011, and the original musical Arts & Crafts, co-written with Sandra Bernhard, premiered at Joe's Pub. Mx. Bond's transformation to a specifically queer performance artist began in San Francisco

with a role in Kate Bornstein's play Hidden: A Gender. Kiki & Herb, Bond's demented cabaret act spawned with musician Kenny Mellman, ran for years downtown in New York, toured the UK and Australia, twice played Carnegie Hall and was Tony-nominated for Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway. V's new album, Silver Wells, has just been released. The video I selected is only partially a performance video. It's mostly an interview, views I feel we all need to be introduced to, because Mx. Bond has created and is introducing essential words to the English language, namely, as the video's title tells you, the prefix Mx., pronounced "mix", for a person who presents oneself as not either male or female but in-between. With a similar function, Bond has also invented the word "V" (or, perhaps, "vee") instead of "he" or "she", V's instead of "his" or "her". This is important stuff, folks! The fact that these truly useful words were invented by a musician, as well by someone Trans for Trans persons, is nothing to take for granted. My admiration for what v has accomplished grows when I consider how the words appear to be well thought-out and resonate fully with one's humanity, not like the construct of science that is "homosexual" nor like the series of historical accidents that gave us "gay". Mx. Bond is one of several musicians I had the pleasure of meeting in August at Out In The Woods, the second Queer Music Festival held at Easton Mountain Resort in New York. My first hour there, two of her friends answered my questions about using Mx. and V, and now I pass that along to you.

Q · Ryan Cassata ~ Hands of Hate (Anti-Bullying/LGBT Suicide Awareness Video) ~ The Rhythm "Ryan Cassata is a star in the making." That's the impact watching this video had the first time GAAMC members watched. Only 18, with years under his belt already as a national spokesperson and activist for equal rights for "queerkids" and trans kids, Ryan is a talent, a large-as-life personality in the rough, a young man whose videos you

had better watch, whose music you had better listen to, because they ring true and grab you by the gonads as well as by the heart. You can smell the potential. If you must, watch them with the shallow expectation that at some time in the future, you'll be able to look back and say "I knew him when." Just watch them. Just listen. It isn't every day that a singular voice puts its passionate optimism on the line in the name of over three dozen Queer martyrs, mostly kids, with the plea: "Can we join together in the arms of faith?/ Can we join together and learn not to waste?/ Can we join together and be one human race?" Does his passion lean too heavily on didactic language? That's bound to happen when your cause is so urgent and immediate that you title your video on YouTube "Anti-Bullying/ LGBT Suicide Awareness" in addition to the song title. Cassata hasn't any time to waste. (As a female-to-male transsexual, he had top surgery soon after his 18th birthday, hence the scars visible in the video.) He's reaching for all his goals now.

Q · Frank Ocean ~ "Bad Religion" ~ channel ORANGE

Live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with The Roots: Live at Lollapalooza 2012 (fan-in-audience video): Speaking of young talents taking the world by storm: Frank Ocean, 24, the latest amazing talent from New Orleans, has been making a name for himself as a Hip Hop songwriter since 2005, as a hitmaker since 2010. This past Independence Day he posted to his Tumblr blog, recounting unrequited feelings he had for another young man when he was 19 years old, citing it as his first true love, saying "I don't know what happens now, and that's alrite. I don't have any secrets I need kept anymore… I feel like a free man." Within days Channel Orange hit number one on the HipHop charts, and his performance on Fallon was an early vindication that his audience was sticking with him. Music websites started using "bisexual" to describe him, a word that hadn't appeared on his Tumblr nor one he used to describe himself that I can tell. "Bad Religion" is Ocean's public statement about his personal growth — not just about his sexuality. And "Bad Religion" delivers.

Page 12 CHALLENGE September 2012



Dancing To Architecture™ Starts Here

by Tony Puma

And Continues on Page 15.

It borrows liberally from the long musical traditions that crossed easily between sacred Spirituals and secular Soul and R&B. It is informed by his hometown like lungs are informed by breathing — a decades-long culture of new ideas developed into styles of playing, invented in New Orleans, carried by ear from musician to musician, Louis Armstrong's trumpet released from strict quarter-note time echoing in Ocean's rhythmically-free delivery of his melody, floating over a pulse cresting like waves. But it's unique, expressing an individual's freedom earned at each witty turn of a newborn phrase, each twist releasing tension built up in his body by years of prohibitions, guilt, and blame, like a spasming muscle finally able to relax, able to find not relief from society or religion but from finally discovering for oneself about society and religion that the difference between good and bad isn't always as it was taught to us, however well-meaning. It's a song unlike any other. Not two months after its release, Ocean performed at Lollapalooza, and it was clear his audience had grown to love him more than ever. Gay, Str8 or Bi, it makes no never mind to them, so long as Ocean keeps the music excellent. Watch how his fans respond to him from the start, during his spoken intro to "Bad Religion": "This next song, I guess it's pretty important to me because of some of the things that I said in the last month. [audience cheers(!)] Just kinda taking some freedom for myself, you know? Just taking the fear away. [applause] Thank you. I'm grateful for that love. [cheers]" Folks: We have reached a milestone at the intersection of LGBT and U.S. music history: You bring the goods, and your audience will only praise your music, no qualms about you being Q. A new Hip Hop album by a newly-Out artist topped the charts for weeks, and Gay media was practically unnecessary. One's orientation is officially irrelevant.

Do you like flavored Vodka drinks? Getting out on the trails? Are you at least post-twink? And, please don’t tip the scales. Making love at mid-night, sleeping under-the-stars. Not a “Duddly-Do-Right”, not descended from Mars. So, call Tony Puma, no Cougar he. Also, please no Drama, if so, “C’est la vie”. Oh, one more thing to say, be a passionate guy. Because Tony is gay, poetic and “I-Ty”.

(The Woods Campground/TP/MMXII)

Next, two simply great songs with high-quality videos, apparently made on frugal budgets that strip away the all-too-prevalent clutter of most music videos:

Q · Wild Flag ~ "Romance" ~ Wild F lag For everyone who cares that the music continues to grow and discover new sounds, "Romance" is among the most exciting recent recordings in Rock & Roll. "We've got an ear, an ear for what's Romance," the women sing. It is romantic in the classic sense, not hearts and flowers but "characterized by an emphasis on feeling and content rather than order and form, on the sublime, supernatural, and exotic, and the free expression of the passions and individuality." (Collins English Dictionary definition 5) The music wears its emotions on its sleeve. The video wears its silliness on its. Both are propulsive, as committed and impassioned as these lyrics: "We love the Sound /The Sound is what found us. /Sound is the love between me and you" (Also sung as "Sound is the blood between me and you") The album it's from, Wild Flag's debut, was a Top 10 or Top 20 pick on many critics' lists for 2011. (Mine, too: Tied among several I had in the #2 position.) I must give a heart-felt shoutout of admiration to Janet Weiss, the woman banging on their skins. Catch evidence, in just a few seconds of video, that she's a great Rock & Roll drummer, among the best we've seen this millenium. (continued on page 15) Dancing To Architecture™ contents ©2012 Bill Stella. All ©, ® & ™ items included in the column for review purposes are ©, ® & ™ their respective owners. The stylized Q indicates albums by (or contributed to by) Out Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Transgendered persons.

KEVIN P. SUSZKO, PC Certified Public Accountant



with LGBT Artists * Free Admission Showtime: 10 PM 812 5th Avenue at Memorial Drive, Asbury Park, NJ Friday September 7 Carl Chesna Band


Friday, September 7 NYC, NY, Highline Ballroom Rock and electronic musicians Richard Morel and Bob Mould host and DJ BLOWOFF, featuring their signature mix of indie rock, electro and house. 11:30 pm to 4 am Event info:

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 13

GAAMC Board Mini-Minutes, June 21, 2012 Atttendance Voting Trustees: DeLeeuw, Pompei, Sauer, Skurna, Stella, Suiter Non-Voting Attendees: Allen Neuner, Robin Schneider, Mark Wydner, Dolores Yurkovic The meeting began at 7:10 pm. I. Adoption of minutes: The minutes of May 17, 2012, were adopted (moved, Skurna; seconded, Pompei). II. Old Business: Ruby Ball: The committee established the ticket price at $80 per person. Upcoming fundraisers were mentioned. Allen got a price quote of $119 for rooms at the Westin. Tickets will go on sale at the end of July. GSE Equality Walk: GAAMC is listed as a sponsor and Andy will be team leader. Mickey sugested that we reach out to potential contributors. III. New Business: Ice Cream Social: Sherri and Andy will be servers. Triad House will give a presentation and a group of its kids will be invited to attend the social for free. GAAMC will advertise for donations of needed items. IV. Reports: President: Mickey Suiter — Mickey men tioned the meeting time and place for the GAAMC contingent at NY Pride. Treasurer: Andy Skurna — written report (on file). Secretary: Gordon Sauer — Gordon will not be at the August Board meeting. VP Operations: Bill Stella — no report. Challenge: Allen Neuner — The July/August issue will be stuffed on June 25th and mailed on June 26th. The next deadline is August 15th for the September issue. Member Services/Front Desk: Allen Neuner — Allen will be away on July 9th. Clair and Dolores will manage the front desk. Programs: Sherri Rase — no report.

Public Relations: Andy Skurna — GAAMC will be offering tickets for NY Liberty team basketball. We will have vouchers and flyers for the June 30th game. Volunteerism: Sherri Rase — no report. Discussion Group Resources: Gordon Sauer — written report (on file). Socials: Charlie Murphy — no report. Andy mentioned that Charlie had suggested that there be a 1-page ad in the summer Challenge for the $1.98. VP Community Services: Kerry Dinkin — no report. Activism: Andy Skurna — On June 28th, PFLAG of Morris County will be having a brainstorming session to form a youth group. Mickey, Gordon, and Andy will attend. Andy will publicize the session on GAAMC's internet groups. Fundraising: Andy Skurna — Gordon mentioned that an updated ad for the July fundraising dinner is available. The membership application will have a dinner invitation on the back. Pride Guide: Andy Skurna — Andy will compile a list of organizations that have requested Pride Guides. Ad income and printing costs were discussed. 1300 Pride Guides were distributed at NJ Pride. Sue is colorizing ads for the online edition of Pride Guide. Membership: Andy Skurna — Mickey is working on a mailing to former members. Speakers' Bureau: Chris Selitto — no report. Webmaster: Andy Skurna — written report (on file). Archives: Mickey Suiter — no report. Information: Mitch Rubin — no report. V. Save These Dates: June 24th, NY Pride; July 2nd, Ice Cream Social; July 19th, next Board meeting; July 21st, fundraising dinner. VI. Ideas & Suggestions: none. VII. Adjournment: Motion to adjourn passed unanimously (moved, Pompei; seconded, Stella). The meeting adjourned at 8:14 pm.

GAAMC Board Mini-Minutes, July 19, 2012 Atttendance Voting Trustees: DeLeeuw, Dinkin, Rubin, Sauer, Skurna, Stella, Suiter Non-Voting Attendees: Allen Neuner, Robin Schneider, Mark Wydner The meeting began at 7:20 pm. I. Adoption of minutes: The minutes of June 21, 2012, were adopted (moved, Skurna; seconded, Dinkin). II. Old Business: Ruby Ball: We now have a photographer and a DJ. Seats will go on sale later in July. Invitations are expected to be sent out shortly. Rainbow Cafe Morris: Andy is chair of Communications; Gordon is a co-chair of Events. Rainbow Cafe and Triad House members under 21 will receive free entry to the Shakespeare Theatre's production on August 6th. III. New Business: New MUF Contract: Written report (on file). The board is considering discussion of additional contract items with MUF. Hudson Pride: August 18th. The application for a space for GAAMC has been completed. Anyone who is available is encouraged to help distribute Pride Guides at the event. IV. Reports: President: Mickey Suiter — A request was made to have a social on a day other than Monday. Treasurer: Andy Skurna — written report (on file). Kevin Susko will complete our tax return by August 30. Secretary: Gordon Sauer — Gordon will not be at the August Board meeting. VP Operations: Bill Stella — no report. Challenge: Allen Neuner — The next deadline is August 15th for the September issue.

Member Services/Front Desk: Allen Neuner — Thanks to Claire and Dolores for managing the front desk July 9. Programs: Sherri Rase — no report. Public Relations: Andy Skurna — no report Volunteerism: Sherri Rase — no report. Discussion Group Resources: Gordon Sauer — written report (on file). Socials: Charlie Murphy — written report (on file). Charlie would like to set up the stage for the $1.98 on September 16th. VP Community Services: Kerry Dinkin — no report. Activism: Andy Skurna — See Rainbow Cafe report. Fundraising: Andy Skurna — See updated Fundraising Dinner report (on file). Gordon mentioned the fundraising dinner will take place on July 21st. 16 guests will be attending. 2 people will be making contributions but not attending. Pride Guide: Andy Skurna — no report. Membership: Andy Skurna — Ruby Ball invitations will have membership applications. Speakers' Bureau: Chris Selitto — no report. Webmaster: Andy Skurna — written report (on file). Archives: Mickey Suiter — no report. Information: Mitch Rubin — written report (on file). V. Save These Dates: July 21, fundraising dinner; August 16, next Board meeting; August 18, Hudson Pride. VI. Ideas & Suggestions: Allen suggested the Information Committee be put under the VP of Operations. Discussion postponed until August board meeting. VII. Adjournment: Motion to adjourn passed unanimously (moved, Skurna; seconded, Dinkin). The meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm.

Page 14 CHALLENGE September 2012


Officers President (President @ — Mickey Suiter VP Community Services (Info @ — Kerry Dinkin VP Operations — Bill Realman Stella Secretary (Secretary @ — Gordon Sauer Treasurer (Treasurer @ — Andy Skurna Trustees John DeLeeuw, Ron Kennedy, Claire Pompei, Mitch Rubin, Alexa Vasios Trustees Emeriti Sue Harris, Sherri Rase, Robin Schneider, Mark Wydner Committee Chairs Activism — Gordon Sauer (Activism @ Archives — Mickey Suiter (Archives @ Discussion Group Resources — Gordon Sauer (Discussions @ Fundraising — Andy Skurna (Fundraising @ Information — Mitch Rubin (FreeLibrary @ Member Services/Front Desk — Allen Neuner Membership — Andy Skurna (Memberships @ Pride Guide — Andy Skurna (PrideGuide @ Programs — Sherri Rase (Programs @ Public Relations — Sherri Rase (Info @ Socials — Charlie Murphy (Socials @ Speakers Bureau — Chris Selitto (SpeakersBureau @ Volunteerism — Sherri Rase (Volunteer @ Webmaster (inc. Facebook, Issuu, Yahoo!) — Andy Skurna (Webmaster @

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. 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, call our information line or check our homepage (see below). Members and nonmembers from any locale 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 the Volunteer Coordinator, Sherri Rase, at Volunteer @ How to reach GAAMC Mail: PO Box 137, Convent Station, NJ 07961 Telephone: 973-285-1595 E-Mail: info @ Home page: Mail List: Facebook: Challenge online edition:


September 17th

September 24th

Anniversary Archive Program

1.98 Beauty Pageant See "GAAMC Events", page 2, for

GAAMC's Memory Lane more details!

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 15

Q · Jay Brannan ~ "Rob Me Blind" ~ Rob Me Blind

NOTE: From now on, song titles are linked. Jay Brannan has had a long contentious relationship with the Gay communities. Best as I can tell, he jumped feet first into the network for Out Gay, that is, Gay selfidentified musicians, and the market of Gay Pride celebrations (and whatever else they are, Pride events' most powerful draw for supporters is as marketing events). And he didn't like the way people in that arena treated him. Perhaps they wanted to force him to identify as a specific kind of Gay person. I'm not privy to a detailed history, but his experiences undercut the "We accept all kinds" image, exposed the In-crowd vs. Outcrowd hierarchy, of Pride celebrations which impose a cultural value to whatever sells the most beer (to coarsely sum it up). Brannan's online criticisms declared that he wanted to be judged on his own terms, he didn't want to be seen as a Gay musician. That led to an unjustified reputation that he's anti-Gay. Evidenced by this video, little about him could be less true. One can surmise that Jay and the support of his record label budgeted for a high-quality director and production team. One story moves forward to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion as illustrated by a number of flashbacks. The acting is wordless, captured as if by an omniscient observer with a phone-camera, but edited to focus on the most naturalistic moments, even when those are also the most awkward ones. It supports the song in many ways, clearly tied to key lines in the song: "The greatest thing I ever learned is/ I don't know a thing.// The hardest thing I ever earned is/a chance in your ring." And Brannan coins the impressive New Cliche "Come on, steal a kiss, Rob Me Blind". It's Brannan's perseverance and dedication to his career, and his consistently beautiful, unique, individual, self-actualizing songs that have not only kept him on my radar, but which motivate me to do my very small part to champion his music whenever I can. Rob Me Blind would make my Top 10 list of 2012 even if I actually cut off my list at 10 albums rather than produce my nowtraditional, expansive, 150 + version.

Q · The Magnetic Fields

~ "Andrew In Drag" ~ Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The Monday GAAMC Listening Party program ended with the first single, "Andrew In Drag", from the tenth Magnetic Fields album. Written by the band's all-around leader, Stephin Merritt—one of the most renowned Pop songwriters of our time—it's the coolest, most utterly glee-inducing and chucklesevoking new song of the year. I love how every single couplet raises a smile, every detail says something different about the singer's admiration for Andrew. The video isn't about a singular Andrew, but a male and a female each becoming the gender they don't usually present themselves as. (Merritt and bandmate Claudia Gonson appear but not as the two going drag.) Time lapse photography, multiple and repeated images onscreen together, and creative edits are all employed. All contribute to revealing a glimpse behind the playful surface of drag and at the core commitment required to do it well rather than what might seem at first glance to just be play-acting. The edits and effects enhance the burbling, bubbling-to-the-surface qualities of the "Andrew In Drag" musical arrangement as recorded, qualities that seamlessly give texture to the delightful couplets. With the blunt honesty and political incorrectness of a stand-up comedian, how can you not respond with giddy appreciation to couplets like these: "A pity she does not exist, a shame he's not a fag/ The only girl I ever loved was Andrew In Drag.// …The moment he walked on the stage my tail began to wag/ Wag like a little wiener dog for Andrew In Drag." If you're not smiling at those, check your Gay soul: It may be stalled and in need of a tune-up. The entirety of the song (and video) clocks in at under two minutes and twenty seconds (2:20). It's a masterpiece of brevity and wit. And it's just one of many such examples on the album. No set of songs this year has caused MY tail to wag more happily than Love at the Bottom of the Sea.

BONUS VIDEOS! Videos cut from the Listening Party program when time ran short: Q · Sinead O'Connor ~ "The Wolf Is Getting Married" ~ How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? Performing "The Wolf Is Getting Married" on Graham Norton Show video How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? is a true comeback album, a major work of good -to-great songs from O'Connor, an artist from whom I'd felt myself grow ever distant. No longer. Her matured talent shines. "Wolf", the album's featured song, is a powerful metaphorical expression of a person with a huge, wild spirit moving forward in her life, taking chances, risking commitment. O'Connor presents us with a slow moving video. The camera revolves around a seated woman (glimpses of tattoos make it clear it's her) in what appears to be a thick, old, decaying wedding dress and headwrap, linked by threads tied off in all directions to nothing more visible than the frame of the picture. What action other than camera movement occurs as the threads pull small pieces of the dress off her shoulders and face. That's about it. But it's fascinating. An equally fascinating video from the BBC's Graham Norton Show depicts an O'Connor few of us stateside have ever seen. I'd never experienced her more comfortable in her own skin before. (This quality would be equalled in an interview with Tavis Smiley, to be found here.) The vocal performance is live, unique. And the show's director and crew clearly respected her, providing lighting and camera work that presents her as a happy, glowing person. Now we know.

Page 16 CHALLENGE September 2012

Q · Jeremy Henry, Haus of Glitch "1 Hour Gagasm Mixtape! L'Opéra où la Musique Devient Gaga (a reimagining of Lady Gaga)" To begin at the "Born This Way" segment:

Q · Athena Reich Lady Gaga Impersonator Athena Reich sings Bad Romance, Judas, Alejandro - Official HD Lady Gaga Impersonator Athena Reich (Live) Google Chrome: Lady Gaga (Athena appears at :30 in the 90-second ad

Sometimes it seems like everyone's favorite "Gay Musician" is Lady Gaga. Despite all the progress by artists like Frank Ocean and other musicians who are accepted and welcomed for being open about their identity and orientation, Gaga has a hold on the mainstream culture's attention. Although she is a woman who has established herself as one of the Q-munities' strongest allies among musicians, she appears to be about as much a Lesbian as Richard Gere was Gay when early in his career he took roles as Gay characters. This does not belittle either as allies, nor as people whose private identities we're not privy to, however generously they've revealed their personalities to us. We should be proud to live in a moment in history when Gaga's inclusive message is celebrated so deeply in our culture, but we need our Gay identities and Gay artists to live independently. Thankfully, more than a few Out Gay artists have found ways to put their own spin on the Lady Gaga phenomenon in ways that deeply respect the original works, but create something new and original in their own way. Two in particular are Jeremy Henry a.k.a. Haus of Glitch (whose original music and re-envisioned remixes of others' music I've written about before in these pages) and Athena Reich, who has nurtured her career as an independent singer-songwriter and video artist for over a decade. Both have appropriated Lady Gaga creations as springboards for their own creativity and to support their own independent careers. Taking advantage of this online space to provide a few more screen shots than possible in print, to the left and below you'll see a wide variety of Lady Gaga fans dancing, sometimes lip-synching, sometimes singing in their own voices, to her "Born This Way". This is just a select few of the select few fan videos which Haus of Glitch clipped and glitch-edited together and titled "Monster Pep Rally", the second section within the expanse of "L'Opéra où la Musique Devient Gaga". It's an original compilation unlike anything you're used to: No simple back-to-back, one video and then the next, and the next, and the next in "L'Opéra"! No, this is a masterful editing together of tributes made to flow into each other, originally produced independent of one another, related only by "Born This Way". Henry works editing miracles rarely seen in big-budget musicals: Bits of Mother Monster Gaga lead into slices of her Little Monsters imitating her and adding their own spin, sometimes literally, as when he blends several fan videos of a dancer spinning around together into a single 2-seconds-long twirl. He juxtaposes people on stages with individuals in basements, thin Asian girls with thick cornbread-fed looking boys, scrubbed-clean sweethearts with make-up laden monsters. It IS every bit a "Monster Pep Rally". Jeremy Henry/Haus of Glitch has impressed me for a decade, but I'm blown away by his new skill as a video editor to his own musical re-creations ("remixes" just seems too weak a word). "L'Opéra" lasts nearly an hour, visiting most of Lady Gaga's oerve, and I urge you to hear it and watch it — at the very least pick it up where "Born This Way" begins to catch a few minutes of something unique. Athena Reich has made a career as an independent original singer songwriter. Her

original albums Little Girl Dreams and Stranger Things Have Happened are critically acclaimed. Her song "Love Is Love" won her "Best Pop Song" at the 2009 OUTMusic Awards, and was #1 on MTV/LOGO's Click List. She also hosts the video series The Curious Cook as well as stars in the upcoming Lesbian romance serial Roomate Wives. As if all that weren't enough — and from a paying-the-rent standpoint, it's not — Reich has tapped a market as a Lady Gaga impersonator. She was Gaga at Jersey Pride in Asbury Park this year. And she does not lip-sych: That is her voice singing in the linked videos, a rarity among Lady Gaga impersonators. If you think it's just another cover band, think again: It's a loving tribute like drag impersonators do combined with the live Rock & Roll energy of a Broadway show like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Reich brings Gaga's magic touch and arena-sized personality to her performances. Additional acknowledgement of her talent: She is included in Lady Gaga's ad for Google Chrome, via her YouTube video of her, in a Gaga wig and garb, covering The Edge of Glory - acoustically, with a ukelele!

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 17 Q · Deep Dark Robot (Linda Perry and Tony Tornay ~ Won't You Be My Girl ~ 8 Songs About A Girl

Q · Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, composers; Megan Hilty and the cast of SMASH ~ "Let's Be Bad" ~ SMASH Original Soundtrack

The GAAMC program Out Music Listening Party began with the Katharine McPhee version of Linda Perry's "Beautiful", as seen on the NBC show SMASH. An original song from that show, composed by Gay life-partners, is one of the best new songs of 2012. Done in styles that borrow from the 1930s through to the early 1960s but mostly devoid of dreary nostalgia, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's "Let's Be Bad" is a killer-diller of a song, and an equally awesome recording. Should you think that I'm kidding — like "What? A champion of new music and stickler for innovation like Bill, praising a song with the appearance of a dumb-blonde chorus line, in the voice of Marilyn Monroe, from a TV show? You must be joking!" — I'm not. The quality of "Let's Be Bad" has proven itself very simply: My honey, Allen, adores it, and he plays it constantly, so I'm within earshot of it on average once a day, and have been for months now. And I'm not sick of it! This song really holds up to repeated listenings. "Let's Be Bad", it must be said, gives one's ears a good work out if you'll do the heavier lifting that closer listening requires. Just one aspect of many: It contains a few key changes, but more fascinating than how they pull that off seamlessly is how often they introduce dis- sonances that appear to signal another key change but don't. My mini-review of the SMASH Soundtrack was written without benefit of months of hearing it behind me, but now that months have gone by, I have to praise its dependability: If you're feeling blue, or just want a quick kick, you can't go wrong with "Let's Be Bad". Or, as its lyrics put it: "When we're feeling down and low, /Then our favorite word is no /Cause it points the way to go /Let's Be Bad." The link is to a clip direct from the TV show. It interrupts the song for dialogue, sometimes stalling it, sometimes speaking over it, so you don't get the full effect of the song. No matter; it's worthy of inclusion here. To hear "Let's Be Bad" without the dialog, go get the Soundtrack! Or, here's the link to just the song (lo-fi sound to a single-image "video"), with lyrics provided by the person who posted it. BTW: Marc Shaiman is a local, a Jersey boy, born in Newark, attended Scotch PlainsFanwood High.

Linda ("Beautiful") Perry's latest recording project, a collaboration with co-composer and drummer Tony Tornay, is Deep Dark Robot. "Won't You Be My Girl" is simply a great Rock song, a great Out song, as great and wet and sloppy and messy and fun as a great make-out session — like the one that's part of the video. The album it's from, 8 Songs About A Girl, was a commercial flop. Worse (in ways), it didn't garner the kind of attention I was certain it obviously deserved. This is criminal. EVERY FAN of 4 Non-Blondes, of musicians like the Christine Martucci Band or Pink or classic early Jefferson Airplane has a natural affinity for this music. And, yes, you can come at it for any of those four artists' distinctive angles. 8 Songs About A Girl really should be in your music collection — especially if you love gritty tough rock and roll women, or music by and about true Lesbian experiences, or just plain great Rock & Roll. If a few minutes viewing the video helps you decide to own a copy, go to it.

Q · Sacha Sacket ~ "One Day Arrive" ~ forthcoming on the new album Double Gemini

One of the great underrated songwriters of our time — and of our kind. "One Day Arrive" is a beautiful, simple, gospel-inflected melody. Where typically a songwriter who sets down words like "I will survive" and "It's time for getting strong" will commit to turning the entire piece aspirational, these lyrics acknowledge pitfalls and demons and sing that "I might come alive. / One Day Arrive." I like Sacket's choices. They're not cheesy or preachy.

Q · Reuben Butchart & The Millworkers ~ "The Gull and I" ~ "'Nameless and Awake' CD Art Book Preview" ~ "Nameless and Awake: The Recording Sessions" ~ Nameless And Awake: 8 Poems by John Willam Carroll

Along with Sacha Sacket, Reuben Butchart is one of the great underrated songwriters of our time and of our kind.

A large part of Dancing To Architecture in the March and April issues of Challenge covered Butchart & The Millworkers' extraordinary opus. So we won't repeat ourselves. But if you haven't yet followed through to listen to the music, one can enter the world they're created easily by way of a few non-traditional videos.

"The Gull and I" is poignant; be sure to hear the poem, the lyric, let your mind's eye imagine the scene described. The video is a credit to the Millworkers' performances, which are without exception sensitive, sonorous, and spot-on.

Page 18 CHALLENGE September 2012

The "Nameless and Awake CD Art Book Preview" takes a quick flip through the original art Reuben Butchart drew and painted for the accompanying book:

And for a behind the scenes look at the relaxed but supportive environment that aided in the making of this masterwork, "Nameless And Awake: The Recording Sessions" puts you in the middle of the studio at The Watermill Center in New York. (See photos in the top corners of this page.) You'll see how Katie Down plays glasses, and hear the individual approaches all the musicians take to invent and compose the arrangements that became "Nameless And Awake". Likely it's not like any kind of band or musical ensemble you're familiar with.

special place in my heart for giving my Honey and I hugs on our 5th Anniversary when we caught up with her briefly after one of her fantastic shows with the ANOTHER LITTLE BOX OF CONCERTS™ Dap-Kings. Jackson seems intent/content to go REUBEN BUTCHART & THE MILLWORKERS to his grave comfortable in his skin "Nameless And Awake" Record Release Concert but unwilling to make any public Reuben: "It's a staged concert with sets and costumes." pronouncements about his sexuality. Friday, October 3, 7:30 PM And perhaps he looks to frequent Wild Project Ellington collaborator Billy Strayhorn 195 East 3rd Street, near Avenue B, NYC as a role model in that sense, too. 212.228.1195 Whether you're the author of "Take Advance tickets: $12, $22 for concert + CD Art Book (CD Art Book and Tickets at the door each $15 separately) The 'A' Train" or, in Jackson's case, the under-appreciated Gay ballad "A Slow Song", you'll be remembered BOB MOULD for your songs long after anyone is Friday, September 7 - Doors: 5:30 pm worried about who you loved. Williamsburg Park, Brooklyn, NY FREE SHOW! "Silver Age / Copper Blue Show" Q ·of Montreal with guest Cymbals Eat Guitars ~ "Spiteful Intervention" Event info: ~ Paralytic Stalks It's been over a decade since their Q · Joe Jackson ~ "Joe Jackson - The album The Gay Parade confused the heck out of the few people (maybe 10,000?) who Duke" ~ The Duke Another making-of video I deeply want to noticed it. It's been about seven years since share, because until now I've only found it a steakhouse chain bought (well, leased, posted cut up into little pieces. Here is more like) and modified the lyrics to an early seven full minutes of it. The array of top-notch of Montreal semi-hit. In 2008 they hoisted talent contributing to Joe Jackson's The Duke, upon us the unforgettable lines "I'm so sick of sucking the dick of this cruel cruel city / I've a tribute to Duke Ellington, is magnificent. The Duke features duets and guest per- forgotten what it takes to please a woman". formances with Sharon Jones, Iggy Pop, Iranian Several albums, a spate of inspired graphics, singer Sussan Deyhim, Lilian Vieira (from much in the way of gaydar triggering Brazilian/Dutch collective Zuco103), violinist inferences with no clear statement about Regina Carter, bassist Christian McBride, any bandmate's sexual orientation, and the guitarist Steve Vai, drummer Ahmir '?uestlove' first recorded guest appearance of Janelle Thompson (The Roots) and Jackson band Monae later, and it's as if we can take of members Vinnie Zummo (guitar) and Sue Montreal's weirdness for granted. Don't. In "Spiteful Intervention"'s video, seemingly Hadjopoulos (percussion). Sharon Jones isn't just one of the best sentient animated oil paints move like vocalists alive. She will always have a mask-thin puppets made of hollow wax. More than that, I can't explain. It defies explanation. Somehow, of Montreal is able to f i n d a w a y t o p l a c e Ke v i n B a r n e s ' non-rhyming, asymetrically rhythmical, anything but routine lyrics within hip arrangements, unconventional melodies, and deeply soulful vocals. Sung thrice at the end of what passes for three verses, "Still there must be a more elegant solution" is the closest "Spite" comes to having a refrain. Listen. Watch. See what's possible.

September 2012 CHALLENGE Page 19

Q · lyrics: Glenn Gaylord, music: Kim Burse, performed by the cast (see below) Leave It On The Floor I stumbled upon the indie feature film musical Leave It On The Floor three minutes into it on LOGO not long ago. Lucky for you, it's now released on DVD. Leave it includes brilliant numbers like "Justin's Gonna Call" (That Timberlake is a choreographer's fantasy!) as well as wish-they'd-notsaid-that moments. On the whole, call it brilliantly flawed — wait: fabulously flawed. It's a must-see for anyone into either Hip Hop culture or Showtunes. And I am telling you: Don't you two camps go getting your claws out on each other. Play nice! Per the filmakers, here's the plot: Set in contemporary Los Angeles ball culture, a young man finds a place where he belongs. It tells the story of Brad (Ephraim Sykes), 22, handsome, brooding, and suddenly homeless when his mother learns that he's gay and throws him out of the house. Not sure what to do next, Carter (Andre Myers) catches Brad's eye. Determined to follow Carter after their chance encounter, Brad follows him into a non-descript warehouse. But inside, drag performers are staging a ball where the artists compete to be the most impressive and outrageous dancers or models, posing either as iconic female characters or stereotypes of the straight world. Brad is immediately taken with the surroundings and is befriended by Princess (Phillip Evelyn), a performer who sees raw talent in Brad. Brad moves in with Princess and Queef Latina (Miss Barbie-Q) in their communal home, the House of Eminence, and Brad finds love and support in his new environment, but also plenty of drama. Directed by Sheldon Larry, screenplay and lyrics by Glenn Gaylord, music by Kim Burse, choreography by Frank Gatson Jr. (Burse and Gatson's credits include being Creative Directors for Beyonce.) Any fan of any kind of drag, especially admirers of the film "Paris Is Burning", must see Leave It On The Floor.

Q · Girlyman ~ "Nothing Left" ~ Supernova

"Nothing Left", the first track on the new Girlyman album Supernova, runs twice through the verse, then the chorus, the middle 8, then verse and chorus again. At first things in the video seem as mundane as the song-structure. The camera centers head-on into the band, face-forward. The first time through, stuff is moved. No, stuff is moved away, moved out. Ohhh kaaayyyy… Then, the final time through, a particular thing is removed (or one might say thousands of things are), until someone is improved. Yup, I'll leave the description as cryptic as that, so as not to ruin the simple elegance of the

plot. But fret not: Girlyman is most about their songwriting and their vocals. Both are again at their peaks on "Nothing Left". Their trio harmonies are like the money-shots of group vocals. You'll anticipate their stunningly tight, angelic, implausible harmonies for every second it takes for them to build from Nate's solo first verse until literally half-way through the song before he and Doris and Ty sing the song title together in a smooth shot of magical resonance.

Every now and then it gets too dark to see Too dark to see just what’s in front of me Every now and then I fall off the edge Right off the ledge, heels over head Am I giving in if I'm trying? Am I really falling or flying? Am I really living or dying? Am I really falling, falling or flying? I’m falling uṗ now Hey I’m falling up now That’s right, I’m falling up now Send me a picture, yeah, yeah, yeah, from everywhere that you’ve been And then honey, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, and shake it like a Polaroid

Q · Bob Mould ~"The Descent" ~ Silver Age

How these three particular voices combine to form the sound they do is one of the ongoing mysteries of musical acoustics. Let's together keep listening until we figure it out. Don't deny yourself the opportunity to experience sounds as gorgeous — and sometimes gut-wrenching — as theirs.

TWO VIDEOS TOO NEW TO INCLUDE BEFORE Q · Melissa Etheridge ~ "Falling Up" ~ 4th Street Feeling Comfortable in her skin, the line "It's clear that all that I love / is all that I know" tells you all you need to know to enter Etheridge's world. If you, too, are comfortable with Etheridge as-is — her roots, her stuff (dig her electric banjo), her persona — It's her world and welcome to it. Her lyrics speak for themselves — and set the tone of the video: I sent a picture to my very best friend. And in the picture was me and my car At another dead end. If you wanna come and find me, I can leave you a sign. My heart’s a little heavy, But the rest of me is, well, fine oh fine. So here’s to me, let’s raise a cup I’m fancy free, and I’m falling, falling I’m falling up now I get the picture of reaping what I sow It’s getting clearer that all that I love Is all that I know So here’s to me, Oh, let’s raise a cup I’m fancy free, and I’m falling, falling that’s right, that’s right, I’m falling up now

With the release of this new song, I now feel like Bob Mould is looking into my soul and speaking from my heart. As yet his song is too new, too raw, too tough on my skin to utter much other than gasps and moans. I'm that in touch with it. Cue an ace reviewer from The Onion's A.V. Club, Jason Heller: "[T]he shiny, anthemic "The Descent"…—with typical Mould contrarianism—spirals upward on a gloriously ascending chord pattern. Meanwhile, Mould’s lyrics— delivered in a refreshed, reinvigorated voice that transcends the decades— traffic in his wheelhouse: the dysfunction at the heart of human interaction: 'Can I drown / To make it up to you somehow?' " Lyrics are a good way to end this, my Listening Party Bonus opus. So let's end with the words at the start of "The Descent". And thank you for reading.

I started out so starry-eyed Full of hope and wonder.

Challenge - September 2012  
Challenge - September 2012  

The monthly newsletter of, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County NJ. Proudly serving the GLBTI communities since 1972.