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number 465

a publication of the gay alliance of the genesee valley MARCH 2013

New York LGBT Health Month sponsors 17 community events for all ages Look who’s Forty and Fabulous! By Susan Jordan It’s 1987 and gays are not allowed to kiss publicly. Andy Allocco and Matt Fleig stage a Kiss-In at Durand Eastman Beach, attended by 100 people – an early gay visibility action, two years before the first Pride Parade, and 16 years after the first local “Gay-In.” The sky does not fall and the closet door cracks open a little further. Today LGBT partners can engage in public demonstrations of affection without fearing arrest – at least in most places. We can even marry legally – in some places. It’s hard now to fully comprehend the level of fear that gays experienced only a couple of decades ago, due to centuries of homophobic violence and discrimination. That was 1987. Now, in honor of our birthday and in an effort to keep our doors open for

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another 40 years, we’re initiating a very special way for you to help celebrate with us all year long. The Gay Alliance is asking people to choose a year that is special to them – whether it is 1987 in honor of the Kiss-In, or the year you came out, or the year you met your partner, or first attended a Pride Parade. Just as long as it’s a year between 1973 and 2013 -- it’s up to you. It’s our Forty & Fabulous Fundraiser! You are invited to join the initial 20 members of the “Fab 40”: Micheal Faucher, Bruce Gorman, Ralph Carter, Van VanZanten, Dan Meyers, Jennifer Leonard, Pam Barres, Peter Mohr, Bill Valenti, Pat Collins, Emily Jones, Joe Nardone, John Altieri, David Frier, Chris Hilderbrandt, Jason Barnecut, David Zona, Jessica Muratore, Evelyn Bailey and Steve Santacroce, who have each chosen a year near and dear to their hearts so that this organization will be here for another 40 years. Our overall agency goal is to raise $160,000 in 2013 so we can continue to provide youth and senior programming, education, community safety and referral services and continue to be the leading voice for Rochester’s LGBT communities. The fundraiser was launched on Jan. 24. So how does it work exactly? We will utilize the First Giving Page format since this is an easy way to raise money and support. As an individual or with others, choose a year and become a member of the “Fab 40”, adopt your favorite year from 1973 (Forty & Fab continues page 3)

March marks an exciting time for the Rochester LGBT Health Coalition and the Rochester community: NY LGBT Health Month. Many events are planned, from Erotic Night at Equal Grounds to an ImageOut film (see p. 18 for full listing). The National Coalition for LGBT Health sponsors an annual weeklong recognition of

LGBT health in late March. Its goal is to support LGBT people in living happy and healthy lives while raising awareness of health disparities facing the LGBT community. However, in 2010, the Rochester LGBT Health Coalition joined a number of other organizations and groups throughout New York State in taking the celebration of LGBT

health from a weeklong program to a month-long initiative. “This year’s theme is We Count. Count Us,” says Christina Miller, community health initiatives specialist at AIDS Care. “In keeping with this theme, the coalition has planned a variety of exciting events to reinforce that as LGBT people, recognition of (Count continues page 3)

Candlelight vigil at courthouse will protest DOMA

Gay Alliance offers SpeakOUT training March 22-23

A candlelight vigil here in Rochester on March 26 will be part of a “Light the Way to Justice” national protest against DOMA, the “Defense of Marriage Act” which prevents LGBT marriages and families from being acknowledged by the federal government. On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will be listening to oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and also Proposition 8, which blocks legal marriage in California. GetEqual, Marriage Equality USA, Equality Beyond Gender and other organizations have signed on to defeat DOMA and bring LGBT love and families into the light of justice. Forty-two states are represented ( Vigil continues page 3)

Do you want to learn how to speak effectively in public? Have you considered volunteering for the Gay Alliance’s Speakers Bureau? The next SpeakOUT training will take place on Friday, March 22 from 6-9 p.m. and all day Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Gay Alliance Center, first floor of the Audito-

rium Center, 875 E. Main St. The Gay Alliance Speakers Bureau is as necessary and relevant today as it was 40 years ago, and also more active than ever before. In the last two years the Gay Alliance Education Program has done 350 presentations and spoken to over 8,000 participants! Speakers Bureau members learn how to use personal stories to promote questions and spark conversations which can lead to learning, growth and change within colleges, churches, businesses, social service agencies and throughout the Rochester community. Facilitators Jeanne Gainsburg, Outreach Coordinator, and Scott Fearing, Program Director, draw upon their 30-plus years of LGBT training and education experience to provide a mix of interactive exercises and lectures twice a year. Space goes fast, so please act now. ASL interpretation available if requested before March 6. (SpeakOUT continues page 3)


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Photo: bess watts

1987: Gays stage a Kiss-In at Durand Eastman Park.

Editorials: .................................... 2 Local/State News........................ 3 National/International News..... 4 Interview: Dr. Paul Allen................ 7 Making the Scene......................10 Health Month Calendar ...........19 Shoulders To Stand On ...........21 Columnists ................................22 Community ................................25 Entertainment: Intersexion ........27 Gay Alliance News.....................30 Rainbow SAGE News................31 Calendar.....................................34 Classifieds..................................34 Proud Publisher of New York State’s Oldest Lgbt Publication


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Gay Alliance Board of Trustees

Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley

Perspectives From the Empty Closet Editor Susan Jordan

From the Gay Alliance Board David Zona and Jessica Muratore

lash that has demonized us and threatened our civil and human rights for the past 30 years. Youth are now coming out earlier, but too many still face the emotional and physical abuse that has been accepted for so long as suitable treatment for gay kids. Jamie Nabozhny, who spoke last month at SUNY Geneseo, was bullied and severely beaten when he was in junior high – so severely that he had to be hospitalized. When he tried to talk to his principal, the principal said that since he was openly gay, he would simply have to expect that kind of treatment. Jamie filed a lawsuit in federal court, which resulted in a landmark ruling that schools must provide safe learning environments. But although students now have legal recourse, that doesn’t mean that verbal and physical attacks have stopped. Nor has it meant an end to youth being driven to suicide by daily torment from their peers, and from sick adults who believe that LGBT youth should be either heterosexual or dead. The Day of Silence in April will address those issues. It is the annual event when LGBT and allied youth keep silent during the day to honor those lost to hatred, and then rally to break the silence. This year’s Rochester rally is organized by GLSEN and will take place April 19 at Tilt. The bigots oppose DoS with what they call the “Day of Truth” – the real truth being that their un-Christian hatred and arrogant pride remain a threat to the safety of all youth – including straight youth who may be bullied or killed because they are seen as gay. GAGV youth have accomplished a lot recently, not least winning the Monroe County Youth Bureau grant to create YouTube videos on coming out and other issues. Congratulations to grant writers Nick Cornish and Johnny Fullwood, and more power to all our youth, the leaders not of tomorrow but of today! ■

Healthy adults and youth March is LGBT Health Month, and this issue contains information about the events planned for our area, which can help you and your family and friends improve your health and wellbeing. The Gay Alliance’s mission is to help LGBT people survive and thrive. Taking care of our health – physical and emotional -- is an important way to do both of those things. The Gay Alliance Youth Group has some important events coming up in March and April. As a Health Month event, members of the Youth Group and Rainbow SAGE will collaborate on the annual Intergenerational Panel, on March 16 in the GAGV Center. SAGE members lived through the 1980s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was ignored by the Reagan administration. LGBT communities like Rochester had to provide their own funding for treatment and create organizations like AIDS Rochester and Community Health Network (now AIDS Care). Health issues, including breast cancer, have shaped that generation. Today’s youth live in a different world from the one in which most of their elders grew up. The deadly silence and internalized self-hate that ruled before Stonewall are disappearing. But openness brought another kind of problem – an extremist back-

W. Bruce Gorman, Co-President and Secretary Emily Jones, Co-President, David Zona, Treasurer John Altieri, Evelyn Bailey, Ralph Carter Jr., Chris Hilderbrant, Jeff Markarian, Peter Mohr, Jessica Muratore, Steve Santacroce, William Schaefer 

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Introducing Co-Vice-Chairs David Zona and Jessica Muratore The GAGV is pleased to announce that David Zona and Jessica Muratore were recently elected as Co-Vice Chairs to the Board of Directors. Both have served on the Gay Alliance Board since 2011, David as Treasurer and Jessica as the Strategic Planning Board Liaison. David specializes in healthcare, analytics, project management and process improvement

and is employed at MVP Health Care as the Director of Health Services Operations. Jessica has a wealth of experience in not-for-profit management, governance and strategic planning, and is currently employed as the Director of the Small Business Teaming Program at the Urban League of Rochester, N.Y., Inc. Both Jessica and David are excited about their new leadership roles at the GAGV. In a recent interview, David provided his thoughts on the importance of the GAGV’s role: “The GAGV fills a critical need and has a long and rich history of supporting the area’s LGBT community with essential education and programming.” Jessica echoed David’s thoughts: “The Rochester community is blessed to have an organization advocating for a healthy and safe environment for the constituents it serves.” Jessica and David will serve a one-year term in their new roles.

the 2013 United Way designation number is 1135 it benefits the Gay Alliance!

PARTNERSHIPS continued The Gay Alliance appreciates the continuing partnership of businesses within our community who support our mission and vision. Bronze Level

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CORRECTION: These photographs by Khoury Humphrey were incorrectly credited in the February Empty Closet.

Equal=Grounds Coffee House & Gift House

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The Empty Closet • Youth Program • Rochester Pride Education Program & Speakers Bureau Library & Archives • gay alliance Resource Directory Shoulders to Stand On • Rainbow SAGE • SafeZone The Gay Alliance plays a central role in advocating for the fair and equal treatment of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

E-mail Membership levels: ❏ $30-99 Advocate ❏ $100-999 Champion ❏ $1,000-4,999 Triangle Club ❏ $5,000+ Stonewall ❏ Enclosed is my check in the amount of _________ (check #______) Please charge my credit card in the amount of: __________ To: ❏ American Express, ❏ Discover, ❏ MasterCard, ❏ Visa Credit card # _____________________________ Exp. Date: _______ ❏ I would be proud to have my donation publicly acknowledged. ❏ Please provide me Rainbow SAGE Program (age 50+) News Benefits include: a subscription to The Empty Closet mailed to home or work, plus privileges at each level. Phone: 585 244-8640 or mail to: Gay Alliance, 875 E. Main Street, Suite 500, Rochester, New York 14605. Home delivery of the Empty Closet is free with your annual membership in the Gay Alliance. 3/13

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MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

page one (Health from page 1) our identities and our health has positive implications for our wellbeing.” The following events only represent a glimpse of over seventeen LGBT Health Month events here in the Greater Rochester Area. The University of Rochester, AIDS Care and other area organizations will host the Transgender HealthCARE Conference: Transitioning, Transcending and Teaching Our Community. Jamison Green of the World Professional Health Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) will speak, and the Gay Alliance will hold a “Voices of the Community” event at which people from the trans community will educate healthcare providers. In addition, ImageOUT plans to bring back the poignant film Intersexion, which highlights the experiences of intersex individuals and features Rochester resident Jim Costich (see pages 7 and 27). Rainbow SAGE will host a health fair for older adults. Other events include the alwayspopular Erotic Night arts event at Equal Grounds, which highlights spoken word artists and musicians from the Rochester area. GLSEN Rochester will host a Youth Night Out event including a Sex and Health Chat and sassy takes on health from movies such as Mean Girls. For more detailed information about LGBT Health Month, contact Christina Miller, community health initiatives specialist, at (585) 210-4178 or visit: www.everybodysgood. com/HealthMonth2013. ■ (Forty & Fab from page 1) through 2013, and each will help raise $4,000. Consider how the GAGV has made a difference in your life. We have staff members and volunteers ready to help you get started and provide ongoing technical support; training sessions on how to set up a First Giving Page (it is very user friendly), and how to best personalize your message have been planned. Please sign up by sending an email to Emily Jones ( or Bruce Gorman (wbruce.gorman@gmail. com) The need to empower pride and self respect in all individuals is as important today as the day we opened in 1973. So chose your favorite year and let’s get this party started! ■

Gay men attacked on subway; no one interferes A 23-year-old gay man and his partner were attacked on the No.2 train in NYC on Feb. 18, the NY Daily News reports: Urena Morel Frankelly and his partner were on a southbound No. 2 train… when a woman took a picture of them eating and her friend called them names. Following an exchange in which the men were called

(Vigil from page 1) already. The push is to link it to the President’s historical reference to Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall in his inauguration speech. The candlelight vigil will be held at the Rochester Federal Courthouse on March 26, from 4:30-7 p.m., during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of DOMA. Speakers will address intersections of justice via Selma, Seneca Falls and Stonewall and will re-enact historic speeches on equality. On March 25, “The DOMA Decisions: Equality on the Line,” a discussion on the legal aspects of the DOMA case – what will change and what won’t change for LGBT rights – will take place at the GAGV Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St., from 6:30-8 p.m. The events are being organized by a collaborative group including representatives from Equality Rochester, Pride at Work AFL-CIO, New York Civil Liberties Union, the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Metro Justice, inclusive churches and more. More information can be found here: ceRochester?fref=ts and at the national website, http://www. National organizers say, “This is not a march, a fight or a demonstration -- this is a peaceful show of solidarity, a stand for LOVE, not hate. Make signs to hold, bring candles and help show our desire to be equal. History is in the making and it is time to bring America into the 21st century. Let’s give people hope and create change by using the voice of the people. Call on our veterans, back to the days of MLK, Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, Alice Paul and many other allies and advocates who have fought to create change through action -- this is a grassroots movement. Will you join us?” ■

(SpeakOUT from page 1) The Gay Alliance is always seeking new, qualified people to be part of the Speakers Bureau. SpeakOUT Training is open to anyone wanting to learn how to effectively educate on LGBT issues and is also the first step in becoming a trained Speakers Bureau member. For more information about the training, see or call 244-8640, ext. 20. Registration is now open at: speakout.html. ■ “faggots,” Frankelly was attacked (a man joined the two women) and repeatedly punched, the paper adds. Frankelly’s eye was cut and swollen shut. His partner said nobody came to their aid: “Everyone was watching — no one helped us. That was a very scary situation for us... Right now we’d just prefer to be alone.” The NYPD has launched a hate crime investigation, the NY Post reports. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2LRstmQFc ■

NewsFronts Local and State

Passage of GENDA will be a major priority at Equality and Justice Day this year. Photo: Ove Overmyer

April 30 is Pride Agenda’s Equality & Justice Day Equality & Justice Day 2013, The Empire State Pride Agenda’s annual advocacy conference and lobby day, will be Tuesday, April 30 in Albany. The Pride Agenda says, “Equality & Justice Day is an exciting opportunity for LGBT New Yorkers and allies to gather in the Capitol and connect to each other as a part of the statewide movement. This annual event is a unique opportunity to show the strength and support of the LGBT community in Albany, featuring a rally at the Capitol, workshops, caucuses and visits with elected representatives. It’s also the largest statewide gathering of our movement, helping us to strengthen our ties and build the coalitions so critical to advancing our goals.” For more information, see

EqualityUganda holds talk, benefit at SUNY Geneseo On Saturday, March 2, at the Wadsworth Auditorium at SUNY Geneseo, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. there will be a discussion with Congolese Human Rights Activist Luzau Balowa. From 8-9:30 p.m. a benefit concert will raise money for LGBTQI people in Uganda, who face a violent and oppressive social environment. EqualityUganda raises awareness and money for LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) individuals in Uganda. The LGBTQI community is a highly subjugated group in Uganda, where it is already illegal to be gay, and where impending legislation could further strip this population of their rights. In 2009, legislation was proposed which included the death penalty for gay individuals. Thankfully, it was not passed. This month, a new rendition of the bill will be brought before Parliament for vote. The March 2 events include a lecture and discussion with human rights activist, Luzau Balowa, a Congolese refugee who was imprisoned and tortured for campaigning for

human rights, including the end of sexual abuse against women. His other work included HIV/ AIDS prevention and other issues surrounding the LGBTQI community. Seeking asylum in Uganda, he was again imprisoned for simultaneously exposing corruption in the political bureaucracy as well advocating for the end of homophobia. He currently lives in Las Vegas and is the representative for refugees in Nevada to the U.S. Refugee Congress. The second part of the event will include a benefit concert, coordinated by Dr. Pamela Kurau of the Music Department. Faculty from the music department, student performers and guest artists, including the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus, will perform with a theme of acceptance and understanding. These performances will also celebrate the work of Queer composers. Money raised in this concert will be donated to Other Sheep: multicultural ministries with sexual minorities. This not-forprofit organization seeks social inclusion for the LGBTQI community in Uganda. In a country where approximately 80 percent of the population is Christian

3 and 90 percent of Christians are evangelical, religion is intricately tied to Ugandan political and social ideology. Other Sheep is promoting social change through a project that uses evangelical hermeneutics to argue for LGBTQI equality and acceptance. Some funds will possibly be donated to other LGBTQI human rights organizations that are working in Uganda. EqualityUganda will expose the college community as well as the surrounding Rochester area to the hardships the LGBTQI community faces today in Uganda and Pan-Africa. Whereas the struggle for equal rights in the U.S. is currently focused around marriage and civil rights, the Ugandan community is still fighting for their basic human rights, including safety from physical violence. EqualityUganda provides an educational experience where students can climb down from the ivory tower and engage in social and political change in a nation other than our own. EqualityUganda utilizes the arts to help effect change in the college community and make connections to the wider global community For more detailed information, go to EqualityUganda.

Man charged in murder of one of four NYC gay men A man has been charged in one of the four recent murders of gay men in NYC, the NY Daily News reports: The victim, Joseph Benzinger, 54, of Middle Village, was found with a shirt wrapped around his neck Feb. 9 in a room at the Crown Motor Inn on Queens Boulevard. Lleuyel Garcia of Manhattan was charged early Feb. 14 with his murder and robbery. Benzinger and Garcia had a sexual relationship prior to the killing, cops said. A police source said Garcia stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and that detectives used cell phone records to track the suspect down. Garcia implicated himself in the crime by admitting he was at the motel, the (Murder continues page 6)

Dr. Randy Raetz and Allan Erway.

Rochester couple’s wedding video stars Dr. Randy Raetz and Allen Erway were married in Rochester in December, after being together for 16 1/2 years, surrounded by their family and friends. Their wedding video was chosen as one of the most popular recent wedding videos and was featured on Towleroad. com in February. They were married by the judge who helped them adopt both their sons. The pen that is shown in the video is the same one that Andrew Cuomo used to sign marriage equality into law in New York state. Assembly member Harry Bronson got the pen after Cuomo signed it into law, and the couple was able to use it. To view the video:


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

NewsFronts national and international AP backs down on discriminatory terms for gay married couples The Associated Press has changed its position on how to refer to gay married couples that is being widely seen as discriminatory. Blogger Andy Towle wrote on Feb. 15, “On (Feb. 12) we reported on new guidelines sent out by the Associated Press, indicating that the words “husband” and “wife” should only be used to describe married gay couples if the couples themselves describe themselves that way, or if someone uses the term in a quote. They wrote: SAME-SEX COUPLES: We were asked how to report about samesex couples who call themselves “husband” and “wife.” Our view is that such terms may be used in AP content if those involved have regularly used those terms (“Smith is survived by his husband, John Jones”) or in quotes attributed to them. Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages. Towle continued, Last night we reported that the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association published an open letter to the AP saying it found the guidance “troubling”: What is troubling is the final sentence in the memo: “Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.” Such guidance may be appropriate for referring to people in civil unions, for which there are no established terms and the language is still evolving, but it suggests a double standard for samesex individuals in legally recognized marriages. One has to assume that AP would never suggest that the default term should be “couples” or “partners” when describing people in opposite-sex marriages. We strongly encourage you to revise the style advisory to make it clear that writers should use the same terms for married individuals, whether they are in a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. Language choices like these have an impact. Such reporting can reinforce the idea that marriages between same-sex individuals are fundamentally different from marriages between a man and a woman. Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner reports that the AP is holding firm: AP spokesman Paul Colford told BuzzFeed (Feb. 14), “This week’s style guidance reaffirmed AP’s existing practice. We’ve used husband and wife in the past for same-sex married couples and have made clear that reporters can continue to do so going forward.” If this is the case, however, why don’t they update their guidance, or make that more clear? The organization is lying, says John Aravosis: He tried to make it look like AP reporters are free to use husband and wife to describe gay couples whenever they want. And if that were the case, then why does AP have a style guideline that completely contradicts that assertion?  And if reporters are fine using husband and wife whenever they wish, then why is AP refusing to get rid of the contradictory style guideline?  Not to mention, why have the style guideline at all if AP is now suggesting that its reporters never obey the style guideline anyway?... ...Until the Associated Press can provide a convincing argument for why it has set up a separate-but-equal style guideline

to describe the “difference” between one person’s legal marriage and another person’s legal marriage, simply because one spouse is gay and the other straight, this problem will not go away, and in fact, it’s going to get a lot worse. We are never going to agree to disagree about whether the Associated Press has the right to vitiate our legal marriages simply because the people who write AP’s style guidance either find gay people icky; or are incapable of admitting they made a mistake, and then correcting it. UPDATE: A new entry in the AP stylebook added Feb. 21: husband, wife Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested. Said AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes: “The AP has never had a Stylebook entry on the question of the usage of husband and wife. All the previous conversation was in the absence of such a formal entry. This lays down clear and simple usage. After reviewing existing practice, we are formalizing ‘husband, wife’ as an entry.” Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2LYy07LgP

Activist’s claim is first challenge to Jamaica anti-sodomy law In 2011, Jamaica’s Parliament unanimously approved a new Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which for the first time explicitly guarantees the right to privacy. However, the Charter also appears to preserve the 1864 British colonial anti-sodomy law. Under this law, intimacy between two adult men in the privacy of their bedrooms can land them in prison for up to 10 years at hard labor. This creates an obvious contradiction: it is arguable that under the new Constitution it is now impossible to enforce the anti-sodomy law without breaching the new right to privacy. Although the Jamaican government has resisted calls to repeal the law, the leaders of Jamaica’s major political parties have repeatedly said that they have no intention of prying into the bedrooms of consenting adults. Confusion about the interpretation of these competing provisions in the Charter is wreaking havoc on the private lives of Jamaican gay individuals. On behalf of one such person, young gay rights activist Javed Jaghai, AIDS-Free World has filed a claim in the country’s Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the antisodomy law no longer applies to private acts of intimacy between consenting adult males. The first hearing of the case will take place on June 25, 2013. Read more in the press release found at this link: Press-Releases/2013/Domestic-Challenge-to-Anti-Sodomy-Law.aspx

Colorado approves civil unions bill 21-14 A bill allowing gay couples to form civil unions passed the Colorado Senate on Feb. 11, on a 21-14 vote, with Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango providing the only Republican “yes” vote. The Senate on Feb. 8 gave initial approval to the bill, which is sponsored by two gay Denver Democrats, Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman. Democrats

control the Senate 20-15, so there was no doubt about the outcome of the legislation — Senate Bill 11. The bill in 2011 and 2012 died in the Republican-controlled House. With Democrats now in the majority in the House, the bill is likely to pass and will be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper this month and become effective in May.

Couples apply for marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, loving, committed same-sex couples, accompanied by their friends and supporters, asked for marriage licenses as part of Freedom to Marry Week. This is the 15th year in a row that couples have appeared at clerks’ offices across the country to request marriage licenses and to render visible the harm that excluding them from marriage causes them and their families. These annual actions, started by Marriage Equality USA in the mid-90s, took place this year in 18 locations across the country, including Utah, Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia. Information about these events and a list of actions can be found at “As we head to the Supreme Court next month for hearings on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, these actions are designed to show the impact that these laws have on the real lives of LGBTQ Americans,” said Heather Cronk, Managing Director of GetEQUAL. “These laws are unjust and immoral, and we are confronting those laws head-on across the country, from Utah to West Virginia. Marriage is not a states’ rights issue -- it’s a fundamental promise of the Constitution for all Americans.” “President Obama’s inauguration speech included LGBTIQ Americans in

a way that was inspiring, powerful and timely. He tied Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall together with the same thread, forever binding the fabric of civil rights across all generations,” stated Brian Silva, Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA. “For the first time in a Presidential inauguration speech, we heard LGBTIQ people included in ‘We the People.’ However, same-sex couples still cannot marry the person they love in the majority of American states. To that end, we will once again gather at marriage counters on Valentine’s Day and ask to be issued marriage licenses.” The 2013 events are sponsored by a coalition of diverse organizations -including GetEQUAL, Marriage Equality USA, California Faith for Equality, the Foundation for Family and Marriage Equality in Texas, and the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations. “Today we go to marriage license counters across the country to tell the stories of our LGBTIQ friends and family; to show that they live in every community and that we want to honor and protect their families just like everyone else,” said Pastor Rebecca Harrison, who lead couples at San Francisco City Hall. “Love makes a marriage and the time for marriage equality is now.” Rev. Harrison is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church and a straight ally. Her father was a Presbyterian minister who supported civil rights in the South during the integration of the schools and beyond, so she comes by her inclusive views naturally. This annual event has never been more important, as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear two landmark marriage equality cases this month: DOMA and Prop 8. “Same-sex couples will be asking for marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day, just as briefs in the marriage cases are being filed with the United States Supreme Court. This year, couples will hold hands at the marriage counter with the hope

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet that the Justices will rule on the side of love, so that the court cases can stop and the wedding plans can start,” said John Lewis, Legal Director for Marriage Equality USA.

BSA delays policy change decision until May; many are critical On Feb. 6 the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Board put off a decision on changing its membership policy to include gay scouts. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued this statement in response to the Board’s inaction. “Every day that the Boy Scouts of America delay action is another day that discrimination prevails,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Now is the time for action. Young Americans, gay and straight, are hurt by the inaction associated with today’s news. The BSA leadership should end this awful policy once and for all, and open the proud tradition of Scouting to all.” According to news reports, BSA said the organization will delay action on the resolution until its national meeting in May. Poll results released Feb. 6 by Quinnipiac University shows a strong majority of U.S. voters believe it is time for BSA to end its ban on openly gay members. Only 33 percent of voters said the ban should remain in place. Gay Scouts and Scout leaders, as well as GLAAD and Scouts for Equality, have been working for more than nine months to end the BSA’s discriminatory ban. More than 1.4 million people have signed onto their petitions on calling for the BSA to end its national ban. “After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the organization said after their Board meeting concluded. Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom from Bridgeport, Ohio, who was ousted as the leader of her son’s Cub Scout Pack in April 2012 because of her sexual orientation, helped spark a national movement calling on the Boy Scouts to change its policy. Tyrrell, with the support of GLAAD, started a petition on that rallied hundreds of thousands urging the Boy Scouts to welcome gay Scouts and leaders. “A scout is supposed to be brave, and the Boy Scouts failed to be brave today,” said Tyrrell, who was in Dallas on Monday to deliver the signatures from her petition. “The Boy Scouts had the chance to help countless young people and devoted parents, but they’ve failed us yet again. No parent should have to look their child in the eye and explain

that the Boy Scouts don’t want us.” “Our fight will continue,” added Tyrrell, “and we will continue to educate donors and supporters of the Boy Scouts about the effects of their anti-gay policy.” Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and founder of the organization Scouts for Equality, said that today’s news was simply not a strong enough gesture from the Boy Scouts of America to ensure that they take discrimination seriously. “This is an abdication of responsibility. By postponing this decision, the BSA has caved to those who argue that their ideas about being gay trump basic Scouting values of kindness, courtesy and bravery. Scouting was built on a foundation of respect and dignity. Today, the BSA cracked that foundation,” said Wahls. “An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “The Boy Scouts of America is choosing to ignore the cries of millions, including religious institutions, current scouting families, and corporate sponsors, but these cries will not be silenced. We’re living in a culture where hurting young gay people because of who they are is unpopular and discriminatory.” “On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America received 1.4 million petition signatures urging the organization to end its national policy banning gay youth and parents, and today, those voices went unanswered,” said Senior Campaign Manager Mark Anthony Dingbaum. “With nine national campaigns and more than 50 local campaigns already launched on calling for an end to the BSA’s policy, millions are wondering how many more stories of gay youth and leaders, like Ryan Andresen and Jen Tyrrell, need to surface before the Boy Scouts decide to end this policy.”

Fox uses lesbians’ photo to represent traditional marriage roles This is the photo Fox News used last month for their article about traditional gender roles in marriage: “To be happy we must admit men and women are not ‘equal.’” Turns out it’s actually a photo of samesex couple Lela McArthur and Stephanie Figarelle from Anchorage, Alaska.

It’s an AP photo that was most recently used in a Huffington Post article about romance from around the world. -The Advocate

French lower house approves marriage, adoption bill France’s lower house of parliament has approved a broad bill to legalize same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt children, in a 329-229 vote. The AP reports: President Francois Hollande’s Socialists have pushed the measure through the National Assembly and put France on track to join about a dozen, mostly European nations that grant marriage and adoption rights to LGBT people. The measure comes despite an array of demonstrations in recent weeks by opponents of the “marriage for all” bill. Polls show most French support legalizing gay marriage, although many do not support adoption. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2KhdyNmVf The overall bill now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Socialists and their allies. The Local reports that debate in the French Senate begins on March 18.

House of Commons passes marriage bill by 400-175 vote Britain’s House of Commons passed a marriage equality bill on Feb. 5. The final vote was 400-175. A large number of Tories “rebelled” against Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who supports marriage rights, and voted against the bill. The bill now heads for its third and final reading. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, said, “I genuinely believe that we will look back on today as a landmark for equality in Britain. Tonight’s vote shows parliament is very strongly in favour of equal marriage. No matter who you are and who you love, we are all equal. Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should no longer be denied to people just because they are gay. The Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage. It is party policy and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition government that are making it happen.” From the Guardian’s live blog: “MPs have voted for the gay marriage bill by 400 votes to 175 -- a majority of 225. Such a large majority probably increases the chances of the bill being able to get through the House of Lords this year, without the government having to rely on the Parliament Act to push it through in 2014. More than half of the Tory MPs who voted chose to oppose gay marriage. Initial figures suggest that 139 Tories voted against, and only 132 voted for. Technically this is not a rebellion,

5 because it was a free vote. But it is a severe embarrassment to David Cameron.”

Ukraine backs down on anti-gay law Back in October, the Ukrainian parliament overwhelmingly approved the first reading of a bill that would ban “gay propaganda.” But final passage of that bill has since been stalled after it appeared to threaten Ukraine’s long-desired membership in the European Union.  On Feb. 7 Ukraine flip-flopped. Ukraine’s foreign minister Leonid Kozhara stated that a law prohibiting discrimination against gays will be adopted soon, in order to speed up visa entry harmonization with the European Union. During an interview with the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Kozhara stated 7 February: “The issue of homosexuals is now generating strong controversy in Ukraine, but our government has already prepared a draft law and will soon submit it to the parliament. Without a law that prohibits discrimination against gays, we cannot move on the road to abolition of visas. I think that the will to further integration with the European Union outweighs the resistance, and the law will be passed.” The following week Ukraine submitted their proposed bill to the European Union.

Sen. Harkin says ENDA will move this year Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, promised during remarks Feb. 12 at an event at the Center for American Progress that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will “move this year.” Think Progress notes that Harkin has the power to ensure that it receives at least a committee mark-up and vote. Earlier in February, LGBT activists protested outside the White House over inaction by the President to make good on a first-term promise to pass ENDA. At the same time, the Washington Post reported that Obama was increasingly considering the use of an executive order to get LGBT protections passed. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2KhzvM6Zm

Illinois Senate passes marriage by 34-21 vote on Valentine’s Day The Illinois Senate has approved a marriage equality bill in a bipartisan 34-21 vote after a couple hours of debate. The measure now moves to the House where it faces a tougher battle. Tribune: The 34-21-2 Senate vote represents a turnaround of sorts after advocates unsuccessfully sought to push a gay marriage (Illinois continued page 6)


local and state (Murder from page 3) source said. Community leaders expressed concern about the series of killings and urged gay men to use caution when meeting people online. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2KtMdwukw

SBA Center seeks people for research study roundtable The Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership (Center) at the University of Rochester will host a series of salons, commonly called roundtables, to assess the new direction of the center. It is important for UR student, alumni, community advocates and faculty to be involved so the Center can truly meet the needs of its constituents. The best way to begin utilizing the Center to its full potential is to find out from intergenerational audiences what they would like to see the Center become and offer. This research study hopes to address questions, gather ideas and bring together people to discuss the Center’s present and future directions. If you are interested in participating in one of these roundtables, e-mail acwl@ U.R. will compensate research subjects with a $5 gift card. Food and beverages will also be provided.

Youth, elders join for panel discussion The annual Rainbow SAGE Intergenerational Panel will happen on Saturday, March 16, from 4-6 p.m. This year the panel is featuring a new format, with younger and older members of the community interviewing each other on stage. Intergenerational Program Director Kelly Clark says, “How have our journeys been similar or different? What societal pressures have shaped the generations? What new insights can we learn from each other? We hope you will join us for what should be a fascinating evening of discovery.” Light dinner will also be served. This event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Gay Alliance Community Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St. Park in the rear lot, enter through the door marked Theater Entrance. The entrance to the Center is down the corridor on your left. ■

national and international (Illinois from page 5) bill through last month’s lame-duck legislative session. Supporters vowed to try again quickly with a new General Assembly that featured even more Democratic seats in both chambers. Under the measure, marriage officially would be changed in state law from an act between a man and a woman to two people. The legislation explicitly says nothing in the proposed law would force a religious denomination or minster to “solemnize any marriage.” People in civil unions would be able to convert them to marriages within a year of a same-sex marriage law going on the books in Illinois. Said Jim Bennett, Regional Director of Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office: “We thank the Illinois Senate for passing this historic bill, making this a sweet Valentine’s Day for loving same-sex couples across the state. The momentum for marriage continues on this day American holiday honoring love and commitment, and we now urge the House of Representatives to join the right side of

the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013 history and grant same-sex couples the dignity and respect of marriage.” Together, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits on May 30, 2012, representing a total of 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry. Two days later, the Illinois Attorney General’s office filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional. Said Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project and Senior Policy Advisor of LGBT rights group The Civil Rights Agenda: “This is an historic moment and demonstrates once again that Illinois is the land of Lincoln - fairness justice and equality for all. Just two years ago we thought this day was years away, but here we are and I am humbled to be sitting here today. This is an important step, but there is still more work to do. As we turn our attention to the House of Representatives we are working to make sure that they will pass it and the Governor is waiting to sign it.” “Today we usually celebrate with flowers and chocolates. But on this historic day, Illinoisans have given their lesbian and gay friends and neighbors the gift of a lifetime – a huge step toward the freedom to marry,” said John Knight, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “The overwhelming vote in the Senate creates significant momentum moving forward to the House. We are a day closer to realizing the freedom to marry for all Illinoisans.”

Anderson Cooper to receive GLAAD award Anderson Cooper will receive the Vito Russo Award during the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards in New York City this month. Past recipients of the Vito Russo Award include Sir Elton John, Ricky Martin, and Rosie O’Donnell. “By sharing his own experiences as a gay man, Anderson has reminded millions of Americans that LGBT people are part of their everyday lives and an integral part of our cultural fabric,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement. “He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I’m proud to call him a friend.” Cooper, whose sexual orientation had long been a secret to the general public, revealed that he was gay in a letter to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan last summer.

Mexican Supreme Court: marriage bans are discriminatory The Mexican Supreme Court on Feb. 19 issued a sweeping decision in which it declared that bans on same-sex marriage are “discriminatory and unconstitutional.” The formal ruling was delivered Feb. 19, but the court made the decision in December. J. Lester Feder reports at Buzzfeed: The ruling not only makes a strong statement about Mexican law’s treatment of equal protection guarantees, it also relies heavily on civil rights rulings handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although several justices of the American court take pride in not caring what foreign courts say, any who read the Mexican decision will find the court makes an impassioned case for the United States to follow its lead. Writing for a unanimous tribunal, Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea invoked the U.S. cases Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board of Education to argue for marriage equality in a way that American activists would be overjoyed to see from a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Same-sex marriage is presently legal in Mexico City and the state of Quintana

Roo. Marriages performed in both places are recognized nationwide. This ruling only applies in the state of Oaxaca. Feder explains: “Unlike in the United States, it takes more than one ruling from Mexico’s Supreme Court to strike down a law – the court must rule the same way in five separate cases before a law falls. This ruling concerns three separate cases; it will take two more for any same-sex couple in Oaxaca to be able to wed easily, and then the process may have to be repeated in other states. But this precedent means this is a procedural issue, not a legal one.”

NBA star has two moms, speaks out for gay rights Denver Nuggets star Kenneth Faried has joined the group Athlete Ally as an ambassador, making him the first player in the NBA to join an LGBT rights support organization. Athlete Ally combats homophobia in sports. Faried appeared in a video in late January with his two moms for One Colorado, urging lawmakers to pass a civil union bill there. “Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country,” said Faried in a statement to The Huffington Post, referring to the non-profit group that advocates for gay rights in sports. “I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community -- whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans -- to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.” As a member of Athlete Ally, Faried joins Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens, Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns and Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans, as well as professional international sports stars and college players. Said Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor, “In the last month, we have seen seven professional athletes around the world align with Athlete Ally. As Kenneth joins four NFL players, including a Super Bowl champ, a pro rugby player and an Australian Rules Football star, he is bringing our movement to a new level. Kenneth is standing out not only as an incredible talent, but as an incredible ally. We are thrilled to have him on board and grateful to the NBA for its continued leadership.” Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2KhzkiHd7

Chicago Tribune editorial backs marriage equality in Illinois From the Chicago Tribune: “Allowing same-sex couples to wed under the law would not devalue traditional marriage. It would affirm the bedrock values that underlie and sustain such unions. Marriage promotes stable families, safeguards the interests of children and rewards committed relationships. Recognizing same-sex marriages demonstrates respect for personal freedoms and keeps government out of the intimate affairs of citizens. More people in same-sex relationships are adopting or giving birth to children; this provides the

security of a legal commitment for those children. It’s the fair thing to do.” comments: “That support has been building in Springfield, too, as evidenced by the Senate vote. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady announced his support for same-sex marriage, prompting an attempt by some conservatives to oust him from the party post. That attempt failed. Undeterred by the risk of repercussions, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, also a Republican, recently urged lawmakers to ‘go for it.’ Ladies and gentlemen of the House, it’s your turn to step up.”

Pulitzer Center will match donations to film on Jamaican hate The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is offering a special challenge. It has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, up for $15,000 on all future Kickstarter contributions to the film “Abominable Crime” -- every dollar donated over the next 19 days will be doubled! “An Abominable Crime,” a documentary from filmmaker Micah Fink, explores homophobia in Jamaica through the eyes of two people – Simone Edwards, a lesbian seeking asylum abroad after an attempt on her life by anti-gay gunmen, and Maurice Tomlinson, an activist and lawyer threatened after marrying a Canadian man and being exposed by the Jamaican press (interviewed in the September 2012 Empty Closet). Fink is seeking funds to finish his film on Kickstarter. It’s a moving exploration of Jamaica’s culture and a touching look into the lives of gays and lesbians who seek asylum and safety in other countries to protect themselves from human rights abuses in their own. To learn where to donate, see: http://

Immigration bill would let gays sponsor partner residency Rep. Jerrold Nadler, backed by dozens of House colleagues, has introduced a bill to allow Americans to sponsor their samesex partners for legal residency in the U.S. Because the federal government does not recognize the relationships of samesex couples, due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Nadler’s Uniting American Families Act would grant the same rights to gay couples that heterosexual married couples currently have. The bill comes as Congress debates an overhaul of the country’s immigration laws. Versions of this bill have been introduced in Congress in each session since 2000. The UAFA would add the term “permanent partner” to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which currently only applies to married heterosexual couples. A “permanent partner” is described as an adult who is in a committed, intimate relationship with another adult in “which both parties intend a lifelong commitment.” Right now, at least 31 other countries, including Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, allow residents to sponsor partners for legal immigration. “Today, thousands of committed same-sex couples are needlessly suffering because of unequal treatment under our immigration laws, and this is an outrage,” Nadler said in a statement Feb. 5. “Our Constitution guarantees that no class of people will be singled out for differential treatment — and LGBT Americans must not be excluded from that guarantee. Moreover, any serious legislative proposal for comprehensive immigration reform absolutely must include gay and lesbian couples and their families.” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is backing the bill, said that enacting UAFA would be striking “down the barriers of discrimination.” She added, “As we work toward comprehensive immigration (Immigration continues page 12)

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Dr. Paul Allen By Susan Jordan Dr. Paul D. Allen is not only chairperson of the ImageOut Film Festival board. He is also a research assistant professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He spoke in both capacities recently in the third of three Empty Closet interviews with local doctors. Why do LGBT people need a special Health Month anyway? Paul Allen says, “I’m not an expert, but I’m really supportive of the effort, and ImageOut has been very supportive of Health Month for the last five years. It’s the highlight of our spring program. The important thing is for LGBT people to start thinking about their health.”

As Dr. William Valenti of AIDS Care pointed out in the DecemberJanuary EC, there are many barriers between LGBT people and adequate, quality health care. Homophobia causes not only outright discrimination, but also ignorance of LGBT individuals’ needs. This is notorious in the case of transgender, genderqueer and intersex people, but also affects gay men, lesbians and bisexuals. Often LGBT people fear to reveal personal details to healthcare providers who may be homophobic, so they end up neglecting their health. And healthcare providers may indeed be prejudiced, or simply unaware and thus unable to provide quality care – sometimes with serious consequences. Paul Allen said, “Some doctors think if you’re a lesbian you don’t need PAP smears. If you have a cervix you need a PAP smear! Trans people of course have many issues with access to healthcare. The upcoming UR conference (to educate caregivers on trans healthcare issues, March 1) is a good starting point. Unfortunately, this ‘medicalizing’ of trans people may be necessary in our society to allow them to access services, but it can’t be the end point of care. De-stigmatizing the trans experience and educating providers are very good things – but if there is no medical diagnosis there’s no access to services. Trans people need access to hormones, or maybe surgeries, or whatever they want – and many find they need to ‘present’ with a checklist of symptoms in order to get the diagnosis and access to services. We need to be advocating for a healthcare system that is accessible to all.”


Some doctors think if you’re a lesbian you don’t need PAP smears. If you have a cervix you need a PAP smear! Trans people of course have many issues with access to healthcare.… We need to be advocating for a healthcare system that is accessible to all. He continued, “There are many other healthcare disparities in the LGBT community. Not to over-generalize, but we use more alcohol, tobacco and drugs and we need to start finding out why and what to do about it. Is that generational issues (i.e. that the older generation internalized more self-hate, and also socialized largely in bars) or is it partly differences between men and women? It’s a complex social problem, but there are causes and solutions. I’m not saying everyone should be a non-smoking teetotaler, but we need to respect our bodies, minds and community.” ImageOut will be screening “Intersexion” this month as part of the LGBT Health Month events. The film on intersex individuals’ experiences, which screened last fall at the festival, was made by New Zealand filmmakers and features Rochester’s Jim Costich, among others. It will be screened on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at The Cinema, and admission is free. There may be a panel discussion afterwards.

Paul Allen said, “I’m thrilled that ImageOut is bringing this film back to Rochester. It’s the first film I’ve ever seen where the audience gave a spontaneous standing ovation. “First, the film is very well made. Second, the topic is something that very few people know about. The movie goes into a lot of detail about why that is the case. “Actually, intersex is common. Many children are born with this condition and there’s this need on the part of society to force them into the binary of either boy or girl. The movie is very sensitive in that it allows many different intersex people to tell their stories on their own terms. It’s not all terrible – some of the stories are really wonderful. Children born into loving, accepting families grew up to be whoever they wanted to be, while those born into more rigid families have stories that are more tragic. The film is very affirming of intersex people and at the end you know what their lives are like. I believe in this movie!” ■


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MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet



the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Making the Scene Emily Jones, John Altieri, and Deborah Hughes. Photo: Jill Frier

The Masqueerade took place in the Cathedral Ballroom at the Auditorium Center. Photo: Jill Frier

The Ruby Masqueerade celebrated the Gay Alliance’s 40th birthday on Feb. 9. Over 300 attended. Thanks to Anne Tischer and the volunteers for their hard work. The award for Best Couple Costume went to Sue and Cathy Timian, above. Photo: Bess Watts The youngest attendee gets refreshment. Photo: Jill Frier

Photo: Jill Frier

Photo: Jill Frier

Photo: Jill Frier

Bob Cramer and Rich Great Photo: Jill Frier

Photo: Jill Frier

Wanda & Sady Fischer at the Ruby Masqueerade. Photo: Bess Watts

My Own Private Rochester: Wanda Martinez By Susan Jordan Wanda Martinez was born and raised in Puerto Rico and came to Rochester in 1997, where she attended MCC to study nursing. Then she changed her major to diversity and com-

munity studies, and had to start all over again. After two years she will transfer elsewhere to get her degree. She currently works in the Sterile Processing Department at the Veterans Administration (VA) in Canandaigua, and she is also manager of the LGBTSA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Straight Allies) Employees Work Group. Wanda’s

Best single: Jackie Akin. Photo: Bess Watts

ultimate dream is to work in the VA diversity inclusion office in Washington D.C. Right now, though, Wanda is taking her time getting her degree, and raising her son, 10, and daughter, 7. She visits Puerto Rico to see her family at least twice a year. She is based in Canandaigua, but comes into the city several times a week, in part to volunteer for or attend meetings of Out & Equal, LORA’s Late Bloomers group, and the Gay Alliance Speakers Bureau – her three favorite Rochester organizations. On Saturdays Wanda likes to take her kids to Barnes and Noble, followed by a trip to her favorite restaurant, El Pil’on, 1038 N. Clinton Ave., where she can pick up delicious take-out. She said, “I come from Canandaigua to eat there because it makes me feel like home!” She says that the food reminds her of her grandmother’s cooking. Wanda’s favorite local events are the Puerto Rican Parade, either in July or August, and the Pride Parade in July. Last year she led an LGBT group in the Puerto Rican Parade. Wanda cites two people as having influenced and inspired her: Scott Fearing, Gay Alliance Program Director, and John Altieri of the

Best mask: Raquel Acevedo. Photo: Bess Watts

Wanda at El Pil’on with owner Zury Brown. Photo: Susan Jordan

GAGV Board. “They both teach me so much and have helped me learn about myself and who I am today,” she said. “They’ve put their knowledge into my brain – that’s why I do a lot with the GAGV.” Wanda’s two major interests are an interesting combination – kick boxing and chess. She has a home gym complete with weights and punching bag where she can work out. She used to travel to compete in chess tournaments, but says, “After going to college and having kids I didn’t have time any more…

I’ve been playing chess since I was 7. I just fell in love with it; it helped me through school.” She has made sure that her son knows how to play, as a change from time spent on the Internet. Wanda also likes to visit the Susan B. Anthony House, and notes that Susan B. was arrested in Canandaigua when she tried to vote. She sums up her feelings about Rochester by saying, “The reason I like Rochester is that it’s very diverse. The city is welcoming to people from all kinds of backgrounds. That’s why I love it here.” ■

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Matt kicks off: On Feb. 17, supporters of City Councilman Matt Haag held a reelection kick-off party at ONE Nightclub and Ultra Lounge in the East End. Many notable dignitaries were in attendance, including NYS Assemblyman Harry Bronson, City Councilwoman Elaine Spaull and Mayor Richards. Above, L-R: Tim Tompkins, City Councilman Matt Haag and Mayor Tom Richards. Photo: Ove Overmyer


GAGV THANKS DONORS: Gay Alliance Board Co-President Bruce Gorman speaks at the donor appreciation event held Jan. 24 at the Association of American University Women on East Ave. Photos: Khoury Humphrey

L to R: David Carpenter, Bill Schaefer, Bill Arcuri, Eric Rodriguez. Photo: Ove Overmyer

OUT & EQUAL: Legends Sports Bar & Grill in the Radisson Riverside was the location for Out & Equal’s Second Thursday Networking event on Feb. 14. Photos: Jeff Mills

CASINO NIGHT: The Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus hosted a Casino Night on Feb. 17 at 140 Alex. The Chorus will present its spring concert, “The Boys Band,” on March 23 at 8 p.m. at Hochstein. Photos: Karen Ahrens


national and international (Immigration from page 6) reform, we must ensure that the value of all families is valued, respected, and recognized in the eyes of the law.” Rachel B. Tiven, the executive director of Immigration Equality, said that November’s election outcome is a clear indication that Americans would support this bill. “Voters sent a clear message in November: they support treating everyone — gay and straight, citizen and immigrant — with dignity and respect,” Tiven said. “These are true American values. As Congress moves forward on long overdue immigration reform, lawmakers must include UAFA as part of that effort. Our immigration laws must reflect the diversity of our beautiful country and must protect families and family unity.” Gay U.S. Representative Jared Polis of Colorado said the UAFA would “help reduce family backlogs, grow our economy, and improve the effectiveness of the immigration process. This common-sense legislation is part of the solution to how to fix our broken immigration system.” Out Representatives Mark Takano of California, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and David Cicilline of Rhode Island are also co-sponsors of the legislation.

Spring SpeakOUT Training

the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013 Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is expected to introduce the companion bill in the Senate.

Partner of lesbian vet can be buried in national cemetery in Oregon In the first case of its kind, the deceased gay spouse of a military veteran is receiving burial in a national cemetery, CNN reports: “I am deeply grateful to my country for honoring and respecting my years of service and my relationship with Nancy, the love of my life,” said retired Lt. Col. Linda Campbell, a veteran. “Willamette National Cemetery is a beautiful, peaceful place. Knowing that Nancy and I can join my parents on that hallowed ground is a source of great comfort and healing,” she said. Nancy Lynchild, Campbell’s partner, died in December of metastatic cancer. The cemetery is located southeast of Portland, Oregon. The Department of Veterans Affairs released a statement, saying Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki used his discretionary authority in the case. “This was the first non-Veteran partner of the same gender he was asked to consider, this is the first he has approved. It’s important to note that the Secretary did not base his decision on the individual’s marital status or state recognized

relationship status, but rather based it, in part, on evidence of a committed relationship between the individual and the Veteran,” it read. The decision does not represent an official change in policy, according to CNN. However, in February, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that new benefits would be extended to families of servicemembers to nearly the extent allowable by current law. These benefits would include the right to burial in a national cemetery. The announcement triggered an ugly response from the anti-gay Family Research Council, which was upset that gay corpses might spoil the “hallowed ground” of a military cemetery. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2KzFNWG1M

Calif. bill would end BSA tax exempt status A new bill (SB 323) proposed by openly gay California state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) would strip the Boy Scouts’ tax exempt status for discriminating against members and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT POV reports: “Currently, organizations that discriminate on these grounds may still receive sales and corporate tax exemptions, a provision that is intended to encourage acting in the public interest,” according to a joint press release. “SB 323 would end this exemption for youth groups that continue to discriminate by treating their sales to the same extent as any other retailers. This bill would also require organizations with discriminatory policies to pay corporate taxes on donations and other forms of income.” “Our state values the important role that youth groups play in the empowerment of our next generation; this is demonstrated by rewarding organizations with

tax exemptions supported financially by all Californians,” stated Senator Lara. “SB 323 seeks to end the unfortunate discriminatory and outdated practices by certain youth groups by revoking their tax exemption privilege should they not comply with our non-discrimination laws.” The SF Chronicle adds: The amount of financial benefits scouting organizations in California receive through their state tax-exempt status is not clear, and backers of the measure said they would seek that information from the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization as the bill moves through the legislative process. Proponents did say the measure would affect the Boy Scouts in particular, and hope a push in California will add pressure to the national scouting organization, based in Irving, Texas, as leaders there consider any changes. “I thought it was necessary for California to make sure we don’t condone the discriminating practices of youth groups like the Boy Scouts of America,” Lara said about the timing of the bill as the national organization wrestles with whether to make a change. “We’ve given the Boy Scouts ample time, and they’ve chosen not to address this issue.” Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2LRtVmivC

Conservatives ban gay conservative group GOProud has again been barred from participating in CPAC, the annual ultraconservative conference where the farright plots voter suppression, getting Jesus into public schools, and how to thwart civil equality for LGBT Americans. comments, “You may recall the 2011 kerfuffle in which thenGOProud head Chris Barron called CPAC organizer Cleta Mitchell a ‘nasty bigot,’ for which Barron later apologized after other GOProud board members publicly denounced him. (Mitchell, of course, is

The Gay Alliance would like to invite you to participate in our Spring SpeakOUT Training: Providing Successful LGBT Education The Gay Alliance SpeakOUT Training prepares participants to educate others on LGBT issues in a respectful way, to successfully advocate for LGBT individuals and to address challenges to full LGBT inclusion. SpeakOUT participants become more confident and articulate while talking with others about LGBT issues. This is a great experience for someone new to LGBT issues or someone who has lived or worked with the issues for years. Think of it as professional development for your life. This training is also the first step in becoming trained as a Gay Alliance Speakers Bureau member. Facilitators: Jeanne Gainsburg, Gay Alliance OutReach Coordinator and Scott Fearing, Gay Alliance Program Director, draw upon their 30+ years of LGBT training and education experience to facilitate the class. A dynamic mix of interactive exercises and lecture make for a fast-paced, intense and valuable learning experience. The SpeakOUT Training will run on Friday, March 22 from 6-9pm and on Saturday, March 23 from 8:30am-5pm and is $50 per person. It will be held in the Gay Alliance Community Center in the Auditorium Center (875 E. Main St. Rochester, NY 14605). We only offer this training twice a year and it fills fast, so don’t wait! To register, go to: To ask questions or find out about paying through an invoice to your school, please contact: or 585-244-8640 ext. 20. *ASL interpretation available if requested before March 6.

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet the attorney who won the Citizens United case before the Supreme Court. Her antigay activism is thought by many to have its roots in the fact that her husband left her for another man.) “Shortly after the ‘nasty bigot’ controversy, the CPAC board voted to ban GOProud and any other ‘homosexual advocacy group’ from future conventions, so despite the homocon outrage on Twitter, it’s no shocker that GOProud isn’t on the 2013 CPAC roster.” Note: In the past GOProud has opposed marriage equality and faithfully adhered to the far-right party line on every issue.

Pentagon to give some equal benefits to gays and their families The Human Rights Campaign on Feb. 11 praised the Pentagon’s

announcement that it would extend a slate of equal benefits to lesbian and gay service members and their families over the coming months. Believed to be the final policy move of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s tenure, this announcement guarantees some, but not all, of the benefits the Pentagon currently provides to the families of straight military personnel. Though this is a meaningful step forward, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still prevents gay and lesbian military families from enjoying full equality. HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement: “Today, the Pentagon took a historic step forward toward righting the wrong of inequality in our armed forces, but there is still more work to be done. Gay and lesbian service members and their families make sacrifices every day, and this country owes them every measure (Pentagon continues page 14)



the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013 ( Pentagon from page 13) of support we can provide. Since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the Obama administration has shown true leadership on this issue. But even today, the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act makes inequality for gay and lesbian military families a legal requirement. “It’s time to right this wrong. When the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of DOMA in the coming weeks, they should take note of the real harm this law inflicts every day. The Court should reflect on the sacrifice made by Americans like Staff Sergeant Tracy Johnson, whose wife was killed in action late last year, or the family of Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who succumbed to cancer earlier this week. In both cases, DOMA barred specific benefits that could soften the tragic blow of the loss of a loved one. The Court should strike down this hateful law once and for all so that this country can finally guarantee full equality for all who serve.”

“Ex-gay” shock therapy doctor gets prison for sex abuse of patients Jim Burroway posted on Box Turtle Bulletin on Feb. 5: Aubry Levin, 74, a South African national who relocated to Calgary, Canada in order to resume his ex-gay therapy in the post-Apartheid era, has been sentenced to five years in prison for fondling his male patients. His wife, Erica, was also charged with “defeating the ends of justice” for trying to bribe a juror in her husband’s case. “Your patients came to you for help. Instead, you were responsible for creating more problems. This was a horrible violation of trust,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley told Levin during sentencing. Levin was found guilty on three of nine charges against him. His Canadian offences came to light in March 2010 when the original complainant showed two videos, taken on a spy camera, which showed Levin fondling his genitals. (Some) may recall that when Levin was first arrested in 2010, his work for the South African military during the apartheid era drew considerable attention. In the 1980s, electric shock therapies had mostly come to an end throughout the world, but it was still employed in apartheid South Africa right up until the fall of the regime. Levin was one of the more notorious practitioners in South Africa, so much so that he was known as “Dr. Shock.” Among the allegations levelled at Levin was that he used severe electric shocks as part of “aversion therapy” that was supposed to “cure” homosexuals. “Political deviants” who refused to bear arms in the apartheid forces were also referred to Levin, who commanded the major psychiatric wing of the military hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte in Pretoria and rose to become the apartheid government’s head of mental health. Levin fled South Africa just before its transition to democracy, and settled in Calgary where he became a Canadian citizen. He refused to testify before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where it was alleged he had been guilty of gross human rights abuses. According to South Africa’s The Daily Maverick: Ward 22 of 1 Military Hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte, near Pretoria, was where he operated. That’s where suspected gays in the army were sent to Dr Aubrey Levin for “treatment”. Levin was positively evangelical about curing homosexuality: in 1968 he wrote to Parliament asking to address its members on potential changes to the laws on homosexuality, noting that he had

“treated many homosexuals and lesbians and enjoyed some measure of success in therapy.” This “therapy” took the form of drugs, electro-shock therapy and hormone treatment. For those who didn’t show signs of responding, it is claimed that chemical castrations or sex-change operations were in store. Most of Levin’s patients were young, white and male, and they were referred to him by military officers, chaplains and doctors. Once settled in Canada, Levin became an expert witness, performing court-ordered psychiatric assessments of convicted offenders awaiting sentence. According to press reports at the time of Levin’s arrest, a 36-year-old former patient had been accusing Levin of sexually abusing him, but he couldn’t get authorities to believe him. The break came when the patient went to an appointment with a hidden camera in order to obtain evidence. The videos, which were played in court during the trial, showed Levin undoing the man’s belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him. The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation and had been ordered to see Levin twice a month. Two other accusers were also patients of Levin’s while under court order. A support group of former patients has been established online.

Prop 8 challengers file brief with Supreme Court for March 26 On Feb. 21, plaintiffs in the federal challenge to Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, filed the one and only brief that they will file with the Supreme Court prior to hearings later this month. Said Plaintiffs’ attorneys, led by Ted Olson and David Boies, in the brief: “Because of their sexual orientation— a characteristic with which they were born and which they cannot change— Plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of gay men and lesbians in California and across the country are being excluded from one of life’s most precious relationships. They may not marry the person they love, the person with whom they wish to partner in building a family and with whom they wish to share their future and their most intimate and private dreams... “...Although opening to them participation in the unique and immensely valuable institution of marriage will not diminish the value or status of marriage for heterosexuals, withholding it causes infinite and permanent stigma, pain, and isolation. It denies gay men and lesbians their identity and their dignity; it labels their families as secondrate. That outcome cannot be squared with the principle of equality and the unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is the bedrock promise of America from the Declaration of Independence to the Fourteenth Amendment, and the dream of all Americans. This badge of inferiority, separateness, and inequality must be extinguished. When it is, America will be closer to fulfilling the aspirations of all its citizens.” Added Plaintiffs’ counsel Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. in a press release, “This case is about marriage and equality. The Plaintiffs we represent are two loving couples who, like millions of other gay and lesbian Americans, are being denied the right to marry and the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect under the law, principles that are deeply rooted in our constitutional tradition. The brief that we have filed today demonstrates that Proposition 8 and laws like it are irrational and discriminatory.” The Court will hear oral argument in Perry on March 26. They will hear arguments in the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, on March 27. Read more: http://www.towleroad. com/#ixzz2LYZkFIJH ■

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

Opinion Tying the Knot: Financial Considerations for Same-Sex Spouses By Bradley J. Flower, Morgan Stanley For same-sex couples contemplating marriage, tying the knot confers many legal rights and benefits. But from a financial perspective, the benefits are limited since same-sex marriages are currently not recognized under federal law. This fact alone effectively negates many of the financial benefits enjoyed by traditional married couples. Below is a summary of the major financial benefits that married same-sex couples are likely to encounter. Keep in mind that these represent only a few key financial areas affected by same-sex marriage. Many other laws, including child custody rights, are also affected but not dealt with here. Also note that tax rules vary from state to state, even among those states that do recognize same-sex marriages. Income Tax On the state level, same-sex couples can file joint returns in states that permit same-sex marriage. That means they can share deductions for children, mortgage payments and other items that can generate significant state tax savings, especially for couples with lower incomes. However, since same-sex marriage is not recognized at the federal level, they still need to file separate forms and cannot share any spousal exemption or federal deductions. That said, joint filers with higher combined incomes may pay more taxes on the federal level anyway—the socalled marriage penalty—but this does not kick in until both earn a combined taxable income of over $142,700 in 2012. Whether you pay more or less state tax when filing jointly, one thing is certain: Filing income taxes is likely to be more complex for same-sex couples who file a joint state return. Because you cannot piggyback your state tax filing off your federal return, tax preparation is likely to take more time. Estate Tax For same-sex spouses in states that recognize equal marriage, no state “death tax” applies. Such taxes, in a handful of states, typically piggyback off the federal estate tax. In these states, same-sex spouses can claim a spousal exemption. However, on the federal level, estate taxes may still apply since the I.R.S. does not recognize same-sex spouses. Thus, a same-sex widow must currently pay federal estate tax on a spousal inheritance above $5 million. The good news for same-sex spouses is that under most states’ laws, a spouse is the first in line of inheritance, even in the absence of a will. Medical Proxy In states that recognize same-sex marriage, same-sex spouses are able to make medical and financial decisions if their spouse is incapacitated. But this applies only in states that recognize same-sex marriage. So if you end up incapacitated in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, your partner could be powerless. Health Insurance Arguably the biggest financial benefit available to same-sex spouses is joint coverage under their health care plan. Shared coverage can save thousands of dollars a year in premiums. Some insurance companies require marriage for shared coverage. Others may offer coverage to domestic partners and same-sex unions, but the value of a partner’s benefits may have to be reported as taxable income. Although rules vary by state, same-sex couples generally qualify for shared coverage in states that recognize

equal marriage, and need not report benefits as taxable income on the state level. Retirement In the retirement arena, there are few benefits currently afforded to same-sex spouses, since Social Security and qualified retirement savings vehicles such as IRAs, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, fall under federal jurisdiction. Accordingly, same-sex spouses cannot set up joint qualified retirement savings accounts and are not entitled to spousal death benefits under Social Security rules; Social Security benefits will cease upon your death. Likewise, should your partner die first, you will no longer receive benefits. Divorce Like traditional married couples, same-sex married couples are subject to a state’s divorce laws. Typically, everything you and your spouse acquired from the day you were married is subject to division. The exceptions are individual inheritances, gifts to an individual spouse and assets acquired before marriage. When assets are divided, the court considers each spouse’s earning ability, the length of the marriage and how much each spouse contributed to building household assets. The exceptions to this are the nine “community property” states – Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Under the laws of these states, almost all assets will automati-

cally be divided equally Such protections can be viewed as a positive or a negative, depending on whether you’d be the receiver or payer. And if one partner ends up paying spousal support, those payments cannot be deducted on their federal taxes, as is the case for traditional married couples. Planning Tips With these points in mind, married same-sex couples might want to consider a few planning tips: Make a detailed estate plan, including health care proxy and power of attorney. You should also consider setting up a living trust to avoid probate. An estate plan is a good idea for any married couple, but it is especially important for same-sex couples since their spousal legitimacy is not recognized in many states. This could potentially mean that all assets of a deceased same-sex spouse who died without a will would automatically pass on to his or her next of kin rather than his or her spouse. Designate beneficiaries on all retirement accounts. This will help in settling yours or your partner’s estate, since assets in these accounts will pass to the beneficiary you designate. If you do not designate a beneficiary, the assets will be distributed according to the terms of your will. But if you have no will, the state will determine who receives the assets, which may well not be your partner. Consider having your taxes prepared

15 by a professional. If you prepare your own tax returns—even if you use TurboTax or another tax-preparation package—it can get very complex filing joint state returns and separate federal returns. Most states piggyback off federal forms, so you may find yourself having to fill out a joint federal form just to arrive at a joint calculation only used in your state filing—in addition to filling out and filing separate federal returns. Keep track of what states recognize (but not necessarily issue licenses for) same-sex marriage. This is especially important if you have multiple residences in different states or if you or your spouse are incapacitated in a state that does not recognize other states’ same-sex marriage laws. Your rights and benefits could vary significantly as soon as you cross the state line. Keep good records. The laws are changing in many states, and Supreme Court decisions and challenges to DOMA could impact equal marriage on the national level. So make sure to keep records of all financial transactions that could be impacted by future changes to state or federal laws governing same-sex marriage. Work with a professional. Whether it’s investing, saving for retirement or putting together an estate plan, let Morgan Stanley or other professionals help you meet the unique challenges same-sex couples face today when planning their finances. ■


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet


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the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet



the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Rochester Pride:  July 19, 20 & 21 There’s no place like Pride

There’s no place like Rochester And no dates like July 19, 20 & 21












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Empowering pride for 40 years

of the Genesee Valley Proud Producer of Rochester Pride

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet


Shoulders to Stand On

Shoulders To Stand On: pre-Stonewall to 1990s By Evelyn Bailey This month begins a series of articles on our early history – pre-Stonewall to the ’90s. Question: What is it about Rochester that has created such a welcoming community for lgbt men and women? Answer: Other questions – Is it the water? Is it the influence of the Iroquois nation, of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass? Is it the number of institutions of higher learning in a relatively small geographic area? Is it the diversity policies of corporations? Is it the open and welcoming churches in Rochester? The truth is that it is not any one of these but the interconnectedness of all.

Rochester, in the 1800s, was the crossroads between the east and the new frontiers to the west and south, a melting pot of cultures, social and political ideas, intellectual understanding and religious tolerance. In the beginning there was the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) nation, a matriarchal or matrilinear society. The influence of the Iroquois nation’s Great Law of Peace and cultural traditions on the “Founding Fathers” – Jefferson and Franklin at least -- can be seen in a careful reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These two documents show the merging of two concepts very peculiar and unique to the Iroquois: that of God (The Great Spirit) and that of freedom and individualism. The Iroquois (although their land and culture were brutally taken over by the white invaders) provided Upstate New York with its first influence of liberation and equality, and these roots would grow, as when Frederick Douglass advocated for abolition of slavery. Following excerpt from Jeff Lehigh’s article in the Dec. 1989 issue of The Empty Closet: The Rochester area has a unique history, as does the Rochester gay community. It is difficult to trace gay history prior to the Stonewall riots, since there is very little concrete evidence to prove who in Rochester’s early history really was gay. There are many rumors, but little if any physical or documented proof to confirm that these people were truly gay or lesbian. George Eastman is one of many Rochestarians rumored to have been gay. Eastman was born in Waterville, New York on July 12, 1854. He was educated in Rochester public schools and started

Susan B. Anthony

Kodak in 1888. There are abundant rumors about Eastman and the identity of his supposed lover, but no printed evidence of his homosexuality. Regardless of George Eastman’s sexual preference, he nurtured the human spirit and its unquenchable thirst for freedom – intellectual, social, economic, and political (with the exception of unions and workers’ rights which he opposed). The Social Gospel Movement of Walter Rauschenbush in Rochester was supported by George Eastman’s generous philanthropy. Susan Brownell Anthony was born on Feb. 15, 1820, in Adams, Mass., and was brought up a Quaker. Her family moved to Rochester in 1845. Susan B. Anthony published a weekly women’s suffrage newspaper called The Revolution. The Revolution’s motto was “The true republic—men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.” Susan B. Anthony wrote four love letters to Anna Elizabeth Dickenson, an anti-slavery orator and lecturer for women’s rights. Dickenson represented the new generation of young women who were able to do political work because of the precedent set by Anthony and the women’s rights movement. In the second letter, dated March 18, 1868, Susan closed her letter to Anna, “your loving friend. Susan.” In one letter, Susan B. wrote, “To tell the truth, I want to see you very much indeed, to hold your hand in mine, to hear your voice, in a word I want you -- I can’t have you? Well, I will at least put down a little fragment of my foolish self and send it to look up at you.” Susan B. Anthony’s final letter to Anna Dickenson was written 26 years later, and dated Nov. 5, 1895. Susan closed, “Lovingly, your old and best friend — Susan B. Anthony.” There is no clear-cut way to tell

whether Susan and Anna were actually lovers, but in reading the letters, one can only conclude that their relationship was deeply loving, central, and committed, and therefore essentially lesbian, whether or not genital sexuality was involved. Both George Eastman and Susan B. Anthony were far ahead of their time in terms of thinking outside the box. Susan B. Anthony’s influence on women’s liberation and therefore the liberation of all remains far reaching. The spirit that resides within us to be free – to be who we are – to live with equality – could not and cannot today be held back. We see this happening all over the world. Liberation – gay, political, social – is ingrained in Rochester and its history. The foundation for gay liberation – for our struggle for equality and justice, to be who we are -- was begun many years ago and continues today, for we are not yet there. Shoulders To Stand On is proud of Rochester’s “liberation” history, and these early pioneers – the Iroquois Six Nations, Frederick Douglass, George Eastman, and Susan B. Anthony.

History Corner March 1973 From a monthly newsletter of the University of Rochester Gay Liberation Front, March, 1973: HAPPENINGS SUN 4 MAR: “PLEASE TOUCH, ROUND IV”: Sensory relaxation activities. 7:30 pm, Todd Union Music Lounge. NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION: Meet at the Music Lounge at 7:30 pm and then move to another location. SUN 11 MAR: “WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PSYCHIATRISTS”: A discussion about and possibly with members of these “helping” professions, concerning their help towards gays, Todd Union Music Lounge, 7:30 pm. OFFICE STAFF MEETING: GLF office, 8:00 pm. SUN 18 MAR: “A CLERGYMAN LOOKS AT CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN THE CHURCH”: A beginning path to gay understanding. Todd Union Music Lounge, 7:30 pm. SAT 24 MAR: DANCE at Brockport. Details may be available in GLF office this week. Phone: 275-6181 SUN 25 MAR: “ALCOHOL AND THE GAY COMMUNITY”: What does the Gay need from AA?” Todd Union Music Lounge, 7:30 pm. SUN 1 APRIL “NO FOOLING”: A Gay coffee house night. Art, talent, eats and rap. Bring friends, straight and gay. U of R Chapel, middle level (look for sign – if you’re gay you know how). 8:30 pm (note time change) ■


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Columnists The opinions of columnists, editorial writers and other contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the collective attitude of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley or The Empty Closet.

Growing Up Don’t Forget By Eric Bellmann My old friend Ed is coming from Chicago where he’s lived the last twenty years. He’s coming to be with his family when they disconnect life support from his father, who had been diagnosed a year ago with dementia and only recently had moved into a supportive living situation. Fortunately Ed has made the long trip here a number of times over the last several years. Ed doesn’t have a lot of money and he has to consider either an expensive flight, or a cheap and very long train ride. Ed seems to be handling matters well. Despite the distances Ed has been emotionally very present with his family, no small achievement for an often misunderstood gay man. The bottom line is he loves his father and his father knows it. I get a terrific amount of pleasure from my friendship with M. I jokingly refer to him as the child I never had. My gay son. He is, at times, a trial. Very conservative, very guarded. I thought he’d have a nervous breakdown when he went to his first local Gay Pride parade last year. It was just too wild and bizarre for him and while I thought it was fairly tacky, I did not express much empathy. “It’s your tribe,” I screamed, “you have to embrace them.” I didn’t think about how a zillion years ago I had to slug down a six pack of beer before I could go to my first gay picnic. I was terrified. Took me years and years and many six packs to accept who I was and who my people were. I’ve known M. for five years. Seems longer. I tease him that it feels like ten. In those five years he’s come a long way. He likes being gay. He has a set of priorities – a worthwhile job, a monogamous relationship, a home – which I admire. I’m lucky to know him. When, as part of discussion group at my church, I was asked to list my “blessings,” I put M. on the top of the list. I like listening to his struggles. I like that he turns to me. My life is richer for knowing him. But I wonder if it has crossed his mind that by the time he is 40 I most likely will be dead. I doubt it. We always think the people around us, the people we care about and need, will always be there.

It was my good fortune to have time with both my mother and sister before their deaths. I had the opportunity to say and do what needed to be done. Yet when I think about my sister especially, I wish I had just one more conversation, just another half hour. There remain things I would like to talk about, express with greater tenderness. I loved her very much and miss her. Who knew her absence would feel the way it does? Several times over the last few years I’ve tried to hunt down people from my past. I spent a lot of time trying to locate a guy who had been my model a long, long time ago. Thirty years. I think he was in the process of coming out back then. After he no longer worked for me I saw him in a gay bar. My searching was in vain. He’d dropped out of the local college after two years. They couldn’t help me. I did an Internet search and wrote to all six men I found who shared his distinctive ethnic last name. Eventually it dawned on me that if indeed he had been coming out, he was arriving just at the beginning of the plague, the time when no one knew the facts because the facts weren’t yet known. I think he’s dead. He was such a nice kid. There was another guy, also a model but a friend as well. Funny guy. He actually bought and sold used cars while he was in college. The last I heard from him he was an intern in San Francisco and spending his spare time practicing rock climbing. Inside the stairwells of office buildings! The post card he sent from California had a phone number with 12 digits instead of ten! I never thought then to call, sure I was that we would see each other again. Once when I went to New York he unexpectedly showed up at the Newark airport and drove me and my friend to our hotel. As I got out of his car he handed me a bag full of pencils and erasers and paper clips, stuff he’d taken from his job: art supplies for the artist. So sweet. Last year I actually was able to find him through an Internet search. He’s now a big deal at an online publishing company. There is even a photograph of him on their website. He looks great. He isn’t on Facebook and there’s no mailing address for his company. He is on LinkedIn and I got someone to send him a message, actually two, saying that I wanted to reconnect with him. He has never responded. Why? Was I too rough, too pushy, too manipulative, too inconsiderate? Probably I was all those things. I want to know how

he is, ask what his life is like, to thank him, to tell him how much I liked him and enjoyed him and I’m not going to get the chance. That’s what I have to live with and I don’t like it. I’m an old man taking inventory of his life. So tell the people who you love how you feel. Go out on a limb if you have to. Take the risk. Email:

Faith Matters It’s time for a queerfriendly pope By Rev. Irene Monroe Just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his unexpected resignation, a bolt of lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica. Many say it’s unequivocally a sign from God. If so, I’m hoping it’s an Amen moment signaling the end of an oppressive era of LGBTQ bashing, as the church now moves forward. “With the pope’s impending resignation, the church has an opportunity to turn away from his oppressive policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends, and develop a new understanding of the ways in which God is at work in the lives of faithful and loving people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said the LGBT Catholic group Equally Blessed in a statement. This pope has used his papal authority to hold back the tides of modernity. And the early signs were there long before Benedict became pope. The reaction by many religious progressives to the election of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in April 2005 as Pope Benedict XVI had been tempered by either their faith to keep hope alive, or by an apologetic acceptance in deference to Pope John Paul II. If the Catholic Church was looking for a religious leader who embraces the world — as it is today — Pope Benedict XVI a.k.a. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was not the man. Benedict used his authoritarian and “Rottweiler” persona of church doctrine to maintain an ecclesiastical lockdown on the church’s progressives. For example, just last year he publicly bashed, not surprisingly, a group of U.S. “dissident” nuns for “focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage.” This rogue group of Catholic sisters were not only undermining the Church’s teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality, but they were also brashly promoting “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” Benedict pushed back against the tide of progressive theologies by upholding a rigid orthodoxy of millennium-old church doctrines and creeds. Case in point, Benedict suppressed the growth of Liberation Theologies in Third World countries, the emerging face of the Catholic Church, for their supposedly Marxist leanings that exposed classism. However, Liberation Theologies combines Christian theology with political activism on issues dealing with human rights and social justice. Liberation Theologies emphasize the biblical themes that God’s actions on behalf of the enslaved, the poor, the outcasts like women, people of color, and LGBTQ people, just to name a few, are a central paradigm for a faith that embraces the world — as it is today — from an engaged and committed stance that does justice. It is Liberation Theologies that have given women, people of color, LGBTQs and developing countries a voice. And it’s Liberation Theologies that allow us all — churched and unchurched, believer as well as atheist — to stand in the truth of who we are.

Benedict’s venomous attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have been unrelenting. Just this past December, the Pontiff’s Christmas sermon denounced same-sex marriage, advocating it would destroy the “essence of the human creature.” In previous sermonic anti-LGBTQ diatribes during his tenure as pope, Benedict has stated that marriage equality is a “manipulation of nature,” and a threat to world peace. The Pontiff doesn’t equivocate his stance on us with the theological qualifier to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Instead, Benedict takes his stance to a level that invites LGBTQ-bashing justified in the name of God. “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” Cardinal Ratzinger stated in a 1986 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. On the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith website, directed by then Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote: “Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.” Benedict believes that evil is born into a person and that it is part of their ontological makeup; therefore, when you remove the bad seed, you ostensibly remove the evil. And many religious conservatives feel that since you cannot remove LGBTQ people from society, then society must either restrain or deny them their civil rights. And one clear way to do that is to call that group of people “evil” or state that they contribute to, if not create, evil in the world. St. Augustine argued that evil arose from the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. And St. Thomas Aquinas said that evil derives from man’s abuse of God giving us the choice of free will. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated that evil was not an intrinsic nature found in man, but instead it was caused by the corruption and constraints of a society. And I side with Rousseau. Evil exists in its various machinations because of systems, regimes, presidencies, and, yes, the Vatican, which allow it to give birth unchecked. As a system whose wheels churn on the absence of goodness, evil reduces people to objects of sin and targets of hatred, thus denying them their basic human needs. And its strength to maintain human suffering is proportionate not only to its political and capital clout, but also to the strength of its religious ideological underpinning. The problem with evil is not only how it diminishes human life, but also how it denies the suffering it causes. It’s time for a queer-friendly pope. And the bolt of lightning striking St. Peter’s Basilica is no clearer sign.

A Few Bricks Short Monster Mash By David Hull It was a cold, crisp, wintery Sunday afternoon and there I was, in the grandstands, surrounded by roaring engines and screaming crowds inside the gigantic arena with foam plugs stuffed into my ears. Where else would I be, but the Monster Truck Rally! I know you’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck is a gay guy doing at a truck rally?” I can understand your confusion – it isn’t an environment where you would normally expect to find me. But our 10-year-old nephews saw the commercial on TV and wanted to go. So, as a Christmas gift, my husband, Bernie and I

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet got tickets to the show. I can honestly tell you it was the first “show” I’ve ever been to that recommended the use of earplugs! I got ready on our big day by picking out a pair of really cute shoes and a great, emerald-colored sweater I got for Christmas that I thought would complement the shade of green of our earplugs. Bernie took one look at me and shook his head. “David, do you realize you’re going to be surrounded by people wearing work boots and sleeveless T-shirts?” “That’s a stereotype,” I told Bernie. “I’m sure all kinds of people go to these truck things.” He didn’t hear me – he already had his earplugs in. He’d been wearing them for three days and claimed they were the best marital aid he’d ever tried. I don’t think he’s funny. We stopped to pick up the nephews and they excitedly bounded into the backseat of the car. “Are you ready to go?” I asked them. “WHAT?!?!” they shouted. They were wearing their earplugs too. When we arrived at the arena, it was packed. Of course, I was surrounded by folks wearing work boots and sleeveless T-shirts. I hate when my husband is right. One of my nephews was anxious to shop with the $20 he had brought with him, but when he saw the $40 T-shirts, $30 baseball caps and $25 souvenir programs, he decided he might wait and spend his money later. When we got to our seats a vendor passed by and my nephew, still clutching his $20 bill, called him over. He wanted to know how much the monster truck souvenir cups filled with a handful of caramel popcorn cost. “Sixteen dollars,” replied the vendor. “Sixteen dollars?” answered my nephew, unbelievingly. “That is so not worth it.” “Thanks anyway,” I told the vendor who shrugged and walked off. Eventually, the trucks thundered out, folks cheered and we all scrambled to put our earplugs in. The trucks roared and spun and jumped around the arena. I’ll

admit, it was cool. Here’s a bit of advice for you if you’re ever at a monster truck rally. When the announcer says it is time for donuts – don’t get too excited. It’s not the donuts you think. There I was getting ready for a sweet glazed treat and the next thing I know monster trucks are all spinning around in circles. What the hell? During intermission we were entertained by Cannon Girl, the woman who was shot out of a gigantic cannon and into a net suspended on the other side of the arena. Then her husband, the Human Bomb, closed himself in a small wooden box with explosives and detonated them. After the blast, amid dust and smoke, the Human Bomb jumped up from the tattered remains of the box and waved enthusiastically to the audience. “Gosh,” I said to Bernie. “I bet Cannon Girl and the Human Bomb are a really fun couple.” “Yeah,” Bernie agreed. “I bet they have a great Fourth of July picnic.” The nephews were unimpressed. They wanted monster trucks back in action. And the trucks did return – Grave Digger and Maximum Destruction and Gun Slinger and Master Avenger and Back Draft and Big Dawg. I guess that sort of proves that there are no gay monster truck drivers – if there were, they’d have truck names like Fiercely Fabulous and Don’t Even Go There and Mister Sister and Dee Flaytable. Names like those have a kind of charm to them too, I think. All too soon (at least, according to the nephews) the monster truck rally was over and things quickly returned to normal. Well, normal around our house anyway. I was surprised how happy and easy-going Bernie was for the next couple days after the truck rally, smiling at me when I talked and nodding his head no matter what thoughts I shared with him. I didn’t get upset until I realized he still had his earplugs tucked in his ears. Contact David at

Cleaning My Closet look, look By Meredith Elizabeth Reiniger LOOK! Glacier footprints. Yes, glaciers, once upon a time, had carvedout the Y-shaped lake I had learned to love. Yes, those awesome icy behemoths had also created, long, long ago, silt-sized glacial flour that was squishing between my toes one summer day of 1949. I was merrily wading into the shallows of Keuka Lake to find the treasures of shale sculptures. “LOOK Mommy! Look at me! See? My ankles are wet.” How many times did I shout, inserting myself into my mother’s awareness. And each time, my mother would exit the world of her book, raise her head, then nod and smile. “Look, look Mommy. The waves are touching my knees.” The anatomy report continued, inch by inch. And patiently my mother would bear witness to my every step. My Notice Me personality has evolved over the years... wearing tiny cheerleader skirts to enhance my femininity, bleaching my hair blonde to assert my heterosexuality, and, at last, switching to men’s trousers and ties to publicize my homosexuality. And eventually writing a “look at me” column. At times it is a LOOK AT ME! column because I understand that sometimes we have to shout. Which, in essence, is what the Rochester Gay Liberation Front did forty years ago. The very existence of that UR student group, founded by our fore-heroes Bob Osborn and Larry Fine, was a shout from the shadows of secrecy. “Look, people, look. We are here. We are citizens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. We are people too.” From that shout evolved GAGV, the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, which faithfully educates the community, creates programs to support LGBTIQQ individuals, and developed the AIDS Care and Image Out alliances. Basically, forty years of Shouting Out Loud. Advocacy cannot whisper. Remarkable. GAGV has been teaching, building, and supporting for 14,600 days and counting. Actually, it is that “and counting” part that is on my mind. Forty more years requires money. Mine. And yours. Well, it seems that “give us your money” is a little off-putting. “Fundraiser” sounds noble. Thus we have the Happy 40th Birthday Select Your Favorite Year Fundraiser. Do this: 1. pick a favorite year. 2. contact the GAGV Wizards, Emily and Bruce. Magically they will help you produce a ‘First Giving Page.’ Abracadabra. All your friends will make donations, generous givings that will enable GAGV to continue their missions. I hesitate. Although I am quite sure the Internet connection is a simply fabulous idea, I believe I am too old for the App and PayPal challenge. From my long ago experiences, I only know about face to face pleading. I recall the best sales technique was developed by my eager students barreling down the hall. Easily they pulled on my heart and pocket. “Dr. R, our (team, chorus, team, club, team, band, team, quartet, team, theater group) really, really needs this money. Buy from ME. (Insert smile.) Please oh please buy some (expensive) candy bars. And what kind does your partner like?” Now because it is a new century, I will need to breathe new life into some of those old timey ways. Like resurrect handmade baked good sales. Raise money from loyal friends who adore mothers and others who bake. We should go for Gay Men’s Chorus and Cookies. Women’s Chorus with Confections. Always go for the sweet tooth. We must introduce a gay friendly product line: Luscious Lesbian Licorice, Gorgeous Gay Gelato, Buttered Bi Buns,

23 Tasty Trans Tarts. A memory bubbles to the surface: mothers-with-smiles asking me to “buy my kids’ fundraiser candy I left on the counter to lead you yes into temptation.” Refuse? Heavy guilt. Ah ha. GAGV could adapt that format. We start a Queer and Questioning Quality Cuisine Crusade. Offer Quartered Cacao Quince and Quintessential Macadamia Quiche. Place our products on every flat surface in town… then, big smile, small whine, “Please support the We Are Fam-i-ly Fundraiser.” I do recall, in my old days, I could not resist the call of countless charismatic sellers. Hawking yet another t-shirt adorned with words. Offering insipid Christmasconspicuous-consumption wrapping paper (covered with that white-bearded, barrel-bellied, male heterosexual, gift-toting superhero). Pushing special popcorn in pretty tins. Simply selling salt. Well, maybe not salt. I do reminisce about little first-grader-me being lured (by the promise of the First Prize) to sell salt. Not just plain, but the relatively new iodized salt in shiny red boxes. It was a cheap, post-war way to avoid iodine deficiency that caused mental retardation. Seems like an appropriate school fundraiser. Oh never mind. These days, what with health issues, selling salt would probably not be profitable for GAGV. Look, how about car washes. We raised money in high school that way. Admittedly, I was more focused on playing with bubbles and boys. Alas, if I had only known that I was a lesbian, I might have spent hours enjoying the girls in wet t-shirts. Okay, truth be told, I would have been sighing about the girls who rolled-up the sleeves of their flannel shirts. Although I cannot attest to the monetary success from teenagers with sponges, I would not discount the possibility of a lucrative GAGV car wash eXtraVaganZa starring our diverse and diligent LGBTIQQ extroverts. Imagine the possibilities. Glitz and glamour like our gay parade, only wet and soapy. Water sparkles on cleavaged ball gowns and Speedo g-strings. Water-proofed flamingo feathers and mascara-enhanced eyelashes. Balloon and music stagings done gay and girlie. Awesome! Without a doubt GAGV could fill a pick-up truck full of loot from swarms of awestruck spectators. Perhaps more simply, you and I can pay it forward. Count the benefits you have gained from GAGV actions. List the names of every advocate you know, every advocate you have seen and heard, every advocate who has voted YES to wrest your civil rights from the hands of nay-sayers. Add the names of every LGBTIQQ and straight friend you have. Of every family member who has embraced you as is. How many is that? Look. More simply, count your blessings. Put a dollar sign in front of that number and send a check to GAGV. Really shout.

Inspiritual Impeccabilis By Rev. Dr. Sharon Jacobson Impeccabilis is Latin for impeccable, which means not to sin. The first agreement in Toltec Wisdom is to “be impeccable with your word.” So what exactly does that mean? To be impeccable with one’s word is not just the verbal or spoken word, but also those that float through your mind. It means we are mindful of what we think about others, the universe, and ourselves. Being impeccable with one’s word is not easy. It is an ongoing practice of learning how to control one’s thoughts, rather than allowing our thoughts to control us. It means being honest with others and (Columnists continue on page 24)


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

(Columnists continued from page 23) ourselves at all times. As I read once on a calendar, “Honesty is more than just not being dishonest. It is an active choice to be responsible for the choices we make before we act upon them so that we can stand up for them and not be tempted to be dishonest.” This is true of what we think and say as much as it is about what we do. Being impeccable is about not going against oneself or others. It is about being mindful of every thought, word, and action so that what we do, think, and say does not bring harm to the environment, others, or ourselves. It is a journey towards emotional and spiritual freedom, which must be worked on each day until it is mastered. As the saying goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” Mastering impeccability comes with practice, practice, practice. Being impeccable with one’s word means, we do not think or say anything that does not come from a space of love. There is a Sufi teaching that assists in being impeccable with one’s words. It suggests that before we speak, we must answer three questions. Is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If it is not all three, then we should not say it. Being impeccable with one’s words means we avoid behaviors mentioned by several sacred writings as “sinful,” such as gossiping, judging, arguing, slander, and any other way of interacting that does not come from a place of love. It means if we do not have anything nice to say, then we do not say anything at all. It means we become used to silence and release the need to fill up time and space with messages that are not essential and positive. Being impeccable also has an affect on how we make choices and how we act on those choices. It means we do not spend unnecessary time making a decision and once the decision is made, we do not put off acting on that decision. As Nike is known to say, “Just do it.” When we find ourselves making a mistake, we learn from it and move on. We do not spend

time beating ourselves up over something from the past. We are impeccable with our use of time, energy, and choices when we act in ways that do not cause harm to others, the environment, or ourselves. Being impeccable means we release from our lives all things that drain and zap us of our energy. We think about what we eat or drink before hand and whether or not it is going to contribute to our energy levels or deplete them. Is what we are doing for a living energizing us or are we in a position where we cannot wait to get out of work so we can enjoy life? There may be moments when we realize we have done something that is not impeccable. When this happens, we recognize it and release it. Being impeccable also means that we do not get historical or hysterical, beating ourselves up for things from the past or of the present. We work on releasing all emotions, which stem from fear and embrace all emotions that come from a space of love. Being impeccable requires us to train our minds to filter out those thoughts and ideas which are negative, fear based, or guilt driven. We learn to stop having those internal conversations with ourselves that enable us to beat ourselves up. We practice being present in the moment, detaching ourselves from all things which are not life giving and loving. Being impeccable is like doing a deep cleaning of one’s mind, releasing the things we have agreed to out of fear. Because the reality is, as the song says, “all we need is love.” Love begets love begets love and the cycle continues. One impeccable act begets another which begets another. Being impeccable is a process of moving to a space of unconditional love for others and self in one’s life. We get there one thought, one action, one decision at a time. Each choice is an opportunity to practice it, until we have mastered it. This is how we arrive at the Carnegie Hall of impeccabilis – practice, practice, practice.

What’s Bothering Brandon? Please, Woo Me Before You Screw Me By Brandon W. Brooks The other day I was out for coffee in the middle of the afternoon. In order to fully illustrate the fact that I all-too-often do not wish to speak to anyone, I brought a book in which to stick my nose. The first hour went by smoothly; all gazes had been successfully averted, no hipsters came to blare their so-called obscure music from their oversized, desperately “vintage” headphones. I was peacefully left alone with Emma Woodhouse, imagining how she would go about matching me with someone, hopefully a Gentleman with an estate and promenade gardens. Upon Emma realizing that she is in fact in love with Mr. Knightley (“Oh my god, I love Josh!”), I myself was pleasantly surprised to find myself approached by a young man of five-andtwenty. He came to my table, and quite earnestly, informed me that he found me to be attractive. Now, you must understand, this certainly does not happen to me often, let alone ever, and so I was quite surprised indeed. Trying to find something interesting and inviting to say, my giddiness was then interrupted and subsequently shattered by this young man asking me if I could “host.” Being able to “host”, for those of you who do not know, is a term used mostly in personals ads, which concerns whether or not one has the space in which to have sex. Now, lest you forget, I am the mental embodiment of Daria Morgendorffer (with a little Jane Austen and Lord Byron thrown in), and I certainly do not conduct myself in a way that would compromise my social standing within the Rochester community. I’ll have you know, a perpetually short-on-cash graduate student can have a lot of things to lose, propriety being one of them. Because of this (and because it aids me in my self-isolating tendencies), I promptly answered back something to the effect of, “I am quite sure that I have no idea to what you are referring!” and left. After this encounter I found myself cleft between two seemingly opposing opinions/feelings within me; was I being too prudish in order to cater to some sort of low self-esteem issue, or was my reaction due to the fact that this man was being truly vulgar in asking me this? What gave him the idea that I would have said yes to such an offer? Was it the fact that I was situated in the corner of the coffee shop away

from everyone else, or was it my copy of Emma that was screaming out to him that I wanted to have sex? Either way, this was not my first time dealing with unscrupulous young men, to be sure. I have often wondered whether or not I am too stringent when it comes to selecting possible boyfriends or significant others, or whether or not everyone else just has too loose a selective guideline. There is, of course, a qualitative difference between choosing a potential partner versus choosing a potential onenighter; that goes for everyone. But why does it seem that most gay men (that I encounter at least), seem to be able to “stand at attention” at the mere sight of any old thing? Whatever happened to social graces and courting? Is this something held and practiced only by the straight majority, or is this something that is simply out-dated, made obsolete by social media and… *grumble*… Grindr? Well, for the sake of the innocent bystanders around me, I hope not. I have heard that one reason promiscuity seems to occur in gay men, is that men in particular are “promiscuous by nature.” However, I’m wary to accept this answer, as it seems to rely on some sort of “boys will be boys” maxim that excuses all negative sexual behaviors as “only natural” in men or as something that needs to be accepted and tolerated by the rest of us. I think men can be more than that, quite frankly. I have also heard that since the LGBT community has only recently been allotted a social margin where same-sex relationship models can be put on display, we as gay men must now move from our “old world” sexdriven-relationships, to those that are more fulfilling, complete and whole. I certainly do not mean to say that relationships that are based solely on sex are not complete, whole or fulfilling relationships, but to honest, I am not looking for just sex. I can see how the absence of samesex relationship models in the media may have the effect of minimizing one’s consideration of a long-term same-sex relationship being possible, but I don’t know if this would lead to the rampant sex-driven urges of most of the gay men I have met. On the contrary, this dismal lack of same-sex relationships in the media has encouraged my own motivation to prove the media incorrect. At the end of the day, I have to tell myself that most men out there are not going to be as charming, educated and well-bred as Mr. George Knightley (or Josh for that matter). I also have to tell myself that if I really want my very own Gentleman, I’ll have to be a bit more diplomatic. God knows Emma isn’t going to intervene on my account. One word of advice though: please woo me before you screw me. Questions, comments or critique? Please feel free to e-mail the author at ■

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

Community Find the friends, fun, and common interests you’re looking for through the various groups listed here.

Dignity-Integrity D-I Rochester meets weekly at 5 p.m. at St. Luke’s and St. Simon’s Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St., corner of Broad St. We have the following services and activities for the months of March 2013. First Sunday: Episcopal Mass/Healing Service, with music. Second Sunday: Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word, with music. Third Sunday: Quiet Episcopal Mass in the Chapel. Fourth Sunday: Evening Prayer, followed by a Potluck Supper. Fifth Sunday: Easter Sunday — NO Service at DI. It is still Lent, believe it or not, so our Potluck Theme for March is “Lenten Luck”. Hard to define… but should be interesting eating! Bring along your favorite dish to share. No time to cook? Just bring yourself and a friend or two and join us for food and conversation! Easter Sunday is March 31 and we will NOT be having a service this year. Please consider visiting Two Saints for their celebrations at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Happy and Blessed Easter to all! You can call the Hotline at 585-2345092 or check our website for updates on services and activities.

Rochester Butch Femme Connection The Rochester Butch-Femme Connection will have two supper events in March 2013. On Saturday, March 9, we will meet at Jay’s Diner on West Henrietta Road (Route 15) in Henrietta at 7 p.m. On Saturday, March 23, we will meet at Monte Alban Mexican Restaurant on East Ridge Road in Irondequoit at 7 p.m. For further information on the Connection, contact Kerry/Max at (585) 2887208, email or check out our Facebook page http://www.

ROMANS Romans (Rochester Male Naturists) are busy planning their activities for 2013. After celebrating Chinese New Year in February the group plans on a clothes-free St Pat’s day March 16 with “wearin’ o’ the green,” Irish food, Irish jokes, limericks, and plenty of toasts and Blarney for all. The group’s meeting dates for May and June have been firmed up and the dates for June and July also will be nude swims and picnics outdoors at a private

residence. The club will also be participating in nude swim and gym nights the first Saturday night of March and April. The venue for these has a large pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and exercise machines for participants to use. Most evenings a fun game of nude volleyball takes place. While nude social activities are not everyone’s cup of tea, if this something you have always thought about trying you can check out the group’s website or telephone 585-281-4964. The Romans group has been hosting nude social events since 1991 and is open to all gay-friendly men age 21 and over.

Rochester Trans Group Over the years we’ve gotten a number of emails from people who ask for information about our meetings and then write, “I hope I don’t ‘chicken out’ or get ‘cold feet’.” We hope so too. Fear can be a terrible thing at times. There are times when it can be a good thing -- don’t tease a strange dog, and of course, don’t poke the lion with a stick! And then there are the times when fear prevents you from exploring and growing. We can tell you from our own personal experience that every single person who has come to a meeting has had these exact same fears. It is scary to come to your first few meetings. At the first meeting, the fear is usually that it is the first time you’ve ever told a group of people who you really feel you are and have been all your life.  It also may be the first time that you admit your feelings to yourself, hear yourself saying it out loud and have it heard by others -- that’s really scary! Because if I say what I am, what does that mean for my future? Scary thoughts. And other thing we hear (even in this Internet wired world!) is “I thought I was the only one who felt this way!” You are not. You are not alone. Don’t let the fear stop you from being who you know yourself to be. Here are some quotes about fear that may help: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”  Ambrose Redmoon “Fear is the static that prevents me from hearing myself.” – Samuel Butler So the next time you think about coming to a meeting, get rid of the “chicken”

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and warm up those “feet” (even in this weather!) and just don’t think about it, just get in your car, or get on the bus and come on and join us for our meeting on Saturday, March 30! We’ll have an open session and talk about how things are going, ask questions and have answers. We meet in the Gay Alliance’s Community Center, located in the Auditorium Theatre, 875 E. Main St. on the last Saturday of each month between 3–5:30 p.m. Parking is available in the back of the theatre off of Prince St. and College Ave. Note: if there is a guard at the booth, just say you’re here for the Gay Alliance and they have instructions to let you in without paying the parking fee. Our website is: or on Facebook at:

Us TOO Prostate Cancer Group The prostate cancer support group typically meets on second Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., except holidays or special occasions. We have relocated our meetings to the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave., off French Rd. between Westfall and Jefferson Rd. As you enter the driveway, follow the far left pavement and park in the large lot on the left side of the main building. Enter through the main door. Proceed to the Info Desk and ask for directions to the Us TOO meeting. Contacts: Patrick by phone: (585) 7874011 [lv a msg] OR (585) 709-9971 [cell, lv a msg or txt]; Patrick and Rodney by email: All persons curious about what it takes to survive prostate cancer are encouraged to attend! Meetings will take place rain or shine unless the JCC is closed due to weather conditions. If weather conditions are questionable, check with news media for closings or call the JCC at 585-4612000 before leaving home.


L.O.R.A L.O.R.A. LGBT Sunday Brunch takes place the first Sunday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at Jines Restaurant, 658 Park Ave. On the third Sunday, brunch is 11:30 a.m. at Golden Ponds Restaurant, 500 Long Pond Rd. L.O.R.A. Late Bloomers Group meets weekly on Mondays 7– 9:30 p.m. at a private location. Group Facilitators are Cathie Timian and Wanda Martinez. L.O.R.A. LGBTQ Poker, Cards & Gaymes Night meets third Wednesdays, 7 p.m. at Open Arms MCC, 740 Marshall Rd. The L.O.R.A. Foodies Group LGBTQ Potluck meets second Fridays, 6:30 p.m. at Open Arms MCC. For more information, contact Cathie at or call 585.313.3037. For more information on L.O.R.A. (Lesbians of Rochester & Allies) visit: ■


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013


Josh Groban CD; Lorna Luft at Birdland By Merle Exit “All That Echoes” is the latest project of singer Josh Groban, with a voice that continues to charm you. Fathom Events presented a live concert in which Josh appeared to be at the top of NYC’s Time Warner Building. The concert was given to promote his CD, as most of the songs were from it. “Brave”, co-written by this now 31-year-old “popera” singer, got the most p.r. in his appearances on television as well as being the lead single. “And I can’t cage you in my arms/ When my heart is jumping forward/To avoid your false alarms/And you can’t tell me not to stay/When I opened up your window/And I watched you fly away”. No, it’s not about a bird. “False Alarms” is a ballad with a steady beat of staccato violins in the background, co-written by Josh. Love this one, too. Josh isn’t Josh without an Italian song, a duet with Laura Pausini, called “E Ti Promettero”. Beautiful song. Not operalike. Another one called “Sincera,” though opera sounding, doesn’t have Josh hitting those beautiful high notes. Disappointment. Final song, a ballad, “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever),” sounded as if could be a single. Backup singers in the background gave a richness. As for the concert, yes, he did sing “You Raise Me Up”. Can’t get enough of that song. Lorna Luft made her debut Feb. 11 at Birdland’s Jazz Club and it looks as though her Living Room will be her new home. Joining her were singers David Elder and Tony Yazbeck as they assisted her in saluting the “men in her life,” Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, and Rogers and Hart.

Luft, the daughter of Judy Garland, opened with “You Don’t Know Me” and “Let’s Fall In Love”, followed by a medley of Bacharach tunes including, “I Say A Little Prayer”, “One Less Bell To Answer,” “A House Is Not A Home” and “That’s What Friends Are For”. At first David Elder did a duet with her and later both David Elder and David Yazbeck went into “Blue Skies”. Hey, this is a jazz club and well hosted by Jim Caruso. Barry Manilow and Liza Minnelli were in the audience to cheer her on. But cheering from them wasn’t even necessary, as the audience gave Luft a few standing ovations. No coattails for her! A few stories of her past and more songs. “Time Heals Everything”. “Johnny One Note”. “Funny Valentine”. “Let Me Sing A Funny Song”. “Where Or When”. “So Lucky To Be Loving You”. “Just In Time”. Out came a wooden board as David Yazbeck sang “Heaven” and did a soft shoe/tap dance. It was just one fabulously entertaining evening. Lorna Luft performed again at Birdland’s on Feb. 18 along with jazz diva Ann Hampton Callaway, as they saluted female composers including Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden and Laura Nyro. Check it out at

Dead End You make me look into the past with hazy doubt You taught me that: that I am great But I feel stupid every day I can’t be with you even though you say: “It’s o.k. I don’t feel that way So you don’t feel that way.” I don’t know if I love you, but if I do It’s because of the way I was drawn to you Since I first saw you in that classroom I knew I had to be friends with you You and I were so close yet you grew up And I turned my nose and I turned my cheek But within a week I‘d smile for you But still feel bleak I was supposed to want those guys And seek a meek cute meet But I just sighed And craved that you and he Would break up Or if he just died I needed you to stop crying About his lying And how you were always trying To get his attention Attention please I’m right here There’s no need to fear He doesn’t mean that much to you dear Because you’re just a kid and kids grow up And shouldn’t worry about makeup And pushup bras And if he drives a car And if you should go should you go how far.

I’d sit facing you And nod my jaw And suppress the way I’d clench my jaw

“No” you say “We’re together always Everyday anyway.”

We agreed to have fun for now Oh - but that has to include talking how His eyes gleam And he just had this dream That you and he were a lovers’ team

But in the end I know it’s because you love the drama How they have boyfriends with Hondas And scream about his problems

And then we’d go to his Facebook post And he’d chat with you while over your shoulder I’d stare at your birds And just want to be heard

Like they can fix him Mix in the fact that they’re six months in And are thirteen and full of sin No one can win

But it’s not like I can speak I’m just a girl I can’t say a peep

Not your friend’s crack head mom And how she abuses her daughter And you better not get on her Case about the case of the missing bottles

Not like those birds That are fed from your hand How I wish you’d understand But never understand

And the friend of the friend who smokes weed And don’t light the seeds And “how did I get here on my knees?”

This empty shame I’m to blame No you are! Society’s a game And I’m just a pawn For you to get along When he is gone Just posting and hosting me along And every other friend you’ve got going on I never matched up with how you’d sing the same songs While I tag along And then the nest day When I’d speak up hey “You know how I’m cliché But were best friends And you always say You won’t ditch me?”

And now I sleep over On the threadbare couch Of your friend’s house Who I thought could be just like you To get over the fact That you’re out with the new Guy in school He’s so cool He’s just like you But I’m just watching standup with Juli Can’t seem to fully comprehend How you’re a dead end From the second I first saw you I knew we’d be friends By Buffie Moore, 16

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet


Arts & Entertainment

“A Man of No Importance” runs at the First Unitarian Church March 15, 16 and 17.

From “Intersexion,” which will screen March 26 at the Cinema at 6:30 p.m.

ImageOut screens “Intersexion” for Health Month As part of LGBT Health Month, ImageOut Film Festival will screen “Intersexion” on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cinema. Admission is free. The film, which was shown at last fall’s festival, was made by New Zealand filmmakers and features intersex individuals talking about their experiences. Rochester’s Jim Costich is one of the people featured in the film. Michael Gamilla, co-chair of the selection committee, writes, “You know a film is pretty special if it makes you laugh and cry, if it entertains and educates at the same time. One of

Submit productions now for fall’s Fringe Festival Now and through Friday, April 12 at midnight, artists from all over the world can submit their productions to venues for the 2013 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival (Sept. 19-28). Once again, submissions will be accepted at on a rolling basis – in other words, venues can start negotiating to book shows immediately. “I would definitely encourage prospective shows to apply as early as possible,” says Producer Erica Fee. “Many venues will be looking to book right away.” This year’s festival is twice as long as 2012’s – offering two weekends over 10 days – which will enable more artists to participate, as well as allow venues to book more performances of shows. Of this year’s 20 venues, three will curate their own programming: Christ Church, Memorial Art Gallery and RoCo (Rochester Contemporary). Kodak Hall is the where the Fringe will present headline shows, and The Little and Gallery r are once more devoted to

the pleasant surprises and the most talked about film from the last Festival is the New Zealand documentary, ‘Intersexion’. The film attempts to demystify the world of intersex or what used to be broadly referred to as ‘hermaphroditism.’ But instead of simply dwelling on medical terms and treating his subjects as oddities, filmmaker Grant Lahood introduces us to a group of vibrant individuals who are willing to publicly share their loves and lives, their hopes and struggles, their frustrations and joys of being born intersex. “One of these amazing peo-

RIT shows only. That leaves 14 venues to which shows can apply via http:// ONLY (no contacting venues directly, please): Bernunzio Uptown Music, Blackfriars Theatre, Eastman School’s Room 415, Eastman School’s Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School’s Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School’s Sproull Atrium (Miller Center, next to Max of Eastman Place), George Eastman House, the Fielding Nextstage at Geva Theatre Center, Java’s, RAPA, Rochester Museum & Science Center, The Space, TheatreROCS at Xerox Auditorium, and Writers & Books. There is no fee to apply, and the $100 (one performance) or $150 (multiple performances) registration fee is due only after the contract with a venue is finalized. That fee goes toward the show’s inclusion in the program guide and website, a centralized box office and more. “We’re keeping our registration fee to a bare minimum once again,” says Fee.  “Other fringes’ fees run as high as $700, but we want to encourage local artists and brand new work.” The first-ever First Niagara

ple is Rochester’s very own Jim Costich, a loyal ImageOut supporter. Following the international premiere screening of the film last October, Costich was treated to an exuberant, loud applause and a rare standing ovation from a very appreciative audience. It was a great moment – a moment that we hope to recreate when we bring back the film for an encore screening during the LGBT Health Awareness Month celebrations in March.” Paul Allen, chair of the ImageOut board, says, “I’m thrilled that ImageOut is bringing this ( ImageOut continues page 28)

First Unitarian Church presents “A Man of No Importance” The First Unitarian Church will present “A Man of No Importance” on March 15, 16 and 17. “A Man of No Importance” (the musical) is based on a film of the same name. Here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis of the movie: “Alfred Byrne is a closeted homosexual bus conductor in 1963 Dublin. His sister tries to find him a suitable woman, but his real passion is putting on amateur theater productions of Oscar Wilde plays. The film deals with his struggle, temptation, and friendships, and how they are affected by his homosexuality.”

Part of the First Unitarian Church’s mission is to be a voice for social justice in the Rochester community. The church says that the production will explore Oscar Wilde’s life and works – the message of how “art elevates life” and the impact that had on the working class characters in the play; Oscar Wilde’s act of martyrdom as he stood trial and upheld “the love that must not be named,” and how that courage is still meaningful to people in the LBGTQ community today; homophobia in early 1960s Dublin and the challenges that the culture and the Catholic faith presented for the main character as he attempted to “live authentically” and the effect that Vatican II had on Catholic followers and clergy in early ‘60s Dublin. ■

World-renowned aerial troupe Bandaloop dances on the 21-story HSBC Plaza at last fall’s Fringe Festival.

Rochester Fringe Festival opened Wednesday, September 19, 2012 and ran through Sunday, September 23, 2012 in downtown Rochester, drawing more than 33,000 people over five days. There were more than 180 performances of 120 productions in 22 venues, A highlight was world-renowned aerial troupe, Bandaloop, dancing on the side

of the 21-story HSBC Plaza. Other headliners were Harlem Gospel Choir and comedian Patton Oswalt. Many venues experienced sold-out performances, and there were more than 40 free venue offerings. Rochester Fringe Festival is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that exists as a means to connect venues, performers,

artists, educational institutions and the audience. It was pioneered by several of Rochester’s esteemed cultural institutions, including Geva Theatre Center, the George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance, as well as up-and-coming groups like PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine. ■

28 (ImageOut from page 27)

Jim Costich of Rochester in “Intersexion”

film back to Rochester. It’s the first film I’ve ever seen where the audience gave a spontaneous standing ovation. “First, the film is very well made. Second, the topic is something that very few people know about. The movie goes into a lot of detail about why that is the case. “Actually, intersex is common. Many children are born with this condition and there’s this need on the part of society to force them into the binary of either boy or girl. The movie is very sensitive in that it allows many different intersex people to tell their stories on their own terms. It’s not all terrible – some of the stories are really wonderful. Children born into loving, accepting families grew up to be whoever they wanted to be, while those born into more rigid families have stories that are more tragic. The film is very affirming of intersex people and at the end you know what their lives are like. I believe in this movie!” ImageOut hopes to have a panel discussion after the screening.

the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Rainbow Theatre Festival is coming up next month “As we grow we must continually challenge ourselves with new material and subject matter. The world is constantly evolving making it vital for us to keep pace on an artistic level with the natural world,” says Bread & Water Theatre Artistic Director J.R. Teeter. The Rainbow Theater Festival, an event produced this April and May by Bread & Water Theatre, will feature productions of 8 by Dustin Lance Black, The Fat Boy by Tony Ayres, and No Word in Guyanese for Me by Wendy Graf. 8 – a new play by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) -- demystified the debate around marriage equality by chronicling the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. See the human cost of discrimination. Uncover the arguments used to justify bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Using the actual court transcripts from the landmark federal trial of California’s Prop. 8 and first-hand interviews, 8 shows both sides of the debate in a moving 90-minute play. (April 5 and 6 at 8 p.m.; 7 at 2 p.m.) In The Fat Boy by Tony Ayres, Trevor’s just a lonely boy looking for love. But love has made a detour around him. Is it because he’s fat, gay and squeals like a girl? Or because his mother’s a vulgar, sex-obsessed psychic? Whatever the reason, everything he touches falls to bits: relationships crumble, lives are lost and warts sprout in the most unseemly places. Gleefully raiding the tempo and color of pop culture, this is a hilarious domestic horror story about love, desire and other monstrous appetites that will worm its scandalous way into your heart. (April 12,

13, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m.; April 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.) Forced to choose between her identity, her family, and her precious faith, there’s no word to describe Hanna Jokhoe in her native Guyanese dialect. No Word in Guyanese for Me by Wendy Graf is a one-woman tour-de-force production about a gay Muslim immigrant who must reconcile her faith with her sexuality. Graf’s poetic and lyrical play explores religious and sexual identity, parental bonds, and clashing cultures. (April 26, 27, May 3 and 4 at 8 p.m.; April 28 and May 5 at 2 p.m.) Founded in 2000, Bread & Water Theatre is committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience and acting as a positive agent of change in its community. Under the artistic direction of J.R. Teeter, BWT develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving and dramatically changing world through new and rare works of drama and aspires to be a major force in American theatre, providing audiences with challenging contemporary drama and innovative community outreach programs. Bread & Water Theatre’s season will be presented at 243 Rosedale St. (at the corner of Monroe Ave. and Rosedale St.), running through Nov. 18. Single tickets range from $6-$12 and season tickets range from $15-$40 and may be purchased in person or at For more information, call (585) 271-5523.

Check out Erotic Nights at Equal=Grounds The 2013 Erotic Nights multi-media art shows will take place March 30 and April 27, at 8 p.m. at Equal Grounds Coffee House (750 South Ave.) Tables will offer information about the Rochester Erotic Festival and MOCHA Rochester; Rauncie Ryan will be raffling off tickets for The Rochester Erotic Festival and Barbara Turner from MOCHA will offer Sexual Health Awareness information. Organizer Diane Conway says, “Have fun and learn how to be safe! You must be 18-plus to enjoy this free multi-art show.” The show is a CSWA production: Culture Starts With ART.

Internet comedy show is a “Fairy Home Companion” Boston’s Kristen Ford sings here March 1 Kristen Ford is a genre-hopping singer-songwriter from Boston, Mass. Her high energy live shows have been propelling her to over 100 shows a year across the country. Blending Rock, Reggae, Indie and Folk, Ford has refused to be put in a stylistic box. She will be featuring percussive guitar playing, beat boxing, soulful lyrics and spontaneous improv songs at her upcoming show, Friday, March 1 at Tala Vera, 155 State St. Kristen Ford often plays locally around Boston with the five piece Kristen Ford Band, a crew of men and women playing upright bass, drums, violin and electric guitar. On the road Ford travels light, but strives to maintain the fullness of the whole band. Kristen’s style has been described as “Pure Rock N Roll Screaming with Childish Joy” – The NYC Deli, or “Like talking to a Child with ADHD” – The Huntsville Times; the Boston Dig invites you to “Delight in her take on acoustic disco, and all 17 genres she manages to play at once.” With a recent win from the Iguana Music Fund under her belt, a 26-date national tour this month and an upcoming appearance at the National Women’s Music Festival, it seems 2013 could be a huge year for Kristen Ford. ■

Dubbed the first “radio show on the Internet,” The Dinner Party Show is not a podcast, but an actual hour-long, live, comedy variety show, in the spirit of The Prairie Home Companion. Co-creator Eric Shaw Quinn calls this “high praise, and if we ever have to change the name of the show, I’d like to call it a Fairy Home Companion.” He and Christopher Rice have been friends for years and decided to do an old-fashioned but modern radio show because, as Rice says, “I always wanted a radio show and Eric has always been very loud. I thought it was a good combination.”  The duo has created something unique, something that, once you hear it, becomes part of

Tim Mack drawings reception opens at Equal=Grounds on March 1 The Gallery @ Equal=Grounds is pleased to present “It’s Black It’s White,” new drawings by Tim Mack. Tim Mack, a favorite of the patrons and staff of The Gallery @ Equal=Grounds, is coming back to show his new drawings. Slightly weird and wacky, Tim’s drawings make the world smile. The opening reception will be Friday, March 1, from 7–9 p.m. ■

your routine. They call it “livecasting” and part of the appeal is the live nature if the show. An award winning New York Times best-selling writer and activist, Rice is son of legendary horror writer Anne Rice and has been something of a gay superstar (even once making People’s sexiest men alive) since his auspicious release of his debut novel, A Density of Souls, when he was just 22. Quinn wrote his debut novel, Say Uncle, a comic and celebratory tale of an eccentric gay man who receives custody of his nephew after his sister is killed in a tragic accident, while working as an advertising director and theater critic. They had both followed Internet radio, but what propelled them down this road was, according to Quinn, “Spite! Chris was talking to an editor about marketing and advertising for a new book and it’s an ongoing frustration of writers everywhere, that the book publishing industry is the only one where there’s no advertising. So the editor says, ‘One of my other clients, Glenn Beck, has a radio show, and he sells pretty well, so...’ Chris says, ‘I’ll go get a radio show!’” Quinn admits he doesn’t particularly like Beck, “but I wouldn’t mind having some of his sales.” And thus the die was cast. After having been guests on a number of Internet radio shows, they both saw that the technology had changed and become more accessible. They began to see how streamlined the operations could become. Like any major production, it was of course not as simple as it seemed. It was a series of “revelations,” he says, and the two quickly learned about things like sound proofing and the other nuances of the radio

biz that they didn’t know about. They ended up going from renting a studio to renting an office on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and converted it into a soundproof dining room. “Eric was very adamant that we not just have a theater of the mind, but an actual real space, that guests could be invited in to,” says Rice. “We have our own man servant that wears a black tie and tends bar, that serves our guests cookies that Eric bakes at home. The creation of that space was an unbelievable challenge. If we had known going into it what a challenge it was going to be, I don’t know that we would have gone through with this endeavor. So it’s an actual experience that’s being streamed into your home.” In the end it isn’t just a podcast, but a Tracy Ullman-style variety show that is thought out, written, and programmed like the once popular old school radio shows, replete with hilarious fake commercials between segments. With a growing list of celebrity guests, the show has been getting hotter with each episode. Past guests have included a slew of folks with LGBT interest like Rice’s mother, O.J. Simpson prosecutor turned mystery novelist Marcia Clark, gossip guru Ted Casblanca, comedian Alec Mapa, Go On’s Laura Benanti, author Patricia Nell Warren, Jack Morrissey, partner of Oscar-winning director Bill Condon and host of the Team Jack podcast, and The Playboy Club scribe Chad Hodge, who is currently at work on The Anita Bryant Story. And the fun is just beginning, Rice says. Time to get in on the ground floor, and have a ball. The Dinner Party Show is live Sundays, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT at ■

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

The Avenue Pub 37 Year Landmark in the Gay Community

The Avenue Pub 522 Monroe Avenue 585-244-4960



Gay alliance news for march 2013

the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

College tours Also in April, the youth will have an opportunity to tour UR, Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, and Genesee Community College in Batavia. At FLCC, the youth will lunch with members of the college’s Lambda Club and also learn about the music recording/ engineering program. Kelly Clark says that the Gay Alliance is hoping to get donations to help with transportation for the college tours.

Gay Alliance launches Exchange For Change program for schools

Heather Fields

Heather Fields is Gay Alliance Volunteerof-the-Month  

Congratulations to Heather Fields for being chosen as the Gay Alliance Volunteer-of-the-Month. Heather first came on the scene in the summer of 2011 as our Rainbow SAGE exercise program facilitator. She was clearly qualified to get seniors moving for better health, as she holds a DPT (doctorate in physical therapy). Extremely modest and deeply committed to service to the community, Heather never used her wellearned title of “doctor.” She came week after week prepared with fun exercises like chair hula dance. Unfortunately, due to low attendance, the exercise program was cancelled and we thought we had lost a great volunteer. In the fall of 2012 Heather rejoined us, this time as a volunteer for our experiential youth leadership program, Out Loud Out Proud Youth. Together with her facilitation partner, Michael Lill, Heather supports teens in the program as they slowly but surely complete a year-long project of their choosing. Once again, Heather was uniquely qualified, having worked with first year college students at Ithaca College during her six years of school there. Weekly, with the patience of a saint, Heather teaches, directs, advises, cajoles, challenges and reassures participants as they learn by doing. Today, Heather is an indispensable member of the volunteer team that makes our Youth Program function so well. She is also a two-year participant in Ride For Pride, the Gay Alliance bike ride fundraiser! Thank you so much Heather! We wouldn’t know what to do without you!

U. Minn. archive adds EC link; history panels coming here for Pride The Tretter LGBT Archive at the University of Minnesota, recognized as one of the top LGBT archives in the world, has added a link to the Empty Closet archive at the University of Rochester to their site. Director Lisa Vecoli wrote to the Gay Alliance, “I want to congratulate your group on digitizing The Empty Closet. In fact, when that was announced, I put the link on the Tretter home page under elec-

4 of the Genesee Valley

Empowering pride for 40 years

tronic resources.” The link is: scrbm/tretter The archive will send its history panels to Rochester for display during Pride in July, in a History Pavilion marking the 40th anniversary of the Gay Alliance. Lisa Vecoli told The Empty Closet, “Working in an archive, every week I open a box and am amazed at what I find. Opinion poll results from 1972, a photo from the 1950s, a letter someone wrote -I am constantly surprised by the stories I find in our material. Our stories and our history affirm both our struggles and our victories. This exhibit is our attempt to bring some of these discoveries out to the community for everyone to relish.”

By Jeanne Gainsburg What would your life have been like if all of the teachers, staff and students at your elementary, middle or high school had been trained to make schools safe and welcoming for LGBT students? If teachers had felt empowered to take a stand on preventing LGBT related harassment, had included LGBT historical figures and LGBT families in the curriculum and had offered a safe place to talk about these issues, do you think it would have made a difference? If your answer is “yes,” you may be interested in our new Exchange For Change program. This new program creates a method for local schools to receive LGBT education without taxing their budgets by welcoming individuals from the community to pay for up to two hours of LGBT professional development for faculty, staff

and administrators, technical assistance and consultation on LGBT specific inclusion or a school wide presentation for students, faculty and staff. It’s easy! Simply contact me at the Gay Alliance ( or 585244-8640 ext. 14) to let me know that you would like to sponsor a local school. Then, write a letter to the principal at the school of your choosing. Feel free to use the sample letter provided on the Gay Alliance website (you’ll see Exchange For Change on our slideshow on our main page). The letter lets the principal know that if they accept your gift, you will be making a tax deductible donation of $200 to the Gay Alliance in exchange for an LGBT presentation for their school’s teachers, staff and/or students. Follow up will be important, so please stay in touch with me about communication. If the school does not accept the gift, you pay nothing. If they do accept, we will schedule a presentation and invite you along to attend and either observe, or even better, share a few words as part of our introduction, explaining why you felt so strongly about providing this education. Hateful language, physical and emotional harassment and the threat of physical violence are still a reality for many LGBT students and teachers. Please help us get this critical education and support into our local schools. You can create inclusive and safe environments so that all students, faculty and staff are empowered to reach their full potential and to benefit the greater community. What a great way to create positive change in 2013! ■

Youth to explore healthcare career options, tour colleges By Susan Jordan Kelly Clark, Intergenerational Program Director, has announced that the Youth Group will have a series of workshops on Wednesdays in March which will inform the youth about the many options for healthcare careers, besides the professions of doctor or nurse. The youth will also have college tours in April. On Wednesdays in March at 4 p.m. the following topics will be discussed: March 6: Introduction to the broad career choices in the healthcare field. March 13 and March 20: Panel discussions with people in various healthcare areas, such as X-ray technology, stenography, etc. March 27 (final session): Volunteer Adrianne Chesser will bring in hands-on activities, such as a CPR dummy, blood pressure equipment, etc., for the youth to experiment with. Kelly Clark said, “Adrianne Chesser, a URMS student, has helped us plan the series, which will focus on careers in health care that require an Associate’s degree – not an MD or nursing degree. Youth will learn how to have a fun and rewarding career in medicine.” In the first week in April, during UR spring break, youth will get a tour of the UR Medical Center and see the environment healthcare professionals work in, and the equipment they work with, in the blood lab and elsewhere.

Youth Group members at the Ruby Masqueerade.

Gay Alliance Speaking Engagements for February 2/4......... SafeZone Training at Nazareth College 2/5......... LGBT Youth Issues for Child Psychiatry of Western NY 2/6......... SafeZone Training at Nazareth College 2/6......... LGBT Inclusion at the Center For Youth Services 2/12........ Basic SafeZone Training at St. John Fisher College 2/13........ Advanced SafeZone Training at St. John Fisher College 2/19........ LGBT Senior Issues at HCR Home Care 2/20....... LGBT Issues in Social Work at SUNY Brockport 2/23....... Transgender Activism at Rochester Trans Group 2/27....... LGBT Senior Issues at HCR Home Care Quotes from February Presentations: “Everyone should be treated the same because there is no ‘normal.’ Everyone is different and unique.” “The presenters were enthusiastic, emotional, understanding… I loved this workshop!” “The presenters made everyone feel comfortable. Absolutely wonderful. Very informative and fun. Loved it!”

The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley: is a non-profit agency, dedicated to cultivating a healthy, inclusive environment where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are safe, thriving and enjoying equal rights. We are a coalition of individuals and groups working to empower LGBT people, to affirm their identities, and to create an atmosphere where the diversity of our community can thrive both collectively and separately. We educate and advocate for civil rights for all and for the eradication of homophobia. 875 East Main Street, Rochester, New York  14605 Phone: (585) 244-8640  Fax: (585) 244-8246  Web:  E-mail: Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm   Board Co-Presidents: Emily Jones, Bruce Gorman  Education and Outreach Director: Scott Fearing Business Manager: Joanne Giuffrida  Director of Intergenerational Programs: Kelly Clark  Outreach: Jeanne Gainsburg   The Empty Closet: Editor: Susan Jordan Graphic Designer: Jim Anderson   E-mail:  Phone: (585) 244-9030 Fax: (585) 244-8246 Advertising: (585) 244-9030

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

Gay alliance news for march 2013


D GAR The Gay Alliance On-Line Resource Directory (GARD)

The online community tool providing local, statewide and national resources, 24/7 at:

The Gay Alliance Library & Archives has internet access available during library hours: Tuesday 1-3pm and Wednesday: 6-8pm. The computers are part of our David Bohnett Cyber Center.

Youth Gay Alliance Youth Program The Gay Alliance Youth program empowers today’s teens to meet today’s challenges! It provides a safe space to explore their identity, make friends, build community, gain life skills, become a leader and have fun! Wed./Thurs.: 3:30-7:30pm Fridays: 7-9pm Coming Out/Being Out Support Group Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm (13-18 yrs old) Gender Identity Support Group Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm (13-18 yrs old) Gay Alliance Community Center Auditorium Theater Bldg, 875 E. Main Street, 1st Floor Rochester, New York 14605 Phone: 585 244-8640 Check out our weekly programs descriptions and special events:



Road Trip, anyone?

Does spring fever have you itching to get out of the house? Yes? Our thoughts exactly! If you have come to The Center recently you may have been asked to fill out a questionaire on some places of interest to visit. If not, don’t feel left out because we still value your opinion! We are looking for places, of interest to you, to go on a day trip. With enough interest we hope to get transportation included but that is still a work in progress. So far some ideas include the Tour of Rochester, Corning Museum of Glass, Casino, The Windmill, and Niagara Falls. Please feel free to email your suggestions to and let’s get the show (or Rainbow SAGE) on the road. Also, if there is something you would like to see happen in The Center, please feel free to share that as well.

Eye Spy with my little eye

Eye spy something black, white and red all over…what is it? The SAGE page, of course, as it’s printed in black and white and “Read” all over! Starting in this issue there will be a puzzle, riddle or game for you to figure out. After you have completed it, clip it out, and bring it in to The Center. The last Tuesday of the month, all submissions will be entered into a drawing for a fun prize that will change monthly. Also, we want to know how

Monthly Rainbow SAGE at The Center Prize Puzzle Each pair of hints below relates to two words. One of the words is the other one spelled backward. What are the ten word pairs? Example: married, moisture. Answer: wed, dew 1. Light source, rodents 2. Dwell, wicked 3. Retain, sneaking look 4. Weapons, tight fit 5. Portion, catching device 6. Prize, furniture compartment 7. Drinking aid, skin blemishes 8. Stopper, big swallow 9. Implement, stolen goods 10. Precinct, illustrate Name:

Nan Fry, Audet Price and Ashley Powers were among those lunching and seeing a film on Feb. 19. Photo: Susan Jordan

many people are really paying attention to what is put on Facebook and the Sage Calendar on the website, so we are also going to have one silly message a month somewhere in the text of these two places. If you happen to find it,

email for your chance to be entered to win the monthly prize. This means you potentially can have two entries per month for the prize, which may be a small gift, gift basket or baked goodie. Happy Hunting!

Rainbow SAGE at The Center

March Calendar

The Center is open for adults 50+ Tuesdays 11:30am-3pm. Internet access, Billiards. Library open 1-3pm. March March March March

5............ Birthday Bash/Open Games 12.......... Pot O’ Gold Scavenger Hunt 19........... LGBT Mini Health Fair 1:30pm-4pm (Extended hours) 26.......... Scrabble Game “Healthy Word Challenge”

LGBT “Mini” Health Fair March is the month when we celebrate LGBT health and get a better understanding of the issues and the special health and social services needs that LGBT people have. 2013 marks the fourth year in which LGBT Health Month has been recognized. Rainbow SAGE at The Center will be hosting a “mini” health fair composed of presentations as well as tabling by Excellus Health Systems, Aids Care, Foodlink and more. Come explore and find all you need to know about Medicare, being an advocate at the doctor’s office as well as the pharmacy, nutrition and diabetes. The fair will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be open until 4 p.m. to allow you adequate time for questions. So mark your calendar for March 19 and stop by and educate yourself on your health. Activities Subject to Change Please be advised that all activities in The Center are subject to change without notice. We do our best to provide meaningful activities as well as presentations relevant to your life, however, sometimes cancelations and/or no-shows are out of our hands. We strive to create a fun, friendly environment and ask for your understanding on the rare occurrence that something goes awry. Tuesday Lunch at the Center Full Hot Meal Served at Noon • Just $3 suggested donation Join us for good food and conversation. Activities are subject to change. Gay Alliance Community Center, 875 E. Main St., 1st floor (585) 244-8640


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Resources Check our monthly and ongoing calendar as well as the community section for more groups and events. For further information, call the Gay Alliance at 244-8640 or visit: And send us your information.


AMBI Los Angeles; American Institute of Bisexuality (Journal of Bisexuality); Bay Area Bisexual Network; Bi Café; Bi Definition: Milwaukee; BiNet USA; Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP); Biversity Boston; Boston Bisexual Women’s Network; ComBIne - Columbus, Ohio; Dallas/ Fort Worth Bi Net; Fenway Health’s Bi Health Program; Los Angeles Bi Task Force; New York Area Bisexual Network; Robyn Ochs’s site; Seattle Bisexual Women’s Network; The Bi Writers Association; The Bisexual Resource Center (email


Rochester Women’s Community Chorus 234-4441. (See Ongoing calendar). Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus

deaf services

Advocacy for Abused Deaf Victims Mailing address: c/o ASADV, P.O. Box 20023, Rochester, NY 14602. 24-Hour Hotline:; VP: 866-936-8976; TTY/ FAX : 585-232-2854. Lilac Rainbow Alliance for the Deaf (LRAD) Meets second Saturdays, 6-9pm. For location, information: Spectrum LGBTIQ & Straight Alliance RIT/NTID student group. <


Gay Alliance Rainbow Sage Senior Center Tues 11am-3pm, 875 E. Main St. first floor, 244-8640; kellyc@


CNY Fertility Center Integrative Fertility Care. Support meetings, webinars, workshops. Information:; Rochester Gay Moms’ Group Support group for lesbian mommies and wannabe mommies in Rochester and surrounding areas. Subscribe: Lesbian & Gay Family Building Project Headquartered in Binghamton and with a presence throughout Upstate NY, the Project is dedicated to helping LGBTQ people achieve their goals of building and sustaining healthy families. Claudia Stallman, Project Director, 124 Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905; 607-7244308; e-mail: Web: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) PFLAG’s threefold mission: supporting parents and family members in coming out process; educating the community; advocating on behalf of LGBT family members. Regular meetings: Third Sunday of the month, Open Arms MCC, 740 Marshall Rd. 14624. 1-3pm. PFLAG@; 585-244-8640 x27. Adoptive Parent Support Group Monthly potluck lunches. For information, location, call Shari, 350-2529. Angel Food Ministry Box of fresh/frozen food for $30 in advance. Menu changes monthly. For information and distribution sites, call 585 861-4815.

HIV/AIDS Free testing for HIV exposure is available from New York State Department of Health: call Rochester Area Regional Hotline at (585) 423-8081, or 1 800 962-5063 for pay phones or calls outside Rochester. Deaf or hearing impaired people should call (585) 4238120 (TDD.) New Rapid HIV Testing now available in 30-40 minutes! Statewide information can be obtained by calling 1 800 541-AIDS. Other organizations which provide AIDS-related services are as follows:

AIDS Care AIDS Care is the leading provider of HIV/AIDS services in Rochester and the Finger Lakes. On-site services include HIV testing and limited STD screenings, Primary and HIV Specialty Medical Care, Pharmacy, and many more. AIDS Care satellite offices in Geneva and Bath. AIDS Care is also a leader in providing services and education to members of the LGBT community. Contact Information: Website: Main Office: 259 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14607; Main Phone: 585-545-7200, Health Services After Hours: 585-258-3363; Case Management After Hours (Lifeline): 585275-5151; Fax: 585-244-6456. Finger Lakes Office: 605 W. Washington St., Geneva, NY 14456, 315-781-6303. Southern Tier Office: 122 Liberty St. Box 624, Bath, NY 14810 607776-9166. The Health Outreach Project: 416 Central Ave., Rochester, NY 14605; 585-4545556. Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley Referrals to physicians and service agencies. (585) 244-8640; Victory Alliance University of Rochester Medical Center. One of several research sites worldwide that comprise the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Rochester site conducts research vaccine studies sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH). 585-7562329; Threshold At The Community Place, 145 Parsells Ave., third floor, 585-454-7530. Provides confidential HIV, STD testing and General Health Care, ages 12-25. Sliding fee scale, no one denied, most insurances accepted. Mon., Wed., Fri. 9am-5pm; Tues., Thurs., 9am-7pm; Sat. 10am-2pm. Center for Health and Behavioral Training of Monroe County 853 Main St., Rochester 14611. Collaboration of Monroe County Health Department and U.R. Provides year-round training in prevention and management of STDs, HIV, TB and related issues, such as domestic violence and case management. (585)753-5382 v/tty. Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/ Syracuse Region 114 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14605; Tollfree Helpline: 1 866 600-6886. Offers confidential HIV testing and information. When you make your appointment, be sure to ask about our sliding scale fees. No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay. Rochester Area Task Force on AIDS A collection of agencies providing a multiplicity of resources and services to the upstate New York community. Their offices are located through the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, which also provides medical literature and newspaper clippings, as well as demographic and statistical data for use in developing health care services. (585) 461-3520. MOCHA Center of Rochester Our mission is to improve health and wellness in communities of color through intervention and service, with emphasis on LGBTQ programming. Youth drop-in center, HIV testing, peer education, support groups, computer lab, referral services and more. 107 Liberty Pole Way (corner of Pleasant). (585) 420-1400. Monroe County Health Department at 855 W. Main St., offers testing and counseling for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. (585) 753-5481. Strong Memorial Hospital provides a complete range of HIV medical care, including access to experimental treatment protocols, and HIV testing. Also provides individual and group psychotherapy. Training of health care professionals also available. Infectious Disease Clinic, (585) 275-0526. Department of Psychiatry, (585) 275-3379. AIDS Training Project, (585) 275-5693. Planned Parenthood of Rochester and Genesee Valley Offers testing and information (585) 546 2595. Rural HIV testing Anonymous and confidential, in Allegany, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne or Yates Counties, call 1 800 9625063.

Action Front Center (Action for a Better Community.) Provides HIV prevention education and case management services. Training and technical assistance to service providers. Resource library open to public. All services free and confidential. Multicultural and bilingual staff. 33 Chestnut St., second floor. Hours 8:30-5pm, Monday-Friday. 262-4330; fax 262-4572. Free anonymous HIV testing on walk-in basis, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 1-4pm, provided through NYSDOH. Thursdays 1-4pm at Aenon Baptist Church, 175 Genesee St. Anthony L. Jordan Health Center, Prevention and Primary Care. Provides Medical Case Management, Mental Health, Primary Care, HIV Counseling and Testing (using rapid testing) Hepatitis C rapid testing and services, Educational Presentations, and access to other Jordan Services. Prevention and Primary Care is a walk-in program; no appointment necessary. Office Hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (585) 423-2872; fax (585) 423-2876. Website For more information, call the Program Manager Charlie Lytle,(585) 423-2872. CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) 24 hours a day. TTY service: 1-888-232-6348. E-mail address: Fair Housing Enforcement Project of Monroe County 585-325-2500; 1-800-669-9777. Deals with housing discrimination on basis of race, orientation, HIV status, etc. Public Interest Law Office of Rochester 80 St. Paul St., Suite 701. Free legal services to HIV positive persons, families. Spanish bilingual advocates available. All civil cases except divorce; no criminal cases. Ask to speak to someone in PILOR. 454-4060. Evergreen Health Services, Buffalo Primary care, HIV and family care, HIV testing and counseling. (716) 847-0328 Westside Health Services Brown Square Health Center, 175 Lyell Ave. (254-6480); Woodward health Center, 480 Genesee St. (436-3040). HIV/AIDS services, support, more. McCree McCuller Wellness Center at Unity Health’s Connection Clinic (585) 368-3200, 89 Genesee St., Bishop Kearney Bldg., 3rd floor. Full range of services, regardless of ability to pay. Caring, confidential and convenient. Catholic Charities AIDS Services A multicultural and bi-lingual staff providing services to a diversity of people infected and affected with HIV. Coordinates HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS) short term emergency assistance with rent/mortgage/utility payments and limited subsidized housing. 1945 E. Ridge Rd., Suite 24, Rochester NY 14622. (585) 339-9800. Huther Doyle 360 East Ave., Rochester 14604. Offers drug, alcohol prevention, education, treatment. Risk Reduction Plus Team offers services to HIV positive and those at risk through substance use. Programs include outreach, transitional case management, free cconfidential testing (OraQuick Rapid Testing). NYS Dep’t. of Health offers free on-site confidential and anonymous testing. (585)325-5100, M-F 8am-9pm, www. Geneva Community Health 601 W. Washington St., Geneva. Provides HIV testing, HIV specialty and primary care for residents of Ontario and surrounding counties. Mon.-Thurs. 9am-5pm; Fridays 9am-noon. 315-781-8448.

lgbt health

For a list of LGBT-friendly and competent health and human service providers in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area, visit the resource directory page(s) at Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley See Resource Directory under “Health” for Gay Alliance referrals to physicians and service agencies.


Rochester Trans Group Social/educational group for gender variant people and friends. Last Saturday, 3-5pm, GAGV Youth Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St. 244-8640. Gay Alliance Youth Gender Identity Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm, Gay Alliance Community Center, 875 E. Main St. first floor. Ages 13-18. 244-8640;

Genesee Valley Gender Variants Thurs. 7-9pm, Equal Grounds, 750 South Ave. Transgender online:;;;; International Foundation for Gender Education Gender Education and Advocacy; FTM Information Network; Transgender at Work; PFLAG Transgender Network page.aspx?pid=380; TransActive http://www.; The Transitional Male; National Center for Transgender Equality; New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy; Transgender Aging Network; Transgender Law Center; Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund; The Self Made Men http:// (please send us your favorite sites/groups) Guys Night Out Social group for transmen. Third Saturdays, 1pm, Equal Grounds, 750 South Ave.

Women’s health

Highland Hospital Breast Imaging Center 500 Red Creek Drive, Rochester 14623; 585487-3300. Specializing in breast health, diagnostic breast imaging and treatment and mammography outreach and education. Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester 840 University Ave.; 585-473-8177; www.; email: Breast Cancer Coalition provides support services that include programs designed to help those coping with a recent breast cancer diagnosis and those coping with an advanced breast cancer diagnosis, such as the Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group to support women living with metastatic breast cancer. Information about breast cancer, lending library, a monthly educational program. All BCCR programs, support services free. Monroe County Women’s Health Partnership 111 Westfall Rd., Rochester NY 14692; (585) 274-6978. Comprehensive breast cancer screening services for uninsured and underinsured women. Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic 170 Sawgrass Drive. 442-8432. Dr. Wende Logan-Young and an all-woman staff provide mammograms. Self Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer (SHARE) 1-866-53SHARE or 1-866-537-4273. Alternatives for Battered Women 232-7353; TTY 232-1741. Shelter (women only), counseling. Lesbians, gay men welcome. GAGV Anti Violence Referrals 585-244-8640 ext 19. For women and men. Victim Resource Center of Wayne County Newark N.Y. Hotline 800-456-1172; office (315)331-1171; fax (315)331-1189. Mary Magdalene House Women’s outreach center for HIV positive women and women at risk. 291 Lyell Ave. Open Mon-Fri. 6:30-9:30pm 458-5728. Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/ Syracuse Region 114 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14605; Tollfree Helpline: 1-866-600-6886. Planned Parenthood has led the way in providing high quality, affordable reproductive health care since 1916. All services are confidential. Accept most insurances; including Medicaid. You may qualify for low- to no-cost family planning services. When you make your appointment, ask about our sliding scale fees. No one turned away for lack of ability to pay. Women’s Resource Center YWCA, 175 N. Clinton Ave. 546-7740.

Do Good Work Make Good Money The Gay Alliance is seeking a reliable, energetic selfstarter to sell Empty Closet advertising for a generous commission. For more information, phone Susan Jordan at 244-9030 or e-mail:

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet


Ongoing Calendar Monday

L.O.R.A. – Late Bloomers Group Meets Weekly on Mondays 7pm – 9:30pm. Coming out group for women of all ages and backgrounds. Meets weekly on Mondays at 7pm at private location!.Group Facilitators: Cathie Timian & Wanda Martinez. For more information and meeting location contact Cathie at or call 585.313.3037 For more information on L.O.R.A. (Lesbians of Rochester & Allies) visit:

Born That Way Formerly 3rd Presbyterian LGBT Support Group. First, 3rd Mondays, 7:30-9:30pm, 34 Meigs St. Carol, 482-3832 or Kaara, 654-7516. Lilac Squares Gay Square Dance Group, Mondays, 7pm, 140 Alex Bar. To reserve space: 467-6456; Free syphilis testing AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave., 5-8pm. 4422220. Rochester Historical Bowling Society 7:15pm, Mondays. Clover Lanes, 2750 Monroe Ave. (Group is full.) HIV Positive Men’s Support group Every Monday, 5pm, AIDS Care Center for Positive Living, 259 Monroe Ave. Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Mondays, 6pm, George Eastman House parking lot. Steps Beyond Stems Crack Support Group, Mondays, 7-8pm, 289 Monroe Ave. Equality Rochester 2nd Mondays, 7-8:30 pm, Equal=Grounds. 426-0862;


L.O.R.A. – Knitters Group Everyone Welcome! 3rd Tuesday of the Month. 7pm – 10pm. FREE. Equal Grounds Coffee House, 750 South Ave. Contact Person: Cathie: 585.313.3037; Email: ctimian@l-o-r-a. com; Website:

Gay Alliance Library & Archives, David Bohnett Cyber Center Every Tuesday. 1-3pm; First floor, 875 E. Main St. 244-8640. Charlie’s Group 2nd Tuesdays. Monthly peer-facilitated support group for married men who have sex with men. Confidential, free. For time, place: email: Rainbow SAGE Senior Center, 11am-3pm, Gay Alliance Center, 875 E. Main St., 1st floor. MOCHA Youth Drop-In Tues.-Fri., 1-9pm, MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way, 420-1400; 244-8640 MOCHA Hepatitis Clinic Free Hepatitis A & B vaccinations, third Tuesdays, 5:30-7pm, 107 Liberty Pole Way, 4201400 Women’s Community Chorus Rehearsals each Tuesday, 6:30-9pm, Downtown United Pres. Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh Street. 234-4441, Free HIV Testing 9am-7pm. AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave.

Wednesday L.O.R.A. – Poker, Cards & Gaymes! 3rd Wednesday of the Month, 7pm – Open Arms MCC – 740 Marshall Rd. Rochester. Everyone is welcome! Bring a friend and your own snacks/munchies. Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate provided. For more information, contact Cathie at or call 585.313.3037 - For more information on L.O.R.A. (Lesbians of Rochester & Allies) visit:

U.R. Pride Network 7:30pm, Gamble Room in Rush Rhees Library.

Rainbow SAGE Ruby Slippers Wednesdays, 5:45 pm, Callan-Harris Physical Therapy, 1328 Universty Ave. Identity Group The Identity Group is for LGBT identified indi-

viduals who have a developmental disability diagnosis. The group meets Wednesdays 3-4 pm at ARC Health Services (2060 BrightonHenrietta Townline Rd. 14623). The goal of the group is to provide a safe space to discuss identity issues, share personal experiences and increase self-esteem. The group is facilitated by Delaina Fico. LMSW. For more information, please contact Delaina Fico at or 585-271-0661 ext. 1552.

Gay Alliance Board of Directors Meets Third Wednesdays, 6pm, 875 E. Main St. 244-8640 New Freedom New Happiness AA Gay meeting, 7pm, Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Rd. Men and women. Open. Support Group for Parents who have lost Children First, 3rd Wednesdays, 11am-12:30pm, Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St. Genesee Region Home Care. Free. 325-1880 COAP Come Out and Play. Wednesday game nights. 8-11 pm. Equal=Grounds, 750 South Ave. 7pm, Rochester Rams General Meeting 2nd Wednesdays, 7:30pm, Bachelor Forum, 670 University Ave. Brothers Keeper Support group for men over 30. Third Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm, MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way. 420-1400 HIV+ Mixed Men’s Group Wednesdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm. AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave. Gay Alliance Youth Wednesdays, 3:30-7pm, Gay Alliance Youth Center, 875 E. Main St. Prince St. entrance, first floor. 244-8640 x 13. Frontrunners/Frontwalkers 6pm, Eastman House parking lot. Gay Alliance Library & Archives, David Bohnett Cyber Center Every Wednesday. 6-8pm. First floor, 875 E. Main St. 244-8640. Empire Bears Every Wednesday. 6pm dinner at The Wintonaire.


Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns 6:30pm, first Thursday. Ralph, 271-7649 Queer Radical Reading Group First and third Thursdays, 7pm, Equal=Grounds, 750 South Ave. Pride at Work First Thursdays, 5:30pm. 167 Flanders St. off Thurston Rd. 426-0862. GLOB&L (Gays & Lesbians of Bausch & Lomb). Meets every third Thursday in Area 67 conference room at the Optic Center. Voice mail: 338-8977 Gay Alliance Youth Thursdays, 3:30-7pm, Gay Alliance Youth Center, 875 E. Main St. Prince St. entrance, first floor. 244-8640 x 13. Coming Out Being Out Youth Support Group 6:30-7:30pm; ages 13-18 Gay Alliance Youth Center, 875 E. Main St. Prince St. entrance, first floor. 244-8640 x 13. Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St. 6:30-9pm, 423-0650 Free confidential walk-in HIV testing Every Thursday night, 5-8pm, AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave. 442-2220 Gay Alliance Youth Gender Identity Thursdays, 6:30-7pm, Ages 13-18, Gay Alliance Youth Center, 875 E. Main St., 1st floor (Prince St. entrance). 244-8640 ext 13. Out & Equal Second Thursdays Social/business networking, 5:30-7:30pm. Changing venues. E-mail: Genesee Valley Gender Variants 7-9pm, Equal=Grounds, 750 South Ave. GV


L.O.R.A. – Foodies Group Potluck 2nd Friday of the Month, 6:30pm – Open Arms MCC – 740 Marshall Rd. Rochester. Bring a friend and a dish to pass! Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate provided! For more information, contact Cathie at or call 585.313.3037 For more information on L.O.R.A. (Lesbians of Rochester & Allies) visit:

Gay Men's AA meeting Fridays, 7:30-8:30pm, Closed meeting. Emmanuel Baptist Church, 815 Park Ave. GLBTQI Motorcycle Group Second Fridays, 5:30pm, Various locations.; 4676456;


Rochester Rams Bar Night Third Saturdays, 8pm-2am, Bachelor Forum, 670 University Ave. 271-6930

Rochester Trans Group Social/educational group for gender-variant people, friends. Last Saturdays, 3-5 pm, GAGV Youth Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St. Frontrunners/Frontwalkers 9am, George Eastman House parking lot.www. Empire Bears Potluck 2nd Saturdays, Youth Center, 875 E. Main, 1st floor, Prince St. entrance. 6:30pm greet; 7pm dinner. Bring dish to pass. Cross Dresser Support Group First Saturdays, 6-9pm, call for location: 251-2132; Guys Night Out GNO, social group for transmen, now meets on the second Saturday of the month, @ 1pm @ Equal Grounds, 750 South Ave. Saturday Night Special Gay AA 7pm, Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Rd., S. Men and women. Open meeting. Lilac Rainbow Alliance for the Deaf (LRAD) 2nd Saturdays, 6-9pm. Sophia’s Supper Club First and third Saturdays.


L.O.R.A. GLBT Sunday Brunch 1st Sunday of the Month: 11:30am – Jines Restaurant - 658 Park Ave, Rochester. 3rd Sunday of the Month. 11:30am – Golden Ponds Restaurant – 500 Long Pond Rd. Rochester. Breakfast Brunch Buffet. For more information, contact Cathie at or call 585.313.3037 For more information on L.O.R.A. (Lesbians of Rochester & Allies) visit:

Parents Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) 3rd Sundays, 1-3pm. Open Arms MCC, 740 Marshall Rd. 244-8640 x 27; Gay Alliance Library & Archives Sunday hours ended. Rochester General Assembly Sundays, Flying Squirrel Community Center, 285 Clarissa St. Unity Fellowship Church Sundays, 1:30 pm, Lutheran Church of Peace, 125 Caroline St., 14620. 520-6188. Dignity-Integrity 1st Sunday: 5pm Episcopal Eucharist with music; 2nd Sunday: 5pm Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word with music; 3rd Sunday: 5pm Episcopal Eucharist (quiet); 4th Sunday: 5pm Prayers to start the week, followed by potluck supper. Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church 740 Marshall Rd., Chili, 10:30am, 271-8478 Gay Men’s Alcoholics Anonymous St. Luke’s/St. Simon Cyrene Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St. 8:30pm, 232-6720, Weekly. Closed meeting Men’s Cooking Group Third or fourth Sundays, 355-7664. Civil Rights Front Every Tuesday, 5pm, Equal=Grounds, 750 South Ave.

Rochester AA/NA Meetings Every week there are four regularly scheduled GLBTI AA and two NA meetings in Rochester.


Narcotics Anonymous 6-7:30pm. AIDS and Recovery 1124 Culver Road (Covenant United Methodist Church) This is an NA meeting that is open to all addicts who have a desire to stop using. Although it is not specifically a gay-oriented meeting, it is welcoming to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as to anyone who is affected by HIV and AIDS.


New Freedom/New Happiness Group 7pm. First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd. Bus riders: Take the last #18 University bus to 12 Corners. Use the stop just past the top of the hill at Hillside Ave. and before Highland Ave. Or take the #1 Park Ave. to the corner of East and Winton, then walk five minutes south (uphill) on Winton. This is an open discussion meeting. All issues – as they relate to our alcoholism/addiction and recovery – are fair game.

Fridays Gay Men’s 7:30pm. Immanuel Baptist Church, 815 Park Ave. • Closed meeting, restricted to alcoholics and addicts • Men’s meeting • Handicapped accessible This is a round-robin discussion meeting. If you are shy about meeting people or speaking up in a group, you will find this meeting particularly warm and inviting because everyone gets their turn to speak (or pass). As a result, this meeting often runs long, so plan on more than the usual hour.

Saturdays Saturday Night Special 7pm. First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd. Bus riders: The #18 University Ave. bus does not go by the church on weekend evenings. Take the #1 Park Ave. bus to the corner of East and Winton, then walk five minutes south (uphill) on Winton. • Open meeting, all are welcome, “straight friendly” • Mixed men and women • Handicapped accessible, take elevator to basement Meeting begins with a speaker, followed by open discussion.

Sundays Step in the Right Direction 7:30-9pm. 1275 Spencerport Road (Trinity Alliance Church) This is an NA meeting that is open to all addicts who have a desire to stop using. Although it is not specifically a gay-oriented meeting, it is welcoming to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Each week features a reading from NA literature, followed by discussion. Rochester Gay Men 8pm. St. Luke/St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh Street. Bus riders use the Fitzhugh Street stop on Main Street at the County Office Building and walk south one block. • Closed meeting, restricted to alcoholics and addicts • Men’s meeting • NOT handicapped accessible Meeting begins with a speaker, followed by open discussion.


the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

March 2013 FRIDAY 1

Transgender Healthcare Conference. “Transitioning, Transcending and Teaching Our Community.” Education for healthcare providers, U. of Rochester, 7:30 am-4:30 pm. Tim Mack drawings at Equal Grounds, 750 South Ave. Reception 7-9 pm.


Indigo Girls. Greentopia concert, Hochstein, 8 p.m. Equality Uganda. Talk on Ugandan oppression of gays by Congolese human rights activist Luzau Balowa. SUNY Geneseo Wadsworth Auditorium, 4:30-6:30 pm. Benefit concert 8:30 pm.


Dignity Integrity. Episcopal Mass/ Healing Service, with music. 5 pm, St. Luke’s and St. Simon’s Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St. Swing Into Spring Tea Dance, 4-6 pm, 140 Alex (upstairs dance floor) with DJ Todd. Featuring couples dancing to Swing, Country-Western and more.


LORA Late Bloomers. 7 pm. RSVP for location:; 585313-3037.


GAGV Youth: Healthcare Careers Exploration. Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St., 4 pm. First of four Wednesday sessions on healthcare careers (see page 30).


Come Out for Mental Health. With Melanie Funchess. MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way. 4 pm.


Youth Night Out with GLSEN. AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave. 7 pm.


Butch Femme Connection. Dinner at Jay’s Diner, West Henrietta Rd. (Route 15) in Henrietta, 7 pm. Contact Kerry/ Max at (585) 288-7208, email or Facebook page http://


Dignity Integrity. Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word, with music. 5 pm, St. Luke’s and St. Simon’s Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St.


Come Out for Physical Health: Yoga for all. MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way, 4 pm.


Out & Equal Second Thursdays Networking. 5:30-7:30 pm, Scotland Yard Pub, 187 St. Paul St. Park in lot behind Kowalski Carr building.


Empty Closet deadline for April. 244-9030; “A Man of No Importance.” First Unitarian Church, 220 S. Winton Rd. Performances also March 16, 17.


ROMANS nude St. Patrick’s Day get together. Info at www.wnyromans. com or 585-281-4964. Intergenerational Panel, Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St. 4-8 pm. Rainbow SAGE and Gay Alliance Youth Group.


Dignity Integrity. Quiet Episcopal Mass in the Chapel. 5 pm, St. Luke’s and St. Simon’s Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St.


BDSM 101 & Safety. Rochester Kink Society. Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St., 7 pm. Community Yoga, Nazareth College Linden Chapel, 7:30 pm.


Rainbow SAGE Health Fair. Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St. 1:30-4 pm.

WEDNESDAY 20 Vernal equinox


Come Out for Spiritual Health, MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way, 5 pm.

Classifieds Classified ads are $5 for the first 30 words; each additional 10 words is another $1. We do not bill for classifieds, so please send or bring ad and payment to: The Empty Closet, 875 E. Main Street, Suite 500, Rochester, New York 14605. Paying by check: checks must be made out to Gay Alliance. The deadline is the 15th of the month, for the following month’s issue. We cannot accept ads over the phone. Pay when you place your ad. We will accept only ads accompanied by name and phone number. Neither will be published, but we must be able to confirm placement. The Empty Closet is not responsible for financial loss or physical injury that may result from any contact with an advertiser. Advertisers must use their own box number, voice mail, e-mail or personal address/phone number.


Children’s Ministry thriving at Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church for toddlers to ‘tweens. Join us for vibrant, inclusive, progressive worship on Sundays at 10:30am. 740 Marshall Road off Chili Avenue. (585) 271-8478


Man to Man Rubdown. Relax with this experienced, fit, healthy. middle-aged, non-smoking GWM. Central location.

Private home. Incalls/outcalls. Reasonable rates. cell#585-773-2410 or home#585235-6688 or Wedding Space and clergy services available. Celebrate your special day at Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church 740 Marshall Rd. off Chili Ave. (585) 271-8478 Free recycling/hauling of motor vehicles, kitchen/laundry appliances, furnaces, water heaters, lawn equipment, snow blowers, metal fencing, pipes, PC towers or anything made of metal. Call Recycle Queen: 585-305-9602.] Hate to paint or clean gutters? I have tall ladders! Dale’s Pleasure Painting and Gutter Cleaning has very reasonable rates for painting year-round and gutter cleaning in the spring or fall. 585-576-5042. Email Martin Ippolito master electrician. Electrical work, telephone jacks, cable TV, burglar alarm systems, paddle fans. 585-266-6337.


North Greece area room for rent. Rent the room, share the house. $650/ month includes utilities, satellite and Internet. Pet considered, non-smokers preferred. Available May 1. Contact owner at 585-752-9486.


Light up your life. Four Malibu path or garden lights, only $50 ($70 at Home Depot!) Perfect condition, never used. 586-4321.


SpeakOUT Training. 6-9 pm, Gay Alliance Center, first floor of the Auditorium Center, 875 E. Main St. www. or call 244-8640, ext. 20. Registration now open at: http://www.

Guy to Guy: A Night for Trans Guys. AIDS Care, 259 Monroe Ave., 7-9 pm.


SpeakOUT Training 9 am-5 pm, at Gay Alliance Center, first floor of Auditorium Center, 875 E. Main St. www. or call 244-8640, ext. 20. Registration now open at: http://www. “Boys in the Band.” Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus concert, 8 pm., Hochstein. Butch Femme Connection. Dinner at Monte Alban Mexican Restaurant on East Ridge Rd., Irondequoit, 7 pm. Contact Kerry/Max at (585) 288-7208, email or Facebook page bfconnection.


Dignity Integrity. Evening Prayer, followed by a Potluck Supper. 5 pm, St. Luke’s and St. Simon’s Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St.


DOMA legal issues discussion. Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St., 6:30-8 pm. Monday Night Trivia Takeover. Rochester Victory Alliance and AIDS Care, 140 Alex Bar & Grill.


Light the Way to Justice. Candlelight vigil at the Rochester Federal Courthouse to protest DOMA. 4:30-7 pm.


Erotic Night. 8 pm at Equal Grounds Coffee House, 750 South Ave. Multimedia arts, produced by CSWA. Rochester Trans Group. Monthly meeting, 3-5:30 pm, Gay Alliance Center, first floor, 875 E. Main St.


Easter Sunday Dignity Integrity. NO Easter Sunday service at DI.

MARCH 2013 • number 465 • gay alliance of the genesee valley • the empty closet

Bed & Breakfast

The Empty Closet is published by the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley 875 E. Main Street, Suite 500 Rochester, New York  14605 © 2013, All rights reserved. Editor-in-Chief: Susan Jordan Staff Reporter: Ove Overmyer Graphic Design: Jim Anderson Advertising policy: The Empty Closet does not print advertisements that contain nude drawings or photographs, nor does it print advertising that states that the person pictured in the ad is for sale, or that you will “get” that particular person if you patronize the establishment advertised. Advertisements that are explicitly racist, sexist, ageist, ableist or homophobic will be refused; advertisements from organizations that are sexist, racist, ageist, ableist or anti-gay will also be refused. All political advertisements must contain information about who placed them and a method of contact. Additionally, The Empty Closet does not print negative or “attack” advertisements, whether they relate to a product or politics and no matter in whose interest the ad is being produced. A negative advertisement is defined as one that focuses upon a rival product, or in the political area, a rival election candidate or party, in order to point out supposed flaws and to persuade the public not to buy it (or vote for him or her). The Empty Closet maintains, within legal boundaries, neutrality regarding products, political candidates and parties. However, “attack” ads that fail to provide undisputable evidence that the information in the ad is true do not further in any way the objectives and policies of the Gay Alliance or The Empty Closet, including the primary tenet that The Empty Closet’s purpose is to inform the Rochester gay community and to provide an impartial forum for ideas. Submissions: For publication, submit news items, ads, photos, letters, stories, poetry, ads, photographs or art by mail or in person to The Empty Closet office by the 15th of the month. Design services for non-camera ready ads are available for a fee. ( Publication Information: The Empty Closet is published 11 times a year (December and January combined) by The Empty Closet Press for the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Inc. Approximately 5000 copies of each issue are distributed during the first week of the month, some by mail in a plain sealed envelope. The publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles is not an indication of the sexual or affectional orientation of that person or the members of that organization. For further information, please write to The Empty Closet, 875 E. Main St., Rochester NY. 14605, call (585) 244-9030 or e-mail The Empty Closet is the official publication of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Inc., as stated in the bylaws of that organization. Its purpose is to inform the Rochester gay community about local and national gayrelated news and events; to provide a forum for ideas and creative work from the local gay community; to help promote leadership within the community, and to be a part of a national network of lesbian and gay publications that exchange ideas and seek to educate. Part of our purpose is to maintain a middle position with respect to the entire community. We must be careful to present all viewpoints in a way that takes into consideration the views of all – women, men, people of color, young and old, and those from various walks of life. The opinions of columnists, editorial writers and other contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the collective attitude of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley or The Empty Closet. The Empty Closet shall not be liable for any loss or expense that results from the publication (whether correctly or incorrectly) or omission of an ad. In the event of non-payment, your account may be assigned to a collection agency or an attorney, and will be liable for the charges paid by us to such collection agency or attorney. Letters to the editor: The opinions of columnists, editorial writers and other contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the collective attitude of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley or The Empty Closet. We will print letters at the editor’s discretion and on a space available basis. Only one letter by the same writer in a six-month period is allowed. We will not print personal attacks on individuals, nor will we be a forum for ongoing disputes between individuals. We reserve the right to edit for space and clarity. We will print anonymous letters if the name and phone number are provided to the Editor; confidentiality will be respected. Submissions are due by the 15th of the month at: The Empty Closet, 875 E. Main Street, Suite 500, Rochester, NY 14605; e-mail: The online edition of EC is available at

Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church We offer a VIP Worship Vibrant Inclusive Progressive Sundays at 10:30

Experience the Unconditional Love of God 740 Marshall Road Rochester, New York 14624 585-271-8478

PFLAG meets the 3rd Sunday of each month. Meetings are at Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church, 740 Marshall Road, Rochester 14624 from 1 to 3pm. Join us! Questions? Call: 585-244-8640 and leave a message, or e-mail:



the empty closet • the gay alliance of the genesee valley • number 465 • MARCH 2013

Empty Closet, March 2013  

March 2013 edition of The Empty Closet, the monthly LGBT Newspaper produced by the Gay Alliance of Rochester NY

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