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Rochester Pride 2013 38 Year Landmark in the Gay Community Is a Proud Sponsor Celebrating Pride 2013 and 40 Years to the Gay Alliance!

Celebrate PRIDE 2013 There’s No Place Like Pride

Be sure to check out our Facebook Page and become a Fan! Updates are posted daily! The Avenue Pub 522 Monroe Avenue 585-244-496

Rochester Pride Festival makes a triumphant return to Manhattan Square Park for 2013. It has been 10 years since the last time the event was held there. The excitement through the day will carry the theme “There’s No Place Like Pride!” The first part of pride will be a Family Fun Event with no cover charge! All are welcomed to come out and enjoy this part, which will run from 12pm until 3:30pm. The second part of the day will take place right after the parade has ended at 5pm. There will be a cover charge of $15 at the gate or $10 if purchased online in advance. This admission will give you access to all the fantastic entertainment on stage, to the amazing history pavilion and to some of the finest vendors ever. You will have to be there to experience it all!

A special thanks to our additional Pride Sponsors: *Canandaigua National Bank *Dr. Denis Moss *Friends of Lovely warren *Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union *Highland Contractors *ImageOut *Jines Restaurant Inc *L&M Lanes *Mayfield Bar *Napa Autoparts *Park Avenue Merchants Association *Richards for Mayor *Water Street Music Hall *384 East Avenue Inn & Suites *Zaks Avenue


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Tickets for all events can be purchased at RochesterPride.com and: * The Bachelor Forum * Equal=Grounds * Outlandish * ParkLeigh

Pride Access

Festival: On Saturday, handicap parking will be available from PrideAccess partner Trillium Health in their lot at 259 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14607. Medical Motor will operate a shuttle with lift from noon to 9pm between the Trillium parking lot and the Pride Festival site. Picnic: Handicap parking will again be provided in the “lower lot” at Genesee Valley Park. You must display your handicap parking permit to enter the lot. New to the picnic? Ask attendants for directions as you enter the Park. Parade: Handicap parking for viewing the Pride Parade is recommended at 600 Park Avenue. This is a self-parking area with easy access to street side viewing. Important to arrive early, well before the Parade step off at 3pm for Park Ave is closed during the Parade. ASL Interpreters will be at the Flag Raising Ceremony on Friday July 19, and on the Festival Stage on Saturday July 20.


NEW! Pride Rainbow Ride Check rochesterpride.com for the route Friday, June 19th 5:15pm Beginning at 5:15 pm, cyclists will be bringing the Pride Colors through the Neighborhood of the Arts and Park Ave, South Wedge, and Corn Hill neighborhoods. Come out and cheer them on as they bring the colors into Manhattan Square Park. Check out rochesterpride.com for the route.

Pride Flag Raising Manhattan Square Park Friday, June 19th 6pm-7pm The annual Flag Raising event will be held at Manhattan Square Park featuring a new huge 30’ x 50’ flag presented to us by the fantastic “Outlandish Gifts!” The bikers from Ride for Pride will make their way down to the opening ceremony, followed by performance by Rochester Women’s Chorus and an amazing color guard group. Also, we will be sashing our Grand and Honorary Marshals for the parade! Great start to an eventful weekend.


“We have a great working relationship with the Sports Commission, so I was not shocked at all of their support. They are experts at these types of events and know a good concept when they see one. The fact that they are willing to back this to the level they are shows the true potential of what the Pride Games can become. “I see the Pride games growing very quickly and eventually having numerous sporting events during Pride weekend. There does not seem to be any other city doing something like this as a part of their Pride, so it makes this unique. We are in the geographic center of the Northeast, so it is easy for people to travel here and we have a large gay population. I feel that this event will become a core part of Rochester Pride, adding a new family friendly layer that will potentially bring thousands of visitors into Rochester, all of which will be able to see our great city and participate in the Pride festivities.” Roc City Roller Derby will be part of the Pride Games, starting on July 19. There will also be a July 20 bout, time TBA. All bouts take place at Bill Gray’s Iceplex. By Susan Jordan For the first time, Rochester Pride will include a sports event: the exciting new Roc Pride Games. This year the Games consist of a gay ice hockey tournament and roller derby bouts. The free hockey tournament will feature players from NYC and Long Island at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex, 2700 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road, starting Friday July 19, noon – 8pm and continuing 10am – 1pm on Saturday and 9am – 1pm on Sunday. This innovative event is the brainchild of Chris Woodworth, Director of Programming and Marketing at the Iceplex. He brought his idea to the Gay Alliance and then to the Monroe County Sports Commission, which gave it the stamp of approval. Chris told The Empty Closet, ‘The concept initially started as running a hockey tournament during Pride weekend, which would allow us to enhance the players’ experiences by incorporating Pride events into the tournament. Once we sat down to discuss this with the Sports Commission, we quickly came up with the idea of adding additional sports and the creation of a pride specific sports invitational – the ROC Pride games.

Roc City Roller Derby (501C3 non-profit athletic organization) was formed in 2008, started bouting in public in 2009, and became members of Women’s Flat Track Derby Association in the Fall of 2011. There are two Travel Teams: the Roc Stars and the B-Sides, who bout against teams from Leagues in other cities in spring and summer, and three Home Teams: the Rottenchesters, the Midtown Maulers, and the 5-H8-5s, who bout against each other in the Fall. The Roc Stars placed second in a tournament of NYS Leagues in Long Island over Labor Day Weekend in 2012. There are 111 League members. ROC City Roller Derby ROC City Roller Derby’s Participation in the ROC Pride Games will be called Somewhere over the Painbow. On Friday night the Bout is called “Friends of Dorothy” and features the Yellow Brick Rollers vs the Ruby Red Skaters. Doors open at 7, the Derby starts at 8pm. On Saturday, RCRD presents “The Wizards of Oz-some” where the Roc Stars vs Green Mountain Derby Dames and the B-Sides vs Crown City Rollerz. Doors open at 5pm with Derby at 6pm. Getting involved: There’s something for everyone in RCRD. Go to rocderby. com/ContactUs.htm

“We came up with this deal a little late in the game for it to draw large numbers in its first year,” he continued. “That will play in our favor because we want to make sure we do things correctly, and if it were to get too large too quick, it might jeopardize the participants’ experience. We expect this year to be a smaller event, and possibly just a gay hockey tournament with four to eight teams competing. All of the games will be scheduled around the key Pride events so that all the players will be able to participate in them.

If you attend the ROC Pride Games Hockey and/or Roller Derby on Friday, July 19th, stop to eat and drink at Bill Gray’s Tap Room at the Iceplex between 5pm and 10pm and 15% of all sales will go to The Gay Alliance. *You MUST mention the Gay Alliance or ROC Pride Games to trigger the donation. VA LGBT Poster_11x17.indd 1

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Patti Evans

Whitey LeBlanc

An original member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) at the University of Rochester, Patti tells the story of going to her first meeting of the organization after the October 3, 1970 meeting in Todd Union which began the GLF’s existence.

Elected first President of the Gay Alliance in 1974, after signing the GAGV incorporation papers in December 1973. Whitey was an original member of the Gay Liberation Front at the University of Rochester. He was a “townie.”

Patti recounts walking down the corridor to where the meeting was to take place and seeing a flamboyant gay man and a woman in pigtails. Patti decided to continue walking. Bob Osborn, founder of the FLRF pressed Patti into getting involved. She was instrumental in organizing the women members of the GLF, and when the GLF moved off campus, Patti had already begun GROW (Gay Revolution of Women) which became the Lesbian Resource Center. Her political activism included being Rochester’s representative to the NYS Coalition of Gay Activists during the ‘70s, and being a delegate from Rochester to the Dempcratic National Convention that chose Jimmy Carter as its Presidential candidate. Over the past 40 years to the present, patti continues to be involved in gay politics and to actively support the Gay Alliance.

His activism began with the organization of the girst action the GLF took at the Top of the Plaza. A group of gay men and women went to the top of the Plaza to dance. They began dancing as same sex couples. The manager asked them to leave. As they did, Bob Osborne passed out Gay Liberation leaflets to the patrons.

In addition to her activism and her long friendship with the late Bob Osborne, Patti Evans was actually at Stonewall. After witnessing 44 years of LGBT activism and social change, she says, “I’m always reminded of that expression, ‘One step forward and two steps back.’ So I don’t see that dramatic a change, but here is more acceptance now, which is good for young people.” Patti was present on th second night of the Stonewall Riots. She told The Empty Closet, “I had a crush on a woman who had been kicked out of the military for being gay. She had heard about this peaceful candlelight march that was being held at the Stonewall Inn, after the violence of the previous night. So we went, and of course the violence broke out again. A policeman grabbed me and there was a second of eye contact, and I said ‘Don’t you see we just want the right to love?’ He replied ‘Go home, little girl’ and let go of me to grab someone else by the hair. So that was my Stonewall moment. Patti said about being named a Grand Marshal: “I find it quite an honor and am glad to have the chance to experience it – to be right there with the community. I feel like the community has given me a real honor. I’m grateful that our Rochester community has come a long way!”

Whitey also organized the First Gay Picnic at Genesee Valley Park. When the Empty Closet was turned over for publication nto the Gay Alliance, Whitey recruited Jay Baker to be the EC’s first editor. Over the past 40 years, Whitey has been a constant active supporter of gay rights, and the Gay Alliance. He told The Empty Closet, “One thing I keep thinking about is that for the last 15-20 years, the local leadership (of the GAGV) has made far more gains than we did. The public is far more prepared to accept us than it used to be. In the early days we never even thought about marriage. We had just a few issues, like ending sodomy laws and the harassment of gay bars by police. I remember going to the RPD and meeting with this young lieutenant, Gordon Urlacher, who later became police chief. He has been named the liaison with the gay community because he was in charge of community relations. Michael Robertson, who took over as president of the Gay Alliance after I ended my one-year term, was the one who negotiated an end to the bar raids. “Things have changed radically since then. For instance, now I am a member of the Genesee Valley Yacht Club, and am well known there to be gay. That could NEVER have been possible in the ‘70s. They didn’t even allow women to be members then! “Now one is able to be open and the consequences of being out are not so great. When I was president of the GAGV, I was interviewed on the radio and when I got to work that day my boss said, ‘I heard you on the radio this morning.’ Word spread throughout the company by the end of the week but the amazing thing is, I didn’t get fired or harassed. There were a few good-humored jokes, but otherwise, not a thing. “It’s little things like that – this is probably where we helped – coming out in your workplaces or to family or friends. As the years went on, more and more people did that. What I find really surprising today is the number of high school kids who are out.” As for being an Honorary Grand Marshal, Whitey says, “I feel honored. I’m willing to do it, if that means anything! Changes have come because people were willing to come out.”


Jennifer Posey & Zahra Langford of Hedonist Chocolates

2013 GRAND MARSHALS Jennifer Posey and Zahra Langford met in Santa Cruz, California, in the summer of 1996 and have been inseparable ever since. They celebrated their commitment ceremony in 2003, shortly before moving to Michigan together so that Zahra could pursue her graduate studies and Jennie could further her career. In 2004, Zahra accepted an internship at Xerox, which led the couple to relocate to Rochester in the fall of 2005. In 2007, the couple had the fantastic idea to start their own business specializing in gourmet chocolates. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates was built on Jennifer’s prior chocolate experience and Zahra’s design and marketing skills. Starting in a small kitchen in the South Wedge the two would go on to owning the entire building in a few short years! The company specializes in hand-crafted chocolate truffles and chocolate treats using French chocolate and fresh, all the finest natural ingredients. Last year, the two expended the company to include an upscale ice cream shop called Hedonist Ice Cream. Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream makes small batch, super premium ice creams and sorbets just next door to the chocolate shop. They use local cream and the freshest natural ingredients to create decadent flavors that bring pleasure with every bite!

Jennifer Posey was born in Santa Cruz, California, in 1971. Her father was a fisherman and her mother was a homemaker with a knack for cooking and creating holiday treats. She is the third of four children. She grew up in this coastal town riding her onespeed beach cruiser to school, softball and basketball practice, and of course, the beach. She attended Catholic school until 8th grade, where her role models were nuns. The sisters took her under their wings and taught her to be strong, to be herself, to sing even if she was out of tune, and how to box out on the basketball court. Jennifer graduated from Santa Cruz High in 1990, after which she spent some time at Cabrillo Community College, playing softball, running a tournament business, and working for a variety of Parks and Recreation Departments. At this time she also worked at Richard Donnelly’s Chocolates where she was educated to become a master chocolatier. Later, Jennie would transfer to San Jose State University for both Undergraduate and Graduate schools with a major in Leisure Studies. Most of her career afterword would be working in public administration. The last position Jennie held was in her field was as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Milan, Michigan. Jennifer now runs the Hedonist businesses full time. Zahra Langford was born in Oakland, California, in 1974. Her parents were both public school teachers with many hobbies such as watercolor painting, raising small farm animals, gardening, beekeeping, and home brewing. She is the oldest of four children. Growing up in the small town of Weed, California, Zahra spend time in the outdoors as a kid. Her parents didn’t approve of store bought sweets so she was taught to make her own. As a teenager she got involved with the drama department of the local community college, which led to her first career in theatre. Zahra graduated from Weed High School in 1992 and then attended Santa Clara University, where she majored in Theatre Arts and minored in Dance. She spent several years after college doing costume design and construction for various theatres in the South Bay Area. In the late nineties, Zahra shifted her career focus to digital design and worked in the Silicon Valley as a web designer. To further her career, she attended graduate school at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, where she received a Master of Sciences in Information with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. Zahra has been at Xerox since 2004. She currently works as an Interaction Designer in the company’s Innovation Group and co-owner of Hedonist Chocolates.


12:00 PM – 12:30 PM 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM 3:15 PM – 3:15 PM 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Spiritus Christi Choir unBound (Band) Zumba led by Charlie Levin The Jimmie Highsmith Experience OFC Creations: Music from The Wiz Rochester Idol Contestant “Kenny The Thrill” (Singer) “DJ Mr. Davis” DJ Hector

5:00 PM – 5:15 PM 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM 5:45 PM – 6:00 PM 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM 6:15 PM – 6:45 PM 6:45 PM – 7:00 PM 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM 7:45 PM – 8:00 PM 8:00 PM – 8:20 PM 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus Samantha Vega & Ms. Kasha David & Drag Show Blackfriars Theatre: Music from Rent Drag Show Donna Maxon Bette Midler Tribute Artist & Vocalist Drag Show & 98 PXY’s Megan Carter GranCrew (Band) DJ Neill MacLeod Pandora Boxx: Ru Paul’s Drag Race 98 PXY Presents: Music Headliner DEV


By Michael Lill

One headline for the show this year will be stellar performer Pandora Boxx! This former Rochester resident will be returning to her home town for an all-exciting performance that is not to be missed. This girl will be hot and not just because it’s July! Pandora will be spending several days in the Rochester area. On July 1 again at Tilt, Pandora will perform her own hilarious comedy show entitled “Lick This Box!” This show just finished a sold-out off-Broadway run! She will be featured in the spectacular Tilt-A-Whirl Drag Show with 98PXY’s Megan Carter, at Tilt Nightclub on Thursday July 18th at 10:30 pm. The final culmination be her performance July 20th at the Rochester Pride Festival and one more time at the Tilt Nightclub after party!

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There’s No Place Like Pride, There’s No Place Like Rochester, There’s No #1 Hit Music Station Like 98PXY!

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Rochester Pride Parade 2pm: Line-Up 3pm: Step-Off Down Park Ave, to Alexander Pitkin St and Broad St. Ending at Manhattan Square Park

Line up to see your favorite community bands, floats, Kings and Queens, politicians, churches, community groups, and more. Each group will be judged by this year’s honorary parade judges and have the potential to win great prizes. Prizes: *MUTHER’S FAVORITE Cash Award $300 Best FLOAT unit overall to incorporate the Parade theme. *STONEWALL AWARD Cash Award $250 NP FLOAT with the most imaginative depiction of theme. *RAINBOW AWARD Empty Closet Ad FP FLOAT best portraying pride *COMMUNITY AWARD Cash Award $250 NP Walking unit bet exhibiting community pride *RUBY SLIPPER AWARD Cash Award $150 Most imaginative depiction of theme by walking unit


Tara Winner and Gerry Szymanski of the Gay Alliance Library and Archives team say that there will be an opportunity to travel back in time at the Pride Festival next month. The Festival will be held after the Pride Parade in Manhattan Square Park, and the History Pavilion, with its display of Rochester LGBT community going back for decades, will be located in the former Canopies restaurant, along with the Rainbow SAGE Lounge. Gerry said, “The space was just remodeled and looks really nice. It will be air-conditioned. It’s spacious and won’t be crowded. We were blown away by how large it is.” The exhibit, “Forging Alliances: Rochester’s LGBT Story,” will include photos, texts, images from the Empty Closet, and catalogues of historical photo files. There will also be artifacts on display – Gerry noted, “We have a LOT of buttons!” The display will include early magazines, t-shirts and much more, as well as a historical map of the gay bars in 1970’s Rochester. The catalogues were created by Library & Archive team members Jamie Allen (George Eastman House photo curator) and Alice Carver-Kubik (RIT archivist). Panels from the Tretter gay history collection at U of Minnesota will be on loan, and the GAGV team is creating the display on local Rochester LGBT history. The team also includes Bruce Woolley, Jeff Fowler, Evelyn Bailey, and Michael Dauteuil. Another feature is the video display. The trailer for the Shoulders To Stand On film (which will premiere at ImageOut next fall) and the video made a decade ago for the GAGV’s 30th anniversary will run on a video loop: the entire sequence will take approximately 15 minutes. Why is tracing our queer history important? Many young LGBT people – and some not so young – have little knowledge even of today’s Gay Alliance or the LGBT community, much less of the past 40-plus years. Will they be interested? Tara said, “The Gay Alliance was the hub of the LGBT community. It’s a testament to the strength of the organization that 30-year olds don’t know about it – they just accept that things have always been this way.” Gerry added, “It’s integrated into the community. But we need to acknowledge all the people who have worked so hard over the years.” He said that the response to the JCC’s Holocaust Memorial exhibit on Nazi oppression of gays last year was impressive. “It was wellattended,” he said, and there was a lot of interest. I think this will be the same. For us to have all those ‘firsts’ in the ‘70’s is amazing.” Tara said, “And to have preserved (our history) and now be using it is amazing.” Gerry said, “This is the first time we’ve had a comprehensive, really thought-out plan for a history exhibit.” Tara added, “Our collection has grown, and the Shoulders To Stand On film is coming to fruition, and with the Gay Alliance and The Empty Closet reaching their 40th anniversaries, it’s a great time to reflect on everything we’ve accomplished up to this point.”

Gerry agreed that, with the presentation of the Helping People with AIDS and Empty Closet archives to the Smithsonian Institution last summer, “We’re part of the national record.” The Tretter collection will be sending seven-foot-tall history panels. Tretter Director Lisa Vecoli said, “The Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies was created over several decades by founder Jean-Nickolaus Tretter and donated to the University of Minnesota Libraries in 2001. It has grown to encompass tens of thousands of items including books, periodicals, manuscripts, organizational records, personal papers, textiles, music, movies, posters, and ephemera… “Long before shifting his collection to the University, Jean-Nickolaus Tretter would take advantage of the Twin Cities Pride celebration to increase public and community awareness of GLBT history. He would bring displays from his collection to Pride, in the early years displaying items in a tent. Later, the Pride Committee installed the display in the History Pavilion in the park that hosts the festival. In 2012, in honor of Jean’s retirement, the Pride Committee renamed the pavilion the JeanNickolaus Tretter History Pavilion and we welcomed over 2,000 visitors during Pride weekend. “Over the years, the display has grown…The full exhibit is two dozen panels, each of which covers an element of GLBT history…Each panel provides a glimpse into GLBT past and important moments that shape events today. Some people who see the panels may want to explore the archives to dig deeper. Others may leave happy with the knowledge that the vibrant and dynamic history of the GLBT community is being preserved for future generations. Hopefully everyone will take away an appreciation for those who have come before and fought for equality and civil rights.”


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Pride Family Picnic Genesee Valley Park 1pm – 7pm

Come enjoy a relaxing day at the park with your family. Picnic with games, vendors, food, and more. Admission with Food and Beer Tokens: $20 in adv, $25 at the gate Admission with Food Only: $15 in adv, $20 at the gate Admission only: $10 in adv, $15 at the gate Children under 12 FREE; Kiddy Plates $5


I pulled my seven-year-old daughter in a wagon in the Rochester Pride Parade, surprised that the only thing I found offensive was the protesters, who targeted me as the parent of a young child and screamed some ungodly things through their bullhorns, I was thankful that my daughter was too young to understand the meaning of “sodomize the children.” When the parade was over, I watched the festival from outside the gate, not sure if my daughter and I would be welcome. Fast-forward to 2007. I am now employed as the Outreach Coordinator at the Gay Alliance. One day I am out at a work lunch with a transman and two lesbians. At the restaurant we spot a Gay Alliance board member and we invite him to join us, but he excuses himself, stating that he is having lunch with his wife. “His wife?” one of the lesbians says. “I thought he was family.” I remember being shocked and angered at the comment. A dedicated Gay Alliance board member and ally was not considered family?

My first Pride ever wa sin 2004 and I was definitely not “family.” I was a newbie to the LGBT community, a relatively clueless cisgender, straight person just beginning to understand how much need to be done What this meant, of course, was that despite and what I could contribute to the fight for my three years of work fighting for LGBT LGBT equality. equality, I was not family either.

Today, the Gay Alliance and the Rochester Pride Picnic are 40 years old! It is our Ruby Anniversary and the Rochester Pride Theme is “There’s No Place Like Pride,” inspired by the fabulous film The Wizard of Oz. For many years not I have been the Gay Alliance Volunteer Coordinator, so I will be there, no doubt dressed up like the wicked witch or a flying monkey, running around and feeling very much a part of this amazing community. I look back at my decade-long journey from outsider looking in to becoming an integral part of the adventure, and I realize that Pride has never been about exclusion or individual identities. It’s about our commonality, our strengths, our unity and our vision for the future. Somehow, without even realizing when it happened, I have become family. Like Dorothy, I had the power within me all along. Please come and join us for Rochester Pride and be a part of our family. You can see the Rainbow Riders kick off our opening Flag Raising ceremony, cheer at the ROC Pride Games Gay Hockey tournament, watch the Pride Parade march down Park Avenue, join us for our all day Pride Festival, and help us celebrate the 40th Rochester Pride Picnic! So grab your ruby slippers, tap your heels together three times and say, “There’s no place like Pride!”


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2013 Rochester Gay Pride Guide