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I am a best friend, an advocate, and an entrepreneur. And I am living with HIV. TM

TM

Kennedy (left) has lived with HIV since 2010.

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THECONTENTS COVER STORIES AND FEATURES

16 INVOLUNTARY BATTLEGROUND Heroes In Our Struggle For Equality

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18 MODELS OF PRIDE LifeWorks Inspires Youth To Make A Change

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24 BACK ON BOARD Olympic Gold Diving Champion Greg Louganis 28 COMING OUT TRANS Zinnia Jones On Living True To Yourself

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32 THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT LGBT Adoption: Creating Families 38 DOCTOR OF ALL TRADES Dr. Jeffrey Olson On “Freeze Fat”

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32

40 WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? Truly Intimate Healthy Relationships 42 PORTRAIT OF JASON Controversial Film Gets Second Chance

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40

THE DEPARTMENTS

8

THE EDITOR World AIDS Day

43

THE CONTRIBUTORS Writers In This Issue

THE CITY Homeless Youth Relocated

THE BODY Immune Enhancing Diet

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20

THE ROSTOW REPORT Beer For Lesbians

44

THE CALENDAR Center’s Anniversary Gala

11

THE LETTERS Kudos To Cruz

22

45

12

THE STATE Lawsuit Against “Ex-Gay” Ban

THE MEDIA Evan Peters, Matt Bomer

THE RESOURCES Support Groups, Workshops

30

THE EPIDEMIC New HIV Strategy

46

THE FINAL FIGHT Bad Judge

6 T H E F I GH T | N O V E MBER 2012

ON THE COVER PHOTO BY Bradford Rogne

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14


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THEEDITOR

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stanford Altamirano MANAGING EDITOR Mark Ariel ART DIRECTOR Nadeen Torio

T

he Center for Disease Control estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S.

One in five (20%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection.

MARKETING CONSULTANTS Lisa Radamaker John Michael Gamban Stephen Marquez SOCIAL MEDIA Tim Kreslake WEBMASTER Nadeen Torio

Gay and bisexual men of all races are the most severely affected by HIV. Every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV. New infections continue at far too high a level, with approximately 50,000 Americans becoming infected with HIV each year. Many HIV+ people do not have symptoms. Often people only begin to feel sick when they progress towards AIDS As early as 2-4 weeks after exposure to HIV people can experience ARS (AIDS Related Symptoms), often described as the “worst flu ever.”

Every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV. After the initial infection the virus becomes less active in the body. This period can last up to 10+ years.

GET THE FIGHT AT HOME—FREE OF CHARGE! For a free first class mailed subscription to THE FIGHT (sorry, California residents only) email your address to: mark@thefightmag.com If you would like to offer THE FIGHT at your location, please call (323) 297-4001

PUBLISHER Third Step, Inc. DISTRIBUTION Pride In Media The Fight Magazine is published monthly by Third Step, Inc. 611 South Catalina Street, Suite 307 Los Angeles, CA 90005 Telephone (323) 297-4001 Fax (213) 281-9648 Email info@TheFightMag.com

THE FIGHT MAGAZINE LEGAL CAVEATS

When HIV infection progresses to AIDS, many people begin to suffer from fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, night sweats, and even wasting syndrome at late stages. Many of the signs and symptoms of AIDS come from opportunistic infections, which occur in patients with a damaged immune system. Know the facts. Visit www.aids.gov.

STANFORD ALTAMIRANO Editor-In-Chief

By listing in The Fight Magazine, advertisers acknowledge that they do business in the spirit of cooperation, fairness and service, maintaining a high level of integrity and responsibility. Providers of products or services are fully and solely responsible for providing same as advertised. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for improper or negligent business practices by advertisers. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisements in The Fight Magazine. Publisher assumes no liability for safe-keeping or return of unsolicited art, manuscripts or other materials. The Fight Magazine reserves the right to edit all material for clarity, length and content. All contents © 2012 Third Step Inc. All rights reserved. Content may be reproduced with permission. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained anywhere in this magazine and reserves the right to cancel or refuse advertising at publisher’s discretion.

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THECONTRIBUTORS ZINNIA JONES

HENRY CAMPAGNA

Zinnia Jones is an atheist activist, writer, and video blogger focusing on the impact of religious belief, political follies, and LGBTQ rights. Since 2008 her videos have been viewed over 7 million times. You can reach her on Twitter @Zjemptv. Her YouTube channel is at www.zinniajones.com.

Henry Campagna recently received a M.A. in Clinical Psychology in the LGBT Specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA). He presently works as the Program Coordinator for both AULA’s LGBT Specialization and Colors.

PAULO MURILLO West Hollywood resident Paulo Murillo has been writing for gay media for over twelve years. He got his start writing a biweekly column called “Luv Ya, Mean It” for FAB! Newspaper. Visit his website at thehissfit.com, or friend him on Facebook.

1 0 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

Thomas Mondragon is a professor at Antioch University Los Angeles’ LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology, providing students the skills needed for LGBT affirmative psychotherapeutic practice. He can be reached at: (310) 779-3113 or via email: tjmondragon@mac.com

ANN ROSTOW Ann Rostow writes news analysis columns for THE FIGHT and other gay publications across the country. For weekly LGBT News updates, visit her blog at: annrostow.blogspot. com. Ann can be reached at: arostow@aol.com. THOMAS MONDRAGON, LMFT West Hollywood based psychotherapist

JAMES GUAY, LMFT James Guay is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#mfc39252). He works primarily with individuals and couples interested in embracing their lives anew. For more details about James Guay’s background and specialties visit: www.jamestherapy.com or call 310-405-0840.


THELETTERS LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Dear Editor, Oh. My. God. I love, love, love Willam Belli!!! Thank you for the awesome interview you did with him (“Belli Up,” Issue 21). Willam is so right when he said that “a gay man who dislikes drag queens probably stems from not being secure with himself.” People just need to loosen up and have a little fun. I also absolutely loved the hilarious video spoof he posted on Chick Fil-A. Willam is a great actor and entertainer. I hope he gets more recognition. It would be great to see him back on Drag Race. S. Therence, via the internet

NOT EMBARRASSED Dear Editor, It is great to see a magazine that has serious articles that affect our gay community. And one that has managed to keep “escort/ massage” ads out. I have the current and past two issues proudly displayed on my coffee table. Not embarrassed when my straight friends pick those up to view. Thank you! Rodger Torres, Arcadia

KUDOS TO CRUZ Dear Editor, Kudos to Orlando Cruz for coming out (“Respect,” Issue 21). Boxing is the most macho of sports. It took a lot of guts for him to reveal his true identity. He is a true role model. I hope that other gay boxers out there will follow in his footsteps. Ben Delgado, via the internet

ABANDON HOMOSEXUALITY Dear Editor, Overcoming homosexuality is definitely possible for those who wish to abandon homosexuality, and the testimonies of ex-homosexuals attest to this matter. Today people still report overcoming homosexuality and becoming heterosexuals or celibate through their Christian faith. This is really not surprising since Christian faith has shown itself to be effective in combating drug addiction. Name Withheld, via the internet

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THESTATE

GOV. JERRY BROWN

LAWSUIT CHALLENGES BAN ON “EX-GAY THERAPY”

A

Christian legal group has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new California law that bars a controversial therapy aimed at reversing homosexuality from being used on children and teens, calling it a violation of privacy and free speech rights, Reuters reports. CA Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban into law last month, making the nation's most populous state the first to ban so-called conversion therapy among youth. Experts say the therapy can psychologically harm gay and lesbian youth. "This legislation is an outrageous violation of the civil rights of youth, of parents and of licensed counselors, including clergy who are licensed counselors," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which filed the suit last month for a student who underwent the therapy and two counselors. "What we're advocating is for all to have the freedom and liberty to seek the counseling that meets their needs," Dacus told Reuters by telephone.

Enactment of the law marked a major victory for LGBT advocates who say the treatment, also called reparative therapy, has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder. 1 2 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

SENATOR TED LIEU

The measure prohibits therapists from performing sexual-orientation change counseling with children and teens under 18 and was supported by the California Psychological Association and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, among others. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Ted Lieu, a Democrat from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, called the lawsuit frivolous. "Under the plaintiffs' argument, the First Amendment would shield therapists and psychiatrists from medical malpractice and psychological-abuse claims simply because they use speech in practicing their medicine. That is a novel and frivolous view of the First Amendment," he said. The suit says the law violates numerous provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including the right to privacy, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. "The statute involves government intrusion into an intimate zone of privacy," the suit says, adding that one of the plaintiffs, Dr. Anthony Duk, frequently treats patients with a combination of counseling and prescription drugs, using the medication to help his clients control their sex drives. Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, derided the lawsuit and said she would work with the state attorney general's office to defend the law, which is scheduled to take effect in January. "It's a series of very artful dodges and red herrings and has really zero merit,"

KATE KENDELL, NCLR

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, derided the lawsuit and said she would work with the state attorney general’s office to defend the law, which is scheduled to take effect in January. she told Reuters. "This is a law that protects minors from a practice regarded by every mainstream mental health organization as harmful, damaging and without any basis in scientific fact." Representatives of the attorney general were not immediately available for comment. Meanwhile, another Christian group said it also planned to file a suit to block the law. Mat Staver of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel said his group planned to sue the state on behalf of counselors as well as two parents and their minor children who are currently undergoing the therapy in California. "This new law has just gone way beyond common sense," Staver told Reuters. "Counselors cannot counsel minors about reducing or eliminating same-sex attraction even if the client is asking for this counseling." Dr. Robert Spitzer, the psychiatrist who pioneered the treatment, has since renounced it and has apologized to the gay and lesbian community. n


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THECITY CENTER CEO LORRI L. JEAN

programs, we're fighting to make the world better for young LGBT people so that future generations don't face the same struggles," said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean.

HATE CRIMES ON THE RISE

LAUSD, CENTER, SCHOOL SAFETY INITIATIVE

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he L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have joined forces to prevent youth suicides, combat bullying, and make life better for LGBT students. At a press conference last month Center CEO Lorri L. Jean and LAUSD Board of Education President Monica Garcia spoke about the importance of Project SPIN (Suicide Prevention Intervention Now), the largest initiative of its kind with more than 20 partnering agencies. "For too many young LGBT people, the ringing of the school bell connotes suffering instead of learning," Jean said. "By collaborating with LAUSD, which includes 1,160 schools and more than 664,000 students, we're working to change the often intolerant, bullying culture of schools so that all kids feel safe." To learn more about Project SPIN, or to request training, visit projectspin.org.

HOMELESS YOUTH SERVICES RELOCATED

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he L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center moved all the services that it previously provided for homeless LGBT youth at its Jeff Griffith Youth Center to the second floor of its new Highland Annex facility at 1220 N. Highland Ave., just four blocks east of the former youth center, last month. The larger 12,675-square foot Youth Center on Highland provides space for 20 emergency overnight beds and room to care for even more people (ages 12-24) with services and support that include three meals/day, clothing, showers, counseling, a GED preparation program, employment assistance and much more. "Through our advocacy and many youth

1 4 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

XIAOGANG WEI

FROM LOS ANGELES TO CHINA, WITH LOVE

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he iconic Great Wall of China was the site for the first AIDS walk in the world's most populous country last month, raising approximately $24,000, with support from L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. More than 100 people hiked for four to five hours in the China AIDS Walk, the highestprofile in a series of events designed to fight HIV/AIDS and the stigma associated with the disease. Activists in China, including lead organizer Xiaogang Wei, graduates of the Center's Emerging Leaders Program, were inspired to create the walk by one of the Center's fundraising events. To make a donation in support of HIV/AIDS services in China, visit lagaycenter.org/brian.

T

he Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) released last month its annual examination of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County. The findings for 2011 show that hate crimes overall rose from 427 to 489, a 15 percent increase over the previous year after falling dramatically the three previous years in a row, reports WeHo News at wehonews.com. All major categories of hate crimes increased: both race/ethnicity/national origin crimes and sexual orientation crimes rose 13 percent, and religion-motivated crimes grew by 24 percent. "The 15 percent increase in hate crime is cause for concern, since it exceeds the increase in crime in general," LACCHR Executive Director Robin Toma commented, reported WeHo News. "But we are encouraged that across the board hate crimes based on race, sexual orientation, and religion are still among the lowest reported in the past two decades."


NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 15


INVOLUNTARY B

DECEMBER 1ST MARKS WORLD AIDS DAY. LET’S HONOR THE MEMORIES OF OUR HEROES IN OUR STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY BY CONTINUING TO VALUE OUR GAY-SELVES. LET’S LOVE AND CARE FOR OUR HIV POSITIVE BROTHERS AND SISTERS BY SUPPORTING THEIR LIVES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLD. BY JAMES GUAY, LMFT

1984.

Cyndi Lauper’s, “Time after Time,” becomes a top 40’s hit. Michael Jackson’s hair gets burned in a Pepsi commercial accident. Apple unveils its revolutionary Macintosh personal computer. Vanessa Williams surrenders her crown after her Penthouse magazine nude photos are discovered. Ronald Reagan still hasn’t uttered the word “AIDS” publicly and doesn’t do so until 1987 at the end of his second term. In 8th grade—as a shy, sensitive, and insecure kid—I remember the fear of walking along the long rows of metal lockers of my fundamentalist Christian school, Los Angeles Baptist High School, trying so desperately to hide my gay-self. I recall the misery of lunchtime as I naturally preferred the company of girls, but didn’t want to be the target of the boys who found it odd. There was such torment being a young gay boy when I was being sexually harassed and bullied in middle school. GOD’S WRATH And then there’s the turbulent topic of AIDS growing up. AIDS was 1 6 T H E F I GH T | N O V EM BER 2012

frequently used in those days as a weapon at school and church to perpetuate religious homophobia. I heard repeatedly that this was God’s wrath on the “homosexual lifestyle”—not only were gay and lesbian people going to hell... but we were sentenced to die a painful debilitating death as punishment from God. In the context of this anti-gay environment, my not yet formed gay activist self chose to follow the development of AIDS as a current event requirement for my social studies class. One of the first things I noticed during that time with so many AIDS-related deaths, and, what still impresses me to this day, is how the gay community came together to care for their own. During Reagan’s miserably insufficient response, the Pat Buchannan’s and Jerry Falwell’s of the world were venomous in their attacks of queers, but gay men and lesbian women still rallied to care for their sick and dying. They admirably cared for their brothers, lovers and friends often when their own families rejected them. AIDS increased the stigma even further against our communities and in so doing required an intense response in order to survive. Loved ones were in pain and


BATTLEGROUND

dying. Fear abounded. Much was unknown. But fighting AIDS became our community’s involuntary battleground where we learned to demand that our basic human rights be recognized and valued. The queer community used their rage at the lack of adequate response to AIDS, to further organize.

Memorial Quilt conceived of by activist Clive Jones in 1985 being a powerful example. We were determined and perseverant. NEW GROWTH In the 1990’s, after embracing my gay identity, I was eager to contribute in any way

During Reagan’s miserably insufficient response, the Pat Buchannan’s and Jerry Falwell’s of the world were venomous in their attacks of queers, but gay men and lesbian women still rallied to care for their sick and dying. They admirably cared for their brothers, lovers and friends often when their own families rejected them. We became caregivers, nurses, doctors, counselors, scientists, researchers and political activists: 1. AIDS Coalition to Release Power - ACT Up—was created to address the social/political neglect and bullying of gay men. 2. AIDS Health Projects, Clinics and Foundations were formed all over the country to meet the physical, financial and emotional needs of our community. 3. Artistic expression was used as a transformative agent for change—the AIDS

that I could. I was a new counselor working on the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hotline, facilitating a support group at the UCSF AIDS Health Project, and providing care for those in a Residential Community living with AIDS. One of my most powerful experiences during this time was caring for a client—a former gay activist—in the hospital who was unresponsive to new protease inhibitors. While he had wasting syndrome and knew he was dying, his sense of humor prevailed. One time I walked in and saw Mark Leno

massaging his feet to ease his pain and provide some comfort. Being there at the end of his life was a gift. It is imperative that we continue to do our part in caring for each other. We often have needs that go unmet by our families of origin. Our chosen families and community are all the more important in addressing these needs. In November comes colder windier weather where leaves shed and provide nutrients to the ground for new growth. It is a season of transition from summer to winter, less daylight and often a time for internal reflection. December 1st marks World AIDS Day. While in the United States HIV is more of a manageable chronic disease, let us remember those whose lives have been affected by this. Let’s honor the memories of our heroes in our struggle for equality by continuing to value our gay-selves. Let’s love and care for our HIV positive brothers and sisters by supporting their lives and contributions to the world. Let’s protect and value each other by having fun. Judge less, love more. n James Guay is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#mfc39252) who provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples and groups at his Beverly Hills office. www.LivingMoreFully.com, www.Facebook.com/JamesTherapy, 310-405-0840. NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 17


MODELS OF PRIDE THE LA GAY & LESBIAN CENTER’S LIFEWORKS INSPIRES YOUTH TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES AND IN THE WORLD AROUND THEM.

Models of Pride and LifeWorks Director Michael Ferrera.

BY HENRY CAMPAGNA

O

ver one thousand LGBT and straight-ally youth came together last month in an all-day celebration of who they are at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s annual Models of Pride conference, the largest of its kind for LGBTQA youth. LifeWorks, the Center’s youth development and mentoring program, hosted the free event at USC, attracting 1,150 LGBT and straight-ally youth and 130 of their parents. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the conference, which included adult and youth led workshops and presentations, movie screenings, HIV testing, food and entertainment, including surprise performances by dance crew Fanny Pak, comic Jason Stuart, jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, singer/actress Sylvia MacCalla, and movie director/ choreographer Adam Shankman. The basis behind LifeWorks and Models of Pride is the idea that “It takes a village.” In an interview with THE FIGHT, Models of Pride and LifeWorks Director Michael Ferrera stated, “Because of the election this year, we decided to do a theme for the first time of “Making It Better Together,” firstly to inspire youth to believe that they can make it better and can make a change in their lives and in the world around them and secondly to also say we’re in this together. When we say together, it’s not just LGBT people; we had about 25% straight allies at the conference. The together

means that it’s all of us are fighting this fight, so we all need to make it better together.” Ferrera, who has been working with youth for over 16 years, keeps pictures of youth who committed suicide on a wall above his desk to remind him of the importance of the work he does. “Those kids are still out there. Those kids are still isolated, even in LA.” LifeWorks is a safe place where youth “can be themselves fully and be celebrated for that. We’re fighting the absence of hope,” explained Ferrera, stating that, “if a youth has one significant supportive adult role model in their life and 5 peer connections, all of those risk factors that we hear about for LGBT youth are almost completely obliterated.” “Inauthenticity breeds bad things,” states Ferrera. “If you’re being inauthentic, you’re feeling shame, and if you’re feeling shame, you can’t have selfesteem or have honest relationships with other people. So you get isolated; isolation leads to depression and hopelessness, which leads to suicidality. If you’re authentic, you have pride, self-esteem, confidence, great relationships, and you feel proud of yourself. You feel comfortable with yourself and in your skin. You’re able to say, this is who I am.” n

“We had 25% straight allies at the conference... all of us are fighting this fight, we all need to make it better together.”

1 8 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

For more information on LifeWorks please visit: lifeworksla.org.



THEROSTOW REPORT

THE TANGLED WOODS OF SUPREME COURT SPECULATION

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ere's a switch. We have some actual news to guide us in our idle rambles through the tangled woods of Supreme Court speculation. This month, instead of stringing together our usual succession of "what ifs," we find ourselves in a lovely clearing thanks to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Oh, and we also have adorable forest animals gathered around, eyes wide and ears perked for the new developments. On October 18, the Second Circuit issued an impressive ruling in our favor, extraordinary for its speed and breadth. Just a few weeks after hearing oral arguments in the case of New York widow Edith Windsor, the 2-1 appellate panel struck Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. In doing so, the panel took the historic step of ruling that sexual orientation discrimination should be evaluated with heightened legal scrutiny, a standard that forces the state to show that a law is substantially related to an important public interest. Up until now, gay rights cases at the federal appellate level have always been judged under the lowest standard of legal review, a test as easy as pie that requires the plaintiff to prove that a law bears no rational relationship to any legitimate state interest. It's the difference between getting a GED or graduating from Yale. Can I add that I've never actually made a pie, which does not seem easy at all. I've been particularly intimidated by the idea of taking cold chunks of butter and shoving them into a mess of flour with a wooden spoon. How do people do that? Please do not answer this question unless you have a secret, easy-as-pie, technique to share. Driven by my earlier metaphor, I must pause while the squirrels and bunnies clap their paws together and squeak with excitement. The bluebirds emit a happy caw and the fawns do a little dance. Settle down everyone, there's more! On Friday, October 26, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to shelve the other DOMA appeal petitions and accept review of the Windsor case. As you may recall, the High Court is now sitting on two DOMA cases out of Massachusetts which have

2 0 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

BY ANN ROSTOW

already traveled through the First Circuit. They have also been asked to take review of two other DOMA suits that have yet to be heard by the intermediate courts (Golinski in California and Pedersen in Connecticut). Now, Windsor has finished its lower court run and stands ready to become the main vehicle for the High Court's definitive evaluation of the horrid anti-marriage law. Court observers think the justices will wait until their November 20 conference before deciding which DOMA case or cases to review. They may also decide whether or not to review the Prop 8 ruling at that meeting.

DON'T BITE ME, BRO My news list this month includes the cryptic entry: "nose inmate," a reference to a gay prisoner who got into a fight with a homophobe who chomped off his nose. Man alive! I'd look up the details for you but I think this item transcends the general theme of antigay violence. First of all, let's just stipulate that weird and horrible things happen to people in prison. You get stabbed with sharpened toothbrushes, sexually assaulted in the shower, sold to the guy in the next cell for a pack of smokes. Whatever. It seems like a hellish place. But second, anyone who would bite off someone's nose is a psychopath. Does it matter if a psychopath is also "antigay?" Isn't that sort of like objecting to the anti-Semitic views of a serial killer? I also have a story about a Christian man who went "undercover" into the gay community and emerged (cue violins) with a deeper understanding of the trials and tribulations we take for granted. Oh, and a Greek TV censor killed a same-sex kiss on Downtown Abbey. Hmmm. Even in the midst of economic, financial and societal crisis, we can still drill down to unearth a nugget of GLBT news out of Greece. Also, why haven't we seen this same-sex kiss? I'll check. Turns out we did see it, although I missed the episode. Apparently Thomas, the scheming footman, kissed a visiting duke.

THE NAUGHTY NIECE AND THE JAPANESE COMIC BOOK Let's talk about the 10-year-old girl in

Burien, Washington, who checked out a Japanese comic book from the local public library. Her uncle was appalled to discover that the publication featured detailed scenes of rough gay sex. (Guys who would like to follow up on this story can search for "Hero Heel" by Makoto Tateno, second volume.) Honestly, I think society should make it extremely difficult for 10-year-olds to obtain graphic pornography, whether it be gay or straight. It's reprehensible for a public library to isolate a gay family book like "Heather has Two Mommies," a book that was expressly written for kids. But it's quite reasonable to tuck volume two of "Hero Heel" in the back shelves of the adults-only Manga porn section. C'mon. If the pre-pubescent set really wants to get their hands on this sort of content, let them sneak around like every other generation.

FOLLOW ME FOLLOW, DOWN TO THE HOLLOW In other news about people's uncles, I gather that Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Poodle is gay and enjoys going "hog wallowing" with his husband of many years. Does that activity refer to riding Harleys over wet country? Or do he and his man like to wrestle in the pig pen? Either way, we applaud Poodle and his Boo for smashing the glass ceiling of gay male stereotypes. And in a totally unrelated but interesting observation, I'd like to point out that Paul Ryan has "sanpaku" eyes, the kind that show a lot of white underneath the iris. According to ancient lore, the characteristic presages an untimely death. Both John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were afflicted, as were Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. I'm also reading that people with sanpaku eyes may be in poor physical or mental health and/or may be under a great deal of stress.

KOREAN EUNUCHS AND PHILOSOPHICAL DILEMMAS So, here's a philosophical dilemma. I recently encountered a scientific paper that


Let’s talk about the 10-year-old girl in Burien, Washington, who checked out a Japanese comic book from the local public library. Her uncle was appalled to discover that the publication featured detailed scenes of rough gay sex... might have had harsher words for the outrageous proposition, although $65 million is a lot of money. Politics aside, I'm thinking I might come up with a "win win" scenario for one of my best gay male buddies if I found myself in these women's shoes. It depends on the strings attached to Dad's checkbook.

BEER FOR LESBIANS, WINE FOR GAYS

said men without testicles live longer than intact males. According to a study of Korean eunuchs, the difference could amount to an extra decade or so. Wow! What do you say? Given the number of commercials for male hormones I encounter these days, I'm guessing you'd give up a few years rather than suffer from "low T" or an androgen deficit. More importantly, you have to wonder how long you'd want to live in the first place if you were a Korean eunuch.

SHOW HIM THE MONEY Moving on, did you hear about the Hong Kong real estate tycoon who offered $65 million to any man who can convince his 30-something lesbian daughter to marry? The daughter is in a committed relationship, and held a ceremony in Paris with her partner not so long ago. The daughter graciously called her father's marriage bounty a "distraction." Some of us

Finally, a survey by Target 10, whatever that is, informs us that the favorite alcoholic beverage of lesbians is beer, while gay men prefer wine. Lesbians' second choice was wine, followed by vodka, while the guys put vodka in second place, followed by beer. Gays of both genders drank more than their straight counterparts, which is as it should be. Ladies! Wine transcends the category of alcoholic beverage. A delicious glass of wine creates a state of mind, not a buzz. There's the transcendent moment in a late summer afternoon when you pour yourself a glass of cold French rose and watch the day fall away. There's the crisp flint of a Sancerre with grilled shrimp or a goat cheese salad. The satisfaction of a good red table wine and a rare steak. The dinner party that stretches into the wee hours over a range of bottles that may horrify you when you collect them the next morning, but seemed perfect at the time. Beer is for the golf course and the ballpark. Wine is a part of life itself. n NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 21


THEMEDIA SCISSOR SISTERS: WE’LL BE BACK The Scissor Sisters are going on indefinite hiatus, they told fans at a London concert last month, but they promise they’ll be back. Toward the end of their London show gay front man Jake Shears told the audience, “This will be the last time we will play in London for quite some time.” Shears revealed on the band’s Facebook page that, “we’re not going away

DEGENERES AWARDED MARK TWAIN PRIZE Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last month at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C., reports shewired.com. Many stars turned out for the event, including, DeGeneres’ wife, Portia De Rossi, and fellow out funny ladies Jane Lynch and Lily Tomlin, herself a recipient of the award in 2003. Several of those stars paid tribute to DeGeneres’ groundbreaking 1997 coming out, when her character on the titular sitcom came out as lesbian.

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A&F JET RULES: BOXERS, NOT BRIEFS The actors and models who worked on an Abercrombie & Fitch Gulfstream G550 jet had steadfast rules for serving the company’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Jeffries, reports BLOOMBERG at www.bloomberg.com. Clean-shaven males had to wear a uniform of A&F polo shirts, boxer briefs, flip-flops and a “spritz” of the retailer’s cologne, according to an “Aircraft Standards” manual, disclosed in an age-discrimination lawsuit brought by a former pilot. Among the 40-plus pages of detailed instructions: black gloves had to be used when handling silverware and white gloves to lay the table, the song “Take Me Home” had to be played when passengers entered the cabin on return flights and Jeffries’s dogs—identified in the document as Ruby, Trouble and Sammy—had different seating arrangements based on which ones were traveling.

BOMER’S SUPERMAN MISHAP Matt Bomer lost out on a chance to play Superman because he’s gay, at least according to author Jackie Collins, reports The Advocate. Collins told GAYDAR RADIO that Bomer, the White Collar star who came out this year, was being considered in 2003 for the lead in Superman Flyby, a film that was ultimately never made. Bomer “had not come out of the closet, but people in the know knew he was gay,” Collins says. “The reason he didn’t get cast was because he was gay.” Collins did not reveal her source for the information.

EVAN PETERS: A LOT OF BUTT American Horror Story: Asylum’s Evan Peters traded in last season’s S/M rubber suit for even less clothing, reports The Advocate. Playing Kit, the guy who may or may not have been probed by aliens who killed his wife, on Ryan Murphy’s sexy creepfest, Peters told VULTURE at www.vulture.com that he didn’t get any warning about the nudity from Murphy or the crew. “No, you pretty much get the script and find out that way. It’s a lot of butt. I got scared. Unless I’m around certain people, I don’t like to be naked.”



BACK ON BOARD OLYMPIC GOLD DIVING CHAMPION GREG LOUGANIS ON GROWING UP GAY, DISCLOSING HIS HIV POSITIVE STATUS TO THE WORLD AND ROOTING FOR THE UNDERDOG.

G

BY PAULO MURILLO | PHOTO BY KEN GROVE

reg Louganis is considered to be one of the greatest divers in history. He is recognized as the only male to win gold medals on the 3 meter springboard and 10 meter platform in consecutive Olympic Games for 1984 and 1988. Most people know him as an author, actor, LGBTQ human rights activist, HIV/AIDS advocate and dog trainer. He is also known as the guy that hit his head on a diving board back in the 80s—a thud that was heard around the world. No matter what resonates when you hear the name, there's no denying his story, which inspires the human spirit to this day. This is the guy that fell off the horse and climbed back on to walk away with the gold. Surprisingly shy in person, with a disarming boyish smile, Louganis sat with THE FIGHT to discuss what it was like growing up gay, coming out of the closet, disclosing his HIV positive status to the world and what drove him to get back on the board after that 1984 incident. DID YOU REALLY START TAKING DANCE, ACROBATICS AND GYMNASTICS CLASSES AT 18 MONTHS OLD? Yes. My sister was taking classes. I got bored in the waiting rooms, so I used to sneak in to the classrooms and imitate what they were doing. My first performance on stage was when I was three. DID DANCE INSTILL A COMPETITIVE EDGE IN YOU AT AN EARLY AGE? It was more about performing than it was competing. That’s how I viewed my diving as well. There's that drive to win, sure, but my early diving career came from a very desperate place. I didn't feel like my dad was supportive of the dance, acrobatics and gymnastics. It was odd when he started taking an interest in diving. I started competing when I was 9. I think he was at a point in his life where income afforded him more time, but my assumption was that he thought diving was more masculine.

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“I knew I was different growing up. I’m sure the kids in school recognized it before I did. I was called all the names: sissy boy, retard, faggot and they would call me a nigger. I have a Samoan background, so I was darker than most of the kids in my school. I did what everybody else did. I dated the girls and went to prom.”

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WHAT WAS YOUR COMING OUT PROCESS LIKE? I knew I was different growing up. I’m sure the kids in school recognized it before I did. I was called all the names: sissy boy, retard, faggot and they would call me a nigger. I have a Samoan background, so I was darker than most of the kids in my school. I did what everybody else did. I dated the girls and went to prom. It wasn't until college really that I came out to myself. I went to the University of Miami to get as far away from home as I could get. I was 18 when I realized it was okay. My mom and dad found out when I was 21 or 22. I transferred back to UC Irvine and I got involved with a guy named Kevin. We were together for almost 3 years. It was a young, volatile relationship. It seemed like at that point in his life it was all about reconnecting with family, so it was a byproduct that led me to come out to my family. When we broke up, I was loading my things into a van and I told my mom, ‘mom, Kevin and I were more than just roommates, we were lovers.’ And she said, ‘I know son. What's for dinner?’ It was so casual. I copped out with dad. I told her, ‘You tell dad.’

“My doctor told me that I should approach my medication the same way I would my 8 o’clock workout... So I adapted that type of thinking into taking my meds. It was just an extension of my responsibilities as an athlete. I really focused on my diving. I had a job to do and I was successful at it. I never made HIV my primary career.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMING OUT TO THE WORLD AS BEING HIV POSITIVE? It was a process. I came out publicly at the Gay Games almost a year before my book came out [best-selling autobiography “Breaking the Surface” co-written with Eric Marcus]. We knew it was happening. It turns out that Random House had Eric sign a contract stating that he would have the book done in a year because they were afraid I was going to die. I held that secret for a long time. I was diagnosed in 88 and then I came out publicly about my HIV in 95. I told my dad before I told my mom. He had just been diagnosed with cancer in 89. He died in 91.

AT WHAT POINT DID YOU BECOME AN HIV/AIDS ACTIVIST? I don’t view myself that way. There are many organizations that I appear for because I can relate to them. I spoke on bullying recently at the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center. They have a lot of interactions with kids about bullying and building empathy and respect. I make appearances if it's relatable to me—be it gay, HIV/AIDS, or bullying. Also what's important to me is getting past that and finding a solution. My solution may not be other people's solution, but at least moving in that direction rather than living as a victim.

DID YOUR DRIVE TO COMPETE IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES AFFECT HOW YOU APPROACHED BEING HIV POSITIVE? I think initially a certain amount of denial was healthy. I was supposed to take AZT every four hours, but I had trouble remembering. My doctor told me that I should approach my medication the same way I would my 8 o'clock workout. You have to show up. So I adapted that type of thinking into taking my meds. It was just an extension of my responsibilities as an athlete. I really focused on my diving. I had a job to do and I was successful at it. I never made HIV my primary career.

YOU WERE A MENTOR FOR THE 2012 OLYMPICS TEAM. WHAT DOES MENTORING ENTAIL? My primary focus was the Olympic hopefuls. I worked with a lot of the divers that were in the elite program. I also worked with some of the younger club divers. That was kind of neat. I asked just about all the athletes and coaches what their goals were and they all said it was to make it to the Olympics Team. And then what? I started getting them to train as if they were at the Olympics Games, because you have to practice very hard before you get there.

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WAS IT TOUGH COMPETING IN FRONT OF LARGE CROWDS WITH SO MUCH PRESS? Every experience is different. My focus could be so narrow that I could see every rivet of the board and the water and everything else was hazy. Other competitions such as 84, my focus was all over the place. I noticed Mayor Tom Bradley coming late, trying to find his seat. I was aware where my mom and dad were sitting. It was a more open experience. The trouble is trying to duplicate it. You have to be open and allow yourself the flexibility to be successful no matter what. DOES HITTING YOUR HEAD ON THAT DIVING BOARD STILL COME UP…LIKE IT'S COMING UP RIGHT NOW? It happened [smiles]. And it was really dramatic. If you have some type of emotional or visceral response to something, it kind of burns into your memory. What happened between me hitting the board and getting back on the board—that's really the story. I had to reach into something that was greater than myself. What came to mind was Ryan White, the boy who contracted HIV through common factors as a hemophiliac. I wanted to share my Olympic experience with him because we had become friends after People Magazine published his story. He became my inspiration after I hit my head. But also in stressful situations a lot of times it really takes humor to shake you out of the fear of the unknown. WAS IT A BLESSING IN DISGUISE? Yes it was. Going into that competition, I was the odds on favorite. It's human nature to root for the underdog. In that split second I became the underdog. It flipped that entire competition. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? I’d like to do more TV and film. I’m working on a web series called Old Dogs, New Tricks. I’m getting married to one of the main characters. I also have a documentary called “Back on the Boards.” We started that about a year and a half ago. Our hope is to have it circulating around the film festivals by next year. It would be the 25th anniversary of the 88 Olympic Games. It follows my life after the book. There’s this gap of people who know who I am. The cutoff age is 27 or older, but 27 or younger-they don’t know who the heck I am. Hopefully the documentary will change all that. n


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PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GAY OR IN LOVE, BUT WANTING TO LIVE AS ANOTHER GENDER? THEY MIGHT NOT EVEN REALIZE THAT THIS IS POSSIBLE, OR REAL, OR NOT LIKE SOMETHING YOU’D SEE ON JERRY SPRINGER. BY ZINNIA JONES

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t seems like every year since I’ve been on YouTube, there’s been some serious coming out going on. First, I came out as gay to my family, which is probably the simplest and most basic form of coming out. The next year, my best friend came out as lesbian to her family, including her husband at the time. The year after that, it turned out that we were much more than best friends, so I had to tell my family that I wasn’t so much “gay” as “whatever,” and that I’d be moving across the country to stay with her and her kids. And most recently, I came out as trans—as in stepmom, not stepdad.

most extraordinary relief when it turns out not to be a big deal at all, and you wonder why you waited so long to get it done. BEING COMFORTABLE I’ve usually come out incrementally instead of to everyone at once, because it feels like less of a single, enormous step, and it kind of snowballs in a way that makes it seem a little less scary as you come out to more and more people. It’s always helped to start with one person I trust, like a sibling, so that when I come out to more people, I can tell them about everyone else who

There’s that lengthy period of dread in the back of your mind as you keep putting it off, the point where you finally get sick of this and commit to getting it over with, the adrenaline-fueled anxiety leading up to it, and the heartpounding moment of uncertainty when you actually tell them and hope that they won’t freak out. At this point, I’m pretty sure I have the most understanding and supportive family in the world, or at least the most polite. And having run through pretty much the entire gauntlet of coming out, I can say it doesn’t necessarily get any easier. Sure, I have more experience with it now, and I don’t think my family can really be all that surprised anymore, but it’s still just as difficult as it’s always been. There’s that lengthy period of dread in the back of your mind as you keep putting it off, the point where you finally get sick of this and commit to getting it over with, the adrenaline-fueled anxiety leading up to it, and the heartpounding moment of uncertainty when you actually tell them and hope that they won’t freak out. And, if you’re lucky, there’s the

already knows, and hopefully it won’t seem like such a big “thing” to them either. I still haven’t come out to most of my extended family, but that’s because I don’t always know them very well and we haven’t seen each other in years, and I generally save the stress and anxiety of personally coming out for people who are really, really important to me. At the same time, I realize this information is no longer fully within my control once I start telling people, and everyone else could find out at any time if they go asking around or if someone decides to tell them. For me, being out is about being comfortable with that reality—after all, why out yourself if you don’t want to be out? Of course, coming out will be different for everyone depending on their circumstances.

Even for me, every time I’ve come out has been a unique experience. ANOTHER GENDER When I first came out as gay, there was the uncertainty of not knowing how my family would react to anything that had to do with the general LGBT cluster. And let’s just say that moving to Florida to live with a married woman and her kids can sound a lot more ominous than it actually is. But that really had nothing on coming out as trans, which actually required some explanation. Most people don’t fully understand what it means, and I had to gauge their knowledge and tailor the message accordingly. People know what it means to be gay or in love, but wanting to live as another gender? They might not even realize that this is possible, or real, or not like something you’d see on Jerry Springer. Ironically, coming out as trans was more of a formality than anything. Almost nothing had actually changed about me at all, except for how I identified. I’d been slowly coming out for the past few years without even realizing it. No one could really claim to be shocked, and everything went better than expected. I had already gotten there, and now it was just official. At the end of the day, I was still me, and everyone knew that. It’s easy to say this because it hasn’t ever gone poorly for me, but I’ve never regretted coming out. Not only was it a huge relief, but this is the truth of my life, and I believe it deserves to be shared with the people I care about. They’ve earned it. And I only hope that all of us can have someone in our lives who’s earned this invaluable trust: the trust that they’ll listen even if they don’t always understand, that they’ll see you as a human being first, and that they’ll love you just the same. Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: www.freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 29


THEEPIDEMIC

NEW STRATEGY FOR BATTLING HIV

HIV’S KNACK FOR MUTATING MAKES IT A TOUGH TARGET FOR DRUGS. BY SHIFTING THE FOCUS TO THE CELL, AWAY FROM THE VIRUS ITSELF, RESEARCHERS MAY FIND A NEW WAY TO TACKLE THE VIRUS

N

BY VICTOR MELAMED

ew research showing how the HIV virus targets “veterans” or memory T-cells could change how drugs are used to stop the virus, researchers say, reports ScienceDaily at www.sciencedaily.com.

system by organizing forces to fight off infection. The HIV virus hijacks helper T-cells. When helper T-cell numbers plummet, the body is vulnerable to disease. Not all helper T-cells are the same; some

Not all helper T-cells are the same; some are experienced ones called memory helper T-cells, and others, naive cells or “virgin” cells, haven’t encountered an infection. Researchers studied why HIV preferentially goes after memory helper T-cells, while shunning their close colleagues. “It’s a big breakthrough for us,” says Yuntao Wu, an author of the study and professor at the Mason-based National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. “I think this will impact the field.” Helper T-cells support the body’s immune 3 0 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

are experienced ones called memory helper T-cells, and others, naive cells or “virgin” cells, haven’t encountered an infection. Mason researchers studied why HIV preferentially goes after memory helper T-cells, while shunning their close colleagues. Memory

and naive T-cells appear similar. “In the body, HIV is able to kill most memory helper cells,” says Weifeng Wang, the study's main author. “We wanted to pursue what makes the difference between memory and naive T-cells on a molecular level.” Unlike naive helper T-cells, memory Tcells are on the go, and much more mobile. And it's that momentum that attracts the HIV virus and makes the memory cell vulnerable, says Wang. When a memory cell moves, inside the cell, it looks like a waterfall on the moving edge. “It’s called ‘treadmilling,’” Wu says. “The cytoskeleton or the cell’s supporting bone is acting like a muscle. The treadmilling of cytoskeleton pushes the cell to migrate. That’s how it pushes itself. In the past year we’ve been studying how HIV infects those memory cells. It has to go to the center, into the nucleus. It has to go past the cytoskeleton barriers to go into the center. For many years we didn’t understand how the virus could cross such a structure. It’s like a wall. It has to cross that wall.” HIV jumps over the wall by exploiting the cell’s treadmilling process, Wu says. “The HIV virus uses a receptor to attach to the cell for entry,” he says. “When the virus touches that receptor it’s like someone ringing the doorbell. That triggers a signal—someone comes out and opens the door. Now the HIV virus can start the treadmill to ‘walk’ along the cytoskeleton towards the center. If the virus goes to naive cells, it cannot do it. Naive cells aren’t sensitive enough. The cytoskeleton of these ‘virgin’ cells is different from the memory cells, and it is not easy for the virus to start the treadmilling process.” HIV’s ability to mutate makes it difficult for our body to control it. “It can mutate very fast,” Wu says. “You may have a lot of memory cell soldiers there but they are not able to recognize the HIV virus. They remember one guy, but this guy changes his face so they don’t remember him. That’s why our immune system is not effective against HIV. On top of that, the virus kills lots of your memory helper cells. Without sufficient help, your immune system is in complete dysfunction, and now you don't have an immune system.” HIV’s knack for mutating makes it a tough target for drugs, Wang says. By shifting the focus to the cell, away from the virus itself, researchers may find a new way to tackle the virus, he says. n


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THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

NOVEMBER IS “NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH,” A TIME TO FOCUS ON FINDING PERMANENT FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE. CALIFORNIA STATE LAWS SUPPORT THAT FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS AND FAMILIES MAY BE OF ANY RACE, ETHNICITY, RELIGION, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR CULTURE. 3 2 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012


BY MARK ARIEL

I

f you are considering adopting a child, you are in very good company! There are an estimated 2 million LGBT adults in the U.S. who want to parent children, many via adoption, reports The Human Rights Campaign at www.hrc.org. California state laws support that foster and adoptive parents and families may be of any race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or culture.

“In a world where so many children lack the basic comforts afforded by the stability of a safe, permanent home - including the secure knowledge that they are absolutely wanted and loved - LGBT people are the great untapped resource that foster and adoption agencies need to embrace.” RaiseAChild.US is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to encourage the LGBT community to build families of their own through fostering & adoption. They work with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Penny Lane Centers, Southern California Family Foster and Adoption Agency, and other free foster/adoption agencies. RaiseAChild.US campaigns recruit and support prospective LGBT parents while putting images of LGBT families into public spaces through PSAs, print media and outdoor advertising. Over the past 18 months, RaiseAChild. US has run three campaigns in Los Angeles, engaging over 500 prospective parents, with 400 attending recruitment events. One of their priorities is finding homes for self-identified LGBT youth. "In a recent survey, we learned that the two biggest obstacles our prospective parents felt in terms of fostering/ adopting older youth were mental health and educational/financial issues," says RaiseAChild.US Founder and President Rich Valen-

za. "Specifically, prospective parents worried about providing higher education when they did not have much time to save. RaiseAChild. US is working to gather information for parents and establish strategic alliances with other organizations to address these issues and provide a supportive structure for foster/ adoptive parents of LGBT youth." THE RIGHT PATH Los Angeles based Rich Valenzia's journey into the world of gay adoption began seven years ago. "I walked in to my first Pop Luck Club meeting with my two small foster children tightly grasping each index finger. I had just recently heard about the group. I was told that The Pop Luck Club is a non-profit organization of gay dads, prospective dads, and their families. At that time, I was trying to find my own footing and self-confidence in my new role as a freshly single, gay father of two," reveals Valencia in an interview with THE FIGHT. "To be honest, from the moment I walked in to that first Pop Luck Club meeting and saw all the gay dads and their families, I felt completely reassured. I knew that I was on the right path in life. I knew that I would soon find all the strength I needed to be a good father to these two innocent children that were signed over to my care." "Eventually," says Valencia, "I joined the Pop Luck Club board of directors and that's when I met John Ireland, his husband and family. It was immediately clear to me that John and I shared an affinity for the needs of those children who, through no fault of their own, ended up in an overburdened foster system. We also shared a passion for doing what we could to help other gay men realize their dream of fatherhood. It is tremendously rewarding for John and me to see the evolution that happens when members of our community open up their hearts to provide safe, loving and permanent homes for children of the foster care system." REACHING THE LGBT COMMUNITY "Just a few years back," reveals Valencia, "the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services invited me to represent the Pop Luck Club in monthly meetings that they lead as part of their new relationship with Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and their 'All Children - All Families' initiative. I adopted my kids through the County and donated to HRC many times so

“Many LGBT people share an inherent compassion, based on their own personal experiences, that can help them become terrific parents. This could be why studies show that LGBT parents are more willing to foster and adopt children with greater challenges.” I accepted their invitation to join the meetings. That was as little as I knew about the meetings or the invitation. For the first few months, I kept my mouth shut and listened. After about the fourth meeting, I called John and filled him in, 'So all of these foster and adoption agencies are all trying to reach the LGBT community. They seriously want to recruit from our community. Today, they asked me what I thought about proposals they had received to rent a booth in the center of the L.A. Pride Fair, or maybe sponsor a resource table at a lesbian biker ride.' 'What did you tell them,' John asked. 'I told them that if they really wanted to target and reach the segment of the LGBT community that is most likely interested in fostering and adopting, they would have to wait until next month for the presentation that you and I were going to make,' I said. 'What proposal is that?' he laughed. 'I'm not exactly sure, but we have four weeks to figure it out.'" "At the next meeting," says Valencia, "John and I stood up and pitched. We pitched a proposal that we believed would connect this pool of HRC 'All Children - All Families' certified agencies with the LGBT community that they were looking to recruit. Our proposal that was totally opposite from the way our community was handled during our Prop 8 battle. Instead of hiding our families, John and I suggested that we promote the face of adoption for same-sex parents. We proposed a multi-media campaign that would include photos of our Pop Luck Club friends, real gay families. Then we pitched the idea of flying these pictures on large banners hung on street light poles from West Hollywood NOOVEM CTO BER 2012 | T H E F I GH T 3 23 5


to Studio City to Atwater Village. We asked for the agencies' trust in broadcasting radio Public Service Announcements that would boldly invite the LGBT community to a recruitment event at Mauro's Cafe at Fred Segal Melrose. When John and I ended our presentation, we sat down. The entire room was quiet. One agency manager was rubbing her temples with her thumbs and looking down at the large conference table. After a few moments of silence, she raised her head and said, 'We are in.'" SAFE AND LOVING FAMILIES "The mission statement that we set for RaiseAChild.US is to encourage the LGBT community to consider building families of their own through fostering and adoption," explains Valencia. "Within four months, our RaiseAChild.US website began to build a database that now is approaching 400 inquiries from all over L.A., and from far away places like Decatur, GA, New York City, and Rome, Italy. As a result of that November 2011 campaign, there are about 30 LGBT RaiseAChild.US prospective parents, here in Los Angeles that have finished their training and licensing processes and are just about to be placed with children. Another 20-some are either just starting the training process or somewhere in the process." "This passion that John and I share is charged by a number of research studies. The Williams Institute, a UCLA think-tank devoted to LGBT research, has reported that 41% of lesbians, and 52% of gay men, want to have children. This 2007 study reports that 'an estimated two million GLB people are interested in adopting.' Just recently, UCLA published a study in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry that concludes that 'foster kids do equally well when adopted by gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents.'" "Personally," states Valencia, "I believe that many LGBT people share an inherent compassion, based on their own personal experiences, that can help them become terrific parents. This could be why studies show that LGBT parents are more willing to foster and adopt children with greater challenges. I hear many anecdotal accounts from social workers and mental health professionals that LGBT parents are more likely to seek out pre and post-adoptive services for their children." "I think in a world where so many children lack the basic comforts afforded by the stability of a safe, permanent home-including the secure knowledge that they are absolutely 34 THE FIGHT | NOVEMBER 2012

LGBT ADOPTION RESOURCES RAISEACHILD.US A non-profit organization whose purpose is to encourage the LGBT community to build families of their own through fostering & adoption. Web site: raiseachild.us HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN HRC’s “All Children - All Families” (ACAF) initiative seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. For more info visit: www.hrc.org THE POP LUCK CLUB The mission of the Los Angeles based Pop Luck Club (PLC) is to advance the well being of gay prospective parents, gay parents and their children. PLC produces special community events, such as our annual “Kids’ Fun Fair,” and co-sponsors other events, such as “Families In The Desert” with The Family Equality Council. For more info visit: www.popluckclub.org OPTIMIST YOUTH HOMES & FAMILY SERVICES The nationally accredited non-profit Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services (OYHFS) is one of the oldest and largest agencies of its kind in Southern California. Serving over 500 at-risk youth and their families everyday, Optimist is a licensed foster family agency and has been providing foster care since 1993. They are also a licensed adoptions agency enabling them to provide permanent families for foster youth who are eligible to be adopted. For more info visit: www.oyhfs.org VISTA DEL MAR Since 1948, Vista Del Mar’s licensed, private adoption agency has completed or helped complete more than 3,000 adoptions. They are one of only five agencies in California that provides a full range of adoption programs, including domestic, international, and foster-adoption. Vista provides therapeutic referrals, adoption classes, support groups, search and reunification services, lecture and film series, and a resource library. For more info visit: www.vistadelmar.org FIVE ACRES Five Acres, The Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society of Los Angeles County, is a child and family services agency that strengthens families and prevents child abuse through treatment and education in community-based and residential Programs. Originally founded in 1888 as an orphanage, today Five Acres offers an array of services including residential care and educational services, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care and adoptions, and domestic violence prevention. For more info visit: www.5acres.org THE VILLAGE FAMILY SERVICES Southern California’s leading bilingual family wellness agency providing permanency and safety for neglected and abused children and youth, The Village Family Services welcomes all good parents regardless of income, age, race, gender, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or religious affiliation. To learn more about their Foster Care and Adoption Programs, visit: www.thevillagefs.org wanted and loved-LGBT people are the great untapped resource that foster and adoption agencies need to embrace. With the culturalcompetence training offered by HRC to willing

agencies, we at RaiseAChild.US serve as ambassadors to help LGBT prospective parents and those willing agencies come together to build safe and loving families." n


The Village Family Services is Southern California’s leading bilingual family wellness agency providing permanency and safety for neglected and abused children and youth. SERVICES INCLUDE: Mental Health | Foster Care | Adoption | Wraparound Services | Domestic Violence | Anger Management Parenting | Youth Drop-In Center | Parent Child Interaction Therapy | Intensive Treatment Foster Care Project Q (LGBTQ)

6736 Laurel Cyn. Blvd., Ste. 200, N. Hollywood, CA 91606 P 818 755 8786

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BY MARK ARIEL

H

e’s smart, he’s handsome AND he’s a doctor. What more could you ask for? Well, he’s also an actor. Intrigued? Read on. Dr. Jeffrey Olson, Medical Director at Sunset Skin Spa in Hollywood, is an anesthesiology and critical care trained physician. Olson was in private practice for 10 years in Chicago at several large institutions after training at the University of Chicago Hospitals -a top 10-residency program. “In residency, our department solely managed patient care in a busy burn unit—a rather unique duty,” reveals Olson in an interview with THE FIGHT. “My chairman was famed Michael Roizen MD, (Dr Oz’ coauthor)... After residency, I did everything from high-risk obstetrics, started a cardiac anesthesia program and was director of a pain management clinic. “ “My last position in Chicago was with a unique practice specializing in outpatient anesthesia—a vastly growing field—concentrating on the plastic surgery arena,” says Olson. “This was one of only two solely outpatient anesthesia practices in the country at the time. It was here that I once again became interested in aesthetics.” “Plastic surgery,” says Olson, “was my collegiate aim but I soon became unsure my personality fit with the typical hierarchical ‘old boys club’ so traditional in surgery. I

DOCTOR OF ALL TRADES DR. JEFFREY OLSON, MEDICAL DIRECTOR AT SUNSET SKIN SPA IN HOLLYWOOD, ON HIDING HIS SEXUAL IDENTITY IN MEDICAL SCHOOL, HIS FLOURISHING ACTING CAREER AND WHY “FREEZE FAT” IS THE “SMART MAN’S LIPO.” 0 0 T H E F I GH T | N O V EM BER 2012

soon discovered that anesthesiology was truly complex, required quick assessment, intuition, deductive skills, procedural command, leadership and maintained a sense of camaraderie I found in the operating room.” Olson grew up as an only child to a bluecollar family in a small town just outside Chicago—St. Charles, within the Fox River Valley. The first in his immediate family to seek higher education, his coming out process was “gradual and difficult.” “Familial, social, and monetary repercussions were real as well as potential profes-


sional repercussions had I not believed in myself deep down. Early professional role models were nonexistent. After ‘letting my folks in’ on my sexuality, I was left to seek and depend on emergency financial aid to continue my medical training. Specifically, I drove to my hometown ON my birthday at my parents’ insistence to relinquish saved education funds. It was truly surprising to me as my mother and I were very close. But, it was more important for me to live authentically...to quit editing my conversations after meeting my first love. I really didn’t speak with my folks those four rigorous years of medical school and thereafter was rather guarded socially. I never revealed being gay to any colleagues in a position of authority during residency. It was a very segregated existence.” WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MOVE TO LOS ANGELES? A burning desire to switch it up and follow a dream. It was quite risky, actually. It’s not just geography! But, I was feeling trapped in many ways—rather unchallenged professionally, unable to

Theatre generally rehearses at night and the spa allows some flexibility so if I had an episodic audition—I could potentially shift things around. Once booked, shoots (like this month’s web series Old Dogs & New Tricks about four WeHo friends, or January 2013s San Fran location indie film starring Varla Jean Merman) are usually well enough in advance that schedules are anticipated. BACK TO YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE. WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR PROCEDURES GAY MEN REQUEST? Men comprise about 40% of cosmetic patients actually—and growing. In this competitive job market, looking healthy is so important. Studies show that those thought of as “more attractive”—which I think translates to a balanced, healthy look—get the promotions and opportunities. Aesthetics is a very exciting field with many advances including several procedures and products for volumization. The most popular procedures we offer are firstly neuromodulators such as Botox and THEN fillers—agents which “fill up the flat tire” so to speak restoring facial volume. We now realize this volume loss is probably

“Freeze Fat” is our moniker for Coolsculpting by Zeltiq’s revolutionary technology. Diet-resistant bulges are literally frozen in just an hour investment for a single area with a hand piece/suction device that is very well tolerated without anesthesia or downtime, unlike liposuction. The technology is literally mind-blowing… follow creative passions and my personal/ financial life was in the dumper—so why not? I took some time off and in LA soon became quite lucky, but only after a couple bad decisions and becoming poor for the second time in my life. Not since medical school, twenty years ago, had I foraged for laundry quarters in the sofa cushions! Risk, live, learn! “Refresh, revitalize, renew”—my aesthetics and life motto.” IN ADDITION TO YOUR WORK AT SUNSET SKIN SPA—YOU ALSO WORK IN THE THEATER. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO JUGGLE THE TWO? Well, that was frankly my purpose in moving LA: to be able to work for/schedule myself and be available for my other passion.

most influential in losing that youthful look of the face. We offer Sculptra (only injected by trained physicians)—once thought of only for facial lipodystrophy (or subcutaneous fat loss due to HIV therapies)—but now indicated for general facial aesthetics. Also, PRP (platelet rich plasma)—a patients’ own blood is drawn and re-infused to stimulate the body’s own collagen deposition, restoring volume. PRP has been used in orthopedics and dental surgery for years: growth factors and local stem cell attraction stimulate bone growth, ligament and tendon repair and now in facial aesthetics stimulate a “liquid facelift”—creating volume, skin tightening, pigment correction and even on top of the head for ...wait for it...hair restoration!

I NOOICED YOU ALSO OFFER A PROCEDURE CALLED “FREEZE FAT.” HOW DOES THAT WORK? “Freeze Fat” is our moniker for Coolsculpting by Zeltiq’s revolutionary technology. Diet-resistant bulges are literally frozen in just an hour investment for a single area with a hand piece/suction device that is very well tolerated without anesthesia or downtime, unlike liposuction. The technology is literally mind-blowing— discovered by physicians at Harvard/ Mass General from an article 40 years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine about the correlation between children with dimples and popsicle eating frequency. Really! Can we ask Mario Lopez about that? Bottom line: 25% of fat cells are crystallized in the process and eliminated by our lymphatic/immune system naturally and gradually over a 2-month period. The “smart man’s lipo” without the kooky compression garments. WHO ARE THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR FREEZE FAT? Probably your readers! Equinox, 24 Hour versus Crunch members—hard to say. But, it is true that if you can pinch an inch, get regular exercise and eat well on the whole but just have a few pesky areas (10-15 lbs. above ideal body weight)—you are most likely a candidate for Coolsculpting. Great examples of before and afters can be found online at www.freezefat.com. IS THERE ANYTHING I HAVEN’T ASKED YOU THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? Professionally, I love to inform folks about healthy choices. Even physicians learn continually and I often learn from patients. Health goes beyond the surface and is far-reaching. I’ve always been into fitness, but I learned so much about nutrition while training for the Gay Games 2006 in Chicago. The gold medal was just secondary confirmation... What we put in our brains as well as our bodies is of such great importance. Research, educate and challenge yourself —and you’ll grow! So what if you need a little help—don’t we all?! For more information visit www.sunsetskinspa.com, or www.freezefat.com. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Olson call: 310.361.6300. NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 39


DUE TO HOMOPHOBIA AND THE STILL FIERCE DEMAND OF HETEROSEXISM TO CONFORM, WHAT HAS BEEN COMPROMISED IS A DEEPER MEANING OF THE GAY PERSONALITY ROOTED IN A SOULFUL CONNECTION TO AN INNER FELT EXPERIENCE OF THE INHERENT RIGHT OF ALL GAY PEOPLE TO FEEL WORTHY AND LOVABLE. BY THOMAS MONDRAGON, LMFT

“I

always thought I had to be in a relationship and have someone to love to be whole and feel good about myself. I had such low self-esteem and was so self-loathing, I was constantly looking for the right boyfriend to fulfill this need to feel lovable.” So many times I’ve heard similar stories from other gay men, including men who have been in long-term relationships where sex has died out between them, where emotions and needs aren’t expressed healthily, and where lives are lived out together with an unspoken agreement that these things just won’t be talked about. That divine spark of homosexual desire we feel early on is part of what drives gay men to desire emotionally intimate relationships. To heed the call of Homosexual Eros starts with coming out to one’s self,

an important step towards differentiation. This also leads to wanting relatedness and intimacy with other gay people to understandably have this core essence of same sex love mirrored and validated. Yet because of homophobia and the still fierce demand of heterosexism to conform, what has been compromised is a deeper meaning of the gay personality rooted in a soulful connection to an inner felt experience of the inherent right of all gay people to feel worthy and lovable. Without this experiential understanding, gay men often enter into romantic relationships without knowing the reason for an often present ambivalence about getting close to another man, while often imitating all that they have known or seen about intimacy and love based on their heterosexual families, culture and the media.

WHAT’S LOVE GO 4 0 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012


MOLDED TO BE HETEROSEXUAL We all have a basic need for autonomy and for connectedness with others. Part of healthy development is called the differentiation of self, which includes having an authentic self where one is able to hold onto one’s self in the presence of others. Rather than a nurtured inner connection to the erotic fire of same sex love that would develop the ability to hold onto one’s self, gay people are forced early on to present a false self. Essentially molded to be heterosexual, the budding gay child learns to hide his real feelings about the boy across the room that he has a dreamy crush on. This fantasy, if validated would embolden an authentic gay self, but instead is experienced as shameful and bad. He learns from family, society, religion that he cannot reveal who he really is and he concludes he won’t be loved if he lets anyone know this strongly guarded secret. What a horrific bind that constitutes part of the trauma of growing up gay - “if I let anyone know the feelings I’m really having for another boy, I might risk losing what sense of attachment and security I have.” This sets up a strongly held belief carried into adulthood - that it is not safe to be vulnerable with others, especially other men that I have strong feelings for. Males in general are taught to hide their feelings because expressing feelings makes them too sensitive, fearfully making them the dreaded sissy. Adding in the effects of homophobia and heterosexism, gay boys have a profound deficit of relational experiences where authentic feelings can be openly expressed and honored. THE COSTLINESS OF BEING AUTHENTIC How can a healthy emotional self develop into a differentiated gay individual who can also be close to another man when the trauma of a gay man’s childhood includes the contaminant of powerful toxic shame for desiring love and intimacy? ”I had just moved to San Francisco. It was hard to establish new friendships and I worked constantly. When my boyfriend came along I latched on. I decided a relationship at any costs was better than having nothing. I desperately wanted to be loved. Having someone was better than living alone. I was also caught

up in a completely heterosexual way with the fantasy of all the love stories- you fall in love, stay with him the rest of your life and live happily ever after. For six years with very harmful dynamics between us, I clung blindly to the idea that if I was nice and caring this person would love me and want to be with me.” Growing up in his family, this gay man’s experience of relationships included a mother that held everything in and never communicated. She was clinically depressed and as so often happens with young gay boys, he became his mother’s emotional support, confidant and caregiver. His father was a strong authority figure who steamrolled over everyone in a tyrannical way. He learned to

Truly intimate successful healthy relationships asks each partner to be transparent, to make it safe to express all feelings and needs, and to relate with honesty about the difficulties and the joys of being together. acquiesce to his father’s expectations to avoid his scary angry outbursts. Severe bullying at school further reinforced the costliness of being authentic, emotionally open and available for intimacy and love. And yet, successful healthy relationships that are truly intimate asks each partner to be transparent, to make it safe to express all feelings and needs, and to relate with honesty about the difficulties and the joys of being together. THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP Without mentoring that teaches gay men how to handle a whole range of feelings, we can see the intricate and complex factors that come into play for gay men in relationships. Unless these early childhood traumas and influences are empathically understood and addressed, these intolerable homophobicly rooted wounds get played out over and over in relationships. This can look like the man who jumps from relationship to relationship when the intimacy gets too scary. It can

look like the couple that doesn’t discuss and engage in the intimate relating that would keep sex alive, settling instead for an undiscussed open relationship yielding secrets, jealousy, and eventual resignation and separate bedrooms. This can explain how two men can be together for years not feeling fulfilled within themselves or with each other but are afraid and unable to let go of an unsatisfactory relationship - saying “I love you” every day while the promise of meaningful alive intimacy has long been gone. ”I’ve started to look at myself, asking myself what it means to be a gay man, looking at how I’ve been affected by homophobia and toxic shame. I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to be in another unhealthy relationship by trying to be honest with myself and risking the anxiety of practicing telling my new boyfriend what I feel. This relationship has opened up my eyes to see what real intimacy is - to communicate openly and not fear the content of what I need to say or what he needs to say. I’m learning to flex my emotional muscle by expressing anger and other feelings, supporting a deepened relating between us. I’ve never been able to do that. And, I found that the person I always need to give the most to, to pay the most attention to - is me.” By beginning to look within at the true reasons for the difficulty in having loving relationships, this gay man has begun to see that the most important relationship is with himself. The projection of the perfect lover that he has put onto his boyfriend, is now seen as an invitation to also go inside where there is an inner gay lover, so early on demonized and pushed into a secret hidden place in his heart. He can now imagine this inner lover calling him into a healing relationship in the psyche, fostering a more integrated gay self and giving him a new vision on how to relate intimately with another gay man. n West Hollywood based psychotherapist Thomas Mondragon is a professor at Antioch University Los Angeles’ LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology, providing students the skills needed for LGBT affirmative psychotherapeutic practice. He can be reached at: (310) 779-3113 or via email: tjmondragon@mac.com

OT TO DO WITH IT? NO VEMB ER 2012 | TH E F I GH T 41


PORTRAIT OF JASON CONTROVERSIAL BLACK GAY HUSTLER FILM MAY GET A SECOND CHANCE. BY VICTOR MELAMED

I

n 1967, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Shirley Clarke interviewed Jason Holliday, also known as Aaron Payne, recording 12 hours of confessional footage. The resulting film, Portrait of Jason, depicted a candid, humorous, and controversial portrayal of life as a gay hustler in New York City. When released, reports The Advocate at www.advocate.com, Portrait of Jason caused a media firestorm in the United States, and received mostly negative reviews from critics.

While mainstream critics expressed nausea and disgust over Portrait of Jason, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman declared it to be “the most fascinating film I’ve ever seen.” While mainstream critics expressed nausea and disgust over Portrait of Jason, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman declared it to be “the most fascinating film I’ve ever seen.” Essentially, the picture consists of an interview with “Jason,” a young black gay, male prostitute. Despite her kaleidoscope style, Clarke takes great pains not to editorialize: Jason is Jason, like it or not. 4 2 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

“The new simplicity of approach,” according to a TIME OUT review, “reflects the enormous influence of Andy Warhol on independent film-making in the ’60s: a new trust in basic film-making techniques, and a new distrust of ‘artifice’ like editing. Jason himself certainly provides enough artifice to keep any audience engrossed: his colorful, self-mocking account of his life reveals a great deal about the situation of a ghetto boy with ‘white-boy fever.’ The moral catch is that by fulfilling Jason’s dreams of himself as a ‘performer,’ the movie deliberately pushes him out of his own control.” “Most definitely a performer in the strictest sense,” writes The Digital Fix’s Anthony Nield, “our host [Jason] … becomes his very own cabaret act—part fabulous, part pathetic—as he flits between Mae West tartness, Butterfly McQueen melodrama and his own sorry life as a gay hustler with clear drink and drug problems.” Two years ago, Milestone Film recovered the master reel of Portrait of Jason, and is collaborating with the Academy Film Archive in its restoration. In order to fund the project, Milestone is calling on film lovers and LGBT activists to reach their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $25,000 by December 10. With the money raised, the organization will be able to re-release this landmark film, which provides a rare glimpse into pre-Stonewall era New York City, as recounted by a gay African American. n To find more information about the project, visit Milestone’s Kickstarter page at www.kickstarter.com.


THEBODY

ENERGY BOOSTERS

B

usy juggling a career, a relationship and a workout plan? The best strategy is to eat small meals of energy-promoting foods several times throughout the day, rather than infrequently binging on huge meals. Here are six top energy boosting foods that will give you true, lasting energy to keep you active all day.

1 OATS | Oats contain the energizing and stress-lowering B vitamin family, which helps transform carbs into usable energy. Oats are also low on the glycemic index because they have a lot of fiber. That means that your body gets a steady stream of energy, as opposed to a short-term spike, because the carbohydrates gradually flow into your bloodstream.

2 LENTILS | Beans are a great source of fiber, which translates to a slow release of glucose, as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and copper. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein, making them a great addition to any meal. Lentils help reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, and they're low in fat and calories to boot.

3 BANANAS | Bananas provide a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Unlike some nutrients, the body doesn't store potassium for long periods of time. This means that your potassium level can drop during times of stress or during strenuous exercise when the nutrient is lost through excessive sweating.

4 WATER | Without water, your body cannot generate energy. Water makes it possible for your system to digest, absorb and transport nutrients. It also helps regulate body temperature. When you're dehydrated, your cells receive nutrients for energy less efficiently, and your body can't properly expend heat through sweating. Both conditions lead to fatigue. Aim to drink eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day.

5 ALMONDS | Great if you're looking to improve your focus and mental clarity. Monounsaturated fats such as almonds provide essential fatty acids, known as omega-3s and omega-6s that produce an alert mental state. 6 CHOCOLATE | Studies show that chocolate can elevate your energy levels by way of certain bioactive compounds such as tyramine and phenylethylamine. Chocolate has also been claimed to improve anemia, awaken the appetite, aid in digestion, and improve longevity. Chocolate contains sugar and caffeine along with fat and calories so consume in moderation. When possible, opt for dark chocolate for the highest source of antioxidants. N O VEMBER 2012 | T HE F I GHT 4 3


THECALENDAR WOMEN’S GUILD 55TH ANNIVERSARY GALA Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, at 6pm. For tickets and information, contact Adey Anthony at (323) 904-4400. Cocktail reception, dinner and a special musical performance by eight-time Grammy award-nominated artist Stevie Nicks. Honorees include Wendy and Leonard Goldberg and six Women’s Guild past presidents. Women’s Guild plays an instrumental role in supporting patient care, sustaining medical programs and equipment, advancing biomedical research, and enhancing education at Cedars-Sinai. ESTELLE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10

L.A. GAY & LESBIAN CENTER’S ANNIVERSARY GALA Westin Bonaventure Hotel , Los Angeles. For more information, or to purchase your tickets, go to anniversarygala.org or call TAI Events at 310-996-1188. Featuring a special live performance by Grammy-winning R&B and rap singer-songwriter Estelle (Shine). Olympic gold medal soccer star Megan Rapinoe—one of the few out athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games— will be honored with the Board of Directors Award. The gala will begin with a chic cocktail reception, followed by dinner and entertainment. The evening also includes an extensive auction featuring high-end items such as travel, dining and entertainment packages. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11

HOPE IN VACCINES: REDEFINING HIV Madera Home, 1884 S. Sepulveda, Los Angeles, at 4:30pm. For more info visit endhiv.com. Abzyme Research Foundation fundraising event, in support of a new vaccine aimed at eradicating HIV. Complimentary food, coffee bar and open bar, a silent auction and raffle including two box seats to Lady Gaga at the L.A. Staples Center. TUESDAY NOVEMBER 13

PAWS L.A. BENEFIT Avalon Hollywood, 1735 Vine St., Hollywood, at 6:30pm. For more info visit pawsla.org. Entertainers Bruce Vilanch and Allee Willis take the stage at the Avalon Hollywood for an evening of love, laughter and libation to benefit the programs and initiatives of PAWS/ LA. Special guest and fellow quipster Wendy Liebman will open the show. Paws L.A. is a nonprofit organization that provides services to assist low-income seniors and people disabled by a life-threatening illness in keeping and caring for their pets. 4 4 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30

WORLD AIDS DAY CONCERT Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, at 7:30pm. Tickets are free, however you must RSVP by November 15. For more info visit: www.aidsresearch.org/wad2012 AIDS Research Alliance hosts their World AIDS Day concert in partnership with The Colburn School. With keynote speaker Dr. David Hardy, the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Honored guests include: Michael Gottlieb, M.D., a physician widely known for his identification of AIDS as a new disease, and Oscar De La O, President of Bienestar Human Services, the largest Latino HIV service organization in the country. Performances include the Calidore String Quartet, one of the most exciting young ensembles to emerge on the chamber music scene in recent years. BENT-CON Los Angeles Burbank Marriott Convention Center, through Dec. 2. For more info visit: bent-con.org. Annual convention promoting LGBT and LGBT-friendly contributions to comic-book, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy and horror mediums from artists, writers, creators, publishers, directors, actors, and producers, that create works targeted directly to LGBT audiences or the larger realm of underground and mainstream pop-culture as a whole. THROUGH MARCH 24, 2013

IN FOCUS: ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE Exhibition at The Getty Center, 200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. For more info visit: www.getty.edu Considered one of the great photographers of the second half of the twentieth century, Robert Mapplethorpe’s highly stylized explorations of gender, race, and sexuality became hallmarks of the period and exerted a powerful influence on his contemporaries.

GROUPS ASIAN/PACIFIC GAYS AND FRIENDS www.apgf.org GAY ASIAN PACIFIC SUPPORT NETWORK www.gapsn.org LOS ANGELES GAY AVIATION CLUB Pilots, Flights Attendants, Mechanics. www.unusualattitudes.info CLUB NUR Gay Middle Eastern. www.clubnur.com GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES www.gmcla.org THANK GAYS IT’S FRIDAY STANDUP COMEDY Every Friday, 8:30 p.m. MJ’s Bar, 2810 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles. (323) 650-1503 GAY & LESBIAN SALSA Every Monday, 8 p.m. Little Temple Bar, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Silverlake, 90029. gaysalsanight@yahoo. com or www.facebook.com/gaysalsanight GAY TRAFFIC SCHOOL Third Tuesday and Wednesday of every month, 6-10 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles 90038. 1-800-Gay-4-You or www.laglc.org POP LUCK CLUB Second Sunday of every month, 11 a.m. Locations vary. Los Angeles based organization for Gay Dads, Prospective Dads, and their families. www.popluckclub.org PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Gay & Lesbian Center. RSVP to Dennis@malecare.org or call (323) 860-7340. GREAT AUTOS OF YESTERYEAR The largest LGBT classic car club on the West Coast. www.greatautos.org LOS ANGELES PRIME TIMERS Social group for older mature gay men and admirers. www.laprimetimers.org LOS ANGELES GAY BRIDGE CLUB www.communityvisions.org/IAGLBC LOS ANGELES GAY/LESBIAN SCIENTISTS www.lagls.org LOS ANGELES GAY FOR GOOD Gays making a commitment to volunteer for social welfare and environmental service projects. www.gayforgood.org LOS ANGELES GAY NATURISM California Men Enjoying Naturism. cmen.info BI-OSPHERE P.O.V. Every 2nd Wednesday, 8-9:30 p.m., The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. M-F between 6-9 p.m. Topic-driven discussion for women and men who identify as, or are exploring bisexuality. MEN’S SPEAKEASY Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. Fun, alternative space for gay and bisexual men to meet and make new friends. LGBT BOOK CLUB First Wednesday of each month, 7:30-9:30 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302, M-F between 6-9 p.m. USC LAMBDA LGBT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION alumnigroups.usc.edu/lambda/ LOS ANGELES BLACK PRIDE www.myblackpridela.com GREATER PASADENA AID FUND www.greaterpasadenaaidfund.org POSITIVE IMAGES WORKSHOP Every Monday, from 7-9 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza,


> EMAIL YOUR EVENT OR GROUP TO 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. If you’re looking for ways to deal with HIV, the Live Life Better Workshop can help you learn coping skills, build a support system, and work toward your health goals. An RSVP is required. For more information or to reserve your place, call (323) 860-7321. The e-mail contact is positiveimages@ lagaycenter.org. TRANSGENDER PERCEPTIONS Every Friday, 8 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302. M-F between 6-9 p.m. Social networking group offers a safe and welcoming opportunity for people of any age and gender identity to learn from others and to share experiences. GET CENTERED Meditation Class. Every Saturday, 10-11 a.m., $10. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7300. SENIORS SERVICES Ongoing, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7359. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT Ongoing, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-5806. MPOWERMENT WEEKLY WORKSHOPS Tuesdays and fridays, 6 p.m. APLA, 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300, Los Angeles. More info: Donta Morrison, tel: (213) 2011561. For young gay men of color—ages 18 thru 24—looking for a safe place to hang out. “Each week offers a great opportunity to vent, laugh, make friends, and simply celebrate who you are.” SUPPORT FOR HIV-POSITIVE WOMEN Second and fourth wednesdays, 7 p.m. The David Geffen Center, 611 south Kingsley Dr., Los Angeles. More info: call Women At Risk at (310) 204-1046. SOCAL SOCIAL CLUB For more info: www.Socalsocialclub.com. Southern California’s social & business network for lgbt professionals. 12 STEP GROUPS All groups meet at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 860-7302 M-F between 6-9 p.m.

editor@thefightmag.com

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mondays, 6:10-7:10 p.m. CRYSTAL METH ANONYMOUS Saturdays, 9:10-10:10 a.m. DEBTORS ANONYMOUS Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. MARIJUANA ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 8:15-9:45 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. SEXUAL COMPULSIVES ANONYMOUS Mondays, 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 p.m. Saturdays, 12:15-1:45 p.m. WOMEN’S NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Saturdays, Noon-1 p.m. SPORTS LOS ANGELES LESBIAN SOFTBALL www.lagaysoftball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN TACKLE FOOTBALL www.californiaquakefootball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN RUGBY www.eaglerockrugby.com WOMEN’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF www.womensgolf.org/wscga LOS ANGELES LESBIAN POKER www.lalpg.com LOS ANGELES WOMEN ON A ROLL Luncheons, Comedy Nights, and Conversation Groups. www.womenonaroll.com

SAGA LA Gay Ski & Snowboard Club. www.sagala.org V.O.I.L.A. Volleyball. www.lagayvolleyball.com GREAT OUTDOORS The largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California. www. greatoutdoorsla.org GAY AND LESBIAN SIERRANS Camping, Outdoors, Hiking Angeles. www.sierraclub.org CHEER LA Cheerleading. www.cheerla.org

HOLY SPIRIT holyspirit-la.org, 4201 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029 UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH uniteduniversitychurch.org, 817 West 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089 DIGNITY CENTER dignitylosangeles.org, 126 South Avenue 64, Los Angeles, CA 90042

DIFFERENT SPOKES Cycling www.differentspokes.com Rides start in various locations in the greater Los Angeles area.

HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH-HLYWD hopelutheranchurch.net, 6720 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLADES Ice Hockey. www.bladeshockey.com LOS ANGELES FRONTRUNNERS Running and walking club. www.lafrontrunners.com WEST HOLLYWOOD SOCCER CLUB Comfortable, supportive environment for learning and playing the world’s most popular game. www.gaysoccer.com LOS ANGELES GAY SCUBA CLUB www.barnaclebusters.org LOS ANGELES GAY ROCK CLIMBING www.lalgbtclimbing.com WEST HOLLYWOOD AQUATICS Swim and Water Polo Teams. www.wh2o.org

WORSHIP

LOS ANGELES GAY FLAG FOOTBALL www.laflagfootball.com There’s also lesbian tackle football.

METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH mccla.org, 4953 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

WEST HOLLYWOOD GAY RUGBY www.larebellion.org

BETH CHAYIM CHADASHIM SYNAGOGUE bcc-la.org, 6090 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

GAY & LESBIAN BOWLING LEAGUE www.tavernguildleague.com

HOLLYWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH hollywoodumc.org, 6817 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

LA ROWING www.larowing.org

LOS ANGELES GAY RODEO CLUB www.gsgra.org

LOS ANGELES POOL LEAGUE Friendly Billiard teams. www.lapl8ball.com

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES fccla.org 540, South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020

KOL AMI REFORM SYNAGOGUE kol-ami.org, 1200 North La Brea Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90038

WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESBYTERIAN wehopres.org, 7350 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 MOUNT HOLLYWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH mthollywood.org, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH immanuelpres.org, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010 ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stmatthewsnoho.org, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, CA 91602 CHRIST CHAPEL OF THE VALLEY christchapel.com, 11050 Hartsook St., North Hollywood, CA 91601 ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stpaulssm.org, 958 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403 ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY stmonica.net, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 WEHO CHURCH wehochurch.com, 916 N. Formosa Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046 ST. VICTOR’S CATHOLIC CHURCH saintvictor.org, 8634 Holloway Dr. West Hollywood, CA 90069 ST. LUKE LUTHERAN stlukelutheran.com, 5312 Comercio Way, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

NO VEMB ER 2012 | T H E F I GH T 45


THEFINALFIGHT

BAD JUDGE

JUSTICE SCALIA: “HOMOSEXUAL SODOMY? COME ON. FOR 200 YEARS, IT WAS CRIMINAL IN EVERY STATE.” BY ZINNIA JONES

L

ast month, Supreme Court Justice Scalia offered up some of his usual legal wisdom: “The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute. Yes, I’m sure deciding on this sort of thing is a breeze when the extent of your reasoning is “it’s illegal, therefore it should be illegal—QED.”

The Supreme Court is not there to fire off “easy,” ill-considered, poorly-thought-out conclusions like this. The Supreme Court is the end of the line. It’s where cases go when all of the formalized decision processes at the lower levels of the judiciary have failed to resolve them adequately. These questions are not sent to the highest court in the land just so that they can benefit from the previously unknown perspective of “well, the founders would have meant for it to be illegal, problem solved!”—something that obviously no one else could have come up with, without deferring to the brilliant reasoning of Scalia. The Supreme Court is not there to fire off “easy,” illconsidered, poorly-thought-out conclusions like this. It’s there to reach carefully developed and well-supported conclusions that are not always readily apparent. So don’t pretend that all nine of you could just as easily be replaced by the average gay-bashin’ clinic-protestin’ yokel, when you really only mean yourself. n

NOTHING AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS

S

calia’s anti-gay sentiment is shockingly apparent in a dissent he wrote back in 2003 when the court struck down Texas’ sodomy law. Scalia wrote: “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home.” But Scalia was careful to stress that he has “nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means.”

4 6 T H E F IGH T | N O V EM BER 2012




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