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December 2012 - Volume 1, Issue 1

n tH s ssue

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LIVING OUT - FULL

in tHis issue

1

in the news

letter from the publisher

Welcome

International News

in the news

By Rachel Roth

Malawi won’t repeal anti-gay legislation our families live in every town, city and village across Long Island and we need to be connected and feel like we matter and exist no matter where we live, work or play. Living Out is the nexus that will do this for the Long Island community.

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Archbishop admits Church may have caused “mental pain”

National News

Same-sex parents eligible for benefits

Hong Kong billionaire offers marriage bounty for lesbian daughter

By Rachel Roth

California bans “ex gay” therapy for youth Chick-fil-A supports only “biblical families”

6 7 No pride parade in Belgrade

Equal marriage defeat for Northern Ireland

“We are trying to catch up with a reality which ffor or a long time we didn’t handle we at at all well.”

Austin City Council backs marriage equality

Ravens center joins marriage equality opposition

National News Continued

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“the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.”

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out on li

out on li

show your pride

Teens Build Library for Jewish Social Action Month

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out and about

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Fangs and Stilettos by anthony diFiore (inGroup Press, 2012)

Books Reviewed

calendar of events

On Exhibit

On Exhibit

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945

The grade point average of students frequently bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender expression is almost half a grade point lower than other students.

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out on li

out on li

gay-Straight alliance Summit educates Students about anti-Bullying law

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant dies at 27

National News Continued

New immigration policy includes lesbian, gay couples

the literary Party: growing up gay and amish in america

iMusic

out and about

By Gregg Shapiro

Refresher course

by James Schwartz (inGroup Press, 2012)

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Voter-suppression efforts disproportionately impact trans voters

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“It is a critical piece of our community’s history. Most of us know something of the Holocaust, but we may not be as familiar with how our own community was affected.”

the bristal

national Coming out day 2012

>>

oyTunes

t the he be bes st t of ass as sis ist te ed d liv livii ng

What does The Bristal mean to me?

Confidence.

LIGALY hosts East End Community Meeting in Response to the Tragic Death of David Hernandez Barros

Screen Savor

Stories in song by Gregg Shapiro

“When I moved to The Bristal I barely weighed 141 lbs. I was weak and out of sorts.

But now I’m surrounded by pros — and pals! — who follow my health every day, who care enough to watch over me, even when I don’t. Their attention and assistance

Long Island is home to hundreds of Holocaust survivors, who were eyewitnesses and victims of government-led discrimination and its deadly results.

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has made me stronger, and the gourmet food hasn’t hurt. The gym, pool and daily

activities also keep me fit. Today, this retired submarine engineer is back to 180 lbs.... and I even won a Medal for Bocce at the 2012 Senior Games.”

How did Lew regain his stride? Tune in at thebristal.com/lifestories

east northport | 631.858.0100 east Meadow | 516.542.0800 lynbrook | 516.593.2424 north hills | 516.869.1300 north Woodmere | 516.336.2600 Westbury | 516.333.9828

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White Plains | 914.681.1800

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out and about

out and about

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out and about: jellyfish restaurant photo and teaser for next issue

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t h e b r i s ta l . c o m

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out and about

television

tv movie review: queen elizabeth by gregg shapiro

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out front

out front Supermodel girlfriends, rumored spats with Christina Aguilera and the engine that has kept Maroon 5 running for 10 years – there’s still so much more to Adam Levine.

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The adored front man of one of the biggest pop bands, who recently told MTV that if he were president his first mission would be to legalize gay marriage, is also a straight ambassador for the gay community. With lots going on – judging this fall’s third season of The Voice, making his acting debut on Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and touring with Maroon 5 – it’s no wonder the band’s latest album is called Overexposed. In this exclusive chat with the pop star, Levine

out front: adam levine

talks how fighting for gay rights has little to do

Pop star talks passion for gay rights, acting debut, nudity and biggest Voice diva...

with him having a gay brother, what he really thinks of people who don’t believe in marriage equality and if we’ll see him, ahem, overexposed on American Horror Story.

Of all the things you could’ve said, why did you tell MTV that you’d legalize gay marriage first if you were president?

>>

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wellness

ask

Finding one’s identity can be a difficult and challenging process, but living healthy means living true to yourself.

>>

living healthy

by meryl lumba

>>

Be aware of what support services are being offered in your area and community and start or continue your journey this november. 1. Questioning your identity? Find a healthcare professional that is covered by insurance.

Sleeping: A to ZZZZZZZZZZ Continued

living healthy

»

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But he’s your brother, so certainly some of your passion for gay rights is an extension of that relationship, right?

did you know?

Show support.

out front

22 23 Who’s the bigger diva on The Voice: You or Christina Aguilera?

What about the music business itself: Do you see the music business evolving faster than the rest of the world?

How big of a role do you think the gay community has had in Maroon 5’s career?

Blake Shelton seems very connected to you. So connected, in fact, he has said that he wants to kiss you. Is there a bromance going on that you want to tell us about?

What does that taste like?

Dylan McDermott is known for getting naked a lot on the show. Should we expect you to get naked as well?

When was the moment that you felt like Maroon 5 had become overexposed?

A lot has changed in the business since you started 10 years ago. We have Chely Wright, an out gay country artist, and now the first major out hip-hop artist: Frank Ocean. How do you think these people, and the music business as a whole, can be influential in changing people’s mind regarding gay politics?

like what you see?

About the Author •

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points of view

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Did D id you know that November 20th was the Transgender Day of Remembrance?

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proudly serving the LGBT community

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living healthy full page of content/ads about community centers and hiv testing and volunteering

send your questions to asklaurie@livingoutli.org

don’t “out” them to others who may not know.

respect their outward appearance.

“Bullicide” was on its way to becoming a national epidemic.

About the Author Sleeping: A to ZZZZZZZZZZ Continued

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About the Author •

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out spoken

transmissions

politics 2012

by James Fallarino and Rachel West, MSW, LMSW

big wins for the glbt community Our voice – now better represented

living out is seeking talented writers and photographers to join our team!

Weddings

By the time the 2012 presidential race was called by the major media outlets on election night, it was already clear that this year would be one of many victories for the nation’s GLBT community. The GLBT community made big gains in the fight for same-sex marriage and saw a record number of out candidates elected to serve locally and in the House of Representatives and United States Senate.

Living Out is produced by The Logn Island Gay, Lesbien, Bisexual and Transgender Services Network. For more information go to www.livingoutli.org or contact the Community Center at Garden City 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 210 Garden City, NY 11530 516.323.0011

become a living out contributor!

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30-350 People

A presidential evolution

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to the gender they may describe one who transcend have been assigned at birth.

PROGRAM SPECIALIST

Marriage victories at the ballot box

what’s next...

>>

Private Parties Parties Private

Overall, the GLBT community and its supporters clearly demonstrated its influence and power as a voting bloc in the 2012 elections. It is important that we keep the momentum going and not allow ourselves to become complacent under the false belief that we have achieved total equality.

About the Author

>>

moscot eyewear

by mikey rox

PlayStation vita

“Blue Christmas” sung by Elvis is a staple of a holiday soundtrack, but if you feel blue or sad, it could be a sign of depression.

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ask for the person’s pronoun preference.

4. Know your rights.

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living smart

Mikey Rox’s Ultimate Guide to Gay Gift-Giving

wellness

live well this holiday season by dr. bill blazey

» »

sleeping: a to zzzzzzzzzz by laurie segal

2. already out? Join a support group!

realize that no two people are alike: trans or not.

3. if medically transitioning, stay connected with health care professionals.

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living healthy

laurie

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out front Dylan McDermott is known for getting naked a lot on the show. Should we expect you to get naked as well? What’s been the best part of shooting American Horror Story so far?

Has having a gay brother influenced how outspoken you’ve become for the gay community? What would you say to other straight people who don’t agree with you on the marriage issue?

adam, exposed by chris azzopardi

>>

wellness

five simple ways to be a better ally

points of view

naming all the parts by gwendolyn Ann Smith

>>

letter from the publisher

Welcome

december 2012 - volume 1, issue 1

LIVING OUT - FULL

in the news

out and about

living healthy

trans health 101

Special Events

631.261.1900

445 East Main St. (25A), Centerport N.Y. 11721 ThatchedCottage.com

Ralph Colamussi Welcomes the GLBT Community

>>

>>

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to the inaugural issue of Living Out, a new monthly publication covering Long Island life and GLBT culture!

1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury 3 In this issue 4 welcome From the Publisher 5 Hotel Indego Says I Do 1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury 3 In this issue 4 welcome From the Publisher 5 Hotel Indego Says I Do 1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury 3 In this issue 4 welcome From the Publisher 5 Hotel Indego Says I Do 1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury 3 In this issue 4 welcome From the Publisher 5 Hotel Indego Says I Do 1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury 3 In this issue 4 welcome From the Publisher 5 Hotel Indego Says I Do 1 Cover 2 Lisa Lampaneli Live at NCBY Theatre at Westbury

In my role as the chief executive officer (CEO) of The Long Island GLBT Services Network (The Network), I have been lucky to have the opportunity to visit and work with GLBT communities throughout the nation, and wherever I am, I always easily find a copy of that community’s local GLBT paper. These publications not only educate about GLBT news and current events, but they also give a voice and help to build and unite the broader GLBT and allied communities. As The Network is an Islandwide organization, I frequently travel across all 120 miles of Long Island, and see with my own eyes and hear directly from thousands of Long Islanders that they do not feel connected or know what’s happening in the Long Island GLBT Community. On Long Island, we do not have a “gayborhood” like Greenwich Village; our families live in every town, city and village

in the news

our families live in every town, city and village across Long Island and we need to be connected and feel like we matter and exist no matter where we live, work or play. Living Out is the nexus that will do this for the Long Island community. Whether you live in Albertson or Amagansett, Carle Place or Calverton, East Rockaway or East Hampton, Malverne or Mattituck, we will be connected as a community. Living Out is being distributed at more than 240 locations across Long Island—in your local drug store and supermarket on the North Shore and South Fork, in your libraries and schools on the South Shore and North Fork and everywhere in between. More than 3 million people across Long Island will be better

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informed about GLBT issues, and we will feel more connected than ever before as a GLBT community and as Long Islanders.

across Long Island and we need to be connected and feel like we matter and exist no matter where we live, work or play. Living Out is the nexus that will do this for the Long Island community.

Each issue of Living Out will bring you stories you won’t find anywhere else, including local, national, and international news; insightful commentary on current issues; strategies for living healthy and living smart; upcoming community events; arts and culture; restaurants and nightlife; and a whole lot more. The voice of Long Island’s GLBT Community will be more visible and grow with each issue of Living Out.

Malawi won’t repeal anti-gay legislation

Same-sex parents eligible for benefits

Despite Malawian President Joyce Banda’s promise to repeal indecency and unnatural acts laws, citizens of the African country are not ready to lift the ban on homosexuality.

While the United States continues to grapple with issues of marriage equality, Australia has become the first country to afford lesbian and gay parents the same rights as heterosexual parents.

“Where Malawi is and most African countries are, is maybe where America or the U.K. were about 100 years ago,” President Banda told the Associated Press.

The New Dad and Partner Leave will start In January 2013 and allow two weeks of leave, and minimum wage of about $606 per week. Moth

The legislation—authored by Sen. Ted Lieu—states that “any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity.” California Gov. Jerry Brown had reportedly been mum on whether or not he would sign the bill into law. Gov. Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle that in the end, this type of treatment has “no basis in science or medicine” and that they will now “be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

“I as a leader have no right to influence how people feel,” she told the AP. “The best thing the world can do is to allow each country to take its course, to allow each country to have that debate freely without the pressure of being pushed.”

The law is already being challenged in court. Two religiously oriented therapists and a therapy student— described as someone who has successfully undergone treatment for same-sex attractions—filed suit days after the bill was signed into law. Attorneys for the three argue the law tramples on families’ rights and therapists’ consciences, and intrudes on free speech, privacy and freedom of religion.

2 3 points of view

politics 2012

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The marriage equality movement spread its wings into the professional sports world as two current NFL players came out in support of marriage equality. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe both spoke out and made a big difference in voter initiatives in their states. Ayanbadejo has been vocal about his support for marriage equality since 2009 was part of the successful campaign for Question 6 – Maryland’s now-passed referendum on the state’s marriage equality law. His support became the target of an anti-gay Maryland State Delegate who wrote a letter to the owner of the

Chick-fil-A supports only “biblical families” Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy has reaffirmed his company’s support of “biblical families.” Cathy made the statement in an effort to clear up any residual confusion over the restaurant chain’s views.

According to the Huffington Post, Cathy then issued a statement on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s website denying Moreno’s claims.

A seemingly contradictory statement was posted on the company’s website, in which officials defended their corporate giving as having been “mischaracterized.”

“There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago,” he wrote. “That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”

“Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities,” it read. “We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

Austin City Council backs marriage equality Austin became the first city in Texas to support marriage equality when the City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Defense Against Marriage Act.

Baltimore Ravens demanding he “take the necessary action ... to inhibit such expressions from your employee.” Amongst the many voices that came out in support of Ayanbadejo was Chris Kluwe, who wrote a scathing response to the lawmaker. Kluwe is a prominent advocate for marriage equality in own state of Minnesota – where the recent ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage failed.

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The “strongly worded” resolution was supported by a coalition of civil rights groups and backed by a petition signed by more than 1,800 people living in and around the Austin metro area. According to Raw Story, the resolution states that the Austin City Council will no longer abide discriminatory practices that “deny the powerful and important affirmation of love and commitment” that is civil marriage.  The resolution concludes: “[We] support marriage equality in the State of Texas.”

National News Continued

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living out

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by James Fallarino and Rachel West, LMSW

Our voice—now better represented

When firebrand Congressman Barney Frank announced his retirement in 2012, many wondered who would fill his shoes as one of the few openly-GLBT voices in Congress. In fact, when the new session begins in January, there will be a record number of openly-GLBT members:

Let me add one more wrinkle to this all, because while we are free to define ourselves however we wish, when we face violence, discrimination, or other ills, that in itself needs to be defined—and that is different from a personal definition. Consider the 2001 murder of Willie Houston. Houston was, as far as we know, a straight, nontransgender identified, African-American man living in Tennessee. After taking a river cruise, his wife needed to use the restroom. Houston held her purse while she went in. Houston was also escorting a blind friend to the men’s room. On the way there, Willie Houston was taunted with homophobic slurs, and shot.

transsexuals, masculine females, feminine males, all persons whose perceived gender or anatomic sex may be incongruent with their gender expression, and all persons exhibiting gender characteristics and Identities which are perceived to be androgynous.”

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth.

Today the term is defined in a limited fashion, as a synonym to cross-dresser, and typically refers to those who wear clothing of the opposite gender. You’ll note that even in that last sentence I am walking on eggshells, knowing that there are likely many who would ague against such a definition.

Since Hirschfeld’s time, we’ve seen many other turns picked up and discarded. Earl Lind in the 1910s used “androgyne” and “fairy.” Later, the term “transsexual” hit the scene. Drag was used by some in an all-encompassing fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was the mercifully short-lived “femmophile,” and other baggage-laden terms such as “aytogynephile.”

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big wins for the glbt community

obligated to accept a definition of me that I’m not comfortable with. Really, like I said above, language is slippery.

Even without looking at my definition or the rather verbose San Francisco definition, many do not feel included in the term “transgender.” Some have opted for their own spaces, or opt for “genderqueer” or “third gender,” or even have dropped the “gender” from the word altogether, being simply “trans.”

Definitions are slippery things. Language is constantly evolving, and words change. New terms are created, old ones become footnotes, and others dramatically change meanings. Consider the word “gay,” and how its meaning may have morphed from the 1890s to today.

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth. At the turn of the last century, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld seemed content to use the term “transvestite” to cover any number of people. His seminal work, Die Transvestiten, covers those who cross-dress, performers known for cross-gender portrayals, those who underwent the rudimentary surgeries of the day, and gender variance in nonwestern cultures.

The one that somehow “stuck” is “transgender.” Yet, pinning down a definition is slippery. One of the more inclusive is that used by the City and County of San Francisco, and coined in 1994. It reads, “‘Transgender’ is used as an umbrella term that includes female and male cross dressers, transvestites, drag queens or kings, female and male impersonators, intersexed individuals, pre-operative, post-operative and non-operative

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out spoken

transmissions

naming all the parts by gwendolyn Ann Smith

It can be even more difficult when one is attempting to define a group of people. It seems to be in our nature to defy classifications. We rankle at anything that would deny our individuality, and evade even the most rudimentary attempts to define. Indeed, the only viable definition are ones we choose for ourselves, which leads to scores of tailor-made terms that serve little use when attempting to cover more than a handful of willing users.

living out

Last month, Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno claimed that Chickfil-A had agreed to cease donations to right-wing groups that oppose samesex marriage and other LGBT rights.

NFL Players Come Out For Marriage Equality

e. sue blume, LCSW, diplomate 516.379.4731 Office in Freeport www.esueblume.com

Therapy for women and their relationships; bereavement (and pet loss) and pre-marital and marriage counseling (!!!) for the LGBT community.

By Rachel Roth

California bans “ex gay” therapy for youth California is the first state in the nation to outlaw “sexual orientation change efforts” on LGBT youth.

Banda also said the tone of the debate indicated that public opinion was against decriminalizing homosexuality.

We hope that you are as proud as we are of Living Out, and on behalf of everyone at The Network, we look forward to your continued readership and contributions for many years to come. With Pride,

David Kilmnick, PhD, MSW Publisher

The right therapist makes a difference. If knowledge … insight … humor … experience … and feedback make a difference to you, call

2

Weddings

Kyrsten Simena

Simena will represent Arizona’s 9th district and is also the first openly-bisexual member of Congress.

By the time the 2012 presidential race was called by the major media outlets on election night, it was already clear that this year would be one of many victories for the nation’s GLBT community. The GLBT community made big gains in the fight for same-sex marriage and saw a record number of out candidates elected to serve locally and in the House of Representatives and United States Senate.

Mark Takano

Representing California’s 41st district, Takano will become the first openly gay person of color in Congress.

30-350 People

Marc Pocan

Winning the seat vacated by Tammy Baldwin, Pocan will represent Wisconsin’s 2nd district.

Sean Patrick Maloney

A presidential evolution

Maloney becomes New York’s first openly gay

The GLBT community pressed hard on President Barack Obama to support marriage equality, and with a little help from Vice President Joe Biden, the president made his now-famous evolution in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on May 9, 2012. For the first time, the nation had a sitting U.S. president supporting marriage equality. The change in position paid off—exit polling by The New York Times and other media outlets indicated that 5% of voters identified at gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and of those 76% said they voted for President Obama.

representative after defeating incumbent Nan Hayworth.

David Cicilline and Jared Polis

Incumbents David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jared Polis of Colorado also easily won re-election in their races, bringing the total number of openly-GLBT people in the House to six.

Tammy Baldwin

Marriage victories at the ballot box

It is a mouthful, and full of potential problems. For one, I do not know of many intersexed individuals who would feel comfortable within this definition today, though that may have been different in 1994. Many others in there would either not feel they are explicitly included in such, would not be comfortable to be listed within, or even would argue that some others listed do not belong. I already mentioned my own personal definition of the term: anyone who transcends the gender they were assigned at birth. It covers a lot of ground, and is pretty open-ended. I don’t, for example, indicate how long one must transcend that gender, or if they have to have surgery, or anyone beyond this simple definition.

Before I go any further, let me also note that anyone is perfectly welcome to opt out of any term, choose their own term, or really do whatever they wish. In providing my own definition to the above, I want to make it clear that it is mine, and is how I see the world I live in. I’m certainly not saying that you have to fit such a definition any more than I’d feel

Willie Houston was neither gay nor transgendered identified, yet his killer saw him as both: gay because he had another man on his arm, and trans because he was carrying a purse.

When we fight for rights, those rights are provided under the umbrella of “transgender,” much like the 1994 San Francisco language—or they might refer to gender identity and expression. It is largely transgender-identified people and their allies who may be fighting for those rights. Yet such rights affect a wide swath of people regardless of their own self-identity—and that is good. We may never pin one term down we can all agree on—and in an evolving world, that makes plenty of sense. Yet while language is slippery—and definitions even more so—we still need them from time to time. It’s funny that way.

About the Author

gwen Smith is a blue spruce. You can find her at www.gwensmith.com

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While 28 states have enacted laws banning same-sex marriage through voterapproved ballot initiatives, voters this time around supported marriage equality in big ways in 2012. Maine, Maryland and Washington State each had their legislatively-passed laws legalizing same-sex marriage upheld through voter referenda, and voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Longtime Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was in one of the most closely followed U.S. Senate races against former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. Baldwin, who was honored at the 2011 Long Island GLBT Equality Awards Gala, was victorious, and when she takes office in January, she will be the first openly-GLBT person elected to the United States Senate.

what’s next... MARRIAGE EQUALITY With national polls showing a majority of Americans in support of Marriage Equality, and the wins on election night in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA’s) days are numbered. In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to hear cases regarding the constitutionality of DOMA. As a result of DOMA, same-sex couples who legally marry in states like New York are still denied federal marriage rights and protections.

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IMMIGRATION Immigration reform remains a pressing concern for the country, and softening positions by conservatives since the election suggest this will be a major policy issue for 2013. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimated in 2011 that there are 28,500 binational same-sex couples living in the United States, and thanks to DOMA, their relationships are not recognized for the purposes of attaining legal residency. On November 28th, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes recognition of same-sex couples.

EMPLOYMENT It still remains legal in 29 states to fire a person for being gay, lesbian or bisexual, and in 34 states you can be fired for being transgender—including right here in New York. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address this injustice, but it has been bouncing around Congress since 1994. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has announced that he will take the lead on getting the bill passed now that the previous sponsor—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)— is retiring at the end of the year.

Private Parties Parties Private

Overall, the GLBT community and its supporters clearly demonstrated its influence and power as a voting bloc in the 2012 elections. It is important that we keep the momentum going and not allow ourselves to become complacent under the false belief that we have achieved total equality. living out

Special Events

631.261.1900

445 East Main St. (25A), Centerport N.Y. 11721 ThatchedCottage.com

Ralph Colamussi Welcomes the GLBT Community

33

34

living out

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out spoken

transmissions

naming all the parts by gwendolyn Ann Smith

politics 2012 obligated to accept a definition of me that I’m not comfortable with. Really, like I said above, language is slippery.

by James Fallarino and Rachel West, LMSW

big wins for the glbt community

Even without looking at my definition or the rather verbose San Francisco definition, many do not feel included in the term “transgender.” Some have opted for their own spaces, or opt for “genderqueer” or “third gender,” or even have dropped the “gender” from the word altogether, being simply “trans.”

Definitions are slippery things. Language is constantly evolving, and words change. New terms are created, old ones become footnotes, and others dramatically change meanings. Consider the word “gay,” and how its meaning may have morphed from the 1890s to today.

Our voice—now better represented When firebrand Congressman Barney Frank announced his retirement in 2012, many wondered who would fill his shoes as one of the few openly-GLBT voices in Congress. In fact, when the new session begins in January, there will be a record number of openly-GLBT members:

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It can be even more difficult when one is attempting to define a group of people. It seems to be in our nature to defy classifications. We rankle at anything that would deny our individuality, and evade even the most rudimentary attempts to define. Indeed, the only viable definition are ones we choose for ourselves, which leads to scores of tailor-made terms that serve little use when attempting to cover more than a handful of willing users.

Let me add one more wrinkle to this all, because while we are free to define ourselves however we wish, when we face violence, discrimination, or other ills, that in itself needs to be defined—and that is different from a personal definition. Consider the 2001 murder of Willie Houston. Houston was, as far as we know, a straight, nontransgender identified, African-American man living in Tennessee. After taking a river cruise, his wife needed to use the restroom. Houston held her purse while she went in. Houston was also escorting a blind friend to the men’s room. On the way there, Willie Houston was taunted with homophobic slurs, and shot.

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth.

transsexuals, masculine females, feminine males, all persons whose perceived gender or anatomic sex may be incongruent with their gender expression, and all persons exhibiting gender characteristics and Identities which are perceived to be androgynous.”

At the turn of the last century, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld seemed content to use the term “transvestite” to cover any number of people. His seminal work, Die Transvestiten, covers those who cross-dress, performers known for cross-gender portrayals, those who underwent the rudimentary surgeries of the day, and gender variance in nonwestern cultures.

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth.

Today the term is defined in a limited fashion, as a synonym to cross-dresser, and typically refers to those who wear clothing of the opposite gender. You’ll note that even in that last sentence I am walking on eggshells, knowing that there are likely many who would ague against such a definition.

Since Hirschfeld’s time, we’ve seen many other turns picked up and discarded. Earl Lind in the 1910s used “androgyne” and “fairy.” Later, the term “transsexual” hit the scene. Drag was used by some in an all-encompassing fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was the mercifully short-lived “femmophile,” and other baggage-laden terms such as “aytogynephile.” The one that somehow “stuck” is “transgender.” Yet, pinning down a definition is slippery. One of the more inclusive is that used by the City and County of San Francisco, and coined in 1994. It reads, “‘Transgender’ is used as an umbrella term that includes female and male cross dressers, transvestites, drag queens or kings, female and male impersonators, intersexed individuals, pre-operative, post-operative and non-operative 32

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A presidential evolution

The GLBT community pressed hard on President Barack Obama to support marriage equality, and with a little help from Vice President Joe Biden, the president made his now-famous evolution in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on May 9, 2012. For the first time, the nation had a sitting U.S. president supporting marriage equality. The change in position paid off—exit polling by The New York Times and other media outlets indicated that 5% of voters identified at gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and of those 76% said they voted for President Obama.

I already mentioned my own personal definition of the term: anyone who transcends the gender they were assigned at birth. It covers a lot of ground, and is pretty open-ended. I don’t, for example, indicate how long one must transcend that gender, or if they have to have surgery, or anyone beyond this simple definition.

Before I go any further, let me also note that anyone is perfectly welcome to opt out of any term, choose their own term, or really do whatever they wish. In providing my own definition to the above, I want to make it clear that it is mine, and is how I see the world I live in. I’m certainly not saying that you have to fit such a definition any more than I’d feel

Willie Houston was neither gay nor transgendered identified, yet his killer saw him as both: gay because he had another man on his arm, and trans because he was carrying a purse.

When we fight for rights, those rights are provided under the umbrella of “transgender,” much like the 1994 San Francisco language—or they might refer to gender identity and expression. It is largely transgender-identified people and their allies who may be fighting for those rights. Yet such rights affect a wide swath of people regardless of their own self-identity—and that is good. We may never pin one term down we can all agree on—and in an evolving world, that makes plenty of sense. Yet while language is slippery—and definitions even more so—we still need them from time to time. It’s funny that way.

About the Author

Gwen Smith is a blue spruce. You can find her at www.gwensmith.com

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Mark Takano

Representing California’s 41st district, Takano will become the first openly gay person of color in Congress.

30-350 People

Marc Pocan

Winning the seat vacated by Tammy Baldwin, Pocan will represent Wisconsin’s 2nd district.

Sean Patrick Maloney

Maloney becomes New York’s first openly gay representative after defeating incumbent Nan Hayworth.

David Cicilline and Jared Polis

Incumbents David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jared Polis of Colorado also easily won re-election in their races, bringing the total number of openly-GLBT people in the House to six.

Tammy Baldwin

Marriage victories at the ballot box

It is a mouthful, and full of potential problems. For one, I do not know of many intersexed individuals who would feel comfortable within this definition today, though that may have been different in 1994. Many others in there would either not feel they are explicitly included in such, would not be comfortable to be listed within, or even would argue that some others listed do not belong.

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Kyrsten Simena

Simena will represent Arizona’s 9th district and is also the first openly-bisexual member of Congress.

By the time the 2012 presidential race was called by the major media outlets on election night, it was already clear that this year would be one of many victories for the nation’s GLBT community. The GLBT community made big gains in the fight for same-sex marriage and saw a record number of out candidates elected to serve locally and in the House of Representatives and United States Senate.

While 28 states have enacted laws banning same-sex marriage through voterapproved ballot initiatives, voters this time around supported marriage equality in big ways in 2012. Maine, Maryland and Washington State each had their legislatively-passed laws legalizing same-sex marriage upheld through voter referenda, and voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Longtime Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was in one of the most closely followed U.S. Senate races against former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. Baldwin, who was honored at the 2011 Long Island GLBT Equality Awards Gala, was victorious, and when she takes office in January, she will be the first openly-GLBT person elected to the United States Senate.

what’s next... MARRIAGE EQUALITY With national polls showing a majority of Americans in support of Marriage Equality, and the wins on election night in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA’s) days are numbered. In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to hear cases regarding the constitutionality of DOMA. As a result of DOMA, same-sex couples who legally marry in states like New York are still denied federal marriage rights and protections.

IMMIGRATION Immigration reform remains a pressing concern for the country, and softening positions by conservatives since the election suggest this will be a major policy issue for 2013. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimated in 2011 that there are 28,500 binational same-sex couples living in the United States, and thanks to DOMA, their relationships are not recognized for the purposes of attaining legal residency. On November 28th, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes recognition of same-sex couples.

EMPLOYMENT It still remains legal in 29 states to fire a person for being gay, lesbian or bisexual, and in 34 states you can be fired for being transgender—including right here in New York. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address this injustice, but it has been bouncing around Congress since 1994. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has announced that he will take the lead on getting the bill passed now that the previous sponsor—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)— is retiring at the end of the year.

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Private Parties Parties Private

Overall, the GLBT community and its supporters clearly demonstrated its influence and power as a voting bloc in the 2012 elections. It is important that we keep the momentum going and not allow ourselves to become complacent under the false belief that we have achieved total equality. LIVING OUT

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Letter from the publisher

Welcome

to the inaugural issue of Living Out, a new monthly publication covering Long Island life and GLBT culture! In my role as the chief executive officer (CEO) of The Long Island GLBT Services Network (The Network), I have been lucky to have the opportunity to visit and work with GLBT communities throughout the nation, and wherever I am, I always easily find a copy of that community’s local GLBT paper. These publications not only educate about GLBT news and current events, but they also give a voice and help to build and unite the broader GLBT and allied communities. As The Network is an Islandwide organization, I frequently travel across all 120 miles of Long Island, and see with my own eyes and hear directly from thousands of Long Islanders that they do not feel connected or know what’s happening in the Long Island GLBT Community. On Long Island, we do not have a “gayborhood” like Greenwich Village; our families live in every town, city and village

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across Long Island and we need to be connected and feel like we matter and exist no matter where we live, work or play. Living Out is the nexus that will do this for the Long Island community.

informed about GLBT issues, and we will feel more connected than ever before as a GLBT community and as Long Islanders.

our families live in every town, city and village across Long Island and we need to be connected and feel like we matter and exist no matter where we live, work or play. Living Out is the nexus that will do this for the Long Island community. Whether you live in Albertson or Amagansett, Carle Place or Calverton, East Rockaway or East Hampton, Malverne or Mattituck, we will be connected as a community. Living Out is being distributed at more than 240 locations across Long Island—in your local drug store and supermarket on the North Shore and South Fork, in your libraries and schools on the South Shore and North Fork and everywhere in between. More than 3 million people across Long Island will be better

Each issue of Living Out will bring you stories you won’t find anywhere else, including local, national, and international news; insightful commentary on current issues; strategies for living healthy and living smart; upcoming community events; arts and culture; restaurants and nightlife; and a whole lot more. The voice of Long Island’s GLBT Community will be more visible and grow with each issue of Living Out.

We hope that you are as proud as we are of Living Out, and on behalf of everyone at The Network, we look forward to your continued readership and contributions for many years to come. With Pride,

David Kilmnick, PhD, MSW Publisher

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In the news International News

By Rachel Roth

Malawi won’t repeal anti-gay legislation

Same-sex parents eligible for benefits

Despite Malawian President Joyce Banda’s promise to repeal indecency and unnatural acts laws, citizens of the African country are not ready to lift the ban on homosexuality.

While the United States continues to grapple with issues of marriage equality, Australia has become the first country to afford lesbian and gay parents the same rights as heterosexual parents.

“Where Malawi is and most African countries are, is maybe where America or the U.K. were about 100 years ago,” President Banda told the Associated Press.

The New Dad and Partner Leave will start In January 2013 and allow two weeks of leave, and minimum wage of about $606 per week. Mothers and fathers with same-sex partners are eligible for this government benefit.

Banda also said the tone of the debate indicated that public opinion was against decriminalizing homosexuality. “I as a leader have no right to influence how people feel,” she told the AP. “The best thing the world can do is to allow each country to take its course, to allow each country to have that debate freely without the pressure of being pushed.”

Archbishop admits Church may have caused “mental pain” In one of his last major public lectures before he steps down later this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, admitted that the Church of England’s position on gay relationships has been harmful to lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Like with heterosexual couples, a “primary carer” must be named in order to take advantage of the maximum 18 weeks leave the government offers.

“We are trying to catch up with a reality which for a long time we didn’t handle at all well.”

Dr. Williams said that the Church was “wrong” not to have advocated LGBT equality, but also criticized Prime Minister David Cameron for “embarrassing” the church over the issue of equal marriage. According to the Telegraph, during a lecture to the  think-tank Theos  in London, Dr. Williams suggested the church could learn lessons from its mistakes. “We are trying to catch up with a reality which for a long time we didn’t handle at all well,” he said. “I think the church has, in recent years, tried quite hard to say we are not condemning a person as such for their sexual orientation and that is a serious commitment.” In spite of these comments, Dr. Williams’ likely successor—the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu—is staunchly opposed to equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay couples. 6

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No pride parade in Belgrade Serbia’s police banned the Gay Pride Parade in the capital city of Belgrade for the second time in two years, citing security concerns.  However, it appears as though officials were also complying with a request from Serbia’s Christian Orthodox church. Police said they banned the march because they feared a repeat of the violence in 2010, when right-wing groups attacked a Gay Pride event. The attack triggered day-long clashes with the police, leaving more than 100 people injured. However, Patriarch Irinej, the head of Serbia’s Christian Orthodox church, urged the government to prevent the pride march from taking place. In a statement, he said such a “parade of shame” would cast a “moral shadow” on Serbia. The country is presently seeking entrée into the European Union, and membership is contingent upon following up on their pledge to respect human rights.

Hong Kong billionaire offers marriage bounty for lesbian daughter One of the richest men in Hong Kong has pledged $65 million to any man willing to marry his lesbian daughter. According to the Telegraph, Cecil Chao Szetsung, a property magnate, announced the reward after reports that his daughter—Gigi Chao, 33, a University of Manchester graduate—entered a civil partnership with her long-term girlfriend in France. Chao announced that he was looking for a good man for his daughter in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor,” he said, “the important thing is that he is generous and kindhearted.” Chao also denied the report that Gigi wed her girlfriend of seven years, but Ms. Chao’s Facebook page states otherwise.

Equal marriage defeat for Northern Ireland A motion calling for same-sex couples to be given the right to marry in Northern Ireland has been defeated. The Belfast News Letter reported that the vote was defeated in the Stormont Assembly by 45 to 50. The Presbyterian Church was one of the most vocal proponents.  In a letter to all Northern Ireland Assembly members, the church warned that marriage for same-sex couples would “effectively demolish” generations and centuries of societal norms. The motion stressed that religious organizations could define and observe marriage as they saw fit, but acknowledged that same-sex couples should be allowed to have their unions recognized as marriage in the eyes of the state. Even if the motion had passed it would not have changed the law, but rather just stated the opinion of the assembly.

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In the news National News

By Rachel Roth

California bans “ex gay” therapy for youth California is the first state in the nation to outlaw “sexual orientation change efforts” on LGBT youth. The legislation—authored by Sen. Ted Lieu—states that “any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity.” California Gov. Jerry Brown had reportedly been mum on whether or not he would sign the bill into law. Gov. Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle that in the end, this type of treatment has “no basis in science or medicine” and that they will now “be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.” The law is already being challenged in court. Two religiously oriented therapists and a therapy student— described as someone who has successfully undergone treatment for same-sex attractions—filed suit days after the bill was signed into law. Attorneys for the three argue the law tramples on families’ rights and therapists’ consciences, and intrudes on free speech, privacy and freedom of religion.

Chick-fil-A supports only “biblical families” Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy has reaffirmed his company’s support of “biblical families.” Cathy made the statement in an effort to clear up any residual confusion over the restaurant chain’s views. Last month, Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno claimed that Chickfil-A had agreed to cease donations to right-wing groups that oppose samesex marriage and other LGBT rights.

According to the Huffington Post, Cathy then issued a statement on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s website denying Moreno’s claims.

A seemingly contradictory statement was posted on the company’s website, in which officials defended their corporate giving as having been “mischaracterized.”

“There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago,” he wrote. “That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”

“Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities,” it read. “We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

Austin City Council backs marriage equality

NFL Players Come Out For Marriage Equality The marriage equality movement spread its wings into the professional sports world as two current NFL players came out in support of marriage equality. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe both spoke out and made a big difference in voter initiatives in their states. Ayanbadejo has been vocal about his support for marriage equality since 2009 was part of the successful campaign for Question 6—Maryland’s now-passed referendum on the state’s marriage equality law. His support became the target of an anti-gay Maryland State delegate who wrote a letter to the owner of the

Austin became the first city in Texas to support marriage equality when the City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Defense Against Marriage Act.

Baltimore Ravens demanding he “take the necessary action ... to inhibit such expressions from your employee.” Amongst the many voices that came out in support of Ayanbadejo was Chris Kluwe, who wrote a scathing response to the lawmaker. Kluwe is a prominent advocate for marriage equality in his own state of Minnesota­—where the recent ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage failed.

The “strongly worded” resolution was supported by a coalition of civil rights groups and backed by a petition signed by more than 1,800 people living in and around the Austin metro area. According to Raw Story, the resolution states that the Austin City Council will no longer abide discriminatory practices that “deny the powerful and important affirmation of love and commitment” that is civil marriage.  The resolution concludes: “[We] support marriage equality in the State of Texas.”

National News Continued

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In the news National News Continued

New immigration policy includes lesbian, gay couples The Obama administration has instructed immigration officials to consider same-sex couples family.  According to the Chicago Tribune, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Nancy Pelosi via letter that she ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to notify its field offices that “the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.” This directive has huge implications for

“the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.” undocumented LGBT immigrants facing possible deportation and continues to reaffirm President Obama’s commitment to LGBT equality. In 2011, the president and Attorney General Eric Holder called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and said they would no longer defend the measure in court. The new immigration policy is one of the few areas the federal government acknowledges lesbian and gay couples. This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether it will review a number of cases questioning the constitutionality of DOMA.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant dies at 27 A former constant on RuPaul’s Drag Race died last month. Antoine Ashley, who competed as Sahara Davenport, died of heart failure. He was 27. The classically trained dancer competed in the second season of the Logo show in 2010 and recently released a dance single, “Go Off.” Ashley is survived by his mother Angela Ashley Reddis, and his boyfriend of six years, Karl Westerberg. Westerberg, also a drag performer, was also a contestant on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Voter-suppression efforts disproportionately impact trans voters

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Strict voter ID laws have been enacted in 33 states, leaving more than 25,000 transgender people in danger of losing their right to vote.

“disproportionately affected immigrants, the elderly, people of color, the poor, women, and trans folk.”

They claim to prevent voter fraud, but federal courts in Texas, South Carolina, and Wisconsin struck down pending voter ID laws, stating they

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has launched a series of public service announcements in an effort to educate trans people

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on how to protect—and exercise—their right to vote. The campaign, “Voting While Trans,” features filmmaker Ignacio Rivera, NCTE Executive Director Mara Kiesling, actress Laverne Cox, writer and advocate Janet Mock, Charles Meins, and poet Kit Yan. 

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Out on LI

Gay-Straight Alliance Summit Educates Students About Anti-Bullying Law Students in school-based Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs throughout Nassau County packed The Center at Garden City on October 24th for Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth’s GSA Summit. Participants spent the evening networking with their peers and sharing ideas on how to create safer and more supportive schools for GLBT students.  The Summit also focused on how GSA clubs can ensure the recently-enacted Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) is being implemented in their schools. DASA amends the New York State Education Law to ban discrimination and harassment on school grounds on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/ or expression, sex, race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, or disability. The law also requires schools to provide anti-bullying training for school staff and to report incidences of bullying to the New York State Department of Education.  Harassment and discrimination instills fear in students and leads to high-risk behavior, difficulty concentrating and learning, lower grade point averages, skipping school, and reduced graduation rates. This is particularly evident among GLBT youth.

85%

of GLBT youth report being harassed at school because of their sexual orientation

64% report being harassed because of their gender identity and/or expression

30%

The grade point average of students frequently bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender expression is almost half a grade point lower than other students.

of GLBT students report missing school because of safety concerns

National Coming Out Day 2012 Over 60,000 Long Island students donned rainbow ribbons and ally stickers on October 11, 2012 as they participated in LIGALY’s 11th Annual National Coming Out Day School Awareness Campaign (NCOD). The 2012 event was the largest since LIGALY began organizing the campaign in 2002. The goal of LIGALY’s National Coming Out Day School Awareness Campaign is to help raise awareness, decrease violence, and build leadership to create safer and more supportive

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learning environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth, families, and allies.  NCOD is about the entire school community “coming out” as advocates of safer schools to reduce levels of GLBT-related harassment and

LIGALY will hold its next GSA Summit in Suffolk County this winter. For more information about LIGALY’s work to create safer schools on Long Island, contact Jenilee Dowling, LIGALY’s Safe Schools Coordinator today at 516.323.0011 or jdowling@ligaly.org.­

bullying. The Campaign encourages participants to make a statement and show their support of GLBT students by wearing a rainbow pin or ally sticker. LIGALY provides free campaign kits to participating schools that include the ribbons and stickers, as well as campaign posters and palm cards and a resource guide to assist students in implementing the campaign. In total, 61 schools, Jewish community centers and synagogues received campaign kits. Each year, the materials for the campaign are developed by LIGALY’s Safe Schools Team, a group of student leaders who are provided with specialized education and training to address anti-GLBT bullying in schools. LIGALY also provides free on-site training for student organizations implementing the campaign.

The National Coming Out Day School Awareness Campaign is a part of LIGALY’s Safe Schools Initative, which since 1993 has worked with more than 100 of Long Island’s 127 public school districts to develop a school culture that fosters support, understanding and respect for GLBT youth, families, and educators. For more information about LIGALY’s work to end anti-GLBT bullying, contact Jennilee Dowling, LIGALY’s Safe Schools Coordinator at 516.323.0011 or jdowling@ligaly.org.

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Out on LI On Exhibit

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s traveling exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 examines the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more. The exhibit came to Long Island from October 12 to November 15 at The Long Island GLBT Services Network’s Center at Garden City. “I never knew that,” is a phrase that was heard over and over again when people visited the exhibit, which also coincided with GLBT History month. The exhibit tracks the history of the GLBT community in Germany, from its vibrant literary and advocacy years in the early 20th century, through the systemic oppression and persecution by the Nazis, and the aftermath, according to Karen Taylor, director of Jewish outreach for Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY). “The exhibit was presented at our Center in Bay Shore in 2008, and it drew hundreds of visitors. We felt the time was ripe to bring the exhibit back to Long Island, and to Nassau County,” Taylor said. “It is a critical piece of our community’s history. Most of us know something of the Holocaust, but we may not be as familiar with how our own community was affected.”

viewers of the exhibition had the opportunity to follow one person’s story to its conclusion.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi regime promoted racial health policies that sought to eliminate all sources of biological corruption to its dominant “Aryan” race. Among the groups persecuted as threats to the national health were Germany’s homosexual men. Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, and between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder. After World War II, homosexuals were not recognized as victims of Nazi persecution.  Reparations were refused, and some homosexual camp prisoners were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment under the Allied Military Government. The exhibit includes a history of Germany’s indecency laws and how they were implemented prior to, during, and after the Nazi regime. Known as “Paragraph 175,” the laws against homosexual behavior were part of German law dating back into the 1800s.

Long Island is home to hundreds of Holocaust survivors, who were eyewitnesses and victims of government-led discrimination and its deadly results. 10

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“The Nazis used existing laws, modifying them through legislation and other legal means,” Taylor explained. “For example, a conviction under Paragraph 175 prior to the Nazi era might have resulted in a fine or a short prison term. Under the Nazis, a conviction would lead to a minimum of 10 years of hard labor.” An opening reception for the exhibit was held on Friday, October 12th. LIGALY and The Long Island GLBT Community Center (The Center) also held a series of programs exploring some of the larger themes of the exhibit and the lessons modern society should learn from this dark time. In addition to the hundreds of visitors who viewed the exhibit, more than a dozen group tours also took place. “Synagogues, Jewish youth groups, senior centers, and schools all scheduled visits,” Taylor said. There were also a number of programs associated with the exhibit, including panels with Holocaust survivors, films, and discussions: The Center screened the film Aimée & Jaguar on October 16th. This 1999 German drama was based on a true story about the romance between Lilly Wust, the wife of a Nazi officer, and Felice Schragenheim, a Jewish woman hiding in Berlin’s underground. Visitors also learned about GLBT Life in Germany Before the Nazi Regime through a presentation and discussion with Holocaust scholar Beth Lilach, senior director of education and community affairs at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. Pre-Nazi Germany, a time known as the “Weimer era,” was home to one of the most vibrant GLBT communities in Europe, with

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karen taylor, director of jewish outreach, leading guided tours of the exhibition.

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flourishing nightclubs, literature, newspapers, gay-rights groups, and more. On October 17th, Author Lesléa Newman, best known for her groundbreaking children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies, read from her most recent book, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard.

Out on LI

hundreds of Holocaust survivors, who were eyewitnesses and victims of governmentled discrimination and its deadly results. Werner Reich, a survivor who was deported to Theresienstadt, then sent to AuschwitzBirkanau, then forced on the death march to Matuhausen, was liberated in 1945 by American forces. One of those liberators was John D’Aquila. John and his husband Myron (another WWII veteran) joined Werner for this special panel about survival and liberation. Individuals who have visited the exhibit have been deeply affected by what they experienced. Whether it’s learning about the vibrant pre-Holocaust GLBT community in Germany, discovering that one of the Nazi Party’s top leaders was an openly gay man, how many gay people were arrested and sent to camps, or that the liberating forces didn’t necessarily free the “men with the pink triangles,” this exhibit has left a lasting impact on the reminder to be vigilant and stand up to hate for so many Long Islanders—for if we are silent, it will lead to death.

“It is a critical piece of our community’s history. Most of us know something of the Holocaust, but we may not be as familiar with how our own community was affected.” The film Paragraph 175 was screened on November 12 at The Center. This documentary tells the stories of lesbian and gay Holocaust survivors, all of whom were arrested under this anti-homosexuality law. The exhibition also included a panel discussion with a Holocaust survivor and his liberator in late November. Long Island is home to

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LIVING OUT

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Out On LI On Exhibit

Teens Build Library for Jewish Social Action Month On Sunday, October 21, 2012, dozens of youth from four Long Island synagogues spent the day building a new library lounge at The Long Island GLBT Services Network’s Center at Garden City. As part of Jewish Social Action Month, the teens chose The Center as their project and donated and built new furniture, set up bookshelves, and created artwork to decorate the new space.

to focus on projects around the theme of tzedek (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). JSAM coincides with the month of Cheshvan on the Jewish calendar, which falls this year between October 17 to November 14, 2012.

Jewish Social Action Month (JSAM) is a global initiative that started in 2005 with support from the government of Israel and Jewish communal leaders from across the world. The idea was

The UJA-Federation, which funds this initiative, supports over 30 Jewish social action and community service projects as part of Jewish Social Action Month, including efforts to raise awareness and activism. The four synagogues that participated in the project have developed a close working relationship with the organizations of The Network, particularly Long Island Gay and Lesbian

youth painting original art to hang in the brand new community library

Youth (LIGALY). In 2011, LIGALY launched The Aleph Project to connect GLBT Jewish youth ages 13-21 with Jewish life and experience, while working in partnership with synagogues and Jewish community centers to create positive, inclusive, and affirming activities for GLBT Jewish youth. For more information about The Aleph Project, contact Karen Taylor, LIGALY’s Director of Jewish Outreach at 516.323.0011 or ktaylor@ligaly.org.

LIGALY hosts East End Community Meeting in Response to the Tragic Death of David Hernandez Barros More than 130 people attended a community meeting at East Hampton High School on October 22, 2012 in the wake of the bullyingrelated suicide of David Hernandez Barros, a 16-year-old gay teen in East Hampton. The meeting was coordinated by Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) to remember David and to chart a course forward to combat the isolation that GLBT youth on the East End face.  Barros, an Ecuadorian immigrant and junior at the high school, committed suicide on Sept 29, 2012. According to Barros’ mother Carmita, David faced regular bullying in school and in the community because of his sexual orientation and ethnic background.  Anti-GLBT bullying and suicide amongst GLBT teens continue to be at epidemic levels. According to a 2011 study, over 80% of GLBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 60% report being harassed because of their gender expression.   12

LIVING OUT

At the meeting, faculty, students, and community members talked about the need for a safe space for GLBT youth on the East End. “East Hampton School District has been on the forefront of addressing anti-GLBT bullying in its schools for a long time, but the district cannot be alone in its work,” said David Kilmnick, chief executive officer of LIGALY. “Bullying is a community problem that demands a community solution—it does not stop when a young person leaves school grounds.”

however, both centers are not easily accessible for young people living on the East End. “Unlike in Western Suffolk and Nassau County, GLBT youth on the East End do not have an accessible safe space to find support,” said Kilmnick. 

Maria Mondini, assistant principal at East Hampton High School, underscored the importance of a community response to antiGLBT bullying. “We talk openly about gay and even transgender issues [at East Hampton High School]. As open as our community is, kids still need a safe space in our community.”

Support for an East End GLBT Center has already begun coming in. Sag Harbor residents Beatrice Alda and Jennifer Brooke have issued a $20,000 matching grant to support an East End GLBT Center through their JenJo Foundation. Additionally, more than 50 people have joined LIGALY’s East End GLBT Center Advisory Committee to assist the organization in making the East End Center a reality. The Advisory Committee held its first meeting in Bridgehampton on November 30th. 

LIGALY currently operates two GLBT Community Centers on Long Island—The Center at Garden City in Nassau County and The Center at Bay Shore in Western Suffolk County—

For more information on how you can help LIGALY create a safe space for GLBT youth on the East End, visit www.ligaly.org or call 631.665.2300. 

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show your pride

Out on LI

calendar of events Getting Bi Monday, December 10, 7:30-8:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Monthly discussion group for people who identify as bisexual. All ages welcome. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Community Holiday Party Friday, December 14, 6-10pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore LIGALY, The Center, and SAGE-LI’s 6th Annual Potluck Holiday Party. Open to all ages. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

TRUE – Nassau County Friday, December 14, 6-7:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore A space for gay and bi men of color to talk about health, relationships, sexuality and other topics. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

20-Something Friday, December 14, 7:30-8:30pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City A social and discussion group for GLBT people age 20-29. www.liglbtcenter.org, 516.323.0011

Youth Support Group Thursday, December 27, 5-6pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore, NY 11706 For GLBT youth under the age of 21. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

TRUE – Suffolk County Friday, December 28, 6-7:30pm

The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore A space for gay and bi men of color to talk about health, relationships, sexuality and other topics. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

AlAnon Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Closed group for all ages. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Alcoholics Anonymous Tuesdays, 8-9pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Closed group for all ages. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Aleph Project Youth Meetings 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 5:30-7pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City

OUTlet Fridays, 8pm-midnight The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore

A safe space for GLBT Jewish youth to meet and share. www. ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Friday night social program for GLBT youth and their friends age 13-21. $2 admission, transportation available. www.ligaly. org, 631.665.2300

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing – Nassau County Thursdays, 5-8pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City

Parent Support Group 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, 6-7pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore

Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Discussion group for parents of GLBT children. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing – Suffolk County Wednesdays, 5-8pm

PEP Team – Suffolk County Thursdays, 6-8pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore

The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

Garden City Mingle Tuesdays, 11am-1pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City SAGE-LI’s weekly social for GLBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Garden City. www.sageli.org, 516.323.0011

Hampton Bay Mingle 2nd and 4th Thursday 3-5pm

Hampton Bays Senior Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave, Hampton Bays

Interactive leadership program promoting sexual health for GLBT young people. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

PEP Team – Nassau County Thursdays, 6-8pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Interactive leadership program promoting sexual health for GLBT young people. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

Safe Schools Team – Suffolk County Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore

SAGE-LI’s monthly social for GLBT seniors 50+ on the East End. www.sageli.org, 631.665.2300

Youth leadership program for young people committed to creating safer schools on Long Island. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

LITE Social and Discussion Group Wednesdays, 7:30-9pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore

Safe Schools Team – Nassau County Mondays, 5:30-7pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City

An open discussion group for transgender people and their friends and family. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Youth leadership program for young people committed to creating safer schools on Long Island. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Monday Mingle Mondays, 11am-1pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore SAGE-LI’s weekly social in for GLBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Bay Shore. www.sageli.org, 631.665.2300

SAGE-LI Women at Nassau (SWAN) 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City A social and discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. www.sageli.org, 516.323.0011

have a glbt event you want to promote in living out? Let us know what your organization is doing. Email editor@livingoutli.org.

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LIVING OUT

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Out and About

Fangs and Stilettos by Anthony DiFiore (inGroup Press, 2012)

Books Reviewed

The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America I grew up in suburban Pennsylvania, and throughout my youth my parents would sometimes take me into Lancaster County for shopping. On long, windy roads next to farms and cornfields we’d pass horses and buggies. I’d ask my parents about the people who drove them. Why weren’t they in cars? Why did they dress so funny? What do you mean they don’t use electricity? The beautiful thing about The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America is that it sheds light on the Amish experience in a way that is both deep and touching. The author, James Schwartz, was born gay in an Amish community, and struggled with his faith and sexuality. Most of his book is a compilation of poetry, but he also weaves some short stories throughout. Every passage—poetry or prose—tells a story about love, family, religion, or his unique life. Back during my many trips to Lancaster, I never thought about how complex the Amish life could be, but Schwartz’s experience is eye-opening. He recounts his experimental gay childhood, and getting caught messing around with another Amish boy. He writes about going to nightclubs in his horse and buggy, and the feelings of rejection by his family and kin. For someone who doesn’t normally read poetry books, I was touched by Schwartz’s collection. Not only is the poetry absorbing, but the content is unique and fascinating. If not for this book, how would I ever know about the experiences of the gay Amish? Schwartz has done a service to all the boys who are growing up in the same shoes as he, and I hope that he continues to write more about his unique life. —Emily Keener

The fashion industry has a very big secret. It is a secret that no one in the fashion world wants to reveal. Or perhaps they do...they just can’t. In Anthony DiFiore’s equal parts fun and complex Fangs and Stilettos, twins Natasha and Marciano discover just what the fashion world is really like. Adopted by a world famous designer, the two have always loved their lives of glamor. On their 21st birthday, the twins’ adopted mother, Maude, reveals that they will be traveling to New York for fashion week along with their older sister, Betty. Upon arrival they discover that supernatural creatures populate all corners of the fashion world. Not only this, but Natasha and Marciano are members of a rare breed of supernaturals: The Thirteens, the most powerful of all. Candice Brown, rival designer of the twins’ mother and head of Caligae, an organization meant to keep all supernaturals in line, is tired of being controlled by the centuries-old curse and seeks to upend the fashion industry in order to break free. When Candice discovers Marciano and Natasha could ruin her plan, she decides they must be removed from the equation by any means necessary. What follows is a complex and suspenseful adventure, as Marciano, Natasha, Betty and several others attempt to prevent Candice from sabotaging fashion week. DiFiore has a knack for cracking wise about fashion, with references for those in the know or with only a peripheral understanding of the industry. The characters are richly developed, Marciano provides comedic relief throughout the tenser parts, and the delivery is natural. I found myself frequently returning to the novel’s themes: assimilation versus separation, choosing between the greater of two evils, the importance of individuality within a group, and the struggles that may arise from that. While it might have one too many twists at its conclusion, Fangs and Stilettos has left me thinking for days, which is what I look for in a good book. I’m sure to return to it. —Matthew Wrobel

ISBN: 193572505X Release price: $12.95 (Paperback) / $3.95 (E-Book) Amazon link: www.amazon.com/The-Literary-Party-Growing-America/ dp/193572505X/

ISBN: 1935725076 Release price: $14.95 (Paperback) / $4.95 (E-Book) Amazon link: www.amazon.com/Fangs-Stilettos-AnthonyDiFiore/dp/1935725076/

by James Schwartz (inGroup Press, 2012)

Screen Savor

Stories in song by Gregg Shapiro Fantasia (Barrino) is not an actress. However, that didn’t stop the season three (2004) American Idol champ from playing herself as a teen and adult in The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life is Not a Fairytale, the Lifetime movie based “in part” on her autobiography. Directed by Debbie Allen, who makes a cameo appearance in the 2006 movie (now on DVD), Life is Not a Fairytale is pure Lifetime. Opening during Fantasia’s controversial competition on the Fox talent show, when she was being plagued by “internet stuff” regarding her unmarried teen mother status, Life is Not a Fairytale quickly shifts into flashback mode. Young Fantasia (singer/actress Jamia Simone Nash) lives with her parents, nurse Diane (Viola Davis!) and musician Joe (Kadeem Hardison). Fantasia, her parents and brothers sing in the High Point, NC Baptist church where grandmother Addie (Loretta Devine) is the minister. Of course the church walls are not strong enough to contain little Fantasia’s talent. Discovered by a local record exec, Fantasia and family are offered a recording contract that soon sours. Meanwhile, ugly duckling is bullied at school. Without a shred of self-confidence (thanks mom and dad!), by her teen years Fantasia is an easy mark for the school studs looking to take advantage of such a girl. Before you can say cherry, she’s given up her virginity to Rodney (Chico Benymon) who promptly ignores her. But after she is raped at school by Dwayne (Norman Nixon Jr.) and drops out, Rodney mans up and they become a couple. That bliss is short-lived, following the birth of daughter Zion. Rodney is abusive and irresponsible. She is reduced to 14

LIVING OUT

shoplifting formula and disposable diapers. Fanstasia has enough and kicks Rodney to the curb. With no good future in sight, Fantasia travels to Atlanta to audition for American Idol (even that trip is plagued by drama) and makes it to the next round in Hollywood. The rest is modern day musical history as Fantasia ignores the naysayers, triumphs on TV and even manages to find love. Life is Not a Fairytale is a fairly straightforward story of overcoming the odds (a Lifetime standard) that would have benefited from an actress in the lead, especially in the company of Davis and Devine. DVD has no bonus material. Was Katy Perry ever as insecure as Fantasia? It doesn’t appear that way from watching Katy Perry: The Movie – Part of Me (Paramount). Following Perry on her 350-plus day 2011 world tour, the film is a combination concert movie and personal documentary. If you weren’t already a Perry fan, Part of Me probably won’t do much for you in that department. What the movie does best is fill in some blanks. For those who think it might be too soon for this multi-platinum diva to

be the topic of such a project, with only two full-length discs to her name, Part of Me provides the back-story. From her roots in the CCM (contemporary Christian music) scene to her failed attempts at secular artistry (at Columbia Records, and not surprisingly at Island/Def Jam), the doc makes it clear that Perry was not an overnight sensation. But when she hit, she hit big, selling millions of copies of her CDs and breaking all sorts of records, including having five (!) number one singles from one album. The movie makes an attempt to address a range of matters, including her relationship with the LGBT community. With her CCM background and being the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher, songs of Perry’s such as “I Kissed A Girl” (not to be confused with the superior Jill Sobule songs of the same name) and “Ur So Gay,” could be misconstrued as offensive. Part of Me illuminates another side of Perry, where she is surrounded by gay men, including stylist Johnny Wujek and makeup artist Todd Delano, not to mention of hordes of LGBT fans, all of whom she values. Bursting with interview subjects, including Adele, songwriter/ producer Glenn Ballard, photog Mark Hunter, managers Bradford Cobb and Steve Jensen, Perry’s family members, and Perry herself, among others, the movie at times borders on being a self-promotion device. Things get particularly suspect when Perry’s short-lived marriage to comedian Russell Brand begins to unravel, becoming the uncomfortable focus. Does she stop the cameras? No, true professional that she is, she soldiers on, multi-colored wigs, warts and all. Blu-ray special features on the double disc Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy edition include full concert performances of “Last Friday Night” and “Waking Up in Vegas,” and much more.

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iMusic

By Gregg Shapiro

Out and About

Refresher course

One of the most iconic artists to emerge from the singer/songwriter scene of the 1970s, Carly Simon gave music lovers much to enjoy and remember her by. Songs such as “You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation”  and “You Belong To Me” have become a part of the Great American Songbook. In the early 1980s, following her divorce from James Taylor, Simon predicted rock and roll’s future romance with standards (see Linda Ronstadt and Rod Stewart) with her beautiful Torch album. Shortly before her acclaimed association with the now defunct Arista label, which included the hit single “Coming Around Again” and an Oscar for “Let The River Run” (from Working Girl), Simon recorded Spoiled Girl for Epic. The expanded, import reissue of Spoiled Girl (Hot Shot) provides a new opportunity to revisit the underrated 1985 album. Beginning with opener “My New Boyfriend,” the album goes for a mid-`80s dance vibe, complete with synths and drum machines. The best of the dance cuts, “Can’t Give It Up,” should have been a club hit. Those longing for classic Carly can find her on “Tonight and Forever” and “Make Me Feel Something,” while the pithy “The Wives Are in Connecticut” is also a treat. Bonus tracks include “Black Honeymoon” (also a bonus on the domestic version of the CD), the single version of “Tired of Being Blonde” and 12” remix and dub versions of “My New Boyfriend.” In 1986, the year after Simon released Spoiled Girl, Peter Gabriel put out So, the biggest selling album of his lengthy career. Like Simon, Gabriel was an iconic figure of the 1970s, first as a member of art/prog-rock act Genesis and then as a solo artist. His first three self-titled solo discs set the standard for modern pop, putting Gabriel in the same influential class as David Bowie. So (Realworld), newly reissued in a 25th anniversary three-disc limited edition, including the double disc Live In Athens 1987 set, opens with “Red Rain,” a song that updates and honors Gabriel’s solo sound. But nothing could have prepared listeners for the soul slammer “Sledgehammer” (and its groundbreaking accompanying video). This was Gabriel at his funkiest and all these years later the song still titillates and thrills. The exquisite “Don’t Give Up,” a glorious duet with Kate Bush, also retains its ability to move listeners. Gabriel also duets with Laurie Anderson on “This Is The Picture – excellent birds,” a song they co-wrote, which also appeared on Anderson’s Mister Heartbreak disc. Further standout tracks include “Mercy Street” (dedicated to poet Anne Sexton), “Big Time” (an exercise in funk on par with “Sledgehammer”) and the anthemic “In Your Eyes.” With The Partridge Family firmly in his past and his solo career in full swing, David Cassidy released his first live album Cassidy Live (Bell/Real Gone) in 1974 (the same year, incidentally, that the Peter Gabriel-led Genesis released The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway). Recorded in England, the live set includes only one of Cassidy’s domestic hit singles (“How Can I Be Sure”), but is notable for his renditions of songs by Neil Sedaka (“Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”), Kim “Bette Davis Eyes” Carnes (“It’s Preying on My Mind,” co-penned by Cassidy), Leon Russell (“Delta Lady”), the Beatles (“Please Please Me”) and Stephen Stills (“For What It’s Worth”). The U.K. also comes into play on Cassidy’s 1985 disc Romance (Arista/Real Gone), available domestically on CD for the first time. Recorded in Britain after Cassidy relocated there in the early 1980s, the disc benefits from his access to a variety of performers including George Michael and Basia, who can be heard on “The Last Kiss” and the title cut, respectively. 1972 was a good year for Jethro Tull, too. Coming off the positive commercial and critical success of Aqualung, the prog rockers delivered the album-length epic Thick As a Brick (Chrysalis), now available in an expanded CD/DVD set. As envisioned by Ian Anderson, Thick As A Brick is, according engineer Robin Black (in the new liner notes), “continuous, with one song bleeding into the next with no gaps.” Not a casual listen, Thick As a Brick still commands your attention, from the first familiar notes through the proggy freak-out about 21 minutes into the album. The DVD includes two additional mixes of the original album and more. Step back 10 years, from 1972 to 1962, and dig Booker T. & The MG’s Green Onions (Stax), available in a 50th anniversary edition featuring a pair of live bonus tracks. The title cut on the allinstrumental recording remains one of the standout tracks of the era, make that any era. Saucy and earthy, it’s the kind of tune that functions as one of the slats in the bridge that connected the 1950s to the 1960s and beyond.  It’s got a great beat and you can dance to it, what more could you ask? Other classics on this staple include “Mo’ Onions” and a cover of “Lonely Avenue.”

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oyTunes

When it comes to gifts for the Hanukkah celebrants on your list, the musical pickings are slim. But here are a few suggestions of new recordings by some members of the tribe. The Singer (Columbia/Legacy), a double disc anthology, mainly focuses on the solo work of one Art Garfunkel. More than doubling the number of tracks found on Garfunkel’s 1988 single disc Garfunkel compilation, there is some duplications of titles (a half dozen or so songs), as well as some exclusions (“Second Avenue”). The set also includes a handful of Simon & Garfunkel tunes, as well as some unusual choices (the 1993 recording of “All I Know” in lieu of the 1973 original). Why the 34-tracks aren’t in chronological order remains a mystery. Garfunkel’s former singing partner Paul Simon, who has released some of his best work in recent years, including the albums Surprise and So Beautiful or So What, has a new triple disc set (two CDs/1 DVD), Live in New York City (Concord/Hear Music) available. Recorded live at Webster Hall in NYC  in June of 2011, the package includes several tracks from his lauded Graceland album, as well as the title track from his underrate 1982 disc Hearts And Bones, on which he sings “one and one half wandering Jews,” a reference to his relationship with ex-wife Carrie Fisher. The A and the M of A&M Records are Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, two “nice Jewish boys” who founded the legendary record label in the early 1960s. A&M 50: The Record Collection (A&M/ Ume) is a triple disc, 60-track retrospective celebrating the anniversary of the label and their amazing roster of artists. Thoughtfully separated into categories (“From AM to FM,” “A Mission to Rock” and “Soul, Jazz And More”—note the clever use of the A & M), the discs feature tracks by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (naturally), Sergio Mendes & Brasil `66, Burt Bacharach, the Carpenters Joan Armatrading, The Police (and Sting), Squeeze and Janet Jackson, among many others. It’s been quite a year for the newly shorn Matisyahu. He made his big-budget Hollywood movie acting debut alongside Kyra Sedgwick in The Possession, which topped the box office in early September. While he hasn’t completely abandoned the Hasidic reggae shtick, he definitely branches out in a more pop-oriented direction on Spark Seeker (Fallen Sparks/Thirty Tigers), best represented by the bright single “Sunshine.” On a more traditional note, Eternal Echoes: Songs & Dances for the Soul (Sony Classical) is a stellar collaboration between violinist Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (whose vocal abilities rate among the best opera singers, including Pavarotti and Domingo, according to Perlman). Knowledge or familiarity with Hebrew or Jewish traditions and religious practices are not necessary to appreciate the exquisite combination of Perlman’s playing and Helfgot’s singing.  Consisting of 11 previously unreleased tunes from her personal vault, Release Me (Columbia) by Barbra Streisand is the ultimate holiday gift. Heretofore unavailable selections include a dazzling reading of “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” featuring songwriter Randy Newman on piano (from the Stoney End sessions), “Home” from The Wiz (one of two cuts from Back To Broadway), a rendition of Jimmy Webb’s “Didn’t We” (from a scrapped album) and a studio version of “With One More Look At You” (from Streisand’s movie version of A Star Is Born), just to name a few. After a brief flirtation with born again Christianity, resulting in an unholy trinity of albums released from 1979 to 1981, legendary folk singer Bob Dylan (born and circumcised Robert Zimmerman in Hibbing, Minnesota) returned to his secular ways after that, briefly detouring for a Christmas album in 2009. His latest, Tempest (Columbia), continues some of the blues exploration he began with 1997’s Time Out of Mind and followed through with into the 21st century on Love and Theft, Modern Times and Together Through Life, as you can hear on “Narrow Way” and “Early Roman Kings.” But the curmudgeonly Dylan is downright upbeat on the perky “Duquesne Whistle” and the twangy romance of “Pay In Blood.”   Perhaps frustrated with the lack of Hanukkah music, nice Jewish boys Kenny G and Barry Manilow have turned to the Christmas songbook for their holiday releases. Both have released 16-track discs under the Classic Christmas Album (Arista/Legacy) heading and both lend their respective talents to holiday standards including “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bells” and more. LIVING OUT

15


Out and about television

tv movie review: Liz and Dick by gregg shapiro

As he always did during the course of their on again/off again relationship, Richard Burton (Grant Bowler) wrote letters to his great love Elizabeth Taylor (Lindsay Lohan). He even composed one on the last day of his life in 1984. In this final letter, he says that he fell for her the moment he saw her all those years ago at a party in Hollywood. She was everything he ever wanted; even though she looked at him with utter disdain. Sitting in directors’ chairs, dressed in black, Liz & Dick, the titular characters in the Lifetime movie, employ the classic device of laziness and recount their “true story,” interwoven between flashbacks. Beginning in Rome in 1961, while filming Cleopatra, with Taylor’s late entrance on the set, to their first awkward exchange, the sexual tension mounted while Burton’s excessive drinking and Taylor’s haughtiness threatened to derail it all. Never mind that both were married to other people—Burton (the “Welsh Don Juan”) to Sybil (Tanya Franks) and 29-year-old Taylor to her fourth husband Eddie Fisher (Andy Hirsch). Liz & Dick follows the notorious couple from their famous first love scene through the beginning of the affair to their scandalous headlinemaking relationship. We see Richard force Elizabeth to choose between him and Eddie. We watch Elizabeth swoon as Richard recites poetry for her. But mostly we watch them get drunk and fight. They make up, he buys her expensive gifts (usually jewelry, once a jet) and the drinking/ fighting cycle begins again. Eventually, they divorced their respective spouses and finally married each other. They made movies together, including the acclaimed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but they’re a (movie) star-crossed pair if there ever was one. Love may conquer all, but jealousy, insecurity and alcohol give love a run for its money.

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In 1974, the tempestuous relationship eventually crumbled under the weight of tragedy (Burton’s brother Ifor’s injury and death), infidelity (Burton cheats) and, of course, all that alcohol. They foolishly remarried more than a year later, only to divorce again after nine months. Still, when Taylor learned of Burton’s death in 1984, she fainted dead away. For a visit to his gravesite (she didn’t attend the funeral out of respect for his family), Taylor is naturally emotional.

Grant Bowler (Richard Burton) and Lindsay Lohan (Elizabeth Taylor) star in the Lifetime original movie Liz & Dick

But, wait, you don’t care about the familiar story (and any liberties taken). You want to know if Lindsay Lohan, an actress as troubled (if not nearly as talented) as Elizabeth Taylor, did a decent job portraying the titular Liz. Let’s just say it takes more than good (and probably gay) hair and make-up artists for a transformation of this scope. Lohan, who gives it her all, simply wasn’t up to the challenge. There are definitely times when she comes close to pulling it off, especially in the scenes from the earlier years. But as time (and the movie) wears on, Lohan as Liz becomes less credible and more comical. Bowler has an easier time with Burton, which might have more to do with the accent than the bad hair pieces, although he flirts with caricature over character on more than one occasion. Perhaps the movie’s greatest sin, far worse than casting Lohan as Taylor, is its title. Elizabeth Taylor remarked on more than one occasion, including an interview with Barbara Walters, that she hated to be called Liz. Liz & Dick is not the tribute that Taylor or Burton deserved. It’s also not the comeback that Lohan was probably hoping it would be. But for all of its flaws, the scenery chewing is still fun to watch and worth seeing if you have 90 minutes to waste. (Liz & Dick airs on the Lifetime network on Nov. 25. Check local listings for times.)

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food and drink

restaurant review: jellyfish in centerport

Out and About

Coming in the January issue of Living Out review of Long Island’s newest hotspot for waterfront dining!

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LIVING OUT

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Out and about

be scene

Show your pride and BE SCENE in future issues of living out!

In 2012, over 13,000 came to the Long Island Pride Parade and PrideFest on Saturday, June 9 in Huntington.

LIGALY’s 12th Annual Prom in June 2012 provided GLBT and allied youth the chance to enjoy an unforgettable night that celebrates their diversity in a safe and welcoming environment.

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LIVING OUT

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Out and About view more Be Scene photos by visiting living out online! www.livingoutli.org

The long island glbt equality awards gala is Long Island’s premier fundraising event for the GLBT community. The event honors those who fight tirelessly for equality.

over 3,000 attended the annual long island glbt expo to get their picture taken with the noh8 campaign and meet with over 50 glbtfriendly businesses.

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LIVING OUT

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Out front Supermodel girlfriends, rumored spats with Christina Aguilera and the engine that has kept Maroon 5 running for 10 years—there’s still so much more to Adam Levine.

out front: adam levine

adam, exposed by chris azzopardi

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Out front The adored front man of one of the biggest pop bands, who recently told MTV that if he were president his first mission would be to legalize gay marriage, is also a straight ambassador for the gay community. With lots going on— judging this fall’s third season of The Voice, making his acting debut on Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and touring with Maroon 5—it’s no wonder the band’s latest album is called Overexposed. In this exclusive chat with the pop star, Levine talks how fighting for gay rights has little to do

Pop star talks passion for gay rights, acting debut, nudity, and biggest Voice diva...

with him having a gay brother, what he really thinks of people who don’t believe in marriage equality and if we’ll see him, ahem, overexposed on American Horror Story.

Of all the things you could’ve said, why did you tell MTV that you’d legalize gay marriage first if you were president? It’s just so silly and it doesn’t make any sense to me that you wouldn’t be able to marry whomever you want to marry. It’s not our business. I don’t know why we’re obsessed with making everything in this country our business, all the time. It seems we’re a little behind on that, and we just need to make it legal and stop caring so much. It doesn’t matter. And it shouldn’t matter.

What would you say to other straight people who don’t agree with you on the marriage issue? Listen, I’m always willing to hear all sides of all arguments. Anyone who doesn’t agree with it is essentially putting themselves above other people. That’s what they’re doing. And that’s not OK with me. People have their personal preferences as to what they want to do with their own lives, and they have every right to do that—just like a gay couple has every right to do that. It’s just not anyone’s business except the people involved. That’s all I would say: “What makes you better than these people?” People have a million different justifications and reasons why they don’t want (gay marriage)

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allowed, but it doesn’t check out. Whenever I hear people’s reasoning behind it, I think to myself: First of all, marriage isn’t always successful anyway. Look at the divorce rate and all the things that go wrong with marriage. Whether it’s gay or straight, there are issues with it. Clearly people have a hard time staying together, and that’s just a sad truth about marriage in our society. People should be allowed to succeed and fail at marriage as they so desire.

Has having a gay brother influenced how outspoken you’ve become for the gay community? I don’t think that having a gay brother has affected the way I feel about it, because I would feel the same way regardless. I happen to have a gay brother, but that doesn’t mean I’m more of an advocate for equal human rights. That shouldn’t change anything about the way that I feel.

But he’s your brother, so certainly some of your passion for gay rights is an extension of that relationship, right? Of course! That contributes on some level to the way that I feel. But I don’t know—I don’t think I would feel any differently if he happened to be straight. The relationships that I have with people— whether it’s my brother or a friend, gay or straight— shouldn’t really ever come into play. Someone’s

sexual preference is their sexual preference. Let’s move on. When I’m talking about dating a girl and they’re talking about dating a guy—big fucking deal. That’s the thing; that’s what’s so bizarre about it: It doesn’t faze me. Obviously I was brought up to believe that everybody is on a level playing field and we’re all crazy, cool and all that fun stuff—and I don’t pay much mind to it, because who am I to judge people? I judge people based on the things that they do. I judge people based on their character. If you have a friend who decides to do certain things in their own private time—even if they’re straight—whatever the fuck they’re into, fine. It doesn’t matter. That’s the biggest problem: It just simply doesn’t affect the way I view a person. It’s so arbitrary.

How big of a role do you think the gay community has had in Maroon 5’s career? The music that we make is for people to enjoy, and as far as all communities are concerned, the band’s mission statement is that we make music for everybody and that we love everyone who appreciates it and we appreciate everyone who appreciates it. There’s every type of person at our shows. And I love that. The more diverse our crowds get over time, the happier we get.

LIVING OUT

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Dylan McDermott is known for getting naked a lot on the show. Should we expect you to get naked as well? Out front

What’s been the best part of shooting American Horror Story so far?

Who’s the bigger diva on The Voice: You or Christina Aguilera?

It’s so much fun. I’m having a blast and obviously Ryan (Murphy) is amazing and so passionate and so cool, and I thank him for giving me this opportunity. It’s a really special show to be a part of, and it’s been really fun and I’m very excited to see the results.

Probably me. (Laughs) You know, it’s cool because at this point, we finally hit our stride as friends—all four of us. Anytime you get four people together who don’t know each other very well, at first certain people gravitate toward others and alliances are formed and friendships are formed. But what’s great now is that all four of us are very close and having the best time because we’re the most connected we’ve ever been.

I’ve never really seen myself do any of this before, so I’m a little wigged out about that—actually watching myself. It’s all new and it’s all fun and it’s a fresh experience. I’ve gotten super into it and hope there are more cool things like that to come. And I’ve got a lot of blood on me!

What does that taste like?

Blake Shelton seems very connected to you. So connected, in fact, he has said that he wants to kiss you. Is there a bromance going on that you want to tell us about?

It tastes like gross corn syrup crap.

Dylan McDermott is known for getting naked a lot on the show. Should we expect you to get naked as well? (Laughs) I don’t think I’ll be getting naked on the show. There’s no nudity for me. But you’ll see: It’s definitely interesting.

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(Laughs) I’m pretty sure all that is in good humor. I’m sure he doesn’t really want to kiss me. He’s married; he’s taken.

When was the moment that you felt like Maroon 5 had become overexposed? (Laughs) (The album title) is more just a humorous

take on the fact that the band is everywhere, which is a wonderful thing. It’s kind of nice to put a spin on it and make fun of it and be silly about it rather than turn it into a bad thing. Because it’s amazing. We’ve been lucky enough to withstand over a decade of, I guess, what you call relevance, and we’re really excited about that: continuing to have songs on the radio, playing big concerts and having this wonderful career. But we’re everywhere, so I do believe there is some truth to that statement—and it’s funny to poke a little bit of fun at it.

A lot has changed in the business since you started 10 years ago. We have Chely Wright, an out gay country artist, and now the first major out hip-hop artist: Frank Ocean. How do you think these people, and the music business as a whole, can be influential in changing people’s minds regarding gay politics? It’s a great platform for that. We’ve made a lot of strides in a lot of ways as far as acceptance is concerned. What’s funny is everyone is always talking about the world being so fucked and such

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Out front

a disaster, but when you really look at it, there’s an argument in there that the world’s become a better place. Look at the strides. It’s really easy to look at all the things that are wrong with the world and say, “Oh my god, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.” But I think what’s cool to say is, “Look at the wonderful things that we have been able to achieve and look at how much more equally people are treated now as opposed to the past.” I think we have a lot of really big strides to make: For some reason, someone being homophobic is still somewhat acceptable in our society, which I don’t like. That’s what I hate so much, but I think that we’ve made strides there, too. It’s going to be a long battle. People make fun of people for being gay too much; it’s too culturally accepted still, but it’s better. You used to watch a movie and people used to say—I won’t say it—but F-A-G all the time. And that doesn’t happen anymore. You have to look at that and say, “That’s a good thing, man.” It’s not this derogatory thing that’s widely acceptable. You look

back to the ’70s and ’80s and you’re like, “Whoa, I can’t believe that’s in this movie or on this television show, or that it was casually thrown around a lot.” It’s become a bad word, and that’s a good thing. There’s always going to be a lot wrong with the world, but I do think it’s becoming a better place in that regard.

What about the music business itself: Do you see the music business evolving faster than the rest of the world? That would be a nice idea. You do tend to find that a lot of people who are involved in music don’t care about whether someone is gay or not, or gay themselves. Who knows why that’s the case. Maybe that particular part of entertainment is evolving or has always been that way. Most of the people that I know, it’s just not an issue. Most people in the music industry don’t necessarily judge people for that kind of thing and it doesn’t really come into play; it doesn’t matter. People, especially musicians and artists, were more guarded a while ago. Now it seems like it doesn’t seem to

bother anybody very much, which is great. Listen, the forward movement with this whole thing is good, and getting it all out there and having discussions and debates only helps us advance, so I’m all about discussing it with someone. I’m still very interested in getting to the bottom of why people don’t understand that in saying certain people aren’t allowed to marry—what leg do you have to stand on there? Unless you can admit that you’re putting yourself above them, then there’s no argument. Otherwise you would say, “Everyone has the right to marry.” That’s a hard pill to swallow because, like I said, I’m always ready to play the other side and to try to appreciate the other side for what it’s worth, and you can’t really argue unless you can start to understand where that side comes from. But I still don’t quite get it. It still baffles me.

like what you see? read the full interview and see more photos of Adam at www.livingoutli.org

About the Author Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him at www.chris-azzopardi.com.

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LIVING OUT

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living healthy

by meryl lumba

trans health 101 Despite tremendous advancement for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in receiving equality, most notably with the passage of marriage equality in a growing number of states, transgender members of our community are still struggling to be protected and even recognized fully, especially when considering civil rights and health. It is not only refreshing but also empowering to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak out for the need to help trans men and women live healthy and openly, as he recently stated that transgender discrimination was the “civil rights issue of our time.” It is true that the transgender community is gaining more positive exposure in recent years through the media, but the general public often does not know much about transgender issues and more importantly, how to help our trans brothers and sisters be protected and affirmed. Being a proper cis ally—a person who is not transgender and works to help end discrimination and harassment—becomes of utmost importance as society moves forward. Here are five simple ways to become a better ally and live a little healthier in the process:

five simple ways to be a better ally

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Realize that no two people are alike: trans or not.

Chaz Bono is vocal about being on hormones, in addition to having surgery, to feel more aligned with his body, but that does not mean every trans person wants the same things. If a trans person in your life does not choose to medically or hormonally transition, that does not change their identity.

Ask for the person’s pronoun preference.

It’s a good rule of thumb to refer to trans people based on their gender presentation, or the way in which they appear to the general public, but don’t always assume that people use typical pronouns like “he” or “she” based on their external appearance. Also, be aware that some people prefer gender-neutral pronouns or no pronouns at all; you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Don’t “out” them to others who may not know.

Respect people’s right to disclosure if or when they choose to. Like GLB individuals, trans people are also subjected to discrimination and violence based on who they are, oftentimes to a much more severe degree. By not disclosing, you prevent any potential harm while also helping them live healthily in their identities.

Respect their outward appearance.

The media often focuses on presentation when discussing trans people. Like any woman, just because a transwoman doesn’t wear a dress every day doesn’t mean she’s not a woman. Learning to respect trans peoples’ choices in presentation will help you grow more open-minded and reject gender norms that hurt all people, GLBT or otherwise.

Show support.

Sometimes the best way to be an ally is to just let your friend know that he or she has someone who can listen.

LIVING OUT

Finding one’s identity can be a difficult and challenging process, but living healthy means living true to yourself. Be aware of what support services are being offered in your area and community and start or continue your journey this December. 1. Questioning your identity? Find a healthcare professional that is covered by insurance.

Talking to a gender-specialist therapist who is covered by insurance is a great start to help and discovery. If interested in transitioning, this is the place to start. Contact The Long Island GLBT Services Network for more information on selecting an affirming therapist or counselor.

2. Already out? Join a support group!

There are plenty of support groups—either online or in-person—that hold frequent meetings to share ideas, listen to one another, and grow as individuals. Reaching out to others who feel similarly will help you feel included and have your feelings affirmed. A local support group like the Long Island Trans Experience (LITE) at The Center at Bay Shore is just one example of a weekly program for trans friends and their loved ones.

3. If medically transitioning, stay connected with health care professionals.

Unfortunately, many trans people, especially trans women, turn to black market hormones or go far too long without seeking a medical care provider for checkups. Take care of yourself: See doctors and ensure you are getting adequate care. It is important to know what specific dosages are deemed healthy at each point in time of a medical transition in order to remain safe.

4. Know your rights.

Whether queer, gender-non-conforming, or trans, know what facilities you are still entitled to use. For example, in New York State, you may use any bathroom you feel comfortable using regardless of outward appearances, and no one may question your right to a facility based on your gender identity or presentation. If you are discriminated against or made to feel unsafe, report it or contact a GLBT services and advocacy group.

did you know?

wellness

Did you know that November 20th was the Transgender Day of Remembrance? This day was set aside to memorialize those who were killed by antitransgender hatred or prejudice. If you missed the opportunity to find an event near you to honor and mourn our lost trans brothers and sisters, you can still show support: make a New Year’s resolution to grow as an ally and combat transphobia in your community.

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living healthy wellness For the GLBT community, the stress of coming down, dealing with unsupportive friends and family, and homophobia and transphobia in general can have negative effects on our health. One of those effects can be difficulty sleeping. Long Island-based therapist Laurie Segal explores the issue of sleep disturbances, and strategies for getting a good night’s rest.

ask

laurie

Dear Laurie, I am about to become a step-mom to a 14-year-old boy. He has lived with his father for the past 4 years and hasn’t had any interaction with his mother. I don’t want to change things overnight, but I need help with things like discipline, school and knowing what to expect in general. Sincerely, Scared in Syosset There are many things to consider when “blending” families.

» B reak down the issues into manageable increments. » T ackle one item at a time so you do not get overwhelmed

sleeping: a to zzzzzz zzzz by laurie segal, LCSW

and discouraged.

» Y our instinct about not wanting to change things » »

Anyone who has ever slept has experienced the torment of a sleep disturbance. Experts say that more than one out of every two adults suffer from some form of sleep disorder. These “experts” however, define the term loosely. They include the occurrence of nightmares, insomnia and the need for the television or radio to be on in order to fall asleep as evidence of a sleep disorder.   

concern regarding sleep disturbances should be based on several factors:  

Some therapists believe that sleep disturbances develop in childhood and can be avoided if addressed early on. Other experts feel sleep patterns are affected throughout life, especially during times of change and stress.  

»D  uration: How long has the problem been going on for?

»

Accompanying factors: a change in a child’s temperament, such as withdrawal, acting out behavior etc., also should be considered. Normal developmental sleep stress can occur every night, last about one to two weeks and take away up to an hour of the child’s sleep. It can by accompanied by nightmares, fear of going to bed, fear of death, monsters, robbers, etc. If your child is experiencing far more than this, you may both be suffering more than necessary.

»

While these theories may sound interesting, if you have a child at home who is not sleeping through the night, not sleeping in his or her own bed and waking you up at 5 in the morning, you want answers...or drugs...or an early childhood boarding school.  In order to allay some of your fears and eliminate these last two options, I have compiled a list of the most common questions parents ask about children and sleep patterns. Please remember to discuss sleep concerns with your pediatrician. It is important to rule out any medical reason for your child’s lack of sleep. Particularly for LGBT youth and adults, sleep disturbances can be a sign of the stress we experience when dealing with homophobia and transphobia in our schools, workplaces and communities. How concerned should a parent be if their child is having difficulty sleeping? When a child moves through normal stages of development, his or her sleep patterns are often affected. This does not mean you have raised an insomniac, nor should you ignore signs that something may be troubling your child. Parental

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»F  requency: How many nights per week is the child having difficulty?

»

» S everity: How little sleep is the child (and the parent) actually getting?

»

At what age/stage of development is it most common for children to experience sleep disturbances? Sleep disturbances are most common during developmental stages where tasks such as “growing up and moving on” are prevalent. It is common for a 2-year-old to have trouble sleeping because they are mastering language skills and learning to negotiate the world on their own. Children can have trouble sleeping at ages 5-6 when they start kindergarten and begin to understand the pressures of society and fitting in. Sleep disturbances can occur at any age, but older children are more developmentally capable of dealing with their fears and stresses in other ways. They are also generally less fearful of the symptoms and less afraid of being awake at night so you may not be as aware of their difficulties as you would with a younger child.    

»

overnight is an excellent one. If you start off like “gangbusters” your new son will feel backed against a wall. E ase into things, allow time for adjustments and discussion. A  ll issues of discipline must be guided, discussed and approved by your husband. You must follow his lead, especially with a teenager. If there has not been much structure in the past, develop a plan together and move slowly so you do not become the “wicked step-mother” overnight. R  ealize that even though your son has not had contact with his mother in four years, it would be normal for him to express residual feelings for her now that you are in the picture. U  nderstand that your son has not had to share his father with anyone. Be sensitive to this change. R  ead and talk to experienced parents. Learn as much as you can about the life of a 14-year-old boy. T hings will settle in after a few months, but it really takes a full year to assess how well you all did. E xpect and plan for the worst and look forward to things not being as difficult as you anticipated.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing,

send your questions to asklaurie@livingoutli.org

Please note that during transitions (moving, starting a new school) and trauma (illness, divorce), young and old alike are susceptible to normal sleep disturbances. Keep in mind that saying goodnight is also a “saying good-bye” until morning, so children who are sensitive to separation issues may be vulnerable at bedtime. Bedtime is also a transition time. It is the time between the active day and the hopefully restful night. This is why experts usually agree that children should have ample time to “wind down” before going to bed. Are sleeping problems indicative of some major problem? Chronic sleeping problems need to be addressed but may not indicate a major problem. A child may be trying to “tell” a parent something with

Sleeping: A to ZZZzzz Continued LIVING OUT

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living healthy Sleeping: A to ZZZzzz Continued this symptom and as soon as the parent indicates he or she “hears” the message, the sleep problem may end.    What causes sleep disturbances? Stress is the number-one cause of most sleep disturbances. Keep in mind, however, that some stress is healthy and important for helping children learn how to negotiate through normal developmental stages. However, too much stress can have a negative impact and sleep can be affected.   What can parents do to help their child with sleep problems? There are many things parents can do to alleviate sleep disturbances. »E  mpathy: Acknowledge that your child’s sleep trouble must be hard and scary for him or her to deal with. Many parents think that the child is being manipulative, but most of the time it is based on a worry or a fear that the child has and would rather not have. »K  eep bedtime structured as much as possible. »O  pen up the possibility that the child is having feelings which are causing him or her to have trouble sleeping. The following simple statement can work wonders: “Sometimes when kids are having feelings about starting school, (or whatever you feel the issue may be) it makes it hard to sleep through the night.”  »T  alk to children about when you were young and had similar fears. Discuss what worked or did not work for you. »T  ry not to ask children why they are not sleeping. They probably do not know. Asking questions can put children on the defensive, and may inhibit their desire to talk about it. Instead, attempt to label their feelings. For example, “Dad and I can see you’ve been having trouble sleeping.” Give the child some possible reasons and see where it leads.  Be optimistic, sleep disturbances are often a time of growth for your child. This may be an opportunity to get to know your son or daughter in a different way. Keep an open dialogue and be in touch if you continue to have concerns. Until next time, Laurie! 26

LIVING OUT

wellness

live well this holiday season by dr. bill blazey The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year for everyone, but especially for members of the LGBT community. In addition to the normal day to day stresses, we are pulled in many directions to shop, eat and create that “Norman Rockwell” painting of the perfect holiday. Many people feel increased anxiety, loneliness, or loss at a time when there are messages all around us to be joyful or merry. Here are a few suggestions to keeping a healthy mind and body over the month.

“Blue Christmas” sung by Elvis is a staple of holiday soundtracks, but if you feel blue or sad, it could be a sign of depression.

Be honest with your feelings. If you feel sad or anxious it’s ok and normal, but it’s important to have someone to talk to about those feelings. During the holidays, we may spend time with family members that may greet us with disapproval when we are looking to them for their love and support. This often makes a happy occasion into something much darker. In these instances, it is important to have a friend or a health care provider that you can talk with to discuss your feelings and support you for who you are.

It’s often trivialized on TV for a son or daughter to be at dinner and say “Aunt Emmie, pass the potatoes and I’m gay.” Coming out during the holidays may or may not be a good experience. There is no right or wrong way to come out. There is no right or wrong time to come out. Sometimes it’s good to find a family member such as a sibling or cousin that you know will support you to test the waters first. They can support you by explaining that you aren’t a different person than before you were out. If you do decide to come out, make sure to understand that it’s a continuous process and that oftentimes the reaction you get is not toward you but is based in some concern or misunderstanding. If you are transgender, be gentle with family members that slip with the pronouns. Most importantly, don’t assume that you know how people will react. The holidays can be lonely for LGBT people, but especially for the seniors of our community. After the loss of a partner or spouse, senior citizens can feel a lack of family. Reach out to friends if you feel this way and create your own family. If you know of a person who may not have family to spend the holidays with, invite them if you can to your dinners. They may not accept, but they will feel the love that came with the invitation. Set realistic expectations for what you can do in 31

days. Martha Stewart has an entire army of staff to create her magazine-perfect holiday spreads and they start in the summer. Whatever your plans are for the month, set goals that you can accomplish without causing mental or financial stress. Often people feel the need to be perfect for the holidays, but imperfection is what makes each of us interesting. “Haul out the holly” but don’t go broke, physically or financially, to do so. Holiday parties often include eating and drinking more than we typically do over the year. Know your limits with alcohol. Alcohol use/abuse affects approximately 45% of the GLBT population. For people struggling with alcoholism, holiday parties can be extremely difficult. Support your loved ones who chose not to drink alcohol. Sometimes it is healthy to avoid those situations where you may feel pressure to engage with alcohol. If you chose to drink, make sure to have a designated driver that is responsible or arrange for a taxi.

Just because the dinner table may be filled to the brim with rich meals and desserts, doesn’t mean that you need to consume more than is healthy for you. Moderation should be your key word. One strategy is to sample a little of everything in an appetizer portion. However, if you struggle with a weight issue and find that you overindulged at a dinner or party, don’t let it make you slide down a spiral of shame. Every day is a new day to make healthy decisions for you, so focus on the here and now. “Blue Christmas” sung by Elvis is a staple of holiday soundtracks, but if you feel blue or sad, it could be a sign of depression. Signs of depression include feeling sad, helpless, fatigued, or having a lack of interest in things that would normally make you happy. The good news is that depression is a treatable condition. Consult with your medical provider or a mental health-professional to see if what you are feeling is depression or a symptom of a different medical problem. Build a team of providers including doctors and therapists to make sure you can be the person you were meant to be. Lastly, be thankful for who you are. Being human means having both good and bad experiences in life. Cherish the good times. In the 1974 movie, Mame (staring Lucille Ball), the grand-nephew of Mame says “You know what your problem is mom? You don’t live live live! Life is a banquet and most sons of bitches are starving to death!” Go out and live your life, happy and healthy!

About the Author

William R. Blazey, D.O. is an assistant professor of Family Medicine at NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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living healthy wellness

find community at one of li’s glbt centers The Center at Garden City

400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110 Garden City, NY 11530 516.323.0011

The Center at bay shore

whether you’re a teenager, adult, senior, or parent, there is a center for you. connect with others at long island’s glbt community centers in garden city and bay shore.

34 Park Avenue Bay Shore, NY 11706 631.665.2300

get published in livingout apply to be a contributor Email editor@livingoutli.org!

>> READ MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG

Want to join our team as a monthly contributor? We’re looking for talented writers and photographers to get involved in Long Island’s newest GLBT publication! LIVING OUT

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living smart

Mikey Rox’s Ultimate Guide to Gay Gift-Giving by mikey rox

PlayStation Vita

 Avid gamers never have to stop playing their favorite titles thanks to the cross-platform WiFi/3G connectivity of PlayStation Vita, the latest handheld innovation from Sony. What you start playing on your home-based PS3 console you can resume on Vita while you’re out and about with this palm-sized device that fits perfectly in a jacket pocket or backpack. Vita supports a wide variety of games, including Madden and Uncharterd: Golden Abyss, and games available on both PS3 and Vita only need to be purchased once to be played on both devices. Vita also offers GPS, video and music playback, and is compatible with apps from Netflix, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and more. ($240-$299; us.playstation.com/psvita)

Brookstone HDMI Pocket Project

Turn any blank wall into an impromptu movie screening with the HDMI Pocket Projector from Brookstone. With more than two hours of battery life and built-in audio, mobile cinephiles can transform their Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones and tablets into a crisp, high-definition viewing experience that rivals that of your local multiplex. This micro Pocket Projector includes a 3-foot HDMI cable, a Micro HDMI adapter and a Mini HDMI adapter, and projects an image with a 16:9 aspect ratio—which will make that annual viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation bigger and better than ever before. ($299; brookstone.com)

Snuza Trio

As more and more of our LGBT friends bring babies home, we’re left scrambling to find the perfect present for the adorable new parents. Bear in mind that the practical route is always the way to go in these situations—they do not need another fruit basket— which makes the Snuza Trio mobile baby monitor system the ideal gift for gay moms and dads. Snuza Trio includes the cordless Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor that clips directly to baby’s diaper and activates an alarm if anything goes awry in the middle of the night; a night-vision camera that can be aimed into the crib and a built-in microphone to record sounds; and a lightweight, portable audio-video monitor with a 2.4-inch LCD screen that functions to a range of 450 feet from the camera and crib. ($299; snuza.info)

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Sony Action Cam

Anyone who’s ever ruined a smartphone trying to document their extreme adventures will covet the Sony Action Cam, a tiny, lightweight video camera to capture all those freefalls, high climbs and daring underwater dives. The Action Cam features Sony’s signature SteadyShot image stabilization technology, Exmor R CMOS image sensor, and an ultra-wide angle Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. The AS15 model (about $70 more than the base AS10 model) even offers Wi-Fi connectivity so you can upload and share your videos on the Web—right after you catch your breath. ($199; store.sony.com)

GrubKit

Veteran chefs and kitchen newbies alike will enjoy GrubKit, gourmet food kits that contain the precise amount of premeasured ingredients and an accompanying recipe to create not-so-common culinary delights any night of the week. Most of the current kits have an Asian flair (Mongolian Beef and Cashew Chicken, for instance) and you’ll need to provide a few fresh items (eggs don’t fare so well in the mail, it seems). There are also sweet kits for your friends who like to save room for dessert, which include a healthy banana muffin kit and a holiday cookie box with recipes for confections from around the world. ($19-$29; grubkit.com)

Cuisinart Smart Stick

Preserve precious countertop real estate with the Cuisinart Smart Stick, the versatile hand blender that goes from pot to pitcher, bowl to beaker with ease. A powerful 200-watt motor spins into action with a simple one-touch control so home cooks can blend drinks, emulsify dressings, puree soups and froth up festive hot chocolate without dirtying up many-piece bigger blenders that require more work than their worth. ($40; buydig.com)

Skora Running Shoes

Stay stylish while you sweat out your frustrations with Skora, the ultimate multipurpose running shoe. Two styles are available—FORM and BASE—with the latter featuring a stretch-mesh sockfit with an innovative adjustable X-strap system, elastic heel strap, reflective details and stitch-down construction with an Ortholite sockliner. Skoras are super lightweight—you won’t even know you have them on—to encourage natural movement and performance. On the road, that is. You’ll have to find another way to step up your game in the boudoir. ($110-$185; skorarunning.com) 28

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Moscot Eyewear

You’ll need a pair of stylish shades to shield your eyes from snow blindness when you hit the slopes this winter, and Moscot is where it’s at. Based on designs from the manufacturer’s archives, the Originals Collection features a variety of vintage-inspired frames constructed of real glass lenses and traditional hardware, and come in an array of colors that hark back to decades past. ($225-$255; moscot.com)

Keelan Rouge

HOLIDAY SPIRITS

 

flipflop Rum

Give yourself a temporary reprieve from the winter weather with flipflop, a quadruple-distilled Caribbean rum made from high-quality sugar cane. To sweeten the season even more, flipflop will donate a portion of the proceeds from each bottle purchased to Soles4Souls, a charitable organization that provides shoes to barefoot, orphaned children around the world. ($14; flipfloprum.com)

Tequila Partida

Make your rendition of “Feliz Navidad” more authentic with Tequila Partida, the 100% blue agave spirit better for sipping than shots. Available in four marques—Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Elegante—Partida’s hand-harvested, clean taste is recognized the world over. ($50-$350; partidatequila.com)  

Absolut Tune

Treat your beau to handcrafted accessories from Keelan Rouge—the eponymous label of an up-andcoming 26-year-old gay designer from Chicago— which features upcycled men’s and women’s wallets, cardholders and flasks decked out with whimsical fabrics from vintage neckties, scarves, skirts and other dapper designs. ($26-$58; keelanrogue.com)

Add a splash of panache to your holiday breakfast with Absolut Tune, Absolut Vodka’s newest fusion of sparkling white wine and premium vodka. Wrapped in festive packaging and corked for added sophistication, Absolut Tune works just as well washing down pumpkin French toast as it does as a host/hostess gift with a kick. ($31.99; absolut.com)  

Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe Awkward Family Photos Mango Passport

For those on your list planning a big trip abroad or who simply want to expand their horizons at home, Mango Passport makes it easy to learn a foreign language on multiple platforms, including a computer, MP3 player and smartphone. Available in 16 languages and 12 ESLs, each Mango lesson incorporates interactive tools and rich imagery that eliminates boredom and keeps users engaged. Building a solid foundation on more than monotonous vocabulary memorization, Mango Passport—which includes three “Journeys” for each language—teaches practical speaking skills and cultural insights while gradually instilling the confidence to start great conversations. Like with the pool boy. ($176; mangolanguages.com)

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler

 Transform your moisturized mug into a wellgroomed work of art with the Gillette Fusion ProGilde Styler, a three-in-one tool designed for men with a penchant for stylish facial hair. Whether you prefer a thin chinstrap, bushy muttons, or a simple goatee, the ProGlide Styler helps scruffy men master their put-together look with effortless maneuverability in and out of the shower. This gift-ready set includes the Power Trimmer fitted with Fusion ProGlide Power Blades, charging base, Microcomb, and a Precision Edging Blade. It’s perfectly safe for staying svelte below the belt, too. ($19.99; www.gillette.com)

About the Author

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and blogger who lives in New York City with his husband and their two dogs. Follow him on Twitter @mikeyrox.

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Based on the cringeworthy-but-totallyrelatable website of the same name, the Awkward Family Photos board game combines classic and never-before-seen photos with probing, make-you-squirm questions for a game night full of laughter and creative discussion. Definitely a better alternative than mom passing around those embarrassing, bare-ass baby pictures during dessert. ($24.99; familyandpartygames.com)

Big, bulky chillers are no match for the ingenious and space-friendly Rabbit Wine Chilling Carafe, an aesthetically pleasing glass bottle that holds an entire regular-size bottle of vino kept cold by a chemical-free stainless-steel ice chamber. ($49.95; kitchencouture.com)  

Boozy Brunch: The Quintessential Guide to Daytime Drinking

Invite the oohs and aahs of your overnight guests as you test your culinary skills with more than 100 drink recipes and 25 food pairings in Peter Joseph’s Boozy Brunch: The Quintessential Guide to Daytime Drinking. This picture-heavy entertaining guide features a slew of mouthwatering brunch-inspired alternatives and jazzy variations to champagne-based, coffee-based, or fruit or vegetable juice-based cocktails. ($16.95; rowman.com)   

Mumm Napa 2007 Blanc de Blanc

This sparkling wine made of 90% Chardonnay grapes and a touch of Pinot Gris hails from Napa Valley, which since the 1960s has rivaled the viticulture regions of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Thanks in part to its complexity, the Mumm Napa 2077 Blanc de Blanc recently receive a 91-point rating from Wine Spectator.  ($38; mummnapa.com)

Pisco Portón

It takes 18 pounds of grapes to make one bottle of Pisco Portón, the quintessential South American spirit that contains notes of cinnamon, orange blossom and citrus. Sourced from vineyards irrigated by glacial rivers from the Andes Mountains, Pisco is at its best when served neat and paired with a piece of dark chocolate. ($40; www.piscoporton.com)

Effen Vodka

What’s in a name? For super-premium vodka Effen, which means smooth, even, and balanced in Dutch, it’s the commitment to a clean, crisp taste delivered in a smartly designed package. Available in regular, cucumber and black cherry flavors, this 100% premium wheat, 80-proof vodka is a surefire way to get your party guests rockin’ around the Christmas tree. ($29.99; effenvodka.com)

Patron XO Café Dark Cocoa

Trade your Irish coffee in for a Mexican version with Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa, a combination of Patrón Silver tequila and light essences of fresh-roasted java and premium chocolate. Decidedly dry—not sweet like many other coffee liqueurs—Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa is distilled at 60 proof, which you’ll appreciate when the in-laws blow in with the blizzard. ($24.99; patrongift.com)

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points of view op-ed

the plea for anti-bullying by Reverend Irene Monroe With one incident of bullying every seven minutes, sadly, bullying is the most frequent form of violence school-aged children encounter. In the 2011 documentary film Bully, film director Lee Hirsch, also the victim of bullying, gives us a window into the lives of five school-aged children from across ethnic, cultural and geographic boundaries—who confront bullying on a daily basis. Their stories are unimaginably painful. Their stories are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The statistics on bullying are staggering. According to BullyingStatistics.org, approximately 42 percent of school-aged children have been bullied while online, with 35 percent being the victim of threats. Approximately 58 percent have reported that something mean has been said about them or to them online. It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day because of the fear of assault or intimidation by other students. Statistics also reveal 77 percent of students have been the victims of some type of bullying, with 46 percent of males and 26 percent of females being the victims of physical fights. Homophobic bullying targets our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students, or those perceived to be LGBTQ.

When Sirdeaner L. Walker of Springfield spoke at a press conference in Massachusetts in 2009 calling for effective and comprehensive anti-bullying legislation to be passed in response to the tragic loss of her 11-year-old son, Carl, I had hoped I would neither read nor hear ever again about another child or young adult committing suicide as the result of homophobic bullying. Again, and sadly, it was just the tip. “Bullicide” was on its way to becoming a national epidemic. Just in the month of September 2010, nine teen suicides were tied to sexual orientation or gender expression. This highlighted the disproportionate bullying of our LGBTQ kids (or those perceived to be).

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18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after finding our that his college roommate and another classmate used a webcam to secretly broadcast his sexual encounters with another male, highlighting the dangers of “cyberbullying”—teasing, harassing, or intimidating with pictures or words distributed online or via text message. Clementi’s suicide, along with the other eight, went viral and saturated the media. Those of us in the African American community, however, were not surprised that Joseph Jefferson’s suicide, just two months later that November, went unnoticed. Jefferson, a 26-year-old African American gay youth activist, worked with HIV/ AIDS charities and was an assistant to promoters of Black LGBTQ events in New York City.

“Bullicide” was on its way to becoming a national epidemic.

Case In Point: Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.

One of the suicides that September was that of

More than 200 people gathered at the Long Island GLBT Community Center in Bay Shore for a candlelight vigil and rally following the 2010 beating of a 14-year-old on a school bus in Hicksville to remember antigay bullying victims across the country.

“I could not bear the burden of living as a gay man of color in a world grown cold and hateful towards those of us who live and love different than the so-called “social mainstream,” Jefferson posted on his Facebook page the day he killed himself. African American LGBTQ residing in the black communities are frequently the subjects of bullying, which oftentimes lead to their death by suicide or gang violence. For example, in 2006 Michael Sandy was killed after being hit by a car while he was trying to escape attackers in Brooklyn on Plumb Beach. Sandy and a man arranged to meet after their exchange in an online gay chat room. When Sandy arrived, he was confronted by four men who robbed him and chased him onto the highway. Sandy was then hit by an oncoming vehicle and died from brain injuries. Ms. Walker found her son, Carl Joseph WalkerHoover, hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of their home after he endured endless

anti-gay and homophobic taunts by schoolmates, although Carl never identified as gay. And with homophobia being what it is in the African American community, I imagine Carl, an African American, must have experienced an endless cycle of bullying. The harm from bullying and the toll it takes—not only on our kids but also the society at large—is far greater than people realize. At the press conference Ms. Walker highlighted those concerns. “In the immortal words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, ‘It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.’ Bias bullying, and harassment currently stand between too many youth and this essential opportunity.” Walker is right. Anti-gay bullying truncates a child’s academic ability to excel. And the cost, while immediately about the child, is an equally greater cost to us as a society down the road. Anti-gay bullying is not to be endured or tolerated. It must be stopped by us all—and at all levels, from our legislators to our educators. In 2012, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed a strong anti-bullying legislation cementing the state’s commitment to changing the culture of bullying in schools, and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) was involved in the drafting and legislative process from beginning to end. Victims of bullying endure a host of emotional problems. They become anxious, insecure, and suffer low self-esteem because the targeting of them has made them feel isolated, helpless and vulnerable. Those feelings are just merely some of what we can surmise Carl and Tyler experienced. Countless other, unfortunately, will experience those same feelings during this school year.

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PROGRAM SPECIALIST We are currently seeking a Program Specialist to engage individuals through outreach and social networking, and communicate services that are available to them through HIV/Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)/STI counseling, testing and referrals. In this role, you will conduct HIV/HCV/STI testing and coordinate referrals and service linkages. In addition, you will also conduct educational and skill building interventions to referred individuals, as well as collection of client data. Requirements: Bachelor’s degree required. (Masters preferred). At least one year of social services background required. Knowledge of HIV/HEP/ TB/STD related information and substance abuse issues plus 1 year experience working with active drug users helpful. Excellent public speaking skills and awareness of community resources and services. Must be familiar with Microsoft Word and working on the Internet.

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points of view transmissions

naming all the parts by gwendolyn Ann Smith Definitions are slippery things. Language is constantly evolving, and words change. New terms are created, old ones become footnotes, and others dramatically change meanings. Consider the word “gay,” and how its meaning may have morphed from the 1890s to today. It can be even more difficult when one is attempting to define a group of people. It seems to be in our nature to defy classifications. We rankle at anything that would deny our individuality, and evade even the most rudimentary attempts to define. Indeed, the only viable definition are ones we choose for ourselves, which leads to scores of tailor-made terms that serve little use when attempting to cover more than a handful of willing users.

obligated to accept a definition of me that I’m not comfortable with. Really, like I said above, language is slippery. Even without looking at my definition or the rather verbose San Francisco definition, many do not feel included in the term “transgender.” Some have opted for their own spaces, or opt for “genderqueer” or “third gender,” or even have dropped the “gender” from the word altogether, being simply “trans.” Let me add one more wrinkle to this all, because while we are free to define ourselves however we wish, when we face violence, discrimination, or other ills, that in itself needs to be defined—and that is different from a personal definition. Consider the 2001 murder of Willie Houston. Houston was, as far as we know, a straight, nontransgender identified, African-American man living in Tennessee. After taking a river cruise, his wife needed to use the restroom. Houston held her purse while she went in. Houston was also escorting a blind friend to the men’s room. On the way there, Willie Houston was taunted with homophobic slurs, and shot.

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth.

transsexuals, masculine females, feminine males, all persons whose perceived gender or anatomic sex may be incongruent with their gender expression, and all persons exhibiting gender characteristics and Identities which are perceived to be androgynous.”

At the turn of the last century, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld seemed content to use the term “transvestite” to cover any number of people. His seminal work, Die Transvestiten, covers those who cross-dress, performers known for cross-gender portrayals, those who underwent the rudimentary surgeries of the day, and gender variance in nonwestern cultures.

Within the transgender community—a term itself that remains contested in many circles—we have gone through decades of possible terms to describe those who transcend the gender they may have been assigned at birth.

Today the term is defined in a limited fashion, as a synonym to cross-dresser, and typically refers to those who wear clothing of the opposite gender. You’ll note that even in that last sentence I am walking on eggshells, knowing that there are likely many who would ague against such a definition. Since Hirschfeld’s time, we’ve seen many other turns picked up and discarded. Earl Lind in the 1910s used “androgyne” and “fairy.” Later, the term “transsexual” hit the scene. Drag was used by some in an all-encompassing fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was the mercifully short-lived “femmophile,” and other baggage-laden terms such as “aytogynephile.” The one that somehow “stuck” is “transgender.” Yet, pinning down a definition is slippery. One of the more inclusive is that used by the City and County of San Francisco, and coined in 1994. It reads, “‘Transgender’ is used as an umbrella term that includes female and male cross dressers, transvestites, drag queens or kings, female and male impersonators, intersexed individuals, pre-operative, post-operative and non-operative 32

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It is a mouthful, and full of potential problems. For one, I do not know of many intersexed individuals who would feel comfortable within this definition today, though that may have been different in 1994. Many others in there would either not feel they are explicitly included in such, would not be comfortable to be listed within, or even would argue that some others listed do not belong. I already mentioned my own personal definition of the term: anyone who transcends the gender they were assigned at birth. It covers a lot of ground, and is pretty open-ended. I don’t, for example, indicate how long one must transcend that gender, or if they have to have surgery, or anyone beyond this simple definition. Before I go any further, let me also note that anyone is perfectly welcome to opt out of any term, choose their own term, or really do whatever they wish. In providing my own definition to the above, I want to make it clear that it is mine, and is how I see the world I live in. I’m certainly not saying that you have to fit such a definition any more than I’d feel

Willie Houston was neither gay nor transgendered identified, yet his killer saw him as both: gay because he had another man on his arm, and trans because he was carrying a purse. When we fight for rights, those rights are provided under the umbrella of “transgender,” much like the 1994 San Francisco language—or they might refer to gender identity and expression. It is largely transgender-identified people and their allies who may be fighting for those rights. Yet such rights affect a wide swath of people regardless of their own self-identity—and that is good. We may never pin one term down we can all agree on—and in an evolving world, that makes plenty of sense. Yet while language is slippery—and definitions even more so—we still need them from time to time. It’s funny that way.

About the Author

Gwen Smith is a blue spruce. You can find her at www.gwensmith.com

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out spoken politics 2012

by James Fallarino and Rachel West, LMSW

big wins for the glbt community Our voice—now better represented When firebrand Congressman Barney Frank announced his retirement in 2012, many wondered who would fill his shoes as one of the few openly-GLBT voices in Congress. In fact, when the new session begins in January, there will be a record number of openly-GLBT members: Kyrsten Simena Simena will represent Arizona’s 9th district and is also the first openly-bisexual member of Congress.

By the time the 2012 presidential race was called by the major media outlets on election night, it was already clear that this year would be one of many victories for the nation’s GLBT community. The GLBT community made big gains in the fight for same-sex marriage and saw a record number of out candidates elected to serve locally and in the House of Representatives and United States Senate. A presidential evolution The GLBT community pressed hard on President Barack Obama to support marriage equality, and with a little help from Vice President Joe Biden, the president made his now-famous evolution in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on May 9, 2012. For the first time, the nation had a sitting U.S. president supporting marriage equality. The change in position paid off—exit polling by The New York Times and other media outlets indicated that 5% of voters identified at gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and of those 76% said they voted for President Obama.

Mark Takano Representing California’s 41st district, Takano will become the first openly gay person of color in Congress.

Marc Pocan Winning the seat vacated by Tammy Baldwin, Pocan will represent Wisconsin’s 2nd district.

Sean Patrick Maloney Maloney becomes New York’s first openly gay representative after defeating incumbent Nan Hayworth.

David Cicilline and Jared Polis Incumbents David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jared Polis of Colorado also easily won re-election in their races, bringing the total number of openly-GLBT people in the House to six.

Tammy Baldwin

Marriage victories at the ballot box While 28 states have enacted laws banning same-sex marriage through voterapproved ballot initiatives, voters this time around supported marriage equality in big ways in 2012. Maine, Maryland and Washington State each had their legislatively-passed laws legalizing same-sex marriage upheld through voter referenda, and voters in Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Longtime Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was in one of the most closely followed U.S. Senate races against former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. Baldwin, who was honored at the 2011 Long Island GLBT Equality Awards Gala, was victorious, and when she takes office in January, she will be the first openly-GLBT person elected to the United States Senate.

what’s next... MARRIAGE EQUALITY With national polls showing a majority of Americans in support of Marriage Equality, and the wins on election night in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA’s) days are numbered. In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to hear cases regarding the constitutionality of DOMA. As a result of DOMA, same-sex couples who legally marry in states like New York are still denied federal marriage rights and protections.

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IMMIGRATION Immigration reform remains a pressing concern for the country, and softening positions by conservatives since the election suggest this will be a major policy issue for 2013. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimated in 2011 that there are 28,500 binational same-sex couples living in the United States, and thanks to DOMA, their relationships are not recognized for the purposes of attaining legal residency. On November 28th, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes recognition of same-sex couples.

EMPLOYMENT It still remains legal in 29 states to fire a person for being gay, lesbian or bisexual, and in 34 states you can be fired for being transgender—including right here in New York. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address this injustice, but it has been bouncing around Congress since 1994. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has announced that he will take the lead on getting the bill passed now that the previous sponsor—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)— is retiring at the end of the year.

Overall, the GLBT community and its supporters clearly demonstrated its influence and power as a voting bloc in the 2012 elections. It is important that we keep the momentum going and not allow ourselves to become complacent under the false belief that we have achieved total equality. LIVING OUT

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Issue 1, Volume 1: December 2012