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february 2013 - Volume 1, Issue 3 international internationalnews news © 2012 OraSure Technologies, Inc. © 2012 OraSure0712 Technologies, Inc. OQ-C008 OQ-C008 0712

Letter from the editor

a black thing. It’sIt’s notnot a black thing. a white thing. It’sIt’s notnot a white thing. a gay thing. It’sIt’s notnot a gay thing. a straight thing. It’sIt’s notnot a straight thing.

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I truly was – a philosophy and writing addiction to coffee and a love for enthusiast with a mild addiction to comedy television coffee and a love for comedy television – we were able – we were able to appreciate one to appreciate one another’s cultures and identities and another’s cultures not allow ourselves to be segregated and identities and because of them. not allow ourselves to be segregated because of them. and Brother2Brother of Long Island Gay and Lesbian Sometimes our voices get lost in both the GLBT Youth and The Long Island GLBT Center are just two and people of color communities. This issue of Living of the programs and services on Long Island that can Out hopes to shed light on and explore some of the help you grow empowered in doing so. Let us come social issues that occur on Long Island to strengthen together and continue the fight for equality. that voice. We hope that all Long Islanders of color, With Pride, particularly those who are also GLBT, could join us in recognizing how far our local community has come. Yes, there is much to do, and as much as we may want to invite our neighbors into our homes and Meryl Lumba, get to know them and show them we are more alike Editor, Living Out than different, we cannot do it independently. And so with this spirit in mind, I am encouraging you, our readers, to join in breaking those barriers What does Black History Month mean to you? email editor@livingoutli.org to share your thoughts. down. Together Real United Empowered (TRUE)

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Civil unions for lesbian and gay couples are already allowed in France, but President Francois Hollande made a pledge, in his presidential campaign, to extend their rights.

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The BBC reported that the demonstration was backed by the Catholic Church and right-wing opposition and led by a comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense.” Barjot told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman.

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Despite the large number of people who gathered to protest, polls are showing that the majority is in favor of changing the law to allow lesbians and gays the right to marry and adopt. An opinion poll of almost 1,000 people published by Le Nouvel Observateur newspaper indicated that 56 percent supported gay marriage. However, 50 percent of those questioned disapproved of allowing gays and lesbians the right to adopt.

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out on li situations, and have to dress a certain way around my family. I couldn’t be myself. That was a struggle.”

outright say it, but their body language is so dismissive and negative [when I tell them I’m an ally]. That says it all.”

age 48 aids activist lives in shirley

“At the same time,” Genéa continued, “today I do not feel that I face any further discrimination as a person of color within the GLBT community. Perhaps that’s because my identity is no longer new to me, or perhaps that’s because my family and friends have finally grown to accept me for who I am.”

When asked about why he has become an outspoken ally and recently chose to intern at The Long Island GLBT Services Network, he replied that his cultural background affected his decision. Josh shared that he went to a Montessori school in Manhattan in which he was one of the only people of color. “After that, I went through life saying ‘okay, now I have to give everybody a chance to help me open my eyes,’” he said. Now living on Long Island, he concedes that he more frequently encounters people who are not as open to diversity. “The fact that my own parents would be shocked that I intern for a GLBT organization is proof enough. Yes, they would be happy that I’m helping people, but they would be a little surprised, and I feel that desperately needs to change.”

“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he stated. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

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By Rachel Roth By Rachel Roth

,

In another win for marriage equality, the Washington National Cathedral announced it will begin performing lesbian and gay weddings. The famous church is the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church and became the largest U.S. denomination to sanction marriage equality in July when they approved a ceremony for same-sex unions at its General Convention in Indianapolis.

national News continued

APA changes diagnosis of Gay Scout Officially transgender people Denied Eagle Scout Honors Transgender and gender non-conforming people are no longer considered mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The negative press for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) continues. As Gay Life has reported, the organization has been under fire for its discriminatory practices against the GLBT community, losing some of its largest financial backers in the process. Most recently, the BSA has stripped Ryan Andresen of his Eagle Scout rank because the 18-year-old is openly gay.

Alabama Lawmaker seeks to repeal anti-gay curriculum

“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned,” he continued. The Pope also used his annual peace message to disparage gay marriage, calling it a “threat to world peace.”

Activist beaten in Turkey

A Turkish gay activist, and renowned designer, was attacked last month in the Beyoğlu Taksim district of Istanbul.

The announcement was applauded by the Human Rights campaign, which called the move a “powerful message to GLBT Episcopalians.” “The Episcopal Church is one of a growing number of denominations to see a new day in the intersection of faith and sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Reverend MacArthur Flournoy, who is the deputy director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program. “This [decision] is not only good for GLBT people, it is good for the soul of the church,” he added.

founder of pflag dies

“I was threatened and attacked due to political reasons at 04:50 a.m. in Taksim Ayaspaşa. Dark brains, you will pay a heavy price for this. They told me that I will pay for my writings and statements with my life. I am only a soul but what will millions say?”

Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and the Mother of the Straight Ally movement, died on January 8th. She was 92.

UKIP official website used to spew hate

A private online forum for members of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been reportedly used to vent racist and homophobic sentiments.

According to Pink News, top party member Chairman of the Branch, Julia Gasper used the party’s official site to compare homosexuality to pedophilia and said that gay people preferred sex with animals. Another high-profile UKIP member, Jan Zolyniak, posted that “The evidence is quite clear that the percentage of homosexuals who molest children is very high and cannot be dismissed.”

Labour Vice-Chairman, Michael Dugher, called on UKIP party leader, Nigel Farage, to remove members guilty of making abusive comments. Farage responded, stating that the party did not condone racism and homophobia and that he would “look carefully” at remarks made on the forum.

Manford, a pioneer in the GLBT rights movement, became active in 1972 after her son Morty Manford was beaten during a gay rights demonstration. Shocked and disgusted that the police failed to intervene, J. Manford wrote a letter to the New York Post expressing her outrage. Her proclamation, “I have a gay son and I love him,” sparked national attention to violence against gays and was the beginning of a movement.

PFLAG unofficially began in June of 1972, when Manford marched alongside her son at the NYC Gay Pride Parade carrying a sign that read “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of our Children.” To date, PFLAG, has more than 350 chapters across the United States and 200,000 members and supporters, in addition to having similar organizations that have been created across the globe.

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In a historical milestone for both communities, the APA Board of Trustees approved a revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM-5, which will diagnose transgender people with “Gender Dysphoria.” This new diagnosis communicates the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/ expressed gender and assigned gender.”

Earlier this year, the APA also released new health guidelines for transgender patients, as well as a position statement affirming transgender care and civil rights.

Until now, the term “gender identity disorder” has been used to diagnose people who are transgender. Think Progress reports that this classification contributed to the perception that all transgender people are inherently disordered, delusional, and mentally ill. In some cases, they argue, it has been used to discriminate against trans people, with claims that they are unfit parents or employees.

MD business says “I don’t” to all weddings

Rather than serve lesbian and gay couples, one Annapolis business owner has decided to leave the wedding business altogether.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Discover Annapolis Tours owner, Matt Grubbs, chose to walk away from more than $50,000 in annual revenue so that he would not have to compromise his Christian beliefs when marriage equality became legal in Maryland this year. Grubbs is reportedly urging prospective, heterosexual clients to lobby state lawmakers for a religious exemption for wedding vendors. In an email to a prospective client, Grubbs wrote that “We are a Christian-owned business, and we are not able to lend support to gay marriages. And as a public accommodation, we cannot discriminate between gay or straight couples, so we had to stop doing all wedding transportation.”

The head of the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association told the Baltimore Sun that the company is the second vendor to refuse business over the state’s same-sex marriage law. MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG >> READ >> READ

When Andresen, who built an anti-bullying “tolerance wall” with schoolchildren as part of his Eagle Scout service project, was told by his Scoutmaster he would not be awarded the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, he refused to give up. Instead, he started a Change.org petition with the help of his mother. After getting more than 460,000 signatures, the San Francisco Bay area Boy Scouts chapter that oversees Andresen’s troop approved his Eagle Scout application. However, Scout Executive John Fenoglio, ultimately rejected their unanimous decision. Fenoglio told CNN that the application had not been approved because Andresen had failed to meet the standards of “duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age.”

Hagel nomination draws ire

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense is drawing a lot of criticism for the GLBT community and GLBT activist groups.

Presently, the curriculum is set by the state government, and teachers are required to teach that homosexuality is an unacceptable, criminal lifestyle. If the legislation passes, sex education programs will be decided by the Department of Education.

“I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient,” Baldwin said on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. “I want to hear how he has evolved on this issue in the last 14 years,” she continued.

He has since apologized for those comments, causing Former Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the first openly gay member of Congress, to reverse his previous opposition to Hagel’s nomination. Tammy Baldwin, the first out Senator, has not changed her mind as of press time.

Hagel’s voting records during his 12-year tenure are also questionable. According to national civil rights organization GetEQUAL, he scored 4 percent with the Human Rights Campaign, 14 percent with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 12 percent with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 5 percent with the League of Conservation Voters, and 7 percent with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). LIVING OUT

“It wasn’t until I evaluated my faith and spirituality, and put things into perspective did I come to terms with those feelings. Today, I am at peace with identifying as both Christian and lesbian.”

The biggest problem Genéa sees on Long Island is a lack of positive representations for GLBT people of color. She hopes that in the future, role models can come out of the closet, either in their identity or as allies in solidarity of the GLBT community. Janene Layne, a 24-year-old lesbian living in Uniondale, agrees with that sentiment: she has role models like Iyanla Vanzant that motivate her to love herself and keep moving forward in spite of struggles. For Janene, part of avoiding struggles means also avoiding labels.

It doesn’t allow myself or others to acknowledge the other aspects of what makes me, me.” Janene has not experienced any discrimination explicitly due to her sexuality, but she admits to enduring almost daily racism. “On my everyday commute to work, I often feel that I’m being stared or gestured at. Usually the discrimination is non-verbal, but it can really get my day off to a bad start.”

Usually, Janene concedes, these gestures or stares come from older Caucasian men and women, something Janene attributes more to age over race. “I must say, my biggest struggles have come from older generations. In my family is where the intersection of being black and a lesbian has most affected me, due to my family’s culture. Most people I know of black descent are not openly accepting of homosexuality, and that’s definitely true with my older relatives. It’s something that is there, but often not talked about.”

It seems that this lack of open and affirming conversation within the black community on Long Island might be the most striking thought to consider. Josh Odam, a highschool aged ally living in Baldwin, sees the struggle to get dialogue started on being GLBT in the black community as a direct parallel to the civil rights movement.

“No one is truly aware of the struggles of the GLBT community yet. It’s harder because it’s not like in the 60s when you could tell whether someone was black or white – age 17 you don’t know how people student at Baldwin H.S. identify, which lives in baldwin makes learning and becoming accepting harder,” he said.

“I am out as a lesbian, yet I don’t truly define myself by my race or sexuality, so being black and a lesbian on Long Island is not a big deal to me. I think all human beings are so multi-dimensional that thinking of myself in only two aspects at one time limits me as an individual.

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“Within the black community though, the school systems, the churches, the families – they need to acknowledge that there are people in the community who identify as GLBT.”

Josh says that even as a straight ally, he has been victimized for his open support. “My black friends and family, they won’t

Yet some Long Islanders of color have found the intersection of their identities to be without struggle and, as AIDS activist Craig Hicks says, “the best of both worlds.” “Being African American and gay is the best of both worlds. I can see the struggles that exist on both sides of the fence. Living on Long Island can be like a crowded fishbowl, and it feels like we have to do more to make ourselves known to others or to just be seen.”

His positivity surrounding his identity here on Long Island has led him to believe that perceptions do not matter. “I can’t say I have

Tula Kitchen, Bay Shore 631.539.7183

It would appear that the biggest facet of what it means to be black and gay is that it also means you can be invisible, either fully or partially. Those interviewed shared something in common: at one point or another, they were ignored or made to feel lesser because of one or both of their identities. While violence against GLBT people of color was not something experienced by those interviewed, a quieter, more painful sense of isolation seemed to be present for some. In looking to the future in Long Island, all shared the same sentiment: open conversation within the black community and Long Island as a whole to spread awareness of GLBT and civil rights issues.

Known for its healthy and organic options, this venue’s fresh dishes are hard to turn down. Check out their lunch menu for some sweet savings of just $10 a piece. One of their most notable sandwiches is the Tula Turkey Sandwich, which includes grilled turkey, baked brie, fresh sliced apples, Dijon honey mustard, and roasted lemon potato salad.

ristorante gimelli, babylon 631.321.6392

If you are craving some fine Italian dining, look no further than this restaurant! For starters, try the Spiedini alla Romano, which has pan-seared fresh mozzarella and a Tuscan bread tower served with fresh tomato basil caper sauce. This antipasti is so delicious that you just might not share! Ristorante Gemelli is spacious and rustic and shines with elegant, Tuscan-inspired decor.

main street cafe, northport 631.754.5533

Don’t know what exactly you’re in the mood for? Check out Main Street Café, which includes a little something for everyone! The menu features vegetarian and vegan options in addition to American food and classic pub favorites. For a zesty starter, try their Jerk Scallops, which has spicy seared scallops on top of a bed of fresh greens served with a pear chutney.

We’re here, we’re queer, we’re black. Get used to it.

What does being black and gay mean to you? Email editor@livingoutli.org

long island civic leaders speak out

Deidra parrish-williams

GLBT Community Center Executive Directors and Board Members from across the United States and Canada are headed to Garden City this September as The Long Island GLBT Community Center (The Center) was selected to host the 7th Annual CenterLink Executive Director and Board Leadership summit. The three-day summit starts September 19th at The Center at Garden City.

Alicia Figueras

Executive Director of NuHealth Foundation

Business Development Manager of HIA-LI

It’s long-established by now that along with its many wonderful attributes, Long Island is home to some of the worst segregation in the country. With our segregation is a very disparate distribution of resources. For a black and GBLT person who is a member of two disenfranchised groups, I think his or her biggest challenge in an environment like this is to exercise courage. Our fractured communities have helped us become very good at ignoring disparities and prejudices in our midst. It takes a courageous person to be willing to be the lone voice, to have uncomfortable conversations, and to confront unpleasant realities that still stand in the way of full equality on Long Island.

The black and GLBT communities need to collaborate more with community events and become more visible. If more leaders were to set the example, so many more would follow. Back in the early 2000s, which is when my daughter came out to me, I was extremely supportive of her and warned her that we are living in a very mean environment and people will treat her differently. 13 years later, she has experienced much hate from those who she never thought would turn their backs. However, she has learned to walk with her head high and be the beautiful lesbian she is. As I continuously educate the community about HIV/AIDS prevention, the faces are the same but the issues are still here – we cannot give up the fight, no matter what is up against us.

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CenterLink, the national organization representing over 200 GLBT Community Centers in the United States around the world, coordinates the conference each year in order to bring together center leadership to share strategies and to build the GLBT Center movement. Summit attendees will participate in a variety of workshops, keynotes, and discussions on topics including fundraising, operations, program development, and more.

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“We’re excited to be holding our annual Summit at the Long Island GLBT Community Center,” said Terry Stone, Executive Director of CenterLink. “Centers represent the largest and strongest network of service providers in the GLBT movement and this gathering of staff and board leaders provides them an opportunity to learn, share and build a strong network. The Long Island Center is an outstanding center and a valued CenterLink partner.” The summit brings together a diverse group of GLBT centers, which run the gamut from large multiservice organizations to all-volunteer community initiatives. The 2013 summit also marks the first time the gathering will take place in a suburban region.

In addition, The Center partnered with local celebrity Aunt Barbara to create a video inviting summit participants to Long Island. In the video, the top-selling Tupperware sales consultant and regular guest on ABC News expounds upon Long Island’s claims to fame, such as being the hometown of Harvey Milk, Rosie O’Donnell, and the Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo.

organizations of The Network, to the wainscoting and vertical blinds. “People often think of GLBT Community Centers as

Aunt Barbara also provides a “tour” of The Center at Garden City, showcasing with some “camp” everything from the innovative programs provided by the

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8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 She acknowledged that within the black community, religious beliefs and cultural norms had much to do with how isolated she felt from her family and friends: “I was raised in a Christian-Baptist church and my grandmother is a minister. I have vivid memories of my parents, grandparents and pastor constantly speaking about homosexuality being wrong and ungodly. This was something that caused me to harbor feelings of shame for years.”

4 letter from the ed tor

David Campos, a San Francisco supervisor, introduced legislation to rename San Francisco International Airport as the Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport to honor the civil rights leader and politician. In order to send the name change to voters, Campos needs the support of five other supervisors. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, as of press time, he has four co-sponsors.

Living Out’s Springtime coverage of Long Island dining and nightlife seems so far away as temperatures stay low. Break up the winter blues with good food and great company. Here’s Living Out’s preview of restaurants you don’t want to miss.

Craig hopes that the black community will more readily accept the GLBT community due to President Obama’s change of heart regarding marriage equality and GLBT civil rights. “The times are a-changing. Yes, for the better.”

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San Francisco official seeks to rename airport for Harvey Milk

During his time as Senator from Nebraska, Hagel opposed a Clinton-era ambassador nominee because the man was “openly and aggressively gay.”

Cover 2 donaldsons subaru

Alabama State Representative Patricia Todd – the first openly gay legislator in the state – introduced a bill that would limit the state legislature’s role in sex education, as well as repeal the inclusion of antigay curriculum. Representative Todd introduced a similar bill last year, but it did not pass out of committee.

10/9/12 10/9/12 10:46 AM 10:46 AM

A Sneak Peak at Our april Dining & Nightlife Guide!

experienced any further discrimination [within the black community] due to being African American or my orientation. But any perceptions of me are just that: perceptions. I go about my day with no pre-conceived notions of anyone because who am I to judge?”

Benedict XVI also quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, saying the campaign for marriage equality and granting gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children was an “attack” on the

French rally against marriage equality

national News

church bells will ring for same-sex marriages

traditional family made up of a father, mother, and children.

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According to the AP, Benedict XVI attacked gay marriage – and gay people in general – for destroying the very “essence of the human creature” and for being “selfish enough” to want to marry and adopt children.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to Parisian streets to protest plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.

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Christmas Day is not generally associated with hate speech, but Pope Benedict XVI changed that this year in his annual Christmas message to the Vatican.

Despite the large number of people who gathered on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower, polls are showing that the majority is in favor of changing the law to allow lesbians and gays the right to marry and adopt.

Introducing first Introducing thethe first in-home oral HIV test in-home oral HIV test

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national News

By Rachel Roth

Pope blasts gays and lesbians on Christmas

Barbaros Şansal took pictures of his battered body immediately following the attack and shared them on Twitter. Along with the pictures, he posted the following message:

• A positive • A positive this does test does not mean that are youdefinitely are definitely infected withbut HIV,rather but rather that additional be done resultresult with with this test not mean that you infected with HIV, that additional testingtesting shouldshould be done in a in a • A negative • A negative this does test does not mean thatare youdefinitely are definitely not infected withparticularly HIV, particularly exposure medical setting. resultresult with with this test not mean that you not infected with HIV, whenwhen exposure may may medical setting. • If your • If your is negative andengage you engage in activities thatyou putatyou riskHIVforonHIV on a regular within the previous 3 months. test istest negative and you in activities that put riskatfor a regular basis,basis, havehave beenbeen within the previous 3 months. • This • This product should not be to make decisions on behavior that may increased risk for HIV. you should test regularly. product should notused be used to make decisions on behavior that put mayyou putatyou at increased risk for HIV. you should test regularly.

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International News

national national news news In the news

In the news OQ8488 - OraQuick - Standard w Bleed A- San Diego LGBT Weekly 10/15/12 AP Trim: 9.875”x 12.25” Safety: Top/Bottom .5” Left/Right .625” Bleed: .25”OA Image Rights: All Images RoyaltywFree, Getty - Package: Ferrara created OQ8488 - OraQuick - Standard Bleed A- San Diego LGBT Weekly 10/15/12 AP Trim: 9.875”x 12.25” Safety: Top/Bottom .5” Left/Right .625” Bleed: .25”OA Image Rights: All Images Royalty Free, Getty - Package: Ferrara created

Once people got to know me for who With February upon us, the topic of conversation Living Out’s team of contributors keeps exploring is Black History Month and how many parallels it shares with our own fight for GLBT equality on the regional, statewide, and national levels. February is Black History Month, and this is a time for all to remember the civil rights movement for equality that African Americans strove to achieve, and more importantly, commemorate those who fought perilously for the cause and the struggles they endured – some, even paying the ultimate price. As a first-generation queer Filipino woman, I have faced times in our Long Island community where I was discriminated against based on one facet of my identity: my race, my gender expression, or my sexual orientation – and sometimes, a combination of all three. I can only imagine that other Long Islanders of color have similar stories to share. I have also, however, experienced people who wanted to break down the barriers of segregation within our larger community to get to know me. Homophobia and transphobia often stems from ignorance, and this is true when considering any minority group: once people got to know me for who I truly was – a philosophy and writing enthusiast with a mild

6 calendar of events 7 hunt ngton bay dental 8 Be Scene Photos from around L 20 Out front barbra stre sand 24 L v ng Healthy re gn te the romance 25 l v ng healthy heart health 26 oscar pred ct ons 27 valent ne s day nsp rat on 29 travel seattle

out spoken

shared struggles for civil rights musings

april 27, 1953

Rosa Parks refuses to give up a bus seat to a white passenger in Alabama.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

The road to equality for African Americans and the GLBT community has shared many parallels: most importantly, that we have each come far, but the work is not done yet. Explore this timeline to recall critical turning points during the fight for justice.

Executive Order 10450 is signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. The order bans homosexuals from employment by the federal government or its private contractors, citing them as security risks.

december 1, 1955 january 1, 1962

Illinois repeals its anti-sodomy law. This makes Illinois the first state to decriminalize homosexuality.

august 28, 1963 july 2, 1964

The case of Loving v. Virginia leads to a Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage. At the time, sixteen states still had the ban, and were forced to revise their laws.

Black Civil Rights Movement

GLBT Equality Movement

I am sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, drinking Savignon Blanc in a stemless glass. It is a dangerous posture. It fairly screams apathy.

Both Both

Barack Obama won and in the days following his re-election, we learned that Mitt Romney, in fact, actually believed his own 47% rhetoric. Bullet dodged. Gay marriage gets a thumbs-up in four states and the Supreme Court will issue a major decision in June – guess

30 Po nts of v ew mlk - glbt ally?

FROM FAMILIES

The Unique Experience of

by andy stern

The Political Animal’s Take on the Current State of Our Government and going Back to our (Grass)Roots

Quality Healthcare Services for Individuals with Special Needs and the Community at Large

TO

FOODIES

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reduce gun violence. How many of us genuinely believe waswas undeniable irrefutable. undeniable andand irrefutable. anything will happen? Frankly, I am dubious. A moment They They stormed Food stormed thethe Food andand in time squandered – our country simply does not have Drug Drug Administration Administration andand thethe the attention span or muscle memory for Task Forces. NationalInstitutes Institutesof of Health. National Health. They refused to allow politics refused to allow thethe politics Between the Friday morning massacre and the They of fear religiosity to control andand religiosity to control Sunday morning talk shows, we have watched many of fear message. They message. They tooktook to to thethe politicians veer the discussion away from a ban on semi- thethe streets, risked limb, risked life life andand limb, andand automatics, and instead, closing the gun show loophole streets, pointed hypocrisy inaction outout hypocrisy andand inaction toward the need for pointed in any every place found andand every place theythey found it. it. improved mental in any They demanded change. demanded realreal change. health tracking and the They

FAMILY DOCKSIDE menu

32 33 34 35 36 september 24, 1965

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Desegregation can now be enforced using power from the federal government.

Executive Order 11246 is issued by President Johnson, enforcing affirmative action for the first time.

june 12, 1967

President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

april 11, 1968

June 28, 1969

Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, gives a speech endorsing rights for homosexuals, as well as women. He asks others to overcome their insecurities, and states that homosexuals “... might be the most oppressed people in the society.”

Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize gay marriage.

december 15, 1973

Sherry Harris is elected to the City Council in Seattle, Washington. She becomes the first openly lesbian AfricanAmerican elected official.

President George Bush signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which not only supports existing civil rights laws, but provides for damages resulting from intentional employment discrimination.

march 22, 1988

april 1, 1998

may 18, 2004

january 9, 2013

The Washington National Cathedral in DC announces that it will begin performing gay marriages.

Phill Wilson AIDS Activist

Apr. 1956 - present

november 4, 2008

32

LIVING OUT

You are not alone, you are…FREE To Be

FREE TO BE is a group that provides a safe, friendly environment for people to explore their sexuality, socialize, make new friends, and have the support of their community.

Barack Hussein Obama, a Senator from Illinois, is elected as President of the United States, the first African American to hold the office.

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Sheryl Swoopes Athlete Mar. 1971 - present

Sheryl Swoopes is a professional basketball player with the Houston Comets in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is often called “the female Michael Jordan.” Women’s professional basketball did not yet exist when Swoopes was growing up in Brownfield, Texas. In 1988, she led her high school team to the Texas state championship. Swoopes received the Naismith Award as National Player of the Year. Later in life, Swoopes was a member of the US Basketball Women’s National Team that won gold medals at the Olympics in 1996, 2000, and 2004. In ten years, Swoopes has accumulated more than 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 300 career assists, and 200 career steals. She has been WNBA Most Valuable Player three times, more than any other player. In 2005, Swoopes became one of the highest profile professional athletes in a team sport to come out publicly as a lesbian. She and her partner, former Comets’ assistant coach Alisa Scott, are raising Swoopes’ son.

Truth be told, we need to work harder than ever to get marriage passed in Rhode Island, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, Hawaii, and New Jersey to keep the momentum up and put additional pressure on the Court – our work is nowhere close to finished. We have also neglected some real fundamentals. If you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, you can still be fired or lose your housing in 29 states. The number leaps up to 34 – including right here in “safe” New York – if you are transgender. I have ranted and railed for years about us leap-frogging over the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to take on gay marriage as our front-and-center issue, and continue to believe there are some brass tacks issues we have failed to focus on.

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The Civil Rights Restoration Act is passed by Congress, wherein private institutions with federal funding are placed under the jurisdiction of non-discrimination laws. This ruling overrides the veto of President Ronald Reagan.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is written into law by President Bill Clinton, proclaiming marriage between a man and women; thus, states do not have to recognize gay marriages from other states.

notable voices in our community

Phill Wilson founded the Black AIDS Institute in 1999 and is one of the most prominent spokespersons addressing HIV and AIDS issues in the African-American community. Wilson did not know for certain that he was HIV-positive until he was 27. At that time, in the 1980s, a positive test was assumed to be a death sentence. Wilson watched countless friends become ill and die. Most notably, after his partner’s death, he channeled his anger into work for HIV/AIDS prevention. Wilson developed AIDS in 1990, and nearly died in 1995, but the development of the new antiretrovirals enabled him to recover. He has participated in the founding of several other HIV/ AIDS advocacy organizations and has worked on HIV/AIDS policy and treatment internationally. He is credited with being the primary force in mobilizing the Black community against HIV/AIDS. He said, “I have lived a life where I have had the privilege of pretending that I can make a difference, and it does not get much better than that.”

there is not much to do on that front until the decision is rendered…so now what?

Family Wellness Center

Wisconsin outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, becoming the first US state to do so.

march 2, 1982

september 21, 1996

We need to pick up the phone more often, write more letters to elected officials, and we need to demand greater accountability – from friends and enemies alike.

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After a vote by the board of the American Psychiatric Association, homosexuality is removed from their list of mental illnesses.

november 5, 1991

november 22, 1991

Coretta Scott King calls for the civil rights community to join the struggle against anti-gay bias and homophobia. Mrs. King was a civil rights leader and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She received negative backlash from the black civil rights movement for drawing a comparison between gay rights and civil rights.

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A three-day riot breaks out at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, after police officers attempt a raid. The bar was regularly raided by police since its opening two years earlier, on the grounds of regulars being “sexual deviants.”

august 15, 1970

James Baldwin Author

Aug. 1924 - Nov. 1987

James Baldwin was an African-American writer whose works captured the conflicted spirit of late 20th century America. As a gay African-American, Baldwin struggled with his identity in a racist and homophobic society. His disgust with the racial climate in the post-World War II United States impelled him to move to Europe, where he wrote several major works. Most notably, Giovanni’s Room deals explicitly with homosexuality and was published at a time when few writers dared to publish gay-themed works. Baldwin returned to the US in 1957, and his writings increasingly reflected his engagement in the struggle for African-American civil rights. His incorporation of gay themes evoked strong criticism from the black community. Baldwin received many awards during his lifetime, including France’s highest civilian award, Commander of the Legion of Honor, presented by President François Mitterrand.

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“Disability Is A Matter Of Perception. If You Can Do Just One Thing Well, You Are Needed By Someone”

-Martina Navratilova

Then there are issues without an “assigned” constituency: gun regulation is currently topping the list in our national zeitgeist. These issues impact us all (unless you are agoraphobic), yet we cannot seem to get a damn thing done about it. 12 shot dead, 58 wounded in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater …and nothing. 26 dead, including 20 young children, in Newtown, Connecticut, and the President launches a Task Force to “study” the issue, as though we do not already have the legislation sitting in our back pocket – as if there is not a sane one of us who does not know what should be done today to

Socialization/Group Meetings Meetings are open to anyone interested in joining FREE TO BE who are GLBT, questioning and gay-straight alliance. Meetings Include Guest Speakers, Event Planning, Open Discussion, and Social Events

appearing this weekend atat our clubs appearing this weekend our clubs

bobby bobby slayton slayton @ the brokerage

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community – does demand progressive change – does notnot demand realreal progressive change But yesterday, I did. I ventured out into the cold to community both those things impact directly, both those things thatthat impact us us directly, andand as as see the documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” a film on on citizens, then no one is our legacy to demand, then no one elseelse will.will. It isItour legacy to demand, focusing on the battle for more drugs and faster drug citizens, is our responsibility to lead it isitour responsibility to lead the the way.way. approval at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Having andand worked at Gay Men’s Health Crisis for almost a decade, it is surprising that I actually needed to be reminded just About the Author the Author how much a small group of fatigued, but indefatigable, About Andy Stern, a native Long Islander, been Stern, a native Long Islander, hashas been a a people fighting for their lives could accomplish when Andy pro-choice and rights activist over two pro-choice and gaygay rights activist forfor over two there was simply no other option but death. They educated decades decades and is the past Board President of Long and is the past Board President of Long themselves on complex issues so their knowledge base Island Island and Lesbian Youth. GayGay and Lesbian Youth.

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tom tom cotter cotter c @ mcguires

mark mark viera viera @ the brokerage

bryan bryan callen callen @ governors

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better. must better. I wish I had WeWe cancan do do better. WeWe must do do better. I wish I had a magic methodology, grassroots organizer a magic methodology, butbut thethe grassroots organizer in me screams need to get back to basics. in me screams thatthat we we need to get back to basics. We We need to pick up the phone more often, write more letters need to pick up the phone more often, write more letters elected officials (remember letters?), need to to elected officials (remember letters?), andand we we need demand greater accountability – from friends to to demand greater accountability – from friends andand enemies alike. Living in the “safe haven” of New enemies alike. Living in the “safe haven” of New YorkYork cannot excuse moral superiority absolute cannot be be ourour excuse for for moral superiority andand absolute lethargy. lethargy.

followingshould should TheThefollowing I have been a political animal for over 40 2013 on on all all of of ourour 2013 Truth be told, we need to be be years. It all started when I was seven-yearsbucket lists: bucket lists: work harder than ever. old and delivered literature door-to-door phone every PickPick up up the the phone every for Al Lowenstein for Congress in Nassau a legislator timetime a legislator failsfails to to County. I do not think I have ever witnessed regardless where act,act, regardless of of where such profound irresponsibility, reckless either of reside. us reside. Write a letter an online of us Write a letter (not(not justjust signsign an online indifference, and no-holds-barred cowardice before. I either petition) every a legislator pisses us off, regardless every timetime a legislator pisses us off, regardless have never seen such self-indulgent political hackery. petition) of where their district is. Stop blaming a “broken system” their district is. Stop blaming a “broken system” Our legislatures have been so gerrymandered that our of where while nevertheless insisting “but representatives nevertheless insisting “but ourour representatives are are legislators are safe, but ideologically immobilized. Frankly, while great.” it is all so depressing that it is no wonder I cannot get off great.” the couch. Because, truth be told, if our community if the GLBT Because, truth be told, if our community – if –the GLBT

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“culture of violence.” These are the same folks who have been slashing and burning federal funding for mental health services for years. One could not help but be reminded of all those elected – those who called marriage equality “special rights” for gays and lesbians but then suddenly became open to domestic partnerships in light of growing support for marriage in their polling data. Bait and switch.

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32 c v l r ghts t mel ne 33 free 34 go ng back to grassroots 35 jellyf sh

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Letter from the editor Once people got to know me for who With February upon us, the topic of conversation Living Out’s team of contributors keeps exploring is Black History Month and how many parallels it shares with our own fight for GLBT equality on the regional, statewide, and national levels (p. 33). February is Black History Month, and this is a time for all to remember the civil rights movement for equality that African Americans strove to achieve, and more importantly, commemorate those who fought perilously for the cause and the struggles they endured – some, even paying the ultimate price. As a first-generation queer Filipino woman, I have faced times in our Long Island community where I was discriminated against based on one facet of my identity: my race, my gender expression, or my sexual orientation – and sometimes, a combination of all three. I can only imagine that other Long Islanders of color have similar stories to share. I have also, however, experienced people who wanted to break down the barriers of segregation within our larger community to get to know me. Homophobia and transphobia often stems from ignorance, and this is true when considering any minority group: once people got to know me for who I truly was – a philosophy and writing enthusiast with a mild

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I truly was – a philosophy and writing addiction to coffee and a love for enthusiast with a mild addiction to comedy television coffee and a love for comedy television – we were able – we were able to appreciate one to appreciate one another’s cultures and identities and another’s cultures not allow ourselves to be segregated and identities and because of them. not allow ourselves to be segregated because of them. Sometimes our voices get lost in both the GLBT and Brother2Brother of Long Island Gay and Lesbian and people of color communities. This issue of Living Youth and The Long Island GLBT Center are just two Out hopes to shed light on and explore some of the of the programs and services on Long Island that can social issues that occur on Long Island to strengthen help you grow empowered in doing so. Let us come that voice (p. 8). together and continue the fight for equality. We hope that all Long Islanders of color, particularly those who are also GLBT, could join With Pride, us in recognizing how far our local community has come. Yes, there is much to do, and as much as we may want to invite our neighbors into our homes and get to know them and show them we are more alike Meryl Lumba, than different, we cannot do it independently. Editor, Living Out And so with this spirit in mind, I am encouraging you, our readers, to join in breaking those barriers What does Black History Month mean to you? email editor@livingoutli.org to share your thoughts. down. Together Real United Empowered (TRUE)

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10/9/12 10:46 AM


In the news International News

By Rachel Roth

Pope blasts gays and lesbians on Christmas

Christmas Day is not generally associated with hate speech, but Pope Benedict XVI changed that this year in his annual Christmas message to the Vatican. According to the AP, Benedict XVI attacked gay marriage – and gay people in general – for destroying the very “essence of the human creature” and for being “selfish enough” to want to marry and adopt children. Benedict XVI also quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, saying the campaign for marriage equality and granting gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children was an “attack” on the

French rally against marriage equality

national News

Hundreds of thousands of people took to Parisian streets to protest plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children. Civil unions for lesbian and gay couples are already allowed in France, but President Francois Hollande made a pledge, in his presidential campaign, to extend their rights. The BBC reported that the demonstration was backed by the Catholic Church and right-wing opposition and led by a comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense.” Barjot told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman. Despite the large number of people who gathered to protest, polls are showing that the majority is in favor of changing the law to allow lesbians and gays the right to marry and adopt. A poll of almost 1,000 people published by Le Nouvel Observateur newspaper indicated that 56 percent supported gay marriage. On February 2, the French National Assembly voted 249-97 in favor of the gay marriage law, moving France one step closer to equality. 6

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“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned,” he continued.

In another win for marriage equality, the Washington National Cathedral announced it will begin performing lesbian and gay weddings. The famous church is the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church and became the largest U.S. denomination to sanction marriage equality in July when they approved a ceremony for same-sex unions at its General Convention in Indianapolis.

The Pope also used his annual peace message to disparage gay marriage, calling it a “threat to world peace.”

The announcement was applauded by the Human Rights campaign, which called the move a “powerful message to GLBT Episcopalians.”

Activist beaten in Turkey A Turkish gay activist, and renowned designer, was attacked last month in the Beyoğlu Taksim district of Istanbul. Barbaros Şansal took pictures of his battered body immediately following the attack and shared them on Twitter. Along with the pictures, he posted the following message:

Despite the large number of people who gathered on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower, polls are showing that the majority is in favor of changing the law to allow lesbians and gays the right to marry and adopt.

church bells will ring for same-sex marriages

traditional family made up of a father, mother, and children. “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he stated. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

By Rachel Roth

“The Episcopal Church is one of a growing number of denominations to see a new day in the intersection of faith and sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Reverend MacArthur Flournoy, who is the deputy director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program. “This [decision] is not only good for GLBT people, it is good for the soul of the church,” he added.

founder of pflag dies

“I was threatened and attacked due to political reasons at 04:50 a.m. in Taksim Ayaspaşa. Dark brains, you will pay a heavy price for this. They told me that I will pay for my writings and statements with my life. I am only a soul but what will millions say?”

UKIP official website used to spew hate

A private online forum for members of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been reportedly used to vent racist and homophobic sentiments. According to Pink News, top party member Chairman of the Branch, Julia Gasper used the party’s official site to compare homosexuality to pedophilia and said that gay people preferred sex with animals. Another high-profile UKIP member, Jan Zolyniak, posted that “The evidence is quite clear that the percentage of homosexuals who molest children is very high and cannot be dismissed.” Labour Vice-Chairman, Michael Dugher, called on UKIP party leader, Nigel Farage, to remove members guilty of making abusive comments. Farage responded, stating that the party did not condone racism and homophobia and that he would “look carefully” at remarks made on the forum.

Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and the Mother of the Straight Ally movement, died on January 8th. She was 92. Manford, a pioneer in the GLBT rights movement, became active in 1972 after her son Morty Manford was beaten during a gay rights demonstration. Shocked and disgusted that the police failed to intervene, J. Manford wrote a letter to the New York Post expressing her outrage. Her proclamation, “I have a gay son and I love him,” sparked national attention to violence against gays and was the beginning of a movement. PFLAG unofficially began in June of 1972, when Manford marched alongside her son at the NYC Gay Pride Parade carrying a sign that read “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of our Children.” To date, PFLAG, has more than 350 chapters across the United States and 200,000 members and supporters, in addition to having similar organizations that have been created across the globe.

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In the news national News continued

APA changes diagnosis of Gay Scout Denied Eagle transgender people Scout Honors Transgender and gender non-conforming people are no longer considered mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In a historical milestone for both communities, the APA Board of Trustees approved a revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM-5, which will diagnose transgender people with “Gender Dysphoria.” This new diagnosis communicates the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/ expressed gender and assigned gender.”

Earlier this year, the APA also released new health guidelines for transgender patients, as well as a position statement affirming transgender care and civil rights.

Until now, the term “gender identity disorder” has been used to diagnose people who are transgender. Think Progress reports that this classification contributed to the perception that all transgender people are inherently disordered, delusional, and mentally ill. In some cases, they argue, it has been used to discriminate against trans people, with claims that they are unfit parents or employees.

MD business says “I don’t” to all weddings

Rather than serve lesbian and gay couples, one Annapolis business owner has decided to leave the wedding business altogether. According to the Baltimore Sun, Discover Annapolis Tours owner, Matt Grubbs, chose to walk away from more than $50,000 in annual revenue so that he would not have to compromise his Christian beliefs when marriage equality became legal in Maryland this year. Grubbs is reportedly urging prospective, heterosexual clients to lobby state lawmakers for a religious exemption for wedding vendors. In an email to a prospective client, Grubbs wrote that “We are a Christian-owned business, and we are not able to lend support to gay marriages. And as a public accommodation, we cannot discriminate between gay or straight couples, so we had to stop doing all wedding transportation.” The head of the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association told the Baltimore Sun that the company is the second vendor to refuse business over the state’s same-sex marriage law.

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The negative press for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) continues. As Gay Life has reported, the organization has been under fire for its discriminatory practices against the GLBT community, losing some of its largest financial backers in the process. Most recently, the BSA has stripped Ryan Andresen of his Eagle Scout rank because the 18-year-old is openly gay. When Andresen, who built an anti-bullying “tolerance wall” with schoolchildren as part of his Eagle Scout service project, was told by his Scoutmaster he would not be awarded the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, he refused to give up. Instead, he started a Change.org petition with the help of his mother. After getting more than 460,000 signatures, the San Francisco Bay area Boy Scouts chapter that oversees Andresen’s troop approved his Eagle Scout application. However, Scout Executive John Fenoglio, ultimately rejected their unanimous decision. Fenoglio told CNN that the application had not been approved because Andresen had failed to meet the standards of “duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age.” At press time, BSA has announced that it will consider an end to its policy on banning gays at its February national meeting.

Hagel nomination draws ire

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to the position of Secretary of Defense is drawing a lot of criticism for the GLBT community and GLBT activist groups.

Alabama Lawmaker seeks to repeal anti-gay curriculum Alabama State Representative Patricia Todd – the first openly gay legislator in the state – introduced a bill that would limit the state legislature’s role in sex education, as well as repeal the inclusion of antigay curriculum. Representative Todd introduced a similar bill last year, but it did not pass out of committee. Presently, the curriculum is set by the state government, and teachers are required to teach that homosexuality is an unacceptable, criminal lifestyle. If the legislation passes, sex education programs will be decided by the Department of Education.

San Francisco official seeks to rename airport for Harvey Milk

David Campos, a San Francisco supervisor, introduced legislation to rename San Francisco International Airport as the Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport to honor the civil rights leader. In order to send the name change to voters, Campos needs the support of five other supervisors. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, as of press time, he has four co-sponsors.

During his time as Senator from Nebraska, Hagel opposed a Clinton-era ambassador nominee because the man was “openly and aggressively gay.”

“I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient,” Baldwin said on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. “I want to hear how he has evolved on this issue in the last 14 years,” she continued.

He has since apologized for those comments, causing Former Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the first openly gay member of Congress, to reverse his previous opposition to Hagel’s nomination. Tammy Baldwin, the first out Senator, has not changed her mind as of press time.

Hagel’s voting records during his 12-year tenure are also questionable. According to national civil rights organization GetEQUAL, he scored 4 percent with the Human Rights Campaign, 14 percent with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 12 percent with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), 5 percent with the League of Conservation Voters, and 7 percent with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). LIVING OUT

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out on li

Segregation. It’s a word often associated with racial discrimination against the black community, but in Long Island and across the nation, it’s happening within the black gay community as well. GLBT people of color feel the pressure to stay within the closet to avoid confrontation with friends, family, religious leaders, and the public. By doing so, substantial dialogue about what it means to be black and gay on Long Island has been absent and in the closet – until now.

One year ago in February 2012, a 20-yearold man walked out of an Atlanta corner store and was brutally beaten; one of his attackers filmed the incident, and the 30-second clip went viral almost instantaneously, depicting the gruesome scene of a group of suspected gang members kicking and punching the unsuspecting victim while spitting anti-gay slurs at him. The person who was attacked, Brandon White, is black and gay. Despite the trauma of his experience, he told authorities he was not planning on reporting the abuse – until he saw that his attackers spread the footage on the Internet. In a press conference, he said, “They wanted to make themselves look like they were brave or strong, but in my opinion, I’m the brave one.”

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has recorded rising numbers in violence against GLBT individuals, with people of color and trans women as the most victimized demographics. But what does this mean for black GLBT Long Islanders? Do our GLBT neighbors of color experience similar discrimination or violence at the hands of others, especially within the black community and even within the GLBT community?

Long Island has historically struggled with economic disparities, racism, and heterosexism and homophobia. While improvements happen every day, our community has much to do. Long Islanders might recall incidents like the Starbucks hate-fueled rant against a gay employee in Centereach in 2011, or in 2008 when a But violence against GLBT people of color number of racist and sexual graffiti markings does not stop there. Days after White’s against President-Elect Barack Obama beating, a black transgender woman popped up across Mastic properties. Most named Deoni Jones was fatally stabbed recently in October 2012, David Hernandez, in Washington, DC by an unidentified a 16-year-old student in East Hampton black male. A month later in Florida A&M, High School, took his life as a direct result a fraternity hazing gone horribly wrong of anti-gay and anti-immigrant comments resulted in the death of Robert Champion, from his peers. But the intersection of Jr, a tragedy friends believe was the result of race and sexual orientation or gender both his race and his sexual orientation. identity is not often spoken about in our communities, making this concept of what it means to be black and gay on Long Island all the more age 27 elusive and difficult to address. ligaly alumnus lives in islip terrace

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Jamel Liverman, a gay 27-yearold living in Islip Terrace, says he knows first-hand how segregated Long Island can be.

“In my youth, I went to high school in Bay Shore. It was mostly blacks and Hispanics, so being out was very hard for me.”

age 26

glbt activist The cultural influences of his high works in garden city school pressured Jamel to stay silent about his sexuality until he was 14. “I wonder if I should have waited [until I was older] but I was in an HBO documentary called Middle School On asking Jamel what he would say to Confessions… and not only did my family scared black and gay youth, he quickly in New York see it, but it aired across the replied, “You have every right to be afraid, nation. Everyone at my school saw it, so that but enough is enough. Come out. Feel what kind of created a tough situation where I felt you feel on the inside and let it out.” like an outsider at times.” Genéa Thomas, a Philadelphia native who In fact, Jamel believes being black and currently works for Long Island Gay and gay goes “hand-in-hand.” He said, “As far Lesbian Youth as the Nassau County Youth as being black goes, we’re still facing Services Coordinator, is often telling youth the stereotypical things that you see on of color something similar when they admit television and movies, but you know, they are not out in their communities. But not every black person is like that. To she, too, recognizes the fear so many GLBT me, it seems like people focus on the youth of color feel in telling their friends negatives more than the positives. As far or families about their sexuality or gender as being gay, we’re moving in the right identity. direction, however, it is still a fight. There are still people out there that still don’t see In sharing on her own experiences, she homosexuals as an equal to them. We’re still says she has not experienced any further treated as a second-class citizen. And being discrimination for her identity today, but black and being gay – it amplifies that a bit.” that was not always the case. “The fact that I am a minority within minorities I am With family, Jamel still feels like an outsider always cognizant of,” she said. “Culturally, even today, but he tries to stay positive. growing up, I did not fit the archetype of the “There are some family members that I black butch lesbian identity that I claimed. try to talk to, and they don’t want to hear Amongst certain circles of friends, it was anything and that’s okay. That’s their a question of authenticity for me to claim prerogative. I’m not going to let that get me that identity and still be closeted in certain down because I still have a life to live.”

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out on li situations, and have to dress a certain way around my family. I couldn’t be myself. That was a struggle.”

outright say it, but their body language is so dismissive and negative [when I tell them I’m an ally]. That says it all.”

age 48 aids activist lives in shirley

“At the same time,” Genéa continued, “today I do not feel that I face any further discrimination as a person of color within the GLBT community. Perhaps that’s because my identity is no longer new to me, or perhaps that’s because my family and friends have finally grown to accept me for who I am.” She acknowledged that within the black community, religious beliefs and cultural norms had much to do with how isolated she felt from her family and friends: “I was raised in a Christian-Baptist church and my grandmother is a minister. I have vivid memories of my parents, grandparents and pastor constantly speaking about homosexuality being wrong and ungodly. This was something that caused me to harbor feelings of shame for years.” “It wasn’t until I evaluated my faith and spirituality, and put things into perspective did I come to terms with those feelings. Today, I am at peace with identifying as both Christian and lesbian.” The biggest problem Genéa sees on Long Island is a lack of positive representations for GLBT people of color. She hopes that in the future, role models can come out of the closet, either in their identity or as allies in solidarity of the GLBT community. Janene Layne, a 24-year-old lesbian living in Uniondale, agrees with that sentiment: she has role models like Iyanla Vanzant that motivate her to love herself and keep moving forward in spite of struggles. For Janene, part of avoiding struggles means also avoiding labels.

It doesn’t allow myself or others to acknowledge the other aspects of what makes me, me.” Janene has not experienced any discrimination explicitly due to her sexuality, but she admits to enduring almost daily racism. “On my everyday commute to work, I often feel that I’m being stared or gestured at. Usually the discrimination is non-verbal, but it can really get my day off to a bad start.” Usually, Janene concedes, these gestures or stares come from older Caucasian men and women, something Janene attributes more to age over race. “I must say, my biggest struggles have come from older generations. In my family is where the intersection of being black and a lesbian has most affected me, due to my family’s culture. Most people I know of black descent are not openly accepting of homosexuality, and that’s definitely true with my older relatives. It’s something that is there, but often not talked about.” It seems that this lack of open and affirming conversation within the black community on Long Island might be the most striking thought to consider. Josh Odam, a highschool aged ally living in Baldwin, sees the struggle to get dialogue started on being GLBT in the black community as a direct parallel to the civil rights movement.

“No one is truly aware of the struggles of the GLBT community yet. It’s harder because it’s not like in the 60s when you could tell whether someone was black or white – age 17 you don’t know how people student at Baldwin H.S. identify, which lives in baldwin makes learning and becoming accepting harder,” he said.

“I am out as a lesbian, yet I don’t truly define myself by my race or sexuality, so being black and a lesbian on Long Island is not a big deal to me. I think all human beings are so multi-dimensional that thinking of myself in only two aspects at one time limits me as an individual.

>> READ MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG

“Within the black community though, the school systems, the churches, the families – they need to acknowledge that there are people in the community who identify as GLBT.” Josh says that even as a straight ally, he has been victimized for his open support. “My black friends and family, they won’t

When asked about why he has become an outspoken ally and recently chose to intern at The Long Island GLBT Services Network, he replied that his cultural background affected his decision. Josh shared that he went to a Montessori school in Manhattan in which he was one of the only people of color. “After that, I went through life saying ‘okay, now I have to give everybody a chance to help me open my eyes,’” he said. Now living on Long Island, he concedes that he more frequently encounters people who are not as open to diversity. “The fact that my own parents would be shocked that I intern for a GLBT organization is proof enough. Yes, they would be happy that I’m helping people, but they would be a little surprised, and I feel that desperately needs to change.” Yet some Long Islanders of color have found the intersection of their identities to be without struggle and, as AIDS activist Craig Hicks says, “the best of both worlds.” “Being African American and gay is the best of both worlds. I can see the struggles that exist on both sides of the fence. Living on Long Island can be like a crowded fishbowl, and it feels like we have to do more to make ourselves known to others or to just be seen.” His positivity surrounding his identity here on Long Island has led him to believe that

perceptions do not matter. “I can’t say I have experienced any further discrimination [within the black community] due to being African American or my orientation. But any perceptions of me are just that: perceptions. I go about my day with no pre-conceived notions of anyone because who am I to judge?” Craig hopes that the black community will more readily accept the GLBT community due to President Obama’s change of heart regarding marriage equality and GLBT civil rights. “The times are a-changing. Yes, for the better.” It would appear that the biggest facet of what it means to be black and gay is that it also means you can be invisible, either fully or partially. Those interviewed shared something in common: at one point or another, they were ignored or made to feel lesser because of one or both of their identities. While violence against GLBT people of color was not something experienced by those interviewed, a quieter, more painful sense of isolation seemed to be present for some. In looking to the future in Long Island, all shared the same sentiment: open conversation within the black community and Long Island as a whole to spread awareness of GLBT and civil rights issues. We’re here, we’re queer, we’re black. Get used to it. What does being black and gay mean to you? Email editor@livingoutli.org

long island civic leaders speak out

Deidra parrish-williams

Alicia Figueras

It’s long-established by now that along with its many wonderful attributes, Long Island is home to some of the worst segregation in the country. With our segregation is a very disparate distribution of resources. For a black and GBLT person who is a member of two disenfranchised groups, I think his or her biggest challenge in an environment like this is to exercise courage. Our fractured communities have helped us become very good at ignoring disparities and prejudices in our midst. It takes a courageous person to be willing to be the lone voice, to have uncomfortable conversations, and to confront unpleasant realities that still stand in the way of full equality on Long Island.

The black and GLBT communities need to collaborate more with community events and become more visible. If more leaders were to set the example, so many more would follow. Back in the early 2000s, which is when my daughter came out to me, I was extremely supportive of her and warned her that we are living in a very mean environment and people will treat her differently. 13 years later, she has experienced much hate from those who she never thought would turn their backs. However, she has learned to walk with her head high and be the beautiful lesbian she is. As I continuously educate the community about HIV/AIDS prevention, the faces are the same but the issues are still here – we cannot give up the fight, no matter what is up against us.

Executive Director of NuHealth Foundation

Business Development Manager of HIA-LI

LIVING OUT

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Out on LI a look back...

By james fallarino

ligaly turns 20 What started in 1993 as a Master’s project for Social Work students at Stony Brook University has become one of Long Island’s most well-respected human services organizations and one of the largest organizations serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth in the entire nation. Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc. (LIGALY) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2013 and its impact and transformation of Long Island. Tens of thousands of GLBT youth have walked through its doors and public health and education programs and initiatives have touched over a million more.

hundreds of youth, volunteers, and families march with ligaly in the 1998 long island pride parade.

Today, the organization operates two community centers, located in Bay Shore and Garden City, and has a staff of 25 that provide support and social programs, education and anti-bullying workshops, and awareness raising campaigns throughout all of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Living Out caught up with three people whose lives have been touched by the organization’s work to end homophobia and transphobia, to provide a home and a safe space, and to advocate for equality.

brenda shanks On any given Friday night in the late 90s, one would find a line of vans parked outside the LIGALY center on Main Street in Bay Shore. The vans were courtesy of the Suffolk Project for AIDS Resource Coordination (SPARC), whose transportation services gave access to hundreds of GLBT youth in LIGALY’s Friday Night Program “Club LIGALY.” SPARC also rented an office from LIGALY, and staffed it with Outreach Worker Brenda Shanks. “I really loved that time,” recalled Shanks, who still works closely with LIGALY’s HIV Prevention Program. “All the youth, staff, and volunteers were just amazing people.” While never officially on staff at LIGALY, Shanks was a close member of the LIGALY family throughout the 10 years that she was based out of the agency’s facilities. She acknowledged that her involvement with LIGALY was more than professional. Looking back, she remarked, “When I came to LIGALY, I was struggling with my own identity. LIGALY’s family always made me feel okay, no matter how I identified.” Today, Shanks shares a home with her partner of nearly 10 years. Shanks’ partner was volunteering at LIGALY when the two met, and today they are raising a child together. One of her fondest memories was a

“LIGALY Impacted My Life & Perception of Outreach.” watch party for the historic “coming out episode” of Ellen DeGeneres’ namesake sitcom. “We talked with the youth about the episode for several weeks prior to its airing,” said Shanks. “Most of the youth were not out at that time, so this was a really big deal to see someone so famous making such a big step—for the first time the kids had someone of such celebrity to look up to.” Brenda’s most awe-filled memory was in 2001: the agency held the LIGALY Pride Gala Prom, billed by national and international media as “the first full-fledged suburban prom for gay and lesbian youth.” Shanks vividly remembers the meeting in which the staff first decided to hold the prom. “We had so many youth telling us that they wanted to go to their own school proms, but their school would not let them bring a samesex date,” said Shanks. “David [LIGALY’s founder and CEO] decided that if the schools were going to discriminate against gay kids, we were going to plan the prom that they deserved.” Even after 20 years, Shanks believes that LIGALY’s impact on Long Island continues to be significant. “If it wasn’t for LIGALY, I am not sure we would be talking about anti-GLBT bullying and suicide on Long Island,” she remarked. “LIGALY put it out there and started the conversation, and today still leads the way for the community.”

joe pirone

“What LIGALY Provided for Youth in the Suburbs is Invaluable.”

When Joe Pirone moved to Long Island 18 years ago, he was unsure that he would be able to find the community and support that was so engrained in his life in New York City. In 1995, Pirone first became aware of Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, which had been founded just two years before. While his first involvement was as a therapy client of LIGALY founder David Kilmnick, he quickly became a fundamental part of the organization’s growth for the next 14 years. “Back then, there was just one paid staff person, as well as a number of interns and volunteers,” recalled Pirone, who would go on to coordinate LIGALY’s volunteer program as well as its Friday night youth social program, Club LIGALY. “It was very small, very grassroots.” After its creation in 1995, Club LIGALY quickly became one of the organization’s most successful programs, but for the youth who attended in the early years, their participation was often a secret they kept from family and friends. “Many of the youth would ask me to say I was from ‘Long Island Game and Leisure Youth’ if I needed to call them at home.” Despite the clandestine attendance by many of its young participants, Club LIGALY attracted more than 100 youth each week in the late 90s, and Pirone remembers the program going as late as 2:00am on many Friday nights. For all who were a part of Club LIGALY,

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many remember the program not ending when 32 West Main Street was locked up for the night. “We would go to the Forum Diner in Bay Shore, and some nights we would have 30 or more people with us,” remembered Pirone. “We would hang out for hours at the diner and drive the waitress crazy.” Although it has been several years since Joe departed from LIGALY, he still acknowledges the great impact the organization had and continues to have. “I truly believe that what we were doing was keeping kids alive,” admitted Pirone. “We were keeping them in school, making sure they graduated, and helping them find an identity they could be proud of.” While Pirone acknowledges that there is still a lot to be done to make Long Island a safe place for GLBT youth, he is proud of all that LIGALY has done to transform Long Island. He has no qualms describing the organization as “a force to be reckoned with, definitely back then and certainly today.” Pirone sees as one of LIGALY’s greatest legacies creating a sustainable GLBT community on Long Island. “LIGALY proved that you could have a gay community in a suburb,” said Pirone. “Gay communities do not just exist in metropolitan areas, and LIGALY and its other organizations continue to build that community on Long Island to give a group of people a voice that never really had one.”

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james quinn

Out on LI “LIGALY Influenced My Activism: Past & Present.”

“Sorry if I sound out of it – we had our campaign farewell party last night, and Lady Gaga was there,” remarked James Quinn when I caught up with him on the phone a few days after the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. The Northport native got involved in the first Obama campaign while a student at Arizona State University, and returned to the campaign in 2012 to help get the president re-elected. Now residing in Washington, DC, he spent the last year traveling the country, but does not forget his Long Island roots and the impact that Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) had on his life. James was a Freshman at Northport High School when he boarded a van to visit LIGALY for the first time one Friday night in 2002. Having just started to come out a year earlier, he felt like he was the only person he knew that was gay. “I didn’t even tell my parents where I was going,” Quinn admitted. When he arrived at the second story walk-up on Main Street in Bay Shore where the agency called home in its early years, he immediately fell in love with LIGALY. Quinn said, “I really hadn’t met another gay youth before. When I arrived, I saw for the that I was not alone.”

Quinn quickly became entrenched in all that the agency had to offer, particularly a new youth leadership program called the Safe Schools Team. “After a horrible, rotten experience in school with bullying and harassment, I became very passionate about safe schools. Our first major project [with the Safe Schools Team] was National Coming Out Day, and we created this video to educate our peers on how to make the day successful,” Quinn shared. Safe schools was just one of Quinn’s passions, however, and he recalled the day he skipped school to participate in a “Marriage Caravan” that LIGALY had organized in 2003 to raise awareness about marriage equality. Quinn reflected on his experience: I remember making protest signs with Robert [LIGALY’s COO], and he just kept telling me to hold the sign ‘up over your head, like Norma Ray!’ Quinn shares that his most influential experience with LIGALY came during the 2003 Long Island Pride Parade. “LIGALY had this huge turn out to march with them, [and] we were this mass of gay youth, walking down Main Street in Huntington, telling Long Island that you cannot ignore queer youth anymore,” Quinn recalled proudly.

Quinn attributes his personal success working on the two presidential campaigns to the training he received at LIGALY. “I learned to become a better organizer, to better communicate with people effectively, and to use my personal story to help change hearts and minds,” he shared. He also recalled a campaign stop in Mentor, Ohio, a rural town that had experienced a number of GLBT youth suicides. “The town was still really hurting because they had a really big bullying problem,” he continued, “Unfortunately those kids did not have an organization like LIGALY, and it made me really grateful that I had LIGALY when I was growing up.” With the election over, Quinn is considering the next steps in his career, but no matter what directions he may go in, he attributes who he is today in no small part to his involvement with LIGALY, “If it wasn’t for LIGALY, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. LIGALY gave me the confidence to feel comfortable in my own skin. They let me know I was loved no matter who I was, and there was no shame in that. When I look at my own personal happiness as an individual, probably between the time I realized I was gay up until the time I started going to LIGALY, I was pretty much a miserable, depressed child. After LIGALY and the staff and the other kids came into my life, I was happy again. I felt like me again, I really just became myself.”

catch up with other alumni: www.facebook.com/ligalyalumni

out on li

long island glbt center selected to host

This is the first time the national GLBT conference comes to Long Island. The executive director and board leadership summit takes place September 19th through the 21st.

National GLBT Conference GLBT Center leaders to gather in Garden City this Fall

september 19-21, 2013

GLBT Community Center Executive Directors and Board Members from across the United States and Canada are headed to Garden City this September as The Long Island GLBT Community Center (The Center) was selected to host the 7th Annual CenterLink Executive Director and Board Leadership summit. The three-day summit starts September 19th at The Center at Garden City. CenterLink, the national organization representing over 200 GLBT Community Centers in the United States around the world, coordinates the conference each year in order to bring together center leadership to share strategies and to build the GLBT Center movement. Summit attendees will participate in a variety of workshops, keynotes, and discussions on topics including fundraising, operations, program development, and more.

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“We’re excited to be holding our annual Summit at the Long Island GLBT Community Center,” said Terry Stone, Executive Director of CenterLink. “Centers represent the largest and strongest network of service providers in the GLBT movement and this gathering of staff and board leaders provides them an opportunity to learn, share and build a strong network. The Long Island Center is an outstanding center and a valued CenterLink partner.”

In addition, The Center partnered with local celebrity Aunt Barbara to create a video inviting summit participants to Long Island. In the video, the top-selling Tupperware sales consultant and regular guest on ABC News expounds upon Long Island’s claims to fame, such as being the hometown of Harvey Milk, Rosie O’Donnell, and the Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo. Aunt Barbara also provides a “tour” of The Center at Garden City, showcasing with some “camp” everything from the innovative programs provided by the

The summit brings together a diverse group of GLBT centers, which run the gamut from large multiservice organizations to all-volunteer community initiatives. The 2013 Check out Aunt Barbara’s summit also marks the first Long Island promo at time the gathering will take place in a suburban region. www.livingoutli.org

organizations of The Network, to the wainscoting and vertical blinds. “People often think of GLBT Community Centers as urban organizations, but critical and groundbreaking work is being done in suburban and rural regions throughout the United States,” said David Kilmnick, CEO of The Long Island GLBT Services Network and Board Co-Chair of CenterLink. “We are thrilled to show off the great things happening in Long Island’s GLBT Community to our partners across the country.”

LIVING OUT

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out and about movies in review

screen savor

By Gregg Shapiro

Edie & Thea

jack & diane

Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer, the course of their more than 40-year subjects of Susan Muska & Gréta romantic partnership is uplifting Ólafsdóttir’s 2010 documentary Edie and wondrous. Each woman’s & Thea: A Very Long Engagement personal story of family and coming (Breaking Glass/QC out, combined with Cinema), hold hands the couple’s extended while affectionately courtship and eventual making comments partnership, is utterly about the projected absorbing. Additionally, images of a 1960s Thea’s longtime battle slide show. Edie gets with Multiple Sclerosis things started by (she died in 2009) recounting how in figures prominently in 1962, she “couldn’t their shared tale. Edie take it anymore” and and Thea’s longtime-incalled a friend to find the-making wedding, out where it was that which took place in the lesbians socialized. Toronto in 2007, is the On that night, at documentary’s emotional Living Out says: Must See! Portofino’s Restaurant, peak. Edie and Thea met, A substantial argument danced together (as for same-sex marriage, if ever there Thea puts it, their “bodies fit”) and was one, Edie & Thea: A Very Long eventually became a couple. Engagement is an engaging cinematic Edie & Thea is a beautifully rendered work. The timing could not be better story of dancing and romancing, for watching this remarkable film paralleling the couple’s own coming as Edie, now a widow at 83, will be out stories with that of the GLBT testifying before the Supreme Court community. regarding the more than $300,000 in federal estate tax she was forced to The journey of Edie (from Philadelphia) pay because, under federal law, their and Thea (from Amsterdam) over the marriage was not recognized.

Young lesbian lovers Jack (Riley Keough) and Diane (Juno Temple) in Bradley Rust Grey’s Jack & Diane (Magnolia), could learn a thing or two about love and decorum from Edie and Thea. Instead, we get more than an hour and a half of teen trauma with two characters that are barely able to express themselves.

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From the first time that we see her onscreen, we know there is something not right about Diane. Wandering the streets of Manhattan attempting to borrow the cell phones of passersby, she ends up meeting young butch Jack. Prone to nosebleeds, Diane is taken in by Jack. Just as their awkward relationship is beginning

Juno temple (left) and riley keough (right) have good looks and talent, but jack & diane falls flat.

to gel, Jack learns that Diane will be leaving shortly to attend school in France. Through special effects and bizarre animation by the Quay Brothers, the girls’ inner demons take shape. Their jealousy and rage is personified by hideous, flesh-eating beasts. So it goes: the back and forth between their budding romance and the ugly monsters that threaten to destroy them.

Jack & Diane is an interesting premise that fails to materialize into anything more than gratuitous sex and brutal gore. The sum total is a hopeless mess with neither the passion nor the horror to provide the viewer with something with which to connect. Living Out says: skip it.

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A Sneak Peak at Our april Dining & Nightlife Guide!

out and about

Living Out’s Springtime coverage of Long Island dining and nightlife seems so far away as temperatures stay low. Break up the winter blues with good food and great company. Here’s Living Out’s preview of restaurants you don’t want to miss. Tula Kitchen, Bay Shore 631.539.7183 Known for its healthy and organic options, this venue’s fresh dishes are hard to turn down. Check out their lunch menu for some sweet savings of just $10 a piece. One of their most notable sandwiches is the Tula Turkey Sandwich, which includes grilled turkey, baked brie, fresh sliced apples, Dijon honey mustard, and roasted lemon potato salad.

ristorante gimelli, babylon 631.321.6392 If you are craving some fine Italian dining, look no further than this restaurant! For starters, try the Spiedini alla Romano, which has pan-seared fresh mozzarella and a Tuscan bread tower served with fresh tomato basil caper sauce. This antipasti is so delicious that you just might not share! Ristorante Gemelli is spacious and rustic and shines with elegant, Tuscan-inspired decor.

main street cafe, northport 631.754.5533 Don’t know what exactly you’re in the mood for? Check out Main Street Café, which includes a little something for everyone! The menu features vegetarian and vegan options in addition to American food and classic pub favorites. For a zesty starter, try their Jerk Scallops, which has spicy seared scallops on top of a bed of fresh greens served with a pear chutney.

>> READ MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG

LIVING OUT

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out and about The Master of Seacliff by Max Pierce

Anyone looking for a Gothic romance fix this February could do well by checking out Max Pierce’s lively and extremely clever The Master of Seacliff. Writing in the style of Emily Bronte’s Jane Erye or Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is no easy task – especially when your heroine is re-imagined as a gay hero in the person of 20-year-old tutor, Andrew Wyndham, who is engaged to educate a rich man’s young son at a misty clouded manor house in 1899. Once at Seacliff, Andrew encounters a mysterious cast of characters, including the Master of Seacliff himself, the dark and handsome Duncan Stewart, the father of his young charge. When Andrew soon discovers that Duncan’s former male lover has disappeared without a trace, after a particularly violent breakup with Duncan himself, Andrew sets about to solve the mystery all the while trying to hide his growing attraction to his stern employer. Pierce believably builds the budding relationship between Andrew and Duncan, who are both initially mistrustful of one another, with Andrew both appropriately wary and meddlesome while Duncan is

books reviewed

By Mike Canestraro

a suitably haunted, hot-headed alpha male. Best of all, Andrew as written, is not the shrinking, shy wallflower type we usually encounter in such Gothic tales, but more of a feisty intellectual from the Jane Austin school of Elizabeth Bennett sparing with Mr. Darcy. Pierce also balances a very complicated tale of betrayal, greed, and desire with a wonderful feel for the genre. Will Andrew solve the puzzle that haunts everyone connected to the fog-shrouded Seacliff? Will he win the heart of Duncan and help him to heal from a life of disappointment and duty? The author more than successfully builds the twisted plot to a thrilling conclusion. No spoilers here, but I will say that there is a happy ending and that the character who is ultimately revealed as the villain of the piece is, of course, not the person you, or even Andrew, suspected. This piece holds such a fitting conclusion in true Gothic romance fashion that the legendary female novelists of such fare would be proud to call their own. ISBN: 1590211197 Release price: $15.00 (Paperback) / $6.99 (E-Book)

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A Ship Without a Sail: the Life of Lorenz Hart by Gary Marmorstein

Some may argue that Lorenz (Larry) Hart was the American Musical Theatre’s greatest lyricist. However, no one can argue with the fact that Hart led a sad and tortured existence. His enormous success as both lyricist and collaborator to Richard Rodgers on many classic Broadway Musicals brought Hart little contentment in his personal life. Hart was extremely intelligent, sensitive, sentimental and romantic. He was also the one tragic thing no homosexual man, then or now, is allowed to be: physically unattractive. At barely over five feet tall, Hart had a face with features that would have been fine on their own, but put together, gave him a gnome-like appearance. In one of his famous and highly autobiographical

Marmorstein brings to the task just the right precision instruments for dissecting Larry Hart – panache, sympathy and smarts. The very title of his book goes to the heart of the tortured story he tells so well... —J. D. McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal lyrics “My Funny Valentine,” Hart describes a character whose looks are “laughable [and] unphotographable” with a “figure less than Greek.” Even though family, friends and collaborators adored him, Hart believed himself a man not worthy of love or admiration. In 1943, he died of pneumonia, which was brought on by years of severe alcoholism driven by sorrow. In turn, Rodgers had moved on to even greater heights with his next collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein II. Shortly after, a chain of unfortunate events conspired to further diminish Hart’s legacy both personally and professionally. In A Ship Without A Sail: The Life of Lorenz Hart, author Gary Marmorstein makes a huge attempt, and often succeeds, in restoring Hart to his rightful place in the hierarchy of men who created the American Musical Theatre. Happily, Marmorstein reestablishes that the Rodgers and Hart scores were and remain sensational, innovative and as fresh as when new. Even the most neglected or obscure ones are free of the predictability and arch, flowery lyrics that increasingly occurred in the Rodgers and Hammerstein cannon after The King And I in 1951. However, Rodgers and Hart musicals, such as On Your Toes and Pal Joey, can be devilishly hard to pull off. Exactly how does one replace Gene Kelly, Vivienne Segal, Ray Bolger, Desi Arnaz, Vera Zorina, the Nicholas Brothers or so many other legends who played signature roles for Rodgers and Hart? Not to mention the lengthy, complicated, sometimes three to a show, Ballets originally conceived by none other than George Balanchine? Marmorstein does a fine job recreating the Theatre world of Rodgers and Hart, and he is at his best in the opening chapters: dealing with Hart’s childhood and struggle to achieve success as a lyricist. Marmorstein begins his tale with the harrowing legal case over control

of the Hart estate; this case was fought by Larry’s younger brother and only sibling, Teddy Hart, and his sister-in-law, Dorothy, against Rodgers and a conniving lawyer. Though fascinating, the trial and the outcome are never resolved at the end of the narrative. Instead, we get an abrupt ending of L. Hart dying tragically just six days after he and Rodgers opened a revised revival of their 1927 A Connecticut Yankee. We also do not get any new information about Hart’s self-destructive behavior that has not already been discussed elsewhere, unlike D. Hart, who did address his alcoholism in her own terrific book, Thou Swell Thou Witty. Hart, his family, and associates came from a different era in which every failure and escapade was not broadcast to the world. For example, not much is known about Hart’s infamous “men only” parties. No one has ever revealed exactly what went on at these affairs or even went on record as being present. In regards to Hart’s drunken sprees, his friends either chose to keep all information to themselves, did not want to invade Hart’s privacy or did not want to know. Sadly, Hart never had a romantic relationship with anyone, not once, not ever. Surely we cannot blame Marmorstein for his failure to bring Hart alive on these pages since most of the blame here can be placed directly on Hart himself in leaving few personal statements behind – unless one counts over 1,000 exceptional lyrics, 28 musicals and nine films. Ultimately, all of those funny valentines tell the story of this tortured genius while revealing his inner beauty and longings better than any biography could. ISBN: 1416594256 Release price: $11.50 (Paperback) / $12.75 (E-Book)

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LIVING OUT

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Out on LI

show your pride

calendar of events

have a glbt event you want to promote in living out? 20-Something

Friday, February 8, 7:308:30pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City A social and discussion group for GLBT people ages 20-29. www. liglbtcenter.org, 516.323.0011

Youth Support Group – Nassau County

Monday, February 18, 5-6pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City For GLBT youth under the age of 21. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Line Dancing

Wednesday, February 20, 7-8:30pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Western-style line dancing with instruction for GLBT older adults and allies. $5 admission. www.sageli.org, 516.323.0011

SAGE-LI Valentine’s Day Dance

Saturday, February 23, 5-9pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore SAGE-LI’s annual Valentine’s Day party for GLBT older adults and allies. $10 admission. www.sageli.org, 631665-2300

LIPSA Summer Co-Ed Softball League Registration

Monday, January 25, 6-9pm Middle Country Library, Foundation Room, 101 Eastwood Blvd, Centereach Individual and team registration for the LIPSA summer league in Brookhaven/Islip. www.lipridesports. org, ryanlucas@ymail.com

FREE To Be

Tuesday, February 26, 4:30-6pm Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc., 191 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road, Old Bethpage A safe and friendly environment for GLBT and questioning people with developmental and/or behavioral health disabilities, as well as allies. www.familyres.org, 516-870-1637

Book Club

Tuesday, February 26, 7-8pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City This month, the group discusses Larry Kramer’s “Faggots.” www.liglbtcenter. org, 631.665.2300 16

LIVING OUT

Youth Support Group: Suffolk County

Thursday, February 28, 5-6pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore For GLBT youth under the age of 21. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

Dragalicious Purim Party

Saturday, March 2, 7-11pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim with a party designed by and for GLBT youth – all are welcome! www.ligaly. org, 516.323.0011

SAGE-LI Advisory Board: Suffolk County

Monday, March 4, 1-2pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Provides feedback for SAGE-LI programming for older adults and helps plan future programs. www. sageli.org, 631.665.2300

Senior Advocate

Monday, March 4, 11-1pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Representative from Suffolk Office for the Aging visits SAGE-LI monthly to provide on-site Benefits and Entitlement Counseling www.sageli.org, 631.665.2300

SAGE-LI Advisory Board: Nassau County

Let us know what your organization is doing. Email editor@livingoutli.org.

AlAnon

Thursdays, 7-8:30pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Closed group for all ages. www. liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Alateen

1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore 12-step group for youth ages 12-18 who are family, friends, or loved ones of alcoholics. www.ligaly.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

Thursdays, 5:30-7pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City A safe space for GLBT Jewish youth to meet and share. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Brother2Brother

1st Thursdays, 7-8pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Social and discussion group for gay and bisexual men of color ages 21+. www.liglbtcenter.org, 516.323.0011

Tuesday, March 5, 1-2pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Provides feedback for SAGE-LI programming for older adults and helps plans future programs. www. sageli.org, 516.323.0011

Co-Dependents Anonymous

Long Island Gay Parent Teacher Student Association

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing: Nassau County

Thursday, March 14, 6:30pm Committee Meetings, 7:00pm General Meeting The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore The nation’s only chartered Gay PTA, open to all who want to create safer schools. 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

Thursdays, 7:30-9pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore 12-step group for those who desire healthy and loving relationships. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Thursdays, 5-8pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. www.ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing: Suffolk County

Wednesdays, 5-8pm 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

Getting Bi

1st & 3rd Mondays, 7:308:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Bi-monthly discussion group for people who identify as bisexual. All ages welcome. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Hampton Bays Mingle

2nd & 4th Thursdays, 3-5pm Hampton Bays Senior Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave, Hampton Bays SAGE-LI’s bi-monthly social for GLBT seniors 50+ on the East End. www. sageli.org, 631.665.2300

LIGALY Advisory Board

Mondays, 5-7pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Youth help plan new programs and events at LIGALY. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

LIPSA Tuesday Night Tease Bowling League

Tuesdays, 7:30pm Bowl Long Island, 138 West Road, Patchogue Friendliest co-ed/mixed LGBT Bowling League. LIPSAbowling@optonline.net, 516.375.9473

LITE Social and Discussion Group

Wednesdays, 7:30-8:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore An open discussion group for transgender people and their friends and family. www.liglbtcenter.org, 631.665.2300

Monday Mingle

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

OUTlet

Fridays, 8pm-midnight The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Friday night social program for GLBT youth and their friends ages 13-21. $2 admission, transportation available. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

Parent Support Group

1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month, 6-7pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Discussion group for parents of GLBT children. www.ligaly.org, 631.665.2300

PEP Team: Suffolk County

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

Mondays, 5:30-7pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City Youth leadership program for young people committed to creating safer schools on Long Island. www.ligaly. org, 516.323.0011

Safe Schools Team – Suffolk County Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave, Bay Shore Youth leadership program for young people committed to creating safer schools on Long Island. www.ligaly. org, 631.665.2300

SAGE-LI Women at Nassau (SWAN)

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

TRUE

Tuesdays, 5:00pm The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Ste 110, Garden City A space for gay and bi men of color to talk about health, relationships, sexuality and other topics. www. ligaly.org, 516.323.0011

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LIVING OUT

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Out and about

be scene

Show your pride for a chance to BE SCENE in future issues of Living Out!

gsa networking mixer On January 30th, members of the Southold High School Gay-Straight Alliance and LIGALY’s Safe Schools Team gathered for to discuss steps to eliminate anti-GLBT bullying in their school.

In February 2009, the Long Island GLBT Community Center in Bay Shore was vandalized; the front door of the center and the windows of the youth van were smashed and broken glass was strewn across the parking lot. The investigation that followed brought national attention and support from all over the country in identifying those responsible. Political leaders and community members came together in speaking out against hate crimes. In the end, four vandals were arrested and an enormous outpouring of public support helped LIGALY to get back on its feet quickly.

Find out how Briarcliffe College can change your life with a degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Graphic Design, Healthcare Administration, Paralegal Studies, and our newest program, Dental Hygiene.

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LIVING OUT

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the sage-li mingle series GLBT and allied older adults gather weekly at the Center at Garden City, the Center at Bay Shore, and the Hampton Bays Senior Center to socialize and relax in a safe and supportive environment.

THE “SUCCESS HAS NO DEMOGRAPHIC” CHALLENGE At The Prudential Insurance Company of America, success has no gender, gender expression/identity, age, race or sexual orientation obstacle. Success is for anyone who accepts the challenge of working for our respected global company. By creating an environment that values all people, at Prudential we are able to be innovative, relevant and successful in meeting our customers’ diverse financial needs. If you’re ready for the challenge, we’re ready for you.

Financial Professional Associate Career Development Program Through our Financial Professional Associate Career Development Program, you’ll have a strong foundation to reach your goals. Our most successful Financial Professional Associates are strong communicators and relationship builders with a drive for results. They’re men and women from all walks of life. Join us now and you’ll also be able to: • • • •

ENJOY excellent compensation potential PARTICIPATE in a flexible training plan LEARN through on-the-job sales experiences EARN your professional licenses

Prudential received a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for programs and practices that are inclusive of LGBT employees, consumers and investors. Find out why our diversity is also our strength. For more information, please contact: Rony A. Nehme CLU®, LUTCF, CLTC Managing Director Email: rony.nehme@prudential.com Phone: 516-794-6175

©2012. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ and its affiliates are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers and are committed to diversity in its workforce. Prudential is an Employer that participates in E-Verify. 0213194-00005-00 Ed. 1/2013

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LIVING OUT

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Out front

Barbra Streisand:

The “Funny Girl” Returns Barbra Streisand takes center stage, but she’s not busting out “The Way We Were.” Not today, anyway. The legend is promoting her first major film in 16 years – The Guilt Trip with costar Seth Rogen – at the Four Seasons Los Angeles. Her hair is perfectly coiffed and – dressed in her usual all-black attire – she’s got the off-the-shoulder look going on. Hello, gorgeous, indeed. Not long into the interview, a makeup artist waiting in the wings pats any remnants of forehead sweat. You don’t let a legend perspire – and Barbra Streisand is the epitome of an American treasure: a consummate singer with a timeless mezzo-soprano; an Emmy, Oscar and Grammy award winner; and the woman who stole hearts in A Star is Born. To us, a gay icon.

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A

Out front fter a short stint of recent sold-out shows, Streisand returns to starring-role

status in The Guilt Trip alongside goofball Seth Rogen – for real: Babs with the Zack and Miri Make a Porno actor – as a mother-son duo that goes road-tripping together and gets into all sorts of shenanigans. If it weren’t for director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal), who would only do the film with Babs, there’d be no movie – and, worse, no Barbra. Streisand, along with Rogen and Fletcher, sat down to chat about the reason she finally gave in (thank her own gay son for that), what she thinks of being a gay icon and how she’s managed to stay successful for nearly six decades. What was it like meeting each other for the first time? Barbra Streisand: Seth sussed me out. He called people. Seth Rogen: And she checked out. This Barbra Streisand lady checked out. So I thought I’d give her a shot. (Laughs) BS: I didn’t know who to call. I don’t know any of those people from his movies, so what was I gonna do? No – I thought he was adorable.

What are you two like off set? SR: The way we talk in real life is not entirely different than our rapport in the movie. It’s a lot of me trying to explain things to her about modern times and her trying to feed me shit I don’t want to eat. BS: I was the one with the iPhone. SR: She had an iPhone before me. I was like, “I gotta get myself one of these. If Barbra can work an iPhone, it’s gotta be fun.” BS: Yesterday he asked me if I had a Twitter account. I said, “I don’t know.” SR: I showed her that she did! I change her clocks during daylight savings and all that stuff.

You must know a lot of gay people are going to see this movie – BS: We hope so.

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Because Seth is such a huge gay icon. SR: (Sarcastically) I’m a gay icon? Do gay people like Barbra, too? I didn’t know that.

Barbra, how do you feel about the label of “gay icon” – and do you think your own son, Jason Gould, thinks of you as one? BS: He doesn’t see me as an icon. He sees me as his mother who touches his hair too much. No – I love being an icon to anybody. Equal rights, you know! SR: Yeah. Me too. (Laughs)

What did your gay friends think when you told them you were working with Barbra? Anne Fletcher: Everyone in my life is gay, but I have one best friend who has been obsessed with her since he was a child. His entire childhood was saved because of Barbra – with her music and her movies. His mom had just died four or five years ago, so for him to meet her on the movie – and her and I having such a relationship – was just full circle.

Barbra, how much contact did you and Jason have when you were considering the role? BS: He actually was very important in my decision to make the movie. He was recovering from back surgery, so he was in bed for a few days after, and I brought the script over and we read it out loud. It was interesting, actually. His father was in the room, too. Isn’t that funny? We were both coddling our son, so

he became the audience and Jason was reading the parts with me and he said, “I think you should do it, Mom.” I really trust his integrity and his opinion. He has great taste in whatever he chooses to do. And he clinched the deal. AF: I was with you all over the world, but I love that Jason just one night says, “Yes, Mom, do it.” (I said that) for a whole year! BS: Well, he’s my son. (Laughs)

What about reading it with your son sealed the deal? BS: Mothers develop guilt trips. I feel guilty as a parent that I couldn’t pick up my son every day from school and bake him cookies. I know that feeling. I know that feeling a lot. Having a famous parent is an odd thing. I thought it was interesting to investigate trying to be my son’s friend versus a mother. It was a true story. It’s (writer) Dan (Fogelman) and his mother. She was a fan of mine, and Dan wrote this lovely script. It just felt like it was meant to be. Meant for me to come back to work in a starring role. It was time to challenge myself again. Of course, I made it very difficult for them to hire me, because I kept wanting an out: “I really don’t wanna schlep to Paramount. It’s two hours each way, so would you, like, rent a warehouse and build the sets in the Valley no more than 45 minutes from my house?” They said yes. AF: I wasn’t gonna do this movie without these

LIVING OUT

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two. There wasn’t backup. If Seth said no, there was no replacement; if Barbra said no, there was no replacement. It was them, or I wasn’t gonna make the movie. BS: I said to Anne, “Would you make the movie without me?” And she said no. And I felt bad! Another guilt trip, right? SR: I was open to Shirley MacLaine. (Laughs) No, it’s not true. I only would’ve done it if Barbra was doing it. BS: It was great to feel wanted.

Who is another gay icon you want to work with, Anne? AF: I don’t really like the “gay icons,” by the way. I don’t really respond to them very well. I think Barbra is so grounded in many different things, but there’s some of them – I’m really insulting gay sensibility. (Laughs) But Liza Minnelli. I do love Liza.

What was Barbra like? What surprised you most about her? AF: We became friends instantly. She’s easygoing, funny, kind, strong and knows who she is. She’s unbelievably awesome. She’d tell me some of the greatest, most personable stories that happened in

her life that I can’t remember one iota of. My best friend’s a little pissed about that. (Laughs)

I imagine directing a legend like Barbra Streisand would be intimidating. Was it? Did she call the shots? AF: It’s not intimidating. She comes to work as an actor, as an artist, and she’s been doing it for so long that all the pieces fall back into place exactly how they were. We’re all there for the common good, so she would come to work as any other actor. She’s a legend, so that’s a little different. But it was never intimidating, because she’s just so genuine. She had my back, and the support I had from her was extraordinary.

Streisand, “the diva.” AF: That’s the best compliment. I’m glad you say that. This was part of our conversation: “If we’re gonna win the audience, you have to be every mother. You have to capture the essence of moms now. You can’t be glamorous-beautiful. You have to be every mom for us to tell the story the right way.”

Barbra, what’s your beauty secret? BS: God, what is my secret? SR: Sitting next to me helps. BS: (Laughs) He is so funny. If you knew all my self-

We became friends instantly. She’s easygoing, funny, kind, strong and knows who she is. She’s unbelievably awesome. doubt, my god – I don’t know. Maybe I’m slightly childish. AF: Your spirit is youthful.

So no diva moments? AF: Never. I know we’ve all heard the stories about her endlessly throughout all these years, but I can’t say whether they’re true or false. I just know from my experience I had an unbelievable experience with her, and I would do it again. She works harder than anyone. And her brain never shuts off. That’s the only thing I would complain about! Like, “Please stop thinking for just five minutes – because I’m tired.” (Laughs)

Even if people think of her as a diva, this role really changes it. You never think of Barbra

BS: Yeah. I kind of like the child part of me.

What was harder for you, Barbra: the drama or the comedy elements of the film? BS: Eating steak! That was the hardest thing, I think. But no, they’re both the same. I don’t think there’s a distinction between how you play drama or comedy, if it’s based in truth. AF: This woman may not like steak, but she’s a foodie. You’ve never met a foodie in your whole life until you’ve been with Barbra Streisand. This woman loves food more than anything – and she will eat it! She’s a bottomless pit. We had many discussions about that steak scene. From Barbra’s side it was, “Does it have to be that? It seems a little gross.”

My son doesn’t see me as a gay icon. He sees me as his mother who touches his hair too much. No – I love being an icon to anybody. Equal rights, you know! Babs 101: Facts on the Legend For her first motion picture, Funny Girl, she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress, the first of two Oscars.

Yentl (1983) was the first film she directed, and in doing so,she became the first woman ever to produce, direct, write and star in a major motion picture.

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Anne, did Barbra ever break into song? AF: Never. Barbra will not sing. I sang an awful lot to her. But she will not sing. There’s a thing that she did in the movie that we cut out where she’d go, “Hmm, hmm, hmm.” She would do rhythmic things

Her first book (as both author and photographer,) My Passion For Design, was critically acclaimed and debuted at Number Two on the New York Times bestseller lists.

For her very first solo recording, The Barbra Streisand Album, she won two 1963 Grammy Awards. One of these was for Best Female Vocal Performance.

She is the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award, this for her song, “Evergreen,” the love theme from her 1976 hit film, A Star Is Born.

Learn more about Barbra Streisand’s remarkable career. Visit livingoutli. org for more fun trivia.

She is the recipient of five personal Emmy awards.

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that she does with her voice that only Barbra can do – and I would take that as singing. But she would never do it. Never. She’s so rude. (Laughs) Give us a free concert, Barbra. She’s like, “Pay for it!”

You can sing, act, produce, write and direct. What can’t you do well? BS: I can’t cook at all. I mean, I would not know how to make coffee. I took cooking classes. I know how to make chocolate soufflé. Just ask me if I want to make it. I’d rather have somebody else make the chocolate soufflé – and I eat it. When I tried to cook, put it this way: It was never appetizing to eat. And the hands! So filthy with the stuff. And then cleaning up – no, I don’t like that part.

Barbra, you must see a lot of scripts, right? BS: I don’t. You see, everybody thinks like you. Meanwhile, I go, “Where are the scripts?” (Laughs) It’s not the same as when I last made a film. They’re not interested in love stories. It’s a different time. I don’t like it as much.

BS: Less is more. Maybe that keeps a little mystery or something.

What do you want audiences to take away from the film? BS: I want them to be moved and I want them to see themselves in the movie. I want them to get closer to their children. A lot of things. It’s a transformative kind of movie. They start at one point and are both kind of tragically alone, not finding a mate, and then at the end there are many more possibilities. Horizons open. He took me out of my shell. It’s about love. I always say it’s a different kind of love story. SR: Which to me sounds gross. BS: See where your mind goes? Always to the sexual. SR: Right in the gutter.

What’s the secret to your success? BS: Oh my god. I don’t make that many movies and I don’t make that many appearances so I ... SR: ... leave them wanting more.

If you missed your chance to see The Guilt Trip in theatres, have no fear. This hysterical movie drops on DVD and Blu Ray next month. Looking for something to watch in the meantime? Check out Living Out’s movie reviews on page 12.

About the Author

Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international GLBT wire service. Reach him via his website at www.chris-azzopardi.com.

Don’t miss Babs as she sings at the Oscars on February 24th, the first time she’s performed at the Academy Awards in 36 years!

For more on the Oscars and predictions of the big winners, turn to page 26.

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living healthy wellness

by laurie segal, lcsw

Has the Valentine’s Day Sizzle... Fizzled?

ask

Remember when Valentine’s Day meant sweaty palms and sexy texts instead of Barbie chocolates and Batman Valentine’s cards? Though children add amazing depth to life, they can quickly alter the intimacy between partners. When children are young, their needs are overwhelming. Sleep, sex, sanity, and spontaneity are unfortunately often put on hold “for the sake of the children.” As a result, the identity of the individual, as well as that of the couple’s, can be compromised. So much energy is devoted to the children that parents often feel there is little left for themselves and each other. Real life, real bills, and real laundry – combined with the societal pressures of not having a “traditional” family– all work against maintaining a romantic and spontaneous marriage. A relationship needs to shift in order to accommodate new parenting roles, but this does not necessarily mean that intimacy is lost.

rebuild and redefine the romantic bond between yourself and your partner: Let go of the guilt.

Children need to be aware of the separate and distinct relationship you have with your partner. It is important for kids to understand that you value and respect the union. It is not enough to simply demonstrate love and affection towards the children; they too need to feel the connection and comradeship in the marital bond, especially when some media outlets and organizations, such as the National Organization for Marriage, tells GLBT families otherwise. Even if children feel temporarily left out, it can foster their own sense of independence and autonomy.

Take time for yourself.

Do not just skip over this as you may have done in the past. Parents often feel selfish thinking about their own needs. You cannot effectively give to others if you are not taking care of yourself.

Find activities that reduce stress. Take a stroll, enjoy a book, give and get a massage, all preferably with your partner by your side!

Notice improvements and acknowledge your partners efforts. Change takes time and patience. Be gentle with yourself and your partner. Small steps can become large strides that make way for new paths and directions.

Take time to be together. Ultimately, the marital relationship is the core of family life. Children model all they see, including the way parents interact, and call upon it later in life while “trying on” different types of romantic relationships. It is helpful to be aware of the images you project in front of your children, especially when the images compete with some of society’s negative images of “non-traditional” families, while simultaneously making the effort to be a couple with your partner. 24

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Dear Laurie, I have a young son (4 years old) who loves to paint his nails, have long hair, and generally play non-traditional games for boys like “house.” I do not care how he behaves, and if he is gay or transgender, we will cross those bridges later. I am scared because he is getting teased by other children in his kindergarten class, and I do not want him to fear going to school because of who he is. Should I talk to the principal or have a conversation with my son about dealing with bullying? –Help This Mom Dear Help This Mom, You should know I am biased on the topic of bullying. I take a zero tolerance approach on the subject because bullying at any age can have severe consequences. Luckily, our state signed into law the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) on September 13, 2010. This antibullying law established that all children have the right to attend school in a safe, welcoming, and caring environment.

Set realistic expectations. Life, marriage, and family are stressful for heterosexual and homosexual relationships alike. To think the neighbors have a wonderful effortless, or “better,” marriage is not an illusion. In fact, it can prevent you from acknowledging the strengths within your very own relationship.

laurie

A scheduled appointment sounds ridiculous, but it might be the only way to ensure time together. This may feel artificial at first because parents often see their primary role as being part of a family rather than being part of a couple.

That being said, there is still a lot for parents, teachers and administrators to do on the front lines. First, I urge you to follow the appropriate protocol when addressing the issue with the school. Speak with your son’s teacher first. Explain what is going on and elicit their assistance. Many school districts now have a standard procedure for bullying. If that does not help, tell the next in line, the principal, and so on. Secondly, find out more about the newly developed Long Island Gay PSTA in Nassau and Suffolk Counties through LIGALY. This organization can be an excellent resource and advocate, and you can also meet other parents who may be struggling with the very same issues you are facing. You should certainly speak with your son and tell him how you are going to help him stay true to himself. Explain how you, his teacher, and the school are going to teach the bullies about kindness, differences and tolerance. Things may not change overnight, and it may not go as smoothly as I have laid out, but backing down to a bully is always worse, especially at such a young age! Best of luck and keep me informed! –Laurie

send your questions to asklaurie@livingoutli.org

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living healthy wellness

by dr. bill blazey

keeping a healthy heart In New York, more people die from heart disease than cancer and lung diseases combined. February is American Heart Health Month, and it is a great time to look into how to keep your heart healthy with a few simple considerations.

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Gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of heart disease over heterosexual men, due to an increased rate of smoking and excessive alcohol use. Smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to die from a heart attack or a stroke. Second-hand smoke in the house increases the non-smokers risk of heart disease by 25 percent. If you quit smoking today, your risk of heart disease will decrease by 50 percent in just one year. There are many ways to quit, including nicotine patches, “e-cigarettes,” medications, and therapy.

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Lesbian women are at an increased risk of heart disease over heterosexual and bisexual women, due to increased rates of obesity, lack of exercise and smoking. Obesity can be caused by many things, including hormonal problems, that can be evaluated by your primary care physician. To lose weight, you need to “burn” more calories than you eat. It is important to find a supportive environment to get your physical activity in. Taking a class at a fitness center can be a fun way to be active in a social environment. If you are nervous about your abilities, then having a personal trainer for a few sessions may help to get you comfortable.

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Trans women should never smoke and take estrogen at the same time since this greatly increases the risk of blood clots. Many transgender people worry that if they complain of heart problems that their hormone treatment will be stopped. Discussing your concerns and being honest with your medical providers will allow them to tailor your treatment to prevent problems.

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Know your cholesterol levels.

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Know the symptoms: The most common warning signs of a heart attack include chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, and left arm pain.

At your annual physical exam, your medical provider may order tests to “look” at the health of your heart. An EKG is a quick and painless test in which the electrical activity of the heart is checked and abnormalities can indicate previous heart injury. An echocardiogram is a sonogram for your heart and shows how effectively the heart works. Blood tests, such as a cardiac-CRP, can predict future risk of heart disease. If needed, a cardiologist can perform a variety of stress tests to evaluate your heart health.

High blood pressure leads to increased risks for heart attacks and strokes. Primary care providers are specialists in coordinating your health care, diagnosing diseases, and providing preventive care. Your primary care doctor should be the person that you can trust to advocate for your best health. Find a healthcare provider that you feel is right for you. Being honest with your doctors will allow them to provide all of the needed preventive care treatments that will allow you to have a healthy 2013!

Heart disease in transgender women and men is higher, especially if they are taking hormone therapy and smoke.

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in all Americans? Did you know that certain risk factors for heart disease are more common in the GLBT population?

For some people, a low dose of aspirin may be helpful to prevent clots that could lead to a heart attack. You should discuss this with your doctor first, since aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding and so for some people, it may not be safe.

Your doctor can take a blood sample after you have been fasting. There are a few forms of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol and triglycerides cause plaque buildup; while HDL cholesterol protects your arteries from damage. Ideally, you should have a LDL of less than 130, or less than 100, if you have diabetes or other conditions. Your HDL cholesterol should be higher than 40 to protect you. Diet and exercise are the first “treatments” for bad cholesterol but if that does not work, there are medications that can help.

Women and people with diabetes may or may not feel these signs, so if you have any of those symptoms, especially if paired with physical activity, then you should call 911. If you think you are having a heart attack, the most important thing is to get treatment in a hospital quickly.

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 smart

the oscars are here article and predictions by Kirsten Rizzo

It’s Oscar Season, and Living Out polled some of our readers on Facebook to see which film you thought would win the coveted Best Picture award on Sunday, February 24th!

15% Argo

47%

9%

Zero Dark Thirty

2%

Silver Linings Playbook

Les Miserables

13% Lincoln

6% Life of Pi

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1/22/13 3:35 PM Django Unchained

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living smart

Best Of... Nominees Best Picture Amour Argo Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained Les Miserables Life of Pi Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty

Best actress Emmanuelle Riva, Amour Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty Naomi Watts, The Impossible Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best actor Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Denzel Washington, Flight Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Best supporting actress Amy Adams, The Master Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables Sally Field, Lincoln Helen Hunt, The Sessions Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

a closer look at our predictions...

Best original screenplay

Zero Dark Thirty Director Kathryn Bigelow made history when she became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director (The Hurt Locker, 2008). She will get the chance to add more gold to her fireplace mantel – in case she needed another reason to stay warm this winter. Zero Dark Thirty’s material is heavy, but the tale is highly suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Amour Django Unchained Flight Moonrise Kingdom Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook Jennifer Lawrence has already taken home the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy/musical as well as accolades from critics, and her stellar performance makes her a favorite to add an Oscar to the list.

Best supporting actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Smashing in the lead role is the great character-actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, who has the chance to bring home his second Oscar for Best Actor. We can only hope he arrives to the Academy Awards in character as well.

Alan Arkin, Argo Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Best director Ang Lee, Life of Pi David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Behn Zeitlin, Beast of the Southern Wild Michael Haneke, Amour Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

throw a fab oscars party Don’t forget Living Out’s online Oscar Party, 24/7 leading up to the show. Join in at www.facebook.com/livingoutli.

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables After winning best supporting actress at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards and a Golden Globe, critics are dreaming the dream of an Oscar for her performance as Fantine as well. Django Unchained Some may shy away from Quentin Tarantino’s brutal imagery, but the well-written dialogue will keep viewers engaged. Django Unchained is the next chapter in Tarantino’s collection of un-Hollywood-esque tales. It tells the story of a slave (Jamie Foxx) set free in exchange for bountyhunting services. Django and his savior (Christoph Waltz) also set out to liberate the former slave’s wife from a ruthless plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio (quite devilishly I should add). Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master Hoffman’s no stranger to Academy Awards, having previously won for his portrayal of Truman Capote, with nominations for his roles in Charlie Wilson’s War and Doubt. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln This story is about – you guessed it – Abraham Lincoln. Butting heads with super conservative old men is not easy, even for “Honest Abe.” If you are a fan of political dramas, this one will give you goose bumps. Steven Spielberg directs this period piece that has earned Academy-love in the form of a whopping 12 award nominations.

So you want to watch The Oscars but are not about to jump on a plane to Los Angeles to catch the show in person? Congratulations – you are in the 99 percent. But why watch alone? Have a party so you can scream in unison with friends and family at all of Seth MacFarlane’s witless remarks, take bets on whether Anne Hathaway falls on the stairs, and knock back a shot each time Life of Pi wins a statue.

A Good Oscar Bash Starts with a Great Invitation.

The Best Parties Always have a Theme.

Refreshments: A Key Component to Any Soirée.

Oh, and Make Sure Your TV Actually Works.

Something swanky will help build antici…. pation! Think about what yours should look like. You will probably need to make these by hand, scissor, and glue. A shimmery golden card cut into the shape of an Oscar would work well. If you need ideas, look no further than Michael’s.

Hollywood glam is the easy route to go. This means glitzy over-the-top jewelry, sequin gowns, big hair, bug-eyed sunglasses, and Tom Cruise face cut-outs (on sticks). You can even pick a specific Hollywood era to celebrate – the ‘50s are always a favorite.

To let the revelry begin, snacks must be involved. A cheese spread with wine usually goes over well, as well as traditional party fare like chips and dip. Remember: It is a long night, so be prepared. Keeping plenty of take-out menus handy is a good practice to follow; the more options, the better.

There is nothing more embarrassing than going over to someone’s place and hearing them say, “I haven’t used this old thing in ages… uh oh.” Tune in for the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24th at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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living smart

by meryl lumba

Single or not, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that can bring with it many feelings: romance, stress, or a craving for chocolate, to name a few. The one thing all couples have in common is diversity, so celebrate the day with your loved one in the unique way that works for you! At the end of the day, celebrate each other’s love and company – let your partner know that he or she is appreciated and loved not only on Valentine’s day, but every day that you are together.

For the romantic:

For the socialite:

For the artsy:

For nature-lovers:

For the shop-a-holic:

For the stay-at-homers:

Surprise your partner and book a weekend cruise tour for the summer on Bay Paddlewheel Cruises in Bay Shore. Have a romantic dinner while enjoying the sightseeing experiences of the Great South Bay. This romantic dinner and tour is sure to please your partner.

Visit the Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon. Couples can go for a leisurely walk in the park or alongside the lake, and participate in activities such as horseback riding, boating, picnicking, and hiking ($8 parking, fees for activities vary; call 631.667.5055 for info).

Visit the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. This non-for-profit showcases both classic and contemporary works. In addition, this venue holds a comedy club featuring great stand-up acts year round. Check them out for a cry or a laugh, and enjoy the intimate atmosphere! ($65 for patrons, $69 for non-members).

There are many malls and outlets on Long Island, but savvy shoppers need only look to Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City and the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead and Deer Park. Both of these shopping centers include a variety of shops and name-brand lines to spoil you and your partner!

Check out the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington ($6, adults / $4 for students and seniors). Their art collection covers European and American art, dating from the Renaissance to the present. If you or your partner love learning and have a keen eye for design, this museum is a must-see!

Pick up a bottle of Long Island’s finest wines, like Bedell’s 2009 merlot ($30) or 90 Point Taste Series ($115), which include red, white, and rose. Rent the film Crazy, Stupid Love, and light some candles! A homemade dinner goes a long way.

By Kirsten Rizzo

It is everyone’s favorite day of the year again – you guessed it – Valentine’s Day! But this day is for “couples,” and I happen to be single – what a bummer, right? Wrong! Valentine’s Day does not have to be a drag. Yes, it is true that V-Day has become a Hallmark holiday that celebrates commercialism and consumerism (as evident by the amount of pink found in each and every grocery and drug store leading up to the big day). But that does not mean it cannot be fun for people: especially singles. Take February 14th and make it your own by treating yourself like royalty for the day. Start your holiday off with promoting your own health and well-being by visiting a day-spa. Most spas on Long Island offer a variety of services including hair treatment, facials, nails, hydrotherapies, and deep tissue massages in a relaxed and stressfree environment.

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Follow your pampering up with a hearty (get the pun?) lunch. A couple of my favorites include Vincent’s Clam Bar (Italian) in Carle Place and hidden gem Sushi Palace (Japanese) in West Hempstead (do not tell too many people and blow up my favorite joint). Huntington Village and Port Jefferson are always good food destinations. Lastly, Milleridge Inn (in Jericho) is another great choice for excellent food and plays host to some very cute shops, which leads nicely into our next Valentine activity…

Don’t be like grumpy cat this v-day. talk to us at livingoutli.org about your plans for february 14th!

Go Shopping!

Have a Night Out.

Burn off some of those lunchtime calories by getting your shop on. Is there anything more enjoyable than frivolous shopping? Nope. Skip the malls and crowd by going straight to Burlington Coat Factory – baby it is cold outside, and you deserve a new coat. Then hop over to DSW Shoes for some boots – the prices are good and the selection is huge. Did I mention that both places have clearance sections on brand new designer items? I just did -- no excuses now.

Drinks and clubbing with friends, catching a performance, watching that movie you have been dying to see, visiting an exhibit (art is pretty), or a solitary dinner (remember this day is about celebrating you). Do not blaspheme by leaving chocolate off the menu! This is a day of indulgence – your second birthday if you will.

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travel

living smart

by joey amato

out destination: seattle, washington Microsoft, Nordstrom, Amazon.com, and Starbucks are just a few of the companies headquartered in Seattle, Washington: The Emerald City. The city boasts a vibrant arts scene, iconic music venues, and some of the freshest food on the West Coast. My first stop was a visit to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), a magnificent building located in the heart of downtown. During my visit, the museum was gearing up to host some of its most prestigious exhibitions ever, most notably, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures of Kenwood House, London. Within the neoclassical Kenwood House resides a magnificent collection known as the Iveagh Bequest, which includes masterpieces by Gainsborough, Hals, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Romney, Turner, Van Dyck, and others. The Iveagh Bequest was donated to Great Britain by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847–1927) and heir to the world’s most successful brewery. Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures of Kenwood House, London, also features Rembrandt’s late Self-Portrait (1665), which has never before left Europe. Just a short walk from the SAM is Six Seven Restaurant, a glorious ocean-front restaurant offering the freshest seafood in the city. Begin your meal with a pint of Alaskan Summer Ale, which is very affordable, and the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Upon recommendation, I opted to try the Smoked Salmon as my starter. The melt-in-your-mouth salmon was the most delicious I have ever tasted and was actually caught earlier that morning.

The entrees are hearty and plentiful. My favorite was the Northwest Bouillabaisse consisting of scallops, halibut, salmon, mussels, saffron potato, crisp calamari and a lemon aioli crouton. You will be asking for extra bread to sop up the tasty broth left at the bottom of the bowl. After a bountiful dinner, check into the luxurious Hotel Monaco, a boutique hotel featuring modern furnishings and décor, plush linens, evening turndown service, and complimentary wireless Internet. The Kimpton property offers a hosted wine reception daily in their lobby as well as a 24-hour fitness and business center. Begin your next day with a visit to Pike Place Market, a public market overlooking the Seattle waterfront. Opened in 1907, the market is one of the oldest public farmers’ markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many fisherman, farmers, and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place, it is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

Music enthusiasts should be sure to visit the Experience Music Project (EMP). The Frank Gehry-designed masterpiece is truly remarkable and hosts a variety of music-related exhibits. The Harley-Davidson Museum, in partnership with EMP, is currently presenting Worn To Be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket, a dynamic spend a night in seattle visiting any exhibit that one of the famous GLBT nightspots. traces the path of the leather Favorites among neighborhood gays motorcycle include R Place, Neighbors and Q, jacket. an ultra-modern dance music venue featuring sleek designs, specialty cocktails, Worn primarily a bourbon lounge, and four disco balls to by aviators keep the party going all night long! during WWI and WWII, the leather jacket Other delectable starters include Jumbo became the pièce de résistance of the biker, Dungeness Crab & Shrimp Cake with crab and remains an iconic piece of clothing. lemongrass sauce and tomato jam as well Jackets on display range from early military as Braised Beef & Truffle Ravioli made with jackets, famous Hollywood costumes, butternut squash, chanterelles, toasted pine and leather jackets worn by stars like Elvis nuts and grilled radicchio in a truffle honey Presley, to haute couture by Jean Paul reduction. Gaultier and Gianni Versace.

don’t miss a trip to the top of the famous space needle; enjoy the artful juxtaposition of glass artwork with the natural world at chihuly gardens; explore the public market for antiques, comic books, and other unique merchandise or family-owned restaurants.

Right next door to EMP is Seattle’s most iconic landmark, the Space Needle. Head to the observation deck for unobstructed views of the city and the majestic Mt. Rainer. Adjacent to the Space Needle is Chihuly Garden and Glass, a celebration of Seattle glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly. The Exhibition Hall contains eight galleries and three Drawing Walls, offering visitors a comprehensive look at Chihuly’s significant works. The Glasshouse presents a suspended 1,400-piece, 100-foot-long sculpture and the Garden is a backdrop for four other monumental pieces. This venue is a must-see for art lovers. For dinner, head to Capitol Hill, Seattle’s gay neighborhood, and visit any one of dozens of gay-owned establishments along Broadway. I recommend The Grill on Broadway, known for the best Sunday brunch in town. Mimosas With Mama takes place every Sunday and features some of the best drag performers in town. Visitors looking for a bit of old-world tradition should stay at the Mayflower Hotel. Built in 1927, the property has been restored with crystal chandeliers,

gleaming brass, and period antiques that offer a uniquely European elegance. Conveniently located to all major Seattle attractions, guestrooms at the Mayflower are beautifully appointed in classic color schemes with custom comforters, drapes and artwork designed and tailored for each hotel room. The hotel also boasts one of the city’s best restaurants, Andaluca. Sample the Roasted Mussels with baby tomatoes, sizzling lemon butter, rosemary, and white wine or the delicious Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with basil crème fraiche. Tourists looking for a trendier experience should head to The Hotel Max, a boutique property that provides the platform for both emerging and established Seattle artists and photographers. More than 350 original paintings and photographs are found throughout the hotel in the lobby, guest rooms and corridors. Red Fin restaurant offers Asian fusion fare and is a favorite among tourists and locals alike.

For more information visit www.visitseattle.org.

OUT Destinations is part of OUTreach Public Relations, a company specializing in LGBT marketing. Founded by Joey Amato, OUTreach PR has quickly become one of the most soughtafter companies for firms looking to target the ever-growing and affluent LGBT consumer. For more information, please visit www.outreachpublicrelations.com.

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points of view op-ed

by Reverend Irene Monroe

Would King have spoken on glbt’s behalf? Monday, January 21st marked 27 years of observing Martin Luther King Day. Some states began honoring Dr. King on January 20, 1986. King would have been 84. He was gunned down on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis by an assassin on April 4, 1968. If he were alive today, he would see how much has changed in our nation. Since King’s death, every struggling civil rights group has affixed themselves to his passionate cause for justice. The GLBT communities in particular have been reviled for not only naming our struggle as a civil rights issue, but for also naming King as one of the civil rights icons that would speak on our behalf. As I comb through numerous books and essays learning more about King’s philandering, sexist attitude about women at home and in the movement, and his relationship with Bayard Rustin, I am wondering: would King truly be a public advocate for GLBT rights? James Cone, father of Black Liberation Theology, and author of a book and several

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articles on King, states that we must understand King within the historical context of the Black Church. And in doing so, I find it ironic that the public King we witnessed on a national stage talked vociferously about social justice and civil rights for all people yet his personal life did not reflect the same ethos concerning women and gays. Again, would the public King have spoken out on GLBT justice, risking his already waning popularity with the African American community and President L.B. Johnson? In an address to the Gill Foundation’s National Outgiving Conference in 2007, I said “If Dr. Martin Luther King were standing up for GLBT rights today, the Black community would drop him, too.” King understood the interconnections of struggles. An example of that understanding is when King said, “The revolution for human rights is opening up unhealthy areas in American life and permitting a new and wholesome healing to take place. Eventually, the civil rights movement will have contributed infinitely more to the nation than the eradication of racial injustice.” This statement clearly includes GLBT

justice, but would King have spoken on this subject at that time – and even now? King’s late wife said yes. In 1998, Coretta Scott King addressed the GLBT group Lambda Legal in Chicago. In her speech, she said queer rights and civil rights were the same. “I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King’s dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people,” she said. However, their youngest and only living daughter, Reverend Bernice King, thinks otherwise. Standing at her father’s grave site in 2004, with thousands of protesters denouncing marriage equality, B. King, who has been rumored for years to be a lesbian, and her aunt Alveda King, participated in a march against samesex marriage in Atlanta. On speculating about her father’s viewpoint on marriage equality, B. King said, “I know in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.” In January 2005, Newsweek asked if A. King, the niece of MLK that has aligned herself with the religious right, would lend her family name and voice against GLBT rights if MLK would be a champion on gay rights. “No, he would champion the word of God,” she said. “If he would have championed gay rights today, he would have done it while he was here. There was ample opportunity for him to champion gay rights during his lifetime, and he did not do so.” And that might be true. On the national stage, he talked vociferously about social justice and civil rights for all people, yet his personal life did not reflect that ethos concerning women and gays. Sadly, Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream. In the Civil Rights movement, Rustin was always the man behind the scene, and a large part of that had to due with the fact that he was gay. Because of their own homophobia, many African American ministers involved in the civil right movement would have nothing to do with Rustin, and they rumored throughout the movement that King was gay because of his close friendship with Rustin. In a Spring 1987 interview with Rustin in “Open Hands,” a resource for ministries affirming the diversity of human sexuality, Rustin recalls that difficult period quite vividly. Rustin stated: Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality. Martin set up a committee to discover what he should do. They said that, despite the fact that

I had contributed tremendously to the organization… they thought I should separate myself from Dr. King. When Rustin pushed him on the issue to speak up on his behalf, King did not. “Basically, King said I cannot take on two queers at one time,” one of Rustin’s associates recollected later. When Rustin was asked about King’s views on gays in a March 1987 interview with Reverend Jean Marie, he stated, “It is difficult for me to know what Dr. King felt about gayness...” King’s popularity was waning before his assassination. For example, many observers argued that the plight of black America was not improving with King’s political ideology of integration. The rising Black Power movement thus challenged his movement of nonviolent direct action. Followers of King felt he gave more attention to loving the enemy than doing something about the suffering of black people. In particular, young, urban black males felt alienated from the civil rights leadership of King because his nonviolent ideology relied too heavily on the largesse of the white establishment, concentrated too much on eliminating segregation and winning the right to vote in the South, and ignored the economic problems of blacks in the northern urban ghettos. King’s interpretation of Black Power as “a nihilistic philosophy born out of the conviction that the Negro cannot win” lost him these urban black males as followers when race riots broke out across the country in 128 cities during the period of 1963 to 1968. Disaffected observers identified the causes for the riots as high unemployment, poor schools, inferior living conditions, the disproportionate drafting of black men for the Vietnam War, and the assassination of civil rights activists, none of which they saw addressed by King’s political ideology of nonviolent direct action. Given King’s waning popularity, I am beginning to ponder now if he would have really raised his voice on our behalf. Chatting on this subject with my friend Richard, a GLBT ally, he stated, “I agree that you have to wonder whether King would support GLBT rights today, even if he felt he could not in the 60s. You would like to think he would given his courageous stands otherwise.” I now not only believe that King would not have supported GLBT rights, but his voice and importance on social issues would have continued to wane considerably. His wife keeps his words, theology, and legacy alive by rightly attaching them to present-day contemporary social justice issues. King’s words resonate resoundingly to our cause, and we can take King’s words to march alongside us, but I am not certain we could take The Man.

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points of view trans-missions

by gwen smith

intersections When we talk about transgender rights, we often view this as a singular, monolithic entity uniquely positioned and separate from everything else. Indeed, this is often the way that transgender activists and activists within other community groups may view trans issues. However, it is not this simple. The transgender community is, in itself, a widely diverse group. It does not contain one of anything. We are all races, all religions, and all backgrounds. We can be found amongst any other demographic group, and even contain an all-encompassing diversity of gender identities and expressions. We are everywhere and contain just about any possible “type” of person. There are some factions within the community itself that seek to divide some of this. Some transsexuals resent their inclusion in such a diverse space, and others frown on the inclusion of, say, drag kings or queens, transvestites, or those who choose a space outside of traditional gender definitions. Perhaps we may be simply too large of a community or trying to cover too much ground with one term. At the same time, I cannot help but see that each group that falls under the transgender banner can and does transcend the gender they were assigned at birth – that just happens to be true for an awful lot of us. It is important to note another one of the big divisions: the transgender community and the larger GLBT community. Sure, not all transgender people are gay, lesbian, or bisexual identified – but that does not seem to be the point. We all face civil rights battles. The only difference is that the first three tend to be focused on sexual identity, whereas the latter is an issue of gender. Yet when a lesbian is assaulted, it is often due to her gender presentation than her overt sexuality – and when a transgender person is discriminated against, he or she is more than likely to face slurs against his or her sexual orientation in addition to gender expression. Our marriages are often the first challenged under DOMA-like bills. Transgender civil rights issues are bigger than just the intersections within the GLBT community, however, as they stretch across socioeconomic lines, racial lines, and much more. One of the bigger examples of this is the death of Tyra Hunter. Hunter was an African-American trans woman living in Washington, DC. On the 7th of August 1995, a car struck Hunter. As she lay bleeding, medical personnel

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sliced her pant leg open, revealing her genitalia. One of the DC firefighters on scene was quoted as saying, “This ain’t no bitch. It’s a n-----. He’s got a dick and balls.” At that point, the emergency personnel stepped away from Hunter, and made jokes for approximately fifteen minutes. They only returned to work due to the outcry of bystanders. She was eventually taken to the hospital, where sub par treatment may have further exacerbated her situation. Hunter died due to internal bleeding at the hospital. Was her wrongful death and ill treatment the result of anti-transgender attitudes? Absolutely. At the same time, there was racist language, misogyny, and likely even some homophobia in there. Some also point to socio-economic issues causing the quality of her care at the hospital. Indeed, anti-transgender attitudes may have been at the top of the list in her care – or lack of – but there is no shortage of things that helped lead to her death. The majority of transgender people who are murdered are transwomen of color, and often from a lower socioeconomic class. Many may have been involved in sex work. Each of these may well be a factor in their death. Again, while it is key, it is more than solely an anti-transgender issue. Congress recently allowed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to expire. The loss of VAWA is an issue for all women: this includes transgender women and those who may have an “F” on their legal paperwork, regardless of self-identity. As such, we should all be holding this Congress accountable for not renewing VAWA. We could see similar issues with the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act up for reauthorization in 2013, which would affect treatment for all low-income, uninsured and under-insured victims of AIDS and their families – naturally including transgender people dealing with the illness. There are some issues that are specific to transgender people. Getting a gender marker changed on a driver’s license or birth certificate is going to be a greater issue for transgender people than

when a lesbian is assaulted, it is often due to her gender presentation than her overt sexuality – and when a transgender person is discriminated against, he or she is more than likely to face slurs against his or her sexual orientation...

anyone else. Fights for transgender antidiscrimination bills that include gender identity and expression to local, state, and federal law are primarily going to protect transgender people above all else. Yet with the Obama administration making it clear at nearly every turn that gender expression and identity is covered in existing law, most notably in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, transgender people should be all the more involved in the broader fights, too. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We are uniquely positioned

to secure not only protections specific to all transgender people, but also to assist in larger battles. We need to understand that the rights of women are the rights of transgender women, and protections for people of color will affect transgender people of color as well. Let us be part of that metaphorical tide that raises all ships. About the author

Gwen Smith makes a full and complete stop at all intersections. You can find her on the web at www.gwensmith.com.

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out spoken

shared struggles for civil rights april 27, 1953

Rosa Parks refuses to give up a bus seat to a white passenger in Alabama.

january 1, 1962

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

The road to equality for African Americans and the GLBT community has shared many parallels: most importantly, that we have each come far, but the work is not done yet. Explore this timeline to recall critical turning points during the fight for justice.

Executive Order 10450 is signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. The order bans homosexuals from employment by the federal government or its private contractors, citing them as security risks.

december 1, 1955

Illinois repeals its anti-sodomy law. This makes Illinois the first state to decriminalize homosexuality.

august 28, 1963 july 2, 1964 september 24, 1965

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Desegregation can now be enforced using power from the federal government.

Executive Order 11246 is issued by President Johnson, enforcing affirmative action for the first time.

The case of Loving v. Virginia leads to a Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage. At the time, sixteen states still had the ban, and were forced to revise their laws.

june 12, 1967

President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

april 11, 1968 June 28, 1969

President George Bush signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which not only supports existing civil rights laws, but provides for damages resulting from intentional employment discrimination.

Both

Wisconsin outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, becoming the first US state to do so.

march 22, 1988 november 5, 1991

september 21, 1996 april 1, 1998 may 18, 2004

The Civil Rights Restoration Act is passed by Congress, wherein private institutions with federal funding are placed under the jurisdiction of non-discrimination laws. This ruling overrides the veto of President Ronald Reagan.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is written into law by President Bill Clinton, proclaiming marriage between a man and women; thus, states do not have to recognize gay marriages from other states.

january 9, 2013

The Washington National Cathedral in DC announces that it will begin performing gay marriages.

GLBT Equality Movement

After a vote by the board of the American Psychiatric Association, homosexuality is removed from their list of mental illnesses.

march 2, 1982

november 22, 1991

Coretta Scott King calls for the civil rights community to join the struggle against anti-gay bias and homophobia. Mrs. King was a civil rights leader and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She received negative backlash from the black civil rights movement for drawing a comparison between gay rights and civil rights.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize gay marriage.

december 15, 1973 Sherry Harris is elected to the City Council in Seattle, Washington. She becomes the first openly lesbian AfricanAmerican elected official.

Black Civil Rights Movement

A three-day riot breaks out at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, after police officers attempt a raid. The bar was regularly raided by police since its opening two years earlier, on the grounds of regulars being “sexual deviants.”

august 15, 1970 Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, gives a speech endorsing rights for homosexuals, as well as women. He asks others to overcome their insecurities, and states that homosexuals “... might be the most oppressed people in the society.”

by Christopher Boire

november 4, 2008

notable voices in our community

Barack Hussein Obama, a Senator from Illinois, is elected as President of the United States, the first African American to hold the office.

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Phill Wilson AIDS Activist

Sheryl Swoopes Athlete

James Baldwin Author

Apr. 1956 - present

Mar. 1971 - present

Aug. 1924 - Nov. 1987

Phill Wilson founded the Black AIDS Institute in 1999 and is one of the most prominent spokespersons addressing HIV and AIDS issues in the African-American community. Wilson did not know for certain that he was HIV-positive until he was 27. At that time, in the 1980s, a positive test was assumed to be a death sentence. Wilson watched countless friends become ill and die. Most notably, after his partner’s death, he channeled his anger into work for HIV/AIDS prevention. Wilson developed AIDS in 1990, and nearly died in 1995, but the development of the new antiretrovirals enabled him to recover. He has participated in the founding of several other HIV/ AIDS advocacy organizations and has worked on HIV/AIDS policy and treatment internationally. He is credited with being the primary force in mobilizing the Black community against HIV/AIDS. He said, “I have lived a life where I have had the privilege of pretending that I can make a difference, and it does not get much better than that.”

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Sheryl Swoopes is a professional basketball player with the Houston Comets in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is often called “the female Michael Jordan.” Women’s professional basketball did not yet exist when Swoopes was growing up in Brownfield, Texas. In 1988, she led her high school team to the Texas state championship. Swoopes received the Naismith Award as National Player of the Year. Later in life, Swoopes was a member of the US Basketball Women’s National Team that won gold medals at the Olympics in 1996, 2000, and 2004. In ten years, Swoopes has accumulated more than 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 300 career assists, and 200 career steals. She has been WNBA Most Valuable Player three times, more than any other player. In 2005, Swoopes became one of the highest profile professional athletes in a team sport to come out publicly as a lesbian. She and her partner, former Comets’ assistant coach Alisa Scott, are raising Swoopes’ son.

James Baldwin was an African-American writer whose works captured the conflicted spirit of late 20th century America. As a gay African-American, Baldwin struggled with his identity in a racist and homophobic society. His disgust with the racial climate in the post-World War II United States impelled him to move to Europe, where he wrote several major works. Most notably, Giovanni’s Room deals explicitly with homosexuality and was published at a time when few writers dared to publish gay-themed works. Baldwin returned to the US in 1957, and his writings increasingly reflected his engagement in the struggle for African-American civil rights. His incorporation of gay themes evoked strong criticism from the black community. Baldwin received many awards during his lifetime, including France’s highest civilian award, Commander of the Legion of Honor, presented by President François Mitterrand.

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musings

by andy stern

The Political Animal’s Take on the Current State of Our Government and going Back to our (Grass)Roots I am sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, drinking Savignon Blanc in a stemless glass. It is a dangerous posture. It fairly screams apathy. Barack Obama won and in the days following his re-election, we learned that Mitt Romney, in fact, actually believed his own 47% rhetoric. Bullet dodged. Gay marriage gets a thumbs-up in four states and the Supreme Court will issue a major decision in June – guess

reduce gun violence. How many of us genuinely believe anything will happen? Frankly, I am dubious. A moment in time squandered – our country simply does not have the attention span or muscle memory for Task Forces.

Between the Friday morning massacre and the Sunday morning talk shows, we have watched many politicians veer the discussion away from a ban on semiautomatics, and instead, closing the gun show loophole toward the need for improved mental health tracking and the We need to pick up the phone more often, “culture of violence.” write more letters to elected officials, and we These are the same folks need to demand greater accountability – from who have been slashing and burning federal friends and enemies alike. funding for mental health services for years. One could not help but there is not much to do on that front until the decision is be reminded of all those elected – those who called rendered…so now what? marriage equality “special rights” for gays and lesbians but then suddenly became open to domestic partnerships Truth be told, we need to work harder than ever in light of growing support for marriage in their polling to get marriage passed in Rhode Island, Delaware, data. Bait and switch. Illinois, Minnesota, Hawaii, and New Jersey to keep the momentum up and put additional pressure on the Court – our work is nowhere close to finished. We have also neglected some real fundamentals. If you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, you can still be fired or lose your housing in 29 states. The number leaps up to 34 – including right here in “safe” New York – if you are transgender. I have ranted and railed for years about us leap-frogging over the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to take on gay marriage as our front-and-center issue, and continue to believe there are some brass tacks issues we have failed to focus on. Then there are issues without an “assigned” constituency: gun regulation is currently topping the list in our national zeitgeist. These issues impact us all (unless you are agoraphobic), yet we cannot seem to get a damn thing done about it. 12 shot dead, 58 wounded in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater …and nothing. 26 dead, including 20 young children, in Newtown, Connecticut, and the President launches a Task Force to “study” the issue, as though we do not already have the legislation sitting in our back pocket – as if there is not a sane one of us who does not know what should be done today to

was undeniable and irrefutable. They stormed the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. They refused to allow the politics of fear and religiosity to control the message. They took to the streets, risked life and limb, and pointed out hypocrisy and inaction in any and every place they found it. They demanded real change. Many are alive today because apathy was not permitted to rule the day. We can do better. We must do better. I wish I had a magic methodology, but the grassroots organizer in me screams that we need to get back to basics. We need to pick up the phone more often, write more letters to elected officials (remember letters?), and we need to demand greater accountability – from friends and enemies alike. Living in the “safe haven” of New York cannot be our excuse for moral superiority and absolute lethargy.

The following should I have been a political animal for over 40 be on all of our 2013 Truth be told, we need to years. It all started when I was seven-yearsbucket lists: old and delivered literature door-to-door work harder than ever. Pick up the phone every for Al Lowenstein for Congress in Nassau time a legislator fails to County. I do not think I have ever witnessed act, regardless of where such profound irresponsibility, reckless either of us reside. Write a letter (not just sign an online indifference, and no-holds-barred cowardice before. I petition) every time a legislator pisses us off, regardless have never seen such self-indulgent political hackery. of where their district is. Stop blaming a “broken system” Our legislatures have been so gerrymandered that our while nevertheless insisting “but our representatives are legislators are safe, but ideologically immobilized. Frankly, great.” it is all so depressing that it is no wonder I cannot get off the couch. Because, truth be told, if our community – if the GLBT community – does not demand real progressive change But yesterday, I did. I ventured out into the cold to on both those things that impact us directly, and as see the documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” a film citizens, then no one else will. It is our legacy to demand, focusing on the battle for more drugs and faster drug and it is our responsibility to lead the way. approval at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Having worked at Gay Men’s Health Crisis for almost a decade, it is surprising that I actually needed to be reminded just how much a small group of fatigued, but indefatigable, About the Author Andy Stern, a native Long Islander, has been a people fighting for their lives could accomplish when pro-choice and gay rights activist for over two there was simply no other option but death. They educated decades and is the past Board President of Long themselves on complex issues so their knowledge base Island Gay and Lesbian Youth.

governors is comedy appearing this weekend at our clubs

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Issue 3, Volume 1: February 2013  

This month's issue features "Funny Girl" Barbra Streisand and Guilt Trip co-star Seth Rogan in an interview about their recent screen comeba...

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