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IN THIS ISSUE

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OCTOBER 2018 - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 8 1 COVER

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LGBT NETWORK NEWS: 4 LGBT NETWORK HAS RECORDBREAKING NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY CAMPAIGN 5 NEW YORK ISLANDERS BECOME FIRST PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE TO PARTICIPATE IN NETWORK’S NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY CAMPAIGN

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IN THE NEWS: 8 NATIONAL 10 INTERNATIONAL OUT FRONT:

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

12 LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING: A CONVERSATION WITH CHER

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DAVID KILMNICK, PUBLISHER info@livingoutli.org LYNN MURPHY, EDITOR editor@livingoutli.org MICHAEL MURPHY, ART DIRECTOR EMILY MANCINI, ADVERTISING emancini@lgbtnetwork.org CONTRIBUTORS LGBT Network, Gregg Shapiro, Chris Azzopardi, Psychicdeb

19 2018 CONGRESSIONAL FORUM 20 NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY 22 BOOT CAMP AGAINST BULLYING 23 NORTH FORK LGBT SOCIAL 24 KARAOKE MIXER

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LGBT NETWORK NEWS

LGBT Network Has Record-Breaking National Coming Out Day Campaign The LGBT Network launched its largest community organizing effort in the organization’s 25-year history – National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Campaign on Thursday October 11th #weartheribbon. More than 430 organizations, businesses, schools, athletic teams, government officials and others, along with a record half million people participated in the LGBT Network’s 17th annual NCOD Campaign across the United States and globally in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The campaign originated in 2002 as a modest effort in Long Island schools and is still organized on Long Island with a reach now around the world. Google, eBay, the New York Islanders, Dow Jones, Bosch, Stony Brook University, Columbia University, EmblemHealth, the Nassau County Legislature, the Town of Brookhaven, GEICO, the entire New York City Council, 180 Long Island and NYC schools, and more are among the record number of groups participating to create safe and inclusive spaces where LGBT people live, learn, work, play and pray. People participated in the campaign by wearing a rainbow ribbon and placing posters and other educational material developed by the LGBT Network as a way to come out in support of safe spaces. The LGBT Network’s NCOD campaign is not about one’s sexual orientation; it’s an effort for everyone to join and be part of a powerful movement for change in their institutions and communities. David Kilmnick, PhD, President/CEO of LGBT Network said, “The response to our National Coming Out Day Campaign this year has been astounding. Over 430 companies and half a million individual participants have signed up this year. This is a tremendous accomplishment. Our aim is to engage everyone – not just LGBT people, but also our allies, families, co-workers and friends – so that together we can build awareness throughout our communities, create safe spaces and have a more just world for all LGBT people.” The campaign this year was just as important as it was when it began in 2002. “We have much more work to do,” Kilmnick said. “Many people thought that when marriage equality passed our work was done. But bias, violence and safety still remain pressing issues for the LGBT community; 85% of LGBT students report daily verbal harassment in schools with one-in-three LGBT students skipping school out of fear of bullying. And in the workplace, up to 43% of LGBT workers have experienced being discriminated against, denied promotions or harassed simply for being themselves. Behind each of these statistics is a real person who is someone’s daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father, family member, friend or co-worker and the Network’s NCOD campaign gives everyone a chance to actively create safe spaces”.

See photos from these events at the LGBT Network Flickr page 4

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LGBT NETWORK NEWS

New York Islanders Become First Professional Sports Franchise to Participate in Network’s National Coming Out Day Campaign New York Islanders and LGBT Network Announce Pride Night LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick and New York Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky announced a major anti-bullying partnership in over 200 Long Island and New York City Schools. This historic announcement was made on National Coming Out Day (NCOD) October 11. Over 85 percent of LGBT students report daily verbal harassment in schools, with one-in-three LGBT students skipping school out of fear of bullying, underscoring the importance of this effort. The New York Islanders and LGBT Network partnership will address this epidemic in several ways. The Islanders became the first professional sports franchise in any league to participate in the LGBT Network’s National Coming Out Day campaign. The campaign set a record with over 500,000 people participating in the LGBT Network’s initiative. The Islanders also announced this season’s “Pride Night,” which will take place on Sunday, January 13, 2019, vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, with a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales supporting the expansion of the LGBT Network’s anti-bullying programs. David Kilmnick, PhD, President/CEO of LGBT Network said, “The epidemic of anti-LGBT bullying isn’t confined to school classrooms and hallways, it continues in the gym, on the field, and on the ice. The partnership between the LGBT Network and the New York Islanders will fight bullying in our schools and communities. As a life-long Islanders fan I bleed orange and blue. To know the team that I grew up rooting for is working to create safe spaces for all fans and players, makes me even prouder to be an Islanders fan and want to shout ‘yes, yes, yes’. The Islanders and NHL’s leadership role in support of LGBT inclusion in sports sends a strong message to thousands of LGBT youth and their families that they are welcomed and celebrated on the ice and in our arenas.” “The New York Islanders are proud to support the LGBT community in creating safe spaces for all,” said New York Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky. “Hockey is truly for everyone.”

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IN THE NEWS

national News

By LGBT Network

COMING OUT: STILL A HURDLE TOO HIGH FOR MANY GAY SPORTS STARS?

LGBT YOUTH AT HIGHER RISK FOR SUICIDE ATTEMPTS (Reuters Health)—LGBT adolescents are more likely than other kids their age to try to kill themselves, a new analysis confirms. Data pooled from 35 earlier studies show that sexual minority youth were more than three times as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexual peers, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics. Transgender youth were at highest risk, nearly six times as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexual peers, researchers reported.

(Thomson Reuters Foundation)—U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon is known for his gravity-defying moves on ice, but he also took a chance when he chose to come out publicly as gay.

“Adolescents facing ‘non-conventional’ sexual identity are at risk of higher self-threatening behaviors, independent of bullying and other risk factors,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Ester di Giacomo, a researcher in psychiatry at the University of Milano-Bicocca, in Italy. “I think that a difficulty in selfacceptance and social stigmatization might be keys for understanding such elevation in the risk of self-threatening behaviors.”

The figure skater said he understood why many sports stars will stay in the closet on National Coming Out Day.

Many LBGT youth have trouble accepting who they are because of the way they are seen by others, di Giacomo explained in an email.

“I thought it could be a risk,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he discussed his own decision to come out in 2015.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents, di Giacomo and her colleagues noted. A host of factors can raise the risk that teens will try to kill themselves, including psychiatric illness, bullying, and childhood abuse and trauma. Added to that can be sexual orientation.

“It can be scary because you think maybe I could be judged differently for being an out athlete, but I also know that as an out athlete I was my best. “I wanted to show every single part of me and I wanted to be honest with who I was.” A growing number of high-profile athletes have come out in recent years, including Rippon, U.S. swimmer Abrahm DeVine and the British Olympic gold-winning boxer Nicola Adams. But even as public acceptance of LGBT people grows in much of the world, especially the West, sport is commonly seen as one area where homophobia and gender stereotypes persist. John Amaechi, a psychologist and former basketball player who came out in 2007 after retiring from sport said many players feared being known as a “caricature” based on their sexuality. “They’re afraid that their lifetime of effort and work and their legacy [will just be] ‘That’s that gay guy’,” he said. “Plus, they know there will be consequences.” It is not just an issue for elite players. More than three-quarters of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in a major study of more than 9,000 people in 10 countries said they had remained at least partially in the closet while playing youth sport. Almost 80 percent of those surveyed said an openly gay, lesbian or bisexual person would “not be very safe” as a spectator at a sporting event in the 2015 study, the largest of its kind. Sporting culture often reinforces gender stereotypes, said Guylaine Demers, an expert in homophobia at Laval University in Canada. Gay and bisexual men often avoid coming out due to fear of losing their bond with team-mates, while women face pressure to hide their sexuality in public due to stigma of being seen as a “lesbian team”, she said. “Athletes will confess that some will just quit the sport because they feel it’s too much pressure to pretend to be someone you are not,” she said.

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The 35 studies in the analysis involved a total of nearly 2.4 million heterosexual youth and 113,468 sexual minority youth, ages 12 to 20, from 10 countries. Overall, sexual minority youth were 3.5 times as likely to attempt suicide as heterosexual peers. Transgender adolescents were 5.87 times more likely, gay and lesbian adolescents were 3.71 times more likely and bisexual youth were 3.69 times more likely than heterosexual peers to attempt suicide. The big advantage of this kind of study is that “in combining information across so many prior studies you’re really getting at one of the best estimates of the disparity of suicide risk due to sexual orientation,” said Brian Mustanski, director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health and Well Being at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “We already knew (LBGT) teens were at risk, but this study gives a more precise estimate of that risk.” Mustanski has followed a group of young people for over a decade. He has found that the accumulation of experiences with victimization and bullying can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness. “And those increase the risk for suicide,” said Mustanski who was not affiliated with the new study. While the outside world can have a negative impact, there are factors that can ameliorate it, said Dana Rofey, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “There are protective factors, such as having support from the family, a safe school environment, and a safe and supportive work environment as well as access to psychological and medical care,” Rofey said. While the new study underscores the increased risk of suicide attempts in sexual minority youth, “it’s important to understand not all LGBT teens are suicidal,” Mustanski said. “We read about this community being at risk, but there are plenty of LGBT teens who are happy and thriving and doing great.”

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IN THE NEWS

national News

By LGBT Network

RELIGIOUS GROUP CHALLENGES AUSTIN, TEXAS LGBT ANTI-BIAS LAW (Reuters)—A group that represents churches across the county has filed a lawsuit claiming an Austin, Texas law banning discrimination against gay and transgender workers is unconstitutional because it does not exempt churches and employers with religious objections. The Houston-based U.S. Pastor Council filed the lawsuit in federal court in Austin, saying the city’s law violates churches’ constitutional rights to free exercise of their religion, and a state law barring the government from burdening religious practice.

FLORIDA'S MOST FAMOUS GAYBORHOOD INVESTS IN HOMES FOR GAY SENIORS MIAMI (Thomson Reuters Foundation)—Builders are preparing to break ground on Florida’s first affordable housing project for elderly LGBT+ residents, one of several specialist homes emerging nationwide, from Los Angeles to Chicago, with the backing of gay community centers. The notion that the LGBT+ population in the United States is wealthy and can afford to retire to beachfront condos or facilities with farm-to-table cuisine is a myth, experts said. “We’ve noticed a growing number of gay seniors who are struggling financially, and are looking for affordable housing solutions,” said Bruce Williams, a coordinator at The Pride Center, which is behind the housing project in Wilton Manors. The population of the United States is ageing. By 2035, the country will have more seniors aged 65 and over - 78 million - than minors under the age of 18, according to the Census Bureau. It predicts the number of LGBT+ adults over the age of 50 will more than double to 7 million by 2030 from 3 million today. UNIQUE Wilton Manors, with about 12,000 residents, is Florida’s most famous gayborhood. It elected its first openly gay official in 1988 and the United States’ second gay-majority local government in 2000, including the mayor and vice mayor. It was only natural that Florida’s first LGBT+ affordable housing project should be built in Wilton Manors, said Kristofer Fegenbush, The Pride Center’s chief operations officer. The Residences - a four-storey apartment building - will have 48 units, 34 of which are designed for seniors living with disabilities, he said. “What we have accomplished is truly unique: a building with 48 units

that are all affordable, supported by services that are specifically tailored to LGBT seniors who will be able to live independently,” Fegenbush said, squinting in the midday sun. The project is a joint venture with Carrfour Supportive Housing, a nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing solutions in Florida. DISCRIMINATION Barring gay-friendly bubbles like Wilton Manors and San Francisco, LGBT+ elders routinely face discrimination when looking for a home, according to SAGE, the country’s largest advocacy group for elderly gay people. LGBT elders are twice as likely to be single and live alone, and four times less likely to have children, which increases financial strain, said Kelly Kent, director of SAGE’s National Housing Initiative. “LGBT older adults have usually faced a lifetime of discrimination and inequalities,” said Kent, adding that this increases their risk of poverty and poor health. “When they reach retirement age, they are usually less financially stable than their straight counterparts.” About ten LGBT+ community centers are partnering with developers nationwide to build gay-friendly affordable housing projects, with a dozen others under consideration, he said, often part-funded by LowIncome Housing Tax Credits. SAGE has collaborated with a non-profit and a developer to build two affordable housing projects in the New York area totaling 230 units. The group also trains mainstream retirement communities and service providers to be more sensitive to gay people. The success of six-year-old Emerald Elite Senior Home Care - which offers services ranging from bathing to cooking and pet care to Wilton Manors residents - shows that the market is growing for businesses catering to older gay people. “When I first opened the business here, people knocked on my door on the very first day to say, ‘We’ve been waiting for you - we need a gayfriendly caregiver’,” said Ernest Olivas, founder of the LGBT+ specialist company. The LGBT Network announced the 1st LGBT Senior Housing in NY Tri-State Area; get ready Long Island for 75 units of affordable senior housing and expanded LGBT Center in Bay Shore!

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IN THE NEWS

INTernational News

By LGBT Network

BRITAIN'S TOP LGBT+ RIGHTS GROUP DRAWS FIRE OVER TRANS RIGHTS LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation)—Britain’s leading LGBT+ rights group was attacked on Thursday for stifling debate as opinion split over whether the rights of trans women were compatible with those of other women. The debate has raged in recent months and was rekindled when a group of high-powered campaigners wrote to the Times newspaper to lambast Stonewall’s dismissal of opposing views to its stance that “trans women are women”. “We urge Stonewall to acknowledge that there are a range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics, and to acknowledge specifically that a conflict exists between transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights,” the letter said. “We call on Stonewall to commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate,” said the letter, signed by singer Alison Moyet, writer Philip Hensher and 15 others. With a nod to Stonewall’s campaigning history, co-author Kate Harris, a former vice-president at American Express, said the statement was “the last thing anyone wanted to do”. “The call to action is simple,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “We are asking Stonewall to allow a calm and respectful debate … rather than demonizing as transphobic those who dissent from Stonewall’s trans policies.” At the heart of the matter is whether trans rights are compatible with those of other women. A poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation of 1,000 women in Cairo, London, Mexico, New York and Toyko last month revealed that the overwhelming majority – 798 – believed trans women should have the same rights as other women. Support was highest - 89 percent - in Mexico City, followed by London and New York, both 87 percent. We need to be aware of the fact that there are trans people who deserve every respect and every right of protection under the law,” said Harris. “But where there is an overlap between the rights of those people and women’s rights, we need to discuss that. How do we manage that so that neither side is hurt or damaged by it?” A petition was set up this week asking Stonewall “to reconsider its transgender policies and approach”. Ruth Hunt, the group’s chief executive, said the petition had asked for an acknowledgement that there was a conflict between trans rights and “sex-based women’s rights”. “We do not and will not acknowledge this,” Hunt said in a statement. “Doing so would imply that we do not believe that trans people deserve the same rights as others. Our motto is ‘acceptance without exception’.”

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IN THE NEWS

INTernational News

By LGBT Network

EGYPT'S LGBT+ FACE HORRIFIC DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING, SAYS U.N. RAPPORTEUR BEIRUT (Thomson Reuters Foundation)—Gay Egyptians face “horrific” discrimination and harassment when looking for somewhere to live, a U.N. special rapporteur said, urging the government to give LGBT+ people better protection. At the end of a visit to Egypt this week, Leilani Farha, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said LGBT+ people were being evicted, denied housing and harassed because of their sexual orientation. “I cannot turn a blind eye to this. It felt so urgent to me, and I am in a privileged position to talk about a very taboo subject,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalized in Egypt, but LGBT+ people have long been targeted under laws on debauchery. “Landlords are refusing to rent to someone who is LGBT. The treatment isn’t just suspicious looks - LGBT (people) are being verbally harassed, physically assaulted,” said Farha. “A home is supposed to be a respite from the world. You are supposed to be able to go to your home and be safe, and that is not there (in Egypt),” she said in a phone interview. Farha is the first independent rapporteur appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council to visit Egypt since 2010, the year before an uprising toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. After speaking to members of the LGBT+ community in Egypt, Farha said people were “suppressing their identity” for their own safety by not wearing clothing or make-up identifying them as LGBT+, and some had even stopped hormone therapy. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face persecution in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where some risk fines, jail and even death. Social exclusion and abuse are common. Last year, dozens of people were detained after fans attending a rock concert in Egypt’s capital raised a rainbow flag in a rare show of public support for LGBT+ rights in the conservative Muslim country. Farha said there was no law that explicitly protects LGBT+ people against forced eviction, harassment and really “invasive and horrific exposure to discrimination”, which she said the government needed to address as an urgent priority. “I can certainly expect the rights of LGBT (people) to be protected - and in particular the right to housing because they cannot live without adequate, secure, dignified housing,” she said. Farha said globally LGBT+ people were one of the fastest rising homeless populations.

ROMANIA AIMS TO LEGALIZE SAME-SEX CIVIL UNION AFTER FAILED VOTE BUCHAREST (Reuters)—Romania’s ruling party aims to introduce legislation to legalize civil unions for samesex couples, the state news agency quoted a cabinet minister as saying, after a referendum to curb such rights failed to draw enough voters to be valid. Sunday’s referendum to change Romania’s constitution to prevent same sex couples from securing the right to marry was seen as a key popularity test for the ruling Social Democrats (PSD), whose attempts to weaken anti-corruption legislation have been condemned by the European Commission. But the referendum backfired as turnout was only 21 percent, below the minimum 30 percent required for validity. Analysts said voters had viewed the referendum as a ruse by the PSD, which supported the change, to divert attention from more pressing concerns. “This draft bill is finalised and...my fellow lawmakers will submit it in parliament next week,” European Affairs Minister Victor Negrescu told the state news agency Agerpres. The religiously conservative European Union state currently bans both marriage and civil unions for samesex couples and does not recognize those performed abroad. Earlier this year, Romania was forced by a European Court of Justice ruling to grant residency rights to gay spouses married in other EU states. Previous attempts to legalize civil unions did not make it out of parliament’s legal commissions. Dozens of human rights groups had said a successful referendum would embolden further attempts to chip away at the rights of minority groups and push Romania onto a populist, authoritarian track. Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001, decades later than neighboring countries. It ranks 25th out of 28 EU states based on legislation, hate speech and discrimination toward LGBT people, according to an annual study by ILGA-Europe, an umbrella organization advocating equality.

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OUT FRONT

Love and Understanding A CONVERSATION WITH CHER

Photos Courtesy of Machado Cicala

Icon talks ‘hope’ gleaned from the LGBTQ community, ‘breadcrumbs’ of her legacy and that time she jumped out a window By Chris Azzopardi

C

her is so low-key about being Cher that calling her is like calling your mom. “Hi,” she purrs with signature simplicity when I phone her presidential suite in late August. We are speaking matter-of-factly about gay things, political things, Twitter things (“I’m finished with the emojis that we have”). About going to Walgreens and trying to remember why she went to Walgreens. This seems so very … normal? Certainly, Cher is the most multi of multi-hyphenates – fiery human rights activist, Auto-Tune pioneer, a unicorn, the Phoenix – but no, not at all normal. Not from down here, where we’ve basked in the long-reigning diva’s treasure trove of film and music and bedazzled Bob Mackie costumes, and admired her ability to get down, do a five-minute plank (seriously), and somehow get back up again. That motion is the time-tested motion of Cher’s enduring six-decade career. It’s where grit meets guts meets glitter. Our Oz, our Wonderland; a safe, shimmering space providing escapist refuge since the 1960s, a span which has seen Sonny (Bono, her late ex-husband) and Cher, anthemic rock and gay dance, inventions and reinventions – Cher’s mere existence brought us closer to those within our own community, and closer to ourselves. She has three Golden Globes, a Best Actress Oscar (for Moonstruck), a Grammy (for “Believe”) and an Emmy (for Cher: The Farewell Tour), and in December, she'll be the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor for her indelible contributions to culture. But Cher’s superheroine, Hollywood-royalty sheen isn’t without genuine normal-person realness. Unlike “Believe,” there is nothing artificially manufactured about Cher’s no-nonsense, everywoman, Walgreens-

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shopper persona. Because even when her sequins glisten like a galaxy of stars on a lit Vegas stage, when she’s floating high above you in majestic-goddess fashion, and when she’s still wearing a variation of her “If I Could Turn Back Time” music video one-piece at her current age of 72, Cher does the least pop icon thing a pop icon can do: remind you she’s still living in your world. In July, she did her gay-icon due diligence by helicoptering onto the set of Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again to play the role she’d been playing in front of the world, most discernibly to generations of baby-gays and grown-up gays: maternal pillar. When I met Cher in 2016 on Halloween at a fundraiser stop for Hillary Clinton in the suburbs of Michigan, I was struck by her Cher-ness, the glitzy legend momentarily eclipsed by her warm, inviting humanness. Armed with a cannon of glittery ABBA bops, Cher has come to our rescue once again with an ode to the Swedish disco-pop supergroup titled – what else? – Dancing Queen, her 26th album and first since 2013’s Closer to the Truth. In December, The Cher Show, the musical about her life, which she is co-producing, officially opens on Broadway. And next year, because she just can’t help herself, she will embark on a tour appropriately titled Here We Go Again. The night we spoke, Cher was laid-back, reflective and full of hearty chuckles as she talked about that Walgreens detour, kissing Silkwood co-star Meryl Streep, the wedding dress she’d wear to Trump’s impeachment party, the “breadcrumbs” of her legacy, Twitter, the devil, jumping out of a window – and not only her long-standing influence on the LGBTQ community, but our influence on her.

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Cher, I have a story you probably haven’t thought about in some time: It’s 2016, you’re at a Walgreens in Flint, Michigan, on Halloween. You were there campaigning for Hillary and some Walgreens shopper told you they loved your Cher costume. Yes! Oh my god! Wasn’t that, like, the weirdest experience at the Walgreens?! You tell me. I wasn’t there! Haha! I needed to go into the Walgreens for something. Or: I had a moment to breathe ... I don’t know. I went into Walgreens and I was looking for something, and then the girls who were helping me realized it was me, and then there was a whole kind of hubbub thing and all these little trick-or-treaters came in as I was leaving. So they were all outside and I piled them into the limousine and we were hanging out in there. I mean, I was supposed to be going to a whole bunch of fundraisers – I ended up making them, of course – and I was busy playing with the kids. Are you frequently mistaken for a Cher impersonator? Because, I mean, how often would the real Cher be at a Walgreens? Right? And in Flint! Well, probably not often. Ha! But you know, the minute I start talking, they pretty much know it’s me. You’re hard on yourself when it comes to your music. Are you happy with Dancing Queen? I think I did a good job. Now whether people are gonna like it… Less studio drama than that time you stormed out on producer Mark Taylor after recording “Believe”? Well... yes. Haha! But I have to tell you something: These songs are not easy. You’d think, “Oh, they’re pop-y and Björn (Ulvaeus) and Benny (Andersson) and the girls start to get into them,” and they’re not. No more Mr. Nice Guy! They’re rough songs. And they’re much more intricate than I thought, but I had a great time. Some of them are easier, and some of them have some rough spots. You could’ve easily found enough inspiration in the world’s current plight for another album like your 2000 indie album Not Commercial, which was dark. But we don’t need that right now! We need ABBA right now! If anything, we need to not be brought down because everything is so terrible. I was just talking to this one boy who came in and he was asking me what did I really think and I said, “Babe, I think the picture’s bleak. I think everyone’s gotta vote.” Thankfully, Dancing Queen is a slice of gay heaven in hell. Well, look, I wasn’t doing it for that, but I’m happy if it can make people happier than they were before they heard it. When were you first aware that the LGBTQ community identified you as a gay icon? I don’t think I was when I was with Sonny. I think it happened on The Sonny and Cher Show (which ran from 1976-1977), somehow. I don’t know – I don’t know how that happens. I mean, how does it happen? I have no idea! It’s just like, we made a pact and we’re a group and that’s it. But you were seeing more of the LGBTQ community come out at some point? There was a switch? Yeah, there was a change, there was definitely a change. And I think it was when I was not with Sonny anymore, and then somehow it all started to click. But I always had gay friends. I actually almost

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got arrested at a party with my best friend at school. He was gay but he couldn’t let anybody know, and he wanted me to go with him to a party and the party got raided. And we jumped out the bathroom window! It was high. We had to go over the bathtub into the window and jump out. And you got away? Yep. Do you recall the moment that galvanized you to stand up as an ally for the LGBTQ community? I really don’t know if there was a moment. I’m not sure there was a moment; I’m not sure what it was. I just feel that, probably, there was a moment where guys thought I was just one of you. It’s like, there’s a moment where you’re either part of the group and you’re absorbed into the group and people love you as part of the group, or they don’t even know you’re alive, you know? Gay men are very loyal. Look, I have a friend (makeup artist) Kevyn Aucoin – he’s dead now – but he told me when he was young, he was growing up in some place in Louisiana and said how horrible it was to have to hide and be frightened, and he said he loved listening to Cher records. I think that’s a dead giveaway! Haha! If you want to hide being gay, do not buy Cher records! And I had another friend who had a Cher poster on his wall. I don’t remember where he came from – some small town too – and his dad ripped it off the wall and he bought another one, put it inside his closet and said it was a way to really be who he was in spite of who his dad wanted him to be. When in your life have you felt like the LGBTQ community was on your side when the rest of the world maybe was not? Always. I remember when I was doing (the play) Come Back to the Five and Dime (in 1976) and we had standing room only before we got reviewed, and after we got reviewed nobody came except the community – the community, and little grey-haired old women who came to matinees. We managed to stay open until we could build back up the following. Also, the gay community, they just don’t leave you, they stay with you; that’s one thing that always keeps you going. What does that loyalty mean to you? There’s been sometimes where I was just, you know, heartbroken about things, but it always gives you hope when there are people who think that you’re cute and worthwhile and an artist. It’s a great thing to have in your back pocket. Your mother once told you when you were a child: “You won’t be the prettiest, you won’t be the most talented, you won’t be the smartest, but you are special.” What kind of mark did that leave on you? It just left some sort of indelible, interior tattoo. Because I have gone through so much shit in my life. I can’t tell you how many times people have written, “She’ll be gone by next year.” I remember I got really pissed off at somebody and I went, “I’ll be here and you’ll be gone.” I don’t think I believed it at the time, but I was just angry. So what you’re saying is what I’ve longed to hear: You’re immortal. Well, no, I’m not saying that. Ha! I’m just saying I can be really pissy. At the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again premiere in July, you and Meryl Streep kissed on the lips. Was that meant to be the Silkwood reunion the internet wanted it to be? LIVING OUT

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Haha! No! We were just thinking it was stupid! It was so dumb! Meryl came behind me and I didn’t know it, and then we turned to each other, she looked up at me and she said, “You weren’t this tall yesterday!” And we laughed. And we just kissed! I had on my 10inch heels, and you can see how tall I am next to her and we just thought it was funny. I said, “Kiss me!” And we just kissed! I have to tell you something: She is funny. She is wicked funny! And I don’t know that she gets to show that side all that often, but she’s wicked funny and she just will do anything for a lark. She’s got a really great serious side, but she’s got this really hysterical side too. How do you hope your role as the mother of a trans son, Chaz Bono, has influenced other parents of LGBTQ kids? This is what I think, and this is what I would hope: I would hope that, look, I didn’t go through it that easily. Both times. When I found out Chaz was gay, I didn’t go through it that easily; when I found out Chaz was (transitioning) ... except we talked about it a lot, actually. But then Chaz didn’t mention it anymore, so I kind of forgot. And what I think is, there’s such a fear of losing the child you love, and what will replace that child. I think it’s about the fear, mostly. I felt, who will this new person be? Because I know who the person is now, but who will the new person be and how will it work and will I have lost somebody? And then I thought of something else: I thought, my god, if I woke up tomorrow and I was a man, I would be gouging my eyes out. And so I know that if that’s what you feel then that must be so painful that it doesn’t make any difference what anyone else feels or what anyone else thinks. Chaz is so happy now and we get along better than ever. You’re known to speak your mind. When’s the last time your mouth got you into trouble? I think it was my fingers that got me into trouble last time. I had to delete a couple of things that I tweeted, which now what I do is: If I’m gonna just go off on a rant, I do it first, I look at it, I delete it, but I take a picture of it first and then I have it. Then I decide if I really wanna put it on my Twitter or if I really wanna tweet it – or if I got it out of my system. I said something that I thought was really funny but obviously the people on Trump’s side didn’t feel it was funny and I got so much shit that I didn’t expect. There seems to be a fair amount of homophobes who you end up calling out. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know what they are. There’s just so much phobia of everybody. You’ve gotta be the same color, you’ve gotta

like the same things, you’ve gotta be the same religion. It’s like if you’re not one of them, you’re an enemy. You’re known for your emojis – do you have a go-to? Well, I have a few of them. I have cake when I’m really happy, I have a ghost when I’m really happy, and when I’m really, really happy I put them together. I wish I had something that was more than the guy who’s got the blue head that is screaming. I wish I had somebody with a scream and his head was coming off the top of his body. I really wish there were better emojis. I’m finished with the emojis that we have. Am I hearing right: You’re done with emojis? Yeah, stick a fork in ’em! I just want there to be more. I like the emoji that’s the red-faced one with all the little signs over his mouth, which I always imagine is “fuck.” That’s what I put instead of the letters because they just get so angry. But also, I use the guy with the zipper across his mouth because I can’t say that. I have little fans, so I have to stop using that. You could send out the shit emoji and you know what, Cher, the gays would go wild. Oh, I’ve done that before! I put a bull and that together for when I think, “Oh, this is such bullshit.” What will you be wearing to Trump’s impeachment party? Well, I think that we’re all a little bit too premature for that, because I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But in my dreams I will be wearing something – oh, I think I’ll wear a wedding dress! Haha! I think I’ll just wear a white wedding dress. And a veil. To symbolize? Just purity and excitement and something new. A new phase! And we’ll all go on a honeymoon after. Yes, we’ll go on one big honeymoon forever afterwards. I don’t see that happening because I think that there are too many really smart people, in the devilish kind of way. All those people who are advising him, they're really smart. But they’re really from the dark side. I don’t mean the actual devil in reality – not that I think that there is a devil in reality – but just a real dark side of gutting the entire government and gutting everything that was meant to preserve our safety and the water and the air and the land and schools and healthcare and all of it. When it comes to our current pop landscape – Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, et cetera – who do you think does or doesn’t have the staying power that you’ve demonstrated throughout your entire career? Gosh, I don’t know. It’s really hard to know until there’s more time under their belts, do you know what I mean? There’s got to be a little bit more time under their belts to know that. I think they’ve all done a pretty good job so far, but I think you’ve gotta have ... like, I’m 54 years into this business, so I think we have to wait a minute. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we interpret an artist’s legacy after Aretha passed, and every time an icon passes on. Do you think about yours and what you hope that will be? You know, I don’t really think about it. The only provision I’ve made is: I want all my friends and family to go to Paris and have a big party. I’m gonna fly everybody to Paris and have a big party. But no, I don’t think about it too much because it’s like, thinking about it can’t do me any good. It is what it is, and to think about it, what will that get me? Kind of nothing. Also, what’s really great is there’s music left behind and there’s film left behind, you know? I’m gonna leave a trail. I’ll leave breadcrumbs.

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SHOW YOUR PRIDE

CALENDAR OF EVENTS LGBT History Month Movie Series: Rent Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, 6p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

Celebrate LGBT History Month with LGBT Network! Join us at the LGBT Network Queens LGBT Center for a special screening of ‘Rent’. After the film, there will be a short community discussion it’s impact in LGBT History.

LGBT History Month Movie Series: Milk Wednesday, Oct. 10th, 6p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

Celebrate LGBT History Month with LGBT Network! Join us at the LGBT Network Queens LGBT Center for a special screening of ‘Milk’. After the film, there will be a short community discussion it’s impact in LGBT History.

LGBT History Month Movie Series: Paris is Burning Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 6p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

Celebrate LGBT History Month with LGBT Network! Join us at the LGBT Network Queens LGBT Center for a special screening of ‘Paris is Burning’. After the film, there will be a short community discussion it’s impact in LGBT History.

LGBT Karaoke Mixer Tuesday, Sept. 4th, 11a.m-1p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Sing along to your favorite songs as the LGBT Network invites you to COFFEED in #LIC! COME SING YOUR HEART OUT, hang out and meet new friends with an evening of Karaoke, drink specials, great music and more at this FREE social event.

LGBT Network 25th Anniversary Gala Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, 6:30-10:30p.m. Crest Hollow Country Club 8325 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury

Join us for the 25th Anniversary LGBT Network Gala “A Night at the Palladium”. Come join us to celebrate 25 years of groundbreaking work and historic achievements. This year our Gala honoree is George James Tsunis, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, LLC, an attorney, developer, philanthropist and public policy advisor.

LGBT History Month Movie Series: Three Generations Wednesday, Oct. 24th, 6p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

Celebrate LGBT History Month with LGBT Network! Join us at the LGBT Network Queens LGBT Center for a special screening of ‘Three Generations’. After the film, there will be a short community discussion it’s impact in LGBT History.

Building Families in the LGBT Community Thursday, Oct. 25th, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Thinking about becoming parents? Learn everything you need to know about the many options available for LGBT family-building and get your questions answered from the Long Island IVF team. This FREE event is presented in conjunction with the LGBT Network.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Bash Wednesday, Oct. 31st, 6 - 9 p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

Come dressed in your most fabulous Halloween costume for an interactive viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show! We’ll provide the props and snacks. The evening will include a fun costume contest! Categories include Best Rocky Horror Themed Costume, Most Creative, and People’s Choice where everyone will place a vote for their favorite costume. Wine will be available for those 21+.

David Bohnett CyberCenter Monday-Thursdays, 4-8 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

The David Bohnett CyberCenter at LIGALY offers hands on experience and classes in various software environments from productivity to creative design on the PC and Mac platforms. The classes range from introductory, intermediate, and advance levels.

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Q Center Senior Mingle Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

LITE Social and Discussion Group 1st & 3rd Mondays, 7:30-9 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

Safe Schools Team Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Youth help plan new programs and events at LIGALY. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

All Nassau County meetings are closed for transgender individuals only.

Wednesdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

1st, 3rd, and 5th meetings are closed for transgender individuals only. 2nd and 4th meetings are for transgender individuals and partners, family, friends, or loved ones.

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing: Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury By Appointment. East End: The Hamptons LGBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor

2nd & 4th Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m. East End: The Hamptons LGBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor

Free2be | LGBT Network & Free First Wednesdays, 4.30p.m.-6 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Parent Support Group 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore 1st & 3rd Mondays, 6-7 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Hepatitis C. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

Free2Be is a community of adults dedicated to socialization, advocacy and education. We support a network that provides a safe environment to grow. Join other individuals for socialization and community-building. We meet every 1st Wednesday of the month from 4:30 PM-6 PM at the LGBT Network's Bay Shore Center. The group is facilitated by a licensed social worker. All you need to do to join is to show up--no RSVPs required! For more questions, please contact Amy Angelone, LMSW, Program Manager of Community-Building & Support Services at 631.665.2300 or aangelone@ lgbtnetwork.org or Claire Miller, Advocacy Coordinator of FREE (Family Residences & Essential Enterprises, Inc) at 516.870.1645

Friday Night OUT 4th Fridays, 7-9 p.m. East End: The Hamptons LGBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor

Friday Night OUT is the place to be for East End LGBT youth and their allies on the Fourth Friday of every month at the Hamptons LGBT Center. Dance, play games, and have fun! www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.899.4950

Hampton Bays Mingle 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. Hampton Bays Senior Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave., Hampton Bays SAGE-LI’s bi-monthly social for LGBT seniors 50+ on the East End. Dinner is served on the 4th Thursday of the month. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

LIFE in Nassau SAGE-LI Spooktacular Disco Dance 2nd Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, Saturday, Oct. 27th, 5 - 9 p.m. 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, Suite 110, Woodbury 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore LIFE in Nassau meets every second Thursday. Come party with the LGBT Network at the annual SAGE-LI ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween Dance! The theme for 2018 is ‘DISCO’. Bring the iconic look of the 70’s back and get ready to hustle on over to this costume party. Don’t worry if you don’t have a costume, you can still PARTY WITH US! There is a $14 admission fee to cover the cost of dinner, dessert and drinks.

LIGALY Advisory Board Mondays, 6-8 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Open to adults of all genders and orientations with an interest in BDSM topics.

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All East End meetings are closed for transgender individuals only. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

OUTlet Fridays, 8 p.m.-Midnight Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Friday night social program for LGBT youth and their friends ages 13-21. $2 admission, transportation available. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

If you workand/or have engage Discussion group for parents of LGBT children. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

PEP Teams – Suffolk Thursdays, 6-8 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Interactive leadership program promoting sexual health for LGBT young people. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

POZ Experience 1st Monday, 2 - 3 p.m. 3rd Monday, 6:30- 7:30 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

POZ Experience is a support group for all people living with HIV/AIDS. Facilitated by an experienced social worker, this group is designed to offer support, listen and share stories of our experience, whether individuals are newly diagnosed or have been living with HIV/AIDS for years. This group is intended to foster peer support, in an LGBT affirming space, that promotes living one’s life to the fullest and healthiest For more information, call 631.665.2300 or email poz@lgbtnetwork.org

Pack a lunch and join other LGBT older adults for great conversation over coffee. Contact lsmith@lgbtnetwork.org www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

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

SAGE-LI Evening Mingle 3rd Wednesday, 7-9 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

If you workand/or have engagements during the day that limit you from attending the fabulous SAGE-LI daytime programming, this is the program for you. All are welcome! www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

SAGE-LI Monday Mingle Mondays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

SAGE-LI’s weekly social for LGBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Bay Shore. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

SAGE-LI Nassau Mingle Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

SAGE-LI’s weekly social for LGBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Woodbury. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

SAGE-LI Nassau Mingle Potluck First Tuesday, 1 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

Bring your favorite dish and enjoy lunch over light refreshments and great conversation with friends. Please let us know if you plan on joining us and what you are going to bring to share . www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

SAGE-LI Women at Nassau Wednesdays, 7:30-8:45 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury, 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

Senior Advocate First Monday, 11a.m.-1 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

A Senior Advocate from Suffolk County Office for the Aging is on-site each month to offer SAGE-LI members benefits and entitlement counseling. From Social Security to Food Stamps to Medicare Part D and everything in between, the Senior Advocate will be available during the Mingle to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

Senior Focus Discussion Group Last Monday, 12pm-1 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Part of a monthly series of coed peer-led, issuefocused discussion groups. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

TRUE Calling Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m. Nassau: Center at Woodbury 20 Crossways Park Dr. North, Suite 110, Woodbury

LIGALY is offering a great opportunity for LGBT youth and their friends to show off their skills! Sing, act, dance, or perform. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

Women 2 Women Tuesdays, 7:15-8:45 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

W2W is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive space for lesbians age 40+.

You Gotta Believe Mondays, 6-9 p.m. Suffolk: Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

The Long Island LGBT Community Center has partnered with You Gotta Believe, a non-profit organization that places teenagers into permanent adoptive homes, to provide Adoptive Parent Preparation Classes! If you are interested in participating, please call 631.665.2300. www.lgbtnetwork.org

Youth Squad Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m. East End: The Hamptons LGBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor

All East End youth should come check out this new hot LGBT spot. Every Tuesday is a fun interactive youth group: hang out with others in the lounge. You won’t want to miss it! www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.899.4950

(SWAN) A social and discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, & transgender women as well as women questioning their identity. www.lgbtnetwork.org, 516.323.0011

Q Center Senior Advisory Board 2nd Thurday, 12-1p.m. Q Center: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Suite 107, Long Island City

This group provides feedback on current Q Center Senior Programming and offers ideas for future programming. All are welcome! Contact lsmith@lgbtnetwork.org www.lgbtnetwork.org, 631.665.2300

LIVING OUT

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be scene Islanders Press Conference

Thursday, October 11, 2018 at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow On National Coming Out Day, the New York Islanders and LGBT Network Announced Pride Night as Islanders Become First Professional Sports Franchise to Participate in LBGT Network’s National Coming Out Campaign.

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM ISLANDERS PRESS CONFERENCE, PLEASE VISIT FLICKR.COM/LIGLBTNETWORK 18

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2018 Congressional Forum

Friday, September 14, 2018 at Molloy College Suffolk Center in Farmingdale

LGBT Network brought together candidates for public office from across Long Island to help the LGBT community learn where these candidates stand on the issues that impact LGBT families. The event featured a moderated discussion with three candidates for congress and a “Meet the Candidates” segment with 19 candidates for state and local races.

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM 2018 CONGRESSIONAL FORUM, PLEASE VISIT FLICKR.COM/LIGLBTNETWORK

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be scene

National Coming Out DAy

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Nearly 400 schools, companies, places of worship, organizations, and nearly half a million individuals participated in the LGBT Network National Coming Out Day Campaign which engages communities to take a stand against the discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying of LGBT people by coming out in support of safe spaces where they LIVE, LEARN, WORK, PLAY, and PRAY.

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TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY, PLEASE VISIT FLICKR.COM/LIGLBTNETWORK

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be scene

Boot Camp Against Bullying Saturday, September 29, 2018 at a private residence in East Hampton Participants spent the afternoon in East Hampton, enjoying a delicious, healthy breakfast, socializing, and of course a boot camp workout lead by Darcy Auguste. The fundraising event raises awarenesss about anti’LGBT bullying and the proceeds benefit the Hamptons LGBT Center.

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM BOOT CAMP AGAINST BULLYING, PLEASE VISIT FLICKR.COM/LIGLBTNETWORK 22

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North Fork LGBT Social

Saturday, October 6, 2018 at The Tap Room at Corey Creek in Southold

The LGBT Network brought the North Fork community together for an evening of artisan wines, fresh oysters, brick oven pizza, live music and tons of fun!

TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM NORTH FORK LGBT SOCIAL, PLEASE VISIT FLICKR.COM/LIGLBTNETWORK

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be scene

Karaoke mixer

Thursday, September 27, 2018 at Coffeed in Long Island City, Queens The Queens LGBT Center and Queens community members sang their hearts out to their favorite songs and hung out with friends and their monthly Karaoke Mixer.

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OUT AND ABOUT

Screen Savor

by gregg shapiro

Oh, the horror! You know how somethings improve with age? Well, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (Scream Factory), now available in a collector’s edition Blu-ray, isn’t one of them. An incoherent mess when it was first released, the catastrophic 1977 sequel to “The Exorcist”, directed by John Boorman (“Deliverance” and “Hope and Glory”), features an intoxicated Richard Burton at his scenery-chomping worst. Even the few returning cast members, including Linda Blair, Kitty Winn and Max Von Sydow, couldn’t give this doomed production the credibility that it needed. Father Lamont (a bumbling Burton) calls on the spirit of the late Father Merrin (Von Sydow) to assist him with an exorcism that goes wrong, resulting in the subject igniting herself with candles. Meanwhile in Manhattan, teenaged Regan (Blair) is onstage at a rehearsal for a tap-dance number (seriously?). Is she attempting to follow in her actress mother Chris’ footsteps? While that’s not clarified, what is obvious is that we never see Chris (she’s making a movie on location) because Burstyn turned down the role. In the next scene, Regan meets with her hypno-therapist Gene (an unfortunate Louise Fletcher) “to make her mom feel better”. Claiming not to remember what happened in Georgetown a few years earlier, other than being “sick”, Regan is regularly strapped into the doctor’s synchronized hypnosis device in an effort to make her well again. Before you know it, Fr. Lamont has tracked down Regan at Gene’s office. There’s lots of pseudo-religious and semipsychiatric mumbo-jumbo. As you might expect, the priest and therapist are at odds. Nevertheless, at one point, Gene actually allows Fr. Lamont to take part in the shared hypnosis, leading a series of unfortunate events. Determined to find out the truth about what really happened to Fr. Merrin, Lamont travels to Africa where another exorcism subject may be the key to solving the mystery, which involves a massive swarm of locusts, among other things. And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen James Earl Jones in a giant locust costume.

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By the time Regan and Lamont end up back at the Georgetown house for the ultimate battle of good versus evil, you’ll probably feel like you’ve been possessed by confusion. The combination of Burton’s overacting and Blair’s underacting, matched with the awkward editing that is the movie’s trademark, make “Exorcist II: The Heretic” scary for all the wrong reasons. Blu-ray special features include two discs (original cut and original home video cut), a new (and very revealing) interview with Blair, new audio commentary by Boorman, still galleries and much more. Far more frightening, considering the current political climate, is the triple-DVD set “American Horror Story: Cult – The Complete Seventh Season” (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment). Set in the days and months after the 2016 presidential election, the 11 episodes focus on two main characters. The first is massively phobic Ally (out actress Sarah Paulson) who, in addition to voting for Jill Stein, is having a psychotic break, brought on by the election results, as well as the presence of killer clowns terrorizing their small Michigan town. While Ally and her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) are trying to adjust to the prospect of living in Trump World, brightblue-haired outsider Kai (Evan Peters) sees this as his chance to alleviate all of his white-man anger. Magnetic and terrifying, Kai soon amasses an army of devoted and bloodthirsty followers – newscaster Beverly (Adina Porter), detective Jack (out actor Colton Haynes), supermarket cashier Gary (Chaz Bono), nanny Winter (Billie Lourd), therapist Rudy (Cheyenne Jackson), married couple Harrison (out actor Billy Eichner) and Meadow (Leslie Grossman), among others -- for his new world order cult, as the body count mounts and mounts. With the new eighth season of the FX series currently airing, this is a good opportunity to catch up on what came before. Ratings: “Exorcist II: The Heretic” – F “American Horror Story: Cult”: B+

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OUT AND ABOUT

Q-Music

by gregg shapiro

Q-MUSIC:

DIXIE DIVAS So far, 2018 has proven to be an exceptional year for queer women in country music with outstanding albums by Brandi Carlile, Mary Gauthier, Amy Ray, H.C. McEntire and Sarah Shook, to mention a few. Straight women (and allies) aren’t doing too badly for themselves this year either. Even without any songs by lesbian singer/songwriter Brandy Clark, who provided memorable tunes for her first two album, Kacey Musgraves’ third record Golden Hour (MCA Nashville) is nothing less than luminous. Her country confessional style strikes an effortless balance between the personal and relatable (she’s probably not the first country girl whose grandma freaked when she pierced her nose, as in the song “Slow Burn”. This is definitely a modern pop-country record, from the Juno 60 on “Butterflies” to the vocoder on “Oh, What A World”. Co-written with gay country singer/songwriter Shane MacAnally, “Space Cowboy” (as in, “you can have your space, cowboy”), exhibits the kind of wordplay that would make Dolly, Loretta and Tammy proud, and “Velvet Elvis” is the closest thing we have to new wave country. However, it’s the club throw-down “High Horse” that elevates Musgraves to dance diva and should earn her the large gay following she deserves (and closing ballad “Rainbow” could even be an anthem for the community). Plus, Musgraves is cool enough to go on a concert tour (beginning in 2019) with Soccer Mommy and Natalie Prass. Back when they were still a trio (in the early part of the century), Sugarland had a “homo” court advantage as one of the members was lesbian singer/ songwriter Kristen Hall. But Hall departed before Sugarland became as popular as they’ve been for the last dozen years. As you can hear from several of the songs on Bigger (Big Machine/Universal), Sugarland is interested in updating the country sound with beats, keyboards and various effects. You can hear it right from the start on the title track and “Roll” (featuring some rapping, courtesy of vocalist Jennifer Nettles). Regardless, this is still a country album, which comes through on the sentimental (and open-minded) “Mother” (with its “love is love” message), and the heartbreakers “Tuesday’s Broken” and “Love Me Like I’m Leaving”.

KACEY MUSGRAVES PERFORMS ON JANUARY 25 + 26 AT BEACON THEATRE IN NYC. 26

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Australian country artist Ruby Boots (aka Bex Chilcott) puts a cowpunk twist on her version of Americana as you can hear on the first two songs, “It’s So Cruel” and “Believe In Heaven”, on her new album Don’t Talk About It (Bloodshot). She goes for a more traditional sound on the title cut and channels fellow Aussie Courtney Barnett on “Easy Way Out”. “Don’t Break My Heart Twice” is pure hillbilly heartache and “Infatuation” is just waiting for line-dancers to take to the floor and make up steps for the song. As you might glean from the title, Jennifer Castle’s Angels of Death (Paradise of Bachelors) is a serious affair. Living up to its description as a “sublime meditation on mortality and memory, ghosts and grief”, Castle sounds like a long-lost relative of the McGarrigle/Wainwright clan. The fittingly dirge-like “Tomorrow Morning” is balanced by the near-pop glory of “Crying Shame”. If you didn’t know better, you might think the title track was simply a twangy country number, until you listened closely to the lyrics. In all seriousness, don’t be put off by a song such as “Grim Reaper”, which, despite its title, is actually full of life. Sounding like the kid sister of Lucinda Williams, Becky Warren makes a desirable impression with her rowdy second album Undesirable (beckywarren.com). There’s not a false step to be found in these 11 songs that rock as hard as all get-out (the amazing “We’re All We Got” and “Nobody Wants to Rock N Roll No More”) and have an ear for catchy country pop (“Sunshine State”, “Carmen”) and a tip of the cowboy hat to traditional country on “You’re Always Drunk” and “The Drake Motel”. Any country diva who opens her album with a song titled “Yellow Brick Road” deserves a listen, right? Such is the case with Karen Jonas and her third disc Butter (karenjonasmusic.com). Yes, she rhymes “fools’ gold” with “brick road”, but it’s not the end of the world. Jonas has a pleasant and strong voice, and song such as “My Sweet Arsonist”, the jazzy title cut and “Oh Icarus”, and the carnival atmospherics of “Mr. Wonka” more an amply demonstrate Jonas’ artistry. Don’t Apologize (New Song), the seven-song EP by Beth Snapp has its share of unapologetic delights. Standout tracks include the bouncy “Easy To Love”, the snappy “Little Much”, the endearing “Confessions of an Exhausted Thirty-Something” and the rhythmic “Scream”. Last, but not least, Loretta Lynn, one of the last remaining grand dames of Nashville, returns with Wouldn’t It Be Great (Legacy). Co-produced by Lynn’s daughter Patsy and John Carter Cash, the 13 songs on the album are a combination of new compositions (“Ruby’s Stool”, “Another Bridge to Burn”) and new renditions of classics (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’”, “Darkest Day” and the title tune). Perhaps the most notable thing about the album, her third since her triumphant 21st century comeback Van Lear Rose, is the power of her voice, which, at the age of 86, still sounds fantastic.

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Events at At Saddle Rock Ranch, located in Middle Island, we provide the perfect setting for your wedding, concert or private event. We can host functions in a variety of settings, from our rustic barn to the 14 acres of manicured land that the ranch resides on. Please contact our Director, Karen Bonne, by calling 631-345-0318 or 631-394-0681, or by emailing KBonne@FamilyRes.org if you would like to inquire about hosting your next event at Saddle Rock Ranch.

You are not alone, you are…FREE To BE FREE To BE is a community of men and women dedicated to socialization, advocacy, and education. We support a network that provides a safe environment to grow together. Socialization/Group Meetings FREE To BE provides an engaging space for LGBTQ individuals and friends, and we encourage all who are interested to come and join us. Meetings Include Inspirational guest speakers, workshops, open discussions, social events, and community involvement. Next Meeting Date: October 23rd, 2018 Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm Location: FREE, 191 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road, Old Bethpage, NY 11804 Fundraising Conference Room To learn more about FREE To BE or to become a member, please contact us at FREEToBE@FamilyRes.org Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc.

191 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road l Old Bethpage, New York 11804 FamilyRes.org l 516-870-1637 • #FREEFamilyRes

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Extraordinary Events For Extraordinary People

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Profile for Living Out

Issue 8 Volume 6: October 2018  

Issue 8 Volume 6: October 2018