Page 1

CELEBRATING OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

ISSUE 013 FEB 2012 THEFIGHTMAG.COM

TURNING

TABLES In Between Men’s NICK MATHEWS

On Sexual Labels LOVE ACTUALLY

FALLING FOR A TRANSMAN

BOY INTERRUPTED

ADDICTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

THE PULSING HEART GETTING TO KNOW YOU

SKIN DEEP

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COVER STORIES AND FEATURES 18

LOVE ACTUALLY

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TURNING TABLES

24 26 32 34 36 39

w

ON OUR COVER Photography DIRTYSUGARPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

CELEBRATING OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Falling For A Transman

Nick Mathews On Sexual Labels

THE PULSING HEART

T

ISSUE 013 FEB 2012 THEFIGHTMAG.COM

TURNING

The Relationship With Yourself

BOY, INTERRUPTED

TABLES In Between Men’s

Jeremy Manning On Abuse & Addiction

THE MORE YOU KNOW

NICK MATHEWS

On Sexual Labels

Ann Rostow’s Awesome LGBT News Quiz

COSMETIC OPTIONS FOR MEN

LOVE ACTUALLY

Dr. Michael Persky, Dr. Sarmela Sunder

FALLING FOR A TRANSMAN

BOY INTERRUPTED

I AM WHAT I AM

ADDICTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

THE PULSING HEART

Zinnia Jones On Sexual Orientation

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

E.D. SUPPORT

COSMETIC OPTIONS FOR MEN

SKIN DEEP

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18

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THE COLUMNS 10 12 14 16 21 28 30 40 42 THEFIGHT

THE LETTERS Bad Choice, Good Choice THE STATE Specialty License Plates THE CITY Honoring Rachel Zoe THE ROSTOW REPORT The King’s Speech THE MIND Dr. Philip Pierce On Anxiety THE FAMILY Adoption Options THE EPIDEMIC Discovery May Block Virus THE CALENDAR Events, Groups, Resources THE FINAL FIGHT Intolerant Christians

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Y

Thank you for allowing us to zag, when everyone else was zigging. ou’re crazy to start a new LGBT magazine in THIS economy!”

“A gay magazine without explicit sexual content would never work.”

“NO WAY IN HELL you’ll make it past the first three months with such wordy content! No one in this community would get it...” One year later, and all I can say is THE FIGHT has just begun! Without the incredible support of our advertisers, writers, photographers, account executives, graphic designers and distributors - this incredible journey would not have been possible. I am humbled everyday by their generosity of time and talent. I truly work with a team of friends and allies.

If you would like to offer The Fight at your location, please call 323-297-4001 PUBLISHER Third Step, Inc. DISTRIBUTION Pride in Media The Fight Magazine is published monthly by Third Step, Inc. 611 South Catalina Street, Suite 307 Los Angeles, CA 90005 Telephone 323-297-4001 Fax 213-281-9648 Email info@thefightmag.com

THE FIGHT MAGAZINE LEGAL CAVEATS

Thank you for welcoming us into your minds and hearts.

By listing in The Fight Magazine, advertisers acknowledge that they do business in the spirit of cooperation, fairness and service, maintaining a high level of integrity and responsibility. Providers of products or services are fully and soley responsible for providing same as advertised. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for improper or negligent business practices by advertisers.

Thank you for allowing us to zag, when everyone else was zigging.

Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisements in The Fight Magazine

I would like to dedicate this issue to our readers and friends in the LGBT community.

masthead

Thank you for your continued support.

STANFORD ALTAMIRANO Editor-In-Chief

THEFIGHT

Publisher assumes no liability for safe-keeping or return of unsolicited art, manuscripts or other materials. The Fight Magazine reserves the right to edit all material for clarity, length and content. All contents ©2011 Third Step, Inc., all rights reserved. Content may be reproduced with permission. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained anywhere in this magazine, and reserves the right to cancel or refuse advertising at publisher’s discretion. www.thefightmag.com

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ISSUE 012 JAN 2012 THEFIGHTMAG.COM

Dear Editor,

I am usually very happy with the editorial content in your MICHAEL magazine, however this time THE YEAR AHEAD LUCAS somebody messed up. Of all the people to profile, on your ROSIE FIGHTS BACK cover yet, why Michael Lucas O’DONNELL ON LETTERMAN SEED MONEY THE CHUCK HOLMES SAGA (“The Naked Truth,” THE THE LONG ROAD HOME OVERCOMING ADDICTION FIGHT, Issue 012)? What is his MY (POSSIBLY) GAY SON A MOTHER’S STORY big claim to fame? He writes nasty op-eds about charities he doesn’t approve of, and he is pro-Israel. So what? Just because he made a name for himself in the adult entertainment industry doesn’t exactly make him a positive role model for the LGBT community. SeriTHE WORLD ACCORDING TO

ously, bad choice.

PROP 8 UPDATE

Bill Sternfeld, via the internet

GOOD CHOICE

Dear Editor, I totally agree with Michael Lucas (“The Naked Truth,” THE FIGHT, Issue 012) about some of the gay charities out there. GLAAD, in particular, really seems almost frivolous nowadays. Monitoring the media can easily be done by any one of the existing gay equality groups. Lambda Legal or The Trevor Project are absolutely more worthy of our charity dollars. Also, kudos to Lucas for standing up to the NY Gay Center about hosting the anti-Israel hate group.

ROSIE’S LESBIANISM

Jay Waller, via the internet

Dear Editor, Right on, Rosie! (“Rosie Fights Back,” THE FIGHT, Issue 012). Nobody would dare make racist jokes about blacks or Jews, but for some reason, when it comes to gays or lesbians, it’s considered “all in good fun.” I usually like David Letterman, but his puns about Rosie’s lesbianism were in poor taste. You’d think we’ve evolved since the 80s, but I guess not. Sad.

ALL PARENTS

Name Withheld, via the internet

Dear Editor, I was very moved by the mother who wrote about her son (“My Possibly Gay 6-Year-Old Son,” THE FIGHT, Issue 012). It was beautiful to read how an open-minded and enlightened woman views homosexuality, and the sensitive and delicate way she, and her husband, dealt with her son’s excitement about seeing the gay couple from Glee. I actually choked up when I read her statement “Only time will tell if my son is gay, but if he is I am glad he’s mine.” I wish my parents were like that. I will all parents were like that. Name Withheld, via the internet Send a letter to the editor by emailing: editor@thefightmag.com or faxing: (213) 281-9648. Letters may be shortened for space requirements.

The Fight 15 THEFIGHT

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LA MAYOR MARRIAGE SUPPORT Los Angeles Mayor ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA was among a group of 80 mayors in Washington last month who pledged their support for gay marriage and announced an initiative aimed at expanding marriage rights for same-sex couples. The mayors have pledged to push their cities to pass laws allowing same-sex marriage and urge Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

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MURDER VICTIM’S BOYFRIEND FEARFUL The boyfriend of the man found dismembered along a Hollywood Hills hiking train last month is speaking out, saying he’s afraid for his life, reports KTLA. “I’m afraid they’ll come back and do something to me,” the boyfriend of the victim, 66-year-old Hervey Medellin, said. Police have questioned the boyfriend several times, but he is reportedly not a suspect, or even a person of interest in the homicide. Medellin’s severed head, hands and feet were found in Bronson Canyon Park. The investigation is ongoing.

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L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER’S “AN EVENING” HONORING REALITY TV STAR, RACHEL ZOE BY F. E. CORNEJO

PHOTOS STEFANIE KEENAN, WIREIMAGE

T

he L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center (LAGLC) presented RACHEL ZOE an award for her continued support of LGBT people last month, making her one of the new faces and champions of LGBT rights. The January cover of THE FIGHT featured Zoe’s newest openly gay associate, JEREMIAH BRENT. LAGLC hosted the private/closed event in “The Terrace” at the newly renovated Sunset Tower Hotel. The event benefited the Center’s Homeless Youth Services Program. Tickets were not released for sale to the public and the dining room was hidden from view with floor to ceiling drapes. Before the guests arrived, LAGLC’s Chief Executive Officer, LORRI L. JEAN and her wife, GINA CALVELLI greeted members of the press, staff and volunteers. The press lined the black “red carpet” in anticipation of the arrival of the honoree and other celebrities. The first celebrity guest to arrive was DAPHNE ZUNIGA of “Melrose Place.” The second was Lieutenant Governor, GAVIN NEWSOM. Other celebrity guests included actress and model GARCELLE BEAUVAIS, “Fahion Police” co-host GEORGE KOTSIOPOULOS, JENNIFER GRAY, “Less Than Perfect” star SARA RUE, MANDY MOORE and KELLY OSBOURNE. The award was presented by Zoe’s longtime friend and client ANNE HATHAWAY.

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SEVENTH HEAVEN? For all I know, by the time you read this issue of THE FIGHT we will have won marriage rights in Washington State. As I write in late January, we can count the necessary votes in both the house and the senate. That tally, along with the support of GOVERNOR CHRIS GREGOIRE, puts Washington in line to be the seventh equality state in the nation. I would be more excited were it not for the fact that marriage equality will almost certainly be sent to the ballot box for a public vote. The citizens of the Starbuck State have already shown their rainbow colors a couple of years ago by defeating a measure that would have repealed domestic partner rights in the state. Will they stand up for us when the subject is full marriage rights? I hope so. And speaking of Starbucks, the coffee empire joined Microsoft, Google, Nike and over 100 other stat corporations in supporting our unions. Thanks People. Meanwhile, marriage equality is also brewing in Maryland, the scene of last year’s failed effort. This time, with the help of GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY and a stronger organization, we may have a better chance of nabbing the 71 votes we need in the House of Delegates. But as is the case in Washington, a legislative victory may well lead to a public vote in November. And although we could win such a vote in Washington, a victory in the Crab State would be more difficult. Finally, it also looks as if marriage rights might emerge from the Garden State legislature if our side can drum up a veto proof majority. Last month, Governor Chris Christie said that if the legislature sent him a marriage bill, he would veto it in favor of a statewide vote on the issue. But lawmakers don’t seem inclined to put civil rights on the ballot, even though there’s a chance that gay couples might win one of these elusive marriage battles if given the chance in a progressive state. It seems more likely that we could override a Christie veto, but it would still be an uphill fight. Don’t forget, we are also looking at an anti-marriage amendment vote in North Carolina this May. Then in November, Minnesota voters will try to amend their constitution to ban marriage, while Mainers will take a proactive public vote on whether to approve marriage rights. Toss in Washington and/or Maryland and we’re in for another rousing election year. I know we have almost always lost these campaigns. But times they are a changin’ and we’re not going to lose them forever.

THEFIGHT

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THE KING’S SPEECH I have other state legislative news, including some particularly nasty stuff coming out of New Hampshire, where lawmakers want gay women over the age of 21 to be tattooed on their earlobes with the letter “L.” That way, various wedding-related businesses in the state can identify them and refuse service under a special exception to the state civil rights laws. I’m not sure about the exact details, but it’s something like that. Let’s just say that I’ve done enough on state legislative news. I read, by the way, about an eight-month-old baby girl in Newark who came home from day care sucking a dead mouse. Really? Really day care workers? By the way, since we mentioned a baby, I was reminded of the VW commercial with the guy who goes through his teenaged years and into adulthood looking for fast vehicles, only to change his priority to “safety” once he becomes a father. You’ve seen it, right? Is that not the ugliest baby you’ve ever seen? Why, I wonder, did VW’s ad execs go out of their way to find an angry looking ugly baby for their TV ad? Tis a puzzlement. Oh. And the King of the Zulus allegedly said that gays and lesbians were “rotten,” during a speech in Nquthu celebrating the 1879 Zulu victory in the battle of Isandlwana. I said “allegedly.” A tribal spokesperson said that KING GOODWILL ZWELITHIUI’s remarks were “recklessly” translated. The battle of Isandlwana was perhaps England’s worst 19th century colonial defeat, so I cannot imagine how the subject of gays and lesbians figured into King Goodwill’s text.

OH WAITRESS, MY WAITRESS

What else? ABC has canceled the trans-phobic sitcom “Work It” due to lack of interest. We spent the Australian Open sparring with tennis has-been Margaret Court, the gay bashing Australian who inspired various fans and players to don their rainbows in solidarity at Melbourne Park. Gay parents may be better than straight parents, some study says, as if studies actually measure such things. I gather our kids are more open-minded than their kids, not surprisingly. And I was going to mention that the craven captain who beached his cruise ship off the coast of Italy last month was showing off for a transgender waitress on a nearby island. It’s a good story, which I learned from wife Mel who heard it on the radio. Unfortunately, since I was unable to confirm the tale, by rights I can’t pass it along. So, I’ll pass it along by wrongs. According to Mel, the captain and the headwaiter were both enamored of this waitress. It’s not clear if they knew she was MTF, but her allure was apparently such that she inspired the fatal maneuver that sunk the giant liner and killed at least 11 people.

Oh. I can also tell you that has come out of the closet. She was Buddy, the teenaged tomboy on the serial drama “Family” if memory serves. You remember, right? Sada Thompson was the mother and Buddy may as well have had “baby dyke” written on her forehead. McNichol was also in “Empty Nest,” and has been with the same partner for 20 years. Hmmm. Has she actually been in the closet all these years? Or did her celebrity card lapse to the point that no one was pressing the point. Either way, welcome to our world Kristy!

GLAD TIDINGS I recently got an email from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) informing me that oral arguments in our big challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act will not be held before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit until April. April! I was counting on this case for news fodder starting in a few weeks, and now we have to twiddle our toes for months. Could these federal appellate courts operate any slower? It must take them an hour to boil a three-minute egg. GLAD also mentioned that they are expecting a lower court decision in the Connecticutbased Pedersen case shortly, maybe this month. In other court news, there’s a fun marriage ruling out of Minnesota, where a state appellate court reinstated a freedom-tomarry case and in so doing, put us back on the road to exciting legal news in the Land of a Thousand Lakes. Yay! The case, filed against a county clerk, now goes back to lower court and will make its way back up the ladder in the many months to come, so perhaps “exciting” is overstating the character of the litigation. I fully intended to talk about that ruling at length, but I have since changed my mind. Why? Because I’m almost done with my column and it’s time to fix myself a cocktail and continue my last minute preparations for our Olivia Cruise, a festive indulgence selected to celebrate one of those birthdays that end in zero. I can only trust there won’t be too many sexy transwomen on our route. Sea ya!

ANN ROSTOW writes news analysis columns for THE FIGHT and other gay publications across the country. Rostow can be reached at: arostow@aol.com

THEFIGHT

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LOVE ACTUALLY FALLING IN LOVE WITH A TRANSMAN: HOW HE OPENED MY MIND AND MY HEART ONE STRAIGHT WOMAN’S STORY BY ASHLEY HERSH

THEFIGHT

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W

e met for the first time in my old roommate’s favorite café. But, as soon as he walked in, I had a kneejerk reaction. “Is he trans?!” I thought to myself. “No. That’s crazy. He’s already a double minority. Plus, he was in the army. No way. Not possible. You’re nuts.” But, the feeling would not go away. As we chatted, I found myself staring at my tea, fearful to look into his eyes and see something that I was just not prepared to see. But here I was, a straight woman, on my umpteenth online date, having given up hope on ever meeting a man while living in L.A., finding myself connecting with someone in a way that I had not felt in years. He embodied so many of the qualities that I looked for in a man: he was strong, smart, charismatic and funny. A real guy’s guy with a kindness that quietly shone through his calm demeanor. We discussed our religion and how rare it was to find someone else who felt connected to it on more than a cultural level. There were no awkward silences. There was lots of laughter. The date felt like it could have gone on forever, but it eventually ended with a quick, awkward hug.

LITTLE RED FLAGS

minutes of talking through his transition and his current status, I told him that I needed to date a man with functional male parts. The words felt strange coming out of my mouth and as soon as I said it, it felt so trite. An old Sex and the City quote ran through my head, “You’re dating the man, not the penis.” And yet, I couldn’t seem to get past it. Nevertheless, I assured him that the connection I felt was real, and we decided to go dancing as friends. And, yet, as the night went on, I kept having this nagging feeling. “Why are you throwing this away?” I thought, “He’s amazing. He has everything you’re looking for.” And the physical attraction was undeniable. As we got into the car, I told him that I did not want to give him mixed signals or confuse him or complicate things, but that I would like to try kissing him if he would be open to it. So, we soon found ourselves at my apartment, chatting comfortably, and eventually kissing. Every time we pulled away, I would hold my head in my hands and exclaim, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” And he would laugh heartily. His openness and humor would become the beacon of our relationship. We decided to “go with the flow” and see where things led. Not an easy plan for an overly-analytical law student, but I said I would try.

MAJOR FEARS

I spent the next several days obsessing. I really liked this guy. But could he be...? No. He couldn’t. But, I wasn’t sure. Little red flags kept popping up...his job, his place of worship...all I wish I could say that that night was the end of my worries signs pointed to LGBT. “Well, he’s interested in me, and he iden- and the beginning of a beautiful relationship, but for me, it was tifies as a man, so he’s not L or G,” I thought to myself, “Please the beginning of frequent and persistent panic attacks. I became just let him be bi. I can handle bi.” But what if he was trans? I an emotional roller coaster. One day, a fear would surface, and I saw myself as an open-minded person, but I didn’t know if I could would freak out, and he would talk it through with me and somebe that open-minded. After re-scrutinizing his online profile with how infuse his humor and calmness in me, and I would be okay. my gay best friend, he gave me his verdict, “Don’t be that silly But sure enough, a few days later, another fear would arise and I housewife who’s in denial that her husband’s gay,” he told me. would have to somehow calm down again. “How are you going “He’s trans.” to deal with my ‘crazy’?” I asked him one day as he managed to And then the panic really set in. It was the afternoon be- calm me down via text message. “With a smile.” He responded. fore date number two: dinner and dancing. What could I do? I And I smiled too. couldn’t date him. I mean, could I? I hadn’t liked someone this First, it was the major fears. How could I allow myself to get much in years. But what could I say that night? I now had his into a relationship with someone who could be killed just for besecret figured out, but I couldn’t just up and tell him. I had to wait ing who he is? (It didn’t help that we met a week before the murfor him to tell me. Where is the Miss Manner’s guide to trans eti- der of Chassity Nathan Wickers, a transwoman in Hollywood, quette when you need and 10 days before the it? (I can tell you Transgender Day of I knew I was attracted to him, but would I be when his Google is no help in Remembrance.) “Serithis area - believe me, I ously?” he responded. clothes came off? I’m not a lesbian. And I’m not bisexual. tried.) And, so I paced “I’m more worried So, what makes me straight? My attraction to the male my apartment, hoping about someone coughgender? Or to the male sex? that the knots in my ing on me and catching stomach would suba cold.” I laughed. (He side and I would come can always make me up with some magical way to get through this date without hurt- laugh.) He explained that he generally passes and that he is ing his feelings and without vomiting from my own nerves. Little very careful of his surroundings. “Besides, everyone has a tardid I know that at the same time, he was at home gathering his get.” And then, I admitted, feeling cowardly and selfish even own courage to figure out a way to tell me. telling him, that I was afraid of putting his target on me. And rather than agreeing that I was being selfish, he responded with understanding, concern and kindness. And I felt better for a few days. Between dinner and dancing, the moment arose, when his online profile name came up in conversation, and I admitted not knowing its meaning. “So, what does it mean?” I asked, secretly holding my breath and thinking, “Oh, no, here it comes.” He But the fears continued. What about the religious side of finished parking the car, turned to me deliberately, looked me in things? We’re both religious people, and he has been fortunate the eye, and said, “It means I’m a transman.” He paused ever enough to find a welcoming community here in Los Angeles, but so briefly and then added, “So, do I take you home now?” And what about other communities? What is the general response that’s where the conversation began. I wish I could say that I from my religious community? I told him I wanted to talk it over was the open-minded woman that I wanted to be, but after a few with one of my old religious mentors when I was visiting home.

FUNCTIONAL MALE PARTS

MY RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY

Continued on next page

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He understood, and the next morning, he sent me links to the religious responses that have been put forth from different religious sects to transgender persons, along with biblical and textual interpretations. I was amazed. Not only did he stay calm through my concerns, but he even was able to continue to allay my fears with exactly what I needed to see. But, my friends told me, he’ll never be able to give you children. Surprisingly, this seemed to be the biggest concern that others put forth, and while it is a legitimate concern for most, it was not the one that bothered me. I’d always played with the idea of adoption, and now, I just may have met a man who would likely be more open to it than most. And sometimes, it was just a generalized fear with no substance behind it. On the second night that he slept at my place, I woke up, trying to stave off a panic attack. I told him that I was freaking out about the final exam that I had taken that morning, but the truth was, I was freaking out about him. He watched me through sleepy eyes as I apologized for my “crazy.” He rubbed my back and whispered soothing nothings to me, and when I didn’t seem to calm down, he told me to look at him. I turned over, and he smiled broadly and pointed to his smile. “See?” How did he deal with my “crazy”? With a smile. I smiled back, and I began to calm down.

How could I allow myself to get into a relationship with someone who could be killed just for being who he is? It didn’t help that we met a week before the murder of Chassity Nathan Wickers, a transwoman in Hollywood.

THE LUCKY COUPLE Of course, one of my biggest fears was with respect to our sex life. We both promised each other that it would not be fair to either of us to have any discomfort with each other’s bodies. I knew I was attracted to him, but would I be when his clothes came off? I’m not a lesbian. And I’m not bisexual. So, what makes me straight? My attraction to the male gender? Or to the male sex? We took things extremely slowly. It was like being with the most respectful man on the planet. At each step, there was a check-in. Is this okay? Are you sure? We don’t have to right now. And through open communication and lots of questions, we began to learn each other’s preferences about what we do and what language we use. Part of me wanted to jump into everything quickly just to find out if I would feel okay with it before getting myself too emotionally entangled and potentially hurting both of us by changing my mind when we were both too invested. But by going slowly, we were able to learn each other’s minds and hearts before learning each other’s bodies. And that’s the bottom line. When you fall in love with someone, their body fades and just the person remains, stripped down to their soul, and that is where the connection is and remains. And then one day, the panic just stopped. And we just got to be the lucky couple that is crazy about each other. That’s not to say that I’ve jumped all of the hurdles of our future. I’m still going to have to figure out how to tell my parents and my sister. There may still be religious questions to face. And there will be other questions if we go down the path towards marriage and children. But, in the meantime, I have gained some of his calmness and humor, and I know that together, we will be able to deal with the “crazy” with a smile.

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ANXIETY DISORDER

J

ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS OF TREATMENT IS CALLED COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

BY DR. PHILIP PIERCE im* is 28 years-old, attractive, intelligent, successful… and very anxious most of the time. He’s been dating a man, Peter*, whom he likes very much and who apparently likes him back – this only adds to Jim’s anxiety because the relationship – and what if Peter decides he doesn’t want to see him anymore? And then there are all the other concerns that Jim worries about: “What if I lose my job? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if my sore throat is really gonorrhea?” Jim has an anxiety disorder, a condition which the National Institute of Mental Health states is shared by over 40 million Americans. The thoughts that accompany this condition are that you are in danger, threatened and vulnerable in some way. The perception of threat varies from person to person but may have an especially severe impact for gay children whose survival, both emotional and physical, may depend on detecting early warning signs of danger; however, what was once a survival mechanism for a child can become a life-sapping handicap for an adult! One of the most effective methods of treatment is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s based on the principle that your emotions are triggered by your thoughts and that by making those thoughts more accurate, worries and fears can be very much reduced. This scientifically proven technique is usually short-term and focuses on present-day events. Research has shown that creating new patterns of thinking and action can actually change the organization of the mind. Positive Emission Tomography (PET) and MRI findings indicate that cognitive and behavioral changes actually modify the dysfunctional neural circuitry associated with depression and anxiety. With cognitive behavioral techniques, you are actually rewiring your brain! So the next time you get anxious or have self-critical thoughts, ask yourself, “What’s the evidence that my interpretation is accurate? What’s the evidence that it’s not?” And as you come to an adjusted, more accurate thought, you have taken the first step toward reducing unnecessary distress! *Jim and Peter’s names are pseudonyms and details have been changed to protect their identities.

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“If you can love someone through their flaws, that’s the place where you find perfection, because love is imperfect”

TURNING I

TABLES

ACTOR NICK MATHEWS ON DYSFUNCTIONAL HOUSEHOLDS, FINDING LOVE AND SEXUAL LABELS BY MARK ARIEL PHOTOGRAPHY DANIELDOTTAVIO.COM

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n Between Men,” the original online-only series from creator Quincy Morris, centers around four friends in NYC who live “in between” a gay world, whose clichés they don’t relate to, and a straight world they don’t belong to. They are successful, professional men, not defined by their sexuality. Through wild adventures, racy story lines, joys and pains, underscored by the pulse of New York City, “In Between Men” examines the relationships the men have between each other, their lovers, and the greater community. Actor Nick Mathews, who plays Dalton, the lead character in the web series, says the show is unique because it doesn’t play on the “usual gay stereotypes.” “We do make some light hearted jokes at the stereotypical gay man in the show,” says. “There are those in the community who are a little offended because they feel the portrayal isn’t accurate... I don’t think they really understand the points that we are truly making. But the reality is, we wouldn’t have a half million viewers if people didn’t relate to these guys. I think there are more guys who are ‘in between men’ than most people think.” In an interview with THE FIGHT Mathews talks about dysfunctional households, finding love and sexual labels

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF? I was born and raised in New Jersey. I come from a proud Italian-American background, where my parents taught me that working hard is the only way to get what you want in life. And that life just isn’t fair. Umm... what else? I’m a Pisces, a dreamer, extremely passionate, loving person who has very vivid imagination...it’s the place I go to when I want to hide. I think part of the reason why it’s so strong is because I lived in my imagination growing up. My parents fought a lot. Most ItalianAmericans are loud, and screaming is completely normal, even when everything is going good, it’s just a form of expressing happiness and joy. However, ours was not most of the time. Growing up felt like my brother and I were walking on eggshells. Usually thescreaming ended with tables being turned over, food thrown on the floor, or someone crying. I just remember feeling overwhelmed, scared and angry. So I used music to cope - it’s why I can’t live without it. The music lead to daydreams, which led to me acting out scenarios in my mind about what was happening in the song. Looking back, it was very difficult, but I think it made me stronger because I survived it, it didn’t ruin me. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO GET INTO ACTING? I’ve always loved acting. From a young kid, I was fascinated with Halloween. A dayn to dress up like someone else - how cool! I loved being Dracula and I would get soninto it; had to have the right medallion, the right cape with the collar, the make-up, the fangs, the blood- I went all out. I remember this one time like it was yesterday, that I was hissing like a vampire trying to scare this kid on my block and I got a kick out of knowing that I was able to frighten him, so much that his mother came out to scold me for doing that. Who knew, I mean, I was only 8 or 9 and thought it was just fun. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO IN BETWEEN MEN? It’s a great script. The writing is really solid, the characters are life-like and I love what the show is saying. I can relate to Dalton very much so. I love the Sex & The City vibe; New York being a silent character in the ensemble, career people trying to get to the next level. It’s a lot how I see myself now. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR SEXUALITY? I UNDERSTAND YOU’VE HAD RELATIONSHIPS WITH BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. Listen, I like a lot of things...And I feel like I live a full life and that couldn’t happen if I limited myself to the walls of a box. I’ve done everything, I’m an actor and an artist, I “feel” which to me means to be open to experience all life has to offer. IS IT DIFFICULT, SOCIALLY, NOT TO ADHERE TO THE STRICT “YOU’RE EITHER STRAIGHT OR GAY” NORM? Not really because I have both circles of friends and can walk through them with comfort, but in truth, my close friends, are either in the same boat or just exceptionally open minded people, so I don’t face pressure to “conform” to an idea of what is easiest for someone else to digest about my life. And for those folks who look at things in black and white - I’m just not that interested in hearing what they have to say and don’t spend time with them anyway. THE LEAD CHARACTER YOU PLAY, DALTON, STRUGGLES WITH A LONELY LOVE LIFE, WONDERING IF HE SHOULD SETTLE FOR MR. ALMOST-RIGHT OR HOLD OUT FOR SOMEONE BETTER. IS THIS A SITUATION YOU CAN RELATE TO? Of course. I think everyone, everywhere experiences this feeling loneliness, especially in New York. It’s funny though, a city with 8 million people in it and you can still be lonely, crazy right? But you have your intellectual, sophisticated friends for an evening of debate or philosophical conversation...or your hysterically wild friends to be silly with, and then your fellow artists to create with and I find that each group fulfills a different purpose or need, so the idea of settling for someone that is “almost” right is ridiculous. If you are being fulfilled, then you aren’t desperate to “settle”...and when it happens - it will just click inside of you. That being said, you will never find Mr/Mrs. Right because nobody is perfect. Nobody. So, the trick is, IF you can love someone through their flaws, that’s the place where you find perfection, because love is imperfect. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A RELATIONSHIP? What I have always looked for is a best friend. I know that sounds cheesy, but without that comfortability, I can’t really build something with someone. That means that I need to be able to talk to you about anything even when it’s really difficult. Trusting them to tell the truth...even when it hurts. You don’t have anything if you don’t have that, it’s the foundation and the precursor for what will come ahead. I need someone who is supportive of my goals and I have to be equally supportive of theirs. I’m also inspired by people who are just as passionate about life and what they do. I’m not saying that you need to be as ambitious as I am, but you need to be passionate about something, you know? Bring something to the table....Otherwise, it gets real old real fast, and being bored can’t be good. And I believe I’ve found these things in my current partner. She can’t cook or clean, but she’s truly an amazing woman. It feels right, it feels good. But, as my mom always says, “let’s see if it stands the test of time.” Watch In Between Men at inbetweenmen.com

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THE PULSING

HEART:

THE RELATIONSHIP

WITH YOURSELF

WE CAN BECOME CONSCIOUS EMBODIED MEN, WHITMAN’S COMRADES, INSPIRED BY A SOULFUL EVOCATION OF GAY LOVE

I

BY THOMAS MONDRAGON, LMFT m just so lonely, all I want is a boyfriend.” “We’ve been together for 10 years, we don’t have sex anymore, I just feel so hopeless.” “It’s so frustrating, all the guys online have perfect bodies and aren’t looking for someone like me.”

How often I’ve heard this from my gay clients. Gay men have an intoxicating need for relatedness imbedded in erotic longing and desire. Yet much of the loneliness, chasing after that next hot trick or disappointment with partners, is about an often missing component in gay culture - the buried gleaming treasure found in the alchemical relationship you have with yourself - sourced in the inner world of your feelings, dreams, desires and needs.

DEADLY SELF-HATRED Many clients sadly articulate being gay boys silenced, made invisible or outwardly attacked. Stripped of the nurturance of his loveableness, worthiness and potential inherent in being a gay boy, the depressed man sitting across from me in therapy discovers how early on he split off much conscious awareness of his feelings, due to the unbearable pain of traumatic homophobic neglect, rejection and shaming, left with a deadly self-hatred. Like a prisoner banished into dark isolation, he was cut off from himself, deprived of a soulful inner relatedness to a deeper psychological meaning of being gay far beyond the extraverted aspects of dating and romance which ultimately fail him without an integrated connection to feelings, numbed yet painfully churning deep inside. Why a relationship with yourself? Our culture is dominated by heterosexist ideas of love - find the perfect mate, fall in love,

THEFIGHT

live happily ever after - too often movies and songs proclaim a role-playing picture of romance and literal procreation. But when we see that hot stud at the gym that turns us on, the libidinal feeling of aliveness this beautiful image stirs up is also Gay Eros inviting us into transformative procreativity within the gay mind - the pathway to enlivened possibility and unrealized potential.

GAY LIBERATION That guy that makes the heart race represents an inner lover/ buddy, the Gay Soul Figure vibrantly throbbing in the psyche. Like Gilgamesh with Enkidu, our invigorating relationship to the erotic Gay Soul Figure as inner guide, lover, brother - shows us how to relate to difficult aspects of ourselves more courageously and pull back the negative, and positive, projections we force onto other gay men. We can become conscious embodied men, Whitman’s comrades, inspired by a soulful evocation of gay love that embraces a heroic dark descent into the felt expression of the crushed gay boy’s hurt, anger, rage, shame, and internalized homophobia. Our lively imaginal dialog with the inner gay kid, the many shadowy feelings within, and the erotic Gay Soul Figure, fortifies an electrifying relationship with the gay self, advances incendiary homosexual self-realization, and is the visionary next step in gay liberation. West Hollywood based psychotherapist Thomas Mondragon is a professor at Antioch University Los Angeles’ LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology, providing students the skills needed for LGBT affirmative psychotherapeutic practice. He can be reached at: (310) 779-3113 or via email: tjmondragon@mac.com

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THE UPLIFT PROJECT

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR FunDRAISER SuPPORTInG AFFORDAbLE FITnESS TO SuRVIVORS OF AbuSE, SERIOuS ILLnESS AnD ADDIcTIOn. AuGuST 19, 8Pm-10Pm AT 11 nIGHTcLub In WEST HOLLYWOOD

TREATING dOGS WITH ALLERGIES BULLIED TO

Jamey Rodemeyer

DEATH

Serving the Westside Community since 1976

J

ust like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms

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Even though these allergens are common in most environwww.beverlyhillscarmel.com ANOTHER TEENAGER STRUGGLED ments andGAY harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies Mention this ad for a special incentive. UPLIFT’S FOUNDER, JEREMY B. HIS MANNING WITH BULLYING BEFORE TAKING will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. LIFE LAST MONTH. As his body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety

PHILIP PIERCE, PH.D.

Thishave month UpLift Project will be hosting their death 2nd last fundraiser Police a criminal investigation in the suicide of skin,opened digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear. month of Buffalo, N.Y., 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was in association with Elevation Fitness, Liddy Health Works, bullied online with gay for more than a year. Team2EndAIDS andslurs Body360 Nutritionals.

Any dog can develop allergies at any time during his life,

Thebut teen’s parents, friends and even to Lady Gaga, who was his idol, in terallergic reactions seem be especially common UpLift Project’s mission is to provide affordable to survivors of have expressed outrage about what they say was fitness relentless riers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced breeds suchtoras pugs, abuse, serious illness and addiction. Their headquarters, Elevation ment on social networking websites.

bulldogs and Boston terriers.

Fitness and Liddy Health Works combine to make the first ever

Rodemeyer had just started his freshman year at Williamsville North “Organic Wellness Center” services such as school, massage, High But the bullying hadwith begun during ac- pilates ASchool. few common allergens include: tree,middle grass and weed polcertification, performance enhancement chiropractic care are cording to his parents. He had told family andand friends that he had lens, mold spores, dust and house dust mites, dander, peroffered undercomments one roof.in school and online, mostly related to endured hateful fumes, cleaning products and food ingredients (e.g. beef, his sexual orientation.

UCLA Lecturer

chicken, from pork,UpLift’s corn, “Twenty wheat or11” soy). Proceeds will goConsultation towards a scholarship Free Phone On the night before his death, Rodemeyer posted a lyric from Lady at Esquared Pilates certification program to be awarded to an Clinical Psychologist PSY23470 Gaga’s song “The Queen” on his Facebook page: “Don’t forget me It often takes some detective work to find outbe what subunderprivileged parent. portion will also donated www.drphilippierce.com when I come crying tosingle heaven’s door.”A stance is causing the allergic reaction. Dogs with a food alto AIDS Project LA and Lung Cancer Awareness and to support A few hours later, Rodemeyer posted two final messagesdifficulties to his lergy will commonly have itchy skin, breathing or development of fitness programs throughout the Los Angeles area.

main public Tumblr blog. One said he really wanted to see vomiting, his great- and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and grandmother, who had recently died, and one offered thanks to an elimination diet by: willpop most probably be used toacrobat deterSpecial performances singer Derek Jameson and Lady Gaga. COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

mine what food he Vanguard. is allergic to. If your dog is specifically extraordinaire Vincent

Thatallergic was his last entry. EFFECTIVE SHORT-TERM to chicken, for example, TREATMENT you should avoid

feeding

The event will be August 19th from ISSUES 8-10 PM Nightclub COUPLES/RELATIONSHIP Lady Gaga vowed to Friday, push for a federal anti-bullying lawat to11 honor him any products containing chicken protein or fat. in West Hollywood. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the Rodemeyer’s memory. SEXUAL/PORN ADDICTION door and raffle prizes from high end salon services to personal Please note food allergies may upshe in dogs “The past days I’vethat spent reflecting, crying, andshow yelling,” tweet- at any ANXIETY, PANIC AND DEPRESSION training packages valued at over $500 will be up for grabs! 11 is age. you 14 think your dog has yourwhen veterinared to her If nearly million followers. “Itallergies is hard to visit feel love located atsomeone’s 8811 Santa Monica Blvd., inHills, Westconducting Hollywood. ian.takes After taking alife.” complete history and cruelty 9107 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 215 Beverly CA 90210 a physi-

cal examination, bebecause able toofdetermine the “Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 he yrs or old,she tookmay his life bullying. drphilippierce@gmail.com (310) 248-2335 UpLift’s Founder, Jeremy B. Manning, believes that your fitnessvet is will the source of your dog’s allergic reaction. If not, Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime.”

answer to many ofrecommend the challengesskin we or face today.tests, “Our or bodies were most probably blood a special

“I am meeting our President,” she added. “I will not stop designed to with move and when bring the fundamental nature of elimination diet, find outyou what’s thetoallergic fighting. This must end.toOur generation hascausing the power end it. reacour existence back into our daily life we back stronger as a person tion. Trend it @MakeALawForJamey.” 12 32THEFIGHT The Fight 10 The Fight The Fight FEB LAYOUT.indd 25

and as a community,” says Manning.

2/6/12 5:23 PM


“What it all really comes down to is the one simple truth that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.”

BOY, INTERRUPTED WEHO’S ELEVATION FITNESS DIRECTOR JEREMY MANNING ON ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, ADDICTION, MENTAL ILLNESS AND FINDING LOVE BY JEREMY MANNING PHOTOGRAPHY J. HORTON

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M

y mom passed away one year ago, more than 20 years after her husband. She never remarried, or even dated. My dad died when I was 9. I don’t remember much about their interaction. I have only stories of him drinking himself into a violent rage most nights and beating her whenever the urge arose. He was 20 years her senior. Previous to their marriage, he was her stepfather. When she was 16, he divorced his wife, her mother and married her, had five kids and adopted me. Growing up my family never had conversations. We had arguments that often resulted in something being smashed against the wall, someone storming out of the house or my older brother kicking the shit out of me and blaming me for it. This was how we learned to communicate. It’s all any of us ever knew.

FEAR AND DESPERATION My longest relationship lasted almost seven years and I have the scars to prove it. Like an arthritic joint that aches before a storm, the 4-inch vertical scar on my left leg itches every time I think of the butcher knife that missed its mark when my ex-boyfriend threw it at my dick. We fought like my family fought, often and violently and almost every time we made up and continued the viscous, toxic cycle of drug use and codependency. For years we’d use drugs and have sex for three days straight and fight for four. This is how we knew how to love, both being survivors of abuse, both being addicts and alcoholics. These were the bonds we shared, our abusers being our older brothers. One night I stood up for him - his brother had just gotten out of prison - and I saw him make a sexual advance toward my boyfriend at the time. The night ended with his brother holding a knife to my throat and a lot of yelling and crying. His brother was killed in a knife fight a week later and I remained in the relationship for several more years, more out of fear and desperation than love.

ENDURE FOR LOVE The best relationship I ever had was with someone I still consider to have been the love of my life. He was probably the only person I’ve ever dated who grew up in a healthy family environment and didn’t exhibit any addictive personality traits. Which is why he didn’t stick around too much longer after he found out I was cheating on him with my previous boyfriend. He could deal with my ramped alcoholism and even my illness, but even the purest of hearts have limits to what they’ll endure for love...more so, it seems. The sadness I saw in his face is still burned in my memory today and I am grateful for having learned to treat my lovers better, and myself as well. Today I find the challenges in dating to be more about dealing with my addictions and illness. I’ve added certain text to the introductory script I use when I meet a guy. “What’s your name? Where are you from? Top? Bottom? How big is your dick? Do you use drugs and how often do you drink?” These are important questions and sometimes deal breakers, depending on the response. I can’t date someone who uses drugs. That’s a hard and fast rule. I won’t even socialize with someone on a regular basis if they use hard drugs, like cocaine or meth. I definitely won’t date someone who uses. If he drinks, there have to be rules like he needs to respect my sobriety without question. No, I can’t “just control my

drinking” or “just have one” and my meeting schedule needs to be uncompromising. If I’m seeing a guy and he can’t deal with that, then he might as well be a girl because we’re not a match. Besides, as I often inform potential boyfriends or whatever, “You wouldn’t like me if I DID have a drink.”

DEFINING BOUNDARIES It’s not easy defining boundaries because temptation is everywhere. I try to surround myself with supportive people and do my best to avoid anyone who might compromise my program. Like most alcoholics and addicts, I’ve faltered time and time again. I try to remind myself that if I give in to his wants, it won’t last because once my addict rears its ugly fucking head, he won’t want me to drink with him anymore because he won’t want to be around me anymore. I mean, who would want to go out to the club with a guy who’s been in a fight in every single one in West Hollywood. Not cute and neither is the look on my face when I lose my shit in a crowded bar or the look on my ex’s faces when they see that side of me. People often seem to have misconceptions about alcoholism and addiction. They have even more misconceptions about the illness that I struggle with. I’ve had conversations with friends about “when should I tell a guy that I’m bi polar?” and most of them say “wait for as long as you can,” but even after I disclose it - most guys don’t really understand what that means until they experience some random and dramatic mood swing or irrational outburst. A lot of them seem to think I can just “snap out of it” when I’m deep in a depressive episode or that I should “just chill” when I’m manic. It’s never so simple and again I find the best method is to surround myself with unconditional support.

SURRENDER AND TRUST What it all really comes down to is the one simple truth that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. For me, I have to put my sobriety and my health before anything else or I will lose everything. I have to be unwavering when it comes to drinking or drugs and I can’t go a day without my medication. More often than not, when I’m fully committed to my program and I surrender and trust in my higher power great things happen. When I remember that my higher power is my mom and not some hot twink with a bag of dank weed, I get by just fine. While temptation is everywhere so is the love that I use to empower myself and share with those who still suffer. Because the one thing I’ve learned that rings most true in my life is that misery loves company, but love begets love and prosperity. So, I go where the love is and remember that above all else, I have to love myself first.

THEFIGHT

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or same-sex couples or single parent families, it may simply be the right time to bring a child into their life. Like many families, LGBT couples want an opportunity to share the love in their home. If you are thinking about adopting a child, Accredited Adoption Service/The Law Office of David J. Radis, has been handling adoptions since 1976, and specializes in LGBT Adoption. “When choosing adoption,” explains Radis in an interview with THE FIGHT, “the couple needs to decide what type of adoption they would like to pursue.” “With an open adoption, the birth mother and the adoptive parents are able to communicate back and forth with each other freely. The birth mother is allowed to talk and meet with the adoptive parents before she ever chooses to select them as her baby’s new family. Once the baby is born, the adoptive parents can share pictures, videos, and messages with the birth mother and vice versa. Whether or not the birth mother and child ever have regular meetings is up to the adoptive parents and mother. Coordinating with one another is recommended.” “With a semi-open adoption,” explains Radis, “the birth mother may know the adoptive parents first names, but generally not their last names or where they live. The adoptive parents will regulate communication and will determine when the birth mother can come to visit, if at all. There is much less opportunity given to the birth mother to choose when and how she communicates with the couple and her baby.” “With a closed adoption, the birth mother doesn’t get an opportunity to have future visits with the baby and sometimes, the names of the couple adopting are not disclosed. This is done to protect the new child. Some individuals choose this more aged, but traditional form of adoption because they fear that the birth mother will be incessantly calling and attempting to visit the baby once it is born.” For more information on how Accredited Adoption Service & The Law Office of David J. Radis can assist you with the adoption process call 1-800-637-2882.

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AA KEY

Targeting proteins in the host, rather than in the virus itself, has added benefits.

DISCOVERY MAY BLOCK VIRUS HIV DISCOVERY COULD ALLOW SCIENTISTS TO BLOCK VIRUS’S ENTRY INTO CELL NUCLEUS This column is sponsored by Edwin’s Prescription Pharmacy, www.edwinsrxpharmacy.com

S

cientists have found the ‘key’ that HIV uses to enter our cells’ nuclei, allowing it to disable the immune system and cause AIDS. The finding, recently published in the open access journal PLoS Pathogens, provides a potential new target for anti-AIDS drugs that could be more effective against drug-resistant strains of the virus, reports ScienceDaily at www.sciencedaily.com. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, primarily infected blood or semen. Once inside the bloodstream, the virus infects key components of the immune system, including cells known as macrophages. It works its way into the nucleus of the macrophages, where it integrates itself into the cell’s DNA, allowing it to replicate and spread throughout the body. To access the DNA, the HIV must pass through the nuclear pore complex, a gateway into the nucleus. Until now, the mechanism that allows the virus to pass through this gateway was unknown. Now, a team of scientists from UCL (University College London), the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has identified a vital component of this mechanism. A part of the virus called the capsid protein, acting like a key, binds to Nup358, a protein on the nuclear pore complex, unlocking the gateway and granting the virus access to the DNA. Professor Greg Towers, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at UCL, who led the research, says: “It’s 30 years since the

THEFIGHT

first cases of AIDS were reported, and while great progress has been made in developing and improving antiretroviral drugs for treating HIV infection, the virus often develops resistance against these drugs, making it very difficult to treat. It’s very important that we stay one step ahead with new therapeutic strategies. “In our research, we have found the ‘lock and key’ that allow HIV to enter a cell’s nucleus. Once inside, the virus can begin to replicate itself, spreading almost unchecked throughout the body. If we were able to block this entry with a drug -- in effect, to change the locks -- then we could stop this spread.” Targeting proteins in the host, rather than in the virus itself, has added benefits, explains first author Dr Torsten Schaller. “Almost all HIV treatments target the virus itself,” he says. “We know that HIV can easily evolve and change, which means that the virus can become immune to the effects of the drugs, rendering them ineffective. But if we can develop drugs which target proteins in the infected person’s body, the virus will struggle to evolve to get around this.” According to the World Health Organization, 33.3 million people were living with HIV in 2009, of which 2.6 million were newly infected. Without treatment, the virus causes potentially fatal damage to the immune system, leading to opportune infections. Deaths from AIDS-related illnesses are the third most common cause of death in low-income countries, killing around 1.8 million people a year worldwide.

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THE MORE YOU KNOW ANN ROSTOW’S TOTALLY AWESOME LGBT NEWS QUIZ

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t’s that time of year again, the time of year we look back fondly on the exciting ups and downs of our community roller coaster ride to full equality and universal respect. But how closely were you following the whacky world of gay and lesbian civil rights and wrongs? Our test will reveal your diligence, or lack thereof. As always, it was hard to isolate the most important areas for examination. The year was full of mean business people, trying to undermine our wedding days. We had the New Jersey store that refused to sell us a wedding dress, the nasty New York clerk who wouldn’t issue our marriage license, the country inn that wouldn’t host the ceremony and the Iowa bakery that declined to bake our cake. The list went on. Then, there were the harassers. Thumbs down for the guard at the Minnesota Twins ballpark, who scolded us for kissing. To hell with the Safeway clerk who used the “F” word, and the Macy’s saleswoman who wouldn’t let us use the ladies fitting room. Boos and hisses to the rude waiter at the Sizzler, the obnoxious staffer at Dollyworld, and the swimming pool manager who evicted us for touching. And let’s not forget a sneer for the security guy at the San Francisco museum who told us to stop holding hands...at a Gertrude Stein exhibit. THEFIGHT

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So, how about our naughty, and dumb, straight politicians? Who can forget the Puerto Rican senator who sent a shot of his rear end out on Grindr because he had been “dieting” and wanted to show off his new physique? How about Phillip Hinkle, the married Indiana state rep who hustled a teenager off Craigslist for a hotel tryst, using his own name? Then there was Chris Myers, the mayor of Medford, New Jersey, who promised money to a rent boy during a business trip and never followed through. The rent boy went public. Finally, I would like to raise a glass to a few people who didn’t make it into our quiz, but deserve a nod nonetheless. Let’s toast the woman who fought the state of South Carolina for the right to dangle plastic testicles from her bumper. Let’s cheer the New York teachers, who explained that they were lying half dressed in a classroom during an evening event because one of them diabetic and they were looking for candy. And bravo for the man won the right to pose for his Austrian driving license while wearing a kitchen strainer as religious headgear, in tribute to the Flying Spaghetti Monster god. Finally, God love those teenage girls, who invented the Technique of soaking tampons in vodka to avoid being caught with alcohol on their breath. Now, without further introduction, here’s our quiz!

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? 1. CHRIS BIRCH WAS NOTEWORTHY FOR:

A. Hitting his ex-lover with his car while texting: “Ha ha!” B. Turning from straight to gay after breaking his neck with a back flip and recovering from a coma. C. Killing his roommate after overdosing on Mucinex DM D. Losing his high school teaching job after authorities discovered his past as A porn star.

2. WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING RUMORS WAS REPORTED IN THE PRESS LAST YEAR:

A. Richard Nixon slept with H.R. Haldeman in the Lincoln bedroom. B. Gandhi had a sex session with several legal associates on a train trip to Calcutta. C. Osama Bin Laden asked a CIA agent how to get to Ripcord, a gay bar in Houston. D. Rick Perry spent a suspicious weekend alone in a mountain cabin with Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman.

3. ”ELTON AND DAVID” WERE:

A. Lovesick monkeys who received Valentine treats from their keepers last February. B. Penguins in the Toronto zoo who were forced to go straight to help save their sub-species. C. Deep sea squid who were observed inseminating each other because it was too dark to discern gender. D. Gay cavemen unearthed and nicknamed by archeologists in Prague who determined their sexual orientation through analyzing burial rituals.

4. FIND THE FALSE STATEMENT:

A. Hawaii, Delaware, Illinois and Rhode Island all passed civil union laws last year. B. Legal activists are suing to block a Tennessee law that bans local gay rights ordinances. C. Gay leaders in Maryland were blamed for bungling the effort to pass marriage equality, which was set to pass before being pulled off the floor at the last minute due to a shortage of votes. D. Michigan lawmakers voted to outlaw domestic partner benefits for all state employees.

5. HISTORIANS WILL SAY THAT THE HIGH POINT OF 2011 FOR LGBT RIGHTS WAS:

A. Passage of marriage rights in New York in June. B. Obama’s decision to treat sexual orientation as a protected class in litigating gay legal issues in February. C. The official end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in September. D. The State Department’s decision to tie US foreign policy to respect for LGBT rights, announced by Hillary Clinton in December.

6. RICK SANTORUM TOLD A CROWD IN IOWA THAT: A. Gays saying they’re married is like saying a paper towel is a paper napkin. It doesn’t make it so. B. Paintings of women in Tahiti by Gaugin give him the creeps. C. Gay marriages are like belly putters. They just don’t seem right. D. He had a gay friend once, but he couldn’t stand the sound he made when he chewed.

7. A SOUTHWEST AIRLINE PILOT WAS ACCUSED OF: A. Talking trash about gay flight attendants over the traffic control airwaves. B. Having a fight with French actor Gerard Depardieu, who peed in the aisle. C. Telling “The L Word” actress, Leisha Hailey, to stop kissing her girlfriend. D. Using the “F” word to two men who insisted on free drinks.

8. THE “TOP CHEF” AWARD FOR LAST YEAR GOES TO: A. Zambian natives who eat dead mice as appetizers, and use the dried tails to stir their cocktails. B. The folks in Columbus, Missouri, who sold ice cream made of chocolate and dead locusts from their back yards. C. The Russian cannibal who butchered a man in his tub and made sausages and meatballs from his torso. D. The Indiana grocery store clerk who ejaculated into the free yogurt samples.

9. NOTABLE FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT VICTORIES LAST YEAR INCLUDED WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING: A. A 7th Circuit ruling in favor of Walmart, who fired a homophobic employee. B. An 11th Circuit ruling in favor of a Georgia transwoman, who was fired for transitioning on the job. C. A 9th Circuit ruling in favor of Arizona gay state employees, who lost benefits in a so-called “cost cutting” move. D. A 5th Circuit ruling in favor of two men who required a revised birth certificate for their adopted son.

10. WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING FACTS FROM LAST YEAR’S COLUMNS IS INACCURATE: A. One out of every 200 men alive today is related to Ghengis Kahn. B. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker once worked as a farrier. C. Flamingos carry a small amount of pink dye for feather touchups in a little sac near their anuses. D. Lesbians earn a reported 6 percent more than their straight sisters.

ANSWERS

1. B. Chris, who dropped weight and became a hairdresser after the accident, is not to be confused with stalker Craig Munro of Ipswich, a Brisbane suburb, who nailed his ex in a parking lot. The Mucinex killer was Michael Anderson of Hickory, North Carolina, and I forget the name of the Florida porn entrepreneur who lost his public school job when his XXX background came to light. 2. C. Actually, it was a “Reagan aide” who was having dinner with the late terrorist, not a CIA agent. As for Nixon, he allegedly had something going with mob banker Bebe Rebozo, while a Gandhi bio was condemned for implying that the iconic civil Rights leader did, um, something bad. I made up the bit about Perry and Aikman. Although, you never know. 3. A. These spider monkeys live in Staffordshire, I think. The Toronto penguins were named Pedro and Buddy. The omni sexual squid never had names that we knew of. And there was only one gay caveman, not two. 4. D. Michigan’s law did not apply to all state government or university employees, just every city and county public worker as well as teachers. All the other examples are factual. 5. B. Absolutely, no contest. This list goes to show that it was a pretty incredible year. But people still underestimate the power of having the federal government essentially announce that it will back GLB rights in every constitutional case, period. This decision will be a turning point in GLBT history for sure. 6. A. Maybe it was vice versa with the napkins and towels. There was a woman who attacked a Gauguin painting in homophobic fury. Donald Trump made the comment about the belly putter. And I read a Science Times article that said some people hate chewing noises. 7. A. I think he had to apologize. Depardieu peed during a City Jet flight from Paris to Dublin. Leisha Hailey and her GF were told that Southwest is a “family” airline and proceeded to have a justifiable fit. And two guys were called fags by a United staffer who wouldn’t let them in the VIP lounge. 8. D. I think you have to give it to the grocery clerk, but I suppose any answer can be considered correct. 9. A, B & C. The full 5thCircuit ruled against us in the birth certificate case and the Supreme Court refused to take review. The three victories are a few of many excellent State and federal court decisions in our favor last year. 10. B. It was actually Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee who once worked as a farrier. Interesting. Sort of. It’s a blacksmith, Silly. Don’t you love the flamingo sac concept?

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OPTIONS COSMETIC FOR MEN LOS ANGELES BASED DOCTORS ON COMMON SURGICAL PROCEDURES AND NON-INVASIVE TREATMENTS FOR MEN

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ome of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures for men, according to Dr. Sarmela Sunder, are rhinoplasty (nose job), liposuction under the neck, blepharoplasty (removal of lower eyelid bags or excess upper eyelid skin) and chin implants. A rhinoplasty is usually a 2-3 hour procedure where one’s nose is reshaped. Popular requests include removing a hump, making the tip of the nose less round (or bulbous), making a nose smaller and making a nose straighter. Some men are dissatisfied with the appearance of their necks and the area under the chin. If this region looks full and has an unwanted amount of fat, a good option, says Dr. Sunder, is to perform liposuction in order to contour it so that there is a better angle. In some people, there is not much fat under the chin, but there is loose skin and muscle of the neck. This situation requires a neck lift. Oftentimes, some men want their jowls addressed at

the same time as the loose skin of the neck. In this case, a lower facelift can tighten the skin of the lower face and neck. Blepharoplasty, or an “eyelid lift” is another popular procedure for men with bags under their eyes. Any extra skin and fat under the eye can be removed by performing a lower blepharoplasty. Some men also have sagging skin of the upper eyelids, which can be easily removed with an upper blepharoplasty. Chin implants are a popular option for men who have a small chin or men who have a round chin and want a chin that is more angular or square, says Dr. Sunder. The procedure takes approximately 2 hours. The incision can be placed inside the mouth or under the chin. Many men prefer the non-invasive treatments, incurring the least amount of downtime. The most common non-surgical facial plastic surgery aesthetic procedures for men, reveals Dr. Michael A. Persky, are:

BOTOX AND FILLERS Botox and fillers, including Juvederm, Restylane, and Sculptra. Botox is most commonly used for crow’s feet and the vertical “11” lines between the eyebrows. Restylane fills the “tired” hollowness beneath the lower eyelids. Juvederm is used for laugh lines, marionette lines, and in some men, lips.

ULTHERAPY Ultherapy ses ultrasound energy to lift and tighten lax muscles and skin of the face, eyebrows, and neck.

COOLSCULPTING Coolsculpting freezes unwanted bulges of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise with no downtime. A “suction cup” like handpiece is placed on the abdomen or love handle, and the subcutaneous fat is frozen for one hour. It usually takes from 3 to 8 weeks to see obvious improvement, but the results continue to improve over 4 months.

FRAXEL LASER SKIN REJUVENATION This is the most effective tool in the treatment of acne scars (Fraxel Repair), and brown spots (Fraxel Dual), as well as overall facial rejuvenation. The Fraxel Repair Lite treatment is very popular with men who wish for their skin to look radiant for that special occasion, be it on the Red carpet or not.

INTRACEUTICAL OXYGEN INFUSION FACIALS One of Madonna’s beauty secrets. The treatment results in a youthful glow to men’s skin. For more info on the treatments mentioned in this article contact Persky Sunder Plastic Surgery at: 818-501-3223 or visit these websites: www.drpersky.com, www.lafacialsurgeon.com

THEFIGHT

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W

IWHAT AM I AM

COUNSEL FOR THE BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVOCACY GROUP OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CLAIMS THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION DOES NOT QUALIFY AS AN IMMUTABLE CHARACTERISTIC BY ZINNIA JONES

THEFIGHT

hat does it mean to say that being gay is a “choice?” This particular claim is often the focus of arguments that ultimately prove to be aimless, tired and irrelevant. It’s not uncommon for it to be used as some kind of accusation, as though its truth would de-legitimize homosexuality itself. Of course, the natural rejoinder is that being gay is as much of a choice as being straight - if one is a choice, then the other must be as well. At this point, something very revealing happens: Some people will insist that they were in fact born straight, and that this is not a choice. Clearly, these do not have to be mutually exclusive. And for something like homosexuality to be “a choice” requires that alternatives must exist to choose from. If there’s only one option, then making any kind of choice is impossible. So what exactly is going on here? Do people even know what they’re talking about? While the role of volition in sexual orientation may be limited in its ethical implications, the legal consequences of this idea could have a significant impact on gay people. Last year, the Department of Justice announced that it would no longer be defending Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. In response, the Bipartisan Legal Advocacy Group of the House of Representatives appointed outside counsel to defend the law. In a brief filed a few months ago, their counsel claims that sexual orientation does not qualify as an immutable characteristic, which is one of the factors in whether laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation are required to pass a higher standard of judicial scrutiny. Their filing cites various statements that “individuals have reported changes in their sexual orientation in midlife,” that 50% of respondents to a study “had changed their identity label more than once since first relinquishing their heterosexual identity,” that “more than 12% of self-identified gay men and nearly one out of three lesbians reported that they experienced some or much choice about their sexual orientation”, and that “homosexuality is primarily behavioral in nature”. To determine whether sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic, and whether being gay is indeed a matter of choice, it’s important to understand what it actually means to be gay. In their efforts to show that homosexuality is not immutable, the defendants have confused three separate aspects of sexuality: sexual ori-

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entation, sexual identity, and sexual behavior. These characteristics are not interchangeable, and treating behavior and self-identification as equivalent to orientation is a mistake. Sexual behavior, being voluntary, is obviously a matter of choice, but it is not reliably indicative of sexual orientation itself. Gay people having been in prior relationships with opposite-sex partners does not mean that they are actually any less gay, or that they weren’t gay before. Conversely, straight men in prison who choose to have sex with other men are not gay in their orientation, and almost always resume a pattern of heterosexual behavior upon their release. Bisexual people are not constantly in transit between being gay or straight depending on the gender of their partner at any given time - they remain bisexual throughout, whether their behavior is homosexual or heterosexual. And people who are celibate do not cease to be gay, straight or bisexual - their lack of sexual behavior does not translate to a lack of sexual orientation. People’s behavior can vary independently of their actual orientation. Likewise, self-identification does not always correlate with sexual orientation. Gay people may identify as straight earlier in their lives prior to coming out, or later in their lives without ever coming out, but this doesn’t mean they’re not gay. People who are to some degree bisexual may identify as gay or straight for personal or political reasons, for the sake of simplicity, or because they feel it describes them more accurately. But however they identify, this doesn’t alter the reality of their orientation. 50% of a sample reporting that their own self-ascribed identity has changed does not mean that their actual orientation which is the subject of such labels must have changed as well. Nor does the failure to switch one’s chosen identity mean that one’s underlying orientation has remained completely static. And even if self-identification were to be considered identical to sexual orientation, this would leave another 50% who did not report such changes. Indeed, the study cited in the filing showed that an overwhelming majority of the 89 participants reported either no change in their identity, or a switch between identifying as lesbian or bisexual. In other words, their samesex attractions were a persistent feature. Sexual orientation itself can sometimes be a fluid characteristic for some individuals, and it can shift throughout the course of their lifetime. But this is the result of an involuntary process, and it does not mean that their actual orientation is subject to conscious choice. It’s intuitively obvious even to straight people that your own fundamental sexual desires are not something that can be deliberately rewritten at a whim. Even if they do change over time, our higher-order desires about what we wish for them to be are unlikely to have any impact on what they actually are. And if 12% of gay men and a third of lesbians claim to have experienced some degree of choice about their orientation, this would still leave 88% of gay men and two thirds of lesbians who do not consider it a choice. If simple self-reporting is to be taken as definitive here, this leaves a strong majority of gay people for whom their sexuality is not a matter of choice. So what does this mean for the question of whether sexual orientation is immutable? First, courts must take care to distinguish orientation from identity and behavior. Second, there may not be a simple yes-or-no answer to this. While many peo-

ple do have an unchanging and unalterable sexual orientation, others claim that theirs is voluntary and fluid. For some people it is immutable, and for some people it is not. As a result, sexual orientation itself does not appear to be something that can be neatly classified as mutable or immutable. If immutability is a key factor that the level of judicial scrutiny hinges upon, then people who could be considered sexually “invariant” would receive a stronger degree of protection from discrimination than people who are sexually “variant”. Essentially, only some gay people would be “gay enough” to qualify as a suspect class, while other gay people would still be fair game for discrimination on the off chance that they might revert to heterosexuality in the future. Implementing such a distinction in practice, especially for legal purposes, would probably not be easy. It would also be very unreasonable in its consequences. What sense would it make to say that same-sex marriage is only a right for some people, just because they have no realistic alternative? Why is discrimination based on sexual orientation any more permissible when applied to some people but not others? Given that, for many gay people, their orientation is indeed immutable, discriminating against gay people as a whole is hardly justifiable merely because some of them might have had an alternative. Multiracial people may have the option of “passing” or identifying as any of their constituent ethnicities, but this does not exclude them from protections against racial discrimination, nor does it mean that race itself is no longer considered a suspect class. Interracial marriage is obviously a choice, and not an immutable characteristic - after all, interracial partners are fully capable of marrying someone of their own race. Yet discrimination on this basis is still prohibited. Straight people have sometimes been

“Sexual orientation... can sometimes be a fluid characteristic for some individuals, and it can shift throughout the course of their lifetime. But this is the result of an involuntary process, and it does not mean that their actual orientation is subject to conscious choice.” known to come out as gay, but nobody would consider it acceptable to expect that straight people should simply wait until their orientation can accommodate a same-sex partner before they’re allowed to marry. Given that most of them are unlikely to experience such a change, imposing this on all of them would make no sense whatsoever. Calling sexual orientation mutable is simply not correct, yet calling it immutable would also not be correct. But when the only other possibilities are falsely regarding everyone’s orientation as mutable when it most commonly is not, or instituting an unprecedented and impractical system of distinguishing between people whose orientation is stable or unstable, the best and most viable option would be to treat sexual orientation as an immutable characteristic in practice. This recognizes the fact that orientation is most often an unchanging feature, and rarely is it under voluntary control. Anything less would be contrary to fact, inconsistent in its treatment of individuals, and would impose an undue burden upon people by requiring that they alter their sexual orientation in order to enjoy the same rights as everyone else. For the purposes of law, the most realistic choice is that being gay is really no choice at all. Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at : www.zinniajones.com/blog

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SOCIAL GROUP EXCLUSIVELY FOR SINGLE GAY MEN WITH ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION IN STUDIO CITY

A

BY DENNIS BOGORAD

unique social gathering for single gay men with erectile dysfunction will take place on the evening of Saturday, March 10, at a private home in Studio City. This confidential evening will offer single gay men with ED a chance to meet others like themselves; men who may be interested in dating, falling in love, or just becoming friends. There are thousands of single gay men in Los Angeles experiencing the permanent inability to obtain or maintain an erection. This inability can be caused from a multiple of reasons, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, antidepressants, prostate issues, physical injury, aging, and more. Many ED sufferers feel they cannot attract a boy friend, life partner, husband, or even a sex buddy, because their equipment doesn’t work properly. These men reluctantly resign themselves to a life of loneliness without love, tenderness, or sex. They’ve concluded they can’t attract a sympathetic partner who is interested in them as a whole person or even simply a hot sex partner. Additionally, they don’t know where to look. Now they have a chance to turn their lives around in a relaxed, supportive, non-judgmental environment. Single gay men interested in attending this first ever event can request a confidential application (no last names necessary) to be prescreened to make sure all men attending actually qualify. To the best of our ability all men attending the event will be pre-qualify as single gay men with Erectile Dysfunction. Naturally, the evening will be a closed and confidential. If interested in attending, please email dennis@malecare.org. A short questionnaire will be e-mailed to you. Fill it out and send it back. For those qualifying, event invitation will start going out by the third week in February. This first time event will be limited to 30 men. Single Gay Men with ED Only! This event will be free and is held under the sponsorship of CMG (California Men’s Gathering) Malecare/ and Cancer Support Community. For more info please email dennis@malecare.org

More than 2 million American men are currently living with prostate cancer

240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 33,720 men will die from it this year

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Identifying prostate cancer with different "shades" of blue enables people to connect with others in their category and find information relevant to their particular situation more easily. Visit our Blue Community at www.pcribc.org or call our Helpline at 800.641.PCRI for more information.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute is a charitable, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of men’s lives by supporting research and disseminating information that educates and empowers patients, families and the medical community. A patient who understands his disease and his treatment options is empowered to communicate more effectively with his physicians and obtain a better outcome. PCRI provides many communications tools to accomplish this mission.

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COMPILED BY F.E. CORNEJO

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19 LAGLC’S HOLLYWOOD RUSH Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. 8th St., Los Angeles. Sunday, 7pm. More info: hollywoodrush. orgWriters, directors, and actors come together to write, rehearse and ultimately perform in 10 minute plays before a live audience, all within the same day! Benefits The Baby Dragon Fund, which fuels essential programs at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 AMIR LEVI: CLOSER TO MYSELF Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, 1755 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. Wednesday 8:30pm. More info: www.theamirlevi.com. $5 - $15. A collection of songs that touch on the different men Levi has loved and lost in his search for Mr. Right. Musically Directed and Accompanied by Anthony Starble.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 APLA’S THE ENVELOPE PLEASE: 11TH ANNUAL OSCAR™ VIEWING PARTY The Abbey Food & Bar, 692 North Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood. Sunday 4pm. More info: 866-679-0958 or www.apla.org

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 LAGLC’S A TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN AUTHORS The Renberg Theatre, Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles. Thursday, 7:30pm. More info: www.laglc.org. Free. Hosted by actress KIM COLES, renowned African American actors explore the richness and celebrate the contributions of great African American writers.

FRIDAY. FEBRUARY 17

One of Hollywood’s hottest black tie parties, this annual event features cocktails, dinner, and Oscar viewing on plasma TVs. 4 - 5 p.m. VIP cocktail reception, 5 p.m. Seated dinner and live Oscar telecast.

FRIDAY, MARCH 2 MISS COCO PERU: THERE COMES A TIME The Renberg Theatre, Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles. Friday & Saturday 8 p.m, Sunday 7 p.m. More info: 323860-7300 or www.laglc.org. $25 Drag star Miss Coco Peru is returning to the Center’s Renberg Theatre for one-weekend-only encore performance of her smash show.

MX JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND: LOW DOUBLE STANDARDS REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., Los Angeles. Feb. 17 – Feb. 19. More Info: 213-237-2800 or www.redcat.org

SATURDAY, MARCH 3

Mx Justin Vivian Bond takes the stage with a hilarious, heart-wrenching cabaret show.

Event to empower and encourage the message of loving one another and saving lives in communities that continue to lose lives to the HIV/AIDS global epidemic.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 LAGLC’S THE MISMATCH GAME The Renberg Theatre, Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles. Saturday 8pm, Sunday 7pm. More info: 323860-7300 or www.laglc.org/theatre. $15

LOVE IS THE MESSAGE BALL LA DESIGN CENTER, 5955 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles. Saturday 9pm. More info: www.myblackpridela.com/pridevents

TUESDAY, MARCH 6 PRINCES OF PASADENA CHARITY NIGHT Pop Champagne & Dessert Bar, 33 E. Union St., Pasadena. Tuesday, 7pm. No Cover. More info: www.princesofpasadena.org.

A high-wire act of lightning improvisation, performed by some of LA’s fastest and most demented comic minds. Updated cast lists at www.lagaycenter.org/ theatre.

Fundraiser celebration of LGBT allies and supporters. Proceeds will benefit the Greater Pasadena Aid Fund.

IAN MACKINNON’S GAY HIST-ORGY! PART 1 & 2 Moving Arts Hyperion Station, 1822 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles. Saturdays, Feb: 18, 25 & March: 3, 10, 17, 24 at 8pm. More info: www. gayhistory.com. $20 general, $15

HRC LOS ANGELES GALA DINNER Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott L.A. Live, 900 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Saturday 6pm. More info: www.hrcladinner.com. Regular Rate: $275, VIP Ticket: $400.

Bringing the past to life by tracing the history of gay people in new ways never before seen on stage.

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SATURDAY, MARCH 17

The event will raise money for the local and global efforts that HRC makes on behalf of the LGBT community.

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

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Better Workshop can help you learn coping skills, build a support system, and work toward your health goals. An RSVP is required. For more information or to reserve your place, call 323-860-7321. The e-mail contact is positiveimages@ lagaycenter.org. TRANSGENDER PERCEPTIONS Every Friday, 8pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323860-7302 M-F between 6-9pm. Social networking group offers a safe and welcoming opportunity for people of any age and gender identity to learn from others and to share experiences. GET CENTERED Meditation Class, Every Saturday, 1011am, $10. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7300 SENIORS SERVICES Ongoing, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7359. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT Ongoing, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-5806. MPOWERMENT WEEKLY WORKSHOPS Tuesdays and fridays, 6pm. Apla, 3550 wilshire blvd, suite 300, los angeles. More info: donta morrison, tel: 213.201.1561 For young gay men of color -- ages 18 thru 24 -- looking for a safe place to hang out. “Each week offers a great opportunity to vent, laugh, make friends, and simply celebrate who you are.” SUPPORT FOR HIV-POSITIVE WOMEN Second and fourth wednesdays, 7pm. The david geffen center, 611 south kingsley drive, los angeles. More info: call women at risk at 310-204-1046. SOCAL SOCIAL CLUB: For more info: www.Socalsocialclub.Com Southern california’s social & business network for lgbt professionals

12 STEP GROUPS All groups meet at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7302 M-F between 6-9pm. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mondays, 6:10-7:10 p.m.

CRYSTAL METH ANONYMOUS Saturdays, 9:10-10:10 a.m. DEBTORS ANONYMOUS Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. MARIJUANA ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 8:15-9:45 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. SEXUAL COMPULSIVES ANONYMOUS Mondays, 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 p.m. Saturdays, 12:15-1:45 p.m. WOMEN’S NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Saturdays, Noon-1 p.m.

SPORTS LOS ANGELES LESBIAN SOFTBALL www.lagaysoftball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN TACKLE FOOTBALL www.californiaquakefootball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN RUGBY http://www.eaglerockrugby.com WOMEN’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF www.womensgolf.org/wscga LOS ANGELES LESBIAN POKER http://www.lalpg.com LOS ANGELES WOMEN ON A ROLL Luncheons, Comedy Nights, and Conversation Groups. www.womenonaroll.com LOS ANGELES GAY RODEO CLUB www.gsgra.org LOS ANGELES GAY FLAG FOOTBALL http://www.laflagfootball.com There’s also lesbian tackle football. WEST HOLLYWOOD GAY RUGBY www.larebellion.org LOS ANGELES POOL LEAGUE Friendly Billiard teams www.lapl8ball.com GAY & LESBIAN BOWLING LEAGUE www.tavernguildleague.com SAGA LA Gay Ski & Snowboard Club www.sagala.org V.O.I.L.A. Volleyball www.lagayvolleyball.com GREAT OUTDOORS The largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California.

www.greatoutdoorsla.org GAY AND LESBIAN SIERRANS Camping, Outdoors, Hiking angeles.sierraclub.org CHEER LA Cheerleading www.cheerla.org LA ROWING www.larowing.org DIFFERENT SPOKES Cycling www.differentspokes.com Rides start in various locations in the greater Los Angeles area. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLADES Ice Hockey www.bladeshockey.com LOS ANGELES FRONTRUNNERS Running and walking club www.lafrontrunners.com WEST HOLLYWOOD SOCCER CLUB www.gaysoccer.com Comfortable, supportive environment for learning and playing the world’s most popular game. LOS ANGELES GAY SCUBA CLUB www.barnaclebusters.org LOS ANGELES GAY ROCK CLIMBING www.lalgbtclimbing.com WEST HOLLYWOOD AQUATICS Swim and Water Polo Teams www.wh2o.org

WORSHIP METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH mccla.org 4953 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027 BETH CHAYIM CHADASHIM SYNAGOGUE bcc-la.org 6090 West Pico Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90035 KOL AMI REFORM SYNAGOGUE kol-ami.org 1200 North La Brea Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90038 FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES fccla.org 540 South Commonwealth Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90020 HOLLYWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH hollywoodumc.org 6817 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90028 HOLY SPIRIT

holyspirit-la.org 4201 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90029 UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH uniteduniversitychurch.org 817 West 34th St Los Angeles, CA 90089 DIGNITY CENTER dignitylosangeles.org 126 South Avenue 64 Los Angeles, CA 90042 HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH-HLYWD hopelutheranchurch.net 6720 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038 WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESBYTERIAN wehopres.org 7350 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046 MOUNT HOLLYWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH mthollywood.org 4607 Prospect Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027 IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH immanuelpres.org 3300 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90010 ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stmatthewsnoho.org 11031 Camarillo St. North Hollywood, CA 91602 CHRIST CHAPEL OF THE VALLEY christchapel.com 11050 Hartsook Street North Hollywood, CA 91601 ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stpaulssm.org 958 Lincoln Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90403 ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY stmonica.net 725 California Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90403 WEHO CHURCH wehochurch.com 916 N. Formosa Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90046 ST. VICTOR’S CATHOLIC CHURCH saintvictor.org 8634 Holloway Drive West Hollywood, California 90069 ST. LUKE LUTHERAN stlukelutheran.com 5312 Comercio Way Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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Both right-wing Christians and more liberal individuals refer to Jesus by name, but the characters they envision are so dissimilar, they can scarcely be said to be talking about the same person.

WWJD

CHALLENGING INTOLERANT CHRISTIANS WITH THE IDEA OF AN ALL-LOVING JESUS DOESN’T GET YOU VERY FAR - THEY SIMPLY DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO THAT CONCEPT

W

BY ZINNIA JONES

henever a self-proclaimed Christian says or does something that’s particularly ignorant, hateful or inhumane, it can be pretty tempting to reply: “So that’s what Jesus would do?” I know I’ve done it before. It’s quite a satisfying thing to say, isn’t it? In just a few simple words, you can shock them with the revelation that they themselves have failed to act in accordance with the will of their own divine leader. It really should be rather crushing. Yet for all of its succinct elegance, this particular point usually seems to fail at actually changing anyone’s mind. Why? I suspect it’s because this just isn’t a very good argument after all. As is often the case, my mistake became obvious to me once I saw someone else committing the same error. In an open letter to the family who disowned them, a certain blogger asked why they would accept a savior who spent his time in the company of tax collectors, prostitutes, outcasts and sinners, while rejecting their own child for being transgender, homeless, a sex worker, and addicted to drugs. While their family’s decision to abandon them is appalling, this ques-

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tion immediately shifted my perspective on this sort of argument, and made the situation quite a bit clearer. As a desperate plea for humanity to people who lack all semblance of it, it’s certainly understandable in its motivations, but nevertheless unlikely to be effective. Here’s why: Both right-wing Christians and more liberal individuals who make this argument are referring to Jesus by name, but the characters they envision are so dissimilar, they can scarcely be said to be talking about the same person. While people who ask these Christians why they’re not acting more like Jesus may see him as preaching a message of universal love, radical inclusion, social justice, economic equality and non-aggression, the Christians they’re addressing are more likely to view Jesus as judgmental, intolerant, narrowly dogmatic, homophobic, obsessed with chastity, and only merciful and loving in a way that can somehow be expressed by eternal torture. If we hadn’t been explicitly told that the individuals described here are actually supposed to be the same person, we probably wouldn’t come to that conclusion on our own. In this area of dispute, people are using the name “Jesus” to express two distinctly different notions. That’s

why challenging intolerant Christians with the idea of an all-loving Jesus doesn’t get you very far - they simply don’t subscribe to that concept. It fails to reveal any kind of hypocrisy on their part, because they aren’t actually being hypocritical. Subsequently, this often tends to become an argument about what kind of person the historical Jesus really was, and whose characterization of Jesus is more accurate. Taking the discussion in this direction would be a serious mistake, because it only serves to validate the assumption that this should matter. If we did try to tackle this on a theological level, simple claims like “Jesus loved everyone” and “Jesus hung out with sinners” would likely be met with a plethora of detailed rebuttals. Misguided as they may be, Christian apologists have had plenty of time to practice and refine their tactics. But no matter who’s correct about what Jesus really meant to say - assuming this can even be decisively resolved - it still doesn’t mean that his message possesses any exceptional force to determine what’s right and wrong.

Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: www.zinniajones.com/blog

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THE FIGHT LGBT MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2012  

THE FIGHT, LOS ANGELES' PREMIER LGBT MONTHLY NEWS MAGAZINE

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