PHOTO BY ERIC SELLERS
PQMONTHLY.COM Vol. 3 No. 4 April-May 2014
Inside: A Tale of Four Commissionersâ€”By Byron Beck, Caroline Cossley, Red Dress, Tom Spanbauer, Portland Fashion Week, all things Marriage, Columns, & Much More!
2 â€˘ April/May 2014
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GOING TO THE CHAPEL—OF GRACE These are exciting times, aren’t they? Sometimes it feels like we have the wind at our backs and it’s nothing but full steam ahead—marriage seems to be an inevitable reality, and in this issue we settle in and celebrate that reality. We’ve packed our pages with (all queer or queer-friendly) planners, vendors, music-makers (you can’t forget the reception), and stories you won’t find anywhere else. Like Byron Beck’s interview with the four county commissioners who sacrificed their political careers to do the right thing—it’s the first time they’ve interviewed together since that momentous time. You’ll also find my interview with Roey Thorpe, who headed Basic Rights Oregon back then—she and I look at the value of hindsight and aim to put the whole thing in perspective for you. We have engagement stories, wedding stories, and perhaps the most beautiful queer wedding shoot on the planet. (Or at least in the city.) In addition to this extra wedding content, you have all the news and perspectives you’ve come to expect from PQ Monthly—a sampling of the many, many voices and opinions held and shared throughout our community. Speaking of opinions, let’s talk for a moment about the PQ’s Nick Mattos, Andrew Edwards, and Daniel Borgen show off some recent Red Dress looks. (Page 37) ways we share them—and I’m checking myself here as much as anyone else. Much has been said about Equity Foundation accepting sonder reminds us that “every person is living a life as complex and vivid the $1000 donation from the owners of the soon-to-be opened Moreland as our own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worMarket (read that recap on page 29), and it’s made something abundantly ries, and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around clear: sometimes we just don’t know how to talk to each other. And I really you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which wonder if we’ll ever know how to disagree without being disagreeable? We have so many forces and voices trying to suppress us—so many you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, groups and people who’d like to put us back in the closet and make us shut as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” What am I trying to say? Express your opinions, absolutely. Share your the hell up. They do a good enough job without us piling on to the heap of point of view. Write a letter to the editor. Write an email to the Board of rancor and divisiveness dominating our national discourse. Here’s what Directors expressing your profound disappointment. Do all of those things, we’re asking of you—because we ask it of ourselves: do try to assume posjust don’t let this new age of social media rob you of your grace. Because itive intent whenever you can. For the most part, we’re all doing the best we can—and every disagreement or difference of opinion isn’t a vast con- the world can use all the grace it can get—and we probably have a discrimination measure to fight later this year. spiracy meant to rile you up. --Daniel Borgen A few years ago, an ex of mine introduced me to the concept of “sonder”—
A SMATTERING OF WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE:
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A tale of four county commissioners...............................................................................Page 5 The rationale behind issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses in 2004...Page 6
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Marriage and complacency in the age of assimilation................................................Page 10
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TJ Acena, Ben Burwitz, Belinda Carroll, Marco Davis, Gula Delgatto, Andrew Edwards, Leela Ginelle, Kim Hoffman, Shaley Howard, Konrad Juengling, Richard Jones, LeAnn Locher, Monika MHz, Miss Renee, Katey Pants, and, of course, your PQ Editorial Team
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The most important festival you’re probably not attending: QDoc.............................Page 22
PHOTO BY ERIC SELLERS
Our inspiration was all things Vera Wang and Vanity Fair—and for the shoot we picked the exquisite Elysian Ballroom, and it photographed beautifully. Queers are marrying and we’re marrying in style. Styling by Ryan Sager, Photo by Eric Sellers. Hair and makeup by Michael Talley and Eric Sellers. Dresses provided by Xtabay and suits by Duchess Clothiers. Outtakes and additional business info on page 19.
Bond girl, Playboy model, transwoman Caroline Cossley............................................Page 25 What we know (so far) about Moreland Market............................................................Page 29 Tom Spanbauer on writing, longing, and living dangerously........................................Page 34 Put on your Red Dress and dance for a cause..............................................................Page 37 Plus: Portland Fashion Week, BRO and trans justice, Style Deconstructed, Turn a Look, news briefs, business briefs, and much more. Columns include ID Check, Everything is Connected, The Bi Line, The Lady Chronicles, Cultivating Life, OK Here’s the Deal, and Whiskey and Sympathy. Love (or don’t) what you’re seeing? Email Daniel@PQMonthly.com
April/May 2014 • 3
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4 • April/May 2014
“GIVEN TIME, I AM CONFIDENT ATTITUDES WILL SHIFT” –LISA NAITO, 2004
Lots of people captured on film the moments that made 2004 special. Photos here and on page 6 are from Basic Rights Oregon’s archives. Editor’s note: PQ Monthly interviews former Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn and Commissioners Lisa Naito, Serena Cruz Walsh and Maria Rojo de Steffey—who answer questions together for the first time since 2004. By Byron Beck, Special to PQ Monthly
On Monday, March 8, 2004, Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito issued a press release that included the following statement: “I will not permit my staff and the people that work for me to be verbally harassed by the hateful and vulgar words of those who oppose Multnomah County’s new policy to legitimately issue marriage licenses to same sex couples as required by the Oregon Constitution. We have received personal threats that no one should have to tolerate.” At the time Naito, her fellow commissioners, Serena Cruz Walsh, Maria Rojo de Steffey and Chair Diane Linn—and several employees of Multnomah County—were on the receiving end of obscene and abusive phone calls and emails that resulted from the County’s decision to comply with the Oregon Constitution by issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Said Naito at the time: “I understand and appreciate that the idea of marriage between two people of the same sex may make some uncomfortable; the pace of events may also be unsettling. Given time, I am confident attitudes will shift. In the meantime, my office will continue to welcome all genuine views regarding same sex marriage from the constituents I am elected to serve.” Flash forward to April 2014. Oregon is on the verge of allowing same-sex marriages to be performed in this state and Naito’s comment that “given time, attitudes will shift” almost seems to have been prophecy. But it came at a price both personally and professionally for these four women—who were amongst the first elected officials in the country to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. PQ Monthly reached out to the former Multnomah County Commissioners and asked them to share their thoughts on the eve of this momentous occasion. Here’s what they had to say: PQ Monthly: Did you ever think it would take an entire decade for same-sex marriages to become reality in Oregon? That is if the court rules in favor of it? Diane Linn: I didn’t think we’d see true marriage equity in my life time, until the line around the Multnomah Building put a face on the number of families, relationships, kids and supporters. They wanted equal treatment—then I thought it was possible, but until every state gets there, there is still work to be done. Lisa Naito: I recall knowing at the time the court ruled against Multnomah County that our actions were on the right side of history, but I never imagined this amount of time would pass before marriage equality would finally become legal in Oregon. Serena Cruz Walsh: I always believed the arguments against equal marriage were nonexistent, so I am surprised it took 10 years to be on the verge of equal marriage in Oregon. On the other hand, since there were no rational arguments to oppose the right to marry, it really was an issue of prejudice against gays and lesbians. Seen from that lens, it is thrilling that it only took ten years. Racial and ethnic civil rights movements have taken many more years to see the same kind of advances. It makes me very glad that couples don’t have to wait much longer to marry whomever they love. pqmonthly.com
Maria Rojo de Steffey: Yes, actually after it was shot down in Oregon, I realized it would take some time. But, after it became legal in so many other states, I knew we could get there eventually. PQ: What has it been like for you to watch other states allow same-sex marriage before Oregon? Cruz Walsh: It breaks my heart to watch this right appear on a stateby-state basis. People who love each other are the same whether they are from Oregon or from Utah. Everyone deserves the right to marry wherever they may live. Though I do celebrate each step toward equal marriage, my happiest day will be the day when all Americans have secured this right. Naito: I have been cheering and celebrating each state’s victory for equality! Rojo de Steffey: Of course it makes me happy to watch it happen in other states but sad that we had an incredible opportunity to be the first. Linn: It’s been exhilarating to watch other states pass laws, measures and accept judicial decisions that embrace marriage equality. The best experience for me was New York because of the bi-partisan way they won the support in the legislature. We could have benefited from their experience here—but it was a different time and place. I wish Oregon could have been at the forefront of the formal change but that’s not how it worked out. Has the issue of same-sex marriage in Multnomah County been a defining moment in your career? If so, how? Naito: The backlash against us from those opposing equality pretty much ended any future we may have had in higher elective offices. I recall that right after Multnomah County began issuing same sex marriage licenses, The Oregonian called us “unfit for public office.” All our work in other areas was ignored; areas such as criminal justice reform, mental health care services, early childhood, services for elders and affordable housing. Linn: The same sex marriage decision/announcement was definitely a defining moment in my career —extremely dynamic—classic case of best of times and worst of times. I was so happy for the community of people who celebrated and so excited about the progress it represented. At the same time, it was devastating to realize that the moderate middle that I thought did believe in equity wasn’t ready and blamed their discomfort on “the process.” And the media was brutal. It has taken me years to recover from the impact of that period including having to leave town for six years and completely rebuild my professional (and personal) life. Still I wouldn’t have made a different choice. Cruz Walsh: When I lost my race for City Council in 2002, I settled back into my second term at the County. I was grateful that I was still in office and continued to have the opportunity to contribute at a government that I loved. All of that changed the day we issued the marriage licenses—I knew I was in the right place at the right time. Yes, issuing marriage licenses as a Multnomah County Commissioner was a defining moment in my career. It, by far, had the biggest impact of any issue that I worked on and though the actual marriages did not last long, I know that our efforts were a key part of the overall effort to secure equal marriage in Oregon. I will forever by proud of my colleagues and my involvement in the movement. Rojo de Steffey: Yes, when I think back to all the things that I was able to accomplish, they all fall after the joy and excitement that I experienced with all the couple that were married in 2004. I knew it was the right thing to do and that we (the commissioners) were on the right side of history. LISA NAITO page 6
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There are two cases in federal court challenging Oregon’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. In both cases, the plaintiffs filed their motions for summary judgment—that is, legal arguments asking the judge to rule in their favor—in mid-February. Briefs were filed by the State, Multnomah County, and three nonparty organizations. A hearing on the motions for summary judgment is scheduled for April 23. Most commonly, after a hearing on an important motion like this, a judge will take time to do additional research, formulate a decision, and draft a written opinion explaining the decision. It often takes several weeks or months. It is possible, however, the judge could make an oral ruling at the end of the hearing on April 23. It is also possible the judge could issue an opinion the same day or within days of the hearing—this is unlikely, but possible. Some folks have asked whether the outcome of this case is a foregone conclusion, since the State and County are not contesting the motions for summary judgment. It is not. It is believed the plaintiffs’ legal position is right, but the constitutional issues are complex and unsettled. If the judge decides Oregon’s exclusion of samesex couples from marriage is unconstitutional, what’s next? Normally, a ruling would be effective immediately. However, some judges have delayed the effectiveness (stayed) their decision to allow for appeals. In this case, no party has asked the judge to stay the decision, but it is possible the judge could do so anyway. Much more after the hearing on April 23.
April/May 2014 • 5
“THAT WAS OUR STRATEGY— LISA NAITO: “WE HAVE RECEIVED PERSONAL THREATS THAT NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO TOLERATE.” AND I STAND BY IT.” Continued from page 5
An editorial by Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
I’ll never forget the moment that early Spring morning in 2004—I was awoken my a phone call: “turn on the news, you won’t believe what’s happening.” Multnomah County was issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the reverberations were felt all over the city, state, and country. Something that was inconceivable to us even days before was now a tangible reality, unfolding before our eyes. Lots has been said (and written) about the events of 2004—and many (including some who were nowhere near Oregon at the time) have shacked up with their good friend hindsight and criticized the policy-makers and activists running the show then. For anyone there, and especially for those fighting behind the scenes and for the couples who wanted to legally affirm a lifelong commitment, the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples by Multnomah County was one of the most magical, emotional times of their lives. People sacrificed their political careers (like the commissioners) because they believed (and still believe) they did the right thing. “I think what most people don’t understand—and especially anyone not living in the state at the time—is that we were starting to see ballot measures against same-sex marriage in a bunch of other states, and there had been a lot of serious talk and a lot of email blasts from our opposition saying they were going to do something similar in Oregon,” explains Roey Thorpe, who headed Basic Rights Oregon at the time. “Oregon is one of the easiest places to put something on the ballot. We also suspected—and it turned out to be true—that it was part of a voter turnout strategy by Republicans in 2004 to turn out voters in the presidential election. Things happened all at once.” And our community, at the time, wasn’t even close to unified on the marriage front. “The other thing people forget,” says Thorpe, “In mid-2003, the LGBTQ community was deeply divided on the issue of marriage equality—people just didn’t see the need for it. I had been on a statewide speaking tour, and when I talked about marriage, people would get upset with me. They said things like ‘we’re already married, we don’t need the state to tell us we’re married or to recognize our relationships.’ There was a lot of anger and divisiveness around the issue.” Oregonians, like most queers around the country, grew up never imagining we’d have a chance to marry; we convinced ourselves— and had many political rationalizations justifying not wanting or needing it—because we knew we were never going to have it. “What we thought was, we’re very likely to have this on the ballot—and the LGBTQ community isn’t even behind us,” remembers Thorpe. “There was a group of attorneys advising BRO for many years and they were convinced under Oregon’s constitution that it was illegal to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. They really wanted Oregon to be on the cutting edge and they thought we could lead the nation in terms of being a state that would allow same-sex couples the right to marry. The Goodrich decision [the Nov. 18, 2003 Massachusetts was the first by a U.S. state’s highest court to find same sex-couples have the right to marry] seemed to be the legal precedent. So we started meeting, knowing we’d likely face ballot measures—and Missouri had just voted on it. The results were terrible, and we thought it was going to be terrible everywhere.” So, they wondered, what if BRO and its allies changed the dynamic. What if you weren’t giving people something—like “giving gays special rights”—what if you were taking something away? What if you had same-sex couples who could stand up and talk about what it meant to them to get married, how it changed their lives—they’d talk about what it meant to them to get married, how it changed their lives. “What if voters were faced with the choice of taking away peoples’ marriages,” Thorpe says. “That was our strategy, the big strategic question—and I stand by that.” “Though things didn’t unfold with the county as we planned, I never doubted that what we did and the strategic reasons behind it were correct,” Thorpe says. “I have always believed it was correct. Would I have done it a little differently? Do I wish it would have unfolded more smoothly? Do I wish I could have anticipated what would have happened? Sure. But for the time, I think it was right.” OUR STRATEGY page 11
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What was it like for you to see 3,000 same-sex couples get married in 2004 and what was it like to see those marriages invalidated? Rojo de Steffey: It was amazing! Walking through the men and women standing in line waiting was indescribable. You had to be me! So much joy, crying, yelling, loving, hugging. I can’t put words into the feelings I experienced and what I saw in the men and women. Of course, it was sad to see the marriages invalidated, but I hold on to that special time as I am sure all those that were there that day hold on to their special feelings. Linn: To see/know that 3000 couple chose to marry— most knowing that it likely would not last—was amazing. I have always been enamored by the courage of LGBTQ people to have faced such tough circumstances. Most couples I knew during that time wanted the opportunity to bring their families into legitimacy and be among the first in the country to do so. It takes perseverance to be part of a movement for justice and I saw couples willing to ride the rollercoaster in the name of progress. Cruz Walsh: Both things made me cry. I shed tears of joy as I watched couples take the simple, human step of publicly committing to the person they loved. I will never forget talking to folks as they waited in line at the County. I went up to one couple on a particularly wet and dreary day and asked them how long they’d been waiting—I was asking them how long they’d waited in line—but one of the women responded, “Twenty-two years hon, twenty-two years.” There’s not much else to do but cry in the presence of such love and hardship. I also cried when the Oregon Supreme Court so cowardly invalidated those marriages. They could have easily ended all of the drama by following in Massachusetts’ footsteps and declared that the marriages were valid. Naito: It was an amazing experience to witness the joy of the couples that married. The courts may have invalidated their certificates of marriages, but the courts could not invalidate the love and commitment of the couples. Have you kept in touch with any of the couples married in 2004? Naito: Yes, a few. Rojo de Steffey: Yes. And, not one of them says they regret what they went through. Cruz Walsh: Sure. The couples that were friends of mine, stayed friends of mine. Linn: I knew many of the couples that married and am honored to have them part of my network of friends and family. I only attended two of the weddings—the very first—Mary Li’s and the a sweet couple I knew from the coast, but I chose to stay away from the weddings and celebrations so they could be about the couples and their families and friends—not about politics. Do you know if any of them are planning to get married in the near future if it becomes legal in Oregon? And have you been invited to any of those weddings? Naito: Not necessarily from people who were married at the time, but I have friends that are planning on getting married as soon as it is legal in Oregon. Just yesterday one dear friend said he has to plan his wedding with my schedule in mind so that I can be there
to celebrate with him and his partner. Rojo de Steffey: Most of the ones I know have been married in other states. And, yes I was invited and attended weddings out of state. Linn: I’ve been to weddings since and look forward to many more. Cruz Walsh: The most meaningful same sex marriage that I have had the privilege to attend was Lisa’s daughter’s wedding this past fall in Washington. Kirsten and Meriel’s wedding was beautiful: their love (and deep admiration and respect for each other) bore out in their glances and words to one another. It was simply two people who love each other making a public commitment to love one another for the rest of their lives. In that sense it was like any other wedding. On the other hand, everyone in attendance knew we were witnesses to a commitment not allowed in Oregon. We felt privileged to be a part of their ceremony. What has it meant to be one of the early leaders in the marriage equality movement? And how you would like to be remembered in the history of this movement? Rojo de Steffey: I don’t think about it that way— as an early leader. I think about those that were married in 2004 and look forward to a validation of their marriages in Oregon. I would like to be remembered as a woman who cares for social and economic justice for all, one who through love and bravery stood up to support people. I believe that we, the Commissioners, experienced one of the most amazing events in our tenure. We suffered for it but as you think about historical events, people do suffer for their beliefs and for doing the right thing. Cruz Walsh: (It has meant) everything. My colleagues and I simply did the right thing: we stood up and were counted in the civil rights movement of our generation. I will forever be grateful that I got to play a very small part in the movement. People who love each other ought to be able to make their commitment to each other legal—it is a simple concept, so small and yet when it means that our society acknowledges your love, it is so very big. Linn: Equity and justice for the LGBTQ community, women and people of color has been important to me for a long time and I was honored to have played a role. Leadership comes with a price and I hope more people are willing to participate going forward because we still have so much more to do. Frankly, I hope that what happened in Multnomah County in 2004—specifically BRO’s (Basic Rights Oregon) role, will be recognized in the chapter of movements so more people can see how important tough decisions made way before their time for important—it’s not a game, real lives are affected. For me, the people in my life I love—especially my kids (now young adults) know what I did and that’s all that matters. I also hope to be able to continue to contribute into the future. Naito: The hardest thing for me has been to witness the discrimination and hatred that has been directed at same sex couples, their children and their families. (I would like to be remembered) as part of history, because that will mean that we have achieved full equality in Oregon. pqmonthly.com
April/May 2014 â€˘ 7
8 • April/May 2014
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE—A CHANCE TO TRY By Belinda Carroll, PQ Monthly
Same-sex marriage land has been absolutely wackadoo lately. According to the right, if the states were at a party, all of a sudden Kentucky would be taking off her top, making out with a frat boy and “Suddenly, I treat every engagement as a pronounce- recognizing samesex unions. We’d ment of everlasting love.” wonder what was in the Supreme Court’s Jell-O shots. I would take this analogy further but then we’d have to wonder what drugs Iowa was on in 2009 when it unexpectedly legalized same sex marriage. And I’ve met Iowa, you don’t want to know. I love the idea of marriage. I love pomp, I am all over circumstance and the thought of walking arm and arm with my beloved when I’m old enough that it’s needed for my general uprightness—it all thrills me to pieces. However, things have changed; twenty years ago I could ask Ms. Right Now to marry me and it didn’t really hold much weight legally, but now it’s getting serious. I have to ask myself questions that I never have like, who proposes, who keeps the futon, and should I put the cats in the pre-nuptial agreement? My little gin blossoms, same-sex marriage is getting so close to Oregon that marriage equality can guess if Oregon is going commando. (It’s Oregon, of course it is.) We are expected to see same-sex marriage legalized within the year. But this is not the first time. I don’t know if you know this, but Multnomah County was one of the first counties to marry same-sex couples in March
2004. Even those of us that were “in the know” back then about queer politics were all “WTF?!” And, then you actually had to call people and ask them “WTF?” I had so many dykes calling me my ear was sore for a week. But just my ear. I had these friends, we will call them Jen and Sarah, because their names were Jen and Sarah. I know, I’m not creative. Anyway, they had an interesting story that I will not dredge up here, mostly because I don’t know if the statute of limitations are up on part of it. They were perfect for one another. Sarah understood that Jen was the center of the universe and Jen loved that about her. They also could tell each other apart. I don’t have to tell you that in some lesbian relationships that is a feat. That is why I adhere to strict Butch-Femme standards; I’m easily confused. But I digress. They got married at the Multnomah County courthouse and later moved to North Carolina (don’t ask me) and bought a house. Yeah, that’s it. I think they might have a boat. They are monogamous too, I mean can you imagine? That is like the most boring story ever. Oh, except for the fact that their marriage was later invalidated and revoked, but the county kept their money. But I’m not bitter. Maybe I am. Great, I’m bitter about a marriage that is not even mine. What does that say about me? Well, that’s one more thing to talk to my therapist about. I bring the story up because it’s been 10 years since that fateful time in Oregon history and now we are on the precipice of full marriage equality again. A majority of the state according to polls is for legalizing same sex unions and I myself am in a union. And yes, we’ve talked about getting married. We haven’t actually gotten engaged officially though, so I decided to talk to a couple who have actually popped the question Meghan Watters and Jade Minkin are a couple who reside in Boise, Idaho. I was recently in Boise to perform comedy. Idaho is having a battle right now about adding
the words Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the existing Idaho human rights charter. They are expecting that same-sex marriage won’t come to Idaho for a long time since marriage was defined as between “one man and one woman” in 2006 and it doesn’t look like that is changing; so they are planning on getting married in Portland, where Meghan’s family lives. They met when Meghan was asked over three times if she had met Jade. That may be because Jade is an exceptionally pretty hypnotherapist from Los Angeles and Meghan is a percussionist in three bands. Clearly, Meghan needs to relax and her friends knew Jade was the ticket. Jade and Meghan felt the way that most of us would love to feel when we meet the person of our dreams. Meghan said upon meeting Jade, “I felt so nervous I couldn’t talk to her at first,” and Jade said something about “the stars exploding, and the universe opened up.” Out loud. She said that out loud and was dead serious. So either Meghan is the love of her life, or she was on really good drugs. She is a reiki practitioner too, so it may be both. I have to say that I love these stories. I have not had the best examples when it comes to marriage. Therefore, my idea of marriage success has been that a marriage is a success if it lasts through the term of an unexpected pregnancy. This new era of marriage equality has got me feeling all warm and fuzzy about marriage. Suddenly, I treat every engagement as a pronouncement of ever-lasting love. (It may help that my love has parents who have been happily married for close to 50 years and it’s given me a new view.) I know that likely same-sex marriages will have similar divorce rates, and that we will make the same mistakes as our heterosexual counterparts. But, that’s the point. We may end up like Jen and Sarah or my partner’s parents—happily married after 10, 20, or 50 years, or we may get divorced. No matter, at least we have the same chance to try.
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10 • April/May 2014
When I was ten, my mother and stepfather got married, and as far as I could tell it was a great and terrible thing. I was fascinated by the beautiful and intricate details of the ritual: the wedding dresses, rings, flowers, churches, everything seemed so special. It also meant my mom was pledging her life to my step dad, who was not my father— which seemed an evil thing. My biological parents hate each other, a fact not lost on me at the time, so it was the principle of the thing—not some hope that they were going to get back together that irked me. The main event was gorgeous and all was well until the reception took a turn for the ominous. My cousins and I were playing a game of Red Rover, Red Rover in our wedding attire—because what fun are fancy clothes if you can’t destroy them—and my younger cousin hurled himself between my arms and the arms of another cousin so hard that we whipped about and smacked faces. He lost a front tooth entirely, and mine was shorn diagonally in half, into a painful menacing spike. I took it as a sign. Weddings are a terrible thing. So of course I married my high school sweetheart at 18. We wed at Voodoo doughnuts in a ceremony presided over by a man in a ghost costume with gorilla hands, involving jumping over a brick while praying to The Black Moses. It was ludicrous. It was legal, and ostensibly heterosexual. We were punks who wanted to laugh in the face of tradition, while simultaneously wallowing in it. It was a short lived symbol of everything that I was running from at the time. The queer riot welling up inside of me was my enemy, a thing to be beaten back, contained. I wanted to take it to my grave, to live a short, fun, drug-fueled life and go out by 27 in a blaze of glory. Instead, I came out, got divorced and moved on with my life. I turn 28 this month. I don’t think weddings are a terrible thing anymore, but I’ve spent much of the last decade criticizing the gaystream for being so obsessed with marriage. Besides its history of being mostly about money, power and survival rather than love, it’s a powerful symbol of assimilation. There is nothing wrong with commitment, having a commitment to another human being is a fundamental part of what makes us human. At the risk of sounding totally reductionist, we make babies, we build houses, we till soil, and we accomplish those things through relationships built on strong ties. Commitment, ceremony, and ritual are how we build those strong ties,
and the socio-political context of those ceremonies and rituals matter. We are meaning makers, we are storytellers, and I challenge all of us question why we fight for marriage. Is it because we want the same rights as heterosexual couples? Is it because we want to be the same as heterosexual couples? Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, one of the most brilliant opponents of queer assimilation, wrote: “Gay marriage is part of a larger agenda of assimilation that sees the dominant markers of straight conformity— marriage, military service, adoption, ordination into the priesthood, gentrification and consumerism as the ultimate signs of gay success. Forget about the original goals of gay liberation—forging sexual self-determination, challenging police brutality, destroying hierarchies, and ending all forms of oppression—the gay marriage “movement” declares that the pinnacle of achievement is to access straight privilege.” I don’t have the space to go into a lengthy historical critique about queer assimilation, you should just go pick up Sycamore’s That’s Revolting and Nobody Passes. It might not feel like it as much these days but we queers are still a cultural vanguard for what is possible for humanity, and it’s our messy polyamory, our play parties, our drag shows and our complex gender identities that are doing that work. We are breaking down and breaking up masculinity and femininity, creating a myriad of parallel possibilities, and as straight people wake up and learn from us they build the tools of their own liberation from the rubble of oppressive institutions of gender and sexual normativity we have deconstructed. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” George Orwell, 1984. I want to raise a toast to progress, and a fist to resistance in the same breath. The rights we are fighting for give us equal opportunity to be dehumanized by a social system that doesn’t care for our lives, identities, or personal narratives. Of course gays should have the right to marry, but more importantly, all people should have the right to be free, and we are a long, long way from realizing that. The threat that gay marriage poses is complacency. We are winning the culture war, gay marriage is going to be legal and we’re fighting to make it legal sooner than later. My question is what comes next? How do we stay dangerous? How do we stay mobilized? I’d love to get “married” in some form someday, and I’ll agitate for the right to do so, but I want the boot of white-supremacist heterosexist capitalist patriarchy off mine and every throat more than I want Uncle Sam and the Jesus Industrial Complex to legitimize my already awesome and legitimate relationships. pqmonthly.com
OUR STRATEGY Continued from page 6
What most people don’t know is that activists and legal experts believed we would be the first place in the country that would allow same sex couples to marry as a result of the Goodrich decision. “BRO was on a phone call with our national partners talking about how we were going to make this happen on the same day Gavin Newsom started marrying same-sex couples in San Francisco,” Thorpe remembers. “When that happened, it changed our entire strategy. It created all this pressure on the county commissioners, with people calling demanding they do this, without even realizing it was already in the works.” Though people thought—and the media at the time said—Portland was piling on San Francisco, the truth is Portland was way ahead of all that. Newsom simply came to the same conclusion our commissioners did. People all over the country—including a county clerk in New Mexico—were coming to the same conclusion. “Now it’s taken a whole decade for the rest of the country to get there,” Thorpe says. “But we weren’t wrong. So, for that reason, I think it was very powerful. When the state decided to oppose the marriages, that decision was as much about what the county had the right to do as the issue itself—though I think the issue itself was a part of that. When they decided to do that and the court invalidated all those marriages—that was one of the two most heartbreaking things that happened.” The other, Thorpe remembers, is when we lost [Measure 36, the law that amended Oregon’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman]. “It wasn’t just that we lost,” she recalls. “But we lost by such a large margin. But those heartbreaking moments are sandwiched between the most amazing, transformative time. I had underestimated a lot of the impact of what we were doing—the biggest thing, I think, was underestimating how emotional this whole thing would be. There were reporters leaving, not being able to do their jobs because they were crying, because they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The city was changed, I was changed, we were changed. Most people remember not being able to stop crying.” For years, the Oregon Citizens Alliance used the power of the ballot to keep the LGBTQ community on the defensive. For over a decade, they did it—the moment they would lose at the ballot, they would file something else. “When I came to Oregon, after we won in 2000 [against the second Measure 9, often called Son of 9], I expected to come to a vibrant organization that was really powerful and influential—especially at the state level,” Thorpe recalls. “And while there were plenty of brilliant, passionate people, the movement itself was used to being on the defensive. When you’d propose pro-active, people would get frightened. ‘We don’t want to bring a ballot measure down on us,’ they said. It’s like we blamed ourselves. Part of our job was to get people to see, ‘Look, we haven’t done the pro-active work, and they keep coming.’ One of the big shifts we had to pqmonthly.com
make in terms of our mindset was turning to pro-active work.” Any argument that Oregon is “behind” in this fight simply isn’t accurate. Before the two lawsuits were filed (one by Lake Perriguey, the other by BRO), Oregon was poised to be the first state in the country to defeat a constitutional amendment defining marriage. Does it really matter that a court in Utah made a decision before a court here? States don’t get court decisions based on a hierarchy of who’s most progressive. What we’re in is a rapidly, quickly changing situation—an amazing moment in our movement’s history. “To the people who say, ‘Oregon is behind,’ I say, ‘I don’t think you understand how social change works,” says Thorpe. “‘And especially how our court system works.’” “The opposition’s beliefs are just as deeply held as ours are, and we have to respect that,” she continues. “As long as it feels possible and politically expedient for them, they’re going to do what they have to do. We don’t provoke people—I don’t believe that. Doing the right thing isn’t provocation.” “This is where people are incorrect about how change happens. Most people believe de-segregation happened because the time was right—they don’t realize the civil rights movement created that time. I think people believe women being in the workforce, having a public role in society—oh, we just evolved. We don’t just evolve. Social change happens because we make it happen.” There’s nothing inevitable about history—we make it happen, and once it happens it feels right to people. Oregon isn’t behind—we’re right where we should be. We’re going to get marriage, and we’re going to defeat the discrimination measure if it gets on the ballot this year. Why did we lose in 2004? We didn’t know how to talk about marriage; we hadn’t won it anywhere. Another reason: Oregon just wasn’t ready, and it’s OK to say that. The polling at the time indicated most people—a solid majority—believed the day would come, and that when it happened, they could live with it. But they hadn’t had time to digest the issues, to think about it, to get used to the idea. “If you think about what’s happened between 2004 and now,” Thorpe says. “There’s an entire generation of voters who’ve come of age, who have a much more open view—including conservatives—toward the LGBTQ community. The demographics have changed.” “Everyone now knows we want to get married for the same reasons they do. And many of us don’t, just like many straight couples don’t want to get married.” The main different between now and 2004, though; it’s officially a matter of when, not if.
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Editor’s note: We have a lot more planned in the coming issues--including extensive coverage of Oregon United for Marriage’s plans to pivot in the wake of legal developments, and their efforts organizing against the upcoming discrimination measure, a measure that looks just like failed efforts in Arizona. One thing we can be sure of, out community won’t stand idly by and let a bill become law that would allow business to turn people away because of who they are and whom they love. More on that very soon. April/May 2014 • 11
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PLEASE DON’T STOP THE MUSIC
Clockwise from top left: Hold My Hand, Mr. Charming, Rhienna, Max Voltage and Roy G Biv. We’re talking quite a bit in these pages about weddings and marriage and laws and judges and court decisions— but isn’t the most important part of the ceremony what comes after? (Hint: the reception.) As is the same with our wedding vendor list on page 39 (which you should peruse), we intend for these resources to be living, breathing documents—and they’ll surely only be growing in the months to come. In short, stay with us, as we dive into the world of all things queer and wedding-related. For now, we’d like to introduce (and re-introduce) you to some of the music-makers in our community—folks we think would make excellent fits for your special day. MIKIEL DEGUARA is the co-creator and booker/CEO of Bridge Club. When not at Bridge Club, he can be found around town deejaying under the moniker HOLD MY HAND. Every third Thursday he is at Polari, a Bridge Club one-off at Vault Martini. He’s also played at Love Ball, Queerlandia, Gaycation, Control Top, and virtually any other party you can think of—he’s also a citywide favorite who’s frequently booked for private events. Please send all booking inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. MAX VOLTAGE is a classically trained violinist and loop pedal composer, with experience in folk, pop, indie, rock and jazz. Utilizing loop and octave pedals, Max creates the sound of an
entire string quartet, and is currently available for-hire for your special event! Whether you’re interested in classical, modern, mash-ups or original compositions, Max can make it happen! Pricing depends on the project. Max’s history includes studies at Marylhurst college, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, recording with The Cabin Project and Chris Pureka—along with chamber work with The Accidental String Quartet. Max, who began playing violin at age 5, was half of the magical, musical duo Glitterfruit, and is the creator and primary songwriter of Homomentum: the Musical. For more info, check out www.maxvoltagepdx.com or email email@example.com. ROY G BIV/Katey Pants has been the main organizer, promoter, and deejay for quarterly Control Top, monthly Panty Raid, and Mooseknuckle in Seattle. This girl has been around for quite some time and has worked with acts such as Vockah Redu, JD Samson, Spinderella, Double Duchess, and Lauren Flax. Committed to curating the right music for the right time—when not not in the club—she works tirelessly on private events and playlists that perfect occasions, making them seamless and beautiful. Support your local rad dyke DJ and get at her! Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing, scheduling, and more information. DJ RHIENNA has been deejaying around town since 2007—
and doing weddings and special events since 2009. Rhienna is queer, with a strong leaning towards queer weddings, commitment parties, poly ceremonies, and (anything goes) alternative or non-traditional ceremonies, who offers consultations to discuss the big event—to determine whether or not y’all are the right fit. (On both ends!) Rhienna can work as formally or informally as needed. As for specs— Rhienna has the equipment, the experience as an event coordinator/liaison, and offers varying price packages for those on a budget. Mixes can be found at mixcloud.com/ djrhienna. Email email@example.com Last but never least: Since 2005, MR. CHARMING has been deejaying, organizing and promoting parties in Portland, Ore. Her most popular ongoing project, Gaycation, has been going strong for nine years. It’s a monthly party and one of Portland’s longest-running queer nights. Organizing Gaycation has allowed Mr. Charming to support local queer talent and bring in performers from across the country. She has worked amongst many well-known artists including Spinderella, Lauren Flax, Kim Ann Foxmann, JD Sampson and MEN. Mr. Charming has an intuitive ability to please a crowd of any kind. It’s impossible to deny the positive energy she brings to any dance floor by mixing a variety of music from house to pop, and everything in between. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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April/May 2014 • 13
TURN A LOOK: LIFE’S A CATWALK, AND THE AISLE IS NO EXCEPTION
Which DIY wedding scenario blows your skirt up? All (of these completely adorable and charming) sketches by Sally Mulligan. By Sally Mulligan, PQ Monthly
There’s a big shift in the air every spring; half the people I know are up and getting hitched and having kids. A lot of us have deeply mixed feelings about weddings and marriage. Like, “What am I gonna get married in?” Even as a little baby femme, I didn’t do too much dreaming about my future nuptials or designing of my wedding dress, and there’s a good chance that that was because (spoiler alert!) I was as queer as snow in August, and marriage was for the het-setters. But the times are a-changing, and it looks to be that soon all of us queermos will be able to merge our assets wherever we damn please. Whether it’s what your love looks like, or for tax purposes, or a reason to throw a fierce party where all your friends are on the list, or whatever other reason suits your life, you might as well turn a look on your big day. (Do queers do it any other way?) If you’re going a traditional route, or taking your own path through your wedding ceremony, I believe in the power of a truly fabulous ensemble. Here are my trend predictions for our Big Gay Wedding Season: UPGRADE A CLASSIC Look, I have a confession: I cry every time I see a dyke in a tux. Is a wedding happening in the background? You bet. We might live amongst our chosen family in a beautiful queertopia, but the rest of the world is still out there. Do what you want and wear what you want, it doesn’t mean it’s conventional and you’re not selling out for being a dyke in a tux. You are adorable and it’s your day, damn it. Upgrades include (but are NEVER limited to): two babes in tuxes, two babes in wedding dresses, not apologizing, pompadours, flagging with your pocket square, not playing the Macarena. HIGH FASHION FREAKSHOW On the flipside of things, y’all already know how much respect I have for your outfits. It puts an extra strut in my step to see you out and about in a one-of-a-kind look. Sure, weddings are often giant displays of affection, but does that mean you can’t also walk down the aisle in a little something that will make your ex’s knees wobbly? I didn’t think so! Life’s a catwalk, darling, and the aisle is no exception. Here are a few ideas I’d like to see spring up this wedding season: flowers glued to your face, glitter in your beards, strong silhouettes, not apologizing, pqmonthly.com
less white, and more prints. And I mean would it kill you to get married in a crop top? Jeez. PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND (aka, How to Elope in Style) First off, my condolences if your family doesn’t approve of your lifestyle/loved ones/all of that messy stuff. But you’re awesome, and I’m pretty sure someone famous once said, “Wearing the fiercest outfit is the best revenge.” Time to let ‘em have it, homos. Get married by Elvis, buy out the glitter aisle and douse yourself in it, wear a sequined veil, wear stilettos, don’t apologize. Take lots of pictures and make everyone really jealous. Keep one of those cute ropes you used to climb out of your window handy; you will use it again. BE MY GUEST Speaking of jealous, what do the rest of us queerdos wear to a wedding? Do we tone it down for straight weddings? Do we turn it up for gay weddings? Or just the opposite? That’s all entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Were you asked to be in your family member’s wedding this year, and asked to wear something that doesn’t represent your gender identity? Are you scared to go to your ex’s wedding, even though you guys are “totally friends now”? I feel you, honey. All I can say is, we weren’t put here to make other people people feel more comfy about who we are and how we live. If you ultimately decide to stand your ground and wear what you want, that’s great. If you end up coming to a compromise or bowing out completely, that’s cool too. I encourage you to provide yourself with the armor of your best outfit. It really can help. Don’t be afraid to shine, strut, and sparkle. It’s a celebration, after all. (Though I personally like to wear all black to weddings to mourn the death of my single friends. But you do you.) Congratulations on your big gay day! Let me know what you’re wearing in the comments (online), or via email: Info@PQMonthly.com. Add “Turn a Look” to the subject line. Sally Mulligan is a fat femme sissy who has lived in Portland for almost five years. She gets paid to tell jokes sometimes, and designs clothes when she can. Don’t ask her about her sewing machine, she can’t use it. Don’t ask her about her banjo…or her guitar. She can’t play them. Definitely ask about her dog, or if she wants a drink. April/May 2014 • 14
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OREGON’S FREEDOM TO MARRY MOVEMENT
Archive photos provided by Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. By George T. Nicola, Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
I came out in 1970 through the Portland Gay Liberation Front (GLF), Oregon’s first politically-oriented LGBTQ organization. At that time, we were so demonized that we were largely in survival mode. Before a criminal code revision became effective in 1972, almost any homosexual conduct was a crime. Our major goals in the early 1970s were to eliminate anti-gay bigotry and job discrimination, and to help those whose self-esteems were devastated by homophobia. But even then, things were happening in Portland that created families headed by same-sex couples. Pioneering lesbian attorney Cindy Cumfer recollects details of Portland’s primarily lesbian “women’s community” that congealed starting in 1970: “These women began creating some of the first lesbian families with children from heterosexual unions, donor insemination, or in later years formal adoption. It was definitely a genesis of the modern gay family/ gay marriage movement.” As time went on, many in our community sought to share in a formal structure that sealed their commitments and aided their need for mutual care. Portland GLF cofounder John Wilkinson later moved to Seattle where in 1995, he and his partner Dave Davenport cofounded Washington State’s marriage equality movement. That goal was successful in late 2012 and they married soon after. But between 1978 and 2000, Oregonians endured about 34 anti-gay ballot measures. None of those involved marriage but probably could have been used against it even-
egy was exported to other states. It eventually resulted in the 2012 four state freedom to marry ballot measure victories. At the same time, both the successes themselves and the very personal messages that made them possible have also benefited gay people like me and many of my friends who have no personal desire to marry. By early 2013, polls showed that a majority of Oregonians might now support marriage equality. So BRO began plans to launch what at the time seemed the only way to win the freedom to marry—an initiative to amend the state constitution to legalize it. To manage the process, BRO and other equality groups set up an umbrella organization called Oregon United for Marriage (OR4M). OR4M has done a spectacular job mobilizing over 4,000 volunteers, gathering signatures, obtaining impressive endorsements, PHOTOS BY JOHN WILKINSON, SHELLY CASTEEL, AND CINDY CUMFER winning hearts and minds, and helping to raise support for our freedom to marry in Oregon to 55%. But it would still be laborious tually. We survived those legal assaults because we and and expensive to extend these efforts to the Nov. 4 elecour allies responded with dignity and persistence, and we tion—costing an estimated $10 million. became stronger for it. In the meantime, federal courts began to strike down In 1991, five lesbian couples filed for marriage licenses same-sex marriage bans in other states. Late last year, attorwith Multnomah County. Their requests were denied. But neys Lake Perriguey and Lea Ann Easton filed a lawsuit in much of the related effort in that period went into secur- U.S. District Court in Eugene asking a judge to overturn ing domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples in the Oregon’s ban. As federal court victories began to mount, workplace. In 1998, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that Basic Rights Oregon determined that marriage equality in all state and local governments must offer spousal benefits Oregon might be achieved through the federal courts before to same-sex domestic partners. Nov. 2014. Basic Rights Education Fund became a plain In early 2004, Multnomah County began issuing mar- tiff in a separate lawsuit with the same goal. The judge has riage licenses to same-sex couples. It was quite moving to consolidated the two lawsuits. Oral arguments are schedsee so many gay men and lesbians waiting in line cheer- uled for April 23. fully in the chilly rain. However, the issuances were soon Only the State of Oregon can defend the ban, and the stopped by court order and the licenses already issued were state’s top law enforcement official Attorney General Ellen declared invalid. Later that year, Oregonians approved Mea- Rosenblum refuses to do so. In fact, Rosenblum filed a brief sure 36, a state constitutional amendment which defined a in federal court arguing why the prohibition on same-sex marriage as being only between one man and one woman. marriage should be struck down. For this and many other Basic Rights Oregon (BRO), which has been Oregon’s reasons, we stand a good chance of victory. major group advocating for LGBTQ equality—since 1996, As a result, Oregon United for Marriage is holding onto was able to secure the statewide enactment of a law ban- their initiative signatures, pending the outcome of the ning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and court decision. In the meantime, the campaign is working gender identity in 2007. At the same time, they managed to to create the climate where a positive court ruling is likely. get passage of a domestic partner statute allowing same- On April 22, there are six statewide vigils planned to show sex couples most but not all the benefits of marriage. the courts that Oregon is ready for marriage. Because domestic partnerships are not equal to mar Oregon United for Marriage is also working against riage, BRO began a multi-year process educating the a proposed voter initiative that would allow businesses to public on why marriage was important to so many in refuse to sell goods or services to same-sex couples because our community. Ads featured images of loving and com- of who they are and whom they love. Oregon does not need mitted same-sex couples. That very humanizing strat- a 36th anti-gay ballot measure.
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April/May 2014 • 15
TO THE SEA, THE SEA OF LOVE
Whatever your mode of celebration, the tried and true glory of cruising is nowhere near dead, it’s making new waves for all us happily-ever-after gays who want to make our weddings and commitments to each other blissful, unforgettable occasions. Why not take it to the ocean? By Kim Hoffman, PQ Monthly
Cruise vacations have always held a certain gay mystique. Think Miami glamour, circa 1988. Wind-blown hair and short-shorts. If we looked up “gay mystique” in a dictionary, it might be a picture of a cruise ship, a hazy glob of stardust in the forefront — as we wave to the shore, our cruise ship setting sail for crystal waters. Are we ready to throw shade? Under a palm tree, I hope. Is there a wedding, a commitment ceremony, or a romantic honeymoon just dance-steps away? All of the above — no floating courthouses in sight. Sea of Love began for the sole purpose of creating a specialty cruise event for LGBTQ travelers who have something to celebrate. It’s a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise ready to set sail Sept. 27-Oct. 4 on the Norwegian Getaway. Apparently, there are five water slides, a Nickelodeon pool for the kids, a noted celebrity chef on board, and “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” Where we do we sign up? So, try this on for size. The package includes cruise fair, ports of call, starting in Miami and traveling to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and the Bahamas, two onboard group cocktail parties, the ceremony, and the ceremony celebration. Because it wouldn’t be a gay wedding/commitment ceremony if we can’t Kool and the Gang it. But before the sun sets and we break out the island rum, let’s talk about the beautiful ceremony itself — the most romantic of set ups—on the powder white beaches of St. Thomas. Sea of Love knows us gays really want things done right. Forgive me for getting slightly J.Lo circa “The Wedding Planner” on you, but this is the night you’ll be having if you go: The beaches of St. Thomas are lit for your arrival, a buffet of food, an open bar, and a chosen theme, which is decorated over tables, name cards, and anything you can and want to bedazzle for the big day. Set to the stunning backdrop of the calm Caribbean shore, a steel pan ensemble plays before and after the ceremony, like a true island gathering, and you will most certainly get lei’d — with exotic flowers around your neck, for starters. Maybe you want a custom cake or flowers, or you want to bring your friend Martha to be your officiant. You’re the boss, and you get to speak with an event coordinator whose job is to assure you that, yes, a photographer will be there to capture every single important moment, and then some. It’s your wedding, and you’re not getting sand in between your toes for nothin’. Now, let’s think of all the fun you could be having from the very beginning. Before saying ‘Ahoy!’ start off the trip in Miami by indulging in a little Golden Girls action. The city is a prime hub for LGBTQ nightlife on the strip, a sizzling Latin scene that is packed with hot spots to dance and eat. It’s a sexy place with adventure around every corner. Then it’s ship-boarding time, and there’s a welcome cocktail party, champagne included. Indeed, it’s just us aristocrats, waving our pinkies in the air with nothing but the open ocean ahead of us — and Leonardo DiCaprio in third class. (Just kidding, he’s in a balcony cabin, obviously.) By now, it’s Day four and you’re ready for island time. You arrive at St. Maarten, a mix of Dutch and French. The capital (which is Dutch) is Philipsburg, where so much awaits: The Belgium Chocolate Shop, a delectable portal to heaven where 75 flavors of chocolate are made fresh daily. (They even have free cruise ship delivery service.) Shopping is duty16 • April/May 2014
free, but if you’re tuckered out and you’re looking for a drink, stop in at the Guavaberry Emporium. Guava berries are the national liquor of the island, so now you really must try. If you’re an adventurist: The beach is where you want to be, with endless snorkeling and scuba diving possibilities, or there’s the two-hour St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, with apparent “rum punch” on board. I can see us now: “I heard there would be rum punch… where’s the rum punch?” Day five finds us in St. Thomas, ready for festive ceremonial rituals, joyous dancing, live music and merriment while we take part in, or to witness our loved ones tying the gay knot. Or, I guess in this case, the gay seaweed. St. Thomas is a funky island of shops, authentic Caribbean food, and if there’s time, pay a visit to Mountain Top, it’s at the top of the mountain, and world-famous for their killer banana daiquiris. You’ll get to brag that you stood at the tallest point in St. Thomas! Check out the observation deck and make sure your camera is locked and loaded for the best island view in the house. Take a ride off the beaten path to Magen’s Bay, the unofficial gay beach of the island. Everything is colorful in St. Thomas, so bring your best Carmen Miranda and perma-sync yourself on island time. The day after the wedding party is for total relaxation back out at sea. Maybe it’s time to visit the cruise ship’s salt room or thermal suite — a dry sauna and “vitality pool.” Sweat off last night’s champagne and cupcakes on the rock climbing wall or “The Spider Web,” a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage, with a spiral slide. Eh, first, better rely on hair of the dog — like a Tropical Mango Pale Ale from St. John Brewery, off the neighboring virgin island, St. John. There’s one day before this dream cruise sails back to port. Make room in your belly for the last day/night of celebrating, in the Bahamas! The island is becoming more and more LGBTQ-friendly, but you won’t find loads of gay bars here. Instead, go spend the day at the famous Atlantis resort on Paradise Island for all your casino, pool and beach fun — including 18 water slides for daredevils of all kinds. Have I mentioned there are tons of slides on this vacation? Be weary of islanders who beckon you to let them braid your hair. The beads and cool ‘do may be worth it for a negotiable bit of dough, but then again, you may not be in the mood to be heckled. Be warned, they’re damn good at convincing you. Back in Miami, it’s the last day and it’s time to disembark and head home. You hug your family and friends, you look at your partner in awe because you’ve never seen them this tan, and you smile because you can’t wait to see the photos. Whatever your mode of vacation and celebration, the tried and true glory of cruising is nowhere near dead; it’s making new waves (and you know that pun’s intended) for all us happily-ever-after gays who want to make our weddings and commitments to one another a blissful, unforgettable occasion. Why not take it to the ocean? Sea of Love is a proud member of the IGLTA, and has partnered with Cruise Planners to create memorable moments at sea, in the name of cruising. Based on availability and subject to change, prices for couples start at $2,599. Invite friends and family starting at $1,039 per person. For third and fourth persons, prices vary (and are typically much lower). To find out more information about Sea of Love, contact Cruise Planners, toll-free at 877-813-3194. pqmonthly.com
April/May 2014 • 17
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Our inspiration was all things Vera Wang and Vanity Fair—and we picked the exquisite Elysian Ballroom to shoot in--it photographed beautifully, as you’ll see below. Queers are marrying and we’re marrying in style. Styling by Ryan Sager, Photo by Eric Sellers. Hair and makeup by Michael Talley and Eric Sellers. Dresses provided by Xtabay and suits by Duchess Clothiers. Models (L-R) Jason Krause, Christopher Brown, Leela Ginelle, and Korin Noelle. Xtabay is at 2515 SE Clinton, Duchess 2505 SE 11th #102, Elysian 918 SW Yamhill. Email Daniel@PQMonthly.com for contact info.
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NIGHTLIFE ADVICE WEDDING
STYLE DECONSTRUCTED: QUEERING WEDDINGS
By Michael Shaw Talley and Eric Sellers
In a city teaming with fashion, personal expression and trend setters, we want to get into the heads of some of Portland’s stylish LGBTQ icons. To us style isn’t made in magazines, malls, or on television; it’s personal. This is the reason for this style deconstruction. Names: Alissa Jackson and Megan Beaver Ages: 36 and 32 Occupations: Financial Analyst and General Contractor PQ: What style inspiration did you draw from while planning your wedding? Alissa and Megan: We didn’t really have a particular style in mind in the beginning stages of planning. It seemed like our style emerged over time as we started checking off the boxes. PQ: Tell us about your process for designing your wedding.
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A/M: We knew from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be fun! We like to dance and have a good time so it seemed only right to celebrate in similar fashion. We started with the location. We needed a venue that would embody our “feel” of the wedding and we chose Mississippi Studios. Then it was a matter of making a lists and lists and lists. PQ: What was the most valued article of clothing you wore during your wedding? Alissa: My bra! Not only did it perform well, it actually was one of the most expensive things I was wearing. Megan: It’s hard to name just one article when you are wearing a custom suit by Duchess. PQ: Did you wear jewels during your wedding? What accessories were a must have during your wedding? Alissa: I borrowed earrings from a good friend and had a little tiger’s eye pendant. I’m not a flashy kind of lady; simple is better for me. Megan: I adorned my grandpa’s vintage pocket watch. PQ: Smells? Are you all natural? Soaps? Sprays? Discuss . We wanna know what you smelled like. A/M: Au natural. Always. PQ: The soundtrack of your wedding, we want to know what played during the ceremony? What played at the reception? First dance song?Did you have a DJ or band? A/M: We walked down to aisle to Mirah and the Black Cat Orchestra’s instrumental “Per I Morti Reggio Emilia.” One the ceremony was over, we walked back dow n to Bi l l Withers “Lovely Day.” We had DJ Moisti do her thing at the reception. We danced all night long! PQ: EAT, DRINK, SCENE. What did you nosh? What did you sip? Where did you have your wedding? We want details! A/M: We had an intimate (best friends and immediate family) ceremony at Mississippi Studios followed by a dinner upstairs in their boutique apartment. We feasted on flank steak and salmon and frites and salad from Devil’s Food Catering. Cocktails and champagne flowed, of course. Then we headed back downstairs to Mississippi Studios where the party really began. PQ: Shoes! What did you wear? Let’s talk shoes! Alissa: My trusty brown leather Frye boots. I needed to comfortable. I needed to be able to dance. Megan wore Jonny Sole boots. PQ: Did you do any of the wedding traditions? Borrowed, new, blue? A/M: Not on purpose. PQ: You have a time machine. You get to go back in time. What would you change about your wedding? If you could
have had it anywhere in the world during any decade what and where would you have had it? Alissa: I wouldn’t change a thing about the wedding! It was perfectly imperfect. I would love to have a roaring 20s wedding in Paris, though. PQ: Let’s talk cake! My all-time favorite part of any wedding. Give us all the details about your cake. Did you get to try a bunch of cakes before you chose the one? Alissa: We had a couple of recommendations from some people, but in the end we only tried one. Miss Zumstein. She’s amazing! We jumped on Portland’s cupcake bandwagon. With the variety of flavors you can have with little cupcakes, I can’t imagine ever choosing a cake. PQ: Honeymoon! Where did you go? What one item is a must bring whenever you travel? Alissa: Fiji! Money, tickets, passports. Or sunglasses. PQ: Now that we know all about your wedding we want know all about you two. We want to know how you guys met; we want to know how long you have been together. Who popped the question and how? We want to know everything. A/M: We originally met through mutual friends. We both ran in different but overlapping circles. Eventually that turned into more (as the story goes). We’ve been together almost six and a half years and are coming up on our 3rd wedding anniversary. Megan popped the question while we were on a 2 week long camping/hot springing road trip. We were canoeing around Waldo Lake and had stopped at this little island we found. We were just relaxing, drinking beer and talking while basking in the sun. Next thing I know, she’s asking me if I want to do this marriage thing with her. I said yes! And so it began. PQ: If you could give advice to anyone getting married what would you tell them? We want know what not to stress about and what to take more seriously. A/M: Write your own vows! What started out as the most intimidating and scariest part of the wedding turned into the loveliest and most beautiful part. We both heard each other’s vows for the first time at the ceremony. It was really magical. Also, go into the wedding knowing that you are doing this not only for each other but also for your family. Otherwise, let’s be real, we’d all elope because that’s much easier. PQ: Tell us your favorite experiences during the planning of your wedding. We want know best catering, best bakery, best jeweler, all that. Alissa: The food tasting is always fun. But one of the best parts is experiencing the whole process with someone you are madly in love with. There are ups and downs and stresses and disagreements and excitement and setbacks and kismet. But all I know is, I woke up the day after our wedding, exhausted and slightly hungover, and the first thing I said to Megan was “I want to do it all over again.” And I meant it.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17 PQ Monthly Press Party: Mix and mingle with the makers of your favorite queer newspaper—writers, artists, this party has it all. This goes down every third Thursday, at rotating venues. (Mark your calendars.) You’ll never know who you’ll gaze at from across the room, maybe it’s your new soul mate. This month: Starky’s. 5pm-7pm(ish), 2913 SE Stark. Free, clearly. Free HIV & STD Testing: Committed to the health of Portland’s community, Hawks PDX offers both free HIV and STD testing, twice monthly. Presented in conjunction with Cascade AIDS Project and Multnomah County Health Department, you can check your status to protect your health and those you play with, as well as speak to counselors if you have questions. Hawk’s PDX, 234 SE Grand. FRIDAY, APRIL 18 Hedonistic Decadence: A Queer Strip Night. This month’s theme is Live Roman Flesh—here there are queer strippers taking it off to bad ass beats, delicious human food platters (fruit and cakes to be served), golden boy servants providing service of various kinds. Safer space for all, sex-positive, body positive, gender inclusive. 8pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $5. SATURDAY, APRIL 19 Cover Oregon Application Fair: Oregon received an extension for open enrollment through April 30. You still don’t have health insurance? Well, here’s your last chance to apply for federal financial assistance and enroll in an affordable and quality healthcare plan through Cover Oregon. Community partners Cascade AIDS Project and Q Center are working with Cover Oregon to provide assistance enrolling for health insurance. Certified Cover Oregon application assisters are here to answer your questions and help you navigate the enrollment process. This service is free and open to everyone. 10:30AM – 5PM at 4115 N Mississippi Avenue. No appointment is necessary, walkins are welcome. MONDAY, APRIL 21 “Gen Silent” screening: Vancouver. Please join At Your Place Senior Care for a free screening of the award-winning documentary film, “Gen Silent.” What would you do if you were old, disabled or ill—and the person feeding you put down the spoon and said that you are going to hell unless you change your sexual preference? Sound absurd? Social workers around the world say it’s happening every day. Gen Silent is the critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their friends, their spouses—their entire lives—in order to survive in the care system. RSVP to: SaraScheetz@ AtYourPlaceSeniorCare.com. Located at Washington State University Vancouver in DEN 129. Parking: WSU Non-student, non-staff park in “blue” lot, $3 fee.
Gay Skate, sponsored by yours truly (PQ Monthly). Every third Monday. Join PQ and all the amateur skaters in the city at the one and only queer (all-ages) skate night. Work muscles you never knew you had — I know this is where you’ll meet your next life partner. I mean, I totally got asked out at gay skate once. It was a banner moment. Innocent, yesteryear fun at one of the last all-ages, booze-free events. 7-9pm, Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. $6. All ages. FRIDAY, APRIL 25 Turnt Out. Directly from the invite: “Basement Dance Floor, Queerdos, Upper Lounge Space.” This is a queer dance party incorporating live dance music, performance art, drag, and total dance floor freedom. Come as you are. Come as you want to be. Upstairs music by: Dj Pocket Rock-It (who’ll play whatever the hell he wants). Downstairs basement music by: Sappho (Lofty House). GoGo’s: Nikki Lev & Friends. Live performances to. Turn out, queens. 9:30pm, East End, 203 SE Grand. $5. SATURDAY, APRIL 26 The Red Dress Party, brought to you by Red Dress PDX, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports gay youth, and helps friends, neighbors and family members living with HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases. With a special performance from the incredibly talented banjee huntress AB Soto at 9:30PM. Then on the dance floor, beats provided by Wildfire, Jens Irish, Chelsea Starr, Jakob Jay, StormyRoxx, and Nark (Bottom Forty). That’s quite a lineup. 7:30pm, Sandbox Studio, 420 NE Ninth. http://reddresspdx.com/ For anyone not red-dress-inclined, remember tonight’s also Blow Pony. (See above.) THURSDAY, MAY 1 Scandals’ Little Art, Big Cause: First Thursday edition. More info online as the date approaches. Caravan of Glam, PDX edition: Come see why they are booked throughout the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, producing Casino shows, and are producing events in conjunction with Latrice Royale from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Starring all of the city’s over-the-top, dominating divas. More online as the date approaches. 9pm, Star Theater, 13 NW Sixth. MAY 1-31 Learn to be Latina: Hanan, a Lebanese-American, was born to be a star. She is talented, beautiful and full of determination. In the increasingly competitive music industry, she knows that sacrifices must be made in order to achieve her goals. When the record executives demand she abandon her identity, Hanan accepts the challenge and takes us all on the wildest ride imaginable. Preview May 1, Opening May 2.Written by Enrique Urueta, Directed by Antonio Sonera, Thursdays 7:30, Fridays & Saturdays 8:00, Sundays 2:00. Tickets $15-26. Miracle Theater Group.
Note: It is impossible to include all events in print, so stay with us online for updates. www.pqmonthly.com. Look for the “weekend forecast.”
SATURDAY, APRIL 19: Gaycation all you ever wanted. PQ’s own Monika MHz will be throwing down with one of our favorites, Bridge Club’s Hold My Hand. (Along with the beloved residents, Mr. Charming and Snowtiger.) Did you realize Gaycation has been around for nine years?! Nine! And Charming barely looks a day over 21. Must be the music. This long-running queer debacle dance party is one of the city’s most beloved monthly mixers. Get sweaty, be kind to a stranger (kiss them!), and then have brunch with your friends Sunday to dish all about it. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5.
CALENDAR FEATURE Want more? We’ll give you everything. Head over to pqmonthly.com and check out our online calendar of events, submit your own events, and peruse photos from your reporters-about-town. Also, remember to carefully examine our weekly weekend forecast — with the latest and greatest events — each Wednesday (sometimes Thursday), online only. --DANIEL BORGEN
DANCE IT OUT
FIRST SUNDAYS Bridge Club. A slew of stellar deejays play music on the city’s most treasured patio. Old Boys Club regularly welcomes special guests. Snack, mingle, get down. Bridge club is delighted to announce its permanent new home—Vendetta! 3pm, Vendetta, 4306 N Williams. Free EVERY SUNDAY. Superstar Divas. Bolivia Carmichaels, Honey Bea Hart, Topaz Crawford, Isaiah Tillman, and guest stars perform your favorite pop, Broadway, and country hits. Dance floor opens after the show. The Drag Queen Hunger Games are over, and the shows must go on! Check out the newest and freshest Diva hits. 8pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free! EVERY MONDAY Watch Drag Race at Local Lounge, The Rainbow Room, or Scandals. (Lots of Drag Race parties.) FIRST THURSDAYS Portland Idol: (This is every Thursday) CJ Mickens teams with Justin Buckles to give you 12 weeks of competitive, American Idol-inspired performances. Theme changes week to week, but the energy never does. Go see what hidden talents are unleashing their gifts upon you. 9pm, Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE Eleventh. Dirt Bag. Keyword: Bruce LaBruiser. She’ll make all your musical dreams come true. Indie, pop, electro, all of it. Dance to the gayest jams. 10pm, The Know, 2026 NE Alberta. Free. Hip Hop Heaven. Bolivia Carmichaels hosts this hip-hop-heavy soiree night every Thursday night at CCs. Midnight guest performers and shows. 9pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free. FIRST SATURDAYS Sugar Town. DJ Action Slacks. Keywords: Soul, polyester. 9pm, The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42. $5. Maricón! Ill Camino rotates special guests and reinvents Crush with his beloved once-monthly dance party. (Moisti will still make cameos.) For homos and their homeys. 10pm, Crush,1400 SE Morrison. $3. SECOND THURSDAYS I’ve Got a Hole in My Soul. Three keywords, the most important being: DJ Beyondadoubt. Others: soul, shimmy. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5. SECOND TUESDAYS Bi Bar—every second Tuesday at Crush, and it’s an open, bi-affirming space for music and mingling. Correction: Bi/Pan/ Fluid/Queer. 8pm, Crush, 1400 SE Morrison. SECOND FRIDAYS Slo Jams is a Queer Modern R&B & Neo Soul Dance Night at Local Lounge. DJ II TRILL (TWERK) and DJ MEXXX-TAPE lay down everything from Mary J // Jagged Edge// Keyshia to Badu//Lauryn Etc. 10pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $5. SECOND SATURDAYS Hot Flash: Inferno. (Second and Fourth Saturdays) In the heart of Portland is where the women are—dancing the night away and burning up dance floors the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at Trio. Welcoming all women, queers, and
SUNDAY, APRIL 20: I mean, let’s get real about our lives. This queen of queens has been the apple of my eye since her scene-stealing turn in “Trick.” Have you ever had cum in your eye, Gabriel. It burns! And Samuel Thomas is bringing the delightful national treasure, Coco Peru, to our fair city for a night of dreams. They’re calling it Easter Stoned-Day (sacrilege!) and it’s hosted by Carla Rossi and will feature a slew of special guests, including the likes of Shitney Houston and Pagan Holliday. This is an early show— because let’s get real about our lives, no one wants to stand around for four hours waiting for a show on a Sunday night. 7pm, Rotture, 315 SE Third. Ten American Dollars.
their allies. 6pm-10pm, Trio, 909 E. Burnside. Mrs.: The queen of theme welcomes its new hostess, Kaj-Anne Pepper! And dynamic DJ duo: Beyondadoubt and Ill Camino. Costumes, photo booths, all the hits. 10pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi. $5. SECOND SUNDAYS Beat It at Black Book: Samuel Thomas has a beautiful new night all for you at one of the city’s most exciting new(ish) venues. A monthly event celebrating everything from beards and tattoos to butch queens. Mark your calendars: second Sundays. Hosted by JC Powers, killer deejays. 7pm, Black Book, 20 NW Third. $3 (free if you have a mailed invite) THIRD WEDNESDAYS Comedy at Crush: Belinda Carroll and a slew of locals rustle up some funny. Special guests, and Crush’s signature cocktail and food menus. Donations, sliding scale. (Comics have to eat and drink, too!) Crush, 1400 SE Morrison. THIRD THURSDAYS Polari. Troll in for buvare. Back-in-the-day language, music, and elegance. An ease-you-into-the-weekend mixer. Bridge Club boys make the music. Bridge and tunnel patrons have no idea what to do with us when we pour in. Hint: it’s always the Thursday we go to press. 10pm, Vault, 226 NW 12. Free. THIRD FRIDAYS Ruthless! Eastside deluxe. DJs Ill Camino, Rhienna. Come welcome new resident deejay Rhienna and listen to the fiercest jams all night long. Keyword: cha cha heels. 10pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $3. THIRD SATURDAYS Burlescape! Burlesque & boylesque wrapped in a taste of tease! Zora Phoenix, Isaiah Esquire, Tod Alan. (And there’s more than that, kids.) Zora is a treat and a treasure—and so are her shows. Try one out! 9pm, Crush, 1400 SE Morrison. $10. Gaycation all you ever wanted. DJ Charming always welcomes special guests. (For January, Mary welcomes DJ K. Marie and Troubled Youth.) Be early so you can actually get a drink. Sweaty deliciousness, hottest babes. THE party. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5. FOURTH FRIDAYS Twerk. DJs ILL Camino and II Trill. Keywords: bring your twerk. The city’s longest-running queer hip hop/R&B party--where artists, deejays, performers come to mix, mingle, and move on the dance floor. Established fun, all night long. 9pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $5. FOURTH SATURDAYS Blow Pony. Two giant floors. Wide variety of music, plenty of room for dancing. Rowdy, crowdy, sweaty betty. 9pm, Rotture/ Branx, 315 SE 3. $5. LAST THURSDAYS Laid Out, Bridgetown’s newest gay dance party. Seriously, the posters read: “gay dance party.” I. Love. This. Party. Thursdays are a real thing again. Deejays Gossip Cat and Pocket Rock-It, with photos by Eric Sellers. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3 after 10pm.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22: Vigil for the freedom to marry in Oregon. It’s taken years of hard work, support and enthusiasm—and two lawsuits, but Oregon is closer than ever to winning marriage all loving, committed couples in our state. On April 23rd, a federal judge will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Oregon and Basic Rights Oregon that would strike down our state’s marriage ban. These arguments— and this case—are historic. On the night before oral arguments, join hundreds of Oregonians at one of six vigils across the state—and together, we’ll send a powerful message: Oregon is ready for marriage. Find other locations here: www.ORUnited.org/Vigils. RSVP here: www.ORUnited.org/VigilPortland. 5:30pm, Terry Schrunk Plaza.
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QDOC, THE ABOMINABLE ACT, AND MUCH MORE If you’ve spent even a minute around David Weissman, you already know what I know—this man is an incredible creature, a national treasure, beaming with passion and creativity. (Sorry, David, if you’re blushing—it’s true.) When we sat down for coffee at Barista on NW 23rd earlier this month to chat about this year’s QDoc lineup, David took care to explain each film one by one, saving enough infectious enthusiasm for his description of each. The films are like his children, and his joy is sharing them with you, his community. Weissman is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, teacher, film programmer, public speaker (catch his Dark Night of the Soul stuff ), and longtime activist. He’s best known for his two acclaimed documentaries, “We Were Here” and “The Cockettes.” Before moving to Portland, he spent over 30 years in San Francisco—at the height of the gay revolution. He’s taught classes and workshops, been a guest speaker, and presented his work at many universities, including USC, Stanford, Yale, and UC Santa Cruz, to name a few. And he remembers wistfully the history of old San Francisco—a city he used to consider his muse. “Every year, I want everyone to see every fucking movie,” says Weissman. “We [him and Russ Gage] do this [curate QDoc] for cultural and political reasons—there are a lot of amazing, compelling stories out there. Sharing this stuff reminds us we’re all in this together—that we’re a community, and as a community we have a shared experience. Each year, we program based on what we think will bring people back— not necessarily what will bring people in. We want to give you something you can’t get anywhere else.” It’s this drive and passion that help make QDoc the wild success it is year in and year out. “I run into people I know,” says Weissman. “They tell me, ‘I don’t even need to look at the program, I know it’s going to be great.’” He also suggests sitting in on a movie that night not necessarily interest you. Some people find their favorite documentaries that way. Throughout our conversation, we talk about the “new digital age,” how gentrification is changing our community in cities everywhere, our over-reliance on alcohol-based events as a predominant social structure. Are we postgay or post-queer without our gay neighborhoods? Are we headed back into the closet? And, perhaps most of all, where are the young people at QDoc? It seems we’re faced with a golden opportunity—like we’re standing on the precipice of a new queer reality, building something new, different, and beautiful together. (See: Jason Myers and Home Theatre System.) QDoc is the very definition of community-building: An inspirational, joyful, emotional romp through queer culture. Mark your calendars, clear your weekend, and do try to fit QDoc into your schedule. Check out a movie you might not otherwise choose (the complete schedule is on page 18). In the meantime, read PQ’s take on QDoc’s lineup. TJ Acena and Kim Hoffman report.
--Daniel Borgen “THE ABOMINABLE ACT” I’ve made a note to advise my fellow gays not to visit Jamaica. After watching director Micah Fink’s “The Abonimable Act,” there’s a moment of deep sorrow that hits you head-on. This documentary exposes this Caribbean island’s sodomy law, in which gay men can receive up to 10 years in prison for anything considered “gross indecency,” including anal sex. We meet Simone and Maurice, a lesbian mother and a gay activist, struggling to protect themselves and the 22 • April/May 2014
people they love. British imperialism defines homosexual acts as the “abominable crime.” The countless crimes coupled with flat-out mainstream homophobia—in entertainment, religion, and politics, makes for a living, breathing Holocaust. What gay Jamaicans are left with is perilous, to start. Some gamble with their own safety to affect the change Jamaica needs—by joining and leading LGBT organizations. Others relocate from home to home, their anonymity a thin veil for who they really are. In the end, like many other countries with anti-gay laws that result in imprisonment and death, the awareness this film brings to Jamaica’s situation is sobering. Consider our struggles to create marriage equality in the states—and lay upon those battles the battles of gay Jamaicans. In many overwhelming ways, there are no comparisons—the fight for human equality sometimes extends far deeper than you know. (Kim Hoffman) http://www.abominablecrimefilm.com/
laughing because it’s all too surreal to be true, so it must be. I guess we’ll always wonder what John truly felt, but this is a miraculous piece of queer American history, where the dust of the past will always be a bit ambiguous. (Kim Hoffman)
“THE CASE AGAINST PROP 8” The fight against Proposition 8 in California took four years; “The Case Against Prop 8” took five years to make. For those of us who didn’t live in California it’s easy to think of the overturn as something that just happened, an important thing to happen, but just a story that took place in courtrooms. This documentary really delves into the story of how the fight against Proposition 8 was won and the people behind it. We meet the two couples who actually brought the lawsuit as well as the legal team behind them; it’s an engaging mix of the personal and the political. It’s staggering how much work went into to fighting Proposition 8, and the filmmakers do an amazing job of distilling the complex legal proceedings into something that is easily digestible. I finished the movie with an immense sense of gratitude that a team of people were dedicated enough to spend four years of their lives fighting for the civil rights of Californians, and in turn, the rest of the country. (TJ Acena)
“KATE BORNSTEIN IS A QUEER & PLEASANT DANGER” “Hey wood—remember me?” Is my favorite line in “Kate Bornstein Is a Queer & Pleasant Danger.” You’ll know the moment when you get there, and then your eyes will turn into lakes like mine did. The documentary title is not only the same as Kate Bornstein’s memoir, but is a masterful, visual accompaniment to Kate’s life at home in NYC and New Jersey, with longtime lover Barbara Carrellas, among a gaggle of beloved pets, including a groovy looking turtle. And it is also the mother of mantras for all: Stay alive. Through dark times in Kate’s life, plus a barrel of laughter to keep things in balance: belief, death, and of course, how we fit into this grand scheme we call life, have tested and challenged Kate in ways that seem to define what “brave” really, truly is. I mean it—if you want to know what “brave” is, talk to this gender outlaw. She’s one sapiosexual (mm, brains!) who’s been there, done that: Scientology, even. We, as Kate says, are all spiritual immortals who travel through many lifetimes. This film is truly about the journey Kate has been on, and continues to be on—it’s a testament to the beautiful present moment, and our willingness to be the best versions of ourselves. Her one rule, request, and reminder to all of us is a simple and sweet sentiment (that made my eyes giant lakes)—or in this case, oceans. Brava, Auntie Kate. (Kim Hoffman) http://vimeo.com/84257153
“THE DOG” If you remember the mob bank hostage movie from 1975, “Dog Day Afternoon” starring Al Pacino, you might also recall the events the film was based off: In August 1972, John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturale attempted to rob a Brooklyn bank to help pay for his wife Aron’s sex-reassignment surgery, a trans woman who later changed her name to Elizabeth Eden. Only the robbery didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. “The Dog” gives (the now-deceased) John’s firsthand account of being a cocky boss with multiple wives, the hostile 1970s climate of gay rights in New York, and of course, the events of the bank robbery that turned into a highly publicized hostage situation. Even if you were too young to remember it, the story broke across the nation, and the crowd outside the bank was a frenzy of onlookers. There was even a pizza delivery, at the request of John. A boy’s gotta eat. The film takes stock of other people in John’s life: Family, friends, and lovers alike, many who still care deeply for John (despite the fact that he’s a self-identified pervert). What’s fascinating about this film is the gall John, mister tough mobster, has to discuss his queer life so candidly. Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren really captured a man who seems almost unreliable to count on for the truth—but at the same time, it’s as if he’s
“THE CIRCLE” (DER KREIS) ‘The Circle’ was a secret network for gay men formed in Zurich in the 1940’s that survived the Nazi regime, the only one to do so in Europe. Instead of doing a straight up documentary, director Stefan Haupt creates a hybrid that is half documentary and half historical reenactments. The story of Der Kreis is told through the lives of Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, who met through the organization and are still together to this day. The film switches between interviews with the two and reenactments of their love affair through the years. It feels a little incongruous; the evocative and suspenseful reenactments will often be interrupted by interviews with Osterag and Rapp, and though it’s amazing that the filmmakers were able to interview people who lived through that era I sometimes wished we hadn’t cut away from the story. Still, it’s a fascinating look into an amazingly vibrant time in European gay history. (TJ Acena)
“TO BE TAKEI” For some, George Takei is simply a charming pop culture icon that fills their Facebook feed with hilarious memes. For others he was one of the first Asian Americans to have a prominent and dignified role on American TV. For others he is simply Sulu from the original “Star Trek.” Takei is a lot of things to a lot of people and the film explores all that as well as his family’s experience living in a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII, his activism for marriage equality, his partner of twenty-five years Brad, his career on Broadway, and even his strained “friendship” with William Shatner. At times a Ken Burns documentary and at times (more often) an episode of E True Hollywood Story, this biopic jumps from serious to camp to simple honesty very quickly as it attempts to wrap itself around Takei. It’s a documentary that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and just like Takei, strives to find warmth and compassion. (TJ Acena) (93 minutes) pqmonthly.com
ARTS & CULTURE
THE LADY CHRONICLES Lady about Oahu: Another Day in Paradise, a Retrospective (Part I) By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
3pm: It’s my third full day on the island, and I’m a good half mile away from the shore, treading water, basking in the buoyant, warm waters of Oahu. I haven’t spent so much time in the water in years—I’ve spent the last several years actively avoiding bodies of water, worried my wildly average body (and below-average swimming skills) won’t measure up to my peers’ lithe, toned frames at Rooster Rock or on the banks of the Washougal River. No one wants to be the person on the sand everyone’s eyeing for all the wrong reasons. Put some clothes on, sir. Some way, somehow, though, Waikiki— more specifically, Queens Beach—has eased my inhibitions and I’ve shed all semblances of shame; I’m in tiny, short swim trunks and I’m madly in love with an island. 10am: Earlier that day, my friend Ingrid and I rent a car and drive up to the North Shore, a magical land of tasty, fresh grilled shrimps, breathtakingly handsome gentlemen who spend their days surfing, and the most stunning ocean waves I’ve gazed upon. The map Enterprise gave us is useless; it lacks more than half the island’s major landmarks—and we can’t pronounce the street names anyway. After Diamond Head, we wing it. “Just head north,” a new beach friend advised us. “You’ll get there eventually.” Ingrid and I are unhinged control freaks, so a plan like that normally might mean disaster. But we leisurely make our way up the coast, taking in local sights like we’re a pair of Anthony Bourdains. We survey eerie church ruins and its graffiti. The small towns and villages dotting Oahu’s coastline are filled with huge signs: “Stop development now.” “No more hotels.” 4pm: The gays who camp out on Queens Beach are by far the friendliest in Waikiki, more than making up for the local poke shop owner who threw us out of her store, declaring, “Not for sale, not for you.” (Kapahulu Stop & Shop.) Otherwise, we’re hard-pressed to find a single person who’s unpleasant (and we’re making the rounds, eating our third macaroni salad lunch at the Rainbow Drive-In). Save for one do-gooding soccer mom, who loudly objects to my Butt Magazine beach towel. “Is that a penis?! My daughter! Her eyes!” Also, a scantily clad spring breaker calls me out for parading around in immodest swim trunks. “You’re wearing a bikini, and you’re on the gay beach,” I tell her. “We invented sensuality.” The best part of Queens Beach is the old gay guard—retired men and women who have seen some things and lived every moment of the queer history we only hear stories about. I’m back out in the water, feeling the sun singeing my delicate skin, when Lee, who’s all blonde hair and cobalt blue eyes, swims my way. “You and your friend are fun; you should keep hanging
out with us.” 1am: It’s the night prior, and I’ve already spent way too much money at Hula’s, which at this moment is my favorite bar on the plaent. Do not, for any reason, peruse your credit card statement post-vacation, lest you see an exorbitant number of charges at this place, the bar where every beautiful bartender convinces you he loves you. If I tip him well, I think, surely he’ll slip me his number. (The only slips I got were copies of my receipt.) The thing about these queer watering holes—and it really applies to every single one in Honolulu—everyone is so kind: Patrons, bartenders, you name it. Sure, there are the catty cliques, but most everyone—from the foxiest daddy bear to the youngest twink to the crankiest dyke shooting pool—is a stellar conversationalist. And it’s not just small talk. 5pm: Lee, Ingrid, and I get out of the ocean; we don’t towel off because the sun dries you in three minutes. We amble up the beach and onto the cool grass of the infamous park that’s beach adjacent—a café is a few yards away; cooks grill all manner of meat and vegetable. Queers are littered about the park, drinking white wine spritzers in plastic cups, careful to hide them from nosy passers-by or lifeguards who strut down to man their station on the beach. I talk to Lee’s partner, Rob, a retired firefighter from Boston who looks like he could headline Lumbertwink. Bruce, a white-bearded snowbird from Alaska who insists you refer to him as “His Bruceness,” chimes in. His exuberance and faggotry rival my own. There are others, of course, and this gang of gays—the “Vintage Queens”—have spent countless years here together. They’re encyclopedias—they’ve got stories about heydays in NYC, SF, LA, and the era when Queens Beach was more like Pride in Provincetown. (Gentrification tames us everywhere, doesn’t it?) They look like—and I say this affectionately—an evolved version of The Village People. “I live for these tourists who stare me down and whisper to their friends,” one tells me. “I’ve lived. I’ll wear what I want and act how I want.” These men are also married to the kind of sexy speedo I’m learning to love. 7pm: I ask “His Bruceness” how they coordinate these daily outings. “We don’t,” he says. “We just come when we come—and we know we’ll see each other at some point.” The sun starts to set, and the Queens are retiring to their homes. Ingrid and I head back to Hula’s, because it’s our favorite haunt. Hula’s, then Bacchus, Allie McQueen’s drag show, late night snacks— and I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow. As for my friends: I can’t wait to grow old with them, to become our own gang.
Much more Oahu to come next month. (Romance!) Daniel@PQMonthly.com
April/May 2014 • 23
ARTS FILM & CULTURE
WHISKEY & SYMPATHY
I’m afraid to ask this question, but here goes: I’m a white gay man, and when it comes down to it I’m only attracted to other white men. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching about this, and I don’t think my sexual aesthetic reflects any other implications about anyone else’s race or ethnicity; I also really don’t think that any degree of “consciousness-raising” or shaming will change my innate sense of what I find attractive. Is there a way for people like me to talk about our sexual tastes in regards to ethnicity and race without being racist? Is it better to us to be up-front about only being attracted to people of our own race, or should it be kept secret (even while we’re still acting upon it)? Finally, could it be that I’m just wrong in my estimate, and that only being attracted to people of one’s own race is a racist act? Help me think this through!
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I hear this a lot. It’s just a subjective preference. You aren’t intentionally making a quality judgment and you aren’t trying to say men of color are objectively less attractive than their white counterparts. You just believe that this is your subjective sexual preference, just like you may like a guy with dark hair, or who is in a band. The people who are making quality judgments — the ones who are going around saying that people of color are ugly and white people are superior — are definitely pulling something racist and you recognize that. But you aren’t organizing a White Man March anytime soon, and don’t see yourself logging onto Stormfront in the future, so your preferences are just that, right? People tell me they don’t find people of size, people with disabilities, or trans women attractive as often as I pee [that’s a joke for you trans women]. The temptation to compare it to gay-ness or lesbianning is huge as well. It’s mainstream to believe all aspects of sexuality are inborn. You can’t pray the gay away, so it’s tempting for us to say it seems reasonable you can’t pray away other “preferences” like finding all trans women unattractive, or in your case finding all men of color unattractive. What does a person of color look like, anyway? Plenty of light skinned people of color get subjectively read as white by some people. You could “accidentally” flirt with a man of color and not even realize it and find yourselves both disgusted. I can’t stop you from only dating white men. I can’t stop you from talking about how unattractive you find all men of color. I’ve got no desire to “shame” you, because I got better things to do. But what we all have got to understand is that no one can divorce our attractions — or in your case, unattractions — from societal pressures and norms. You asked me if there was a way you could talk about your attractions, and I think most people of color would say that society already tells people and reinforces the idea that white people are the ideal. You talking about your attractions would be nothing out of the ordinary from the perspective of people of color. Be open. Scream it from the rooftops of your Grindr profile. At the least it lets those reasonable people for whom this is a dealbreaker for friendship or love screen against it. Normally this is where I’d be ending on a joke. Or maybe I’d talk about how boring and bland like a saltine dating must be to, “never race mix.” But, I think these kinds of questions just make me sad.
Wow! I never think about this when choosing a partner or fling. I just go with how I feel about the person I’m about to kick it with. My past is sprinkled with all types lovers. It amazes me when I am attracted to someone that is far from my “usual type.” Where does that come from! Pheromones maybe? I do have certain things that “turn me on and off” and I do look for those things in my men. I think we all have that. So your question had me thinking. Where do our sexy turn-ons and arousal come from? So I searched the ever-knowledgeable internet on this subject, I read a few articles and they all pretty much said the same thing. Sexual attraction is shaped consciously by our mind through experience, preference, and social conditioning, but sexual magnetism is driven by chemical secretions generated from the frontal lobe cortex which controls sexual arousal and sexuality. Therefore sexual racism cannot exist. There is only sexual discernment, which we are all entitled to. Sexual discernment is evident when our preferences (like “I like waxed asses”) are motivated by sexual practices (like “I like waxed arses because I love to rim”). There is a rational thought process that links physical attraction with certain sex acts. Racism only happens when sexual attraction is aroused through mis-held beliefs and stereotypes (like “I only have sex with Asian/hispanic men because they have smooth asses and I love to rim.” Or “I don’t have sex with — insert ethnic group here — because I’m a bottom boy and so are they.”) This isn’t sexual racism, it’s just racism. Period. At the end of the day, nobody is going to have sex with people they are not attracted to. Unless it’s your job. Now how you talk about your sexual tastes is another subject. How often does this come up? Spewing what you are attracted to over and over in public is tacky. (Unless you are talking about me.) Take a minute and put yourself in any ethnic group and listen to this statement. “I only date white people.” It might be true, but it’s harsh. You’re basically saying everyone else is ugly. I never suggest that anyone lies or feels like they have to keep secrets, but I do have to say “keep it cute” — and maybe to yourself. Listen. Know what your words mean and how they affect others. You can say, “I find sun bleached hairs on tan lined feet super sexy or I love swimming in a man’s blue green eyes,” without putting everyone else. So white pasty guys are your thing—well, OK. Maybe we are making this a bigger issue than it really is. You are just leaving more babes for me!
Need some advice from Monika and Gula? Send your query — with “Whiskey & Sympathy” in the subject line — to email@example.com. Monika MHz is a DJ, queer trans Latina, and a feminist/Xicanista whose relationship status is “it’s complicated” with dubstep. Kinky, prudish, sexty, or cyber; survival, straight, queer, gay, double queer (with a trans woman), or lesbian — if it’s sex, or a mistake, she’s been there, done that. Monika is an activist working hard for marginalized populations and runs a program offering in-home HIV testing for trans women. When not writing, she’s probably off somewhere making a dick joke or peeing while sitting down, like a champ.
24 • April/May 2014
Gula Delgatto’s life began in a small rural farming town in Romaina. She was scouted singing in a rocky field picking potatoes by a producer of a “Mickey Mouse Club” type ensemble. While touring the Americas the group fell apart due to jealousies and drugs. She later transitioned from Vaudeville to starring on the big screen to woman’s prison, and eventually advised the Dali Lama on fashion n-stuff. Currently she’s taking her life knowledge and giving back in an advice column for PQ.
CAROLINE COSSEY: 80S BOND GIRL, PLAYBOY MODEL & TRANSWOMAN By Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly
The faces on the transwomen’s Mt. Rushmore are largely familiar. The likes of Christine Jorgensen, whose transition inspired the then-shocking McCarthy-era headline, “GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell,” 1970s pro tennis player Renee Richards, electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos, and Stonewall veteran and On film, Cossey projects a regal sophistication, as well activist Sylvia Rivera, as a simmering sensuality, like a Roxy Music album that are well documented. had sprung to life in the form of a gorgeous woman. Before the Julia Serano/Janet Mock era of transwoman self-definition, these women, sometimes quietly, sometimes not, successfully carved out visible corners for themselves in an often hostile world. Strangely, the life of Caroline Cossey, a model, author and activist whose story, in its own way, bridges these periods, has been all but lost to our culture. Born in the small English town of Brooke, Norfolk in 1954, Cossey had an unhappy, male-assigned childhood, experiencing bullying and social rejection at school. By sixteen she’d left Brooke and moved to London, where she began transitioning the next year. She worked as a showgirl and a topless dancer, in Paris and Rome, respectively, saving money for her gender confirming surgery, which she obtained in 1974. Cossey enjoyed a quick ascent as a model, appearing in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and as a Page Three girl in the London paper The Sun, before, in 1978, landing a part on the game show 3-2-1. It was on that show’s set, however, that she was recognized by a photographer who’d known her from earlier in her transition, who took her story to the tabloids. Hoping to avoid exposure, Cossey exited the show and stuck to modeling, a plan that, in the short tem, worked. To survey Cossey’s modeling photos from the ‘80s is to be transported to a time when beauty standards were decid-
edly more adult. Hair is big; tans are dark; expressions are sophisticated, louche, and libidinous. It was during this period that Cossey filmed a small part in the James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only,” and became engaged to businessman Elias Fattal. Concurrently, the tabloid News of the World pursued her story, hounding her family and former classmates, outing her to everyone they met. Cossey and Fattal returned from their honeymoon to the headline, “James Bond Girl was a Boy.” Fattal had known of Cossey’s past already, but, bowing to family pressure, almost immediately annulled their marriage. Cossey briefly contemplated suicide in the wake of these events, but soon rebounded and took to the offensive, penning the memoir “I Am a Woman,” and launching what would become a lengthy campaign for the legal recognition of transwomen in England, where at the time they could not, among other things, marry. She continued modeling, and, ever of the moment, appeared in the video for the Duran Duran spin off band The Power Station’s “Some Like It Hot.” Continuing her practice of marrying up, she next paired with Italian Count Glauco Lasiano. While the marriage was recognized in the Count’s Italy, her efforts to change England’s laws drug on. At the Count’s urging, Cossey did not work during their four year marriage. When their union ended, however, she returned, appearing, most notably, in a 1991 Playboy pictorial. Around this time Cossey relocated to Atlanta, GA, and published her second book “My Story.” Her media appearances to promote the book offer a fascinating glimpse into a—thankfully—vanished cultural moment. With no fear of online petitions or Twitter wrath, Cossey’s interviewers felt free, clearly, to sensationalize both her story and her body. That said, it’s difficult to parse out the transphobia and the Anita Hill-era sexual harassment when, for example, daytime talk show host Maury Pauvich gazes in smug dreaminess at Cossey and pronounces, “I look at you and I see all woman . . . I assume that’s a compliment.” The same is true of nighttime host Arsenio Hall, who asks Cossey how she was able to conceal her penis when working as a stripper, purely to set up his own feeble joke about how his penis would be too large for him to ever pull off such a task. On film in these appearances, Cossey projects a regal sophistication, as well as a simmering sensuality, like a Roxy Music album that had anthropomorphized and sprung to
life in the form of a gorgeous woman. Quick witted and flirty, she holds her own on the shows, gamely batting away Arsenio’s incessant genital questions by declaring that “men think too much about their penises.” Likewise, on the tabloid program “Hard Copy,” when the host bizarrely, and apropos of nothing, asks her if she’s romantically interested in Donald Trump, she playfully turns the interview into a video dating opportunity, complimenting the mogul as “cute,” and encouraging him to get in touch. She definitely had a type. Cossey is elegant and poised in these segments when advocating for trans rights, a topic fairly unheard of in the early ‘90s talk world. She summed up the unfairness of the laws she hoped to change nicely, saying that transwomen were “helped medically” in her native Britain, “but left in legal limbo,” as their affirmed genders weren’t recognized. Despite her efforts, Cossey was sadly never able to effect the changes she sought in England’s system. Transpeople there would have to wait for the passage of the 2004’s Gender Recognition Act to attain the legal means to change their genders officially. Following her “My Story” press tour, Cossey disappeard from public sight. Having married Canadian engineer David Finch (sorry Trump), she settled down in the Atlanta suburbs. The development was not entirely surprising, as she’d often expressed the desire to be a wife when she’d concluded with modeling. She’d likewise made statements suggesting her activism was a short term response to circumstances, rather than a lifelong passion, saying in a 1992 interview, “What happened with the British government . . . just fueled the fire in me. I feel the more people understand, the more acceptance and recognition that people like us get. That’s why I’ve become more public about it. It’s why I’ve agreed to do as much as I can, for as long as I can cope with it, and then I’ll say, you know, well, enough is enough.” What Cossey did was quite phenomenal, maintaining a successful public career in the face of blatantly transphobic tabloid harassment, and advocating for trans rights with dignity and poise at a time when few others had the mainstream access to do so. Let’s remember Caroline Cossey, a woman of whom Bond author Ian Fleming might have said, nobody did it better. She lived a glamorous life, which few in her time might have had the courage to attempt or good fortune to realize, fought for what she believed, and, when she felt the time was right, retired in style. Cheers to her!
April/May 2014 • 25
OK, HERE’S THE DEAL … Hurt People Hurt People By Monika MHz, PQ Monthly
When I started this column, I started it knowing that I’d be covering the issues left in the shadows by bigger stories. I wanted to talk about the issues that mattered to me based on my history of where I’ve been and where I am now. I got tired of reading other trans writers online, because it just felt like people were either speaking from under a couple years’ experience of out trans-ness or from an entirely other generation. But in a shining example of why speaking from the same points of view over and over — an example of how a lack of diversity leads to trash — we begin today’s show with Andrea James and Calpernia Addams vs. Parker Marie Malloy. OK, so this is going to get a little back and forth, but bear with me. I promise a payoff. Malloy penned an op-ed piece in March. The op-ed, rightfully, critiqued an op-ed by Addams defending the casting and performance of Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. In the latter op-ed, Addams defended the idea that trans roles should be given to cis actors without disclosing that she, as a Hollywood trans consultant, could potentially profit from such choices, since only cis actors would need consultation. She did this while implying that those who had criticisms of Leto’s casting or performance must certainly be disconnected from trans sex workers and those living with HIV. The desire to criticize that op-ed is entirely reasonable, but the criticism however, was not. Malloy’s criticism centered on a version of respectability politics that is one of the most common in the LGBT community. She describes a subset of the trans community, the part she is fed up with seeing in the media, as, “boy-crazy, makeup-obsessed, over-the-top caricatures.” Malloy resents those caricatures, who seem barely worth describing as people, because they — we, because it includes me from my youth — as the media ambassadors of trans-ness have marked trans-ness as something abnormal. Unlike more acceptable [read: normal] trans women, who go to sporting events, like Malloy. Malloy’s resentment of the “ridiculous” trans character extended beyond fiction and proceeded to attack real trans women like Carmen Carrera and Addams for being “drag queens” and for having the audacity to describe themselves as “transsexual.” Which at first I didn’t understand, but it seems as if Malloy is squicked out by the word, and thinks we should all use the word “transgender,” because reasons, and she knows better? Well suffice it to say, there was plenty to critique in Malloy’s words, and her inflammatory op-ed was definitely asking for a level-headed, reasoned critique. But if that had happened, we wouldn’t be here. And that is definitely not the sort of critique Andrea
James specializes in. Full disclosure, I’ve never liked Andrea James much. I’ve always disliked the cottage industry that makes its living and careers off insecure trans women and James, along with her Deep Stealth Productions, represents the fulcrum of that industry. And, of course, she’s a headline maker through sensational language and maybe I’m giving her exactly what she’s asking for, but you know what? I’m just done with this kind of bickering. She’s been the center of I don’t know how many controversies since being in the public eye, and she’s [allegedly] made her fair share of attack pages on the internet, including [allegedly] posting sexualized photos of an author’s children. James took a bad situation and made it worse, by focusing her criticism not on Malloy’s words, but on who Malloy is. Central to that criticism is the fact that Malloy is attracted to women, and as James puts it, a “recent transitioner.” James makes at least three references to Malloy’s sexuality, at least two references to how recent Malloy came out as trans, alludes to Malloy’s use of Twitter at least seven times, made sure to side against Suey Park’s outrage to Stephen Colbert’s racist “satire” and #CancelColbert, and manages to find time to side with Bret Easton Ellis’ assessment of gay teen suicides and concern over cyberbullying as millennials [a word I never want to type again] being a part of “Generation Wuss.” James rightfully took one of our community’s suddenly most-prominent writers, Malloy, to task for her respectability politic laden op-ed that betrayed some antisex worker and a bit of weirdness towards straight trans women. But here’s where it got weird to me; James called her homophobic. But she did that while criticizing Malloy for being attracted to women. When you attack the credibility of a woman because she’s attracted to other women, there’s a word for that: lesbophobia. In the words of the bullshit artist Andrea James, “So Fucking Brave!” The deal here is that we can learn something from this, from these kinds of moments. There’s a hell of a lot more for us to do than lash out at each other like school yard cliques with a media budget, questioning the authenticity of our bodies, our narrative, and the integrity and credibility of our selves. HIV, Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence, Medical Access, and Sexual Assault all plague our community and hurt us all. Laverne Cox poignantly said, “Hurt people hurt people.” But it would be nice if we could do it a little less. I’d love it if that dynamic shifted, because I truly believe hurt people heal people and hurt people save people.
Monika MHz is a queer trans Latina who makes her way as a Portland-based House music producer/DJ, activist, and writer. Practicing radical love through music, she believes in the transformative nature of music and its real substantive and cultural power to save lives. You can find Monika online at monikamhz.com and @MonikaMHz.
26 • April/May 2014
ARTS & CULTURE
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April/May 2014 â€˘ 27
In This Heart (Part 1) By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly
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28 • April/May 2014
1) I may have been a bit tipsy, because my first response was to burst into tears. “Molly! Oh my god! Seth!” I exclaimed to my two dear friends, who had a few weeks previous announced their engagement. “Of course I’ll be the officiant at your wedding! Of course!” Now, a few months later, I am in the back seat of Molly’s car, looking out the window at a shockingly beautiful patch of land in McMinnville, Oregon. This is the house where Molly grew up; the grinning folks waving to us from the porch are her parents; the man in the passenger seat is her fiancé. I swallow hard, and realize: now, I’m their cleric. 2) It made an elegant sort of sense. Molly and Seth are a heterosexual couple, and I am a single gay man. Their beliefs fall somewhere in a spectrum between “humanist atheist” and “abstractly Jungian,” whereas I am a rather religious dude in possession of all manner of kooky spiritual convictions. They are wedding with the full blessing of government and culture; I, for completely apolitical and highly personal reasons, may never marry. Out of our old college friend circle, I’m probably the closest Molly or Seth would find to a Catholic priest. In other words, when it came time to pick an officiant, I was a shoo-in. 3) Years and years ago, I found a cheap paperback book about meditation. In this book, right near the front, was a quote from a teacher named Bhagwan Nityananda: “The heart is the hub of all sacred places,” it stated. “Go there and roam.” “The hub of all sacred places?” I thought to myself as a teenager, closing the book and putting it onto the shelf. At the time, I thought of my heart as loud and confusing, full of all manner of unwanted longings and desires. I assumed that, maybe someday, I’d understand what this Nityananda guy was talking about. This was just one of over a million naïve assumptions I made as a teenager. 4) I have so little idea of how to act as an officiant meeting a couples’ parents that it’s probably hilarious for Molly and Seth to observe me. I sit at their dinner table, enjoying their lavish and casual hospitality, the easy way they laugh with one another
and the cozy comfort of their home — seriously, the whole scene is idyllic and charming to the point of disbelief — and realize that my back hurts. I then realize that this makes an sort of sense, too: unconsciously, in an effort to embody some sort of priestly gravitas, I have been sitting straight-spined upright with the rigid posture of a person potty-trained at gunpoint. 5) My teenage assumption that somed ay I’d u nder st a nd w h at Bh a g w a n Nityananda was talking about was quite naïve, really. I smoke a cigarette under the cover of the carport of Molly’s family home, the rain rhy thmica lly beating against the metal roof, and my heart is a meaty organ, shocked over and over by the electricity of my body to make it pump hot blood through my veins. Even at my most illuminated moments, my heart is a landscape within the cage of my ribs, a vast open field and a clear sky prone to filling up with storms. “The hub of all sacred places,” though? I stub out my cigarette beneath the sole of my shoe and go inside. 6) “Will you give Nick the tour?” Molly’s father asks her with kind familiarity as he puts a pint of the best homebrew beer I’ve ever tasted into my hand. “Sure!” she says, “we’ll start upstairs.” She walks to a door beside the table where we ate lunch, throws it open and steps up onto a flight of stairs. This is Oregon; while I wasn’t paying attention, the hard rain outside had stopped and the clouds broke. Molly stands midway up the stairs, perfectly silhouetted; I stand at the base of the stairs, blinded by the sun and the light of the future coming to meet us, and it is clear to me that my heart, the meaty organ, the great flat field and the clear sky, is not my own — it had never been my sole possession. All this time, the matter that made up my body was on loan from the earth. All this time, the emotions that passed through the space inside my chest were heirlooms on loan from centuries of human experience and thought. I stand at the bottom of the stairs, the sun streaming through the break in the clouds to blind us, in the middle of a home full of immense love, and know that everything in this heart is something I will have to give back someday. “Are you coming up?” Molly asks. “Yeah,” I say, and step into the light.
Nick Mattos (@nickmattos2) is a writer living in SE Portland who is still rather freaked out and incredibly honored by the prospect of officiating his friends’ wedding; he’ll be exploring this further in Part 2. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. pqmonthly.com
MORELAND FARMERS PANTRY STIRS CONTROVERSY IN LOCAL COMMUNITY By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly
One of the most hotly-debated actions to take place in this controversy, though, A soon-to-open Sellwood natural foods came from a gift given by Moreland store has come under fire for anti-marFarmers Pantry to Equity Foundation. riage equality statements made by one of John Childs made his intention to give its owners, causing significant controversy a donation to a local LGBTQ organizain the local LGBTQ community. tion clear during an interview with PQ From the outside, Moreland FarmMonthly: “We want people to understand ers Pantry looks like the very model of that we’re putting our money where our a new Portland natural foods store. The mouth is, and as a goodwill gesture to the storefront, restored by owners John and community at large. “ Chauncy Childs, could have been transChilds was very emphatic that the ported straight from the 1920’s. However, organizations he was considering giving in early April, an anonymous Sellwood to had to not be one that was active in the resident’s YouTube video claimed that the fight for marriage equality in Oregon. store owners’ social politics were straight “It wouldn’t include a cause that supout of the 1920’s as well. ported gay marriage, because I’d be a The video details a series of Facehypocrite if I did that. If we could find a book posts made by Moreland Farmers cause that supported troubled gay and Pantry co-owner Chauncy Childs (under lesbian teens — not to try to convince her pseudonym Lynn Brice) in which she them not to be gay, of course, but to help expressed opposition to marriage equalthem through their crises. Everyone has ity and reposted articles arguing that busicrises, gay or otherwise. That’s just an nesses should have the right to refuse seridea, but we don’t know if such an orgavice to gay people. The video’s author, later nization exists… perhaps we can earidentified as Sean O’Riordan, particularly mark our gift to be specifically for such highlighted a meme reposted by Childs a program.” which equated denial of service to a gay However, when Equity Foundation person to a denial of service to a KKK orgareleased a statement on April 7 confirmnization, as well as a Thought Catalog arti- The storefront, restored by owners John and Chauncy Childs, could have been transported straight from the 1920’s. However, in early April, an ing that they had received a $1000 gift from cle exploring recent denial of service legis- anonymous Sellwood resident’s YouTube video claimed that the store owners’ social politics were straight out of the 1920’s as well. Moreland Farmers Pantry, they indicated lation from a libertarian perspective. The video, which was taken down by O’Riordan, was reposted by PQ Monthly for the sake of that these funds may be used to support the fight for marriage equality. “Equity Foundation has accepted a contribution from John Childs,” the statement explains. “The money posterity and to provide the public with the source materials behind this controversy. “At this point, there’s been a misunderstanding,” John Childs stated to PQ Monthly. “I will be used as all our contributions are: to fund LGBTQ youth, transgender justice, HIV/ understand and I get how those posts were misinterpreted. We’re very embarrassed — we AIDS housing, art as a tool for change, and marriage equality [emphasis added].” In a were blindsided by it.” Childs pointed out that Moreland Farmers Pantry has gay employ- statement made to PQ Monthly, Equity Foundation Executive Director Karol Collymore ees; while these employees were confirmed by PQ Monthly, the employees themselves clarified that the Foundation was not given any caveats with the Childs’ donation. “John did not say [to Equity] how to use the money. Ever,” Collymore said. “He did not say ‘do chose not to identify themselves or speak on the record. “In any case, we are not changing our views,” stated Childs. “We’ve always been very not use it for marriage.’” The decision proved to be extremely controversial for the Equity Foundation. One of inclusive, and abhor discrimination, but we abhor control and limitation upon freedom of expression above anything else.” Childs, like many members of the Church of Jesus Christ their board members chose to resign over the issue; another major donor, Bill Dickey, took of Latter-Day Saints which he and his wife Chauncy belong to, believes strongly that mar- to social media to explain that he would personally give $1000 to have the Foundation return the gift to the Childs, and if not, he would cease his own giving. As of press time, riage is a covenant between a man and a woman. The Childs’ expression of this belief did not sit well with many Portlanders. Once O’Ri- Equity Foundation has not chosen to return the gift. Despite the clear turmoil that this has caused in the local LGBTQ community, John ordan’s video hit social media, it quickly spread through social justice and LGBTQ-minded Childs is trying to look at this firestorm as part of a bigger picture — one that he hopes circles before leaping onto mainstream news channels. Prominent community members ranging from media figures to restauranteurs have chosen to make their thoughts on the will include both liberty and success alike for his family and business, which may open issue known, often in public social media feuds amplified by local media coverage. The as soon as next week. “I think, if any of us looked into any of these companies that we do ensuing debate, both on the macro scale of broadcast media and the micro scale of social business with, we’d find that there are owners and investors who hold differing views than media, has proven for many to be a fascinating look at the ways that the personal and pri- we do. That’s the country that we live in — people hold differing views, and we have the vate intersect in a digital age, a consideration of the transaction that occurs when one goes freedom to discuss them. Of course, people have the right to vote with their wallet and from being a private citizen to a business owner, and a community’s appropriate response not frequent a business they don’t agree with. We just hope that there’s enough people out there looking for non-GMO, hormone-free, pesticide-free food that we’ll be able to have to ideological diversity when those ideologies have been harmful in other contexts. a viable business here. Really, that’s all we’re hoping for.”
April/May 2014 • 29
The Bi Line Sex Workers: The Queer, Female, & Feminist By Ginger Millay, PQ Monthly
When people think about queers in sex work, the image they conjure often includes hot, beefy guys with boundless sex drives hustling in sweaty night clubs. But where do women, both trans- and cis-gendered, fit into this culture? What about queer chicks? Hold up, you might interject, aren’t dykes, feminists and human rights activists supposed to be against sex work? In short, nope. I began my career as a professional Dominatrix three and a half years ago at a dungeon in Manhattan. I’ve since come to work independently, but it was a wonderful place to get my footing. The dungeon was not at all what many incorrectly assume of places that house sex work: sad bitchy drug-addicts hanging out in a dusty hole that reeks of bleach and stale cigarettes; not where anyone would want to spend their days (or nights). I found the dungeon and its house Dommes to be quite lovely. The venue tolerated no illegal activities whatsoever, which was very important to me (professional BDSM play falls under the sex work umbrella, despite it not involving any sexual touching or any nudity the part of the Mistress), and I was pleased to find that the women who worked there were overwhelmingly bright, friendly and, yes, very attractive. Many were artists or students, but what really surprised me were the number of queer women. Of the dozen girls who worked there, only one was straight. One. Generally if a sex worker tells a client she is queer, the client assumes she’s only doing so to seem more exciting and sexy, or to appear entirely off limits. I’ve found, in fact, that the vast majority of sex workers I’ve met over the years have fallen somewhere on the queer spectrum. So why are female sex workers overwhelmingly queer? I see two main reasons. The first, I believe, is the separation of work and play. If your work occasionally involves watching guys wank, or, for full-service sex workers, actual sexual activity, you may become too numb to it to find the idea of banging your boyfriend particularly exciting. Some gals do have the ability to disconnect these things, but the extreme rarity of female clients makes this less of an issue for queer chicks. Another, quite unfortunate reason, is that many straight dudes take issue with their girlfriends working in sexually-charged environments. Tons of dumb boys claim to have dated strippers, considering it a macho badge of honor, but those who actually do date sex workers rarely brag about it. The fact is that most heterosexual men will not be in a serious relationship with a sex worker. Queer men, however, often have less of a problem with the men they date working in the industry. Perhaps this is due to non-monogamy being more embraced by gays than
breeders. I have absolutely found a correlation between partners accepting my sex work and their being kinky, non-monogamous, and/or deviating from the heterosexual norm. Golly Ginger, you may wonder, don’t ya reckon queer chicks like to be Dominatrices because they hate men? Give me a break. Anyone who hates men will not be good at this job. It requires incredible intuition, patience, and acceptance. It’s not like you get to beat the shit out of Justin Bieber— though wouldn’t that be glorious? As to the question of sex work being anti-feminist, I say fuck no. There’s been a huge feud lately between pro-sex work feminists and second wave “radical” feminists, many of whom I used to greatly respect. Gloria “Prostitution is Commercial Rape” Steinem took a trip to India a couple years ago with the intention of eradicating funding to the free clinics that offered testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and contraceptive options to women in the sex trade. She claimed that this would force these women to find other careers because, ya know, rich old white Americans know what’s best for everyone. Instead this just made sex work in India considerably less safe. The sex workers revolted, and Steinem’s condescending plan worked out about as well as America’s Prohibition. This sect of anti-porn and anti-sex work feminism insists that porn leads to rape (what the illogical what?!), and that no sane woman would actually choose to work in the sex industry. Sex workers, “radical” feminists believe, must be forced, coerced, mentally ill, or had no other options—they are victims who need saving. You really want to keep women safe? Legalize all forms of sex work, including prostitution. This would decrease violence, the spread of STIs and underage sex work. Now that’s radical change. One of the main tenants of feminism is “my body, my choice.” Everyone agrees that sex trafficking and slavery are abhorrent, but it must be understood that many sex workers decided to enter their vocation because they wanted to. What they do with their bodies is their choice, and theirs alone, and that needs to be respected. How hypocritical is it for so-called feminists to say, “Your body, your choice—but only if I agree with your choice.” That’s just compounding the oppression they spent years fighting. I am a queer, female, feminist sex worker. I am absolutely empowered and fulfilled by my life choices—hard not to feel powerful when you regularly have people groveling at your feet. Everyone I date respects and accepts me as I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Between my independent Domme work and my party planning business, I am entirely self-employed. No boss, no 9-5, and I always have the most interesting job at a dinner party. I certainly don’t sound like a victim, eh? We’re here, we’re totally queer, get used to it.
Ginger Millay is in love with NYC, where she works independently as an event producer, party planner, and Dominatrix. Follow her on Twitter at MyGingersnaps
30 • April/May 2014
Telling the Gun Goodbye By Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly
There are scenes from my childhood which bear no resemblance to every day domestic life as it’s portrayed and understood in our culture. The occasion I walked into my room as a teenager, for example, to find my dad there pointing a rifle at me and telling me I should leave—because no one in the home liked me—is one. Events like that I buried, likely because there was no place to talk about them, inside my house or out. Carrying them u nc on sc iou sl y c olore d e ver y t h i ng , including my head, and made it all seem haunted. I told him that day I didn’t want to leave the house. Looking back, I imagine I suspected the world was unsafe, or, at least less safe than the place I was, demonstrating both the warping effects of long term abuse, and the profoundly wretched state of my options at that point. If that was so, my dad said, and I wanted to stay, I should start being nicer. Piecing things together now, I assume he meant I should stop fighting back when he invaded my room, attempting to sexually assault me, which I had begun having success with, as I was growing bigger and he had chronic injuries. I assured him I would, negotiating, as I was, at gunpoint, once again thrust into the insanity of his tyrannical violence, my life in the balance. It’s a bitter memory, as I feel I resigned agency in that moment. He raised the rifle’s barrel and instructed me to suck on it, being a sadist, while he held it. I objected, but he was insistent. As though in a dream, I crossed to where he stood and put my lips around it, terrified. As when he would hold my head under water, or strangle me, I feared death in those few seconds, before breaking away. Apparently satisfied, he left, admonishing me to remember what we’d discussed. Last year, I burned every picture and memento I had relating to him, and flushed the ashes of his I’d been given down the toilet. It was a small gesture, but it felt empowering. Living in a household as violent, authoritarian and corrupt as the one I was raised in, one’s psyche bends in order to survive, reality being too horrible to ingest. My reality now doesn’t involve deadly violence perpetrated by those closest to me, loyalty enforced through intimidation, gender and sexual identity themed verbal harassment, or the opaque fog of denial necessary to surviving a living nightmare. For years they’ve all haunted me, though,
making every moment, to some degree or other, feel like a life or death struggle. Emerging from this shadow, which has required over a decade of concerted effort, is like encountering a new world free of both the presence and suspicion of criminal sociopathy. Things I’d only in the last year realized I was missing (their absence having been so customary), like a sense of physical security in my person, or the belief that when I went to sleep I’d lay through the night unaccosted, are returning to me, or so it seems, as I can’t remembering having consciously possessed them before. Inhabiting my body, as a confident, autonomous, sexually mature woman, is, as one who’s physically transitioned only recently, doubly new. The acts of asking which habitual behaviors and personal outlooks I recognize in myself are innate, and which are the products of—or reactions to—my having survived abuse and closeting have become so routine I possibly believed them to be innate as well. What felt liberating in the face of internal confusion now has an air of neurosis, a type of second guessing, born of residual self doubt. A whole life has always belonged to me that my demons in their various forms obscured and that now, my vision unclouded, I better conceive. Battles I’ll never win, against a dead man and against the discrimination that warped my life’s first half, battles that don’t exist should I not participate in them still tempt me, though they do so less and less. Opportunities, desires, chances, amusements and relationships today, all of which I might have feared prior, contain the allure, sans the despair, of the past that’s consumed me. Scenes like that with the rifle impressed a rabid self-censorship within me, a hyper vigilance born of a seemingly bottomless mistrust I felt toward the world. Confidence, as a result, was out of the question, as it would have required an ease around others I, in my siege mentality, would not have dared. My confidence, like my life, was always there, darkened by a cloud that’s lifted, and savored for the first time, like the early days of spring.
Leela Ginelle is a playwright and journalist living in Portland, OR. You can write her at email@example.com. pqmonthly.com
April/May 2014 • 31
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BRO SHINES A LIGHT ON “THE FACE OF HEALTHCARE DISCRIMINATION” By Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly
Basic Rights Oregon’s Trans Justice program will soon unveil a new video series titled “The Face of Healthcare Discrimination.” These videos will feature transgender Oregonians telling their stories of being denied health care based on their gender identity, as well as doctors and policy experts speaking about the importance and cost effectiveness of ensuring health care equality for the trans community. Trans Justice Organizer Peter Dakota Maloof sees sharing these stories via video as vital to building support among Oregonians around this issue. “Unfortunately, many people outside of the transgender community are unaware of the barriers transgender people face,” Maloof says. “Knowing a transgender person and talking about those lived barriers is the single biggest difference in people who actively support transgender people and those who do not. This is why Oregonians telling their stories is so important.” “The Face of Healthcare Discrimination” comes on the heels of the Trans Justice program’s successful “The Benefits of Equality” campaign, which produced toolkits designed to help employees advocate for inclusive care within their workplaces. “’The Benefits of Equality’ is a comprehensive resource with model policies, testimony from transgender people, and even estimates of what equally covering transgender people would cost - the good news is, almost nothing!” Maloof says. To date over 1,000 toolkits have been distributed in print and nearly 600 have been downloaded online. The groundbreaking National Trans Discrimination Survey conducted in 2011 by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 22% of trans Oregonians reported being denied health care, simply because they are trans. This
included preventive screenings and treatments that insurance companies often cover for non-transgender people. Maloof says BRO is actively tackling this kind of discrimination. “We are working to remove health care exclusions from public insurance, such as Oregon Health Plan, as well as continuing to work with the state’s insurance division to e n s u re t h a t p r i va t e insurance companies treat transgender people fairly in their policies,” Maloof says. Transpeople face many social hardships outside of healthcare. 90% of trans adults have reported experiencing workplace harassment, one in four earn less than $10,000 a year, and one in five have experienced homelessness. While insurance reform will not remedy these problems, Maloof says BRO does work to address them. “We are working to educate community members about their rights under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects people from unfair discrimination based on gender identity and presentation,” Maloof says. “By ending the discrimination people face in housing and employment, we can disrupt the cycle of barriers that increase rates of health inequity in transgender communities.” Disrupting the cycle of barriers is the goal of BRO’s “The Face of Healthcare Discrimination” campaign, as well. It’s a chance for people who don’t know a transgender person in their lives (a recent focus group survey found that only one in ten do) to hear their stories. “It’s our hope that these videos will reach a wide audience of transgender people, our allies, our families, businesses, and policy makers,” Maloof says. “We will be highlighting the videos on our website and on social media so that they can be a local and national resource, facilitating conversations that lead to lasting changes in the way transgender people are treated.”
April/May 2014 • 33
“I’M TRYING TO FIND THE TONE THAT IS ME” Tom Spanbauer on Writing, Longing, and Living Dangerously
By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly
Tom Spanbauer is a local treasure. As an author, he has made an indelible imprint upon the landscape of modern queer fiction; as a teacher, his Dangerous Writing method of approaching creativity has influenced some of the city’s most notable authors including Chuck Palanuk and Cheryl Strayed. PQ Monthly’s Nick Mattos hung out with Spanbauer at his home in SE Portland to have a long talk about his new novel I Loved You More, the various forms that longing can take, and the way that the creative path is itself a spiritual journey. PQ: I am really excited about your new novel. So, can you talk a little bit about it? TS: Yeah, sure. It’s called I Loved You More, and it’s like every other novel I’ve ever written. It started someplace inside of me that was disturbed, or sore, or troubled, and so I went to it to try and figure out what it all was. I had a friend who died; we hadn’t spoken in some years. I thought I knew all about this friend and all the trouble we had. But when I got to that place inside me, I realized I didn’t know the story at all, and that I’d forgotten most of it. And I didn’t want to remember a lot of it, or tried to forget it. So I did this thing that Keats called the negative capability: I just stayed in that space of not knowing for a long time, trying to figure out how to continue, and then I started lying. I started making shit up. It’s like my teacher said: “fiction is the lie that tells the truth truer.” Or as Oscar Wilde says, “if you want to know the truth, ask the man with the mask on, he’s the one telling the truth.” Essentially, I put a fiction mask on and started lying — and pretty soon there was this “otherness” to it all that was really wonderful. It became an entity of its own, its own self in its own right, and it was like an actual being in this house with me. I’d try to do some things with it and it wouldn’t let me do it — “nope, nope, we’re going to go this way.” So, that’s how this piece of fiction came out. Heidegger said that if you stick with something long enough, when all the skills and the technology comes together, that it actually discloses a new world. He said that the only thing that makes human beings different from other beings is that we can disclose new worlds. By going to this sort of place, by dwelling in this unknown, by starting to lie about it, it started to become this work and my invention. And when it became an invention, it started overwhelming me and then
all this disclosure came about. And now you have I Loved You More. PQ: That’s beautiful. There is such a revelatory quality to all your work. Where do you feel your creativity comes from? TS: Um, gosh, I think it’s probably because as a kid I wasn’t really allowed any creativity. I was raised on a farm — we were Catholic dirt farmers. So I was just stuck. I was queer and stuck in Idaho and stuck in this family twelve miles outside of Pocatello in this tiny tiny place, and even further stuck with this imagination. I was not allowed to read any books other than Catholic books, and so I would get books and go hide in the greenery and I would read them. I would read all the John Steinbeck I could find. PQ: He’s wonderful stuff. TS: And so I got this sense of what’s called in German “Fernweh” — it means “sickness for far away.” And its like homesickness, only instead of being sick for home, you’re sick for far away. And I knew that there was so much more out there in the world, and I was so enslaved on the farm and with the religion and with my family that I just developed this imagination. So, I started reading and got my ass out of Pocatello as soon as I could. And so I guess that’s where the creativity comes from: I was a square peg in a round hole. I didn’t fit anywhere and I had to make do, you know? I had to create stuff. You know, one of the first things I did was decide I would buy an empty book and write down only truths in it. And as soon as I did that, it was like alchemy to me because nobody else around me was saying these kinds of things. I could put them in a notebook and carry them around with me and, because they were outside of me, I had a companion. I discovered that, not only could I create a world on the page, it could also be this thing outside of me that could be my friend. PQ: Thinking about fernweh, it reminded me of something — my family is Portuguese and there is a concept of longing in Portuguese culture called “saudade,” which is a particular kind of longing for something that is currently gone but could come back. It’s striking that there seems to be a real spiritual longing, a fernweh and a saudade, to so much of your work and to your history as well. How do you feel like that those early experiences on the farm influence your current spiritual life? TS: I’ve had an incredible voyage of self-discovery. I was given very limited information growing up, and I really treated myself the way my parents treated me for a long time and still do. This quest to get away from that dogmatism has led me in a spiritual quest, sure, but it’s also been a sexual quest, it’s been a gender quest, it’s been all of those things. It was never mapped out for me — I didn’t get a guide handed to me like most ordinary people do. This quest to find myself is a spiritual quest. I have to ask myself over and over “how am I authentic? How can I be authentic?” I only know the ways that I’m not being authentic most of the time. It usually takes me a long time to figure that out, too, and one day I realize that I just feel icky and I realize “oh, I’m not being authentic.” This quest of being authentic is definitely a spiritual one. There’s a wonderful teaching in Buddhism that, when you are born, there is a musical note that is hit. They say that what you’re doing in your life, your life’s purpose, is to play that note right so that it sounds — or rather, that you sound — like the original tone. PQ: Oh man, I love that. TS: And so, maybe, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to find that tone that is me, you know, that I was born with that they took away from me, and trying to get it back. To read much more from our interview with Tom Spanbauer, visit PQMonthly.com. I Loved You More is currently available from Hawthorne Books. Spanbauer will be reading from the novel at Boy’s Fort (902 SW Morrison, Portland) at 1 PM on 1 June; at a location TBA on 12 June as part of LitHop; and at Bridgeport Brewery (1318 NW Northrup) on 13 June as part of Queer Lit Happy Hour. For more information, visit TomSpanbauer.com.
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34 • April/May 2014
April/May 2014 â€˘ 35
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36 • April/May 2014
RIDE LOUD & PROUD WITH US!
IT’S A NICE NIGHT FOR A RED WEDDING Words like “institution” don’t seem to do the Red Dress party justice. It’s a mini-Pride of sorts—though arguably more diverse and compact. You see people you only see once a year (at least I do), and you spent months anticipating, shopping, and preparing—and yes, it ends up being a big mess of people, but in my view, that’s sort of the joy of it. It’s come a long way since its inception in a basement with 75 people—true story—and its reach has affected countless local charities, from Our House to Cascade AIDS Project to Outside In (a collective $292,000 and counting). “The coolest thing about being coordinator for the Red Dress Party is the fact that you’re throwing one of the biggest private parties of the year, the money ends up in the hands of hardworking non-profits, and everyone is invited,” says James Dixon, one of this year’s hardest working coordinators. “The party isn’t about being queer, or being in drag—this party promotes self-expression and equality. There are about eight coordinators and a healthy number of volunteers getting this party up and running As this photograph demonstrates, Red Dress looks usually run the gamut. (As does the debauchery.) in our spare time.” “It was a simple, humble beginning in my “Every day someone wants to talk to me about this party or tell me a story about a friends’ basement,” says Portlander and local business owner Craig Olson, who was at the very first party. There were a bunch of guys in red dresses staring at each other thinking, past experience—and to be honest, we get stressed,” says Dixon. “We’re exhausted, we ‘OK, this is cool.’ I think, like most things or events that start with the a true benevolent yell at each other, we hug it out, and then we put our red dresses on and enjoy the party. spirit, it gains momentum because in Portland support exists for things that are ‘real and Every year we get up on that stage, talk about our beneficiaries, and introduce ourselves true.’ My friends just wanted to throw a party with a purpose—I don’t think any of us who to Portland. That’s the moment when your heart races a bit and in that moment you’re attended those first years’ parties in basements in North Portland even though it would on top of the world. You don’t see skin color, gender, social status, or sexual orientation grow into the sensational and renowned event it currently is. It’s amazing and it demon- from that stage. You are looking out upon a sea of red dresses and that moment means the world to me.” strates the result of focused individuals with a common, altruistic goal.” --Daniel Borgen But it’s not all fun and games—planning an event like this is work. To help you prepare for your big night, we’ve asked local socialite and gal about town, Margarine Powers, to weigh in with her (tongue in cheek) Red Dress To-Do List (tm): I was so thrilled when I was asked to contribute to this beautiful regional gardening magazine. Several years ago, I had a fight with Graydon about my expose on Bill and Monica and I swore I’d never put pen to paper again, but I feel so strongly about Red Dress that I felt The most important thing is the dress. compelled. Do say yes to the dress. I’ve spent many years and many millions of my deceased husbands’ dollars supporting assorted charities around the world and I am going to share with you the tips and tricks I’ve learned to make
your one night of charity a year a smash success! 1. Have your chef prepare you a meal before you arrive. Red dress always has the most delicious food, but the LINES! I’ve never been one for eating in public, and you shouldn’t be either. One year they had pulled pork or some other kind of meat and I swear I saw some lesbian grab a handful and put it in the WalGreen’s plastic bag she was carrying as a purse, so remember that little story when you’re piling up your plate with steamin’ hot pig meat. 2. Have your butler put together a cocktail party for you and few friends before the event, or just for you if all your friends stopped talking to you because they suspect you might have played a part in your third husband Alfred’s mysterious death. With your ticket you do get a few thimbles of liquor, but the LINES! I think it’s smart to get sauced at home, that way no one will see you crying. 3. This one is the most important. THE DRESS. If you’re like me, you placed your dress order with your couturier in January when you were in Paris. I do realize that most of you are not like me, so I am going to give you the information that you need in order to pull together a Red Dress
look. Firstly, DO NOT go to Forever 21 or H&M. Or do. Do if you want to run into fourteen other fags wearing the same red jersey dress with puckered seams and an oddly high waist line that hits you smack in the middle or your manly ribs. The best options are to buy something vintage from one of the city’s better vendors or you can craft something yourself. All you really need is some red tulle and a sense of hope. Wrap that tulle around your sensual body, secure with some ribbon and call it a day, and next year don’t be so goddamned lazy and do some pre-planning. 4. Remember to have fun and be sure to Facebook your entire night, so everyone can see all the good you do! I’ve always said what’s the point of charity if no one knows you’re doing it? Also, be sure to get your pictures taken early in the night. There’s nothing worse than waking up to 14 notifications on Sunday morning, and of course all the tags are pictures that were taken at 2 a.m. after several thimbles of liquor and 12 mini cupcakes. I hope to see everyone on the 26th. Don’t disappoint me.
April/May 2014 • 37
The Brilliant List Our goal is to identify and
achievements of those
QUESTIONS: 1. Give us some background information that helps us understand why the individual, nonprofit or business is being nominated. Describe some of the unique skills, qualities, or noteworthy accomplishments that makes this nominee “brilliant.”
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equality. The winners will
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be featured in our annual glossy magaz ine that will be made available on September 28, 2014 at a celebration honoring their achievements.
4. What are the lasting effects of the nominee’s achievement(s)? For example: What impact does the contribution/achievement have on the fight for social justice? How does the community benefit? RULES: 1. Candidates May self-nominate or be nominated by others. 2. Candidates should reside in Oregon and SW Washington.
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www.brilliantmedia.us 38 • April/May 2014
THE GOOD LIFE STYLE
PORTLAND FASHION WEEK STRIKES A POSE FOR BRO By Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly
Portland fashionistas don’t need to jet to Paris or Milan to enjoy the Fashion Week experience. Instead they can go to the Memorial Coliseum during the weekend of April 25-27 for Portland Fashion Week’s Spring show. Now in its eleventh year, PFW is the nation’s third longest running week, behind only New York and Los Angeles. This year, for the first time, Portland Fashion Week will be partnering with Basic Rights Oregon by donating 10% of its ticket sales from its Friday April 25th show, as well as the proceeds from a raffle that evening, which will take place during the program. Portland Fashion Week was founded in 2002 by philanthropist and indie fashion figure Tod Hunter Foulk, and fashion designer SaraBeth Chambers. Their aim was to create platforms to showcase Portland’s designers and retailers. The two guided Portland Fashion Week through ten successful years before transferring control of the program in 2013 to the Portland Fashion Council, an organization they helped found, and of which they are co-owners. Foulk and Chambers are joined on the Portland Fashion Council by Jessica Kane, who’s both a co-owner and the Executive Director. The Portland Fashion Council was founded by the three of them to produce Portland Fashion Week, as well as to serve a higher purpose in the years to come as it develops further,” says Portland Fashion Week’s marketing director Megan Graves. “Ultimately, Portland Fashion Council will produce multiple shows per year ranging from Portland Fashion Week-sized events to smaller, more independent ones, all reaching toward our mission.”
That mission is to broadcast Portland’s fashion talent to a national and international audience, with the hopes of, in Graves words, “making style-savvy Portland a must visit for buyers, editors and fashion connoisseurs the world over.” Portland is becoming well known as a breeding ground for fashion designers. The city has spawned multiple winners of the show “Project Runway.” Graves says that that success is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the city’s fashion depth, and that the size and diversity of the city’s fashion scene is the key to Portland Fashion Week’s longevity. “The Portland design community is a constant,” she says. “It’s always been here, and once you’re involved, you’re kind of hooked. The types of shows here vary from small, independent ones to largescale events like Portland Fashion Week, and you’ll never see the same show twice.” The main attractions, of course, for Fashion Week attendees are the runway shows. Those who attend on the 25th to support Basic Rights Oregon, will see shows by Columbia Sportswear, UnderU4Men, and Revolution Couture, a local, Native American inspired line. These companies weren’t selected specifically to pair with Basic Rights’ presence, but Graves sees a nice symmetry stemming from the eclecticism of the exhibitors. “Diversity and celebrating it, of course, is a huge part of the Basic Rights Oregon platform and is key for Portland Fashion Week, as well,” she says. In addition to the runway shows, those attending fashion week will have ample opportunities to make fashionable purchases, as local boutiques will be setting up “popup shops” in the coliseum. They can, likewise, stop off to pamper themselves at the show’s Beauty Lounge. Finally, if
they stick around, they can attend the after parties, sponsored each night by Red Bull, where they can rub shoulders with the designers, models, and the Portland Fashion Week staff. It’s an event that Basic Rights Oregon is glad to be involved with, says Development Director Juan Martinez. “Basic Rights Oregon is excited about partnering with events that are innovative, align with our mission and also that grab the attention of the community,” he says. “And Portland Fashion Week does exactly that.” The partnership stems from the Portland Fashion Council’s executive director’s longstanding support of the advocacy group’s work, Martinez says. “Jessica Kane has been a longtime contributor to Basic Rights Oregon and is always looking for new ways to support our work for LGBT equality,” he says. “When her team talked about which organizations Portland Fashion Week should support in 2014, she advocated to include Basic Rights Oregon and to have our partnership kick off this year’s exciting schedule of events.” Graves says the partnership fits with the Portland Fashion Council greater vision of building lasting relationships with “local businesses, residents and influencers,” in order to truly showcase the city. In this way, fashion and advocacy go hand in hand. “As much as we want to celebrate Portland designers and the design community, we very much believe in the Basic Rights Oregon platform and want to see their campaign be successful—it’s a no-brainer for us,” she says. If you come to Portland Fashion Week on the 25th, you can help Basic Rights Oregon challenge stereotypes and open minds about our state’s LGBTQ population, and you can also let the Portland Fashion Council challenge your ideas, perhaps, about our region’s style habits and personas. For, as Graves says, “Pacific Northwesterners may have the REI, socks and sandals kind of reputation, but the truth is that individual style in Portland is hardly in such neat categories. Style in Portland is so varied, and we never seem afraid to push the envelope on our outfits, accessories, tattoos, piercings . . . you name it. Portlanders are creative and open-minded in style and Portland Fashion Week is an opportunity to celebrate this truth about our city.”
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CULTIVATING LIFE Grow it, Eat it: Asparagus
By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly
It’s time. The return of the variety of fresh green vegetables that are something other than kale. (Not that I have anything against kale. Some of my best friends are kale.) Spring has sprung and that means asparagus is showing up with gusto, both in our gardens and in the produce bins at the market. When my eye spies asparagus, I breathe in deeply and exhale, knowing I’ve made it through the long dark Portland winter and into the beautiful green promise of spring. Asparagus is a wildly strange grower in the garden. While it takes a while to grow to the point of harvesting, its beautiful tall, airy fronds in the summer provide texture and movement in the veggie garden that few others do. I once saw a hedge of asparagus providing privacy between two tight city backyards and thought it was genius: edible, functional and beautiful. That can be a rare combination. As with all produce, it’s best to grow varieties that are known to do well i n o u r c l i m a t e. Asparagus recommended by Oregon State University include M a r y Wa s h i n g ton, Jersey Knight, Jersey Giant, UC 157 and Purple Passion. Note about the purple asparagus: it has a higher sugar content than the green. Because it’s a hardy perennial, meaning asparagus will come back every year, it’s important to site and prepare the bed well for transplanting your starts. Amend the soil with good organic compost, making sure to weed well. Asparagus does not do well in heavy soil with poor drainage. Plant early in spring, and do not harvest the first year, instead allowing the plants to grow and form their beautiful ferns. In the second year, you can harvest just a few shoots, but allow the rest to grow and develop. Once the third year comes, you can begin regular harvest until mid-June, allowing shoots to grow in the summer to feed and strengthen their roots.
Asparagus and tomatoes are good companion plants. Tomatoes repel the asparagus beetle, while asparagus repels some harmful nematodes that can affect tomato plants. Eat it! Asparagus is so versatile in the kitchen: you can keep it super simple or dress it up and put lipstick on it. Gruyere lipstick, that is… Simple: Grill asparagus on a lightly oiled grill, sprinkle with salt and pepper, squeeze a lemon over it if you like, and call it done. Take it up a notch: Stir fry it with spicy peppers and mushrooms, or lightly steam it and top with a lemon-tarragon cream sauce. (Tarragon is an early-spring herb.) Everything goes better with gruyere: elegant, rich and delicious, an asparagus and gruyere tart is a harbinger of spring treat at our house. Recipe: Asparagus + Gruyere Spring Tart 1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed 1 lb thin asparagus spears, rinsed and trimmed 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 cup shredded Gruyere Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Unfold the pastry dough onto a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14x10” rectangle and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a knife, score the dough 1” from the edge all around the rectangle and pr ick the dough with a fork all over. Using a pastry brush, spread the mustard on the tart within the border. Sprinkle gruyere evenly. In a single layer, place asparagus tightly, side by side, and alternating ends with each spear. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is puffy and golden. And the question that always comes up when we talk about asparagus: “Why does it make my pee stink?” Asparagus contains certain compounds metabolized by our bodies that yield ammonia and sulfur products. Studies show the ability to smell this is genetic: some people can, some people can’t.
LeAnn Locher is an OSU extension master gardener and home arts dabbler. Connect with her and other like minded home arts badasses at facebook.com/sassygardener. 41 • April/May 2014
LOCAL An African-American transgender student—who’ll be a junior at George Fox University next year—has been denied on-campus housing at the Oregon school. Jayce M., from Portland, has medically and socially—and recently legally— transitioned. Jayce’s attorney, Portlander Paul Southwick, filed a Title IX discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. So far, despite rallies (including a huge one on April 13) and pleas and petitions, the college refuses to budge. Says Southwick: “The university violated Jayce’s rights under Title IX because they denied him on-campus housing on the basis of his sex, gender identity and transgender status. The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ) recently determined that “[a] ll students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to sex stereotypes, are protected from sexbased discrimination under Title IX and Title IV.” This law, according to Southwick, extends to religious institutions: “Although some religious institutions are exempt from Title IX coverage with regard to admissions, all institutions must treat their students without discrimination on the basis of sex with respect to non-admissions decisions, including student housing.” PQ continues to cover this story online.
on eBay. Shoes. Oh my God. Shoes. Let’s get some shoes. On March 8, Oregon Republicans met at the annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside, Ore., where they voted in favor of gay marriage 233-162, a giant win for everyone. Somewhere Bill Clinton is tuning up his saxophone and Jimmy Carter is patting him on the back. In other words: Can we have an epic presidential jam session about this news? Founder Robert Packer attended, telling the Huffington Post, “One, it’s the right and moral thing to do. Two, it’s going to happen. Get ahead of the curve, not behind it.” The Pew Research Center recently conducted a study of over 1,200 LGBTQ individuals and gave the University of Oregon one of the highest ratings for LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the U.S. It also found that 40 percent of our community identifies as bisexual. Surprised? Only 28 percent of those bisexual said it is important to share their sexuality with people in their lives. OK. So, this study might as well state the obvious: Everyone’s just a little bit gay. (And the rest of us are a lot, a lot gay.)
Ain’t too proud to beg. On April 1, Oregon United for Marriage pled with U.S. District Judge Michael McShane (not intermingled in any way with Shane McCutcheon in “The L Word”) to reverse the ban on same-sex marriage by May 23, and in return they will not go ahead with the November ballot measure (that we’ve all been talking and talking about.) Whoa. In their statements to McShane, they explained: “In the past year, a series of federal court decisions has clarified that Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban cannot survive federal constitutional scrutiny. Accordingly, an election on whether to allow same-sex marriage in Oregon may be unnecessary.”
On April 3, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center merged with the Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (affordable accommodations for low-income seniors). According to a press release from the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, there are around 65,000 LGBTQ seniors living in L.A. “One of the factors contributing to the demand for affordable housing is that LGBT seniors are four times less likely to have children and grandchildren to support them and twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to live alone, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute,” the press release stated. The center says they’re excited to join forces with GLEH, as well as AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc., which is developing a housing unit in Hollywood this spring.
On March 26, Oregon mother Jessica Dutro was charged with the murder of her 4-year-old son. Over the course of many days, Zachary Dutro-Boggess was beaten to death by his own mother and her boyfriend, because they thought he was gay. Facebook messages between the couple indicate they were in talks about how to “work on” this. It’s alleged she beat her three other children, but it was Zachary who collapsed at the shelter in Tigard they were staying at, and was rushed to a Portland hospital where he died. On April 2, Dutro was found guilty on seven counts of murder, felony, and second-degree assault. Her boyfriend pleaded guilty to his charges. Sentencing will take place April 18.
Former Director of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Deborah Birx, was announced as the Department of State’s new Global AIDS Coordinator. On April 3, a press release from the United States Agency for International Development, applauded Dr. Birx for her service of 28 years in the military where she acted as Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program and was “instrumental in the development of the first clinical research study to show the possibility that a vaccine could protect against HIV.”
In March, Silverton, Ore., Mayor Stu Rasmussen—the first openly transgender mayor in the U.S.—made the choice to sell one big shoe collection for a tax-deductable donation with each purchase made. The story went viral after a pair was apparently being auctioned for $10,000
April 3 was the day of press releases and positive change: The Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Social Security Administration is now adept to process Medicare enrollments for same-sex couples. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says, “We are working together with SSA to process these requests in a
timely manner to ensure all beneficiaries, regardless of sexual orientation, are treated fairly under the law.” This announcement follows the United States v. Windsor case in the Supreme Court. Edie for the win, once again! On March 27, Associate Attorney General Tony West gave remarks at the Community Relations Service in regard to a new Transgender Law Enforcement Training. “Too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement. We know that such experiences have undermined the confidence transgender victims have in our justice system,” said West. CRS is devoted to this mission with regard to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, so that no victim remains left in the shadows of a hate crime, and justice is sought out in the correct ways. On March 25, Attorney General Eric Holder announced: “I have determined that the same-sex marriages performed last Saturday in Michigan will be recognized by the federal government. These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. For purposes of federal law, as I announced in January with respect to similarly situated same-sex couples in Utah, these Michigan couples will not be asked to wait for further resolution in the courts before they may seek federal benefits to which they are entitled.” Around 300 same-sex couples were married in Michigan before the federal courts could put a hold on legal proceedings. Gov. Rick Snyder has the kind of position on gay marriage that is most confusing—tolerance mixed with immobility. Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles on March 22, stating, “The rights of LGBT people [are] an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world.” This support is a crucial step in bringing protection to other countries where LGBTQ rights are far and few between. Two of the coalitions to help global human rights are the Global Equality Fund and LGBT Global Development Partnership. Say, look who it is—Dr. Jill Biden has been making her mark in the LGBTQ community, too. On March 26, she met with a dozen or so individuals at the White House from all over the nation to discuss health care, one man telling a story of his diagnosis with HIV the same day he lost his job— noting the Affordable Care Act has saved his life. How does Obamacare help our community? The good people over at the White House blog have a handy-dandy list of reasons why, a couple of things being: Same-sex married couples can’t be discriminated against or denied financial assistance and you won’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS or mental health diagnoses.
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BONNEVILLE HOT SPRINGS & SPA The only destination resort spa situated in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa is an excellent retreat for a honeymoon or engagement celebration (actually, it is a great destination for most any reason). With amazing overnight packages that include roses, wine, and dining credits, celebrating at Bonneville becomes affordable and too good to pass up. There is even a “Take a Hike” package—hiking in the gorgeous surrounding forest then hitting the spa, most every Oregonian’s dream! The spa does massage, body treatments, facial and nail services…just what you need to melt away stress. There are couples treatments with wraps, soaks, and massages. Dining, golf, swimming, soaking, hiking, coffee, massage…the perfect resort. Please call the reservation desk at 866-459-1678 or book online at: http://www.bonnevilleresort.com/rooms.htm. For a special gift from Bonneville, with your minimum of a one-night stay, please tell them PQ Monthly sent you. Other venues recommended by PQ Monthly: Please connect with Kevin Yell, Kevin@AinsworthHouse.net, for the gorgeous Ainsworth House & Gardens or Renee Rank, and email ReneeR@HQ.McMenamin.com for historic McMenamin’s locations statewide. MALOY’S JEWELRY WORKSHOP “Dazzle Panel,” “Linked Together,” and“Gothic Rose”— names of some of the most beautiful and unique engagement rings you will ever see. Maloy’s Jewelry Workshop offers exceptional antique jewelry that has been expertly restored along with complete custom design and build services. A 25-year-old family business that takes immense pride in their work. Choosing Maloy’s for your engagement ring will be a very wise decision. Why? Because choosing a jeweler who understands the classical forms in exqui-
site antique jewelry that was created in the decadent years of elegance panache—yet also creates a modern piece that will fit in 2014, that is a jeweler who understands fine jewelry; that is what Maloy’s offers. When you get engaged and then married, this is a life-time commitment, a run-of-the-mill boxstore jewelry store will not give you that warm feeling that you will get when you shop at Maloy’s, a local, family-owned shop that can offer you a ring that will become an heirloom. At Maloy’s their philosophy is: “Jewelry is a happy marriage of art and craft.” Please go to their website: http://www.maloys.com/featured/engagement-ring/ to see some of the most stunning engagement rings you will ever lay eyes on. Look for my personal favorite: “Pucker Up,” created in the 1940’s but gorgeous enough to dazzle us in 2014. For repairs, designs, engagements, weddings, or just to browse, please go to 717 SW 10th Avenue, email Shop@Maloys.com, or simply call Shan or Eve at 503-223-4720. For a special surprise for scheduling an engagement/wedding consultation, please tell them PQ Monthly sent you. LA JOCONDE CAKE STUDIO + BAKERY If you could combine German precision and their ability for unflawed design with the flamboyance of the French, you’d have Jutta Bach’s amazing Cake Studio: La Joconde. Jutta Bach created La Joconde in 2006, after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking Program at Western Culinary Institute in Portland and after receiving many years of formal training in architecture and design in Germany. This perfect combo of skills is winning her the praise of many Oregon Wedding Planners. Visit http://lajocondecakes.com and see the awards and the pictures of the exquisite cakes with your own eyes. When you are celebrating your
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engagement or wedding, you want to serve your guests the best looking and best tasting cake available, this is why we recommend La Joconde Cake Studio + Bakery. The designs are amazing and the flavors are divine. Please tell Jutta PQ Monthly sent you and receive a special surprise when you make your engagement/wedding consultation. Visit the Studio at 925 NW 19th Avenue, Studio E, or call or text Jutta at 503-481-4539 or email at Jutta@LaJocondeCakes.com. To read an in-depth interview with Jutta Bach, please click here, visit http://www.vibranttable.com/blog/bridal-boutique/ jutta-bach-of-la-joconde-wedding-cakes/. Photography and Florists, what wedding is complete without them? PQ Monthly recommends: Josef Reiter, Josef@BotanicaFloralPDX.com, for gorgeous flower bouquets and accents for your wedding and Jennifer Tyler Huber, firstname.lastname@example.org, to snap warm and genuine shots of your precious moments.
QUEER APERTURE Through his Queer Aperture project, photographer Jeffrey Horvitz has spent years documenting the LGBTQ communities of Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. He’s well aware that a picture paints a whole mess of words, but here he offers a few actual words to better acquaint us with his dynamic subjects. What is your name? Bob Speltz
Favorite book? So hard, too many.
How long have you lived in Portland? 15 years
Favorite movie? Star Wars.
What is the first time you noticed gayness existed? A crush on a kid at camp at 10 years old.
Favorite word? Thank you.
What do you consider a guilty pleasure? Reading fiction for hours on end.
Least favorite word? Urgent
You’re having a dinner party of 6, whom would you invite? Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Harvey Milk, Liza Minelli, Michele Obama. And my father.
Favorite swear word? Fuck yeah!
What would you consider a perfect meal? A spontaneous unrushed meal with my partner and close friends. What would be a perfect day off? A completely unscheduled day, coming and going as I please. PHOTO BY JEFFREY HORVITZ
43 • April/May 2014
What is your profession? Public affairs professional. If you could with a snap of a finger be anything, what would be another profession you would like to do? A professional photographer. Whom would you like to meet dead or alive? Abraham Lincoln For more Queer Aperture visit, queeraperture.com
44 â€˘ April/May 2014