Page 1

September 2011

What’s the Future for LGBT Community Centers?

Your Your LGBT LGBT Publication Publication for for Alabama Alabama and and the the Florida Florida Panhandle Panhandle


4 | Noise


September 2011

Noise | 3

C O N T E N T S September 2011 News Briefs ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Are You the Opposite Sex or am I? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 5 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 6 Republicans and Obama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 7 Teedle’s Tidbit -Grandkids! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 8 D.J. Derek’s Top Ten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 9 On Campus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 10 Community Bar Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 13 What’s the Future for LGBT Community Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 14

Staff Managing Editor:

Don Mills

noise.magazine@gaybham.com

Contributing Editor:

Rebecca Haack

Columnists:

Joe Openshaw, Marty Shelley, DJ Derek Johns, Joshua Bruce, Teedle Jones

Contributing Writers:

Jonathon Barnes,

Noise Magazine is a publication of GAYBHAM. Copyright GAYBHAM 2011. The Publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims of advertisers and has the right to reject any advertising. The inclusion of an individual’s name or photograph in the publication implies nothing about that individual’s sexual orientation. Letters, stories, etc. appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of the Publisher or Staff of NOISE Magazine.


4 | Noise

News Briefs... New Organization being formed to serve the Wiregrass Area! A new group is currently in the process of developing an organization for the wiregrass lgbt community. Wiregrass LGBT (lesbian,gay,bi,transgender) is a community based organization. Their mission is to unify the LGBT community and provide a support system, resources and opportunities to promote equality in our community that will help create a sense of hope in all walks of life for the Wiregrass area. To be a member you must live in Alabama and be 18 years of age or older. A Membership Drive is planned for September 9th at Dothan Dance Club and September 10th at Club Imagination at 8pm. On September the 9th at DDC, Wiregrass LGBT will be sharing the house with the go purple, stop the hate event hosted by Dave Mitchell. Please show support and wear your purple. September 10 Wiregrass LGBT will be sharing the house with Club Imagination and continue raising awareness on bullying with them. Membership apps, information pamphlets about the organization and the benefits of becoming a member will be available both nights. Also Wiregrass LGBT will also be selling purple no bully zone wrist bands to help raise awareness and hosting a short film about bullying. Wiregrass LGBT also plans to be present at Alabama’s Capitol City Pride on September 24th to promote the new organization. For more info visit their website at www.wix.com/ wiregrasslgbt/organization or their facebook page at http:// facebook.com/wiregrasslgb

September

September BAO BINGO will be the 2nd Monday (September 12) due to Labor Day. September BINGO will be hosted by the New South Softball League and our very special guest emcee is Connie! The game starts at 7:00 PM and doors open at 6:00 PM. There will be six games with cash prizes of $100 each plus lots of fantastic door prizes! Wear something RED for the 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk! You must be 19 to enter. BAO BINGO is located at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, 205 32nd Street South. BAO accepts cash, check, credit cards, and debit cards. Snacks and soft drinks will be available for sale.

20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk is September 18th The 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk is scheduled for Sunday, September 18th at the new Railroad Park at 4:00 PM! The title sponsor of this year’s AIDS Walk is Wells Fargo! Visit birminghamaidsoutrech.org and register for the 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk today! Registration is free and open to everyone. Online registration will provide you the opportunity to create your online fundraising page where you may write about why this cause is important and why you walk. Fundraising has never been easier with this online option! Interested in starting a team? The online registration will make it very easy for your team members to connect. Click on the link below to learn all about starting your AIDS Walk team. The Magic City AIDS Walk is family friendly and pet friendly! The event is free and open to everyone. Vendors will be at the park selling food, drinks, and adult beverages. If you are interested in starting a team or volunteering on the AIDS Walk Committee please email Jamie Whitehurst (jamie@birminghamaidsoutreach.org).

Alabamas Capitol City Pride Holds “10 Days of Pride” in Montgomery September 16 - 25 Fri. 16th: Sat.17th:

Pride Pageant @ 322 Black Tie Affair 7pm @ Capitol City Club Tickets: $50 single, $90 Couple Sun.18th: Bowling @ Woodmere Lanes 6pm Mon.19th: Dance night at the Rose 10pm Tues. 20th: Movie in the park 6pm Wed.21st: Interfaith Night @ Unitarian Universalist 6pm Thurs.21st: Skate Night Fri.23rd: Luau Party @ 322 10pm Sat.24th: Pridefest 2011 @ 322 South Lawrence St. Street Fair and outside stage 2pm - 9pm Inside stage 1pm - 9pm After Party @ 322 9pm - 5am For More Info visit their website: www.coloritpride.com or http://facebook.com/AlabamasCapitolCityPride


2011

Noise | 5

Are you the opposite sex or am I? by Marty Shelley I grew up in an era where everything was black and white...not much room or thought for gray matters. People were black or white, male or female, believers or sinners, Republicans or Democrats, Auburn or Alabama....you get the picture. Everyone was tucked neatly into a category either of their own choosing or whatever was assigned to them. In Birmingham in the 70s, gay people began slowly, but surely, to emerge from our closets...then bisexual people were included as well. By the mid-80s, transgendered people began to emerge into the public eye and join the ranks, too. For some years previous to that, my limited contact with trans people was disappointing at times. Most of the ones I knew wanted nothing to do with gay folks. They just wanted to become whatever they were transitioning to and live normal, hetero-seeming lives. My guess is that when all the legal and social boundaries became more of an issue than could be tackled alone, they started “coming out” like the rest of us....there is power in numbers and we, the LGBT community, are a force to be reckoned with today! Back to labels and categories.....if a person identifies themself as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, it usually means just that. When a person is transgendered, it can mean almost anything imaginable and combinations thereof are very diverse. Again, the “this or that” mentality

from the past tried to consume my thinking. I thought if someone was transgendered, it meant they went from being male to female, (MTF), or female to male (FTM) and sought out hetero-style relationships. Sometimes that is the case, but not always. There are some that have transitioned to live as gay men or lesbians. As a genetically born female and lesbian, I can’t truly wrap my head around that one, but it doesn’t matter. I was taken aback when my first “drag love” married a woman and they had a child together....weren’t all drag queens gay? (Gimme a break...I was a teenager!) The main reason I am writing on this subject now is because I have never publicly addressed the issue and because I have people in my life who are trans that I love very much. The trans population is today where the g/l/b portion of the community was 20 or more years ago as far as acceptance in society goes. It is not really a “new” movement; it is just becoming more known to the general public. The biggest difference between being gay, lesbian, or bisexual versus being transgendered is that the first three are sexual orientations....transgender deals more with gender identification. I probably have not expressed everything perfectly, nor do I rank high among the politically correct. I can only write from my own experience and perspective. I Continued on page 10


6 | Noise

September

20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk Sunday September 18th Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) is excited to announce the 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk, benefiting local AIDS Service Organizations. The event is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011, at the new Railroad Park, located in downtown Birmingham at 1600 1st Avenue South. This year’s Title Sponsor is Wells Fargo. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. with performances by local musicians and entertainers such as the Magic City Choral Society, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, ObSINity, and the band Gentleman Zero. Several other nonprofit organizations will have information booths as well. Starbuck’s is providing free coffee. Plus, this year there will be food, drinks, and ice cream for sale and a full bar. The “step-off” is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The Walk is an easy,

slow-paced walk that most anyone should be able to complete with no problems. A closing ceremony will immediately follow the Walk. The

closing ceremony will include a reading of names of those who we have lost to HIV and AIDS, a special prayer and blessing by Pilgrim Church, and a balloon release to honor those who have loved and lost to this disease.

To m a k e a d o n a t i o n t o M a g i c C i t y A I D S Wa l k v i s i t www.birminghamaidsoutreach.org where you can build your own donation page or simply donate to an existing fundraiser’s page. AIDS Walk Teams from the local community are currently raising funds. For more information about the 20th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk, or to learn how you can start an AIDS Walk Team, please contact Jamie Whitehurst at 205.322.4197 ext. 20, or jamie@birminghamaidsoutreach.org. Organizations Supported by Magic City AIDS Walk: · Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) · AIDS Alabama · West Alabama AIDS Outreach · The St. George Clinic · The 1917 Clinic · The UAB Family Clinic


2011

Noise | 7

Republicans and Obama by Joe Openshaw Joe is a free lance writer, novelist and blogger who also serves on the board of directors for Equality Alabama. There are just 400 and some odd days until the Presidential election and already we know who the best candidate for the LGBT community is. Grit your teeth. It’s a Republican. Fred Karger is one of the Republican candidates for president. He is openly gay. And Fox News barred him from participating in their August debate, even though he met all the criteria set out for participation. Karger scores 100% on the LGBT issues, including marriage equality (he doesn’t have to evolve) and against job discrimination (more solidly than a certain Democrat). Otherwise, he and President Obama are similar on the issues. Two things to keep in mind: One, Karger will never win the Republican nomination for president; and two, if any Republican wins, the economy is toast and we won’t be worrying about LGBT issues anyway. When Tuesday, November 6, 2012 rolls around…wait! Can’t we enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and Mardi Gras before we start talking about this?

No. The media is already cramming Rick Perry and Mitt Romney down our throats (just a figure of speech), plus it is so very important to re-elect Barack Obama that we need to start rebuilding support now. Because every Republican candidate (other than Karger) wants to block any steps we might make toward equality and some even want to reverse the advances we have already earned. Rick Perry, governor of Texas (haven’t we already had one of those?), wants to re-criminalize sodomy. He agreed with the Texans in the state legislature who wanted to keep the ban of sodomy even after the U. S. Supreme Court overturned the Texas law (and all the others). As a side note, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley believes that the old law that criminalizes homosexuality should be enforced, and that school children should be taught that homosexuality is illegal; according to a signed 2010 survey that he completed as a candidate for governor (I have the survey). Continued on page 9

Windham Windham Travel Travel & & Leisure Leisure is is ready ready to to create the vacation of your dreams! We book custom vacations, honeymoons and other special celebrations, as well as group land tours and cruise packages. For every completed honeymoon booking, the purchaser will receive a complimentary 2 Night/3 Day Luxury Escape Contact Marianne Windham, Travel Agent marianne@windhamtravelandleisure.com

www.windhamtravelandleisure.com

256-539-4374 What’s on YOUR “bucket list”?


8 | Noise

September

T eedle’s T idbits by Jean ”Teedle” Jones

GRANDKIDS I’ve been scrounging around, sorting through calendars sounded something like DANNNNNNALLLL. Then one day to see if I can figure out where the summer has gone. Same the back door opened and there was big brother Daniel. problem with my get-up-and-go, which has obviously got Little Jack let out that yell and ran to big brother’s arms. As you may know, or not give a up and went! flip at not knowing, my mother and all One of the many not-so-great HOT FRUIT my children and grandchildren refer things about living to be oldern dirt (Great for a brunch!) to me as Teedle. After a delightful time is that some ornery gremlin works of babysitting Chelsea in Mobile as on one’s time machine, making time 1 can undrained pineapple chunks seem to absolutely fly. 1 can apple pie mix (may need to cut the her parents went juning around in New Orleans, they arrived home That cute little grandson who apples if they are too large) wanting to know how I made out with would gaze at me with those 1 can whole cranberry sauce this just-learning-to-talk child. I said gorgeous blue eyes and say “Me 1 can mandarin oranges (drained) we had had a great time, but I had wants a popsicle” is now a senior never seen a child so young want so in high school, and the big brother Nuts, raisins, brown sugar to taste much iced tea When she woke up from who would say “Jack, when you Mix it up and heat until bubbly a nap, she smiled and said tea, and I are at Teedle’s house, it’s ‘I,’ but would go bring her a glass of tea. She when we get home you can say ‘Me’ again,” has already become one of the third generation asked for tea a lot, but although I got it for her each time, she of this nutty family to graduate from the University of didn’t drink much of it. Patte gave me a hug and said, “You’re Alabama. Our cute and petite granddaughter seems to think just not into this grandmother bit, are you? Chelsea can’t that it is perfectly normal for her to be in her second year of say Teedle. The closest she can get to Teedle is ‘T.’” During another visit I got her into trouble when, upon medical school. I hope I survive her becoming a doctor, as I need to discuss with her the need for a cure for wrinkles. staring at my legs and saying “what’s that?” and being told Then there’s a step-granddaughter who will be shedding “varicose veins” she asked “Why?” “Because I’m an ole junior high and heading to high school before we can even lady.” That night during bath time I heard her tell her mother “T is an ole lady” and the immediate, “Who said T was an turn around. So I’ll just read in my journals (which go back to old lady? Where did you hear that?” etc., etc. I’m glad I was childhood) and relive some of the fun and precious memories within earshot…probably saved that baby’s life. Playing with Barbie dolls was a favorite for Chelsea and of these grown up folks when they were little and had grandparents who could pay hide and seek and UNO with me. One day as we were dressing Barbie dolls, I decided to the best of them. The Roller Blade stuff we left to the dress my dolls in the most tacky way possible. Chelsea younguns! (One broken arm out of six arms wasn’t a bad watched me, not criticizing, as she dressed her dolls beautifully. Finally, she leaned down to whisper to one of my record…was it?) The oldest grandson, now a handsome adult, was Barbie dolls, “That old fart doesn’t know how to dress nicknamed “The Ayatollah” (no, I didn’t originate calling Barbies!” After Chelsea moved to Atlanta, we would look forward him a terrorist) but I probably did add to his vocabulary. Upon delivering him to his parents following a visit, daughter to driving over, having a nice visit and driving her back to asked, “Did you say any bad words in Daniel’s hearing?” I our home in Alabama. She and I would play UNO in the back admitted I had. Picky thing insisted on knowing what I said, seat, and she and my Bill would make a few stops for boiled then demanded to know why I had said it. I said that I was peanuts and Krystal hamburgers. She has gone far beyond Krystals. Her dad is a great perfectly justified, since Daniel was sitting on the kitchen counter while I preheated the oven to bake three loaves of cook and her mother was the top graduate in the Home Economics Department at the University of Alabama, so sour dough bread, and he punched down my bread! All three grandkids liked to visit together, and one day whether it’s a cooking gene she inherited, or just a love of when we went next door to tell Miss Amanda, their great- good food, it’s fun to watch her in a kitchen, breezing around, grandmother, goodbye before heading home, we found her producing great gourmet dinners. It’s especially nice when cat, badly injured, behind the garage. As we were reporting her boyfriend is there, as he is a real feast for the eyes! If you’re still with me, thanks for reading about my the injured cat, Chelsea said, “Maw-Maw, Daniel didn’t do delightful grand-churn, (that’s Southern for children) and if THAT!” The youngest grandson, visiting alone, would toddle you can find some handsome man like Don Mills who will let through the house making a loud and terrible noise that you write for his magazine, I’ll be happy to read about yours!


2011

Republicans and Obama Continued from page 7

Michele Bachmann believes we are “part of Satan” and wants to reverse the repeal of DADT and pass a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. Plus, she and her husband (who would fit right in being a “first lady”) run an ex-gay racket. The other front runner, Mitt Romney, had this to say: “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.” And he called the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy “the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military.” Of course, that was in 1994, when he was running as a “pro-gay” Republican against Senator Ted Kennedy. Now he has his pledged his opposition to same sex marriage, in an effort to appear more in line with the extreme right Tea Party wing of the Republicans by showing that Mormons can hate homosexuals just as much as evangelical Christians do. We could go on down the list of candidates and we would find more of the same. Barack Obama is not perfect. In most cases, the only way to find a presidential candidate who agrees with you one hundred percent is for that candidate to be yourself, and even that would be difficult for some people. So let’s look at the big picture. Instead of focusing on Obama’s shortcomings regarding LGBT issues, let’s look at a few of his accomplishments. He pushed for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He pushed for (slowly) and signed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. His administration has ensured that housing programs are open to all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The census counted gay and lesbian couples. Hospitals are now required to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients and families. He gave federal employees employment rights and benefits. He lifted the entry ban of individuals with HIV coming to this country. He awarded the Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King. He has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. He recorded an “It Gets Better” video. Stop for a minute and think of the advances that have been made under his leadership. Think of how much better the country is now (in spite of what may be going on in your home state) for LGBT Americans. Now imagine going back in time to a period when these bits of equality did not exist. That is where we are headed if we elect a Republican president. So pledge to yourself now that you will vote for Barack Obama in 2012. And share this conversation with your friends. Obama was elected with a theme of “Hope,” and as it stands, he is still our only hope for equality and justice.

AD ADVER VERTISE ADVER VERTISE TISE IN IN NOISE NOISE

Noise | 9


10 | Noise

Are you the opposite sex or am I? Continued from page 5

love people for the spirit within and not how they appear on the outside. This is the bottom line for me......... We need not understand, or even approve of, each other to treat each other with dignity. As we look through the eyes of love, from the heart, we can find the compassion and acceptance it takes to offer a little graciousness. The view is much different from the inside looking out.

September

ON CAMPUS UAHuntsville Gay-Straight Alliance by Jonathan Barnes While excitement about being back in school has inevitably waned, the amount of events we’re attempting to cram in a singular month refuses to do the same. We’re in the process of planning our Second Annual Fall Social while simultaneously trying to figure out how our first academic year as an organization flew by so quickly. As always, we will be lending GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services support in its 19-25 peer support group (NAPS) that takes place on the first and third Thursday of every month. We’ll continue the monthly tradition of super-secret movie nights on September 20th (the movie would be super-secret, the event, however, is open to everyone). On the 23rd of September we plan to honor Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Since it is a vastly misunderstood orientation by those both inside and outside of the GLBTQ community, a day to acknowledge and celebrate this particular identity feels pretty essential. Please check out Facebook (UAHuntsville Gay-Straight Alliance) where we will post more details about the above events as they are available. The most exciting part of our September plans is that we’re being the process of extensive fundraising. Instead of just reaching out to our fellow UAHunstville students, we will be selling original artistic and craft-like trinkets and doodads at The Flying Monkey in the future. We’re all very excited to extend our fundraising and our communication out into the Huntsville community and invite you all to come out on Saturdays to support us! Find us on Facebook! We operate primarily through Facebook. UAHuntsville Gay-Straight Alliance Also follow us on Twitter (uah_gsa)!

Eastern Caribbean Cruise February 12 – 19, 2012 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam from Ft. Lauderdale New ship, new itinerary! Holland America’s newest flagship is all ours, stopping at Half Moon Cay, San Juan and USVI St. Thomas.

Med to Morocco Cruise June 29 – July 6, 2012 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam from Barcelona Join us in 2012 as we sail west to the wonders of Spain along with our first-ever visit to Morocco. Explore the magic of Casablanca, seductive Seville, modern Valencia. There’s even an overnight in fascinating Ibiza.

Paul Keech AAA Alabama 800-521-8124 ext 3124 keech.paul@aaaalabama.com

Events Celebrity Cruise Show September 1st - Thursday 6pm AAAAlabama . 2400 Acton Rd, Birmingham, Al. 205-978-7030 RSVP Holland America Cruise – On Stage Alaska September 13th – Tuesday 6pm AAAAlabama 2400 Acton Rd, Birmingham, Al. 205-978-7030 RSVP European Tours by Trafalgar September 17th – Saturday 10am AAAAlabama 2400 Acton Rd, Birmingham, Al. 205-978-7030 RSVP


14 | Noise

June

“Heaven on Hull” 10% discount to NOISE readers.

1414 South Hull Street Montgomery, AL 36104 334.262.3388 www.thelatticeinn.com

The Lattice Inn

In Memory of

David Fancher Your Community Misses You

J EFF HARRIS

JALONA PATTERSON (205) 870-7117

104 SOUTH 22ND STREET IRONDALE, ALABAMA 35210

205.956.0170 FAX 205.956.0171

17 OFFICE PARK CIRCLE BIRMINGHAM jalonap@allstate.com

3416 6th Ave S • Birmingham, AL (205) 714-5972 We Buy Gold & Sterling

© 2009 Allstate Insurance Company allstate.com

A Unique Place to Shop!


12 | Noise

August


2011

Noise | 13

Community Bar Guide ALABAMA

FLORIDA

BIRMINGHAM OUR PLACE 2115 7th Avenue South • 205.715.0077 M-Th 4p-12a • Sa-Su 4p-2a find us on facebook

PANAMA CITY FIESTA ROOM / LA ROYALE 100 Harrison Avenue • 850.763-1755 Open Daily find us on facebook

AL’S ON SEVENTH 2627 7th Avenue South • 205.321.2812 3p-until Daily QUEST 416 4th Avenue South • 205.251.4313 24hours / 7 days a week www.quest-club.com HUNTSVILLE PARTNERS 627 Meridian Street • 256.539.0975 M-F 5p-2a • Sa -Su 6p-2a www.partnershsv.com VIEUX CARRE 1204 Posey Street • 256.534.5970 find us on facebook MOBILE B-BOB’S 213 Conti Street • 251.433.2262 M-Th 4p-12a • Sa-Su 4p-2a www.b-bobs.com BACCHUS 54 South Conception Street • 251.445.4099 www.bacchusdowntownmobile.com GABRIEL’S 55 Joachim Street • 251.433.2262 M-Th 4p-12a • Sa-Su 4p-2a www.gabrielsdowntown.com MID-TOWN PUB 153 South Florida Street • 251.450-1555 www.themidtownpub.com TUSCALOOSA ICON 516 Greensboro Avnue • 205. Tu-Th 9p-2a • Fr 9p-3a • Sa 9p-2a find us on facebook

SPLASH BAR 6520 Thomas Drive • 850.236.3450 www.splashbarflorida.com PENSACOLA THE CABARET 101 South Jefferson Street • 850.607.2020 Opens at 3pmDaily www.cabaretpensacola.com THE ROUNDUP 560 East Heinberg Street • 850.433.8482 Open Daily 2p-3a www.theroundup.net EMERALD CITY 406 East Wright Street • 850.433.9491 Open Daily 3p-3a www.emeraldcitypensacola.com

2 3 1 8 - 2 n d Ave n u e, N o r t h ; B i r m i n g h a m , A L 3 5 2 0 3

205.324.5949

w w w. fd s k- d a s h a u s. o rg

FDSKdasHAUS German Culture Club

Doors Open @ 6:30

Singing sstarts t ts @ 7:30 7:3 30 0

DOTHAN CLUB IMAGINATION 4129 Ross Clark Circle • 334.792.6555 Su, We & Th 6p-2a • Fr 7p-4a • Sa 7p-5a www.clubimagination.net MONTGOMERY CLUB 322 322 North Lawrence Street • 205. W 4p-12a • F-Su 8p-2a www.club322.net

SAT

Folk Dances, Dance Lessons...

Always something happening...


14 | Noise

September

What’s the Future for LGBT Community Centers Last month as I was making my delivery rounds, I was dumbfounded as I drove past the Ken Baker Equality Center in Montgomery and saw a large “For Rent” sign in the front yard. Although I live in Birmingham, I was quite familiar with this facility as I had participated in pride organizing meetings there and knew that it was used by PFLAG for their monthly meetings. There were also some 2 nd Sunday Pot-Luck’s going on there for a while so I naturally assumed that the Center was being put to good use. Somehow I had missed the May Blog post of Ken’s sister asking folks to help keep Ken’s dreams alive by pitching in to help raise the $1500 a month needed to pay the rent and utilities. I had heard, even before finding the post that the landlord was willing to take a reduced rent… but alas, even that could not be raised. Likewise, as I browsed through massive amounts of e-mail, I discovered that the Center in Pensacola has encountered some difficulties and is faced with raising unanticipated funds to keep the center going. In the meantime, here in Birmingham, a handful of driven individuals have launched a campaign to open a community center for Central Alabama. I have even volunteered to be a part of that effort, but seeing the woes of the Centers in Montgomery and Pensacola, I started asking myself the question, “Is there a future for LGBT Community Centers in Alabama?” It’s a really tough question, especially in this economy. There are SO many organizations begging for the LGBT dollars that I question how any of them are able to stay alive. The ones that have courted the Corporate Community are doing better than those that rely on the individual dollars, but is seems like every week there’s another fund-raiser for this or that asking for another $50 a ticket to this party or that party to benefit this charity or that charity or some drag queen who is aspiring to greatness in this pageant or that. I was greatly amused by a group that formed several years ago called D&DD. Every so often they gathered at a local bar to “Drink & Don’t Donate” as a relief from all the fund-raisers they were constantly invited to attend. It beats the alternative of just staying at home to avoid the outstretched hand…. But I have digressed.

Witches’ Ball 2011 Saturday October 22nd at the Rogue and Das Haus on 2318, 2nd Ave North No Addmission Fee Sponsored by Books, Beans, and Candles

Can a small group of people raise enough money to consistently fund a Community Center that can be open in the afternoons and evenings for our community, young and old to just hang out, have potlucks, game nights, build a library of resources, offer advice and counseling services… I’m not sure. So many of these aspects are already provided by churches and other groups. Organizations already have their own “homes” and their own programs to fund. Will they be willing to “pitch in” and lend a hand. It seems that we all want the same thing in our community, but we are so divided about the way to achieve it. I wonder if we will ever be able to pull together and support a “Community Center”. It’s a great dream, one worth keeping alive. I applaud those who are pursuing it. If you’re interested in more information about these centers, Ken Baker Center was originally opened by Equality Alabama. www.equalityalabama.org. Equality House in Pensacola is a project of Gay Grassroots of Northwest Florida. www.ggnwfl.com. The Community Center for Central Alabama is being planned by GLBT Alabama. Find them on Facebook..

bloom Fresh Flowers • Delivery • Civil Unions

879-Rose See us on facebook


2011

Noise | 15

Beloved Community Church

God is still speaking,

Where All People Are Celebrated As Precious Children of God

131 41st Street South Birmingham, Alabama 35222 http://www.belovedcommunitychurch.org

Thursdays - 8 pm Riverview Lanes

FALL SEASON Sign-up & No Tap Sept. 1 • 7:30 pm

Johns-Ridout͛s Funeral & Cremation 2116 University Blvd Birmingham AL 35233

Dennis R Garner Prearrangement Counselor Community Education

League Bowling Begins Sept. 8 • 8 pm For More info Call: Ronnie • 205-427-1537 - Don • 205.329.5755 Riverview • 205-991-3900

205.251.5254 Work- 205.251.5709Fax 205.532.6193 Mobile dgarner912@gmail.com


NOISE_Sept_11  

Your LGBT Publication for Alabama and the Florida Panhandle

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you