February 15, 2017
Colorado's Queer Movement in Motion
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CONTENTS February 15, 2017 vol40 no22
06 06 Looking north from south: What we can learn from a gay southern teenager 08 What's positive about facebook these days 11 I'm starving - Let's Get some lab-meat! 12 'the heels have eyes' Shines a light on denver's drag scene
19 Local Model brandan Rader Blurs the lines of gender 20 Local Activists Fight for Queer Rights at the State Capital 27 Raising a glass to the disabled
29 Addicts are us 32 Which stores really are that friendly 34 Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League
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Looking North from South:
What we can learn from a gay southern teenager YvonneWright A light mist was resting on the historic landmarks that dot our nation’s capital as my chartered bus pulled into Washington, D.C. at 7 a.m. The sun was lazy — barely peeking out from the clouds. The groups gathering were electric and had already dancing, singing, and chanting words that date back as far as many of these monuments. “Look at all the escalators, y’all! They’re everywhere! We only have one escalator in my hometown.” Tanner Faulkner is 15. He is an openly gay teenager living in a part of rural Alabama where the Ku Klux Klan has deep roots. His passion for justice is so strong he made the pilgrimage to the Women’s March on Washington by himself. He is our future. For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling optimistic. My journey here is a longer one. I’m a (much older than him) lesbian who spent most of my life in the closet. Afraid. Ashamed. Fearful of an eternal damnation drilled into my head since birth. I left my church long ago. Not Tanner. He’s a proud Christian. He and his boyfriend go to church every Sunday. While in D.C., he visited a Methodist church. “They had a woman pastor,” he said. “I’ve never met a woman pastor before.” I assumed he didn’t know the world can be a dangerous place for people like us. I was wrong. “There is no harder place for a gay person to live than in Alabama and Mississippi,” he said. “Faggot is a word that is used down here so loosely. It’s so demeaning and detrimental to the spirit.” 6 \\ f e b r u a r y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7
This, he emphasized, provides greater opportunities to work for change. He’s currently planning to start a chapter for student democrats in his high school. During the election, he registered 100 voters by going door-to-door. He spent every single day volunteering at his town’s small democratic headquarters, and noted he’s “fixing to start another voter registration drive to get more voters in the projects and places where no one wants to go. We desperately, desperately need them.” Tanner is from Gadsden, Alabama — a town with less than 37,000 people. The most recent census figures show a per capita income of less than $19,000. A full quarter of all residents live in poverty. Research out of the University of Alabama shows two-thirds of those living in this rural town are either unemployed or underemployed.
“It isn’t easy,” he said. “The south is a very unforgiving place.” Unforgiving is not a word Tanner uses often. During his campaign work, he said a teacher asked him in front of his entire class if he “advocates the killing of millions of babies.” She called him a baby-killer because of his pro-choice stance, and the school did nothing about it. When I suggested that she should be fired, he disagreed. “These people should not be penalized for not knowing better,” he said. “That is something she has believed since she was a very small child. Be forgiving because nine times out of ten, they think they’re helping you in the best way they know how.” Some of us more seasoned organizers might disagree. We live in Colorado, a blue state where it’s not unusual to
see same-sex couples walking hand-inhand. I am no longer afraid to be who I am. But I am angry. Anger brought me to the march in Washington. With each step, I found my anger was replaced with gratitude. Seeing this historic moment through the eyes of a 15-year-old brings a sharper focus. We will not be silent. We will stand together. We are kind. We are loving. We are supportive. And we are fierce. “Knowing who Donald J. Trump is, I did not expect [the march] to change
his agenda at all,” he said. “But the march had a bigger personal value than political. It was an excellent opportunity for us to lift each other up. To love one another — the minorities, the Muslims, the gays — and to keep us people we need to be.” I didn't see a single shot fired, a single stone thrown, or a single harsh word spoken. Yet the message sent reverberates across the globe and continues to catch fire. Tanner says he wants to be a teacher someday. I think that day is already here.
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about Facebook these days? DaniPinkus There is a lot of crap on my news feed. And at times, there really is too much to sift through — even with a paddle. Scrolling used to be fun, with meows on meows on meows and adorable babies covered in peanut butter. Now all anybody seems to want to talk about is politics and why they’re angry.
The girl you passed two years ago in the math building may check out your profile from time to time, and I bet it makes you blush at the mere thought. There is a familiarity within social media that encourages individuals to share. Isn’t that what we were going for, anyway?
Dial it back a minute.
What we often forget when shaking our heads at Facebook and other sources of unreliable news, is that posting is a form of engagement. Just because a status update doesn’t include a “work cited” page doesn’t mean it should be ignored or degraded. In fact, you could learn a lot from this raw public opinion.
Politics has been a hushed subject for decades. I grew up being told it was “impolite” to discuss politics, pretty much anywhere. Not at the dinner table and certainly not at a cocktail party. Now, from what seems like total left-field, everyone is buzzing with political feels. As it turns out, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, and a variety of ice cream lovers have vast beliefs and a lot to say. Society is taking full advantage of the phrase, “it is okay to talk about yourself and your feelings.” While hate is transferred from the brain to the keyboard, so too is self-love and the proclamation of human rights. These confessions are reaching beyond our daily lives and stepping into the political realm. Political talk isn’t restricted to the angry uncle anymore; it’s defining the individual’s daily experience. Naturally, these things become polarized. The birth of social media brought about an incredible platform for the unheard. Look, not everyone is a writer. Not everyone wants to engage in a platform as wide as a public magazine or newspaper. There is a bubble of comfort within the Facebook community.
There is a wide feeling of social distress in our current political atmosphere. We are witnessing history as the previous eight years are being turned inside out and folded with wrinkles. And we are f*cking angry. Our government is the fine print we have somehow evaded but signed the document anyway. It’s the extra three bucks on the grocery bill when mom doesn’t notice the white-powdered donuts. But when she notices and returns them to the comfort of their shelf, we throw a tantrum. When people suddenly feel threatened, they speak out. But just as the pro-choice, pro-queer rights, pro-universal health care, profeminist’s hearts are breaking, some millions of people are celebrating what they have long anticipated. We can’t belittle millions of Americans for being misogynistic, homophobic, or racist simply because they cast a vote based off how they believed it would affect their lives for the better.
We can choose to disagree with them. We can judge them. We can form our own opinions about them. We can try to educate them and bring awareness to the issues we hold close to ourselves. But, even when that doesn’t work, we have to be open-minded enough to realize that people — even within the queer community — place weight on different issues, and it usually stems from the issues that plague their daily lives. Your opinion and your voice can only be informed by expanding what you believe to be true. Be steadfast in your beliefs, but don’t be surprised when others do the same. Rather than denying, deleting, or retreating in the face of what you deem injustice, try understanding. Rather than ignoring, try conversing. Try not to turn the other cheek. Your views are only strengthened by opposing ones. Allow them to challenge you. There is a positivity in Facebook posting. It’s voicing your thoughts and hearing others whom you might not otherwise grab coffee with.
Your Views Are only strengthened By opposing ones. Allow them to Challenge you
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LG B T, S T R A I G H T, S K I E R S, S N O W B OA R D E R S, S U P P O R T E R S
BRECK PRIDE IS FOR EVERYONE.
For all that support Breck, Breck supports you. A week of music, après, comedy, connection and the most colorful run you’ll ever take. Come one, come all! Come as you are.
Food Facts IT'S TAKEN SCIENTISTS
I’m Starving —
nearly two years to culture enough meat for a single hamburger.
the first lab-grown burger had a price tag of $330,000.
Co-founder of Google,
Sergey Brin, underwrote the $330,000 project, which began in 200.
The process of using
stem cells to create meat fibers can be done with all animals.
Mark Post initially wanted to create lab-grown sausage with pig cells, but his American funder wanted a burger instead.
will most likely be affordable in 10 years. A steak? More like 20.
cultured meat, as it doesn’t harm animals in order to produce the dishes.
Let’s Get Some Lab-Meat! Our reliance on animal products is wreaking havoc on our ability to make significant plans toward curbing anthropogenic climate change. Why? Because our demand for meat and dairy only creates more open killing fields for animals that emit noxious gases, and the need for grains and water to keep them alive. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), global agriculture accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is <well> above what the entire transportation sector puts out. Raising chickens, pigs, cows, and the like contributes to climate change through the production of methane gas. Growing meat in the laboratory aims to reduce the impact on agricultural water, land, and resources. Because our demand for animal agriculture is expected contribute to an 80% increase in global greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector, it would be wise to find solutions to our ravenous appetite for animals. Luckily, we’ve got a few labs around the world working on this very issue.
Lab-grown meat — or “cultured meat,” as producers like to call it — takes musclespecific stem cells from real cows and uses those cells to form fibers of muscle tissue. The fibers are then assembled to form a neat little hamburger patty. Steaks are a little more complex, but they’re working on it. Taste-testers give mixed reviews, but one thing is clear: It’s a good start. Researchers believe the cultured meat will provide several benefits over fieldgrown meat. For one, the use of antibiotics is unnecessary, so you won’t be adding to the risk of increasing antibiotic resistance to bacteria in humankind. As well, you won’t be eating meat infused with hormones and additives that you neither need nor want. Another health plus is that the sterile environment of labs means the risk of viral or bacterial contaminants (such as E. coli and salmonella) is virtually non-existent. Even the Terminator himself is down to eat less meat. World-renowned bodybuilder, former California governor, and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is urging people to replace one meal with a vegetarian option each day to help lessen the burden on our environment.
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‘The Heels Have Eyes’ shines a light on Denver’s
Drag Scene RyanHowe
Eight years ago, Keith Garcia didn’t know much about drag. He had only seen a few drag shows here and there, but never put much weight on men blurring gender lines and putting on a damn good show.
of drag styles, where drag is heading, and introduces a number of local queens who are fighting to make a name for themselves.
That all changed when he wandered into Charlie’s and saw Nina Flowers demand the attention of the entire bar with her extravagant looks and high-energy performances. Although he knew about drag, it was that night that Keith fell in love with the art of drag, and it sent him on a near-decade project following the men bold enough to take on a female persona. Thus, The Heels Have Eyes was born.
In 2008, Denver’s drag community was small … well, smaller. Nina Flowers was hosting ‘Drama Drag’ — which is now Drag Nation, one of the best drag shows in the nation — at Tracks, as well as hosting a regular show at Charlie’s called ‘Vivid.’
“The Heels Have Eyes is a documentary — or dragumentary really — that focuses on the drag community here in Denver,” Keith Garcia says. Going off of Westword’s Diva Dozen, which Keith started two years ago, he began documenting some of Denver’s most entertaining drag queens, capturing every outfit reveal, death drop, and tip that passes between sweaty palms. The Diva Dozen list, which caused some controversy in the community, was a cache of people whom he thought represented the past, the present, and the future of Denver drag. It was not an easy decision to make. With the popularity of drag reaching an all time high, thanks in large part to RuPaul’s Drag Race, Denver is overflowing with a variety of queens. “But there are still a lot of people that can’t even wrap their mind around what drag is,” Keith says. “Or they might know a little bit, but only in the most popular sense. Hopefully, my film will fill in those gaps.” Using the original Diva Dozen — consisting of Nina Flowers, Felony Misdemeanor, Ginger Douglas, Janessa Befierce, Daniella DeCoteau, Mariah Spanic, Victoria Sexton, Nina Montaldo, Bootzy Edwards Collynz, Khryst’aaal, Yazmeen Staxxx, and Scarlett Red — as a starting point, Keith sat each performer down and picked their minds about drag, documented their dramatic transformations and jaw dropping performances, and took a long hard look at the culture that surrounds drag. Through the eyes of those 12 exceptional artists, the film explores the history of Denver’s drag community, the variety 1 2 \\ f e b r u a r y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7
“I remember very vividly standing in a packed crowd at Charlie’s when Nina Flowers came out: I just stared at her wondering what I was seeing,” Keith recalls. “I was thinking, is this an alien? Is this drag? Is this performance art? So I stuck around and watched the rest of the show — which included Felony Misdemeanor, Ginger Douglas, Nicole Summers, and Nina Montaldo — and I sat back in awe.” Coming from a film background, Keith knew he needed to document this. Although there was no real focus in the beginning, he knew that it would make a great film. He wasn’t wrong. Not long after that show at Charlie’s, Nina Flowers was featured on the first season of Drag Race, and almost immediately fans of the show fell in love with the eccentric, beautiful queen from Puerto Rico. Eight seasons, better production value, and millions of fans across the nation later, Nina Flowers is still one of the most respected, inspirational, and memorable queens from the reality show. While the show grew in popularity, so did the art of drag. Over the past eight years, drag has continually evolved and attracted so many different types of performers daring enough to give it a try. One of those performers is Khryst’aaal. During Pride in 2014, Khryst’aaal saw her first Drag Nation production. She was already a drag performer, but that night sparked a fire in her.
Nina Flowers puts the finishing touches up on her contour. Photos provided by Keith Garcia “I never knew Denver was a Mecca for drag performers,” Khryst’aaal says. “The first show I saw at Tracks was such a production. The whole thing kind of reminded me of a Cirque Du Soleil performance, and I knew that’s where everyone wants to be.” Khryst’aaal worked hard. Her drag persona could be compared to Serena Williams with an athletic build, no padding, and hard-hitting choreography accompanying every performance. Her originality, dedication to the art form, and natural talent secured her a spot in the Diva Dozen, and landed her a spot in the film.
“There are still a lot of people that can’t even wrap their mind around what drag is,” Keith says. “Or they might know a little bit, but only in the most popular sense. Hopefully, my film will fill in those gaps.”
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“This film is going to be eye opening,” Khryst’aaal says. “I’ve seen the amount of time Keith has dedicated to this and how much he just loves the art of drag. I just know it’s going to be great.” Now, as Keith hits the last stretch of piecing the project together, he is doing something that he’s never done: drag. Even after eight years of immersing himself into the drag community, he has yet to try out the extravagant, detailed art form. On September 30, Keith Garcia debuted his drag persona at Drag Nation, hosted by the performer who inspired his eight year fascination: Nina Flowers. “I wanted to do it right. I didn’t want to slap on a wig, walk around in a circle, and 'say hey give me a tip,'” Keith says. “I really want to celebrate the art that they so strongly care about.” Alongside piecing together an entire persona — and filming the entire process — the filmmaker is working with the Denver Film Society to raise money to complete this very, very long project. "Last year I successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to get the big important stuff started —intimate out of drag interviews, special one-of-a-kind performances and transformations — but it’s time to start bringing it all together as we complete pivotal interviews, bring on our full-time editor, head in to post and produce a series of faux trailers saluting Hollywood genres which will serve as a creative way to truly bring the large diverse cast of characters in town together. "When the movie is done, it’s going to bring so many eyes to the Denver community,” Keith says. “Not just the drag community, but the LGBTQ community as a whole. That’s huge.”
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S P ON S O R E D C ON T E N T
What we can tell you about your health by
looking at your skin….” By Dr. Richard Asarch, of Asarch Dermatology & Aesthetics
Dermatologists play a vital role in our health and well-being, as the skin is the largest organs of the body. It acts as a protective barrier against dehydration, infection, and injury. Our skin regulates our temperature, plays an essential role in our immune system, and is crucial to the anatomical and emotional sensations of touch. The skin is an essential organ and often provides key insight into our overall health. Systemic processes such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, infections, and autoimmune disease will often manifest with signs and signals visible on our skin. Often times it is the dermatologist who diagnoses underlying systemic processes by looking at our skin.
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Many skin diseases can be extremely debilitating both in their appearance and in discomforts such as itch, pain, redness, and irritation. Since the skin is readily visible, maintaining clear and healthy skin is also essential for emotional well being. Living in Colorado, with the high altitude and extreme climate, increases the risk and incidence of skin cancer as well as other dermatological problems. Colorado’s environment is particularly drying to our skin, which makes proper skin care even more important. Use gentle soaps and hydrate with effective moisturizers. Use a daily sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater to help further protect your skin and prevent excessive exposure to damaging UV rays. Tanning beds should be avoided in all circumstances.
choose a healthy lifestyle including quality skin care products, regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, and avoid smoking. Exercise increases blood flow and the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the skin and other vital organs. Eating a variety of healthy foods provides important nutrients and antioxidants for our skin and body. An occasional fast food meal or forgetting your sunscreen once or twice shouldn’t cause any real problems, as long as the majority of your daily regimen is healthy. Topical Retinols (DermaSpa Rx Retin-Aid) and other collagen-stimulating products remain important aspect of skin care, particularly for the face, neck and hands (we recommend DermaSpa Rx Skin Nutrition). In addition to proper skin care, cosmetic procedures can increase confidence, happiness, well-being and overall quality of life.
To keep your skin looking good and improve your overall appearance,
Brandan Rader Blurs the Lines of Gender JeremiahNtepp As I sat at the Central Market in RiNo waiting for Brandan Rader, I had no idea what was about to strut through the crowded cafeteria. When I finally noticed him walking toward me, I could tell that physically he was shorter than myself — I’m 6 — foot but the confidence he exudes made him look 10 feet tall. Brandan is one of the rare individuals who understands that he is not limited by society’s gender roles and expectations. This grants him a tremendous amount of freedom in both his personal life and his career as model. As he sat down at the table, his muscles were almost bulging out of his impressive everyday wear. His hair was expertly styled to frame his heartthrob jawline that had begun to sprout dark facial hair. But there was something feminine about his features. His eyebrows were perfectly shaped, and it looked as if he ripped his lips right off of Kylie Jenner’s face. Everything about Brandan screams androgyny. “Androgyny refers to the expression of gender that falls in the middle of the gender continuum,” Brandan said. “My goal is to engender equality by letting my second skin radiate with authenticity.” Brandan describes “second skin” as the identity that society gave him at birth. Born as a biological male, Brandan was, and continues to be, expected to act and dress according to that social norm. From the time we leave the womb the formation of our second skin begins to take place, thanks to those who surround and shape us. “I would contend mine commenced with being denominated Brandan and being clothed in a blue onesie,” he said. “Three facets of my second skin I deem significant are my sex, gender, and sexual orientation.” Even though he identifies as a homosexual, cisgender male, Brandan has learned to let his second skin radiate with authenticity, which happens to be fierce. Being an advocate of personal authenticity was not always easy for Brandan. After being recruited by a modeling agent at the mall and quickly picked up by multiple agencies, Brandan was set to dominate the modeling industry. However, the pressures of the industry encouraged Brandan to portray a more masculine identity. For a while Brandan attempted to fit the superficial standards that were infringed upon him. “Ironically, the more I was accepted by the industry, the less comfortable I felt in my own skin.” This pressure was not exclusively in Brandan’s professional
career. He found that people who were close to him also encouraged him to perform inside a gender parameter. He dealt with constantly being told that he needed to be tough, grow facial hair, and be the guy who girls wanted to date. “Essentially I was told, ‘Pretty boy, you've got a nice face, but change.’" He didn't. Brandan is part of a big movement. Through his modeling, he blurs the lines of male and female and speaks to the illusion of gender constructs. Brandan doesn’t want people to be a stoic man or a pretty woman. He wants people to be authentic and not restricted by the chains that once shackled him. That is the Rader movement. Outf r o n t onlin e . co m
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Local Activists Fight for
Queer Rights at the
One Colorado takes on
conversion therapy and modernizing the birth certificate
RyanHowe Brad Allen grew up in a cult in southern Missouri. During his formative years, he was forced to live under strict guidelines, like not wearing short sleeve shirts, no television or movies, and absolutely never receiving medical attention from doctors. To break these guidelines meant certain expulsion from the religious group. When his father fell ill and sought help from a doctor, his family was excommunicated from the hyper conservative religion. But with the new found freedom came a void. A void that Brad attempted to fill by joining the ranks of Focus on the Family while attending college. Focus on the Family is one of the most well funded anti-queer organizations in America. They invest in public education campaigns against LGBTQ equality, while their related organization Family Alliance supports radical anti-queer candidates who work against basic civil rights and legal protections. They also promote the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy, claiming “just as there are many paths that may lead a person to experience same-sex attractions, there are likewise multiple ways out.” For years, they were behind Love Won Out, a national tour preaching that same-sex attraction is ‘preventable and treatable.’ Despite being tangled in an anti-queer organization, Brad first opened up about his homosexuality while at Focus on the Family. “It was a weirdly positive experience for me,” Brad says. “Focus on the Family was liberal from where I came from, and it was the first time I could actually talk openly about my sexuality. Before, I was so concerned with all these other restrictions that there was no way I was going to discuss being gay.” After his “liberating” semester at Focus on the Family, he moved on to Exodus International — an organization whose mission was to ‘help’ gay Christians become straight through conversion therapy. The president at the time invited Brad to come work for Exodus’ small team once he finished school. So ... he did. For about a year, he worked for the biggest “Pray the Gay Away” organization in the country, building a network of churches across the nation that agreed with Exodus’ mission and would help queer people reallocate their attractions to the opposite sex. All of this began to take a toll on his psyche, and at age 31 he began to plan the perfect suicide. “I planned to make it look like an accidental car crash,” Brad says. “I set it up to where I wouldn’t hurt anyone else and I would become another dead, gay Christian. I gave it a week and put it in God’s hands. If he didn’t want 2 0 \\ f e b r u a r y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7
Brad Allen & fiance Kyle Reubendale me to go through with it, then I would change the way I lived my life to be more open and accepting of myself.” One day into the week, Brad got the sign he asked for. Nothing spectacular happened, but he could feel a weight lifted off of his shoulders — that was enough. With newfound confidence, Brad found the courage to come out as gay. It didn't come easy, as his church and most of his peers shunned him. But a new adventure of finding himself began. Although he never underwent any sort of physical conversion therapy, the effects of being told repeatedly that his attractions were "unnatural" or "misguided wants" shaped him. Today, Brad is happily engaged and works with queer youth at Urban Peak, the only nonprofit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. “I’ve worked tirelessly to rid myself of the shame that nearly robbed me of my life and help others understand that there is no belief that is worth their lives,” he said. “I pray daily that the deadly and discredited practice of conversion therapy would be banned forever so that LGBTQ people can stop hating themselves, shaming themselves, and killing themselves in the name of therapy.”
There are battles still needing to be fought in Colorado.
Photo provided byTodd Garrity His prayers aren’t the only contributions he sends out to the world. Brad has been working with One Colorado for years to help ban conversion therapy in Colorado, an attempt that has been sent to “kill committees” in the state’s Senate after being passed in the House. A kill committee is used when a controversial bill is sent to a committee that will vote against passing it along. The majority leader assigns these bills, and republicans have held that position for years — 2016’s election did not change that.
been to ban conversion therapy and change the restrictions in place in order for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificate.
“We, once again, are working an uphill battle,” One Colorado’s Director Daniel Ramos says. “That doesn’t mean that we are going to stop fighting, it just gives us a perspective of how aggressive and resilient we have to be this year.”
While many of the the pro-equality champions One Colorado endorsed during last year’s election won their races and have vowed to stand up for Colorado queers at the Capitol, voters did not elect a pro-equality majority in the state’s Senate.
One Colorado is the only organization in the state that gives a voice to queer people at the State Capitol. They fight to pass bills that help the community and fight legislation such as religious freedom or transgender bathroom bills that would set the community back. Since marriage was nationally legalized in 2015, One Colorado’s objective has
Both are battles still needing to be fought in Colorado. “We’re going to continue to garner bipartisan support in the House and hopefully pass these bills through the Senate as well,” Daniel says. “But it is unlikely because we did not win back a pro-equality majority in 2016’s election.”
Unfortunately, it was the Senate who failed to pass the ban on conversion therapy and blocked the bill that would allow transgender people to, with a doctor’s note, have their birth certificate changed to reflect their gender identity. Todd Garrity, a local acupuncturists and trans activist whose passion surrounds
preventing trans suicides, has been fighting to pass the birth certificate bill for years. Working closely with multiple queer organizations in Colorado and speaking publicly to educate healthcare providers, PFLAG groups, and spiritual communities on transgender issues — whether it be mental healthcare, ‘trans 101,’ or working with families on transitioning — Todd is dedicating his life to saving members of the trans community. His private practice helps patients struggling with suicidal ideations find emotional balance by aiding them with a multitude of holistic therapies such as meditation, acupuncture, herbs, essential oils, and breathing techniques to gain greater self-control of their emotions. His lectures and workshops for medical providers assist them in providing more welcoming and inclusive care to their transgender patients. Lectures focus on understanding gender variations, pronoun usage, terminology, intake forms and SOAP notes, patient communication, and local referrals for transgender care. Todd is also trans man who has been through the process of changing his Outf r o n t onlin e . co m
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identity documents to match his gender.
qualified medical provider.
“The birth certificate modernization bill hits very close to home for me,” Todd says. “I went through a very lengthy battle with the court systems in Florida — going back and forth because of the different laws surrounding the way it is done.”
“No person should have to undergo surgery or accept sterilization as a condition of identity recognition,” Dr. Jamison Green, former president of The World Professional Association for Transgender Health says. “If a sex marker is required on an identity document, that marker could recognize the person’s lived gender, regardless of reproductive capacity. The WPATH Board of Directors urges governments and other authoritative bodies to move to eliminate requirements for identity recognition that require surgical procedures.”
Current Colorado law requires a person to have “sex reassignment surgery (SRS)” in order to update the gender marker on their birth certificate to accurately reflect their lived gender. For many transgender people, this means the gender on their birth certificate will never be updated to reflect who they are because many people do not want, cannot afford, or do not need surgery. It also means many transgender Coloradans will continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, and even exercising the fundamental right to vote until our law is fixed. “Surgeries like those required by the state of Colorado to update gender on a birth certificate, are highly invasive procedures performed by very few surgeons in this country — making access to surgery challenging and cost prohibitive,” Todd says. Additionally, these surgeries leave an individual sterile, can have serious complications, and many transgender patients may not qualify for surgery for health reasons. The federal government determined that requiring surgery to allow transgender people to update their gender on identification documents was onerous, and subsequently dropped the requirement for social security cards, driver’s licenses, and passports in 2010. People can now update their gender marker on federal documents with a letter from their
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For the past two years, the bills challenging this outdated, invasive law have been struck by the Senate as they send it to committees that refuse to put it on the floor. “Alongside running those two bills again, we will continue to be visible and vocal in the legislature,” Ramos says. “We will continue to tell the stories of transgender people who cannot get an identity document that matches who they are, and the LGBTQ Coloradans who have experienced conversion therapy.” One Colorado will continue to work with the queer champions — and growing number of allies — in Colorado’s legislature to make sure these bills don’t get sent to kill committees this year. But they can not do this alone. On February 27, LGBTQ Coloradans, their families, and allies are taking over the State Capitol for the annual LGBTQ Lobby Day. From 8:30am to 2pm, queers from all around the state will get the opportunity to speak directly to our elected officials about bills directly affecting our community. One Colorado will provide food and training for all involved.
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triathlete Clifford Drusinsky have built cannabis directly into their training routines. Utilizing one of the many forms of the plant can help you focus on form and train smarter, get through grueling workouts with repetitive tasks and even help you recover faster through antiinflammatory properties, sleep aid and pain relief.
t’s time to reignite your fitness goals for 2017 and Lightshade is here to help. Rather than unwinding with your usual glass of wine that, inevitably, gives you a bit of a headache, why not reach for an infused alternative?
who skateboards and pounds pizza. Today you can indulge in micro-dosed (2-5mg) teas, tinctures, lozenges and endless other edibles. You can also try vaporizing if you prefer not to smoke, or use CBD rich lotions and topical patches.
With cannabis legal in some form in over half of the United States, long gone is the stereotype that you can only experience marijuana as a college kid
In addition to top talents of the NBA and NFL voicing their experience of faster healing and pain relief without opioids through cannabis use, many pros such as
Lightshade works to tailor our business to each customer’s individual needs, including our community of athletes and adventure enthusiasts. Outside of edibles such as Mary’s Medicinals infused Whey Protein and Good Greens, we highly recommend topical solutions. Topicals are seen in the form of lotions, salves, massage oils and transdermal patches. These products are less traditional forms of cannabis consumption due to the slow onset and minimal psychoactive effects. There’s a reason that you’re hearing more about how cannabis enriches your overall health and wellness lately. Come into one of our six Denver or Aurora Lightshade locations today and let one of our knowledgeable budtenders help find the right product and method to enhance your routine. Outf r o n t onlin e . co m
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Jokers, jewels, OUT FRONT COLORADO
Mardi Gras is right around the corner, y’all. The annual celebration that has deep roots in religion has been transformed in the public mind as a celebration including beads, beer, and a whole lot of fun. This year, however, the GLBT Community Center of Colorado is hijacking the party and celebrating some of Colorado’s biggest legal advocates. On February 23, the Center is hosting Jokers, Jewels, and Justice, to help advance the support of legals needs for Colorado’s queer community. The Center provides specialized training to encourage safe and welcoming workplaces. RANGE Consulting opens the door for LGBT employees to feel free to be themselves at work and to find greater enjoyment in their jobs. Through The Center’s community Legal Program, The Center provides referrals to LGBT-friendly attorneys as well as free monthly legal clinics. The Center also regularly offers specialized workshops such as name change workshops for the transgender community and seminars on overcoming health insurance obstacles for the LGBT community. Sarah Parady
Chris Parente’s improv group QUEERBOTS will provide entertainment during dinner. Sarah McBride, National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign and the first transgender person to address the Democratic National Convention, will share her story. The evening concludes with a live auction featuring travel and entertainment opportunities. This year’s honorees include Sarah Parady, Emma Shinn, and The Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center. Sarah Parady will be honored as The Center’s Barrister of the Year. A partner at Lowrey Parady, LLC, Sarah has been a leader in civil rights law in the Denver community. Her practice helps clients who experience police misconduct, false arrest or imprisonment, anti-discrimination law violations, harassment and wage disputes. “I’ve been passionate about discrimination since high school,” Parady said. “I was in 10th grade in northern Colorado when Matthew Shepard was murdered. It really struck me, and I
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began to see more and more discrimination throughout my remaining years. I knew I had to do something about it, and I dedicated myself.” Emma Shinn, is receiving The Center’s Visionary in Action Award for her work with the Colorado Transgender Name Change Project. As one of the co-founders of the Project, Emma has in many ways served as the “face of the Name Change Project.” In cooperation with The Center, Gender Identity Center, and LGBT Bar Association, Emma leads name change workshops for the transgender community and presented on the topic around the state. Emma also works with clients to seek out sponsorship and pro bono assistance with legal name changes. Emma’s primary practice specializes in criminal defense work. “I’m a trans woman and when I was going through the name change process it wasn’t as easy as it should have been,” Shin said. “I understand the nuances and procedures of it, so I thought the best thing I could do is to help others with the process as well.” The Center also honors The Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center (CREEC) with a Visionaries in Action Award. CREEC is a nonprofit membership organization whose goal is to ensure that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. CREEC reaches out to the community to provide educational resources such as instructional materials and presentations. CREEC also investigates civil rights violations and files impact and class action lawsuits on a broad array of civil rights issues. “Both my husband and I were working at a firm that didn’t allow us to do what we wanted, which was to help those who need it most,” Amy Robertson, co-founder of CREEC, said. “We left that 17 years ago to focus on what we loved. A few years ago we turned our firm into a nonprofit so we could focus on outreach, training, and testing.”
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Raising a Glass To The Disabled David-ElijahNahmod
In July 1990, Congress enacted the Americans With Disabilities Act, a wide ranging civil-rights law meant to prevent discrimination based on disability. Disability comes in many forms: blindness, deafness, loss of limbs, as well as emotional and mood disorders — all are among the conditions covered by ADA Law. "The numbers are staggering," Scott Monette said. "Almost 57 million Americans are living with a disability. Two thirds of whom are completely outside of the workforce. It struck me that this is the last significant minority group that is outside of mainstream society in the country." Monette feels that raising disability awareness and visibility will bring some much needed positive changes to the lives of people who are disabled. "Disability could touch each and every one of us," he said. "Disability cuts across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and income levels. On top of the 57 million Americans living with disabilities, there are another 100 million Americans where someone they love has a disability. That is almost 53% of the total American population." These are issues that Monette understands all too well. His son Matthew, 20 years old, is deaf and is on the autism spectrum. Inspired by his son's disabilities, Monette launched 100 Percent Wines out of St. Louis, Missouri, a company dedicated not only to fine wines, but to helping the disabled find their way into the workforce. "I wanted my work to have meaning and to try to address an issue that was becoming more and more relevant for our family as Matthew got older — his employment," Monette said. "I started talking to everyone about potential job opportunities and really did not see a pathway for Matthew or others that I was excited about. The more people I spoke to, the more I didn’t hear anyone talking about fundamentally changing the employment prospects for this population. I was naive enough to want to try." 100 Percent Wines is a wine distributor on the surface, but at its core works to help progress a community that often goes unnoticed. Donating all profits from the company to nonprofit organizations working to create jobs for those living with disabilities, Monette took something nearly everyone enjoys and put it to a greater mission. "Wine is about celebration," he said. "I wanted to have this conversation in a positive and uplifting way, not focused on social justice or discrimination. You have a bottle of wine with family or friends because you are celebrating something. I thought that if we could bring people living with disabilities into this conversation over a glass of wine, that would be interesting."
It’s also giving those who benefit from the program something to celebrate. A job not only unlocks economic possibilities, but gives people a sense of dignity and respect. This is something Belo Cipriani knows all too well. At age 26, Cipriani was fully sighted, but a violent assault in 2007 left him totally blind. Seven years later, Cipriani, author of the acclaimed, award winning book Blind: A Memoir, is an in-demand speaker and columnist who addresses disability issues and now an important asset to 100 Percent Wines as he stands as an advocate for the company and vision of Monette. "We are honored that Belo agreed to represent us publicly," Monette said. "He is helping us in ways far outside of his comfort zone, which speaks to how important our mission is to him as well. Belo is as passionate about employment creation as we are, so we are a great team. I have learned a lot from Belo and look forward to continuing our relationship. On top of being a great spokesman for our cause, he is a good businessman who understands what it takes to be successful." In addition to making people's lives better, partaking in 100 Percent Wines is a guaranteed taste bud pleasing experience — we were able to sample the company's red blend before filing this column. The red blend and Sauvignon Blanc have already been rated 90+ points and have been endorsed by Master Sommeliers. They just introduced a moscato wine as their third variety. "We knew that we had to have a great product experience," said Monette. "The bar is high, but we would not have gotten into the business if we could not deliver.” Their wine is made with a musque clone grape, so it has more fruit and less acid than a traditional wine. If you'd like to enjoy a superb wine tasting experience, or to get involved with 100 Percent Wines disability mission, please visit drinkwinehelppeople.org. After all, we all love a good celebration.
"Disability cuts across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and income levels. On top of the 57 million Americans living with disabilities, there are another 100 million Americans where someone they love has a disability. That is almost 53% of the total American population." Outf r o n t onlin e . co m
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Addicts Are Us KaceeErtzbischoff Addicts are not like us. They are not educated, opinionated, passionate, focused, spiritual, or disciplined. Addicts do not care about the world, themselves, or others. They choose to live selfish lives numbing out the world around them. Addicts don’t want to stop using, they just want the next high. Addicts are not like me. Being queer really is all it's cracked up to be. My introduction into the gay life consisted of parties and love and warmth and laughs. Growing up in a cis, heteronormative world, as most of us have, coming out can be like coming home to a family you never knew as they embrace you with welcome arms, rainbows, and glitter. My first years out of the soft, safe closet were full of as many bumps and bruises as they were wonderful, warm times. I was suddenly surrounded by people who understood and, more importantly, inspired me. I quickly grew to become a confident, self-accepting, socially conscious advocate. I could spend my life tirelessly attempting to repair any and all problems in the world. Everything fell into place. My career changed my life. I was making a real difference and I could see the change in the world. If you met me at this time of my life, you would’ve thought I was happy. However, glamorous and exciting as these early days were, they also introduced me to another side of the queer community that few discuss openly. The frivolities and fun were usually enshrouded in copious amounts of alcohol and a variety of other 'party favors.' The glittery family provided many ways of escaping the difficulties of growing up in a society in which we felt different. For some, these party-filled escape tactics become a necessary way of life, without which normal functioning became impossible. I wasn’t suppose to be one of them.
Addicts are not like me.
It’s easy to become acclimated to this colorful lifestyle and to spend every day and every night gay and wasted. I spent years this way. Then something changed. I started to be the last one awake at parties, which took precedence over my responsibilites. Suddenly, I was going days and days without food or sleep. The severity of this issue ballooned too slowly for me to notice. I was using drugs and alcohol to be able to function in my normal life, yet I was completely sure I didn’t have a problem. Within a few short months, this problem grabbed ahold of me, and I lost the career that meant more to me than life itself. I lost my self-respect, my status as a credible adult, many relationships, my clean record, my health, my home, my car, and my financial stability. I now sit here sober and angry. I am angry because addicts are like me. Addicts are like us. Addicts are doctors and teachers and visionaries and lawyers. Addicts are desperate to heal, and yet the systems that exists to help support and heal those who suffer from this cunning, baffling disease are inaccessible to many of the most desperate addicts. Moreover, the physical and mental pain in the recovery process is excruciating, and there is no cure. Family and friends slowly distance themselves. Society has <no> empathy for an addict in recovery. I have seen the desperation in enough tear-filled eyes to know there is room for change in how addicts are treated. My wish for humanity is that being a 'friend of Bill W.' will someday feel as comfortable and socially acceptable as being a 'friend of Dorothy.' I’ve tried to look at myself in the mirror, but my vision was blurred and I couldn’t seem to focus on anything. I’d squint and try again to see my own eyes, but still nothing. I’ve been too wasted to see my own self.
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NOH8 Photo Shoot Photos by Charles Broshous The NOH8 campaign and photographer Adam Bouska returned to Denver on February 4, 2017, for an open photo shoot at the GLBT Community Center of Colorado. Funds raised by NOH8 are used to promote awareness for marriage equality, anti-discrimination, and anti-bullying. A portion of the proceeds was also donated directly to The Center.
Feeling Frisky Photos by Charles Broshous The Foxtrot Club held their latest social soiree at the Denver Wrangler on February 4th. The Foxtrot Club is a bi-monthly furry event where members of the furry fandom gather to drink, dance and dazzle. The club meets on the first Saturday of every other month and will return to the Wrangler on April 1st. For more information, please visit them on Twitter @Foxtrotclub, or on Facebook.
Circuit Saturday â€“
Locker Room Photos by Charles Broshous Circuit Saturday hosted Locker Room at Tracks Nightclub on February 4th. Several hundred sports fans donned their locker room best for a night of fun, fetish and frivolity. This monthâ€™s event featured DJs J. Warren and Jordan P. in the main room and DJ Blaque Gurl in the lounge. Circuit Saturday is held at Tracks on the first Saturday of the month.
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The following American companies have scored
perfectly on the Corporate Equality Index:
Bobby LeFebre MSU Denver ‘04 Poet. Visionary. Roadrunner.
As an award-winning poet, spoken word artist, actor and social worker, Bobby LeFebre found his voice at MSU Denver. For him, words are “indestructible bridges connecting us all across social, political, cultural and psychological borders.” At MSU Denver, we’ve been transforming lives and empowering our students to find their personal road to success for more than 50 years. msudenver.edu/road
Abercrombie & Fitch Co American Airlines American Eagle Outfitters American Express AT&T Barnes & Noble Booksellers Ben & Jerry’s Campbell Soup Coca-Cola Co DIRECTV eBay Groupon Kraft Foods Group McDonald’s Nestlé Purina PetCare Co Office Depot PepsiCo SIRIUS XM Radio Target United Airlines Wells Fargo Yahoo
Just to name a few.
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Are Really that
he Human Rights Campaign compiled their Corporate Equality Index for 2016, rating workplaces around the country on their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. Over 850 workplaces demonstrated their commitment to LGBT inclusion and equality and a record 407 businesses earned a top score of 100 percent by the campaign. The most inclusive industries include law and insurance, among food, banking, and various others. Over half of the Fortune 500 companies received CEI ratings, and 11 received perfect scores.
Walmart, Chevron, and Apple all are part of those 11, along with AT&T and CVS Health Corp.
So how are these corporations rated? Each is rated on a point scale based on their inclusiveness and equality. For example, in the 2016 criteria, a corporation must have equal spouse and partner benefits, regardless of sexual orientation, in order to earn all ten points of that category. The equal opportunity employment policy must also include people of all sexual orientation and gender identity for all operations, for a total of 30 points for the two categories. There must also be transgenderinclusiveness, including equal health insurance and care. If the corporation has had a recent public or large-scale anti-LGBT blemish on its records, 25 points are automatically deducted. All of this leads to a corporation being marked as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality.
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S P ON S O R E D C ON T E N T
Gay and Lesbian
Flag Football League Imagine a Denver sports league where community through sport, and not competition, is the focus. Where the structure of the league, the sponsored social events, and the mission is the building of friendships -- not dynasties. Where your best effort often gets the loudest cheer, and you’re not judged by the color of your jersey, but by the content of your character. Can you imagine it? We know we can. We’ve even seen it. Or perhaps this idea that a sports league can help to make the world a more open and accepting place sounds a little wacky. After all -- for many LGBTQ individuals -- community is the last thing that comes to mind when the word ‘sports’ is mentioned. Perhaps sports to you means “toxic masculinity” or a “skill-based hierarchy used only to exclude.” You might think of a particularly painful and adversarial loss. You might recall the body shaming, or slut shaming, or bullying by a teen in a varsity letter jacket. These are not only your experiences. These are our community’s shared experiences, the experiences of our league’s founders then, and our leadership now. This inform and guide us, but they are not the experiences we create in our league. We opened with an alternate vision of community through sport. It is a lofty vision, one that can be difficult to live up to. Has it come fully to fruition? We don’t know … probably not. But here is what we do know: for the better part of 9 years there has been a community supporting the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League (DGLFFL) with the hope of making this vision a reality. Our league has grown and changed, but it has always kept the idea of community through sport at its core. We’re the DGLFFL and it’s nice to meet you. We don’t know where you’re from, what you do, or if you have ever played a sport, but we hope you’ll consider joining our community. Regardless of your skill level, sex, gender, body type, income, athleticism, or sexual orientations -- if you are willing to respect the members of this community -- we have a place for you here. You see since our league’s founding, the DGLFFL has been for many of us, an inspiration and a source of hope. For the newly out, it has provided instant community; it has helped more than a dozen teammates to embrace their curiosity, help answer their questions, and support them through their struggles. For the new player,it’s given a place of encouragement and learning. For league veterans, it offers a beautiful community with geographical, racial, athletic, educational, socioeconomic, and sexual diversity. Just ask the league’s biggest fans -- our straight allies. PS. you can find them on the field! Authors: Becky Lee and Alexander Lundy are on the Board of the DGLFFL and serve as the Commissioner and Director of Communications/Outreach (respectively). They can be reached at: Outreach@DGLFFL.com 3 4 \\ f e b r u a r y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7
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11TH AVE. BARRICUDA’S OGDEN ST.
1ST AVE. LI’L DEVILS
6TH AVE. TRADE
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16th St. Mall @ Arapahoe, Denver (303) 293-0075 lannies.com
LANNIE ’S CLOCKTOW ER CABARET
Sunday Funday $1 Bud/Bud Light // 4–8p
SANTA FE DR. KALAMATH ST.
1336 E 17th Ave, Denver (303) 993-5812 hamburgermarys.com/denver
ham b u rge r m ary’s
Saturday Beer Bust $8 Bottomless Beers // 3:30–7:30p
145 Broadway, Denver (303) 722-7977 compounddenver.com
475 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204 (720) 627-5905
COMPOU N D BASIX
475 Santa Fe Dr, Denver (720) 627-5905
Thursday Skivvy Strip Down, $5 Cover Sunday Funday 4pm-8pm, $1 Bud/Bud Light
Photo // Jeremy paige
BLUSH & BLU
10 PM-Closing First Friday Second Friday
A Black Light
A Pop Remix Dance Party
A 90s Music and Hip Hop Event
3090 Downing St
OUT BAC K CLASSIFIEDS Envisioned by Boberto
If you believe youâ€™re a victim of a sex or hate crime, contact the Survivors Organizing for Liberation 24-hour statewide hotline at 1-888-557-4441
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The Subaru Outback,
like snow other.
*2017 Subaru Outback, not as pictured
2017 SUBARU OUTBACK 2.5i 36 month lease, $189 per month plus tax, $1200 due at signing plus tax. 10,000 miles per year with approved credit. No security deposit required. MSRP $26,870 Model code HDB Package 01 Stock #173361
2017 SUBARU FORESTER 2.5i 36 month lease, $189 per month plus tax, $1200 due at signing plus tax. 10,000 miles per year with approved credit. No security deposit required. MSRP $23,632 Model code HFA Package 01 Stock #173707
2017 SUBARU LEGACY 2.5i 36 month lease, $179 per month plus tax, $1200 due at signing plus tax. 10,000 miles per year with approved credit. No security deposit required. MSRP $23,876 Model code HAB Package 02 Stock #172957
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA 2.0i 36 month lease, $159 per month plus tax, $1400 due at signing plus tax. 10,000 miles per year with approved credit. No security deposit required. MSRP $19,377 Model code HJA Package 01 Stock #173826
Family Owned and Operated for Over 45 years (719) 475-1920 · 1080 Motor City Drive · Colorado Springs BestBuySubaru.com ·
COURTESY DELIVERY AVAILABLE TO ANYWHERE IN COLORADO