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900 East Colfax denver colorado 303 839 8890 March 20, 2013 |


VOL. XXXVI • ISSUE #23 • MARCH 20, 2013



coVer STorY:

LIVING 33 The GaY aeSTheTic 34 ThriVe 36 GeT acTiVe 38 DenVer UrBaniSM 39 ParenTinG 40 BacK in MY DaY 44 heinZeSiGhT



A family’s tale: Navigating same-sex parent adoptions


When Jason Cobb and Jason Prussman first began looking to start a family, they quickly discovered most adoption agencies had restrictions regarding placing children with same-sex parents. “They didn’t have a very diverse outlook,” Cobb said. “I think that’s changing a bit, but it’s taken a concerted effort ...”

On the cover: Brandon Stiller and Dakota Chase Hill. Photography by Josh Olsen //


FOCUS 6 leTTer FroM The eDiTor 7 SPeaK oUT 9 neWS 10 Panel VoiceS 11 oUT in coloraDo 15 BleeD liKe Me SOCIAL 20 FooD For ThoUGhT 22 hiGh SocieTY 24 on The Scene PiX 25 Bar TaB 27 Bar raG 29 QraVe

“As long as I can remember, I’ve had a camera in my hands ... all of my influences have been provocateurs, pushing the envelope.” – Josh olsen, photographer


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the Rocky Mountains since 1976 3535 Walnut Street Denver, Colorado 80205 Phone: 303-477-4000 Fax: 303-325-2642 Email: Web: Facebook: Twitter: @OutFrontCO Out Front Colorado is published by Transformation Communications Group, LLC, a Colorado limited liability corporation and is a member of: Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Denver Drama Critics Circle. PHIL PRICE / Founder, 1954-1993 JERRY CUNNINGHAM / Publisher Email: J.C. MCDONALD / Vice President / Director of Circulation Email: NIC GARCIA / Associate Publisher Email: JEFF JACKSON SWAIM / Chief Strategist





Email: MATTHEW PIZZUTI / Junior Editor Email: KRISTIN ZIEGLER, ALEX MEYER / Editorial interns CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Brent Heinze, Robyn Vie-Carpenter, Scott McGlothlen, Jeff Steen, Josiah Hesse, Gary Kramer, Mike Yost, Ashley Trego, Nuclia Waste, David Marlowe, Jonathan McGrew, Chris Azzopardi, Shanna Katz, Paula Girardi, Amy Lynn O’Connell, Kristin Ziegler, Steve Cruz, Jasmine Peters, Lauren Archuletta.


Serving the LGBT Community of


ART SARA DECKER / Creative Director Email: DENEE PINO / Production Assistant CHARLES BROSHOUS / Photographer

MARKETING / SALES JORDAN JACOBS / Marketing Executive Email: SAGE GREY / Marketing Executive Email: DAWN HARTBARGER / Marketing Executive Email:

DiSTriBUTion: Out Front Colorado’s print publication is available semi-monthly, free of charge in Colorado, one copy per person. Additional copies of Out Front Colorado may be purchased for $3.95 each, payable in advance at Out Front Colorado offices located at 3535 Walnut Street, Denver CO, 80205. Out Front Colorado is delivered only to authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of Out Front Colorado, take more than one copy of Out Front Colorado. Any person who takes more than one copy may be held liable for theft, including but not limited to civil damages and or criminal prosecution. coPYriGhT & liMiT oF liaBiliTY: Reproduction of editorial, photographic or advertising content without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Advertisers are responsible for securing rights to any copyrighted material within their advertisements. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims of advertisers and reserves the right to reject any advertising. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or advertising is not to be considered an indication of the sexual orientation or HIV status of such person or organization. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of materials submitted. OPINIONS EXPRESSED are not necessarily those of OUT FRONT COLORADO, its staff or advertisers.




March 20, 2013 |



This is history

CONNECT WITH MATTHEW Reach junior editor Matthew Pizzuti by email at matt@outfront, phone (303) 477.4000 ext. 712


As I am writing this, in mere days Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign a bill for civil unions granting same-sex couples the state-level benefits of marriage. With our semi-monthly print schedule at Out Front, it’s hard to keep you up-to-date on all the news happening in Colorado right now. We’re thankful we can publish it instantly online. (Don’t be disappointed we couldn’t say much about it in this issue – you’ll get to see an exciting update in print in Out Front very soon.) When the law takes effect May 1, it will culminate a story that began on Valentine’s Day more than two years ago, February 2011, when Sen. Pat Steadman, only the third openly gay state legislator in Colorado history (now one of eight currently serving), first introduced his civil unions bill. The story would weave through surprises and tragedies, and if it were ever to be told around a single person, that would be Steadman – and Dave. But the story is also about House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, who during this process became Colorado’s first openly gay Speaker and shepherded the bill through tests that had proved insurmountable the first two years. It’s about the 2012 elections, and six additional out LGBT state legislators, four of them new in 2013. It’s about the efforts of dedicated organizations, passionate straight allies, hundreds of activists, thousands of same-sex couples and nationwide political change. It’s a chapter in a longer story that neither begins, nor ends, this year – but which, I believe, is moving at its fastest pace yet. The 1960s and early 1970s stand out as an iconic time in history – no doubt lots of images and events come to mind for you, as they do for us, defining an era of dramatic upheaval. 1969 began what we call our modern LGBT community, through Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement. Of course a whole lot more was happening. But, was it clear in 1969 to all the millions of living Americans which details of their complex lives would rise up as one of the headlining chapters of the 20th Century narrative? Only a minority were actually cultural revolutionaries or activists, and they, though born before the 60s and many still alive today, are much less recognized in association with other decades in which they lived


Publisher’s Wild Card Pick

– think of the 1980s, or the 2000s – decades that in themselves aren’t thought of as sentimentally as the 60s. Though we may not be fully conscious of it, the time we’re living in now is a lot like 1969. The 2008 election was groundbreaking, and 2012 shifted the ground itself; people of color formed the highest proportion of the electorate in American history, and helped re-elect a pro–marriage-equality president. We’re moving from a nation that only slowly cracks its door to let select “outsiders” trickle in through generations of struggle – to one in which outsiders outnumber, and revoke the “insiders’” power to define America in the first place. And like many other periods of dramatic change, this one is marked by economic hardship, in which one form of resistance to progress – economic stagnation and a political process that moves too slow to meet the need – transfers energy to cultural and social shifts. This cover story takes a look at today’s gay counterculture, much of which came of age in the midst of recession, leaps in technology, and everything else that’s happening right now. For the roughly 7 billion human beings on Earth, there are seven billion perspectives on which details define today in the arc of history. But when history is put into words, it’s not so much an account of the way things were or gradually evolved, but a series of times when they changed suddenly and clearly. Wars. Rebellions. Epidemics. Inventions. Movements. Elections. Bills. Even when we talk about our own lives, you’ll find it’s not our daily routines or casual acquaintances – which make up the vast majority of our time – that make the story. We fixate instead on events that threw our routines off course. Births. Deaths. New relationships and breakups. Traumatic experiences. The moment we realized we’re gay. When we came out. Finding true love. And at this place in history, the amazing thing is, events that changed a nation and the things that shook up our personal worlds – the recession, the first presidential endorsement of same-sex marriage, marriage equality in nine states and counting, the beginning of civil unions in Colorado – right now, are one in the same. This is history, and the moments we’re living now, right here, will be part of what defines our whole lives. ]

Matthew Pizzuti Junior Editor

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The other weekend, my partner JC and I braved the not-sotreacherous winter blizzard to go see OZ the Great and Powerful. I’ve gotta say I started out skeptical. After all, Dorothy is an icon to the sisterhood, and even though we had to forgo the ruby slippers, we did get a glimpse of a cowardly lion, the makings of a scarecrow, and I’m sure there will be heated debate about the man of tin, frozen rock solid. My hat is off to Disney and I say, what a job well done – it was wickedly entertaining! I will leave you with this thought: Defiance seems to be a common theme among green witches, just saying. – Jerry Cunningham, publisher

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR: Josh Olsen is a Denver photographer who explores the gay subculture of the unconventional men that he interacts with. Olsen continues to redefine the idea of masculinity through the creative approach of documentary-style photography. His primary subject is the male form and his technique incorporates light, mood and environment into his photography. Olsen records people in his day-to-day life: a gang of undisputed exhibitionists. Follow Josh Olsen’s work on his website, See Olsen’s photos on the cover of this issue and inside on pages 16-19.


“ADAM TURNED ME DOWN AS GENTLY AS HE COULD. I KNEW HE MEANT NO HARM. I ALSO KNEW THAT I HAD JUST BEEN SEROSORTED; THAT TERM IS FOR THE ACT OF SORTING OUT GUYS BY THEIR HIV STATUS. IT HAPPENED TO ME OFTEN ONLINE, BUT NEVER TO MY FACE.” Dear Editor, This letter is in reply to the recent column by Scott. I have appreciated your being so candid about being hiv+ and in previous columns about being in an open relationship etc., I always enjoy your perspective but why is it that so many gay men feel they have to “subscribe” to this line of thinking anyways? Isn’t this what got us in “trouble” in the first place and assigned to us 2nd class status by many others in our fight for civil rights and gay “marriage”? Being a gay man myself and out for 28 years and seeing the worst of the AIDS crisis, I know about being a man and having urges as a sexual being but whatever happened to self control?

It can be argued that men have high sex drives and therefore we must have sex frequently but it can also be argued that having this drive and knowing when to control it gives us a way out of problems, like a problem with a sexual addiction. Also, is it really our sex drive that is at the heart of the matter for our urges to have sex with many different partners or is it really a lack of self esteem where we need/want approval from many different men to somehow hold onto our “value” as being needed/worthwhile? Lots to think about here in light that civil unions and gay marriage is now a right in some states and being considered across this Country. – Greg Isabel, Denver

From Facebook: RE: “GOP Rep. Carole Murray … breaks into tears as she announces she will vote yes on civil unions despite serious risks to her political career” >> “Only one word for Carole Murray - courageous!” – Margaret Sutton, Dayton, Ohio

“I know a lot of people who would vote republican if it weren’t for social issues. Maybe once the social issues are taken care of people can fully vote their conscious instead of voting based on social issues. Thank you for taking the brave step and may more politicians vote what they believe instead of adding fire to the democrat vs. republican war.” – Kim Goode, Denver

Send letters to the editor to

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Field poll finds that California voters opposed to same-sex marriage is at a record low

By Kristin Ziegler President Barack Obama and Republican actor Clint Eastwood may have taken the Proposition 8 spotlight in early March when both influential men filed briefs with the Supreme Court urging the repeal of the measure, which has banned same-sex marriage in California since 2008. But the residents of the Golden State are having a say of their own, with a new poll showing record support for same-sex marriage. The field poll, released March 1, found a clear majority (more than 61 percent) of California voters sup-


ported the idea of extending the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, while 32 percent opposed. The survey’s respondents were a randomly–selected sample of 834 registered California voters. This poll may prove significant as Proposition 8 gears up to be heard by SCOTUS this month. A 2012 Gallup poll revealed 53 percent of Americans are in favor of full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. ]

^ more >>


Stay up-to-date on LGBT news with Out Front on outfrontcolorado


Bill Clinton urges Supreme Court to overturn DOMA By Alex Meyer Former President Bill Clinton urged the Untied States Supreme Court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act – a bill he signed into law himself as president – when the court hears a case disputing the 1996 act. In a Washington Post op-ed, Clinton offered his explanation for his 1996 support for the bill: “In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. In no state in the union was

same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction ... When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that ‘enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.’ Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned.” ]


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More stories online ...

/ Bill O’Reilly launches attach against Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino >> / Even with same-sex marriage, gay parents still face hurdles in Iowa >>

/ Carly Rae Jepsen boycotts Boy Scouts over gay ban, cancels concert appearance >> / Gay friendly ads move beyond stereotypes >>

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LGBT victims of domestic violence gain new federal protections Reauthorized Violence Against Women Act adds same-sex couples to 1994 law

After a draw-out partisan battle, President Obama signed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act March 7 that updates the 19 year-old law with new protections for same-sex couples. The original law, drafted by Vice President Joe Biden when he was a senator and passed into law in 1994, created resources for local government agencies, police departments, battered women’s shelters and crisis centers across the nation – and led to the creation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The passage of the reauthorization came after a partisan battle over provisions involving same-sex couples, undocumented immigrants and women on Indian Reservations, and the winning version of the bill came up for a vote in the House only after a version most House Republicans favored – which omitted the provisions affecting minority groups – couldn’t get enough bipartisan support to pass. “I am pleased that this progress will continue, with new tools for cops and prosecutors to hold abusers and rapists accountable, and more support for all victims of these crimes,” Biden said as President Obama signed the law. Kristin Lynch, press secretary for Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, says that the law provides three main types of benefits: services for survivors of domestic violence, education and prevention services (such as the Conflict Center in Denver), and tools for law enforcement to prosecute offenders. LGBT victims of domestic violence were denied services offered in the previous version of the bill, Lynch said. Even after the likely passage of a bill for civil unions in Colorado – expected to set same-sex unions to start May 1 – LGBT victims of violence by a civil union partner would be denied access to the

benefits since the federal government is prohibited by the Defense Of Marriage Act from recognizing legal unions between same-sex couples. But the new version extends benefits to same-sex couples by making no distinction between legally– married and unmarried same-sex couples. “The Violence Against Women Act classifies LGBT couples of all kinds as underserved. No matter the relationship, whether civil union or just dating, you are protected,” Lynch said adding that “same-sex victims of domestic violence would be denied service if they were seeking help with the old laws. These issues are what’s expanding the definition of discrimination.” Nationally, the rate of domestic violence in the LGBT community is thought to be similar to the rate of violence among heterosexual couples. But Lynch said domestic violence for same-sex couples is more likely to go unreported. “Looking 20 years ahead, the statistics will probably be more aligned with that of the straight population.


For now, it’s still underreported,” Lynch said. Bennet and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn also expanded the legislation by attaching the SAFER Act (Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry), which provides more money to prevent the backlogging of rape kits. “We said we should raise [the amount given to test rape kits],” Lynch said. “We changed the 40 percent to 75 percent, and the second part of the bill gives options to conduct audits, so [local governments] can get to backlogs and have a better picture of the problem.” The money for the bill will come from repurposing funds in the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program. The reauthorization also includes the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, which requires that colleges provide information for survivors of sexual violence with legal and counseling services, as well as required training for officials who discipline those in cases of stalking and domestic violence as reported on campus crime reports. ]

Colorado Civil Union Act The bill to establish civil unions in Colorado is headed to become law this spring. To be the first to see breaking updates on the bill’s progress or to follow community reactions and responses, follow Out Front online: / Updating list of all Out Front news stories on civil unions / “Like” Out Front on Facebook for breaking bulletins / Follow Out Front on Twitter for live feeds of committee hearings / Join the conversation with 2013 news photos on Facebook:

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Does our community’s culture make poverty more difficult for LGBT people?


Iowa native George K. Gramer, Jr. is the president of the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans.

Our community has been known for fashion and labels. Remember Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? I don’t think our community’s culture makes poverty more difficult for LGBT people, I think superficial people do. You all know them and there is one word to describe them: plastic! They are the ones who put someone else down because they don’t want to deal with their own issues. They are the ones who’d rather drive an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes to look flashy, and will then mooch off their friends for drinks because they don’t have any extra discretionary money. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about everyone that drives those cars. I am talking about those who live outside their means. Wealth does not define us, we define wealth. I know my friends would give me the shirt off their back, a place to stay or a hot meal if I needed one and we do that for each other not because of what we wear or drive but because we simply care for each other. When did we as a society start allowing material possessions to define us? Who cares? Are people really going to stop being friends with someone because they don’t wear a name-brand label? Let me know who they are and I’ll blast them on one of my late-night Facebook rants. Do we all want to be richer and have more money, sure. But does money truly buy you happiness? No! Are all members of our community superficial and plastic? No! So then, why do we let those who are dictate how the rest of us should look, act and be in our own community? Oprah Winfrey once said, “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” That’s wealth and true friendship and no dollar sign can be assigned to that. ] Shanida Lawya’

Nita Mosby Henry is the Executive Director of the Career Service Authority – the City of Denver’s Human Resources Agency. She is a member of the One Colorado Board of Directors and the Tony Grampas Youth Services Board. She is the founder of Girlz Pushing the Button.

In the U.S. today, there are many reasons for poverty, but poverty is not a good thing for anyone to face. Almost 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” is the U.S. any better in any poverty demographic? Today, 15 percent of Americans live below the poverty level ($23,050 for a family of four). It is estimated that 58 percent of all Americans will spend one year of their life between age 25 and 75 below the poverty line. The LGBT community’s culture creates a utopia of high-end automobiles, vacations to Key West and Palm Springs, designer clothing, luxurious homes, and even perhaps costly bad habits. Reality grounds us that most of the utopia is only that, and we live within a lifestyle our income permits. Research (all statistics I have used come from the Center for American Progress, a liberal-progressive think tank) yields some interesting results: LGB couples are at least as likely to be poor as heterosexual couples, and lesbians are consistently poorer than their heterosexual counterparts. Lesbian couples over age 65 suffer a poverty rate twice the heterosexual couple average. The transgender community suffers high unemployment and low earnings. Surveys indicate that (and this is a very wide range) 22 to 64 percent of transgender earnings are less than $25,000 annually. Further, there is a high homeless rate among the transgender community. One final comment: LGBT youth probably suffer poverty most. Many are homeless, confused, not in school, and on a dismal life track. Many resort to illicit activity for income or become substance dependent. Poverty is indeed serious for all Americans and especially for the LGBT community. ] George K. Gramer, Jr.

Nita Mosby Henry

There are realities and there are myths about wealth in the LGBT community. There is the myth of great financial wealth running rampant throughout our community. Because of this stereotype or myth, it is easy to feel an undue pressure to “look and behave like the stereotyped norm.” The reality is, like any other community, there are a percentage of us with financial wealth, a percentage of us in poverty and a percentage us who are somewhere in the middle. It is fair to say, however, the wealthy can be more obvious to the community, the media and to those who stereotype others, in some cases because of the work they are doing, the circles they are in and the magnitude of their experiences. They stick out. Because wealth often comes with illumination – the person, whether they ask for it or not, becomes the focus of the spotlight. The attention-getter. The story. Our culture of celebration and partying also disguises the realities of our community. For the person who cannot decipher stereotypes from reality, it looks like we’re all constantly having a blast! The “blast,” in reality is a farce. We do know how to have a good time, but there is real pain in our community, even when techno is playing in the background. What’s the impact to our community? Most often it buries important stories. It covers up the reality that there is indeed poverty and pain within the LGBT community. It minimizes where we need help. It creates exclusion versus inclusion. It is a terrible burden to pretend wealth and joy are the only acceptable attributes in our community. In my mind, the true joy comes when we acknowledge that our community is similarly situated to the rest of the world. We have our “haves” and “have nots.” The difference is, I think, our community has the wherewithal to do something about it. ]

Shanida Lawya’, also known as “the firey red head of the Rockies” is an activist, volunteer and entertainer in Denver. Shanida hosts Bingo at X-Bar every Wednesday, DREAMGIRLS every 1st, 3rd and 4th Fridays at Hamburger Mary’s and every other Sunday in Denver’s DIVAS at Charlie’s. Follow Shanida on twitter @Shanida.

Interested in becoming one of the voices on Out Front’s panel? Contact Holly Hatch by email at or call (303) 477.4000 ext. 711 to be considered!


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out in colorado


HER HRC Colorado – Human Rights Campaign March 23 more >>

★ ★★ ★

2013 ★★★

Spring/ Summer at a glance Look for these coming events & Fundraisers

Queer Seder – Keshet March 28 more >>


LGBT Job Fair – The GLBT Community Center of Colorado April 20 more >> Mile High Gala – Human Rights Campaign April 20 // more >> Coronation 40: A Mile High Affair, the Making of a Monarchy – Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire April 20-23 more >>

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Art For Life – Project Angel Heart May 17 more >> Boots-N-Boxers – Krewe Of Chaos May 18 // more >>


‘Melodies of Pride’ – Mile High Freedom Band June 11 more >> ‘Dance the Night Away’ – Denver Gay Men’s Chorus June 13 more >> Pink Party – One Colorado June 15 more >> Denver PrideFest – The GLBT Community Center of Colorado

June 15-16 more >>


Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo – Colorado Gay Rodeo Association July 12-14 more >>


AIDS Walk – Colorado AIDS Project Aug. 10 // more >> Summer-end Camp Out – Front Range Bears Aug. 15-18 more >> Ally Awards – One Colorado Aug. 17 more >>

^ Your one-stop shop destination for events online at

march 20, 2013 |


show & tell

Picture perfect wedding

Natosha Weaver-Beauchamp, left, 28 and wife Lisa Weaver-Beauchamp, right, 43, were married June 16, 2012 at the Botanical Garden in Des Moines, Iowa, a state where same-sex marriage is legal. The two women celebrated their love in an intimate ceremony officiated by Reverand Kathy Love. The couple was married by a beau-

tiful coy pond inside a dome with flowers, trees and brightly colored fish. To them, this was the perfect day. Natosha and Lisa have been together since November 2010 and live in Denver. In their free time, they love to spend time with their four children and four grand-children at the parks and museums. ]

/Sometimes you just gotta show off! Submit pet stories and pix, wedding announcements, adoptions, births, funny stories or anything that has you beaming with pride – for our SHOW AND TELL section. Email a query, digital image or 50-250 word write-up to with “SHOW AND TELL” in the subject line, and we’ll consider putting your announcement in print! 12

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march 20, 2013 |


gal on the move

The cycle of embarrassment I was telling my wusband about a man up to me to get help if I didn’t underI was on a flight with. Things don’t stand something. I remember having work the same on small jets – he ac- to speak up in order to get what I cidentally pulled a panel off of the roof needed or wanted, and often got what I asked for. during the flight. It wasn’t It’s incredible when serious, and I’m certain you realize that part of he wasn’t the first one to the reason that you are do it. It was funny. the person that you are is But as I was telling the because of your parents. story I could feel how emI realized that part of the barrassed this guy must reason that I am often have felt. I was saying willing to do things is that I didn’t understand because I resist the fear why he didn’t just ask for of embarrassment. help when he couldn’t Embarrassment is a get the overhead comfunny thing. The only partment open, but my Robyn Vie-Carpenter reason we’re embarrassed wusband said she totally is because we allow ourunderstood – he just didn’t want to be embarrassed. I said selves to be. No one can make us feel that it was illogical to not ask for help; embarrassed. Often the reason that when he broke the plane, he ended up things in life escalate to crises is that we don’t want to be embarrassed, so don’t being embarrassed anyway. It was my mother who taught me to speak up soon enough. It’s why people ask for help. I remember being cloaked won’t ask for directions. “I’ll be too emin fear when I needed to ask for some- barrassed.” We do all kinds of things to thing. When I was about seven, my avoid embarrassment and end up with mother started telling me that it was even more to worry about.


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What if someone knows that we don’t know where we are? What if someone knows that we don’t know the answer? Will we turn to dust? Will we spontaneously combust? No. We might blush. We might break out into a sweat. We may even wish that we got swallowed up in a hole. All that really happens is we get, momentarily, embarrassed. The heart of embarrassment is the fear of being judged: we think someone is going to think something about us. We think that if we lack something – some knowledge or ability to do something on our own – it’s considered a weakness. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds. We feel vulnerable when we put ourselves in a position to be judged, so we judge ourselves first to avoid letting it be exposed. If we avoid exposing ourselves to the possibility of judgment, we can avoid being embarrassed. The issue with that is we also avoid getting what we need. So, what’s the solution? The option is to not be embarrassed to ask. We have to admit that we all have

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“weakness” and stop worrying about how it looks. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. If you can handle the worst, then take a deep breath and do it. Ask for help. Say I don’t understand. Yes, I know that can be a challenge. Risk being embarrassed – you’ll be fine. You might ask, what if someone makes fun of me for asking? I say, so what? Why do they care that you asked for help? You can decide not to be embarrassed. If you present yourself as a person who isn’t afraid to ask, nothing new gets exposed about you when you do. You can decide that only your own opinion of you matters. You can take control of how you are going to feel. You’ll be amazed at how empowered you feel, and how much you learn, when you don’t let fear control you. Thanks for the lesson, Mummy! ]


Email Robyn at For more Robyn, visit

BleeD liKe me

Testing at the bathouse

Scott McGlothlen

^ Email Scott at BleedLikeScott@ For more Scott, visit

For the Denver Swim Club HIV testing schedule, visit Denver or call (303) 322.4023. Midtowne Spa HIV testing times in March: 3/25 (6p.m.-10 p.m.) 3/26 (8 p.m. - 10 p.m.) 3/27 (6 p.m.-10 p.m.) 3/29 (12 p.m.-4 p.m.) For more up-todate testing schedule, visit

When I stumbled upon a remote STD testing center set up in the bathhouse, I thought it was a match made in heaven: bawdy, sexy heaven. That would be my new guilt-free reason to go to the bathhouse. Any hot and heavy action there would be a reward for my good safety measures. My first time getting tested there was different from any HIV test I’d taken before. The bathhouse didn’t have the same feel as a fluorescent-lit medical office. Back then, the testing equipment was laid out on a tiny mattress. The tester was a man in casual clothes with a ponytail. He was more like a comrade than a health care professional. After signing all the paperwork about the results being confidential, we began. I wore only the towel I used to cover myself in bathhouse hallways. First we would start an HIV rapid test. Then, I’d be quizzed about my sex life, wrapped up with some more tests and the revealing of the rapid results. The rapid HIV test seemed like a home pregnancy test, except it required a drop of blood rather than the joy of peeing on a stick. The finger prick was harmless and the tester immediately covered the test so we couldn’t see results creep up during the rest of the conversation. It would take 20 minutes or so. I eagerly answered his questions about my sexual behaviors. I always enjoy questionnaires even if they’re awkwardly personal. At the end, he handed me a cup and asked me for a urine sample. At least I got to pee into something. Returning with the sample, I answered a few more questions and it was time to see my HIV results. I had felt so confident all along that it hadn’t occurred to me

what I would do if the test came back positive. Although I was always adamant about using condoms, I still held my breath – what would it be like if I found out I had HIV while wrapped in a towel in a bathhouse? My heart began to race. He lifted the lid and looked it over. “You are all clear,” he said with a smile. I relaxed with a big sigh. I had never done a rapid HIV test before and it was a bit more nerve-wracking in the moment but nicer than having to wait days for other preliminary tests. The tester gave me copies of papers to take with me and explained how to get my other STD test results. “And we thank you for keeping the community safe,” the tester said as I got up to go. It all made me feel proud; proud enough to go back and frolic through the corridors. Yes, I thought, this will be how I get regular testing from here on out. Much to my dismay, the bathhouse did not actually have HIV testing every night, or even every week. It was an occasional thing. I didn’t have the brain power to remember how “occasionally” these testers were scheduled to visit – I’d have to wait patiently until I stumbled upon the testing again by luck. I figured it should happen again in about six months. I no longer wanted to go back to the doctor’s office for testing. All the talk of confidentiality made me feel more secure getting tested at the bathhouse. I had to wonder about the people whose tests didn’t come back with good news; I could imagine that kind of result would be better discovered in a doctor’s office than any kind of sex club. Little did I know, one day I would find out for myself. Read the rest of the story in the April 3 issue. ]

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Pictured: Brandon, Dakota

life on the margins Photos by Josh Olsen //


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Cover story ] ]

a story of the moment By Matthew Pizzuti


o a generation of gay urban-dwellers who were just starting “adulthood” in 2008, the economic downturn came like a thief in the night – unexpected, unwelcome, and mostly unregarded. Without established careers, mortgages, and in most cases without children to feed, most of our generation of queer young adults were personally unfazed when headlines of economic cataclysm rolled out. Millions of job losses and home foreclosures were horrible, but it wasn’t our story. Though the highest unemployment and underemployment rates fell squarely on those under 30, to us the recession seemed to mean – at worst – having to spend an extra one or two years with the life we’d already been living during college or our early 20s. It meant working irregular part-time hours – maybe waiting tables or bartending, maybe night jobs, doing things we didn’t think of as a permanent “career” (that word that had always lived vague in a future now pushed back a bit farther). It meant driving a used car or taking the bus, renting apartments with roommates, weekends staying out late and sleeping in, thinking and re-thinking college or grad school (but not knowing what to go for), internships, the freedom to relocate spontaneously, trying on different neighborhoods or towns – slipping into their streets and seeing whether we wore them well. Raising children in those circumstances would be hard, as is getting older or facing an expensive health issue. But, while for some young gay men recession was

an inconveniently-slow career entry, for a bunch of us there’s an appeal in an adventurous life outside the confines of a 9 to 5, outside home ownership or being tied town by our “stuff.” (The sentiment has always existed out there, but now with fewer regrets about living it.) It meant idle time and energy to put toward independent projects we may not know exactly how to make money from – with little to invest in them, but little that would be lost if they don’t go anywhere. There are other kinds of payoffs. Creativity is the dream. Denver photographer Josh Olsen, 34, treaded lightly at first when he began publishing photos – “documenting my naughty otter antics and the company I keep,” his photo blog at describes – on the web. Olsen said his images are part erotica, part documentation, of a particular gay subculture based on a rugged unkempt look. (“Otter” is a term that can be subject to interpretation, but Olsen describes “a slender, fit, hairy gay man. Rambunctious, oftentimes younger.” Some people see it as a slimmer variation of the Bear community, but in practice it seems to be as much about style and aesthetic as the body itself.) “As long as I can remember, I’ve had a camera in my hands,” Olsen said. Raised in Ogden, Utah, Olsen came to Denver about a decade ago. Three years ago a friend suggested a challenge – “to start a Tumblr account and start putting (his pictures) out there for the world,” Olsen said. It was to document, with photographic proof, the stories he’d tell about his friends and what they were like when they got together.

[ [ cover story ] ]

Photos continue on page 18. Story continues on page 45.

march 20, 13 |


John, on plastic turf

Diego, the muse

Dakota, after hours

Nicholas, playing cards

Dakota and Brandon, on Colfax

Photos by Josh Olsen //

Diego and Roberto, at the pool

Roberto, at the Eagle


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Cover story ] ]

Roberto, on the pool table

Robbie, on an apartment balcony

Jay, through the window

Brandon, after hours

[ [ Cover story ] ]

Diego, floating

march 20, 2013 |


FooD For thoUGht

Tamayo’s fresh look

Little Dragon 1305 Krameria Street, G Denver CO 80220 • 303-322-2128

By Jeffrey Steen We all have memories of Larimer Square: first dates awkwardly endured behind bowls of squash soup at Rioja, coming out to parents with a few (dozen) margaritas at Lime, or trying to pronounce “Châteauneufdu-Pape” while impressing business clients at Crú. And for many, adventures on Larimer have included a meal or two at Tamayo, grounding the culinary buzz of the square on the edge of 14th. But whether you’ve been or not, it’s time to give the old Tamayo a new look. You see, Tamayo has enjoyed a bit of a makeover recently – in both menu and décor. The space, while still occupying the narrow corner lot on the edge of Larimer, has taken on a more fluid feel while deftly separating formal dining from bar-anchored happy hours. Extending along the right side of the dining room stretch twoperson banquettes and tables nestled against the soaring windows looking out onto the bustle of 14th, while the bar – backed by squat, glowing bottles of tequila and a Rufino Tamayo-inspired mural – extends along the left, with enough seating and standing room to host a dozen or more happy hour revelers. In the back, things open up a bit with circular tables holding sway, while subdued track lighting runs above, gently highlighting the glint of glamorous margaritas or tiered flights of tequila. The menu revamp was welcome, and though rarely did I find a miss in the old, there was much to enjoy in the new: perhaps the best guacamole I have had in the Mile High City (I recommend sticking to the traditional), the Tamayo-branded margarita marked with tamarind and chile for kick, and a sinfully smooth Roasted Corn Soup. But the crème de la crème of the meal was absolutely the tacos – six heaping, steaming, corn tortillawrapped dynamos of flavor. There’s not a one I wouldn’t commend to your taste buds, but my favorite was easily the Mahi Mahi, swarming with grilled garlic, flaky fish, the piquant edge of lemony citrus, the punch of chile, and the soothing creaminess of avocado. It’s amazing

how much flavor was packed into so small a package, and how much it was worth lingering salivation. Lest it take a backseat, know that a close second has to be the Beef Tenderloin taco topped with pickled Fresno chile and salty-sweet panela cheese. Amid raucous laughter and intense buzz, entrées eventually ushered to our table with little pomp but a pause for explanation: the Beef Short Rib Cazuela, a deep and rich braise served with tortillas, succulent rice, and tender black beans; and the Pork Carnitas, peaking above a toosweet sauce and crowned with a red onion-Mandarin salsa. Honestly, my favor rests on the Short Ribs, though I still would be content to cozy into a half-dozen tacos. Throughout all of this deliciousness sailed margaritas and mojitos aplenty, on top of a tequila flight that proved Tamayo knows what it’s doing. A trio of New World and Old World spirits, the threesome spanned gentle subtlety and smoky smoothness. And don’t hesitate to ask your server about what’s what and why – they know their stuff. The end of the meal capped in an orgasmic chocolate orgy – a flourless chocolate brownie which stole my heart and waistline, a quenelle of chocolate ice cream, and a tower of chocolateya-blood orange cream that offered a much-desired break from the intensity of it all. And so, plied with Tamayo goodness, we sat full of satisfaction and smiles. Most of us know that Tamayo speaks for itself, so I’d be hard to pressed to say anything you haven’t heard, except: the new Tamayo is worth a try. Though, be warned; the prices are a bit steep. $10 for guac and chips? It might be worth your while to saddle up to the bar for a happy hour bite and brew first, then save then save the full meal for a special occasion. When you choose to enjoy it, though, rest assured you will have no regrets. ]

Las Margaritas 1035 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 • (303) 830-2199

Serioz Pizzeria 1336 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 • (303) 997-7679

Tamayo is located at 1400 Larimer Street in Denver. ^ More online at

The Man Behind the Bar One of the more prominent features of Tamayo is the mural behind the bar, rendered in the style of Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. Using a mosaic-style approach, Tamayo’s paintings are reminiscent of Picasso, but with a modern vibrancy. As articulated by poet Octavio Paz, “If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters, I would say without a moment’s hesitation: sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not.”


Hamburger Mary’s 700 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80203 • (303) 832-1333

marCh 20, 2013 |

[ [ soCial ] ]

The Melting Pot 2707 W. Main Street, Littleton, CO 80120 • (303)-794-5666

Dont forget Tuesday is $15.00 Liters of House Margarita Silver or Gold!


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marCh 20, 2013 |




... it is almost impossible to decipher if the transphobia of the script is the result of ignorance of the trans experience or an attempt at (not very thoughtfully) examining a very real and problematic type of prejudice that does exist in legal and penal systems.

Kristen Stewart’s mom makes directorial debut with queer prison flick, ‘K-11’ By Kristin Ziegler Some of queer film history’s most acclaimed and cherished movies were anything but acclaimed and cherished upon their initial release. Films like Boys in the Band and Cruising were deemed homophobic – many LGBTQ film critics believed they portrayed gay men as self-loathing and ill-adjusted or sex-crazed and possibly murderous. New Queer Cinema, a film movement concomitant with the AIDS crisis, saw (now) iconic directors such as Gregg Aracki, Todd Haynes, and Bruce LaBruce lambasted for making raw, raunchy, and pissed off films that didn’t sit well with assimilationist gay critics. Most recently, Ticked of Trannies with Knives, featuring a cast of mostly transgender women, was deemed “transphobic” by LGBTQ advocacy groups. And yet all of these films have come to be regarded as milestones in queer cinema. K-11, a would–be homage to the fabulous women in prison and revenge fantasy films of the 1970s had it not taken itself so seriously, is bound to amass some of the same criticisms and outrage as some of the aforementioned films. Taking place in the Los Angeles County Jail, the film centers around a drugged up and blacked out record producer named Raymond Saxx Jr. (Goran Visnjic, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) who finds himself locked up in a unit exclusively designated for homosexual and transgender prisoners. The unit, K-11, is based on a real segregated dorm in the LACJ called K6G. Of course, Saxx is heterosexual. And being housed with a bunch of big, bad, scary gay criminals and their ruthless transsexual leader, Mousey (played by non-transsexual actress Kate del Castillo), just adds


to his nightmare of being incarcerated for reasons he still hasn’t even been able to piece together. Does K-11 sound homophobic? Yup. The film is also loaded with comments and references to transgender people not unlike those found among Fox News article comments. “Don’t get distracted by any of the females in here,” one officer instructs to a new employee. “There aren’t any females in here.” The transgender inmates are also referred to by prison guards as “Mr. so-and-so” and occasionally make comments about themselves that make it seem like they have an ill-understanding of what it is to be transgender or still see themselves as gay men (“You really are straight,” one trans inmate says after Saxx does not enjoy a kiss from her). However, it is almost impossible to decipher if the transphobia of the script is the result of ignorance of the trans experience or an attempt at (not very thoughtfully) examining a very real and problematic type of prejudice that does exist in legal and penal systems. It could certainly be the latter, as K-11’s writer and director Jules Stewart (a 30-year film industry veteran best known for her role as “Kristen Stewart’s mother”) has heart. Stewart made the picture, which is her directorial debut, with a mere $3 million budget. Still, she worked to have the film unionized, affording the cast and crew pay and benefits similar to those of larger productions. This whole-lot-of-heart also finds its way into Stewart’s pulp flick, keeping it beating, living, and, when push comes to shove (and there is quite a lot of that in K-11), worth watching. ] K-11 opens March 22 at the SIE Film Center, 2510 E. Colfax. ^ More info at

march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Social ] ]

Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project March 29-31 Ellie Caulkins Opera House 1101 13th Street Denver, CO 80204 More info: ^ (303) 893-4100

Always ... Patsy Cline April 12 – April 20 PACE Center 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue Parker, CO 80138 More info: ^

For more information on how to get your event listed, please call 303-477-4000

march 20, 2013 |


PIX the

Civil unions postpassage party Photos by Charles Broshous

More pix at



[ [ SOCIAL ] ]

Bingo at Broadways

Photos by Charles Broshous

More pix at



bar rag

Boots N’ Boxers 6th annual sexy fundraiser May 18 at Casselman’s

One of the most popular, and not to mention uber-sexy, fundraisers around is the annual Boots N’ Boxers auction put on by The Krewe of Chaos. The annual event that sells men’s designer underwear and swimwear benefits a different charity each year; past donations from the event benefited Rainbow Alley, The UP Foundation, The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, and more. Last year’s event raised more than $12,000. This year marks the 6th annual fundraiser, and will combine live musical performances, dancing and more sex appeal than you know what

to do with. Using our own local Denver hotties for models, there are tryouts for the model-search leading up to the big hurrah event on May 18. “There is not better feeling than to work hard, lose sleep, and fight off exhaustion to make an evening that people really enjoy while raising money for such worthwhile charities,” said executive director of the fundraiser, Shannon McCarthy. Tickets can be purchased in person from a Krewe of Chaos member for $5, or at the door the night of the event for $10. Tickets are also available at ]

/The details EVENT AT A GLANCE When: 7 p.m. till 11 p.m., May 18 Where: Casselman’s Bar and Venue, 2620 Walnut St. More info: Boots N’ Boxers event page on Facebook >> OPEN-CALL MODEL SEARCHES >> 8 p.m., April 4 at X Bar, 629 E. Colfax Ave. >> 11 p.m., April 11 at The Denver Eagle, 1475 36th St.


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Social ] ]

bar rag

ask a slut

Franks and b

The ‘Evolution’ of the pride party


and plenty of specia

Sassy Squatch

Entertainer trio plans a new pride Digital fundraiser at Diamond After Dark Coupon What does Pride mean to you? A trio of Denver-based DJ’s and event coordinators – DJ Sinna-G, Audra Stockman and Sante Suffoletta – are hoping to answer that question with a few tricks up their sleeves. The trio has created a new fundraiser for the big shibang summer-PrideFest, weaving the message of a hope to “evolve” beyond our normal boxes and stereotypes within the LGBT community. The three knew it would be difficult to launch an event or monthly party leading up to Pride. How will they create something different – the likes of which has never been done? The answer was this. The evolution of pride includes everywhere we have been, but more importantly, it is where they feel the community is going. With an all-inclusive policy garnering all folks in the community 18 and up, and making it appeal to everyone within the LGBT community and beyond, the trio is hoping that folks will catch on to this new monthly party, put on by the community and in turn the proceeds will benefit the Denver PrideFest. The first ‘EVOLUTION’ party will occur on Sat., March 23 at Diamond After Dark, within walking distance from Civic Center Park, and boasts a night of gogo galaxy, burlesque, drag shows, fire performances by Michael Cercon and non-stop jams by DJs Micro, Sinna-G, Boyhollow, Sante and Ken-E.

Winnie Bego

After a night of just plain naughty fun, the official after-hours venue for the ‘EVOLUTION’ event will be held at Blush & Blu, 1526 E. Colfax Ave., and will take place from 2 a.m. till 6 a.m. – 21 and over only – so the party doesn’t need to end! ]

Zoey Diddim

What does the evolution of Pride mean to you?

The creators of ‘EVOLUTION’ hit the streets to capture videos of people who share what Pride means to them – and how they see it’s evolution. To see the videos, connect with the group, or inquire about submitting your own video, visit >>

Diane Tolickya

Molotovia Cocktail

DETAILS AT A GLANCE WHAT: EVOLUTION – Monthly dance party to benefit PrideFest 2013. WHERE: Diamond After Dark, 511 W. Colfax Ave.

Rolonda Flor

WHEN: Every month! Launch party Sat., March 23 // 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. // After-party at Blush & Blu, 1526 E. Colfax Ave. from 2 a.m. till 6 a.m. MORE INFO:

Juana Mann


Bea Dazzle

A women’s gathering to benefit the Human Rights Campaign in Colorado A night of fun, women and support for a good cause? That’s what you’ll find at the ‘Her HRC’ night which allows women a venue and place to mingle while raising money for equality. Tickets are priced from $20-25 – 18 and up – and the evening will be held at a local women’s favorite hang-out spot, Eden Bar & Cuisine Lounge, 3090 Downing St. Each ticket includes appetizers, desserts,

one drink ticket and the not-to-be-missed headlining band, Hello Dollface. Plus, the music will continue with DJ Bella Scratch spinning long into the night! Stand up to make a difference for equality by helping HRC Colorado raise money for their on-going work. ] More info on Facebook at or buy tickets here >>

Eden Cox

Freeda Fondle

Life as a slut is fabulous

Dear Cycle Sluts, I am thinking about trying drag but I don't know where to begin. What do you suggest as the starting point? Signed, "Wigs, Dresses and Shoes,Cycle Oh My!" Dear Sluts,

I have been a fan for years. Take lessons. Watch IZoey loveDiddim: your makeup, hair, the classic movies like so Some Like it outfits and you’re funny. I Hot, Tootsie, Pricilla Queen of the would love to work with Desert and Mame. Follow the sideyou but I don’t think I have kicks/bitchy parts then emulate that. the funny bone like you do.  Juana Mann: Start with heels. If What can I do to work with you can't work a good heel you are you guys and what is it like doomed to failure. Nothing worse to behearing you? “Queen Down!” than Winnie Bego: Come to Slut bingo Signed, “Not and see how theareal ones do it. Diane Tolickya: Stalker, Really!” Find a sugar daddy and break the bank, honey! It's way too expensive look Zoey Diddim: Drink to lots to this damn cheap. loosen your bone cuz life as a Molotovia Cocktail: I find that a Slut is fabulous! favorite store helps. I only shop at the best. Le Mart du K, Jacques Molotovia Cocktail: First IPen nay, and myitallis time favorite have to say fabulous toisbeLe Bon Will. me or I wouldn’t do it. As for Bea Dazzle: Well, speaking for the funny bone (hee hee I said myself, I started on my back, and “bone”), you don’t have to be then moved up to my knees. I have funny, that will come. Add a had many satisfied customers in my couple pumps.of cocktails and the world isRolonda your oyster. Flor: Big titties and big hair are the ultimate accessories. Juana Mann: Oh (blush) that’s Eden Cox: My suggestion is to go sweet. First of all is dumpster diving being honey.meThat's just fabulous! Secondly can where you can find the bestyou jewelry! volunteer at ourYou monthly bingo, Freeda Fondle: can start by but in me theshopping. mean time come over, taking Squatch: Maybe at aSassy good oil massage reallystart helps Charlie's? out. I’ll see what I can do about your bone when you get here! Dear Cycle Sluts, Some friends I areOK. planWinnie Bego:and That’s Zoey ningfunny a camping trip where we isn’t but we still let her will be really come and playroughing with us. it. I am in charge of the food for the weekend.Flor: I'm sure an orgy is and in Rolonda Drink, drink, the works thatIt’s weekend so drink somefor more. fantastic what adoslut youand, suggest the being beingfor a Denver menu? Cycle Slut is even better! Signed, "Chef Boys-are-whee"

going to b as long as vored Cris Sassy: I d what food sounds of going to en Winnie: sausage a Eden: Stic M&M's. Th nice and h Diane: Cu the brave o a waterme talking abo Rolonda: plenty of s Freeda: when? Bea: I gue the two go orgy I am just plenty spermicide

Dear Cyc Why are s intrigued drag show Signed, "

Juana: He Zoey: It m their subur are other fr attention o bigoted gr soap box? Freeda: fabulous! Winnie: C in a dress! Diane: It's shiny! Rolonda: Molotovia with us w groped an hope that Bea: Well ference b is a six-p Freeda Fondle: Lots of alcohol and str8s Zoey: and Theits menu I suggest is the Eden: Wel helps, super shiny being number for room service. My to get be me. idea of "roughing it" is walking And the m downDazzle: the hall Oh to get myWe own ice. Bea doll! like all are secret I AM aofDiva afterToall. kinds bones. answer your ting to wea Molotovia: Depending on the Sassy: B second question, it’s stellar! orgy menu the food menu should orous and NOT include asparagus (PEESassy Squatch: Bend over and rock a dre you if you pee on them). And I’ll give you my funny bone! NO most real w Mexican, refried are a no go if On the We they are re-RUNS. Email Juana: Sounds like you know what cyclesluts to your main course for the weekend is coming to


march 20, 2013 |


radioactive vision

Dash for the sash

Nuclia Waste

^ Nuclia Waste can

be reached through her website at Nuclia For more columns by Nuclia, visit

Like I should talk. I’ve spent the last 16 or so years in a green wig, platform thigh-high boots and three boobs.


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Social ] ]

It’s official. Mr. Waste is running for the biggest crown in all the land, Empress 40 of the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire. If he wins, I guess that will make me a lady in waiting. Waiting for what, I have no idea. Waiting for him to fly home from a coronation in Seattle or New York City. Waiting for the day I can kiss him with facial hair. Waiting for the day when we can have a nice quiet dinner with friends, instead of hanging out in a noisy gay bar while drag queens lip synch to Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry. Not that that is a bad thing, of course. Like I should talk. I’ve spent the last 16 or so years in a green wig, platform thigh-high boots and three boobs. I suppose he’s allowed to don a pair of pumps and wrap himself in a sequin or two. Tit for tat and the high heel shoe’s on the other foot, and all that. But there is one little catch – he has to win. I should probably stop using “he.” Mr. Waste in drag is Lushus La’Rell. Lushus passed candidate review by the board of the Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire, and her campaign is in full swing. I say campaign because there is a vote involved; most drag queens get their title by performing in a pageant, answering questions on stage, with a panel of judges picking the winner. This one is an election. The title for Empress of the ICRME is won by popular vote. Candidates must get their fans to the polls to cast ballots. Lushus is not new to campaigns; she helped John Hickenlooper get elected to both mayor and governor. And she worked behind the scenes to get Michael Hancock

elected mayor of Denver. So getting herself elected empress should be a piece of “cake and eat it too.” Lushus is up against another candidate also running for the 40th reign title of empress, She-WhoMust-Not-Be-Named. Oh, what the hell. Her name is Sue Anne Michaels. I am an equal opportunity columnist and Sue Anne deserves a plug too. Lushus and Sue Anne will be all over the city this month trying to convince Colorado citizens with a valid photo ID to come down to the Capitol Hill Community Center on Saturday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and cast a vote. Not only can you vote for your favorite for empress, but you can also cast a vote for emperor as well. Bryan Chase Whitmore is the lone candidate going for the butcher title. Butcher as in manly, not someone who works over meat, but I hear Brian is good in that department too. Just saying. So why run for empress? Lushus is doing it because she wants to raise a lot of money for charities in the coming year. I know Lushus and I know she can do it. Her platform is “building community with life, love and laughter.” Community is something Lushus knows a lot about. From serving on the boards of The Center, Equal Rights Colorado, One Colorado and Planned Parenthood, to organizing the PrideFest Parade every year for the past twelve years, Lushus knows how to bring people together for a good cause and a good time. Well, Lushus has my official radioactive seal of approval. It’s always wise to vote for the person you have to crawl into bed with at night. Just saying. ]



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two of the most popular restaurants in Central City as well as a ‘Top Players Club’ value on the mountain. Enjoy yourself while helping the local economy. “We really strive to use local companies [in our ordering and servicing] whenever possible,” Jewell said. “We also put together various toy drives as well as a Christmas Basket Program [to give back].” “The entire staff and management really strives to make every customer feel welcome and part of the family [when they visit],” Jewell said. “We are often told that it feels like home here, and this year the casino is finally old enough to gamble – we just turned 21.” ] Famous Bonanza is located at 107 Main St. in Central City, CO. More info online at


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The GaY aeSTheTic

BEAUTY Know your skin: Men’s skincare for all skin types By Kelsey Lindsey, the Boulderite Beauty

Men, listen up. The days where the excuse, “I don’t know, I’m a man” are over. With bars of soap being replaced by myriad options for cleansers, astringents, creams, and scrubs, every man can now customize their skincare habits to fit their facial needs. No ifs, ands, or un-softened butts about it. The first step into this bright new world of better skin is to identify your skin type: normal, sensitive, oily, or dry. Adjusting your regimen to fit your unique skin type will (hopefully) help you maintain a clear visage and prevent signs of aging, giving you confidence and pluck every time you look in the mirror. /NORMAL With smaller pores, an even skin tone and smooth skin, those with “normal” skin have hit the jackpot of healthyskin genetics. I’ll congratulate you when I’m done reeling in jealousy. To maintain your happenstance skin, wash daily with a facial cleanser that will remove dirt, but won’t clog pores or dry it out. Bar soap is OK for this type of skin, but make sure it is a moisturizing soap with emollients and moisturizers like vitamin E oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. During summer months or after the gym, consider using a face scrub to remove any sweat and dirt that may have accumulated, which will help reduce oil buildup and keep that skin smooth. And while moisturizing is always a good idea for every skin type, look for a lotion rather than a cream, as it will provide moisture without the oil. /SENSITIVE Bad reactions to shaving, exposure to sun and wind, and perfumes all constitute sensitive skin, and it is important for men with this type of skin to choose facial products wisely. Avoid anything with fragrance, and

consider adding pre-shaving oil to your shaving regimen to reduce irritation. Wash with a gentle face wash that contains vitamin E or chamomile, which will clear away oils while still leaving skin hydrated. Lastly, moisturize daily, particularly after shaving, with an oil free moisturizer containing glycolic acid. /OILY Shine and glow – both are euphemisms to describe the underlying problem for this brand of skin-oil. With medium to large pores, men with this type of skin oftentimes have blackheads or blemishes, but the right products can help reduce their appearance. Washing daily with a face wash is a must for those with excess oil, as it will help control the buildup of oil and shine. Using a face scrub will also help dispose of dead skin and control shine, and an astringent (found in some aftershave lotions and toners) tightens the skin and narrows the pores. While a moisturizer might sound counterintuitive, oil-free gel moisturizers are quickly absorbed, leaving you with smooth, soft skin that is still oil-free. /DRY Living in moisture-deprived Colorado, dry, itchy and flaky skin can be commonplace. To gently cleanse the skin without taking away the essential oils it needs, look for face washes with natural oils like apple amino acid and enzymes like willow bark extract to exfoliate dead cells. Moisturizing is a must, as it will prevent further dryness while keeping it hydrated throughout the day. A product with soline will reduce water loss from the skin, while also restoring the skin’s support structure. ]


Reach Kelsey by email at Kelsey@OutFrontOnline. com. For more beauty, visit

[ [ liVinG ] ]

march 20, 2013 |




Cobb, who was adopted himself, always wanted a child of his own. “I didn’t think there would be any particular challenge as a gay couple to have a kid. Of course, I was much more naïve at the time.”

Jas Prussmaon Jason Co n, b and th b son Jaco eir bb

By Michael Yost

Family Conscience: Navigating Same-sex Parent Adoptions As Catholic Charities threatens to halt adoption services in Colorado once civil unions begin May 1, one family demonstrates that a loving and nurturing home isn’t limited by traditional definitions. “We love spending time in the mountains,” said Jason Cobb, a lawyer who lives in Denver with his partner, Jason Prussman. Their adopted son, Jacobb, turned six years old in February. “He’s a very athletic kid. He plays soccer, and he’s going to rugby camp this spring. Most of our time is spent just trying to catch up with him.” Cobb, who was adopted himself, always wanted a child of his own. “I didn’t think there would be any particular challenge as a gay couple to have a kid. Of course, I was much more naïve at the time.” When Cobb and Prussman first began looking to start a family, they quickly discovered most adoption agencies had restrictions regarding placing children with same-sex parents. Adoption agencies often advised birth parents that the ideal household consisted of a married father and mother. “They didn’t have a very diverse outlook,” said Cobb. “I think that’s changing a bit, but it’s taken a concerted effort by agencies willing to work with diverse adopted


march 20, 13 |

families to incorporate that education into their counseling with birth parents.” After a lengthy search, Cobb and Prussman finally found an agency willing to work with them. But it still took a year of waiting before they received a call. “They set us down and said, ‘we’re not going to be adopting infants to anyone right now, but as a gay couple, there’s not a lot of people who would consider you anyway.’” It was 2006, the same year Amendment 43 was added to the Colorado Constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman. “Every dream that we had of living a normal life seemed to come apart that Fall.” But the New Year brought with it an unexpected development. Cobb was connected by a friend to a birth parent looking to place specifically with a male couple. There was one just one caveat – she was due in only a few weeks. The complicated process of vetting any couple for adoption takes six to nine months. “They pulled it off in three weeks,” said Cobb, referring to the organization Adoption Options which expedited the process. “Thankfully it was a non-sectarian private agency. They treated us with respect and dignity, and really busted their humps to make it happen before he [Jacobb] arrived.” In February of 2007, Cobb and Prussman brought Jacobb home – a day shy of the couple’s ninth anniversary. There are 115,000 same-sex households raising children nationwide, according to the 2010 Census. More than 4,000 of those households live in Colorado. Yet the debate over gay adoptions has never been more contentious. Catholic Charities of Denver has threatened to end their adoption program if the civil unions bill is signed into law without an amendment (called the “conscience clause”) which would exempt organizations citing religious beliefs from providing adoption services to same-sex couples. “Senate Bill 11 unduly restricts the freedom of child placement agencies like Catholic Charities,” the organization’s press release stated, adding that civil unions are a strike against religious liberties and limits the agency from partnering “with foster and adoptive families who share common purpose, and live common values.” Numerous health care professionals have rejected the notion that same-sex parents are somehow less nurturing. In 2004, the American Psychological Association released a statement, citing that “lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.” Cobb commented that there are children waiting for homes, and same-sex couples waiting to create a family. “I find it offensive that they [Catholic Charities] would suggest a child should be denied a home.” “It may be a principled stand,” he added, “but it is not a moral stand in my view.” Raising children carries its own set of challenges for any family, but Cobb worries the conscious clause would be used to blatantly discriminate against his family. “I still get a little bit of anxiety every time we go out of town.” said Cobb. “You have to live with the anxiety of not exactly knowing where you’re welcome, or where you can turn if there’s a problem. That’s the peace of mind that the socalled religious liberties exception robs us of.” On March 12, Colorado’s House of Representatives passed the civil unions bill – without a “conscience clause” – to the governor’s desk. As this goes to press, Governor Hickenlooper is expected to sign the bill within a week. Cobb had been filling out invitations for his son’s birthday party the morning he spoke with Out Front. It was almost six years ago he and Prussman visited their son at the hospital before bringing him home. It was an experience any parent can relate to. “Those first moments of bonding were so incredible. We got to hold him and feed him, going through what has to feel miraculous for everyone.” ]

[ [ liVinG ] ]

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LGBT organizations that create movement, change and fun Colorado AIDS Project CAP is a service organization that works to meet the needs of people affected by HIV through prevention, care and advocacy in the state. Get involved/More info:

Front Range Bears The Front Range Bears is a social group for hirsute men and their admirers. Every year they sponsor Octobearfest, a 3-4 day international gathering of bears. Accepting new members! Get involved/More info:

Colorado Anti-Violence Program The Colorado Anti-Violence Program is a nonprofit and service oriented group that works to build safety and justice for the LGBT community through advocacy, youth organization, training and education of the community. Get involved/More info:

Gender Identity Center of Colorado The GIC of Colorado is a nonprofit organization that provides support, outreach and advocacy to anyone gender variant in their gender identity and expression. Get involved/More:

Colorado Gay Rodeo Association This CGRA is the oldest gay rodeo association in North America and puts on the annual Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo each year, and donates a scholarship fund to a different student each year in memory of the organization’s founder, Wayne Jakino. Get involved/More info: Babes Around Denver Babes Around Denver is a group focused on connecting the female community. Get involved by joining the revolutionary First Friday celebrations at Tracks! Get involved/More info: Denver Boys Of Leather The Denver Boys of Leather is a group of self-identified leatherboys. The purpose is to gather in brotherhood and boyhood, supporting members and the community with respect and integrity. Get involved/More info: Denver Gay Men’s Chorus A chorale group that exists to build community through music. The members join in the making of an artistic statement that creates a positive contribution in the arts to the LGBT community. Auditions are always open! Get involved/More info: Denver Gay Professionals The Denver Gay Professionals is a networking community whose mission is to continually provide a highly-creative and social environment where members and guests are encouraged to network. By promoting business contacts and relationships, the GLBT professionals in the network advocate for one another and advocate and champion inclusivity. Get involved/More info:


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ Living ] ]

Hip Chicks Out Hip Chicks Out is a social group for women, founded in 2005. Join the female revolution with the HipChicksOut Crashers. Get involved by joining the party every 2nd Friday of the month at the Living Room. Get involved/More info: HRC Colorado The Human Rights Campaign in Colorado fights for equality for all LGBT folks alongside groups and lawmakers in the state. HRC is always looking for more volunteers. Get involved/More: Keshet Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life. Get invloved/More info: Mile High Freedom Band The MHFB is a charitable organization that serves the LGBT community through quality music. The band is open to ALL who respect the diversities in life, including the LGBT community. Auditions are always open! Get involved/More info: Project Angel Heart An organization that delivers nutritious meals to those living with life threatening illnesses. Get involved by giving back and volunteering! Get involved/More info: The GLBT Community Center of Colorado The state’s largest center for the entire LGBT community. With programs like SAGE (an elder’s program), Rainbow Alley (Youth program), Transgender and Legal Advocacy programs, The Center works to provide support and advocacy for all of Colorado’s diverse LGBT community. The Center also serves as a community organizer of events, support services, social activities and cultural events, including the annual PrideFest and parade. Get involved/More info:

Big ToYS

Spring Line-up:

 By Jonathan McGrew

5 fun and affordable cars under $30K .)  FIAT  TURBO: The new 500 Turbo is a nice compromise between the Fiat 500 and the Fiat 500 Abarth. The Turbo has the same engine as the Abarth, but with a little less tuning and a lot more day-to-day liveability. Trust me, the 135-hp and mid-7 second 0-60 is more than enough to plaster a grin on even the most contrary Mary. Add go-kart steering, Beats™ audio, fly colors, 31-mpg combined fuel rating and true Italian design for a city car that really turns heads. Price as tested: $22,250 ^ More: .)  HYUNDAI ELANTRA COUPE: The Coupe is a classic design for those who like a sporty look, personal feel and a wide berth in parking lots to open their doors. The redesign of the Hyundai Elantra, and now the Coupe, continues the unique look of the Sonata. With success under their belts, now you can have your Elantra with two doors. Add Active Eco technology, 31-mpg combined fuel rating, Nav., dual digital climate control, 360-watt stereo and an air ionizer and this is worth putting on your short list. Price as tested: $23,965 ^ More: .)  VW BEETLE TDI: If you never thought you could afford fun and diesel power in the same car, Volkswagen will change your mind with the redesigned Beetle. The new interior layout takes cues from the past for one of the nicest VW interior designs in decades.

Add Turbo Clean Diesel power, 32-mpg combined fuel rating, heated leatherette front seats and fun colors like Denim blue and you might find yourself getting groovy all over again. Price as tested: $25,460 ^ More: .)  KIA SOUL EXCLAIM: The Kia Soul Exclaim is more car than you might expect from the “Party Rock” youth-targeted vehicle. With two-tone sand and black leather trimmed seats, light up speakers (yes, they pulse like the lights at Tracks), Nav., automatic climate control, and eye-catching 18” wheels, the Exclaim is putting this party animal back on the radar. Add the 164-hp and you have plenty of get-up-and-go to get to your next outting. Be prepared to fill up more with a combined mpg rating of 25. Price as tested: 23,575 ^ More: .)  SCION FR-S: The sportiest car of this lineup, this 200-hp bare-bones sport coupe from Scion will get your blood pumping and tires smoking. The FR-S has crisp steering, an amazingly short-throw shift in manual and enough torque (151 ft. lbs.) to let you do doughnuts all day with traction and vehicle skid control. This car is not only affordable but really good fun. What’s more is the BeSpoke system with social media integration and 5.8 inch touch screen. 25-mpg combined fuel rating. Price as tested: $24,997 ^ More: ]

[ [ Living ] ]

Do you love your baby? We do too.

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Denver UrBaniSm

The birth of Denver By Ken Schroeppel

Next time you’re in LoDo, go to the corner of 15th and Larimer, look around, and visualize if everything manmade you see was gone – as in nothing but rolling prairie as far as you can see to the north, east and south, and to the west, only more prairie plus Cherry Creek and the South Platte, with the foothills and the Rockies rising up off on the horizon. In your mind’s eye, Cherry Creek should not be channelized into the concretewalled, bike-friendly corridor that it is today. It should be a meandering ribbon of water dotted with an occasional chokecherry tree, flowing towards its rendezvous with the South Platte River, a shallow, sprawling waterway lined with cottonwoods following a serpentine path across the plains. What you’re envisioning is what you would have viewed had you been standing on that spot 155 years ago. By the fall of 1858, rumors were rampant that gold could be found in the region near Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. Several “town companies” were formed by real estate speculators to take advantage of the thousands of gold rush prospectors flocking to the area. Within a few days of each other, three towns were founded: On November 1, 1858, “Auraria City” was established east of the Platte and south of Cherry Creek. The first permanent structure in Auraria City, the RussellSmith cabin, was located at the northeast corner of 11th and Wewatta – today that would be approximately the location of the East entrance of the Pepsi Center. Auraria City was home to the first permanent business, school, and church and is considered to be the first platted development at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte. Next, “Denver City” was established on November 17, 1858, when General William Larimer waded across Cherry Creek from Auraria City and claimed the land east of the Platte and north of Cherry Creek (jumping the claim previously

held by the St. Charles Town Company – but that’s a whole other story). According to his son’s memoirs, they “camped near where Blake Street crosses Cherry Creek. Right back of our camp toward the Platte was a grove of a few acres of young cottonwood trees. It was in that grove that I, myself, cut logs with which to build the first cabin on the town-site of the City of Denver. Its place was made a corner lot, and Samuel Curtis, from whom Curtis Street takes its name, and myself, staked off the four corners of what is now the intersection of Fifteenth and Larimer Streets.” General Larimer’s cabin was located where Tom’s Urban 24 Diner is today. Finally, the third was the “Town of Highland,” also founded by General Larimer. It existed mostly on paper, with only a few modest structures inhabiting its platted grid of streets on the western bluff overlooking the South Platte. Today, we call this area Lower Highland, or “LoHi” for short. On December 19, 1859, the residents of Auraria City, Denver City, and Highland voted to consolidate into a single municipality which became known as just “Denver.” The rest, as they say, is history. So, next time you’re at 15th and Larimer, look around and think about this: You are standing at the very spot where, 155 years ago on a November morning, two young men pounded four stakes into the prairie a few hundred feet uphill from the confluence of two unexceptional bodies of water in a desolate place 600 miles from the closest civilization, and demarcated an intersection that would become the center of a town that would grow up to become a thriving metropolis. As former Denver mayor Federico Peña once said, let’s “imagine a great city.” What great things have you imagined lately? ] Ken Schroeppel is a faculty member of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver and is the founder of Denver Infill and Denver Urbanism. More online at



Your HIGHLANDS real estate LGBT specialist MICHAEL MADSEN 303 726 1543 M i c h a e l @




Through the month of March


march 20, 2013 |



Letting my son learn through experience

Jasmine Peters Jasmine Peters is the founder of Parenting Wellness Center, a certified life coach, an ordained nondenominational pastor, author and single parent of five. ^ Reach her through her website at Parent ingWellnessCenter. com. To read more related articles on parenting, visit

It doesn’t take a man to raise a

man, and if it does,

make sure

that man is a man first.

He’s back! Safe and sound, less than 30 days later, my oldest son is back, with a smile on his face and life lessons to share. Having a gay mother and an absent father, he thought that he was missing something. At a crucial time in his life, and as he prepared for adulthood, he felt that he needed his father’s influence to finally become a man. His request was to go live with his father. Most of his friends come from heterosexual two-parent households. He would see his friends and their dads throwing the football to one another in the park, or be told his friends couldn’t hang out because they’re helping work on their ol’ mans car. I decided to let my son get to know his father for himself without my influence, so I made sure my contact to him was minimal – but I also made sure he knew he could always call me any time. It was 2 a.m. when I received a phone call to come and get him – “or else…” After talking to all parties involved, the ill feelings were mutual and it was time to intervene and bring him home. With only the clothes on his back, he was on the next flight to Colorado. I greeted him at baggage claim with a big hug and kiss on his cheek. He laid his head on my shoulder as we hugged and cried. He said that he was so sorry. I pulled back from my hug and asked him why he was apologizing. His response will stay with me for a long time. He said, “It’s not about who teaches the lesson, but

that the lesson is learned. It doesn’t take a man to raise a man, and if it does, make sure that man is a man first. Instead it takes a loving guide to allow the lesson to be learned and to be available if there are questions. You are my guide mom and thank you for being there for me.” Since he was young, he always compared who he was to his father’s participation in his life – or the lack thereof. He felt he wasn’t good enough, that there must be something wrong with him if his father wouldn’t be part of his life. I made it a point to not talk ill of my children’s biological fathers. I know that as they mature they will see those individuals for who they are. So that I don’t taint their view and cause possible resentment towards me, my rule is to not talk bad about the absent parent, to reassure my children that they are loved by both parents, but sometimes the absent parent has a tough time showing their love for them in a healthy way so decides to stay away. My heart leapt for joy in hearing the many lessons my son learned while temporarily away, but I also carried a sense of sadness that he had to go through all of this to learn them. I continue to learn that I will not always be able to wipe the tears away from my children’s eyes; I will not be able to mend their broken hearts. Sometimes lessons have to be learned through experience, but a greater appreciation is also created once the hard lesson is learned. ]

[ [ Living ] ]

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BacK in my Day

? r e e u q s i How queerng me Just bei Some dudes marry dudes. Get over it! Best Lick on a Stick. I like girls that like girls. These were some of the t-shirt messages I enjoyed interacting with during the last Pride celebration. They don’t hold a candle to some of the titillating visual experiences various costumes created throughout the weekend. So, just how queer is queer? Can you ever be too queer? Is there an option to be or not to be? How Shakespearian. Yes! I am. Queer, that is. It was a Friday night – Pride weekend – and I was walking down Colfax headed into the action. My youngest daughter had just texted me, saying “it’s your first, dad” referring to Pride. Actually, last year was my first, she didn’t know. And yet when I came out, she was the one of my three children who said, “I’ve always known, Dad.” In that instance I must’ve been too queer. On a sunny Sunday afternoon in April over a year ago, I had my “I can’t stand it any longer” conversation with my life partner. She said “I wondered when I first met you.” There must have been something there – I mean, like, over-the-top queer. When I had breakfast with my dearest friend Grett who I’ve known since she was two years old, amidst the tears and in the sense of shame in revealing to her that I kept the secret far too long, she said, “I’ve always known.” There seems to be a pattern. In fact, when I consider the many coming out conversations I had with my then–circle of friends, not too many were surprised. It was the confirmation that sent them scram-

bling. I don’t know if that was about me, or them. But it was definitely too much! And so that Friday afternoon as I walked through streets in Denver I wondered about “too queer” and being “too much.” It seems more about them than it does about me; after all, I’m just being me. Yes, I do have an eye for design and color. I’ve always searched for just the right things to put together, clothing-wise, decorating-wise and every-other-way–wise. I’ve always been on the sensitive side, as my mother used to say. Even when I announced to my mom that I was getting married, her response was, “Why do you want to get married? There is so much of life for you to experience!” I have an ability to listen to people and to intervene on others behalf as they need me. I sit and cry with them. I’ve always been able to put my arms around someone consoling them in their upset, doubt or grief. My attention to design, my interest in food, emotional sensitivities, and the fact that I’ve never liked sports, and happened to choose a profession where I worked with women all the time – what else could you expect? Certifiably queer. I am just me. The questions and the discomfort really do rest with everyone outside of me and not really with me. As I exist in that realization, I wonder if the push–back is about their doubt about themselves and the possibility that they are also “too much,” in one way or another. Possibly at some point in their lives they’ve considered a variant sexual experience too. One thing for sure, I’ve gotten their attention, if that’s what the t-shirt slogans and the unique dress (or undress) are all about. When considering the question

Back in MY day…



of “too much,” the actual realization is that the quality of being too much exists in the eyes and mind of someone outside of myself and then gets projected back onto me, making me wonder if I am too much. Those dirty rascals! And so I ask you my dearest of friends: am I “too queer” or might I just be being me? ] This editorial was originally published on the blog “Telling Your Story” through the SAGE of the Rockies, a program for elders at the GLBT Community Center of Colorado. Donny Kaye-Is a native born Denverite who lives in the Capitol Hill. He participates in many functions of the LGBTQ community.

Got a story, memory or reflection to share from way back when? Let us know about it! Email with a story with “back in my day” in the subject line to have it considered for print!


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ living ] ]

march 20, 2013 |



The payoff of porn By Lauren Archuletta

Recently I had a friend over for dinner and drinks, and although we had originally planned on watching some light-hearted romantic comedies, we somehow ended up on the subject of porn and soon found ourselves flipping through various sites as we talked about feminism. Now mind you, this conversation wasn’t something that’s terribly out of the ordinary, as most conversations that are started with me – whether by telephone, in person or even Gchat – usually end up on some sex-related topic. After our second glass of Fish Eye Riesling wine, we were sprawled across my couch with chips and salsa and looking at Suddenly, my friend started choking. I assumed it was due to my salsa, because let me tell you, it’s flaming hot. But as she regained her composure, she started pointing to the naked redhead bound to what looked like a medieval torture device. “I went to high school with that girl,” screamed my


march 20, 2013 |

[ [ living ] ]

friend. She then took over my computer and started flipping through this girl’s assorted clips on the site. For the next few minutes we watched as the former high school volleyball champion did girl–on–girl, threesomes and various S&M scenes. When we had exhausted the two minute previews made available to us by, I started wondering about this girl’s story, what had made her go into porn to begin with and, perhaps more than anything, what the payoff was. When both the wine and my dear friend were gone, I returned to my computer and started doing some research. I began with Under the jobs section, I scrolled down to where it said “Models,” and soon was confronted with a table of prices. I have to admit, I was very pleased to see just how organized everything was. The categories were ordered by gender and the type of “work” one would be willing to do. Just for fun, let’s say I was looking to do G/G scenes (sexual contact between two females). If both parties were willing to do vaginal play (without cunnilingus), the payoff would be anywhere from $400-$500, depending on the number of hours worked. After looking through the various sites Kink would direct me to for this sexual performance, I learned that the “average” amount of hours for a G/G scene was three-four with the exception of competitive female wrestling, which was one-two hours. Who knew porn was a math equation? I suppose that having sex on sites like or could be could be feasible if the pay in fact was worth the physical labor, and I’m sure that I’m not the only person who feels this way. “If the pay was good, I’d definitely do it,” said my straight friend Brody. “Hell, lots of guys go gay for pay because I’ve heard that it’s a way bigger pay day than just banging a chick, a blowjob is a blowjob, right?” I always assumed that people went into porn, and even as far as going “gay for pay” because of the money. But after finding an article on Forbes and looking at the amount of serious “physical” labor that goes into porn, I’m starting to think that money and being broke might not really factor into it. According to a recent issue of Forbes, men in the porn industry, especially, don’t make as much money as people might assume. Porn star Richard Mann said that male actors actually only get paid for the shoot, and usually don’t see royalties. Betsy Morris, a University of Colorado student studying both sociology and psychology, recently did a study into the sexual behavior of Americans. She said that her research shows that people do not go into porn solely for the money anymore, but are now going into the industry on behalf of their sexuality. “People often have a natural sex drive that isn’t being fulfilled,” Morris said. “So while the money might not be great due to the thousands of amateurs going into the business, individuals still see a sort of profit for their sex drive.” So while the actual “payoff” of doing porn isn’t great and can be very physically demanding, the desire and curiosity are still there. What I do know, though, is that it might not be too uncommon to be browsing through Xtreme Tube and see your class valedictorian involved in a bisexual threesome. ]


Email Lauren at Lauren@ For more editorials on sexuality, visit

aSK The SeXPerT

The grand finale (or not) Hi Shanna,

Shanna Katz

I’m kind of new to the whole ‘having sex’ thing, and want to know how I can tell when my partner is faking an orgasm. What are the signs? – Wondering if it’s Real in City Park

Dear Wondering If It Is Real, The short answer to knowing whether your partner is faking an orgasm: Ask them. That simple. Our culture somehow has an obsession with “real” orgasms, and this concept that women are frequently faking orgasms and that men never fake orgasms has resulted in folks being accused of faking – and also in judgment being placed on those who do/don’t fake orgasms, depending on who you talk to. I think much of this stems from the focus we’ve put on orgasms as the goal of “successful” sex, rather than letting pleasure itself be the end game. What does successful sex really look like? I would argue that it looks like both (or all) partners getting sexual pleasure in a way they enjoy. That could come from intercourse, oral sex, manual stimulation, spankings, mutual masturbation, etc. It entails each person knowing what completion looks like for them – it could be an orgasm, it could be a few dozen minutes of a certain activity, or just feeling satisfied. Instead of figuring out whether or not your partner is faking it, I’d suggest asking about how things feel. Do more of the things that feel good, and less of the things that don’t. When we open our definitions of sex and satisfaction, all parties tend to get more of their needs met. ] Best of luck, Shanna


Have a question you’d like to ask Shanna (anonymously)? Email shannakatz@gmail. com. Shanna Katz, M.Ed, ACS is a Colorado native, fierce femme and board certified sexologist. She believes strongly in open source, accessible sexuality education, and loves teaching adults how to optimize their sex lives. For more info, visit

[ [ living ] ]

march 20, 2013 |



Online socializing with intent of meeting Dear Brent, I used to love online socializing, but I’m concerned now that it has become the new norm in the gay scene. I worry that we are all so disconnected and have lost the ability to connect on any organic level. I also worry for bars, clubs, and other gay establishments because people aren’t going out as much. Is human contact going to be reduced to one hour of chatting online, 15 minutes of sex, and then back to solitude?


That is such a relevant topic. Many of us remember times where we went out to determine if someone had an athletic build, was a great conversationalist, or kissed like Casanova. I’m a proponent of getting away from technology and enjoying the company of real people face-to-face. You’re not the only one concerned about the amount of time people spend online hoping to make an interpersonal or sexual connection. Most of us are painfully aware that the time spent chatting online is generally not met with the same return on investment as we put in to it. Unfortunately, there are people who boldly lie and others who feel that acting like a jackass is a good option since they are miserable people that want to inflict their crappy attitude on others. We have to be careful about putting faith in email exchanges as a realistic expression of people’s attractions and intentions. In so many cases, it is easy to have some sexy talk over the internet. Entire relationships and sexual scripts can be planned out before meeting in person. Many times when people do meet after an extended time of online romance, it goes poorly since fantasy can sometimes be much better than

march 20, 2013 |

to come with its own set of acreality. More times than not, ceptable rules and common these online passions should behaviors that are ineffective remain online or on the phone. in person. On the flipside, there Not only can people put out an are social skills that are best deinauthentic persona, but there veloped and practiced within are just some attractions that physical proximity of others. can only be gauged in person. All of this being said, when There are so many positive you make an amazing linkage life lessons that can be gained due to a technology-facilitated by being social with others. We Brent Heinze method, some of the frustracan learn to confront our insecurities, challenge shyness, develop strong tion and wasted times seems like less of a support networks, and discover common- bummer. Don’t spend precious energy on alities between ourselves and others. Addi- those negative people and situations. There tionally we can also learn to deal with rejec- are many more you could potentially enjoy. As much as our culture may be moving tion, failure, and confidence-building while getting offline. Although there are aspects towards cyber connection, it is up to us to of security from behind our technology, we break out of those patterns. We don’t have can benefit by trying to improve on these to be slaves to technology. If you’re going to skills and challenge ourselves to be more utilize it for initial contact with people, then get off you technology-engrossed ass and go successful and confident. Although it seems like there are many do something with someone. It can be more social-skill-deficient people out there, I’m fulfilling than making sweet, sweet love to also concerned that there are so many po- our computer monitor. ] tential relationships with others that are missed because we are online. Many times, Brent Heinze, LPC, is a licensed professionmessages are misinterpreted, ignored, or al counselor. Email: PerspectiveShift@yahoo. get lost in the shuffle. Being online seems com. For more Brent, visit


[ [ Living ] ]

Continued from page 17

Since the 1990s, the digital age has been making it easier to be creative and show it to the world. There’s nothing new saying that, but over the last four years especially, the options for artistic or literary trial-and-error have exploded: A “blog” is no longer a funny-sounding word (and cyberspace is riddled with forgotten ones’ corpses), Facebook evolved into everybody’s living room, digital photography became ubiquitous, and new platforms – Tumblr, instagram, Pinterest, Twitter – brought new opportunities to share a creative spark with an audience. Going viral means moving from obscurity to acclaim in an instant; its promise is our generation’s take on the lottery ticket, though “success” could mean much less than that. And not only are these things possible now, not only is exposure a mere click away, but it’s all free. And nowadays there’s less disincentive of professional risk by taking your art to the edge. Maybe it was through our own biases that we saw a populist quality in Olsen’s photographs; he said he never intended to make a statement about economic class or anti-elitism, calling it, instead, “documentary style,” though he’s happy to describe the scene he photographs as “alternative.” In 2000, Olsen began attending the Art Institute for photography, but didn’t stay there. “It was too commercial,” Olsen said. “I can’t see myself taking pictures of families or weddings or portraits. I’d rather photograph naked hairy men. I’m fascinated by the gay ‘subculture,’ it’s where I fit in.” What Olsen’s photography is for certain, though, is provocative. It’s a reminiscent of a thread between many “alternative” gay culture-setters – present and past, from great to mundane – combining an artistic context with unmodified realism, eroticism, subversiveness and grit: Allen Ginsberg (poet), Ryan McGinley (photographer), BUTT Magazine (magazine, website), East Village Boys (blog). Olsen said he fell in love with gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s work since he discovered it as a teenager, and looks up to Herb Ritz and Keith Haring. “I guess all my influences have been provocateurs,” Olsen said, “pushing the envelope. Robert Mapplethorpe was explicit, but the quality – wow.” The images Olsen takes are out there (pun intended) on the Internet, but the artist, as well as the unruly bunch he loves to photograph, calculates that they won’t suffer personally and professionally for being associated. Since colleges and career counselors warn people to be careful putting even seemingly-innocuous information on Facebook profiles, the number of locals willing to show up on Otter J, in ways that can be far more of a liability than your typical “overshare,” is notable.

[ [ cover story ] ]

In this culture, evidently it’s the idea of the career or life that would be risked by this sort of expressive freedom – not the digital record that would put it at risk – that feels like “baggage.” We’re in the middle of a dramatic cultural shift, especially in Colorado. The move toward suburban sprawl reversed with a renewed interest in cities. Over the last decade, being gay has gone from an “issue” that politics tiptoed around, to a legitimate public identity. In a shorter period, Colorado has gone from red state to blue. Maybe this all is because of increasing racial diversity in America; the arrival of a multiculturalists’ generation that was always destined to change things. Maybe it’s a society that just got plain fed up with the Religious Right; both the right and the left have become more libertarian in reaction to the Bush years. Or maybe it’s that Denver’s population is reaching a critical threshold of size that we’re suddenly more “urban,” a real city like never before. In any case, with the change comes a tolerance – or at least expanded niche – for the expressive, eccentric or deviant. It’s safer than ever to come out at work. There’s less chance of putting a future (or current) career at risk by, say, smoking pot, having a highly-visible tattoo or piercing, drinking in front of the boss – the list could go on – or showing up wearing only underwear (and less) on a prominent local art blog, plus around town on calendars, cell phone cases or t-shirts Olsen sells online featuring his photographs. There’s a recipe for a thriving alternative and creative community in Denver, a kind that San Francisco, Austin, Seattle or Brooklyn are known for but we don’t really have much of a name or recognition for here, for now. When we someday look back at this moment in history – at this generation, this culture and this political landscape – we don’t yet know it’ll be portrayed except as big change. Change for the LGBT movement, for media, for technological connectivity and for politics. The 2008 elections completely obliterated the old concept of who can reach the highest levels of influence and success in life, yet was almost simultaneous with an economic shift that humbled tens of millions, even as it drove a new political element to the surface re-thinking how Americans will view work, wealth and personal spending. Revolution, even the best kind, never comes without some pain and sacrifice, of course. The question that’s left is ours to answer: Is now one of the most difficult times to be young – or one of the best? ]

march 20, 2013 |


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march 20, 2013 |

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March 20, 2013  

COVER STORY: Young, Gay and Broke: gay men who live outside the margins of traditional society.

March 20, 2013  

COVER STORY: Young, Gay and Broke: gay men who live outside the margins of traditional society.