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201 O UT S TA N D I N G YOUTH AWAR D WI N N E RS
WE CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO CELEBRATE OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECOGNIZE MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. BECAUSE WITHOUT YOUR EFFORTS, OUR SUCCESSES WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.
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PAUL HUNTER AWARD WINNER KARLA RIKANSRUD
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Vol. XXXVii iSSUe #2 April 17, 2013 t
CONTENTS CoVeR SToRY: GAY AnD GReen
SO LIV FO CUS CIAL ING 6 From The Editor 7 Speak Out 10 News 12 Panel Voices 13 Out In Colorado 17 Bleed Like Me
22 Food For Thought 24 High Society 27 Bar Tab 28 Bar Rag 30 On The Scene 33 QRAVE
On the cover: Rebecca Williams. Photo by Kim Harrison Nodurft // www.KimNodurft.com. 4
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37 Thrive 39 The Gay Aesthetic 42 Denver Urbanism 46 Back In My Day 48 Metro Life 52 Sexuality
Serving the LGBT Community of the Rocky Mountains since 1976 3535 Walnut Street Denver, Colorado 80205 Phone: 303-477-4000 Fax: 303-325-2642 Email: email@example.com Web: OutFrontOnline.com Facebook: facebook.com/OutFrontColorado 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: Jerry@outfrontonline.com J.C. McDonald / Vice President / Director of Circulation Email: JC@outfrontonline.com Nic Garcia / Associate Publisher Email: Nic@outfrontonline.com Jeff Jackson Swaim / Chief Strategist Email: Jeff@outfrontonline.com
EDITORIAL Holly Hatch / Editor-in-Chief Email: Holly@outfrontonline.com Matthew Pizzuti / Junior Editor Email: Matt@outfrontonline.com 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, Noelle Leavitt Riley, Amy Lynn Oâ€™Connell, Kristin Ziegler, Steve Cruz, Jasmine Peters, Lauren Archuletta.
ART Sara Decker / Creative Director Email: Sara@outfrontonline.com DENEE PINO / Production Assistant Charles Broshous / Photographer
MARKETING / SALES jordan jacobs / Marketing Executive Email: Jordan@outfrontonline.com SAGE GREY / Marketing Executive Email: Sage@outfrontonline.com DAWN HARTBARGER / Marketing Executive Email: Dawn@outfrontonline.com
DISTRIBUTION: Out Front Coloradoâ€™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.
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FRoM THe eDiToR
Dancing is carbon neutral
CONNECT WITH MATTHEW
reach junior editor matthew Pizzuti by email at matt@outfront online.com, phone (303) 477.4000 ext. 712
c Publisher’s Wild Card Pick
Some might not see how green issues apply to our community. Though we breathe the same air, drink the same water, eat, commute, vote, and stretch our legs just like anybody else does, we’re disproportionately urban – our lives often bring us from one city core to the next, we tend to hop into city bars, clubs and coffee shops to hang out; we’re sometimes farther from that “great outdoors” envisioned when people think of the environment. Of the many things associated with LGBT people, outdoorsiness ranks low – but it’s clear that’s more of a stereotype than a rule when gay ski week or the gay rodeo comes around, especially for us in Colorado. But regardless of where we each live or feel the most free, we’re also a community with great concern for the wider world, social justice, beauty and future generations we hope will benefit from what we fight for today. What good would all our passion for equality, LGBT youth and a society of acceptance be if the less–unjust world we work to leave behind was defined by pollution, sprawl, spiking fuel prices and war or recessions driven by vanishing natural resources? The last thing we at Out Front want this issue to be is a lecture; we’re no better on average than anybody else when it comes to “green” living. We do print our issues, after all, on paper. We use electricity coming from coal, we drive cars using gasoline, we fly on airplanes, we
Speaking of green, Ace restaurant on 17th and Pennsylvania – serving up Asian fusion cuisine (and ping pong!) since last August – has an extensive sustainability program detailed on their website. Housed in a former corner limousine service garage at 17th and Pennsylvania, Ace is a well–thought, industrially–designed eatery with repurposed and recycled materials throughout, and received Denver’s 2012 Mayor’s Design Award. Jeffrey Hoyle and I ventured there for a casual lunch to discuss the Alexander Foundation’s exciting plans in the works, kicked off by their annual Spring Fling extravaganza May 11. Ordering lunch, I asked our adorably–judicious server for a recommendation. Let’s just say
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would–like–to–but–don’t–always–remember to put or computer screens on the “energy saver” setting or recycle. We eat food shipped with diesel trucks. In plastic packaging. Which we throw away. And we have no idea whether our food is (gasp!) genetically–modified. When I say “we” it is not some fancy editorial way of saying “me;” I am confident our whole staff commits these acts – acts which, though not seeming particularly egregious, won’t be sustainable forever without social or technological solutions. We, like you, would probably nod our heads poignantly hearing about all the waste the average American generates in a year, then go right back to generating it. But we want to lift up the best among us who tread a little lighter on the planet, and the easy ways we can join. A tiny pivot in our course sets a drastically different destination, with choices like what kind of cities to build, technology to invest in, companies to support, and on. That thing about gays so often being city– dwellers? That’s actually good for the environment when it means living in compact city homes or apartments that make more efficient use of land, taking subways or busses or light rail instead of driving, having smaller cars (which anyone who’s had to parallel park in Capitol Hill appreciates). Wherever you live, this one is great news for our community: Dancing is carbon neutral! So is flag football, chasing your kids, jogging around the park, singing, stumbling home from Charlie’s on foot, sleeping in or walking a parade route. Flirting is carbon neutral. So are cuss words. Sex is carbon neutral too (porn is not). It’s not such a sacrifice, because those moments – when the car is in park, or the lights are off – are some of the best in life.
Matthew Pizzuti – Junior Editor
cleaning my plate is not a common occasion, but the Crispy Beef with Jasmine rice, plus steamed vegetables and garlic sauce made it scrumptiously easy. I’m no ping pong player but an ace is a good thing – and my meal was one for sure. Whether you venture in for a game, cocktail, meal or all–of– the–above, be sure to let the Ace folks know Out Front gives them a fierce thumbs–up.
Kim Harrison, an awardwinning international photographer of more than 13 years, teaches workshops to professional photographers across the globe. She specializes in weddings, ceremonies and boudoir photography. “When I can make someone speechless because they see an image of themselves that blows them away, then I’ve done my job,” Harrison said. “That’s was makes me tick.” Harrison’s requirement for subjects is that they have fun – “The eyes truly are the window to the soul,” she said. “If they’re having fun, it shows.” See Kim’s photography on the cover of this issue, and inside on page 18. For more info, visit KimNodurft.com.
Raised in the Midwest and educated in the South, Alex Meyer is finally at home in the mountains. When he is not skiing or hiking, Alex is driven by a passion for politics, history, and the suppressed, and finds the pen the most effective way to right those wrongs. He also is known to enjoy a trashy reality TV show or two.
– Jerry Cunningham, publisher/owner Ace Restaurant/ping pong hall is at 501 E 17th Ave. Open weekdays 11 a.m. to midnight; 2 p.m. to midnight Sat. and Sun. More info at acedenver. com or call 303-800-7705. OutfrOntonline.cOm
ABOut tHE cOntrIButOrS:
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Serving those living with illness On Thursday, April Lasagna. It all started 25, our community with one pan of will once again come lasagna, donated by together for Dining Racines, divvied up Out for Life, Project into 12 servings, and Angel Heart’s largest then delivered to 12 annual fundraising individuals living in event and a 19-year Denver and suffering tradition in the Denver from AIDS. It wasn’t area. Dining Out for much, but it was a beLife helps raise awareginning for a group ness about HIV and of volunteers calling AIDS, but also helps themselves Project us secure the financial Angel Heart. And it resources we need to represented hope provide high-quality for those 12 people Erin Pulling meals to this vulnerbravely fighting a able segment of our disease that seemed unbeatable and, in most cases, clients. Nutritious meals aren’t a luxury for those with HIV and fighting that battle alone. Twenty-two years later, much AIDS; they’re absolutely critical to has changed in the fight against HIV their ability to fight infection, boost and AIDS, with more effective drugs immunity, and slow progression of and treatments, more resources, a the disease. On this one day, an estimatbetter understanding of what the disease is – and what it isn’t. Yet ed 80,000 Denver-area diners HIV and AIDS are not gone, and the will join diners in 59 other cities challenges faced by those with the around the country to dine out in support of friends, neighbors, disease are as real as ever. Project Angel Heart has also co-workers and even strangers changed – today we serve not fighting HIV and AIDS. We’re only those fighting HIV and AIDS, proud to host the single largest but also those living with cancer, Dining Out event in the nation, diabetes, kidney disease, COPD right here in Denver! With 300 and other life-threatening illness- participating restaurants and es. Our meals come not from local scores of supporters who make restaurants, but from our own plans to eat out for breakfast, kitchen, where professional chefs lunch or dinner, we raise signifiand volunteers work together to cant funds to support our homeprepare fresh, wholesome meals delivered meal program. Your participation matters; to that are customized to meet the unique nutritional needs of each us and to clients like Greg, age client. And that roster of 12 clients 45, who is living with AIDS. “God has grown, as well. Today we serve bless you all for helping so many between 850 to 950 clients each people in need, like myself,” said week; a total of more than 2,000 in- Greg. “It takes away my stress and worry about whether or not I will dividuals throughout the year! Despite all of these changes, have something to eat. Thanks, we’re as committed as ever to and please keep up the good making sure that nourishing, work!” Please make plans to dine out life-saving meals are available to people living with HIV and AIDS at one of the 300 generous particiin the Denver metro area and pating restaurants on Thursday, Colorado Springs. We know our April 25. meals make them stronger, better able to respond to medications, and Erin Pulling is President more apt to keep their healthcare & CEO of Project Angel Heart. appointments. We know our meals For a complete list of result in less stress around meal ac- restaurants participating quisition and preparation and help in Dining Out for Life, visit them to maintain a healthy weight. r DiningOutFor Life.org/Denver. We know that our meals matter. 8
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Support same-sex marriage? Some Roman Catholic higher–ups say you shouldn’t receive communion
Majority of U.S. Senate supports marriage equality This year Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio became the first Republican sitting U.S. Senator to publicly support same-sex marriage, reversing his former position this March and sparking an unprecedented flurry of bipartisan endorsements for marriage equality. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, a blue–state Republican who currently holds President Obama’s former Senate seat, was the second Republican to endorse, and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, became the 51st current Senator to endorse with an April 4 Tampa Bay Times editorial that gave the pro–equality side it’s first–ever U.S. Senate majority. Next came surprising endorsements from Democrats representing very conservative states, including North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Indiana senator Joe Donnely. While same-sex marriage is normally a state issue and the new endorsements are unlikely to affect legislation any time soon, some see them as attempts to get on the right side of an historic moment as the Supreme Court prepares to issue rulings on two major equality cases this June. Both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, have favored same-sex marriage since before this year. r More @ ofcnow.co/G7D
Two major American Roman Catholic voices announced recently that Catholics who support same-sex marriage are in breach of their faith and should not receive communion. Edward Peters, a theologian and legal adviser to the Vatican, said that priests should withhold communion from pro–marriage equality parishioners, while Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigernon called it “a double–dealing that is not unlike perjury” for equality supporters to present themselves for sacraments. It’s not uncommon for Catholic figures to say those in non–Churchsanctioned relationships should repent before taking communion, but it’s rare for it to be extended to Catholics who personally live by Catholic teachings but disagree on political issues as a matter of conscience. r More @ ofcnow.co/ny.
Grassroots social media campaign helps make corporate support for equality into good business Many businesses support LGBT rights out of their own sense of justice, but a new social media push is broadcasting their positions to potential customers, hoping to reward the pro–LGBT companies – and put pressure on corporations that are still behind the curve. r More @ ofcnow.co/i8w
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Civil unions and marriage: Comparing the rights and benefits
he Colorado Civil Unions Act was a monumental victory for LGBT equality in Colorado, granting state–level rights and benefits comparable to marriage. Yet there are significant shortfalls in protections for couples with a Colorado civil union, cemented by Amendment 43 and the federal Defense Of Marriage Act. “This is an evolving issue,” said Kyle Martelon, an attorney with the Colorado law firm Wedgle & Spahn. “Everyone is working to understand the statutory framework, how everything works together, and what similarities there are between the civil union law and marriage law in the state.” Parallels are abundant between civil unions, which will go into effect as an option for both gay and straight couples May 1. Some examples include public assistance benefits, personal property transfers, medical proxy decision making rights and hospital visitation rights – all of which now automatically apply to couples in a civil union just as they do for married couples. In addition, same-sex couples are covered under the same domestic violence and abuse laws, as well as survivor and workers’ compensation benefits. Couples in a civil union will have the same rights as married couples regarding visitation privileges in mental health or prison facilities. “Essentially, Colorado civil union statutes are in a lot of ways very similar to marriage laws,” said Martelon, adding that the most significant change includes “laws which govern 10
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legal separations under title fourteen, which would apply to dissolutions: Property division, maintenance (alimony), child support, allocation of parental responsibilities, issues regarding attorney’s fees and separation agreements would conceivably apply to civil unions.” Adoption rights will be expanded as well. Before, same-sex couples could only adopt through the complicated process of second parent adoption, barred from petitioning jointly as married couples can. “Finally, children and potential [same-sex] parents of children are going to be included where they never were before,” said attorney Teresa Spahn, who specializes in adoption law at Wedgle & Spahn. “They can petition together, and it puts them in the same shoes as married people who want to adopt.” These rights, however, become capricious once a couple leaves Colorado. “Each state has their own set of statutory framework in terms of recognizing civil unions or same-sex marriages,” said Martelon. “You have to look at the specific statutes in that particular state to see whether or not they would recognize a Colorado civil union.” With only nine states offering civil unions or domestic partnerships, and nine states plus Washington D.C. recognizing same-sex marriages, Colorado couples in a civil union potentially lose their rights just by crossing the state line. None of the seven states that border Colorado have established legal recognition for same-sex couples. Outfrontonline.com
By Michael Yost And though civil unions provide many statelevel protections, DOMA blocks numerous rights granted by the federal government that married couples in Colorado enjoy. “There are thousands of rights and protections on a federal level that civil unions will not guarantee same-sex couples,” said Brad Clark, executive director of statewide LGBT advocacy organization One Colorado, “one of those being COBRA.” The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) guarantees under federal law that married couples are covered by employer-provided health coverage should a spouse lose employment. Though some companies offer this benefit to same-sex couples, it is not guaranteed to partners in a civil union as it is for married spouses. In addition, couples in a civil union cannot file joint taxes, barring them from almost 180 federal tax credits and provisions, including earned income tax credits, child tax credits, taxation of retirement services and the estate tax, just to name a few. Surviving spouse and surviving parent social security benefits are also denied to same-sex couples, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides medical leave for employees caring for spouses or children, is only available to married couples. Lastly, many same-sex partners live in constant fear of deportation. “The current administration has de-prioritized deportation against same-sex couples,” said Clark, “but there’s still no pathway to citizenship that married straight couples would be entitled to.” President Obama’s four point plan for immigration reform would allow same-sex couples to sponsor a partner for an immigration visa. However, it is unclear if the bill will make it through Congress. “Marriage is a very important discussion,” Clark said. “Words do matter. Many of us grow up with the hope of one day falling in love and spending the rest of our lives with someone. That is not called a civil union. The promise that people make to one another is called marriage.” With Amendment 43 of the Colorado Constitution defining marriage between and a man and a woman, there’s likely to be an ongoing political fight in Colorado for full marriage equality. “Right now we’re waiting to see how the Supreme Court rules. Hopefully there will be a decision this summer on both the Prop 8 and DOMA cases,” Clark said. In the meantime, Clark encouraged the community to speak out. “It’s going to take conversations all across the state with our friends and neighbors and coworkers that’s really going to create a climate that moves Colorado to a place of ensuring freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.”
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If the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage this year, what’s next?
For the Supreme Court to rule in our favor in both cases would be like winning a lottery. Making the subsequent chanegs would require altering any number of governmental forms. First would be the marriage application. The income tax forms are obvious. Just think of the paper work involving children; school systems would have to cope. Would each state have to repeal its ban on same-sex marriage, often embedded in state constitutions? Requiring all this foofawrah to be done before the end of this year would be nice, so that the newly–married could take advantage of their new status paying income taxes. The sociologists will be delighted with same-sex marriage. Already they are surely formatting studies: “A Comparison of Financial Control between Heterosexual and Homosexual Couples”, “The Significance of the Parental Names ‘Daddy’ and ‘Papa,’” or “Difference in Divorce Rates between Gay and Lesbian Couples.” El alia, et alia, ad infinitum. Yes, there will be obstacles. No matter what, we do want the right to try. The situation is comparable to lunch counter sit–ins at the five and dime stores in the South during the 1950s. I’m sure many of African Americans did not want to eat there; they wanted just the choice. If the Supreme Court rules in our favor, that is what we shall have–a choice.
Karl Wesley is a manager at Charlie’s. He was named Mr. CGRA in 2013 and continues to be active in the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association.
Cecil Bethea was raised in the South before joining the Air Force, and now calls himself “a Westerner of Southern extraction.”
Iowa native George K. Gramer, Jr. is the president of the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans.
What’s next? Equality. A nice thought, isn’t it? But how do we expect to gain equality when the GLBT community doesn’t treat everyone equally within itself? Consider: young vs. old, gay vs. lesbian, drag queen vs. transgender, out vs. closeted – the list goes on. We can’t even agree on whether it’s the “GLBT” or “LGBT!” Simple things like this allow groups and organizations that are against us to further their argument: “They don’t deserve equal rights because they can’t even get along among themselves and treat each other equal!” Every individual comes from a unique background, chooses her or his own eclectic style and makes her or his own decisions. Treating someone as a lesser person because of these human attributes is asinine. We are different, but share a common bond in our desire to be treated as equal individuals in this world. Why fight about that when we are at such an exciting and crucial point in our gay history? If we are a community to speak out against hatred, a community united by a rainbow flag representing every walk of life, a community that is willing to fight to be treated the same as every other human being, we have accept one another as equals first. So, what’s next? Equality. It’s not an impossible dream. Karl Wesley
A former writer and editor at Out Front, Phil Nash is a communications consultant for nonprofit organizations.
George K. Gramer, Jr.
The operative word in the panel question is “if.” The current composition of the U.S. Supreme Court will likely rule on a narrow definition on Perry vs. Swartzenegger (over California Prop. 8), and will likely decide that portions, perhaps all, of President Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. If that happens, some Californians will be able to marry, but other states will still have the ability to decide for themselves what constitutes marriage. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it for the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The majority of Californians voted for Proposition 8. States have the right to determine things (like “marriage”) on their own. Colorado and about 30 other states forbid same-sex marriage in their constitutions. In this 2013 legislative session when Colorado Democrats were extreme activists on so many fronts, I saw no spine for them to work to repeal Amendment 43 to the Colorado Constitution declaring that a marriage is between one woman and one man. They simply went for the low–hanging fruit of civil unions. Most of our state’s legislators have no balls (both literally and figuratively). It is time for them and the governor to put up or shut up.
I’m going out on a limb: I think the Supreme Court will repeal DOMA and open doors for same-sex marriage everywhere in the U.S. Most see Justice Kennedy as the key player in a potential 5 to 4 vote, but I wouldn’t rule out Chief Justice Roberts weighing in heavily and pushing the Court to settle this matter once and for all. Why? The conservative Roberts shocked the nation with his surprise vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). Many close observers say Roberts is sensitive to the credibility of the Court and his own place in history as a long– serving Chief Justice. Having already served 10 years, he’s 58 and could serve another quarter century or more – a full generation. Roberts undoubtedly understands that momentum for marriage equality is irreversible, as well as how social conservatives opposition handicaps GOP’s chances to broaden its base. Roberts can settle the issue with the stroke of his pen. With gay marriage off the political table, no politician need face voters with a “yea” or “nay” on their record. Right– wing politicians would demand his head on a platter but privately breathe a sigh of relief. And once it’s over, chaos will ensue. The GLBT community will stay busy for years pushing public and private institutions to behave according to a new script for love and family life in America.
Interested in becoming one of the voices on Out Front’s panel? Contact Holly Hatch by email at Holly@outfrontonline.com or call (303) 477.4000 ext. 711 to be considered!
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oUT iN ColoRaDo
One Colorado’s Civil Soiree toasts to civil unions By Kristin Ziegler As there is something undeniably romantic about spring, be it the blooming of flowers to the idea of rebirth and fresh starts, May and June weddings have just become part of the fairytale. And this year, the dream of a springtime wedding can become a legal reality for Colorado’s same-sex couples. The hard-fought civil unions legislation, signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper on March 21, will officially go into effect at midnight on May 1. Couples may file for a civil union license at any open clerk and recorder’s office across the state at that time, ensuring an exciting night for Colorado. An exciting night that won’t go uncelebrated. Colorado’s leading LGBTQ advocacy group, One Colorado, will be hosting the Civil Soiree for Civil Unions to ring in the momentous evening. The event, held from 7 p.m. April 30 until the clock strikes
midnight on May 1, will feature cocktails, dinner, a dessert reception, live music, dancing, and guest Hancock. speakers – including Mayor Michael B. Hancock “This event is three years in the making,” said Preston Dickey, development director at One Colorado. “Once we saw civil unions going through the process, it made sense to celebrate the efforts of the thousands of people who worked so hard.” Among the people who fought vigilantly for civil unions are Speaker Mark Ferrandino, State Sens. Lucia Guzman, Pat Steadman, and State Rep. Sue Schafer, all of whom will be honored at the event. Also honored at the soiree will be the very couples who plan to commit to one another through the new state sanctioned and celebrated unions. “It will be a really amazing party to celebrate the people who are building families,” said Dickey.
to the dinner portion of the soiree have sold out, but there is still room for those who want to dance the historic night away at the reception. Ticket proceeds will benefit the One Colorado Education Fund. For more info please visit r CivilSoiree.org.
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out in colorado
What to bring to get your civil union license At midnight on May 1 the Denver City County Clerk and Recorder’s office at 201 W. Colfax Ave. will open to issue civil union licenses. Don’t come unprepared – cover your bases with this checklist! Requirements: • You must be 18 or older • If you have been married or were in a civil union previously and/or are widowed or divorced, you must provide: • Name of previous spouse/partner • Location (city and state) of your divorce • The type of court in which your divorce proceeding occurred • A certified copy of your divorce decree Application: Both you and your intended spouse/partner must appear in person to receive your license. IIf you are in Denver, get the license at the Marriage/Civil Union License counter on the first floor of the Webb Municipal Office Building. Normal hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both you and your partner must present valid identification: • U.S. state issued driver’s license or permit • U.S. state-issued ID • U.S. military ID • Passport • Provide your Social Security number if you have one Fees: Application fee is $30 payable by cash or check, no credit cards. Have your civil union license certified: The civil union license may be used immediately and for up to 35 days anywhere in Colorado to certify a civil union. Civil unions can be certified by a judge of a court, a retired judge, a court magistrate, a public official whose powers include certification of civil unions, a Native-American tribe official or clergy, or self-certified by you and your intended spouse/partner. Note: State law permits an officiant to refuse to certify a civil union. Recording: After certification, return your civil union license and completed civil union certificate to the Denver County Clerk and Recorder’s office within 63 days for recording. Forms: All forms can be obtained online at www.DenverClerkandRecorder.org or in person at the Clerk and Recorder’s office. Questions? call 311 or 720-913-1311 and ask to be transferred to the Recording Desk.
A Vote & A Vow, a website and organization dedicated to inspiration, activism and equality for same-sex weddings and celebrations, will be offering free photography services, goodies and flowers for your civil union, as well as a reception afterwards at X Bar! Follow A Vote & A Vow on twitter to find their location on May 1 @avoteandavow. 14
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Photography, goodies and flowers When: 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., May 1 Where: Wellington Web Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave. Reception at a glance What: Celebrate with a champagne toast, dessert and festivities. Everyone is welcome! When: 6 p.m. till whenever, May 1 Where: X Bar, 629 E. Colfax Ave.
ShoW & tell
“The Great State of Gay” (A Limerick)
A lightning bolt hit me one day, It left me with nothing to say. You’re gay, don’t you know? How can you be so slow? So I entered the gay state of play. Caught up on a runaway train, I hurtled through darkness and rain. I had to come out, not a whisper, a SHOUT. I could not, ever, turn round again. I came out to them, young and old I don’t know what made me so bold I stood tall and proud and I shouted out loud, The spy coming in from the cold. This action might not have been wise, I took it against some advice But there’s nowhere to run, and it’s all been such fun, Just go with the roll of the dice.
Edwards By Gillian
So here I stand, proudly, today, Caught up in the gay state of play, I live a great life, even took me a wife, Here in the great State of Gay. Gillian Edwards is an active member of the SAGE of the Rockies, a group for elders at the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.
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HAPPY HOUR FUN MON - FRI 3PM - 6PM
gal on the move
Color me still
Robyn VieCarpenter r Email Robyn at GoddessOfJoy1@ gmail.com. For more Robyn, visit ofcnow.co/FQv.
IN MARY’S NEW GAME ROOM
When we allow ourselves time to be still, incredible things happen. Our bodies
$3 Beer & Well Specials $4 Vodka Specials $5 Martinis, Margaritas, & Wine Specials $5 Appetizers at the Bar
get time to repair. Our minds get a break from thinking. Our minds release stress and tension
APRIL 17, 2013
I’m constantly in motion. Most weeks I’m on a plane headed somewhere. I love it: I’m truly grateful for the opportunities it opens for me. I recently found myself lying in a hotel room bed on a Saturday morning at a hotel in – of all places – Birmingham, Alabama. My luggage hadn’t made it as far as I had; it was back at DIA. Without a change of clothes or vehicle, there were limited activities available to me, and my host was stuck in a day–long meeting, apologizing for not entertaining me. I reassured her that I was fine. It was the truth. There were many things I had hoped to see and do that weekend, but what I ended up doing was getting some writing done, and lying in bed reading magazines. It was glorious – just what I needed – and I didn’t feel cheated in any way. I was joyfully still. I strive for stillness; I’m generally more of a hummingbird than an owl. When we allow ourselves time to be still, incredible things happen. Our bodies get time to repair. Our minds get a break from thinking. Our minds release stress and tension. Our souls find peace and harmony. Our inner voices get a chance to rise to the surface, speaking our truths we can only hear when we take the time to be quiet and listen. Even when we go on vacations, expecting a time for rejuvenation, we tend to be active, planning our trips around things to do. But in my case, it’s only when I spend time doing a lot of nothing, alone, that I really feel the most rejuvenated.
Alone time is important. When we’re with someone else, we tend to feel pressure to come up with things to do. What if all we need is to lie in a hammock, staring into space, quietly breathing, while the breeze blows across your face? If there are two of you in the hammock there is bound to be talking, or kissing, or something else. While time together is great for a relationship, it becomes “us time,” not your time. When you find yourself agitated, irritated or unpleasant, ask yourself how long it’s been since you were still. The easiest way to solve this is through meditation, regardless of how short the time is. It’s often then that we find answers we’ve been seeking – like laying in a hammock, but for your mind and soul. I can hear you already: I can’t meditate. My mind won’t shut off. This is not true. You quiet your mind all of the time. That’s what alcoholic selfmedication is; when you start drinking, you stop thinking. If you think about the choices that people make when they’re drunk, you’ll realize how true that statement is. My thing is, you probably don’t want to start drinking at 8 or 9 a.m., so meditation can be helpful. Here’s my helpful hint about learning stillness: coloring. Spend 15 minutes a day coloring in a coloring book; after a week you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Get those 64 crayons and a space alone, on your stomach on the floor or wherever you choose. It works, I promise! If you need it, I give you permission to color for 15 minutes daily. Now go be still.
Bleed liKe me
Chipotle confessional The conversation got serious over before me. “What do you mean I can’t trust you?” In an odd experiment, Luke and I decided beans and rice. The instant Luke gave me he asked. to continue dating each other in spite of I began to stuff my mouth to buy some time trust, I felt guilty for taking it. I desperour stark differences. Most other guys ately wanted it, but knew my past hadn’t to figure out if I really wanted to do this. I really would have run away after seeing their liked him. So I could either tell him the truth that always been so trustworthy. new romantic interest crumble under Perhaps it began when I was in Boy he deserved or, like in my past, tell him the perfect the experience of an HIV diagnosis. He Scouts. One of their core beliefs is trust. answers. not only stuck around but helped me put This conversation couldn’t carry on in a restauI wanted to make my parents proud so the pieces back together. I begged them to go on Scout camping rant, so we went for a walk in a nearby park. I began One of our common interests was trips, but I’d fail the minute my uniform confessing it all, spilling the beans about my emoChipotle. I loved the healthy options; got dirty and demand that they take me tional foibles in an effort to discredit myself. Luke Luke loved the simplicity of getting a gave me a generous hug, home. burrito the size of his head. The resScott McGlothlen perhaps to stop me from Maybe I taurant became our new spot for easy saying anything more. got the knack for violatromantic courtship. I REALLY LIKED HIM. SO I COULD I figured this was the One evening the conversation got critical; as we ing trust in my teens. EITHER TELL HIM THE TRUTH moment he would break laughed together and stuffed our faces as usual, Each time I missed my THAT HE DESERVED OR, LIKE up with me – Chipotle Luke decided to make himself a little more vulner- midnight curfew, I opted IN MY PAST, TELL HIM THE would forever be the resable. He confessed, “I really do like you, Scott. And I for some far–out story like taurant that I infamousreally feel like I can trust you.” He stroked my hand getting stuck at a railroad PERFECT ANSWERS. ly stuck my foot in my crossing with a really, gently. mouth. This was the point where I should say the same really, really long train. I “I am not perfect either,” Luke said instead, then thing back, but I couldn’t do it. A knot began to twist started realizing the ease of telling people what they laughed. “Besides, now I think I really could trust in my stomach. I began my own confession, “But wanted to hear. In my first relationships, I wanted romance so you.” For the first time in my life I felt the power you can’t trust me.” Luke was thrown off. People don’t generally badly that I truly thought I could be trusted for it. of telling an undesirable truth rather than what respond to a heartfelt compliment with brutal But after a point I’d fumble over monogamy, as sex someone wanted to hear. honesty. But this man had been so good to me that I and love got confusing. Luke snapped his fingers in front of my glazed r Email Scott at BleedLikeScott@gmail.com. couldn’t give the perfect answer to look like my most eyes, interrupting my very untrustable life flashing For more columns by Scott, visit ofcnow.co/aI9 perfect self.
aPril 17, 2013
Sustainability in the city The urban lifestyle is greener than you think By Josiah M. Hesse
Pictured: Rebecca Williams Photography by: Kim Harrison Nodurft
APRIL 17, 2013
ost days Rebecca Williams can be found power to lessen human impacts – are divided along riding her brakeless ﬁxed–gear bicycle at economic, rather than political lines. “The heaviest responsibility for addressing the issues full speed around the Baker and Capitol Hill neighborhoods of Denver, dividing her time of climate change falls upon the economic elite,” wrote between two jobs as a climbing instructor and a bicycle Chris Goodall in his 2007 book, How To Live A Low-Carmechanic, while her evenings are often devoted to bon Life. “You may not think of yourself as a member of fronting her local garage-punk band, Thee Dang Dangs. this club, but you probably are. If you travel abroad for She lives an ecologically conscious lifestyle, but not holidays, run a reasonably sized sedan car and have a conventional middle class lifestyle, your damage to the because anyone told her to. “It doesn’t make any sense to me, in a small city, for global environment may be double that of the national everyone to drive cars,” Williams said. “People drive a few average. … In general, it is the poorest countries that are blocks to school, or work, thinking they have to. People going to ﬁnd it most difﬁcult to adapt to rising temperadon’t need as much as they think they do. In Denver, you tures and disruption of weather patterns. The carbon don’t have to drive, you can ride your bike to the store and emissions of the rich world will ruin the lives of the poor.” The concept is a “carbon footprint” – a common not waste all that energy. It’s easier and better. I get really measure for the amount of fossil–fuel–derived carbon frustrated if I have to drive anywhere.” Like most things in her life, Williams discovered dioxide gas an individual contributes to the some 9 and her love of biking on her own. After getting her degree a half billion metric tons added to the atmosphere each in business (despite being a tattooed guitar player with year. A typical American contributes around 20 tons a rock–life ambitions) from The University of Denver, the year, by not only using gasoline and electricity from nonColorado native backpacked her way around the South- renewable power generation, but also by buying and west, temporarily landing in Tucson, where she fell in using ordinary products and food that requires carbon– emitting fuels to manufacture, transport and sell. with a bohemian community of artists. Goodall doesn’t ask in his book for everyone to live “I had about $280 to my name, and was just traveling, meeting people, rock climbing, hanging out in coffee in sod houses and wear lambskin condoms, but simply shops, and if I ran out of money just played my guitar nudge the lifestyles they have. Using energy-efﬁcient on a street corner. I hated riding the bus, so I went to refrigerators, low-water toilets and shower faucets, and unplugging cellphone this bicycle collective, and chargers when not in use (a they had a work–for–trade user of “phantom energy” program where you put in goodall doesn’t asK in his BooK for – electricity drawn by apsome hours in their shop, everyone to live in sod houses and pliances that are plugged and then you could build in while not in use – which a bike with their donated Wear lamBsKin condoms, But simply can suck up 10 percent of parts. I built a bike from nudge the lifestyles they have. a home’s total electric use) scratch, and just fell in love can all make a difference with it. I shipped it back using EnErgy-EfficiEnt rEwithout significant change with me to Denver.” frigErators, low-watEr in lifestyle. Williams’ earth-friendly toilEts and showEr faucEts, This is where the comlifestyle of biking, gardenmunication breakdown ing and composting has and unplugging cEllphonE has occurred between the become a popular way chargErs whEn not in usE ... political left and right on to live. More people are this issue. Often, Democrats deciding to live collectively, can all makE a diffErEncE have pitched green living as with up to a dozen people in without significant changE a sacriﬁce we must all make a single house, many riding (Jimmy Carter’s “Malaise bikes built at the queerin lifEstylE. Speech” comes to mind), friendly bicycle collective, while Republicans instill Derailer, and sharing meals through Food Not Bombs, a peace organization that dis- fear of a nanny state that wants to control your thermostat, hurt small businesses and revoke your God-given tributes responsibly–grown food to the hungry. For the most part the motivation for people like right to roam the roads in your personal automobile. In Williams to live this way is less inspired by fear of a dying fact, many green–living choices are painless and benefit planet than that the simple sense it makes – a path of an individual or business’s pocketbook. “To the average person that doesn’t give a rats about least–resistance, requiring less money and leaving more sustainability, that doesn’t matter, because it makes freedom and time to enjoy life. “When it comes to gardening, I just like growing my smart business sense,” said Janet Burgesser, program own food,” Williams said. “I want to have fresh kale director of Certiﬁably Green Denver, a civic program with no pesticides on it, and to say ‘I grew that.’ And that evaluates local businesses on an ecological level, bikes are just a great way to stay in shape, save money and awards those with high standards. Burgesser touts this process as “reducing costs, and helps keep small and be happy.” Regardless of a century of expanding human aware- businesses alive. About 85 percent of Denver’s business of our impact on the planet and a broad scientific nesses are small and independently owned. They’re the consensus about the threat of climate change, concern for lifeblood of our economy.” Certiﬁably Green Denver is not a regulatory force, a green lifestyle is still divided along political lines. Visiting an Iowa wind farm on Earth Day 2009, Pres- but a an optional program that aides restaurants, ofﬁce ident Obama announced his intent to put a cap on U.S. spaces and auto repair shops in reducing carbon footcarbon emissions, hoping to prevent “the worst con- prints, meanwhile decreasing liabilities for improper sequences of climate change.” On the same afternoon, waste disposal. “In restaurants, there are tons of wasted conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh delivered what he food, water and energy,” Burgesser said. For just one called a “solemn” tribute to Gordon Dancy, inventor of the example, “the lighting in a restaurant is on for 12 to 18 hours of day, and purchasing energy efﬁcient light plastic bag, on his talk radio show. Yet despite the political split on environmental issues, bulbs can signiﬁcantly cut costs.” those responsible for the greatest impacts on the environment – and by the same measure, those with the greatest Continued on page 20 OUTFRONTONLINE.COM
5 Simple ways to live more sustainably 1. Don’t Drive Transportation is the top human source of greenhouse gasses, so live as close as possible to where you work, and walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation whenever you can. 2. Lose the Lawn Envision a flagstone patio or cobblestone walkway lined with flowers, stepping-stones, native shrubs and planters. Lawns are the largest component of household water use, but well-planned gardens of drought-tolerant plants can require little to no watering, and less work since you won’t have to mow. 3. Temper your thermostat If you need to adjust your thermostat, nudge it just one or two degrees, then see how you feel. Furnaces burn at two levels of intensity, “on” or “off,” so cranking the heat up in big jumps won’t actually warm your home any faster – it’ll just keep your furnace running long after you’re already warm. 4. Eat ethically Fruits, vegetables and grains take much less energy to produce and ship than meat and dairy, but you don’t have to go completely vegetarian to reduce your impact. Just switching meat from the main course to a side or ingredient in a dish is better for the planet – and your body! 5. Compost Build an outdoor compost pile for your raked leaves, lawn cuttings, egg cartons, stale bread, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds or even paper towels and cardboard. Composting can halve what a household sends to the landfill, and at the same time eliminate the need to buy fertilizer.
APRIL 17, 2013
– which means re-thinking certain aspects of the American Dream for a suburban family home with Many businesses have been taking their own a white picket fence, two cars and a big green lawn. In fact, residents of dense urban areas tend to initiative to approach Burgesser requesting evaluations, for their own sense of responsibility or have drastically–reduced carbon footprints, even an added appeal to customers. “Green Certiﬁed though that isn’t the main reason people choose to businesses are promoted through sticker in the live there. Densely-populated cities reduce carbon window, and we provide a list of businesses on emissions with shorter daily commutes, greater our website and Facebook page,” she said. “I use of public transportation and inhabiting and upgrading older buildings so there’s often get calls from conference less need for energy-consuming organizers coming to town who construction on pristine outlying want a list of certiﬁed restauWe can change land. It’s less costly to heat and cool rants for their attendees. One of our daily lives 100 units in a single apartment our auto repair shops sends out building or condo than the same a survey to their customers each today ... Schroepnumber of single-family homes, year, and they ask if being Green pel said that many and urbanites are more likely to Certiﬁed is important to them. 80 everyday choices share recreation spaces in public or 90 percent said that it was, and pools, plazas and parks rather than that’s why they do business there. affect how many maintain their own pools or lawns, It means a lot to consumers.” engines need roar which are less frequently put to There are also technological use yet still take energy to water, advances on the horizon that could down the highway. maintain or mow. completely revolutionize how we “Every tomato “After World War II, it was all generate and use energy, said Ken about the automobile,” SchroepSchroeppel, an urban planner or cucumber pel said. “We tore down buildings who lectures at the University of or whatever for parking lots, put highways Colorado at Denver and founded through neighborhoods, everyhis urbanism blog denverinfill. that you grow thing was so auto-centric. Now com, where he reports on Denver’s on your own we’re heading in the other direcprogress developing a more livable, tion where we realize that the attractive and pedestrian-friendly property ... while the automobile is a great urban environment. (Schroeppel that’s one less invention, like anything in life if also writes his monthly column in piece of fruit you overdo it, you get into trouble. Out Front, Denver Urbanism.) We need a mix of auto, pedestrian, Schroeppel is looking forward or vegetable bicycle and transit. Though it took to the day when “buildings will that has to be us 50 years to get into this, and generate their own electricity,” it’ll probably take at least 20 or 30 he said. “We’ve made such great transported years to get to a more European or progress in the power generatacross the Asian mode of travel.” ing capacity of solar photo-voltaic We can change our daily lives cells, that you collect so much country in today, without waiting for new energy by putting these panels on some big technology. Schroeppel said that your roof. This is heading toward many everyday choices affect how being able to convert siding, or truck.” many engines need roar down shingles, or simply the facade the highway. “Every tomato or material of the building being cucumber or whatever that you coated in a way that it becomes a solar collector. Twenty years from now we could have every grow on your own property – even if it’s in a conbuilding be skinned in solar collecting material tainer on your balcony – that’s one less piece of that would still look like brick or windows, but fruit or vegetable that has to be transported across the country in some big truck. Not to mention the it would be generating energy for the building.” As the scientiﬁc community becomes more fact that it’s so much more healthy for you.” While Rebecca Williams tries to live as greeninvested in green technology, Schroeppel is also hoping for cultural and social change, including friendly lifestyle as she can, she also stresses the around built environments and transportation need for patience and dialogue when trying to
Continued from page 19
1. GLYDE Premium Vegan Condoms Normally one wouldn’t think of a more “green” condom. But GLYDE condoms are one of the few brands made without dairy proteins or testing on animals – but they’re still reliable. Free of Paraben, spermicide or glycerin. $15.99 per box of 12 and available online at GlydeAmerica.com. 2. LCD HDTVs These televisions use much less energy and release less heat into surrounding rooms using highly–efficient LED lights. Manufacturers of LCD HDTVs include Panasonic, Samsung and OLED.
APRIL 17, 2013
For a list of Green Businesses in Denver, visit the full story online at r ofcnow.co/gSi.
4 Green products for your everyday life
educate the public. Fair or not, environmentalists have developed a reputation over the years for being preachy and condescending, and the perception is part of what drives conservative–minded Americans to identify with Limbaugh and his advocacy of gas-guzzling cars and giant TV screens, sometimes even taking pleasure in the fact that these things offend mother nature’s foot soldiers. “I’ve known people who get angry at people who don’t live the way they do,” Williams said of some of her environmentally–minded peers. “Like anything else in life, in order for someone to see your point and for them to respect you, you have to respect them ﬁrst. I know I don’t want to be yelled at for not recycling something that I didn’t know could be recycled. A lot of people get confused about those things. If someone gets mad at something you were ignorant about, it turns you off to the whole idea.” That said, it doesn’t discount what’s at stake – the risk of forfeiting a planet that could actually peacefully sustain the some 10 billion human inhabitants projected to exist by 2100, not to mention the estimated 8.7 million other species we currently share it with. “People do need to be aware,” Williams said. “It’s not too late. Everyone needs to do their part. This isn’t so much for our generation, it’s for the next.”
3. Green Office Products Office Depot provides a variety of green products from recycled printer paper and inks to recycled and post-consumer recycled boxes, envelopes and shipping labels so every business can make an impact on our little blue planet’s bottom line. More info at OfficeDepot.com/buygreen 4. Seventh Generation Cleaning solvents Seventh Generation, founded in 1988 in Vermont, is a top brand for household products that don’t harm the environment or human health. Made without toxic chemicals that can cause irritation or allergies on our bodies and designed with green ‘breathe easy’ technology.
Civil unions found wanting in Illinois Equality group’s report ﬁnds couples lack some promised protections By Alex Meyer
and gay families were reporting obstacles. “A constant refrain we heard from hen Kati and Esther Baruja’s home state couples was this idea that they weren’t of Illinois began being treated the same, whether granting civil unions that was a person trying to pick up in the summer of 2011, the couple their spouse’s prescription at the was excited to finally have their re- pharmacy, or even in social settings,” lationship legally recognized just said Equality Illinois Director Bernard like their married friends. But ac- Cherkasov. “A lot of people said that if cording to Equality Illinois, a LGBT the state wanted you to be treated like advocacy organization in the state, a married couple, they would have the Barujas and many other Illinois called you married.” Equality Illinois’ report, released LGBT couples found that their civil June 1 last year, offered insight into union could fall short. In a press release, Equality Illinois what was happening. The organizaconveyed a statement from the tion tracked nearly 4,000 couples that entered into civil couple: “’Equality’ was unions in the first year, the practical things, like collecting responses being able to file our about their experiences taxes together, having and determining that automatic custody over in “substantive ways, one another’s children couples in civil unions and not having to spend were treated unequalthousands of dollars on ly, denied rights or second-parent adopprotections, or stigmations and powers of tized. Importantly, the attorney, and having very fact that same sex automatic rights at the couples in loving, comhospital.” mitted relationships And though state Equality Illinois Director Bernard Cherkasov were not allowed to lawmakers had marry invited discrimiintended the Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act to nation by stigmatization by public provide same-sex couples the same and private agents.” The report found the most consisrights as married couples, lesbian
tent complaints around state agencies, respondents reported that family and which lacked a thorough statewide friends chose not to attend their cerpolicy regarding how they should emonies because it was not a ‘real’ treat civil unions. Most of Equality marriage, while others felt that society, Illinois’ respondents faced some dif- as a whole, did not understand the ficulty having their unions recognized concept of civil unions. “When the state says ‘civil unions,’ and treated like marriages there. Even the simple act of acquiring many hear ‘not marriage,’” Cherkasov a civil union license was difficult for said. “It is justification for continuing to some. Local county clerk workers treat same-sex couples differently than lacked the training or forms for the heterosexual couples.” For Russell Lipari and Ronald two–class system allowing heterosexual couples to choose between a Steinacher, the social stigma is even marriage license and a civil union apparent in something as simple as license while same-sex couples were celebrating their anniversary even limited to the latter. That lead to after getting a civil union. “We have delays for some same-sex couples been together nearly 36 years,” they looking for a license, and many told Equality Illinois. “When we celcouples also reported having their ebrate our anniversary, the question is information recorded incorrectly always, ‘anniversary of what?’ Why is the answer to that question so compliwhich led to other long-term issues. The Equality Illinois report also cated? It doesn’t need to be.” Yet Cherkasov still sees Illinois on found that some financial benefits married couples expect were elusive to a path towards full equality. “I think couples in civil unions: more than 8 out that civil unions were definitely a of 10 couples reported that they expe- step towards full recognition,” he rienced trouble filing joint tax returns said. “The loudest opponents kept for state taxes, and some couples were saying that everything would change initially denied the right to do so even once the act passed. But it passed, though civil unions had legalized and nothing changed. People looked that on the state level. The confusion, around and just saw loving couples largely caused by the Illinois Depart- and loving families and everything ment of Revenue’s late decision to else was still the same.” Marriage equality comply with the law, would bring Illinois forced some couples “When the state same-sex couples to file separately or more of the benefits end up paying more in says ‘civil unions,’ they saw as part of a taxes than they owed. many hear ‘not civil union’s promise, There were also marriage,’” cherKasov and polls of Illinois issues with homes said. “it is voters suggest a and property. Married solid majority now couples in Illinois Justification supports full equality. are allowed to own for continuA 2013 bill legalizing property in “joint ing to trEat same-sex marriage tenancy by entirety,” samE-sEX has already cleared allowing a surviving the state’s Senate, and partner to automaticouplEs looks likely to pass cally inherit property diffErEntly the House with some after the other passes than hEtbipartisan support away. But in many ErosEXual before the legislature instances, couples in adjourns this year. civil unions were chalcouplEs.” Cherkasov attrilenged while trying to butes the impending acquire joint ownership, or even barred by title compa- passage to the grassroots effort spearnies from doing so. The same was headed in large part by his organizatrue for couples trying to acquire joint tion. “We talk to these lawmakers, mortgages; lenders treated them dif- and they always say the biggest thing ferently because they weren’t techni- was hearing from their constituents. cally ‘married.’ Those couples were People are calling their representaforced to apply individually instead, tives, urging them to support marriage meaning they were ultimately forced equality, and they are having their to pay a higher interest rate or were families and friends call too.” But for the Barujas, marriage limited in the amount they were equality is about more than just allowed to borrow. To others, the simple word money or paperwork, they said. “marriage” – and the fact that their “Beyond those things, it is the union was called something else – internal knowledge, the certainty had deep negative implications as a that ultimately we are the same as “separate but equal” union. Several everyone else.”
APRIL 17, 2013
FooD FoR THoUGHT
Bistro 4 adds flavor to Louisville’s palate By Jeffrey Steen There’s something to be said for a restaurant that appears with no pomp and circumstance – no celebrity chef, no artist-rendered interior, no industry hype. These are the restaurants that are lucky enough to be judged primarily on the experience they offer. None has more quintessentially fit this mold of late than Bistro 4 in Louisville. It’s a sad truth that when one seeks out the press-coated stars in Denver and Boulder’s culinary spheres, they rarely seem to think of what lies between the two cities. And rather than take that surprise and create a swirling marketing scheme, Bistro 4 has chosen to lie relatively low, tucking into the corner of a strip mall off McCaslin Blvd. The restaurant’s design is as to–the–point elegant as the menu – a clean and understated swath of white with accents of impressionistic, ambience–crafting paintings, warm wood chairs, and a patio nestled underneath a brick canopy a few steps away from the dining room. Open only for brunch and lunch, Bistro 4 does what most restaurants should do in their first few months: start simple, then expand. I happened upon Bistro 4 only fortuitously, but have been back since and will go back again. The service has always been friendly and efficient, and the food has been consistently engaging and delicious. Their culinary MO is not complicated, and that’s to their benefit: local producers line the menu (Udi’s, Morning Fresh Dairy, and Silver Canyon Coffee among them) while the craftsmanship in each dish pays a respectful homage to the native flavor of each ingredient.
Yelp! About It
“There are very few places that truly serve quality food at an affordable price; this place has got it down. These guys know how to cook. Not only that, but the restaurant itself is an APRil 17, 2013
Bistro 4 is located at 1156 W. Dillon Rd. #4 in Louisville, CO. r More info online at Bistro-4.com.
Hamburger Mary’s 700 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80203 • (303) 832-1333 HamburgerMarys.com/denver
Las Margaritas 1035 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 • (303) 830-2199 LasMargs.com
Serioz Pizzeria 1336 East 17th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 • (303) 997-7679 SeriozPizza.com
In case you doubt my palate, dig into what others have been saying about their experiences at Bistro 4. By the way, it’s got a full five stars on Yelp! so far.
A fan of breakfast, I have sampled my share of their morning treats. For those craving something a bit heavier, I highly recommend the Chicken and Biscuits. The chicken is impossibly moist, coated in a perfectly seasoned crumb crust that holds its crispiness from kitchen to plate. On the lighter side, a Parisian Breakfast Sandwich or Veggie Omelette might do the trick – both of which are light on the fats, high on flavor. Come lunchtime (or if you’re just more of a lunch person), entrées and salads touch many a corner of Europe, and are almost all popular sells. My picks: The Bonaparte Salad (gilded with fresh anchovy) and the fall–off–the–bone Coq au Vin with crispy potato cakes. The rich, supper-style offerings had me wondering, though: will Bistro 4 ever be open for dinner? Sadly, not – unless you’re planning a special event. As it turns out, the space can be rented out after hours for fêtes of any shape or size. But as for dinnertime service, you’ll have to plan that date night elsewhere. Each time I coast into the parking lot in front of Bistro 4, I’m amazed. Surrounded by pizza joints, dry cleaners, and fast food havens, you just wouldn’t expect to see such a noble, delicious concept planting roots in Louisville soil amidst the chains of the world. But that’s what makes it so cool – an undiscovered gem that deserves to see its dining room brimming with happy diners seven days a week. Just don’t tell anyone about it, OK?
Little Dragon 1305 Krameria Street, G Denver CO 80220 • 303-322-2128 LittleDragonDenver.com
enjoyable place to hang out in. I love sunlight in the mornings and this restaurant gets flooded by it! The colorful mugs decorating the tables certainly help. I highly recommend it!” – Liz M. “Great food. Beautiful dining room. Perfect breakfast spot. I got to try some of the food early.” – Jason D. OutfrOntonline.cOm
The Melting Pot 2707 W. Main Street, Littleton, CO 80120 • (303)-794-5666 MeltingPot.com
APRIL 17, 2013
My instinct was to make heroes out of people who don’t already have an iconic representation in cinema.w – El Hosaini
By Gary M. Kramer
‘My Brother the Devil’ pushes cultural boundaries
Sense & Sensibility the Musical May 5 – May 26 1101 13th St. Denver, CO 80204 More info: r DenverCenter.org
Arab film that explores homophobia opens in Denver May 3 My Brother the Devil, opening May 3 at the Chez Artiste Landmark Theatre, is a stunning film about two Egyptian siblings in London. Devilishly handsome Rashid (James Floyd) is involved in a drug dealing gang. He tries to keep his devil-maycare younger brother Mo (Fady Elsayed) out of harm’s way. When Rashid decides he wants out of the drug gang culture, he takes a job offered by photographer Sayyid (Said Taghmaoui), and eventually, unexpectedly, becomes romantically involved with him. Meanwhile, Mo gets involved in the drug gang, much to Rashid’s chagrin. Writer/Director Sally El Hosaini deftly intertwines familiar stories of gang war, Arab tradition and culture in England, and pansexuality. This stylish drama benefits from its authenticity and the palpable bond between the brothers. El Hosaini and Floyd spoke about their outstanding film in separate Skype sessions. From London, El Hosaini, who is half-Egyptian, talked about the impetus to make a film about ethnicity, masculinity, and sexuality. “My instinct was to make heroes out of people who don’t already have an iconic representation in cinema – or any representation.” From Los Angeles, Floyd also addressed the depiction of masculinity in the film, “These guys are extremely homophobic, and yet constantly flirting with one another, constantly hugging around the neck, touching heads…” Floyd described the film as “a love story between two brothers.” He said, “when you’re young, your older brother is a God in your eyes. And then you find out that he’s an imperfect human. Mo finds that Rashid is the worst kind of imperfect in his eyes 24
APRIL 17, 2013
– because he’s gay.” Significantly, My Brother the Devil is not a coming out drama. Rashid’s sexuality is never really discussed. Floyd acknowledged, “He is basically confused like a lot of 19 year olds. He’s exploring himself and that is why he never really comes out.” El Hosaini echoed this point. “There was a huge focus on ‘Is Rashid gay or bi?’ I can’t answer that. He doesn’t know by the end of the film.” Instead, the filmmaker asserted that she concentrated on making a film about a gay Arab gangster and homophobia, “where the blood ties are, and where they are stronger than prejudice.” The actor is amazed that he was cast in a key role. Floyd explained, “I’m the opposite of Rashid. My family is not religious or as poor as Rashid’s family. And I’m not gay. Sally wanted to do the whole ‘City of God’ thing and cast the real guys. All those guys were so homophobic, though, they couldn’t play Rashid. She was forced into casting a professional actor. If it wasn’t for the homophobia in the streets, I wouldn’t be in the film!” To prepare for the role, Floyd admitted he “did everything Rashid would do: boxing, hanging with gangs, eating certain foods, staying up so late.” He also confirmed, “Everything but deal drugs and have sex with Said Taghmaoui!” El Hosaini emphasized that the realism was of the utmost importance to the film’s creation – and success, but said, “It is a fiction, written in realism. My film is an emotional story ... And that allows a space for the psychological aspects of story.” Opens at the Chez Artiste Landmark Theatre May 3. r More info at Landmarktheatres.com. Outfrontonline.com
Spring Showcase May 18 – May 19 South High School 1700 East Louisiana Ave. Denver, CO 80210 More info: r ColoradoBallet.org
Always ... Patsy Cline April 12 – April 20 PACE Center 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue Parker, CO 80138 More info: r PACEcenteronline.org
Dyke March 2012
Only two months till PrideFest! Headliners, Dyke March and more from the hottest LGBT event of the year Colorado is home to the third largest Pride festival in the nation, boasting more than 325,000 LGBT and allied attendees. This year’s packed weekend of parties and venues will be full of surprises. Check out what’s in store for this year’s lineup and events! 2013 headliners Taylor Dayne is a billboard topping artist best know for her hit 1987 single “Tell It To My Heart,” as well as “Love Will Lead You Back” and “Prove Your Love To Me.” Dayne will perform at 5 p.m. Sat., June 15 at the Main Stage in Civic Center Park. Martha Walsh is a legend in dance music hits from the 1982 chart topper “It’s Raining Men” to “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” from 1990. Walsh will perform at 3 p.m.,
Sun., June 16 at the Center Stage in Civic Center. DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR VIP PASS! VIP PrideFest pass–holders will be able to enter the VIP area Saturday, meet headliner Taylor Dayne and enter the VIP area and enjoy an all– new microbrew tasting, food and drinks. Make this year’s PrideFest one for the books! Check out VIP passes at >> ofcnow.co/O6l. Denver Dyke March 5th Anniversary The Denver Dyke March is for women of all sizes, shapes, and affinities for motorcycles, rallying for the cause. The Sat., June 15, invites dykes, queers, lesbians, women–loving–women, gays, trans folks, bisexuals, gender-queers, allies, feminists and all supporters to celebrate the amazing community of women. The festivities will ensue at Blush & Blu, 1526 E. Colfax Ave., where moOutfrOntonline.cOm
torcycles will rally in the back parking lot off of Franklin Street. Don’t miss these other fun highlights for the 2013 PrideFest: • OutWest Country Stage • Latin Stage • Smirnoff Dance World • Family Day (Sat., June 15) with a petting zoo, resources with the youth program, Rainbow Alley • PrideFest Parade – Sun., June 16 • Transgender Resource Area • More than 250 vendors and booths with the best selection in food, arts, crafts, organizations and more! For updated info on Denver PrideFest, r visit glbtcolorado.org/PrideFest.aspx. SoCiAl
APRil 17, 2013
A brief inspection
A behind-the-scenes look at the Boots ‘N Boxers fundraiser By Brandan Rader Sometimes you have to be willing to set aside your self-interests and contribute to a higher cause. That may sometimes imply offering someone the shirt off your back. Occasionally it might even include your shirt, shoes and pants! Do not allow this scarcity to divert you from your mission. Just remember – it’s for a greater good. I am a local model represented by Lincoln Talent Agency. When I heard about the Boots ‘N’ Boxers underwear charity event, I was interested; they happened to be looking for some male models to sport some garments on the runway. The objective is to literally auction the attire right off – in other words, we are debriefed to the highest bidder! The proceeds go to charity. At my casting call at Aqua Lounge, I found out that the audition would be conducted as a preliminary mock auction. It caught me off
guard; my first thought was “good thing I’m manscaped,” followed by “thank god I’m wearing my lucky underwear.” Contestants were brought on stage one at a time to audition. It was then that I realized there wasn’t a dressing room – the first contestant was disrobing on stage. Now, within this industry, one develops into an adroit strategist. Casting directors position obstacles to see how a talent performs in the heat of the moment – one who flies by the seat of her or his pants, so to speak. I was the last contender set to go on stage, and as I prepared to step out I silently tried to boost my morale: “I got passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it, show it... I’m sexy and I know it.” Actually, that LMFAO song was playing out loud. But you get the picture. The evening was a sensation, and I’ve been cast for the main fundraising May 18. So march with me then to the event at Casselman’s, to see the full debriefing!
E V E N T AT A G L A N C E What: Boots N’ Boxers auction and fundraiser with local models When: 7 p.m. till 11 p.m., May 18 Where: Casselman’s Bar and Venue, 2620 Walnut St. More info: r ofcnow.co/AJF
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Pride auditions at Vinyl
Photos by Charles Broshous
Sponsored by Tuaca
A. bLush & blu B. BoyzTown C. Charlies D. Eden
E. R&R F. Tracks G. Wrangler
G C A
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This place is so much more than a bar. It’s a place that helped make our community grow. I think the community will grow, people will open their homes for now, we will have another place to call our own some day soon I hope. – Sandy Gordon, Fort Collins
Front row: Nick Kakelec (white shirt), Kate Bohn, Lesslie Nine
Choice City Shots closes after 16 years serving the Fort Collins LGBT community Article and photographs by Nikki Kushner Choice City Shots, a Fort Collins LGBT bar known generally as “Shots” and launched in February 1997 by Kate Bohn, Nick Kakelec and Lesslie Nine, closed its doors March 30. “We have lost our lease,” Nine explained simply. Bohn shared during an earlier interview that the three founders had hatched the idea for a neighborhood friendly club – a club that would be open to everyone in the community – in 1996. I spent the final night of Shots, a Saturday night, talking with patrons –
some who have been going since opening night, and others who were making their first visit. Visitors from all over Colorado and as far away as New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming were there. A group of Air Force airmen and women from Cheyenne, Wyoming made the drive down to arrive at midnight. The night was full of dancing, laughing and a fair amount of tears, and the venue was packed to capacity with a line at the door. Just before last call, we gathered every one we could squeeze onto the dance floor surrounding Kate, Nick and Lesslie for a group photo. There was one last toast and one last dance before all headed into the night with thoughts, memories and friends.
Bar Wars: Drink to our health!
APRil 17, 2013
IF YOU GO:
Shots will be fired. Bottles will be flung. There will be no prisoners. And all bets are off at Bar Wars. The battle to end all battles (well, at least until next year) to discover who is the best bartender in the West (and to raise money for the Colorado AIDS Project) will begin at 1 p.m., May 19 at Charlie’s, 900 E. Colfax Ave. Bar Wars will feature bartenders from your favorite watering holes in competitions ranging from a signature cocktail to a flair presentation. Each bartender will compete in a series of challenges and you’ll be the judge, tasting each of their concoctions. The winning bartender and bar will win a series of prizes including a weekend at Beaver Run Resort, gift cards and bragging rights for a year. But the ultimate winner will be Colorado AIDS Project. CAP provides services to those living with HIV and AIDS, and free and confidential testing throughout Colorado. The competition begins now at participating bars. Bartenders competing are racking up donations by selling $1 placards to earn points to add to their overall scores. To be a judge at Bar Wars, purchase your wristband on site May 19 at Charlie’s for $10.
What: BAR WARS Where: Charlie’s Denver, 900 E. Colfax Ave. When: 1 p.m., May 19 Why: To sample cocktails and raise money for Colorado AIDS Project How: Tickets are $10 at Charlie’s BARS PARTICIPATING: Black Crown, Blush & Blu, Boyztown, Charlie’s, Eden, Lil’ Devils, Tracks, Wrangler and X Bar
APRIL 17, 2013
on tHe scene
First Friday at Tracks
More photos at ofcnow.co/HJa
aPriL 17, 2013
photos by charles broshous
on tHe scene
Beer Bust at the Denver Wrangler
photos by charles broshous
More photos at ofcnow.co/5vc
aPriL 17, 2013
Karma’s little helper If you know me, I absolutely with her crime, the woman rolled up her I have a nickname for myself: abhor people throwing trash out of window in an attempt to further ignore me, Karma’s Little Helper. I believe in their cars. Cigarette butts make me sealing herself inside her car with a burning karma. If you do bad things, bad lit cigarette. fume. And lit cigarette things will happen to you. If you Now I just waited. I wondered butts light me on fire. do good things, good things will how long it would take for the “That’s not cool,” I happen. Enter stage left, woman to realize she had a scolded her. “Lit cigaThe Bible believes in karma. GaKarma’s Little burning cigarette smoldering in rettes start roadside latians 6:17: “For whatsoever a man Helper. I picked the carpet of her car floor. Since fires.” She just stared soweth, that shall he also reap.” the car already reeked of cigarette coldly ahead. Buddha believes in karma. up that lit smoke, this could take a while. Enter stage left, Udana-Varga 5:18: “Hurt not others Nuclia Waste cigarette The traffic light went from red Karma’s Little Helper. in ways that you yourself would butt and to green and both our lanes of I picked up that lit cigarette butt find hurtful.” tossed it traffic moved forward, only to be Native Americans believe in karma. Black Elk: and tossed it right back into her stopped by more rush hour traffic “All things are our relatives; what we do to every- window. right back about a hundred feet away. Normally, that would have thing, we do to ourselves. All is really One.” into her I could see the woman starting But sometimes karma does not happen as been enough. But karma woke window. to look around. Something was fast as I would like. Sometimes karma needs a up and took it a step further as a amiss. She opened her car door, little push, a helping hand. Enter me, Karma’s result of my helping hand. At the looking for the source of burning moment of my toss, the woman Little Helper. The other day as I was driving home from happened to be looking away. She did not see cigarette AND burning carpet. The traffic broke up and it was time to go. I rode the Denver Tech Center on my scooter during me throw the cigarette back into her car. With rush hour, a lit cigarette was flung at my feet. the sun approaching the western horizon, her off into the sunset with a panicked woman pulling With a red light at the intersection, I had time visor was down, partially blocking her open to the side of the rode in my rear view mirror. Karma’s Little Helper strikes again. to lean over to the woman next to me and say, window. The lit cigarette hit the visor and “Excuse me, I think you dropped your ciga- dropped straight down between the driver’s seat and the car door. The smoking litterbug r Nuclia Waste can be reached through her rette.” website at NucliaWaste.com. For more columns “I KNOW,” she sternly replied. And looked witnessed none of this. Smug in her belief that she had gotten away by Nuclia, visit ofcnow.co/Hx9 straight ahead, ignoring me. BIG mistake.
APRIL 17, 2013
Out Front VIP/QRAVE members receive 20% OFF any purchase of $50 or more. iest consignment store for men carries overstock merchandise from top brands – the likes of Armani and Oxxford and more – plus a wide inventory of secondhand clothes that look and fit as classy and professional as brand-new with their reasonably-priced tailoring on site. It’s the perfect destination for the professional upgrade or long-overdue refresh of a languishing wardrobe for a bargain. While you’re at it, bring in your old suit and see what it’s worth to somebody else! Stop by to scan the selection for anything you need; you just may find yourself coming back, and back, and back – only a fool pays more than he needs to.
In today’s economy, it’s a classic crisis: You need a crisp new suit jacket and slacks to land that new job, but you can’t afford new brand-name apparel until you take home your first paycheck. Maybe your old work clothes still look good as new, but you’ve lost weight and they’re baggy and goofy-looking – and in any case, you want to raise it a notch. You might visit a thrift store to find their picked-over selections worn, styles dated, sleeves unraveled or stained, the measurements off-kilter – hardly the look you want for an ambitious interview and your first week on the job, when you want to make an impression. So many others have been in your shoes, and there’s a solution that doesn’t entail choosing between the look you need to succeed and paying your rent. Instead, enter Dress4Less Clothiers. Denver’s class-
Dress4Less Clothiers is at 3045 S. Broadway, Englewood, Colorado 80110, or learn more at D4less.net.
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Get Your Business Involved In The Qrave Craze! Out Front’s QRAVE program offers exclusive discounts at participating locations across the state. You choose the discount you want to offer to your QRAVE customers – then sit back and watch the people line up at your business! The QRAVE membership is free to Out Front readers who regularly check the QRAVE web page and printed participating business list to determine where to spend their hard-earned dollars.
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Breathe for better health The two–minute relaxation challenge By William Taylor We live in a stressful, fast–changing and busy world. Having the ability to relax can seem impossible on top of everything else we do each day. The following relaxation exercise may help and can be accomplished in two minutes or less. The exercise can be practiced while standing, sitting or lying down. Your eyes can be open or closed. It is better to do while sitting quietly, but can also be done while sitting at a traffic light, waiting in a checkout line or just before you fall asleep. The Two Minute Relaxation Challenge is comprised of three steps. Step one: Focus on your breath. Begin by giving your attention to the breath at the entrance to your nose. Focus on the movement of each and every in–breath and out–breath. If this is not possible, focus on where you feel the breath the strongest, such as your lips, chest, or belly. Always keep the attention to only one area. Try to breathe normally without changing the breath. If thoughts, emotions, or sensations take you away from your breath, this is normal. Our minds are extremely busy and move back and forth between thoughts frequently. As soon as you realize your focus is off the breath, just let go and move your attention back to your breathing. This helps to develop attention on the breath and, over time, will help with relaxation. Step two: Become aware and feel what is happening with your breath. Are you breathing through your mouth or your nose? Are you breathing deep starting low in the belly or shallow starting in your chest? Are the breaths slow or fast, or quiet or rough? If you can become aware of how you’re breathing, it will be easier to let the stress go. Step three: Lengthen, smooth, and quiet the breath. Fast, shallow, and rough breathing triggers stress, while slow, deep, and quiet breathing helps with relaxation. When we
become stressed, the fight or flight response kicks in. This increases our blood pressure, heart rate, and breath rate. If we can lengthen and slow the breath, it can help us to relax. To develop a more relaxed breath, breathe in a breath that fills your lungs with ease, starting low in your belly and working your way up. You want to breathe out to expel the maximum air possible while maintaining a gentle, easy, and comfortable breath, ending low in the belly. Allow your lower ribs to expand on the in–breath and contract with the out–breath. Work to allow your lower ribs to expand and contract all the way around your body and not just in the front. The more you breathe into and out of your belly and expand and contract your lower ribs the more relaxed your breath will become. This exercise can be modified to fit each person’s needs. In the beginning, it may be difficult to focus. In this case it may be better to start with step number three and try to lengthen, quiet, and slow the breath. Then use step number two and become aware of your breathing. If the breath is still fast and rough, you could go back to lengthening the breath. This could go back and forth several times until the breath slows and lengthens and you begin to feel relaxed. You can also do just one of the three steps the entire time. There is no right or wrong way to do this exercise. When I do this exercise, I can feel the relaxing results carrying over throughout the day. If we can spend a few minutes a day with mind and body exercises, we can learn to let stress go and be more relaxed. The key is to do it every day. It is so simple you may think it is of no use – we all breathe, so what is the big deal? Over time, breathing exercises have restored my life and have shown me how to relax and be happier. Try it for yourself, do it every day for a month, and then ask yourself if it has made a difference in your stress level. r For more info, visit finishHealthy.com.
APRIL 17, 2013
The United Church of Christ, Whoever you are and wherever you are on lifeâ€™s journey, you are welcome here. ARVADA First United Church www.arvadacc.org
BOULDER First Congregational UCC www.firstcong.net
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BOULDER Community UCC
APRIL 17, 2013
To locate an open and affirming church near you, go to: ofcnow.co/ucc
The gay aesthetic
BEAUTY By Kelsey Lindsey, the Boulderite Beauty
Ditch the zits for good: adult acne cures and fixes It’s one of the biggest annoyances of adult life: You’ve survived the gym classes and cliques of high school, yet you still are breaking out like your old, angst–ridden teenage self. You’re not alone. Studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that 50 percent of women (sorry men, data are still out on you guys) will suffer from acne at some point in their adult years. Seeing that we’re all in this together, the first step in treatment is identifying the factors that lead to those pesky bumps and splotches. As with many skin conditions, diet can affect the amount of insulin and oil your body produces, leading to the inevitable, dreaded zits. Foods like candy, chips, and soda that rank high on the glycemic index cause your blood sugar to spike quickly, making your body pump out extra insulin and oil. Consider cutting down on these harmful foods, replacing them instead with low– glycemic foods like squash, sweet potatoes, and whole grains. Stress is also a factor in acne. It can worsen acne through a release of inflammatory chemicals and hormonal changes. Both of these lead to the kind of acne everyone dreads – big, red (not to mention painful) pimples that seem to love sticking around for weeks and weeks. To prevent flare ups, find an activity that can help lower your anxiety the next time you have a big deadline at work, whether it be yoga, a run, or catching a chick flick with your friends. Both your skin and your sanity will thank you.
If organic fixes like changing your diet and lowering your stress aren’t showing noticeable improvement, there are skin products and treatments specifically formulated to fight adult acne. Rather than targeting the acne of your youth, which forms more on the nose and forehead, these treatments focus on the jawline and neck, areas more prone to acne in adult years. Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment ($18, kiehls.com) dries clear and targets blackheads and acne blemishes. Neutrogena’s On-The-Spot Acne Treatment ($5.99, Target) contains a smaller amount of Benzoyl Peroxide than other acne treatments, preventing the irritating drying and redness that other cures may cause. For a high–tech fix, the Zeno Hot Spot ($40, Drugstores) targets bacteria in the pimple with its heated tip, reducing its size and inflammation. The Bliss PoreFector Gadget ($175, blissworld.com) emits sonic waves over the skin to break up and remove dirt and oil, leaving skin exfoliated and free of dead skin. Combining both lifestyle changes and adult acne treatments can liberate you of your blemish woes, leaving those troublesome bumps where they belong – in the past, between the covers of your high school yearbook. r Reach Kelsey by email at Kelsey@ OutFrontOnline.com. For more beauty, visit ofcnow.co/dgw. Outfrontonline.com
APRIL 17, 2013
APRIL 17, 2013
By Jonathan McGrew
Battle of the luxury brands: BMW v. Cadillac It seems like there is always a fierce competition among groups. Our two competitors are the 2013 BMW 335i X-Drive and the 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The question: Is there a real American made competitor to the BMW 3-Series? Enthusiasts are already raising a red flag because the 2.0T and the 335i are a little mismatched on power, but just hang in there with us. Let’s take a look at the 2013 BMW 335i X-Drive first – after all, it is a standard in the compact sport luxury sedan market. The 2013 BMW 335i X-Drive is an impressive machine with a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo in-line 6-cylinder engine that produces 300-hp and puts it to the road through the X-Drive AWD system. It is built for high performance and will sprint to 60 mph from a dead stop in about 4.8 seconds –and that is with the automatic STEPTRONIC. Ironically the manual is 0.3 seconds slower. The 335i is more than just a performance machine; it has an air of craftsmanship associated with the finer things in life and it is packed with the latest technology. All of this comes at a hefty price; as tested it tips the scales at $56,145. That is pretty inflated from the $45,150 starting price of the 335i, but you do get some cool options like
Heads Up Display, side and top view cameras, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, a sunroof and navigation, to name a few. To contrast, the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a new offering from the American luxury brand. Even though I had the 2.0T, the ATS model line-up tops out at just over $55K; right near the BWM 335i’s $56K price tag. The most remarkable thing about the ATS is the attention to detail and the design. The interior is available in a hand cut and sewn leather with Morello Red and Jet Black. It has an 8” full color touchscreen display. Moreover, it has a key fob and push button start, LED accent lighting that comes up the front fenders for a dramatic presentation and light up door handles. Even though our test car had the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 272-hp, you can get the ATS with the same 3.6-liter V6 engine known to CTS owners – and the 321-hp. The Cadillac’s as tested MSRP: $48,375. So where is the contrast? The bottom-line is this; if you are looking for the status of a BMW, then only the 3-Series (in any form) will do. And you can get into one starting at about $33K for a 320i. In the end, the winner is who ever makes their customer happy. Outfrontonline.com
APRIL 17, 2013
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Good food for a good cause:
Denver celebrates Dining Out for Life April 25
By Kristin Ziegler Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Indeed, a healthy diet is imperative to a vital life, a truth recognized by Project Angel Heart. Since 1991, the organization has been delivering nutritious prepared meals to those living with HIV/AIDS and other lifethreatening illnesses free of charge. This year, Project Angel Heart looks forward to proudly serving nearly a half of a million meals to 2,000 residents of the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs – with your help. These meals are healthy, balanced, prepared with love, delivered with love by almost 10,000 passionate volunteers and are funded almost entirely by individual donations. Project Angel Heart will be participating in Dining Out for Life, a national event that helps local HIV/AIDS charities raise funds to continue serving their communities, Thursday, April 25. This annual fundraiser is a fun, easy, and delicious way to help the dedicated organization raise money for its $2 million a year operation. Those interested in “donating” must simply eat out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at any of the 300 participating Dining Out restaurants in the Denver and Boulder areas on that day, and 25% of the bill will automatically benefit Project Angel Heart. Participating restaurants include most Anthony’s Pizza and Wahoo’s locations, LGBTQ hot spot Hamburg42
APRil 17, 2013
er Mary’s, and local favorites such as Steuben’s and Watercourse. This year, diners will be able to download a free Dining Out guide app courtesy of Forkly, a bar and restaurant review app. Not only will this app enable customers to find nearby participating restaurants, but will include food, drink, and service critiques by others who are Dining Out. In addition to raising funds via dinner bills, Dining Out for Life teamed up with Denver’s own celebrated fashion designer and 2012 Project Runway: All-Stars winner Mondo Guerra to create a special limited edition tee shirt to commemorate this year’s event. Mondo Guerra in the shirt he designed for sale at pro jectangel heart.org
Guerra, who shared his own story as a person living with HIV on Project Runway, is dedicated to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. “I was so afraid of the backlash and how people were going to react, but there was this outpouring of love and support from the community at large,” Guerra told Dining Out for Life. “I really felt like it was my responsibility to continue this conversation on HIV/AIDS and that is why I have become an advocate for the cause. Dining Out for Life is our opportunity to celebrate friends, food and being truly fabulous in helping others.” For more information on Project Angel Heart and Dining Out for Life, or to purchase one of Mondo Guerra’s shirts, please visit r ProjectAngelHeart.org
Denver’s Downtown apartment construction boom By Ken Schroeppel For those of you who live, work or hang out in central Denver, you may have noticed significant multifamily residential development going on. In other words: a ton of new apartment buildings being built in and around Downtown. So what’s up with that? If you’re looking to rent close to Downtown, this is good news. The apartment vacancy rate in Denver is currently very low – around 5 percent – so it can be difficult to find a decent place to rent in the city. Denver’s low vacancy rate can be attributed to three factors: First, for most of the 2000s before the recession, for-sale condo developments were the big thing, leaving less rental apartment construction than normal. Then, during the recession when little housing of any kind was built, Denver was number one in the country for in–migration of 25 to 34 year olds. (The explanation seemed to be: If you’re going to be unemployed anyway, you might as well live in a cool place!) Finally, a 2011 national study found that 88 percent of the Millennial generation (those born between 1981 and 2000) now coming of age prefer to live in urban areas rather than suburbs. These factors where a perfect storm of pent–up demand for
benefits. There’s been a chicken-and-egg conunrental housing in Denver’s urban core. The downside? A lot of the new rental housing is drum for many years for Denver’s potential urban expensive. Many new projects are targeted at $2 per dwellers: Retailers that sell the goods Downtown resisquare foot, meaning that if you want to rent a 1,000 dents need – groceries, home furnishings and general household items – often won’t locate a store in an square-foot apartment, you’ll pay $2,000 a month. The upside? What you pay for housing can be area without enough “rooftops” nearby. But unless offset by lower transportation costs. People often those residential–supportive retailers are already underestimate the cost of transportation, which is there, many people are hesitant to move nearby. The current housing boom in second only to housing Downtown Denver – more in the average person’s People often underestimate the cost than 6,000 residential units living expenses. Your car of transportation, which is completed or under conpayment, fuel, routine second only to housing struction since the start of maintenance, repairs, in2012 – may put us past the surance, parking, taxes, as a component of the tipping point where more fines and licensing fees, average person’s living retailers will open shop it really adds up. Living expenses. in the Downtown area, near Downtown means a stimulating more demand better chance of being able to bike, walk, or take transit to your job or social life, for housing, which will encourage more retailers to saving money and offsetting the cost of living in the locate Downtown, and so on. Every day, more people are choosing an urban city center. Fortunately, options like Denver B-cycle, car-sharing, and Denver’s expanding transit options lifestyle. (RTD’s West Line opens this month!) make it increasKen Schroeppel is the founder of Denver Infill and ingly easier to get around without having to drive. New housing in the urban core provides other Denver Urbanism. r More at DenverInfill.com.
APRIL 17, 2013
This is what queer marriage looks like Cyndi Adams and Danielle Jordan By Robyn Vie-Carpenter
CA: I cried.
Civil unions in Colorado mean that LGBT relationships are more out in the open than ever before, but we were getting “married” in the eyes of each other and our communities long before the state recognized same-sex relationships. Out Front will highlight a series of LGBT couples who have jumped the broom, tied the knot, got hitched or took the plunge – Danielle Jordan and her wife Cyndi Adams tell us their story first.
DJ: I’m not really a crier. It was a very sweet moment and I had most of my favorite people there; my best friend showed up later and I got to share the news with him in person. It was a really great day.
Robyn Vie-Carpenter: Let’s start with how you met. Danielle Jordan: There was a website at one time called connexion.org RVC: I didn’t know women were on that site! DJ: I know – we were the only two [laughs]. I saw Cyndi’s profile and it was very positive. So I asked her to connect with me. We emailed back and forth a couple of times and decided to meet. Cyndi Adams: We had dinner, four dates, fell in love and got married.
CA: We dated for about a year. Then we moved in together for another year. Then we decided to commit and be a family. RVC: Who proposed? CA: I asked Danielle. We went to Illinois to meet with her family – family is very important to us. I made T-shirts for each member of her family to wear. One said “Will,” another said “you,” another “marry” and finally “me.” I had them all walk out in a row, then presented her with the ring. RVC: Did you cry? APRIL 17, 2013
DJ: Cyndi did the planning. CA: It was a joint effort. We wanted a ceremony because we both believe it’s very important to mark the major events in your life, and to make an announcement to the world and share with our family. We got the minister from our church to do it. We found our favorite French restaurant had an extra room for events, and rented a dance floor and hung up some crystal balls and twinkle lights. RVC: What was the ceremony like? CA: It was a pretty regular ceremony. We both wore white dresses and walked in with our attendants and our parents. The minister said a prayer and we exchanged rings – DJ: (interrupts) – Vows –
RVC: How did it come together?
RVC: Who planned the wedding?
CA: Yes vows, kissed each other, and then had a party. We danced all night long. DJ: We walked down two separate aisles, Cyndi with her parents and I was walked down with my parents. RVC: Was anyone in your families opposed to your marriage?
DJ: As soon as we left the party, it was like, wow this feels new. Binding ourselves in that ceremony, recognized by our family and friends. It was honestly and truly a marriage. CA: It’s like, this is it. This is not just “somebody that I’m exclusive with,” this is us. We are completely one together. It does feel very different. RVC: Do you think that if “gay marriage” was legal we’d be more committed as a community? CA: I don’t think so. The heart knows what it wants. Yet as long as we don’t have marriage [equality] – not civil unions but marriage – then we’re [seen as] different. I want the rest of the world to understand we are a married couple. RVC: Since your ceremony wasn’t technically legal and binding, have you done a lot of legal work to make it such? CA: Still some things to do, but yes we started. DJ: We found out through the process there’s always a next thing. It’s very important for people to understand that even with civil unions there is so much more that gay or non-traditional couples need to do legally to have rights. We have quite a few steps to go, estate planning, talking to attorneys, that’s all part of the process. RVC: If civil unions were completely equal to marriage as far as the law was concerned, but still called civil unions, would you be OK with that? CA & DJ: [Simultaneously] No!
CA: No. We are blessed. I have been in two other lesbian weddings; at one, one side of the family didn’t show up. It was very sad. Both of our families showed up and were very supportive.
CA: Because this is not to say that we haven’t decided that we’re going to support the movement forward by getting civil unioned. We will.
RVC: Does being married feel different?
DJ: Yeah, we will.
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: ColoradoAIDSProject.org 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: COAVP.org 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 summer. Get involved/More info: CGRA.ws Babes around denver Babes Around Denver is a social group focused on connecting the female community. Check out the monthly First Friday celebrations at Tracks! Get involved/More info: BabesArounDenver.com 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: Rmarts.org/DGMC.php 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. Get involved/More info: DenverGayProfessionals.com 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: FrontRangeBears.org
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: GicOfColo.org Hip chicks out Hip Chicks Out is a social group for women. 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: HipChicksOut.com Hrc colorado The Human Rights Campaign in Colorado fights for equality for all LGBT people. HRC is always looking for more volunteers. Get involved/More: HRC.org/states/Colorado 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: KeshetOnline.org 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: MHFB.org 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: ProjectAngelHeart.org 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 puts on Denver’s annual PrideFest and parade. Get involved/More info: GLBTColorado.org
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h t l a e h f o A decade ivism care act Fighting for equal access to healthcare Back in my day would have been about 2001 when I first got involved in the fight for gay rights and more importantly, equal access to healthcare. I have been HIV positive for 25 years now. I got involved with an organization in San Diego called CHAANGE (California HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network Grassroots Evolution). About that time, Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California and threatened to cut funding for ALL social services 10 percent across the board. One of the programs that was relatively new then was called ADAP, and was the only way that a lot of people were able to be able to afford their medications. And now they were being faced with having to choose between their medications or buying food. So we mobilized as an advocacy group and made appointments with all the legislators in Sacramento to try and educate them about HIV and AIDS in their districts. The vast majority of them would tell us that “Oh no, it does not exist in my district” and decline our offer. Since we did not give up and kept at it though, the Governor not only did not cut the ADAP funding, but actually gave it a bit more funding. Hooking up in 1987 in Boise Idaho Cruising and hooking up was no easy matter in 1987, before there were phone lines, the internet, or mobile phones. When I turned 18 some friends of mine drove me from Boise, Idaho to Seattle to visit a place called Club Seattle. It was a bathhouse, and I tell you, I had a lot of fun. It became a fun way to “let loose” on the weekends, when all my other friends were starting college or a new job for the summer, I was driving 8 hours on the weekends to meet men in the only way I knew how. There was also a park in Boise, and the way you cruise in a park is you drive around the park until you find someone you think may be a willing partner and then you park your car by them and wait for some signal that talking is OK. Negotiations were made to determine where to meet up. I met my first boyfriend this way. Deric Stowell is originally from a small farming community in Idaho called Homedale. He moved to California in 1988 after attending college at Boise state University in Boise Idaho. He has recently moved to Pueblo from San Diego California. He is now a trout bum and the Garden Coordinator with the Miracle Community Garden in South Pueblo.
Deric Stowell ONE OF THE PROGRAMS THAT WAS RELATIVELY NEW THEN WAS CALLED ADAP, AND
WAS THE ONLY WAY THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD THEIR MEDICATIONS. AND NOW THEY WERE BEING FACED WITH HAVING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR MEDICATIONS OR BUYING FOOD.
Back in MY day… Got a story, memory or reflection to share from way back when? Let us know about it! Email email@example.com with a story with “back in my day” in the subject line to have it considered for print! 46
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APRIL 17, 2013
to accent furniture you already own, or add a hammock or outdoor rocking chair, hurricane candles, new cushions and umbrellas. “Make it as cozy as your living room,” Short said. Just choose outdoor friendly material, such as polyester.
By Noelle Leavitt Riley
Sprucing up your patio for summertime festivities “Analyze your site for the physical conditions of the sun and then look at how you’re going to use that space,” she said. e Patio furniture and accessories An inexpensive way to add color to outdoor living spaces is by buying bright pillows and rugs. “Really hot colors this season are lime green and jewel tones. If you add those colors to a beige or gray furniture, it really changes the look,” said Lesley Short, marketing manager for Lehrer Fireplace and Patio. “We’ve also found a way of mixing and matching old furniture styles and adding newer pieces.” For example, rather than buying a new patio furniture set, purchase an outdoor coffee table
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Summertime grants opportunities to entertain, relax and cook outside with friends and family, but don’t send party invitations before cleaning the patio and bumping the decor and tranquility up a notch. Finding the right patio furniture and accessories to fit individual lifestyles can be a fun way to get the season going. Whether it is fire pits, water fountains or furniture, there’s a plethora of options to spruce up your outdoor space. First things first: clean up the patio area from fall and winter, cut and fertilize the grass and trim plants around the yard before purchasing or renovating the patio, suggests Barbara Figlio, who runs Barbara Figlio Landscape Architecture in Denver.
APRIL 17, 2013
e Grills and fire pits Whether you live in an apartment or a house, fire pits and grills are a must, Short said. “We find adding something with fire to the patio adds a lot of ambiance,” she said, noting that even apartment dwellers can purchase mini-fire pits to place on top of a dining table. Most fire pits and grills these days are ignited with propane or natural gas, which is much safer than wood or coal burning devices, Short said. “The best thing for a small patio is to have a simple 24 inch round table with two chairs for dining and relaxing,” she said. “We sell really tiny fire pits that you can set on top of these small tables. We also have smaller grills for apartment living.” For those who have a house with a large backyard and patio, consider investing in a fire pit that sits inside a marble table, allowing guests to dine right next to the fire. Or invest in BBQ/grill islands, that come fully equipped with a grill, a refrigerator, counter tops and cupboards. “Even on decks, we can build outdoor kitchens and fire pits,” said Joe Nguyen, president of Dream Makers Landscape Outdoor Living and Design. “We also do lighting. That’s going to be the least expensive way to light up your backyard.” e Water, sound and wildlife Water fountains, koi ponds and bird baths can all add new levels of tranquility to your outdoor living area. “Sometimes the sound of water can take you away from traffic noises,” Figlio said, adding that if you live in the city, consider adding a fountain or wind chimes. Bird baths and hummingbird feeders are another option to bring life to your backyard. “Water really attracts wildlife, flowers and butterflies,” Figlio said. Fill large colorful pots with flowers to lift the spirit of your space, she said.
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APRIL 17, 2013
APRIL 17, 2013
ASK THe SeXPeRT
“Zero feet away” –
hooking up on Grindr By Lauren Archuletta I’ve written about the role of technology in our sex lives, but the elephant in the room is Grindr – and the reality of “zero feet away.” Months ago I was barhopping with friends in Fort Collins when a member of our group expressed his phone battery was dying, his dismay that his Grindr conversation would come to an all-too-soon stop. I downloaded the app and lent him my phone so he could enter his own login and have at it again. I wasn’t aware of all the app’s features, assuming it was just another one of countless social media options to connect through, this one for an LGBT audience. I knew used it for love connections and booty calls – but what I didn’t know is that the app zeroes in on the proximity of the individual you’re “grinding” with. Rather – it tells you the exact distance of all the other Grindr users in your area, making it really easy to identify the most convenient potential date, followed by the most convenient backup plan and so forth. So imagine my surprise when my friend said that someone he was connecting with was “five feet away.” 52
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Grindr has just celebrated its fourth birthday and is used in more than roughly 200 countries worldwide. Up to 190,000 international users are logged into the app at any given moment, the company claims. The implications are controversial. Drew Nelson, a graduating 21–year-old Colorado State University student, said he’s made good friends using Grindr and keeps contact with them still. And though many of the app’s users connect to chat or make friends, for others it’s an opportunity to push the limits of social acceptability around sexual propositioning, with less risk of rejection or embarrassment since you can stay anonymous until you find someone willing to move at your pace. When that happens, apparently everybody speeds it up. According to a New York Community Healthcare Network study, Grindr is becoming a search engine for gay men to find unprotected sex. “Even though I’ve never actually done it, I’ve been approached on Grindr about it [barebacking],” said Jesse Montoya of Denver. The study, “Zero Feet Away: Perspective on HIV/ AIDS and Unprotected Sex in Men Who Have Sex With Men Utilizing Location-based Mobile Apps” focuses on the direct correlation between applications like Grindr and HIV transmission. The study found that 80 percent of the 725 respondents admitted to knowing how HIV is transmitted, and that 46.4 percent admitted to having unprotected/bareback sex “sometimes,” “often” or “always.” In other words, users knew the risks, but many were doing it anyway. And while risky casual meetups are nothing new, they might be getting more common. “HIV and AIDS is on the rise and that’s alarming,” said CHN Vice President of HIV Programs in a press release regarding the study. “We conducted this study as a result of a seeming correlation between an increasing use of mobile social networking apps designed for men to meet each other and an increase in HIV infections among men who have sex with men.” Grindr conducted its own study of its users (take its findings for what you will) and reported that 28 percent of those who use Grindr are “most addicted” to it out of any mobile app, ranking it just behind Facebook on mobile, to which 30 percent were “most addicted.” According to the CHN’s study, more than 70 percent of the Grindr’s users said they were comfortable with sharing personal information, including preferences around unprotected sex. “I know people that use Grindr specifically to find partners in their area that would be interested in having unprotected sex,” Montoya said. Times sure have changed. In 2013 we have a greater chance of meeting our soul mate online – something that was seen as awkward or unusual a decade ago. The way we meet our sexual partners has changed too, removing barriers around starting conversations that leapfrog over inhibitions. While social networking technology might be a great equalizer between the socially–outgoing and those who are more inhibited, we should consider the consequences of reverting back to a time of great crisis, when HIV/AIDS cases were multiplying rapidly in the 1980s. Grind safe, friends. r Email Lauren at Lauren.email@example.com. For more editorials on sexuality, visit ofcnow.co/ltS. OutfrOntonline.cOm
Beyond 50 Hi Shanna,
I’m a lesbian in my late 50s, and have already gone through “the change” (that’s menopause, for those not in the know). I noticed that there are some differences both physically and with my sex drive, and was wondering if you had any advice on how to re-set my “on” button. Needing Lube and a Tune Up in Longmont
Dear Needing Lube and a Tune Up – Welcome to the wonderful world of sexuality, where your physiology and your psychology change many times through your lifespan. Many women of any sexual orientation report two big changes around their sexuality during and after menopause: one is producing significantly less natural lubricant, and the other a decreased sex drive. If these are issues for you, here are some solutions. First, swing by your friendly Fascinations, Romantix or even Babeland.com to pick up a bottle or two of lube. For lube more similar to your natural lubricant (and compatible with all sex toys) stick with a water–based lube, preferably glycerin free since many women have glycerin sensitivities. Regarding sex drive, my first question is whether it bothers you. If you’re happy with your level of interest and arousal, than you are doing fine, even if it is less than it used to be. But if your changed sex drive (or lack of) bothers you, one option is to talk to your doctor about HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or look up natural and herbal remedies to get your hormones back in balance. Another option is redefining what sensuality, intimacy and sex mean to you. Maybe you’re not up for five-hour sex sessions, but five-hour massages or one–hour sex sessions still work. Others have found that being active increases sex drive, so consider taking up running, yoga, roller derby or some other form of exercise that interests you. Happy to hear you’re still exploring your sexuality. – Shanna Shanna Katz, M.Ed, ACS is a board certified sexologist. She believes strongly in open source, accessible sexuality education. r For more info, please visit ShannaKatz.com
Getting in the mood to be social
d Dear Brent,
My social skills are not at the level I want them to be to connect with people. I’ve been reading your column for a long time and you are always pushing people to meet up in person to develop friendships and relationships, but I don’t feel that I have the confidence to even begin trying to connect. What suggestions do you have to get me started?
I grew up an extremely awkward, introverted kid with questionable self-esteem. Unfortunately it carried into most of my early adulthood. I was jealous of people who seemed to navigate social encounters, surrounded by great friends, existing in their environments without looking uncomfortable. Eventually I learned that not only was I not alone, I could work to acquire social skills to connect and feel better about my life. There are many perspectives about how to do this. In my experiences, your mindset approaching difficult or uncomfortable situations is one of the most important aspects determining the outcome. Here are some suggestions to get your head in a good place before your mouth opens. A good technique when feeling stress or anxiety when socializing is simply to breathe. Without oxygen, your body doesn’t function correctly and the stress can cause an increasing cycle of internal freak–out. Take in a few deep breaths; with every full exhale, envision that the feelings of being a socially–awkward dude are
remember that we all leaving your body. With have our insecurities. every inhale, replace Most people are insecure those insecure thoughts about something, though and perceptions with some are better than the energy of confidence others at covering it up. about who you are, your You can use the fact to interests, and that you’re your advantage by rea rockin’ person. Not minding yourself that we only will this help replace all struggle with finding negative thoughts and our place in the universe. feelings, but slow your Brent Heinze A positive mindset body and mind down. You can do this in the car, outside a will benefit you more than any cheesy building, in a bathroom stall or covertly pickup line or gimmick. There are within a group of people. Slowing almost no guarantees about anything your breathing, heart rate, and racing in this world, but getting your mind thoughts can help you avoid showing and body in alignment before challenging yourself to be social is a anxiety or discomfort. Your mindset has an impact on great idea. I will keep providing tips your body language, including how and tricks in helping people become you stand, look at others and whether more successful engaging socially. you clench your jaw. A composure Keep in mind that before any of these that comes from feeling insecure puts skills are truly effective, you’ll have out a non-verbal “stay away” to others to take care of the awkward kid that around you, misinterpreted as stand- lives in all of us. offish or arrogant. It can reinforce your feelings of being socially undesir- Brent Heinze, LPC, is a licensed profesable and unsuccessful since people are sional counselor. r Email to Perspec thinking you don’t like them. Always tiveShift@yahoo.com.
APRIL 17, 2013
Envisioned by Boberto
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