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VOL. XXXVII ISSUE #10 August 21, 2013 t

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CONTENTS COVER STORY: FOR COLORADO STUDENTS, IT GETS BETTER: A REPORT CARD ON ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES

16 SO LIV FO CUS CIAL ING 6 7 9 11 14 15

Letter From The Editor Speak Out News Panel Voices The Lesbian Socialite Bleed Like Me

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22 24 26 27 28 31

Food For Thought High Society Bar Tab Bar Map Radioactive Vision On The Scene

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37 Metropolitan 28 Beauty 40 Big Toys 42 Back In The Day 44 Sexuality 45 HeinzeSight

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On the cover: Jeremy Mathis, Kathryn Mathis and Coy Mathis // Cover photography by Hans Rosemond // www.HansRosemond.com 4

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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: info@outfrontonline.com Web: OutFrontOnline.com Facebook: facebook.com/OutFrontColorado Twitter: @OutFrontCO Out Front 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 SARA DECKER / Director of Operations Email: Sara@outfrontonline.com JEFF JACKSON SWAIM / Chief Strategist Email: Jeff@outfrontonline.com

EDITORIAL NIC GARCIA / Executive Editor Email: Nic@outfrontonline.com MATTHEW PIZZUTI / Features Editor Email: Matt@outfrontonline.com KRISTIN ZIEGLER / Editorial intern 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 O’Connell, Kristin Ziegler, Steve Cruz, Rob Barger, Lauren Archuletta.

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ART SARA DECKER / Creative Director Email: Sara@outfrontonline.com DENEE PINO / Creative Strategist CHARLES BROSHOUS / Photographer

DISTRIBUTION: Out Front Colorado’s print publication is available semi-monthly, free of charge in Colorado, one copy per person. Additional copies of Out Front Colorado may be purchased for $3.95 each, payable in advance at Out Front Colorado offices located at 3535 Walnut Street, Denver CO, 80205. Out Front Colorado is delivered only to authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of Out Front Colorado, take more than one copy of Out Front Colorado. Any person who takes more than one copy may be held liable for theft, including but not limited to civil damages and or criminal prosecution.

COPYRIGHT & LIMIT OF LIABILITY: Reproduction of editorial, photographic or advertising content without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Advertisers are responsible for securing rights to any copyrighted material within their advertisements. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims of advertisers and reserves the right to reject any advertising. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or advertising is not to be considered an indication of the sexual orientation or HIV status of such person or organization. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of materials submitted. OPINIONS EXPRESSED are not necessarily those of OUT FRONT COLORADO, its staff or advertisers.

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FROM THE EDITOR

Acknowledging our humanness

I think a lot of us are still walking around with scars from growing up LGBT. Developing self-identity as all young people do, our best pictures of the life we were growing into were only our quiet, uncertain fantasies — reality as an accepted and adjusted LGBT adult was still beyond the horizon. It didn’t leave much emotional grounding to cope with the adversity many of us went through. Many of us felt like we were the only one. Many of us had secret plans to stay in the closet forever. Many of us were conflicted echo chambers for malicious comments we heard, hoping that embodying the world’s rejection of LGBT people would gain us a status of normalcy. And if we encountered an openly lesbian or gay adult role model, she or he often seemed unrelatable — too alien to the culture and prejudices we were immersed in; we thought I hope I’m not that. Among those courageous enough to come out young, or who were never completely able to hide who they are in the first place, many of us faced bullying, rejection and fear of violence, only learning as adults the extent to which we’d never really been alone in those experiences. We now know we can grow beyond those issues, and even be gifted by past and present challenges with a sense of insight and grace we couldn’t have gotten otherwise. But there are lingering fears and sore 6

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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS:

spots. Our cover story tracks critical success and achievement. It makes progress in improving school climate sense that it would, as it’s known for Colorado’s LGBT students, but that outcomes can be stunted for also reveals how universal it is for students from all marginalized LGBT kids to be bullied. A nation- groups. So I find it interesting how wide 2011 survey of LGBT students rarely I’ve seen an LGBT adult say found an overwhelming majority, her or his own personal success 82 percent, are harassed for their — economically or otherwise — has been hindered by prejudice, sexual orientation. That’s certainly not new; we whether by past trauma, workwitnessed it back when we were place discrimination or anything in school. But how often in our else. The majority say no; of conversations about queer youth course those things hurt LGBT facing bullying do we hear LGBT people but not me. It’s not something you can argue adults say, yeah, once that was me? That’s sort of awkward and embar- with on a case-by-case basis; everyrassing to talk about, right? body’s experiences are different I don’t think that hesitance is just and I’m no authority on yours. But because we’ve done so well moving the denial seems too common to fit on, but also because our youthful our statistical knowledge of what experiences sent ripples through LGBT people deal with. I’m asking our adult lives. We worry they’d be this honestly because I truly want perceived as an ongoing weakness to understand: why do we feel the — so we pose as too strong, too cool, need to be so stoic? too well-adjusted, too popular now I think that for a lot of LGBT to have ever been that kid who, people, the recent national focus yes, actually did on LGBT youth care what people and bullying has It’s inspiring to thought, and been cathartic. It who was, yes, has been for me. see the parents changed, even It’s inspiring to of Coy Mathis so traumatized by see the parents some of the worst of Coy Mathis so passionate about moments. passionate about the well-being of In all our the well-being their trans daughter, of their trans sympathy for LGBT youth, recdaughter, and the and the victories ognizing that their victories they’ve they’ve had. isolation can be had. As adults we really damaging, wouldn’t expect we talk about their challenges in ourselves to endure a workplace or third-person as if “it gets better” environment where we feel always means we’ve now erased having guarded because of threats and haalso been that kid who felt anxious rassment; we’d quit, or even sue and inferior, whose relationships or press charges. But LGBT youth might still be disrupted sometimes — who lack not only the ability to by those memories — that kid who choose their environment but the might’ve become hypersensitive to coping skills of maturity — used rejection, or distracted from more to be told it’s just how the world advantageous pursuits in life by works, “just kids being kids.” We rambling quests for recognition know it’s not, and are thankful it’s and belonging. starting to change. It’s awkward to bring those experiences up, even in safe spaces, as if people would suddenly wonder whether there was some truth to what a bunch of high school kids thought of us years ago and start secretly seeing us the same way they did. Our cover story also mentions Reach features editor Matthew Pizzuti how being bullied leads to measurby email at matt@outfrontonline.com, able detriments in LGBT students’ phone 303- 477-4000 ext. 712.

CONNECT WITH MATTHEW

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ROBYN VIE-CARPENTER, “The Lesbian Socialite,” is a columnist who also interviews movers and shakers, culture-makers and romantic couples with a story to tell (she’s happily married herself). e See her interview with hip-hop artist Eve on Page 32.

JEFF STEEN, writes Out Front’s food column “Food for Thought” (Page 22) as well as cover stories and other features. He’s a regular churchgoer and passionate about the places where food, culture and spirituality intersect. When he’s not writing, find him cycling, cooking or tasting wines of every stripe.


SPEAKOUT

d ‘‘

Whatever it is, I am adapting to this new gay generation’s family values, the “new gay American Dream.” But I still love bar crawls, shirtless parades, hot pants and poppers. I want to be a part of a community that still celebrates the sexual liberation that was the ’70s queer discourse, protest and thought. I don’t want that alternative space removed from my alternative sexual community.

Aspire, but don’t assimilate By Kelly Lemieux

I SPIRITUALLY LEFT MY FAMILY BEHIND 30 YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS 13. I TOOK UP ACTING AND POETRY AND BOYFRIENDS. As a young gay man, I witnessed groups like Focus on the Family turn families against their gay youth. Their hate speech, dressed in Sunday finest, about gay men, hurt me and so many others. Focus on the Family is not my idea of family values. I didn’t think it was the LGBT community’s idea of family values either. So imagine my surprise when I learned the theme of Denver’s PrideFest this year was “Focus on our Families,” a complete lift of the Colorado Springs–based religious right brand. I was speechless. Was the theme ironic? Was the theme reclaiming a core value by turning the Christian right–wing group’s title into a slogan? Yes. I could see politico queens in the city getting the joke. But it makes me fear that everything I love about gay culture is dead or being pushed out of the way. Long live family values. We’re queer, we’re impressionable and we’ve accepted the propaganda of a hate group. And that’s no joke.

Staring back at me now in LGBT media are images of gay families, smiling children, allies: the very images of oppression and dullness I left behind in high school to join my friends downtown for queer prom, late night cafés and cruising at Cheesman Park in my boyfriend’s truck. This gay family subgroup of the LGBT community seems to me to have an outsized influence on imagery — shoehorning a majority of gay men who are city dwellers and singletons and bar–hopping young couples into a family values image factory created by this minority. Never before has such heterosexual imagery been present in the gay community. Maybe these conservative values and images of the gay community are helping us get past the years of the AIDS crisis? Maybe we as queers adopt the majority–heterosexual population’s image and value set so they won’t commit hate crimes against us or think of us as diseased deviants? Perhaps we’re hoping that gay men will no longer be posited in conservative iconography as the dangerous stranger, the antithesis of family. Whatever it is, I am adapting to this new gay generation’s family values, the “new gay American Dream.” But I still love bar crawls, shirtless parades, hot pants and poppers. I want to be a part of a community that still celebrates the sexual liberation that was the ’70s queer discourse, protest and thought. I don’t want that alternative space removed from my alternative sexual community.

Speak for yourself. Email your 400 word essay to speakout@outfrontonline.com OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

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embrace the LIGHT

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#COMARRIAGE Y AS LABOR UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS WORK TO INTEGRATE COLORADO’S 2013 CIVIL UNIONS LAW INTO THEIR POLICIES, IT’S STILL UNCLEAR WHETHER CERTAIN LGBT COUPLES WILL BE GRANTED THE SAME EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AFFORDED TO MARRIED COUPLES HERE. David Smith, a Grand Junction grocery store employee in a civil union with his partner Ron Zotto, is waiting on the outcome of on an upcoming meeting between his labor union, his employer’s parent company and two other major grocery store chains to see how and when he and many other lesbian and gay workers in Colorado will be able to add their partners to their employee health insurance. Since 1981 Smith has worked at City Market, a store owned by Kroger — known throughout most of Colorado as King Soopers — which began offering employee benefits to samesex partners in 2001, but only to nonunion employees. “My store manager came to me and said, ‘congratulations, Kroger is going to offer same-sex benefits to their employees,’” Smith said, “But I never could sign up for them. It was (for) non-union only.” Smith works as a frozen food clerk, a union job with benefits negotiated between Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. Health care coverage for same-sex partners is not included in the benefit plan. “I let it lay,” Smith said. “At that time there were no legal challenges that were going to do anything that would benefit us at that time.” Smith and Zotto have been partners for more than 25 years and raised a family together. Smith met Zotto through his mother. He and Zotto purchased their first home in the ’80s. “Ron and my mother worked at the airport,” said Smith. “That’s how I met him. We were friends for years.” Together Smith and Zotto helped raise two of Zotto’s children from a previous marriage, a boy and a girl, who are now grown. “We have four grandkids now,” Smith said. “I was never able to have him [Zotto] as a dependent. Medical bills for him and his children came out of pocket.” The couple entered a civil union as soon as they were legalized in Colorado on May 1. Afterward, Smith asked his union about adding his partner to his benefits. “I proceeded to call and ask about adding my spouse to my insurance and they said no,” Smith said. “I was told it would cause a financial burden.”

A mixed bag

Civil Union 101 When the Colorado Civil Union Act went into law in May, it immediately provided most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples. However, most Colorado companies will not be required to extend benefits, notably health care, to employees in a civil union equal to employees who are married until 2014. “Most businesses use this time to come into compliance with state law,” said the GLBT Community Center of Colorado’s legal director Mindy Barton. “Everybody is analyzing what will work best for their company and employees. But my best understanding is that employers need to follow the law starting Jan. 1, 2014.” Barton said if you’re in a civil union, or planning to enter a civil union, discuss your benefit options with your company’s human resources department and ask questions. For more on civil unions go to ofcnow.co/755.

Employers, labor unions complicate benefits for couples By Mike Yost The UFCW Local 7 union has more than 25,000 members in Colorado and Wyoming, representing professions from grocery store workers to barbers to health care professionals. “We are absolutely for civil union partners to be covered,” said Kim Cordova, President of the UFCW Local 7. “We have to get the employer side to agree with it. That conversation will not happen until September.” Cordova told Out Front the UFCW Local 7 plans to propose extending health coverage to same-sex partners in a civil union this September at an annual meeting with Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway. Cordova added that for the proposal to pass, one of the three employers must vote to extend benefits. If they do not, an arbitrator must settle the issue. “The union trustees are in support of it,” said Cordova. “We think that if they [Kroger] cover (benefits for workers) on the non-union side, then they should cover for the union workers.”

Cordova also responded to Smith being told that adding same-sex couples to the health care plan would cause a financial burden. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘burden,’ but there is additional cost,” Cordova said. “For the retail contracts, you bargain for a defined contribution from the employer. That gives you a budget. So now this is a benefit change, so we could be picking up new participants. That is a cost that was unexpected when we bargained the contracts.” The current benefit contracts with Kroger, Safeway, and Albertsons and the UFCW Local 7, which include coverage for associates in a common law marriage, were ratified in 2010 and cannot be renegotiated until 2015. “If we run out of money,” Cordova said, “what happens is the company doesn’t have to put more money into the trust fund. They just start reducing benefits.” Cordova said the UFCW Local 7 proposed adding same-sex partners

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to the health benefit plan in 2009. “There were no civil unions here in Colorado, but we had proposed that in the past in bargaining. We couldn’t get the employers to agree. At that point the workers did not vote to strike. King Soopers and Kroger workers voted to ratify their contracts without that provision in there.” Out Front reached out to Kroger for a response regarding how the company would vote. “I don’t think we know that, yet,” said Kelli McGannon of the King Soopers/City Market Division of Kroger. “It’s our goal to provide all of our associates with better than average health care,” McGannon added. This year, Kroger received an 85 percent approval rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s equality index regarding employer recognition of LGBT worker rights. But Smith said years of being unable to include Zotto on his health insurance plan have already taken a financial and physical toll. Zotto has been diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, twice. At the time, Zotto had health coverage through his own employer to help cover medical costs. He was laid off, and afterward the cancer returned. With no health coverage, Smith and Zotto had to pay for a second surgery out of pocket. “He’s doing well now,” Smith said, but said he and Zotto are worried that the cancer will come back again. AUGUST 21, 2013

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PANEL

QUESTION:

Brianna J Matthews is a 43-yearold post-op Trans-lesbian ready to take on the world.

Pieter Tolsma is the program coordinator of Denver PIQUE, a program for gay/bi young men in Denver.

My favorite characters in mainstream media are those who portray the values I believe in: honesty, loyalty, intel-

ligence and humor. Honesty is portrayed by Lena Heady who plays a lovestruck lesbian, Luce, in the movie Imagine Me and You, and a strong, independent wife in 300. Her honesty is uncanny in both as she defies her own emotions to spare those she loves from heartbreak. Ellen DeGeneres makes the list for loyalty — to her career, her wife and her fans. Ellen has not been wavered by ridicule. She has always stood for who she is, no matter what. Intelligence is Elton John, a musician who appeals to the masses through his talent, intellect, education in the arts and ability to express himself through style and quiet pizazz. Laughter is the most important medicine in life and my favorite gay character who makes me laugh every week is Cameron Tucker in Modern Family, played by Eric Stonestreet. Need I say more? Last but not least, the lesbian who makes my heart throb is Jody Foster — she seems to be all the above. Keo Frazier is the fearless leader and founder of KEOS Marketing Group.

Believe it or not, I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain, and I like Modern Family but haven’t watched any of this season — the gay couple is pleasant and you feel good when they are happy — but admittedly I am not a moviegoer, nor do I watch much television. Tom Hanks in the 1993 film Philadelphia, portraying lawyer Andrew Beckett, may be my favorite character, since he excoriated attorneys with his line, “What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean? … A good start!” It is not at all difficult to dislike most attorneys and I have some lawyer acquaintances, but no close lawyer friends. I think there might be a reason; Andrew Beckett had one too. If I were to choose between Will or Jack, I would go with Will — much more educated, masculine and clear-thinking. I doubt that Jack had a college degree, let alone a law degree (attorneys, again). I know that gay people love to project gay onto others … so Daniel Radcliffe, Joe Jonas, British diver Tom Daley, Chord Overstreet, Tim Tebow, Taylor Lautner, Ryan Seacrest, Max and and Charlie Carver need to get with the program! George K. Gramer, Jr.

I had a tough time coming up with LGBT characters because so often it seems like the characters’ sexuality and gender identity are made such an issue they receive undue attention. Characters like Jack from Will & Grace are a squealing stereotype. Characters like Max from a clever show called Happy Endings are nominally gay but seem to be created to be the anti-gay gay, representing hypermasculinized characteristics and few attributes of a sexualized gay lifestyle. Lesbians rarely seem to come up at all. A favorite character of mine is from Dr. Who and Torchwood: Jack Harkness. He is openly bisexual and expresses a fluid type of identity that, while important to the personality of his character, does not define who he is but simply supplements it. His sexual self is visible to the audience but yet is not overplayed to seem egregious or heavy-handed. At the same time, his storyline involves meaningful relationships as well as casual encounters. He’s a truly well-written character who is genuinely likeable and richly textured. To be fair, the actor, John Barrowman, is already out and adorable in real life, so I might be biased. Pieter Tolsma

Brianna J. Matthews

I’ve recently been captivated in the new Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black. Laverne Cox, who in real life is a post-op trans woman, portrays a post-op trans inmate, Sophia Burset, in prison for credit card fraud. Her character deals with the true-to-life struggles of a trans woman inmate and prejudice from both inside and outside the prison walls. Incarcerated or not, Cox’s authentic portrayal of an actual trans person — not just an actor playing a trans person — instills authenticity in her role, and a sense of believability in the character that you wouldn’t find anywhere in mainstream programming. She shows the general public that a strong trans person can easily be a strong and authentic actor or actress.

Keo Frazier

Who are your favorite LGBT characters in the mainstream media?

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

Join the Panel. Contact the editorial department by email at editorial@outfrontonline.com or call 303-477-4000 ext. 702 to be considered.

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OUT IN COLORADO

PFLAG to celebrate demise of DOMA

THE DENVER CHAPTER OF PARENTS FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF LESBIANS AND GAYS will mark the end to the federal Defense of Marriage Act at 7 p.m., Aug. 30 at Hamburger Mary’s. Tickets are $25 at the door and will include one complimentary drink. There will be a Prop. 8 Pinata — named for the unconstitutional California voter– approved amendment that defined marriage between a man and a woman but struck by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. There will also be a costume contest, buffet, and gothic drag show featuring Alexander Alba.

Have a ‘Taste of Colorado’ Labor Day Weekend CIVIC CENTER WILL BE A SMORGASBORD OF FLAVOR Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 as the 30th Annual Taste of Colorado celebrates Colorado’s Western culture with food, art and performances. Produced by the Downtown Denver Events and Downtown Denver Partnership, the weekend will showcase The Wu Lan Lion Dance Team, Mile High Banjo Society and Paa Kow’s By All Means Band.

Court’s Decades drag show will benefit White Rose scholarship

Don’t Miss: Labor Day Party at Climax Don’t forget to dance off the Taste of Colorado at Climax at Vinyl. DJ Rodolfo Bravat of Sao Paulo, Brazil will headline the rooftop dance party with DJ Woo Shoo as backup. Drink specials include $4 wells and domestic beers. The rooftop opens at 6 p.m. with no cover for those over the age of 21. There is a $10 cover for those between 18 and 20. The Climax season will close Sept. 29 with DJ Pierre Fitch. 12

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The Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire will honor four decades of monarchs at 7 p.m., Sept. 14 at Charlie’s with a beer bust and drag show. The fundraiser will benefit the White Rose Scholarship Fund. The honored monarchs include Emperor and Empress Roger Dent and Brandi Dennison, Diane DeHerrera and Stephanie Starr, Chuck Meacham and Greta B. Quick, and Chase Whitmore and Lushus La’Rell.

G

Stay-up-to date on LGBT happenings with Out Front on facebook.com/ outfrontcolorado.com


MARRIAGE EQUALITY

N.J. judge hears Conn. vet arguments on leading effort marriage ban for spousal A judge heard arguments Aug. 15 benefits on whether New Jersey should

Social Security begins processing retirement claims for same-sex spouses THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SAID AUG. 10 IT HAS BEGUN PROCESSING and paying some retirement spouse claims for married same-sex couples. But the SSA also noted that it is limiting payment of claims only to those who are married and living in a state that permits same-sex marriage. Couples who were married in one of the 13 states (or the District of Columbia) where same-sex marriage is legal, but reside in another state, will have their claims held until the agency makes a final decision in their case, or obtains more guidance from the Justice Department. — LGBTQNation.com

legalize same-sex marriage in lieu of this summer’s U.S. Supreme court decision on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Associated Press reported Judge Mary Jacobson gave both sides — a lawyer for Garden State Equality and the state’s government — time to provide more information in writing and said that she would not rule on the issue before September. Kevin Jesperson, a state assistant attorney general, suggested the federal government should recognize New Jersey civil unions as an equivalent to marriage and those couples access to federal benefits. If federal agencies don’t do that the plaintiffs should sue them, not the state, he said. “It is the state, not the federal government that is the source of the problem here,” said Larry Lustberg, a lawyer for Garden State Equality.

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Carmen Cardona, an 18-year Navy veteran, is working with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal to convince the federal Department of Veteran Affairs to abide by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and extend all benefits to vets with same-sex spouces, the Associated Press reported. Cardona, previously an aviation mechanic and Navy cook, is the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the department’s policies. Cardona also lives with carpal tunnel syndrome. The effort to extend VA benefits to same-sex couples come as the Department of Defense announced on Aug. 13 it would extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and civilian employees by Sept. 3.

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THE LESBIAN SOCIALITE

Giving a tweet about Twitter al self. The second, @TheLesSocialite, Otherwise, my favorite thing to do is plug in I’M A SOCIAL MEDIA JUNKIE. I’M is where I share social events and and see what’s going on. ADDICTED TO TWITTER. commentary, celebrate everything This brings us back to why I love Twitter. If I use it to follow all kinds of LGBT and talk things fashionable you don’t want to engage, you don’t have to — people and learn amazing things, and funny. I share stories about you can check out for a few days. When you’re keeping up with news as it’s hapwomen, music, restaurants and ready, there are plenty of things on Twitter to pening. Yes, I admit, I love the ceanything food related, persons of easily reconnect to. lebrity gossip too. And with just 140 color, home, weddings (another When you disconnect from Facebook, on the characters per tweet, everything obsession of mine), movies, sports other hand, you actually run the risk of losing is about grabbing your attention. Sometimes, I’ll click through and Robyn Vie-Carpenter — you name it. It’s not necessary almost all contact with some of your friends. I to be an expert in any of these actually once had a friend admonish me, when read a whole article — Twitter is like a personalized newspaper with the head- subjects; I just have to know where to look we had a chance to sit down for a face-to-face chat, when I asked what was going on in her lines I’m interested in, about people and orga- and pass it on. life. She said “I posted it all nizations I’m interested in. over Facebook, so how can you Twitter is less interactive When you disconnect from Facebook, on the other hand, you not know?” (Sorry.) than Facebook, where you’re actually run the risk of losing almost all contact with some of Twitter is filled with blurbs expecting comments or interyour friends. I actually once had a friend admonish me, when of information you can pick up actions from your friends or at any time. No one is expectfollowers. Twitter is a world we had a chance to sit down for a face-to-face chat, when I ing you to participate, though of non-sequiturs. You can, and asked what was going on in her life. She said “I posted it all you can. They are just giving I often do, reply to tweets, but over Facebook, so how can you not know?” (Sorry.) you glimpses of things that it is not expected and I don’t happen along the way. personally know most of the I know some people want to be off the grid, I invite you to join me in the chatter. If people I follow. It’s like a cocktail party conversation — just people being witty and charming, striving to completely unplug from the infor- you’ve got something to say, I’ll follow back! sharing small observations or “did you hears?” mation age we live in. I understand this. I too require some unplugging. This is usually when r You can follow Robyn on Twitter at Then moving on. I actually have two Twitter accounts. One is I go camping. I just give people fair warning @TheLesSocialite or on her blog online at where I share things in connection to my spiritu- and then turn off my phone and computer. thelesbiansocialite.com

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BLEED LIKE ME

Monogomy mess up

Scott McGlothlen

r Email Scott at scott@outfront online.com

... they were insights to help me figure out how to do things differently. More than anything, I wanted to regain a sense of control over my sexuality, and constricting myself to a black– and–white picture no longer seemed like a healthy route.

AS A YOUNG GAY MAN EAGER TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP, I WAS AN IDEALIST. According to social norms, monogamy was the only answer, and I thought “true love” would make it easy. I’d heard of open relationships, and was completely horrified — even in the face of my own shortcomings. It went against everything I learned, and therefore seemed sleazy and shallow. But my ideals were shot in the foot once I became guilty of my own indiscretions. I would eventually find out that nothing, especially sex, is simple. I wasn’t the only person in this boat. With the high divorce rate and publicized slipups of politicians and celebrities, monogamy didn’t appear to have a great track record for most people. Almost all of my friends were breaking up over someone cheating. This didn’t mean we weren’t in love or were bad people, it just meant something wasn’t working. After my second relationship ended, I decided to take a hiatus from dating and embark on an emotional dissection of sex. I asked a lot of questions, and allowed them to lead to more questions instead of trying desperately to find answers. My thoughts didn’t quite line up with my desires. With monogamy came monotony. While I got the most enjoyment from being with the man I cared about, I had to admit to growing curiosities and I eventually felt stifled and confined. Dedicating my tastes to one thing 100 percent of the time didn’t make sense for any other part of life — for instance if I have a favorite restaurant, surely at some point I would still be curious to try other restaurants, even if they aren’t as good. Why treat sex differently? Food doesn’t carry the emotional ties that sex can, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that sex is purely emotional, either. It’s often far from it — it’s instinctual. We can make decisions about acting on our drives, but the drives don’t come from our intellectual minds, they come from hormones and are express through our bodies. Sex, if nothing else, is animalistic, and trying to frame a strict sense of human emotion around an animal desire started to look contradictory to me. It makes sense that love and sex go hand-in-hand, but it seemed naive to think they would always be an exact fit. While I was single, I often had sex without being in love. Why, once entering a relationship, had I concluded suddenly sex could only be for love from then on out? Even though I did have love, a desire for sex that didn’t need love still existed within me. As much as I hated to admit it, that drive would erupt in unhealthy ways. The same seemed true for my peers. And while sex is different for everyone, monogamy itself started to seem like a broad setup for failure. None of these things were excuses for my past behavior. Rather they were insights to help me figure out how to do things differently. More than anything, I wanted to regain a sense of control over my sexuality, and constricting myself to a black–and–white picture no longer seemed like a healthy route. To some extent, I had to switch from being an idealist to a realist. This didn’t mean moving to the opposite extreme, a sexual free-for-all relationship, but perhaps something in the middle — kind of non-monogamy where rules are adaptable while guidelines and principles are honored, would be the answer for a long lasting and stable relationship with the right man. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

FOCUS

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COVER STORY

Jeremy Mathis, Kathryn Mathis and Coy Mathis Photography by Hans Rosemond

For Colorado students,

it gets better: A REPORT CARD ON ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES

By Kristin Ziegler

In a video titled “100% Myself,” a group of students donning purple shirts with “out” on the front and “proud to be an ally” on the back laugh, dance and cheer in the hallways of their school. 16

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The students are celebrating Manhattan Middle School’s annual Diversity Day, an event sponsored by the school’s Gay–Straight Alliance. Officially called “Allies in Diversity,” the GSA club boasts more than 100 members from the Boulder school that enrolled 466 students in the 2011– 2012 year. While the number of student participants is an impressive aspect of the club, the mere existence of a GSA in a middle school is worthy of note. An increase in GSAs in middle and high schools around the state indicates a promising change for Colorado students. According to the Gay–Straight Alliance Network — a national organization that works to connect and strengthen school GSAs through national conferences, leadership development OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

and community level resources — the number of GSAs in Colorado has increased by more than 60 percent since 2011. Though much of this growth is occurring in urban high schools, GSAs are emerging in even conservative rural parts of Colorado, and more recently the GSA Network and One Colorado, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, report an increase in middle school clubs and resources for LGBT youth. “Colorado has taken a huge step forward,” said Carolyn Laub, executive director for the GSA Network. Laub believes so strongly in the progress Colorado has made, and it’s continued potential, that the GSA Network made Denver the host to the organization’s annual conference earlier this summer.


“It was exciting to hear Colorado say, ‘Only two years ago, we did not have that many GSAs, nor did we have the budget to create them.’ Now, every state in the country has at least one club, with Colorado’s network being one of the largest,” she said. A major catalyst for this rapid and positive two-year change for Colorado LGBT youth was a 2011 piece of legislation, HB-1254, that according to One Colorado, “clearly defined bullying to protect those students most targeted, including LGBT young people.” The bill was passed by the bipartisan Colorado General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, as a response to the tragic national wave of LGBT youth suicides in the Fall of 2010, and required districts to adopt appropriate policies and protocol in protecting LGBT youth from bullying. “Colorado schools have been really responsive,” said Daniel Ramos, director of organizing and alliance building for One Colorado. “[The schools] see how bullying plays out, and they want to intervene.” Ramos is also the founder of the Safe Schools program. Through One Colorado, Safe Schools works to advance LGBT-friendly policy and educate and empower LGBT youth and their allies. Of the state’s 147 school districts, 55 have included sexual orientation in their anti-bullying policies and another 35 include sexual orientation in harassment policies. But a 2012 policy scan found only 37 percent of Colorado schools are in full compliance with the anti-bullying legislation, Ramos said. Ramos remains optimistic, noting One Colorado is certain those numbers have gone up since the 2012 survey. The organization plans to release a second policy scan in January 2014. Still, until all Colorado school districts are proactive in protecting their LGBT students and the bullying of these youth becomes a rare or obsolete occurrence, there is still work to be done — as highlighted by the recent Coy Mathis case. Earlier this year, the Mathis family made headlines when their 6-year-old transgender daughter, Coy, was barred from using the girls’ restroom at her Fountain elementary school. Though the family would ultimately prove victorious — the Colorado Division of Civil Rights ruled that not respecting the gender identity of a transgender student is discrimination — the attitudes exhibited to the Mathis family by Fountain–Fort Carson School District 8 cry out for change. That change must include increased conversation and education about transgender children, suggests Karen Adams, founder of Trans-Youth Education and Support Colorado, a Boulder PFLAG satellite group. TYES-CO provides education, support and other resources to families of transgender children and adolescents across the sate. Continued on page 18 e e

RAISING COY: KATHRYN MATHIS ON HER 6-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER AT THE CENTER OF A VICTORIOUS MOMENT FOR COLORADO LGBT YOUTH By Kristin Ziegler Loving, outgoing and just completely joyful. This is how Kathryn Mathis describes her 6-year-old daughter, Coy. However, the portrait of this happy and carefree child is not without its challenges. Coy Mathis has struggled as a male-to-female transgender child with discrimination at the hands of her previous elementary school. The case fixed a national media spotlight on Coy, and landed her front-and-center in a pioneering state ruling regarding the treatment and safety of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth in schools. “Coy started school as a ‘male,’” Kathryn said. “We had been trying to keep her transition mostly at home at that point. After a few months, we found that it just really wasn’t working out. It was just causing her a lot of anxiety and stress not having the people in her school know who she really was.” Kathryn and her husband, Jeremy, knew allowing Coy to present publicly as a girl was vital to keeping their child’s happy and vibrant spirit thriving. They scheduled a meeting with Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain to discuss their daughter’s transition. Kathryn said the meeting went “wonderfully.” School officials affirmed Coy’s identity and offered appropriate accommodations — this included permission for Coy to use the girls’ bathroom. But the positive response was short lived when last December the school called the Mathis family to inform them Coy could no longer use the girls’ bathroom. The family met with the school (which was unwilling to change their position), pulled Coy out to be home schooled and filed a discrimination complaint against the school. Nearly six months later, the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of the Mathis family, stating that it is discrimination to deny a child access to the restroom representing their expressed gender. After celebrating the ruling, the future is once again looking bright for Coy and her family. Having relocated to Aurora (for reasons unrelated to the school troubles), Coy will return to public school again this fall and is “super excited,” Kathryn said. Kathryn is excited herself. She said the new school has shown the family tremendous compassion and understanding. “They said, ‘Of course we’re going to follow the law, and not just because it’s the law, but because it’s the right thing to do.’” Kathryn also said her family wants to continue fighting for the rights and dignity of transgender kids. “We’re happy to talk about Coy’s specific experience, because we didn’t really have a whole lot of people to turn to when we started fighting,” she said. “But at the same time, we do have five kids and we are very busy, so I don’t know if it’s going to be very proactive activism.”

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AUGUST 21, 2013

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COVER STORY

Continued from page 17 the same academic success as their heterosexual peers. The 2011 Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network School Climate survey of more than 6,000 students nationwide — in which 82 percent of LGBT students reported having been verbally harassed over their sexual orientation — the LGBT students who faced more intense bullying had on average 0.4 points lower grade point averages than counterparts experiencing less and were “When we turn to the youth and let them propel us forward, as likely to set their sights let them decide where we need to go next, immigration and the half on higher education. lived experiences of queer youth of color are what these movements The gap could be explained in part with findings from an of young people say we need to focus on,” Laub said. earlier National Education Association summit on LGBT “Leaders of the school districts can talk schools are closed or privatized? Will youth in schools in 2008, which revealed that half of LGB students facing verbal to organizations, they can bring in panels their identities be respected?” Laub said LGBT youth of color harassment missed school at least once from groups like TYES. They need to hear and education inequality became the a month because of it, as did two-thirds our stories and build that knowledge.” Another group frequently left out of backdrop of the 2013 GSA Network of students who face physical harassment the anti-bullying discussion are the LGBT national conference. Unequal access for sexual orientation or gender identity. “All staff and faculty, including cafeteyouth of color. Examining the intersection- to education and achievement impacts ality of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation LGBT kids across the board leaving LG- ria staff to custodial employees, need to and gender identity has recently become a BT-identified youth less likely to achieve be educated and trained,” Ramos said, “In Colorado, we have extremes,” Adams said. “Boulder Valley School District has worked hard to educate kids about what it means to be transgender. Then we have had other districts that are ill-prepared and not educated; kids in these schools have to explain who they are and why they are transitioning. That sets students up for brutal bullying. Their peers do not know any better than to bully.

priority issue for youth activists. “When we turn to the youth and let them propel us forward, let them decide where we need to go next, immigration and the lived experiences of queer youth of color are what these movements of young people say we need to focus on,” Laub said. “What is the lived experience of a young, low-income, person of color who is LGBTQ? What happens when their

Continued on page 20 e e

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COVER STORY

Continued from page 18 calling that training one of the greatest tools in countering the LGBT student achievement gap. “We know that if at least three staff members are supportive and available for students, success and safety will greatly increase.” The second tool, Ramos said, is a reiteration of the importance of GSAs. Data shows these student organizations have not only provided positive outlets for students, but have also been a driving force in changing how school districts relate to its LGBT students — even (and especially) in conservative parts of the state. Heather Scott, a teacher at Air Academy, a Colorado Springs’ Academy School District 20 high school, began sponsoring a Gay–Straight Alliance in her school eight years ago. Scott knows the impact created by the club is invaluable. “[A] student said he knew of students who were thinking about dropping out of school and had nowhere to turn and no one to talk to,” Scott said. “I told him that I would sponsor the club and give those students a safe place to go. It was a great decision because I believe it has served that purpose over the past eight years.” Part of that purpose is simply visibility.

The second tool, Ramos said, is a reiteration of the importance of GSAs. Data shows these student organizations have not only provided positive outlets for students, but have also been a driving force in changing how school districts relate to its LGBT students — even (and especially) in conservative parts of the state. GSAs communicate to higher administration within the school and the district that LGBT students are present and have a right to have their needs addressed. This powerful message leads to change in school districts such as Academy District 20. District 20, along with Colorado Springs School District 11, are located in a notoriously-conservative part of the state, but the presence of out and vocal students is likely a reason the districts are among the 37 percent deemed to be in full compliance with Colorado’s 2011s anti-bullying legislation. And while that bill has been helpful and greatly effective in standing up for the dignity, safety and well-being of LGBT students, leaders from advocacy groups like One Colorado and the GSA Network know that most of the credit belongs to the brave students who choose to join GSAs and use their voices to speak up for themselves and their marginalized peers. It is those students, just like the proud kids in Allies for Diversity, who have, and continue to, truly make it better for Colorado’s LGBT kids and teens. “Much of the work that has been done, and much of the success we’ve had, is because youth are telling their stories,” Ramos said. 20

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OUTFRONTONLINE.COM


[ NORTH ]

LEGAL ALLIES*

5 simple answers about the complexity of civil unions BY JAMES LAPIN OF LAPIN LAPIN, P.C.

[ DENVER ]

WHEN THE COLORADO CIVIL UNION Act went into effect May 1, the rights and responsibilities of marriage were extended to same-sex couples. Both marriage and civil unions are complex legal relationships with significant implications for the individual members and their families. As you discuss the possibility of taking the plunge with your loved one, here are some answers to questions you may have. Q. Who can enter into a civil union? A. Any two people, regardless of gender, who are not related by blood, not married to or in a civil union with another person, and are over the age of 18. Yes, even a straight couple can get a civil union.

[ BOULDER ]

Q. Can civil union partners create agreements, similar to prenuptial or marital agreements? A. Yes. Civil union couples should create agreements that modify the terms and conditions of their civil union. Pre–civil union agreements offer peace of mind and protect personal and business assets, as well as other family members including children. It’s wise to consult with an attorney when dealing with sensitive legal matters. Q. How is a civil union similar to a marriage? A. Like marriage, civil unions provide partners with a host of rights and re-

sponsibilities like financial support, stronger hospital visitation rights and access to estate and adoption laws, benefits under worker’s compensation and protection under domestic violence laws. Just to name a few. Q. If we are married or parties to a civil union in another state will Colorado recognize our marriage or civil union? A. A same-sex couple legally married in another state is recognized here as having a civil union. And the rights and responsibilities governing Colorado civil unions apply.

[ SOUTH ]

Q. How is a civil union terminated? A. When two people enter a union, the last thing on anyone’s mind is what happens if the commitment has to come to an end. A civil union can be dissolved the same way as a marriage, whether by annulment or decree by a court. Ending a union can be somewhat of an involved process. After two people have intertwined their lives, an attorney can help unwind the relationship in the most fair and equitable way. The law firm of Lapin | Lapin, P.C. is here to help protect your rights and explain your obligations. If you have legal concerns about civil unions contact us at 303-320-4162.

[ EAST ]

*Allies is a marketing and resource program by Out Front.

[ WEST ]

1 SPACE REMAINING

303-477-4000 marketing@outfrontonline.com OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

AUGUST 21, 2013

21


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The view’s great from The Corner Office

Little Dragon 1305 Krameria Street, G Denver • 303-322-2128 LittleDragonDenver.com

THE FOOD IS SUPERB, TOO By Jeffrey Steen

Hamburger Mary’s 700 East 17th Avenue Denver • 303-832-1333 HamburgerMarys.com/denver

Serioz Pizzeria 1336 East 17th Ave. Denver • 303-997-7679 SeriozPizza.com

DJ’s 9th Avenue Cafe DJ’s 9th Avenue Cafe 865 Lincoln St. Denver • 303-386-3375 DjsCafe.biz/.com

The Melting Pot 2707 W. Main St. Littleton • (303)-794-5666 MeltingPot.com

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SOCIAL

LET’S BE HONEST: everyone wants the corner office. The views, the fake plants, the Mad Men mid-morning whiskey, the comfy chair, the sign on the door engraved with your name. We all want to be Don Draper. Leave it to the genius of Executive Chef Rich Byers and General Manager Jérôme Fosset at The Corner Office, 1401 Curtis St., to create the paradisiacal promised land for us common workers, shackled to our jobs: a corner office for all, complete with masterfully mixed drinks, peoplewatching, and doting service fit for a Senior VP. Before we get carried away with seductive martinis — an Office signature — it should be noted that the kitchen also treats guests of the Curtis Hotel to food and beverage service throughout the day — three squares done with Byers’ nod to global street food. For those after-work bar flies, that means you don’t just get some decent tipple, but also food that kicks standard bar fare out the window. They’ve upped the ante on both food and drink lately, revising their offerings in homage to international flavors. I have to confess to my drooling approval of Suppli al Telefono, Italian-inspired fritters filled with braised short ribs and risotto. That, I would say, needs an aggressive sipper to pair, which I found in Johnny Boy, a jalapeñoseduced Laphroaig scotch cocktail that was sweet, spicy and bold enough to give the fritters a “meaty” complement. I do recommend a few other vittles, if the appetite is there: Crab Cakes crisp at the edges and fluffy inside; Beef Carpaccio that lays gently over a tender round of polenta; and Shishito peppers because, well, they’re the new edamame. Now, much like any 40th-floor penthouse suite of a workplace, The Corner Office gives you a few different views: at the buzzing bar, in the cozy back room and in the lounge at the front with views of passers-by and the dramatic chaos of the Denver Center Performing Art Complex. But regardless of where you settle and sip, you still feel like you’re at the center of things. People come to you with questions, ask your opinion, let you make decisions. It’s like you’re the boss for a few hours. And as long as they keep that kind of top-notch service in their culinary arsenal I’m sure The Corner Office will be ours for years to come, no promotion necessary. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

Rise and Jive If breakfast does a body good, brunch must do a body better and Disco Brunch a body best. That’s what’s in store for you pre-noon noshers at The Corner Office. And when you love your Office enough to come in on the weekends, that’s saying something. Take a look at this delectable line-up and consider making a reservation, er, scheduling a meeting on a bright and cheery Saturday morning. You’ll likely see me there. • “I Will Survive” Bell-Bottomless Marys and Mimosas • FDA-approved hangover treatments with a ‘70s fashion sense • Dead Head Waffles with Nutella cheesecake frosting, strawberries, and Applejack syrup • They had me at “Nutella cheesecake” • Poutine, Blame Canada, but also kind of love it • Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles, An homage to grandmas that ate Southern-fried-style every morning of their lives and lived until they were 108 • Soul Train Benny with crab cakes and cilantro hollandaise. Hey, if Elvis can put peanut butter on burned bacon, the Office can mix soul and disco.


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AUGUST 21, 2013

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HIGH SOCIETY

“Phamly means the world to me. They’ve given me the tools, accommodations, confidence to live my dream. Phamaly is just that, it’s my family.” Peter and the Starcatcher Aug. 15 – Sept. 1 1101 13th St. • Denver r DenverCenter.org

The Wizard of Oz

Now – Aug. 31 5501 Arapahoe Ave. • Boulder r bouldersdinnertheatre.com

Daniel Traylor as Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof

Ascendance

Sept. 11 Chautauqua Auditorium • 900 Baseline Road Boulder r chautauqua.com

Bingo: A Winning New Musical

Sept. 12 – 15 PACE Center • 20000 Pikes Peak Ave. Parker • r PACEcenteronline.org

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Sept. 13 – Oct. 13 2450 W Main St. • Littleton r townhallartscenter.com

Summer at the Center

June 1 - Sept. 14 6901 Wadsworth Blvd • Arvada r arvadacenter.org

RFK – A Portrait of Robert Kennedy July 26 – Aug. 31 Vintage Theatre • 1468 Dayton St. Aurora • r vintagetheatre.com

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Daniel Traylor transcends love and the stage By Michael Mulhern I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF EXPERIENCING THE DIVERSE CRAFT that is Daniel Traylor ever since he blew me away with his haunting performance as John Merrick in The Elephant Man. Other memorable characters have included Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Ellard Simms in The Foreigner. Traylor just ended his 16th production with Denver’s Phamly Theater Company, which produces professional scale plays and musicals year-round, cast entirely of performers with disabilities across the spectrum. Traylor played Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof. Traylor, a gay man, is also living with sensoral neural hearing loss, arthritis, and congenital hip dysplasia. MICHAEL MULHERN: What do you hope audiences took away from this production? DANIEL TRAYLOR: This show has so much heart and power, and has something that every audience member can relate and connect to. It’s a story of love, discrimination, growth and finding new paths to go down. The central story is a father’s struggle of letting his daughters fly the nest in an un-arranged marriage, when it goes against everything he was raised to believe. Each daughter has their own journey of transcending love.    MM: You have been a company member of Phamly for a number or years and always OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

giving exceptional performances – what does this company mean to you? DT: “Quite a number of years” doesn’t quite cover it! My mother is one of the co-founders of the group, so I’ve been here since I was two, but didn’t join the stage till Mame in ‘95. I’ve grown up seeing lives being changed, abandoned dreams get dusted off and rekindled, actors discovering their strengths. Phamaly means the world to me. They’ve given me the tools, accommodations, confidence to live my dream. Phamaly is just that, it’s my family. MM: You were absolutely sensational in the iconic role in the Elephant Man. How was that experience for you? DT: Aside from back-achingly painful? That show was so unreal for me. I’d never done so much character work in my life, trying to understand this man who, you’d think, God had just looked over. But he had the biggest heart, an undying faith, and not a judgmental bone in his body. It was such a humbling experience that was made all the more memorable thanks to an incredibly giving cast. MM: Which was a greater challenge coming to terms with your handicap or coming out? DT: Coming out made me red in the face but was really easy for me. Mom found my porn stash, confronted me, and I never got to give her the speech I’d been practicing. I got lucky with a really open– minded, theater mom. My father and brother got me a miniature blowup doll and lickable card with disappearing panties (both female) for my 18th birthday. I simply said that they got me the wrong gender, and my brother turned to my dad and said, “See I told you!” If I started out anywhere other than Phamaly, I would have given up on acting pretty fast. I sing 24/7 and am really comfortable with my own voice, but most often I can’t hear the accompaniment when I’m singing. I’ve trained myself to listen for cues when I’m not singing and get back on track if I can. But the wonderful thing about Phamaly is that they provide accommodations where other companies more often than not couldn’t be bothered.   MM: Is there a play or musical that you absolutely adore and would perform in over and over again? DT: There are a great handful of productions that will always have a place in my heart, and I know I’d have a difficult time trying to recreate those experiences. But given some time in between, I’d love another chance at UrineTown, 3 Penny Opera, or The Boys Next Door again. But there’s an even bigger list of shows I’ve yet to do and would kill for, like Batboy, Full Monty, Cabaret, so on and so forth. And I can’t wait to remount Phamaly’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat in the Summer of 2014.


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WEEKLY SPECIALS FROM OUT FRONT’S LGBT INCLUSIVE BAR PARTNERS.

e Aqua Lounge – Facebook.com/Aqua.Denver Tuesdays: Mile Hi Bullseye Dart League. Open play and free darts at 10 p.m., league play at p.m. 7 p.m. Wednesdays: Wet Wednesday Dance party with DJ Tatiana and GoGo Dancers; 75 cent beers, $2 wells, $4 Absolut. Thursdays: Karaoke hosted by Dave Myers at 8 p.m.; half-price bar from 8-9 p.m. e Blush & Blu – BlushBluBar.com DAILY HAPPY HOUR: $3 wells, vino, domestics, lattes; $1.50 PBR’s; $4 shots of Fireball 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Fridays: Top 40 jams and dance party with DJ JodyB at 9 p.m. Sundays: Molly’s famous $4 Bloody’s e BoyzTown – BoyzTownDenver.com DAILY HAPPY HOUR: MondayThursday: 3 p.m. till 8 p.m. and Friday–Sunday: noon to 8 p.m. Mondays–Thursdays: Absolut $4.50 “U Call” Fridays & Sundays: Stoli $4.50 “U Call” Fridays–Sundays: 3Olives $4.50 “U Call” e Compound Basix – CompoundDenver.com DAILY HAPPY HOUR: 7am till 0am and 5pm till 8pm, $2.50 Wells, $3.00 Domestic Longnecks & $2.00 off Calls! FRIDAY & SATURDAY DANCE PARTIES: $2.00 Wells from 9pm till 11pm & $4.00 JagerBombs all nite long! BEER BUSTS: Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays 6pm till 10pm for $8.00. e Charlie’s – CharliesDenver.com DAILY BEER SPECIAL: $4 for a 32 oz. domestic pitcher and $8 for a premium pitcher Mondays: Karaoke at 9 p.m. // $2.25 Bacardi (9 p.m.-close) Thursdays: 1/2 price night. Fridays: $10 Buddy Beer Bust (5-8 p.m.) $3 Absolut (9 p.m.-close) Saturdays: $5 Beer Bust (2-5 p.m.) 26

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e El Potrero – Facebook.com/el.potrero.180 No cover on Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays: Drag Wednesdays with 2-for-1 beers, $3 rum, and vodka specials, $2 drafts Fridays: Go-Go Fridays with $2 rum and vodka specials, $2 drafts, $5 Jose Cuervo, $15 beer buckets and $5 Jager shots e Li’l Devils – LilDevilsLounge.com Short Bus Mondays: A different beer and cocktail special every Monday, $3 or less. Wednesdays: $4 22 ounces tanks of your choice. Sundays: Trivia Night. Compete for free drinks and bar tabs, starting at 7:30 p.m., $3 Smirnoff. e Lipstick Nightclub – lipstick.us.com HOURS OF OPERATION: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Visit website for specials. e Tracks – TracksDenver.com Thursdays: Superstar Night, 18 + dance party; Cover: 18-20 $10, 21+ $5 after 10 p.m. Saturdays: Elevated Saturdays; 2-for-1 drinks between 9 p.m. -10 p.m.; No cover before 10 p.m. e Wrangler – DenverWrangler.com Tuesdays: Tightwad Tuesdays with $2 beer grab, $2 wells, and $3.50 domestics // $5 Buy-in pool tournament Wednesdays: Geeks who Drink Pub Trivia (8-10 p.m.) Sundays: $8 Legendary Beer Bust (4-8 p.m.)

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RADIOACTIVE VISION

Be a fashion–feet–ista shoe castoffs have been seen river That’s why my shoe of choice is a AS I MENTIONED IN MY PREVIOUS COLUMN, rafting down the Royal Gorge. THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT CAN MAKE platform thigh–high boot. Not only So if you do get stuck with a less OR BREAK YOU WHEN IT COMES TO BEING A do you get the solid foundation of a than stable heel, whether it’s at HalDRAG QUEEN (OR JUST A FABULOUS HOMO chunky heel, but you also get extra loween or just prancing about in the SAPIEN): HAIR AND SHOES. If you missed my height, making you a towering auprivacy of your own walk-in closet, follicle fashion tips, just look up my last column thority to be reckoned with. With here are a few Nuclia Waste Shoe (ofcnow.co/n6T). This time it’s all about the a sheath that goes all the way up to Tips to Keep You From Tipping: the taint of no return, you don’t even southern end of your pole, your feet. Before ever going out in public, Once a fan is finished ogling my big bouffant, have to bother with pantyhose. It’s a practice wearing your shoes while their eyes go immediately to what I am ambulat- win-win all the way around. vacuuming in your home. The constant Sometimes your selection is ing on. I take pride in my shoes. And I will travel Nuclia Waste back and forth of the cleaning will the world (and the Internet) for the most unusual whatever you can find in the 12+ section of Cross Dress constantly throw off your balance until you’re as boots I can sink my toes For Less. Platform boots stable as a conifer in a Colorado microburst. into, be it kinky or cowboy. I see so many baby drag queens Never ever go back on your heels. Yes, that’s are far and few between. The right shoes not only in CFMPs (Come Fu*k Me Princess Royale 40 of the right. That heel is for decorative purposes only. give style, but also stature, Imperial Court of the It was never meant to be walked on. Walk on the height and poise. I always Pumps). A stiletto heel that can Rocky Mountain Empire, toes and balls of your feet at all times. go for a chunky heel. The pierce a sheet of steel…or the Swivel those hips. There’s a reason women Gabriella Butz’In, wears a extra girth gives stability forehead of a cheating boysize 14 men’s. That means walk with a little badunk–a–dunk in their trunk. both on and off the stage. friend…may look stunning. The she wears a size 16 in It makes walking in heels so much easier. Gyrate I see so many baby drag problem is this: imagine balancwomen’s. That’s nearly your hips and you’ll avoid that stiff–legged I– queens in CFMPs (Come Fu*k Me Pumps). A stiletto ing in a pair of tennis shoes with a impossible to find in a just–rode–into–town–on–my–horse look we see woman’s shoe. One time so many times. heel that can pierce a sheet knitting needle to rest back on. Follow my advice and you’ll be a fabulous she ordered several pairs of steel or the forehead of from China. Gabriella is fashion-feet-ista with the world at your toes. a cheating boyfriend may look stunning. The problem is this: imagine bal- certain those Chinese woman were running ancing in a pair of tennis shoes with a knitting around the factory floor screaming, “Godzilla! r Nuclia Waste, the Triple Nipple Drag Queen We make shoes for Godzilla!” Gabbie’s shoes are of Comedy, can be reached through her website at needle to rest back on. enormous and there are reports that some of her NucliaWaste.com. More Nuclia at ofcnow.co/Hx9. It’s just not going to happen.

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LATINO DANCE FLOOR

TOP 4L0OOR F E C N A D

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ON THE SCENE

e Cheesman Park AIDS WALK COLORADO x

August 10, 2013

photos by Charles Broshous The 26th Annual AIDS Walk Colorado was held in Cheesman Park Aug. 10. More than 9,000 people turned out to run, walk and help raise money for the Denver Colorado AIDS Project, Northern Colorado AIDS Project, Western Colorado AIDS Project, Southern Colorado AIDS Project and other partner organizations. Organizers estimate that over $300,00 was raised for prevention and awareness. See more photos at ofcnow. co/5cG and read the story at ofcnow.co/J94.

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THE INTERVIEW

The gratitude of Eve

RAPPER FINDS HERSELF AFTER DISAPPEARING IN LONDON

By Robyn Vie-Carpenter

There was an 11-year stretch between Eve’s popular 2002 album Eve-Olution and her fourth album Lip Lock in 2013, but the Grammy Awardwinning rapper/songwriter and actress, producer and fashion designer known for her 2001 single “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” with Gwen Stefani has kept herself busy. I sat down with Eve, who came out as bisexual in 2009 and has since then spoken out encouraging more hip-hop artists to come out, after her June 29 performance during San Francisco Pride about her future aspirations, living in London and in gratitude. 32

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ROBYN VIE-CARPENTER: What I really want to know is, what do you want to do next? EVE: I would say the next thing I really want to do is produce a TV show, and direct as well. RVC: Are you just waiting for the right project? EVE: No. I think I’m still kind in that state where I want to pause — you know what I mean? I’m still in that space where, as much as I want to do it, I still talk myself out of it, but I know it’s going to happen. I feel it. I’m getting more excited about it. But, I’m ‘that kind’ of person — I think it might be a Scorpio thing because we live in our heads a lot. Once I get out of my head, I’ll be able to do it. RVC: Tell me about living in London. EVE: It’s great. Honestly, I love it. It’s a nice place for me to be to renew myself, and soak up a lot of their culture to put it in my life. And coming back and forth to what I appreciate here (in the United States) a lot more — it’s been very positive. I feel more ‘foreign’ when I’m here. RVC: But you haven’t lost your American accent yet. EVE: (Laughs.) Not yet, but I’ve only been in London a year. I still can go and explore and see what’s happening in London. I feel like I’m not jaded yet, not like, (raising her pitch) oh yeah I live in London, I know everything there is to know. I don’t know half it, so it feels nice to be able to do that. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

RVC: Do you have a certain amount of anonymity there? EVE: Oh yeah. You can get lost and just fit in, and like — disappear, I guess. It’s like, when people do stop me they say you know who you look like? and I’m like oh yeah, they tell me that all the time. Or if they do recognize me, they’re like do you have a concert? A lot of people don’t know that I live there. RVC: I always thought London feels a lot like New York, and yet, it’s still foreign. EVE: Completely. I’m still adjusting. The first couple of months were really hard. I had no friends. I was nagging my boyfriend all of the time, when are you coming home? Now, I have friends and I know how to maneuver (around town) much better. RVC: Did you have fun performing here for Pride? EVE: The energy was amazing. You never know what to expect. And I don’t ever walk in like look at me, I’m the shit, you know? I won’t ever do that. I always take it for what it is. And that (pointing back to the stage where she just performed), was beautiful. RVC: So you live in gratitude. EVE: I do, truly, truly, truly. The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is say, thank you God for this day. That’s the first thing I do. I don’t think people get that still. I had to learn it though.


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METROPOLITAN

Create a unique vintage design — THAT YOU CAN AFFORD

By Nicholas Ferguson WE ALL WANT TO LIVE IN A SPACE THAT UNIQUELY REFLECTS OUR OWN idea of beauty. You may be searching for an eclectic side chair for your bedroom, or a vintage ottoman to prop your feet up in the living room. If you’re like most design enthusiasts, you can never seem to find the perfect combination to fit your concept. You might find a solution that is the wrong dimensions, or not affordable. This common challenge was part of the inspiration behind a new design store, Out of the Woodwork, located at Belmar in Lakewood. There, designers Brandon Coppin, Emily Bernhard and Rachel Hawkins are rediscovering the beauty in vintage home décor. Artisans and designers by trade, they share a passion for sustainability, up-cycling and refinishing forgotten treasures. “Beauty has always been there, we are just bringing it out,” Coppin says. “We have a designer’s eye, and an attention for detail. You can get a one of a kind piece of furniture or home décor, and it is affordable.” Here are some tips of the trade to keep in mind before you start designing or redecorating your home. Create a Visual Board: We all can walk into a well-designed space and fall in love with the feeling it creates. An inspiration board can help you bring together your thoughts on recreating those impressions in your own home. Find images in magazines, online, or photos you take at local furniture showrooms. It will inspire creativity and help you visualize what colors you tend to gravitate towards. Layer Materials: One of the secrets to creating an eclectic and unique space is to layer various materials throughout the room for a balance between color, fabric, texture, metal, mirrors, glass and wood. If you select a vintage wood side table on one side of your textured sofa, pair that with a metal coffee table. Keeping a balance of materials can add a personal touch to your space.

Photos by Armando Martinez and Nicholas Ferguson

Start Window Shopping: Although many of us make impulse when decisions shopping for furniture, it’s important to explore before buying something. You may see an image of a modern bedroom set that doesn’t turn out to look like what you thought it would in person. Take your color boards, materials and journal with you on your shopping trip. Write down your thoughts and take notice of items that you would like to include in the final design.

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Create a Plan: Sit down with all of your research and begin to plan your space. Double-check the style, dimensions and materials for each item. Paying close attention to every detail is the only way to create a well-designed space.

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OUT OF THE WOODWORK was recently given the opportunity to display their inventory of home décor at a new concept in Belmar. Pop Shops is a summer moveable marketplace that rotates retailers. Let your inner DIYer be inspired to redecorate your home with vintage one-ofa-kind pieces from Out of the Woodwork. The Pop Shops at Belmar are open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 29.

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Vintage Vanity, $175.

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BEAUTY

Shoreline beauty benefits for Colorado land-lovers By Kelsey Lindsey AROUND EARLY AUGUST, as the temperatures finally seem to dissipate and school supplies start appearing, my mind begins to dream up getaways not to the mountains for the changing leaves, but to the beach. During my childhood, my family would try to travel somewhere costal at the beginning of the school year so I have a predisposition to crave salty air as soon as summer begins to wane. As these family trips ended I tried to suppress this calling with visits to large Colorado lakes (hard to find, but doable), and ocean–scented candles. Another solution? Natural ocean–inspired products with some surprising beauty benefits from softer skin to muscle relief. Below are some products that provide us land–locked Coloradans mini seaside vacations. Although the salty waters of the ocean may irritate skin for some, sea mud has been used in spas for therapeutic treatments. Some of the most coveted natural ingredients come from the Dead Sea — 8.6 times saltier than any ocean and a rich resource of minerals from bromine to magnesium. As the only cosmetic company in the world with direct access to this mecca of skincare, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories offers a multitude of products utilizing different elements from the Dead Sea.

Family Centered Medicine

Ahava’s Natural Dead Sea Body Mud ($16, ahavaus.com) absorbs excess oil and removes dead skin cells, leaving skin fresh and soft. It is also known to help those suffering from muscle aches and psoriasis, thanks to its ability to stimulate blood microcirculation. And as a bonus, Ahava is actively involved in multiple charitable partnerships, working to preserve the environmental balance of the Dead Sea region through education outreach and sustainable operations.

Sparking an abundant travel industry in Brittany, England, Thalassotherapy (or “sea therapy”) focuses on healing, relaxation and beauty. Multiple spas along the Brittany coast offer destination spa packages promoting the beneficial properties of the sea air and soaks. Alongside these salty treatments, seaweed wraps and baths are also popular, claiming to help tone the body and replenishing elements such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. Bringing this treatment to your own bathtub, Ocean Fresh Whole Seaweed Detox Bath ($14.89, vitaminshoppe. com) uses harvested brown seaweed from the North Atlantic that releases a moisturizing mineral gel to sooth irritated skin.

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For a purely cosmetic use of sea salt, Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($5.99, ulta.com) helps create tousled waves in any type of hair, leaving a light, matte finish. Utilizing both Dead Sea salt and sea kelp, it’s the perfect vacation for your hair even if a trip to the shore is out of reach. Bringing the sea to land– locked Colorado, these three beauty treatments can help any beach–crazy personality crush those cravings for salty waves and enjoy the mountainous beauty around us.


URBANISM

The walkability recipe By Ken Schroeppel WA LKABILITY is used a lot these days by planners and urbanists to describe how friendly a place is for walking. We used to take walking for granted — it is, after all, the original form of human transportation. But as I’ve pointed out in previous columns, in the mid-20th Century, Americans started driving everywhere. Kids no longer walked to school; they rode the bus. Adults no longer walked to work or to the store; they drove their cars. The design of our cities became increasingly hostile to walking. That trend is slowly turning around. Planners and urbanists are now designing places to be walking-friendly and advocating for changes to government policies that have favored the automobile over the pedestrian for decades. Thus walkability is now at the forefront of contemporary urban thinking. To me there are three main ingredients for a place to be considered walkable. Pedestrian Infrastructure: Quality paved sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, streetlights, trees, benches, and other pedestrian amenities are important. A good pedestrian infrastructure provides an environment that allows people to feel safe and comfortable, and the space to get to where they are going. But having a beautiful wide sidewalk alone is not enough. What if that sidewalk runs alongside a bunch of vacant buildings or empty lots? That leads us to the next ingredient. Interesting Uses: People like to walk where there is a mix of interesting things to see and do. People love to walk where there are stores that sell cool stuff, busy restaurants with outdoor seating, buildings with expressive architecture, or any kind of place that offers something people find engaging. Studies have shown that people are willing to walk longer distances if there are

interesting things to look at along the way. However, what if all those interesting uses are separated from the sidewalk by lawns or (gasp!) surface parking lots? There’s still one more ingredient to go. Urban Form: The buildings with all those interesting uses need to be right up against the sidewalk. This is the classic “Main Street” urban form, where the doors, storefront windows, expressive architecture and restaurant patio tables edge the sidewalk. This urban form arrangement also frames the street and makes it feel more intimate and comfortable, like an outdoor room. A Main Street urban form also usually results in slower driving, thus making the environment even more safe and pleasant for pedestrians. So where does a person typically find places where these three walkability ingredients exist? Certainly not all downtown streets are a walker’s paradise. Sidewalks might be too narrow or missing altogether, or the buildings have long blank walls along the sidewalk, or there’s no building at all but an ugly parking lot. Generally, however, it is in older urban areas developed before the mid-20th Century that contain more walkable areas, and are a major reason why people are flocking back to the city from the suburbs because they desire to live and work in a place where they can enjoy a walkable lifestyle. Which would you rather walk along: Wynkoop Street or Colorado Boulevard?

Scan for actual before and after photos

Ken Schroeppel is a faculty member of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. He teaches in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. r Ken is also the founder of the DenverInfill and DenverUrbanism website and blogs, which offer aspects of sustainable design and urbanism in the Mile High City. Find them at DenverInfill.com OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

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BIG TOYS

V6 and V8: Does Chrysler have a winning combination? combination By Jonathan McGrew STRINGENT EMISSIONS standards have driven manufacturers to look for different ways to accomplish mpg increases, while at the same time making cars perform. Gone are the days of customers accepting a pokey Oldsmobile Cutlass that shakes at 85 mph. New technologies like Ford’s EcoBoost (replacing most of the manufacturers V8 engines with V6 engines) are equipped with direct injection and twin turbochargers resulting in better fuel economy. But that’s just one approach. To get firsthand experience we decided to drive two different vehicles from another manufacturer: Chrysler. Both were equipped with the 3.6 liter V6 engine and the new 8-speed automatic transmission. First on our list: the 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus with the Blacktop Package. As tested it tips the scales at $37,910 and boosts 293-hp from the V6 engine. Of course, it has all the looks of the Dodge Charger, and with the Blacktop Package is kitted out with a gloss black grille surround, 21-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, body-colored spoiler, sport mode and a sports suspension. Can the V6 cut it or does it leave you yearning for the HEMI V8 and all of its 370-hp? And, is the 8-speed transmission better than the 5 speed in the HEMI? The Charger V6 is a good every person full-sized car. It has good 40

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legroom front and rear, a carnivorous trunk and the looks that will get you noticed. The V6 is missing the rumble and growl of the HEMI, but it also gets much better fuel economy at 19 in the city, 31 on the highway and 23 combined. It even performs with a 0 to 60 in 6.4 seconds, which is only a second slower, give or take, than the R/T. While you mull that over, I have to give you some insight into the 2013 RAM 1500 Tradesman Crew 4x4. It’s with the V6 and 8-speed transmission combination, but in a truck. The Tradesman represents the base model RAM, but by adding the Crew cab for additional rear passenger room and comfort you push toward an as-tested price of $35,675. However, the engine/transmission combination will let you achieve 16/23/19 mpg city/hwy/ combined making this a pretty economical truck to run at 3 to 4 mpg better than the HEMI. You even have the choice of 5 feet 7 inches or 6 feet 4 inches bed in the Crew four door model. In the end, it comes down to the experience and whether you can drive these vehicles and still enjoy them without the rumble and power of the V8 HEMI. I am a gear head and love power, but I still think the V6 and 8-speed transmission combination is a nice balance for the everyday driver. Give it a thought and then give the V6 engine options a try — you might be surprised.


THRIVE

The magic of Shadowcliff

RETREAT HOLDS ‘MAGICAL ABILITY’ TO RECLAIM LIFE WITH HIV/AIDS By Tom Rockman Jr. OUTSIDE THE REMPEL LODGE AT SHADOWCLIFF, MICHAEL DOROSH RINGS THE BELL SUMMONING THE ATTENDEES OF AN ANNUAL HIV RETREAT TO THE CHAPEL FOR THE OPENING SESSION. As each person enters the space, he or she assumes the outstretched arms position as Maureen O’Connor waves her sagebrush wand up and down and left to right across each, cleansing the body and ridding the mind of negative energy. Shadowcliff is an historic, rustic, and beautiful alpine lodge that is built on a high and large “cliff mound” of granite arising from the North Inlet Stream Valley and bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapahoe Forest, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The cliff is perched overlooking Grand Lake Village and the Colorado Great Lakes area. It was built during a 45-year period by more than 200 volunteers from 30 different countries. And it serves as the backdrop for an annual retreat for people living with HIV/AIDS. “Even upon arrival at the Retreat Center for the first time, I could feel the blessing and peace of the land,” said O’Connor, a regular at the retreat since 2005. “Upon hearing the story of how it came into being, the love and devotion that went into the con-

ception of Shadowcliff — how could it not be a blessed place? The love that impelled such generosity of spirit could not be simply the love of human beings.” Pat and Warren Rempel — the founders and previous owners of Shadowcliff — fulfilled a lifetime dream of creating the sacred sanctuary and making it a very special place. During that process, they raised two sons and one daughter. One of their sons, Scott, came out as gay. He died of AIDS in 1989, and in 1990, the Rempels came up with the idea of having a Shadowcliff Retreat for people with HIV/AIDS. The retreat is now a program of Treatment Educat10n Network (online at ontheten.org) organized and run by volunteers. “I feel that Shadowcliff holds a magical ability to allow people to disconnect from the trouble, pain, stress and fear that we face in our daily lives,” retreat Co-Director Michael Moffett said. T.J. Black from Denver — the youngest person to attend the retreat — was diagnosed in March 2013. When Black initially found out, he started to lose sleep and became really depressed. “At the time, I was searching for a new career and fresh out of a relationship,” he said. “With everything turning for the worst, I knew I had to do something. I embraced my new disease and started making healthier and meaningful choices.”

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In the spring, Brown began to do research to find the best HIV retreat in the nation – one that was beneficial to his needs and respected his boundaries by providing a safe environment and one that went beyond inspirational coaching that had a holistic and healing approach. He sought out more interaction with others who are HIV positive and who are walking in the “same shoes.” It was important for him to see multiple perspectives of those from all walks of life and in different degrees of time living with HIV, he said. By attending the retreat, Brown discovered that he was normal. He learned how to make intelligent medical decisions and heard how others have made theirs. The open discussions have influenced him to re-evaluate and to change some of his previous health decisions and to continue with others already in place. “I got to see how important it is to be honest with myself and my internal dialog and to communicate with others,” he said. When talking to others about the retreat, Black says that he wasn’t prepared for the spiritual aspect of the place. “I am a very open and thoughtful individual, but I’m also not into any particular religion or spirit. I took it for what it was and embraced the self–reflection and meditation. I loved some of the deep conversations and discussions.”

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May 18, 2011 w Cover

BAC K I N T H E DAY IN MAY 2011, REGIS JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR SHEA DIETZ had his sights set on social justice, planning a sit-in with other students at the Catholic school in Aurora to protest the school’s decision to ban Dietz from starting a Gay–Straight Alliance there. The story, only two years old now, shows how quickly the world has been changing for LGBT youth — and that young people themselves have been leading the charge to create safe places in Colorado’s schools. r Read the story online at ofcnow.co/CZX

BACK IN MY DAY ... Got a story, memory or reflection to share from way back when? Let us know about it. Email backinmyday@ outfront online.com with a story to have it considered for print!

FYI

U

The Colorado GSA Network say that Gay–Straight Alliance clubs at Colorado schools have increased by 60 percent since 2011, and the organization currently lists 48 Colorado high schools that have a club.

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SEXUALITY

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The best chemistry HOW THE CHEMICAL CASCADE OF LOVE WORKS By Berlin Sylvestre Hormones. Even breaking up the word phonetically makes for some juvenile eyebrow-raising, but when it comes to attraction, those cheeky little buggers are some serious (and seriously sexy) chemicals ensnaring humankind with playful flirtation, sexual attraction and so much more. Hormones are how cells in an organism communicate — the chemical messengers released by organs or cells to get other organs and cells to do something for the whole. Coupled with neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry messages between brain or nerve cells, they integrate the body’s 100 trillion individual cells into a coordinated system, a living being. So what goes on in our brains and how does it affect the way we behave around potential suitors? Imagine: you’ve noticed her noticing you. Ever since she complimented your perfume in the elevator (you weren’t wearing any), she’s repeatedly made her way toward your side of the office for small talk. (Is she diggin’ you, or — ?) With each conversation she seems to mischievously shrink the boundary of your personal space, until eventually you realize she smells damn good herself. Welcome to the first phase of chemical romance: pheromones. Pheromones are chemical signals that pass through the air to send clues about the sender’s state of being, immune system health, fertility, anxiety levels, and so on. So now you’re dressing a little better for work. Each movement, from your walk to your sitting posture, is conscientious — you want to play it cool. The moment she arrives, however, your heart and respiratory rate quickens in a surge of excitement: the throes of another body rush, the release of norepinephrine, which keeps you on your toes. At lunchtime she approaches and asks what you’re having. You keep cool, displaying your brown bag and bottled water. She dismisses these things and asks what you’re eating for dinner, as in, “Do you have plans?” There’s no denying you’re flush again, loading up on dopamine, the holy grail of motivation. It’s a neurotransmitter so potent that, without being figurative, you’re under the spell of your own private drug. Dopamine floods you with a sense of 44

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... when she walks in the door with the wine you can’t help but smile like a goon, and your first-ever hug sends an electric shockwave through your body.

reward to keep doing what you’re doing. (It’s what cocaine users are anticipating when they’re after a bag. Good thing for you, this dope dose is natural.) Dopamine is associated with the act of getting what you want, more so than the partaking of it, which is good — it’s fueling your idea-pool of ways to impress. Because you’re not one for the noisiness of clubs or bars, you suggest meeting at your place, which she accepts. Within minutes after you get off work, you hit the ground running, getting everything ready for a perfect dinner date. Her car pulls up (You have unlocked: norepinephrine) but you steady your breathing and put your game face on (employ: dopamine.) However, when she walks in the door with the wine you can’t help but smile like a goon, and your first-ever hug sends an electric shockwave through your body. Welcome to The Oxytocin Show, where skin-on-skin is the way to win! Let’s meet our mascot! Oxytocin is responsible for a number of intimacy signals. Released in the brain during physical contact, oxytocin plays a role in the sense of connection and bonding. Additionally, it lowers your heart rate and suppresses the stress hormone cortisol, allowing today’s players to take it easy. Meanwhile oxytocin has your brain taking snapshots of what’s going on, storing the images as vivid and evocative memories. After a dinner you can’t seem to stop brushing against each other while you pour wine and put dishes away. During the ensuing movie, she keeps inching across the couch toward you. You forgo the movie for a blissful smooch-sesh. When it’s time for her to peel, you share that one last moment on the porch. From the moment she walks away until the next time you’re together, you’ll be constantly on each other’s minds — to the point that it’s a little obsessive. That’s the power of serotonin, which makes both of you absolutely mad for one another. In fact, an imbalance of serotonin is believed to be one of the core reasons people with OCD behave the way they do, and while people in romantic infatuation feel euphoric when they’re together, but anxious when they’re apart. You’ll have a hard time focusing on much more than her. And thus, two lovers are caught in the frenzy of new love. Let’s hope that all goes well and you’re not left crying on a lonely twin mattress in Heartbreak Hotel Googling the (very real) science of heartbreak. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM

Sexual wellness an issue for lesbians too Dear Shanna –

Shanna Katz

I’m a recently an out lesbian, and am not sure what I need to do to keep my sexual health in check now that I’m not having sex with men. Do I even need Pap smears and do I need to be checked for STIs any more? And if so, where should I go? Staying On Top Of Sexual Health in Glendale

Hello Staying On Top Of Sexual Health, Sadly, many lesbian, bisexual and queer women are given the impression they are impervious to sexually transmitted infections and other health issues surrounding their genitals and reproductive systems. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case — in fact women who have sex with women have one of the fastest–growing rates of HPV. Any woman who is sexually active should get an annual “well woman” exam: an assessment of sexual health based on sexual behavior rather than orientation or identity, along with a routine checkup of your ovaries, vaginal tissue, etc. STI tests for things like herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and a Pap smear should also be run annually. But, if you have multiple partners and/or have had an abnormal Pap, tests every six months are recommended. To find LGBTQ-competent doctors, ask your friends where they go or look for doctors and practices that advertise in Out Front and other LGBTQ publications. Doctors at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains have been trained on LGBTQ communities and their needs — they should ask you the sex of your partners and talk to you about how to prevent the spread of STIs through the use of sex toys. If you ever find a doctor is treating you oddly or differently because you identify as a lesbian, find a new doctor and consider reporting the experience to the Colorado Equal Rights Commission. For cheap and sometimes free HIV testing and Hepatitis vaccines, find a Denver Metro area nonprofit doing that work, and you can almost always find them at Pride. Shanna

Have a question you’d like to ask Shanna? Email shanna@outfrontonline.com.com. Shanna Katz, M.Ed, ACS is a fierce femme and board certified sexologist. She believes strongly in open source, accessible sexuality education, and loves teaching adults how to optimize their sex lives.


HEINZESIGHT

Be your own Iron Man

d DEAR BRENT,

SO MANY SITUATIONS AND PEOPLE IN MY LIFE ARE KEEPING ME DOWN. I TRY NOT TO SURROUND MYSELF WITH NEGATIVITY, BUT IT SEEMS TO FIND ME ANYWAY AND SCREWS UP MY LIFE. I’M TIRED OF FEELING THAT I DON’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO IMPROVE MY LIFE BECAUSE ALL OF THESE THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OF.

and how you give It sounds like you think the universe tion to picture a source your power away, and keeps dealing you a shitty hand of personal power in figure out how to take when it comes to people and things the core of your chest it back. Although there around you. Many of us struggle — like Iron Man. Not are situations where with a feeling that our lives are only does this create we cannot control not fully in our control. This is an the energy to get off our their impact, we do accurate perception — we’re never asses and tackle chalhave control over our able to shape 100 percent of the lenges, hopes, dreams, own reactions, actions world around us or how situations fears, and amazing conand thoughts. Instead play out. Often when we feel pow- nections with others, of maintaining the erless to change situations, we feel but it also enables us to Brent Heinze idea that we are just feel the power to create unhappiness, frustration and grief. innocent bystanders, we can look In reality, we have more power fulfilled lives. Each of us has an internal light at how we may have assisted in to influence how we fit into the world around us than we feel we that encompasses who we are — creating the situation in the first do. Snapping your fingers and being our beliefs, passions, insecu- place, get through this rough rities, dreams, pain and spot, or put safeguards in place to clicking your heels aspirations. These quali- reduce the risk of these types of together won’t produce ties determine what gets situations happening again. a hot group of rugby My If you allow yourself to believe us off, how we handle players for an afternoon suggestion: situations and how we life is a cruel mistress who condelight, but we can have identify when create our present and sistently makes you her bitch, a positive impact on and how you Unfortunately you risk feeling like a powerless our own life situations give your power future. and include things that away, and figure there are situations and victim of circumstance. Fight back enrich our lives. out how to take people that appear to to regain control over your own have the power to stop personal power. Think about how you it back. us from being the people may have more power we aspire to be and living Brent Heinze, LPC, is a licensed and influence over your professional counselor. r Email him life than you feel right now. Take the life we desire to live. My suggestion: identify when at PerspectiveShift@yahoo.com. a second and use your imagina-

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Out Front :: Aug. 21 2013  

Out Front examines the trends in LGBT youth services plus how the head and heart work together.

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