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Volume 37 • Issue 21  |  2.5.14 – 2.19.14 FREE  |  $3.95 Outside Colorado


tache  18

fter hear f hope a

tories o S . .. d e v lo r to have 44 e t t e b is ving again  'T li o t k c a b t e antic loss, g After a rom er to be single?  14 rd ha it e ak m T B LG Panel: Does being




|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 3


G N I K A BRE UP Panel: Does being LGBT make it harder to be single?  14

VOL. 37  |  ISSUE 21  |  FEBRUARY 5, 2014

'Tis better to have loved... Stories of hope after heartache  18 After a romantic loss, get back to living again  44






6 Letter From The Editor 8 Out In Colorado 10 World/Nation/Local 12 News 14 Panel 16 Cover Story



22 Bleed Like Me 24 Calendar 26 Cuisine 28 Arts & Culture 32 Radioactive Waste 34 On The Scene 36 Interview





[ LIVING ] 39 40 41 4 4 45 46

What We’re Wearing Big Toys Beauty Sexuality HeinzeSight Out Back

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: Web: Facebook: 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.

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EDITORIAL MATTHEW PIZZUTI / Editor Email: KAILYN LAMB / Intern ZACHARY FOSTER / Intern CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Lauren Archuletta, Michael Carr, Paul Collanton, Steve Cruz, Nicholas Ferguson, Keo Frazier, Nic Garcia, George Gramer, Brent Heinze, Josiah Hesse, Shanna Katz, Jen LaBarbera, Kelsey Lindsey, Brianna Matthews, Ken Schroeppel, Scott McGlothlen, Jonathan McGrew, Phil Nash, Tom Rockman, Karen Scarpella, Jeffrey Steen, Berlin Sylvestre, Pieter Tolsma, Ashley Trego, Robyn Vie-Carpenter, Nuclia Waste, Alison Wisneski, Mike Yost

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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 5


Hope after heartbreak

MATTHEW PIZZUTI Editor We’ve made it a tradition to run a relationship-themed cover story every year. In 2012 it was “Single and Looking,” and in 2013 it was the love stories of committed long-term couples. To keep it fresh this year, we asked ourselves what other major element or experience comes with the phenomenon of romantic love. The angle practically presented itself: breakups. Who we love is the very thing that makes us lesbian or gay — one of the main reasons we come together as a community. As tough as it can be to come out, the chance for love or connection as an out person is often the end goal that drives us through the difficulties and risks. If that ideal, trusting and lasting relationship is such a profound desire, what kinds of turmoil can we go through when a relationship doesn’t work out? For most people, LGBT or not, romantic rejection and heartbreak is

one of the most painful experiences in life — stuff of legends and poetry. Almost all of us have felt it before, perhaps many times. We posed questions to our Panel, writers and community, and came back with generous offerings and insights about whether LGBT people experience it in heightened or different ways. For one: if our parents or families rejected us for being LGBT, romantic partners can become our basic emotional support system; for some LGBT people even a crush or new interest is the closest thing we have to a feeling of family. For another, as one of our Panel members pointed out: when stereotypes depict gay people as incapable of monogamy, relationships can gain heightened importance as the way we prove to the world — and to ourselves — that we’re OK. Finally, there are so many LGBT people who end up feeling isolated from the community, blinded by internalized prejudices toward it, or anxious about living up to characteristics perceived as idealized in it, that we become overwhelmingly fearful about our prospects. It’s dangerous approaching relationships with a sense of need, expecting a person to fill a hole in our lives rather than as inspiring us to feel trust and love — feelings that do not float through the air and soak into our bodies, but can only be experienced when they come from within ourselves, directed toward others. I’m no psychologist, but it seems like pressure to “have someone” can actually make it less likely to work out, and it’s why, when we feel we’re being rejected, love and

appreciation can so quickly turn into resentment and hate. While almost all of us have lived through a broken heart, almost all of us have also experienced deep resentment for an ex — sometimes lasting for years, sometimes forever. Imperfections we’d tolerate in a friend or stranger become imageshattering and deeply personal, even though it’s someone we once cared deeply about. Rather than focus on the negative, we wanted to explore an alternative through those who have been lucky enough to be able to do it: how LGBT people can stay on good terms, even stay close friends, after a breakup. That’s this issue’s cover story. Sometimes staying close is not possible; it certainly shouldn’t be expected of anyone if abuse, exploitation, violence or cruelty destroyed a relationship. And sometimes when too many bad feelings stir up, keeping our distance is the most responsible thing we can do. But the truth is that nothing lasts forever — even life itself is impermanent — and therefore all relationships eventually end. Facing that, most of us still believe they’re worthwhile. We’re left with no choice but to try our best to embrace that famous line from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.:” “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”  ¢


t OUT FRONT IS YOUR PLATFORM FOR THE EXPRESSIONS AND PERSPECTIVES OF COLORADO’S LGBT AND ALLIED COMMUNITY — WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! To directly contact Out Front’s editors to respond to an article, send a story idea or tip, learn about becoming one of Out Front’s panelists or columnists, write your own Speak Out column or provide general feedback, please email






About the Contributors

Alison Wisneski is a student pursuing an MA in Social Change from the Iliff School of Theology. She focuses on relationship building and organizing those to rally around LGBTQ visibility and equality, currently within the United Methodist Church. When she’s not writing for class or on LGBTQ issues, she enjoys spending time with her musician wife and their cat and dog. See the cover story by Alison on page 16.

Jeff Steen writes Out Front’s food column “Food for Thought.” He’s a regular churchgoer and passionate about places where food, culture and spirituality intersect. When he’s not writing, find him cycling, cooking or tasting wines of every stripe. See his narrative on

memories of food from his childhood on page 26


Letters, comments and reactions RE: FROM THE EDITOR: ‘LIFE AFTER YOUTH,’ Jan. 15 //


Equating youth with value = losing game I’m almost 60 and recently ended a long-term relationship with a 22-year-old. It was a sweet, involved, wonderful partnering. All of this gay age hysteria is just that. If you are genuine, actively curious and engaged with life and others, treat fellow beings and animals with respect, have a sense of humor and a relationship to what they call, in 12-step, a ‘higher power’ (whatever that is; IOW, some sort of humility towards what the mind or science can not immediately explain away in life) then other human beings will also be interested in you. Age has nothing to do with it, save for those obsessed with aging and equating age with one’s value and desirability — always a losing game because, well, tick tock. Thanks for a thoughtful post. —Frederick Woodruff, Seattle

Thanks for the Jan. 15 cover story on LGBT elders Thanks for “Stories to tell”! I came out in the early 70s, in the service, on the Jersey shore. I’m sometimes surprised I survived the Continental Baths, being a stripper and posing for pics, all before I was 30! At 61, I’m so settled with my husband Vince of 32+ years that I look around and say yes, I may have made it. But we really haven’t, yet. I say thanks all of the time for the work still being done. I may also have to check SAGE out. Thank you. —Tom Carrigan RE: PANEL VOICES ‘ADVICE FOR THOSE STILL IN THE CLOSET,’ Jan 1. // You don’t need other people to accept you In the column about people in the closet, Pieter mentions the “pain of someone who dared hope for acceptance” but was disappointed, I’d

like to point out that EXPECTATION is the breeding ground for DISAPPOINTMENT. Don’t “expect” anything from them, but prepare for all imaginable possibilities and accept whatever comes. When I told my parents I was gay, it was to provide information, not to ask for permission. Their reaction was not at all going to affect how I felt about myself or my sexuality. If we had a difficult relationship, that would be one-sided on them, I wouldn’t play along or pretend something was wrong. I would never deny, disguise, despise, regret or turn down the volume on who I am because they had a problem with it. For those who gauge their coming out decision based on whether someone or a church or an employer will embrace them is taking a risk. You can wait until everything appears to line up and then still be struck down by unexpected bias. No announcement is necessary: just be who you are without veneer or disguise. When someone asks what you’re doing this weekend, answer honestly: “Going to Gary’s sister’s for

dinner, my favorite barbecue ribs. Maybe some sodomy afterward. Costco on Sunday. You?” —Frank, Denver RE: IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY TODAY, WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’D DO WITH THE MONEY? Jan. 22 // Off to an island! I would set up a trust. Pay off my debt, and then take care of my loved ones in a way that would help them, then off to an island! —Melaney Estrada, Denver Pay hospital bills Pay off all our hospital bills from having a baby and all the complications my wife had. —Jamie Camp, Arvada Share the wealth Share the dough with my favorite LGBT organizations, especially those helping the less fortunate and fighting for our civil rights, like I do with my limited funds currently. —Ellis McFadden, Denver


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 7


Local socialites find fun and friendships with networking site focused on real-life gatherings By Rob Barger


or LGBT people struggling to find friends outside bars, one website has an eloquent solution: a space where social groups and clubs can list their events to the public, and invite them to join. has something for everyone — local LGBT Meetup groups include “LGBT families,” “Hiking with Pride” and “Gay Gaming.” The website is free to members, but does charge to start your own group. (Some group organizers may charge members a small fee to help cover Meetup’s dues.) Finding active groups is easy enough — Meetup uses keyword, distance and interest searches to find the best Meetups for your taste. Lesbian Connections, founded in 2009 by merging several smaller local lesbian groups headed by Estelle and Susan (last names withheld upon request), is the catch-all Colorado lesbian Meetup group for singles and couples of any age seeking other like-minded lesbians for networking, activities, dating and friendships. “Personally, I am an over-40 lesbian and it’s difficult to meet and network at the bars. It tends to be younger women,” Susan said. “Meetup is pretty famous for having something for everyone, whatever you’re into.” Lesbian Connections is the largest lesbian Meetup group in the state at just under 1,200 members. Membership remains free for all ladies in this group, and all women are welcome to join. Their events range from frequent small gatherings to The GLBT Community Center’s annual rooftop party, as well as a large annual holiday party (hosted at Hamburger Mary’s last year).

Susan cautions that it isn’t a hook-up group, and though many couples first met each other through the group, she and Estelle aren’t afraid to kick out members who are simply cruising for sex. Denver Gay Couples, established in 2010 headed by Kevin LaPointe and his partner, caters to same-sex couples who are looking to expand their social circles outside the party scene. LaPointe joined Denver Gay Couples for the same reasons many of its members do — he and his partner moved to Denver, from Albuquerque, and hoped to rebuild their social lives in a new city. They soon found themselves heavily involved in the Meetup, and when the group’s founders moved away, LaPointe and his partner were asked to take over. LaPointe said his main task is collecting membership dues ($10 yearly from each member) and hosting planning parties at his house to schedule future events. He encourages any same-sex couples to join, and won’t charge new members until they’ve been a part of the Meetup for 4 months. Their most popular events are game nights, dinner parties and shows Downtown. The convenience of Meetup does come with setbacks. Kevin grows frustrated by the website’s constant process of evolution, he said. The website recently stopped using PayPal, which he preferred, and replaced it with a more expensive payment system. Without competition, Kevin said, it seems as if there is no drive on Meetup’s end to become more user-friendly. Susan said her biggest challenge comes from users: fake RSVPs, duplicate Meetup groups and lack of funding. But even with these obstacles, Kevin and Susan encourage anyone to join Meetup. ¢

GET INVOLVED LESBIAN CONNECTIONS Members: 1,197 Upcoming events Saturday, February 8  •  10 a.m. South Suburbanite Saturday Brunch Saturday, February 15  •  11 a.m. Coffee for OWL Couples (ages 45+) Older Wiser Lesbians More details at

DENVER GAY COUPLES Members: 114 couples Upcoming events Saturday, March 1  •  10:15 a.m. Denver Art Museum & Lunch Saturday, April 19  •  2 p.m. Group Planning Meeting, New Member Mixer & Egg Decorating Contest More details at Greater-Denver-Gay-Couples-MeetUp


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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 9


Will Russia’s stance on LGBT rights trigger a rocky Winter Olympics this month? By Zachary Foster The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia WILL begin Feb. 7 and run through Feb. 23 — but altercations regarding Russia’s position on LGBT rights had already begun in January. During the Olympic torch relay in Voronezh, Russia, gay teen Pavel Lebedev was apprehended by Russian police after holding up a rainbow flag. The real controversy, however, came with the allegation that Olympic security staff participated in his capture. “Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait

Meanwhile, if Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov’s interview with BBC television is any indication of

See video of the protest incident at for police to arrive,” the Associated Press reported Jan. 19. What remains uncertain, however, is the rationale which motivated Olympic security to help apprehend Lebedev. Many media outlets have concluded that his detainment by Olympic staff signals an active participation in Russia’s agenda of banning LGBT political expression.

conversations to come, things look mighty bleak. Speaking on the subject of the anti-gay ban which has stirred up a great deal of international controversy around the games, Pakhomov told interviewers, “It is not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.” By “them,” of course, Pakhomov meant gay people.  ¢


The GLBT Community Center of Colorado picks new CEO Interim CEO Debra Pollock will fill the role permanently Debra Pollock, vice president of development and communications at The GLBT Community Center of Colorado and interim CEO, will be promoted to lead the organization as a permanent CEO, the Center announced in late January. The position has been open since last year when Carlos Martinez vacated the role. Martinez remains on The Center’s Board of Directors. Read more online at


National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Feb. 23 – March 1 Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses that nobody has by choice. According to the National Eating Disorders Network, about 20 million women 10 million men in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder — gay men are thought to represent 5 percent of the total U.S. male population, but among men who have eating disorders, 42 percent identify as gay. Learn more about eating disorders and National Eating Disorder Awareness Week online at  ¢ 10 




Conversations with LGBT Elders FROM THE JAN. 15 ISSUE: Interviews with LGBT locals who have lived through decades of change — and find life keeps getting better with age. By Kristin Ziegler. Online at


Sexual appetite or sex addiction? FROM THE JAN. 15 ISSUE: Scott McGlothlen tells his story of reflection when his partner — in front of a therapist — suggested his liberated views toward sexuality were a sign of something more serious. Online at


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After Equality: What happens after we win our legal battles? FROM THE JAN. 1 ISSUE: When same-sex couples can marry in every state, what will the fight against prejudice focus on? Josiah Hesse investigates the limits of legislation and compares a more-equal future to racial issues after the Civil Rights Act.

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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 11


Major same-sex marriage case heads to federal court hearing in Denver Experts’ opinions are mixed on whether - or when - 10th Circuit ruling on Utah case could mean marriage equality for Colorado By Mike Yost UTAH’S LANDMARK FEDERAL COURT CASE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS ON ITS WAY TO DENVER, where the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case at the Downtown Byron White courthouse in a process one legal expert said could take place in less than three months — and could potentially affect prospects for marriage equality in Colorado. On Dec. 20 of last year, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby stuck down Utah’s Amendment 3 defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Utah’s state government is appealing that decision to the 10th Circuit Court, which has jurisdiction over six states in the region, including Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma where there are state constitutional bans on same- sex marriage. In 2006, Colorado voters passed Amendment 43, a referendum that prohibits same-sex couples from getting married here. The 10th Circuit Court’s final decision carries the possibility of overturning that amendment along with the bans in the other states. “If the 10th Circuit were to issue a ruling that Utah’s marriage ban violates equal protection and due process, it is possible, and perhaps even likely, that that ruling would apply to Colorado’s [marriage ban] and other state’s marriage bans,” said Shannon Minter, co-counsel and Legal Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. But Minter cautioned that the 10th Circuit could narrow its decision to apply only to Utah, leaving Amendment 43 intact. “It depends on the basis of the court’s reasoning and how broadly the court were to rule. We do need to wait and see exactly how the case unfolds,” he said. Minter cited California’s Proposition 8 as an example — the voter-approved measure which in 2008 banned same-sex marriage in California was declared unconstitutional in 2010 by District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, and ultimately abolished for good in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Walker’s ruling was “a very broad decision that would have applied to other states,” Minter said. “But then the 9th Circuit upheld Walker’s ruling on a much [more] narrow basis that only really applied to California.” Mindy Barton, Legal Director at the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, said while the final ruling of the 10th Circuit might not directly affect Colorado couples, the decision would “provide guidance to the U.S. District Court of Colorado or Colorado state courts that may have equal marriage cases pending before them.” Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd, a lesbian couple living in Adams County, filed a lawsuit last October challenging Colorado’s samesex marriage ban through Colorado state courts. 12 


Ralph Ogden, the couple’s lawyer, said the 10th protections a civil union or a domestic partnership Circuit ruling would only have a peripheral influ- would provide. ence on Colorado state courts since they do not fall The Salt Lake Tribune reported last month that directly under the jurisdiction of federal courts. Utah is now split on the question of marriage “The 10th Circuit opinion will have no prec- equality, with 48 percent of those polled stating edential effect on a Colorado state judge,” he same-sex couples should be allowed to receive said. “It may have persuasive influence on him, a state-issued marriage license, while the same but it’s not binding precedent. The only court percentage was against. whose decision is binding In addition, a poll last on state courts is the U.S. year by Public Policy Polling Supreme Court.” found 53 percent of Colorado But Ogden said if Shelby’s voters think same-sex marriage should be legal. Eight ruling is upheld, he will certainly cite the decision in his years ago, 56 percent of own briefs for the case. And Coloradans voted to adopt even though the 10th Circuit Amendment 43, banning has expedited the review of same-sex marriages, to the the Shelby case, it’s hard to state’s constitution. predict when exactly a final “I really do think it’s just decision will be made. a matter of people seeing the “That’s the wild card human side of this issue,” here,” said Nancy Leong, said Minter on the shift in Assistant Professor at the support for same-sex marUniversity of Denver’s Sturm riage, “recognizing that it’s College of Law. She said it about love and commitment could be 3 to 5 months before and families — something a ruling by the 10th Circuit that everyone can underFor more stories on marriage is issued. “I’m confident it stand that really resonates equality in Colorado, search will be less than that, but with everybody.” #COmarriage expedite means something Whatever the outcome different in every court and may be with the 10th in every case.” Circuit, the losing party will likely ask the U.S. Leong added there is also the possibility of a Supreme Court to review the decision. The high rehearing by the 10th Circuit. “No matter which court will either agree to review the case or allow way the case is decided, the losing side, prior to an the ruling of the lower court to stand. appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, could ask for a If the Supreme Court agrees to review the 10th rehearing en banc. What that means is a rehearing Circuit’s ruling, it’s unclear if the final decision would extend beyond same-sex couples in Utah. by the whole 10th Circuit.” Though cases heard en banc are not common, “With court cases and litigation, it’s good to be the possibility means further delays for same-sex cautious,” said Minter. “One never knows exactly couples in Utah caught in legal limbo. More than what a court might do. For example, many people 1,300 same-sex couples were issued marriage li- thought the Court might, in the Prop. 8 case, reach censes throughout Utah’s 29 counties before the that issue, but they did not.” U. S. Supreme Court issued a stay on Jan. 6 which The 10th Circuit will also be asked to rule on brought their validity into question. Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban, which was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced overturned by U.S. District Judge Terence Kern that the federal government will recognize those on Jan. 14 — another case in the appeals court’s couples married in Utah before the stay was put jurisdiction that the higher court will review. in place, but Utah Gov. Gary Herbert pronounced Minter said does not expect the Utah case and Utah would not recognize those marriages on the the Oklahoma case to be merged by the federal state level. appellate court. “It’s vital that right now we do the important “Every day that goes by that couples can’t marry, or their marriages aren’t recognized,” said public education work of talking to Coloradans Minter, “it puts people at risk of very serious harm, across the state about why marriage matters their families being stigmatized and demeaned to our families,” said Dave Montez, Executive and treated unequally.” Director of One Colorado. “So we know we will It was ten years ago that 66 percent of do the work necessary to get marriage equalUtahns voted to add Amendment 3 to the state’s ity across the finish line here in Colorado. It’s constitution, banning not only same-sex mar- not a question of ‘if,’ only a matter of ‘when’ riage, but denying gay couples the state-level and ‘how.’”  ¢


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 13


Question: Is it harder to be single if you’re LGBT?


s it harder to be single if you’re gay? Hell, yes! I’ve been single for 12 years and I had this delusional idea that I would have met my Mr. Right by now instead of constantly being hit up to be someone’s Mr. Right Now. Tom Rockman Jr. I yearn to meet a cuddle buddy; a companion; and an adventurous soul mate. Problem is there are very few “emotionally available” gay men in Denver who are willing to invest the time and energy required to build a solid foundation for a potential relationship. The higher my expectations become, the more that I set myself up to be frustrated and disappointed. The pool of gay men on Adam4Adam. com, Growl’r, Jack’d, and Scruff are limited for older gay men like me who are often invisible and ignored. There is nothing wrong with being single. I have enjoyed my singlehood to explore my options, but I have reached the point where I want something more meaningful and substantive. My self-esteem and self-confidence have taken a plunge because of my inability to find a mate. Last year, I spent Valentine’s Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas alone. Even the three good friends that I did make last year are only interested in a basic friendship; they want to be alone during these holidays; and they don’t want to take it to the “next level.” What is the solution? My counselor says that I need to turn off the computer and to get involved with local GLBT organizations like the Front Range Bears to meet quality men in real time. Plus, I need to lower our expectations of others and to approach life with an open mind without passing judgment. Tom Rockman Jr. is a card-carrying Yooper, former flyboy, queer journalist, DragNation fanatic, comedy/horror/sci-fi addict, aspiring policy wiz and online provocateur.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION we want to hear from you! Contact Out Front’s editors at to respond to an article, send a story idea or tip or to learn about becoming a panelist or columnist.


think it depends on the person — some people in the LGBT community are better at being single than they are being with someone. If you’re just a “dater” and you aren’t a committed relationship kind of person, then I don’t Brianna Matthews think it’s hard at all. But I have noticed that those who desire to be in a relationship struggle with being single, longing for that companionship and compatible significant other, and I think it’s more difficult in the LGBT community because we are much more discerning on who we want as a committed partner. I can say from a T perspective that it’s much more difficult being single. As trans persons, we struggle with our self identity and gender constantly, and I know from experience that we desire that contact with someone who will love us and want to be with us for who we are, and not for what we do or don’t have in our pants. It’s a constant source of consternation; finding that one person who sees the real person inside, and not “the trans person,” is the real dilemma. So I think that being single and being trans is much more difficult than being single and LGB — but it is still hard to be single being LGBT. We all long for that connection to someone, and no one wants to be alone. Brianna Matthews is a 40-something post-op trans woman, lesbian, and telecommunications profes-

sional working for a major telecom.


here are many variables in this equation, but being a single gay person is certainly a major challenge in Denver or anywhere. I guess the fact that I have not yet had a boyfriend makes me think that George Gramer, Jr. it is more difficult. Yet I am guessing that if you have a partner by your side, you do not have to worry. You do not have to think about anything in any environment into which you go. I suggest that premise is wrong. Right now I am dating a delightful man — but, what happens in April, June, October? Last year, I was dating a delightful man, and he attended a fundraiser in Boulder, met his current partner, and abruptly ended our fourteen-month relationship. The LGBT community is quite fickle. There is safety in having a committed partner, but many gay men do not want that — they want all the playground toys for themselves. Single LGBT in Denver have only so many sources to meet new people. They are already in a diminished pool of dating opportunities. I guess that even when there might be interest — being single in Denver as an LGBT provides significant challenges, often insurmountable. Iowa native George Gramer, jr. is the president of the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans.




s I have mentioned before, my parents are not terribly keen on me being gay or on gay people in general. They are content to believe the vilest of speculations about what being gay means and of the activities involved in Pieter Tolsma the “gay lifestyle.” One of these is the idea that LGBT people are unable to find meaningful partnerships and forever drift from sexual partner to sexual partner. In their eyes, being single is the natural state of the “aberrant sexualities.” Ignorant people aside, I believe there is a natural human inclination to seek a partner, though undoubtedly this looks different for different people. Perhaps it is my own desire to prove my parents wrong, but I feel a push towards finding a partner and feel I am happiest when I am paired off. That’s hardly LGBT-specific — I know a lot of straight women who express their desire for a partner, and I imagine straight male friends might feel the same though they might feel more reluctant to voice it. From the outside there might be some expectation that to be LGBT means inevitable singlehood, whereas I believe couplehood is ever the expectation for heterosexuals. Within the community it might be different, and the external expectation undoubtedly alters the dynamic of expectations and social pressures; however it’s up to the individual whether they feel liberated or constrained by the lack of expectations. Pieter Tolsma is program coordinator of Denver PIQUE, a sexual health and social support program for gay/bi men in Denver.


n general, I don’t believe our sexuality should affect our personal relationship status and how we choose to be with it. In fact, the question implies being single is “hard” — when in fact, for many, being single comes Jeff Swaim with a wide range of positives including a stronger sense of independence, freedom, dating, etc. That said, statistics can easily make the case that being single as a member of the GLBTQ community can be harder as evidenced by higher rates of suicide and substance abuse — both of which include loneliness, acceptance, and belonging as core factors. Lastly, if you are single but have a strong desire to not be — I believe you are more likely to find an amazing relationship and partner when you first accept yourself and your single status and are detached from the “need” to be in a relationship. Jeff Swaim is an entrepreneur, sports lover, outdoor enthusiast, philosopher, and ex-Nebraska farm kid. He’s also a believer in unleashing the incredible talents and potential of people.


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 15


… t s o l d n a d e v o l e To hav Life — and friendship — a

fter separation

By Alison Wiskneski


ccording to Rob Hardy and Jonathan Welford, founders of The Gay Dating Expert, it’s more common for members of the LGBTQ community to keep in contact with exes. “The gay community is their replacement family and they do not want to lose connection with that,” Hardy said. But how do we navigate upon breaking up? Who gets what? How long should exes give each other space? And what happens when each person takes room to grow – where does it take those relationships in the future?


arah Fry, 30, isn’t willing to end her friendship with ex Kim Rutherford, 31, any time soon. “Kim’s my best friend. There’s not a single person that I’ve dated that hasn’t met her. I say ‘Kim and I have known each other for a long time, we were pretty much married, and then we weren’t, and now we’re best friends. If you’re not okay with me seeing my ex, then we can’t date. I’m not going to give up Kim.” Sarah and Kim met more than ten years ago as counselors at a summer camp in Missouri. Kim was out of the closet and in a relationship with someone back home, while Sarah was still deeply closeted. They fell for each other — and were fired from their positions for being gay. Kim came to stay with Sarah in Michigan with Sarah’s family, and later the couple moved to Colorado, separately for two years, then living together in Fort Collins, considering themselves married. Five years into the relationship, things changed. “Honestly, it was very mutual; even sort of planned,” Rutherford said. “Things had gotten to the point where we had tried therapy and we knew we needed to go our separate ways, but the holidays were coming and Sarah was always at Christmas with my family, and it just felt weird to do it beforehand. We weren’t mad at each other; nobody was cheating… it was just time.” But they were comfortable living together for another six months, until their lease came to an end, they decided. “I always joked with Kim that we were really good roommates, but not really good wives,” Sarah laughed. But when Sarah moved to a different bedroom, feelings that had been masked began to emerge for both of them. 16 


“Kim was my first girlfriend. I hadn’t established my own friend base; I didn’t know how to date!” Sarah said. Kim said, “I felt a lot of guilt associated with my new freedom. It was something I had wanted for a couple years, but I remember finding someone’s bracelet on the floor in her room and I was just devastated. She had someone else in that bed.” Sarah remembers being angry with Kim — blaming her for not being able to make friends, feeling she had been walked over. Kim remembers feeling only sadness. When their lease finally ended, contact between them tapered off until Sarah decided to cut Kim out of her life completely. Years passed. Kim took a job as an occupational therapist and moved from Fort Collins to Denver, while Sarah began commuting to her social work job in Lafayette. Sarah remembers deciding one day, out of the blue, to invite Kim and her girlfriend to her place for a game night. “It was fun. It was kind of like old times,” Sarah said. “I remember I cleaned my apartment really well —because Kim likes clean apartments. I wanted to impress her.” Slowly, a friendship re-emerged. Sarah found herself with more free time after breaking up with her partner. They started meeting for dinner once a week — at a spot halfway between Denver and Fort Collins until Sarah finally moved to Denver as well — and haven’t stopped since. “It went from being planned, to, well, this,” Kim said, laughing. “We never miss a week of dinners. We talk daily.” And from Sarah: “I can’t picture my life without Kim in it. There’s a lot of appreciation, it’s definitely full circle.” They said their time apart helped them discover themselves more fully, and they’re now getting to know each other again with the deep knowledge that can only come from a romantic relationship. But would they get back together? They don’t see it happening, they both said. “It’s always the person we’re dating (who worries); it’s never been an issue for us,” Kim said. “Whoever we’re dating at the time always has questions, like ‘How can you guys hang out but never want to sleep together?’ And I’m like ‘No, it’s Sarah!’ That thought never even crosses my mind.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 >



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he fear of that breakup — what are my friends going to think, what is my family going to think — those fears are huge. But they paled in comparison to the fear I had when this little child came into my home. That breakup, as horrible and sad and hard as it was, was nothing compared to the fear of parenting. I can’t express to you the fear.” In 1996, then-34 Melissa Preston Vaughn had just gotten out of an intense relationship. She wasn’t looking to date, but friends insisted on introducing her to their childhood friend, Julie. They had what became an 11-year relationship. “As far as we were concerned and as far as our families were concerned,” Vaughn said, “this was a life-long relationship. It never occurred to us that we would ever split.” When Vaughn was given a two-year paid sabbatical, from work, she began to spend time with a friend who was raising two young children — and fell in love with the mothering role. At the end of the sabbatical she told Julie she wanted children of her own. Julie had a different opinion. “I think that I secretly always thought that because of our love, she would change her mind (on children),” Vaughn said. “I told Julie that I wouldn’t go through the rest of my life without being a parent.” In a therapy session, they realized their life goals seemed to have brought them to a breaking point. Vaughn wanted children. Julie wanted to live without the responsibility of children, near the mountains spending time outdoors and with friends. At the end of the session, the therapist said it would be their last time meeting with her. The two went home and faced the facts. They split up their things. A week later, Julie was moved out and Vaughn was starting the process of adoption. Initially, her attempt at adopting came to a heartbreaking deadend — one riddled with discrimination toward her as a single lesbian. She later found herself walking up to a lesbian couple with a baby. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 >



e was cute. Engaging. A doctor. He actually paid for a round of beers. We talked for quite some time and he even asked about me as if he cared. At 34 years old, that was important to me. I really did have stories and thoughts to share. The normal 24 year olds I ended up on dates with never asked any questions about me, let alone offered to buy a round. At the end of the date he made it clear that he wanted to see me again. Oddly, because of schedules, our next date was on Valentines Day. I gladly accepted. As with most guys I had met over the past few years I assumed that this wouldn’t go beyond a second or third date and my planned move to Denver, later in the year, wasn’t important information to share. The Valentines Day date was a good one. I had my guard up, kept a distance, but eventually tried to be open and receptive. I was nervous as he sat near me on the couch and we talked. He had traveled the world, had amazing experiences and I was enthralled. I wanted to know more and found myself opening up over the course of the evening. It didn’t hurt that he was on call and received a few inquiries from the hospital. It’s quite a turn on to hear this doctor-man give orders over the phone to the nurse: “yeah, give him 50ccs of...”. Woof. Over the course of the next few weeks we spent a few nights a week together. It was a month in when I knew I had to tell him about this move. I didn’t want to get any deeper as I assumed this may be a dealbreaker. I liked him a lot. Was he “the one”? I didn’t know. I just knew I liked the guy and enjoyed time with him. I needed to be respectful if I, truly, was going to put any more energy into moving. So, after a nice dinner and some drinks at the bar I told him. He took it in stride. We returned to his place that night, had sex and I went home the next morning. Things didn’t seem to change with the doctor. Our relations maintained, but I felt awkward and unsure. Two days later I was in Denver apartment hunting, albeit unsuccessfully. After returning home we continued to spend time together. Then, one spring afternoon, I headed to his place. I found him in his backyard hosing his outdoor furniture down for the season. We had idle chit-chat, talked about him replacing the railing on his porch. Then, as we sat sharing a beer on the porch swing, he padded my knee, awkwardly, and said, “I think we should just be friends.” I knew it was coming. I felt it in the air when I arrived. I swallowed the statement as I swallowed a swig of beer. It was a large swallow, in both cases, burning a bit as it went down. I recovered quietly and agreed after a pause, “…especially with the move.” We both expressed how much we wanted to be friends and I left heated and uncertain. I returned home to some whisky and then began to question why I was so upset. I was the one going away. The doctor and I had a great run. What we had wasn’t found in romance novels and I think we’d both agree that neither of us were overwhelmingly swept off our feet. I think I was upset at being rejected more than anything. And, honestly, the fear of moving was silently subdued by the underlying possibility of having a serious relationship with the doctor. I was trying to force a romance when I just wanted to distract from the fear of moving, from facing change and the unknown. Who was I going to be in Denver? The doctor did make good on wanting to be friends. The friendship rules of engagement kicked in quickly. He always wanted to know if I was seeing anyone (“No, I’m moving, remember?” I’d say slightly annoyed), or how my sex life was. I had to warm up to asking such things in return; but I adjusted as I accepted the better outcome of our relationship. He took me backpacking for my first time through Yosemite. I took him to his first IMAX movie. The friendship was building. In taking the “lets be friends” request seriously I was able to keep a great person in my life. He encouraged and supported the move, knowing it was best. Denver is now my home and the unknown couldn’t be better anticipated as I find myself, simply happy, in the Mile High.


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 19


never have romantic, intimate-type relationships with She complimented the child’s cuteness and asked how women or other queer people? I just was not sure.” they were adjusting to life as parents. When the women explained that they had gone The breakup was devastating to both of them — each through a foster-to-adopt program as out lesbians, was the other’s first serious relationship that wasn’t Vaughn was sold. long-distance, and now, as ex-partners, they still lived “I entered their process, and within eight months, in the same house. They’d been through seven months Lillian came into my home. My beautiful daughter. It of being together on two continents, supporting each was all meant to be,” Vaughn said. other through their challenges, and seeing so much end The adoption agency’s home visits brought on a time was painful for both of them. “It took a very long time for me to accept,” Hana said. of introspection into Vaughn’s life. She had to share all aspects of who she was, including her breakup with Julie. “It was difficult for both of us, but I was very sad for many In all, the process toward making the adoption official months. In a lot of ways I felt like it was my fault — why took a year — a time that Vaughn was able to focus on didn’t I buckle up and deal with these feelings and ‘what herself for the first time, getting to know herself and if’ situations?” her future daughter. That relationship with Sarah never happened — Five years later, Lillian is six years old — “going on leaving Hana with the feeling that the breakup didn’t sixteen,” Vaughn said, laughing. need to happen either. They blamed themself. “In some ways, it’s difficult to look back on the issues She and Julie had struggled after the breakup to find new social circles and identities, but after the life- we were having, and I’m sure there were issues and changing event of adopting a child, Vaughn was ready certain points of non-compatibility, but I’m sure I’ve to move forward and rekindle a friendship. erased them and modified them to ‘The only reason this “We’re still each other’s emergency contact,” Vaughn happened was the Sarah thing; it’s because I shared my said. “Julie still knows me more than anyone; I still know feelings.’ I thought that sharing the feelings were enough, her more than anyone. She’s changed a lot, but still, that sharing that dishonesty was the thing that needed to be dealt with.” we’re very loving and kind toward each other. Lillian calls her Aunt Julie.” Hana and Joey continued living together until graduShe discovered an admiration for Julie for being true ation, then drifted apart. to herself and completely honest about not wanting After the breakup, Hana focused their time on the children. She said they’re both doing exactly what they queer community, going to queer-hosted brunches and wanted to be doing at this point in their lives. volunteering with the Colorado Anti-Violence Program. “It’s important to know what you want in life, but it’s They fell into a mindset that they weren’t truly queer equally important to know the things you don’t want. Not until they had a relationship with a woman. They dated enough people know that. She knew she didn’t want to other queer people, but nothing ever lasted for more be a parent; that’s important to know. We’ve been very than a month. “I was reflecting a lot on heterosexual relationships supportive of each other. It was the right thing to do for both of us, and I’m happy,” Vaughn paused — “And and not wanting to participate in traditional heterosexual she’s happy.” relationship dynamics. I really wanted to feel queerness and feel what that was like by being in a same-gender The funny part about this whole thing now is relationship. I thought that being able to fully participate that I’ve started dating a man, and I feel good in the community was dependent on being in a queer about it. Three years later, it’s a whole cycle. relationship,” Hana said. I still haven’t been in a significant relationship with a “Eventually I became really okay with being single and woman, and it feels less urgent now than it did.” existing as a queer person but not as a queer person who Hana Low is a 24-year-old genderqueer nursing was defined by a relationship. I wanted to know ‘What student with an interesting, busy background for their* does it look like to participate in community and have strong relationships with other queers?’” young age. As a college sophomore in 2008, Hana began a romantic relationship with a friend of more than a Hana is currently in a relationship with a man — year — a straight, cisgender** male named Joey. After which had not been part of the plan. “I had kind of decided that if I was going to be in a a year studying abroad together, Hana and Joey decided to take their relationship to the next level and move in relationship again, it was going to be with somebody who together — with other friends in a home. was very radical” they said; “an intersectional thinker, a feminist; if not vegan than totally okay with me being “We had different rooms and different spaces and the buffer of four other people. We figured that even if vegan; totally committed to anti-violence and anti-racism we broke up, we were going to make it work; we were and deconstructing gender primaries. It was a lot of going to live in the same house.” requirements. It seemed to me if I was going to find Hana paused. “You can maybe see where this is going.” those requirements in an individual, I would be more likely to find those in a queer person.” When Joey was away for a summer, Hana began Hana’s current partner recognizes their queerness developing feelings for another housemate, Sarah. “We had come to this very vexing place. I had never fully, Hana said — allowing Hana to participate fully been in a relationship with a woman before, though I in the queer community that they had finally felt that have always identified as queer. At that point, I was like they joined on a deep level. In searching for what they ‘What’s the deal? I need to figure this out.’” believed was a necessary relationship, Hana found Even though nothing physical had taken place with queer friendships and community that goes beyond the housemate, Hana said they had to say something to who they are in a partnership — a whole individual Joey. Their strong romantic feelings and emotional ties in themself.  ¢ to Sarah made them feel guilty enough. Hana thought that through being honest and open that the relationship *Their: Used here as a gender-neutral pronoun. might be modifiable, but Joey was not open to the change. “I really loved Joey, and I really cared about him, but **Cisgender: A person who identifies with the gender I knew I had to figure out this whole thing,” Hana said. they were assigned at birth is referred to as cisgender. “Could I be happy in a long-term monogamous relation- Contrasted with “transgender,” a person who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. ship with a man as a queer person? Could I potentially





Weighing your options: Taking your partner’s last name By Sheila P. Carrigan, Carrigan Law, LLC If I enter into a civil union and I want to change my last name to my spouse’s last name, how do I do that? After your civil union license has been recorded at your local county clerk and recorder’s office, obtain a few certified copies of your union license. Take a certified copy to the driver’s license bureau to obtain a license in your new name and to the local social security office to obtain a new social security card. Do not forget you will need to change your name with your banks, credit cards, utility bills and all other such entities. You will also need to change your passport. If you are honeymooning immediately after the nuptials you may wish to get your tickets in your pre-ceremony name to be sure your travel plans are not delayed. What if I want to change my children’s last name?  If you already have children you will need to go through a name change process and have birth certificates reissued. If you have children after your civil union you can name your

partner as the child’s second parent and give the child either name or a hyphenated last name. If your child does not have a second parent now your partner can adopt via a stepparent adoption after the ceremony. What if I want to keep my lastname? Or hyphenate it? If you want to keep your name you don’t need to do anything. Hyphenating it is the same process as changing it. What else should I know before entering into a civil union and how can a lawyer help my family prepare?   You may want to consider a consultation with a family law or estate planning attorney before you enter the civil union, especially if you have significant assets or either of you have children from previous relationships. Individuals considering civil union should be aware under the current law, many common provisions that apply to spouses will not apply to parties in a civil union if the unions later dissolve. For example, dividing retirement and other benefits at the time of divorce cannot be accomplished under federal laws.

The opinions expressed in this article are general in nature. For specific legal advice about your particular situation, please contact an attorney.

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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 21

Dealing with the dealers

Everything you’ve heard about car salesmen is true

BLEED LIKE ME Scott McGlothlen

AS I WAITED FOR THE SALESMAN TO RETURN, I FELT MORE CONFUSED THAN EVER. On the offer laid on the table he’d written dumb things on it like “Special deal just for you” and “Let’s make this happen tonight.” The bright fluorescent lights and nerve-racking pressure made me feel like I was in an interrogation room. My partner Luke asked what my gut said. I’d never purchased a car before — your classic suburban kid, my parents did all that dirty work for me. Since I knew nothing about cars, Luke helped me narrow down some options. He knew I didn’t need anything fancy but needed good fuel economy because I drove a lot for work. We narrowed it down to a Nissan Versa or a Toyota Prius. It turned out the Versa I liked would be the 2014 model — buying it used wasn’t an option. I already had experience driving a Prius and it only made sense to head over to a Nissan dealer to learn more about their car. We had arrived there thinking we could be slick and avoid salesmen by darting through the lot, but the freezing cold air quickly drove us inside and right into the dealer’s arms. At first the salesman didn’t seem that interested. Like most eager gay men, I became more interested in him because of it. I practically started begging him to convince me on the car. When we got in for a test drive, his persona changed — he came off friendlier, telling us about his life, asking us about ours. During the drive, everyone kept checking in with me on how I liked it. I thought I liked it. I couldn’t tell. By the time we got back to the dealership, the salesman now seemed like our brand new best buddy. He asked if I would like to see some numbers and I figured it couldn’t hurt.

He returned with some financial info and I asked him if they were running any end-of-year deals right now. The salesman informed me that they were a family-owned dealership and therefore didn’t have deals like that. His description comforted me, as if I’d be buying from a mom-and-pop shop rather than a large corporation. I told him I would need to think about it for a couple of days. The salesman proceeded to introduce us to his supervisor; also a young, handsome-ish go-getter kind of guy. The supervisor then said he really needed to be honest with me — apparently they had too much inventory and needed to sell some of these exact models that very night. Why hadn’t the salesman mentioned this before? The two of them began reworking numbers, creating monthly payments that should make me wet my pants. As they scribbled all over the offer I felt completely trapped. They made it clear that the offer would only be good that night. The more I resisted, the more the numbers got crunched. A part of me fantasized about telling them I would buy the car if we could watch them make out for thirty seconds. Alas, I would never have the guts. When they finally realized I wasn’t going to budge, their demeanor shifted once again. We were no longer good friends — I became the new pain in their asses. The two men stepped away to get us their business cards, and Luke and I questioned if we should make a run for it. I finally learned firsthand how a “quick look” at a dealership could easily suck up one’s entire evening. Scott McGlothlen is a cultural columnist on life as a HIV-positive gay man. See more of Scott’s columns online at or contact him at

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Grown-up party etiquette A socialite’s five golden rules


MY FIRST MEMORY OF A PARTY IS THE ONLY MEMORY I HAVE FROM BEING THREE YEARS OLD. I remember I wore a light blue, Swiss dot organza dress and I threw up before everyone got there. The fact that I remembered what I wore and that I threw up means I already had the makings of a socialite, even then! Now that the holidays are behind us, parties aren’t about obligation — they’re for fun. And now that we’re grown up, they’re not about getting as drunk as we can as fast as we can, either. Parties can be helpful for social and professional networking, since the times you THE LESBIAN SOCIALITE put business talk aside and connect is often Robyn Vie-Carpenter where you make great strides in your life and career; you could meet your next boss, the love of your life or Pippa Middleton. With so much opportunity, it’s imperative to lay some ground rules. With X years of experience under my belt, here are my Five Golden Rules for Parties: 1. RSVP. If you know you’re going, why not let the hosts know? I estimate that at least 20 percent of people attending events never offered an RSVP — then complain when the party runs run out of drinks or food. 2. If you RSVP, show up. Apparently with all of the Facebook events we’re invited to these days, it’s become the habit to respond in the affirmative even with no intention of attending. One person told me they thought doing so was helpful to the hosts, making the event look like the place to be. But it doesn’t look good on the day of the party when only 20 out of 100 expected guests show up — so at the very least, if you don’t want to “decline,” choose “maybe.” 3. Don’t take home more than one goodie bag, it’s simply bad form. Plus, you don’t need most of that crap anyway. 4. Eat before you get there. Or get there early to eat before most people show up, or just plan to go out to eat afterwards. In case you aren’t getting my point: avoid eating while you’re working at being witty and charming. If you must, though: say no to anything with onions or garlic, say no to things that look too herby (or you’ll be picking your teeth), say no to tuna. 5. Most importantly, DON’T GET DRUNK. You have a two-drink limit, or one drink per party if you have multiple parties in a single night. I don’t care how many drink tickets you got, that it’s an open bar, or how well you believe you hold your liquor. Alcohol inhibits your ability to think clearly and hold your tongue, which could prove problematic: If you’re hoping to find someone to date, your inability to hold your tongue about your ex is not sexy. If it’s about business, well, would you drink more than two during a business lunch with your boss? These rules are the ones that will keep you out of trouble, and ensure you have fresh breath, look good in the pictures, remain in good standing at your job and stay on everyone’s invite list. There are plenty of other rules I could have added — like don’t show up with a plus-four when it’s only supposed to be plus-one, but the above rules will serve you well through most situations if you add them to putting yourself in your host’s shoes, and using common sense. So, start practicing your witty banter, get your favorite party frocks ready, brush up on current events other than sports (with the exception of the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, Wimbledon or World Cup). Then you’re ready to go. See you there Lovelies! Robyn Vie-Carpenter is a social columnist on the local and national LGBT community. See more of Robyn’s columns online at or find her on Twitter @TheLesSocialite. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 

|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 23








Red Party @ TWISTED PINE BREWERY 3201 WALNUT STREET, BOULDER 7–11 P.M. Get ready to break out those sweet red socks your aunt bought you and go to the Red Party – Red clothing required! Featuring a DJ, silent Auction, delicious food, and a free beer that comes along with your ticket Ticket prices: $20 for single, $35 for two

More info online at



@ TRACKS DENVER 3500 WALNUT ST.  •  9 P.M. TO 2 A.M. Every second Saturday of the month Tracks celebrates the current Zodiac sign. If you’re an Aquarius, get free admission and drinks tonight. No cover and two-for-one Absolut Cocktails till 10 p.m., cover $5 from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., $10 from 11 p.m. to close. More info online at



FIND MORE Find more upcoming events or add your own online at

@ BLUSH & BLU 1526 E. COLFAX AVE. • 7:30 P.M. Laughter, learning and libations at SexCom, a funny sexuality course with comedienne Debbie Sheer and sexologist Shanna Katz. LGBTQ and ally-inclusive, 21+. More info online at

Colorado Gold Rush Conference


@ RENAISSANCE DENVER HOTEL 3801 QUEBEC ST. The Colorado Gold Rush Conference is dedicated to the education and support of the trans* community, their families, friends, and allies. The committee is broadening the spectrum of workshop topics to include: gender queer, Significant Others, Families, Friends, and Allies (SOFFA), trans* activism, and professional training. More info online at


SexCom Sexuality & comedy show





Passport to Paris

@ THE DENVER ART MUSEUM 100 W. 14TH AVE. Passport to Paris surveys 300 years of French painting and brings together nearly 150 master works by Henri Tolouse-Latrec, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and others. More info online at






FEB 23



The Legend of Georgia McBride



@ RICKETSON THEATRE 1101 13TH ST. A mediocre Elvis impersonator becomes Florida’s greatest drag queen in this award winning new play. Catch the world premiere tour in downtown Denver before it’s too late! More info online

Tao: Phoenix Rising @ MACKY AUDITORIUM UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER CAMPUS • 7:30 P.M. Members of the Japanese taiko drumming corps, these performers are at the elite of athleticism, combining elements of Cirque du Soleil, high intensity drumming, and high energy dancing. Tickets $14. More info online at


FEB 23


@ ARVADA CENTER 6901 WADSWORTH BLVD, ARVADA The longest running play in recorded history has come to the Arvada Center. This classic Agatha Christie mystery unfolds when a group of strangers find themselves stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. Murder is committed and everyone is suspect as a policeman investigates the crime and uncovers their hidden secrets. More info online at



Joel Swanson: Left to Right, Top to Bottom Ian Fisher: Critical Focus

The Gayest Oscar Party Ever



Denver-based artist Joel Swanson explores language and its literal forms as he stretches it to become an image, or multiple images.  //  Denver-based artist Ian Fisher has a new exhibition capturing fleeting moments of a skyscape, hovering between abstract patterns of color and highly recognizable imagery.

Benefitting Off-Center, this event promises to be more fabulous than a glitter-covered unicorn wearing a rainbow boa singing Streisand. General admission $35, which includes two drink tickets. Table packages also available.

More info online at &

More info online at


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 25


The memories of food It stirs up the deepest reminiscences

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DJ’s 9th Avenue Cafe DJ’S 9TH AVENUE CAFE 865 Lincoln St. Denver • 303-386-3375

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DO YOU REMEMBER THE WAFTING SCENTS his own stock and bring three heads up for a OF DOUGH RISING IN THE OVEN ON TUESDAY meal or two. After our bellies bulged, we rolled AFTERNOONS? It was between Transformer down to his barns and played with the rabbits wars, I’m pretty sure. that remained — skittish creatures, but playful Then there were the dimly lit winter evenings and full of personality. when the house filled with taunts of a roast beef, Every trip — short or long, rainy or sunny, cold your mind barely able to concentrate on the homeor warm — my German aunt would toil over her tiny stove to make an enormous pot work spread out before you. Dinner of Bohnensuppe, or bean soup. To a those nights was a happy distraction from algorithms and five-paragraph 10-year-old weaned on the best food essays. of the West, there was nothing more I suppose, too, you recall the trips satisfying than a bowl or two or three to see Gram and Gramps — greeted, of this masterpiece: plump beans simevery blazing hot summer, with mered with carrots and celery, vying watermelon popsicles that stuck to for space in a broth brimming with smoked sausage and ham. I inhaled your lips. They were so incredibly every bowl they served me. sweet, it took days to wash the sugar off your face. Like so many dishes of childI remember some of these things. hood renown, Bohnensuppe simply FOOD FOR THOUGHT But lately, I’ve had recurring dreams couldn’t be duplicated. I never bothJeff Steen of the food I enjoyed as a little nothing ered to ask for the recipe and, I’m of a man in Germany. I was barely 12, pretty sure, my mother left the dish in my aunt’s purview — something of a delicacy if memory serves me still, when my family would pile into a whale of a Volkswagen and putter down to be enjoyed only during trips to Klingenmünster. the autobahn to visit my German cousins. They This past summer, I returned to Germany after lived in an idyllic little dorf on the border with 20 years in absentia, my stomach grumbling for France — a village named Klingenmünster. the meals that sustained me as a kid. But the Every trip down to the lush hills and vinememories I had stored of happy days past didn’t yard-blanketed countryside in that region was quite match what I experienced in adulthood. something of a realized fantasy — a postcard world Logic may tell us that people grow older, times that might only be experienced in the writings change, and memories will not be re-lived, but it’s of Lewis Carroll. But every summer and fall, we hard to reconcile that with what we crave. For me, would see those fictions made real, running like the core of my craving was a steaming hot bowl Aunt Rosi’s inimitable Bohnensuppe. mad around the castle of a house they called home. I will tell you that memory served me well in In my mind’s eye, there were soaring balconies this case, however. Yes, aunt and uncle had aged and lavish Victorian couches, ornately framed paintings and imposing glass steins. In the kitchen — they’re in their 70s now. And yes, the entire — where my family spent much of our time — I fortress of a house I remember is a bit smaller remember the dark wood cabinets and the volupthan it seemed 20 years ago. But some things never tuous curves of the window frames. Outside, tiles change, and Bohnensuppe was one of them. The thick, meaty broth; the weighty white beans; the paved a rustic patio with rows of vines dancing bright, tender vegetables; the gentle smoke; the in the distance under the fog. earthy sausages. It was all perfect. Like any good Steens, we spent our vacations in Klingemünster eating. There were roasts and I returned to Denver in late September, intoxisausages, cheeses that tickled the nose and breads cated by the rekindling of relationship. There was that made you swoon. For many a midday feast, something in me that believed in the invincibilthe rabbit farmer down the road would slaughter ity of my cousins, my aunt, and my uncle. t

t MEMORIES CONTINUED If 20 years had passed and they were still alive and well; if the chairs and couches in their living room had not moved or sagged; if their humor was still bright; and if Bohnensuppe still made its way to the table, then it would always be there — all of it. It was eternal. But a few weeks ago, I got an email from my dad. Not good news, he said. My Uncle Willi was in the hospital for a tumor in December. He seemed to recover well but then, found himself back in a hospital bed on New Year’s Eve. Blood poisoning, Dad said. All those years of drinking and smoking. Suddenly, the farce of eternity vanished. Reality set in. Some day, and perhaps some day soon, the smiling faces of Klingenmünster

would disappear. The house would age and cripple. The vineyards would wither. The green turn to brown. And the soup — that lifegiving soup of my youth — would become nothing more than a distant memory. Maybe it is just a soup, but it’s a powerful one. It stands for everything I loved as a child and everything that was possible in my future. It was a comfort and a consolation. It was family and it was safety. It was home. And now, 32 years old and half a world away, all I can do is watch it fade into the dark fog of a Klingemünster yesteryear. Food For Thought is a culinary column by Jeff Steen, Out Front’s food writer. See more food articles at


Contact a marketing executive today to find a delicious solution for your business. 303-477-4000


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 27


Jan. 10 - Feb 23 Champa & 13th • Denver

SPAMALOT Nov. 16 - Mar. 1 5501 Arapahoe Ave. • Boulder

HILARY KOLE PAYS TRIBUTE TO JUDY GARLAND Feb. 22 • Boettcher Concert Hall 1000 14th St. • Denver

SWING! Feb. 21 - Mar. 23 2450 W Main St. • Littleton

THE SQUARE Feb. 14 - Feb. 20 2510 East Colfax



‘Georgia McBride’ star Matt McGrath on the fresh drag show in town By Michael Mulhern THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE IS CAPTIVATING AUDIENCES now through February 23 on the Ricketson Theatre of the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Billed as “A heartwarming comedy about a ‘King of Rock ‘N’ Roll’ who becomes the Queen of Drag,” the very funny drag drama features actor Matt McGrath as Ms. Tracy Mills, the no-nonsense drag mother of Georgia McBride with big dreams and a bigger drag persona! We caught up with McGrath for an interview about the fun, flamboyant show. CAN YOU TALK A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE IN THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE? So the first time you see me I am coming on-stage as Miss Tracy Mills, and I’m coming to this kind of busted-up bar on its last leg. So we decide to turn the place into a gay bar and have a drag show to really boost the interest. She meets the challenge and what she stumbles upon is somebody who is down on his luck, who doesn’t get to do his Elvis impersonation anymore at the bar — it's not bringing any customers in. We start him off as bartender. When Miss Nervousa falls “ill”, he is quickly put to work by Tracy as the other drag queen in the show. He steps up to the challenge and he makes some money for his wife and soon to be mother of his child. WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD WITH DRAG TO GET READY FOR THE SHOW? I knew from doing the summit last year that they were interested in me doing this production. I kind of booked myself out for this period because I really wanted to do this play so badly. I had been doing Hedwig and the Angry Inch in New York City, which we can argue that is not traditional drag per se. Tracy is full of life. Tracy has feelings and emotions and has the highs and lows of what it is to live a life on the edge here and really needs to make that buck to get by. She’s up for the challenge, always. So in terms of doing this drag queen, we wanted to make a real-life character but also this person who’s at the top of her game.



IS THERE A CERTAIN DRAG QUEEN OR PERSON YOU’RE CHANNELING AS MS. TRACY MILLS? Not really. I’ve been mulling over who this person is and where she’s from — you want to have a nice differential between the conservative brother of KC, who I also have to play, and you want it to draw those lines of distinction clearly. I also did The Rocky Horror Picture Show recently, playing Dr. Frank-n-furter, and in that role I had to train for in heels because I was called in to take over that role rather quickly. I had seven days to learn the dance numbers and, you know, doing them in a four-and-a-halfinch heel was kind of like, wow. That’s a race to get it done like that. So there is this technical aspect and then there’s the kind of getting lost in the persona so that you can really pull it off. It’s been challenging and thrilling at the same time. WHAT DO YOU HOPE AUDIENCES TAKE FROM THIS PRODUCTION? I think that my character, Tracy, is not someone to be afraid of. You get a glimpse into what she values even though her exterior and her lifestyle might be kind of ‘out there,’ almost living moment to moment to survive. But she basically wants a simple life, just to be happy and content. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THIS PLAY IS IMPORTANT FOR AUDIENCES TO SEE, WHETHER GAY OR STRAIGHT? I think that it is a unique rite-of-passage story. Metaphorically it’s more than just a gay community, or a drag, or a transgender community. It's people who are there to entertain, and that’s classically what drag is. The actual word drag is from Shakespeare, (short for) "dressed as girl", what he would write in the margins when boys would play girls. So that’s what it is, it’s the players, it’s the entertainer, and it should be viewed as that. For tickets or more information on this fabulous show, contact the Denver Center Ticket Services by calling 303-893-4100 or online at


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 29




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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 31

I’m all about the balls

This radioactive drag queen is a sports fan, too WE MADE IT TO THE SUPER BOWL! And by we, I mean the Denver Broncos and all of us loyal fans. Since I have to write this column before the game takes place, I have no idea if Denver is down in the dumps this week or if we are on a Rocky Mountain high. Based on what I know about both the Broncos and the Seahawks, I am going to prophesize that the Broncos won. Was I right? Should I apply for my own psychic hotline? Thanks for calling Nuclia Waste’s Radioactive Future Vision. We see all, we know all, and we contaminate your future with what will be. To contact a dead relative, press 1. To learn what colors will be hot this fall season, press 2. To find out who will win the Super Bowl, press 32, 45, Omaha, hut, hut! The days after the Broncos won the AFC West, I was amazed at the number of gay people I ran into that had no idea that the team had won their playoff game against the New England Patriots and were heading to the Super Bowl. “I just don’t follow sports. It’s not my thing.” And I totally get that. As a young drag queen growing up in the middle of Missour-ah, sports was THE thing you had to be good at to be popular in school. I was not. I was the classic story of being the last pick, whether it was deer base or dodge ball. Nobody wanted me on his team. The jock gene



skipped right over my uncoordinated makes you do some strange things. body. I dreaded recess and all the I ended up yelling louder than Mr. humiliation that came with it. Waste during that game. The Broncos My dad, sensing he had a nonwon. And they kept winning that straight boy for a son, pushed me into year, all the way to the Super Bowl. little league football and baseball, in It was a good year to get hooked an effort to tackle out the gay. And on football. Mr. Waste played in the gay flag if that wasn’t bad enough, my worst nightmare came to be. He became the football league last year. I went to coach of our baseball team. games to cheer him on. I was amazed Then there were the weekends RADIOACTIVE VISION at the number of gay men that are of football on television, with my into sports. It makes sense in a lot of Nuclia Waste dad firmly planted in his Lazy-Boy ways, though stereotypes would have recliner, non-stop beers in his hand, yelling at us believe otherwise. We take care of our bodies. We like exercise (or at least tolerate it so we look the TV. The only thing more boring than playing good). Half our porn takes place in locker rooms. sports was watching sports. As my dad’s drinking Gay + Sports = Hot. went down the road to Booze Town, I began to I have learned that it’s ok to be gay and like associate sports with his alcoholism. I avoided both for years. sports. (Lesbians have known this for years. Then 17 years ago, Mr. Waste came into my They’ve kept those softballs flying.) It’s time for us life. He lived and breathed sports. He only agreed to ditch the stereotype that gay and sports cannot to move into my log cabin in the foothills near live hand in glove. Let’s play ball! Conifer under one condition – that I get satellite TV so he could watch all his sports. It was a small Nuclia Waste, the triple-nipple drag queen of monthly price to pay for love. comedy, is Out Front’s radioactive cultural columnist. See more columns at One day he asked me if I wanted to go to a or contact her through her website at Bronco game. I had never been to a live game before. Honestly, I really dreaded the idea but love


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 33


United in Orange Lil Devils // Jan. 19 photos by Charles Broshous A capacity crowd packed Li’l Devils on January 19 to watch Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos battle Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship and a birth in Super Bowl XLVIII. The sea of fans decked in orange and blue enjoyed drinks specials, a buffet lunch and touchdown shots. The celebration continued well into the evening after the Broncos won 26 to 10.

See more photos online at




2014 MLK Marade City Park // Jan. 20 photos by Charles Broshous As proponents of civil and racial justice, One Colorado joined with thousands of others in celebrating the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 20. The 2014 Marade, the largest MLK rally in the country, began with a ceremony in City Park. Speakers included Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Senator Mark Udall, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congressman Mike Coffman and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. See more photos online at


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 35


A workplace diversity leader

IBM executive Tony Tenicela on company culture and the business case for diversity By Paul Collanton IN JANUARY, DOWNTOWN DENVER–BASED SOFTWARE COMPANY SERVICESOURCE LAUNCHED THE KICKOFF MEETING of its brand new LGBT Employee Resource Group. Tony Tenicela, a global leader and business development executive focused on workplace diversity and LGBT markets at IBM, spoke at the meeting and shared an additional interview here. Tell us about your career path and what you do for IBM today. Since I was a young boy I have viewed life through a multicultural lens. My parents exposed me to international travel throughout my childhood since my father was invited to share his pain management practices with medical communities


around the world. I was exposed to the foods, languages and customs at a very young age and it really made me appreciate and value differences. It also motivated me to be very risk-taking after college and the first milestone of my career was when I joined Worldview Systems as one of the founding employees — a startup in San Francisco that developed the initial prototype for the Travelocity website back in the 90s. After that life-changing experience I went back to school and then joined IBM. Today I serve as a global leader for a very unique organization in the marketplace that advises multinational corporations and local enterprises around the world on how to leverage diversity and human capital in order to improve workforce effectiveness, address the needs of employees, foster collaboration and stimulate innovation. How do you define success and how important is it to achieve success? Each of us has our own definition of success. It’s really about maximizing opportunity and embracing your passion during our short lifetime, but at the same time creating a home environment that is supportive, fulfilling, and loving. The work-life balance is really critical for anyone’s happiness and for anyone to really consider their life to be successful. From a career standpoint, I think taking risks and having mentors is incredibly important. I heavily rely on mentors for their advice and their support and their encouragement to really help me make the right decisions and guide me in this journey.



How do you integrate diversity into a company culture? First it’s all about learning. I always recommend to our customers, not only leverage IBM’s best practices but also companies in your respective industries who have already started addressing diversity, to learn about their approach to diversity and start collecting best practices. Number one is education. The second thing is really about executive sponsorship. Really in any corporate environment it’s always essential to have the commitment and the sponsorship of some key executives who understand the business case and the reason for promoting and addressing diversity. Identifying those executives early on is critical. Third, it’s about encouraging and nurturing grassroots leaders at the employee level. All companies have passionate, passionate employees

about diversity and it’s really important to embrace that and have management realize and appreciate that these leaders really want to work with them on addressing diversity. Then it’s all about formalizing the commitment through an equal opportunity policy letter, through the development of certain programs, and from the proceeding on to formalizing diversity. What is your perspective on Employee Resource Groups? ERGs help organize employees who share an affinity or are part of a particular community. They traditionally will encourage employees to work together to provide training and networking opportunities for employees who want to join. They also serve as an important driver for addressing the needs of those respective communities. They are able to provide recommendation on policy benefits, identify mentors, and also engage in a wide variety of activities ranging from social events where you can invite employees from that particular community to get to know each other, to support each other, and then also being exposed to other aspects of the organization by bringing in internal and external guest speakers. What has transpired over the past few years is that ERGs also include a marketplace component. ERGs are not only serving to address the needs of their respective communities but also starting to contribute to the business by working to perhaps identify new decisionmakers in their respective communities, working with the sales and marketing teams to start cultivating those relationships, and leveraging those relationships in order to differentiate the company in competitive situations. What is the best piece of career advice you have received? My father gave me some advice, ‘It was really important to find something you love and do it better than anyone else.’ I really took that to heart because it really helped me it inspired me to do the best I possibly can in the role that I’m taking on at any given point in my career. It’s really important to follow your heart and not be discouraged by failure. Always be open to risk-taking. The one consistent element of anyone’s career is really to just do what you love and do it to the best of your ability. To hear the full interview on podcast, visit on the Gay Ambition Blog.



|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 37

CREATE TIME IS NEVER A WASTE Many, many years ago, as a restless youth of 16, 17 and 18, I would spend countless hours with my best friend, Marcy. She was two years ahead of me in college, where we were communication majors, but Marcy and I became true soul mates —academically, and personally. Together we wrote songs, directed plays, produced television programs, brainstormed on radio documentaries and worked on several other apparently creative and productive projects. But Marcy and I had one seemingly uncreative and unproductive pastime. We often would drive, at the end of the day, to the top of a hill, park there, and wait for the sun to go down. We observed everything — the glow of sunset, how one day it was brighter and more intense or how it might be fainter and more subdued than the last. As we watched the sunset, we’d take turns picking out a cloud and saying what it seemed to be doing — perhaps reaching out to the trees on the other side of the hill, or flying softly down to the blue lagoon below us, to rest among the lilies floating on the water. We saw angry clouds, happy clouds, funny clouds, young clouds, old clouds, and clouds thinning away in space to the still of the heavens. Marcy and I would drive back down when the sun had found a resting place for the day, somewhere beyond the horizon, or when all the interesting clouds had disappeared. Many times, my mother would ask, “why are you so late?” and I’d tell her, “ I went with Marcy to watch the sunset.” Her frequent comment was “what a waste of time.” But was it, really? When is time really a waste? Time defines so many of life’s experiences — the first time you felt a kiss, the last time you saw a loved one alive, the time you watched the clouds and saw life in its many facets. Time takes us from sunset to sunrise, from dawn to dusk. And Time is constant — Time doesn’t fly, life does. Time doesn’t slow down, people do. Time is the essence of life. Youth goes… love dies…life fades…and when we have nothing else, we have time — till there’s no time. Time is precious, of course, but so is our choice of what we do or not do with it. We can use Time to actively pursue our goals or to simply sit and listen to the heartbeat. It might be many things to many people at different moments in life, but Time is never “a waste.” And This, I Believe.

— J O S E F I N A ( P I TA ) T U A S O N



Time Is Never A Waste was first published in 2011 as a personal essay at Josefina Tuason lives in Denver and spearheaded the local community group Lesbians Got Talent, hosted by the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.

CALL FOR ENTRIES Submit poetry, stories and personal essays to Submit original artwork and photography to



TO ADDERALL This daily bread-white noise of paper forms and rent checks, empty kitchen sinks and smiling narcissists thanks generic pink, thirty milligrams communion weekday mornings for silencing the twilight’s dewy beckon. They once ran on gasoline paid lunches and fifteen-minute smoke breaks each two hours but generation bloodshot sweats amphetamine salts till quittin’ time. America. They got you this elevator to the sky like you don’t know there’s just a bunch of cubicles up there. Still you will take it up from yawning watered-down goodmornings at the front door passed silent universities stacked like cheap motel rooms up through cartons of linedance internships to the top button on your collared shirt — white on white lines dressed in crisp white — till the jazz streets fade into a static hum beneath — dings the twenty-seventh floor, and murmuring, delicious tedium, our formal dues. Now and then it must be woken with a shiver — that groggy distant hum, that serpent sky rubbing the sleep off of its frosted glass to show jet trails pointing backwards toward the horizon abruptly music tastes again like lemonade sweet beer and second dates, food tastes like food, earth tastes like earth, dust tastes like haunted dust love tastes like thunder for the first time since four years ago when these evenings were electric, hot, broke and falling apart. That moment — swallowed — on your porch at 5 a.m. our raw skin still soaked the stinging vodka air — you said there should be more nights like this but as the placid blue dawn cracked its whip across our tired eyes I knew another pale pink pill would have to wake me monday morning. — ANONYMOUS






W H AT W E ’ R E W E A R I N G

W H E R E D O YO U L I K E TO G O S H O P P I N G? I like to go shopping at H&M and add my personal flair to my outfit. I like to mix things up and try new things. W H AT ’ S Y O U R F A V O R I T E P I E C E O F C L O T H I N G ? I really like my shoes, these are my only pair of high tops right now and I love them. PHOTOS BY DENEE PINO

W H AT D O Y O U L I K E T O P O R T R A Y I N Y O U R S T Y L E ? I really enjoy playing with masculine & feminine style and mixing the two up. I really like to blur those lines. W H E R E I S YO U R FAV O R I T E P L A C E TO S H O P ? I like to go to places that have simple things like the Gap, H&M, Urban Outfitters & J. Crew. It also depends on my budget. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 

|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 39




Two truck redesigns changing perceptions By Jonathan McGrew TWO REDESIGNS FOR 2014: THE 2014 TOYOTA TUNDRA CREW MAX 4X4 AND THE 2014 GMC SIERRA SLT CREW CAB 4X4. Both about $50K as tested and what they offer might surprise you. Another interesting fact: one is made in Texas and the other in Mexico. Starting with the 2014 Toyota Tundra, our test vehicle was the 1794 Edition. Like most people, you might be wondering what that means. The short story is this: In 2003 the automaker bought what was once known as the JLC Ranch in order to consolidate the Toyota Tundra manufacturing. The ranch was originally established in 1794 — hence the name. If you dig into the history it isn’t exactly pro-Texas, but it is something linking history to the Toyota brand and a now American manufactured truck. I do find it somewhat ironic that the GMC is made in Mexico. It just goes to show you never know these days. Getting back to the two trucks,

both have been redesigned for 2014 and are trying to capture a luxury aspect. If we were truly comparing apples to apples, we would have driven the Denali in order to compare it to the ultimate luxury package of the 1794. Instead, we opted to compare price with the SLT being $670 less as tested than the 1794 Edition Tundra. The big question: Can the Tundra keep up? After all, the Tundra did win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award in 2008. From a looks and package department the Tundra 1794 Edition is a higher-end package with Lexus quality leather seats, suede inserts and the 1794 branding in the seat backs. The backseat room is superior to the GMC, however, like the GMC it has an all-new interior. That is really where the buck stops. The GMC Sierra SLT has a list of comparable options to the Tundra with leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, memory, navigation, back-up camera and, as you can imagine, more. Where it surpasses the Tundra is in functionality with additional options like auto-start, a built in

trailer brake controller option and more power port combinations for running your 21st century gadgets. The new GMC also has a superior edge in the driving, handling, noise and fuel-efficiency departments. If you compare the numbers the GMC does 18 mpg combined (3 better than Tundra) and has a smaller engine with less horsepower. Despite that it can still tow at a minimum 100 lbs. more and carry a payload of over 300 lbs. more. So how do you choose? Well, the Tundra Crew Max 1794 Edition looks “chiseled” and has the luxury touches of domestic brand trucks that cost easily $6K more if you are looking for King Ranch, Laramie Longhorn or Denali badges. It will carry people better than loads, but is still a capable truck despite our complaints of light and cumbersome steering. The GMC has a new ride, updated steering and a nice look for 2014, but isn’t the top of the line. Call me a traditionalist, but I just like the idea of a good ole’ GMC at the end of driving both trucks. ¢

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Growing together

Is the person across the table on a romantic date becoming a mirror image of you? By Kelsey Lindsey t I HAVE A FAVORITE PEOPLEWATCHING GAME TO PLAY AT RESTAURANTS: Observing the romantic couples in the dining room, I try to guess what number of dates each pair is on right now. With the help of my willing dinner companions, we study the tables for emotional chemistry and clues that lock down the number. Tentatively studying the menu? First date. Apprehensive handholding or fullblown flirting? Second and third. After the three-date milestone it’s harder to pin down a number, so my friends and I generalize: they’re “dating” or “in a relationship.” Skimming over some assumingly long-term couples during a recent round, a trend started to reveal itself. From clothing to mannerisms, these couples seemed to share more than mutual affection — couples in more than the emotional sense. Their body types, clothing, style, mannerisms, perhaps all of the above, would match. Sharing this observation with a friend, I expanded beyond independently-shared characteristics. She agreed with my hypothesis but also pointed out that most couples, mostly subconsciously, seem to

morph into similar people as the relationship develops. Is this part inevitable and instinctive? When you spend more and more time with someone, it seems many aspects of your previouslyindependent worlds would naturally combine. Shared ideological influences may guarantee similar reactions to events and conversations, while digging deeper into someone’s past may alter one’s look at the future. The commitmentphobe in me began to rear its ugly head. Where was the independence? And most importantly, where does it stop? The thought of losing a part of who I was pre-relationship is terrifying. But then I began to think of everything you would get in return. Giving up a part of your life to another human is scary, and adapting to the relationship is hard. But that’s the beauty and risk of being bonded to another: you lose bits of who you once were, but hopefully — luckily — you will gain so much more in return. Kelsey Lindsey is Out Front’s beauty columnist writing from an affirming perspective on being your best you. See more beauty columns at or contact Kelsey at


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Would you be attracted to a clone of yourself? How about a stranger who just happens to look very similar to you? The science is split on whether genetic similarities — or strong genetic differences — affect sexual attraction. Studies have suggested that differences in genes affecting the Major Histocompatibility Complex, the part of the immune system that recognizes whether to attack something as a disease, contribute to sexual attraction. The findings could mean genetic differences are detectable — subconsciously — in the scent of human sweat, and the chance of sexual attraction goes up when you catch a whiff of someone who’s more genetically different from you. That tendency could be a biological safeguard against incest and give children stronger immune systems, but no one has studied whether it affects same-sex couples as well. On the other hand, some studies have found evidence that facial similarities increase chances of attraction, which could encourage relationships between people who are more genetically similar — even relatives. In one study, test subjects were unwittingly shown faces that had been digitally blended with their own face, and rated them as more attractive than other random faces (the effect went away if they were told a face had some of their own features). The risk of attraction between biological siblings or family members who were separated at birth and reunite as adults is known as genetic sexual attraction.  ¢


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 41

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|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 43

Back from long-distance


The breakup, part II After a romantic loss, get back to living again By Berlin Silvestre IT’S BEEN WEEKS SINCE THE RELATIONSHIP went south and you’re still a mess, bless your heart. Your mind won’t let you be happy for more than fifteen minutes at a time before something in the environment (a song, a movie quote, the smell of a stranger’s shampoo) trips you up and you’re sighing, that reminds me of … The ex. Yeah. We know and we hate it, too. Because of our last Sexuality installment (online at, you know that what you’re going through is a perfectly natural and explicable chemical reaction to your douchecanoe of an ex. It’s time to move on now. There are jillions of things you can do to make the transition from the weepy version of you to the one we want back, but here are five solid points to keep in your back pocket. FIRST THING’S FIRST, YOU NEED YOU BACK. I’m not sure there’s anything that can make you feel as worthless and unattractive as being rejected by someone you care about, but don’t listen to your broken brain — those things that got in the way of your relationship don’t describe who you are! You had a life before she came along and you’ll have a life after. This too shall pass, but it’ll pass quicker with your help. After you’ve stabilized make an attempt to … STOP BEING YOUR WORST CRITIC! You’re not at your finest right now, I know, but can you please keep the self-hatred at bay? I’d admonish anyone who talked shit about you — especially you. Look, just because she left doesn’t mean there’s a hideous deficiency on your part that will prevent anyone else from falling in love with you. The little things you’ve always been insecure about are going to seem fifty times worse to you right now, so please stop obsessing on your tightening jeans or wondering if it was the preoccupation with work that did you in. You kick ass. Don’t stop now. DON’T OVER-ROMANTICIZE THE PAST. Remember how she always ditched you to hang with friends, as though you weren’t one? How about the occasional bitchy comment about your life choices? And why were you increasingly being snapped at and talked down to? Yeesh! You’re apt to forget the crappy points in the relationship and get bogged down on all the sweet nothings and security you felt being a part of a couple. Quit that, right now. The problem with living in the 44 


shadow of your former relationship is that you’re forgetting the times where you didn’t feel good about yourself when you were together, much less like soul mates. Screw what they say about cherishing the good times. For now, what you need is to conjure up the bad points and see why the breakup really was a good riddance. COMMENCE THE PURGE. Speaking of good riddance, get rid of the teddy bears, the dried flowers, the sappy letters, the photobooth pictures, and everything else that keeps you steeped in the memory of your life together. If you’re a true rebel, burn all that stuff in a ceremonial farewell. (It feels good, I swear.) If you’re really sentimental, fine: put it in a big box in the closet or some other place where you can’t see it. You can open it like a time capsule years later, when you’re in a better place and laugh about ever fretting over that nincompoop. Sometimes, but not always, purging can mean letting go of the friends and cool hangouts you discovered through Nincompoop. If it’s going to keep you focused on what she’s doing lately (which some would call stalking), get it out of your life. You don’t need her status updates, honey; you need closure. GET BACK TO THE THINGS YOU LOVE. Before you went AWOL from the life you used to have, you had these killer ideas for getting much more out of it — honing your craft, travelling, that triathlon. As is common, your plans kind of fell to the wayside when you started a life with another person. Now that you’re back, pick up where you left off. Remember that time you rode the city bus for hours and made that gutbusting blog post about the Body Odor Brigade? So funny. We miss your blog. Remember when, after you figured out Photoshop, you plastered some hella-janky boobs onto our class picture and tagged us on Facebook? So you of you. We miss you, so come back. In all honesty, there aren’t just five specific ways you’re going to move on. The keys to unlock your happy, healthy heart are unique to you, but one thing is certain: you can get through this if that’s what you truly want. Other suggestions: friends, family, the gym, some casual and healthy “love” from worthy lovers, a new hobby — pretty much anything that keeps you busy that isn’t destructive. Most of us have been where you are right now and we’ve made it to the other side, battle scars and all. It’s your turn to give you back to the world. Your life misses you.

Dear Shanna, My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now, but he’s been deployed overseas for more than two of them. He’s coming back Stateside for good, and of course, I’m ecstatic. However, I’m a little worried ASK THE SEXPERT about how to be intiShanna Katz mate with him, since we haven’t been together in a long time, and didn’t develop our relationship at a normal pace. Any thoughts? Sexually Supporting My Solider, Aurora Dear Sexually Supporting Your Soldier: Many congratulations to you and you loved one on his return. Intimacy in long distance relationships can look different than intimacy in relationships where those involved get to physically interact on a daily basis. I’m glad you’re thinking ahead, and recognizing that it might not be a perfect fairy tale reunion where you just start exactly where you had left off, as if nothing changed. Have you talked to your partner? Using email or Skype, consider talking about what your reunion will look like and set some realistic and exciting expectations about moving forward together. Rather than just planning how much hot sex you’ll be having (which is fine too!), also consider what dates you may want to go on, who is the bigger spoon, what love languages you may each use to show affection to each other. While you may have established these things early on, time apart can change dynamics, and it is a good idea to give the both of you a dating and intimacy refresher. Ditto goes for communicating about sex. While certain things may be hot to text, email, or Skype about, both of your sexual wants and needs might be different in the in-person world. Instead of making assumptions about anything, set up a safe space of communication; ask him what feels good, what he desires, etc, and make sure you’re willing to open up and share your wants and desires too. Also make sure to cover limits, safer sex practices, etc; it’s always good to check in about these things on a regular basis, and even more so if you haven’t seen each other in a while. Be ready to be flexible, try new things, and really work together as a team. All relationships require ongoing communication and willingness to hear your partner’s wants and needs; this one is no exception. Best of luck and welcome home to your soldier! Shanna Shanna Katz, M.Ed, ACS is a board-certified sexologist, sexuality educator and author who believes in open source, accessible sexuality education. See more columns at or for more info on teaching adults to optimize their sex lives visit Send Shanna a question for her column at

New, more-accurate acronyms A humble submission to our lexicon of gay dating slang GAY CULTURE HAS MANY SHORTHAND TERMS AND ACRONYMS USED ONLINE AND ELSEWHERE TO SIMPLIFY SITUATIONS OR CONCEPTS. Unfortunately, many of the terms on HIV, sex, and hooking up are discriminatory or mean-spirited. Take “DDF,” for “drug and disease free” (as in: “I’m looking for someone who’s ‘DDF,’” or “I’m ‘DDF’ and you should be too,”) which lumps people who are HIV positive with use of illegal drugs (which may or may not include pot). These categorical ways of describing people bother me for a few reasons — first, because they’re inaccurate. The term isn’t usually intended to describe non–sexually-related diseases like cancer or diabetes, nor does it address someone’s usage of alcohol, caffeine or nicotine — but what it does describe is simplistically conflated as a batch of things that carry social stigma. If you don’t want to hang with someone who uses illegal drugs, state that. (Be aware that they may be addicted to other things like being bitchy or chronically late.) If you are looking to get with someone who is HIV negative, then say that. (Be aware that just because someone tells you they are negative doesn’t mean that they are being honest about their status or even know their status.) My second concern with using terminology like this is that it can cause feelings of isolation, stigmatization, anger and hurt for many people who see or read your comment, even if that wasn’t your intent.

I’m sending out a worldwide challenge — develop language that can be used to describe yourself or what you’re looking for in positive terms, rather than perpetuating stigma toward who you don’t want. Send me your own ideas! Let’s start the revolution of empowering each other instead of separating and hurting each other.

optimistic attitude towards meeting up people to build great relationships. When they express interest or make plans, they mean it and can be counted on to follow through.

FLUID: Fun Lacking Using Illegal Drugs  //  These people may be sober, struggling with recovery, or simply wanting to stay away from people that use drugs. Additionally, people HEINZESIGHT may want to express if they usually PUSH: Positive Undetectable Sexy Brent Heinze Healthy  //  Here is new acronym that stay away from socializing in bars could describe someone who is HIV or clubs because hanging out in positive, consistent with their medication treatquieter environments can mean more intimate ment and has a low level of HIV in their blood which conversations. represents a hugely-reduced risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner — and, oh yeah — is WHIP: Wanting Hotness In Person  //  Use this when totally woofy. you want to reinforce that being online or endless chatting is not as fulfilling as meeting in person. Get out there and go do something! N EA R : N e ga t i ve Ed u ca te d Af f i r m i n g Responsible  //  Here is one for an HIV-negative person who understands how HIV is transmitted BAD FEAR: Bullshit And Drama Free Enjoyable and how to reduce their risk of becoming HIV Authentic Relationships   //  Wouldn’t that be nice? positive. These people have thought through their Hopefully this is what we are all endeavoring to have in our lives. personal limits and realize that there are ways to protect themselves without being afraid of or Brent Heinze, LPC, is a licensed professional condescending to HIV positive people. counselor. Get more HeinzeSight online at or send him a question for his PONG: Powerful Optimistic No Games  //  This decolumn at scribes an individual that has integrity and an


|  FEBRUARY 5, 2014  | 45

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Feb. 5:: Love  
Feb. 5:: Love