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S IAM L L I LLE W E H C I M IDKE RETURNS • ANTI-GAY FAMILY ADS •
2 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY OWNERS AND PUBLISHERS Michael Daniels & Chris Hayes EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / ART DIRECTOR Chris Hayes email@example.com
Nina Pop! @ Axis - Nina West’s new show opened this past weekend. The show is a conceptual nod to Andy Warhol and his factory of work. Don’t miss this weekend’s encore performance Saturday and XXXposed Benefit for BC/EFA and CATF on Sunday where you will get performances from Pop!, a few of Nina’s EOY performances, and lots of skin! Doors 7p, show 8p.
ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR / PHOTOS Robert Trautman firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Adam Leddy email@example.com COVER PHOTO: DEBRA KATE / DESIGN: LISA MCLYMONT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mette Bach, Danielle Buckius, Wayne R Besen, Chris Crain, Jennifer Vanasco, Tom Moon, Regina Sewell, Leslie Robinson, Gregg Shapiro, Mick Weems, Julianne French, TF Barton, Romeo San Vicente, Jeff Fertig, Simon Sheppard, Tristan Taormino, Dan Savage, Felice Newman, Tim Curran, Chris Hughes, Stephen J Fallon, J. Eric Peters, Brent Wilder, Jacob Anderson-Minshall, Cheri Meyers
BUSINESS & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Michael Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org
The people’s diva
Andy would be proud
John Carney Fundraiser @ Lahoti/Samson Home - Many a mo gathered at Rajesh & Travis’s for a chance to get a picture with Senator John Glenn and contribute to Carney’s run for State Representative. Glenn and Carney both gave rousing speeches while guests nibbled munchies and sipped cocktails.
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OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008 VOLUME 13 NUMBER 16
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
Jack Fraley turns 50 @ Club Diversity It was a night of memories and divas. The celebration lasted all night long as friends gathered to celebrate Jack Fraley’s birthday at Club Diversity. Thru the years at Snicker’s, The Dell, Out on Main, and Club Diversity, many people have shared special moments with Jack: first dates, marriage proposals, wedding receptions, birthday parties, amazing musical performances and PRIDE celebrations. Many of us can share stories that include Jack. He is known as much for his ability to listen as for his amazing Chocolate Martini that was nationally recognized online. Jack has always been more than a manager because he has created relationships with his “guests.” Many guests showed up to share stories or sing along with the amazing performers who performed in Jack’s honor. Happy Birthday, Jack !
SNAPSHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........2 ABOUT TOWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....3,34 LETTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........4 COMMUNITY CORNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........6 SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........8 GENERAL GAYETY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........8 TRANSNATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........9 OUT BUSINESS NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......11 POLI SCI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......13 EARTH TALK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......15 EXAMINED LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......16 FEATURE: IDKE-X . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .19-24 DEEP INSIDE HOLLYWOOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......26 ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......26 INTERVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..28,31 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......29 PUCKER UP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......32 SAVAGE LOVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......33 THE LAST WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......35 SCOPES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......35 NEXT WEEK: BOO!
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 3
ABOUT TOWN THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 SPEND YOUR WEEKEND WITH IDKE X IDKE X Meet N Greet @ East Village, 630 N High St, 614.221.7531, www.idkex.com/events: Mingle til you tingle with IDKE’s fabulous drag kings and their admirers. Check out the site for full listing of events. 7:30p-9:30p. THE YOUNGSTERS HAVE TASTE LinkOUT Thirsty Third Thursday @ Franklin Park Conservatory: Relax and unwind with LinkOUT, the GLBT young professionals group, on the new rooftop gardens at the Franklin Park Conservatory. Cash bar and $4-$5 small plates by Cameron Mitchell. Free. HAUNTING HENRIK Ibsen’s Ghosts @ MadLab Theatre, 105 N Grant, Columbus, 614.221.5418, http://raconteurtheatre.com: Raconteur Theatre presents Ghosts. Pre-show lecture Oct 16 @ 7p. Thu-Sat 8p, Sun 2p, thru Oct 25; $1015 at door or $12 online. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17 SUPERNATURALLY FUNNY Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit @ Club Diversity, 863 S High Street, 614.406.5510, www.ticketweb.com: Club Theatre and director Brent Alan Burington present a rollicking take on Coward’s supernatural comedy, with an all-star cast that is itself blithely spirited. Reservations recommended. October 17, 18, 24 & 25, 7p; October 19 & 26, 2p; $12 students $15 adults. HISTORICALLY HAUNTED Haunted Tours @ the Statehouse, 614.728.9234, www.statehouseshop.com: Statehouse staff members and volunteers will combine history and legend in this special family-friendly haunted Statehouse tour. This historical tour is spooky but appropriate for all members of the family. Oct 17-18 & 24-25, 7p10p tours departing every half hour; $8 adults $4 children. LOVE IN THE TIME OF DEER SEASON Escanaba in Love @ Studio 1, Riffe Center, Corner of State & High: Another B-I-G event is brewing at the Soady family deer camp, deep in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Come back with us to Escanaba, Michigan, where deer season is always “like Christmas with guns.” Wed-Sun thru Nov 2. Catco.org for show times and tickets. KNOCK OFF THAT RACKET! Raising Hell @ Shadowbox Cabaret, Easton Towne Center, 614.416.7625, shadowboxcabaret.com: Shadowbox takes audiences on a wild ride this fall with this brand new themed production. Original sketch comedy and heart-pounding rock ‘n’ roll unveil sinful temptations and show that naughty is sometimes nice and can always be hilarious when Shadowbox is Raising Hell. Through Nov 15. Thu 7:30p; Fri & Sat 7:30p &10:30p; $20-$30. DON’T BE AGORA-PHOBIC Agora V @ Junctionview Studios, 889 Williams Ave, www.agoracolumbus.com: Featuring 50 open artist studios and the work of hundreds of visiting artists and performers, Agora showcases the best of Columbus’ creative community. Exclusive preview party Fri 5p-10p; $20 presale, $25 at the door public. Public opening Sat 6p-12a; free. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18 NINA DOES ANDY NINA! POP @ Axis, 775 N High St, 614.291.4008: National Entertainer of the Year Nina West presents
by Adam Leddy
NINA! POP. Cast includes Virginia West, Deeranged, Alexis Stevens, Freesia Balls, & Sandy Von Lipschitz in a send-up of Andy Warhol and his art. Tickets $8 @ U or door, $50 tables; doors7p, show 8p. 14th Annual Hee Haw Party @ Q Bar & Niteclub, 205 N 5th St, 614.222.2401: Join Daisy Dude, Mr Ed and Mary Ann Brandt for Columbus’s Hottest Ho Down. The dance party kicks off with Dayton’s original 1470 West DJ Dwaine Wheeler spinning from 11p-2:30a. Followed up with a special edition of AFTERHOURS featuring Daisy’s Dueling DJs Rob Engel & Patrick Finn spinning together for the first time in 10 years. The only thing country about this event is your attire. $8 11p-2a; $10 2a-4:30a. HELP OBAMA CLOSE THE DEAL IN OHIO GLBT Weekend of Action to Win Ohio @ UFCW Union Hall, 4150 E Main St & across the city: GLBT activists and volunteers converge on Columbus to deliver Central Ohio to Obama-Biden. Canvass shifts are Sat 9a-2p and/or 1p-6p; Sun 10a-3p and/or 2p6p. Lunch and dinner included both days. Participants without cars will be partnered with drivers. RSVPs encouraged, email@example.com. Dinner celebration @ East Village 6:15p Sun. STOP TRAFFIC AT WALL STREET Monthly Traffic Jam Party @ Wall Street, 144 N Wall St, 614.464.2800: The color of the glow stick signifies availability: green sticks for available, red for taken, and yellow for willing to play. Come see the colors and get to know your own Green or Yellow. 9p. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19 QUEEN FOR A CAUSE Nina XXXposed 3 @ Axis, 775 N High St, 614.291.4008: Third annual benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Columbus AIDS Task Force. Show includes silent auction of Broadway memorabilia including items from Patti Lupone, David Letterman, and Mary Poppins. Nina will also perform her winning numbers from Entertainer of the Year. Tickets $8 @ U or door, $50 tables; doors7p, show 8p. RUNNERS NEED OGLING, TOO BRAVO Home Stretch Brunch @ the home of Janet Lucas & Sherrill Howard, 983 Neil Ave, 614.294.7867: Cheer on the Columbus Marathon Runners as they enter the home stretch. 9a; suggested donation $25. A NIGHT WITH THE HORSEMAN The Legends of Sleepy Hollow @ Club Diversity, 863 S High Street, 614.406.5510, www.ticketweb.com: Perfect for the Halloween season, Brent Alan Burington performs 16 different roles as he spins out classic ghost stories from the pen of Washington Irving. Reservations recommended. October 19 7p; $12 students, $15 adults. DEBBIE DOES EUROPE Photography by Debbie Rosenfeld @ Caterina Ltd, 571 S 3rd St, 614.224.7224: Debbie’s work shares with us her insight into the aesthetic arrangements surrounding us everyday. 4p-6; free. EERILY GOOD MUSIC Mount Eerie @ the Black Box Theatre, Chappelear Drama Center, Ohio Wesleyan University campus, firstname.lastname@example.org: Don’t miss your chance to see Mount Eerie’s unforgettable live show. 7p-12a; $5. OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
4 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
Eighty-Eight Reasons to Vote for Barack Obama To The Editor: John Paul Stevens is 88 years old. Every year of his life is a reason to elect Barack Obama. There’s a very delicate and fragile balance on the U.S. Supreme Court when it comes to freedom and equality. The four progressive-leaning justices - John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, and Steven Breyer - have an average age of 75.5 years. The four conservative justices - John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas - have an average age of 60.7. The swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, is 72. It stands to reason that the next president will appoint at least one Supreme Court Justice. John McCain’s replacement of Stevens should he retire would bring unthinkable consequences for our basic rights. The effect would be so great, so chilling, that I believe the Log Cabin Republicans would rue the day they decided to lend a hand to those who would as quickly criminalize their consensual sex as give them a tax cut. Matthew Tsien and the Logs would love to convince you that Barack Obama’s election would eliminate jobs - a claim that is ripe for contention. But without a president, and if it comes to it, a Supreme Court, that will defend the right of qualified workers to earn a living without fear of being arbitrarily dismissed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, those jobs and wages could be lost to us anyway. McCain voted against ENDA. And under his administration, the Supreme Court would likely rule against basic fairness in discrimination suits brought by LGBT individuals, and for that matter, by women and racial minorities. In the recent Ledbetter v. Goodyear, the Court decided that a woman who had been grossly underpaid compared to her male counterparts was not entitled to lost wages. They ignored the dis-
crimination and ruled against her because she hadn’t brought the suit earlier, even though the plaintiff took action immediately upon discovering the wrong done to her. This has more than a few implications for discrimination claims brought by members of the LGBT community. And with even one more radical right-wing judge on the nation’s highest court, the justice system will swiftly become an ironic misnomer. We need to elect Obama merely to maintain the status quo. Think about that. Should the court’s two eldest justices, Stevens and Ginsburg, retire during Obama’s first term, the LGBT community won’t have more allies on the Court - only a one-to-one replacement of our previous allies. Obama has to be the person who fills the next openings on the Supreme Court just to preserve the very uncertain equilibrium we have right now. His appointments won’t make us more likely to win cases. They’ll just make us as likely to win as we are today. Tsien lauds John McCain for his support of the troop surge in Iraq, and touts national security as a reason we should vote for him. But is our nation safer when tens of thousands of brave, patriotic heroes - some of them with special skills, like knowledge of Arabic and engineering - are denied the right to serve because they are gay or lesbian? When untold numbers are dissuaded from joining the armed forces because of the strain of living under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” McCain is an outspoken advocate of the military’s discriminatory ban on open service by gays and lesbians, and if he becomes president, that policy would surely remain in place. Recently, two circuit courts came to contradictory conclusions in suits brought by service members discharged under the ban. Should one of those cases proceed to the Supreme Court, we can predict how McCain’s justices would rule. But with Obama’s choices, we just might have a fighting chance of ending a policy that does nothing to protect our
troops, and which puts our homeland in danger. Until 2003, Americans could still be prosecuted under state sodomy laws. The Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas struck down those laws, by the slimmest of margins – 5 to 4. The ruling was grounded in the right of consenting adults to have sex based on how intimate and personal the conduct was to those involved. The dissenting opinion was that the right to sexual privacy is not protected by the Constitution. Should a case challenging Lawrence reach the Supreme Court with even one McCain-appointed judge, all the progress the LGBT community has made since Stonewall could be erased. According to Tsien, the election of Obama would signal doom to the economy. That’s the reason LGBT voters should cast their ballots for McCain, Tsien says - never mind that McCain’s policies don’t meaningfully differ from those of President Bush, the architect of our current troubles, and that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe Obama is better equipped to handle the crisis. All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you’re a second-class citizen. Even if McCain could help the nation recover from this financial predicament, what’s it worth when the highest court in the land interprets the Constitution to be an exclusive document, instead of the protector of liberty our Founding Fathers intended it to be? With all due respect to Tsien, there’s nothing more important than LGBT issues in 2008, because, truly, quintessential American values are at stake. Regards, Terry Terry W. Penrod Director, Human Rights Campaign www.hrc.org
The Reader Poll Last week we asked:
Have you ever dressed in drag?
Yes 85% No 15% NEXT WEEK’S QUESTION:
What do you think will be the most popular Halloween costume this year?
Got something to say? We want to hear from you!
Log on to: www.outlookweekly.net to take this week’s poll.
Email us at email@example.com or logon to www.outlookweekly.net.
25% SO U RC
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
E : GALLUP
NOV 2 ’04
OCT 13 ’08
IRAQI CIVILIAN DEAD
DAYS ‘TIL 2008 ELECTION
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 5
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
6 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
The Club Theatre Company Holding Auditions The Club Theatre Company is holding auditions for All I Want For Christmas… (the third coming!) for men and women ages 18 and up. Open Calls are set for Monday, October 20 7p-9p & Tuesday, October 21 7p-9p at Club Diversity/Club Theatre Company, 863 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206. All auditioning are asked to please have one comedic monologue prepared. Performance dates will be December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 @ 7p December 7, 14 & 21 @ 2p Please note, this is an adult comedy (aka, not your typical holiday show) and features much profanity. All I Want For Christmas is a tradition at The Club Theatre Company. Because we want the participants to feel they are truly a part of something unique, much of the characters and action in the play will be determined by the actors. Please contact Jenny with any questions 614.406.5510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Etheridge and Kucinich to Share Stage at Cleveland Public Theatre Rock icon, activist, Grammy winner, Oscar winner, and breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge will appear in Cleveland on Wednesday, October 22nd, in support of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s campaign for re-election. Etheridge, who recently performed at the Democratic National Convention, will share the stage with Congressman Kucinich at the Cleveland Public Theater, where they will have a wide-ranging discussion on key issues of personal, community, national, and global importance. Kucinich, who has represented the 10th district of Ohio since 1996, is currently seeking his seventh consecutive term representing a district that includes most of western Cleveland and large suburban communities such as Parma, Lakewood, and Westlake. Recently in Congress, Kucinich voted against the proposed $700 billion corporate bailout bill because, as the Congressman stated, “it did not address the concerns of millions of American homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes.” Congressman Kucinich is well known for his community advocacy and for his steadfast commitment to issues such as universal healthcare, clean energy, and civil rights. Etheridge has recently released a new album called A New Thought for Christmas, but is taking time out of her busy promotional schedule to appear in Cleveland in support of the veteran Congressman. She has previously supported Kucinich by publicly opposing the American Broadcasting Company’s decision to exclude Congressman Kucinich from a January 2008 televised presidential debate. Asked why she supports Dennis Kucinich in his Congres-
The Fierce Tribe Now Available Author and Outlook Weekly contributor Mickey Weems has released The Fierce Tribe: Masculine Identity and Performance in the Circuit. The book is a thorough study of the Circuit that covers its roots in pre-Stonewall gay culture, its rise in the seasonal migration of men from Manhattan to Fire Island, and the spread of that festive culture across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Israel, and different points in East and Southeast Asia. Chronicling both the positive and troubling aspects of Circuit culture, Weems discusses the importance of sophisticated and spectacular performance (especially by DJs) and the role of AIDS fundraising in the origin of many of the parties. He also examines “body fascism” and the problems that arise from the arrogance of some of the Circuit’s most celebrated beauties, as well as participants’ penchant for engaging in substance abuse and irresponsible sexual behavior. Of primary importance to the author is how masculinity is transformed in the Circuit from something OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
men use to threaten each other into something they use to attract each other. Weems employs eyecatching pictures of participants and parties throughout the text to illustrate the point that muscle in the Circuit is a marker of beauty rather than a means for self-protection. The rhythms of Circuit-tailored music are designed to bring attention to the dance floor and encourage party participants to join together in one joyful mass, fostering an experience of shared ecstasy that many of them speak of in spiritual terms. As Blake Baker of the Dallas Purple Party says in the book: “It’s like we are all some ancient tribe doing a ceremonial mating dance…it’s a truly spiritual experience.” In a world filled with violence, warfare, and terrorism - almost all of which is perpetrated by men - Weems suggests that the Circuit community is coming up with ways for men to express their masculinity without resorting to violence, ways that could transform society as we know it. Published by Utah State University Press, The Fierce Tribe is available for order at the following websites: www.usu.edu/usupress; www.barnesandnoble.com; www.borders.com; www.amazon.com.
sional campaign, Etheridge offered, “Dennis Kucinich represents a growing progressive movement, nationwide. His keeping his congressional seat is of utmost importance to millions nationwide who consider him a force for this movement.” This past June, the Congressman escorted Etheridge and her son on a tour of Capitol Hill. Melissa Etheridge is no stranger to pairing music with politics and activism. In 2007 she won an Oscar for her song “I Need to Wake Up,” from the soundtrack to Al Gore’s documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. And in 2005, she recorded the song “I Run for Life,” which benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Etheridge’s new album, A New Thought for Christimg.villagephotos.com mas, is a Christmas album for everyone, and in the artist’s own words, begs the question, “If we’re all talking about peace on earth, what if we all concentrated on peace on earth and made it happen?” General admission seating to the theater program can be obtained by making a $50 campaign contribution. The 8pm event will be preceded by a welcome reception for Ms. Etheridge hosted by Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich and attended by contributors at the $250 level and above. Those who contribute $1,500 or more will be invited to dine with Ms. Etheridge, the Congressman and Mrs. Kucinich immediately following the theater program. For reservations or more information, please visit www.kucinch.us/events or contact the Kucinich campaign event coordinator Stacey Singer at 216.889.9000 or email@example.com.
Share Your Story for the Transgender Day of Remembrance It’s difficult to share life’s experiences with people you don’t know very well, let alone in some situations, people you don’t know at all. Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to even share thoughts and feelings with even the people you’ve known for a longtime! It’s definitely a common thread which many transgender people would quickly shake their head in agreement with. The fear of sharing is only one tie that binds us together. On Thursday, November 19, our community will be immersed in the 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. We will be honoring our brothers and sisters whom we have lost by way of violence, either, inflicted upon them by someone or self-inflicted violence (i.e. suicide). TransOhio is asking members of the transgender and ally community to share a story of how violence has touched your life or someone close to you. Share part of a story. Share the whole story. Or, only share a name. The most important thing to remember is that this Day of Remembrance is an opportunity to give a lasting tribute to those individuals who
are no longer able to share with us the joys of life. From the responses we get, we’ll be asking people to share their story with those in attendance at our Transgender Day of Remembrance event. If you’re not comfortable standing in front of a crowd and talking about your experience, please do not let that keep you from sharing. Board members from TransOhio are willing to share your story, your experience, on your behalf. For those who wish to keep their anonymity, we definitely respect and understand that some people need that. When we share your experience, personal details won’t be mentioned. This year we’ll also have a “memory book” available so that all attendees can write in– a name, a drawing, a message to those that they wish to honor and pay tribute to. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please email us at TransOhio@gmail.com.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 7
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
8 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
CLGSA Fall Season Ends This past week was the end of season tournament. The league stats stay the same, but the winners are: Tournament Champs - Exile, 2nd Place - Score 2! Congrats! For more info on leagues: www.clgsa.net
NEW PROGRAM CONTRIBUTES SAFETY/Money Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and Berliner Action Team for Sports (BATS), have formed a partnership with FlexMedia to help create a safer environment for the city’s athletes. “FlexMedia’s Sports Safety Fencing allows individual fence panels to flex in either direction upon contact, reducing the possibility of injuries and providing athletes and their families peace of mind,” said Terry Goodin, President of FlexMedia Partnership. Goodin describes the program as a “win-win opportunity for the athletes, park department, businesses and communities served.” FlexMedia will donate their innovative Sport Safety Fencing to the Parks Department. In partnership with the department, local businesses can purchase advertising space on the FlexMedia Sports Safety Fence and receive exposure to thousands of athletes and their families and friends. Through the partnership, the Parks Department not only receives the free Sport Safety Fencing, but also a share of all ad revenues generated by the program. “The program enhances safety for our athletes and beautifies our park property. The portability of the fencing allows for easy maintenance,” said Alan McKnight, Director of Columbus Recreation and Parks. “Another significant benefit is that the program will provide Columbus Recreation and Parks with a consistent fundraising mechanism that can help maintain park programs.” Softball, baseball, and fast pitch softball games at Berliner Park draw well over 100,000 participants and their families between April and October. In a typical year, Berliner Park welcomes over 1,000 league teams. Additionally, 1,500 youth teams and 1,200 adult teams visit each summer for tournaments. To learn more contact Catherine Guilbert 614.273.5303.
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
by Leslie Robinson
HEALTH MINISTER’S REMOVAL THE RIGHT RX Hours after taking office, South Africa’s new president announced he was removing Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as health minister. At last, Dr. Beetroot has been uprooted. Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang truly earned her reputation as an international laughingstock during her tenure as health minister. She met South Africa’s AIDS crisis with all the medical sense of Dr. Seuss. Scientists may believe antiretroviral drugs are the best way of fighting AIDS, but you couldn’t prove that by her. She often expressed doubt over the drugs’ side effects. Instead, she told HIV-positive people to eat beetroot, garlic, lemon, olive oil and potatoes. That’s how she came by her nicknames of “Dr. Beetroot” and “Dr. Garlic.” It seems to me “Dr. Do-Little” works too. Tshabalala-Msimang wasn’t the only one in government with warped views. She was a close ally of former president Thabo Mbeki, who became infamous for denying that HIV causes AIDS. Clearly a world leader in the mold of Ronald “I-will-not-say-AIDS” Reagan. The Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa’s leading AIDS activist organization, regularly fought the health minister in the courts. “Over 2 million South Africans died of AIDS during the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. At least 300,000 deaths could have been avoided,” said the group after Tsha-
balala-Msimang was removed. “Mbeki and his health minister pursued a policy of politically supported AIDS denialism and undermined the scientific governance of medicine.” In other words, nuts to your vegetables. The opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, had a blunt response to her departure: “Tens of thousands of South Africans have lost their lives because of her ridiculous policies on HIV/AIDS, and she should have been fired nine years ago.” The bellows for her resignation peaked in 2006. At the International AIDS Conference in Toronto that year, the nation of South Africa, like many others, had a display. South Africa’s exhibition was festooned with beetroot, lemons and garlic. Reportedly the resulting criticism prompted health ministry employees to toss on a few bottles of pills. I assume this didn’t stop the criticism, nor add much aesthetically. In a speech in Toronto, then-U.N. envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, blasted the Mbeki government’s AIDS policies as “more worthy of a lunatic fringe than of a concerned and compassionate state.” Tshabalala-Msimang then declared Lewis was as unwelcome in South Africa as nail fungus, prompting over 80 international scientists to pen an open letter to Mbeki. “To promote ineffective, immoral policies on HIV/AIDS endangers lives,” they wrote. “To have as a health minister a person who
now has no international respect is an embarrassment to the South African government.” But Dr. Beetroot remained planted in office until now. Mbeki’s successor as president, Kgalema Motlanthe, moved her to a lesser position in his office. She’s now head of government communications. If that means she deals with the media, expect fireworks. Consider how, speaking to reporters after being sworn in, she poohpoohed previous criticism. “The only critics were the media, and the media had lost perception,” she said. Since her critics were actually everywhere, inside and outside South Africa, it seems she’s the one who doesn’t excel in the perception department. Her replacement faces a mountain of a job. South Africa has the most people with HIV in the world, some 5.4 million. No sweat. A group of AIDS activists saw to it that the new health minister got off to a good start. The activists, thrilled at Dr. Beetroot’s re-assignment, gathered outside the Cape Town apartment of new minister Barbara Hogan, and serenaded her. She came down from her apartment and drank champagne with them. Hogan told them she was “deeply touched.” She must be to take on this job. Leslie Robinson lives in Seattle. E-mail her at LesRobinsn@aol.com.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 9
TRANSNATION by Jacob Anderson-Minshall
HeteroQueer Activist Speaks at Southern Comfort “I’ve been in the family for so long - nearly 30 years - it’s home to me. Straight, to me, is a lifestyle I just can’t relate to even though I present fairly straight.” C. Michael Woodward identifies as heteroqueer: “It means I’m a man who enjoys the company of women - although that has been known to be flexible - but lives almost exclusively in LGBTQ social circles.” The forty-five-year-old is a committed LGBT activist. The former executive director of Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA) says when he first joined the organization, “I just kept showing up everywhere and talking about my experiences with invisibility as a hetero transsexual man with a lesbian history still living intentionally in the LGBT community.” Woodward also helped found the Arizona Transgender Workplace (ATWORK) Project and establish the Alexander John Goodrum Transgender Mental Health Advocacy Project, in memory of TGNet Arizona founder. Enveloping TGNet’s programs, SAGA then folded into Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT community center and today is one of the largest regional trans advocacy programs in the country. Woodward has gone on to become Wingspan’s Health and Wellness Programs Manager. He’s also continued to speak about transgender issues to a wide range of audiences, from
PFLAG and Sunday school classes to the Arizona Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division staff. Recently Woodward spoke at Atlanta’s 18th Annual Southern Comfort Conference, the five-day trans spectrum symposium. Despite his accomplishments, Woodward isn’t resting on his laurels. He contends: “We still need universal access to health care, better legal protection, less violence and discrimination, better surgical techniques for men, and an inclusive ENDA. Clearly there are a few things I haven’t gotten to - yet.” Growing up in Indiana, Woodward had his first lesbian relationship at 17. After graduating college, he discovered the National Women’s Music Festival (not to be confused with Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival). “NWMF was a transforming experience for me,” Woodward says. “Seeing all those womenloving-women together in one place at one time was very moving.” For the next 14 years, Woodward filled volunteer positions at the festival and met the era’s celebrity lesbians like Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Kate Clinton, and Tracy Chapman. He served several years as president of the NWMF board of directors and the experience started him “on the path to a full-time career in the LGBT community. I wanted to be a professional
lesbian and earn a living because of who I was, not in spite of who I was.” After transitioning, Woodward wasn’t sure where he fit. “I’d lived openly as a butch dyke for 20-some years [but] I was pretty hung up on people not assuming I was a gay man just because I was in gay space. Ten years down the road…both my orientation and my identity [have become] a bit more blurred over time, and my lesbian-separatist aversion to men and especially their penises eventually melted away.” His spirit of activism has led Woodward to staff True Spirit and Gender Odyssey conferences; present at Southern Comfort, FORGE-Forward and Creating Change; and - earlier this year - bring the International Foundation for Gender Education conference to Tucson. In 2009, as part of his new position, Woodward will cochair the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network conference. When Woodward discovered the existence of trans men at 35, he says he knew almost immediately that he wanted to transition, but was terrified he’d lose his singing voice. “It did take a fair amount of work to retrain my ears and vocal muscles to not think like a female voice. It was a good two years before I really had command of the new vessel.” Woodward, whose parents met doing summer
stock, grew up in front of an audience. “My first performance was a kids’ piano contest at age 5. I played ‘Green Tambourine’ and came in second place! I spent many a night finishing my homework backstage.” He enrolled as a voice major at a prestigious music college but was “quickly disillusioned when I realized there wasn’t going to be a lot of work for butch sopranos. After one semester, I quit.” Now he fronts the rock and blues band Too Much Information, which has five originals and a “homegrown demo cd. There’s not a lot of expectations around hitting the big time, but we all have the rock star fantasy.” Trans writer Jacob Anderson-Minshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) co-hosts Gender Blender, a new show on Portland, Oregon’s 90.7 fm KBOO radio and streaming live at KBOO.fm. © 2008 Jacob Anderson-Minshall
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
10 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 11
OUT BUSINESS NEWS by Randy Green & James Watson
AVOIDING FORECLOSURE PANIC BY UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC RECORD DATA By Randy Green, vice president of data acquisition at Foreclosure Trackers Each quarter, foreclosure data publishers report on the state of the industry either by citing current statistics or attempting to forecast where the industry is headed. While the U.S. housing market is indeed experiencing a crisis, many of these reports misleadingly display astronomical numbers that combine multiple phases of foreclosure on the same property depressing already low homes values in states like California, Florida, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan, and leading the general public to fear for the worst. Now, more than ever, the public needs accurate, timely data presented in ways that are easy to understand. To better understand the reports and forecasts as they are published, there are five things every homeowner and prospective homebuyer needs to know about quarterly foreclosure reports and forecasts, including: ■ Industry Terms - Know the difference between a default notice, auction notice, REO, les pendens and more - and most importantly, how they correlate. ■ Regional Differences - The actual foreclosure data, and how it is reported, varies from region to region. ■ Number Forecasts - While these are generally reasonably accurate, a forecast often includes numbers that have been averaged across regions, or numbers that have been manipulated based on past numbers and guesswork. ■ Timing of Forecasts - Because different states report their foreclosure numbers at different times, no region is ever truly “complete” at the time of foreclosure industry forecasts. ■ “Double-dipping” - Some foreclosure data publishers count a statistic at Notice of Default, and then “double-dip” or count the same property again at auction, thereby inflating the numbers. The most trustworthy data reporting companies are those that “scrub” their data, rather than just publishing it. All data comes from the same source, but it is how the data is processed and reported that spells the difference between accurate and inaccurate statistics. When and Where the Data Originates County Recorders throughout the country provide access to their recorded documents at different intervals. A “best case scenario” in terms of timing would be Los Angeles County, which records a Notice of Default today, meaning the mortgage payments on a property are in substantial arrears, would then be posted on a foreclosure data Web site in approximately six days. San Luis Obispo County, although located within the same state, could take as long as 45 days. Typically, smaller counties generally require a lengthier period of
time to report their foreclosure numbers; however, any county can be delayed in reporting when there are an inordinate number of recordings. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to report accurate numbers in most counties for at least three to four weeks after the end of the preceding month. In America there are 3100 counties, and all are inconsistent with each other regarding their recordings. Some counties record some form of Default document, such as a Notice of Default or Les Pendens, whereas others use an Appointment of Substitute Trustee. Some counties have no reporting altogether or very limited reporting, while still others report only those properties that have been repossessed. Third party sales and foreclosure cancellations are an important piece of the puzzle in reporting accurate statistics. Third party sales are sales made to a party prior to the foreclosure sale or at auction. A foreclosure cancellation means the past due balance and penalties have been satisfied by the lender and the property is no longer in foreclosure. Either scenario can occur any time prior to the actual day of the auction. The Foreclosure timeline is not only vastly different from county to county; it also varies from state to state. Texas, for example, is 24 for days from the recording of the Default to the Auction, while New York is 445 days. Delays in the auction, for whatever reason, can extend these timelines into additional months. How and Why the Data Gets Manipulated Some foreclosure data publishers take the information from the County Recorder’s office and combine it at every stage in the foreclosure - even counting multiple stages on the same property. Yet, reporting any stage of foreclosure filed after the initial Default is simply another stage of the same filing. A notice of sale and repossession (REO) still represent the original household in default. It would, however, be appropriate to report on how many default filings go to the next stage or ultimately are repossessed by the bank. Some data providers have multiple sources of data, which results in multiple postings because the lender name is not standardized and the database recognizes the information as an additional foreclosure. Legitimate multiple foreclosures on an address are not filtered out of statistics and therefore result in inflated numbers - contributing to the aforementioned public panic. Still, some providers do not receive either third party sale documents or cancellation of foreclosures which, if not removed, will also result in inflated numbers. Why would a data publisher post inflated numbers? Many of these data publishers sell database subscriptions that draw customers based on the number of listings posted. It is more alluring to post 100,000 foreclosure listings than to post 50,000. Foreclosure data sites do serve an important function. They help real estate agents, investors and the general public connect with homes that need to be sold, which is why the accuracy of the informa-
tion provided is so necessary. For the most accurate data, look for a site that is single sourced, where multiple foreclosures on a single address are filtered out of statistics and third party sales and cancellations are collected and processed into data. By gaining an understanding of how the data is being published and what the numbers really represent, Americans can better assess the state of the industry and avoid unnecessary or unsubstantiated panic. Randy Green is vice president of data acquisition for Foreclosure Trackers, Inc. Green formerly held various roles including sales and regional management with First American Real Estate, RealPro and SAFECO Title/American Title/Ticor Title before working with DataQuick as vice president of Title Services and National Data Alliance manager. He also served as director of data acquisition for RealtyTrac. He currently lives in Irvine, California. To learn more, visit www.ForeclosureTrackers.com.
SMALL BUSINESSES FIND INNOVATIVE WAY TO SUCCEED AMIDST ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY by James Watson, chief executive officer for TechSpace Doing business in today’s economy has become increasingly difficult for small and midsized businesses. And it is often the expenses imposed by non-core business functions that make survival in today’s economy financially unfeasible. In order to survive and thrive in today’s economy, growing businesses need to not only succeed at providing whatever product or service they specialize in - but they must also spend exorbitant amounts of money on the simple costs of doing business. The high costs of furnishing offices and workstations, setting up technology infrastructure, and staffing essential support functions of receptionist, IT engineering, janitorial and security; as well as the pay-out of taxes, insurance and utilities on office space - are simply too high amidst today’s unstable economic times. Aside from financial burdens, business owners must considerer the sheer amount of time that is put toward managing these issues. In an age where business moves at the speed of light and time truly is money, hours squandered on facilities issues can add up to major losses in today’s fast-paced business environment. These small setbacks amass over time, and limit time left over for strategy and growth, ultimately playing a strong role in a company’s success or failure. The current model is not working for many businesses, and as a result, the failure rate for startups continues to rise. Today’s markets also make it nearly impossible to predict whether a business will need to grow or downsize in the months and years ahead, making rigid commitments to a fixed amount of space a poor solution for growth companies. In fact, long-term lease agreements are the last thing a savvy businessper-
son wants to be tethered to in a changing marketplace. The existing high-cost, commitment-intensive model for business facilities infrastructure is simply out of touch with the needs of today’s small and mid-sized businesses. Yet, until now, a smarter, more flexible solution has been elusive. Novel Solution Meets Needs of Small- to Mid-sized Businesses Leading providers of integrated business facilities have pinpointed a winning formula, which may become the office space solution of the future: flexible, on-demand “alternative office space” that gives businesses what they want, when they want it, with no strings attached. This progressive solution provides flexible workspace options combined with integrated state-of-the-art technology and business services. The concept takes non-core functions off the shoulders of business-owners. With business process services professionally outsourced, businesses save time and money and are free to concentrate on doing what it is they do best. Aside from the financial savings passed on from centralizing business and technology functions to be shared between tenants, the value-added benefit of time preservation makes the concept exceedingly practical. Scalable terms also assist in making this model a smart solution for startup and growth companies, providing room for upsizing or downsizing as necessary without the high cost of moving. This flexibility combined with shortterm lease agreements allows companies the freedom to do what is best for their individual businesses. In stark contrast to the “one size fits all” business environments of the past - either intended for one person or a large and established entity - alternative office space caters to the highly fluid needs of small and mediumsized organizations. It serves them with scalability that allows them to change with the ebb and flow of business; it provides them with Fortune 100 business facilities and infrastructure at a fraction of the cost, and it allows them to focus on the core business they do best. This innovative formula has produced a much smarter, more scalable solution for today’s businesses, a solution suited to the needs of the modern market. With so much uncertainty, the old model of doing business becomes obsolete. By preserving capital and keeping overhead to a minimum, this new flexspace model presents an ideal solution for growing companies, and a sensible new option for small and mid-sized business owners to consider. About the Author, James Watson, Chief Executive Officer of TechSpace: James “Watty” Watson is the chief executive officer of TechSpace. TechSpace serves both onsite and virtual clients with an innovative platform that relies on centralized outsourcing for everything from workstation furniture, mail room, advanced voice and data telecommunications, Tier 1 IT infrastructure, reception services and office supplies. For more information, visit www.techspace.com.
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
12 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 13
POLI-SCI by Michael Daniels
Taking Mudslinging to a Whole New Low House Republican Attempts to Resurrect Gay Adoption as Wedge Issue in Tight Race Three weeks out from the general election, Ohioans know that their mailboxes are going to be filled with campaign literature, both positive and negative. But one State Representative has gone a step beyond, introducing adoptions by gay couples as a wedge issue in the 85th district. Jim Siegel of The Columbus Dispatch summed up the strategy in his Oct 12 article: “Two years ago, House Republicans held back on attacking Democratic candidate Ray Pryor over his opposition to a bill that would ban gay adoption…But this year, a mailing [on behalf of State Representative John Schlichter] featuring a sad child and two groom figurines says Pryor ‘isn’t looking out for our children’s best interests.’ The reversal is easy to explain.” Siegel goes on to quote Scott Borgemenke, chief strategist for the House Republican Campaign Committee - the people behind the piece - as saying, “We didn’t need to run the ad last time.” Apparently, this time they think they do. The question is, will it work? Reaction from gay rights groups and the Democratic Party has been swift and unsurprising. “I find it disgusting that the Ohio Republican Party is trying once again to use our families for political gain,” says Lynne Bowman, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “It is a tired 2004 tactic that has outworn its welcome in this state and shows desperation. Given the challenges facing our state, it is sad that the issue they highlight is their opinion that a child is better off living in temporary situations than being placed in a loving family with an LGBT person or couple. Never mind what it says about gay people, imagine what message they are sending to the thousands of children waiting for permanent homes. They should be ashamed of themselves.” Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Doug Kelly echoes that sentiment. “These are the hateful tactics of a desperate candidate with no ideas and a failed party with no agenda to move Ohio forward,” Kelly says. “There are 3,000 children waiting to be adopted and over 17,000 in foster care. Rather than attacking families and those who want to help strengthen them, responsible leaders should focus on making sure children are in loving, caring, and permanent homes.” Governor Ted Strickland has responded to this particular mailing, holding a rally in Chillicothe on Oct 13 in support of Pryor and denouncing Schlichter’s literature. Nonpartisan children’s advocacy groups have issued statements condemning the tactic as well. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio issued a press release on Oct 8 in which it wrote, “As a statewide leader in child welfare and adoption, we deeply regret
the extremely offensive ads running in various legislative races in regards to gay adoption. Politicizing children in this way is shameful…PCSAO opposes any policy that would limit the number of safe families willing to open their hearts and homes, based on sexual orientation…Let us not unravel [our] commitment to Ohio’s children with negative and divisive policies.” PCSAO points out that in 2005, Republican House Speaker John Husted opposed a ban on same-sex parents adopting and fostering children. Husted spokesperson Karen Stivers says that the Speaker has not changed his position on the issue. “There is no effort coming through the House on the issue of same-sex adoption,” Stivers says. “The Speaker, as an adoptee himself, will always be on the side of children having loving parents, and believes that sexual preference should play no role in that decision.” Other Republicans go even further. Outlook Weekly has received many off-the-record apologies and regrets by prominent Republicans, and several were willing to go on record in their opposition to the mailings. “I find using gay adoption negatively as a campaign tactic disgusting, and this piece of literature particularly vile,” says gay Republican Bill Brownson. “I hope that it fails miserably. Given the refreshing absence of anti-gay rhetoric in this election cycle at all levels, it sure makes Representative Schlichter’s campaign seem out of step. I can only assume his chances at victory must be slipping away.” “I saw the piece, and I found it distasteful,” says Doug Preisse, openly gay chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party. “I am disappointed with it and in its content. It is an example of material that I hope will not go out in the future.” Even the Republican House candidate who tried to get gay publications placed in restricted areas of the Upper Arlington library is disturbed. “I hope that doesn’t reflect on all Republicans,” Tim Rankin is quoted in Siegel’s article. “I know I don’t feel that way.” But sometimes the candidates have little or no say on the content of mailers sent from the HRCC. Borgemenke himself says that ads like this are bad for the political system, but that in close races, they often work. Borgemenke and the HRCC run negative ads in races where they determine the tactic will yield results and preserve the GOP House majority, even if the candidates in those races oppose negative campaigning. It’s hard to know if even Schlichter thinks the piece was a good idea. One Outlook Weekly reader was so put off by the mailer that he contacted Schlichter directly. “When I took a good look at that mailing last Wednesday morning,” Rick Neal writes, “I got pretty mad. I decided one
of the most important things I could do was to talk with Rep. Schlichter directly, to find out what he meant by sending out that mailing, and to let him know how I felt about it.” Neal contacted Schlichter at the Representative’s home, which also doubles as his campaign headquarters. “When I told him that I was calling about the gay adoption mailing, he asked who I was with; I told him I was a volunteer with Equality Ohio. I asked him first about why he sent the flyer out - was gay adoption an issue in his district? He said issues are different in every district, and gay adoption might be different in his district than it is up in Columbus. I then took another deep breath, and said I was concerned about the mailing because it was both incorrect and insulting. I said it was incorrect because research shows that children raised by gay parents do just as well as those raised by straight parents; I cited the statement put out by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio earlier that day, which he had not yet seen. I said that I found it strange because the House had considered a bill disallowing adoptions by gay people just two years ago, and that bill had been killed by his own party’s leadership. And I said I found it insulting because, as a gay prospective adoptive parent, my adoption agency and the probate court will be the ones to decide if I’m fit to be a parent.” “Throughout all of this, he just said, ‘Okay’ after each of my points,” Neal says. “At the end, I said I would like for him to apologize. He said, ‘I appreciate your views and thank you for your call.’ I then asked him if he stood by the mailer, and he said again, ‘I appreciate your views and thank you for your call.’ That was it. He took it and didn’t hang up on me.” We find it interesting that during the conversation with Neal, Schlichter never defended the piece, nor made a statement on his own position on same sex adoption. We wanted to know, but multiple calls to Schlichter’s House office and home campaign headquarters by Outlook went unreturned. We won’t know until November 4 whether the piece achieved its goal. If ads like these are seen as effective, then we are certain to see them again in two years; if not, then perhaps this particular issue will be laid to rest once and for all. It’s up to the voters in the 85th to decide. As for what to do with this year’s fliers, Pryor has an idea. He is planning a pamphlet-burning rally, where voters can bring this attack literature and throw their copies into a bonfire. Outlook Weekly will gladly provide the lighter fluid and matches.
LGBT Activists Headed to Columbus Gay and Lesbian friends of Michelle and Sen. Barack Obama and LGBT activists from coast-tocoast are converging in Columbus to join local LGBT activists for a Weekend of Action to Win Ohio, October 18th and 19th. The weekend kicks off Saturday at 9a at the UFCW Union Hall (located at 4150 East Main St, Columbus, OH 43213) with a brief rally. Participants will then fan out to canvass neighborhoods in Central Ohio that are critical to winning the election. Personal friends of Michelle and Sen. Barack Obama will be firing up Columbus’ LGBT volunteers during the day. They include: Kevin Thompson, who served as Sen. Obama’s “body man,” traveling with the senator day and night during his 2004 Senate campaign. Mary Morten, a longtime LGBT activist and current interim executive director for the Chicago Foundation for Women. Dan Sprehe, a Chicago LGBT activist who worked on Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign. Marsha Botzer, national transgender activist and co-chair of Obama Pride, the Obama campaign’s network of LGBT activists. Jane M. Saks, executive director of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago. The Weekend of Action to Win Ohio will run for two days, with two volunteer shifts each day: Saturday 9a–2p (lunch included) and/or 1p–6p (dinner included) Sunday 10a–3p (lunch included) and/or 2p-6p (dinner included) RSVP’s are encouraged but not required. Contact Sean Pfendler at email@example.com Participants without cars will be partnered with drivers. The weekend will wrap up Sunday evening with a debrief and a dinner celebration at East Village, 630 N High St in Columbus, from 6:15p to 9p. OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
14 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 15
EARTH TALK From the Editors of E
I’ve suddenly been seeing a lot of those tiny “Smart Cars” around. Who makes them and what is their fuel efficiency? And I’m all for fuel efficiency, but are these cars safe?
There seems to be a large selection of soy and other non-dairy milks out there today, even right in the dairy sections of major supermarkets. Why should I opt for soymilk over cow’s milk and how do I get the calcium I would lose?
Originally the brainchild of Lebanese-born entrepreneur and inventor Nicolas Hayek of Swatch watch fame, Smart Cars are designed to be small, fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible and easy to park: the ultimate incity vehicle. Back in 1994, Hayek and Swatch signed on with Daimler-Benz, the German maker of the venerable Mercedes line of cars, to develop the unique vehicle; in fact, the company name Smart is derived from a combination of the words Swatch, Mercedes and the word “art.” When initial sales were slower than hoped for, Hayek and Swatch pulled out of the venture, leaving Daimler-Benz full owner. (Today Smart is part of the Mercedes car division.) Meanwhile, rising oil prices have driven up demand for Smart vehicles, and the company began selling them in the US earlier this year. Measuring just a hair over 8 feet long and less than five feet wide, the company’s flagship ForTwo model, named for its human carrying capacity, is about half the size of a traditional car. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the car’s fuel efficiency at 33 miles per gallon for city driving and 41 mpg on the highway, although drivers report slightly lower results. Three ForTwos with bumpers to the curb can fit in a single parallel parking spot. And with soaring gas prices, the cars have been selling like hotcakes in the US. The company’s US distributor is working on importing an additional 15,000 cars before the end of 2008, as its initial order of 25,000 vehicles is almost depleted. Some four dozen Mercedes Benz dealers across the country have long waiting lists for new Smart vehicles, which
sell for upwards of $12,000. As for safety, the ForTwo did well enough in crash tests by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to earn the group’s highest rating, thanks to the car’s steel racecar-style frame and liberal use of high-tech front and side airbags. Despite such good safety performance for such a tiny car, IIHS testers caution that larger, heavier cars are inherently safer than smaller ones. Beyond safety concerns, some analysts bemoan the ForTwo’s price tag as unnecessarily high given what you get. The cars are not known for their handling or acceleration, although they can go 80 miles per hour if necessary. The website Treehugger.com suggests that eco-conscious consumers might do better spending their $12,000 on a conventional subcompact or compact car, many of which get equivalent or better gas mileage and will likely fare better in a crash. But for those who need a great in-city car for short errands and commutes, today’s ForTwo might be just the ticket. Environmentalists are hoping Smart will release the higher-mileage diesel version of the ForTwo, available in Europe for several years, to the US market. And they are keeping their fingers crossed for a hybrid version that could give the hugely successful Toyota Prius, which looks almost huge in comparison, a run for its money in terms of fuel efficiency and savings at the pump.
There is a lot of debate about whether cow’s milk is good, or even appropriate, for people at all. On the plus side, it is a valuable source of protein, as well as calcium, necessary to help build bones and keep them strong. Some researchers believe that drinking cow’s milk reduces the risk of kidney stones, colon cancer, and other health problems. But others counter that the saturated fats in cow’s milk are big contributors to America’s weight problems, let alone high cholesterol levels and artery blockage. Famed pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the last edition of his best selling Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, argued that cow’s milk was for baby cows and not human children, suggesting that it may be a factor in childhood-onset diabetes and in kids’ respiratory and ear problems. He encouraged mothers to give infants only human breast milk and to consider soy and rice milk products for older kids. Chief among available alternatives to cow’s milk is soymilk, which has about the same amount of protein but much more fiber than cow’s milk. In striking contrast with cow’s milk, soymilk actually reduces the body’s cholesterol levels. It also contains isoflavones, natural plant hormones that act as antioxidants and have been linked to many human health benefits including the easing of menopause symptoms, protection against prostate problems, better bone health and even a reduction in heart disease and cancer risks. Many people assume that soymilk has less calcium than cow’s milk, which is true; in its pure form, soymilk has only a sixth of the calcium of an equal amount of cow’s milk. But pro-
ducers address this problem by fortifying soymilks with calcium to equal the amount in cow’s milk. And studies have shown that most people’s bodies absorb 75% more calcium from soymilk than from cow’s milk. But while the health benefits of soymilk are substantial, it may not be for everyone. Dr. Joseph Mercola, who runs one of the most highly trafficked natural health websites, warns that soymilk can inhibit thyroid performance, so those with pre-existing thyroid issues might want to avoid it. Also, some researchers have shown that soymilk can inhibit the body’s absorption of protein and minerals in some cases. Other tasty and healthy alternatives to cow’s milk include those made from rice, almonds, oats, and even hemp. According to the health and wellness website Sixwise.com, almond milk is rich in magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, and calcium, and it “may be one of the more nutritious milk alternatives on the market.” Almond milk is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Rice milk, Sixwise reports, is mainly a source of carbohydrates, and should not be considered a nutritional replacement for cow’s milk, though it is “a useful replacement for milk for taste and cooking purposes.” Hemp milk, which is made from the seeds of hemp plants but contains none of the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana, can be a good source of protein, calcium, omega fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Another good alternative is oat milk, which is high in fiber, free of cholesterol and lactose, and contains vitamin E, folic acid, and other healthy elements and minerals.
CONTACTS: Dr. Joseph Mercola, www.mercola.com; Sixwise, www.sixwise.com. Smart USA, www.smartusa.com; IIHS, www.iihs.org. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
16 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
THE EXAMINED LIFE by Tom Moon, MFT
Our Sex Life Sucks
Q: My husband and I have been in a monogamous relationship for six years. I can’t imagine life without him, but to be blunt, our sex life sucks. It was great for a few years, but despite everything we’ve tried to do, it’s gotten kind of routine and we don‘t do it all that much anymore. We tried couple counseling and sex therapy. Improving our communication helped some, but not as much as we both hoped, and neither of us believes that any more therapy is going to make a difference. I still love him deeply, so separating isn’t something I will consider. I’ve been thinking about having an open relationship, but I’m scared to talk with him about it because I don’t think he’d agree to it and it might freak him out. I haven’t gone out on him yet, but I’m wondering if honesty is always the best policy. What should I do? A: This is a common reality in relationships that most people don’t discuss very openly. We don’t talk about it because it isn’t pleasant and doesn’t sound very romantic, and because even mentioning it can feel insulting or disloyal to the partner. This reality is this: that while for some lucky couples the sex stays hot and heavy for years, for others the passion eventually begins to cool. The frequency decreases; hot sex becomes warm sex, and in some relationships ends altogether. Therapy is sometimes helpful if the root problem is comOCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
munication or unresolved conflicts. But even in the hottest relationships, some cooling over time is natural. Those who expect that their lovemaking will continue indefinitely with the blistering intensity of the first few months are bound, eventually, to be disappointed. Couples who stay together and remain monogamous after the fire fades typically do it because they’ve found other values in long-term relationships which make the trade-off acceptable, if not entirely what they’d dreamed: loyalty and trust, mutual respect and affection, the happiness of companionship and shared lives and memories. Since you’re committed to staying with your partner, and if you’re both convinced that no further therapy will be useful, I think you’re basically left with two options. The first is to accept that your sex life isn’t as great as it was, and live with it for the sake of all the other benefits you both derive from the relationship. This may seem like a bleak option, but in fact many people find happiness in this choice. My very subjective impression is that our straight brothers tend to be a little more realistic about this option than many gay men, perhaps because most of them can’t count on a steady supply of hot and wild sex the way most of us do. It isn’t as easy as it is for gay guys just to order it up on the Internet, and when they do get it, it can be pretty expensive.
Giving up what’s difficult and infrequent for a stable relationship doesn’t seem like such a bad trade-off for many of them. And yes, I am aware that a lot of straight guys are only officially monogamous, and that they’re doing a lot of playing around on the side. The challenge for gay men who choose this option is that so much of gay life is so highly sexually charged that it can feel like dropping out of the party and out of the community altogether. Nevertheless, it is a viable option, and the preferred one for many. Your second option is to take the risk of discussing with your husband the possibility of opening the relationship to outside sex. In my experience, many couples are wary of considering this option because they fear it is just the first step in breaking up, but in fact many gay couples do successfully make the transition and live happily in open relationships for many years. They seem to work best when they’re what both parties really want, not when one person is just agreeing to it to accommodate the other, so if you elect this option a lot will depend on how your husband responds to the idea. One way to bring up the question that might minimize his anxiety might be to ask him if he has ever considered it rather than to begin by proposing it outright. You can admit that it is something you have thought about while at the same time reassuring him that
you don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize what you guys have. You mentioned a third option – sneaking around behind his back and lying to him. I think that would be unwise to consider. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” just isn’t true. If you lie to him, even in the unlikely event that he doesn’t eventually find out, you’ll be poisoning the relationship with an atmosphere of deceit that will damage it in countless ways, and your own sense of integrity and self-respect will also be hurt. Whatever you decide to do, honesty is always the best policy. Tom Moon is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. His website is tommoon.net.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 17
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
18 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 19
FEATURE STORY photo by Andrea M. Haley
The 10th Annual International Drag Kingcommunity Extravaganza C’mon ride the train back to Columbus on October 16-19th, 2008 for the Tenth Annual International Drag Kingcommunity Extravaganza! Fast Friday Productions and Columbus, Ohio welcome the long-awaited return of gender play, performance, theory and art after six years. Fueled in Minnesota (V), Chicago (VI), Winnipeg (VII), Austin (VIII), and Vancouver (IX), the IDKE.X journey back promises to delight your international tastes in drag king community culture.
What Is IDKE.X?
IDKE is a gathering of the drag king community that was originally started by a group of Ohio State University Women’s Studies graduate students. From its grassroots beginnings, IDKE has grown from 100 attendees to the thousands expected in Columbus this year. IDKE.X features a two-day conference, Art and Film Festival, Transman Health Fair, Merchant Fair, and International Drag Performances featuring performers from New Zealand, France, Rome, Canada
and throughout the United States, all brought together to enjoy, learn, and indulge in our gender-loving culture. The two-day conference is co-sponsored by Stonewall Columbus, the Multicultural Center and The Frank Hale Black Cultural Arts Center at The Ohio State University. With the additions of a Health Screening Fair and a Career Fair this year, the IDKE X Conference exhibits what we have learned about our historical presence as gender-queer beings. We will explore gender performance beyond the scope of the stage, gender-queer theory, mass popular culture and critical race theories, gender-queer community viability, the function of familial relations both past and present, and Kingcommunity health and wellness.
Film and Stage
The Art Festival will include collections from IDKE artists displayed in Short North businesses as well as the debut of a new art anthology, the History of Drag Kings, exhibiting past IDKE memorabilia.
The IDKE.X Film Fest presents films from Drag subculture in the US, France, Canada and more. Featuring a collection of film shorts on Friday, the Film Fest will take place at Axis nightclub Thursday through Saturday. In the spirit of our ever-evolving Gender World, IDKE culminates in a variety of stage events to delight every fancy - known or unknown. In its tenth year, Friday’s Dragdom (once the greenhorn stage where new performers or new aliases amused and surprised audience members) will be held at Wall Street, which formerly housed the grand weekend performance event, the Saturday Night IDKE Showcase. The IDKE.X Showcase will bring together the world’s best drag performances on Columbus’ finest stage, the Lifestyles Community Pavilion at PromoWest. Nominated as the finest new Concert venue by Pollster Magazine in 2001, the LC Pavilion will host a night of drag talent the likes of which you have never seen…acts that will leave you breathless for more, and an After Party dance with 2000+ international & national gender-queer, queer friendly, and queer curious party-goers. If that isn’t enough, on Friday swing by East Vil-
lage Video Bar & Cafe for Viva’s Red Light District Burlesque Show “Dames who Love their Kings” the hot and steamy loveliness of Viva Valezz and some of the most wow woW wOW VA-BOOM!!! in Burlesque this century. These dames are smokin’!! Realizing the youth also need their own space to show their talents, IDKE will also host a Youth Speakeasy in coordination with Stonewall Columbus. The Youth Speakeasy turns the mic over to a new generation of performers. We welcome musicians, singers, spoken word artists and performers from ages 4 to 18 to their very own stage production. IDKE ends on Sunday with the Brunch, which will be hosted at Columbus’ newest lounge and danceclub, Liquid. Come enjoy the wonderful Liquid brunch fare & reminisce with new friends and old before they depart, while getting one last gender boost of theatrical acts, spoken word, and live music. IDKE.X is all you can ask for, and all the things you couldn’t bring yourself to speak of. Don’t miss the train. www.idkex.com. OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
20 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
IDKEX Conference and Festival Schedule of Events THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18
11:30a-1:30p: Brown bag lunch hosted by OSU Multicultural Center & GOHI Stonewall Center on High 1160 N High St 614.299.7764
9a-4:30p: Conference, with panel discussion groups, roundtable discussions, films, and more Stonewall Center on High $75
9a-3p: Conference, with workshops, presentations, marketplace, exhibits The Frank Hale Black Cultural Art Center 153 W 12th Ave 614.292.0074
4:30p-6p: Hospitality Hour hosted by TRansOhio & Featuring Lazlo Pearlman James’ Club 88 Piano Bar Cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres
Free 2:30p-8p: Registration Stonewall Center on High Free 4:30p-6p: Hospitality Hour hosted by Pandora Foxx & HiT M Entertainment James’ Club 88 Piano Bar 55 W Long St 614.223.1213 Cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres 7:30p-9:30p: Meet N Greet hosted by Dangerous Productions with DJ Moxy East Village Video Bar & Café 630 N High St 614.221.7531 www.columbusnightlife.com
11p-2a: Stoke It! Meet N Greet Dance After-party Liquid 1100 N High St 614.298.3000 www.liquidhotspot.com Free with IDKE.X pass 12a-2a: Hip Hop Night with DJ Michele Cheney Wall Street Nightclub 144 N Wall St 614.464.2800 www.wallstreetnightclub.com
$5; free with IDKE.X pass
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
7p-9p: Youth Speakeasy, featuring performers 20 & under Stonewall Center on High Free 8p-11:30p: Dragdom, hosted by the Royal Renegades Wall Street Nightclub $12 at the door 12a-2a: Steam After-party with DJ Michele Cheney Wall Street Nightclub $5; Free with IDKE.X pass 12a-2a: Viva Valezz presents The Red Light District’s Dames Who Love Their King East Village Video Bar & Café; Free
7:30p-2a: IDKE.X SHOWCASE Lifestyles Community Pavilion 405 Neil Ave 614.461.5483 www.promowestlive.com $20
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19
9:30a-1:30p: Brunch hosted by California’s KFW & Jake Danger Cost: $12 7p-close: Afterglow Blazer’s Pub 1205 N High St 614.299.1800 http://www.blazerspub.biz/
Complimentary hops, barley, FOOD and more!
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 21
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
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IDKE in Columbus: Interview with Sile Singleton & Goldie Ludovici IDKE would not have been possible without the hard work of people all over the country and beyond. Two people here in Columbus have been instrumental in keeping drag king culture alive and making IDKE happen: Sile Singleton of Fast Friday Productions and Goldie Ludovici of Dangerous Productions. As you could imagine, both these guys have been slammed getting the preparations ready for IDKE. But they managed to set aside some time and talk with us.
Outlook: Sile, You have been a pillar in the king community as both a king, Luster/Lustivious de la Virgion, and Fast Friday Productions, which you run with your beloved, Erin Tarr. We know you have been involved in IDKE from its birth in Columbus 10 years ago. Now you’ve managed to bring it back home for the 10th anniversary. Congratulations! Sile: I am ecstatic with the attention turned on Columbus, Ohio - the Midwest really! To think a “country rivah gal” from the crosstreams of the Muskingum and Licking at their Ohio merging is riding the rail like this into hiz-tory. While so many folks may poke at our cow tipping ways - we still have led the way in offering a historical glimpse at the performance of gender, femme-ness and all things king. Can’t wait to drop into church on Sunday and give thanks to the watchfulness of all those blessing me from upstairs. OLW: How is this year’s IDKE shaping up? SS: This is our Woodstock. Hosted housing is burgeoning, a total of two hotels packed to the brim, so many opportunities to have 100% PURE FUN that there ought to be a prize given to the staff and volunteer who can remember the most programs/events, not even every one! OLW: What do you have to say to the gender-bending, king-loving crowd out there? SS: All I know is, miss it if you want to...and you will be missing the chance to tell the future “I was there!”
Outlook: Goldie, you’ve made a name for yourself as drag king Gavin Danger and your company, DanOCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
gerous Productions. What would be a major goal for you? Goldie Ludovici: I really want to get young queers involved, as well as, families. More often times than not, there is not much for Queer families or youth to do, especially around the performance scene since much of our stuff is centered around the clubs and bars. This prohibits families and youth from participating. OLW: Where is the scene going? GL: I think the general scene is becoming more of blend and less straight-up drag kings. You will see the variety: boys who are girls, girls who are boys, boys, girls, burlesque, trans, gender-neutral and every other label you can think of. The scene has definitely become more theatrical since I have started. Groups like a Sordid Collective and the Chicago Red Hots or DK United and Rocket with their fly dance moves. The choreography that goes into a group number is sometimes unreal, and to see them pull it off flawless just makes your jaw drop. Ken Vegas is an amazing performer and producer of the great big in DC. Toe B. is always creative and you can count on him having a deep meaning and some fun costumes on the stage. There are so many other folks I could mention here. OLW: What do you bring to IDKE.X? GL: I am hosting the Meet & Greet portion of IDKE, I will be performing in the showcase, as well as, presenting a panel with Carlos Las Vegas on how to produce shows and still have fun. The Meet & Greet will be at East Village and will have four bands playing from 7:30p-9:30p and then DJ moxy will be spinning from 10:30p on. Davey Mae and I have the artwork up for the whole month of October in East Village and it is a street art theme. Thinking about the round trip home and trains always makes me think of graffiti and some of the amazing artist that put their stuff out there. I have captured some from Columbus and Europe. There are also some metal pieces with actual graf writing on them. Feel free to learn more about Sile Singleton, Fast Friday Productions, Goldie Ludovici, and Dangerous Productions at http://www.idke.info/about_us.html and www.myspace.com/dangerous_productions
Liv Gjestvang, coordinator of Youth Video Outreach sat down with her partner and cofounder of IDKE, Julie Applegate, for a chat about the drag king history exhibit at Liquid. Excerpts of their conversation follow: Liv: For those not enlightened yet, what is IDKE all about? Julie: IDKE is a four-day event devoted to the exploration of everything drag king and drag king related. The letters stand for International Drag King community Extravaganza and the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October. Among other things, IDKE will include an art show, film fest, academic conference, youth slam, and performances by the most seasoned collection of drag kings ever gathered in one place at the same time. Drag kings, bio queens, trannies and gender benders of all persuasions are descending on Columbus from as far away as New Zealand and Japan. Liv: So, how did Columbus get the honor of hosting the 10th anniversary? Julie: Well, for those not in the know, Columbus is actually the home of IDKE. The first event took place in October of 1999 and was founded by a group of dedicated drag kings and drag king enthusiasts. At the time, H.I.S. Kings and Fast Friday Productions were producing drag king shows all over the midwest and realized that the burgeoning drag king community was at a unique point in time. While troupes were popping up in Toronto, London, Louisville, San Francisco, Washington D.C., etc. there was no real place for kings and their fans to gather. The founders of IDKE took this opportunity to invite performers from all over the world to Columbus for a weekend of collaborative, non-competitive drag king delight. You can read a detailed history of the event at www.idke.info Liv: Tell us about the exhibit. Julie: The IDKE History exhibit chronicles the 10 year evolution of the event, from it’s first four years at home here in Columbus to its departure in 2003 for Minneapolis and the following four years of the event. Since 2003, IDKE has traveled to Chicago, Winnipeg, Austin, and Vancouver. Each year of IDKE history is highlighted in the exhibit with photographs, t-shirts, flyers, posters,
and other souveniers from the cities it has visited. Liv: I hear the exhibit includes costumes, video footage and other interesting memorabilia. Do you have a favorite item on display? Julie: That’s a hard question to answer. We have sorted through enough boxes to fill a small U-Haul to make this exhibit as comprehensive as possible. I would have to say though, that one of the most spectacular items on display is a blue and white sequined cowboy outfit complete with chaps that was donated by Carlos Las Vegas. He makes all of his own costumes and is one of the most renowned members of the community. Liv: Ten years is a long time for a grass roots event to keep going, are you surprised IDKE has lasted this long? Julie: Honestly, the 10-year anniversary of IDKE is like a dream come true for me. When we first conceived of the event in 1999, it was with the vision that it would be a world class, traveling event that drew drag kings and drag king enthusiasts together from all corners of the world. With registrants this year from Europe, North America, Asia and the South Pacific, I think it is safe to say that IDKE has realized its full potential and is here to stay. I hope this history exhibit will remind folks that IDKE has always been and will likely remain a labor of love hosted each year by a vibrant and dedicated group of volunteers. Without the elbow grease of countless community members, IDKE would never have come into existence, nor would it continue today. I hope people will remember that as they stroll down memory lane this month at Liquid. The exhibit has been an honor to coordinate. Event details: The IDKE History Exhibit is on view from October 4th through October 26th at Liquid Hotspot, 1100 N High St. The exhibit runs without an admission fee. This event would not be possible without the support of the Gay Ohio History Initiative, Sharon Croft, Lisa McLymont, Julia Applegate, Outlook Weekly, Liquid, The Royal Renegades and all the kings who made the history happen.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 23
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
KYRAHM+JULIUS at IDKE.X
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One of the great things about IDKE.X is the presence of international performers, including Kyrahm and Julius Kaiser from Italy. They will be part of the Drag King Showcase. Traditional-digital artist and model. Kyrahm exhibited her works as well as performed for Dr Skecthy Italy several times in various art galleries. As a model, Kyrahm was invited by Missy on a photographic set for Suicide Girl (presently in Hopeful). She also features on DJ Christian Varela’s CD published last February (winner of the 10th International DJ Ibiza Awards). Graduated in communication science, with a study on the transformations of art due to the advent of information. In 1999 Kyrahm was awarded best emerging artist in Rome, winning the Mythos prize with a work on the Holocaust. Since then many exhibitions host her paintings. Performer Drag King, Male Illusionist and Actor King. Organizer of KINGs Village 2008, the first International Drag King festival in Italy, Julius is fully engaged in the promotion of drag king scene in his country. He gives workshops, and often invited in talks on the subject. Julius collaborates with many artists and performers from different backgrounds, proposing FTM and Queer culture in the various contexts and creating inedited forms of expressions. Presently he realizes experimental shows together with Kyrahm. They participated to several national and international events (Drag Festival Berlin 2008). Here are Kyrahm and Julius, in their own words.
I come from an artistic background. I am a painter and digital artist and I was alumnus of sculptor Domenico Pesce who, in the 60s, was among the first artists in Italy introducing the performance and the human installation in the artistic academic entourage. I thought that combining my visual artist competencies with the expressivity “king” of Julius Kaiser would allow the contamination of the arts galleries and the museums with LGBTQ issues. This is a very ambitious project we are working on. We want to reach representatives from the artistic environment in Italy and at the same time we are creating an event called “ExtremeGenderArt” (www.myspace.com/extremegenderart) that has the double purpose of promoting emerging as well as best-established artists and to raise funds to allow “Gender Obsolescence” to go on tour. “Gender Obsolescence” was presented with success in various queer festivals in Italy and was also chosen as overture at the Drag Festival Berlin last June. But as an artist, I feel the need to extend the message of “Gender Obsolescence” in contexts that are outside the “comfort zone” of the queer events. Academics and intellectuals that deal with gender studies have already told us that gender is a social construction. Coherently with this idea “Gender Obsolescence” originates. I was lucky to be born in a biologic body that corresponds to the idea I have of myself, unlike FTM performer Elias (alias Ferpecto), who was born female and decided to undertake sex reassignment surgery towards male. These differences spawned the idea to create a human installation, a tableau vivant, with the various gender shades. It’s a very striking image with transgender and biological subjects stating that gender is obsolete, is a provocative demonstration, and that it is absurd to consider gender as indissolubly tied to the body and the binary convention of male/female. Sterlarc stated that the body with its mechanical interactions is obsolete. Judith Butler in “undoing gender” brings into question the relationship between gender and social roles. In Gender obsolescence we make the scene without clothes. Integral nudity in this case has a narrative function: the marks of surgery of the trans performers tell us about their self-assertion journey, my nudity as well as the one of the biological man are the pretext to demonstrate that despite physical differences, what determines “male” and “female” are just the social rules. Julius Kaiser completes the demonstration: he also makes the scene naked and though the rite of dressing-up tells the taking back of the OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
rules of social game: you can be born female, be a man, and you can become male. The history of art needs queering.
I began performing almost three years ago. It was in 2006, when the first drag king troupe in Italy started doing shows by playing with gender roles. Amazing how long it took us in Italy to experiment masculinity on stage. What in other parts of the world had become very popular, here it was to be considered extremely “strange.” Our Drag Queen sisters populating the gay events with their glittery and coloured wigs looked down on us from their ultra-high heels and with surprise they welcomed us in the family. Making the stage with these fabulous creatures was very challenging. I was so comfortable on stage completely in ecstasy in my “moustache fever”! Since the very beginnings I undertook a King-hunt on the web. This is how I came to know about IDKE. But it was frustrating not to find exhaustive material on the web. So I understood the best way to find an opportunity for confrontation would be getting closer, meaning travel. When I met Kyrahm, I started to experiment in a different way from what I used to do with my drag king fellows. She offered me a different prospective, something I could define like artistic approach to gender expression. So we put together our sensibilities and creativities developing in various directions. The performance we are presenting for the Showcase counts several performers, so coming to Columbus this year is really a huge commitment for us. Someone said we must be crazy by taking such a big step on faith to go for so far. Financially we have difficulties, so it is a huge effort to grab funds that could be invested elsewhere. But I decided to take such a risk and I am sure events will confirm I was right. My commitment is strong to help establish a scene in my country. That was the sense of organizing KINGs Village, the first international drag king festival in Italy that took place in Rome in July 2008. That event represented an opportunity for Italian Drag Kings to come together, meet with international performers, and be challenged by the stage of the biggest European gay event we have, Gay Village. As the first experience I am satisfied, since the large audience appreciated this new kind of show and because of the nice and collaborative atmosphere amongst the kings despite the competition. I hope in the future the political events will not influence our community too much. In 2011 Rome will host Europride and that could be a really good time for a big international king community meeting there! There’s plenty of time for planning! Fore more info: www.kyrahm.com, www.myspace.com/kyrahm, www.juliuskaiser.com, www.myspace.com/iulius.
Gender Obsolescence IDKE.X presents a number of challenging performance pieces that illustrate the cutting edge artistry that enliven the trans and queer community. In Gender Obsolescence, artist & model Kyrahm and drag king Julius Kaiser present female-to-male transition as a very solemn ritual. The piece was recently chosen as overture at the Drag Festival in Berlin and as the closing performance at the first International Drag King Festival in Italy. The artists reunite for Living Pictures, a show consisting of what the performers call “real visionary experiences,” arising from the encounter of traditional and performing arts.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 25
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
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DEEP INSIDE HOLLYWOOD by Romeo San Vicente
WEST CRIES WOLFE FOR NEW FILM PROJECT Gay director George C. Wolfe conquered the world of theater - the Tony winner guided Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (both parts) and Caroline, or Change in their Broadway incarnations - and has recently been expanding his repertoire to other media. His debut feature, Lackawanna Blues, got raves at Sundance and on HBO, and he recently directed the glossy Nights in Rodanthe. Wolfe is now attached to Kanye West’s untitled film project, an anthology of 10 to 12 vignettes with music (but not music videos) exploring life in the United States from multiple perspectives. West has brought Wolfe on to produce the project, and it’s expected that Wolfe will also write and direct at least one of the segments. No word yet on when the untitled project will leap to the big screen, but expect at least one pair of funny-looking Kanye sunglasses in a cameo role.
BARNES IS THE VERY PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Romeo has told you about Dorian Gray, the sexy new adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, legendary gay writer Oscar Wilde’s tale of a decadent young man who retains his youth and beauty while his portrait shows all the signs of aging and its subject’s wicked debauchery. The new movie has begun casting, and it sounds like they’ve picked just the right batch of good-looking actors to bring Wilde’s unforgettable characters to life. Ben Barnes, the dreamy Prince Caspian from the latest Chronicles of Narnia movie, will inhabit the title role, with Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!, the Bridget Jones films), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona), and Emilia Fox (The Pianist) also joining the cast. Dorian Gray sounds like the must-see, how-to film for narcissists everywhere when it opens next year.
LINDSAY LOHAN MAKES IT WORK FOR RUNWAY
CHORUS LINE DOC A SINGULAR SENSATION
It’s not like Project Runway has to go out of its way to get gay guys to tune in for the reality competition show, but with the fashionable hit moving from Bravo to Lifetime, they’re not taking any chances. The show has already announced that the new season - which is being shot in L.A. for the first time instead of New York - will have baby diva (and possible newly minted lesbian) Lindsay Lohan as one of the guest judges. If you’ve read any of LiLo’s interviews with the big fashion magazines, you know she can tell her Lagerfeld from her Valentino, so her insights on the wannabe couturiers should be interesting and insightful, to say the least. Watch for her when Runway returns in early 2009 for a sixth season.
The long-running musical A Chorus Line, which was successfully revived on Broadway a few seasons back, focuses on the male and female dancers auditioning to get into a big musical show. So it’s fitting that there’s a new documentary, Every Little Step, focusing on the male and female dancers auditioning to get into the revival of A Chorus Line. The project began as a reality TV show, but expanded into a feature. While there are gay characters in A Chorus Line, it’s not a stretch to guess that a number of the auditioning dancers are also light in the tap shoes. Sony Pictures Classics picked up Every Little Step at the Toronto Film Festival, and it should 5, 6, 7, 8 its way into theaters sometime in 2009.
Romeo San Vicente has always been more “Dance 3, Looks 10” than the other way around. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.
ARTS by Elizabeth Saltzgiver and Amber Lewandowski
Julius Caesar at Otterbein College - Gay Power The box office has been receiving a lot of calls lately. It appears we’ve caused quite a stir by announcing that Otterbein College Theatre will be staging a nontraditional production of Julius Caesar. “I’m confused. What exactly are you planning to do here?” wrote one concerned patron. “I have no desire to see Shakespeare meets the Jets and the Sharks, or Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Aw, c’mon. It’s Shakespeare. Shakespeare is supposed to be for the common man, for the ages. Wasn’t he considered bawdy and irreverent in his day? Evidently, there are a lot of people that would prefer to know exactly what is going to happen before it actually does. What about the element of surprise? Okay, okay, so we’ll give you a general idea of the direction our production will be heading. Director Ed Vaughan has put Caesar in the future, in 4000 AD, following a great apocalypse pitting the sexes against each other. In this time, men and women have split violently and are fighting for power. The conspirators against Caesar - Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Cinna, to name a few - are all played by women, as women. Their greatest enemy is the organization of men: Julius Caesar, OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
Marc Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius Caesar. Homosexuality is the norm and is a sign of one’s loyalty to his or her faction in the conflict. (Incidentally, Julius Caesar is known to have favored both genders.) Both sides use slaves for labor and reproduction. The leaders of the warring movements are drawn from the first generation born after the apocalypse. They range in age from their midto-late twenties and are the elders of their time and the rulers of the modern world. Technology has made incredible advances. Firepower as we think of it now is obsolete, and the current weaponry cannot be seen by the naked eye. War is primal and raw. To the extent that there are rules of warfare, they are constantly changing. Yet the people of this world are also very passionate and sensual. Sex on stage? Ummm, probably not, although it would apropos. Our take on Caesar will introduce new themes to the piece while honoring the play’s ageless ideas of honor, loyalty, war, and revenge. The result of this nontraditional production is likely to be, dare we say, a shocking new look at the curse that comes with power, and a glimpse at what the future has in store for us all.
History will only repeat itself, and perhaps the Roman Empire and modern day America have more in common than we care to notice. In the end, Caesar still dies. Cassius still dies. And, yes, Brutus still dies. Same old Shakespeare, with a little more estrogen. Do you still have questions? Just come see the show! Join us in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall on the Otterbein College campus, 30 S Grove St, Westerville. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, November 6 at 7:30p and Fridays and Saturdays November 7 & 8, 14 and 15, all at 8:00p. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased by calling the Otterbein College Theatre Box Office at 614.823.1239. The box office is open Monday through Friday, from 1:00p-4:30p. For additional information about Otterbein College Theatre, check out our website at www.otterbein.edu/theatre. Elizabeth Saltzgiver is Audience Services Director and Amber Lewandowski is Senior BA Theatre major for Otterbein College Theatre, a member organization of the Columbus Arts Marketing Association. CAMA’s mission is to promote awareness of and participation in the arts and cultural opportunities in greater Columbus through collaborative marketing and public relations projects, and to provide professional development opportunities for members. For information visit www.camaonline.org.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 27
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
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Influenced by art rock visionaries of the past, Waves on Waves seeks to create a totally new vision with its self-titled debut album. Incorporating such influences as Morrissey, Tears for Fears, the Police, and Pink Floyd, the band has managed to craft an ambitious pop work that revels in its own singular musicality. Waves on Waves presents out gay singer/guitarist Kevin Thornton, bassist Luke Aaron Jones and drummer Enoch Porch carrying the art-rock torch unabashedly into the future. Lush with emotive vocal harmonies, vintage synths, and an amiable yet firm underbelly of rhythm, the album does not show an overt effort for the eclectic, nor a striving for the retro façade. Their sound thrives in the present with an intriguing individualism that informs a larger humanistic message conveyed in Thornton’s lyrics. Under the moniker Thornton, it was the group’s 2004 release Had A Sword that first put them on the underground radar. Receiving praise from a variety of publications, the band was hurled into the forefront as one of Nashville’s premier rock outfits after winning the Nashville Scene Award for the Best Experimental Rock Group in 2004. After their extensive tour was sidelined because of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the band took a short hiatus. Emerging vigorous and renewed, the band regrouped to record Waves on Waves and are now on the road bringing their musical “avant-garde apocalypse” to the masses. Here the band members talk about their “sister electrons,” the conflict of religion vs. sexuality, and the benefits of having gay fans. OLW: Your music is very sophisticated and accomplished, but I was surprised to hear you describe it as art rock, which strikes me as a bit of a throwback. OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
Kevin Thornton: On the contrary, we’re presenting our music as something that is brand new. I would say the art rock thing is definitely in our roots. When we first started, our music was slow and moody - a lot of dark piano ballads. We’ve been growing into a new thing, refining our sound, doing something more universal. OLW: What are your influences? KT: My favorite band is the Smiths. Pretty much anything from UK in the 80s - Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins. OLW: How do you divide up the songwriting duties between the three of you? Enoch Porch: Kevin writes the lyrics, and we all form the sound together. Sometimes Kevin will play something on guitar, Luke will play something on the bass, I’ll be on the synth, and it all turns into a song. OLW: Kevin, what inspires you lyrically? KT: My life experience. I grew up in a very conservative religious setting. When I started exploring my sexuality, there was a serious conflict with my religion. You can hear evidence of that conflict more in my earlier work. The pain of that conflict is gone, so you don’t hear it as much in the music now. I still remember going through that, though, and I definitely care about people who are still dealing with that experience. OLW: Enoch and Luke - do you feel that Kevin is expressing a gay perspective in his lyrics that you might not be able to relate to because you’re both straight? Luka Aaron Jones: Kevin writes from a very humanistic place. We are each able to derive our own meaning from his words. Ultimately, his lyrics create a sense of hope by lifting experi-
ence to a higher level. OLW: Kevin, are you hopeful? KT: For myself or mankind? These days, when I wake up in the morning, I try to feel good and walk toward the future. It’s nice to not be in conflict in my life. I hope for peace for myself every day. As individuals, humans are really good. We make courageous acts of love. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of hope for mankind as a whole. As a group, we’re hopeless. LAJ: That’s why music is so important to us: it can inspire those acts of love that give life meaning. It’s a current that flows through all of us. We can all agree on that collective consciousness. OLW: Your imaging is very unique, particularly the album cover: the head dress, the bullhorn, the billowing waves of fabric. Is there a method to this madness? KT:I went to the costume shop and got all of this wild stuff. I told my boyfriend I was going for “avant-garde apocalypse.” I brought them to the photo shoot, and we all just started picking up stuff and playing with it. At some point, Luke unfurled this big piece of silk. It just became one of those moments. OLW: So, it sounds like you all get along. KT: Don’t’ be fooled. I hate these motherfuckers [laughs]. EP: We have sister electrons. If something is going on with Kevin, I know it. We get along because we’ve been together for 10 years or the other way around. We’re thoughtful and sensitive guys. Out on the road, we can spend 5 hours sitting around talking about our lives. OLW: What kinds of things do you talk about? EP: Sex. We talk about masturbation.
KT: We’re all very uninhibited people. I love free thinking, just throwing the chains off. We’re all into talking about things people things you shouldn’t talk about. OLW: Are you guys aware of having gay fans? KT:We hand out bracelets at our shows so we can know who’s gay [laughs]. No, we definitely know we have gay fans, but at this point in our careers, there’s no one group that sticks out at our shows. Our audiences run the gamut as far as race and sexuality are concerned. But I wouldn’t say that you’re going to show up at our show and feel like you’re at Gay Pride. OLW: Have you ever been pigeonholed as a gay group because you have a gay lead singer? KT: Not as the band Waves on Waves. We used to record under another name, and the sexuality angle got a lot of press. They pounced on the God and sexuality conflict. I don’t feel like that’s really happening with this record, even though the cover art is a little flamboyant. LAJ: I’m heterosexual but I don’t feel like I need to be gay to identify with the gay community. And any band where you have a member who is gay should definitely have ties to the gay community. That is part of who we are. Personally, I never put much thought into whether we’re thought of as a gay band. This is who we are. If you love us for that, great. As a straight member of the band, the fact that we appeal to gay people is something I’m proud of. EP: People look at me and say: is this guy gay, is this guy straight? That never offends me. The fact that people perceive diversity in this band is a strength more than anything.
OUTLOOK WEEKLY â€˘ 29
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OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
30 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 31
Dawn of the Diva
Michelle Williams delights gay fans by discovering her dance-pop destiny Michelle Williams has been reaching out to the gay community like Barack Obama has been reaching out to swing voters. The former Destiny’s Child diva has endless YouTube.com videos shouting out the gays, and there’s even a Michelle lookalike contest, which will surely bring in the drags. She also performed during Pride weekend at NYC gay club Splash with a dance troupe of shirtless, hunky men. Yes, Miss Williams wants our support, and she’s willing to lose her breath for it! Her upcoming album, Unexpected, is pure pop, demanding us to dance til dawn; in fact, “We Break the Dawn,” the album’s first single, gave the successful gospel artist her first #1 hit on the Billboard dance charts. In our one-on-one interview, Williams breaks down her love affair with gays, playing bi, and how to battle a Beyoncé drag queen.
OLW: What can your gay fans expect from Unexpected? Michelle Williams: Expect just fierceness all the way through! Expect to dance - just expect Michelle Williams coming out in her own way. I’m having a ball. Expect a side of Michelle that maybe some always knew existed, and they just couldn’t wait to see it. Expect a classic album. OLW: You, Beyoncé, and Kelly have done gay press for your solo records, but despite your gay following, there wasn’t really any gay press while you were Destiny’s Child. Why didn’t you reach out to the gay community as a group? MW: I have no idea. I don’t have an answer for that, honestly; I’m not giving you a politically correct answer. Although we knew we had gay fans: we saw that at the shows; they were living! Some of the music, like “Lose My Breath,” we knew the queens were going to be tipping! I don’t know. Did gay press come to us or did they not feel they had to because we had addressed them already with the costumes and songs? We appreciate them. There are times I’ve gone on YouTube and I’ve seen drag queens as Destiny’s Child or Beyoncé. We definitely feel that love. I think that’s why individually we can give that love back because we didn’t get a chance to do that as a group. LW: Who’s the first gay person you met in your life? MW: When I was younger - this is so typical and cliché, but - it was the choir director at my grandmother’s church. I probably shouldn’t have said that because I don’t know if he was really open with it. [Laughs] OLW: Well, you had a sense! MW: Yeah! I had a sense as a child - you know, something was different! [Laughs] Some of my closest friends are gay, the ones that keep us together, keep us in line, tell you the truth. I have a straight male best friend that tells me the truth, but there is something about a gay queen; he’s like, “I ain’t got nothing to lose, so I’m going to tell you the truth, baby! I’ve been there, done that, so what is the worst reply you can tell me that I haven’t heard?” I think that’s the toughness that comes with it. OLW: Patti Labelle once said, “The gays will make or break
your ass!” How important is it to have a gay fan base? MW: It’s definitely important because they are going to be loyal. They know what it’s like to stick together. I’m happy to gain that fan base, so I’m looking forward to having fun this year with this record.
OLW: Given your religious background as a Christian, how do you reconcile your religious beliefs with the gay community? MW: Well, the thing that shuts me up is “judge not.” We are all judged for being different, so that’s all I can say from my religious standpoint is to judge not. People can argue the Bible up and down, all day long people have their own interpretation - but how about God is love first and foremost, and it’s important to have that relationship with God? Christ being the one, my specific one, and what my conviction is may not be your conviction, but that’s something that one has to personally work out with God. If you feel like your walk is solid, keep it moving! OLW: What are your thoughts on gay marriage? MW: If that’s who you love and that’s who you want to be with, it’s not going to affect me at the end of the day. I don’t think about it, I don’t worry about it. OLW: You played Shug Avery in the musical version of The Color Purple in Chicago. Shug was a little lesbian, a little bisexual. MW: She was a little of everything! OLW: Were you at all nervous about playing a bisexual character? MW: If that’s all someone focused on in The Color Purple, you missed the whole story about love and overcoming things. I talked to my mother, and she said, “Baby, it’s just acting, don’t worry about people, especially in the gospel community. It’s okay; you’re going to be fine.” Shug needed some love, and she thought she was showing Celie love. Before you know it, it was something in Celie that empowered Shug as well. OLW: If you were bi, who’d be your girl crush? MW: [Pauses] Lord, now they’ll be like, “She likes Rihanna!” Honey, just put Rihanna down! [Laughs] OLW: Do you get hit on a lot by women? MW: I haven’t really had it direct and hard, but in their own way. OLW: Did it make you uncomfortable? MW: No, I had fun - I’d flirt back! OLW: If a Michelle drag queen had to battle a Beyoncé drag queen, what advice would you give the Michelle drag queen? MW: Well, since me and Beyoncé have both fallen, you should fall fabulous, honey! Roll, do the splits, and have some goldfish in your platform shoes! Unexpected (Music World Entertainment/Columbia Records) is out Oct. 7. Visit www.michellewilliamsonline.com and www.myspace.com/michellewilliams
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
32 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
PUCKER UP by Tristan Taormino
WHY PEOPLE GET OFF ON THE SEX FOR MONEY SCENARIO Every year at kinky sex camp, we create a multi-room erotic play-space for attendees, and for one night, each room has a theme. We like to keep things fresh, so we change up the themes every couple of years, but one never seems to go out of style: the Brothel. It’s a modest space with eight stations, each with a bed, a little table, and a flimsy curtain separating it from the next bed, plus a back room with a double bed and a little more privacy (which costs more, natch). We have our own currency at the event (kundalini kash), which campers can win, earn, borrow, and eventually spend. There’s a madam who recruits and organizes the whores, collects kash, matches clients with workers, and generally oversees the place. It’s always the busiest room. People don’t tire of the sex-for-money fantasy. Actually, there is no one fantasy, but multiple scenarios, dynamics, and roles possible within the brothel setting. I talked to a bunch of this year’s whores (who included men, women, transfolk, and cross-dressers) about what they got out of their experiences. Some said they like being a whore because it’s taboo, naughty, and transgressive; the fact that it’s illegal prevents them from pursuing it in real life. For others, being a sex worker is a longtime fantasy, like Nikki, a newcomer to both the camp and the brothel: “Being paid for sex is an ongoing fantasy of mine. If I had had more confidence in my looks and body, and much less emotional baggage when I was still a young woman, I would have loved to have been a call girl or mistress in my real life.” Nikki said she enjoyed the experience so much - with one client, she had her first orgasm ever in a position she usually can’t come in - that she wants to do it again. Playing this role can trigger other turn-ons, like having sex with strangers, no strings attached, and no pretense of romance. Mr. G, a fortysomething straight guy from New York, told me: “It creates a ‘container’ for the experience of sex. We’re both there for the same reason. There’s a beginning and an end, and no confusion about our roles once they’re negotiated.” Pink Pet, another whore, agreed: “At a club or even a play party, there is usually a certain amount of small talk and flirting that takes place. Don’t get me wrong - I love flirting, but I also love when that barrier is removed and you can get right to the lust. You can walk right up and suggest what scene you want to do. It’s a way to cut to the chase.” A sex-worker fantasy can also fulfill a desire to be used for sex, objectified, forced, pimped out, or made to perform. Many of the whores had pimps who collected their money or made them work. There are so many power dynamics to play with. “I am turned on by the power exchange involved,” explained Ellie, a phone-sex operator in real life who’s never done sex work with physical contact. “To some extent, the worker is fully in control of the sexual encounter and can create seemingly arbitrary boundaries or limits without being expected to explain them to a partner. On the other
hand, the worker is acting in service to the client, and is expected to please and satisfy them. The tension between the dominant and submissive roles in these sorts of exchanges is interesting to me.” Pink Pet found that the role gave him the opportunity to explore a particular side of himself: “I love the idea of being seen as a sex object or fetish object. That is a real turn-on for me. Being male-bodied, I’m often expected to make the first move. I’m genderqueer, and my sexuality is much more femme, so I often prefer to be propositioned, as opposed to making the proposition. In general, this doesn’t usually work out. But being a whore allowed me to take on a more receptive role, a more traditionally female role. So I also liked that it helped me feel more like a girl and be accepted as a girl.” Similarly, for one customer, it was a chance to be in control and ask for exactly what she wanted without ambivalence. Wendy Blackheart said: “My experience was fantastic, much better than I thought it would be. What was surprising to me was how quickly I was able to fall into the role of a demanding john, asking the house madam if she had any boys available to take care of my massive erection. I paid about $1,500 up-front for a lovely round of oral servicing. He worked my cock like a pro, the whole time exclaiming about how big it was, and I really got into the aggressive john-type verbal roleplay.” Everyone I talked to felt safe - physically and emotionally - which was a big part of why participants’ experiences were so positive. For many, the role worked as a tool of negotiation: Several whores told me it was easy to turn down a client they weren’t interested in by saying they were booked or waiting for their next appointment. Because it was so busy, their statement rang true, and no one walked away with hurt feelings. No one felt pressured to do anything they weren’t into; one whore even had a pre-printed menu of services: “I made up a menu of things I knew I’d be comfortable doing even with strangers. I did it partly because it was a fun way to suggest a scene to someone, but also because I’m not a real hard player, and I knew I’d blank on things to do in the moment. This was a way to remind myself of the kinds of things I enjoy and feel comfortable doing.” I purchased the services of this particular whore, a cute girl wearing kitten ears and garters. I wanted her to suck off another whore, a short guy wearing a cashmere argyle sweater and glasses. It was very hot in the brothel at that point, so we grabbed some condoms and went out on the front lawn. I liked the idea of making them perform for my pleasure. The kitten displayed some extraordinary deep-throating skills, wellmatched by the guy’s face-fucking acumen. Later, separately, they both thanked me for buying them and told me their scene really turned them on. Gratification for all! Visit my websites, puckerup.com and openingup.net
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 33
SAVAGE LOVE by Dan Savage
I accidentally discovered that my son-in-law is into BDSM sex as a “dominant.” A few weeks ago, he was holding one of my dog’s leashes and tried to stop my dog (a 13-year-old, docile golden retriever) from running up to another dog by violently yanking on the leash. My 65pound dog was violently spun around with a loud snap. I reacted in a very hostile manner. He defended his actions, and I started swearing at him. My daughter told me I was overreacting, and they both left in a huff. Thinking about this, I realized that I was thinking about my son-in-law inflicting pain on my daughter in the same way he did to my dog. I can’t stomach the thought of seeing him again and decided that I had to explain my reasons to my daughter. I said that I could not accept her husband getting pleasure from causing her pain. She reacted with hostility, first telling me it was none of my business and then denying he behaved in that manner. She said I was crazy. I didn’t tell my daughter that I had snooped in their home and found his ligatures and spanking porn. I told her that she should talk to someone about it and said that I would not tell her mother. She eventually told her mother, and I was forced to explain my reasoning and the source of my knowledge to my wife. I feel that getting pleasure out of causing another person pain and humiliation is not an acceptable form of behavior. Now my daughter and son-in-law are not speaking to me. I don’t ever want to see him again but would like to salvage my relationship with my daughter. Any advice? Distressed And Depressed Apologize. I am a 27-year-old female, single, with an active dating and sex life. I find that I really enjoy sex while high, both for its ability to help me
lose my inhibitions and for the way it makes me feel physically. The problem is that while marijuana works well as a social lubricant, it leaves my mouth bone-dry - which is in no way conducive to giving a good blowjob. Water barely works at all to solve this problem. How can I continue to smoke pre-sex and still drum up enough saliva for a good blow? Blowing Smoke Your problem is very interesting, BS, but I actually have more to say to DAD. Hold tight a minute. Look, DAD, your daughter is right. What she and her husband get up to in bed - or playroom or sex club or airport restroom - isn’t any of your fucking business. And while you may feel that “causing another person pain and humiliation is not an acceptable form of behavior,” someone who finds pain and humiliation erotic - someone like, oh, your daughter - might come to a different conclusion. Like the parents of the kinky gay kid whose boyfriend wrote in a couple of weeks back, DAD, you snooped and consequently learned some things about your kid that you didn’t need to know. You learned stuff that you, as a parent, have a right not to know. And guess what? It’s your own damn fault. Your only option now - after you apologize to your daughter and your son-in-law - is to pretend that you don’t know what you damn well do know. And, DAD, that’s an awfully big leap you’re making from “my son-in-law accidentally hurt my dog” to “my son-in-law is intentionally abusing my daughter.” Not knowing how to pull a dog away from another dog isn’t proof that your SIL engages in intentionally cruel, nonconsensual, dangerous BDSM sex. Okay, so he doesn’t know from dogs. But you can rest assured, DAD, that most people into BDSM are careful and considerate and make sure their bottoms or subs are human, for starters, and enjoying the ligatures
and spankings just as much as they are because, you see, that’s the only way BDSM tops can keep bottoms and subs coming back for more. While it’s unfortunate that seeing your son-inlaw with a leash in his hand conjured up some rather upsetting mental images - like, oh, your daughter being “snapped back” by a quick tug on a leash - those mental images are, again, your own damn fault, DAD, and you’re going to have to take some responsibility for ’em. But take comfort. Ligatures and spanking porn are pretty softcore, as BDSM gear and interests go. Spend 10 minutes surfing around www.mr-sleather.com, www.medicaltoys.com, or www.christiandomesticdiscipline.com to get a taste of how much more extreme your daughter and son-inlaw’s interests could be. Then go sit down with your daughter and ask her to explain a bit about her turn-ons to you, because you need some reassurance that she’s not being abused and that her sex life with the son-in-law, whatever form it takes, is mutually pleasurable, consensual, and rewarding. And finally, promise her that you will never, ever bring any of this up again, that you won’t go snooping ever again, and that you won’t hold any of this against your son-in-law. Okay, BS, your problem can be solved with a can of Coke - or, better yet, Pepsi, which just donated $500,000 to Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, all but daring the American Family Association to launch a boycott. Trust me: You’ll find it much easier to get cock down your throat when stoned after you pour a little highfructose corn syrup down it. A NOTE TO MY READERS I get more letters at Savage Love than I could ever hope to respond to personally and infinitely more letters than I could ever hope to fit in this space. Now there’s really no secret to getting your letter into the column: I just have to find your problem somewhat interesting, basically. (You are,
however, better off e-mailing me on Tuesdays, when I actually sit down to write, than you are on, say, Fridays, when I’m sitting down to drink.) The fact that I can’t respond to every letter leads to a lot of hurt feelings. Every day I get complaints from readers who can’t believe I replied to the dude with shit on his dick and not to them. Well, dear readers, for two weeks - and two weeks only - you can get a guaranteed response from me. Just go to www.noonprop8.com, click “Donate Now,” and do your part to help preserve marriage equality in California. On the left-hand side of the donation page, there’s a spot where you can indicate that you’re making your donation in someone’s honor. Type in “Savage Love,” put my e-mail address - email@example.com - in the space provided, and then send me your question in another e-mail along with the e-mail confirmation that No on Prop. 8 sent you after your donation cleared. The six biggest Savage Love donors over the next two weeks get their letters in the October 16 and 23 installments of Savage Love. Everyone who makes a donation of $25 or more by October 16 gets a personal reply to their question from yours truly. The cutoff dates for donations that qualify for a letter in the column are October 9 for the October 16 column, and October 16 for the October 23 column. So, Cake Fart Fetishist, you’ve been badgering me with inane e-mails for three years now. This is your chance to finally get your stupid letter in the column. You too, David in Brooklyn. It’s time to put up or shut up. But, hey, you don’t have to be an annoying stalker to participate. Got a good question and want to help fight the good fight? Make a donation at www.noonprop8.com, send me your letter along with your receipt, and you’ll be hearing from me in print or privately. Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage. firstname.lastname@example.org
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
34 • OUTLOOK WEEKLY
ABOUT TOWN Stacie Boord, Superstar by Michael Daniels I’m always excited when Shadowbox debuts a new musical, and even more so when the musical in question happens to be one of my favorites, and a classic. Now playing at the ’box is Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and, as expected, Shadowbox nails it. Director Stev Guyer and Assistant Director Julie Klein have staged a great production, keeping sets to a minimum and allowing the human aspects of the lead characters, JT Walker as Jesus and Brandon Anderson as Judas, to shine. Walker makes Jesus both believable and sympathetic, and Anderson’s Judas is equally emotive. The actors are excellent in their respective roles. But Stacie Boord steals the show with her performance as Mary Magdalene. I’ve seen stagings of JCS from the high school to the Broadway level, and never have I seen Christ’s companion portrayed with such emotion, or with such a voice. I continue to appreciate Guyer’s willingness to disregard gender in casting roles, and in this production he casts female
performers not only as disciples (special props to Noelle Grandison in her return to the stage as Simon), but also in the roles of Pilate (Stephanie Shull) and Herod (Edelyn Parker). Both actresses give standout performances, with Shull belting out her role with a diva’s gusto and Parker playing the effete Judean king with perfect camp. Katy Psenicka’s choreography for “King Herod’s Song” is impeccable, and hats off to Andy Ankrom and Brian Westbrook for their backup roles in this number. Tom Cardinal as Annas is the perfect feygele foil to Jerrod Wigton’s Caiaphus, with both giving their priest roles just the right amount of treachery. Their voices on “This Jesus Must Die” are chilling. Brian Rau and Scott Aldridge, the unsung Shadowboxers, create just the right blend of sound and lighting, despite a few opening night bugs, and the band, led by Jennifer Hahn, is spot-on, with standout acoustic guitar performances by Matthew Hahn. Jesus Christ Superstar runs Sundays through Nov 16 at Shadowbox, 164 Easton Town Center. Tickets are $30, $20 for students and seniors. For tickets and more information, visit www.shadowboxcabaret.com or call 614.416.7625.
The Night Jerrod Wigton Kissed Me In my review of Shadowbox’s Raisin’ Hell, I disclosed that Shadowboxer Jerrod Wigton is my new straight boy crush, but said that Adam Fauth still has the most kissable lips in the city. Well, when I arrived to opening night of JCS, Jerrod was determined to fix that. To my surprise, and delight, he asked me to reconsider my previous statement, then planted one full on my lips. I have to admit, it was good - very good. I’m not yet willing to rescind Adam’s title, but I’m open to more research. Boys?…
Documentary Film Screening Examines Roles of Race and Gender in Politics In a timely prelude to the 2008 election, two documentary films dealing with issues of race and gender in politics will be featured and discussed on Tuesday, October 21, and Wednesday, October 22, at 7:30p. The film screening, presented by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, will be held in the Ohio State University EA Building, 209 W 18th St, Columbus. The films include Shola Lynch’s Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed, which takes a perceptive look at the race and gender politics of the 1970s against the backdrop of Shirley Chisholm’s run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and Marshall Curry’s Street Fight, which tells the story of Cory Booker, the current mayor of Newark, and his 2004 run for mayor against incumbent Sharpe
James. The screenings are free and open to the public, and will be followed by a panel discussion led by Associate Professors Vincene Verdun and Daniel Tokaji of the Moritz College of Law. The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute partners with people, communities, and institutions worldwide to think about, talk about, and act on race in ways that create and expand opportunity for all. For more information, go to: http://kirwaninstitute.org/.
COLUMBUS NEXT MEETING: JULY 11, 6P-8P; LOCATION: FIRST COMMUNITY BANK ; SPEAKER: SNBA’S JOHN ANGELO + CELEBRATION WWW.NETWORKCOLUMBUS.COM
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
OUTLOOK WEEKLY • 35
THE LAST WORD by Mickey Weems
LIPSTICK ON A HOMOPHOBE Along with millions of my fellow Americans, I watched the vice presidential debates. My expectations were not high; there would not be much debating. The whole thing looked as if it would be a series of sound bites and talking points, image over substance. As such, it was a dazzling victory for Governor Palin in the eyes of those who feared (or hoped) she would fall flat on her face after her spectacularly dismal performances with Katie Couric. For the last few days, Palin seemed to take masochistic pleasure in letting Couric hand her more than enough rope to hang herself, and then, in her feisty hockey mom manner, oblige. Again and again and again. Ms. Palin delivered her lines almost flawlessly, as an experienced TV news personality would. For those who wanted to see a performance of folksy warmth, they got it, complete with homespun lingo and winking. But that was about it. She was poised, perky, unflappable. The format of short answers with little follow-up meant she was spared having to back up her words. Until Biden took the sound bites and talking points to another level. Senator Biden resisted throwing jabs at Palin, even when she went into full Reagan-esque attack mode. Hidden sexism implicit in the notion that Palin couldn’t take it like a man would frame Biden as a bully picking on a poor, brave maverick-pit-
bull-barracuda-woman taking on the Washington establishment. He had been advised in advance that he could lose public favor by trouncing his less experienced opponent. And it was the topic of Gay marriage where Palin once again strung herself up with a designer noose of her own making. All Biden needed to do was respectfully and cheerfully escort her to the scaffold. Biden steps up I have no doubt that McCain’s people would have kept the whole Gay thing out of the debate if they could. They really don’t like to talk about us directly, a sure sign they wish we’d just go away. We are not included in either McCain’s or Palin’s speeches, except in veiled references about how our insistence on equality before the law is dangerous to civilization. When moderator Gwen Ifill raised the issue of marriage equality, Biden was very comfortable in saying that Gay people deserve all the rights in civil law as Straight people. He was not willing to commit political suicide by calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage, but he did refer to our unions as “marriages.” The institution of marriage, he said, must be determined by “faiths.” (I’m assuming he referred to religious denominations.) This is a crucial point. He is stating what we as
Gay people already know: in a country that is as deeply religious as our own, we will not get our rights to marriage until the overwhelming majority of people of faith stand with us. Like the current bailout, it can’t be half and half. A majority of Americans will have to find gay marriage acceptable before equality can be made the law of the land rather than the law of a few enlightened states. Biden left the door wide open to renegotiating same-sex marriage when more of those who are dead-set against it have gone to their reward, when new generations put their collective foot down and end the nonsensical arguments about “defense of marriage,” a 6,000-year-old Earth, and Noah putting dinosaurs on the ark. Palin falls flat Log Cabin Republicans, I hope you were paying attention. Palin made it clear she tolerates Gays. But if we get too uppity and start acting like we’re as good as Straights, she put us on notice that night that she’ll put us back in our place. She will oppose our interests so she can protect her Straight marriage from us. I think she’d be better advised protecting her marriage from The National Enquirer. There is a significant trailer park contingent of American voters that eats up gossip portraying the Palin family as
White trash. It’s pretty obvious that her alleged relationship with Todd Palin’s former business partner is a much bigger threat to her marriage and her political career, precisely because both Palin and her husband are Straight. Biden was overjoyed to hear that Palin doesn’t just tolerate people who, in her words from the Couric interview, “choose” same-sex orientation. By pushing her freshly spoken words of tolerance into something with a bit more substance, Biden dared her to give America some Straight talk in support of the LGBTQ community. This was Senator Biden’s shining moment. I could have hugged him. Right there on stage, he challenged Palin to go beyond tolerating us and begin speaking out in our favor, as a proper vice president in 2008 should. When the moderator asked point-blank if she would champion Gay rights, Palin skirted the issue. She simply repeated her opposition to same-sex marriage. Here was her big chance to do something magnificent, and she blew it. Palin came across as just another homophobe, lipstick or otherwise. I am not moved when Sarah Palin says some of her best friends are Gay. I bet she says the same thing about Black people, Native Alaskans, and women who have been raped.
HOROSCOPES by Jack Fertig
LIBRA (Sep 23 - Oct 22): Well-meaning financial advice - whether giving or receiving it - can lead to arguments. Keep your mouth shut, & sweetly thank those who offer their views. Avoid impulsive spending on friends. Make a list of your financial questions, but ask them another week.
CAPRICORN (Dec 21 - Jan 19): Sexual satisfaction comes perhaps a little too easily. What really matters to you in the long run? Meditating on your future may feel pointless and irritating, but can unblock something that has been bothering you more than you realize.
ARIES (Mar 20 - Apr 19): Any injustice, especially sexism, moves you to act. Before you act, think about the repercussions of your actions. If you can, try not to polarize or provoke more hostile backand-forth, but to heal.
CANCER (Jun 21 - Jul 22): Impulsive spending is a childish, desperate way to grasp for security. Compulsive sex is much more mature! Better yet, harness your skills and sublimate that energy into some creative enterprise. OK, sex can be very creative, if your heart is really in it.
SCORPIO (Oct 23 - Nov 21): Which is more important - home or work? And where do you identify more strongly? There’s something comforting about your career, but get more rooted. Focus more on the values - at least the positive ones - you’ve gained from family and tradition.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20 - Feb 18): Your plans and career seem to hinge on the efforts of others, but they don’t really. Focus on your own efforts, flaws, and capacity for improvement. You can see your way around authoritarian obstructions. Don’t take them head on.
TAURUS (Apr 20 - May 20): Sexual frustration happens to all of us, even the happily partnered, from time to time. Resist the urge to find drastic “solutions.” Consider the long-range, responsible path before jumping into anything. Focusing on your career will help you keep perspective.
LEO (Jul 23 - Aug 22): You have brilliant insights into solving domestic and community problems. But it’ll be better for you - and everyone else! - if you softpedal your own ideas, and make the effort to work with whatever others suggest.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 20): It’s too easy to take arguments personally. Remember that the ideas under discussion, no matter how closely they reflect your own, are not about you. Avoid debating grand, overarching ideas; try to focus on details and basic premises.
PISCES (Feb 19 - Mar 19): Avoid getting drawn into arguments. Instead, challenge your own wit and imagination to deal with problems that arise. Yes, you can solve nearly any problem, but only if you take your ego out of the way and meditate.
GEMINI (May 21 - Jun 20): Wanting to make things “right” in personal and working relationships can just screw things up worse. Listening and learning are more important than talking. Reaching for new views and perspectives is well worth the effort.
VIRGO (Aug 23 - Sep 22): You may have good ideas to solve family problems, but heal thyself first! Rather than telling others what they should be doing, you’ll be much more convincing if you set a modest example and offer opinions only when asked.
Jack Fertig, a professional astrologer since 1977, teaches at the Online College of Astrology. He can be reached for personal or business consultations at 415.864.8302, www.starjack.com, & QScopes@qsyndicate.com.
OCT 16 - OCT 22 2008
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