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Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Mike Halterman email@example.com
Creative Director: Joshua Beadle firstname.lastname@example.org
Writers: Tammy Enyeart email@example.com Deb Honeycutt firstname.lastname@example.org Tori Mattison email@example.com Berneta Haynes firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Stankevich email@example.com
¥ Photo Credits:
Logos and photographs used in our Best of 2010 feature are the property of the businesses and people profiled. Photographs of people are used with prior permission from the subjects. Most photos and logos of businesses are used under the parameters of fair use in the U.S. copyright code. Bellingrath Gardens illuminations courtesy of Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Pelican Drop photo courtesy of the City of Pensacola. Clint McCance photo from file. Pizza Bar photo’s copyright owned by shop owners.
OUT ON THE TOWN MAGAZINE is published by OUT ON THE TOWN PUBLISHING, LLC Copyright 2010 Out on the Town Publishing, LLC
Opinions expressed in the pages of Out on the Town Magazine are not necessarily those held by the owners of Out on the Town Publishing, LLC. or its staff. Publication of the name or photograph of any living person or organization in articles or advertising in Out on the Town Magazine shall not be construed or implication made as any indication of the sexual orientation of such persons or organizations. All copy, text, display, photos and illustrations in the ads are published with the understanding that the advertisers are fully authorized, have secured proper written consent for the use of names, pictures and testimonials of any living person, and Out on the Town Magazine may lawfully publish said ads. The advertiser automatically agrees by submitting said ad to indemnify and hold harmless Out on the Town Publishing, LLC from any and all liability, loss and expense of any nature out of such publication. The deadline for the monthly release of Out on the Town Magazine is the third Friday of the month at 11 a.m. Central Time for advertising submitted from an outside graphics firm and the third Monday of the month for new advertising made and designed in-house by Out on the Town Magazine (extra fees apply). In the event that an ad is accepted after deadline, the advertiser agrees by submitting such an ad to indemnify and hold harmless Out on the Town Publishing, LLC from any and all liability, loss and expense of any nature that may arise from any error that may be made in said ad. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole of this publication without written permission is prohibited.
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Out on the Town Magazine wishes all of you very happy holidays and a wonderful start to 2011. We’ll be back with our next issue in February. In the meantime, stay in the loop with updates from us by becoming a fan of us on facebook at www.facebook.com/outonthetown
Table of Contents: Out on the Town’s Best of 2010 Awards: The Results Are In! .................................. 8 Tori Mattison Profiles the Best Drag Queens of 2010 ............................................. 12 Notes on a Scandal: The Downfall of Clint McCance ............................................. 16 Eureka Springs City Government Allows Insurance for Domestic Partners .................. 18 Allegations of Discrimination at a Mississippi Law School ....................................... 20 Bellingrath Gardens Illuminations Spread Christmas Cheer ..................................... 22 Legal Recognition of Alabama’s Gay-Straight Alliances 15 Years On ........................ 23 Pensacola Rings in the New Year with a Pelican Drop .......................................... 24 ACLU of the Florida Panhandle Recounts Eventful 2010 ........................................ 25 Bars & Clubs Yellow Pages .............................................................................. 27
Editor’s Note: Hey y’all!
For the first time, we welcome the Arkansas GLBT community. I hope you like our magazine as much as our other readers have over the past few months, and I can’t wait to visit you all in the new year. Our main story this month revolves around our reader’s choice awards, in which we voted for the best GLBT rights advocates, the best drag performers, the best GLBTfriendly businesses and the best GLBT bars and clubs across our four-state area. Just as readers like you make it possible to support our magazine, you all also give your favorite businesses and people the inspiration to truly shine. Be sure to congratulate the winners of our awards via their facebook profiles. Christmas and the new year are fast approaching, and we will be celebrating in style and watching for hot, fun celebrations to include in February’s “Out and About” photo spreads! If you have photos of an event you’d like to see featured in February’s photo spread (it must be an event which occurs in December or January), please attach the photos in an e-mail and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in 2011! Sincerely Yours, Mike Halterman Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
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Town and Lake Realty
Al Hooks, GRI
Associate Broker 115 East Van Buren Eureka Springs, Arkansas Office: (479) 253-5227 Toll Free: (877) 279-0001 email@example.com
facebook.com/outineureka DECEMBER 2010 | JANUARY 2011 | 7
OUT ON THE TOWN’S BEST OF 2010!
Alabama - Rep. Patricia Todd was the overwhelming winner for the state. The only out gay member of the Alabama Legislature, Todd was first elected to her district, which consists of areas in and around Birmingham, back in 2006. In November she was re-elected in an uncontested race. She currently serves as Associate Director of AIDS Alabama and has been affiliated with the organization for nearly 25 years, lobbying for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and funds for treatment.
Written by Mike Halterman From November 12 to November 21, we asked our readers to vote for their favorites in four categories: Best Drag Performer, GLBT Rights Advocate of the Year, Best GLBT-Owned or GLBT-Friendly Business, and Best GLBT Bar/ Club. Each state picked their homegrown winner in the four categories, and Out on the Town is pleased to present the Deep South’s Best of 2010 award winners! GLBT RIGHTS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Florida Panhandle - Doug Landreth, President of Gay Grassroots of Northwest Florida, won the vote in the Panhandle. A resident of Navarre, he’s worked with GLBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention in northwest Florida for nearly two decades, and has worked for Okaloosa AIDS Support & Informational Services as an MSM Prevention Outreach Worker. In September of this year, Landreth opened Equality House, the Panhandle’s first GLBT community center, and organizes the yearly Pensacola Pride held every October.
Mississippi - Tom Head, a Jackson native, won the award for the state of Mississippi. He serves as the secretary of the ACLU of Mississippi, president of the Jackson area National Organization for Women, executive vice-president of the Mississippi chapter of the National Organization for Women, and treasurer of Jackson’s PFLAG organization. He has also authored or coauthored 24 books ranging from such topics as civil liberties to theology.
Arkansas – Randi Romo won the popular vote in Arkansas. She has worked for over 20 years in the South, advocating various causes such as GLBT rights, youth rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, farm workers’ rights and women’s rights. She co-founded the Center for Artistic Revolution in Little Rock and serves as its director. She was nominated as a “hero” to the GLBT community by a friend and was featured on the “Oprah’s Greatest Things” special episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired November 19.
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BEST GLBT-OWNED OR GLBT-FRIENDLY BUSINESS
Florida Panhandle – The Leisure Club, located on Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola, opened its doors in August and has quickly become a hot spot to wine, dine, drink coffee and relax in ultra-chic surroundings. Owners Denise Berry and Kimberly Brill have embraced the lingering feel of daytime and the electric charge of downtown nightlife with gusto, and clearly it has become a favorite with Out on the Town readers!
no clear consensus! There’s one thing that isn’t disputed: GLBT Mississippians love this place.
Arkansas – The Pizza Bar, located on Main Street in Eureka Springs, has been a favorite among the townspeople and visitors ever since it opened its doors two years ago. Lorrie Green and Sunday Mininni co-own the pizzeria and take pride in making their pizzas with a recipe straight from the old country. People in Eureka Springs knew this place was tops, but the owners were surprised to learn that they had indeed won the award for Best GLBT-Friendly Business for the entire state of Arkansas. BEST GLBT BAR/CLUB
Alabama – Picklefish, located on Old Shell Road near the University of South Alabama in Mobile, got rave reviews for its pizzas and its welcoming atmosphere. Jerry Ehlen, owner of B-Bob’s, told Out on the Town that the original owner, Mead Miller, would have been honored to receive our Best GLBT-Friendly Business award (Miller died in 2009). The Mobile landmark’s 15th anniversary was celebrated this year, and our readers hope Picklefish serves great pies for 15 more years to come.
Mississippi – The Pizza Shack in Jackson’s Belhaven community is no stranger to awards. In fact, the pizza shop has won numerous awards from the Jackson Free Press as well as national publications such as Southern Living and USA Today. This place earned its good reputation for well-crafted pies with lots of toppings. We asked a few people what their favorite pizza was, but there were so many to choose from, so there was
Florida Panhandle – Splash Bar Florida has been a staple on Panama City Beach since Larry Lassiter and Tony Boswell first opened the bar in December 2001. It’s a hot venue year-round but it is especially spicy during Panama City’s notorious spring break in March and April. If you visit any gay bar after Pensacola but before Jacksonville, make a Splash! HONORABLE MENTION: THE CABARET (PENSACOLA), THE ROUNDUP (PENSACOLA)
Alabama – Joe’s on Seventh opened in October 2009 and has since wowed everyone in Birmingham’s Five Points South with fun drag shows, great live music and a hot party atmosphere. David Howard, partner in Birmingham’s CityVision nightlife advertising media network, has suc-
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ceeded in catering not only to GLBT Birmingham, but for people across the state who drive in excess of one hour just to belly up to the bar! HONORABLE MENTION: B-BOB’S (MOBILE).
Mississippi – P3, owned by entrepreneur Billy Barton, opened this year to rave reviews in Hattiesburg, and has quickly become THE place to drink, mingle and party in south Mississippi. The drag shows, directed by pageant queen Nikki Andrews, are among the best in the state. This club deserved every rave
it received from our voters, and left the big-city bars in the dust in the process. HONORABLE MENTION: JUST US LOUNGE (BILOXI).
Arkansas – Discovery Night Club has been a Little Rock favorite ever since its doors first opened back in 1979. Blurring the lines between gay bar and mainstream dance bar, it offers drag shows every weekend along with special rooms for techno music and hip-hop music, so whatever dance music tickles your fancy, Discovery tries to satisfy your lust
for hot beats. HONORABLE MENTION: PULSE (LITTLE ROCK) BEST DRAG PERFORMER To read more about our drag performers, see Tori Mattison’s Lowdown on page 12. Congratulations to our drag queen winners: Sapphire Nicole Rachels (Florida Panhandle), Genesis (Alabama), Tori Mattison (Mississippi, who picked Tanisha Foxx as her favorite drag performer), and Mya Alexander (Arkansas).
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Tori Mattison’s Lowdown
Tori Mattison Presents the Best of 2010! There are an endless supply of talented drag queens in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Mississippi, in every shape, color and variety that you could ask for. Of course, there are only a handful that, no matter who you are and no matter how many times you see them grace the stage, you cannot get enough of their performances. These unpredictable, glamorous femme fatales have captured our attention - and KEPT it - for years...and are still on top of their game today. We love them, we obsess over them, and we can’t get enough
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of them. These are your Out on the Town Best of 2010 Drag Performers! For Arkansas, Mya Alexander reigns supreme as their favorite entertainer. With 15 years of experience under her garter, Mya is the current reigning Miss Gay Arkansas United States, and made First Alternate to Miss Gay United States. She is the show director for Jester’s in Hot Springs, and can be seen there on Saturday nights. Mya describes Jester’s as a “fun alternative bar that brings in a great mix of people.” She loves getting to know her fans and making new friends. Aside from her personality, “I really like doing mainstream music, but my favorite entertainer to impersonate is Bette Midler.” Even though she typically saves her Bette impersonations for pageantry, catching “Bette” on stage is truly a treat for all! For Alabama, I know I have mentioned this diva in my first article, but I’m still in awe of Alabama’s best drag entertainer, Genesis, Miss Broadway Continental 2010-11. Genesis keeps me captivated with her amazing gowns, flawless hair and natural “fishy” beauty. With five years of experience, she is not afraid to step out of the box and try something different. Another great thing about her is her super-approachable personality. “So many queens try to put on
airs and act like actual royalty. That’s simply not me. I love making new friends and hearing feedback on my stage persona.” Genesis is the show director of Icon in Tuscaloosa, and can be seen there every Wednesday night for “Gen and Juice” as well as every Friday for “The G-Spot.” Mississippi is truly an honor for me. I’m so thankful for each and every person who voted for me, and I love you all more than I can say. Since I can’t write about myself as my favorite entertainer, wink wink, Tanisha Foxx is definitely noteworthy. Your current reigning Miss Mid-America, Tanisha has been setting the stage on fire for over eighteen years! A natural born entertainer and exceptional dancer, Tanisha lives and breathes to represent Mississippi as Miss Gay America next year. Tanisha’s devotion to her craft shines brightly every time she steps onstage. Everything about her, from her hair, poise, makeup and costumes, are immaculate and incomparable. She is a great friend of mine, and I am always honored to watch her entertain. And lastly, we have Sapphire Nicole Rachels, who got your votes for Florida’s best drag queen but didn’t even know there was a contest! “I just got an e-mail saying that I won for Florida and our bar didn’t
even know anything about the contest. I was so surprised and even more honored.” With six years of stage expertise, she is the current show director for Splash in Panama City. Since Panama City is a vacation beach; during off-season Splash only has shows every other Saturday...but when things start heating up, so does the stage! Shows will be every weekend, and you will catch Sapphire there for every show. So many entertainers take for granted the treasures that have been put in their lives. Nobody “deserves” fans, friends or tips. These are earned through talent and personality. It really is a breath of fresh air to meet entertainers that are still humble and thankful for you and what you do to show your love and support. These four ladies are truly golden and I have really enjoyed getting to know each of them throughout the years. They all definitely deserved your votes! Each entertainer has her own facebook page, so if you want to learn more about any of us, be sure to drop us a line or send us a friend request. Again, thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!
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Lounge 906 Division street BiLoxi, Ms 39530
open 24 / 7 www.justuslounge.net
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Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. with DJ Kit No Cover
Drink & Drown
Every Wednesday in Dec. & Friday Dec. 3rd and 17th 9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. with DJ D. Campioni $10 Cover
Sunday Tea’s Dec. 5th, Dec. 12th, & Dec. 26th 10:00 p.m. Show No Cover FEaTuriNg: Che Che, Vanessa Carmichael, Estelle Suarez, and maNy morE!
2 DogsArt Designs
Saturday, Dec. 18th 12:00 a.m. with DJ missy $6 Cover Kat D’Veau Sophia Luciani genesis
Sunday, Dec. 19th Holiday Party 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. No Cover
Naughty New Year
“What happens in Biloxi stays in Biloxi” Dec. 31st 10:00 p.m. - till with DJ missy Champagne Fountain Party Favors at midnight with Timesha Dupree $10 Cover
DECEMBER 2010 | JANUARY 2011 now serving priDe pizza, etc.
Arkansas, The Nation, and
Written By Berneta Haynes A friend once told me that people should treat Facebook like it is a public space. In other words, never say anything on Facebook that you would not say in public. Hence, if you say something on Facebook that you would not say ordinarily in public, you should be prepared to suffer the same consequences as if you had said it in public. Make sense? Well, this probably makes plenty of sense of Clint McCance right now. McCance, the former Vice President of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, wrote some now notorious words on his Facebook page almost a month ago: McCance’s poor grammar aside, people around Arkansas and the country were mortified and angered by these comments. McCance delivered the above response after he had been requested to participate in Spirit Day, celebrated internationally during October. GLAAD sponsored the anti-bullying
campaign to help bring awareness to the problem queer teenagers face daily. Individuals in the United States celebrated Spirit Day on October 20, 2010 by wearing purple to honor the memories of queer teenagers who recently committed suicide as a result of bullying. It would be an understatement to refer to Pleasant Plains, Arkansas as a small town. Pleasant Plains has a population of 267, according to the 2000 census. It is tiny. Yet this tiny little town garnered nationwide and worldwide attention just after Clint McCance’s Facebook status hit the news waves. Stories appeared on CNN and popular nationwide online news sites like Huffington Post. The blogosphere went bananas. Members of Facebook immediately launched a page titled, “Fire Clint McCance” on October, 28, 2010. The central image on the page features these words, written in lilac and white block letters against a dark purple background. It lists an event called, “Wear Purple
Until Clint McCance Resigns!” More than 60,000 people liked the page within a day of its creation. To date, the page has 72,654 likes, from individuals all over the nation and beyond. The same day the Facebook page was created, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) published an article in The Advocate online, where it called for McCance to resign. The HRC, the largest LGBT organization, was established in 1980 and is headquartered in Washington D.C. Not only did the HRC’s president send a letter to McCance asking him to resign, but the HRC launched an online action to allow people to write to the school board. Additionally, Center for Artistic Revolution, a gay rights group based in Little Rock, headed a protest rally in front of the Midland School District office that morning. On October 29, 2010, a story about McCance’s comments appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail. Indeed, McCance had put Arkansas and the tiny little town of
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Pleasant Plains on the map. By November 4, 2010, the Arkansas Times received many letters from people voicing their concerns and calling for McCance’s resignation or firing. A woman from Little Rock wrote that McCance was an embarrassment to Arkansas, while a man from Vancouver, Canada boldly stated that the entire western world was watching Arkansas as a result of this scandal. Another man from Louisiana disparagingly noted that McCance was the face of Arkansas and congratulated the state for being able to produce such an individual. The State Department of Education condemned McCance’s comments, and he resigned. Just before resigning, McCance told the press that he had received a great deal of hate mail and threatening calls from people. He also did an interview with Anderson Cooper, during which he offered his apologies to the families and people whom his words had affected.
McCance’s words embittered people, but it also empowered them. This is apparent from the number of headlining articles on online news sites and the hundreds of comments those articles received. In many of the comments, people spoke of their intentions to wear purple and some people even said they intended to send a letter to the board via the HRC action site. His words, perhaps ironically, encouraged people to take a stance and to take action however small. This is apparent from the number of people who liked the “Fire Clint McCance” Facebook page. This is apparent from the fact that we are still talking and writing about this issue a month later.
perhaps we should wear purple until it compels our nation to have a very real and muchneeded national conversation about queer youth and bullying. Our nation’s media easily wrote off McCance as a backwards atypical individual and mostly failed to understand that a large segment of the population regularly thinks the words he happened to articulate on Facebook. McCance has already started the national conversation. Now, it is up to us to keep the conversation going. We need to get up in people’s faces, so to speak, and talk about queer identity and queer culture until our faces turn purple.
Headlines usually come and go. Something happens, a few headlines pop up for a few days, and within a few weeks we forget about whatever happened. But McCance’s comments remain on people’s minds. Rather than wearing purple on October 20 or wearing purple until McCance resigns, DECEMBER 2010 | JANUARY 2011 | 17
Eurkea Springs, Arkansas Brings Domestic Health Benefits to City Employees Written by Tammy Enyeart
Michael Walsh. who wrote Eurkea Springs’ domestic partnership registry ordinance that became law in June 2007, helped bring city domestic partnership health insurance benefits available to city workers, starting January 1, 2011. When asked about what led to the decision to offer this health coverage, Walsh had this to say, “In a word, persistence. A city group spent most of 2010 trying to convince the Eurkea Springs City Council to provide the same access to health care coverage for the domestic partners of city workers as it has always provided for the legal spouses of city workers,” He said. “We argued that city workers with partners do the same work as city workers with spouses and should therefore, get the same employment benefits. Failing to do so, we said violated the city’s own non-discrimination employment policy.” “Finally, in August of this year, the city council adopted a resolution (that I wrote) urging the city’s insurance provided (the Arkansas Municipal League – an association of Arkansas cities) to drop its ban against insuring domestic partners,” He said. “In early November, Mayor Dani Joy and city Transit Director Lamont Richie went to Little Rock to personally argue the city’s case to the Arkansas Municipal League. Two weeks later, the Municipal League granted the city’s request. While I’m delighted about that, I’m disappointed the ruling applies only to Eurkea Springs, not to the scores of other Arkansas cities that get their health insurance from the Municipal League.
I also asked Michael how the issue was perceived by the heterosexual community and if any backlash was received from the decision. “As usual, this wasn’t an idea our elected officials came up with. It originated with ordinary citizens-both straight and gay- who were concerned with the welfare of city workers, people who we know, who are our neighbors and our friend”. “In a state that is deep in the Bible Belt and deeply conservative, Eurkea Springs has a relatively cosmopolitan character and is exceptionally progressive socially and politically”. “As for the backlash there has been none so far. After the first of the year though, I expect there will be a few rabidly homophobic state legislators who will make an attempt to ban Domestic Partnership Registries and domestic partnership health insurance throughout the state”. We asked Walsh if he had any expectations that other cities as well as other states will follow by your example? “Across the country, dozens of cities, countries and universities already provide insurance benefits to domestic partners. More than half of the nations’ Fortune 500 companies do too. Every time a public or private employer does so, it inspires others. In Arkansas, we’re the first, but I doubt we will be the last”.
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The American Bar Association Investigates an Openly Gay Law Student’s Allegations of Harassment and Discrimination at the Mississippi College School of Law Written by Andrew Stankevich
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I moved from New York City to Jackson, MS to enroll at the Mississippi College School of Law. When I asked to start an on-campus gay law students’ association, I learned that MC Law admits openly gay students, but forbade me to do or say anything gay while on campus and outside of the classroom. After my first year, I ranked academically in the top twenty percent. However, due to the harassment and discrimination I experienced as a gay man, I wrote twenty pages worth of everything that had happened to me while at that Mississippi Baptist college and emailed it to the American Bar Association (ABA), which regulates law schools. In addition to other standards that my complaint implicated, the ABA specifically noted violations of accreditation standards 211(b), 211(c), 301(b) and 404(a)(1). Accreditation standard 211 seems to represent a compromise between conservative Christian law schools and the increasingly progressive ABA, which called for the legalization of gay marriage in all fifty states this past August. 211(b), requires all accredited law schools to allow admission to qualified gay and lesbian students. However, ABA accreditation guidelines do not obligate Christian law schools to allow gay student organizations on campus. But 211(c), requires schools that have policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation to provide notification of such polices to students before they apply and/or enroll. I had no such notification. The ABA also requires that any antigay policies don’t contravene any other standard. Standard 301(b) requires that law schools ensure that all students have reasonably comparable opportunities to take advantage of the school’s educational programs
and benefits. However, gay students, like myself, can’t get the same education at MC Law as heterosexual students. The ABA further defines 301(b) to require comparable opportunities for “regular interaction with full-time faculty and other students . . . and from special events such as lecture series.” Standard 404(a)(1) requires law school faculty to be “available for student consultation, participat[e] in academic advising, and creat[e] an atmosphere in which students and faculty may voice opinions and exchange ideas.” One of my adjunct professors seemed to be spending his off-time hanging out with other students, while refusing to meet with me for academic matters. A full time professor once made personal, over-the-top insults against me while administrative staff watched. Prior to my filing the ABA complaint, MC Law didn’t allow any speakers on campus that disagreed with Mississippi Baptist theology on sexual orientation. After I wore a rainbow belt buckle to class a few times, the other students wouldn’t talk to me. Sometimes, I couldn’t even participate in class without other students laughing at me or shouting me down when I tried to talk. Within eight weeks of receiving a complaint, the ABA determines if the complaint alleges facts that raise issues relating to the school’s compliance. If the complaint alleges such facts, the ABA then sends the complaint to the dean of the school to respond within thirty days. Upon receiving the law school’s response, the ABA then decides within the next forty-five days if the school is in compliance. If the ABA decides the school is not in compliance, the ABA appoints an investigator to visit the school. Deciding that the facts I raised in my complaint could demonstrate that MC
Law’s failure to comply with the accreditation standards, the ABA mailed a letter dated September 1st to MC Law’s Dean and requested a reply in thirty days. I met with attorneys from a local, independent law firm on October 26th to discuss my experiences at MC Law. As I understand it, the ABA granted MC Law an extension and MC Law hired a law firm to conduct a neutral investigation into my ABA complaint, to help them write their response. The ABA will notify me when they either decide to send their own factfinding committee or dismiss the complaint. I believe that the ABA will send their own fact finding committee and we will see what happens next. If the ABA finds that MC Law is in substantial non-compliance, the ABA may assign a fine, require that MC Law refund students’ tuition, make a public or private statement of official disapproval, require publication of a corrective statement, prohibit the initiation of new programs, place MC Law’s accreditation status on probation, and/or remove MC Law from the list of approved law schools. In the course of such proceeding, the ABA may also direct MC Law to take remedial action to bring itself into compliance. Since the ABA and Mississippi College are currently investigating the facts in my story, I will only say that the humiliation, intimidation and exclusion I’ve experienced could have made a younger, less resilient student fail-out, dropout, if not commit suicide. To be continued...
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The Magic That Is Bellingrath Written by Deb Honeycutt It’s called Magic Christmas in Lights and, boy, is it ever! This holiday season, Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Mobile celebrates its 15th Anniversary of the annual holiday light show with over three million lights, 929 set pieces and 13 different themes. The 65 acre garden estate opens the holiday festivities beginning the day after Thanksgiving and runs the event through New Year’s Eve. With brilliant holiday light displays, dinner menu of holiday cuisine and Southern charm, concessions complete with steaming apple cider and hot chocolate, and photos with Santa available each weekend, the Christmas event proves to be one of epic proportion that the whole family will enjoy. Bellingrath Gardens and Home has been open to visitors yearround since 1934. Throughout the year, the gardens provide a plethora of seasonal blooms from winter camellias, to autumn chrysanthemums, to summer tropicals. On the self-guided tour, visitors experience the beauty of Bellingrath amidst formal garden terraces, reflecting pools, a boardwalk, and a number of lavish gardens.
The original furnishings of Mr. and Mrs. Bellingrath adorn the 10,500 square foot home along with an unparalleled collection of decorative arts. During the holiday season, however, Magic Christmas in Lights claims center stage as people from all over flock to Mobile to embrace the spirit of the season and witness the transformation into an imaginative world of brilliant luminescence like no other. Each year, Bellingrath adds a new, elaborate display to the holiday festivities. Leslie Schraeder, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says, “This year is no exception. We’ve added Snowflake Lane and a Coca-Cola Christmas Village.” Schrader describes Snowflake Lane as “a display of twinkling lights designed to look like actual snowflakes falling from the trees.” The Coca-Cola Christmas Village, part of the Home Tour, promises to be a grand new addition as well and was donated to the gardens for the annual event. In addition to the light displays, the Bellingrath Home hosts nightly holiday chorale performances by a number of groups. Teams of designers and artisans work year-round in preparation
for Magic Christmas in Lights. Everything from design to crafting of displays through installation is done in-house by the staff of Bellingrath Gardens and Home with collaboration from designer and former Disney Imagineer Clare Graham. The intricate designs are meticulously crafted and lamped to create the elaborate themed sets and astonishing illuminations that create the holiday fantastical appeal for which the show has become famous. If your holiday plans include a visit to Magic Christmas in Lights, Schraeder suggests allotting 2-3 hours to stroll through the displays. Although the admissions line moves quickly, due to popularity of the show, there may be a wait to purchase tickets. To minimize this time, tickets can be purchased online through the Bellingrath website and visitors can utilize the Will Call Window at the entrance. Admission is through 9 pm and dinner is served in the Magnolia Café from 4 pm to 8 pm nightly. The home also hosts an elegant gift shop of fine gifts. And, of course, don’t forget to stop by for a cup of hot apple cider for the stroll!
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A Celebration Written by Deb Honeycutt of Campus When I spoke with Constance Smith of the University of South Alabama about the 1995 court Diversity ruling that made state funding Inclusion (inkloo-shun): the state of being included. Include (in-klood): to have as part of a whole.
available to LGBT organizations on state campuses, I pondered the complexities of one simple statement, “Inclusion is inclusion.”
Until 1995, LGBT organizations were barred from state funding in Alabama and were not recognized as official clubs by state universities. The University of South Alabama in Mobile was paramount in the victory granting state funds that provided for the development and recognition of campus groups and clubs catered to students and allies of previously banned organizations. Alabama was the last state to approve such progress and the university in question at that time, was USA. January of 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of the long awaited ruling and cause for much celebration in our state. At present, USA recognizes two separate student organizations, USA Queers and Allies and the USA GLBTA. As distinct campus entities, the two groups work together as partner clubs in political action, social support and the preservation of human rights and diversity. As we celebrate 15 years of progress, I asked Smith, Faculty Sponsor for Queers and Allies, what is the most important aspect of having campus-wide clubs like these available to students? Her response, “It allows students that feel like they’re on the fringe to have a place to go.” In addition to campus sponsored student events, the last decade has given students and faculty a far greater reach into the community thereby melting down barriers that once prohibited
community awareness of LGBT issues. Student clubs work in conjunction with community groups to build alliances, educate the public, and further the progression of political action along with providing a safe haven for students and members of the community. One such community group, the Bay Area Inclusion Community Action Alliance is currently focused on the concerns of bullying, an issue especially plaguing the younger generation. Through joint efforts, campus groups and community groups are providing Safe Zones for students, as exhibited by the posting of signs outside of faculty offices and in various places throughout the community. The 1995 court ruling was a breakthrough for the State of Alabama and dramatically changed the face of campus life for those of us on the fringe and our allies. At last, groups of students that were “included” in the student body numbers became recognized and “included” in the student body whole, providing solidarity and support for students with common goals, much like the Student Veterans’ Organization or the Volleyball Club. After all, “Inclusion is inclusion.” Since 15 years is behind us and we have made great strides towards progress, I made several attempts to contact the office of Jeff Sessions, U.S. Senator for Alabama, who was adamantly opposed to the ruling of ’95. My question to Senator Sessions was this, “Has your position on this topic changed and/or undergone any revisions or do you continue to stand behind your original stance on the issue?” With no response from the Senator or Press Secretary Sarah Haley, might it be safe to assume that he wishes not to be “included?”
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Written by Tammy Enyeart Who needs the Times Square Ball in New York, when Pensacola, has the Pelican Drop? Surely not the thousands of Florida Panhandle residents who will flock to see the 14 foot tall Pelican with a 20 foot wingspan flying its way down to bring in the New Year. Now heading into its third year hosted by the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency,) which was established in 1980 to bring economic growth to the city of Pensacola, the Pelican Drop has become an icon flying in the New Year with a bang. Festivities start kicking off at 5 p.m. and continue through 12:30 a.m. Live performances will be taking place on three outdoor stages, providing endless entertainment throughout the evening to fit most musical preferences. Kids will have a blast with their own unique countdown at 8 p.m. with confetti and a bubble stomp. Palafox and Government Streets will be closed to traffic; however, don’t fret, restaurants will continue to be open, as well as additional vendors providing refreshments. Last year more than 25,000 people attended the festivities, and more than 25,000 to 30,000 is expected to attend this year.
2010 Event Schedule
Cat Country/International Paper Stage (Intendencia St) 5 to 8 p.m.-Children’s Pelican Celebration At the stroke of 8 p.m. the Pelican will rise and light up along with the
annual bubble stomp. 8:15 to 9:45 p.m. – Bush Hawg 10 to 11 p.m.-Katie Rogers Go Pensacola Stage (Romana Street) 7 to 8 p.m. – Go Pensacola.com 8 to 9:30 p.n. – Bella Orange 10 to 11:30 p.m. – Rumor Mill Band 9-1 a.m. – Chatter Box Elite Photo booth The Main Stage (Government St) 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. to 12:20 a.m. – Space Capone The Pelican Drop (Government St and Palafox Pl) 12:00 a.m. the Pelican will descend from its perch. Lewis Bear/Pensacola Pelicans Baseball Fireworks (Palafox Pl) 12:00 a.m. THE CRA offers these tips for those of you that will be attending this event: 1. LOCATION Palafox Place will close down for a massive party. Street closures begin on the morning of December 31st and continue until 1a.m. 2. PARKING There is plenty of handicapped and regular parking on the Jefferson garage as well as the local parking lots downtown.
There are public portable restrooms throughout the event location. 5. EATING The local bars and restaurants will be open to buy food and drinks as well as food vendors on the streets. 6. BE READY FOR CROWDS Approximately 25,000 people will end up on Palafox Pl. the night of New Year’s Eve. 7. BE PATIENT AND HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR. Your feet will get stomped on. People will block your view. Someone is bound to bump into you. Keep your cool and you and those around you will enjoy the New Year’s Eve Pelican Drop. 8. CONSIDER THE WEATHER The weather in Pensacola on New Year’s Eve can vary widely. If it’s going to rain or be bitterly cold, you might want to consider dressing for the weather, with extra layers to add as it gets later and colder. 9. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PLAN TO ARRIVE HOME SAFELY. We hope that you will come and join saying goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011 at the Pensacola Pelican drop.
3. ARRIVE EARLY FOR THE BEST VIEW OF THE PELICAN DROP. Folks begin arriving as early as 5 p.m. on December 31 for the family friendly events. Some of the prime viewing spots will be filled by midevening. 4. HIT THE BATHROOM FIRST
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We hold these truths to be selfevident that all men are created equal…. Written by Tammy Enyeart We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776. Yet, I ask you where the rights of the GLBT community are? Why, doesn’t the Declaration of Independence apply, and why is it being ignored? “Our primary mission is to protect individual freedoms protected by the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. The GLBT community should be forwarded those same rights as any other individual” says Susan Watson, the Northwest Regional Director of the ACLU in Florida. The GLBT community has taken their fight public, more visible than ever, letting our
government know they are loud, they are proud and they will fight for what should be rightfully theirs. Equality! Working with many supporters in civil and human rights, the ACLU has also worked for the passage of anti-discrimination laws, as well as going to court to help defend domestic partner arrangements for city employees. Providing educational resources for the teens of the GLBT communities, the ACLU has set up GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Ensuring that these teens know not only their rights, but build a bridge between the two sexual orientations. Recently, the ACLU as well as the GLBT community had a victory in court when the gay adoption ban was declared unconstitutional, In fact, the Department of Children and Family Services has stopped asking
prospective adoptive parents if they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. An amazing victory and one the ACLU says they will work hard to preserve. The ACLU has a chapter in than Panhandle the serves Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa as well as Walton Counties. They are a non-profit, nonpartisan organization. They are neither liberal, conservative, Republican nor Democrat. Meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the downtown branch of the West Florida Regional Library, located at 200 W. Gregory Street in Pensacola. Let your voices be heard! Don’t let anyone treat you less than you deserve to be treated. Together we can make a difference, changing minds one tiny brain cell at a time.
1. www.aclufl.org/adoption/ caniadopt.cfm
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26 | OUT ON THE TOWN | ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA AND THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE
BARS & CLUBS
¥ THE CABARET 101 S. Jefferson St. Pensacola, FL 32502 (850) 607-2020 ¥ THE ROUNDUP 560 E. Heinberg St. Pensacola, FL 32502 (850) 433-8482 ¥ EMERALD CITY 406 E. Wright St. Pensacola, FL 32501 (850) 433-9491 ¥ FIESTA ROOM LA ROYALE LOUNGE 100 Harrison Ave. Panama City, FL 32401 (850) 763-1755 ¥ SPLASH BAR FLORIDA 6520 Thomas Dr. Panama City Beach, FL 32408 (850) 236-3450
¥ JOE’S ON SEVENTH ¥ 2627 7th Ave. S. B-BOB’S Birmingham, AL 35233 213 Conti St. (205) 321-2812 Mobile, AL 36602 ¥ (251) 433-2262 OUR PLACE ¥ 2115 7th Ave. S. GABRIEL’S Birmingham, AL 35233 DOWNTOWN (205) 715-0077 55 S. Joachim St. ¥ Mobile, AL 36602 QUEST (251) 432-4900 416 24th St. S. ¥ Birmingham, AL 35233 THE MIDTOWN PUB (205) 251-4313 153 S. Florida St. ¥ Mobile, AL 36606 ICON (251) 471-5090 516 Greensboro Ave. ¥ Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 BACCHUS (205) 345-3820 455 Dauphin St. ¥ Mobile, AL 36602 JOE’S ON SEVENTH (251) 445-4099 2627 7th Ave. S. ¥ Birmingham, AL 35233 CLUB IMAGINATION (205) 321-2812 4129 Ross Clark Cir. ¥ Dothan, AL 36303 LAKEVIEW YACHT (334) 792-6555 CLUB ¥ 2627 7th Ave. S. CLUB 322 Birmingham, AL 35233 322 N. Lawrence St. (205) 322-1682 Montgomery, AL 36104 ¥ (334) 263-4322 OUR PLACE 2115 7th Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 (205) 715-0077 DECEMBER 2010 | JANUARY 2011 | 27
BARS & CLUBS
¥ QUEST 416 24th St. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 (205) 251-4313 ¥ PARTNERS BAR AND GRILL 631 Meridian St. N. Huntsville, AL 35801 (256) 539-0975 ¥ VIEUX CARRÉ 1204 Posey St. Huntsville, AL 35816 (256) 534-5970
MISSISSIPPI: ¥ JUST US LOUNGE 906 Division St. Biloxi, MS 39530 (228) 374-1007 ¥ P3 5232 Highway 42 Hattiesburg, MS 39401 (601) 602-4657 ¥ BOTTOMS UP 3911 Northview Dr. Jackson, MS 39206
(601) 362-8818 ¥ JC’S 425 North Mart Plaza Jackson, MS 39206 (601) 362-3108
ARKANSAS: ¥ DISCOVERY 1021 Jessie Rd. Little Rock, AR 72202 (501) 664-4784 ¥ PULSE 307 W. 7th St. Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 374-3552 ¥ 610 CENTER 610 Center St. Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 374-4678 ¥ SWAY 412 Louisiana St. Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 907-2582 ¥ SIDETRACKS 415 Main St. North Little Rock, AR 72114 (501) 244-0444
JESTER'S 1010 E. Grand Ave. Hot Springs, AR 71901 (501) 624-5455 ¥ CLUB KINKEAD'S 1004 1/2 Garrison Ave. Fort Smith, AR 72901 (479) 494-7477 ¥ THE CHUTE 714 Laurel St. Texarkana, AR 71854 (870) 772-6900 ¥ TANGERINE 21 N. Block Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72701 (479) 444-6100 ¥ HENRI'S JUST ONE MORE 19 1/2 Spring St. Eureka Springs, AR 72632 (479) 253-5795 ¥ EUREKA LIVE 35 1/2 N. Main St. Eureka Springs, AR
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¥ 72632 (479) 253-7020 ¥ LUMBERYARD BAR & GRILL 105 E. Van Buren St. Eureka Springs, AR 72632 (479) 253-0400 ¥ TIKI TORCH CLUB 75 S. Main St. Eureka Springs, AR 72632 (479) 253-2305
Where’s MY bar?
If you have a gay bar that you think shouldn’t be overlooked by Out on the Town, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to have it added.
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