Page 1

Cover Story Ann Wyborny

pg. 7

Features 2010 Galla

pg. 3

Out and About with Anita pg. 6 Memorial


pg. 4

Joy’s Corner

pg. 13

Word from the owners

pg. 15


pg. 17

Call for Entries

pg. 16



Not to be Forgotten The staff of Outside the Box would like to acknowledge the remembrance of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado. Jorge was a well known and very loved homosexual in the Puerto Rican gay community, and, was found brutally murdered, on November 14, 2009, outside his hometown of Cayey, Puerto Rico. He had been partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered. Both arms, both legs, and the torso separated from the body. It only made local news, in Puerto Rico, and was barely acknowledged here in the United States. We at Outside the Box support the fight to put an end to these kinds of crimes. This is unacceptable, and we see the need to come together, as a community, all over the world to put an end to this. This does not only affect the citizens of Puerto Rico; it affects us all. This young man could have been someone in your community, or your good friend, the boy next door, or someone in your own family. We, as a community, need to unite to fight against the injustice when these crimes happen.

The police agent that is handling this case said in a public televised statement that “people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen”. This is discrimination in itself. It is unacceptable to have any one of authority, who is suppose to protect and serve, say that anyone deserves this. All persons should be able to address issues, with any persons of authority, without fear of rejection and retaliation. Each person, in every community, concerned about crimes of this nature, need to address their concerns to their local legislature to create laws that will protect and defend persons subjected to crimes precipitated by prejudice or hate. Although President Obama has passed legislature to grant states the authority address crimes of this nature, it is still the discretion of each state to prosecute these crimes as discriminatory or bias in nature. As of now, in Colorado, “hate crimes” do not exist. We need to motivate legislature to pass a “hate” law. This would recognize hate as a crime against persons, and would afford the opportunity to seek funding to combat this type of crime, and funding to educate, our community, in an effort to prevent such crimes against persons, in our community, in the future. It is unjust that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, or anyone who leads an alternative

lifestyle, does not feel safe, or can be threatened in their state, or town or know that if a bias motivated crime is committed against them, because of who they are, that they and their families will receive the justice they deserve, and know that local authorities will respect, and serve, our rights. It is time we take a stand to make a difference. It is time for each state, or Province, to accept that “HATE” crimes are committed. Each state, or Province, needs to pass Hate Crime legislature, and respond to these crimes accordingly. It is time to put an end to hate motivated bias crimes. To the family and friends of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, who was taken away from them prematurely, we feel your loss, and share their grief. We will continue our fight, to establish acceptable legislature, and investigative procedures, in an effort to prevent this from happening again. We have the responsibility to continue our efforts to insure no other person will be subjected to any hate motivated crime, and to insure support is available should any other person be exposed to hate related crimes. We owe it to you and to ourselves. In behalf of the Denver gay community, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, will be remembered in our hearts forever. Written by: Dalen Savage & Wendell Swaithes 5

Out and About with Anita Showtime!!

Anita Cocktail tells it like it is

When I started performing in clubs the shows were run quite differently. There was a decorum that is now all but ignored. Entertainers were punctual, prepared (knew the song lyrics) and polite. When they were at a show they stayed until it was over. They didn’t arrive late & split for the bars after their numbers were done. There were often 20 entertainers per show by invitation only. Respect for the establishment owners as well as the craft was a given. For certain casts (Red Stocking Revue for one) there were auditions. You had to be invited to audition and you were questioned by current cast members.

Having been an entertainer for 30 odd years things that were true then still apply;


No one performs better when they are loaded/drunk. Period-end of story.


In Las Vegas they have this book. One that all entertainers know about

but few have ever seen. Once an entertainer is in this book they don’t get out. If an entertainer is late, unprepared or in an ‘altered state’ (drugs &/or alcohol), is rude to the audience or establishment they

are put in the book…and every club/casino has one and they all share this infor mation…daily. If you’re in the book, you don’t work.

Recently an entertainers’ S/O (who was underage) had a ring-tailed fit when the manager first asked, then told the person to leave…NOW. Rules are rules and the law is the law. Drama in the back room has become commonplace. Fights, both verbal and physical, occur. Attitudes that get your name in the book in ‘Vegas are sadly the norm. Theft, deceit and other deplorable behavior are way too frequent. Sadly some who have celebrity have no respect for it. Athletes and entertainers alike get in the press daily for getting caught doing some very stupid things. There are those who pose the question ‘so just WHO are YOU’? Fair enough. Here’s who I am. Someone who has opened in Las Vegas, locally if you ask Suzie Wargen, Peter Boyles, Bill Husted, Lannie Garrett, Dan Daru, Dave Logan & Scott Hastings who Anita Cocktail is-they’ll be happy to tell you. Who am I? An entertainer who knows over 700 songs, an entertainer who has performed locally at Clocktower Cabaret, Comedy Works, Samba Room & Club Sambucca. So it’s time to step up. It was once said that there are no small parts-just small entertainers. ‘Nuff said. 6

Ann Wyborny

Not the typical fighter 7

“I hate when people gloat after a fight…I don’t shit-talk anyone”

Champion “We are going to be so late,” I said to Mitch as we swiftly drove down the busy streets of Denver, trying to get to our next appointment. We had just gotten done with a 12-hour photo shoot and were now about an hour late to the next one. As we circled around the block trying to find a parking spot, we tried to mentally prepare ourselves for the photo shoot ahead. That night we were going to photograph Ann Wyborny, the 115 lb. Rocky Mountain Bad Boyz Regional Women’s MMA Champion, and a proud member of the GLBTQ community. Because of certain circumstances, we had only been able to contact Ann via e-mail and telephone, so at that time we had no real idea of what she is like in person.

fighting.” There are a few rules, however. In the United states, head-butts, strikes to the groin or kidneys, and kneeing a person in the head, or kicking them, while they are on the ground are illegal. Otherwise, it seems like anything else goes. MMA stands for “Mixed Martial Arts”; therefore many different types of fighting styles are used in competition. The most common styles used are: Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu, although some fighters have been known to also use Karate and “Freestyle Fighting” as well. All of this takes place inside a giant, octagon-shaped, chain link cage, aptly named, “The Octagon” or “the cage”. Fighters win by knockout, submission, or decision by a panel of judges.

Ann was interested in being a part of Outside The Box so that she could educate the GLBTQ community about MMA fighting. MMA fighting, as Ann describes it, is basically “no-holds-barred 8

With all this information about what MMA is, it is clear that Ann Wyborny could kick some serious ass. Sad to say, because of this, Mitch and I were both expecting to photograph

what we both thought would be the stereotypical fighter person: big muscles, fiery attitude, etc. However, we were quite surprised when the front door of Ann’s house opened and a petite, soft-spoken woman greeted us. Needless to say, we both felt pretty silly about expecting the stereotype, especially since our magazine’s title is called Outside The Box. But it’s weird to think that such an unassuming person could totally kick both Mitch’s and my ass and still have energy for more. Ann can, indeed, kick major ass, though. Her title and fighting history are proof enough of that. Ann had her first fight in October of 2007, just 8 months after she had started training. Although she had lost that first fight, Ann says, “losing didn’t stop me, it just made me want to get better”. She won the next fight, which was only a month after the first, and the day after Thanksgiving to boot! “I will probably never fight the day after a holiday again”, says Ann, “because nothing is more miserable than trying to cut weight when everyone else is eating a big holiday meal”. Her third fight was her first shot at an amateur title. However she lost that fight. Ann tells us, “I had some personal issues at the time, and even though I trained hard, I was a mess in my head. I learned a valuable lesson with that, about how mental the sport can be”. Ann went on to win her fourth fight, and by her fifth fight, March 2009, she won by submitting her

opponent with an arm bar within the first 90 seconds of the fight. The following fight, of September 2009, was her second shot at a title, which she won, making her the 115 lb. Rocky Mountain Bad Boyz Women’s Champion. Ann wasn’t always the awesome, fighting machine that she is now, though. Ann was born and raised in the small town of Oskaloosa, Iowa. “I played a few sports when I was younger”, says Ann, “but, for the most part, I was more of a band geek than an athlete”. Ann moved to Colorado when she was 19 years old. “I moved around a lot, drank way too much and partied way too much”, she says. However, just over 3 years ago, Ann was able to sober up and stay that way ever since. Part of what changed Ann’s life, she says, was mixed martial arts. “I got into the sport through my best friend. She did kickboxing at the time and I went to one of her fights and thought it looked like a fun way to get in shape and be healthy. Since I had never considered myself athletic, it was too ‘out of the box’ for me to think that I could do the sport competitively”. However, once Ann started training, she learned that she did have some athletic abilities. Ann states, “I learned that I have the great ability to be able to focus and work hard. By doing that, I developed my coordination and skills. Within only a few months of starting the training, I decided [that] I wanted to fight”.

Unlike most MMA fighters, Ann didn’t come into the sport with any kind of martial arts background. “I’m not excellent on my feet, [and I’m] not excellent with ground fighting, but I am very good at putting them both together”, says Ann, “I came in just specifically training for MMA fighting, so I would call that my style, but I would like to learn more wrestling [and] I would also like to learn more disciplines, such as Judo or Aikido”. Ann Wyborny gets all her mad fighting skills by training at 3D Martial Arts, under the accomplished boxer and kick boxer, Clarence Thatch. Says Ann, “I’ve trained there since the start of my MMA [career] and I love it there. We are a small, tight group of fighters and it’s really more of a family environment. We take care of each other, push each other, and are always there for each other”. Ann trains 6 days a week when she is preparing for a fight. Monday through Thursday, for 2 hours a day, she divides her training between her classes at 3D

and wrestling and ground work with her coach and good friend, Brian “Seraiah” Wood (pro MMA fighter). On top of that, she also makes room for weight lifting and running. On Fridays she does more strength training, and on Saturdays she trains with Shasta Bates, her strength coach, and does classes at 3D. On Sunday is what Ann calls her “active rest day”, in which she goes for a walk or a light jog. Hard to believe it, but Ann still finds time within her busy schedule to fit in a full time job at a law firm, and to attend school full time at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, where


she felt before just goes away. “In fact, lately I have been almost too calm”, Ann tells us, “and it takes me a bit in the fight to get my energy [up]. Being inside the cage, or the ring, is a safe feeling for me, as weird as that sounds. In there, it’s just me, my opponent and the referee; the rest of the world is outside, away and I just feel this calm and safe feeling come over me in there”.

“We met actually because she was interested in training. The first day we really hung out I brought her to the gym and taught her some wrestling stuff. Nothing like being red faced and all sweaty and gross the first time you hang out with someone”.

she studies for her degree in accounting. Ann also lives together with her awesome, and very pretty girlfriend of two years, Shiva. Although Ann’s schedule keeps her super busy for the majority of her days, Shiva is still very supportive of Ann’s fighting career. Says Ann, “She has been to 2 of my fights and she definitely gets more nervous than I do. I think it’s because when someone you love is doing something that is important to them you really want to see them succeed. I know she’s not afraid of me getting hurt; she’s more afraid that I’ll get disappointed in myself if something doesn’t go right”. Despite being a champion, Ann says that she still gets nervous before fights. “But it’s not just nerves”, says Ann, “it’s like a mix of being anxious to get in there and get to the fight, excitement, nerves and me trying 10

to force myself to stay calm and relaxed. So as you can imagine, I’m in really interesting moods before my fights”. To help calm her nerves, Ann looks to her coaches to get her focused for the fight, “we do meditation, visualization and warm up by doing some hitting of the pads, light sparring and ground work”. However, once Ann steps foot into the cage, she says all the nervousness

What with MMA being a very male-dominated sport, it’s very encouraging to see a woman champion. People like Chuck Liddell, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and BJ Penn have rapidly become household names of MMA, but very rarely does one hear about any women MMA fighters in the mainstream media. Thankfully, from what Ann has seen anyway, that seems to be changing. “Females are really starting to emerge on the MMA scene. Promotions are finally starting to see how exciting we are to watch and are beginning to put more and more female fights

“I like to coordinate and match my gear”

fight card this past summer. So, what I believe will help is for women to keep being seen [in MMA] and keep educating the fans on how technical our skills are and how serious we are about the sport”.

“What were you expecting? Ponytail…khaki pants…?” on their cards”, says Ann, “We don’t mess around either, like the men do. We just get in there and fight”. However, Ann still thinks that women still have a bit of an “up hill climb” before they get the respect they deserve in the MMA community, “I think men still have an issue with the idea of women fighting, but the more women are showcased, the more

[people] see how technical we are”. With the growing popularity of MMA it does seem like more women are starting to become interested in the sport. Says Ann, “there are many women, right now, advocating for [MMA] and many promotions advocating for women fighters. [For example,] the promotion Tuff N Uff, in Las Vegas, featured an all female

Another unfortunate reality is the lack of people in the GLBTQ community in MMA. Being a member of the GLBTQ community herself, Ann believes that people in the community can greatly benefit from learning a sport like MMA. “With GLBTQ recreation being centered around bars and clubs, MMA is a healthy way to get to know each other and work together”. With that being said, there does seem to be some discrimination in the MMA community towards the GLBTQ community. Because of this, many people feel some trepidation in trying MMA. Says Ann, “It’s really unfortunate, because I know a lot of gay men who would make great fighters, but they’re scared to try [MMA] because of how close-minded some people can be”. Fortunately, Ann says that she, personally, hasn’t really felt any pressure about being in the GLBTQ community. “I try to represent myself for who I am”, says Ann, “and try to be respectful and a good person, but I feel no specific pressures from the community or anywhere else really”. Ann says, “I believe [MMA] can be a great healthy way for the GLBTQ community to meld with and mesh with the rest of the world. It’s a great way to show people that we are just like 11

everyone else. No matter what we look like on the outside, there is a fighter in everyone”. For those who are interested in trying MMA, but don’t know where to start, Ann suggests starting with the Internet. “Use Google”, Ann says, “and look up MMA gyms in your area and don’t be shy about calling. They are there for the new people. There are also numerous sites that give MMA news, training tips, and sell MMA gear. I would also be available to train with or introduce a new person to the gym I train at here in Denver”. Another great way to learn MMA is to just ask people who do the sport for advice, “One secret about fighters is that they love to give advice and help others train”, says Ann. “Having a new person in the gym gives everyone a chance to teach a little and we all love [to do] that, so don’t be shy”. Ann Wyborny may have won herself a championship title and a belt, but she still has a few things she’d like to do in the future. “My future aspirations are to keep fighting, turn professional within the next year or two, train others, help get women rec12

ring brought nothing but good”.

ognized more in the sport, win a professional title, and fight in Japan. Other future aspirations are to own my own business, possibly attend law school or at least get my MBA in Accounting, own a home large enough for my family to come visit on the holidays, and help others live healthy lives”. Ann Wyborny is not the typical fighter, she just tries to be herself and do her best in whatever she does. She has come a long way from where she first started, and with at lot of hard work and determination, she is now a champion fighter. “[MMA] was something I never saw myself or even imagined myself doing, so that is why I ended up pursuing it. Every day is like a little shock to me because every day, when I’m training, I have a moment where I can’t believe it’s really me”. Says Ann, “MMA has had nothing but a positive affect on my life. It has made me fitter, more confident, and has given me goals to focus on and achieve. Even my losses in the

Ann encourages people, especially in the GLBTQ community, to get out and try MMA, even if they don’t think they would be able to do it. “You wouldn’t believe how high your limit is”, says Ann, “You may think, oh I can only go this far or only do this, but most of the time that limit is way higher. We think we are pushing ourselves sometimes when we really aren’t, so see how far you can go. Don’t be afraid to try something that you never imagined you could do. I guarantee that, with hard work in the gym, you can be successful at this sport if you stick with it, and it doesn’t matter if you have skills or are completely void of them, like I was”. Ann goes on to say, “It’s scary to start something new. We all worry about looking funny or silly or that we won’t be good but my message to others is to try it anyway, not worry about what anyone thinks and just do what they want”. The biggest advice Ann says is, “hard work pays off, period. There is no easy way or shortcut. Just get in there, go to work, and don’t ever stop”. Written by: Bernadette Atencio

Joy’s Corner Summer is officially over and the snow is now here. In fact, we just had a bit of a blizzard here in Denver! It is now time to think of the upcoming holidays. While the holidays may now be over, and the new year is now here, we can still refelct on the wonderful Christmas traditions that we share. Everyone celebrates Christmas differently and with different traditions. A lot of traditions are centered on the theme of giving. A lot of people that spend the holidays with family usually bring gifts in the form of food or material goods. For instance, some people like to exchange gifts worth certain dollar amounts. Some families just have presents for the children and the elders. Others like to have a collection of funds to donate to 13

whole tree with the paper strips so that it looks like there are pine needles or leaves growing from it. To decorate the tree, we would take more colorful crepe paper, cut little strips, and attach them together to make a chain garland. Another holiday tradition we had was to make paper lanterns in different shapes, the most popular being a star. We made the frame first, with thin wooden poles, much like a kite frame. Then we would attach paper to the frame to complete it. I like to use tissue paper, so that the lantern has a nice, translucent quality. Then we usually add paper designs to further decorate the star.

charity. Of course, another popular theme of Christmas is the beautiful decorations. A lot of people choose to decorate their houses lavishly with lots of lights and yard ornaments, like Santa’s sleigh or a nativity scene. Others decorate sparingly with only a few decorations. One thing that most people do have is the Christmas tree. After all, what is Christmas without a beautiful pine tree covered from head to toe in lights and beautiful ornaments? And then, if you are like my family, myself included, and don’t really want to spend a lot of money on gifts or for fancy lights and decorations, here are some wonderful ideas for a holiday gift or decorations that are also 14

a great family tradition of mine from my childhood. Coming from the part of Asia where there is no snow or any pine trees, my family and I used to make our Christmas tree. First, we would find a branch that has a slight conical shape. Then, we would take long, green crepe paper strips and cut little fringes along it. We would then wrap the

Lastly, let us not forget the greatest theme of the Christmas season: the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Celebrating his existence and birthday are what make the holiday season complete! Hope everyone’s Christmas and New Years were a great one! Written by: Joy herself

A few words from the owners

Hello Everyone,

Hey guys!

Thanks so much for keeping our

Well, we did it! We released two very

magazine alive. From all of your

awesome issues of OUTSIDE THE

support and encouragement, OUT-

BOX, so far, and we couldn’t have

SIDE THE BOX magazine has been

done it without you, our readers!

able to take off. Yes, we had gotten a

Thanks for making this happen. It’s

rough start but are back in the game.

been a tough last year for us, but we

Thanks again and look forward for the were able to make it happen again! next several months of a great publica- Look forward to more great issues tion, and a successful one at that.

from us, and please feel free to send


us your ideas and comments. We

Mitchell Gronenthal

would LOVE to hear from you! Founder / Owner: Bernadette Atencio 15

Call For Entries Thanks to all those who had contributed to Outside the Box’s first issue! Now, we are currently looking for more entries for next month’s issue. If you are an artist in the GLBT community, or are an artist whose work comments on the GLBT community, or have a story to share about you or a friend or family member being part of the GLBT community, we want to hear from you! To enter, complete, detach and send in the following form with your stories and, or samples of artwork to:

6694 Highway 2 Lot 71 Commerce City, CO 80022 Or e-mail us at or _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Name: ____________________________ Date:__________________________ Phone number: _________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: _________ Zip Code: _____________ Type of entry: Photography Painting Writing Video Sculpture Crafts Live Performance Other ____________________________ Please tell us why you would like to be featured in Outside the Box magazine: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 16

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1901 Leroy Drive Suite D Northglenn, CO 80233


Credits: Atencio Photography, Mg Photography, OUTSIDE THE BOX LLC, Christopher Pagan - - images of Jorge Steven copyright 2009 Christopher Pagan, OUTSIDE THE BOX, LLC has copyright permission to use all photographs and word content. Any other publication with exact content will be confronted and penalized. Any questions please contact Mitch or Berni at or 17



OTB Magazine January Issue  

Get your foot on the ground and learn how a Lesbian MMA Fighter does it in the real world

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